Sunday, November 25, 2012

Irrational (But Real) Stuff I Want For Xmas

          There are few things in this world that I want more than to be a space marine. Unfortunately, I have absolutely no formal training, equipment, or combat experience that would warrant the realization of this dream and, as far as I know, there is no ominous, evil alien race hell-bent on galactic domination bearing down on our Solar System for me to rise up against. That being said, here are a few very real and very kick-ass things that could bring me just a bit closer to wiping the Zerg, Cylon, Reaper, Reaver, Necromorph, Bug, Akrid, or Covenant menace off the face of this universe... you know, in case there are any impossibly wealthy benefactors looking to invest their fortune in a naive, haughty, but capable Solar Savior.

1. Google Glass (Or, As I See It, a Wearable HUD):

          The Heads-Up Display: a mainstay of the first-person shooter genre and an innovative and easy-to-use real-time data management system. It's the only way I can imagine keeping track of my equipment, ammunition, and communiques all while keeping my focus rooted in the real world. How stupid am I going to look if I'm too busy filing through the exorbitant amount of friend requests I'm sure I'll be inundated with as your benevolent Solar Savior to notice the elite alien warrior impaling me with his super-heated plasma broadsword? Boy will my face be red. Enter Google Glass, a surefire way to allow me to deny the neck-bearded fanboys, all whilst completely eviscerating the Swarm.
          Now, these HUD goggles have not, as of yet, gone up for sale, but I'm putting them on my wishlist anyhow. Know why? Watch the video and imagine the possibilities! If I want to know how cloudy it is outside, I can look up and see; but if I'm still not sure, my glasses will tell me that it is, in fact, just as cloudy as it looks. I'll never again have to worry about wasting the minimal amount of energy required to walk down the subway steps, only to find that the station is closed due to some kind of Replicant terrorist attack, the glasses will tell me! And if I ever decide to go "off the grid," as I am wont to do, being the risk-taking loose cannon I am sure to be, I'll get the satisfaction of tossing these babies to the ground and crunching them beneath my spaceboot for all in my CO's control room to hear.

2. The U.S. Office of Naval Research's Electromagnetic Railgun:

          As a high ranking space marine, I will likely have my own ship or, at the very least, a ship to escort me  to and from my many perilous missions across the galaxy. In doing so, I shall acquire many a vengeful enemy, enraged at the fact that I have single-handedly foiled their nefarious plots and disintegrated dozens upon hundreds of their best warriors and compatriots. As such, the ship carrying me will be under constant threat of attack by said enemies and will need a sizable arsenal to fend off these... offenders. The U.S. Navy's Electromagnetic Railgun is just the device to do the trick.
          Being that I am a tremendous geek and have read each and every Halo book to date (excluding the Forerunner series), I've become somewhat familiar with the fictional wartime practices of Earth's Navy and, as such, I know that the most formidable weapon upon any interstellar Naval vessel is their Magnetic Accelerator Cannon, or MAC. In the real world, the U.S. Navy's Electromagnetic Railgun is one and the same. Using the same concept as a particle accelerator, the Navy's Electromagnetic Railgun has the ability to huck a chunk of metal at devastating speeds of up to just below Mach 8, or 8 times the speed of sound, turning anything in its path, including the hull of an enemy vessel, into the derelict space junk equivalent of Swiss cheese. The kinetic energy that this weapon produces is so devastating, in fact, that it completely eliminates the necessity for explosive warheads, thus making the armory of my escort vessel all the more safe for me to practice my telekinetic powers, which I will surely develop through some sort of accident or military experiment prior to my rise to Solar Savior... which is what I will be calling myself henceforth until it becomes a factual title.
          The U.S. Office of Naval Research's Electromagnetic Railgun: my ship needs one.

3. Suidobashi Heavy Industry's Kuratas:

          If you can get past the website's terrible broken Eng[r]ish and the cheese-ball "Buy Dream Now" advertising, you will find what is perhaps the single coolest thing to come out of Japan since the Samurai: the Kuratas Gigantic Boardable Robot.
          Back when the Xbox 360 first emerged, there was this little game titled Chromehounds which combined the sheer joy of mechanized warfare with a customization feature second only to that of Legos. Growing up watching Exo-Squad and Gundam, it was a dream come true to finally find a giant-robot game that didn't suck eggs and offered the full experience of custom-building my own war-machine to take into the fray. The Kuratas Gigantic Boardable Robot is the closest thing I've seen, thus far, to that very same experience, but in the real world.
          While the $1.3m base price is a bit out of my range and the customization is limited to little more than a few interchangeable non-lethal weapon attachments and a custom paint job, the sheer badassery of the fact that this beastly mech actually exists, functions, and can be purchased by non-military personnel more than makes up for its shortcomings. In short, the Kuratas Gigantic Boardable Robot is easily the most important piece in my hypothetical space marine arsenal.

4. The Arkeg

          I know what you're thinking, "but Sean, that has nothing to do with being a 'space marine,'" or "everything else on this list makes sense but now you're just being greedy." Hogwash, I say! You can't possibly imagine the kinds of stresses I'll be under as the last and only hope for mankind and the known universe. After all the saving of your butts that I'll be doing, I'm going to need some time to cool down before the next Earthbound threat. What better way to do that than to combine two of my favorite things: drinking and video games?
          Behold, the Arkeg drink 'n game system. Thank you to the future that is now for eliminating the necessity for a full-sized arcade cabinet. Back in the dark days of the 80s, our arcades and our kegerators remained sad separate entities, but now, with the miniaturization of computer chips and electrical components in general, we have combined man's greatest creations into a singular perfect piece of equipment. This beast comes equipped with a 1/6th barrel carbon dioxide draft system, a 24" HD LCD screen with protective overlay, HD audio surround sound, and a CPU pre-loaded with a number of awesome classics (as well as the ability to upload ROMs of whatever else you can get your grubby little hands on). When God created man, He gazed down upon him and said "You are my greatest creation." Now, mankind gets to experience that very same joy.
          I love Space Invaders. You know what makes Space Invaders better? Beer.

          While I haven't nearly exhausted the limits of this list, I think these four will do for now. To my benevolent benefactors, you're welcome in advance. So, let's get to putting this considerably modest arsenal together so I can get to championing for the good of life as we know it. 'Tis the season, right?

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