This is the sixth part of the compiled, spliced, and edited log of the “2008 Mary Sue Invasion” role-play. It primarily follows Agents Archer, Anjilly, and Brenden as they search for Archer’s partner, Sabbat. The writing in this section comes from the following Boarders:
“Anj, we’re killing the things, not performing exorcisms.”
“Yeah, but I like to be prepared.”
Brenden Sanderson scowled impatiently as his partner, Anjilly Ka, picked through her stash of canon. “Should I bring all three LOTR, or just one? What about The Silmarillion?”
Brenden sighed, yanked the books out of Anjilly’s grasp, and shoved a blaster into her hands before picking up a Z-6 rotary blaster cannon. Anjilly stared at the six-barreled weapon.
Brenden shoved some thermal detonators into his pockets before turning to her with a manic grin. “Come on! Let’s go!” He opened the RC door and charged out. A moment later, Anj heard blaster fire and war cries.
“And I thought people from Naboo were supposed to be pacifists,” she grumbled, taking a moment to grab a copy of Phantom Menace before hefting her blaster and leaving the RC.
Agent Archer stuck his head around the door, half-hoping that his partner was somewhere in the crowds of wounded. He didn’t want him to be hurt, of course, but it would mean that he knew where he was.
“Excuse me,” he asked, addressing his remarks to the whole room in the hope of getting at least one answer. “Has anyone in here seen my partner? He’s got long black hair, dark skin, and is probably carrying more weapons than an entire army. Anyone?”
Lora carried the unconscious Rouge into Medical, her android strength easily bearing the slight young man. The Technical Errors agent had lost a lot of blood, but he was still breathing. It was fortunate that Lora and her partner had come along when they did.
April trailed behind Lora, her hand going frequently to stroke her daemon on her shoulder. This was hardly the first time April had seen battle in HQ, but she couldn’t help being unsettled. It was something that one could never get used to.
An agent April didn’t know stuck his head in and asked about the whereabouts of his partner. April spoke up. “I think we saw him on our way here. It was somewhere near our RC... number 1701.”
“Thank you very much, miss.” Archer gave the female Agent a quick bow and a smile of thanks, wondering all the while where in the worlds or out of them RC 1701 was.
Asking for directions wouldn’t be any use though, considering the complexity of HQ’s dimensions, and from the look of the young man the Agent’s companion was carrying, she had more important things to attend to than showing a random Agent the way to her RC.
“Do you... need any help?” he asked.
April returned the Agent’s smile. “You’re welcome. I hope you find him.” She’d lost partners before, herself, and it wasn’t something she’d ever wish on anyone. She glanced at Lora, who was still holding on to Rouge. “Erm, perhaps you’d be kind enough to point out the nearest nurse? I’m not in Medical very much, and I don’t see any personnel I know.”
Archer looked around. He’d only been in Medical once before, and that time he’d been carrying a partner who’d had his shoulder sliced open by a Mini-Razor. Unsurprisingly, then, he hadn’t been paying much attention to the staff.
“I’m afraid I have only a passing knowledge of this place myself, so I can’t really help you. However, I believe all the nurses have green armbands on, so perhaps you should look for someone who’s wearing one.”
April should have remembered the armbands. Perhaps her memory was suffering from having gotten no sleep for the last three days. “Thank you. Good luck finding your partner.”
Lora pointed out a woman in a green armband on the far side of the room and began to walk toward her. April followed, after saying a quick good-bye to the helpful Agent.
“Don’t mention it,” Archer replied, sincerely glad that he had been able to help. “And thank you for the good wishes.”
After saying goodbye to the agent, Archer left the room, still wondering how he was going to get to RC 1701.
You had to keep your mind blank, didn’t you? Yes, that was it. Or distract yourself with something.
Well, that at least he could do – worrying about Sabbat (or rather, worrying about whoever Sabbat had ‘met’) was something that took up most of his thoughts.
The fact that he was so deep in thought was probably the reason he didn’t notice the figure coming towards him until he collided with it.
“Sorry,” Anjilly grumbled, picking herself and her blaster up off the floor. She offered a hand to the man she’d inadvertently bowled over, whom she assumed was an agent. He didn’t have the general atmosphere of a Stu, anyways. “Anjilly Ka, DMS. Who the heck are you?”
Before he could answer, there was an explosion of blasterfire and manical laughter from down the corridor. Anjilly sighed. “And that’d be Brenden Sanderson, my weapons-crazed native-to-Star-Wars partner.”
Archer took the woman’s hand gratefully, and scrambled to his feet.
“I’m sorry about that, Miss Ka. William Archer, DoF, at your service.” He bowed, then realised that this wasn’t perhaps the best time for pleasantries. Also, from the sound of the gunfire and maniacal laughter, it probably wasn’t the best time for long conversations. However, he did need to find that RC.
“Do you happen to know where I can find RC 1701? My partner’s gone missing, and someone said she saw him near there.”
“I think it’s down that way,” Anj said, waving a hand vaguely towards Brenden’s maniacal laughter. “If you like, Brenden and I could come with you to find it—” She broke off as her partner came careening down the hallway, Z-6 rotary blaster cannon in hand and a slightly insane grin plastered on his face. “Um... Brenden?”
“Anj! Patches! Let’s go!” he exclaimed giddily. “I just lobbed three thermal detonators at ’em!”
“Sweet merciful Valar,” Anjilly swore, grabbing Archer’s hand and pulling him down the hallway after her trigger-happy partner, trying to put as much distance between herself and the detonators before they blew.
Archer had no idea what a ‘thermal detonator’ was, but he guessed from the expression on the female agent’s face that it was probably dangerous. So he ran. Very fast.
The whole situation seemed ever so slightly familiar, but then, when you’re a PPC assassin, it’s not that unusual to come across weapon-crazed people with an issue about safe distances.
But even as he sprinted away from whatever was about to happen, he could only think of one thing to ask: “Why did he just call me ‘Patches’?”
“Must be the eyepatch,” Anj explained as she ran. “Brenden tends to nickname.”
“Oh” Archer pondered his new soubriquet. “I like it. No-one’s ever given me a nickname before.”
Except for Sabbat, of course, but he wasn’t really going to say what his partner had called him. At least, not in front of a lady.
“So,” he asked, as they rounded a corner, “what exactly is a ‘thermal detonator’?”
“This,” said a glose-eyed Twi’lek holding a high-tech bomb.
Agent Iskillion arrived, in his usual telepathic Human morph. He put the Sue under voice-command and said “Deactivate it.” The Sue did so. “Help us hunt the other Sues down.”
“You have no right to do this!” yelled the Sue as she and Iskillion left.
“Did you have the right to do it to us?” asked Iskillion. “Help us kill them, do not kill Agents, and do not warn the Sues.” So saying, he demorphed, leaving the orders ensconced in the Sue’s brain.
Archer watched with some confusion as the...human?...with the coloured skin – no, it couldn’t be a human – did what the Agent commanded without arguing (much).
A hypnotist? A mind-magician? Well, I never knew there were any of those in the PPC. Still, that’s one detonator dealt with. What about the oth-
Anjilly flinched as the explosion from Brenden’s blasted bombs shoved herself and her companions forward a good ten feet and onto the ground. Brenden was up immediately, whooping.
“Good Force! That was gorgeous!”
“You should’ve been in DOGA,” Anj grumbled, staring up at the ceiling for a few seconds before grunting and pushing herself off of the ground. She glanced at Archer, who was doing the same. “And that, my friend, is a thermal detonator. Basically a high-tech hand grenade from the Star Wars-verse. Glaurung it, Brenden, you used too many.”
“Never too many, Anj,” Brenden smirked. “How’re you doing there, Patches?”
Archer scrambled to his feet for the second time that morning, ears still ringing from the blast. His vampire hearing meant that the sound had seemed even more painfully loud, and he just knew that he was going to get a headache later on. I suppose it’s a trade-off with the immortality.
Trying to focus on his companions’ words, he caught the tail end of a question, and hazarded a response. “I’m...alright, I think. You know, I think you should meet my partner someday. I’m sure you and he would get on like a house on fire.”
“Really?” Brenden asked, quirking an eyebrow. “Hmm. I think I’ll have to meet this partner of yours... What did you say his name was?”
“Ugh,” Anjilly groaned. “Don’t encourage him. Please. Speaking of your partner, shall we go looking for the guy? I’m pretty sure Brenden’s glaurunging thermal detonators took care of the Sues down there, so we should be able to find that RC...”
Archer smiled, and then winced as a stab of pain shot through his head. “It’s Sabbat, Raphael Sabbat – although please don’t tell him I told you his first name. And, if you know where I might find this RC, Miss Ka, I would be pleased if you would accompany me.”
“Sure,” Anjilly said. “Um... back towards where we were, I guess... Oh, and feel free to call me Anj. Though the whole ‘Miss’ thing is rather nice. HQ needs more nice, polite men like you.” She looked at her partner pointedly. Brenden was busily checking the barrels on his Z-6.
“What?” he asked when he saw her looking at him. She groaned and shrugged.
They headed back to where they’d been.
“Almighty Valar, Brenden, you melted the walls!!!” Anjilly exclaimed. He smiled dreamily.
“I know. Isn’t it beautiful?”
“Are those tears in your eyes?”
He sniffed, smiled, and wiped his eyes, still gazing like a loving parent at his handiwork. “Maybe.”
Anjilly groaned, picking her way through the melted corridor and glitter stains to another hallway. “Alright, Archer. I think it’s this way... ”
Anj. Archer rolled the word around his mind for a moment, then smiled. Yes. I like that.
He followed his new companions down the hallway, and was slightly surprised by the strength of feeling with which Brenden (that was his name, wasn’t it?) regarded his handiwork. Only slightly, though – he’d seen a similar expression on Sabbat’s face when the other man had just effected a particularly ‘nice’ kill, and it had evoked from him the same sort of reaction as Anj had just given.
I’m really beginning to like these two, he thought.
“Thank you... Anj. If there’s any way I can repay the favour...”
“I’ll hold you to that,” Anj smirked. “C’mon. Let’s go find your partner.”
“Think there’s anymore Sues to kill?” Brenden asked hopefully, patting his Z-6. Anj rolled her eyes.
“I don’t think so.”
“Can it, Brenden. Let’s go. I think that RC’s down this way...”
“If I may point out Anj, you’ve never had the best sense of direction.”
And the trio walked down the hallway, trying very hard to not pay attention to where they were going.
Archer was slightly worried by the smirk on the female agent’s face, but he dismissed the fear as irrational. After all, she seemed relatively sane, unlike her partner. But then, were there any agents in the PPC who were entirely sane? He stopped that train of thought dead in its tracks – this was no time to be questioning the mental states of the people he was counting on to help him find Sabbat (especially when one of them was carrying a large gun).
Need a topic of conversation. Something distracting...Ah! I know!
The vampire agent turned to Anjilly and attempted a conversational tone (failing rather dismally). “So... um... er... how did you join the PPC?”
Oh Gods above, I sound like an idiot.
Brenden answered before Anjilly could. “Well, I was born on Naboo in the first days of the Galactic Empire. Always wanted to join the Rebellion and fight against Palpatine. Any excuse to explode something. So one day, about a year ago, I’m driving my speeder bike out to meet some guy who I hope can get me to the Rebellion, when WHAM—took a straight dive into a plothole. Not fun. Wound up right in front of the Marquis de Sod.” He grinned. “I decided that fighting against the Sues is more important than fighting against the Empire. Any excuse to explode something. Besides, we win anyway...”
Anjilly rolled her eyes. “Brenden’s a walking oxymoron. He’s from one of the most pacifistic planets in Star Wars, yet he’s practically addicted to weapons.”
“Aren’t we all?” Brenden grinned.
“Anyways,” said Anj, ignoring her partner. She took a deep breath, preparing to give her story on coming to the PPC. “I came to the PPC from the Real World about a year ago when I fell through a plothole created by my school’s screwed-up administration when they decided to play God with the days of the week again and made Thursday have a Tuesday class schedule, there was an extra chapel talk, a different schedule when it comes to buffet meals versus seated meals, and, quite randomly, no class on Saturday. All in all, a recipe for disaster.”
Brenden leaned toward Archer and whispered conspiratorially, “Don’t worry. Half the time, I don’t know what she’s talking about, either. But it makes sense to her, so I let her think I know what she’s saying.”
She whacked him across the head. “I can hear you, you know. So, Archer, how’d you find the PPC? Because if we don’t keep talking, Trigger-Happy here will either do or say something stupid.”
Archer was a little surprised to have his own question turned against him, although on reflection he realised he ought to have expected it. Clearing his throat, he tried to work out how to explain the chain of circumstances that had led to his own and Sabbat’s arrival at the PPC.
“Well, it depends whether you want the short story or the long one. In very basic terms, myself and Sabbat were chasing a... personal enemy... who, being a magician, managed to create a portal to another dimension just when we had caught up with him. He leapt through, Sabbat followed, and I, being rather stupidly emotionally attached to him, followed him. I’m not quite sure what happened next – all I can remember is that it was very dark, and very cold. Almost like being dead, but not quite, if you understand me.”
He paused, coughed again, and continued.
“So, anyway, we ended up falling out of a portal into someone’s RC – I don’t know where the man we were chasing went, because he certainly wasn’t there with us – and being taken off to see the SO. When it had decided that we were not dangerous, well, not dangerous in a bad way, it asked us if we wanted to become agents. I liked the idea of furthering the cause of good writing, Sabbat liked the idea of getting to kill people without the threat of being hanged for it and, well, to cut a long story short, we accepted. I’m afraid it’s not as interesting a story as either of yours, though.”
“Meh, it’s not that uninteresting,” Brenden shrugged. “No explosions, though. Pity. Anj, are we there yet?”
Anjilly stopped walking, blinked for a few moments, and scowled. “Erudammit, Brenden, you’re not supposed to ask that! Ugh!” She nearly tore her hair out in frustration. “Now I need to remember to not pay attention to where we’re going!”
“Shouldn’t be too bad. You suck at giving directions as it is.”
“Do you want to die?”
“Not particularly. Hey, I have an idea—I’ll sing a song to help pass the time.”
“...That’s really not necessary.”
“Don’t worry; it’s your favorite! Ahem. My little pony, my little pony, what will today’s adventure be—”
In the next instant, Anjilly had tackled Brenden to the ground and was sitting on top of him, aiming her blaster at his head. “So help me Valar, Brenden, if you sing one more note of that I will stun you right here and leave you for the Sues!!!”
“But you like My Little Po—”
“Fine, fine. Yeesh.” Anjilly warily let her partner up, keeping her blaster aimed more or less in his direction. Brenden held his hands up in a show of peace before picking up his Z-6 and walking on. “Might as well tell that long version, Patches,” he grinned. “Knowing Anj’s sense of direction, that’s probably how long it’ll take for us to get to that RC...”
“I’ll kill you, Brenden.”
“No, you won’t. I’m too awesome to kill.”
“Well, if you really want to hear it...”
At least it’ll stop them both trying to kill each other.
“Um. I’m not sure where to start, really. I suppose I’d better give you a bit of an explanation about where Sabbat and I actually come from – which could take a while, unfortunately. To put it bluntly, we’re both pirates... originally. I met Sabbat when he was nineteen, we sailed together for ten years, then both made a decision to give up the marauding life and settle down on land.”
He paused, realised what he had just said and added hastily “Er, that’s not to say we settled down together – that’s not what I meant at all. Anyway, continuing with the story—”
Gods almighty, how much more suspicious can I sound?
“—yes, anyhow, we joined a society of magicians. Then, after about four years, a rival society sprang up, wanting to remove all the natural magic from the land by summoning a Dark God. We tried to stop them, and eventually succeeded, but the ringleader of the cult – that’s what they were, really – escaped. So, obviously, we chased him. In fact, we ended up chasing him to another continent. That wasn’t on the society’s orders though – he’d kidnapped the wife of a friend of mine’s son, and had killed Sabbat’s cousin whilst making his escape, so we both had personal reasons to go after him. So, to cut a long story slightly shorter, we eventually found him, he created a portal as we reached him, and the rest I’ve told you, I think.”
And if they haven’t fallen asleep on their feet after that, it’ll be a miracle.
“There were a lot more fights and explosions in the tale than I’ve said, but I’m not much good at describing battles, so I’ll leave that side of things to Sabbat, when we find him.”
If we find him...
“Oh, so there are explosions?” Brenden asked, grinning. Anjilly groaned, but declined to comment on her partner’s obsession.
“Well, that’s an interesting story. Pirates and magicians. Sounds fun.” She walked in silence for a moment before going on. “I’m guessing you and your partner—Raphael, was it?—are in your thirties now, right?”
Before Archer could answer, Brenden pointed ahead.
“I think we’re here,” he announced, grinning towards the skirmish between some agents and Sues up ahead. He hefted his Z-6. “Let’s have some fun!”
“Not with that, Brenden,” Anj ordered, changing her blaster’s setting from “stun” to “kill.” “We don’t want to risk hitting any of the agents.”
“No buts, Brenden,” she ordered, firing at an elf Sue before hurrying forward to help out. Brenden took a moment to lean towards Archer before following.
“She just gets snappy when she’s stressed,” he explained quickly. “Normally she’s a nice, somewhat frazzled but all-around friendly sort of person. With a penchant for pink plastic ponies.” He slung his Z-6 onto his back using a handy strap and pulled a blaster out of its holster on his belt. “Guess I’ll have to stick to the small stuff this time around.” And he charged in.
Archer followed his new friends into the fray, drawing his rapier as he did so.
“In answer to your question, he’s thirty-four, I think,” he said conversationally, as he passed Anjilly. “I’m two hundred and forty seven. You?”
Unfortunately the tide of the battle carried him away before he could get a reply. Driving his blade through the throat of a particularly gothic looking Sue, he noticed a rather familiar-looking figure across the corridor.
Wait a minute! Is that who I think it is?
“Sabbat?” he shouted, across the fray.
The dark-skinned agent turned, face brightening (although that might have been because he had just succeeded in rather messily disembowelling a Jack-Sparrow’s-uncanonical-daughter-Sue). “Archer? That you?”
“Who else would it be, you idiot?” the vampire replied, stabbing a winged Sue in the stomach as she tried to grab his neck.
The other agent kicked a Stu in the crotch, then stabbed him in the stomach as he doubled up. “You took your sweet time getting here. Had to start without you.”
“No need to apologise.”
“I wasn’t going to. Who’re your friends, then?”
“Can we leave the introductions until after the battle?”
Archer had by now made his way to his partner, who seemed somewhat relieved to see him.
“Mind covering my back?”
The vampire shook his head, moving back-to-back with his friend.. “I never have, so why did you bother asking? You look dreadful, by the way.”
“Only a couple of scratches. Nothing serious—”
“Two hundred forty-seven?” Anjilly repeated. Granted, long lifespans weren’t uncommon in the PPC given all the different continua its members came from, but still. “You some sort of Elf?” She shot a Sue in the head with her blaster. “I’m seventeen, myself. Brenden’s nineteen.” Wow. Never realized how young we are.
“Is the Mad Hatter there your partner, Patches?” Brenden asked as he shot his own weapon. “Can’t remember what you said his real name is.”
“Not like it matters,” Anjilly snorted.
“Vampire, actually,” Archer replied, skewering another Sue. “And yes, Sabbat is my partner.” Beside him, said partner guffawed with laughter.
“‘Patches’? ‘Mad Hatter’? You really do pick ’em, mate, I must say.”
“They’re perfectly nice people,” Archer replied, somewhat defensively. “Anyway, you’re the one going round with an anthropomorphic Sue-eating fox – you can hardly comment on my taste in companions.”
“Finally! We’re not going to die after all!” Tirsaer exulted, impaling a Sue.
“Had you doubt, partner mine?” Ryni asked, stabbing a wailing Sue in the eye.
“Oh, yeah.” Blood oozed from Tirsaer’s side, and he wasn’t walking very well. “Much as I hate to admit it, we really are out of our depth.
“So then,” Nara grinned, swirling into a large, scaly shape, “how about we finish this off?”
“Well, if we could clear the area really fast, I still have a couple thermal detonators I could throw at them—” Brenden began, but Anjilly cut him off.
“NO, Brenden. No more explosions. You’ve melted enough walls today, and we wouldn’t be able to make sure all the agents get away and all the Sues die.” She shot an angel-winged Sue who got too close for comfort. “Besides, there aren’t very many left, anyways...”
And, judging from the efficiency of the other agents, the remaining Sues would be finished off rather quickly.