((This is sort of a companion piece to “Mitt Romney Rolls a Hipster” (https://trentlewin.com/2012/08/31/burst-mitt-romney-rolls-a-hipster/). Sort of.))
Obama’s Revenge: A Case Study of Galactic Imperialism
Sex in space can be cold. It’s especially bleak when you’re having at it in the galley, after everyone else is finished with their meal, and your name happens to be Obama and in reality you’re a rebel scum infiltrator that is romancing the communications officer from the bridge so that you can sabotage Imperial Star Destroyer Nacho.
“Obama, Obama, Obama,” sang Mildred. She was a third-tour officer, still single and likely to stay that way if the adverts were correct.
“Yah, Obama,” he said, staring over her shoulder at the stars. He had never been this deep in space. The sight was so incredible that he hardly heard her scream, or her pleading with him to stop.
Obama buttoned up and took the pass card from Mildred. She was crumpled on the ground, one breast on her knee, the other in a tray of mushy peas. He kissed her on the forehead as she passed out.
The hallways were blue, the official colour of the Imperial Fleet. He went to the engine room and planted a bomb under the ship’s core reactor. It was enough explosive to cripple the ship, maybe even blow it up. When he was done, he snapped the pass card in two and shoved it into an airlock.
“Yah, Obama,” he said to the prompter in the simulation booth. There was nothing else left for him to do. If the ship blew up, he was done anyway. If the ship was merely crippled, he would be caught and shot into space for his treachery. He would try to explain his position, that he had discovered a deep-seeded conspiracy at the highest levels of the Imperial Fleet, one that threatened to send them all into a fruitless and ill-advised war against a race of robot badgers, but they were not likely to listen. The conspiracy was too entrenched, the dissatisfaction with the current state-of-being too strong..
Still, he wondered sometimes. The conspiracy revelation had come to Obama as he stood at the edge of a tarpaulin fringe, the light bending around a mass of purple matter that undulated as it consumed a hotspar. In the rays of light and lightlessness, he had perceived a message, or at least finally a link between the many suppositions that had been heavy in his mind of late; yes, finally, an idea had been born, one too scandalous to mention, too wonderfully-obscene to promote. But it had stayed with him, growing like the molecular cartilage of that hotspar, until it too had split its seams and flown apart.
He lay down in a hammock of metal and silk, and watched the glass top close over him. In thirty hours, the ship would explode. He wondered. He really wondered sometimes. What had been born there, on the tarpaulin – had it simply been a new radiant sinistar (as though that were something commonplace!), rather than the birth of a real understanding of the undercurrents that ran through and controlled his life? Was he Obama or something else; was he the radiant part or the one that was being consumed?
The glass turned on. He punched in a request for randomization, in the category of Liberal Morals. The wheel spun through several scenarios: crashing megalomaniac plots to destroy planets, nefarious schemes intended to upend economic theory, the cessation of individual rights as they related to the freedom to pursue wart pinching in public. Etc. The wheel settled on a simple interactive sermon. The preacher’s voice was that of a woman. “Yah, Obama,” he said, as the metals rods and their grasping chamfres pulled away his clothes and bathed him in an ointment of sweetened oregano oil.
The preacher’s face was above him, green eyes that stretched over the curvature of the glass lid. She was speaking about inner peace and the need to continue with a mission that had righteousness behind it, lest apathy and fear and the sheer insurmountable elements that would always resist change steal through the hallways of humanity and consign it to utter sameness: the same fears, repeated; the same crimes, repeated; the same dearth of vision, repeated. She told him to stay true to the path, but her lips – the full lips, the lips that were not those of an eighty-year-old virgin born on Jupiter – were saying something else too. They were looking deep into the heart of the computer truths, the ones we make and recite, the ones that others repeat for us too, until they brushed against the sordid truth that he had glimpsed that day on the fringe, when the light had mixed with the anti-light and the visions that he had always ignored crystallized into the actions that he now could not. There it was, at the fringe: the black despite, the coldness of space, the notion that he had better not ever think that he would be anything other than alone. The primordial laughter of the preacher confirmed that this was all he had to look forward to.
“Yah, Obama,” he whispered, as a metal bracket grasped him between the legs and a glassy probe slipped between his buttocks. He sprang up, hands perched against the lid, his eyes flaming with light as he accepted the sermon, retendered it as though it was his in the first place, always would be. He grew. Space could contain him, barely; his ideas could be punctured, but not by shooting stars. Larger and larger he grew. Larger and larger, until the glass couldn’t hold him anymore, let alone the ship, let alone the galaxy or the universe or whatever other things atoms chose to put in his way.