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Agent July ([personal profile] agent_july) wrote2015-05-31 03:45 pm
Entry tags:

Mission: Swim

This takes place in early May, right after the second AHAIRQ match.

Thank you to Trojie and Pads for beta reading.



"I don't get why you had to hit so hard," July complained. The Floater was holding an ice-pack to her forehead. The latest match for the All-HQ Australian Indoor-Rules Quiddich League hadn't been as needlessly brutal as the first one, but blood had been shed. July was happy that it hadn't been hers.

Library sighed. Her partner had been carrying on like this for the past few hours. "I told you already; I didn't know you were there!"

"How'm I supposed to know you're telling the truth?" July stood up. "What a friend you are!"

"I'm not the one who was purposefully aiming for Titus."

July stopped her dramatics for a moment and stared at Library. "I wasn't aiming at Titus."

"You weren't?" Library looked up from her book. It was the translated version of Battle Royale.

"No! I'm not that bad. I was aiming at Luxury."

"Luxury was near Titus the entire time."

"Then I obviously have really bad aim. And at any rate, it doesn't matter anyways, since we won."

"Maybe."

July flopped back onto her mattress. "At least there's time for me to rest—"

[BEEEEEP.]

July launched herself off the bed and at the console, ice pack completely forgotten. "Hate the Laws of Comedy." She beat the button to accept the mission, and then stared at the monitor in silence for a moment, before saying, "Damnit."

Library set the book down. "What is it?"

"Uh, nothing." July quickly opened a portal. "Just a transdimensional snatch fic. We can get this done fast, no problem."

Library grabbed the backpack. "Is there something wrong? You don't sound especially happy, July."

"No, everything is fine."

"If you say so." Library went through the portal.

"Everything will be just fine," July repeated to herself once more before she entered the portal, but not before grabbing the second handgun that her partner had picked up after the Mary Sue invasion.



"What took you? I thought you were right behind me," Library asked when July came through.

The portal had taken them to a park, next to a pond. On the other side of the pond, the two agents could see a pool house and pool, and they were barely able to make out the canon characters that had been kidnapped for the author's pool party.

"I had to get something," July said grimly. She turned the gun's safety off.

"What are you doing with that gun? I thought you said this was only a snatch story. We don't need weapons."

"Just something I have to do." July ran towards the pool.

Library stared at her partner in shock for a moment, and then ran after her. "July! What are you doing?"

There was no response; the other girl was completely ignoring her.

"July!"

July went inside the pool house, past the now-shocked canons.

Library only heard a snatch of what Ron Weasley said ("Didn't she look just like—") before she went inside as well. She wasn't prepared at all for what she saw.

July had pinned the author face down against the floor, and was holding the muzzle of the gun against the girl's head as she recited charges that neither agent had been there to see.

"—making Draco Malfoy not know what a damn swimming pool is, making Voldemort look like the Tom Riddle in the diary, that 'authorship' bull, breaking the fourth wall, having them know about the damn books, giving them freaking SUPER SOAKERS—"

"July!"

"What!?" July yelled and looked up. "Oh, hi. Don't worry, I've got this taken care of." The Floater girl was wearing a cracked expression. "The avatar'll be dead in a bit."

This wasn't the case, as Library had distracted her partner enough that the author had been able to escape July's hold. The author avatar pushed July away and stood up, backing away towards the wall.

The reason for July's insanity was now apparent: the author looked exactly like July, but younger.

Library looked at her partner in concern. "This was your story?"

"Yep." July nodded in confirmation. "And now I'm taking care of it." She turned back to the avatar girl and aimed the gun. "Now, where was I? I've already mentioned the super soakers, as I remember, and the mischaracterization, and the Pre-Camelot Age crap, so I think now is the point where I tell you what comes next. JulyFlame, with no space between the two words pointedly noted, for all of this, your sentence is death."

The avatar version of July was apparently going to have none of this, because to Library and July's surprise, she lunged at her PPC counterpart, knocking July over and into the wall. "No!"

For a short moment, Library backed away from the two, who were screaming obscenities at each other while they punched, kicked, and rammed each other into the walls, the gun completely forgotten. Both girls displayed underhanded fighting that no one would have expected July to ever use, even when she had been fighting the Sues during the invasion.

After the initial shock, Library approached the two Julys and dragged the closest one away. "Will you both stop it?! Right now!" The two stopped attacking each other and looked sullen, though the other July looked somewhat surprised. The agent had a black eye developing, and the avatar's lip had been split. She looked at her partner with a look of disgust. "I can't believe you! That—she's basically you! You were trying to kill yourself! What on earth is wrong with you, July?"

July eyed the avatar with a look of extreme hate. "That's not me," the agent said. "It's just a stupid avatar I once made. For fun."

The avatar glared back. Past the initial shock, it seemed the younger girl had acclimated quickly to the existence of the other July. "I'm a person, not an it." She spat out a mouthful of blood. "And this is my story now, not yours. You were the one that abandoned it, you were the one who didn't come back or fix it or anything. The internet's my place, not yours."

"We need to put the canon characters back, though. They can't stay here. It's what the PPC is for," Library said. "To fix badfic. This story doesn't help."

"What's the PPC?" The girl looked at Library. The sullen look had been replaced by one of great curiosity.

Library looked at her partner, who quickly turned and looked away. "She didn't tell you why she was here?"

"Beyond trying to kill me?" The girl was completely flippant now. "Nope."

"The PPC stands for Protectors of the Plot Continuum."

"What's that mean? That you fix badfic?"

Library bit her lip thoughtfully. Despite the fact that Library's partner had just tried to kill her, the author avatar version of July was showing quite a bit of interest in the PPC. "Well, in cases like this, where the characters are kidnapped, we send them back to where they belong after fixing their memories. Or in a story that has a Mary Sue in it, we kill the Mary Sue."

The girl's eyes lit up. "Really? You do that? Kill Sues?"

"Yes. Among other things."

"I can burn things, can I—"

July cut the avatar off before she could finish. "No."

"July, don't you dare say anything, not after that," Library said sharply. "You don't have any right to, not right now. Not after what you were trying to do."

"What, do the Duty?" July's normally good-natured mischievous grin had been replaced with an ugly scowling expression.

"That didn't have anything to do with the Duty and you know it. That was something else entirely." Library turned away from her partner and to the avatar once more. "Yes, you can join. But first all the characters out there need to be neuralyzed and sent back. And since you share the same name as July, what should we call you?"

"JF," the avatar said. "I've always been JulyFlame or JF."

"That will have to do, then."



With the avatar's cooperation, they were able to get the canon characters back home fairly quickly, but July grumbled the entire time, muttering under her breath, and when they portaled back to their response center, she was still in a poor mood.

What the Marquis de Sod had to tell the three didn't help improve the matter.

Both Agent Flame and her author avatar count as the same person, the Marquis told them.

"What?" JF looked slightly less than enthused, which was a change from how she had been acting since Library had begun to talk to her.

July was far less happy. "You've got to be kidding."

The Flower's petals furrowed slightly. I do not 'kid' about paperwork. I also do not 'kid' about employment problems such as these. You will take care of that, I presume? He pushed a depressingly large stack of forms towards July. All of these need to be filled out.


"What? I thought your department was supposed to take care of that sort of stuff."

The Department of Personnel cannot fill your paperwork out for you, Agent Flame.

The girls exited fairly quickly after a few choice words from July.

"Gah! That damn plant!" July said once more as they walked back to their RC. She looked as though she was ready to tear all the forms into confetti. JF, on the other hand, seemed to have gone back to what was quickly appearing to be the avatar's default emotion: chipper.

"Considering you called it an aphid-loving, disease-ridden bastard, I think we were lucky to not have been escorted out," Library told her mildly.

"I can escort my own damned self out, thank you very much," July muttered when they finally reached the response center.

The console was beeping with a message.

"Jason again," Library said, when she checked it.

"Again?"

"Yes. I'll go take care of it this time, so you can get started on the paperwork." She looked at July. "That won't be a problem, will it? Leaving you both alone?"

"Nope."

"Guess not," July muttered, as she looked around for a pen.

"Good. I'll be back as soon as I take care of this, then."

A few minutes after Library left, JF spoke up, in a serious tone. "Why did you try to kill me?" she asked.

"Why?" July's voice held a dangerous edge to it. She stood up and pushed the stool away, scattering the forms and pen to the floor. July stood right in front of the avatar and glared. "Why? Because you shouldn't exist, that's why!"

"Well, I do exist!"

July slapped her. "And that's the problem! You shouldn't! You're me! There can't be two of me around!" She hit the younger girl again, with a straight punch to the gut.

It knocked the air right out of JF and made the girl keel over, but she still managed to reply. "No! I'm not you! I'm someone different, and I'm a person too! I told you already!"

"No, you're not! You look like me, you act like me, you talk like me; you are me! And there can only be one of me!" She shoved her against the wall, hard.

There was a short and intense blast of heat from the avatar, and July backed away. The avatar girl was on fire. "Stop hitting me!"

July picked up her sledgehammer and looked at JF as she swung it back and forth as though it were a baseball bat. "No." She let go, just as she swung it towards the avatar once more.



"Nggh..." JF blinked. "Ow." She sat up.

"It looks like she will be fine, after all," Library said to a blond man with a green armband.

"I told you," he replied. "I took care of the concussion while she was unconscious; that part was easy. The fact that she's on fire was the hard part."

"Heh, I am?" JF looked at herself. She was. She shook her head a bit and the flames extinguished. "Sorry," she said sheepishly.

Library looked back towards the man. "Thank you for coming, Asclepius."

"That's all right. It's been busy in Medical since the Mary Sue Invasion, but you and July recruited me. I wanted to help. Thanks to you both, I've never been happier," he said. "Practically every day's been a challenge. I hope everything turns out well," he added, before he left.

The avatar looked about the room. The response center was a mess. Papers and clothing had been torn up and tossed about; against one wall there was a large scorch mark. The backpack that had been next to the console was gone, and the equipment that had been in it had been dumped onto one of the mattresses. One of the piles of books that she had noticed when she had first come into the response center was missing as well. "Uh, what happened?"

Library looked downwards sadly. "July left."



I can't exactly review the story, given that it's actually mine—and is still on FF.net if you're really curious—and given that July totally didn't do anything she was supposed to for the mission, that puts everyone in an awkward position. Let's just suffice to say that while it's bad, it's not horrible; it's bad in the sense of "This is another stupid story where I kidnap the characters and make them do stupid stuff for fun!" kind of bad.


But yup, July is gone, she ran off. She completely and totally snapped. And then scarpered.