Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Insert Cutesy-Sounding Dragon Name Here

"Hey, Shirley! Did you get that popcorn?" Ben yelled. He lay sprawled back across a couch in the Library Arcanium, a ridculously large plasma flat-screen TV on the wall opposite him

Shirley came trotting in, carrying a large bowl of popcorn. "Here." She said, handing it to Ben.

"Thanks." Ben took a kernel and popped it into his mouth. "Hrm... interesting butter you used."

"Oh, that wasn't butter, it was toxic nuclear waste."

"What?" Ben yelped, gagging.

"Oh, quit being such a baby." Shirley rolled her eyes. "It shouldn't affect you what will all the nuking you do."

Just then, an out of breath Tash stuck her head in the room.

"Hey, Ben!" She called. "I've got a new mission for you!"

"Aww... can't it wait?" Ben moaned. "My TV show was just about to start,,,"

Tash frowned. "What TV show?"

"Oh, just some nameless one that he couldn't bother to come up with just for the sake of this one-shot." Shirley said casually.

The Library began to shake violently. Tash had to grab the wall to remain standing up, and the TV haning on the wall slid to one side.

"ASTER!" Ben heard Adrian scream.

"It was Ben!" Tash called back.

"Oh. Sorry, Aster! ...BEN!"

"I didn't do anything!" Ben protested.

"Regardless," Tash said coolly. "We've got a mission for you. We've spotted Bella in the Dragon Drive fandom and I thought you might want a crack at her. Fourtnately we've found her early so she hasn't had a chance to do much mutilating or warping."

"But what about my TV show?" Ben whined.

"If you hurry, you can get back before it starts."

Ben shot a glance at the clock. He would have barely enough time.

"Fine." He growled, grabbing his plot-hole generator and firing. "Let's go, Shirley!" He shouted as he leapt through.

Tash glanced at Shirley. "He didn't take any of his tools, did he?"

Shirley shook her head, "Nope" before jumping in the hole after Ben.


Ben emerged from the plothole and looked around. He had to find Bella and get back fast, before his show started. Fourtnately, he had emerged right outside of Ryugujo, the building where the virtual reality game Dragon Drive was held. In the game, players would battle each other in virtual cities, using dragons modeled on their inner selves.

"I wonder what kind of dragon I'd get," Ben mused. "What do you think, Shirley?"

There was no response.

"Shirley?" Ben looked around. The Cliche Stick was nowhere in sight.

Ben shrugged She was problably out somewhere, pulling the ears off of bunny rabbits. It wasn't like she was ever any real help on missions.

He turned and entered Ryugujo and headed straight for the hidden entrance. On the outside, the bulding looked like a run-down candy store. But that was only a front for what went on inside. He entered the hidden elevator and it slid noiselessly down, delivering him to the underground game headquarters.

Ben stepped out into the true Ryugujo. The complex was easily the size of a shopping mall. All around, teenagers talked and laughed, showing off their dragon cards or watching ongoing battles on large TV screens.

Ben glanced at one of the screens himself, half expecting to see Bella fighting there. But then he remembered that Bella had entered the Fandom only recently, and had yet to do any warping, so it was unlikely she was battling yet. Speaking of which, he needed to register.

As he headed for the registration counter, he bumped into someone.

"Oh, sorry." He apologized.

"It's all right, I-YOU!"

Ben gaped at Bella.

"H-how'd you find me here?" Bella demanded. "I only just got here myself!"

Ben extended a hand pleadingly. "Oh, Bella," He crooned. "Don't you know that true love will always guide us to one another?"

"Oh, stop it!" Bella snapped, dropping into a combat stance,

Ben shook his head seriously. "I'd love to nuke you right here, but we both know this isn't the place. We'll settle this in the game."

Bella snorted. "Fine by me, but you'd better hurry," She held up her game cell phone, containing her dragon's card. "I've already registered."

Ben nodded grimly. The clock was ticking and his show would be starting any minute now. "Right."

He quickly filled out his forms and grabbed one of the game cell phones from the attendant, before rushing off to have his dragon chosen.

The choosing area was off to the side, and consisted of an enormous wall-screen where the chosen dragon would be selected, and a large futuristic chair. When a player sat in the chair, a leigon of computers would scan him, reading his physical attributes and inner strength, generating a personal dragon to fit.

Ben hurriedly sat in the chair and waited impatiently as the attendant initiated the sequence. Computers hummed as he was scanned, and seconds later a tech came over from one of the databanks.

"I thought you might want to see this before we put it up on the monitor." He murmured to the attendant, handing her a readout.

The attendadnt took one look at the paper and her eyebrows nearly shot off her face.

"Is this-?" She asked the tech who shrugged and nodded.

"Okay, then..." She handed Ben his dragon's card. "We'll be putting your dragon up on the monitor so you can-"

"No thanks!" Ben grabbed his card and dashed off.

"But-!" The attendant called after him, but it was too late, Ben was lost to the crowd. She turned back as the image came up on the screen.

"What kind of dragon is that?" She murmured to herself.


Ben raced towards the game area, spotting Bella waiting for him amidst the crowd. The game's staging area looked very similar to the place where players had their dragon's chosen, except for the fact that there were several chairs stationed around a large screen, except for just one. While playing Dragon Drive, the chairs would upload the players mind into the game's virtual world.

Bella was tapping her foot impatiently, but Ben held up a finger. "Hold on!"

He called the game's operator and had a few words with her before heading back over to Bella.

"OK, I've set it up so that it'll be one-on-one."

Bella nodded. "No need for anyone else to get in the way."

Ben smirked. "A Sue not wanting someone else to do her dirty work, that's a first." They made their way down into the staging area.

"I'm just doing it myself because I want the job done right." Bella said icily as they sat down in the VR chairs across from each other.

Ben glanced at the clock on his cell phone. Allowing for commercials, if he hurried, he might be able to make it back before the show got too started. He quickly inserted his dragon's card into his game mobile as the game started, not even bothering to look at his dragon.

The chair's helmet-like dome descended over his head, light's flashed the surface, as the computers that ran the game fired up.

Ben had a sudden sensation of being rapidly dragged forward. With a flash, Ryugujo vanished and he found himself in an abandoned city.

He quickly turned, assessing his surroundings, he was standing on the sidewalk of a large street. Skyscrapers towered overhead and shopfronts dotted the street.
This was all standard for a Dragon Drive game, but one thing nagged at Ben. He turned completely around as it hit him. His dragon was nowhere to be seen. When the game started, the player and dragon always started with or at least near each other, but now his seemed to have vanished.

Ben groaned. First Shirley and now his dragon. How was he supposed to fight Bella now?

He started forward, but Bella emerged from a side street, riding on a 10-foot high dragon covered in white fur.

She laughed mockingly. "What, no dragon? You're even more pathetic than I thought! This should make it easy to annihialate you! Dinner is served, Tiamat!"

The white-furred dragon roared and lunged forward.

Ben leapt back and quickly judged the distance. Bella and Tiamat were about half a block away, he would have just enough time.

He raised an arm and pointed straight at the charging dragon.

"Don't mess with Nukes!" He roared. But Bella just laughed.

"Tiamat! Sphere of Silence!"

As the nuke fell into sight, Tiamat raised her head and spat an orange globe at the warhead.

The bubble absorbed the explosive and both fell to the ground. As it his the pavement, the warhead detonated, emmitting a bright flash which blinded Ben. When he looked again, both bubble and nuke had vanished, leaving no trace or sign of damage.

"What the-?" Ben exclaimed. Bella laughed again. "That was a little trick I made sure my dragon had programmed in! I couldn't have you dropping things on my head all battle, so now with this technique, your little firecracker attack is worthless!"

Ben growled and ran. He could hear Bella's mocking laughter and the sounds of Tiamat's pursuit behind.

No Shirley, No dragon and now no nukes! And my coffee attack wouldn't even faze a dragon that big! I'm screwed, I'm screwed, I'M SCREWED!

Ben ducked and weaved down various alley's and side streets, but Bella and Tiamat kept right on his tail.

"That's right, run like the coward you are!" Bella yelled after Ben as he turned down a street.

"Why do you insist on pursuing me?" Bella demanded as Tiamat sent a fireball blazing past Ben's ear. He ducked his head and kept on running.

"I haven't been able to even set foot in a fandom for at least a month without you coming to harass me! Why can't you just leave me alone?"

"I told you, it's because I love you, Bella!" Ben yelled over his shoulder as he ducked beneath a fire escape in an alley.

He glanced back just in time to see Tiamat smash straight through the metal structure and continue after.

"Oh, don't give me that!" Bella spat as Ben dashed around a corner, back on to a main street. "I've had it with you, and now I'm going to crush you once and for all!"

As Ben ran, his breath slowlu began to grow ragged and his legs turned to stone. He was a sprinter, he wasn't conditioned for long distance running like this! Finally he turned down a final alley and found a brick wall waiting for him.

He turned, just in time to see Bella come tearing around the corner. She stopped just a few feet in front of Ben.

"I've got you now!" She panted. "Tiamat! Reign of Fire!" The white dragon inhaled deeply.

Oh, man, I didn't want to have to do this! Ben gritted his teeth, shoved an earbud into his ear and jabbed a button on his MP3.

Tiamat released a barrage of mini fireballs, each exploding as they hit the ground.

Bella laughed triumphantly, urging her dragon on. Tiamat kept up the attack for several seconds before cutting it off.

"There's no way he could've survived that." Bella hissed, peering through the smoke.

"Wa-wanna bet?" Ben's voice sounded through the smoke, sounding winded.


The smoke cleared, revealing Ben exhausted, sweaty, singed and midly burned, but for the most part fine. Miraculously, not one of the fireballs had hit their target. Dozens of small holes peppered the ground around his feet.

"Impossible!" Bella seethed. "Is this another one of your powers?"

"Not a power," Ben panted. "A skill." He held up one of his earbuds. Instead of the usual heavy metal, now an energetic dance beat blasted from it.

"It's a dance move to be precise. I call it the fast-step, simply because it defies all description, though some of my friends have likened it to a full-body seizure."

Sweat poured from Ben's brow as he continued. "I can dodge just about anything while I do the fast-step, the only restrictions are I can't move from one place and it take a lot of energy out of me."

He slumped to the ground, gasping for air. "And I mean A LOT!"

Bella snorted. "Regardless, you're exhausted now, so stand still and let me annihilate you!"

Tiamat raised a giant paw to swat Ben like an ant. He closed his eyes, waiting for the impact. At that split second, a huge crash sounded behind Ben, and the alley wall behind him crumbled like cardboard. Bella stared as a massive shadow fell over the two fighters.

Ben turned slowly, then whirled back around when he saw what it was.


Shirley stood nearly 20 feet tall, her claws had grown to the size of a small car and two large leaves had sprouted from her back, acting as wings.

"Miss me?" she asked Ben.

"Where were you fifteen minutes ago?" he demanded.

"Hey, YOU try going from a size 3 shoe to a size Hulk in no time flat!"

Ben scowled. "Do you even wear shoes? You don't have any legs."

Shirley shrugged. "Yeah, I wear shoes, so?"

Ben shook his head. "Nevermind..."

He scampered up a mound of rubble and taking advantage of the knots and whorls on Shirley's bark, climbed onto her back.

"Ok, Bella," He smirked. "Let's dance!"

Bella snarled and Tiamat inhaled to unleash a blast of fire. Shirley just rolled her eyes and slapped the two open handed. As a general rule, getting hit with a palm the size of a dump-truck is never a fun experence.
Bella and her dragon were sent tumbling head over heels and crashed through a glass storefront across the way.

"All right!" Ben cheered, Shirley leered and moved forward.

Tiamat burst from the ruined store, Bella still clinging to her back and looking very angry.

"Attack!" Bella screeched, pointing at Shirley.

"Get close to her!" Ben commanded.

Shirley dashed towards them as Tiamat released a stream of fireballs from her jaws. Each impacted against Shirley, flaring up, then dying out, leaving scorch marks on the giant stick.

By now Shirley was right infront of Tiamat. "Thanks for the ride!" Ben called.

He jumped from Shirley's back and landed on Tiamat. The dragon lurched from the sudden weight and both Bella and Ben were spilled onto the pavement.

Ben scrambled to his feet first. He grabbed Bella's wrist.

"Bella Francine Carolyn Michelle Tracy Hannah Anna Paula Jenny Darline Karen Ginger Aubrey the Fourth, you are under arrest for-" Ben's hand went down to his waist, reaching for his Prohibitor, then he realized he left it back in the library. He groaned. This was not his day.

Suddenly, Bella's heel shot up, catching him in the chin and snapping his head back.

He stumbled back, clutching his mouth as Bella jumped to her feet and ran for Tiamat.

Both Tiamat and Shirley were still fighting. Tiamat had several long deep gashes down her flank and Shirley was dotted with burns and scorch marks, a few small fires even flickered in places on her bark.

"Shirley! Stop her!" Ben called.

Shirley turned and caught sight of the Sue, she raised a large, clawed hand, reaching to grab the Sue, but Tiamat intervened.

The white-furred dragon dashed forward, catching Shirley in the knees and knocking her over.

Bella scrambled back on to Tiamat and turned towards Ben, intending to strike.

Shirley jumped to her feet, looking annoyed. She raised a hand, intending to crush both Sue and dragon beneath it when the ground began to rumble.

All had to struggle to keep their balance. "What's going on?" Bella demanded.

A massive golden dragon erupted from the ground several blocks away, knocking skyscrapers aside like toys and roaring. It stood several stories high, light glinting off it's scales.

"Oh, snap." Ben muttered.

"What is that?" Bella asked.

"That would be an unmanned Dragon. Occasionally the game moderators toss them in as an NPC to mix things up. You get double XP if you beat them." Ben muttered

"But they're also ridculously strong." Shirley commented.

Ben nodded. "Quite."

Bella snorted. "I doubt it, no dragon is a match for my Tiamat! Attack!"

Tiamat opened it's jaws and fired a blazing stream once again. The fire impacted against the golden dragon's hide and dissapated harmlessly. The dragon swung around to face them.

"Nice going, now you've just marked us all as lizard dinner." Shirley said to Bella.

Bella snorted. "You stay here and don't go anywhere. I'll mop this loser up and be back for you!"

Ben shrugged, leaning against an electric pole. "Fine by me!"

"You're just going to let her go?" Shirley asked.

"She'll be back," Ben said confidently. "And with any luck, she'll be so weakened by that golden lizard it'll be easy to take her down."

As they watched, Bella and Tiamat charged the golden beast and leapt at it. The dragon raised a clawed hand and swatted the Sue away like an annoying gnat.

Ben laughed. "It's deja vu all over again, huh?"

Shirley shot a glance at him. "You do know that if we weren't on a mission I'd get you for that."

Ben shrugged. "Yeah."

Just then, the dragon turned and caught sight of them. It started forward, the earth shaking from it's footseteps.

"Oh, boy," Ben muttered. "Shirley..."

"I'm on it!" The Cliche Stick beared her fangs. "This'll be fun!"

Shirley charged the dragon, claws ready to tear it apart like tissue paper,but as she did so the dragon opened it's jaws and prepared to loose a stream of fire at the Cliche Stick.

Just then, Tiamat came barreling in from the side, leaping onto the dragon , digging in with her claws. The golden dragon roared in pain and the firestream went wide.

Shirley reared back and sprinted back to Ben. Bella and Tiamat were still bravely digging into the enraged dragon's hide, causing it to thrash about wildly. Several more buildings were destroyed or smashed from the dragon's fury.

"Bella!" Ben roared.

The emerald haired Sue looked over and ben wildly motioned them over. Bella barked a command, Tiamat disengaged from the golden dragon and rushed over to where Ben and Shirley were waiting. The four of them fell back, regrouping at a safe distance.

Tiamat was wounded, with several angry red welts and deep cuts still oozing blood visible through her white fur.

"What was that supposed to be?" Shirley demanded. "I thought you were supposed to be a perfect, all-powerful Mary-Sue!"

"I am!" Bella hissed. "That thing is just really really strong."

"I don't think we can take that thing on alone." Ben said, sizing up the unmanned dragon. He turned to Bella. "What do you say we put our fight on hold for now and joing forces?"

Bella groaned. "Fine. What do you suggest?"

"How about a surprise attack?" Ben suggested. "You've shown that that has some merit. One of us distracts the dragon, while the other slips behind it and mounts an attack."

"Fine," Bella conceded, climbing onto Tiamat's back, being careful to avoid her wounds. "But you're gonna be the decoy."

Ben shrugged. "Any objections, Shirley?"

The muse shook her head.

"Send up a fireball when you're in position!" Ben called after Bella as she moved off. The Sue didn't reply.

The seconds ticked by as Ben and Shirley waited. In the meantime, the golden dragon was amusing itself by pulverising the remaining skyscrapers.

"Say, is Josha from The World Ends With You fandom still looking for someone to remodel the Dead Gods Pad?" Ben asked.

"I think so," Shirley replied. "Why?

Ben shrugged. "I was thinking that after this is over, we might reccomend him to Joshua." Ben nodded towards the rampaging dragon.

Shirley watched as the dragon collapsed a building iwth a single swipe. "He does have good technique." She observed.

"Mmmm." Ben nodded.

Just then several fireballs shot into the sky from a street behind the other dragon.

"That's our cue! C'mon, Shirley!"

Ben clambered up onto the Cliche Stick's back and with a growl, Shirley charged forward.

The dragon turned, saw them coming and fired a barrage of fireballs, which Shirley easily dodged.

Looking over the golden dragon's shoulder, Ben could see Bella mounted on Tiamat, charging. Mentally, Ben urged her on faster.

Suddenly, Shirley tripped on a peice of rubble and everything went to hell.

Shirley stumbled, and Ben was sent flying off her back, landing on his back on the pavement, the wind knocked out of him.

A stream of fire jetted forth from the dragon's mouth, striking Shirley head on, instantly setting the Cliche Stick ablaze.

"Shirley!" Ben screamed in terror, fearing the worst.

"Settle down, Ben!" Shirley snapped, recovering from her fall, still on fire. She shot Ben a look. "You honestly think a little head like this is gonna hurt me?"

Bella and Tiamat were still grimly hanging onto the now infuriated gold dragon, slashing with claws and unleashing bursts of fire for all they were worth. With one collossal heave, the golden dragon cast them off and they crashed to the ground and slid over to Ben and Shirley.

"We can't beat it alone!" Ben gasped as he struggled to his feet, Bella and Tiamat doing the same.

"We've all got to hit it at the same time with everything we've got! All of us!"

Bella's eyes widened. "But I don't have any powers other than Tiamat in this fandom!"

"Oh, don't give me that!" Ben snapped. "You're a Mary-Sue! I know you've gotta have some kind of ridculous power stashed away somewhere!"

"Fine." Bella growled, her eyes glowing green and an emerald glow surrounding her fists.

"You ready, Shirley?" Ben asked.

"You bet." Shirley said, still ablaze, gathering a ball of fire in her hand.

The ground began to shake as the dragon started towards them.

"Now!" Ben roared, pointing at the approaching dragon. "Don't mess with nukes!"

Two blasts of fire, a beam of green energy and a thermo-nuclear warhead all struck the dragon simeltaneously. Such was the force of the blow that the dragon became a golden blur as it was blasted backwards straight through the remaining intact buildings, smashing them to ruins. When it finally came to rest, it's form flickered and wavered for a moment before fading from sight.

"We did it." Bella panted in releif.

"Yeah." Ben agreed, sinking to his knees in exhaustion.

Shirley gave herself a single violent shake, blowing out the flames that engulfed her and Tiamat started licking her wounds.

Ben looked up at Bella from where he knelt on the ruined pavement.

"I don't think either of us have the energy to to continue this fight, so why don't we call this a draw and walk away peacefully?"

Bella nodded grimly in agreement, there was a sudden flash, a jerk and the VR helmets shot off their heads and they were jolted back into Ryugujo.

All around them players buzzed with excitement as they discussed the battle they had witnessed on the game viewing screens.

Ben and Bella got up from their chairs slowly. The injuries they sustained in the game may've not manifested in the real world, but they were bone tired and mentally exhausted nonetheless.

Bella looked at Ben, She looked as though she were about to say something, but she shook her head instead and vanished through a plothole.

Ben chuckled and finally glanced down at his dragon card, depicting Shirley crouching, ready to strike. He glanced up ath the clock. He had completely missed his TV show.

Ben sighed and shook his head as he vanished through a plothole of his own.


Ben lay on his back, sprawled across the floor in the TV room in the Library Arcanium. Shirley, now back to normal size, lay on the couch, flipping through the TV guide.

"Y'know, Shirley, I've been thinking about something." Ben said, rolling over.

"Mmm?" Shirley asked distractedly.

"The system in Dragon Drice generates a dragon to fit the players inner self or soul, right?"


"And I ended up with you. So what does that say about me? Inside, am I nothing but a monster who loves nothing but inflicting unnessecary pain on people?"

"Hey, Ben?" Shirley asked, interrupting his ramblings. She held up the TV Guide. "This was the show you were wanting to see, right?"

Ben glanced at the magazine. "Yeah, so?"

"It was on last night."

Ben paled. "You mean I went throught all of that for nothing?"

"Looks like it."



Drake and Tyler looked up at the scream. The two of them were hidden snugly between two bookshelves, gorging themselves on stolen cookies.

"You think Adrian found out we got past his rocket-powered guillotine?" Tyler asked nervously.

"I don't know." Drake said. "But either way, we better finish off these Oreos fast!"

Tyler nodded and both returned to quickly stuffing their faces.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

TAOM: Emily - Technical Issues

Note: It should be noted here that, at some time between Rhia's introduction to the Society and now, a second kitchen was discovered in the Library. Rhia was given sole ownership of that kitchen, both because she is a fantastic cook and because she was the only person brave enough to buckle down and clean the place after years (possibly centuries) of disuse.

This event took place inside the Society Role-Play thread (located on our FFN C2), for those interested, and is more fully explained in a flashback in a later chapter.

And now, on with the story. ^_^

Harriet tapped gently on the door, positive that the occupant of the room was still asleep, for there was no light coming from the crack between the door and floor. It was unusual though, because her charge was normally up at this point – they had a lesson in fifteen minutes.

"Emily? Are you awake?"

There was no answer, but Harriet was sure she could hear a low groan inside the room. Making up her mind, she pushed the door open and flicked on the lights. The ten year old girl's room was a mess. Books, tools, scrunched up bits of failed artwork, and clothes littered the floor, and the walls were splattered with bits of artwork, that were either finished, or in the process of being finished. Emily's pride and joy was the giant tree that she had painted onto the ceiling.

The artist herself was curled up underneath her duvet in a small ball. Picking her way carefully across the cluttered floor, Harriet sat on the edge of the bed and peeled back the covers. A pale, thin face looked back at her, a faint sweat on her forehead. At first Harriet thought she might have had a nightmare, but as soon as the light hit her face, Emily squeezed her eyes shut, and her face went paler. She also seemed to be doubling up in pain.

"What's wrong?" Harriet asked, rubbing her back soothingly. The ten year old girl took a deep breath to answer... before clapping a hand over her mouth and sprinting for the bathroom.

Harriet blinked several times, surprised at the speed with which the young girl had moved, until the sounds of Emily being sick next door snapped her out of it, and she pulled out her phone.

"Val? Could you come to Emily's room please? We have a problem."


"What's wrong, Palm Tree?"

The smallest of the sisters was holding back tears of pain.

"My tummy hurts..."

"Oh dear... must have been the oysters," Ashley's face was sympathetic. "You get into bed. Relax for the rest of the day."

"I wish Willowe were here," June muttered to herself. "She knew a great remedy for stomach-aches..."

Maybe it was irritability brought on by her illness, or annoyance that she was being treated like a baby at eight years old, but the youngest sister snapped a retort out as she clambered back into bed.
"If she's so wonderful, then why isn't she here?"

The sister's faces had turned stony, and for the first time, Palm Tree felt scared.

"Don't you dare speak about your sister that way," June said sternly. "Now go to sleep."


"Food poisoning," Valerie declared. "Must have been the pizza last night."

"That can't be," Harriet objected. "We all had Dominos last night, and no one else is ill."

"I dunno," Tash called from the bathroom, where she was on her hands and knees cleaning up the mess. "I'm still being haunted by the image of Leonard gnawing a hole through his..."

All the girls shuddered, and Emily curled up tighter under her covers.

"I think Val is right," she admitted. "And I was the only one to have ground beef on my pizza. Maybe that was it."

"Do you think you can try and keep some food down?" Valerie asked. Emily went pale and shook her head, the very thought of eating making her more nauseas than ever.

"Water?" the healer asked, knowing dehydration was the biggest problem when someone was sick. Emily shook her head again. She had tried to keep water down through the night, but it had just made her worse.

"What about flat lemonade and flat coke?" Harriet suggested. "That's what I had when I had food poisoning. Worked pretty well."

Valerie thought for a second. Flat fizzy drinks would give Emily plenty of energy in lieu of food, and keep her hydrated, while the acid neutralised her stomach. It was definitely worth trying.

"We'll give that a go. I'd rather not have to put her on a drip. In the mean time, can we move her to the medical wing? I'd like to keep an eye on her."

Emily stumbled as she got up, and eventually, Harriet decided to carry her. Her legs were too shaky to support her weight, and so, wrapped in her duvet, blanket, and with her arms tightly around her pillow, the ten year old was carried to the wing. By the time they made it, she had fallen asleep again.


And over there is kitchen one..." Harriet trailed off as screaming, human shaped blur shot past them. Emily couldn't see who it was, but at this point, another figure rounded the corner, and she had to blink several times – it looked like a three foot high stick of wood with claws and teeth. Without a word, the wood raced past the two and after the feeing male agent.

"And that was Ben, and his muse Shirley..." Harriet added. "Don't piss Shirley off..."


Harriet paled and steered her charge into the kitchen without another word.


Emily was woken by a clatter somewhere next to her head.

"Here..." Rhia had placed a tray on the table, and was explaining to a surprised looking Valerie. "I heated them to get them flat faster, so they may still be a little warm."

"Good idea," Valerie nodded, and took the glass of coke. "Thanks Rhia."

"One more thing," Harriet said, before Rhia could vanish again. "I know your kitchen is clean Rhia, but would you mind just disinfecting the surfaces again? We're pretty sure she's got food poisoning from the pizza, but on the off chance it is something more sinister, we don't want to take any risks."

Rhia nodded. "What about kitchen one?"

"Tash is doing that now," Harriet assured her. "Something about people being ill turns her into an obsessive cleaner."

Emily wished they'd all be quiet and let her sleep, but Valerie was shaking her shoulder gently to get her to pay attention.

"Emily, can you have a few sips of this please?"

The ten year old stubbornly buried her face into the duvet.

"Don't wanna..." she whined. She knew she was being petulant, but she really didn't want to be sick again, and she was worried that drinking would do just that.

"You don't need to drink much," Valerie soothed. "Just a little bit. It should help."

"Its flat coke..." Emily stated. "It'll be icky..."

"She must be sick," Harriet muttered. "She's never said icky in her life."

"...there's a colourful straw in it," Valerie said, brightly. Emily cracked an eye open and winced – the world seemed a bit too bright for her liking.

"What colour?"

"Green," Harriet said. "Rhia thought you'd find it amusing. The one in the lemonade is yellow."

Sighing, Emily raised her head enough to take a few small sips. She didn't like the taste at all, but it wasn't as bad as she had expected.

"Thank you," Valerie smiled. Emily's only response was to stick her tongue out and close her eyes again.

"We'll wake you up in a bit so you can have more," Harriet was saying, but Emily wasn't listening. Another wave of tiredness was overcoming her, and she quickly nodded off again.


"Umm... hi Natasha," Emily was caught off guard seeing the Society leader here – especially since she seemed to be sneaking out of the Vault of Abandoned Ideas. Emily knew what the room was of course, it was just she had been under the impression that no one but Adrian was allowed in there... certainly the Librarian was the only one with keys.

Tash paled and hastily hid something behind her back, though not fast enough for Emily caught a glimpse of it. It looked like a small silver keyring with a large blue button on it.

"Hi Emily... what brings you down here?"

Emily hefted the books in her bag. "Just had a lesson with Harriet... what were you doing in the Vault?"

"Nothing," Tash answered too quickly, and she began shifting nervously. "I'd better be going now..."

She raced off down the corridor, leaving a confused, and insatiably curious ten year old girl.


Emily wasn't sure what time it was when she woke up, but she got the feeling that she hadn't been sleeping for long. Tash was sitting next to her bed, fiddling with what looked like a large twisted piece of metal, but which Emily immediately recognised as a flight stabiliser. Her stomach was still cramping, but she knew she should probably drink a little more. A quick glance around told her that Valerie had gone somewhere, which was good, because she was dying to talk to Tash.

"Hey hon," the second in command smiled. "How do you feel?"

"Tired," Emily said truthfully, sitting up slowly. At least, she realised, she didn't feel dizzy and weak any longer. "Any of Rhia's magic lemonade around?"

Tash picked up the glass and helped her drink. "This reminds me of when Hati had food poisoning," she admitted. "She spent the whole weekend in bed, and she barely ate a thing. There was just me running to the corner store to get Coke and Schweppes."

"Where was Lauren?" Emily asked curiously, finishing another sip, and resting the glass on her lap.

"Gone home for the weekend," Tash shrugged. "Though we think she must have a stomach of steel, because she ate exactly the same as Hati and she didn't get ill."

Emily shrugged, before focusing on the flight stabiliser in Tash's lap. "Won't you blow your little secret if everyone sees you with that thing? What will they think?"

Tash gave a mischievous grin. "They'll think I'm bringing you something to mess with while you're ill. Relax, I doubt they'll guess the truth. I was actually wondering if you knew what I was doing wrong. I was trying to wedge it back into the wing, and it wouldn't go."

Emily gave the stabiliser a look, took another gulp of lemonade, before examining it.

"...which way were you putting it in?" she asked, handing it back to her friend. Tash held it out stretched in demonstration.

"Like this..." she said. Emily rolled her eyes and turned Tash's hand upside down so that the stabiliser was the right way up.

"Ooooh... right," Tash said slowly, her cheeks turning pink with embarrassment. "Sorry..."

Emily's sigh turned into a groan of pain, as her stomach reminded her it was there, and her throat began to burn.

"You alright?" Tash said, dropping the stabiliser and reaching for the bowl on the bed side table.

"Too much lemonade," Emily managed to say, before grabbing the bowl and vomiting once more.


"I'm sorry..."

"Stop saying that Emily," Harriet said patiently.

"But I am," the ten year old said. "I'm really sorry... I singed all your eyebrows off!"

Harriet patted her on the head. "They'll grow back. Trust me, my eyebrows and my hair could set a world record for the speed they grow."

Looking for comfort, Emily petted a dozing Meg on the head. The collie, freshly washed to get all the brownie mix off her fur, had parked herself on her lap, and didn't seem to want to get off. Beth had warned Emily that Meg could make herself incredibly heavy when she didn't want to move from someone, and so it looked as though she was stuck in this sofa for a while.

"Don't worry," Tash smiled. "Rhia is letting Emma use her kitchen, and they're making another batch – Emma's brownies are the best. Trust me, they're worth waiting for."

Emily shot a look in the direction of the Library's main kitchen, from which the smell of burned plastic, cake and hair could still be detected. "Still... I feel bad. I'm supposed to be good with machines and I blow up the bloody oven!"

"Language young lady," Harriet warned sharply, and Emily buttoned her lip.

"Emily, blowing up kitchen stuff is half the fun of baking," Beth told her, sitting down beside her. Meg immediately changed laps, causing Beth to groan in exasperation, and Emily looked curious.

"It... is?"

"Yeah," Tash nodded. "We've all done it."
Harriet smirked. "Yup. We've added the wrong amount of ingredients to our food... broken plates... some of us even set oven gloves on fire..."

Tash gasped. "Harriet! You swore you would never tell!"

Beth burst out laughing, and Emily felt herself giggle. Meg, overexcited by the sudden noise, leaped off Beth's lap and began bouncing around on the floor.

"See," Harriet grinned. "Cooking is meant to be fun."

Emily paused and thought a little. "Well... my sisters never ate cake and stuff. They complained it ruined their figures. So I'd never really got to cook before."

"Don't worry," Beth told her. "Once your two week ban from the kitchen is over, Emma and Rhia can teach you. They're really good at it."

"And just remember, that making mistakes is part of the fun," Harriet said. Now it was Tash who was smirking.

"And remember, setting oven gloves on fire, isn't half as bad as "bleach doesn't stain"."

This time it was Harriet who gave an outraged gasp, as everyone laughed once more. Emily however was thinking.

Mistakes aren't bad? she thought in wonder. My sisters never told me that...


Emily felt as though someone was banging very hard on her skull with a hammer when she woke up. She knew it was probably because she was dehydrated, and she really should try and drink a little bit of coke. Strangely, dreaming about 'the brownie incident' hadn't made her feel any sicker, and the cramps in her stomach had lessened slightly. She hoped that meant her stomach was empty of things to throw up.

As soon as she moved however, her throat and jaw began to burn again, and she seized the bowl. Someone was pulling her short hair back and rubbing soothing circles on her back, which made it slightly more bearable.

"That's better," Valerie said, when she was finished. "You're just bringing up fluid now, so hopefully that'll be the last of it."

"My head hurts," Emily complained, as she settled back down and the healer handed her some mouthwash.

"I'm not surprised," Valerie stated, before handing her the glass of coke. "You need to drink more of this."

Emily sighed and took a tiny sip, before feeling that was enough, and replacing the glass on the table.

"Oh Tash left this earlier," Valerie said, holding up, what looked like a small computer panel, with wires trailing from it. "She thought when you're feeling better you might like to fiddle with it."

Emily smiled. She knew exactly where that piece of machinery was from.

"Can I ask what this is?" Valerie asked. Emily shook her head with a grin.

"Sorry. Tash made me promise."

Valerie's eyebrows arched. "Big secret?"

Emily pressed her finger to her lips. "Secret secret."

The healer chuckled. "Alright. You'll probably feel more up to it after tomorrow. Hopefully your body will start trying to recover."

The girl nodded and curled up. "I hope so...I had a dream about food, which probably didn't help..."

"Really?" Valerie asked. Emily nodded.

"Yeah, the brownie incident."

Valerie chuckled again. "Oh yeah... the week you got banned from the kitchen and the tech labs... you were so bored..."

"That wasn't my fault..." Emily complained weakly. It was true. She blamed that entire incident on Miriku. It had been the red haired agent's idea to have a Transformers Animated marathon, and consequently Emily had spent the next three days driving Camille up the wall, insisting that Doyle was a Decepticon. She had been banned from the lab for two weeks to allow the stressed technician to work in peace.

Valerie patted her head. "Rest Emily. I'll be round in a little while to make sure you drink more."

Groaning at the thought, Emily drifted off again.


Had she not heard the singing, Emily might never have known that there was someone else coming down the corridor. She looked up from the Prohibitor that she had been unscrewing (she had wanted to see how it worked inside) to see a young woman approaching with a stack of paperwork in her arms. She had long brown hair and by her shoulder flew what looked like a small dragon. On closer inspection, Emily realised it was a fire lizard, and she recognised the woman from the few times she had seen her – it was Valerie, the Society healer.

Emily had heard that Valerie had a tendency to wander around singing to herself, but she had never actually heard it before now. She had never particularly liked music – her sisters all had lovely voices, which had sent men and women of all ages falling over themselves when they heard it. This had just added to the number of talents that they possessed that they used to make everyone love them. Emily couldn't understand how someone could fall in love with a voice. But now she did – Valerie's singing was beautiful.

So distracted was she, that her screwdriver slipped from her grasp, clattering against the floor and rolling through a doorway that had been left ajar. Uttering a few of Tash's choices swearwords (that she really wasn't supposed to use, according to Harriet), she bolted after it.

The screwdriver had bounced down the staircase, and Emily scrambled down them in its wake. The room had lights glowing from the walls, but like many of the rooms in the Library, the lack of windows made shadows jump from everywhere.

As her hand clasped over the screwdriver, she realised where she was.

The cell bars were chilling, but more so were the faces behind them. Though the Sues and Stus looked to be in good condition, the very fact that they were behind bars seemed to give them a more helpless and defeated look, which was only enhanced by the Prohibitors keeping their powers in check.

Emily swallowed thickly, and stumbled towards the staircase, praying that none of them would recognise her.


Too late, Juniper's face was framed in her cell door, most of her beauty gone, replaced with fury at the sister who had betrayed them all.

"Your own sisters Palm, and you leave us to rot down here? How could you?"

Other Sues began shouting and screaming, and now they knew who she was Emily knew she would not be spared the insults. She covered her ears and gave into her instinct – to curl up on the floor and make herself as small a target as possible. Through the din, the voices of Holly, Juniper, Ashley and Aspen were clearest, yelling, cursing at her and swearing their revenge against the one who had put them in prison.

A loud screech cut through the shouting and the Sues fell silent, but fear kept the ten year old in her place, until a gentle hand set itself on her shoulder and strong arms pulled her upright. Emily couldn't see through tears, but she knew from the soothing voice that it was Valerie who was now urging her out of the basement, and from the soft wing beats, it had been Ari's cry that had silenced the Sues.

After that a new rule was introduced in the Society that exempted Emily from any duties that required her to go near the basement.


For the rest of the night, Emily drifted in and out of something resembling consciousness. She didn't remember waking up, only the vague sensation that someone had held her and given her more to drink before letting her fall immediately back to unconsciousness. Her stomach had felt like someone was trying to tie it in knots, and her headache had swung between a pounding hammer and a falling blacksmiths anvil on her skull. She had no idea how long she had been like this, nor did she really care. She just wanted to not be sick anymore.

When she next woke up, Harriet was sitting at the foot of her bed. The clocks above Valerie's vacated desk, at the end of the wing, said seven thirty two GM time (which was what Emily ran on). The girl yawned, and realised that her stomach had stopped cramping finally, but she had never felt so exhausted.

"Morning..." she told Harriet. The leader raised an eyebrow.

"Evening sweetheart," she said, and Emily blinked in confused. "It's Friday evening. You were completely out of it today."

Surprise worked its way onto Emily's face. It had been Thursday morning when she had woken up feeling so ill. Sure enough, the glasses of lemonade and coke were different – or at least they had different straws – and to her surprise, the beds opposite her were occupied. Drake was lying back with a bag of blood being fed through a tube into his arm, and Tyler was next to him with an ice pack over his forehead.

"What happened to you?" Emily asked the boys. Tyler gave her a look.

"Adrian's booby traps happened," he informed her, before looking at Harriet. "Can I go yet? I've been here six hours already..."

"No," Harriet said firmly. "Not until Valerie is awake and she's seen you."

"Where is Val?" Emily asked, looking around for the healer.

"Sleeping," Harriet said. "She was up most of the night with you. I told her I'd watch the ward while she got some rest."

"Are you sure you're inserted this needle correctly?" Drake asked, checking how much more blood he had to go through. "This seems to be taking a long time..."

Harriet looked at him in wonder. "You got a huge gash ripped in your side by a swinging knife, and you're worried about my ability with a needle? For crying out loud, I used to be an auxiliary nurse. I know what I'm doing!"

She sat back on the bed with a loud huff, and Emily gave a giggle, which turned into a yawn. She couldn't believe she was still tired after doing nothing but sleeping for the past day.

"Get some more rest," Harriet told her. "Your body is still trying to recover all the energy it's used up."

"Mmm... yes mother," Emily sighed, leaning back and counting the ceiling tiles in an effort to relax herself.

The last thing she heard was Tyler leaning over to Drake and whispering.

"Dude... what was in that pizza?"


"Take it!"

"No way June!"

"Palm Tree you have to learn this! Take the sword!"

"Why? Because Willowe knows it? Who cares about her? She's not even around anymore!"


She couldn't believe what had just happened, but the stinging in her cheek held the proof. Juniper looked just as surprised at her own reaction, but her face turned stern quickly again.

"Never speak ill of our sister. I've embraced my powers, and soon Ashley and Aspen will too. You must start training."

"Training..." the girl was holding back tears, but she had one last thing she wanted to say. "Training to be perfect?" She raised her head and glared at her sister. "That's how killers are made, Juniper."
And she turned on her heel and stormed out of the room.


"...ugh, Kyon you're stupid!" came an agitated voice.

"Oh God...is she still here?" Emily asked herself, uncharacteristically annoyed at being awoken. "I thought even fae needed a break from reading..."

Aster had shown up first thing in the morning with a stack of manga volumes to 'cheer Emily up'. Emily had thanked her, but stated that she was too tired to start reading them now. Aster had looked extremely put out, especially as Emily had started fiddling with the computer panel that Tash had left behind, and she had produced a volume of Haruhi from nowhere and started reading. Emily had fallen asleep just after lunchtime, and apparently Aster had not moved from her spot.

"I wonder if she'd notice if I got up and stretched my legs..." the ten year old thought, before deciding she had been in the bed too long, and pushing the covers back. She got slowly to her feet, shaking a little as she passed between the beds. She really wanted a shower, and for the first time in two days, she felt a little hungry.

"Emily," Valerie appeared through the doors, supporting Ben, who looked to have been jumped by his aggressive muse again – his shirt was ripped, and blood was streaming from teeth marks in his side. Emily pulled a face.

"You need a leash for that cliché stick," she told Ben firmly. The boy gave a pained wince.

"Are you alright?" Valerie asked. "Don't feel dizzy or anything?"

Emily shook her head. "If I do, I'll come back. I just want a little walk and maybe something light to eat."

Valerie nodded slowly. "Okay. Don't be too long."

The girl nodded and left the wing slowly as Valerie steered Ben toward a bed. There was a moment of silence, as Aster paused in her complaint against the defenceless book character, and glanced at the now empty bed upon which she was perched. She frowned in confusion.

"Emily-chan? Where did you go?"


"Emily, have you seen my good baking tray?" Rhia asked, sticking her head into one of the Renaissance reading rooms, in which Emily was surveying her latest masterpiece – her take on Michelangelo's 'Creation of Adam'. Naturally, it was painted straight on the ceiling. Rhia didn't really want to ask how she had managed to set up scaffolding without anyone knowing.

"Oooh..." Emily bit her lip. "I may have used it as a paint tray for the base coat of my fresco..."

Rhia closed her eyes slowly, and sighed. "Catalogue is on my kitchen table. Page 24. Item G."

"Expected in five working days," Emily finished, as Rhia exited the room.


"Emily... what are you doing out of bed?"

Emily, who had just left her room, showered and in a fresh pair of pyjamas, saw Adrian giving her a surprised look at the end of the corridor. She tilted her head, for the Librarian was carrying a toolkit in his hands, and he was sans his trench coat.

"Getting some food," the girl said, eyeing the toolkit. "What are you doing with that?" Her eyes went wide. "Oh! Did Tash tell you about her secret project? Is that why you have it?"

The Librarian looked more confused than ever. "Umm... no. What secret is this?"

Emily chewed her lip. "Ooops... I'm not supposed to say..."

"What secret?" Adrian asked, taking a step closer, his ears and tail perking up in readiness for a chase. Emily squeaked and started running in the opposite direction. From the hasty footsteps, the Librarian was not far behind.

"I'm not saying!"


Harriet's scream was enough to half them both in their tracks. The leader looked furious.

"She's ill for Gods sake! And you're chasing her around? Have you no sense?"

"But... I wasn't..." the Librarian cringed under Harriet's furious gaze. The leader took her charges hand, and led her away.

"Come on Em. Let's get you something light to eat..."

As she was led away, Emily couldn't resist turning around and sticking her tongue out at Adrian. The Librarian sighed.

"Insolent girl..." he muttered, before his ears perked up with realisation and he chuckled. "Guess she's feeling better..." Smirking to himself, he pulled out a folded up sheet of paper and flipped it up in the air before catching it. "And it's nice to see she's able to keep a secret… cause my dear lover can't keep our little artisan to herself… not when I've got a project of my own in the works..."

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Insert Underwater Sea Power Battle here

Aster was back to normal very soon, and after a few healing sessions with Valerie was up and out of bed in only a few days. Having nothing else to do and certainly not willing to recklessly go after another Sue, Aster started helping Emily with some projects, which included some of the secretarial work (Emily had issues spelling certain words).

One day, however… things started to take a very unexpected turn…


"Kyaa~, I'm tired, I think I'm gonna turn in…"

Aster stretched her arms out and pouted, before going into her room. Adrian and Tash looked at her.

"You going to bed too?" said Adrian, to Tash.

"Sure, I'm tired," said Tash, rubbing Adrian's ears briefly and kissing him before going off to bed.

Finally, all of the Society members bar Adrian were sleeping in their beds while Adrian was just sitting on a couch in the Library's main room. Feeling rather stuffy, he took a fiction novel off the shelf and started to read.

He was 95 pages into the book when he saw her.

She was sitting somewhat far away, which was why he hadn't spotted her earlier. She was busying herself with some random book. She had black hair that only went slightly beyond her shoulders, so it couldn't exactly be described as short or long. She did have a couple pimples on her face, but it didn't completely detract from her entire appearance; it only made her a bit more normal.

The weird part was that Adrian didn't recognize her. He knew who the new recruits were, so how on earth would this girl get in?

"Um…" Adrian didn't know how to phrase this. Hey, weird girl, you're not supposed to be able to get in here without authorization, so who are you and what the hell are you doing?

The girl looked up and smiled, revealing a set of braces (which made her look a little bit more young and immature). Immediately a shiver went through Adrian. Whatever was about this girl was somewhat dark.

"Hi, Adrian," she said.

Adrian was at a loss for words.

Something about this girl's voice is familiar, but I can't put my finger on it.

The girl tossed her hair, which was a much less impressive feat than something Willowe would do. It was more of a casual toss.

"Well, then, to business."

She breathed once, and grinned.

"I'm Aster's author."


The author was clearly nothing like Aster.

Except for her voice, which was slightly leaning towards her character's (although that was to be expected), her face was completely different, she lacked Aster's minor Japanese accent, and to top it all off, instead of the lighthearted air that Aster gave off, this author had a strange, dark aura around her.

"You'll have to forgive me for making Aster such an idiot," said the author. "Well, I could have made her a little more normal, but I did have to take drastic measures."

"Drastic measures?"

The author giggled a little, which didn't help the dark feeling.

"I've had several characters connect me with the fictional world. I never had any desire to go there myself, except now, although right now's a big exception. Let's see, Aster is my…" She counted on her fingers. "Aster is my fourth attempt."

Adrian gaped. "Fourth?"

The author nodded. "All of them were fae, so I suppose that was something not to avoid. Each of them was also the most powerful fae in some region. But Aster was the first to have a personality to precisely balance out whatever power she had…"

She pulled her hair back behind her ears.

"Now," said the author, "I have some things to tell you. It's about the Lieutenant."


After Aster's author finished off her talk, she nodded to Adrian and walked away. Then she stopped and said, "Please don't mention this to anyone… except Natasha Marquand, because I have a feeling you're gonna tell her anyway."

The way she said Natasha Marquand darkened the name itself.

"Well," she said, "please put the information I gave you to use."

As she continued walking, Adrian said, "Wait."

She stopped.

"I was wondering," said Adrian, "but what's your real name?"

The author turned around, grinning.

"Classified information."


The next day, Aster walked up to Adrian, looking hyper.

"Adrianくん, has the next chapter of Bleach been released yet?"

Adrian gestured towards the manga shelf, and Aster ran over.

"Hey," said Tash, stroking Adrian's ears.

Adrian looked around nervously, then pulled Tash into her office. "Make sure nobody's listening. We have something to talk about."


"The Lieutenant," said the author, "is not a name but a position. The original Lieutenant Mary Sue died years ago at the hands of her own author. A tragic, honorable death that was actually used to prevent her from getting worse. But Sues name themselves after her, and the most powerful Sue - their leader - is given the title of 'Lieutenant'."

She took a deep breath and talked again.

"When the Lieutenant passes on her power and title to the next Sue, the power is added onto the next one. So you would imagine there to be a huge accumulation in power...It's gotten so bad that the Lieutenant's power exceeds any bindings put on her by the Society..."

Suddenly things didn't look so good to Adrian.

"Please understand, this is an important matter. Since Willowe's incarceration - well, Willowe was the most powerful Sue around. She was next in line to be the next Lieutenant, but you somewhat intervened in that." The author smiled. "I thank you for that, but you've only delayed the problem. The Lieutenant can't pass her power on to Willowe, but she can pass it on to the next most powerful Sue."

She leaned closer. "And I'm sure you know who the next most powerful Sue is."

Adrian shook his head in confusion...

Then he got it.

This isn't good... he thought.

Aster's author nodded.

"Think about it. Years and years of Sue power accumulated... added to the amount of power owned by *her*..."

And the author pulled out two small pendants. They weren't much; they just consisted of a gold flat disk on a string.

"The Lieutenant is incredibly powerful. She can invade your head and erase all your memories of who you are or what you're doing. Yes, even with your Librarian abilities. These things won't take her ability to manipulate space and time, but at least she can't do anything to you psychologically. Which, of course, is an improvement."

"Wait," said Adrian. "You want us to go defeat her?"

The author ran her fingers through her hair.

"It's not a requirement. You don't have to do it. But just in case...I would go myself, but she's blocked me out of her presence and I can't even go within a ten-mile radius of her."

"Like a Sue restraining order..." said Adrian. Then he realized something. "Wait, why you specifically?"

The author looked at Adrian. Her face looked melancholy. "Do you really want to know?"


Tash fingered the gold disk. "Is this safe?"

"She's clearly an author, so I can't see why she'd try to kill us. And she gave us explicit and honest reasons as to why she wants us to help her. And for goodness's sake I wouldn't want *her* becoming the Lieutenant."
Tash and Adrian both slipped on the disks. Nothing visible happened.

"Well," said Tash, "which fandom is it?"


Aster's author was clearly avoiding the question as to why the Lieutenant was blocking specifically her out.

"The Lieutenant has to complete a long, elaborate, excruciatingly painful, and overly dramatic ceremony in order to transfer her power, which can come to our advantage. She has to prime her power in order to make it clearly visible so as to make the transfer easier. Her power is most visible in a place where all the characters are extremely powerful. Right now, she's in the Mermaid Melody Pichi Pichi Pitch fandom. Probably posing as some extra mermaid about to join the team and eventually get crowned Aqua Regina or something. I've told the authors there are only seven seas, but do they ever listen?"

"I... see..." was all Adrian could say.


She was this beautiful mermaid that had somehow appeared with no explanation (although nobody really cared about that). She was the princess of some obscure sea that wasn't exactly well known and somehow wasn't part of the seven, but was a sea nevertheless...she was also the master of the Cerulean Pearl Voice (completely ignoring the fact that it would be quite difficult for a Japanese little girl to decipher what a shade of blue that didn't really fall into the category of "basic colors" existed).

Underwater, she had deep cerulean eyes and cerulean hair that extended far beyond even her own tail (yes, even longer than Hanon's) and when she turned into the Cerulean Pearl Voice her hair went past her legs (and yet somehow she managed not to step on it). When she sang, this melodious chorus that invoked the depths of the deep ocean's purity arose out of her mouth.

However, her human form was far different from her mermaid form, which was why it had taken a long time for the others to find her. Her appearance contrasted starkly, more so than Lucia's mermaid and human forms, as her hair was still long but was curly in huge ringlets, but was somewhere of a mixture of brown and black. Her eyes were a creamy milk chocolate that shouted all that was good and full of justice at you.

How could this image of perfection have something wrong with her?

Ah, yes...

She was short.

More than a full head shorter than Lucia.

Of course, nobody took this at face value and decided that she was small and packed a big punch, sort of like a feistier version of Seira.

The new mermaid had miraculously managed to save Gakuto and Sara from the abyss of the deep (and Gakuto didn't have to possess Kaito anymore). Gakuto quickly found out that he didn't love Sara, he loved this new mermaid, thus allowing Sara to be with Taro Mitsuki. The new mermaid was also the new Aqua Regina (while it was evident someone up there was avoiding the fact that Lucia was suppsed to be the next Aqua Regina). The new mermaid also helped further Hanon's relationship with Nagisa and Rina's relationship with Masahiro. She even brought Yuri back from the ocean and permanently turned her into a girl so she could be with Hippo forever.

So, yes, the Sue of total perfection and wonderfulness (is that even a word?), the Lieutenant Mary-Sue herself had intervened...

Her name, which was totally not Japanese at all (but then, "Lucia"'s not very Japanese either), was...


"You still haven't explained why she specifically targets you."

The author looked pained.

"The current Lieutenant is my own creation. My second attempt at a connection with the physical world. A total self-insert. Out of control, with far too much power as a fae... Cassie Anora."


Nanami Lucia and the other mermaids were talking gleefully at Pearl Baths.

"Oh, it's no problem, Lucia-chan," said Cassie. "I'm sure Kaito will love the present I gave you for him."

"Maybe after you're gone!"

The eight mermaids wheeled around to see an angry Tash and Adrian.

"Well," said Tash, "that's the Lieutenant? I thought she'd be taller."

"Don't complain," said Adrian. "At least she doesn't have the Barbie figure."

Cassie stood up and pointed a finger at the two.

"Those are suiyo! They're here to kill us!"

Hearing Cassie's flawless logic, the other mermaids gasped and transformed into their Pearl Voice forms...

...which was an excruciatingly long and painful-to-watch magical girl transformation, by the end of which Tash and Adrian had already pinned Cassie down.

"There's the birthmark," said Tash, pointing to a small dot on the left tip of Cassie's forehead, which had previously been covered by hair. "This is the Lieutenant herself all right. I was expecting more formal attire."

The Lieutenant growled and suddenly there was a large explosion. When Tash and Adrian regained their senses, they were alone in a strange hall with the Lieutenant.

The Lieutenant was wearing black robes. She had a strange circlet on her head (much like Aster's, except it had a strange flower shape instead of a moon. All four wings had expanded, although they were rounder and more kid-drawn than Aster's. Also, she clearly wasn't drawn for anime, as she looked shockingly beautiful but didn't have those goggly eyes.

"So," said the Lieutenant.

Tash decided to say something real smart like, "Where are we?"

The Lieutenant giggled (in her very melodious way).

"A Panthalassa castle. Sara and Gakuto were supposed to have sealed it, but I can do more than just normal mermaid things, you know." She giggled again.

And the Lieutenant raised her arms.

Immediately ice started to crawl onto Tash and Adrian's legs, binding them to the ground. Tash, however, was faster, and pulled out her staff. The ice glowed and melted upon sensing the staff's presence.

The Lieutenant frowned.

"Looks like my author's smarter than I thought. Fire - my weakness. I'll have to subvert that."


"You?" said Adrian, shocked. "You created the Lieutenant?"

"Oh, not the position. There have been thousands of Lieutenants before Cassie, each more powerful than the last. I meant to lock Cassie up in the Vault of Abandoned Ideas, but she escaped. I can't even edit my story like Harriet Marlow did with Willowe - like the idiot I was, I sent my stories to all my friends..."

Then the author stared straight into Adrian, sending shivers down his spine.

"This is extremely important. If we can stop the transfer of power from happening, *she* won't have to get all the accumulated power. We don't have much time. Cassie is on the hunt for my head - and more importantly, Aster's..."

"Librarian Art 5: A Through Z!"

Twenty-six encyclopedias pummeled the Lieutenant. At least, attempted to pummel the Lieutenant - she just flew up and dodged them. Which, of course, was supposed to be impossible.

"Juari-Ken - Tairenso!"

Tash spun forward in a tornado of flames, but the Lieutenant swooped downwards and guided up her arms. Water flooded anywhere possible, eventually leaving a wet and spluttering Tash.

"I have skills of my own, too," said the Lieutenant, and raised her arm. "Even at twelve years old!"

"You're fifteen?"

The Lieutenant rolled her eyes. "Please. Let's not go there. Yes, I am fifteen, but it's been three years since my creation so technically I'm eighteen, but being the Lieutenant requires eternal fifteen-year-old-ness."

Aster's younger, thought Adrian. Younger in years, at least. More naïve. More realistic.

The Lieutenant raised a finger to the sky.


And for Tash and Adrian, everything went black.


Adrian couldn't comprehend anything.

Who am I? What am I doing?

Then slowly it jarred and things slowly came back to him. I'm Adrian. I'm a Counter Guardian. I'm the Librarian. I have to save people. I'm a Society Agent, and I have to get rid of this girl. And I can't let Tash get hurt.

Adrian realized the blackness was because his eyes were closed. He opened them. They were in the same positions as before - it must have been only a few seconds.

"Well, then," said the Lieutenant. "Since I've wiped your memories, how about you come with me? Self-Inserts make great Sues."

Adrian looked at Tash. Tash was looking very vacant.

"Yes, Lieutenant," she said.

The Lieutenant smirked, and Adrian panicked. Then Tash looked at Adrian and winked.

Of course, thought Adrian. Tash is stalling. It must have been those gold pendants that saved us. But it would probably be best if we pretended the Reset worked.

"Yes, Lieutenant," followed Adrian.

"Good," said the Lieutenant. "Follow me. We'll start with Lucia and the others."

As the Lieutenant started to leave, Tash raised her staff, looked at Adrian, and -

"Juari-Ken - Shinanori!"

"Librarian Secret Art: BOOT TO THE HEAD!"

The Lieutenant turned around, but it was too late. The flames had reached her face, along with Adrian's foot.
But when everything resurfaced, the Lieutenant was unscathed and boot-print-less.


"Think about it," said the Lieutenant, advancing slowly on a petrified Tash and Adrian. "Sues may not bring fandoms to the best sort of state, but they have to do it. It's in their nature. They're forced to by their author, or they face total and utter destruction by the author's own hands. In a sense, they have no choice. And yet you come and whisk them off and stuff them in a lonely dungeon. You people just have the incapacity to think logically. Must you always go the violent route?"

Neither Agent could respond. The Lieutenant was pretty damn smart.

"You see? Being a self-insert made to capture Sues... it's against the laws of nature. You're torturing Sues just for doing what they have to..."

Finally Tash found the courage to fight.


The Lieutenant did not expect this attack against her flawless logic.


The flame hit the Lieutenant straight in the face. Tash noticed there was a black mark on her face now. She hadn't had the time to defend herself.

The Lieutenant rubbed the black mark. "Damn it..."

Adrian did not miss this chance.

"Librarian Art 5: A Through Z!"

The encyclopedias raced at the Lieutenant again, who collapsed.

"Things don't always work on logic," said Adrian. "Life doesn't always make sense. And besides, we do offer parole..."

He walked up to the Lieutenant.

"And there are people like Emily."

Adrian pointed his sword, Hoshikuzu, at the Lieutenant.

"What are you going to do?" she said, still smiling. "Kill me?"

"No," said Adrian. He reached into his trenchcoat and pulled out a Prohibitor.

The Lieutenant gave a mirthless laugh.

"My power exceeds Society bounds. You should know that."

"You would think," said Adrian, "but your plan has backfired."


"So what do you want to do with her?" said Adrian. "Kill her?"

"Heavens no," said the author. "That's cruel. I instead want you to use this."

Aster's author gave Adrian a Prohibitor.

"It has an Author's Blessing on it," said the author. "Even after becoming the Lieutenant, Cassie still has bounds to her author. Anything with an Author's Blessing on it will affect without fail that particular author's character."


Adrian clamped the Blessed Prohibitor on the Lieutenant's wrist.

Cassie screamed (since when did Sues scream?) and suddenly there was a huge flash of light, along with a huge earthquake that caused Adrian and Tash to duck.

"Sorry about that," said a voice when everything subsided. "Thousands of years of power accumulation suddenly dissipating into nothing - that can't exactly be something small."

The three of them turned to see Aster's - and Cassie's - author.

"You," growled Cassie.

"Me," said the author. "Long time no see. That restraining order was tough. But I'm taller than you now, which is a plus."

Cassie growled again.

"Short hair," she said, "and braces. How could you?"

"Oh, that's recent," said the author. "It'll go away soon."

She then turned to Tash and Adrian. "I can't thank you enough. She's been plaguing me for years."

"Now that they've lost their leader," said Adrian, "will the Sue system crumble?"

"Oh, no," said Aster's author. "They'll probably reinstate a new leader. Who knows, they might even make a new form of government - Parliament or something. Hopefully they'll get rid of that stupid 'Lieutenant' title. But at least you stopped the transfer and accumulation."

Not that it made Adrian feel better.

"I can't thank you enough," said the author. "It's been a hard way through all this. And I do hope Aster fares well. I think even her experiences with you have made her less Sue-ish. And ever since I renounced fangirlism and self-insertation six months ago - "

Adrian suddenly realized why the author gave out such a dark aura: she had renounced making others happy because of her, and it had gone too far. But it was better than her being a Sue.

" - and I do hope Aster comes to be my last attempt. But who knows. I used to think I'd have Cassie forever..."

Cassie growled again.

"Stop growling," said the author. "It makes you feral. Anyway, I'd like to tell you something important about Aster."

"What?" said Tash.

"She may seem like an idiot, but there is always compensation. Aster doesn't know this herself, but she subconsciously registers certain people as the ones she will follow. Chrys - her best friend since childhood. Akai - she owes a life debt to her. And... you two."


"Yes, you," said the author.

"But Hati's the leader - "

"It doesn't matter. In Aster's mind, you two are her leaders. She won't listen to you when you try to pull her off manga or prevent her from breaking the fourth wall. But in anything that's not a laughing matter, even if she has to cast away her morals, she will listen to any order you give her without fail."

"I remember when the fake Tash lured Aster into the Death Note fandom, Aster took that order to heart," said Adrian.

"Exactly. It doesn't matter what she wants...Even if it means killing another Society member, or her friend, or getting between a Society Agent and a Sue, as long as one of you has given the order, she will act on it. However, this is dangerous. If the order is given, she will use any means to get it done, and the only person who can revoke that order is the person who has given it."

The author nodded at the two.

"Thank you for helping me, again, and good luck. I wish you well. If you ever see me again, it'll be for something this serious."

"Wait!" said Cassie as the author walked away. "Please... please help me..."

The author looked at Cassie. She wasn't happy.

"I gave you so many chances," she said.


After Cassie had been locked in the basement, the Prohibitor now glued to her skin, Adrian and Tash walked upstairs.

Soon, they heard a large BOOM. Adrian at first thought it was Aster breaking the fourth wall again, but there was another large BOOM, and more, as it repeated in succession.

Adrian eventually found the source: Aster and Emily were in the game room, and Aster was chopping what seemed to be a large piece of wood. There were panels around the two, apparently DDR panels.

"What's going on?"

"Ah," said Aster. "We want to install a DDR here, but it's so big it might fall over. So Emilyちゃん is helping me cut the wood to stabilize it."

"I see..."

Emily held the wood down, and Aster pulled out her moon staff (which Adrian had just realized Aster was holding without being in her fae form) and slammed it downwards. An arc of white energy expended from it, slicing the wood more neatly than any chainsaw would and shaking the room with a BOOM.

Aster wiped her forehad. "I think that's good, kyaa~"

Emily nodded and set up the DDR around the wood. Aster turned to Adrian. "Ah well. It would have been nicer if we could have done this in my room, but I had no space. But then, it would've been nicer if Ichigo got together with Orihime and if Nelliel was allowed to stay in her adult form. But you can't have everything in life, しょで?"

Aster helped Emily set up the DDR, and Adrian walked away, thinking, How true.

Then, Kate burst in.

"Aster! Emily! Adrian! You have to see this!"

Kate led the three downstairs to the computer, where the other Agents were standing.

"It's been over a week since we searched, and we found nothing...I don't know what happened! All of a sudden - Kyle's signal is back!"

"So we have a new leader?"

"Yeah. The old one's incarcerated."


"The new one seems smarter. More intelligent. The old one was more powerful, but the new one certainly knows what she's doing. She's not planning to do an all out attack. She's using a strategy involving a missing Agent and hopes to bring the other Agents in. Particularly one she's quite keen on killing for some reason."

"Interesting. How long do you think she'll stay leader?"

"Probably longer than the old one."

"I hope so."

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Insert Ominous StarClan Prophesy Here

"Why is there a feminist logo on the wall of the reading room?" Drake asked, raising an eyebrow as he started at the wall that bore the aforementioned graffiti.

"Emily drew it there," Tyler replied.

"Emily? Who's Emily?" Drake frowned, trying to remember if the Society had recruited anyone by that name recently.

"She was Palm Tree Foxblade," Tyler said.

"Willowe's youngest sister?" Drake shook his head. "Why is she here?"

"Because she doesn't want to become a Sue and her sisters turned on her for it," Hati said entering the room. "So for now, she's staying in the Library."

Drake groaned. "Great, if there's one thing I hate worse than a Sue, its a little kid."

"What do you have against kids?" Tyler asked.

"They're loud, smelly, and hyperactive. They vandalize things," Drake pointed at the wall as proof for this point. "They're noisy-."

"You already said they were loud," Tyler interrupted.

"I'm not done yet," Drake snapped. "Where was I?"

"Noisy," Hati sighed.

"Right, noisy," Drake nodded. He took a deep breath before continuing.


Bluestar stared at the pool of water, a vision of a flame colored tomcat with a small yellow shecat lying next to him filled the pool. The female cat began twisting and turning in her sleep, no doubt dreaming of her supposedly tragic past.

The silver cat shook her head. She couldn't believe she had been fooled by the yellow cat's strange power. The cat then known by the kittypet name Abigail had wandered into ThunderClan territory and been caught by a patrol. Abigail claimed to have been sent to the forest by StarClan (which Bluestar now knew hadn't been the case) to speak with her.

Bluestar had been ThunderClan's leader at that time, but she had lost her faith in StarClan, the warrior ancestors that watched over the forest where the Clans lived. Abigail managed to talk the faith back into the disbelieving Bluestar.

She would have left then with her mission from StarClan complete, but for a surprise attack by ShadowClan, which she joined the Clan in fighting off. She fought better than most of the trained warriors in the Clan and Bluestar immediately asked her to join them.

Abigail refused, citing that her mysterious tragic past wouldn't let her join a Clan in good conscience, but every cat insisted and after she experienced a vision (supposedly from StarClan which Bluestar also knew had been a lie) she decided to stay.

Not long afterwards, Tigerstar led a pack of wild dogs into the ThunderClan camp. Abigail warned the clan, having received another vision and they evacuated the camp. Her deputy, Fireheart conceived a plan to kill the dogs. It worked, but Bluestar lost her life in process. With her dying breath, she changed her deputy from Fireheart to Abigail, because she felt Abigail would make the better leader.

When she joined StarClan, she was shocked to learn that everything Abigail said was a lie. When Abigail journeyed to the Moonstone to gain the nine lives that every leader received StarClan attempted to deny them to her, but Abigail did what no cat should have been able to and simply took the lives. She returned to her clan, sporting the leader name Morningstar.


"…they drool and they're noisy," Drake didn't sound like he was anywhere close to stopping his rant, in spite of repeating several things more than once, particularly that kids were noisy.

Hati and Tyler listened with bored expressions, glancing at the clock on the wall and wondering if Drake would ever stop.

"We've got a Sue in the Warriors fandom," Adrian said, entering the room. "Drake, isn't that on the list of fandoms you know well?"

"That depends," Drake said. "Is she in the first or second series or one of the manga?"

Adrian glanced down at the sheet of paper in his hands. "She's just defeated BloodClan and Scourge."

"In between the original series and the New Prophecy then," Drake nodded. "All right, I'm off."


Drake's plothole opened on the outskirts of ThunderClan territory. He tumbled out of the portal, somehow landing on all fours. A slight breeze ruffled his fur. Drake glanced down at the brown tabby fur covering him.

"I'm a cat this time," Drake noted. "No surprise there."

He glanced around and saw his Society gadgets lying on the ground. The portal gun was almost as big as his altered body. "Guess nobody considered designing Society gadgets for cats."

Drake padded over to his bracelet, which lied next to his portal gun. He managed to stick his head through the bracelet and it glowed and reformed into a blue collar around his neck. "At least, I won't have to leave this here, though now I look like a kittypet."

He turned and stared at the forest. He heaved a sigh and dashed forward. After running for a while, he slowed down and began to quietly stalk across the forest floor. He didn't want to run into a ThunderClan patrol because they would most certainly chase him out of their territory.

Catching sight of his reflection in a puddle, Drake stopped and studied his cat form for a moment. "Guess Adrian's not the only one who can pull off the kitty look."

A loud hiss was the only warning he got before something slammed into his side and knocked him over. He quickly scrambled back to his feet and faced his attacker. A yellow shecat stood, back arched and fur standing on end. She looked quite fierce in spite of her small size and even looking fierce there was still an attractive quality to her.

"This is clan territory," the Sue growled angrily. "No kittypets allowed!"

"I know that voice…" Drake frowned. "Is that you again, Abigail?"

"You know my name?" Abigail frowned, though kept up her hostile appearance.

"Guess you don't recognize me in my new fur coat," Drake laughed. "Agent Drake of the Anti-Cliché and Mary-Sue Elimination Society."

Abigail's eyes widened. "Oh, no. Not you again! Why can't you just leave me alone?"

"You know that will never happen," Drake said. "All this talk is getting old, so why don't we just move onto the fight scene? Wardrobe Change!"

Drake waited for his armor to materialize, but nothing happened save for the chirping of several crickets.

"Wardrobe Change!" Drake repeated twisting his head to the side in an attempt to make his armor work. "Mouse dung!"

Abigail growled impatiently and swung a paw forward. Her unsheathed claws raked the side of Drake's head. He yelped in pain and attempted to strike her in return, but Abigail ducked to the side and slashed his shoulder.

Drake swung around and clamped his jaws down on Abigail's tail. The shecat released a screech of pain and clawed at Drake until he let go and jumped back. Drake leapt forward and barreled into the smaller cat, knocking her off her paws. He leapt onto her back and clamped his jaws down on her throat. Abigail gasped as her intake of oxygen was cut off. She struggled, but Drake's larger size prevented her from escaping. Finally, she stopped struggling altogether and the life left her eyes.

The tomcat released his hold on her throat and jumped off her. He turned and sat, staring at Abigail's lifeless form. Several minutes passed, before Abigail coughed and jerked back to life. She climbed to her feet and glared at Drake.

"You're slipping, Abbey," Drake commented.

"I'm called Morningstar now!" Abigail snapped, gasping for breath.

"How many lives do you have?" Drake asked. "I'm betting that was the first one, so I just have eight more to go."

"Shut up!" Abigail snapped, leaping at him.

Drake ducked to the side and raked his claws across her side before jumping back. "Come on, put more effort into your insults. 'Shut up' is so overused."

Abigail spun around and with incredible speed, leapt at Drake, barreling into him and knocking him over. She prepared to bite down on his throat, but Drake got his back paws under her and kicked her off.

"You know, a couple of Sues have freely surrendered to the Society lately," Drake said as he and Abigail began circling each other. "Russell was talked into surrendering and Willowe's own sister decided she didn't want to become a Sue and joined the Society."

"What's your point?" Abigail asked.

"You could surrender," Drake shrugged, the action looked quite strange being preformed by a cat.

"Sorry, but my ambitions don't include being locked in some dreary basement with a bunch of failures," Abigail spat.

She charged at Drake, who dashed back at her. The two collided, standing on their back paws, batting and wrestling with their front paws. Drake again took advantage of his larger size and knocked her unto her back, attempting to pin her down and prepares choke another life out of her, but Abigail flipped him off of her. Drake kicked at her exposed stomach with his back claws, but something clamped down on the scruff of his neck and yanked him away.

Drake rolled onto his feet and faced three newcomers. Graystripe, a large gray tabby, stood in between him and Abigail, growling angrily. Fireheart, an orange tomcat, crouched down next to Abigail, making sure she was okay. Sandstorm leapt up to stand next to Graystripe, she shot a look over her shoulder at Fireheart and Abigail. Drake wondered what sort of changes Abigail had made to keep Fireheart and Sandstorm from pairing up like they were supposed to in the books.

"Guess I'll be going now," Drake said, taking several steps back. "See you later, Abbey."

He spun around and made a hasty retreat into the forest. Great, I got lucky and found Abigail by herself, but now that she knows I'm here, she's probably going to stick close to the Clan.

After he had run a fair distance, he stopped and sat down, licking at his wounds and gasping from the exertion of his escape and the fight before it. All the while, he was wracking his brain, trying to find a way to get at Abigail again.

Problem was that he couldn't cart a prohibitor all over the place in his jaws and he couldn't kill Abigail either since she more than likely had plenty of lives left. Dragging her through a plothole while she was recovering from being killed might work, but the portal gun would be even harder to carry than a prohibitor.

"Ah, darn it!" Drake slammed his head against a tree trunk and immediately regretted it. He groaned and rubbed a paw over his head. "Why do I do stupid things like that?"

He turned and headed back in the direction of where the plothole had originally dropped him. He felt slightly relieved to find his Society gadgets hadn't been touched. He padded over to the portal gun and began fiddling with its settings, which was very hard to do when one lacked opposable thumbs. He grabbed hold of the trigger with his front paws and braced his hind legs against the gun handle, pulling back on the trigger. A plothole opened and Drake dragged the gun through it.

The plothole opened up at Highstones, a range of mountains past WindClan territory. He padded up the side of a rocky cliff, glancing around. "I wish I had read the books more recently."

He soon spotted what he was looking for, a hole in the side of the mountain. Drake headed down the tunnel it led to, plunging into darkness that not even his cat eyes could see through. At times, he became aware of tunnels leading off in different directions, but he kept going straight and hoped he was heading in the right way.

After continuing on for longer than he felt comfortable with, he began feeling nervous, afraid he had made a wrong turn, but than he saw what he was looking for. He entered a small cavern in the center of which stood a tall shiny stone, the Moonstone; above it was an opening in the mountain that would allow moonlight to shine in on it. It was currently the middle of the afternoon though, so sunlight instead illuminated the stone.
The Society Agent cautiously approached the Moonstone, glanced around as though he expected someone to appear and chase him away from this sacred place and lay down in front of the stone, pressing his nose against it. He closed his eyes and found himself suddenly standing.

He glanced around, finding himself surrounded by a multitude of silvery cat spirits. A blue-gray shecat who could only be Bluestar stepped forward to face Drake.

"Who are you and why did you come here?" Bluestar demanded calmly.

"I'm looking for help," Drake replied. "Something that I call a Mary-Sue has put herself in charge of ThunderClan."

"You are referring to Morningstar," Bluestar said with a sigh.

"So you know she shouldn't be here?" Drake asked.

"We know that she is manipulating the hearts of every cat in the forest," one of the warrior spirits spoke up.

"Wait a minute, if you all know about this how did she get her nine lives?" Drake frowned.

"She took them by force," Bluestar replied.

"Look I think I can remove Morningstar from this place, but I need to get her away from ThunderClan," Drake said. "I need you to send a vision to Morningstar."

Bluestar frowned. "What kind of vision?"

"I need you to make her think that StarClan now approves of her and wants to bestow a great honor or something on her, just get her to leave the Clan so I can fight her one on one," Drake explained.

"Do you really think she'll fall for this?" Bluestar asked skeptically.

"Sues are egotistical. If you stroke her ego, she'll probably believe it," Drake said. "So will you do it?"

Bluestar turned and disappeared along with the rest of StarClan. Drake sat and waited, hearing low whispers coming from all around him. After a few minutes, Bluestar reappeared and nodded. "We will do it."

Drake crouched in the bushes, waiting for Abigail to emerge from the direction of ThunderClan territory and enter the clearing the Clans called Fourtrees after the four oaks that stood around it.

Abigail emerged from the bushes and entered the clearing. She padded towards the Great Rock. Drake waited until she was halfway there and then leapt from the undergrowth. He charged at her, she only had enough time to look shocked before Drake rammed shoulder first into her side.

"What are you doing here?" Abigail screeched as she rolled onto her feet and faced him.

Drake chuckled. "StarClan doesn't actually want to honor you. This whole thing was a trick to lure you away from ThunderClan."

"You lowdown scum!" Abigail hissed.

"Sorry, mouse-brain, but unlike you I'm not perfect," Drake smirked. "I cheat and lie and I enjoy every moment of it."

He leapt forward and swung a paw at her nose, claws unsheathed. Abigail ducked out of the way and spun around, kicking out at him with her hind legs. He gasped as her paw slammed into his throat. He was sent flying back, hacking. Abigail leapt at him before he could recover. She landed on his back and sank her claws in, raking her hind claws over his back. Drake screeched in pain and jumped up and down, trying to buck Abigail off. Her grip held though, so Drake rolled over, but Abigail leapt away before he could squash her.

Drake darted at her, slashing the side of her head with his claws. She batted back at him, but he ducked under her paw. He darted forward, pushing his head against her chest and flipping her unto her back. He slammed both of his front paws down on her throat; Abigail gasped for air and raked her hind claws over Drake's belly. The tabby gritted his teeth in pain, trying to ignore Abigail's claws and keep the pressure on her throat.

Abigail managed to push Drake's paws from her throat with her front legs and then flipped him backwards over top of her. Drake rolled across the ground and unto his feet. His belly was dripping blood from numerous scratches.

The Sue cackled. "What's wrong? Not used to four legs?"

Drake groaned. "Why don't you go do some Sueish stuff and give me a chance to practice?"

"Sorry, but you've already made me suffer so much," Abigail shook her head in self-pity. "Now I'm going to return the favor!"

She charged forward and leapt at him. Drake sidestepped her pounce, the wounds on his stomach stinging at the movement. He rammed into Abigail's side, knocking her off her paws. Drake slammed a paw down on her head, Abigail gasped as the blow knocked her head against the hard ground. She rolled away with the next blow and shakily climbed to her feet. Drake slashed her twice more in the head, before she struck back.

"I hate you!" Abigail shrieked as her paw slammed into Drake's head. She drew back for another strike. "What gives you the right to ruin my life?"

"Considering that you're messing with the lives of other people, I really don't think you have the right to complain," Drake shot back as he dodged Abigail's strike. He reared up on his hind legs and slammed his front paws down on Abigail, slamming her into the ground. She gave a groan, a quiet mutter, and than fell silent.

Drake prodded the Sue with a paw and sighed, his stomach flaring with pain. He padded over to the Great Rock and dragged his portal gun out from behind it. He pulled the trigger, the effort aggravating his wounds. He kicked the gun through the portal before dragging Abigail's unconscious body through.

"Are you okay?"

Drake frowned as he found himself almost face to face with Valerie. He stepped back from the empath. "I'm fine."

"We watched your fight on the monitor," Adrian said, stepping forward. "Abigail tore you up pretty good."

"It was just a few cuts," Drake shrugged. He frowned as the majority of the Society members stared at his midsection. He glanced down to find blood soaking through his shirt. "Actually, maybe I'd better go lay down…"

He took two steps before fainting from blood loss.

Drake came to in the medical wing of the Library. He felt a large wad of bandages around his belly and there was an IV dripping blood into his arm. "Wow, I finally ended up in the medical wing."

"Well, you won't be staying for too long," he glanced up to find Tyler leaning against the wall. "Just a couple of weeks at the most."

"It was totally worth it to finally put Abigail behind bars," Drake sighed. "Is the Warriors fandom back to normal?"

"As normal as a fandom focusing on a Clan of cats can be," Tyler replied. "By the way, you should probably know the whole Society watched your escapades on the monitor back here."

Drake frowned, not comprehending the significance of this. "So?"

"The girls are still talking about how cute your cat form was and Camile has several pictures for blackmail purposes," Tyler elaborated.

"Oh, no!" Drake groaned. He grabbed his pillow and placed it over his head.


"Be quiet. I'm trying to smother myself so I won't have to live through the coming humiliation," Drake muttered through the pillow.

"Right," Tyler said skeptically. "I'll see you later than."

"Say something nice about me at the funeral," Drake called as Tyler left the room.