This is the first part of the compiled, spliced, and edited log of the “2008 Mary Sue Invasion” role-play. It primarily covers the end of the Macrovirus Epidemic and the first stage of the Mary Sue Invasion up to the broadcast of the Sub Rosa's message. The writing in this section comes from the following Boarders:
The triumphant message from Igor was broadcast across HQ:
At latht, no more macrovirutheth! Nurthe Dewthtan programmed the cure into environmental controlth onthe the bugth were few enough and far enough between for anyone to path, immune or not. Meanwhile, we in Medical continued curing Athentth. That ith the good newth. The bad newth ith that we lotht over a thouthand Athentth. Let uth obtherve a moment of thilenthe.
Meanwhile, in DoSAT...
“I confirm the all-clear,” Dann said, double-checking the glowing readout hovering in midair.
“Joy,” Tess said, stretching. “Want to play guinea pig, or should I?”
“I’ll take care of it,” Dann said. “Try and keep the systems running, there’s going to be a lot of agents trying to come home, and I’m not sure if the system will be up to the strain. I’ll hike out and get those routers reset or replaced.”
“Very well,” Tess said, turning back to the master system display. “Try not to die, unplugging myself is never fun.”
The master system display, a massive spiderweb of glowing holographic threads and nodes, took up most of the two story virtual systems control center. It showed the status of the immense PPC computer system, and was currently not happy. Interfacing with the TARDISes that had been used for temporary response centers had not been easy on the old system, and the weeks of total lack of physical maintenance had led to several crashed routers and servers. The master system display was laced with red and yellow, with only a very little green visible.
Dann nodded, and jacked out. The huge, light-filled space of the virtual systems control center was replaced with reality – the cramped and dark emergency shelter he and Tess had thrown together weeks earlier at the start of the emergency. At one end was the airlock and the latrine, and then the hardware required to run both. Stuffed into the rest of the eight foot wide cylinder were a pair of network interface chairs, a stripped-down console, and a pile of ration boxes. The other end wall of the shelter had the portal device built into it. There were no windows in the metal walls, and the only light was provided by a string of Christmas tree lights run down the center of the ceiling.
Dann reached up and disconnected the fiber optic line from where it plugged into his skull, right behind his left ear. He’d had his VR jack installed in a much more friendly universe than Tess’s Matrix-verse hardware, he still winced every time he had to pull that massive needle out of her head.
Now, though, it was time for some other hardware. Dann pulled on his headset, and then started climbing into the space suit he’d worn while building the shelter.
“You there?” Tess asked, coming through into his ear.
“Yeah,” Dann said. “I’ve still got a couple hours of air left, that should be enough to get the network back up and make sure the macrovirus is gone.”
“Stay in that suit until you get solid confirmation,” Tess said.
“We’ve already heard it from Medical as well as our own systems,” Dann replied. “Honestly, I’m not too worried about false negatives.”
“And our systems consist of what?” Tess asked. “A tricorder duct-taped to the outside of our shelter?”
Dann stepped into the airlock, and cycled through it. Red lights came on as he opened the outside door, warning that the environment inside the airlock was no longer safe.
The shop was the exact same mess he’d left behind. Tools and parts were strewn everywhere, abandoned when they weren’t needed any longer. Dann pulled a tricorder out from his belt pouch, and started scanning the lab for traces of macrovirus.
“You have a point,” he conceded. “If you’re getting telemetry from the ’corder, I’ll leave it running while I fix the system.”
In the Department of Bad Slash...
‘Is it just me,’ said Agent Paddlebrains, ‘or have the sirens stopped?’
Agent Trojanhorse, her partner, put her head on one side and listened. ‘You might be right,’ she said, cautiously. ‘Shall we take down the barricade?’
‘None of the viruses have gone for the door yet today,’ the Animagus Agent said, indicating their now perforated door.
‘True. Let’s get this furniture shifted, then.’
After five minutes of huffing and puffing, Pads straightened up, cracking her back with a sigh. ‘Five weeks on a diet of old boots, Nobby’s old fag ends, and stale sausage-inna-bun is not a nourishing diet.’
‘Without it you’d be dead, macroviruses or not,’ said Trojie a tad defensively.
Pads reached over to give her partner a one-armed hug. ‘I’m sorry. I shall never question your kleptomania again,’ she added, grabbing at the dog’s collar as she lunged for the door.
‘I think Absinthe is keen to get out too,’ said Trojie. ‘The air in here’s getting stale and I don’t think the sausage-inna-bun was good for her digestion.’
‘It wasn’t good for anyone’s digestion,’ said Pads. ‘But that doesn’t mean that she should run out the door. If those viruses are still there I don’t give tuppence for her chances.’
Trojie tied her sniffer-dog to the console at the other end of the room, and then rejoined Pads by the door.
‘Well, at least we can check without opening the door,’ said the Animagus, peering out through one of the holes that macrovirus tail spikes had made in their soundproof, fireproof, but apparently not virus-proof Generic Grey door. ‘Aaaand ... there aren’t any viruses out there,’ she said.
‘They were crawling all over the place a week ago,’ Trojie said, putting her eye to another hole. ‘You’re right, they’re gone.’
‘We’re free!’ The two Bad Slashers did a brief and ecstatic jig in the middle of their RC.
‘I vote we head for Medical,’ said Pads seriously. ‘I bet our epic tale of survival on minimal tobacco and suspicious foodstuffs hasn’t been the norm. We should go and see if anyone needs help.’
‘I’ll get Absinthe. We shouldn’t split up.’
Trojie attached her dog’s lead and straightened up, then – ‘Marsha!’
‘We have to get to the Nursery first! I have to check on Marsha!’
‘Trojie, if those macroviruses can pierce a Triceratops’ hide I’ll be bloody amazed.’
‘Don’t care. Got to check.’ The veteran Bad Slasher could be willfully stubborn when it came to the subject of her reptilian foster daughter.
‘Fine.’ Pads went to dog, so that her nasal talents combined with those of Absinthe would give them all the best chance of actually getting somewhere useful in HQ, and also getting wind of macroviruses before they were in range. In a tight phalanx, the Bad Slashers proceeded down the eerily silent corridors of HQ.
The generator room of the Department of Dead Author Electricity Generation was silent. All the portals had been closed down to prevent the macrovirus infection reaching World One, Earth. Now this room was host only to the stationary, silent dead...
... and a burst of golden light from somewhere near the back of the chamber, which lit the space briefly, then sputtered and died. “Ow,” a pained voice said, and then lapsed into silence once more.
It was several minutes before there was a movement from near the source of the now-ended light. Eventually, a dark-haired figure in an ill-fitting PPC uniform staggered to the door and pushed. When it refused to open, the figure pulled a pen-sized device from her pocket and pointed it at the lock for a moment. There was a humming noise and a spark of blue light, and the door slid open, allowing the figure to step out into the better-lit lobby of DoDAEG. Spying a silver, mirrored filing cabinet, it bent over and peered at its reflection.
“Oh, confound it all,” Agent Morgan muttered, “not again. That’s the second time in as many years.” She sighed and ran a hand through her short black hair. “Still, could be worse. And at least I’m not blonde this time. Although I wish I wasn’t quite so short.” She stretched, listening to her joints popping as she did so. “I wonder how long I was dead... long enough for them to dump me in the morgue, at any rate.” She frowned. “And shouldn’t those... things still be around? It’s all very quiet.”
The newly-regenerated Time Lady walked over to the lobby’s main exit, pushed the door open, and peered out into the silent corridor. “Okay. No one’s here, but no one was here when I got back, either. Guess they were all evacuated while I was off on that trip. I wonder how long this’s been going on... and when they’re going to come back.” She sighed, stretched again, and stepped out of the door. “Guess I’d better go and find out.”
In the DMR/DoMSE&R labs, there were no shouts, no cheers, and no tears of joy, there was just silence. It was the silence of exhaustion, of forty tired people who suddenly have no reason to stay awake. In the 48 hours since the Macrovirus genome had been unraveled, and the cure prepared most of the scientists had averaged two hours sleep each.
Helen Gale tried to sit a little straighter in her chair; the screen on which the course of the cure was being plotted was flickering almost hypnotically. She raised her hands, noticing for the first time that she was still wearing a pair of protective gloves. It took three attempts to pull them off, her fingers clumsy from adrenaline fatigue. Helen blinked rapidly, trying to clear her vision, and peered round at the lab. The combined DMR and DoMSE&R workspace looked like a bomb had hit it, equipment was strewn across the benches, and pipettes, syringes, and beakers filled with unidentifiable liquid had been abandoned. The whole place stank of unwashed bodies, mixed with the smell of the acid being used to create the antigen.
Helen turned back to the screen again, the focus of attention for every other scientist and technician was showing the all clear. The Macrovirus had been eradicated. Helen briefly closed her eyes and took a deep, shaky breath, the next job would of course be to inform the Thistle and Echinacea that the crisis was over, and that they were standing down. She briefly considered trying to get through to her boss, and looked around for Mike Rudd, her opposite number in the DMR, but Mike was already asleep, supported by a bench.
“Ok guys, stand down!” she didn’t have the energy for an elegant speech. “And thanks, I think we won!”
A weak cheer was raised by a couple of people, but most simply turned to leave, or slumped down there they were. She agreed totally, there would be time to tell the flowers later!
Meanwhile, in FGenMS08, the Yarrow called on the Forget-Me-Not and Pipe-Weed. How soon can you be ready? it asked.
Twenty hours, said the Pipe-Weed.
Too long! snapped the Yarrow. Daelynn McSparklepants? it called to the Defective attending the Pipe-Weed.
Take that fool and infect it with the tobacco mosaic virus. The Venomous Tentacula will take its place.
NOOOOOO! wailed the Pipe-Weed as it was led away.
I must have the Sunflower Official dead by this time tomorrow! snapped the Yarrow. We deploy in no more than four hours!
It did not know that the mirror Ontic Laison had bugged its office.
Several hours later, the Venomous Tentacula and Forget-Me-Not’s forces were ready.
No more delays? asked the Yarrow. Good. When I give the signal. It paused. NOW!
A wave of one thousand Mary Sues, including two hundred fifty Spies capable of throwing Agents OOC, portalled into HQ.
Hidden away in the DIO Control Centre, Justin Agent sat bolt upright as every alarm in the room went off. He stared at the screen for a moment. “Holy Mahal,” he muttered, “please tell me I’m seeing things.” When no answer was forthcoming, he sighed. “Right. Okay. Fine. Brilliant.” Scowling, he pressed the large red button marked LOCKDOWN. The Department of Internal Operations would be sitting this one out.
Meanwhile, in Response Centre #1234, Trip glanced out of the door of their TARDIS, flamethrower in hand.
“Yes, that is correct,” Hegemony said. “The girlish screaming was quite unnecessary, Trip.”
“It was an involuntary response to terror!”
In Response Centre #1988...
“They’re gone?!” Ansela peered cautiously over the top of the sofa, P-90 aimed somewhere in the direction of the door. “They’re really gone?”
“We have no reason to disbelieve Igor’s message,” Risa stated, standing and brushing dirt off of her hakama. “Let us make our way down to Medical so that we may offer our assistance in cleaning up.”
“Sure,” Ansela stood as well, and almost literally bounced over to what was left of the Response Centre door. “I wonder who else made it through.”
A platoon of Sues and some Sue-enchanted Agents marched on DIO.
Meanwhile, in Medical, the Bashir Hologram portalled into Environmental Controls. He programmed in something called Sanitase into the controls. All over HQ the Spies lost control of the Agents, their pheromones broken down. The air smelled like Klatchian coffee.
In Response Centre #642...
“It’s quiet. Too quiet.”
Agent Archer rolled over and glared at his partner, his one eye bleary and bloodshot. “Alright. New rule – no quoting films at me when I’m trying to sleep.”
“I wasn’t quoting anything,” Agent Sabbat replied, with some heat. “And anyway, it’s your own bloody fault you’ve got a hangover. Nothing to do with me.” He took another drag of his cigarette, silently thanking all the Gods that he’d remembered to stock up in case of emergencies. If I hadn’t been able to light up this past month, I reckon I’d have gone insane... Not that you’re far off it normally, he corrected himself, and blew a smoke ring at his friend’s head.
Archer sat up. Then he groaned, put a hand to his head and collapsed back onto the bed, face-down, muttering something about ‘godsdamned human bloody godsdamned alcohol tolerance’. After an invective-laden monologue in a similar vein which continued for several minutes, he sat up again, more carefully this time, and asked “Why were you quoting that, just out of interest?”
“Wasn’t quoting. Listen.”
The vampire appeared to do so. Then he said “I don’t hear anything.”
“My point exactly. No sirens.”
“Do you suppose...?”
Sabbat looked at the door. I could chance it – but I don’t fancy getting spiked by one of those... things. “Don’t know. Could be, but then – could just be that everyone’s dead.”
“You want to?”
“Might as well.”
After a couple of minutes of preparation (and half an hour of trying to dismantle the barricade they’d erected in front of the door) the two Agents made their way out into the corridors, tentatively, stealthily, still ever so slightly drunkenly and rather on edge, their various weapons at the ready.
It would be a very unlucky agent who startled either of those two....
Some Beach Somewhere in the Multiverse...
“Cerrin, the TARDIS has received a message from HQ. The macrovirus outbreak is over, but it is still in lockdown.”
“So, we can just stay here for a while longer?” Cerrin pushed up her sunglasses and glanced over at Kana. “How are you wearing that shihakusho in this heat?”
“At least I’m not at risk of sunburn,” Kana said, surveying Cerrin’s polka-dotted bikini.
“Nope, just heatstroke!”
“...If you need me I’ll be inside the TARDIS awaiting further instruction from HQ.” Kana glared at her and stepped back inside the TARDIS (disguised as a brightly coloured beach hut). Cerrin smiled, sipped her Bleep-on-the-Beach happily and leaned back comfortably in her deckchair.
Deep in the bowels of HQ...
“We’re lost, ain’t we?” Ansela sighed and stared around at the Generic Grey Walls, which were presently spotted with blood and macrovirus slime from where someone had fought a battle against the monstrous creatures. The only light in the corridor was provided by the torch mounted on top of Ansela’s P-90 assault rifle. “We’re nowhere near Medical.”
“We would probably get there quicker if you ceased to think about how much you would like to get there,” Risa snapped back, her normally perfect control frayed after the indeterminably long siege. “Just hum something and don’t think. That should be easy for you.”
“Oi, what you tryin’ to say ’bout my...” Ansela trailed off as she spotted movement at the end of the corridor, “Who’s there? We’re Agents, not macrothingies.”
“Agents? What Department?” Something moved in the shadows, a black figure barely showing in the light of Ansela’s torch. Despite this, both Agents could tell that she, for it was surely a woman, was stunningly beautiful. Her raven tresses flowed to her knees like a waterfall, and her gold-flecked amethyst eyes shone like a thousand suns as she smiled beautifully at them. Her full, red lips parted slightly to reveal blood-stained fangs, which glistened in the darkness. Her black dress shimmered as she moved, revealing subtle blood red highlights which caught the light and hypnotised the two unsuspecting Floaters, while showing off her perfect bosom and well-rounded hips. Somehow she was managing to walk on ten inch heels, which made her tower over both Ansela and Risa, without toppling over.
Neither Floater moved, except to take their hands away from their weapons, caught as they were in the Suvian Spy’s spell. As the Sue walked past them she trailed a hand over each of their cheeks, smiling slightly as she did so. “Ah, not that it matters, my thralls. Come with me, and help me bring down this pathetic establishment so that my sisters and I may rule the Multiverse.”
Just around the corner, Agent Morgan leant back against the wall with a scowl. “Well,” she muttered, “this looks like a fine mess. Mary-Sues in HQ... who’d have thought it?” Then she frowned. “Well, admittedly it happened last time, too, but... surely someone did something about that Factory. I’m sure the SO said it’d been destroyed.”
With an exasperated sigh, the Assassin straightened up. “Okay, we’ve got at least one ’Sue wandering around, and maybe more. I’m completely unarmed, and my trousers are too long. Choices... not very many. I can go back to my RC, go find my TARDIS, or hunt down the SO and find out what’s going on.” She peered around the corner again, and then jumped back. “Or I can stop monologuing when there’s a dozen ’Sues heading towards me. Brilliant, Morgan, absolutely brilliant.” With a grimace, she turned and headed in the other direction. “Right, SO’s office it is.”
And in New Caledonia...
The Building Maintenance team had for the past month been doing construction work in the town since the emergency evacuation.
“I hate roadwork,” Denny muttered. The general work in the area, and the earmuffs he was wearing made it hard for him to hear anything. The fact that he was operating the steamroller had something to do with it.
It turned out that a great deal of older Agents tired of living in Response Centers had liked the extended amount of time they were spending on Earth enough that they had applied to work from there. Which meant the town needed expanding.
By the side of the road someone waved and was yelling towards him.
“Hang on!” He jumped from the ’roller’s seat and walked over, taking the earmuffs off once he was close enough.
“What is it, Gerry?”
The woman who was the nominal assignment handler for BM was excited. “HQ is open again! Quarantine is over!”
“Definitely not. Medical announced it, and the radio station’s been carrying the message for awhile now.”
“Well, that means we’ve got to get moving. Gather everyone up, and tell the construction guys we’re leaving, we’ll have repairs to do!”
It was nearly two hours later when the group of about twenty finally arrived at the warehouse that their part of the Department of Operations had set up as their quarters.
Colt looked around. “It looks like we’re all here,” he said.
“What do we do now? Besides going back.” Someone in the back asked.
Everyone looked expectantly at Denny and Rosedale, the two who were currently had been in their particular section of the DO the longest.
“There’s no way that we’re going to be able to start work immediately, there’s too much to do. We do need to figure out the areas that need work done the soonest.” Denny looked at Rosedale. “That sound like a good idea?”
The oldest man in the group nodded. “We’ll split up into our normal shifts and work that way. Everyone take something to write with and gaffing tape. Shift five, you’ll start from our main RCs, four, portal to the area the DOGA RCs are in. Three, start in Bad Slash, two from the cafeteria. My shift will go to Medical, since Colt is the only dedicated electrician and we’ll from there to DoSAT.”
Denny nodded. “Everyone make sure they have their radios on them, and guns. Make sure you have ammo, but you better keep the safety on. Better safe than sorry.”
“Power is probably going to be out for most of the building,” Colt said.
“Torches too, then,” Gerry told them.
After much mixed-language swearing and searching for equipment, Building Maintenance portalled on.
The first shift came out just where they had planned, near Medical. Like Colt had mentioned, the halls were dark. The electrician frowned. “You’d think someone would have gone to DoDAEG first thing,” he muttered as he turned on his flashlight.
Denny pointed his down a hall that was completely collapsed. “Jesus, Eru and Tymora,” he said. “We have our work cut out for us.”
Gerry looked up from the rubble she was inspecting, with a slightly sick expression. “Ssh! There’s something wrong here. I know, I’m about to puke.”
Rosedale shone his flashlight at her face. “She’s right, she looks about to puke.”
“Shut up, Rosedale, it isn’t funny.”
There was a noise down the hall Denny had looked at.
“Someone’s coming.” Colt looked at Denny, and took the safety off his gun.
Denny shone his flashlight in that direction once more. “Who’s there?”
In Response Center #343, Agent Bart of the Department of Implausible Crossovers deactivated the barricade, convinced that the bugs were dead.
He left and saw Agents Stoneship and Ethelfritha in the thralldom of a Gary Stu. “MAKES-THIIIIINGS!” he yelled as he drew his sword, a Sue’s copy of Ringil, and charged the overloaded Stu.
“Stop!” yelled his partner, Agent Canta Enquëo, too late. For the Stu made Stoneship draw her phaser and vaporize Bart.
Agent Morgan kicked a fallen chunk of Generic Surface that was lying on the floor, more out of spite than to clear her path. “Stupid, stupid HQ,” she muttered savagely. “Lost lost lost. Where am I even going?” She thought. “SO’s office, right. And where am I?” That required a bit more work. She poked through a nearby heap of rubble until she found the remains of a sign, and then took a few more moments to straighten it out. “Medical. Joy.” She sat down on the rubble pile. “Yippee-yay.”
There was a flare of blue light, and a group of people appeared a dozen or so metres away. Morgan froze, hoping that she would blend into the background should they happen to look her way. Sure enough, one shone a torch across the rubble she was seated on, but didn’t seem to notice her. She leant forward, trying to hear them, or see enough to judge whether they were PPC or Suvian. Unfortunately, her elbow knocked against a chunk of rubble, which clattered to the floor. She winced and froze, but the torch was aimed firmly in her direction now. “Who’s there?” a male voice asked.
Morgan sighed and stood up. Still, at least they didn’t sound like ’Sues. “Agent Morgan, DMS,” she said wearily. “I was... trapped in here when the viruses came, and then with the ’Sues, I’ve been trying to reach the SO’s office. I’m a little lost.” She blinked. “Who are you, anyway?”
The members of Building Management shared various looks of alarm.
“Sues? At HQ?” Colt looked at her suspiciously. “How do we know you’re no—Hey, watch it with that thing!” Gerry had beaned him with her flashlight.
“Shut up, moron, she’s not a Sue. I’d be puking if she was. Stupid Aura of Smooth...” muttered Gerry.
“We’re from Building Maintenance,” Rosedale said. “I’m Rosedale, and that’s Colt, Denny, and Gerry.” He indicated each of the other members with his own flashlight.
“And what do you mean, there’re Sues here?” Denny frowned. “There should be enough people back by now to have dealt with that.”
Morgan brushed her hair back from her face. “Building maintenance?” Reaching down, she picked up a chunk of Generic Surface and lobbed it onto the pile. “You haven’t been doing a very good job, have you?” Sighing, she walked towards them. “And, look, I don’t know what’s going on any more than you do. I just, er, recovered from my injuries, and I saw this ’Sue taking control of a couple of Agents. That’s all I know, but the way she was talking, I think there’s more.” She stopped in front of Colt, and then glanced down. “Oh, hey, nice gun,” she said, snatching it out of his hand before he had a chance to react. “Beretta 92F? Could do worse. What’ve you got, 9x19mm Parabellum cartridge? Not my first choice but I... suppose...” She shook her head rapidly as if trying to clear it. “Right. Sarcastic, impulsive, obsessed with guns. Just my luck.” Gingerly, she handed the pistol back to Colt. “Sorry. I’m not used to me yet.”
“We’ve been in New Caledonia for the last month, since the quarantine was put in place,” Denny told her. “Hard to repair a building full of lethal bugs.”
Colt was fairly surprised. “Uh yeah, 9mm Luger, right?” He looked towards Gerry, who nodded. “Yeah, guess so. And we’re DO, we don’t usually need weapons.”
Rosedale agreed. “Not usually, but if there are Sues here, we’re going to need them.”
“And what do you mean, not used to yourself, yet?” Gerry asked. She switched her gun’s safety off as well.
Morgan nodded. “I see. Suppose it’s a good thing you’ve got them. Wish I did.” She ignored Gerry in the hope that the problem would go away. “Look, these ’Sues are a very big problem, and I’m – like I said – unarmed, so could I get an escort to the SO’s office? Or, who was it last time... the Sub Rosa’s would do. Or the Tiger Lily. Someone who can help. You know?”
Denny and Rosedale exchanged a quick look. “There’s not much we can do here,” Rosedale said. “And we already planned on scouting the rest of the building out for what needs to be done.”
“We might as well,” Denny told her.
Gerry pulled out her radio, letting Morgan get away with having ignored her. “Gerry to all shifts. Anyone hear me?” There were various replies of affirmation from its speaker. “We’re moving out from the area around Medical. Several of the walls over here are rubble and there’s no lighting. We found an Agent and taking them to one of the Flowers. And make sure you have your guns, guys and girls, there’re Sues!” She hung it back on her belt. “Well, which way? You can lead.”
“Why can’t we le—” Colt was once again banged with a flashlight. “Will you stop doing that!?”
“We’re playing escort. And shut up.”
Morgan blinked. “Are you sure you’re with the PPC?” she asked, and then, “Never mind. Okay... I say we go and find the Sub Rosa. Intelligence usually knows what’s going on, but they’re not an obvious target, in case these ’Sues are more organised than they look. So that would be... this way?” She pointed down a corridor. “Right, that way. I wonder where Traf is?” she added randomly. “Hope she’s safe... ugh. Time for that later, Morgan.” She glanced back at the Building Maintenance team. “You coming or what?”
“We’re coming,” Gerry said, and the BM shift followed.
Rosedale gave Morgan a slight look of concern. “Is Traf your partner?”
“I’m pretty sure we’re PPC,” Denny said. “No other way we could have gotten these nice flashpatches,” he told her dryly, as he indicated his. There was a hammer underneath the normal DO quail. “And better the Sub Rosa than the Nightshade or the SO.” His voice indicated his low opinion of the two Flowers. “I don’t go to the DO Head for anything, if I can help it. And the SO...” He muttered various swearwords under his breath.
“Not every Agent is completely out of their gourd. The DO tends to be a bit more sane. But the janitors are still psychotic,” Colt told her in a flippant manner.
“Nothing teaches relative patience like constantly repairing walls. But I’m the only one who’s really been out in the field,” Gerry commented. “On actual missions, instead of getting to rebuild a completely destroyed canon building or five.”
“Yeah, she’s my partner,” Morgan clarified. “So far as I know she’s all right, but I had to go on a little trip just before the macrothingies showed up. You wouldn’t believe what’s going on in Limpley Stoke.” She shook her head. “But, y’know, I’ve not had a lot’ve contact with DO... wouldn’t even recognise your flashpatch, I’m afraid. Your Head’s the Nightshade, though? I remember her, she’s the reason the SO just announced that reorganising of the Board of Flowers. Eh.” She looked around, blinking. “Are we there already? Is that even possible?”
“That depends on where you were going,” a female voice said, and a figure stepped out of the shadows. “Hello, Agent Morgan, Denny, Rosedale, Gerry, Colt. My name’s Architeuthis. The Sub Rosa would like to see you... we’ve been expecting you.”
Colt raised his gun in surprise, but before he pulled the trigger both Denny and Gerry knocked him into the nearest wall, causing the bullet to fire inches away from Architeuthis.
“No more guns for you,” Denny said roughly, pulling the Beretta out of Colt’s hand. “Sorry about that, he’s usually brain fried. Too much playing with electricity.”
“We don’t shoot first, as much as we like to,” Gerry said, agreeing.
Denny pulled Colt off the floor and looked towards Morgan. “You want to use this?” He offered the gun to her.
Rosedale apologized once more on Colt’s behalf to the surprised Intelligence agent. “We should have expected something like that to happen, sorry.”
“You were saying, you’re gonna take us to the Sub Rosa, right?” Gerry asked.
Morgan took the pistol with an almost reverent air. “That is a nice gun,” she murmured, and tucked it into her belt. Then she frowned. “Hey, Spy, you didn’t happen to expect us enough to get me a properly-sized uniform?”
Architeuthis was staring at the bullet hole in the wall next to her head. “Er... what?” She turned back to Morgan. “Oh. No, sorry. We knew you’d regenerated, but the system’s not good enough to get a clear picture.” She blinked. “Right. Sub Rosa’s office. It’s this way.” She turned and walked briskly down the corridor. Morgan shrugged, and followed.
Following the Intelligence Agent, Denny was engaged in a furious whispering lecture for Colt, which beyond listing why he was never going to be given a gun again, was also telling the electrician what would be done if Denny ever found him with a gun again. Rosedale was doing his best to prevent Denny from threatening Colt with immurement in the style of “The Cask of Amontillado.”
Gerry, on the other hand, had focused on what Architeuthis had said. “Wait, regenerate?” She quickly went over in her mind the canons she knew. “You’re a Time Lord? Er, Time Lady?” Gerry looked surprised. “I’d heard we had a few of you in the PPC, but I never expected to run into one.”
Morgan sighed. “Yes, I am. I try not to let it get around, you know how it is. Everyone always asks for free trips in my TARDIS and all. But yeah. I got killed by the macrowhatsits and then woke up in the morgue. DoDAEG, I think. Hey, Archy,” she said, looking across at the Spy, “speaking of which, how long was I out?”
“Around three days, apparently,” Architeuthis replied. “And no, we’re not sure why. Tentative hypothesis is that the macrovirus somehow slowed your regeneration, but that’s just guessing, honestly.”
Morgan raised an eyebrow. “And here I thought you knew everything.”
Architeuthis smiled slightly. “Not quite,” she said. “Okay, here we are.” She pointed to a door set into the wall.
“Wouldn’t blame you for wanting to keep that quiet,” Rosedale said.
“Well, TARDISes became standard equipment last month,” Denny told her. He had finally finished chewing Colt out.
“Yeah, we had helped DoSAT get them out to everyone in the field. Makes-Things started the operation, and once he got killed, Techno-Dann took over,” Gerry said, softly.
“Anyways, let’s get this over with, right?” Colt opened the door to the Sub Rosa’s office.
Morgan froze. “... you’re joking right?” She looked around at the four. “Please tell me you’re joking.” Seeing their expressions, she sighed. “Brilliant. Absolutely brilliant. My planet gets destroyed, and now the last vestige of it gets turned into a piece of tech for the PPC to abuse at will? Brilliant.”
While I sympathise entirely, the Sub Rosa said, I think we have more important things to deal with. Come in, dears. Architeuthis, please close the door.
The Spy nodded, ushered the group in, and shut the door behind them.
Thank you. Now then, we’ve been discussing the situation, and we’d like to hear your thoughts. She gestured with a frond to the Tiger Lily and Captain Dandy, who stood flanking her. We really, really hope you can help.
Rosedale was the first to speak up. “We didn’t hear that there were Sues in the building until we encountered Morgan. Apparently they—”
The radio squawked. “This is shift four to all other shifts!” The speaker was panicking. “We’ve just seen about thirty Sues near the DOGA RCs—oh God I can’t deal with this, I don’t do Sues!”
Gerry grabbed at it and nearly shouted into it. “Mark, calm down! Just get everyone out of there, portal out if you need, there aren’t enough of you to deal with that!”
Another speaker began to talk. “Gerry, this is Tarmac from shift two, there’s a whole hallway here completely collapsed near the Cafeteria. We’ll try and get Mark and his guys out if we can, he’s never been too good at following directions.”
Denny took the radio. “Tarmac, that sounds like a good idea. Just don’t get anyone killed or Sued, alright?”
“Sure thing, Denny. Where are you guys, anyway?” Tarmac’s voice crackled over the radio.
“In the Sub Rosa’s office.”
“So things are clear over there?”
“I hope so, some of the Flowers are in here.”
“Alright. We’re out.”
The radio sighed as it stopped receiving. “Well, I guess that said it all,” Gerry spoke. “My guess is that it’s gonna be like that everywhere else. And what was it that you had said, Morgan? Something about Agents getting controlled?”
“Oh, yeah.” Morgan nodded. “I saw a couple of Agents – Floaters, I think – bump into this ’Sue... I can’t really describe it any other way, she took control of them somehow.”
“We’ve had other data on that,” Architeuthis put in. “A pair of what looked like Agents shot a Slasher, while a ’Stu looked on. We weren’t sure what to make of it, but... that makes sense.”
A disturbing amount of sense, Captain Dandy agreed. Sub Rosa, I believe this is the League of Mary-Sue Factories at work.
Agreed, the Sub Rosa said. And that means we need to deal with the invasion, and then see what we can do about them.
As to the invasion, the Tiger Lily said, I know my Department’s smaller than we used to be, but combined with the Weeds we can be very effective. That means we just need...
... a way to trap the ’Sues, the Sub Rosa finished, turning back to the group of Agents. And that, my friends from Operations, is why you’re here. Give us your ideas.
“Our group is small too, ma’am,” Rosedale said. “But we’re not trained for assassination.”
“Except for me,” Gerry said. She grinned.
“We have no idea how to trap a Sue,” Rosedale continued on.
“Not really, Rosedale. It looks like we have a lot of work to do anyways, and I hate to suggest it, but maybe explosives. Take the walls and ceilings down on them.” Denny said. “We’ve got demolition equipment already, it’d only be a matter of getting it in place. We can always rebuild, with help.”
“You’re insane if you think I want to help blow the whole place up from the inside,” Colt told him. “You guys have the easy jobs, I’m the one who’d have to rewire everything once it’s fixed!”
“It doesn’t have to just be the whole place,” Denny argued. “And besides, the place gets destroyed all the time. Us doing it would be a one time thing.”
“We could try and lure them,” Gerry pointed out. “There has to be something we could use to do that.”
“Half of the place is torn to pieces anyway,” Morgan pointed out. “Couldn’t you... I dunno... stick it all to the ceiling and drop it on them?” She looked around at their faces. “What? – no, okay, not.”
I think perhaps you misunderstand, the Sub Rosa said gently. We have people to do the killing. You are the people who do the building. Build us an army worthy of Mordor.
I think you’ve got the wrong film there, Captain Dandy murmured.
Ah, I see it. Er, build us a trap. A very large trap.
“What about walling up most of the doors to the cafeteria?” Architeuthis put in. “They could do that, and we could... um... lure the ’Sues in. Somehow.”
“That’s a better idea than what Denny was suggesting,” Rosedale commented.
“Getting them in and walling the cafeteria up could work... I guess the assassins would take care of it from there?” Denny asked, rhetorically.
“The food could help kill them,” Colt joked.
“Not funny, we eat it too.”
Gerry nodded. “Actually, you sure we couldn’t do that explosives idea and just take out the cafeteria in general? It’d improve morale, I bet. ...Okay, no explosives, I get it.”
“But how would we get them in there? It’s not like we have any bait or way to get them in there,” Denny said.
“I’m out of ideas,” Morgan said. Architeuthis nodded agreement.
The three Flowers conferred for a moment, and then the Sub Rosa said, We were wise to bring you here; you’ve given us a plan. Now we need two things... bait, and a larger army. For this, we need to contact the rest of the PPC... Architeuthis, if you would set up the system to broadcast to all TARDISes?
The Sub Rosa stood before her console. In every one of the TARDISes that constituted the fragmented PPC, her image appeared on the monitor screen. I hope you can all hear me, the Head of the Department of Intelligence said. 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. They have taken over the minds of certain of our own Agents. Their purpose can be nothing less than the total destruction of the PPC. She looked to one side for a moment. That’s getting kind of old, so we’re going to stop them.
To that end, we require the assistance of all weapon-trained Agents. The doorways to the HQ Cafeteria are to be walled up – all except one. Through that door we will funnel the Mary Sues, and then, once we have them, we will kill them all. She looked nonplussed for a moment. Unfortunately, while we have teams standing by to wall up the doors, we are rather lacking in any way to lure the ’Sues into the cafeteria; we doubt they will come if we simply ask them nicely. Therefore, if any Agents have any ideas as to what can be used as bait – we’re looking particularly at the Department of Mary-Sue Experiments and Research here – we would appreciate them putting it into practice immediately.
The Rose Bush looked into the screen intently. 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.