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."

No comments:

Post a Comment