Disclaimer: The original PPC belongs to the wonderful Jay and Acacia; Claudia and Ella belong to us; the horrific fic belongs to its author. Canon belongs to J.R.R. Tolkien, the Great Professor, who I am positive would be having a fit if he saw the fic we’re working from, considering that he didn’t understand how he managed to have stupid fans. (Or something to that degree....) We hope that this unworthy spinoff will nevertheless contribute in some helpful way to the War Against Goddessawful Fanfiction.
The Protectors of the Plot Continuum:
Department of Author Correspondence
by Godforsaken and Lantarmiel
Agent Ella Darcy of the Department of Author Correspondence sat calmly in front of the computer, doing absolutely nothing. She had slipped off into a catatonic state, due to the combination of the monotone hum of the machine and the after-effects of her first The Lord of the Rings Mary Sue hunt—an exercise in frustration. She jumped a foot in the air as a door slamming jolted her out of her reverie.
“I’m back!” sang Claudia, earning herself a death glare from her partner. “I talked to Makes-Things.”
“We’re going to get you your own Canon Analysis Device, and we’re going to get a portally thing that doesn’t require coming back to Headquarters to switch locations, and I found out that the portally things are actually called Remote Activators.” Claudia looked fairly pleased with herself. “Oh, and I got you some chocolate.”
She tossed a rather large chocolate bar at Ella, who immediately jumped up and glomped her appreciatively. “Thank yoooooou!”
“Ow,” Claudia responded, peeling Ella off of herself and attempting to look long-suffering, despite the fact that Ella had only been there three days. “Welcome. Any word from the saffron crocus?”
Ella calmed down immediately and started unwrapping the chocolate bar. “Yeah. We’re forgiven.”
“Thank Eru,” Claudia said, sinking herself down in front of the computer. (Claudia had been in The Lord of the Rings continuum since Day One of her training, and it had affected her quite a bit.) “Absolutely nothing good is updated,” she informed Ella after a moment.
“Dwa’,” mumbled Ella through a mouthful of chocolate.
“Ohhhhhhh, dear,” Claudia winced. “Ohhhhh, that’s not good. I can’t even read it.”
Ella ignored her, intent on her chocolate.
Claudia looked thoughtful and continued thinking aloud. “Breaking the Naturally Nine is always a Mary-Sue, isn’t it?” She sent the story off to someone at the Mary Sue Department (after changing it to a serif font and double-spacing, so that it was somewhat readable. The thing had no formatting). It came back.
She scowled, and tried to send it off to a few more people at the Department of Mary Sues, the Department of Shameless Self-Insertions, the Department of Intelligence, and the Department of Psychology. It kept on coming back.
. “Mm-hmm?” Ella noted the resignation in her partner’s voice and stopped eating.
“We have to go in again.” Ella groaned. “It’s another Mary Sue. And everyone’s busy. And this one also has no formatting, but the chapters are a hell of a lot longer, and I’m not sitting through more than two of them,” Claudia said flatly. Then she snickered. “The A/N says that it’s a health hazard.”
“I don’t doubt it,” Ella grumbled, and proceeded to throw things into her duffel bag. Thankfully, she’d only gotten around to doing half of the unpacking, so some of the essentials were still there.
Claudia hadn’t unpacked anything except the Distortion, but she’d managed to dump the extra Lórien cloaks and the noncanonical food on the floor in the process, so it was a simple matter for her to just zip the thing back up and announce: “Finished.”
“Good for you,” Ella said sourly. Claudia wasn’t listening; she was fiddling with the disguise control. The problem characters joined the Fellowship this time, so they had no excuse to go as something that wouldn’t harm them.
Ella finished packing. “Lessgo,” she said. Claudia opened the portal, and they stepped into the bright early-morning sunlight of the Ford of Bruinen.
Ella looked down at herself in dismay. “Uruk-hai?” she complained.
“It’s the standard ‘canonical being that can stand the sun who would hurt a Fellowship member’ guise,” she replied. “Come on, they show up at the Council. And they make an ignominious mess out of it.”
Luckily, they had portalled in about two hours before the Council was due to start, so they had some time to wander about Rivendell admiring the scenery. Even more luckily, the noncanonicals weren’t there yet, so there was absolutely nobody that would notice two Uruk-hai walking about singing conflicting songs and bickering about them.
“...Will you please stop singing the Dixie Chicks?— Ah, here’s the pretty little dais. We’ve got ten minutes,” said Claudia as she stopped bickering.
Ella obediently shut up, and they positioned themselves behind the bushes near the doorway, where nobody could see them. Claudia hoped that she was correct in assuming that since the Sues did not say that they fell by the doorway, they would not do so. She pulled a pack of cards out of her bag, and the two agents proceeded to play several games of Spit in a row, only half paying attention as the Council filled up and began. Rivendell was a very nice lounging-around place, even though in this fic, the lack of formatting made it seem exceptionally humid.
The two girls stopped their rendition of “The USS Make Shit Up”, their only musical compromise thus far, as the self-inserted Sue demonstrated complete ignorance of the difference between “passed” and “past” and fell from the sky to land with a flump in the bushes, closely followed by the second Sue. Unfortunately, having Sue-powers, they didn’t die or even break anything the way they should have. Somebody, for Elbereth knows what reason, shot an arrow into the tree trunk near where the Sues had fallen. Claudia frowned. Elves didn’t shoot trees.
The two Sues stood up and stumbled out into the middle of the dais, their backs to Lord Elrond. “Very disrespectful,” Ella murmured, shaking her head.
“To-To, I don’t think we’re in Oklahoma anymore,” said the brunette. Ella and Claudia winced. Wizard of Oz. Painful.
“Who are you and what are you doing here?” Lord Elrond demanded. Claudia muted the Character Analysis Device and pointed it at him: only about ten percent out of character. She pointed it at the two girls.
[Katie. Human female. Non-canon. Self-Insertion/Mary Sue]
[Emily. Human female. Non-canon. Self-Insertion/Mary Sue]
“What, no cheesy last names?” asked Ella softly.
Claudia shrugged, peering at the Device. “Why can’t the thing decide if they’re Sues or just Insertions?” she mused.
“If we knew that we wouldn’t be sitting here gawking at you like the idiots we are. I think the better question is, is who are YOU? After all, we’re the ones who got pulled out of our math class,” said the brunette, Katie. Ella growled at the bad grammar as the Sue started whispering to her friend.
“Oh, I see. They’re supposed to be irritating,” Claudia clarified, treating herself as if she were a third grader.
“Hey.Wallace? Why do all these people look like the people off of Lord of the Rings?” inquired Katie.
“‘off of’ Lord of the Rings?” Claudia repeated incredulously.
“Oh my god.Katie! What did we do? How are we going to get back!” The blonde sounded frantic. Claudia felt sorry for the poor suffocating periods; Ella gagged at the exclamation point at the end of the question. Lord Elrond cleared his throat.
The brunette started talking. “Er, yeah. Hi ya’ll. I’m Katie, and this is Wallace.” The blonde pinched her viciously. “I mean her name is Emily. If you’re worried that we’re enemy spies or whatever then you don’t have to worry. We’re from.the future? Another dimension in time? Heck I don't know!”
Claudia started diligently banging her head against the edge of the dais behind Aragorn’s chair.
“We don’t know how we got here. We don’t even know WHY we’re here. And what Katie’s trying to say is please don’t tie us up and gag us,” the blonde supplied.
“Why is usually the less obvious question,” Claudia remarked.
At that point, some school supplies dropped out of the sky and hit the noncanons on the head. Ella silently applauded the school supplies, but Claudia was mildly miffed that it had defied the laws of physics by falling more slowly than the Sues. And not only had it defied the laws of physics, it had defied such obvious laws of physics that even Claudia knew them.
“Think we should pull the “I am Buzz Lightyear” line on them?” asked the brunette quietly. Ella collapsed in silent giggles at the sheer lameness of that statement, the use of double quotes inside of double quotes completely passing her by. Claudia pursed her lips. “We really don’t want to cause you trouble. We’re just going to go back to the bushes and start chanting ‘there’s no place like home, there’s no place like home’ if you don’t mind,” she said to the Council.
“Would you quit with the Wizard of Oz quotes? They’re getting on my nerves,” said the blonde. Claudia, who had been thinking the same thing, stared in Emily’s general direction (in other words, in between Aragorn’s shoulder blades).
“Your story is not altogether clear I’m afraid. You may as well sit yourselves down and wait for me till I am finished here.” Lord Elrond’s bad punctuation and simplistic language nearly sent Ella into spasms.
The two agents cowered against the edge of the dais as the Sues took seats next to Aragorn, despite the fact that there was no good reason for there to be spare chairs there. Once the Sues had their backs to them, they resettled into their former positions. The Sues started poking each other in the ribs, causing Claudia and Ella to shake their heads.
“Someday they’ll get smacked into a swimming pool if they keep on poking people in inappropriate areas,” Ella predicted solemnly.
Katie started sliding forward in her seat, trying to get at her binder. A quick look at the Words gave Claudia an idea, and she started looking for anything vaguely sharp in the immediate area. Unfortunately, Elves didn’t grow too many pointy things, so Claudia was reduced to childish pouting. However, she cheered up considerably when the Sue slid out of her chair and received some very stony stares from the rest of the Council. Katie retrieved her school supplies with a total lack of facial expression, and started poking through it. She pulled out a ‘walkman,’ then put it away noisily and was shushed by several Elves. As the Sue belatedly realized that ‘this had to be the council of Elrond,’ Claudia removed the batteries from the ‘walkman’ and put them in her own bag. Extra batteries could always come in handy.
The Sues alternately bickered and did nothing for an hour, although Katie decided that Peter Jackson would have profited more if he had learned exactly what everyone said at the Council. The two agents made faces at each other. After all, if the movie had contained a two-hour Council scene, then it would have either broken contract or shoved the entire rest of the story into one hour, which would have been utterly disastrous. “So if no one’s supposed to be more The Lord of the Rings-obsessed than this girl, shouldn’t that mean that she’s watched the documentaries?” Claudia asked rhetorically. Ella shrugged, and dug out the pack of cards.
The agents resumed paying attention when the Sue did. Claudia winced. Frodo, whom the author had apparently given severe Delayed Reaction Syndrome, had just noticed the brunette’s One Ring shirt and One Ring replica (the kind that comes on the tassel of three-dollar bookmarks at Barnes and Noble) strung on a cord around her neck. Katie started mouthing “its FAKE!” at Frodo.
“Is there something wrong?” Lord Elrond asked, before Claudia got a chance to ask Ella how someone could manage to mouth words in all-capitals.
The Sue went back into “un-acculturated teenager” mode. “Well, he’s staring at me like a possessed idiot! I think he thinks this is the real thing.” Considering that “the real thing” was currently on the stand in the middle of the dais, Frodo would have to be extremely stupid to think that. This possibility pissed Claudia off severely. Her Character Analysis Device showed a severe Character Rupture, and that pissed her off even more.
“Its FAKE. F-A-K-E. Fake. Not real,” the Sue continued.
“We get the point,” Ella hissed.
“Non-existent,” Katie continued blithely. “Okay, well maybe is does exist because you’re looking at it but that’s not the point. It’s.ah.” She looked at her blonde companion.
‘ “What’s this made of?” “Why are you asking me? It’s made of metal with gold paint over it, what more do you want to know?” she asked sleepily.’ The Council members somehow managed to all mentally shake their heads at Katie so that she knew they were doing it, and the Council resumed.
“That hurt,” Claudia pouted. Katie started humming ‘the song I heard Gollum sing on the movie, the Two Towers,’ (aka “Gollum’s Song”); Claudia picked up her CD player and jammed the earpieces into her ears, drowning out the Sue’s humming of actual words with the harsh strains of HATE!. Only Ella was left to hear the Sue offer to actually sing ‘the Gollum song!’ for Lord Elrond, or to witness Lord Elrond being confused. She shuddered and pulled out her own CD player, surviving the next hour with a continuous stream of Martina McBride.
Claudia’s CD player went immediately from track one to track three as she toppled over sideways. Stopping the music and looking around, she realized that the author had shifted from bookverse to movieverse, and that the entire Fellowship was being formed at the council.
“You have my sword.”
“And you have my bow.”
“And my axe.”
“And you can have our smart-butt, obnoxious mouths!” yelled Katie. Claudia jumped up, peering over the back of Aragorn’s now-vacant chair. For some reason, the hobbits were already there. So that was why the shift had been so severe.
‘The dwarf, Gimli, sort of glare at us and the elf, Legolas, sort of half grinned and shook his head in amusement. The first man, Aragorn, seemed to have a look of slight panic across his face, and the other one, Borormir, stared off into space. The hobbits just looked at us like we were rabid animals.’
“That’s because they are rabid animals,” Ella remarked, removing her own headphones and making a mental note to include “creation of Mini-Balrogs” to the charge list.
Elrond didn’t object to the two Sues joining the Fellowship. Knowing that Elrond usually wasn’t quite as affected by Mary Sues as the Sues thought he was, Claudia decided that he just wanted to get rid of them and figured that they’d die at some point on the journey. Claudia was determined not to disappoint Lord Halfelven.
Ella and Claudia were cheered up immensely when they realized that Sam intensely disliked the Sues. Then the Words started rambling on about food fights, and the agents went back to being pissed off.
The authoress of the story most likely did not realize what time of day the Council took place, and therefore did not change it from its proper midmorning. Therefore, the assassin understudies spent a full eight hours enjoying the sumptuous beauty of the Great Professor’s imagination and avoiding the Sues like the plague.
The agents decided it would be best to camp outside of Rivendell that night, considering that they had no idea when the Fellowship would be leaving but it wouldn’t be when they were supposed to. A completely undefined stretch of time is never three months.
“I wonder if they know they’re supposed to wait ’til Christmas,” Ella said aloud, staring up at the brilliant stars overhead.
“In all likelihood, no,” Claudia mumbled, and went promptly to sleep, using her bedroll as a pillow instead of an actual bedroll.
“Wha’?” Ella mumbled sleepily, rubbing her eyes.
“Missed ’em. Left early ’gain. Like, eight o’clock early, think, ‘n’s nearly noon.” Claudia was not a morning person, and her pre-breakfast laconic-ness often bordered on total incoherency.
“Mother Faye.” Ella rolled up her bedroll, grabbed some lembas, and hauled the both of them to their feet in a very interesting set of motions.
“Mmf.” Claudia stuffed some lembas in her mouth, swallowed it as quickly as she could without choking, and regained her usual ability to speak incredibly pretentiously. “I say we merely walk, and meet up with them in three days at Hollin. It’s the closest we’ll ever get to time off, and I should really practice my archery before I try to kill a Sue-thing, or it will likely result in me getting attacked.”
“Agreed,” said Ella, munching lembas.
Ella stepped through another heat-haze-shaped plothole. “We’re here, dear.”
“I detest Time-Space Distortions,” Claudia responded, leaning against the rocks of Hollin out of sight of the characters. “The only thing worse than Time-Space Distortions are Temporal/Spatial ones.”
Ella stared. “What’s the difference?”
“A Time-Space Distortion dumps you in another time or place, like a portal, and it’s a type of plothole. A Temporal/Spatial Distortion dumps another time or place on top of you.”
“Creepy,” Ella shuddered.
“I know a song that gets on everybody’s nerves, everybody’s nerves! I know a song that get’s on everybody’s nerves and it goes something like this!” chanted Katie from somewhere on the rocks over their heads.
“No it doesn’t,” Ella said calmly.
“Hey, why are there so many rocks here? This is so weird. I’ve never seen so many rocks in one place. Is this like a rock zoo or something? Or a rock shelter? Oh, are they up for adoption?” Katie babbled.
Claudia gave Ella a resigned look. “Hard to believe they’re older than we are.”
“Do you ever be silent?” came Gimli's voice. Claudia winced at the bad attempt at half-archaic grammar.
“No, sorry. It’s this thing in my blood I think,” Katie continued.
“And I think it’s called like caffeine or something,” Ella mocked, MST-style.
Emily muttered something, Katie ‘glared at her then turned to where Boromir was teaching the two hobbits, Merry and Pippin, to use swords. “Hey,” I said to them. “Can I try?” “No!” Emily instantly shouted. “You’ll poke someone’s eye out! Or cut the tip of their nose off or something worse than that!” “You’ve been reading to much again,” ’ Katie scolded.
“That’s not possible,” the agents objected, in unison.
“If you read a bit more, you might learn to appreciate other people’s work,” Claudia suggested.
‘ “Forgive me, but I do not trust you enough with something as dangerous as a sword,” Boromir replied bluntly.’ Claudia applauded. ‘Aragorn, who was smoking his pipe nearby, snickered. I always knew he was an evil one.’
“Aragorn? Evil?” Ella asked, dumbfounded.
‘Don’t get me wrong, I’m sure he could be a nice guy and all, but when he tries to kill someone for the Ring, it just gets to me. I don’t know why,’ the Words continued.
“Oh, Boromir. He’s not evil either, if you take half a second to just look at his life story,” Claudia seethed, and started mentally writing up a charge list.
“Are we there yet?” asked Katie.
“No, and it’s no good asking that.” That was Aragorn.
“Fine, don’t give the small child details,” Katie sulked.
Aragorn laughed. “We are in Hollin. Long ago Elves lived here, in more peaceful times, but now they have all gone. Not many live here now.” Ella frowned deeply at the contradiction, and waved the Character Analysis Device in his general direction. She found that he was about twenty-five percent out of character, and started waving the Analysis Device at everyone.
“Oh. I see, but are we almost there?” Katie persisted.
“No, you idiot,” the other Sue said, exasperated. A glance at the Words showed that they were insulting each other and slapping each other, and that Sam was glaring at them. “What do you want, you paranoid old bat?” snapped the blonde. Claudia exhaled disapprovingly, and added “being massively unappreciative of Samwise” to her charge list.
“And here I was thinkin’ friends were nice to each other,” Sam muttered. Claudia added ‘turning Sam into Captain Obvious’ to the charge list.
“We are nice to each other. In our own special way. When we slap each other, we’re saying that we know the other well enough to know they won’t take it personally if we hit them. It’s like when you get all lovey-dovey and Mr. Frodo-ey with Frodo. Except I’m not in love with Emily, like you, you wrong sick hobbit.” Katie’s blatant homophobia sent Claudia reeling. If there was one thing that could cause her to totally lose her composure, it was such indiluted prejudice.
“Claudia?” Ella asked, concerned. Claudia was hanging onto the rocks as tightly as possible, breathing heavily, a look of sheer murderousness on her face. She looked like she would have loved to start cursing but couldn’t think of sufficiently nasty vocabulary. The two Sues started laughing, Aragorn treated that last exchange as a joke, and Claudia looked up at the rock and started climbing. Ella sighed and followed.
The climb covered eight lines of unformatted conversation, with Claudia mumbling something that sounded suspiciously like “There is no curse in Elvish, Entish, or the tongues of Men....”
She reached the level the Fellowship was on just in time to hear Legolas say, “As much as I wonder, I can’t really have you die.”
Emily frowned. “Are you sure?—”
“NO, HE MOST CERTAINLY IS NOT!” Claudia interrupted. Ella winced at the all-caps sentence, and watched as Claudia notched an arrow to her bow and pointed it at Katie.
“All of you, stay back or I’ll kill her,” Claudia snarled, never too good to lie to get the job done. Everyone froze. “Katie,” Claudia continued angrily, “you are charged with not even trying to explain what the hell you’re doing here; bringing twenty-first century knowledge into Middle-Earth; claiming to be a fan but being too Goth damned stupid to even attempt to respect what the Great Professor has created; using phenomenally bad grammar, spelling, and punctuation, including cruelty to defenseless periods and creation of Mini-Balrogs; being an idiot; being a royal pain in the ass; sending everyone—just everyone—out of character; being unappreciative of Sam and insulting him and characterizing him badly; being a self-inserted Mary Sue; and most of all, being a prejudiced bitch. Any last words?”
“Sorry, I’ve just been reading too many sick humored fanfi—grkh.” The Sue made an interesting little four-consonant sound as Claudia shot her through the throat.
“And having lousy excuses,” she added. The canonicals started wavering in and out of character, but pretty much stayed in their places. Sam looked as if he would have liked to be ecstatically happy, but didn’t think it proper to be appreciative of Uruk-hai. Claudia turned to Emily. “You, Emily, are charged with most of the same stuff, and you don’t get last words because it’s one set of last words per charge list.” Claudia had been practicing quite a bit in the past few days, and she got Emily cleanly through the throat as well.
Ella groaned, slinging Katie over her shoulder. “Gak. Heavy,” she observed.
Claudia followed suit with Emily, then quickly dragged Ella through a plothole before it disappeared. They stumbled out about a hundred yards away. “I wish we could give them to Sean Astin, but I don’t think Upstairs would be too thrilled. What say we leave them for the Crebain?” Claudia asked as canon started grinding back into place.
“Good idea; bad grammar,” was Ella’s reply, closely followed by: “Canon’s not totally back in place yet. The Sues’ stuff is still in Rivendell.”
Claudia, after dropping her burden, hit some buttons on the Remote Activator, depositing them in Headquarters, in Rivendell, in Headquarters again, at the Crack of Doom where they dumped the supplies, then back in Headquarters.
“We really need to get one of these that doesn’t require going back to Headquarters all the time,” Ella said.
“Makes-Things is working on it,” Claudia responded, hitting a button on the CD player and flopping back down onto the couch.
“Dungeons and Dragons… Satan’s game… your children, like it or not, are in their weaker years attracted to the occult, and a game like D&D fuels their imagingation, and makes them feel special, while drawing them deeper and deeper into the bowels of El Diablo.…”
Ella regained her usual hyper demeanor and giggled at having found music of Claudia’s she didn’t detest, even if she didn’t understand it.
[Claudia’s A/N: Elbereth, this fic was painful. And yes, I really do spaz out like that at blatant homophobia; I’m just not allowed to do anything about it in reality. Anyway... please tell us if you liked it... and send us (or a more talented PPC agent) possible targets... they don’t have to be Mary Sues; any kind of The Lord of the Rings badfic will do. Dedicated to the author of From Math Class to Middle-Earth; it’s quite astounding that they’re both seventeen, I’m sixteen and Ella’s fourteen or fifteen (Note to Self: work out better character chronology), and they’re that much more juvenile than we are. *shakes head sagely*]
[Ella’s A/N: Eck... that was bad. Anyway, dear, take the story down, please. It’s horrible. And, as a side note, I am going to attempt to get some of my kind of music lyrics in one of these at some point. Hehe... well, hope you liked it!]