Part 3: Who Monitors the Monitors?
Supercon, last survivor of the planet Crypto-con and Earth's defender of truthiness, property, and the conservative way, was cruising through the planet's stratosphere as he pondered his father Rush-El's last recorded message. Rush-El had been eloquent, as befitted the last and greatest conservative propagandist of Crypto-con. Science, he had warned, was as much a battle between conservatism and liberalism as any other field of human endeavor. No scientific enterprise ought to be allowed to escape the attention of vigilant conservatives, ever on the lookout, as they must be, for evidence of liberal bias.
Worst of all, Rush-El had warned, was government-funded science. Letting scientists receive money from the government was a sure-fire way to get liberals pushing their stealth agenda at the expense of decent, hardworking conservative taxpayers.
As Supercon let his father's words occupy his thoughts, his eyes took in the vista before him. He was flying east over the Aleutian Mountains after a few hours spent patrolling the Bering Strait. Sure, the Russians wanted everyone to think they had abandoned Communism, but Supercon knew that was just the sort of sneaky subterfuge the Russians were renowned for. He always made a point of flying along the International Date Line between Alaska and Siberia, just to let the Russkies know that he was still keeping an eye on them.
Spread out across his vision was a chain of snow-capped mountain peaks, shining in the afternoon sun. As any conservative would, he was wondering if it would be possible to privatize the mountain chain and charge people admission to see them. He was turning the problem over in his mind, weighing the possibility of covering the mountains under a tarp and only exposing them for paying customers, when his eyes saw a plume of ash rising from one of the peaks.
The Aleutian Range, he knew, was volcanic. No doubt, one of the volcanos in the range was erupting. He flew closer, and immediately noticed two things: one, a jetliner was flying directly towards the cloud of volcanic ash rising from the mountain peak; and second, there was a building a few miles away from the mountain. His super-powered vision was able to pick out a sign standing near the building: REDOUBT VOLCANO MONITORING STATION -- YOUR TAX DOLLARS AT WORK.
A volcano monitoring station, Supercon realized with growing horror, and it was government funded! There was no time to lose! Diving down out of the stratsophere, Supercon flew like an arrow towards the monitoring station. He came to rest hovering a hundred feet away from the building. Inhaling for all he was worth, Supercon was able to compress millions of cubic feet of atmospheric oxygen and nitrogen within his superpowered lungs. Then, with a single convulsive effort, he exhaled again.
Like a sudden tsunami, the mighty wind of escaping air battered at the volcano monitoring station, blasting it until at last it was reduced to a pile of rubble. Wanting to make certain, Supercon again inhaled, and again exhaled, and the rubble was blown across a hundred thousand square feet of the volcano's flank.
Looking up from the wreckage of the monitoring station, feeling the glow of a job well done, Supercon noted idly that the jetliner had passed through the cloud of volcanic ash and was spiraling down out of control. Well, he thought with a shrug, the passengers and crew had known the risks when they boarded. The more farsighted ones would have purchased flight insurance.
With a trumphant "Up, up, and away!" Supercon rose from the mountainside and resumed his interrupted journey to the east.