Top One

Don’t get me wrong. I think Objectivism (the philosophy of Ayn Rand) is the best philosophy since before sliced bread. But it does attract its share of people who think that it’s their way or the highway. Now I am all for not tolerating immorality or evasion of reality. What I am not for is defining immorality or evasion as “not agreeing with what is manifestly obvious (to, well, me).”

Jesus, sometimes you can’t even go to a funeral without someone jumping down your throat if it’s the wrong person’s funeral or you have a friend whom all sane people would shun because we’ve never met them.

But I have a dream. A dream of a better world. A dream I will now share with you. The dream of… Top One (apologies to Top Gun, Tom).

*****

The Pacific Ocean. The nuclear powered philosophy carrier USS Rand heads toward the west coast of the USA.

The Rand has seen better days. She has launched many philosophies in her day, but too many have died fighting each other. Some have simply flown off into the distance never to be seen again, rumoured to be now chanting Buddhist mantras high in the Himalayas. Indeed, in its time whole sections of the ship have split off and gone their separate ways, often into the ocean depths.

Yet now the Rand is all that stands between freedom and its enemies. Tensions are high, as much between the crew as among them. Fighters are sent to intercept the enemy. The enemy, however, is waiting…

SWOOP: See anything, Peek?

PEEKOFF: Negative Swoop… Holy Kant! WTF! Two… three… four bogeys, one o’clock!

SWOOP: Who the hell are they?

PEEKOFF: A bunch of leftist scum! And one is a Nobel Prize-winning economist!

SWOOP: Christ! They flew right between us! They nearly quantitatively eased me!

Our heroes perform a dramatic loop and give chase.

PEEKOFF (struggling to target the jet in front): Lock, damn you!

SWOOP: I’ve lost mine in the sun!

PEEKOFF: Nearly… nearly… Lock! Fire!

Peek’s missiles fly true and the jet’s left wing vanishes in a great ball of fire. Its right wing tries to compensate but frankly is practically indistinguishable from the left one.

PEEKOFF: Take that piece of objective reality, subjectivist motherf****rs!

The jet spirals into the ocean. It’s post-modernist pilot, refusing to believe this culturally suppressive narrative by a white patriarchal male is actually happening, fails to eject.

SWOOP: Whoop!

SWOOP’s COPILOT: Crap, Swoop, they’re on our tail!

PEEKOFF: Watch out!

Swoop’s jet is hit. Several million dollars worth of technology resolves itself into scrap. The crew, with a keen eye on life as their fundamental value, eject but Peek is now on his own.

PEEKOFF: Where the hell are you, Maverick? I’ve got three bogeys on my tail! Get your perky assumptions over here!

MAVERICK: On my way, Peek.

PEEKOFF: Christ Maverick, what’s your problem? So libertarian you can’t be bothered fighting? So tolerant you were arranging afternoon tea with these guys?

MAVERICK: Nah, more interested in their funeral. I’ve hit supersonic. I’ll be there in 15 seconds.

PEEKOFF’S COPILOT: Goddammit Peek, they’re all over us!

PEEKOFF (wildly dodging): I know! I know! But I can’t shake them! It’s like arguing with a room full of Creationists!

Maverick swoops out of the sky towards one of Peekoff’s pursuers. It peels off, hurtling away into the distance.

SHAY (Mav’s copilot): Mav! He’s getting away! Go after him!

MAVERICK: I’m not leaving my wing man!

SHAY: God Mav, get him. And remember what Peek said about tolerance! Shit, let him judge his own way out of this! Besides, he’s one of the most experienced pilots in the fleet!

MAVERICK: I won’t leave my wing man!

Peekoff’s jet is strafed by bullets and starts leaking fuel.

PEEKOFF: Maverick! I’m hit!

Maverick blasts one of the pursuers out of the sky. A follower of Hume, its pilot knows that the past does not predict the future, learns nothing from the fate of his earlier colleague, and also fails to eject.

The last enemy is bearing down on Peekoff, but Maverick is on his tail. The pilot realises he never paid enough attention to Aristotle in philosophy class, hits the afterburners and heads for home.

MAVERICK: Whoop!

SHAY: Whoop!

PEEKOFF: Whoop! Let’s go home, boys!

The jets safely touch down on the Rand. Much back-slapping ensues. Peekoff elbows his way through the crowd and confronts Maverick.

PEEKOFF: You!

MAVERICK: ?

PEEKOFF: You are still dangerous! Pauses for dramatic effect. But you can be my wingman any time you want!

MAVERICK: Bullshit! Pauses for dramatic effect. You can be mine!

Group hug.

Fade to scene in steaming Jacuzzi.

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