The Seven Suns of Glaxicon Iota Nine
The seven suns of Glaxicon Iota Nine scorched the surface bare of all life -- all life, save the man and the robot standing in the broiling plains of the glass dunes. The man, former Space Force Captain First Class, Joe Christian White, squinted hard against the glare. The robot, Digicontechic Prime Point Seven, surveyed the scene, his stainless steel face betraying no emotion, because it could not move.
“The Xanadanarians have been here, though they left have almost no sign of their presence,” the robot proclaimed. He spoke in a halting, nasally monotone that confounded Joe. Why’s he sound like that?, thought Joe. Even in his mind, Joe’s voice had the unmistakable twang of the American deep South, which was strange, considering the South had been accidentally vaporized many thousands of years ago during the Civil War 3.7 beta trials. Robots ain’t even got noses.
The robot stared impassively back. Joe, realizing he was probably expected to say something now, stammered out, “Well, yeah man, duh. But uh, what did they want?”
The robot turned his gaze back to the endless wastes. He began explaining.
“The Xanadanarians had been a peaceful tribe of nitrogen farmers, selling their goods primarily to the Luthinatorial quadrant of the Ximoxilian sector by way of the Great Equalaniar trade route. But in Space Year of Our Lord 34.6.32 Mark IV, the Graniturites betrayed the Benardixio Guard, who famously protected the Five Great Routes against marauders, to the vile Smecklian Hordes, who at the time were under pressure from trade embargos from the Quinesepient Alliance of the Flixinacture Settlements and Residential Condos…”
As the robot spoke, his face made no movements. Rather a dull, sickly yellow bulb behind frosted glass in the small gap of his mouth flashed on and off as he spoke. Joe watched the light and wondered why the Galactic Republic couldn’t spare three units to buy a goddamned servo motor. At least make the jaw move or some shit. The robot took a deep breath before continuing.
“Which itself was the result of a misunderstanding between the Bulgmatitites and Mulgmatitites when the Gildarians framed the Graniturites for the assassination of Lord Frans Fran-sans-marzipans III, a great figure for both Bulgmatitites and Mulgmatitites, and instrumental in coordinating Great Trade Routes traffic. This of course caused a nitrogen shortage in the outer rim settlements, where the the Xanadanarians were attempting to harvest, when they were slaughtered by their own guardships in a terrible case of mistaken identity, when their gunners mistakenly flew through the Mist of Nearsightedness, left behind by Flixinacture Pinkerton crews who had been ‘re-educating’ the unobtainium miners in that sector. The survivors fled, but they were angry.”
The robot paused again, and turned his gaze back to Joe. Joe hadn’t heard any of that. Joe was still wondering why a robot needed to pause for a breath.
“Shall I continue?” asked the robot.
“What shall we do?”
Joe thought for a fraction of a second, “kill ‘em all?”
The robot’s solid steel mouth bent impossibly into a crooked grin.
“I thought you’d never ask.”