Transformation into Space Battleship Yamato
“I’m science staff leader Hikozaemon Tokugawa. I’ve just returned from the surface of the moon.”
Science staff leader Hikozaemon Tokugawa, a man on the downward slope of middle age like Juuzo Okita, stood before Okita with an expression that looked like stubbornness itself.
“You had a hard time,” Okita answered. “Please tell me the details of the engine at once.” Behind him, the eyes of the cabinet ministers brightened.
“Aye. The structure of the engine itself was not very complicated. I could build an identical one in a week. Some of the parts are made of a material not available on Earth, so I took them from that space ship, and I can make do for the rest. However, commander…with regard to effective operation of the engine, the answer is far beyond my imagination, which leaves me a bit confused…”
“Eh…? Is it something like an alien speed-of-light engine?”
In answer to Okita’s question, Hikozaemon Tokugawa spread out a piece of paper on the desk.
“Commander, please look at this. The entire science staff racked their brains to reason out the effects of the engine and draw this diagram.”
The drawing was filled with strange curves and complex scientific symbols.
“I’ll explain it briefly. Imagine outer space as an ocean. And on the surface of that ocean, there are undulating waves of time based on certain laws…”
“In other words, light advances along a line of waves.”
“Yes. Ah, I’m sorry about that. If I’m not mistaken, you’re a professional physicist.”
“No, Mr. Tokugawa, that was in the past. Please continue.”
“Yes, all right. As you said, a speed-of-light rocket is thought to advance along the curve of the waves…but this engine from Iscandar is totally different!”
“This engine seems to have the amazing capability to go from the crest of one wave to the crest of the next in a single jump.”
A puzzled voice arose from the among the ministers.
“I don’t understand it well, could you explain it more clearly?”
“Well, if you look at it as a plane, think of space as a sheet of paper. Time advances across the paper in a straight line. However, the function of this engine seems to bend the paper of space to bring the starting point and the destination point together.”
Even Okita seemed surprised by this account.
“A warp engine.”
The prime minister took a step toward Tokugawa and voiced the most essential problem.
“Would using this engine make a round-trip journey to Iscandar possible within one year?”
“Yes, prime minister. The experts on my staff will run a calculation and I’ll issue a report on it. Judging by the quantity of energy of the commander’s battleship, we could make a round trip of 300,000 light years in 300 days. A round trip to Iscandar would be 296,000 light years, so the additional 4,000 light years gain us about 10 days and we can cover 30,000 light years in another 30 days. That gives us 34,000 spare light years to account for unforeseen accidents.”
The prime minister counted off on his fingers.
“Whether it’s one spare light year or 34,000, it seems you can make the round trip comfortably, Okita.”
“No, prime minister. That observation is superficial. For example, if we encounter an enemy and get stuck in one place for a month, we would run out of supplies. This schedule should be regarded as extremely tight.”
“Hm. Very well, if you say so…”
“Anyway, Mr. Tokugawa should begin building the warp engine at once and we should depart no more than one day after it’s ready.”
“Then, Kodai and Shima!”
The two who were suddenly called by name rushed over to stand before Okita.
“Both of you return to Tokyo base and prepare a crew list. The necessary skills and number of crew are noted in this memo, so start working from that.”
As Okita handed the document over to him, Susumu Kodai felt a shiver run up his back and into his chest. He shook with excitement about what it meant.
“Then, prime minister, in order to transform this space ship Yamato into space battleship Yamato, we have to consider combat equipment and other things. This dock will soon have the commotion of a battlefield. Please return to Tokyo base with Kodai and take command of the conduct.”
The prime minsiter took Okita by the hand and clenched it firmly.
“Understood. It shall be as you request, Mr. Okita!”
Soon, the submarine disappeared quietly under the surface of the water with the prime minister and his party.
Hikozaemon Tokugawa stood behind Okita as the submarine departed.
“Regarding the matter of the weapons and equipment you mentioned…”
“I must ask for your help, Mr. Tokugawa. I’m counting on it.”
“No, commander. There is someone far more qualified than me.”
“One member of the lunar exploration group seems to have applied the warp engine to invent an incredible weapon. Could you meet with him?”
“Yes, of course. Let’s meet immediately.”
Hikozaemon Tokugawa brought the man to Okita at once.
“Commander, this is Sasuke Sanada.”
The man introduced as Sanada bowed his head silently to Okita. Indeed, he showed an arrogant attitude stemming from pride and confidence in his abilities.
“It seems you’ve devised a great weapon. Would you tell me about it at once?”
“Yes, so then…”
Sasuke Sanada aimed his expressionless, aristocratic mask straight at Okita and began to talk.
“It’s still in the design stage, but I’m convinced it will be something very powerful. First, concerning the warp engine, it has the power to freely refract space, as you know. In other words, when you navigate space using this engine, it works from within the ship to find fields in space to jump across. I thought about applying the characteristics of this engine to an offensive weapon that could be discharged externally.”
“I see…how much destructive power can be expected?”
“I’s my opinion that if the weapon was fired toward a target, a formidable space storm would occur around the object. In other words, space itself will be disrupted into an irregular wave form and become warped.”
“That’s amazing…! But what would happen to the object as a result?”
“I would think that its substance, its elementary particles such as molecules and atoms, would be destroyed. For example, if it were an enemy space ship, it would disappear in an instant without a trace, and since it would destroy the protons of an enemy nuclear missile itself, its power would be completely cut off.”
“An ultra-powerful gun that ripples space itself into a raging sea…what sort of name would be suitable for it, Mr. Sanada?”
Okita’s expression enticed a faint smile from Sanada, who answered in an unusually lively voice.
“Commander! Then, this weapon is…!?”
“Yes. I trust your calculation and intuition enough to adopt it as Yamato’s main weapon.”
“The main gun! Thank you very much, commander. It may be sudden, but I’ve already thought of a name.”
“In the sense of rippling space…what about ‘Wave-Motion Gun’?”
“Wave-Motion Gun. Yes, it’s good, isn’t it? It’s decided, then.”
“Yes…but commander, I’m concerned about one problem. To fire a Wave-Motion Gun, it uses warp energy from the engine as power, so a certain amount must be built up. Otherwise, it would not perform to expectations. I can’t accurately judge the amount of time it would take to build up that energy. Moreover, during that time we couldn’t use the warp engine to 100% for Yamato’s navigation. If an enemy arrived during that time, the results would be obvious.”
“Hm. However, if all we do is worry about such a thing, nothing would get done. Let’s continue to think about it. Anyway, it has been decided that the Wave-Motion Gun will be the main weapon of Battleship Yamato. Mr. Sanada, I give you responsibility for all the armaments of the ship. Begin building the Wave-Motion Gun and the other armaments at once!”
Thus began the remodeling of the huge warship Yamato. Earth was being eaten away moment by moment, and all life would be lost in only one year.