“Very Good”

Here’s my robot-death story for John Eddison! (John is a friend, so this one revolves around an inside joke—basically, John likes to yell out “VERY GOOD!” between songs when he goes to metal shows.)


VERY GOOD

The year is 2093 . . .

At the Deep Space Gateway, no one can hear you scream.

Well, except people that are, like, super-close to you when you scream. Those people can still hear you. But nobody else. . . . Except maybe if you have, like, a comms channel open, then whoever’s on the receiving end—assuming they’re paying attention—they’ll probably hear you, too.

But nobody else!

And the Deep Space Gateway (DSG) is where we find our hero, Sir John Eddison. He had been knighted by the Queen back on earth thirteen years ago for his contributions in the field of quantum tectonics. (Don’t look that up; it’s probably not a thing.)

Anyway, Sir John was an astronaut now, and he’d been sent to the DSG to help launch a human-shaped robot into space. It had been designed to look like an especially fearsome-looking human so that if it came into contact with aliens, it would immediately strike fear into their hearts (assuming the aliens had hearts, of course). Earth had long ago given up the idea of making peace with intergalactic species—there was so little room left on earth these days that all we wanted to do was pillage and rape the cosmos. Every dime of every nations’ space programs had gone into building this terrifying robot ship. It was our last ditch effort to get off this collapsing rock, and Sir John was in charge of its launch.

On board were a bunch of highly trained space marines—very much like the ones in ALIENS. They’d even named themselves after the characters in that film. Sir John was not on board with these space marines, but was in a little launch shack separated from the ship. It was a tiny little shed with just enough room for the launch controls and the person operating them. He’d been told it was this small because they’d run out of money building the giant robot.

The design they’d decided on to strike universal fear into the galaxy was Gort, the robot from the original THE DAY THE EARTH STOOD STILL. There was no reason to think that other species would see this design as frightening, but we only had our own fears to go on, so after much hand-wringing, that’s the direction they went.

So today was the big day—launch day! In T-minus 20 seconds, Sir John would launch this fearsome battle-ready beast into the unknown, where it would presumably eventually run into aliens, which it would enslave, destroy, and ultimately conquer. Then we’d steal all their shit, and ruin their planet, just like we’ve done to ours.

It was very exciting, and Sir John was the most excited of anyone. He’d dreamed of this day since he was a small boy—ruining the galaxy for his own selfish desires—and he was beyond honoured to be the one pushing the button that would set it all in motion!

5 . . . 4 . . . 3 . . . 2 . . . 1 . . . !

With a giant smile on his bearded face, Sir John pushed the ignition button . . . and was instantly vapourized as the rockets—which had been placed in the robot’s anus—fired up. His scorched corpse blasted out the back end of his little shack, and disappeared into the void of space.

You see, unbeknownst to Sir John, one of the engineers that helped build the colossal robot was also a musician who played in a heavy metal band that Sir John would often go to see. Over the years, Sir John had gained a reputation for yelling out “VERY GOOD” between songs and, while most bands found this behaviour profoundly endearing, this particular engineer was not impressed at all, and had grown to loathe Sir John. His hatred festered, and had culminated in hatching a complex plan to make sure Sir John was the one to be in the launch shed on this celebrated day in history.

His plan came off without a hitch—right down to slightly angling the anus rockets so that they would blast apart the launch shed.

Sir John had been sharted out into space, never to be seen again.

Down on earth, at mission control, the engineer narrowed his eyes to slits, and whispered, “Very good.”

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