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I’m not going to lie—I tapped the buttons again and again and enjoyed the visceral experience and that sound! At some point, however, I noticed something odd about the sound the laser guns made—they sounded like they were coming from inside the cockpit. I pressed the buttons a couple more times and definitely noticed a tiny reverb inside the room with me. Then it occurred to me that the same way there is no air and therefore no wind in space, with no air, there should be no sound.
“The sound effects are coming from inside your home!” I muttered to myself as I began looking for the literal navigation controls so I could maybe start to work out where I was and how to get back to Earth. Then I realized I could probably get a sense of where I am by looking at the nearest star. I mean, that asteroid couldn’t have been too far away from Earth, right?
I stepped on the left pedal as I moved the left stick to the left and slowly turned the ship around until I saw a really bright star—the brightest in my view—then found the throttle slider, sliding it forward and made my way toward that star.
After several minutes of this I started to get a little panicky because the star was taking longer than expected to get bigger. While I could figure out that the nav computer had managed to auto target this star and was no measuring the shortening distance between it and the ship, I could not read the alien language the numbers were written in.
Before I had a moment to try to find language settings an alarm went off. It was a deep throbbing bass that sounded a little like a dubstep song but much more ominous. With it came a new alert message floating in front of me—it showed a word in that same language I couldn’t read followed by the same symbols I guessed were numbers measuring the distance to the nearest sun. I still could not read them but they were changing faster and faster.
I thought about what it could mean for a moment and quickly decided the numbers were measuring the distance between me and a nearby ship. I assumed that the number was shrinking because why else would a message with changing numbers appear with an alarm?
I had more evidence my theory was correct when a red circle appeared above the original alert message. At the center of the circle was a red dot. Then, there was another red dot that was just inside the circle at around the four o’clock position and heading toward the red dot in the center.
I watched as the red dot closed in on my position, the red dot in the middle. I gripped the sticks and adjusted my feet on the pedals.
I waited until my instincts were screaming at me to make my move. And then, I yelled:
“Oh yeah?!? I GOT LASER GUNS!”
I spun the ship around to face the red dot and saw a ship approaching. I did not hesitate: I jammed my thumbs down on those buttons and….