Sunday, February 27, 2011

Insert Ostentaciously-Colored Dragon Here

It had been a hell of a month for the Anti-Chiche and Mary-Sue Elimination Society, and it was only going to get worse.

As the Society's infamy spread over various fandoms, it seemed that more and more Mary-Sues and Gary-Stus were coming out of hiding, if only to have the bragging rights of thwarting the Society in their mission. Unfortunately, many of them were succeeding. The techies in the Library basement were working overtime making new top-of-the-line gadgets to compensate for the sudden influx of Sueishness in the worlds, and more and more rookies were recruited to help stop the encroaching threat, but it never seemed like there were enough people to go around.

At the moment though, Valerie was taking a rare moment of down-time to relax. She wasn't needed right away, and everyone else on her team were otherwise occupied (Stacey and Danielle had gone to help train new rookies, Terrie was on her first solo assignment, and Monika was... somewhere. Who knew what that girl did with her spare time? She could be anywhere...), so Valerie had the Library virtually to herself.

Pulling out a particular book a few inches and unlocking the secret catch, the brunette stuck her hand behind the shelf and snagged a fresh box of Oreos. She grinned impishly as she tore open the top. Adrian could try and hide the snacks from her, but he'd have to be cleverer than that!

Just then, the opulant doors of the Library Arcania burst open, and a very harried Tash strode in, Miriku on her heels. She looked around for a moment, searching the library shelves, then rushed over to a corner section and began pulling out books. Miriku looked nervous.

"Tash," Valerie asked, concerned, "What's going on?"

Tash, who quite likely hadn't noticed Valerie until that point, turned around and glanced at the box of cookies Valerie was still holding. "Are those Adrian's cookies?" she asked.

Valerie blushed, then quickly hid the box behind her back. "Like you're any better."

The blonde smiled wryly, then went back to flipping through pages. Miriku answered Valerie's question.

"There's a new Mary-Sue developing in the Dragonriders of Pern series," she said. "We're hoping to nip this one in the bud, because it could be real trouble if she succeeds."

"She's attending a Hatching," Tash interjected. Valerie's eyes widened as she continued, "If one of those dragons Impresses her, she can and will cause no end of trouble, and not just in Pern either."

Valerie nodded, remembering Pernese dragons' ability to move between, an ability akin to the plothole power of authors and self-inserts. Tash turned to her. "I need you to take this-" She handed Valerie an oversized circular sticker with a large capital C emblazoned on it, "-and stick it to the queen egg."

Valerie turned the sticker over in her hands, checking the backing to make sure it could be peeled off easily. "What's it do?" she asked.

"It's a copyright," Miriku explained. "The techies just came out with it. Whatever it's stuck to can't be affected or changed by Mary-Sue powers or author powers, so use it wisely."

Valerie nodded and stuck the copyright in her back pocket, then paused on her way out the door. This would make her first solo mission, and it was a big one. By all rights it should be handled by a team, but everyone else was busy. Tash and her group were getting busier and busier with paperwork and other such necessities as the Society grew larger. Of course, Valerie's team had split for parts unknown at this incredibly inopportune time. Blake was off helping Adrian with something before heading back to his own mission, Marcus was chasing a Stu of his own, and Michael was on sick leave from the pounding he'd recieved in the Dragon Ball Z universe. Valerie was on her own.

As though reading her mind, Tash asked, "Are you sure your up for this? This is a pretty big mission. Normally we'd send an entire team, but with our resources spread so thin..."

"No worries," Valerie said with a sudden smile, "I'll just take my muse with me."


Stepping out from the plothole she'd come through, Valerie took a quick look around before ducking into a spare hallway. She'd chosen Benden as the most likely place for Sue activity. Ruatha was actually the most likely hotspot, as it was the home of the handsom young Lord Jaxom and his white dragon, but Ruatha didn't have a Weyr in its territory, so Benden was the next best choice. Valerie looked over the Hatching grounds with a careful eye. The stands were already filling up with people, and Ramoth was hovering over the queen egg in her usual irratible fashion. None of the candidates had arrived yet.

Now if I know my Sues, Valerie thought to herself, she won't be one of the candidates. She'll be waiting in the stands somewhere. Impressions are much more dramatic that way. But the stands were nearly full by now, and it was a large place to search, especially in Benden Weyr. Valerie frowned. This is not gonna be easy...

The main priority was to attach the copyright to the queen egg, but unless the Mary-Sue was found and captured, she'd just Impress one of the green dragons, or even a blue or bronze (that'd be a first, but Valerie never put anything past Mary-Sues). The candidates were filing in. Valerie needed a plan, and fast.

"Okay," she whispered to her muse, who in this world took the form of a gold fire-lizard, "Ari, you distract Ramoth while I get this sticker on the queen egg. We'll worry about the Sue once that's done." Ari chirruped and took off toward the great queen dragon, flying in circles around her head. Valerie smirked. Ramoth was infamous for her dislike of fire-lizards, and would soon be too busy with Ari to be as obsessivly protective of her egg.

Valerie winced. "And now for the fun part," she groaned.

The better part of the next five minutes was spent dancing and hopping across the excruciatingly hot and absurdly wide hatching ground sands. When she finally reached the other side, on the far end of the stands and near where Ramoth was hovering over her egg and snapping irratibly at Ari, Valerie was sorely tempted to dip her blistering feet, shoes and all, in ice-water. "Why didn't I open the plothole over here?" she moaned.

"Excuse me," said an icy voice, "but exactly what is your fire-lizard doing flying around my dragon?"

Oh crap... Slowly, Valerie turned around to face one of the most formidable characters in Pernese fandom. Though incredibly short and petite, Wyerwoman Lessa was a force to be reckoned with, especially when Ramoth was in a mood. "Lessa," she said quickly, "I need your help. Someone's going to interfere with the Hatching."

That got her attention. "Who?" she asked in a low voice, "And how?"

Leave it to Lessa to save the why for later...

"I'm not certain exactly who," Valerie said, looking around the stadium-like structure. At Lessa's skeptical look, she quickly added, "But I know it's going to be a female, someone very beautiful likable and probably has some sort of tragedy in her past. She's also likely to have an extremely long and complicated name. Have you run into anyone like that?"

Lessa frowned, a thoughtful look crossing her face. "F'lar picked up a girl wandering around Southern on one of his passes. She said she didn't have any memory of how she got there, but she'd already Impressed an entire fair of fire-lizards, several of which were in colors we've never seen before. Also, we recently discovered she can communicate with all dragons. Is that who you're looking for?"

Valerie blinked. "Is she pretty?"

"She's alright-looking, I guess," the weyrwoman shrugged.

Coming from Lessa, that meant she was drop-dead gorgeous. "That's the one. She got a name?"

"Called herself Ailianna Flamewing," said Lessa. "There were a bunch of other names, but that's the only part I remember. Anyway, that's her up th- What is she doing with F'lar?"

Valerie followed Lessa's outraged gaze. Near the front of the stands where the Lords, Masters, and Weyrleaders usually sat, a girl in her early twenties with red-brown hair and sparkling hazel eyes (and who looked uncannily like Kristen Stewart) sat very very close to the Benden Weyrleader, one hand on his knee and the other twirling playfully with his black hair. At Lessa's cry she turned toward where they were standing and smirked at them wryly.

"Caught on, have you?" Ailianna said with a smirk. "I've been expecting a Society member to show up eventually, but you're too late! The eggs are already hatching!" With that she put a suitably hypnotized look and began walking as though in a dream towards the queen egg. All the other candidates, already under her power, parted to make way for her. Even Ramoth didn't snarl at her when she approached. "I... I don't understand. S-She wants me?" Ailianna's voice was perfectly wavering and confused, with just the right amount of disbelief and humility thrown in.

Valerie felt like gagging.

Breaking into a dead run, Valerie pulled out her copyright sticker and standard-issue prohibiter and sprinted toward Ramoth and the egg (which was cracking open at an alarming rate) as Ari abandoned her attempts to distract the queen and dove for Ailianna's hair. This diversion didn't last long though, as the Sue's hair refused to tangle and pull, falling out of Ari's claws like water and settling perfectly back into place. It almost seemed like Valerie would make it until...


The eggshell split clean in half, and a glistening golden dragonet tumbled out in adorable heap. Almost immediately, her swirling, faceted eyes focussed on Ailianna, completely ignoring the other candidates, and the two began moving toward each other.

Now what? Valerie thought frantically. I can't copyright the dragonet and catch the Sue at the same time!

Making a split-second decision, the brown-haired Society member sprinted for the dragonet. Ramoth turned to snarl at what she percieved to be an intruder on this sacred ceremony, but Valerie dove between her legs and slid like a baseball player past the newborn queen, attaching the copyright sticker to the base of her tail as she went. The sticker glittered briefly and vanished into the chick's body. Nothing could remove it now. The baby was safe from Sue manipulations.

Suddenly, both Ramoth and the newborn started as though waking up from a deep sleep, and Ailianna scowled. "You think that stupid copyright'll stop me? I'll just Impress another-" The Sue was cut off as a glazed look came to her eyes. Slowly, gracefully, Ailianna Flamewing fell forward in an unconscious heap.

Standing just behind her, rock in hand, was Lessa.

"You so much as look at my weyrmate again," she said in a surprisingly vicious snarl, "and I'll... I'll..." Seemingly unable to think of a suitable threat, the Weyrwoman settled for giving the unconscious Sue a small kick.

Valerie got up and dusted herself off. "Thanks Lessa," she said with a shakey laugh. "I'll take it from here."

Lessa gave the Sue a withering glance before turning her attentions to her dragon, who by now was very confused. But by the time Valerie was done apprehending her prisoner and making sure the prohibiter was good and tight around her dainty wrist, the new queen had Impressed a rider, one of the girls in the line of canditates, and Ramoth proclaimed herself satisfied with her daughter's choice. Over in the stands, F'lar and half the other males in the immediate area were rubbing their temples as though waking up from a dream. Or maybe a nightmare...

Seeing that things were getting back to normal, Valerie threw Ailiana's dainty body over her shoulder (being a Sue, she was exceedingly thin and light, and so very easy to carry) and opened up a plothole to take them back to the Library. With a fond final glance at one of her favorite fandoms, she stepped through, Ari following after her as it closed behind them.

Lessa looked at the place where they had been. Once the Sue was gone from this world, everyone's memories of her had vanished as well, so her memories of the past week or so were a bit of a blur.

However, seeing as F'lar was approaching her with a celebratory grin on his face at another successful Hatching, she shrugged it off, whistling the tune to I Hate Little Fire-Lizards.

"Oh I hate little fire-lizards, and my dragon hates them too..."


Closing the specially modified prison cell with a particularly satisfying clang, Valerie grinned at Tash, who grinned back.

"Nicely done," said the blonde. "Wish I couldda been there. From what you wrote in the report, it sounded like fun!"

"Yeah. Fun," Valerie smirked wryly. "You try crossing the hatching sands sometime. Or maybe going face to face with the teeth of the biggest dragon in the world." Tash gave her a look, and Valerie's smirk turned into a smile. "Okay fine, it was fun," she admitted. "There is definitely something to be said for the excitement of solo missions. No wonder all the boys do it."

Tash grinned at her. "And you even resisted the fangirl temptation!"

Valerie grinned back, rather proud of herself. "Yep. It might be that teams of women actually egg each other on in that department."

Tash laughed. "Definitely. Ra knows Lauren wouldn't go all fangirl if the rest of us didn't bully her into it!"

The two girls laughed, then went together upstairs to raid Adrian's snack stash.

No comments:

Post a Comment