03. Pecking Suns

Disclaimer: I don’t own Tolkien’s works, the usual drill here, nor do I own the “PPC“. I do own Fireblade (since she’s basically me on lots and lots of sugar) and Taro, and Fix-It. Any mentions of anything from Terry Pratchett, the Japanese singer Gackt, Rurouni Kenshin, or Monty Python are likewise not mine.

The Sue we’re PPCing this time is an extraneous daughter of Aragorn. The story is called “Daughter of the King” and is up on fanfiction.net, as usual, by someone who calls herself AngelPrncss07. I wonder what a Prncss is, really…

And the badly-spelled Japanese is entirely my fault. I speak a little, but I can’t write it and I can’t spell most of it, and I can’t read it, so I’m just writing the Gackt lyrics as they sound to me. I completely apologize to any people who DO speak Japanese!

http://www.fanfiction.net/s/1975459/1/ is the link.

One walking down the hall of PPC Headquarters may have heard an argument floating through one of the doors, with a strange underscoring of some music in a different language.

“We should give it to the rescue agency. They’ll take better care of it than we would—“

“She’s a her, not an it, and besides, she loves the one who rescued her from the nasty Sue!”

The sharp female voice abruptly degenerated, and emerged in baby-talk. “Doesn’t she, the pwetty widdle giwl. Awen’t you cuuuute?”

Taro sighed, somewhat disgusted by his partner’s complete gooiness over what he privately referred to as “Sue-spawn.”

It had settled on a silvery gray as a color, as things do not generally fare well colorless. The “Colty—“ indeed, a she—was currently getting her ears rubbed by a Fireblade in a mood Taro had never seen before—completely, utterly, hopelessly squishy.

Taro rubbed his temples. “Don’t you dare name it something Sueish,” he said, giving up after the persistent half-hour of gooiness. Kali had left muttering something under her breath about too much sugar for even her to take and looking somewhat saner twenty minutes before.

“I’m giving her a Hawkbrother name,” said Fireblade, with dignity, “From the Mercedes Lackey continuum, like my own. I’ll call her Rainwing.”

Taro sighed again and pleaded, “Fireblade, we aren’t even here most of the time. How will you be able to raise i—Rainwing?”

Fireblade pretended she hadn’t heard the impending ‘it.’ “I suppose you have a point,” she said, “I’ll let Fix-It be her nanny.”

Her partner rolled his eyes. “Just give her to the rescue team. You can visit.”

Fireblade’s lip trembled, and Taro mentally groaned as she slipped back into her ‘squishy’ mode. “But she’s so cuuuute!” wailed his partner, “How can I give her up?”

“That’s settled, then,” said Taro, hastily, “I’ll take her there, I’m senior agent and I know the way. Sort of. Read your Pratchett books.”

Taro nodded to Arngorn, who had been looking increasingly annoyed the more Fireblade paid attention to “Rainwing”, and the mini-balrog hastily launched one of Fireblade’s books towards her.

It hit her corner-first on the back of the head, and since it was hardback, the young woman was stunned. Taro slipped the newly-named Rainwing from Fireblade’s arms and bolted.

When he returned, Taro was carrying some hot peppermint tea—Fireblade’s drink of choice—and a chocolate cupcake as a peace offering. As he had predicted, his partner was deep into the Pratchett book—Going Postal—and accepted the food with no more than a smile.

Taro flopped down on the beanbags, carefully not voicing any hope for a nap, so the Ironic Overpowers would not strike him—

But they did anyway. The strains of Japanese rock music from the computer halted as a [BEEEEEEEEEEEEEP!] rang through the room, causing a yelp from Taro and a corresponding screech from Fireblade as she spilled her tea. Taro ignored her swearing in various languages and sighed heavily—again—as he sat in front of the computer.

He grimaced as he began to read, wincing at the bad grammar. Then, a few paragraphs in—


Fireblade cursed as the rest of her tea went flying, splashing against the wall. “You know, we forgot to chop Honesah’s wings off,” she said, “And the horn.”

Taro glared at her. “And that has to do with this…how?

It was Fireblade’s turn to sigh. “Never mind. I’ll just say you’re lucky Kali has the memory span of a goldfish. Now, what has you so agitated? It can’t be Luthien. We’re not Silmverse.”

Taro glared at her with narrowed eyes and jabbed his finger at the computer venomously. “Read,” he hissed between his teeth. Fireblade looked.

And, sure enough, about eight seconds later, for Fireblade was the faster reader—”WHAT?”

Taro nodded to himself as Fireblade began to rant. “She made Aragorn pinky promise?

“So it would seem,” said Taro, his voice still poisonous, “Let’s go in as sword-cops, I really don’t want to be random ruffians again, because Sano always—“

Fireblade’s angry glare turned, for the moment, into a puzzled look. “…Sword cops?” she said, blankly.

Taro paused. “Er. Wrong continuum. In Kenshinverse, we were always stuck with either ruffians or sword-poli…never mind. Um. She travels like crazy. Rhohirrim? We’d get horses…”

“But why would they attack her?” pointed out Fireblade. “Elves?”

“She spends time in Rohan,” retorted Taro.

“But she ends up in ‘Riverdale,’” said Fireblade, “Besides, it’s annoying to be disguised as Rhohirrim on horseback, because then you can’t get off.”

Taro thought about this. “True. But Elves wouldn’t attack either.”

Fireblade sighed. “I hate being Uruk-hai, I really do, but I suppose it’s the best way to go.”

“Unless you’d like to be Orcs again…” replied Taro, “She doesn’t go to Mirkwood and it’s after the War of the Ring anyway, so we can’t really do spiders. Uruks it is.” He poked a few buttons on the console, and paused as Fireblade began digging through a pile of her things. “What are you doing?”

“I’m going to need Gackt for this one,” said Fireblade, still rummaging, and at last emerging with her portable CD player. Flicking it open, she found the CD she wanted inside and closed it. “And…yeah, I have the scarves.”

Without bothering to glance at Taro’s raised eyebrow at the scarf comment, Fireblade stuffed said items into her pack and hopped through the waiting portal.

Taro followed Fireblade into the portal, emerging on the other side as an Uruk-Hai. “I didn’t know you liked Gackt,” he commented idly as the Disclaimer boomed over their heads.

“I thought it would’ve been in the briefing,” said Fireblade, with a wince as the story paused just before the opening, “I’m actually an anime and Japanese-stuff fanati—ow.”

Taro too winced at the bad grammar of the beginning, as they appeared in a vague hall, presumably in Gondor. The agents ducked behind the dais at one end of the room. “What’s a ‘safes’ passes?” Taro asked as Aragorn addressed the Mary-Sue.

Fireblade kept her voice low as she answered, “Maybe where banks go through Customs, or something?”

Taro cast her an odd look. Fireblade grimaced, all vestiges of gooiness from Rainwing eradicated, thanks to the terrible grammar and having spilled boiling hot tea on her leg. “It’s what occurred to me.”

Taro didn’t answer, but his eyes narrowed dangerously as the Sue demanded that her father ‘pinky promise’.

Fireblade too glared, then her eyes narrowed further as something occurred to her. “She must die. Aside from that, does this seem oddly spaced to you?”

Taro looked at the Words and winced. “She’s doing the sentence-paragraph thing.”

Fireblade muttered something under her breath. Taro, who had worked in Kenshinverse for quite a while, recognized Japanese curse words—not to mention what sounded like French—but didn’t comment.

The Sue raced down the levels and found her horse. The agents followed, and were just in time to hear her shout, “Regotho, show me the meaning of haste!” before they bolted out of the city.

“Gr-eee-aaa-t,” said Fireblade, drawing out the word, “Ripping off Gandalf’s lines—that goes on the charge list.”

“We’ll have to get the bit-character sons,” pointed out Taro.

Fireblade sighed. “And the Cute Animal Friend. Maybe he’ll be friends with Alice. Um…”

She took out her CAD and, pressing the mute button foresightedly, waved it at Aragorn and Arwen.

[Arwen Evenstar. Canon. OOC: 47.64%] read the screen, and the partners nodded. “Not that bad,” said Fireblade, “Not ruptured, anyway.”

Next was Aragorn, and—

[Aragorn son of Arathorn, Strider, Lightfoot, Estel, Elfstone—]

“We know, we know,” muttered Taro, “Just cut to the chase.”

[Canon. OOC: 94.577524546% CHARACTER RUPTURE!!!]

Fireblade winced as the CAD singed her fingers, and dropped it hastily. “I really hope it hasn’t short-circuited,” she said.

Taro looked up at the words. “Want to watch Gimli and Legolas be out of character, or should we portal to Rohan—“ he paused—“’A day and after later’?”

Fireblade snickered. “What’s that supposed to mean? And Legolas is mangled enough, poor Elf, let’s just go to Rohan. I really think MT should clone him or something, give him some stress relief.”

“You may have something there,” replied Taro, as he opened the portal.

Eowyn was greeting the Sue with a somewhat dazed look in her eyes. Fireblade growled as Taro pulled her to the side. “Putting Eowyn in Rohan after the War of the Ring—“ she snarled, “Can I kill her yet?”

“Nah, we need more of a charge list,” replied Taro, raising an eyebrow. His partner seemed to have a rather low border between relative sanity and being pushed over the edge…

How does she look into the ‘sky blue eyes of a blond elf’ as she is ‘looking ahead as she entered into the hall’?” stated Fireblade as the next few sentences scrolled by.

She paused. “I just stated, didn’t I,” she stated.

“There’s only two,” said Taro, “And don’t look, because her head’s going to sort of split—I saw this once when a Sue stared at Sano and Kenshin at the same time, but they were on opposite sides of the room.”

Fireblade averted her eyes as the Sue’s head split and she looked both ahead and at the ‘blond elf’ at the same time, as Taro had predicted. Really, it was quite grisly.

The next chapter started with Arethen walking into the halls of Rohan, which ‘seem homier than Gondor’s Halls where the marble walls made it always seem cold and scary. While this one seem warm and comforting all the flags of the white horse of Rohan, here she felt like she was part of the family already.’

“Bad—grammar— “ whimpered Fireblade, clamping her hands over her ears.

“Have you noticed that her name is ‘are’ and ‘then’?” asked Taro, looking at the Words again, “How’s that supposed to make any sense?”

When his partner didn’t answer, he looked over at where she was rooting through her backpack. “Fireblade?”

Without replying, Fireblade passed a long—well, it looked something like loosely-knitted yarn—around her waist and tied it tightly. Still not looking up, she grabbed her CD player, rigged up an attachment to the pseudo-belt, and clamped the headphones over her ears. “Guaranteed fall-down-the-stairs and horseback-ride proof,” she said, turning up the volume full blast as Eowyn started trying to say something and pushing ‘play.’ “I need Gackt.”

Even though his partner’s headphones were very good, Taro could hear the guitar solo that opened one of the songs from where he stood three feet away. He looked back at the Sue, shaking his head slightly as the bad grammar continued. Looking up at the Words, his eyes widened, and he prayed that Fireblade hadn’t noticed—

Yet somehow, through the incredibly loud J-rock, Fireblade had still picked up—

”GREENLEAF AGAIN!” she shrieked, and Taro had to tackle her and get her down on the floor as the Sue whirled—there was no way Arethen had missed that.

“What happened to Shadowfax being the fastest?” he muttered to himself, scrolling along the Words and keeping Fireblade pinned firmly, hoping that his weight—not to mention his pack—and Gackt would keep her from going insane.

Several painful sentence-paragraphs later, everyone started speeding up and moving very fast. Taro cautiously released Fireblade, who took one look at the Words and curled into a ball, hands over her ears.

Obviously, they were experiencing time-compression. Taro frowned down at his partner. “This is only your third mission,” he said, sternly, prodding the silent Fireblade with his foot, “I admit that Honesah was worth at least four on its own, but you’re not allowed to go insane until you’ve had at least fifteen missions.”

Taro’s partner did not move, her lips moving slightly as she mouthed the words to the song she was listening to.

“Well, that’s an interesting sight on an Uruk-hai,” muttered Taro, watching with mild interest as the sun set and rose again at super-speed. Since his partner was being stubbornly silent, Taro read along with the Words and added to the charge list.

At last, Arethen left Rohan with Legolas yelling after her. “I don’t even want to know how OOC that was,” said Taro, standing and prodding Fireblade with his foot again.

“Ki-be TORO, o-mori tekah, can’t HEAR you!” sang Fireblade in a half-desperate scream. Taro rolled his eyes and turned the volume down. “Chapter end,” he said, opening the portal.

Fireblade stalked through.

The agents found themselves in the woods near where Arethen and Legolas—Gimli had mysteriously disappeared—would make camp. “Looks like Legolas gathers berries, ignoring his hunting skills, while Arethen goes and runs around. Feel like listening to her proclaim herself immortal and then whine about how her father doesn’t tell her any good war stories?” said Taro.

Eighteen games of Speed and two turning-up-of-Gackt episodes later, both characters fell asleep. The partners rolled their eyes at one another. “Really, they’re not even going to keep watch?” said Fireblade, rubbing the spot between her eyebrows.

“You’re trying logic,” was all that Taro replied.

With a quick step through a portal to the next chapter, Fireblade and Taro found Arethen considering ‘Legolas sleeping like a baby.’

“Elves don’t sleep,” said Fireblade and Taro in unison.

“Hey, it’s random! orc-attack time,” said Taro, after a few moments.

“And cranky Legolas,” said Fireblade, “That’s a charge right there.”

To the agents’ surprise, however, there suddenly came an extremely fast orc attack and consecutive runaway by Arethen and Legolas on the Cute Animal Friend. It only took about eight seconds, from the eyes of the agents, thanks to the time-compression still going on. “Legolas was a bloody Fellowship member,” said Fireblade, in a voice that was closer to a hiss, “And he ran away?

Taro handed her the charge list and the pen. Fireblade spent several minutes in busy scribbling. “And they’re holding hands,” continued Fireblade under her breath, but Taro tapped her.

“This is interesting.”

Apparently, the Mary Sue and Legolas were riding through the night, but since there was no destination specified for several minutes, the horse simply moved in place, making the pair look rather stupid. Fireblade shook her head sadly at the sight of Legolas’ glazed expression. “That poor, poor Elf,” she said, wearily, “He’s pursued by more fangirls than the most egotistical rock star could ever desire, and yet all he wants is to spend time with Gimli and go over the Sea.”

Taro nodded agreement. “This is true,” he replied, thoughtfully, “Maybe we should hijack the Lord of the Rings DVD manufacturer and make Orlando Bloom ugly?”

“Elf,” pointed out Fireblade, “Ugly is a no-no.”

At last, the Sue and her horse—Legolas hardly counted, as brainless as he was being forced to act—began to move, and the agents portaled after, arriving at ‘a lake’ just in time to see “an elf looking at her surprisingly.”

“Wow,” said Fireblade, staring at the Elf that had just appeared out of nowhere, “Let’s call him Amroth!”

“Isn’t that Quenya?” pointed out Taro, closing the portal, “He looks like a Sindar.”

“At least it’s a correct name, not ‘are then,’” pointed out Fireblade, with a shudder, closing her eyes.

“Point,” conceded Taro, “But hurry, or you’ll miss the sunrise.”

Fireblade looked east. “What about the su—oh my dear sweet Eru.”

For the sun was pecking over the lake, rather like a large fireball chicken shining with a blinding light. “It burns,” she whimpered, clapping her hands over her eyes.

Taro too had covered his eyes. “She—the Maia within it, that is—is made of fire,” he muttered, wincing, “With eyes that burn— “

“I know that, Taro.”


Just then, Legolas fell asleep again for no apparent reason, and the two agents were catapulted into chapter five.

The first sight that met their eyes was a blindingly bright orb smashing over and over into Legolas’ body. Fireblade’s expression of horror at the pecking sun turned to complete confusion. Whatever was going through her mind was summed up as she said:

“…the hell?

Taro looked up at the Words. “Legolas began to wake to a bright sun beating down on him,” he read, glancing briefly at the sun, then back at the Words. “Well, that’s one hell of an alarm clock.”

“You’re telling me,” muttered Fireblade, “Can we kill her now? Please?”

“Uh…not technically, but I guess we could nail her at the end of the chapter for a repeated offense or something.”

Fireblade stared at her partner. “Huh?”

“Ripping off Gandalf’s lines again,” explained Taro.

“Fine,” replied Fireblade, sitting down firmly and folding her arms, “But as soon as that happens, she must die.”

They endured ‘Arethen’ telling Legolas his horse had run away and deciding to ride together. When Legolas mounted ‘Rethogo,’ the Sue’s horse, the stallion reared and bucked him off. “What happened to the Elvish gift with horses?” spluttered Taro, as Legolas went soaring into the lake.

Fireblade merely shook her head and allowed it to sink into her hands, unable to bear the mangling on canon much longer.

But in a moment she flew to her feet. “They fight for thirty minutes, and then—the Cute Animal Friend did that because he liked Legolas?” she shrieked, and Taro had to hastily tackle her behind a bush before Arethen turned around, “What kind of horse—what the bloody hell—that’s it, I’m killing her now.”

Standing up and taking in hand the Uruk-hai sword/cudgel that had been attached to her hip for the disguise, Fireblade marched out of the bushes and declared, “Arethen, you are charged with being the oldest daughter of Aragorn—his oldest child was a son—making him pinky promise, ripping off Gandalf’s lines, making Legolas act like an idiot, making Eowyn Queen of Rohan, having a horse faster than Shadowfax, making Legolas be unable to control said horse, making said horse act completely unhorselike, making Legolas a wimp in front of orcs, giving Legolas whiplash, even though I guess I haven’t let that happen quite yet, but anyway, making Aragorn use bad grammar, and pissing the hell out of me and my partner! For this, you are sentenced to immediate death.”

Fireblade swung the cudgel, sending the Sue’s head flying off in a shower of glitter.

Legolas blinked and looked down at himself, before looking back at Fireblade and Taro, who had just emerged from the bushes. “Who are you and why am I soaking wet?” he demanded.

Fireblade shook her head. “Here, I’ll get the horse. You neuralize him and send him back to…uh…where he’s supposed to be. Yeah.”

Taro agreed hastily, since he really had no idea what to do with horses, and pulled out his neuralizer. “Look at this,” he told Legolas, twisting a few dials, shutting his eyes, and pushing the button.

As he made the portal, he heard Fireblade talking to the horse. “Now, Rethogo is hardly a good name for you, is it,” she said, holding his reins in one hand just below the throat-latch, “Poor thing, having to put up with that creature the whole time—I think I’ll call you Snickerdoodle.”

Taro choked on his own spit as he whirled from the now-closing portal. “What kind of name is that?” he demanded, after a few seconds of coughing.

Fireblade stared at him. “You can call him Snickers, or Doodles, depending on your mood,” she said, patiently, “Are you setting the portal or not?”

“It’s going to the agency,” replied Taro, in a stern tone. Fireblade sighed. “I know, but I can still call him Snickerdoodle if I want.”

Taro pointed firmly at the portal, and Fireblade headed through, leading the horse.

Fireblade: Well, that was rather hard to write because this Sue was very difficult to make funny. But as a bonus, you get to read the song I wrote just for all you PPCers! Enjoy!

[Editor's Note: I decided to give the song that constituted the rest of this Author's Note its own chapter]