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PPC Ficlet

Disclaimer: The PPC belongs to Jay and Acacia, and The Lord of the Rings belongs to the Tolkien clan. I got permission to write this, don't worry. Well... Permission from the PPC. Not from Tolkien.

Author's Note: And this is the first PPC 'fic I've put up, so I figure a bit of introduction is necessary. If you don't know who the Protectors of the Plot Continuum are, you're out of luck, 'cuz I ain't gonna go through the history here. If you're really dying to know, I advise checking out the PPC main page—I link to somewhere or other. But just a quick intro for my agents: The one in the story usually referred to as "the blonde girl" is my PPC agent, Scarg Marison. Her partner's name is Agent April. April's a recruited bit character and Scarg is just a girl whose job application got sent to the wrong address and wound up as an assassin. She's a bit of a ditz. I may have longer (much, much longer) character bios up at some point. I make no promises, though.

That's about it. Share and Enjoy!

*

On his way to work, Andrew had a brush with death.

It came in the form of the Protectors of the Plot Continuum. Or, to be more precise, it came in the form of a pair of PPC assassins.

He had been sitting roughly in the middle of the almost empty bus, staring out the window at the street rushing by and fiddling with the buckle on his backpack. Up till that point, his day had been pretty satisfactory. He'd woken up early enough that there was still hot water left for his shower, had toast with crabapple jelly for breakfast, and nearly walked out the door in his slippers. All in all, a good day.

But then, the bus.

It had seemed normal, but a few stops after Andrew boarded, the driver stopped to pick up a pair of black-clad girls standing at the stop outside Northgate mall. The shorter one, who had a black bandanna holding her dirty blonde hair back from her eyes, was leaning on her companion, panting a bit for breath, while the tall girl—who was quite lovely, Andrew couldn’t help but note—scanned the sidewalks about them with an almost wary air. They both looked a little taken aback when the bus pulled up. The driver had opened the doors and said something. The goths—as Andrew assumed they must be, to be dressed so somberly—conversed for a moment, then hopped onto the bus one after the other. There was a bit of difficulty in scrounging enough change from their assorted pockets, but since the bus driver was a kindly sort in general, he accepted the curious looking gold pieces the pair offered. After all, a profit is a profit, no matter the currency.

The pair sat down in the pair of seats just in front of Andrew as the bus started off, lurching. The blonde still seemed a bit short of breath, but she was keeping up her part in their murmured conversation. Neither girl seemed to detect their eavesdropper.

"— not gonna be easy to spot, April, not even with her stupid 'brightly-shining tresses'."

"She could've grabbed that cap… Were I in her shoes, I'd hide my hair under it."

"Naw, too sensible for a Mary Sue. You know how ridiculously proud of her hair she is."

"But she's supposed to be a genius. After all, she did build a bloody transporter to get her between Arda and Earth." April snorted. "Poor Tolkien must be spinning in his grave."

Andrew couldn’t suppress his curiosity. He reached out his hand and tapped the blonde on her shoulder. Both girls jerked their heads around in an almost synchronised motion to stare at him.

"Er… Excuse me? Were you talking about The Lord of the Rings?" he asked, somewhat taken aback by the intensity of their looks. But he was a fan of Tolkien's works, so he stuck with it.

He noticed the short girl's eyes dart quickly to meet those of her companion, then the companion's shallow nod. The blonde gave a short, fake sounding laugh, then said, "No, no… It wasn’t that Tolkien she mentioned. My uncle’s nickname was Tolkien, since he had such a strange preoccupation with J.R.R.'s books, with the Elves and Dwarves and Hobbits and all, and he died a little while ago, hence the grave-rolling, but it was really very peaceful, he went in his sleep, so he probably didn’t feel a thing, except you know, the sheets and stuff." Hardly pausing to take a breath, the babbler went on, "But it's getting close to our stop now, so we'll be seeing you around, eh? TTFN."

During the other girl's rapidly paced speech, April had pulled the cord to signify they would be wanting off the bus as soon as possible. The vehicle was slowing down, since they were at the corner of 18th and 31st, and consequently the 18/31st bus stop.

"Wait, before you get off…" Andrew tried to recapture the duo's attention, but they were already standing up and walking to the doors.

The taller one said to her companion, "Well, that was pointless…"

He momentarily wondered if he should stay on the bus so his boss wouldn't get ticked off at him for missing another shift, but decided against it. After all, what fun was life if he didn't take impulsive decisions now and again? The man stood up and walked down the aisle in the pair's wake, keeping his eye on them as they stepped down from the bus. The taller girl, April, was striding along in front, while her cohort trotted to keep up with the first girl’s long steps.

The second girl looked over her shoulder, and upon seeing Andrew, sped up. He could hear her say something about a "tag-along" and that she had her "flashy memory thing" set to go. The tall girl, April, nodded, and slowed down.

"Wait! Wait, I just want to talk!" Andrew shouted. He was a bit surprised when the pair actually stopped.

"Really?" The blonde girl was panting harder than before now. "Just (gasp) talk?"

Her friend smiled, and patted her on the back. "Just breathe, Scarg, I’ll do the talking." She turned to Andrew. "What do you want to talk about?"

"I just wanted to know what it is the two of you are doing, I guess."

April looked him over. He didn't seem suspicious… Completely deadpan, she said, "Okay, since you seem like a nice guy, I'll tell. We’re assassins for an underground organisation that isolates disturbances in Canon (the underlying fabric of every story everywhere) and eliminates the disturbance. At the moment, we are tracing a troublesome OC who has accumulated a very long charge list. Once we find her, we'll kill her, and both realities (the one here and the one in Middle-earth) will be back to normal."

Andrew laughed nervously. "Eheheh… How…" Then he saw their faces. "You’re serious?"

The out-of-breath blonde—Scarg, had the other said her name was?—held up a metal rod. "If you look at this thing, all your questions will be answered."

Andrew looked at the thing, and all of a sudden, his questions were answered in a flash of light. Or rather, his questions didn't exist anymore. He wandered back into the 18/31st bus shelter with a vague recollection of black fabric.

In a narrow alley just behind a small diner, two girls fiddled with a silvery contraption.

"How do we set it to home in on the 'Sue?"

"Let's try this!"

In a narrow alley just behind a small diner, a blue portal opened up, and two silhouetted figures walked into it. They left behind a very confused cat and a little déjà vu.

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