Take Off

The Dyson sphere rotated slowly around the sun, causing a gradual movement of shadows on the white grass. B.O/B bent over the rusting canisters of lighter fluid that he’d lined up, and tentatively reached behind him to unlatch his refuelling chute. R.U.Fu5 stared at him and sighed. 

‘We’ve discussed this before B.O/B. That function is designed for petroleum, which the humans don’t use anymore living up there.’ R.U.Fu5 looked up at the Dyson sphere, then lent over, picked up one of the canisters and shook it. The contents sloshed, so he threw it back on the ground, hitting some of the other canisters and knocking them over like dominoes. 

‘Be careful, it took me years of bartering to get these,’ B.O/B said as he reached over to the fallen canisters to righten them. The Dyson sphere by this time had rotated enough to cast a shadow which completely covered R.U.Fu5. When B.O/B looked up to reprimand him for his carelessness, he just saw darkness and gave up. 

B.O/B flicked open the red top of a canister and began pouring it into the hatch. The stench of lighter fluid would have been overwhelming, but neither of them had been fitted with smell sensors. A splash of the fluid dropped onto the white grass and began to sizzle. R.U.Fu5 walked over to it and stomped down onto the small patch with his cool metal foot. 

‘It won’t work,’ R.U.Fu5 said, as B.O/B emptied another canister down his chute. The Dyson sphere had rotated further, causing blazing sunlight to shine directly into R.U.Fu5’s eyes through the gap of the structure. His internal temperature alarm started to flash in his vision unit, so he stepped to the side, back into shadow. 

B.O/B emptied the last of the canisters and jiggled to see how much liquid sloshed inside him. With a metallic grin, he smiled at R.U.Fu5 and pressed a button on his arm. Two rocket jets sprung out from his back, the chrome gleaming in the sunlight. 

R.U.Fu5 shook his head again, ‘it’s designed for petrol B.O/B, I bet it won’t do anything except void your warranty.’ 

B.O/B pulled out a pair of goggles from the compartment in his chest and put them on, then flicked a switch igniting the rockets. There was a knocking sound and a spluttering. The vibrations sent B.O/B sprawling to the ground, landing on some empty canisters, crushing them under his weight. ‘I told you,’ R.U.Fu5 tutted, stepping back in case B.O/B spontaneously exploded.

Undaunted, B.O/B stood upright and tried the ignition again. This time it lit, and roared to life, whipping B.O/Bs head back, as he shot off into the sky. R.U.Fu5 watched his progress until he was just a small dot, ‘guess I was wrong,’ he said before turning around and walking back to the blissful shelter of the shed. 

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