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01 August 2008 @ 09:48 pm
Mission: A Promise To Be Kept Part Two  
First Part

___

Trojie and Pads fell through the portal into a dark, dank room that reeked of rusty metal and oil.

"Where the hell did you pick the coordinates for THIS place up from?" Trojie asked Pads irritably, but only on autopilot, for behind the glasses her eyes began to pick up their usual Discworld acquisitive gleam. She moved over to a rack of halberds and pikes as though she were being pulled on an invisible string. Pads tugged her back towards the back wall of the Armoury.

"Not that way. This way. Pikes later. How were you planning on stealing a fourteen foot pole arm, anyway?"

"It'd fit in the Bag," said Trojie defensively. "What's back here anyway - oh. OH!" Her eyes were round with excitement. "We can't! We'll get in SO much trouble..."

"We're going to have to go back for that Bag, you realise," said Pads, adding, "More trouble than we're already in, you mean?"

"...probably not. And yes, I know, but I need it."

"And you need this too. I know you want to take it home. Go on, it's over there..." Pads shoved Trojie in the direction of something leathern, on wheels, and from which a distinctive smell of ... paraffin? Kerosene? Lighter fluid? was emanating.

"You know," Trojie commented, peering perhaps unwisely down the nozzle of the Klatchian fire engine, "if we got to use these all the time, being an Assassin wouldn't be so bad..."

"It'd mean almost no time snarking at badly written sex..." said Pads hopefully.

"...maybe not."

"But you're always complaining about that bit. Isn't it your most hated part of the job?"

"Most hated. Most loved. Same thing. It wouldn't be the same job if I didn't get to rip people's fantasy lives apart."

"Remind me never to recommend you as a marriage counsellor."

"Are we taking any other weaponry?" asked Trojie hopefully. "Only I can see a very interesting looking thing over there that looks like it might be part of a trebuchet ..."

"We don't need a trebuchet for one Sue."

"But-"

"No."

"If we-''

"No."

"How about a pike?"

"You can have one pike."

"Only one?"

"You've only got two hands."

"And a disguise generator! I can have as many arms as I like!"

"One pike. Now come on, portal time." Pads wheeled the fire engine out into the middle of the aisle and waited for Trojie to choose a pike. Watching the hamhanded woman weave around the armoury trying not to knock things over with said weapon was entertaining, but finally she got it next to the fire engine, and grabbed the Remote Activator.

"You'd better give July and Library this RA back before the end of this mission," said Trojie, opening a portal. "They need one too."

The two women stepped through the portal into their RC, grabbed Trojie's Bag. and portalled back to the Disc. They stepped out, Trojie trying to wrestle her fourteen foot souvenir into the Bag ...
________________

...And were immediately set upon by an irate teenaged girl in the uniform of the Ankh-Morpork City Watch.

"How the hell could you abandon us do you know we went through SEVENTEEN CHAPTERS OF THIS GARBAGE‽" The far shorter July was violently shaking Trojie; it was almost comical, aside from the suggestion of froth around the edges of her mouth.

"July, get off of them!" Library was trying, and failing, to detach her partner from the Bad Slasher.

"THEY LEFT US ALONE!"

"July! You're yelling!"

July paused for a moment. "It might have been okay for you, you had a book! And you can play card games!"

"It's not my fault you don't know how to play Euchre," Library told her partner.

July, however, ranted on. "And do you know how long it took us to get to Ankh-Morpork? Do you? HOURS. HOURS AND HOURS. Driving across freaking TEXAS takes LESS TIME. AND THEN WHEN WE GOT HERE-" July stopped, looking completely rattled. "I don't think, if we get another Discworld mission, I'm going to use a Watchman disguise. Ever again."

Trojie looked at July slightly concerned, and then turned towards Library. "What happened?"

"Nobby Nobbs."

"Aaah."

"'Nuff said," said Pads, doing something esoteric to the fire engine. "We brought an assassination method for you, aren't you pleased to see us?"

"No," said July defiantly.

"We brought a pike!" said Trojie, hauling it out of the Bag and promptly tripping over it.

"What on earth gave you the idea that we needed a fourteen-foot stick with a spearpoint on the end of it?" Library asked.

"Er... We brought you a Klatchian hots with anchovies!"

"You stole it, didn't you," July accused, refusing to be distracted from her righteous wrath.

"No."

It was turning into a Floater tagteam against Trojie. "For no good reason."

"No."

July prodded the bag with her foot. "And you snuck back to HQ to get your Bag?"

"No."

"Explain how you have it," Library said.

"Er... Plothole?"

"This isn't getting us anywhere," said Library. "We really ought to get on with this."

The actual getting on took a bit of time, since Trojie occasionally kept tripping over the pike or otherwise stabbing it into the cobbles and brickwork of the city.

"Where're we going, again?" Pads asked.

"Never told you earlier," July said, angrily using the sledgehammer to smash a pile of crates out of the way.

"Tell me now, then."

"Small Gods."

"Wouldn't going on a main steet take us there faster?" Trojie suggested, as she bashed through a window while trying to turn with the pike. "As opposed to the tight and cramped alleyways?"

"More likely to end up seeing a Watchman on the way then."

"What does that have to do with the price of fish?"

"Nobby Nobbs is a Watchman."

"Yes, and...?"

July turned and glared fiercely at Trojie, who wisely decided to leave this potentially-traumatizing tale for a more suitable, and public, moment.

The mixed group of Agents marched faster towards the Temple of Small Gods.

"DEAR GLOD ALMIGHTY!" roared Trojie and Pads in almost perfect unison.

"What has she DONE to the Temple of Small Gods?" Pads asked in a tiny voice afterwards. "What has she DONE?"

"She's ... shrunk it," Trojie whimpered. "And there's no dome, and no statues..."

"And she's spelt insufficient wrong," added July, still scribbing charges down.

"And the door's all small and 'unremarkable'," said Trojie sadly. "She's so obsessed with things being ordinary that she's RUINED the Temple of Small Gods."

"It's okay," said Pads, squinting at the words. "It's closed. She's going to find another temple now, right?"

"Wrong," said Library dolefully. "Death gets it to open up speshul for them."

"Argh."

"Seconded."

"Thirded."

The Agents stared for a moment at the small church that had replaced the large canonical temple.

"So, how're we gonna deal with this?" July asked.

Pads waved the nozzle of the Klatchian fire engine in the air.

"Right. Stupid question." July studied the charge sheet for a moment. To the casual observer from a few feet away, July's contributions to the list of charges looked legible. Within reading distance however, that illusion disappeared completely, and one might as well have been trying to read ancient Sumerian with no background in ancient languages. She twisted the paper around as she read it. "Hey, looks like we have a lot of geographical aberrations," she noted.

"So this is a DOGA mission," Pads said, triumphantly.

July looked up from the increasingly confusing charge list. "Eh?"

"Floaters get leftover missions, don't they?"

"Um, yeah."

"And you said this girl's racked up a lot of geographical aberration charges."

"Uhuh."

"So therefore, this is a DOGA mission."

"What's that have to do with anything?"

"That means we're burning everything," Pads beamed.

"Pads, we're not Pyros." Trojie said, poking suspiciously at the uncanonical door with her pike.

"No, but they're Floaters on a DOGA mission, and we're helping. And we have to do this right, don't we?"

Trojie caught on. "Oh, yes. Right."

"And that means fire."

Several minutes later, inside the church...

“All right…let’s see…ah…we are gathered here to day to witness the union between…oh..” He stopped and looked up at both of them. “What are your names?”

“Er…Elizabeth Shaul…um.” She looked sideways at Death, who was eyeing her nervously.

“And your name um…sir?” He asked, as he tried to focus on the other figure in the room.

UM…

“Door!” Elizabeth said quickly.


Just then, four Watchmen very dramatically kicked the door open and came in, with a shout of "For the love of Pterry and in the name of Canon, unhand that anthropomorphic personification!". Or at least, that was the plan. What actually happened was that, in trying to come in all at once, they got stuck in the doorway, along with the pike that one of them had accidentally driven into the ceiling and the Klatchian fire engine the tallest was trying to drag along.

Finally, however, the smallest one of them squeezed out of the jumble, only to trip over the cocker spaniel that was right next to the door.

The rest managed to enter without getting further entangled or tripping over the dog.

"I thought you said Narrative Imperative would make us come in at the right time," the one who had tripped over the dog said, swearing as she got up.

The tall woman with the fire engine shrugged. "I never said it'd be the right time for a dramatic entry."

The only one of them that seemed to have retained some sense of composure sighed. "It seemed to be more of an awkward entry, than anything."

The last woman in the group was too busy attempting to remove the pike's tip from the ceiling to say anything.

"We object! We object!" cried the tallest. "There are lots of reasons they should not be joined in holy matrimony. Not least the fact that a modern Christian wedding service is entirely inappropriate on the Disc."

The priest stared at them. "Actually, we passed that line a while ago."

"Oh. Well, in that case..." the woman started pumping fluids through the fire engine. The one with the pike abandoned it for a second and leapt.

"No, Pads! You can't burn down the Temple of Small Gods!"

There was a small scuffle, during which time the short woman and the more composed one marched up to the dais, putting on sunglasses. First they grabbed the priest.

"You, sir, should be sleeping. No-one came in here to be married, either."

FLASH.

He was summarily bundled under the altar, snoring, and the Agents turned to Elizabeth. They were joined by the other two, who pointed their now-disentangled weaponry at her menacingly.

"Elizabeth Shaul?" asked the woman with the fire engine. "You're coming with us."

"We'll handle Death," said the composed woman. "We'll meet you at the Unnamed Village, alright? And no setting fire to it before we get there."

A blue glowing portal was opened, and the two older women immediately grabbed Elizabeth and dragged her through.

The other two looked at Death, and then at each other.

"July?" the one who had been calm asked.

"Yes?"

"What would you say an angry skeleton looks like?"

"Probably a lot like that," July said, looking back at the slowly approaching Death.

Library turned slightly. "The portal is still open," she stated.

"Is it? That's good."

The two turned as one, with July shouting and swearing as they scrambled through the portal just before it closed.
_______________

On the other side of the portal, things didn't seem to be going well either.

"Shit, I'd forgotten how Glod-damned strong these bitches are," said Trojie breathlessly, trying to wrestle the indignant Elizabeth into submission. "I'm used to nice, compliant Elves!"

"Hold her still," said Pads, trying to aim the nozzle of the fire engine at the Sue.

"Hang on, hang on," panted July. "You can't kill her, we still have to charge her!"

"Do it fast, cos she's about to strangle me," said Trojie. "If someone can chuck me my bell I'll have a shot at concussing her."

"Elizabeth Shaul, also known as Mary Sue," began Library, as Pads unwillingly let go of the fire engine and threw Trojie her bell. The Bad Slash agent clonked the Sue across the back of the head, and then sighed with relief as she stopped struggling. "You are charged: with annoying music at the beginning of chapters; putting Albert and Death out of character; forgetting periods-"

"Full stops!"

"-for Death's sentences; making Death say anyways; creating noncanonical locations, EG, that town that you never bothered to name, the Harkenville River, and an accompanying ravine; creating Grazel/Hreen; spending far too long describing how plain you are; being able to walk five miles in less than half the time it should take, thus compressing geography and creating a geographical aberration; saying 'per say'; obviously not having a beta; making really stupid bit characters; stating the obvious over and over; describing cigarettes as foul - that's really not a charge, Pads."

"So?"

"Continuing on: making Death, when functioning (to all intents and purposes) in his usual manner, pay specific attention to a living and not even mortally wounded human; using Death as an exposition device to reveal that you are orphaned; making Death care about you being orphaned; causing Death to not know a particular mortal's name; having made no attempt at britpicking whatsoever; making ridiculous Pythonesque plot points in an apparently serious story; using the American 'Mom' as compared to the British 'Mum'; making it seem like Death was propositioning you; making Death have an interest in fashion and decoration; making Death's Domain look like a 'damn Gothic country mansion'-"

"It's a small house!"

Library ignored Pad's interruption. "Making Death seem really shallow; giving yourself an angsty but loving past; attempting to make yourself seem unique and nonconformist despite being as average as can be; woobifying Albert; in-story author's notes; making up weak excuses for marrying Sue to Death, not understanding what a weed is-"

"What?"

"July added it."

"That's kind of a pathetic charge."

"Look, it's just one of those things, okay? Dandelions are flowers that are only considered weeds because people would rather have a lawn of grass than of yellow flowers. Weeds are just unwanted plants. Plus, pretty much all plants have flowers. She said weeds aren't flowers, which is more or less patently untrue. Only conifers don't flower. I know this because July spent most of a game of Solitaire ranting about it."

"I bet the Flowers would be so impressed."

"...Shut up," July said.

"Can I continue?"

"Oh, er, yeah. Mind hurrying up?"

"Where was I...? Ah, yes. Trying and failing to sound profound; having an narrative voice that sounds like a cheap Korean imitation of Terry Pratchett; having poorly delineated flashbacks; continuously using 'your' in the place of -"

"Okay, I think that's more than enough charges!"

"That's not even half of the charges," Library corrected.

"Not even half? What the hell were you two doing, reading every single thing she did?"

"It's not like I had much choice," July said. "Considering you two took the damned Remote Activator!"

"Well, it's just as well we stop there, because July's handwriting was completely illegible for all of the later ones."

"That's nice," Pads said, as she returned her attention to the fire engine. "Fire time now?"

"Yes, Pads, fire time now," said Trojie, extricating her pike and smashing things with it.

"Why are you doing that?" asked Library, taking charge of the Sue. "She's just going to burn it anyway."

"Wanton destruction is fun!"

"You're both mad," said July, as smoke started to rise from the buildings.

After a while, Pads ran out of fuel, and also out of flammable scenery. She pouted, then wrestled the fire engine into the Bag and grabbed a tree branch to make a torch out of. She lit it, and thrust it under the Sue's nose. "Time to burn the Sue?"

"No," said July, hefting the sledgehammer. "You don't get all the fun. This is my mission. Stand back!" And she hefted the sledgehammer professionally and swung. Once. Just once.

"'My mission'?" Library wiped a drop of glitter from her cheek, and stepped away from the Sue as she turned to look at July.

"Erm, our mission. Ours."

"Of course. Come on, we should get back. It should start to disappear now that she's dead, anyway. And give me back the Remote Activator, please," Library said, turning towards Trojie, who sheepishly complied.

July looked around their ravaged surroundings. "Hey, Library?"

"Yes?"

"Didn't you say this should all start to disappear now that she's dead?" July kicked a smoldering plank of wood.

"Yes. Why do you ask?"

"Mainly 'cause it's not disappearing."

The two older Agents exchanged significant looks. "Did you two take care of Death?" Trojie asked.

"Um, no." July turned towards Trojie. "Mainly since he looked angry and we figured that killing the Sue would work since she'd be... dead..." July trailed off. "Oh."

"Er, we might need to do something about that," said Trojie. She swallowed nervously. "Do neuralysers even work on Death?"

"They're going to have to, aren't they?" said Pads, a great deal more bravely than she felt.

Library pulled July aside for a moment, whispering something in her ear. "Okay, plan," said July tentatively. "We probably won't get terminated with extreme prejudice, if we do this."

"Do what?"

"Open a portal, shove someone out to neuralyze Death and then run away back through the portal again?"

"You're insane."

"Think of a better idea."

"Can't."

"Well then."

Unfortunately for the Agents, they had no chance to think of a less insane plan, or even put their insane plan in motion, as Death chose that moment to ride in on his white horse. He did not look especially happy, inasmuch as the Agents could discern any expression on his skeletal face. In fact, he looked rather angry.

"Y'know," July said conversationally, after she swallowed air and began to back up, glitter-stained sledgehammer still in hand. "I never thought Death would kill me. Figured it'd be old age, or a really weird accident."

Pads muttered something under her breath; the only word the Floaters could make out was 'curtains'. Trojie, even though confronted with a canonical horse at less than ten paces - something that would ordinarily have consumed all her attention - was chanting 'stercus, stercus, stercus, moriturus sum' in a high-pitched squeak. Library was reaching for her neuralyzer as Death dismounted. He unholstered his scythe.

HOW DARE YOU KIDNAP AND KILL MY WIFE? boomed Uncanon!Death. UNHAND HER AT ONCE

"Er ... no?" said July in a wavering voice. Death stalked closer. The Agents were now backed up against a charred house.

Uncanon!Death took one more pace ... and then there was the noise of bone clicking on stone ... and the real Death walked towards them, carrying a cat.

Agents and Uncanon!Death turned as one to stare.

WHO ARE YOU? Uncanon!Death questioned.

BUGGER THAT, WHO ARE YOU? the second Death asked.

The Agents stared in shocked silence.

This seemed to throw the Uncanon!Death off. ERR...

I THOUGHT SO. Death went over to the Uncanon!Death and reached outwards with a bony hand.

Very suddenly, there was only one Death, who turned to the Agents. I BELIEVE THIS IS YOUR CAT. Said cat was purring in Death's arms, and stopped purring immediately once it was given to Pads. Death reached over to peer at the Sue, and made something that, for a skull, was probably a face of extreme distaste. The scythe flashed in the light of the burning town. Then he turned back to the Agents.

"Um." Library looked down to the neuralyzer in her hand.

I SEE. IF WE COULD HURRY UP WITH THAT, THEN? THERE IS A MARY SUE IN ANKH-MORPORK I MUST PICK UP. The Agents were still staring in shock. FROM A SCORPION PIT, Death added.

They donned their sunglasses and there was a brief FLASH.

IS THAT IT? Death asked.

"Um, yes?" July looked over to Pads and Trojie. Trojie shrugged.

I SUPPOSE THAT WILL DO. COME, BINKY.

With that, Death and his white horse left.

The four Agents stood and watched him go, fiery hoofprints fading in the air.

"So, HQ?" asked July. She opened a portal. There were a few interesting moments as all four Agents and the cat tried to get through the portal at once, but at last they managed, and fell in an ungainly heap in July and Library's RC, the cat landing smugly on top.

"It'd be really nice if I ended up higher up in the pile, for once," a muffled voice said near the bottom.

Trojie picked herself up off of the top of the pile, sending the cat to leap onto the stool, and letting the other three disentangle themselves.

"That was an... interesting mission," Library said, once she had stood up and smoothed her skirts down. "Though I'm not sure why we bothered to neuralyze Death."

"Maybe he thought it'd make us happy or something," Pads shrugged.

"Was weird, more like," July opined.

"Why didn't you two bother to use either of your CADs at all?" Trojie asked as she closed her Bag. "It would have been nice if we'd found out that was a fake Death a bit earlier."

July stared at her backpack for a moment. "...Forgot."

"I wonder how he got out of the plothole he must have been in," Library said.

"It's Death," Pads told her.

"That really doesn't say anything."

"Of course it does." Trojie picked up her Bag and grabbed her partner by the arm as she began to move towards the doorway. "Now come on Pads, we should really get to the Cafeteria, and maybe we'll see you both later? Bye!"

"Uh, bye?"

"Goodbye."

Several minutes passed before the two Floaters noticed something was missing.

"She took the flaming snotball!"

"Thank goodness."

____

And here is the story, if you are really curious.
 
 
 
(Deleted comment)
Agent Tomato: Bip!agent_tomato on August 2nd, 2008 01:59 pm (UTC)
Well done! How dare they mess with Death...grr...
Lycaenion: it's bleedin' demisedlycaenion on August 2nd, 2008 06:24 pm (UTC)
Wonderful. The mission was just about entertaining enough to stop any homicidal rages from occurring at the fact that the Suethor buggered up Death. *twitches*

"Now why are you cackling, you mad woman?"

"'What's wrong with her? She's beautiful, she's rich, she's got huge... tracts of land,"

I actually thought the same exact thing when I saw that line before you wrote it. Python freaks think alike, I suppose. :)
JulyFlamejulyflame on August 2nd, 2008 07:35 pm (UTC)
That was one of Trojie's many, many contributions. Cowrite. XD
Adagio: PPC- Elf vs Elfdracorn_adagio on August 3rd, 2008 01:52 am (UTC)
There is something very wrong about the idea of Discworld Sues. Very wrong. Thank you for killing it.