How we think the fight will go
Agrajag, a large, crazed bat, had the singular misfortune of encountering Arthur Dent in every single one of his lives, only to find himself murdered in some strange way by the oblivious earthman. Cursed with memories of his past lives, Agrajag became obsessed with finally putting an end to all this nonsense by murdering his murderer, and so through the use of an obscure time-space warp technology far too complicated and sciency to go into here, he programs the multi-armed, bladed killing machine known only as the Shrike to do the deed.
With that task, the Shrike finds Dent on the remote planet of Lamuella. The robot sizes up the rather mundane human before beginning his bloody work.
Dent, known locally as the Sandwich Maker, is confused by the presence of this bladed robot, given that he and the Tool Maker had just the other day been discussing how swell it would be if robots could be designed to adequately slice Perfectly Normal Beast for a nice sandwich. Several sandwiches later, however, Arthur Dent begins to realize he may have been mistaken about the purpose of this particular robot. Indeed, as the Shrike starts flashing in and out of time around the hapless earthman, Dent indeed realizes that this may in fact be “the end” that he had thought would come on so many previous occasions.
But both he and the Shrike had not reckoned with the power of the Babelfish located in Dent’s ear.
Said Babelfish, gifted with the self-preserving power to shift sideways through probability, simply moves Arthur to another universe. Possessing the same ability, the Shrike follows. On and on this chase goes, until the Babelfish ultimately lures the Shrike to the end of the universe, which is a time/space he is simply unable to escape.
The robot Shrike then has to wait for the next universe to begin, which takes so long that all of his pointy bits wear down, replacing his intimidating presence with a sour disposition. By the time he encounters the earthman Arthur Dent again, all that is left of his homicidal inclination is a desire to annoy Dent. His name having been softened by the passage of time as well, Marvin proceeds to do exactly that for quite some time.
His attempt thwarted, Agrajag decides that his best course of action would be to simply avoid the earthman. A few days later, he finds himself one moment pleasantly as far away from Dent as possible, the next moment hurtling past the Heart of Gold, improbably turned into a bowl of petunias.
Predicted Winner: Arthur Dent
The Shrike is a character from Dan Simmon’s Hyperion series; Arthur Dent is a character from Douglas Adams’s Hitchhiker’s series.
The Shrike image courtesy of Francois Baranger. Arthur Dent image courtesy of Touchstone Pictures