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EPILOGUE 2.

A VULGAR DISPLAY OF POWER

Elon had been secretly working on his Mars project for a very long time. Over the course of the last few years he had been quietly launching robotics missions once a month and delivering packages to the same landing sight.

When they arrived, they found it stocked with the makings for a small colony. A small group of Wall-E like robots were already building a green house. Cots and rudimentary sewage were already in place.

They buried Bernie just outside their camp and named their new human colony Burlington, after the Vermont town where Sanders earned his come-uppance and gained popularity as a mayor.

Under the harsh landscape of Mars, the Wall-E robots had been carving out a cavern, creating the footprints of what would be the next step in human evolution.

And in the deepest darkest recesses lied their most valuable asset: an exact duplicate of Bernie’s iso-chambers. “Bernie and I have been working on this for quite some time.”

Barack and Michelle stare at it, dumbstruck.

Elon gestures to the three tubes. “Genetic material plus mental and emotional attributes equals human being. All we have to do is take the best humans the earth has to offer…”

Elon looks around the room at the three of them. “I guess that’s us.”

“Just the three of us.” Michelle nods. Joe was elsewhere, probably gazing out over the red planes and dreaming of a utopian society.

Elon continues. “This is how we’ll repopulate. We’ll grow the humans. One at a time.”

“One at a time.”

“And we’ll teach them. We’ll teach them new things. We’ll teach them brand new things and we won’t teach them the old ways. We won’t even tell them about earth or Donald.”

“Or Bernie.”

“Not everything about Bernie. We can tell them some things.”

“What if they ask where we came from? What will we tell them?”

“The truth. We came from the stars. We don’t know why and we don’t know how. But we know that when we stand together, we are stronger.”

That evening, after plenty of wine, Barack and Michelle go to their quarters and make love on Mars. They aren’t the first African American couple to make love on Mars. They are the first couple to make love on Mars.

 

 

Elon stands alone in the green house and watches the little Wall-E robots work tirelessly on his project as the red sunset burns through the window. He didn’t know what time it was anymore. His body said he was tired.

The robots worked endlessly and without complaint. They didn’t ask for a raise and they didn’t care if you beat them up or shut them off and they weren’t offended when you upgraded them.

Robots. He thinks to himself. Maybe they are the next level in human evolution. Maybe they lack the thing that ruins us. The thing that controls us. The thing that enslaves us.

Emotions.

Perhaps if I could tweak the code in the iso-chamber, just a little, we could produce a human that had less emotion. They would be a little more predictable. A little more tamable. A little easier to…

He catches the word on his tongue.

Control.

Elon turns and walks to his cot, contemplating his own selfish shortcomings as a human being.

 

 

Over Burlington, Mars, the same sun that set over Earth for a millennia, sets on the dusty red planet’s dead landscape and over four of the same people that it set on before.

And our new Martians didn’t live happily ever after. Nor did they live completely happily. Nor did they live ever-after.

But they did live.

And maybe things would be different this time.

Or maybe they’ll be the same.

But it would be a very long time before we discovered the answer.

 

The end.

 

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EPILOGUE 1

A VULGAR DISPLAY OF POWER

Kim Jong Un floats through the distant cosmos for a very long time and he sees many wonderful and interesting things. Just kidding. Space is a black void. And if you don’t know where you’re going or how to get there, you’re pretty much boned.

Kim floated in space for the rest of his miserable life, unable to entertain himself and with nothing to look at. He had become his childhood nemesis, Jeong Rang, and had suffered nearly the same solitary fate.

Unrest was beginning to rise amongst the crew and Kim was beginning to lose control of them. He overheard someone suggest that they should eject him down the toilet in order to watch his face explode in the freezing abyss.

He wasn’t altogether sad to finally die. In fact, he had come to terms with it and had accepted his fate when, on a Sunday, or what would have been a Sunday (with no Earth or Sun there were no Earth days) a strange portal opened on the deck of his ship and out stepped a strange and hideous creature who went by the name of Wells Fargo.

Wells voice was unsettling and made Kim’s skin crawl. “Kim Jong Un. You have destroyed Pale Blue Dot.”

Kim is silent. The crew watches in rapture. Kim wants to unleash his men on this monster, unleash the righteous fire-power of his wrath but he isn’t completely sure that they would follow orders.

Wells continues, unfettered, “You destroyed Pale Blue Dot. It was not for you to destroy. It did not belong to you. Consequences must be met for your thoughtless actions.”

“Do not touch me, monster.”

“Do not tell me what to do, biped.” Wells slurps forward and reveals his broken teeth. Kim feigns bravery. Kim’s bowels release. His mother runs to him and cradles her sweetie in her massive bosom. Wells blasts them both with his quantum-revolver and they both drop to the ground, conscious but frozen. The effects would wear off in a day or two. He drags them through the portal and takes them back to the land of the Kardashians. He planned to make Kim his pet. His children had always wanted an Earthling.

And this one had a cute little haircut.

The mother could potentially be bred out. If not, they could send her to the glue factory with the rest of the callused herd.

For the rest of Kim’s life, he lived in a cage. His owner made him take behavioral courses and they eventually took.

His new pet name was Cookie and he would speak only on command.

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Tomorrow brings us to our final ending: EPILOGUE 2.

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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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ELON IMPRESSES HIS FRIENDS. CHAPTER 15

A VULGAR DISPLAY OF POWER

 

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In the basement of Elon Musk’s 19 bazillion dollar mansion, you’ll find his personal passion project, which he has entitled “Optimus-P”. It was scheduled to be his greatest success to date. Unfortunately, nobody currently alive would be around to witness its glory. Elon was a little bit of a nihilist and believed we were all living inside of a giant computer program so wasn’t emotionally invested in his own life ending as he simply assumed he would “respawn” elsewhere. Perhaps in a different body or a different dimension or a different plain of consciousness. Or perhaps he’d simply reboot in a different computer program. Or maybe he’d be reborn in his own body and was destined to relive his own mistakes again and again until he learned from them.

Elon pulls a lever dramatically and the basement lab begins to transform. Walls slide. Windows buckle up. Furniture flips over and folds away. Control panels roll out of the walls. A track by AC/DC starts to play over his intercom system. He designed it that way to give people watching it the chills. He understood the pleasure centers of the brain and how to make them fire.

“This is magnificent, Elon.” Michelle is truly in awe.

“I’ve just turned it on. You will see magnificence shortly. Please be sure to stay within this circle while Optimus is in operation. If you don’t, a limb could easily be torn astray from your body, resulting in death and / or dismemberment.”

Everyone absentmindedly shoves their hands in their pockets.

A timer begins counting down on the wall. It is set to 6 hours.

Elon smiles. “Prepare for blast-off.”

 

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DONALD FACE-TIMES THE PSA. CHAPTER 13

A VULGAR DISPLAY OF POWER

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A stream burbles. A bird chirps. Clouds pass silently by overhead. The sun is warm. The breeze is cool. The Earth is on fire with hatred and violence.

Deep within the Garden of Serenity, Bernie Sanders, John McCain, Joe Kennedy, hosted by Barack and Michelle Obama, gather in a circle and sip tea. Barack’s head has become so swollen with human wisdom that he now has to wear an enormous brace of his own invention. Getting through doors is almost impossible and there are no pillows that are up to the challenge of cushioning his marvelous dome so he sleeps outside, in the dirt, staring up at the stars.

Currently, Barack floats inches above the grassy meadow, meditating on their next moves. He wears wireless headphones and listens to brain entrainment signals playing at 15Hz to help regulate the serotonin levels in his mind. Happiness was a garden that needed constant tending.

His head was still throbbing but it was a pain he was growing accustomed to, like an ingrown toe nail. He had accepted it.

“We have gathered here today under unfortunate circumstances,” Barack begins, feeling the old sense of excitement in giving a speech. He loved to lead – to guide the people to greater places, to bring them out of their caves and into the light. Look, he wanted to shout at them, look at yourselves! You are full of hate and stupidity and ignorance! Every one of you! You are short-sighted and idiotic. Your noisy arguments serve no purpose but to act as cotton in your own ears. Please give me silence for one moment and try to listen.

But he couldn’t say that.

That wasn’t very patriotic. That wasn’t very hopeful.

McCain cuts in. “Let’s cut the political bullshit. I want this mother fucker’s head on a spit. We are calling for justice, Barack. This is America!”

“Are you calling for justice or are you calling for blood?”

Bernie watches the match play out between the two seasoned pros. “Gentlemen, if I may-“ Bernie tries to lighten the mood.

I want his blood!” McCain screams over the gentle breeze and green grass. “I want to watch his empire crumble and I want to be the man that removes the cornerstone! Does that answer your question? Do I want justice or blood? I want his blood, Barack. I want it running down my face. I want to wear his ears on a necklace. I want to burn his body and laugh.”

Joe was new to the world but thought that McCain’s attitude seemed a little aggressive.

“When good men do nothing, evil prevails.” This was Joe. He was programmed to say smart things that other men had manufactured but not create any of his own thoughts. He rings his hands together and his Adam’s apple bobs apologetically.

Michelle stands behind Barack and begins to rub his throbbing temples, the size of dinner plates.

A silence falls over the group as they each become lost in their own thoughts. How many silences do we have left? Barack thinks to himself. How many sunsets? God, where are you in all this?

“Nowhere,” God answers plainly.

Barack assumed as much already.

Bernie and McCain exchange stories about their roots – their war histories, their war protests, their jail time and their time as prisoners.

“The words are all wrong, aren’t they?” Bernie stands up and gazes out at the breath-taking meadow.

“No borders out here, huh?”

Joe begins to say something wrought with patriotism and earnest. In a voice that sounds like he’s on the verge of passionate tears, he says, “Gentlemen. On this day we look upon our fellow man –“

Bernie cuts in. “Not now, Joe. There will be time later.” He turns to John, “He’s very excited to get going. I have very high hopes for him.”

Joe smiles respectfully. “I truly thank you, sir. Your personal endorsement for me is an absolute honor.”

“My pleasure, Joe.”

McCain throws a rock. It doesn’t go very far. His body is crumbling under the weight of time. Everything was working against him. He was just a hamster in a wheel.

“It’s the end, Bern. This is it. Democrat. Republican. Brain tumor – no brain tumor. This is it. We won’t be remembered because there won’t be anyone to remember us.”

Bernie begins shaking his head, “We need to hope. We need to believe. We need to strive for-“

“I know the messaging. I’ve been doing this for as long as you. Look at us! Old hound dogs. We’ve done this our whole lives and this is what it amounts to. I got into politics to help people. How’d it – how’d it get like this?”

“Gentlemen, if I may take a moment to interject my own subtle thoughts into the conversation? If I may,” Joe smoothly butters out. “Perhaps man’s own worst enemy is man himself. Perhaps.”

Bernie and John wait for him to say more but he doesn’t. Bernie encourages him. “That was real good, Joe. We’ll tweak you a bit but I’m proud of you. Really great try.”

Barack opens his eyes. He speaks slowly and under great intellectual labor to formulate simple enough words for his team to understand. “Michelle. Please give us a status update on our armies.”

Michelle takes the stage. She was born to lead. Her eyes and her smile shine. She walks with the posture of a warm war general.

“On-point. The LGBT arm is moving along the country back roads now and Atheists United has already begun circling around Mar a Lago after disguising themselves as Christians to get in the door. The Muslim and Immigrant battalions are already poised and ready to strike. The US military teams that have turned Rebel are also ready to publicly turn once given the signal.”

“It’s all about to happen, isn’t it? I am so saddened that it has come to this.” Barack’s voice cracks and he pauses. Shuts his eyes. A tear runs down his cheek.

Michelle’s phone bings. She glances down at it. “Trump is trying to face time me. Why is Trump trying to face time me?”

Barack: I don’t have a phone.

McCain: My phone doesn’t receive videos.

Bernie: My phone is full.

Joe: I was just invented. I don’t yet have a phone but would like to someday.

Everyone gathers around Michelle and watches in stunned silence. It was even worse than they thought.

On the other end of the line, Donald Trump, in his human form, speaks to them. Spittle, slobber, mucus and phlegm drizzle down his scabbed and irritated chin skin. His eyes are blood shot and red. Dried boogers crust his nostrils and his posture seems worse than usual. He’s wearing his skin-suit. He does that from time to time but it was starting to look like a pair of old and holey jeans. The thing they were looking at was very clearly not human. It looked like a monster in a fleshy sock with eye-holes punched out.

The video opens with the camera facing Trump, he holding the camera in his left hand. He hits the record button with his right hand pointer finger and then leaves the pointer finger fully extended and hanging in front of the camera lens for just a moment too long.

“Is it going? Yes. Okay. Men. We have some – issues. Happening. But. Together. We also have some other issues. Happening. Right now. I need to show this to you. This will. This will speak for itself. I think.”

He turns his phone towards a second phone and hits play.

“Sorry – Trump. What is this?”

“I can’t send the file because it’s too large so I have to film the screen on Paul’s phone and stream it to you like this. Can you see it okay?”

“It isn’t great.”

“Can you hear it?”

“It’ll do.”

“I’m going to hit play.”

There is silence. Then a slender and beautiful finger enters frame and hovers above play. “Are you ready?”

Sanders shouts, “Yes. Please. Go.”

The video is of Kim Jong Un. “Mister President. Allow me to make this short and to the point as I am certain that that is all the time you have.” Kim lets out a little giggle that sounds strangely like a pig squeezing out an SBD. “I have launched my secret project, nicknamed Power House. What is Power House? Power House is a planet-ending missile. And it’s heading your way right now.”

“Maniac.” Bernie slams his fist into the palm of his hand. McCain puckers his lips and breaks a stick in half.

Kim continues, “You’ll all be dead before daybreak. All of you. All of you.” He turns the phone around and gives them a quick tour of the spaceship. “You see, I’m on a spaceship. I’m up in outer space. And I have enough food and supplies to last until the end of my life. Good luck, Mister Trump. It looks like the Rocket Man took your advice. Have fun, Earthling.”

That last word hurt Donald more than any other word he’d ever had thrown at him. Earthling. This was his fault. This was all his fault. He was right. He really didn’t know what he was doing. He really wasn’t very good at this. He really was hopeless. Wells was right. Everybody was right.

But maybe there was still time. After all, a Kardashian always saves themselves. Perhaps if he could steal one of the D.I.s from The Oval Office, he would be able to run to another dimension and hide there until… well, until forever. He would have to be a runaway for the rest of his life. A rebel. Faceless. Nameless.

Non-sense. King Donald Trump, God of men and ruler of Earth could not become a beggar. There was only one way. And that was straight through. There was no running.

McCain grabs the phone and begins screaming into it, “What have you done?! What have you done, you absent-minded lunatic!

“Men. This. Is your problem now. You have very little time to solve it. Good luck.” And with that, he clicks off his phone. He wanted to get one more round of golf in before annihilation.

“Soft pecker.” McCain wishes he could pour himself a drink.

The sun sets, leaving them all in the dark. The lightning bugs make it magical. The mosquitos make the magic unbearable.

McCain’s eyes begin to get watery. “I did many terrible things to people in Vietnam. At the time, I thought those things were right and I thought I was hurting bad people. But I don’t know anymore. I don’t know who’s bad. Or who’s good. Or if there even is such a thing.”

Joe turns on the men with quivering hands. “We need a plan.”

McCain throws another rock. “Like hell we do.” It soars across the field. There was still some bite left in the dog after all. “We’ve already got one.”

The group gathers round. “Bernie, can you raise enough money to rent a private jet in the next few hours?”

“Not only can I but I will. And that is a promise to the America people. And most of them will probably donate in increments no larger than $20 and most of them will just be regular people. And we will use social media as our platform!”

McCain turns his attention to Michelle, “Are you still making C4 in the bathtub?” She nods. “Good. We’ll need as much as we can fit onto a plane.”

 

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