Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Insert Medieval-Sounding Spellwork Here

Another group had arrived for the weekly interviews in the Anti-Cliché and Mary Sue Elimination Society. It was relatively smaller than the usual round-up. Perhaps word was getting around that it was near impossible to get in. Only the best could be allowed in! It was only 5 interviewees this time. There were three girls and two guys. Both guys and two of the girls seemed rather nervous about the whole thing. But there was one girl who was nowhere near nervous. Her name was Rhia. She wanted this job, and she was going to get it. There was nothing would stop her. She even had backups at home if her brain was wiped. Soft copies at home on her laptop and harder ones in her diary so she could try again. She was destined for it.

The five interviewees received their tests and got to work. It was a simple test, really. Only five multiple choice questions and one essay question. The multiple choice didn't matter all that much, it was the essay that really determined how things went. Tash and Harriet were the proctors for the exam; they determined who got in and who needed to be mind wiped. Also, just to make sure things were interesting, the exam question changed from week to week. This week's was a real brain-buster.

"Are Mary-Sues and Gary-Stus evil?"

Four out of the five candidates said yes. They are evil, and spent a few paragraphs explaining why. Rhia, on the other hand, wrote something completely different.

"Whoa! Tash, look at this essay! I think we have our new member."

"Are you sure Harriet?"

"Couldn't be surer."

"Let me see that essay."

'Mary-Sues and Gary-Stus can be classified as evil, but only one so far has truly deserved that ruling. Others are very much human, just with extra powers and few rules to follow, if any. Both Mary-Sues and Gary-Stus have proven themselves power hungry, but is that evil? They are creative just like us fanfiction writers, and that kind of creativity cannot come from evil. Others just want their authors to leave them alone. That is understandable. Does not every teen want to stop being controlled by their parents? Mary-Sues and Gary-Stus, before they break free, are very much marionettes; hands, feet, and head tied to strings that their authors control. Would you want to be in their place? One must consider the human condition before one classifies a Mary-Sue of Gary-Stu as evil.'

"Wow. We do have our next agent." Tash said, gob-smacked.

The tension was palatable in the air. Inside the waiting room sat all candidates for the newest member of the ACMSES. The blonde girl in the group had taken to walking up and down the rooms' length, muttering the whole time. The black haired girl was praying as hard as she could to whoever was listening. The boys passed the time playing miniature football with a triangle shaped paper football. Rhia sat in her chair, legs crossed, arms folded across her chest, chin on her chest as well. For all intents and purposes she looked like she was asleep. The door opened in the candidate waiting room and Tash and Harriet walked in.

"Would Rhiannon come with us? The rest of you can go through that other door to receive further instructions." Harriet said. The other door was actually the way to the mind wiping room.

The brunette girl wearing an almost gothic looking purple and black tube top stood and joined the founders. At first glance she was virtually unnoticeable. Nondescript wavy brown hair went down to just past her shoulders. Hazel eyes were hidden under green wire-rimmed glasses, and green studs pierced her ears. Dark colored straight leg jeans completed the ensemble. But if you looked into her eyes, you'd see a firestorm of creativity and determination that set her apart from everyone else in the crowds.

"Welcome to ACMSES." Harriet welcomed, and shook Rhiannon's hand.

"Thanks. It's great to be-huk!" Rhia stopped in midsentence, and fell over from the force of the blonde tackling ram that hit her.

"Rhia! Youdidit! Youdidit! Youdidit! I knew you could!" Squealed Tash as she continued to hug Rhia on the floor.

"Hi Tash… I… need… air."

"Tash, get off the poor girl before you squash her flatter than a pancake." Tash was bodily dragged from Rhia, who was very happy to be reintroduced to air. "I'm Harriet, and it seems you already know Tash from the outside world."

"We've met."

"Good. Now that you're in, we've got to get you introduced to everyone else, suited up, assigned some weapons, and sent off on a mission."

"What? A mission, already? I just got here."

"I'm sorry Rhia, but that's how it works. How well you do on the mission determines what level agent we make you at the beginning. Everyone's gone through this except for the three founders. Me, Harriet, and Lauren, who's still on vacation." Tash shrugged, and then attached herself almost permanently to the new recruit.

Rhia was dragged, more than guided, towards the library, where the majority of the agency was gathered. The place was huge, and covered in books. The walls were almost invisible for all the books on them. There was a 'classics' section, that held the golden oldies, like Bronte's work, Mark Twain, Shakespeare, ect. Most of the library held more modern books, the Harry Potter series had its own shrine and the manga section had a whole quarter of the library. In a room to the side was a room that held nothing but DVD's and that boasted one heck of an entertainment system.

"So, you're the newbie." A voice came from the large gathering of TV screens that represented the alert system that detected the Mary-Sues and Gary-Stus.

"That's Adrian. The Master of the Library." Came a voice from the newly attached thing on Rhia's arm. "Don't piss him off. And don't talk about the fourth wall."

"Right. No fourth wall. Got it."

So, Rhia's your name? I've got a mission for you now, and some of your supplies here. They're on the table."

Rhia walked over to the central table, all by herself. Tash had left her to do this for herself. The first butterflies of nervous emerged in her stomach, but she ignored them. She looked at the pile, and easily identified the equipment.

"Let's see, a Plot hole generator, a communicator which has a very cool wristwatch design, two prohibitors, two copyrights, and a scene transition. Can I trade in the scene transition for a plot device?"

"You sure?" Adrian asked.

"Yeah. The plot device can double as a scene transition if used correctly."

"Ok. You've got it. Be careful when setting it though, they're finicky. While I go get it from the development lab, Miriku can take you to the weapons storage area. The fandom you're going into uses swords as the main physical weapon, so take that into consideration."

"Right." Rhia nodded.

"Tash, with me. Miri, you know what to do."

"So, swords. Fun to use, cause great amounts of chaos, and don't go off unexpectedly if you're not careful. Got any ideas?" Miri said this all very fast and in one breath. She looked expectantly at Rhia and Rhia was slightly surprised.

"Well, something like a wakizashi, perhaps? I've always loved the design of the Japanese swords, and I'm not one for long distance combat. Right up and in my opponent's personal space is my favorite way of fighting. And I can use both hands to fight. So two swords, one for each hand?"

"Ok, I'm narrowing it down. Have you taken any fighting classes?"

"Yeah. Tae Kwon Do."

"Oh, perfect! I know exactly what to hand you. I'm not sure what the name of the sword is, but it's perfect for you. The blades are 2.5 feet long, and they can be used with two hands or one. Your choice. And I've got sheaths that can hang on your back instead of at your hip. You like?"

"You bet I like. Are these them?"

Miri handed Rhia a pair of swords, gently curved in the Japanese style. The hilts were silver with red flames winding down them in embroidery.

"Well. Now we go back to the Library and send you off on your mission. Are you ok?"

"Yeah. I'm fine. Looking forward to it, actually."

"That's great! Good luck, Rhia!"


Back at the Library, Rhia was suited up and ready to go. A utility belt held all of her agent tools, and her wakizashi were at her back.

"So, where am I going now?"

"It's a new show, only a season has aired in the UK, four episodes in America. I think you'll know it well. Merlin."

"You bet I know that fandom! I'm a little pissed that BBC threw out pretty much everything in the Arthurian legends. It just doesn't work the way they're writing it! They did the same thing in Robin Hood! What's the problem in Merlin?"

"There's a Stu trying to take over. We're not all too sure otherwise. You'll probably find him in the castle. Good luck. And Rhia, a piece of advice, don't fall in love with any of the characters, at least not while in a mission. The fandom wouldn't be able to take it."


"The plot hole's open. Good luck!"

Rhia stumbled through the plot hole on the outskirts of the town surrounding Camelot.

'Well. Walking into the Great Hall like this would get me accused of magic. I don't need that. It's a nice day out; I wonder who's hanging out their laundry out to dry.'

Rhia quickly 'borrowed' a brown skirt and blue top from an unwatched clothesline and put it on top of her normal clothes. Properly attired, she made her way to the castle.

At the castle gates, she was stopped by a couple of the castle guards.

"What is your business here?" Surprised she would be challenged so early, Rhia quickly made up a story.

"Me village sir. It's being attacked by all sorts of monsters. I came here to ask the king for help. I was only one who could leave, all the men are trying to defend the livestock but the monsters are so mean…."

"Go on. The daily petition is to start soon."

"Thank you sir, thank you!" Rhia scurried away in the direction he pointed, a smirk on her face after he turned away. That was much too easy.

She made her way into the castle and marveled at the beauty of it. It was stunning, the architecture, and other pieces of art on the walls. She really was in Camelot. Rhia let out an excited squee.

Not quite looking where she was going, she bumped into someone and sent them and herself to the floor.

"Oh, excuse me, sir!" Rhia said, again adopting the 'I'm an innocent village girl' look before realizing who she had bumped into.

"Oh, it's no problem. I'm Merlin." He said, getting up and reaching down to help her up.

"I'm Rhia."

"What brings you to the castle?" Merlin asked. Rhia dropped part of the act, let some of her real attitude sound in her voice. Confident, but gentle.

"My village is being attacked by a bunch of monsters. I'm here to hopefully get some help from the king in fending them off."

"Really? I'm Prince Arthur's manservant; I can help a little by making sure that the Prince at least considers it."

"Really? Thank you so much!" Rhia dropped the act and hugged Merlin, surprised that he would make it so easy for her to get what she needed. The more she interacted with the royal family and possibly Merlin, the faster she could find the Stu and take him out.

Merlin, after a moment of surprise, hugged her back.

'Wow, Merlin gives great hugs. No, no falling in love with the characters. Bad Rhia. Bad.'

"Do you think you could show me the way to the room where the petitioners are waiting? That's where the guard at the gate said I should go."

"Sure! Follow me."

Merlin left her in a room just off the Great Hall, where quite a few people were gathered and fighting for position in line for the King's attention. Rhia narrowed her eyes and made sure that everyone was in front of her. It would give her a chance to observe the royal family and see just exactly what was up. And perhaps give her an idea of who the Stu was. Rhia knew all the Stus still at large and most of them were over level Five. If that were the case here than Rhia was to immediately confront him and call for backup, while covering damage control. It would not be a fun day in Camelot if the Stu was Level Six or higher.

The petitioning started, and all on the surface seemed well. Uther was still the same 'stick up his arse' guy, and Morgana didn't all of a sudden have a new boyfriend. Merlin was behind Arthur, and seemed the same, happy go lucky guy that he was, while still hiding the fact that he was a warlock. And Arthur seemed….wait. Arthur. The Arthur standing next to Uther was blonde and blue eyed, but looked a whole lot different from Bradley James, the actor that played Arthur in Merlin. When it came to live-action shows like this, characters looked exactly like the actors that played them. This Arthur was… off, somehow. Rhia was glad the line was taking a lot of time, more time to think.

'Well. Normal Arthur usually had a pretty nice tan for his skin tone, this one was paler… and the stance was completely different. The petitioners were looking at Arthur while talking, not Uther like they should have been. That settled it. Arthur was the Stu. Now, that brought up two questions. Where was the real Arthur, and who was the Stu? It couldn't be one of the male elementals; they were too off the wall in looks for this character. That left Russell, Xavier, and Alastor. My God, it was Russell.'

The line was getting shorter. Confrontation time was getting closer.

'It had to be Russell. I think I would've rather had an elemental than Russell. He was dating Willowe when she was taken out. He's gonna be pissed. Not good. Should I call for backup?' Rhia reached down to her wrist, and then thought better about it. 'No. I don't need backup yet. He's level Five. I can take a level Five. Oh Angels, give me strength. Here it comes.'

Rhia was nervous, facing her first Stu by herself, and it showed on her face. Poor Merlin thought she was just nervous facing royalty and gave her thumbs up from his position from behind the doppel-Arthur. She took a deep breath to steel herself and began her spiel.

"Majesty, highness, I bring bad news to the land of Camelot. Prince Arthur has been kidnapped and replaced with a copy. I am sorry to say that he standing here right now and that the real Prince Arthur is somewhere else."

"What? What is the meaning of this, peasant! Explain yourself before I have you sent to the dungeons for treason!" Uther yelled, getting to his feet. Arthur (Russell) was shocked, his cover was blown, and Merlin was confused. He hadn't noticed anything different. Well, except maybe that Arthur had been nicer to him for the last week.

"Come now, Arthur is fine, he's just somewhere else. Isn't that right, Russell?"

"Who are you? I don't recognize you from the normal groupies at ACMSES."

Rhia took a bow. "Agent Rhia, new recruit. " And with a move very much copied from Team Rocket, she swept off her clothes and revealed the ones underneath.

"Guards!" Screamed Uther.

"Ah, ah, ah! No guards yet, My King." Rhia activated the plot device, the first of her tools to be used today. The guards were unable to get through the doors to arrest anyone.

"They sent a noob to bring me in? They must be losing it. Give Adrian my regards when I kick you back to the Library ER ward."

"You can try, Russell, you can try." And Rhia drew out her two wakizashi, Russell, his sword, and the duel began, there in the Great Hall.

Russell took a natural guard stance, much like Arthur would have done. Even though his cover had been blown wide open, he still seemed to be trying to stay where he was. Rhia's stance was something no one on the western side of Russia had seen yet. A very Asian stance, one sword held in front, pointing straight up, the other over her head, pointed at the opponent. Her body was perpendicular to his, her side facing him, less of a target for him if he made to charge her. Which he did.

Rhia blocked his charge with her left hand, and swiped at his side with her right. It made contact and opened a gash in his side below his ribs. A delicate area. The two separated and Russell put a hand to his side to stem the blood flow.

"Aren't you a level Five Stu? You should be doing better than this. Come and get me, Russell!" Rhia taunted, and made her strike against him. She made three moves at him, one high, towards his head, one towards his chest, and another towards his legs. One attack made contact on his face, and another disabled his left leg. Russell dropped like a rock. "Something is wrong, Russell. What's got you so distracted that you can't fight me properly? I should be getting my rear handed to me. Wait… you're worried about Willowe aren't you? You are!"

Russell just grunted and stood up, taking his stance again.

"I don't want to kill you Russell. Not at all. Stop this, come with me and we can work things out."

"You took Willowe away! I'm here so I can gather the strongest sorcerers together so I can invade your library and get her out. Willowe proved it can be done and I'm gonna get her out!

Rhia shook her head sadly. "Willowe went insane with the power, Russell; she isn't the girl you remember her to be! She wanted to kill everyone in the library, Russell. Look inside yourself and tell me that is what you want, to kill everyone around you. You just want to have a normal life, to control your own actions!

"No! I won't!"

"For creation's sake, Russell, listen to reason! Willowe went nuts. She's getting help with the best psychologists right now at the library. We don't torture our prisoners once we have them, Russell. We want her to be ok in the end, just as much as you do! Just…put down the sword so I can help you, or you'll bleed out and die. I don't want that. Please."

Ok, so that was a lie. Willowe was trapped in the Twilight fandom with four prohibitors on her and no way to get out. But if it got the Stu in, any lie would work.

It was odd. The Gary-Stu was listening to reason. Russell nodded and put down the sword. He also dropped like a rock to his knees. The blood loss was getting to him. Immediately his appearance changed back to his own looks, instead of Arthur's. Now it was so much easier to tell who was who, and gasps were heard around the Great Hall.

'Oh Yeah, I had a whole audience for that fight. Oops.'

"Russell, where did you put Arthur? He has to be freed to keep this fandom going. Where is he?" Rhia kneeled next to the ailing Stu.

"He's tied up in his room. He's fine."

"Merlin! Arthur's tied up in his room, go get him!"

"Yes Lady!"

"And don't call me that!" Rhia looked back at the fading Stu. "Russell, I need to put the prohibitors on you so I can bring you to the Library. It's going to make you feel even weaker, but you'll make it, ok?"

Russell nodded, and fainted as the prohibitors latched themselves tightly around his wrists. "Russell! Oh God, he's fainted! I need to hurry."

Right at that moment, Arthur and Merlin came back into the Great Hall, and the guards continued to stay outside. That was good. It meant Uther couldn't arrest anyone until Rhia left.

"Well. Thanks for letting me fight here and not interrupting me. I'll just be taking this lump back now." She activated her plot hole device to take her and Russell back to the Library when she stopped, thought for a second, and ran up to Merlin. She handed him a small, folded up note, and turned back to the plot hole, which she then went through with Russell.

Uther, Morgana, and Arthur decided to act as if this never happened. Merlin left to read the odd girl's note in private.

The note said:


Meet me on the battlements at midnight tomorrow. Come alone. I might explain some things.


Mission Report: Merlin

My first mission. I entered Camelot and made it to the Great Hall, where Russell, a previously known Gary-Stu had pulled a Doppelganger with Prince Arthur. I ratted him out and fought him. Oddly enough, Russell listened to reason. Perhaps the Sues and Stus aren't completely lost. I have hope for this Stu. And it seems I forgot to mind-wipe the characters in the Merlin Fandom. I see no negative repercussions from this mistake, however. Uther looked like he wanted more than nothing else than to forget that I ever existed.

Signing out: Agent Rhia of the ACMSES (current level pending)

"Well, Agent Rhia, you did astoundingly well for a first mission. I am surprised."

"Thank you Adrian. If I may ask a question?"

"You may."

"Why are you so surprised?"

Adrian took a moment before answering. "We just tested Russell for his current level status. He had easily reached level Six and starting to hit level Seven. You brought in a Stu that normally takes a whole team to bring in. Congratulations."

Rhia was shocked. "But… but…. I don't get it. Usually once a Sue or Stu hits past level Six, reason goes out the window. Russell listened to me."

"Perhaps it was his love for Willowe. Who knows? All that we do know is that this is a new development for the Sues and Stus and one that must be researched. Good job Agent Rhia. Due to your success I am awarding you level One security clearance. You're in for good."

Rhia smiled. "Thank you."

"One more thing, Agent."


"Don't forget to mind wipe the characters before you leave! Now, I'm sure you don't want to keep standing here. Go and have some fun. I'm sure Tash is right on the other side of that door wanting to know what's going on."

The Next Day, Midnight, Camelot.

"Rhia?" Merlin called. He could barely see. Why did she want him here so late?

"I'm here, Merlin." A slight fizz sound and a second later Rhia came into view, a lit candle in hand.

"Why did you want me here?"

"To explain some things, Merlin. I can't quite seem to keep my mouth shut when I should. I need to tell you at least a little bit of what's going on."

Merlin nodded, ready to listen.

"Where I come from, everything that is happening here is legend. King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table. With his advisor and friend Merlin at his side. People want to change that, and I'm here to stop the people from where I originate from doing that. Does that make sense?"

"Yeah, it does a bit."

"Good. Now, to keep what happened yesterday from happening again, I need to do this." And Rhia smacked a Copyright onto Merlin's chest, where it promptly disappeared. "That'll keep anyone from doing to you what they did to Arthur. Here's another one that you can put on Arthur when he's not looking. It'll disappear. You can put it on him anywhere."

"Right. Ok. There anything else?"

"Yeah. You, Merlin, the greatest Wizard in all of time will go down in history as a legend. You have strength beyond what you know, and it's not just in your magic." She again hugged a shell-shocked Merlin, who didn't even try to deny what she had said.

Then, the candle went out, and Rhia disappeared.

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