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Trap for the Heart

Echo studied her hand of cards, then shook her head. "Sorry, go fish."

Kat's eyes glazed over. "Mmm . . . fish . . . ."

"Kat!" Echo complained, rolling her eyes. "This is why I don't like playing card games with you! All you want to play is Go Fish, then you start drooling every time 'fish' is mentioned!"

"I can't help it!" Kat defended herself, her feline ears laying back on her head in annoyance. "I'm hungry, and fish sounds really good right now!" She thought for a moment. "How about we put the game on hold and head down to the food court to grab a bite?"

Before Echo could answer, a loud [AROOGAH] startled both of them, causing them to jump back in surprise.

"Well, that answers that question," Echo told the still-slightly-poofed-up Kat as she walked towards the console. "Duty first. We'll grab a Twinkie afterwards."

"But I'm hungry now!" Kat whimpered.

"Don't you have anything to eat in your Sue-bag?" Echo said absently as she read over the incoming fic. "It seems like you have everything else in there!"

"Well, yeah, I do, but it's my emergency rations," Kat patiently explained. "Being I'd probably only eat it if it were an emergency! Do you actually think I'd leave anything good in there?"

Echo didn't seem to hear her last comment, her frown increasing with each passing moment that she read the fic. Finally she looked up, looking seriously annoyed. "Guess what? It's a tactician romance."

Kat momentarily forgot her hunger. "What?! Oh, no, not another one!"

Tactician romances were the scourge of Fire Emblem and a major headache for the two agents. Not only did they have to kill the Sue, but then they had to find the actual tactician, who was trapped in one of the plotholes of the story.

Echo nodded grimly. "And I bet you can't guess who's she's after. I'll bet you just can't! It's Uther."

Kat stared. "Uther? As in, Hector's brother? The one who dies?"

"Yup!"

"Alright, the man is dying, for crying out loud!" Kat complained. "Can't the Sues just leave him in peace?"

"Well, obviously . . ." Echo quickly checked the Sue's name, "'Alina' can't!"

"We're not even in the story, and I already have the first charge," Kat said darkly. "Having a Sue name!" Suddenly her ears perked up. "Ooh! Ooh! Can we be archers this time? Huh? Can we?"

Echo glanced up from where she was typing in the commands at the console. "Hmm? Oh, why not?"

"Yay!" Kat said happily, pulling her Sue-bag from underneath her bed. "I think archers are fun!"

"Kat, you think almost everything is fun!" Echo commented absently, punching a few buttons on the disguise console. "And . . . there! We're set to go!"

A portal whooshed open, and Echo reached down to grab her bag. She checked in it for a moment, making sure everything was in there, then glanced at Kat. "Well, tally-ho and all that, I suppose?"

"Yup!" Kat said cheerfully, hopping a few times to show her readiness.

The agents then turned and went through the portal, ready to face the horror of yet another Sue.

This time both of them managed to remember the portal's odd tendency to tilt at a forty-five degree angle, and somehow managed to adjust their landing as such, though it was rather difficult.

"Remind me to talk to Make-Things about that!" Echo said, glaring at the disappearing portal. She absently straightened the bow strapped to her back to a more comfortable position before picking up her traveling bag.

She looked pretty much the same, tall, blonde, though now she was dressed in the typical archer's uniform. Kat was in the same uniform, but was a little bit shorter and had more of a mane of auburn hair.

"Can do!" Kat said cheerfully, her rather pointed canines showing in her broad grin. She had already unstrapped her bow and was admiring it, occasionally putting an invisible arrow to it and pretending to shoot.

Echo glanced around. "Okay, we should be pretty close to the place where the Sue is, skipping merrily on her way, just to run into bandits."

"Hmm, an original plot device!" Kat said sarcastically, lowering her bow. "'Lust Object saves Beautiful Girl from Random Bandits Who Pop Out Of Nowhere so that they may Fall in Love."

"Ah, yes, the Random Bandits Who Pop Out Of Nowhere." Echo nodded pityingly. "Poor things, always being used as plot devices by Sue writers; they're usually ugly, stupid, and have a tendency to Leer. Then, once the Sue writer's done with them, they're gone for the rest of the story. They should form a support group or something!"

"RBWPOON Anonymous?" Kat suggested as they walked. She started talking in character voices. "'Hi, my name is Frank.' 'Hi Frank!' 'I'm a Random Bandit, but it's been two weeks since I've last badgered a helpless traveler!' 'Yayyy! Go Frank! You're an inspiration to all of us, Frank!'"

"Ahem." Echo cleared her throat. "Um, if you're quite finished, we're there! So silence before the Sue sees us!"

"We're there?" Kat asked, confused. She glanced through the trees that they were hiding in. Although this was supposed to be the plains, the trees were there so that the Random Bandits Who Pop Out Of Nowhere could, well, pop out of them.

The Sue was currently standing there as the bandits circled around her, leering.

The Sue, although she admitted to feeling "scared" and "resigned," was doing her best to look "calm" and "serene." The Leader of the RBWPOON, a class almost needing a support group of his own, for some reason always spoke ironically.

"What do we have here?" he asked ironically.

The Sue tried to defend herself valiantly. When the Leader of the RBWPOON said that she'd make a good hostage (once again, saying it ironically, even though they didn't even know if she knew anybody who was rich), she pulled out a stick that she kept in her bag and threatened them with it.

Echo and Kat glanced at each other.

"Okay, first question! Why carry a stick in your bag?" Echo asked, eyebrow raised. "If you're going to carry the extra weight of a weapon, make it worthwhile, at least! Like a dagger or something! And facing off against ten bandits armed with real weaponry with a little twig is really going to cause them to shake in their boots!"

"And she's praying to Lord Athos to save her?" Kat said, amused. "Does she think he has super-hearing or something? What, does she expect him to swoop down in a Superman outfit out of nowhere and beat them up?"

"Ew, Kat, I really wish you wouldn't say stuff like that!" Echo winced. "Athos in spandex . . . ." She shuddered and whimpered. "I think I'm mentally scarred!"

"Well, I'll add calling on Lord Athos as a deity to the charge list, at any rate," Kat said, totally unaffected by this image. Sometimes there were perks to being feline.

The Sue, predictably, smacked the Leader in the face with her stick, hiked up her little skirt, and fled.

And, predictably, the bandits chased her.

And, also sadly predictable, the Sue's Lust Object, Lord Uther in this case, swooped down from nowhere to rescue her.

The Sue did her best to fight off her share of the bad guys with her little stick while trying to admire the man from the corner of her eye.

Kat frowned. "Say, isn't poor Uther supposed to be dead by now? This is after Nergal was defeated!"

Echo glanced at the Sue, glaring. "Yeah, by my calculations, he's been dead for, oh, say, about a year. Seems like our little Miss Sue here resurrected him so that she may flirt!"

"It's sad, really . . ." Kat said, glancing at the battle, where the Random Bandits were getting pretty much flattened.

"Okay, Kat, do your thing!" Echo growled. "I think it's time we give this Sue a big a headache as she's about to give me!"

"Aye, aye, cap'n!" Kat said, giving a quick salute and smile.

She turned to her Sue-bag and dug around in it for a while, looking for the things she needed.

Exactly one minute and forty-two seconds later, she was straining at pulling back a long strip of rubber (used to be a rubber inner tube) tied between two trees, making a very large, effective slingshot.

When she was as far back as she thought she needed to go, she grinned. "Say nigh-night to da Sue!" she said happily, letting go of the rubber, which snapped forward like a giant rubber band. The brick that was in it, needless to say, flew straight at the Sue at a very high velocity.

The Sue didn't even know what hit her as the brick bounced off the back of her head and flew straight up in the air. Of course, this would have killed pretty much anybody else, but, using the Way of the Sue, she was spared that of yet and was just knocked unconscious.

"Well, that was a good shot!" Echo said, admiringly. "Did you see the force of the impact? I'd say she flew forward at least six feet!"

"That was fun!" Kat chirped happily.

"It was rather satisfying!" Echo nodded, grinning. She turned her head and glanced at her partner, about to say something else.

Unfortunately, within the next few seconds, the world around them shimmered and the plains were replaced with a busy city.

Kat glanced around, surprised. "Wha . . . happened?"

Echo looked just as surprised, then began to read the Words, trying to figure out where they were. "Um . . . it seems like the story just jumps straight to Ostia, then!" she said, eyes slightly unfocused.

Kat glanced around, confused. "This is Ostia?!"

Echo had been more concerned with reading the Words than surveying their surroundings. "What do you—ack!" She noticed what Kat had been talking about. "Since when has Ostia been the shopping capital of the world?!"

The once noble city of Ostia had now, indeed, become a swarm of discount stores, shoppers, and strip malls.

"That is soo going down as a charge!" Echo growled, scribbling furiously on the charge notebook.

Kat glanced at the castle. "Hmm . . . ya know, the Sue's in there. Shall we go investigate?"

"Let's. Sooner we charge, the sooner we kill!" Echo said rather cheerfully.

They discovered that the Sue was being kept way upstairs. Kat "borrowed" two sets of the maids' clothing. They changed, then waited outside the door for the Sue to awaken. As they were in the castle of the Marquess of Ostia, they assumed the Sue wouldn't think the least of them being there. Well, less than two archers hanging around her door all the time. That might have gotten her a little nervous.

Echo did have a little trouble convincing Kat to give up her bow. She clung stubbornly to it and hissed at Echo every time she tried to take it, but they finally compromised, and Kat stuck it in her Sue-bag so that the Sue couldn't see it.

"Where . . . am I?" The Sue was starting to wake up.

The three men who were in the room with her stopped talking.

Well, all except one, who was supposedly a physician named Ashton, but would sometimes use phrases like "you fall down." Right now, he was explaining to the others that the poor Sue may have "temporal amnesia" and may not remember anything.

So, of course, to prove him wrong, the Sue immediately bounced up and exclaimed how good it was to see the Marquess Ostia again!

"And she's met him how many times?" Kat asked, slightly confused. "Once? And yet she's able to recognize him mere seconds after waking up from being knocked unconscious for supposedly several hours!"

"And to bounce up all happy like that!" Echo growled. "No headache or side effects whatsoever! 'Concussion' seems to be an unknown word in the Sue world!"

"Well, you have to admit, 'concussion' is pretty much an unknown word in any video game as well!" Kat pointed out. "Look at how many times the main characters get knocked out, beaten up, or dragged around, and I've yet to see one case of it!"

"True enough!" Echo agreed.

The third man, a knight named Irving, seemed unhappy that she was here. Why, how dare she interrupt the Marquess?!?!

"Ack! Too much punctuation!" Echo yelped. "Take cover!"

Random punctuation suddenly began to pour down out of nowhere, raining on the poor agents.

"Ow!" Kat whimpered, rubbing her head as an exclamation point hit her especially hard.

"No, not one of these Sues!" Echo moaned. She had been trying to shield her head with her arms, which now sported a nice bruise.

The people in the room didn't seem to notice anything off. Lord Uther was explaining to Alina how they had heard there were bandits in the area, and they decided to investigate.

"And now I know that?!?!" the Sue thought to herself not-so-quietly.

"Hit the deck!" Kat yelped as the punctuation began to rain again. "Here comes another burst!"

"Ow!" Echo was smacked by another question mark. "Hey!"

Somehow they made it through the first conversation, which went a lot better after Kat dug out two umbrellas from her Sue-bag. There were only a few more outbursts of punctuation, but they were a lot more tolerable now that they just bounced off the fish-print fabric.

The Sue, on the other hand, just began to get under their skin more and more. When Irving, "the disgusting man," as she constantly called him, told her that he used to be a rather good tactician, she wondered to herself how great could he be, he didn't help defeat Nergal like she did!

Then Ashton decided that the Sue needed lots and lots of rest for her wounds, despite the obvious lack of pain she was in.

The summary of the entire conversation that followed was that Lord Uther said that she would stay here at the castle, Irving protested, and Lord Uther said that he could do whatever he wanted because he was the Marquess.

Echo almost expected him to stick out his tongue afterwards.

The Sue wanted to stay at an inn, but Uther said no, she might try to escape. The Sue was disappointed, as she had been planning to do just that. Uther said under no circumstances was she leaving until Ashton said she could, then they left so that she could sleep.

"Ooookaaay!" Echo said, in slight disbelief. "I think it's safe to say we've lost Lord Uther! He's pretty much just keeping her prisoner!"

"He's so out of character, I bet he would've fried one of those devices I kept accidentally breaking, the whatchamacallits!"

"The Character Analysis Devices?" Echo glared at her. "Yeah, I remember them! Handy little things, makes this job so much easier! Too bad we're not allowed to have them anymore, eh?"

"Not my fault they make them so flimsy!" Kat defended herself.

"Lord Uther, what is happening to you?!?!" Irving suddenly demanded down the hall.

"Punctuation hail!" Echo yelped. "Umbrellas up!"

The two agents barely made it in time before the exclamation marks and question marks began another brief hail.

"This is really starting to get annoying!" Kat complained.

Irving and Uther argued for a bit. Irving (with the silent support of both Echo and Kat) was all for tossing the Sue out on her bum.

Uther was adamant, though. Alina was staying, that was final! He glanced at the disgruntled knight and asked him what he was going to do now.

Irving replied that he was going to "revise" her later.

"Um . . . ." Kat looked to her partner for an explanation.

"Got me!" Echo shrugged. "I have no idea what he meant by that either!"

Meanwhile, in the other room, Alina decided that she couldn't stay here. She was too much of a burden to Lord Uther! So she grabbed her cloak and decided to leave. Walking to the door, she opened it to find Lord Uther, the disgusting Irving, and Ashton there, along with the two maids that were obviously assigned to her room. Strangely enough, the maids were each holding a strange device that looked like a round piece of cloth with fish embroidered on it on a stick.

Unfortunately for her, Uther saw her as well. "Alina, what are you doing here?!?!"

"Umbrellas up!" one of the maids cried, and both maids quickly held up their "umbrellas" as black markings fell out of nowhere.

Alina didn't really notice this, though. She was too busy with Uther. She tried to convince him that she was just going to an inn, that she was much better, but at the very moment she said "better," her leg almost gave out.

Lord Uther caught her and helped her back into bed, all the while scolding her.

Alina looked sorrowful and promised not to run away again, but the moment the Marquess closed the door, she began plotting her escape again.

"The little liar!" Kat glared at the closed door.

"Yeah, well, at least we're done with the punctuation storms for a while," Echo stated, folding up her umbrella and shaking it to make sure she got every last punctuation mark off. "But I'm quite sure we'll be needing these again."

"Ooh! Let's go commandeer a room!" Kat said excitedly.

"Well, we ought to stay fairly close to the Sue's room," Echo said thoughtfully. "She's going to be trying a lot of escapes, and I'd like to be there to charge her!"

It took a bit, but they finally found the perfect room. It was right next to the Sue's, and they could quite easily keep an eye on her from there.

It was getting late, and they decided to settle in for the night. Kat had brought along all the conveniences of home in her Sue-bag except running water, so they were quite comfortable. They were both currently seated across from each other, playing a card game.

Echo glanced at her cards, studying them carefully. "Hmm . . . nope! Sorry! Go fish."

"Mmmm . . . fish!" Kat's eyes glazed over again.

"Kat!" Echo tossed down her cards in frustration. "That's it, I'm not playing any more!"

"Sorry!" Kat protested, wiping the corner of her mouth with her sleeve. "I can't help it! I'm still hungry!"

"Well, head down to the kitchen and get something to eat!" Echo rolled her eyes.

"Already did!" Kat complained. "But I'm still hungry!"

Suddenly she froze, her eyes fixed on something behind Echo.

"Er, Kat?" Echo waved a hand in front of her friend's face.

"Shh!" Kat prompted her, not taking her eyes off of what she had seen. Slowly, she slid off the bed and began creeping forward.

"Wha?" Echo glanced at her partner in confusion, then looked behind her to see what held her attention so.

There was a small mouse bathing under the windowsill.

"Kat, no!" Echo yelped, grabbing the feline-turned-human just as she launched past her at the mouse. This did trip Kat up a little, allowing the mouse to squeak in surprise and dash away.

"Oh, no, you don't!" Kat hissed, breaking free of Echo and giving chase.

Crash!

"Kat! Down! Bad kitty!"

Alina sat and stared at the wall on the far side of her room. What in the heck?!

The next morning, Echo wasn't talking to Kat.

Kat was too preoccupied to notice, though. She was perched on top of a dresser, keeping close watch at the base. "C'mon, little mousey!" she purred. "Just show one little whisker! Come on out, little mousey!"

It was kind of weird to see a human maid crouched on top of a dresser like that, staring at the floor with all the intensity of a feline, but Echo supposed she'd seen odder things. A perk of being a PPC agent.

"Mouseeeey! Heeeere mousey!"

Echo groaned and gave in. "Would you quit that?! You've been at it all night! I'm sure that there's an entire network of mouse tunnels attached to the hole he ran in. He's probably way over by the library by now!" She had just finished packing up her things and grabbed Kat. "Now come on, kitty! We have to stalk the Sue!"

"B-but!" Kat sputtered as she was dragged unwillingly away, still reaching for the dresser the mouse disappeared under. "My mouse!"

Echo rolled her eyes. "Just pretend that the Sue's a big mouse!" she said in exasperation. "Er, without the eating part, of course!" she added as an afterthought. One never knew with Kat.

Kat stopped struggling, but followed, pouting. "Aww, you never let me catch the mice!"

It was just a few seconds before they reached the Sue's room and peered in. Lord Uther was already there, having brought the Sue's lunch for her.

The two of them were making small talk. Lord Uther chided the Sue when she called him "Marquess," telling her to call him just Uther.

"That's a charge, isn't it?" Kat asked Echo.

"Yup!" Echo growled. "He's known her for one whole day. That's not a good reason to throw away his title!"

"And she seems to have something against short people," Kat noted. "She keeps calling Irving 'that short guy' and 'he's disgustingly short'."

"So add 'prejudice against shorter people' on the charge list," Echo told her. "What I want to know is how Irving 'looks' Uther's back all the time. Does that mean that he looks like it?"

"Those weird phrasings are all over the place," Kat noticed. "I wouldn't dig too deeply into it."

Echo would have answered, but she seemed to be in some sort of shock. The Sue, complaining about the horrible-tasting soup that the doc had prescribed, had just said that it tasted no different from wyvern soup.

"Wyvern soup?" Echo whispered, a cold fury in her voice. "And how does she know this? Does she actually eat wyverns?!"

"Echo! Shh! She'll hear you!" Kat said worriedly.

"Hyperion is not just a slab of meat to be eaten!" Echo snarled. She was almost as protective of Heath's wyvern as she was of Heath himself. "How dare she eat one of those noble creatures like some common chicken?!?! The filthy little Sue!!!!!!"

"Echo!" Kat yelped, diving underneath a nearby table as the exclamation and question marks rained down in torrents. "Aw, dangit! We forgot the umbrellas in the room!"

Echo didn't even seem to notice the punctuation storm she just caused. She merely glared at Kat, a cold resolution in her eyes. "You, stay here and charge the Sue. I have to go do something. It won't take me long." With that, she turned and stalked back towards their room.

"Grab our umbrellas while you're there!" Kat called after her. She knew better than to try and question her partner when Heath and his wyvern were threatened.

"Bloody Sue! I'll teach her to eat one of Hyperion's kind!" Echo grumbled, yanking her remote activator out of her bag. Grabbing a piece of paper, she quickly scribbled a brief note on it. She tied it around a rock, then roughly pounded a few buttons on the poor activator. A portal appeared on the floor in front of her, and she reached over and dropped the rock into it and waited for the response rather smugly.

It didn't take long. There was a brief moment of silence as the person on the other side read the note, then an ear-piercing screech of rage, then the sound of random objects being hurled around in a storm of fury. The rock flew back out of the portal with such force that Echo had to duck so that it wouldn't hit her.

She picked it up and untied the crumpled paper tied to it. She raised an eyebrow at the strong language, then grinned. This Sue was so doomed!

Kat settled back and continued to watch the Sue and Uther chat, both somehow remaining unaware of Echo's quick tantrum.

The Sue was complaining that if she went to work for a Marquess, they might abuse her powers to start a war. That was against her morals.

"A war?" Kat whispered to herself. "Well, she certainly thinks highly of her skills!"

Uther was slightly offended by the Sue's comment on Marquesses, so the Sue quickly changed the subject, asking what he was doing at the point of her rescue from the Random Bandits.

"And this is your concern because . . . ?" Kat asked, raising an eyebrow. "You know, you are talking to a Marquess, dear Sue. His affairs don't really concern you!"

Of course, Lord Uther didn't even bat an eyelash at telling the Sue his business. He had been in a meeting with Lord Pent and Lady Louise.

The Sue questioned him about them.

Lord Uther shrugged and said they were doing fine.

The Sue became a little annoyed with Lord Uther, complaining that all men were the same! She wanted the big, juicy details, the latest gossip about them! The baby, Erk, how they were doing!

The Marquess was taken aback by her tone of voice. The Sue noticed her mistake a little too late and stuttered an apology.

The Marquess accepted it, saying that it must have been a result of her "condition," then stood up and left, not even noticing the pointy-eared maid sitting next to the door and eavesdropping on their conversation.

Kat chuckled as she watched him brush past her and stride down the hallway. "Really, she claims to be the tactical genius that Eliwood and Hector trusted their lives and the lives of their comrades to? Seems a little slow to me!"

Kat had almost fallen asleep at her position by the door when Echo reappeared, looking rather smug.

"Oh! Good!" Kat grinned when she saw her partner. "You're just in time for Uther to bring Alina her tea in a few minutes. I put down the charge of turning Lord Uther into a servant, along with being a pompous idiot. About time you got back anyways. I was getting tired of talking to myself, and the Sue's just laying there, not doing anything interesting. What did you do, anyway?"

Echo blinked as she processed the sudden rush of information, then grinned nastily, taking a seat next to Kat. "Oh, I just sealed the Sue's fate." She glanced over. "You say that Uther is bringing the Sue's afternoon tea? I think I can hear him coming."

Sure enough, Uther strode down the hall again, carefully balancing a cup of tea, then stopped at the Sue's door and knocked on it, completely unaware of the two maids sitting on the floor just a few feet from him.

"You know, I know some people who would kill to be so close to Lord Uther like this!" Echo said thoughtfully as she gazed up at the Lord towering above them.

The Sue called for him to enter, and he did so. There were a few moments of awkwardness, Uther still uncomfortable in the role of nurse, as he had a right to be. He handed her the cup of tea, and she took it, grumbling that she hoped it tasted better than the soup.

At the mention of the soup, Echo ruffled up again, but avoided another outburst.

Uther sat down on the bed, muttering that this was rather interesting.

The Sue, obviously a little hard of hearing, turned to him. "What?"

Uther glanced at her, looking surprised. "What what?"

"What?" Kat looked at her partner, confused again.

Echo shrugged. "I have no idea what!"

"Then why the whats?"

"What's wrong with the whats?" Echo suddenly looked humorous.

Kat grinned. "I just want to know what's up with all the whats!"

"Which what has you confused?"

"Well, who said which what might help!"

"Or when which whats were each uttered!"

"Er, what?"

Both agents glanced at each other, then broke out into chuckles.

If they weren't already in a such a good, if spontaneous, mood, it was only made better when Uther accidentally knocked the cup of tea all over the Sue, soaking her with the steaming hot liquid.

She cried out in pain and burst into tears. Uther, not really sure what to do, handed her a napkin and left, muttering that he'd go get Ashton, the doctor. He stopped and turned to her, asking her not to cry, as "it didn't suit her."

Kat watched the Sue try to hold the soaked cloth away from her body admiringly. "Really, we couldn't have done any better! I should go congratulate Uther for a job well done!"

The Sue changed shirts after Lord Uther left, then, glancing out the window, noticed Fiora flying around outside.

"Well, coincidence upon coincidences!" Echo said dryly. "What a lucky Sue!"

"It is called 'Plot Device'." Kat nodded sagely.

The Sue finally got a hold of Fiora's attention, who then flew up to her window. After a joyful yet brief reunion, the Sue asked Fiora if there was enough room in her "falcion" for her.

"Falcion?" Kat looked perplexed. "That's . . . a sword . . . isn't it?"

"Marth's, if my memory serves me right." Echo nodded. "Apparently, it's been reconstructed into some sort of flying vehicle."

Unfortunately for the Sue, Uther returned with Ashton at the key moment when she was half in, half out of the window, trying to climb on the "falcion" so that she could escape.

Ashton commented dryly that "she seemed better from her leg," which Echo hoped meant that she was better away from her leg, and that would give her an excuse to cause the Sue some pain, but Kat quickly talked her out of it.

The doctor told her then to get out of there (the Falcion, apparently, was a vehicle you rode inside of), and return to bed. Fiora flew off, and the doctor scolded her, telling her that she could collapse at anytime and she needed rest.

"Ah, poor, ignorant Ashton!" Echo lamented, shaking her head. "What the good doctor doesn't realize is that she's a Sue, and as such, mere mortal wounds mean nothing to her, they're merely a plot device."

The doctor sternly told her that she needed to stay in bed, then they left the tearful Sue to rest.

As nothing really interesting happened after that, Echo and Kat decided to raid the kitchens for a quick meal. Of course, that really turned out much more interesting than it needed to be when Kat discovered her new-found arch-nemesis, the mouse, down there.

Echo questioned how she even knew it was the same mouse that had been in their room as she sat perched on a counter, munching on a sandwich and swinging her legs idly against the lower cupboard doors.

Kat merely grunted that you could tell by the beady eyes as she crouched patiently in front of the cupboard that the mouse had disappeared under, ignoring the poor kitchen maids that were huddled in a corner, staring in fright at the "mad maid" who had nearly destroyed half the kitchen while chasing the mouse.

It was rather late at night when Echo finally managed to drag Kat away from the kitchen back up to the Sue's room, where Fiora was trying to wake her up for another escape attempt.

The Sue finally woke up, and Fiora handed her a disguise and instructed her to meet Matthew downstairs. Fiora then hopped in the window and stared pityingly at her pegasus.

"Poor my falcion, he's out of state!" she said.

"Okaaaay . . ." Echo said, scratching her head. "How does that even begin to make sense?"

"Perhaps the Falcion was manufactured out of state?" Kat suggested.

"But that would mean that he was made in America, and is thus uncanon!" Echo protested. She sighed. "Why does this hafta be so complicated?!"

Of course, the escape attempt was a complete disaster. The Sue, following Matthew while disguised, caught her reflection in a window and decided that she looked a lot like Leila.

She was so busy fantasizing about this that when they did run into Lord Uther and Irving on their way out (as Echo knew that they would), she slipped up when they asked her what her name was, and she almost said Leila. She quickly changed it to Lena, but it was too late. She was found out, Matthew was deeply hurt by her insensitivity, and she got sent back up to her room.

Of course, once she got back up there, Fiora scolded her quite well, which Echo and Kat normally would have cheered on, except while scolding her she was causing quite the punctuation hail and Echo had completely forgotten to grab their umbrellas back in the room.

"Ow!" Kat complained, rubbing a sore spot caused by an exclamation point.

"Oh . . . good . . . Fiora just flew off!" Echo groaned, picking a dot from the end of a question mark out of her hair. "That should be the end of the rain. Good. I'm getting a bruise for the record here!"

Unfortunately, Echo was wrong about that being the end of the rain of punctuation. The Sue immediately tied her sheets together and tried climbing down. Of course, Uther would come in, and see her.

"Alina, what are you doing down there?!?!?!?!?!"

From behind him, the two maids suddenly cried out.

"Aggh!"

Echo, thinking quickly, grabbed a blanket and they both ducked underneath it. It didn't help much. Punctuation rushed down in a sudden torrent.

"Does this count as assaulting a PPC agent?" Kat asked Echo, peering cautiously out from underneath the blanket.

"Most definitely!" Echo groaned, touching her face gingerly. She was sure she was going to get a nice big ol' black eye from this.

The Sue made up a lame excuse that she was sleep-walking, then Lord Uther lent her a hand as she climbed back through the window.

Then, of course, was one of the first scenes hinting that a romance was blooming, both people a little shy and unsure of what to say around each other. Lord Uther seemed very concerned about Alina's health and well-being, while Alina felt like she was a burden to him.

"Don't worry, Lord Uther!" Echo cackled, quietly so that the Sue wouldn't hear her. "We'll relieve you of your 'burden' pretty soon!"

Another week went by, though it went quickly. The Sue tried to escape, Uther and "the disgusting" Irving stopped her, Kat made it a personal crusade to catch the mouse that seemed to taunt her, and Echo decided to take advantage of the lull in stupid Sue moments and tour the city of Ostia. The only thing that would make it better, she decided, was if Heath were there.

Of course, such a peaceful moment couldn't last. After knowing the Sue for one whole week, Uther decided that it was long enough to invite her to the ascension of the Marquess of Santaruz, an extremely important and significant event.

"I'd say that's a charge!" Echo commented to her partner. She was lying idly in the open window with the charge notebook, far past the point of getting worked up by this Sue. "A mere week's acquaintance doesn't justify Lord Uther inviting her out of the blue like that!"

Kat was busy examining the mousetrap she had pulled out her Sue-bag a while ago. "I don't know what to do with this mouse! He ignored the peanut brittle, merely licked off the Oreo crumbs, and stole the Skittles!"

"No, that one was me, remember?" Echo glanced at her.

"Oh, yeah. That's right! The trap snapped shut on your finger!"

"Yeah . . . ." Echo pulled a face. "That hurt."

Lord Uther told the Sue that Merlinus was in town and that she could buy a dress from him. Other than that, they'd be off the next morning.

"Short notice, eh?" Echo observed. "Especially for such an important event!"

"Perhaps I can lure the mouse out with this old bagel . . ." Kat pondered to herself. "True, it's probably hard enough to kill somebody, but what do you expect from sitting in the Sue-bag for months?"

"Oh, Raths!" the Sue swore to herself as Uther left without giving her a chance to compose herself.

"Yes?" The nomad warrior glanced up.

"She wasn't talking to you," Echo told him from her perch. "Go back home."

"Oh, sorry!" Rath apologized, then disappeared as quickly as he had come.

Merlinus was delighted to see her and, despite the fact that he didn't carry very many dresses, happened to have the perfect dress that fit the Sue perfectly and was exactly what she wanted, which he sold to her for one red jewel.

"What are the odds of that?" Echo asked wryly. "It was like it was destiny!"

"It's a plot device." Kat studied the merchant thoughtfully "Say, do you think that he has a better mouse bait?"

"What would you pay with?" Echo pointed out.

"I dunno, swipe some gold from a random guard or something!" Kat shrugged. Her eyes narrowed. "But, one way or another, that mouse is going to die!"

"Now if you could only apply that same homicidal tendency to your job!" Echo said dryly. "We're here to charge and kill a Sue, remember?"

Merlinus was talking excitedly about opening his own shop. The Sue thought that it was a rather foolish idea with a lot of flaws, but, being the good friend that she was, didn't give him any advice that could've helped him. The merchant took off just as Uther walked down the stairs to talk to him, much to the disappointment of the Marquess and Kat.

"Phooey," said Kat unhappily. "There goes my chance for a better mouse trap!"

"Doesn't really matter," Echo told her. "Don't you remember? We're leaving for the ascension of Marquess Santaruz tomorrow!"

"B-but!" Kat whimpered. "My mouse!"

A large exclamation point bouncing off her head brought her out of her complaints quickly enough, and both agents simultaneously leapt for cover and tried to figure out what was causing the sudden punctuation storm.

It turned out that the hail was from Hector, who had come in and had been rather surprised to see Alina there. Of course, the only way to express surprise with this particular Sue was through a torrent of excess punctuation.

They made small talk, in which the Sue explained how she arrived at his brother's castle and how she was not allowed to leave. Hector promised that he'd talk to his brother for her, and she thanked him and left.

"Er, let's just portal ahead to Santaruz," Echo suggested, glancing at the Words. "Basically, the brothers just have a slight argument with Irving butting in. Nothing except Lord Uther reaffirming that the Sue isn't leaving, and a lot of excess punctuation."

Kat was about to object until she heard the "excess punctuation." She gulped and nodded. "Yeah! That sounds good! We can't forget the umbrellas this time, though! I'll get the mouse when we get back!"

"You do that." Echo rolled her eyes, then pulled out her remote activator. She first portaled to their rooms and grabbed her bag.

Kat grabbed hers, too, with a hint of amusement on her face. "We could've walked up here just as easily," she commented.

"Feh," Echo said. "I'm feeling lazy." With that, she punched a few buttons on the activator again and gestured to the portal that appeared in front of them. "Well, shall we?"

They arrived just as the party was starting. Apparently, the entire journey and reception was skipped, and the Sue was sent straight up to her room to get ready. Uther and Irving met her up there, and the next paragraph was spent detailing how they looked. One whole sentence was spent on Irving. He was wearing a lot of "gold thingies," apparently. Uther was wearing a dark blue "suit" with a cape draped over one shoulder. Then they headed downstairs to the party.

The two agents decided that they would steal a couple of serving trays and pretend to be servants there. That way they could keep a close eye on the Sue without drawing attention to themselves. Of course, they both kept their umbrellas close to them, just in case.

Right away, the Sue ran into Lyn, and they had a squealing, happy-girl reunion. Lyn gave her the latest gossip, then ran off to go find some other girls and tell them that she was there.

Sain found her and flirted with her, then Kent came to chasten him, as he had done so many times before. Only, this time, he recognized Alina, and there was an awkward silence, though the agents couldn't figure out what about. Something about "Kent being a lost cause to her," and that he would "never repair on her, unless Lyn told him to do so."

Kent greeted her coolly, then dragged Sain off.

"Whoo! Kent doesn't like the Sue, either!" Kat said happily.

"He always had quite a bit of sense, that boy," Echo agreed.

Lyn then reappeared, dragging Priscilla and Florina along excitedly.

"Well, another charge: turning Lyn into an airhead, I suppose." Kat carefully put her tray of some kind of food that she didn't recognize down and pulled out the charge notebook.

Then the Sue noticed Erk and used fourteen exclamation points for six words.

"Defenses up!" Echo yelped, and both umbrellas whomphed open as exclamation points bounced off of the fabric. Nobody else seemed bothered by the sudden hail.

The Sue was busy squeezing Erk happily. Apparently, she had named him her "honorary little brother."

Echo growled. "Okay, first off, even though Erk is young, he's not that young to enjoy being called a 'younger brother' by a woman. And two, even though he has a cuddly look, that doesn't mean she can squeeze the life out of him!"

"Er, adopting Erk as her younger brother and then trying to kill him by suffocation, those charges work for you?" Kat inquired, pencil hovering ready over the notebook.

"Sure." Echo nodded, still glaring daggers at the Sue.

The Sue then proceeded to laugh at Eliwood's outfit, the same white one that he wore at the end of the game, then went off and socialized with several of the people she knew.

"Hey!" Kat said excitedly, tugging on Echo's sleeve. "Look! It's Lowen!" Her eyes were glued to the shaggy-haired cook/cavalier. As a feline, she had denied having any lust objects when she first started, they being human and all. Then she had discovered Lowen, who came as close to a lust object as she would allow. His fuzzy sea-green hair fascinated her to no end, and the fact that he was almost as obsessed with cooking as she was with eating almost had her worshiping the ground he walked on.

"That's very nice, Kat," Echo said, prying her fingers off her sleeve.

"I'm going to go see if he wants one of these thingamabobs!" Kat said excitedly, picking up her serving tray of food. "I'll be right back!"

Echo chuckled and picked up the notebook. "Okay, fine. Don't take too long, though!" She then turned her attention back to the Sue and watched, bored, as Serra managed to corner Alina and chatted with her for a bit, extremely annoying, even for Serra. That was, until the point where she relayed the rumor circling the party at the moment that the Sue was Uther's fiancée. Then the Sue, very upset, caused the biggest punctuation hail yet.

Echo quickly shielded herself with her umbrella, then glanced over to see if Kat was alright. She was fine, carefully holding her umbrella over both herself and Lowen, who seemed oblivious to both the hail and the umbrella, busy discussing the food table and the various fares and delicacies on it with Kat.

The Sue, very upset, marched over to Lyn and demanded if she had heard that rumor as well.

"Say, if you're going to a party as a couple, people are going to assume that you are one, you know!" Echo said to nobody in particular.

Lyn sympathized with her, then complained how boring this party was, the ones back on the plain were much "funnier."

Then the two of them paused to watch Uther chase several nobles around, apparently having heard the rumor himself.

"And yet another incident of character breach." Echo sighed.

"A pretty bad one, isn't it?" Kat asked, returning. "Uther chasing nobles around because he was mad?!"

"Oh, Kat! How's Lowen doing?" Echo turned to her partner.

Kat grew all starry-eyed. "He was wonderful! He was explaining to me which bread to have with the salad to bring out the best taste! He knows everything!"

"But . . . you don't eat salad." Echo blinked. "You always told me that salad was for rabbits."

"Yeah, well, if I ever did start eating it, now I know what bread to have along with it!" Kat wasn't bothered at all by this, still staring back at the fluffy-haired man with utmost admiration.

Echo watched as Uther suddenly pulled the Sue out onto the dance floor, and they began to waltz. "You know, for being so upset about the rumors going around, they're not doing much to dispel them."

"Say, isn't she supposed to be injured and resting?" Kat wondered. "That's the reason that he's keeping her prisoner in the first place."

The Sue wondered the same thing, and Uther merely replied that Ashton had said that her leg injury was healed.

"So he's keeping her for her head injury," Kat mused. "Well, actually, that would explain a lot!"

"Raths!" the Sue swore.

"Yes?" The nomad glanced up again. "Somebody want me?"

"No, Rath, she wasn't talking about you again." Echo sighed. "Now, Lyn said that you had wandered off and she didn't know where you were, so go do that."

"Alright. Sorry about that," Rath apologized, and disappeared again.

"Poor Rath," Kat sympathized, watching him go. "That's twice she's done that to him."

Echo turned her attention back to the waltzing couple. "Did you know that, technically, this is uncanon?" she asked Kat.

"What is?" Kat turned to her questioningly.

"The waltz." Echo gestured at the dancing couple. "The waltz didn't exist in medieval times. It was invented in 1776 in Vienna."

"Oh," Kat said. "I didn't know that. I . . . suppose we can use that as a charge, though a lot of fics are going to be affected by that!"

"Meh, we'll just use it in the ones that really annoy us, and this one really, really annoys me."

The waltz ended soon after, and Uther retreated from the dazed Sue, who was quickly flocked by the girl group of Lyn, Priscilla, Florina, and Fiora, where they chatted excitedly about the dance, only to be interrupted by Serra looking for Erk, who was hiding from her in the curtains behind them.

It was pretty late when the party finally got over. Uther lent the Sue his cloak as they walked back to her room. The others all watched them go, and, discussing it amongst themselves, realized that they had never really considered how Alina felt, that they had always treated her like a living tactics book.

"So, now we're making all the others feel sorry for you?" Echo said, raising an eyebrow. "Of course. I never knew a Sue that didn't want a little angst in her life, for people to feel a little sorry for her. 'Ooh, look at me. Everybody just took me for granted. Nobody cared how I felt!' Yada yada yada. Pitiful."

Just then, the Sue-pity-party broke up when Lyn's grandfather sent for her.

"Um, isn't he dead?" Kat asked, confused.

"Yeah, but obviously this Sue's on a resurrection streak," Echo agreed. "First Uther, and now Lyn's grandfather."

Of course, Uther and the Sue had to have the classic "Lust Object Accidentally Falls Asleep in Female's Room" routine, when Uther accidentally fell asleep watching the Sue sleep.

Of course, whenever this happens, the next morning, the female always has to wake up first, then see the Lust Object, and scream at him. Alina was no different, and took to Uther with her pillow while Kat and Echo, very rudely awakened as well from their camp outside her door, cowered from the sudden and intense punctuation storm.

After a few more minutes of chaos, Uther managed to hold off the pillow long enough to explain himself, the Sue calmed down and apologized, and Uther reluctantly left so that she could change out of her dress, which she had slept in.

The group got ready to leave shortly, after Alina's obligatory escape attempt, of course. The trip back was rather boring, and the two agents just decided to portal back and save the trouble of hitching a ride.

The moment they set foot through the portal and came out the other side, Kat was off, checking every single mousetrap that she had set before they had left. To her disappointment, they were empty. Every single one of them.

"All the mice that must live in a large castle like this, and you didn't manage to catch one of them," Echo said, highly amused. "However did that happen?"

"It was him!" Kat growled. If she had been in her feline form, her tail would've been thrashing furiously. "That mouse! He's leading a rebellion against me! Uniting the forces together, planning a massive counterstrike when I least expect it!"

Echo rolled her eyes and settled down in a chair. "Kat, you take this mouse thing way too seriously!" she told her partner bluntly.

Kat wasn't even listening. She had already dug out a large piece of paper and was planning both her defensive and offensive maneuvers, scribbling out notes and plans.

And they spent about a day's worth of time with Echo sitting in her chair and watching her partner with amusement and Kat trying to capture that mouse time after time with a renewed vengeance, trying everything she could think of, not limited to but including: setting up the entire game of Mousetrap and leaving it out in the open while she waited hidden behind a corner; propping up the classic box trap with a stick that had a long string tied to it and a plate under the box with a sign saying "Free Cheese"; and an elaborate trap involving a net, a suit of armor, a vase of flowers, two chairs, and a dollar bill.

"Seems to work well with humans," she explained. "Thought this mouse might fall for it, too."

Echo decided not to ask when she had started snaring humans. Sues were fine, but as neither agent classified Sues as human, they didn't count.

Needless to say, Kat didn't catch the mouse that day either, though she did catch a nobleman in her dollar bill trap and asked if she could keep him as a pet. Echo said no. Kat pouted and promised that she would feed him and give him fresh water every day and keep his cage clean, but Echo was firm.

So, rather reluctantly, Kat set the nobleman free, though she had to wrench the dollar bill out of his hand first. It wouldn't do to have a nobleman running around with something uncanon.

After that was over, Echo decided that it was time to do a little more charging, and dragged the very reluctant Kat along.

The Sue was just getting her check-up with Doctor Ashton, who thought that she was almost better. He decided that she could take a walk in the gardens, and, if it gave her no trouble, he'd give her a clean bill of health and she could be on her way.

"The garden," Echo said, smacking her head. "It just had to be the garden, one of the most romantic spots in the world. And I wonder who she's going to run into while walking in this garden?"

"Er, do you want me to answer that, or was that just a rhetorical question?" Kat wondered.

"Yeah, it's just a mere coincidence that Uther and Hector get into a big argument about her at just about the same time, so Uther leaves to go get some fresh air. Guess where he decides to go. Hmm? Just guess."

"Er, the garden?" Kat hazarded.

"Yes! Just what are the odds of that!" Echo said sarcastically.

"Well, in a Sue story, they're really, really good odds!" Kat commented seriously.

"C'mon," Echo said, grabbing her partner's arm and dragging her along. "Let's go! We almost have enough to charge her now!"

The garden walk turned out to be quite eventful. First, they were followed by a spy. Uther didn't want the Sue to know and worry, so he discreetly knocked the spy out by throwing a stone backwards as he passed.

Echo and Kat added the charge of giving Uther superhuman strength.

Then the Sue commented that Uther had a "caring, nice heart," at which Uther took extreme offense for some reason. The Sue got all flustered, and Uther just laughed and said she looked cute when she was mad.

Echo and Kat added the charge of making Uther really weird. (Although Echo argued that it was the same as messing with his personality, Kat disagreed, saying messing with his personality was one thing, messing with his logical thinking process was another. Echo was too shocked that Kat knew the phrase "logical thinking process" to argue.)

They talked for a bit, and Uther revealed at her prodding that Hector had given him the scars on his face when they were training.

Echo and Kat added the charge of messing with Hector's fighting abilities.

The Sue countered this by hiking up her skirt up way past her knee to show him the scar that Hector supposedly gave her.

"Oh, yes. That's it, Sue. Hike up your skirt right in front of the Marquess Ostia," Echo grumbled.

Echo and Kat added the charge of not only making Hector unreasonably clumsy, but attempting to flash the Marquess.

The two continued on, unaware that Irving was spying on them with binoculars.

Echo and Kat added the charge of bringing in uncanon material that wouldn't be invented for a couple hundred more years.

Uther had a small coughing fit, and they decided to sit down on a bench for a while, it being the same bench that Uther's parents got engaged on, apparently. Of course, when sitting together on such a romantic bench, their faces suddenly somehow became magnetically charged, and were involuntarily being sucked in towards each other.

Echo and Kat added the charge of describing her own eyes as "rebel shining, emerald green."

Of course, Irving came up yelling as their lips were mere milliseconds away from each other, spoiling the kiss. Unfortunately, Irving didn't get any further then that, as Fiora, for absolutely no reason at all, dove down at him from her "falcion" and attacked him.

Echo and Kat added the charge of causing Fiora to suddenly decide and go on a homicidal streak.

Of course, this kinda killed the mood, and the walk ended.

Ashton, apparently, was a doctor that couldn't remember his own recommendations. Despite the Sue going on the walk and being just fine (and the fact that she hadn't been in any pain whatsoever after day one and had done extremely strenuous activities such as climbing down walls), he decided that he had better examine her again before she left, which made the agents wonder what happened in the examining room and really wish for some Bleeprin.

Of course, he couldn't do that tomorrow, as it was his daughter's birthday, so, horrors upon horrors, she was stuck there one more day. Angrily, the Sue hurled her pillow at the door after the good doctor had left.

"You know . . ." Echo said thoughtfully, "we might as well go ahead and charge her. We have way more than enough charges right now, and we still have to find the real tactician."

"You mean it?!" Kat said excitedly. "Ooh! Here comes the fun part!"

"But don't kill her, whatever you do!" Echo cautioned her. "I've arranged for, um, something very special."

"Is this something to do with the wyvern soup incident?"

"She eats Hyperion's kin!" Echo exploded. "What else could I do?!"

"Hey, now, don't go causing a punctuation storm," Kat cautioned her. "Let's go in and charge the Sue, that'll make you feel better."

"Okay!" Echo said, cheering up immediately. She pushed the door open, and they both stepped in.

"Oh, good. The maids are here." The Sue glanced at them. "Well, you can tell them that I'll be eating up here tonight. I'm not going down with those awful people that keep me prisoner!"

"Actually, we're not maids!" Kat smiled pleasantly at her.

"Actually, we're here to kill you!" Echo said, just as good-natured.

"What?!?!?!?!" the Sue gasped, sitting up and looking frightened.

"Umbrellas up!" Echo ordered. Fortunately, they had come prepared.

"See, dearie?" Kat tsk'd gently. "There's one of the charges right there! Echo, would you like to read the rest?"

"Sure!" Echo said, a little too cheerfully. "Why not?" She held up the notebook and cleared her throat.

"Ahem. Alina, you are hereby charged with having a Sue name; using the Random Bandits Who Pop Out Of Nowhere as a convenient, yet grossly overused, plot device; with resurrecting Uther so that you may flirt, with calling on Athos as a deity; with turning Ostia into a shopping center; with causing several punctuation storms that battered PPC agents; with severely disrupting Uther's character; with creating two minor characters just to help your romance with Uther bloom; with taking severe wounds and not being affected by them; with holding a prejudice against short people; with overuse of the word 'disgusting'; with using really weird phrasing and grammar; with turning Uther into your servant; with being a pompous idiot; with EATING WYVERN SOUP; with dropping Uther's title even though you've known him one day; with turning Fiora's pegasus into a 'falcion', which is a sword, dearie, not some sort of weird flying vehicle.

"You're also charged with forcing Uther to invite you to a grand ball after a week's acquaintance; with messing with Merlinus; with messing with Lyn; with causing 'girl groups' among the characters of Rekka no Ken; with trying to have Kent 'repair' on you, whatever that means; with having them dance the waltz even though it hadn't been invented yet; with resurrecting Lyn's grandfather; with using another overused plot device in having Uther fall asleep in your room; with messing with Matthew's personality; with giving Uther the superhuman strength to knock somebody out while throwing a stone backwards; with messing with Uther's logical thinking process; with bringing in binoculars when they hadn't been invented yet; with trying to flash the Marquess; with making Hector extremely clumsy and careless to the point of endangering those around him, including his brother; with describing your own eyes as 'rebel shining, emerald green'; with causing Fiora to go on random homicidal streaks; and with causing the disappearance of the Tactician and pretending to be one yourself. Basically, we're charging you with being a Sue."

"Wow!" Kat exclaimed, impressed. "All that, and you didn't even pause for a breath."

"What can I say, I was annoyed," Echo stated matter-of-factly.

"You're both crazy!!!!!" the Sue squealed. "Don't kill me!!!!!!"

As both agents were suddenly distracted by the punctuation hail, she shot past them and skidded down the hallway.

SNAP!

BOING

"Oh, yeah!" Kat said, lowering her umbrella a little sheepishly. "I forgot. One of my mousetraps was set down that hall."

They hurried down, only to find the Sue caught in a net suspended from a small chandelier, struggling furiously and spouting random punctuation.

"And why, may I ask, did you make such a big mousetrap?" Echo asked critically.

"Hey, this is one sneaky mouse," Kat said sagely. "I have to cover every possibility!"

"And this possibility is, what, that he'll somehow turn into a ten foot mutant?" Echo gestured at the large net.

"Hey, it could happen!" Kat argued. "By the way, what was the big surprise that you had planned for this Sue?"

"Oh, yeah!" Echo suddenly cheered up. "Thanks for reminding me!"

She pulled out her remote activator and carefully punched in a few numbers. "Remember that agent that 'helped' us out in the last mission, along with TFL? Vyctori? Well, I took the liberty of looking up her file, and I noticed that Uther was pretty high on her lusting list, which was quite impressive, by the way. I figured that we could file it as 'sending for reinforcements', and she could be far more creative with this Sue than we could!"

A large portal opened in front of them, and suddenly Vyctori stepped out, this time not only wielding her scythe, but pretty much every torture device imaginable was strapped to her body, and she looked mad.

The first thing she did was march right over to Echo and thunk her hard on the back of the head. "It's about time!" she demanded. "What in fury's name took you so long?!"

"Sorry!" Echo apologized, rubbing the back of her head sorrowfully. "But you know we have to make a full charge list!"

"So, this piñata here is the Sue that dares mess with my Lord Uther?!" Vyctori demanded, examining the squirming bundle hanging in front of her closely.

"Yup!" Kat said cheerfully.

Vyctori studied the Sue for just a moment, then frowned. "You know, I was just thinking to myself the other day how nice it was to have a lust object who's a minor character, such as Lord Uther, as Sues never really bother them. Then, however, my happy little mood was ruined when I suddenly got the news that perhaps Lord Uther wasn't as safe as I thought. You messed with him. You messed with his personality. You, my dear Sue, are going to be very, very sorry!"

"Well, as you're disposing of Little Miss Sue here, Kat and I have to go find the real tactician in a plothole someplace. So, have fun!" Echo said pleasantly.

"Oh, I will!" Vyctori waved cheerfully at them. "Good luck hunting!" Then she turned back to the Sue, who whimpered.

"So . . . to find the Tactician . . ." Echo said thoughtfully as they walked along. "You know, it's times like this that I wish you were a bloodhound and not a cat."

"Oh, haha!" Kat said darkly. "There isn't even a comparison there!" Suddenly she perked up. "Say, do you think the Tactician will have candy for me again?"

The Tactician was very different from most canon characters. He/she/it was comprised of both canon and uncanon, as he/she/it was there to be the avatar of the player of Fire Emblem. Thus, the Tactician could always see the PPC agents, unlike his/hers/its completely canon companions, and completely remembered every time he/she/it was held in a plothole like this time, which happened quite often.

"I didn't even get to use my bow and arrow this time!" Kat complained.

"We'll use that as our next disguise," Echo told her, trying to pacify the pouting kitty-human.

"But I—mouse!!!"

Despite causing a small punctuation storm, Kat froze at the sight of her furry arch-nemesis.

"Kat, no!" Echo cried, latching onto her partner as she lunged. "We have to find the Tactician, remember?!"

"It ends tonight, mouse!" Kat snarled, not even hearing a word Echo said.

The mouse scurried around a corner and down a hallway.

Kat wiggled loose of her partner and gave chase.

"Kat!" Echo said in exasperation. "Come back here!"

"Come back here, mouse!" Kat snarled. She lunged for it, only to smash into the door that it scurried under.

"Ow!" she complained, rubbing her head. She quickly scrambled up and jiggled the doorknob a few times. It was locked.

"Coward," Kat grumbled, digging out her lockpicks and getting to work.

"Kat!" Echo gasped, finally making it around the corner. She wasn't nearly as fast as her partner.

"Just . . . give . . . me . . . a . . . moment . . ." Kat growled, concentrating on picking the lock. "And . . . there!"

The lock gave a click, and Kat purred in triumph before throwing the door open and lunging through to continue the chase.

"Kat!" Echo groaned this time, and followed. Once inside the door, however, they both froze. A grin crept up on Echo's face.

"Tactician!" she said happily. "We found you!"

The robed figure turned to them, his/her/its face shrouded in mystery. "Well, it's about time you two showed up!" he/she/it huffed in a voice that could be either male or female. "I see you met my new friend?" He/she/it held up the mouse, who was perched smugly on the Tactician's hand.

"But . . . no . . . grr . . . ." Kat started to take a step towards the mouse, but Echo placed a hand on her shoulder and stopped her.

"Kat, no eating other people's pets!" she warned her. "Remember, I told that to the werewolf who works at the PPC and he left you alone? We don't want him to think that rule's breakable, do we?"

"But . . . my mouse!" Kat wailed sorrowfully.

"Algoner, actually," the Tactician said, looking down at the mouse fondly. "I named him Algoner. Now, if you two have finally gotten rid of that impostor, may I get back to my job?"

"Sure thing!" Echo said happily. "Vyctori should be finishing up with her now!"

"Thank you." The Tactician put Algoner carefully in one of his/her/its robe pockets and stood up. "I can't tell you how boring it is to be locked up like that for so long!"

He/she/it dug out a piece of candy for the crestfallen Kat, then waved farewell before disappearing to wherever he/she/it was supposed to go.

Echo and Kat stepped out only to see Vyctori walking up, cleaning off some of her equipment and looking quite smug.

"Finished?" Echo inquired.

"Yup!" Vyctori said cheerfully. "All better now! I just love playing with a piñata, don't you?"


A/N - Man, and I thought Vyctori was rabid about the other Sue! o.O I pretty much quoted her when she spoke to the Sue in here, she came up with most of the charges (including the "waltz" one, which she researched mainly for this Sue!), and she spoke in capital letters about it for a while. How could I not have her kill her?

Oh, and be prepared to see more of Algoner the mouse in the future, if just to torture Kat some more! ^_^

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