Echo Kazul marched into the small room, slammed the paperwork down on the metal table with a loud bang, and growled under her breath.
Kat Daydream looked up at her human partner and twitched a feline ear. "Er, didn't go so well, I take it?" She had been sprawled in one of the two chairs in the sparsely decorated room, one leg dangling over the armrest and her tawny tail twitching as she played her Game Boy Advance.
Echo glared at her, her normally cheerful face dark. "Yeah. Sure I know that the PPC is severely understaffed, but . . . ."
Kat nodded in understanding. "We're still the All-Purpose Department in Fire Emblem, aren't we?"
"Video games are highly under-represented here," Echo grumbled, sliding into her seat. She began to list things off on her fingers. "Mary Sues, bad slash, implausible crossovers; we're still in charge of all of them in the Fire Emblem realm. If I had known when we started what a task we were undertaking . . . ."
Kat merely shrugged and went back to playing her Fire Emblem game, studying the canon again. She was proud of the fact that, despite her furry paws, she still had opposable thumbs. She was a cat-like humanoid, a Calgor, Echo had called her. She wore a simple robe, and was covered in soft tawny fur with a white spot on the tip of her nose. She had been an original character from a story Echo had started long ago and never bothered to finish. Instead, they were now partners in the Fire Emblem department, having started only a short while ago.
Of course, Echo was furious when she had found out that, due to staffing shortages, they'd just be referred to as the "All-Purpose Department of Fire Emblem." She tried to object, but it was rather difficult arguing with a plant. A Foxglove, to be exact, which is why Kat stayed behind. Foxgloves were deadly to cats, and one that talked had terrified the cat-girl to death. Echo tried arguing that he was perfectly harmless as long as Kat didn't try to eat the flower official, but to no avail.
Kat looked up at her partner's grumpy face and grinned. She knew just the thing to cheer Echo up. "Hey, I managed to swipe these for you!" She tossed a small purple package to her partner.
Echo caught it in one hand, and broke out into a squeal. "Ooh! Wildberry Skittles! My favorite!"
Kat was about to reply, when a loud sound caused her to screech and cling to the chair in alarm, her tail poofed to three times its normal size.
Echo frowned. "Aroogah? I thought the consoles beeped!"
Kat managed to somehow pry her claws from the chair's material. "Sp-splendid!" She closed her eyes, trying to calm herself and regain her dignity.
Echo looked over the screen. "Hooboy!" she frowned. "This one's going to be fun."
Kat opened her green feline eyes and looked curious. "So, what's our duty this time?"
Echo moved aside so that Kat could read the words on the screen. "Mary Sue. What a surprise!" she said, sarcasm dripping from each word. "It's not like there's any lack of those!"
"Ooh! I like those!" Kat said happily. "After wandering around a bad fic, halfway driven insane by bad grammar and out-of-character characters, there's nothing like the crunch of Mary Sue bones under your paws." She let out a low, evil chuckle.
"Yeah, yeah. Good kitty," Echo said absentmindedly, reading over the words closely. "Ooh, an angsty Amazonian Sue! She even calls herself an Amazon! And . . . what the . . . cousin to Eliwood?!"
Kat stopped, shocked. "How did that happen?"
"Sue-power." Echo nodded grimly.
"I'll go pack." Kat turned. She yanked an old duffel bag out from under her bed and plopped it down, causing stray fur to fly up from the mattress. It was a Mary Sue item she had claimed on her first trip, the kind that can hold a vacuum cleaner and still not burden the person carrying it. Which was a good thing, as Kat pretty much stuck everything in it. "How does that motto go? 'Always be prepared'? Sooo . . . lessee, pliers, duct tape, furbrush, bobby pins, Sharpie marker . . ."
Echo was busy typing things into the console. "Alright, as I don't especially want to hear the Mary Sue whining about her miserable existence and her powerful Mary Sue ways, we'll wait until after she 'mysteriously' gets zapped into the Fire Emblem world, right after she buys an old, mysterious, jewel-encrusted dragon medallion for THREE BUCKS."
". . . a pack of number two pencils, a fork, hmm, I think I'll probably bring this yo-yo with, too. You never know! Um, a pocket dictionary, half-eaten tuna sandwich, in case I get hungry, my catnip mouse . . ."
"As for disguises . . ." Echo tapped the console thoughtfully. "How about mages? There's just something satisfying about letting loose a barrage of lightning at an enemy."
" . . . I really don't know what this thing is, but I'll bring it along anyway. Giant wad of multi-colored rubber bands, my favorite rubber duckie, toothpicks, jar of buttons, a few birthday cake candles, some double A batteries, a capgun . . ."
Echo shrugged. "Very well. Mages we be!" She finished typing on the console, then bent over and picked up her small, already-packed bag sitting on the floor beside her. "Okay, lessgo!" she said as a portal hummed to life.
". . . a lone left tennis shoe, a Tupperware container full of paper clips, an empty floppy disk . . ." Kat looked up. "Huh?"
"That's good enough, kitty-girl!" Echo said, herding the Calgor towards the portal. Kat barely had time to grab her still-light bag.
It was night on the other side of the portal, they discovered as they were dumped rather ungracefully in the middle of a forest.
Echo glared at the portal. It was hovering a few feet off the ground and was tilted at an angle. "Okay, I know I didn't set it to tilt like that!"
The portal made a rude sound, as if taunting her, before disappearing.
"Grr . . . I'm going to have a few words with Make-Things after this!" Echo growled. "Why do I get all the temperamental machinery?!"
Kat spat out some grass. "Actually, I think everything is temperamental in the PPC." She stood up. "By the way, have I mentioned how much I hate being human?"
They were both dressed as mages now, although Kat was now a human with fluffy brown hair. Her teeth were still slightly pointed and her ears tapered off slightly, giving her a feline look, but she was definitely a human.
"Sorry. If the cast of Fire Emblem ever gets attacked by giant cats, I'll be sure to use that disguise."
"Feh!" Kat made an uninterested cat noise, then looked around. "So. Where are we, anyways?"
Echo's eyes were slightly glazed and unfocused, showing that she was reading the Words that made up the world they were in. "Um, well, it's just a little bit after the Sue wakes up in this world. After briefly wondering if somebody poisoned her Mountain Dew," Echo snickered at that, "she starts walking through the woods and . . ." here she stopped and growled.
"What?" Kat asked, raising an eyebrow inquisitively. "What happens next?"
"Why don't you look for yourself!" Echo snarled, and pointed downhill.
There was the Sue, complete with blue and white hair and purple-grey eyes, arguing with a certain green and silver-haired wyvern knight and threatening him with a switchblade, despite the fact that he was carrying a lance.
They had a stressful first meeting, the Sue not taking the news she wasn't in the US anymore very well. After a brief yelling match, they fell into a petty argument about their names.
"Can you tell me your name?"
"You tell me yours."
"I asked first."
"I asked second."
"Heath of Bern."
"Okay, first on the charge list." Echo glared daggers. "Making Heath argue like a second-grader!" She was furious. She absolutely adored the wyvern rider, and was rather protective of him. Him and Erk.
"Alright, then the second charge will be having purple-grey eyes," Kat joined in.
"And having blue and white hair," Echo agreed.
"And being stupid enough to threaten a lance-armed wyvern rider with a switchblade." Kat was getting warmed up.
"And having her entire family murdered by the butler," Echo raved.
"And . . . what?!" Kat turned to her. "The butler did it?"
"Don't you read the Words?" Echo scolded her. "Her butler went crazy and killed her parents and a few other families until their maid knocked him out. Megamaid, or something, I suppose. She was severely traumatized by the event, and has gone as far as to teach herself to sleep with her eyes open, as she's afraid somebody's going to kill her." Her voice dripped with mock sympathy.
"But, what good does sleeping with your eyes open do?" Kat asked, confused. "Besides dry out them out? I mean, you can't see anything when you're sleeping, eyes open or not!" She thought for a moment. "Say, and how would one go about teaching oneself how to do said feat? Tape one's eyes open before going to bed?"
Echo snickered. "Just imagine it! It's almost like she tortures herself!"
"Ack! Look out! They're heading this way!" Kat dragged Echo into the bushes.
Although the canon world protected them and made them invisible to anything canon (unless they made it so they couldn't help but notice them), non-canon characters could see them. And then they usually pointed them out to the canon characters, who then would be able to see them as well, and that usually didn't bode well for the two agents' health.
They watched, hidden, as the Sue and Heath walked by, arguing. Echo glowered and muttered dark things under her breath. It was times like this that she wished she had a Character Analysis Device, although it was pretty clear who was out of character and who wasn't.
Kat patted her comfortingly on the back, then suddenly grinned. Turning towards her pack, she dug around a bit until she found a straw. She glanced at it, and a very feline look of evil joy spread across her face.
"You're either very lost, or mad," Heath told the Sue hotly after rudely being told she was from Earth.
The Sue was about to angrily retort, when suddenly there was a pfft from the bushes, and something cold and wet hit her on the neck. "Hey, somebody's shooting spitballs at me!" she said accusingly after a moment.
Heath stared at her. "Definitely mad, then."
"No, I'm serious!" she said, staring suspiciously at the bushes.
At that moment, Lyn came "pushing through the bushes," distracting the Sue. She forgot completely about the spitwad.
Echo let her breath out and glared at her partner. "Thank goodness for Sues' one-track minds!" she said thankfully.
Kat looked proud and sheepish at the same time, still holding the straw in one hand. "Hey, you have to admit, you would do the same thing if you had a straw."
Echo just grumbled and turned back to the conversation. She almost wished she hadn't. After a four-sentence questionnaire, Lyn immediately asked Ariana to join their group.
Echo thudded her head against the tree trunk next to her a few times. "Okay, that's going on the charge list!"
"I didn't know Lyn spoke with a Japanese accent!" Kat remarked.
"Put that on the charge list as well."
Echo watched as Lyn and Heath started off to take the Sue immediately to their camp. "Grrr." She turned to Kat. "Got anymore straws?"
This time the Sue turned a strange shade of red as two spitballs hit her on the side of the face.
"There it is again! Yuck! I swear, whoever's shooting spitwads is going to die!"
Lyn stared at her coolly. "We don't have time for this! We must head back to camp!"
The Sue glared back one more time before following Lyn and Heath.
"Whew, that was a close one," Echo commented, standing up. "Not that I'd mind killing the Sue right now, after she messed with poor Heath like that . . ." she glowered for a second, "but the Upstairs really frowns on killing them before completing a full charge list."
"Yeah, I know," Kat said as she brushed her Mage's Robes off with feline precision. "It's just that . . . hello, what's this?" She pulled out a book from one of the oversize pockets in the robe. "Elfire."
Echo looked up. "Hmm? Oh! That must come with the whole 'Sage Disguise' thing. Look, I have one called 'Bolting'."
Kat squealed happily and hugged the tome. "Oooooh! I wuvs it, I wuvs it, I wuvs it!"
Echo rolled her eyes. "A pyro cat. Now that's scary! C'mon, kitty, we're falling behind!"
"Happy, happy, happy!" Kat squealed as she followed Echo, still hugging the tome. "I think . . . I shall name it . . . Ed."
"Er, you do realize it's just a book."
Kat glared at her partner. "Ed's not just a book, he's a book that'll allow me to sling giant fireballs! That makes him special!"
Echo rolled her eyes. "Ah. Forgive me." Then she stopped.
In just a few seconds of walking, they had reached the camp.
"Whoa! Where did that come from?" Kat wanted to know.
"Sue power," Echo said sagely. It was her answer for everything that couldn't be explained.
Sain came up to the Sue and gave his typical pick-up line. "Do my eyes deceive me, or do we have another fair maiden in your company?"
"Erg. That was bad, even for Sain," Echo said in disgust. "Leave it to a Sue to make even Sain's cheesy lines even cheesier."
"And he speaks with an English accent," Kat said, confused. "Which is supposed to sound a lot like Lyn's Japanese one!"
"You keep doing that and you'll scare every girl on Elibe away from you," Erk said from where he sat reading, speaking in an accent that was "American from the East Coast, like the New York district."
The Words then went into great detail describing him, from his clothing and staff to his "string purple hair."
Echo went speechless as Erk's hair turned to purple string, giving him a strange purple Raggedy Andy look.
"I'll put that one the charge list, dear," Kat said, patting her comfortingly. They had just started, and already both of Echo's favorites had been Sue'd.
"Actually . . ." Echo studied the new look carefully, "it's kinda cute. A plush-doll look!"
The Words went on to remind them that Erk had been speaking in a New Yorker accent, just in case the reader forgot this important detail, making Kat growl. She hated redundancy.
Then the Sue went off to tell Sain that her parents had arranged a marriage for her, a lie. Sain stammered an apology, shaken by the news, and told her that her fiancée was a lucky man, then took off.
Echo raised an eyebrow from where they were hiding. "What was that about?" She snorted. "As if that news would have stopped Sain! I mean, look at how he flirted with Lady Louise, even after he found out she was married!"
"Charge list!" Kat said cheerfully, writing it down in her notebook.
They watched as the Touching and Dramatic scene unfolded, wherein the Sue found out that she was Eliwood's cousin.
Echo turned away. "Oy. I'm going to be sick."
"My first fried Sue!" Kat said happily, thumbing through the Elfire Tome.
"Forget the tome already!" Echo sighed. "C'mon, we have a few hours until nightfall, when she falls asleep, eyes wide open."
"Creepy." Kat shuddered. Suddenly she stopped. "Heeeeyyyy, wait a moment! It was night when we arrived half an hour ago! What happened to day?!"
"Sue powers!" was all Echo said.
An hour later found Echo and Kat a ways from the camp, as they eventually got creeped out by the Sue sleeping and staring. Echo was currently propped up against a tree, listening to music with her headphones. She looked content, quite satisfied to take a break and relax.
Kat, on the other hand, was far too excited to rest. She finally found a target to practice her newfound power on. She grinned evilly at the unsuspecting creature. "Hehehee. Prepare to breathe your last, unfortunate one, for Kat Daydream, Ultimate Sage, is about to rain doom upon you! ELFIRE!" Her hands shot dramatically up in the air.
She waited expectantly. Nothing happened, except the beetle she had chosen scurried away.
She lowered her hands and poked Echo. "Eeechooo!" she whined. "It didn't work! Why?!"
Echo sighed and removed her headphones. "I would guess it's because you're not a Mary Sue."
"Mary Sues are capable of learning the most complex arts in mere minutes. We, on the other hand, learn things in normal time, sometimes taking up to years to learn things. If magic were as easy as just owning a tome, even Sain would be slinging fireballs around. I'm sure it takes years of learning." Echo leaned back and put on her earphones again.
"Stupid tome," Kat muttered, kicking the book. After a moment, she picked it up and put it in her robe's pocket again. "Well, I suppose it'll be a good paperweight. That's all it's good for, after all!"
Echo opened one eye. "If you're bored, you can go down and find a few more charges. Shouldn't be hard with this Sue."
"Alright," Kat agreed, bored more then anything after having lost interest in her Elfire Tome.
She picked her way down to camp, then, after a moment's thought, walked through it. After all, the Sue was asleep, and the canon characters couldn't see her.
She gave a start when she saw the Sue staring at her from were she was lying on the ground, but then remembered the creepy habit of sleeping with the eyes open. She then settled down to observe Matthew dig through the Sue's bag as Eliwood, Erk, and Guy watched.
Amused, she watched Matthew accidentally turn on the CD player and drop it in surprise. She frowned when Erk told him to just hit the "Off Button," and wrote in her notebook of charges, already a good list.
"Giving Erk knowledge of 21st century technology..." she wrote. "Bad, Sue. Bad!"
She snorted as Matthew examined a bottle of a red soda, later to be identified as Mountain Dew: Code Red. Rebecca wandered over and commented on how it might be explosive, then wondered what it tasted like.
"Making Rebecca an idiot..." was written down.
They dug deeper and found some photos and newspaper clippings about the Sue's tragic past, which Eliwood read aloud.
"I wonder if Eliwood could read English . . ." Kat wondered aloud. She finally settled for "Making Eliwood read a newspaper." She'd have to ask Echo about that one.
"Making Erk a mind-reader..." was the next charge. Kat chuckled. "'You're dreams aren't all that interesting...' Go Erk! Bet Echo would've liked that one."
She added one more charge, making Erk dream about shoes, before closing the notebook and heading off to poke around camp. She glanced sideways at the sleeping Sue, and suddenly grinned evilly. She dropped the Sue-pack she was carrying, dug through it, and pulled out an already-opened pack of Bubblicious, grape-flavored with two pieces missing.
"One of the few perks of being human," Kat said happily, popping a piece in her mouth and chewing while eyeing the Sue's blue and white hair.
Kat plodded back into their own makeshift camp, where Echo was folding up her sleeping bag. "Got some charges!" she said, a little too happily.
"Lemmesee." Echo took the notebook and glanced over them, wincing a few times. "Erg. Think we almost have enough to charge her now."
"Are you sure?" Kat asked nervously. "I don't want to be called Upstairs because they thought we left out a few charges!" She shuddered.
"The Foxglove Official is actually pretty nice once you get to know him," Echo said absently. "But . . . I suppose you're right." She sighed unhappily. She didn't want to stay around this Heath-hating Sue any longer than she had to.
"Feh." Kat snorted. She brightened up. "Hey, I know something to cheer you up! Let's go watch the Sue wake up!"
Echo looked at her funny. "And I would find that enjoyable because . . . ?"
"Because I think this is just enough time for the chewing gum to have set in really well." Kat looked innocent.
They went back to spying on the Sue. It was rather funny watching her try and pry out the bubble gum, but, with her Sue-like powers, it took a depressingly short amount of time before she was back at work, destroying the canon.
Echo glared at her when she stole Eliwood's sword as he slept to practice while Kat wrote down the charge.
Echo glared at her as she insulted and stared down Raven while Kat wrote the charge down in her notebook.
Echo glared at her as the Sue easily beat a dagger-wielding original character named Shadow using, as the Sue described it, Karate. Kat continued to write the charges down. Her notebook page was getting pretty full, between the multiple charges and her doodles, consisting of everything from happy sun faces to pictures of a Sue stick figure in various tortures.
Echo continued to glare as the Sue nobly saved the life of Shadow's sister, Spirit, and let them both go, claiming they were "honest people." Kat wrote down the charge of being incredibly stupid and forcing Eliwood and Co. to release hostile enemies, before going off to help Echo kill the two support characters.
As soon as they had left the Sue's presence, the support characters had basically no life. Thus, they didn't object much as Echo took the elegantly carved dagger from Shadow and slew the both of them. They hid the bodies in the underbrush, then continued to follow the Sue.
Echo decided to glower instead of glare as the Sue took part in her first battle, killing six or seven characters before collapsing. Kat wrote down several charges there: doing Matrix moves, child abuse for making archers point their "boys" toward the sky, and dealing the final blow to the leader and making him wheeze out a cryptic message in his dying breath.
"Look at him." Echo's voice was wistful and admiring.
"Huh?" Kat glanced up.
"Heath," Echo told her, not taking her eyes off of the green-haired wyvern rider. "She's been so mean to him, yet he's still chivalrous enough to carry her unconscious body by wyvern-back. Look how concerned he is." She snorted. "Pity wasted on a Sue, what a waste of time, poor Heath!"
"Well, I'm not sure I can make that a charge..." Kat said thoughtfully, "but I'll try it."
If Echo had disliked the Sue before, her feelings blew into pure hatred when the Sue woke up.
Heath had been flying with the Sue across Hyperion's back. He smiled as the Sue woke up. "Good. We were getting worried."
The Sue's face turned pale. "Oh, dear god, no!"
Heath, surprisingly still in character, looked concerned. "What's wrong? Are you scared of heights? We can land if you want."
"YES!" the Sue screeched.
"No! Go higher!" Kat cheered.
Heath quickly landed, then turned to her, still concerned. "Are you alright?"
The Sue turned to Heath, furious, and began swearing a blue streak as she yelled at him for sticking her on some "dragon."
"Hey! Look, it was easiest to transport an unconscious body by WYVERN-back." Heath growled, emphasizing the "wyvern" part. He was obviously getting annoyed, but was doing the best he could to remain courteous.
The Sue merely replied with some foul language, calling Heath multiple names (including "Enstine").
Kat had seen what was coming in the Words, and quickly dragged the speechless Echo away.
Heath frowned at the sudden rush of words that had made Kat suddenly want to wash her mouth out with soap. "You've got some language there," he muttered.
The Sue had slapped him.
"THAT'S IT!" Echo strained forward with blood in her eyes as Kat tried to hold her back. "She is SOO dead! C'mon! Leggo! I'M GOING TO RIP HER APART!"
By some miracle, the Sue couldn't hear her. Probably because she was yelling herself, still bashing poor Heath.
Kat was surprised at her partner's strength, but somehow managed to restrain her. "Just wait! Heath is out there! If you march out there now, we'll have to fight him, Hyperion, and the Amazonian Sue!"
Echo settled down just a little. She was no longer rabidly trying to run forward to rip out the Sue's throat, but she was still plenty mad. "I think we have enough charges! I say we kill her now!"
"She's going to march off on her own in a moment! We'll jump her then." Kat was getting pretty sick of this Sue as well. Besides, she knew Echo pretty well—after all, she was her author—and knew that it really didn't matter if she agreed or not, this Sue was going to die in a few minutes.
Sure enough, after a last parting shot at a much abashed Heath, the Sue grabbed her bag and marched off.
"Now," Echo said darkly.
Both agents stepped forward and each grabbed an arm of the Sue.
"What the . . ." The Sue was confused. "Who are you?!"
"The last two people you'll ever see," Echo said darkly. "Ariana Ryder, you are hereby charged with having oddly colored eyes and hair; with having the butler murder your family, just so everybody feels sorry for you; with giving the entire cast of Rekka no Ken some type of improbable accent; with messing with Erk's hair and making him a mind-reader; with being Eliwood's cousin; with bringing twenty-first century technology into the Middle Ages; with stealing Eliwood's sword; for beating people up with karate and using Matrix-like moves, and most of all, with messing with Heath, making him argue like a second grader, swearing at him and calling him names just for being nice to you, and slapping him! The penalty is, I get to kill you." She brandished Shadow's dagger and her eyes glinted dangerously.
"Any last words?" Kat wanted to know. "Sorry, anything dramatic or sappy not allowed."
The Sue recovered from her surprise and glared at them. "You'll never take me alive!" she screamed.
Breaking free of their grips, she turned and slammed her foot into Echo's stomach, who promptly fell backwards and sat down hard, the wind knocked out of her.
"Rrreee-yow!" Despite her human form, Kat managed a very convincing feline cry of rage as she pounced on the Mary Sue. They struggled for a bit, the Sue determined not to go quietly. Kat quickly fished around for a weapon, and grabbed the first thing that came to hand: Ed, which must've fallen out of her pocket.
Grabbing the Elfire Tome, she swung it as hard as she could.
The Sue was spread out flat on the ground, unconscious, a nasty bump already forming on the side of her face.
"Th-thanks!" Echo gasped, standing up as she caught her breath.
Kat just stared at the tome before squealing and hugging it. "Oooh! I wuvs it, I wuvs it, I wuvs it!"
Echo nudged the unconscious Sue with her foot, then a grin slowly formed on her face. "Oh, I have the perfect thing for you, dear!" She grinned nastily at the unconscious Sue.
A little while later, they had sneaked into the camp, the limp Sue slung over Echo's shoulder. Kat had already thoroughly explored it, so she knew exactly where the stables were.
Echo walked up to a stall and dumped the unconscious Sue in it. "Hyperion, baby!" she cooed. "Guess what mommy brought you! The nasty Sue that was so mean to Heathy-chan! Are you hungwy? Huh, boy? Are you hungwy?"
Hyperion growled his satisfaction, and there was a crunching noise.
Kat looked disgusted. "And you complain when I eat a mouse!"
"Mice aren't Sues," Echo said with satisfaction.
A/N - What can I say, she slapped Heath! This is probably one of the Sue-iest Sues I've ever seen, though I have noticed the author took her story down and is currently re-writing it. Hopefully it'll be better second time around. Other than that, I must admit that the grammar and spelling wasn't all that bad, though there was that weird obsession with accents.