The funeral was small. Captain Sy “Cyclops” Petcher spent the end of his days at a dark corner table in the Triple Trout drinking discontinued ale the bartender had shipped in just for him. When the bar was closed in the mornings, Sy would sit outside the door in a chair engraved with “Cyclops” and scare school children with tales of sea monsters, pirates, and siren songs. They would scream and run away laughing to return the next morning for all of their favorites from the crazy old man with the eyepatch.
In a forgotten corner of space, on the fringes of the Hawthorn nebula, mechanized creatures called Zarook moved in a rhythm, working to a melody and harmony tuned to the very core of their planet. For several centuries the Zarook had maintained the cultivation of this life force, keeping it exactly the same, exactly the way the Carbies instructed them to.