Response Centre #24601

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

Mission #5-B: Worthless

 Being a continuation of the macrovirus/invasion tie-in begun in "A Very Wicky Problem."

Agent Tomato would like to thank Chatvert for beta-ing this mission. 

Disclaimer: The PPC is the creation of Jay and Acacia.  Doctor Who and Torchwood are the property of the BBC.  “Worthless” is the creation of horns-halos4ever, and she is more than welcome to keep it.  I sure don’t want it.

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.

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

In addition, it contains references and minor spoilers to the RP session of April 17-21, 2008, on the PPC Posting Board.  These are minor and participation in the RP is not necessary to understand this fic.  The threads can be found here: http://disc.yourwebapps.com/discussion.cgi?disc=199610;article=166244;title=PPC%20Posting%20Board

And here: http://disc.yourwebapps.com/discussion.cgi?disc=199610;article=166470;title=PPC%20Posting%20Board

The Mission:

The interior of the TARDIS looked almost exactly like their Response Centre, down to the three minis singing showtunes around a bowl of blood.  Maria scooped up Sir Rodric and Enjorlas and snuggled them, patting Benjamain so he wouldn’t feel left out but not letting him get too close to her throat.  She joined in their rendition of “Nothing’s Gonna Harm You.”

Crispin examined the manual.  “Okay, so these buttons set horizontal coordinates, those ones do vertical, this thingy over here does temporal—hey, did Techno-Dann say what year we were supposed to get there?”

“Don’t think so,” said Maria.  “Present-day, I guess.”

“Right.  This is…2008?  May…no, March.  Or is it April now?”  Crispin punched in the coordinates for PPC-HQ.  “And to activate, we just press this, spin this, and ding the bicycle bell.” 

Crispin’s hand came down on the bell just as the PPC console (which is different from the TARDIS console, despite having a similar name) let out a familiar and unwelcome sound.

[BEEEEEP!]

[Ding!]

The TARDIS lurched unpleasantly, and a sound that Crispin identified as the Cloister Bell began to echo through the room.  Moon squeaked in alarm and ducked behind the door that, back in HQ, had lead to the corridor.  The minis scrambled to hide behind Maria.

“What did you do?” Maria shouted over the sound of the Cloister Bell.  Crispin searched through the manual.

“I don’t know!  The two consoles must have interfered with each other!  Check the console—no, not that console, the other one!  See if it says anything!”  He gave up looking at the manual—the Doctor never used one, anyway—and started pressing random buttons. 

Maria went over to the PPC console and looked at the screen.  “I don’t believe this,” she muttered.  “HQ is under attack by giant viruses and they’re still sending us on missions?  I thought we were supposed to go to that town!”

“Apparently, no one told the console.  Where’s the Sue?”

Cardiff, Wales, twenty-first century.  Torchwood-verse.”

“Sweet!” Crispin punched the air.  “First a TARDIS, now we get to go to Torchwood!  This is great!”

“Did you forget the part where HQ is under attack, a man is dead, and said TARDIS seems to be hurtling us to our doom?”

“Oh, yeah.”  Crispin paused for a moment, looking sufficiently chastened.  Then he began dashing around the console, messing with things in a manner reminiscent of a certain Time Lord.  With Crispin’s long coat, the resemblance was actually quite striking.  “I’m setting coordinates for Cardiff.  Maybe the Rift can pull us out of…whatever’s going on.  Where’d Moon go?”

Maria pointed at the door.  She then let out a yelp as Benjamain attempted to gain her attention by stabbing her in the boot.  The Mini-Razor motioned that it wanted to be picked up.  Maria carried it back over to the other Minis, keeping it away from any major arteries.  “I can’t play with you right now, okay?  We’ll have some fun later.”

The TARDIS lurched again, sending Maria sprawling on the floor, then everything was still.

Cardiff!” Crispin shouted triumphantly.  “I knew the Rift could get us through!  Hey, Moon!  We’ve got a mission!”

“Just a second!” came Moon’s muffled reply. 

Maria got to her feet.  “Are you sure we should take the mission?” she asked.  “Techno-Dann did say to go to New Caledonia.”

“We’re in a time machine,” Crispin reminded her.  “We can get there whenever we want.  It’s Torchwood, Maria!”

Maria rolled her eyes.  Sci-fi geeks.  “Fine.”

Crispin did some last-minute fiddling with the controls, making sure everything was secure.  As he pressed the last button, there was a beep from the chair where he’d left his equipment.

[Beep!] beeped the CAD.  [Can I have a hug?]

Crispin awkwardly picked the device up and gave it a hug.  “Um, are you all right?”

[No!] it wailed.  [How can Makes-Things die?  He was my father!  Who will fix me now?]

“Um, I’ll take care of you.  It’ll be okay.”  How exactly did one comfort a grieving technological gadget?

[Wah!  He’s DEAD!  Nothing’s going to be okay!]

Maria snatched the CAD out of Crispin’s hands.  “Listen.  Everything will be fine.  Now stop freaking.  We need you for the mission.  You’re very important, don’t you know that?  Wouldn’t Makes-Things want you to do the job he made you for?”

[Well, yes…]

“So, no moping.  You’re going to help us and make Makes-Things proud of you.  Okay?”

[*sniff* Okay.]  Maria gently turned it off and handed it back to Crispin, who stared at her.

 “That was…kind of sweet,” he said.  “I didn’t know you did sweet.”

Maria shrugged it off.  “Moon!” she shouted.  “We’re going!”

“Coming!”  There was a loud crash, and Moon appeared with a guilty look on his face and his violin in his hand.  “Do I get to kill this one, or are you going to make me hold the portal open again?”

“Sure, you can kill the ‘Sue,” Crispin said, cutting off Maria’s negative reply.  “There shouldn’t be much need for portals in this one, anyway.”

Maria pulled open the TARDIS door and looked out at the rainy streets of modern-day Cardiff.  “Let’s kill this thing.”

Crispin’s CAD beeped, turning itself back on.  [For Makes-Things!]

***

However, her mother looked at the book and asked, “Why do you even try?” Angela looked at her mother with a confused look. Only to have her grab the book from her hands, throw it into the tomato sauce that was going to go with dinner. “Why in the HELL do you try so hard, when we all know that you will never succeed at anything?”

“Mom!”

“You are worthless. How can you even live with yourself? You are NOTHING! You are WORTHLESS!”

“Oh, look!” said Maria, “Angst!  How original!”

From their hiding place in a poorly-defined hallway, Moon stared at the Sue’s mother.  “Why would you throw the book in the tomato sauce?  Now you’ve spoiled dinner.”

Crispin gave the obligatory explanation of how one should never apply logic to a Suefic, then wrote down ‘excessive angst’ on the charge list.  Maria pulled the two boys into a closet as the Sue came running past in a fit of angst.  The agents followed her out into the street.

Moon kept a few feet behind his partners.  So, they couldn’t get back into Headquarters, could they?  They were completely cut off from their floral masters.  This was his chance.  He tucked his hands in his pockets in order to assume a cool posture, and his fingers brushed against something metallic.  He pulled it out and examined it in the dim evening light.

It was a silvery cylinder, with assorted buttons and switches on it.  Moon recalled seeing something similar in the possession of some agents he’d passed back in Headquarters.  He pressed the most prominent button.

A blade of red energy shot out from the cylinder.  Moon made a sound somewhat like that of a distressed gerbil and dropped it on the ground.  The blade cut through a hedge as it fell, and a piece of shrubbery fell from it, sizzling.  Moon bent down and pressed the button again, making the blade disappear, before Maria and Crispin turned around. 

“What was that?” Crispin asked.  “Sounded like a lightsaber.  This isn’t a Star Wars crossover, is it?”

Moon shoved the thing back in his pocket.  “I didn’t hear anything.”

“Pay attention,” Maria told them.  “The Sue’s about to get rescued from presumed Daleks.”

“What’s a presumed Dalek?” Moon asked.  He kept his hand curled around the thing in his pocket, taking care not to press the button of doom.

“Something that we think is a Dalek because it sounds like one and Sues aren’t very creative, but is never actually called a Dalek.”

“Oh.”  Moon had no idea what a Dalek was, but he nodded as if he did.  The sooner they thought he was informed, the sooner their attention would go elsewhere.  He wanted to focus on this thing in his pocket.  It was a weapon, certainly, something from one of the multitudes of universes to which the talking flowers had access.  The real question was how it had gotten in his pocket.  He certainly hadn’t put it there, and he hadn’t been in close contact with any of the flowers’ agent minions, other than Crispin and Maria.

Then he remembered.  There had been a man without any distinguishing features, who’d talked to him in the nondescript grey hallway.  Moon’s memory of the event was slightly fuzzy, which may have been the result of hitting his head on the wall too many times, but they had talked long enough that the man might have had a chance to slip it into his pocket. 

Perhaps the man had not been a loyal minion of the talking flowers, as Moon had thought.  Perhaps he had slipped Moon this weapon because he recognized Moon’s motives.  He had claimed that he’d wanted to help.  Maybe there was some sort of resistance out there, fighting against the flowers and their leafy reign of terror. 

Maria and Crispin, a few steps ahead of Moon, were oblivious to their partner’s plotting.  Maria was completely occupied with forcibly holding Crispin back as he tried to lunge at the Sue, brandishing the pen with which he’d been writing charges.

“Why…would Jack…tell her…that he’s immortal?” Crispin forced out through clenched teeth.  “He didn’t even tell his TEAM for ages!  Can’t we kill her?”

“Just a little longer,” Maria assured him.  “Moon, can you give me a…Moon?”  She looked back over her shoulder to see the typo disappearing around the corner of the Sue’s house.  “Hey!  Glaurung it all, what’s he doing now?”

Crispin stopped his struggling to look back at the fleeing Moon.  “Do you have a bad feeling about this?  Because I’m getting a really bad feeling about this.”

“Yeah, ‘bad feeling’ describes it pretty well.  You know the canon better than I do—you follow the Sue.  I’ll go after Moon.”  She nocked an arrow in his bow.  “I’ll try not to kill him too badly.”

***

“I love to travel—don’t you?

I love a change of pace

I love a change of space

I love to see a place

That’s absolutely new…”

Maybe if Maria sang it enough times, she’d start believing it.  After an hour of running through the sodden streets of Cardiff, all she wanted to do was drink a large hot chocolate and take a long shower.  She’d thought Moon had run in the direction of the TARDIS, but there was no sign of him. 

“I hate to travel

I hate to even leave the house

I hate the—”

“YAAAAAAAH!”  A dark blur with a lightsaber came at her from a convenient alley.  Maria leapt back and released an arrow.  It missed.  The lightsaber swung dangerously close to her.  “I will not submit to the sadistic will of the flowers!”

Merde!” Maria swore, and retreated further.  A bow and a truncheon were not very effective weapons against an energy sword.  She needed something with lasers, or maybe something sonic.  I need to get to the Hub, she realized.  She wasn’t too fond of sci-fi, but she’d seen enough to know that the Torchwood Hub was the place to find alien technology in twenty-first century Cardiff. 

Of course, she’d left the remote activator with Crispin.  Looked like she was taking the long way.  Which way was Roald Dahl Plass, exactly?

There was no more sign of Moon.  Either he was off planning something nefarious, or he had no intention of killing her and only attacked her to stop her following him.  Hoping it was the latter, Maria started running in what she thought was the direction of the Torchwood Hub. 

***

In retrospect, Moon thought, he really should have paid more attention when Crispin had told him about TARDISes.  He also should have paid more attention to what theirs had disguised itself as when it had landed.  There were a thousand things it might have been on the dark and poorly-defined street by the Sue’s house. 

There was no going back now.  He’d attacked one of the flowers’ minions.  Perhaps it was better that he couldn’t find the TARDIS.  It was, after all, the creation of those who were loyal to the floral tyrants, and might contain booby traps.  He would have to survive with nothing but his violin and his laser sword.

But where would he go?  He was stranded in a strange continuum with no way out, and Crispin and Maria were surely in pursuit.  There was no escape.  No, he had to find that TARDIS.  Even if it was a device born of evil, he could possibly still use it to get free of this place and find some way of stopping the flowers. 

It was a dreadful plan.  He needed something better.

“Are you lost again?”  Moon whirled around, sword at the ready.  It was the young man, the one from the hallway.  He rested in a nonchalant pose against the side of a house.  “Hello.”

“Who are you?” Moon brandished the sword.  “Why did you give me this thing?  What do you want?  Are you a minion of the talking flowers?”

“Okay, first of all, ‘this thing’ is called a lightsaber, got it?  And no, I am not a minion of anybody.  Call me…Andy.”

“I’m Beethoven Sonata.  But everyone calls me Moon.  You still haven’t answered all the questions.  Who are you, why did you give me this lightsaber, and what do you want?”

Andy sighed.  “You’re not going to help me until I explain everything, are you?”  Moon nodded.  “Fine.  I represent the Coalition Against Tyrannical Vegetation.  You were identified as sympathetic to our cause, and I was sent to recruit you.”

“The Coalition Against Tyrannical Vegetation?”  He wanted to believe it.  He really wanted to believe it.  But it seemed…too convenient.  Moon had been born yesterday, but that didn’t mean he was stupid.  “Just what is it that you do?  And what does giving me a lightsaber have to do with it?”

“You don’t have to pronounce the italics.  Just ‘lightsaber.’”

“All right, what does this ‘lightsaber’ have to do with it?”

“You don’t pronounce the quotation mar—never mind.  It was a test, to see if you were truly devoted to the eradication of leafy dictators.  And by escaping from your partners at the first opportunity, you proved that you were.”

“Huh.”

Andy could tell that Moon wasn’t convinced.  “Listen, we’ll head back to my TARDIS as soon as I’ve completed my assignment, and I’ll take you to our Headquarters.  Our leader can give you all the proof you need.

“You have a Headquarters?”  This was a good sign.  People who had Headquarters, especially with a capital H, were organized.  It couldn’t hurt to just hear the man out, Moon supposed.  He was very nice.  “Well, I guess I could come with you.  I can’t find my TARDIS anyway.”

Coriander Johnsson smiled and beckoned the innocent typo closer.  “Excellent.  Now, first, here’s what we have to do…” 

***

“The Doctor?”

“Yeah, he's good friend of mine…even though he did leave me after I died and Rose brought me back.” He started to ramble a little but Angela didn’t mind. “So I’ve been stuck here since 1862, found out that I couldn’t die in 1892, and so I rebuilt Torchwood 3.”

“Wait…1862?”

“Yeah! That would make me…146 years old.”

“Only if you were zero years old when you arrived,” Crispin grumbled.  “Honestly.  Jack was obviously in his late twenties or early thirties when he met the Doctor, which would make him around one hundred and seventy-six, give or take.  Math.  It’s not that hard.  And Jack would not be telling all this to someone he just met!”

[BEEP! Affirmative.  Should I take a character reading?] 

“Yes, please.”  The CAD was being very helpful.  This was the third time it had offered to take a reading.

[Captain Jack Harkness.  Human male, immortal.  Canon.  OOC: 99.9999999999999% AND RISING!  Cause of OOC-ness: Angela Smith.  Solution: Burn Angela Smith.  Turn me off!  NOW!]

Crispin switched off the CAD and continued watching the Sue through the closed door.  (He had borrowed what turned out to be X-ray goggles from Tosh’s desk, and was finding them very helpful.)  Jack proceeded to tell her every piece of his backstory that had been known before Torchwood Series Two started.  Crispin continued to moan about the characterization.

[Beep!] the CAD interrupted.  [Message from Igor: Macrovirus outbreak is over, but Headquarters remains in lockdown.  The final tally of casualties is uncertain but there are over a thousand Agents reported dead.]  It paused.  [That’s a lot.]

“Glaurung,” Crispin breathed.  “That is a lot.  I didn’t realize we even had that many Agents…”  His breath caught on a lump in his throat that had no business being there.  “I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to go near Voyager fandom again.”

“Crispin?  You okay?”  Maria had come up behind him.  Crispin jumped.

“Cruk!  Maria!  When did you—I didn’t—yeah, I’m okay.  Did you hear the news?”

“Yeah, it just came in on my CAD.  Pretty…pretty sad.  I keep thinking of everyone I know, and trying to remember when I last saw them.  I’m so grateful we were out on a mission.”  For a moment, there was a very soft, human expression on her face, but it was quickly replaced by a standard Maria look.  “Hey, does Torchwood have anything that might work against a lightsaber?”

***

In the almost-empty TARDIS, the face of a talking rose appeared on one of the many screens. 

We have a situation in HQ. While the macrovirus epidemic has been dealt with, a large number of Mary Sues have launched an invasion of the complex…

Enjorlas, Sir Rodric, and Benjamain watched with bemused interest as the Sub Rosa delivered her message.  Some small thought in whatever they had for brains nagged that perhaps they should try to find their friend Maria, but it was soon replaced with a need for food.  Benjamain was the first to attack their half-empty bowl of blood, with the other Minis soon following.

Agents, the fate of the PPC is in your hands and other appendages. Our Organisation will stand or fall based on your actions. Please -- kill them all for us so we can get back to doing our jobs.

When the Sub Rosa’s voice faded away, the only sounds to be heard were the sloshing of blood and the distant, unheeded booming of the Cloister Bell.

***

“Angela Smith, you are charged with excessive angst, flawed logic, poor description, comma abuse, inartistic overuse of sentence fragments, creating presumed Daleks, causing one Captain Jack Harkness to character rupture, specifically by making him tell you that he’s immortal and also making him tell you his entire backstory, miscalculating the age of said Captain Jack Harkness, having a really dumb power, really pissing me off when I have had a very bad day, and being a Mary-Sue.  For these crimes you are sentenced to death.  You have no rights.  Now die.”

Crispin attempted to shoot the Sue with the gun he’d taken off the now-unconscious Jack.  (The story of how Jack came to be unconscious was long, complicated, and very likely in defiance of several laws of physics.)  The Sue, however, was deciding to be difficult. 

Maria poked her head over the top of Owen’s desk, under which she had been looking for weaponry.  “Was that lightning?

The Sue sent out a burst of electricity from her hands at Crispin.  The agent ducked and started running.  “Yes, that was lightning!  Hide!”

Crispin dragged Maria into Jack’s office and shut the door.  The two of them pulled the heavy desk in front of the door in the hope that it might keep the Sue out.  “Why are we running?” Maria hissed.  “We’re PPC!  We don’t run from Sues!  We kill them!”

“We need a plan.  This is the sort of Sue that requires a plan.  Is any of your anti-lightsaber stuff good against lightning?”

Maria dug through her armful of alien junk.  “I don’t even know what these things do.  It’s all sci-fi technojunk to me.”

Crispin sighed.  He really needed to educate his partner on the finer points of science-fiction.  “All right, I’ll figure out this stuff.  But first we need to get rid of that Sue.”  He thought.  They were in the Hub, right?  Lots of ways for people to die in the Hub.  “Ha!  I have a plan.  You lure the Sue down to the cells—that’s that way—and sic a Weevil on her.”

“What’s a Weevil?”  Maria had in her mind the image of a rather disgusting bug, and she was pretty sure that wasn’t what Crispin meant.

“You’ll know it when you see it.  I’ll come behind you and—”

“GYYYYYYYAAAAAAAHHHHHH!  DIIIIIIIE!”

There was a distinctive hum, followed by a slashing, squishy sound, and the Sue fell to the floor of the Hub, neatly cut in half, with both halves cauterized. 

“Or,” Crispin amended, “We could wait until our maybe-insane new partner shows up with a lightsaber and takes care of her that way.”

Moon glanced back at Andy, who was lingering out of the way near the entrance.  The young man motioned for Moon to move back.  Moon did so, and waited for his partners to come out of the office.  The lightsaber felt unusually heavy in his hand.

Crispin came out first, glaring at Moon.  “Where the Glaurung have you been?  And where did you get the lightsaber?”

Moon was ready to launch into a carefully-planned speech about how he was joining the fight against Tyrannical Vegetation and such, but Andy interrupted.  “I gave it to him, Crispin.”

Crispin stared at Andy.  “Do I—do I know you?”

Again, Moon tried to say his rehearsed explanation of who Andy was and just what was going on, but, again, Andy cut him off.  “You should.”  He produced from his pocket something that looked like a miniature pair of pale green pants and fiddled with it.  Without undergoing any intermediate process of change, he became a different man.

His skin was darker, and his nondescript brown hair became black and unruly.  His uniform stayed unchanged, but his flash patch turned from a rubber duck to a bright flame.  Crispin took a step back in surprise, almost walking into Maria, who had come up behind him.

“Cori…” Crispin whispered.  “You—you’re supposed to be in FicPsych.”

“Cori?” Maria echoed.  “As in your old partner who went insane?”

“That would be the one.  Moon, get away from him.  He’s dangerous.”  Crispin reached into his pocket.  He still had the gun he’d ‘borrowed’ from Jack Harkness.  He wasn’t a very good shot, but Cori was close enough that Crispin was confident he could hit him.  It sickened him to think of hurting someone he once called a friend, but he’d seen what Cori was capable of.  He couldn’t

“They call me dangerous,” ‘Andy’ said to Moon, “While they wreak havoc in the multiverse and mistreat their own people.  All in the name of these ‘Flowers that Be.’  Don’t fall for it, Beethoven Sonata.  You’re smarter than that.”

“He snapped!” Crispin protested.  “He tried to murder half the population of Hogwarts!  You can’t trust him, Moon.  Just put down the lightsaber and move away from him.  Now.”  He couldn’t get a clear shot with Moon in the way, and as annoying as the typo was, he didn’t deserve getting shot.

[Beep!  Coriander Johnsson.  Human male.  Agent.  WARNING: Agent is in state of high mental imbalance and should be regarded with caution.]

“Yeah, I know that,” Crispin muttered.

[Just trying to be helpful.]

“More lies of the Flowers!” Coriander exclaimed, with a level of melodrama normally reserved for characters in bad soap operas.  “It is time for the lies to end!”  He pulled a wand from his back pocket and brandished it.  “Come, Beethoven Sonata.  We will destroy these minions of the flowery oppressors!”

Moon was feeling very confused.  He hadn’t planned on destroying anyone.  And he kind of liked Maria and Crispin.  But he truly did believe the flowers were the enemy.  This was a lot to handle for someone who was only a few days old.  “Um.”

“UM?” Coriander roared.  “All you can say is UM?  FINE, THEN!  I WILL DESTROY THEM MYSELF!”  Crispin and Maria covered their ears against the onslaught of CAPS LOCK OF RAGE.  Moon looked at his partners, the raging Coriander, and the glowing lightsaber in his hand, and wished he was in a comfortable bed somewhere nice and calm.

“AVADA KEDAVRA!” Coriander screamed, pointing the wand at Crispin.  Maria tried to push her partner out of the way, but she knew there wasn’t enough time.  Coriander was too close…

Nothing happened.  There was no characteristic flash of green light, and Crispin was most decidedly not dead.  Coriander stared at his wand as Crispin, who was the sort of person who laughed inexplicably at funerals, began to snicker.  “Looks like you don’t want me dead badly enough, Cori,” he said. 

“THERE ARE OTHER WAYS OF KILLING PEOPLE!”  Coriander raised his wand arm once more, and Maria pulled Crispin under the nearest desk. 

Moon had no way of knowing anything about Star Wars or Doctor Who, so any similarities between what he did next and the movies were entirely coincidental.  He swung the lightsaber at Coriander, severing the mad agent’s arm at the elbow.  “You’re not killing anyone!”  Coriander screamed as his wand and hand fell to the floor. 

“Traitor!  I thought you believed in their evil!”

“I do think something is going on.  I don’t trust flowers or anything else that talks when it shouldn’t.”  Moon stuck out the lightsaber to block Coriander from getting to his wand.  “But Crispin and Maria are my friends.  I think.”

“Moon, get down,” Crispin said, coming out from behind the desk.  He had Jack’s gun in his hand, and Maria had an arrow nocked in her bow.  This time, Moon did what he was told, still keeping his lightsaber at the ready.  “I’m sorry about this, Cori, but there’s no other option.  I’m sorry.”

Coriander smiled.  “You shouldn’t talk before shooting someone.  It gives them a chance to do this.”  There was a pop, and he vanished. 

“Glaurung!” Crispin and Maria swore in unison. 

“He said he had a TARDIS,” Moon said, glancing down at the severed arm.  “So, he could be anywhere by now.”

“We’ll probably see him again,” said Crispin.  He walked up to Moon.  “You okay?”

Moon tried to decide.  Was he?  “I suppose so.  But I still don’t trust the flowers.”

“Most of us don’t,” Maria replied.  She put her arrow back in its quiver.  “But there are worse things than them out there.  And it’s Flowers, with a capital F.”

***

After Jack had been revived and neuralysed, and the various body parts disposed of, the three agents sat together outside their TARDIS for the obligatory summing up of important events.

“He must have escaped FicPsych before the macroviruses attacked, and escaped in a TARDIS,” Maria said.  “DoSAT would have been chaos then; no one would have noticed.”

“He probably saw me in FicPsych when I was down there getting evaluated.”  Moon fiddled with his lightsaber.  He felt like an idiot.  There was probably no such thing as the Coalition Against Tyrannical Vegetation; it was likely just a fabrication of Coriander’s to get Moon to cooperate.  Being a few days old was not an excuse for being that naïve.  What if Coriander had killed Crispin and Maria, because Moon had been too quick to trust him?

Crispin noticed the typo’s discomfort.  “It wasn’t your fault.  Cori’s a D&D native, and his charisma score’s insanely high.  I once saw him talk a Ferengi out of a business deal.”

Moon hadn’t the faintest idea what a Ferengi was, but he understood Crispin’s point.  “So, do we head to this New Caledonia place now?”

Crispin thought about it.  “Yeah, I guess so.  Let’s go.”

 

Notes:

‘Nothing’s Gonna Harm You’ is a song from Sweeney Todd, by Stephen Sondheim.

The macrovirus is from Star Trek: Voyager and is the property of CBS Paramount.  The macrovirus crisis, Sue invasion, and all events directly relating to them are the creations of Tawaki.

Techno-Dann belongs to Techno-Dann.

Lightsabers are from Star Wars and are the creation of George Lucas.

‘I Love To Travel’ is a song from The Frogs, by Stephen Sondheim, Burt Shevelove, and Nathan Lane, based on the play by Aristophanes.

The text of the Sub Rosa message is by Huinesoron and is from the Mary-Sue invasion RP session on the PPC Posting Board.  Any other mentions of the events in the RP session belong to the writers of their respective posts.

Agent Coriander was previously mentioned in Maria and Crispin’s first mission, “Daughter of Elshadeth.” 

Hogwarts, “Avada Kedavra,” and Coriander’s wand belong to the Harry Potter continuum, which is the property of J.K. Rowling.

Dungeons and Dragons is the property of Wizards of the Coast.

The Ferengi are from several incarnations of Star Trek, beginning with The Next Generation.