It has taken me the best part of six years to persuade Takua to write up a proper mission report, and what do I get? A single-chapter outing with a note attached saying, ‘That’s all I’m doin’; go pester someone else’. Still, it was quite an obnoxious Sue... ~Terri Ryan, DOGA Archivist
"I still say you cheated."
The voice was a low rumble - even lower than you're imagining. It was followed by an exasperated tut from a different source.
"You would say that, Naz-mini - you lost."
In the darkness, the owner of the first voice growled. "I would not have lost had you played fair. I am by far the superior player."
"Your logic is circular," the second voice told it bluntly. "I won. You clearly-"
A white light filled the room as the console screen flickered into action, revealing the pair of DOGA agents seated on the floor, various playing cards scattered across the floor between them. The smaller of the two - a woman with distinctly green colouring - rose with a sigh and looked at the message.
"A Mary-Sue," she said, rolling her eyes. "Oh Jareth, catch me - I think I shall quite faint with shock."
"In your dreams, Takua," her Uruk-Hai partner sniffed. "What are we going in as?"
"Aren't you even going to ask what canon?" Takua protested. Jareth growled.
"I assumed the disguise would contain a hint or two about that. Was I wrong?"
"... not really," she admitted. "Kyaris from Intel recommends Nazgul."
"An excellent choice," Jareth declared, "provided, of course, we take real swords, not those foolish dissolving things."
"Ah, Naz-mini," Takua grinned, "homesick, are we?"
"Please do not call me that. I might be forced to do something you'll regret."
Aragorn and Faramir rode across a landscape that couldn't seem to decide on the weather. Takua threw back her hood, revealing her distinct lack of head, and scowled at the Words. "Snow on the ground two months after the end of the War? That makes it May, sweetie. Learn to count."
"I fear that may not be her worst offence," Jareth murmured, as Aragorn and Faramir passed, peering at the ground. "Have you noticed? They're out here because they 'just want a brake'."
"I doubt they'll find one," Takua agreed. "They- what in--?"
Turning to find a quintet of black horses flogging themselves behind a bush was not on Agent Takua's to-do list when she joined the PPC. "Okay, 'horse beats', I get it," she muttered. "But the cloaks...?"
Aragorn and Faramir, champions of Animal Rights, charged towards the bush - and the horses leapt out on their hind legs, the black cloaks hiding their shape as they surrounded the pair.
five horses bursted from their hiding places, surrounding the men, the Words declared. They were the Nazgul, or Ringwraiths.
"That... is not entirely normal," Jareth said faintly as Aragorn leapt from his horse, grabbed a nearby mini-Balrog (wincing at the heat) and threw it at the Nazgorses - and then reached for his sword. The sun, as if realising what kind of story it was in, plummeted towards the horizon, setting just in time for the battle to start.
Takua called to the bewildered-looking mini, Aduril, and then swore softly and ducked into the bushes for the arrival of the Sue. It was... probably not entirely how the writer intended it.
Aragorn and the lead Nazgorse charged each other - and then slowed, bringing their swords gently into contact. At the first touch, a rider rode up on a (quadripedal) black horse, wielding a blue short sword. The lead Nazgul took a step back, slashed his sword at the air - and then all five Nazgorses collapsed. Faramir, who until now had managed to stay in the saddle, leapt to the ground - only to find the Nazgul back on their feet, ambling vaguely towards him. The two Pyros glowered at the offending passage:
When their two blades began to meet, another person came galloping up on a black horse. His blade was glowing blue, much like Sting. With a slash, the Nazgul fell down, dead. The ranger jumped off of his horse. The Nazgul walked toward him.
"Run! Make it safely to Gondor, Heir of Isildur," Faramir commanded - and, for some reason, Aragorn obeyed, climbing back onto his horse and galloping off. Faramir, in a twist that should have been far less surprising than it was, dropped to all fours and galloped after him. Takua exchanged a look with Jareth as the Nazgul eyed the one remaining character - the mysterious arrival who was sitting quietly in his saddle, staring at the ground.
"This is the Sue, right?" Takua said uncertainly. Jareth nodded slowly. "Right. Then she'll catch up with us. Come on, let's portal."
The portal brought them out a league away, where Aragorn and Faramir had settled down to lunch - or supper, given the sun's earlier antics. Jareth scowled at them from behind a rock. "Three miles and they think they are safe?" he hissed (he would rather have growled, but Nazgul disguises are tricky things). "Do they remember nothing about the War?"
"Apparently they remember that the Nazgul ought to be dead," Takua said, eavesdropping on their conversation.
"It is impossible." Faramir mumbled.
"Not quite. There is someone else controlling them, a new Dark Lord." A voice said from behind them.
"Oh, hey, survival instincts," Takua commented as the pair jumped up, drawing their swords. At her side, Aduril did a little dance at seeing his namesake weapon. Jareth scowled and shook his head.
"Not so," he said. "Her - I beg your pardon, his, since two wilderness-hunters are apparently incapable of discerning her gender - eyes emit that ghastly green glow, and yet they..." He trailed off as the two men lowered their weapons in response to the Sue's apology. "Well, that, in fact."
"And I'd just got my hopes up and all," Takua muttered. The Sue gave the canons an 'elfish' greeting, which they apparently recognised enough to return it, and after some inane, badly punctuated dialogue, they sat in merciful silence while the King of the Reunited Kingdom did the cooking. Takua shook her head in disgust. "There is so much wrong with that."
"Surely it should please you," Jareth pointed out. "Men doing traditional women's work - is that not one of your, ah, 'things'?"
"Yeah, but unlike some Sues I might name, I know the difference between reality and canon 'verses," Takua retorted. "Feminism is awesome-" Jareth let out something that sounded suspiciously like a laugh, and Takua scowled at him before continuing, "-but this is Middle-earth in the early Fourth Age. The most feminist character around was a suicidal cross-dresser; the concept of 'women's work' is definitely alive and well. And don’t get me started on the class issue-"
"I don’t intend to," Jareth cut in hurriedly. "Do you have your Sindarin dictionary?"
"Of course!" Takua exclaimed, affronted, but then frowned. "Somewhere. Probably. Why?"
"She claims her name to be 'Tinnu', which Aragorn recognises as meaning 'Starlight' - and elvish." Jareth shrugged. "It seems unlikely to me."
"And me," Takua agreed. "It doesn't feel like an Elvish word, at least - and it's a stupid name."
Jareth nodded. "A charge, then." He scrawled a string of Cirth in his notebook - he never had bothered to learn the Latin alphabet - made an additional note on the summoning of 'Minis Tirith' and the old favourite 'Rivendale' (who joined Aduril in a game of see-who-can-lob-a-fireball-nearest-the-Sue-without-her-noticing), and hovered his pencil, waiting.
"My name is Dinuviel, daughter of Tinuviel and Beren." She said, her voice as assertive as Aragorn's.
"My lady, the rumour you say is quite only had a son, by the name of Dior." Faramir said.
"... whaaaaaat." Takua shook her head slowly. "Faramir... okay, Jareth, how has he managed to mangle the language that badly and still make more sense than the Sue?"
Jareth tilted his head and watched the Gondorian closely. "He fights it," he said thoughtfully. "He tries to overcome her influence and reclaim his sanity, but he is overwhelmed."
Takua's invisible lips set into a thin line, and she half-pulled her Morgul blade ('borrowed' from an uncanonical tenth Nazgul on a previous mission) from its sheath. "Then we'll help him out," she promised.
Jareth shook his head and reached across to stop the motion. "Not yet," he said gently. "We have to wait for the geographical charge."
Takua blinked. "I thought that was the messed up Gondorian climate," she said.
"No. There is worse to come. She-"
"The Shadow Sword is the only person who can kill a Nazgul without catching the black breath. In the first age, a young maiden called Aranormidel was abducted by the Nazgul on the day of her wedding. They took her to Mordor, after killing the rest of the guests. When they struck her with a one of their blades, she knew she was to become of the shadow. With her last strength, she raised her blade and pierced her own heart, causing her death. The Valar never had seen such sacrifice and let her become the first twice born. Now the blade and wielder are the only things that can kill a Nazgul." Aragorn said.
"... by the Kindler and the Weeper, you are such an idiot."
Aragorn, Faramir, and their companion turned to stare at the dark shape stalking out of the bushes - or shapes, since there were two of the cloaked figures, not to mention a trio of burning creatures behind them. "The Nazgul return." Tinnu gasped. "I thought I had killed them all."
"Like I said, you're an idiot," the first Nazgul repeated in a strangely feminine - and coherent - voice. "Jareth, charges, quick form."
"Tinnu," the second Nazgul snarled, and his voice was far more what they were expecting, "AKA Dinuviel, AKA the Shadow Sword of Gondor, you stand accused by the Protectors of the Plot Continuum of altering the climate and history of Middle-earth, mutilating every language you come into contact with, abusing the characters of those around you, and claiming powers far beyond your right."
"And," the first hissed - but not a proper Ringwraith hiss, Aragorn and Faramir noted with distress - "being so utterly devoid of even the least modicum of understanding as to think that Gondor, the Nazgul and the land of Mordor existed during the First Age of the Sun! It is not hard to understand the histories involved, and the very concept of Ringwraiths more than a thousand years before the Rings were forged-"
"I had actually covered that under 'altering history'," the second Nazgul noted, "and your concern for the 'quick form' would be more believable if you hadn't just ranted for longer than my entire charge list."
Tinnu had had enough. She drew her blue-glowing sword and charged the Nazgul - who, quite unfairly, blocked her sword.
"Oh, really, how rude," the Nazgul said mildly. "I didn't even get to sentence you to death."
"In the name of Aranormidel," Tinnu gasped, "yield and die!"
"By Elbereth and Luthien the Fair," the Nazgul retorted, "and for the honour of all Arda... you first." She shoved against Tinnu's sword, giving her the opening she needed. The Shadow Sword of Gondor drew her blade back for a high, decapitating swing, and never did figure out why her arm came off at the shoulder before Takua's blade flicked back and took off her head.
The PPC agent poked the body with her toe and sniffed. "Idiot," she said again. "Doesn't have the faintest idea what an 'opening' actually looks like, and thinks huge sweeping moves are the way to fight. Pure pointless grandstanding."
"On which subject," Jareth replied, watching as Aragorn and Faramir - now released from the Sue's influence, and once more unaware of the Protectors' presence - made their way to their horses and rode off towards Minas Tirith, "might your, ah, impromptu banter with the Mary-Sue be considered 'grandstanding' also?"
"Impromptu, nothing," Takua corrected. "She insulted Luthien and the Valar, so I invoked them at the end. It was all planned, my dear Jareth, every word." She looked at the corpse and sniffed again, before turning to her attention to her Remote Activator and muttering with an air of finality, "... idiot."