In the infinite vastness of space, no one can hear your planet explode. They might see it though. But because of the aforementioned infinite-ness, there’s is always something thats doing, what the french call ‘le grande sacrebleu’. Therefore, practically speaking, no one is really going to pay attention to the explosion. So, if there was a race (and this is pure conjecture – well, until the next paragraph at least) that was on an imperialistic campaign to eradicate all life in the universe, they’ll more or less go unhindered. Especially if they were very nice about it later.
General Globius was a man of massive bulk and few words. And of late, locomation had lost its dizzying allure, now it was only dizzying. His quarters had been fitted with everything he needed and with metal girders holding him in place, life was more or less tickity-boo. He ate, slept, read logistics reports and ran the Toby II without ever having to undergo the strain of movement. Leave alone the embarassment of finding out that most places you wanted to go to didn’t stock doors in XXXXL.
As of now, the General was keeping his mind active by dictating the entire Praexian dictionnary backwards. Praexian was his fifth favourite language and the process of pronouncing their fifteen syllable words always kept his mind at ease while he waited for his PDRs (Primary Data Reports. Sheesh. What are they teaching in school these days?). And almost as if on queue, just as he reached the letter ‘cxy’, a screen flashed on in front of him and the PDR appeared. Reading it carefully, his breathing interspersed with grunts of acknowledgement and surprise, Globius absorbed the information. It was the result of three weeks of intelligence gathering by his team and vital decisions would be made based on its contents.
The report was on a tiny planet in a completely dull and irrelevant part of the universe which would never have been located if it wasn’t for one of his technicians falling asleep on the job. The fool had accidentally turned the sensors a whole 90 degrees and when they finally woke him up, saw a blip on the map where, by all means, there should never have been one. They had scanned the area many times but it had never come up. It turned out the planet was completely permeated with some sort of all-encompassing apathy that made the sensors just give up when they reached it’s sector. But this time, that hadn’t happened and now, the Higher Ups were getting their antennae in a tangle over the supposed ‘intelligence failure’ and ‘incompetence shown by the Toby II’. Two teams had been scrambled off for full reports instead of just the usual one and the reports were interesting. Intelligent life certainly did exist on the planet, though of course, intelligence is a bit of loose word after the recent ruling of the Intergalactic Court that allowed even the Tarplons to qualify. But it was a discovery alright, Life, in this corner of the universe! Who would have guessed it?
When he got to the last page, he surprisingly was surprised. Being surprised is an action which while not odd in itself was very curious because Gen. Globius wasn’t prone to surprise. Or shock. Or any other emotion, one might associate with living creatures. He would’ve been very proud of that fact if he could feel pride. But he couldn’t so he wasn’t. In fact, his next action was to immediately summon his second-in-command, an admirably sane being. Not many previous second-in-commands could claim that particular adjective. Cups on the Toby II simply read, ‘You have to be crazy to be work here.’ And surprisingly enough when the second-in-command came in, he was carrying one such cup. The General ignored this detail though but still barked out a set of random insults in several languages before proceeding. He wanted the PDR on his screen to have reached his Higher Ups five minutes ago and he wanted it to have reached them five minutes ago now! The sane second-in-command blinked, creased in several ares of his body, did some mental wrestling and finally left.
Gen. Globius stared back at the PDR. And in his mind there was just one thought, Alcohol. So he closed the PDR and got smashed.
Meanwhile, the very sober PDR was a little blinking light on a far away computer, waiting for the attention of Higher Up Gorax.
(to be contd.)