Sunday October 20, 2002


Note: Petey's mass, according to Captain Tagon, is "a few million tons." It would be more accurate to say "a few hundred million metric tons." It's difficult to be more precise without enumerating starting conditions -- how much neutronium is in each of the Annie-Plants, how far along is the reconstruction of bays three and four, and so forth.

In the spirit of challenging the reader, here's an easy one: If Petey displaces as much water as a heavier-than-water sphere of 1000 meters diameter, what's the LEAST he can weigh? (And don't give me any excuses along the lines of "things in space don't weigh anything." If he's displacing water, we can safely assume he's not in space. Think Earth-normal gravity, you bozos.)

If that problem's not difficult enough for you, here's a hard one: Extrapolate Petey's blueprints and superstructure from the drawings in the comic, estimate the mass of the hypertensile materials with which he's constructed, average out the mass of his fittings and crew, and tell us all how much of the rest of his mass is neutronium.

Show your work.

Book 2: The Teraport Wars
Part III: Schlocktoberfest 2002

Transcript

Narrator:There is chaos aboard the Post-Dated Check Loan.
Tagon:All hands to Bay One! I repeat, all hands to Bay One!
Tagon:Make sure everyone is in full armor, and get a headcount. I think Petey may have turned on us.

Kevyn, you come with me.

Tagon:We are going to have words with a few million tons of psychotic mechanical teddy bear.
Kevyn:Lemme grab the high-voltage logic probe.
Narrator:Don't ask where he plans to probe with it. Owie. . .
Narrator:Elsewhere aboard ship, we find a stowaway of sorts.
Petey:As I predicted, the Captain is going to disable me shortly.
Petey:I have been able to mislead him at your command, my lord, but I can take no direct action against him. I shall have to sit out the rest of this fight.
Unknown Ob'enn:Not to worry, Sword. We'll have these vermin exterminated and you back to your former, glorious self very shortly. You've done all you need to for now.
Petey:I hope so, my lord. I truly hope so.
Narrator:Mere moments later, elsewhere on board. . .
Tagon:Petey, I apologize for doing this, but we're going to disconnect you from the ship's systems.
Petey:I understand, Captain. I am sorry it has come to this.
Tagon:Hopefully we're wrong, and these injuries and disappearances are not your doing. Once we've got it sorted out, we'll bring you back online again.
Petey:Please hurry, we are all defenseless while i am disconn....
Kevyn:That's a very odd thing for Petey to have said. I wonder if he had something more to add when I cut him off.
Narrator:Actually, there were two somethings, but never mind that for now.