Jay grabbed the console and pulled herself up. The first thing she noticed on the console's screen was the alert code:
"Hold the phone, this is a Mary Sue!"
Acacia blinked. "I'd rather expected them to transfer us back first."
"Maybe this memo's got something to say about it," Jay said.
"Dear Agents Jay and Acacia
You are beink transferred back to Mary Sue department. Happy, da?" she read.
"Oh, how cute, he typed out is his accent."
"How fun. What's the Sue?"
"Lord of the Rings Movie-verse… Her name is Solaris. Apparently she's called "the dark elf" because she outshone some Evil Males and they were jealous. Hmm.. and.. oh my." Jay's eyes bugged.
"Oh your what?"
"Oh my dear Lady on a collapsible crutch."
"..Jay? I'm worried.. what does she do?"
"Tell you later. I must now go and claw out my mind's eye."
"That bad? Lemme see.." She leaned over to look at Jay's screen. Then she choked- for real this time- and Jay was obligated to give her a few good whacks until she could breathe properly.
"Besides being physically impossible," Jay said, quietly, "that's just WRONG."
"Really wrong. Really, really wrong. What kind of sick person is this author?"
"I'm not sure. I don't think she even was going for pornography." Jay's face twitched rhythmically. "At least we now know why they sent us a movie-verse fic."
Acacia snorted at a few transcribed sections of author's note. "'This story is different from some of the other stories-' I'll say- 'at least Aragorn and Legolas are not screwing each other's brains out..' Well, at least that wouldn't violate the laws of biology. Why couldn't I have stayed in Bad Slash?" She considered. "Oh, yeah, that."
"Oh yeah, what?" Jay asked, not sure she wanted to know.
"Long story. Suffice it to say there was an unfortunate incident involving a really horrible Aragorn/Boromir/Legolas fic, lots of knives, a pigeon, and my partner's Analysis Device."
"A .. pigeon?" Jay's tic stopped out of sheer fascination. "What-"
"Right. Right. No. So, shall we go kill the Dark Elf?"
"And what shall we be today?"
"Well, where'll we kill her?
"Well, she farks it up in several places.. would you LOOK what she did to Moria.."
"Well, Orcs are fairly generic.."
"That they is." Jay shuddered. "Just let's peg her before.. yanno."
"Then let's go."
Jay had to thump the computer several times before the portal opened. The computer had been disappointed when they came back from their last mission alive, and was being recalcitrant.
Acacia snatched up her pack and headed in.
The portal opened into Rivendell; however, due to a monumental concentration of plotholes, the aim was off. Really. The aim was off. Jay would have never intentionally aimed for lord Elrond's private rooms.
However, it did seem to be where things were happening at the moment.
"Adar?(Father?)" asked Arwen, as she entered the room to see him sitting in a chair near the fire with his hands joined as he gazed towards the fire.
"Is there an echo, or am I going mad?"
"Neither. The author is giving a lesson in How To Show Off In Elvish While Making Yourself Look Like An Idiot."
"Arwen, [please] lavo dad (Arwen, please sit,)" spoke Elrond, motioning to the empty chair next to him.
"Legolas [asks] en elleth tulant nef. [What should] pedyn an hon o hen? (Legolas is asking about the female elf he brought here. What should we say to him about her?)" asked Arwen.
"This is pathetic," Jay said, putting her hands over her ears.
"Indeed. Why show off if you don't know all the words?"
"Even if you DO know the words, there are better ways to do it than this." Jay winced. "Poor Elrond."
"Ú-nad. [Ignore question] tîn. Presto nathon [if] istant man nant. [Very rare assassin] elleth. (Nothing, ignore his questions. It will be trouble if he knew who she was. A very rare female assassin elf,)" whispered Elrond, as he glanced up at her.
"I'll give you a picture of Boromir bathing if you can diagram that sentence."
Acacia promptly got out a piece of paper and pencil and Elvish dictionary, but soon got frustrated and put the pencil through the paper. "I give up."
"Aw, poor thing. I'll try to get you one anyway." Jay glared at the elves. "This is going to hurt, isn't it? And she's an assassin, which means we're screwed if she sees us.."
"I mean, really, where'd this secret order of Elven assassins come from? Did the Assassins' Guild set up in Middle-earth or something?"
"It's like that Archery School, isn't it?"
"Nas [sure/certain] [must]-yn [ignore question] tîn (Are you sure we must ignore his questions?)" asked Arwen, looking at her father.
"Witness the single most annoying use of Sindarin ever," said Acacia sourly.
"I'm witnessing. Lady alive, I'm witnessing. And it HURTS..."
"I agree. Let's leave."
"We're in luck. Elrond's leaving too..."
They both stepped aside as Elrond and Arwen glided out of the room. "Oh, he's going to go check on Frodo. Let's follow."
"Fine by me," said Acacia, falling into step behind her partner.
"He looks so vulnerable," Jay whispered.
"Rather the point."
Jay pulled out her camera, and started to flash pictures from several angles. "There.."
"Nice," said Acacia. "Shall we go watch the Debacl- I mean, pre-Council?"
"Oh, yes." Then Jay flinched. "OOh, wouldja look at the author's note?"
"Beginning of this chapter. I just lahv her rationale."
Acacia looked, and cringed. "This fic is just plain evil-" she shook her head. "No. No it isn't, it's worse than that. We're evil, Miss Cam is evil, this is just plain dumb."
Jay shuddered. "I may never look at a carton of milk the same way again."
"Me neither." Acacia considered. "Or any female elf, especially ones with silly names like Solaris.."
"You want to borrow my new Blind Guardian CD for when she starts singing?"
"Sure." Acacia sighed. "I'm in no hurry to get there. How shall we waste time till it starts?"
"Let's hide outside. Perhaps we can avoid the run-on sentence from hell."
"Doing what? Have you got the cards still?"
"I have, but I don't feel like doing much. In fact, I feel like sleeping. You can play Patience."
"Never been able to get the hang of that one."
"Then Solitaire. Or Freecell."
"'Kay, then. Let's go wait."
Later that night, in the meeting place where the council meeting would beheld the next day, everyone was sitting in the circle, telling tales and singing songs.
"Kumbaya, maiar.. Kumbaya..." Jay sang under her breath, even more lightheaded than usual because she'd just woken up.
Elrond was asked several times about the empty seat beside him. He simply replied that the seat would soon be taken. Some little while later, he glanced up to see hidden within the shadows of the stairs to all but keen elvish sight, a solitary figure. "Ah, I see that the owner of this seat has arrived."
"No, she doesn't own it, because she's a perfect stranger. Unless she brought her own furniture?" muttered Acacia.
"Redecorating Rivendell? The mind boggles."
With this, Elrond stood up and beckoned to the figure to come into the light of the circle. The gathering fell silent as they looked at Elrond, who was smiling towards the shadows, then whispering began as each member of the party wondered who the latecomer might be. Aragorn hoped it was Arwen who was coming to listen to the tales and songs.
The hushed voices stopped as abruptly as they HAD started. The figure stepped out from the shadows - a red-haired she-elf in a dress as dark as the night without a moon. A dress that clung to her body as she walked towards a smiling Elrond.
"Someone clean up the sentence fragments," said Acacia. "It's dangerous, leaving them lying around, people might cut themselves."
Jay started humming Kumbaya again, but started as Elrond kissed the newcomer (designated Solaris) on the cheeks.
"This isn't France," Acacia muttered.
Jay glared through narrowed eyes at Solaris. "Unfair. She doesn't even lust after him."
"I surprise you with the dress, Lord Elrond?"
"So the mystery guest is a female elf, and she is as beautiful as any elf in my clan." whispered one of the elves of Lorien.
"When," asked Acacia rhetorically, "did Elves get clans?"
"When they started being misogynists." Rhetorical, but Jay answered nonetheless.
Legolas was shocked to see her; Elrond had purposely ignored all the questions he had asked about the female he brought to Rivendell earlier that day. But now, here she was and he could finally introduce himself to her, and have the opportunity to question her himself.
"Honored friends, I would introduce you to the Lady Solaris," said Elrond.
"This is only going to get worse, isn't it?"
"It seems so," said Acacia resignedly.
Legolas approached Solaris as she walked to her seat. Quietly he spoke, "I am Legolas Greenleaf, Prince of Mirkwood. I am the one who found you wounded in the forest and brought you here to Rivendell."
"I thank you for what you did, Legolas." smiled Solaris, gazing up at him. She sat down looked across at the tall Man that stood in a corner of the group a frown upon his face. She smirked at him.
"Bitch," Jay muttered. "Aragorn vilifying bitch."
"He doesn't deserve this," Acacia agreed.
"Canon doesn't deserve this."
The Lord of Rivendell turned to Solaris and said, "We would enjoy hearing a song or a tale from your homeland, my lady."
"I am afraid I am not a great singer of songs, Lord Elrond,"
"Or a poem would work?" spoke Boromir, smiling towards her.
"Don't- bloody- encourage- her!" Acacia snarled.
Solaris smiled shyly back at him, "If I were to recite my song as a poem it would not sound well. I will have to sing it."
"Here. Mutter for me, Nightfall in Middle Earth for you. Hurry."
Both of them had seen the author's note-- and had seen that the song came from Princess Mononoke. The translations to English at the end of each line added a strange echo-- or would have, if both agents hadn't been protected by hard German rock.
Fortunately, it was not that long before applause (polite clapping, which seemed to indicate that the elves hadn't been thrilled with her singing either) started, and they decided it was safe to take off the headphones.
Solaris left quickly, and the PPC were left to revel in real stories and real songs.
The gathering ended soon, though. "Should we follow?" Acacia wondered.
"There will be Boromir groping-- you up for it?"
"On second thought, you go, I'll go to bed."
Acacia's partner struggled to her feet, and started stiffly to the door. "You do that." Jay stopped suddenly. "Ever wonder why there are beds in Rivendell?"
Acacia blinked. "Never thought of that before."
Jay sighed. "Maybe they just like to lie down while they rest. Maybe contemplating the ceiling helps."
"Could well be.."
Solaris quickly left the circle and headed for a secluded spot near the edge of the many cliffs surrounding Rivendell. Several pairs of eyes watched as she left - including those belonging to Legolas (and Jay as well). He was about to follow her when he saw Boromir had already started out after her. Legolas stepped into the shadows behind them, trailing them until the two had stopped; he watched and listened.
[Making Legolas a stalker and an eavesdropper to boot-- charge the first.]
"I very much enjoyed your song, Solaris," said Boromir, as he went to her side. He looked at his surroundings. "I see why this spot is recommended to those who need to be alone. It is quite beautiful here."
"That it is. Why have you come here? Did you follow me here?" Solaris asked, as she turned her head towards him.
"No, I was just wished for some privacy. I'm sorry if I disturbed you. I'll leave you alone." Boromir said, bowing his head to her and starting to back away.
[Making Boromir overly apologetic, charge the second,] Jay wrote, rather grateful that Acacia was not there to get annoyed.
"Boromir, please stay. You are not disturbing me," Solaris turned to look at him fully. "I'm the one who should be apologizing to you. I accused you of following me when you weren't. I am unused to being in the company of men."
"It is I who should be apologizing to you. I embarrassed you at the gathering, asking you to recite the song as a poem," said Boromir, looking at her gently.
"Mush," Jay muttered
More short and relatively pointless scene ensued, in which Solaris spied on Aragorn and Arwen.
"Just Arwen and Strider…they're talking. Oh no. She didn't just do that!" she whispered quietly.
"What did she do?" asked Boromir.
"She just…it's nothing. Just the madness of lovers." smiled Solaris, walking past him and vanishing into the shadows of the night.
"Of all the elves I have seen, she is the most perfect! Now, how to whoo her,"
Legolas interrupted Boromir here, and it was lucky that neither of them could see the Orc that was leaning against a tree for support, laughing hard.
She did recover long enough to write the third charge, "causing Legolas and Boromir to threaten each other with weapons for a silly reason."
"She will probably not take to a Man courting her, Boromir." spoke a voice from the shadows. "She is an Elf, not one of your women who would fall flat on their faces at a gift from you. It is far harder to capture the heart of a female elf."
Boromir's sword was out and pointed in the direction of the voice.
Jay's pencil skittered on paper.
"You would never have the chance to use that sword against me." Legolas emerged from the shadows, with his bow in his hands, an arrow pointing at Boromir.
"Why would you think she wouldn't take to someone like me, elf?" snapped Boromir.
"The name is Prince Legolas, not elf!" Legolas' voice was quiet yet menacing. He did not lower his bow.
Jay stepped back a few more paces, her laughter subsiding. "Whoo!"
At this point Aragorn turned up and, understandably, started yelling at them. "Legolas! Boromir! Put your weapons away! This is a place of peace."
They turned and looked at him then Boromir, grumbling as he sheathed his sword in its scabbard, stomped off into the night. Aragorn and Legolas stood there for several moments before the silence was broken.
"I would not have harmed him, Aragorn…much," said Legolas, with a sly smile on his face. "Just enough to cause him to wet himself with fright."
Jay frowned, dug in her pack, and extracted a tiny piece of paper from a lead container. She waved it in the air, and it turned from light blue to blood red. She matched it against the color chart on the lead tube: "89% character breach."
"I didn't even have to touch him," Jay breathed.
Aragorn shook his head as he tried not to giggle. This managed to deepen the red color on the litmus strip in Jay's hand.
"Where did Solaris go?"
"To the council circle I think," Legolas replied. "Why do you want to know?"
Aragorn did not respond, but strode off in the direction of the circle, leaving Legolas alone to wonder at the sudden interest Aragorn had shown in the whereabouts of the she-elf, Solaris.
Jay, confronted with the image of Aragorn giggling, lapsed into hopeless laughter again.
"So, what happened last night that I might actually want to know about?" Acacia wondered in the morning.
"Well, Boromir used the word "Whoo" in a sentence, and Aragorn almost giggled.."
"'Whoo' isn't a word."
"He used it all the same. And Legolas tried to make him wet himself."
Acacia made a rather strange noise.
Jay showed her the litmus paper. "Impressive, yes? I didn't even have to touch Legolas or Aragorn."
"Red is bad, right?"
Jay produced the color chart. "Yup. See?"
"I hope that's combined and not average or each.."
"It's combined, yes. It was 89% for Legolas alone."
"Ouch." Acacia shrugged. "What's happening today, then?
"First, let's recap last night. Merry kissed Solaris on the hand. Aragorn acted like a bastard and Solaris slapped him. We are told that Aragorn can be dangerous.."
"Well, of course he can. Otherwise what's the point?"
"His sword, usually." Jay yawned. "How was bed?"
"Soft. Warm. Rectangular. With covers on it. You know. Generally bedlike."
"Tell me again about the soft part." Jay yawned again, and sagged against a handy wall. "Tell you what, YOU watch the council, I'm getting some sleep."
"All right by me."
The Council of Elrond convened in the same location where the gathering had been held the night before. Gandalf and Frodo along with a select group of Men, Elves and Dwarves sat in a semi-circle around a stone pedestal. Everyone was quiet pondering why the meeting had been called. Elrond realized that there was one member of the council was absent.
"The Council doesn't have members," Acacia muttered sullenly. "Does she think it's like a city council?"
"Forgive my lateness, Lord Elrond." spoke Solaris, as she entered the room wearing the pale green and beige male style tunic, a bow with a very sharp looking blade on the ends of the bow itself and quiver strapped to her back.
Acacia blinked several times, trying to see properly the image of one blade on both sides of a bow. Then she gave it up and instead wondered what the point of putting it on there was.
Furthermore, a quirk of description made Solaris's tunic appear to be a muscle shirt. Acacia's mouth quirked slightly.
"It is forgiven, Solaris. Please sit," Elrond replied, gently, as he waved his hand where the elves were congregated.
Only two moved to give her room to sit - Legolas and his Mirkwood traveling companion. She nodded her thanks to them both as she sat down.
Acacia just wondered why the Mirkwood elves had had their numbers reduced to two.
"There are already far too many elves at this council for my liking," shouted a surly-looking dwarf. "And now a female! Why include such weakness?" he screamed.
More vicious descriptions made the dwarf's voice Doppler up into a falsetto shriek. Acacia snorted. This amusement helped her to stand the battle of the sexes that took up the next five minutes.
"Weak!" Solaris snapped back at him. "I say not me! Cast off your bigoted beliefs that the females of any race…whether it be dwarf, Man or elves are weaklings! We have to bear more than you could ever stand in your life! I am more than worthy of being here! I am no mere elf-maiden!"
"Well, you look like one to me.." Acacia muttered.
"Females should remain where you would do best at home in the kitchen with children by your side!" spat the dwarf. Acacia scowled. Having recently joined the Gimli Is An Awesome Mofo Society wasn't doing much for her ability to take this. She scanned the Words and decided that she could ignore the next few paragraphs, secure in the knowledge that nothing new was happening. She added "Gimli The Misogynistic Bastard" and "Thinking Her Petty Gender Squabbles More Important Than The One Ring" to the charge sheet Jay had begun and turned on her headphones, ignoring the fact that this was very probably against some rule.
When Gandalf insisted that they needed to start discussing the actual matter at hand, Acacia turned off the music and started paying actual attention.
Elrond gazed at the assembly for a moment before speaking, "Strangers from distant lands, friends of old. You have been summoned here to answer the threat of Mordor. Middle-Earth stands upon the brink of destruction. None can escape it. You will unite or you will fall. Each race is bound to this fate - this one doom." Gesturing to the column in front of him, he continued, "Bring forth the Ring, Frodo."
"Gasp," Acacia observed. "She got the lines right."
>From here the Council actually went rather canonically, at least compared to some of the disasters she'd known. While Solaris did take it upon herself to upbraid Boromir for his interest in the Ring, she didn't use Aragorn's actual words, and everyone else was allowed their correct movieverse lines- at any rate until the Ring started speaking:
"Ash nazg durbatuluk! Ash nazg gimbatul! Ash nazg gimbatul! Ash nazg gimbatul!"
Acacia giggled and wrote "Inducing the One Ring to repeat itself- this is not the Broken Record of Power, dearie."
Gimli snarled, "Never trust an elf - I would never trust an elf I couldn't throw!"
"You couldn't throw a hobbit child, let alone an elf!" retorted one of Legolas' companions. Apparently the number of elves traveling with Legolas had increased again while Acacia hadn't been looking.
And it rather went downhill from there. After Frodo volunteered to take the Ring, Gandalf, Aragorn, and Legolas volunteered in the movie-canonical way, but Solaris, perhaps feeling that she had to outdo Gimli, insisted on joining before he did. Elrond's little declaration at the end, as was becoming standard, was of course about ten companions (no explanation why this number was at all significant) and Pippin's "Where are we going?" line was cut. "Joining the Fellowship" and "Forgetting lines" went onto the charge sheet.
Then, the Council being over, Acacia left to look for Jay.
The Fellowship gathered everything they thought they would need for the journey. What they could not carry themselves was loaded onto Bill, a chestnut pony, with flaxen mane and tail, which the Hobbits and Strider had brought with them from Bree. This nod in the direction of bookverse only made what was to follow seem worse. Solaris was walking as fast as Legolas and seemed even more alert than he-- mostly because she was the very epitome of a Mary Sue.
Legolas and she worked together at this even though he was not really at ease with a female in the group. He was concerned she might hinder them, though he didn't make this thought known to the others.
Why he bothered with this was a mystery, because most of them shared his misgivings.
Boromir and Gimli walked side by side for a time. Boromir was also uncomfortable with the situation. "She will tire of this journey and will soon leave us to return to Rivendell. Within two weeks she will be gone for her sex cannot bear the pace we must sustain, especially with little rest."
Jay caught the unintentional double entendre and started giggling madly. (Acacia just looked annoyed. More so than usual, anyway.)
"I do hope you are right about that. A wager perhaps?" whispered Gimli, looking up at the Man.
"Perhaps a small bag full of gold will do for the winner. I wager she will not last two weeks," murmured Boromir.
"And I wager she will endure for a full turn of the moon before she turns back for Rivendell," Gimli replied in hushed tones.
"Agreed." And they shook hands to seal the bet.
"And I'll wager neither of us last two chapters before getting supremely annoyed with her," Jay said.
"No takers," Acacia grumbled.
"And what if I last longer than either of you have wagered?" asked Solaris, as she walked silently up behind Boromir and Gimli.
"Then, we both lose and must start anew," said Gimli, grinning.
"Good man. Don't let the bitch intimidate you!" Jay said, punching her fist in the air.
Solaris asked, "Who will win the gold if I last all the way to Mordor?"
"We had not thought though that possibility." they both replied in unison.
The general effect of this was weird, and rather creepy. Acacia winced at the sound.
"Then let me suggest who should receive the winnings; Give the gold to the poorest person in Gondor. That is what I would want."
"How remarkably corny." Jay made a face.
"But, see, we're establishing that the Sue is sweet and nice and thus should be liked by the read- ye gods this is insipid.." said Acacia.
After walking until late afternoon, they stopped at a craggy outcrop, high above the plain. Legolas and Solaris kept lookout as the others rested and worked some minor cramps out of their legs.
Pippin asked, "Boromir? Would you and Aragorn teach us how to use our swords properly? We do not want to be prepared the next time we face a foe."
"We.. do not want.. to .. AAAAAHAHAHA!" Jay collapsed behind a gorse bush chortling. "Boromir, teach us how not to be prepared!"
Acacia succumbed to giggles as well.
"Gladly, young Hobbit," said Boromir, as he withdrew his sword and invited Pippin and Merry to do the same.
Gandalf looked towards them sparring in the clearing. "We must hold this course west of the Misty Mountains for forty days. If our luck holds the Gap of Rohan will still be open to us. From there our road turns east to Mordor."
"It's pure movieverse for a minute or two," Jay murmured as her laughter subsided. "Good break, that."
"Nice bit to do it at, too," said Acacia almost happily. "Got to love this part."
Whilst Boromir continued his tutelage with the two hobbits, Solaris noticed Legolas' hand shielding his eyes as he stared towards the south, and turned her gaze in the same direction. Boromir was heard in the background, "Two, Three, Four, Five. Good, very good!"
Aragorn instructed, "Move your feet!"
And Merry cheered, "That's good, Pippin."
Jay beamed and took pictures.
Behind the assassins, Gandalf and Gimli were having their little movieverse chat about the Mines.
Gandalf shook his head, "No Gimli, I would not take the roads through Moria unless I had no other choice."
At this moment, Boromir accidentally nicked Pippin with his sword; Merry and Pippin charged him together, yelling "For the Shire!" As they ran towards Boromir who fell pulling the two hobbits down with him, while Aragorn chuckled at the sight of a Man being toppled by two hobbits.
Jay grinned as well. "Hurrah for Hobbits!"
"How cute.." Acacia went misty-eyed.
Sam and Frodo were also enjoying the sparring match. Sam glanced towards the south. "What is that?" He asked the others.
"Nothing, it's just a whiff of cloud." grunted Gimli.
Jay snorted. "Brimstone?"
The crebain turned up as in the movie (and staying out in the open without having to worry while everyone else frantically hides is a very strange feeling) until Gandalf moaned as they emerged from their hiding places. This was a rather disturbing sound.
"Spies of Saruman! The passage south is being watched. We must take the Pass of Caradhras."
"She spells it all right! She knows the facts! WHY IS SHE WRITING THIS MARY SUE?"
"Let's not try to fathom the mind of a Suvian. We really don't want to attain their level of thinking. That's what gets people sent to Psych," said Acacia.
The passage over the mountain of Caradhras was cold and hard. Before long all but the elves of the company, who were able to walk over the snow rather than through it, were feeling weary. Suddenly, Frodo's foot slipped and he rolled down the slope towards Aragorn.
Aragorn grabbed him. "Frodo?"
Frodo got to his feet, helped by Aragorn. He reached for the ring, on its chain around his neck, only to find it missing.
Boromir saw the ring lying on the snow just in front of him and held it up it up by its chain. "It is a strange fate we should suffer so much fear and doubt over so small a thing…such a little thing."
"She even got the lines right."
"And no one gets the lines right."
"Perhaps we should capture her as a lab rat for the Psych department?"
Acacia considered this. The idea did have its appeal.
Aragorn growled loudly, "Boromir! Give the Ring to Frodo."
Boromir handed the Ring back to the hobbit. "As you wish. I care not."
As Frodo snatched back the ring, Boromir casually ruffled Frodo's hair, then turned and resumed the relentless upward journey. Frodo watched the retreating man's back, a look of suspicion on his face, whilst Aragorn slowly released the tight grip on his sword.
"All this unadulterated movieverse is actually rather nice," Jay said wistfully.
"If only she didn't violate all applicable laws of biology," said Acacia, less regretfully.
With light steps the two elves walked over the top of the drifting snow, whilst the remainder of the company battled to plough through it. "I sense something amiss with this mountain," whispered Solaris to Legolas.
"Yes; I sense evil within the snow itself," he replied quietly.
"See? She even got the "Caradhras is evil" bit. We definitely need her for Psych."
Acacia shrugged. "Sounds good to me. We're running out of places to hide the bodies, anyway." She dropped her voice to a mutter. "Bloody rules.. I realize some of the monsters were getting fat, but that's no reason.."
"We may have to start incinerating more. And I really don't think acromantulas can get too fat, but without a cross-dimensional portal, that's out of the question."
While this discussion had been going on, Solaris had gone back to ask Gandalf to be allowed to scout ahead, an action surprising in its reasonableness. Alas, this did not last.
"What can a Dark Elf do that Legolas would need her assistance in this?!" snapped a cold voice from behind Gandalf.
In an instant two arrows were aimed right at Aragorn's chest. "Comments like that may cause the Fellowship to lose its first member, Aragorn!" Solaris spat at him. "Two pairs of eyes are better than one!"
Acacia blinked. "But Legolas is a dark elf. Or doesn't she know what that is?"
"And she was doing so well up until now."
Relative canonicity, however, soon returned with the arrival of the avalanche.
Suddenly, they heard the roar of the mountain and in the distance, Legolas' warning. Solaris shouted, "Run...white death!"
"A little melodramatic, but not a bad line," Jay said. "We can't kill her. We need her for novelty value." Together, the assassins got well out of the way of both avalanche and fleeing fellowship.
The Fellowship arrives at the West Gate of Moria as clouds cover the full moon. Gimli is at awe of the walls. Gimli spoke, his voice showing his awe, "The walls of Moria!"
"Whoa. What's with the tenses?" wondered Acacia, rather disoriented by the sudden shift.
"I thought it is a typo," Jay said cheerfully.
They all walk by the side of the lake. Frodo and the other three Hobbits look around as they followed Solaris. Gandalf makes out an outline of the doors. Gandalf whispered, "Now, let's see. Ithildin -- it mirrors only starlight and moonlight."
The moon finally clears the clouds as the doorway to the Mines of Moria appears before them. The Hobbits and Gimli goes close to see the doorway.
Gandalf whispered, "It reads, 'The doors of Durin - Lord of Moria. Speak friend and enter.' That's simple."
"Gyah! Not with all these frigging tense shifts it isn't!"
"And the writing had been fair up till now." Jay shook her head. "Who knows what lies in the hearts of Suvians?"
"The Shallow knows."
Gandalf smiled, "It's quite simple. If you are a friend you speak the password and the doors will open. Annon Edhellen edro hi ammen! (Gate of the Elves open now for me!)"
"Ach! More overlay-y Vox Dei effects!"
Doors didn't even open for him. Gandalf begins to push it with his staff. Time passes as the rest of the Fellowship are seated around the doors or near the lake, still waiting for Gandalf to open it.
The assassins, on the other hand, were leaning against the walls, in sufficiently shadowed places as to be out of the Sue's sight, and trying to recover from the abrupt descent into horribly confusing grammar.
"Did she suffer brain damage since last chapter?" Acacia speculated.
"Perhaps she was WUI."
"That'd about explain it," said Acacia, who was getting a headache.
Gandalf starting to get a bit angry, "Ando Eldarinwa a lasta quettanya, Fenda Casarinwa! (Gate of Elves listen to my word, Threshold of Dwarves!)"
The doors refuse to open for him. He looks at the door again and tries another round of elven words. Solaris is watching him as Merry and Pippin look at her.
"Oh, Mother, we're in the Present Tense," Jay moans. "I'm having bad flashbacks to the Theatre of MST."
Acacia shudders. "Don't *even* remind me."
"Solaris, we overheard Aragorn called you a…Dark Elf on the mountain? What did he mean by that?" asked Merry.
"That was my nickname in the Rangers when I posed as a man to train," spoke Solaris.
"You posed as a man!?" exclaimed Pippin, looking shocked at her.
"We're back!" Jay gasped, happy to not have gasps.
"She posed as a man. Shock horror," said Acacia, not nearly so easily pleased. "Is it just me or do these people all have serious Joan-of-Arc complexes?"
"Too much Witchblade for the Suvians. Punishment: made to watch Miss Congeniality for three days straight. Wait, that's far too kind.."
"Yes. I dressed and even spoke like one for about a year before I was found out," Solaris stated as her voice suddenly changed from a female sounding voice to that of a much deeper sounding voice.
"From one voice.. to that of a different one.. To the voice of a deeper voice?" Acacia shook her head. "Jay, next time remind me not to try and make sense of these things."
"How did that happen?" asked Boromir, listening to what the Hobbits asked of Solaris.
"We went into battle against a pack of Orcs. I got wounded and knocked out by one of the Orcs and I was about to be killed when my captain killed the Orcs around me to save my life. My captain dragged me out of harm's way and got me to the healers before returning to battle. The healer removed my shirt and found my true gender of being a female elf."
"This Mulan moment brought to you by.."
"Everyone had assumed I was male cause of my non gender sounding name and plus-"
Acacia winced. "Evil of her, to lure us into a false sense of security with decent grammar for the first part.."
"-they gave me the nickname of Dark Elf, cause I was so lethal with my daggers, sword and archery. My bow was one thing no one wanted to get near with the blades that I placed on it."
"Agh! When did the valley girl show up? Saying "cause" is definitely going on the charge sheet!"
"And I'll ask this again," said Acacia, "why do you want to put blades on a bow?"
"Because she's stupid. Yes. She is."
"The healer had no choice but to report to him that I was not a male but a female under a guise of a man. He was angered by my 'supposed' betrayal of my gender. He was one who thought or more less believed that females belong in the kitchen with the offspring than on the battlefield," stated Solaris.
"...Arwen, ride hard. Did she miss that bit?"
Solaris quickly turned to look at where Aragorn was at to find him with Bill the pony and Sam.
Aragorn spoke as he unhitched Bill's bridle, "The mines are no place for a pony, even one so brave as Bill. He must leave."
Sam said, sadly as Bill nudged Sam and then starts to walk away into the night, "Buh-bye Bill."
Aragorn spoke, making sure he kept moving away from the Mines, "Go on, Bill, go on. Don't worry Sam, he knows the way home."
Jay took a picture. Seeing Bill was a rarity in Lord of the Rings fics was a pleasant surprise.
Aragorn and Sam starts to walk back to the others as Aragorn notice the gaze that Solaris was giving him. He returned the same gaze.
Gandalf exasperated about not being able to open the door.
"Blast," said Acacia. "Just when you think the tenses are stabilizing.."
"Oh, it's useless!"
"Men! Why must this always be done by the females? Why don't you ask one of the two Elves for help, Gandalf?" spat Solaris, as she stood up from her place.
"She spits a lot. That's not polite."
"And this from the person who's accusing characters of sexism? I admire her flexibility." Acacia considered. "No I don't, I hate it."
"What can you do, Solaris; that Gandalf can't do?" snapped Aragorn.
"I can open this door. You forget one thing, my fellow travelers. Elves wrote this and so they put a riddle to make non Elves think harder-"
"And wasn't the whole point that they were just thinking too hard and making it more difficult than it was?"
Gimli speaks quickly and excitedly, "Soon master elf you will enjoy the fabled hospitality of the dwarves. Roaring fires, malt beer and the ripest meat right off the bone. This…my friend, is the home of my cousin Balin. And they call it a mine. A mine!"
"Ripe meat? How godawful that sounds."
"Arm yourselves!" yelled Solaris, as her bow and two arrows were in her hand pointed towards the open door of Moria.
"But they are armed," Acacia protested.
Boromir asked, as he pulled out his sword as did Aragorn, "What's wrong, Solaris?"
"Smell the air itself. This mine is no longer a mine but a tomb!"
Gimli wailed, "Oh! No! Noooo!"
Legolas picks up an arrow from the body of a fallen dwarf, examines it and casts it away in disgust. He states, "Goblins!"
Jay shook her head. "This is CONFUSING!" she says. "Damnit, I said CONFUSING," she said.
"Give me the charge sheet. I want to add line-stealing."
Jay passed it across to her.
The eerie howl of a creature stops them as they turn towards the door to see the Watcher on the shore, his tentacles wrapping around the doors and slamming the doors shut in front of them - - leaving them with one way out of the Mines of Moria is to go into the Mines themselves.
Jay stared. "HOLD a minute.."
Acacia blinked. "So.. it shuts them in.. without..? *What the hell is going on?"
Gandalf yells, "Into the Mines!"
A beam of light emits from Gandalf's staff, showing the startled faces of the Fellowship. Gandalf sighs softly, "We now have but one choice. We must face the long dark of Moria. Be on your guard. There are older and fouler things than Orcs in the deep places of the world."
"And we're back in the present tense," Jay sighs. "Oh. Joy."
They kept walking up the stairs till they found themselves at a three way passage. Gandalf looked puzzled at it. "I remember it not being here before." he whispered to himself as he sat down on the stone and gazed towards the three doors.
Being back in past tense wasn't helping Jay's mood a bit. "She's started mangling the lines. And she's about to whine. When can we get her, again?"
"Once she's mangled laws of biology and reasonableness and good taste. Wish it were sooner.."
Merry asked, "Would it be too much if we have a fire? I'm hungry for a nice warm meal right about now."
"No, the light and the smell of the meat may draw attention to us and we do not need it," whispered Solaris, as she pulled out her travel pack of food and started to hand them out to the Hobbits.
It was not long after they had all settled down on the stairs did Aragorn start his glare towards Solaris. Boromir knew Aragorn was staring or glaring towards Solaris, who didn't mind that he was. Her aloofness towards Aragorn made him even angrier than ever.
Jay pulled out a CD, her headphones, and her CD player. "White noise courtesy of Disturbed. Can I lend you something loud?"
"Already have a headache from the tense shifts. Noise won't help."
Boromir knew this situation was not going to end good for either of the two Walkers. He got up from his spot and sat down next to Aragorn. "This hatred you carry towards Solaris must end, Aragorn."
"What hatred, Boromir?" he snapped angrily, glancing towards him before resuming his glare towards Solaris.
"A good, righteous, and noble feeling," Jay muttered as she searched for a good track
"You hate Solaris. We can all see it," said Boromir, as he stood up and sat blocking the view of Solaris from Aragorn. That move didn't stop Aragorn from continuing his glare towards Solaris, so apparently he had acquired X-ray vision.
"Boromir as high school counselor? Gyah."
"Aragorn, look at yourself. No wonder you got thrown out of the Rangers."
"LIE to me, is she not right, is she insane.. I'm not HEARING THIS.."
Acacia looked equally traumatized. "Thrown out?"
Fortunately, Aragorn was not quite so out of it as to accept this as truth. "I was not thrown out. I am still a Ranger, it is she who was thrown out." he snarled.
"If you keep this up, the other Rangers might throw you out."
"They can't- bloody- well- throw him out, he's the damn' boss!" hissed Acacia.
"I do not carry hate in my heart, Boromir." whispered Aragorn; his voice was harsh as it was cold.
"Yes you do. I see how you look at Solaris. You show her nothing but disgust and hatred. Why do you hold the hate for so long?" asked Boromir.
Jay was blissfully oblivious. "Is she not right? Is she insane? Will she now, run for her life in the battle that ends this day.."
Acacia glared at her, and nudged her in the ribs to make her stop mumbling.
"Take off those headphones. If I suffer, you suffer."
Acacia made a grab for the CD player, to remove the batteries.
"No!" Jay hissed. "Damn you!" She slid the headphones back over her ears so that the sound of quasi-musical snarling was overlayed with the very stupid fight going on.
Aragorn was not going to speak about his hatred of Solaris, but he knew Boromir would not stop forcing the issue with him even though his voice was telling Boromir he would not speak of it. "You want to know?"
"Yes." spoke Boromir.
"Wasn't not being able to tell the difference between speak and say what caused Gandalf so much trouble?" wondered Acacia.
"I trusted her, Boromir. I trusted her with my very life and I wanted the same from him...I mean her. I believed her to be a he but she lied to me breaking a code of honor in my eyes. That I can never forgive," spoke Aragorn.
"Just drop the hate and accept her as who she is. A female elf who was once a Ranger, someone who you fought side by side with...who you trusted with keeping your back safe in a battle. Just let it go before it's too late."
"Now if Cri-kee and Mushu will show up, the group will be all together."
"Gods, no, we don't want to add Cute Animal Friends to the list.." Acacia groaned.
"Come on, this is a definite Mulan takeoff. And OBVIOUSLY this chick doesn't know about Eowyn..."
Boromir looked at Aragorn and then left to join Gimli to discuss the bet that they had made as they walked towards Moria about Solaris.
Acacia made an abortive attempt to untangle this sentence, then gave up.
"Well, there would have been some, probably, I mean Dwarves need to eat too.." She considered this. "Of course, by now it'd all probably be rotten and/or stale. Forget I said it."
Aragorn had watched Solaris going to Legolas's side and they both opened their food pouches and Legolas shake of his head. Something wasn't right, Aragorn thought as he stood up and headed towards the pair. "Something wrong, Legolas?"
Legolas looked up and spoke, "We don't have much food left. We should have hunted before we came into Moria. The food supply is low only four days and then we starve."
Acacia blinked. "What with them not starving in canon, I think we can add that to the list of canon violations."
"Solaris is probably eating all the extra food," Jay said snidely. "To.. produce."
Solaris noticed that Aragorn didn't even look at her or said her name. "We really need to hurry through the mines. I do not like the darkness of these caves. I sense something evil within these caves."
"Let's see. Goblin arrows lying around, lots of dead Dwarves, and the whole place empty except for those. Something evil around? Whatever gave you that impression?"
Aragorn turned to her and turned back to Legolas. "We'll have to conserve the food. One meal a day for us all until you or me would be able to get some fresher meat." He then, turned and went up the stairs to where Frodo and Gandalf were to inform them of the low food supply.
Legolas turned towards Solaris. "What are you thinking of producing, Solaris?"
"Here it comes." Jay shuddered.
"Milk, female elf milk is good food if needed, I have seen many people survive on the milk of pregnant mares before." she whispered.
Jay and Acacia both winced.
"There's a slight flaw there- YOU'RE NOT PREGNANT!" yelled Acacia.
This echoed through the halls.
Solaris whirled, pointed, and screamed.
"NOW you've done it. Bloody good, Acacia! Bravo! I applaud your complete spastic-ness."
This rather un-Orcish proclamation, coming from an Orc was holding no sword, gave the fellowship a little pause.
"Well, it's time now anyway," said Acacia petulantly.
Jay dived suddenly into the shadows, dragging Acacia with her. The fellowship stared as the two assassins disappeared from their frame of reference.
"THERE!" Solaris shouted, running towards them.
Unfortunately for her, she wasn't looking where she was going, and Acacia was able to trip her up.
"Portal?" she suggested. "Before someone kills us?"
"Two steps ahead of you." Jay grabbed Solaris by the back of her shirt and dragged her through.
Acacia followed. The Sue had left behind no uncanonical artifacts, making cleanup much easier- only she needed getting rid of.
Back in headquarters, Jay was sitting on a furiously struggling Solaris. "Charge her. You've got the list."
"All right.." Acacia held up the list. "Solaris the Dark Elf, you stand charged of-" deep breath- "silly Sindarin showing-off, establishing a totally anticanonical order of assassin Elves, having a silly name, singing a modern song, making Legolas a stalker and an eavesdropper to boot, making Boromir overly apologetic, causing Legolas and Boromir to threaten each other with weapons for a silly reason, doing silly things to your weapons, to whit, attaching a blade to both sides of your bow, being annoyingly girl-power, inflicting Aragorn, Boromir, and Gimli the Misogynistic Bastards on the world, meddling with the characters of same plus Legolas, and miscellaneous others to lesser degree, attempting to lure agents into a false sense of security with near-unchanged canon in parts.." Here Acacia had to take a breath, lest she pass out. "Not knowing what Dark Elves actually are, doing horrible confusing tense shifts, insulting Gandalf, upstaging Frodo, having a Joan of Arc complex, stealing lines, causing the Watcher in the Water to do silly things, inducing Boromir to behave like my high school counselor, and above all, grossing us all out with your silly breastfeeding plan!"
"Any last words?" said Jay.
"What do you mean-" Solaris began.
"Not last, alas," said Acacia, "remember?"
"Oh, right.. right.. darn it. Dig in my bag, there are some handcuffs.."
Acacia fished them out and gave them to Jay. "There you go."
There was a very interesting five minutes in which Solaris kicked and bit a great deal, but finally the cuffs were on.
"What are you doing-" the Sue demanded.
"We've arrested you, what does it look like?"
"We just told you. Weren't you listening?"
"This doesn't look like a prison to-"
"We're taking you to Psych, now shut up before I gag you. Jay, lead on?"
"Walk this way!" Jay swaggered out the door.
* * *
What have you two brought me now?
"Solaris, the Dark Elf."
She doesn't look particularly dark to me.
Acacia rolled her eyes. "She claims she was given the title by the Rangers while she was posing as a man among them because she was so tough and killed a lot of stuff."
"Which is stupid," Jay added. "She doesn't seem to know what it means."
Enlighten me. Something to do with the Valar or Valinor, I cannot remember...
Acacia sighed. "We have a Fictional Psych director who doesn't know the canon," she said sadly.
"He has to know ALL of them, Acy, at least the really important bits. He can't know it all."
Acacia shrugged. "Anyway it just means Elves who never went off to Valinor, and she seems to think it's really significant.."
Solaris (who in the course of going to the Department of Fictional Psychology had in fact had to be gagged after all) glared.
Jay sighed deeply. "At any rate, she has a good grasp of movie-verse canon, gets the lines right, and appears to have glanced at the book. Despite this, she is a first order Mary Sue who made the Men around her misogynists, and intended to breastfeed the fellowship."
The Director looked astonished. Or might have. It was hard to tell, with vines.
Please repeat that? I don't believe I heard correctly..
Jay repeated what she had said exactly, only a little more slowly.
"And she had decent grammar for the longest time, and then did horrible tense-shifting at the walls of Moria," Acacia added.
The Kudzu looked at the Sue not with horror, but with a dreadful curiosity.
I can see why you chose to bring her to me. Vines reached out to ensnare Solaris. Lie down on the couch, my dear.
Jay and Acacia beat a hasty retreat towards the door.
[Jay's A/N: Finally! Yes, FINALLY it's done! Sing, Hallelujah, sing! We both apologize for the very long time it took, but I'm frankly fried from school and haven't had the time. There is now a PPC posting board for your fun and pleasure-- http://disc.server.com/Indices/199610.html.
In other news, we had been going to do a stinker called Lord of the Rinds: the danger within, but the author suffered an attack of sanity and took it down.
One last piece of good tidings. We may have our first Godplaying Agent! More on that as it unfolds.]
[Acacia's A/N: Well, we've finished our stint in Implausible Crossovers, and as promised have dealt with this rather.. *uniquely* bad Sue.
Really.. how *does* someone with such a grasp of movieverse canon at least write such a bizzare fic?]