Friday, February 18, 2011

Insert Random Unnatural Phenomenon Here

Note: This is one of the very few 1st-person POV chapters. Told from Kyon's point of view.

Sometimes, I wonder why I'm the one that Haruhi chose. Ever since being forcefully recruited for Haruhi's SOS Brigade, I've had no shortages of weird, reality defying encounters. I've been told that I won't remember this one, so I suppose I'll give thanks for that. Just a few hours ago while we, the members of the SOS Brigade minus Haruhi herself, were gathered in our clubroom, a young man about my age came to us and has been telling us of a dire threat to our world. I'd been calling him crazy if I hadn't already been in some unbelievable situations.

He identified himself as James Maverick, a "character" under the command of an "Author" who is busy doing something else at the moment. If I were to describe him, I'd say that he is a cross between myself and Nagato in terms of personality. He had short, dark hair of an undefinable color and wore so much black clothing that he must be boiling himself alive in this summer heat. He also gave off this aura of someone with a burden way too big for one person to handle.

"Excuse me, Kyon-san? Are you paying attention?" inquired James with a relatively flat tone, much like a teacher scolding a student.

"Unlike our absent leader, I am very capable of paying attention when someone's talking to me. So, what exactly is this dire threat to our world that you have been telling us about?" I replied in a way to get his attention off me and onto the subject at hand. The response he gave was not what I expected at all, even with all the time I've been in the SOS Brigade.

"Soon, your world will be visited by a Mary Sue and Gary Stu couple. By way of a special technique that most Authors use when selecting worlds to write about, it has been determined that they will be arriving around here shortly. Their names are Russell and Willowe Diamond Ravenne Hyacinth Aurelia Sakurelle Dewdrop Arwennia Heliotrope Sandriline Delilah Aphrodite Bob Yuffiana Vipertooth Foxblade the Third." The similarity to Nagato that I saw in him was becoming obvious. I'm sure either of them could say that name five times fast with ease.

"Wait, when you say Mary Sue and Gary Stu... you mean the terms for over the top, good at everything they do, perfect characters from works of fiction? Oh joy, even more people with the ability to mess around with the world around them are coming." I could feel a headache coming on. "So how soon will they be arriving and what are you going to do to stop them?"

"They will be dropping out of a plothole on the field outside in five minutes, fourty-seven seconds. Our best course of action is to trap them as soon as they appear." I'd say that I wasn't surprised when Nagato was the one who responded, but then I'd be a liar. Apparently, she knows enough about this stuff that she is able to monitor it like she does with everything else.

"So, how do you know about this, Nagato?" I think I already know the answer, but it never hurts to confirm things.

"The Integrated Data Entity monitors all transdimensional traffic to and from this dimension. If this dimensional traveler hadn't come to this plane of time and space to deal with the encroaching threat, then the Integrated Data Entity would have commanded me to do it. In the three years that I have existed, I and many other humanoid interfaces have had to send away numerous dimensional travellers because they do not belong in this world. If we are dealing with Over the top, good at everything they do, perfect characters from works of fiction, as you described them, then most likely they have similar capabilities as any humanoid interface unit such as myself."

"Unfortunately, Mary Sues and Gary Stus are more on level with Haruhi-san in terms of reality manipulation. That's one of the reasons why they are so dangerous. Just by existing, they can bend reality around them to fit whatever desire they want. So far, the only way to deal with them is for an Author to self-insert into the world after the Mary Sue and/or Gary Stu has already arrived and capture them while restoring the damage they had dealt. However, these particular two have been plaguing various other worlds for some time now. It is the intent of my Author for me to ambush them here and take them to the Anti-Cliche and Mary Sue Elimination Society." Two people with reality warping powers along the same lines as Haruhi are coming here. I know I'm worried, it looks like Mikuru-chan is fretting about it, Koizumi actually looks serious for once and Nagato is Nagato.

"If this couple is able to bend reality to their whim, then how exactly are you going to stop them? You said that you're also a character... Do you have to be a Mary Sue or Gary Stu to match them?" This is in the front of my mind. I really want to know how powerful he is to be sent in his "Author's" place.

He shook his head and then pulled a device out of his pocket, holding it up for everyone present to see, "This is called a Prohibitor. The Anti-Cliche and Mary Sue Elimination Society recently began to make these. They are capable of suppressing the power of any Mary Sue/Gary Stu as well as restoring a world affected by said powers to its original plotline."

That doesn't make sense to me then. If he could just use that to suppress this Mary Sue/Gary Stu couple, then why doesn't it just do it and spare us of even knowing. I ask, "Why come to us then? Why not capture them on your own?"

He sighed in such a way as to indicate that he didn't want to explain, but he did anyway, "The Prohibitor is designed for Author usage. It hasn't been tested for use by Characters. I have no idea what's going to happen to my abilities when I activate this. By the way Nagato-san, how many minutes left?"

"Two minutes, nineteen seconds."

He grimaced almost privately, like it was more a thought in his head than the approaching problem that was painful. "Thank you. Now, the main reason I've been telling you all this is so you can assist me if something goes wrong. I'm not sure how much help you can be for this, but better than nothing I suppose. Makes me feel better at least."

Wait, makes him feel better? I think I've found the part of his personality that reminds me of me. Shaking my head to clear it, I ask, "What abilities do you have, exactly?"

He paused and thought for a moment before answering with, "Various offensive and defensive magic, several Psychokinetic powers, enhanced strength, senses, reflexes. Well, enhanced compared to your typical human. I'd have to say that I'm about fifty percent stronger than a person that competes in the World's Strongest Man competition, but considering some of the things I interact with on a daily basis, that's not much of an advantage."

I'd say that he doesn't need help, but with Mary Sues/Gary Stus having similar power to Haruhi only in control of it, then he'd need all the help he can get if something goes wrong. Not the most comforting thought. He starts talking again.

"Anyway, I'll take us down to the field. It'll only take a few moments and you'll feel weightless for that time, but it's completely safe."

I'd ask what he was talking about, but I get the feeling that I might be more willing to go along with it if I don't know what it is. I seem to get that feeling a lot around Haruhi. He held up his hands and muttered something I couldn't catch under his breath. I felt like I was about to leave the ground and then, what I was seeing changed. There was no transition, no moment of darkness from where we were to where we are. In less time than it takes to blink, we were taken from the club room to the schoolyard outside. Then my weight returned to me and I, in not expecting it, fell face first into the ground, hard.

Well, it wasn't too bad. Mikuru-chan came over and helped me up, asking me if I was alright in that cute, worried voice of hers. I could listen to that angelic voice of hers all day.

Nagato's voice cut through my thoughts like a gunshot, "One minute, thirteen seconds."

Two people are coming here to mess with the world as I know it even more than Haruhi does and they'll be here in about a minute. If I was actually able to do something to prevent that, I'm sure I wouldn't feel like something is going to go wrong. To make some conversation, I ask, "You said that your Prohibitor hasn't been tested for Character use...why not?"

He held up the device to look at it for a moment, then replied, "It's a specific kind of plot device. They are very fickle things if they aren't made for a purpose. Even then, they might malfunction just for 'comedy's sake'."

"Like in sitcoms?"

Nodding, he lowered his arm. The silence was oppressive, like it's anticipating some catastrophic event to end its existence. I shouldn't think of it as a catastrophic event because, for all I know, that's exactly what it'll be. Why doesn't the other shoe drop already?

As if in answer to my plea, a dark hole ripped itself into the sky. Out of it fell two people, who landed with an unnatural grace. I got a good look at the new arrivals. They were hideously beautiful, the kind of "perfect" that seems custom-made to cause gagging. The Mary Sue's auburn hair reached down to her ankles with big violet eyes blinking in confusion. Her skin was flawlessly pale and her body was so perfectly toned, it was sickening.

The Gary Stu, on the other hand, seemed to be a copied and then reworked Link from Legend of Zelda. He wore a flawless white tunic, which only seemed to accent his blindingly blond hair and disturbing white eyes. Saying he was a pretty boy would be insulting to other pretty boys. Now I'm really glad that Haruhi isn't here, she'd have a field day with this.

Our visitor, James, took a few steps forward and declared, "In the name of the Anti-Cliche and Mary Sue Elimination Society, as the chosen avatar of my Author, I hereby place you, Russell and Willowe Diamond Ravenne Hyacinth Aurelia Sakurella Dewdrop Arwennia Heliotrope Sandriline Delilah Aphrodite Bob Yuffiana Vipertooth Foxblade the Third under arrest!"

The Gary Stu, I'm assuming that's Russell, stepped in front of the Mary Sue protectively and retorted, "We haven't even been here for a minute and already you step in to bother us. Leave us alone, dang it! Don't you know our tragic past?"

James held up his empty hand in a stopping gesture, then replied, "Don't know, don't care, doesn't matter. Your kind plague works of fiction and it's the Society's job to keep all fandoms safe from your disgusting corruption."

Willowe spat from behind Russell, "And what are you going to do about it? I can tell you aren't a Gary Stu like my boyfriend here. What makes you think you can compete with a Mary Sue AND a Gary Stu?"

He held up the Prohibitor and the two corruptors took a step back in fear.

"Are you CRAZY? Don't you know what that thing is capable of?" Willowe spouted, almost in hysterics.

"Of doing to you, then yes, I know. Of what it might do to me, then no, I don't," if I could see his face, I could almost imagine him smiling while he next said, "Exciting, isn't it? The reason I believe no one should be perfect. Not knowing when something could go wrong and always striving to do better are some of the best reasons to be alive."

Russell spat, "Why should 'not knowing when something could go wrong' be a good reason to be alive? With everything perfect, then nothing can go wrong and everyone's happy."

"To quote the painter, Bob Ross; 'It may sound cruel, but I hope you are plagued with dissatisfaction your entire life. That way, you will always strive to go back and do better.' One of the kindest people I know of and he's right too. There's no such thing as 'good enough'!" James shot back.

Willowe seemed to take offense to James' remark, "No such thing as 'good enough'? Perfect IS good enough! We are perfect so it's up to us to make everything else perfect! No more sadness and no more pain!"

James shook his head, "Turn sadness into kindness and turn pain into strength. While there is never a good reason to cause suffering, only those who work a hard, honest life should be allowed to rest their burdens in a Utopia. The only regret someone should have is the wondering if they could have done more. Either way, you Sues are bringing ruination to fandoms and that has to stop."

Lifting the Prohibitor above his head, he pressed a button on its side. A bad feeling washed over me as it began to spark. In a flash of light; James, Russell, and Willowe were engulfed in a expanding white dome. I quickly shielded my eyes, waiting for the brightness to stop. And stop it did, after a few moments. In the middle of the schoolyard was a crater that was a few feet away from my feet. Confusion ran through my mind as I tried to figure out what happened. Koizumi said it best when he turned towards everyone and asked, "Um, what are we doing outside the club room?"

Lightning struck me as I realized that Haruhi was going to be ticked when she enters the club room and no one is there. Both me and Mikuru-chan scramble away in near sprint and Koizumi taking off with us at a jog. It a moment later that I turned back and saw Nagato staring at the crater. Normally, I'd wonder what she was looking at, but I really don't want to get in trouble with Haruhi right now.

"Hey, Nagato. Hurry up!"

Turning on the spot, she fluttered after me. Continuing my own rush, I had a feeling that I was going to catch hell from Haruhi.


James was kneeling in front of Tash, the tall, blond head of the Anti-Cliche and Mary Sue Elimination Society. He had just finished his report on ambushing Russell and Willowe.

"Let me get this straight. You had a small philosophical debate with them before activating the Prohibitor. Then, when it had activated, it flung you right back here while Russell and Willowe were tossed who knows where, is this correct?"

"Yes ma'am."

"And what happened to the Prohibitor?"

"Broken, ma'am."

"Very well then. You may return to your world now. Tell your Author that he'd better go do it next time we call on him." She scowl was frightening.

James started to fade away as he replied, "I'll make sure he gets that message, ma'am."

Tash sighed, "Well, at least we know now not to send characters to do Author work. Russell and Willowe are still on the loose and now we don't know where. Oh well, we'll know when they resurface."

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