Eclectic Subdivision of Advanced Species

Protectors of the Plot Continuum

Mission 2: The Scourge of the Scarlet Maiden

 

September 2006 HST

 

(BEEEEP!)

 

The sound of the console filled the RC. Logan swore as he looked at his watch. True to the combined Laws of Narrative Imperative and Dramatic Irony, he had been asleep less than twenty minutes. Logan rolled off the couch, rubbing his eyes, and lurched over to the console. His eyes went wide as he read the summary of the offending fanfic.

 

"Oh, sweet Eru!"

 

 Entropy looked up from a beaker of mysterious oily looking liquid and looked at Logan quizzically. "Do I even want to know?" he asked.

 

"Most likely not, but you're finding out anyway," Logan replied, "The worst thing is that this author has to have read the Silmarillion, and yet still writes this tripe. Oh look -we have Dol Guldur, seemingly after the downfall of Sauron, and yet not overthrown by Celeborn and Thranduil. We have Thuringwethil, mysteriously alive and well despite Luthien using her as eveningwear. And to top it off they've tried to write in archaic style…"


His voice trailed off as he shook his head in disgust, then he read a few more lines and started to pummel the console in rage, adding a few more dents to the already battered exterior.

 

"Heir of Fëanor!? This jumped up Stu actually dares to call himself Heir of Fëanor? Right…death's too good for this one - I think the Halls of Mandos would be appropriate, wouldn't they? See how he likes spending some time with the real Fëanor!"

 

"Either that or sending him to Morgoth and let the Dark Lord take care of him."

 

Entropy poured the solution into a large beaker full of purple liquid. It went 'gloop' and fizzed ominously.

 

In his fireproof corner, Isengrad, Logan's Mini-Balrog, cowered. It was a wise thing to do whenever Entropy started messing around with, well, anything. The only surprise was that Entropy worked for ESAS rather than DOGA given his obvious pyromaniac tendencies.

Logan idly tossed Isengrad some bacon from a packet in a bar fridge next to the console, and returned to the fic.

 

"That'll do. We'll have plenty of time to decide. It appears to be almost entirely OC, so we'll have no lack of targets. Pity it's in LOTR and not Star Wars - lightsabers are so useful for this kind of target-rich environment."

 

Logan looked altogether far too happy at the thought of mowing down bit characters with a lightsaber.

 

"Sure. How inconvenient of Professor Tolkien not to have written some Jedi into Lord of the Rings just to please you. Now give me a moment to clean up this solution," Entropy said, "That is, if you still want the RC here when we come back."

 

"OK. Probably for the best if you clean it up, then. I'll start programming our disguises. It's set in Southern Mirkwood and Lorien, so I guess we'll be Elves. Apparently there's plenty of contact between Rivendell, Mirkwood and Lorien, so we can be any type of Elves we want. Feel Sindarin today, En?" Logan asked.

 

"I guess…How about you?" Entropy replied, pouring the contents of the beaker into a waste bucket.

 

"Noldor. Definitely House of Finarfin for me…you know Finrod is my hero. I don't feel up to taking on a Silmarillion badfic quite yet, so this is as close as I'm going to get for a while. We're going to need some pretty heavy weaponry, though - something tells me Thuringwethil may be rather difficult to deal with. Have you still got that heavy crossbow?"

 

"No. I traded it to an Agent in the DMS Discworld division for some scumble. You know, I've almost finished turning scumble into a simple alternative to napalm… Just a few more tests and we can burn Sues at will - won't even need a crossbow."

 

"Entropy! Focus! You will need a weapon - we have a Suvian Maia vampire to deal with, godsdammit."

 

Logan had grown rather tired of Entropy's various "projects", which had threatened to flood the RC with noxious gases on more than one occasion, and to find out Entropy had wasted a perfectly good crossbow on yet another random tangent pleased Logan not one bit. Entropy was almost un-PPC in his apathy towards weapons, preferring inflammable and/or explosive chemicals.

 

Logan, however, had been known to drool over particularly nice longswords, not to mention his prized lightsaber, although the Flowers That Be didn’t allow him to use the lightsaber except in a room shielded with Mandalorian iron and with a medical droid on permanent standby.

 

"Sorry, Logan. We can call by the armoury before going in and I'll grab a crossbow there. Happy?"

 

"Fine," Logan admitted grudgingly, "Let's start getting ready, though - the console might start beeping at us again if it thinks we're not moving fast enough."

 

Logan started rummaging through a stratified pile of music, clothing and generalised mess, looking for his CAD. Entropy, in contrast had already fetched the remote activator, his CAD and a backpack out of a lab cabinet and was stuffing vials of chemicals into the backpack. Logan finally found his CAD hidden behind his violin case, and grabbed a falchion and a hunting knife from the weapons rack - the only organised space in Logan's half of the RC.

 

A backpack quickly followed and Logan started filling it with a CD player and whatever CDs were nearby. Entropy made sure he grabbed an emergency bottle of iced tea from the bar fridge before leaving - Logan's tenuous grip on sanity slipped when he went too long without iced tea, and Entropy had no intention of being stuck in Middle Earth with a homicidal Logan. Well, a more homicidal than usual Logan...

 

Five minutes, and a considerable amount of mess later, Entropy and Logan went out into the featureless grey halls of PPC Headquarters in search of a crossbow.

 

Entropy was distracted, as always, by whatever it is that passes through the mind of a deranged scientist; Logan managed to distract himself by rifling through the CDs he had randomly grabbed, and, thus occupied, walked shoulder-first into a closed door marked 'Armoury'. Rubbing his shoulder and cursing softly, Logan went inside, drooling at the long lines of shiny, pointy objects. Entropy grabbed the first crossbow he saw, picked up a quiver of bolts and dragged the reluctant Logan out of the Armoury. He punched in the coordinates of the fic into the Remote Activator, and pressed the portal button. A grey rectangle appeared before them, and they entered the fic.

 

Logan walked through the portal. Instead of the Anduin valley and the more that slightly spooky woods of Southern Mirkwood he had been expecting, the portal had opened into a nondescript blackness. He heard Entropy walk through the portal, but in the gloom, he couldn't see Entropy until he was right next to Logan, a faint glow from the Remote Activator illuminating Entropy's face.

 

Suddenly, a rectangle of light appeared, projected onto a wall of the room. The rectangle flickered a couple of times, and then resolved into a black screen with white tengwar. As they looked the tengwar morphed into English: "Of Hrorobas."

 

"Great. Just perfect" Logan said, talking in fragments as the author's influence began to take its hold. "We're in a separate prologue. Devoted solely to a character's backstory. How unnecessary. How annoying. How 'Stu."

 

As he spoke the backstory began to play. It was badly written and reeked of Marty Stu. The voiceover was an annoying mix of gratuitous Elvish names and phrases followed immediately by an English translation (sounding suspiciously like Galadriel at the beginning of the Fellowship movie). Logan pulled a torch, a notepad and a pen out of his backpack and began to jot down charges, sitting on one of the many rows of seats that filled the tiered room. A faint smell of old popcorn was in the air…

 

"You're more of a Tolkien expert than I am, but I thought there was very little contact between Lothlorien and Mirkwood in the Third Age?" Entropy asked as the Stu's parents were mentioned.

 

"By the time of the Ring War there certainly wasn't any - Legolas was the first Elf of Mirkwood in Lorien for a very long time. It's not enough to add a charge over - this Stu's born at the beginning of the Third Age so his parents could conceivably have been from the two realms. Still, not very likely," Logan admitted, "What I'd like to get him on is the name: Hrorobas? Sounds rather guttural to me, with just a hint of phlegm - I'm not good enough with Sindarin to be sure, but sounds like it's "Elfish". Plus, he has a nasty dose of Multiple Name Syndrome - not quite as terminal as Aragorn or even Galadriel, but some of these titles are just plain putrid: Captain of the White Bow…Spider's Bane!"

 

"Oh look!" Entropy pointed at the screen, "He learnt to become a Master Archer hunting spiders on dark paths. I feel so sorry for these poor Silvan Elves, don't you - not having any practice ranges, and having to send their unskilled children out to learn by hunting spiders. Makes you wonder that any survived to adulthood, really. He's also THE High Archer of Thranduil. I wonder what Legolas would have to say to that title."

 

"I think all that constitutes a charge. Messing with Elven society and culture. Plus, the name annoys me." Logan started to write in on the notepad.

 

The backstory continued. Hrorobas received a sword that "not magical as such, but does not rust or oft to require sharpening", earning the author a charge of messing with Materials Science: creating hitherto unknown alloys of steel with magical Stu properties.

"I'll have to get a sample of that alloy to give to DoSAT - imaging the savings on material costs alone if they can commercially exploit Stu-steel. I mean, stainless is so expensive and complicated to make - maybe we could get the patent rights. You know, have money!" Entropy said, a calculating gleam in his eye.

 

"Mon...ee? What is this you speak of? Is this another one of those things Agents used to have, like time off, or sanity?" Logan asked, pretending to be confused.

 

"Yes, Logan… You see, once upon a time there was this organisation called the PPC, and the people working for it weren't completely overworked and even got paid, and had time off, and all these other magical benefits. Then the evil Peter Jackson made three movies that changed everything…"

 

Entropy's fairy tale was cut short by Logan's shout of rage. On the screen above, Hrorobas had just fallen in love with a Lorien Elf when he attended the Council of Elrond. Yet another charge went on the list: altering canon history for the purposes of an original character love story.

 

"Legolas travelled to Rivendell alone!" Logan yelled at the author, shaking his sword at the breach of canon, "Neither were there any Lorien Elves attending. Read the books, for Eru's sake!"

 

He had to laugh, though, when the words described Hrorobas' life as being 'as happy a tail as any Elf could wish for', and the screen dutifully showed what an Elf looks like with a wagging tail.

 

It was strangely disconcerting, to say the least…

 

The backstory ended abruptly and suddenly the room reeled around Logan and Entropy. An altogether unpleasant sensation of vertigo was replaced by the equally unpleasant sensation of a hard floor as they were dumped into a seemingly identical theatre, this time playing Episode II: Attack of the Superfluous Prologues.

 

This backstory was even worse than the first. For starters, it was about a longbow. Entropy was yelling within seconds, accompanied nicely by the incessant beeping of his CAD.

 

"What pitiful excuse for an author wrote this? Hrorobas wields a bow made from a branch of Nimloth !?! The most sacred tree in Middle Earth, and not only does Isildur give it away - itself so far out of character (59.62% to be precise, according to the CAD) - he gives it to a an Elf that most likely hates him for not aiding Oropher's charge at Dagorlad… Apart from anything else, longbows are made from the heartwood of trees. A branch wouldn't have the tensile strength to be strung, nor the flexibility!!!"

 

Logan nodded weakly, scribbling the charges down, (Messing with Weaponry, Historical Inaccuracies, Misuse of Materials and one charge of sending Isildur OOC), and noted with concern Entropy's increasing numbers of exclamation marks. "Add to that a linguistic charge - Silvan Elves using Quenya" he said.

 

Then the backstory ended.

 

*Whoosh*

 

*Thud*

 

Logan was looking extremely queasy as he collected himself off the floor, and looked up at the third installment of the prologue. While not usually travel sick, being accelerated at roughly the same rate as a fired bullet was definitely taking its toll on him.

 

This delightful chapter was about the second Marty Stu to grace the fic, going by the name of Merrisil. This apparently meant "Festive Jewel", according to the Galadriel-esque voice over, but as it contained the Elvish element for "shine", Logan somewhat doubted that this was the case, even if the author managed to get the first bit right. "More ‘Elfish’ for the charge book," he muttered to himself.

 

Logan tried unsuccessfully not to wince at the name 'Quynillia' for an Elf, but started to gibber incoherently when Merrisil was revealed to be related to Fëanor. Entropy could only make out a few words of the lengthy rant, few of them printable, but was worried that Logan’s left eye had begun to twitch, usually a sign of an approaching bout of homicidal rage.

 

“Do you need some more iced tea, Logan?” asked Entropy, proffering the emergency bottle he’d stashed in his pack. Logan nodded and took a long drink of tea, the twitching of his eye subsiding slightly.

 

Logan took his Elves seriously - while not a Fëanorian, he tended to view crimes against Elves as warranting somewhere between 'unforgivable' and 'slaughter on sight' in the lexicon of retribution, and indeed, this was part of the reason Logan worked for ESAS, which specialised in Elves and other ‘advanced species’.

 

In between the curses, Entropy caught the phrases: "Character is related to Fëanor… Improbable Relationships (Mirkwood and Rivendell)…Original Character preternaturally gifted (swordsmanship) a.k.a. Child Prodigy…Misuse of Mithril…" Logan stopped, out of breath.

 

"Add one charge of misuse of homonyms, namely brooch/broach." Entropy said, "I wonder if the author realises that their character is wandering around wearing a machine tool?" Logan looked at him blankly. "You see, a broach is a type of cutting tool, used for broaching…" Entropy trailed off. Some things just weren't worth explaining.

 

Merrisil's 'broach' was also badly named: Carneaiwe'alta, (Galadriel, voice over: Red Bird of Bright Light), surely a clunky construction in any Elvish tongue.

 

 "And to you, Frodo Baggins, I give the light of 'Rockin’ Robin', our most beloved song. May it be a light to you in dark places when all other lights go out." Logan said falsetto.

 

"Very funny, Logan. Now never impersonate Galadriel again. Pass the bleeprin, please."

 

"It also acts as a spider repellent - contains citronella, do you think? Or maybe it's a bug zapper, too?"

Thankfully, Logan spoke normally this time.

 

"Who knows with Stu technology? Remind me to take that 'broach' off this Stu when we kill him - if we ever go to Midgewater it might come in handy."

 

"I call the sword, though,” said Logan, “And the bow would be worth grabbing - how many branches of Nimloth do you see around, anyway? Especially ones magically made into longbows"

 

"Oh look!" Entropy said, reading another line of the words "This 'broach' has got a spider-shaped jewel - now that's something you won't see again. Here I was thinking that jewels only formed in crystal structures like face-centred cubic or hexagonal. Obviously, I was wrong, and this author has discovered the arachnid crystal structure, and then managed to make a machine tool out of it - truly ingenious!"

 

Logan's notebook was getting noticeably used up, with many pages covered with charges: Creating Gratuitous Elven Artifacts when Existing Ones Will Suffice being the latest entry, as the backstory continued with an absolutely enthralling description of the Stu's history…

 

Merrisil's sword, Wilwarin' russe ("Butterfly Blade"), was an Elven 'Katana', leading to much cursing, and the addition of a "Making Elven culture semi-Japanese" entry to the charge list, along with the slightly more subjective charge of "Giving Swords Bloody Stupid Names"

 

"Look at this, Entropy - Elvish doggerel!" Logan said as he pointed at the blade's inscription: Sometimes the beating of a butterfly's wings unleashes a hurricane of Ossë. "Do you think that refers to chaos theory?"

 

"Who knows? It counts as a charge of 'Bringing Future Knowledge to Middle Earth', so it can go on the charge list, along with another Materials Science infraction - this author's managed to line a steel blade with a mithril edge. I'd love to see how they're going to get that to stay together. DoSAT will be happy with us, with all these new samples we're getting. Might even get some patents out of it." Entropy said,

 

Entropy checked the portally-thingy (otherwise known as the remote activator) and read ahead through the words of the fic.

 

"Well, there's some good news at least. I think I can use the remote activator to stop us getting lurched between theatres this time, and there's one more of these prologues to go. Then we get to meet Merrisil's father, 'Threndodale', who claims to be the Heir of Fëanor. "

 

Logan's expression could best be described as murderous.

 

"He may only be a bit character, but boy has he made some powerful enemies with that "Heir of Fëanor" claim - including the wrath of the Dispossessed, half of the Agents in Headquarters and any sane supporter of canon."

 

Entropy started to fiddle with the RA controls.

 

" I’ll see if I can set up a portal to the next prologue, too…" As he spoke a shimmering grey rectangle appeared before them, and they continued to yet another mass-produced movie theatre, where "Of Threndodale: The Heir of Fëanor" was playing to an empty house.

 

Said Threndodale was a 'ward-master', whatever that may be. Regardless of what the author intended, what manifested itself on screen was a tall Elf dressed in a truly eclectic manner. An Elven-smith's leather apron just doesn't go properly with a nurse's uniform, and stethoscopes and forging hammers just shouldn't mix…

 

Threndodale was a classic Stu - amazingly talented beyond any expectation of canon, and, of course, renowned by all and sundry for his talents.

"Lets see," Logan said as he started jotting down charges, "Child prodigy…tick, skills surpassing those of canon characters, misuse of apostrophes…" He read ahead and stopped writing, looking more and more annoyed with each line.

 

Threndodale apparently met at the Battle of the Five Armies a Dwarven smith by the name of Durick and confessed to him that he long admired the art of the Dwarves. And with this a great friendship began…

 

"Legolas and Gimli became friends, true, but it took them most of the Ring War to overcome their differences. A dwarf is not going to magically like an Elf, no matter how nicely he compliments the dwarf's skills. Frankly, the idea of any Elf becoming close enough in friendship to the dwarves - an incredibly secretive race- to learn their secrets in only 80 years is utter drivel. Not to mention Dáin being rather unlikely to give up Mithril to any Elf, considering how precious it is. And Durick is a stupid name for a Dwarf - doesn't appear to be Norse. Yet another charge of uncanonical character names."

 

"He also appears to have made a "small amount" of Mithril into a full mesh shirt, and still had enough left over to line that stupid Butterfly sword. I think that constitutes a spatial distortion, don't you?"

 

"Uncanonical Character Name…Spatial Distortion…got it!" Logan said, scribbling.

 

Unfortunately for Logan and Entropy, they were distracted by writing charges and were caught unawares by the ending of the prologue. The movie theatre lurched…

 

*          *          *

 

Entropy cradled his head in his arms, listening to the soft yet unpleasant sounds of Logan vomiting. At least they were in Middle Earth now, even the dim sunlight of the cloud-shaded Anduin valley making a pleasant change from the identical movie theatres. They were on the eastern riverbank, just across from Lothlorien, underneath a tall, treeless hill that had to be Dol Guldur.

 

Entropy checked the words while he waited for Logan to recover. From the looks of it, this fic had to be set after the War of the Ring: Sauron had been defeated and the Mouth of Sauron had led the remnants of Mordor to Dol Guldur, which was mysteriously still occupied despite having been cast down by Celeborn and Galadriel.

 

"Read the Appendices, you fool of an author," he muttered angrily.

 

Entropy rummaged in his pack and pulled out a length of string. He held it up by one end and let the breeze catch it. He then pulled out a compass and carefully took a bearing down the string.

 

"What on Arda are you doing, Entropy?" Logan asked.

 

"We're going to find the Mouth of Sauron. Rather than give us directions the author has just described him as being in the lee of the hill, which means that we need to find out which way the wind is blowing so we can go to the leeward side. In this case, the southeast."

 

Logan sighed, and started to walk along the slopes of Amon Lanc, reading ahead through the words as he went. He was already angry with the author after being forced to sit through those prologues, but reading the actual fic was even worse.

 

In some ways, the author was at least trying to do the right thing- the storyline seemed to be extending rather than replacing canon, the fellowship wasn't even mentioned, and the main plotline of Lord of the Rings was only loosely mentioned, which made a refreshing change from the typical 10th walker Legoluster fic.

 

Despite this, it was the little things that just ruined it, such as the attempt at archaic style, which failed dismally and resulted in some wonderfully ponderous sentences. All the characters were badly characterized and seemed either bit character or confirmed Marty Stu. The author had clearly also read the Silmarillion and probably Unfinished Tales, and yet ignored them - resulting in Silvan Elves speaking Quenya, a completely uncanon Thuringwethil surviving in the Third Age, and Sauron having a tomb in a necropolis on Dol Guldur!

 

Some time later, having enjoyed a pleasant walk along the slopes of Amon Lanc, Entropy and Logan turned a corner and saw the Mouth of Sauron and a young dragon across the other side of a gully.

"Here's our first stop," Entropy said, pulling out his CAD and pointing it at the dragon: [Char. Flying Dragon (Tolkien verse) Male. Non-Canon. Bit Character.] "As expected, any dragon existing after the death of Smaug in the West of Middle Earth is non canon."

 Logan pulled out his CAD (the character model) and pointed it at the Mouth of Sauron: [Mouth of Sauron. Human Male. Out of Character 23.56%].

"The Mouth isn't too far OOC - I guess it’s due to the presence of this dragon and Alive!Thuringwethil."

 

Just then, a sizzling sound came from the bushes behind Logan. From experience with Isengrad, he recognized it as the sound a Mini-Balrog makes upon contact with flammable material. He turned around, and true enough, in a small charred patch of vegetation lurked one of the little fiery demons, although slightly larger than a usual specimen.

 

"Hi there!" Logan called out, "What a nasty author, taking you out of OFUM and sending you out here, eh? Another thing to charge them with  - abduction of a Mini-Balrog. Let's try and work out who you are…" he said as he started scanning the words looking for the source of the mini. Entropy pulled some bacon out of his pack and tossed a rasher to the mini.

 

"I think I have it: are you middle-earth?" Logan asked the mini. It nodded.

 

"Well, come along then. We'll get rid of the author's influence and then take you home when we're done." The mini nodded again and walked over to Entropy and Logan.

 

Entropy had been checking the words while Logan took care of middle-earth, and pulled out a neuralyser. "I've checked, and the Mouth of Sauron doesn't appear again in the whole fic, so we'll have to blank his memory now. Take these glasses, Logan - they're brand new technology just invented by Agent Athena Arion - they'll blank out harmful radiation from both natural and authorial sources," Entropy said, pulling out a silver and a blue pair of the glasses (Sue Glasses) out of his pack and handing the blue ones to Logan.

 

They walked across the gully towards the Mouth and the dragon, 'Char'. They could hear patches of the conversation. “Kaulat voshu-lab za-izub (open your ears hear my voice)” said the Mouth, although Logan was bemused as to why the Mouth translated his own words. Perhaps the dragon didn't understand the Black Speech?

 

I would sooner go deaf that have to listen to more mewling from your kind mage” said the dragon, while Entropy scribbled 'Neglect of the common comma' on the charge list and Logan simply mouthed "Kind mage what?", shaking his head at both the authors clumsy writing and the insipid dialogue.

 

As they watched, the Mouth promised Char the hoard of Dáin and Erebor to be his own, prompting the dragon to question "Answer me this manling; how does one grant that which he does hold for his own?".

 

"Right." Logan said, "This has to be the worst case of logic I've seen in a long time. I think our poor little author has just tried to be to smart and just couldn't handle the flow of logic."

 

"You expected anything else?" Entropy asked.

 

"Not really, no," Logan replied,

 

“If it’s fine with you, I think we should portal ahead once we’re done here,” said Entropy, “This dragon is about to take off and head to Lorien, and we’d better hurry if we’re going to neuralyse the Mouth and get there in time. Besides, all we’ll miss on the flight over is the dragon getting ‘allusions of grandeur’.”

 

“Whatever they are, I think we can do without,” Logan replied, retrieving the remote activator from his pack, “Let’s take care of the Mouth, then Lorien it is.”

 

Entropy and Logan took refuge behind a nearby tree – a twisted and straggly-looking pine – as the young dragon turned away from the Mouth and took off.

 

His part in the fic complete, the Mouth just stood there, looking confused, and barely registered any interest when the Agents appeared before him. After a flash by the neuralyser, he paid no attention to the Agents whatsoever, even after Logan opened a portal and nudged the Mouth through.

 

“Can’t say I blame him for looking confused,” Logan said, “After all, at this point in canon no-one’s really sure whether he’s alive or dead, seeing as he doesn’t appear after the Black Gate.”

 

“Hang on, surely he’s dead by now” Entropy responded, “Didn’t Aragorn‑”

 

“­‑You’re thinking of movieverse, and a deleted scene at that.” Logan interrupted him, “As far as this fic has any basis in canon, it’s bookverse, although to be honest it’s as much a Silm fic as it is LoTR.”

 

“That just makes it worse, as far as I’m concerned,” Entropy said, “If they’ve read the Silm, they should know better.”

 

“All too true, my friend,” said Logan, as he opened the portal to Lorien.

 

*          *          *

 

The Agents stepped through the portal, exchanging the dull hillside of Amon Lanc for the much more scenic surrounds of Lothlorien forest, where three ellith were gathering strawberries in a glade close to the Nimrodel.

 

Gathering berries wasn’t fun enough for the Elf maidens, however, as they ended up having a food fight.

 

This idyllic scene was not to last, however, as the dragon, Char, could be seen approaching from the south. For some reason, instead of flying almost due west to Lorien from Dol Guldur, the dragon had diverted by the Field of Celebrant, perhaps for a bit of sight-seeing?

 

Logan and Entropy were careful to keep their distance as the dragon swooped in to devour a poor defenceless cart pony, spreading flame all around the glade.

 

The three Elf maidens, despite their sobbing terror at the approach of the dragon (not that the Agents could blame them for that), began singing a “triad of defiance” in badly-phrased Quenya, at the “beautiful and fierce” sound of which the dragon recoiled in pain.

 

“Ah, more sparkly Elf magic,” Logan sighed, reaching for the chargelist, “I’m just willing to admit that a creature of evil might recoil from Elven song, even if it is poor Quenya sung by someone with strawberry stains on their face – after all it worked against the Nazgul in the Woody End – but Silvan or Sindarin Elves using Quenya? There’s a linguistic charge in that, at least.”

 

“All well and good, Logan, but I suggest we run for it,” Entropy replied, scanning the words ahead, “Apparently, the dragon is about to go on a pyromaniac rampage through the forest because those three Elves spoiled his breakfast. I didn’t realise that dragons ate strawberries.”

 

“They don’t, which explains why eating them spoiled its breakfast. We should definitely not stick around, then. Dragons are bad enough without indigestion to boot. Run away?”

 

“Run away!” Entropy replied, just as the dragon launched back into the air and spewed out a jet of flame that ignited a tree close to where the Assassins were standing.

 

Escaping from the burning mellyrn, the Assassins high-tailed it out of the glade. Logan began to draw ahead of Entropy – even with both Agents in disguise as Elves he still had several inches of height advantage over his partner –but as he turned back to see if the dragon was following them, the Ironic Overpower took advantage of his momentary distraction to have him trip over a tree root and end up sprawling on the ground.

 

Entropy, paying just a bit more attention to where he was going, managed to avoid tripping over either Logan or the tree root.

 

“Lucky for you the dragon flew the other way,” he said, pointing behind them, where the dragon could just be seen through the trees, continuing its path of destruction across Lorien.

 

“Yeah,” Logan agreed, standing up and brushing some dirt off his Elf disguise. “Still, look on the bright side. The dragon took care of those bit characters for us.”

 

“I think we were supposed to charge them first. I suppose we could always charge them posthumously, though?”

 

“What, like ‘Mary Sue, alias Celairiel, alias pile of ash, you are charged with being a bit character, being a Silvan or Sindarin Elf and yet speaking Quenya, having a singing voice bad enough to cause a dragon pain, and being involved in a food fight. For these crimes against canon you are retrospectively sentenced to be burnt to a crisp by an uncanonical dragon’?”

 

“Works for me”, Entropy said, “we have to keep Upstairs happy by charging the non-canons. And it’s not like we got the chance to charge Celery-Elf and friends or whatever their names were beforehand.”

 

“Leads to the Big Question of the day, though,” Logan said: “How exactly are we planning to charge and kill that dragon?”

 

“Actually, we don’t have to,” Entropy replied, looking ahead in the Words. “thanks to some deus ex machina. Unfortunately, it’s almost-canonical deus ex machina. Almost…”

 

“Whaddya mean?”

 

“’The Eagles are coming, the Eagles are coming’”  Entropy quoted, doing his best ‘relieved hobbit’ impression, “A trio of Eagles turn up and – you’ll like this – basically slingshot the dragon into a waterfall.

“What ?!?”

 

“One of the eagles grab the dragon’s wings, and then accelerate the dragon into a conveniently-placed waterfall on the Celebrant. Rocks sharp, dragon dies.”

 

“Riiiiiight…” Logan said, sounding less than convinced. “I think we’ll have to see it for ourselves, because I just don’t see how that works.”

 

“Onward to the Celebrant then. The Eagles and dragon are some distance away, so we have a chance of beating them to the waterfall if we portal there now.

 

“Lead the way, then, En.”

 

*          *          *

 

The Agents emerged out of the portal in Dimrill Dale, which was the only plausible location for a waterfall anywhere close to Lorien, and awaited the arrival of the dragon.

 

Not long afterward, the dragon appeared, locked in combat with three Giant Eagles, who were attacking the dragon with their claws. The dragon managed to down one eagle with a blast of fire, but one the other two grabbed onto the dragons wings and launched it on a one-way trip into the waterfall.

 

The dragon’s body literally exploded from the impact, strewing steam and fleshy debris into the air. The large rock that extended over the peak was knocked loose from the blast and tremendous splash ensued.

 

“Wow, the more this author describes the dragon, the more it sounds like a swamp dragon from Discworld. Small, ugly, prone to explode; it fits. Otherwise I fail to see how two Eagles could lob a dragon as big as Smaug into a waterfall.”

 

“I never knew Giant Eagles were so good at precision flying. I wonder if they had an aerobatic team? You know, displays at Minas Tirith for every Gondorian New Year, pop over to Wings Over Laketown… Actually, maybe not Laketown. That’s obviously a No-Fly zone after what happened to Smaug.”

 

“Now I’m getting an image of Gwaihir in a mission briefing room. ‘You’re required to maneuver straight down this trench’”

 

Entropy responded to Logan’s comment with a blank look.

 

“Oh, that’s right,” Logan said, “I keep forgetting you haven’t seen Star Wars. Um. Not worth explaining that joke, then.”

 

“Probably not. Question is what do we do with these eagles?”

 

“One of them’s dead, and the other two are apparently ‘drifting down the river’, so probably not much better off. They’re not exactly non-canons, though, so I guess when we kill of the Stus they’ll revert to being generic Giant Eagles. Wet, floating Giant Eagles in this case.”

 

“Don’t forget the Vampire!Sue, Logan. She, and a whole raft of Marty Stus await us back at Dol Guldur”.

 

“Oh, the excitement!” Logan said sarcastically.

 

*          *          *

 

Returning to Dol Guldur, the Agents now encountered a group of Mirkwood elves, led by the Stus Hrorobas and Merrisil, who were on their way to investigate the “tomb” on Amon Lanc.

 

As the Agents exited the portal, the CAD in Entropy’s pack started beeping loudly from the combined influence of two Stus and so many bit-characters at once, not to mention the background un-canon of Sauron having a “tomb”.

 

The main group of Elves halted on the lower slopes of Amon Lanc, while one of the Stus – Hrorobas, the “High Archer of Mirkwood” – climbed alone up to the summit of Dol Guldur to scout.

 

Merrisil, in a rare moment of common sense, protested against his captain leaving completely alone, but was overruled.

 

Entropy and Logan climbed up the hill after Hrorobas, at the top of which vapour rose from an opening, described as a “dismal oubliette”. The summit of the hill was unnaturally cold – presumably due to Sue-ish influence, and Entropy shivered as then followed the Stu through the opening into the “tomb”.

 

Even Logan, who normally didn’t feel the cold at all, admitted to being slightly chilly as they descended through the passage, ending up in a strangely-described oval chamber that was also a staircase.

 

The Elf continued through a doorway into the rest of the complex, through more ornately-carved corridors decorated with a figure of a female vampire and inscriptions in the Black Speech.

 

After the Stu had travelled some way into the network of tunnels and passages, followed closely by the Agents, a voice was heard “coming from all directions”:

 

"There is no light here elf-son, for I am a child of darkness."

 

As Logan began cursing the author for offences against the laws of acoustics, vapour began to fill the chamber, and then there was an abrupt and jarring scene change, where the subterranean complex was replaced by a wooded glade, and the Stu was suddenly wearing only a loincloth.

 

In a corner of the glade, Entropy was being sick, although whether this was due to the scene change or the sight of the Stu in a loincloth is a matter for debate.

 

The rapid beeping of Entropy’s CAD accompanied the arrival of a maiden lovely even by Elven standards, with “dark red hair and wondrous violet eyes” wearing a dress of “white lace with red fringes”.

 

Logan picked up Entropy’s CAD (Entropy was busy being sick) out of his pack and aimed it at the approaching Elf maiden:

 

[Jeneste/Thuringwethil, Female Elf/Vampire, Non-Canon/Canon/Non-Canon/Canon/404 Out of Cheese Error/ Divide by Eggplant/ Mr Jellyjellyjellyjelly.]

Logan yelped as the CAD melted in his hands, dropping it onto the ground.

 

“Makes-Things won’t be happy about this,” he said, bending down to pick up the pieces of the CAD. “This Sue’s worse than I thought – all the glamour of a Mary Sue with the power of a First Age minion of Morgoth. No wonder the CAD couldn’t handle it.”

 

“Fortunately for us, it’s pretty obvious that she’s at the very least blatantly un-canon for the Third Age, so we don’t need the CAD for her at least.” Entropy replied, returning from the edge of the glade, wiping his mouth.

 

As the Agents dealt with the consequences of exploding PPC-issue technology, Jeneste/Thuringwethil/whatever led Hrorobas to a picnic lunch. As the Stu ate, the scene abruptly shifted back to the underground chamber again (this time with an “alter”) and the Stu was revealed to have been dining on the flesh of his companions.

 

Jeneste became taller grew fangs and wings, and was now revealed to be Thuringwethil, who was now calling herself the “Scarlet Maiden” (Thuringwethil being such an outdated First-Age name, presumably. Even vampiric spirits need an image makeover, it seems).

 

The creature known to Hrorobas as Jeneste began to fade and turned into a vapour before his very eyes. Then like a cloud, the mist floated across the room and went into Hrorobas. His limbs tightened as if electricity was being passed through him then he went limp.

 

“Sweet Mandos,” Entropy said, “Dragons, the Mouth of Sauron, Stus galore, and now Vampire!Elves. Who did we annoy Upstairs to get assigned this fic?”

 

“Don’t ask me,” Logan replied, “What I’m more worried about is that this Scarlet Maiden can change form so easily. I mean, it’s never really explained what exactly Thuringwethil was, but the most plausible explanation is one of Morgoth’s corrupted Maia. How on Arda are we supposed to take down one of the Ainur?”

 

“Look on the bright side, Logan. It has been done at least twice before. Ecthelion, and Glorfindel.”

 

“Yeah, but I was hoping to get out of this fic without being sat on by a fiery spirit of fire or being dragged over a cliff by my hair, so that doesn’t cheer me up particularly.”

 

“I guess we’ll have to burn that bridge when we come to it. It’s time to portal back outside and catch up with our other Stu.”

 

*                      *                      *

 

The portal opened onto the summit of Amon Lanc, where Merrisil and his merry band of Elves had moved up to investigate the ruins. As Entropy and Logan stepped through the portal, the Stu had four Elves of his company – “Alaine, Cutheren, Shanellea and Lembalas” engage in a hitherto-unknown Elven tactical move called “Circle of Thorns”, which consisted of the four Elves standing in a circle around the opening to the passage descending into the hill, pointing their blades inwards.

 

Entropy laughed derisively at the strange maneuver, while Logan just winced at the uncanonical Elf names – particularly Shanellea and Lembalas.

 

Merrisil was obviously a very polite commander, always appending“if you please” to his orders, a fact that would endear him to Sir Joseph Porter, KCB, if he were to ever find himself in command of HMS Pinafore.

 

The Stu led the remainder of the Elves down the steps into the “tomb”.

 

“Honestly, I don’t know why we even bothered portalling back up here, seeing how they’re going back to where we were.” Logan grumbled as they retraced their steps down the now-familiar entrance passage, hearing Merrisil giving more strange orders to his troops – something about the “1st Patch” executing the “Phalanx of the Blossoming Rose”.

 

The Stu’s magic broach began glowing under his breastplate as he entered the passage – somehow this was visible to the Agents (“Rockin’ Robin powers activate!” quipped Logan to Entropy sotto voce as they followed along) – and the Stu muttered an Elvish nursery rhyme to himself to ease the tension.

 

As Merrisil ordered another manoeuvre- “Circle of Thorns and Quills, if you please.” – “the column arranged the selves quickly like medieval dancers, the swordsmen lined the outside of the passage, and the archer formed a double row in the centre of the passage.”

 

“Hey Nonny Nonny!” Entropy chuckled to Logan, “The Morris Dancing Elves of Mirkwood! Famous across all Arda. Begetting Days, Weddings, Victory Parties, No Event Too Small”.

 

“Just as long as they don’t do the Stick and Bucket Dance. It’s bad enough seeing elves nonce around with bells and handkerchiefs.” Logan replied,

 

Fortunately, the interpretive dance session was curtailed by one of the warriors finding Hrorobas’ discarded bow – the one made from a branch of Nimloth – and bringing it back to Merrisil. 

 

Merrisil barely glanced at the bow – beyond registering that it belonged to the other Stu – he was too busy looking at the inscriptions on the wall, which had various genuine (the Ring poem) and fake Black speech sayings, with the names “Annatar” and “Sauron”, plus the Sue’s own calling card:  “Vajazkuru Thuringwethil ” (The Scarlet Maiden, Lady of Secret Shadow.)

 

“Sauron did not permit his servants to use his name,” Entropy grumbled. “It’s even in the text of LoTR, it’s not like you had to rummage in the Appendices or the Silm to find it. Charge it, Logan”.

 

The Elves continued through another passage into a crypt, and removed the lid off a sarcophagus located on one wall. Merrisil opened his satchel and brought out a crystal vial, which began glowing.

 

“Rip-off Galadriel much, will you?” Logan snarked, “Anyway, if we’re following canon, shouldn’t it be spelled ‘phial’?”

 

“Debatable,” Entropy replied, “The rest of this fic uses American spelling, so we technically can’t charge them on this.”

 

As the light from the vial/phial filled the chamber, laughter was heard coming from the “passage to the North”, and the Elves went through to investigate, led by Merrisil.

 

“Wow, a passageway that leads all the way to the North of Middle-Earth? Maybe that’s the equivalent of digging a tunnel to China.” Entropy said, noting down a charge of “improper capitalisation”.

 

The Agents followed the Elves down the passage, where the Sue, Jeneste/Thuringwethil, was feeding on an Elf. One of the victims, an Elf named “Finorfen”, was under the Sue’s influence, but was momentarily brought out of it by the sight of Merrisil’s glowing Stu “broach”.

 

The Sue finished feeding and noticed Merrisil, as if for the first time. She was distracted by the shiny Stu jewellery for a moment, but then crossed the room “with astonishing speed” and charged at the Stu.

 

He slashed with his un-canon katana, and managed to wound the “fiend”, but she disarmed him and was trying to bring him under her Sue influence. Some of the other elves fired arrows at the Sue, distracting her for a moment, then she started attacking the other elves, decapitating one, and throwing her sword at another with “such force that he was lifted off his feet and flew against the wall”.

 

Merrisil tried to keep the Sue at bay with the light from his vial, but she attacked him again, throwing him across the room. He was knocked unconscious when his head struck the floor, but the mithril armour he was wearing stopped him from being otherwise injured.

 

Thuringwethil used her Sue magic to heal all her wounds instantly, and approached the fallen Stu, but he was saved by the intervention of another Elf called “Bellaraphonre”, whose “beautiful voice came forth ‘Swordsmen retreat and yield, blossom my archers’”, and he held up the vial.


"Hah, sounds like the Monty Python Hungarian Phrasebook," snickered Entropy, "My hovercraft is full of eels, blossom my archers."


This time, the light worked, and the Sue retreated long enough for the Elves to start running away down the corridor. However, the vampire!Maia shapeshifted into a black mist and followed after them, slaughtering as she went. She killed the lieutenant “Belleraphorne” by hurling the severed head of another Elf (“Franduil”) at him. Somehow, it hit him in the hand and in the head at the same time, crushing his skull, and destroying the crystal vial.

 

“Wow, this fic is heavy on the gore,” Logan said, “I’m almost surprised they didn’t give it to DAVD.”

 

“Yeah, between the plotholes dumping us all around the place and the random cannibalism, decapitations and spurts of blood, I’m feeling more than a little queasy,” Entropy replied, “If I still had my lunch, I’d be bringing it up – again!”

 

The surviving Elves made for the exit, followed by Merrisil, who insisted on being the last one out despite his injuries (and the concussion he presumably had from knocking his head. Actually, maybe that is why he insisted on being the last one out. That, or general Stu false heroism).

 

As Merrisil was about to emerge into the Sun, the voice of Hrorobas, the other Stu was heard from within the tomb.

 

“Hang on,” Entropy asked. “Where was Hrorobas in all this fighting?”

 

“Plothole. Has to be.” Logan responded.

 

Logan was indeed proved right as Hrorobas appeared from thin air and began to follow the rest of the Elves up the staircase to outside. As Hrorobas was about to walk through the doorway to outside, Merrisil’s “broach” began to glow, and Merrisil unsheathed his un-canon katana.

 

Hrorobas then spoke using the Sue’s voice: “Your blood calls to me my children.”

Strangely, this was the last time the Stu was described as being present in the fic, and so the Stu just stood in the doorway, motionless, while a disembodied hand emerged from the tunnel and tried to drag a hapless Random Elf down into the tomb.

 

With the aid of several other Elves, Merrisil stopped the hand from dragging the Elf away. The hand smouldered in the light, then disappeared down the tunnel with “a hiss and a growl”.

 

“Dear Eru, did we wander into an Addams Family crossover?” asked Logan, “The Thing is coming to get you, Marty Stu!”

 

“Nope... Even though the author didn’t describe it at the time, turns out that disembodied hand was actually our Sue. And the Random Elf was one we’ve met before – ‘Shanellea’.”

 

“That begs the question of why the author didn’t just say ‘Thuringwethil tried to drag Shanellea down into the crypt’?”

 

“After sitting through so much of this fic, you’re still expecting logic from this author?” Entropy asked, incredulously.

 

“Ah. My mistake. So instead, the author just has the Sue shapeshift into a disembodied hand in order to get another victim.”

 

“That about sums it up. Question for you, Logan – would Arda-verse vampires have a weakness to sunlight, like is suggested by our dearly beloved Sue’s hand ‘smouldering’?”

 

“Hard to say – the good Professor wasn’t exactly lavish in his description of Thuringwethil, and she’s the only Arda-verse vampire I can think of. As a servant of Morgoth, she wouldn’t like sunlight, but I wouldn’t expect a Maia to be physically damaged by it.”

 

“Guess we can charge that, then – making Arda-verse vampires have the weaknesses of folklore vampires. Pity, it would be nice if we could deal with this Sue as easily as opening a portal to an Italian restaurant on extra-garlicky pasta night.”

 

“Alas, I doubt it’ll be that easy. However, we do have to deal with our first Stu – good ol’ Hrorobas isn’t mentioned anymore in the story, so we can take him out now. Plus, it’s almost the end of the first chapter, and all we’ll miss is Merrisil drinking some tea. Oh, and insulting his troops for being stupid.”

 

“This far in and it’s only the first chapter?!?” Entropy looked stunned at the prospect of facing more of the fic.

 

“Yup. All this was just the prologues and the first chapter. Fortunately, there’s only one more chapter to go – this fic is unfinished.”

 

That’s definitely for the best. Now, let’s deal with this Stu.”

 

The Agents walked up the rest of the stairs to the exit. Hrorobas was where the author last left him – standing in the middle of the exit door. When he noticed the Assassins he turned to face them.

 

“Who are you?” he asked. “Are you servants of the Secret Maiden?”

 

“Far from it,” Entropy replied, “Hrorobas, you are charged with being a Marty Stu, being a cannibal vampire Elf, having a tail, accompanying Legolas to Rivendell – he travelled alone. Alone, you hear me? – and having a horrifically un-Elven name. For these crimes against canon, you are sentenced to death. Because you’ve annoyed my partner and me, you don’t get last words.”

 

Hrorobas’ face filled with rage and he reached over his shoulder for this special bow – the one made from a branch of Nimloth – except that it wasn’t there; the author had already described Merrisil picking up Hrorobas’ discarded weapon.

 

The Stu looked confused for a moment, and then settled for hand-to-hand fighting, lunging forward into the tunnel and attempting a punch at the Agents, but he was weak from loss of blood, not to mention that he was still wearing the clothes he was last described in (i.e. nothing but a loincloth!).

 

Logan, in disguise as an Elf, easily dodged the ineffective punch, while

Entropy fired a crossbow bolt into the Stu’s stomach. Hrorobas collapsed against the side of the tunnel, trickling blood from his unprotected torso.

 

“Good work, En,” Logan said, “Fatal, but not immediately so. Allows us to think of a more fitting way of disposing of the body.”

 

“Well, our Stu here apparently learnt his archery skills hunting giant spiders in Mirkwood, so feeding him to a spider seems fitting. And we know that Shelob’s always hungry for ssssweeter meat than nassssty orcsssess...” Entropy tailed off into a sibilant hiss.

 

“Oi! No doing the Gollum voice on missions. Even if it is kinda appropriate, seeing how you’re fetching Shelob food,” Logan said, as he opened a portal to Shelob’s Lair, and then dragged the Stu into the tunnels of Cirith Ungol.

 

Entropy was right. Shelob was hungry.

 

*          *          *

 

After disposing of the first Stu, Logan and Entropy walked out of the tomb on Amon Lanc and walked over to the nearby camp where Merrisil and his Elves were attending to their wounds from the fight with Thuringwethil!Sue.

 

Somehow in the flight from the tomb, the Elves had managed to carry some of the bodies of the slain Elves with them, and they were now going through the possessions of the dead.

 

Belleraphorne apparently owned a magic satchel, which allowed him to carry a “long and elegant harp, which was far too large to have fit in the bag”.

 

“Wow, this author even admits to creating plotholes,” Entropy said.

 

A single tear flowed down one of Merrisil’s cheeks, and he raised his voice in a “song of morning” for the dead, even though it was late afternoon. The rest of the Elves joined in the singing, naturally in “perfect unison”.

 

While having their singalong around the campfire, the Elves failed to notice Shanellea wandering off back towards Dol Guldur, still under the Suvian influence of the Scarlet Maiden. Eventually, Merrisil noticed the missing Elf, and followed him back to the crypt, catching up with him close to the summit.

 

“Shane, I wish a favour of you?” he asked politely. With this he extended his hand to the Shanellea in it was his broach “Wear this for good luck”.

 

The power of the broach countered the Suvian influence, and Shanellea and Merrisil returned to camp, where Merrisil wrote some letters using a “cuttlefish-shaped inkwell” that he “produced from his sachet”.

 

Merrisil’s troupe of Elves then divided into three groups, one bound to Lothlorien “with correspondents for Galaderial and Celeborne”, another to Imladris (bringing a letter to Merrisil’s sister “Quynillia”), while Merrisil for some reason wouldn’t reveal where his group was headed.

 

“Trust no-one!” Logan snickered, reaching in his pack for some bacon to throw to the Mini-Balrogs, although Logan was at a loss why the Mini-Balrogs needed their own journalists. Maybe they were planning a Mini-Balrog newsletter?

 

The group the Merrisil had assembled to accompany him, consisted of Elandras, Fingolfel, Lembalas, Glamfeld, Cutheren, and in tow rode Shanellea. Elandras was a fantastic archer, as was Fingolfel. Lembalas, and Glamfeld were like lighting with the blade, for they had both trained with Merrisil.

 

“Oh of course, they’re all so super special. Eru forbid that any of the characters in this fic was merely normal.” complained Entropy.

 

The effect of the Stu broach seemed to be wearing off, since Shanellea now had a “pail complexion”.

 

Merrisil’s group continued to walk north from Dol Guldur, shadowed by the Agents, who were careful not to be seen by the non-canons, who started climbing up some hills to escape a fog that had descended to cover the Anduin valley. The Stu was able to tell just by the sound coming from a “nearby ravine” that there were Beornings approaching.

 

Somehow, in only a few hours walking – and that while being slowed down by an injured companion - they had drawn close to the Gladden Fields, earning a charge of geographical compression to join the others on the ever-growing chargelist.

 

Suddenly, Shanellea ripped off the broach from his shirt and ran to the south, where the figure of Thuringwethil could be seen “hopping deftly from hilltop to hilltop”, but now joined by five other vampires.

 

Shanellea’s smile was ecstatic, and he ran to the Scarlet Maiden with open arms. “They tried to keep me from you my mistress, but I would not have it my love!” he exclaimed.

 

And with the tender embrace of a gentle lover she took him into her arms. “I know my darling one“, she said a she caressed him “I will always come for my children such as you.”

With an intense lust, he regarded her sinister eyes “I am so thirsty, my love”.

 

“Here is the milk you crave” and with this she exposed her bare breast to him. As he was about to take a draught of her dark gift, an arrow pierced his neck, then another through left side of his chest. She let the corpse fall to the ground, and stared across at Merrisil, in his hand was Quinga’sorno [the bow made of a branch of Nimloth].

 

“You shall take no more of my kin down your dark path, witch” he sang with contempt.

 

“Oh, make up your mind!” Logan said, exasperated, “Either she’s a vampire, or a fiend, or a witch.”

 

The Stu fired another arrow at the vampire, who caught it in mid-flight and snapped it in half. Just then, three Beornings appeared from the mist and began attacking the Sue and her attendant ex-Elf vampires. The Sue fought off their attack, ripping out the throats of the Beornings.

 

One of the vampires attacked the Elves, but was slain by Merrisil using his “Butterfly Blade” katana, decapitating the “unholy elf”, who disappeared in a cloud of smoke and ash. As the Vampire!Elf’s remains scattered in the wind, the Agents and Elves alike turned  as a rumbling sound was heard coming from the direction of Mirkwood.

 

An “impossibly large” grizzly bear emerged from the wood, its growls echoing from the mountains across the river. (‘Abuse of the laws of acoustics’, wrote Logan).

 

It turns out that this grizzly bear was Radagast, who was accompanied by his “familiar”, the “Grey Ghost Cat” of Rhosgobel, an oversized lynx named “Prishada” who could only be seen by the light of the moon; together they finished off the remaining Elf vampires, then Radagast and Thuringwethil squared off for a fight:

the Mother of Vampires looked at the Brown Wizard. The two Maia locked eyes, they seemed to be having a contest of wills; judging each other’s strengths.”

 

The contest was apparently too difficult for the Sue:

 

“It is my time old friend, you shall see! My kind shall last well beyond this age, I have foreseen it!” she spat with scorn. The brown protector roared and charged, but she had vanished into shadow.

 

“Dammit,” Logan said, “The Sue got away. Now we’ll have to go back to Dol Guldur and take her out there.”

 

Unfortunately, Logan spoke too loudly, and attracted the attention of the non-canons. Merrisil and his company of Elves turned to face the Agents.

 

Merrisil looked confused at the sight of a pair of Elves appearing out of thin air. “Are you Elves of Lorien?” he asked.

 

“No, you fool,” replied Entropy, levelling his crossbow at the Stu. “We’re Protectors of the Plot Continuum, and unless you want a bolt in the head, hold it right there.... Merrisil, son of Threndodale, you are hereby charged with being a Marty Stu; having the sheer gall to claim the title Heir of Feanor when  only distantly related to him – Elrond has a better claim to the title, even if only by sort-of adoption; abuse of Quenya and Sindarin by passing off ‘Elfish’ as a canonical Elven language; creating and/or abducting numerous mini-Balrogs; misuse of homonyms – a broach is a machine tool, a brooch is something you’d wear –“

 

“Don’t forget screwing up Elven culture by wielding a katana”, Logan interjected.

 

“- I was getting to that,” Entropy replied, “As I was saying, you are also charged with misuse of materials science; abuse of the laws of acoustics and physics; bringing knowledge of chaos theory to Middle Earth; wanton cruelty to the common comma, and multiple grammar charges including tense shifts and mangled syntax.”

 

“We’d go on, but we’d prefer to get this over with without being mauled by a grizzly bear and it’s pet cat”, Logan said, noticing with concern that Bear!Radagast had noticed the Agents and was loping over from the hilltop where the showdown with the Sue had occurred.

 

“In any case, for these and other crimes against canon, you are sentenced to death.” Entropy aimed the crossbow at the Stu and fired.

 

The Stu reacted with surprising speed and dodged the bolt, despite having suffered a knockout blow to the head not hours before and needing assistance to walk. Entropy cursed, and began the laborious task of winding the crossbow so it could fire another bolt.

 

Logan groaned at the display of magic Stu powers and drew his falchion, wielding it right-handed as he stepped between Entropy and the Stu, who had drawn his katana and was approaching the Agents. The remaining Elves of Merrisil’s company stayed at a distance, not daring to rob the Stu of his Heroic Single Combat™.

 

The Stu aimed a katana slash at Logan, who countered with a parry, the thick, heavy blade of the falchion knocking aside the more slender katana blade.

 

“Hurry up, En,” Logan hissed, in between blocking the Stu’s attacks, “We’re in enough trouble as it is without waiting for the bear to arrive.”

 

Merrisil took advantage of Logan’s momentary distraction to strike again. Logan only just responded in time, bringing up his falchion to try to deflect the attack. The Stu’s katana glanced off the falchion’s blade and nicked Logan’s left arm, leaving behind a shallow cut on the Agent’s bare forearm.

 

Logan cried out in pain, and attempted a retaliatory strike with his sword, but the Stu stepped back out of range, circling around for another strike.

 

Unfortunately for the Stu, Logan’s cry of pain had masked the sound of a a crossbow being cocked as Entropy finally wound up the bow, and as Merrisil raised the katana for another attack on Logan, Entropy fired the crossbow. This time the Stu was too distracted to dodge, and the bolt struck the Stu squarely in the chest.


As the Stu fell down, mortally wounded, Logan sighed in relief. This must have provoked the Ironic Overpower, however, since at this point the remaining Elves, no longer constrained by the need to indulge the Stu’s taste for single combat, were approaching the Agents with swords drawn and arrows fitted to strings.

 

As if things weren’t bad enough, a loud growling noise from behind the Elves announced that Radagast the Bear and his pet cat had arrived on the scene, attracted by the blood from Logan’s bleeding arm.

 

“Kriffing hell!” exclaimed Logan as he started to run, followed closely by Entropy, who was frantically mashing buttons on the RA trying to open a portal. The Elves began running in pursuit, but the bear and lynx outpaced them and began to close the distance behind the fleeing Agents.

 

Entropy finally managed to open a portal, and a grey rectangle appeared ahead of Logan, who ran through the portal at top speed. Entropy followed, but as he looked behind he saw that the portal was only just starting to close.

 

“C’mon, close, you bastard,” he urged the portal, but it paid him no attention – being a plothole, after all - and the Agents were followed through the portal by Radagast, Prishada and the bit character Elves, the last of whom entered the portal microseconds before it closed completely.

 

*          *          *

The PPC cafeteria could never exactly be called a normal place, what with the bizarre range of shapes, colours and sizes of its usual denizens, and the even more bizarre trays of the foodstuffs consumed by said denizens.

 

However, even the Cafeteria does not usually contain an irate grizzly bear and its invisible pet lynx. Not to mention a horde of uncanonical Elves.

 

Thus, when a portal opened and two agents emerged into the Cafeteria running as if their lives depended on it, followed by the aforementioned grizzly bear, lynx and array of bit character Elves, this attracted some attention.

 

“What in the Force?” exclaimed Agent Kern, as he jumped to his feet, knocking over the plate of braised bruallki he had been attempting to eat. The contents of the plate of “food” ended up spraying his partner, the Noldorin Agent Alagos, who was sitting on the opposite side of the table next to Agent Aegis.

 

The Elf cursed as he wiped gravy off his uniform, then the fact that a grizzly bear was at large in HQ sank in, and he reached for the hunting knife he carried on his belt.

 

Aegis’ Chiss partner, Iodin, who had been sitting next to Kern, stood up, her glowing red eyes wide in astonishment. “That’s Logan and Entropy!” she exclaimed, “Aren’t they supposed to be on a mission?”

 

“Obviously ran into trouble,” replied Aegis, tucking a wayward strand of her hair behind her ear, and eyeing the grizzly, which looked understandably confused at its change in surroundings, then loped in pursuit of Logan.

 

Logan dodged around a table, vaulted over an overturned chair and collided headlong with Agent Laburnum, who had just stood up from her table. The female Agent grunted as she was winded by a ballistic Logan, then her eyes narrowed in rage, turning deep red from her Bloodwrath.

 

“Don’tstabmegetthebloodybear” yelped Logan, as Laburnum began twitching and brandished her knife at him. Laburnum didn’t reply, but turned her attention to the bear, and stopped pointing the knife at Logan, much to his relief.

 

The grizzly was now just on the other side of the table from Laburnum and Logan, and raised one massive paw to swipe aside the table. As the grizzly approached, Agent Aegis used her mutant powers to create an energy shield between the grizzly and the agents. The bear growled in pain and anger as it struck the shield with its paws.

 

Logan took advantage of the shield to put a few more tables between himself and the bear, but Agent Laburnum, in the grip of Bloodwrath, had to be dragged to safety by Agent Foxglove.

 

The effort of maintaining the shield proved too much for Aegis, and she allowed the shield to drop. As the shield disappeared, Agent Lasa fired a crossbow bolt into the grizzly’s foreleg.

 

The wounded bear roared in anger and turned to face Agent Lasa, who was frantically rewinding her crossbow. Agent Gypsy, who had been sitting with Lasa, fired a sawn-off shotgun, the pellets striking the bear across the chest, slowing it, but not strong enough to kill it.

 

One of the bit character Elves tried to attack Lasa and Gypsy while they were reloading their weapons, but it was brought down by a right hook from Agent Mombi.

 

Agents now surrounded the bear on every side, with those agents with ranged weapons peppering the bear with arrows, bullets and laser blasts, which, although not fatal to the massive bear, succeeded in weakening it.

 

Laburnum somehow managed to escape being swatted by the bear’s paws as she slashed at the grizzly with her knife, the Bloodwrath leading her to pay even less attention to her safety than usual.

 

Finally, the bear fell, brought down by dozens of wounds, and finished off by a charric blast at close range from Agent Iodin.

 

*

 

Across the cafeteria, Entropy was running more-or-less for the sake of it, not realising in his panic that the grizzly bear was chasing after Logan instead. He dodged past Agent Trojie, who had just knocked out a bit character Elf using her eight-pound exorcism bell, and tried to negotiate his way through the maze of tables and overturned chairs between him and the nearest exit.

 

However, unbeknownst to Entropy, he was pursued by the pet lynx, which had turned invisible, since the portal had closed and moonlight no longer illuminated the Cute Animal Friend.

 

“Ack! Gettitoffme!” cried Entropy as the lynx caught up to the fleeing agent and sank its claws into Entropy’s leg, tearing his uniform. Entropy flailed at the invisible attacker, his hand striking the lynx, but the lynx coiled and leaped, knocking the Agent to the ground and raking its claws across Entropy’s arm and shoulder. He tried to dislodge the lynx by bashing it with the butt of his crossbow, but this proved difficult seeing as how he was encumbered by an invisible cat, and only made the lynx angrier.

 

Entropy’s cries for help were interrupted by the snap-hiss of a lightsaber igniting as Agent Kern arrived on the scene. Kern swung the glowing green blade seemingly into empty space above the prone form of Entropy. The hum of the lightsaber changed tone as it encountered resistance, and the lynx yowled in pain. The Cute Animal Friend’s cry was abruptly cut off as the lightsaber sliced cleanly through its body.

 

*

 

After escaping from the bear, Logan found himself facing the leader of the remaining Elves – Elandras – who aimed a flurry of sword strikes at the Agent. Although as naturally talented as every other character in the fic, Elandras was only a bit character, not a full-blown Marty Stu, and so Logan was able to fend off the Elf’s attacks.

 

The Elf was locked in concentration on attacking Logan, and didn’t notice Agent Supernumerary creeping up behind it, brandishing a large hardcover book as an impromptu blunt object. Supernumerary brought the book down hard on the Elandras’ head, stunning the Elf, and allowing Logan to run the Elf through with his falchion.

 

“Thanks, Nume!” Logan called, as the Elf collapsed to the floor, but Supernumerary had already made a hasty exit into the nearest corridor.

 

*

 

The remaining bit character Elves were quickly taken care of by the PPC staff– the last two Elves falling to an arrow from Sive Arton, and a blast of gunfire from Luke Celinus’ Uzi, respectively – and the Agents were left to look at the chaos of the cafeteria in amazement.

 

All over the room, tables were strewn with spilled plates of food, while overturned chairs and benches were scattered in disarray. The corpses of the grizzly, lynx and the Elven bit characters and several bloodstains completed the panorama.

 

“Wow, we made a mess,” said Logan drily.

 

“You’re just lucky we were all at lunch at the same time,” said Aegis.

 

“Yeah, I think En and I definitely owe you all one after this,” replied Logan.

 

“I don’t envy whoever has to explain what happened to Upstairs,” said Iodin.

 

“Oh kriff, that reminds me, we forgot to charge that bloody grizzly bear! The Strangler Fig will not be happy about that,” groaned Logan.

 

“Um, Logan, that may be the least of your worries,” interrupted Kern. The Jedi was supporting Entropy, whose tattered uniform was covered in blood from numerous scratches and cuts from the lynx’s claws. “We should get Entropy to Medical right away.”

 

*          *          *

 

Logan was sitting on a chair in the waiting area of PPC Medical, waiting while Entropy’s leg was stitched up from where the lynx had attacked him. The sword cut on Logan’s arm was almost healed thanks to Igor’s ministrations and a bacta patch, but it was very itchy.

 

As Logan began rubbing his arm, Igor appeared from an adjacent room, followed by Entropy, who seemed all healed, some bandages showing through his tattered uniform leg the only signs of his injuries.

 

Logan quickly moved his hand away and pretended he’d been sitting still.

 

“Oi! I thaw that! Thtop thcratching that arm,” ordered Igor.

 

“Your injurieth are healing well, Agent Entropy”, lithped Igor, “Ethpethially thinthe the lynkthe that attacked you wath thomewhat larger than a typical thpethimen.”

 

“Thanks, Igor”, said Entropy, “Much as I don’t want to, we have to head back to that fic – we still have that Sue to deal with.”

 

“Awww, can’t we wait five minutes?” groaned Logan, “I’ve only just calmed down from almost being eaten by a bear. And besides, you definitely need to change your uniform, thanks to that bloody overgrown cat.”

Indeed, Entropy’s uniform was now more tatters than continuous material, only the bandages beneath assisting to preserve Entropy’s dignity (such as it is).

 

“Fine. We’ll call back at the RC, but we have to go straight back into the fic. I have the feeling we’ll be in enough trouble from Upstairs as it is.”

 

“While we’re there, make sure you grab something flammable. This whole tomb on Dol Guldur is uncanonical, and after the chaos we just caused in HQ I don’t like our chances of getting someone from DOGA out here to take care of it.”

 

*          *          *

 

After returning to RC 8.3145 for a rapid change of uniform and to collect some of Entropy’s more flammable lab chemicals, Entropy and Logan returned to Amon Lanc and once again entered the stairway leading down to the tomb.

 

“This had better be the last time we have to go down this blasted tunnel,” said Entropy, “It’s what, the third, or is it the fourth time we’ve had to go through?”

 

“Lost count,” replied Logan, “Whatever the number, I’m totally with you on not wanting to come back here ever again.”

 

Thus resolved, the Agents continued down the passage, and entered the crypt one last time.

 

At first, the crypt appeared to be empty, but then a dark mist appeared in the chamber, coalescing into the form of the Scarlet Maiden.

 

“Ah, what do we have here?” she asked, “Elves, and magnificent specimens at that. Do not be troubled, my sweet ones, soon you shall be joined to me, and we shall never be separated. Come, drink with me, my darlings.”

 

“Ugh, I’d rather kiss Gollum,” jeered Entropy.

Logan stepped forward and began to charge the Sue.

 

“Jeneste, aka Thuringwethil, aka the Scarlet Maiden, you are hereby charged by Agents of the PPC with being a Mary Sue, causing Thuringwethil to be alive beyond the First Age, being a folkloric vampire in Middle Earth – canonically, it’s not even certain whether Arda-verse vampires are bloodsuckers or not – causing Elves to turn into vampires, causing Elves to be cannibals, bringing modern knowledge to Middle Earth, abuse of the English language, abuse of Black Speech, abuse of the Elvish language, causing Sauron to have a tomb on Dol Guldur, being evil yet using the name of Sauron – he didn’t permit his servants to use the name, you know; misuse of the laws of physics and acoustics, indulging in gratuitous gore and blood, and annoying PPC agents. We could easily go on, but we have more than enough, and hereby sentence you to death. Or undeath. Whichever fits.”

 

“Slave! I will enjoy feeding on your sundered flesh!” the Sue exclaimed, “Now you will feel my wrath!”

 

The vampire used her Sue powers to telepathically throw the Agents to the ground. As Entropy hauled himself to his feet, the Sue picked him up with uncanny strength, and opened her mouth, running her tongue over her wine-dark lips.

 

“Oh, I shall enjoy feeding upon you,” she said, “Your fear only makes for a sweeter repast.”

 

“Oh, for Eru’s sake,” exclaimed Logan, “Do you have no idea about anything in Arda?”

 

The Sue turned to look at Logan, anger showing in her violet eyes.

 

“If you want bloodthirsty folklore vampires and witches familiars and rivers of blood, stick to folklore, or go watch a Hollywood thriller”, continued Logan, contemptuously, “This is Arda. Our vampires are different. Our werewolves are different. You’re not supposed to be here, and your Sue magic isn’t supposed to be, either.”

 

“You dare challenge my powers, whelp?” the Scarlet Maiden shrieked.

 

“You know what? Fine. I do. I’ve had it with you twisting this world into something it isn’t. And deep down, this world doesn’t want you here. And if you knew anything about this world, you’d know that.”

 

He chanted then a song of accuracy,

Of authors’ power and authority,

Of canon law, the grammar rules,

The basic spelling taught in schools.

The history of the world maintained

By fanfic that true to canon remains.

 

Then Thuringwethil haughtily replying

Sang harsh a song of canon’s breaking.

Of fangirls’ lustful fantasies

Walking boldly through the trees

Of Lorien or Fangorn’s wilds

Or rides through Rohan’s rolling fields:

The Sue that glomps, and steals others lines,

Who is the best at all she finds.

Daughter of Sauron, all listen when she talks,

The tenth that with the Fellowship walks.

The Ring leaves Imladris at dawn;

Boromir survives Parth Galen’s lawn.

Thranduil to evil turns,

Mary Sue for Aragorn yearns.

 

The Scarlet Maiden then did sing

Of Sauron giving out an extra ring

To Elrond’s other daughter, fairest of all

Whose beauty holds Legolas enthralled.

And of the warrior, short in years

Whose martial prowess Sauron fears:

The Marty Stu, who wins alls fights,

Who wields a sword of dazzling light,

Conquers Balrog, wolf and orc,

Whilst riding on a giant hawk.

 

All force of magic dark and foul -

Her singing harsh as wolves’ cold howl -

Did Jeneste now put in her words

To bite as deep as striking sword.

 

Then Logan reeling backwards stepped,

The Sue’s dark power for a moment kept

Him from fighting back with words of power

As Felagund once did ‘gainst Sauron’s tower.

 

But then the world of Arda stirred

From sleep brought on by Suethors’ words

And power deep and potent woke

And dealt against the Sue a stroke.

 

The song of the Ainur, before all stars;

The sweet gold bells of Valimar;

The joy of springtime flowers fresh-grown;

The Dweller in the Deep alone;

The stars above the wheeling world;

The banner of the King unfurled,

Above the Pelennor’s grassy plain;

Hobbits going there and back again.

 

All these did lend their power in song,

To mend and heal the Suethor’s wrongs

The force of canon now could be heard

In every phrase and every word

That Logan sang against the Sue

Of plot upheld and story true.

 

The mending of the world grows nigh

As vanquished self-inserts did die-

Whether Warrior!Sue or angst-filled waif-

By those from whose anger no Sue is safe:

Agents dressed in naught but black

Who those who mar canon attack.

 

The Agent yells, the CAD melts

Weapons are unsheathed from belts.

For each and every misspelled name

A mini-Balrog appears in flames.

Charges are read from lists so long

Of canon violations by the throng.

 

The force of canon wreaks her doom

And the vanquished Sue falls in the tomb.

 

“Wow,” said Entropy, as the Sue collapsed unconscious on the floor of the tomb, “That’s the first time I’ve seen a Sue brought down by singing.”

 

“Yeah.” said Logan, breathing heavily, “Let’s not do that again. I thought she had me there, but canon was helping us – it fought back.”

 

“I’m still not sure how you managed to do that. You do know that Upstairs frowns on us using Suvian powers on missions.”

 

“It’s not Suvian at all, far from it. It’s canonical – remember that this entire world was created via song, so song has power here, more than our Sue realised. It’s how Finrod fought Sauron, how Luthien enchanted Morgoth... Even so, it’s only thanks to the disguise generator that it worked - That, and canon  helping us out. I’m just glad I set my disguise as a House of Finarfin Noldo and not a Sinda like you did. Only a Calaquendi would be able to stand up to a Maia, even with the help of canon.”

 

“Aren’t you forgetting that Luthien was a Sinda?”

 

“Yeah. A half-Maia Sinda.”

 

“Oh yeah, forgot about that,” said Entropy, looking sheepish.

 

“Guess we’d better dispose of the Sue before she wakes up. I don’t want to have to fight her again,” said Logan.

 

“I have a plan,” said Entropy.

 

“Yes?” prompted Logan.

 

“Well, she claimed to be Thuringwethil. How about we take her to Tol-in-Gaurhoth, introduce her to the real Thuringwethil?”

 

“I like it. Even if real Thuringwethil’s away on a message run to Angband, I’m sure we can find a hungry werewolf.”

 

“Sold,” Entropy said, “How about you open the portal? I’ll take care of burning down this tomb.”

 

Logan opened the portal, and stepped through, joined moments later by Entropy. As Entropy walked through the portal, an explosion could be heard and flames crackled through the portal for a few seconds before the portal closed, singeing the Agents uniforms.


“What was that?” asked Logan.

 

“Nitroglycerine mixed with scumble,” replied Entropy matter-of-factly.

 

“You’ve been keeping that in our RC all this time?!?” asked Logan.

 

“Of course, you fool. It doesn’t explode until you actually mix the scumble and the nitroglycerine together.”

 

“Oh, that’s so comforting.”

 

Thus bickering, the Agents dragged the unconscious Sue through the gates of the watchtower on Tol-in-Gaurhoth.

 

“Hmm, looks like Real!Thuringwethil’s not home, more’s the pity.” said Logan. “

 

“Damn. Now that would have been poetic justice. Guess it’ll have to be Draugluin, then,” said Entropy.

 

Nodding his head in agreement, Logan pushed the Sue into a nearby warg pit. There was a sudden chorus of growls, and the sound of the Scarlet Maiden being ripped apart by werewolf claws.

 

“Phew, glad to see the end of that Sue,” said Entropy, as he opened a portal to Mirkwood, “Just one more Stu to go: Threndodale, the jumped-up bastard who dares to claim descent from Fëanor.”

 

“Yeah, I noticed that. Only problem is, he was Merrisil’s father, and in Merrisil’s backstory, apparently he’s descended from a cousin of Miriel Serindë, which means he’s not descended from Fëanor.”

 

“Or else Merrisil’s not actually his son.”

 

“So either his claim to be ‘Heir of Fëanor’ is even more arrogant and wrong than we first suspected, or this author has Elves sleeping around. Gaah, death’s too good for this Stu.”

 

“Agree with you completely on that one, Logan. Off to Mirkwood it is.”

 

*          *          *

 

The Agents portalled into Thranduil’s Halls and went off in search of the final Stu. Eventually, they found him in a smithy, crafting some Elven armour using only a “small amount” of Mithril.

The Elf smith was absorbed in his work and didn’t notice the Agents until Entropy poked the Stu.

 

“Marty Stu, aka Threndodale, you are charged with being a Marty Stu, having an uncanonical Elven name, having the sheer gall to claim the title of ‘Heir of Fëanor’ and to claim descent from him – especially as you even say that you’re not; being magically talented; creation of gratuitous Elven artefacts, historical inaccuracies, sending Isildur out-of-character, multiple infractions against the laws of physics and materials science, having an implausible friendship with a Dwarf and managing to learn their deepest secrets of craft in only 80 years, and pissing off PPC agents.”

 

“Logan, want to do the honours?” asked Entropy.

 

“Sure. For these crimes against canon, you are sentenced to death,” said Logan, drawing his falchion.

 

The Stu aimed a blow of his forging hammer against the agents. Entropy dodged the blow, using the Elven reflexes of his disguise, and fired his crossbow as he dodged. The bolt went wide and struck the Stu in the leg.


As the Stu staggered, Logan struck with his falchion, cutting off the Stu’s right hand. The severed hand, still clutching the forging hammer, fell to the floor of the smithy. The Stu cried out in pain.

 

“Right, now, Mr Stu, it’s time for us to take a trip,” said Entropy, opening a portal, and pushing the Stu roughly through the grey rectangle.

 

Logan and Entropy followed the Stu through the portal, which opened onto the hilltop where Thuringwethil!Sue and Bear!Radagast had their showdown.

 

Threndodale wailed in anger as he saw the slain body of his son lying on the hillside. “What have you done to my son?” he cried.

 

“Shut it,” said Entropy, “We gave him a quick death. If you’re lucky, you’ll get the same.”

 

Logan had begun to collect the Stu’s weapons and armour – say what you will, a full coat of mithril armour was of practically limitless value – and bows made of branches of Nimloth don’t grow on just any tree.

 

“You wanted the magic spider jewel, didn’t you, En?” he asked.

 

“Yeah, it’ll make a handy bug-zapper, especially if we ever get a mission to Midgewater.”

 

“I wonder if it works against all insects?” Logan asked. “Could be a problem, then, if Upstairs ever recruit any Verpine or Vratix agents.”

 

“What’s the chances of that? Besides, shouldn’t be a problem as long as we only carry it on missions and keep it in the RC otherwise.”

 

“Fair enough. I claim the sword, then. You want the bow?”

 

“Guess so. We can always trade it for something, even if we don’t want it ourselves. The mithril coat must be worth several million pretty pennies, too.”

 

Once the Agents had finished collecting their loot, Logan opened another portal.

 

“Where to this time?” asked Entropy.

 

“I have a cunning plan. Bring the body of the dead Stu, I’ll drag the live one along,” replied Logan, shoving Threndodale through the portal. Entropy followed, dragging the corpse of Merrisil.

 

*          *          *

 

The sky was lit by only the stars of Varda as Logan and Entropy emerged from the portal, accompanied by their cargo of Marty Stu (both alive and dead).

 

Glowing luminously in the starlight, a fleet of white ships, the most beautiful Logan had ever seen, approached the shoreline where the Agents stood.

 

The PPC’ers watched as the ships drew up to the shore and a host of Elves disembarked. A tall Elf with copper-coloured hair seemed to be having a discussion with another Elf, dark haired and proud with piercingly bright eyes.

 

At an instruction from the dark-haired Elf, fire was kindled one by one in the white ships.

 

“Hang on, where are we, exactly?” asked Entropy.

 

“Losgar,” replied Logan.

 

“Ah!” said Entropy as understanding dawned.

 

Logan walked over to where Maedhros and Fëanor were talking.

 

“Excuse me, Lord Fëanaro,” said Logan.

 

Fëanor turned to look at him. “Who are you?” he asked. “You have the look of my hated half-brothers about you, especially that milksop Artafinwë. Speak quickly!”

 

“It is true that look like one of your half-brother’s house, but I am an agent of the Protectors of the Plot Continuum,” explained Logan.

 

“I have heard of that… association. What of it?” replied Fëanor.

 

“You have heard of Mary Sues and Marty Stus, then?” asked Logan. Fëanor nodded, not deigning to reply.

 

“We have here two Marty Stus, who claim to be descended from you. The dead one we have taken care of, but the living claims to be a smith of renown, surpassing your talent.”

 

“What!?” cried Fëanor, “This insignificant pup dares to compare himself to my mastery?”

 

“We brought him here so he could be disposed of. We thought that he might get… ‘involved’ in the burning of the white ships.”

 

“I shall consider it,” replied Fëanor, instructing some of his household to carry the Stus on board one of the ships.

 

“Thank you, Lord Fëanor,” said Logan, reaching for the neuralyser on his belt, “Now, if you would look this way…”

 

The neuralyser flashed, and Fëanor turned back to issuing instructions for the march into Hithlum, the PPC agents forgotten.

 

“You know, the Stu didn’t actually claim to be better than Feanor,” whispered Entropy to Logan, as they walked away from Losgar. Behind them, the white ships of the Teleri burned to ash, taking the Marty Stus with them.

 

“I know that, En, but the Spirit of Fire over there doesn’t need to. Besides, he agreed to help us dispose of the Stu.”

 

“Either way, I think we should get out of here right now. Fëanor’s not exactly the safest person in Arda to be associating with at the moment.”

 

“No kidding,” said Logan drily, “Let’s get back to HQ”.

 

*          *          *

 

“Well, we’re back,” said Logan, as they reappeared in RC 8.3145.

 

“Would you stop gratuitously quoting the book, Logan?”

 

“Fine,” Logan replied grudgingly.

 

“I’m not sure if I can stand the thought of another mission like that ever again,” said Entropy. “We only nearly got killed three or four times, not to mention that bloody lynx.”

 

“Speaking of, we should get Kern to help us find the body in the Cafeteria. We could take it to Lux and get her to skin it for us. I’d love to have a doormat that’s only visible by the light of the moon.”

 

“Good idea, Logan. You go find Kern, I’ll just take a moment to put away the loot in the cup-" BEEEEEEP!

 

“Oh, what now?” groaned Logan, as he turned to the console, which was now displaying a flashing red light. He keyed up the message on the screen which read:

 

To: Agents Logan and Entropy

From: The Strangler Fig

Message: Report to the Office of the Strangler Fig in RC# 2817 at once!

 

*          *          *

 

Entropy and Logan tried to concentrate on the Generic Surface walls of HQ as they walked through the corridors on their way to the Strangler Fig’s office, in an attempt to delay the inevitable dressing down by the Flower Official.

 

Unfortunately, Entropy’s short attention span betrayed him, and the Agents suddenly found themselves outside RC 2817.

 

Logan knocked on the door as gently and quietly as he could.

 

“Too bad, looks like the Fig’s not there, we’ll have to go back to-“

 

Enter, said the Fig telepathically through the door.

 

I hope you two are satisfied, it said as the Agents entered. The Fig’s root tendrils were writhing, a sign of its displeasure.

 

It has come to my attention that during your most recent mission, you allowed several bit characters, a Maia in the form of a grizzly bear, and a Cute Animal Friend to enter PPC HQ. I hardly need to remind you that allowing Un-Canons into HQ is most definitely prohibited, and that the resulting battle caused significant damage to the PPC Cafeteria.

 

“But the bloody bear and lynx and all the non-canons followed us through a portal. We didn’t do it deliberately!” said Logan.

 

Nevertheless, the Un-Canons entered HQ, responded the Fig.

 

You are both to consider yourselves under punishment. A suitable mission will be found for you. Until then, I suggest you provide assistance to the janitorial staff. I believe the Peyote is coordinating the efforts to clean up the cafeteria.

 

That is all. You may go now. And please try not to cause any more trouble for me today. I’ve already had to explain to the Board of Flowers how two of my agents trashed the Cafeteria. The Marquis de Sod was less than amused. 

 

*          *          *

 

“Stupid Fig, stupid Stus, stupid uncanonical giant stupid grizzly stupid bear.” muttered Logan, as he mopped up a pool of glittery blood where the grizzly bear had been.

 

The bear itself had disappeared, and there were worrying thumping noises, as if of meat being butchered, coming from the adjacent kitchens of the Cafeteria.

 

Agent Entropy, it appears that you missed a bit of blood from one of the bit character Elves, said the Peyote, from its pot near one of the cafeteria doors, from where it was supervising the Agents’ clean-up efforts.

 

The Strangler Fig had neglected to mention that the janitorial staff assigned to clean up the Cafeteria consisted entirely of Logan, Entropy and the Peyote, and that the Peyote was only there for supervision.

 

Entropy picked up his mop and bucket of Sue-B-Gone cleaner and walked towards the spot that the Peyote was indicating (using one of its petals).

 

Halfway there, Entropy tripped over something, falling to the floor in an expanding puddle of Sue-B-Gone.

 

“Ah, I think we just found that invisible lynx,” said Logan, deadpan.

Disclaimer

The PPC belongs to Jay and Acacia, used with permission. Mini-Balrogs belong to Miss Cam, bless their little fiery hearts. The Lord of the Rings, Silmarillion and Unfinished Tales belong to the great Professor Tolkien. The badfic on which this is based is the property of its author, and can be found here.

Entropy, Logan, Kern, Alagos, Aegis and Iodin are mine, and all other Agents appear courtesy of their respective authors, or are in the PPC 'public domain'.