Elon Musk Will Help Shoot Tom Cruise Into Space

Maybe Tom Cruise doesn't want to be a legend. Maybe he wants to be a religion.

Years from now, long after the inky, poisonous clouds have dissipated and the fires have finally burned out, an extraterrestrial mothership will park itself in our planet’s orbit, load a few of its best and brightest onto a humble transport vessel, and send the whole lot of them down to the surface to get a lay of the land. 

Upon arriving, these visitors will happen upon a ragtag group of filthy children, scampering through the rubble of what used to be a Presidential Casino. Though wary of one another at first, the groups will soon begin a basic information exchange - who they are, where they’re from, what they eat, and so on. There’ll be almost nobody around to witness the event, but humanity’s first real interaction with extraterrestrial life will, indeed, be a success.

Then the aliens will ask the children what they believe in, and that’s when the children will tell the story upon which all other future stories will be based: the one about the Dank Billionaire who launched the World’s Most Famous Boy into the Sun. The extraterrestrials won't have the necessary context to grasp most of the tale's finer details, but they will know religion when they hear it.

On this planet, for instance, the people believe in an ageless Boy whose gigantic smile ("It had one thousand teeth," the feral children tell them. "And it couldn't be turned off") made him more famous than anyone else. The Boy's wildly entertaining exploits - flying airplanes faster than anyone, singing in his underwear, driving race cars, running very fast - had made him a legend, but one day the Boy realized there were no further adventures to have. He had seen and done it all, and the world was thankful, but the Boy longed to impress them just one more time.

Enter: the Billionaire, who loved "dank memes" and "never logging off" and making homemade rocket ships almost as much as he loved being rich. This Billionaire had a proposition for the Boy: "Get on one of my rockets, and I will make you even more Famous."

"That's impossible," protested the Boy ... but there was doubt in his voice.

"Trust me," said the Billionaire.

So the Boy strapped himself to one of the Billionaire's rockets, ready to tackle the greatest adventure of all: traveling into space. As was his custom, the Boy planned to document the whole thing ("This, he knew, would be Great Content," the children whispered), and as he waited on the Billionaire's launch pad he asked, "When I return, where shall I land?"

"Oh," said the Billionaire. "Don't worry about that."

And lo, the Billionaire launched the Boy directly into the Sun, where he was instantly incinerated. The people of Earth were grief-stricken and mourned the loss of the Boy, but they never forgot his sacrifice. Indeed, some of them even came to worship his memory. As the generations stretched on, the planet continued to wither and die, but no one ever stopped talking about the Boy with the thousand-tooth smile, and the ways in which he had inspired us all with his Great Content. In the end, the legend had become a religion. The Dank Billionaire had kept his promise. 

"Wow," said the alien visitors. "That's fucked up." 

Then the children killed the extraterrestrials, mostly just for looking different.

This was, after all, still Earth.