Live Long and Protest...
Away from the con the streets were cold and dark. Lonely. Scary...
She shook herself. Donít be silly. A half-Vulcan, half-Elf should be strong, have no fear, be afraid of nothing...
She uttered a small shriek as the streetlight ahead of her went out. Pulling her cloak further around her, and checking quickly to make sure the pointed ears were still firmly affixed to her own, she slunk fearfully past the darkened post to the next pool of light.
Behind her, a dark figure detached itself from the shadows, long slow strides light but deliberate. She glanced quickly over her shoulder, blanched, and raced down the first side-street she came to, her panicky steps punctuated by an oddly menacing 'phut-phut-phut' sound, distant but growing louder. The dark figure followed, relentlessly.
Heart in her throat, she found the way blocked. A dead end! She was trapped... She turned, reaching for her mini-bat'leth with one hand and long sword with the other, cursing silently for a moment as the blade tangled in the long flowing robes she wore. By the time she'd drawn both weapons, the dark figure was standing before her, arms folded across its chest.
She stared, then frowned. Long black leather coat? Weird hair? Wraparound sunglasses? At two in the morning? She hadn't seen any Matrix cos-players at the con - but what else could this be? She assayed a somewhat hesitant smile.
"Oooh, I'm glad it's a friendly face. I was afraid you might be a mugger."
The figure inclined its head, eyes unreadable behind the shades. In the uncertain light she couldn't be sure whether it was male or female. She tried again.
"I didn't see you at the con. Like the costume though. Are you heading back to the hotel? Only I think I might be a little bit lost..."
"Lost?" The voice was dark and low, and of no assistance in deciding the gender of its owner. "No, not lost. Willingly astray, perhaps."
The corner of the figure's mouth quirked upwards in a faint smile. Or it could have been a sneer, she couldn't be sure.
"That is probably the most intelligible thing you have said in weeks."
Ohhhh Kaaaay... She wasn't sure what - his? The figure was quite tall... she opted for his. She could always apologise later if she was wrong - deal was, but if he was staying in character, so was she. She smiled and bowed her head, pressing her right hand - fingers apart in the Vulcan salute - to her heart then swept it downwards gracefully.
"Marithiel Surak at your service."
A raised eyebrow appeared over the top of the shades: the figure's arms dropped to its sides at it planted its fists on its hips. In the dim light Marithiel could just make out "... S Aven..." picked out in diamanté across the black-clad chest.
"You are a Mary Sue, writer of terrible AU crossover fanfics."
Marithiel's jaw dropped - then she remembered who she was supposed to be and pulled herself up to her full height (about five foot two).
"I'm a good writer. I've won awards for my fanfic."
"From any recognisable literary authority?"
"Oh but...!" Marithiel bridled. "I have fans! There are lots of people who think I'm great!"
The figure glanced downwards to where the bat'leth and sword reposed at the 'writer's' waist. Back in their scabbards of their own accord, it would appear, since she'd not thought to replace them herself before planting small hands on wide hips...
The 'phut-phut-phut', which had been growing louder while the two figures faced off, suddenly stopped with a loud screech: Marithiel couldn't see anything behind the dark figure, but the fast clicking of footsteps indicated someone approaching rapidly. Seconds later a... person popped out from behind her accuser.
Marithiel - no, let's give her her proper name, shall we? The Mary Sue stared in disbelief. The... person was dressed in an improbable confection of leather, satin and sparkling tulle, tight and short, and finished off by a pair of thigh-high boots - all in bright, almost fluorescent, pink: its blonde hair had matching pink streaks and was tied back with a huge hot-pink satin bow. This one was definitely female - no mistaking those generous breasts for anything else...
Poppy, for it was she, grinned broadly at the Mary Sue.
"Oooooh, you're for it now, girly!" She glanced up at the dark figure. "Sorry I'm late, boss, the traffic was a bitch, there was this truck..."
The dark figure glared at her, and she subsided with a small, slightly nervous giggle. Tall and leather-clad turned back to short and diaphanously-garbed.
"You are a Mary Sue, bane of good writers everywhere in your clumsy, paltry and stomach-churning attempts to fill your mundane life with a little glamour."
"I - I have the right to express my creativity!" The Mary Sue's breast heaved hectically - partly fear, partly indignation, and partly a strange and inexplicable attraction to the dark figure standing so accusingly before her.
The snarled response made her flinch.
"You don't have the right to inflict it on others."
Poppy added brightly,
"Oh gods, yes! And must you use 'manhood' and 'length' and 'completion' all the time? What's wrong with good, old-fashioned 'cock'? And 'fuck'? And 'cum'?"
The Mary Sue was watching the dark figure closely, otherwise the little shudder of what might just have been distaste would have passed unnoticed. Then he raised a hand, silencing the pink explosion at his side; folding his arms across his chest again he fixed Marithiel with a narrow-eyed glare which would have been brimming with cold severity had the shades not been in the way.
"You have been found guilty of crimes against correct grammar, spellchecking, decent plot and plausibility. You have ignored all well-meaning attempts to turn you from the path of Diredom and towards the light of Good Writing. You are hereby sentenced to life in the universe you've created." The figure leaned close, a brief but diabolical grin flickering on thin lips. "It's not going to be half the fun you think it isÖ"
As the Mary Sue watched in horror, the figure whipped out a big gun. Not just any big gun, though. Ever seen Men In Black? The first film? Remember that massive GUN J used to shoot down the bug's ship near the end of the film? Yeah. One of those.
Poppy shook her head as the Gun made a disappointingly quiet 'sping' sound and the Mary Sue disappeared.
"Boss, can't you make it more dramatic? Y'know, a bit noisier. With some bangs and flashes, maybe?"
The figure glowered at the pink-clad sidekick from behind the shades.
"This is a de-regulised multi-dimensional trans-warp emitter. It doesn't 'flash and bang'."
Poppy sighed resignedly, then grinned.
"Pity. Ah well. Are we done for tonight?"
The dark figure inclined its head.
"My work is never finished. Wherever one Mary Sue is vanquished, another five spring up to take her place. That is why I am the Mary Sue Avenger..."
Poppy patted a leather-clad arm, gazing up adoringly.
"I know, boss. It's a thankless job, but you do it brilliantly How many's that today?"
"That was the seventh."
"Seven... and six yesterday. You're good, boss."
The dark figure smartly reholstered the Gun and pulled the voluminous black leather coat over the bulge it made, then gazed hopelessly at Poppy.
"I don't suppose you have something else to do?"
Poppy grinned brightly.
"Nope, I'm all yours! Let's go home - I'll make some tea!"
The dark figure's shoulder's slumped as they walked slowly towards the hot pink, ribbon-bedecked moped parked skewiff at the end of the alley. Not noticing, Poppy continued burbling happily.
"And I've baked some biscuits too!"
The Mary Sue Avenger stopped for a moment, then resumed walking, steps dragging.
"... that would explain the mess in the kitchen."
Poppy giggled, bouncing along excitedly.
"Don't worry, I'll clean it up! And I've got the perfect costume to wear while I'm doing it!"
As Poppy climbed onto the moped and chugged away, the Avenger headed dispiritedly towards the big, black motorcycle that served as transport, thoughts grim.
Why me? What was my crime? What did I do to deserve - her...?
© 2006 April 25th Joules
(With a little help from Lutra, and partially inspired by the 'leg-limpet' pic. The story of which is somewhere on my blog... If you like, consider it the first time Poppy met the Mary Sue Avenger.)
Background tile originally courtesy of Bakayarro Onna, tweaked by Joules.