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As we rejoin the action, the Yamato Argo has just visited unholy destruction on a Gamelon carrier that foolishly ventured within range of the main guns.  I’ve always wondered what those guns actually fire – looks like a plasma beam, recoils like an artillery shell, sounds like short-wave radio bouncing off the ionosphere on a cloudy Friday evening.

In any case, the score is now Star Force: 1.  Gamelons: 0.

For his part, Leader Desslock (the Gamelon’s supreme commander, for the uninitiated) is not, shall we say, overly concerned.  A “foolish gesture”, he sneers, his slender fingers tracing delicate patterns in the hot, radioactive Gamelonian air.  Even better, his generals on Pluto have a plan:  use the Yamato Argo Star Force as a test target for their new super-weapon.

The weapon in question?  None other than… wait for it…

The Ultra Menace Missile.

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This is what happens when the Gamelons build a forward base in your solar system.

Not making that up.  Also, don’t speak Japanese, so cannot assess the quality of the translation for you.  Still, you have to wonder.  Was there a first generation weapon called the Menace Missile?  Followed by the Extreme Menace Missile?

Whatever the case, the Ultra-Menace Missile (UMM) is nothing to sneeze at.  Don’t believe me?  Let’s break it down with some basic math:

Fact #1:   It is between 2.7 and 4.7 billion miles between Pluto and Earth, depending on where the planet and planetoid in question are in their respective orbits at any given time.  We’ll split the difference and call it 3.5 billion miles.

Fact #2:  We know it takes less than one day for the UMM to travel from the Gamelon base on Pluto to Earth (we know this because every episode ends with an update of the doom counter, the number of days until Earth is uninhabitable.  All the action described herein happens with the clock stuck at 364 days).  Here again, we shall split the difference and assume the UMM is in transit for 12 hours.

Fact #3:  The speed of light is 186,000 miles per second.

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Math Problem #1:  3.5 Billion Miles / 12 hours = 81,000 miles per second = 44% of the speed of light.  That’s the average speed, which doesn’t even take into account the acceleration profile.

Fact #4:  Though we don’t know exactly how big the UMM is, we do know that its large size is one of its distinguishing characteristics.  Is it the size of a bus?  A Saturn V rocket?  An aircraft carrier?

Well it doesn’t really matter, does it?  It also doesn’t matter what sort of explosive power that thing is packing – it could be none at all.  Because the real “ultra” in “ultra menace” is the fact that it travels at relativistic velocities!  Never mind the planet bombs the Gamelons have been raining down; the UMM hitting Earth is going to make the asteroid that did in the dinosaurs look like a bottle rocket bouncing off the side of the Golden Gate Bridge.

Except… well, except there is the Argo to consider, with none other than Derek Wildstar on the guns.

I mean, dude never even blinks. The UMM hits Earth’s atmosphere, with a remaining expected transit time of let’s say (300 miles  / 81,000 miles per second) = a little less than .004 seconds.  The Star Force sees it coming on radar, somehow, never mind the fact that the UMM would be, like, RIGHT BEHIND the returning radar reflection since it’s traveling ALMOST THE SAME SPEED RADAR GOES.

Wildstar?  He just eyeballs it.  Growls “finally” at the camera once that idiot Mark Venture actually gets the wave motion engine started, and calls out some instructions for the gun crews like a seasoned veteran.  “Turn twenty degrees!  Adjust sightlines!”  The gun barrels swivel slowly in response; Venture orders the Argo 15 degrees to port; the camera pans back, and we see the ship veer off… to the RIGHT.  Damn rookie bridge crew!  But it don’t matter.  Wildstar don’t care.  He takes a breath, pulls the trigger, those weird plasma beam thingies lance out, and BOOM!

This happens:

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That’s right, “Leader” Desslock.  It’s gonna take more than several tons of hardware traveling near light speed to take down the Star Force.  Because, you know, STAR FORCE!!!

And then, finally, this:  the Argo deploys its single most bizarre feature, its in-atmosphere wings.  Even in cartoon land this is just plain silly; it’s like putting a squirrel suit on a semi truck.  But atmospheric wings the Argo has, so atmospheric wings it deploys, and then sails blithely away, leaving the laws of physics weeping softly in its wake.

There are only 364 days left.  Me?  I’m bullish on their chances.

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