When Stephen Junior returns from his latest round of triumphing over small helpless rodents and wooing fine lady eagles, he confesses to Stephen that he feels something missing in his life.
Desperate to help his son, Stephen seeks out the purveyor of COMPLETE WORLD KNOWLEDGE (I THINK YOU KNOW WHO I MEAN), who discerns that Stephen Junior is in fact A LOST BABY THUNDERBIRD. He also warns Stephen that the inhabitants of Stephen Junior's true home, Hohoq, are A SECRETIVE LOT, and that if Stephen attempted to set the entire Colbert Nation searching for it, he would likely find his studio BOMBARDED WITH THE DROPPINGS OF TWENTY-FOOT-HIGH BIRDS.
This is too dire a tragedy for Stephen to contemplate. But he cannot see his son suffer, so he sets off on AN EPIC QUEST about which he TELLS NO ONE...save for one person. You see, once he has realized that the inhabitants of Hohoq no longer have representation in Congress after that one brief and tragic term, he implores ELEANOR HOLMES NORTON to write him a letter of recommendation about his "bringing attention to the plight of unrepresented citizens" talents, so that he can have a secret bargaining chip in his pocket if things turn sour.
When the news of Stephen's disappearance begins to spread around the country, Ms. Norton grows worried. Although Stephen swore her to secrecy, she tracks down Mr. Hodgman, who confirms to her that HE HAD PREDICTED HER CALL, and thus she is not violating her oath. After reassuring Jon (who is of course OUT OF HIS MIND WITH WORRY) that they will take care of it, they set off on AN EPIC RESCUE MISSION.
THERE IS A ZEPPELIN INVOLVED.
Naturally, by the end of it all, Stephen Junior is reunited with his long-lost parents, and Stephen has charmed the Thunderbirds so thoroughly that he is scheduled to do A WEEK OF SHOWS LIVE FROM HOHOQ.
This fic brought to you by the letter H in sunrays.
"What can I do for you, Mr. President?"
"It's good to talk to you, Congresswoman," said Obama's preternaturally soothing voice on the other end of the line. "I wish we had time for a proper conversation, but I'm afraid we have a potential national security case on our hands."
"Understood. Is this line secure enough, or do we need to meet in person?"
"This will do for now. Do you remember a set of papers you were given when you first took office? Not classified information, strictly speaking, but not well known, either. They would have been written in a thin, spidery hand, and smelling faintly of vellum and old-fashioned ink."
"How could I forget," said the Congresswoman dryly. "You'll forgive me if my recall of the contents is somewhat faint. I need to focus on the issues affecting my constituents, not these fanciful old legends."
"My initial thoughts were along the same lines," admitted Obama. "I'm afraid we can no longer afford to be so dismissive. The state of Hohoq has reappeared."
The Congresswoman was not given to slouching at the best of times, but she found herself sitting up straighter nonetheless. "Is this true?"
"According to our best intelligence."
"And you believe they're...a security threat?"
"I believe our relationship with them is tenuous at best, and it would be in our national interest to establish communication as soon as possible."
"Forgive me, Mr. President, but why are you bringing this to me? I have no connections to Hohoq."
"It's another connection of yours that concerns me. Congresswoman, have you been in contact with Stephen Colbert recently?"
"He attempted to call my office last week, but we ignored it. I find that where Mr. Col-bert is concerned, it's best if we don't get involved unless we are fully prepared to deal with the consequences."
They had also ignored a follow-up call several days later from Jon Stewart, who, while reasonable in his own right, was almost certainly acting as a proxy for Colbert; and, after looking him up and discovering his connections to Stewart, a further call from a man named John Hodgman. Now that she thought about it, though, that was unusually persistent even for Colbert....
"That could be a problem," said Obama. Some note in his voice suggested that this was a profoundly diplomatic understatement. "Mr. Colbert went missing two days ago. His stated intention before he disappeared was to make contact with Hohoq, and we believe he may have succeeded."
"Are you telling me Mr. Col-bert could become our de facto envoy to the Thunderbirds?"
"That, or the first casualty in an outright inter-state conflict," said the President gravely. "Either way, Ms. Norton, let me be clear: you are already, inexorably, involved."