A Selfish Letter To The Quartermaster Of The Orbital Laser Corps
Peter Tatara - November 13, 2009
Dear Mr. Schwarzschild,
I know you are a busy many with many important matters to oversee, but I was hoping to have but a brief fraction of your day to discuss a matter dear to me. I am a proud and patriotic citizen living in the reclaimed waters of Old Boston Bay. I pay my SAT-POL taxes, have voted for the Unification Party in the past five elections, and I work hard servicing poultry butchery machinery to support my family. And it's because of my family that I'm writing to you.
For, you see, my son wants to join the Orbital Satellite Corps. He was at the top of his class in middle school, continues to do well in his high school studies, and is a gifted athlete. While he could surely go on to many choice colleges, he intends to enroll in the Unification Party's Satellite Police upon his graduation, with the express desire to serve as a gunner in one of our floating fortresses high above our blue sky.
If I may take a moment, I remember the very first day our blue sky turned red -- when it was stained by the approaching Medusa invasion ship. I remember, too, when it turned black even at noonday, the whole globe swathed in the ominous clouds of the nuclear winter caused by the last act of resistance of the old republics. It took every warhead on the planet, but we shot down the first Medusa. It was hard those next years, but we survived. And more than that, we unified. Twelve years later, I remember when the sky turned blue again, when the plants regrew, and when we made sure the Medusa could never attack us again.
To end my digression, I remember when the sky turned gold. When the sun returned, and when we added a second sun high above us. I was proud when the first floating fortress, built from when we learned from the destroyed Medusa still burning in the Gobi Desert, took off. I felt the same warmth when the second, third, fourth, and fifth fortresses launched, and -- day and night -- I'm comforted by their glow, suspended above us, fixed like radiant new suns in the heavens.
But you know all this, and I've already taken up far too much of your time. My reason for writing you today is simple. My son wishes to be a gunner in the Orbital Satellite Corps. He believes he's officer material and wants nothing more in his life than to hang there in a Lagrange Point behind the barrel of a 12,500 terawatt tiamut-hydrogen laser cannon. When the Medusa attacked a second time, the Orbital Satellite Corps protected us. When the Medusa tried to establish a base on the dark side of the moon, the Orbital Satellite Corps put a stop to it. When the Medusa toiled to knock the moon into the Earth, the Orbital Satellite Corps, again, saved the world. And now, there isn't a week when we don't see the glistening beams of the floating fortresses and hear the news that another Medusa invasion ship's been destroyed as it crosses into the inner solar system.
I smile when the footage is beamed to our hypervision, and my son cheers. Sometimes so loudly that the neighbors complain. (Don't get me wrong, the neighbors are good, supportive citizens as well, and they've never once spoken out against the SAT-POL. They wear the Unification Party pin firmly on their lapels. They just turn in early for the night, and my son's hoots, hollers, and shouts up into the night sky sometimes wake them.)
As I was saying, my son is a gifted student and athlete. He could easily navigate a floating fortress with ease and fit into even the tiniest spaces to service the tiamut guns. And the doctors say he's able to withstand radiation better than most. He wants to join the Orbital Satellite Corps, and I know that when he applies, he'll be accepted.
Why I'm writing to you today is because of the Orbital Laser Corps duty uniform. You see, I have no issues with the uniform's grey slacks and vest, navy jacket, or the little gold buttons that run through them all. No, I've got to speak to you about the -- frankly -- dumb little cap that every member of the Orbital Satellite Corps must wear high on their head. I don't get the mauve, I don't get the broad chin strap, and I don't get blinking light affixed to the top. I'm sure there's great symbolism to the whole design and the light serves some purpose in orbit, but whenever I see the caps won by officers on the ground, I can't help but shake my head and let out a laugh.
I can't see my son wearing one.
He very much wants to serve aboard a floating fortress and be of great service to planet Earth. As fearful as I am of the dangers in outer space, I know his heart is set on nothing other than defeating the Medusa. He's a good boy with a lot of potential, and I know he will make me, my family, and this whole world proud if given the chance, but I won't be able to face him if he has to wear a little blinking blue hat. So, Mr. Schwarzschild, I must ask if you could press through a change in the Orbital Satellite Corps helmet design with the Unification Party's Valkyrie Congress. I've attached several sketches of alternate headgear, some pragmatic and others more fanciful, all of which I feel are a better than the present.
I look forward to your reply, and as a proud and patriotic citizen, I'm happy to lend any additional support or designs I can to you and your staff. Thank you again for you time. Death to the Medusa!
234-43 Maple Court
Winthrop Reclaimed Island