Space Cowboy

You know, you’d expect space to be more fun.  Like the old west.  Men riding around like cowboys shooting anything that disagreed with them.  But that’s not the case.  Instead, it’s the same bureaucratic bullshit that you’ve experienced thousands of times throughout your life planetside.  Speed limits, interstellar highways, police cruisers watching for insignificant law breaking, and construction workers blocking up everything so you’re late to whatever the fuck you’re doing today.  That last one is me.

My primary job is floating around in a trash can waiting to hear which planet i’ll crush next for resources.  Sure, when I accepted this job I felt like Oppenheimer watching the first tests of the Manhattan project.  Now, it’s just the same shit over and over; orbit, wait, radio it in, big red button, and home by 5 for dinner.  Monkeys could do this job.  

Wonder what’s for dinner today.  Hopefully, something meaty.  

My daydreams were interrupted by the buzzing of a receipt printer.

Great… Another planet to destroy.  I can barely contain the excitement… Yea right.  Looks like we’ve ruined another planet.  Earth 217b.  Shit.  I’m the closest.  Raising my seat back up to drive this piece of shit, I can hear laughter on the radio.

“Fuck you guys.”  

“Hah.  The rest of us are cutting out for the day.  See you back at base.”

Base.  Fuck that place.  I try never to step inside.  My time is logged automatically, why should I have to deal with people whose sole purpose is to create ridiculous small talk.  “How’s the weather?”  There is no weather in space dip shit.  

I laugh a bit to myself.  

Alright, checklist.  Orbit, check.  Waiting, check.  Radio it in, check…

“You’re good to go, Star Smasher.”

Hah, Star Smasher.  Like how coffee shops call their pawns baristas.  

Big red button, che…  

A few tiny red dots appeared on the planet scan.

Hmm… strange.  Normally, this doesn’t happen.  What the hell even is this monitor for.  

I grabbed my user manual.  

Hmm.. looks like this detects remaining life on planets.  Probably just some birds or some shit.  Better call it in.

“Dispatch.. We’ve got signs of life on this planet.”



“Looks like Earth 217b had a law making body that declared all humans who refused to leave non-citizens.  The planet is green for deconstruction.”

Well fuck.  Should have just pressed the button.  

More red lights began popping up on the monitor.  As the planet spun below me, more and more dots illuminated.  

I feel like I should feel bad about this.  I feel like I should care more for these dots.  But, I also feel hungry.  

Big red button, check.  

The laser I’ve seen everyday for the last 4 years pierces the planet and shatters it.

Collections will be by in a few hours to grab the remaining resources.  I look over at my clock.

5:10 PM

Fuck.  I’m late for dinner.

To kind of go through life not caring is a spectacular attribute. It’s one I wish I had.
– Neil Cross, British Novelist and Scriptwriter

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