Apollo 18: The Nixon Files
A fix-fic by Andrew J. Talon
Disclaimer: Apollo 18, Portal and Doctor Whoare the properties of their respective owners. This is a non-profit fan parody, please support the official release.
April 27th, 1970
The Oval Office, The White House, Washington DC
*Commander James Lovell and President Richard Nixon meet together, shaking hands. The doors close and anti-eavesdropping technology goes online.*
Nixon: Jim! It's great to see you again. How is the family?
Lovell: Things feel like they're getting back to normal, sir. Marylin still acts like I'm going to be blown out of an airlock if she doesn't fuss over me, but she'll get over it. She was like this after the last time I went to the moon.
Nixon: Understandable. Pat wouldn't let me out of her sight for a month or two after I got back from the war. I didn't even see combat. If I had gone to the moon, I'd only have gotten off my leash last week.
*Both men laugh*
Lovell: Mr. President, while I do like meeting you I am a little concerned about it becoming a common occurrence. The debriefing was pretty extensive.
Nixon: Yes, but that was the debriefing. This is looking to the future. Sit down please?
Lovell: Certainly... *Sits* Sir, you're not sending me back to the moon, are you?
Nixon: *sits on the couch opposite Lovell* I hope not Jim, but it's a possibility. Your last mission was a...
Lovell: Successful failure?
Nixon: Yes, but it proved you, your crew and NASA can handle a crisis in mid-flight and survive. It's something we're going to need.
Lovell: Didn't even get to test the gear out on the moon spiders. Freddo was pretty gung ho about it, said something about "testing out his BFG".
Lovell: Big Fucking Gun.
Nixon: Ah. Part of me is glad you didn't, but we need to find out as much as possible about these damn things. When Thirteen exploded I though they'd figured out how to shoot our ships down.
Lovell: I hope to God they haven't. It'd be hard to explain to the Russians why we're carrying guns on our capsules now.
Nixon: Agreed. We've got some men working on ways of dealing with them. The radar gun is just the latest system, others are in development. I'd like you to do work on them from NASA's end with a... Specialist we've hired. He's a bit of a... Well... He's a nut, but he's come through and-
Lovell: Cave Johnson?
Nixon: *Surprised* Hwah?
Lovell: Tom is surprisingly talkative when he's liquored up.
Nixon: *grumbles* What a Mickey Mouse club this is...
Lovell: Relax Mr. President. I trained to deal with deadly moon spiders, I can probably deal with this guy.
Nixon: Astronauts have a bad habit of vanishing around him, so you know I wouldn't ask you if I didn't need to, but frankly we're devoting as much energy as we can to this problem without making it public.
Lovell: Don't worry Mr. President. We'll fix this. I'm not counting humanity out of the fight just because of one missed moon landing.
Nixon: That's what I needed to hear. Furthermore Jim... I need you for a very different reason.
Lovell: Uh huh?
Nixon: A very serious reason.
Lovell: Uh huh...?
Nixon: ... To put it in the clearest terms possible... I need someone who is... What's the word?
Lovell: ... *Looks to his right and left* Sane?
Nixon: Yes! That's the one! When dealing with Cave Johnson. His secretary keeps him reined in somewhat but he's got a hell of a lot of will, charisma... And crazy. Damn but he's got a lot of crazy.
Lovell: How crazy are we talking?
Nixon: You remember the video we showed you about Joe and Agnes?
Lovell: ... Say no more, Mr. President. Say no more.
October 17th, 1970
White House Situation Room, Washington DC
*President Richard Nixon, Sec. of State Henry Kissinger, Sec. of Defense Melvin Robert Laird, Administrator of NASA Thomas O. Paine, Head of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Thomas Hinman Moorer, Aperture Science CEO Cave Johnson and Commander James Lovell meet*
Nixon: Well gentlemen, the crap's hit the fan this time. The damn Soviets put a robot on the moon, a fucking robot!
Kissinger: Come on Mr. President, it's not that bad.
Cave: Robots huh? We've been looking into that. We've tried piloted ones to start. How was that, Commander Lovell? Great, wasn't it? Wasn't it?
Nixon: ... Jim?
Paine: Jim? You all right?
Lovell: ... Sorry Mr. President. It's taking everything I have to not strangle Mr. Johnson. Just give me a minute... Or two... I'll be fine.
Nixon: ... Cave...
Cave: It was just one test, one test with mantis men! A few escaped, breeded, who knew they were so popular with the ladies?
Lovell: URGE. TO KILL. RISING.
Nixon: Cave, hide under the table for a while.
*Cave, in a huff, hides beneath the table*
Nixon: All right... The Soviets have a robot up there. Where did it land?
Paine: In Mare Imbrium, or the Sea of Rains. It's a mare in the northern regions of the moon.
Nixon: Northern. All right... Could they have spotted the signal we got?
Paine: Possibly, but if they did they're way off. Fra Mauro's at 6.0°S 17.0°W on the moon, Mare Imbrium's at 32.8°N 15.6°W.
Nixon: You did say the scatter meant that the signal might have come from anywhere though, right?
Paine: Yes, but even so that's clear across the moon's surface. It doesn't make sense... Unless the Soviets picked up another signal.
Nixon: Cave? Any idea how large the spread of these things might be across the moon?
Cave: *slightly muffled* If you could hand me the papers? They're on the table... Little to your left, Henry!
Kissinger: ... *Passes the papers to Lovell, who has calmed down*
Cave: Hey! Come on! Let me read them!
Nixon: No Cave, stay under the table.
Cave: When can I come out-?
Nixon: When I sayso. Jim?
Lovell: Well... Most of my part of the... *twitch* Testing involved the robots we've been developing. Freddo took care of the aliens.
Lovell: Given their diet, their random growth patterns, their varying intelligence depending on the stimuli they receive... They're probably all over the entire moon's surface. They could survive in the eternally dark craters at the south and north poles, across the mares, in the lava tubes-Pretty much anywhere. Freddo's been running them through various environments based on his geology training. He says it's possible they didn't evolve so much as were created.
Paine: *clears his throat* It would make sense. They can survive in a vacuum, they can camoflague themselves perfectly, they can adapt to any environment... Humans can do that but we require technology.
Kissinger: But to evolve to do everything is not a viable survival trait that could occur naturally. Ergo... Artificial lifeforms.
Cave: Like robots!
Nixon: Quiet Cave.
Cave: I'll show you to tell me to be quiet, ooh just wait...
Nixon: I can still hear you Cave.
Cave: I figured it out after the fifthtime, thanks!
Lovell: Analysis of their internals, their molecular make up leads us to the conclusion it's all modular and efficient. It could be constructed, or it could be natural. Frankly, we don't have a lot of other aliens for comparison...
Nixon: So, worst case scenario. Somebody put these things on the moon.
Laird: I still think it's early to jump to that conclusion, Mr. President.
Kissinger: So did your mother, but she still jumped.
Laird: All right, that's it! One more joke about my mom and I'll shove your glasses right up your ass you Hamburger munching-
Nixon: Boys, boys! Don't make me separate you two. Now, we know these suckers are dangerous. That's a given. But we don't know just how dangerous. If they're lunar pests and wildlife, we can deal with that when we colonize it.
Lovell: They might just be acting defensively. How would we react if we got plucked off Earth and dumped in some lab? Dunked in acid... Forced to run tests... Squashed... Boiled in lead...
Cave: Hey! That last one... They were too slow! Besides, we tried treating them with kindness and you saw what happened! Cameraman family lawsuits, that's what happened!
Nixon: It's possible Jim... But given what they did to that intern and Aperture Science's employees, you can understand me wanting one hell of a flyswatter ready for them just in case.
Lovell: True, true...
Laird: *Phone call!* Uh huh? Uh huh? Right... Mr. President, we've got telemetry from the Russian lander.
Nixon: What? How?
Laird: CARDINAL'S work, probably. We're patching it in now.
*The signal comes in through a TV brought in by the aides. A black and white image of the lunar surface comes through, as well as Russian commentary*
Nixon: How many people are picking this up?
Laird: Just us and the Soviet mission control.
*The image slowly rotates, before going back to an image of a large boulder on the moon. It then shudders*
Lovell: Uh oh...
*The rock unfurls, becoming a gigantic moon monster that wraps it's legs around the rover and brings it's mouth parts down on the camera, crushing it. The signal goes dead*
Kissinger: Well... It appears that, if the Russians did not know before, they know now.
Nixon: Tom, how soon until Apollo 14's ready to go?
Tom: We're still sorting out the problems with 13-
Nixon: Damnit Tom!
Tom: Three months!
Nixon: *sigh* ... Three months it is...
Cave: ... Can I come up now?
Well I was just sitting on this part, but what the hell, here you go. Happy Thanksgiving.