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.”
“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.
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.
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.