The $64,000 Question

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Humor  |  House: Booksie Classic
Make America Great Again?

Submitted: January 07, 2016

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Submitted: January 07, 2016

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President of the United Federation of Planets Donald Trump sat at his desk in the Oval Office and pondered the latest crisis facing the human race.  This was a big one.  Unprecedented.  It occurred to him, no one who had sat in this chair before ever had to deal with anything like this.  For one thing, the previous occupant was only President of the United States. 

Everything changed when Trump won the election.  First it was dealing with America’s illegal immigration problem.  That took about 9 months to solve.  The team he built to deal with that problem didn’t stop there.  Roads got paved, schools were built.  Budgets got balanced.  People started working together under his guidance.  Crime rates plummeted, unemployment and poverty disappeared.  When the world saw how America prospered with him at the helm, one by one, the rest of the countries joined up.

The progress didn’t stop there.  Scientific breakthroughs were happening too rapidly to keep up with now that the entire planet had a first rate education system.  Advances in rocket technology and terraforming opened up the solar system.  Colonies on the Moon, Mars, and the moons of Jupiter and Saturn were already self-sufficient and had begun to establish trade with the home planet.

Ironically, Donald had just about decided it was time he could finally retire from the Presidency and focus on golf, his real passion in life.  That was before the aliens arrived. 

As it turns out, the rest of the universe had been watching, waiting for the human race to progress to a certain point.  Judgment day.  Once a species achieves the ability to migrate to other celestial bodies, they become a potential ally and a potential threat. 

The League of Galactic Races had long since established guidelines for evaluating the risk.  If a race was deemed to be stable, they would be invited to join.  What happened when the League decided a race was a threat was never discussed in polite company.

Humans had been sending TV and radio waves into the heavens for many years.  When they watched us conduct World War II, internet trolls all over the galaxy postulated different ways to destroy the human race.  The commonly accepted theory was that any race this violent just prior to achieving space travel was a complete train wreck.  But the rules were clear, indigenous species were not to be evaluated until they establish permanent colonies beyond their home planet. 

That day had come.

When the alien ship began sending messages, Earth exploded in turmoil.  The coalitions Trump had so carefully built over the years were stretched and twisted.  It was going to be an overwhelming task to hold everything together.  All he knew was that the alien ambassador would be arriving in a few minutes.  After that, who knows, but nothing would ever be the same.

When the pinpoint of light appeared across the desk, Donald knew it was the aliens.  It grew from a dot to a sphere, then began changing shape.  He realized he was seeing the technological equivalent of birth.  Something was growing in front of his eyes.  Arms, legs, a head and torso, all in human form.  With a crackling sound, and a brief aroma of warm machine oil, the process finished.  What appeared to be a fully clothed human stood before President Trump.  The thing smiled, bowed, and said, “Mister President, allow me to introduce myself.  My creators have named me Serge.”

“They cannot survive in an oxygen environment, so they manufactured me and sent me here to be their proxy.  I am what you would think of as a robot.”

“We have been watching your race ever since you started sending radio waves into space.  You can be proud of one thing.  Your race has progressed faster than almost any we have seen.  And you show more promise than most.  You can be brilliant, creative, artistic and compassionate.  You can be resourceful and generous, and you put your differences aside and work together passionately in a crisis.” 

“But you are still very violent.  You have made little progress at dealing with your animal nature.”

“The League has evaluated over 100,000 races during its tenure.  In all that time, the process has always been the same.  We monitor from afar, we see everything.  Like the Santa character of your popular mythology, we know if you’ve been naughty or nice.  Out of the countless races we have evaluated, yours is the first to present us with this problem:  You’ve been both bad and good.”

 “When we look at what humans can accomplish in a very short life, we are stunned by what we see.  If we accept you into the League, your artists and musicians will be overwhelmed with offers to perform and work throughout the galaxy.  Universities will line up to offer scholarships to your best young minds.  Corporations will offer riches beyond your imagination for the rights to locate manufacturing and warehousing facilities in orbit around the outer planets.”

“Your race will benefit in ways you can’t conceive of from the combined knowledge of the galaxy.  If we decide to accept you.”

“Now we come to the problem.  I won’t mislead you about the seriousness of this.  So far, no race that has the kind of violent tendencies yours exhibits has ever been accepted into the league.  On rare occasions, the evaluation has been put on hold and they were given more time.  Most, unfortunately, have not been allowed to continue.”

“This is the first time in the history of the League there has been so much dissention over the fate of a race.  Your supporters are passionate and insist that your violent tendencies will dilute out once you are exposed to the larger community.  Your detractors are equally passionate, and unfortunately, you have provided them with abundant evidence to support their claims.”

“The League High Government debated the citizenship of humans for twelve consecutive sessions, and was never able to come to a consensus.  That has never happened before.  So they developed what you would call a Plan B.  It’s a test.  It consists of one question.  The answer to the question will determine the fate of your race.”

“We have selected you as the human most capable of taking the test.  You must think carefully before you answer.  The race that created me does not think like humans.  Your answer must be precise, without any logical flaws.  You must think quickly.  You will be allowed one minute to submit your response.”

“This is the question.” 

“If people in the richest, most advanced country in the history of the human race can’t tell the difference between a comedian and a politician, how can they address any of their real problems?”

“The League awaits your answer.”


© Copyright 2017 Serge Wlodarski. All rights reserved.

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