Note: The PPC was originally created by Jay and Acacia. The fanfic being sporked (Shadow of the Opera) belongs to sonicshadowlover13. Sonic the Hedgehog is copyright Sega, and the version of The Phantom of the Opera used here is copyright Andrew Lloyd Webber. Anneli Rodriguez and Xanthus Garkaran both belong to me. Cinderella first appeared in the Harry Potter fanfiction My Dragons, Your Phoenix, His Death Eaters by XxX Fleur-Delacour XxX, and was recruited to the PPC by Cadmar.
Mission 6: Angel of Music, Hide No Longer
In which a bizarre recasting completely ignores the darker side of the Phantom’s character.
“So I heard you were with the kids yesterday.”
Anneli looked up upon hearing this get mentioned by Cindy. “I was,” said the other Floater. “Why do you ask?”
Cindy smiled, pulling her legs in further as the two women sat on the couch they shared. “I was just curious,” she said. “I hear that you were quite good to them then.”
“Oh, yeah,” said Anneli, smiling broadly. “They’re such great kids, too. Saim could come out of his shell just a little bit, though. He’s so shy, but he’s also really sweet.”
Cindy nodded. “I’m glad you’re spending time with them,” she said. “I’m sure they like your company.”
Anneli nodded. “It reminds me of my brother from World One, you know…” she said.
This rather intrigued Cindy. “Oh?” she asked. “You had a brother from World One that was their age?”
The older agent shrugged, glancing up. “Well, like, technically, yeah,” she said. “But that’s not really correct. See, he was mentally disabled.”
The witch blinked, tilting her head to the side. “Mentally disabled?” she asked. “I don’t get it.”
“Well…” Anneli looked up at the ceiling of the room, rubbing her chin. “I guess you could say—”
“Oh hey, a mission!”
Cindy groaned as Anneli hopped up and ran right to the console. “Oh, Merlin, again?” asked Cindy. “And things were getting interesting, too!”
Anneli shrugged, looking at the console. “Sorry,” she says. “I’ll tell you all about little Augie when we’re done with this mission.”
The door to the bedroom opened, and out stumbled a rather groggy-looking Xanthus. “Another mission again?” asked the turian.
“Unfortunately,” said Cindy. “What continuum is it in?”
“It… It’s some kind of strange recasting of Phantom of the Opera with characters from the Sonic Universe,” Anneli replied, frowning. “Except that for some reason, the Christine and Raoul replacements are both original characters.” She shook her head. “Like, that doesn’t make any sense. Why recast the entire musical, and then use two OC’s to fill in for two of the main characters?”
“I’m not certain,” said Cindy. “I guess this is going to be a very strange mission.”
“Understatement of the century,” commented Xanthus as he went to get the DORKS. “Especially since we’re entering a damaged continuum now.”
“Yeah, like, Sonic the Hedgehog isn’t a very visited universe for the PPC,” Anneli said. “I mean, I guess this is an exception since it’s technically also Phantom of the Opera, so...”
“I see.” Cindy walked over to the two agents as Anneli opened a portal to the fic. “Shall we go then? I want to hear about this… ehm… mentally disabled brother of yours.”
Anneli nodded. “Yeah, let’s do this!”
On the rainy night, there was the Opera house with Opera cast. They are mobians.
The Words dropped the agents right into a strangely warped version of the Palais Garnier, which was treated with… something, Anneli couldn’t quite place exactly what it was that was around them. Off to the side, what looked like a plaster cast of an arm was firmly situated in one of the seats.
Xanthus shook his head, making his way there and picking up the cast.
“Mobians?” asked Cindy. “That’s… a term from the fanon, yes?”
“I think so,” said Anneli.
“It is,” said Xanthus as he came back. “They live on the planet Mobius, and I think that fact pops up in the Archie comics.” He glanced to the side. “I don’t remember if it shows up in the SatAM cartoon, but I know it’s definitely in the comics.”
Cindy frowned. “How did you know that?”
“Sonic the Hedgehog was one of the first continua I ever got acquainted with here,” said Xanthus with a shrug. “It was weird sitting in Fic Psych watching a blue hedgehog run around.” He shook his head. “Not the point. Anyway, I’m not sure exactly why we have this cast here…”
Anneli frowned, then noticing something odd on the arm. “Look, it’s got ‘opera’ written on it!”
And indeed, as Anneli pointed this out, Xanthus suddenly noticed that the word ‘opera’ was indeed scrawled in the side of the cast. Cindy blinked, looking at Anneli.
“Well, that’s certainly an odd way of putting things,” she said. “What do you think caused that?”
“Opera cast, probably,” said Anneli. “Like, yeah, we call the people that work on the opera the cast, but those are just the people you see onstage. What about the stage hands? The orchestra? You don’t call them part of the cast.” She shook her head. “Also, if you call them the Opera cast, then I guess I’ll have to start calling everything the Musical cast, the Film cast, the Video Game cast, and the Theater cast.”
“So in other words, it’s a case of labeling gone awry,” said Xanthus.
“Yeah,” said Anneli. “I wonder how much else is going to go wrong here…” She then looked to the other two. “Say, what are we, anyway?”
Cindy, Xanthus, and Anneli then looked at each other, taking notes on their disguises and what exactly had changed with them. Anneli had taken on the form of a turquoise hedgehog, with some brown highlights on the ends of her quills. She looked, noticing her rather simple dress before turning to Cindy. Cindy had turned into a wolf of some form, with midnight-black fur. However, she looked quite a bit more adorable than Anneli remembered a wolf to be. She looked at herself, shrinking back a little before both girls looked to Xanthus. Xanthus, of course, had changed into a yellow echidna, and Anneli and Cindy were both acutely aware of the fact that like every other man in the Sonic the Hedgehog universe, Xanthus was only wearing shoes.
The disguised turian shook his head. “The disguise generator has got to have one of the strangest senses of humor ever,” he said.
Cindy shook her head. “I’m a wolf again… I thought they got rid of that…” She quivered slightly. “I just hope there’s no racism against wolves here…”
“I doubt it,” said Xanthus. “I’ve never seen a wolf in the Sonic the Hedgehog universe, but then you’re talking about a continuum in which talking hedgehogs save the world on a regular basis. I’m sure you’ll be fine.”
“I hope you’re right…” said Cindy nervously.
They were interrupted by Cream the Rabbit running onstage, with everybody else in the opera house suddenly materializing on-stage as Cream ran on.
"Everyone! We have a new member who will be joining us!" She said excitedly.
"Really, Cream?" A pink hedgehog asked. Cream nodded.
Anneli rose her eyebrows as they watched this. “A new member?” she asked. “Gee, I wonder who it’s going to be...”
“Ten credits says it’s the resident Mary Sue,” said Xanthus.
This earned him a rather pointed glance from Anneli. She didn’t say a thing, instead shaking her head and looking back to the stage.
"Well who is he or she?" A red echidna asked.
"She's a pretty hedgehog. Her name is Maria." Cream replied.
“Maria?” asked Xanthus, scratching his chin. “That’s not right.” He shook his head. “This might get confusing, guys.”
“Why?” asked Cindy.
“There are no animals named Maria in the Sonic Universe,” he said. “However, there is a character named Maria who figures really prominently in Shadow’s backstory. I don’t know if it’s scary that she’s been turned into a hedgehog for this, or that she somehow came back to life to sing in an opera house. Either way…”
“I see,” said Cindy. “Are you going to charge for that?”
“Yeah, I’ll go ahead and start the charge list.” With this, Xanthus opened his omni-tool, perusing through the menus and beginning to write down the requisite charges as all the characters on stage looked at each other with concern.
The scene then abruptly shifted, and the three agents found themselves standing outside in the rain.
“Ack!” Cindy and Anneli abruptly ran to the nearest awning of the Palais Garnier and hiding under it. Xanthus joined them soon after, looking at the rain as he then checked his omni-tool quickly.
“Okay, good, it still works,” he said. “Rainfall never could affect an omni-tool.”
“Indeed not, Xanthus,” said Cindy as they saw a carriage arrive. They then watched as a spare letter N was crouched off to the side.
A elder man opened the door for a yellow hedgehog who dresses in a grey jacket and a hat on.
“A carriage?” asked Cindy. “Why are they using a carriage?”
Anneli shrugged. “It’s probably justified,” she said. “I mean, Phantom of the Opera takes place… sometime during the 18th Century. Like, if they could use carriages in the musical, I’m pretty sure they would’ve.” She then looked up at the Sue as she stepped out. “And there’s our Christine replacement.”
“In a carriage?” asked Xanthus. “What position is she going into?”
“Uh… I don’t know,” said Anneli. “Like, we’ll have to find that out later.”
“Whatever you say,” said Xanthus.
"Come out, Miss Maria. Your life is here." A elder man said impatiently.
The ‘n’ that was outside of the opera house shivered again, as the undefined old man watched as Maria walked up to the opera house.
“Your life is…” Xanthus shook his head as Maria entered the theater. “What?”
Cindy raced out of the awning, nearly slipping on her robes as she went in to save the stranded letter ‘n’ that had been left out there. She then ran up all three steps of the opera house, Anneli moving towards the door and opening it for Cindy. The wolf ran inside, followed soon after by the hedgehog and the echidna as they looked around.
“That… that is some truly atrocious grammar there,” said Cindy. “I mean, should that not be ‘an’ elder man?”
“Yeah, and, like, you refer to them as ‘older’ people!” said Anneli. “Oh, yeah, and you used ‘an’ when you didn’t need to!”
“Describe the old man once, he’s undefined. Describe the same person twice, and he needs to use a definite article,” mentioned Xanthus as he wrote down a charge. “That’s good for a bad grammar charge, right?”
“Yes, I think it is,” said Cindy. “I wonder what happens here…”
As she was inside, voices were heard from across the hallway to the doors that leads to the stage. Maria walks to the doors and opens them and saw the cast practicing their acts and singing.
"Um.... Hello?" Maria called.
Anneli’s eye suddenly twitched. “Practicing their acts and singing?” she asked. “Practicing their acts and singing?” She glared at Maria murderously. “Like, oh my God.”
“What?” asked Cindy. “What is it?”
“You do not call rehearsal ‘practicing their acts’,” said Anneli. “Like, that’s a term you use with the circus.”
Xanthus nodded. “I guess a crime against show business terms is chargeable?”
“Like, yeah!” said Anneli with a wide gesture of her arms. She shook her head as she pointed to a conversation happening between Sonic and the Sue off to the side.
“Oh, boy, the hero of the Sonic the Hedgehog franchise is here,” said Xanthus. “I already mentioned it, but I’m surprised he’s not replacing Raoul.”
Cindy frowned, looking at the Words. She then looked to Anneli and Xanthus. “Hey,” she said, gesturing to her fellow agents. “Does anything about the Words look out of place to you?”
The other two agents frowned, looking between themselves before looking back to the witch. They then squinted, and suddenly, they noticed this:
"Hey there! You must be Maria, right?" He asked.
"Yes. I was told that I would be here with you." Maria replied while taking off her hat.
"Yeah, we know. And..... we're sorry about your father." Sonic says as he scratches his head. Maria closes her eyes again, not showing her tears in her eyes.
"You don't need to be, sir. Though it was very upsetting." Maria says opening her blue eyes again.
"Yeah. Oh! By the way, I'm Sonic the Hedgehog! Let me introduce you everyone else here." Sonic says while bringing Maria to the stage.
“What in… why is there no space between the paragraphs?” asked Xanthus.
“I have no idea,” said Anneli. “That’s just… I don’t know anymore.”
The echidna shook his head, marking it as a charge on his omni-tool. “Spirits, none of this is a good sign,” he said. “What else have we got here?”
“Well…” Anneli looked over to where Knuckles was having a little fun intentionally tripping Amy while she was calling him almost as bad as Silver. “First of all, Knuckles doesn’t seem like he should be getting that much to do. I mean, he’s replacing the tenor who frequently sang opposite Carlotta, but his role is, like, one of the most minor roles of the entire musical. And Silver… I don’t know what he and Amy are supposed to be filling in for.”
“So technically, they’re filling in for nobody,” said Xanthus, looking at the three Sonic canons as they were silenced by Sonic. “That’s… not good at all. I’ll charge for… for…”
“‘Swelling the size of the already large cast of Phantom of the Opera with characters who seemingly have no purpose to the story’,” said Anneli. “Oh, and you totally might have to take out the ‘seemingly’ somewhere along the line. If this works as close to the musical as I’m hoping, the main focus will really only be on Maria and whoever is standing in for Raoul and the Phantom.”
“Got it,” said Xanthus.
“You seem to know the musical really well,” pointed out Cindy.
Anneli nodded. “Like, yeah!” she said. “I saw it twice on stage, the second time I saw it was at the Majestic Theater on Broadway, I have Joel Schumacher’s movie version, and I saw that movie in theaters. So I totally know the musical forwards and backwards.”
“So I see,” mentioned Xanthus with a nod. “Well… that’ll make this mission a lot easier. What else have we got here?”
"People!" Sonic yelled., everyone turned to Sonic's attention and sees Maria. "Everybody, this is Maria. She's going to be living here with us." Sonic says. Maria looks at the mobians shyly.
“Wait, living here?” asked Anneli. “No, no, that doesn’t make sense.”
“People don’t live in opera houses,” said Cindy. She then glanced to the side, chuckling nervously. “Well… not if you’re the phantom, apparently.” She then glanced nervously up at the wings, as if she was expecting something there. “I didn’t mean anything by that!”
Anneli shook her head. “Like, he’s not that picky,” he said. “But yeah, you’re right, people totally don’t live here.”
“I guess she took the term ‘opera house’ literally,” said Xanthus, shaking his head. “I wonder if they’re renting out apartments just above the stage…”
Anneli shook her head. “If they are, they’d totally be out of your price range,” she replied.
The agents then watched as every single person in the opera company introduced themselves. This included several characters who until then had been undefined, and so Rouge, Tails, Blaze, and Manik all materialized on-stage.
“Wait…” Anneli tilted her head. “Isn’t Manik from one of the cartoons?”
“He is…” said Xanthus, rubbing his chin “So now we have characters here not from the games. That’s… not good.”
“I think that the ‘swelling the cast’ charge is for certain, then,” said Cindy. “I’m not familiar with the continuum, but it has a lot of characters from what I hear. The fact that we are seeing characters from Sonic-related things that aren’t the games is a little telling.”
Xanthus nodded. “You’re preaching to the choir there, Cindy,” He replied.
The room for you is the one on the top floor." [Manik] says.
"NO!!!" Everyone cried out except Rouge and Knuckles. Maria was confused.
"What?" Manik asked with a funny look.
"Maria is NOT staying in that room alone." Blaze added.
"Why not?" Maria asked.
"That room is forbidin!" A voice said, a rabbit came out from the shadows. She was wearing a black dress.
Xanthus suddenly cracked up, watching as Madame Vanilla then came out of the shadows, looking at the entire production company. It was obvious the adult rabbit was trying to look somewhat wise in that black dress of hers, but in this, she was entirely unsuccessful.
Anneli, on the other hand, shook her head. “Okay then,” she said. “So the two rabbits are replacing Meg and Madame Giry.” She shook her head, barely holding back a snicker. “Uh, I totally can’t imagine a rabbit replacing her.”
“Well, technically, she’s the only adult female in the video games, but they could’ve gone with a lot of other people if it’s people from other things as well,” said Xanthus. “Oh, this is gonna be fun.”
You have to be in Cream and Amy's room." Vanilla says.
"But, what's wrong with that forbidin room?" Maria asks.
"It was his room, but never sleeps there anymore. I promised that room of his will never be taken." Vanilla replied.
"'His'? Who's room is it?" Maria asks.
“The Phantom’s, of course!” said Cindy, pointing her finger in the air.
This earned her a glance from Xanthus and Anneli. At this, the witch shrugged. “What?” she asks. “Even if Vanilla refuses to say anything else, it’s pretty clear who she’s talking about.”
“That’s true,” admitted Xanthus. “Is predictability a charge?”
“I don’t think so,” said Anneli. “At any rate, I think it’s totally supposed to build the mystery behind who this man is. Except that it’s kinda klunky here.”
“Well, at least there’s an attempt at it,” said Cindy with a shrug. “I mean, mystery plays a big part in everything, right?”
“In terms of the Phantom’s character?” asked Anneli. “Oh, yeah!”
Above the girls who are going inside the room, a black figure watches them with red eyes. He then walks away.
"A newcomer in my Opera house...." He whispers. "The girl will be well trained here by Madame Vanilla."
And then, Anneli promptly frowned as Amy and Cream led Maria to their room. “What? Newcomer?” asked Anneli. “Hang on… Xanthus, I totally think there’s gonna be a deviation from the musical here…”
“Later, maybe?” said the echidna as he opened his omni-tool and looked at Maria’s charge list. “We have more pressing issues to take care of.” The disguised turian then checked the Words briefly. “For instance, I think we can skip the rest of this chapter. The rest of this is just Maria being told more about the Phantom, and going off and doing her own thing.”
“Okay, cool,” said Anneli, shrugging. “Like, none of this first chapter was in the actual musical, anyway.”
“Really?” asked Cindy as she pulled out the RA and handed it to Anneli. “I got a different impression.”
The older of the two female agents shrugged, taking the RA and punching a few coordinates into it. “I can’t say I blame her, though,” said the perkier of the two. “I mean, the way the show actually began would totally make it difficult to jump into a present tense narrative like that.”
“Why?” asked Xanthus.
“Oh, the show begins, like, many decades after the events of the musical,” she said. “The entire prologue is kind of spoken, then they turn on the chandelier, and bam, you get to the main musical. It’s, like, uh, a giant flashback!” She then rubbed her chin as the portal opened. “And actually, in the Joel Schumacher version, it’s totally a framing device, because in the stage musical we never see old Raoul again, but in the movie, we see him all the time. Like, he appears around where the first act ends and then where the entire show ends. It’s actually kinda cool looking at him, you know? And Gerard Butler… Oh, he’s sooooo sexy as the phantom, and he actually isn’t that bad a singer! Oh, and did I mention that I like--?”
“Anneli, I think you’re geeking out here.”
Xanthus’ comment promptly shut the hedgehog up. She then looked around, and then chuckled nervously. “Uh, sorry guys,” she said. “Anyway, where were we?”
“About to go to the next chapter,” said Cindy.
“Oh, right!” said Anneli, giving them a goofy smile. “Come on!”
With this, the agents walked through the portal, walking right as the Sue sat up in bed.
"Maria?" A voice called. Maria turns around quickly.
"Oh!" She shrieked. There was a chipmunk with red long hair and blue eyes. She was in the costume for the Opera play rehearse, a white dress and ballarena shoes.
The words shook a little bit, making Anneli jolt. Finally, the chipmunk in question’s shoes turned from ballet shoes to a very, very, very strange form of sports shoe.
Cindy frowned. “Ballarena?” she asked. “What’s that?”
“Maybe it’s a variation on clawball?” asked Xanthus as he tilted his head to the side? “I wonder what these rules involve.”
“Probably being kicked in the face by the spelling error,” said Anneli as she glared at the chipmunk. “Like, oh my god, guys, at least spell the names of dance types right!”
The Sue and the new chipmunk talked a little more about Maria being so surprised. Further in the conversation, she then introduced herself as Sally Acorn, which earned her a glare from Xanthus. He shook his head, however, right as Madame Vanilla came walking in with a dress. The Sue tried it on soon after.
"Very pretty." Vanilla says in a whisper. Maria narrowed her eyes to Vanilla with a neutral look.
"Thank you. Though I am a bit nervous about a rehearse..." She said. Vanilla smiled at her and brush Maria's hair.
"You'll do just fine dear. This is your first day. Rouge was the diva of the shows she's ever done here. Yet, her voice was a bit loud and high pitch like." She says making a chuckle. "The dancers were covering their ears."
"Heheh.... If I hear her voice, I'll be covering mine." Maria laughs. Vanilla chuckled again.
“Loud and high pitch like…” Anneli frowned. “So in other words, she’s, like, a Wagnerian soprano. Maybe.” She shrugged. “It’s probably nothing.”
“Why?” asked Xanthus.
“Well, I mean, it kind of does apply to Carlotta that she’s a bit loud, but she had other issues too,” mentioned Anneli as she rubbed her chin contemplatively. “That’s totally a bad descriptor.”
“Really?” asked Cindy. “Why?”
“Well, like, if you’re singing high pitch like, then you’re probably a coloratura soprano,” said Anneli with a shrug. “And, like, every coloratura soprano role sings high notes at one point in every opera they sing in! And loud? Uh, in an opera, you kind of have to sing loud. I mean, if you don’t sing loud, then, like, the audience won’t be able to hear you over the orchestra!” She shook her head. “There are better words to describe bad singers than this!”
“Justin Bieber?” asked Cindy.
Anneli and Xanthus both glanced at the witch, who then recoiled slightly at seeing this. The witch nervously stepped back, giving them an innocent expression.
“I never said anything,” she said, blushing a little as her foot settled slightly behind her.
Before anybody could say much else, though, the three agents were pulled into a rather sudden scene change.
Later at the stage, Rouge was singing loudly for rehearsing. The purple chameleon, Espio, was the maestro of music and notes. He shuts his eyes and gritted his teeth tight by hearing Rouge's eerie, high pitched, word-less voice.
Anneli literally seethed at this. “Like, oh my god! What is wrong with this fic?” she asked. “You don’t call the conductor the ‘maestro of music and notes’! ‘Music and notes’ is, like, totally redundant! You call him the maestro! And, uh, if you must disambiguate, you call him the conductor! Like, oh my god! Why can’t this thing get any show business terms right?”
“Probably general stupidity,” says Xanthus, looking at Rouge. “Also, I swear something is wrong with her voice…”
Cindy frowned. “If I didn’t know any better… I’d say it was… electronic.”
“Yeah, it totally sounds like a theremin to me,” she says. “Like, seriously, this girl is dead!”
The three agents shook their heads, and then watched the rehearsal go on. However, as it continued, Anneli then suddenly frowned, watching Maria’s role in the events.
“Wait a second,” she said. “Is there…?”
“Yeah, Maria’s just a chorus girl,” said Cindy as she pointed at Maria dancing and singing something about Hannibal. “For a chorus girl, the company sure gave her quite the extended greeting…”
“Yeah, like, in the musical, people didn’t notice Christine until Carlotta went offstage and Madame Giry said that Christine could sing the role,” added Anneli. “Xanthus, charge for that.”
The disguised turian did so right as Maria tripped over Rouge. The bat then made a huge deal about the Sue.
"Forgive you? Ha! Ha! Ha!" Rouge laughed sarcasticly. "Silly girl... How can you be a dancer in the Opera house? Can you sing? I don't think so!" She continued to laugh.
“Hm…” Xanthus frowned. “I think that Rouge is being more of a bitch than usual.”
“Yeah, she totally is,” said Anneli. “Carlotta really only got super mad about the fact that the Phantom wouldn’t stop messing up her show. In fact, when she first storms off the stage, it’s because she can’t take the Phantom’s antics anymore. She’s a diva, but she’s not that much of a bitch about it.”
“Throwing people out of character,” said Cindy, rubbing her chin. “I wonder what else happens here…”
“Well…” Anneli then checked the Words, shaking her head as Rouge used the bottle of liquid in her mouth to make her voice sound better. Right as a bottle of liquid spawned inside of Rouge’s mouth, Anneli shook her head. “Well, there’s nothing really that bad in the rest of this,” she says. “Rouge leaves in a fit, Maria takes over as the lead singer of that production, and… we get Think of Me, more or less where it falls within the show. Oh, and we get introduced to the Raoul replacement, though for some reason, Raoul’s verse is cut from Think of Me.”
“Hm, so nothing that bad,” said Xanthus. “I think we should skip over stuff.”
“So do I,” says Anneli. “Let’s see… They cut out Angel of Music for some reason, so…” she frowned soon after. “Wait a minute.”
“What is it?” asked Cindy.
Anneli frowned. “Like, I just realized something!” she exclaimed. “Remember how the Phantom called her a newcomer? That totally may be more against canon than I thought before!”
“Why, did they know each other before now?” asked Xanthus.
“It’s not explicitly mentioned, but yeah,” said Anneli. “Like, secretly, the Phantom had been giving Christine voice lessons. If we go by the lyrics of Angel of Music, it’s totally implied that he had been doing so for a while, and that Christine had taken them willingly because she thought the Phantom was the ‘angel of music’ that her father had sent to her after his death. But here, the Phantom totally hasn’t even met Maria yet! And, like, from the way his verse of Think of Me was cut, I don’t think the Raoul replacement has either!”
“And therein lies a major problem,” added Cindy. “Not only was an entire song cut for these purposes, but now some of the motivations of the characters won’t make sense.”
“Exactly!” said Anneli. “Like, the Phantom’s infatuation with Maria here won’t make any sense at all! Charge!”
Xanthus nodded, writing the charge down soon after. “So anyway, after that realization… anything else?”
“Well… we don’t get that much that’s really very charge-worthy for a while after that,” said Anneli. “They go about their business, Shadow reveals himself as the Phantom replacement, they sing the titular song, and this Sue finally gets a show business term right.” She shakes her head. “It is supposed to be ‘brava’ if you’re applauding a lady, and honestly, I’m totally surprised she got the one term that everybody confuses right.”
“You’re talking a lot about that,” said Cindy, crossing her arms. “I take it you had something to do with show business once?”
“For high school productions, but yeah,” said Anneli. “Oh, and my brother played opera and musical theater pits too. Like, you know, he knows most of these terms too. Anyway…” The agent then checked the words, but they were then startled by the scenery piece falling. Rouge began yelling, but Anneli shook her head. “I think we should jump to when the Raoul replacement and Maria meet. And then we can jump to the Phantom in his lair.”
“Sounds good to me,” said Xanthus, keying stuff in on the portal. “Okay, here we go!”
Myrin made sure that he closed the door softly before he approached to Maria. She was sitting at her make-up desk, a rose still in her hand and she stares at it, she had a small smile on her face.
"Lost your mind in wander by that little rose?" Myrin suddenly said. Maria turns her head to see Myrin smiling at her.
The agents portalled in close to where the mirror in the room was, with the three of them standing by as Myrin the Wolf moved forward and commented on how Maria had been looking at that rose.
“So that’s the Raoul replacement,” said Cindy.
“An original character,” said Xanthus, rolling his eyes. “Wolves haven’t exactly appeared in Sonic the Hedgehog yet, you know.”
“I kinda figured as much,” said Anneli. “I don’t see carnivores in that universe all that much.”
“The only ones I can think of off the top of my head are Vector, Big, Jet, and Storm. So four out of a ton of characters isn’t a lot.” He shrugs. “I’m not gonna charge for it, though, because it is plausible to have a wolf in the Sonic the Hedgehog universe, and especially the comics.”
"Nice to meet you, sir." Maria said. Myrin gave her a bouquet that he stole, she smiled in thanks.
"You sang like an angel, Maria... I love that." Myrin whispered in a sexy way.
Cindy promptly frowned. “Is he supposed to be this creepy?” she asked. “Because if he is, he’s succeeding.”
“Not in the musical,” said Anneli. “Uh, Raoul was mild-mannered. I mean, unless he was intentionally being a jerk…” She shook her head. “No, it can’t be. Let’s just see how this plays out.”
"Surely your father will be very proud of you."
"...Of course he'll be proud of me. Plus, he sends me an angel to protect me." Maria complained. Myrin made a frown. "I can sense him here..."
"Oh, no doubt about it, Maria." Myrin replied, his tone was that of one suspecting a child's game. "Just story telling. Now, why don't you and I go out and eat for a celebration, hmmm?" He asked with a smile.
“I don’t know…” said Xanthus. “He’s kind of coming across as a jerk. Are you sure this is the Raoul replacement?”
“It has to be,” said Anneli. “He was in the box watching Maria sing at the production of Hannibal. This totally has to be the Raoul replacement, but why is he acting like such a bigshot prick?” She shook her head. “At this rate, he’s just going to prove the Phantom’s assertion that he’s an insolent fool right.”
"Oh, I would love to, but-"
"Great! Well, I won't keep you up too late." Myrin started to leave. Maria didn't want to leave.
"You have to change your clothes." Myrin said laughing. "You have two minutes, 'kay?" He leaves to the door.
"No, Myrin wait!" Maria tried to say that she didn't want to go, the angel will be strict if she goes.
“Well, she’s already showing subservience to the Angel of Music,” said Cindy. “That doesn’t really make sense unless she’s known him for a while.”
“And the way Raoul’s replacement just up and left like that?” asked Xanthus. “How did this scene play out in canon?”
“Well, it wouldn’t play out like this anyway since apparently Myrin doesn’t know Maria, but in the musical, they just reminisced about everything,” said Anneli. “And it was a sort of happy time. There was totally nothing about Raoul being a jerk to Christine.”
“Well…” said Xanthus. “I guess that’s that. This is…”
“Around the point where the reprise of Angel of Music should be sung,” said Anneli. And… lo and behold!”
She was about to reach the door, but the powerful, beautiful and masculine voice, that Maria heard before, singing angrily.
This slave of fasion!
Basking in your glory!
“And I guess that’s our cue to skip stuff,” said Xanthus, keying in stuff in the RA as the song continued around them. “So… where to…?”
“Well…” Anneli squinted, checking the Words. However, she seemed unfocused, and then finally shook her head. She took a deep breath, squinting again as she covered her ears. She held absolutely stock still for a second before nodding.
“Distracted?” asked Cindy.
“A little,” replied the older of the two female agents. “Sorry, I grew up with this musical, so I love it to death. Anyway…” She then took in a deep breath. “So after they sing the titular song, it cuts to the girls who worry about Maria. It’s not that out of canon as Joel Schumacher’s movie version had a similar kind of scene, so I don’t think it’s worth seeing. After that, we get Music of the Night, and Maria and the Phantom fall in love.”
“And then we get a ton of filler, from the looks of it,” mentioned Xanthus, who had also checked the words. “It probably would’ve destroyed the pacing of the musical if all those extra scenes had been thrown in.”
“Yeah, it would’ve,” Anneli agreed. “The next bit we can skip to…” She frowned. “I think we can skip to when Maria tears the Phantom’s mask off for the first time.”
“Got it,” said Xanthus. “I’ll take us just a little before that, actually.”
“Good call,” said Cindy.
With this, Xanthus opened a portal nearby, and as the music continued playing, the three agents hopped in through the portal to some time later.
Meanwhile at the "Kingdom of Music", Maria's ears perk up as she heard some faint screaming. The music box was playing suddenly, it caused Maria to open her eyes. Maria slowly sat up and looked around the black and red room. She wasn't in her room anymore.
'So... this wasn't a dream! It's so real!' Maria thought in her mind. She got out of bed and parted the red curtain to get out of the room.
“Uh… was she really out of it for that?” asked Cindy. “I mean, if you’re singing…”
“It’s kinda justified,” said Anneli. “Christine was in a kind of trance-like state in the musical for the entirety of both the titular number and Music of the Night. I don’t think she quite snaps out of it until after the Phantom sings a little bit. And honestly, who can blame her? I mean, if the Phantom is cast right, it just comes across as magic. And especially with Michael Crawford there… Oh, it’s magical, I tell you! It’s no wonder that Christine would get entranced, because she’s entranced by the mysterious Phantom of the opera, her—” here, Anneli took a breath, and then began singing “—Angel of music, guide and—”
This singular statement from Xanthus interrupted Anneli. The woman disguised as a hedgehog blinked, and then sheepishly grinned as she looked at her fellow agent.
“Sorry,” she said simply.
“It’s all right, Anneli,” said Cindy as Maria wandered around the underground cavern… which somehow had a porch installed on it. “Do caves normally have porches in them?”
“No,” said Xanthus. “It’s already cold in there anyway, so…” He opened his omni-tool shortly after. “I’m going to charge her for bad architecture. If it’s nonsensical in a logical sense, then spirits help us in the actual canon.”
Maria then found the Phantom composing at his organ. Curiously, she walked forward, and then slowly pulled the Phantom’s mask off.
She made a silent gasp... Shadow made a snarl and punched her in the stomach! Maria fell off and looked at Shadow with fear.
"Damn you! You little pandora!" Shadow shouted at her, his left side was revealed... He had six scars on his left eye down near the cheek. Maria stares at the scars and Shadow's face.
"Is this what you wanted to see?!" Shadow yelled. "Curse you! You little viper! Now you can never be free!"
As Shadow continued to rage at Maria, a thought suddenly occurred to Anneli. “Wait a minute,” she said. “This is the first time we’ve really seen Shadow this whole mission!”
“Well, better now than never,” said Cindy with a shrug. “Anyway, this seems uncharacteristically violent.”
“It’s canon, though,” said Anneli. “The Phantom gets totally touchy about his face, and his reaction here is almost word for word his reaction in the actual musical. Well, aside from the cut song, that is.”
“I guess his physical deformity plays a huge part of his character,” mentioned Xanthus.
“Yep,” said Anneli as she crossed her arms. “It makes him all bitter and stuff. So that at least makes sense.”
He said. Maria watches him in sorrow and crawled up to him, she reached for his chin to her. Shadow made a look, but Maria ignored it and placed her hand on the top scars. She made a smile, Shadow got confused.
"...What?" He asked. Maria shooked her head.
And then Anneli’s face immediately fell. “Wait… that’s not Christine’s reaction to that,” said the agent.
“She was more afraid?” asked Cindy. “Honestly, I would be afraid too. Why is her reaction a little less frightened…?”
“Let’s just follow them,” said Xanthus, opening his omni-tool soon after.
As Shadow then declared that they had to leave after a relatively short back and forth, the agents followed them out. As they walked out, though, Maria turned and kissed Shadow ardently.
"I'm sorry..." She said between the pecks, Shadow returned it by giving her a strong kiss. Maria closed her eyes and wrapped her arms around Shadow's neck. He broke it after a good minute.
"You are forgiven." He said picking up Maria in bridal style to place her in the boat.
“W-what?” asked Anneli as Shadow and Maria 1moved away in the boat. “No! That’s not like the Phantom at all! Hold on, lemme see something!”
She then yanked the RA from Xanthus’ hands, and then opened a portal to what the agents assumed was a few minutes later. They stepped in, and walked into the dressing room.
He slid the door open for Maria, she went in the room and turned to Shadow who was about to leave.
"Wait..." Maria said. Shadow looked at her.
"Umm... Will I see you again?" Maria asked. Shadow was silent for a moment, he nodded.
"...You will. Tonight we'll meet again during the show." He said.
Anneli was stock still as he saw what seemed like a rather sweet exchange between Maria and Shadow.
Finally, Anneli took the liberty of lifting one of the many bouquets that had been left for Maria, hitting herself in the head multiple times with it, and then casting it to the ground soon after.
“I guess he never forgives?” asked Cindy.
“Like, yeah!” said Anneli. “This is totally not cool! I mean, he just went massively OOC! He’s super bitter about any reveals of his face! That’s part of how touchy he is! This is not in character for him!”
“So I see,” said Cindy, as Xanthus frowned. “But would he not still be forgiving at this?”
“No!” said Anneli. “He’s super bitter! He was shunned all his life for his face, Cindy! He wouldn’t be so forgiving of Christine in this situation! I mean, hell, half the finale is him yelling about how his face ruins everything for him! And it’s a huge moment near the end when Christine rips his mask off when he’s literally in front of the entire audience of the Paris opera house! This is just--! Gah!”
“Uh...” Xanthus raised his hand. “I… just had a thought.”
Anneli glowered, but before she could say anything, the former Beauxbatons student placed a hand on her fellow agent’s arm. “What is it, Xanthus?” asked Cindy.
“If… if what Anneli is saying is true, then…” He frowned. “Then why was the Raoul replacement acting like a jerk earlier?”
Anneli froze. “Wait a minute…” The agent then began to pace around the room as Shadow left after the amount of yelling that was happening outside. “No no no no no… This can’t be…”
“Are you saying that someone deliberately flipped the personalities of Raoul and the Phantom?” asked Cindy.
“I… I think so,” said Anneli, rubbing her chin. “And… and actually, it totally makes a lot of sense the more you think about it. Like, there’s the Raoul replacement being kind of creepy about Maria and also being kind of a jerk. But really, in the musical, it’s the Phantom who has the creepy obsession with Christine.”
“I dunno, singing stuff like Music of the Night doesn’t sound that creepy,” said Xanthus.
Anneli shook her head. “He has a mannequin that looks like Christine that is wearing a wedding dress in his underground lair,” replied the female agent. “And then, like, he has Christine put it on during the finale.”
Xanthus blinked. The disguised turian then sharply inhaled, clicking his tongue against the roof of his mouth as Cindy nodded.
“Point taken,” he said. “Whereas the sweet romance as depicted with Shadow…”
“That’s Raoul’s department,” said Anneli. “I mean, oh my God! All I Ask Of You is basically Raoul telling Christine ‘be with me and I’ll treat you well’! Uh, like, the entire conflict of the musical is that Christine is conflicted with herself between the fact that the Phantom is a god-like figure for her, but also a bit of a massive douche! Like, he alternately terrifies her and entrances her!”
“But if you flip the dynamic of the two lovers…” said Cindy, trailing off.
“…Then you miss a vital piece of that conflict…” finished Xanthus. “And then the whole thing makes no sense.” He then frowned further. “And then, when you consider that Shadow in the Sonic the Hedgehog fandom is one of those characters whose faults are glossed over by an innumerable amount of ShadAmy fanfiction…”
The three agents were quiet for a few seconds as Maria went to open the door.
“I’m not up for letting this fic go on any longer,” said Xanthus. “I’m up for killing the Sue right now.”
“Oh my God, you read my mind!” said Anneli. “I will not let this Sue mess up one of my favorite musicals ever!”
Cindy then looked over, grabbing the neuralyzer from her bag of holding as she looked off to the Sue, who was then startled as the door opened and Rouge walked in, the bat obviously in a fury.
“Then we best get to it,” said Cindy. “Come on.”
The three agents then came up behind the Sue as she turned to face Rouge’s wrath.
"So you were here!" She yelled. Maria stares at the white bat.
"What happened?" She asked.
"What do you mean 'What happened'?! You are going to get it for taking away my diva career!" Rouge shouted.
“Actually, Rouge, let us take care of that,” said Cindy, walking up to the diva as everybody else piled in behind Rouge.
“W-what?” asked the confused bat. “What are you--?”
Right as Xanthus grabbed a hold of the Sue, Cindy flashed the Neuralyzer at the diva. The flash also got Amy, who was just coming up behind the bat when the flash went off.
“All right,” said Cindy. “You two are Amy and Rouge. You do not live in an opera house, you know nothing about how to sing, dance, or anything associated with the opera, and you have certainly never met a hedgehog named Maria,” said the witch. Anneli had opened a portal out of the dressing room by that point, which Cindy indicated with a hand gesture. “You’ll go back home and go to bed. When you wake up, this will all have been a very mysterious dream.”
Rouge and Amy looked to the witch with a blank expression on their faces. After a few seconds, however, they walked through, Anneli closing the portal behind the two women as Xanthus then pushed the Sue against one of the tables, knocking some flowers off the table as she stared up in fear.
“Who… who are you?” asked the Sue.
“Your worst nightmare,” says Xanthus, opening up his omni-tool as he looked right at the Sue. “Don’t bother scre—”
“Help me!” she shouted as loudly as she could. “I think they’re going to—!”
Maria continued shouting, but no sound came out of her vocal chords. She then looked up at the agents, looking on in a mixture of shock and terror as Cindy brought her wand up, pointing it at the ceiling.
“That should take care of her for now,” said the witch. “I think we better charge her quick before any of the canons or—”
“What are you doing with her?”
The three agents then turned to the mirror, which had opened up to reveal Shadow there, looking right at the agents with untold hatred glimmering in his eyes.
“Well, uh…” Cindy glanced around nervously, chuckling as she looked at him. “What I mean is…
Suddenly, Shadow’s limbs became stock still, and the hedgehog fell to the ground. Anneli and Xanthus both looked to the witch, surprised by this. Finally, she shook her head, motioning to Anneli.
“We’ll have to remove those scars somehow,” said the witch.
Anneli nodded, keying a portal to Medical with her RA. “True, true,” said Anneli. “Okay, like… the charge list?”
“Ah, yes,” said Xanthus, holding Maria against the table as he opened the charge list. “Maria the Hedgehog, we are agents with the Protectors of the Plot Continuum. You have been charged with repeated and egregious crimes against commonly used opera and show business terms, stealing a name from a Sonic the Hedgehog canon possibly for the sake of faux symbolism, bad grammar, swelling the size of the already large cast of Phantom of the Opera with characters who have no purpose to the story, taking the term “opera house” so literally that people live in an opera house...” Xanthus looked at Maria as she struggled silently against him. Shrugging, he moved on.
“You’re also being charged with being greeted by an abnormally large amount of pomp given that you are a chorus girl, not knowing the Phantom and your Raoul replacement before the Paris Opera’s production of Hannibal, bad and non-canon architecture, warping the characters of various other Phantom of the Opera characters, including the complete desecration of Raoul… Raoul…”
“De Chagny,” replied Anneli. “Like, I think he was the Viscount of Chagny.”
“Okay, good to know,” said Xanthus. “So anyway… You are finally charged with warping and deifying the Phantom’s character in such a way that it destroys the entire conflict of the source material, recasting Phantom of the Opera with characters from a very tonally-removed continuum, annoying PPC agents, and being a Mary Sue.” He then looked at Maria. “The sentence for the above is death. Any last words?”
Right then, Cindy’s charm had decided to stop working. Maria let out a single high note, her voice sounding incredibly beautiful. But before anything else could be done, her neck was suddenly pulled into a kind of noose by Anneli.
“Call your fine horses now!” Anneli sang mockingly. “Raise up your hand to the level of your eyes! Nothing can save you now, except maybe Christine!”
With this, a strong patter of footsteps was heard. Cinderella turned her attention to the door soon after, and then looked up as Myrin the wolf entered. “Maria?”
His eyes then wandered to where Anneli was strangling the hedgehog to death. His mind quickly drew only one conclusion.
He rushed to step in when Cindy pointed her wand at the replacement of Raoul. “Not another step,” said Cindy. “Whatever you had with Maria, forget about it. It was all a lie!”
“But she has a beautiful voice!” said Myrin defiantly. “Let her go!”
Cindy shook her head. “Myrin, think about this,” she said. “What have your thoughts been since you met her?”
“I… I just know that I love her, and that… that…” The wolf frowned suddenly. “I feel… why am I so angry at a suitor I have never before seen?”
“Keep thinking!” shouted Cindy as she held her wand in front of her.
“And… And why did I steal a bouquet to give to her?” he asked, his eyes widening in shock. “That is… What… Are you suggesting this is her fault?”
“Aura of Smooth,” said Xanthus as Maria began the last of her vain struggles against the Punjab lasso that she was being choked in. “It traps everyone, and makes them think in ways they wouldn’t normally act.”
“I am so terribly confused,” admitted Myrin as he stepped closer, his eyes widening in shock. “I… Heaven forbid, have I acted in an uncouth manner towards a lady?”
“Like, totally,” said Anneli, strengthening her pull on the lasso. Maria gasped out finally, and then she expired on the table as the wolf came closer to the group.
“I… I am not quite sure what came over me just then,” he admitted. “I… Her name was Maria, yes?”
“Yeah,” said Anneli. “Long story about that. And actually… we’d charge you too, but…”
Xanthus shook his head. “We didn’t get far enough in for a charge list for you,” he said. “So…”
“Wait, charge?” asked Myrin. “I should not believe that anyone here would be charged for any grievous crime.”
Cindy shook her head. “We don’t charge them for crimes like stealing or killing or anything like that,” she says. “We charge for disruption of reality.”
The wolf frowned. “Disruption of reality?” he asked. “I am not quite certain what to make of that, to be honest.”
“Well… since the Suefluence wore off, I think we can explain it better,” said Xanthus. He then turned to Anneli. “So… I guess this means we’re recruiting him?”
“Yeah, I guess,” she said. “Take away the Suefluence, and, like, he becomes Raoul de Chagny’s expy.”
“Suefluence?” asked Myrin, giving a slight tilt of his head.
“Uh… long story,” said Xanthus as he opened a portal nearby. “If you follow us, we’ll explain the whole thing.”
The wolf shrugged, and then looked to the agents. “I assume there is no harm in it,” he said. “Lead the way.”
“Excellent.” With this, Anneli threw some sunglasses to him. “Here, you totally want to put those on.”
“Why?” asked Myrin.
“Well…” Xanthus took a neuralyzer and waved it at the wolf. “Let’s just say that if this flash catches your eye, you won’t remember a thing. Come on.”
With this, the three agents walked into the portal. With a certain amount of curiosity, Myrin followed soon after, noticing then that the echidna he was following was carrying the body of Maria with him.
After having helped the agents neuralyze the remaining Sonic the Hedgehog canons and calling in DOGA to get rid of the non-canon opera house, Myrin had stepped back into the RC along with Anneli, Cindy, and Xanthus. As soon as the disguises had been turned off, the wolf had been quite surprised to find that not only were they not rodents, but that Xanthus was not even from the same time period as Anneli and Cindy. By this time, however, he had been informed as to what the PPC was, and so he was not quite as shocked as he realized he probably should have been. They had some final bits to explain, but when they explained this, the wolf nodded.
“So this is the mission of these… Protectors of the Plot Continuum,” he said.
Xanthus nodded. “Pretty much,” he said, standing up from where he was sitting at the couch. “And those are Mary Sues.”
“So I see,” said the wolf, crossing his arms. “I must admit, it sounds much like a fairy story that one would hear in their youth, yet to see that it actually exists is another thing entirely…”
“And being in it is also another thing entirely,” added Cindy. “Trust me, I know where you stand. I myself was recruited from the company of a Mary Sue.”
Myrin nodded. “Interesting,” he said. “Well… I suppose that since I have no proper function in the canon I was rescued from… I might as well make myself useful elsewhere.”
Xanthus nodded. “I figured you’d say that,” he said. “Come on, we should take you to the Marquis de Sod.” He stood up soon after he said this. “I don’t think the FicPsych stint will be necessary, but we’ll see.”
“That we shall,” said Myrin. “Very well then, to this Marquis de Sod we go.”
And with this, Xanthus led the wolf out of the RC. The two of them seemed to talk a little further before the door closed behind them, leaving Cindy and Anneli inside the RC.
“Well, that’s that,” said Anneli “Well... I guess we’ve got some time, so... like, you wanna hear about my brother?”
A/N: Oh hai guys. It’s me again.
It’s a little ironic how my mission six for both my DIC and Floaters RCs seem to have a fic that falls victim to the same exact conundrum: that at the end of the day, the fics don’t really seem to have a point to them at first glance.
I mean, if you’re going to recast Phantom with a different fandom’s characters, then the least you can do is fill in every major role with a canon character. But since we have two OC’s filling in for Christine and Raoul, you then get a cast that’s really way too big. Yeah, Phantom has a large cast, but this recasting ends up having several superfluous characters who have absolutely no bearing on the story as a result of the fact that two of the Sonic canons could’ve filled in for Christine and Raoul. The fact that the Sonic the Hedgehog continuum has a trillion characters by this point definitely doesn’t help, but it’s not really the main culprit here.
But unlike the Nausicaä fic where the point seemed to evade the reader for pretty much the whole thing, here the fic’s point got clear around the time where Shadow stopped being a jerk, which is kind of OOC for Shadow in the Sonic continuum and is very OOC in Phantom. Essentially, this fic indulges in the kind of fan writing that says “character X is awesome, so I’m going to ignore the parts of him I don’t like to make him look good” which unfortunately is all too common in StH fanfiction that has Shadow as a central character. I covered most of my gripes with that in the mission, though, so I won’t bother you here. Besides, there’s a certain irony to the fact that this particular Phantom of the Opera fic idolized the Phantom, given that Andrew Lloyd Weber himself did something like this with Love Never Dies.
All I’ll say about it, though, is that it tends to get annoying near the end of the fanfic when the changed characterizations mean that the author gets less and less able to use the lyrics in typical song-ficcy fashion. I think the entire finale after The Point of No Return are cut because the author can’t work with the musical’s characterisation anymore, it’s that bad.
Anyway, you all know how it is. I hope you guys enjoyed the mission!