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Apocalypse Rescheduled

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"Dude. Mars. Where the hell are you? Well I mean, I can see you over there if I kind of squint, but what the fuck. We're been planning this forever, and I mean, I pretty much stuck reminders on your fucking surface!. I swear to God, if you're leaving me hanging here... I should have just gone with an independent contractor. Damn it. Call me back, bro. You suck, and I still have vermin because of you, but I wanna know you're okay, okay?"

...

"Mars?"

"Earth, you shithead, I've been trying to call you forever. I know you're anxious to wipe out the parasites, but it's a bad time for me. And your reception sucks. Signal keeps bouncing back off that mess the pests are making--this never would have happened if you hadn't insisted on clinging to that extremely overdone atmosphere like some kind of pathetic security blanket. Bet it's keeping you warm now, huh?"

"Oh, whew. I thought I was gonna have to call Jupiter."

"Not like he'd do any better cutting through that shitstorm--you surround yourself with some seriously bad elements, man. Hey, upside, your rodents--okay, primates, whatever--are totally going to off themselves all on their own, no need to owe me a favor. Also, hey, so you know, when there is a storm that's larger than two of your continents taking up half an ocean, that pretty much is the definition of fucking up your signal. I tried for like four solid days to call you. My days, not yours. What the hell, man, hurricane up there?"

"Yeah, I know. That was wild. And kind of awesome--tickled in the good way."

"I know what you mean. I got less air to push around so it doesn't cause the same kind of stupid shit, but mm, a good blow before bedtime... always nice."

"Yeah, you feel me. Anyway, it's been weeks. You couldn't call any time in there to let me know you'd be late?"

"Dude. This is what I'm saying--you don't even need me."

"Yeah, I know in the long run! But I want this done, and your orbit is eccentric anyway. You could have just swung by, on schedule, no change of plans!"

"Hey, you know you could just hurry things along yourself. Just because Mom said not to pick at spots, I mean, you still have them, right? What would it take, polar volcano? Those nether-region zits tend to be pretty explosive."

"Ew. Nice image. And no, I can't do it myself. I'm not like you."

"Oh, I'm the extermination event expert?"

"You were supposed to be! Just days ago, sudden left turn at galactic Albuquerque, near miss, and voila, my problems all solved! No more stupid atmosphere, no more worrying about ice caps and ozone..."

"No more stable orbit for old Mars here, possibly leading to an extremely unfortunate collision with the sun..."

"What? Wait, did you run the numbers again?"

"So what if I did?"

"Mars, you big baby. I do the math, you do the fighting. Remember? Martial? I'm the one that's all peaceful and thinky and stuff. And I was looking forward to this Christmakwaanzakah--hey, it's a vermin thing, but I like peace on Earth and festivals of lights and whatever as much as the next guy-- being all quiet. It was gonna be awesome. And here I still am, four days later, and still I got my pests."

"Uh-huh. And you're still too big a wuss to stomp your own ants."

"Fuck you. Hey, so now what am I supposed to even do? This was predicted for ages. I mean, I've been putting up with ridiculous strains on all my resources that have grown out of control like there's no tomorrow because there was supposed to be no tomorrow. Now there's a fucking tomorrow, and I still have 7 billion ants."

"I'm telling you. Just uncork. History suggests ash plumes make your fragile little robot-flingers--by the way, those things itch--all sadface buried in the mud. Even if it fails, you can always try again."

"It just seems so cruel."

"Oh, so you just want to be able to blame me."

"...Maybe?"

"Nice. Well, fine. We'll reschedule. What's the next close pass?"

"No good, is what. Then you really will go into the sun. Never mind, man. I'm just gonna call up one of the free agents. Maybe Halley can give it a go or something."

"You sure? I didn't mean to leave you hanging--I just had some, you know, business with the moons. They got all scared of each other again last summer and I've had a hell of a time getting them to chill out. You have no idea how good you have it with just the one."

"Yeah, one clingy one. Anyway, I'll see what I can come up with. Or fart on Antarctica and see what happens. Hey, my minutes are pretty much up--gotta fly."

"See ya 'round."