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She Sparkles and Glints
doctorlit -- General -- Posted: 24/09/2014 -- Updated: 24/09/2014
Because this idea has been eating at me since I worked on the Artemis and Bodldops stuff on the wiki, earlier this year. This is my take on a possible scene while Halley was stuck in Mid-World. There is some NSFW language to be found below.

Halley belongs to bodldops. The man in black and Mid-World belong to Stephen King. The Shades and Gaspode the Wonder-Dog belong to Terry Pratchett. I just discovered last night that a friend I had loaned some books to has lost my copies of the first four Dark Tower novels, so the MiB will probably be acting more like he did at the end of the series than he did at the beginning. This scene does contain one major spoiler for The Dark Tower VII: The Dark Tower. (As in, it literally spils the entire series, you will not be able to enjoy the books at all if you read this first.)
* * *

As Halley began to wake up, she felt an uncomfortable heat beating down on her above. Sunlight, surely, but the Shades weren't well-known for being very brightly-lit. As she began stirring, trying to get to her feet, she discovered three very important details about her knew and unknown location.

1. There was hard-packed sand beneath her.

2. Her hands and feet were tied.

3. She had a massive bruise on the right side of her forehead, which she had inadvertently just scratched across the aforementioned sand.

Halley cried out, opening her eyes, and snapping her body up and into a kneeling position. The sun and sand had vaguely impressed into her groggy head that she had found her way into either a desert or a beach, an she now saw that it was, indeed, a desert. It was a long expanse of white with no obvious landmarks.

There was, however, a man dressed in black standing right in front of her. He had been grinning, and now grinned even wider. "Greetings, Lady-sai!" He bent down one leg and bowed, holding a closed fist against his forehead. "Life for you, and life for your crop. I do say sorry for that goose egg—" He tapped a single finger near his right temple— "But when I saw you pop out of that odd thinny-hole, I just had to talk to you." His grin—it didn't seem possible, but it got even widerteeth bright and white, and glinting down on Halley.

She shivered a bit, despite the desert heat. When she first saw a smiling figure in black, she figured it was another agent. After all, she had worn black herself for her vacation back to the Disc. (It was a good color in the Shades, but also useful for identifying yourself to other agents out on missions.) But this man's weird behavior, and speech, and, well, the fact he had apparently knocked her out and tied her up, definitely did not point in that direction. He almost looked like a cowboy, with chaps and boots and a vest worn over a button-down collared shirt, all in black except for the buttons. the only thing missing was a wide-brimmed Stetson, but the man wore no hat. His hair was, again, black, and fell all around his head in messy strands.

He just continued to stare at her. He raised his eyebrows, as though surprised at her lack of response.

"Um. Hi." Halley finally said. "Sorry, I . . . I'm still a bit woozy." Why was she even apologizing? He was the one who had knocked her out!

"Hm." That unreal smile finally vanished, and a look of contemplation settled over the face of the man in black. "I still feel the same. You're not like her, are you? Ah, well. There's more than one use for a damp rag, eh?"

Halley, suspecting that she may have been the damp rag in the previous sentence, had been about to argue, but was stopped when she saw the man's face . . . shift. There was no other word for it; the nose became just a bit more pointed, the eyes closer together, the mouth sat a bit lower in his face. For just a hairline of second, Halley could have sworn she was looking at Irvine—not DIA Agent Irvine, but that other one that had been sneaking around HQ for a couple of years. But less than a second later, it was back to normal. Halley flailed for a moment, forgetting that her feet were tied and trying to stand, leaving her on her side once again. "Who are you? What are you?"

The man seemed unperturbed. In fact, he seemed rather bored as he said, "Oh, the name, yes. Let's go with . . . Ah, but I had best say 'Marten' if I'm taking you back with me, as all in Gilead know me by that one."

"I'm not going anywhere with you!" Halley kicked at the crusted sand forcing herself away from this bizarre person.

Marten only laughed—a high-pitched, fast-paced giggle that made Halley feel almost physically sick until he stopped—and said, "Look around thyself, cully, and tell me where it is you plan to run to? 'Tis all flat and empty, this Mohaine Desert, though it shouldn't be quite bad, not yet.

Halley looked wildly all around, as much as her bound limbs allowed. The man in black was telling the truth; it was nothing but a flat expanse of sand all around, bleached so white it might have looked like snow in a photograph, with the sun's heat removed. Except—

Halley stopped moving when she it. There was one spot on the horizon that looked different. It was the air there; it had a certain shimmer to it beyond what mirages the heat was casting all around. A place against the sky where the color . . .

"Wilver," Halley said aloud. There was a wilver distortion against the sky.

"Wilver?" Marten echoed. He watched for a moment, then continued, "Ah. 'White' and 'silver.' Yes, she fancies herself a warrior of the White, but really! She is only here for herself. And so she casts an off shade of color! the Wilver; do ye say so?" He looked expectantly at Halley, grin now gone.

"Uh. Sure. I mean, we call them 'Mary Sues,' and I think, for the most part they go for urple over wilver, but wilver's pretty common, too." Halley shook her head. She shouldn't say to much; she wasn't quite sure, but it was seeming more and more likely that this man was a canon in some universe Halley didn't know. But it was hard to fight those eyes. Something in the man's face made her want to explain herself. And indeed, as if he realized what she had just realized, that intense look seemed to slide away for a moment.

"Do you want to know a secret?" Walter said, distracting her.

"Um. Honestly, I would rather—"

"The young Gunslinger is a farce."

". . . The what?"

Marten giggled again. "You really are an outsider. Like her." His face shifted again, looking suddenly youthful. "We have your woman, outsider!" Then the face settled back into Marten's.

Halley glowered. That had been a line in a horror movie Talia had convinced her to watch one Halloween. Which meant: "You are inside my head."

"Hee hee hee! I try. Allow me to enlighten you about Gunslingers. They are the fancy heroic lawmen around here." He pretended to hook his thumbs through suspender he didn't wear and cast a stern frown that might have come from Barney Fife during a proud moment. "Roland, son of Steven, may they rot in hell as I **** both their mothers, seeks to go on a mythical quest to the Dark Tower, where he believes he will enter and put to right all that's gone wrong—" he gestured at the desert around them— "with the world. Except that he fails every time."

Halley quirked an eyebrow. "He gets redos?"

The man in black shrugged. "I get a second chance every time he does, so I suppose I can't complain. Especially as I'm a bit of a risk taker, and have a tendency to get killed before Childe Roland comes to the Dark Tower. But I have a problem now."

"It sounds like you have lots of problems."

Marten ignored Halley. "This outside force. She who stands for the Wilver and Urple, as you tell it. Now, she is the one who enters the room at the top of the Tower."

". . . Oh."

"Now she is getting the second chances. Now she is starting us over, and starting us far further from the end of her quest than the Tower made Roland do. I can at least be grateful the Mohaine had moved too close to Gilead—that at least shaves a bit of time off each cycle. But still, I am losing centuries." Here, finally, Marten's voice took on a vicious growl, his face lost that creepy, pressing smile. "And no longer does anything change! Even Roland, that smug and stubborn old ass, would do things different, with or without my intervention. But not, she, oh no, she can't allow anything to change. It's always exactly the same; I still can't be certain if she doesn't know what's happening, or enjoys the attention so much she simply doesn't care. I can't do a thing to fix it, oh no. I have my parts I am compelled to play, and I must be there to fulfill them. When I'm near her, my words and actions are not my own. As though she is in my head, and that is supposed to be my trick on others, may it please thee."

Halley's eyes widened. There was only one direction this canon could possibly be going with all this. "But then I came. I'm something that didn't happen before."

The grin again, so wide and white. "YES! Yes, lady-sai, do thee see it?"

"I see it." See it very well, she thought, which then struck her as odd.

"You can see what's happening, when the Deschain family and Roland's precious ka-tets cannot. You can act against her, when I cannot." He drew a folding knife from the pocket of his chaps and opened it. He kneeled down over Halley, who stiffened reflexively. But Marten only smiled—a real smile, for once, a smile of hope mismatched with the face that gave it. He cut her bonds, and offered a hand to help her stand. The two, dressed in black, looked out to the cloud of distortion that hung over Gilead in the distance.

The Sue in wilver fled across the desert, and the agent in black followed.
Um, kk. Martin talks funy, adn I dont' tihnk I like him. Mayb you sohuld have made him niser to Halley? Like he cold have given her food or somthin, and aslo not have tyed her upp. But iM glad teh Mary-Su is gonig to die!!"!!