Response Centre #24601

Home of Maria and Crispin, Department of Mary-Sues, freelance

Mission #4: Blood in the Stars

Disclaimer: The PPC were created by Jay and Acacia.  Firefly was created by Joss Whedon.  Harry Potter was created by J.K. Rowling.  “Blood in the Stars” was created by phoenix catcher.  None of it belongs to me, except for Maria and Crispin.

Another Disclaimer: All opinions expressed within are the opinions of the characters and do not necessarily reflect the views of Agent Tomato herself. 

Warnings: Some strong language in Chinese.

A thank you to Al’s Waiter and pigeonarmy, from the Board, for helping with figuring out Mal’s age. 

The Mission

[beep-beeep beep-beep beep-beep beeep-beep beep-beep-beeeep!]  Crispin slammed his fist into the console to make it stop beeping.  He scanned the Words and swore violently.  “No, they would never—not thatDa-shiang bao-tza shr duh lah doo-tze, not in my fandom!”

“Your fandom?”  Maria poked her head out of the bathroom, hair still wet from the shower.  “What’s going on?”

“They…messed…with…Firefly.  I am going…to…burn them!  Burn!”  Crispin reached for a box of matches and tried to set fire to the console.  Maria pulled him back as he continued to rant incoherently.  “Wanna burn, burn them!  Burnburnburn!”

“Okay, just calm down.  We’ll kill them.  Just breathe.  Think about something relaxing.”

Crispin closed his eyes and tried to visualize something not stressful.  “Rose,” he murmured, “Romana…Ace…Other Romana…okay, I’m better.  I’m better.  You can let go now.”

Maria released his arms.  “So, Firefly, huh?  What’s that about?”

“You’ve never seen it?”

Maria shrugged.  “Science-fiction isn’t really my thing.  It is science-fiction, right?  I think I remember someone saying that.”

“Yeah, it is.  It’s this awesome TV show by Joss Whedon about this ship called Serenity.  She’s a Firefly-class, which is where they get the…

***

Crispin was still talking when they stepped through the portal.  “…so most of them got so placid that they just died, but some of them reacted weird and they turned into Reavers.  Only the Alliance hushed it all up, because…”

“Crispin?  We’re here.”

Crispin stopped his ramble and looked around.  They were surrounded by an ambiguous mist, and a voice not unlike God pronounced a very standard prologue of overpopulation and genocide (specifically, the mass murder of Wizards and Vampires).

A small group of born Vampires fled into hiding on Earth, hidden amongst the human masses. The resistances leader, famously known as Harry Potter-Ker Tal was a Vampire that had been subjugated by Wizards as a baby but returned to his true parents, the Rulers of the Vampire nation (killed in 2118).

“What?” Maria’s voice was weirdly muffled by the mist.  “What’s Harry Potter doing here?  Why didn’t this go to DoIC?”

“They forwarded it to us.  It’s not Harry Potter.  He’s a Stu replacement.  This Harry is a bloodthirsty vampire with no wizardliness whatsoever.”  Crispin was starting to get agitated again, and his hand twitched toward the glass balls of flammable liquid he had in his pocket.  “He’s also the best pilot in the ‘verse and has a red and black ship—which is possibly canon-ish, but really cliché—and…”

Crispin’s tirade was cut short as the ambiguous surroundings of the prologue lurched into the setting of the first scene.  As the corridor of a ship formed around them, Crispin shoved Maria against the wall. 

“Ow!  What was that for?”

“This ship’s all OCs.  And the Stu.  They’ll see us.”

“Isn’t that why we’re wearing disguises?”  Maria pointed at their grey Alliance uniforms. 

“Yeah, but no one’s supposed to be on the ship except for the four characters.  So, hide.”

They pressed themselves against the wall.  Since the ship’s corridors had been described as ‘dark,’ there was no light at all, so none of the OCs were likely to see them.  Crispin heard the approaching footsteps of the Stu.  He pulled out his CAD and pointed it at the shadowy figure.

[Harry Potter-Ker Tal.  Canonnoncanoncanonnoncanonfish.  Marty-Stu/Gary-Stu/Marty-Sam.  WARNING: COMPLETE CHARACTER REPLACEMENT!  Why do you torture me like this?  What did I ever do to you?  What a world, what a world…]

Crispin switched the CAD off before it decided to self-destruct.  Bad enough the thing was sentient; now it was melodramatic.  He secretly hoped the thing would blow up, so that he could get a normal, DoMS standard one.

Maria grabbed Crispin’s arm and pulled him down the hallway after the Stu.  The ship lurched several times, sending the two agents to the floor—movements caused, according to the Words, by the ship being fired upon.  They came out in the cargo bay, which, for lack of description, looked like the cargo hold of Serenity.

Maria and Crispin hid themselves at the back of the cargo bay as wounded rebel Browncoats poured into the ship.  In retrospect, Crispin thought, it probably wasn’t the best idea to dress as Alliance.  Browncoats would have been much less noticeable, but Maria had this obsession with uniforms.  Crispin suspected it had something to do with her crush on Inspector Javert.

Two Browncoats entered the ship, and Crispin snapped to attention.  He recognized them, of course—how could he not, having memorized the show—and he shuddered to think about what the Stu was going to do with them.  He checked the Words again.  Mal and Zoe hadn’t been identified by name, just as ‘the young man and his female friend.’ 

“They wouldn’t be that young,” Crispin muttered.  “Certainly not ‘early twenties’, as the fic says.”

“Well, he’s a vampire.  He probably isn’t a good judge of age…”  Crispin shot her a very angry glare.  “What?”

“You’re rationalizing.  For the Stu.  Stop it.”

The ship took off, and what was supposed to be a dramatic space battle commenced.  Crispin and Maria followed Mal and Zoe, who in turn were following the Stu, up to the bridge, which also looked exactly like Serenity’s.  “A little description would be nice,” said Crispin as they hid themselves by the door.

The Stu miraculously piloted them out, since he was the best pilot in the universe.  Wash is better,” Crispin hissed to Maria, who just nodded. 

“Of course he is.  Watch the canons.”

“You’re the one that saved our arses. That flying was incredible!” The man told him. “I don’t think I’ve ever seen you or your ship in one of our battles before.”

“What?” Crispin tried to pull forward.  “Mal does not say Britishisms!  The only one who could get away with saying ‘arses’ would be Badger!  Or that really annoying guy from ‘Shindig,’ maybe.  But not Mal!

Maria held him back.  “So they need an American beta.  You can charge them later.  Now just settle down and get some more charges.”

“You wouldn’t be so calm if this was Les Mis,” Crispin grumbled.

Maria rolled her eyes.  This was why she tried to avoid science-fiction fandom. 

***

“He’s angsting.  Can we kill him now?”

Maria elbowed him in the ribs.  “We should wait and kill them both at once.”

“Both?” Crispin echoed.

“Yes, both.  That engineer he’s talking to looks like he’s going to turn into a Stu, but we need more charges for him.  And if we wait, the two other OCs on this ship are going to get killed and we won’t have to worry about them.”

They remained squished under the bed in silence, watching the feet of the Stu and the engineer as the characters discussed classical music.  Once again, Crispin wished they were disguised as something that wouldn’t need to hide in such uncomfortable places.  He’d suggested to Maria that they turn themselves into something smaller, but after being stuck as a sparrow in their last mission, she wasn’t ready to disguise herself as anything but human.

The engineer finally left for the bridge, and the Stu, after listening to some more classical music—“At least he has taste,” Maria commented—went to take a shower.  Maria and Crispin crawled out from under the bed to portal up to the bridge for the next scene.

“Um, hello.  Who are you?”

Crispin reached for the gun that had come with his uniform and Maria brandished a truncheon—when had she gotten that?—at the stranger.  A young man with wavy brown hair and outdated clothes stood near the music player, holding a violin.  “Where did you come from?” Maria demanded.  “Who are you?”

“Beethoven Sonata,” said the stranger.  “But everyone calls me ‘Moonlight’…I’m not sure why.  And I asked first.  Who are you?”

“Agents Maria Falcone and Crispin Reed,” said Maria.  “He’s not in the scene,” she whispered to Crispin.  “What the Glaurung is going on here?”

Crispin looked over the Words again.  There were definitely only two characters in the scene that had just ended, and there was no character called Beethoven… “Found it!” He read part of an earlier sentence out loud.  “‘…Harry informed Alex for the hundredth time while closing his eyes for a moment to listen to Beethoven ‘Moonlight’ Sonata.’”

“One missing possessive, and we get stuck with this guy.”  Maria jabbed the truncheon in Moonlight’s direction.  “What do we do with him?  Send him to an OFU?”

“What’s an ohefyu?” Moonlight asked.  The agents ignored him.

Firefly doesn’t have one,” Crispin said, thinking.  “And I don’t think HFA would take him, since he’s only tangentially related to Harry Potter.  Maybe we can recruit him.”

“Recruit me for WHAT?” Moonlight interjected.  “Since you’re talking about ME, can you include me in the discussion, please?”

“Sorry.”  Maria looked the living typo over.  “I guess we could recruit you.”

“And I say again, recruit me for what?  That’s the second time I’ve repeated a question for you people.”

“Sorry.  We’re Protectors of the Plot Continuum,” Crispin explained.  “We go into fanfics—that’s where we are, in a fanfic—and kill Sues, like the people who just left this room.”

“You kill vampires?”

“No.  This one happens to be a vampire, but we’re killing him because he’s a Sue.  Well, Stu, in this case.  Sues and Stus are nauseatingly perfect people who often have angsty pasts and ridiculous magical powers and always mess up the world they’re in, so we kill them so that they can’t mess anything else up.  Got it?”

Moonlight looked at him uncomprehendingly.   “Um…”

“Okay, moving on,” said Maria.  “Who wants to take the typo back to HQ?”

“I have a name.  ‘The typo’ sounds vaguely insulting.”

“And Moonlight is so much better,” Maria retorted.  The typo reddened.

“Well, um, maybe you could just call me Moon?  Is that a little less girly-sounding?”

“A little,” Crispin cut in, stopping Maria before she made another snide comment.  “We can work on your name later.  Right now, we’re going to take you back to our headquarters, then Maria and I will kill the Stu.  Okay?”

“Can’t I help?” asked Moon, waving his violin around like a weapon.  “I could be a good vampire-slayer.”

“We’re NOT—look, you can help by following us through our little portal here—” Crispin activated the portal.  “—and talking to the nice daisy on the other side.  Sound like a plan, Mr. Sonata?”

“Wait, what do you mean, talk to the daisy?  Daisies don’t talk,” Moon protested.

“Well, don’t tell him that.”  Maria started pushing Moon toward the portal.  “Now come on, be a good little typo and go through the shiny door.  Tell him that Falcone and Reed sent you…on second thought, don’t tell him.  He’d probably do something sadistic.”

“I am not going through a magic door to talk to a sadistic daisy!  Let me go!”  Moon ducked under Maria’s arm and ran out the door.  “You’ll never take me alive!”

Maria and Crispin looked at each other, and for a moment the room was suspended in that limbo you always get just before the second half of a double-take.  Then they remembered that they had a violin-playing typo running around in an uncanonical spaceship with a vampire, and the moment was broken.

***

“Noooo!  I will not face your Daisy of Doom!”

“Is it me, or is he getting even more melodramatic?” Crispin asked Maria as they chased Moon down the uncanonical streets of the planet Londinium.

“He’s getting more melodramatic.  Maybe it’s the Stu’s influence.  Or maybe it has something to do with being a walking, talking, punctuation error.  That’s bound to do something to your psyche.  We should probably take him to FicPsych.  If he goes Mr. Rogers on some helpless Flower, we’ll get blamed for it.”

“Since when are the Flowers helpless?

“Less talking, more chasing.”

“Right.”

They pursued the typo through much unidentified mist and a few decently described streets, going mostly in circles since the planet hadn’t really been established beyond the area directly surrounding the Stu.  Finally, they cornered him in an alley behind the pub where the Stu was going to have a confrontation with his arch-nemesis. 

“You’ll never take me alive!” Moon shouted.

“You already said that,” Crispin replied.  “Look, we won’t make you talk to the daisy, okay?  Just calm down.  And put down the violin before you poke someone’s eye out.  Don’t worry, we’re not going to hurt you.  Everything’s gonna be fine.”

Moon slowly lowered his violin, still eyeing them with suspicion.  “How do I know you’re not going to send me to the sadistic talking daisy?  You work for it.”

“No, we work for the sarcastic talking sunflower,” Maria corrected.  “The daisy’s just the Director of Personnel.”

“There’s more than ONE talking flower?” Moon shrieked.  He started trying to climb the wall behind him.  “What sort of vampire slayers are you people?”

“He’s definitely going to need FicPsych,” Crispin muttered.  He went up behind the frantic Moon and pinched him in the neck.  Moon collapsed to the ground.

“Was that the Vulcan neck thingy?” asked Maria as Crispin activated the portal to their Response Centre and dragged the young man’s unconscious body through it.  “Where’d you learn to do that?”

“It’s a geek thing.  Okay, he should be out for a while.  Let’s kill the Stu.”

“Stus,” Maria corrected.

***

“It’s not a myth. You always said you didn’t believe in the Myths.” Alex opened and shut his mouth a few times. “You’re a Vampire. The Vampire. Harry Potter-Ker Tal!”

“That’s the name unfortunately.” Harry sighed. “But I was Harry Ker Tal when I took you in and nothings change just because you had to see that.”

“I’m amazed this didn’t get bounced to DTE,” Maria muttered.  “Between the bad commas and the random capital letters, this is getting really annoying.”

“I’ve seen worse,” said Crispin.  “Ever read legolas by laura?”

“That doesn’t count as fic.  That was a troll.  But yes, I’ve read it.”

Harry eyes darkened and he kicked the nearest Trooper in the head. “What happened?” Alex gasped suddenly. “Where are Michelle and Peter?”

“We were attacked in the pub. They killed them both.” Harry strolled across the cargo bay and hefted his two friends’ bodies and brought them fully into the bay. “I give us five minutes before they send a team here to find us and I want to be gone by then. Is the ship ready to go.”

“Ding-dong, the OCs are dead,” Maria sang.  “And is it really so hard to put questions marks at the end of questions.”  She paused.  “Oh, Glaurung, now I’m doing it!  Let’s kill them now.”

The two stepped out of the shadows.  The Stus, having just finished slaughtering several Alliance officials (and in the case of the Potter replacement, drinking their blood), stepped back at the sight of the grey uniforms.  Before they could react further, Maria produced something white and smelly and threw it at the main Stu.  He staggered back.

“Garlic,” Maria said, smugly.  “Never leave home without it.”

“Where did you get—oh, never mind.”  Crispin pulled out the charge list—which he had stopped filling out around the time that Moon had appeared—and shouted charges at the Stus.  “Harry Potter-Ker Tal, you are charged with replacing the character of Harry Potter, being a vampire without a canonical explanation, creating a large amount of ambiguous mist, messing with galactic history, lack of description, de-aging the characters of Malcolm Reynolds and Zoe Alleyne, being the best pilot in the universe, having a cliché ship, making Mal use Britishisms, gratuitous angst, creating the being known as ‘Beethoven “Moonlight” Sonata,’ using random capital letters, abusing punctuation and grammar, a whole bunch of other things that you did while we were off chasing a panicking violinist, and being a Marty-Stu.  Also called a Gary-Stu or Marty-Sam.

“Alex…do you have a last name?  Alex the Engineer, you are charged with being oddly young, being an orphan for no good reason, abusing punctuation and grammar, angsting too much, traveling in the company of said Stu vampire, being a Stu, and being really annoying.

“For these crimes you are sentenced to death.  Good-bye.” 

Crispin pulled a few of his Balls of Liquid Fire (he had yet to come up with a name for them which did not sound like a D&D item) out of his pocket and threw them at the Stus.  They burst into very satisfying flame.

“Nice burning,” said Maria.  “Let’s swing by Hogwarts and make sure the real Harry Potter’s all right, then get back to the typo before he wakes up.”

“Right.”  Crispin activated a portal, for the third or fourth time since they’d started the mission.  “Maria?  Do you get the feeling that something bad is going to result from recruiting Moon?  What with his phobia of talking flowers and all?”

“I’m sure it’s nothing FicPsych can’t fix,” Maria said.  In a distant corner of reality, the Laws of Narrative Comedy began to laugh.

 

Credits:

Chinese swear words from Firefly episode “Our Mrs. Reynolds” and transcribed by BrownCoats.com.

Rose, Romana, and Ace were all characters on Doctor Who, which belongs to the BBC.

The phrase “a voice not unlike God” has been shamelessly borrowed from the script of Little Shop of Horrors, by Howard Ashman and Alan Menken.

The PPC curseword “Glaurung” came originally from J.R.R. Tolkien and was the name of a dragon. 

The “Mr. Rogers” incident was first documented by Jay and Acacia.

“Ding-dong, the witch is dead” and any variations are from the movie version of The Wizard of Oz and belong to whoever wrote that. 

D&D is the property of whoever makes D&D.