THE SECOND BIG BANG. CHAPTER 19

A VULGAR DISPLAY OF POWER

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The roof of Elon’s mansion folds back, revealing a magnificent launching pad. The countdown clock hits zero and the rocket containing the PSA fires them into space, propelling them away from the cradle of mankind in a fury of rocket fuel and human ingenuity.

Elon takes a moment to consider that in the next 30 minutes he will be the smartest man alive. And also the tallest.

As the violent atmosphere rocks their ship, Michelle pukes into her space helmet and Barack has a powerful spiritual out of body experience.

Bernie suffers a stroke and dies while passing through the final layer of atmosphere into outer space. They don’t discover it until it’s too late. His body is placed in the freezer and they plan to take care of it as soon as the proper opportunity presents itself.

Joe feels like he’s lost his father.

As they rise up, they see the great and glorious expanse of space open before them. “The cosmos,” Elon says mystically before unbuckling himself and doing weightless somersaults towards the fridge. He snaps open a vitamin water and thoughtfully sips it. “Well, I suppose I should ask. Are we planning to watch the explosion or should we kick it into Tesla Speed?”

Elon plugs his stereo in and begins to play Amazing Grace. Then he plays Highway to Hell. Then he plays Rocket Man. None of them feels right. Finally he just turns on white noise and listens to its calming hiss as the missile, which they can now see, moves slow motion through space and time towards Pale Blue Dot.

Elon begins to recite a mantra from memory, spoken by one of his heroes.

“That’s home. That’s us. On it, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever lived, lived out their lives. The aggregate of all our joys and sufferings, thousands of confident religions, ideologies and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilizations, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every hopeful child, every mother and father, every inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every superstar, every supreme leader, every saint and sinner in the history of our species, lived there – on a mote of dust, suspended in a sunbeam.

The Earth is a very small stage in a vast cosmic arena. Think of the rivers of blood spilled by all those generals and emperors so that in glory and in triumph they could become the momentary masters of a fraction of a dot. Think of the endless cruelties visited by the inhabitants of one corner of the dot on scarcely distinguishable inhabitants of some other corner of the dot. How frequent their misunderstandings, how eager they are to kill one another, how fervent their hatreds. Our posturing, our imagined self-importance, the delusion that we have some privileged position in the universe, are challenged by this point of pale light.

To my mind, there is perhaps no better demonstration of the folly of human conceits than this distant image of our tiny world. To me, it underscores our responsibility to deal more kindly and compassionately with one another and to preserve and cherish that pale blue dot, the only home we’ve ever known.”

Elon stops talking and the group sits in silence as they watch Kim’s Power House missile slam into Earth and kill everyone they’d ever known.

Their planet was gone.

 

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Tomorrow is our EPILOGUE part 1 followed directly by EPILOGUE part 2.

 

 

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