Wednesday May 1, 2002
Book 2: The Teraport Wars — The Teraport Wars
If you're wondering what exactly the math looks like, it's pretty complex. Basically, Newtonian formulae for acceleration due to gravity (plugging in the mass of the buuthandi's central star, and a distance of about 150,000,000 kilometers as a starting point for the prison modules) give us about 60 days before said modules burn up. Unfortunately, they were falling for just over a month before anyone noticed. A broken buuthandi is a big thing.

If we assume (horribly optimistically, but bear with me) that Petey can capture and offload one of these every 60 seconds, he will have saved some 40,000 of them before they start burning up. That leaves over four-point-nine-five MILLION of them plummeting into the furnace, and those are just in Petey's sector.

Even at less than a quarter full, these 950 million prison modules contain more than three times the population of early 21st-century Earth. To quote the thesaurus-impaired journalist, we have the makings of a "tragic tragedy of tragic proportions."


Narrator: Back aboard the P.D.C.L. Tagon has his orders.
Tagon: Petey, we need to recover as many of these infalling structures as possible. Colonel jaksmouth tells me that each of them might hold up to a hundred prisoners.
Petey: I count more than five million of them in our assigned sector alone. We have less than twenty-six days before they start burning up. That means that a very large number of people are going to die, captain.
Tagon: What if we fly really, really fast?
Petey: Imminent tragedy does not change the laws of physics.
Tagon: But can it change the math?
Petey: Unfortunately, physics IS math.