03. Silver Water of Fire

[BEEEEEEEEEEP! Youfeelasleepattheconsoleagaindidn'tyou? BEEEEEEEEEEEEP]

Zera jumped, and promptly fell out of her chair, a shower of cards falling around her like confetti. One hand smacked back up on the desk, and fumbled around until hitting a button on the computer. The sound stopped, but the computer still seemed awfully smug for a piece of equipment that was supposed to be non-sentient.

"Zera, I thought I told you to unplug that thing and... what are you doing on the floor?" Aerilyn stood in the doorway, hands on her hips. Oby-wan edged around her, and shuffled on by, apparently not fazed at all by his owner's odd predicament. The mini-rancor smelled a vodka bottle somewhere, and that was a lot more interesting than Zera.

The other agent peeled a card off of her forehead, which had inexplicably gotten stuck there some time earlier. "I fell asleep. More tired than I thought I was, I guess."

"I hope you didn't drool on any of my CDs," Aerilyn muttered as she walked over to look at the computer.

Zera gave her an indignant look, and then turned her attention to the task of picking a couple more cards out of her hair. "What a loss that would be if I did," she muttered sarcastically.

"Well, at least we've both gotten some sleep," Aerilyn said, brushing off Zera's sarcasm as she often did. "Let's see who's mucking up canon this time." She leaned closer to the screen and frowned as she read off the summary. "'A cursed, once-Elf maiden, with a Mornie (a darkness) is destined to die'... Well well, I do think she's right."

Zera grinned, an expression that was definitely a bit disturbing. "Fun!" She scrambled up to grab their gear.

"Tenth walker 'Sue... a cursed elf? One with an inner-demon, so she seems to be suggesting. Sounds like a Gollum character to me – the angsty type," Aerilyn grimaced. "Tell me, Zera, why the heck would anybody, let alone Elrond, let a freaking demon join the Fellowship?"

"Because the Sue voices told them to," Zera explained easily, and handed her a large black duffel bag. "Repeat after me..."

"She is a Mary Sue. Mary Sues don't care a whit about logic," Aerilyn recited dutifully as she shook her head and set the disguise generator.

Zera was about to give her a chirpy reply, but just then the lights went out.

A moment of silence followed.

"It's dark."

"... Duh."

"I don't like the dark..."

"I know."

"What did you do?" Zera gave Aerilyn a strange look, but of course, that was pointless.

"It wasn't me," Aerilyn told her, annoyed.

"Well, what're we gonna do?" Zera wondered. "The disguise generator isn't working..." She hugged her pack closer to her chest and began rummaging through it.

"We can't just sit here and let the Sue prance about as she likes. I wonder why the power went out... has this ever happened before?" Aerilyn asked, taking out her remote portal generator.

"Not that I know of. Ah, here it is," Zera pulled out a flashlight and turned it on, managing to hit Aerilyn full in the face with the bright light.

"GAH! I'm blind!"

"Ooopsy, sorry 'bout that, Lyn," Zera said and quickly flashed the light down on the portal generator. "What about disguises?"

Aerilyn rubbed her eyes and grumbled. "We're human, that should do for this. We're going to Rivendell, as usual. If we stay out of sight, we'll be fine. 'Sides, I can shoot my bow well enough even when I'm not an Uruk-hai." She punched in the coordinates, really hoping that the last zero wasn't actually an eight.


"We seem to end up out here a lot," Zera tactfully pointed out as the two agents walked towards Rivendell. "Not that I'm complaining, it is pretty."

"Just outside Rivendell before the council... Yeah well, that council draws them like flies to honey. Better than that one time we ended up in Rohan and almost got trampled by Sue-kids, don't you think?" Aerilyn stopped and looked around speculatively.

"Yeah... Ooh, listen, sounds like a horse coming."

Indeed, a horse was galloping towards them. It was a great black horse, huge even, yet somehow it managed to look nimble. There was definitely something strange about the way it practically flew along, as if it were flying rather than running at all. Altogether, it was rather disturbing. The limp rider on his back was barely visible.

"We're not going to have to watch out for the Nazgûl, are we?" Zera asked as she followed Aerilyn towards the river.

"No... I think that she's just coming from Silverwood to tell Elrond that it's been attacked," Aerilyn muttered as she leaned against a tree.

"Silverwood?" Zera's eyebrows went up.

"Silverwood," Aerilyn confirmed grimly. "Made up 'elvin' nation, no doubt. Apparently Elros must be in charge of it, since this chick is Elrond's niece," she said as she looked over the words.

"Screwing with canon, oh yeah. Creating gratuitous uncanonical younger siblings or offspring of canon characters, and messing with family trees," Zera scribbled away on her notepad as the horse went galloping by.

"Dear sweet Eru on a pogo stick... Zera, look!" Aerilyn whispered furiously, not bothering to wait for Zera to reply, instead pointing her head around to the river.

"Oi, what? Er... The horse... is walking on the water?" Zera blinked several times, her focus shifting from the 'hooded maiden' to the horse that she was riding.

The horse, which the words had identified as Nendil, was running across the river, but somehow managed not to make any splash at all. He ran across it as if it were nothing less solid than rock. This occurrence even shocked Aerilyn out of ranting about how inappropriate it was for the horse to have a name in Quenya.

"Alright, I don't know what the official charge for that one is, but horses do not freaking walk on water. Not even elvish ones," Zera grumbled as she made a note, finishing it off with a >:( for good measure.

They followed the horse back to Rivendell, where he was met by Elrond's sons. Much fussing over the cloaked maiden ensued, much to the agents' chagrin. They took her to Elrond, who immediately began working on the Sue's wounds. How she could have made it so far after losing so much blood was anybody's guess.

Aerilyn peered into the room cautiously while Elrond was examining the Sue.

"Ai, Ló më (Child of Twilight)!" he said, then he put his hand to her forehead, and exclaimed, "Niquë!"

Aerilyn ducked back into the hallway, growling softly. "Quenya! Why must they always use Quenya? No way would Elrond be speaking it. Child of Twilight..." She snorted.

Zera added a charge about the language abuse. Or pretended to, as she had already written it down. It was just about inevitable that any good elf Sue would need it, and Aerilyn would be sure that it wasn't overlooked.

"I guess that has something to do with the demon thing. The child of the twilight thing," she commented.

"Probably... ack!" Elrohir nearly ran over Aerilyn as he dashed out to 'fetch the healers'. He didn't slow down long enough to notice anything strange.

"The best healer is in there, who exactly are they looking for?" Zera shook her head as Aerilyn dusted herself off, absently beating her CAD into submission. Apparently, Elrond, Elrohir, and Elladan were so out of character that it refused to stop shrilling.

The Sue then conveniently passed out.

"She's going to be out for a day," Aerilyn said thoughtfully. "One day and she'll be all better. Right. But that gives us a little time."

"To do what?" Zera stuffed her notebook back into her bag.

"Take care of that stupid horse. He'll be around here somewhere. Then we get to go to the council... Doesn't that sound like so much fun?" Aerilyn managed to smile and sound disgustingly cheerful.

"Yeah. Loads."


"Heeeeere horsie horsie horsie..."

"Zera, that's not going to work." Aerilyn crossed her arms and gave her partner a look from the steps of the Hall of Fire. They knew better to go looking at the stables, because surely such a Sueish horse wouldn't allow himself to be restrained like that. He was no doubt frolicking somewhere in Imladris.

"Says who?" Zera walked across the empty courtyard, making cooing noises as if she were calling a puppy.

Rustling noises came from some nearby bushes. A few seconds later, the very horse that they were looking for stepped out, tail flicking as he pranced proudly out into the open. As soon as he saw Zera, he stopped, head up high, and his ears pricked forward.

"Okay..." Zera was very still, suddenly aware of how big the horse really was. She really didn't like the gleam in his eyes either...

"Just don't move," Aerilyn told Zera calmly. As soon as the horse had appeared, she'd pulled out her bow and started getting ready. She had an arrow out, and her sights were on the horse's head. If she shot just below his ear there...

"Um, Aerilyn, I think he suspects something." Zera was standing very still, as her partner had commanded, but the horse was advancing on her, and he didn't look happy. She should have figured, since he was so intelligent. In fact, he was so smart that he could sense what was going on. "Oh this is bad..."

"Dammit," Aerilyn cursed quietly. She couldn't get off a shot at this angle without very likely shooting Zera first. She had to do something, though, because Zera was about to be trampled...

Suddenly an arrow shot out from the trees on the other side of the clearing. The shot was nearly perfect, as the arrow hit the horse's head, zipping just barely by Zera's nose in the process. The agent jumped back just as the horse fell to the ground with a loud thud. "We thought you two could use some help."

A tall elf stepped out from the trees whence the arrow had come. She was dark-haired, and her green and brown outfit was typical of an elf from Imladris, but she carried a bow and a strangely familiar black bag on her shoulder, a quiver on the other. Just behind her, a slightly shorter female elf followed, similarly equipped.

"And who in Eru's name are you two?" Aerilyn asked dryly. She could have made that shot, if she'd been at a better angle, she thought sourly.

"And thanks," Zera said as she brushed herself off.

"Agent Talia, Department of Mary Sues, Lord of the Rings Division." The taller elf nodded.

"Agent Halley," the other elf volunteered. "And hoo boy, are you two in trouble."

"What for?" Aerilyn asked, still sounding somewhat bitter as she went over to stand with Zera.

"They thought you two got stuck in-between dimensions or something," the elf designated as Talia told them. "Or maybe that you died. The systems all went down when the power went out, and by the time they came back on, you two were gone. No one knows what happened to you. They sent us to take care of this fic since you two..."

"Dead?" Zera squeaked. "That's silly."

"Well, we're not dead, and we can handle this one just fine by ourselves," Aerilyn said defensively. If there was one thing she hated worse than Sues, it was people stepping all over her toes. And the idea of going to see the SO after this was done was not something that would put one in a pleasant mood.

Talia shrugged casually, slinging her quiver of arrows back over her shoulder. "If that's the way you want it. She is your cursed Sue, after all. We'll go take care of this thing and go back to let them know you're alive." She paused and grinned, rather disturbingly. "For now."

"Yeah, you do that." Aerilyn grabbed onto Zera's arm and hauled her back in the direction of the Hall of Fire.

"Ow, ow... And thanks again for, you know, keeping me from getting trampled," Zera called out cheerfully.

"Don't mention it," Talia replied, looking dryly amused.


"You know, we could have let them stay a bit longer," Zera started reproachfully as she made herself comfortable while they waited for the Council to start. At least, as comfortable as one could make themselves when they were using a rock for a chair.

"Why?" Aerilyn asked absently, as she was busy sharpening her dagger.

"I dunno, somebody to talk to?" Zera asked. She deftly snatched Aerilyn's CD player and returned to her seat. "And don't look now," she said sourly as she tossed Aerilyn's CD to one side and put in her own, "but here comes Miss Mary Sue."

"Hey!" Aerilyn snatched the CD before it hit the ground, and turned just in time to see a slender figure sweep across the pavilion floor. A cloak was pulled close around her figure, obscuring her features, especially her face.

"Oh, that's original, wearing a cloak and being all mysterious to the secret Council meeting. Where have I seen that before?" Zera asked, speaking a little too loudly over her music.

Aerilyn clamped a hand over her partner's mouth. "Shush, they could hear us, we're not in disguise. In three million other Sue fics, maybe? Like with A Elbereth Gilthoniel?" she muttered, grimacing a bit at the mere mention of the name.

Zera made a rude noise. "Right. Oh, and look at Legolas..."

Legolas was staring after the mysterious maiden and he had a definitely dazed expression. The Sue was wearing a flowing blue dress, and she stood with an air of authority. In fact, she seemed to think that no one present at the Council was worth looking at except Elrond. Legolas looked jealous.

[Legolas. Elf male. Out of Character 75.1%.... Blip.] Aerilyn's CAD reported with a moody air.

Both agents sighed.

"Poor elf," Zera murmured.

They were fairly quiet for a while, as the Sue sat, mysteriously as ever, simply watching as the Council proceeded in the normal movie-canon fashion.

And then the Sue decided to be dramatic, as if that was something new.

The Sue swept to her feet (the agents notice that she did a lot of 'sweeping' for someone who had, apparently, never touched a broom) and knelt at Frodo's feet. She pulled back her hood, revealing her long silvery hair. Soft gasps and hushed whispering went around at this, and the word 'demon' was uttered more than once.

Zera was trying her best to fend off a grin and failing. "She's..." she paused and snorted with repressed laughter, "a demon, and they know because she has—" another snort, "'cursed silken silver hair."

Aerilyn gave her a nasty look. "I have silver hair, and it's not 'cursed'," she retorted sourly as she fingered a strand.

"Frodo Baggins, I may be cursed, a demon as some say. However, I offer to you my power. You have my protection and my friendship, if you will take them," the Sue said, ignoring the whispering.

"Say 'no', you idiot," Aerilyn hissed. "Could he not feel the 'evil stirring in the pavilion'? She's a demon. Letting a demon... cursed elf... whatever the hell she is... that close to the Ring does not sound like a good idea."

"Of course, Milady. I would be honored to have your protection, and more so your friendship," Frodo replied.

"Poor Frodo." Zera snatched Aerilyn's CAD and waved it at the hobbit.

[CANON RUPTURE! BEEEEP!] Zera raised an eyebrow. That was unusual. Good thing that the sound was turned off...

Aerilyn snatched it back. "That's mine. You know what? This git annoys me. A lot."

"Ack, don't get your hair on me!" Zera yelped quietly, grinning and backing away a bit. "It burns us, precious!"

Aerilyn resisted the urge to throttle her partner, just barely. "Silver hair is not uncanon," she growled, "but it is uncommon for elves here, and furthermore, it is not cursed, nor the sign of a demon. Celeborn isn't a freaking demon, now is he? No, he's not. And Celeborn does have silver hair." The fact that Celeborn's hair had been pale blond instead of silver in the movie irritated Aerilyn to no end.

Zera nodded. "I know. Still..." She grinned. "Maybe you are a demon."

She was smart enough to duck.

"Hey, you could have hit me with that!" Zera stared back at the tree just behind her, which had an arrow embedded in it.

"One more crack about my silver hair... I dare you." Aerilyn put her bow away. "Enough playing around. We've got a Sue to kill. How is your charge list going?" She watched as the men, elves, dwarves, and hobbits began to get up and make their way back, wondering idly what happened to the rest of the rest of the Council. Apparently, the rest of it wasn't important, and it would have taken away from the Sue's climactic scene, so it was just left out.

Zera seemed to get over being shot at rather quickly. "Lessee... Causing personality alterations and character rupture, causing a character to act like a love-struck fool over an original character, causing male characters to be misogynistic, causing an original character to join the Fellowship of the Ring, mangling of Elvish... do I really need to go on?"

"And that's without the demon stuff," Aerilyn said thoughtfully. "That's plenty. All we have to worry about is when to get her."

"She'll be going on a moonlight stroll tonight," Zera said, checking over the words. "To meet Legolas, of course. You sure you don't want to wait for her 'Gollum' scene? She has this wonderful conversation with the demon, which is supposedly inside of her. I'd swear that she stole the whole routine from somewhere... so familiar..."

"She probably did. I've had enough clichés for today, thank you, and enough of this cursed elf with her cursed silver hair." She rolled her eyes. "Come on."


"There's Legolas. We've got to keep him away, or he'll definitely run some kind of interference," Zera whispered.

The agents were hiding in the trees, just beyond a wandering forest path which the Sue was due to come wandering down any minute. It was the evening after the Council, and most of Imladris's guests were sleeping.

Aerilyn had agreed to let Zera have this one, but she was still griping over the cursed hair, and occasionally the Sue's annoying usage of Quenya. Not to mention the fact that the Fellowship was supposed to already be on their way, not waiting for dawn...

"I'll get him," Aerilyn told her. "Just be ready to use that charge list. I'm not sure what this demon thing is capable of, but I don't think she's going to let us kill her easily."

"Gee, thanks, I feel so confident now."

"You're welcome."

A tall golden-blond elf came walking along the path, humming quietly to himself.

"That's my cue," Aerilyn muttered under her breath. "If you need help, scream or something, I'll keep elf-boy here busy." With that, she jumped out from her cover and tripped Legolas.

Zera didn't waste any time in heading off to find the Sue. The sooner she got the technicalities out of the way, the sooner she could kill the Sue, and the sooner they'd both be back at HQ.

It wasn't long before the Sue came along. She wasn't paying much attention to where she was walking. Zera had seen it before. Many Sues had perfected the dream-like state, combined with aimless wandering about at night, which was apparently instrumental in attracting their lust object of choice.

"At least she's not taking a bath in the river," Zera muttered.

The Sue looked up sharply. "Hello?"

"Hello." The agent stepped out in front of her. She was holding a long dagger casually at her side, and had a notepad in other hand.

"Who are you?" The Sue frowned. She had not been expecting to meet a strange human girl.

"My name is Zera... Agent Zera, and I'm here to give you these charges," Zera told her cheerfully and waved the notepad at her. If Aerilyn had been within earshot, she would have definitely smacked her forehead at that.

The Sue sniffed. "I don't know who you are, little girl, but you shouldn't meddle in the affairs of a cursed elf." The Sue pulled back the hood of her cloak, letting her silver hair fall out over her shoulders.

The agent simply stared, wondering if that hair could be put to good use somehow...

"Yeah, whatever. First off, you, Naria, are charged with being a Mary Sue. In accordance with the policies set down by the PPC, I shall read you your charge list. You have the right to whine and complain during the reading, but understand that it will only be given once, regardless of your state of attention. The list is as follows... Ahem... causing a character, Legolas, to act like a love-struck fool over an original character – that's you; causing male characters to be misogynistic, causing an original character to join the Fellowship..."

"Wait just a moment..." The Sue scowled.

"Mangling and misuse of Elvish, since you insist on using Quenya when no self-respecting elf would," Zera went on, ignoring her protest. "Causing personality alterations and character rupture in Legolas, Elrond, Gandalf, Frodo, Boromir, possibly Gimli, and a few dozen others which I forgot to write down. Oh, and being the niece of Elrond? Not possible... Elrond had one brother, and he was mortal, and he died a loooong time ago. I'd also like to add annoying the agents, because you do annoy me, and my partner with your cursed hair. Really badly. Also, you are disgustingly melodramatic, and by the way that whole cursed by Sauron thing... It's just nuts. Aaany last words?"

"I have some for you, little girl."

Zera jumped, having prepared for such a reaction. In the same motion, she practically flung the dagger, with surprising force. Her aim was good enough, scoring a fair hit on the Sue's neck. The wound itself wasn't fatal, but the poison made up for that.

"Ye Olde Poisonous Poison, how I love thee." Zera grinned cheerfully as the Sue collapsed. She was rather proud of herself... She'd done it all by herself. Hah... she was the senior agent, after all, she didn't always have to let the new kid do all the work.

"Holy crap! Zera, duck!"

So much for that good mood. Zera obeyed the shouted command without thinking. When your partner told you to do something in that sort of tone, you did it without asking questions.

"At least you warned me this time," she muttered, scuttling forward when she heard something fall to the ground with a soft thud behind her.

She looked up to see a strange sight. Instead of her partner holding a bow, it was actually Legolas. He was looking at something behind Zera with a look of confused disgust. After turning around, she saw that it was a dark form, dressed in black, with long black hair, vaguely elvish in appearance. To her relief, it seemed to be most definitely dead.

"That demon... Guess she wasn't permanently attached to the Sue after all," Aerilyn said. She gave Legolas a bright smile. "Nice shot. Not that I would expect anything less from the elf who... oh never mind."

"What sort of foul creature is it?" Legolas stepped forward. "Is it one of the...?" He stopped. It was obvious enough that he was thinking of the Nazgûl. The demon did have a look reminiscent of them.

"It's called a Sue, those are what we agents kill, as I was about to explain to you... Don't worry about it, it'll all be okay in a moment or two," Aerilyn told him. Indeed, already the canon was starting to settle back into place, with the death of the Sue and of her demon. Once the agents left, everything would fit back into place.

"I could have gotten her too," Zera sighed. She was glad, though, that she and Aerilyn were a lot less evil-looking than the demon, or else Legolas could have been shooting at them instead.

"Of course. Score one for the canon, today." Aerilyn was in quite the chipper mood. How often did one get to see Legolas kill a Sue? Well, demon-Sue-thing... It was refreshing.

"Right-o." Zera nodded and grinned at Legolas as the agents gathered their things. "No hard feelings at all. You deserve this one.... Oy, we'd better be getting back to HQ now. The SO is going to have our heads, remember."

Aerilyn winced. "It was nice talking to you, Legolas, strange conversation though it was." She went to work getting a portal up just behind the dead bodies. She didn't want to have to drag them half a mile and she was pretty sure that Zera felt the same. "Zera? The flashy thing?"

"Oh yeah, right, I guess we have to...." Zera rummaged in her pack and pulled out a small device. "Just look right here, Legolas." She set the dials, and covered her eyes before clicking the button. A bright flash later, Legolas remembered nothing about the Sue, or of the agents, or anything that had happened in the last twenty-four hours or so.

By the time he was coming back to his senses, the agents were gone.