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The only real comment on this story is 'Canon? What Canon?'. Honestly, there was no reason to set this in Middle-earth at all, except that it meant she could torture Legolas. A case could be made that the mission was unnecessary, and all that was needed was an email from Author Correspondence asking her to switch it over to Original Fiction, but Upstairs don't like giving their Agents the easy option. ~Terri Ryan, DOGA Archivist

The Blood of Those Betrayed

by Stuntz


Dafydd Illian glared at the console. "Shut up or I run a sword through you." It did so, but remained there, flashing its screen until he had to stalk over and look. What he saw elicited a sigh. Wandering over to grab his equipment, he noted Selene's curious glance. "They're sending me on another joint mission," he said, by way of explanation, and then ran out of the door, not waiting for a response.

On the way down the corridor, his thoughts wandered. He was heading over to Constance Sims' RC again – Upstairs seemed to like sending people off with the same partners several times if they could, presumably there was some reason to this, although with the Plants you never could be sure – and had a vague feeling that this mission was going to be Bad. Of course, most of them were, but he still trusted his feelings.

He would have liked to take his time getting there, but his thoughts were preoccupied with feelings of Doom. As a result, he failed to focus on the route he was taking, and reached the correct door in record time. After considering and discarding the notion of ignoring the door and walking on, he knocked cautiously.

Constance glanced up from the computer and smiled slightly grimly. She walked quickly over to the door and opened it. "Hi again..." She stood back slightly, shrugged. "Come in?"

Dafydd nodded and stepped through the door. "Hello, Constance," he said. "Do you happen to know what this is about?"

She nodded at the computer. "I wish I didn't, but yes. The fic's there, and it's... I don't know. Look at it." She shook her head slightly. "It's scary."

He walked over reluctantly, and glanced at the screen. "So what's..." His voice tailed off as he read the words floating on the screen. For a minute or two he was silent, his eyes tracking swiftly back and forth, and then he turned to her, his face showing a mix of horror and pain. "Those. Are not. Elves."

She smiled faintly. "No. You can't even see canon anymore... it reads like an original story with a lot of plagiarized names." She paused and considered. "Plus there's the author's really extraordinarily annoying tendency to start a new paragraph with every sentence, buuut yes."

"Yesssss..." he hissed softly, and proceeded to put his bag down on the floor and start checking his weapons. Without looking up, he said, "I suppose we have to wait at least until 'Glorfindle' gets to the Elven city West of Mirkwood, but... do we have to watch Legolas to get tortured, do you think?"

Constance flinched. "Let's not, yeah? It has to go on the charge list, but that doesn't mean we have to stand there and stare at it... gah, 'Glorfindle'. It hurts, it really does. Ah well." She swung her pack over her shoulder and looked at him.

Dafydd closed his pack, and rose. "Right, so we kill 'the Betrayed'" -- his face twisted in disgust at the phrase -- "immediately after we switch to the scene with them after the mini reaches the city." He stepped up beside her, and looked at her expectantly.

She nodded briefly. "Yep." She fiddled with the remote activator, glanced up at the portal, and winced. "...I'm scared."  She shrugged and stepped through quickly.

For a moment, he considered turning and running, but shook his head. It wouldn't be fair to leave her in that mess by herself. Taking a deep breath, he stepped through the portal...

... into darkness. "Okay, this is why I hate pre-setting monologues. Con, where are you?"

"Right here..." She waved, uselessly. "Er... yeah, they're evil. Dark is evil." She started to nod, then stopped herself, and sighed.

Dafydd muttered darkly to himself for a moment, and then glared out into the darkness. "We're here now," he said. "You can start."

NOT ALL ELVES ARE HAPPY bellowed a voice.

"-- if you're still answering my requests, could you turn the volume down?" Unfortunately, this didn't happen.

Constance winced. "Stupid loud noises." She listened for a moment. "That is one messed up... 'elf', isn't it? 'She lives for death', yes, fun, dramatic and such. Gah."

Dafydd nodded into the darkness. "Well, death is something we can give her. Oh, apparently we have to dose her. Got any medicines?"

Constance smiled brightly. "Define 'medicine'. I mean, I can think of a few things I'd be quite happy to give her a dose or five of. But they aren't traditionally used for medicinal purposes, no..."

As the lights came up, and a 'young girl' awoke, Dafydd grinned at his partner. "Well, will giving her them help our mental health? Because I'd call that medicinal."

"...mm, yes, I think it will. It all works out then." She nodded cheerfully, then shuddered. "She's still doing the new-paragraph-every-sentence thing. Gah."

"It's painful, yes it is." He watched the newly-awakened character for a moment, and then blinked. "Wait, is this supposed to be, ah, 'Imarátoiel'?" he inquired. "Because as I recall from the summary, these people have some link to Doriath, and anyone who was there is hardly young."

"Ouch, good point. I swear she's just written them into a different canon entirely..." Constance scowled at the girl. "... so, four Betrayed people. Er, five if you count the captain who failed to come back to life..." She blinked. "What kind of a phrase is that, anyway? 'He still was killed'? Eru."

Dafydd muttered a few select Quenya curses. "It's a really stupid phrase, is what it is." Then he looked over his shoulder and saw that they were standing in front of a hallway. "Blast. Connie, Betrayed numbers six and seven coming up this corridor right now. Move." He ran past her, ducking into a convenient shadow.

She followed him quickly, stared at the approaching figures, and whispered, "... this is the bit where they bring in Legolas and Aragorn and the El-twins, isn't it? Crap..."

He nodded slightly. "Yeah. -- okay, they have really dumb names which aren't any Elvish language, I just had to mention that. So, yes, enter the randomly abused Canons."

"Their names are painful." She sighed and watched as the girl chained up and blindfolded Legolas. "Poor, poor Legolas... he's not my favourite character, not by a long shot, but he certainly doesn't deserve this... 'twin Noldo'? What, singular?"

"Twin... Noldo... my brain hurts." Dafydd glared at the girl. "Is she a 'Sue, d'you think?"

Constance nodded sympathetically. "Believe me, so does mine.  -- well, let's see.  She has white hair and black eyes, she's Evil, has a really silly name, and a Dark, Mysterious, and oh, yes, Evil Past.  Mm, yes, I'd say so."

"Great. Juuuuust great. I mean, really, it's fabulous. I haven't felt this good since, oh, since my brother threw himself into a crevasse filled with molten lava." He shuddered, and then winced as one of the Betrayed stamped on an El-twin's leg. "Nassssssty..."

Constance flinched. "Eru. Poor elf... gah." She patted Dafydd's arm warily. "But that is the end of the chapter, except for the hyper author's note, so that's good..."

He looked down at her hand on his arm and frowned slightly, but didn't move away. "Lovely. But at least the next chapter is in the same place, so we don't have to move." He shook his head. "Time-jump coming up, then."

She smiled faintly and moved her hand away. "Whee, what fun. I love time-jumps, really." She pressed herself against the wall and sighed.

Dafydd closed his eyes as the distortion passed over them, and managed to keep from slumping forward. Opening one eye, he looked over at Constance. "You still with me?"

She nodded briefly, and rubbed her eyes. "Head hurts. Stupid story." She glanced up. "Oh, Eru, look at the poor El-twins..."

He looked, and whimpered slightly. The half-elven twins were covered in blood, their legs twisted and obviously broken. Slumping back against the wall, he closed his eyes and attempted to move out of the story through sheer willpower. "I'm not here, I'm not here, I'm not here..."

She reached towards him again, instinctively, then shrugged and pulled her hand back, and started looking through her pack. "Bleeprin, where's the freaking Bleeprin when you need it... bleh." She watched as the girl gagged Legolas, and winced. "Oh well. It could be worse. -- fine, or maybe it couldn't."

He looked up at her. "Yes, for you it could be worse. You're not Noldorin." He glanced down at the cave floor for a second, and then pulled out a notepad. "Charge list time... must nit-pick..."

Constance smiled faintly. "I suppose it could, then. That's comforting, or something." She looked at the bound elf again, and shrugged. "And I suppose there're a lot of 'Sues that'd do worse things with tied-up!Legolas. Except those aren't nice thoughts. Ooh, yes, nit-pick muchly."

"It depends on how you define 'worse'. I mean, at least those sort of things he'd probably enjoy to some extent while under their influence." Dafydd paused, and blinked. "I'm empathising with the Wood-elf. Nienna help me... I guess that's another charge, though."

"What is, again? And dear Eru, you're right. Gah, now I really need Bleeprin. -- but they'd be worse for us to watch, you have to admit. Or I think so, anyway." She looked back at the elves. "How cute, they hate the Noldor for a Dark, Mysterious and probably Evil reason.  -- 'don't blow your top'? That has no place in LotR fanfic... nor does 'Goldie-locks', really, but eh."

"Making me empathize with Legolas. And yes, I suppose you're right." He glanced over at the characters. "No, it doesn't, except possibly if Sam or Frodo was saying it to Mount Doom. But I'm still getting over 'I say fo my sister again'. Oh, punctuation abuse." He scribbled a few more lines on the charge list.

"Ah, right. And yes. Those are so, so painful."

The girl threw Legolas to the ground, and there was a cracking sound. Constance shut her eyes tightly. "Gah... poor elf." She opened her eyes again, and watched as the elf poured a sleeping potion down Legolas' throat. "Right. Well. Eru, I hate that girl..."

"It's interesting how they're avoiding calling her by name, isn't it?" muttered Dafydd, irritated. Then he frowned. "Why am I stuck thinking Meatloaf songs? This 'fic is affecting my mind..."

She blinked. "Meatloaf songs?"

He nodded. "Specifically Bat Out Of Hell. 'Nothing ever grows in this rotten old hole, and everything is stunted and lost' being the relevant lines." He shook his head slightly, and added, "Oh Great and Merciful Bast, please forgive me for doing that which is forbidden."

Constance laughed a bit. "Yes, have to be careful about the Meatloaf songs... but you're right, it fits, quite well." She shrugged. "Yay? ... and there's the end of the chapter."

"Thank... whoever for that. Oh, gah," he added, as they were suddenly whisked to a non-location for a quick conversation between Elrond and a Mini-Balrog. Dafydd blinked. "Minis can talk?"

Constance stared. "Well, apparently, yes. Or maybe Glorfindle is just a really special mini..."

"Yes, I'm sure he's very speshul. -- the boarders of Mirkwood? As in PPC Board? Do they know they've got members in Mirkwood?" Dafydd shook his head, and started to write on the charge list, then stopped. "Already got bad spelling..."

Constance laughed. "This is why spell-check does not suffice... whee, they're sending search parties out to look for them, that's--" The story yanked them back to the cave, and Constance tumbled to the ground. She stood up, muttering, and brushed herself off. "Aaaanyway."

"Owww..." muttered Dafydd, who had managed to remain standing, but now had a splitting headache. "What's happening? Oh, right. They're from Doriath. And are speaking Quenya, yet hate the Noldor. Makes perfect sense." Still muttering to himself, he wandered over to a wall and started slamming his head against it.

"Oh, doesn't it just? I love it, I really do." She glared at the characters. "Lookit, evil girl is Angsting. In... extraordinarily confusing sentences, yay. 'When we fulfill our oath to them as they lay dieing on the cold ground'... gah. But yes, okay, so someone killed their parents. That'd be their Mysterious Past, I suppose."

"Right, I'll lay bets right now that their parents were victims of the second Kinslaying." He shook his head. "That was a really bad idea, my brothers were idiots, but you don't blame all of the Noldor for that. Especially not those who are also descended from Luthien. Idiots."

"Yeah." She shrugged. "Stupid, stupid characters..."

She shrugged again, and watched the girl walk over to one of the El-twins and kick him. Constance drew in her breath sharply. "It hurts to even watch that. So, when do we get to kill these people again?"

"Halfway through the next chapter, I believe." He glanced at the words, and then looked over at her. "There's no more Canon torture before then," he added, trying to reassure her.

She smiled grimly. "Good, then." She shuddered slightly, then sighed, and leaned against the wall tiredly. "Don't like this story, not at all..."

"No, nor do I... did we do something wrong, to get selected for this?" He slumped against the wall next to her, hardly bothering to watch the unfolding 'fic at all.

Constance glanced over at him. "Ehm... joined the PPC, probably. Silly us. Other than that? I don't know, I really don't..." She blinked, and shook her head. "You know," she said, in a conversational tone of voice, "these shouted author's notes really are getting very annoying. Yes. Buuut they do mean the end of the chapters, so yay."

"Ah, yes, there was that. Right, then, on to the final show. I mean scene." The pair found themselves in a small city, covered in blood and partly burnt. A small smile crept onto Dafydd's face. "It'll be a lot more burnt when I'm through."

Constance grinned. "Excellent. Fire is so useful sometimes, yes it is. -- what are we supposed to do with Glorfindle, then?"

He considered. "Well, I was thinking we could use him to set the city alight, in a sort of poetic justice... then I guess he has to go back to OFUM. I'll take him back once we're out, unless you want to."

Constance started laughing. "That's beautiful. And I try to avoid OFUM, the students can be scary sometimes."

"Eh, it's easy, you just use a flamethrower on them," commented Dafydd vaguely. Then he glanced at the words. "Ah, yes. This is the Elven city I was mentioning, the one on the western edge of Mirkwood."

"Ooh, that'd be fun. Except, with my luck, I'd catch a building on fire or something, and Miss Cam would not be happy. And I don't want to see Miss Cam be Not Happy. 'nd goodgood, then..."

"Ah. No. Miss Cam Not Happy, with the full resources of Middle-earth behind her... no, not good at all." Glorfindle dismounted, and Dafydd muttered, "Brace yourself, scene change."

The scene changed. Legolas sat listening to the Betrayed, and thinking. They hated anything that moved: elf, orc, spider, man, dwarf, most all animals, that much was plainly clear. "And we hate them," came a loud voice, "so that's okay, isn't it?"

Constance watched in vague amusement as the characters jumped.  She nodded agreeably. "It does all work out."

Dafydd grinned evilly, and, pulling out his bow, turned his attention to the Betrayed. "Hello. As you may be able to tell, I am Noldorin. I am also armed. You may attempt to kill me if you like, but I have no problems with shooting you." Aside to his partner, he muttered, "Connie, I've got the charge list, do you have something to dose Imarátoiel with?"

She glanced at her pack, started looking through various pockets and muttering to herself. "Mm, I can find something, I'm sure..."

"Quickly, please," he urged, "they're starting to get restless." To those watching, he said, "If Imarátoiel could please come over here, the rest of you will be left in peace for now." At this, one of the other Betrayed, Táraundomewen, lunged for him with a cry, but was met halfway by an arrow through the eye. Calmly, Dafydd watched her fall, and notched another arrow.

Constance came up with a small vial, and looked at it critically.  "This'll do, yep."  She glanced at the characters, winced, and stepped back slightly. "Well, they don't look too happy."

"No, they don't, at that." He looked back at them. "Imarátoiel, we're waiting." As the white-haired 'Sue moved reluctantly towards them, he muttered, "This cave may decide to vanish very quickly after she dies, so if you need to get the Canons to Medical or something, you'll have to move fast."

She blinked, nodded, and got out the portal activator. "Gottit..."

He nodded, then turned back to the approaching 'Sue. "Ah, good. Now then, what was it... oh, yes." Clearing his throat, he switched to a formal tone of voice, and began.

"Imarátoiel, AKA 'Imma', you are charged with the following: Using pre-setting monologues, using a new paragraph for every sentence, using really stupid non-Elvish names, random pointless Canon character abuse, Noldor abuse, having a Dark, Mysterious, and Evil Past, having white hair and black eyes and claiming to be Sindarin, using hyper author's notes, cruelty to the common comma, calling Legolas 'Goldie-locks', referring to ordinary Sindarin as 'interesting', causing Dafydd to empathize with Legolas, punctuation abuse, bad spelling, anachronistic speech patterns, being from Doriath and being 'young' at the end of the Third Age, hating the Noldor and speaking Quenya, being stupid beyond belief, employing gratuitous angst and melodrama, creating a Mini-Balrog, to whit, Glorfindle, creating an Elven city just west of Mirkwood, using annoying time and location shifts, torturing Legolas, annoying PPC Agents, and, last but not least, being a Mary-Sue. The punishment for your crimes is death, and will be applied by my partner here, as soon as she gets her act together."

Constance smiled faintly, shrugged, and tackled the 'Sue, ignoring the struggling and shouted threats. "So, let's talk about doses," she said pleasantly, as she grabbed the 'Sue's hair, yanked her head up and forced the contents of the vial into her mouth. Then she stood up quickly, and ran over to the injured elves. "Note to self: Next time, remember to bring your bow..."

She opened a portal to Medical, shrugged, and shoved them through it unceremoniously. "Sorry, sorry…" She glanced back at Dafydd.

The other Agent stood watching the other Betrayed. Around them, the walls of the cavern were already beginning to shake. "Er, Constance? A portal to that city, please."

She nodded briefly, and fumbled with the activator. "There." She brushed her hair out of her eyes, looked around breathlessly.

He smiled faintly. "Come on, let's finish this up, then you can catch your breath." With that, he hopped through the portal.

Constance followed him quickly. "Yes, let's..."

Dafydd grinned. "Ah, Glorfindle," he said to the small, confused bundle of fire and shadow in the middle of the street, "you look a little lost." At the Mini's sad nod, he said, "If you'd be so kind as to burn this city -- which was created by a 'Sue, incidentally -- to the ground, we'll take you home."

Constance laughed slightly, and watched the mini. "Ooh, fire.  Shiny!" She nodded happily.

Dafydd's grin grew wider as the flames spread across the city. At length, Glorfindle returned to them. "Right, we're all done here. Connie, a portal, if you would be so kind."

She blinked a bit and glanced away from the flames. "Mm? Ah, right." After a moment of fiddling with the activator, she looked up, smiled, and ran through the portal.

Herding the Mini through, Dafydd followed, stepping out into her Response Centre. "Thank you. Well, that was... fun, wasn't it?"

She dropped her pack and slumped against the wall. "Oh, yeah. Loads. Wish I could do that every day."

The other Agent said, "Glorfindle, go and find someone to tell you where Response Centre #7219 is, and get Selene to take you home." After the Mini had left, Dafydd looked around carefully, checking there was nothing in the way, and then collapsed onto the floor.

Constance smiled faintly and slid down the wall. "You okay, then?"

"Mmrpl," he replied, speaking into the floor.

"Oh dear.  That doesn't sound particularly good." She crawled over to him and looked at him carefully. "You want a drink? Or... chocolate or something? Er..."

He raised his head slightly and looked at her, his eyes unfocused. "What I would like," he replied, "is about sixty years of sleep, half a gallon of Bleepka, and a couple of Silmarils. But, yes, the chocolate will do, please, thank you."

"Yep, I have to agree, that does sound nice." She sighed wistfully. "Er, right. Chocolate." She grabbed her pack, pulled out a bar of chocolate, and tossed it to him. "There go."

He made a feeble attempt to catch it, and then winced as it bounced off his head. Reaching one arm out and waving it around a bit, he managed to grab hold of a chair leg and pull himself up into a rather slumped sitting position. Retrieving the bar of chocolate, he devoured it eagerly.

Constance smiled slightly, and watched him. "Sorry about that." She shook her head. "--well. We're alive. That's a good thing, yes it is."

"Mrr, 's okay, my reflexes are a bit off is all. But, yes, being alive, that's good." He looked over at her. "-- you're watching me, why are you watching me?"

"Because you're nice to look at," she said automatically, then blinked. "Don'tkillmeplease." She scooted backwards quickly. "... please?"

He raised one eyebrow. "Really? And there was I thinking I was a mess."

"No, you're... well, you are, a bit, but..." She shrugged warily. "Still. Maybe it's because you're an elf, I don't know."

"Ah. That. Elf-luster, are you?"

There was a long pause, then, "... no, not really, but there's a first time for everything." She nodded.

Dafydd looked at her for a long moment, and then shook his head slightly. "If I ever find out you've written a Maglor-Sue, you're dead. Apart from that, stare all you want. It's your Response Centre, after all."

"I wouldn't!" She looked vaguely sulky. "Do I look like I have a death-wish? And right, then." She laughed, and went back to staring calmly.

"No, you don't, at that." He looked at her for a few moments more and then fell asleep, not to awaken for several hours.

Constance blinked at him. "Er… right. Um." She moved closer and looked at him carefully, then smiled faintly, curled up beside him, and went to sleep.