Disclaimer: The PPC belong to Jay and Acacia. The Lord of the Rings belongs to the Tolkien Estate. “To Love or Not to Love” belongs to Flying-Griffins, and s/h/it can keep it. I certainly don’t want it.
Mini Disclaimer: The Minis were originally created by Miss Cam for OFUM. Sir Rodric Murgatroyd was found by Agent Tawaki and adopted by Agent Tomato. Gilbert and Sullivan belong to…well, to Gilbert and Sullivan. The staff of UDÉM have graciously allowed the agents to adopt Enjorlas. Les Misérables belongs to Victor Hugo, and the people who wrote the musical.
A Thank-You: Someone on the PPC Board recommended printing off the badfic in order to write the mission without needing a computer. It’s a simple idea and I should have thought of it myself, but I didn’t, because I’m not always that smart. I used their suggestion for this mission, so that I could work on it while visiting colleges, and it was very useful. So, thank you to that person. Unfortunately, I don’t remember who that person is. If anyone does, please let me know.
Maria felt a wrenching in the pit of her stomach as her body shifted from male back to female. She made a mental note to carefully consider historical gender roles before setting the disguise next time; getting turned into a boy was not something she wanted to do again. At the console, Crispin was fending off Enjorlas the Mini-Brick with a rolled-up magazine while he tried to read the screen. Sir Rodric egged on his new friend in a tinny baritone.
“Maria, get—” WHAP! “—this thing—” WHAP! “—off the console!” Sir Rodric leapt onto the end of the magazine and tried to pull it out of Crispin’s hands. Maria grabbed the Mini-Major General by the back of his shirt and dropped him on a bookshelf.
“You shouldn’t hit them,” Maria chided. “It’s only going to make them bad-tempered.” She scooped up Enjorlas and hummed him the chorus from “Red and Black” to calm him down. Crispin turned his attention back to the console.
“It beeped just before you came through—Lord of the Rings again. Looks like your standard Sue: Arwen’s best friend, falls for Legolas, attends the council…oh, and she’s Gandalf’s apprentice.”
“It might turn into one, but it hasn’t gotten that far yet. We have several canon violations and at least two serious cases of OOCness, just in the first two chapters.”
“Great.” She set Enjorlas down on a chair. “Attendez-là, Enjorlas. Have you called UDÉM about adopting this little guy yet?”
“Yeah. They say we’re welcome to him.” Crispin tried to look enthused at the thought of having two minis in the Response Centre.
“Great!” Maria grabbed her bow and tested the string. It sprung back in place with a satisfying twang. “Let’s go.”
I don’t own Lord of The Rings, or I would have Legolas locked in a closet somewhere so I could have him all to myself. Cause I love him! ;O)
Sitting on the window of Gandalf’s library, two sparrows rolled their eyes in unison. “They always say that,” the one on the left muttered. “Do they think they’re being original?”
Maria grimaced as best as her beak would allow. “They’re Suethors. They don’t think.” She ruffled her feathers. “Why are we sparrows, anyway?”
“It’s a small room, the Sue might see us, and birds are canon for this scene. She talks to them, apparently. They’re her ‘only companions.’”
“First charge: talking to birds.” Maria reached for some paper to start a charge list. “Um, Crispin? Where’s my stuff? I can feel it, but I can’t see it and I can’t reach it.”
“Oh. Er, I think it’s under the feathers. Birds don’t have hands, so the disguise generator won’t let us hold anything. I’ll keep track of the charges, and we can change when we get to Rivendell.”
Maria wasn’t listening; her attention had been drawn by the utter strangeness of the room they were in. It was described as a library, with bookshelves high enough that the Sue, Marin, needed a ‘tall ladder’ to reach the higher shelves, but the building in which it was contained was described as a cottage with a dirt floor. The result of this confusing description was a very tall, very skinny room that resembled a two-story, book-filled cupboard with a window.
The Sue herself was trying to get a book down from a shelf, and was having much more difficulty doing so than Maria had thought was possible. “If she’s having so much trouble reaching it, why doesn’t she just use a stick or something to knock it down? Or move the ladder, or ask Gandalf to help her get it down, or something?”
“Remember what you were saying about Suethors and thinking?”
“Right. Never mind; just add it to the charge list.”
She wrinkled her button-shaped nose and climbed down the ladder. Oh well, Gandalf really didn’t need to read her writing tonight anyways. All she had to do was flash him a bright smile and ask for an extension and he wouldn’t be able to resist her baby blues. In fact, she had that effect on a lot of people.
“You’re kidding me,” Crispin groaned. “Are we talking about the same Gandalf here?” He added several new charges to his list.
Maria whistled softly, which was rather easy for a sparrow. “OOC before he actually appears in the story; that has to be a record. Poor Gandalf.” She took a closer look at the Sue. “Hey, Crispin, is she an elf?”
“She looks like an elf. She has pointed ears. I know some people have pointed ears, but in a fic, that usually means they’re elves. Or cat-girls. She’s not a cat-girl, is she?”
“Nope, no cat-girl. She just has ‘slightly pointed ears.’ And get this: the people in her village used to mistreat her and pick on her because her ears were pointy. They ‘made her different from the other children.’”
“That’s the most pathetic excuse for angst I’ve ever heard,” Maria said. “My old choreographer had pointed ears, and no one ever picked on him for it.”
“You had a choreographer? When?”
“Before I joined the PPC, I was in a couple of musicals. Long time ago. Anyway—”
“With great power comes great responsibility,” boomed a disembodied voice. Crispin looked around, confused.
“That’s from Spiderman. What the cruk’s it doing here?”
Marin frowned in annoyance as Gandalf’s usual saying entered her head; she didn’t think writing little essays counted as either great power or great responsibility. Gandalf really didn’t make sense sometimes.
“Gandalf doesn’t make sense, you worthless piece of Slitheen excrement? You made him quote Spiderman for no reason, and you wonder why he makes no sense?” Crispin flapped his wings in fury, wishing he could get at his weapons. This Sue needed to burn.
Gandalf entered the room and inquired about the Sue’s homework assignment. Marin immediately burst into tears and started whining about how she wanted to do good in the world and help all the little children who were being “mistreated” like she’d been and how homework was just pointless. Maria hoped that Gandalf was enough in character to tell the Sue that she was being childish, but that was too much to hope for.
Gandalf smiled kindly, understanding the girl completely. “Marin, you’re right. Why don’t you come with me to Rivendell for the next council, and be a co-advisor. There always needs to be a wizard representative at the council, and it’s my turn for this one. Do you want to come?”
“HUH?” Two sparrows stared in astonishment from the window.
“But—but—but—” Crispin stammered. “But what about Saruman? What about the hobbits? It’s the hobbits, then Saruman, then the council, right? So when did he do this? Is this after Saruman? Did they forget about it? Is this a different council? What’s going on?”
The two sparrow!agents watched in hope of seeing some sort of explanation. Crispin checked the words for any warnings they might have missed. Nothing.
“Okay,” said Maria, “We’ve got enough charges for this chapter. Let’s portal ahead to Rivendell and…um, Crispin?”
“How are we supposed to portal when we can’t reach our stuff?”
“Um. Good question. I guess we’ll have to wait until the time rift at the end of the chapter.”
“Right.” They sat on the windowsill for a few minutes as Gandalf left the room and Marin went to talk to a robin. According to the Words, there was only another paragraph or so until the time rift. Then Maria thought of something. “Wait a minute. If we can’t portal, we can’t change our disguises.”
“Well, I think I have a D.O.R.K.S. with me…which is, of course, with the rest of my things.” Crispin looked down forlornly at his feathers. “Cruk.”
“One sentence to time rift,” Maria said. It felt like the sort of situation where an annoying countdown was needed.
“That’s it! If we flew against the flow of the time rift, then we would be propelled backwards in the fic, and we could go back through our original portal into the Response Centre!” Crispin tried to look smug and satisfied, but beaks did not have a wide range of expressions.
“You made that up,” Maria replied. “That won’t work. We’re not in a time-travel compatible continuum, and you’d probably cause a paradox.”
“The Sue’s omission of Saruman—I’m going to get her for that, by the way—has increased the uncanonicity of the continuum to a dangerously high level, which could cause physical laws to be temporarily suspended when coupled with the temporal distortion of the time rift.”
“Have you been watching Star Trek again?”
“Don’t underestimate the power of technobabble!” Crispin proclaimed. “You ride the rift to Rivendell—I’ll try going backwards.” The time rift started. Crispin flapped his wings and started flying away from the window. “If I perish in a transtemporal paradox or get eaten by Reapers, you can have my matches!” he shouted as he disappeared.
“I’m aaaall alone, all by myself. There is no one here besiiiide me,” Maria sang softly as she watched Marin unpack her many articles of clothing. “I’m aaaall alone, so all alone. No one to com-fort me or guiiiide me.” Where was Crispin? Had he gotten to the Response Centre? More importantly, how would she explain to the Flowers that her partner had been eaten by a disturbance in the space-time continuum?
She placed her peach and ivory dress into the top drawer of the cherry tree dresser. The peach and ivory dress was one of her least favorites because it tended to clash with her auburn hair.
“I would’ve thought peach and ivory would look nice with auburn hair,” Maria muttered to herself. “Whether we’re talking about the more reddish auburn or the brownish variety, those colors wouldn’t clash with it.” She paused. “Eru help me, I’m starting to sound like a girl.”
However, to fix this, she would just use a spell that changed her hair color. Sometimes, she liked to change her hair or eye color on a whimsy.
“NonononoNO!” Maria shrieked. The Sue turned to see what was making the noise. Maria quickly busied herself pretending to peck at the windowsill. “Lord of the Rings magic does not work like Harry Potter magic, dammit!” she hissed. “Glaurung little Sue. When I turn biped again, I’m gonna—eep!” Two hands grabbed her from behind and lifted her off the sill.
“Quiet, Maria, it’s me!”
“Crispin?” Maria twisted around to look up into her partner’s face. “You didn’t get eaten!”
“I told you: power of technobabble. Hold still, I’ll change your disguise.” He pulled out the D.O.R.K.S., currently in the shape of a sweater, and pointed it at her.
“You took your sweet time getting here,” Maria said as she reacquainted herself with having her head five feet above the ground. “I’ve had to watch her ‘greeting the chirping of the birds’ and I had no one to distract me.”
Crispin’s response was interrupted by a shriek from the other side of the window.
“Arwen!” Marin shrieked as she turned to face the dark-haired elf woman. She flew across the room to hug her best friend.
“Marin!” Arwen screamed back as she flung her arms around the human girl. “I can’t believe you’re here, in person. That’s so exciting.”
“I think I’m going to be sick,” Maria muttered. “She’s already messed up canon by forgetting Saruman and being Gandalf’s apprentice, so can we kill her now?”
“After Arwen leaves,” Crispin said, fiddling with his CAD. He pointed it at Arwen, as she hugged Marin in a very un-Elven fashion.
[Arwen Undomiel. Elleth. Canon. OOC: 79.31%. WARNING: CHARACTER RUPTURE IMMINENT! Cause of OOC-ness: Marin Arrowway. Suggested remedy: Burn Marin Arrowway. Never take the CAD backwards through a temporal distortion again.]
“Sorry.” Crispin decided he’d liked it better when his CAD wasn’t sentient.
They watched through the window as Marin and Arrowway chatted and exchanged fashion advice. Crispin winced when Marin took credit for the spell Arwen had used to drive away the Black Riders—“belittling the role of canon characters,” he noted on the charge list. By the time Arwen had picked out an outfit for Marin which involved a ludicrous amount of silver, Maria found herself humming songs from Legally Blonde.
“So help me dress for my fairy tale/can’t wear something I bought on sale. Love is like, forever, this is no time to economize…”
“Okay, Arwen’s gone,” Crispin said, cutting off Maria’s nauseatingly perky singing. “Let’s go.”
The two agents jumped through the window, an act that would possibly have been heroic if they had not tried to do it at the same time, thus getting themselves tangled and falling unceremoniously on the floor of Marin’s bedroom. Marin, admiring the dress Arwen had chosen for her, shrieked at the noise.
“Who are you?” she demanded. “I warn you, I’m a wizard!”
“We’re agents of the PPC,” Crispin said, untangling himself from Maria. “Marin Arrowway, you have been charged with talking to birds, creating a physically confusing cottage, being Gandalf’s apprentice, having a general lack of common sense, manipulating Gandalf with your ‘baby blues,’ having a pathetic excuse for angst—namely, pointy ears—stealing lines from Spiderman, acting like a whiny little brat, forgetting about SARUMAN and just generally omitting blocks of canon, causing Arwen to shriek like a little girl, belittling the role of canon characters, causing a rupture in the character of Arwen (and probably Gandalf as well), and being a Mary Sue. For—”
“And having no sense of color,” Maria interrupted. “Peach and ivory don’t clash with auburn hair. And making Lord of the Rings magic work like Harry Potter magic, and annoying me enough that I start singing songs from Legally Blonde.”
“For this crimes,” Crispin continued, “You are sentenced to death. Do you have anything to say before we stab you with pointy objects and burn your eviscerated corpse?”
“But—you cant kill me! Im too young and cute!”
“We can’t? Really?” Maria raised her bow, which was now in its usual place on the outside of her body, and shot the Sue in the heart. “Too bad.”
In case anyone was wondering, Enjorlas’ name is pronounced on-JORE-la.
The Slitheen are a race of beings from Doctor Who, which belongs to the BBC. I don’t know if they have excrement, but if they did, it would probably be green and smelly.
“Cruk” is a swear word used in many of the Doctor Who spin-off novels.
“I’m All Alone” is from Monty Python’s Spamalot, which belongs to the geniuses behind Monty Python.
“Omigod You Guys,” which deserved a Tony for Perkiest Opening Number in History, is from Legally Blonde: The Musical.