Disclaimer: See previous chapters. OFUM belongs to Miss Cam; her site is listed in my profile.
Note: The sentiments in this chapter expressed towards a certain group of people in our society by a certain character are by no means and any under circumstances shared by me. They are just there because they're…necessary. I do not mean any harm to any people who get offended from these, and I apologize to anyone who takes them too seriously.
"I have much better things to do with my time than look for the Doctor. Why can't we just send her to Elrond? Why do I always get stuck with the volatile agents as partners?"
"You better shut up before I make you, Nate."
"And how will you do this, exactly? I, after all, am invisible and nearly non-existent."
"Does the pair of words 'vacuum cleaner' mean anything to you?"
Aylah sighed gratefully and pushed the door to the Infirmary open. The Doctor was sitting there, twisting her thorns idly and reading Nora Roberts. When she saw Agent Aylah at the door, she jumped up (scattering the pile of trashy romance novels that was previously resting on her stalk-knees in the process) and trounced over to Aylah.
"What is it this time, dear?" she breathed (the Doctor rarely ever spoke, she only breathed; it came off sounding much more romantic) as she laid a frond against her forehead. Aylah pushed the Doctor off her, looking distinctly creeped out.
"It's not her, Doctor," Nate said. "It's my partner. Mackenzie."
"Oh, Mackenzie," the Doctor breathed, tiptoeing over to her desk and pulling a black doctor's bag out of one of the drawers. "I had her in here for mandatory checkups when she first came in. How's she doing, Nathaniel?"
Nate winced at his full name (thank god she didn't know the middle one) and replied, "She caught cold. Even as an elf, she has no tolerance for low temperatures." He added as an afterthought, "Or maybe it was just the shock of the REALLY bad fic we were sent to neutralize."
The Doctor nodded sympathetically as she flitted around the infirmary, gathering various necessary items. When she was done, she snapped her bag closed and motioned for Aylah to follow her into what looked like a broken-down elevator in the corner of her office.
"It's a broken-down elevator," she explained to the visible and invisible agent. They both nodded (there were some things that Nate did out of hard-drilled-in habit that he couldn't get rid of, even though he was invisible). "If you think about the place you least want to be in, it'll take you there. Think of response center F." She stepped in, Aylah after her, and Nate flew in right before the door clanged shut.
He blinked, and they were in front of the door. Aylah's eyes widened and she was about to ask how exactly did they get there that fast, when the Doctor answered her question. "Nathaniel must dread his job greatly." She smiled sinisterly as she turned the knob and walked through the door. "He can't escape, though." Her tinkly laugh floated through the doorway, as did her blood-curdling scream a second later. Sounds of crackling drifted through the doorway together with a faint smell of a Texas barbeque.
Aylah hurried in and Nate followed her. When the smoke cleared and Aylah had stopped coughing, they saw what looked like the remnants of the Doctor in a small pile of aromatic ash on the floor. Mackenzie was grinning insanely (and possibly deliriously) from her green-couch-turned-bed, and beside her sat a mini-Balrog, munching a turkey bacon sandwich and wearing a shiny array of jewelry.
Meeting their questioning gazes, she croaked out, "This is Thraudil, my ward from OFUM. Adopted him a few months back. Ask him to get-" a fit of sneezing attacked her and it was a few minutes before she could regain her ability to talk "-ask him to get some athelas from Miss Cam." She then fell back to her makeshift cul-de-sac, shivering and occasionally sniffling.
Aylah shook her head sympathetically. "This has to run its course, Agent. Give her some hot liquids and copious amounts of chocolate and quarter her off for a few missions. Go to the Recruits kennel to get a temporary replacement. Good luck." She left the center with a sigh of relief.
"We're off to see the recruits, the evil recruits from hell…" Nate sang softly under his breath as he floated towards the chair in front of the Sarraceniaceae (better known as pitcher plants – the fly-eating kind) manning the desk. One of the dull yellow plants looked up, grunted and went back to his whopping big cigar.
"Hello," Nate said pleasantly, and the plants jumped. "I'm here for a replacement agent."
One of the plants curled its dewy lip at him (or the small swirl of dust that represented him), but pulled out the list anyways. He scanned it, small eyes flying, until they stopped and he grinned. Evilly.
A carnivorous plant that grins evilly is not a very pleasant sight.
"Chase Lopes," he croaked, pulling the cigar out of his mouth for a moment. "Cell 16B, to your left. Have fun, kid." He chuckled as he shoved the clipboard back into the drawer and slammed it shut. His partner paid no attention; he was too busy ingesting a fly. (Nate hoped it was a fly; Upstairs had gruesome-yet-innovative ways to recycle discarded carcasses of Sues and/or agents.)
Nate shuddered and flew into the dark and dank kennel. Growls and snarls followed him; the smell of fear and insanity hung heavy in the air. He read the brightly lit signs on the bars, occasionally stopping to peer into the bars – he always drew back quickly. (Insane Recruits are not a pretty sight.)
When he arrived at the cell that contained his new temporary partner, he repressed a shudder and peered into the bars. A girl sat there, her dark blond hair in one long braid that reached her waist, her back against the far wall. Her eyes, amber-like, glinted in the dark. Not amber, more like-
"Wait - don't tell me, you're my new partner." Her voice sounded hollow, as if she was a honeydew melon and someone had just taken a spoon and scooped all the motivation right out of her.
Nate nodded, and she groaned. "Great, just what I need. An invisible, stuck-up queer with authority problems." She got onto her feet and approached the bars; Nate drifted back a few feet. She grinned. "One more inch and you'll be right in range of one of Clarence's flyaway sneezes."
Since he didn't want to know the results of one of Clarence's flyaway sneezes, he urged Chase out of her cell and hurried her along the dank corridor, careful not to bump into the walls. God knows what touched those walls.
He floated beside Chase, who was staring right at him.
Wait a second.
"How can you see me?" he asked, whirling to face her. She raised an eyebrow.
"I'm a Mary Sue, remember?" she answered coolly. "HQ was getting a little short of assassins, so they resorted to recruiting the 'Sues of underappreciated fandoms. I'm from Wheel of Time."
He smiled. "Hello, Chase," he said, sticking out a hand. She grasped it (Nate ignored the shock that went up his arm as she did; he didn't encounter anything corporeal for 5 years or so) and shook it firmly, a hint of a smile touching the corner of her mouth. "I've read all the books and seen all the fanart. Who did you lust after?"
"Perrin," she said matter-of-factly. "Rand's too angsty and Mat's too much of a flirt; I was his close friend and a Wolfsister. I became an Aes Sedai within a week and can see everything, including invisible people. I also used to have a sa'angreal, before HQ took it away-" the twist of her mouth indicated that she wasn't pleased with the officials at all "-and now all I have is the link with the One Power. I've tried touching it in the cell, but they disable any special powers you have there. Maybe-" a faint blue glow surrounded her; Nate floated back a few inches, and she smiled "-I can touch it now." She glowed brightly for a few moments, and then flared.
After a few moments of blinding light, Nate's vision returned to him slowly, and he saw what looked like a bug floating where Chase used to be.
"Great," the bug buzzed disgustedly. "Every time I touch saidar now, I'll probably be turned into a different wonky thing. Thank you, Laws of Universal Comedy."
With a pop, she changed back into her normal self. A voice floated over the intercom, sounding amused. Don't touch it again, Miss Lopes, unless it is completely and utterly necessary. And no, you won't be getting your sa'angreal back; we're returning it to the White Tower, where it belongs.
"But I made it myself!" Chase whined. "It never even saw Tar Valon-"
Yes, we know, the voice floated again, sounding slightly irritated now. Still, an agent shouldn't be in possession of so powerful a tool unless she knows how to use it responsibly. Frankly, Miss Lopes, no agent in HQ can confess to being responsible. So sod off and have a nice day.
"I hate the Marquis De Sod," Chase muttered as she started towards the response center, with Nate following her. "He always manages to insert his name into intercom messages. Face it, bub, you're not about to become a major star in Hollywood; I highly doubt anyone would hire a plant."
You'd be surprised! the voice floated again, sounding defensive. Whose leaf do you think it was in Bug's Life that they balanced all the food on, huh? HUH?!
"And a great job you did of that," Nate muttered, and then flew through the door to the response center before the Marquis succeeded in throwing a metaphysical fireball towards him.
The scene that greeted his eyes nearly made him rescind that last thought. The room was – smoking. Nate flew through the ceiling fan on the wall to turn it on, and then nearly passed out.
Mackenzie was lying asleep on the sofa with a blanket covering her and a tray of food on a little table next to her; on the two ends of the sofa stood what suspiciously looked like little fiery demons from hell. One was wearing enough ugly gold jewelry to make a gangsta jealous and munching on a turkey bacon sandwich, and the other one was wearing a stethoscope and reading a book made of Pyrex®.
"Wha…?" Nate stuttered. Chase gave a squeal of delight, donned what looked like a fireproof apron and oven mitts that were hanging on pegs next to the door and raced towards the two demons. They leapt into her hands and she cuddled them, a reminiscent smile on her face as they purred with satisfaction.
Nate repeated his sentiment of earlier, and Chase looked at him with a 'are you completely imbecile or is it just my first impression?' look, and answered him.
"These are mini-Balrogs from OFUM; Elrind is on loan from Jay and Traduil belongs to Mackenzie." The fiery demons nodded, and Nate cautiously settled down into the chair next to the console on the other side of the room. "You can speak to them?"
"Uh-huh," she said happily while tickling Elrind under the chin; he giggled, a scary sound to be coming from a demon of shadow and fire. "I was the manager of their lava hot tubs."
"I…have a feeling that…you shouldn't continue," Nate said. "For the sake of my sanity."
"Wow," Chase said seriously. "You're still sane?"
"You know how they have those fake windows in the Ministry of Magic?" Chase nodded. "Well, Upstairs maintains something similar – an imitation sanity field that follows every agent around. It's like the SEP field attached to the patch on your sleeve, but this doesn't come off. It wears thin very quickly, though; being used too much, and all."
"Joy," Nate muttered. He flew to the console and took a look at the report. "Ohman. They messed with the WRONG PERSON…"
"Who're they messing with this time?" Chase asked interestedly, approaching the console. Nate put up a hand and stopped her in her tracks.
"For your first mission, Chase, I would rather you not wear out your shield too fast." Muttering to himself, he opened a new window, typed something and clicked 'send'. After a few moments, the computer beeped and he opened the reply.
"Hallelujah," he muttered and set the disguise thingy. Pressing the red button, he motioned Chase through and flew in after her.
The portal was about to close when Chase yelped and glowed blue. A small sliver of portal was left open, and Chase darted through it, returning within a few minutes with their duffel bags, a bow and quiver with arrows and the axe. She stopped glowing, and the portal snapped shut. Nate gave her a thumbs-up, took his bag and started walking, telling Chase about the mission.
"She's a neglected teenager that has special powers…"
"Boy," Chase said, wrinkling her nose, "she sure sounds nasty."
"And that was the best of it," Nate said grimly. "There's also—Ah! Here we are. Finally."
Before them was a state of confusion. Legolas was leaning over an impossibly beautiful girl, trying to talk to her. The girl was being a b!tch. Nate was not happy.
"I suggest we eliminate her as fast as possible," Chase opinioned, seeing Nate's murderous expression. Shall we portal forward?"
"With joy," Nate growled and opened the portal.
"The Elf next to me moans, 'Why, why me? Why, why me? Why, why me?' The Elfy next to me moans, 'Why, why me?' in agony!" she sang rather loudly, referring correctly to Legolas, who was now rubbing his temples in anguish. With about a week left of this to go through, the prince was unwavering in his decision not to give in to her yet.
Looking back, Chase wasn't so sure that the decision to join Tara's party was such a good idea, judging by Nate's face and the whiteness of his knuckles holding the reins of his horse.
"Shall we do her in now, good sir?" she whispered to him. He hesitated, and then shook his head. "There's a really juicy charge coming up. Wait a few more minutes."
Tara turned, just in time to see- and hear- Legolas find out that his hair was ablaze with green fire: he shrieked a very unmanly shriek, jumped off his horse, and began running in circles, Tara grinning the whole while. However, after about two minutes of complete hysteria on the Prince's part, he realized that the fire was not actually burning his hair, but was simply there, flickering away, eventually, into nothing, he turned to a still-smirking Tara with murder in his eyes.
"He would save us time," Nate muttered, and then spurred his mount; he reined the horse in when he was between a fuming Legolas and a smirking Tara.
"I'm sure you'll thank me afterwards," he said to a confused Legolas, and then turned towards Tara with an evil look in his eyes.
"Taryn – or better known by now as Tarianna AKA Pain-In-The-Ass – you are charged with really bad grammar; portraying Eru Ilùvatar as a quack god; using words too big for your breeches; creating a location mini-Balrog; messing with the characters of Thranduil & Legolas; pissing off Mackenzie by worshipping her god; being the most annoying Sue ever on purpose; portraying ME magic as typical Jordan-esque stuff; being extremely stupid; pissing us off, and being a Mary Sue." He motioned Chase forward, and said, "Bind her in Air up to her neck, please, so this'll go faster." Chase glowed blue, and Tara's eyes bulged; she could not move a muscle beneath her neck. She opened her mouth to scream, and Chase stuffed that with a gag of Air.
"Your sentence – death. And I think I know just the way…" Nate said with a gleam in his eyes. "Chase – hand me a bar of 100 Grand, please."
Chase fished the candy bar out of her backpack and handed it to Nate, who proceeded to jam it down Tara's throat. If possible, her eyes bulged even farther, and she attempted to breath, clawing at her throat.
The Elves in Legolas' escort looked on with relieved looks on their faces; Legolas looked as if he was ready to kiss Nate's toes. When Tara's thrashing died down and the glaze of death covered her eyes, Nate grabbed her, opened a portal ad dismounted his horse; stepping through, he waited for the regular weightless feeling, but it didn't come. He sighed with relief and moved aside, allowing Chase to come through.
"Boy, that was short," she said; the portal winked out of existence behind her. "They were cheering by the time I dismounted. Howya doin', Mack?"
Mackenzie was sitting in the armchair in the corner, feet up on a stool and reading 'Fires of Heaven'. Snapping it shut, she looked at Nate with wide eyes. Looked AT him, not THROUGH him. "Who are…NATE?!"
"The one and only," he said, grinning. His grey eyes sparkled merrily.
"Upstairs said that if this mission is completed as fast as possible, I get my body back. I think they couldn't put up with the b!tch any more than we could." He turned to Chase, who was perched primly in the chair next to the console. "And thank God we finished it that fast," he said and sprawled on the couch. "I never did like the name Tara."
"And why is that?" Chase asked.
Nate raised a single, coal-black eyebrow. "Haven't you ever heard of 'My Immortal', and 'XXXbloodyrists666XXX'? 'Vampire' and 'Enoby'?"
Chase shook her head.
Nate grinned ferally. "Well then…let me introduce you…"
In the cafeteria, an agent cocked his head to listen. His partner, who was immersed in a decanter of Bleepka, asked, "What is it, Steiner?"
"Screams of agony," he said, returning to his spaghetti. "Sounds like someone was just introduced to Ebony."
The agents both winced, and didn't dwell on the subject any more.
(Mackenzie's A/N: Yes, there is such a horror. It's HarryPotter, actually, and if you search for that mess of x's and 6's, you will become numbed as well.
This was a Sue that admitted that she was annoying, but she did it ON PURPOSE. I hate those; they think it makes them cool.
Have a nice day!)