Mission #5: Moaning Mary, Simpsons Sue
Original fic; “Moaning Lisa”.
Fandom; The Simpsons.
Disclaimer; The Simpsons belongs to Matt Groening, who is a God. This little horror of a story belongs to the original writer, who has very sensibly disowned it, according to the GAFF board. Laburnum is the writer’s avatar (though she actually acts more like the author’s evil twin would) and Foxglove is entirely created by the author. The Hellpuppies and the Good Omens Fan Fiction Summer School were created by Miss Morrigan and Miss Kali, and can be found here. Aziraphale, Ligur and anything else to do with Good Omens was created by Pratchett and Gaiman, who are also Gods. BE WARNED: THIS FIC CONTAINS REFERENCES TO INCEST BETWEEN TWO CHILDREN. Although we stop it before it gets anywhere, be warned that it's obvious what was going to happen.
“NO! Bad dog! Very bad Hellpuppy!”
Agent Foxglove’s use of the word “Hellpuppy” to describe her new pet was not mere metaphor. The Good Omens Official Fanfiction Summer School assigns genuine Hounds of Hell to its students to keep them in line. Foxglove’s Hellpuppy, Crow, was surprisingly cute if you ignored the glowing red eyes and dripping fangs, but for some reason had taken an extreme dislike to her partner Laburnum’s Hellpuppy, Net. (Laburnum complained often that she had been assigned the dog with the stupid name, but Foxglove pointed out that, as she was already the owner of “the Loch Ness Monster’s evil midget twin”, otherwise known as her pet Mini-Deepcoiler Marile, it was Foxglove’s turn to have the cool pet.) Crow and Net were currently engaged in mortal, or rather immortal, combat once again, as Foxglove attempted to prise them apart without getting her hands ripped off. Laburnum, meanwhile, was sitting on her bed with a towel wrapped around her shoulders like a shawl to prevent the Mini-Deepcoiler draped over her from dripping on her shirt, sniffling as she read Foxglove’s copy of “The Sandman: Game of You”.
“Poor things,” she murmured, wiping her eyes and ignoring the battling dogs. “Poor Martin Tenbones …”
“I did warn you that’s a depressing one,” Foxglove told her, briefly looking up and allowing Crow to struggle out of her hand and leap for Net’s throat again. “No, BAD dogs!”
“Yeah,” sniffled Laburnum. “Not a very comical comic, huh? But at least it’s less gruesome than Preludes and Nocturnes was.” She shuddered. Marile looked over at the Hellpuppies, rolled her bulbous yellow eyes and went back to looking at the comic over her owner’s shoulder.
“Don’t – unkh – stupid animal! Don’t insult – ow! – Sandman,” Foxglove managed to say while struggling with the puppies.
“Throw a towel over them and grab one through it,” Laburnum suggested. “I know it works on pet rats.” She gently pulled Marile off her shoulders, removed the now-soggy towel and threw it to her friend. Foxglove, not having three hands, fumbled it and released the Hellpuppies again. She also released a stream of bad language which would have made Captain Jack Sparrow wince – or, on second thoughts, would have made Captain Jack Sparrow extremely puzzled, since most of them were in a weird mingling of Bengali, Klingon and Juska; mainly Juska as the tongue of Mossflower’s wandering vermin tribes contains a great many swear words.
Suddenly, Foxglove’s enraged cursing and the Hellpuppies’ enraged snarling was drowned out by urgent siren-calls from under the beds as their PPC issue laptop computers switched themselves on and sounded the badfic alarm. Laburnum dropped the book and clapped her hands over her ears. Marile squeaked and dived under the chest of drawers. The Hellpuppies stopped fighting and started to howl in unison with the loud *BEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEP!*’s. The wet towel on the floor started to steam under the sheer force of soundwaves. The agents knelt beside their respective beds and struggled to remove their laptops from their suitcases, this task made more difficult by their urge to cover their ears and run. Unfortunately, their ear-protecting Snerchmuffs (which effectively block out sound altogether) had been left in their suitcases along with the laptops.
What the hell? I thought we were off-duty here except when Miss Morrigan and Miss Kali need us! Laburnum mouthed desperately at Foxglove.
Must be an emergency, Foxglove mouthed back, shrugging.
After what seemed like centuries, the girls finally managed to find their laptops amongst the heaps of laundry and literature in their suitcases and find the Mute buttons. Laburnum sat back, rubbing her temples. The Hellpuppies finally stopped howling and stared interestedly at their mistresses. Marile slunk out from under the chest of drawers, leaving a slime trail on the carpet.
“Ow. I need to talk to Makes-Things about lowering the volume on – what’s up?”
Foxglove was staring at the screen of her computer with an expression of utter horror. Laburnum hadn’t seen her like this since that unfortunately chaotic recruiting mission in Mossflower.
“It’s not another rapefic, is it?”
“Noooo …” said Foxglove, sounding as if she was trying to think of a way to break particularly horrible news. “Uh, when did we first meet?”
“Oh, I dunno. Nearly a year ago, I think – wow, long time. Though I don’t think we’ve actually aged that much – I know we keep sort of rewinding when we visit back home. I know I technically had my last birthday twice, once on Earth and once at HQ. Stupid time switching, it’s confusing as hell. Why?”
“Remember I admired your Simpsons poster, and you said you were glad they don’t get much fic?”
“It’s a Simpsons fic?”
“Yes,” Foxglove squeaked.
“How bad is it?” Laburnum groaned. She didn’t know if she could stand her favourite TV series being mangled.
“Remember what you called the SO when he yelled at you for breaking the SimGen?”
“What’s that got to do with it?”
“I think this is his punishment for us,” Foxglove whimpered, and turned the laptop for Laburnum to see the report. Marile slithered back under the chest of drawers and covered her head with her fins.
Fifteen minutes later, obscenities were still echoing off the walls a long way down the corridor, the Hellpuppies were howling again, Foxglove was hiding under her bed, and Laburnum was breathing heavily and standing ankle-deep in the shredded remains of the towel.
“Uh, Fox, it’s okay, you can come out. I’m fine now,” she said to the cowering girl, then picked a shred of towelling from her front teeth. “Sorry.”
“‘Salright,” squeaked Foxglove, crawling back out from under the bedframe and plucking dustbunnies from her shirt. “I know Bloodwrath isn’t exactly controllable. I think that’s the worst I’ve ever seen you – except for that time that fox guy attacked you. Remember, I helped you shov-”
“Yes, yes, we all remember that incident, and I was actually quite happy not remembering it,” Laburnum sighed. She glanced back at the laptop screen. “Oh Lisa, what have they done to you?”
“Made her feature in a badfic,” Foxglove piped up unhelpfully.
“That I could stand. But, but … underage incest cartoon porn … gah. Does this person not realise Lisa’s only eight years old?!”
“You expect him to notice that? Or care if he did? Dude, he’s a badfic writer.”
“Yes, I suppose it was too much to hope for.” Laburnum knelt down again and started to dig her emergency equipment out of her suitcase. “C’mon, we’re going.”
“Now? But we’ve got classes in ten min-”
Laburnum stared up at her partner in a way which made Foxglove’s self-preservation instinct lock her mouth shut.
“We. Are. Going, Foxglove me dearie.”
Lisa lay sobbing on the bed. Unaware that she was actually lying on her brothers' bed, in his room. During the confusion she had run into the house, stormed up the stairs in some bliss less stupor and ran to the first door she saw which happened to be right opposite the stairs, and had flopped straight onto the ocean blue-colored quilt of the beautifully made bed, brushing the area just above her top lip, her big but adorable manga-type eyes glistened and watered, her sky blue pupils seemed to quiver, like when glancing at an object under water, she let her tears brush down her tender yellow cheeks, where, seeing as she lay flat on the bed, the tears began to create small crystal blue like puddles caused by the full moon light that flooded into the dark room.
“Eww …” came a whisper from Bart’s closet. “Was that all one sentence?”
“Most of it, yes,” came the hissed reply.
In the dark closet, particularly under the stylized shading of the Simpsons series, it was impossible for Laburnum to see her now highlighter-yellow skin (Foxglove, being black, had escaped that fate). There was, however, enough light to see the overall simplification of both their appearances – each of Foxglove’s plaits was now made up of three single strands, making it look as if she only had six very thick hairs on her head, and both girls had lost a finger from each hand. It was also mildly frightening to see their eyes, now large white iris-less globes which glowed worryingly in the shadows. As for the outlines … As if this mission wasn’t weird enough already, she thought. Oh well, drawbacks of working in a toon fandom.
“Manga eyes? On a Simpson?” she said disbelievingly, trying to get her mind back on the distasteful track of the mission. She glanced at the softly glowing Words which outlined the walls of the closet.
“I remember hearing about this one over at the Godawful Fan Fic board,” Foxglove replied. “Apparently the author didn’t actually know what manga was when he wrote it. But … yeah. Who has sky blue pupils?”
“Lisa Sue, apparently.” Laburnum glared out through the crack between door and frame at the surreal scene. Apart from Lisa’s strangely changed facial appearance, puddles of tears were somehow forming on the bedsheet which should have soaked them up. “At least we know this isn’t our Lisa. She must be stuck in a plothole somewhere.”
“First things first – we kill the Sue before she mentally scars Bart forever.”
“She’s mentally scarred me forever just by existing.”
Her slim arms caressed in the beautiful ocean-colored quilt, her plum hands squeezing for comfort, also occupied were her beautifully slim yellow legs with the soles of her bare feet also laying flat against the quilt, the tips of her plum toes reaching out for the bottom of the bed.
“Ewwwwww!” whimpered Foxglove. Lisa Sue’s hands and feet had turned plum. Whatever the author may have intended, this meant they were now a rather nice dark purple. Or rather, the colour would have been nice on a fruit instead of a Simpson’s hands. “It’s kinda like Celebrian – remember the lavender nipples?”
“How could I forget?” hissed Laburnum. “I was more worried about her knees.” Since the description had apparently meant Lisa to be lying face down, yet the soles of her feet were then described as laying flat – “and that should be lying flat!” Laburnum pointed out – on the bed, her legs were now bending backwards in a painful-looking manner. Her now-back-to-front knees pointed directly up. “Laptop please.” Foxglove wordlessly passed it over and Laburnum started to tap out the charges, holding the machine to the door crack in order to be able to read her own typing. “Urgh, what the heck is the bed doing?”
Lisa looked like a beautiful angel against the gigantic bed that fondled her, both physically and emotionally.
“Yecchhkk!” the PPCers whimpered in perfect unison. The quilt (whose colour the author had already described twice – only in ultraviolet prose would this be necessary) had formed hand-like shapes which were now resting on Lisa’s behind.
“Somebody take away this guy’s thesaurus!” said Foxglove, sotto voce.
“Good idea – correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t this the one they had on GAFF with the line about ‘diaphanous gaiety’ rather than ‘happiness’ or something?”
“Yes. As I said, someone should take away this guy’s thesaurus, and then burn it. And throw the ashes into a radioactive waste dump.”
“Urple prose” was swiftly typed onto the charge list, just below “turning Lisa into a tragic Pre-Raphaelite maiden”, “stupid physiology” and “cruelty to furniture”.
In the blinding light she saw the silhouette of her brother Bart, who to his astonishment, did not expect to find his little sister lying down on his own bed sobbing. He turned his attention away from his previous intentions.
“Which were what?” whispered Laburnum.
“Hopefully sleeping, since he’s going to bed,” replied Foxglove. “A poet, and he doesn’t know it – huh?”
“Yes, very good,” Laburnum said drily and turned back to the fic, still clutching the laptop. She watched as Bart slowly walked up to the bed and sat beside the still weeping Lisa Sue.
Bart had very rarely been hugged by his sister, yet her slim peach arms cushioned around his waist, while her beautiful star-like hair brushed against his slim neck and plum cheeks, it was a warm and exhilarating feeling. To secure her delicate hold, he put his hands around her waist and pushed her closer to the cushion that was himself gently brushing and patting her back with loving support over the depressing sobs, sniffles and whimpers.
Lisa’s arms were now peach-coloured, which actually looked rather nice with her still-yellow hair and body and plum hands and feet. Bart’s face had also turned plum-coloured.
“Geez, are these supposed to be kids or bowls of fruit?” muttered Laburnum, then looked closer. Thanks to the strange phrasing of the previous paragraph, Bart’s usual two hands were around Lisa’s waist, another he had suddenly sprouted was brushing and patting her back, and a fourth was pushing her to the pillows. It was rather painful to watch.
“Wonder if Apu would pay him to pose for a statue of Vishnu?” Foxglove whispered, then chewed her hand to keep her giggles down.
Bart then looked at his alarm clock; it was half past eleven. This meant the whole household was now in bed. He queried that he couldn't remain clinging to his loving sister the whole nightlong.
“So … where the heck is Marge? Shouldn’t she have been wondering where Lisa is by now? Or at least come in to put the kids to bed?”
“Looks like our plothole’s bigger than we thought,” Laburnum muttered as she typed “causing Marge to cease to exist”.
“Room for one more? I just want to go and hide till this thing’s over.”
He then whispered to her in the most affectionate way that they couldn't stay cuddling the whole night. He told her he would take her to bed and after she had told him what had caused her to break out in tears in his room he would then do his best to comfort her till she got to rest in a peaceful sleep. He then felt the tender squeeze of her beautifully plum fingers on the palms of his hands and looked down at them. He then heard the sweet jingling of Lisa's pearl necklace.
“Causing pearls to jingle? I’m pretty sure that’s a charge. My mum has a pearl necklace – it doesn’t jingle, it just sort of clacks a bit.”
“Check – oh lord, they’re about to start on the grossness. Time?”
“I think so.”
Bart looked back up. His sisters heart filled face was moving closer to his, her pearl necklace along with her crystal blue eyes twinkled in the moonlight.
His expression turned briefly to puzzlement, as Lisa’s eyes widened and he saw the reflection of two strange, angry-looking young women in them. Then he fell forward, concussed by a carefully-wielded Simpsons video case. Videos are preferred for exorcisms in television fandoms, as they are heavier than DVDs and more likely to KO the victim on the first blow. Lisa Sue screamed and ran for the door (awkwardly, thanks to her strange knees), but Foxglove rugby-tackled her as Laburnum kept beating Bart’s unconscious body with the video case, yelling at the top of her voice, “Get thee behind me, Sue! The power of Groening compels you! Get thee behind me, oh spirit of bad smut! The power of the Fox Network compels you!”
Bart started to thrash wildly, emitting smoke from ears and nostrils. Finally, after many whacks with the video box, he stopped moving and lay limply on the bed as the smoke took on a vaguely humanoid form. It looked annoyed. It started to say something, but three strikes to its surprisingly solid head with the box and a final howl of “THE POWER OF GROENING COMPELS YOU!”, and it faded away completely.
Laburnum dropped to her knees, panting and dripping sweat, but smiling. Bloodwrath takes up an awful lot of energy. She stroked the unconscious Bart’s forehead and turned to her partner, who was currently struggling in the attempt to bind the Sue with the rope she had been carrying around her waist. Unfortunately, Foxglove was unusually tiny for a girl of nearly sixteen years old, and the eight-year-old Lisa Sue weighed only slightly less than she did, so brute force was of very little help. Finally, Foxglove managed to get hold of the Lisa Sue’s neck in the correct way to apply a nerve pinch. The Sue squirmed, whimpered, and then dropped to the floor, out cold.
“Good one, Fox,” said Laburnum, still panting, and gave the thumbs-up sign.
“You know, you could have helped me over here,” Foxglove snapped back, fastening the rope firmly around the Sue’s wrists and ankles.
“But you seemed to be doing so well, dear,” Laburnum said in her most patronising tone. “Besides,” she continued in a more normal voice, “I had my hands full with removing the Author-Spirit. Poor Bart, that’s gonna leave bruises. At least his face is back to yellow and he has the usual number of arms now. So. Any idea where the real Lisa might be? For that matter, where are Homer, Marge and Maggie? Marge at least should have come running when she heard the screams.”
Foxglove crammed a loop of the rope into the Sue’s mouth as a makeshift gag and tied the end to the doorknob.
“Let’s think. Where would they be right now if they existed at all in this?”
“In bed, I’d say.”
“So maybe there’s a plothole in one of the other bedrooms? After all, that’s where they’d be normally, and it explains why they can’t come out …”
Foxglove’s words, along with her breathing, were briefly cut off as Laburnum leapt up and gave her a rough hug.
“You’re a genius, Foxy-lady. Of course!”
“Whoa! Keep those hands above the equator, I don’t go for that,” squeaked Foxglove, but she smiled as she said it, so Laburnum knew that she knew it was just a friendly hug. Sometimes in the past Laburnum had been so absorbed in her own thought pattern that she didn’t realise that Foxglove was making a joke. This time she barely even realised that Foxglove had said anything, so it was wasted somewhat. Laburnum let go of her friend and ran onto the landing. Foxglove dashed after her, taking the time to kick Lisa Sue in the face as she went.
Foxglove’s wiry body was better adapted to sprinting than that of her larger, heavier partner, and so she reached the door of the master bedroom first, skidded on the carpet, steadied herself and crashed through the door. Laburnum slowed down and slipped in behind her. The room seemed perfectly normal on first glance, but closer inspection showed that the bedcover had become oddly shimmery.
“Think that’s our plothole?”
Foxglove nodded in reply. “Looks like we’re gonna have to reach in there and see what we can find.”
“I am not putting my hands in that! There could be anything in there!”
“We’ll both do it, okay?”
Laburnum sighed. “Fine. I am so gonna sue the Flower Officials if either of us loses a hand in that.”
The agents gripped each other’s hands and used their free hands to reach into the plothole, cringing slightly as they felt the weird tingling caused by passing into wild plotholes. At first it felt as if their hands were simply passing into a space of cool, moist air, stretching as far as they could reach. Foxglove gritted her teeth and leaned over, passing through the shimmering barrier up to her shoulder. Then she yelped.
“Owie! I just touched something pointy.”
“Wait, stay still …” Laburnum waved her hand in the direction of Foxglove’s arm, found it in the plothole, and followed it down. She reached the fingers, then discovered something odd. It was indeed pointy, but still soft, and bent when she poked it. It felt like …
“Lisa’s hair!” Laburnum leaned further down, and shouted into the plothole. “Lisa! If you can hear me, grab hold of our wrists – we’ll pull you out!”
“And what do we do if she can’t hear us, smartypants?” asked Foxglove, smirking.
“… shut up.”
The question was rendered moot, as the girls felt small four-fingered hands grasp their wrists. Laburnum pulled, Foxglove pulled, and Lisa Simpson shot upwards out of the plothole like a jack-in-the-box – or, as one with her feminist sensibilities would probably prefer, a jill-in-the-box.
“Whoa! You okay, miss?”
Lisa seemed unharmed, but rather dazed.
“I don’t know,” she whimpered, clutching her head. “I was walking home from school, and I saw the cat running into the road, I saw the car, and the next thing I knew I was here …” She stopped abruptly. “The car! Oh, Snowball …” She started to tremble. “Is Snowball alright?”
Laburnum and Foxglove looked at each other.
“She’s fine, Miss Simpson,” said Laburnum. She would never have fooled Lisa in normal circumstances, but the cartoon child genius was shaken up more than a little. “Are your parents in that thing?” She pointed to the plothole on the bed.
“Y-yeah … wait, who are you? Why are two English-sounding girls in my parent’s room?”
“Think of us as the Emergency Services for non-standard emergencies,” Foxglove said smoothly, as Laburnum undid her belt. The sentence was completely unhelpful, but sounded good, and Lisa was too bewildered to bother questioning further and bright enough to know she wouldn’t get a useful answer.
“Belt please, Foxglove.” The requested item was handed over and buckled together with Laburnum’s belt, then the makeshift rope was dangled into the plothole. “Okay, Miss Simpson, come over here and help us pull.”
Marge was easy enough to haul from the hole, even holding Maggie, but it took all five females pulling together to lift Homer at all, and even then they barely made it, since Foxglove’s belt buckle snapped and broke the “rope” as his torso emerged. Luckily he managed to catch the side of the bed to prevent himself falling back in, though it scraped a couple of buttons off his shirt, and the women pulled on his arms to get him the rest of the way out. As he left the plothole and canon started to return, the plothole trembled for a second or two, and then shrivelled and vanished.
“Oof! Lifting Homer Simpson sure wasn’t in the job description,” wailed Foxglove. “And that was my favourite belt!”
“Hey, it’s your turn to lose clothing on a mission,” Laburnum said. “Remember I got my belt, shoes and socks stolen? You’re getting off lightly.”
“What’s going on here?” Marge interrupted them.
“Oh … nothing much,” Laburnum said sweetly.
“I don’t call this ‘nothing much’,” said Marge. “I’ve been making the beds in this house for eight years, and that’s the first time one of them ever tried to swallow me!”
“Yeah,” agreed Homer, rubbing his head, which had connected rather hard with the floor as they hoisted him from the plothole. “We’ve been in there for hours – did we miss dinner?”
“Oh, you and your appetite, Homer,” said Marge exasperatedly. “Young ladies, I asked you for an explanation. What’s going on?”
Foxglove sighed. “Okay, ma’am, sir, this thing-” she pulled the neuralyser from her pocket and set the dial, “will answer all your questions very quickly. Just look at the little bit on the top … that’s it.”
The agents snapped their sunglasses down, and Foxglove pressed the button.
As the flash died down, the agents saw that all four Simpsons were staring into space, slack-jawed. Homer was drooling, but then he often drools when not neuralysed, so that was not a problem. Maggie’s dummy had fallen out of her mouth, so Foxglove wiped it off and put it back. The hygienic-minded Laburnum grimaced, but didn’t object. Foxglove had helped raise three small siblings, so presumably she knew what she was doing when it came to babies.
“Okay, family, it’s time you were all in bed,” Foxglove said cheerfully. “G’night, guys!”
“One last thing,” Laburnum interrupted. She pulled a notebook and pencil from her pocket.
“Why do you carry that? We type the charges up in Word,” Foxglove asked.
“For this,” Laburnum said with a grin. “Now, guys, I want you all to write your names in this book.”
In their brain-wiped state, the Simpsons didn’t argue. Even Maggie held the pencil in one tiny fist and made a quick scrawl.
“Now we’re done. ‘Night, everyone!”
The agents left the room, Laburnum looking smug, Foxglove looking gobsmacked.
“You brought an autograph book?”
“Yep. Thought I should grab the chance while it was there, ya know? When else will I get the chance to get the Simpsons’ autographs?”
“The SO’s gonna kill you.”
“Then bury me with the autograph book, please.”
“You mean I can’t sell it on Ebay?” Foxglove ducked a punch.
The grinning girls re-entered Bart’s bedroom. Lisa Sue was still out cold and tied up, but Bart was beginning to squirm and groan.
“Poor kid, you really worked him over.”
“I had to, believe me. Strongest Author-Spirit I’ve seen for a long time.” Laburnum knelt and patted the boy’s face. “Atta boy Barty. Come on, wake up. That’s it.”
Bart’s eyelids fluttered open, exposing his eyes to the beam of the neuralyser. One book-signing and portalling later, and he was sitting alone in his room, wondering why he was still awake and fully dressed at nearly midnight. Luckily, being Bart Simpson, he wasn’t too concerned by it.
The portalling had just taken the girls, and their victim, to the road outside the Simpson house. The cat lay on the pavement. It wasn’t a pretty sight.
“Eww. So that’s why Lisa was crying.” Laburnum crouched by the mangled cat.
“Are you sure Doc Fitz can fix it?”
“Sure. I heard from the Disturbing Acts of Violence department – canon characters can’t really die until the official writer says so.”
“She sure looks dead to me,” whimpered Foxglove. “I will not touch that thing. I’ll stick my arm in a wild plothole, I’ll fix my little sib’s cuts and grazes and change my baby cousins’ nappies, I’ll disembowel a Sue with a sabre, I’ll even help Mum make liver for dinner, but I will not pick up roadkill.”
Laburnum winced as she brought her hand closer to the corpse. She gripped the tail and pulled, praying it wouldn’t come off and the insides wouldn’t fall out. The sad little body lifted up with the tail until it was dangling and dripping between Laburnum’s thumb and forefinger. She hastily dropped it onto the Lisa Sue’s chest and wrapped the Sue’s arms over it.
“There. Now we can drag her and the casualty without having to touch anything squishy.” She wiped her hands on Lisa Sue’s dress. “Portal? I don’t wanna contaminate the buttons. Ew. Need soap. Now.”
Doctor Fitzgerald did grumble about how he was a doctor, not a veterinarian, but he knew his job and was very good at it. Within fifteen minutes, Snowball II was sitting up washing herself as if nothing had happened. Laburnum, who had washed her hands seven times by Foxglove’s count in those fifteen minutes, was now happily scratching the cat behind the ears, and looking very relieved to find her own skin had returned to its normal healthy pink.
“Yeah, whoosa good kitty when ‘er guts ain’t all spillin’ out? Ess oo is …”
“That’s really, really creepy, Burnsey,” Foxglove informed her, slapping the still-unconscious Lisa Sue. “Geez, how long do these nerve pinches last?”
“Half an hour, according to Homer,” said Laburnum absent-mindedly.
“Oh, in one episode he learns it, Marge yells at him for using it on the kids and he says they’ll be fine in half an hour.”
“Good lord, do you have a photographic memory?” asked Doctor Fitzgerald, looking at Laburnum over his glasses.
“Only for useless stuff.” The agent shrugged.
“Well, it’s been at least half a bloody hour!” Foxglove snapped at the Sue. She cuffed her hard around the head. “Wake up!” The Sue moaned and writhed, and finally her eyes slowly opened to see Foxglove looming over her, grinning eerily.
Lisa Sue screamed through the rope gag and tried to scrabble away. She moved surprisingly well by squirming across the floor, to say her wrists and ankles were still tied together, but Laburnum darted forward and grabbed her foot. The cat hissed.
“You are not going to kill that thing in here, I just cleaned up!” snapped Doctor Fitzgerald. “Take it outside, for heaven’s sake!”
“Fine,” Laburnum called over her shoulder, then turned back to the Sue and opened up Word on her laptop. She passed it over to Foxglove. “Think it’s your turn to charge, Foxy.”
“Fine,” said Foxglove happily, then crouched and put one knee on the Sue’s neck. “Lisa Simpson, otherwise known as Mary Sue, you are hereby charged with the following: causing personality alterations and character ruptures; causing an improbable and utterly disgusting romantic liasion between canon characters; causing a ten-year-old boy to act like a lovestruck fool over his eight-year-old sister; causing a ten-year-old boy to attempt to have sex with his eight-year-old sister-” here the charge list was interrupted by each agent taking a turn at punching Lisa Sue hard in the face. “Where were we? Oh yes - replacing Lisa Simpson; turning Lisa Simpson into a tragic Pre-Raphaelite maiden; having ridiculous physiology; cruelty to furniture; Urple prose and generally horrifying description; turning Bart Simpson into a total sap; causing Marge Simpson in particular and Homer and Maggie to a lesser extent to apparently cease to exist; attempting the murder of Snowball Two; causing pearls to jingle; causing the skin of Simpsons characters to become bizarre colours other than yellow; really really pissing off two PPC agents, and being incredibly disgusting in general. You are hereby sentenced to death, as soon as we can come up with a suitably horrible method.” She stood up, pushing into the Sue’s throat with her knee as she did so, and she and Laburnum walked a little further away from the gurgling Sue and the annoyed doctor.
“Y’know, Bursey, you’ve been kinda unusually calm this mission. Yeah, you beserkered on me during the exorcism, but you haven’t even started shouting at the Sue, never mind shredding her.”
“I think I was all raged out after I went crazy in our room. Bloodwrath is bloody tiring, ‘scuse the pun. Do it too often and it can kill you, never mind your enemies,” Laburnum explained. “During the mission I knew what to expect, so I guess it didn’t piss me off as much as when I saw it the first time. ‘Sides, it was bad, but somehow it was also sorta dull. At least the bit we saw was dull – I will never stop thanking the higher powers that we missed the lemon scene. And, well, knowing I have the real Simpsons’ autographs has mellowed me out a little.”
“So what shall we do?” asked Foxglove. “Somehow just stabbing her doesn’t seem adequate.”
“Nah … drop her in the reactor core at the power plant?”
“Probably not good. This is cartoon radiation, remember? All we’ll get then is a fifty-foot Sue with laser eyes or something.” Both agents tried desperately not to picture this, failed miserably and shuddered. “Abandon her in an Itchy and Scratchy Show?”
“You want to expose small children to THAT?!”
“Hmm … well, there is at least one episode where a character visits Hell, so maybe we could drop her off directly.”
“No, no, no! We can’t give her to Satan! They’ll team up!” The agents shuddered again. “I don’t think the fandom has anything suitable to do to her. Any ideas from other cartoons?”
Laburnum’s face turned thoughtful, then switched to an evil grin resembling that of Mr Burns.
“Weeeelllllll, it’s not a cartoon, but …”
“I found it in a Stephen King short story, and I’ve been saving it for a particularly ghastly Sue. And I think little Lisa here fits the bill, don’t you?”
“What? What? What?” Foxglove demanded. “What is it?”
“You’ll see. Gimme the Portal Generator.”
Foxglove complied. Laburnum opened a portal, hopped through it briefly, then hopped back less than ten minutes later.
“Just going back to our room so I find the book and can check the date and place it was. Okay,” she started to type in fresh coordinates. “Province, Vermont, summer 2007. They should just have taken Rudy Foggia away by the time we get there, so the place’ll be deserted – good.”
“What? Laburnum, who’s Rudy Foggia? Why there? What’s going on?”
Laburnum looked up at her friend, smiling sweetly.
“Well, come along with me, bring the Sue, and when we get there I’ll tell you about the Jaunt.”
“So it’s pretty much the same as the Portal Generator, but this model has a few bugs they didn’t manage to work out,” Laburnum explained as the girls dragged the struggling Sue towards what appeared to be a freestanding doorway in the laboratory building. Signs reading “Danger” and “Do Not Enter” had been plastered over the door, but since the Portal Generator had taken them directly into the room they hadn’t seen them and wouldn’t have cared if they had. Laburnum dropped the Sue’s leg and started to fiddle with the control panel beside the doorway. “Basically, it’s only safe to use if you’re unconscious. If you’re awake when you go through it, your body is fine, but something happens to your brain.”
“What happens?” asked Foxglove, raising an eyebrow.
“Basically, your brain is stuck, unattached to your body, for what’s actually only a nanosecond or so for your body, but for your brain …” Laburnum turned round, looked down at the Sue, and grinned evilly. “… all eternity.” Her voice took on a tone which suggested she was quoting. “How long alone with your thoughts in an endless field of white? And then, when a billion eternities have passed, the crashing return of light and form and body. Who wouldn’t go insane?”
The Sue’s ridiculous eyes widened, and her thrashing redoubled. Foxglove yanked on the rope to quiet her.
“Most of ‘em arrive at the other end dead, the rest are out of their minds. I think it’s possibly the worst thing that can happen to anyone, next to the Total Perspective Vortex. And that seems really quite fitting for this little brat, doesn’t it?”
Foxglove nodded enthusiastically. “Then we portal to the other end, and dump the body somewhere?”
“Better, dear. Better. You see, the Jaunt also has a Nil function, which I just set it to. That means that it isn’t linked up to anywhere at the other end. It just sort of spews your atoms out into the ozone somewhere. There’s no way to prove it, but some scientists working on this thing think you might be conscious as that happens. So there you are, stuck out in the sky, no senses left – forever.” She smiled dreamily. “Oh, I’m so going to Hell for putting anything living through that, but after what this did to my favourite show, it’s worth it.”
“No loving God would send you to Hell for doing that to a Sue as sick as this one,” said Foxglove, patting her friend’s shoulder with the hand not holding the rope. For once, Laburnum didn’t pull away from her, as she usually did when touched.
Thanks, Fox. I believe that too, but sometimes it’s nice to know someone else thinks it. I need someone to make sure I’m not going from eccentric and maverick to actively evil.”
“Aww, we can compare against each other. So, shall we both do the honours?”
“Sure thing. Undo the rope, I don’t wanna waste it.”
The girls untied the Sue and Laburnum armlocked her as she tried to run. The Sue tried to kick her, but failed thanks to her awkwardly shaped legs. Foxglove grabbed her ankles.
“For God’s sake, Foxglove, make sure you don’t put your face in that thing!” Laburnum warned her partner as, between them, they dragged the Sue to the Jaunt opening.
“Sure thing, Burnsey. So, any last words, darling?” Foxglove said to the Sue.
“NOOOOOOOO!” wailed the Sue. It had at least got Lisa Simpson’s voice right. Laburnum and Foxglove had to look at the purple hands and odd knees to remove their doubts about whether they had the right character. Sues sometimes do that to people. Laburnum sighed.
“Such a waste. Okay, one …”
“THREE!” the girls yelled in unison as they swung the still screaming Lisa Sue into the void of the Jaunt. The Sue struck the wavering air between the doorposts, and vanished, hopefully never to be seen again.
“Laburnum, Foxglove, I hope you have a good explanation for missing my class.”
For an angel, Aziraphale can be surprisingly touchy.
“Emergency Mary Sue attack,” groaned Foxglove. Snowball II had not appreciated the agents’ attempts to put her back in the Simpson home, and had attached herself to Foxglove’s arms by her claws. It had taken much reassuring that the Sue was gone, and a brief visit to the bedrooms where Lisa and Bart now slept peacefully and normally, to make her let go. Aziraphale’s demeanour changed instantly.
“Oh, you poor dears. Was it very bad?” he asked, sounding very concerned. His angelic nature was kicking in.
“Well … perhaps I’ll let you off just this once. Miss Kali and Miss Morrigan did say this sort of thing might happen.”
“Thanks, sir,” Laburnum said, genuinely grateful. Fanfiction Universities were notoriously strict, and when staffed by genuine angels and demons could be, if you’ll pardon the pun, hellish.
At this point, Ligur, Duke of Hell wandered down the hall, leaving a trail of cheap cigarette ash.
“‘Ello ducks,” he said, leering slightly at the girls. Not in a lustful way, more in an “ooh, fresh meat” way. “Hastur’s bin looking for you both. Why ain’t you in his class right now?”
Laburnum gave him a glare which made Aziraphale wince and made Ligur ponder adopting her.
“Because we were too busy with more important work.”
“Summat more important than your classes? Ah, you ain’t gonna pass with that attitude, and you knows what we do to the ones who don’t pass …”
Foxglove would have told him to bugger off, but Laburnum clapped a hand over her mouth. Having already been through one Fanfiction University, she knew how they worked better than her friend did, and backtalk to teachers was likely to have more painful backlash than just a detention.
“I’d have thought you’d be pleased we were missing classes,” she said with a smirk. “Isn’t disobeying authority a sin?”
Ligur’s face contorted as he tried to work this out. While he was busy cogitating, Laburnum and Foxglove ran. Foxglove looked back and saw Aziraphale, who hated Duke Ligur, give them the thumbs-up signal and smile.
“That’s probably gonna get us in trouble later, you know,” she told Laburnum as they rounded a corner.
“First he’s gotta work out what I said – could take months,” Laburnum replied with a snigger. “Back to our room?”
“Yeah, but first let’s head for the shower,” Foxglove said. “You want to go into a room with two Hellpuppies while you still smell of cat?”
Laburnum nodded agreement, and the pair raced for the showers.
[Author's note; I'm trying to play up Foxglove’s role a little, as I was worried she was becoming nothing more than a sidekick. That’s the trouble with writing Laburnum as a self-insert character. I have to be careful to make sure she doesn’t overshadow the others and become a Sue herself. As for the rest of the fic … it was short, especially when I cut it down for the PPCing, but the fallout took a heck of a lot longer to deal with than I was expecting. I guess I should have known when I took on a Bart/Lisa underage incest fic. I am never never never never never doing a Simpsons fic again. It just hurts too much to see what they do to the only show I’ve watched consistently since the age of five. As for the Jaunt, I’ve been pondering using it to dispose of Sues before, but they always seemed to have much more relevant and easily accessible punishments available. Besides, it’s so horrible even I hesitate to use it on a living being. “Living beings”, of course, not including things like this Sue. In the short story (available in “Skeleton Crew”) someone actually did murder his wife by throwing her into a Jaunt set to Nil. Rudy Foggia was a convict volunteer who lasted long enough after he came out the other end to say “It’s eternity in there”, thus hinting to the scientists what it did, before dropping dead of terror. Very spooky story, much recommended. As is the Sandman series, despite the misery and gore – it’s not a real story without misery and/or gore, in my opinion. Anyway, that’s our first and only Simpsons PPCing, and this is Laburnum and Foxglove, signing out for now. Look out for the next mission – we’ll find something really special. Mwahahaha.]
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