Thursday March 7, 2002
Book 2: The Teraport Wars — Quest for Second Sight
Note: Commander Gamm has three seconds on his hands (he may actually have more, but right now those three seconds are all he has confidence in). You might think that he wastes the first second on an expression of surprise and shock, but you'd be overlooking the intense metabolic activity during that period. His blood pressure leaps up, forcing more oxygen through the semipermeable membranes of his brain cells, (for those of you who are wondering, Gamm's brain sits in his pelvic cradle, about fifteen centimeters below his heart, and just four centimeters above the lower end of his digestive tract) and large quantities of endorphine-analogues are released into his system. Were he being attacked by a togrun (think "scaly tiger"), he'd be in prime condition to leap, kick, throw a spear, climb a tree, and then die screaming.

In the second second (not the same as second2) Gamm quickly discards the primal urges of leaping, kicking, or tree climbing, spins to make eye-contact with the terapedo (okay, okay... the 'pedo has no eyes, per se), and feels the familiar, sickening push of a gravitic shield, telling him that this device is not going to fall prey to a sidearm.

Before the third second begins, Gamm's life starts to flash backwards before his eye. His consciousness expands, consuming the bounteous metabolic resources at its disposal, and for a one-point-four second eternity he is able to analyze everything he has ever said or done. In particular he considers the rather poor decision to have minions of his steal a Strohl T.A.D. III system (Teraport Area Denial Mark Three) from a passing sales rep, rather than simply buying a whole case of the stupid things.


Thrummb: Whoa... Sir, you're not going to believe this.The superfortress just pulsed its shield... We had a clear shot at it for a few milliseconds.
Gamm: But that would also mean...
Thrummb: ...That it had a clear shot at us. It gravied our first wave of breachers.
Gamm: That kind of timing on that kind of a scale is impossible.
Thrummb: He just did it again. We've been painted.
Gamm: By what?.
Terapedo: By me. Hi! I'm a terapedo. I assume that the language you are speaking is the one you'd like me to use as I count to three. One...
Sign: Terapedo Mark I
Narrator: At least the user interface is cheerful and intuitive.