Saturday, September 28, 2013

Insert Implausible Hunting Yarn Here

Allan Quartermain always made sure he knocked the ashes out of his pipe onto the rug. The nurses here were very firm about him not doing that, so he always made sure he did it to spite them. The old adventurer knew in his heart of hearts that he really should be a little more grateful. A lifetime as a poor elephant hunter and adventurer had left him with nothing more that some large scars and larger debts. Yet he'd served Britain well as a member of the league of Extraordinary Gentlemen and she'd rewarded him with a quiet and comfortable retirement… or at least Alex had.

Yes, Alexander Whitestone. His third, last and most successful apprentice. Twice before he'd sworn never to take another apprentice, first after Harry's death and then after what happened to poor Tom Sawyer. Yet he was glad he broken his vow his time. From simple adventurer and hunter, Alexander Whitestone had risen to become the most powerful man in the civilised world, victor of a hundred battles, head of the reformed League of Extraordinary Gentlemen and now, at barely twenty nine, newly elected Prime Minister of Great Britain and her empire. The boy turned out well after all.

Quartermain's reminiscing was interrupted by a crash from the bedroom next door. Even at his advanced age, the instincts honed over a lifetimes adventuring told him that this could mean nothing good. The front door was guarded by security, all visitors had to sign in and nurses and orderlies patrolled the corridors. Alex said the world was safe now, with no enemies left to fight, but perhaps he was wrong? Unconsciously, he reached for his elephant gun, but alas, it was long gone. The nurses here certainly didn't allow such things. A weapon, any weapon - ahah! He spotted something that would do and wrenched it free. Moving almost silently on his carpet slippers, the old man headed into the bedroom.

What he found there was not anything like what he'd expected. The door of his wardrobe had been flung open, scattering clothes across the floor. In the midst of the mess, a dazed young man sat, cursing at the strange instrument that he held in his hand. "Stupid… useless… bloody polthole generators" he grumbled, punching ineffectually at buttons. He looked up and saw Quartermain standing there.

"Where is this" he asked urgently, catching Quartermain off guard.

"Uh… the St Roche twilight rest home".

"Damm"! roared the stranger, throwing the strange instrument to the floor in frustration. Suddenly, his eyes alighted on the ornamental Zulu spear still clutched in Quartermain's hand and stood up slowly, his palms outstretched to show he was unarmed. Thinking it was high time he took control of this odd conversation, Quartermain spoke.

"I've answered your question boy, now you answer mine. Who are you and what the hell were you doing in my wardrobe"?

"That's really two questions but okay. You can call me Gareth and I didn't mean to end up there. I'm sorry to have trespassed. If you just show me the way out, I won't take up any more of your time".

Quartermain paid him a little more attention. He was a thin young man, no muscles to speak off. He didn't look like he'd survive a trek across the Serengeti or a struggle with marauding natives. His clothes helped to give him a non threatening appearance. His suit was made of soft grey wool and his scarlet waistcoat was clearly silk with a gold watch chain dangling from it. An expensive looking messenger bag with silver clasps was slung across one shoulder and his square glasses looked well made. If he'd passed him in the street he would have dismissed him as a dandy, a fop, but why had he appeared in his wardrobe?

Suddenly, the old hunter realised that he'd forgotten something important - when you are sizing someone up, they are often sizing you up in turn. The youths eyes had roamed the room, taking in the carved ivory on the desk, the leopard skin on the back of the chair and the witch doctors mask on the wall. He'd also seen the tough, weather beaten skin of the old adventurer and recognised the grizzled, bearded face.

"You… your Allan Quartermain" he said slowly.

"I might be".

"What are you doing here" Gareth muttered to himself, reaching into his bag and pulling out a battered book. As he thumbed though it, Quartermain thought he saw the words 'The League of Ex…' printed on the front, but the rest of the title was covered by Gareth's white gloved hand.

"You can't be here, hidden away in some rest home, not unless Whitestone's had more of an effect that I thought".

"I'm sorry, what was that about Alex"?

"Alexander Whitestone. You know him"?

"Reckon falling out of my wardrobes addled your brains boy, of course I know him, he's the Prime Minister. Perhaps you mean do I know him personally? I do, he was my apprentice". He broke of as Gareth let out a low growl.

"Prime Minister" he breathed. "Its gone farther than I thought".

"What do you mean" demanded Quartermain. "Everyone says that Alex is the best thing that ever happened to this country. The Martians on the run, the Vampire Lords of Romania defeated and the treaty of perpetual alliance with Germany to be signed today. Alex has worked wonders in so short a time".

Gareth gave him a piercing look. "I notice that 'everyone says Alex is the best thing that ever happened to this country'. You have doubts don't you. His meteoric rise was just a little too quick, a little too good to be true wasn't it".

Quartermain shifted uncomfortably, before grunting "perhaps."

"Just hear me out" pleaded Gareth. "You've noticed something's not quite right with Whitestone. Or rather, nothings wrong with him, he's too perfect. Well he's not supposed to be Prime Minister. He's not even supposed to be in this fandom…" catching Quartermain's blank look, he hurriedly corrected himself "…not even supposed to be in this world I mean".

The old character still looked sceptical. How to explain all this wondered Gareth. He was still very new at this himself, having just scraped though the written exam for the society. This previously unspoiled fandom was his first solo assignment, having been invaded by a rouge Mary-Sue from a demolished work.

It was fast becoming a turgid mess of unreadable, flowery prose praising Whitestone's more and more unrealistic feats of heroism. Yet he couldn't explain this to a cannon character, could he? Still, he'd been tracking Whitestone for a week and so far, he'd been outwitted at very turn. It might be time to recruit some help - either that or go back to the society in shame and defeat. After all, he didn't have to tell Quartermain the whole truth, part of it would do.

"Whitestone destroying this world, turning it into an empty, false utopia" he explained. "He's removed everyone who could possibly challenge him, sent you to rot in this out of the way rest home. He's not right and deep down, you know this, I see it in your eyes. I beg you help me, just in one small way. Tell me anything you know about how might be able to find Whitestone".

Quartermain thought for what seemed like an age. He ought to throw this impudent young pup out right now for insulting Alex….and go back to a life of tyrannical nurses and boring days. He shuddered at the thought. On the other hand, somehow the boy's mad ramblings made sense. Alex always had seemed a little too good to be true.

"It couldn't hurt to tell you where he'll be today, its common knowledge after all. He's sighing the treaty with the Kaiser in the crystal palace at noon".

"Noon" cried Gareth, hauling his watch out of his pocket and staring at it. "I can still make that if I hurry. Thanks for your help" and with that, he darted towards the door and vanished though it. Almost before he knew what he was doing, Quartermain broke into a run and followed him.

"Don't try and follow me" called Gareth as they raced down the stairs.

"Your not getting away that… easily" puffed the old adventurer. "I still don't trust you… won't let you hurt… Alex".

Visiting hours weren't over, so the front door lay open. Gareth passed through the door, but stood on the pavement, waiting for him to catch up.

"I won't hurt him, but I need to get close to him. He's destroying this world. If your going to come with me, you have to help me capture him".

"I think you misunderstand me boy. I'm not coming with you - you're coming with me"!


"I can't let you boys run off by yourselves, who knows what could happen. If this needs sorting out I'll be the one to do it. Either keep quiet and follow me, or I'll take you apart, even at my age".

Gareth argued, but to no avail. Five minutes later, they were in a cab bound for Crystal Palace. Quartermain smoked quietly, while Gareth fidgeted nervously, becoming more and more agitated. Soon, the traffic became heavier. When at last the Crystal Palace came into view, Gareth stuffed a handful of pound notes into the drivers hand and leapt out into the crowded streets, Quartermain following closely behind. It was a struggle, but they managed to shoulder their way though the crowd to a side door. In side, a set of rough wooden stairs led up to the top row of a set of stands that had been erected to allow spectators to watch the historic signing. The two of them paused in the back row, looking out over the sunlit glass hall.

On a raised dais in the centre of the hall stood a simple table and two chairs. One was already occupied by a short, regal man with a flowing moustache - the Kaiser of Germany. The other chair was empty, seemingly reserved for the man who was giving a speech from behind a single podium. The Kaiser had a certain noble bearing, but it paled into insignificance before this man's glory. He was tall and strong, with a smooth, imperial face framed by waves of jet black hair, which seemed to shine in the sunlight. One eye was bisected by a ruler straight duelling scar, but only served to improve his appearance. Before the stage, women swooned and men applauded. The most stylish, powerful wonderful man in the whole…

Up on the benches, Gareth saw these words materialise in the book he was holding. "Sickening isn't it" he muttered to himself. He turned to Quartermain. "Who are those men with him, the ones in front of the stage"?

"The New League, our successors. Better than we ever were. Wish we'd had even one of them when poor Sawyer met his end, things could have been different." He sighed sadly.

"New League… hmmm, bet they only turned up after Whitestone did. Are there none of the old League of Extraordinary Gentlemen left, the ones you led"?

"Most of us are gone now. Sawyers dead, I'm retired, Captain Nemo's exploring the artic circle somewhere. Still one or two around though. If you look closely, you'll see Dr Jekyll on the front bench down there". Gareth focused and caught sight of a neat little man in the front row, watching proceedings. He seemed to be one of the few not applauding fiercely, which looked like a good sign. Perhaps major characters were the last to succumb to the influence of Mary-Sues. "Could be useful" he murmured. "Okay, this is how we'll play it. You try and get to Jekyll, explain to him what's going on. I'm going to try and get to Whitestone - oh don't look at me like that, I'm not going to hurt him, I don't even have a weapon for God's sake".

The old adventurer fought his way towards Jekyll, while Gareth walked down the benches towards the stage. At first no one noticed, but as he drew closer, the speech died away.

"Alexander Whitestone, you are in violation of Library rules on introducing unlicensed Mary-Sues into a fandom. By order of the society, I demand that you…".

He ducked as Whitestone effortlessly picked up the heavy oak podium with one hand, roared "damm society agents" and flung it directly at his head.

Should have known that wouldn't work thought Gareth to himself as he claimed awkwardly up onto the stage. Soldiers in immaculate white uniforms were hurrying towards him, but they were being distracted - the vast, hulking form of Mr Hyde was ripping its way out of Jekyll's slight frame. Quartermain must have been able to reach him in time. Amidst the chaos, he could see Whitestone, not more that a few yards away.

He hadn't lied when he told Quartermain that he wasn't planning to kill Whitestone. Tash had asked him to bring the Sue back alive if at all possible. He just had to grab Whitestone and open up a polthole back to the library, then this would all be over. He was almost within touching distance of his quarry when something heavy slammed into him, almost knocking him over. What could it be? He strained to see, but whatever it was had vanished. Even as he shook himself, he felt an unseen fist punch him directly in the face, sending flecks of blood flying across the room. Worse still, his glasses had gone spinning across the floor, leaving him half blind.

Gareth struck out blindly, failed to hit anything at all and stumbled forwards. Before he had any chance to recover, he felt something invisible wrap around his neck. It felt like a wire or garrotte of some kind. He struggled ineffectually, but to no avail. As the breath was crushed out of him his final thought was 'my very first mission. Failed on my first mission'.

Then, release. Oxygen flooded back into his lungs as he fell forward, gulping vast lungfuls of air. Slowly, his vision returned to normal and he spotted Quartermain standing over him with a discarded rifle in one hand and a grim expression on his face. Smoke filled the air of the crystal palace and many of the panes of glass had been shattered by stray bullets.

"Are you just going to lie there all day," grumbled Quartermain, pulling him to his feet.

"I'm aright I think. Thanks."

"Don't mention it, got in worse scrapes out in Africa. I remembered one time… what the devil?!"

He broke off in surprise as the air at his feet shimmered and shed like snakeskin, revealing an unconscious man lying there, one side of his face bloodied and bruised where Quartermain had hit him with the rifle butt.

"One of the New League" muttered Gareth, giving the unconscious man a vicious kick. "Whitestone must have access to the League's invisibility formula. Talking of Whitestone, where is he?"

"Gone, he must have slipped out during the chaos. One thing though - once you use the invisibility formula, its permanent. How did this man manage to change back?"

"Hmmmmm… good point" said Gareth. To Quartermain's surprise, a smile spread over his face. "This man must be a Mary Sue too. Probably all the New League are. They can defy existing laws and do things that should be impossible. They seem perfect, but their taint destroys everything. That's why the Society I'm from exists. We hunt them down and keep them under control. Its not Whitestone, but I'll take this man back to the Society now. That should prove that I'm worthy to be out on my own".

"What of Whitestone?"

"Next time" answered Gareth. "I don't know where he'll be, but if he turns up here again, I could use a good hunter. That is, if your interested?"

"Could be worth thinking about," said Quartermain. "Looks like its not time for me to retire just yet after all."

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Insert State of Morality Here


The Anti-Cliche and Mary-Sue Elimination Society founder rolled over, locating her friend through the happy fuzz that the alcohol had left over her vision. Her skinny jeans were cutting into her stomach, and she undid the button to allow her some room to breathe. "Yes Tashy-baby?"

"I can't get my boots off!" the Librarian whined. She lay facedown on the huge bed, her head somewhat mashed against Lily's backside. Lily herself was sitting upright, giggling at anything that took her fancy, which right now, happened to be the unconscious Louise. After three drinks, the agent had passed out, and had to be carried back to the Library from the club. Her housemate was conspicuously absent, having forgone clubbing on account of the abundance of strobe lighting.

Harriet tilted her head to the side, and sat up slowly. "Is that coz you're lazy and wants me to take them off for you?"

"Pleeease?" Tash turned her head away from the bed to grin in an amused manner at her friend. While not drunk at all, Tash had consumed enough fizzy drinks to put Ben's Firebrand Whisky to shame, and had been bouncing off the walls all night. Now the crash was starting to hit, and though still buzzing mentally, her limbs were starting to show signs of fatigue.

Harriet shuffled to the end of her bed, and pulled on Tash's boot. Three tugs later, it flew off, sending Harriet tumbling to the floor with it. Tash and Lily laughed hysterically as a disgruntled leader sat up looking bemused, not quite sure on how she got there.

"I lost Phoenixia!" Jess declared, as she entered the room, still fully dressed from clubbing. "She went to Alice's room to cheer her up."

"...eww!" Lily's mind hit the gutter, and Harriet went flying onto the floor again with Tash's other boot. "I didn't think she was Phoenixia's type."

Jess made a face. "My brain!" she wailed, flopping down next to Tash, almost flinging her body across Louise. Lily, seeing that the bed was crowded with conscious people, decided to move the unconscious body over to the unoccupied sofa. In her tipsy state, 'move' translated to 'take hands and drag body across floor'.

"Jessieeeee!" Tash poked Jess in the side.

"Oui?" Jess replied.

"I can't unlace my corset!"

Jess's arm reached over and began pulling at the laces. Tash began to wriggle and squirm to loosen the top.

"Don't call me Jessie," Jess said, poking Tash in the side. "And sit still!" The fellow Guernsey girl squeaked, and squirmed more.

"Where did Clairey-cake go?" she asked.

"To see Michael," Lily informed her, having finished tugging Louise to the sofa. "They've probably gone to bed."

"Wehey!" Tash grinned, squeaking loudly again, as Jess poked her in between the steel boning to sit still while she unlaced her. Giggling, Lily plopped herself happily on the bed next to the founder.

"Hello Hati," she smiled.

"'ello," Harriet's accent slipped back to purebred Dorset. "Did you have a good night?"

"I did," Lily bobbed her head enthusiastically. "We need to club more."

"Yes we do," Jess agreed, as Tash was finally loosened enough to unhook her corset at the front. Tash spun her head around the room, before wailing again.

"Hatiiiiii! I can't find my pyjamas!"

Harriet's eyes fell on the blonde. "Tashy-baby. You silly. You is layin' on them!"

Tash nodded repeatedly, and Harriet got carefully to her feet, and tugged hard on Tash's pyjamas, rolling her off them and onto the floor with a heavy thud.

"Ow!" Tash pouted, sitting up rubbing her elbow where she had fallen. "That's my bad elbow!"

"You is lazy," Harriet informed her, sitting back down on the bed and giving Jess a big hug for no reason what so ever other than she felt like demonstrating affection. Tash stuck her tongue out, and crawled on her hands and knees to her bathroom, vanishing behind the wall.


Still being glomped by Harriet, Jess balled up Tash's pyjamas, and threw them as best she could through the open bathroom door.

"Fank oo!" the Librarian shouted, before pushing the door closed.


The door at the end of the corridor was pulled open, and a small body slipped around the door. Emily was hunched over slightly due to the weights that rested on both her shoulders. On one, her supersoaker was loaded and ready, just in case she ran into any marauding Plot Bunnies in the Library. Over the other was slung an enormous book bag. Stuffed inside were all manner of text and exercise books, most of which she had been forced to carry around for a majority of the day.

At first she had thought Harriet was crazy, wanting to send her to secondary school. The leader had of course taken offence to the idea that her ideas were anything but sound, and had proceeded to explain to Emily that she could not be home schooled her whole life, and that there were lessons you learned at school that you couldn't learn at home – like how kids were cruel, and how the best way to deter bullies was in fact to punch them back.

"You could be homeschooled your whole life," Tash had interjected kindly. "But none of us want to deny you a chance to have normal interactions with normal people. School may suck in many ways, but its the best opportunity for you to learn good social interaction."

Emily had of course protested, but it had little true conviction behind it, for now that the subject had been raised, she realised that she did in fact have little idea how to interact with kids her age. Most of the Society were several years her senior, and before she had lived in the Library, she had been taught by her sisters, and had rarely had a chance to speak to another person, let alone someone her own age.

To make sure nothing happened to her, Tash and Phoenixia had found a small sub-fandom to the YuGiOh world, where nothing dangerous was likely to happen (on this side of the planet at least), and Harriet had selected an average English secondary school for Emily to attend. And so during the first week of September, the nervous ex-Sue had quietly made her way into the fandom, and headed to school.

If Emily was honest with herself, it wasn't as bad as she had thought it would be – she was keeping up in her classes okay (the late nights with Harriet over the past year to bring her Maths and English skills up to scratch had paid off), and she had made a small group of friends – though she never let them in too much on the secrets of her home life. A few of the girls were bullies, but after a particular incident involving a tin of baked beans and a few of Emily's old pots of paint, they hadn't done much but make the odd snide remark. Overall, it was going better than expected, though Emily had to admit she was still waiting for everything to go badly wrong.

The current reason for her late evening was the text books slung over her back. Emily was still getting used to the amount of homework she seemed to be expected to do in secondary school. She knew Harriet would be furious if she saw her still awake at this hour, until she remembered that her guardian had gone out clubbing with the other Society girls earlier that evening, and was unlikely to be in any state to be angry. Still she went quietly. If Michael or any of the American agents saw her they'd likely tell Harriet in the morning.

She was curious as she passed the monitor room and noticed that it was empty – an unusual occurrence indeed. She wasn't sure who was supposed to be on duty, but the monitor room was manned at all times except during Society meetings, when any major alerts were streamed to the briefing room just in case.

Peering her head through the door, Emily hoped that Phoenixia wouldn't pop out of the shadows – she had been doing that rather a lot lately, often catching Emily when she was trying to sneak more sweets from the kitchen. The giant computer screen, which took up much of one wall, had several windows open, icons flashing here and there, images of fandoms flying by...

Except for two screens. One held the image of a water covered planet, a shield covered city protruding from one of the few landmasses. A giant moon hung in the sky above it, visible in the twilight, as airships breezed above the water, to and from the city.

The second screen held a graph, displaying a wildly fluctuating line, which Emily understood immediately – it represented the story's continuity, and something was very wrong. Usually stories ran smoothly through their continuity, but for this fandom, the continuity was fluctuating violently. Something or someone was messing with it.

She certainly knew that fandom. It was Beyond Good and Evil, a platform RPG which happened to be one of Tash's favourite games of all time, and which Emily had been introduced to one week during the summer holidays. After locking herself away with it for a week, Emily had happily declared it to be one of her favourites too. And now it looked like someone had finally decided to mess with it.

Emily quickly ordered the computer to provide her with a fandom summary, so she could find out just what had happened. The story had proceeded as normal – the alien race known as the DomZ had come to the planet Hillys, and begun attacking. The Alpha Sections, an elite group of soldiers, had appeared about the same time to help boost the Hillyan's attacking force against their new enemy. Undercover reporter Jade had joined the Iris Network, a rebel organisation who were trying to expose the truth to the population – that the Alpha Sections were in fact helping the DomZ kidnap the population.

Emily mentally ran over what was supposed to happen as the plot progressed. After several undercover operations, and revelations that slowly become more and more tear jerking (Emily still welled up whenever she thought of the moment in the game when Jade discovered that her adoptive children had been captured), Jade, her pig uncle Pey'j, and her partner Double-H made it to the DomZ base – Selene, the planet's only moon, defeated the DomZ Priest, and restored all the kidnapped citizens. A quick cutscene after the game's ending credits, which showed Pey'j with a DomZ creature of some kind growing out of his hand, left the story open for a sequel, the trailer for which had been dropped on the shocked and delighted fanbase a couple of years ago.

Only, something was wrong. About halfway through the plot, Emily could tell that things had spiralled out of control. The kidnappings had suddenly got worse, and more frequent. The Iris Network were under a severe amount of pressure to stay hidden, as the Alpha Sections had begun raiding the city centre for any illegal activity.

Emily's frown got deeper and deeper. This was definitely the influence of a Mary-Sue – only a Sue produced these kind of readings – but it was odd. Usually a Sue worked within the storyline, befriending the canon characters and achieving tasks that the canon characters were unable to achieve themselves. Or in the more extreme cases that the Society regularly saw, their powers corrupted them to the state of complete insanity, and they became obsessed with a desire to transform the fandom into a perfect utopia. But this had to be the work of a Sue... only a Sue could corrupt plotlines like this...

There! A tiny blip had finally shown itself in the fandom. A new member of the Iris Network, who joined just after Jade. No information available as yet, except for the fact that the Stu was level four. Level three was usually when the Society started getting worried about a Sue or Stu's powers, and level four was usually tackled by a single agent or a team of rookies. This was the stage where canon started getting distorted badly.

And yet... there were no teams of rookies, or even another agent currently present to take this mission. Though the sensible voice in the back of Emily's head told her she should try and find whoever was on monitor duty (whoever the heck that was supposed to be), the part of her that was gleeful over locating this Stu, was urging her to do something stupid and reckless, as well as reminding her that most of the Society were sleeping, drunk, or on Japanese time (and Emily was not sure if Aster was familiar with this fandom at all).

The eleven year old suddenly felt a cold chill as she realised just how mad Harriet would be if she found out. The Society leader could make you feel about three inches tall, even when drunk. And yet, Emily remembered the last time she had requested to go on a mission – to the Rome fandom some weeks ago – and the rejection she had received in front of everyone at the team meeting.

She was tired of being left behind. And she had tricks that the Society didn't know about... she would be fine.

Hastily, as though expecting the signal on the screen to vanish at any second, she dumped her school books out of her bag, and opened the cupboard under the desk, where spare Prohibitors and Copyrights were kept. She wondered if she should take a Plot Device, and then remembered the last time she had used one of those, and the disaster it had brought. She still had nightmares of being chased by a brightly coloured Dalek demanding that she update her iTunes.

Banishing that thought from her mind, she opened up a Plothole, and slipped quietly into the fandom.



A shadowed figure looked up from his task, his eyes raking up and down the Gary-Stu before him, trying to determine whether this was important or not.


"A Plothole has been opened in the centre of the Pedestrian District. I believe the Society have finally found – "

There was a swift zapping sound and the smell of burning flesh. The Stu howled in pain, both hands pressed against his face as his left eyeball melted in its socket.

"I know its the Society you fool! I sensed the Plothole the instant it appeared! Now get into position, and stop wasting my time!"

Bowing fearfully, the Stu ran off. The figure slunk back into the shadows, before turning to face the line of silent figures against the opposite wall. Most watched the man fearfully – they all knew, despite their powers, he was infinitely more dangerous by far.

"Let that be a lesson to you all," the figure hissed. "Do not waste my time. It is the one thing I and my associates have to manage very carefully..."


Emily's emotions were currently conflicted.

On one hand, she was annoyed. Not that she didn't have reason to be – her face was being pressed painfully into the wall by a man who's whole body was encased in a giant armoured shell. She was frustrated that people like Adrian, Michael and Tash made capturing Sues look so easy. They rarely got their faces shoved into walls unless they were stupid enough to admit to the canon characters that they had aggressive intentions towards the Sue.

On the other hand, she was relieved that the canon characters had not trusted her – it meant that despite her ability to summon plotholes, she did not appear to have inherited one of the most Sueish abilities in the book – instant likability.

"Ow!" she yelled again, trying to pull her wrists free, from where they were being held above her head. "Get off me!"

"Double H!" a woman's voice interrupted. "She's just a kid!"

The army man released her immediately, pulling his helmet off as he did. "My apologise Jade. I did not want to take any risks with an intruder..."

Rubbing her cheek, Emily turned to face two of the three protagonists. Jade's green eyes were surveying her suspiciously, though with a hint of softness – Emily was a kid after all. The second man, who wore the bulky armour of the Hillyan army, was Double H, Jade's reporting partner (and more often than not, the fan preferred love interest). He looked rather apologetic and sheepish.

And it had been going so well. Emily had made her way to the Akuda Bar, and headed straight for where she knew the Iris Network's base of operations for this sector to be – through a secret door in room three, just next to Peepers Three Coconut Monty stall. She knew she would need the code for the door to get into room three, and that Peepers had it, but after repeating the Iris Network password, the blind man had lifted his eyebrows and just given her the password ticket with no questions.

That had been Emily's first mistake – she had forgotten that Peepers always made people play Three Coconut Monty for the door code in the game. She had suspected that something was up when the door refused to budge. Apparently it had triggered some kind of alert to the Iris Network however, as the door had opened outwards, and she had been tackled into the wall next to the Three Coconut Monty stall by Double H.

"How did you know?" she directed her question to the blind man, who huffed.

"I may be blind, but I'm not stupid. That's the old password you gave me, little lady."

Emily cursed her own stupidity. Of course the password would have been changed! With the extra out-of-canon kidnappings and the Alpha Sections getting closer to the network, it would be stupid for the Iris Network not to step up security.

"Who are you?" Jade asked, bending down slightly so that she was eye level with Emily. "And how did you find out about us?"

Still sore about her squashed face, Emily rolled her eyes. "I'm on a mission of the up most importance to universe..." she trailed off as she realised that Double H was holding him giant hammer. "Okay! I'm looking for someone!"

Jade's suspicious look did not fade away, but she was curious now. "Who are you looking for?"

"Not a clue," Emily shrugged, wincing as she realised that both of them were growing bored of her stupid answers. "I know he'll be new in town, very good looking...and probably recently joined the Iris Network not long after y-MMPH!"

She was cut off as Jade swiftly covered her mouth and pushed her back into room three. Emily sat heavily on the bed, as Peepers and Double H guarded the door.

"Don't mention the Iris!" Jade hissed. "Its dangerous right now!"

"Sorry!" Emily didn't like this. She felt like she was being told off, and at the rate she was going, she's probably get that again when she returned home.

"Why do you want to find this person?" Jade demanded. Emily shrugged.

"Its a..." she trailed off. "Private matter..."

"I'll say it is," a new voice appeared, and a man with long black hair (which still managed to flow despite being tied at the nape of his neck) and deep red eyes, one of which was covered by an eyepatch. He was dressed all in black, and had a SAC similar to Jade's around his waist. Jade's usually serious and determined expression immediately melted into one of giddy joy.

"That expression should never cross Jade's face," Emily thought in horror. "That has to be the Stu."

"Alejandro!" Jade sprung back upright and gave the newcomer a tight hug. "What happened to your eye?"

Her emotions were not hard to pinpoint, and Emily groaned. It seemed she was not the only one disturbed however – from the expression on Double H's face, he didn't much like the Stu either, and was eyeing the eyepatch with curiosity that was not quite caring enough. The Stu returned Jade's hug happily.

"Its nothing," he said, waving off Jade's concern. "This young lady," now he turned to Emily. "Is an agent of the Alpha Sections, and should be –"

"Oh shut up already!" Emily was fed up, and she pulled the Prohibitor from her pocket. "I'm Emily Smith of the Anti-Cliche and Mary-Sue Elimination Society. And I'm placing you under arrest for damage to this fandom!" She pulled a face. "I mean, come on! You've got Jade acting all mushy! That's completely out of character!"

Alejandro folded his arms and snorted. "You're a child. You can't possibly hope to sto-"

He didn't have time to finish, as Emily yanked her supersoaker over her shoulder, and pulled the trigger. A blast of fangirl disinfectant splashed across the Stu's face, burning the eyepatch clean off, and searing his flesh a bloody crimson. Emily fought down a scream as his face whipped towards hers – where there should have been an eye beneath the patch, there was only an empty burned out socket.

The Stu ran, pushing his way down the stairs and through the crowded bar. Emily leaped after him, paying little attention to the terrified screaming that followed her as she barged through the room, pumping more ammo through the supersoaker as she ran.

As they raced through the streets, Alejandro took twists and turns through areas of the Pedestrian District that Emily had never seen before – probably because they were never included on the game. Occasionally she got close enough to fire at him again, but her shots never made their mark, burning fiercely away at any brick or roof tile that they happened to hit instead.

"When I get back to the Library," Emily thought as she ran. "I'm going to the firing range more often!"

It was more than just her aim – her feet throbbed after ten minutes of twisting streets and areas of bad cobbling, and her legs burned as she pushed them to keep up with the Stu, who aside from being stronger than her, was also taller and had longer legs.

Eventually, Alejandro burst through a boarded up doorway, and vanished inside. Kicking the rotting wood out of the way, Emily followed, squinting to see through the darkness. The Stu was nowhere in sight, and she pulled her supersoaker tighter to her body.

"Great... locked and boarded up doors are never good in this fandom..." she muttered, before kicking a rat into the wall and hurrying into the shadows.


"Helloooo? Dominos pizza! I'd like to order pleeeeease?"

"Hati-baby, you're talking into the laptop keyboard," Tash informed her friend, with an exhausted pat on the head. "We is orderin' online, remember?"

"Ooooh of course!" Harriet glomped her second in command. "You is smart babykins!"

She began typing. "Okay... our postcode is..." she began poking the keyboard keys slowly.

"Are we still ordering pizza under the name Mistress Harriet, Queen of the Multiverse?" Jess asked curiously. Tash shook her head.

"No, not at all," she said. "Harriet changed it two months ago."

"So... what name are we ordering it under now?" Jess asked cautiously.

"Lord Voldemort!" Harriet proclaimed, clearly proud of herself for this stroke of genius.

There was a yawn from the doorway, and a sleepy looking Michael, and a cheerful looking Claire appeared. Claire had changed out of her clubbing gear, and wore her pyjamas instead.

"Nixie told us that there was pizza," she said. "So Michael and I thought we'd have a late night snack."

The girls looked around for the busty ex-hologram, but she was nowhere to be seen.

"She'll turn up," Tash nodded confidently. "Maybe I should drag Adrian to this... but then if he's sleeping I don't want to disturb him. That man needs more sle..."

She was cut off as the alarms blared throughout the Library, and Phoenixia's face, white as sheet, appeared on Tash's communicator.

"Everyone to the Monitor room, now!"

The confused and frightened agents bolted, leaving only Harriet, who was blinking slowly at the alarms.

"Wow... is that our new doorbell? Those pizza men are quick..."


She thought her legs were going to collapse. Her supersoaker felt twice as heavy as it had when she had started, and she was beginning to wonder if this was really all worth it?

Looking on the bright side, at least this building seemed to have only one route. If Emily had been forced to follow the Stu down left turns, right turns and every other turn on the planet, she probably would have got very lost. As it was, this was one straight line to...wherever it was the Stu was going.

Where was he going? Emily wondered as she ran, just managing to keep her speeding quarry in her line of sight. The corridor seemed to slope down and down until she was positive that she had to be underground – there was no way there could be room for all these corridors on the surface, in such a highly built up city. She had never seen this building or this area of the Pedestrian District in the game, and she knew that she was working blind. So how had Alejandro known of this place?

Before she could answer, the corridor abruptly ended, expanding into a wide room. Boxes were stacked against the walls, and as the Stu raced through the open door on the other side, five creatures emerged from behind the crates. They were headless and footless, gliding spectre like toward their prey. The space within their empty rib cage seemed to glow like a green bubble, and their clawed hands reached out to ensnare Emily.

"DomZ sarcophagi," Emily thought in surprise, before levelling her weapon and running over the game mechanics of fighting these creatures. "Hit them three times with a blunt object, and dodge when they lunge for you..."

Since her weapon worked differently to Jade's staff, she realised quickly that this was not going to be as easy as it was in the game. Two of them went down with blasts from her supersoaker, dissolving into puddles on the ground, but a third one lunged for her, its claws extended. Emily dodged straight into a pile of crates, sending them toppling to the ground, and crushing the one that had attacked her. The other two that had hung back, now came at her, and she pumped disinfectant through the supersoaker before firing another spray toward one. As it dissolved, she reversed her grip on her weapon and thrust it as hard as she could into the remaining one. The creature gave a growl of pain, but recoiled, giving Emily time to turn the soaker around and fire.

The puddles hissed faintly, and as she passed them she caught a scent that reminded her of burning hair. She tried to ignore it and raced for the door.

The room beyond the doorway was dark, and she strained to see anything. She made out the fuzzy outline of a computer terminal, before the lights clicked on. The cheap bulbs illuminated a concrete floor, concrete ceiling and concrete walls. The doors were nothing more than wire gates, each locked with a vicious looking padlock. Emily felt as though she were standing in a prison cell, and she felt abruptly cold.

"I have brought the Society agent, Doctor."

Alejandro stood in the centre of the room, facing reverently toward a shadowy figure emerging from the wall. Something was different about his voice, Emily realised. He sounded almost fearful of whoever he was addressing. She squeaked as a zapping noise pierced the eeiry silence, and Alejandro doubled over to his knees, clutching his hand – a hole had been burned clean through his palm.

"You brought me a child!" the figure emerged completely from the darkness, a smoking gun of some description clutched in his hand. The only thing clean about him seemed to be the bright white lab coat that covered him from neck, almost to the floor. His face was pinched with the beginnings of age, and his hair was a dark grey, and Emily felt her hands shake as green eyes, magnified by thick glasses, rested contemptuously on her. She squeezed her supersoaker tight, but her hands did not stop shaking.

"My my..." the man known as the Doctor raked his eyes over her, and Emily suddenly felt very filthy. "Pretty little child, aren't you? Now why did you follow my minion to this place?"

"Doctor," Alejandro butted in, still clutching his hand. "Her name is Emily. And she is from the Society, despite her age."

As he spoke, Emily could see Alejandro backing away against the wall, where she now realised a line of hunched over figures stood, all with their heads bowed in submission. With a startled gasp, Emily realised that they were all Sues and Stus! Despite their apparently defeated appearance, the power she could sense from them was there. What were they all doing here?

The Doctor however seemed to understand far more than her. His eyes widened behind their thick lenses, looking like giant surprised tennis balls.

"Emily... oh Alejandro! You have no clue who you have just brought to me... of course its her! Even at this age, she looks just like her sainted sister. And there is the hairclip!"

Emily's hand shot up to her fringe, where the palm leaf clip rested just as it had done since the day she had discovered it. "How do you know my sister? How do you know about my clip? Tell me!"

The supersoaker shook with her hands, but she made no effort to stabilise it.

"Oh if only you knew how I know..." the Doctor was positively gleeful at this point. "But your presence has put me in a good mood, so I'll give you a clue. Everyone knows of Emily Foxblade – or are you still going by Smith right now? – and her oh so wonderful big sister, who nearly brought the multiverse to its knees...the same sister who gave you the hairclip, that you wear each day to remind yourself of what she did for you."

He paused, clearly pleased by the frightened expression he had created on the girl's face.

"But why waste time chattering? Time is the one thing I am very short of. I was hoping for a Society agent to question. But this is so much better. Now I get to question you, and kill you before you can grow up to become a nuisance to us!"

Panic now gripping her mind tightly, Emily pulled the trigger on her supersoaker. Somehow miraculously, her scattered shot hit its mark, splashing across the Doctor's face and burning its way through his flesh. The man howled, clasping his hands over his injury, staggering back against the computer panel. Turning wildly, Emily spotted the heavy padlock over the gate-like door, aimed her soaker, and fired.

A dribble of disinfectant leaked from the nozzle – she was out of ammo.

Before she could reach into her bag for a new bottle, the Doctor's voice hissed at her from the shadows. His face now resembled something from a nightmare, half of his skin burned to reveal the raw, oozing flesh beneath. Half of his nose seemed to have melted away, and one of his eyes had turned a milky white as the organ was eaten slowly away.

"You little brat! I shall see you suffer for that!"

She had forgotten all about the gun, until she heard the familiar zapping sound, and white hot pain suddenly flared up the back of her right hand. Screaming, Emily dropped her weapon and curled up on the floor, clutching her hand tightly to her stomach. When she dared to look, a shiny red burn sat in the middle of her hand. She had never felt pain like it. How on Earth did people like Adrian carry on when they were injured worse by the Sues and Stus?

The Doctor snapped his fingers, barking orders angrily to his minions. The Sues and Stus rose from the wall, and marched in formation to surround Emily, who knew that she should pick up her soaker, but at the same time knowing full well that even if she did she couldn't hit all of them at once, and even if she did, it wouldn't do more than badly burn them – Alejandro had already proven that pain meant little to them in the course of serving this Doctor person...

Her thoughts scattered as the Sues advanced...whether to restrain her or pull her apart she didn't know. All she knew was that she had made a stupid mistake going to this fandom. She had been overconfident and now she was going to pay for it with her life. She didn't want to die, but she equally knew that whatever this Doctor wanted to know, he wouldn't hear it from her lips. She had been an idiot to disobey the Society – the least she could do was not tell on them...

She screwed her eyes shut, and waited for the hands to grab her. The first touch was cold, and she struggled instinctively, trying to pull her arm free, but a blow to the head scattered any thoughts of resistance. The pain was unbearable to her, and she went still, for what else could she do...?

And with a vicious ripping sound, the room suddenly went silent, and Emily peeked one eye open. The room spun viciously and her head throbbed as she tried to focus, but she still made out the scene before her.

The Sues and Stus lay on the ground, all of them beheaded. Blood stained the walls and floor around them, and lumps of grey flesh sat in the middle of the puddles, along with chunks of what looked like bone.

Behind them all, tentacles of Darkness retreating into his back, was Michael.

"'s not a good thing that I've missed being able to do that..."

The Doctor's face turned pale. "You!"

The Society's Chief Agent tipped his head to the side, before marching over to Emily's side and standing between her and the Doctor. "Me. You clearly know me. I don't believe I know you though."

"Oh..." the Doctor glared. "You will boy. Soon enough, you and your entire Society shall know of me and my associates!"

He raised the gun again, but Michael was prepared for it, tentacles of Darkness clamping down on the Doctor's wrist and shaking the gun from his grasp. Another two went for his throat, but for all his age, the Doctor was quick, yanking hard on a switch above his head and illuminating the terminal with painfully bright lights, which dissolved the attacking tendrils of Darkness before they could reach him. Swearing angrily, Michael raced for Emily, knowing that his priority was to protect her over catching this man, but the Doctor had clearly had enough for one night, and with a rip of a Plothole, he vanished.

Emily had barely taken any of this in. As Michael skidded to a halt beside her and picked her to her feet, the world lurched violently, and she doubled back over, throwing up everything in her stomach as the shock, horror and fear of the night finally crashed over her. When she was done, Michael carefully picked her up, and carried her on his hip to the waiting Plothole, vowing to come back later and clean up the mess in this fandom himself.



"Hati..." Tash poked her friend with the barbecue sauce. "You realise Emily fell asleep twenty minutes ago, right?"

It turned out that when there was real danger or something to rise her anger, Harriet could sober up very quickly, which was exactly what she had done upon realising that Emily had gone after a Stu on her own. She'd almost demanded that the whole Society go to get the girl – until Michael had sensibly pointed out that most of the Society were exhausted, asleep or drunk (or a combination). As he was none of those things at present, he had opened up a Plothole without another word, and headed for the fandom himself.

Upon their return, Harriet had fully prepared to give Emily the worst lecture of her life, but before the leader could utter a word, Emily had wriggled out of Michael's grasp and tackled Harriet in a tight hug, before bawling her eyes out on her guardian's shoulder. All Harriet had been able to do was sit there and cuddle her, until Valerie had gently suggested that she should have a look at Emily's injuries, and she had allowed her charge to be steered away by the Society healer. During this time, Michael had slipped back to the fandom to clean up the mess, get the plotline back on track, and wipe the canon character's memories.

Now the girl was curled up on one of the sofas in the main reading room, under a blanket, in her pyjamas. A gauze had been taped over her hand, and she had a small pad of bandages taped to her head. Her concussion had not been serious, and Valerie had confirmed that most of the damage was shock. Three hot cups of sugary tea later, Emily was sound asleep. It was doubtful she had paid attention to any of Harriet's angry rantings.

Grumbling, Harriet viciously tore apart her slice of pizza.

"Be thankful that she wasn't harmed worse," Michael said darkly, helping himself to another slice of meateor pizza (the Darkness snaked a tentacle out, looking hopefully for a bite). "I only saw the guy for a minute and I can tell that Doctor was a freaking psycho..."

"Are you sure they were Sues and Stus with him?" Tash asked for the millionth time.

"Yes Aneki," Michael sighed. "I've seen too many Sues and Stus not to recognise them. Hell if I know why they were so...docile though..."

"Its worrying..." Tash muttered. "I'd like to ask Emily if he said anything about his intentions...but, I think she's been through enough tonight."

She squeaked as Adrian poked her lips with another slice of pizza.

"I've asked Phoenixia to do some research," he assured them all, as Tash nommed on another slice. "If she finds anything out about this Doctor person, or who he might be working for, we'll know."

"Good..." Harriet dipped her pizza crust into the pot of sauce. "In the mean time, I welcome any punishment suggestions for my charge. Somehow I'm thinking grounding for life isn't enough..."

She was interrupted as the phone on the desk rang loudly. Harriet absently leaned over to answer.

"Anti-Cliche and Mary-Sue Elimination Society, home to Mistress Harriet, Queen of the Multiverse."

A dark voice, seeped in anger growled at her from the other end.

"I have warned you once already! I will not warn you again! Stop ordering pizza under my name! It's demeaning!"

Rolling her eyes, Harriet huffed. "Sorry Voldie...didn't know you hated Dominos. I'll order from Pizza Hut next time..."

And she slammed the phone down.

"Better change my order name..." she muttered, pulling her laptop open and accessing the Domino's pizza website. "How does 'Darth Vader' sound to everyone?"

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Hello, How Do You Do?


Charis and Karissa…

"Excuse me? Tash told me to come see you about my equipment," Stephen said as he walked into Charis' lab. The Society's head techie looked up from the machine she was working on.

"Oh, a rookie? Sure, I'll grab it for you," She said, rummaging through a nearby bin to collect all the gadgets. After a moment, she stood up, holding all the things Stephen would need.

"Here you are. One Communicator, two Prohibitors, two Copyrights, one Scene Transition, and a Plothole Generator. You need a weapon?" She asked, handing him the equipment. For some reason, she had the horrible feeling that she would never see that Plothole Generator again, but she shook it off.

"Yeah. I don't think I'll be tough enough to go up against an enemy with my bare hands," Stephen said.

"Alright. Any preferences?"



"Biiiiiig sword."

"Um, okay…" Charis said, looking through the weapon racks for a biiiiiig sword. She soon found one, and grunted as she picked it up.

"Big enough for you?" She asked, dragging it over. Stephen grinned madly.

"Overcompensate much?" Someone asked behind Stephen. He turned around, to see that there was nobody there.

"Who said that?" He asked. Charis sighed.

"Karissa…" She said. In an instant, her sister reappeared in front of Stephen.

"Well, why else would he have such a huge sword? Can he even lift the thing?" She asked.

"Wait, how did you…"

"You'd better just go. Good luck on your mission, Rookie," Charis said, returning to her work. Karissa vanished again. Stephen decided that it would be wise to see himself out.



The Cullen clan stood over the boy who had fallen from the sky above their front yard. The boy was unconscious when he hit the ground, and was badly injured. Carlisle, the patriarch of the Cullen clan of 'vampires', leaned over the unconscious boy's body, his fangs bared.

Wait… oh, right. Meyer-pires. No fangs. Silly me. Carlisle was just baring his pearly whites, which were as pale and beautiful as the rest of his body, except for his golden eyes. The child was wounded, and only one thing could save him. Carlisle had little choice but to turn him, even though he only had some bruises and a cracked rib.

"Scram! Scram, you stupid fairies!" Drake shouted, running straight into the gaggle of Meyer-pires. The 'vampires' broke off and ran from the armored Agent brandishing a spear.

"We were just trying to help him!" Carlisle shouted back.

"I said beat it!" Drake repeated, shooting a small bolt of lightning to make the Cullens run faster. It worked.

"Easy, Drake. No need to kill them," Michael said, approaching the apparently unconscious Stephen.

"Yeah, yeah," Drake grumbled, leaning down to check Stephen's vitals. The instant he did, the Rookie latched itself onto him like a baby koala.


"…" Stephen repeated rapidly, pure fear in his eyes.

"I think they got a bit close to him for his tastes," Michael noted.

"Sorry 'bout this," Drake said, grabbing the Rookie's head and slamming it into his armor.

"Oww…" Stephen moaned.

"Well, aren't you tough," Drake said, slamming Stephen's head into the armor again. This time, he was knocked unconscious.

"That… wasn't really necessary," Michael said, helping to pry Stephen off of Drake.

"Let's just get him back to the Library," Drake said, removing his armor when he was free of Stephen. Both Agents lifted Stephen as Michael opened a Plothole and the trio left the fandom.

From his perch in the trees, Nameless watched the Agents and Rookie go. When he was sure they were gone, he leapt from the tree and vanished before he hit the ground.

There was much to do.


"Ben, what did you do to tick Shirley off this time?" Valerie asked as she and Michael set the heavily wounded Agent's stretcher down on a bed.

"I can't really remember… something about a cow, a microwave, and a package of burritos, I think…" Ben said, "Then she was waving something that looked like one of my vertebrae in my face."

"It is honestly a miracle you live day to day," Michael said before leaving. Ben looked over at his neighbor.

"Brother, can you spare a spine?" He asked. Stephen chuckled a little bit. The chuckle left when they both heard an angry screech.

"You just don't learn, do you?" Valerie groaned. Shirley kicked down the door, somehow, rage in her wooden eyes. I think.

"You. Are. Dead."

"Spare me, don't spear me…"

"I'm with Valerie. Do you even have a self-preservation instinct?" Stephen asked, watching as Shirley's eye started to twitch dangerously.

What happened next will not be mentioned due to the incredibly graphic content.


Stephen peeked over the cover of the manga he was reading.

'He's just… standing there… staring at me…' He thought, hiding behind the book again. He'd just been released from the medical wing, and was now doing some research on a possible weapon to use. He'd started reading some manga to find ideas, when that guy just showed up, leaning against a wall and staring at him. It was slightly intimidating, to say the least. The person who was intimidating Stephen so much wore black armor and had a pair of razors hanging from his waist. There was just something in his eyes that made Stephen absolutely terrified, and the whole glaring thing wasn't helping.

Stephen looked up again. He almost jumped out of his skin when he saw that the guy had moved, and was now literally right in front of him, still staring down at him. Stephen tried to shrink deeper into the chair.


"Please don't hurt me!" Stephen cried, cowering. The strange guy in the black armor narrowed his eyes. He motioned to the manga Stephen was reading.

"Can I see that when you're done?" He asked. Stephen nodded, glancing at the razors that the armor guy kept at his waist. He really hoped that was dried ketchup, not congealed blood.

"Thank you," Razor-armor guy said. He held out his hand.

"Willie. You're the new guy, right?" He asked. Stephen tentatively reached out and shook his hand.

"Y-yeah. I'm Stephen," He said. Willie smiled.

"Pleased to meet you."


"And I've scheduled a meeting with the florist… I was thinking lilacs, is that alright?"

"Yes, dear."

"…You've still got to find a good tuxedo…"

"Yes, dear."

"…Preferably a blue one…"

"…Yes, dear."

"…Ooh, I still need to decide on what color the bridesmaids are going to wear. Do you think red would be good?"

"Yes, dear."

"Yay! Okay, I'm going to go ask Rhia about the cake. I'll be right back, and then we can keep on planning!" Claire said, giving Michael a quick peck on the lips and skipping off. Michael turned to the only other person in the reading room that Claire had cornered him in.

"Any smart remarks you'd like to add?" Michael asked, seeing that Stephen had a huge shit-eating grin on his face.

"Wha-pish," Stephen said, making a whipping motion.

"Hey, guess who just got signed up to be the flower girl?"

"Eh. It was worth it."


It was a fairly normal morning for Phoenixia. She woke up, showered, decided what she was going to look like that day (frizzy redhead, but not too frizzy), got dressed, and started her daily rituals in her flower garden.

She released the stinger-less bees from their hives, allowing them to pollenate the many flowers in the garden and make the honey that would later be gathered and sent to Rhia in the kitchens. Make sure the Lantern Lily Pads were lighting up properly, snip unwanted branches off of the bonsai, trip over a sleeping person in the middle of the walkway…

Okay, that last one wasn't usually part of her morning. And she didn't really trip, more like stumbled.

Phoenixia checked his wrist for a pulse. Good. It was there. She gave him a soft smack to try and rouse him, but he didn't budge. Phoenixia looked at the flowers around her.

Ah, that would explain it. He'd probably sniffed the Good-Night Blooms. No wonder he wasn't waking up. Good-Night Blooms gave off a pollen that could make an elephant sleep like an author after November, and only specialized bees could properly pollenate them. They made very sweet honey, however. Phoenixia laced her fingers together, bringing her hands above her head and…

"LIVE, DAMN YOU!" She screamed, bringing them down on his stomach. He jolted awake, doubtlessly shocked from the sudden, slightly painful, waking call.

"What the hell?" He asked when he recovered from the impact.

"Word of advice: Don't go sniffing something if you don't know what it is," Phoenixia said, helping him to his feet. "Now, what brings you here?"

"I, uh… I kinda got lost," He admitted, scratching his head under his orange bucket hat.

"Oh, I recognize you… Stephen, right?" Phoenixia asked. She mispronounced his name, however, saying it with an 'f' sound instead of a 'v' sound.

"Stephen. Yeah. And you must be…?" Stephen asked, correcting her on the pronunciation.

"Phoenixia. So, where were you trying to go?" She asked, shaking his hand.

"I was trying to find my room. Easier said than done," Stephen said. Phoenixia nodded.

"I can help you with that. I just need you to do one thing…" She said, a sly smile spreading across her face. Stephen gulped.

"…What?" He asked. Phoenixia held up a watering can.

"Would you mind filling this thing up for me?" She asked. "I'll make it worth your while."

"Alright. Where can I find the water?" Stephen asked, taking the watering can from her.

"Go that way, then take a left, the second right, and another left. Use the faucet on the far left," Phoenixia said. Stephen nodded and set off.

Fifteen minutes later…

"Well, it took you long enough," Phoenixia said when Stephen finally returned. She had started scouring through the nearby flowers, looking for any signs of invading Plot-Bunnies, while waiting for Stephen.

"Sorry, I got a bit distracted," Stephen said, setting the watering can down on the ground next to her. "Really shiny flowers," He muttered under his breath.

"Ah, the Diamond Roses," Phoenixia said.

"Were they real diamonds?" Stephen asked.

"Sort of. There are only eight of those flowers in existence, so not much research has been done on them," Phoenixia said, picking up the watering can and starting to sprinkle the nearby vegetation. Stephen lifted an eyebrow.

"But… I saw nine…" He said. Phoenixia was silent, but he could see a small grin on her face. When she finished watering the plants, she set the can down and held out her hand to Stephen.

"Let me see your Communicator for a second," She said. Stephen handed it to her. After a few moments of rapid button clicking that was too fast for the eye to see, Phoenixia handed it back.

"There you go. I uploaded a map of the Library to it, and it should update itself every time the Library decides to shift around, but no guarantees," She said. Stephen looked over it, noting that the Library was shifting even now.

"Thanks, Phoenixia. This'll come in handy," He said, scrolling the map around to find his quarters. Phoenixia winked at him.

"See ya around, Stephen," She said before returning to her work.


"Move it, move it, move it!" Stephen called out as he hustled through the Library with armfuls of paper containing crummy stick figure drawings. He was late for a meeting with Tash in her office about him finding a weapon, and he didn't want to keep her waiting. Tyler turned around to see what the source of the noise plowing towards him was.

One thing: At this moment, Stephen was wearing his favorite orange bucket hat.

Another thing: Said bucket hat has faded from years of wear and sunlight, and is now frequently mistaken to be the color of salmon, much to Stephen's distaste.

Another thing: Salmon looks a lot like pink.

Another thing: Tyler hates pink.

Tyler popped the apple he had been eating in his mouth, core and all. He pulled out a ping-pong paddle, turning it into a three-foot long Lego axle. Tyler fell into a batter's stance.

"Hey, battah, battah, battah…" He chanted as Stephen came closer, not noticing his impending doom.

"SAH-WING!" Tyler yelled as he swung (obviously) the staff straight at Stephen's head. It clocked Stephen right between the eyes, knocking him onto his back and causing a pained shriek from something that sounded like it had just been crushed under a hundred forty pound sixteen year old. Stephen's papers fluttered through the air. Tyler returned his staff to its ping-pong paddle form, regurgitated the apple he had been eating before he had eaten it, started eating it again, and caught one of the papers.

"Rich Burlew you ain't, buddy," He said after inspecting it.

"Ah do declayah, waiter… theyah's a flah in mah soup…" Stephen said in a voice reminiscent of a southern belle.

"And people call me crazy."



"So, who are you?" Stephen asked again, referring to the revived Adrian.

"I'm Adrian," Said Librarian said.

"Aren't you supposed to be, you know, dead?" Stephen asked, going by what he had heard from other Agents.

"Yes. Your point?"

"So, you came back?"

"I would think that would be obvious."


"It's tough to explain…"

Stephen glanced at the Librarian's cat ears. Reaching to his bedside for his Bag O' Doodads, he pulled out a laser pointer.

"What is…" Michael started to ask. Stephen pointed the laser at a wall.

"DIE, LITTLE SHINY LIGHT!" Adrian screamed, his cat instincts in full control. He morphed into his kitty form and pounced at the point of light, getting a mouth full of wall for his efforts.

"I could have fun with this," Stephen decided, watching Kitty!Adrian chase the red dot of light around the room, swearing to kill it and its family. Finally, Tash confiscated the laser from him so she could have a turn.


For your consideration, a standard Society meeting.





"Thank you, Valerie. Jared?"














"Cha…" Tash paused, looking back at Aster, or more specifically, her new headwear.

"Aster, where did you get that?" She asked. Aster pointed at the faded orange hat she was wearing, as if to say, 'this?'.

"Oh, I borrowed it from Stephen-kun," She said.

"Oh boy," Ben muttered.

"Does he know you borrowed it?" Tash asked.

"No. He was sleeping when I asked him, so I assumed he said 'yes'," Aster said, looking quite proud of herself. Hey, she had asked this time.

"This… could get ugly," Valerie noted. Ben started scooting away from Aster.

"Kyaaa? What's wrong?" Aster asked, tilting her head to the side.

"Well, Ben thought it would be funny to swipe Stephen's hat a little while ago. Stephen disagreed," Michael said.

"Ladies and gentlemen, the understatement of the year," Ben said from his hiding spot under the table.

"What happened?"

"Let's just say that afterwards, Shirley asked him if he wanted to compare notes."

"Hey, the way he broke Ben's thumbs was art."

"Aster, just go down to the infirmary and put the hat back where you found…" The lights flickered and died, cutting Tash off. The room was pitch black.

"…It. Phoenixia, what's going on?"

"I think he just cut off power to this part of the Library. Nothing too serious, I'll have it back in a minute," Phoenixia reported.

"Who has wronged me whilst I slept."

The icy voice came out of the shadows that were too dark to see through. It sent shivers down the spines of everyone in the room. Ben was whimpering under the table.

"Where is the treasure that was stolen from my sleeping body? Answer my question and hand over the criminal, and your lives shall be spared."

"Aster! Aster did it!" Ben shouted.


"Aster. You have committed a crime most heinous. All the gods that you believe in and the demons that you fear may one day forgive you, but I will not."

"Phoenixia, where are the lights?"

"Just a moment!"

"However. Return what you stole, and maybe, just maybe, you will be spared," The voice demanded. Aster, now thoroughly terrified, couldn't take the hat off fast enough. It was snatched from her hands by the thing in the darkness.

The lights clicked back on, revealing Stephen pulling his hat back onto his head.



The instance was afterwards referred to as "The Incident", with capital letters, and was considered the primary reason that Stephen's hat should remain, safely, on Stephen's head.


"Kill da wabbit, kill da wabbit, kill da waaaaabbiiiit…" Rhia sung to herself as she returned from a successful Plot Bunny hunting trip. She'd managed to take out almost two-dozen Plot Bunnies, and had even seen one of those Bunnies that had unfortunately gotten away from her. She had wanted to track it down, but decided not to for fear that it could have been leading her into a trap. As nice as a trophy would be, she wasn't willing to risk it.

Walking through one of the Library's reading rooms, she saw a sight that made her heart stop for a second. Lying on one of the couches, taking an afternoon nap, was one of the newer Agents in the Society, Stephen. A book lay on the ground next to him, but what drew her attention was the thing sitting on his chest, whispering in his ear.

It was that Bunny. The one that had gotten away from her. Pure black, with raggedy fur and an evil look in its red eyes, it was one of the most malicious, and thankfully rare, subspecies of Plot Bunnies.

Without a second thought, Rhia aimed her rifle and put a round between the bunny's eyes in one swift motion. Stephen's eyes jumped open as he heard the gunshot. Rhia ran to his side as soon as the bullet left the gun.

"Wut…" He said, but at that moment, Rhia had wrestled him onto the ground and bent his arms behind his back in a manner most painful.

"Listen to me. You just had a dream, right?"

"Ya, eye ded. Et wuz a gud ide 4 a stor-e…" Stephen said in some strange accent. Rhia put more strength into the arm lock, eliciting a yelp from Stephen.

"Don't talk about it, don't even think about the dream you just had. It should hopefully go away soon, but don't let it get into your head," Rhia ordered, terrified by the Agent's sudden change of accent. She had to nip this thing in the bud before it took root.

"Wut iz gong on? Wuz gud dreem…" Stephen said, his voice wistful. Rhia wrapped her arm around his neck, pulling him up and blocking off his airway for a second.

"Don't think about the dream. That thing that I just killed was a Plot Bunny from the 'troll' subspecies. You are very lucky I found you when I did," Rhia said.

"T-troll? Oh… oh, Kamina, no…" Stephen said, the evil accent from the language of pure malice leaving his voice as he spoke the name of his deity.

"Good… good. Just think happy thoughts…" Rhia whispered. When Stephen was finally able to speak coherently, she let him go so she could claim her trophy.

"You feeling okay?" She asked.

"Yeah, fangz…" Stephen said.

Rhia slapped him across the face.

"I mean, thanks. You're…?"

"Rhia. Nice to meet you. You're Stephen, right?" She said, holding out a hand. Stephen shook it, thankful that she had come when she had.

That night, rabbit stew was served for dinner. Stephen wisely avoided it.


Stephen and Dave ducked behind a corner, panting for breath. Stephen peeked around the corner to see if their pursuer was still there.

"I think… we lost her…" He said. Dave started to laugh.

"Oh, we haven't lost her. She's not gonna let us go for what we did," He said. Dave held out his hand.

"Never got the chance to introduce myself. I'm Dave," He said. Stephen shook his hand.

"I'm Stephen. Death threats from a stick aside, what you did was hilarious," Stephen said. Dave grinned.

"Hey, Ben was the one who came in clacking those coconuts together. It's like he was asking us to start re-enacting the Holy Grail," He chuckled.

"Yeah. Poor Ben, though…" Stephen mused. Shirley had caught him first.

"Ah, he'll be fine. You'd be surprised how good Valerie has gotten at stuffing his guts back into his body," Dave scoffed.

"See, this time I made things a bit tougher. Now, she'll have to find where I hid them first," A malicious voice added from above their heads. Dave and Stephen looked up. Shirley was hanging from the wall, one claw holding her up and the other holding a bloody coconut.

"Crap!" The duo said at the same time. The demonic stick dropped down with a berserker yell, and the chase was back on.


Tom (archaeologist) dashed through the halls of the Library. His hunter, while fast, hadn't really mastered turning at the speed he was moving at, resulting in several crashes.

Tom was still confused as to why Stephen was chasing him. He had only been showing off his new coat, but when he had told Stephen where he had gotten it from, Stephen had gone feral and started chasing him like a madman.

Tash rounded a corner, not noticing Tom running for his life. He was able to maneuver around her, and came to a stop, hoping that she could help him.

"Stephen… is trying… to kill me…" He panted, his hands on his knees. As he spoke, Stephen appeared at the other end of the hall, crashed into a wall, shook himself off, and put on a burst of speed, rocketing straight at Tom and Tash, whose back was turned.

"Got it," Tash said, holding out her arm and clotheslining Stephen. He collapsed to the ground, the wind knocked out of him.

"Alright, what's going on?" Tash asked, after Stephen had gotten his breath back. He had tried to attack Tom again, so she had to restrain him on the ground.

"The… jacket…" Stephen hissed, staring at the trench coat that Tom was wearing.

"Oh, you like it?"

"Waaaant!" Stephen howled. Tash nodded in agreement.

"Yeah, trench coats are…"

Meanwhile… Somewhen…


"Pardon, Doctor?"

"I said, I'm looking for my old trench coat because I was thinking of wearing it again. Trench coats are cool. Unfortunately, I can't find the bloody thing," The Eleventh Doctor said.


"Where did you get it?" Tash asked. Tom stopped mid twirl, his back to his senior and junior.

"Um… nowhere. Well, gotta go, bye!" He said quickly, running away.

"He got it… from Doctor Who!" Stephen screeched. Tash's eyes widened.

"As in… the…"

"The Tenth! From the Tenth! Waaaant!" Stephen screamed, trying to force Tash off of him. As soon as he said that Tom's new trench coat was from the Tenth Doctor, played by the handsome, dashing, stone-cold sexy David Tennant, Tash snarled.

"Waaaant!" She screamed, flash-stepping after Tom.

The chase was afoot.

Jared and Chloe…

Stephen set the pieces of the broken Gadget down on a clear area on Jared's desk. Jared looked at it silently, his eye starting to twitch.

"This… had better not be what I think it is."

"And if it is?"

"It would be the fourth one you've broken in one month. Do you know what that means?"


"It means that you have officially set the record for most Plothole Generators broken in one month. Keep it up; maybe you'll set the all-time record," Jared grumbled, sweeping the pieces of the rather expensive Gadget into a trashcan.

"So, what happened to this one?" Chloe asked, biting back laughter.

"I sat on it. Then, when I was carrying it over here, I dropped it. These things break really easily," Stephen said.

"Look, the fact remains that you have broken four Generators. Any more, and we'll have to put a little sliver on our budget's pie chart: 'Replacing the destructive moron's Generators'. These things seriously aren't cheap," Jared said, looking through the unorganized chaos of his lab for another Generator.

"Hey, two of them weren't my fault. Nameless broke the first one and Shirley used the third one to hammer a coconut into my abdomen."

"Yeah, but you still haven't told us how the second one broke. You drop off the radar…"

"Well, if you people had remembered me…"

"As I was saying, you dropped off the radar for almost a week, get back to the Library riding Fred…"

Stephen shivered.

"…And, to top it all, you suddenly developed super strength between disappearing and getting back."

"Are you going anywhere with this?"

"I'm just saying, how do we know that you didn't trade the Generator to someone or something for power?"

"Look, I can't tell you what happened when I was off the radar…"

"Nobody believes that whole 'touched by Vorlons' excuse, anyway," Chloe remarked.

"I never said it was an excuse. But I seriously can't tell you what happened. I can, however, tell you that you can trust me. So could you please just give me the new Generator?" Stephen asked. Jared thought about it for a second before handing the Gadget over.

"Do try to bring this one back, Bond," Jared asked.

"You'd better be glad Shirley's not around."

Avak and Lily…

Avak sat in the corner, staring at the thing that had been chasing him. The thing. The thing he had never seen before. And, since he had never seen it before, Avak was only able to think one thing about it.

It was absolutely terrifying.

Avak had never been very good at new experiences. The first time he had ever sneezed, he had gone running to Valerie, trying not to cry. The first time he had gotten the hiccups, he had almost hyperventilated. So when this tiny brown thing appeared and started chasing him, Avak had simply started running. Now they were at a standstill, with Avak curled up in a corner and the thing sitting on its hind legs and staring at him.

"How did a mouse get into the Library?" A voice asked. The thing turned its head to the source of the noise, and then ran off.

"With all those cats we had in here a while ago, you'd think that they'd all be gone…" Stephen noted, watching the mouse run away. He hadn't yet noticed Avak sitting in the corner.

Of course, he became hard to miss after embracing Stephen and sobbing.

"Holy crap!" Stephen said, feeling Avak start to squeeze his midsection.

"!" Avak cried, not noticing that Stephen was starting to turn a faint shade of blue.

"Help me! Somebody!" Stephen gasped.

"Avak, he can't breathe," A woman's voice informed the childlike man. Avak let go of Stephen, who took in a deep breath. Avak quickly walked over to the woman who had arrived.

"This tiny little brown thing started chasing me, and I… I didn't know what to do and I…" He tried to say, fighting back tears.

"He was being hunted by a mouse," Stephen explained. Lily nodded, patting Avak on the shoulder.

"It's alright, Avak. You don't have to be afraid of a little mouse," She explained. Avak sniffed.

"M-mouse?" He repeated.

"Yes, a mouse. It's harmless. Now, do you have anything to say to… this guy?" Lily asked.

"Stephen," Stephen said. Avak turned around and faced Stephen, his head hanging down.

"I'm sorry I almost crushed you. And thanks for scaring off the m-mouse," Avak said.

"It's no problem. You're Avak, right? Nice to meet you," Stephen said, taking Avak's hand and shaking it.


A dark shape slipped through the shadows in the weight room. Always sticking to the walls, staying out of the line of sight of its target, who was currently pumping iron with his newfound strength.

"Twenty-eight...twenty-nine…thir-" Stephen grunted as he lifted the almost one hundred pound weight over his head. His current record with this weight was thirty-one times, and Stephen was trying to beat his own record before his Rise maxed out. With silent footsteps, the shadow approached his target.

"Lord Stephen, correct?" The shadow asked, now at Stephen's side. Stephen screamed in surprise, accidentally throwing the weight at the ambusher. The tall man moved out of the way, barely touching the weight.

"Holy crap, who're you?" Stephen shouted, trying to calm his thumping heart. He usually didn't take very well to being scared. There was a glint in the man's eye. This was the opportunity he had been waiting for.

"I am the dark void. I am the cold steel. I am the just blade. I am the one that all beings of fanfiction know and…" The Society's resident ninja started to monologue. Stephen clicked his fingers.

"Ooh, you're Cristoph, right?" He asked, cutting off the ninja's never-finished monologue. Cristoph fell to his hands and knees, a rain of depression around his head.

"So close… I was so close..." He mumbled.

"Um… You okay?" Stephen asked.

Alice and Louise…

"Well, look who's back," Valerie said as Alice and Louise carried the whimpering Stephen into the medical wing for the fifth time since he had joined the Society. They set him down on the usual bed, and Valerie started checking his body for injury. After a few minutes of careful prodding, she stood up.

"Cracked rib. Thankfully, he heals remarkably fast when he's resting. How did he…" Valerie stopped when she realized that he had been brought in by Alice, a.k.a. 'The Glompy One'. She sighed.

"What happened."


"Can I glomp you?" Alice asked, innocently enough. Louise groaned and buried her face in her hands.

"Um, sure…" Stephen said. Very big mistake. In a few seconds, he was screaming uncontrollably as he was subjected to a hug like a vice.

End flashback.

"It sounded so… innocent. So not painful. I was so wrong," Stephen cried.


You may be wondering. Earlier, it was stated that Stephen had been brought into the medical wing five times. Once for rehabilitation after a Meyer-pire attack, once for malnutrition and minor insanity after his ride on the Fred Express, once for having been brutalized by a coconut used in ways that coconuts were never meant to be, and once for glomp-related injuries. So, how did he get sent to the medical wing the fourth time?

The answer: he said the wrong five words to the wrong person at exactly the wrong time.

The wrong time would be any time at all.

The wrong person was Hati.

The wrong five words were: "Is cricket a real sport?"

I'll leave the rest to your imagination. Needless to say, it involved a very mad Hati, a cricket bat, and Stephen's skull. Repeatedly. Since then, he has shown an incredible fear of said bat.


"Can you hear anything?"

"Gah! Keep your voice down!"

"Oh. Sorry," Jess whispered. Stephen kept his ear down on the ground.

"I'm not sure. What did you say I should be listening for, again?" Stephen asked, keeping his voice low.

"Sort of a… dragging, I guess? That's how he gets around, mostly," Jess said.

"Alright, just a minute…" Stephen said, closing his eyes and continuing to listen.

"So, how are you able to do that again?" Jess asked.

"I can temporarily heighten one of my senses using my abilities. I just can't use it in combat because it takes too long to use and it leaves me a bit… Wait, I've got something."

"What? Where?"

"By my estimation, about… a hundred yards behind you," Stephen guessed. Valerie turned around to head in the direction that Stephen had heard the noise from…

…And nearly tripped over Leonard.

"Gwagh!" The crippled baby-demon snarled. Jess looked down at Leonard, then back at Stephen, who was standing up and dusting himself off.

"A hundred yards, huh?"


"I said, 'a hundred yards, huh?'"



"WELL, I MIGHT BE WRONG! I SUCK AT JUDGING DISTANCES!" Stephen shouted, turning around. When he did, he screamed like a girl.

"WHAT THE HELL IS THAT?" He screamed, staring at the thing in Jess's arms.

"This is Leonard, the thing you were helping me look for."






Leonard hissed at Stephen. Stephen hissed back.





Leonard growled.



Stephen clicked his fingers in the air next to his ears, then checked his watch.

"Two minutes and forty-seven seconds of Sense Rise… seven minutes and thirty of back fire. Meh, I could do better," He decided. With his hearing finally returned, Stephen decided to finish what he had been going to do before helping Jess find the ugly thing. To The Recreation Room!

As Stephen came closer and closer to The Room of Recreation, he began to hear two voices coming from behind The Door to The Room. He couldn't make out what they were saying, but when he came close enough to make it out, he stopped dead.


"I-I-I can't he-help i-it. Y-y-y-you've got me up a-g-g-gainst a wall…"


Stephen stopped in his tracks. It sounded like two guys that Stephen wasn't familiar with yet, and from the sound of things, they were in the middle of something… important. Abandoning his plans on entering The Room, he slowly tiptoed past The Door to The Room, moving as slowly as possible to avoid making any noise.

"B-bu-but y-y-you're so m-m-much be-better than m-m-me at th-this…"







"DO IT!"



Stephen quickened his pace a little bit, wanting to get as far away as possible.



Stephen stopped, turning around so fast it was a miracle he didn't get whiplash. He walked straight up to The Door to The Room, pushing it open to see…

Two guys, twins, Stephen thought, sitting in front of a TV and playing Street Fighter. The two turned around to look at him.

Stephen was too shocked to say anything.

"WHAT! YOU WANNA GO, TOO?" The louder twin asked.

Stephen slowly backed out of The Room and pulled The Door shut behind him.

"G-good job, y-y-y-you sc-scared him o-off."



Stephen tried to shake what had just happened out of his head, but it was kind of hard. Under no circumstances were any puns intended. He walked through the halls of the Library, trying to concentrate on other things, when he stepped on a book in the middle of his path.

Stephen looked down to see what it was. It seemed to be a sketchbook, probably accidentally dropped by a careless artist. Stephen scooped it up, noting that the cover had the letters 'E.S' written on it. He opened the book, partly to see what this 'E.S.' had drawn, and partly to find some distraction from the previous incident.

Oh, how wrong he was. How very, very, wrong.

One peek was all it took. Stephen slammed the book shut, his face a deep crimson. Had that been… No, it couldn't have been. It was probably just his overactive imagination.

Stephen opened the book again, slowly. His jaw dropped when he saw the first picture.

It looked like… Adrian and Tash… and Phoenixia… and…

Kamina, this thing was detailed.

Stephen shut the book again, feeling a new duty. This 'E.S.' person was a fool to leave such a book out where a young, innocent child could easily find it, and it had to be destroyed. There was no doubt about it.

"Excuse me?" Somebody asked from behind Stephen. He turned around quickly, hiding the book behind his back. It was a little girl, maybe around thirteen, with red hair and a palm tree shaped hair clip.

"Yes?" He asked, trying to seem as normal as possible.

"Have you seen a sketchbook around here?" She asked. Stephen blanched. So, this girl had found the sketchbook previously, lost it, and now wanted it back because she thought the pictures were 'pretty'. There was only one course of action possible:

"No," Stephen lied, hoping she wouldn't ask what he was hiding behind his back.

"…Um, what are you hiding behind your back?" She asked. 'Crap! I've been found out! Quick! Think of some witty excuse!' Stephen thought.

"…Nothing," He lied.

"Really. Hey, isn't that David Tennant behind you?" She asked, pointing past Stephen. Stephen whipped around instantly.

"Where?" He hissed, not realizing that the sketchbook was still behind his back and his back was facing the little girl.

"Hey, that's my sketchbook!" The little girl said. 'Dammit, I've been had! Wait, her sketchbook?' Stephen realized.

"It's… yours?" He asked, slowly turning around again.

"Yep. E.S. Emily Smith. That's me. Why were you trying to hide it?" She asked.

"…No reason," Stephen said, handing the book back to the little girl. She looked at him like he was crazy (which he very well might be), accepted the book, thanked him, and left.

Stephen, having had enough strange meetings for one day, decided to go back to bed.

And now, introducing…

Hati slammed her cricket bat, which was functioning as a gavel, on the table. The stack of three tables wobbled dangerously as Hati tried to keep her balance on top of her stack of chairs.

"Order in the court! I will have order! I will also have another one of those delicious cookies. Rhia, could you pass me one?" Hati asked. Rhia dutifully tossed her a cookie, which the acting judge began to nom on happily.

"All rise," Adrian, acting guy who tells the audience to rise, said. All the members of the Society present stood up.

"Okay, you can sit down now. Honorable Judge Harriet, residing," Adrian announced.

"You are all like tiny ants from up here!" Hati cackled, obviously enjoying herself, as evidenced by the white curly wig she was wearing. Everybody sat down. The accused party raised his hands from the defense table. He would have raised only one hand, but being handcuffed made it slightly difficult.

"I have a request…"


"Oh, fine. The accused has a request for the most honorable Judge who lords over us all," Stephen groaned. Hati nodded approvingly.


"Can I please have anybody else as my lawyer?" Stephen begged, looking over at his appointed defense. Aster gave him a thumbs up.

"Don't worry, Stephen-kun! I'll be sure to get you checkmate!" She assured him. Stephen slammed his head onto the table.

"Or at least tell her what's going on," He said.

"New lawyer request denied. Suck it up, evildoer. Now then, Valerie, would you please read the minutes from the incident for which the accused is being…um, accused?" Hati asked. Valerie stood up and cleared her throat.

"Two twenty two, Society meeting brought to order. Two twenty eight, roll call finished, all Agents present and accounted for. Two twenty nine, Tash brings up the matter of the mysteriously decreasing phlebotinum stores. Two thirty, Ossa yawns. Two thirty three, door opens, no visible person enters."

The small creature pried the door open, scampering into the room and under the table before any of the people notice what happened.

"Confusion gives way to indifference and the incident is ignored. Two thirty four, Drake yawns."

The creature poked its head up between the one called with the demon following it and the one that summons the sparkles. Neither of them notice it, too busy being bored. Across the table, the Feeder notices it, and begins to do a strange dance.

"Two thirty six, Stephen starts doing his dance move called the 'No-no-no'…" Valerie read. Hati raised her hand.

"The judge would like the accused to demonstrate the No-no-no for the sake of those watching," She said.

"Oh, come on. Everybody here saw it-"

"The judge would like to remind the accused just who is holding the cricket bat in this court."

Stephen growled. Seeing no other option, he began to demonstrate. The No-no-no consisted of shaking his head furiously while waving his arms in front of himself. Stephen did this for about a second before stopping.

"Wait, how did you do that if you had handcuffs on?" Adrian asked. Stephen lifted his hands to show that the chain had been snapped.

"I'd suggest getting hand cuffs that can't be broken by someone with super-strength," Stephen said.

"Whatever. They were made of plastic anyway. Valerie, you may continue," Hati ordered.

"Two thirty eight, all Agents stop laughing long enough to continue the meeting. Stephen is quite visibly looking like he wished he was dead, but also seems wary of something."

The creature ducks under the table again, its natural curiosity drawing it towards a shiny object at the hip of one of the humans.

"Two thirty nine, Pete yawns. Two forty, I yawned."

The creature stealthily pulls the shiny object away from the human. It notices that there is a twist cap on it, and that there is a liquid inside of it. Using its small teeth, the creature tries to gnaw through the metal.

"Two forty five…"

Hey, it was metal, and the creature was just getting its baby teeth. However, the liquid inside of the metal case is worth the pain in its teeth. It is sweet, and glides down the creature's throat. The creature feels energy flowing through its veins…

"…Small green object starts bouncing around the room, screeching like a monster that just drank a full flask of Firebrand Whiskey."


"Two forty six, object wears itself out and collapses in Stephen's arms. Object is identified by conscious Agents. Stephen attempts to make excuses, including, but not limited to, 'I've never seen it before in my life', 'It followed me home, I swear', and 'No, wait, Adrian, don't-'. Two forty seven, Adrian clonks Stephen on the head, knocking him unconscious. Tash captures the thing. Two forty eight, Hati calls meeting to a halt and goes to search for a proper wig for the first ever Society trial. Obviously giddy. End minutes," Valerie finished, sitting back down.

"Thank you, Valerie. Agent Stephen, you stand accused of harboring a potentially dangerous creature as a pet. How do you plead?" Hati asked.

"Innocent, Your Honor-san," Aster announced.

"Then let's get this trial underway. Prosecution, you may proceed."

"Your Honor, the prosecution would like to put up the caught monster as evidence," Tash announced from the prosecution table.


"Objection, Aster."

"Oh. Objection!"

"Ignored. Prosecution's request accepted," Hati said, slamming the cricket bat again.

"Kitty, if you would," Tash requested. Adrian wheeled out a large covered cage, putting it in full view of the audience. When he pulled off the tarp covering it, many people panicked. Others were too busy preoccupied with the cute.

The 'thing' was about a foot and a half tall, with green skin, blue eyes, and three fingers and toes on each hand and foot. A small pair of stunted wings grew out of its back, and a beard of tentacles circled its mouth. Oh, and it was wearing a diaper. And was curled up on the bottom of the cage, napping.

"Ladies and gentlemen, the monster! A juvenile form of Cthulhu!" Tash announced. There was no reaction from the audience until Adrian held up a sign that read 'Gasp'.

Everybody gasped.

"The prosecution may now proceed with the questioning."

"Um… Polo!"

"Aster, please shut up."

"The prosecution calls the accused to the stand," Tash said. Grumbling under his breath, Stephen stood up and approached the table next to the Judge's stand. Adrian stepped forward, holding a Bible.

"Please place your right hand on the Bible and repeat after me," Adrian requested. Stephen took the Bible from him, set it aside, and placed a case of DVDs in Adrian's hands.

"'Gurren Lagann: The Complete Collection'?" Adrian said, reading the case.

"My only god is Kamina and his prophet Simon."

"Oh, whatever. Repeat after me: I swear to speak the-" Adrian was interrupted by Stephen clearing his throat.

"JUST WHO THE HELL DO YOU THINK I AM?" He screamed, making Adrian drop the holy material and cover his ears.

"I'll take that as a yes," Adrian decided, walking away. Tash approached the witness stand.

"Agent Stephen. Would you kindly tell us just what it is that is currently napping in the cage that has been presented as evidence?" Tash asked.


"Don't '…' me, Agent Stephen. Answer the question."

"It's Cthulhu. Although I call it Lil' C."

"Why do you call it Lil' C?"

"Because it's just a baby. Circa a few days after the universe's creation."

"And why do you have it?"

"Because I thought it was cute and nobody would be allergic to it."

"Disregarding the fact that the presence of an Elder God-"

"Junior God."

"-Junior God could turn the entire Society into a group of raving madmen and women?"

"Something beat Lil' C to it."

"…Good point. Now tell me, how is it that Cristoph, who is basically our only 'sane' member, is still fine? Why isn't Lil' C driving him nuts?"

"I plead the fifth on that one."

"We're not in America right now, Agent Stephen. Answer the question."

"Black jack!" Aster shouted, making Stephen hit his head on the witness stand.

"That's 'objection', and proceed."

"Your Honor, this court is functioning on the Phoenix Wright rules. The fifth may be pleaded."

"Sustained. Prosecution, please stop this line of questioning."

"Okay. Agent Stephen, would you please tell us how exactly you came to be in possession of this Junior God?"

"Back when I was originally thinking of a way for me to fight, I thought that you would let me fight using a Junior God. I went to R'lyeh at the beginning of the universe and lured Lil' C with a leg of chicken on a string."

"And didn't I tell you, upon noticing that you had this creature hanging off your back, to put it back?

"No, you just shouted 'Ste-PHEN' and I said that I would put it back. I never specified where I would put it, and just put it back in my room."

"And during your time MIA, how did Lil' C survive?"

"I keep a large amount of rations in my room. Lil' C must have hit them."

In the audience, Drake and Tyler looked at each other and grinned. It was fairly obvious what he meant by 'rations'.

"So, in conclusion, Lil' C is yours?"

"That is correct."

"Your Honor, the prosecution rests."

"The defense may cross-examine."

"Thank you, Your Honor-san," Aster said, standing up and replacing Tash in front of the witness stand. She cleared her throat, placing a pair of fake glasses on her nose.

"Agent Stephen-kun, where were you three days ago at around nineteen hundred hours?" She asked.

"I was, uh… in my room, I think."

"You hesitated."

"Hey, you put me on the spot. I had to, uh, jog my memory."

"So, you claim to have been in your room?"

"That is what I said."

"And you were not, of course, sneaking in to storage room number six?"

Stephen gulped.

"Why would you say that?"

"I would say that, Stephen-kun, because…" Aster slammed her hands down on the witness stand, "I saw you three days ago at nineteen hundred hours, sneaking into storage room number six!"

"Storage room number six is where we keep the phlebotinum…" Tash noted.

"Defense, are you saying that…?"

"Yes, Your Honor-san," Aster said, "My client is the phlebotinum thief!"

The court was completely silent. Stephen slowly lowered his head into his hands.


"Yes, Stephen-kun? Did I do good?"

"You do know what you're trying to do here, right?"

"Kyaaa, a little bit. I was just doing like what Phoenix Wright-san would do."

"Aster, your job is to get me out of trouble, not get me in even MORE trouble!"


"Your Honor, can she get a do-over?"

"No. I'm adding 'phlebotinum thief' to the charges," Hati responded.

"Then can I get a new lawyer? Please?"

"Still no. Defense, you may continue."

"Yes, Your Honor-san. Now then, Agent Stephen-kun, why were you stealing the phlebotinum? Don't lie to me. I can tell when you're lying."

"I did it because I'm an alien with three arms, two and a half legs, and a major sweet tooth."

"Oh. Okay."

"That was sarcasm, Aster."


"Anyway, I stole the phlebotinum because I needed it for Lil' C."

"Why did you need it for Lil' C-chan?"

"Because…" Stephen said, but was interrupted by a low growling from the cage. Lil' C had awoken.

"Aw crap. Is it three thirty?" Stephen asked. A glance at his watch told him that, yes, it was three thirty. Stephen cursed under his breath.

"Everybody, I would advise closing your eyes!" Stephen shouted, diving towards the cage, fishing through his pocket for something.

In the cage, Lil' C's eyes opened. Unlike before, when they were alight with playfulness and a childlike curiosity, they were now hard and icy. An ancient, almost unpronounceable tongue whispered from its mouth(s).

"Cthulhu tesd R'yleh… ds hyds opf vinc… ds hyds opf vinc… Hyds opf lst? (Translation: I am Cthulhu of R'yleh… the stars are gone… the stars are gone… Where have the stars gone?)" It groaned, a deep and guttural voice coming from its throat(s). As Stephen started to approach the cage, he, too, began to speak.

"Cthulhu! Bagd thard msksl nansk! (Translation: Cthulhu! This is not your age!)" Stephen hissed. The Junior God turned its head to face the mortal who had spoken in the Elder Tongue.

"…Vask. VASK! (Translation: …You. YOU!)"

"Vd. (Translation {Slang}: The stars do not shine in the skies here. Your time shall come one day, but not here, and not now. Now, you are my charge, and you are soul-bound to my soul, heart-bound to my heart, mind-bound to my mind. Return to your sleep, Sleeping Lord of R'yleh, for your body has yet to grow.)"

Lil' C was silent for a moment, face to face with Stephen at the bars of the cage. The audience had closed their eyes and covered their ears, for the sight of the Lord of R'yleh and the sound of the Elder Tongue could drive a man to even further madness.

Stephen pulled a small white pill out of his pocket, holding it out to the Junior God. After a moment, Lil' C spoke.

"...Gha yus? (Translation: …Can I at least get some water?)"

"Pok dgs. (Translation: Just take it.)"

"Keh. (Translation: Fine.)"

Lil' C took the pill from Stephen and swallowed it dry, making a face as it went down.

"Bvah! Soap qasi! (Translation: Ugh! It tastes like soap!)" It grunted, the hardness disappearing from its eyes slowly. Soon, they returned to their childlike appearance, and the Awoken Lord of R'yleh…


Stephen laughed a bit and scratched its head. Lil' C made a soft purring noise.

One by one, the Agents in the audience opened their eyes and uncovered their ears, hoping that the problem had been resolved and they wouldn't be driven insane.

"What just happened?" Tash asked.

"That was why I needed the phlebotinum. When I brought Lil' C here, its body was a bit confused. Its elder, more matured consciousness was somehow able to find its way into its juvenile body, and the phlebotinum was the only way to make sure that the matured mind stayed out. When Lil' C has its normal, immature mind in control, it can't drive people insane. When the matured mind comes back, however, it can drive a man mad. So, I think I'm justified in that case," Stephen said, bending the bars of the cage and scooping up Lil' C. The Junior God started to snuggle up to him.

"Are the other Leaders in agreement that the charges of phlebotinum thievery should be dropped?" Hati asked. Adrian, Michael, and Tash all agreed. Hati slammed her gavel, and declared the charges dropped.

"The defense would like to take a nap, Your Honor-san."

"Noted. Prosecution, do you have anything left to say?" Hati asked.

"Yes, Your Honor. Ladies and Gentlemen, Agent Stephen has still been harboring a Junior God in his room without our knowledge, and he still needs to be punished properly for this fact. That is all."


"Um, well… I, uh, think that Stephen-kun should get to keep Lil' C-chan, because, um, Valerie-san has Ari-chan, Jess-chan has Leonard-chan, Ben-kun has Shirley-chan…"

"I told you not to call me 'Shirley-chan'! And I'm not his pet!"

"…And Jared-kun has the little green guys. So, uh, Stephen-kun should get to keep Lil' C-chan. Yeah," Aster finished, sitting back down.

"Understood. Agent Stephen, you are hereby pronounced guilty."

"Wait, then what was the point of the closing statements?"

"No real reason. Punishment shall be decided out of court. All Agents except for Stephen and the Leaders, please exit," Hati decided. The audience slowly filed out of the room until it was only Stephen standing in front of Hati, Tash, Adrian, and Michael.

Stephen gulped.


With his head held high, Stephen walked out of the courtroom, Lil' C hanging off his shoulders. The Agents waiting outside the door to hear what the punishment was perked up when Stephen came out of the courtroom.

"Well?" Inara asked.

"They said I could keep Lil' C," Stephen said. Lil' C made some jabbering noises from his shoulder.

"They let you keep it? Why?" Willie asked.

"I showed them just how snuggly Lil' C could be. Isn't that right?" Stephen said, scratching Lil' C's head near where its ears would be.

"What was the punishment, though?" Tyler asked.

"I just have to clean the Phoenix Zord top to bottom," Stephen said, still grinning. Tyler and Willie grimaced.

"What?" Stephen and Inara asked simultaneously.

"Stephen, have you ever seen the Phoenix Zord?"

"No… why?"


"This is the Phoenix Zord," Willie said, pointing to the enormous mech. Stephen's jaw dropped.

"Question: what do I have to do to be able to use this thing?" Inara asked, an evil grin on her face.

"One: you can't, and two: do I want to know why?" Tyler asked.

"Probably kill some people with it," The slightly sociopathic thirteen year old said.

"Willie, you are a really bad influence on her."

"Hey, I didn't do anything."

Stephen was still staring at the Zord, dumbstruck.

"Think he's okay?"

"I… I have to wax it, too…" Stephen muttered.

"He's not okay. He's royally screwed."

Lil' C, the cutest little Eldritch Abomination EVAR.

Later (Or maybe earlier. I don't know. It happened, okay?)…

"Juari Ken – Abarai!" Tash called as she ripped through the Sue. The Sue's body faded into nothing, becoming one with the air of the Library. Tash leaned on her sword, panting for breath.

"One down…" She said, looking over the battlefield the Library had become, "A few… hundred… to go. Bollocks."

Nobody knew where the Sues and Stus had come from, or how they had gotten into the Library. Each and every one of the Sues and Stus was ridiculously strong, and it took a high-level agent to be able to take just one out. Even Adrian was struggling with defeating them.

Adrian snapped the neck of another Stu, but was kneed in the back by another one.

"Oh, give me a break!" He groaned as the Stu put him in a headlock. Another Stu took the place of the one he had just killed, and lifted an enormous katana, obviously with the intent to kill…

…Until the Stu's head disappeared from his shoulders. His body fell limp to the ground.

"The h-" Was all the Stu holding Adrian got out before being brained by his comrade's head traveling at the speed of a fastball.

"Well, it took you long enough," Adrian grumbled, shrugging off the now dead Stu. The newcomer bowed his head in apology.

"Sorry. It took me a while to clear out the other rooms. You all can take a rest; leave it all to me," The tall, muscular man said. Adrian nodded, glad for the reprieve from the fight.

"All Agents, retreat! Fall back!" Adrian ordered, knowing that with this man here, none of the other Agents would be necessary. As soon as the room was devoid of Agents, except for the big damn hero who had shown up, the fun could really begin.

"So, one Agent thinks he can take on all of us, huh?" A Sue sniggered. The man shook his head.

"I don't 'think' I can take on all of you," He said, "I know I can take on all of you."

"In case you haven't noticed, you're kinda surrounded, dumbass," Another Sue pointed out.

"Oh, I'm not surrounded," The man said, grinning, "You are."

And with that, he disappeared, and the Sues and Stus at the edge of the crowd started flying.

He was just one man. Yet he had surrounded an army through pure speed and strength.

And, oh, how they were screaming.

The man continued his rampage until there was only one Sue left, backed into a corner and terrified out of her mind.

"Y-y-you…" She stammered, "I th-thought you were j-j-just a bedtime story… s-something parents told their children to frighten them…"

"You seem frightened," The man said, bending down to look her in the eye.

"The Man of a Thousand Captures, of Ten Thousand Kills, the Agent Who Never Runs…"

The man reached out with a hand the size of a spade and grabbed her head, lifting her off the ground. She continued to speak.

"…The Army of One Man, the Slayer of Dragon's Nests…"

Stephen started to wind up for a throw…

"Agent… Stephen…" The Sue said. Those were her last words.

As he watched her fade from existence on the other side of the room, Stephen marveled at his own achievements. This marveling was put to an end when the Library started to shake, much more then it did when the Fourth Wall was broken. Above Stephen, a large piece of the ceiling fell…

"Stephen! Wake up!" Somebody said, shaking Stephen roughly.

"Huh? What?" Stephen grumbled. The memories started to flow back. Oh, right. He had been dragged down to the Basement to watch the Sue Factor with the other Agents. Stephen wasn't really a fan of reality television, but he couldn't find a way out of this mess, so he had decided to try and take a nap.

"Look! Look!" the Agent (Stephen couldn't tell who it was in the darkness) hissed, pointing at the screen. The sleep left Stephen's eyes the moment he saw just who it was on the screen.


"Holy crap, what's he doing there?" Stephen asked.

"We're here with Nameless, first round competitor in Sue Factor. Nameless, the judges called your performance 'lackluster', 'overwhelmingly dull', and 'like a dying rabbit, but I was the one dying'. However, they praised the original song you wrote for the competition, and I've heard that you've received several job offers from prominent music companies. What do you have to say about that?" The reporter on-screen asked, holding the microphone up to Nameless's face.

"As soon as I received the offers, I burned all of them," Nameless said flatly.

"I'm sorry?" The reporter said, obviously confused.

"I don't really give a *bleep* about the music, the prestige, or this ridiculous competition. I just needed to get a message out, and this was the fastest way to do it," Nameless said. The reporter shrugged.

"And I guess we're all the worse for it. Would you care to give us a demonstration of the song you sang, one more time?" The reporter requested, although her face was very clearly saying 'oh god please don't let him sing, please don't let him sing, he sounds like a pane of glass in a blender, please don't sing'.

"No. I will, however, give a little message, in case the idiot missed it," Nameless answered. Stephen leaned forward, knowing that he was the intended recipient of the message, and wondering what his creation wanted to say.

"Creator," Nameless drew his thumb across his neck, "You're a dead man."