Thursday, April 26, 2012

Insert Super-Powered Female Soldier Here

"Prepare the final sequence."

Cristoph Asahina, greenhorn agent of the Anti-Cliché and Mary-Sue Elimination Society knew better than to fall asleep. While this may seem strange to the average and inattentive layman, for Cristoph, kami only knew what terrible things awaited him in the land of dreams. The black-clad ninjutsu wielder was sleeping fitfully, twisting this way and that on the futon that served as his bed.

"Just think. The newest addition to our Group… and here I thought we would never reach this stage."

"Patience, Luna. I would not celebrate until the experiment is complete."

At first, all Cristoph felt was cold. Cold, chilling liquid encompassing him as he floated in whatever was holding him in place. Suddenly, however, his eyes opened, and things started to get warmer. That's when the trouble started.

"Sir! Coolant line seven's been severed! The energy capacitor's been completely fried!"

Klaxons blared around him, reduced to simple vibrations in his chilled prison. Cristoph tried vainly to see beyond the electric green substance around him, but saw only darkness.

"The entire system's being fed backwards into the computer! We can't cut the power!"

"Pulse is increasing! Oxygen flow's being cut off! The entire life-sustainment system is shutting down!"

Cristoph was struggling to breathe now. Blood screamed in his ears, attempting to inhale air that, well, wasn't there anymore. His head was pounding with his increasing heart-rate.

"Shut the system down, idiots! If he wakes up now, the experiment will fail! SHUT IT ALL DOWN NOW!"

He couldn't take it anymore. Cristoph somehow let a loud scream, trying to blot out the sound of panicking people in his head, until suddenly… he woke up.

The ninja found himself back in his room at ACMSES headquarters, the Library Arcanium, with his giant eagle ally, Algazdun, staring at him from its nest in the corner opposite Cristoph, its great yellow eyes blinking under the small gray helm it wore as part of the armor it wore. The Kivat-bat III clock on the shelf next to him (a welcome gift from Drake) said eight thirty AM.

Algazdun squawked, conveying its worry to him.

"I… I was dreaming," Cristoph said. "It was… that dream again…"

He clenched his fist.

"It was… nothing."


Excerpt from the writings of Cristoph Asahina, ninja and Agent of the Anti-Cliché and Mary-Sue Elimination Society.

I had that dream again. I cannot escape it, the nightmare that plagues me every time I have the misfortune of falling asleep during my nightly meditations continues to haunt me, much like the comings and goings of Aster whenever I'm trying to meditate or make sure my weapons are in working order. I tried looking around the Library for something that might help to explain these things. I took a look at some psychology books at Lord Marcus's discretion, but so far I have found nothing.

As I write in this notebook I received from Lady Rhia for something called "Christmas" (I had to have it explained to me by Lady Karissa and Lady Charis. Apparently it's some kind of religious holiday everyone celebrates by feasting and exchanging gifts as part of something called Secret Santa. I drew Lady Rhia, so I quickly snuck into the Golden Sun fandom and constructed a pair of bracers for her in Yallam), I am also reminded of these strange feelings I have for her. After all, I have no similar experiences to set this up against, and Rhia is…well, for the lack of a better term, attractive. And those feelings also appeared, I note, when I first met her…


About a month earlier

It was still early in the morning, so Cristoph decided to go hunting. After Adrian had found out that Cristoph had somehow stolen his tabasco sauce from his stash, Adrian had gone ahead and taken back the bottles the ninja had taken, and now the ninja was out hunting for a suitable alternative. And he was doing it the only way he knew how… stealthy ways.

So, Cristoph was now sneaking through the air ducts of the Library Arcanium, searching for one of the kitchens that he had spotted on his journey through the halls earlier. He was still getting used to navigating the halls of the Library, in spite of his inexperience, but Cristoph continued sliding his way through the vents (crawling made too much noise), peeking through the vents in search of his target.

"That kitchen… is officially mine…"

He looked down into the vent before him. He recognized the face of fellow ACMSES agent Rhia, whom he had fought alongside in the Call of Duty fandom; if maybe indirectly. She was scribbling something on a piece of paper with a Sharpie.

"And what is this?" he asked himself, slowly removing the vent cover and peeking over.

Rhia, unaware of the ninja's presence, proceeded to slap the paper on the door and tape it on the door. The paper had two words on it: Rhia's Kitchen. Eyes narrowed, Cristoph pulled up his ninja cowl and said, "Pardon me, Lady Rhia, but I think you'll want to revise that statement before you enjoy the spoils of your victory."

Rhia looked up as Cristoph, trailing a line of rope, slid out of the vent. Unfortunately, as he was about to continue, he was interrupted by a slight "ahem" from behind him. He looked behind him: it was Tash.

"Excuse me, but I am leader here, and I say that Kitchen Two belongs to Rhia. She called dibs on it, after all," the blonde-haired fire wielder said.

Cristoph pulled down his cowl in respect to the ACMSES leader. "Pardon me, Lady Tash. But ever since Adrian discovered where I've been keeping his tabasco sauce, I've been forced to search elsewhere for materials. And I'd rather not go back to my old standby."

"And what, pray tell, is this 'standby?'" asked Tash.

"Well, the original recipe called for crushed glass, but any kind of irritating substance works as well. I'm sure you know just how effective my black eggs are after my last mission…"

"How about habaneros?" Rhia offered.

"What?" both Tash and Cristoph turned to face Rhia, watching as she disappeared into her kitchen and returned with a bag of something in her hands.

"I make salsa a lot, so I have a lot of these," Rhia said, putting it in Cristoph's hands. "In the real world, the police use these to make pepper spray, so it should work just as well as tabasco sauce. Just wear gloves when handling it, okay?"

Cristoph wasn't entirely sure of what to say to her. He just hung there like a gormless wooden monkey, clutching the bag of habaneros in his hand as Rhia went off back to her kitchen and Tash, suddenly without a reason to be there, went to go find Adrian for cuddles.

This is...what is it I'm feeling? Cristoph thought.



Cristoph leapt a foot in the air as Emotion Marcus, the, well, emotional half of veteran agent Marcus, appeared in the doorway of his room, interrupting the ninja from his thoughts, the brush he had been writing with flying out of his hand, twirling in the air and landing comically, hairs first, on his head, dousing him in ink.

"Can I help you, Lord Emotion Marcus?" Cristoph said, trying to still his beating heart.



"Valkyria Chronicles, you say?" Cristoph asked, after slipping into the bathroom to wash off the ink.

"Do you know about it?" asked Adrian.

"I do," Cristoph said. "Valkyria Chronicles can be likened to a variation of the events of World War II. It takes place in an alternate 1935 and is centered around the adventures of a militia squad from the independent country of Gallia headed by a biologist-cum-commanding-officer against the Eastern Europan Imperial Alliance, an enemy bent on their destruction for the sake of fuel. It's a fledgling fandom, but it has a lot of inroads to it: anime, manga, video game...with the third coming first and the first two following in its wake, a rather interesting way to create a fandom if you ask me…"

"We get the idea," Adrian said flatly. "We picked up a Sue in there, and if this is another war fandom, we may need to mobilize the entire Society again…"

"With all due respect, Lord Adrian, I believe that such a move may be unwise. If this Sue is on the side of the Gallians, she could have one of the most potent military forces in the world around her little finger. A straightforward attack is suicide. However, you are right in assuming that this fandom is Blacklist. Therefore, I will need someone to aid me in this endeavor."

"…alright then," Adrian said. "Do you have anyone in mind?"


"HOW THE HECK DID I GET EIGHTH PLACE PLAYING MARIOKART WHEN IT'S JUST THE TWO OF US PLAYING!" Ben shouted, looking at the DS in his hands in abject confusion.

"This game is easy!" said Lily Adamson, a paroled Sue that Ben had rescued.

"How interesting," Cristoph called from behind them, leaning against the wall. "Are you sure that permanent Prohibitor was attached properly, Ben?"

Ben stood up to greet the ninja. After the events of what had transpired between them had been revealed, Cristoph still wasn't sure he could trust Ben or Lily, Lily because she was a (former) Sue, and Ben for fraternizing with the enemy, which was how he summed up the situation when he first heard it. Well, she wasn't an enemy anymore, but the fact that Cristoph believed Ben had a tendency to use nukes with alarming frequency was enough to not let Ben off the hook just yet. Hence, the lack of a title before his name.

Needless to say, the feeling was mutual.

"What do you want, Cristoph?" Ben asked.

"There's a Sue loose in the Valkyria Chronicles fandom, and I need your help in dispatching it," Cristoph said plainly.

"Right... and why come to me?" Ben asked skeptically.

"Quite frankly, because you're the only one who's open at this point. I'd ask Lady Rhia, but... well, I'm pretty sure you know already," Cristoph said.

"...alright then," said Ben. "I'll help out. But if I do this, you and I are all square. Lily too. Agreed?"

"Agreed. I'll come get you when I'm ready as well," Cristoph nodded, and turned to leave. "Oh, and Ben?"


"I beg of you… no nukes, please. We're going low-key into this mission."


Melanie Raquel Amaryllis Henrietta Pauline Koda the Ninth.

Long name. Even longer list of admirers.

Starting out as a simple girl living in the village of Bruhl around the same time as the attack on the small border village by the Empire. While most people ran for the hills (with the exception of Welkin and Isara, who were running to get their father's tank), Melanie stood her ground, fighting with the heavily outnumbered and outgunned Bruhl Town Watch. However, right as Welkin and Isara rolled into the mostly-destroyed town in the Edelweiss, they were amazed to find Melanie, aglow with cobalt Valkyria flame, taking aim with a discarded Gallian-1 rifle at the radiator of an Imperial tank.

One gunshot later, the tank exploded in a fiery mass of scrap and Ragnarine.

But Melanie didn't stop there. After beating back the Imperial advance at Bruhl with help from Welkin and Isara (and Alicia too, I suppose, as she put it), Melanie decided to enlist in the Militia, despite the fact that her beyond-impressive skills with practically any weapon and her own tactical expertise could've easily surpassed most high-ranking officers of the Gallian regular military, and eventually became the commanding officer of Squad Eight, a squad formed from a small splinter of Squad Seven soldiers under Welkin's command. With Melanie's skills as a commander, Squad Eight eventually left Squad Seven behind in the many tales of derring-do, whether it was beating back the Imperials or trying to dodge the plans of the corrupted General Damon to return the attention Squad Eight received back onto him.

Yes, Melanie was a Sue alright, and it was going to require some precise planning to make sure Melanie didn't unleash Gallia's fury upon them prematurely, or they were all dead Agents.


"Cristoph, come on, at least try to look normal wearing the uniform," Ben said.

"This is highly annoying to me," Cristoph said tersely. "And you are not helping."

"Guys, do you mind? We're almost there," Karissa hissed as she and another relatively new agent, Ossa, led the group towards the Gallian milita home base in Randgriz, the capital city, which was where the plot hole had taken them.

Currently, the four agents, Cristoph included, were dressed in the usual Gallian militia uniform, which bore the Squad Eight symbol on their uniform, which, much to Karissa and Ossa's chagrin, had culminated in short skirts for the two females. To play up the militia soldier disguises, they had added the customary weapons of a Shocktrooper (Karissa), Lancer (Ben), Scout (Cristoph), and Sniper (Ossa) to their disguises. That didn't stop Cristoph from bringing some of his lighter ninja gear with him: sais, shuriken, kunai, and the like, hidden in various parts of his uniform.

"Why'd I have to be the sniper?" Ossa asked. "Rhia's much better at this sort of thing."

"Well, Lady Rhia is still recovering from her broken leg after the mission into the Babylon 5 fandom," Cristoph said. "Besides, I believe some cross-weapons training would be good for you."

"…you know, speaking of Babylon 5, when did you get medical clearance to go on this mission anyway?" Ben asked. "Valerie said you had two broken ribs and a fractured one to go with it."

"That's my secret," Cristoph frowned.

Thankfully, Karissa took over before Ben and Cristoph got into fighting each other. "Save it for another time, you two. We need to find out what the Sue is up to if we're going to find a way to catch her without having the entire Gallian Militia on our tails. And it'll be considered moot if you guys let her know we're here if you guys keep arguing!"

"…she does have a point," Ben grunted, while Cristoph merely huffed his acknowledgement.


"What is your deal with Ben, anyway?" asked Karissa as she and the ninja filed into the tank hangar to meet with their commanding officer with the rest of the squad (and by commanding officer, I mean the Sue). Ben and Ossa, meanwhile, were out observing what the Sue had done to the fandom thus far. "Not to pry or anything, but he does have a point when he said you recovered from your ribs a little too quickly."

"…" Cristoph said nothing, just rested against a nearby tank, waiting for the Sue to arrive.

"…for that matter, why are you so stiff today, anyway? Normally you can handle our normal antics, but today you even sent Aster scurrying for cover," Karissa added. "Come on, Cristoph, talk to me."


However, before she could inquire further, the Sue came in. And Melanie was an absolute visage of beauty that put even the greatest goddesses to shame. Her hair was purest silver, with twin ponytails that seemed to be prominent on many of the females in the fandom, and her eyes were a bright green. She was clad in a Squad Eight uniform as well, complete with short skirt (Cristoph rolled his eyes at this, muttering something dark under his breath).

"Alright, everyone, form up!" she said, with the kind of voice that reminded him of Aster. Cristoph gritted his teeth and took his place in line between Karissa and whom he recognized as Audrey Heitinga, a canon Lancer. "Okay. We just got word from command that we're ready to begin our siege on Ghirlandaio. Damon is throwing everything at the fortress and that includes us."

A loud groan went up from the amassed characters.

"What's going on?" Karissa whispered.

"Ghirlandaio is a heavily fortified fortress on the northeastern border of Gallia," Cristoph replied. "The Imperials took it from the Gallians and now use it as their main base to plan their offensives in Gallia. It took the Imperials only three days to conquer it, if I recall correctly."

"However," Melanie continued. "We're not completely out of luck. We just managed to strike gold back in Barious, courtesy of Mister Landzaat. May I present to you…a relic of the great age of the Valkyrur returned to us!"

And so, she quickly led the squad outside, where lo and behold, there was a humongous mechanical blue lion-tiger hybrid, towering over the tank hangar. The mane was really just a pair of triangular flaps, streaked with white, and on the top of the head to replace the eyes was a single orange visor. However, what made it particularly vicious, if the claws and fangs almost as big as a man would be long weren't enough to give one pause, was the two tank-sized yellow blades tucked near the shoulder blades.

Cristoph swore, which was a good thing because the other squad members were completely in awe of the mechanical mammoth before them and would've heard otherwise.

"What is it, Cristoph?" Karissa asked.

"That's a Blade Liger," Cristoph said. "It's a Zoid."

"From the fandom of the same name?" Karissa looked from ninja to Zoid, and when she got no reply, she shook her head and drew Cristoph aside. "Okay, we really need to do something about this."

"Are we equipped for dealing with cross-fandom items?" Cristoph asked hurriedly.

"Well yeah, but situations like this are rare, and I mean rare. I can probably count on one hand the number of times this shows up in the ACMSES archives," Karissa nodded. "So we may have to double back and get something to counteract it while we focus on the Sue. Unless the Zoid belongs to someone in the Zoids fandom?"

"It could, but I rather doubt it. We should contact Ben and Lady Ossa and compare our notes while we request something to deal with the Blade Liger."


Ben and Ossa were not exactly pleased to hear about the arrival of the Blade Liger.

"Okay, that is going to throw a major stick in our wheel," Ossa said. "Now what?"

"Lady Karissa is preparing countermeasures as we speak," Cristoph said. "More importantly, we need to construct a plan around the Sue's capture. If we can keep her away from the Blade Liger, it will make our job suitably easier, for what it's worth."

"Not if the whole army's moving out to Ghirlandaio tomorrow morning," Karissa said, putting away her Communicator. "Which means we have to make our move tonight or we're going to lose our best opportunity to take her down."

"Do we have a level on the Sue yet?" asked Ben.

"Not yet. Half our computers are having maintenance done today and Charis is still crunching the numbers. She's forecasting level 4 on the high side, though, judging by her relative power and how well she's covered her bases," Karissa shook her head.

Cristoph just sat there, twiddling with a shuriken in between his fingers as he reflected on the situation. They were in a sticky situation and no mistake, and the fact that he himself had made the call for a small team only was probably not a good call on his part. At best, they were little more than reconnaissance, spying on the Sue to pave the way for a much larger force…

And on the word "spying," the veil was lifted.

"Everyone, listen up," he said, quickly garnering their attention. "I have a plan. But it requires a lot of stealth, misdirection, and it's likely to get fatal if even one part of it goes wrong. This is what we'll do…"


The moon rose high and bright over the base that night, and most of the army was asleep, preparing for their attack (or in the minds of the Milita, suicide attack), with the exception of sentries around the bases' entrances, but many of them were just sleeping standing up, because they're sentries and that's what a lot of them do, or perhaps they're only human as well.

Regardless, it made Cristoph's entry into the base relatively simple as he leapt up and swung himself up and over onto the roof of a nearby barracks to make his entrance. Gone was his Squad Eight uniform, he was now back in his traditional black ninja garb, and his cowl once again over his face, and now he was bristling with classic ninja weapons: ninjato, kusarigama, which he figured would function just as well as a kama as well, and the ever classic shuriken dangling on a line inside his shirt. His yari was still broken, but that was okay. He felt perfectly good about his equipment, unlike the heavy rifle and semi-bulky scout uniform. He was in his element.

Leaping across the rooftops to the officer's barracks, Cristoph waited until the guards patrolling the compound passed by the door, and then flipped over the side of the roof onto the ground, waiting at the door, completely masked by the shadows. It was a ninja thing.

Looking around, he pushed the door open slightly and slid inside. It was plenty dark save for the windows, but with the moon at its zenith, the moonlight filtering really wouldn't stretch far enough to make Cristoph visible to anybody who might have been looking his way….

Okay, so he snuck through the building completely undetected. That's all that really needs to be said. Now let's get back to the main story.

Cristoph came to a halt outside Melanie's room, placing himself against the wall as he slid the door open slowly, creeping in as he drew a kunai from within his boot, thumbing the edge to test the sharpness as he approached the sleeping Sue… and suddenly, the Sue came awake, drawing a pistol.

"Put the knife down," she growled.

Rolling his eyes, Cristoph let the knife drop with a thud into the wood. Melanie got out of bed, keeping her pistol on the ninja as her eyes traveled to Cristoph's free hand, which was clenched tight.

"What's that you're holding?" she asked.

"A surprise!" Cristoph lashed out, tossing one of his black eggs at Melanie. The Sue raised her gun and fired once. The bullet shattered the egg, revealing a cloud of white and red dust as it washed over them. The effects were immediate as Melanie dropped the pistol, clutching her burning face and screaming in pain. Cristoph then made his escape, tossing some shuriken into the window before leaping into it, allowing the ninja to escape in a flurry of glass.

Now that he had managed to escape, if only for the moment, Cristoph quickly made his way through the compound as Melanie's pained screams echoed throughout the base. "There's a spy in the compound! An Imperial spy is here! Stop him! STOP HIM!"

Cristoph's Communicator buzzed against his chest. Cristoph pulled it out. "Are we in position?"

"Yup," Karissa's voice said. "Though I have to ask…what was in those eggs? Sounds to me like you really nailed her."

"Habaneros. I ground them in a bowl and mixed it with flour," Cristoph said, watching a few bullets fly past him as Squad Eight soldiers, who to their credit, had roused themselves quickly and now were trying to shoot the ninja. "But more importantly, are we in position?"

"We've been ready for the past five minutes," Ossa said. "We're just waiting on you now."

"Right then. Stick to the plan, everyone, and stay alert for the Sue!" Cristoph hung up, reaching for smoke pellets that he had also taken with him. Picking three of them, he held them in between his fingers and then turned around, tossing them at the oncoming soldiers' feet. There was a loud POW! as smoke and gunpowder flew up, obscuring the soldiers as they dashed right into the middle of it.

Immediately, lights around the base blazed alive, trying to pick out where Cristoph was hiding. That was Karissa's signal. Having immediately turned invisible, she took the MagsM20 she had been supplied with, Karissa took aim at the ground and opened fire, aiming at the ground around the confused soldiers to keep them further stunned, thus buying Cristoph further time to escape.

And then Melanie burst out into the scene. An epitome of grace her long silver hair unfurled behind her as she pulled out a humongous black and gold machine gun. Her features were a tad blotchy from the effects of the black eggs, so she didn't look as perfect as before, but Melanie was past caring. At the moment, she was after the ninja who had put her in pain a few moments back.

"Get out here, ninja-boy! I've got a ticket to hell with your name on it!" she howled, brandishing the heavy weapon.

Cristoph's ear twitched visibly at that. "What the kami did she just call me?"

This was the first time the other Agents had seen Cristoph visibly annoyed by verbal threats. Most of the time, Cristoph just gave a curt reply, if anything at all, in response to such a thing. This time was different, though. Apparently, something the Sue said had really gotten his goat.

"I mean it, ninja-boy! Get out here! I can see your friends, and I'll kill them all if you don't get out here and fight me!" Melanie continued, brandishing the weapon.

"What is that gun she's holding?" Ossa asked over Karissa's Communicator. "That thing looks nasty…"

"I don't know, that's Cristoph's area…" Karissa replied. "But you just keep that sniper rifle on her and hopefully we won't have to find out…"


"What was that about rum?" asked Ossa in confusion.

"Again, why do you ask me? Cristoph, fill in Ossa for me, will you?" Karissa asked.

She found herself talking to open air. Cristoph had disappeared.

"How does he do that?" she asked herself.


Cristoph was already on the move once he had identified the gun Melanie had wielded, leaping off the rooftop and rolling on the ground to conserve his momentum, smoothly righting himself as he did to continue running at the machine-gun toting Sue.

This is bad, the ninja reflected, pulling out some of the shuriken in his shirt. The Ruhm is the most powerful firearm in the entire game, combining both machine gun firing capacity with sniper rifle accuracy and RPG lance level destruction! I need to separate her from that weapon at any cost!

"Sue!" Cristoph said, drawing his ninjato as he let the shuriken, which was dangling from a line of black string, hang from his pinkie. "Turn and face me!"

Melanie turned, swinging the Ruhm gun with her. "Well, ninja-boy, decided to quit playing around and face me properly?"

"I am not 'ninja-boy,' Melanie Raquel Amaryllis Henrietta Pauline Koda the Ninth," Cristoph said crossly. "I am the dark void. I am the cold steel. I am the just sword. I am the blade cloaked in darkness that…"

"Yeah, yeah, I get it, you're a ninja who's here to kick my ass for messing around with a fandom," Melanie said. "Let me ask you something, ninja-boy, do you always start it out like this or am I a special occasion?"

"Stop calling me that!" Cristoph snapped angrily, whether it was because of his new pet-name or being interrupted (again) is up to you. "I am Cristoph Asahina, agent of the Anti-Cliché and Mary-Sue Elimination Society! And you are under arrest for two counts of fandom manipulation, gross negligence of established canon, and unwarranted fandom crossing!"

"Oh, you mean the Blade Liger I've got parked outside the tank hangar?" Melanie asked, jerking her thumb at the gigantic blue machine. "Don't worry. I'm not planning on using it… well, not yet anyway."

"And yet you don't hold the same reservations for Selvaria Bles's Ruhm weapon," Cristoph observed, eyeing the heavy weapon in Melanie's hands.

"What, this? I didn't steal it, Selvaria gave it to me after I beat her one-on-one in Naggiar. I haven't had a chance to test it out yet, so how about I use it on you to see how the greatest weapon in the whole fandom works in a Gallian's hands?" Melanie smirked, hefting the humongous weapon and taking aim at the ninja before her.

"Holy-!" Cristoph barely had time to get out of the way, cursing quasi-modern weapons as the Ruhm opened fire, spraying the area Cristoph had just left in a hail of bullets. The bullets flew through a wall behind him and collapsed it in practically the same second. "Everyone, now would be a good time to try and set our plans into motion!"

"I'm already on it!" Ossa, taking aim with her sniper rifle, trying to center on Melanie's head as the Valkyria Sue gave chase, still firing with the Ruhm gun while Cristoph threw the shuriken that he had been carrying, hoping to distract Melanie briefly. She pulled the trigger, and at once, there was a loud report and the bullet clipped her face. Melanie froze, blinking as she touched her face, which was barely bleeding. But her eyes blazed hot red as she broke off her attack on Cristoph to focus on the ACMSES sniper, firing through the upper wall and, somehow, around the roof where Ossa had been staking out. Ossa gave a scream of surprise as the roof around her crumpled in and collapsed, taking her with it. Karissa quickly reappeared behind Melanie, taking aim with the machine gun in her hands when Melanie swung out with the huge weapon, clocking her and sending her right through the wall behind her.

"Even when it's not firing, that thing is dangerous," Cristoph frowned. "Ben! I need a distraction!"

"One distraction, hold the onions, coming up!" Ben said, dashing outside from his hiding place in the hangar. "My coffeemakers are not controlled by Hoover Dam computers!"

Melanie raised her Ruhm gun, preparing for something, but when the attack manifested itself as a tidal wave of coffee, even she had a huge WTF? look on her face before her wits returned and jumped over the attack, taking aim at Ben, who was now out in the open.

"Surprise!" Cristoph was also airborne, ninjato drawn for a quick strike. Melanie raised the Ruhm above her head, blocking the blow and swinging it the same way she struck Karissa, but Cristoph had used the gun and his own blade as leverage to get above the Sue, reaching for some shuriken.

"Nice try!" Melanie grabbed the ninja's wrist as he flew past, and then threw him back to earth, where he collided with Ben, flooring the pair of them.

Melanie also returned to earth, once the coffee had flown by, taking aim with Ruhm. "Take this!"

But when she pulled the trigger, nothing happened. Melanie stared, looking at the weapon in her hands, where she found a rather strange sticker near the gunbarrel…

"Copyrights are bothersome, aren't they?" Cristoph asked smugly, shouldering his ninjato. "Good luck wielding a weapon you've no right to wield anymore!"

That's when Melanie figured it out. Cristoph had had Ben distract her so that he could get up close to her and put the Copyright on the Ruhm, preventing it from being used by all Sueish beings. Tossing aside the useless weapon, she instead reached for something that made Cristoph swear very unprofessionally (again): a lance and shield.

"What's the big deal about a lance and shield?" asked Ben.

As if in answer, Melanie suddenly blazed with blue fire, her eyes now aglow with red energy as her hair flared out behind her in the sudden burst of energy. The lance she carried suddenly extended into a fine point, flames curling around the spiral weapon.

"That's why! Get cover! GET COVER!" Cristoph was already on the run, as Melanie suddenly unleashed a blast of blue energy from the lance's tip, turning everything in its path into ash and flames. Ben quickly ran out of the way via Fast Step, but still felt the scorching heat on his back as he joined Cristoph behind the doorjamb of the tank hangar.

"What the hell was that!" Ben asked.

"I should've known this would happen. The Sue is a Valkyria," Cristoph said. "The Valkyria are a race of super-warriors from which the fandom gets its name. Though honestly, the silver hair and red eyes should've been a dead giveaway."

"What kind of powers do these Valkyria have?" Ben asked, wondering if the last part of Cristoph's statement was directed towards him, or towards Cristoph himself.

"Enhanced strength, speed, and reflexes, as well as an accelerated healing factor and affinity for ragnite weapons, usually a ragnite lance and shield like the one she's wielding right now."

Ben got the idea. He groaned. "Great. Super Saiyan with a bit of vampire added to it. How do we fight her?"

"The Valkyrur's powers are mainly internal. But that beam attack she uses comes from the lance and her shield can block most attacks. We find a way to separate her from them both, though, getting a Prohibitor on her is simple enough," said Cristoph, checking his weapons over a moment.

"…how do you know these things?" Ben asked in awe. Most Agents were intimate with a number of fandoms, but Cristoph's knowledge of this fandom was just outright spooky.

"…trust me, I just know," Cristoph said after a pause. And he meant it.

That's when the place around them lit up cobalt blue; Melanie Racquel Amaryllis Henrietta Pauline Koda the Ninth, in all her Valkyria majesty, had arrived, pointing her lance at them.

"I suggest you cover your ears, ninja-boy. It doesn't look it, but this lance is very, very, loud," Melanie said, her voice echoing with unholy grace, classic for a Valkyria.

"Will you stop calling me that infernal name!" Cristoph shouted.

Suddenly, there was the sound of a machine gun, and bullets flew past, though they only flew through Melanie's magnificent silver hair. Karissa had snuck up behind the group, invisible of course, and now was pointing her supplied MagsM20 at the Sue before her.

"Hands in the air, Sue! You're under arrest!" she said in her best voice, though she was still in pain from getting thrown into the wall, by the sound of it.

"Cliché, aren't we?" Melanie said, closing the distance slowly as she turned the lance towards Karissa. "Do you really want to fight me with such a small gun?"

"How about two small guns?" Ossa asked. She was on her feet again after her drop from the roof, and was pointing the GSR-4 at Melanie.

Melanie didn't reply, instead opened fire with her lance as she swung it around, firing a number of small bullet-like fireballs, causing Ossa to roll away to avoid fiery bullet death. That gave Karissa time to fire her gun, but rather than dodge, Melanie crouched, allowing the bullets to ring off the shield, ricocheting harmlessly into the walls, and in a rather sadistic twist of fate, one bullet bounced and returned to the shooter, collapsing Karissa as it seared right through her leg. Giving a slight derisive chuckle, Melanie stepped forward, lance bared.

"I was meaning to warn you about that. Oh well," she smirked.

That's when a ball and chain suddenly wrapped around her shield arm, yanking it back.

"Your fight is with me, Sue!" Cristoph said, tugging with all his might. "Ben, get her shield!"

Ben quickly dashed forward, snatching the shield from the Sue Valkyria's arm, which, in her surprise, she accidentally let go of.

"Aha, got it!" he said, raising the hefty ragnite circle in his hand. However, his triumph took a bit of a comedic turn when he realized that, after being doused in Valkyrur flames for so long, was now red-hot, so he dashed by, half-running, half-Fast Stepping, bouncing around yelling, "Hot! Hot! Hot! Hot hot hot hothothothothothot!"

Cristoph was also at the end of his tether. Even though he was wearing gloves, unlike Ben, the flames of the Valkyrur were quickly heating up the ball and chain on his kusarigama, so, he finally let go of the weapon as the leather gloves started to burn through. Spitting on the smoking gloves, Cristoph pulled out his ninjato again, spinning the bladed weapon slightly as Melanie also adopted a ready stance with her lance. The two circled each other, prowling like hungry sharks.

Meanwhile, Ben was still hop-skip-Fast Stepping in place, still carrying the hot ragnite shield. "Hot! Hot! Somebody take this off my hands!"

Cristoph rolled his eyes. "Lady Ossa, take the shield from him before his arms start blistering, please."

Ossa obliged, taking the shield off of Ben's hands and quickly dropping it with a heavy thunk. Meanwhile, Cristoph briefly looked up at the hole in the roof that had been Ossa's vantage point a few minutes before.

"Ben. Remember when I told you that nuking in this fandom was a bad idea?" Cristoph said.

"Yeah. Why?"

"Well, now would be a good time to forget about it."

Ben grinned. "Got it. Don't mess with nukes!"

Melanie pointed her lance, taking aim at Cristoph as he rolled towards Karissa to get her out of the way. However, the sound of a whistling artillery shell suddenly caught her attention. Looking up through the hall, she saw a nuclear warhead searing down towards her, heading right for her through the hole in the tank hangar roof.

"Idiot," Melanie said, taking aim with the lance in her hand unleashing a bright blue beam of light into the sky, destroying the nuke in a spectacular blast of blue and orange flame. By the time the light show had ended, though, she found that the four Agents had disappeared.

"Not bad, ninja-boy," Melanie observed. "You had the strange one use the nuke to cover your escape. Not bad. Not bad at all. But now it comes to play my favorite game…hide and seek."


The four Agents were now taking cover in the mess hall, Cristoph peeking out from behind a window while Ossa tended to Karissa nearby, using whatever linens she could to halt the bleeding on the wounded limb.

"Okay, I think we've lost her for the moment," Cristoph said, coming away from the window. "How is she?"

"I think I got the bleeding to stop," Ossa said. "But I don't think we'll be able to get away from her. Not with Karissa like this."

Cristoph sighed, proceeding to bang his head against the wall. "Come on! There's got to be a way out of this!"

"Yeah, you just keep banging your head against the wall while you think of a plan," Ben said bitterly towards the ninja. "Never mind that my forearms and my hands are one giant blister right now."

"You know what, Ben, why don't you hold your breath, or something similar!" Cristoph snapped. "I am not in the mood to deal with your contempt for me at the moment."

"Hold my breath? You're the ninja, you're supposed to be the silent one!"

Ossa rolled her eyes, muttering something dark under her breath about boys as she came away from Karissa for a brief moment to look outside, which caused to her promptly blanch: Melanie had left the burning tank hangar and was headed their way, scanning the area for the ACMSES agents.

"Ummm... guys?" asked Ossa.

"And you pretend to be a stealth expert? Huh, indeed!"

"If anything, you're a jerk."

"Guys, I think that Sue knows we're here..." Ossa said, hoping to silence the two before Melanie heard them.

"If anything, you're a Neanderthal."

"I'll bet Bahamut your Author was a Neanderthal."

"OH, THAT DOES IT!" Cristoph pulled out his ninjato angrily. "YOU'RE ASKING FOR A DECAPITATION NOW, YOU NUCLEAR BABOON!"

Ben stomped on the ground like a sumo wrestler preparing to charge, adopting a rather silly boxing stance. "BRING IT ON! YOU COULDN'T HACK YOUR WAY THROUGH A STACK OF PAPERWORK!"

"GUYS~!" Ossa screamed.

"WHAT!" both Agents turned from each other to face Ossa. On a normal day, this would seem almost comical, but unfortunately, the comedy of what could've been a fight worthy of a Team That Guy With the Glasses Brawl was quickly lost as a familiar beam of blue fire and light took out the wall next to them and the wall across from them, flooding the room with more moonlight as Melanie stepped back inside the mess, looking for all the world like an angel of vengeance.

"...this is all your fault," Cristoph deadpanned at Ben.


"Bollocks!" Tash looked ready to pound her head against something herself. She had been watching the whole thing unfold on the computers before her, and now things were practically going to hell in a handbasket right before her eyes.

That's when Valerie burst into the room, the normally calm Society healer looking rather flustered.

"Tash, have you seen Cristoph?"

"He's currently on a mission, why?" Tash said, pointing to the monitor.

"You've got to call him back!"

Tash blinked. That had to be the first time Valerie had ever said something to that effect. "Why, is something wrong?"

"I don't know how, but... Cristoph somehow managed to escape the hospital ward during the night, even though I told him he couldn't leave until he'd fully recovered! He's still in no condition to be fighting right now!"

"You four are like a pack of little rats, scurrying under my feet while I try to kill you," Melanie snarled. "I was going to kill you rather quickly so I could get on with my life, but now I'm royally pissed off!"

Cristoph pulled out his ninjato, turning to face Melanie, but Melanie quickly charged forward, driving her knee into Cristoph's face and sending him right into Ben for the second time that night, throwing them into the opposite wall. Ossa quickly stood up, drawing her katana.

" would fight me?" Melanie asked, merely shifting her eyes at the Agent in her periphreal vision. "You look as though you can barely wield that weapon..."

Suddenly, there was a keen whistling in the air, but it was different than before. Swinging her lance, a set of shuriken thrown by Cristoph fell harmlessly out of the air.

"Don't be so quick to judge..." Ossa growled.

"She's mine, Lady Ossa!" Cristoph shouted, charging at Melanie from where he and Ben had landed with ninjato ready. However, the Sue merely swung out with her lance again, knocking Cristoph across the room again as the lance connected with his side. Something cracked audibly.

"And you're the absolute worst of the group, ninja-boy. Because you never seem to learn when to stay down," Melanie added. "I wonder if you're even a real ninja..."

"Shut... up... Sue..." Cristoph grunted, staggering onto his feet. Melanie actually stifled a giggle at this.

"Your breathing is starting to get shallow," she observed. "And there was barely any force behind that swing. Did you wound yourself already somewhere?"

"So what... if I did?" Cristoph said, preparing his ninjato.

Suddenly, Karissa spoke for the first time since she was wounded from her sitting position near the wall. "Wait. Anybody seen Ben?"


And what a surprise it was. Suddenly, there was a loud boom from behind them and the whistling of another shell, granted this one sounded different than a nuke. No, this one sounded like...

"A tank shell?" Cristoph wondred.

Melanie turned, swinging her lance as she did. There was one large CLANG!, but Cristoph felt two things surge past him as it flew through the wall behind him. Outside, everyone could make out the sight of Ben in the tank hatch of a light Gallian tank. Now Cristoph understood: while he and Ossa were fighting her inside to keep her away from Karissa, Ben decided to sneak outside and commandeer one of the tanks in the ruined hangar.

"I always wondered vaguely what it would be like to be James Bond when he took over that tank in GoldenEye," Ben observed. "And now I know: it feels AWESOME!"

Melanie facepalmed, turning away from Cristoph. "You know what, screw it. I was supposed to go after ninja-boy anyway, so I'll just take care of all three of you at once and focus on ninja-boy afterward. In other words, EAT FINAL FLAME!"

Cristoph's eyes widened. The Valkyria Final Flame was the most devastating move in the Valkyria arsenal. Granted, it ended up taking the caster's life in the end, but the Final Flame would destroy everything for miles in all directions. And knowing Melanie, she'd use her Sue powers to bend the rules so that she'd survive, probably citing true love for Welkin or some other BS factor, while leaving ACMSES short three agents and a whole mess for him to clean up afterward in their wake.

I've got to stop her! Even if I have to...! Cristoph thought blithely.

Suddenly, something happened. In his mind, there was a loud shattering noise, almost like a small glass object breaking, and at once his body began to move on its own. He shifted his feet slightly into a different stance. Hefting the ninjato in his hand, he traced two of his fingers on the blade's edge, feeling the steel as he closed his eyes. He then stepped forward with his left leg, levelling the blade with his eyes, pointing the weapon at the distracted Melanie.

"Shinmei..." he intoned. "Muso...Ryu...Shoden!"

His eyes flew open, and he brought down the weapon, slicing the open air once.


The air suddenly rent with some kind of transparent wind slice, bending the light cast by Melanie's Valkyria flame as it flew towards its target...and sailed left, instead surging through the lance she was holding and not much else.

"Oh, come on! What is the deal!" Cristoph howled in protest, which turned into a gag and a gasp as Cristoph fell to one knee, trying to catch his breath.

By now, Melanie had finished charging her Final Flame maneuver, raising her Valkyria lance and pointing it skyward almost like a certain green-clad video game character would raise his sword.

"This is it!" Melanie said. "Say your prayers, Agents!"

"NOOOO!" Cristoph stumbled to his feet, still clutching his ninjato as he started forward in hopes of preventing the calamity...

And suddenly, the lance cracked and all the energy that Melanie had been channelling suddenly burst out, the flow of power interrupted as the lance exploded in her hands, shrouding everyone in a bright cobalt light.

"Geez...should've brought my sunglasses..."

And on that note from Ben, the four agents stumbled forward to the place where the Sue had been standing only a few minutes before, disoriented but otherwise okay, with Karissa leaning on Ossa to support the weight of her wounded leg. As for Melanie, however, the only thing left of the Sue was where she had been standing, which was now coated in a ring of soot.

"How's that for anti-climactic? The Sue blew herself up," Ben continued.

"How many times... has that appeared... in the ACMSES archives?" Cristoph asked Karissa between his gasps.

Karissa just shook her head, completely unable to put into words what she had just witnessed.

"I guess... it's mission complete," Ossa said. "I mean, the Sue's gone, all we gotta do is use a Prohibitor to wipe her influence from the fandom and then we can go home?"

"And maybe do something about your ribs," Ben said to Cristoph matter-of-factly.

"My ribs... are fine..." gasped Cristoph, but when Karissa (helped by Ossa) gave his ribs a hard poke, Cristoph amended it to, "Okay, okay! You've proven... your point! Now stop that, I need... to breathe!"

Karissa shook her head. "You actually snuck out of the ward to partake in a mission? I thought I was speechless before, but..."

However, Karissa was once again interrupted as a familiar blur of blue zoomed by, grabbing Cristoph and scattering the other three. Melanie Racquel Amaryllis Pauline Koda the Ninth was not pleased at all about how the situation had unfolded for her, and it was clear by the look on her now not-quite-so-perfect features, marred by the aftereffects of her backfired Final Flame, and the fact that she drove the wounded ninja through a wall and against the wall on the other side of the room, which happened to be the kitchen.

"You've totally ruined my plans, ninja-boy," she said coldly, one hand wrapped around his neck. "I was told to bring you back alive, and make no mistake, I will. But now that you've garnered my full attention..." she paused to slam Cristoph against the wall to make her point. "I'm going to make you regret for ever crossing me. Then I'll take you with me."

Cristoph's mouth moved slightly, although it was somewhat gargled by the Sue pressing her hand against his throat as he waved his arms, trying to reach for something.

"What's this? A snarky comment? Go ahead, say it, ninja-boy. Make my day."

Cristoph managed two barely audible words. "Open wide."

"What-!" and suddenly, the rest of the statement was lost in a loaf of Alicia's best bread as Cristoph managed to pull one that just happened to be in the oven, most likely to be cooled before the canon character went to bed that night. Surprised, Melanie made the mistake of letting go of Cristoph, who proceeded to kick her away as he collapsed against the wall, gasping for air. And then, a rolling pin came down on Melanie's head and finished the job. Cristoph looked up to see Ben holding the rolling pin as he tossed it back onto the counter.

Karissa and Ossa stepped into the kitchen, eyeing their handiwork.

"Did you just take out a Sue with bread and a rolling pin?" Ossa asked the obvious question.

"I dunno... maybe?" Cristoph replied.

"," Ossa smiled.

Karissa, however, was a bit more pragmatic, as she hobbled over to Melanie's unconscious body and put a Prohibitor on the Sue. At once, the destruction of the base that had been wrought during the melee began to disappear and the fandom was purged of Melanie's Sueishness.

"Finally, we can all it a night. Ben, the Plothole Generator, please?" Karissa asked.

"Sure thing, I'll go get it," said Ben, scooting off just as the mess hall finished repairing itself.

Cristoph attempted to rise, leaning on his ninjato for support, but found it difficult enough to even summon his strength after having his ribs re-broken and having survived being choked by an angry Sue. Karissa saw him from the counter she was leaning against, and gave Cristoph a look that stated he should stay down and recover his strength, or at least wait for Ben to return, and desisted.

Then, something inexplicable happened.

No, Cristoph's wounds didn't just heal over. Melanie suddenly began to spark electricity. Her body suddenly jolted with lightning, as if struck by lightning.

"Umm... Lady Karissa?"


" she supposed to be doing that?"

"That's impossible. The Prohibtor should be stifling her powers, and I checked that Prohibtor myself before we left. Why is she...?"

For the third time, Karissa found herself interrupted as suddenly, Melanie rose with a vengeance, shooting a burst of lightning at Karissa from her hand, knocking her out instantly. Ossa, to her credit, reacted swiftly, but Melanie was faster, catching Ossa's blade on the way down, twisting it out of her hands, and then headbutting her, knocking her out as well. Ben then entered the room, carrying the Plothole Generator, which he then dropped to engage Melanie, but she simply tripped him and then knocked him out with a gratuitous boot to the face.

Cristoph could only watch as Melanie then turned to face him, grinning as she walked towards him, her hands sparking with blue lightning as she kneeled down, reaching for his neck...

And Cristoph felt something he'd never thought he'd feel for a long time.

It was sheer terror.



Cristoph jolted awake, blinking owlishly to find himself in the medical ward of the Library, staring at not only the concerned face of Valerie, but of Rhia and Tash as well. Rhia was in her wheelchair with her leg still bound in a cast following their mission into the Babylon 5 fandom.

"I'm... alive?" was the first words out of his mouth.

"Well, yes, but for a while we thought you weren't," said Valerie. "I was awoken in the middle of the night by the sound of your monitors going bonkers, and when I went to see what it was, lo and behold, I found you seizing in your bed, like you were a patient on last night's episode of House."

Cristoph sighed, looking down at himself, finding his limbs strapped to the bed with leather.

"We normally save those for Michael when he comes here, so he doesn't try to escape. We were afraid you were going to hurt yourself or Valerie when she was treating you," said Tash.

"So... the mission, it was..."

"Mission, what mission?" Rhia asked in confusion. "You weren't on any mission. You're still on sick leave after our mission into the Babylon 5 fandom."

Cristoph slumped back in his bed, looking at the ceiling. He heard Valerie say something to Tash and Rhia, and the two ladies left. Valerie then went over to him and said, "Cristoph...when I was treating you, I felt something. Pain, fear... and it was especially violent. Cristoph, did... do you know of anything that might be causing this?"

"...I don't know. I wish I did, but... I don't know."

Valerie nodded. "Very well. But if you feel anything, let me know."

And so, Valerie vanished to...wherever she had come from. Rhia then entered from outside the ward.

"Are you feeling better now?" she asked.

"I'm tired, and my ribs feel like they're on fire, but other than that..."

Rhia sighed with relief. "That's good..."

"Lady Rhia, why are you here?" Cristoph asked. "I mean, Lady Tash and Lady Valerie I can understand, but you?"

"I'm your friend, Cristoph, what more reason do you need?" Rhia asked, wheeling over to his side. "Besides... I was scared."

"Scared? What for?"

" looked like you were in so much pain. Like... I don't know, maybe you were dreaming about what happened last month, but whatever it was...I just wanted to make sure you were alright. 'cause friends like you are hard to come by these days."

Cristoph blinked, unsure of how to respond. It was just like what happened the month before; once again the ninja found himself tongue-tied in her presence. Why did this keep happening? And what was that feeling he was getting in his stomach? It didn't feel like anything, just like... well, he couldn't identify it.

"I guess I better go. Try and rest a little more, okay? I'll come meet you in the morning."

"Yes... yes that would be nice."

So, Rhia wheeled off to her bed. But once she was out of earshot, something rang out in Cristoph's mind. Laughter. And he recognized it immediately.


Surprised, ninja-boy? That was only a fraction of what power I actually have...

"Where are you?"

Don't bother. I'm a long way from here. But answer me you want to know about what you are?

Cristoph's eyes widened, but he tried to hide his surprise. "You don't know anything about me!"

Oh, I do, ninja-boy. I do. I know everything about you. You want to know about what brought about your existence? I'll tell you. All you have to do... is catch me.

"Show yourself!" Cristoph demanded, but the laughter of Melanie Racquel Amaryllis Henrietta Pauline Koda the Ninth was all that remained.


Tash, meanwhile, was busy looking through some of the filing cabinets in her office in the Library, her fingers digging through the files before her.

"You're up late."

Tash whirled around, only to relax in finding out it was Adrian. She then turned back to the cabinet, finally pulling out a file marked "Asahina, Cristoph" and looking through its contents... or lack thereof.

"Is this all we have on Cristoph?" she asked.

"Aside from what, his mission statements? Then, yeah, that's all of it."

Tash sat at her desk, the folder's piecemeal contents before her. "Unbelievable... we have absolutely no personal data on the ninja at all. I mean, even Aster has a little bit of personal data, for what its worth, but Cristoph... it's like he's a total mystery. Why? And how? It doesn't make any sense."

"I don't know about why," Adrian shook his head. "As for how, I'm not sure about that either, but I do know this... whatever Cristoph is, I doubt he's anything like what we might have witnessed before..."

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