"I don't want to be back at work," Jay understated.
Acacia looked a bit wistful as well, but what she said was "At least we did get a vacation."
Jay nodded, and perched precariously in her seat, trying very hard not to look comfortable.
Acacia gave her an odd look and sprawled. (She was one of those people. She could make herself at home on a wire.)
"DAMN you, Acacia!"
"It's not my f—oh. Universal Laws of Comedy. Damn."
Jay relaxed into her chair resignedly, and accessed their latest target.
She stared at the screen. She blinked. She looked at it again. "I thought we only had to deal with fics in English."
"What? There must be a glitch or something; foreign-language fics are supposed to go to people who speak the languages.. what language is it anyway?"
"I'm not sure. Read this."
Acacia got up and peered over Jay's shoulder. "So... no glitch." She groaned. "'Why does thou intently gaze upon me as'—dammit, if they can't do archaic language correctly, why do they bother pretending?!" This was one of the Cardinal Sins According to Acacia, though not quite on a level with "Messing with Boromir." She stepped away from the screen as if the floor had offended her, and started getting her gear together.
"My brain hurts." Jay slammed her head firmly against the wall. "Aaah. A little better." She hadn't unpacked from her vacation—all she had to do was throw out what wasn't Duty-related, and she was ready to go.
"So what are we going to be? She spends the entire time in Rivendell..."
"Elves again, then?" Jay squinted at the screen again, mentally rearranging words into some semblance of grammar. "BLOODY... another child of Elrond!"
Acacia sighed. "Typical trait of the Mary Sue in Denial: offspring of one or more canon characters."
"This prince both she and 'her sister Arwen' like—who are they talking about?"
"At least it's after the War of the Ring. Thank gods for small favors. Even if they're very small."
"You know, this may be outside of our jurisdiction..." Jay thought for a minute. "Does it make any mention of Legolas leaving for the Sea, or not?"
"Then it's out of canon. Otherwise..." Jay shrugged. "They'd be perfectly safe."
"But still pathetic."
"Naturally. But out of our jurisdiction." Jay sighed. "Someday they're all going to catch on and start writing after the War."
"I only wish. Let's go."
The portal opened. The portal closed. They were gone.
"Oh gods. It's painful even just to be here." Acacia sighed. "And that sort of compressed-up feeling... you know? I hate when they don't separate their paragraphs. It makes my head hurt."
"I agree," Jay stated. Then blinked. "Em?"
"I... I'm not sure," Jay stated. "Something's wrong."
"Why do you keep stating things?"
"That's it!" Jay stated. "Er, I'm not sure." She took a deep breath, and closed her eyes. "How many cups in a gallon?" she stated.
"Oh, gods... I hate when this happens, too," Acacia stated.
"Oh, no, it's happened to you, too!" Apparently, there were suddenly no other words to describe speaking. Said, asked, wondered, snarled, and all their ilk had been thrown out the window.
"Is this enough already to kill her?" Acacia stated, despite the fact it was a question.
"The fact that Legolas is stuck in Rivendell is enough to kill her."
Acacia nodded. "So... do we get her at this feast?"
"Acacia, you're the poisons expert," said Jay.
Acacia blinked. "You said something!"
"Yep. There are three instances of 'said' to draw on. Two left, so be careful."
Acacia nodded. "Let's go see what she's doing right now first, shall we?"
"If we must."
"So I see you've grown since I first met you Mithril." Stated Gandalf. "Hello father, Gandlaf." Mithril stated bowing politely.
"Gandlaf," stated Acacia quietly. "Good grief."
"Her... name... is MITHRIL?" Jay made slitting motions across her wrists.
"Sadly, it seems so," stated Acacia.
"I had a disturbing dream," Mithril was stating to her father and 'Gandlaf.' "I saw Gandalf, a small... halfling with a ring, three others, Aragorn, another man, a dwarf, and I believe I saw prince Legolas... though it's been ages since I've last seen him... They were traveling to... well; I dare not say it here... I dreamed about a verse, and it was repeated to me in the dark tongue, elfish, and common tongue..."
"ElVish!" Acacia stated hotly. "Get it right!"
"I saw more ellipses than even we use," Jay stated. "And... would that be Quenya? Sindarin? What?"
"And it's the Black Speech, the ditz."
"Bugger." Jay shook her head. "When's the feast?"
"You expect me to judge time?" Acacia was trying not to use taglines anymore because she was sick of stating everything. "In this place?"
Jay shrugged. "This conversation ends, then she gets—" the Protector's shoulders began to heave with repressed laughter, "—made up by her servants, with lipstick, rouge, and all."
Acacia checked the words. "Dammit, we may want to avoid looking at her face. You know what happens if you look at something that's two things at once."
"What do you mean?"
"'Red tainted yet silver'? 'Silver yet pink'? You know things can't be two colors at once, it really hurts the eyes if someone tries it."
"Maybe it's like those shirts that go purple or green depending on the angle?"
"It says—sorry, states—nothing at all about the angle."
"I realize this. Silvery-red? Which would be pink?"
Acacia shook her head. "No, not half-silver-half-red, both red and silver."
"Blaaah." Jay thought for a minute, then grinned. "Do you have a skin contact poison with you?"
"With me? No. And I can hardly go back to Headquarters and get it."
"You know we're not allowed back until we finish the job."
"Tell you what. Where do you keep it?"
"With the rest of my stuff. Which is where I keep everything." Acacia considered. "Well, there are bound to be poisonous plants somewhere around here. We could always replace, say, the lipstick berries with something else."
Jay's eyes raised. "Heeeeeey. I was going to suggest the same thing." She grinned. "Great minds roll in the same gutter."
Acacia smirked. "Yes, but what does that have to do with you?"
"Fah. You do not know the depths of my mind."
"Or your insanity."
"This looks about right," stated Acacia, taking a few dark but shiny berries off a plant.
"Nice." Jay stated quietly but loudly. "We'll have to apply them ourselves, but it's worth it."
"Why will we?"
"So as to not put anyone else at risk. Her servants—since when have elves had servants?—don't deserve it."
Acacia nodded. "Agreed." She grinned. "And we can mess with her whilst so doing."
They were waiting for Mithril when she came back to her room. They "bathed her in perfumed and soaps that were probably worth a small fortune., they rubbed oils on her body," as the author had said.
"This is really pathetic," Jay stated sotto voce.
Acacia shrugged. "It's made more bearable by the fact that I put poison ivy in the oil. Or didn't you notice that?"
Jay raised an eyebrow, and quickly washed off her hands. "Time to put on the 'low cut yet modest' dress..."
Jay couldn't look directly at the contradictory dress, but it was apparently "a pure white gown that sparkled like moonlight. The dress was long and trailed behind her, it shimmered silver, it had small specks of light like stars, it had long sleeves, and was low cut yet pretty modest."
The makeup was problematical. Acacia's berries did not in fact leave a "red tainted yet silver shimmer," so Mithril was likely to suspect something was up if the original ones weren't also used. It is very hard to put makeup on properly when looking at it is painful.
Jay found a small cache of berries that made her eyes hurt, and passed them to Acacia, along with the equally painful silver-yet-pink blush. She herself put on the "wilver" shoes with embroidered flowers on.
"Wilver!" she stated, quietly, when Sue was distracted. "The ninth color."
"Tenth," stated Acacia. "You forgot urple."
"Yes... and there are how many colors normally?"
"Eight. Or weren't you counting octarine?"
"Aah. Sorry, forgot it."
"What speaketh you of?" stated the Sue imperiously. Jay winced.
"We were-eth praising thou's great beauty," stated Acacia in the bad archaic English of the Sue.
She fluffed her long wavy hair, accepting this as her due.
"Hie thee to the feast," Jay said. Mithril blinked. "That means go—um, -eth."
The silver-elf-girl slowly walked towards the dining hall. Soon after she had gone, a Random Elf came to the room, ostensibly to tell Mithril to come to the feast.
"This is my daughter Mithril Starlight many call her the lady of he light." Stated Elrond.
"My Dear Lady on a collapsible crutch! Make the periods go away!"
Jay was frankly traumatized, hearing that grammatical mess come out of her favorite's mouth.
Acacia laughed. "Call the doctors / Call the nurses / Give me a breath of air / I've been reading all your stories but the periods aren't there..."
"Nor the commas, nor the semicolons," Jay appended to the poem.
Acacia grinned. "Okay, the main plot deviation is her keeping Legolas in Rivendell, so we only have to wait until he turns up in the story... won't be long."
"Look, there he is. Oh, how sweet, he's pulling out her chair for her." Jay of the morbid curiosity drifted closer to catch their conversation. Acacia, of course, followed.
"Elrond was right to name you Mithril, you are more valuable then gold and you are silver just like it." Legolas whispered in Mithril's ear.
"I thank you, Milord." She said inclining her head a little.
"Please, we've known each other since child hood, call me Legolas." He whispered... quickly?
Acacia thwacked her elven head with some handy silverware to numb the pain.
They kept on like this:
"Why does thou intently gaze upon me as such?" She asked.
"You're beauty and knowledge surpass even Mithril, I think now that I've gotten reaquainted with you." Legolas stated.
"She surpasses herself? Or she's smarter than a piece of metal?" Jay blinked. "I'd argue that last point."
Acacia nodded. "While it is not that hard to be brighter than a lump of metal... I don't think she is."
"I thank you for your kind words, but thou doth dares to lie in front of thy maiden." Mithril stated, softly this time. The Protectors couldn't help noticing that she was also fidgeting, as if plagued by an itch.
"Lie, you must be jesting. Thy beauty is indescribeable, you are quite breathtaking." Legolas was still stating, and now he was stating "truthfully."
"I wouldst not speaketh so, for thou knows not the confliction in thine heart."
Acacia cringed. "Painful..."
"If thou believes that I care deeply about you, and if I think you care very deeple for me, then wouldst I be wrong to speaketh so?" This time, Legolas managed to ask.
"Deeple? Deeple?" Jay blinked. "Oi, we're almost at the end of the fic!"
"Deeple..." Acacia shuddered repeatedly.
"Thou wouldst speaketh correctly, but thou is still ignorant. For thou must know thine own feelings well, and thou must also know my own." Mithril stated passionately.
"THAT DOES IT!" Acacia stated. "Thou ART, it's thou ART!" She realized she was being stared at.
"This has gone far enough," Jay stated, rising to her feet. "Thou wouldst not speaketh correctly, it seems." This was addressed to Mithril. "But I agree, thou is ignorant." This was met with gasps. Legolas rose.
"Thou doth dares to insult the lady of the Light?"
"We dare to do more than that. Acy, charge her."
Acacia smirked. "With a will. Mithril Starlight—" she snorted derisively— "it is my duty to inform you that you are charged with disrupting the canon by being the OTHER daughter of Elrond, interfering with the characters of Elrond, Arwen, Legolas, Gandalf—Gandalf, m'dear, not Gandlaf—and various Random Elves, wearing self-contradictory clothing and makeup, using a really damn stupid name in defiance of common sense and good taste, really stretching the laws of probability in conjunction with those of genetics with that hair of yours, and keeping Legolas in Rivendell against canon just so he can fall in love with you," she stated, and took a breath because she'd said all that in just one.
Jay nudged her partner. "You missed some." She took her own deep breath, and added "Cruelty to the common comma, wanton and willful ignorance of grammar, the mangling of archaic English, the complete altering of the Elven class system and traditions, and being one of the Suest of Sues I have EVER ENCOUNTERED in THREE YEARS ON THE JOB."
"I dost knoweth not of what thou speaks." The Sue stated haughtily.
"You don't need to," said Acacia sourly, and notched an arrow.
Mithril should have run, or dodged, but she seemed strangely slow-moving. Acacia shot her through the throat.
Legolas jumped towards them, reaching for a bow that wasn't there—and then, dizzy, sat back down again. Jay walked around the table, calmly slung the corpse over her shoulder, and grabbed a piece of Generic Food to munch on. (After all, even though it was a banquet, the Sue had never mentioned eating.) A few elves stood up, looking threatening, but Elrond motioned at them to sit back down.
"So," said Acacia, glad of being able to say things again, "what do we do with her?" She considered. "Something in the vicinity of Moria would be poetic justice..."
"Why would it be?"
"Mithril?" said Acacia, smirking.
"Ah. Muahaha," Jay chortled, reveling in the lack of stating. "Don't want to feed her to the baby, it'd die."
"And the Balrog's gone by now." Acacia shrugged. "We could just toss her down the chasm and have done with it."
"Yes." Jay finished her Generic Food, and with her free hand fished around for the remote activator. It was, of course, in the opposite pocket. "Damn. Acacia, please reach under Mithril and grab the activator?"
Acacia did so, and handed it to Jay.
Jay opened the portal, and they stepped into darkness.
"Do you have the flashlight?"
There was the thud of a body hitting the floor, and the sound of someone rummaging through a well-stuffed sack. A moment later, a dazzling beam of light illuminated the room.
They had arrived just at the now-broken Bridge of Khazad-dum. Without further ado, Jay picked up Mithril and tossed her down the chasm.
Acacia listened to the few thudding noises caused by the Sue hitting the walls on the way down, and smiled. "Shall we get back?" she wondered aloud.
Jay nodded, and opened the last portal. "Wow. That was short."
"As I said: thank gods for small favors."
[Jay's A/N: It was short! Thank the deity of your choice, it was short! Oh, what magnificent shortness! Of course, I looked at the author profile, and she's written some dozen stories, all with one chapter...
For an exercise in true badness, I suggest actually reading "Mithril." Marvel at the lack of coherence. Truly appreciate the art that is Bad Fic. See the word "stated" more times than "said" and "asked" combined!
And, as always, please read, review, and send us targets.]
[Acacia's A/N: Yes, this was a short chapter, but as Jay said, the fic was shorter still.
Jay recommended reading "Mithril"? Read the MST; it's less painful and you'll get the full text anyway. Oh, and the author of the MST, Elfsheen, is making a website to host all the MSTs that are being taken down now that they're banned. If you MST, get in touch with her. Thanks go to the reviewers and the authors who write fics bad enough to be deserving of PPC attention.]