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It Could Have Gone Better · FiM Minific ·
Organised by RogerDodger
Word limit 400–750
Show rules for this event
First Contact of the Fifth Kind
United States Spaceship "Barron Trump" tore its way across the vacuum surrounding a small, green planet. Captain Joe Pratt-Whitney stood before the window, smiling at the sight, admiring the rich hues of distant oceans and the shapes of the continents.

It was finally time to put USA back where it belonged in the history of space exploration. Throughout the 22nd century, the reputation of Joe's beloved country took several hits. First, China established a colony on the Moon, driving every humble American insane with the sight of Five-star Red Flag clearly visible in the sky during every full moon. Still, it was not as bad as Mars. God almighty, Mars!

Joe shuddered. He still remembered how ten years ago, NASA astronomers received a powerful signal from Mars. What they heard, hurt their pride of every True American, Joe included.

Waltzing Matilda. Camp Drongo, the first Australian base on Mars, became fully operational. According to the brave and industrious astronauts from the land downunder, it was almost like home, except with less spiders.

Joe shuddered. He remembered meeting one of the founders of the base, Angus Whacker, a complete fool who claimed that he earned more money starring in an ad of XXXX beer than he ever made as an astronaut. Joe was repulsed at the very thought of getting paid. Everything he was doing, he was doing from Uncle Sam.

This time, Uncle Sam had every reason to be proud of Joe Pratt-Whitney. Here it was, right in front of him, the first Earth-like planet humanity ever managed to reach. And it was done all by Joe. Of course, USS "Barron Trump" was mostly built out of Japanese parts and the shipyard made the US government hire Motoharu Kawasaki as the flight engineer, claiming that no American would know how to take care of the photon engine, but still, Joe's discovery would make Angus Whacker and his Camp Drongo an unimportant footnote in the great history of space exploration.

"Watch this, my friend," Joe said to Kawasaki. The ship was about to enter the alien planet's atmosphere, so Joe put on his sunglasses. Kawasaki didn't have to. A microchip in his head would automatically darken his vision, protecting his eyes against the glow of the heat shield.

The spaceship started to shake, but all the systems worked flawlessly. According to the computer, 21% of the planet's atmosphere was oxygen and none of the other gases it consisted of were poisonous. Joe smiled. While he was told he looked boss in the space suit, it was extremely uncomfortable. Besides, no one would see his face in the photos.

Kawasaki had no such problems. The engineers from Nakatomi Corporation fitted him with a pair of artificial lungs capable of breathing in every conditions, but this pompous American didn't have to know about that.

Finally, the ship landed in the middle of the forest, trees catching fire from its engines. Joe jumped outside and planted the US flag in the middle of the clearing while listening to the anthem on his newest iPod.

"One small step and whatnot..." Joe muttered, patting Kawasaki's back. "Man, could it get any better?"

Soon, it got better. The planet was apparently inhabited, judging by the two horse... cat... things that arrived at the landing place. Joe wasn't sure what they were, but quickly grabbed a camera and started taking pictures. One of the creatures was yellow and the other was purple. Both had wings, but the purple one also had a horn.

"Kawaii!" Kawasaki exclaimed, running to them.

"Twilight!" the yellow alien said. Joe wasn't surprised – after all, aliens in the movies always spoke English. "They burned the forest and scared the squirrels!"

Kawasaki stopped. Whatever he saw in the eyes of the yellow alien made him take a step back, grabbing a katana he always carried with him.

Joe's eyes widened when the purple alien's horn started to glow. "No!" he shouted before being engulfed by darkness.

When he woke up, he was hanging upside down in some crystal basement. Not the best way to end a day. Also, that purple alien--Twilight, if he recalled correctly--was there, staring at him.

"I'm sorry," Twilight said. "Your friend eviscerated himself with his sword."

"Kawasaki didn't want to face the dishonor of capture. W-what will you do to me?"

Twilight smirked. "Science..."

Joe screamed. He kept screaming for a long time.

Before the mission, he hoped he'd be doing the anal probing, not the other way around.
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#1 · 6
An extraterrestrial encounter that involves direct communication between aliens and natives? This should be interesting.

Don’t think I didn’t notice how you spelled “downunder” as one word to slip past the word limit. And I’m trying to keep an open mind, but one moon colony should not make a flag visible from Earth.

Yeah, this was basically just a bunch of national stereotypes slapped together with ponies at the end. Not my cup of tea.
#2 · 2
· · >>Miller Minus
Excuse me?


This fic? It's not good.

At least not in the conventional sense. I got the feeling by the end that we had devolved totally into crackfic territory, which I guess is okay, but I almost felt embarrassed having to read so many stereotypes crammed into 750 words.

From the first sentence I knew this was gonna be a shitshow, but boy did I underestimate the lengths to which this fic would go for a few cheap laughs.

I mean, hey, obviously some people really like this sort of thing.

Some have even made good careers out of writing these fics all the time.

But for me? Nah, man. That ain't it.

I'm feeling a strong 3 to a light 4 on this.
#3 · 2
This is mostly telly political humor with a touch of out-of-character ponies at the end. I know it's comedy but the encounter is so brief and rapid-fire it doesn't make much sense. The last line is super telly, and I don't see Twilight anally probing a prisoner from another world.

I'd suggest dialing back on the political jokes and actually spend some decent time on the encounter, even if you're playing it for laughs.
#4 · 2
A-ha, I've stumbled upon the other story that >>No_Raisin felt included Japanese stereotypes. On this one I'm in agreement. Might want to roll that back a bit, and maybe don't let the word "Kawai" get anywhere near this story... unless there's a piano involved.

I'll admit I was into this at the beginning with the sci-fi world-building. Australia beating the US to colonizing Mars was a little outrageous, but it was still fun to imagine. But then Kawasaki's strange behaviour, the out-of-character-ness of Twilight, and the completely inappropriate ending line (inappropriate compared to the rest of your story), makes it hard to get into.

Elsewhere, in Nitpickville:

Joe put on his sunglasses. Kawasaki didn't have to. A microchip in his head would automatically darken his vision, protecting his eyes against the glow of the heat shield.

That... doesn't make any sense.
#5 · 2
· · >>BlueChameleonVI
I smell a crackfic. There's not really a lot to say about this one, I think. It knows what it is.
Post by BlueChameleonVI , deleted
#7 ·
I’m not sure if this is anti-American, anti-Chinease, anti-Australian, or anti-Japanese, or what it is, really.

It has a lot of stereotypes, which can work for a crack-fic... The problem is I’m not sure if I’m reading a crack-fic. And for a crack-fic to work, the reader needs to know it’s a crack-fic.

I think it’s the tone. Everything is sharp, things said are harsh, matter-of-fact. I don’t feel the tongue-in-cheek early enough to diffuse the agitation I feel from the stereotyping. (I am not fond of cultural or racial stereotypes unless it is a parody of those, ie there needs to be a huge lampshade to let us know you’re not really racist)

If it is meant to be taken lightly, it needs to be more over-the-top sooner. If you’re flying the spaceship Donald Trump (I’m a US citizen and I apologize to the world) then that thing had better be burning thousand dollar bills for fuel, be painted red white and blue, have Hail to the Chief playing on continuous loop despite the vacuum of space, and be phallus and/or toupee shaped... Or you can use overly purple prose, though that can eat your word count.

But then... Then the ponies are evil at the end? I guess? Maybe overreacting? But still evil? I don’t know, the whole thing confused me.

If it’s a crack fic, too confusing.
If it’s not a crack-fic, shame on you.
#8 · 1
· · >>Trick_Question

And while I'm at it, I'm removing this one too. My review boils down to "I don't like this sort of genre", and I've got little to nothing critical to say about the fic itself. Plus, saying I think it's a crackfic is just... not good sport.

Sorry, author. :(
#9 · 1
When you're trying to help with reviews it's very easy to go overboard without realizing it. I've been there.