June 18th 2013
ERIA QUINT: Hello, this is Eria Quint welcoming you to another edition of ShowDown, where we look at the issues on the hearts and minds of the public, find experts with two opposing viewpoints and set the stage for a heated battle of discourse. Today, it seems you can’t turn around without seeing some article, story or cheap ‘authentic’ planetary fragment salesman talking you ear off about the collision of Ellis XI. Without question, it has become the most hotly discussed and examined event of the last news cycle. Today we have Parker Terrell, often controversial journalist at the New United.
PARKER TERRELL: Hi, Eria.
ERIA QUINT: Mr. Terrell, your latest editorial has certainly been fanning the flames of your critics who claim that you’re simply sowing seeds of paranoia with unfounded claims.
PARKER TERRELL: Well, thankfully my readers feel differently.
ERIA QUINT: Would you please explain what your latest piece was about?
PARKER TERRELL: Simply put, Eria, I find the entire explanation of the Ellis XI situation to be … unsatisfying.
ERIA QUINT: You think there was more to it?
PARKER TERRELL: That’s putting it lightly, Eria. I think the destruction of Ellis XI was a man-made event, specifically perpetrated by our ‘government.’
ERIA QUINT: To address your questions, I’d like to welcome Dr. Jan Wallace, professor of Geological Sciences at Terra University.
DR. JAN WALLACE: Thank you, Ms. Quint, it’s a pleasure indeed to be here.
ERIA QUINT: Doctor, we’ll begin with you. I assume you’ve read Mr. Terrell’s article.
DR. JAN WALLACE: I have, Ms. Quint. Frankly this type of sensationalism —
PARKER TERRELL: Sensationalism? Okay, I can see this is going to be a real open-minded conversation.
DR. JAN WALLACE: I’m sorry, sir, but I don’t see any merit in even attempting to qualify the nature of your outrageous statements.
PARKER TERRELL: How about simple physics, doctor? Forgive me, if it seems a little suspect that a planetary impact was powerful enough—
DR. JAN WALLACE: It was a moon, Mr. Terrell.
PARKER TERRELL: Excuse me, doctor. I’m going to give a question to answer if you’ll let me finish. How is it possible that the impact was powerful enough to accelerate the planetary fragments past the gravitational binding energy? Also, according to the UEE’s official statement, the planetary debris of Ellis XI will create an asteroid belt in a matter of years. How is that possible?
DR. JAN WALLACE: Well, it’s very complicated.
PARKER TERRELL: I’m sure.
DR. JAN WALLACE: In layman’s terms …
PARKER TERRELL: You can science–it-up as much as you want, Doctor, I’ll keep up.
DR. JAN WALLACE: You have to understand that Ellis XI’s moon is composed of mostly iron and platinum, giving it a density of over 7,000 kg/m3, which is higher than Earth. Combine that with the fact that Ellis XI had a notoriously minimal gravitational pull. To be honest, I was actually quite surprised how tectonically unstable Ellis XI turned out to be. Studying the data, it seemed to have forced itself apart from within as much as from the force of the impact. Put all of these factors together and it was simply a –
PARKER TERRELL: Convenient turn of events?
DR. JAN WALLACE: Fortuitous I would say. From a scientific perspective, at least.
PARKER TERRELL: Yeah, it sounds awfully convenient to me too. Let me ask you something, Doctor. I assume you witnessed the event?
DR. JAN WALLACE: I was fortunate enough to be able to study it from the Icarus platform.
PARKER TERRELL: What did you have to do for that opportunity?
DR. JAN WALLACE: I don’t follow.
PARKER TERRELL: Clay Harren and the UEE exercised a maniacal grip on mining and scientific permits. I know a lot of legitimate scientists and organizations that were frozen out of, in their words, the ‘most significant scientific event of the century.’ Why would they do that?
DR. JAN WALLACE: I’m sure you’ve got a theory.
PARKER TERRELL: I’m glad you asked: Money.
DR. JAN WALLACE: Money?
PARKER TERRELL: The UEE was profiting off the scientific and mineral community, not because we were about to witness a monumental natural event, but because they wanted to recoup some costs on an experiment.
DR. JAN WALLACE: Oh, I see, your planet-killer or whatever you called it.
PARKER TERRELL: I called it a weapon, Doctor. It’s no secret that the UEE’s been researching more effective ways to destroy worlds.
DR. JAN WALLACE: Yes, well, as a professor, the UEE hasn’t run their secret weapon programs past me in quite some time. I was there to watch a moon collide with a planet and that’s just what I saw.
PARKER TERRELL: Oh, I’m not saying that the moon didn’t collide with the planet. I’m simply saying that they used that event to cover-up a bigger test, a test to see if their secret weapon would work. That level of destruction is not exactly easy to sweep under the rug.
ERIA QUINT: Okay, we’re going to take a quick –
PARKER TERRELL: I’m not finished. Ask yourself, if you’ve devised a weapon to crack a planet in half, which we know is possible after the Hades system, how would you test it?
ERIA QUINT: Wait, are you insinuating that the UEE has found a Hadesian weapon?
PARKER TERRELL: It’s possible, right? I mean, who knows?
DR. JAN WALLACE: This is ridiculous.
ERIA QUINT: We’re going to take that break and reload to bring you more ShowDown!