"I don't think just killing the Mary Sues is going to cut it," DMS Agent Danny Richardson said. The PPC Agents were gathered around the desk in Mr. Allen's office, looking at a tactical map of the IAHF campus and grounds. "Agent Nume already pointed out that he has portalled SatW England back to his home continuum at least three times now."
"He just doesn't understand the meaning of 'stay', does he?" Supernumerary, or the aforementioned Agent Nume, demanded, adjusting his glasses irritably.
"Or it could be that we aren't targeting the plothole directly," Agent William Marshall pointed out, pointing his wand at the blob that represented the bad crossover plothole. "Usually crossover plotholes occur because of unresolved sexual tension, and the traditional way to close them is to resolve the tension. That is common knowledge. However, we are in no position to hunt down sexually tense couples and force them to resolve that tension."
"Yes, this is quite the emergency," Agent Ilraen observed. "Is there another way to destroy the plothole?"
"Yes, yes, there is." Agent William said. "This plothole did not naturally occur. It was created by a Mary Sue. It is still being sustained by the Mary Sue. We have two options: convince the Mary Sue to shut down the plothole, or kill her."
"I don't think she'd be eager to opt for the first choice," Agent Nume remarked sarcastically.
"And which Mary Sue is it?" added Agent Amelia Keaton. She, like everyone else, was covered in Glittery Sue blood.
"Ah, Cornelius hacked into the LoMSF database to get us that information," Agent Laura Dukes said, grinning. "He's gotten everything you would care to know about the primary factory involved in this attack – and all of the other factories that are sending in their excess Hetalia-verse Mary Sues."
"How do you know we can trust his information?" Agent Xericka asked suspiciously.
Agent Laura snickered. "Come on, you think he's going to mislead us at a time like this? He's got blueprints on the Vambiolaria bomb… and information on the mastermind." She slammed the folder of information down on the desk. "Lilith Wydenbrooke."
"That's Agent Eledhwen's clone, isn't it?" Agent Ian Nahinu asked. Eledhwen looked sheepish.
"My question is… do you kill Lilith or the Mary Sue in charge of that specific attack?" Christianne pointed out. "See, this document shows that the attack was staged in three parts."
"And there are two Mary Sues leading each stage," added Agent Ilraen, tilting his head to the side curiously. "One of the Sues that led the bad crossover attack is called Cierra… I will not even try to finish reading that name. And the other is Dorothy Sparklesbury."
"Some of the other Sues there are dead," pointed out Agent Amelia. "Look, the one called America with the very long name got shot. And I recall killing Michaylah Arlovskaya, too."
"The Cassie Sue got killed by a student," Christianne added helpfully. "Either way, I think the Mary Sues will only stop once we've killed their leader, Lilith."
"Yes, Lilith planned the attack to gain herself more influence in the League," Eledhwen said.
The other PPC Agents stared at the map. "Where was she last seen?" Agent Gremlin asked.
When Mr. Hugh opened his eyes, he was in the Hospital Wing.
The next thing he noticed was that his head felt rather devoid of thought. Usually his mind would be full of Mr. Allen's caustic remarks and plots, but his alter-ego seemed to be unnaturally quiet. Mr. Hugh frowned, and then looked over to the side.
Another tall blond man lay in the bed next to his, chest heaving quietly in sleep. Mr. Hugh's frown deepened. What was going on? Did they finally separate his personalities? The last thing he vaguely remembered was… what was the last thing he vaguely remembered?
"Ah, you're awake!" A voice like poisoned honey crooned. An elleth with a striking resemblance to Agent Eledhwen slunk out of the shadows, leering at him. "I have been positively dying to meet you."
Mr. Hugh's eyebrows arched up. "What did you do to me?" he asked suspiciously.
"Oh, I did you a little favour and separated you from Allen," the elleth drawled. "Just so that I can have you…" she paused and smirked. "All to myself," she added in a deadly whisper.
Mr. Hugh's eyes narrowed. "I don't recall learning your name," he growled.
"It's Lilith," the elleth replied dismissively. Mr. Hugh had to grudgingly accept it – she was beautiful. In that ethereal, inhuman way, she was really quite stunning. Inhuman, of course, was also the key term, since she was also responsible for the attack and yet here she sat, talking about it as if it had been nothing more than stealing candy from a baby.
"Right, then, Miss, er, Lilith… why do you… er… want me?"
"It's obvious, isn't it?" Lilith cackled. "You've been killing people in my chain of command. You're the Course Coordinator of an Official Fanfiction University. You're connected to my despised clone. It would do me great pleasure to hear you beg for mercy as I slowly kill you…" her eyes flashed dangerously, and suddenly she didn't seem as beautiful as she had before. "Or I can be deliciously cliché and have some fun before I kill you. Hm, I like that thought." Lilith licked her lips.
Mr. Hugh wondered where had put his Document of Character Deportation.
"And as for your alter-ego… I have a lovely friend of mine who would love to have him. She's somewhere in the camps right now…" Lilith shrugged regally as she walked over to his bed. "Ah, well," she sighed, smirking. "What to do first…."
"Get away from me," Mr. Hugh hissed. Lilith laughed.
"You're going to have to do better than that," she replied, and grabbed him in a place she shouldn't have grabbed.
Mr. Hugh turned bright red and lashed out, slapping her across the cheek. Lilith reeled from the diplomatic bitchslap, staggering back a bit before recovering. By that time, Mr. Hugh was up, trying to shake his alter-ego awake. Mr. Allen mumbled incoherently in his sleep; Mr. Hugh groaned in exasperation as he shook harder and harder.
"WAKE UP!" he cried, even as Lilith tackled him. He kicked back, groping around for any weapons. Noticing a pistol in Mr. Allen's belt, Mr. Hugh wrenched himself free from the elleth and grabbed the gun, aiming it up at her temple at the same time that she pinned him down and put a dagger to his neck.
"You fire, I stab," she drawled, smirking evilly.
"Oh, hey, Annie," Megan said, grinning weakly as Roksana Arlovskaya stared coolly at her creator. "What are you doing here?"
"It's obvious, innit? I'm here as part of the invading army," she replied, crossing her arms. "If you want to get to the tower, you'll have to go through me."
"Annie, I don't want to hurt you," Megan whimpered, looking up at Roksana pleadingly.
Kriss muttered something about being glad that she wasn't meeting Téa. Jennifer stared at Susanna Sparklestar Kirkland-Jones, remembering the crazy powers that Susanna had. Ho snap, they were so dead.
"Come on, Jen, Megan; just shoot them already or something!" Merka cried. The other students clamoured for the same thing.
"I don't know; I think Susanna has the ability to shapeshift!" Jennifer bawled. "She likes turning into her opponents' worst fears!"
"What, she's a Boggart?" demanded Laurel Martin, pushing past Jennifer. "RIDDIKULUS!"
"Did you just call me ridiculous?" Susanna Sparklestar Kirkland-Jones screeched, before turning into a zombie. Laurel screamed, taking a few steps back.
"You just started screaming at zombies? You've been going to school with a zombie ninja!" William Ofritas cried, as Laurel continued to scream. The Russophile stepped forward, blocking Laurel from Susanna.
The Mary Sue turned into a very crude replica of Mr. Bean. William twitched, but raised his pistol and fired.
"No use, no use!" Jennifer cried. "She has a magical star-shaped amulet that is the source of all of her power! You can't harm her until that thing's gone!" Meanwhile, Susanna had turned into a clown, having seen Scylla and Charybdis. Scylla screamed in terror, ducking behind Merka. Susanna turned into Ivan; Merka paled.
"Let's just kill her buddy first, then!" Kriss hissed, pointing her wand at Roksana Arlovskaya. "Avada Kedavra!"
Roksana crumpled to the ground; Megan started crying.
"Annie, my baby! I'll revise you someday, I swear!"
Susanna saw the alien and turned into a generic preppy blonde. "Megan, you have to conform. It's no use. If you don't, we'll have to kill you."
"NOOOOOOOOOOO!" screamed Megan. "I REJECT YOUR RULES!"
Mike Hawk leapt forward and pulled Megan away from the forefront, but not before he got a glimpse of that creepy girl who haunted him back home. He screamed like a little girl and ducked behind Loki, who paled when Susanna morphed into Belarus holding a sign that said 'welcome to the kolhoz'.
"Why did you create such an annoyingly powerful character?" Kriss demanded, shaking Jennifer wildly. Susanna had just turned into a polyester-wearing slob to frighten Taylor Drews-Garcia out of strangling her.
"I DON'T KNOW NOW, DO I?" Jennifer howled back. "I THINK… IT WAS BECAUSE…"
And suddenly the memories of her life before IAHF came flooding back. Being teased on the playground. Being called fat by her dad. Being pressured into taking the Certificate of Merit by her mum and that crazy Russian piano teacher. Jennifer shuddered, shaking her head. It was no wonder why she created Susanna. Susanna was a shapeshifter to stand up to the playground bullies by changing into their worst fears. Susanna was pretty and had her favourite characters as parents. Susanna was talented at the piano and at math, two things that Jennifer was terrible at and detested.
"It was because she was everything I wasn't," Jennifer said after a moment. "And she got everything I didn't."
That was true, too. Susanna had graduated from Princeton University at the age of sixteen. She managed to land a perfect boyfriend. Everything was sparkly rainbows for her; she didn't have to work to be perfect.
By now, the other students had gradually backed away from the boggart-like Susanna. Jennifer found herself in the middle, between the students and the Sue. Susanna, having turned back to a smug USUK lovechild-Sue, looked at her amusedly.
"We meet again," she chirped, and turned into a giant cobra. And that was when Jennifer noticed – just below the cobra's hood was a magical amulet in the shape of a star.
But the snake was slithering towards her; Jennifer's brain almost froze out of fear. She paled; her hands went clammy.
"Come on, Jen, you can do it!" Kriss called. Merka took up the chant. Suddenly, everyone else was offering her encouragement. Jennifer continued to stare at the hissing snake. Flight… or fight?
Shaking, she drew Workbitch's pistol and took careful aim. In fact, she aimed it a little off from her target; she knew her shaking arm wouldn't do her abysmal aiming skills any good. The cobra hissed, rearing up. Jennifer freaked out and pulled the trigger anyway.
The bullet snapped the chain holding the amulet; the star-shaped deus-ex-machina necklace fell to the ground. At that moment, Carolina Brown dove forward and caught the necklace; it glittered innocently as the cobra turned back into a frightened-looking blonde girl with blue eyes and moderately thick eyebrows.
"Mercy, Jennifer!" she cried, looking petulantly up at her creator. Jennifer stared back with disgust etched all over her face. Susanna raised her hands in surrender.
Jennifer shot her anyways.
"Damn, we just missed the dragon thing," Agent Sergio sighed as he and Agent Corolla strode into the office. Eledhwen was rolling up the map carefully.
"Y-yes, I suppose you did," Eledhwen said shakily. "So much mess…"
"Get used to it, Ellie," Christianne groaned.
"The world's in disorder!" bawled the elleth. "Everything is untidy! I must clean it all…"
"No, you can save that for later!" Christianne dragged her partner out of the office, followed by the other Agents. "Let's get back to work, then, hunting down Lilith and killing Sues. How many slash spirits have been dispatched?"
"Countless," remarked Agent Chalk drily.
"No, it was more along the lines of fifty," Agent Jenka growled.
"Lighten up; that was meant to be sarcastic," Agent Chalk retorted.
"How many misplaced crossover characters have been escorted home?"
"Some of them keep returning, but I would hazard to say around fifty as well," Agent Nume replied.
"And how many Sues have we killed?"
"A thousand!" Agent Norion called.
"Don't be silly; it was more like a million!" Agent Frag retorted. "And I killed most of them!"
"No you didn't; I did!"
"The actual count is more like seventy-five," Agent Danny whispered.
"Wonderful. We'll split up again and continue to do our duties then – except Ellie needs to find her clone, and I'm going to make sure she doesn't end up trying to clean the school like that little robot in Wall-E."
"You say it like it's a bad thing," Eledhwen sniffled.
The PPC Agents all ran off in opposite directions once outside the largely-deserted Staff Section. Eledhwen frowned slightly once they passed the Hospital Wing.
"Using that Elvish sixth sense, are we?" Christianne remarked drily, shooting a passing Sue as it pursued a student.
"I think…" Eledhwen strode up to the door, her sword at the ready. "She's in here." She kicked the door open.
Sure enough, Lilith and Mr. Hugh were still frozen in that rather comical-yet-dangerous position. Mr. Hugh had a dagger to his neck; Lilith had a gun to her head. They were glaring at each other hatefully.
"What is going on?" Eledhwen demanded loudly, and both looked over at her with identical surprised faces.
"Hey, he got cloned!" Christianne said suddenly, poking Mr. Allen's still unconscious form. "Who's who, I wonder?"
"Allen's asleep," sneered Lilith, even as Eledhwen nicked her cheek with her sword. "What brings you here, Ellie?"
"Get off him," Eledhwen threatened, her face thunderous. "Right now."
"Wow, our little elleth grew a pair," Lilith taunted.
"Wow, our little Mary Sue gained some brains," Eledhwen mimicked. "Get off him."
The sounds of conflict from outside were starting to make their way back to the Staff section side. Christianne trained her pistol on Lilith as well, not relaxing even when the malevolent Mary Sue clambered to her feet, letting Mr. Hugh spring back up. He fumbled with a nearby plothole and pulled out the Document of Character Deportation. "Shall I deport her?" he asked, thwopping the document threateningly.
"Deportation doesn't kill," Christianne pointed out. "We're here to charge and kill."
"What charges?" Mr. Hugh asked.
"Lilith Wydenbrooke," Eledhwen piped up, "you are hereby charged with: being a Mary Sue, masterminding and instigating an attack against an Official Fanfiction University, assaulting the Course Coordinator of said OFU, kidnapping the family members of students at the OFU, instigating terrorist attacks, hacking into computer databases, starting arms races, detonating Vambiolaria bombs, and doing all of this just to boost your influence within the LoMSF. The punishment for all of this is death –" she was abruptly cut off by an almighty crash and bang. Moments later, Alfred and Ivan came charging into the Hospital Wing.
"We heard things about Mr. Allen being taken host –" Alfred cut off at the sight of Mr. Hugh pointing a rolled-up document at Lilith, and Mr. Allen lying comatose on the bed. "Wow, I'm seeing double!"
"The one that's passed out is Mr. Allen," Christianne said quickly. "This is Lilith. She caused everything."
"You hear that, Alfred?" Ivan asked. "Let's have another competition. Whoever can kill this evil Mary Sue first is the better superpower!"
"You're on!" Alfred exclaimed. And before Lilith could protest, the two Nations tackled her.
"Oh, the lovely Narrative Laws of Comedy," Christianne sighed. "Never a dramatically serious moment in this place."
"I thought we managed to get away with that once or twice," Mr. Hugh noted as Ivan started gleefully whacking Lilith with his waterpipe.
"Nope, you can't avoid the fail," Agent Nume appeared, dusting his hands. "We just found, neuralysed, and returned the Red and Blue Alices," he added. "They were… shagging in a storage closet. Of all the cliché places to select…"
Arthur's eyebrows went up as he walked in with Kiku. "Red and Blue are finally deported?" he asked.
"Oh, that's good," added Kiku, blushing slightly. "It would be unsettling if they continued to make –"
"We are not talking about that," Arthur hissed. Kiku nodded.
"Oh, yes, forgive me," Kiku mumbled, clapping a hand to his mouth.
The others looked at each other uneasily and decided to ignore that, choosing instead to watch Alfred and Ivan. After a moment, the American and the Russian stood up and surveyed their handiwork.
It was hard to use 'handiwork' to describe the carnage, though. Lilith's remains were almost unrecognisable, and Alfred and Ivan had more Glitter on them than on Edward Cullen in the sunlight. Nurse Florance rushed into the room, took one look at the carcass, and fainted. Luckily, Shinbun caught her as he dictated the proceedings to Agent Ian Nahinu, his brown eyes alight.
"Maybe we should get the two of you cleaned up," Arthur suggested, taking out his handkerchief and wiping excess glitter from Alfred's brows. "Nataliya, Yekaterina… could the two of you escort Ivan back to the Staff Section?"
"Oh, of course!" Nataliya bounced over and practically dragged Ivan out of the Hospital Wing. Ivan sent Arthur an 'I will get you for that' look. Arthur grinned, grabbing Alfred's arm and pulling him out as well.
Mr. Hugh sighed as Ivan and Alfred were escorted to the Staff section. Even as the two disappeared into the Staff section, everyone in the Hospital Wing could still hear them arguing over who dealt the first death blow.
"I'm sure it was when I choked her, Ivan!"
"Nyet, you're wrong! It was when I stabbed her between the eyes!"
"Nuh-uh! It was totally when –"
"You both killed her at the same time, now don't be ridiculous!" Arthur yelled.
"What's going on?" a new voice cut in – well, it wasn't a new voice, but it seemed new anyway. Mr. Hugh turned to see Mr. Allen, looking rather bewildered. "I get the feeling that I missed something."
"Understatement of the century," snapped Agent Nume. He was suddenly unceremoniously shoved aside by Howard the Spy and Mary Crawford, both of them wearing identical horrified faces.
"Hugh, you've…" Mary trailed off, looking at Mr. Allen and Mr. Hugh. "Both of you, down to the hospital. Takara's dying."