“What do you guys have to report?” Nova, the leader of EEPZ (the Effort to Export Power to Zeta), asked.
“My team and I found a thousand more power cells in the landfill today,” Chip replied.
“Great!” Nova said. “That makes 8, 450 total. Sparky, have you come up with any way to charge them yet?”
“I have lab technicians working on it this very second,” Sparky said. “How’s all the equipment, Hydro?”
“The smuggle-pods are all in order,” Hydro said. “Engines running, boosters in good condition, cloaking devices* all in place.”
All of a sudden the holographic projector** buzzed, signaling a received message. Then, a flickering image of a young robot in green plating with the technology department emblem encrusted on his chest appeared.
“We’ve done it!” the apparition declared. “When Vibernium crystals are zapped with a dielectric current through a sheet of glass infused with radioactive thorium 335, they emit a power recharge ray! Now all we have to do is build a device with a socket for the power cells, and at the same time it directs the ray right at them!”
“Then get working,” Sparky said. “Nova, hand me the ETDP***.”
“Sure, Sparky,” Nova replied, sliding the small device across the table.
“And you, Hydro, give me the holographic input cable,” continued Sparky.
“Okay,” said Hydro.
Connecting the ETDP with the holographic projector, he pressed a few buttons and an image flared into view. It showed a boxlike device with power cells being loaded through a small hole in the top, being recharged by a dielectric current guided by mirrors, through the thorium-infused glass onto the crystals, which emitted a ray onto the cells, and then a meter pushed fully charged crystals out of the device, letting the next cell drop in for charging!
“It’s brilliant!” Nova said.
“Thanks guys,” Sparky said, pushing a few buttons. The image flickered and then vanished.
“What happened to it?” Hydro asked.
“Simple,” Sparky said “I just sent it to the technology lab’s computers. I also sent a short message that said that this is the pattern that they are to follow when building the device. I also said that they need to build at least 50 of them to charge all our power cells.”
“You’re a genius!” Nova exclaimed. “As soon as the rechargers are built and the cells are charged, then we can begin our first export to Zeta!”
A few hours later, Nova, Sparky, Chip, and Hydro piled into the EEPZ flagship, the Justice. “Chip, send a radio call to your scavengers to get into the smuggle pods, each bringing about 50 cells with him,” Nova said
“Roger that,” Chip said as he typed out the call in text into the small radio transmitter. In a few minutes, Chip said that the men were ready.
“Now on my signal we leave. In 10…9…8…7…6…5…4…3…2…1… let’s go!” Nova shouted into a speaker. A large fleet of ships blasted out of the EEPZ hanger. “On to Zeta!” Nova shouted.
To Watt Tambor, Govenor of Watt.
A small group of robots has secretly been exporting power cells into Zeta. You must deal with them. They are a threat to the Watt and Zeta governments.
Sincerely, your Zeta spy,
*A cloaking device keeps a ship from being detected on radar.
**A holographic projector is a device that uses lasers to create a hovering, 3-D image.
***ExtraTerrestrial Data Pad
One of my favorite book series, The Five Ancestors, by Jeff Stone, inspired me to create these pendants that correspond with his characters. Each pendant is engraved with the Cantonese character for the name of the character it corresponds with. I plan to give the pendants to friends who have qualities that match those of the characters.
A retelling of the fifth labor of Hercules.
A Nova and Friends production.
“Awesome,” Nova said. Sparky and Chip giggled, surveying their handiwork. Green monster faces and dead batteries were painted all over the walls of Grandpa Bolt’s house.
“That vacuum-off joke paint is awesome!” Chip said.
“Old Bolt’s going to be so surprised,” Sparky giggled.
“Uh-oh,” Nova said, holding up the paint can. The label read: superhard, nearly impossible to remove paint.
“What are we going to do? What are we going to do? What are we going to do?” Chip shrieked.
“Chip,” Nova said.
“What are we going to do? What are we going to do? What are we going to do?”
“Chip,” Sparky shouted.
“What are we going to do? What are we going to do? What are we going to do?”
“Chip!” Nova and Sparky yelled in unison.
“Uh…yeah?” Chip replied.
“We’ll go back to the joke equipment store and ask them how to get this stuff off,” Nova said.
“Great idea,” Sparky said. “But first, we’ll check the UIC* unit.”
“Fizz Fizz Click Whrrr Fizzle.”
“Oops, I forgot to tune it from dialect #575 to #414,”** Nova giggled. After the tuning was complete, Sparky punched in the question: How do you remove superhard, nearly impossible to remove paint?
An automated voice replied: “This is only known to the technicians at the joke equipment factory. They will not give you what you need. I bet 3,000,000,000 universal credits.”
“Game on,” Nova said as he turned off the unit.
Back at the joke equipment shop, they went to the man at the paint counter.
“Hey, you’re the guys that got the green joke paint,” he said.
“Actually,” Nova said, heaving the paint can up on to the counter, “we got this.”
“Sorry,” the man said. “Must have been a mistake by our new employee Chip.”
“Oops,” Chip said.
“Okay, Mr. Paint Man, how do you get this stuff off?” Nova inquired.
“You have to use our near-universal solvent to remove it,” the paint man replied.
“How much?” Sparky asked.
“3000 universal credits,” the paint man replied. “Tell you what, kids, you can have some on one condition.”
“Anything,” Chip said.
“Get us special hydraulic tubes. We can always use them for broken employee arms.”
“Will do, sir,” Nova said before anybody could contradict him. “Let’s go, guys” Nova said, marching out through the door.
“Nova, we’ll never be able to get the right kind of tubes,” Chip complained “Why did you ever say that we could do it?”
“Because,” Nova said, smiling slyly, “I have a plan.”
A few hours later, they stepped back into the joke equipment factory, Chip and Sparky carrying a long, heavy box between them. “We got the tubes,” Nova yelled. The man at the paint counter grabbed the box and tried to pry it open.
“Hey, this thing won’t open,” he shrieked.
“That’s because there’s a time lock on it,” Sparky commented. “It won’t open for another three hours.”
“Let me see if I got this straight,” said the paint man. “This is a box of type CDXLI tubes that you are going to trade for one can of near-universal solvent?”
“Correct,” said Chip.
“Now hand over the can, and if you don’t mind please pass a second one with it. We might need it,” Nova said firmly.
“Absolutely not,” the paint man said. “Our deal was only one can.”
“What if I told you there was 40 pounds of flexi-titanium in the box, too?”
“It’s a deal,” the paint man said. “Go in at the solvent counter and they’ll give you the cans. I’ll write a note to let them know that you’ve paid.”
“Here you go, then,” Sparky said as he and Chip heaved the box onto the counter.
A few hours later they stepped back, surveying the work they had done. “Awesome,” Nova said. “Now we can get our reward!”
“Reward denied,” the UIC blipped “Success achieved through trickery.”
Nova pulled out a small tube and pointed it at the unit.“I’m not afraid to use this, and if you don’t give us our reward, I will.”
“Very well, then,” it blipped, spitting out a 3,000,000,000 credit bill. All of a sudden, Nova flipped a switch on the tube and a blue ray hit the UCI unit. It sputtered and smoked, then stopped dead. So did the unit.
“Well, that’s over with,” Nova said.
“And not a moment too soon,” Chip said “Here comes Grandpa Bolt now.”
*Universal Inteligence Collector
**The standard universal dialect
One night as I climbed into bed, my stuffed dog Maxie banged his eye against the bed rail. Then I realized that I could make a pretend hospital for the family’s stuffed animals. And I did. Here it is. . . my Stuffed Animal Hospital!
This is the equipment I use. One of my employees cut it all out from patterns I drew.
These animals have anemia so I took a vitamin jar and labeled it: Iron Powder
This animal has heart problems so I took a small pill bottle and labled it: Heart Medication
This animal has a scratched cornea so I took a squeeze bottle and labled it: Eye Drops
My CT Scanner was made out of a large cardboard box. I cut holes in the short ends, and one of the large sides was turned into a flap for an Open MRI/PET scan machine.
The CT Scanner and the PET Scanner are extremely similar. They are both a large ring of x-ray tubes that all take x-rays simultaneously, except the PET Scanner uses a radioactive tracer to clearly define a specific area of the body. The MRI Scanner uses a large magnet to cause vibrations in the atoms of the body. Special sensors in the machine pick up these vibrations to create an image of the body. One new portable CT scanner has a c-shaped arm that rotates around the body. One end has an x-ray tube and the other has a sensor to detect the image. As it rotates, it takes x-rays from different angles, thus creating a three-dimensional image of the body.
Last year I was creating all kinds of monsters in my head, and then I thought, “Why not put them all in a book?” And that’s why I made this: My Monsters and What They Do, 2nd Edition.
The Giant Bloodsucker is a creature that resembles an octopus. It walks on eight legs and has an eye stalk protruding from the top of its head. There is a small claw/tooth on the end of each hollow tentacle, which acts like a straw. It also has 8 small spikes on the underside for defense. It hunts by digging a hole in the ground and then covering it with a fine layer of dust secured by its glue-like mucus. It waits for a small animal to fall through the roof, then grabs it with its tentacles. Then it punctures the animal’s skin with the claws and sucks the blood through the hollow tentacles. When an invader breaks through the roof, it uses its claws to anchor itself to the burrow walls. Then it catapults its body at the invader, spikes first, often producing a meal for itself if not warding off its opponent.
The African Elephant Trap appears to be nothing but a large watering hole with a few patches of mud surrounding it (see Fig.1) from an above ground view. When an animal unwittingly stumbles into the mud, it is immediately sucked into the animal’s stomach (see Fig.2).This creature hides itself by sitting inside a hole dug deep in the ground by its three large limbs, located on the rarely seen underside (see Fig.3).
The Photo-Beamer is a microscopic creature that originated in the Orion Nebula. It is produced when a nebula begins to create a star but fails. It ingests cosmic rays that give it the ability to emit light (see Fig.1). It uses radio waves for communication and can intensify its light rays for defense. According to legend, the Photo-Beamer is responsible for the natural phenomenon known as the Aurora Borealis.
The Aquatic Scorpion is a creature that lays small spoon-shaped eggs(see Fig.1), which hatch into small eight-legged scorpion-like creatures (see Fig.2).These are the juveniles, which live at the ocean surface. Their first meal is their own jelly-like eggshells, and their juvenile diet is composed of shrimp. As a juvenile, the aquatic scorpion is an air breather, so it expels accidentally swallowed water from its Aqua ports. The gender of the juvenile is determined by the number of Aqua ports protruding from the backside (see Fig.3). After two months as a juvenile, an amazing transformation begins to take place. The scorpion grows longer legs, loses its Aqua ports, and sprouts gills. It has become an adult. As an adult, the scorpion eats shark teeth and whalebone. After sinking to the seafloor, the females dig large burrows in the sea bottom, while the males try to find a burrow to mate with a female in. The male fertilizes the female’s eggs by way of the anura which slides into the female’s reproductive pit (see Fig.4). Then the male dies off while the female lays her eggs. The male can only mate once while the female can mate as long as she lives (about nine months).
The Three-Mile Runnerbeast takes the appearance of a large ring of Venus fly traps surrounding a small mushroom. Its most distinguishing feature is a small plant-like stalk sprouting from the mushroom. From an underground view, you can see that the mushrooms and Venus fly traps are all connected to each other. The purpose of the Venus fly traps is to collect small insects. The runnerbeast uses their blood to get the hemoglobin that it needs for its muscles. The leaves on the plant stalk function like real plants to obtain the glucose sugar that the beast uses for its energy. Muscles below the stomach compress the sperm and egg cells into small cases which are ejected from the underside of the plant.
From there a Runnerbeast Gutworm carries the egg to a new location. The gutworm resembles a 16-legged roly-poly with a long snout. It also has two large sacks behind the last pair of legs (see Fig. 1&2). When turned over you can see that there’s a long pouch on the underside that connects directly to the long snout. Gutworms come in two varieties: the carrier and the parasitic variation. The carrier variation transports glucose and hemoglobin back and forth between runnerbeasts. It also carries runnerbeast eggs back and forth to different locations. The parasitic variation finds its way inside a runnerbeast’s stomach and then slowly starts to ingest the muscle tissue. When it comes across an egg, it punctures the shell with the claws on its snout and sucks up the embryo, thus destroying whole colonies.
The New Mexican Cavebeast takes the appearance of a large slug with many rock-like teeth (see Fig.1). It presses itself against a rock face and then uses its acidic sweat to carve a hole in the mountain that it fits exactly (see Fig.2). Then it waits for a rainstorm. With its mouth open, it waits for an animal, preferably mountain goat, to step into the “cave” for shelter. Then it closes its mouth on the animal, thus producing a meal.
The Giant X-ray Snapper is a large transparent fish with many shark-like teeth. It is impossible to see except for its faintly glowing outline and its large florescent green eyes. It waits in dark underwater caves using its green eyes to attract fish to its gaping mouth. The one defense against the x-ray snapper is use the light from its eyes to find its mouth and then deposit a lump of lead inside its mouth. The lead will poison it.
The Springer takes the appearance of a large dog with wolf-like fangs and a rubbery tail, which is extraordinarily long. It presses itself into dark corners (see Fig.1), then catapults itself upon its prey, using its tail like a spring (see Fig.2). It lands on the prey fangs first so it can suck the blood (a major part of its diet).
This is a vehicle that I created with the help of a friend for a game. We took some toy castle walls and built a little hideout. Using my friend’s Harry Potter LEGO minifigures for drivers, we would have battles. A toy airplane, vehicle, or guy would come and attack the fortress, and we would defend it with our ships.
For a previous shuttle variation, see my DIY portfolio.
This is a close up of the front seat of my vehicle. Just to the right of the center is a yellow, dome-shaped piece that I used for a headlight. To the left of it are two small red pieces that use a hinge to bend down as emergency lights. In the bottom center I have a special rack for the driver’s light sabers/cestas (special tools to hold an energy ball before you throw it). I used a special LEGO piece to create a rotary seat for the driver. There is an eight-barrel laser canon off the right edge of the photo; you can see it in the top photo. Behind the driver’s seat, there is a small compartment for energy balls.
Here is where the power source is stored. Inside the long red blocks, the fusion of hydrogen into helium is taking place. The energy released from the collisions powers the shuttle, and the helium produced, which is piped throughout the shuttle, causes it to levitate. The gray and black pieces protruding from the top of the red blocks hold the driver’s blaster and also are an exhaust valve. The landing gear is extremely tough, made from solid titanium to reduce the weight and plated with steel for added durability.
This morning at about 9:00 a.m. I was playing with my shuttle and started a small battle. It ended up with the ship crashing to the ground. As you can see, it is in smithereens.
(a variation of the Good Samaritan)
Jumping into hyperspace, Nova flipped the lever and set his course for Planet Watt. As he passed Planet Callio, he thought he would take a new route, looping around Supernova D230. Rounding the turnpike at Pulsar E45, he decided to take a spin at the black hole. Suddenly a giant warship spun out of nowhere and crashed into Nova’s ship. It was out of control! It destroyed his rear engines and smashed his power cable. His ship spiraled down into the uninhabited Planet Zeta. Then he blacked out. . .
When he came to, the first thing he noticed was that he was feeling very weak. He tried to move and then realized that he must be nearly out of power. Then he tried to speak. Luckily his vocbulator module connectors were still in place. Then, summoning his last bit of strength, he crawled to the remains of his ship and sent out a distress signal, which read, “Help, SOS. It’s Nova. I am nearly out of power and my ship’s engines are destroyed. I need help!”
Nova waited for hours but received no response. All of a sudden a message crackled over the radio. “Hey kiddo!” It was the warship commander! “Look, I’m sorry about the engines, kiddo. I thought I was dishing out an enemy Scout shuttle. See you later, soldier. I’m off to Planet Watt to handle an alien.”
Nova said, “Can you take me there? That’s where I was heading to when you dished me out.”
“Sorry, sonny, the government ordered a temporary evacuation. That’s why I’m on the case. Good-bye!”
Nova sighed, realizing that an Army commander probably wouldn’t have helped him anyway. So he decided to reinforce the signal in Robot: “Blip. Blop. Blip. Blop. Blip. Blop.”
Soon, he received an answer: “Beepoobeepoobeepoobeepoobeepoobeepoo. Blip blop.” (which translates as: “Hey, kid, this is the robot repairman.”) Nova would have leapt for joy if he had the energy.
“Can you take me to the Planet Watt?” Nova asked.
“Sorry, son, no room in the back.”
“What about the cab?” inquired Nova.
“How about the vehicle transporter?”
“Not carrying it.”
“Just give me a recharge and some spare shuttle parts, and I’ll take it from there.”
“Not a chance. I don’t have a power coupling. I’ll send down some engines, not that it’ll do much good though. Goodbye,” he said suddenly, zooming off to the north.
Nova had been deserted twice in a row. He decided to enter power save mode so that he could preserve his energy for later. “Entering Power Save Mode.” his vocabulator module blipped. Then everything went black. . .
“Nova! Nova!” He snapped awake and heaved himself to his feet. Luckily, he fell asleep right next to the control panel!
“Who is this?” Nova replied.
“It’s Sparky! I’m here to help you,Nova!”
“Thanks a lot, Sparky. I really need a lift.”
“There’s just one problem, Nova.”
“What?” Nova sighed.
“My cockpit’s a 1-seater.”
“Well, there’s only one thing left to do,” Sparky gulped.
“I stay down here on Planet Zeta, and you take my energy crystals and fly away in my shuttle.”
“No!!!!” Nova shouted. “I won’t have it!!! Listen, Sparky, your ship has a magnet ray, right?”
“Well, I’m not leaving you, so I’m going to make you magnetic and carry you on the underside!”
And so they headed home to the Planet Watt.