Metal Marines

It's so verdant, so green, so about to explode.
Who takes care of that grass?

Josef Plastico tightened his SPACE WORK BELT and squinted at the sky. Little lines crinkled up beside each eye like the folds in the skin on the back of a shaved cat’s neck. Josef Plastico had a shaved cat named “a Pornstar’s Crotch” that he bought since he had an allergy—he missed his cat.

According to Josef’s estimation, it would be about eight hours before he saw a Pornstar’s Crotch again, and about six before everything he built today was shot, blown up or otherwise destroyed. Josef worked for the SCAF building “temporary engagement structures” in the war against Zorgeuf and he wasn’t too fond of his job.

“That support beam is about 2 degrees off-centre,” said Josef, glancing distractedly through his LASER LEVEL SCOPE. “One good kick from a giant metal shoe and it’ll be tumbling down everywhere.” Josef’s crew muttered and shuffled their feet. One of them even spit chaw on the ground derisively. Another one of them spit chaw on the ground in bemusement. A third man spit chaw up into the air, caught it again in his mouth, and then spit it once more on the puddles of derisive and bemused chaw respectively. “Stop spitting chaw!” yelled Josef, pulling a DYNAMIC MECH WRENCH from his SPACE WORK BELT. He brandished the DYNAMIC MECH WRENCH in the air like a caveman would with an ORDINARY CLUB.

“We’ve got a lot of building things that will be horribly destroyed ahead of us in the next few hours, so everyone better get used to the idea of Sisyphean labour and get on it!” One of the workers pulled off his STANDARD ISSUE HEAD PROTECTING ENERGY HELMET AND BREATHING APPARATUS and scratched at his matted hair in confusion before reaching into a STYLISH YET UNSUITABLE FOR THE CONSTRUCTION SITE CANVAS BAG out of which he pulled a GALACTIC DICTIONARY AND THESAURUS, MULTISYLLABIC EDITION. He found the entry for “Sisyphean,” nodded, and got to work building an ICBM SILO. A few others slipped on chaw puddles.

Hours later, Josef surveyed the site. Billions of dollars and thousands upon thousands of hours of research led to the scientific vista before him. He marveled at its elegance, its simplicity, its deadly efficiency. Then a robot blew it up. Josef threw his STANDARD ISSUE HEAD PROTECTING ENERGY HELMET AND BREATHING APPARATUS on the ground and swore loudly. Every day it was the same thing: putting their toys back together long enough for the children to fight again, and then cleaning up the resulting mess. It was a never ending cycle of attrition, each side only pausing to rebuild their structures and process the dead into LIFE-SUSTAINING PROTEIN DRINKS.

I’m so tired of this dystopian future, thought Josef, watching for the third time that day as a SURFACE-TO-SURFACE MISSILE BATTERY came tumbling to the ground. Then he was struck in the head by a piece of shrapnel from an exploding robot’s groin plate, and died on the grass.

Meanwhile, back at Josef’s tiny EFFICIENT CUBE LIVING QUARTERS AND REST ZONE, a Pornstar’s Crotch pawed ineffectively at a can of MARTIAN SALMON.

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