Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Insert Computerized Alien Species Here

Bannerman Road was getting to be familiar territory for the removal men these days. Though this time they were just moving one person in, rather than a whole family, which was more than enough to make the residents curious. And so it was, that many a member of the street watched, with their noses pressed against their windows as the removal men hefted a surprisingly small number of boxes and a sparse amount of furniture into the house, and a young girl entered with a pleased smile on her face.

She was an undeniably beautiful girl, no older than fifteen, with long silky blonde hair, a body that would make supermodels jealous and skin so fair that it looked as though the slightest sunlight would burn her. And yet her most stunning features were her eyes, which spoke of pain, sorrow, and age that one so young should never have to experience.

With her journalist's nose for a story, it was not long before Sarah Jane became interested in the girl who, apparently lived alone. She hastily invited herself over to number eleven, with a thermos of tea, and a plate of cookies, much in the same way she had done earlier that year with Rani's mother, when the Chandra's had first moved into number twelve.

Once again, Sarah Jane proved that she could sniff out strangeness accurately, for the girl had a very interesting story to tell. Her name was Lisa Vine. Her mother had died in childbirth, and her father had been murdered trying to protect her from men who had broken into their house one night. Her blue eyes had filled with tears at the memory of his death, and she had busied herself with some of Sarah Jane's offered tea, before composing herself enough to go on. She spoke about how she was looking for someone who could help look after her, and care for her. When Sarah Jane had asked if she meant relatives, Lisa had merely smiled mysteriously, and said in that perfect voice "something like that".

Barely two days later, and a lost and utterly terrified alien dropped smack into the middle of Bannerman Road, after its ship malfunctioned, and began shooting anything that moved in fear for its life. Sarah Jane and her friends had attempted to reason with it, to no avail. The poor creature was simply too terrified…at least until the mysterious girl from number eleven appeared.

At the sight of the sparkling blue eyes, and the understanding expression on that beautiful face, the alien had instantly calmed, as Lisa had told it about her own horrific and tragic past, and how she had overcome her fear in order to keep on going. The alien, placated by her kind and brave nature, had allowed Sarah Jane to use K-9 to fix the malfunction in the ships controls, and was quickly on its way.

Even though a little voice had told Sarah Jane in the back of her mind, that allowing another child into her dangerous life was a bad idea, she had ignored it and accepted Lisa into her strange little family – after all, how could she say no to such a brave and helpful young woman?

As the next week had dawned, Lisa had enrolled in Park Vale school, and instantly fitted in with almost everyone. During this time, she was able to get Rani to admit (in secret of course, when the boys were not listening) that she had a thing for Clyde, and she had promised the taller girl that she would do what she could to help them get together. She also, after much prodding, got something that sounded suspiciously like a confession of love out of Luke, when discussing Maria (though of course Luke was highly confused about his own feelings, have never felt anything like them before). Lisa had assured him that there was nothing strange or unusual about the way he felt, and that he should tell Maria about it as soon as possible.

It was about now that most fanfiction readers had either reached for the brain bleach or collapsed into a Sue-induced coma, and a certain Society were alerted as to her existence.


The papers were packed to exploding point in her bag, but still the small girl ran, skidding to a halt at the end of the corridor. Puffing from her impromptu race across the Library Arcanium, Emily pulled the briefing room door open as silently as she could and slipped her tiny figure around it...

...and was immediately met by about thirty pairs of amused looking eyes. She felt herself blush, and shuffled to her chair beside the leaders.

"You thought just because you're small we wouldn't notice you were missing?" Harriet inquired, before smirking. "Well we did, and you're late young lady. That's not very becoming..."

Emily tuned out the rest of Harriet's speech. She could not have missed much, as none of the paperwork had been issued yet, so she focused her gaze on the table and muttered an apology when the leader took a second to breathe.

"Right, before we begin this meeting," Tash called everyone to order. "I'd just like to say there may be some interruptions because unfortunately –"

She was cut off as the thundering noise of drill against concrete made itself known to the entire briefing room. Emily immediately clapped her hands over her ears, as did several others. Tash continued to speak, but her voice was drowned out.

"What did you say?" Marcus asked, as the noise subsided. He had been appointed note taker for this meeting and he was scribbling so frantically that Emily was sure his hand was trying to separate itself from his arm. "I couldn't hear you because Doug is drilling a new piping system into his lab downstairs."

Tash gave him a look. "That's what I said. I said there may be some interruptions because..."

The drilling pounded through the room again, muting the leader's voice once more.

"...still didn't hear that..." Marcus informed her.

"...let's begin," Tash looked as though she were fighting the urge to hit Marcus with the book. "We have apologies for absence. As we've just heard, Doug isn't here."

The drills began again. This time, Tash waited before continuing.

"Jared and Chloe also send apologies for not attending. Also, Emma, Beth, Kate...and I guess effectively Meg too, have handed in their resignations due to Real Life commitments. They shall all be greatly missed."

There as a murmur of agreement and Emily's face fell. She had liked the Welsh girls, as they were the ones that had rescued her and brought her to the Society. It wouldn't be the same with so many people leaving. She couldn't help but notice Tash did not look happy about this either.

Harriet, perhaps to ease everyone's sadness, helpfully began throwing papers at people.

"Okay, weekly rotas are being... thrown around," Tash continued. "Read, memorise, the usual..."

"Hey, why am I on monitor duty again?" Ben complained, yelping in surprise as Shirley chomped her way through the rota in disgust. Frowning, the three leaders grabbed a copy and scanned it quickly.

"Oh bol-!" the leader's cursing was fortunately cut off by another short burst of drilling.

"You printed out last week's copy," Michael stated, to the snickers of the agents. Tash hid her face in the rota in embarrassment.

"...I'm afraid I didn't hear what you said just now Tash," Marcus piped up. "Shall I leave a blank in the minutes?"

"No Marcus," Harriet sighed. "Do not leave a blank. I think you'll find what she said was essentially an unfavourable word, often used by British people to describe either testicles, or a dire situation."

There was a very long silence following this declaration, punctuated only by Marcus scribbling down the notes.

"Right... moving on," Tash muttered. "I'll get the rotas round at lunchtime then. Item one..."

"Oooh wait!" Harriet got to her feet again, and began throwing folders to various agents around the table. "I have field reports checked, corrected, stamped and approved from last week..."

Emily was pleased to see that along with the field reports, a file was thrown at her with a large "APPROVED" stamp across the front. She had submitted her latest completed gadget ( was technically half hers – one of Tash's friends in Real Life had come up with the original designs) to the leaders, and it seemed she had succeeded.

Tash was drumming her fingers against the table, as Harriet marched around the room, patting gold stickers onto the heads of the agents who had successfully completed their paperwork without spelling mistakes (Tyler immediately began to eat his).

"Finished?" Tash asked Harriet, as the leader sat down, with a smile and a nod. "Good. Then we can move on to item one..."

"I almost forgot!" Harriet gasped suddenly, leaping from her chair and marching over to Emily, who suddenly felt the room develop a nasty chill. There was something in Harriet's face that made her wish she had skipped the meeting all together, and stayed in Tash's hanger.

It was only when the leader produced a party hat, and a large flashing badge with the number eleven on it, that Emily realised what her intentions were, and her face went magenta – it couldn't be the twenty seventh of February already, could it?

"Happy birthday to you..."

At the sight of their leader waving her arms like a drunken orchestra conductor, the rest of the Society burst into a hasty chorus of song, accompanied by surprised and excited grins on their faces. Harriet's personal string quartet also appeared and began a wailing screech of violins that almost drowned out the singers. By the time the song was finished, Harriet had pressed the party hat, and badge bearing the number eleven onto a mortified looking Emily. She had honestly forgotten all about it...

"You never told us it was your birthday!" Tyler sounded put out, as did several other agents. Emily immediately felt bad, but it was outweighed by her sudden desire to vanish into thin air. She didn't want to be here anymore. She wanted her room and some privacy...but the Society would never allow her that...why had Harriet had to bring this up?

Desperate now to get the meeting over, she put on as good a smile as she could muster, and turned to Tash.

"Tash, do me a favour and move to item one, before Harriet decides I'm small enough for the birthday bumps."

Tash grinned. "Sure. Item one..."

"Wait!" Marcus held up a hand, his other still scrawling furiously. "I didn't get all that... happy birthday dear Emily... happy birthday to you... what came next?"

Tash gave him a very blank look, before shaking her head. "Just skip it..." She turned to the rest of the Society, who had settled back into their seats. "And now, at last, item one..."

"Actually, bugger item one," Jess got to her feet, fishing in her bag for her supply of fabric paint, which was usually reserved for concerts. "I'm going to go decorate the reading room so we can have a birthday party!"

"I don't want a birthday party!" Emily protested, utterly horrified at the idea. It wasn't that she didn't appreciate the thought, but a party was the last thing she wanted to face right now. Jess's determined stride did not break however, as she scooped a disgruntled Leonard back into her handbag. The rest of the agents began muttering excitedly amongst themselves.

"Well the rest of us do!" Jess charged from the room, muttering to herself, "I wonder if Doug will notice if I steal his bedsheets..."

"Yeah, I'm with Jess," Rhia declared. "I'm going to go make a birthday cake! See you all later!"

And she shot from the room, leaving a cloud of dust in her wake. Emily could only sit and watch the agents excuse themselves from the meeting.

"I'm going to get some music together!" Ben declared loudly.

"Me too!" Jared added.

"I'll help decorate the room!" Willie cried.

"No way!" Michael bellowed over the din. "I remember what happened last time you decorated! If you even think about putting up more shrunken heads I'll lock you in a room with Phoenixia! And she'll make sure you're naked!"

The only person in the room, who was not making a fuss, was Tash. The leader just sat in her seat, with her head resting on her hands, a twitch working its way into her fingertips as her meeting adjourned itself.

"Just once, I'd like to get through a meeting and get to my main point..." she muttered.

"Shall I minute that?" Marcus asked, as he prepared to pack his notes away.

Tash's only response was to reach over and smack him over the head with a rolled up rota, before answering her communicator. Emily immediately regretted mentally asking herself how the day could get any worse, as she saw the leader's face turn serious.

"Sue loose in a fandom?" Harriet asked, as her friend got up and began to pack her belongings up. Tash nodded.

"Not just a Sue… it's that Sue from the His Dark Materials fandom."


Lisa was smiling to herself, as she watched Clyde and Rani exchange looks ahead of her. Her bag strap was intolerably tight on her shoulder, and she lamented such a long time trapped in her story with no form of exercise. Though she had retained her beauty, she had had very little time to get use to the strenuousness way people would walk everywhere and carry things themselves in this time. She reminded herself that they were only two streets away from Bannerman Road, and she would survive.

As she watched the two ahead, Rani would hastily return her eyes to the pavement beneath her feet, and Clyde would clear his throat awkwardly and loudly change the subject. The new arrival to the group had to smile. It wouldn't be long before they admitted their feelings. She had to sigh though. Things moved so slowly in these times. She remembered a time in history where men had just come right out and admitted their intentions to court the opposite sex. In those days, it was the actual courting that took time, not admitting ones feelings.

Things really had moved on without her in the past few centuries. She would need to adapt quickly if she wanted to survive. And yet she had no fear. Divine providence would see her through these terrible times.

"Freeze Sue!"

She gasped, her hands flying to her mouth in horror. Surely the Society had not found her already? She had been sure that good fortune and providence would provide her with more time than this! And yet there they were. The tall blonde leader, who was scowling in a most unbecoming way, and another agent with hair that caused Lisa's jaw to drop (it was dark purple, lest her eyes were deceiving her!). Both of them looked ready for a fight, despite the fact that the plothole had dumped them unceremoniously on the ground before the group.

"A dimensional gateway!" Luke identified, his eyes fixed on the closing plothole.

"Who on Earth are they?" Clyde folded his arms, his guard up. Rani had taken a step back (and inadvertently closer to Clyde too). Tash noted this and gave a groan.

"Oh come on! You two are so out of character!"

"They're aliens from another dimension!" Lisa exclaimed, clinging to Luke's arm. "They're here to kill me!"

"Really Lisa, why on Earth would we go to the trouble of killing you?" Jess huffed, spinning her body piercing needle in one hand. Noting the Sue's wide eyes added. "We hacked into the Park Vale records to find your name."

"Shame," Tash muttered, casually pulling her necklace off and morphing it into Nephthys. "I had a lot of inventive nicknames I'd been calling you instead."

Lisa ignored the leader and continued. "Of course you'll kill me! I know how the Society operate! Alina told me all I needed to know!"

Now it was the turn of the Society agents to recoil as they remembered the infamous Luxe fiasco. "Alina?" Tash spluttered.

"That crazy bitch worked for you?" Jess was aghast.

"What's going on?" Rani, and the two boys had bunched protectively around Lisa. The Sue continued in a breathy voice, tinged with the perfect amount of fear and anxiety.

"These people killed a dear friend to me, some time ago! And they've been trying to do the same to me ever since! They have to be stopped before they kill more people!"

"We're not going to kill anyone!" Tash protested, but even as she spoke, a car came around the corner fast, splashing through a puddle and sending a wave of cold and muddy water at the two Society agents. The canon characters and Sue accomplice took the opportunity to escape.

"Bollocks!" Tash yelled, before remembering that she was in a children's fandom and was supposed to be keeping things PG.

"That woman is going to die!" Jess hissed, water dripping from her hair into smaller puddles on the ground.


"Why are they after you, Lisa?" Luke had no problems with running – he was born running after all – however his heart was thudding in fear for Lisa. The girl was beside him, running gracefully, with her long blonde hair flying through the air. Luke could see she was holding back tears of fear, and he wanted desperately to hug her.

"And why did they call you Sue?" Rani asked. Lisa bit her lip, before replying. Even when running she did not sound out of breath in the slightest.

"They are from another dimension," she explained. "They killed my friend. I myself have escaped from them before, and now they seek my death."

Luke had a nagging feeling that this was not the whole story – Lisa hadn't directly answered his question, and she hadn't touched Clyde's. But now was not the time to be demanding answers.

"We should get to Sarah Jane," Clyde said. "She'll know what to do."

And so the running continued.

Unseen by any of them, as they rounded the corner to Bannerman Road, a small head of light brown hair rose up from behind a wall. Pushing her glasses up her nose, Emily watched as the canon characters raced up the road, accompanied by a figure who could only be the Mary-Sue, Lisa. Emily frowned. She didn't look too dangerous... but then again, neither had her sister until you had pissed her off...


"Heeeere Palm Tree..." Ashley whispered. The girl had just whimpered and pressed herself back into the bookcase, wishing that she could cloak herself in the room's darkness. But she knew it was too late. She had been found.

"You're a bad girl," Aspen joined her twin and giggled. "We told you to stay hidden for a whole hour-"

"- and then you'd get your present," Ashley smirked. "But its only been-"

"-fifty eight minutes," Aspen finished. "So no birthday present for you!"

"Too bad," Ashley added. "But now we get to play a new game. Its called-"

"-murder in the dark," Aspen said. "And you're it!"

There was a snap and the lights came on again.

"Birthday games, is it?" the oldest Foxblade sister had glared harshly at the twins, and for the first time in months, the youngest girl felt safe again.


Emily blinked and shook her head hard. She had to stop thinking about that! So what if it was her birthday? She had a job to do. She had been lucky to be allowed to come on this mission at all, and Harriet had only allowed it because it was one of her favourite fandoms. She had a job to do, and she had better do it right.

The canon characters were half way up the road, still clustered protectively around the Sue. Emily pulled her new phone out and dialled.

"Tash? They're heading for Sarah Jane's house. What happened?" she paused in surprise. "A car? But nothing has come down here... yeah... okay, I'll wait here."

She hung up quickly, and returned to watching the retreating back of the Mary-Sue. She was definitely old – Emily shivered as she felt just how anciently powerful the woman felt – and beautiful (strangely, Emily couldn't help but try and compare her unfavourably to Willowe, but she knew she was probably bias in her late sister's favour), and beneath all that, Emily knew could sense that she was intelligent. She might look pure and innocent, but she was definitely not an idiot – they would have to be just as clever to catch her… or especially lucky, which was more likely in the case of the Society.

"Hey kid! Get off my front lawn!"

Too late, Emily realised the wall she had crouched behind was in fact someone's front garden, and with a squeak, she scrambled out. She would definitely need to work on subtlety if she planned on doing this again...

Jess and Tash rounded the corner, wet, bedraggled, and distinctly unhappy. Emily took two steps back, just in case they felt like hugging her.

"What do we do now?" she asked. Tash frowned.

"We need to Copyright those characters..." Jess snorted.

"They're not going to come near us. You heard what Lisa told them. We're dangerous murderers."

"Then we have to draw them out," Emily finished. "And in this fandom that shouldn't be too hard." She turned and smiled at the leader. "They already think we're aliens, and all good aliens have a spaceship..."

Tash beamed. "That would get their attention!"

"Great...but unless you've got a spaceship hanging around that you don't need..." Jess trailed off as she saw the looks on her companion's faces. " are kidding me, right?"

Tash pulled out a small silver key, with a large blue button on the top. "You did want to know about the secret project Emily and I had been working on for months, right?"


"Sarah Jane, I have detected an alien spacecraft at the end of Bannerman Road."

Sarah Jane was startled out of her web browsing by the voice of her sentient computer program. It was highly unusual for Mr Smith to give the alert for an incoming spacecraft when it was already in Earth's airspace – usually he could detect it approaching when it was still on the other side of the solar system.

"That was unusually quiet," she muttered. "And no one noticed it in the air before now?"

By no one, she meant him.

"The ship did not arrive by air," Mr Smith went on to explain. "It materialised through a temporaral distortion at the very end of Bannerman Road."

"What kind of temporal distortion? A wormhole?"

"I cannot confirm. The distortion has now disappeared."

An unstable hole in time and space was definitely something to worry about, but the ex Time Traveller was currently more concerned about the alien ship.

It only took a matter of seconds for her to cross the attic and peer through the window at the other end of the road, and yet to her surprise, Sarah Jane saw nothing. The road seemed perfectly normal and calm – no sign that an alien ship had just appeared through a hole in space. And yet Mr Smith never lied...well except that time involving the Slitheen, but that was different.

"Mr Smith, I can't see anything," Sarah Jane turned her head back toward the computer. Immediately, a scan of the road appeared on the screen, and to Sarah Jane's surprise, the image showed that there was definitely a spaceship at the end of the road.

"A cloaking device is currently active on the vessel," Mr Smith informed her patiently. Frowning, Sarah Jane turned back toward the window, and looked hard down the road at where she knew the ship to be.

And yes... there was a ship there, exactly matching the detail on Mr Smith's screen. It was big – very big. And were it not for the fact that number six Bannerman Road was up for sale and the large garden at the front vacated, the ship would have been intruding right into the road and disrupting any traffic that chose to drive down it. It's design was interesting – it reminded Sarah Jane of a ray in flatness and shape. The hull was sleek and the silvery metal shone in the afternoon sun. It had taken her a while to see it, but now she understood. The cloaking device Mr Smith had described was a clever one – it didn't make the ship invisible. It just made sure that no one noticed it. A sensible move considering how likely the sight of an alien craft was to make people panic.

The attic door swung open, and Sarah Jane tore her eyes away from the window to see Luke, Clyde, Rani and Lisa, out of breath, and pink cheeked. Instantly, Sarah Jane knew something had already happened to them.

"Mum, there are a bunch of aliens after Lisa!" Luke gasped.


"And now, we wait," Tash leaned back in the pilot's chair, and went back to stroking the ship's console. "Good girl..."

"Should we leave you and the Manta alone?" Jess asked. She had spread herself over the floor, and was midway through cutting holes in a bedsheet that she had pilfered earlier from Doug's empty room.

"Oooh no don't stop Tashy..." a voice dripping with desire came through the speakers. "What you're doing feels soooo good..."

"PHOENIXIA!" Tash screeched, yanking her hand away as though burned, while the computer program herself snickered at her misfortune. Jess burst out laughing, almost stabbing herself in the hand with her scissors. Emily thought she understood what was being implied, and let a tiny giggle escape her, which she hastily tried to hide behind her hand. She could feel her cheeks burning too, though Tash's seemed to be beating hers rather spectacularly at the present moment.

"One thing I would like to know," Jess raised her hand. "Why exactly is no one in the street running away screaming that there are aliens invading? I mean, we did just dump a very big spaceship in the middle of the street."

"That's my latest invention," Emily beamed, holding up a circular device, about the size of an alarm clock, with a large red button on the front. "Well... your friend Kiara came up with the plans, I just built it. It's called an SEP field."

"SEP?" Jess asked, frowning.

"Someone Else's Problem," Tash explained. Emily took a deep breath and rattled off the explanation.

"Anything which the SEP field is attached to immediately becomes unnoticeable to almost anyone in the vicinity – exceptions include those with special conditioning." She pointed out of the ships window. "Those people out there. Right now, all they're thinking is "Oh... there's a spaceship... eh, someone else will deal with it." That's how the field works. It stops people from caring about odd things like this. It wouldn't work on someone like... Phoenixia for example, who is trained to see things in a different way to human beings."

"And I'm just that awesome," their computer interjected. "And since the leaders approved Emily's new gadget for Society use just this morning, it's now available to anyone who requests it."

"Okay, which just leaves me with one question," Jess said, turning her most annoyed look on to Tash. "When in the name of Marco Hietala's trousers did you get a spaceship?!"

Tash rested her head on the console. "It's a very long story..." she gave a chuckle. "Literally. It was a very long, bad crossover fic, written five years ago, and resulted in a self insertion that was so Sueish she made Willowe look cute and harmless." She gave a smile. "Actually, it's the same fic that Sati came from."

"Until recently the Manta was in the Vault of Abandoned Ideas," Emily explained.

"And the characters and familiars were sealed into the fic," Tash finished, closing her eyes. Jess patted the leader on the shoulder.

"It was five years ago," she said, remembering her own close encounter with her past creation recently. "We all have our ghosts... so what's the plan?"

"First, can you stop mutilating those bed sheets?" Tash begged. "You're getting paint on my floor! Emily and I spent ages cleaning it!"

Remembering those long days spent putting the ship back together brought a fond smile to the eleven year olds face, but something else was nagging at her.

"For the record Tash," Emily added. "Willowe was never cute and harmless..."

The leader uncomfortably went back to fiddling with her ship, and Emily's thoughts continued privately in her head.

"She was always calculating, always thinking, always ahead of you..." she thought. "And one day, I'll be the same..."


"Are you looking after yourself?"

She wondered how Willowe knew that Ashley and Aspen hadn't been looking after her. She shrugged, pushing her long fringe out of her eyes. How strange, she thought. She had been so thrilled to see her big sister, not a few minutes ago, after the young woman had shown up, told the twins that she had come back for Palm Tree's tenth birthday, and she was taking her out for a walk. And now that they were here, she was suddenly seized by the urge to treat Willowe with a cold shoulder. She had been gone for the better part of the last year, running from fandom to fandom, supposedly trying to find a safe home for them.

The girl known as Palm Tree snorted. She wasn't stupid. She had heard what everyone was saying. That Willowe was raising an army to take on the Society and achieve something incredible. She wasn't looking for a home for them anymore. She was looking for war.

"I got you a present," the beautiful elder Foxblade, always so certain of herself, and positive in her actions, was hesitating as she held out a small blue box to the girl. Despite her resolve to show Willowe no feeling, Palm Tree was curious, and she opened the box cautiously.

A hairclip, designed in the shape of a palm leaf, rested in the box. The leaf was painted a vibrant shade of green, and at the base was a tiny diamond. Unconsciously she raked her hair out of her eyes again, and Willowe smiled.

"I know you won't grow your hair, or get your fringe cut, so I thought you could use this instead," her smile vanished quickly, as she realised that the younger girl was making no effort to try it on, or even take it from her grasp.

"Why did you come here Willowe?" she muttered. "Did taking over the world get boring?"

The words came out bitter, and Willowe recoiled.

"I... how can... what is wrong with you?"

"You leave us for over a year," there was no stopping the anger now. "We've heard nothing from you. You said you went to look for somewhere for us to live – where we could be a family. What kind of family are we now? Holly and June are looking for you, and messing around in fandoms of their own, and you're more interested in taking on Harriet and causing trouble for the Society than finding a place for us to settle down quietly!"

Where have you been these last few months when the twins have needed someone to guide them? Where were you when I needed protecting from them? I'm scared, sister, and you aren't even around to hug me and promise that this nightmare will be over soon! What's happening to you that's so powerful that even your family can't help you?

The thoughts stayed within her head.


Sharp knocks banged against the hull of the Manta, and Emily's head snapped up from where it had been clasped between her hands. She hadn't realised that she had screwed up her eyes until she opened them. Jess was still on the floor with the bedsheets, half way toward becoming birthday banners. Emily felt the strongest urge to shred them.

"They knocked," Jess was highly amused, as the external cameras displayed the visiting canon characters and Mary-Sue. "How very British."

"Emily," Tash turned to the youngest member of the group. "Y'know those modifications you made to the rear guns for this mission? Don't suppose we can use them now?"

Emily understood, and flipped a few switches. "Setting to Copyright mode..."

"Allow me," Phoenixia materialised in the gunner's chair on Tash's left, and not a second later, the rear guns aimed and fired at the canon characters, tiny darts embedding themselves into their necks. Jess watched in surprise, as Sarah Jane, Luke, Rani and Clyde blinked rapidly to clear their vision.

"Copyright darts?" she asked. Tash nodded.

"Nicked'em off Doug." Jess burst out laughing.

"Oh and you dare to judge me for stealing his bed sheets! You hypocrite!"

"Lisa's making a run for it," Emily pointed out, watching the Mary-Sue turn tail and flee. "Shall we follow?"

"Suppose we'd better had," Jess agreed. "Just lemme grab my bann..." she paused as she realised Emily was already down the stairs. Then she paled.

"Umm, Tash... when we first came here, you said something about Emily being a fangirl, didn't you?"


"Mr Smith," Lisa slipped into the attic quietly, despite the fact that the house was empty. "I need you."

The fanfare started loudly and the computer emerged from the wall with its usual hiss as all the systems fell into proper place.

"Lisa," Mr Smith sounded surprised, but not unwelcoming. "What can I do for you?"

Lisa thanked God that her powers and charm seemed to affect the computer program too. "I need you to search for someone."

" this something Sarah Jane has asked you to do?" Mr Smith asked. Polite though he may be, and accepting of Sarah Jane's apparent trust in the girl, he was not stupid, and wanted to be sure that he would be assisting the correct person in this. Lisa chewed on her lip, as she answered.

"Umm... yes, it is..."

That sounded to Mr Smith like a lie...but Lisa was trustworthy (though he had no idea how he knew this), so he went right ahead and asked, "Who am I searching for?"

Relieved, Lisa let out the breath she had been holding. "The name is... the Count of Longueville..."


"So... you're not aliens?" Clyde repeated, requiring clarification. Ten minutes after introductions had been made and the explanations had begun, he still didn't trust these newcomers at all. Part of his mind was sure that any second now they'd reveal zips on their foreheads and turn out to be Slitheen or something of the sort.

"Nope," Jess shook her head.

"You're dimension travellers who track down fictional characters who distort the fabric of reality?" Luke questioned.

"Yup," Tash nodded.

"...and more importantly," Rani folded her arms. "Is your friend going to let go of Luke any time soon?"

"Now that..." Jess turned her gaze to the fourteen year old male in question. "We don't know..."

Luke looked highly uncomfortable at the attention now being directed to his midriff, where Emily appeared to have surgically attached herself, with a maniacal grin that only fangirls could manage. Once everything had calmed down it had taken about three and a half minutes for the eleven year olds self control to snap, and she had pounced on the startled teen with a blush blooming magnificently across her cheeks.

It could have been worse; Tash and Jess had consoled themselves. At least she hadn't developed the habit of fangirl squealing yet.

"Emily," Tash tried to coax. "Come on... let the poor boy go..."

An interesting noise came from Emily's mouth, which sounded something like "Mnyehhh..." and she held on tighter. Jess gave a mournful sigh.

"And here I always thought she would be the one person never to develop fangirl tendencies...oh well. I suppose everyone has their weaknesses..."

"We have no time for fangirlism!" Tash spluttered. "And believe me; I never thought I'd be the one to say that! We need to find Lisa and grab her before she does any more damage here! She's already ruined things by setting you guys all up for romantic relationships when you're still supposed to be awkward teenagers!"

The aforementioned awkward teens blushed furiously at this, something which Sarah Jane at least, found very amusing.

"Think like Lisa, what would you do...?" Jess asked. Tash snorted.

"I'd be making a run for it. That seems to be all she's doing. That and searching for someone or something..."

"She said that when I first met her," Sarah Jane said suddenly. "Something about trying to find someone who could help her. But she said she was still searching for them."

"Searching..." Emily's head appeared suddenly from Luke's waistline. "She's searching! Of course! You guys," she gestured to the canon characters, "have the biggest search engine in the world sitting in your attic! That's why she befriended you!"

"Mr Smith!" Rani was aghast, while Tash and was mentally smacking herself.

"Of course! When I first confronted her, she was trying to persuade a canon character to search for her too! That's why she's visiting all these fandoms!"

"Less talking, leader," Jess pushed her friend away from her ship and toward the road. "More running! Phoenixia, can you stall Mr Smith until we get to Lisa?"

"Done!" the hologram promised through the speakers.

"Umm..." Luke was frozen mid stance. "Where did your friend go?"

Tash and Jess turned to see that Emily had vanished from Luke, and yet they hadn't seen her let go, or heard her run.

"What happened to her?" Tash shrieked. "Harriet will kill me if I lose Emily!"

"She just let me go, summoned another temporal distortion and vanished through it," Luke reported. Jess frowned.

"Temporal distortion?" she gasped suddenly. "You mean a-"

"Plothole," Tash finished, dread filling her voice. "Emily can summon plotholes."


"May I enquire as to the need for this search?" Mr Smith enquired politely. Lisa appeared not to hear him, pacing backwards and forwards across the attic nervously.

"You seem anxious Lisa," Mr Smith continued. "Is something the matter? Has something happened to Sarah Jane?"

"Sarah Jane is fine," Lisa replied quickly. "How is the search going?"

"No results yet," Mr Smith informed her. "Search approaching fifty percent completion." An alarm went off suddenly and Lisa jumped.

"What's that?"

"Incoming data," Mr Smith reported, his screen flickering suddenly. "Search pausing."

"No! Don't pause!" Lisa begged. "Keep searching!"

The computer's speakers seemed to crackle, and then a burst of static appeared.

"Oooh... downloading always gives me a headrush..."

For any fan of the Sarah Jane Adventures, hearing a distinctly female voice come through Mr Smith's speakers was beyond bizarre. It was certainly not helped as the voice dropped to a sultry tone.

"Well hello big boy..."

Mr Smith's tone was surprised. "There is a foreign body within my systems."

Lisa scowled. This had to be the Society's doing. "Delete it!" she cried. "Hurry and finish the search!"

"I don't think so," Phoenixia snorted. "Mr Smith, this search compromises your purpose to safeguard the Earth. This person is a dangerous entity known as a Mary-Sue, and your search is aiding her in her goal."

"A Mary-Sue?" Mr Smith paused for a second, obviously searching for the term. "I see. I shall cancel the search."

"No!" Lisa's cry went unheard, as the search window closed and Phoenixia laughed.

A plothole appeared in the middle of the attic, and Emily tumbled out. She neither knew nor cared how she had managed to get a plothole just when she needed one, but she was thankful that she had. She appeared right in the middle of Sarah Jane's attic, just as Mr Smith ended the search, and Lisa let out a scream of anguish.

"God, who died?" Emily rubbed her ears, causing the Sue to jump and spin around.

"You?" she gasped. "You're not an agent! You must be a Sue to summon a plothole like that!"

Emily flinched hard, and pulled her supersoaker over her shoulder from where it had been strapped to her back. "I am not a Sue!" she snarled. Lisa took a step back in horror.

"Where did you get that weapon?" she demanded. Emily glanced briefly at the gadget attached to the top.

"SEP field. It was here all the time. No one ever noticed it." She pumped it a few times. "This thing is loaded with Fangirl strength disinfectant. It'll leave a nasty burn."

Lisa's eyes flicked over the girl in front of her. "You are a Mary-Sue too. You should be helping me. I must find him and escape the Society! They would destroy me, and destroy you too if given half the chance!"

Emily took aim. "I would rather stick with the Society and be destroyed – by your kind – than be a Sue and live in a perfect world!"

"So you choose to side with them..." Lisa shook her head. "Then I am sorry. But I shall not be deterred from my quest. Divine providence shall see me through!"

Fed up of the speech, Emily fired. Lisa sidestepped, plothole materialising behind her as she did. The spray caught the side of her body, splashing her face and hair, and filling the attic with the smell of burning cloth and flesh. The Sue screamed and tumbled backwards through the plothole.

And just like that, everything seemed to stop. Emily knew that without the Mary-Sue there twisting canon, the effects she had on the fandom would slowly start to vanish. By the time the Society got out of there, things should be back to normal.

Shouldering her supersoaker, she left the attic, ignoring Mr Smith's flustered attempts to eject Phoenixia from his systems, and Phoenixia demanding an explanation from Emily. She didn't hear him.


"Palm Tree, please, listen!"

People on the street were starting to stare, especially after the younger girl had loudly refused to take the gift.

"Why should I? You're never around to listen to us!" she drew another breath, not caring that it was shaky with sobs. "You care more about taking over the universe than being a good sister!"

Willowe recoiled as though struck. "That is not true! It's because of you that I am doing this! You're too young to understand –"

"Shut up!" she shouted back. "I'm ten years old! I'm old enough to know when someone is being selfish! Just leave me alone! I hate you Willowe! I really hate you!"

She ran as fast as her short legs would take her, struggling not to cry.

I didn't mean it. I really didn't. I'm sorry big sister. Please don't go!


She didn't know where her plothole had opened, or indeed if she was safe, in danger, alive or dead. She only knew it was dark, and the ground beneath her body was stone. She felt pain...the burns that the disinfectant had caused were melting her skin, and leaving dark red patches to mar her perfect face. She was going to die, and she knew it...but none of her pain compared to the pain of knowing that she had failed. She had not been able to find him... the computer's search had failed her, just as she had failed him. Had divine providence forsaken her after all this time?

"Hey… are you... okay?"

The voice was male, but she could not discern anything else. She turned to face the direction the voice had come from, her depthless blue eyes sparkling with frightened tears.

"Wow..." the voice muttered. "Retsa! Get over here! We've got a Sue! She's injured!"

A set of footsteps approached, and a light flared into existence, causing Lisa to wince and blink spots from her vision – already she could tell her life was fading – her vision was turning dark at the edges.

"Who did this to you?" a female voice whispered, anger laced through her voice. In her pain filled mind, Lisa could only think of one group to blame.

"The Society..."

That was all that her apparent rescuers needed to hear.

"Don't worry miss," another male voice said, anger evident through his voice too. "They shall pay for this..."

"Who are you?" Lisa managed to ask. The female – Retsa – replied.

"We are the Pro-Cliche and Mary-Sue Protection Society... and you're safe now my dear..."


An hour after the group returned to the Library, Jess had finished the bed sheet banner, and was tearing around the main reading room with the rest of the Society, trying to finish the preparations for the birthday party. Phoenixia had remained in Mr Smith long enough to try and find out who Lisa had been searching for, only to discover that the computer's search history for the past few days had been completely wiped. To everyone's surprise, Phoenixia had not returned to the Library for several hours, and when she had, she had been seen with a wide, naughty smirk on her face. Everyone knew what that smirk meant, but all Phoenixia would say in response to questioning was, "Cyber sex definitely has its benefits…"

As for Emily, she was lying in her room, Willowe's letter in one hand, her new phone in the other. She had tried to distract herself from the day by messing around with her present and its applications, but that hadn't been distracting enough, and soon she had found the letter from her sister and begun rereading it again. This time she had allowed herself to cry as she had reread her sister's words and understood more than ever before.

"That's why I'm doing this, little sister. It's all or nothing. I will take over the Real World and use it to control every possible fandom and world and then, with everything bent to my will, I can only hope the urge will be satiated and because everything will already be perfect, you will grow up and not wind up like me. Or the Society will stop me and that'll be the end of it, too."

She hadn't understood back then. Willowe hadn't just wanted to take over the multiverse. She had genuinely wanted it to all be over. And the only way she had known how had been to keep going.

She had never realised to this day, just how selfish her words had been a year ago. She had wanted Willowe back for her own happiness – to protect her from Ashley and Aspen, and to just be a proper big sister. She hadn't cared what Willowe had wanted, or indeed considered that she may have a bigger motive behind wanting to conquer the multiverse. She had just seen an absent sister, who didn't seem to care anymore.

"When I saw her she was always thinking and calculating her next move," Emily thought. "I thought that she did that with me too, that I was just another variable in her plan to be counted. But maybe I wasn't... maybe I was the only thing that she didn't have to figure out..."

She struggled not to cry again, wiping her eyes on the edge of her sleeve, and freezing mid motion as she caught sight of something.

The envelope which had been clutched in her hand with the letter, had black ink melting into sight on the inside. Emily pulled it open as far as it would go so that she could be sure she wasn't seeing things.

The handwriting was unmistakably Willowe's.

"Twilight. 7pm. 66845 – 6654."


There was only one Twilight that the message could be referring too.

Emily had originally despaired at getting there – after all, she did not have a plothole generator like Society agents, and she could not just ask Tash or Phoenixia to generate one for her. They would demand to know where she was going, for what purpose, and then insist that they accompany her. She had already made up her mind that she was going on her own.

She was relieved to discover however, that sliding in and out of plotholes seemed to come naturally to her. She realised that this must be one of her powers developing – the first of them – she couldn't help but feel scared as the plothole appeared in front of her, but she remembered what Willowe had told her about not being afraid of her own powers. Clutching the letter tightly in her pocket, she had stepped through into the fandom.

The string of numbers were coordinates, which according to her recently upgraded phone, led her to a small quiet corner of the park in Forks. The latter digits represented the timeframe. She had arrived with five minutes to spare, and quietly took a seat at a bench in the corner. She knew of course, that Willowe had been imprisoned here for some time, and she wondered if her sister had ever sat at this bench.

"Palm Tree Foxblade?"

Her head snapped up, to see an unassuming young man in postal uniform. She couldn't feel anything that felt like Sue powers... in fact compared to the usual inhabitants of this fandom, this guy was painfully normal. Then she realised he had addressed her by her old name.

"That's me," she said. The man looked her over and nodded.

"Yeah, you look like your sister," he admitted, pulling out a padded envelope, sealed with copious amounts of sellotape, from his bag. "This package was delivered to the post office three months ago, with instructions to deliver it to this corner of the park at this exact time." He shrugged, holding out the clipboard. "Oddest delivery we've ever had, but she was such a looker none of us wanted to say no..."

Shaking a little, Emily scrawled a signature, and took the package. The young man replaced the clipboard in his bag, and headed back the way he had come. Down the pathway, Emily could see his bike, but she did not dwell on it for long, and was already trying to tear her way through the sellotape, remembering how Willowe had always wrapped presents beautifully, but had had an incredible habit of sticking excess amounts of sellotape to envelopes.

Finally she tore a hole in the side and shook out the contents – a small simple blue box.

Her shaking hand came up automatically to push her fringe from her eyes.


"Emily!" Harriet marched through the corridor, calling her charge's name. "Emily! Come on! Everyone is waiting!"

"I'm here Harriet."

The leader turned to see the eleven year old, her head bowed, and a sheepish grin on her face. "Sorry. The Library rearranged the feminism section again."

Harriet chuckled. "It's okay. Now come on. Birthday girl can't be late for her own party."

She steered the girl toward the reading room, not noticing the small palm leaf hairclip in her hair or the radiant smile on her face.

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