Season 3 Episode 6


Season 3 Episode 6


Layla Halabian imagines how a quick stop at SpaceX descends into chaos for Grimes and her son, X Æ A-XII 🤍🧚

Words by Layla Halabian

Posted April 9, 2021

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Grimes should have known better than to believe Elon when he said he needed to stop by SpaceX for “a brief moment.” His resolve to leave Earth intensified daily, and when his team of reply guys-turned-mathematicians called him about commencing Phase Two — testing the acclimation of 10,000 New York City rats on Mars — he had the Cyber Truck auto-pilot set to the Hawthrone compound before she could blink.

While she waited for Elon, Grimes popped her seventh caffeine cube of the day and got back to her favorite hobby: sketching designer space-wear on her iPad. "This is, like, so sick," she thought to herself, drawing a flowing, heat-resistant cape with intricate slits measured specifically for breathing tubes. She loved her opulent Rodarte gown and her ornate, cyber-medieval crystal headdress, but she couldn’t wait for the ecstasy of intergalactic couture. All her childhood Dune fantasies were coming to life. Yes, she’d gotten shit from the card-carrying members of the Democratic Socialists of America for saying she was ready to die with the red dirt of Mars beneath her feet, but at this point she didn’t care. They’d been on her ass since she took “anti-imperialist” out of her Twitter bio. This was nothing.


The relative silence in the Cyber Truck was pierced by the sound of a twinkling, artificial windchime. X Æ A-XII’s VR headset was powering down. A moment later, he began to whimper.

“Aw, it’s okay, Lil X,” she cooed as she removed the headset to see his anguished face. “Did the black void scare my little Raspberry Pi?”

She knew exactly how to settle her son down. She began to sing. His wails grew softer and softer, until the only noise left was his attempt to vocalize alongside her. Grimes beamed.

“You're, like, so smart for someone that’s, like, so tiny.”

The commissioned VR program was set on Mars, of course. She wanted X Æ A-XII to feel at home whenever they made the eventual voyage. He’d be one of the first interplanetary children! Grimes felt her skin get hot thinking about it. But truthfully, the VR program kept X Æ A-XII stimulated whenever she needed a break. She also liked to think that her custom playlist of the Annihilation score, early Oneohtrix Point Never, and Susumu Yokota was helping to inspire his own music. She’d recounted how he made a unique patch and loop on her keyboard to anyone who had a pulse. She felt feral from the intensity of her love for him, and she liked it. She brushed X Æ A-XII’s overgrown Viking haircut out of his face. She could tell he needed some fresh air.

“What is, like, taking Elon so long?” she wondered. “Wanna see some REALiTi and find daddy?” He shrieked in delight.

She hopped out of the Cyber Truck and was immediately met by a reply guy-turned-assistant.

“At your service.”
“Can you help me set up the stroller?” she laughed. “My arms are, like, too weak from my sword fighting technique training.”
He nodded and pressed on his ear piece. “Giedi Prime in Lot 4, stat.”

Grimes had a lifelong soft spot for the nightmarish Harkonnen home planet from the Dune universe. And now that money wasn’t an issue, she had gleefully commissioned a stroller that suspended X Æ A-XII in mid-air, just like its obese overlord Baron Vladimir Harkonnen himself.

“Aw, X!” she squealed as she fastened him inside the device. “You’re, like, actually the coolest kid in the world.”

She snapped a few photos. She loved the way her acrylic talons clicked against her cracked iPhone screen. The sun reflected off X Æ A-XII’s liquid silver, moon print Marine Serre onesie — custom ordered to match one of her own dresses — so beautifully. She couldn’t help but cry.


The halls of the SpaceX campus were cavernous and X Æ A-XII’s babbles echoed off the walls as she glided toward Elon’s office. Grimes felt a sense of eeriness wash over her. There weren’t droves of people running from meeting to meeting. No software engineers carrying boxes of Soylent for 72 hour coding sprees to be seen. Not even a single, emotionally devastated physics intern hyperventilating in the corner. Something was off. She unlatched the baby from his suspended stroller and held him close.

Her intuition was right. Elon burst through the glass doors with a wild look upon his face. He was cut up all over, and he was holding his side, which was oozing dark red blood.

“They’re here,” he winced. “The DSA. I didn’t know they had it in them.”
“What the fuck, Elon? They did this to you?”
“They moved so swiftly. I thought they had just come to ‘cancel’ me, but they cut off our communication and invaded the compound.”
“I thought they were, like, LARPers! Now they’re fighting like fucking military operatives?!”
“It’s grim. You must take X to the Dog Pound.”
“Elon! What the fuck is going on!”

Grimes could see the fear in Elon’s eyes. "Oh, shit. We’re, like, in actual peril." She held her son tight as she sprinted to the Dog Pound. She had never moved this quickly in her life. X Æ A-XII started to cry.

“I got you, X,” she said, giving him a squeeze. “We’re almost there, baby.”

She turned her final corner and her headdress flew off her head, shattering into hundreds of pieces.

“There she is!”

She was at the Dog Pound door when she saw the DSA in the distance. They had shed their affinity for dorky costumes in favor of sleek, aerodynamic layers and heavy artillery. They ran toward her.

“Oh, fuck,” she whispered as she input the door code. “Fuck, fuck, fuck.”

“You’ve got nowhere to go!”

She opened the heavy Dog Pound door and saw her salvation — rows upon rows of weaponized Boston Dynamics robots. With shaking hands, she activated a robot and input a code she never thought she’d have to use: Babypocalyse. The robot’s monitor flashed red, then held out its arms. Grimes placed X Æ A-XII into its metal grip. She gave him one final kiss on the forehead.

“Don’t cry,” she cooed, wiping away at her own tears. “Fear is, like, the mind killer.”

The robot zoomed out the door and through a window to safety while Grimes activated the others. When the DSA burst through the Dog Pound door, they were met with Grimes, her face contorted in pure fury, a room full of glowing red monitors, and the blaring guitar riffs of “We Appreciate Power.”

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