Thursday, July 28, 2011

Insert Plural Noun As Title Here

For a brief minute, let's forget about Tally Youngblood.

I'm not kidding. Despite the fact that Tally is the most important character to Scott Westerfeld's painstakingly created series, let's forget she exists and concentrate on another character.

Alyana Markerstone is our main character for today. She resides in the dorms in the ugly center of the wonderful city of Diego itself.

And for the first time in Mary Sue history... she ISN'T astonishingly beautiful to every person she sees.

Alyana's story goes as such. She grows up in Uglytown, anticipating her sixteenth birthday. She is considered horrifically "ugly" by everyone in her dorm, but considering everyone's called ugly there, she doesn't care.

She pulls off a set of tricks that alert the authorities somewhat, then continues off with her life. Then one day she gets a little lost exploring the Rusty Ruins and meets... Zane.

Apparently Zane has not died like he was thought to have in Specials, even though it was pretty obvious that he was close to flatlining and the only thing keeping him alive was the machine. But no, actually, Zane has somehow been made into a Special. And he isn't a rewired Special like Shay or Fausto. He's dangerous, much like a worse version of Tally. GASP. SHOCK.

Zane threatens poor, sweet Alyana and lets her go. But Alyana cannot find her way back, and stumbles into the city where Tally Youngblood lived years ago. She then finds a cult, much like the Japanese cults from Extras (although that book shall not be mentioned considering many fangirls like to pretend that book, and Aya Fuse and Frizz Mizuno, don't exist). The cult grabs Alyana and makes her into a Special. She gets the exact same operation that Tally Youngblood has gotten years ago.

Alyana becomes part of the cult and meets and falls in love with another faux-Special, named Jonas. But when Alyana comes face-to-face with Tally Youngblood herself...

Ah, there's Tally.

Alyana meets Tally and instead of attacking each other like they should, Tally instead takes Alyana's arrival as good news. Tally isn't the last Special anymore, so she is no longer bound to Dr. Cable's last wish. And so Tally opts for the surgery that makes her an ugly again, and Zane meanwhile is also given the surgery. He meets Tally again, and a mushy-gushy love scene happens, and they both acknowledge that they do have beauty - just not the way society wants it.


Oh, did I mention, David has suddenly popped out of existence?

Alyana and Jonas are also given the surgery, and Jonas tells Alyana the same thing that Tally and Zane have just told each other: that although nobody else may acknowledge it, Alyana is truly beautiful...

Tired of this nightmare already? Me too. Let's cut to a more interesting scene.



Adrian, who was sitting on his sickbed, paled as the blue-haired vision of total idiocy burst through the door, holding a box.

"Tash-san told me you were injured!"

At this rate, I'm probably going to be even more injured considering you've walked in, thought Adrian.

Aster sidled straight up to Adrian, smiling mischievously. She then opened the lid of the box to reveal a pile of candy. Immediately Adrian's uncomfortableness disappeared.


He hadn't had candy in over a month...

Obediently, Adrian opened his mouth as Aster unwrapped each candy, held it over his mouth, and dropped it in his mouth, the same way one would give a treat to Meg.


Aster turned around to find a very livid Tash at the door.

"What on earth are you doing?"

Quickly, Aster sidled away.

"You know that considering Adrian is injured he could choke on one of those!"

I wouldn't care even if I did, thought Adrian.

"And I never said you were allowed to visit! From now on, no food or drink will enter this room without my express permission!"

As Tash pushed Aster out of the room, she swiped the box from her. "And I'll be eati- er, confiscating that!"


As Marcus arranged the books, he saw Aster walking towards a familiar shelf...

"Ah," he said, putting his hand up. "You can't do that."

"Why?" said Aster.

Marcus pulled out a list. Adrian had dictated this to Marcus to make sure Blake wasn't the only one tending to the library while Adrian was in abstentia.

"...Uh, here. #3: Under no circumstances should Aster be allowed to pull any manga, manwha, light novel, anime DVD, Korean drama DVD, or whatever else she's currently into, off the shelf."

Aster stared blankly at him for a minute. Then she said, "Hey, Marcus-kun, do you like origami?"

Marcus blinked. "Um, yeah?"

Aster held up a paper. "Do you want this?"

It was a paper folded into a shape barely recognizable by the common man - but Marcus was able to get it immediately.

"A monkey!" said Marcus. "Tell me how to make it! Tell me!"

Aster winked and pulled a copy of Hana Yori Dango Vol. 6 off the shelf.


"Hey! Tash!" said Kate on a nearby computer. "We've got a tag. New Sue. Uglies fandom."

"Uglies?" said Adrian, on his bed. "You mean that book series about people getting operations at sixteen to be supermodel pretty and yet at the same time be brainwashed by the government?"

"Yeah, that one," said Kate.

"Kyaa~, anyone who's brainwashed already should be an easy target for a Sue," said Aster.

"But that's the thing," said Kate. "The 'mind-rain' happened years ago. They should be normal right now."

"Should be?"

"And I'm detecting lesions in many canon characters' brains. Something's wrong."


It had been so easy, thought Alyana.

She had wormed her way into a plothole after receiving orders from the Lieutenant (and a few genetic modifications, although not nearly as many as Flare's - for God's sake, he was a hedgehog). She had entered the Uglies fandom, posing as a fifteen-year-old, and had "accidentally" run into a group of faux-Specials (actually friends set up by the Lieutenant). She then acted out a few scenes, and had resurrected Zane. Eventually, she did some things that would attract Tally Youngblood's attention, and became the hero of the story.

When Tally wasn't looking, Alyana booted her skintenna (almost identical to the ones present in the other Diego citizens). She then pulled up a familiar name.

"Markerstone?" a cool female voice said.

"Lieutenant," replied Alyana. "All systems are go."

"Good," replied Lieutenant Mary Sue. "Make sure you don't fail like Willowe has been doing lately. Seems she has some...personal...issues getting in the way nowadays. She has lost the purpose of our organization: to make worlds perfect."

"Permission to commence temporal distortion."

"Granted," said the Lieutenant.

Alyana cut off the connection. She then looked upwards, and made a motion as if she was grabbing something from the air...the technique used by Nagato Yuki in the fourth Haruhi novel.

Soon, thought Alyana. Very soon.


"Huge signal on GPS locator."

Harriet twisted the small device. "Diego. I'm assuming this is some twisted future version of San Diego?"

"They did mention Death Valley in the first book," said Kate.

Then suddenly Aster screeched to a halt. She looked around, and seemed to wave her hands in the air.

"What are you doing?" said Tash.

"Look," said Aster. "It won't let me in."

True enough, when Tash felt ahead of her, it was like she was blocked by a barrier. Aster had been trying to pound on it.

Eventually Aster lost it and shot different-colored beams at the barrier from her fingers, but the barrier seemed to absorb them.

"Wonder if Adrian-kun could do anything," said Aster.

It was mayhem. Tash was on a screaming fury to get in, Michael was attempting to stab the barrier with a sword, Miri and Aster were trying to blast the thing off, Marcus was using brute force - with both halves, and Harriet and Lauren were trying to electrocute it.

It just stood there.

Tash had an idea. "One of two things. It's restricted access for Society members, or it only allows Sues in."

"Both," said a voice.

They all turned around to behold Alyana Markerstone.

"Hell-o," she said. "We may or may not have met. I dunno. I see so many Society members around."

"What is this?" Tash demanded.

"If you inform us, reverse the damage, and hand yourself over, we'll put you on parole," said Lauren.

Alyana tossed her head back and laughed.

"You really don't know? Ask her."

And she pointed at Aster.

Everyone stared at Aster, wondering how this mundanely idiotic agent would know. As Aster followed the glares at her, she shook her head.

"No, I wouldn't... but... oh!"

Her face came into realization.

"Temporal distortion line... She's turning the time backwards, restricted to a certain area... kyaa~..."

"How on earth would you know that?" said Tash.

"I read the Suzumiya Haruhi series, you know..."

Alyana laughed again.

"Yes, she's right. It is a temporal distortion line. Anything inside it will be going backwards. It covers Diego and any city 30 miles from it. At this point," and here Alyana looked at her watch, "we should be in the middle of the second book right now. If you do manage to get inside, you'll be forced to go backwards as well. Only I can go in and out without being affected."

Harriet rubbed her hand on the invisible barrier, and watched a leaf fly by inside it. Aerodynamically, it was going backwards.

"Now," said Alyana, "leave me alone..."

She pulled out what looked like a small pistol. Words were inscribed on it: PLAIN JANE.

"Watch out!" said Tash, and pushed Miri out of the way just in time to avoid what looked like a small pin shooting at them.

Tash breathed heavily. Lauren took out a cloth and picked the pin up with it, holding it like it was a poisonous snake.

"Plain Jane pins. They're lethal to self-inserts... they'll rob us of our identity if they touch us..."

Lauren looked up to see Alyana pointing the gun at her.

Luckily, Lauren moved away in time, but the pin struck her shoe. Lauren kicked it off with the other foot.

"Get out of here. Now," said Alyana.

The Society didn't need telling twice, except Aster, who continually stood her ground.

"I'm not a self-insert," said Aster.

"Aster, get out!" said Tash, pulling her away.


"We need help."

Tash lectured the ragtag team of Society members.

"Is there any way we can get some?"

Blake had a suggestion. "Canon characters. This is a futuristic universe. Some character could explain it to us and help us out."

"There's a problem with that one," said Michael. "All the canon characters are trapped in that time bubble."


Aster had interrupted.

"When you told me about that series, I looked it up in Adrian-kun's library...There's a fourth book, it's in Japan, kyaa~"


"I hope to God she hasn't put a temporal distortion in Japan too..."

"The fourth book is usually uninterrupted by fans. Most people hate it."

They used a helicopter stolen from a nearby city to land in Tokyo, and Aster's eyes got very, very big...

"Ah - I - "

Then suddenly Aster fell on the floor, throwing a tantrum, swearing in Japanese and yelling, "WHAT DID YOU DO TO MY CITY?"

"Apparently she can't handle the future changes," said Tash.

"Be thankful there are changes. It means this place is untouched."


Tokyo was swarming with cams.

Tash could practically feel the cams scanning her. She didn't have an eyescreen, but she had a feeling...if she could see her face rank it would probably be over a million. (Aster's would be lower, probably.) Considering that nobody in this place knew her name, she'd have the lowest. Actually, she wouldn't be on there.


Great, maybe it was Aster's fault, but Tash had just made it into the reputation economy.

"Tash-san, where are we going?"

"Shuffle Mansion," said Tash. "We need to find a certain canon character, and we have to get in."


Shuffle Mansion was huge.

Aster ogled at it. She lived in a small apartment in her universe, and this place defied whatever her imagination had fed her before.

"Tash-san, it's huge."

Tash reached for the door, but the handle mildly electrocuted her. The automated system said something in Japanese.

"Crap," said Tash. "I forgot. This place is supposed to be secure."

"How do we get up then?" said Michael.

"Send them a message?" suggested Miri.

Tash noticed a small intercom, and pushed the button. Japanese phrases came out.

"Hey!" said Tash. "English please!"

However, in the Uglies fandom, the author had clearly defined a language barrier, which required a Japanese-speaking person.

"Aster, get this right. Or else there will be consequences!"

"Kyaa~, don't be so hard on me~"

Aster walked up to the intercom, and in Japanese, said: "For Fuse Aya. I am Aster Selene. I have information that concerns you, your city, and most of all, Tally Youngblood. If you want juicy info, please open the door. I am not a normal extra."

15 seconds later, the doors swished open.


"So, I want an explanation," said Aya Fuse.

Aster blushed.

"Well?" said Tash. "What does she want?"

"An explanation," said Aster.

"Hm," said Tash. "Explain to her about Mary Sues."

"But you're the one who says it better, kyaa~"

"But you're the one who speaks Japanese!"

Aster blushed even more and explained the situation to Aya. Hiro, Ren, and Frizz made a few side remarks. Finally, Aya nodded and said something intense to Aster. Aster turned back to Tash.

"She says she'll help if she has permission to kick the story to help her face rank. She won't mention the Society, or authors, but she'll talk about Sues..."

Tash faced the rest of the Society. "That could work..."


Aster screamed.

"What - is - that!"

"Moggle," said Aya. "My camera. I need shots to kick a story."

"'s...looking at me..."

"Get used to it," said Hiro. "We're all kicking this story. And get ready for a jump in face rank, because once people see you around Aya..."


The Society and Aya were swarmed with cams as soon as they walked out.

"Ren!" said Aya. "Reputation bubble! Hurry!"

Ren took out his preprogrammed jammer and slowly the cams fell from the sky.

"Quickest way to America..." said Tash. "Besides a ten-hour long helicopter ride..."

"I do hope I get some more merits as soon as I kick my story, because I spent a lot to get this..."


Despite Aya's general newfound fame from kicking the City Killer and Leaving Home stories, she still fussed about her merits. Perhaps it was habit from being an extra. But the Society found it worth it, because who could resist a plane ride in the future?

"Kyaa~," said Aster.

"So," said Aya. "Are you really self-inserts? Or are you just a cult of uglies - except for her," and here she pointed at Aster, "who just had a very bad attempt at a manga-head surge?"

"We're Authors," said Tash.

(All this time, Aster was scrambling back and forth as translator.)

"And you are here to catch... Mary Sues?" (She pronounced it "merisu".)

"Yes," said Lauren.

"She's damaging the city of Diego, and Tally Youngblood," said Blake.

"Tally-sama..." Aya gulped. "Maybe we should have involved the government?"

"No," said Tash. "We can't have the idea of authors spreading across your Japan."


"Wha- no! Canon characters!"

Alyana Markerstone stared in horror at the large Society group and the four Japanese canon characters.

"Moggle, are you getting this?" said Aya.

"Ah..." Alyana found that she would be close to being seen by almost all the feeds in Japan. "Well..." A grin slowly spread on Alyana's face. "What if I - "

But Tash got there first.

Alyana had charged and attacked Aya. A full scale brawl broke out.

In the background, Moggle curiously zoomed in.

Everyone was rubbing some area of the body in pain, but Alyana merely stood up. She healed fast. "I'm tired of this charade."

She pushed a button on her crash bracelet, and the mask covering her fell off. Within a few seconds she had revealed herself to be a Special.

The Society had been duped. Alyana had not received the ugly surgery after all.

"You're gone," said Aya in slanted English. "I will post this on the feeds, and everyone will catch you."

"I don't have to stay in this fandom anymore!" said Alyana. "And to make sure you don't pursue me, I have something you need!"

Alyana pulled out a small screen and showed what was in it. Tash gasped in horror.

"I have your little puppy," said Alyana. "Don't worry, she'll be a great companion. But if you annoy me..."
Alyana laughed and disappeared through a plothole.

Although she was dismayed at Alyana's last trick, Aya had enough shots, and would kick the story to be on the watch for more Sues.

"Dammit..." said Tash. "We have to get the Sue, and rescue Meg."


In the Library...

Tash was already feeling down but Aster was making it worse.

" - how on earth could you possibly be a HaruKyon fan, Haruhi's not meant for that, Kyon even says in novel #5 - "

"Not now, Aster - "

" - total disgrace to Kyon, everyone knows Yuki's the one for him - "

" - Aster - "

" - so since season 2 is coming out, I expect there to be a sharp increase in YukiKyon fans, and if you're not one of them by then, then you are going to have a lot more up your sleeve than a lost dog!"

No comments:

Post a Comment