Response Centre #24601

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

Mission #5: A Very Wicky Problem

Disclaimer: The PPC is the creation of Jay and Acacia.  Pride and Prejudice is by Jane Austen, and I’m not quite sure if it’s in public domain or not, but she still deserves credit.  “A Very Wicky Problem” is by Batman’ssidekick15.

Living Typo Disclaimer: The Mini-Major-General Sir Rodric Murgatroyd is from Gilbert and Sullivan’s Ruddigore continuum and was adopted from Tawaki.  The Mini-Brick Enjorlas is from Victor Hugo’s Les Misérables continuum and his adoption was approved by Miss Irene of UDÉM.  Benjamain Barker is from Stephen Sondheim’s Sweeney Todd continuum and was adopted from BattleHamster.  Beethoven “Moonlight” Sonata was found in “Blood in the Stars,” a Firefly fanfic by phoenix catcher.

Spoiler Warning: This mission contains spoilers for the first part of Tawaki’s macrovirus crisis (Episode #16 of Tawaki’s mission log), specifically in the form of a certain character death.  Anyone strongly invested in PPC canon will wish to read Tawaki’s mission first.  It can be found here: http://community.livejournal.com/tawaki_ppc/5882.html

The Mission:

Well, Agent Sonata, I…erm, what are you doing?

Moon poked at the SO’s largest leaf.  “You’re a flower,” he said with suspicion.

Yes, Agent Sonata, I am a flower.  Can we move on?

“You’re wearing a suit, and you’re talking, and you’re a flower.  But you’re not evil.”

YES, Agent Sonata.  Please, let us move on.  Now.

“Move on to what?”  Moon poked him again.

Since the Department of Fictional Psychology has recommended that you remain far away from the Marquis de Sod until further notice, I will be handling your assignment and will you stop poking me?

Moon stopped poking.  “But how can you talk?  Are you sure you’re not evil?”

The SO sighed.  You have a truly exceptional one-track mind, Agent Sonata.  If we could please move on…thank you.  I am assigning you to the Department of Mary-Sues…  Moon had begun poking him again.  The SO made a small sound that might have been an evil chuckle.  Please report to Response Centre #24601.  Now get out of my office, and stop poking me.

Moon stepped out into the generic grey hallways of PPC Headquarters.  He didn’t believe for one second that this “Sunflower Official” and his talking flower kindred were really as harmless as they appeared.  They couldn’t be trusted.  Moon resolved to do something about it…as soon as he figured out how this place worked.  Hadn’t he already passed that door?  Three times?

“How do you GET anywhere?” he screamed in frustration.  “Nothing makes SENSE!”  He began banging his head soundly against the wall.  “What—” Bang! “—is—” Bang!  “—this place?”

“You’ll give yourself a concussion,” said a voice behind him.  “Medical doesn’t like it when we purposefully injure ourselves.”

Moon paused his self-injury to look at the speaker.  It was an utterly unremarkable young man in black.  There was a small patch on his shoulder with a picture of a rubber duck on it.  “Who are you?”

“Someone who’s going to give you some advice.  Wherever you’re trying to go, stop trying to go there.  Just wander around.  You have an mp3 player?”

“Well, I have a violin.”  Moon held up said instrument.  The man looked at it.

“Can you play that while walking?”

“Um…not very well.”

“Do it anyway.  An iPod or something would be better; get one when you can.   I’d lend you mine, but it got smashed in my escap—I mean, it’s back in my RC.  Good luck!” 

Although Moon did not conveniently look away or blink, the man nevertheless managed to vanish without Moon seeing him do so.  Shrugging the encounter off as some machination of the talking flowers, Moon resumed walking, determined that no matter what happened, he would not start playing his violin, since that was exactly what the flowers wanted. 

***

“Gyaaah!” Crispin screamed and jumped up into the nearest chair.  “There’s a razor trying to hamstring me!  And it’s singing!  MARIA!”

“Huh?” Maria looked up from re-reading Small Gods.  “Oh, that’s just Benjamain.  There’s been a flood of Mini-Razors since the release of the Sweeney Todd movie, and I adopted one.  He came this morning.  There’s a bottle of sheep’s blood in the fridge—put some in his bowl.”

“Why do we have blood in the fridge?  Wait, never mind, I don’t want to know.”  Crispin took out the blood, trying not to think about where it came from, and filled the small dish labeled Benjamain Barker. 

[BEEEEEEEP!] 

Maria beat him to the console.  “There are no Glaurunging generals in the Glaurunging NAVY!” she shouted at the fic.  “Okay, let’s go.”

“What’s the continuum?”

Pride and Prejudice, but the fic’s in the twenty-first century.  We don’t have a Despatch kit, do we?”  She grabbed her Saracen bow from its place of honor on the wall, stuck her truncheon on her belt, and set the portal.  “I guess we’ll have to do without.”

“Oh.  It’s you again.”

Maria and Crispin turned around to face the new arrival.  “What are you doing back here?” Maria asked Moon, her voice just a shade lower than screaming.  “I thought you were getting assigned.”

“The talking sunflower said to come here.”

“Do you get the feeling,” Crispin hissed to Maria, “that the SO might be mad at us?”

“For what?”

“What is that?  Why is it singing?  Is it drinking blood?”  Moon reached down to poke at Benjamain, who slashed at him.  “Ow!  You’re in league with them, aren’t you?  Flowers can’t do damage to humans, so they hire singing razors to do their dirty work, is that it?”

“I could hazard a guess,” Crispin muttered.  “So, Moon, you’re our new partner?  Great.  Well, we’ve got a mission, so let’s just go through the portal and kill the Sue.  Um, they did explain that we’re not actually vampire hunters, right?”

“Oh, yes.”  Moon glared at Benjamain while rubbing his wounded hand.  “I understand everything quite clearly now.”

Crispin didn’t like the way that sounded, but there was no time to dwell on it.  Maria had fired up the portal and was motioning impatiently for them to go through.  “Come on.”

“Do we have to go through the glowy portal thing?” asked Moon.

“Yes.”  Crispin came up behind the typo and shoved him through the portal.  He and Maria exchanged glances.  “‘I’m sure it’s nothing FicPsych can’t fix,’ you said,” Crispin grumbled.  “‘No problem,’ you said.”

“Just shut up and portal.”

***

This story is about a typical twenty year old who has never had a boyfriend or a date since the tenth grade b/c her father was a general in the navy and moved to much and now she has a nice life and house in Wisconsin and a nice business of a bookstore/coffee shop and what will happen when she meets Mr. Right and he’s from a movie? Will they fall for each other and will he stay or go back with another woman? R&R! PLZ! -Robin

Moon stared at the Words in complete astonishment.  He’d had a similar look on his face after Maria’d told him that the PPC was run by talking flowers.  “Where are all the commas?” he whimpered.  “Where did they go?”

“Ah, the sweet sound of innocence being shattered into a thousand pieces,” said Maria with a vaguely malicious grin.

They were in a modern-day living room, unremarkable except for a fluffy purple sofa, on which a young woman was sitting while watching the latest movie version of Pride and Prejudice.  “Oh, no,” Crispin groaned when he saw the movie, “It’s one of those fics?  Which character?”

“Wickham.”  Maria pulled the boys into the bathroom, leaving the door open a crack so that they could observe things, unseen.  Moon gave the SpongeBob shower curtain a suspicious glance.

“Why does the sponge have a mouth?  Is it in league with the talking flowers?”

While Crispin tried to explain the concept of SpongeBob SquarePants to Moon, Maria kept watch on the Sue. 

Hannah had a great life as a child she navy brat and was proud of it. Ever since her mother died of cancer she had to stay happy and content which wasn’t hard since she was already that anyway. Her father, Ben Miller tried his hardest to make her life as easy as possible and gave her a wonderful life and love.

Until, cancer got him as well and left Hannah with their two-story home and two million dollars in the bank.

Maria had to cover her mouth to keep from laughing.  “That’s…not angst,” she muttered.  “That is utter lack of angst.  And where are all the Glaurunging commas?”

“I think they’re hiding from the Sue,” Crispin said.  “Maria, can you tell Moon that sponges aren’t plants and therefore are not in any way talking flowers?”

“He’s right; they’re animals.  Could you two focus, please?”  Things were happening.  The Sue had finished a phone conversation in which protested that she didn’t want a boyfriend, then tried to return to her movie.  For absolutely no reason, however, the movie version of Mr. Wickham appeared in the living room.

 His baby blue eyes met her aqua ones for about ten minutes.

“WHAT THE CRAP!” Hannah screamed jumping in mid air, “what do you want with me dude?”

The three agents spent the aforementioned ten minutes debating whether a sponge was a plant or an animal.  When the Sue let out her CAPSLOCK scream, Crispin had to forcibly restrain Moon with a towel to stop him from rushing out to kill her.  No, Moon.  We need charges first.  Um, Maria, you are keeping track of the charges, right?”

“I though you were.  You always write down the charges.”

“I was talking about sponges!”

Maria sighed.  “Hand me your notebook.  I’ll write down what I remember.  Watch the Sue while I’m writing, okay?”

Crispin came over to the door.  “Not much going on…looks like Wickham’s passed out.  Isn’t he a soldier?  You’d think he’d be a bit more stoic than that.”  He pulled out his CAD and pointed it at the unconscious canon.

[George Wickham.  Human male.  Canon.  OOC: 48.2%.  Cause of OOCness: Hannah Miller.  Suggested remedy: Burn Hannah Miller.  You could pay me some attention even when you’re not on a mission, you know.  Just to be nice.]

“I’ll remember that.”

[Thank you.]

***

“Why are we in a closet?” Moon asked, his elbow inadvertently going into Maria’s shoulder.  “Couldn’t we put on disguises, be cats or rubber ducks or something?  There were a lot of rubber ducks in the bathroom.”

“NO,” said Maria and Crispin, in unison.  Their disguise generator had never functioned very well, and the last time they had turned into something without hands, it had required bending of the space-time continuum to fix.  Privately, Crispin wouldn’t have minded chancing it again, but Maria would likely kill him if he suggested the idea.

[Bip!  Incoming message!]

One of the few good things about Crispin’s rather annoying CAD was its ability to transmit messages from HQ, something no one had bothered putting in Maria’s DoMS standard model.  Crispin scanned the message.  “HQ’s in lockdown,” he announced to his partners.  “Just a drill…but we can’t go anywhere in HQ but our response centre and Medical until it’s over.”

“Why are tools involved?” Moon asked.  Maria and Crispin gave him a blank look.  “You said something about a drill?”

“Shut up and watch the Sue,” said Maria.  It was an invariable law of the universe that if a person had an unconventional background, they would never understand idioms or figurative language.

“Miss Miller,” Wicky said bowing in front of me, “I…I…need a shirt”

“What happened to the rest of your uniform!” I boomed.

“It fell in some big round bowl in your powder room,” Wickham said quietly rubbing the back of his head nervously grinning at me, “…sorry….”

“ What?!” I screamed running past him and burst through the bathroom door to find the toilet clogged with Wickham uniform, “crap!”

“Wickham uniform?” Crispin whispered.  “Is that like Long Table Elrond?”

“I don’t want to know,” said Maria, covering Moon’s mouth before he could ask about Long Table Elrond.  “I see three things wrong with this part.  One, Wickham should be able to recognize a chamber pot when he sees one.  Two, I think he has enough sense to pull his shirt out of the toilet.  It’s not that hard.  And three, WICKY?!  Why is she calling him Wicky?”

[Bip!  Another incoming message!]

Crispin checked the CAD.  “Oh, GLAURUNG!”  He read the message out loud: “The lockdown is no longer a drill. There is a macrovirus epidemic sweeping Headquarters, which is therefore under total quarantine until further notice. All portals in and out of HQ are blocked. Signed, Captain Dandy, Department of External Security and Doctor Fitzgerald, Medical Department.”

“What’s macrovirus?” Moon asked.  Crispin started to answer, but Maria, realizing that this was going to spark one of Crispin’s geek rants, cut in.

“It’s like a regular virus, only really big.  And dangerous.”

“It’s a little more complicated than that—” Crispin tried to add.  Maria glared at him.  “Does it say anything about what we’re supposed to do?”

“What we always do,” said Crispin.  He adopted a facial expression common among many stoic heroes, which looked rather silly on him.  “We kill the Sue.”

***

“HEY MAN!” I spat out running in front of him and the door, “I-I-I loave you!”

“What?” Wickham said flabbergasted.

“Yea that’s right I LOAVE you!” I snapped whacking him on the arm.

“I LOAVE you!” Wickham spat at me whacking me on the arm.

“I LOAVE you first!” I cried looking him straight in the eye.

Then, something happened.

He KISSED ME!!!!!!!!!

Maria snickered.  “This is just getting ridiculous,” she said, as the Sue and the canon threw loaves of bread at each other.  “When will people learn to spell?”

Crispin’s CAD let out a pathetic whimper.  [George Wickham.  Human male.  Canon.  OOC: 247.1%.  For pity’s sake, turn me OFF!] 

Crispin complied.  “Okay, you have enough charges?”  Maria nodded.  “Then let’s kill her.  Moon, you stay behind us and get ready to activate the portal to send Wickham back home.  Got that?”

“Um, maybe.”

The agents burst out of the closet and confronted the startled Sue and the even more startled canon.  “Hannah Miller!” Maria proclaimed.  “You are charged with thinking that there are generals in the navy, horrendous abuse of commas, utter lack of angst, bringing a nineteenth-century soldier into the twenty-first century with no explanation, causing a rupture in the character of George Wickham, calling said George Wickham by the ridiculous name of WICKY, causing said George Wickham to lose all common sense, lack of proper spelling, really ticking us off, and being a Mary-Sue.  For these crimes you are sentenced to death.  Good-bye.”  She shot the Sue, frozen in surprise, in the eye. 

Crispin directed Wickham’s attention to the neuralyser.  “Just look at the light, that’s it…”  FLASH!  “Right, Mr. Wickham, you are a complete cad who seduces a fifteen-year-old girl.  Please walk through the portal here…there you go.  So long.”   

Moon had just closed the portal when there was a strange grating noise, somewhat like piano strings being mangled.  Crispin, sci-fi geek that he was, immediately perked up his ears in interest.  “Is that a TARDIS?  Please tell me that’s a TARDIS.”

A large, overstuffed armchair (fuzzy purple to match the Sue’s couch), appeared in the living room.  Despite it having no visible door, it opened, and a man Crispin recognized as Techno-Dann, the DoSAT technician, stepped out.  “Hello Crispin, Maria.  You’ve—who are you?”

“Moon Sonata,” said Moon.  “I’m new.”

“Oh.  Hi.  All agents in the field have been issued a TARDIS.  There’s a manual on the control panel; you’re to go to the town of PPC-HQ in New Caledonia.  The TARDIS coordinator is the Corkscrew Cattail.”  He paused, and his face became very grim.  “There’s also a sheet of codes to make your equipment.  Agents have to handle their own tech for now, as…Makes-Things is dead.” He portalled out before the agents could ask any further questions. 

There was a moment of stunned silence.  Moon was the one who finally broke it, in typical Moon fashion.  “Um, who’s Makes-Things?”

To be continued…

Notes

iPod is the trademark of Apple.  I don’t even own one.

Small Gods is by Terry Pratchett.

Maria’s Saracen bow came originally from the BBC’s Robin Hood continuum.

The PPC expletive ‘Glaurung’ was first the name of a dragon created by J.R.R. Tolkien.

A sponge is, by the way, an animal.  SpongeBob SquarePants is the property of Nickelodeon and they are more than welcome to keep the Glaurunging thing.

The macrovirus crisis and the resulting quarantine, along with all events connected with it, are the creation of Tawaki.  (Whom we may never entirely forgive for killing Makes-Things.)  The text of Captain Dandy and Doctor Fitzgerald’s message, as well as some of Techno-Dann’s dialogue, is also by Tawaki. 

The macrovirus itself is from Star Trek: Voyager, and is the property of CBS Paramount.