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The Eirren Bow Maiden

It was another quiet day in the little corner of Headquarters that Kazra and Rich called their own. Rich was dozing, a book open on his lap. Surprisingly , Kazra was also dozing, looking quite tranquil in repose. Unfortunately, Murphy's Law was having none of this.

[BEEEEEEEEP.]

Kazra opened one eye, extended one leg, and kicked Rich, before scooting over to the console.

"We off again?" Rich asked lazily, but opened one eye curiously when his partner didn't respond.

Kazra was staring into the distance, one hand tapping against her thigh, muttering something that sounded like. "I am not a lustbunny, I am not a lustbunny."

"Kaz?" Rich asked, sounding slightly worried.

"Hmm?" and Kazra snapped back to reality. "Oh. Mary Sue with special powers, gets into Legolas' pants."

"Do you have to be so graphic, Kaz?" Rich asked, making a move to get ready.

"The fic is worse. Looks like we're going to be elves. Ooh, a perfect opportunity to dispose of her. And I quote, 'uncomfortably like she was readying to pounce.'"

"Sounds fun," Rich said, standing up and waiting for Kazra to activate the portal.

Tzzzzing.

"I really think that we should get someone to sort that noise out," Kazra noted as they stepped through the portal.

"So where are we?" Rich asked.

"Outside of Rivendell. And we'd better get down because in 5, the Sue will be coming moping over the hill. Four, three, two, one."

Both dropped flat as the Sue appeared, a red/gold hawk flying in front of her.

"That hawk hurts the eyes, no?" Rich muttered. "Is it red, or gold?"

Kazra nodded as she followed the words.

"And she, my dear Rich, is one of those things called a cliché persona. Or Cinderella syndrome if you like."

"Care to elaborate?" Rich asked curiously before starting to laugh.

Kazra sighed and pushed Rich's head down onto the turf to deaden the sound.

"They're always downtrodden, with a wicked step-person."

"Mumph."

"What did you find so funny?" Kazra asked.

"Mumph."

"Oh, sorry." Kazra didn't sound that apologetic, but released her hold. "Now, what was so funny?"

Rich spat out a mouthful of grass and earth, "I think she's seen the film. She wants to do an Arwen."

"Take the part of Glorfindel?"

"No, sneak up on Aragorn," Rich explained.

"Who wouldn't?"

As the Sue fell in a graceful heap from exhaustion, to be picked up by Aragorn, Rich looked at his partner in disbelief.

"I thought you were a Legolaslover," Rich said, deciding to be tactful and not call her a "Legolustbunny."

"And Aragorn. And Boromir. And to some extent, Eomer."

Rich just shook his head wearily.

"So, my turn to get the Sue?" Kazra asked, peering upwards and watching Aragorn disappear into Rivendell.

"Yep."

"Better start coming up with a list of charges then. First, being a Mary Sue..."

"Can you talk about it while we move? She's heading into Rivendell in the arms of Aragorn."

"Awwww," was Kazra's slightly sarcastic reply.

No one noticed two more elves wandering through Rivendell, even if they were bickering about something.

"Can a person have violet eyes?"

"Someone in the Tortall canon did."

"Sue or character?"

"Character, I think."

"Hmm."

Then a birdlike voice began to sing from up ahead.

"What type of bird? Crow, rook, robin, ostrich, duck?" Kazra muttered at the text.

"Carrying the bow of the Avalons
From the Eirren tree of Eld
The last remnant of a tree long gone
In her small hand she held.
Eyes a violet not found in any flower
Her red-brown hair put every deer to shame
There in the darkest hour
To the side of good she came.
The Animal Mind Speaker, the Empath
At the side of the most unlikely of friends,
Heedless of the Dark One's Wrath
She shall bring his evil to its end
Sweet of face and kind of heart
Many foul things her young eyes have seen
To her the shot of a bow is but an art
Her name is Caraline."

"Prophetic poems," Rich muttered.

"And always so specific," Kazra added.

"Sue," they said in unison.

While Aragorn and Caraline conversed in a garden, Rich was looking at his partner who was holding her head in pain.

"Why do they have to switch authors and idioms midway?" she asked.

"Is it such a problem?"

"Look at what happens after the hawk arrives."

"Oh my." Rich looked startled.

"Exactly." Kazra nodded gingerly, in case her head fell off.

"It's going to be a long charge list."

As a 'seriously hot blond elf' led Cara away to speak with Elrond, Rich prodded his partner.

"We'd better go and watch her screw with Elrond," he pointed out.

"You go, Rich. It only takes one to watch, and I think I'll wait until the paracetamol kicks in."

Leaving his partner to recover from the effects of idioms, Rich headed off to eavesdrop.

"My-my stepfather sided with Sauron. He was sure that good would never win." That was Cara speaking.

"I see. Do you feel the same way?" Elrond there.

"No! I'll never be like him."

Rich stifled a yawn, before stifling laughter.

"I didn't know that Middle-earth has demi-goddesses. Maiar, yes, but goddesses?" he asked a nearby bush which, quite predictably, failed to reply.

After Elrond invited Cara to sit in on the Council, claiming that she could be a valuable asset, Rich left to find his partner.

"Ooh, what a surprise, it's Boromir who doesn't want her to join the Fellowship," Kazra muttered.

"It's always him, isn't it."

"But others are agreeing with him this time."

"Hmm. Wake me when something interesting happens." And Rich closed his eyes.

Kazra rolled her eyes, and resisted the urge to give Rich a hard shove. Instead, she concentrated on concealing her laughter at the absurd test situation that was contrived to prove Caraline was the fabled Bow Maiden.

"Have they never heard of gravity? How can an apple stay in the air for a minute? No one could throw something that could do that," she muttered, before skipping ahead, scanning the words for any other amusing things.

Her eyes widened, and she kicked Rich, hard.

"What was that for?" he asked, blinking and rubbing his abused shin.

"Sue and Legolas sleeping together."

"Oh dear," Rich noted.

"Yep."

Kazra had never been so glad to leave a place before. The words had given her a headache, and images that she didn't need. Rich had solved this problem by lapsing into his usual semi-comatose state.

The pair of assassins lurked behind a statue as the Sue and Legolas left breakfast and began to get ready.

"You might want to brace yourself," Kazra advised.

"Wh...?" Rich began, but was abruptly cut off as the world jumped about them. They caught a brief flash of Saruman, so far out of character that he couldn't reach it with a long pole, shouting loudly. Then they were quickly whirled through Moria, and out the other side.

Rich shook his head once to clear it of confusing thoughts before he focused on where they were now. Lothlorien.

"Are we going to kill her yet?" he asked.

Kazra was flicking through 'The Manual', shifting from page to page in search of something.

"Depends on if it's against the rules."

"Killing Sues?" a confused Rich queried.

"Becoming a character in a fic in order to kill them."

"Ah. Dunno."

"Well, we can always try it and see. Besides, they can't accuse us of going against the character's natural instincts, that's for sure."

"Best get on with it then."

After watching Boromir behaving like a petulant child for a bit (although he was supposed to be under the influence of a spell), the two assassins prepared.

Cara spent a fitful night in Legolas's arms. She was up with the sun. Legolas looked at her groggily.

"What is wrong Lady Cara?" He always called her Lady Cara as a gentle tease. Cara wasn't in very humorous mood.

"Cara." She snapped. At Legolas's surprised look, she softened her tone. "Galadriel gave me some disturbing news. I'll be fine."

There was a knock on the door. Cara pulled on a robe and then went to open it.

There stood an amused Haldir. "You have quite a few visitors Bow-Maiden."

Beyond him were a small pack of timber wolves, many different birds (Cayire was there, too) and - would wonders never cease? - a leopardess. Cayire settled comfortably on Cara's shoulder.

Cara stared. "What is all this?"

Cayire gave a little mental chuckle. "They've come to offer their services. You've become quite popular among the animal circles of Middle-earth."

The leopardess walked up to Cara, who felt that she was in the presence of a queen. The leopardess then bent her front legs in a bow that seemed uncomfortably like she was readying to pounce. Her voice was like velvet in Cara's mind.

"Caraline Avalon, you are charged with being the worst cliché I have ever seen, possessing powers that have existed in neither canon, no matter how you bend things, giving Sauron a right-hand man, interfering with the characters of Elrond, Aragorn, Legolas, Saruman and Boromir, barely mentioning any other characters or the Ring, giving me a headache, being a Mary Sue, and being highly irritating. Do you have anything to say?"

Caraline just gaped.

"Good."

Kazra stepped out through the portal and immediately grabbed a cup of water and started gargling. Rich followed.

"That was interesting," he noted as he collapsed bonelessly in his usual seat.

Kazra just gargled a reply, before looking for a container.

"Well, at least those wolves will be happy; they got a free meal out of it," Rich said.

Finally Kazra emptied her mouth and was able to speak again.

"Remind me never to do that again," she stated, flopping in her own seat.

"You wanted to," Rich said mildly.

"Yeah, and I'm trying to remember why."

"But she's gone."

"True."

And silence fell, broken only by the console emitting a serious of peculiar clicks.

Rich eyed it suspiciously. "And what do you suppose that means?" he asked.

"It means it's time for my meeting. LA, you know." By the look on Rich's face, he didn't, so Kazra clarified. "Lusters Anonymous."

To his credit, Rich waited until Kazra had stood up, clipped on the highly technically-named "Beepy device" that would allow him to get in touch with her in an emergency, and shut the door behind her, before he burst out laughing.

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