Astronomers continue to search for Planet X, that hypothetical planet hidden in the darkness of space somewhere beyond the orbit of Neptune and Pluto. There is no doubt in my mind that Planet X exists; astronomers just haven’t seen it yet. There are just too many places for a massive planet to hide.
What remains a mystery, and continues to fire the imagination of our greatest thinkers, is what kind of a planet Planet X really is. Could it be a gas giant like Jupiter or Saturn? Storms raging endlessly in the twilight world? Or is it made of rock and ice like Pluto and Mars?
In either case, Planet X is surely a giant. Readings from Pioneer 10 and 11 as they raced out of our solar system indicate that they passed by an object large enough to disturb their trajectories. Planet X’s gravity could have that effect on the satellites as they cruised by. Early readings of Neptune indicated small discrepancies in its orbit, perhaps caused by a massive object nearby.
In my mind, there is only one logical conclusion: Planet X is neither made of rock or of gas. Planet X is, in fact, an intelligent creature. Biding his time in the furthest reaches of the solar system, Planet X, known by his own kind as Morduulon the Repulsive, orbits the sun waiting for the right moment to reveal himself. Morduulon the Repulsive is part of a race known as the Planet Devourers. They find a solar system, lurk in the shadows and slowly eat each and every planet, saving the delicious sun for last. Morduulon has been eating planets in our system for hundreds of millions of years. There used to be an impressive 23 planets in our system until Morduulon snacked his way through 14 of them.
Pluto is on his menu right now: before being the dwarf planet, Pluto was a huge chunk of rock roughly the size of 200 Earths. With two swift bites, Morduulon diminished Pluto to its current size. All that remains is a crumb for Morduulon to toss into his gaping maw before he moves on to Neptune.
Among Planet Devourers, Morduulon the Repulsive is one of the worst. He came by his nickname honestly. Instead of eating a planet in one bite, as is the custom, he’ll draw his meal out over centuries. Should that planet be inhabited, Morduulon will watch with blood red eyes as the miniature occupants scurry and scamper over each other in fear. He will sit back and laugh at the devastation he has wrought. And his laugh…none have heard such horrors as the laugh of Morduulon the Repulsive. One thousand deaths at sea compare favorably to one guffaw of Morduulon’s.
We must begin planning now if we’re to beat Morduulon. Sure, some people will say Morduulon is Neptune’s problem, so let Neptune deal with him. Not so! Once Neptune is a bit of indigestion in Morduulon’s stomach, Uranus is not long for this universe. Then Saturn, Jupiter, and Mars are the only barriers between us and the cavity-infested mouth of Morduulon. Let me tell you, those planets are no match for Morduulon.
Before we know it, our lovely moon will suddenly disappear. Then we’ll smell the rancid breath that will permeate Earth until we are nothing but half-chewed morsels in the foulest intestinal tract the universe has ever known.
Morduulon the Repulsive may respond to nuclear weapons. He may respond by laughing or by acting as if they are tickling him. He will not respond in terror and run away like a wee baby Comet Devourer. No, if we are to beat Morduulon we must find a hero to fly a spacecraft directly into his digestive system. From there, our hero must find Morduulon’s one weakness – and trust me, he only has one – and destroy the Planet Devourer.
It will not be an easy task. Our hero will not return alive. Our hero must make peace with the fact that, when he destroys Morduulon, he too will be blown into a million tiny pieces that will float in the outer reaches of our solar system for all eternity. Our hero must do this selfless act for the rest of us, with no hope of seeing the parades we’ll hold in his honor and the ballparks we’ll name after him. Our hero must be truly heroic.