Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Insert Dandy-Talking Kendama Here

Thirty had entered.

One passed out when the Fourth Wall broke and made a ceiling light crash down on his head.

Four passed out when they saw that happen.

Two had passed out during the opening speech, delivered by Michael. One ran away screaming and hasn't been seen since.

Six had passed out when they saw Phoenixia come in to haul out the bodies of the unconscious hopefuls.

(Two of them were faking it)

Three bit the dust when they saw the tests.

Of the remaining thirteen, one was a Mary Sue infiltrator, one was a lost Viking who had no idea what was going on or how he had gotten there, and one was staring off into space.

After fifteen minutes of writing in impeccable handwriting, the Sue turned in her paper with a dazzling smile, her teeth so white they could have been used as mirrors. Michael took one look at her, took her paper, and directed her to walk through the door on the left. She did so, and was met with several waiting Agents on the other side. She now has a nice cell in the Basement.

At varying intervals during the test, hopefuls turned in their papers to Michael, and were either directed to go through the door on the left or the right. It didn't really matter which one they went through; they both led to the same place, and would have their memories wiped by Tash, who was waiting on the other side with orders to wipe whoever walked through the doors. The only way to keep her from doing that was a button hidden under Michael's desk.

At the forty five minute mark, the distracted hopeful was jolted out of his daydream when the Fourth Wall broke again. His attention span was nothing to write home about, and it was even worse during tests. A quick glance at the clock on the wall behind Michael told him that there were only fifteen minutes left in the exam, and he quickly took out his pencil, ready to go through the test as fast as he could.

After rapidly jotting down his answers, he brought his paper up to Michael. He was the last person taking the test, excluding the Viking

"I'm done," He said, holding out his paper with his hands only slightly shaking. Michael took it from him, looked over it for a minute, and pointed a thumb towards the door on the left. The Rookie, with his heart beating in his chest, opened the door and walked out, prepared for the worst.

What he was not prepared for was Tash, sitting in a foldout lawn chair and reading a book, obviously unaware of his presence.

"…Hello?" he said, trying to get her attention. He wasn't sure if she was there to mind wipe him or welcome him to the Society, but he sincerely hoped that the latter option was correct. Tash looked up, glanced at her Communicator to see that she had received the signal from Michael, marked her place in the book, and set it aside, standing up to greet the Rookie.

"I can assume you're not a Stu?" she guessed.

"Last time I checked, my name was Stephen, not Stu," He responded with a slight grin. Tash grimaced as a screech reverberated through the Library.

"WHO SAID THAT!" it screamed, sending shivers down the spines of everyone hearing it, and sending Ben and Dave cowering under the nearest piece of furniture. A second later, Shirley the Cliché Stick rounded the corner to the hallway outside the testing room, murder in her… eyes? Does she have eyes? Anyway, the stick was looking positively murderous. When the stick saw the Rookie who had told that horrible joke, she started rubbing her claws together evilly.

…I just felt so silly writing that sentence.

"Fresh meat, huh? Looks like the Rookie is about to get a mandatory appendectomy…" She plotted, taking slow, imposing steps forward. Stephen quickly stepped behind Tash for some manner of protection.

"Easy, Shirley. You know the rules: New kids get immunity for one hour after passing the entrance exam," Tash reminded the angry piece of wood. The rule in question had been created soon after Dave had joined, and the Cliché Stick had removed one of his kidneys not even five minutes after he left the testing room.

"I passed?" Stephen repeated, his eyes lighting up, quickly forgetting that a second ago, his life had been in mortal danger. Tash gave him a thumbs up as Shirley skulked off, grumbling something about the Rookie's kidneys. Michael stuck his head out of the testing room, as loud battle cries and sounds of things breaking came from behind him.

"Aneki, there's a very upset Viking in here going berserk. Can you give me a hand?" He requested, wincing at the sound of a table breaking.

"Sorry, can't help. Gotta get this Rookie, uh… What did you say your name was?"


"Stephen, thanks, out on a mission. Just get the big guy into the Norse history section and I'll deal with him later. And DON'T let Jess see him. I don't want to have to drag a Viking out of the Den of Sin."

"Got it. Good luck, kid. Try not to space out!" Michael called out before returning to the angry Viking.

"Now then. Walk with me; we've got a mission all lined up for you and ready to go. Do you know anything about the Märchen Awakens Romance fandom?" Tash asked Stephen, motioning for him to follow her. He quickly started beaming as he fell into step behind her.

"Do I know it? That was one of the first anime I ever watched! Something I've never really gotten around to finish watching! My first venture into the land of fanfic!" He admitted.

"Care to give me the basic background?"

"Okay, let me think. It follows the adventures of Toramizu Ginta in a world called Mär Heaven, with a lot of references to old fairy tales. There's Jack and the Beanstalk, Snow White, The Wizard of Oz, et cetera. The weapons in the fandom are called Ärm, which are accessories that can turn into weapons, monsters, and other things with different effects. The main antagonists are called the Chess Pieces, who hold a series of fights called the War Games to take over the world. Ginta's weapon is –"

"Okay, okay, I'm glad you know it. There's a Level Two Stu there; you know what to do?"

"Track it, whack it, clack it, right?"

"'Clack' it?"

"Yeah. Clack a Prohibitor on it. I couldn't think of anything that would fit that ended in -ack."

"O…kay. Anyway, Charis has all your equipment and can also give you a weapon if you need one. Have anything in mind?" Tash asked him, still confused about his word choice. A grin formed across the Rookie's face.

"Well, there's something I've always wanted to do…"


In the Mär fandom…

For the first time in ages, Mär Heaven was peaceful. The Chess Pieces had all been annihilated, all due to the actions of one man from another world.

Absicus Musclus Lithicus Hotticus Sexyicus Oldspice-icus had literally fallen into Mär Heaven, summoned by the Gatekeeper Clown that any fan would know should have brought in Toramizu Ginta. Practically the second that his muscular, limber body touched the ground, things started to get better. Absicus entered the War Games on his own, telling the world's peacekeepers, and the enemy of the Chess Pieces, the Cross Guard, that he could easily take out the entirety of the Chess with his bare hands, and look damn good doing it. Nobody questioned him.

True to his word, Absicus was able to win the War Games, putting the Chess Pieces, as he had eloquently put it, in checkmate. Soon after, all of Mär Heaven made him their king, and his first action was to rename the land Märtopia.

By this time, the author who'd written this little gem had gotten bored, and all of the readers had reached for a large bottle of Brain Bleach.


On the outskirts of the King's Vacation Castle…

A plothole ripped open, creating a tear in the very fabric of the fandom, which Stephen stumbled out of, hunched forward to bear the weight of the enormous sword strapped to his back. How big was it? Let's put it this way: Most Final Fantasy characters would be very jealous. As soon as Stephen's feet touched the ground, his back straightened up, as if the sword had become lighter.

"Thank you, weaker gravity of Mär Heaven," Stephen said to himself as he started stretching out his legs. The sword hadn't gotten any lighter, but he had gotten stronger; people from other worlds were exponentially stronger in Mär Heaven than they had been in their own worlds. With his warm up completed, Stephen made his way towards the castle that Absicus had built for himself out of solid gold.

The town around the castle was fairly crowded, and Stephen stood out from the crowd due to his clothing: a faded orange wide brimmed hat with a black stripe where the brim met the bowl of the hat, a deep blue t-shirt, and a pair of cargo shorts that currently held his Society Gadgets.

"Sorry, sorry… Oh, sorry… Don't worry, that'll wash out…" Stephen apologized as he moved through the crowd in the market place, occasionally bumping against random passerby. Heading towards him through the crowd was a man wearing a black cloak that covered his features. Stephen didn't see the cloaked man until he bumped into him.

"Sorry 'bout that!" Stephen apologized, continuing on his way to the castle. The man looked back at him, and then looked down at the Plothole Generator he had slipped out of Stephen's pocket. The man smirked, tucked the device in the folds of his cloak, and vanished.



"Who goes there!" A guard called down from the other side of the moat surrounding the castle. Absicus had dug it himself using a toothpick.

"I'm the plumber you guys called. You said something about a backed up chamber pot, I believe," Stephen answered, praying the guard would be an idiot.

"Nice try. We don't even have chamber pots anymore! His Highness made a plumbing system out of cardboard!"

"I'm the… mailman?"

"You just said you were a plumber."

"It's a hobby."

"Well, the mailman just came."

"Pizza delivery?"

"Where's the pizza?"

"Crap. Oh, man, I was afraid I'd have to do this…"

"What was that?"

"I'm here on business from the King. Highly confidential. I have the papers to prove it, if you'd let the drawbridge down so I could show you."

"Hmmm… Fine. Lowering drawbridge!" The guard called, as the large wooden bridge dropped down. Stephen crossed it, pulling out a piece of paper as he did.

"Thank you very much. Here're my papers…" He said, holding out the folded paper to the guard. The guard took it, unfolded it, and looked at it, confused.

"Wait… This is bla-" The guard said, before a fist punched through the paper and knocked him out cold. Stephen knelt down next to his unconscious body.

"Look, I'm really, really sorry about that, but I didn't have much of a choice. If it's any consolation, by the time you wake up, you won't remember a thing, and you won't know why you were tied up with your uniform gone. Really, really sorry."


Meanwhile… Library Monitor Room…

"Oh, he got that trick from Indiana Jones."

"It's still effective."

"I bet five bucks that he puts the guy in a broom closet."

"I'll see your five bucks and raise you a cleaning shift, Ben."

"Drake, I'm already taking everyone's cleaning shift, remember?"

"Quiet, you two! Jess, pass the popcorn… Jess?" Tash repeated. The majority of the Society that wasn't on a mission or busy was in the Monitor Room, watching the Rookie's mission. The Library had expanded the room so everyone could fit, and had even supplied theater-style chairs.

"Kyaa, I think I saw her go into her room with some bearded guy with a funny hat," The Society's resident idiotic Fae told the Librarian. She groaned.

"Oh, bollocks. Michael, I thought you put him in the Norse history section!"

"I did! Jess didn't see me!" Michael defended himself.

"Did anybody else see you?"

"I ran into Phoenixia…"

Tash and Michael both looked at the ex-hologram, who was whistling innocently.



With his newly acquired disguise, Stephen was able to make it to the Throne Room unhindered. He changed out of his disguise before entering the room, returning to his usual clothes. He pushed open the door and entered the throne room.

Absicus Musclus Lithicus Hotticus Sexyicus Oldspice-icus was lounging in his throne, being fed grapes by a beautiful pink haired witch in a black dress. He didn't even look up as Stephen entered.

"Shut the door, would you?" He asked, waving a hand dismissively.

"Absicus Musclus Lithicus Hotticus Oldspice-icus…"

"Absicus Musclus Lithicus Hotticus Sexyicus Oldspice-icus."

"Whatever…icus. You are hereby under arrest for a count of major fandom manipulation, having a stupid name, and…" Stephen noticed the woman dangling a bunch of grapes over the Stu's mouth. He paled.

"Is that Dorothy? NOW you've pissed me off!" Stephen screamed, steam shooting out of his ears. Absicus turned his head to take a look at Stephen, and both parties froze.

"…Oh God. It's you," Stephen groaned. If you removed the broad jaw, the wide shoulders, the perfect waviness in his dirty blonde hair, the seven feet of pure muscle, the flawless ivory skin, the bronze tan, and the previous contradiction, the Stu would look just like Stephen. It was the main character from his first fanfic, set in this fandom. Stephen couldn't put his finger on it, but something just seemed off

"My, my, my. I never thought that you'd come far enough out of your comfort zone to find me. Hello, author," Absicus spat, swinging his legs out and standing up to his full seven feet of lean muscle.

"Y-y-you can't be from that story! The character that I wrote about was more like me, not Arnold Schwarzenegger!"

"I went on a workout program. It would do you a world of good, you know…"

"Hey, shut up."

"Doro-chan, could you leave us for a few minutes? I'll make up for it later…" Absicus promised suggestively to the woman at his side, completely ignoring his former author now. Without a word, a blushing Dorothy left the room. Stephen and Absicus were left all alone. Absicus ripped off his shirt, showing his sculpted, tanned body. Stephen retched.

"Will you put your shirt back on?" Stephen grumbled. Absicus responded by flexing.

"Look at this beautiful body! Why should I cover it with a shirt!"

"Did I seriously write you?" Stephen asked himself, grasping the hilt of his sword and pulling it off his back, dropping into a ready stance. In an instant, Absicus was in front of his creator, smacking the weapon out of his hands. The sword embedded itself in the ceiling above.

"Oh shi–" Was as far as Stephen got before receiving a large knuckle sandwich to the face. Stephen reeled backwards as Absicus continued to attack.

"Do you remember sixth grade, author? Back when you wrote the emblem of perfection that is beating the crap out of you right now? Your own friends were ignoring you, finding better friends, as you retreated into your shell, blocking out the entire world by burying your face in a book. Is that still what it's like? ARE YOU STILL A COWARD?" Absicus screamed, punctuating his final shout with a shattering punch, knocking Stephen into the wall, his wide brimmed orange hat covering his face.

"You weren't able to make your own world to retreat to, so you cowered in somebody else's! You were weak! You still are!" He continued to shout, grasping Stephen's throat and starting to squeeze.

Stephen's hand shot out and grabbed Absicus' wrist like a vice. The Stu's eyes widened in surprise.

"I can't believe I wrote you… A muscle-bound idiot…" Stephen looked up and shot his enemy a deadly glare, his left eye blackened and blood dripping out of his mouth from a split lip, "That can't even throw a good punch!" With his free hand, he pinched Absicus in the part of the elbow where the funny bone resides, causing the Stu to drop him. Free from his captive, Stephen started going on the offensive, with Absicus doing his best to block the Rookie's punches.

"There's one difference between you and me! When I wrote you, I was a shy, scared, and lonely kid! I felt like I could relate to Ginta, so I wrote something off the top of my head, and you came out! But it's been almost five years since I wrote that, and I've grown up! I reconciled with my friends, started opening up, started actually writing better!" Stephen proclaimed, continuing to punch at the Stu's every opening with no effect other than hurting his own hands on Absicus' rock hard muscles. Absicus jumped away, gaining some distance between himself and the rookie Agent.

"You were one of the lowest points of my writing career. Now, I'm going to fix that mistake!" Stephen swore, charging at Absicus. With a battle cry, Absicus ran at him as well, his arm pulled back for a punch.

The punch moved the air around it, creating a wind that ruffled every banner in the room. Much to Absicus' surprise, Stephen wasn't hit. He had moved out of the way before the punch had even been thrown, and aimed a low kick at the side of Absicus' knee, not shattering it, but making it so it wouldn't be moving easily for a while, and sending the Stu reeling, screaming in pain.

"You may be stronger and faster than me, but I have a few more years of experience in martial arts under my belt, and a few more belts…"


In the Library Monitor Room…

"I swear, when that kid gets back…"

"Shirley, he's still got half an hour of immunity."

Shirley growled.


"…Than you do. I must've been a yellow belt back when I wrote you," Stephen finished. Absicus growled and started opening up a plothole.

"As much as I'd love to finish this fight, creator, I don't quite feel like wasting my time with you. But I will kill you the next time we meet," Absicus swore, limping towards the open plothole.

"There won't be a next time," The open plothole said. A man in a dark cloak stepped out of the plothole, a sheathed katana at his side.

'Wha–?" Absicus started, but was literally cut short when the stranger unsheathed the sword and cut him in two without even breaking pace. By the time the dark blade was returned to its black sheath rimmed with silver, Absicus' body had faded away into nothingness. The plothole closed behind the stranger.

"Now that that pathetic clone is out of the way…" The man said as he threw back his hood. Stephen's one good eye widened before his face turned steely.

"…I thought he seemed off. You're the main character from that fanfic, aren't you?" Stephen asked, even though he already knew the answer. Standing before him was a perfect copy of himself, except with sunken in eyes that showed utter hatred for the world.

"Correct. That was just a low quality fake that I created to test your strength, creator. And I must say, if that was the best you could do…" The newcomer vanished, and reappeared in front of Stephen, his sword lightly touching the Rookie's neck.

"You don't stand a ghost of a chance against a real enemy," He said, then blurred in the air, reappearing ten feet away.

"…Why didn't you kill me?" Stephen asked, feeling a slow trickle of hot blood from his neck. The Stu smiled.

"What fun would that be if I just killed you right now? I want some challenge, creator," He said, sheathing his sword, "And, I wanted to ask you something…"

"What is it?"

"What. Is. My. Name," The Stu asked, burning hatred in his eyes. Stephen started fishing in his pockets for his Plothole Generator, sensing that he couldn't fight against this opponent.

"Looking for this?" The Stu asked, pulling the Plothole Generator out of the folds of his cloak and crushing it in his hands. Stephen groaned.

"Yes. Why, yes, I was looking for that. Thanks so much," He said sarcastically.

"Now tell me what my name is," The Stu ordered.

"I don't know what your name is. I wrote you years ago," Stephen admitted, thinking furiously about how to escape. He had no idea what the power level of Nameless was, but he didn't think that he would be able to fight him in his current state.

"I thought so. In that case, I guess I'm still Nameless," The Stu said, a hint of disappointment in his voice. "Oh, well. You have thirty seconds, creator."

"Thirty seconds? For what?"

"To escape. If you can't find a way to get out of this mess in that time, I'll kill you without a second thought," Nameless answered, grasping the katana's hilt. Stephen gulped, and started fishing through his pockets for something that could help him get out. Two Copyrights… No good. The Prohibitor… He didn't feel like getting in range of that sword. A Scene Transition…

Perfect. All he needed was the perfect chance to use it.

"Five. Four. Three. Two. One…" Nameless said, dramatically pulling his sword out, creating a soft sound of metal on metal. Just before he hit zero, Stephen pulled the gold watch out of his pocket.

"See ya later," He said, and clicked the button.


Scene Transition = Win…

When the Transition faded, Stephen found himself standing in a cavernous room filled with gold, jewels, and silver trinkets that he recognized as Ärm. The Scene Transition filled him in on what had happened, telling him that Nameless had stepped on a conveniently located switch on the ground, that had opened an even more conveniently located trapdoor under Stephen's feet that led to the Treasury.

"Now then, if I'm really lucky…" Stephen said to himself as he started digging through the nearest pile of silver Ärm. Absicus had collected an impressive collection of rare Ärm, but Stephen paid no attention to the various powerful weapons, guardians, and other useful items. He was looking for a copy of the one ultra rare Ärm that could get Stephen out of this fandom and back into the Library. After several minutes of digging and trying to ignore the gleaming piles of gold and jewels (It was a miracle that his ADD hadn't made him start swimming in the mounds of shiny objects), Stephen found what he was looking for. It was a small ring, with a tiny doorway with two chains covering it, with a circular face with a long tongue and two crosses for eyes in a hood over it. Grinning, Stephen slipped it on his finger and smuggled the pinky of his other hand under the two chains.

The Ärm he had found was the Gatekeeper Clown, one of the rarest Ärms in the fandom. It was able to open a gateway to other worlds, and was the very same Ärm that had brought Ginta to Mär Heaven from the real world. If Stephen was lucky, it would be able to open a gateway to other fandoms as well, such as one where the Society would be able to find him.

"Man, I hope this works…" he prayed, and pulled, snapping the small chains and causing a circle of light to surround him.


In the Library…

"Where'd he just go? Rhia, can you detect his Communicator signal?" Tash asked. The Society had just lost sight of Stephen after he used his Scene Transition, and his Communicator signal had disappeared from the fandom. Rhia, who was officially on Monitor Duty, started tapping some keys on the keyboard in front of the screen. After a moment, she looked back up, a mixture of relief and fright on her face.

"Well, I've got good news and bad news…" She said.

"Bad news first!" Tyler called out. Rhia shook her head.

"Sorry, good news first. The good news is that his signal has disappeared from the fandom and has appeared in another one," She said. The assembled agents let out a sigh of relief.

"So what's the bad news?" Michael asked. Rhia bit her lip.

"Well, that would be which fandom it's appeared in…"



A plothole opened up in the Monitor Room, which Drake and Michael stepped out of, supporting a barely conscious Stephen. They gently set him down on the ground as Valerie rushed up with a first aid kit and started checking his vital signs.

"Is he okay?" Tash asked Michael. He nodded solemnly.

"He's a little shaken up, and we found him surrounded by 'vampires', but he'll probably be okay. It's just the usual exposure to the Twilight fandom," Michael said. Sure enough, Stephen was showing signs of the exposure. His skin was sparkling very softly, hardly enough to recognize, and his face seemed to be completely devoid of all emotion.

"Poor guy… Why'd he send himself there?" Tash wondered. Usually, Agents only went into the Twilight fandom if they were forced to. Michael shrugged.

"He probably thought that we wouldn't help him when he was still in Mär, so he sent himself to a fandom that he knew we couldn't resist rescuing him from," Michael guessed. Tash lifted an eyebrow in confusion.

"…Even though we were just about to go help him?"

"Hey, he didn't know that."



Stephen was sitting up in his bed in the Medical Wing, surrounded by Tash, Michael, and Valerie, and was currently being given a checkup by the latter. His skin had lost most of its sparkle, and he was now able to show slight emotion, but not much. Valerie removed her stethoscope from his chest and draped it over her neck.

"He'll be fine, I think. The effects should wear off in a little while, but in the meantime, I'm going to be giving him a constant infusion of decent vampires. I'll need an audio book version of Dracula, every Castlevania game we can find, and a whole lot of Count Chocula," Valerie noted, scribbling down Stephen's prescription on a clipboard.

"That's good. In the meantime, I believe this belongs to you," Tash said, holding out a badge bearing the Anti-Cliché and Mary Sue Elimination Society's emblem on it: a crossed quill and rapier. Stephen took the badge and tucked it away, his face hardly showing any emotion.

"I'm happy. Really, I am. I just feel too chagrined to show it," He said flatly.

"Now, would you mind telling us more about that Stu you fought?" Michael asked him. Stephen nodded slowly.

"That was the main character from one of the first pieces of fanfic that I ever wrote, set in Märchen Awakens Romance. The main protagonist, Ginta, was a lot like I was in those days, so I wrote a story that was sort of set a few years after the show ended. I wanted to make it original, but it ended up just being a character that was a lot like me doing basically everything that Ginta had done with minor variations. I only wrote about six pages before I got bored of it, though. I'd guess that Stu got out of the Vault of Abandoned Ideas somehow, and now he wants revenge. Now I have a question for you: What did the monitor say about his power levels?" Stephen asked. Michael grinned, and opened his mouth to say something, but was stopped by an elbow to the side from Tash.

"Hey, what was that for?"

"You were going to say something about it being over nine thousand, weren't you?" Tash asked him. Michael started looking sheepish.

"Was not."

"Were too."

"Was not."

"Can someone just answer my question, please?" Stephen asked, putting a stop to the childish banter between the Chief Agent and the Librarian.

"His level was around four; that's the usual level for the average mission we go on," Tash told Stephen. The new Agent clenched his fists.

"Next time he shows up, he's mine. I wrote him, and I'll put a stop to him," Stephen swore.

"Don't worry. If he ever pops up again, you'll be the first to know," Tash promised, "In the meantime, get some rest. I've got to go deal with finding a room for you."

"And I've got to go take care of the paperwork. You're very welcome," Michael added, following Tash out the door.

"And I've got to go find your prescription. Just try to get some sleep, okay?" Valerie asked him, leaving to go procure the impromptu medicine. When he was finally alone, Stephen reached for a pad of paper and a pen that was on the bedside. He started writing down a list of different fandoms, with various weapons from each on a bulleted list beneath them. Gilgamesh, the Ten Commandments sword, Zeus' Master Bolt…

He wouldn't be able to defeat Nameless with only his bare hands and martial arts skills. He'd need something else, something more powerful to help him in battle.

He'd need a weapon.

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