"All right, what've we got?"
Stepping into Response Centre 2510, Mortic waved a sheet of paper. "Backlog," he told his partner. "Published in '03, apparently."
"Must be a slow week," Elanor commented. "Anything good?"
"According to Monty, the best thing about it is that it's short," Mort replied. Elanor frowned.
"Monty? I didn't think we worked any fandoms Goose-Boy watches."
"Only the one," Mort told her, handing her the paper. "When was the last time we had a Python mission?"
Elanor laughed shortly. "I'd forgotten he was on Pythonverse," she said. "I suppose he didn't have any choice, Narrative Comedy being what it is."
"My thoughts exactly," Mort replied, leaning on the console. "What should we go as, do you think?"
"Hang on, I haven't read it." The blonde looked down at the sheet of paper, and then looked up again incredulously. "The Black Knight? Are you serious?"
"It's listed as Humour/Parody on The Pit," Mort said, "but that doesn't make it any better, really. It's definitely-"
"A WhatThe," Elanor agreed. "And... well, Mary-Sue's got a group of soldiers with her, we could mix in with them."
"Generic soldiers, check." Mort tapped a few keys on the computer and flicked the portal open. "Got your pack?"
"Got yours, too," Elanor retorted, handing him the bag. "Do we really have to do a Character Analysis on her?"
"It's in the rules," Mort said with a shrug. "Come on." They stepped through the blue portal into the 'fic.
Aidana Milani strode into the forest, confident of the two score soldiers that marched fearfully behind her. They would obey her even unto death, no matter the foolhardy end.
"She's in for a surprise, I think," Elanor murmured. Mort smiled tightly. There was always a certain amount of pleasure in overturning a 'Sue's expectations. Especially the really stupid ones.
"Hand me the CAD," he said quietly. "We should read her before the fight starts, since the story's so short."
Elanor fumbled through her backpack and gave her partner the sleek silver Character Analysis Device. Flicking it on, Mort pointed it at Aidana Milani. There was a beep, somewhat less earsplitting than expected, and he glanced at the flashing red letters as the 'Sue looked round.
[Aidana Milani. Human female. Non-canon. Mary-Sue.]
He showed the screen to Elanor, who nodded slightly and pulled out her own Analysis Device. The party of soldiers entered a clearing, and the Agents glanced up at the Words scrolling across the sky.
Devereau "Dillan" Laelithar watched the coming fools with contempt. Slash and stomp their way through the brush with no care for the nature they crippled. And the blind, terrified obedience to a confident fool was laughable. A female, no less. He strode into the clearing before them. "Halt!" he commanded, smirking beneath his visor.
The soldiers came to a halt. "This is the Black Knight?" Elanor asked incredulously. "His name is Dillan?"
"You tell me," Mort said, as Aidana informed the knight that if he joined her, he could be a general. Elanor pointed her Canon Analysis Device at Dillon. This time, the beep was definitely loud enough.
[Devereau "Dillan" Laelithar, AKA the Black Knight. Human male. Canon...? Out Of Character 97%. CHARACTER RUPTURE!]
"It can't even tell if he's Canon any more," Elanor hissed. "She's only had two and a half paragraphs, how's she managed to corrupt him so badly?"
"None shall pass," the knight said in a grave tone. "Especially moronic morons like you."
The Agents' silence was loud enough to drown out the clash as the 'Sue's sword hit the knight's, a sure sign of intense canon disruption. Unfortunately, it let the spoken lines through just fine.
"What, because this forest can only handle one idiot?" she taunted back. Dillan continued blocking her attacks, and scoring several hits with only minor repercussions. "You know, I never understood allowing hair to grow so long it's unmanageable. Girls or boys." he changed tactics, feigning a slice at her bare neck, and took three fourths of her hair as her head tilted away. The look of horror was worth Dillan's honor. He laughed out loud.
"... I don't get it," Elanor said, bemused. "She calls him an idiot, and then insults her own hair? Which he then cuts off, and loses his honour by laughing?"
"People need to learn about dialogue tags and paragraphs," Mort declared to the world in general. "And they-" He stopped suddenly as the 'Sue screamed and chopped Dillan's arm off. There was a shudder, and-
"People need to learn about dialogue tags and paragraphs," Mort declared to the world in general. "And they-" He stopped suddenly as the 'Sue screamed and chopped Dillan's arm off. Elanor shivered as the universe settled back into place.
"What was that?"
Mort looked just as shaken as she did. "I think the story just did a double-take," he said. "Take a look at the Words."
Elanor did so, and stared. "She screams like a banshee, has Amazon - sorry, Amazonian - blood... talks about forest guardians, has glowing red eyes, threatens to eat him... I... I think she just wrote our charge list for us, Mort."
"Charge list!" Mort exclaimed, scrabbling through his pack to find a notebook. As he did so, the 'Sue sent Dillan's other arm flying and chopped it into six pieces in the air. Elanor grimaced.
"There's no time, Mort," she said. "Just make one up as we go, okay?" As Dillan exclaimed "'Tis but a flesh wound!" and began to kick Aidana's legs, the blonde ducked forward and interposed her sword between the two.
Aidana hissed, still following her story-driven actions, but now directing them at the PPC Agent. "You foolish imbecile!" she seethed, and swung her sword at Elanor's hip. There was a loud clash as the blade hit Elanor's Rohirric sabre, and then the Agent twisted her wrist quickly. Aidana's sword went flying, and Elanor swung one foot out to knock the woman to the floor. "You dare strike Aidana?" the warrior screamed. "I am an Amazonian! You should--" She stopped suddenly as the point of Elanor's sabre touched her throat.
"I suggest you lie very still," the younger woman said, eyes narrowed. "You might get to live a little longer. Mort?"
Mortic walked over. "Sorry, I was just knocking some Generic Soldier heads together," he said casually. "Now then... Aidana Milani, I've got some charges for you. Namely, that in seven paragraphs, you managed to wreck the character of the Black Knight beyond recognition, prove that you know nothing about proper formatting, have a stupid name, claim to be 'Amazonian', whatever that means, rip off a very good film for your flight of fantasy... I can't be bothered to list them all. You are charged with being a very annoying Mary-Sue and creating a WhatThe, and sentenced to death. Any last words?"
The 'Sue let out a banshee scream and lunged forward, which was unfortunate for her, since that meant Elanor's sabre plunged straight into her throat and out the back. Elanor winced and pulled her sword away, letting the body fall to the ground. "Well," she said, "that was-"
A steel-clad boot hit the back of her knee, almost knocking her down. "Ha-ha!" the Black Knight exclaimed. "I will defeat you! The Black Knight always triumphs!"
"Sure he does," Mort muttered. "Ellie, sunglasses." The woman scrambled away from the Monty Python character and fished out her dark glasses. When she looked up again, Mort already had the neuralyser out and ready. "Now then, Sir Knight," he was saying, "if you could just look this way..."
The Black Knight looked around the clearing uncertainly. It seemed to be trampled as if from a recent battle, but there were no signs of the fight. He had vague memories of a troop of soldiers, a woman commanding them... but no, it was gone. Picking up his sword, he returned to his post.