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|The Science of Suedom|
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“German for revenge,” Sherlock says immediately. John tries to look through the Words again, to no avail. His partner kneels down to the stone, to examine the letters.
“It can’t have been left by a canonical, since they’d be writing in tengwar or runes. But why revenge? She has no way of knowing I’d be assigned to this fic. Yet…”
“Why would it be revenge? Couldn’t it be an indicator of her name – which, incidentally, you forgot.” John crosses his arms and watches Sherlock probe about the crime scene. The air itself seems to be suffused with Glitter.
“I do remember that she has a friend we’ll also have to kill, and that aside from Aragorn and Legolas she has also replaced Frodo and Lord Elrond.” Sherlock straightens up, smirking. “And that she is the daughter of Manwë and Varda.”
“What.” John frowns.
“That was particularly memorable. And come to think of it, it could explain her disappearance. After all, the Valar are aware of us from time to time.”
“Yes, but… the daughter of Manwë and Varda? Seriously?”
“At least it isn’t Galadriel and Gandalf,” Sherlock points out sweetly. “The new Hobbit film frames their relationship in a strangely non-professional light. Or at least the trailers indicate such.”
John rolls his eyes. “Exactly what we needed,” he deadpans. “Are we done here?”
“Possibly.” Sherlock looks about, before kneeling down again and leaning over the edge of the bridge to peer into the waters below. “Based on the footprints all over the bridge, tracking mud from the path, and the patterns of broken leaves nearby, this was the last spot she visited prior to her disappearance. She wasn’t alone – another person – elf, probably – was with her. There was a struggle of some sort, culminating in…”
Something twinkling catches the Agent’s eyes; slowly he lowers his arms towards the rippling water –
SPLASH! With a very undignified yelp, Agent Sherlock Holmes tumbles off the bridge into the water. John can’t help but laugh.
Sherlock glowers at him from the riverbed as he clambers to his feet and stalks out of the water, clothes soaked. In his hand he clutches a ring.
“The Sue lost her Extra Ring of Power,” declares the dark-haired Agent, smirking. “Despite her efforts, we really are acquiring quite a profile on her. Let’s go find more data.”
John feels confused, to say the very least. Sherlock is driving the mission like a crime scene investigation, despite already having known the answers before. He’d like to question the veracity of Sherlock’s confession – Sherlock certainly knows his way about the in-fic Rivendell, even though he’s deleted key information like the Sue’s name and appearance from his mind.
And who deletes things from their memory at will anyway? John wishes he could do that; it’d certainly save him a fortune in Bleeprin.
They’re back inside now and sitting in the Hall of Fire; Sherlock is staring up at the ceiling, as if looking for divine inspiration. His hands are folded together, fingers steepled, and his brows seem clouded with thought. John looks around at the extras milling about the hall, coming in and out; in precious few places is the Canon preserved. It’s almost tragic.
“My beloved daughter is lost! Can you help me?” someone beseeches.
Sherlock and John turn and stare at the speaker with varying degrees of shock. Lord Elrond – or rather, ‘Lord Elrod’ judging by the mini-Balrog floating next to him – clutches at Sherlock’s still-soaked robes, hysterical tears pouring out of his eyes. John takes the mini and puts it away with Bruien and Aragon.
“I cannot find my beloved Celeste Sakurablossom; have you seen her at all?”
“Um.” John frowns. “I thought your daughter’s name was Arwen.”
Elrond draws himself upright, looking highly affronted. “As if that hag’s my daughter! No, my daughter is the much prettier Celeste; do you know where she’s gone or will I have to take you to the dungeons?”
“I didn’t know Rivendell had dungeons,” Sherlock remarks drily.
“We’ll keep an eye out for her,” John adds, as the elf lord whirls about and flounces away, obviously in a huff.
“Idiot,” mutters Sherlock as Lord Elrond vanishes out of the hall.
“Hey! He’s not –”
“Normally, no.” Sherlock rolls his eyes.
“Is she the one? Celeste?”
“I doubt it,” Sherlock replies. “Wrong father, for one.”
“Yes, but the way Elrond said it made it seem as if he’s disowned Arwen and adopted Celeste instead.”
Sherlock grimaces. “Point. We’ll look out for –”
“Looking for anything?” a sultry voice cuts in before Sherlock can say another word. A young woman stands before them, tall and willowy with blonde hair and green eyes. She pushes her cleavage in Sherlock’s general direction, not noticing his nose wrinkling in distaste, and titters coyly.
“Certainly not that,” Sherlock snaps. “Celeste Sakurablossom?”
“Aye, tis me.”
Sherlock turns to John, who is staring at the girl with wide eyes. He snaps his fingers. “Not the one.”
Celeste pouts. Sherlock turns back to her, an eyebrow raised.
“What can you tell me about your friend?” he demands. “The one who has replaced Frodo, Aragorn, and Legolas –”
“Gornie is mine!” Celeste snaps, eyes welling with tears. “You can’t take him –”
“Legolas and Frodo, then. Do you know what happened? Why is your friend hiding? Tell me!” The canon is, after all, so distorted and warped at this point that the character-replaced canonicals have become aware of them; accosting a subordinate Sue hardly seems like an issue.
A single tear slips from Celeste’s eyes. “I-I-I don’t know what you’re t-talking about!” she blubbers.
“Yes you do, and you will cooperate with me!” Sherlock snarls, spitting the words into her face. Celeste recoils with a squeak, before finally stammering:
“L-L-Leggiekins w-was the last one!”
Sherlock draws away from her, frowning. “She got to Frodo first.”
“Aye,” breathes Celeste. “F-first Frodo and L-Lord Elrond… and then Gornie and L-Leggie…”
“She carried an Extra Ring of Power when she went to seduce Legolas on the bridge.”
“How’d… you know that?”
“I don’t know; I deduce.” Sherlock glowers at her. “She struggled with him, but eventually Legolas was replaced; she left a note on the bridge prior to disappearing. Did you see her after that?”
“N-no…” sobs Celeste.
“Do you remember what your friend looks like?”
Celeste tries to nod, but something seems to be preventing her from doing so. “No…”
“Do you remember anything at all about your friend?”
Once more, Celeste attempts to say her friend’s name, but all that comes out is: “No! You can’t hurt her! I won’t let you!”
“Hurt?” Sherlock seems to mull over the word for a moment before grinning, shark-like. “No, we’re not going to just hurt her.” He pauses. “Kill her, yes. John, read Celeste’s charges.”
“What?” John looks up from where he’s been taking notes. “Oh, right. Yes. Um. Celeste Sakurablossom, you are hereby charged with being a subordinate Sue, with replacing the characters of Lord Elrond and Aragorn, son of Arathorn, with replacing Arwen’s role in the canon and causing Elrond to disown his own daughter, with inserting a dungeon into Rivendell, with breaking up a canon romance – namely one engagement between Aragorn, son of Arathorn, and Arwen Undómiel, with using nauseating pet-names for Legolas and Aragorn, and with aiding and abetting your friend in her own transgressions against canon. Your sentence is death; any last words?”
“No!” sobs Celeste. “Please, no! Have mercy! Have – urk.”
John sets down the bow and pulls the arrow out of the dead Sue’s throat. “One down, one to go,” he says, slightly more cheered up. “Do you think she’ll be at the Council?”
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