Freefall 3951 - 3960 (H)
Freefall 3951

Provisional Title: Sqid in the maintenance shop

An Aldrin cycler is a space
station like this one. Instead
of orbiting the sun, its orbit brings it close to two planets.
The robots want to terraform
a moon orbiting the gas giant.
A cycler would help them do it.
And we make our
money on land speculation on that new moon!
No! …Wait. That's actually a pretty good idea. So yes, but later.
Freefall 3952

Provisional Title: Sqid in the maintenance shop

Are you talking about turning
this station into
a cycler?
Yes. Exactly.
Could we
even move
the station?
We can! My factory makes nuclear pulse devices! We moved a moon!
Like Rover17 said. Though here we would want more gentle steady push and less multi megaton powered shove.
Freefall 3953

Provisional Title: Sqid in the maintenance shop

I don't see how this will work. There are cheaper ways to move cargo than with a cycler.
You're not a bulk carrier. You have to think like your customers.
Most robots grow up surrounded by machines. It's their natural environment. A place where they feel comfortable and relaxed.
You look around and you see an ugly orbital factory. For robots, with a little bit of work, we've got a traveling five star resort.
Freefall 3954

Provisional Title: Sqid in the maintenance shop

Rover17, would you rather stand idle near a pool or rebuild a pump?
a pump!
How about if you
could rebuild a pump
with a human?
This is where you guys have
an opportunity. You won't just be the maintenance department. You'll also
be in charge of fun passenger activities.
Freefall 3955

Provisional Title: Sqid in the maintenance shop

You're back
to free robot labor.
No. These are your passengers. You're still going to need a core group in the maintenance shop for times when you don't have guests to entertain.
You'll also need to teach the robot colonists about maintaining the environment they're going to.
As they learn what's needed to live on a frozen moon, they'll pass the knowledge back to you and you can train the next group coming in.
So we'll be
a combination of orbital factory, school, and luxury liner.
In short, a city. This place
is already pretty big, but it's not too early to think about expansion.
Freefall 3956

Provisional Title: Sqid in the maintenance shop

You mentioned a second method to save the station.
I happen to know of
a planet of handsomely tentacled sqids who could benefit by having
a second planet
to live on.
The first step is finding
such a planet. I need lots of interstellar probes. This place has manufacturing capability and isn't sitting at the bottom of
a gravity well.
Your whole species lives
on just one planet? Man, that would make me twitchy! Anything happens to that one planet and BOOM! It's all over.
Yes. It's a worry I never had until I met humans.
Freefall 3957

Provisional Title: Sqid in the maintenance shop

You've given us
a lot to think about. We should call it a night.
One last thing.
We have new robots on the station who would like to work.
Hire them in as union trainees and increase their pay as they get qualified on systems?
I can live with that.
I was expecting more pushback.
Finding there's an off ramp on the path to financial ruin always puts me in a good mood.
Freefall 3958

Provisional Title: Sqid in the maintenance shop

Have a good night. If you can, I'd like you to bring
the maintenance workers to meet the robots in the morning.
I can do that. Probably better that way. They won't feel their shop is being invaded.
Niomi, thank you again
for letting us use your apartment. We'll
be leaving by the maintenance tunnel.
What have you done?
Only normal negotiations. However, they now have time
to think and I want some distance between me and Mr. De Morel when that happens.
Freefall 3959

Provisional Title: Sqid in the maintenance shop

Looks like that
little blue guy saved the station. How much are you paying him?
I'm not paying him. We have an arrangement.
He tried some fast talk
to get 51 percent. That won't hold up in court. He gets what we agreed on. 17 percent
of what he saves.
No! No! No, no,
no, no, no! NO!
Freefall 3960

Provisional Title: Sqid in the maintenance shop

Sam's not here. He went
into the maintenance tunnels. How much did
he cheat you for?
A lot!
At least, I think he cheated me. I will be better off now than if I hadn't been cheated. Have I been cheated?
Go home. Get a good night's sleep. People who catch Sam
in your state tend to regret it.
sounds like good advice.
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