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?"

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