Day 17 - Wuckster's The Chicken's in the Cradle

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The Chicken's in the Cradle

by Wuckster

My father thought the Toad King was for chumps and that the Toadies who believed in it were a bunch of delusional fanatics. He decided to start his own religion and thus began construction of the Temple of the Immortal Chicken Emperor. I was five at the time and more interested in the construction robots that were building the thing than the slowly emerging likeness of a giant stone chicken foot. My father planned to build an enormous chicken statue that would be visible from all three moons of J'Hendar. He spared no expense and got the most state of the art bots on the market. Such was his devotion to the Chicken Emperor that he paid extra to have the construction bots look like chickens. That's what kind of fascinated me when I was a kid. He even went so far as to have them put mechanical wattles on the chicken's necks. I'm not sure if they served any practical function, but my father insisted on them.

My grandfather got super rich running a smuggling operation during the Mathematician Wars, but he died of Andromedan Syphilis when my father was still a teenager, leaving him the entirety of his fortune. My father had never had a real job in his life, but he did have vast amounts of time and money on his hands. Apparently a Toadie waiter gave him sub-par service at a restaurant one time and that was the start of his intense obsession with making a bigger and better religion. I'm not sure what got him so fixated on chickens, but he really bought into it. He even took to wearing chicken pajamas in public later in life. When my little sister was born, he insisted on dressing her in a chicken onesie.

When I turned fifteen, my father sent me off to boarding school on Alpheon, the third and smallest moon of J'Hendar. I wanted to go to school at Pfellibus Academy on the big moon, since they were known for their excellent theater program, but my father said that damn place was overrun with those blasted Toadies and no son of his was going to be brainwashed by those weirdos.

In the ten years since construction had started, both of the legs of the giant chicken statue had been completed and preliminary work was starting on the chicken's butt. It probably would have been a little further along, but my father had halted work twice to order an entirely new squadron of construction robots when the company that made them came out with a newer model with slightly more realistic looking mechanical wattles. Say what you will about my father, but he definitely wasn't one to overlook even the tiniest of details.

Going to school on Alpheon, I can confirm that the statue was not visible from there. At least not yet. The school was located on the side of the moon that was tidally locked to J'Hendar, so it wasn't like I didn't have ample opportunity to look for it. But it wasn't even halfway built at that point, so it was possible it might become visible someday. I kept looking for it, but I never spotted it.

The school on Alpheon was primarily known for churning out accountants, and I didn't want anything to do with that. I'd always dreamed of being an actor, but there wasn't any theater program at all at this school. So that was when I founded the Alpheon Accounting Academy Drama Club. We managed to get a grand total of five members, counting myself. One of them was even a girl, which was pretty impressive if I say so myself, since there were only like three girls in the whole school. For some reason a lot of girls didn't seem to want to become accountants. Siennia actually did want to be an accountant, but she'd also been bitten by the acting bug since appearing in a commercial for a local furniture store when she was a kid, so she signed up immediately when I hung up a flyer on the bulletin board in the main hallway. The other three guys weren't really all that into acting, but signed up for the Drama Club anyway as a way to meet chicks.

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