He stood on a high precipice - the edge of some unknown canyon - which gave him a good vantage point to observe the charred destruction that spilled out all around him. The air stank of burning wood, rubber, plastic, and flesh all at once. The sharp, pungent odors violently attacked his nostrils and caused him to gag. It looked like a powerful bomb or something had gone off. As far as he could see there was nothing but death and darkness; the sky was stained with smoke and ash.
"What happened?" the young man mumbled to himself. It seemed as if he had no memory of what happened before. He did have the notion, inexplicably, that he was somehow responsible for all of it. It was only then that he noticed that he was holding a charred, smoking, bent iron box in his hands.
" Shit hit the fan, I'd say."
He looked over to his left and down to see a little silver robot that looked like a barrel with a lampshade on it. The lampshade head sported two glowing red bulbs which he figured served as the artificial creature's eyes.
"What are you?" he asked.
"Your robot. At this juncture, it's rather pointless to go into more detail."
"I did all this, didn't I? I don't remember what exactly happened, but I have this vague notion that it's all my fault. How come I don't exactly remember anything?"
"Ah, well, you humans do have a way of blocking out traumatic events. That's probably what happened."
"How far does this destruction go?"
"Oh, a very, very long way off. You should have listened to me. But, you never really did, did you?"
"But I can't be responsible for this. I mean, I'm a nice guy...really, I am. I still can't remember anything, but like I know I did all this, I also have a vague notion that I'm not the type of person capable of such evil."
"You are correct there, sir. However, your capability for stupidity is rarely rivaled."
He looked down at his clothing. With all their rips, tears, and holes his shoes, jeans, shirt, and trench coat looked like they'd seen better days. Whatever had destroyed the land around him had also done a number on his wardrobe.
"What exactly happened, robot?" he asked, "Can you please tell me? You don't appear to have the same memory problems as I do."
"Oh, there's no point in going into all of it now.
I will tell you that it had something to do with that box you're holding."
He looked down at the burned, damaged hunk of iron in his hands again. It was hot - almost too hot to hold. "How come you keep saying there's no point in explaining anything?"
"There's no time, sir. They'll be coming to kill you any minute now."
"Me?! But I'm a nice guy, I don't deserve to die."
"You've destroyed seventy-five percent of their planet.
I believe they think you do."
"Seventy-five percent?! How can that be? Oh, god, all those lives!"
He was interrupted by a booming roar in the air. He looked up to see six black shapes emerging from the smoke in the distance. As they got closer, they looked like stealth bombers.
"Ah, here they come now. Well, it has been rather unpleasant knowing you. It's most unfortunate that I'm going to be blown to bits along with you. I told you not to open it. But would you listen to me? Noooo!"
"Are they going to shoot us?" he asked, becoming extremely agitated. He looked around. He wanted to run, but there really wasn't anyplace to run to.
"They're going to bomb the fuck out of us, I'd imagine. Eye for an eye and all that."
"Bomb? Doesn't that seem like overkill?" The roaring got louder. The sound shook the ground it was so loud. It caused his teeth to chatter. The planes were almost overhead.
"They just want to make sure! Oh, speaking of the bombs, here they come now. Goodbye, sir."
Dozens of ominous-looking black tubes began raining from the sky, casting shadows on them that grew larger and larger as the shapes raced toward them. Although their descent was graceful, it emitted an ear-splitting scream that got louder as they grew closer. The planes roared away into the distance at a very high rate of speed.
"Hey," he said, shaking the box, "Maybe if there's anything left in this box here, we can--"