RC #1427: The Realm of Manx and Shadow

Mission Three:

A/N: Aaaaaand it’s THAT SERIES! Also known as “Of Warlords and Pleasures”. It most definitely belongs to Uoikih on Yiffstar and can stay there, for all I care. Let it be a testament to the horrors that lurk in the dark, dank corners of the ‘Net, where all barriers are broken and all badfic is unleashed…

 

*ahem* Anyway…

 

Redwall belongs to the most wonderful Brian Jacques. I applaud him. Manx and Shadow are mine. My own. My preciousss. So are Agent X and Agent Dragon. Unless, of course, you ask, in which case I freely give them. XD

 

The PPC, along with the SO and any other PPC staff appearing here, are owned by Jay and Acacia, original agents. Discworld belongs to the almighty Terry Pratchett. No Rest For The Wicked belongs to Andrea L. Peterson, though it’s quite lovely and I want it. ^_^

 

Forth Sporkers!

 

That Series Special: The Cluny Fic

 

     Thud. Thud. Thud.

 

     “Shadow, stop whackin’ yer ‘ead ‘gainst the ground. Yew’re gonna ‘urt yerself.”

 

     Thud. Thud. Thud.

 

     A sigh. “Well, yer choice, I s’pose. But d’you really want more damage t’ yer brain than needed?”

 

     Thud. Thud. THUD.

 

     “Bein’ comatose ain’t gonna get yew outta killin’ this fic, y’know.”

 

     THUD. THUD. THUD.

 

     “I got a bit o’ Super Kill Yew Die Drink, anyway.”

 

     THUD. THU – “Wot?”

 

     Manx, disguised as a brown rat, smirked. “’Ere,” she said, handing Shadow – now in the form of an average sable ferret, albeit with glasses – a bottle of the extremely potent alcohol. “Yew’ll prob’ly need it more’n I will.”

 

     Shadow shot her an incredulous glance and gulped down half of the bottle. Coughing, she put it down, and managed to choke out, “Wot th’ ‘ell ’re yew talkin’ ‘bout? Yew are gonna need t’ put a scrubbin’ brush t’ yer brain ‘fore this ‘s over.” She took another gloomy swig and continued. “I mean,‘s th’ worst smutfic t’ ever be on th’ net. Yew won’t be able t’ look at a spear fer years, I’m tellin’ yew.”

 

     The two agents sat on a wide, gray expanse – the pre-story world of the author’s note. Manx checked the story on Yiffstar, then gestured for Shadow to plug her ears. The author’s note boomed out…

 

NOTICE! All chars used in this story are copyright Brian Jacques, and are used without permisson.

 

     Manx winced as “permisson” made her inner Grammar Nazi scream and crack its whip meaningfully. “Charge fer misspellin’ somethin’ easily corrected by a spellchecker,” she muttered, and began to twitch as the horror unraveled.

 

Cluny sat idly in his tent, swishing his tail and enjoying the CRACK it made when he snapped it in the air. The big rat peered out of his tent at the massive redstone abbey building. So far, about twoscore of his horde had died trying to enter that Redwall place.

 

     A tent appeared before their eyes, Redwall Abbey materializing further away behind them. Sharp cracks could be heard from the tent, forcing Shadow into whimpering convulsions. Manx winced and patted her partner lightly on the shoulder.

 

Redtooth, one of his horde captains, just had the bad luck to come and make his report while Cluny was in a bad mood. Redtooth swaggered up, and saluted. "G'mornin', chief." Cluny looked at his captain, and then, with one swift SWAP, his long tail had whirled around Redtooth's body and dragged him into the tent. The rat captain whimpered loudly and cringed as Cluny threw him down onto the floor and stood over him. "Make yer report, Cap'n Redtooth." the big rat sneered. Redtooth gulped. "Scragg and Cheesethief are still tryin' to scale the wall, Cap'n." Cluny narrowed his eye at the rat, and then spat in his face and turned away. "Close the door, Redtooth." The rat did as his leader commanded, shutting the tentflap and tying it shut.    

 

     Shadow let out a high-pitched wail. Manx, still retaining some small shred of sanity, muttered, “Charge fer redundancy, charge fer redundancy, will not kill yet, will not kill yet…” Pulling out her Character Analysis Device, she turned it on, preparing herself for the loud BEEEEEEEEEEP! that would blare into her ears, but instead was faced with a small message:

 

     Story “Of Warlords and Pleasures: Cluny the Scourge” detected. This story is on the proscribed list. Assume most canons are incapable of touching canon with a twenty-foot pole. Bring the CAD along to me when you’re done. M-T.

 

     And then the true horror began.

 

     Screams issued from the tent, along with several sharp CRACKS and the nasty sound of a back being ripped to shreds. Both agents twitched and tried not to run away screaming, though the temptation was strong.

 

Cluny grinned evily. "It's a good thing I didn't have my poison barb on, or you'd be a goner, Redtooth." The rat captain screamed again

 

     – accompanied by Shadow’s wail of horror –

 

and fell to the floor of the tent as the Warlord whipped him harder and harder, flaying his back to the bone.

 

     Manx had only enough time to think Why isn’t he dead yet? before she fell over screaming at the top of her lungs. She could dimly hear Shadow sobbing and beating her head against the ground somewhere in the background, but the Words still flowed past mercilessly, throwing horror after horror at the two agents.

 

     At last, the screams inside the tent died away into soft whimpers. Shadow looked up, foolishly thinking that the worst was over, and stared straight into the Words.

 

Cluny watched him pant and whimper, and felt himself grow firm and hard for some reason. He put his paw down past his belt, and squeezed his huge shaft, then a wicked smile lit up his face. Redtooth watched, one of his eyes swollen shut, as the big rat pulled his war armour off, along with his tunic, revealing planes of flat muscle and bulging biceps. No rat, weasel, stoat, ferret, or fox alive had ever seen Cluny naked, not even the sexy she-rats he'd had down in the taverns by the docks.

 

     Sexy she-rats?” Shadow giggled a little shakily as she saw the line, then stared at the rest in horror. “Oh god oh god oh god please don’t tell me that ‘e’s gonna do what I think ‘e’s gonna do–

 

     He did.

 

     “AAAAAAAAAAAAUGH!!!”

 

     A paragraph break was inserted for no reason at all, and the two agents collided with each other as the world treated it as a scene change. Manx raised her head, stared at the Words, and collapsed back.

 

He ran a dirty claw between Redtooth's buttcheeks, laughing as the rat groaned in embarrassment. "Now, just so you don't make a lot of noise when I take my pleasure on you.......here!" The big rat shoved the sticky piece of cloth in Redtooth's mouth, and then grabbed some rope and tied one end to one of Redtooth's wrists, pulled it across the tent and tied the other end to a metal ring sticking up out of the ground, then tied the other rope to Redtooth's other wrist, and tied it in the other corner of his tent.

 

     Momentarily distracted from the main body of the smut, Manx peered at the words, attempting to puzzle out what exactly a random metal ring was doing sticking out of the ground, then gave an agonized scream as Cluny did something extremely disgusting and probably not physically possible. “Ew, ew, ew, ew, EW!!!” she screamed as she noticed the actions described in the Words, and promptly whacked her head against the signed copy of Redwall, feeling slight relief from the pain as she felt the true canon in the author’s signature. “That is th’ most disgustin’ thing I’ve ever seen in my ‘ole freakin’ life ew ew ew ew EW…” She took a deep breath and made the mistake of looking at the Words. She blanched under her fur. “EEEEEEEEEEWWW!!!”

 

     Shadow curled up, twitched, and moaned. Manx poked her carefully, still wide-eyed with horror. “Um, Shadow, I think we gotta go an’ exorcise Matthias ‘n’ Cornflower an’ the really gory parts’re comin’ up soon an’ I’d like some ‘elp in this please you’re supposed to be my partner ain’t yew an’ OH SWEET LOVIN’ ERU ONNA POGO STICK ‘OW THE FUCK IS ‘E DOIN’ THAT?!”

 

     Shadow gave one last whimper and staggered forward to puke all over the ground. Manx turned away, her face going from white to green. “Oh, gawd…SWEET MOTHER NATURE, THAT’S JES’ BLOODY IMPOSSIBLE!!! YEW JES’ CAN’T BLOODY DO THAT WIVVA SPEAR, EVEN I KNOW THAT!!!” she screamed. She stabbed at the portal generator with the claws that replaced her fingers, dragging the semiconscious Shadow by the scruff of the neck through the blue doorway and onto the battlements of Redwall Abbey.

 

From his position on the battlements, Matthias saw the flickering shadows inside Cluny's tent, and shook his head. "The rat's torturing somebeast in there, Cornflower." The little churchmouse shuddered, but she felt a warm, wet tingling between her legs as she imagined what Cluny was doing to his vermin in there with his huge cock..........and what Matthias's could do to her.

 

     The two agents stared.

 

     Whut th’ flyin’ fuck?” Manx sputtered. “But…but ‘ow…”

 

     “Oh, gawd,” Shadow muttered, leaning against the stone wall. “No. No, no, no, no, no. That’s not…” She twitched. “Gah.”

 

Matthias saw the look of pained pleasure on her face, and grew worried. Jumping down from the battlements, he took Conrflower in his arms. "What's the matter, Cornflower? Are you sick?"

 

     “Oh, Matthias,” Manx muttered, patting the mini-Deepcoiler Conrflower on her scaly head. Placing the mini into her backpack, she shook her head sadly. “Yew poor, innocent little woobie. Yew ‘ave no idea.” She hefted her signed copy of Redwall and a thick white candle, passing Shadow another hardback edition, a piece of chalk, and a large exorcism bell.

 

     The two mice undressed, somehow managing not to be seen by the Redwallers who were supposed to be standing watch on the walls, but who had nevertheless disappeared due to the Author’s influence. Shadow glared at the large plothole sitting several feet behind Matthias and Cornflower.

 

Matthias gasped with admiration as she stood bare before him, and then took her in his arms once more and drew her down with him…

 

     …but promptly fell forward as a book bounced off his skull.

 

     Manx leaped forward, swinging her copy around her head and bringing it down with several THWACKs on Cornflower’s head. The mousemaid collapsed, and Shadow quickly brought out the piece of chalk and sketched a rough circle around the two prone mice. Manx lit the candle, as well as two others she produced from her pack, and Shadow began to ring the exorcism bell.

 

     “Out, out, out!” Manx yelled, slamming the book on the two mice’s heads. “Get thee gone, spirit o’ Disgustin’ an’ Pointless Yiff! Th’ power of Jacques compels you!” She struck harder. “OUT! OUT! OUT!”

 

     The two agents battered away at the mice, ringing the bells and shouting at the top of their lungs. After a minute or so of screaming, thick black smoke began to trickle out of the possessed canons’ nostrils and mouths. Manx and Shadow redoubled their efforts as more and more of the author’s influence left Matthias and Cornflower’s bodies. Finally, a large, smoky figure assembled itself above the two unconscious mice.

 

     “What – no! This is my greatest story yet! How dare you?!” the Author-Wraith shouted, glaring with deep red eyes at the two agents. “You all think you’re so great, don’t you? Well, guess what? There are more stories out there, more than you’ll ever dream of, and they’re all like this! You’ll never get them all!”

 

     “Good to know!” Manx yelled, swiping the signed copy of Redwall through the spirit’s insubstantial body. The Suethor wailed and began to dissipate, her final cry of “You’ll still have to deal with me in that tent down there!” fading away on the wind.

 

     With the wraith gone, the plothole gurgled and spat out the canonical beasts that should have been guarding the walltop. A huge jumble of Abbeybeasts lay in a heap, groaning and struggling off of each other. Manx pulled her neuralyzer out of her belt and waited for most of the pile of beasts to untangle themselves. Once most of the Abbeybeasts were standing up, looking confused, Manx raised the memory-erasure device.

 

     “Look this way, please!” she called sweetly, or as sweetly as one can speak while in a Mossflower rat disguise. She flipped down her sunglasses.

 

     Skipper struggled to his paws. “Who are you an’ what’re you doin’ –”

 

     One flash, and it was over. Shadow tapped her claws together. “’Kay. Yew ‘ave been guardin’ the walltop. That’s all that ‘appened. Yew most cert’nly ‘ave not just been shoved inno a plot’ole so that this ‘orrific pornfic-writer could play out ‘er fantasies on this ‘ere walltop. Thank yew, and ‘ave a nice day,” Shadow said, giving the slack-jawed Abbeybeasts a rather fixed smile. “Prefer’bly better’n the day we’re ‘aving now.”

 

     Manx opened a portal to the ground in front of Cluny’s tent, and the two agents stepped through to the worst part of the story yet.

 

     Redtooth was still screaming as Cluny twisted a sharp object deep into one of his bodily orifices. Manx twitched a little and gave a high-pitched whimper, but managed to stay relatively calm (compared to Shadow, who was nearly apoplectic from the mental pain). She hefted a bell, handing Shadow a few candles to light around the two rats. “’Kay,” Manx muttered. She took a deep breath, prodding Shadow on her shoulder. “Let’s go,” she said, and without further ado, charged at the tent.

 

     There was a bit of trouble at the tentflap, as Manx attempted to slice through the strap holding the flap shut, but the agents got through, and were greeted with a disgusting sight that they would remember for the rest of their lives (to their annoyance). Shadow screamed and fell over onto the poorly-described ground. Manx nearly puked, but she stayed upright and flung the bell straight into Cluny’s astonished face. With a muffled clang, Cluny – or, rather, his unusually stupid replacement – fell over, dropping the semiconscious Redtooth on the ground. Manx quickly drew a circle in chalk around the two rats, then lit the candles and placed them on the ground. Glaring at her catatonic partner, she slammed her signed book down on Cluny-Stu’s head.

 

     Get thee gone, spirit o’ Truly God-Awful Slash! Th’ power o’ Jacques compels yew!” she shouted, battering away. This time, it didn’t take as long for the Author-Wraith to start oozing out of the rats’ nostrils, the real Cluny being replaced and Redtooth unable to really exhibit character at all besides “being in agonizing pain”. Manx didn’t give the wraith a chance to re-inhabit any bodies. As the wraith opened its mouth to speak, Manx shoved Brian Jacques’ signature in its face. With a scream, it dissolved.

 

     Then the tent was silent, except for the quiet moans of the horribly battered rat on the ground. Manx averted her eyes from the bloody mess that was Redtooth and carefully nudged Cluny’s replacement with the tip of her footpaw. When she was sure he was unconscious, she crept to the large plothole at the back of the tent and stared into it. “Uck,” she muttered. “Well, then…”

 

     Manx plunged her arm up to her shoulder into the plothole. It felt rather like sticking her arm into water, or possibly just slightly-more-solid-than-usual air. Swinging her paw back and forth, she hit something thick and furry. She grinned. “Oi!” Manx shouted. “If yew kin ‘ear me, grab ‘old!”

 

     A paw grasped hers, and Manx hauled hard. Cluny was incredibly heavy, so it took a while, but once the rat found the edge of the plothole with his paw, he pushed himself out and onto the ground. The warlord glared at Manx.

 

     “Who’re you and what the hell’re you doin’ here?” he snarled.

 

     “Ah.” Manx backed away slowly. “Well, just look ‘ere, and the little blinkin’ light’ll answer all yer questions…”

 

     FLASH. Cluny stood, slack-jawed, in the middle of the tent. “Bugger off,” Man told him. “Inspect yer camp or summat.” Once Cluny had left, Manx gave a sigh, then leaned down and shook Shadow. “Shadow, mucker, get up,” she hissed. “’Elp me get Redtooth t’ Doc Fitz! C’mon, Shadow!”

 

     Shadow groaned, turned over, and puked. Manx winced in sympathy. “Yes, dearie, I know it’s bloody disgustin’, but could you jes’ please ‘elp at least in pushin’ this poor rat through the portal inno Medical?

 

     Shadow twitched feebly, then vomited again. Manx drew back. “Ugh. Well, ‘t def’nit’ly looks like yew need Medical as well…” She sighed. “Damnit.” Pulling a length of cord from her backpack, Manx promptly set to work on restraining Cluny’s replacement. It wouldn’t hold for too long once he came around, so she had to work fast…

 

~*~

 

     Doctor Fitzgerald was carefully cleaning one of the many odd medical instruments he had on his shelves. This was a delicate instrument, one of the only ones ever made in its home continuum. Lovingly, he wiped the dustcloth across it –

 

     There was a crash, and the horrifically mangled body of what might have been a rat flopped down onto the surgical table the doctor was working at. It was covered in blood and chips of bone and huge lacerations crossed its back and oh dear god what was that sticking out of its –

 

     The doctor let loose an incredible scream for the first time in his life, swore vividly (again, for the first and last time in his life), flung himself backwards from the table, the machine in his hands flying across the room to smash on the other side of the ward, and collapsed back against the wall, gibbering madly and staring at the horrible thing before him. What looked like a small Loch Ness monster flopped on top of it and slithered away, leaving a trail of slime and hissing softly, but Doc Fitz paid it no attention.

 

     “What…what…WHAT IN THE NAME OF THE LORD IS THAT?!” he screamed, pointing a trembling finger at the body. He stared upwards and found a portal humming a few feet above his work table.

 

     From the portal came an odd gurgling noise and a voice yelling, “Wot?”

 

     Doc Fitz regained some of his composure, trying very hard not to scream like a little girl again. “Why is a huge dead rat lying across this table?” he asked shakily, trying to stare only at the portal instead of the body in front of him.

 

     “Oh.” There was the gurgling sound again, then a loud splattering. “Um, jes’ a sec…” There was some muffled whispering. “Oh. Well, that ‘un’s Redtooth.”

 

     The doctor stared at the rat in surprise, then looked away quickly, gazing up at the portal. “What on earth happened to him?” he asked in shock.

 

     “Ah. Well, y’see…” The voice sounded rather horrified, as though it couldn’t believe what it was saying itself. “We were in th’ Cluny Fic.”

 

     Doc Fitz blinked. Oh. Well, that makes sense…and accounts for the wounds, in any case…

 

     Then his more sympathetic side took over. “Oh, you poor things,” he said. Standing up, he went around the table to look up the portal. “Are you quite all right? Who are you?”

 

     “This is Manx. Partner’s Shadow. ‘Member? Vearanniel? Huge beatin’?” The doctor winced, recalling the wounds he’d treated only a day ago. Manx continued. “An’ no, Doc, I truly do not think that we are all right.” Again, the splattering. “I mean, I’ve got this ‘uge rat tied up ‘ere, a partner ‘oo’s absolutely unable to function at all wi’out pukin’ all over th’ place, an’ an incredible urge t’ go and stab out my own eyes wiv a spork.” The voice rose to hysterical levels. “So if yew would please jes’ get us some more Bleepka an’ Bleeptol-Dismol or whutever it is yew use to stop vomitin’ an’ possibly summat to incapacitate ‘uge ‘ulking rodents for brief periods o’ time an’ then throw it all up ‘ere that’d be great! Jes’ great! Absa-tively sunshiny!”

 

     Doc Fitz knew pressing needs when he heard them. He gathered the bottles off the shelves, shouting up the portal as he did so.

 

     “Can’t you just come down here? It would help; the syringe with the rodent sedative is really quite fragile–”

 

     “Well, Doc, y’see, if I went back inno Headquarters, the human disguise’d kick in. See, rats ain’t got gag reflexes. Which is majorly good, ‘cos iffen I didn’t? I’d just be vomitin’ my guts up.”

 

     Doc Fitz nodded. He understood.

 

     There was a gagging noise from the portal followed by a splat. Manx went on, her voice containing a hint of a grimace. “Sadly, ferrets ‘ave got gag reflexes, and Shadow ‘ere ‘appens to ‘ave decided to be a ferret fer ‘er disguise…”

 

     Doc Fitz made a face and tossed a bag through the portal. “Here,” he said.

 

     “Thanks, Doc!” Manx called, and the portal hummed shut.

 

     The doctor sighed and stared at the rat. Since canonical characters cannot die until the original author says they have, Redtooth was still (unfortunately) alive, though not necessarily well. Doc Fitz ran a hand through his thinning hair and groaned. “Good lord.” He headed towards the console. “I’m going to have to call Fizz R from DAVD for this…”

 

~*~

 

     In Mossflower Forest, Shadow, now rather recovered, sat on a log and waited.

 

     Manx danced around, singing the Hedgehog Song loudly and taking long swigs from the bottle of Bleepka. “Oh, the ‘edgehog can ne’er be buggered a’ all –”

 

     Shadow sighed. “I’m waaaaaaaitin’,” she sang, rather annoyed, resting her head on her hands.

 

     Manx stopped. “I don’t care!” she shouted drunkenly, waving the bottle. “I have brain cells that’ll remember this day an’ I need ‘em DESTROYED!” Prancing forward, she began to sing again.

 

     Shadow covered her face. “Oh, Mandos on a fuckin’ bike.” Picking herself up off of the log, she walked forward to stare at the unconscious rat tied to a tree. They had sedated Cluny-Stu in an effort to keep themselves from dying messily, but the drug would wear off soon. And they needed a way to get rid of him…

 

     The agent blinked. Of course. She turned around and walked towards the backpacks, pulling out the portal generator.

 

     “’Ey – ‘ere, what’re yew doin’?” Manx shouted as Shadow headed back towards where the Cluny replacement was tied up.

 

     “I just figgered out a way t’ kill ‘im. Could yew ‘elp untie th’ ropes, please? Thanks.” Shadow poked a couple of buttons, setting the coordinates for a different continuum and opening a portal.

 

     “Oh, ‘kay. Fine. But I want my Bleepka!” Manx set to work. “What’s the fandom?”

 

     “Well, y’see…have yew read No Rest Fer The Wicked?”

 

     “Oh, yeah – oh, wait.” Manx looked up, grinning broadly. “Yew don’t mean…”

 

     “Yep. Her,” Shadow said happily.

 

     Manx finished off the last knot. The ropes fell away, and she helped her partner drag the unconscious rat to the portal. Cluny’s replacement was groaning and almost awake, so they had to move quickly. When they had almost reached the portal, Shadow realized something.

 

     “Should we charge him?” she asked.

 

     Manx blinked. “Oh. Yeah,” she said. “Okay…”

 

     Shadow began, speaking as quickly as possible, because the Stu was awake now, but still weak from the drugs. “Cluny the Scourge, also known as Gary Stu, you are charged with being a Gary-Stu, with impersonating a canonical character rather badly, with being disgusting, biologically impossible, and altogether just squicky, while also being oddly repetitive and rather boring after a while, with having the delusion that Redtooth has a black hole in his intestines, with having a twelve-inch, um, ‘rathood’ in a world where the animals are pretty much twelve inches tall, with being redundant, with managing to ejaculate about twenty times without any breaks in between, with creating a mini-Deepcoiler, with making spelling mistakes easily corrected with a spellchecker, with being just generally stupid, with being a rapist, with forgetting what the enter key is, with grossing out PPC agents, with disturbing PPC agents, with forcing PPC agents to vomit up their guts, with making PPC agents unable to ever look at a spear or arrow ever again without screaming with Post-Badfic Syndrome, with just being plain gross, and with being the greatest example of terrible writing in every category with the exception of bad SPAG!” Shadow took a deep breath. “There’s probably a lot more, but then we’d need to go over your fic again, and we really don’t want that. So for these charges, we sentence you to death!” Dropping the Cluny-Stu through, they heard a small “oof” as he hit the ground and watched him drop back into unconsciousness. Then the agents sat at the edge of the portal like rather unusual vultures around a dying animal, waiting for him to wake up…

 

~*~

 

     Cluny awoke.

 

     His head was pounding, and he raised a paw to feel the bloodied lump on his forehead. Wincing, he got up. What the hell is going on? he thought, staring around the strange forest. The last thing he remembered, he was being yelled at by a young ferret, and then… here. Where was here? It was cold and dark, and the outlines of the trees were very…odd…

 

     He turned around, then froze as a cold blade pressed into his neck.

 

     “Do not move,” hissed a soft, female voice. Cluny remained still. Through the corner of his eye, he could see a pale, furless paw with odd, flat claws gripping the handle of the axe currently held against his neck. Should I try to escape? Or just stay still? he wondered, then because he was stupid enough to stick a certain part of his anatomy into the mouth of a rat with very sharp teeth, asked, “What do you want?”

 

     The blade dug in a bit more. “Oh, a clever beast, eh? It talks, doesn’t it?” His captor spun him around, keeping the axe at his neck, and Cluny stared up into the flat face of a horrific, furless creature, dressed in a cloak the color of blood, with a sharp gash of a mouth and a thin, pointed snout and dark, mad, staring eyes and the axe was rising –

 

     I hate clever beasts,” Red snarled, and the axe came whistling down.

 

     Manx and Shadow, hidden by their Somebody Else’s Problem fields in their flash patches, whooped softly in delight as they watched Cluny-Stu become only so many pieces of flesh and bone. “Woo-hoo!” Manx whistled quietly, pumping her clenched paws in the air. “Go Red!” Nearby, Shadow clicked pictures as fast as possible, until Red tired of chopping apart the Stu and whipped out a knife, preparing to skin it. Manx poked Shadow’s back. “Let’s go, Shadow,” she hissed.

 

     “Awww.” Shadow got up reluctantly, closing the portal.

 

     The two agents quickly opened another portal to Medical. They relaxed as their disguises slipped off, putting them back in their familiar human forms. They were greeted with the sight of Redtooth sitting up, healed but with a definite tinge of green to his cheeks. He was vomiting into a bucket.

 

     The doctor looked up when they entered. “Oh. Hello, Manx, hello, Shadow.” He gestured at Redtooth. “Could you take him back, please? And I sent Conrflower to OFUR, so don’t worry about her.”

 

     “Well…thanks,” Manx said, then groaned. She tapped Redtooth on the back.

 

     The rat jerked his head up. “Ugh…whaddya want?” he mumbled, then threw up again. Shadow turned a little green herself in sympathy. Manx looked at her in concern. “Here. Drink this,” she said, and handed her a bottle of Bleeptol-Dismol. Shadow swigged it, then yanked Redtooth’s head up by the fur and dumped the rest into his own mouth. Immediately, Redtooth relaxed.

 

     “Ah…thanks.” He stared around Medical with the expression of a person who has just decided he is in a very nasty and currently very odd dream and would like to find out more about it. Now that he was feeling a lot better, there was another thing on his priority list to think about. Namely, “Whut the ‘ell are yew two?”

 

     Manx and Shadow exchanged glances. “Well, Redtooth,” Shadow said, holding the neuralyzer in front of his face and putting on her sunglasses, “this little magic wand’s gonna explain everything…just look straight at it…”

 

     FLASH. Redtooth sat, drooling slightly.

 

     Shadow opened a portal to Cluny’s camp, pushing the rat through and muttering, “Go, go, go on, nothing happened, you weren’t brutally raped and tortured by your boss…” The portal hummed shut, and Shadow heaved a sigh, pushing her hair back. “Well, that’s done,” she said under her breath. “Thank the gods.”

 

     Manx slung her arm around her partner’s shoulder. “C’mon, Shadow,” she said. “Let’s go.” As they left, she muttered, “And I still need to kill those brain cells…”

 

~*~

 

     “More.”

 

     Shadow handed Manx another bottle. “Haven’t you had enough already?”

 

     “NO.” Manx gulped down the entire thing and flung the bottle over her shoulder. It smashed loudly on the floor. “Give. Me. More.”

 

     Shadow sighed. “Fine. Whatever.” She held out another one.

 

     It was then that the console [bip]ed.

 

     “Damnit.” Manx got up unsteadily and crossed to the console, staggering a little. She peered closely at the screen. “What the hell?”

 

     Shadow craned her neck over Manx’s shoulder. “Let me see!” she said.

 

     Manx moved to the side, letting Shadow read the message:

 

     Agents Manx and Shadow:

 

     I want you in my office. Now, please.

 

     ~The Sunflower Official

 

     Shadow blinked.

 

     “What the hell?”

 

     “Yeah, I know.” Manx walked towards the door. “Sucks, doesn’t it? Wonder what the petaled bastard wants.” She pulled the door open. “C’mon, let’s go.”

 

     It took ten minutes of warbling off-key Sweeney Todd to get them to the SO’s office. Manx knocked on the door, then, in the traditional method of assassins, yanked the door open.

 

     I would say “come in”, but since you have the situation under hand so well, I might as well not bother, the Sunflower Official “snapped”, sounding rather irritated. Manx yanked out one of the small office chairs in the corner and plunked down upon it. And I would tell you to sit down, but that seems to have happened already as well. Really, what can I do for you?

 

     Manx didn’t even answer, but from the way the Flower flinched slightly, she was sending him all sorts of mental vitriol. Shadow winced. Careful, Manx, careful… she thought, then realized the Sunflower could hear her thoughts. Oh. Ix-nay on the inking-thay, then.

 

     There was an uncomfortable silence. The Flower steepled his fronds.

 

     Contrary to popular – and sometimes regrettably true – belief, we Flowers do care for our agents’ sanity, it “said”. Therefore, due to your – ahem – incident with Vearanniel, and that legendary fanfiction you have just come out of, we have decided to offer you compensation –

 

     Compensation?” Manx hissed suddenly, sitting bolt upright in her seat. She leaned forward, jabbing her finger in front of the SO’s blossom. “I got very, very painfully beaten and nearly killed because of that bloody Sue, nearly killed, may I tell you, and by elves to boot, the bloody Galadhrim, for the love of Manwë, and I was only saved by my partner and about twenty other agents. Then after that, you bloody send us into the bloody buggering Cluny Fic and our brains just about – well – die – and we had to live through Cluny sticking a fucking spear up his subordinate’s bodily orifices and shoving a fucking ARROW into a certain sensitive body part that I’m not even sure you even have and then Shadow here just practically turns her fucking stomach inside out from vomiting so bloody much and then we come back and try to drink until the sodding mental images go away but they fucking just DON’T and then you just –” Manx’s voice rose to soprano-opera-diva pitch – “just fucking go and offer us COMPENSATION, BLOODY COMPENSATION, WHAT THE HELL, ALL I WANT IS TO JUST GO AND GRAB A FUCKING FLAMETHROWER AND SHOVE IT –”

 

     You will receive two weeks’ vacation in a fandom of your choice with full pay, the Urple Heart medal for both of you, vouchers for twenty pounds of Bleep-products at the General Store, and – oh yes, a “bang-up party when they come back with cream buns and sugar and lots of sodding alcohol, you miserable excuse for a mold, insert five exclamation points here, said the Sunflower, sounding only slightly ruffled, adjusted some of the heaps of paper on his desk.

 

     Manx stared. Her mouth opened and shut a few times. Then she sank back in her seat.

 

     “…Oh,” she said. “Well.” She blinked. “Well, that…that’s good.”

 

     Shadow, who had been frozen in horror the whole time, winced slightly at the inanity of the statement.

 

     Indeed. The Sunflower Official sounded quite calm. Then again, there is dead calm before a hurricane, Shadow thought, then hurriedly tried to shut up her brain.

 

     “Um,” Manx said. Now she seemed slightly abashed, although Shadow could still feel the simmering anger. “Uh. Sorry?”

 

     The SO paused. Don’t apologize, he said shortly. I personally couldn’t care less for your vacation with full pay. He said the last four words as though speaking about the scourge of all the sentient races in the multiverse. I’m only doing this to save my own chlorophyll. Agent X and Agent Dragon, once they heard you were in the Cluny Fic, came to my office and threatened to – what was it? “– pluck off your petals and wrench off your leaves and grind them into fertilizer with weedkiller and make you root in it, then get this dragon right here to torch you until you burn to ash, you miserable little chunk of composted toadstool.” And various other threats. Do you understand? It glanced at a sheet of paper. Now go. I have plans for the next few hours, and you are not in them.

 

     Shadow quickly hustled Manx out of the door, muttering vaguely calming words in her partner’s ear. Once they were out of earshot – or, rather, mindshot – of the SO’s office, she turned to Manx.

 

     “What the hell were you –” she began, then stared at the inane grin on her partner’s face. “What are you smiling at?”

 

     “I can’t believe it,” Manx said deliriously. “I actually insulted the Sunflower Official and stayed alive! And I kept my job! And I got two weeks of vacation in the Discworld! And the Urple Heart Medal! And Bleepka! And a party! And –”

 

     Shadow thwapped Manx firmly about the head. “What are you talking about? Who said we were going to the Discworld? And why the Glaurunging hell were you so bloody stupid?”

 

     “I wasn’t stupid,” Manx said happily. “I merely spoke my mind. And my mind is gone thanks to the Cluny Fic! So that means I said nothing! Therefore, I spoke perfectly, because nothing is perfect! Whoopee! I follow my fish!”

 

     And with that, the delirious agent danced down the corridors, giggling happily, with Shadow running in her wake.

 

A/N: Well.

 

…That was odd.

 

And very disgusting.

 

But oddly repetitive at points. And very, very stupid.

 

So. Next up…vacation in the Disc! Woohoo!