What is the PPC?: The PPC is a group of people who visit fan fictions deemed ‘troublesome’ and set canon back on its proper course. This particular pair of agents work in the Department of Mary Sues, Lord of the Rings Division. As always, we’re understaffed and overworked. Please remember to beta and use spell-check.
[Disclaimer: I only own Erin and Maralys. And the gnome. But nothing else. PPC is Jay and Acacia’s and the LotR belongs to the great and mighty Tolkien. Anything else, including the thousand-year jump (taken almost from Doug Adams’ Hitchhiker’s Guide) is someone else’s.]
Erin wandered through the dark depths of the PPC headquarters. Upstairs had just transferred her from the Anime division of Mary Sues. She sighed. It was horrible to be a floater. She had worked in many, many departments within the last week, or was it month? Time flowed differently here. Sometimes, Erin wondered if it went in circles for a while before taking a sharp U-turn and doubling back on itself. As was expected, by not thinking about where she was going, she arrived at her office, walked past it twice before noticing that all the doors had the same number stenciled on them. She guessed the building really wanted her through that door.
Erin carefully opened one of the doors with the number 11591 stenciled on them. She was assailed almost before the door had opened halfway by a short, curly-haired bundle of energy. “Hello, I’m Maralys Deeppockets. Makes-Things just kicked me out of his lab. Are you my partner? I’ve never had a partner before. I hope you are. My partner, that is. You look interesting. Oh, is this yours?” She handed Erin’s wand back to her. “You must have dropped it. That’s a neat stick-thingy. It made sparkles when I picked it up. Does it do that often?”
The thing continued to chatter as it pulled Erin inside the door by the uniform. Erin’s first impression was that her new partner was a hobbit. About three and a half foot tall, she had sewn pockets all over her jumpsuit. A belt held several more colored pouches, a few of which looked full. Something about her struck Erin as “not-quite-hobbity.”
“Wait,” Erin said, and the hobbit thing closed her mouth and looked up. “What are you exactly?”
“Oh, I’m a Kender. Can’t you tell? For one thing I’m not a halfling or hobbit because I don’t have furry feet and I’m not fat.”
Erin still looked confused.
“A Kender? From Dragonlance canon?” Maralys continued.
“Oh. Sorry,” Erin said after a moment of thought. “I have trouble telling apart the species of the people less than four feet tall.”
There was an awkward silence during which Maralys wondered why it was that no one could tell she wasn’t a hobbit. Maybe it had something to do with the fact that she was a short being who worked in the LotR continuum.
Maralys nodded as if that conversation was very profound. “So who are you?”
“I’m Erin Mirestone. I was a Bit from the Harry Potter continuum until they recruited me.”
“Really?” Maralys had become hyper again, her voice speeding up until the words were almost indistinguishable. “Can you do magic? That’sso cool! Iwannasee! Canyouteleportorwhatevertheycallitinyourcontinuum?”
Erin blinked. “What did you say? I lost you after ‘I want to see.’”
Maralys blushed “Sorry, bad habit I learned from a friend. I said ‘Can you teleport or whatever you call it in your continuum?’ He, my friend, was a gnome. We worked the Dragonlance fanfic until a nasty one about a gnome invention working made him go insane. It was actually his lifequest to cleanse fanfic of all impurities.”
Erin tuned the Kender’s ramblings out so she could look around the room. The room had a couch and an instrument panel. There were shelves on one wall and a door that led, she guessed, to the bathroom. Every spare surface of the room was covered in gizmos and trinkets. Before she had finished moving a set of marbles, three books, and a rubber chicken off of the couch so she could sit…
“So, what’s on the menu today?” Erin asked, looking over Maralys’ head.
Maralys looked at the readout. “Eight chapters of misery. But looks like she’s chargeable by the hm… fourth chapter. Animal companion, time and tense shift, hm, Lego-Lusting. You aren’t a Leggy fan are you?”
Erin shook her head. “Elladan is much better.”
Maralys nodded. “I like Pippin myself. Right then. Do you have your stuff ready?”
Erin held up the filled bag and smacked the purple button that would take them to Middle-earth.
An elf and a hobbit stepped through the portal and appeared in the Shire at midday. Erin looked down at Maralys. “How did you set it for two different disguises? All I’ve ever seen it do is one type.”
“We were supposed to set it?”
“Never mind, an elf is just fine.”
A black figure zoomed by toward the Hill where Bag End was flickering. “What was that?” asked Erin, looking at the black streak, now three hills away.
“Space-time distortion. Apparently, this black figure runs all the way from beyond the borders of the Shire to the center in… Actually, she doesn’t say anything about time. I guess she assumed it would just happen to be night and that Bag End would be built closer to the border.”
“Brace yourself! We’re going to make a thousand-year jump in one sentence!” Maralys looked for something to hold on to, but since the author had not said anything about trees, there was nothing to hold on to. Erin dove flat on the ground with her hands locked behind her neck.
As soon as Maralys joined her, the world turned inside out. Paper hats and party balloons fell out of nowhere. Seven hobbits, each exactly three foot high, appeared, made a hobbit pyramid, and then vanished. 239,000 fried tomahtoes landed with a wet splat and were eaten by invisible creatures. The Shire became a beach for a moment. Tom Bombadil walked by with five heads and an elderberry bush on each head. Fish ran through the air. A huge vat of custard flooded the Shire only to be eaten by a giant penguin, which stretched in improbable directions. An Oliphaunt ran by with an infinite number of monkeys on its back. All the monkeys were scribbling furiously on parchment with quills. Reality snapped back into place.
Erin sat up groggily. “Ow.” She looked around.
Maralys was still flat on the ground. She too moved a bit, but gave up and stayed face down in the dirt. “Ow,” she agreed.
Erin glanced at the Words and furiously scribbled some charges in her notepad.
Maralys groaned and finished sitting up. “Remind me never to work in the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy canon,” she said, digging through her pack for some aspirin. “I was talking to someone from there the other day. They said that the Improbability Drive is one of the major reasons that their agents go insane so quickly.”
Erin glanced at the Words again. “Best friends with Frodo. How original. They should be in those woods over there. Apparently we’re right near Bag End.”
They walked to the woods just in time to hear the Sue’s shrill voice.
“I think someone is coming. Ai, Ai! Gandalf is here! He is back!” With that, Mari swung to another branch and hopped down running as fast as she could in the direction of the road.
“Why can’t we kill her now? Hasn’t the canon suffered enough?” Maralys whimpered.
“Shh. We’ll get her. It’s just a bit longer.”
They followed Frodo toward the road. The Sue was already there, upstaging him.
Maralys looked up at the Words and reached for a pair of earphones in her bag. She put them on, mumbling something about “fifteen minutes” and “weather,” then climbed into the back of the wagon, nestling into the packages. A glance at the Words prompted Erin to scribble another charge and listen to some very loud B*witched on her own headphones. She watched as Gandalf sat there for fifteen minutes explaining all the different cloud shapes and the weather they foretell. After that, Frodo spawned an interest in foreign recipes and Mari asked about creatures. Especially elves. Maralys pulled one side of her earphones off for long enough to hear part of that conversation.
“Mari, if you are so interested in what an elf looks like, look in the mirror! I am sure you will find your answers there.” Said Gandalf in mock frustration. He was overall happy to be back in the Shire.
"Ah, but you see, I am not a true elf, I have some kind of Hobbit background. Bilbo said my great grandmother was an elf. They could not take care of me, so they left me in the care of the Baggins family. Isn’t that right, Gandalf?” Asked Mari in a light voice. Gandalf was shocked. Young Silmarien did not even know that she was a pure elf! He would have a long chat with Bilbo when he saw him.
"Mmm, I am not very educated in that subject. I presume you know your full name though, right?” Asked Gandalf.
"Of course! It is Mari Baggins. What else would it be?” Said Mari in a confused voice.
Maralys gagged. “Mari Baggins. If that isn’t a pseudonym for a Frodo-luster, I don’t know what is.”
Poor Gandalf was looking rather ill as the Sue jumped out of the cart after Frodo. The two agents scrambled out of the cart after them, just in time to see Mari randomly reappear at the top of the tree.
“Frodo, the tree will not bite you, I have even asked its permission for you to come up. Come on!!” Mari tried vainly to persuade Frodo to mount the tree.
“I like the ground a lot better. It is closer to the ground, if you catch my drift. Hobbits belong on the ground, not up in a tree. But since you will not stop until I get myself stuck in a tree, fine, but you had better help me up!” Frodo shouted up to the leaves. A hand suddenly protruded from a bushel of leaves frightening Frodo about a mile off the ground. Mari caught him and hauled him up.
"I thought that would be the easiest way to get you up here, so, do you like the view? I thought you would. May I complement that lovely shade of green on your face?” Frodo simply muttered something under his breath that sounded a lot like ‘mimblewimble.’ Mari laughed out right. “I am glad that you are enjoying yourself.”
“Stole that word. She’s talking to trees,” Erin muttered angrily as more charges appeared on the pad of paper.
Maralys was busy waving her CAD at everything in sight.
[Frodo Baggins. Halfling Male. Canon. Out of Character 65.99 % and rising.]
[Mari Baggins AKA: Silmarien Goldeneye. Elf Female. Mary-Sue.]
[Erin Mirestone. Elf Female-Disguise. Non-Canon PPC Agent. Out of Character 2.0%.]
[Maralys Deeppockets. Halfling female-disguise. Non-canon PPC agent. Out of Character 7.93%]
[Tree. Oak. Canon. Out of Character 0.01 %.]
[Grass. Good grief! Stop already!]
Maralys hastily shoved the CAD back in her bag.
They both winced as a moment later, night fell, almost right on top of them! Fireworks started randomly, and without one of the guests of honor. The Sue jumped out of the tree, dragging a mysteriously unharmed hobbit along for the ride. A short tense shift later, they both appeared at the Party.
“Well, that was convenient,” Maralys said, trying to regain her balance.
They glanced at the Words.
Erin groaned. “Author’s notes coming up. Earmuffs on!” They donned their earmuffs and braced for the Really Loud Voice of the Author.
I WOULD REALLY APPRICIATE IT IF YOU COULD REVIEW THIS AND GIVE ME SOME KIND OF MOTOVATION. IF YOU DO NOT WANT TO REVIEW THIS, THEN DON’T, BUT IT WOULD BE NICE IF YOU DID. I LIKE TO KNOW WHAT PEOPLE THINK OF MY WORK. IS IT GOOD OR IS IT BAD? ANOTHER THING, TRY NOT TO SKIP THE AUTHOR’S MESSAGE, IT SOMETIMES TELLS IMPORTANT INFORMATION. THANK YOU FOR HAVING THE PATIENCE TO READ THIS CHAPTER, PLEASE CONTINUE ON THE NEXT CHAPTER. YOU HAVE MY BLESSING ALONG WITH THOSE THAT SURROUND ME. IT MAY TAKE ONE OR TWO CHAPTERS FOR THE FELLOWSHIP TO SHOW UP, I NEED TO PLACE SOME KIND OF PLOT INTO THIS. I KNOW SILMARIEN IS A NAME FROM THE WORLD OF TOLKIEN!!! I SIMPLY LIKE IT. I APPOLGIZE FOR MY OUTBURST IT CAME NATUREALLY.
Maralys had been thrown back by the gale of wind that came with the author’s voice. Erin had to walk against the wind and keep her earmuffs clamped onto her head with her hands to keep from following. The note ended and they carefully removed their earmuffs.
“End chapter one,” Maralys whispered dramatically.
“Oh, good. Now we can sleep.” Erin pulled a blanket out of a plothole she kept in her bag and lay beneath the plaid material, looking up at the stars. That was one thing the authors had a hard time changing, so they were almost always there, exactly as Varda had meant for them to be.
Erin drifted off in no time, but Maralys couldn’t sleep. First it was a rock under her back. Once that was gone, a swarm of mosquitoes decided that she made a wonderful midnight snack. Scratch as she might, they just itched worse. She decided that a walk was just what she needed. (But only after a look at the Words to make sure the Sue was not a nocturnal being.) Besides, she was sure to be back before Erin woke. And Erin hadn’t said anything about wandering.
‘In fact, I might even find something important and useful!’ she assured herself. ‘I’d better go then.’
The sun, after being hurried out of the sky just what felt like minutes before, was jerked back into being as Erin woke. Maralys’ sleeping bag was empty and cold to the touch. Erin frowned. That meant she had been gone for a while. Erin grabbed her gear and packed up their small camp. Maralys would be back soon, she was sure of it. She opened up a silvery packet of trail rations with a knife and sat down to wait and eat.
Maralys, however, had forgotten their mission. She was busy wandering through the forest, looking at interesting things. She recognized different plants – vaguely. The author hadn’t been clear on any of the vegetation, so it just sort of grew however it saw fit. As she walked she munched on dandelion leaves, wild strawberries, and apples. Really, the Shire was one of the best places to forage for a meal. She stopped suddenly when she almost ran headfirst into the tree where the Sue was sleeping.
Suddenly she remembered that she was supposed to be helping Erin. Erin had the portal device with her though; surely she would be along as soon as the Sue woke up. Maralys decided to sit on a handy fallen log and rummage through her pouches as she waited for Erin. She dumped her first pouch on the forest floor. A ring, a deck of playing cards missing two pairs, a pair of shorts, a pair of scissors, a pair of chopsticks, a pear, and the portal device all fell out. She put the pairs (and pear) back into the bag. Then she picked up the portal device. ‘Erin must’ve given me this. Hm, she might need it back. Better give it to her when I see her.’ She moved on to another pouch, carefully inventorying her bags.
A frustrated scream rent the morning stillness.
“Where is that little monster? I’ll kill her if I don’t find her in the next minute!”
Maralys looked up as the Sue stirred, awoken by the shouted threat. She regarded the “gently humming birds” which were actually all twittering loudly as they took off in an attempt to escape Erin’s wrath.
Erin burst out of the woods swearing like a sailor with brambles stuck in her hair and torn clothes. Somehow, the Elven disguise wouldn’t allow mud to cling to her skin, but it saturated her clothes instead. “You,” she said, narrowing her eyes, “Are. In. So. Much. Trouble.”
The Sue sat up, looking rather alarmed. Maralys “meep”ed and Erin realized what was about to happen. With a final quick, but quiet, curse, Erin scooped Maralys up by the back of the shirt and leapt for the nearest tree un-inhabited by a Sue. She hung on with just her legs, both hands required to keep Maralys from falling or giggling. The Sue jumped down from the tree and sprinted out of the forest toward Bag End just as she was supposed to do, according to the Words.
Erin released the breath she had been holding, and then released Maralys for a six-foot drop. Maralys landed on her back and burst out laughing.
“Your face! Oh Eru, your face was so funny! Hey, that was a cool flip thingy you did. How’d you…” She fell silent at Erin’s glare.
“This is a serious mission. If you aren’t going to do your job I’m putting my request in for a new partner. You can’t wander off in the middle of a mission! You didn’t even leave the portal device! How are we supposed to track and assassinate a Sue without being able to keep up with each other, first? Don’t you have anything to say for yourself? No? Well, I’ll keep going. Do you realize how close we were to being Sue-bait? Hmm, I guess not, because if you did, you would be hiding in the thicket behind you like any normal hobbit!”
Erin stopped to catch her breath. She felt so much better after a good rant. “I should have saved my rant for the Sue, I guess, huh? I’m sorry. I’m normally not this mean. I just was worried about you. Do you have any idea how much paperwork it is when you just lose a partner?”
Maralys just stood there in shock. “How did you do that neat flippy thing anyway?”
Erin laughed. “It’s a combination of adrenaline and an Elvish disguise, I think. Come on, we’re portaling to her animal companion. Gimme the portal device.”
Maralys pulled it out of her pouch and handed it to Erin.
Erin hit a few buttons and a portal opened with a “Shwoop.” “Funny, I haven’t heard that noise before. Oh well, let’s go.”
They fell into mid-chapter two, a short ways away from the path Mari would use.
“I think I’m going to be sick!” Maralys said, clapping a hand over her mouth.
“I think it’s because the author is using really convoluted sentences. I’m not feeling so well myself,” Erin said, looking a bit pale.
In a few moments the Sue came strolling along, listening to the trees. Not that they were actually saying anything to her. Erin put her ear to one. “Wait… I think I hear… Yes, it’s true! They do say ‘kill the Sue,’” she said sarcastically.
Maralys was getting bored and all of Krynn knows, the only thing more dangerous than a bored kinder is an enraged dark goddess.
“Can we jump her yet? She’s got over…”
“Hist!” Erin pushed the Kender back down into the bushes before the Sue looked around for the voice. “Not yet.” She whispered.
Suddenly, a small completely black cat jumped out of the nearby tree. It had green eyes that were the exact same color as Mari’s. They even had little golden specks in them, just like Mari! The fur of this strange cat was a sparkling flawless black that rivaled with Mari’s hair. Mari could not help it; she reached towards the cat and stroked it affectionately. It lifted its head and made a low rich sound of contentment. She felt a sudden affection towards this magnificent creature.
Erin gagged at the sugary taste the air had taken on. “Not only does she look like a HarryPotter!Sue, the cat does too!”
Maralys took notes on the telepathic conversation, throughout which, little asterisks rained down like snow. “Animal companion… Immortal… could be hard to kill.”
A horse jumped right over the two agents. Erin looked like she was going to faint, but Maralys was still furiously scribbling in the notebook. Luckily, most horses in this canon could sense the agents, even if they couldn’t see them.
A long conversation followed in which Sue logic triumphed over Gandalf’s OOC reasoning. Gandalf was accused of being a chauvinist. The Sue got her way, of course. At some point, Maralys pointed Erin’s CAD at him.
[Gandalf. Istar Male. Canon. Out of Character 88.58 %. CHARACTER RUPTURE!]
Mari unrolled the Scroll and looked at it. It looked like this Rivendell would be pretty hard to access. The way looked impossibly dangerous.
“Well, come ‘Luna. Looks like we have a long trail to follow, if indeed we ever find the end,” Said Mari in an excited voice.
“* Let us go into the unknown where adventures await us and call our name with strange voices! *” Said Sillaluna, matching Mari’s tone of voice eagerly. The two scampered into the woods tirelessly with a new light in their identical green-golden-sparkled eyes. One might think that these two extraordinary creatures had known each other since the dawn of time. From this day on, Mari and Sillaluna always were together and Mari was known for being seen with her small companion.
Erin looked on in disbelief as the air around the Sue began to taste, if possible, even more sugary. People don’t just dash into danger and be excited about it. Well, maybe some do, but Erin was pretty sure the Sue wasn’t an angst.
Maralys hit the portal device again, and the two agents dashed off to chapter three.
“I take it back,” whispered Erin as the Sue driveled on about how she was a murderer. “She is going to be an angst.” A fair blizzard of asterisks was now falling around the PPC agents.
“Wheeee!” cried Maralys as the miles sped by on the way to Rivendell. The Sue had shortened the distance considerably and the landscape flew past. She giggled to a stop at the path that would take them into the valley where the Last Homely House was. She and Erin followed the Sue wobbly into Rivendell.
“Greetings to you gentle cat and fair maiden! Why do you come this way? There are easier paths to the gates of fair Rivendell. Tell me what business you have here.” Said the tall Elf in a firm and kind voice. He had long brown hair that was held up with two slim braids. Mari saw his pointed ears and realized that he was an elf.
“You are an elf! Incredible. I have never met an elf before. I do have someone that I am wishing to find though. I am looking for Frodo and Sam, if he is here,” Mari said this all in a soft voice. The elf looked at her strangely. She knew about Frodo somehow. This one had never met her own kind before and she believed she was related to a halfling. “What is your name?” asked Mari curiously.
“My name is Leshua. I think I will take you to Lord Elrond. That is curious, your eyes match the hue of your companion’s eyes. That is curious.
“Déjà vu, again,” Maralys muttered at the redundancy of the statement.
Erin chuckled when the elf introduced himself. “Leusha, sounds like a sneeze. Not to mention that he spawns random knowledge. She never said anything about being related to Frodo. It seems Frodo and Sam are one person now. That ‘he’ should be they. Check the pseudo-elf on the CAD, will you? I think he may be a bit.”
Maralys pointed the CAD at him, and read it. “Yep, bit character, but he’s done after this scene I think.”
"Please follow, you chose a strange way to come,” said Leshua in a kind voice. Mari followed behind and looked at her surroundings with awe written on her face. This place was absolutely gorgeous.
Leshua then realized that she had an ugly wound on her arm.
“You are wounded!” Said Leshua in a shocked voice.
“Really observant for an elf, this one,” Erin said, rolling her eyes. The elf gave her some athelas. “Right… I’m glad to note, he told her to place them directly on the wound. It doesn’t do very much good unless you happen to be Aragorn, from what I understand. Most people can only get it to work in a sort of tea.”
They had made their way to Rivendell proper. The place was, as usual, a total mess. The normally serene Elven architecture was broken in places by castle walls, iron girders, and mud-bricks.
Erin looked around in disgust. “This place is a mess.” She blinked. “Was that a pair of Legolases? Never mind. They merged back.”
Maralys wrinkled her nose in disgust at a gaudy abstract mural on one of the cinderblock walls. “Let’s skip to the council and charge her there once the bit is gone. We have enough for several Sues.”
“Fine by me. Add making Arwen and about thirty other elves OOC while you’re at it.”
Leusha, now done with his part, was leaning against a wall casually. His eyes seemed glassy and vague. Maralys jumped up to wave a hand in front of them. He blinked and looked down. “Yes, little mistress, may I help you? The kitchens are down the hall and to your right.”
“Actually, I was wondering if you could come with us,” she responded, the very picture of innocence. Leusha agreed and was led away a short distance into a seldom-used hallway.
“Leusha, you are charged with being a bit character and having a name that sounds like a sneeze. You are also charged with being redundant and indecisive as well as spawning random knowledge. Sorry ‘bout this, mate.” Erin pulled out a neuralyzer and put on her sunglasses, motioning for Maralys to do the same. She clicked it and gave him a new memory. “You are Cudacil, a Rivendell elf who is happily living here.”
They walked away, leaving the glassy-eyed elf behind.
“Do you have any ideas for the Sue yet?” asked Maralys. “I was thinking something along the lines of wargs. I’ve always wanted to ride one. Do you think if we used her for bait we could catch one for a mount?”
“I’ve got an idea. Do you have something to take her out with?”
“I don’t think you’ll be able to ride a warg, though. Maybe next time we can go as Orcs and ride wargs.”
The portal opened to leave the agents at the end of the council. Elrond had just finished (with a pained expression) choking out that there would be ten in the Fellowship. Erin shielded her eyes from the glowing Sue and walked out from around the corner of the place where Merry and Pippin had hidden in the movie. “Excuse me, would Lady Silmarien Goldeneye please come with me? I have an urgent message that must be told in private.”
The Sue followed placidly to where Maralys was waiting. The hobbit pulled some Elven rope from a pouch and bound the Sue’s hands together behind her back while Erin held her.
Erin cleared her throat and began. “Silmarien Goldeneye—”
“Goldeneve,” the Sue growled.
Erin looked at the Words. “Oh, right, I’ve been saying it wrong the whole time. Anyway, you are charged with the following counts of Mary-Sueness: Distorting time, owning an identical-to-me-in-every-way telepathic animal companion, being telepathic with trees and cats, tense-shifting, spawning random abilities that normally require years of hard training, producing weapons out of nowhere, joining the Fellowship, and forcing canonical characters to suddenly be friends with you.” Erin passed the slip of paper to Maralys, who read:
“Also, you are charged on counts of turning Boromir and Gandalf into chauvinists. They really are nice people. Especially Gandalf. Have you ever seen his fireworks? They’re really pretty. I saw them once in a fanfic that was actually quite decent.”
Erin cleared her throat.
“Where was I… being semi-omniscient, but that’s kinda cool. Knowing what people are thinking and all that.”
Erin coughed something that sounded like “get on with it.”
“Right. Err… lusting after a canon character and really annoying the agents assigned to your case. You have the right to remain silent, anything you do or say won’t matter because we don’t really give a piece of dragon dung whether we kill you fast or slow. Any last words?”
“HELP! Someone, LEGGY! Come save…”
One quick “THWAK” on the head from Maralys’ hoopak and the Sue was down for the count. Maralys bent to check the Sue’s vital signs. Erin decided that Maralys’ pouches had just gotten heavier while the unconscious elf’s pockets were equally lighter.
Maralys stood and drew her dagger. She drove it between the Sue’s ribs, then wiped it on the dead Sue’s clothing. Erin opened a portal and tossed the body through, grinning evilly at the wet “splat” it made.
“Where did you throw her?” Maralys asked as the portal snapped shut.
“Smaug’s lair. I think he’ll appreciate the present, if it doesn’t give him indigestion. We’ll have wolf-bait next time. Now, about that cat?”
They cornered the crowned cat in a tree quickly enough, but getting it down was hard. “Maralys, go get some milk or cream. Come on down, kitty! We aren’t going to hurt you. Here, puss. Come here!”
“* It won’t work. I’m not as dumb as my ex-owner. *”
“Well, how about we take you back to HQ. You can work with Alice the telepathic horse, maybe. And if you don’t want to do that, we can just hand you over to Flora and Fauna.”
“* No, I think I’ll be a cat and sit up here to annoy you. *”
“Don’t make me get my tranquilizer gun.”
“* You haven’t got one. *”
Maralys came rushing back with the cream, and the cat’s whiskers quivered. “Are you sure you don’t want to come down? This cream looks pretty tasty. I had a cat that loved to drink cream. Did I ever tell you that story? She was a pretty chocolate brown and she used to tell me just how good cream tasted. How it was sweet and…”
The cat jumped down right in front of Maralys. “* Fine, I’ll come with you. *” The cat’s stomach rumbled and she managed to look embarrassed. “* Can I eat first? That wretch didn’t see fit to feed me. *”
Back at Headquarters, Erin was looking through Maralys’ pouches while she slept, curled up with the telepathic cat. At least half of Erin’s equipment had reappeared in the pouches, including the dagger, along with some silverware from both Rivendell and Bag End, three apples, a pretty feather, a hat made of aluminum foil, a needle, a live butterfly, a striped beach towel, a box marked “lock repair kit” with several kinds of lock picks in it, a bluebell flame in a jam jar, a shoestring, a die with twenty sides, a doorknob, and a few strangely shaped stones of several colors that floated around her head when she let go of them.
Erin decided that she would have to keep a closer eye on her things next mission.
[A/N: Whee! First fic done. Kudos to anyone who can guess the significance in some of the items in Maralys’ pouch. If you must read the fic I PPC’d, feel free to visit http://www.fanfiction.net/read.php?storyid=838897.]