Summary: "I brought it upon myself.... You may or may not know that I got my hair cut on the weekend from being very, very, very long to shoulder length. Today was my first day in school with said haircut and, as is to be expected, I got some fairly stunning reactions. Many people didn't recognise me at first, and this guy in my reg class asked me jokingly who I was. I replied with the first thing that came in to my head, playing along with the "new girl" joke. Being the idiot I am, I said I was called "Mary Sue." Not clever. Now, not only does said guy refuse to call me by any name other than "Mary Sue," but his friends started calling me that as well. My school being what it is, everybody decided to start calling me "Mary Sue" apart from one small group of friends who decided Jane suits me better, and call me that instead. *facepalms* It's not even like most of them have a clue what a Mary Sue is! They just thought it was my new nickname or something! Looking at it from a certain point of view, it is actually quite funny. I just hope they forget about it soon."

—Vemi, describing the setup for this tale


Chapter 4: "The Un-Sueing of Vemi, and Other Tales"

"Hurry up, Rosie! We've got to catch up to her before she finds the Fellowship!"

Agent Rosie (carrying, as usual, all the baggage for both herself and her partner), grumbled a bit but quickened her pace. The sun was high in the sky over Hollin, the crebain were croaking merrily, and she'd managed to wrest her new Newsboys CD away from Nenya. It would have been quite a nice, relaxing, routine mission except for one thing.

The person they were tracking wasn't a Mary Sue.

Or, at least, she hadn't been until yesterday. She'd been one of their own, a diligent (if occasionally invisible) fellow-PPC agent, with multiple Mary Sue scalps under her belt. She had been well-loved and respected among the few agents who frequented the cafeteria at the same time as she did (carrying Suvian scalps under one's belt does tend to stink up the place) and was rumoured to be in product development for a new variation on that lifesaving substance known as Bleeprin.

But all that had changed yesterday, when Vemi had gone home to the Real World for a long-awaited vacation. Since time passes differently in the metaverse than in the Earth of normal human experience, she'd re-appeared only a few days after the day she'd originally left to join the PPC. Since her Real World persona had school classes to attend, she'd gone to class, both to stave off suspicion and for the simple novelty value of interacting with people who weren't a) fictional or b) concussed from walking into walls.

All this would have been quite fine. In fact, things were going quite well for the first hour or so of the day: her breakfast and her transportation to the school went off without a hitch. She even remembered to bring all her textbooks and refreshed herself on what she was supposed to have been studying over the weekend, all without any trouble.

Then she walked into her first class, and disaster struck.

"Oh my God, Vemi, what have you done to your hair?"

"It's all short! Vemi's got short hair now! You guys, look at this!"

"Vemi? Is that you? No way!"

"Oh, my gosh, Vemi, I can't believe you cut it!"

It was pandemonium. Vemi reached up and touched the ragged ends of her short hair. She'd quite forgotten about that. Of course people would be shocked—she'd had extremely long hair when she'd left for the PPC. The only reason it was short now was because of one of those supposed-to-be-classified and rather frightening berserk partner incidents. Everyone at the PPC had heard about it before the severed hair had hit the floor, but of course the people back in the Real World had no idea.

"Hey, cutie," said a boy in the second row, someone she remembered she had been friends with in this life. "What's your name?"

Vemi's mouth replied before her brain engaged. "Just call me Mary Sue," she said.

"Nice to meet you, Mary Sue," he said.

*WHOOM* Suddenly, Vemi was picked up by a trans-continuum vortex, whirled through several dimensions, and dumped unceremoniously in Middle-earth. In Hollin, in fact, with a huge headache, a bizarrely-changed body, and a very strong urge to track down Legolas Greenleaf and engage in some very personal relations.

Headquarters, as is their way, heard about all this soon afterwards, and that's why Rosie and Nenya were trudging (for the seventy-four hundred and nineteenth time, by Rosie's last count) through Hollin in pursuit of a Mary Sue. Who wasn't, actually, a Mary Sue.

Tuneless singing drifted over the hills towards Rosie. She strained to hear the words—

"My loneliness is killing me
And I
I must confess
I still belieeeeve
When I'm not with you I'm losing my mind...."

Rosie winced. "Nen! Hold up a minute. I think we've found 'er!"

Nenya stopped and waited for Rosie to catch up to her. "Poor girl. Wonder how she's going to live THIS down when she gets back to HQ," she said, shaking her head sadly. "I mean, turning yourself into a Mary Sue is bad enough, but Britney? The shame must be incredible."

Rosie reached the small rise Nenya was standing on, and peered down at the source of the noise. A young girl, golden-blonde and wearing a very sparkly bright-blue low-cut dress, was sitting with her feet in a cool stream of water, warbling painful pop songs at the top of her voice. Strangely enough, even though her voice was enough to wake the dead the crebain circling overhead paid no notice to her. Rosie noticed this and nudged Nenya.

"This may be easier than I thought. She's still got the agently ability to not be noticed by canons, so she must just be possessed by a Suvian spirit instead of actually being one."

Nenya thought for a moment. "Whaddaya mean, not be noticed by canons? We'd be noticed if we were making that much noise."

"Yeah, but she's a Sue too. She must be able to 'charm bird and beast' or something. You can tell she's still an agent, though, by the fact that she's taken off her high heels to soak her feet. Any self-respecting Suvian would find and glomp Leggy first, then worry about painful toes."

"You may be right," Nenya allowed. "So, what are we supposed to do with her, anyway? You brought your copies of the books, right?"

"Yup. ROTK should do it, I think, since it'll remind her of how much she wants to see the movie, which she can do much better from her response centre than from a grave in Mirkwood."

"She's supposed to die for Legolas in this fic?"

"Yup. I think she marries him over the objections of his father and half the Fellowship first, though. The laws of comedy sure picked a doozy for her to fall into."

Nenya sighed. "Well, then, it's a good thing I brought The Meaning of Liff along, too. If I thwack her on the head with that, it might teach her to pick her words more carefully in the future."

Rosie nodded. "Good plan. So how do we get her attention?"

"Watch." Nenya reached down, picked up a medium-sized stone, and chucked it down the hill, yelling a Klingon warcry at the same time. Then she grabbed Rosie's arm, and ran very quickly back down their side of the hill away from the Vemi 'Sue.

Sure enough, a few minutes later an unusually large-busted semi-agent appeared over the crest of the hill, pointy-toed shoes held protectively in front of her.

"Who goeth thereth?" she asked in a strident yet simpering yet valiant voice. "How dare thou disrupt my calm repose in this field of Middle-earth? Flee, vile orcs of Saruman!"

"It's orcs of Mordor, or orcs of Morgoth, not Saruman," Rosie bitched quietly to herself. She hated it when people thought Saruman had bred the first orcs.

Nenya stood up. "Yo, you there," she said without preamble. "You haven't really done anything to screw up Middle-earth yet, but we really need to talk to you anyway."

The girl-who-had-been-Vemi looked at her, her mauve-indigo-silver eyes clouding over in confusion. "I am here to comfort Lord Legolas. I have not 'screwed up' Middle-earth. Of what speakest thee to mine ears?"

"C'mon, Vemi, you're better than this," said Rosie, as she struggled to her feet from under twenty pounds of backpacks. She really had to start getting Nenya to help with the luggage....

"Vemi? That's not my name. My name is Mari Suvillia Teleri Gondorshwawen," said the girl.

"Oh, dear Eru," said Nenya. "This is just wrong...." She held out her hand to Rosie, who handed her The Meaning of Liff and a bound copy of CNell's "A Maiden from a Distant World." Rosie herself hefted her well-worn copy of ROTK.

"Mari Suvillia whatzyerface," Rosie said, dropping her backpacks and striding purposefully towards the once-and-hopefully-future Vemi and grabbing her by the arm, "you're taking up space that belongs to someone else. I really don't care if Vemi invoked a Suvian name and made you think you were welcome here, but you're not. So, shoo! Out!" She raised the copy of ROTK in her free hand and thwumped the girl soundly on the forehead with it. "Out, vile 'Suvian demon! The power of Tolkien compels thee!"

"Aieeeee!!!!!!!1111" shrieked the 'Sue. Vemi's body spasmed, and a pale white ghost rose above her head. "But I just got killed last week for writing a fanfic story! It's not faiiirrrrr...." Its voice was lost on the wind as it faded into non-existence. Vemi shuddered once more, and lay still. Her body was suddenly remarkably less anorexic and her clothing was back to a standard boring set of t-shirt and jeans. She opened her eyes, groaning.

"Where, by the Valar, am I this time?" she wondered dazedly.

"You told some guy to call you 'Mary Sue' and he did and you got possessed by one and sent here. To Middle-earth," Rosie explained helpfully. "You were gonna marry Leggy Darling and die tragically of a completely illogical cause not three days after the wedding ceremony, thus breaking his heart and yadda yadda yadda."

"Bloody utumno agar tummen [censored] [urinating dog]," said Vemi.

"My thoughts precisely," said Nenya, stepping to the fore. "We're supposed to rescue you and bring you back to HQ. I'm afraid you might not get the rest of your vacation, since the Flowers tend to work on the principle of 'once burned, twice shy' and this was definitely a case of 'burned'. But don't worry, no permanent harm done. At least as far as I can tell," she finished.

"Thanks," said Vemi. "Point me in the direction of a portal and I think I'll just wander back to my response centre and sleep for a week."

"Not so fast," Nenya said, latching on to Vemi's shoulder. "There's one more thing I've got to do." She waved The Meaning of Liff and the splatted-Suvian story about in the air. "This whole thing started 'cuz you forgot to watch what you were saying. So, I'm gonna apply this book by Douglas Adams, which is about cool ideas there should be words for, and this story about what would happen if you really fell into Middle-earth, just to make sure you get the point and don't do anything silly like this again."

"But I've already got a killer headache," protested Vemi.

Nenya raised the script and the book high in the air, and brought them down with a resounding WHACK across Vemi's shoulders. Vemi staggered slightly under the blow, and grinned weakly.

"Ah. Thanks for not hitting me on the head," she said.

"Feels much better, not to be Suvianized any more, doesn't it?" said Nenya, conversationally, as she snapped open a portal.

"How would you know?" said Vemi.

"Here, have some Bleeprin," said Rosie, hurriedly. This really wasn't the time. She and Nenya had both had their Suvian moments in the past, and it was never really a good idea to bring these sorts of things up. She gave Vemi and Nenya a little push towards the portal.

Vemi staggered through the portal into the hallway just outside her office, breathing deeply of the stuffy Headquarters air. "Ahh," she said as she keyed open the door to her response centre, "nothing like the PPC...."

Nenya turned to Rosie. "Well, good job done, I say. How 'bout we go find the cafeteria and pester Saml and Smeagul and Leto for a while? I hear there's some really good cheese pizza there this week."

Rosie handed her her pack. "Sounds like a great plan to me. There's one little problem, though."

"What's that?"

"Do you have any idea which way to go to get there?"

The room was dark—but not pitch black. The small light given off by glowing stars on the ceiling gave the room an eerie glow. She opened her eyes and looked around. Something wasn’t right. As if it hit her with a truck, she looked towards her clock. 5:47. ‘Why did I wake up three minutes early?’ she groaned in her mind. She lay in her bed for a few minutes before a fanfare blasted through the room. It sounded scarily akin to the theme tune to Red Dwarf, but she dismissed that thought as crazy. All of a sudden the baby pink blinds went up and light flooded the room.

She sat up and looked toward the door plastered with pictures expectantly. As if the world had read her mind a figure came bursting through the door.

“Good morning, bjam! Ready for your first day as the PPC morale officer?” the person voiced joyfully.

“Yeah, I am. Do you have all the stuff ready, Kay?” bjam answered as she stepped out of bed and stretched.

“Of course I do! I’ve been up for the past forty-seven hours perfecting everything. Now get your bum in the shower and get dressed,” Kay said whilst throwing a pile of clothes towards the still half-asleep female in front of her.

“Forty-seven hours! You’re so gonna fall asleep on the job today.”

“Never would I do such a thing. My position as assistant Morale Officer is very important to me. I would never jeopardize it by sleeping!”

Bjam murmured an inaudible remark as she went around the corner of the hallway to the showers.

The showering woman sung a Sondre Lerche song whilst washing her hair. Once she had finished she dried herself down with a towel and put on her clothes. ‘Trust Kay to pick out something bright and happy,’ bjam thought to herself as she put on a long red skirt, and a bright red button-up ¾ length shirt. She dried her hair quickly and ran back to her room, where Kay was waiting.

“Let’s go!” Kay said happily as she grabbed bjam’s hand and dragged her back through the door, barely leaving time for bjam to grab her wallet and keys.

Kay dragged bjam all through Headquarters. Round and round corners. Up and down stairs. And past lots of bemused agents smirking at the blonde-haired woman dragging a blur of pink around the building. Eventually Kay stopped and parked herself by a water fountain.

“Right. Here is your board. Stand here,” Kay ordered, handing bjam a board that read “Go PPC!” in bright red writing. The blonde ran off and left bjam standing with the positive, morale-boosting sign.

So bjam stood… and stood… and stood some more.

‘It’s only 2PM and I’m already bored,’ bjam thought to herself as she twirled her hair around.

“Excuse me,” a voice interrupted her thoughts.

“Yes,” bjam answered turning towards the voice. In front of her was… a blue elf? Bright orange hair flowed down his back and his bright blue skin hurt bjam’s eyes, which had become focused on the white of the floor tile.

“My friends and I were wondering,” he started, motioning towards a brown-haired elf, a long- and dark-haired human with a Newsies shirt, and a girl with short hair, which she was pawing at sadly. “What is your job here?”

Bjam sighed inwardly. So many people had been giving her looks asking the exact same questions, but none had dared ask her.

“I’m a morale officer. I wanted a job that didn’t involve killing, and it was this or serving the potatoes in the cafeteria.”

“Ah… so you don’t like potatoes?”

Bjam regarded the elf strangely. “No, I do. But only so many times can you make jokes to passer-bys about potatoes. If I was gonna be serving bananas it would’ve been a whole different story!”

This time it was the blue Elf that gave her a strange look. “Right. Well I’m Al’s Waiter, otherwise known as AW, Als, Al, Waiter, Rootbeer, Steak Sauce, Blue-elf, Blue-Boy, T.B.E. (The Blue Elf) and Hey You. But you can just call me AW. It’s much simpler.”

Bjam stared at AW. So many names. She only had her birth name, and her nickname: bjam. How could he remember so many names and be able to tell them in a heartbeat?

“Oh and my original name, but we don’t talk about that…” he said sadly. She wondered what his real name was… it couldn’t be that bad... Could it?



A few moments of that uncomfortable silence passed.

“Don’t you run the Multiverse Monitor?” the elf asked.

“Yeah, but that’s just a weekend job. Considering how everyone works during the week I wasn’t meeting anyone, so I figured I’d get another job!”


More of that silence.

Bjam cursed whoever was in charge of everything for creating uncomfortable silence. AW hopped from foot to foot gently.

“So… I best get back to work. Nice to meet you, bjam.”

“You too,” she replied as he wandered off with his friends.

‘I hate being a morale officer.’

Nenya turned to Rosie. "Well, good job done, I say. How 'bout we go find the cafeteria and pester Saml and Smeagul and Leto for a while? I hear there's some really good cheese pizza there this week."

Rosie handed her her pack. "Sounds like a great plan to me. There's one little problem, though."

"What's that?"

"Do you have any idea which way to go to get there?"

Nenya sighed. "Please don't ask me that. You know that when you do, it just results in both of us concentrating harder on finding our way, and so it takes twice as long to get anywhere."


The two agents dithered a bit about which direction to go—left, right, or the sloping corridor straight ahead—and finally chose the first. Right looked a bit spooky and dark, up looked like actual work to climb the slope, so left it was.

They had wandered for about fifteen minutes when they came upon a girl in a sandwich board. She was wearing a red skirt and a disillusioned expression. The board said "GO PPC!" in bright red marker. The agents stopped and stared.

"Nenya," said Rosie, "is that what I think it is?"

"Depends. If you think it's a person picketing the SO, you're probably right."

"Except that the sign says 'Go PPC' not 'Kill anything made of vegetable matter'."


The two agents stared at her for a few more minutes. Just as it looked like Rosie was about to actually address the girl, she spoke up.

"No, I'm not picketing. Yes, I'm an agent. And why don't you speak directly to me if you're curious about me?" she asked. There was a definite tinge of annoyance in her voice, the kind that comes from standing about all day and being ignored. Rather like writing pages of fanfic and only getting one review that says "wyrd stori rite more!1"

Nenya looked at Rosie. Rosie looked at Nenya. Nenya said, "So, who are you? I don't think I've seen you around before."

"Not," added Rosie, "that that means anything. She doesn't get out much."

Nenya glared at Rosie and turned a sweet smile on bjam. "So?"

"I'm your morale officer. Well, not really yours specifically. The PPC's. They said it's kind of like being a mascot, but so far all I've done is stand around and get stared at."

"Mascot? What, like a person dressed in a humourous stuffed bear outfit at a football game?"

Bjam shrugged. "I dunno. But my name's bjam. Not very bearlike."

Rosie turned to Nenya. "You think she might be able to tell us how to get to the cafeteria?"

Nenya shrugged. "Maybe." She turned to bjam. "Can you?"

Bjam thought for a moment, resting her chin on the top of her sandwich board. "To tell the truth," she said, "all I know about where I am is that I'm standing beside a water fountain."

Rosie looked deflated.

"But I haven't eaten in about eight hours, so I could maybe figure out where the Caf was just from the smells," bjam suggested helpfully.

"Will they let you leave your post?"

"They never told me to stay here."

Nenya grabbed bjam's arm in a manner reminiscent of someone shielding themselves from gunfire with another person's body. "C'mon then," she said, "lead the way. You can morale office, or whatever the verb for what you do is, just as well in the cafeteria."

"Okay." Bjam dug down into a pocket and produced a photo which she stared at for a few moments before shuddering slightly and covering her eyes with her hands.

"What was that?" asked Rosie.

"Oh, it's just another morale officer. Distracts me enough that I can find my way through Headquarters," bjam said innocently.

"Yes?" said Nenya, slightly suspiciously.

"Well, erm...."

Rosie grabbed the picture from bjam. Her jaw dropped open.

"What? What?" said Nenya, trying to see.

"Two words," said Rosie, twitching gently. "Nude. Talaxian."

It was quite surprising how fast they made it to the cafeteria after that.


Nenya's A/N: As usual, none of this belongs to me except for Agent Nenya. The Meaning of Liff is a rather funny book by Douglas Adams, in which he takes strange-sounding names of cities and towns and gives them the meanings of other words—words for things that don't have a name, but should. (For example, a Toronto is "something that comes out in a gush, despite all efforts to let it out gradually" (my paraphrase). Very amusing. The first and last sections of the story, dealing with Vemi's un-Sueing and Rosie & Nenya's encounter with bjam, were written by me, Nenya. The middle portion is by bjam—a first-person account of our beloved Morale Officer's first day on the job. Love the Morale Officer, feed the Morale Officer, recognize the Morale Officer! Long live bjam and Vemi!