Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Insert Unimaginative Pirate Name Here

Captain Jack Sparrow was on the alert.

He had been up most of the night, every night for the past few days, watchful, waiting. He couldn't afford to sleep, not with the dangers that were now prowling the ocean waters. But it wasn't a monster he so feared, not some foul creature of the deep. He had died once, he could handle whatever any monsters could dish up. No, his nightmare was a human foe, one of surpassing beauty and intelligence and deviousness and beauty and...

Stop that! He whacked an open palm against the side of his head in an effort to halt his treacherous train of thought.

If you haven't guessed it by now, you haven't been in the fanfiction business for very long.

Yep. Jack Sparrow was on the lookout for Mary-Sues.

Willowe Diamond Ravenne Hyacinth Aurelia Sakurelle Dewdrop Hikaru Arwennia Heliotrope Sandriline Delilah Aphrodite Bob Yuffiana Vipertooth Foxblade the Third had approached him seven days prior, claiming to have "information of interest" to him. Now, when she said it, she had fluttered her long, perfectly curled eyelashes and swished her extravagant, luxurious, ankle-length auburn hair in the most beautiful fashion, all the while telling him about her murdered parents and rebellious, sequel-fodder younger sisters. So it was no surprise or consequence that Jack failed to notice that she was, in actuality, distracting him while Barbosa and his crew stole the Chinese map. It was completely not his fault that he, along with every other man in the room, fell to her charms. It was unavoidable, perhaps even expected.

That was what he told himself, anyway.

It wasn't until a few days afterward (a length of time that felt like weeks to the poor readers) that Jack was approached by another woman, and for a moment he thought it was Willowe again. However, this woman was clearly less jaw-droppingly gorgeous as her, though she did have similar red hair. He remained suspicious, however, and approached with caution. It was in meeting her and her companions, a group of women who called themselves the Anti-Chiche and Mary-Sue Elimination Society, that he discovered what manner of beast that Willowe actually was: a demoness with unmatched skills in combat, a woefully come-and-bond-with-me tragic past, and supernatural powers of seduction. After no small amount of bargaining (which will not be written here - either because the authoress hasn't seen the POTC movies recently enough to dialogue it properly or out of laziness, no one can be certain), Jack agreed to help the Society set a trap for Willowe.

"Are you sure this will work?" he asked one of them.

Valerie nodded. "Self-inserts have many of the same abilities as Mary-Sues," she began. "We can take advantage of plotholes, blend in instantly to whatever fandom we're in, and be able to fight as well as we'd like. We also have a slightly less exagerated ability to attract male characters, but we're not supposed to use that power unless it's a dire emergency." At this she gave her fellow Society members, particularly Terrie, a stern look.

"What?" Terrie asked, putting on her best I'm innocent face. Valerie rolled her eyes.

Monika added, "Sues are a completely different breed of character than self-inserts. They don't even need to be made by a fanfiction author. Sometimes they're completely built into the story by its original author. There's nothing we can do then."

"Yeah," Danielle muttered, "Ever read Twilight? One of my first solo assignments, and my biggest mistake."

"Mary-Sues are just better equipped than self-inserts," Valerie concluded.

"Sues also have much more exceptional hearing," called a melodious (yet rebellious with a suitably sarcastic edge) voice. "We're also much better at keeping our mouths shut on stealth missions, in case you couldn't tell."

Out from the shadows stepped a young woman in her late teens or early twenties (depending on the fandom). She was form-fitting black and red corset, a long skirt with a slit up the side, and an off-white chimese for that "wansering gypsy" look. The outfit was completed by multiple gold and silver bangles and other various jewelry that refused to clink together and give away her position, and a scarlet bandana that offset her ankle-length auburn hair that was billowing gorgeously in a nonexistant breeze. Her stunning violet eyes seemed to pierce the night, and yet they held a sadness that Jack felt somehow compelled to wipe away...

Damn it! he thought furiously, smacking himself on the head again. One of the girls behind him giggled, then stopped.

"Wait..." said Stacey, brow furrowed in thought. "We're on a ship in the middle of nowhere. How did you get here without our knowing?"

Willowe smirked cutely and pointed to a rapidly closing black hole hanging in the air. "Same way you guys did: plothole."

"How do plotholes work, anyway?" Jack asked, staring at the contraption. This could prove handy knowledge in the future...

"Every fandom is nothing but plotholes, at least in its earliest conception," Valerie explained. "It's up to writers and occassionally fanfiction authors to close them as the story grows, but sometimes there are still a few left. It just takes an experienced eye to actually see them. Unfortunately, there are some fanfiction authors who take horrible advantage of these plotholes and use them to sneak Mary-Sues and self-inserts into a fandom. And once a Sue is well into a fandom, she's pretty hard to get out."

"But aren't you guys self-inserts too?"

Stacey shot the captain a look. "We're here for a good cause, thank you very much."

Valerie blinked, then stepped forward. "We are the Anti-Chiche and Mary-Sue Elimination Society!" she intoned gravely, thinking it appropriate for the creepy dead-of-night setting.

"Anticlimactic, more like..." Willowe muttered, rolling her eyes.

Valerie chose to ignore that one. She frowned and pulled out her pirate cutlass, holding it up threateningly. "Willowe Diamond Ravenne Hyacinth Aurelia Sakurelle Dewdrop Hikaru Arwennia Heliotrope Sandriline Delilah Aphrodite Bob Yuffiana Vipertooth Foxblade the Third, we are placing you under arrest for attempted mutilation of no less than six fandoms!"

"Jack Sparrow!" Willowe called, ignoring the Society members, "I can lead you to the Fountain of Youth you know. With the map gone, I'm the only one who knows where it is. And don't think you can use your lovely little magic compass to find it," she added as Jack attempted to interrupt, "Just give it a try. It won't work."

Curious, Jack pulled the compass out of his pocket and held it in his hand. The needle spun around once before quivering to a halt. It was pointed directly at Willowe. More specifically, it was pointed to a part of her immaculate anatomy that would be mentioned here, were it not for the fact that the authoress has ratings to uphold. The Society members rolled their eyes, and Willowe took a few steps forward.

"I can take you there, Captain," she said in her most dangerously seductive voice. She walked forward in time with her words, and the pirate was putty in her perfectly manicured hands. Too easy, she thought smugly to herself.

However, it was at this point that Valerie smirked confidently and nodded to Terrie and Danielle. Both rushed from their hiding places and charged the surprised Mary-Sue from behind. Willowe was soon pinned down in a (surprisingly graceful) heap and Jack, released from Willowe's passionate embrace, fell to the floor with a resounding thunk. He lay there for a while, still caught in a Sue-induced stupefied daze. Stacey, recognizing the signs of personality mutilation, went to him to make sure he wasn't too hurt. Willowe fought mildly under the girls' hold, but wasn't too bothered. Things were all going quite predictably, really...

...until Valerie came forward, holding a small, complicated-looking machine about the size of her fist in her hand. Willowe's eyes widened at the sight of it, and her struggling increased dramatically. "No! No!" she cried. "Get that thing away from me!"

"What is that?" Monika asked as she assisted the others in restraining Willowe.

"Plot device," Valerie answered grimly. "One of the only things able to stop a Mary-Sue in her tracks. I'm writing a fanfic, so I had a spare one, and I think it's about time we used it."

Terrie looked at the device apprehensively. "Val, you gotta be careful with those things. One wrong move..."

"I know," she interrupted, "but this one's eluded capture far too many times. Now hold her still."

The other three pressed down hard to hold Willowe down, and Valerie carefully placed the plot device in front of the Sue. A small probe rose up from the top and lit a tiny light in a sweep around the scene. "It's examining our surroundings," Valerie explained in a hushed tone. "It analyzes everything in the immediate area to decide on the best course of action." Willowe stared wide-eyed at the device, real fear evident in her eyes for the first time in years. The world seemed to go quiet as everyone waited...

The device glowed briefly, then exploded into ash.

Stacey blinked and stared at the place where the little machine had been. "That's it?" she cried incredulously. "It didn't do anything!"

"Oh yes it did!"

Everyone looked around frantically for the source of the voice. Finally Danielle pointed. "Up there!"

In the middle of the sky, a positively enormous plothole ripped open, dwarfing everything and everyone below. From its inky depths came a male figure, lean but muscular, with casually swept-back blonde hair and gorgeous blue eyes. This figure swung down on a rope that also emerged from the plothole (which was somehow suspended in midair) and heroically swooped Willowe out of the grasp of her captors. The rope took them across the sky and deposited them a safe distance away.

The Society looked on in horror. "What are you doing?" Valerie cried.

"Hi," the male figure said casually. "I'm Russell. I'm here to pick up my girlfriend, since you lot are being such bullies."

"But she's destroying worlds!" Monika protested. "She needs to be put away so she can never ruin a fandom ever again! How can you be helping her?"

Willowe smirked and leaned against her rescuer's chest, her ankle-length auburn hair wrapping around him lovingly. Russell placed a protective arm around her shoulders and stood very heroically in the dim lighting. It was then that the Society members realized what they were up against.

"You're a Gary-Stu?" Stacey whispered in wonderment.

"Wasn't some guy named Michael supposed to be taking care of them?" Danielle wondered aloud.

"Valerie! Guys!" A tall blonde figure came running from out of the mist that was conveniently gathering around the... wherever it was they were at. Really, it didn't matter at this point, so description would be entirely redundant. Really. Anyway, the woman ran up to the Society members, panting from the exertion. After a moment she stood tall, and the group recognized her as Tash, the de-facto leader of the Anti-Cliche and Mary-Sue Elimination Society. "Guys," she said, still a bit breathless, "I came to warn you! I just got a message from Blake, there's a Gary-Stu on the loose, and he's likely to join up with Willowe, so..." she trailed off as several of the Society members pointed wordlessly at the couple in the distance. "Oh."

"You're too late, Miss Natasha," Russell called mockingly, "and now my girlfriend and I bid you all a fond farewell." He tugged on the rope, which rose of its own accord and swung them both back into the giant plothole, which promptly closed behind them.

For a while no one moved.

"I'm so stupid!" Valerie finally shouted, falling to her knees in frustration.

Terrie patted her friend on the shoulder. "I did warn you to be careful with that plot device, didn't I?" she said quietly. "They can be used to promote Suishness if used incorrectly." Valerie simply punched the ground angrily, then winced and shook out her sore hand.

The others began packing up when Stacey waved them over. Jack was regaining consciousness. He blinked blearily, then looked a tad bit surprised at being in the presence of so many women. "Did I die again? Because this must be heaven..."

The Society members giggled a bit, and Tash rolled her eyes with a resigned smile. "When in Rome..." She quickly summoned a plothole to take them all to Tortuga, where they took a brief but fun vacation with some of the sexiest pirates alive.

Meanwhile, Willowe and Russell were already deep into another fandom, and were currently relaxing in a shady grove, away from any prying eyes.

"Our list of enemies is growing," Russell remarked absently as he stroked Willowe's pale, flawless arm.

"Well," said Willowe, "that doesn't bother me much. We've no shortage of allies either, and no matter how many Society members there are, we'll always be stronger." She leaned up and delivered a soft kiss. "Especially now that we're together again."

Underneath the kiss, Russell smirked. Nothing will stop us now...

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