ptahrrific: Jon and Stephen, "Believe in the me who believes in you" (fake news)
Erin Ptah ([personal profile] ptahrrific) wrote2011-07-04 12:22 am

Fake News: It Came From Beyond The Stars And Stripes (3/4)

Title: It Came From Beyond The Stars And Stripes (3/4)
Characters/Pairings: Jon/"Stephen", Olivia, alien OCs
Rating: PG-13
Warnings: Angst, (skip) abortion, medical skeeviness, imminent memory wipe
Disclaimer: #NotIntendedToBeAFactualStatement. The Report characters and their universe are property of Stephen Colbert, the other Report writers, and Viacom. The real person(s) are used in a fictional parody context.

Stephen, Jon, and Olivia wind up on a secret alien moon base. They're all much too preoccupied to appreciate it properly.

Hat Tip to [personal profile] sarcasticsra for some of the alien design. A further Hat Tip to Octavia E. Butler for writing top-notch serious alien mpreg (warning: body horror, wonky alien consent issues). And while I'm here, a Hat Tip to TDS co-creator Lizz Winnstead, who is currently doing a comedy tour in support of Planned Parenthood.

Full story: Table of Contents


The ensign operating the transporter was about to tie hir tentacle in a knot in agitation.

Ze had been assigned to a remote UP outpost in the most backwater arm of the galaxy, providing support for an extended study of a boring species that wasn't even due to be completed until hir term of service was up. And now ze was going to be on the front lines of what could become a UP-wide scandal.

The Commander had given only the barest of details, which still managed to hint there was sex involved. With an uncivilized species, of all things! Oh, sure, the planet wasn't technically classified yet, but the ensign had seen the early reports. It gave hir the shivers just to think about.

Ze stood at attention when the door slid open, revealing the Commander, the Professor-in-Residence (from the ensign's own species), and two guards. "Sir!" ze clicked.

"At ease, ensign. You have the transporter data?"

"Yes, sir." Three beings, all at the Q-scale: same as most adult !'^''*'. With a reminder to double-check the Lepplum safeguards. Either one of the natives was pregnant by its usual means, or %ho!'b*'—Colbert to the natives—had laid. "Locked on and ready, sir."

"Then bring them up."

The ensign pulled the switch, nice and smooth.

All three figures materialized on the transporter pad. Colbert stood front and center, tentacle out and eyes uncovered, though his skin was a disturbing shade of pink. Over one shoulder stood a native, with similar coloring under greying hair, dressed in clothing to match. The third was another native, the brown tinge of its skin making it look a little more normal; it seemed to be more slender, wrapped in a bulky off-white outer layer.

Colbert stood at attention. The humans attempted to mimic his stance.

"Which of these two has the...situation?" clicked the Professor, datapad at the ready.

"Oh, no you don't," snapped Colbert, in the native tongue. "You're in Earth orbit. Speak Earthish."

"You're in no position to demand things," said the Commander sternly. She nodded to the Professor, who fired up the datapad's translation program. "This is an indulgence. Remember that."

The Professor repeated the question, speaking into the datapad's microphone; an Earthish translation played back. The pink-in-grey alien raised its hand and spoke. "That would be me," clicked the speakers.

"And what is the other native doing here?"

"Who, me?" exclaimed brown-in-white. "As if you even have to ask! I'm this man's designated [unknown term: okogesama]. It's a huge important cultural role in human society. You'd be offending practically the whole planet if you split us up."

"We have no record of this in your notes," said the Professor to Colbert.

Brown-in-white answered for him. "Of course you don't. Cut him some slack, Your Alienness; he's never gotten anyone knocked up before."

"Very well," said the Commander. "For the natives' sake, we'll allow it."

Pink-in-grey murmured something too low for the translator to catch; it must have been a question about the Commander, for Colbert pointed at her with his tentacle. "What, you think all species in the galaxy are the exact same size as humans? You need more alien friends."

"Your boss is a talking stick of [unknown term: celery]?" blurted pink-in-grey.

"That's Commander Talking Stick of [unknown term: celery] to you."

The ensign couldn't be sure, but ze thought one of the guards was trying not to smile.

The Commander had no such trouble. "Guards, take both natives to the prepared holding room while the doctors ready for surgery. %hol'b*!, the Professor will escort you to a room where you can finalize your report."

Both natives stepped down from the transporter pad. As far as the ensign could read wiggly eyes, all four of them seemed to be trained on the guards' phasers. Pink-in-grey was the slower of the two, and stopped altogether when Colbert's tentacle curled around the sleeve over his upper arm. "[Unknown term: Jon]...."

The alien took his tentacle in hand and gently peeled it away. Then, in full sight of everyone from the Commander herself to the stunned, revolted ensign, it brought the tentacle to its mouth. Its mouth! Was the whole species up for shameless humping in public, or just this one? No wonder it had gotten itself pregnant.

"I'm sorry," said the alien.

It left then, with its companion in tow, flanked by the guards. Colbert followed the Professor without a word. Only when the room was empty did the ensign remember to put the transporter on standby.

Ze was going to get an awesome book deal out of this.


As with Stephen's ship, the corridors were lined with screens, most of them dark or scrolling through data Olivia couldn't make heads or tails of. She crossed her fingers under her coat for another aquarium, or one of the massive glittering vistas of naked circuitry like those she had passed in Stephen's ship before ending up in said aquarium. No such luck.

Then the corridor made a sharp turn, and one of its sides split into a window.

Only the very convincing argument made by the gentlealien with the phaser pistol kept Olivia from dashing over to press her nose against it and take in the view.

"Are you seeing this?" she exclaimed to Jon. "Oh, keep your horns on," she added when one of the guards grunted in warning. "I'm just telling him where we are. That's not top-secret, is it? Kind of a hard secret to keep, all things considered. I mean, maybe to you guys it's just another moon among millions, but we call it the Moon for a reason."

"They can't understand you," said Jon dully. "The person with the translator hookup went with Stephen."

"Yeah, that was kind of a stupid move on their part, wasn't it? Now you're the only one I can talk to."

"Olivia...I get that you're excited, but could you please...?"

"Jon. I swear to you, no matter how much your life sucks right now—and I grant you, it's a lot of suck—if you don't look up next time we pass a window, you'll end up regretting it."

One more turn, and they were ushered into a new room occupied by a purple six-armed alien and a recognizable, if comically oversized, stretcher. Unlike the guards and the people from the control room, who wore roughly matching uniforms that made the bold fashion choice of combining chestplates with short shorts, this one was clad in pale mauve scrubs.

It greeted them with a Vulcan salute. Olivia mentally gave it points for trying, and responded in kind.

The guards stood back while the doctor (nurse? orderly? intern?) went over them with a scanner that made Olivia's mouth water with jealousy, keeping up a comforting stream of nonsense all the while. With an exaggerated gesture it beckoned Jon to lie on the stretcher, speaking loudly and slowly as if that made any difference.

Oh, hell. The translation program on Olivia's scanner was about as complex as a Speak-n-Spell compared to the aliens' version, and there was a good chance they were only letting her keep it because they hadn't realized she had it, but a situation like this deserved not to be reduced to mime. "Jon, if you want to talk to them..."

"Hm?" said Jon, barely glancing up from the crisp white sheet. Then: "Ow!"

The needle slipped unobtrusively out of his hip. Olivia hadn't even seen it go in. Should've been watching those extra hands.

"Did they just...?" mumbled Jon, eyes already starting to glaze over.

"It's okay," said Olivia, with all the conviction she could fake. "They know what they're doing. Everything's going to be fine."


When Jon woke up, it was cold.

The soft and squashy thing he was lying on reminded him of the chairs in Stephen's ship's dining room, and that reminded him of Stephen, and that reminded him of all the reasons he didn't want to open his eyes. He shivered.

Someone drew a blanket over him, smoothing the heavy folds across his shoulders.

"S-Stephen?" he croaked. His throat felt raw.

"Nope. Sorry. Just me."

Jon swallowed and dared to look. His makeshift bed was at floor level in a small room he didn't recognize; there was a rumpled stack of blankets near his head, a couple of lidded containers the size of trash bins in one corner, and a four-foot-wide powered-down screen on the wall across from him. No other furniture. No windows. "Where are we?"

Olivia, kneeling beside him, seemed cozy enough. Of course, there was a coat designed to withstand an NYC February hanging over her shoulders. "Still the moon."

"The whah?"

"Oh, no, did they do it already? The Moon! You were pregnant, and Stephen's an alien, and—what's the last thing you remember?"

Her words brought the memories back in fits and starts. "Right. There were guards, and the doctor had too many arms, and Stephen...sorry, whatever they gave me, it's making things all fuzzy. Did you say I was pregnant?"

Olivia started to tear up. Great, now he'd got her doing it. "Uh-huh," she said, wiping her eyes quickly in the guise of tucking back her hair. "Took a break from hacking their network to run this thing over you." She held up the scanner and managed a wan smile. "Congratulations. You now scan as 100% human."

Jon worked his hand up under his clothes, discovering in the process that his customary double layer of grey shirts had been replaced by a suit that didn't fit right. Though he winced at the chill of skin on skin, his stomach felt the same as ever. If there was a scar, he couldn't find it by touch.

Still, he didn't doubt her. Even without confirmation from Olivia's souped-up iPhone, he felt different. Not happy—there was too much still weighing on him to leave room for happiness—but...lighter.

"Hey, um...I don't know if you want to talk," continued Olivia, folding her hands over the gadget and biting her lip. "I mean, if repression works for you, that's cool. But if there's anything you want to talk about, I'm here."

Jon rubbed his hands together under the blanket, trying to get some warmth going. "Did they tell you anything? When they brought me back from surgery, I mean."

"Sorry. I tried to ask, but they had left their alien-to-English translators in their other short-shorts. Again."

Which meant he had no way of knowing what had become of the grub. Or even if the six-armed doctor had realized Stephen wanted it put in a surrogate in the first place. "It's stupid. You'll laugh."

"Will not. Scout's honor."

When Jon closed his eyes, the walls around them fell away, leaving them on the bare surface of a tiny rock whirling through space. "I just keep thinking...I figured this would never happen to me."


"%ho!'b*'? Is the report going well?"

Stephen, who was on the verge of putting his tentacle through the screen, decided not to be honest. "Professor! I didn't hear you come in. It's going fine. Couldn't be better."

His Professor crossed the cell—it was an ordinary !'^''*' office by the furnishings and equipment, but the lock on the door and the tracking cuff on his left wrist made it a cell—and stood behind his beanbag. "I wanted to be the one to tell you. The didn't make it."

Still standing, she tried to curl her tentacle around the end of his own. He yanked it away, swinging it under the polished white desk and burying his face in his arms on the low surface. Too low to lean on easily. He missed his studio.

"It remained stable for forty-one #~'! in an artificial incubator before its condition—"

"I don't want to know!" shouted Stephen.

"Do you want to hear the condition of your human?"

"Only if you use short words."

"He's alive. He's in the pen with the other human, and should wake up soon, if he hasn't already."

Stephen tilted his head just enough to address her without shouting through his sleeves. "He'll be fine," he clicked, gulping. "He's tough. Stubborn. You've seen my notes about his interviews. His child...she would've been amazing."

He choked. The Professor patted his hair with one hand and offered him a tissue with her tentacle.

"I really screwed things up, didn't I?" asked Stephen, when he felt he could speak without falling apart.

"Even this will heal for you in time. As for the natives, we have procedures in place for this sort of thing. You know that."

"I know."

"You were never a bad student, %ho!'b*'," the Professor clicked gently. "But I wouldn't expect even my top graduates to make a fair presentation about the natives on such short notice, especially not while this emotionally compromised. If you want the judgment delayed, I'll put through the order myself. All you have to do is say the word."

"'Saright." Stephen sniffled into the tissue. "I know exactly what I'm going to say about that species. Just need to finish writing it up."


The bins, as it turned out, both continued liquid: one water, one a rust-colored substance that Olivia's scanner indicated was mostly protein. Neither of them was brave enough, or hungry enough, to try it yet.

The smaller of the room's doors led to a bathroom, with a plumbing fixture that Olivia swore she had figured out instantly, and a shelf containing bowl-sized cups and something that smelled like soap. It was practically a hotel, if you overlooked the fact that the larger door was locked from the outside. Take that into account, and Jon had an uncomfortable feeling that the room was one squeaky wheel away from being a hamster cage.

Though he didn't feel any pain, standing too fast gave him vertigo. Olivia insisted that he sit back down and relax while she dipped two bowl/cups full of water.

"We should toast something," said Jon, accepting one of the cups. "You don't have kids, do you?"

"Nope." Olivia started to sit on the floor until Jon nodded for her to join him on the mattress; he tucked the blanket around his knees while she settled in cross-legged beside him. "Got a niece, though."


"Yep. She's three years old, and she's pretty much my favorite person in the world."

"I've got nephews," admitted Jon. "Don't see them as much as I'd like to."

Olivia raised her glass. "To our siblings' spawn. May they enjoy inheriting our estates."


The cups knocked against each other with a metallic clang; the water was warmer than the room, and welcome as it slid down his throat.

"I remember the first time humans went to the Moon," said Jon, looking wistfully at the opaque grey-white walls. "Under our own power, I mean. It's kind of unbelievable now how exciting that was."

"Well, you didn't have the Internet then, so you didn't know any better," said Olivia generously.

Still, Jon couldn't resist the memories. "They brought back a bunch of rocks, nothing special to look at, but those rocks went on tour all around the country. People lining up to see them and everything."

To his surprise, a spark of genuine interest appeared in his correspondent's indulgence. "Did ever you go see them?"

"See them? I was a Boy Scout when they came to town. Our job was to guard them."


"Seriously." Jon took another sip. "Bet your troop never did anything that cool."

Olivia sighed. "'Scout's honor' was just an expression, okay? I moved too much as a kid to have time to join groups like that. Pretend I said okogesama's honor if it makes you feel better."

"A wha...? Oh, right, what you told the aliens. Does that even mean anything?"

"It's basically Japanese for fag hag." Jon must have made a face, because she added, "Oh, come on, let's see you come up with something better on the fly."

"Point taken." Jon slumped against the wall. "I...listen, for what it's worth, whatever you are, I'm glad you're here."

Olivia didn't answer.

When Jon saw the first tear glistening on her face, he started so violently that his stomach twinged in protest. "Whoa, hey, what's wrong? Is it something I said?"

"'S not you," sniffled Olivia. "It's fine. Don' even worry about it."

"How can I not? C'mon, you've had my back through this whole mess. Let me do something for you."

"There's nothing you can do!" Tears were spilling down her cheeks as fast as she could mop them up. "I found the UP's plans. For us. My translator sucks, it took forever to make sure I was reading them right, there's no way it's up to stopping them. Be wasting your time to try."

"Olivia, you're freaking me out here," stammered Jon. "At least tell me what you found! Are they mounting an invasion? Is 'How To Serve Man' a cookbook? What are they planning?"

"Nothing that big. Just for you'n'me. They've got rules for secrecy with 'uncivilized' species. If we don't make the cut, they can't send us home unless they mindwipe us. Take everything to do with aliens an' just—erase—"

"Oh, god."

Olivia buried her head in her arms.

"I'm so sorry I got you into this," said Jon, with ferocious sincerity.

If he had been alone, he could have convinced himself that there wasn't much to lose, just heartache and confusion and a window to the surface of the Moon that he hadn't even looked at. But how many years had Olivia spent with the Agency? How much of her history would be torn to moth-eaten shreds, all because she had gotten too close to Jon's doomed little interspecies fling? If only he had known—

"—Stephen knew," he breathed. "And he didn't warn us. Probably thinks it's a fitting punishment—he can't keep his kid, so we don't get to keep our own memories—oh, fuck him! And here I've been wasting time feeling sorry for the bastard. God, Olivia, I really am sorry."

The oversized suit sleeve hung loosely on his arm as he put it around his companion's shoulders.

"Maybe they'll decide in humanity's favor," he said, grasping desperately for a thread of hope. "No matter how Stephen tries to paint us, look at all the civil things we've done. We came up with the wheel. We've split the atom. We wrap sausages in pancakes and eat them on sticks. That has to count for something."


For the first time in her entire career, Olivia allowed someone else to borrow her scanner. It hardly mattered if Jon broke it now.

The last thing she wanted to do was sleep, for fear of waking up on the far side of the alien-brainwashing spin cycle. But it was long past midnight on her internal clock, and between the lack of proper food and her embarrassing little meltdown, she was exhausted. When her boss insisted that she take a turn on the mattress, it wasn't long before the heaviness of her eyelids won out.

It felt like seconds later when Jon shook her awake. "Olivia! C'mon, wake up, I think I found something. Also, I tried the protein stuff, it tastes like chicken soup. Have a cup."

"Ugh," said Olivia by way of acknowledgment, and dragged herself up. Jon handed her a bowl of the protein broth; she took a tentative sip, and, when nothing offensive assaulted her taste buds, gulped the whole thing down.

She was badly in need of a shower. Or at least a change of clothes. Her hair felt like a rat's nest, and Jon didn't look much better; his washed-out complexion highlighted the bags under his eyes. "I've been trying to get in touch with Earth," he admitted. "No luck yet."

Olivia snorted. "Could've told you that. We can't get cell phones to work in parking garages. Why would they work with a big hunk of Moon in the way?"

"The UP can send signals from here to the planet, though."

"Well, sure. They also have faster-than-light travel. Probably even hoverboards. Doesn't mean we—"

Jon nodded to the wall across from them. "Main screen turn on."

If there had been any soup left in the bowl, it would have splashed all over the mattress.

"Are you serious?" blurted Olivia, staring at the clean graphics and rows of text that had flickered to life. "The secret alien moonbase is controlled by 'all your base' jokes?"

"No, not serious." Jon offered her the scanner. "Managed to find a program that interacts with it. Some kind of video transfer service. Can't make heads or tails of it beyond that, but maybe you'll have a better shot."

Olivia eagerly grabbed for the device and began tweaking options. A few moments later the interface on the big screen adapted to her translation program, overriding the extraterrestrial characters with the awkward, jerky syntax she had privately started thinking of as Eng!ish.

Jon caught his breath as familiar words splashed across the alien interface, while Olivia skimmed the options as quickly as she dared, trying to work out exactly what they were dealing with...

...and slumped, shaking her head.

"Can't send anything with this," she said. "It's just recordings. It's space TiVo."

The energy flowed out of Jon like air leaking from a balloon, accompanied by a muttered curse.

In defiance of the temptation to fall back asleep, Olivia clicked down the list of available videos. What she could glean from the garbled titles, untranslated proper nouns, and backward grammar reminded her oddly of C-SPAN.


A grunt of acknowledgment.

"Do you know how to write Stephen's name in alien?"

The answer she got was dulled, mechanical. "There's a squiggly thing, then another squiggly thing, then a box, then...."

"Does it look anything like that?"

Her boss raised his head. A line of text was highlighted: [symbols] talked about the civilization of [other symbols] native species. [Ongoing]


Even with his compound eyes unconcealed and the tentacle curling around his knees, in a short-shorted UP uniform without even his customary glasses, Stephen looked natural on the stage. Only the quietly blinking cuff on his wrist suggested there was anything amiss.

A row of judges sat before him: the celery-alien, two fellow !'^''*', someone from the same species as the four-armed doctor, and someone who looked like a striped lobster. The camera stood behind them, and something about the motion at the edges of the visual suggested there was an audience behind that, its size impossible to estimate.

While Olivia tried to run the feed through her translator, Jon stretched out on the floor, using the edge of the mattress as a pillow. If he didn't watch the visuals, he could pretend the rhythmic clicking and chirping was the chorus of cicadas from a summer back in Jersey, and not a violent condemnation of his entire species.

He was on the verge of slipping into a catnap when Olivia said, "Uh, Jon? You're gonna want to look at this."

"Hm? Did you get subtitles working?"

"No, but you're gonna want to look anyway."

Jon looked.

Stephen was standing in front of a screen of his own, this one depicting a scene so familiar and normal and Terran that it made Jon's heart break for the planet he had left less than a day ago. Cars on the freeway. License plates and headlights and internal combustion engines and asphalt and rubber. Home.

And while he couldn't follow a word of what Stephen was saying, something about the cadence was familiar.

The cars began to converge.

"Oh my god," breathed Jon.

Stephen broke out of what had become a soothing rhythm to mime shock. Offense. Anger.

Then he calmed back down, and a line of white text blinked into being across the top of the screen just in time to catch what he said next:

You go, after that will be me go.

"What's he doing?" said Jon weakly. "Is he mocking me?"

"No, you idiot," giggled Olivia with wild relief. "He's giving the best defense of humanity he could think of."

And sometimes, light at the end of the tunnel is not a land of promise. Sometimes, New Jersey only. However, along they do it anyway. With each other.

"We're doomed," squeaked Jon. "I misjudged him and I'm flattered and we're doomed."

The celery-alien spoke. Committee to discuss the report and submit its decision within 3.8hrs of convention, read the subtitles.

"Oh, we are so not doomed," said Olivia, as the screen went dark. "Your boytoy's on our side, and that changes everything. That committee is planning to make a decision about our planet's future in just under four hours. We're not going to give them that long."

[identity profile] 2011-07-04 12:46 pm (UTC)(link)
Oh, Stephen- I mean. Oh, %ho!'b*'.

I teared up a little when I realised what his speech was. That is the perfect way to showcase to his bosses what is good and civilised about humanity, and the perfect way to fix things with Jon.
queenfanfiction: (News KO omg!)

[personal profile] queenfanfiction 2011-07-04 09:13 pm (UTC)(link)
Oh. My god.

I think - I think I love you.