“Decent yield this time round” Gor flicked a bit of something off his shoulder.
“You think so?” Gob did the same. It floated over and landed on a post.
“I reckon” Gor said proudly, nodding towards the tiny speck of blue light.
The pair said nothing for a bit. A rock flew past and out into the void.
“Fence needs mending” Gob said.
“I know it” Gor replied.
“You always gotta be careful with this lot”
The nothing continued for a while longer. Then a distant flash.
“There goes another one” Gor swung around to catch a better look.
“Not our business” Gob didn’t budge.
“How’d you figure?”
“That’s Gok’s turf”
“You know Gok?”
“Yeah we go way back”
“You don’t say. Hope he wasn’t too close. Those nova can be nasty”
The stars swirled about and flickered like a trillion drunk little fires. Gor and Gob sat motionless, perched on a rock, silhouetted against infinity.
“You hear that?” Gob asked.
“Hear what?” Gor replied.
“They started broadcasting!”
“Oh that ain’t half bad” Gor started tapping. “We’re finally getting somewhere. Told you it’d be a good one”
“It sounds like…did we give em something?”
“Not this season. Usual stuff”
A sheet of dust swept through, briefly engulfing the sea of icy monoliths and blocking any view of the tiny blue speck beyond. Then it was gone.
“Wow, you weren’t kidding” Gob perked up.
“Told you didn’t I?” Gor responded.
“What you think they’re up to?”
“Who knows. Really got em worked up though”
“Hope they don’t blow it all”
The years passed by like gusts of wind
“Hey Gob” said Gor.
“Yeah Gor?” said Gob.
“Think we better round things up for the season?”
“Not yet. Give it another few, I got a good feeling”
A small metal thing whizzed by and out into the void.
“I told you that fence needed mending!” said Gob
“I said I’m on it!” Gor kicked at the nearest post and the heliosphere returned.
“Too late now. There’ll be more before long” Gob remarked.
“Nah. Little blighters will never make it out…” Gor responded.
They sat. Gob started thinking. It didn’t go well. So many thoughts to choose from. It was always hard picking the right ones. He settled for those of a lonely quadruped forty thousand light years away and ten thousand years ago.
“Oh I like that” said Gor. “Where’s it from?”
“Some folks in God’s neck of the galaxy”
“He always gets the good stuff”
“That’s cos the he’s always trying something new”
“Yeah well, just wish he’d stop trying to rustle our lot”
They listened. A maelstrom without any obvious logic. Yet filled with beauty they had long since lost the capacity to imitate. It was sad. Cast into the night during an epoch of desperation by a species known for self annihilation. The perfect livestock really.
“You ever wonder why we don’t make this stuff ourselves?”
“Not really” Gob lied.
“Oooh, they’re at it now” Gor remarked.
Their attention returned to the pale blue dot.
“Something about the weather down there I reckon” said Gob.
“Heating up a smidge?”
“Just a little”
“Found anything good?”
“Few bits here and there…wait, what’s that?!”
There was a sudden wave that almost knocked the pair off their perch.
“What was that?!” Gor exclaimed again.
“My oh my. We better get going” Gob remarked. “I’ve heard of these”
“Shall I call in the harvesters?”
“Yeah and tell them to double the usual fleet”
“You heard me. And triple the storage capacity. By the time they arrive, we’re gonna have a whole mess of tidying up to do”
“Why what is it? Is it good?”
“Well…yes and no. Tell em the earthlings just built an internet”