Author's Note: For those of you expecting an update of a fic I've already got started... I am very sorry. On the bright side, you get a District 9 oneshot while you wait. For those of you who have no idea what I'm talking about, hi! I don't know you!
This fic is a oneshot of the semi-crack humor variety. This is what happens when you mix Prawns and YouTube. Despite the title, this IS genfic, and contains nothing that actually resembles porn/pr0n. Consider this safe for work!
Disclaimer: I don't own District 9 or any of its associated characters. I also don't own YouTube, even though it's never actually mentioned by name. The silliness is mine.
THE INTERNET IS FOR PRAWN.
The video is fuzzy. Not even watching it high-def makes it much clearer; the camera that made it was, obviously, very cheap. It shows a dimly-lit room, yellow and brown, with broken shelves and boxes and piles of unknowable, pixellated junk. The only sunlight penetrating the room comes through a rag of cloth so old, it looks like it was ripped off a corpse buried for a hundred years. A time stamp in the corner starts counting the seconds that the camera has been running.
For a little over four seconds, the scene is still and soundless. Then the camera is jarred once, twice, and a non-human moves into view. It is wearing a dingy gray shirt, so tattered it's impossible to tell whether it was manufactured sleeveless or just ended up that way with time. The non-human spends a moment chattering angrily at the screen, then suddenly stops, lets out what might have been a frustrated sigh if it had been human, and leaves.
For another fifteen, twenty seconds, nothing happens. Off-screen are some scuffing sounds, low clicks and murmurs, and at one point, a hearty thud followed by a yelp of pain. Finally, the non-human returns, brandishing a piece of cardboard and a thick blue marker. It gestures expansively at its tools, then dumps them somewhere beneath the level of the camera.
It hunches over its tools, and spends a laborious couple of minutes scrawling out a message, marker squeaking.
Finally, the non-human walks a few paces back, lifts the cardboard, and presents its message to the camera:
"to terminatorizer6666: just becuz u cant see me doesnt mean Im not real. just becuz we cant speak human doesnt mean we cant read rite n type it. Im asdfqwer from the do prawns have names thread. YES Im a REAL nonhmn."
Its handwriting is atrocious, and the blue marker on the brown board is barely legible. Combined with the low light and grainy video quality, the message is almost impossible to read without pausing the video and squinting. The non-human lowers the board, makes some gesture that involves locking its abdominal pincers together and doing a pelvic thrust, and scrawls a new message on the back of the cardboard:
"btw u just got flipd off by a prwn."
It clicks one last comment at the camera, then reaches forward: the camera shakes again, and the video ends.
The user who posted the video was named terminatorizer6666. He titled the video "pissed prawn: HILARIOS!!!!" and in the video info he said, "LOL!! i ran in2 this guy in a forum bout prawns he said he was a prawn and tried 2 correct every1 bout them lol i thoght he was trollin n flamed him n he said hed prov he was a prwan if id do a vid chat w him, n he did this!!! lol he showed me!! a frend said i shold post this cuz its funny plz subscribe!!"
Terminatorizer6666 posted the video on August 11, 2009. It collected almost 200 hits, most of them coming from a link on ET FAQ, the forum where the flame war had occurred.
On August 17, the non-human mothership left Earth.
By August 21, the video had gone viral and achieved over half a million hits.
Based on a mostly inaccurate interpretation of the non-human's physical gesture at the end, an animated macro began circulating of the pincer-and-pelvis movement, with the caption "RAPE YOR BAYBEEZ".
A college junior majoring in business with a minor in non-human linguistics posted a subtitled version of the video, saying, "My prof offered extra credit to anyone who translated this vid. He's the coolest. Enjoy!" Thanks to the publicity she gained from that video alone, she was offered a field operative job by MNU, which was impressed with her ability to decipher prawn vernacular.
The thousands of comments on the video, naturally, varied widely. There were the expected nutjobs on both ends of the spectrum, the ones who either wanted to form a religion around the prawns' alien wisdom or wanted to literally pack them in gas chambers and burn the corpses. Most commenters found the video funny; some commenters didn't; a few "commenters" were spambots providing links to prawn porn that carried Trojan viruses.
A few asked questions like "where did he get a sharpie?" Such comments were usually answered with "where did he get a COMPUTER??" A handful of repetitive discussions popped up about what prawns were and weren't allowed to do in regards to computers and the Internet, and how many regulations the prawn in the video might have broken simply by visiting ET FAQ and participating in a video chat.
Several wondered how a prawn had learned to write, several others wondered why a prawn would spend time on human forums, adopt chatspeak, and use phrases like "flipd off," and several more called "hoax" and "troll."
The thumbs-up and thumbs-down of any particular type of comment (for or against aliens, amused or bored by the video, baffled by the handwriting or fluent in the spoken language) varied widely from day to day, hour to hour. One of the only comments that was consistently in the green had been made way back on August 13. It read, "whos that stud in the vid? id tap that."
Usually, such comments received a half dozen thumbs-down before they were quickly pushed off the first page of comments. This one alone was spared: the commenter's username was asdfqwer.