Brakes work. I have that, to report. Fingernails still have a patchy, stubborn grey mess staining their underside. Probably a good thing I’m not dating anyone at the moment, as I’m sure anyone but me would put up with that. Need to pick up a nail brush and some grease cleaner if I’m going to keep learning how to maintain this bike. It’s old-school manual labour all the way, to keep the hands clean after working with tools. I doubt humanity will ever invent anything more effective than a nail brush and degreaser, there.

Maybe I’ll check out some vid-feeds for the grinding noise that the bike still has. Got to be something out there that will give instructions. The question, then: do I spend limited credits on parts and tools, or just take it to the shop and pay the credits for parts and labour?

People are back into the work routine, now. Lots of venting on the social feed today. I was back last week, but that’s a good thing: means I’m up and running already. It made me wary on the roads today, as there are a lot of speeders out there, and a lot of heavy haulers. Many of them are being driven by someone trying to remember how to do it without denting or clumsily smashing something.

And I’m just a squishy meat-bag.

I keep to the side of the roads, running the constant watch for the dull glint of broken glass in the gutters that hunt my wheels; a not-too-subtle reminder of all the speeder drivers that didn’t remember how to drive properly. This is a game of risk; playing off the distance needed to clear the bad surface of the gutters, against the distance that the next speeder rushing from behind is going to give me.

Pushing on in the black of early morning, wrapped against the clawing cold, I lit the back of my bike up with three flickering red lights. Not taking any chances today, they are all going on. You’d be lying if you say you didn’t notice me. If the worst happened, well, that wouldn’t be too much solace to me, lying in a med-bay somewhere. But no one could say it was my fault. It’s still dark both directions. At the start of the day and the end of it. We are still in the clutches of the shorter northern daylight hours, still waiting for the planet to swing back on its orbit, bringing the axis to a better angle against our star. For now, I protect myself with the flimsy defence of triple tail lights. Confidence is not exactly overwhelming, here.

Highlight of the work day was a long meeting in the afternoon, with one participant conferencing in on the visual stream. Nothing fancy there, but it was a productive meeting. Think I only drank five cafs at work today. That’s less than usual.

After one last effort back at the hab tonight, the cryo box is full. Very full. All the full. But I have 22 ready-made rations done now, just needing a blast of heat to be edible. That will last me a good chunk of the month’s eating. When I get through some of it, I’ll hit the prep-work again using the dry-store goods. The plan is working. So far.

I had a stim on in the background as I worked. Something about a sword-wielding mutant, set in a heightened medieval era, and something about magic. It’s all the rage, the social feed tells me. I don’t know much about it, but it’s noise, and something to glance at now and then. It looks gritty, reminds me of another stim from a few months back. Apparently, in these enlightened times of ours, we still love our gratuitous violence.

I say that like anyone, at all, is surprised.


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