"Just give me the damn card!"
"Fine, fine, no reason to get all shirty about it," Zera shrugged and flipped over another card onto the pile that her partner had going. Aerilyn frowned at it.
"Didja bust?" Zera inquired with an infuriating grin.
"No, whatcha got?"
"Nineteen. There's no way you can beat tha—"
The pair of agents were crouched on their console chairs, leaning over a game of cards on what little bit of desk space that they had left. A hardback copy of The Silmarillion, two bottles of Bleeprin – one half empty, several CDs of various artists, and a number of papers were scattered across the surface. The rest of the response center was surprisingly clutter-free.
If one didn't count Oby-wan as clutter, of course. The vodka-loving mini-rancor was, at any given moment, lurking about in some corner or another. He belonged to Zera, who treated him with extreme affection, to Aerilyn’s puzzlement. He looked very much like the rancor featured in Return of the Jedi, on a small scale, but he had a more amiable attitude, much like his namesake.
"Ready to go at it again? Or are you tired of losing?"
"I know I should never have agreed to play Blackjack with you. Next time we're playing Gin or—"
Both agents jumped.
"Posh, we never get to finish a good round without this stupid thing interrupting," Aerilyn complained as she fumbled for the button to turn the sound off.
"'Beeeeep!' isn't any card game I know of," Zera noted sourly. "What is it this time?" She scooted over to peer over her partner's shoulder at the computer screen.
Aerilyn choked. "What in all seven hells... From the Trees the New Elf was Born!?"
"So what, she's half ent? Oh, ouch, bad mental images... So which canon character is she after? I assume it's a she. Legolas again?"
"Legolas seems to be the main target. Ugh, the grammar is passable but... the Sue pops out of a tree for Eru's sake!" Aerilyn snorted. "And she seems to think that she is Elbereth herself. Looks like we have a delirious elf Sue."
"Typical. I'll set the disguise generator... Uruk-hai?"
"Yeah, that'll do," Aerilyn said as she rummaged through the lockers for their stuff. She handed her partner a bow, quiver, and bag of supplies, and then activated the portal generator. "Ladies first."
"No, I disagree. Ex-Sues first," Zera replied easily as she sorted through her things.
"I've got a feeling that this isn't going to be fun," Aerilyn said, suddenly serious. She sighed heavily and stepped on through the portal. Zera followed behind, grabbing a couple of CDs from the desk, just in case.
"Wow, trees," Zera observed. There were a lot of them, no doubt. The agents were somewhere outside of Rivendell, in the Misty Mountains.
Such a remark sounded quite odd coming from an orc. Instead of two human agents emerging from the portal, two impressive Uruk-hai came striding out. It was an odd feeling, being in a different body, but by now they were getting used to it, especially this form in particular.
"Yeah, we've got to find the one that the Sue's going to crawl out of... Oh, look, an arm sticking out of that birch over there. I'll bet that's her." Aerilyn started off through the trees.
"Ya think? Unless it's some other elf which is being born from a cocoon..."
"I doubt it," Aerilyn replied, ignoring the sarcasm.
"Let's just kill her now while she's still like 'a baby newly born'," Zera suggested.
Aerilyn snorted. "Newborn. One word can replace those four so easily. Not that it matters, as that Sue looks fully developed to me. You know that thing called a charge list, Zera? Right now we've only got one charge. No, scratch that, two. Still not nearly enough."
Zera made a pouty face, which looked rather odd on an orc. She plopped down to count her arrows while the Sue was squeezing out of the tree and having a look around. After all, she was just 'born', so the world was somewhat of a shock.
Just for kicks, Zera waved her Character Analysis Device at the Sue.
[A Elbereth Gilthoniel. Elf female. Mary Sue. ERROR!ERROR!BEEEEEEE-] The display screen faded, and the noise stopped. The Sue glanced up at the vague noise, but soon her attention wandered elsewhere.
"Maybe the batteries are dead," Zera shook the device experimentally, as if that would help.
Aerilyn stared at the Sue. "She has ruby eyes, did you notice? Blood-shot? Gah, creepy."
"Like you have any right to call somebody creepy," Zera raised an eyebrow as she stuffed her dead analysis device back into her pack. Aerilyn had one green eye, and one blue, and silver hair, when she wasn't in some kind of disguise.
Aerilyn stared back at her coolly. "Whatever. Look, she's heading off to Rivendell now. Nothing of note happening until morning. They take her in, of course, and feed her and bathe her..."
"And treat her for fleas and name her Fido and love her forever and ever?"
Aerilyn smirked. "We wish."
The two agents headed for a closer spot towards Rivendell itself, setting up camp just outside the house. The Sue was fed and given proper clothes, and apparently taught 'proper' manners. The evening passed without much trouble, the agents entertaining themselves with various card games, particularly one called Speed, to pass some time before they turned in for the night.
Morning came far too quickly.
"Waaaake up Zeeerra!"
"ItstooearlytogetupleavemealoneIwannasleep," Zera muttered an impressive run-on sentence and rolled over, swatting feebly at the early morning sunlight which was falling on her face. Aerilyn, having prepared for this very reaction beforehand, dumped a glass of cold water over her partner's face.
"Sssh, she'll hear you," Aerilyn pointed to the window above.
"Unless my eyes are cheated by some spell, I believe you, my lady, are the same filthy creature I caught spying on me this morning," Elrond was saying. Zera's eyes narrowed as she mopped some of the water off her head with a towel, but she didn't say anything. Making Elrond quote Legolas was definitely charge list material.
"Me Tarzan," Aerilyn rolled her eyes. "Poor Elrond."
"A Elbereth Githoniel."
The agents exchanged a look.
"Is she serious?" Zera looked annoyed.
"Sadly," Aerilyn replied. "Come on, we'd better get down to the ford."
Zera trotted after her partner, still looking very peeved. "Frodo should be coming through down there pretty soon. What is she going to do about it? I notice that Arwen is up there, so apparently she can't rescue him. Bookverse? Kind of?"
"Hah. Well, I was looking over the words while you were sleeping. You're gonna love this even more than 'A Elbereth Gilthoniel'."
"No I won't," Zera muttered.
They arrived just in time to see Frodo on Asfaloth on one side of the ford, and the Nazgul on the other. It was a scene strangely... right.
"By Elbereth and Luthien the Fair you shall have neither the Ring nor me!"
Zera had a glazed over look in her eyes. "Straight from the book. It's enough to make me wanna cry... er, can orcs cry?"
"I don't know. Anyway, don't look now, but here comes the Sue to save the day," Aerilyn said. Her muttered cursing about how Asfaloth would not drop Frodo could not be heard over the sound of the river.
"How did she get down here so quickly?" Zera demanded, though she knew that this was a Sue, and with Sues, logic never worked.
"I am A Elbereth Gilthoniel! And I command thee, creature of the shadows, to go back to the dark Land of Mordor, whence thou hast cometh!" The Sue declared dramatically.
"It's hard to believe that she's serious. 'Wence thou hast cometh'?" Aerilyn huffed.
"She obviously doesn’t know who Elbereth really is," Zera complained as they trailed the Sue on her way back to Rivendell. "That song isn't about this Sue. It's about Varda, one of the Valar. And Varda did not just pop out of a tree."
She had to cut off her complaints as they dodged behind trees. The Sue had decided to stop, for some reason, and was hovering over Frodo in a very disturbing way.
'What's she doing?' Aerilyn mouthed in Zera's direction. Zera shrugged.
The Sue had one hand over Frodo's shoulder and the other over his forehead. Her hands began to glow blue.
"Greeeat, she's draining herself to heal Frodo. She's going to save his life, how selfless of her." Even so, Aerilyn was surprised when the Sue stabbed herself on the shoulder with the Morgul blade, thus giving herself a scar identical to Frodo's. The Sue abruptly fainted. An elf appeared out of nowhere to catch her before she fell to the ground.
"Stupid melodramatic Sue," Zera growled. "Flounced in, saved the day, and then fainted. She's already making me sick. Now what... back to Rivendell? Geez, at least she gets to be carried. We have to walk all the way."
"Yeah, this is a classic Sue alright. Long white hair, 'ruby' eyes, saves the day, and yet has plenty of opportunities to be vulnerable... Let's see what we've got for the charge list – Impersonating, no, stealing the name of one of the Valar, showing extreme stupidity in doing so, screwing up book scenes, exhibiting a disgusting amount of melodramatics..."
"Annoying the agents," Zera added in, not bothering to be quiet. The Sue was unconscious, after all, and the elves carrying her and Frodo wouldn't have seen them if they had been walking right next to them. "Why can't we just kill her now?"
"We have more charges to accumulate," Aerilyn said darkly.
The agents weren't able to get close enough to overhear Elrond and Elbereth's touching father and daughter scene a bit later, but they saw the words. Just outside, Aerilyn and Zera made themselves comfortable on some benches in the garden. There were a few elves around, but none of them noticed the Uruk-hai conversing right in front of them.
"Wait... did I miss something?"
"What?" Aerilyn cocked her head sideways at Zera.
"This part in the words, where she calls Elrond 'he who had come to be a father to her through the years'. Years? She only came out of that tree yesterday for cripes sake. I think I'd remember a few years passing," Zera commented as she inspected the fletching on one of her arrows.
"That's one hell of a plot-hole," Aerilyn agreed.
For a while, they didn't have to chase the Sue all around Rivendell. It wasn't hard to pass the time, though. The gardens of Rivendell were beautiful, and thankfully unaffected by the Sue's presence. Of course, there were almost as many beautiful elves as there were flowers, something which neither agent complained about. Aerilyn had to drag her partner away from Glorfindel, as Zera would likely have followed him around for quite a while before she remembered exactly what they were supposed to be doing.
"Oh, we shouldn't miss the Sue's speech," Zera said sarcastically as they approached the main yard, though keeping out of sight from the balcony. The Sue had apparently taken Gandalf's place, as she was there talking to her 'father'. This seemed to be nothing more than an excuse for her to show off her 'foresight', and the fact that Sauron knew where she was, and hated her. Why he should care anything about her, neither agent had a clue.
"He tortured her. When? How? Why?" Aerilyn shook her head. "I'd like to show her some 'torture'. Why would Sauron be interrogating her in her dreams, assuming he had a chance?"
"So she could be angsty about it?" Zera suggested.
"Well, the council will be starting soon... Got that CD player with you?"
"Yes, and I'm going to use it. You can suffer through Sue-ish speeches and tell me what to add to the charge list when it's over," Aerilyn said as they headed for the dais where the council would take place, or more specifically, the bushes that were just off to one side of it. Ever since she had heard the idea of bringing along a CD player to counter painful dialogue, Aerilyn had kept firm control over the one that she and Zera 'shared'. Occasionally Zera would steal it for a while.
They spent some time haggling over said electronics until the Sue arrived. She was wearing a concealing cloak, for no apparent reason. She was also clutching at her shoulder, which was causing her some amount of pain. Zera found this to be a source of some amusement, considering the fact that she'd inflicted that wound herself.
The council proceeded without too many oddities, and Aerilyn even surrendered the CD player for a while. It was nice to actually hear Elrond talk for once.
Finally, though, the Sue cried out, attracting the attention of everyone present. Frodo stood, but his presence only made her condition worse. Elrond and Aragorn immediately came to the Sue’s side to ask her what was wrong.
"If she makes Elrond say 'thee' one more time, I'm going to go up there and kick that chair out from under her," Zera fumed. Aerilyn gave her a blank look, as she was once again drowning out the conversation with 80s music.
"Whatever you threatened to do – don't," Aerilyn advised sagely.
The Sue told Frodo that she had stolen the Ring's chance to return to its master. As with a lot that the Sue said, it didn't make much sense, but the canon characters accepted it without second thought. The Sue finally revealed herself, much to the council's shock. "Oh such beauty as to be equal to that of Luthien the Fair." Legolas kneeled at the Sue's feet.
Zera made gagging noises before jabbing Aerilyn in the ribs with her elbow. "It's over."
"Already?" Aerilyn blinked. "That was abrupt."
"Well, what are we going to do now? The Sue isn't joining the Fellowship, wonder of all wonders, but she's going to be a 'diversion'. Hah. You know, she's awfully up to date with things considering the fact that she just crawled out of a cocoon not too long ago. Anyway, she's going to go up to Isengard with a happy little crew of elves..."
Aerilyn nodded before reading the words with a thoughtful expression. "All she does is go off and get those poor elves killed. That one she calls Nandor falls in love with her and he dies protecting her from orcs. She angsts, then uses more of that 'blue-flamey' magic to kill off all of the rest of the orcs."
"Nandor, hm, that's just a great name for a Sindarin elf. Then let's just meet them at Moria. That's where she jumps in again, and I'd rather not suffer through a poor bit character's falling victim to her charms."
"No charges to get there, anyway. I've already got the magic down," Aerilyn wrote something down on her small notebook. She then pulled out a remote portal generator. "Shall we?"
The agents stepped out of the portal just in front of the gates to Moria. They had timed their arrival so that the Sue showed up just as they did. Frodo was being yanked about by the Watcher. The Sue dashed forward to catch the hobbit.
"Boromir was supposed to do that," Aerilyn commented sullenly.
"Hey! Maybe she'll drown," Zera grinned. Aragorn came forward to snatch Frodo from her, but he left Elbereth. She was still under the water, suffering from the pain of her wound from when she had touched Frodo.
"Then why didn't you just let Boromir catch him? Twit," Aerilyn growled at the submerged Sue.
The Watcher tossed the Sue around for a bit before finally throwing her away, probably out of disgust.
"Happy coincidence that she would be thrown at Legolas," Zera added. "And she's also knocked herself out on a rock underwater. Oh, let's pity the poor thing. Aerilyn, that's not a very nice face."
"Oh, come on before we get shut out of the mines."
They followed Legolas as he carried the once again unconscious 'she-elf' into Moria. Their progress halted as Legolas stopped to bandage the Sue’s wounds. She had one on her ribs, which of course led him to taking her tunic off, and she just happened to wake up right then...
"So many coincidences," Aerilyn pointed out. After Legolas finished, the Sue promptly clung to him and began sobbing like a baby. "I also wonder how why they don't call Legolas a he-elf. It's as proper as using she-elf..."
"You've got me. Oooh, I'm keeping count of how many times she passes out. That's two already," Zera muttered. They would have to be quiet while she was awake, even if she was practically glued to Legolas. As soon as she was convinced to let go of him for a second, the Fellowship continued.
"Rock... rock... rock... oh, spider..."
"Zera? Be quiet."
"I'm bored. Eeyah! What touched me?"
"Ssshh! That was me," Aerilyn smacked her partner across the back of the head, quietly. "Scared of the dark, are we?"
"No... it's just the crawly things that lurk in these dark places... Eeep."
"Some Uruk-hai you are." Aerilyn took the time to wave her CAD at some of the canon characters, wisely turning off the sound before doing so.
[Aragorn. Human male. Canon. Out of Character 43.3%]
[Frodo. Hobbit male. Canon. Out of Character 38.5%]
[Legolas Greenleaf. Elf male. Canon. CHARACTER RUPTURE! CANON AT 23.1%!]
Aerilyn grimaced and turned it off. It was beginning to make odd static-y noises.
Things were otherwise uneventful until they got to Balin's tomb.
"Here they come," the Sue informed everyone.
"Stealing lines again," Zera whispered. The agents were hiding in a far corner, as far away from the Sue as possible. Aerilyn was recording this in her notebook, which was already quite full of notes.
The battle was impressive, and everything went according to plan until the troll stabbed Frodo. The Sue raised her hands, and blue flames swallowed it. Aerilyn growled, as she was getting royally sick of those flames. She'd even stolen Legolas's gratuitous kick-butt scene... Was nothing safe?
"She's got to heal Frodo again," Zera groaned. "Why can't she let Aragorn do it? And she apparently has something against Gimli."
"They all do. Stupid Sues... Gimli rocks."
"Agreed. Erg, time to go again already? Sheesh," Aerilyn dragged Zera through the door, as the Fellowship departed hastily.
Amazingly enough, though she had predicted that it would happen, the Sue was very upset over the loss of Gandalf. She took the opportunity to hiss at Legolas, when he was only showing concern. Zera had to resist the urge to knock the Sue off the bridge, even though she was still a bit dazed from seeing the Balrog, one of her favorite canon 'monsters'.
"Can we charge her yet?" she begged. "Come on..."
"No," Aerilyn didn't look too happy either.
The Sue insisted on carrying Frodo, for some reason. When they stopped, they got to learn about her 'cursed wound' and her magic. Legolas once again offered to tend to her wounds, but she insisted on her privacy. This did not last long, as she passed out in his arms.
"Three times!" Zera announced gleefully, with no fear of the Sue overhearing. Legolas merely blinked.
"She hasn't eaten in three days," Aerilyn observed, reading the words. "It's a wonder that she still can move at all. Before that, it was eight days... You'd think that they would have noticed this before."
Things weren't so bad until they got to Lothlorien. The walk itself was much shorter than it should have been, due to some plot-hole.
"Where's she going?" Zera asked, seeing the Sue run on ahead of the rest.Aerilyn snarled. "To catch Rumil, Orophin, and Haldir by surprise, like any good Sue. They're obviously so absorbed in conversation that they didn't see her coming. Some march wardens of Lothlorien she makes them out to be."
Zera rolled her eyes as she watched the Sue mock the three brothers at sword-point. It was just too predictable.
"Are we going to miss anything if I pass out myself for a while?" She asked afterward with a sigh. "I'm tired."
"Me too. Hm. Actually, we could take a break. All the Sue does for a while is talk to Galadriel, and gets a key to wear around her neck. "'This is the key to the doorway of understanding.' That makes no sense."
Zera yawned as she found a comfortable spot to curl up in. "Why should it? Wake me up when we've got to go," she said, and promptly fell asleep.
Aerilyn sat down nearby, bow balanced over her knees as she sat, a deep frown crossing her features.
"That's it. I have had it!"
"Owww! What happened?" Zera asked groggily. Something heavy was sitting on her stomach (it had been thrown a moment earlier), which turned out to be a half-empty quiver of arrows. "Don't you ever sleep?" She grumbled as she sat up.
"Oh, sorry. Change in plans, dahling. We're getting this Sue right in Amon Hen."
"Whoot!" Zera brightened visibly. "Why, though?"
"Blood tears, Rohirrim chanting 'You can not destroy us! We have the White Witch!', and an attempted rape scene," Aerilyn said with a poisonous glare.
"Been reading ahead in the words again. Blood tears?"
"Well, what are we waiting for?" Zera hastily began packing her things up, absently flinging her partner's quiver back in her direction.
They managed to follow the Fellowship as they made their way down river, though it took a lot of work to do so for a while. They had fallen behind, but soon caught up, as they had to pause to rescue the Sue once again from drowning. This time Legolas and the Sue ended up kissing.
"Oh, I wish a really cute guy would kiss me when I was half-drowned," Zera said with a positively silly smile. Aerilyn half-heartedly lobbed a stick in her direction. "And that makes it four times," Zera added after ducking to avoid the projectile.
They set up camp just in the woods, where they would see Frodo when he ran on by, followed by Boromir. The Sue followed Frodo out into the woods. When Boromir made a lunge for Frodo, she intervened, and ended up passing out after the ensuing fight, due to a direct blow to the head.
"Again! You go Boromir! Five times, and who knows how many more she plans on. Too bad we're going to ruin those plans right now," Zera snorted, watching as Frodo ran off. Boromir looked rather confused, but he eventually wandered back towards the others, conveniently leaving Elbereth. "Got the charge list?"
Aerilyn whipped out her notepad with a malicious grin. "You bet."
"I don't make bets with you, but okay," Zera strode forward and roughly grabbed Elbereth by the back of her tunic and hauled her up. This wasn't hard to do with the feather-light Sue. "Alrighty, freak-show – wakey-wakey time!"
The Sue opened her eyes and blinked owlishly at the Uruk-hai standing in front of her. She opened her mouth, but Zera clamped a hand over it. Those red eyes really were unsettling, Zera noted, as this was the first time she'd gotten a really good look at them.
"Thank you, Zerry. I was about to suggest that."
"You're welcome, and don't call me Zerry."
"Alright, anyway, down to business," Aerilyn cleared her throat. "A Elbereth Gilthoniel, it is my duty to inform you that you have been charged with being a Mary Sue. Also, I have recorded a list of further violations against canon, which I will share with you now."Zera didn't have to exert must effort to hold the Sue still. She didn't even try to bite, probably because she recognized this as a situation which would give her an excuse to angst more later. Being captured by orcs would certainly qualify as traumatic. Little did she know that she wasn't going to get out of this one.
"First of all, your name – not only is it stolen, but it's badly stolen. From Varda. You are also charged with altering canon biology, 'emerging from a cocoon' my orcish rear, causing character ruptures that give my CAD fits, causing every male in sight to drool over you, stealing lines, causing Elvish 'magic' to appear to work like conventional magic, displaying extremely annoying Mary Sue powers, and using enough melodramatics to make us want to hurl every five minutes since we've been here." She paused to breathe, apparently for the first time since starting the paragraph. "Anything to add, Zera?"
"You forgot 'upstaging canon characters at everything at every given opportunity'. Oh, and she created a mini – Hibbit. So, any last words that aren't painfully melodramatic?" Zera flung the Sue away and stepped back swiftly. Her partner already had her bow drawn, and Zera didn't want to be anywhere in the way. At this range, getting shot would result in Much Pain.
"I am A Elbereth Gilthoniel! You'll never—"
The twang of a bow and subsequent thudding of a large arrow into the Sue's chest cut off any further words. Aerilyn shrugged. "It was coming, you know it was," she told Zera sheepishly. The Sue fell to the ground, dead.
"Not complaining!" Zera chirped, positively ecstatic now that the Sue was gone. "You know, her getting killed by Uruk-hai here is so canonical. Job well done, old chap."
"I say that we've not quite finished the job yet, Watson," Aerilyn said in an almost flawless British accent as she hefted the Sue's body over one shoulder. "We've still got to get rid of this."
"Hmm," Zera considered. "Too bad the Balrog is already gone. We could just toss her in the river."
"Okay... Hey, what about the fell beasts? They should still be in Mordor somewhere, and I'll bet they're hungry. Shouldn't be too hard to find one, anyway."
Aerilyn smiled. "Sounds good to me."
Back at the response center, the two agents returned through a portal, looking quite smug. At least, Aerilyn was momentarily, but she had the misfortune to step out nearly on top of Oby-wan. She tripped, and Zera had to pull up sharply to avoid a similar fate.
"Ugh! He's slobbering all over me!" Aerilyn pushed at the mini-rancor. He was quite thrilled to see her, it seemed. Or maybe he realized that she didn't like him, and had fun torturing her. Either way, Zera was having a giggling fit.
"It's not all that funny," Aerilyn gathered herself and brushed back her hair with an offended look.
"Sorry." Zera was still grinning, however. She gave Oby-wan a good pet before she gathered their collective gear and dragged it over to the storage locker. She almost dropped something small and shiny in with it all as well (her idea of putting away things being 'cram them all in so that they fit'), but she caught it before it was lost in the black hole of a closet.
"What's that?" Aerilyn asked, looking vaguely interested.
"Er, a key," Zera held it up on its chain, where it dangled, glittering.
"You stole it from the Sue... why?" Aerilyn asked casually. She sat down in her chair, grabbing the copy of The Silmarillion in the same motion.
"It's pretty, and you never know, it might do something useful. Maybe. Possibly... Someday."
"You and shiny things, I swear. Well, if it makes you happy..."