A/N: This was the story's original ending. It only fits with Chapters 1-5. Enjoy.
The entire group walked to the grove of trees the next day. Carlie led the cluster of friends. She wore a pale yellow Bandeau knit top that had a bedazzled, metal "V" at the center of the bust on the neckline under a casual, V-Neck, magenta cardigan. Her long legs were showcased in a lightweight, apple silk green, short woven skirt that featured a pattern of pale yellow, blooming roses and a border print. On her manicured feet were a pair of pink, suede, high-heeled platforms that featured an open toe and a rosette accent with delicate, antique buckles.
Around her graceful throat was an oval chain necklace: a lacquered heart pendant with a butterfly and floral interior. Sophisticated chandelier earrings that featured a cutout pattern and were trimmed with pink beads that caught the light of the morning sun dangled elegantly from her earlobes. She was wearing her glasses again, but she still looked very chic and stylish. A stretchy bracelet that had pink and purple oval-shaped marbles and textured beads set in gold plating adorned one wrist.
They arrived at the grove of trees, where Northstar already was waiting for them. He looked serious, though his face never changed expression.
"Hello, Carlie," he said. He nodded to the others.
His skin was cadaverously pale now, reminiscent of a corpse that had achieved death by prolonged exposure to acutely low temperatures. His lips, now just almost blue, twisted back in a feral smile, exposing sharp teeth that glinting impossibly white and a dark mouth, freakishly red in comparison to his pallid features.
He began walking toward them, then, and a paralyzing, screaming dissonance surrounded him, and though every one of his motions was smooth and agile, the manner in which he moved was utterly unsettling.
And his eyes. His glacier-like eyes blazed with intense cold, the icy blue gleaming extraordinarily bright and overwhelming the whites, burning in his sockets like an arctic hell.
But what was most horrifying of all about his appearance was that remaining vestiges of unearthly beauty still clung to his face, refusing to give away to a completely inhuman demeanor, leaving him an unholy hybrid of both human and something alien.
Carlie gasped in horror. "Oh no! Not you!"
Suddenly, there was burst bright light, and Carlie was tackled to the ground. In an instant, Northstar had been joined by a girl who bore a striking similarity to him in resemblance and build. Her long black hair flowed behind her head, and she shared his uncanny beauty, which now seemed to amplify to positively unearthly levels for both of them. Their faces looked strange, startlingly inhuman.
All of the others began clutching their foreheads in sudden dizziness, and a feeling of groggy confusion overcame the group.
"What's wrong with me?" Kitty asked, distressed. "I feel so disoriented!"
"Me, too," Pietro agreed. Then he jumped. "Wait, what am I doing here? I hate you people!"
"What are you doing here?" Scott demanded, looking from Pietro to Lance.
" . . .the hell?" Demanded Rogue, who had appeared out of nowhere. "I was beating up the Avengers. How did I get back here?"
"Silence!" The teenage girl hair demanded imperiously. "I will explain."
"What's going on?" Jean questioned. "What . . . are you two mutants? Who is this girl? Is her name . . . Carlie? And who are you?"
"I am Aurora," the girl declared. "I am Northstar's twin sister. And Carlie is nothing more than a Mary-Sue."
"Mary Sue?" Lance repeated cluelessly.
"A close-to-perfect original character featuring in a fanfiction or an original work," Kitty explained.
"So, Aura, care to tell us what's going on here?" Pietro asked.
"It's Aurora," she said curtly.
"That's what I said: 'Aura.'"
"Aurora!" Aurora insisted.
"Fine! Just explain this, please! It feels like I have a hangover! And why can't I remember last night or this morning?" Pietro scowled at her.
Northstar spoke, his voice still monotone. "What you will hear may be unbelievable, but please try not to interrupt. Listen to what we have to say."
The X-Men and Brotherhood members exchanged skeptical glances but complied.
"We are agents of the Guardians of the Fictional Universe," Northstar explained. "Specifically, we part of the Anti-Mary-Sue Corps of the Fanfiction Sector. We prevent the existence of perfect character or almost flawless characters."
Lance frowned. "That sounds an awful lot like the Green Lantern Corps."
Aurora shook her head. "No, we're nothing like that."
"Really?" Asked Lance doubtfully. "Because the similarities- "
Aurora gritted her teeth. "Nothing. Like. That."
Lance shrugged. "Have it your way." When Aurora had turned her attention from him, he muttered under his breath, "Freak!"
"If there's organization to prevent Mary-Suesin fanfiction, why can't I read any Glee fanfic without a pileup of thirty Sues?" Kitty wanted to know.
Northstar scoffed in his first show of emotion. "Because the agents over there are a bunch of slackers. The ones in the Twilight Sector, too."
Aurora snorted. "Whoever allowed Twilight to be published should be thrown out of the Corps."
"Word up," Northstar said tonelessly.
"So, if you're a member of this Corps, do have a director we can complain to, or something?" Scott asked.
"Yeah," Aurora said in a bored tone. "Cable is abolishing the Mary-Sues in the Fantastic Four Movie Sector. I swear, considering how small the fanfiction collection is over there, ninety-five percent of the stories feature Mary-Sues."
"And Deadpool is taking care of the Mary-Sues in The Avengers Movie Sector," Northstar contributed.
"The Avengers?" Rogue repeated. "I was just over there, and I left a Mary-Sue comatose and threw her empty body off of a bridge. Her name was Ms. Marvelous or something."
"That was a hero, and her name was Ms. Marvel," Aurora informed her coolly.
"Oh," Rogue said. "Whatever." She shrugged.
Northstar continued with his tale. "Most original characters who feature in this universe of fanfiction turn out to be Mary-Sues. One wonders why an original character is even necessary, because there are so many X-Men that a writer could just select one they like and make them into their own personal Canon-Sue. But I digress. There are various Mary-Sues throughout fanfiction who could potentially claim my position, but few are as strong as Carlie Cooper. We've been tracking her for a long time, as well as battled with her, and she must be eliminated. Right now, Carlie possesses too many Mary-Sue qualities for us to ignore."
"Such as?" Scott was unconvinced.
Aurora was the one who replied. "It's basically a formula at this point, with as many Mary-Sues as there are. One of the first signs is when guys begin to wax poetic about a girl they barely know. And random, unexplained switches of alliances." Aurora gestured to Lance and Pietro. "A sudden urge to be her best friend." She gesticulated to Jean and Kitty. "Demonization of a canon character to prove how 'special' she is, such as your random displays of violence and transition to Satanism, which was a religion perceived as 'a bad thing.'" She nodded at Rogue. "And to a lesser extent, Mary Jane Watson, who suddenly became a 'slutty model'. I'm surprised, because usually it's Jean Grey or Jubilation Lee who get twisted into sociopaths."
"Well, to be fair, both of them are really annoying." Pietro smirked.
"Hey!" Jean snapped.
Scott continued with his questioning of the twins. "You said that you planned to 'eliminate' Carlie. Why?"
"First of all, you must know that this is not the mainstream world," Northstar told her. "This a fanfiction dimension of another depiction of the Marvel universe, starring the X-Men. In the main world of Marvel, Carlie has reached adulthood, become an officer of the New York Police Department Crime Scene Unit and is involved in one of the most unnecessary and nonsensical plot twists in modern day Marvel Comics history. Spider-Man naively unmasked himself to the public, selfishly putting everyone close to him at risk of mortal danger from criminals, and his elderly aunt was shot. To save his aunt's life, even after she asked him to let her go, he and his wife sold their marriage to a demon."
"Who does that?" Scott queried in disbelief. "Why would anyone do that?
"Why would a demon even want their marriage?" Pietro nitpicked. "What does purpose does that serve, in the end? What does the demon gain from that deal?"
"What kind of hero sells their marriage to a demon?" Rogue asked in disgust.
The twins shrugged and responded in unison: "Don't asked us, we're no Satanists."
"How nice. I'm not, either," Rogue replied acerbically. "I just dress like a goth."
Pietro frowned. "So you're not a goth, but you dress like one?"
Rogue shrugged. "I don't know if I qualify as a goth. I never read a list of requirements."
Aurora proceeded with the explanation. "Then Doctor Strange collaborated with Reed Richards and Tony Stark, in order to save Spider-Man from his own irresponsible choices. They decided they should wipe everyone's memory so that the marriage never legally or informally existed, instead of Spider-Man honestly divorcing his wife, which could actually be a meaningful storyline."
"And Carlie is a Mary-Sue in this world as well?" Scott inquired, arching an eyebrow.
"The evidence is clear," Northstar stated grimly. "Shortly after the original wife was out of Spider-Man's life, he met Carlie, whom everyone he's close to has commented that she's 'perfect for him,' and 'wonderful,' and even his ex-wife told him that he's 'finally learned how to pick 'em,' and that Carlie is 'amazing.' Furthermore, Carlie is so pretty that even Johnny Storm was impressed by her good looks and took her out on a date, and when she and Spider-Man got together, he didn't even feel worthy of dating her."
"Does she had spider-powers in the comic books?" Jean asked skeptically.
"She gains them in Amazing Spider-Man issue #667, during the Spider Island event," Aurora said, waving her hand dismissively. "Though almost everyone gets spider-powers in the Spider Island event."
"So Carlie gets bad in the future," Scott said. "Not a villain or anything, but just a terrible character."
Aurora sniffed. "She's terrible because she is nothing more than a symbol to enforce the status quo. Joe Quesada, the current editor-in-chief of Marvel, decided that Spider-Man's marriage 'aged' him, but didn't want Spider-Man to have a divorce, because he worried that would set a bad example. Thus he wrote the characters to sell their marriage to a demon out of the blue, all because he thought that Spider-Man should have the option of multiple romantic interests.
"So, of course, swinging single Spider-Man and Carlie became an item shortly thereafter, probably just to flaunt Spider-Man's divorce-in-all-but-name in the face of the fans who enjoyed the marriage. Though Quesada claimed that 'single' Spider-Man opened up many more opportunities for stories, the majority of the plots we've seen so far could've worked with a single Spider-Man or married Spider-Man, which leads many fans to wonder if Joe Quesada wanted to destroy the marriage just for the hell of it."
Scott was stubborn. "I still don't see how Carlie is a Mary-Sue in the main world."
The twins rolled their eerie blue eyes. "Do you still need more proof?" Their voices asked in stereo.
"Yes," Scott stated flatly.
"Carlie has been lauded as Spider-Man's true love from just about every other character, from his aforementioned elderly aunt to the Chameleon, who is a villain that Spider-Man has encountered several times. Carlie was shown on the cover of a story entitled 'The Many Loves of Spider-Man,' before she ever became romantically involved with Spider-Man. And in that story, she was presented as a ten-year-old precocious wunderkind who solved a murder mystery that puzzled the police." Aurora ticked the items off her fingers.
"Not convinced," Scott informed her.
Northstar continued the list without missing a beat. "She's a strong enough of a roller-skater to compete in a roller derby. Then again, she also chose a really boring and uncreative derby name: 'Crusher Carlie', but that's really the result of lazy writing. In the Spider Island event, she was the only one with spider-powers to use her abilities solely for others instead of herself. The other characters repeatedly brought this act of 'doing her part,' and 'chipping in,' to the reader's attention. And when it turned out that her best friend was manipulated and used by a man who deceived the entire United States government, Carlie immediately blamed her best friend, who was a victim in that situation. And the readers were expected to agree with Carlie."
Scott shook his head.
Aurora was growing impatient. "She is presented as such a skilled combatant that the only reason Peter was able to keep up with her was because he took 'a few kung-fu' lessons, despite Peter's fifteen years of combat practice and enhanced fighting prowess. During the Spider Island, she was somehow able to figure out that Miles Warren, A.K.A. the Jackal, was behind the infestation of spider-powers before Spider-Man, despite Spider-Man's years of confrontation with the Jackal. This is presented as a stroke of genius on Carlie's part and an astounding revelation. Even though the Jackal has been dead for a couple of years, and there was no reason for anyone to even suspect that the Jackal was alive."
"Maybe she figured it out because she's a cop," Kitty offered.
"That would make sense, but Carlie is a forensic investigator, not a detective," Northstar said curtly. "Though apparently, she's intelligent enough to create her own formula of knockout gas, and has 'scientific' conversations with Spider-Man while he's visiting with his ex-wife. The conversations aren't even written out, they just read as, and I quote, 'I've built a harmonic mesh based on Hank Pym's theory of something (ex-wife) wouldn't understand.' These pages written to deliberately depict the ex-wife as an idiot and Spider-Man and Carlie as a perfect match due to their shared 'vast intellect'."
"That doesn't make her a Mary-Sue," Scott objected.
"Her creator, Joe Quesada, named her after his own daughter," Aurora said wearily.
"What?" Scott exclaimed. "That settles it! Carlie is totally a Mary-Sue!"
"I told you so," Aurora smirked smugly.
"Any other questions?" Northstar asked, bored.
"Why do your faces look so weird?" Pietro questioned.
"We're not of this universe," Northstar responded indifferently. "I suppose it shows."
"Kind of," Kitty concurred as she watched the light shift subtly, but nonetheless uncannily, on the faces of the twins, the glow of the sun not completely reflecting on their winter pale skin. "What's up with your names?"
Northstar sighed. "Our birth names are classified information. These are just codenames Deadpool devised for us. He thought that it would be funny to have twins named for a theme relating to their abilities. Cable indulged him, as he often does. Sometimes it's better to just agree with Deadpool than to try and argue with him."
"Hey, Aurora," Jean said, brow furrowed in thought, "if this isn't the Carlie Cooper of the main world, then what do you two and the Corps want with her?"
"We are destroying alternate versions of Carlie Cooper to prepare ourselves for the final, great battle with her," Aurora announced proudly. "Eradicating fanfiction versions of her ruins her pervasiveness, thus weakening her. Also, the mainstream Carlie Cooper is protected by editorial mandate, and it takes much strength to defeat that. This way, when we eliminate the mainstream Carlie Cooper permanently, we can be certain that no pesky versions of her from an alternate world will come and take her place."
"But you said that your positions were agents of "the Anti-Mary-Sue Corps of the Fanfiction Sector," Kitty pointed out. "In the main world, Spider-Man is a published comic book, not fanfiction. Why are you two concerned with Carlie at all?"
"Because for all intents and purposes, Carlie is a fanfiction character," Aurora declared presumptuously. "She was created by Joe Quesada to be the embodiment of what he considers 'cool,' and written with other characters lavishing praise over her. Furthermore, Quesada is essentially nothing more than a fanfiction writer. He demanded the regression of the development of several characters just so he could return the Spider-Man universe to what it was during his childhood.
"He obviously strongly disliked the marriage, and Spider-Man's wife by association, but he could never provide a legitimate reason to divorce them, so he had no choice but to write the separation in a ham-handed manner. Fans are allowed love or hate characters, but creators should refrain from such blatant biases where it concerns characters who are not antagonistic. Quesada is nothing more than a fan who is attempting to change the Spider-Man stories to suit his own personal ideas of what it should be. Being editor doesn't disguise his biased revamps of the status quo, which are very typical for fan fiction." Aurora looked disgusted. "Just relaying of all that reminds me of the atrocious writing our counterparts have to suffer in the main universe. I'm constantly portrayed as a crazy bitch, while my brother is reduced to a gay stereotype."
"To summarize, Carlie is a part of Joe Quesada's personal fanfiction," Northstar said with a twisted smile. "She's his personal Mary-Sue, in a very debased way."
Rogue hadn't paid very much attention to this speech, but she focused on the twins when they finished finished talking. "Didn't you say that various Mary-Sues are always appearing in this world, and it's your job to eliminate them? So, I was thinking . . . "
Several weeks later, it seemed that everyone but Kitty, Jean, Scott, and Rogue had forgotten that Carlie Cooper had ever existed. Seeing how she had made very little impact on their lives, this was perfectly understandable. Once they had regained their bearings, Lance and Pietro had returned to the Brotherhood of Mutants, and refused to acknowledge any association with Carlie.
One warm night, Rogue, Kitty, and Jean sat outside on the stone steps of the Institute, sipping from old-fashioned, glass root beer bottles, enjoying the sunset in silence.
"Rogue?" Kitty said tentatively.
Rogue glanced at her. "Yeah?"
"Do you really hate Lindsay Lohan?"
Rogue sighed. "It's tough to explain. I don't like her very much, though I do kind of pity her. I guess it's like . . ." she made a vague gesture with her hands. "She exasperates me. I mean, here I am, isolated from the life I used to enjoy, because I'm a mutant. I can't even touch anyone. And then there's Lindsay Lohan, who keeps messing around with drugs and alcohol. She has so much potential and the opportunity to utilize it, but she doesn't and just screws up instead. I do would do anything to be able to use my talents and have a life outside of here, but I can't, because of my mutation. You could say I'm jealous of her, in the same way I'm jealous of all normal people."
They contemplated this admission in silence for several moments.
"I didn't like Freaky Friday, though," Rogue added. "But that's due to the writing, really, not so much her acting."
"She was much better in Mean Girls," Kitty conceded.
Rogue shrugged. "Haven't seen it."
"We'll get it next weekend," Kitty decided. "Have a girls' night, you know."
"That would be cool," Rogue replied neutrally.
Jean placed a hand on Rogue's shoulder. "You're not alone with this," she said quietly. "We're for you. We want to help you. I promise that we'll find a way to get through this."
Rogue stiffened at the touch, and inclined her head to Jean. A strange expression, almost akin to grief, crossed her pretty features. "I'm not sure that would do any good," she murmured.
"What do you mean?" Jean asked, taken aback.
Without warning, a girl teleported a dozen feet in front of them. She was amazingly beautiful, with long, sleek, pink hair and shimmering, iridescent butterfly wings.
"Hello," She said brightly. "My name is Megan Gwynn, codename Pixie, and I-"
The girl was cut off when Northstar and Aurora abruptly appeared behind her in a burst of brilliant white light, and vanished as suddenly as they had arrived, taking Megan Gwynn with them.
"You know," Kitty said conversationally. "Rogue, when you recruited the twins to eliminate any Mary-Sues that showed up at the Xavier Institute, I wasn't so sure that it was a good idea. Now, I know it was a great one."
"Yeah, Rogue," Jean agreed, "you really made a good call here."
Rogue shrugged. "I try," she said modestly. She raised her soda. "To the end of all Mary-Sues. Except for the ones we might be able to recognize and torment."
The three friends clinked their glass bottles together and drank deeply from their root beer.
A/N: So, yeah. I really don't like Carlie Cooper as a character, so I wrote this fic as a demonstration of how she exemplifies Mary-Sue-esque qualities. During her appearances in "Spider-Man" she makes everyone act OOC and she is constantly lauded by everyone around her for no reason. Thankfully, she's no longer Peter Parker's girlfriend, but unfortunately, she's still a recurring character.
Additionally, I wrote this story to and demonstrate the ridiculous OCs that appear in fanfiction, particularly the X-Men fandom. This story was a way to vent my frustration at the ludicrous "A mysterious girl appears at the Xavier Institute. Who is she, what are her powers?" ect. sort of fics. I do admit, this story was initially intended as a joke, but then it started to get out of hand when I began to pretend that it was a legitimate story by writing angry responses to critical reviews and continuously re-uploading this story in order to convince readers that this really was a genuine attempt at fanfiction. Thank you to everyone who realized that Carlie was a Mary-Sue. You have restored my faith in humanity.
Thanks to the Fic Critic as well. Your MSTings were very humorous but also very accurate. I know that you only review fanfiction, but I think it would be great to see a review of one of the Carlie-centric issues of "Amazing Spider-Man", maybe the issue where she and Peter get together or perhaps one from the "Spider-Island" event. And I realize that you really don't owe me any favors, but I would really appreciate if you would choose another one of my other stories and submit a review. I really enjoy critical feedback for my writing when it's honest and relevant, and you've shown with your reviews that you're talented at recognizing the important aspects of a story.
The title: I honestly wasn't aware of the game. I was just trying to think of a cliche, "mysterious" title typical for a Mary-Sue fic, though it's entirely possible I saw the game title on TVTropes and just subconsciously remembered it.
About Northstar: some writers, such as Carey, Lobdell, and Byrne, can really capture his character, but others (i.e. Fraction, Austen) seem to believe that reminding the audience that Northstar is, in fact, homosexual, and then demonstrating his sexuality in his every word and action qualifies as character development. Actually, I just came across Lobdell's "Alpha Flight: A Christmas Tale" recently. The cover shows Weapon Omega wearing his mask and a Santa hat and trying to squeeze a sack of toys down a chimney with a sleigh parked nearby "Starring Weapon Omega as Santa, Box as Santa's sled, and . . ." there's a picture of Northstar sitting in Santa's sled, scowling arrogantly, as he was wont to do back then, "And Northstar as himself!" I was highly amused.
And I must give credit where credit is due. In order to create a Mary-Sue story, especially the opening chapter, I borrowed heavily from one that is already in existence: "Sealing the Elements" by Flare3. I also used several details from the infamous "My Immortal" by XXXbloodyrists666XXX, such as massive OOC-ness, random transitions of characters to Satanism (Which I take no issue with. Each to their own form of spirituality), hatred of a certain pop culture group ("goths" instead of "prepz" this time, though), hatred of certain celebrities, useless love triangles that have no chemistry, disproportionate amounts of clothing description, and nonsensical rewrites of character history for the sake of the story.
I also realize that a trend has recently emerged for fans of Carlie to troll anyone who doesn't worship the pages the character is drawn upon in order to point fingers and screech, "Misogynist!" First of all, one isn't a misogynist just for disliking a single female character in a universe where many other females characters are presented positively (60% of the time, anyway), especially when said character is ham-fistedly introduced for the sole purpose of being of love interest to a male character who has just divorced his wife because she was "boring". The overuse of the term "misogynist" weakens its use in cases in which it is legitimately relevant.
Secondly, consider Carlie's creator, the "esteemed" Joe Quesada. During his time as Editor-in-Chief at Marvel Comics, he destroyed three superhero marriages: Ant-Man and the Wasp, Jean Grey and Scott Summers, Spider-Man and Mary-Jane. In the first two, the wife was killed off; in the case of Spider-Man and M.J., they merely divorced. The justification for the abolition of the marriages was always the same: Joe wanted "character development" for the male, and the wife was merely a plot device to exploit supposed "development". I think that in this case, Joephisto (Quesada) would be the true misogynist.
As a closing observation, one superhero couple that could potentially have realistically divorced were Mr. Fantastic and the Invisible Woman of the Fantastic Four, mainly due to the events of "Marvel: Civil War". However, they remained married, as did another superhero couple, Jessica Jones and Luke Cage. A similarity the two couples share, beyond their career choice, it that they have kids. The couples whose marriages were destroyed by Quesada were all childless. Quite the "coincidence". That should also tell you a few things about Joe.