|A Great And Terrible Beauty: A Busy Reader's Guide
Author: ThreeOranges PM
A slightly slashy parody of the novels A Great And Terrible Beauty and Rebel Angels, with The Sweet Far Thing as Chapter 3, just added as of 220908Rated: Fiction T - English - Parody/Humor - Chapters: 3 - Words: 12,555 - Reviews: 90 - Favs: 66 - Follows: 10 - Updated: 09-21-08 - Published: 01-01-07 - Status: Complete - id: 3320157
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Author's notes: OK, here's the last instalment of the "Gemma Doyle Trilogy", rendered in a Busy Reader's Guide for your convenience. That said, I have to state that if you loved TSFT and thought it was the best book in the series, you'll probably hate this parody. Because I had quite a few problems with TSFT, not least what happened to Kartik, and I suspect my dissatisfaction shows here. Reader warnings for slash – canonical this time! - political commentary, and some totally uncanonical kinky business. Thanks also to Sheila B for her helpful discussions, particularly what might have happened to the mudlarks with the rubies!
The Sweet Far Thing: A Quick Guide For The Busy Reader
Two Scavengers On A Boat, 1893
SCAVENGER #1: So foul an' fair a night I 'ave not seen.
SCAVENGER #2: Oi! Quit wiv the bleedin' Shakespeare references, mate. We're in a YA novel, not a five-act tragedy!
(LIBBA: That's what YOU think.)
SCAVENGER #2: Now 'elp me dredge up this 'ere dead body. Wot's that bit o' paper in 'er fist say?
SCAVENGER #1: It sez... "The Tree of Awsoles Lives!"
SCAVENGER #2: It sez WOT?
Spence Academy, Spring 1896
GEMMA: Goody, I'm back at Spence! And Saddam, I mean Circe, is stuck in a hole in the ground awaiting judgement, and things have quietened down, and I've so enjoyed sitting on my hands for the last few months and doing nothing. Hello, bestest friend Felicity!
FELICITY: Realms. NOW.
GEMMA: Sorry, I can't.
FELICITY: See this? This is me shunning you. Consider yourself so shunned. You can talk to me when you take me back, loser.
GEMMA: I see. Never mind, here comes Ann. Hello, bestest friend Ann!
ANN: Realms. NOW.
GEMMA: But just think of all I've done for you! I gave you friends, status, your first taste of happiness! Remember when I saved you from getting killed and skinned, back in the Realms?
ANN: Yeah, whatever. What have you done for me lately?
GEMMA: (to the reader) Don't you just wish you had wonderful friends like mine?
Back in the Realms
PIPPA: Why hello, everyone! Please forget all about my menacing death threats in the last book, and meet my patronizing little charity project – I mean, my new working-class protegees! This is Mae, and this is Wendy, and Mercy...
BESSIE: And I'm Bessie Timmons, and I'm so butch even men call me "sir".
ANN: Well, hello there! (lewd wink) Excuse me everyone, but I'm just off for a walk with my new frien -
PIPPA: And this is Castle Perilous, our new home, which is little by little getting clawed back into the earth by these horrid vines. Every day, we live in fear of it collapsing around us.
GEMMA: Oh, that's dreadful! I have so much Power here, I'm sure I could create nice living quarters for you and those other girls. I could... but I won't. Ha! Gotcha!
PIPPA: Who am I kidding? It still sucks here. I'm leaving.
Back at Spence
GEMMA: (rides bicycle, almost collides with KARTIK) Oh hi, Kartik. Hadn't seen you for so long, I was starting to think you'd died or something.
KARTIK: Clearly not.
GEMMA: Well, why haven't you been to see me then? Surely you must know your existence revolves around me, and you have no other purpose but to answer my every whim?
KARTIK: You know, I might have other things going on in my life besides you.
GEMMA: Hmph! (tosses head, stalks away in a huff)
(Druggy vision featuring Wilhelmina Wyatt, Raspberry Van Ripple and a certain Tree)
GEMMA: The Tree of... WHAT?
That Night, Back In The Realms
GEMMA: Sorry, Pip. Looks like the "Beauty Must Pass" stuff in the last book has just been retconned, and you're stuck here forever. Well, that sucks.
PIPPA: Power. NOW. Or I'll cry.
GEMMA: OK, you can have some Power! Despite betraying me earlier and making it clear you hate me, I'm sure I can trust you.
CIRCE: (from the Well) You can trust me too, Gemma.
GEMMA: No way. I'm gullible, but I'm not THAT gullible.
Back at Spence
GEMMA: Well, what do you know - I possess the Power independently of the Realms! It flows in my veins in this world too. Great! Now I can make life sweet for Felicity, Ann and myself!
READER: So – let me just get this straight – you've just plundered a far country of all its oil, I mean "Power", and now, instead of facing up to your responsibilities to that shattered nation, you're going to use those resources solely to enrich yourself and your tiny band of friends?
GEMMA: Yup. Now watch this drive.
Back in the Realms
PIPPA: Power. NOW.
FACTORY GIRLS: Can we have some Power, too?
GEMMA: Hmmm. I'm not sure I believe in handouts for the poor. You should be working, and pulling yourselves up by your own bootstraps.
FACTORY GIRLS: But you just gave a huge handout to your friend!
GEMMA: Look, I believe in keeping the Power where it's always been – with the Haves and the Have-Mores!
KRUSTY THE CENTAUR: And do you believe in ignoring the nations you invaded and ruined in order to grab that Power?
GEMMA: Sheesh! Look, the Surge is working, okay? I'm sure the Sunni and the Shia – I mean, the Forest Folk and the Untouchables – will learn how to co-operate and live in peace. Eventually.
PHILON: Did you have the faintest idea about the tribes, and their implacable hatred towards each other, before you stepped in and ruined everything?
GEMMA: Nag, nag, nag! What was I supposed to do, carry out research before I interfered? YAWN! Bor-ING! Look, you just wait a little while longer, okay? Give us another fifty or so years of occupation and everything will be just great, you'll see!
Ann, Star of the Stage (Part One)
GEMMA: Time to use the Power for trivialities, like we always do!
NAN DRABWASH: Hey thanks Gemma, I love the new face! It helps me mind-whammy people I don't like, steal stuff from them and get away with it.
CECILY: My priceless necklace isn't real? But... it cost... so much money...
NAN DRABWASH: It's fake, I assure you. Better give it to me for safe-keeping. I can promise you you'll never see it again.
(LIBBA: I'm Libba Bray, and I approve this message.)
NAN DRABWASH: Goody, the theatre! Why hello Miss Trimble, you were ravishing as Lady Macbeth!... What? You say you're Jewish? But you don't LOOK Jewish!
GEMMA: Oh NO.
LILY TRIMBLE: You colossal schmuck.
NAN DRABWASH: Oh dear, I sense I have offended. Can I still have an audition?
THEATRE MANAGER: Hot stuff, you can have an audition on MY casting couch any time you care to name!
GEMMA: Oh it's you again, Kartik. What do you want?
KARTIK: If Mr Hedgehog came back and asked to see his lady friend, and said he was sorry for the delay and asked her to resume their relationship, what would she say?
GEMMA: She would say... "If you please, I am not a hedgehog. I am a woodchuck."
KARTIK: I see. And should Indian people - I mean, "hedgehogs" - stick to their own kind, or should they be allowed to have relationships with white people - I mean, "woodchucks"?
GEMMA: Wait and see what Libba's got planned for us... And considering she even thought to mention the racial difference between us, I'd be very nervous if I were you.
At Gemma's Home
GEMMA'S FAMILY: Moan. Whine. Misery. Gloom.
GEMMA'S FAMILY: Hahahahaha, how frightfully funny! Isn't life amusing? Braaaaains.
GEMMA: That's better.
Back at Spence
GEMMA: Oh dear, I strongly suspect my brother is connected with the Rakshana! How can I possibly solve this insoluble problem?
FELICITY: If you've got problems, why don't you just use the Power to spirit your enemies away to the other side of the world?
GEMMA: Erm... Because then, they'd know I had the Power!
FELICITY: And? What harm could they do to you on the other side of the world?
GEMMA: Erm... I just can't. Because. Moving swiftly on... Mademoiselle LeFarge? Could you bring the class to the Egyptian Hall sometime? We'd like to see the entertainer Raspberry Van Ripple.
MLLE LEFARGE: Absolutely not. Out of the question.
GEMMA: I don't think you heard me correctly. I said... IMPERIO!
MLLE. LEFARGE: Of course we must go to the Egyptian Hall. What a wonderful idea. Braaaains.
GEMMA: And now, a visit to the woods. (transforms and flies to KARTIK's tent) Hi there! I'm going to use you for sex and wipe your memory afterwards.
KARTIK: (sigh) Before there was Rohypnol, there was Gemma Doyle...
At the Egyptian Hall
RASPBERRY VAN RIPPLE: You want to know about my former assistant? The mad mute drug-addict?
GEMMA: That one, yes.
RASPBERRY VAN RIPPLE: She kept telling me "her sister" had gone evil and planned to destroy the world. I'm sure it's nothing to worry about.
Back in the Realms
GEMMA: Circe, despite that stuff about Wilhelmina Wyatt not trusting her Order "sister", I'm positive I can trust you to give me good advice.
CIRCE: Power. NOW.
GHOST OF NELL HAWKINS: Erm, Gemma? Hello? Didn't you KILL ME in the last book rather than let her have the Power?
GEMMA: Maybe. Might have done.
GHOST OF NELL HAWKINS: If it was so crucial that Circe not have any of your Power, why are you giving her some of it now? Why didn't you just let her have it in the last book? Maybe then I wouldn't have had to die?
GEMMA: Oh hush you! It's not like Circe's advice was any help anyway. Oh look, it's Kartik's creepy evil brother.
AMAR: Prophecy Delivery Service. (clears throat) "Beware the Birth of May!"
GEMMA: Not terribly helpful. Could you elucidate a little more, please?
AMAR: Not really. Hmmm... Some of Libba's jokes have fallen a bit flat in this last book. Like the one about the French hedgehog. Maybe it's "Beware the Mirth of Bray"?
Journey to the Winterlands
GEMMA: We need to find the Tree With The Silly Name! Because if there's anything more powerful than me out here, I need to find it and nuke it – I mean, talk to it.
TALL THORNY HEDGE: (is evil and made of bones and hair)
RUSHING RIVER: (is dangerous)
DARK FOREST: (has talking zombie bodies hanging from its branches)
FELICITY: Whose bright idea was it to come here again?
GEMMA: Oh look, here's the Tree!
VISION OF MRS SPENCE: Hello, Gemma. Have an infodump about the Order, followed by some serious Biblical-style temptation for all of you. Oh, and find the Dagger and bring it to me. Because you can trust me.
Back at Spence
ANN: Well, I know I passed that audition as Nan Drabwash and got myself a glittering opportunity... But I don't think I want to be judged on my beautiful face. Especially as I don't actually have one.
GEMMA: Okay, we can find some way of working around that...
ANN: Nah, why should I bother? I'm giving up and going to work as an all-round drudge for my ungrateful family. Bye. (leaves)
GEMMA: Right, Ann's gone, and we've established that Wilhelmina was Mrs Spence's niece, and that she probably stole the Magic Dagger, and now Kartik's offered to take me into London in the middle of the night. So, here I am, dressed as a man.
KARTIK: Whoa! I'd forgotten how good you look in male drag.
GEMMA: Thanks, sailor. Still planning to join the British Navy, are you?
CHORUS OF SAILORS: In the Navy! You can sail the seven seas! In the Navy! Catch venereal disease! In the Navy!...
GEMMA: I get the picture. So what's happening with the Rakshana?
FOWLSON: (appears out of the gloom) I'm wot's 'appenin', darlin'. I know all about you, thanks to yer little friend Kartik there. Took a lot of torture to get it out of 'im, though!
Two Months Previously, In A Dungeon
KARTIK: (strapped to a torture device) Argh! No! Mercy!
FOWLSON: (whipcrack) Tell us everythin' you know!
KARTIK: Never! You can beat me like a carpet, but I'll never tell you!
FOWLSON: You know, Sahirah, this 'ere boy has to be -
FOWLSON: - the kinkiest young feller I ever did see. (whipcrack) Now listen up, Studmuffin! You tell us everything about this precious Miss Doyle of yers... or I AIN'T whippin' yer namore!
KARTIK: NO! You heartless fiend!
FOWLSON: You heard me! You tell us what we need to know, or there'll be no more torture sessions for yer!
KARTIK: Please! Mercy!
FOWLSON: And I ain't bringin' out the Gimp Mask, either!
KARTIK: Gimp Mask?... I'll tell you everything!!
Return to the Present
KARTIK: That's right; I was enjoying – I mean, enduring – such horrible torture in Mr Fowlson's dungeon!
FOWLSON: And now I've got yer, Miss Doyle!
GEMMA: PETRIFICUS TOTALIS!
GEMMA: And I've just got time to turn these pebbles into jewels so the mudlarks can have some income for once in their lives. What could possibly go wrong?
(JUDGE IN A COURTROOM, ONE WEEK LATER: Assorted mudlarks, you stand accused of the crime of fraud. This jeweller alleges you sold him "rubies" which turned out to be worthless pebbles. The sentence for this crime is seven years hard labour. How do you plead?)
KARTIK: Before you go... Fancy a snog?
GEMMA: But I'm dressed as a man!
KARTIK: Really? I hadn't noticed (lewd wink)
Seedy Side of London
RASPBERRY VAN RIPPLE: You want Miss Wyatt's slate? It's yours for four pounds.
GEMMA: Done. And I'd spend those "pounds" as soon as possible if I were you. Just saying.
(SHOPKEEPER, ONE WEEK LATER: I can't understand this – I'm four whole pounds short on my week's takings! Someone must have stolen it! I'm ruined! RUINED! It's the debtor's prison for me and my starving children! Woe!)
Back at Spence
ANN: Phew! Thanks for rescuing me from Psycho Charlotte, Gemma!
FELICITY: (remembering, with a huge grin) There there... Nice roses...Don't hurt me, roses...
BAND OF TRAVELLING ACTORS: Let us entertain you with a nice pageant! All we need is a girl willing to play the sacrifice... Aha! How about YOU, my dear?
GEMMA: I sense just a little bit of foreshadowing here.
Back in the Realms
FOREST FOLK: Krusty the Centaur is dead! Gemma, this is all your fault!
GEMMA: My fault? What?
PHILON: Because it is! Anyway, we've seen you talking to the Untouchables at the Temple, and they probably did it, so you're guilty by association.
GEMMA: Oh, I wasn't talking to the Untouchables, I was talking to Circe!
EVERYONE: You were WHAT?
Back at Castle Perilous
PIPPA: Hello darlings, what did I miss?
GEMMA: Not much. Just the fact I can do no right and everyone hates me.
PIPPA: Oh never mind that! Look, I have plenty of Power of my own! Plus a few theories about getting rid of the sick and diseased, as only the physically healthy deserve to share in my projected vision of the future.
GEMMA: I'm confused – isn't epilepsy a medical condition? You know, the epilepsy you happen to suffer from?
PIPPA: I'll pretend I didn't hear that, Gemma dear.
WENDY: Where's my bunny? Where's Mr Darcy gone?
PIPPA: I didn't hear that either (steely glare)
GEMMA: Felicity, since I'm feeling insecure... Would you like me so much if I didn't have the Power?
FELICITY: Oh Gemma, Gemma! What a silly question! How can I possibly separate you from your Power? It's part of what makes you you!
GEMMA: That's like telling a millionaire you can't separate him from his oversized bank account.
ANN: Hey look, Felicity – we can get back to the Realms by ourselves! We don't need Gemma anymore!
Ann Gets Her Name In Lights (Second Attempt)
ANN: Hi, Mr Smalls! Why don't I do an audition for you right here in the street? (sings)
CHARLIE SMALLS: You're in!
ANN: Yay! I have escaped the expectations of my cruel family and forged a new life for myself! See girls, you too can profit by my example!
(READER: And what an example you give us. You didn't do a stroke of work towards your dream, you just sat there and let life beat you down. It took your friends to rescue you and give you another shot at your dream – and even then, you only escaped a life of drudgery because you were born with an amazing voice in the first place! What about people who don't have amazing voices or other such easy talents?)
ANN: Bor-ING! Who wants to work for their living when they can spend five minutes singing and win the Victorian equivalent of American Idol?
(READER: You're just such a great role model, Ann. I really, really mean that.)
Gemma Brings Kartik Into The Realms
GEMMA: Well, I've just found that Magic Dagger everyone's going on about, but instead of taking it to Eugenia I think I'll waste yet more time. Do you like it here, Kartik?
KARTIK: Nice place! Why don't we explore the Cave of Orgasms – I mean, the Cave of Sighs?
GEMMA: Good idea!
(Hallucinatory Bollywood sequence, then shagging)
KARTIK: Was that a dream?
GEMMA: I suspect Libba doesn't want to commit on whether "it" happened or not, so I can't say.
KARTIK: Want to do it again?
Lots Of Shagging Later
GEMMA: Oh dear, another random dead body. Shall we go head down to the Winterlands and see what's happening down there?
RAVENING CROWDS OF BEASTIES: (cheering) Two, four, six, eight, who do we eviscerate! Sacrifice! To the Tree! This gives immortality!
GEMMA: I blame Circe for this. Because.
KARTIK: So what are you going to do about it?
GEMMA: No idea. I expect I'll use my magic to force Father to see the truth about his wife and daughter. That should help. In some way.
MR DOYLE: (has a stroke and collapses)
GEMMA: That went well, I think.
Back in the Realms
CIRCE: So you've finally pulled your finger out and decided to do something about this mess?
GEMMA: Yes, and, whatever the solution is, I'm sure it involves killing you.
CIRCE: Teeheeheehee! (overpowers GEMMA, grabs the enchanted dagger and runs off)
(Hallucinations. Ballroom Antics. Gothic Graveyard Sequence. Possessed Ithal. Flying Gargoyles.)
GEMMA: What the name of HECK is going on?
In the Morning
FELICITY AND ANN: Just thought we'd tell you, we're on Pippa's side, not yours.
GEMMA: Thanks girls. With friendship like yours, sisterhood is truly beautiful.
KARTIK: Anything I can do to help?
GEMMA: Snog, please. Now.
ANN: Gemma! Gemma! Felicity's just gone into the Realms to be with Pippa, forever!
GEMMA: And I'm supposed to care because?
ANN: You're a YA heroine! You're supposed to stick loyally by your friends even when they treat you like garbage!
GEMMA: Yes, I wondered why I was wearing this "Gullible Idiot" T-shirt. OK then, back I go...
Back in the Realms
GEMMA: Can I smell... burning? (sees ruined Temple) Oh, what?
ASHA: They attacked us!
PHILON: We were justified!
GEMMA: I can't leave you lot alone for five minutes, can I? Sort it out yourselves, I have to go see about Felicity.
PIPPA: Why hello, Gemma! You're looking very envious this morning.
GEMMA: Shut it, Pippa. Where's Wendy's bunny?... Come to think of it, where's Wendy?
PIPPA: Teeheeheehee! Now, who's first for a blasphemous Communion?
(Epileptic fit. Pippa summons Wall of Fire)
FACTORY GIRLS: Ohhh, it's amazin', Miss! Wonderful! It's a sign of Divine Powers!
GEMMA: Girls, you DIED IN A FIRE. You shouldn't be pleased by being surrounded by flames, you should be terrified!
BESSIE: Get lost, and take your stupid logic wiv yer! Me an' the girls are going ter worship Miss Pippa an' that's that.
FELICITY: Also, you have to understand, Gemma, Pippa and I love each other so very much. We have always loved each other so very much.
GEMMA: Riiight. You loved her so very much you dumped her as a friend and chose me over her when she was still alive? Sounds like true love to me.
FELICITY: OK then, I fell in love with her later, in the Realms.
GEMMA: In that case you'll have to explain to me what's so "lovable" about white eyes, a mouth full of piranha teeth and raving homicidal insanity.
FELICITY: Look, Libba just retconned, OK? Pippa and I have always loved each other so very much. Got that?
PIPPA: If you love me so very much, Felicity, why won't you eat the nice juicy berries and stay with me forever? (proffers)
FELICITY: Er... Libba didn't give me enough motivation to answer that one. Sorry.
Back at Gemma's Home
GEMMA'S FAMILY: Platitudes. Excuses. General refusal to face the facts.
GEMMA: You need to admit the truth to yourselves!!
(READER: Yes, because that worked so well with your father, didn't it?)
TOM: I've had enough. I'm off to my gentleman's club. Bye!
RANSOM NOTE: We've got your brother. Give us the magic, or you'll get him back in little bits.
GEMMA: Oh for crying out loud! I haven't time for this (whammies everyone in the Rakshana, rescues TOM easily) Oh, one last thing... (punches TOM'S lights out)
FOWLSON: Did you really 'ave to do that?
GEMMA: No, but damn it felt good.
Rough Area of London
(Further reappearance of Wilhelmina Wyatt. Big revelation about Eugenia Spence and the "birth of May")
GEMMA: Oh, NOW you tell me. Why couldn't you have told me this earlier? Why couldn't you have given me the address to this place? And why did you keep on about your "sister" being evil when you could have said, more accurately, that it was your AUNT?
Back at Spence
MRS NIGHTWING: No, I don't believe you, Miss Doyle. What a lot of nonsense.
RANDOM SCHOOLGIRL: I saw pixies on the lawn last night!
MRS NIGHTWING: All right, all right, I believe you. Let's get out the chicken blood and ashes and paint the doors.
MONSTERS: We're coming for you, kiddywinks! We're coming for you! GRAARGH!
GEMMA: Time for the elite commando force to risk their lives by going outside.
MISS NIGHTWING: Good luck, Miss Doyle! (to EVERYONE ELSE) Does everyone have a cup of tea and a hymnbook? Good! Time to fight disaster the British way! One-two-three!
GIRLS: (singing) All things bright and beautiful, all creatures great and small...
In the Realms
(Chaos. Burning. Terror. Destruction. Shock 'n' Awe.)
ASHA: So, Evil Shape-Shifter... You faked the threat of danger in order to push us into war?
EVIL SHAPE-SHIFTER: Hey, you'd never have started fighting without it! Look at all this wonderful death and destruction! All I needed to do was notch up the terror levels, get you all frightened, and then I could relax and watch as Halliburton vacuumed up the profits!
ASHA: Dick Cheney - I mean Neela - I will not kill you personally. You'll be looking at a prison sentence in the Hague when all this is over, though.
(READER: Oh come now: that really is an unbelievable wish-fulfilment fantasy.)
FELICITY: They're invading from the Winterlands! I have to go warn Pippa about the danger! (flees)
GEMMA: Can anyone remind me why I'm risking my life, and everyone else's lives, to follow Felicity again?
(SILENCE, broken occasionally by the sound of crickets)
Back at Castle Perilous
PIPPA: Blood! Sacrifice! Brutality! Power! Messianic Ravings!
FACTORY GIRLS: Yes, Miss Pippa. We obey unquestioningly, Miss Pippa.
GEMMA: Okay, okay, I think we've got the point that Libba doesn't like organized religion.
PIPPA: Time to do some KILLING! Who's first?
MISS McCLEETHY: Me! I sacrifice myself nobly for the sake of the Realms, the Magic and Gemma Doyle!
PIPPA: Cute. Very cute.
PIPPA: And that courageous and noble gesture saved Gemma's life... for about four or five minutes. Now nothing can stop me! Nothing!! The Realms will be mine! MINE!! (gets a small cut on her arm, watches as a single drop of blood falls on the vines on the floor) Oh, BUGGER.
(Castle Perilous collapses around everyone's ears, burying PIPPA forever)
GEMMA: Right, there's that problem solved. To the Winterlands! Onwards!
KARTIK: How are we going to fight the forces of Evil? They're everywhere!
GEMMA: Good job I've seen "Spartacus", then. (casts magic) Hey, Winterlands monsters! I'm Gemma Doyle!
TRANSFORMED SUPPORTERS: No, I'm Gemma Doyle! No, I am! Me! No, me! Me!
(READER: Great thinking, Gemma – now you've put everyone in danger!)
GEMMA: Whilst everyone's distracted, I'm off to kill the Tree.
TREE: Ah, but I can see through you. You're afraid! Aren't you afraid to have what you truly want? Afraid in case it's not enough after all? What happens when you have everything you ever wanted, and you're still alone?
GEMMA: Sounds like the paragraph in the diet manual where it warns you that dieting won't be enough to fix every problem in your life.
TREE: Damn! You saw through my borrowed wisdom! DIE!
CIRCE: Here Gemma, grab the Dagger! Quickly!... No, don't fall unconscious, that would be just too cliché!
GEMMA: Where am I? And why is there a boat drawing up out of the mist?
THREE CREEPY WOMEN: Hello! Come with us and we promise you Glory Everlasting!
GEMMA: Hmmm. Sounds tempting.
CIRCE: Why, hello there Gemma.
GEMMA: I've just decided – I don't need Glory Everlasting right now! Circe can have it instead.
(READER: ...WHAT? You're giving a Get-Out-Of-Hell-Free Card to the woman who killed your mother?)
CIRCE: Teeheeheehee! Bye now! (leaves for Paradise)
(READER: She. Killed. Your. MOTHER.)
GEMMA: Hey, that's easily forgivable!
(READER: No it isn't! And anyway, she also killed lots of other schoolgirls and basically caused this whole mess in the first place! She should be brought to justice!)
GEMMA: Look, I'm in charge and I'm allowed to give a catch-all pardon to Scooter Libby, I mean Circe, whenever I feel like it. Got that? Good. Now watch this drive.
Back at the Battlefield
(General confusion. Blood spillage. TREE slices open. Magic leaks out, enters KARTIK and lights him up like a Christmas store-front)
GEMMA: What the name of HECK is going on?
KARTIK: Apparently Libba has decided that I have to die, because I am but a lowly Indian male and must sacrifice myself for the white memsahib. So she's written me a pretty little speech where I have to state that my whole existence has led up to the inestimable privilege of giving up my life for you. Apparently that is the only reason I existed as a character. This... is my "destiny".
GEMMA: Awww, you were a terrific shag. I'll miss you.
KARTIK: Likewise. Bye now! (is swallowed by the TREE)
GEMMA: Now watch me as I plunge the Magic Dagger into the ground and give all the Power back to the Realms, instantly solving all our remaining problems!
(READER: So when the magic was "loose"in the Realms, it was a threat... and yet now you've given it back freely it's perfectly okay and not a threat at all?)
GEMMA: Look, Libba had ten hours until her deadline and needed to wrap things up somehow. Just accept it, okay?!
GEMMA: Just a few loose ends to tidy up now – like mind-wiping all the Spence girls so they'll never learn anything from their experience... Then I can head off to my Prom, I mean my Royal Debut...
SIMON: Hey Gemma, can you put in a good word for me with the American Mary-Sue?
GEMMA: You mean, not tell her about the time you tried to get me drunk and sexually molest me in a secluded bedroom?
SIMON: Yeah, that.
GEMMA: No problem! Everyone hates her too, so you'll be perfect for each other.
MR DOYLE: Having recovered from my stroke, I think I would like to go back to India. At my age and with my frail health, I would hate to be all alone. Perhaps one of my devoted children could come with me, to nurse me in my final days?
TOM AND GEMMA: Are you kidding?
MR DOYLE: Okay, your choice – just don't start whining when you find out I've spent your entire inheritance in an opium den in Bangalore. Bye!
ANN: 'Bye Gemma! Don't suppose we'll ever meet again, so cheerio!
FELICITY: 'Bye Gemma! Don't suppose we'll ever meet again, so cheerio!
GEMMA: I had such great friends. Sure, they used me for all I was worth and then abandoned me, but I shall always remember them forever. And I shall keep my "Gullible Idiot" T-shirt as a touching souvenir of my time with them.
The Prow of a Mighty Ocean Liner
GEMMA: And so I stand, my fiery red curls streaming behind me like a banner as I first set my eyes upon the New World...
CELINE DION: Faaaaah across the spaces... and distance... betweeeeen us... You have come to show you... Go on...
GEMMA: There she stands, the proud and extremely green Statue of Liberty. Who, I would like to remind everyone, happens to be a woman.
CELINE DION: Neeeeeaaaahhhh... Faaaaaahhhhh... WhereEVAH you AHHHHH, AH BELEEEEVE that the HEART does... Go ONNNN!!
GEMMA: I will be miserable, for about two minutes, but then I shall dry my eyes and remember that there is so much to do and see in New York. Like, Central Park. And the food! And I hear the shopping's just great, too. I can never have too many pairs of shoes.
KARTIK: Hey! What about me?
GEMMA: What about you?
KARTIK: Aren't you going to find a way to get me outta this frickin' TREE?
GEMMA: Nah. You're stuck there forever, and there's no use crying over spilt milk. I've decided to move on.
KARTIK: You could at least frickin' TRY to get me out of here!!
GEMMA: Look, just accept it, OK? You sacrificed yourself, thanks very much, but I can't keep thinking about it any more. I've got my own life to lead now.
CELINE DION: You'll... Stay... ForEVAH THIS WAY!
GEMMA: Yes, you tell him, Celine! Now stop pestering me and get back to repeating my name endlessly when the wind blows through your branches. Like I said before, I just can't get enough of that obsequious worship.
(READER: This was a sucky, sucky end to the series.)
(LIBBA: Sucky? But I made this a masterpiece of literature! It has five acts, and meaningful quotes at the start of every section! Remember, "you must be the change you want to see in the world"!)
(READER: Riiiight. You just wrote a book where the working-classes are uniformly shown as stupid, ignorant and gullible followers of the wealthier classes! A book where you give us a lesbian relationship... but they can never find happiness because one of the lesbians turns evil and dies! A book where you give us a mixed-race relationship... but at the end we find out it's actually a employer/servant relationship, in which the darker-skinned person runs around at the beck and call of the lighter-skinned one and finally sacrifices his life for hers! Because obviously HIS life is less important than HER life! Tell me, Libba, tell me honestly – is this REALLY the change you want to see in the world?)
...And, if you want one:
KARTIK: Gemma? Gemma? Hello?... Bueller? Is ANYONE gonna help me out here?!
FANDOM: (collectively write 5674 million fanfics in which Kartik is released from that frickin' tree)
KARTIK: Hooray, I'm free! OK, ladies, I am entirely at your disposal.
FANDOM: Well well well... What shall we do with the drunken sailor?
KARTIK: I have a few ideas.
FANDOM: Would these ideas involve you, all of us and a huge bottle of Viagra?
KARTIK: (lewd wink) Might do.
(REALLY) THE END.