Part 1: The Last Son of Crypto-con
Far from the planet Earth, on a world that circled a red-state sun, Rush-El, last and greatest propagandist of the planet Crypto-con, brooded within his vast beachfront fortress. Of course, the beach was gone now, submerged beneath seas engorged with melted ice from the planet's lost icecaps. As the polluted water surged over the poisoned land, Crypto-conian civilization was crumbling under the combined ecological and economic catastrophes of free-market fundamentalism.
Rush-El shook his head. It wasn't true; he knew it in his gut that it wasn't true. "Conservatism didn't fail us," he muttered to himself. "We failed it. We weren't conservative enough." But now, at long last, there was no one to hear him. The rapidly-heating air of Crypto-con could no longer transmit the radio waves upon which Rush-El had made his fortune. Alone, unheard, he swore to himself, "It can't end here. It won't end here. I won't let it."
Heaving his vast, sweating bulk from one of the oversized chairs with which he had furnished his fortress, Rush-El waddled through the echoing hallways until he reached the garage. There, he beheld the small spaceship which his once-vast fortune had purchased for him. He also beheld its intended passenger, his infant son Glenn-El, crying lustily within his crib.
Well, Rush-El admitted within his own mind, probably not actually his son. Frankly, Rush-El didn't like having sex with adults. Even the women of Crypto-con, trained from birth in the arts of subservience, were too independent for his liking. That was why his many marriages had all ended in divorce, sealed with ironclad nondisclosure agreements. Children were much more satisfactory. In fact, give him a few years, and Glenn-El himself . . .
But Rush-El knew he didn't have a few years. Within hours, his fortress would be submerged beneath the poisoned seas, and the last bastion of Crypto-conian civilization would be no more. After pausing several minutes to recover his breath from the long journey to the garage, Rush-El leaned over to lift from the crib what was legally his son, and brought him over to the open hatch of the spaceship. Glenn-El continued to cry, his face red as the sun of Crypto-con, and the echoes of his voice filled the garage. It was with some relief, Rush-El admitted at last to himself, that he closed the hatch and cut off the babe's incessant wailing.
It was a pity that they couldn't have made the spaceship big enough for Rush-El himself, the propagandist mused sadly. He would have cheerfully abandoned Crypto-con and left little Glenn-El to fend for himself in that case. But it was not to be. It was either Glenn-El, or nothing.
Turning to the control console, Rush-El pressed the button that would release the narcozine gas within the spaceship, placing Glenn-El in a deep slumber that would allow him to survive the long interstellar voyage to his new home. A second button caused the garage roof to swing open, allowing the planet's hot, choking air to enter. A final button fired up the spaceship's engines, and it lifted slowly out of its launch cradle, flames billowing out from beneath.
Rush-El swore as the flames enveloped him. It hadn't occurred to him that the spaceship would kill him when it took off; if it had, he never would have bothered with any of this. Screaming in pain, the last and greatest propagandist of the planet Crypto-con cursed the probably-not-his-son whose life he had just saved.
The spaceship with the sleeping infant rose up from the surface of Crypto-Con, oriented itself among the stars, and set off for the tiny yellow sun that would be its final destination.
(to be continued)