This is the first Constance mission not featuring Dafydd to be posted, and also features the most obscure fandom in our archives (so far, at any rate). Will Aella be having any more contact with the DOGA team? Will we see Young Wizards again? I haven't a clue. Do I look like Upstairs to you? ~ Terri Ryan, Department of Personnel

Aura

by Unknown Author

Steve staggered into the room and dropped the chocolate bars next to Constance. "I brought them..." he said, resisting the urge to add 'your majesty' on the end in an effort to placate her.

"Good boy," Constance said, grabbing the nearest chocolate bar and ripping the wrapper off of it. Steve watched in horrified silence as she managed to fit most of the bar into her mouth at once.

"You're, ah, welcome..." he mumbled as he headed hastily for the far corner of the room, but he did so very quietly.

She only made it through four of the bars of chocolate before she sighed, and dropped the half-unwrapped fifth one in her lap, and leaned back on her backpack.

"Why do we bother with this stupid job?" she asked the ceiling.

"Er," Steve answered, trying to decide between bolting from the room and locking her in the bathroom until she was back to normal. It took him about four-point-three seconds to decide that he wasn't ready to die yet, and he therefore refrained from doing either.

 "We go out there, risk our lives and our sanity-" What sanity? he thought, but didn't say, "-for what?"

"--loads of free chocolate?" he ventured, at last.

Constance pondered that. "--good answer," she agreed finally, and Steve slumped in relief. She finished tearing open the fifth bar and began eating, but at a more moderate pace than before. "Here, throw me my pack, would you?"

Steve glanced around, and grabbed her backpack. He winced as his throw went hideously off-target and landed five feet to Constance's left. She arched an eyebrow. "Nice one."

Then she shrugged, opened it and began shovelling the remaining chocolate bars inside. "Well. Would you like a chocolate bar?"

"Sure..." he said, wary.

She tossed a chocolate bar in his direction, hit him squarely in the chest. He winced. "Thank you." And he sighed, shoved it into his back pocket for later.

"That'll melt," Constance informed him as she tried to zip her backpack up again, around all the chocolate.

"Maybe I like melted chocolate."

"Do you?"

"Yes," Steve lied stubbornly.

[BEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEP!] the computer added. Constance flinched and curled up into the foetal position, her usual reaction to loud piercing noises. Rolling his eyes, Steve stood and wandered over to the console warily, and blinked.

"It's, uh, for you, Con."

"Eh? And don't call me that." Constance uncurled. She walked up to the console warily, patted it carefully. "There's a nice, quiet machine, goo--OH HOLY ERU!"

Steve was an experienced PPCer. His instincts kicked in and he hurled himself back to the far end of the room, away from his suddenly apoplectic partner.

"Young Wizards. Canon. Murdered," Constance said.

"Um."

He had no answer but the sound of Constance hissing through her teeth as she read down further, then she snatched up her backpack and swung it over her shoulder, only staggering slightly.

"So, uh, I'll just stay here then, shall I?"

"Temporary partner. See you." And Constance stormed out of the room, slamming the door mightily behind her. Steve winced as the room shook.

"Thank you," he said to the walls. "I mean, I'm sorry for the temp and all, but thank you for not making me put up with her this mission." And he nodded at the walls in a friendly way, and wandered over to pick up his copy of Fellowship.

~

Constance stalked into the cafeteria, and walked towards the only other person in it, looking at the other girl through narrowed eyes.

The girl stood up. "Constance?"

Declining to answer, Constance nodded curtly, and made a great show of rifling through her pack, despite the fact that she could have listed every item in it without looking.

Aella gave Constance a slightly bemused look. "So... this'll be interesting, eh?"

Constance just nodded again, to Aella's obvious consternation. "Do you actually... speak?" the blonde agent asked, carefully.

Constance's hands stilled for a moment. "Only when so inclined," she said, her voice low and dangerous.

Aella's eyebrows went up for a moment, then her eyes narrowed as well. "I see." She fiddled with the CAD for a moment, opening a portal right in the middle of the cafeteria, against all regulations. She watched Constance for a moment, hand on her hip, then gestured at the portal wordlessly.

Constance graced her with a grim smile and stepped through.

"Gah!" she screamed suddenly, startled out of her deliberate silence. "Did you have to put us right here?"

Aella shrugged, her icy demeanour remaining in place. "What better place to start?"

They stood there together for a moment, surveying the smoking hole in Tom and Carl's backyard.

"I wonder," Constance said after a moment, continuing to forget that she hated her temporary partner far too much to speak to her, "if we should tell the 'Sue that a comet hitting Earth would do a little more damage than a hole in someone's back garden. In fact, I wonder if we should demonstrate. A comet to the head should do wonders for her understanding of physical laws."

Aella's face twitched for a moment, then she grinned in spite of herself. "Well, we'd have to find somewhere to put her in order to demonstrate. And we'd have to arrange a comet..."

Constance gazed at Aella thoughtfully, and Aella raised an eyebrow. "What?"

"Well, you how Ponch is..."

And Aella laughed out loud, but was interrupted by a sudden scream. Both assassins snapped around to stare at Nita as she flung herself away from the redheaded girl curled up inside the remains of the comet.

Constance blinked in confusion, even as she automatically grabbed Aella's arm and dragged her half-behind a shed, so the 'Sue wouldn't see them. "I don't see anything to scre--" She glanced at the Words, and her expression tightened. "Ah. Yes. I remember now."

Aella scanned the Words herself, and her eyes widened. "--'the girl’s eyes were exact reflections of the Lone Power’s'" she read, slowly, her tone utterly disbelieving. "No. No Young Wizard's fan could've missed that bit of canon."

"'Change genders and bodies'--and species--'like we change t-shirts' don'tlookathereyes," Constance quoted through gritted teeth, her voice rising on the last bit. Then she sighed as her temporary partner gave a muffled scream and clapped her hand over her eyes.

"Ow! Owowowowowow..."

Constance sighed again at Aella's whimpering.  "I tried to warn you..." She carefully averted her gaze from the girl's face and the rapidly-changing eyes, looking sorrowfully at Nita instead. "You're smarter than this, Neets... resist the 'Sue... resist..."

"Give it up, babe," Aella said over Constance's shoulder, apparently completely recovered from the incredible agony. "This is a Power-'Sue."

Constance's expression went dark again, rapidly. "Yes, I recall."

They turned to look, cautiously, as Carl lifted the girl up onto what was left of the backyard and smiled, though his smile seems rather forced.

"At least Carl's fighting it..." Aella smiled tensely. "I suppose you don't get to Senior by being an idiot."

"No..." Constance glanced up, and scowled as Nita screamed again. "This is the girl who had a giant centipede living in her house and was totally unfazed by it. She will not be undone by a random wolf-shaped shadow-creature. Thank you, that will be all."

Aella didn't answer for a moment, just placed a pen and notepad into Constance's hands gently. "Here you are, dear. List charges to your heart's content. "

Constance muttered something darkly, and started scribbling manically. She hesitated briefly to ask, "What do you call a Cute Animal Companion if it's meant to be dark and threatening?"

"Ehm..."

"Never mind. Idiotic non-human alter-ego..." Constance dictated to herself, and then asked, conversationally, "How can they even translate that?"

"Who the what now?"

"Her voice. It sounds like 'bells chiming in harmony'. I think Kit's probably the only one there who could speak to bells, though I'm sure it'd be a fascinating conversation if he did." Her head snapped up suddenly, and she growled. "This is the best part." She gripped at the edges of the notebook, and Aella raised an eyebrow as the hard cover began bending inwards.

"Be nice to the notebook, Constance."

"But she, I, but, I, gah..." Constance was reduced to growling again.

Aella carefully pried the book out of Constance's grasp, just as the 'Sue--Aura, her name was--said "No I'm due to become a power in a few weeks."

Constance burst into tears. "Can we kill her now? Please please pretty please? That's a great huge crime, worth of death in and of itself... and she's made Nita think that the One could be replaced..."

Aella, who'd been on the verge of refusing Constance's request, stopped short. "She what? I, but... doesn't the fact that the One's title is... 'the One' sort of imply irreplaceability? The one, the only, the singular and unique..."

Constance gave a weak smile. "Yes. The One. But no, Aura's special, she was 'created from all the Powers, including the Lone One'." She rubbed her eyes.

Aella petted Constance's arm comfortingly and sighed, glanced at the notebook, blinked. "How many pages did you fill?"

Constance flicked through them briefly, muttering to herself, then looked up. "Seven."

"--we've been here about twenty minutes, and you have seven pages worth of charges."

"Yes." Constance gave Aella a stubborn look. "I looked ahead in the words. Things get pretty... sticky later on." She snickered, confusingly. "But yes, seven pages. Problem?"

Aella shook her head slowly. "No... eh. Well. You go grab Ponch, eh? I'm assuming the translator will work for Speech..."

Constance's expression brightened immediately. "And we can kill her?"

"Yes, Constance." Aella shook her head slightly.

Constance beamed, and bounded out from behind the shed, while Aura was distracted by feeding bread to the koi. "Oy, Ponch!"

Ponch immediately turned to look at her, giving her a look that was slightly too analytical for a normal dog. Constance smiled. He hadn't been affected. "Not that I thought you would be, mind," she said to him apologetically, as she rubbed behind his ears. "We all know you're special. You want to help us get rid of the nasty 'Sue?"

Ponch started barking, rapid-fire, and Constance raised an eyebrow in amusement. "Rude, but apt. I'll bring her right back, and then we'll need you to make a universe for us, okay? Yes, I'd like you to put us on a planet with a comet headed straight for it. That sound doable?"

He barked again, once, and Constance nodded. "Yes, we know we're weird." She stood, wincing as her joints creaked, and walked over to Aura, tapped her gently on the shoulder. "Hey. You want to see Ponch do tricks?"

The 'Sue's eyes lit up. "Can I?!"

Constance's smile only wavered a little. "Of course. He's right over here." And she led Aura carefully over to the dog, where Aella was waiting for her. Ponch winked at Constance, and Constance gripped his leash firmly in one hand, Aura's elbow in the other. Aella threaded her arm through Constance's, and Constance nodded at Ponch.

There was a brief flash of light, and they were standing on a red, barren planet. Constance dropped the sickly-sweet smile instantly, and Aella grabbed Aura's other arm.

"Aura... you gave no last name, Aura thingy, you are hereby formally charged with... ehm..." Aella glanced at Constance's seven pages of charges, winced, and decided to simplify. "--screwing up the very basis of all of Young Wizard's canon, screwing with the laws of physics, claiming to be a demi-god in the making, disregarding the nature of the canonical demi-gods completely, sending everyone you encountered--except Ponch, of course—completely out of character, and having a stupid non-human alterego." The alter-ego, who'd been clinging to Aura's leg in its smallest form, morphed into the giant shadow-werewolf form, loomed over Aella menacingly. Aella raised an eyebrow, unimpressed.

"Also, you are charged with being a Mary Sue, and... " She glanced down at the last charge Constance had written. Her eyes went wide. "--and having an unnatural fondness for green apple jelly, apparently. Uh. Well, anyway, sentence is death, you have no right to any sort of trial or any sort of lawyer, however, your silence would be greatly welcomed."

Ponch nudged Constance's leg worriedly, and Constance's glanced at the sky, nodded. "Comet should be here soon enough. Enjoy the lesson." She let go of Aura's arm, and smiled grimly. "Entropy, my dear, has you outnumbered. Let's get out, Ponch."

And she shoved Aura as far away as possible, then grabbed Aella's arm, closed her eyes as Ponch pulled them back to Tom and Carl's back garden, where Tom and Carl were bemusedly trying to fill the holes created by the 'Sue's dramatic entrance, and Nita trying to talk grass back into rooting where it ought to.

"Here's your dog," Aella said, tapping Kit's arm. "He deserves quite a few doggy treats. Have fun fixing the garden."

And she ducked behind a shed quickly, then stepped out and laughed at Kit's utterly bemused expression.

Constance looked over at her, and nodded at the portal. Aella stumbled through the portal and tripped over a chair in the cafeteria.