“The saloon doors are opening,” the AI said and if anything that walked through his bar was gonna be trouble, it wasn’t gonna happen.
“I don’t want no trouble in my place,” he said, because he always said it, be that when Sparks and Croach entered or anyone else on planet. Mordecai never wanted no trouble in his place, as per his wife’s orders.
“You won’t have any from us, I promise,” a short man said with a clipped and polished sort of accent that might have been from England in the twentieth century. He had hair that looked out of place and a sweater vest. So not from here, Mordecai decided.
“Whadya want?” he asked, only now registering that there was a taller more scowly man with the British one.
"We don't want much: only a way back to our century," the Brit said -
"And a place to celebrate the holiday," the other man finished.
Mordecai wanted to look confused, which was a default for things on Mars, but then asked, “What holiday?”
“It’s Hanukkah,” the taller man said.
“Oh that’s right,” Mordecai started. “Space Hanukkah did start tonight. I forgot ‘til just now. Let me go get my hanukkiah and we can light them, if ya want.”
There was a very quick nod from one of them before Mordecai went into the back.
Whispers were all Mordecai heard as he dug around for the metal, but then he felt something rustling around. The hanukkiah started to float up and move its way into the bar.
“Who did that?” Mordecai asked, because though he had seen Jupiter spies and male pregnancies, he hadn’t seen that.
“I did,” the taller man said. “Metallokinetic.”
“I can control metal and magnetic fields.”
“And what does that have to do with Space Hanukkah?”
“Nothing really,” the other man said. “Only I found your mind had some connection to Erik’s religion and we hadn’t anywhere else to go.”
“You’d be?” Mordecai asked.
“Charles Xavier. That would be my husband, Erik Lehnsherr. We’re from the Twentieth Century and somehow we got transported to here. We meant to go to a party and ended up here instead.”
“Oh, well, Space Hanukkah should be celebrated by anyone. Why don’t we get started?”
They nodded, and Mordecai looked around for another candle to light the shamash with.
“So what’s this Space Hanukkah all about?” Charles asked before Mordecai went to the story of how everything connected to the holiday.
Erik waited for an explanation, hands folded across this chest, and so Mordecai gave the best he could. He left out the part about the Beatles because he still wasn’t sure if that was true or not.
“Sounds like what I celebrate so this should be fine, Charles. We were going to light candles at Kitty’s anyway.”
That made Mordecai smile and so he went back to the hanukkiah and prepared himself to say the blessings. Erik joined in, to Mordecai’s surprise, but it made no matter. It was at least another person on Mars right now who actually understood Space Judaism. Small mercies.