First Appearance: Asteroids (Atari, ARC, 1980)
Aliases: Space debris; Hemi-roids; Pluto
M.O.: High mass and velocity unencumbered by friction and other resistance; fragmentation
Weaknesses: Strategically placed nukes

Profile by Jeremy Parish? | January 31, 2011

Navigatorís personal log
Stardate 2717.19.80

Another day, another physically impossible dimension full of rocks. Will the tedium never end?

I dearly wish I had properly understood the nature of this assignment back when I first accepted it; things would have been different, believe you me. Excitement! Adventure! I crave these things, and I was promised them -- along with a medal, mind you, not to mention a significant bonus for services rendered under hazardous conditions.

Danger doesnít faze me. Iím a top navigator. A well-tuned starcraft is like an extension of my own body. I ride the solar wind like an eagle in an airstream; I juke and dive and dodge debris with instinctual prowess. Iím not one of Earthís top-rated active pilots for lack of competition, after all.

But this tour -- itís way too much. No one told me Iíd be navigating non-Euclidian space, dodging threats from every possible angle plus several that should be mathematically impossible. Patrolling Earthís perimeter space to prevent orbital bombardment by a massive cloud of asteroids is one thing; enclosing myself in a series of tiny pocket dimensions to clear out these rocks is something else entirely.

These space rocks move with the inexorable malice of the truly inanimate. They tumble toward me from one direction, easily evadedóbut no sooner do I dodge than they somehow end up flying at me from a different direction entirely. Worse yet, if I unleash my disruptor bolts against them, the asteroids splinter into multiple pieces... and those fragments are subject to the same inexplicable spatial behavior as the whole rocks. So then I have several pieces of rock warping around reality and flying at me from unexpected directions, tripling the threat, or worse. Of course, I could simply boost the output of my shipís blaster, but that would also increase its range, which strikes me as foolhardy. Iíve seen the extremity of my beam bending through the edges of these pocket dimension, flying at me from unexpected directions, the same as the rocks. The asteroids are bad enough; the last thing I need to do is shoot myself down.

Worst of all, Iím being paid on an hourly wage... and according to my chronometer, time advances at roughly quintuple speed in these bubbles of self-contained space. So Iím getting paid one-fifth my promised rate for work five times as dangerous as usual. I realize that mine is a noble calling and that any one of these rocks would strike with the force of a gigaton bomb should they be allowed to slip through our defensive perimeter and reach Earth, but at the moment I wouldnít be heartbroken if we accidentally let one of these through to take out that lying bastard who recruited me for this endeavor.


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