A/N: Second mission! Okay: The Lord of the Rings belongs to the late Professor Tolkien, an incredible author, various words and substances referenced in this story belong to the mighty Terry Pratchett, author of the Discworld series, the story sporked belongs to its author (You can have it, I don’t want it!), the PPC belongs to Jay and Acacia, all the other agents in the story belong to their respective authors, and Agent Dragon belongs to, well, pretty much no one but my best friend. My friend took one look at this story and demanded to be in it as a small cameo role as an extra agent.
Mission Two: Sue be Nimble, Sue be Fast, the PPC’s coming to kick your –
Shadow put the finishing touches on the writing on her knuckles. PPC was written on the first three knuckles of each hand – one letter for each finger – and on the last finger, a crude, five-petaled waterlily (the symbol of the Floater division) was drawn with a thin-tipped black sharpie. Currently, she was having some trouble with her right hand, as she was right handed, and had almost gotten the waterlily perfect when –
BEEEEEEEEEPP!!! BEEEEEEEPP!! ALERT! ALERT! THIS IS BLOODY AWFUL, PEOPLE!!!
Shadow’s hand slipped, scrawling a long black line down her right index finger as a cursing Manx leaped up and dashed towards the console, smashing her fist down on the Mute button. For a moment, Manx read the story, eyes flicking back and forth. Then her eyes turned red and she started twitching.
Shadow was experienced enough with her partner’s homicidal Bloodwrath from the last fic they’d been assigned, and her lumpy pillow was in the air even as she dove behind the couch. Screams of rage could be heard from the other side of the sofa, and a shower of fabric and feathers rained down on the Asian PPCer’s black hair from across the room. Even when the shrieks of outrage had ended, Shadow still didn’t dare to glance up, until a hand tapped her on the shoulder. Shadow looked above to see the familiar face of her partner, perfectly devoid of all expression – from trying to keep sane, it appeared. “Um…is everything all right?” she asked tentatively.
“Oh, no,” said Manx sarcastically, raising her eyebrows. “Everything’s fine. Just perfectly fine. A freaking awful Sue falls into Middle-Earth, screws with Legolas, turns the hobbits into idiotic childish creatures, completely IGNORES Gimli, is SAURON’S BLOODY ERU-CURSED DAUGHTER, and is a fucking HORSE WHISPERER TO BOOT!!!” Manx ran over to the wall, smashed her head against it several times, and began screaming again, even louder. “She calls Rivendell RIVERDALE, makes Frodo GIVE HER THE BLOODY RING, and, did I mention, she’s SAURON’S DAUGHTER?! And she can sing perfectly and does really well in school – insulting all remotely intelligent people around the world – though that’s practically nothing compared to the rest of her crimes.” Manx took a deep breath. “And she makes – oh dear Eru, she – she – she–”
“What?” Shadow asked, dreading the answer.
“She – she – she – SHE MAKES BOROMIR BLOODY CLAUSTROPHOBIC, FOR ERU’S SAKE!!! HE CRIES!!!”
It was Shadow’s turn to look completely impassive. Then she spoke.
“Let’s kill her. Painfully.”
Manx nodded assent, and began preparing for the slaying.
The portal opened into the middle of the Sue’s description of herself. As a mini from the Author’s Note – sillmarilon – hurried towards Shadow, the Sue, named Vearanniel, apparently, raved about her own wondrous beauty, including “gold hair that falls in a wondrous water fall down to my slim waist” and “eyes that take on the shade of my mood”. The story obeyed the Words to the letter, making a stream of golden liquid pour down to the Sue’s waist, where it disappeared. “You have no idea what that makes me think of…” Shadow grumbled, adjusting to her new elven shape as she unpacked their gear, flipping open a laptop to begin the charges. Manx stifled a snigger. Shadow looked over at her partner, noticing something odd. “Maaanx…” she said warningly.
Manx turned to Shadow. “What?” she asked innocently.
“Manx, I know you like that hat, but…” Shadow sighed. “Do elves normally wear dead owls on their heads?”
Manx grumbled. “But I like it,” she complained. “And besides, look at what it can do now.” She tugged on a couple of strings dangling from the hat at about elbow length. The owl’s wings stiffly flapped up and down, black glass eyes staring blankly ahead. Shadow shuddered. The sight was rather disturbing, even to the PPCer who’d read the Cluny fic of “That Series” as well as “Celebrian” in one go. “Look,” she said tiredly, “just throw it back into our call center, okay? You can wear it if we ever go on a mission to the Redwall universe.” Although then it’ll probably be three times your height and completely useless as a hat, but great for a tent, Shadow added inwardly. Manx shrugged and turned away, opening a portal and flinging the odd piece of headgear through.
A Mini-Sue had just appeared – Vearnniel – and Shadow absentmindedly snagged it with the end of her unstrung bow. It squealed as she dragged it towards herself and stuffed it into her backpack. Shadow turned back to the story, wincing as the Angsty Sob Story continued, and tapped out several charges onto the list.
“These stupid Sues always say that they’re sooooo smart, and that’s why everyone just haaaaates them. Sorry, kiddo, but some people actually tend to be friends with an intelligent child.” Manx lay back on the backpacks, ignoring the shrill screeches as she accidentally smushed the mini-Sue under her back, and sighed. “Aargh. It’s so bloody annoying when some Suethor claims her creation is completely perfect and intelligent, but that everyone hates her for it. Well, we do hate her for the perfect creature that she is, but in a normal situation, if you saw some kid who was really good at school, wouldn’t at least someone like her?” She waved a hand vaguely. “I mean, I’m a pretty-much A student, not to be snobbish or anything, and somehow I happen to have some friends.”
“Well, the yellow waterfall on her head does seem to dampen a relationship,” Shadow remarked, chewing on a candy bar.
“Hey brain girl, whatcha doing”, one of them snickered. “Gonna read a book?”
Manx winced. “That’s got to be the absolute stupidest insult I have ever heard in my life. Even if you’re a total wimp, you wouldn’t be completely scared by that. I for one would have said, ‘Yeah, wanna make something of it?’ and slammed them over the head with one of the books they apparently hate so much.”
Shadow grinned broadly, pointing out at the scene in front of them. “Ooh, look. The Sue is crying. Ruining her ‘perfectly done mascara’.” Several unnamed bit-characters were beating up the Sue in an alley, making the Sue cry out a number of badly-punctuated screams interspersed with ones and elevens when a bright, door-shaped portal opened and Gandalf – well, apparently it was Gandalf, but so OOC they barely recognized him – stepped through.
“Do not touch her”, a booming voice yelled. “She has yet to full fill the prophesy.” An old man stepped though the portal, I could now tell that that was what it was. He was old and wore a weird grey dress thing. He carried in his hand a large stick staff thing. The girls cowered before him. He looked at me with bright eyes and said, “ You have a great prophesy to full fill, come with me to Riverdale.”
“Oh, for the love of Ilúvatar –”
Another mini-Balrog popped out of the story. One of the most commonly misspelled, the mini was larger than most. It ran over to Shadow, who always seemed to attract minis like sugar attracts flies. Shadow carefully hugged it, trying to avoid the flames with a pair of fireproof gloves. “A prophecy. A bloody prophecy,” she muttered, burying her head in her hands. The Balrog patted her lightly on the back, and silmarillon offered Riverdale a raw egg pilfered from Shadow’s backpack. “And I suppose it’s Galadriel who forsees it, right? In the mirror? And she’s probably this Sue’s mom, as well…”
“One out of three – eh.” Manx shrugged. “She’s not the mom, and she doesn’t see this in the mirror, which is a relief. This Sue apparently has another OC with a name with ‘Gala’ in it for a mother, though. Galahara, I believe. And Sauron for a father. How a flaming eyeball can impregnate an elf, I have no idea, since apparently this Suethor’s going by movieverse. Did I mention that?”
“Yes. You did. Loudly.” Shadow watched the fic unfold before her, swigging some Bleepka absentmindedly. She was going to need it.
The Sue took Gandalf’s hand after his proclamation and went through the portal. Manx hefted her pack on her shoulders and looked over at Shadow. “Guess we’d better follow them. Come on!”
With a grin, Shadow hauled her bag onto her back and stepped through.
The old man and me went through the portal. When we stepped out, I saw that we were in a forest.
“Which forest?” asked Shadow confusedly. Not having described the woods around them, the woodland was now just straight brown lines with green blobs on their tops, standing atop flat brown Generic Ground. The Sue further screwed up Gandalf’s character by making him invite her to “Riverdale” even though he’d only seen her for about six seconds. Another mini-Balrog dropped out of thin air, this time originating from the misspelling of Gandalf with two “f”s. Shadow handed the mini a raw egg and shuffled out of yolk-splatter radius, reading on through the Words.
As we walked, I began to feel chilled. The air around me began to grow dark and I felt an ominous presence.
“Stay Close, evil is a foot,” Gandalf said in a scared voice.
“Evil is…the appendage at the end of your leg?” Manx raised an eyebrow quizzically. “Oh, I just hate it when Suethors screw up their stories like that. Grammar, punctuation, spelling, where have you gone…”
For some reason, I was not scared at all. Abruptly a Whitehorse ran out f the trees, right towards where we were standing by the river. Following it closely were several ugly black horses with grim reaperish looking riders. On The white horse was ayoung woman with hideously tangled hair and a small man that looked like he was getting ready to up chuck at anymoment. The woman looked like she was despairing she hadher sword out but she didn’t look
“Look what? Didn’t look like the Suethor was going to finish her sentence anytime soon?” Manx sighed. “I hate this story. I mean, hate it in the way it just completely grates on my nerves. It’s not even ‘hate it so much I want to read it over and over again and practically MST it’. It’s just awful.”
“Another thing,” Shadow remarked. “Why is she not scared? I would be freaked out if I were her – some bizarre portal opening, some old guy telling you you’re in some prophecy, going into a world where there’s ‘grim reaperish’ guys chasing someone else, and…” The agent was too busy ranting on and on to realize that Manx wasn’t listening, instead looking out at the story, fists clenched. “And I was just thinking, why is it that these Sues always manage to…Manx? Manx?” Shadow turned around and saw her partner’s face. “Ohshit,” she muttered.
Manx pointed a stiff, shaking finger at the scene in front of her. “She – she – she – She raises – the – the -”
“Ohhell.” Shadow murmured, and dove behind a Generic Tree for protection. She could hear Manx screaming curses at the Sue, but was almost drowned out by the roar of the thundering river-horses. Apparently, Vearanniel could just clap her hands to raise the flood, completely upstaging Elrond, Gandalf, and Arwen (if this Suethor was going by movieverse.) Manx was now screaming “GLAURUNG YOU!! GLAURUNG! GLAURUNG ALL THESE STUPID GLAURUNGING FUCKING MARY SUES!!” at the top of her lungs, using the new favorite PPC swearword, which caused Gandalf, and Legolas, who had just appeared out of nowhere, to look around confusedly. However, the Sue fainted, conveniently providing a distraction for both of the minis and Shadow to hold Manx down and gently bop her over the head with Shadow’s longbow. The scene shifted abruptly to Rivendell, or as the Suethor said it, Riverdale.
When I woke up, I saw that I was in a large, sunny room. There were flowers in large vassels all around the area. These Flowers were large and unfamiliar to me. Their colors ranged from azure to a deep forest green. I saw in a corner a wash basin, so Islipped out of bed and splashed water on myface.
“Azure blue flowers? Forest green flowers? Does this Suethor have no taste at all?” Shadow implored to the heavens.
“Appears not,” growled Manx, levering herself up on her elbows, rubbing a lump on the back of her head. “I told you last fic not to smash me over the head with a large heavy object when I went berserk…”
Shadow sighed. “Sorry,” she said. “But what else could I have done? Nicely asked you to take your meds?”
“I did take my meds,” Manx objected. “They’re just…not here right now.” Inwardly, Shadow groaned. Another fic with her extremely homicidal partner. Wonderful. Meanwhile, Manx shrugged and pulled a packet of small rectangular pieces of cardboard out of her backpack. “Hey, um…the PPC trading card game just came out. Wanna play?” She held out a stack of cards, some with an Agent’s picture and stats printed on it, and others with a Sue’s, Canon’s, Location’s or Monster’s stats. Shadow wrinkled her brow.
“We have a card game? Since when?” she asked.
Manx shrugged again. “
As more stupidity in the story followed, a mini – Sam Pippen – dropped out of the fic and rushed to Shadow. She offered it some bacon while hissing at her opponent, “Hah! I have the advantage! My Sue totally kills your Agent! Like that! And that! Mwahahah, I love this game! We are standing in a river, Manx, and my Sue holds a sparkly jewel. Minus one defense. And now I shall–”
“Hmmm. How easily you forget the fact that your Sue has ensnared Boromir. That means that I–” Manx flourished her namesake card “–am able to use Bloodwrath. That means plus two damage. And you, my friend, are so dead.” She grinned evilly and mock bowed at her dumbstruck partner. “Tactics, my friend. Tactics.”
Suddenly, something ridiculous occurred that distracted both agents from their game.
Frodo smiled and grabbed my hand He said that I must play hobbit games with them. We played a game kinda like crochet, but different. Bilbo sat there quietly laughing while we played the game.
“Oh, no. No. NO SCREWING UP THE HOBBIT CULTURE. Where in the books did it SAY that the hobbits did knitting games? Not to mention Frodo’s OOCness. He wouldn’t have his rescuer play a GAME with them. No. He would thank her, then quietly sit down and have tea with her or, or, or – well, SOMETHING. Not ‘PLAY CROCHET’,” Manx snarled, staring furiously at the hobbits, now sitting down and knitting. Her eye began to twitch, a sure signal of doom. Game forgotten, Shadow readied herself for the worst.
Greeting lady. How fare you? Whats your name. This is really hard for me because you are so pretty.”
“Bloody Glaurunging hell,” Shadow moaned, smacking her head against the wall. “Why, oh why, oh why…”
I felt myself blushing but I responed nicely.
“sir I am fine,. My Name is Vearanniel. Who are you? And if you don’t mind me asking, what are you?”
Not at all, my dear Vearanniel. My name is Legolas Green Leaf. I am an elf from the woodland realm of Mirkwood.”
Legolas Green Leaf hugged Shadow’s legs, carefully avoiding the non-fireproof sections of her clothing. Shadow barely noticed, as she was too busy joining Manx in screaming “LEGOLAS’S NAME IS NOT GLAURUNGING LEGOLAS GREENLEAF, IT IS LEGOLAS THRANDUILION!! NOT LEGOLAS GREENLEAF! HIS GLAURUNGING NAME MEANS GREENLEAF!! YOU ARE THEREFORE CALLING HIM GREENLEAF GREENLEAF!! GET SOME SENSE, YOU GLAURUNG SUE!!” The Sue barely noticed, too busy was she in gazing at Legolas’s eyes with such sappy Twu Wub the two assassins almost puked. “Gah – it BURNS,” Manx groused, striking her head against the wall of the Last Homely House. The Sue and Legolas continued talking and gazing at each other’s faces, and Vearanniel yakked on and on about her school. Shadow quickly typed “Bringing twenty-first century knowledge to Middle-Earth” as a charge, wincing as the Sue displayed her all-perfect “knowledge of calculus”.
“Lady please sing or play for us- preferably both” Legolas said with shinning eyes.
“Right now I’m just really, really tempted to quote the Treehouse of Horror V Simpsons episode,” Manx said. “But I won’t. And that, boys and girls, is what happens if you DO NOT PROOFREAD.” She degenerated into a long, pointless rant about the values of spellchecking and beta-editors, as Shadow continued to lengthen the charge list. Manx’s rant was quickly cut off by the Sue’s singing.
“I will sing but I am afraid I don’t have my harp with me.” I stood up and beganto think of what to ing. I thought for a long time before I began sining think of me from the phantom of the opera.. AN I love that song so much- my voice flitted around like a little bird filling the air in the entire room.
A bird soared from the Sue’s lips as she began to warble “Think of Me”. The two agents groaned at the awful noise and dropped their Snerchphones over their ears almost simultaneously, listening to their respective favorite music: Manx played “The Ride of the Rohirrim” on her laptop, and Shadow hummed along to “Bohemian Rhapsody”. Muttering “I’m just a poor boy, I need no sympathy…” Shadow plucked an arrow from her quiver and shot the small bird flitting around the room, then tossed it to the waiting minis. They tore it apart while the two assassins waited for the song to end.
When I finished the air was silent.Gandalf was crying, so was Legolas.
“Oh, for the love of Eru, only a complete pansy would cry from THAT.” Manx yanked off her headphones angrily, affronted at the sight of two proud members of the fellowship crying like toddlers. “I mean, Shadow…Shadow?” Manx turned to see her partner still singing parts of Bohemian Rhapsody under her breath. “Shadow?”
“– Scaramouche, scaramouche, will you do the fan – Huh?” Shadow quickly pulled off her earphones, and then looked at Legolas and Gandalf’s crying faces. “Oh, come ON,” she groaned. “It's not even like that bloody singing was all that good! She sounded like freaking fingernails on a chalkboard, for crying out loud! For the love of Eru, stop this!”
Beeeep! Legolas, male, elf, canon, OUT OF CHARACTER 74.93%! WARNING! WARNING! RUPTURING! RUPTURING! RUN AWAY!!! GET AWAY!!! RUN FOR THE HILLS!!!! Manx’s CAD screamed before she could mute it. Shadow’s also displayed a similar reading for Gandalf, and she cursed and fumbled for the device at her belt. “Ow! Damn!” she hissed, sucking at her fingers. Shadow ripped it off her belt as fast as she could, using the hem of her tunic to shield her fingers from the heat. Tossing it away, she watched as it landed, melted a hole in the stone floor, sizzled for a moment, and then broke into pieces of molten metal and plastic that quickly disappeared into the pool of liquefied CAD.
The two were silent for a moment. Then Shadow bowed her head and Manx mimed taking off a hat. “We commend you, proud Character Analysis Device, abused to the point of self-combustion in duty.” Manx nodded.
“There goes one. We'd better not tell Makes-Things, though. He’ll probably go totally insane or something…” said Manx, poking the puddle of slowly cooling metal with an arrow. The arrowhead turned into lava almost immediately, and the wood crackled and turned black. She dropped it hastily and turned back to the story, while Shadow fished around in her backpack for a spare CAD and dropped the deck of cards in there as well.
The Sue woke up in her bedroom after having several dreams about her adorable Leggy-kins (“Oh, I am so not going to make an obscene comment at this point,” whispered Manx) and was brought to the Council of Elrond, invoking the traditional Sue-method of just randomly being chosen to attend the council for no reason at all. Manx didn’t even bother going berserk. Instead she sighed heavily and curled up into the fetal position. “Poke me when the stupid’s over,” she mumbled. Shadow raised an eyebrow, amused, and looked back to the Suefic, typing several charges onto the list. A mini-Balrog (Elronde) had just appeared, and joined its fellows near Manx’s curled-up body.
“Come child you must help u. a prophesy was spoken long ago by the lady Galadriel. The best I can tell it pertains to you. The prophesy was about a girl that would help to bring down the fall of the dark lord. . the girl was to be of another world and to where a l;ocket around her neck. You are she , child. Your intelligence is also what makes you her. We have watched you for some time. There can be no doubt about it.”
“You must help U? Who’s U? And … l;ocket? What’s a l;ocket?” asked Shadow, confused. “If that’s supposed to mean locket, she never said anything about a locket…oh, no, now THAT is stupid.”
Elronde turned to me and said”Child youmust go with them you are the only one who can defeat the evil of sauron.”
I gulped. I had know idea what I was supposed todo. I remembered what I had done to the nazgul by the river somehow. I felt sick. “Ok Ill go, but I have no idea what I am supposed to do.”
Shadow winced. “Ow. Ow. Owthestupidburns. A single girl they haven’t seen for more than several minutes, destroy Sauron? On the basis of a stupid prophecy? No WAY,” she muttered. She added another charge to the list – joining the Fellowship of the Ring – and started humming the Fellowship theme as loud as she could in an effort to drown out the stupidity that was now replacing the Council of Elrond.
“ Iobject,” the man name Boromir said. “ A Woman is not fit for such a venture.”
“Silence she is very special,” Elronde said. She is going and that is the final word on the Suject.”
Manx raised her head. The look she gave with her now-reddening eyes caused the minis to hide behind the backpacks. In the background, the CAD warned, Beeeep! Boromir. Male. Human. Canon. 68.34% OOC! Shadow paid no attention. She was too busy trying to reach her longbow in time to smack Manx around the head with it. Again. Fortunately, it wasn’t needed, as Manx quickly ripped off a long strip from her cloak and began to methodically shred it as fast as she could, muttering “Boromir. Is. Not. A. Male. Chauvinist. Pig,” under her breath as tiny pieces of cloth settled in a small flurry around her kneeling legs. Shadow sighed in relief and turned away, letting go of her death grip on the longbow. Has she been attending those anger management classes Doc Fitz was talking about? she thought to herself. Probably. At least she wasn’t trying to actively kill things…yet.
The fifth chapter began, again, in the Sue’s bedroom. She went on for a little while about how lucky she was to be with Legolas, going on this quest (“Has she even considered the fact she might, you know, DIE in the course of this journey?” snarled Manx, furious at the lack of logic and common sense that the Sue was displaying.) Legolas appeared, right on cue, and brought her down for breakfast, where Vearanniel mooned over her Leggy-kins’ beautiful eyes. And just when the agents were almost about to throw up from the sappiness, it got worse.
After the meal, the two of us went down to the stables. There I saw the most beautiful white horse I had ever seen. He was running wildly around the paddock with his tail and mane blowing freely in the wind.
“Is that Shadowfax?” Manx hissed in fury, lightly stroking the hilt of a knife she had strapped to her belt. Shadow shrugged as nonchalantly as she could, trying to hide her growing dread. “Maybe,” she replied. “Of course, it might be the Sue’s Cute Animal Friend. Probably has a ridiculous name and is from a ridiculous species…” Shadow said this more to placate her furious partner, not really believing it herself. God, I hope, hope to Eru, that the horse is not Shadowfax, because I think I’ll probably go homicidal as well… she thought.
What do you want, child? The thought came rushing into my head like a hurricane.
You seem startled. Am I the first to contact you?
The first what? I thought back.
The first of our world. I suppose you want to ride me since it is part of the prophesy that you should be the first to ride me. I am Flarygo, king of the fairy horses. The elves have long tried to capture me, but all is well. I will help you in all you need.
Manx turned around and stared at Shadow, eyes wide. Her partner returned the gaze in shock. “Wow. I only said that thing about the stupid name and the stupid species just to keep you from murdering that Sue for screwing with Shadowfax,” Shadow whispered. Manx nodded. “And what sort of stupid name is Flarygo?” muttered Manx, and then answered her own question. “Well, probably one that this Suethor made up on the spot from her hormone-induced mind, of course. Jeez. What is it with these people?”
“My dear, you are truly the best rider I have ever seen in all of Middle Earth. I would be honored to court you.”
I blushed and said,” I return the feeling.”
Nearby the back of the stable wall, a loud thudding noise echoed through the wooden sheds. “What. The. Glaurunging. Hell,” growled Manx. “I. Hate. This. Fucking. Sue.”
“I share your pain,” Shadow replied. “Especially in the part just above my eye. Bashing your head against a wall hurts.” She picked up her longbow. “Just half a chapter more, then we can kill her. Just half a chapter…”
“Say whaaa?” Manx said, wrinkling her forehead. “Oh, please don’t tell me that gibberish was meant to be a paragraph divider. Why not just three asterixes, or a tilde–asterix–tilde combination, or something small just made to separate two scenes, like any NORMAL person does?”
“Manx. She’s a Suethor. Suethors are not normal. WE aren’t normal. We go into fanfictions and kill the characters, for Eru’s sake. How is anything remotely related to the PPC ‘normal’?” Shadow stared out at the story. The Sue had just woken up the next day, and had hurried down to where the Fellowship – note the capitalization, which the Suethor apparently forgot – were gathering to set out for Mordor.
I strapped on my pack and turned to the pony.
Can you understand my thought too? I asked him.
Of course, he replied. Flarygo told me about you all of us animals can understand and will gladly serve you.
“No – no – no – no – no–,” Manx groaned, beating her forehead again and again against the wall of the Last Homely House. “Gah. This is just…AWFUL.”
“You’ve informed us of that already, Manx. Several times. Very loudly, as well,” Shadow commented. “Still, I understand. Bill the Pony should NOT BE MESSED WITH.” She carefully touched the tip of an arrow, testing for sharpness.
“Well,” Manx said, fiddling with the portal generator, “I guess we’d better portal ahead to Hollin Ridge. The Sue’s speeded up the Fellowship’s journey so much they cover over two hundred miles in about a few seconds. There’s probably going to be tons of geographical compression. Put that down as a charge, okay?”
“Yeah.” Shadow shrugged on her backpack and stepped through the portal onto Hollin Ridge, then settled down to add charges as the Fellowship – moving in double-time – had the “pack of birds”, also known as Crebain, fly overhead. In two incredibly short sentences, the entire Fellowship had hid beneath bushes. Conveniently, the Sue was pressed right up against Legolas, who put his arm around her. Manx gagged at the utter corniness of the scene and turned away. Shadow read through the Words quickly and opened a portal to Caradhras, where the Fellowship suddenly appeared, struggling through the snow. Everything happened as usual, but much, much faster. The Words were now shooting past in four-word sentences. The agents sat in a ring of minis, whose flames melted the snow around them, when…
Legolas pulled me out of the snow quickly as he could.
“Are you alright, my love? If anything were to happen to you part of me would die.”
“Oh dearest, I will always be fine if I have your arms to cuddle into.” Was what I said. He kissed me quite lightly then and said; I love you above all others.”
“AaaaaaghthesappinessBURNS,” Shadow snarled. “It BURNS us, yesss precious, it BURNSSSS. Nasty Suefic, it burnses our eyeses, it doesss. Yessss, precious preciousss…What?” Manx was looking at her quizzically. “Oh, come on! Don’t tell me you’ve never seen a Gollum impression before!”
“Oh, is that what it was? I was under the impression that you had something chronically wrong with your throat.” Moodily, Manx plucked the laptop from her partner’s arms and added the charge of “being so sappy we almost puked”. Meanwhile, the Fellowship’s journey went on at double-time, as they left Caradhras for Moria. Manx settled down at the edge of the pool that held the Watcher in the Water and stared off across the lake at the Sue, muttering curses under her breath. Shadow read Return of the King, pausing every few moments to carefully watch her partner for signs of Bloodwrath.
Suddenly, Manx froze rigid, and the veins in her eyeballs turned an interesting shade of purplish-red. Shadow leaped forward and tackled her, clapping a hand over her mouth as Manx screamed – or tried to scream – “Let me at her, that Glaurunging piece of –” Her shout had been cut off by her partner’s hand, but the damage was done. Quickly, Shadow dragged her partner behind a few rocks, along with their packs, closely followed by the minis, as Legolas and Vearanniel searched for the source of the scream. They kept silent as the Elf and the Sue passed by. Finally, the two turned back to where the Fellowship stood. Shadow breathed a sigh of relief and let go of Manx, then turned and stared at her partner. “Why the hell did you do that!” she hissed. “You almost got us caught!” Manx was silent. Shadow took a deep breath. “Okay. What did the Sue do now?”
Manx merely raised the lid of her laptop and pointed to a sentence in the Words. Shadow took one look, and her jaw dropped. “What – What on earth – Okay, she’s gonna DIE. I swear. ‘Elvish’ for ‘elfish’? That’s the most crass and stupid mistake I have ever seen in my LIFE.” Manx nodded and turned around to watch the story.
“It has to be a riddle,” I murmured. I was on the logic team back home so naturally I am very good at this sort of thing. “Legolas, what is the elfish word for friend?” I asked.
“Its ”Mellon”, my dear.”
“Omigod! She’s like SOOO perfect! Like whoa! She’s like totally got like super kewl logic skills that make it easy to UPSTAGE FRODO!” Shadow mocked gasped. “And she spells elvish wrong again! SOOO AWESOME!”
At the word Mellon the door opened for us.
“Yay we can go in,” Pippin said jovially.
“I really don’t think Pippin would ever say that. You know, I’m actually beginning to believe this is a trollfic. What other kind of author spells a ton of words wrong but still gets ‘jovially’ right?” Manx groaned and buried her head in her hands. “Ow. This story is starting to fry my brain. Bleepka, please.” Shadow passed the bottle of brain-bleach to her partner, who gulped it without looking. “Thanks. You know, we really should follow the Fellowship now. They’re going into Moria.” Shadow snapped down the top of her laptop and stuffed it into her backpack, then followed the Fellowship into the Mines of Moria, the six mini-Balrogs trailing after.
Gimli was chatting all the while about how the dwarfs would give us a fine welcome. We then came upon a bunch of dead dwarfs and Gimli started crying.
Manx sat down on a rock and watched the scene unfold, further pulverizing her already-burnt-out brain. “Will it honestly kill this author to just put some DESCRIPTION or even FLESHED-OUT NARRATIVE into this story? Gah. Put ‘making the death of many dwarves trivialized’ as a charge.” Shadow quickly complied, while the Watcher grabbed hold of Frodo. Manx barely glanced up. She already knew what was going to happen. Shadow, however, watched the scene avidly as though she was a fangirl who’d suddenly found all her dreams come true (which was probably the case). This time, instead of the entire Fellowship helping to get Frodo free, it was only Legolas who shot arrows at the Watcher in the Water. Shadow winced as the arrows zipped through the air and embedded themselves into the Watcher’s flesh. “Owie. Poor Watcher, it’ll be over soon.” Sure enough, in a few seconds the Watcher had released Frodo and the Fellowship hurried into Moria.
We then traveled through the dark it was pitched black. There was darkness before us and darkness behind so we went many miles as thus. Gandalf had a glowing rock that he put on his staff. Boromir was looking a little paler then usual but everyone else looked ok. Eventually we came to a big room with a lot of exits and Gandalf got confused. We all sat down waiting for things to settle in the old guys head.
Manx stared in absolute, utter horror at the Words. “Did – Did she just – Did I just see her treat Gandalf like a senile old git, not like a Maia that should instill at least a marginal amount of respect in her tiny little brain?!” The agent stood up, fury practically coming off her in waves. “Okay. She must DIE.”
Shadow tentatively patted her arm. “It’s alright. To be honest, I don’t think this can get any worse.” (Above, the ones that enforce the Laws of Narrative Comedy laughed maniacally as they saw what was in the agents’ path…)
I looked around to see everyone, but I couldn’t see Boromir. “Where has he gone?” I thought to myself. I found him curled up in a ball crying.
The two agents were unusually silent for a few moments in absolute, utter fury. Then Shadow yelped and ripped off the spare CAD from her belt. “AUGH!” she cried and juggled the red-hot gadget from hand to hand before flinging it at the stone wall, where it exploded. The Sue and the insanely OOC Boromir looked up to investigate the metallic wreckage, while Manx and Shadow hid behind a rock and tried not to breathe loudly. Finally, Vearanniel and the imposter-also-known-as-Boromir returned to their conversation, while Shadow tried to keep Manx from killing the Sue, Boromir, and possibly the rest of the Fellowship, considering her worked-up state of rage.
Even though he is mean to me, I felt sorry for him. “What’s wrong?” I asked
“Nothing” he said but I could tell that he was lying.
“Come now tell me the truth, you can trust me,” I said. I am really good t getting people to do things. Back home, I could convince my little puppy to do things for me.
Behind Boromir and the Sue, a muffled struggle was taking place. Shadow wrestled Manx to the ground, while the mini-Balrogs attempted to weigh down her arms and legs. In the end, Shadow solved this problem by grabbing a straightjacket out of her bag, which she had packed for this occasion, and shoving her partner into it. Manx squirmed and struggled as Shadow typed up a new charge onto the ever-growing list with increasing anger.
“I…… I am afraid of small spaces.” He said with a fresh burst of tears.
“Its ok, most people are afraid of something,” I said as way of trying to reassure him.
“Let me out of this prbllttrrrp straitjacket!!”
Shadow opened a portal to the exit of Moria and dragged her screeching, struggling partner through, snapped the portal shut as the minis dropped their slightly singed gear at her feet, pulled off the straightjacket, and let her partner scream with such fury it could be heard all the way across Lothlorien. Shadow leaped on Manx again as she dove towards the portal generator. “Let me at her, that – stinking piece of trak’a – and that bastard replacing Boromir!!!” she howled, trying to throw off Shadow. “Let me at her! I swear, I’m going to rip her apart –”
“Manx! Stop it! We can nab her at Lothlorien. Just wait a little…” Shadow babbled frantically, trying to restrain the small raging ball of fury that was her partner. Gesturing frantically, she motioned for the minis to shove the Manx into the straightjacket, and they quickly complied. Propping the writhing, out-for-blood agent against a rock, Shadow waited for a short while for the Fellowship to leave Moria. After a few minutes, they rushed out, “cried” for about three seconds – with Legolas sitting near Vearanniel, as always – and then tore off again on Aragorn (somehow nicknamed Ari)’s orders. After a disproportionately short amount of time, the Fellowship arrived at Lothlorien, which was now about a hundred feet from the exit from Moria. Shadow picked up her bags, whistled for the minis, and looked at Manx, who wasn’t struggling anymore, but simply sitting in her straightjacket, fuming. “Manx?”
Her partner didn’t answer.
Shadow sighed. “Look, if I let you go, do you promise not to shred the Sue into little pieces before we charge her? She makes the Fellowship travel through Lothlorien at about light speed, and then she engages in a really stupid conversation with Galadriel, and then she drinks the water in the Mir – uh, maybe I shouldn’t tell you that,” Shadow said hastily, as Manx’s eyes turned red. “It’s only a couple more paragraphs. Then she falls asleep, and we can grab her and portal to Moria. It’s the only way…” She waited for her partner’s answer.
For a moment, Manx stared straight ahead. Then she nodded. Shadow breathed a sigh of relief and fumbled with the thick buckles on the straightjacket. “Thanks. I was really not looking forward to dragging you the whole way to Lorien…” she said, pulling off the jacket. Manx stood up and dusted herself off, then hauled her pack onto her back and, without a word, stalked off to Lothlorien.
Shadow shifted the weight on her back and followed the quietly furious Manx off to the badly-described Golden Wood. Since it hadn’t been named, the trees were not mallorns, instead looking like brown lines topped with green blurs. Shadow winced and sat on the ground, watching the movie’s events happen so fast it couldn’t possibly be healthy. She winced again as the Suethor misspelled “elvish” for the third time. Finally, the leader of the “bunch of elves” – presumably Haldir, though he was never named or described – welcomed the Sue and the Fellowship to Lothlorien after leading them to the city in the trees. At last, with an almost audible sigh, the canon snapped – well, mostly – back into shape. The Generic Trees transformed into mallorns, and the ground became normal dirt and not flat brown Generic Ground. Shadow grinned, as she watched the glory of the Golden Wood. Sometimes undescriptiveness is a good thing, she mused, trying not to look at Galadriel and Celeborn as they engaged in an incredibly OOC conversation. It actually lets you see the canon for what it is. Kelaborn, the mini-Balrog, snuggled up to Shadow, as she distractedly gave it a strip of bacon. Turning towards Manx, she noted that though her fellow agent’s hand was gripping the hilt of her elven sword (snatched from Agent X’s trophy pile when she wasn’t looking) in a white-knuckled fist, and that a slow and steady grinding was coming from her clenched teeth, she was not attempting to attack the Sue, who was being telepathically contacted with an ungrammatical message from Galadriel. Shadow sighed in resignation at the misplaced comma and waited for the Sue to leave the “nice grassy area” where the Fellowship stayed to the Mirror.
I heard a noise and looked up to see Galadriel looking at me and gesturing for me to follow her. WE walked down a flight of stairs and she took a pitcher and filled it with water. She then took it and filled a basin with it.
“Will you look, child?” she asked. “The mirror will how you what will happen, or what might happen. I don’t even know.”
“Aw, come on!” Shadow groaned. “Galadriel would NEVER say something as stupid as THAT! Does this Suethor know ANYTHING about the Lady’s dignity? Anything about her age and wisdom? Hell, does she know ANYTHING other than ‘OMG Leggy-kins is SOOO HOTT!’?” She literally facepalmed. “Come ON!” Manx didn’t reply. Her fists had clenched even tighter, and the veins on her forehead were standing out quite obviously now.
Inside the mirror was me and Legolas. We looked happy. Then it was torn away and the hobbits were tiredly climbing a hill, Aragorn was leading a battle, and trolls were trying to kill Merry and Pippin. Suddenly a big eye engulfed my vision. It was really big and flamey.
“No, dear, that’s just a physical manifestation of all the reviews you’ve had…or are going to get,” Shadow sighed. “To quote your words: Would it honestly kill her once in a while to just describe something in more words than ‘It was big and flamey’?!” Manx didn’t comment. Instead, she hissed, “Five more sentences. Then we can kill her. Five more sentences…”
I fell away. I felt really thirsty so I took a drink from the mirror. It tasted really good so I drank the whole thing.
Suddenly I felt weird. I fell asleep right there.
“She – She drinks the water? What the fucking HELL!?!” Manx stood up swiftly. “Oh, dear Eru. I will be so glad when she’s scattered in little pieces all over Moria…” She grinned evilly. “Let’s kill some Sue.”
As silently as possible, the two crept over the grass of Lothlorien to the deeply-sleeping Sue. Shadow grinned in anticipation. At last, they would slay this scourge of canon. They would shred her to pieces with as much pain as possible and throw the bits to the Balrog’s pit. And finally, the world of Middle-Earth would be free at last from the hold of an awful Sue…
At least, that was what would have happened. If only Manx hadn’t tripped...
Manx landed on her side, fortunately not bruising anything severely, but unfortunately pressing on the Mute-Unmute button of the CAD as she scrambled upright. The Device’s pent-up wail, suppressed over the course of the entire story, screamed just a few decibels short of being loud enough to wake the dead.
Plenty enough to wake a Sue, though.
Vearanniel shot upright as she was abruptly awakened. “what-” she said as she saw two elves beside her, one kneeling on the ground frantically scrabbling at a strange device on her belt, another, taller, one staring at the Sue in horror. “Manx!” the taller one half screamed. “Turn that freaking CAD off before you wake the entire of Lothlorien – oh, crap…”
“HElp ME!1!!!” the Sue screamed in an ear-piercing Sue-Shriek. Manx smashed her fist down on the Mute button and scrambled to her feet, then cuffed the Sue hard against her head. “Shut up! Damn!” Manx hissed, but Vearanniel leaped to her feet and backed against a tree. “Help Me! HEEEELLPP, MY LEGGY!1!!”
Several elves had rushed to the scene at the sounds of the Sue’s cries and leapt into action as they saw her apparently being menaced by a strange-looking elf. One grabbed an arrow from his quiver and nocked it to the bowstring. “Stop!” he yelled at Manx, who grabbed the Sue in a headlock, attempting to drag her to Shadow. “Comeongetusthefreakinghelloutofhere!!” she screamed at her partner, trying to keep the Sue under control as Vearanniel twisted and turned. Shadow immediately grabbed the remote activator and furiously pressed buttons, trying to align the portal to anywhere other than here. Finally, she turned as the blue archway opened, just in time to hear something she never wanted to hear in her life: zzziiiiippp-thunk!
Manx heard it, too, and was knocked back as something hit her shoulder hard, making her stagger a few steps to the side. She looked down to see an arrow sticking out of her shoulder, most of the metal arrowhead buried in her muscle. She blinked.
“Oh,” she said, slightly surprised, and fell over. “Crap.”
“MANX!” Shadow screamed, and a nearby elf turned to see the source of the cry. Shadow backed away as the elf lost his originally confused look, to be replaced by an angry glare. He raised his bow, ready to fire.
Shadow stepped back some more, almost tripping over the backpack on the ground. Her gaze flicked from Manx, lying on the ground, to the elf before her, his face grim as he bent the string back to shoot. Several elves had run over to the agent lying on the ground and grabbed her, hauling her up before several more elves running past obscured Shadow’s vision. Crap, she thought. Run forward to rescue her partner, possibly killing herself in the process? Or jump into the portal and seek help? Shadow groaned inwardly. Shit. Why did she have to get involved in this mess?
Decide. Decide. Decide before that elf actually kills you…
“Shit,” Shadow muttered under her breath and dove through the portal, snapping it shut just as the arrow sailed over her head and buried itself in a tree in Fangorn Forest. She knelt down and feverishly began opening a portal to a place where she knew she would get help. Because if I don’t, Manx is going to be dead meat before I get there…
Cursing frantically under her breath (and using some interesting words she’d obviously picked up from her time with her multilingual partner) she jumped through the blue archway.
A/N: Well, this was getting pretty long, so I decided to divide this mission in two. Next part coming up soon…I hope.
A/N: So, here it is at last: The Second Part! *ominous music*
The world was dark. Very dark. So dark, in fact, that Manx feared – well, as much as you can fear when your brain is half-conscious and practically incapable of coherent thought apart from “Owww…” – that she had gone blind.
Then she realized she hadn’t opened her eyes yet. Oh. Right, she thought, and opened them. Well, tried to. Her eyelids felt like they had been weighed down with all the stones of Arda.
Finally, she managed to wrench her eyes open to a blurry, badly-lit sight. She was in a small stone room, the only light coming from a few torches around the place, and dim daylight seeping under the door. Apart from that, the room was dark. The walls were stone and mortar, and there were several indistinct figures standing about the room. Something warm and wet was trickling down her shoulder, and she vaguely wished she could wipe it away. Her arms were stretched out on either side, and her legs simply refused to cooperate with any signals from her brain.
Manx blinked in sudden, but somehow unalarming realization, and slowly closed her eyes again. Oh. I’m in a dungeon. Crap, she thought, oddly detached, and then, What? But Lothlorien doesn’t freaking HAVE dungeons! Her eyes snapped open. Suddenly, the full enormity of the situation hit her: she was trapped. In a dungeon. Without her equipment. With a Sue-ified member of the Fellowship. As well as several equally Sued Galadhrim. And with the Sue herself…
“Oh your awake” came a badly-punctuated and badly-capitalized statement from the agent’s side. Manx turned her head slowly to see Vearanniel, waterfall-hair and all, sitting on a stool beside her. The Sue was clutching a katana in her hand – a katana? Manx blinked. Strange, these things these Sues think up, she thought. Next to the Sue was Legolas, his hand lying protectively on her shoulder. “why did ou try to hurt my luv” he asked in unpunctuated Sue-Speech.
Manx winced. Not just because of the awful out-of-characterness of Legolas, but also because there was a strange, rather painful twinging occurring around her right shoulder. Owwww… She attempted to push the pain away and tried to concentrate on the figures in front of her, who seemed to be shifting in and out of focus as she watched.
“You have useful informatin. Now tel us teh Dark lords plans” he said, jumping straight to the interrogation. Manx merely groaned in response. The pain was seeping back in, a sharp agony which didn’t lend much assistance to her ability to generate rational thought. Ow. Ow. Ow. Damn, she thought. Gods, this hurts. Shit. Trying to focus on the blond elf standing before her, she muttered, “What the hell are you talking about?” Yeah, smooth, Manx. Great way to start off, cursing. She blinked, and the figures around her became more recognizable: five elves standing guard, Legolas standing in front of her, and Vearanniel, attached to Legolas as always.
“you tryed to atack my luv. Why did u do taht u must be form Sauron” he said. Manx tensed as the hurt in her shoulder began to grow. Damn. What hit me? She twisted her head sideways and saw a rough bandage around her shoulder and upper arm, the bloodstain slowly spreading in a wide, shapeless splotch. Oh. Yeah. An arrow. SHIT. A particularly sharp twinge had made her wince. She tried to raise a hand to her shoulder, but was stopped by a clanking noise and something cold and hard around her wrists. Manacles? And since when did Lothlorien have chains? Or, for that matter, dungeons? This was obviously a Sue-created place.
“Wy did u attack me??” the Sue persisted. “tell me teh plans of the Sauron. u must no them. U r from Sauron.” When Manx didn’t answer, the Sue turned to Legolas and whispered something in his ear. He nodded, as Manx gradually closed her eyes again. They weren’t talking to her. That was good. All she wanted to do was sleeeeeep…
Something slapped her hard across the face. Her eyes snapped open as she saw the Sue raising her hand for another blow. She ducked just in time, and the strike to her face missed, thankfully. Vearanniel stepped back. “You refus to coperate. Fine then, we will have to take the information out of you!”
Manx shook her head muzzily, trying to shake off any remaining dazedness from her mind. She stared levelly at the Sue. Hmmm. What sort of curses should I use on this Sue? Perhaps… “Piss off, arseface,” she snarled, low and dangerous. The elves gasped in unison at this awful insult to their supposed “beloved lady”, but the obscenities were only beginning. “Freaking corpse-brained piece of merde. Stick a CENSORED up your rear, you idiotic Sue. The canon’s had enough of you.” She laid her head back on the cool stone of the wall. “Hmm. That rhymes. Poetry. That’s interesting,” she said, rather vaguely. Oh, I am so dead. But it was worth it…
Legolas struck her angrily across the face. Her head snapped back, and blood began to stream from her nose. “do not talk to teh Lady Vearanniel in taht way!!!!!!” he shouted.
Manx turned her head and spat out some blood that had managed to drip into her mouth – hitting the Sue directly in the face – and tried to ignore the pain of her probably broken nose, returning to the insults with vigor. “I can curse at whoever the hell I want, Nancy,” she snapped at Legolas, who leaned back out of range of the bloodied, furious agent. “Especially your ‘Twooo Wuuub’.” She elongated the last two words, rolling her eyes. “Seriously. Love at first sight? Total bloody myth. You really ought to know that.”
Vearanniel stood up and wiped the blood from her cheek, and unsheathed her katana. “Tell me teh plans………or else,” she said, holding the uncanonical Japanese sword against Manx’s neck. She tried not to shudder or show fear as the Sue brought her face down to stare into Manx’s eyes. “Look, I told you, I don’t know these freaking plans,” she snapped defiantly. Vearanniel stared at her for another moment, then stepped back and nodded at Legolas. The ensnared elf stepped forward and grabbed Manx's left arm, tightening his grip until it went from simply very uncomfortable to very painful.
“Tel……me……teh…..plans” the Sue said slowly. Manx winced as Legolas suddenly tightened his grasp even harder, making more pain lance up her arm.
“I told you…I don’t know…freak-ing shit…about these plans,” she growled, stretching out each word as though talking to a very small child. “I’m not even an ally of Sauron. I just hate you.” She grimaced and tried to ignore the pain in her shoulder and forearm.
“Very wel then,” Vearanniel said. She inclined her head towards Legolas again, signaling to continue the interrogation. Suddenly and unexpectedly, he clenched his grip harder than ever, and slammed her arm back against the stone wall, smashing it against a small outcropping of rock. One strike was all it took. There was a sickening crack, and Manx’s face turned white. Her arm screamed in agony, and she gave an answering shriek loud enough to wake the dead within a hundred-mile radius. The elves slapped their hands over their ears, trying to block out the incredibly loud sound, but the Sue-affected Legolas and the Sue herself did not. She merely stood there, looking at Manx, until the agent finally stopped screaming herself hoarse, and hung in her chains, gasping and sobbing for breath. To Manx’s anger, she realized that tears were welling up her eyes, and furiously pushed them back, to no avail. I am not going to start sobbing and screaming and crying like a toddler in front of a Sue! I am not going to! NOT GOING TO! Still, several tears slipped out and streamed down her bloodied cheeks. Shit! Shit! Shit! She sniffled, despite herself, but clamped her mouth shut. Manx knew that if she opened it, she would bawl like a baby. And she really, really, didn’t want to be humiliated in that way. At all.
“so………” The Sue walked around to Manx’s side. The agent froze as her enemy stood barely a foot away from her left side. “will u tel us teh informaton?”
Manx shook her head mutely, unable to speak from biting her lip in order not to break down sobbing. Her brain was practically frozen with shock. She could feel agony stabbing through her arm from her hand to her elbow, but rather distantly, as though her mind had metaphorically simply curled up into a ball and cried in a corner.
“Too bad.” Vearanniel walked away, and nodded at the enthralled Legolas. The Mirkwood elf strode forward and smashed a fist, hard, into Manx’s stomach. She doubled up, retching, and he kicked her several times in the ribs. She felt several things snap and shrieked, her mind suddenly fully awake and alert and fully capable of feeling intense pain. She screamed again, and then broke down, sobbing and gagging and crying alternately, tears and blood from her nose streaming down her face. This wasn’t any Single Tear-type crying employed by a Mary Sue for sympathy purposes. This was the crying of an actual person in incredible pain. Not just one tear, but dozens, streamed out of Manx’s eyes and nose as her head hung over her chest, and she dry-retched, hacking and sobbing and beginning to hyperventilate.
She heard footsteps, coming closer, and for a moment, she tried to calm down, tried to slow down her breathing enough to take control of herself, tried to stop sobbing frantically. Then she began crying in earnest again, crying in an endless flood of tears and anger and rage and pain.
“Tell us te plans of teh Enemy,” Vearanniel snapped, suddenly standing before Manx. For a moment, the agent continued to sob. Then, gradually, her breathing slowed down, and she looked up through the strands of hair hanging in front of her face at the Sue standing above her. Vearanniel involuntarily stepped back. The agent’s eyes were dark with fury and blazing with hate as she stared up angrily at her tormentor.
“Fuck – you–” she growled brokenly, and then slumped back, eyes closed. Vearanniel calmly bent down to Manx’s eye level.
“If u do not coperate, tehn we wil avhe to kil u,” the Sue whispered. Manx tried as hard as she could not to show that she was frightened as hell. Instead, she gazed straight into the Sue's multicolored, mood-changing eyes and, very neatly, spat in her face. Again.
Vearanniel stood up and wiped her own face with her hand, then neatly slapped Manx around the head. “ah, so u have chsen teh hard way. but we wil mak u talk.”
Manx shook her head, ignoring the pain of new bruises and welts swelling up on her face. “Nuh-uh,” she said coolly. “The only talk you’re getting from me are swearwords.”
“Tehn u shal DIE,” the Sue said dramatically, and pointed the katana at Manx’s neck. Manx froze, and then laid her head back nonchalantly, trying to hide her growing fear. “I really, really hope not,” she said calmly. OhfuckohfuckohfuckohFUCK. Come on, Shadow! Get over here and fuckin’ HELP ME! she screamed inwardly. What the hell’s taking you so long?! Some friend you turned out to be! Where the hell are you!!
At the moment, Shadow was charging down the gray corridors of PPC HQ, muttering under her breath, “I am NOT trying to get to Agent X’s response center. I am NOT trying to get to Agent X’s response center. I am NOT trying to get to Agent X’s response center … Ah.” She stopped in front of a door that was practically indistinguishable from the rest of the wall, looked up at the small cardboard sign (Response Center #1214) smashed a fist several times against the door by way of knocking, and barged right in.
The first thing she saw were the dozens of weapons and trophies lining the walls – unicorn skins, horse heads, numerous sharp pointy objects, and many Sue wands from the Potter continuum. The gray walls were practically invisible under the sheer number of Sue possessions. The bed even had a wolfskin bedspread, most likely the pelt of a CAF. The lumpy pillowcase was emblazoned with a pattern of sharp pointies, and there were several posters tacked onto the walls: rather normal ones like movie and band posters, several not-so-normal ones like the Gashlycrumb Tinies, and a very disturbing, graphically-illustrated recruitment poster for the Department of Mary-Sues.
The other bed, with a blanket patterned with flying dragons, had a sleeping, vaguely humanoid dragon wearing a red Hogwarts T-shirt and jeans in it. Shadow decided not to disturb it.
Finally, she saw the person she was looking for: Agent X, sitting at her laptop, playing a computer game. As Shadow drew closer, she could hear her muttering, “Come on, Artix, you’ve got 100 crit, now just score above thirty! I made you score a hundred and fourteen once! Just over thirty…Aw, shit!” She turned in her swivel chair. “Yeah? Oh. Hi, Shadow. What’s–”
Shadow leaped straight at her, screaming, “OmigodAgentXManxjustgotcapturedbyaSueandshe’sgoingtogettorturedandkilledhelpmeshe’sinLothlorienhelpPLEEEASE…” Shadow buried her face in Agent X’s shoulder and started crying. Agent X gingerly patted her on the back, muttering, “Uh, it’s okay, it’s okay, now just tell me slower…”
Shadow gasped out her story to the homicidal agent. When she was done, she stepped back and waited for Agent X’s reaction.
Agent X stood in the center of the room for a moment, completely still. Then her eyes slowly began to redden. Shadow took a careful step back. Then another. And another, and another, until she was backed up against the wall. Agent X was scary.
“Lothlorien, you said?” Shadow almost jumped out of her skin. “Uh, uh, yeah,” she replied quickly. “It looks like a lot of the place has been Sue-ified, and we’ll need to neuralyze pretty much all of Lorien, and I don’t even know where Manx is being held. What’s your plan?”
“You’ll see.” Agent X strapped on her equipment belt and checked to make sure all her gear was in place, then walked over the bed and prodded the dragon. “Hey, Arya! Get up!”
“Wstfgl?” The dragon grumbled something unintelligible and turned over. Agent X urgently shook her. “Wake up! Emergency!”
The dragon sat up reluctantly, rubbing her eyes and muttering, “Well, I don’t see why you have to wake me up, I was having a nice dream about Eragon … Oh, hi! Hey, Shadow!”
“Listen!” Shadow snapped urgently. “Manx is in a Suefic! Trapped! By the Sue! A Warrior!Sue, if I may add. She’s going to get killed if we don’t get there in time! I don’t even know where she’s at, where the Sue’s taken her, or if she’s dead already! So MOVE!” She screamed the last two words, then turned around and raced out the door, practically hopping up and down in agitation.
Agent X shook her head. “Poor kid. Arya, get up. She’s going to need a ton of help if she wants her partner to get out of that fic alive.” She smiled quietly. “And I noticed she rushed out of the door without even realizing she didn’t know what we were supposed to be doing…”
Shadow poked her head back in through the doorway, slightly shamefacedly. “Uh, where were we going?” Agent X grinned, as did her partner.
“The PPC cafeteria. The land where coffee is mistaken for tar, and vice versa, and where there’s only a fifty-percent chance the food in there could even be given the label of food.” She snatched several large pointy objects off of the racks of weapons around the room and tossed a few to Agent Dragon, then handed a large and very heavy broadsword to Shadow. She sagged under the weight. “I’m hoping to get a few volunteers for the rescue.” Agent X strapped a fourth dagger to her belt, hauled a backpack on her back, opened the door and dashed off down the hall. Shadow quickly ran after her, with Agent Dragon bringing up the rear with a plaintive, “Wait! I didn’t put on my socks yet!”
Shadow raised an eyebrow. “Why does a dragon need socks?”
Agent X smirked. “Look behind you. Does that look like a dragon?”
Shadow chanced a quick glance and blinked. Hopping behind them on one foot, trying to keep pace while pulling on a green sock with ERAGON ERAGON ERAGON written in blue letters all over it (alternated with red hearts), was what looked like a dark-haired, pale-skinned elf from the Eragon continuum. “Huh?”
Agent X shrugged. “She was an Arya-Sue from an Eragon Suefic. Fell in love with Eragon, of course, but also had Super Shapeshifting Powers letting her transform into her dragon. Good enough kid once you meet her, though. Well-written enough that we could rescue her. Oh, here we are.” The strange architecture, or lack of it, in the construction of PPC HQ made it impossible to reach somewhere without thinking furiously about something else. Agent X pushed open the doors to the cafeteria.
Shadow raced inside and leaped up on a nearby table, then waved the broadsword (with much effort) over her head. “Hey! Everybody! SHUT UP!!” she yelled, and slammed the blade deep into the table barely an inch away from Agent Steiner’s plate. The agent blinked and slowly put down the spork on which a small piece of unidentifiable meatloaf had been speared. (Which was lucky, because most meatloaf in the PPC cafeteria cannot really be called meatloaf, and in most places would be classified “toxic waste”.) The loud smashing noise Shadow’s blade made was enough to shut up the entire cafeteria, and most of the assassins around Shadow’s feet stopped talking and stared. Shadow took a deep breath and heaved the sword out of the cafeteria table. Or tried to. The blade was embedded firmly in the plastic counter. In the end, Shadow settled for leaning on it as she shouted at the silent audience:
“My partner’s trapped in a Suefic. This is a pretty god-awful Sue – she screws up pretty much everything to do with Middle-Earth. We were in Lothlorien when the Sue managed to capture Manx. When I last saw her she was hurt pretty badly in the shoulder by an arrow. The Sue all but destroyed Legolas’s character – there’s no telling what she’ll make him do. Manx could be dead by now, for all we know.” She paused. “Uh…We’ll need at least ten agents, ready to neuralyze most of Lothlorien, and collect the five mini-Balrogs from the later chapters. These are the coordinates–” she rattled off the URL “–and make sure to portal into the place where Galadriel and Celeborn meet the Fellowship. That’ll be our meeting spot. Alright?” She waited a moment, and then added, “And if it’s any incentive to you, this Sue’s claiming to be Sauron’s daughter, and she makes him into a Mister Nice Guy willing to die for her. And then she makes Boromir a claustrophobic, crying idiot on top of being a Male Chauvinist Pig.”
Immediately, several agents rushed forward and yelled a variation on “Count me in!” before rushing off to their response centers to portal into Lothlorien. Shadow felt a wicked grin creep across her face. “Okay, Manx. You owe me one,” she whispered. Agent X took one look at her face and blinked. Huh. Never thought she’d be one to go berserk. Almost unconsciously, Agent X pulled a large bottle from her backpack and took a long swig from it. The liquid inside was thick and black, and went gloop. She winced as she swallowed, but then grinned slightly maniacally. “Aaaaaah. Good ol’ Super Kill You Die drink. Nothin’ like it.”
Shadow raised an eyebrow as she tugged hard at the sword embedded in the table. “What’s that?”
“Weeerrll…” Agent X took another swig. “Y’shee, it’sh bashic’lly all o’ the mosht alcoholic drinksh in the whoooooole multivershe, like, like, like, like sheeweed grog, Bleepshinthe, Pink Shtuff, shcumble, anna whole lotta other Pratchett drinksh, mixshed t’gether into one huuuuuge drink. ‘S the besht drink ever made. And t’ combat th’ awful ‘angover, we added Klatchian Coffee…ah, it’s just hit.” Agent X grimaced. “Yeah. Want some?” She handed over the large glass bottle to Shadow.
Shadow took one gulp and started sputtering. “Bloody hellfire, this stuff’s burning off my tongue!” She coughed frantically, trying to clear her mouth of the awful taste. “How the hell do you drink this stuff?!”
Agent X shrugged. “Well, if you don’t like it…” She held out a hand for the bottle.
Shadow gave her a very odd stare. “I never said I didn’t like it.” She gulped down another swallow of the drink. “S’matteroffact, I like it. Innerestin’ taste. Makes y’ feel funny, too.” She blinked. “That’s odd. Why do I have the sudden urge to run around screaming ‘Crivens!’ and slamming people’s noses in with my head?”
“Erm.” Agent X looked uncomfortable. “That would be the Nac Mac Feegle’s Berserker’s Brew…”
“Ah.” Shadow tugged on her sword for the third time, this time rather more enthusiastically. The blade flew out of the table and sent her falling backwards, thumping off of the bench and finally landing heavily on the linoleum floor. Miraculously, she managed not to cut herself with the clumsy broadsword, and also kept most of the Super Kill You Die drink in the bottle. Glasses askew, she sat up, glowering in embarrassment. “Right,” she growled, and stood up. “Let’s go.”
Lord Celeborn was confused.
The Fellowship had arrived today, but there was a new member: a girl. He was pretty sure that wasn’t supposed to happen. His wife had also apparently made a prophecy about the girl, which he was sure also wasn’t supposed to have happened. He would have remembered.
And then, when he had first met with the Nine – or Ten – or Nine – or something – Walkers, he was sure he’d seen something like a miniature Balrog pop out of thin air and run to the side…
That was really not supposed to happen.
So he was conveniently confused right at the time a group of at least twenty oddly-dressed figures appeared out of nowhere, one of whom shoved a short metal stick right before his eyes and pressed a button.
Agent Nate stepped back. “Okay, Lord Celeborn. None of this happened. The Fellowship of the Ring just arrived. It has NINE members. NINE. Well, actually, eight now, but originally it was nine. It’s the principle of the thing. And none of them were girls.” He shrugged. “Okay. Mackenzie? How about you run down to near the Mirror and take care of any elves around there, and maybe neuralyze the Lady?” His partner nodded, then turned to the stupefied Celeborn. “I suggest leaving to your room,” she said. “There will be some screams soon. You will not need to investigate.” She smiled, and pantomimed an airplane stewardess voice. “Thank you, and have a nice day.” Then, neuralyzer at the ready, she portalled to the Mirror.
Agent Crispin, passing by on his way to neuralyze another group, hissed, “Keep away from Agent Fynn. She’s on a rampage. I warn you, do not cross her path. DO NOT.” His two cents in, he ran off again after Agent Fynn, who was charging through a nearby patch of forest, screaming, “DIE, DIE, DIE, YOU SUE!!! SODDING BOROMIR-DESTROYING LEGOLUSTER!!!” Nate blinked. Odd, he thought, and ran off to neuralyze some more Galadhrim who were witnessing the event with open mouths.
Shadow turned and barked out orders to the group of assassins gathered nearby. “Okay, Agent Gil and Agent Tam! Find Haldir and his patrol, neuralyze them, and keep them somewhere safe! Then get to the Fellowship as soon as you can! Agent Robin! Portal ahead and find the minis, and bring them back! Tirsaer! Ryni! Team up with Laburnum and Foxglove, and try to find any sort of uncanonical location. Manx might be there! Lizzy? Run after Fynn and sedate her before she destroys half of Lothlorien.” She turned to the assassins who were unassigned, as portals opened all around them. “All the rest of you, neuralyze any of the Galadhrim you meet.” She looked at Agent Dragon. “Arya? Change into your dragon form, fly over Lorien, and scout out for any sign of the Sue.” The ex-Sue nodded, scrunched up her eyes in concentration, and transformed into a rather gangly, six-foot-tall knobbly-limbed red dragon. Thumping her wings, she flew off. Shadow took a few more swigs from her bottle of Super Kill You Die drink and glared ahead. “Agent X, I think you’d better come with me.” She turned around, and the look she gave the veteran was so fierce Agent X felt like hiding despite herself.
Her face set in a deep scowl, she gripped the blade of her sword tighter and opened a portal to a random location in Lorien. She took a final gulp from the bottle and stepped through, snapping down her sunglasses and neuralyzing the group of elves they had just walked into. “All right,” she said briefly, blazing with anger. “None of this occurred, and if you hear or see anything odd, don’t run to investigate. Okay? Good, then.” She turned around and trooped off, muttering, “Fucking Sues. Fucking Sues. Hate the lot of them, fucking Mary-Sues…” She stopped and raised her sword, her eyes tinted with red for the first time in her life. Screaming a warcry, and raising her neuralyzer in the other hand, she rushed forward.
Vearanniel listened to her captive with interest.
The prisoner had gone through quite a lot of curses, from the simple (“Fuck off, you bloody asshole!”) to the elaborate (“Dead-brained corpse-breathed excuse for a character with the IQ of a tin of sardines!”) to the merely bizarre (“I’m gonna kick your gohoolug head in, you kindaskitur!”). By the way she kept on swearing, it seemed that those were just the beginnings of a large repertoire.
About the time Manx had begun repeating curses (“Blutiges Weibchen!”) Vearanniel finally cracked, and struck her hard across the face. Her prisoner’s nose had begun bleeding again, and several new bruises appeared over many old ones. Manx showed no real response to this apart from a renewed barrage of obscenities, more colorful than before. Vearanniel struck her again, and finally managed to shut her up. “Well,” she panted, “is taht all u have to say?”
Manx gritted her teeth. “Nope,” she said, and was about to launch into another long slew of insults when they were distracted by a distant scream. Manx furrowed her brow. Somehow, that sounded like…
“Remember Koom Valley!!!”
“Long live Tolkien’s work!!!”
“Fucking Mary-Sue!!! DIE!!!”
“Fynn! Get away from there!”
Vearanniel grabbed hold of Manx’s elven tunic, as a slow grin spread across the captive’s face, and shook her so hard her teeth practically rattled. “Waht is goin on!! Wat are these people doin here??1?? Who r htey??! are tehy wit Sauron as well?!”
Manx looked up. Her mouth twisted into a grim smile, she whispered, “The PPC are here, you bitch.” Then she passed out.
She woke up a moment later to find the Sue and Legolas conversing urgently. “she might be form Sauron, she mite no the plans, and we can threten to kil her if teh atackers come near us –”
“She must be kiled!!! Shes form Sauron!” Legolas exclaimed, waving a hand in Manx’s direction. Manx blinked muzzily. Uhh. Ow, my head… “If it’s any help,” she muttered sarcastically, spitting out some blood, “I’m not in league with Sauron, neither are the people coming to rescue me, and I really, really don’t want to die.” There. That should do it.
“But u SHAL die,” Vearanniel said. She stepped forward and raised her blade in one quick movement.
Manx’s brain raced through all the possibilities at that moment. Okay. Duck the blow? No. Run? Obviously no. Attack her? How? Oh, what the hell, she thought, and screamed.
It was a good scream. The Sue dropped her katana and clapped her hands over her ears, almost in unison with Legolas and the three other elves still standing. The other two had fallen over, twitching. It was the type of scream to melt earwax and break glass and make dogs howl in the towns several miles away. If there were any bats, they would have fallen out of the rafters. The fell beasts and their Nazgul riders would have applauded. Eggs would have exploded.
And it went on. And on. And on. It continued far beyond the range of any normal human being, and kept on smashing itself against a person’s eardrums out of sheer desperation. It was the sort of sound people noticed.
And people noticed.
Agent Laburnum stood up from the underbrush she had been hiding under. “All right. This never happened. Bugger off and…and do all those things you Lorien elves do,” she concluded lamely.
Foxglove grinned. “When you wake up,” she told the unmoving elf before her, “you will have had a most wonderful dream about the thing you like most, and you–”
“Foxglove, please stop with the random Good Omens references –” She winced and covered her ears as a scream rang through the forest. “Ow. What was that?”
Tirsaer hurried back from the small clearing where he had just memory-wiped several Galadhrim. “What’s going on? What’s up with that sound?”
His partner, Ryni, grimaced, answering, “It seems to be the sound of an animal in great pain and agony. I would most likely compare it to the sound of a Ringwraith attempting to go to the outhouse with a sewn-up backside.”
Foxglove blinked. “Hold it…I’ve heard that sort of scream before…YES!” Quickly, she ran off in the direction of the scream. “Come on, guys! I think we just found what we were looking for! Laburnum, come on! It’s just like the Nighthunt all over again!” She charged off.
Laburnum blinked. “What –”
Tirsaer grabbed his neuralyzer tighter. “Manx! It’s Manx over there! Come on!” he shouted and dashed off, the other agents following behind.
Agent Robin jumped out of a portal, followed closely by several mini-Balrogs, and was met with an awful sound. “Agh!” she gasped, and covered her ears. The minis Gollumn and nazgool both hunched down, keening softly and covering their heads. “What the heck’s making that noise?” She twisted around, trying to find where the sound was coming from.
Golumm tapped her on the shin and pointed to the right. Robin turned around and blinked. What’s he...Oh. The newbie nodded in realization, pulled her neuralyzer out of her pocket, and ran.
The Fellowship was sitting in the grass, some asleep, others awake and quietly grieving, when suddenly a blue doorway opened in the middle of the air. Two oddly-dressed figures fell through as the Fellowship stared. “Ow! Gil, why’d you have to open up the portal three feet off the ground –”
“Well, it wasn’t my fault, you’re better at this than I am–”
Tam looked up and blinked. “Oh. Hi!” she said, and flipped down her sunglasses before raising her neuralyzer and pressing the button.
“None of this happened, okay? You just came back from Moria. Legolas never fell in love with any girl at any time. Boromir, you’re not a chauvinist pig, and you’re CERTAINLY not claustrophobic. Frodo, get up to the Mirror, you’ve got some gazing to do. Merry, Sam, Pippin, Aragorn, Gimli, uh, do whatever you’re supposed to be doing at this time.” She turned around, ready to leave, when a faint scream of fear reached her ears. “Huh?” Tam turned her head, trying to find the source of the sound. “What’s –”
“Tam…” Gil turned to look at her. “I think that’s Manx.”
One horrified pause, as they contemplated what might be making Manx scream, and the two agents raced off.
High above all of the agents, Arya Dragon flew over Lothlorien. Several elves had attempted to shoot her, but she had simply flown higher until they were caught up by the PPC and neuralyzed. There was no trace of Manx, however, and she was starting to get worried when the scream reached her ears. Immediately, she wheeled around, staring down at the Wood, trying to find the origin of the scream. Her red-scaled head flicking back and forth, she caught sight of a tunnel, with a heavy wooden door blocking the entrance. Despite her worry, Arya grinned. “Yes…”
She folded in her wings and dropped down, screaming “GERONIMO!!!” at the top of her lungs.
The scream stopped.
Tentatively, Vearanniel lifted her hands off her ears, and when no further shrieks emerged from Manx’s throat, she stood up and stepped forward. “so, you have desided to give up. Good. maybe tihs will perswad u to tel us teh plans o Mordor…”
“No.” Manx spoke as she stared at the ground, seemingly defeated. “I don’t know them. Get the point, you Mary-Sue.” She looked upwards into Vearanniel’s mood-and-color changing eyes. “Piss off.”
The Sue’s expression didn’t change. Then she sighed exaggeratedly. “tehn death is ur only option…”
Then Manx heard a scream, getting closer, a shout of surprise, and then a huge WHAM and a crash. All eight in the dungeon – elves, Agent, and Sue – stopped whatever they were doing and looked up. The noises continued for a few moments, then the echoes died away, leaving behind only a very thick, dust-ridden silence.
For a moment, the dungeon was silent. Vearanniel strode towards the thick wooden door and looked out of the conveniently barred window. When no attackers appeared, she turned away, satisfied, and lifted her blade again. “Well then, I think we have no furter use for u.” Swinging the katana above her head, she prepared to bring it crashing down upon Manx.
Manx screamed. Again. Not quite as loud as the first, but still enough to force the Sue and her Sue-ified cohorts away from the frantic agent. Fingers in her ears, Vearanniel flattened herself against the far wall and waited. The captive would have to run out of breath sooner or later.
Sure enough, after a minute or so of non-stop shrieking at the top of her lungs, Manx quit. Panting for breath, she leaned against the stone wall. Shit! Shit! Shit! she thought frantically, as Vearanniel walked forward, katana ready. Ohshitohshitohshiti’mgoingtoDIEohshitohshitohshit…
“Manx!” came a faint, panicky, and slightly concussed-sounding yell from far off, along with several loud crashes as something picked itself up off the floor, flinging off rubble as it went. “Manx! Where are you?!”
“ARYA!” Manx shouted in relief. “Get the hell over here, right now! Hurry –” The rest of her sentence was cut off by the Sue clamping her hand over Manx’s mouth. Quickly, the agent bit down hard on Vearanniel’s fingers, feeling nauseatingly sparkly pink blood pour out over her tongue. She held on resolutely, even as the Sue screamed and tried to pull her hand away. Squeezing her eyes shut, feeling blood pound through her temples, Manx suddenly let go, sending the Sue stumbling backwards into Legolas's arms. “ARYA! SHADOW! GET THE FUCK OVER HERE RIGHT NOW! HURRY!” she screamed. “Just follow the sound, Shadow! Follow the sound!”
Shadow scrambled down the pile of rubble that was now lying on the floor of the dungeon hall, remnants of the roof now opened up to the sky. The two Galadhrim guarding the dungeon had been neuralyzed by other agents, though more seemed to be coming to help. Coughing on dust thrown up in the air by other agents’ feet, she looked frantically from side to side. Before her were two passages leading in different directions. Crap, crap, CRAP! she screamed inwardly. Where –
A scream echoed through the corridors, reaching the agents’ ears from deeper in the dungeons. Shadow whipped around, trying to locate the source of the scream. The sound was louder and clearer near the left corridor, so Shadow ran as fast as she could down the hall, yelling, “MANX! MANX! I’M COMING! WHERE ARE YOU?!”
Legolas swung his hand at Manx’s face again in fury, smacking her head back against the wall. “SHUT UP!!!” he shouted, but Manx quickly whipped her head to the side and sank her teeth deep into the elf’s fingers. He let out a yelp and leaped back, blood dripping onto the stone floor. “How do we shut her up?!” he yelled at Vearanniel, waving his hand wildly.
“do you think I’m not tryin?” Vearanniel snapped, and punched Manx on the side of the head. Dazed, Manx stared numbly as Vearanniel whipped up her blade and shouted, “U shal DIE –”
Manx shut her eyes. Great, she thought. Never thought I’d die by the hands of a Sue. Thanks for nothing, Shadow. She braced herself for the blow.
But the pain never came. Instead, there was the sound of frantic running, wild screaming, and a huge smashing noise. Manx blinked her eyes open in amazement. What the…
Vearanniel spun around. “wat –” she began, but there was a soft pfft, a thunk, and she stopped. Manx stared, astonished, as the katana clattered on the ground. The Sue turned slowly, mouth opening and shutting, and the agent could clearly see a small, black-feathered dart, sticking in her jugular.
Vearanniel fell on the ground, twitching, as Agent X lowered the blowpipe from her lips, smirking in satisfaction. Manx glanced up and saw Shadow standing in the doorway, the wooden door broken off its hinges with a huge broadsword buried in the thick wood. “Manx! Shut your eyes!” she shouted, and held up a small metal stick.
Manx quickly complied, and squeezed her eyes shut as Shadow pressed a button.
Shadow heedlessly tossed her neuralyzer over her shoulder and rushed towards her partner. “Manx! Manx!” she yelled. “You all right?”
“Do I honestly have to answer that question?” groaned Manx. She rolled her eyes sarcastically. “No, what’d you think? Completely hunky-dory! Absolutely wonderful! My arm’s fucking broken! Get me out of here!” She coughed, then spat out a bit of bloody phlegm onto the stones. “Fuck…”
Shadow hurried forward, bending down to grab the keys from the prone Sue’s hand. Vearanniel made a feeble attempt to stop Shadow, waving a limp arm in the agent’s direction. Shadow paused, stared at Vearanniel, then grabbed her by the collar and punched her so hard she smashed against the opposite wall, then flopped on the floor with the word “PPC” and a waterlily printed back-to-front on her jaw.
“That’s for Manx,” she told the Sue. Standing up, she swiftly selected a random key and began to fiddle with the manacles.
The dungeon rumbled ominously as Shadow attempted to pick the locks. “Crap,” she muttered. Twisting her wrist, she blinked as the manacles clicked open. “Oh,” she said. She looked at the key. “That’s…good.”
“Yes. I appreciate it very much. Thank you. Kudos all around. Now can we go?” a voice groaned from about floor level.
Shadow looked down at her partner. “Oh. Yeah, sure…” She grabbed Manx by her unwounded shoulder and hauled her off the floor, absentmindedly mumbling “Sorry” at Manx’s hiss of pain, and poked a few buttons on the portal generator. They stumbled through it just in time, the agents and dull-eyed canons reaching open air as the dungeon disappeared with a shloop into the ground.
Shadow blinked. Weird, she thought. She glanced down at the twitching Sue on the ground. “Did you kill her?” she asked.
“Nah,” Agent X answered. “Just a paralyzing dart.” She prodded the portal generator, stood up as a glowing blue portal appeared in the air, switched on a small flashlight, and carelessly dragged Vearanniel through into the dark of Moria.
“Ow,” Manx muttered, and Shadow looked to the side. She winced. Manx had been through the mill – bruises, lumps, and scratches covered her face, dried blood obscured half of her cheek, a strip of dirty cloth covered her right shoulder, stained dark red, and her left forearm was twisted at a nasty angle. “Ah, crap,” she muttered. “Okay, um, sit down here…” She looked around frantically. “Anyone have first aid? Or bandages? Or…or something?”
“Yep, right here.” Agent X popped her head through the still-open portal and gestured for Shadow to come through. “Come on already, Shadow! The neuralyzing’s gonna wear off soon anyway. Just get everyone through the portal, and you can take care of Manx here.”
Shadow nodded, and helped Manx through the portal. Propping her partner up against a couple of backpacks, she rooted through the packs for anything resembling a first-aid kit. Looking down at the battered agent, she muttered, “This looks bad. Uh, Agent X?” she shouted. “Now would be a really good time for those bandages you mentioned.”
“Oh. Yeah. Here!” came a shout from the dark of the cave, and Agent X appeared, quickly sitting down and digging through her belt pouch (a souvenir from a Sue who could apparently fit ten foot-long arrows into one pouch previously mentioned as “small”.) “Um, wait a sec, just gotta – ah. Here it is.” She opened a square white box with “PPC Medical Kit” printed in red letters on the lid. Inside were the standard items for any medical kit: gauze strips, thread, needles, disinfectant. This being the PPC, however, it also included a small canister filled with Bleeprin, several sporks (gouging out of eyes, for the use of), and a small round tin that Agent X quickly pulled out of the box. “Heal-All Athelas,” she explained, lifting off the lid. It was full of herblike leaves, floating in water kept warm by a heatpack underneath. A fragrant scent wafted out, bringing a quick smile to Shadow’s face before she brushed her hair out of her eyes and turned to Agent X. “What does this do, anyway?”
“Well, you know how most Aragorn-lusting Sues always find a way to get wounded and be healed by their ‘Gornie-kins’?” Agent X selected a needle and carefully threaded it. Manx bit her lip, accepting a small off-white painkiller pill Shadow handed to her and swallowing it.
“The stupid fanwriters seem to think that kingsfoil cures absolutely everything. Eventually, a couple of agents realized it would be pretty good for Medical, so they brought a bit in.” She wet Manx’s shoulder with the warm water and slowly peeled off the strip of cloth. Shadow winced. The wound looked pretty nasty, raw and red with blood. Manx promptly looked away.
And rolling up her sleeves, Agent X set to work.
Vearanniel struggled against her ropes. Something in the dart that had stuck in her neck made it hard to move, but it was definitely wearing off now. Her jaw still throbbed from the black-haired girl’s punch, but she clenched her teeth in righteous anger behind the filthy gag. That midget tried to kill her! Her, Legolas’ true love! How dare she!
Vearanniel looked around the cavern carefully for a moment before twisting her hand in an effort to get them out of their bonds. Where was Legolas? Shouldn’t he be on his way to rescue her? Despite her situation, she began to drool at the thought of her hot boyfriend. Mmmm…sexy elf…The gag soon became sodden with Sue-Spit. She had almost wrenched her hand out of the ropes when a shadow fell across her. Vearanniel looked up.
What looked like an enormous purple centipede stood before her, its jaws clacking. Vearanniel gave a muffled scream and tried to dig herself into the rock with her shoulder blades, then screamed even louder when the centipede landed one segmented leg on her chest and hissed, “Don’t even think about it, you bloody Sue.” Leaning closer, it snarled, “I eat Sues like you for breakfast. Miserable, stinking chunk of fetid –”
An elf appeared beside it. “Car'rok. Stop it. Don’t kill her yet.”
The centipede sighed. “Why not?”
“’Cause Agent X is probably going to think of something disturbing to end this Sue’s life.” The elf shrugged. “But I guess you could just stay here and menace the Sue for a little bit.” She grinned wickedly at the frightened Vearanniel. “Car'rok is very, very good at killing creatures like you,” the elf whispered. “Don’t bother her, and she won’t bother you.”
The centipede began to sharpen its pincers on the ground, scrape, scrape, scrape. “Oh, but she has been bothering me. She’s been bothering me since she treated Gandalf like a senile old man. She’s been bothering me since she treated Gimli like a nonexistent idiotic sexist git. She’s been bothering me ever since her stupid little line about how Boromir was a misogynistic bastard who’s claustrophobic and cries for no freaking reason at all.” Car’rok finished off her sentence with a final scrape and straightened up. “I think I have plenty of reason to ‘bother’ you right back.” The centipede bent down over the trembling Sue. “But don’t worry,” she said in a sweet, and ultimately disturbing, voice. “I’m sure Agent X can kill you in a very creative way.” She tapped the Sue on the nose with a segmented leg, making Vearanniel practically wet her oh-so-beautiful dress in fear. “So enjoy your last few minutes on Middle-Earth. They’ll be eventful, you can count on that.”
They were interrupted suddenly by the arrival of Manx, leaning wearily on Shadow’s shoulder. Agent X had done her best with the bandages, but Manx’s face looked like someone had run a train over it. As she limped towards the Sue, Agent X leaned against the wall and opened Shadow’s laptop, then raised her eyebrows at the immense chargelist. “Manx? You wanna start first?” she asked, holding the laptop out to the bruised agent. Manx shrugged, wincing as she jostled her shoulder, and carefully took the laptop in her right hand. Steadily glaring at Vearanniel, she announced the charges.
“Vearanniel, we charge you with being a Mary-Sue, with disregarding and completely ignoring canon, with horribly mangling the English language, with using chatspeak, with creating tons and tons of mini-Balrogs –” Here the minis roared and snapped their whips, casting flickering shadows across the walls. Vearanniel whimpered softly. “–with misspelling your OWN NAME, with being incredibly beautiful, with being super-smart, with making people HATE you because you’re smart –” Manx looked up and sighed. “Gods, I do not know how in the WORLD that works out. Amazingly, people actually sometimes become friends with intelligent people! Astonishing, isn’t it?” She glanced down at the screen again. “With being unnecessarily angsty, with being brought into Middle-Earth, with being part of a ‘prophecy’, with making ridiculous insults, with displaying Sooper Kewl Sue Magical Powaz, i.e. being able to raise the Ford of Rivendell, therefore upstaging Elrond and Gandalf's role, and later on suddenly making fire appear out of your hands, with being a princess, with giving a bad name to the city of New York, with making Legolas appear out of nowhere, with screwing with the hobbits’ characters, i.e., making them seem like children instead of being older than YOU are –”
The murmuring in the crowd of agents rose in pitch, and Agent Liz Kelp yelled, “Idiot! If you’d read the books, you would’ve seen that the hobbits aren’t little children, they’re strong, brave people who are far better than you are!”
“–and with utterly destroying the hobbit culture.” Manx handed the laptop over to Shadow. “Your turn.” She stepped back, staring down grimly at her captive.
Shadow began. “You are also charged with making Middle-Earth characters use modern slang, with bringing twenty-first century knowledge to Middle-Earth, with being able to play the harp perfectly, with making people CRY from your ‘beautiful singing’ which isn’t, with using really, really stupid and badly-phrased metaphors and similes, with being in the Council of Elrond for NO REASON AT ALL, with completely screwing with the Council of Elrond, with joining the Fellowship of the Ring–”
The murmuring turned into a roar.
“–with using the ‘It’s only fanfiction!’ excuse – it being fanfiction is no reason to ignore canon, by the way – with contradicting yourself, with making Boromir a male chauvinist PIG –”
Agent Maria launched herself forward, yelling, “DAMN YOU! DAMN YOU TO THE DEEPEST PITS OF HADES, YOU BITCH!” Agent Crispin, her partner, had to hold her back with help from Elronde and nazgool.
“–with being a FUCKING HORSE WHISPERER, with having a Cute Animal Friend with a really, really, REALLY stupid name, with using stupid paragraph dividers, with making several IMPORTANT events in the Fellowship’s journey trivial, with making Legolas fall in love with you – WITH PRACTICALLY NO EXPLANATION –”
Agent Drake, a humanoid fox, launched himself forward, screaming, “DIE! DIE! DIE!” at the top of his lungs. Agent Naomi sighed, grabbed her backpack, and whacked him on the top of the head with it. “No, Drake,” she said. “No killing. Not yet.”
“–with being so sappy we almost puked, with upstaging Frodo’s role and stealing his lines, with mistaking ‘elvish’ for ‘elfish’, with making the death of Balin and many dwarves of Moria trivial, with treating Gandalf like a senile old geezer and not an ages-old Maia that should invoke your respect –”
Liz snapped, and flung a large rock, screaming, “RAAAAAAAH!!!” The rock cracked against Vearanniel’s shoulder, making her squeal in pain. Shadow smiled in satisfaction, then turned back to the charges. “–with MAKING BOROMIR CRY BECAUSE HE’S CLAUSTROPHOBIC –”
The roar rose to a scream as Fynn leaped forward. “Look, he’s a CAPTAIN in the GONDORIAN ARMY. There is no TIME to cry in a battle!” she shouted.
A shoe came flying out of the crowd, striking the Sue on the forehead. She shrieked as the shoe was followed by a “BITCH! There was absolutely no evidence he was ever claustrophobic in the BOOKS, which are CANON, which you should READ!” Sara stomped out from among her fellow agents, and promptly whacked the Sue around the head with a copy of Fellowship of the Ring. “IDIOT!”
Shadow smiled sadistically and carried on. “Where was I? Oh, yes. Furthermore, you are charged with DRINKING THE WATER FROM THE MIRROR OF GALADRIEL–”
The agents roared, and several stones came flying out of the crowd, striking Vearanniel on the forehead and arms. She wailed in pain. Agent Zach jumped forward, yelling, “Look, Galadriel cautioned Frodo against even TOUCHING it! Why do you, Super-Sue, have to upstage him by being better?” Zach snorted. “Oh, wait. You’re a Sue. You just HAVE to be better.”
Shadow continued. “You are also charged with having a Deux Ex Machina sword – I swear, a katana in Middle-Earth? You Sues always think of the strangest things – that ‘ALWAYS LETS YOU WIN A BATTLE’.” Shadow stopped and glared at the Sue, who shrank back in fright. “There’s probably a lot more we could charge you with, but since it hasn’t happened I don’t know if it counts. Still, I’m not about to let these pass, since you also would have been charged with changing into an elf from drinking the water from the Mirror – again, no evidence WHATSOEVER that the water ever did that–”
“UNCANON FIEND!” shouted Ryni from near the back of the crowd, and Robin backed it up with a “FILTHY SUE!” as she waved a small bag of popcorn around.
“–with being the daughter of SAURON and ANOTHER FRAGGIN’ OFC, with MARRYING Legolas, even though you’re only, oh, about several thousand years younger than him, and with EXTREMELY PISSING OFF PPC AGENTS –”
All the agents howled with fury.
“CAUSING EXTREME BODILY HARM TO PPC AGENTS–”
More rocks and various objects soared from the group of agents, soundly whacking the Sue about the head. Maria started up a chant, shouting, “Die! Die! Die! Die!...”
“AND ONCE AGAIN, BEING A HORRIBLE AND DISGUSTING MARY SUE!” Shadow snarled. She snapped the laptop shut, breathing heavily. “For these crimes, you are hereby sentenced to death by Agent X.” She nodded to the tall, mousy-haired agent, who stepped forward. The agents suddenly fell silent.
“Right,” said Agent X with satisfaction. She reached forward and lifted Vearanniel’s gag. “Any last words that aren’t pathetic and don’t include ‘Legolas’, ‘save me’, and ‘please don’t’?”
“Plz dont kill meeeeee!1!!” the Sue wailed. “Leggy-kins will save me! Hes my tru luv!”
“Guess it was too much to hope for,” Agent X sighed, snapping the gag back. “Ah, well.” She smiled, exposing oddly sharp-looking teeth. “Goodbye.”
The screams echoed on for a very, very long time.
Shadow looked slightly sickened, but Manx smiled in grim retribution. She blinked as a thought struck her and limped off to the pile of backpacks.
“What’re you doing?” Shadow asked as Manx began rummaging through Shadow’s pack. Manx’s face brightened up as she grabbed something that made a sloshing noise and drew it out.
It was a can of kerosene.
Shadow glanced at Manx’s gleeful smile, stared at the can of kerosene, and looked at the pile of shredded Sue-remains now scattered across the cavern, and put two and two together.
And soon, the agents were enjoying a bright bonfire (that nevertheless left a stench of strawberry jam in their clothes that took hours to remove).
-catonotails: …so then we portalled back to HQ to get permanently fixed by Doc Fitz; picked up Shadow’s new mini-Deepcoiler Uskarat and my new signed copies of Redwall, The Bellmaker, and Taggerung; and…well…that was it. Oh, and by the way, you can borrow The Bellmaker if you want. For luck. If you get that horrifying Mariel-Sue fic.
-bloodwrathburnsey: Don’t tempt the Narrative Laws of Comedy!
-catonotails: *winces* Ouch. Sorry.
-bloodwrathburnsey: You know, you’re kinda lucky. At least your – ahem - escapade wasn’t on your birthday.
-catonotails: At least yours didn’t try to blind you with horrible grammar and spelling.
-bloodwrathburnsey: Well, at least with yours, it was possible to kill the bastard responsible. Yeah, true, we did stick hedgehog quills all over the creep’s groin, but at least you got to kill that bloody Sue.
-catonotails: Technically, no, Agent X helped out. But the bonfire was definitely fun. *gleeful pyro* Still, yours could have been canonically possible. You know how sadistic vermin can get. But I mean, elves? They don’t go for torture.
-bloodwrathburnsey: Well, yours didn’t try to rape you, then tell you that you were so ugly they didn’t want to.
Manx raised her eyebrows.
-catonotails: That does not sound good. But at least you –
The console suddenly flashed bright, retina-searing red as it gave a scream usually associated with ten thousand cats in great pain and normally heard only by bats. Manx’s partner Shadow fell off her chair, screaming “Make it stop! Make it stop!” Uskarat shot under the bed, leaving a trail of slime on the floor. Manx crawled over to the console and managed to whack the Mute button with a thick copy of Redwall, effectively shutting it up for the time being. The echoes died away as the two agents slowly got up, panting.
“Gods…” Shadow stared at the console, not wanting to get too close. “What the hell was that?”
“Guess we’ve got another mission.” Manx grimly opened the intelligence report. “Looks like the Redwall fandom this time…huh, a bad slash fic…if it’s Ferahgo/Klitch I’m going to scream, I swear I am…” She stopped and stared at the full description. “Oh. My. Fucking. GOD.”
Shadow peeked over her shoulder. “What is it? What’s –” she began. Manx didn’t answer, just slowly clenched her fists, her eyes going red. Shadow’s eyes flicked back and forth, quickly reading the message. “Oh crap,” she murmured, and hastily stepped backwards. “No. No. No way…” She sat down on the couch and buried her head in her hands.
“‘Oh crap’ is right,” Manx muttered, gritting her teeth. “By the gods, I cannot believe this…”
“Why’d they give it to us, anyway?” Shadow wailed, briefly looking up. “I thought Chevron and Lucien volunteered for that!”
Manx quickly scanned the report. “Says that they couldn’t do it on account of wanting to keep their sanity. Apparently they think our sanity has already been completely lost.” She stood up and picked up her copy of Redwall, signed by the author and given to her as a Christmas present. “I guess we don’t have much choice.” Manx sighed and rubbed her forehead. “Gods, this sucks.” She bent down and typed another IM.
-catonotails: Sorry, gotta go. We got a mission.
-bloodwrathburnsey: Which one?
-catonotails: It’s…it’s the Cluny Fic.
There was a very long pause.
-bloodwrathburnsey: I’m sorry, I have to go laugh my head off now. You poor, innocent fools.
And somewhere up above, the enforcers of the Narrative Laws of Comedy rolled upon their celestial floors in laughter.