- You're being coy, Heist. This work is obviously a thinly veiled treatise on radical pacifism, a compelling -- if not entirely persuasive -- call to inaction.
Appearing in the 1st Story
- D. Oswald Heist (First Appearance)
- Prince Robot IV (appears in both flashback and main story)
- Landfall Coalition (flashback only)
- King Robot (Mentioned only)
- Special Agent Gale
- The Stalk (Mentioned only)
- Friendo (First Appearance)
Synopsis for the 1st Story
Years ago during the war, a Landfall Coalition member yells for a medic as Prince Robot IV bleeds blue blood from a wound. A female hamster medic dresses his wounds as a Royal Vondertank floats by. An illegal Wreath gas is unleashed and the medic explodes all over the Prince, who is immune.
In the present, Special Agent Gale wakes the Prince from his dream. He tells him via phone that the Princess Robot is having a formal party and he needs to complete his job soon in order to see her. Gale's not impressed with his hunt about visiting Quietus based on the author lead.
The Prince knocks on the door and is allowed in by Heist. When Prince asks him about A Night Time Smoke, he plays off the book like it was a quick job to get money when he needed it after his second divorce. Heist goes on to tell him how his son served in the war and then killed himself afterwards. He says the work isn't about the war but the Prince doesn't believe him. The Prince calls his son a coward. When Heist pulls a gun on the Prince for insulting him, the Prince transforms his arm into a cannon and shoots his knee out. Heist admits his gun was just a prop. The Prince walks over and tells him to take his pen, and jab it in the Prince's neck to kill him. Heist is shocked and throws the pen away. The Prince grabs a chair and tells him he'll sit there until the rebels arrive.
Prince Robot IV makes his move.