G-Force: The Reality Show by Dei
Summary: ...or a descent into madness in sixteen conversations. What happens when popular entertainment meets public service. 
Categories: Battle of the Planets Characters: None
Genre: None
Story Warnings: None
Timeframe: None
Universe: Canon
Challenges: None
Series: None
Chapters: 2 Completed: Yes Word count: 5312 Read: 5487 Published: 07/25/2012 Updated: 07/27/2012
Chapter 2 by Dei
Author's Notes:
The rest of the story, which didn't come through initially.  

<Rig'un> Why do you kill people?

<G-2> It'd be real nice if the enemy would just stay at home, but they came a long way and a stern 'get lost' just doesn't get the message across.

<G-1> We'd much rather not kill anyone but we also have to do whatever it takes to get our job done. And sadly, that often means casualties.

<Loxo> What are your favorite weapons?

<The Real G-4> Our wits.

<G-1> It’s true, we have to be one step ahead of the enemy to succeed. That aside, I love my boomerang.

 <G-2> If you’re talking about most liked rather than most used, then my choice is a bolt action rifle. I don’t think you’ll be seeing it on TV.

<The Real G-4> We call that gun Zeus.

<G-2> I told you, it doesn’t have a name.

<G-5> And we keep telling you, it ought to. When you break it out, it’s like armor-piercing lightning.

[Private from <G-1> to <G-5>: Hey, let’s not get too specific.]

[Private from <G-5> to <G-1>: Sorry.]

<G-3> I’m torn between my yo-yo and my timed detonators.

<Suki> So what's the deal with the way you speak, G-4?

<The Real G-4> I have a particular form of expressive aphasia. I find myself having to reach for the right word. As you can see, I write a bit better than I speak.

<Suki> Isn't that a rather big word for you?

<The Real G-4> No, just one not so familiar to you.

<Sans_nombre> does that mean you're retarded?

<The Real G-4> No!

<Sans_nombre> retard!

<The Real G-4> *exit*

<G-3> *exit*

<Mod_One> Once again, I ask everyone to keep their comments civil. I'm really sorry about that. Could we continue?

[Private from <G-1> to <All_Moderators>:  Last chance. We’re not here to be harassed. ]

#Sans_nombre has been banned#

<Swee’pea> What’s the best part about G-Force?

<G-1> Watching the sun rise after a mission. It just fills me with a sense of peace. I feel relief that once again, we’ve been able to come through and gratitude at all the hard work and sacrifice so many people put in to make all possible.

<G-2> For me it’s before that, when the killer ship and its forward operating base go up in flames.  It’s about the plans they won’t be able to carry out, about all the people whose lives won’t be disrupted, who aren’t going be displaced, who aren’t going to die. It’s about making things just a little bit more right in the world, wherever that is. 

<Rig'un> You guys are amazing. I thought you’d be shills, but you’re actually sincere. You’re the whip hand of the Government that pretends to be at war with Spectra in order to control people, divide up territory and conquer. And you’re so stupid you don’t even see it. Keep deluding yourselves that you’re ‘heroes.’

<G-1> I think we’re done here.

<G-1> *exit*

<G-2> *exit*

<G-5> *exit*

====

 

“Mark, you know how I said that I’d give this a chance? This *was* their chance.”

“One crazy doesn’t make an asylum, Jason.”

“That crazy’s words have gone on a free trip round the Galaxy. We don’t need the seeds of a conspiracy theory being planted.”

“I hate to say it, but I agree with Jason. It’s time to pull the plug on this.”

“I hear what you’re saying, guys, but I still think this is more good than bad.”

“Like what? The calls we get in the night? The stupid endorsement requests for junk we wouldn’t poke with a stick?”

“The way they twist things about us. They make me out to be a total slug who just flies the Phoenix and sleeps.”

“Really? You seemed awfully glad to ham it up in that chat session.”

“I didn’t see you doing too badly yourself.”

“Cut it out, both of you. Maybe you’re right: we’ve been trying not to let this change us, but, yeah we did play a bit to the crowd there. Ah, you’re back Princess. How’s Keyop doing?”

“I’m afraid he’s not said a thing since we logged off. That really upset him.”

“That’s bad. I’ll go talk to him. And I’ll talk to Barking Mad as well.”

====

 

“Well, Korkun. What are the results of your tests?”

“Sire, I am sorry to report that the results of our pilot study into the ‘peanut butter and jelly sandwich’ were not encouraging. Our first difficulty was in establishing the formulation of this product. The ‘sandwich’ appears to refer to the practice of layering a filling between two pieces of baked cereal derived from a paste of Triticum aestivum as well as to the item so produced. After several failed attempts to produce our own, we purchased fillings of commercially-produced pastes derived from Arachis hypogaea and from Vitis vinifera.”

“Continue: how did you perform the tests?”

“Twelve healthy volunteers matched for height, weight and body fat were fasted for four hours, and then given a preparation consisting of 50 g of each filling in 100 g of baked cereal paste to consume. All subjects reported the comestible to be extremely objectionable in both taste and texture. Common descriptors were ‘overly sweet’, ‘sticky’ and ‘earthy’. Some reported a paradoxical finding of sliminess. On mastication, it appears to form an extremely thick and sticky bolus: three subjects choked, one of whom required resuscitation.  Only six subjects were able to consume the entire sandwich and of those, two of them subsequently reported feeling distress and vomited. ”

“And of the subjects who were able to fully consume and digest the sandwich?”

“We performed a series of aerobic and anaerobic tests on them commencing an hour after consumption and noted no significant improvement in performance when compared to their baseline performance.”

“I see.”

“I am having difficulty recruiting sufficient volunteers to participate in the pilot study on this ‘space burger’ food item.”

“Thank you, but further testing will not be necessary. It is as I thought: an Earthling propaganda piece designed to mislead.”

====

 

"Mark, some paperwork has arrived for you. I've had it sent to your office."

"Thank you Zark. I take it it's something to do with Barking Mad?"

"That is correct."

"Afternoon, Toksvig here."

"G-1 here. I received these, audition files and I'd like to know what it's about."

"Ah, Commander. I was hoping that you'd ask. You see, these sort of things need an arc -- a progression. Always got to be thinking of the next thing."

"We're at war, Sir. Things happen."

"Yes, yes, I know that. You've not got control over what the Spectrans will do next, but the audience likes to see... changes. So, what do you think of the profiles I've sent? Think any have potential?"

"Potential for what?"

"As you know, we're halfway through the first season and next week, we're planning on starting to shoot a parallel program. It's an audition show to select the candidate for the start of Season Two, ratings permitting of course."

"I still don't understand."

"If you'd stop interrupting me, you would. We want to create a contest where candidates compete in a series of grueling physical and mental tests to win a place on one of your missions as celebrity G-6. Of course, popularity enters into it as the audience will be voting candidates off weekly."

"Have any of these... candidates served in the military?"

"No, but they're all physically fit. Some of them have black belts."

"Gained in carefully choreographed situations?"

"Well, at least they have the basics and we envisage the winner getting some additional training before the show. They’ll be able to keep pace with you."

“Our pace is measured in miles per minute. I very much doubt anyone will be keeping up.”

“Don’t knock it before you try it. So are you up for this?”

"Look, Mr. Toksvig. We've put up with a lot, your middle of the night conference calls, requests to make senseless operational changes, endless requests for access over and above what we agreed. We have recorded hours of color commentary about trivial incidents we barely remember only to see them twisted beyond all recognition. You have turned us into caricatures. But this is a step too far. This is not a game."

"Commander, I understand where you're coming from. As I said in our previous conversation, we really regret what happened with the chat session and the staffer who allowed that line of questioning has now been sacked. But to address your other concerns, I want you to try seeing it from the public perspective. Up until this program started, the way most people learn of your activities is when they get the 'All clear' over the radio."

"Yes, we went through this already -- it's why we agreed to this in the first place."

"I know. However, it's done far more than we expected. And I don't mean just in terms of popularity. Do you know that there's a 1% suicide rate among evacuees? People lose out every time they're forced to move because they're in the predicted path of a killer ship and after two, three, four times, they start to despair. I've just got this data in: in the places your show has gone out, those suicide rates have more than halved. It's not a joke: seeing you guys gives people real hope. You guys are real to them, and you're not some sort of übermenschen -- you're human, you've got your foibles they can identify with. I'll hold up my hand to say that it is entertaining. But it's not trite."

"..."

"Commander?"

"<Sigh> That's good to know, but I'm sorry. I still have to refuse."

"We're not asking for full combat. It'd just be a celebrity special and the winner would just be embedded with your team for the mission."

"I refuse. We can't afford to babysit. If they slow us down, we would dump them. If they got injured or killed, we might not be able to recover them and we would abandon them. I'm sure you'd agree that it's unethical."

"On the contrary, the danger being real is exactly what we want."

"No deal."

"I'm afraid that I must disagree there. If I may refer you to the terms of our contract, you agreed to participate fully in the production process to the best of your abilities. Refusal to participate would constitute a breach of contract and the penalties for that could be most... severe.”

“Are you threatening us, Mr. Toksvig?”

“No, I wouldn’t dream of it. I’m just pointing out that if we were to take legal action, it could cost you more than you care for in time and reputation. Now which 12 candidates would you say have the most potential?"

====

 

"Chief, you were right and we were wrong."

"It's destroying us!"

"Truthfully, I would say that this is working out rather well for us. It's proved extremely popular and the actual information covered within the show is so minuscule that it's veritable disinformation."

"Mark, what are you doing? Get off your knees this instant!"

"I can't see myself being responsible for the pointless death of a civilian."

"What do you mean?"

"We were sent an advance copy of the episode that'll go out on Wednesday. They've got a body double of me sitting in a leather chair with his back to the camera going through audition tapes of actors and selecting sixteen of them. I've only seen some acting portfolios and I've made no selections."

"And what's this in aid of?"

"They're planning a spin-off whereby they look for the 'next' G-Force member as a popularity contest and basic training combo."

"Their idea is to have the 'winner' join us for a mission as part of the second season."

"I never gave permission for an extension to this."

"That's why we're here. It's all getting out of hand, Chief."

"I can't take responsibility for the life of a civilian. Not for entertainment."

"I see. You can get off your knees Mark. All of you. This won't be a problem any longer."

====

 

"I always intended to detain the production team by the end of the season. Even at their present remove, they're still too much of a security risk."

"So why did you wait until your team appealed to you, Anderson?"

"Because, Kane, I wanted to see them eat every last word. With salt."

"Does that salt include funding their detention out of the G-Force Team's cut of the revenue?"

"First, the royalties are something they neither know about nor would expect. Second, yes, yes it does.”

“Well, they are your team to manage and I’m reluctant to pass comment. Nevertheless…”

“There’s sufficient left to give them a very pleasant surprise once they’re no longer operational."

====

 

"Forgive me for saying this, but you're a little... smaller in person than you look on TV, Commander."

"I'm six-three in these boots and helmet. How tall does the TV make me look?"

"Closer to seven."

"I'll take that as a compliment."

"Anyway, we're here now. It was a good run while it lasted."

"I'm very sorry about the way it turned out, Mr. Toksvig. If it's any consolation, Galaxy Security has accepted the need to be more open about our activities."

"Oh?"

"They'll be putting together a publicity campaign. But I was asking how you're finding things here."

"Oh, the facilities here aren't too bad. We've got TV, chefs, concierge service. Other than the phone service being supervised, it's a beach really. The biggest problem we have is that Sandra, my personal secretary, is rather missing her regular masseuse. Between the two of us, I think she's getting along just fine with her new one, if you know what I mean."

"I'd rather not know. I hope you understand that we're going to have to keep you here until the war's over."

"Well, those are the risks of doing a high-impact show like mine."

"I'm sorry."

"Are you joking? We're not! This is pure gold: once this war's over, we'll be released and as soon as the embargo's lifted, we'll all be raking it in. We've lined up deals for autobiographies, a tell-all G-Force Exposed series, a making of documentary, a dirty secrets sorta-documentary, film options... You see, the reality show was always just a launch platform. This is where the heavy money is."

"I... I see. Well, I'll leave you to it then."

"Commander, just make sure you guys win. Preferably in the next six months -- you know how fickle the youth demographics are. Okay?"

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