Countdown to infinity by halves

Dr. G. Brottel bent his knees and leaned back.

Neill, his dance instructor nodded.  “Yes, young man.  That’s exactly how you do it — chin up, look past your partner’s right ear and slightly point your right shoulder to hers, your hips straight.”

Galdous followed the instructions, just as he had followed instructions during his years at university, culminating in his dissertation, “Applying The Lamaze Method Aboard An L5 Society Geostationary Observation Station Boosted To An Earth-Moon Lagrange Point.”

This, of course, fed his interest in leading his partner, Yui, around the dance floor.

Mimicry circuitry in his central nervous system sped up his learning.

At night, he and Yui watched each other watch a 3D video which enhanced their sympathy learning of the moves in a weightless acrobatic encounter combining waltz, tango, Lindy hop, Balboa and East/West Coast swing.

By the end of their work shift the next day, their supplemental brain systems had worked out the coordinated muscle movements needed for smooth swaying on the spherical dance surface.

Yui, assigned to him and he assigned to her at birth, along with several alternative matches based on known genetic symmetry, melted into his arms as they spun “in the air” while holding the formal dance frames required for interplanetary competitions they planned to win.

Having grown up in adjoining educational centres but, not allowed to constantly interact like siblings, which tended to discourage the compatibility of their genetic material for later replication needs of the space colony, they had just enough similar phys-ed workout routines that meant they could anticipate each other’s moves without thinking.

Guinevere, a theoretical science university student and specialty dance instructor from Moon Base Amber Road, made mental notes about Galdous and Yui’s trajectories.

Her mental notes were sent to a supercomputer which adjusted the subroutines that would generate the next dance video for Galdous and Yui to watch that evening.

Guinevere, working on her PhD, the dissertation preliminarily titled, “Recalibrating Rocket Propulsion Guidance Systems Using Realtime Algorithm Remodeling of Neural Network Flow Diagrams,” general enough to give her flexibility with her university sponsor, had found that teaching others the dance steps she had learned during physical rehab not only helped her repair skeletomuscular damage from a bad spaceship smashup but also reinforced the pathways of her upgraded organic wireless circuitry.

In other words, practice what you preach, do what you say and say what you do, be a do bee, and go with the flow, as her therapist liked to say in mock repetition.

Guinevere held out her arms and Neill kicked off the floor toward her.

“Here’s what I mean, Galdous.”  Neill cupped his palm and placed it in the small of Guinevere’s back.  “Lift your left arm and gently push Yui forward.  Yui, bend your knees to your chest, balling yourself up, and spin around Galdous’ waist.”

As Guinevere spun around Neill’s waist, she remembered a mistake in her recent classroom experiment calculations, which meant that the student satellite they had launched yesterday was going to miss its target.

She closed her eyes and focused on correcting her mistake.

If she could work out the logic in the next few seconds, she just had time to send the new algorithm to the Moon for automatic coding, then routed to the satellite for reprogramming.

Later, while Galdous and Yui watched their evening dance instruction video, a student satellite performed a series of maneuvers in space that oddly resembled the steps in the instructional video.

Only Guinevere knew what was going on, silently laughing to herself as she explained to her fellow students recording the satellite’s path that she had invented a new method of optimising a satellite’s stress test by putting strong centripetal forces into effect that pushed the physical limits of the satellite, including triaxial shear test methods employing all six degrees of freedom at once.

Lee Colline managed the lives of everyone on the space station.

He paid attention to all communication between the station and bases throughout the solar system.  A pattern matching program alerted him to the accidental conjoining of Guinevere’s dance instructions and satellite reprogramming.

Lee ordered a review of future upgrades to all persons working and/or living on the station.

Although Guinevere’s “accident” had caused no harm and, in fact, may have led to a new discovery, he had to make sure that the next accident didn’t adversely affect the station.

The immediate application of basic science to practical living had long bothered Lee, who thought that some amount of peer review should separate the two after the Great Cataclysm had demonstrated the fallacy of shortterm economic subsystem profits over the longterm needs of the whole ecosystem.

Who, though, understood that socioeconomic systems rarely used peer review as a safety measure the way that scientists had long agreed peer review was necessary for protection against false claims and inaccurate conclusions?

He mentally wrote an emergency measure that would be reviewed by the Committee for implementation across the Solar System Space Station Network: “All student experiments must align their policies with the Post-Great Cataclysm Procedures for Protection Against Instant Gratification.”

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