(Disclaimer: We do not own this. Redwall and its related concepts belong to Brian Jacques, the Fanfiction University idea belongs to Miss Cam, the Protectors of the Plot Continuum – who will be showing up in later chapters – were the idea of Jay and Acacia.
Note; if you wish to enrol to the OFUR do it by emailing either of the addresses in our profile. Don't use the review board, or you'll get us kicked off the Pit.
The rating may go up later - we're likely to get a little, well, frank with the realities of life in later chapters, though there will be no outright lemon content.
On with the show.)
A solitary light burned in the back bedroom window. It was not the glare of the main lighting; merely the glow of an anglepoise lamp and a computer screen, assisted by the moonlight reflected from the dressing table's mirror. Black-varnished nails clicked against the keyboard as their owner typed.
Susan Annabelle Smith, known as Suzi to her friends and "Suzianna Goldenfur" to certain sections of the World Wide Web, sat back with a proud smile. The fic was finished. It was after midnight, and she was tired, and her eyes were watering so much from screen burn that her mascara had run down to her chin, but when the muse hits you have to run with it. She was proud of this fic. She had written many, and gained quite a name for herself in the Redwall section, but this may have been her best yet.
A loud squeaking and rattling from the other side of the room distracted her from her triumph.
"Martin! Shush, you'll wake Mum and Dad!" she hissed at her pet mouse, who was scurrying around in his Rotastak, sounding terrified of something. She couldn't imagine what. Maybe he was just neurotic, for all she knew – she'd only had him a week. She had of course named him after her favourite Redwall character ever. What wasn't there to love about Martin? She wished she could meet him … and couldn't help wondering what he'd look like as a human. Oh well. If she couldn't meet him, she always had her fanfiction.
And if she couldn't have him, that bimbo Rose couldn't either. Seriously, what was so great about her? What did she have that Suzi didn't (apart from, well, actually being in the correct universe and of the correct species, but that wasn't Suzi's fault)? Martin would be much happier with her. In fact she'd once written a story in which she became a pretty mouse-girl and dropped from Earth to Mossflower, straight into the paws of Martin, and helped him forget his grief over that silly little tart Rose, but that story had for some reason got her so many flames that she'd been forced to change her pen-name. (Previously it had been, of course, "Martinsgurl".) Oh, the flamers were just jealous she could write so well. Still, since that hadn't worked out so well, she'd decided to try something new. She hadn't been quite sure about it at first, but it seemed pretty good for a first attempt. Of course, she'd done enough research with her mother's Mills and Boon. Alright, some boring people had told her that had rules against pornographic fics, but this wasn't porn. This was erotica. There was a difference. If people were too stupid to see it, that was their problem. Besides, she'd slipped under the mod's radar before and she could do it again.
Suzi looked over the words again, smiling proudly:
Gonff sighed, and stared again at Martin's sword.
"I see Boar did a good job at reforging it."
Martin nodded, "Yes, that he did, and even a few new moves. Should we go to our room and test it out?"
"Why, of course," said Gonff, taking Martin's paw. "And while we're at it, perhaps we can test out your … other sword?"
"I thought you'd never ask," Martin said, bringing his lips to Gonff's and sliding a paw down the front of the mousethief's breeches.
Gnoff also brought his own paws lower. "I see that it is also sharp."
Martin nodded. "As is your dagger."
"Maybe it's not as big as your sword, but I know how to use it," Gonff said, grinning. "Perhaps I could show you a few tricks?" He ran his claws through the soft fur on the Warrior's chest. "I always did want to learn sword-swallowing …"
Suzi was glad that her muse had been so great. Surely this would earn her the fame she craved among the fans, rather than the infamy that her previous fics seemed to have caused, though she couldn't imagine what was so horrible about them. Behind her, Martin was now squeaking in panic and generally making a racket. She tried to ignore him. Who knew mice could be so damn noisy?
Suzi hissed, "Martin, be quiet. It's nothing."
Martin continued his panicked squeaking.
"Be quiet, you whiney mouse or I'll keelhaul you as well!"
Martin shut up and Suzi blinked. She had definitely not said that, and there was now the sound of her closet being opened. She turned around and stared. Two creatures were there, one of whom was currently digging through her closet and tossing her clothing around.
"EEEEEEEK! MUM! DAD! HELP! GIANT RATS IN MY ROOM!"
The two creatures sighed, clearly annoyed, and the fat one with braided fur and oversized clogs whipped out a sword and pointed it at Suzi.
"We're stoats, not rats."
The other one glanced back out of Suzi's closet, one of her shirts in its paws.
"That's right. I think you should at least be able to tell that if you call yourself a fan."
Suzi blinked, then screamed again.
"MUM! DAD! HELP! GIANT STOATS IN MY R…"
Suzi's scream died as the one with the sword brought it to her throat, her sense of self-preservation taking over.
"That's better. We're here to…"
"Enslave you," interrupted the other stoat.
Suzi blinked, sure that this could not be happening.
"No, Badrang. We were told to give 'er the enrolment form."
Suzi blinked again. That name sounded familiar. Then, it struck her. It was the villain from Martin the Warrior.
"Hey, I know you!" she exclaimed. "Aren't you the one who tried to kill Martin?"
"Well, one of the ones who tried to kill Martin," Badrang replied, sorting through the closet again. "Honestly, the things youngsters wear here … anyway, yes, I am in fact Badrang the Tyrant, famous slaver and warlord, capturer of Martin the Warrior and temporary bearer of his sword … oh, and this is Clogg, my lackey."
"I am so not yer lackey!" snapped the braid-furred stoat. "Cap'n Tramun Josiah Cuttlefish Clogg answers to nobeast …"
"Oh, shut up," Badrang sighed. "Just give her the talk."
"What? What's happening?" Suzi stammered. Tramun Josiah Cuttlefish Clogg? she thought. Don't remember him. Sheesh, what a name - he must have had sadistic parents! The stoats tutted and shook their heads.
"Alright, lass, basically wot's 'appenin' is this. We ran across yer fanfic writin'-"
Suzi interrupted him with a squeal of glee.
"Really? Eee, you like it?"
"No, we do not," hissed Badrang. "That, my dear, is the problem. If we liked it, we wouldn't be here." He removed a roll of paper from his belt. "You are Susan Smith, otherwise known as Suzi, Martinsgurl and Suzianna Goldenfur?"
"I thought so. Yes, your fics … ugh. At least one rampant self-insertion. Completely unjustified slash pairings. Adult stories on a site which specifically forbids them. Persistent misspelling of my name – who in the name of Hellgates is 'Bardang'?"
Clogg sniggered and received a glare from Badrang.
"Unnecessary angst without plot. Martin the Warrior cutting himself." The way he said the last two words, they sounded less like he meant "performing dangerous acts of self-harm" than "still eating crayons at the age of thirty". "Really, girl, did it not occur to you that it would be near-impossible to cut your own wrists with a blade the length of your arm unless you wished to remove the entire limb?"
"But it's only a story!" Suzi protested. "It doesn't have to make perfect sense as long as it sounds good!"
"Yes, I suppose that really says it all about your attitude, doesn't it?"
"It's fanFICTION. That means I can write what I want," Suzi responded with her favourite argument for such critics.
"An' if yer think that, it means yer not a good fan," replied Clogg.
"Clogg, give her the form." Badrang's voice came from the closest where he was still going through her stuff. "Really, young lady, do you own anything that's not black? It's just so … cliché. And by the way, it doesn't suit you at all; it makes you look terribly pasty."
"What form?" Suzi was sure this had to be a dream, definitely a dream, or something caused by the lack of sleep.
Clogg gave an unpleasant grin.
"Why, yer student application, me pretty lassie. For OFUR. The Official Fanfiction University of Redwall." Clogg pulled out a rolled up parchment from his belt and held it out to Suzi.
"This is ridiculous. I'm too young for a university, and besides you have to be a dream, you aren't real."
That said, Suzi turned back to her computer and hit the button to upload her fanfiction.
Suzi frowned and clicked several more times, with no result.
A chuckling caused her to look back at the smiling Clogg.
"What's so funny?" she demanded of the pirate.
"Yer fanfiction licence has been revoked. Ye'll have to enrol to re-earn it. Until then, yer can't upload anythin', and none of yer writing programs will work. Oh, and we ain't fooled by a changed pen-name, so don't even try it."
Suzi glared, then snatched the parchment from Clogg and opened it, reading it.
Greetings. Thanks to your story/stories, you have been chosen to attend the Official Fanfiction University of Redwall (OFUR). Upon completion, you will receive your fanwriter's license.
Suzi was sure this had to be a dream – things like this didn't happen to normal people, even in her old children's books, they happened to irritating little preteen girls in pinafore dresses - but it might not be. Well, if it was a dream, there couldn't be any harm in filling out the form. And if it wasn't … who knew? It could be fun. She picked up a biro and started to read the form.
Please complete the following.
Name and any titles you wish to be known by: Okay, this was good. Suzi thought a bit, then wrote down "Suzianna Goldenfur". Why use her boring real name?
Preferred species: What did they mean by that? Suzi figured it would not hurt. Besides, this dream might let her meet Martin in person. "Mouse."
Gender: Male / Female / Hermaphrodite / Non-applicable (please delete as appropriate) Suzi filled in "Female", then reread the question, blinked and looked up at Clogg.
"Gender not applicable?"
"Yer prob'ly don't want to know."
Suzi turned back to the sheet.
Age (in human years): "16"
Please list a description of yourself (appearance, personality, any oddities in speech pattern or catchphrases, etc): Suzi thought about this, then used her old mouse-girl form from her fanfic last year – but this time with a goth makeover. She'd recently been introduced to the ways of Cure and Evanescence by her best friend Robyn (who was now calling herself Ravyn and had started tattooing pentagrams on her hands with a compass point and an ink cartridge) and wanted to stick with it, even though she occasionally missed her pink sweaters and Hello Kitty hairgrips. She scrawled the description down; tall and thin (well, she was thin in real life at least, thanks to Cosmo's weekly new diet plans more than her activity level), green eyes, light blonde "hair I mean fur". She paused for a moment, then added "with a black streak down the middle". Her parents had refused to let her, in her mother's words, "make herself look like the Bride of Frankenstein" but they weren't going to be at the University, so there. She glanced back at the stoats as she finished the question.
"Err, why this question?"
Badrang leaned out of the closet again.
"You'll see once you arrive."
What characters would you be likely to lust after if you were of the appropriate species: This was easy. "Martin!" Suzi exclaimed as she wrote it down, then blushed. "Well. I don't really lust after him. He's cool, but he's a mouse! But if he was human I'd be on him like a shot …"
Clogg ignored her and turned to the other stoat.
"I knew it. A Martin luster. You said Gonff. Now pay up."
Badrang grumbled. Suzi tuned the bickering out and went to the next question.
Please list all the Redwall books that you have read: This one was easy. Martin the Warrior, Redwall, Mattimeo, Mossflower, Legend of Luke. Suzi smiled as she recalled them.
Have you read any of Brian Jacques' other books, and if so, which ones: "No. They don't have Martin."
The next question was a little odd. Not just because of the subject – because of the fact that the last half of the sentence had been scribbled out. Suzi tried to make sense of it, but it was totally illegible.
Do you have any fears/phobias or allergies that we can take advantage of :
"What? Why are they asking about my fears?"
Clogg answered her, in a sweet voice, which was scary coming from the pirate stoat, "So they know what to avoid scaring you with."
Suzi was not entirely pleased by the answer, but wrote down "Fish and rats. I don't like fish, they're all slimy and yucky and they stare at you, and rats are just evil." Well, she might as well put the truth. Maybe that way Martin would save her from the evil rats, or maybe a pike or something. "Oh, and I get hayfever." Better warn him about that - no point in spoiling a rendezvous in the arbour (what was an arbour anyway? Characters in her mother's romance novels always seemed to meet there, whatever it was – something to do with gardens, she was fairly sure) by sneezing.
Who is your favourite character(s)? Why: This one was easy. "Martin. He's so brave, so handsome, so cute. So … mousely. So much potential for angst."
Clogg smiled evilly as he looked over her shoulder.
Who is your least favourite character(s)? Why: "Rose. She stole Martin's heart away, and she definitely does not deserve him. I mean, come on, she was only using him to rescue her brother."
What is your alignment: Good / Evil / Neutral: Another easy one. "Good! Why would I be anything else? Nobody likes the EVIL people!"
What is your preferred weapon: "I want a sword just like Martin's!" Suzi scrawled down immediately. Why not get a chance to show she could do cooler stuff than boring old Rose? She'd never actually used any weapon at all, unless you counted hitting her kid brother with a rolled-up Cosmo once or twice, and the only time she'd ever even seen a sword had been on a very dull school trip to the museum, but how hard could it be, really? All you had to do was hold the blunt end and poke people with the other end. This one was also easy. "Yes it is. Why wouldn't it be?"
Is Fernflower a proper name for a vixen? Please explain your answer:
This one was also easy. "Yes it is. Why wouldn't it be?"
"Of course it's a good name. What a stupid question."
There came a giggling from both stoats as they overheard it.
"Hear that, Badrang? Another one who thinks it's a good name."
"What's so funny?"
"Oh … nothin'," said Clogg as innocently as a hardened pirate captain can say anything.
"Another for Nagru's class here, I feel," murmured Badrang.
Do you know what a Mary Sue is: Suzi knew, and was sure she had never written one. "Yes. Totally perfect characters, and Suzi is not perfect. She has flaws." Being too nice and not being able to swim counted as flaws, right?
Have you written one: "Of course not."
"Why are you even asking about Mary Sues? I already know they're yucky."
Clogg shuddered. "Tryin' to be thorough, miss."
Have you written slash or femslash: "Slash! Only a bit, but I'm planning lots more."
Do you enjoy reading slash and/or femslash: "Slash is awesome, but femslash, YUCK! Only creepy guys who can't get real girlfriends write that!"
Do you write and/or read yiff: "Yes, but I don't like to call it that – it sounds so crude."
Do you read yiff even if you don't write it: "All the time! Although I call it erotica."
What type of story do you most commonly write: "Romance. I like angst too – but I like it best when it's got a happy ending."
Have you ever attempted to write poetry:
"Yes! Poetry is fun – I think my best one this year is "The Burning Darkness of my Broken Soul". But I don't think I'll write dark poetry any more, 'cos it depresses me ;; Maybe I'll go back to my old poems – kittens and rainbows are more fun to write about! Just better not tell my friend Ravyn I think that, she thinks it's yucky."
Have you ever been to an OFU before: "No. " This was the first time she had this whatever it was. THE HEADMASTER X Susan Smith Suzianna Goldenfur
I understand that by signing, I waive all my personal rights and put myself into the paws of the OFUR staff. They are hereby given the right to do to me as they see fit, including but not limited to mental and emotional abuse, physical torture, outright killing if they deem it necessary and generally making my existence an utter misery. Once I have signed this form, the contract is legally binding and I may not leave the University until I have passed the course even in the event of my death as the University will (probably) be able to resurrect me. This does not matter in the slightest as nobody ever reads the small print, and even if I did I would be so desperate to indulge my pathetic little fanwriter impulses that I would sign anyway.
Suzi's eyes glazed over after the first three words of the small print. Who read that stuff anyway? She was jolted back into reality by the signatures.
Signed: Miss Minty and Mister Kit, Course Co-ordinators
X Susan Smith Suzianna GoldenfurX
"Miss Minty? Mister Kit? Funny names. They sound kind of creepy."
"That they can be." Badrang and Clogg chuckled. Suzi decided to ignore them.
"By signing you agree to blah blah blah, who cares about that junk?" she muttered as she scrawled her pen-name at the bottom of the form. She handed the scroll to Clogg, who took it and bowed mockingly, finally moving the cutlass point away from her.
"See now, poppet? That weren't so 'ard, were it?"
Badrang scrambled out of the closet, clutching a black velveteen blouse and muttering to himself.
"Honestly, there's hardly anything in here worth taking."
"Well, whaddya expect? Those are all female's clothes, y'know."
"I know … and why young human females insist on trying to expose as much flesh as possible I'll never understand. Half these clothes are hardly there at all."
Suzi blinked. "Wait, are you stealing my stuf-"
This time, two sword points touched her throat. She tried not to gulp.
"Okay. Take anything you want. That's fine."
"Thank you," said Badrang, smirking. "I'd advise you to pack a bag and get some sleep. You'll be transported to OFUR soon."
With that, Clogg opened the bedroom door and he and Badrang stepped through, closing it neatly behind them. Suzi dashed after them and opened the door, but they weren't on the landing or stairs. Apparently they had simply vanished into thin air. Suzi rubbed her eyes, sure it was a dream. She figured she might as well go to bed – obviously she needed sleep, if she was hallucinating like this. Or was she still asleep? Oh well. If she was asleep, there couldn't be any harm in going along with the dream. She found her suitcase on top of her wardrobe and threw in a few armfuls of clothes, tired but still managing to register that several of her favourite garments were missing. Oh well. All her clothes looked more or less the same anyway these days (they were all mostly black). She found a few of her favourite pieces of jewellery, her makeup and overnight bag, and, after some thought, the secret stash of sweets from under her bed.
She pulled off her clothes, dumped them by her bed, dragged on her nightdress (her secret shame – she was sure cool-and-collected black-mascara-ed goth chicks should not wear nightdresses decorated with pictures of fluffy pink kittens) and flopped down on her bed. Her last clear thought before falling asleep was a moment of wondering why the inside of her closet had been totally ransacked, and her jewellery box had been lying open on its side on her dressing table, most of the contents missing.
Miss Minty, aka Laburnum Steelfang: Well, the first chapter is up and running with no major problems so far. I think we're doing pretty well, considering this is my first attempt at co-writing anything with anyone outside of group work in a classroom. I would like to point out that the part of Suzi's work I am responsible for was the most incredibly embarrassing thing I have ever tried to write, and I was going to do more of it but I couldn't quite bring myself to inflict any more bad "sword" jokes, or the possible abuse of the thesaurus which would have likely followed. I do apologise for the ones I did make. To be honest, without Kit helping I don't think I could have written any of it at all. But that's the idea we were going for – fanbrat pr0n should make you cringe just looking at it. Suzi will be suffering at the paws of the mice involved and of their canonical love interests for that little masterpiece, never fear. Tell us if there's any canonical characters you'd like to see in future chapters, and sign up a reader-character if you like.
Mister Kit, aka kitsune106d: This is my second go at co-writing, and like Miss Minty said, I also feel it went well. I did help with some of Suzi's work, and well, also got a bit embarrassed. Please, enroll, and remember the OFU's motto. We should be introducing more Canon Characters soon.
A reminder; please enrol via email. Have fun.