great ball of fire (epilogue … of sorts)
It was Jeff Goldblum, a.k.a. Chance Goodrod, that identified the tardigrades in Nap’s vision when communicating with the comet. Nap had related all he had felt and seen to the best of his ability to Chance and Madonna on the long flight back to Earth.
It was a happy return, the crew had been told that the comet had altered its course and wouldn’t be ending life as they knew it. Always a bit of a pick me up. Of course, Nap also knew that what he’d shown the comet was a lie so he had begun to wrestle with that. This was before he knew where those lies would lead the comet.
How it occurred to Jeff Goldblum is actually quite funny. And gross. Mostly gross when you think about it, but it did end up validating Nap’s decision to bring him along. You see, in a scene so similar to the one in Independence Day that it was creepy he was able to connect the dots because of some crazy seemingly-unrelated yet completely related incident.
You remember in Independence Day where he was drunk and unable to figure out a way to stop the aliens? Crashing around his dad made an offhanded remark about him catching a cold. Then you see the wheels turning in his head. “That’s it. A virus!” His father, of course, has no idea what he’s talking about but David Levinson (his character in the movie) ends up figuring out a way to create a virus that ends up saving the day. Completely implausible and insulting to the viewer’s intelligence but I had Nap Lapkin able to fly a space shuttle at the drop of a hat so I can’t really throw stones.
The point being, Jeff Goodrod, (he was much more Goodrod than Goldblum at this juncture) accidentally took a load of Nap’s floating semen right in his eye soon after their chat.
“Aaaaaaigh! It burns!” he began.
“I got cum in my eye!” he continued. For at least a few minutes.
And then magically “His seed … in my eye. My orb…. a blue orb”
Nap saw and got all excited. “It’s happening. It’s happening!” he shrieked like a ten year old opening a gift at Xmas. He shook Madonna and made her watch, pointing wildly.
I’ll mention here that this scene was actually reproduced and used in the trailer of the film Chance Goodrod To The Rescue.
Goodrod’s voice trailed off a bit.
“Cum is semen … semen … sperm. Panspermia is the deliberate introduction of microorganisms onto lifeless but habitable planets.”
“I knew there was a reason I wanted him to come” crowed Lapkin.
“You need to get out more Nap” said Madonna.
“Don’t you see?” asked Goodrod. “Earth was seeded by another civilization!”
It’s at this point I will forgive you if you are asking how in the world is this an epilogue? I admit to having wandered a bit in the storyline and I’m sure there are some of you who doubt if I even know what an epilogue is.
I do. I Googled it.
And I swear that it’s just a happy coincidence that I mentioned earlier the possibility of Nap’s splooge getting in Jeff Goldblum’s eye and you were waiting the entire story for it and it never happened and it was going to leave you with the same feeling you’d get if you went to see a band and they didn’t play your favorite song. Now I can only hope that as the metaphorical encore that splooge is one of your favorite euphemisms for semen. Feel free to insert cock snot, trouser gravy or wiener sauce if you so desire.
The reason this is the epilogue is that a few weeks later, as Nap thought back on this conversation, he had his own David Levinson moment.
He knew that our civilization already has the technology to engage in panspermia. Young planetary systems like Alpha PsA and Beta Pictoris are both well within our reach if we had such aspirations.
So why don’t we?
Simply put, for the overwhelming number of species in existence, life involves more suffering than pleasure. Spreading life is simply spreading pain.
It is morally wrong.
Nap spent a few sleepless nights reading Yew-Kwang Ng’s Toward Welfare Biology: Evolutionary Economics of Animal Consciousness and Suffering and Brian Tomasik’s The Importance of Wild-Animal Suffering.
What took David Levinson/Jeff Goldblum/Chance Goodrod a few minutes took him days … but things finally started clicking.
He thought about animals on Earth. The brutal ways they live and die.
He thought about Comet the comet.
He thought about himself and the people he knew.
He realized he didn’t need to save Comet.
He didn’t even need to save everyone.