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THE NAME and STORY CONTEST!
CONTEST - IS OVER!
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LinkEssence's Model Rocketry Reviews (EMRR) is pleased to announce a new contest in cooperation with Fat Cat Rockets. Fat Cat Rockets has a new rocket, just about to enter our universe, and would like to have your help in naming it. Also, we would like a story behind this rocket to set the tone for all future flight adventures.

So, now is your chance to put on your "creative" hat (rhymes with fat and cat) and come up with a name for this rocket and a story of 250 words or less. Here are a couple pictures of the rocket, the rest is up to you....

TOP VIEW
BOTTOM VIEW

Specs:

  • Length: 19"
  • Height: 5 1/4"
  • 3" Engine Compartment
  • 2¼" Nose Boom
  • Wingspan: 13 1/2"
  • Recovery: 24" parachute

Features:

  • Rear parachute deployment
  • Removable nose gear for flight
  • Single seat fuselage
  • Armaments: Classified

Propulsion:

  • Volume: 29mm
  • Thrust: F50-5
In space

Names Entered (click to read story)
TX-101 Fullback Ferguson's Raider B-Wing
U.T.S. Enduring Freedom TrailBlazer '57 Chevy
Spirit Of America Fat Cat The Da Vinci Beetle
Lightning T-8X Interceptor American Freedom
Valkyrie Strikeship Dimensional Fighter (DF-1) The F-221 Specter
Micro Jump Fighter I.P.F.I. Space Hawk Fat Class--Minion Fighter
Centurion Interceptor Envoy X-Caliber
Puma Escort Fighter    

Results

Place Entry # Name Story TIE BREAK Final Rocket Name Provider's Name
1 13 5 1 12 18 Valkyrie Strikeship Bruce Hicks
2 17 4 2 7 13 I.P.F.I. Space Hawk Dave Fergus
3 10 3 2 8 13 Lightning Marc Harris
  15 3 2 6 11 The F-221 Specter Gary Graham
  4 2 2   4 U.T.S. Enduring Freedom Dick Stafford
  12 2 2   4 American Freedom Jonathan Harvey
  19 2 2   4 Centurion Interceptor Rick Vatsaas
  14 2 2   4 Dimensional Fighter (DF-1) Mark Simpson
  6 1 2   3 57 Chevy Ted Phipps
  9 2 1   3 The Da Vinci Beetle Chris Kiekens
  1 1 1   2 TX-101 Fullback David Urbanek
  2 0 2   2 Ferguson's Raider Jeannine M. Lawall
  5 1 1   2 TrailBlazer Bruce Thomas
  7 1 1   2 Spirit Of America Kathy Miller
  16 1 1   2 Micro Jump Fighter Dennis Bishop
  18 1 1   2 Fat Class--Minion Fighter Chuck Grudy Jr.
  20 1 1   2 Envoy Peter Clay
  8 0 1   1 Fat Cat Dan Schneider
  11 1 0   1 T-8X Interceptor Chris Susicke
  3 0 0   0 B-Wing KLint
  21 0 0   0 X-Caliber Unknown
  22 0 0   0 Puma Escort Fighter Kirk Schermerhorn

JANUARY 18, 2002

ORLANDO, FL-A winner and two runners-up were named in the Essence Model Rocket Reviews "Name the Rocket Contest". Fat Cat Rockets thanks all who took the time and put their thinking caps on to come up with some really creative names and stories for this innovative contest. Thanks also to Nick Esselman of EMRR for asking us to participate and for handling the link to his site. And now....here are the winners!

FIRST PLACE
'Valkyrie Strikeship'
submitted by: Bruce Hicks
SECOND PLACE
'I.P.F.I. Space Hawk'
submitted by: David Fergus
THIRD PLACE
'Lightning' (Space Superiority Fighter)
submitted by: Marc Harris

Bruce won the first production model of this new kit, while David and Marc will each receive a $25.00 Gift Certificate from Fat Cat Rockets. And now for the name of the kit...we decided to use a combination of the top three names and came up with: I.P.F.I. Strikeship "Lightning".

Rules

Entries will be judged by EMRR Guests during a voting week of December 31, 2001 with the winner being announced on January 7, 2002

The prize will be the first production kit of this new rocket!

11/1 - Fat Cat's just offered up $25 gift certificates for 2nd and 3rd prize!!

  • Entry must include a NAME of the rocket and a STORY with 250 words or less
  • STORY line and choice of words must be rated "G"
  • Contestants may only enter (1) time
  • Contestants must be on EMRR's Announcement List to be eligible
  • Contest is over on 12/30/01
  • Voting will take place from 12/31 - 1/4

Fat Cat Rockets is under no obligation to utilize the name nor the story theme. All names and stories entered will become the property of EMRR and Fat Cat Rockets to use at their discretion.


ENTRY #1: David Urbanek

Rocket name: TX-101 Fullback

The veteran escort pilot stood and cleared his throat. Numerous badges and mission ribbons sparkled on his brilliant white flight suit as his steely blue eyes surveyed the sea of faces before him.

"An escort pilot's job is never easy," he began, "or safe, but it's no as glam as the vids make it out to be. The TX-101 may be a sleek powerful ship, armed to the teeth, but we call it he Fullback for a reason. We're not killing at bug eyed aliens. We're killing giant snowballs. We clear a path for bigger ships.

"When the big colony ships hit the Oort cloud, they carry a whole lot of momentum and they're still accelerating. If they hit an Oort object, it could do serious damage. We clear their path. Our fighters are sleek and streamlined because we fly right through the debris clouds. Sometimes the objects have an iron core. That can do serious damage to a Fullback escort.

"It's an exciting job. If you study real hard, you can grow up to be an escort pilot, like me. But I don't shoot aliens. Any questions."

The class was silent, bodies shifting restlessly until one little hand finally went up.

"Yes, you have a question?" the pilot asked.

"So, um," the little boy stammered, "how many aliens have you killed with your space fighter?"

words=226

ENTRY #2: Jeannine M. Lawall

Rocket name: Ferguson's Raider

Ferguson's feline gang waited impatiently for the last Human to leave; as soon as the lock clicked in the workshop door, the furry crew leaped into action, dragging their newly completed Ferguson's Raider from beneath the workbench, where they'd hidden it the previous evening. It was a fine ship, but needed testing, after the Humans had gone home.

Ferguson called Grylka, the smallest of his gang: "Have you found some propellant?"

Grylka proudly pulled over an F motor that he'd snitched from the Human Man's carelessly open range box earlier, "Yes sir, here it is."

"Perfect," Ferguson purred, "Let us begin." Ferguson pressed their Secret Cat Button; the workshop's roof split open, revealing the starry night firmament.

"...three, two, one, LAUNCH!" yowled Ferguson... Ferguson's Raider arced into the the sky, tracked by the cats' excellent night vision. The parachute deployed at apogee and the rocket descended gently back into the workshop, completing a perfect flight. Ferguson pressed the Secret Button again, resealing the roof, and all the cats gathered around the Raider.

"Wow, that was fun! " crowed WeeZee. "Let's launch again!"

Just then, the night watchman entered, waving his flashlight. The cats scurried beneath the workbench, but did not have time to hide the Raider. "Strange," said the watchman, "What is this doing here? I'll return it to the showroom." He picked up Ferguson's Raider and carried it out with him.

"Dang!" cried Ferguson, "There goes another one!"

"Don't worry," Grylka assured him, "I have a new design all ready..."

words=250

ENTRY #3: KLint

Rocket name: B-Wing

This rocket is a mix between the high maneuverability and speed of the X-wing with the armor and weaponry of a Y-Wing.

words=22

ENTRY #4: Dick Stafford

Rocket name: U.T.S. (United Terran Ship) Enduring Freedom

The young Lieutenant Colonel's heart raced as she climbed into the cockpit of the Enduring Freedom, named after the first military campaign of the 21st Century. The historical significance of the name was not lost on this scholar of military history, nor was the importance of her coming quest. Soon, she would embark on a scouting mission to a far away galaxy, to gain intelligence on the marauding Nabilat, who have long been attacking Terra's outposts and had, for the first time, struck her home world.

Her ship was the first of its kind, capable of transversing astronomical distances all but instantaneously. Tapping into the supersymmetric nature of our universe, its CYBORG (Calabi-Yau Boson Oscillation Resonance Generator) tears the very space-time fabric, inverting it in upon itself. All at once, here becomes there, and then becomes now. The distances spanned are not limited by the engine technology, but rather by computing resources and mappings of the destination-space. As with the older warp drive, it is not desirable to arrive inside a solid object or too close to a star. Thus, the Enduring Freedom will make her trips in a series of short jumps, each spanning a few thousand light years.

As her maneuvering engines came to life, her heart rate slowed and became normal again. Then, as she cleared our solar system and engaged the CYBORG, she whispered under her breath "God Bless America", and was gone into the void of space-time.

words=242

ENTRY #5: Bruce Thomas

Rocket name: TrailBlazer

As I climbed down the ladder from the cockpit I had to fight hard not to look too thrilled. They had done it again! My job as a Galactic Surveyor would be much easier piloting one of these babies.

When I had first read the brochures it seemed unlikely that Outfront Technology could have made so many dramatic improvements over their amazing Pathfinder.

The specs said the new Pegasus Engine featured increased power and lower fuel consumption.

The NaviGuide System was to have gotten a complete overhaul.

And, while I prefer to avoid fights if possible, I felt more at ease knowing the Shields and Blasters had been upgraded (I know I wasn'’t supposed to test the blasters on this flight but that Asteroid was just asking for it).

As my foot hit the bottom rung I knew I'’d be leaving here today with a new ship. I had the same feeling 5 years ago when I traded in my second-hand Navigator for the sleek new Pathfinder.

The salesman was in my face as I turned around. "How'd ya like her? Huh? The TrailBlazer sure is a sleek bird isn'’t she? How about that acceleration? And the NaviGuide System sure made it easy coming back, didn'’t it? Whadayasay? Will you take her?"

He could tell as the smile started to curl my lips. I didn'’t have to say a word. This TrailBlazer was gonna be mine.

words=236

ENTRY #6: Ted Phipps

Rocket name: '57 Chevy

"That's the ugliest thing I've ever seen in my life."

"Hold on Boss, please, just listen to what we have to say."

"Why does it have 'things' sticking out all over it?"

"Those are 'fins' Boss, the original had fins. In fact, they were all the rage at the time."

"I know what fins are, you idiot. I also know useless ornamentation when I see it. I'm talking about those tubular protrusions... those aren't weapon ports, are they?!?! Can you imagine the bad press we'd get for arming personal transportation?"

"Strictly cosmetic, Chief! The original had eight 'cylinders', and we wanted to recreate that for this design. It was apparently a very big selling point."

"Cylinders of what?"

"Uh... we're not exactly sure, Chief. The historical records from before The Troubles are kinda sketchy. But the bright side is, nobody else is sure either!"

"I don't know about this... it's not sleek, it's not smooth, it just doesn't 'purrrrrr' when you look at it!"

"Boss, think Retro. Picture the ads, 'A Classic only comes along once every couple hundred years. If your ancestor didn't own one, he wished he did.' We can create a whole new market segment!"

"What's it called?"

"Well, the original was Nomad..."

"Are you crazy?!? I can already hear the Church of Shatnerology screaming if we try to blaspheme like that. No way."

"Ok then, how about the... '2157 Chevy'?"

"What's a 'chevy'?"

"The original brand name."

"Hmmmm... '57 Chevy... you know what? It purrrrrrs..."

words=249

ENTRY #7: Kathy Miller

Rocket name: Spirit Of America

"That's a sleek looking craft," she said.

"It's the Spirit of America," answered the young pilot.

"What is it's purpose," she asked.

"To defend the borders of North America to keep our Free World free," he replied.

The Spirit was the newest aircraft for the Free World Surveillance Team. The North American countries had also become known as the Free World after they had won the Conflict for Global Peace. To keep our borders safe, a new aircraft had been developed to patrol our airspace, often escorting passenger aircraft across the great oceans.

One of the Spirit's special features was that it was designed for only one pilot. If anyone else attempted to pilot the craft, all systems shut down and take-off was impossible. The Spirit also had special radar systems that helped it glide through the skies unnoticed by observers on the ground.

"I still can't believe I've got my own Spirit of America!" he said.

"Have fun with your new Spirit," Mom said. "Happy Birthday!"

"Thanks, Mom," he said with a hug.

words=174

ENTRY #8: Dan Schneider

Rocket name: Fat Cat

Ships log Stardate 192.168.0.1.

I am Captain Ripp Steahl and I command the most advanced deep-space fighter known to the cosmos. I have had the "Attack Cat" now for almost a month ever since we were attacked by an evil race of hairy, whiskered, foul smelling beings called the D'Ogs.

We were not expecting their brutal attack as the pummeled our planet, burying their sacred relics they referred to as B'Hones.

We were outclassed in our "Mighty Mouse" class fighters. They we no match against the D'Og's. Something had to be done. That's when we finalized the design of the "Attack Cat" class of fighters.

A sleek and deadly craft, it's powerful engines burning a new fuel we call "Cat Nip" that pushes our speed past Force 12 without even breaking a sweat! It's armament is most impressive. The Fang rifles on the inboard part of the wings may look small, but they sure can hurt an opponent. The "Claw Cannons" on the outboard wings are for the BIG targets like planets and Rock-Star egos.

Being a small one man fighter, it can approach it's prey stealthily. Stalking it's opponent then pouncing on them with a fury that made even the D'Ogs run away!

I have broken from the rest of my squadron and I swear I will drive back the D'Ogs until our galaxy is rid of their kind forever! Now if we can figure out what to do with all this darn yarn.

words=247

ENTRY #9: Chris Kiekens

Rocket name: The Da Vinci Beetle

Originally conceptualized in the year 2001 as a transport for the masses, the dream was to create a vehicle that could be reproduced inexpensively enough that anyone could afford one.

Unfortunately, the propulsion system could not be produced until 500 years later, as a result of the treaty with he Dolphins, and our promise to help clean up their environment.

Powered by salt water, the engine produces enough thrust to move the vehicle from Europe to North America in minutes, and to the moon in a mere few hours.

The weaponry was added as a method of disposing of the diamond hard salt pellets created as a by-product of the salt-water infusion.

As earth currently has no enemies to speak of, the weaponry's main use is to blast through the space-trash left for us by our non-forward thinking predecessors.

The "Beetle" was the brainchild of Benito Francesco Da Vinci, a descendant of The Great artist and inventor Leonardo Da Vinci.

Ironically, like his predecessor, he never got to see the fruition of his vision, or enjoy the fruits of his labor. He did however have an attractive wife, with a very enigmatic smile.

words=193

ENTRY #10: Marc Harris

Rocket name: Lightning (Space Superiority Fighter)

I walked over to my new star fighter, a Lightning space superiority fighter. It had just arrived on the Orion, a Terran Federation strike cruiser, this morning, and this was to be my first flight with the newest spacecraft in the Terran Federation's vast planetary and space arsenal. I got into the cockpit, closed the canopy, and went through the final preparation checklist.

Once on the Orion's starboard catapult I pushed the throttle to the max. I roared from the launch deck of the Orion, making a quick flyby of the bridge. As I left the Orion's defensive perimeter I reached over and jabbed the afterburner key. The F505 behind me gave me an almost unheard of smooth ride as the afterburner kicked in. I watched my speedometer climb as my Lightning accelerated in the void of space.

I turned around and headed back towards the Orion and requested a target drone be sent out. When I was 1500 meters away I saw the drone come out of the launch bay. It took up a defensive pattern as I accelerated to get in behind the drone and opened fire with my *classified* blasters mounted in the wing roots. The quick burst put the drone's engines out of commission. As it drifted helplessly I dove onto it and fired my *classified* cannons, mounted on my wingtips. The drone exploded after the first burst of the cannons, demonstrating their tremendous firepower. I headed back towards the Orion, satisfied with my new steed.

words=250

ENTRY #11: Chris Susicke

Rocket name: T-8X Interceptor (Modified Standard T-8 of the Space Patrol from planet Sarten)

This particular T-8 was bought from the Sarten Space Patrol by a mechanic/bounty hunter by the name of Max Terrulius. Originally from Old Earth, he fled from a prosecution for illegal weapons exchanging. Ever since, he roams the galaxy as a bounty hunter, bringing in scum to those who want them, for a price of course. And, of course, for this rough job, he requires a ship that can handle it. His particular T-8 is a far cry from those flown by the SSP. He has outfitted his with the latest in propulsion and fire power. Armed with 4 ion cannons (two at each wing tip, and two in the nose), and 2 laser cannons (on the inner wing) it is a formidable ship to battle against. However, to keep those to a minimum, this T-8 has an ultra high output hyper drive designed to take it to light speed quickly, but also uses thrust vectoring to out maneuver anything that challenges it. Nick-named "The T-8X Interceptor" Max's T-8 is a ship to be reckoned with.

words=176

ENTRY #12: Jonathan Harvey

Rocket name: American Freedom

Date: Oct. 26, 2010

Having just been promoted to the rank of Flight Leader First Class, I climbed into the cockpit of my new space corvette, the American Freedom. This newly designed ship was the latest breakthrough in space technology. My sleek new single person craft was powered by Mark 50-5 Star-drive Engines....the best.

After receiving a radio message from my commandant that enemy fighters were entering earth's atmosphere above the US, I took off and prepared to defend America. As I came within range, I powered up my "classified" energy weapons and targeted the first craft. My weapons were more than a match for its weak shielding, and they obliterated the ship with one twin blast. I then powered up my "classified" secondary weapon and blew two more ships out of the sky. We picked them off one by one, flying rings around them in our new ships. We all agreed that our new ships were truly spectacular.

As our squad zoomed back to the ship, I commended my flight group for a job well done. " This is a mission you should be proud of. We were given a test, and we passed it with flying colors."

Completing this mission for America gave me respect for my new ship. I realized the name American Freedom resembled the lengths we will go to in order to protect our great nation. The AF Squadron is devoted to protecting our nation, and we will always be ready to defend it in time of trouble.

words=250

ENTRY #13: Bruce Hicks

Rocket name: Valkyrie Strikeship

Captain Marx forced himself into the seat as the canopy slammed shut. The instruments lit but the helmet visor display stayed blank. A sharp bang against the canopy fixed that. "Another bug for the techs", he snorted.

The alien attack caught the Earth Forces off guard. After decades of peace, fighter technology had stagnated. The first attacks decimated the fighter fleet. Heavy cruisers slowed the aliens but, without fighter help, would soon fall.

The Valkyrie Strikeship was barely past the prototype stage. The original model was a luxury single-ship. Comfort feature compartments now held lasers, meson beams, particle guns, missiles, and ECMs. The nose was stretched to fit one anti-carrier torpedo. The FTL and intra-system drives were replaced with an impulse engine, giving the Valkyrie better acceleration than almost any alien ship.

Like its namesake from Nordic legends, the Valkyrie is beautiful and deadly. Six Valkyries could probably cripple an alien carrier, making an easy target for bombers. However, fighting through carrier escorts with its light shielding would be tough. A good pilot could use evasive action to compensate. A cocky pilot who got cute could easily blow the dampers in a turn then splatter himself all over the cockpit or rip the ship apart.

Marx's squadron was taking the first Valkyries into battle. He grunted as the ship shot down the launch rail. His wing formed up behind him as he cleared the carrier. They turned toward the alien cruiser and its swarm of escorts.

words=246

ENTRY #14: Mark Simpson

Rocket name: Dimensional Fighter (DF-1)

With the recent discovery of the Venturian Worm Hole, Inter-dimensional Pirates have taken advantage of its unique time-space continuum in order to raid nearby planets and make their escape before the Galactic Police can apprehend them. As a result, the United Planetary Council awarded a contract to the Omegacron Corporation to develop a vehicle that was capable of pursuing the pirates during their inter-dimensional escape. A new fighter/propulsion system, based on the Sclessian Photon Phenomenon, has successfully completed its initial shake-down and will be mission-ready within two Earth Moons.

The new ship is capable of spanning two dimensions/parsec/microannum without Tuboencabulator boost and three dimensions/parsec/microannum when engaged.

Weaponry on the new fighter includes the Boson Maser, currently in production on the long-range Omegacron Galactic Space Fighter, GSF-7, as well as a newly-developed addition. The new weapon, designed exclusively for the DF-1 is called the Omega Brake. The new gun can stop a marauding pirate’s ship from going inter-dimensional from 0.5 parsecs away by disrupting its plasma field generator. Once the pirate ship’s plasma field generator has been neutralized, it is vulnerable to conventional Boson Maser weaponry technology. At a cost of 150 Quatloons, the new fighter can be deployed around the Venturian Worm Hole proximity without excessively burdening the United Planetary Council’s security budget. Score another technical coupe for the Omegacron Corporation.

words=221

ENTRY #15: Gary Graham

Rocket name: The F-221 Specter

He knew this was going to be one wild ride. He had heard the usual scuttlebutt about the engines being the most powerful yet designed, but knew that this time it was true. That was one of the reasons for the weapons to be mounted on the wings. The other reason for having them there was that there just wasn't any room left in the nose. they had so much detection, jamming and stealth gear packed in there that there just wasn't any room left. This ship would be undetectable until this Specter of Death finally swooped down on its unsuspecting prey. He was just glad he would be behind the controls instead of facing this ship. The only thing the enemy could be glad of is that they hadn't been able to perfect a cloaking device to make it invisible yet. At least not that any of the briefings had told him of so far...

words=156

ENTRY #16: Dennis Bishop

Rocket name: Micro Jump Fighter

The war had not been going good for Earth, the others ships where faster than the Earthforce ships and the normal weapons couldn't lock onto them either. Everything had gone into this small fighter, the new microjump engine would allow them to get in close to the others ships and the new energy beam weapon was the best Earth could make. No target computers here, jump in close to the others ship point the ship and open fire, and jump away before the others could lock on.

Already a strike force of 100 of these ships had taken out one of the others main battle ships with small loses. Earth was now building these ships in large numbers, getting ready for a massive counter attack.

words=125

ENTRY #17: David Fergus

Rocket name: I.P.F.I. Space Hawk

The Inter-Planetary Fighter/Interceptor Space Hawk is the latest of a long line of fighter interceptors following in the fine traditions of the Spitfire, Falcon, Tomcat, and Greyhawk. It is designed to be the premier manned power projection and defensive weapon in both interplanetary space and the atmosphere of any planet in our solar system. They are based and launch from the Denver International Spacebase. With the support of a P.T.S. Shaman carrying extra provisions, they can patrol and fight on other planets. Patrol flights of Space Hawks have successfully interdicted transport of weapons and Deltroid soldiers to the desert of China to join an alliance with the eastern clone forces. A squadron of ten Space Hawks and two Shamans have attacked the Deltroid base on Mars, destroying two mother ships and three domes, thus setting back their invasion time table indefinitely. The Space Hawk is designed for operation in interplanetary space for up to 3 days without refueling or provisioning. Atmospheric operation requires refueling every 4 hours. An advanced classified drive system enables a trip to Mars in 22 hours. Pilot fatigue is usually not a factor, as the Space Hawk pilot can rest undetected while loitering or cruising on auto-pilot thanks to a newly developed stealth technology called "cloaking". Weapons include laser cannons and neutron torpedoes.

words=217

ENTRY #18: Chuck Grudy Jr.

Rocket name: Fat Class--Minion Fighter

With the world in an absolute technology stalemate the American government again called on the small, but technologically advanced Fat Cat Rocket Company to build the world's newest version of the advanced tactical fighter and move the US into the dominant position in world air power. The XF-911 Fighter, code named Minion, has entered the tactical fighter arena as the fastest, most maneuverable and most potent fighter ever created. The Minion will be the fighter of the 22nd century and will again put the United States at the forefront of fighter design. With the combination of low level atmospheric jet, scram jet and rocket propulsion engines working in unison no other fighter can claim the speed or altitude performance of the Minion.

The Minion Fighter does not stop there. With deadly plasma spray guns and the latest laser technology the Minion continues the armaments which forced the United States to give Fat Cat Rockets their own class of deadly fighters. It's electronics can listen to dedicated soldiers on the ground by way of pinpoint audio voice technology giving 'licensed' soldiers the ability to call in a bombing or plasma strike simply by talking to the sky, in a whisper.

The Minion also has the ability to run with a pilot when the need arises for human decision making. Fat Cat has allowed for the Minion Fighter to compensate for human frailties and still evade the most potent fighters in the world, and, even with a human aboard, leave them behind.

words=250

ENTRY #19: Rick Vatsaas

Rocket name: Centurion Interceptor

No nation has fielded an anti-ballistic missile system. Unbeknownst to world leaders, wealthy but eccentric financier Lance Boyle has deployed a secret network of ultra-high technology missile interceptors to prevent attacks by rogue nations.

The centerpiece to this network is the Centurion Interceptor, pre-deployed and always ready on vertical launchers in camouflaged locations throughout the earth. Upon confirmation that rogue missiles are in trajectory, the Centurion ignites its solid rocket booster, and rises until it is a safe distance from the earth's mass, before engaging the Heddenkopf drive.

The Heddenkopf drive, a failed attempt at interstellar propulsion from another of Boyle's ventures, found application in the Centurion. The Heddenkopf drive drops the Centurion into a null space continuum, where all matter and time are at a stand still, except for the Centurion, which exists as a bubble of real space within.

The Centurion has 30 minutes of real time to locate the rogue missiles before the Heddenopf drive absorbs all its fuel. The Centurion destroys its targets with focused beams of Heddenkopf field energy.

Once the Heddenkopf drive runs dry, the Centurion is sucked backed into real space at the same location, time, and velocity at which it left. To the ground observer, the Centurion will have never left its arcing trajectory, and its targets will have flashed out of existence without explanation.

The Centurion returns to real space totally without power, so the pilot activates the rear-ejecting recovery system, to be recovered and readied to save the world again.

words=250

ENTRY #20: Peter W. Clay

Rocket name: Envoy

After five thousand years in space, the colony ship resembled an enormous heap of scrap iron, having been re-engineered hundreds of times by its occupants. The ship retained enough propulsion and control to place itself in Earth orbit on its return, but no longer had any capability to land its occupants. Few surplus resources remained, but scientists on board had set out to solve the problem several years before re-entering the Solar system. No one on board had ever seen an atmosphere for two hundred generations. Even on the ship, language had evolved so much that old records were difficult to translate.

Still, they found a rocket motor and managed to build an atmosphere-compatible launch just big enough for one smallish person. The little craft would be returning to an Earth none of them would recognize to either enlist the technology of the present inhabitants, or to uncover and use materials buried and preserved all those centuries ago. It could not return without help.

All were encouraged as they approached the planet. Artificial light traced the continents by night. Unintelligible, complex signals reached the ship. Artificial satellites meant whoever was down there could reach them. Best of all, the pyramids under which their gear was stowed could still be seen near the Nile. It was settled.

Their fate would be in the hands of eleven-year-old Sola, who would guide the little ship she called Envoy to what had always been the center of world technology.

Babylon.

words=246

ENTRY #21: Unknown

Rocket name: X-Caliber

Ahh, she was a fair and beautiful lass,
forged in the mists of legends.

Her sleek design and awesome speed
was unmatched in the kingdom.

Her well balanced X-wing configuration
was a dream to maneuver.

Her rapid fire, medium-caliber
photon cannons could turn a
titanium alloy hull
into Swiss cheese
in a matter of seconds.

In the hands of the young prince Arthur,
she hefted like the terrible swift sword of legend...

words=72

ENTRY #22: Kirk Schermerhorn

Rocket name: Puma Escort Fighter

For years the Trans-Sol System Privateer Consortium had run roughshod over the colonies on the moons of the outer planets and the miners in the ort cloud and asteroids. With their Galactic Marauder warships they have robbed colonist and miners indiscriminately.

This being the last straw for miner and colonist alike they gathered their still considerably wealth and commissioned Ganymede Ship Works and Propulsion Systems, an impressive 5 year old upstart ship builder, to come up with a convoy fighter that could effect a little protection on their shipping lanes.

Deep in the bowels of the Ganymede based ship yard, a group of brilliant young engineers in the "cat works" secret research division are putting the finishing touches on their new Puma escort fighter, named for it's ability to hide in the shadows and pounce!

Designed to hide in the shadows by absorbing photons around the ship with collector grids on the ship's surface it looks natural in the tumbling shadows of the asteroid belt. Once a Marauder is spotted it is time to Pounce! The Pumas powerful fusion Ion engines leap out of the shadows in a blinding flash. For claws the Puma has two Ion-Cannons on wing top pods that draw from the main engines for scrambling the circuits of the enemies ship. She could also swipe at them with her wing tip lasers. Or scratch her belly and she might launch a missile or four!

So watch out privateers, there be pumas here abouts!

words=247

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