A love letter to Impossible Mission

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To my dearest Impossible Mission,

We've been together for nearly thirty years now, but you're as perfect as the day we met. We've been through so much, and you still make me want to do somersaults through the air. You've watched me die a thousand deaths for you, and I've still come back for more.

I can still remember the day we met so clearly. It was in the front room at my cousin Stewart's house, the heat of an Adelaide summer sizzling outside. Stewart had told me a little about you, and I thought you sounded pretty cool. He put a tape into his Commodore 64 Datasette and started loading. It was going to be a while before you arrived, so we braved the intensity of the sun-baked suburbs to fetch a cheese and onion hot dog from the shops.

But when Stewart and I returned, you still weren't there. We sat and waited in front of the pale blue television screen, chatting and finishing our lunch. Then, a sudden pop from the (mono) speaker. The screen turned black for an instant, only to be replaced by you.

And then you spoke.

The wait was worth it. The sound of your voice, gravelly and synthetic, was like nothing I'd ever heard before. Your first cooing invitation was intoxicating and fascinating. I had no idea what I was doing, but I was instantly smitten and had to find out more. We played that little game where you sang something and I rearranged the notes. Even your little joke about paws was so cute.

As the years went by, I spent more and more time with you. Of course, there was that rough patch at the start where you were difficult and my clumsy attempts to understand you only ended in frustration. I would take time out in a silent hallway to clear my head, the echo of my feet on the metallic floor reminding me how alone I felt.

But then, one miraculous day, I completed you. Apparently the years of trying and falling short were not in vain. Each time I'd plunged down a hole with my anguished, gurgling scream filling the room, I'd taken a small but vital step towards fathoming how you work. Every time I saw myself fading away, losing precious time, I had actually learned something. I'd been searching for the solution for so long, and now things had just finally clicked for us.

Of course, these days I understand you so well that I know exactly how to handle you, no matter what you throw at me. I don't even have to call anyone to help me solve your riddles. I've seen you show up in other places, and while you may have a different style in those situations, it doesn't take long before I deduce your new quirks and have you figured out all over again.

Kids today look at you and don't get how amazing you are. They look at you and all they see is an ugly, tired, jagged old face. But that's not what I see. To me, yours is a deep and timeless beauty. I know how wonderfully animated you are, an amazing sprite at your core. When I enter a room, you hum to yourself with such a distinct, unique burble that I adore. And the way you make a robot pivot is still beguiling to me.

You and I will spend so many more hours together, beyond even this. While everything we do is just the same pieces of a puzzle arranged in a different order, the end result is always the same. No matter what version of you I am faced with, I know I will ultimately see things through to the end.

This predictability is not a shortcoming; it's a comfort to know that I can always turn to you, and what we've got going will never change. And so, nearly thirty years on, it turns out the first thing you ever said to me is still so relevant.

You asked me to stay forever, and I will.



P.S. Please don't show this letter to my fiancé. I really don't think she'd understand.

P.P.S. Your sequel sucked.