Episode 15: A Thorn in the Roses
Tadkeeta and Luxury's catfight in the Gladden Fields faded and Tawaki found himself sitting in a chapel, next to a younger, unBorgified Tawaki. He was in a Pensieve he and Iskillion had confiscated from a Padfoot's-Daughter!Ron's-Twu-Wuv™!Sue not too long earlier, and had filled it with memories using one of Makes-Things' Muggle-Use wands. This would be the day he had learned from Aslan that he was a transporter-generated clone à la Thomas Riker, and was going to talk to the next available Christian Holy Holly. But that was not the reason Tawaki was looking at this memory. But before she could arrive -
[Tawaki?] Tawaki turned, to see Iskillion.
[Get out of the Pensieve and report the Floating Hyacinth's office at once.] So saying, Iskillion pulled Tawaki out. Tawaki put his mp3 player on and headed down the corridor listening to “Morgenspaziergang.” Before the track was over, he had arrived. Come in, said the Floating Hyacinth.
Tawaki did so, turning off the mp3 player. “You rang?”
Yes, I did. You are being transferred to a new department.
“A new department?”
And I mean BRAND-new. You will be moving to Response Center #74088 and joining the Department of Temporal Offenses.
“Who heads that department?”
You'll meet it later. Dismissed.
Tawaki was listening to “The Man-Machine” to get back to RC #4913. When he made it back, he sighed. “I'm being transferred,” he announced.
[I got a message to that effect,] said Iskillion.
Tawaki pulled his memories out of the Pensieve, and they packed up Tawaki's things and loaded the three suitcases (and Saaveedroo in a pet taxi) onto a dolly and reminisced about their missions as they made their way to Response Center #74088. They bid each other farewell, and Tawaki entered.
This response center had two rooms (not counting the bathroom). Tawaki's regeneration alcove was on the wall beside the door to his partner's room – whoever his partner was. The console was on the wall opposite.
Tawaki went over to the console. It was the Toffee Tree, telling him to report to its office. Tawaki put his mp3 player back on and listened to “Tunak Tunak Tun.”
Come in, said the Toffee Tree. Tawaki turned his mp3 player off again and did so.
“Agent Tawaki Penguin, reporting for duty,” he said.
First, your new patch. The Toffee Tree indicated a pair of flashpatches showing a battered alarm clock with springs sticking out. This is the Department of Temporal Offenses.
“What will I be facing?”
Distortions in the timeline, characters maturing in this way or that too early or late, time travel in 'verses without it, that sort of thing.
“What was that second one?”
Stuff like an emotionally mature first grader or a thirty-year-old human who seems about three. Also tampering with the duration of life cycles and spans.
“Oh.” Tawaki replaced his flashpatches.
Your partner will be at your response center soon, so I would advise you to return.
Tawaki left the office and returned to RC #74088, listening to some birdsong on the mp3 player. He let Saaveedroo out of the pet taxi and set a painting of a bluetit on a treebranch up above his regeneration alcove. He had begun to shelve his books when the door burst open and a tabby cat-anthro entered the room. “Is this Response Center #74088?” she asked.
“Yes this is. Are you my new partner?”
“If you're Agent Tawaki.”
“I'm Agent Melpomene. And this,” here she produced a mini-Dragon from a pet-taxi, “is Rabbadash. I'm just out of training, and–“
Tawaki and Melpomene went straight for the console and looked over the fic. “Oh no,” groaned Tawaki. “Nothing but OC's, and a distorted timeline to boot!”
“And what a whiner!”
“Let's go as badgers.” Tawaki packed his sword, a replica of Caspian X's second-best.
"This is so bloody stupid." The rat moaned as the mousemaid Tealeaves forced her into a gaudy pink dress. "Now now, Miss Rosewater, this is the biggest celebration in Redwall history. You must look the part."
“Charge for a rat at Redwall?” asked Melpomene.
“No,” replied Tawaki. “Grubbage settled there, and Slipp and Blaggut paid a call. And Blaggut was a semi-frequent guest, IIRC. But don't you worry. There will more than enough charges to make up for it.”
"Look the part? I dun even belong in this place! The seas for me, 'Leaves mah gal." The ratmaid argued.
“Which seas?” asked Tawaki.
Tealeaves sighed, knowing the girl would complain no matter what. "You should be thankful that the lady Cottonfur even allowed you to stay, Rosewater." "Would you stop callin' me dat ?! The names Darkclaw and you know it!" Darkclaw countered, her voice growing louder and louder.
“Stealing... canon... names,” said Melpomene as she wrote the charges. “Genderbending... said... name.”
Tealeaves struck the table and read Darkclaw Sue the riot act, and the Words revealed that the ceremony was to celebrate–
“A Redwall-Vermin alliance? Did I hear that right?” asked Melpomene.
“Yes,” replied Tawaki.
“Let's just kill them.”
“Not yet. We haven't gotten to the offense that got this fic sent to us.
"That's a good girl. Now come on, it has almost started!" The mouse said and led the rat wreathed in pink to the main hall. They sat down just as the Abbot Sunfur, with his golden fur, stood up on his chair.
“Is there even ONE canon character?” asked Melpomene.
“A small chance,” replied Tawaki. “We'll risk the CAD then.”
“What do you mean, 'risk?'”
“Too much OOC can damage a CAD. It could even blow up; I have had that happen on several occasions.”
" Dearie me, such a short fellow, our abbot, wot? Can barely touch my bally eartips, he can't!" A hare whispered to Darkclaw.
“Melpomene, charge for channelling Yoda,” said Tawaki.
“I'm on it,” replied the feline.
She was an older than the rest of Darkclaw's "group"- the hare, herself, and a rouge ottermaid- but she certainly didn't show it. Her name was Arrowtips, on account of her pointed ears. The otter giggled mischievously. She was covered in pirate tattoos, at which had been in no avail covered with a golden dress cloak. Her name was plainly Pike, and she could swim faster and deeper than the rest of the otters, despite her young age.
“Taggerung ripoff much?” asked Tawaki. “Yes, Socrates, it is.”
“I was focussing on her red fur,” said Melpomene. “Doesn't go well on an otter.” Indeed, the ottermaid was “rouge.”
That was the group. All three were not originally Redwallers, Pike from a pirate clan east of Mossflower, Darkclaw once being part of the Quarry Scoundrels. Arrowtips had once lived in Salamandastron, but was kidnapped at a young age by the Blue Horde and raised by a ferret.
“Redwall did not f---ing EXIST when the Blue Hordes were defeated,” hissed Tawaki. “In fact, I'm not even certain if Luke the Warrior had married Sayna yet!”
“That would be why this fic was sent here.”
It seemed that Redwall had defeated the “clans,” and that Darkclaw Sue, Pike Sue, and Arrowtips Sue had been taken in by the Redwallers, although Tawaki rather suspected that all the fic's characters had taken the canon characters in.
Melpomene saw the beginnings of a red mist in Tawaki's eyes. “Is that the Bloodwrath?” she asked.
“No, that's Sunfur nattering about the Day of Admittance.”
“Not that, you. Your eyes are beginning to mist over.”
Tawaki began pointing his CAD at the characters named in the Words.
Darkclaw. Rat female. Non-canon. Mary Sue.
Arrowtips aka Pillowtail. Non-canon. Mary Sue. Holding temporal anomaly open.
Pike. Otter female. Non-canon. Mary Sue.
Abbot Sunfur. Mouse male. Non-canon. Gary Stu. Keeping canon characters from bursting out of plothole.
Whitepaw. Mouse male. Non-canon Gary Stu.
Marten. Mouse male. Canon noncanonnhgtsssssd
Everybeast turned to look as the Canon Analysis Device exploded. Then, something seemed to snap in Tawaki. He drew his sword and dashed into the throng of Sues, slaying them one by one and yelling “EULALIAAAAAAAAA!”
Melpomene realized she had to read the charges. “Ersatz Redwallers!” she called over the noise. “You are charged with hiding the real Redwallers, stealing names, tying the timeline in knots by making Cluny the Scourge and Ungatt Trunn contemporaries, with making a Redwall-Vermin alliance, with ripping off Taggerung, with channelling Yoda, with having a “rouge” otter, and with punctuation abuses! The sentence is already being carried out!”
By this time, Tawaki had eliminated half the assembled Sues, including Darkclaw and Arrowtips. He slew Sunfur Stu and immediately the canonical Redwallers swarmed out of a plothole in Cavern Hole. Mattimeo, Log-a-Log, and the Guosim helped finish off the rest of the Sues, and kept Pike Sue from killing Tawaki.
At last the Sues were all dead. Melpomene neuralyzed the Redwallers, and she and Tawaki returned to their response center. Tawaki interfaced with his regeneration alcove and was soon fast asleep.
Tawaki groaned. “Shut up until I've slept off the Bloodwrath.”
For the masochistic among you, the fic can be found at http://www.fanfiction.net/s/957496/1/A_Thorn_in_the_Roses.