Christopher King
Franklin Pierce College
FPC Box 850 College Road
Rindge, NH 03461
United States

Why Jupiter?

So I was sitting on the pot the other day just minding my own business and not toally engrossed in my brand spanking new copy of Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman (read him, has a style that kind of frees up the mind like geometry does for Socrates). In any case it smacked me like I was a moron for not realizing it before. If there was some explosion of magic on Rifts Earth, it probably wouldn't remain a secret for long, not just extradimensionally, but also galactically. I mean think about it. Magic has this nasty habit of interfering with communications, power sources, and what the hell is that funky blue light anyways? At least, so it would be perceived from those outside of Earth. Nevertheless, the electromagnetic pulses and whatnot shot forth from the planet would probably stretch beyond the solar system. In Cosmos Carl Sagan hypothesized that if there was sentient extraterrestrial life, it would most likely inhabit a region of the galaxy at least and probably farther than 200 lightyears away. Taking that into account it figures that assuming the EM shots of magic from the Earth carried on at the speed of light. Well that means since the explosion of magic it would be 200 years until this hypothetical civilization got the message. Assuming space travel was an option, probably only feasibly if the FTL drives similar to that of Phase World or Manhunter or Mechanoids (if there was, I mean, I've never seen a copy of the game, but it would make sense to me if there was FTL drives in the game from what I've heard about it) or even the fold drives in Robotech. So since its been 300+ years since the Coming of Rifts, thats every system within 300 lightyears. Don't take this for fact as I am only acting out of personal recollection and no source to verify it, but I believe it was a star is located (on average) every 1.5-2 lightyears within the Milky Way galaxy. I don't know how to quite do the math but if you take a spehere and call that 300 lightyears and put a star in the center of every 1.5-2 cubic lightyears, then you get probably thousands of stars. It just hit me that the equation might look like (Area of a sphere with a radius 300 lightyears)/(2 lightyears). I don't have anything to check this by but I believe area of a sphere is pi*r^3, in this case 3.14*300^3 resulting in 27 million cubic lightyears. WOAH!!! If my first guess on doing this is correct then that would be 13 and a half million stars. Somehow I doubt that so lets divide by 8 (2^3) and we get 3,375,000. Still not a figure to be sneezed at. Through observations in astronomy it seems likely that most stars have planets. Considering the fact that I was able to create organic molecules in a freshman Biology course last year I think it not too unlikely that life has probably sprung up on more than 1 of those planets each orbiting 1 or more of those 3 million stars that I took from the conservative estimate. Had I been more liberal with my figures I probably would have 5 million easy and likely 10. Still, I hate statistics and I'm not even trying to use this as proof of actual extraterrestrial life, but this is a game and if I want to call a spade a heart, its my perrogative, so I'm saying theres lots of people out nearby who got the accidental call from Earth. That still leaves us with my original question, why Jupiter. Well remember how we discover planets? In case not, my understanding of it is that astronomers observe a kind of gravitational tug on the visible star as a planet would be too easily obscured by the star using vision and besides, stars create light, planets merely reflect it so, we'd only be looking at shadows if we even could see the planets from here. Aliens would have the same perspective on us. Now if we consider our Solar System's largest planet, we find, hello the largest and most noticeable gravitational tug. Navigating around that, they would naturally first come to Jupiter by simple navigation regardless of where the EM burst was first sent out. Besides, aliens don't know quite what it was that made this EM burst so it seems likely that they'd sneak up on the planet by way of Jupiter anyhow. The Arkhons are the exception because they have visited Earth previously and knew (navigationally speaking) what to expect. Even still, any military mind would say that the Arkhons commited a tactical blunder by blitzing the planet in the secondplace (the first place they got their ass kicked read their history in South America 2). Now then, assuming the message is about 300 lightyears out and continuing, theres going to be people arriving, following up on that signal every day. Afterall, it takes time to throw an exploratory force together, even with FTL transportation. In any event, a lot of people are arriving around Jupiter at about the same time, each without knowing the other is coming. The role playing potential here is just exploding, and I'm damn surprised to see that I get to be the first to exploit this concept. I hope you like what I try to set up here.

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