Dr. Slate in her labcoat

Dr. Erika Slate

Dr. Slate is a young woman whose sharp gaze is usually directed toward a problem or experiment. But when problems intrude into real life, she will fix them with that same steely gaze, quickness, and persistence. She is fiercely protective of her inventions and their proper use, and greatly resents interference. She is assertive in insisting that things be done right, and quick to fight or escape as the situation dictates. Otherwise, she is quiet and reserved -- so quiet that you may not notice as she does a little detective work or building hacking.


    Dr. Slate is at the cutting edge of several fields. In computing, she designed the P-55 transmission chip, successor to the nearly universal P-54, in order to provide her creation Rusty the Boy Robot with sufficient computing power. She also apparently discovered the microtechnology behind nucleo-protonics. Called upon to help bring Dr. Kirby home by way of his Quantum Machine, she quickly capitalized on its potential by creating the time engines for the Epic-1. She has reverse-engineered much alien and Legion technology acquired or captured in the course of events; her study of Neo-Cateri biomech repair led her to develop a new treatment for biomech disruption unleashed by the Zingcal.

    Thanks to Rusty's netsurfing, Dr. Slate inadvertently learned the true nature of the Big Guy. Initially she meant to do nothing about it, but when Dr. Neugog's mind control powers were used against the Big Guy, Erika modified Neugog's telepathic helmet into a mind-blocking one, called Lt. Hunter to a meeting, revealed her knowledge, and insisted that they stop playing games and go after Neugog. Proving herself with this challenge, she rapidly found herself becoming the BGY-11 Project's general scientific adviser.

    The most important person in her life is her creation Rusty, whom she loves and raises like a son. She feels bad that she can't spend as much time with Rusty as she'd like, but also is easily annoyed by his frequent interruptions and desire for attention. She is generally fine with Rusty's missions, but when he is in real danger, she can suffer agonies of fear for him. Fortunately, she is usually able to stay in touch with him or Dwayne on these missions; and her duties as consultant allow her to help instead of being powerless. She is very protective of Rusty's dreams of growing up to be like Big Guy and insisted that Big Guy's true nature remain a secret.

    Dwayne Hunter has rapidly become the other important person in her life, and Erika doesn't seem to know just how she feels about that. Initially he was another unbeliever in Rusty (though polite about it to her face), but when Rusty was in danger he helped out. When she inadvertently learned that Dwayne was in fact Big Guy's pilot, going into danger just as Rusty did, she began to worry about him too -- and couldn't resist telling Big Guy to be careful, or helping out when she realized that Big Guy was vulnerable to Neugog's attacks. When Dwayne risked his life for Rusty's dreams, it was then she decided she could trust him and offered to go on a first name basis. For some reason (perhaps professionalism), neither of them ever do this; Dwayne calls her "Doc" and she calls him "Lieutenant" or "Lieutenant Hunter". Erika seems to like Dwayne's affection for Rusty, quick mind, unassuming bravery, and sense of humor. When they moved from the professional to the personal, however, she initially was flustered (109) then just embarrassed (115). In later episodes, however, she and Dwayne manage to flirt mildly without the world ending (121). We also see that her initial concern (103) and serious worry (109, 110) over his safety have turned into real anguish (115, 120, 121) and action (115, 121).

    Erika generally likes the Pit Crew and respects General Thorton (except when one of them says something against Rusty). She despises and fears Dr. Donovan, since he has power over Rusty and her research and never hesitates to use that power in the most annoying, dangerous, reckless and greedy ways possible. Jenny she dislikes and attempts to ignore (although she may feel a bit sorry for her). Some Quark scientists are friends; others know not to interfere with her. She initially liked Harley Griffin but changed her mind. Pierre she despised from the start, and Earl is far from her favorite piece of work.

    Erika's attitude towards Quark Industries is mixed. On the one hand, she loves her lab and the work she is able to do there, and seems to like her fellows. On the other hand, Dr. Donovan drops in often just to be annoying or confiscate her projects, and his recklessness continually endangers Quark employees (including Erika). Finally, anything she works on is proprietary to Quark. But at least the pay is good; she had a red convertible (108) before it got totalled (116?).

    Even in an alternate universe where England won the Revolutionary War, Dr. Slate dreamed of making a Rusty, was fierce then trusting once convinced, rebellious in a quiet way, and brave enough to follow a theorem wherever it led, even to her own nonexistence. And owned a totalled red convertible (117).


    Translated from Columbia Tristar's Spanish language distribution site:

    Mature for her few years of age, Slate controls the Big Guy Command Center inside Quark Industries. Professionally, she is a prodigy, a career scientist -- although being around Rusty appears to have aroused her maternal instincts. Slate has mixed emotions in relation to Big Guy -- she feels professional enthusiasm for him as an advance in robotics, the precursor of her project. But this doesn't make it easy struggling with Big Guy's great power, his proclamations, and his eagerness for adventurous solutions to the most simple problems. And taken by Rusty as his 'guardian', Slate is not sure that Big Guy is the ideal role-model for him. Slate considers Rusty a 75% success compared with his original plans. The failure, as she sees it, is that Rusty is more interested in imitating robots than humans.


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