MODERATOR: Welcome back to Quarzon University and the debate for emperor of the Upsilon Sigma Star System between Senator Demoq the Populist and High Council Elder Gopox the Compassionate. A hot topic is wormhole transformation. Which of you doesn’t believe in the theory? Can I see a show of tentacles?

DEMOQ: I’m amazed we’re still debating wormhole transformation in the year 12,535 After Dorzon.

GOPOX: Let me clarify. Although I do believe in wormhole transformation, when I gaze outside my starship with my seven eyes at the Valporian sun shining on the Paronius Galaxy, I see the Divine Creator Dorzon’s residual trail of slime.

MODERATOR: Indeed, a beautiful image. Let’s turn to the economy. Demoq, financial stratification has been a central plank of your campaign.

DEMOQ: I believe we now have two Upsilon Sigmas: the oxygen-rich and the oxygen-poor.

GOPOX: How can Demoq claim any authority on this subject when he owns an opulent 22-moon planet and spent 400 zazoos on a cranial epidermis replacement?

DEMOQ: Yet you’re allowed to dodge the starfleet draft and vote for the Iota-12 War? You’re nothing but a chicken-clone-hawk-clone!

MODERATOR: Please restrain yourselves from making ad-alienus attacks. Demoq, are you fully against the war?

DEMOQ: While I don’t rule out interstellar combat in all cases, I believe we were duped into fighting this mismanaged star war for scientifically fictional reasons, and it is time to teleport our troops home. It’s distracting us from other priorities, such as universal health insurance.

GOPOX: It is not the responsibility of the Upsilon Sigma government to provide health care to the entire universe. And if we leave Iota-12 now, then the space pirates from 942.8/15.6 have already won.

DEMOQ: The tragic events of 942.8/15.6 were perpetrated by space pirates from the Iota-13 star—Iota-12 had nothing to do with it, and now their inhabitants and the intergalactic community regard us as oppressive colonizers. We’ve gotten sucked into an unwinnable black hole, and our brave starfighters—whom I support, by the way—are dying in vain for xycanthium deposits. No more green circulatory fluid for xycanthium!

MODERATOR: What do you propose?

DEMOQ: We need to curb our dependence on foreign reserves of xycanthium by doing things like not flying sport-utility motherships that get under 10 parsecs a gallon—to prevent wars like this and to stop the scourge of cosmic warming. We owe it not only to ourselves but also to our larvae, and our larvae’s larvae.

GOPOX: Great, and while we’re setting our mothership industry back countless light-years, why don’t we outsource all work to a rival solar system? Or would you rather just take down the planetary force fields and hire the illegal aliens?

DEMOQ: By “illegal aliens,” do you mean aliens from other solar systems who live here without citizenship, or do you mean our own alien citizens who act illegally—in other words, criminals?

MODERATOR: We’re getting lost in spacial semantics. Last topic: The High Council has been hearing sounds lately of aggression from yet another star system. Should we pre-emptively invade Earth?

DEMOQ: No—it’s another unnecessary war.

GOPOX: This is one area where we agree. Without our intervention, the pitiful Earthlings will soon enough destroy themselves.

MODERATOR: I’m glad we could end on a note of unity and optimism. Tune in next time when the candidates debate laser control, homeplanet security, and interspecies marriage.