Selene ducked the flying fragments of console, and then calmly said, "Dafydd, please take your sword out of the computer."
The elf stabbed the smoking wreckage a few more times, then withdrew Death's sword from the mess and re-sheathed it. Seeing his partner's reproachful look, he shrugged. "It deserved it."
"Dafydd," said the vampire in exasperation, "it was just doing what it always does. How did it 'deserve it'?"
"I have a headache," he replied gruffly. "Plus I spent several hours asleep on a floor, which has really mucked up my spine."
"And here I thought elves could sleep anywhere," muttered Selene. Before he could reply, she added, "How do you propose we go on the mission now, then?"
"We don't?" he said hopefully. The other silently shook her head, and he sighed. "I suppose we could borrow someone else's console, then. Er... Constance would probably let us use hers."
"Right, then. What are we waiting for?" Selene grabbed her pack – which she had prudently left packed since the last mission – and strode out the door and off down the corridor. Taking his time, Dafydd packed all his weapons – including the more 'exotic' ones acquired from 'fics, such as Death's sword, Sairalindë's ring, and the spear from 'Two Worlds United' – made a mental note to get the sword Eru had left in a stone reforged, and ambled out of the door. Looking around for Selene, he saw no sign, and so sat down to wait.
Five minutes later, she walked back along the corridor. "All right, Elf-boy," she said, "you win. Lead the way."
"Of course," he replied, and rose to his feet. Getting his bearings, he walked briskly off, Selene following him.
"By the way," she said, after they had gone some distance, "do you know you have a large spear sticking out of your bag?"
"What? Oh. Yes. It doesn't fit."
"Maybe you should get it cut up, so it can be stored in pieces and put together again at need. Or make it telescopic."
Dafydd stopped, turned, and looked at Selene. "You know, that is actually a very good idea. I'll have to get that done when we get back. I can get the Sword reforged at the same time." He nodded, and looked down at the floor, deep in thought.
Selene coughed impatiently. "Shouldn't we be going?"
"Oh, we're here," he replied. "Her door's right over there." And he pointed over to the opposite wall. Glancing up, he saw Selene's look. "I'll just go and knock, shall I?"
"That might be a good idea, yes," she replied. Sighing, Dafydd stepped up to the door and rapped on it with his fist. As Selene stepped up behind him, the door swung open.
A dark-haired male stood in the doorway and blinked at the two agents. "Er... hi?"
Dafydd blinked. "Ah... you aren't Constance," he said, showing his usual talent for stating the obvious.
"No... Constance took off to try to find some Bleeprin, I think. That was about five or six hours ago, so Eru knows where she is now. So, you would be who?"
"Oh..." Dafydd looked lost for a second, then shrugged, and held out a hand. "Dafydd Illian. I've been on a couple of missions with your partner."
Steve raised an eyebrow and shook his hand. "Yeah, I've heard all about you..." He paused, and shook his head slightly. "Yeah. Er... why're you here, then?"
"And I've never heard of you," Dafydd muttered. Behind him, Selene sighed in exasperation.
"Dafydd managed to blow up our console just when we needed to go on a mission, and he said we could borrow yours."
"That doesn't surprise me too much, somehow. The first bit doesn't, I mean. Hi, then, I'm Steve." Steve stepped back. "Yeah, that's fine. Come in. But please do try to avoid blowing ours up."
"Hey, if it doesn't beep at me, I won't hurt it. Promise." Dafydd walked through the door, followed closely by Selene. Wandering over to the console, he started pressing buttons, uplinking to the network to download DOGA's assignment.
While her partner worked, Selene walked over to Steve. "Hi, I'm Selene. Nice to meet you."
Steve watched Dafydd warily, and grinned at Selene. "Yes, same... so does he often go psycho at machinery?"
She tilted her head to the side and thought for a moment then said, "I don't think he's ever killed it before, but he does yell at things a lot." In the background could be heard yells of 'No, I don't want to see the Cafeteria menu! Nor do I want to download No-Drool videos! Infernal Morgoth-spawned contraption!' Selene shook her head. "See?"
Steve started laughing. "Yes. Well, he'd be a pretty unusual agent if he didn't yell at them, I guess. So where are you two headed, anyway?"
Selene shrugged. "We don't actually know. He stabbed the console before I got to look at the screen, and I sincerely doubt he bothered to do so himself."
"Oh, I see. Yes, that would do it."
At that moment, Dafydd yelled "Ha! Got it!" and Selene looked over at him. Glancing back at Steve, she said, "I suppose I'd better go and find out. Thanks for letting us use the console."
He shook his head and smiled. "Not a problem. Good luck. Have fun, or something..."
"Oh, I sincerely doubt it," she called back over her shoulder. As she reached Dafydd's side, she asked, "What is it, then?"
"LotR verse. 'Sue. Come on, let's go." With that, he opened a portal and jumped through. Selene waved over her shoulder at Steve and followed.
She stepped out of the portal into the usual spot at the Council of Elrond. After watching the action for a few moments, she muttered to Dafydd, "Did you muck up and drop us into the Movieverse by mistake?"
Dafydd shook his head, too irritated to notice the sarcasm. "There she is," he said, pointing to an elf-like girl with dead white skin, hair growing all the way along her spine, and emerald-green eyes. Selene stared at her, wondering exactly how something looking like that could nevertheless appear elven. "So... she's a werecat, or something?" she hazarded.
"She's a woodsprite, whatever that is. And she comes from the north of Middle-earth. Why is it that all the freaky creature 'Sues come from Angmar?"
"It's an abode of evil, I suppose it draws them to it," commented Selene, and settled down to watch the scene. After a minute or so, she began to fidget. Dafydd noticed. "What?"
"Why are we even here?" she hissed. "She's just regurgitating the Movie Council, she's not even commenting."
Dafydd shrugged. "Well, it means we can add 'Plagiarism' to the charge list," he noted, pulling out his notepad as Gimli attempted to destroy the Ring, "but other than that, the only thing she does is generate something called the 'Ring Frodo', join the Fellowship, and cause the 'Ten Companions' line." Without further ado – and, Selene noted with annoyance, without asking her – he pulled out the remote activator and portalled to the next chapter. Muttering something about impatient elves, Selene rushed through after him.
As she dropped out again, Dafydd said, "She's a princess, too, did I mention? And Legolas' Bestest Best Fwiend."
"Oh, fabulous," replied the vampire. "She's going to fall in love with him and be Tragically Torn, then?"
"However did you guess," asked Dafydd dryly, and turned back to where Aragorn, Legolas and the 'Sue, Alumia, were just finishing a conversation regarding whether Alumia was sure she wanted to go with the Fellowship. Despite the Agents' mutterings of 'No, she's not sure' she remained with them, and the ten set off, the two PPC agents close behind.
Shortly after leaving Rivendell, and with the prospect of several weeks of walking ahead of them, Dafydd turned to Selene, or where Selene should have been. "Should we porta... where'd you go?"
"I'm over here," she said from his other side. Turning, he found her staring oddly at a tree. "Dafydd," she said, in a strangely flat tone, "come and look at this tree and tell me what's wrong with it."
Obediently, Dafydd walked up to the tree and looked at it. "Er, nothing, really. Just an ordinary tree."
"Yes... now come around this side." Frowning, he walked a quarter of the way around the tree, stopped, and looked at it. His mouth dropped open.
After a moment of working his jaw silently, he finally managed to say, "Merciful Yavanna..."
The tree, which had looked perfectly normal when seen from the north side, was almost flat. Where it had seemed to be as wide as his arm was long, he could now grip it in the fingers of one hand without stretching. He blinked. "What's... what's happened to it?"
Selene was watching in amusement. "You mean this isn't normal behaviour for trees in Arda?"
"No, it most certainly is not..." muttered the elf, still staring at the tree. Selene laughed, and he turned to glare at her. "What?"
"Oh, nothing," she replied. Then, seeing his homicidal expression coming back, she took pity and explained. "I'd guess it's a result of the geographical compression we're experiencing. The 'Sue is making the Fellowship reach the foothills of Caradhras within a day, so all the ground in between has to get shorter."
"Well, yes, obviously, but what's that got to do with this?"
Selene sighed. "Look, if the ground compresses to, say, a tenth of its former length, the trees and the like have to do so too. Otherwise they'd all end up on top of each other. So you end up with things like this. I don't doubt that the rocks and suchlike have done the same."
Dafydd shook his head. "That is weird."
"... says the elf who spends his days wandering around various worlds killing off fanfiction characters. But you're right, it is." Selene shook her head. "Come on, we'd better catch up with the Fellowship."
"Oh, yes, we do that," muttered Dafydd. "We have to see the 'Sue melt a tree."
"Surely you mean melt into a tree?" queried Selene.
Dafydd shrugged. "We'll see, won't we? Anyway, come on."
They caught up with the Fellowship on the hill that appeared in the movie, just in time to see a scene lifted directly from the movie – the Boromir-Pippin-Merry fight and accompanying crebain. Alumia did nothing throughout, except that when the crebain showed up she 'melted with a tree'. This particularly quirky bit of grammar manifested as the 'Sue walking over to the tree, placing her hands on it, and the two of them turning into a puddle on the rock. As the crebain wheeled overhead, Dafydd muttered 'Cruelty to trees' and scribbled it onto his notebook.
Watching the end of the scene, Selene asked, "Have you got 'Abysmal grasp of the English language' down there?"
Dafydd shook his head. "The author's a non-native speaker, so we have to waive that one. A pity, but it's the Rules."
Selene looked about to make a reply, but at that moment the scene changed and they found themselves halfway up Caradhras. As Dafydd winced at the effect the pressure difference had on his ears, Selene glared daggers at the 'Sue, who was now running through the familiar 'OMG Legolas is hott BUT he's my best friend I can't think that BUT OMG Legolas is so hott' spiel. As the avalanche buried the Fellowship, she glanced at the words.
I am buried under snow, and feel how my longs are slowly running out of air. I quickly become one with the snow, only to emerge from the other side, into the air, I quickly scramble to my feet. I smile seeing that my companions release themselves from the snow as well, I praise myself lucky, we woodsprites can become one with everything. Too bad I can not use this ability in battle because if I would merge with to many things at once I could be stuck like that forever.
"Oh, if only," Dafydd muttered, and Selene turned to look at him. "Do you realise," he went on, "that there are two separate Mini-Balrogs in this chapter alone? If it goes on like this, I'll be surprised if there are any left in OFUM by the end of the story." With that, he called softly to the two Minis, Rivendel and Kazad Dum, who joined the Ring Frodo in trailing after the Agents as they leapt through Dafydd's hastily-opened portal to the next chapter.
Unfortunately, the five tripped straight over a third Mini as they appeared outside the Walls of Moria. While Dafydd hopped around on one foot cursing all things fiery, Selene waved at the little demon. "Hello, Ithilden," she said. "Come over here and join your brothers." The miniature Maia did so, gladly, as Selene settled on the floor beside the now-calm Dafydd to watch the scene. After a moment, she asked, "Why are we even here? All she's doing is running internal monologues about how hott Legolas is."
"Yes, that's true," replied Dafydd distractedly. Studying the Words for a moment, he scribbled down a few charges, and then pulled out the portal generator. "The first time anything other than her monologue and her following the Fellowship happens is when they reach Lórien. Considering we've got twenty-two chapters to cover, I think we can justify skipping a couple. Come on." Pressing a button, he opened a portal and jumped through, followed by the steadily growing party.
On their arrival in Lothlórien, they were joined by LothLorien and Loth Lorien, who had been created in the intervening two chapters. Muttering darkly, the Agents watched as Galadriel used her mindspeech to tell Legolas that his heart's desire was closer than he thought. Selene frowned. "What, is she flirting with him?"
"I wouldn't be surprised," muttered Dafydd, as Legolas slipped into 'confused teenager' mode. Sighing, the Agent glanced at the Words. "Right, we've got a while before they go to sleep, and it doesn't look like much of Lórien has even been noticed by Miss 'Sue, so shall we go sightseeing?"
"That sounds like fun," his partner replied. "It'd be nice to see this place when it's not burning down."
Dafydd glanced back at the five Minis. "With this lot around, it may yet do so."
Selene laughed. "Come on, let's go Mallorn-watching."
An unknown amount of time later – 'Sue-vagueness was amplified by the natural time-distortion of Lórien to make timekeeping nigh impossible – the Agents returned to find Legolas sleeping. As the narrator had so kindly described his dream, the scene in his mind was being played out in full colour by a pair of small figures on a cloud above his head.
"Oh, lovely," said Selene dryly. "That's just what I wanted to see."
"Oh, isn't it just," muttered Dafydd, and then frowned. "I wonder exactly how OOC he is," he continued, and, pulling out a Character Analysis Device, pointed it at the elf.
[BEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE-uk!] went the device as Dafydd scrambled for the Mute button. Legolas shot bolt upright in his bed, apparently jolted out of his dream by the deafening noise, but the CAD was now silent, and he moved on to the next internal monologue as the Agents looked at the CAD screen.
Legolas Thranduillion. Male Elf. Canon. OOC: 79.42%. Cause of OOCness: Alumia the Woodsprite. Recommended method of correcting OOCness: Burn Alumia the Woodsprite
"Well, that's certainly... different," commented Selene. Dafydd nodded, and pointed to a small module welded to the side of the CAD.
"The Mallorn called me in and asked me to add this to all our CADs. Apparently it's something Makes-Things worked up especially for DOGA. He never told me what it does, but I guess we just found out."
"Don't be so sure," replied the vampire. "Makes-Things rarely invents things that only have one function."
Dafydd eyed the contraption warily. "You don't think it'll explode, do you?"
"No," Selene said, "he hates having to replace ruined CADs."
"That's true," muttered Dafydd, and then shrugged. "Well, on to the next chapter." He glanced up at the words, winced, and added, "Which consists of Legolas angsting to himself about Alumia, Legolas angsting to Aragorn about Alumia, Alumia angsting to Legolas, and a description of the place we have to destroy. Oh, and also a description of Alumia's surprisingly mobile hair."
Selene blinked. "Her hair?"
"Yah, look here." And with that, he dragged her through a portal, where she saw Legolas ogling the 'Sue.
I let my eyes wonder over her form, she is quite beautiful. Brown waist-long hair high up in a ponytail that flows over her back with a none-existing wind. Eyes piercing green, white skin and sometimes a pink blush creeping over her face. It makes her looks so innocent when she does that.
"Oh dear," mutters Selene, "we're in the present tense, too. I hate that."
"Me too," replies Dafydd, and points the CAD at Alumia for something to do. The mute function is still on, so no noise comes out, merely a wisp of smoke. The two agents lean in to look at the readout.
Alumia the Woodsprite. UnCanon. Mary-Sue. UnCanonical species (Woodsprite). UnCanonical homeland (Location unknown). Suggested remedy: Burn Alumia. Burn Alumia's homeland. Burn all Woodsprites
"Good to see it's still functioning," comments Selene, and then blinks as another line of text scrolls onto the screen.
Present tense detected. Revert Agents to past tense? Y/N
"Well, well," says Dafydd, "it looks as though you were right about it having multiple functions. Shall I say yes?"
"Please, please do," replies Selene fervently, and then breathed a sigh of relief as he did so and the Past Tense reappeared in full force. "Thank Eru," she muttered. "I couldn't have stood that for much longer."
Dafydd eyed her in amusement. Before he could say anything, however, he was distracted by Legolas wandering off. Scribbling a few more charges into the list, he followed, trusting his partner to come after him.
Selene did indeed begin to walk after him, but was interrupted by a small, pathetic roar from the bushes to one side. Frowning, she stepped over and peered through the leaves to where, sitting mournfully amidst a tangle of charred branches, was a sixth mini. "Hello there, little one," she said. "Did we miss you somewhere?"
The mini nodded sadly, and Selene thought for a moment. "What's your name, then?" The mini blinked, patently wondering how it was supposed to tell her. Then, in a moment of inspiration, it scratched a few tengwar into the ground with the handle of its whip. Selene blinked, and tried to decipher them. Not being very proficient with the Elven languages, it took her a while, but eventually she figured it out. "woondland roam?"
The mini nodded, and gave a small roar. Selene smiled. "Well, hello there. Now, why don't you come out here?"
The mini looked at her as if to say 'Are you stupid or something?' and waggled its wings. Watching, the agent could see that it was trapped, although how it had gotten into the bush in the first place she couldn't begin to guess. Whatever had happened, she had to get it out. Glancing upwards, she noted that there was a gap in the canopy above her. "Right, you can withstand fire, correct?"
The little demon nodded, and Selene grinned wickedly. "Excellent." Reaching up one hand towards the sky, she slipped into a fiery-eyed trance. Above the woods of Lothlórien, clouds began to gather, pouring in from all directions at an alarming rate. Within seconds the sky was black, and, as the vampire raised her other hand, a single bolt of lightning flashed down, defying all the laws of physics that stated it would aim for the tallest object present, and struck the centre of the bush.
As the glare faded from her eyes, Selene saw with satisfaction that the plant was now completely nonexistent, reduced to a small blackened crater in which sat woondland roam. As the mini roared in glee and leapt into the air, flying off to join its five cousins, the agent heard a cough from behind her. Spinning around, she saw Dafydd. "Er... hi."
"You were supposed to follow me," stated the elf in an annoyed tone, "not stay here and use the undergrowth for target practice."
Selene rocked back on her heels, annoyed by the harsh tone in his voice. Defensively, she said, "And what makes you think I was doing that?"
Dafydd raised one eyebrow. "You mean, other than the sudden cloud formation and the bright flash?"
"It could actually be a coincidence," maintained Selene. Dafydd nodded.
"That is true, it could be. However, when you combine it with the way your eyes are still glowing and what's happened to your hair, I'd consider it a reasonable bet."
"My hair? What about my hair?" The vampire raised one hand to touch her head, but stopped several inches short of where her hair normally lay. "... oh. I forgot it was loose."
"Yes," said her partner with evident glee, "being around such powerful electric charges does tend to make it stand on end, doesn't it? Now, if only I had a camera..."
She glared at him. "Those clouds are still there, elf."
"Was that a threat, vampire?" he snarled, holding up a hand on which he wore a single ring. "Do you really want to see which of us can strike first?"
Incensed, Selene started to raise a hand, preparing to call down another lightning bolt, but the Ring of Sairalindë flared up, and so did more than five hundred years’ worth of self-preservation instinct. Taking a deep breath she began to pacify him. "All right, all right, calm down." Flicking her fingers, she dispelled the clouds, and the glow faded from her eyes. Dafydd nodded.
"Always a good course of action when dealing with Fëanorians. But come on, Legolas has finished having stupid conversations with Aragorn and the 'Sue, and we have to get on to the next chapter." Without leaving her time to respond, he pulled out the RA, flicked open a portal, and leapt through. As the mini-Balrogs swooped down and through as six fiery streaks, she muttered, "So you're a Fëanorian, are you, Dafydd? I wonder what we'll find out about you tomorrow." Shaking her head slightly, she jumped through into...
...not into the next chapter, which would have put her on the edge of Lórien. Instead, she found herself staring at a ruined wall, beyond which rose a black tower.
"Orthanc?! What am I doing in Isengard?!?"
"Apart from being less than sane?" said Dafydd from behind her. She span around to see him perched on a rock, holding a notepad. "There was a malfunction in the Remote Activator," he explained. "It's dumped us all in different places across the story. I've been here about half an hour already, catching up on the charges. I think it's a couple of hours until chapter 18 starts, and I really wouldn't recommend we try and portal it."
"Eighteen? We missed ten chapters?" Selene stared at him in disbelief.
He shrugged. "Well, we did. Apparently, the minis didn't come out all at the same time, or anywhere near us. Rivendel, Kazad Dum, Ithilden and LothLorien all dropped out in between then and now, but Loth Lorien appears to have fallen into a later chapter. Oh, and these are Woodlandrealm, Helmsdeep and Gandalg, they showed up somewhere in between."
"And where's woondland roam?" asked Selene. He looked at her quizzically, and she frowned. "... oh. Right. He was who I was freeing from that bush back in Lórien."
Dafydd blinked. "I guess he fell ahead somewhere too, then. We'll probably bump into him later. Now, if you don't mind, I'm finished writing up these charges – there were a lot of them – so I'm going to relax for a bit. Call me when the chapter starts." With that, he pulled out his CD player, stuck in a disc, and lay back on the rock. Muttering to herself, Selene wandered away slightly and sat down
A couple of hours later the vampire heard noises coming from the forest. She was fairly certain that there was no forest at the gates of Isengard, but with Movieverse, anything was possible. Sighing, she got up and poked Dafydd in the shoulder.
The elf pushed his headphones back, and Selene heard a snip of the song he had been listening to. '... dark all day, these feelings wash away...'. Then he switched the device off.
Dafydd: "Are they coming, then?"
Selene: "I assume so, yes."
There was a pause, and then Dafydd muttered.
Dafydd: "There's something wrong... we're in script format, aren't we?"
Selene nodded, keeping silent to prevent the story from displaying her name every time she said anything. Frowning, Dafydd pulled out the CAD and whacked it against a rock.
Dafydd: "It says I can switch us back to story format..."
Selene: "Please, do it."
The world seemed to shimmer, and a ripple in the ground knocked both agents to the floor, but had no effect on Merry and Pippin, who were sitting amidst the rubble, smoking. Climbing painfully to his feet, Dafydd looked around, and then grabbed Selene and pulled her into the trees as Alumia and a group of Canons rode up. As he peered out, watching the action and scribbling charges, his partner rubbed at her arm where it had hit the ground. "Did it work?" she hissed, and then laughed slightly. "Apparently so."
Dafydd nodded, and then glanced at the Words. "Oh, Námo. She's still skipping between places. I'm not trusting the RA again, so we're going to have to catch their plothole. Come on." Moving out of the cover of the trees, the elf followed after the group, now heading into Isengard. Wondering vaguely why Dafydd seemed to be controlling all the action, Selene followed.
The assassins found themselves in Edoras, watching the 'Sue having a rather random moment of Angst. Dafydd pulled out his charge list again, but before he could start writing again, there came a familiar [Beeeeeeeeep!] from his pack. Exchanging a look with Selene, he pulled out the CAD, and read the screen aloud. "The Bonsai Mallorn wishes to speak with Agent Dafydd. Please find a secure location and press the CAD button."
Selene blinked. "Well, that's a new one... come on, round the back of the Hall."
Dafydd nodded, and followed his partner. Once they were out of earshot of the 'Sue, he pressed the appropriate button.
Dafydd? Agent Dafydd? Are you there? The 'voice' of the Bonsai Mallorn sounded in the agents' heads. Lifting the CAD to his mouth, Dafydd said, "Er, yes?"
Good. I need you back at HQ right now.
Dafydd glanced at Selene, who mouthed, Why?. He nodded, and turned his attention back to the CAD-turned-radio.
"Ah, I'm afraid we're a little busy right now. Why did you need us back?"
Not both of you, came the reply, Agent Selene can stay and continue the mission. But, since you asked so nicely, I need you to welcome a new recruit to the department.
Dafydd stared at the CAD in shock. Beside him, Selene said, "A recruit? In DOGA?"
Yes, a recruit. In DOGA. Now would you please hurry up and get back?
Dafydd shook himself slightly. "Er, well, I would, but the Remote Activator seems to be malfunctioning. I don't think I'd be able to get back."
The pair heard the Mallorn sigh, and a blue portal snapped into existence a few feet away. There. Happy? Now come through.
"Yeah, yeah." Pressing the CAD button again, Dafydd cut off the Mallorn's reply, and then looked at Selene. "You'll be all right on your own?"
"I'm a big girl," she replied with a slight sneer, "I'm sure I can manage."
"Good good," he replied, ignoring her tone. He started to walk towards the portal, but stopped and turned back to her, holding out the CAD and his notebook. "Keep the charge list up to date, please."
"Of course," she muttered, taking them. He turned again, and took another step towards the portal before she called, "Dafydd!"
Sighing, he turned back, to see her grinning widely. "Try not to scare the recruit away, okay?"
Laughing, he nodded. "I'll do my best." And with a final wave, he jumped through the portal...
... and landed next to the small table on which the Bonsai Mallorn rested in its pot. Ah, it said, you got here. Takua, meet Agent Dafydd, senior agent here at DOGA. Dafydd, this is Agent Takua. She's your new recruit.
Dafydd looked across the table at the auburn-haired girl sitting in the single chair in the office. "Hello, agent. I see you've already got a DOGA patch. That's good, it shows initiative." Looking back at the Mallorn, he added, "Why am I here? It's your department, you can do all the briefing and such."
I've already done so, the tree replied with mild reproach. However, you are the senior agent, and as Takua doesn't have a partner right now, I thought it might be useful for you to meet her. After all, you may be assigned missions with her in the future.
Dafydd raised an eyebrow. "You've got me another temporary partner? Are you trying to send me off with the whole of HQ?"
It's useful to create good links between agents, replied the Mallorn vaguely, it might come in useful someday. Now would you please stop ignoring your new recruit?
"What? Oh, yes." The elf turned his attention back to Takua. "Welcome to DOGA. Any questions?"
"When do I get to start killing things?"
"Ah," muttered Dafydd, "nice to see they're still sending us homicidal maniacs." To Takua, he said, "Considering the number of 'fics we have rolling in, you should probably have started yesterday. However, as you don't have a partner, it may be a little while."
Takua scowled. "Figures." She stood up. "Alright then, where's my response centre at?"
Dafydd shrugged. "This is why I shouldn't be doing this," he explained, before turning to the Mallorn. "Well? Answer the nice lunatic's question. Assuming you've even got her one."
The little tree looked affronted, something very few people outside the PPC would think a tree could do. Agent Takua is in RC#7213. I may not be perfect, Dafydd, but I can handle Admin.
"Yeah, right," he muttered, and walked over to the door. Turning back, he looked at Takua. "Were you planning on standing there all day, or could you perhaps move a little so we can get this over with?"
"I'm not stopping you. Let's go."
Dafydd stalked out of the door and down the corridor, not checking to see if she was following. As he did, he muttered to himself. "Stupid Upstairs stupid plants stupid arrogant newbies stupid 'Sues stupid PPC..."
Takua resumed her expression of perpetual annoyance as she followed the irate elf down the corridor. The crackling sound behind her indicated that Witchking, her mini-balrog, was following them. She smirked rather indulgently.
A moment later, Dafydd brought them to a halt in front of a Generic Door.
Indicating the door, he said, "Your response centre. Don't break it, please, we've only got an infinite number." Pushing the door open, he stepped in and picked up a CAD from the console. "Ah, convenient."
Turning back to the new agent, he waved the device at her. "This is a DOGA-modified CAD. See this little box on the side? It does stuff. So far, it's messed around with tenses and sent us radio messages. We don't know what else it does. Keep it close." And he threw it at her head.
Takua took a step to the side and caught the device. She peered at it with interest; she was something of a tinkerer. "Stuff, huh? Sounds fun."
He shrugged. "Assuming Makes-Things didn't decide it'd be 'fun' for it to set off a small nuclear warhead every time it breaks, yes." He looked around vaguely, and then grabbed her Remote Activator, leaving his own in its place. "It's broken," he explained, "so I'm borrowing yours. Take that one down to DoSAT to be fixed if you find the time."
"Yeah, alright." She looked around the rather sterile room; Witchking had already claimed a corner.
Dafydd followed her gaze. "Oh, you have a Mini, Thanduril will appreciate the company." Then he frowned. "But I'd better be going. Selene -- my partner -- is still in the 'fic." Pressing the RA's button, he flicked open a portal. Before stepping through, however, he said, "Keep the modified CAD on you, okay? I have a feeling this mission's going to get complicated." And then he was gone.
Takua blinked, and then resumed her scrutiny of the RC. "Too plain. Need to start making it more home-like..." She grinned. Witchking growled in reply.
Meanwhile, Selene was still round the back of the hall and currently addressing a contingent of mini-balrogs.
"Now, I know that you would all like to stay around, but this town is entirely made out of wood, and thatched. I've already burnt down a forest in my career with the PPC; I really don't want to add a city to that list. I know that you can't help your sweet fiery natures so could you wait outside the city walls for me? I'll come and get you later."
The minis looked at each other before one by one turning to fly down the road, staying close to the ground. Selene had turned around to watch the party enter the hall, and so didn't realise that the minis hadn't all gone until she heard a plaintive roar from by her ankles. She turned and saw woondland roam looking up at her mournfully.
"What's the matter? Why didn't you go with the others?" She asked, but the mini just sat there and looked at her. Selene sighed.
"All right, you can come along, just please try not to set fire to things. Got that?" The mini nodded, and Selene started to stalk around the corner of the building.
Now theoretically the Canons could not see Agents, their eyes just seemed to slide over them unless the Agents really drew attention to themselves. However, Selene did not want to take risks, and was experienced at sneaking into places unseen, unheard and unnoticed. So it was that in Meduseld, the Great Hall of Edoras, there was a feast that night, attended by the Fellowship, the Court, and, in the corner, a PPC Agent and a miniature Maia.
Selene had managed to find herself a plate of food and a drink, and was currently watching the 'Sue simper at Legolas as he and Gimli had a drinking contest.
"Look at that? There's another one for the charge list, making Gimli into a damned idiot. Can't those bloody 'Sue-authors appreciate the nobility of a character who doesn't happen to be hott!!1 to them?"
Selene knocked back another drink and once again addressed the world. "Like this whole Legomance business, it's all foolish fantasy. Why can't the stupid bints appreciate what they do when they write it and post it for the world to read? Oh bugger, she's wandering off again." This last sentence was said as Alumia and Legolas walked outside together.
Comfortably ensconced in her corner Selene glanced ahead at the words, muttering under her breath. "More angsty moonlit longing, more ripping scenes and dialogue straight off the movie, more disjointed sentences which make my head hurt. Sod this, the slavedriver's not here, I'm having a nap." Turning, she addressed the mini-balrog by her side.
"woondland roam, could you wake me up in the morning?" At the mini's nod she then fell asleep.
Selene awoke later with a sleeping mini at her side as the light started to stream through the windows of the hall. She stayed there throughout the conference after Pippin's episode with the palantír, she stayed there as Aragorn and Théoden discussed the coming war, she even stayed there silently as Alumia and Legolas had a moment, silent, just taking notes of further charges to add to the list.
The only real movement came when Aragorn, as the author put it "busted in" and woondland roam woke up with an apologetic murmur. Glancing ahead at the words Selene was surprised to read that three days had apparently passed in the night.
"Right, there's another charge to add."
For the first time in ages Selene felt lonely. Making sarcastic comments to a silent mini-balrog just wasn't the same. Life at the PPC didn't really allow you much personal time, and Selene had gotten used to having people around her, much more than she was used to for years before she joined the PPC.
In front of her the story played on, with yet another 'moment' between the 'Sue and Legolas. Glancing ahead at the words, Selene started to talk to the mini.
"I could tail along after them, however, I have more than enough charges to damn her all the way to the Void and back again. All that they're going to do is walk the Paths of the Dead exactly as in the film, I could easily meet them when they come off the ships."
Coming to a decision, she got to her feet and beckoned for woondland roam to follow her as she stealthily crept out of the hall, more to feel like a proper assassin than for any other reason. They met up with the other minis, and this time Selene insisted that woondland roam travel with the rest.
The minis flew off in formation, and Selene sat on a tussock as she watched the convoy leave. When all was quiet she got up and stretched with a feral grin on her face. The grin widened, and suddenly you didn't feel like you were looking at a woman anymore, her face lengthened, her black clothing and pack disappeared to be replaced by jet-black fur and then there was a large wolf where she used to be.
However, even with the rampant geographical compression Selene could only travel so far in a day, and arrived too late to see the Battle of Pelennor Fields. She didn't mind however, it had been too long since she had run and hunted in her wolf form, and she felt quite happy to compile charges from the words and was quite thankful to miss Aragorn playing matchmaker.
She had rejoined the Fellowship and was tracking them through the wilds between Gondor and Mordor when her composure started to leave her, and she was once again heartily wishing that Dafydd would hurry and up and get back so that they could kill the annoying 'Sue.
She had never been more thankful to see him than when he suddenly dropped back out of the portal into the dark forest. From where she crouched nearby, Selene hissed, "Over here!"
Crawling over, he accepted the offered notebook, smiling to see that she had been adding charges. "We almost ready for the kill?" he asked, his voice low.
She nodded, and then said, "How were you planning on killing her? Only, seeing as she's created fourteen minis so far – you'll be pleased to know that Loth Lorien and woondland roam showed up again – I was thinking it would be sort of poetic justice to feed her to them."
Dafydd grinned. "I like it." Then he looked over to where the 'Sue and canons were camped. "What's going on, then?"
"They're all going to sleep, I think," Selene replied. "I'm beginning to lose track, actually, all this plothole travelling is tiring."
The other agent nodded sympathetically, and then glanced up at the words. "... oh."
Rather than replying, Dafydd simply gestured at Legolas and the 'Sue, who were now lying on the ground, kissing like, well, a fangirl and her lust object. Selene glared in their direction. "We kill her now?"
"No," her partner replied, holding a hand in front of her. "They apparently get terrified by Gimli's snore and run off into the woods to, ah..."
His voice trailed off, but the vampire knew exactly what he meant. "And then we kill her, right?"
"And then we kill her."
At that moment Alumia and Legolas rose to their feet and moved silently into the forest. Equally silently, the agents followed, waiting for the perfect moment to strike.
The pair stopped when they reached the middle, and Legolas took Alumia in his arms again. Or at least, he tried to. At the last moment, he found himself being dragged backwards by an elf in black. In front of him, a similarly-clad shape was trying to catch Alumia.
The woodsprite, however, would have none of it. Each time Selene tried to grab her, she moved out of the way, faster than the eye could see. Eventually, the vampire tired of the game, and pulled out a long knife. "Will you please stop- oh, you've got to be kidding me."
As soon as she had seen the weapon, Alumia had dived for the nearest tree and merged with it. Dropping the knife, Selene glared at the tree. "So, that's the way you want to play, is it? Very well, then." The vampire lifted her arms, her eyes blazing with red flame, and a bolt of lightning struck the tree.
Alumia tumbled onto the ground, but to Selene's disappointment was seemingly uninjured. With a defiant look at the agent, the 'Sue cried "You'll never defeat me!"
"Hurry up, Selene," called Dafydd from behind her. "Wood Elf he may be, but the Prince here can still put up quite a fight."
Focussing on the woodsprite, Selene folded her arms. "On the contrary, I will defeat you. Anything you merge with, I can destroy. It's only a matter of time."
"No!" cried Alumia. "I won't let you do that!" Then, unexpectedly, she lunged for Selene. With cat-like reflexes the vampire leapt out of her way, grabbing a throwing star and spinning, ready to kill the 'Sue as soon as she hit the ground.
She never got the chance. Rather than slamming into the ground as any normal person would have, the 'Sue flowed into it, merging with it. Instantly a violent earthquake shook Middle-earth as it tried to fight back, but it could not defeat the 'Sue. The earthquakes continued, and the wind began to pick up, as Dafydd struggled to cross the few metres to where Selene lay, knocked down by the tremor. Reaching her side, he yelled, "Give me the CAD! Now!"
Selene grabbed the device from her pack and threw it to him. Grabbing it, the elf slammed a fist onto the button and yelled, "Takua! Get as many agents as you can and bring them to here and now!"
Dafydd's voice exploded from the CAD in a burst of static. Takua jumped down from her chair, which she had been standing on, and scooped up the device. "Dafydd? What's going on?"
Another helping of static came as a reply, in which the words 'stupid arrogant 'Sue' and 'merged with Arda' could be heard. Takua scowled. "Alright!" she yelled into the CAD. "I'm on my way!" She turned the volume down and shoved the CAD into her pocket. She grabbed the RA, on the pretence of dropping it off at DoSAT, and headed out the door.
Only after searching through the corridors for an interminable period of time did she realize that this wouldn't be a very easy task. No one was around. There was no indication that anyone would be around in the near future. And the Generic Grey Corridors were very good at making people become lost.
"Dammit," Takua muttered. She turned a corner, and nearly walked into someone. The someone was Agent Darkling, carrying a bottle of chloroform and looking very sneaky. She jumped when she saw Takua.
"Oh, hey, Takua."
"Hey, Darkling. Got a slight problem here; I need to round up just about every agent in HQ and get them into this ‘fic."
Takua shrugged. "Ask Dafydd, not me. Anyway, how about pointing me toward where people are, huh?"
Darkling thought for a moment. "Go check the cafeteria. And gimme the coordinates for the ‘fic; I'll get in there after I drop this off in my RC." She shook the bottle.
After conveying the ‘fic info, Takua started toward the cafeteria. However, HQ being what it was, she ended up in front of her own RC instead. After a moment of cursing the Powers That Be, she headed the other way. This time, she decided to try to find DoSAT.
She arrived at the cafeteria a moment later.
"Blasted, idiotic, stupid..." She grumbled as she looked around briefly. She spotted a sparsely occupied table, and headed toward it. With a slight grunt of effort, she jumped up to stand on the table.
"All right, everyone, pay attention!" she yelled. Some of the chatter died down, but the room didn't fall silent. Takua rolled her eyes, and then glared. "HEY! All of you, shut up! This is a canon emergency!" Generic Stunned Silence fell. Takua sighed. "Right then. We have a problem. Agents Dafydd and Selene are in trouble. The 'Sue they're after has apparently merged with Arda itself. They want every available agent to get into the ‘fic and help remove the 'Sue. Get a copy of Rings and go to these coordinates..." She rattled off the location of the ‘fic. "Save your questions for Dafydd; I don't know the particulars. Now get going!"
There was a scramble of movement as nearly every agent in the room dug out his or her RA. Takua jumped down off the table.
"You." She grabbed the arm of a stocky, brown-haired girl sitting nearby. "What's your name?"
"Nin, get into the first RC you come to and send out an all-call. Say just what I said about all this. Okay?"
"Okay." She ran out of the room, radiating an aura of manic excitement. A moment later, her voice boomed out over the paging system, telling all agents to come help exorcise a 'Sue. The sound echoed around annoyingly.
Through the corridors of PPC HQ, the news spread like wildfire...
"Dez! Dez, did you hear?"
Agent Dez looked up from her book. "Hear what, Gon?" she asked in a cool voice. The other agent ignored it.
"There's a task force going into a Rings 'fic to perform a mass exorcism."
Dez paled, putting the book down. "No. I'm not going. You can't make me go."
Gon grinned. "That's what I said, at first. Then I saw it." He flourished a sheet of paper covered in close-packed words – a page from the 'fic. Sighing, Dez took it, intending to give it a cursory glance at most. However, a word caught her eye. A word, and then a sentence. After reading the entire page, she slammed it down onto the console.
"Well?" she asked, in a slightly manic tone, "What are you waiting for? Come along, Gon!" And with a bright smile that would make Sauron himself take a step backwards she ran to get her pack.
From the tallest towers...
"The whole planet? They've got to be kidding!"
Jennifer Robinson peered out of the door of Fictional Psychology to see Agent Neshomeh Soul staring at two other agents – one a short, stocky human girl, the other a rather gangly black-haired human male. The girl was shaking her head. "Afraid not."
"What's going on?" asked Jenni, causing all three to turn and look at her.
"There's a taskforce going into Middle-earth to exorcise a 'Sue from the whole planet, and we need as many people as we can get. You interested?"
Jenni stared, and then nodded. "We'd have to take it in here otherwise, and the ward isn't that big. Anyone got a book?"
The gangly agent threw her a copy of the Silmarillion. "Good choice," he said, in what sounded like a Spanish accent. "Pablo Andretti, by the way. And the psycho girl recruiting people is Nin Brandt, my sometime partner. Much to my regret," he added ruefully. Jenni laughed and followed the other three. This was going to be interesting.
...to the deepest dungeons
In the depths of the Phantom of the Opera department, in the little-known basements of HQ, one of the more reclusive residents heard the call. Looking up from applying her nail polish – black today – Agent Laurel tilted her head to listen to the announcement. When the speaker fell silent again, Laurel smiled. It was not a nice smile. It was the sort of smile you see at midnight in the rainforest, just before a streak of black fur and muscle makes sure you never see anything again.
"Excellent," she said, grabbing her pack. Checking that her nails were dry, she patted at her t-shirt – 'You laugh because I'm different, I laugh because you're all the same' – to remove some of the dust that is a dramatic necessity in basements, and moved to the console to input the coordinates.
From the (relatively) sane...
"You think we should go, then?"
Agent Jet shrugged. "Well, I don't have anything better to do."
Agent Jicky smiled. "Good. Let's go and help them get rid of that canon-killer."
"Right," Jet replied, "Just let me get my pack."
... to the most certainly not.
Agent Bane Dragontooth jumped. "Rabbit?!"
Tazel leaned against the doorframe and laughed. "Nah, 's only me. Did you hear that all-call about a Middle-earth mission?"
Bane nodded warily. "I heard it... but there's hobbits there." The vampire shuddered, remembering The Incident. Tazel rolled her eyes.
"Don't be so silly, I'm sure they'll keep you away from the nasty hobbits if you ask nicely." Then, slipping out of the mocking tone, she added, "And there might be elves..."
Bane sighed, knowing through long experience – although, to be fair, anything more than five minutes around Halloween Girl Tazel was 'long' – that he wouldn't be able to dissuade her. "Fine. Get the portal sorted out."
"Yay!" she exclaimed, rushing over to the console and saying "Elveses elveses elveses..."
Soon, most of HQ was pouring through the portals, into Middle-earth... including Takua.
Takua suddenly remembered that the RA she had at the moment was broken. She looked around, hoping to find someone to hitch a ride with. Then she spotted two girls standing nearby; Takua recognised them as friends of Darkling. She walked up to them as they started punching coordinates into their RA.
"Hey, I need a lift in. My RA is dead." The two agents looked at her.
"Yeah, sure," the taller of the two said. "I'm Maly, by the way. This is Dagger."
"I'm Takua." There, the niceties were taken care of. "Let's get to gettin'."
Maly flicked the portal open. The three agents stepped in, and were promptly dropped into the middle of the apocalypse.
Barely had Dafydd finished speaking when the woods were lit by hundreds of blue portals, each throwing out PPC agents as fast as it could. With so many Canon Protectors present in one world, the 'Sue's influence was damped down, and the earthquakes stopped. The wind still blew, though not as strongly as before, and bolts of lightning slammed into the Mountains of Shadow to the east. Takua fought her way through the crowd to where Dafydd and Selene stood.
"So this is Takua, is it?" asked Selene. At Dafydd's nod, the vampire flashed the new agent a grin. "I'm Selene. Nice to meet you."
"Uh, likewise?" replied Takua, a bit surprised by the sight of pointed teeth in Selene's mouth. Determinedly ignoring this, Selene went on.
"Dafydd says you got us all of these people? Very good job. But I think we need to get down to business." She looked back at Dafydd, who nodded again, and stepped forward slightly.
The noise of the crowd was almost deafening, but it immediately ceased when Dafydd yelled, "SILENCE!" Indeed, Selene found herself wondering if she could still speak, so powerful had been the tone of command in his voice.
When he spoke again it was quieter, but no less forceful. "Okay, can everyone hear me? You at the back? Okay, can everyone who can't hear me please raise their hands? – okay, new idea. Does anyone here have some sort of loudspeaker?"
Near the front of the crowd, a human male with mouse-brown hair raised a hand. "Darren K'roath, Department of Parodies," he identified himself. "I, uh, went through the Jedi training, and I think I can remember how to do the whole voice projection thing..." His voice tailed off in Dafydd's stare, but then the DOGA agent smiled, and gestured him to come to the stage.
"You can project my voice so that everyone can hear it, yes?" he asked. Darren nodded, and Dafydd smiled again. "Good. Do that, and I won't tell Upstairs about that lightsaber you've got hidden under your cloak." Ignoring or not hearing Selene's snort of amusement he went on "They do so frown on UnCanon weapons, you know."
Darren nodded, subdued, and said, "Yes, sir. Won't do it again, sir."
"Good. Now, are you ready?" At the Jedi's nod, Dafydd stood up straight, and began to speak.
"Agents of the PPC, we have called you here to deal with a Mary-Sue of epic proportions. I'd explain her in full, but, as you can probably tell," a particularly loud crack came from the mountains to the east, "we don't have the time. Suffice to say that she has managed to possess the whole of Arda, that is, the world you are standing on."
There was a collective gasp of shock from the Agent horde – although Selene, standing to the side, heard Angel O'May say to her partner, Yukio Ambrose, "She owns it?", and heard Yukio groan – which died down as Dafydd raised his hands. Say what you like about the PPC, Selene mused, we can at least concentrate when absolutely necessary.
"Now, most of you have brought copies of Tolkien's works with you for the exorcism," Dafydd continued, "but for those who haven't, Agents Scarg and Ellipsis have a table full of spare books." All eyes turned to the table, where a girl in a bandana was spreading copies of Fellowship across a foldable table while a tall man was standing as far away from her as he could, glaring in her direction. From her vantage point, Selene noticed someone tentatively identified as Agent Minerva moving in that direction, but stopping when Dafydd coughed.
"You will be sent by portal to various points around Middle-earth – which we still need to work out, could Agent Quen come and see me when I'm done – and will then wait for the appointed moment to perform the exorcism. Timing is critical in this operation, so when the call goes out, it is essential that you take no more than five seconds to whack the ground with your book and yell... er..." He stopped, turned to Selene, and said, "What's the exorcism chant?"
"I should know?" replied the vampire. "You're doing so well by yourself, you don't need my help." And with that, she turned back to watching the crowd.
Fortunately, Dafydd was saved by a familiar voice calling out, "You could do worse than 'Get out, the power of Tolkien compels you'."
Dafydd nodded. "Thank you, Steve. Is Constance with you? We could use her help."
Off to the side, Selene rolled her eyes, but Steve replied, "No, she never got back. Probably still hunting for Bleeprin, there's a shortage right now."
Dafydd sighed. "Right, then. Anyway, the chant, people, is 'Get out, the power of Tolkien compels you'. You'll need to yell it very loud. And, er... that's it. Check your Remote Activators and books while we sort out where you're going."
He nodded to Darren, who moved away quickly, and then called Selene, Takua and Quen over to a spare table. Pulling out a map of Middle-earth, he shrugged. "I have no idea how this works. Quen...?"
"I can do it," replied the green-skinned secretary, bending over the map. The DOGA team heard her muttering things like '... Kalmte and Val, they can cover a large area...', '... Ginger, she's loud enough to do Eastern Moria...', and '... can't put Alexe and Kieran there, they'll need somewhere flat.' Glancing over at his partner, Dafydd was met with a bemused look, one which he was sure was echoed on his own features.
After less time than Dafydd would have thought possible, Quen sat up. "It's all sorted," she said. "Do you want me to tell people where to go?"
"Won't you need some help?" asked Takua. Quen smiled, and turned slightly.
"I have help ready-made. Isaiah! Over here!"
A short boy – presumably Isaiah – turned at the sound of her voice, and hurried towards them, a black-haired woman following close behind. Quen nodded to the DOGA team, said, "You three are staying here to catch her when she comes out. Good luck," and walked off towards the approaching pair of agents.
"Well," said Selene, "she's certainly organised."
"She is that," Dafydd agreed, watching the crowd of agents slowly disperse, portalling out to their assigned locations. "Er, how are we going to tell everyone when to do the exorcism?"
Selene stared at him. "I thought you had something planned for that."
"I thought you did."
"How could I? I didn't even know about this!"
Before the pair could argue any more, a strange device dropped out of a portal above the crowd, bounced off the heads of Agents Ella Darcy and Claudia Beth King, and landed at Dafydd's feet. Blinking, he picked it up and read the note attached to it.
You may find this useful. It transmits verbal announcements to all CADs in the Canon. Please use it so I can have my department back as soon as possible. M-T
"Well, well," muttered Selene, peering over his shoulder. "I guess he can be useful, after all."
As she spoke, the last pair of agents, Rowyn – "Well, this should be fun" – and Twiggy – "Er, y-yes, th-that" – vanished into a portal, leaving the DOGA team alone. Dafydd nodded. "Right, then. Let's give them a few minutes to get them set up. While we're waiting, Takua, Selene came up with an idea on how to kill her..."
Halfway across Middle-earth, Agent Azzandra sat on the rubble outside what had been the Hollin Gate of Moria. "Are you sure we can't just blow the world up? Please? Pleasepleasepleaseplease?"
Agent Alex ran a hand through her magenta-coloured hair – dyed, of course, only 'Sues had that sort of hair naturally – and sighed irritably. "Yes, I'm sure. It would burn very nicely, but we're not allowed to. Pity, though..." she mused.
Azzandra sighed, annoyed, but resigned. She wandered off down the edge of the lake, stopping occasionally to look at an interesting rock. From where she stood, Alex heard mutterings along the lines of "... why don't they have Pepsi, everyone should have Pepsi..." She shook her head, and wondered once again why they had been sent off in random pairs...
In fact, not all the agents were in pairs. On the very edge of Lothlórien, Agents Vemi and Penny were stuck with Agent Jiri.
"Penny, could you come and help? I think she's going to pull my arms out of their sockets soon."
Penny looked at her Drow partner. "No, because... er... yes." Walking over, she grabbed the other arm of the elf in the blue dress. "Come on, Jiri, calm down..."
"Noooooo... must have cutie..." The ex-Sue strained against their restraining arms, trying desperately to get to Haldir. Digging in her heels, Vemi wondered once again how they were ever going to manage the exorcism when the time came.
On the other side of the Misty Mountains, Agent Tess was having similar thoughts. "Dann," she called, slipping her gun back into its holster for the twentieth time, "could we please stop sightseeing? The call might come at any second."
"But it's so amazing," he called back. "They worked on this for thousands of years, and always the same people. That's not something you see every day. I mean, take this wall here..."
Pulling out her gun again, Tess tuned out the architectural babble of the trainee, and wondered exactly who had thought sending them to Rivendell would be a good idea.
Far away, beyond Mirkwood, Agent Verra Rose was having similar thoughts about Erebor. Not only had she managed to show up in her dragon form, which had somehow been seen by a group of dwarves and sent them running for cover screaming 'Smaug! Smaug!', her partner and husband had gotten a little... distracted. "Alec!" she yelled. "Get back here!"
"But Verra," came the reply, drifting in from the other end of the hall, "it's all so shiny..."
Verra glared in his general direction. "Now, Alec."
"All right, all right." She heard the sound of footsteps, and smiled, but then groaned as he said, "Oooooooh..." and stopped walking. Why, she wondered, do I have to put up with this?
"Eru, give me strength," murmured Agent Röslein. The heartfelt prayer was brought on by her temporary partner for this taskforce, Agent Evelen, who had a rather overactive imagination.
"Okay, I admit that it's not likely to explode, but what if it sinks? The rest of the island sank years ago, right? Who's to say this bit isn't just about to?"
"Evelen," the chaplain replied, "Mount Meneltarma was the most holy site in ancient Númenor. It is not about to sink. And besides," she added with a small laugh, "even if it did, do you not believe that Eru would save us from destruction? We are, after all, defending His world."
Evelen had been about to reply, but was reduced to silent blinking by Röslein's apparent ability to pronounce capital letters. Shaking her head at the other agent, Chaplain Röslein settled down to wait for the alert, and, incidentally, to have a third lunch.
Over in Fangorn Forest, Adam and Frenchie of the AV Department were less relaxed. They had been given the task of performing an exorcism that would affect the whole of the forest, and as such had to set up some equipment.
"Adam!" called Frenchie from where she sat in a large oak tree. "Need more wire!"
Down below, Adam rummaged through a bag, and then yelled back, "We're all out! Can't you work something out?"
Sighing, Frenchie looked at the speaker. It was firmly fixed to the tree. The wire from the previous speaker was in her hand. There was a gap of about three inches between the two. After a moment of thought, she reached into a pocket and pulled out a few paperclips.
A minute later, she climbed down from the tree. "Done," she said in response to Adam's expectant look. "Now, where did you leave the microphone?"
Adam frowned. "I'm not sure... that way, I think." He pointed into the forest. Frenchie sighed.
"Well, come on, partner," she said, walking off in the direction indicated. After a moment, he hurried after her.
Back in the forest glade, near the Mountains of Shadow, Dafydd, Selene and Takua arranged themselves in a triangle around the point at which the 'Sue had entered the ground. "Are we ready?" asked Dafydd, looking at the other two. Together, they nodded. He smiled. "Then let's do it," he said, and raised Makes-Things' device to his mouth.
When the call came, Agent Milano Cricket was attempting to persuade her partner, Ekwy Fields, to stop staring at the elves of the Grey Havens. Every time she moved into Ekwy’s line of sight, the girl merely moved her head and watched another. Milano sighed. "Loki! Some help here?"
"I can’t," growled Agent Loki from where he knelt on the floor. "I've got to wake Nea up." He glared down at his partner, as if she had passed out just to spite him. Milano shook her head, thinking, We should have let him get his thermos.
[BEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEP! EXORCISE NOW! BEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEP!]
Ekwy's attention immediately snapped back, and all three of the conscious agents fumbled for their books...
Far to the south, in Harad, Agent Rohana threw a copy of The Two Towers to her temporary partner, Agent Sarc. "Go!"
Sarc slammed the book down onto the packed sand...
Agent Allie slammed her book down onto the grass, just as her partner, Chelsea, threw herself away from the random hobbit she had been hugging and slammed her own copy of The Silmarillion down alongside Allie's. Together, the pair yelled the exorcism chant.
"Get out! The power of Tolkien compels you!"
The power of Tolkien compels you!
The cry echoed across the whole of Middle-earth, and the ground rippled in agony as the 'Sue fought to remain in her rocky hideout. Against the force of so much Canon, however, she didn't stand a chance. With one final earthquake, powerful enough to knock almost all the agents off their feet, the form of Alumia the Woodsprite appeared, screaming.
Climbing back to his feet on the suddenly stable ground, Dafydd walked over and kicked the writhing 'Sue. "Shut up and listen, or we hurt you some more." Amazingly, she did. Dafydd sighed with relief.
"Good. Now, listen closely. Alumia the Woodsprite, on my authority as an agent of the PPC, I hereby charge you with the following: Being of an uncanonical species, coming from an uncanonical realm and being princess of it, plagiarism, creation of the 'Ring Frodo', joining the Fellowship of the Ring, causing Elrond to utter the 'Ten Companions' line, disrupting the characters of Legolas, Aragorn, Galadriel, Théoden, and practically anyone else you came into contact with, being Legolas' Bestest Best Fwiend, causing geographical compression by making the journey from Rivendell to Caradhras last a single day, cruelty to trees, having attributes of the Firstborn without being an elf, creation and/or abduction of Mini-Balrogs, namely woondland roam, Rivendel, Kazad Dum, Ithilden, LothLorien, Loth Lorien, Woodlandrealm, Helmsdeep, Gandalg, pallantir, Dimholte, Druaden, Legola and elfish – fourteen! I mean, one or two might be forgivable, but fourteen? We didn't really need any other charges after that." He paused, and then asked, "Where was I?"
"Mini-Balrogs," called Selene, who was now standing again. Dafydd nodded in recognition.
"Thanks. To continue... making no sense, gross stupidity, using modern-day vocabulary, using in-text author's notes, mixing book and movie canons, reassigning lines, causing Legolas to act like a lovestruck teenager, redundancy, messing with the laws of physics, having impossible hair, glossing over large sections of canon, stealing lines, bad formatting, claiming ownership of the Entwood, calling Gimli a fool, claiming powers equal to the Firstborn, imitating Gollum, having a stupidly large ego, unnecessary angst, causing Galadriel to say stupid things, inventing a badly-put-together language, messing with Elven culture, writing in script format, attacking Aragorn, excessive description of clothing, stealing adamantium from the X-Men universe, making chainmail complete proof against harm, having Wolverine-esque healing abilities, wanting to have a sword permanently stuck in your shoulder, inconsistency, not honouring the Rohirrim properly, not being properly fearful of Sauron, having Foresight, claiming ownership of Canon, random POV and tense shifting, using bad clichés, making Gimli stupid, multiple massive geographical contractions, knowing the Canon and yet still acting in defiance of it, committing fashion crimes, messing with Elven culture and society, severely altering the social and spiritual mores of the elves, attempting to sleep with Legolas, and, last but most certainly not least, severely annoying PPC Agents and being a Mary-Sue!" He paused to catch his breath, and then said, "For racking up an unprecedented – at least in the DOGA files – fifty-eight charges, and for, as I mentioned before, creating no less than fourteen mini-Balrogs, you are condemned to be fed to mini-Balrogs until you are very, very dead. Takua, have you got Witchking and Thanduril?"
Takua nodded, and Dafydd turned to Selene. "Sel, are the fourteen new ones ready?"
"They are," she replied. The elf smiled evilly.
"Excellent. Now, Alumia, do you have any last words?" The 'Sue gave a strangled scream, possibly because Dafydd's foot was crushing her chest. "No? Shame. All right, girls, release the-"
The three agents turned to see a tall blonde woman running across the grass. Stopping in front of them, she gasped for air for a moment before introducing herself. "Dr. Niamh, Department of Mary-Sue Research and Experimentation. I'm sorry to intrude, but I simply must have some samples of this 'Sue. She's quite unique. May I?" At Dafydd's bemused nod, the white-coated doctor knelt beside Alumia. "This will hurt a lot, dear," she said, and, taking out a knife, hacked off one of the 'Sue's fingers.
Alumia's scream was very loud, causing a trio of agents, Cygna Hoshiko, Janet Ackerly and Mary Lane, who had been assigned to the Morgul Vale, to think the Nazgûl had spotted them. Back in the forest, Niamh stood up and made a half-hearted attempt to wash the glitter off her lab coat. "So sorry to have kept you waiting. Do carry on."
Dafydd waited another second for the doctor to move away, and then nodded to the other two DOGA agents. The Mini-Balrogs were unleashed and, scenting 'Sue blood, immediately lunged for the Woodsprite. Over the ensuing screams, Dafydd nodded to Selene and Takua. "A bad job well done. Welcome to the team, Takua. Now let's get back."
Archivist’s Note: This is one of the more epic DOGA missions. We’re very grateful to all the agents who volunteered to help out - thanks, guys and guyettes! ~Terri Ryan, DOGA Archivist
Woodsprite of the North
by swift tales
Published: 1 Jan 2005
Timeline: 1 Jan 2005