A Week in the Life by Grumpy Ghost Owl
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Story Notes:
Despite the fact that the series is BotP: 2163, this story is set in the year 2150.

It was unashamedly inspired by Mark Anderson's Diary by Mark "not Mark" Stalter. Kudos also to Margo "Princess" Ryor for her insightful commentary in various discussion threads concerning Chief Anderson as a person. Margo has the uncommon gift of being able to get my neurones firing in actual thought patterns.

This is an original work of fan-fiction. Gatchaman and Battle of the Planets are the property of Tatsunoko and Sandy Frank Productions. No profit, gain, hire or reward is received by the author for this work.

The author also specifically and generally disclaims any and all responsibility for:
Keyop's speech impediment;
The hairstyles; and especially
The jello planet.

I think that about covers it.

Battle of the Planets: 2163
from the personal diary of D Anderson, PhD
Deputy Director, Special Projects Division, Galaxy Security
Interplanetary Security Organisation

July 3rd, 2150

At this particular moment in time, there are two things which bemuse me utterly:

1. Why on Earth (or any other planet, for that matter) was bubblegum invented without anyone inventing something else that would remove said bubblegum from motor vehicle upholstery and/or suit fabric?

2. Why, if the books are right and children are "always" like this, did the human race not become extinct at roughly the same time we became self-aware?

I don't expect an answer. I'd like to be able to acquire the resources to have Karlssen down in the organic lab find a way to remove the bubblegum from the seat covers in the Beemer, but I suspect it will be cheaper to get new seat covers. And as for my suit...

Why is there no form of insurance against children?

It isn't as though I had any of the (presumable) fun in begetting any of them. It isn't as though I can gaze fondly on the fruit of my loins and recall at least five nights of unbridled passion. No, I get to gaze fondly on the fruits of someone else's loins and refrain from speculating as I attempt for the umpteenth time to balance the Project's domestic budget.

Fruit. Now there's a thought. We could adapt the birdstyle prototypes and give the kids fruit suits. It could be my revenge.

All this, and ten hours a day of G-Sec administration. It was easier in the field. All I had to worry about back then was getting killed. Deputy Director Special Projects my ass. I'm not even supposed to have that much to do with these kids apart from overseeing the project, and here I am, a glorified babysitter. Chief Conway was making noises about sending me on something called a 'Positive Parenting Program.' Conway only has one bodyguard. With the advantage of surprise, I could probably take him down and then kill Conway. Or I could use poison. Hell, I'm a scientist, right? I could probably come up with an untraceable poison if I put my mind to it.

And what in all creation is a "pog"?

July 4th, 2150

I live in dread.

It's the Fourth of July.

That means we will all be going to a Fourth of July Picnic. There will be firecrackers. And if Jason shows up in the manacles and straitjacket with which I'd like to kit him out, some do-gooding Social Worker will want me to fill out several reams of paperwork and talk about my feelings.

I'm trying to decide if it's worth it.

July 6th, 2150

Dr Halloran says the hearing damage isn't permanent. The children will be back soon from their appointments with the Paediatric Psychologist. If she doesn't diagnose them as five little hyperactive pyromaniac sociopaths, I will want to know the reason why.

The domestic staff keep smirking at me. No doubt they know something I don't. Thanks be to every god that April First is still nine months away.

July 7th, 2150

"Well adjusted and exuberant," she says. I was sorely tempted to reply with the words, "My ass," and didn't. I wish I had.

To add insult to injury, the psychologist complained that I was shouting at her.

Of course I was shouting at her -- I can't HEAR because someone let off a string of firecrackers right by me at the picnic and perforated my eardrums, didn't they?

I have grounded Jason and Tiny for the rest of the month. Mark and Princess have made themselves scarce, and Don is bucking for the title of World's Biggest Ambulant Haemorrhoid.

I sent them all upstairs to do their homework. They had better be doing their homework.

If I'm very quiet, maybe I could sneak out and run away and join the circus. I can see it now: "Roll up, ladies and gentlemen and see the mad scientist juggle flaming budget allocations!"

A vacation would be nice. Somewhere quiet, like, say, the Black Hole of Calcutta.

July 9th, 2150

If I go prematurely bald, it will be all their fault.

It seems Princess got into a fight with one of the school bullies and kicked the little bastard in the knee. Damn near broke his tibia. That's my girl. However, Mark (in his role as Sir Galahad) decided the fair damsel needed rescuing.

As if.

I've seen that little minx flip a six-foot, 180-pound training officer in practice sessions. She needs rescuing like I need a hole in the head.

So I've got this "Please Explain" letter from the principal wanting to know why I'm raising what appears to be a gang of young hoodlums.

"Well, it's like this, ma'am.: I'm trying to create an elite fighting force out of five kids to save the Earth from the evil forces of Planet Spectra... Spectra. Yes... S... P... E... yes, that Planet Spectra. Yes, the little two-bit anomaly in the Crab Nebula. Uh-huh, I suspect they want to take over the Galaxy. When? Oh, some time in the next ten to fifteen years. Don't make any long term real-estate investments, now, will you?"

Maybe I should pull them out of school and use private tutors.

On the one hand, they need the stability and the socialising influence of public school. On the other, how in heaven's name could the school system even come close to understanding these kids, what they've been through, and what they're being trained for?

If only I had more time.

July 10th, 2150

Why is it that every time I'm ready to have those kids strangled and buried in an unmarked grave, they manage to twist my heart around their sticky little fingers?

I was sitting up late, going over some reports in the den, with a glass of Glenlivet for company when the door swung inward to reveal Jason standing on the other side of it. I was about to chew him out when he padded in trailing his sister and his old teddy bear, in that order.

Princess' face was pale and blotchy -- she'd been crying, her nose was runny and Jason's expression was as solemn as I've ever seen it. Princess has nightmares, sometimes.

Jason marched up to me, looked me right in the eye, and told me Princess had been having "bad dreams she can't remember but they musta been bad, 'cause she's crying and won't stop." His gaze was so earnest, so compelling for such a small boy. "I... sort of... found... a teddy bear," he added, "but it's not helping much so I figured you'd know what to do."

And they stood there, the two of them, in moist and expectant silence, waiting for me to make it all better.

I'm not sure which was the more touching: the fact that Jason had brought Princess to me in this way, or that he didn't seem to mind that she was getting snot all over Mister Rumplebum. (When he turns eighteen, I will use this information against him.)

I asked Jason to fetch me the tissues and dealt with Princess' nose first up, then we all traipsed into the kitchen and they sat sombrely at the breakfast bar while I heated up some milk. I don't usually like the kids eating after dinner, but tonight, I broke my own rule and let them have cookies. My grandmother used to say that things don't seem so bad with a nice cup of tea. Warm milk seems to have a similar effect. Especially when accompanied by chocolate chip cookies.

I tucked them back into their own beds and waited for them to go to sleep. There's something about sleeping children that answers my question about our species not becoming extinct. The little rugrats have an uncanny way of tugging at the heartstrings and triggering every protective instinct we have. Even mine. Especially mine.

They say it's different with your own kids.

I'm not sure when they became "my" kids.

But I'm glad they are.

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