|Summary:||In which only the agents can prevent forest fires.|
|Source:||“The Girl And Her Dragon” by Pricat.|
|Continuum:||How to Train Your Dragon (film).|
|Published:||January 3, 2011.|
|Rating:||PG/K+ - Unintentional cruelty to dragons and one very unfortunate name.|
|Betas:||Data Junkie and Sedri.|
Agent Derik had sunk into a foul mood—specifically, one in which he was inclined to play opera with the volume cranked up to eleven and mutter about chandeliers with lots of sharp, pointy crystal bits. Severe the mini-Aragog, who liked to keep at least five of his eight eyes on Derik at all times, had retreated into his web-enshrouded corner of the response center and refused to come out. Agent Earwig, the ever-helpful kender, had suggested everything from yoga to model ship-building to joining the Department of Mary Sues’ All-HQ Australian Indoor-Rules Quidditch team to cheer him up, and nothing worked. With nothing to keep him going since returning from the team’s first mission, all his enthusiasm had leeched away.
Earwig was left to kick his heels and amuse himself by tossing bits of leftover cafeteria food to Arasgorn the mini-Balrog, seeing which ones he caught in his mouth and which ones simply burned up before they got that far. But a kender’s patience has its limits (three-point-eight-six minutes), and finally he took matters into his own hands.
“Derik! Hey, Derik, look at this! I was out by the Canon Library, and they had this new movie, and I just know you’ll love it! Let’s watch!” Before Derik could protest, Earwig climbed onto the chair in front of the console and shut off the opera, then popped a DVD into the disc drive.
Fortunately for Narrative Drama, the PPC Library routinely removes any ads that come attached to its DVDs (because really, in a place where the flow of time operates like a squirt gun, who cares what’s “coming soon”?), so Derik had no time to protest before he was confronted with the movie’s introductory monologue:
This is Berk. It’s twelve days north of Hopeless and a few degrees south of Freezing to Death. It’s located solidly on the Meridian of Misery. My village. In a word? Sturdy; and it’s been here for seven generations, but every single building is new. We have fishing, hunting, and a charming view of the sunset. The only problems are the pests. You see, most places have mice or mosquitoes. We have . . . dragons.
Ninety-eight minutes later, Derik hadn’t moved a muscle that wasn’t involved with breathing or eye-twitching. Earwig, who had gasped, laughed, sobbed, and whooped his way through, all accompanied by the appropriate acrobatics, hadn’t noticed.
“Wow, that was great!” the kender enthused. “It was like grraaawgh, and then they were all whoosh! and then it was garoooaaauuugh, and—hey, are you listening? Hey, Derik, didn’t you like it?” Earwig was crestfallen. He had been so sure his partner would be happy! He liked dragons, Earwig knew he did. He’d ridden one once. Of course, Earwig had, too, but that was more of an accident if he were being honest. Anyway, he knew Derik was still sad about not having a dragon anymore, but he’d been positive that this would help!
Derik seemed to remember that the kender was there and turned toward him, eyes devoid of emotion—even the good eye. Earwig waited for him to speak.
There was what is referred to in comics as a beat. Then:
“Oh, look. A mission,” said Derik. He stood up and slapped the red button on the console, read the Intelligence report, and grinned. “Great! Come on, Earwig. Bring the pack.”
Earwig puffed out his chest with pride and completely forgot to mention his partner’s sudden and unnerving cheerfulness. He, a kender, was being trusted to carry the supplies! “I’ve got it, Derik. I’m putting it on right now. Where are we going?”
Earwig gasped. “I don’t think there’s any call for that kind of language,” he said, frowning.
“No, no. We’re going to Berk.” The tall man put the final touches on their disguises and opened a portal. “Come on.” He grabbed his sledgehammer and jumped through.
“Oh! Okay.” Earwig jumped through after him.
In the fic, it was cold and dark—the natural cold and dark of nighttime somewhere very far north. Unlike their previous mission, this fic evidently had enough description to provide a decent setting. Fortunately, Derik had fitted their disguises with warm, fur-trimmed leather over-garments in Viking fashion, not to mention long, thick beards. There was some kind of festival taking place in the village, and no one noticed two extra people suddenly appear from behind a building, even if one was rather comically short. It was an animated continuum; this sort of thing happened.
Earwig’s first moments in the fic were full of ooohs and ahhhs (until Derik slapped a hand over his mouth): the village appeared basically as it ought to have done, with dragons of all colors, shapes, and sizes perched on every available surface. He overheard someone mention that they were celebrating the anniversary of the Vikings’ partnership with the dragons, and that was lovely, even if Derik prevented him from wandering off to see how the dragons were getting on and whether one of them might give him a ride.
Stoick, Hiccup, and Astrid were talking amongst themselves a little distance from the two agents, and then Stoick blew a horn. Everyone quieted down and listened to him speak:
"For many years I have been chief of Berk but now it is time for somebody to pass the mantle onto, somebody who has helped Berk change for the better.
My son Hiccup is now the chief of this clan." he announced.
“You know, he sounds like you, if you had a different accent and randomly paused like that between sentences,” Earwig said, pulling experimentally at his beard. He’d never had one before.
“Awkward, that,” Derik observed. “I suppose a long, paragraph break-sized pause adds drama to the announcement, but still. And no, he doesn’t.”
“Does, too. Also, he doesn’t look dead to me,” said Earwig. “Or very old, or sick, or feeble. So why is he making Hiccup the chief?”
Derik shrugged. “Narrative contrivance, I suppose. Oh well. Our Sue isn’t here, anyway. She’s moping in the woods. We should go find her.”
They left the village and discovered that Toothless the Night Fury was doing the same thing. The agents followed the jet-black dragon straight to the Sue, who was crying under a tree because, according to the Words, no one liked her and she was terrible at everything she tried, and was therefore afraid to try the one thing she really wanted to do: train dragons like Daddy.
“So she’s Hiccup and Astrid’s daughter, and that makes Toothless her ‘brother’, and that’s why he’s out here,” Earwig said, puzzling out the connections. “But wait, that still doesn’t explain how he knows where she is. Maybe he can smell her! I bet Night Furies have a good sense of smell.”
“Shh. We’re right on top of her.”
The agents hid while Toothless went up to her and growled, perhaps in an attempt to comfort her, perhaps in protest of her Sueish mind-control. Either way, she insisted that everything was fine and sent him away.
Earwig scratched his head. “So, wait—why did she make him come if she was just going to send him away?”
“Oh, it’s a contrived attempt to show that she has spirit and make us sympathize with her,” Derik said cheerfully. “But wait, what’s that I hear? More contrivance?”
Earwig listened and heard a “sad, weak growl” that led the Sue deeper into the forest, although a misplaced “but” gave her reservations about doing so. The agents sneaked after her, hiding behind a moss-covered boulder when she came to a stop. The growl, of course, had come from a female Night Fury. The Sue discovered that it had a fever. Neither agent was sure whether or not this was possible for a reptiloid creature or, even if it were, whether the average person would be able pick up on it.
Whether or not it made sense, the Night Fury decided that it could trust the Sue because it needed help and it had heard “legends” about her father.
“But, how?” Earwig wondered. “Don’t legends have to be . . . old? Hiccup can’t be that old if he has a young daughter. Unless Stoick really is dying, and Hiccup and Astrid have had a really tough marriage.”
“Maybe.” Derik made a face—well, half a face. The right side was permanently stiffened into a grimace by a network of Threadscars, which made him extra-formidable as a Viking, but also made it difficult to form normal expressions. “More to the point, how did the dragon know about her father before the Sue introduced herself?”
“She didn’t even do it right. She forgot the Haddock part, and I really don’t think there are two other people in the family named Kana, so she can’t be ‘the Third’.” He air-quoted the last.
Apropos of nothing, the dragon asked Kana if she were lonely.
“Wait, wait.” Earwig squinted at the scene. “That dragon is talking. Out loud. With words.” His jaw dropped momentarily. “They definitely don’t do that! Why is it doing that?”
“Lords and ladies, I give you our first major canon breach,” Derik announced.
His voice was covered by the sound of the Night Fury sneezing blue flame. This set the forest floor on fire, but only the agents seemed worried about it. Kana only “laughed at that sadly as she needed to go home,” then promised to come back. The agents waited around for the dragon to fall asleep, then got up and stomped out the flames before they could spread any farther.
“People are so careless!” Earwig remarked. “Don’t they know that forests are important natural resources?”
Derik scowled in a mercurial shift of temper. “Where I come from, forests are dangerous breeding grounds for Thread, and protecting them gives us riders more work.”
“Okay, okay. No need to fuss.” Earwig looked at the Words “Well, it looks like Kana doesn’t come back until tomorrow, so maybe you should get some sleep. Come to think of it, we could have used that fire for warmth. But that’s all right! I know I have some flints in here somewhere.” He started rifling through his pockets and pouches. Eventually he found what he sought, and the agents made camp. Earwig’s attempts to start a round of campfire singing, however, were firmly shut down.
“The Girl And Her Deagon,” blared the author’s note. The two agents woke with a start.
“But I don’t like spam!”
“ . . . What?”
Unrelenting, the note went on to inform them that ”In this fic, the dragons can talk in English and Dragonese and Hiccup and Kana can understand them but Astrid can’t but that’s what a reviewer on my other one said just to let people know.“
“They should have told her ‘just say no to uncanon!’” Earwig said, rubbing his left ear and scratching through his beard at the same time. “I’m hungry. Do we have any food left?” He dug around in his pouches, producing a half-sandwich, a packet of beef jerky, and a packet of dehydrated cheese product. He sniffed the sandwich and decided it was still good, took a bite, put the cheese product away, and offered the jerky to Derik. “Want some?”
Derik stared. “How did you do that?”
“You did all of that at the same time. I watched you. And now you’re eating and talking at the same time, without slurring.”
“I am?” Earwig looked down at himself. He could just see his lips if he pursed them out and crossed his eyes, but that didn’t help. The fact that the sandwich was already gone came as a bit of a surprise, though. “How did I do that?”
“Try this: gather up some sticks and restart the fire.”
“Okay.” He got to his feet, picked up a handful of kindling the right size to revive the banked fire, and got it going again. He did this all at once. “Whoa!”
“There is something very, very wrong here,” Derik said, grinning in the evolutionarily tested and approved “I’m nervous, but I have big teeth” fashion. “Let me see . . . .” His good eye went out of focus while he looked at the Words. His jaw dropped. “Great golden eggs! Look what she’s done to the grammar!”
“What?” Earwig looked.
Kana's eyes opened the next morning as she woke up in her bed in her room as she remembered what had happened last night and being in the forest as she needed to go there as she knew her father had medicine that could help the Night Fury she'd found and knew it was in her parent's room.
She sighed as she knew right now she needed to keep the news of another Night Fury a secret for now which she hated doing as she knew Toothless would want to mate with it and her Dad would want to train it himself which she hated as she heard thumping footsteps as Toothless was awake as he slept in the spare room but hoped he wouldn't go into her parent's room as she needed to get that medicine for her newly found friend.
In the woods, the agents shared a look. There were no words communicated by this look, only mute horror and pain on behalf of decent, hard-working grammar everywhere. But only for a moment. Kender aren’t known for practical responses to utter abomination.
“Wow!” said Earwig. “I guess since she can do things all at once like that, we can, too. Neat! I wonder how many things I can do at the same time?”
Before he could reach his pockets, or possibly as he reached them, Derik grabbed his arm and forced him into a sitting position. “The world is warped enough,” the man growled. “Don’t make it worse.”
“All right, Mister Grumpy-pants! I see someone didn’t get his eight hours last night. I thought a good night’s rest would have you feeling better, but I see I was mistaken. Are you getting enough ketchup in your diet? I hear it has natural mellowing agents to help you get through your day. I have some here—”
“What I want to know,” Derik said, “is why she thinks Hiccup training this Night Fury is a bad idea. Clearly he’s the best man for the job. Clearly she isn’t. Even she thinks she’s rubbish. So why not tell him?”
Earwig sulkily replaced the handful of Fancy Ketchup packets in his breast pocket. “Because then there would be no story and we would have to find something else to do?”
The Night Fury had relocated to a nearby cave sometime during the night, so the agents tracked it down and waited near the cave mouth for Kana to arrive. She brought the dragon medicine with her when she did so and fed it to the dragon, seemingly because “she hated seeubf dragons injured or hurt.”
“I thought it was a Night Fury,” Earwig whispered. “I’m so confused!”
Derik just growled something incoherent and gestured at the dragon’s side, where an arrow shaft protruded. “As if a mouthful of medicine would fix that. She’s not even taking it out!”
Instead, the Sue decided it was story-time. The agents were forced to listen to an incredibly soppy retelling of the movie, complete with an epilogue concerning Kana’s birth and her lonely, talentless life. Despite the fact that the dragon was already familiar with Kana’s name and heritage, her father being legendary and all, her place in the story was a startling revelation. The two shared a Moment. The agents gagged.
“Here’s one for the charge sheet,” Earwig said a little while later. It was now the third chapter and Kana and the Night Fury had fallen asleep, though it was still daylight and, for lack of evidence to the contrary, morning. “The dragon thought something about her ‘ohana’ earlier. Either she’s been to relatively modern Hawaii or that’s an anachronistic cultural contamination, ’cause there’s only one other place I know of where it’s a big deal, and that’s this movie called—hey, Derik, what are you doing? Derik?”
Oblivious to his partner, Derik silently crept into the cave where the injured Night Fury lay, apparently asleep. With the Sue no longer awake to be her New Bestest Best Fwiend Evar, there wasn’t really any motivation for her to do anything. She barely flinched when Derik pulled the arrow from her side and merely gave the “sad, weak growl” she’d made earlier upon spotting him.
“Wh-who are you?” she stammered vacantly.
“Someone who really cares about dragons. Earwig, give me that pack.”
The kender handed it over, careful not to disturb the slumbering Sue, and Derik went about making a stopgap dressing for the gaping wound with supplies from their first aid kit. It wouldn’t have been worth much under normal circumstances, but with the Suvian medicine already at work, the injury would probably heal as though it had never happened.
“There,” the dragonman said softly. “Go back to sleep. This was just a bad dream, all right?” He left the cave, taking the pack with him, and stalked through the trees.
Earwig followed, trying to catch his eye. “Um . . . Derik? That was really nice, but don’t we just have to kill her later? She IS a Sue-dragon, after all, or Cute Animal Friend at best.”
“I don’t care,” Derik snarled. “Be quiet, will you? I’m thinking.” He turned sharply to the left and continued in the new direction, brushing Earwig off. In his head, he calculated furiously, weighing his assets against Kana’s. Surely a former dragonrider of Pern such as himself had more to his advantage than some whiny teenager!
“All right, Derik,” Earwig called, stopping. “I can tell when you need quiet time, you know. It’s because you make that really very scary face, and I can see your teeth. They’re nice, by the way. You must take good care of them.” Derik disappeared around a tree. “I’ll just leave you to your thoughts, then. Oh, look at that!”
Submerged in the dark torrent of his angry ruminations, Derik didn’t take proper notice when Earwig fell silent. He was actually relieved enough to stop pacing and stand still, gazing up at the open sky. He missed it in Headquarters, and in spite of everything that was disturbing him in this fic, it brought him a sense of peace. This lasted all of thirty seconds before his common sense caught up to him like a slap in the face, and he looked around to realize that Earwig was gone.
Suddenly, his plot to abandon the mission and simply take over the story himself, leading its resident dragons and their riders into a new era of prosperity, seemed like the really very foolish idea it was. What had possessed him? The combined influences of a Pernese loyalty to dragonkind and, though he hated to admit it, the slightly megalomaniacal tendencies of his name- and face-sake Erik, both indelibly stamped onto his psyche. But the fit was over now, and he was in the middle of a strange wood, alone, with only the contents of his backpack to comfort him. Even those, he observed wryly, were lessened by dint of the remote activator, two packs of cards, and an umbrella.
Derik took a look at the Words to make sure that nothing unfriendly was going to come near him, then called out for Earwig. There was no answer. There was a kender loose and unsupervised in the fic.
“Well, scorch me.” He sighed and headed back toward the cave to keep an eye on events there. Earwig had the remote activator. Whatever he was up to, either he would find his way back on his own or . . . something else would happen.
Earwig had decided that Derik was boring when he was angsting. Therefore, when he spotted a Terrible Terror some distance off in the woods, he’d happily gone to investigate and see if he could make friends. The tiny green dragon set the end of his topknot on fire before flitting away, which made the most wonderfully awful smell, and Earwig considered it time well spent.
Due to the time compression rampant in the fic, Kana-Sue walked by on her way toward Berk only moments later. Apparently she had awakened from her mid-morning nap. Seeing her reminded the kender that he had a job to do, so he followed her. He wanted to ask her why she kept grabbing her chest, like maybe she couldn’t breathe, but when he looked at the Words he realized it was probably because “her heart beat nervously as she entered the village.” Hearts couldn’t technically be nervous, so it did its best to compensate by going into tachycardia.
Some of the village kids were flying their dragons overhead. Earwig stopped to watch them, but literally at the same time, he saw one cut toward Kana:
she saw a dark blue scaled dragon dive towards her as a girl with dark red hair was laughing as her dragon was chasing her as Astrid was nervous as she knew who it was.
"Leave her alone Luga.
You always pick on Kana." she said.
Luga scowled as she hated when Astrid ruined her fun.
Kana ran home crying when, although Luga and her dragon had never been described actually doing anything to her, she spontaneously broke out in cuts and scratches.
“Well, that’s silly,” Earwig remarked. “You only did it to yourself, after all.” Kana didn’t hear him, so he turned toward Luga. “Say, that’s a neat dragon you’ve got. Do you think I could ride on it? I rode a dragon once, but he was a lot bigger, and he wasn’t blue. See, this one time, I was . . . .”
Luga blinked and looked around sluggishly, struggling to fight off the stupor of being ignored by the Sue. “What?” She was finally able to track Earwig. “Who are you?” she asked, interrupting his story.
“Oh! My name is Earwig Slugthrower, PPC Assassin, Department of Mary Sues, Esquire,” he said cheerfully, adding the “esquire” because he liked the sound of it. “I already know you’re called Luga, though I don’t think that’s probably a Viking name. I bet I could think of a better one, like Dogbreath, or Addlepate, or Phlegm, or Troutnose, or Dumbledo—well, no, that one’s taken.” He planted his hands on his hips, mouth twisted to one side in thought.
“I’ve always had this name,” Luga said irritably, placing a hand on the blue dragon’s neck. The exact location of the neck and Luga’s hand shifted imperceptibly, like a cloud on a calm day, as the dragon tried to settle on a species. The girl herself, being little more than Essence of Bully in female form, wasn’t any easier on the eyes. “Anyway, what’s it to you?”
“Who, me? Oh, I was just thinking you should meet my friend Derik. He likes dragons, and he doesn’t like Kana. You two would get along great! Though he has been acting strange lately.” He started to clamber up the dragon’s back, but it turned its head and growled softly, like an avalanche you can’t quite spot yet. The kender decided that he’d rather be on the ground instead. Not that he was afraid, mind you, but being eaten by a dragon was an experience that could wait for a time he didn’t have other things to do. Which he totally did! “I should go tell Derik about you. I should be getting back anyway—he relies on me, you know, and it’s getting dark awfully fast. Well, bye!”
And off he went. The last thing he heard was the annoyed rejoinder, “I can think of a better name than you!” before the bewildered bit character was subsumed by the narrative again.
It was full night by the time Earwig got back to the cave. Consequently, Derik’s sledgehammer missed his head by inches and crunched a nearby log into kindling instead.
“Wow, nice hit!” Earwig said. “You’re really strong. Ever thought of going out for sports?”
Derik, who had nearly had a heart attack at the close call, sat down heavily and glared at his partner. “Crackdust, Earwig! I almost killed you!”
“I know you didn’t mean it.” Unconcerned, he sat down nearby and pulled the packet of jerky out of a pocket. “I have to tell you who I met! There’s this girl, Luga, and she hates Kana. She has a blue dragon, though I couldn’t get a good look at it because the Words only say it’s blue.” He put a piece of jerky in his mouth, but because of the warped grammar, it brought no end to his stream of talk. “Kana got hurt running from them, though they didn’t do anything but chase her, and I don’t think anyone tried to help her. Kana, that is. Isn’t that strange? You’d think Hiccup would do something instead of just ignoring her.”
“I was reading along, you know,” Derik muttered, cutting him off. “I got it on the charge list. Right next to making the Night Fury telepathic.” He spat as though he had just coughed up something vile, then took a strip for himself and gnawed on it.
“But the dragons in this world aren’t—oh, yes, I see.”
“Yeah. According to Kana, ‘Once a dragon and human become one, they begin to feel each other's emotions and thoughts’. That little tunnel snake . . . she has no idea.” He tore at the jerky with his teeth. “And she’s coming back here a little later, which we’ll have to stay up and watch. I’d like to wring her neck right now, but no.”
“Up late in the woods? Neat! Does that mean we can sing songs tonight? Or maybe tell ghost stories!”
Derik glared at him. “No.”
Earwig, in a rare fit of good judgement, didn’t say anything else. Instead, he occupied himself with playing Harvest Moon on his Game Boy, which Derik found distracting and oddly fascinating, if about as useful as a map of Headquarters. Soon enough, they heard twigs snapping as Kana came toward them. Earwig turned off the game and the agents crept closer to the cave in order to hear the conversation between Sue and dragon.
Kana fed the Night Fury more medicine and told her about Luga and the convenient telepathic bond, then announced that she wanted to give the dragon a name.
The female Night Fury's eyes went wide.
"You want to name me?
No human has ever done that for me before." she said.
Kana smiled a little.
"Well you are my friend.
It's what friends do.
I wanna call you Ari.
Is that okay?" Kana said.
“No, it’s not okay,” Derik grumbled. “Stupid name for a dragon. Anyway, assuming for one breath that these dragons did have language and legends and such, what kind of sentient species doesn’t name its own? I heard even shipfish—sorry, dolphins—have names for themselves, even on Earth, without the Mentasynth.”
Earwig grinned. “I have no idea what you’re talking about, though it sounds very interesting. Know what I noticed, though? Every time there’s a new sentence in the story, there’s a new line. That’s why everyone sounds so weird when they talk.”
Derik shuddered. “Ugh. That’s just . . . why? Even those long passages, with all the ases? Those are all single sentences?” Earwig nodded. Derik facepalmed. “Why, for the love of little green apples? Does this Sue hate the written language that much, to torture it so?”
“Nah, she’s just not that good at it,” said Earwig. “Some of my best friends can’t write at all. Of course, some of my best friends are gully dwarves . . . .”
Derik rightly took this to mean that gully dwarves could be expected to write about as well as a hatchling dragon could be expected to fly, which was just about well enough not to horribly mangle itself in the attempt. (No guarantees for hapless bystanders, though.)
Kana suddenly noticed that it was getting late.
“She really doesn’t pay much attention, does she?” Earwig said. “I’m sure it was already the middle of the night when she came! And what’s she doing now?” He suddenly clapped his hands over his mouth in shock. “I thought this fic was rated G!”
Derik looked at the Words. “Oh, nothing to worry about. She ‘smiled hugging the female Night Fury's waist before leaving’. Innocent enough, though stupid.”
Innocent or not, the hug was an incredibly awkward affair that involved Kana laying herself alongside the dragon, who had to lift her wings out of the way and almost certainly had to feel her privacy being invaded with the girl’s head down at that end of her body. All the same, Ari only said something sappy about always being with Kana in her heart, and that was that.
Earwig shook his head disapprovingly. “She was almost in a little more than her heart! Kana really should be more careful with her words.”
The next couple of chapters were devoted to an incredibly inane series of events including, but not limited to, Kana managing to fly on Toothless’ back. No mention was made of the dragon’s rider-operated prosthetic tail fin, which took considerable practice to operate and without which he could not fly straight. Disappointingly, the Sue failed to fall off and die as Toothless spiraled uncontrollably through the air.
One day there was a thunderstorm, and the agents were forced to take shelter in the cave. It would have been a bad thing if Ari had been there, but instead she journeyed all the way to Berk to hide in Kana’s room until it was over. The agents spent the night comfortably around a fire, reading the Words.
“I like the part where Ari turns invisible to hide from the adults,” Earwig commented, taking advantage of the fic’s grammar to roast marshmallows, make S’mores, and eat them all at the same time, thus cramming in thrice the gooey, sugary goodness per minute. “I wish I could do that.”
Derik choked on a bit of graham cracker. “She does what? That’s got to be a mistake.”
“Nope! It says ‘Ari became unseen’ when Hiccup knocked on the door, clear as day.”
“This day isn’t clear at all. It’s got horrible weather and Hiccup sleeping with Toothless. That one is a mistake, though.” He chuckled as Earwig tried to scrub the horrible mental images out of his eyes with his chocolate-covered fists. “You look like that thing, the Earth thing with the fur mask around its eyes.”
“Oh yeah? Well, Kana makes a dragon saddle ‘in the blacksmith’. I wonder what she made it out of?” Ribbing Derik turned into actual contemplation of the question. “What DOES she make it out of? Either way you look at it, it’s not good. Derik? Now isn’t really a good time to go out there, you know. Hey, come back here! You’ll get the marshmallows wet!”
In the end, Earwig was forced to steal Derik’s hammer and hide it in order to keep him from brutally murdering Kana for subjecting a dragon to improperly crafted riding gear. The marshmallows, sadly, were a lost cause, and Earwig didn’t speak to him for the rest of the night.
Fortunately, the next day was cathartic for both agents. Earwig’s friend Luga had been stalking Kana—openly stalking, by the way; noticed by both Kana and Ari. Now, apparently just as fed up with the Sue-pair as Derik and Earwig, she decided to haze them again.
she heard roaring as she saw Luga on her dragon, an Nightmare which made her worry as she ran to the safety of the forest as Luga cackled as her dragon lunged at the girl a few times as Kana was nervous but smiled heading to the forest as she was near the cave but everything went black as Luga saw Ari lunge at her dragon as she scared the Nightmare and the girl as they flew off scared.
Derik grinned at the display. Earwig cheered Luga on, but pouted in disappointment when Ari managed to send off the Monstrous Nightmare.
“You were right, Earwig,” Derik said. “I like your friend. Maybe we—”
His recommendation was cut off when Toothless appeared out of nowhere and Kana suddenly tipped over and sprouted bloodstains: the world had realized that the phrase “everything went black” referred not to Ari occupying Kana’s field of vision as the dragon lunged to protect her, but to the Sue passing out due to injuries inflicted by Luga’s dragon.
Derik’s head tilted to one side. “But she was smiling. She was under cover from the trees. That blue never touched her! And speaking of which, since when are Monstrous Nightmares blue?”
“Oh, it’s possible,” Earwig said. “There’s one in that scene where all the dragons come flying out of the cave over Stoick’s head, and then at the end there’s one in the village. Didn’t you see them?”
“No. You’re talking about spans of milliseconds, Earwig. Are you sure you’re not making it up?”
“Never! I just notice things. Like them. What are they doing now?” Earwig wondered, dropping to his belly and army-crawling toward the two Night Furies. They had their heads together over Kana’s body, apparently conferring about something.
"Are you sure we should do this?" Toothless asked her.
Ari nodded in reply.
Normally we shouldn't but we have no choice." Ari replied.
A misty light started to coalesce around the two, a horrible urple light with bleen sparkles in it. Derik turned away rather than risk his eye, and Earwig quickly put on Derik’s sunglasses to watch. The light streamed out of the dragons’ hearts and into Kana, then faded away. The dragons picked Kana up between them and flew for Berk.
“But he can’t fly without a rider!” Derik protested, gesturing at their diminishing silhouettes. “Also, what just h—oh dear Faranth what happened to you?!” He recoiled as the kender removed his sunglasses.
“What do you mean, Derik-san?” chirped Earwig. His beard was gone, and his eyes had grown to three times their usual size, accompanied by a reduction of his mouth and nose. The eyes, no longer content merely to be brown, glistened with warm amber highlights. Even the air around him seemed visibly dewy. It seemed that looking into a source of pure urple had drastic effects, even through sunglasses.
After a moment, the ex-rider recovered himself and inspected his partner more closely. “I’ve heard of this,” he muttered. “Under the Suefluence, otherwise realistic characters suddenly sprout sweat-drops and stress marks, among other symptoms. They call it Sue-Influenced Localized Anime Syndrome, or SILAS. This must be a very advanced case indeed . . . though I don’t understand . . . this Sue doesn’t use anime-speak.” More perplexed than ever, he stared at his partner.
“Must’ve been the urple. I’ve never been an anime character before,” said Earwig, eagerly viewing himself in a hand mirror produced from somewhere on his person. “I think it suits me, don’t you?” He smiled winsomely up at Derik with a ^_^ face, and the air around him sparkled.
“Awww. Not even a little?”
“No.” Derik marched away toward Berk. Most of the rest of the fic took place there.
Canonically speaking, there were no windows in Viking houses, but by this time canon had decided to cut its losses and head for Aruba. The agents found a window in Kana’s house and settled themselves beneath it in time to overhear the two Night Furies wrap up their explanation of what had just happened. It seemed that “dragon magic” had been involved. It was just as well that Earwig had never given Derik his sledgehammer back, or the village of Berk might have found itself less one house.
“Dragon magic? Really?” He pulled at the longer hair at the right of his head in despair. “How much more stupid can this get?” He immediately regretted asking.
"It's not your fault.
Luga should pay for what she did to Kana.
But we healed her.
It'll just take time for her to heal." Ari said gently.
There being very little to say to a statement like that, Derik simply clapped a hand across his face.
The agents used a lull in the action to rest until the next morning, when Hiccup went to check on Kana and found that “her fair skin was getting hard and scaly like Toothless’s as he remembered his friend and Ari had used dragon magic to heal Kana but wondered why this was happening to her as he needed to talk to the two Night Furies as he went outside but found them curled up in each other which was cute and he decided to leave them to sleep for now.” The agents weren’t sure what was more disturbing: Kana’s transformation, Hiccup appearing in multiple places at once, or the two dragons wrapped inside each other’s bodies in an Escher-esque configuration that made even Earwig’s eyes water. All the same, the kender pulled a small digital camera out of a pocket and snapped a picture to show off later.
The next chapter hit with a wrench that caught the agents off-guard, throwing them painfully against the wall of the house. Up to this point, the transitions had gone rather smoothly, and it took them a moment to work out what had been the cause.
“Did we go back in time?” Earwig wondered, looking around. “Everything seems the same . . . if anything, the sun is a little higher. And look, Hiccup and Toothless are flying! That makes sense.”
“I don’t . . . wait a minute.” Derik squinted at the Words. A passage from Toothless’ point of view made him gape.
But for now he could keep the transformation a secret for now from Hiccup but once her scales showed up, he would have to tell him and he was dreading that.
“But Hiccup just saw Kana, and she’s already showing scales! He already knows what’s happening! What’s this about keeping it a secret from him?”
“She gave Hiccup amnesia? That’s not good for the chief of a clan!”
“That’s not good for anybody. What’s going on?”
“Let’s go look at Kana!”
Shaking his head, Derik followed Earwig around to the Sue’s bedroom window. When they peeked in, they saw that the scales had, in fact, disappeared, but instead she had a mouth full of sharp teeth.
“She just changed her mind about what was happening when and didn’t bother to fix it. All right.”
But then a little while later, Hiccup came back from dragon-taming, and once again noticed scales on Kana’s body.
“So she’s just running around like a headless wherry, then. Noted.”
Hiccup then explained what was happening to Astrid, despite having decided not to in the previous chapter because “he knew she’d freak.”
“Freak” was to be a very popular word in the coming chapters. It seemed that in this world, there were no other ways to describe the emotions of disbelief, concern, panic, losing one’s cool, flipping one’s lid, having kittens, having a (hairy) (conniption) fit, coming unglued, going to pieces, spazzing, wigging out, hitting the ceiling, etc. No, in Kana-land, people only “freaked” or “freaked out.”
The agents, happily, had no such restrictions. When they found out that Hiccup and Astrid were riding the Night Furies to an “island of dragons” that apparently had never contained a giant, six-eyed, cannibalistic monster, Derik blew his stack and Earwig, taking a rather different tack, bounced off the walls.
“Oh, Derik, can’t we go see it? A whole island full of dragons! Can’t we go see, ple-e-e-ase?”
Fuming at the uncanon, Derik leveled a smoldering gaze at his partner. “I suppose I should be thankful you’re not calling me ‘Derik-san’ anymore. Anyhow, not right now. They don’t stay there long enough for it to be worthwhile. However, since we may have to remove that island . . . maybe. Though I don’t see what’s so special about it; there are plenty of dragons right here on this island, if they need to talk to some.”
In ecstasy at the almost-promise, Earwig didn’t hear the last part. “All right! We’ll get Luga and her Nightmare to take us—I read that they got banished, so I bet they’d like to help us. Then maybe they can come home with us!” The air filled with shōjo bubbles, which Derik rapidly fanned away with his jacket before anyone could notice.
Mere hours after leaving, the entire party returned from the island to find that Kana was sick. Hiccup and Astrid gifted her with a “heart pendant” received from the leader of the dragons, which made her look human.
“Then what is the sharding point of turning her into a dragon?” Derik threw up his arms in exasperation.
“Also, that’s kind of gross. I don’t think I would want to wear a heart around my neck, although it might be interesting to try once or twice. What kind of heart do you think it is?”
“I prefer not to speculate.” Instead, he looked at the Words. “There’s a week between us and the next chapter. I’d rather not wait around here a whole week. I’d rather not leave my hammer to the mercy of the elements that long, either,” he added pointedly.
“Oh, this?” Earwig was holding Derik’s sledgehammer—no mean feat, since it weighed about twenty pounds.
“Where—how did you—?” Derik stammered. Then he shook his head. “No, no, never mind. Give me that and take us ahead.”
“But Derik, you have the remote activator,” Earwig said. The man took the hammer back.
“No, I don’t. Not since chapter two.”
Earwig gave him an odd look, but gave his pockets a cursory search to humor him. He was shocked when he came up with the RA. “Oh! You must have left this at the camp. It’s a good thing I picked it up!”
“Yes, Earwig, it is a good thing you picked it up.”
They stepped through the portal into the next chapter, one week hence.
Not much had changed. Apparently turning from human to Night Fury was a slow process. Kana was only now losing her human skin—literally, as it happened, and not through any writing mistake. Her human skin actually came off, to be replaced with “beauitful black scaled skin.”
The agents’ protests that she had already had scales were lost on the dragons, who hid the human skin so Kana’s parents wouldn’t—three guesses, first two don’t count—yes, “freak.”
“That is disgusting,” Derik said clinically as he watched Toothless and Ari drag the flaccid thing away.
“I’ve never seen a whole Sue-skin with no Sue in it before. Some people collect scalps, you know. Do you think anyone would want the whole skin?”
“They might, come to think of it. I suppose it would make an interesting leather. Soft. Supple. Didn’t I hear of a Bad Slash agent who dabbles in that sort of thing?”
“No, that’s taxidermy. You know, stuffing things, mounting heads.”
“Ah. Not really something we do on Pern. Still, I’m sure someone could find a use for it.”
That decided, they pulled the skin out from behind a rock (no one said it was well-hidden) and folded it neatly into the backpack.
Meanwhile, an extremely predictable romance was brewing. But not so as anyone would notice.
Hiccup then understood why his dragon friend was acting weird and had no idea that he was in love with Ari.
“What did he think it was, then? Something he had for breakfast? The weather? Gout?”
“Maybe Hiccup is in love with Ari,” Earwig suggested. “It’s a pretty ambiguous sentence. See, ‘he’ could refer to either Toothless or Hic—”
“Yes, thank you ever so much for bringing up those mental images again. The line between human and dragon has been blurred enough in this fic, don’t you think?”
Even the dragons didn’t quite seem to know what to make of the situation. Derik and Earwig had to sit through what might be the most awkward love-confession scene ever and somehow not laugh aloud.
"I-I love you Ari." the male Night Fury told her.
She was stunned hearing him say that.
"I care about you too Toothless.
Kana is also my priority.
But that doesn't mean we can't be in love." she replied.
The agents shared a knowing glance when Toothless enthusiastically agreed to this. It was a universal expression of sympathy for a fellow-male who had just given up his balls to, in the modern parlance, a “total skank”—but it was also a universal expression of how much they would laugh at their fellow-male for it.
The moment was interrupted when Kana woke up and spat blue fire for no good reason. Once again, no one seemed to notice or care about the fire, even though they were in a wooden house filled with flammable furnishings. Derik hoisted Earwig through Kana’s uncanonical window while Toothless was distracted by Kana’s and Ari’s departure for the forest, and the kender was able to smother the fire with blankets from Kana’s bed. They ended up a bit charred, but at least there was still a bed for them to cover and a room for the bed. Earwig hurried back out the way he had come, just avoiding Toothless’ notice, and the agents beat a hasty retreat for the woods.
Kana had run off to the cave after overhearing Stoick talking to her parents, automatically assuming it was about her and that they couldn’t possibly care about her anymore now that she was becoming a dragon. Ari assured her that this was not so, that Hiccup would never abandon any dragon, “even if it was his daughter.” They had a Moment. The agents marveled at how Ari was able to stroke Kana’s hair with a dragon’s paw. Then they all went back to the house.
“Well, that was pointless,” Derik remarked.
Even more pointless was the scene awaiting them in the Horrible Haddock residence. About halfway there, Kana sprouted wings and flew the rest of the way, gliding through her window to land inside. Ignoring the fact that she’d still been wearing the heart pendant last anyone had noticed, the agents had no idea how she managed to fit; yet the worst illogic occurred when Hiccup entered the room and saw her.
"H-How is this happening?" he asked her.
Kana related to him everything that had happened since Luga’s attack a mere five chapters ago, despite the fact that he had already known about it. They then agreed not to tell Astrid or Stoick about it, even though Hiccup had already told Astrid and, indeed, journeyed with her to the Island of Dragons to seek advice about the situation.
Earwig shook his head gravely. “This amnesia is getting very serious. Do you think we should take him to Headquarters when we go back? I wouldn’t want to leave him like this! What if he forgot something important, like how to fly, or how not to get eaten by an angry dragon, or how to get to the kitchen? That would be awful!”
“Yes. Awful.” Derik’s jaw clenched in a dangerously stiff manner, holding back the enraged rant he wanted to shout at the top of his Harper-trained lungs. Instead, he sat down and scribbled fiercely on the charge sheet. “Earwig? How much of this benighted story do we have left?”
“Umm . . . .” He squinted at the Words. “Only four chapters after this one,” he chirped. “Hm. It looks like there are kids on the way. And an attack on the village! That will be exciting.”
“I expect it will.” A mad gleam appeared in Derik’s eye, and he grinned his twisted grin. “We’re going to help.”
“We are? Oh, how wonderful! I’ve never been on a Viking raid before! I can’t wait! Do you think we can torch the houses and pillage and—”
Derik cut him off. “No, we are not going to destroy Berk. Just the Sues. The attack will give us cover.”
“Oh.” Earwig deflated somewhat, but immediately brightened again. Derik was relieved to notice that he did so without accompaniment by any anime effects—without anything to directly sustain it, the SILAS was wearing off. His features had almost returned to normal, though there was no sign of his Viking beard returning. “Well, that will still be fun!”
“Sure. Now, let’s get some sleep. We may not get another chance.”
“Don’t you want food first? I have fresh bread! Well, it was fresh this morning. I don’t know if it is now.”
The kender produced an entire loaf of dark brown bread from the backpack. Derik stared.
“When did you—? No, wait, no. I don’t want to know.”
“What? I took it as we were watching Kana. I smelled it, and it was just sitting in the bakehouse. No one took any notice of it, and it just would have gone to waste otherwise. It’th fery goo! Fry thome!” This last was pronounced around a mouthful of bread. Derik sighed, gave in, and took the half-loaf being shaken under his nose.
It was good, he had to admit.
The next day, out of nowhere, the fic dropped the bomb of Astrid’s pregnancy. She and Hiccup weren’t going to tell Kana, since they seemed to think it wasn’t important enough to bother her with, what with her turning into a Night Fury and all. However, Stoick had other ideas.
"Your mother will be having a baby soon.
She and your father wanted to tell you but for some reason they didn't want to tell you." he answered.
Derik dusted his hands on his trousers theatrically. “Well, that clears everything right up. Thank you, Stoick, for that very helpful explanation.”
“But I don’t get it at all,” Earwig said. “A person can’t want to do something and not want to at the same time. I’ve tried,” he added. “One time a friend of mine said I shouldn’t want to go on adventures if they’ll get me into trouble, so I tried not to, but what happened is I just wanted to even more and felt bored because I wasn’t. Going, that is. So I went after all, and it was great! Even though I did end up in jail. It wasn’t even a good jail, but that was all right. I left that night.”
Derik stared a moment, deciding how to answer. Finally, he settled for “I was using sarcasm, Earwig. Of course it made no sense.”
They had to portal ahead nine months to get to the events of the next chapter. Kana was still not done transforming, though the agents couldn’t tell what had yet to change. She seemed to spend most of her time as a dragon now, since she was concerned about the “huge amounts of fish” she “stole” from the rivers of Berk.
“Some might call that ‘fishing’,” Derik said. “Also, Berk is on an island. It is surrounded by ocean. I don’t think they’re going to run out of fish.”
“She’s worried about hurting the baby because she almost hurt a villager while she was underwater,” Earwig clarified.
“Unless they plan to toss the infant in these rivers, which shouldn’t exist on the rather small island of Berk, by the way, I don’t see a problem. It’s just another excuse to angst.”
More angst was forthcoming after the baby, a girl called Sienna, made her appearance. The agents needed no help realizing that this was another name that had no business belonging to a Viking—it was, in fact, a shade of brown. It seemed that Sienna had no liking for dragons. Kana pouted about this and the fact that her parents had to spend more time on the infant than her, and “balls of blue flame burst from her mouth in anger” until the Night Furies talked her down. Fortunately, she was outside the house, and there was little to catch fire this time. The agents had dodged.
Kana decided that she’d rather sleep with the dragons than inside, seemingly just to spite Astrid if the face she made at her mother’s summons was any indication. Then she took off for a night flight. Astrid, capable Viking warrior and all-around badass, took this with naught but a sigh.
Astrid’s character took a further beating at the hands of her own husband:
he knew his second born was more like Astrid which bothered him as he knew she wasn't into dragon training but would try to get her to try it when she's older but knew she would still hate it like Astrid.
Earwig scratched his head. “She doesn’t hate it. She took a little while to get used to the idea, sure, but then she came around. What is this about Astrid hating dragon training?”
“Better question: how can they know so much about a newborn infant? The child was just born today, and they’re deciding her personality for her? That is sick.”
“Let’s portal to the next chapter,” Earwig said. “The only thing left here is Hiccup and Kana talking about how Sienna won’t have a bond with dragons but she’ll still need her sister to help teach her and stuff. Though if her sister is a dragon and she doesn’t like dragons, I’m not sure how well that will go.”
“Go on, then.”
“You still have the remote activator.”
He punched in the coordinates and they stepped through to the spectators’ level of the dragon-training pit. They were greeted by an author’s note.
A/N Here's more and thanks for the reviews.
I hope to post this chapter.
“But doesn’t that imply she hasn’t yet posted it?” said Earwig. “But if she hasn’t, then how are we reading it? But if we’re reading it, how come she still hopes to post it?”
“I wish she hadn’t,” Derik replied.
In this, I time skipped to when Sienna is five years old and when Kana is sixteen but Sienna isn't like Hiccup and Kana because she's like her mother Astrid and wants to fight when she grows up and be a Viking.
Derik casually hefted his sledgehammer. “What I find odd is that Kana was definitely stated to be fourteen at the beginning of this story. There is no time in which Kana can be sixteen and Sienna can be five. It is not possible.”
Chapter thirteen opened with Kana flying over Berk in her full Night Fury form, and the action of the first scene was limited to Hiccup being made to look stupid by way of being “bested” by Astrid’s Deadly Nadder; it only behaved when Toothless appeared, and Kana laughed at him. She was supposedly helping him with dragon-training, and she was angry because he required her to do so in her human form, which meant no flying. By this time, the agents were beyond commenting on the fact that Kana was both on the ground in her human form and in the air as a dragon. It might have been weary resignation, or it might have been that they were hanging onto the iron railing surrounding the training pit for dear life. Ground and sky, as it happened, could not occupy the same space at once. Their attempts to do so resulted in massive convulsions until the fabric of reality eventually snapped back into place with a final shudder.
As though nothing had happened, Toothless then took Hiccup aside for a private conversation in the woods, and the agents had to pick themselves up off the floor and follow them. They passed Kana on the way, and though Hiccup didn’t notice the expression on her face, the agents did.
Kana had an evil smirk on her face.
"Maybe I can go flying after all." she thought smiling evilly.
“I don’t see what’s evil about it,” Earwig said. “Derik? Why is she suddenly evil for wanting to fly?”
“She’s trying to be a Spunky RebelTM. She’s not good at it—just like she’s not good at anything else. She’ll probably angst about it later.”
“Oh. Well, what do you think about Ari and Toothless having an egg? They do, you know. It’s in the Words. First it says ‘Ari hatched an egg’, but then it says they’d ‘have to wait until it hatched’, so I guess it’s not hatched yet.”
Derik sighed and facepalmed. “I think we’re lucky this world hasn’t ripped itself apart.”
Eventually Toothless and Hiccup came to a stop, and the agents listened while Toothless explained everything, whatever that might have been. His dialogue wasn’t detailed, and so Derik looked at the Words for a better clue. His eyes widened.
“Earwig, don’t look at the light!” He clapped a hand over the kender’s eyes and pulled him to the ground behind a large fallen tree as the urple-bleen aura of “dragon magic” washed over the area.
“Hey!” Earwig complained, struggling under Derik’s thickly muscled arm. “Lemme up! I can’t see!”
“Yes, that is the point.”
“Oh.” He stopped wriggling. “Well, I think it’s over now, anyway.”
"Will I start changing soon?" he heard Hiccup ask.
"Soon." Toothless replied.
The agents got up and brushed leaves and bits of moss off themselves.
“Earwig,” Derik said slowly, “did they really do what I think they just did? Tell me I’m wrong.”
“Okay. You’re wrong!”
Derik had lost count of the number of times he’d sighed and clapped a hand to his face, but he did it again anyway, slowly allowing his fingers to drag across his scarred features. “Very well, I deserved that. Now. Are they or are they not turning Hiccup into a dragon for no apparent reason?”
“Oh, they definitely are. Also, Ari was here, invisible again, and Kana wants to move in with the dragons.”
“Yes, but the point is, they’re turning Hiccup into a sharding dragon. Why would they do that? Don’t answer that,” he snapped as the kender opened his mouth.
Earwig spoke anyway. “All right, I won’t. But Ari and Toothless’ egg is gonna hatch. Wanna go watch?”
“I would rather have hot pins shoved under my fingernails, but we might as well. If it’s a worse offense against good sense than what just happened, I’ll eat my flight jacket.”
Earwig giggled as he opened a portal to the dragons’ nest. “You know you shouldn’t tempt the Ironic Overpower like that!”
“A man’s mind can only break so badly, and I’ve been there and back. There is nothing this fic can throw at me that could be worse than that.”
In a sense, he was right. Although watching the baby dragon hatch was painful, bringing up memories of his Impression to his dead dragon, it did not re-break his mind. He crouched stiffly at the edge of the nest, which was inside the cave in the woods purely because both agents assumed that it would be; the Words provided no hint of a location whatsoever. He crouched there against the rock and brooded over ways to make the Mary Sue pay while the young Night Fury emerged.
And then this happened:
Toothless joined them as two small green eyes met theirs as they knew that it was a male dragon but they thought he was cute.
"Aww he's cute!
What're you going to call him?" Kana said.
"We're going to name him Siemen.
After a mighty hero of dragonkind." Toothless answered.
Earwig burst out in a fit of giggles that left him helpless on the ground, and Derik was caught in the gaze of four startled Night Furies. He stared, for a moment certain they would attack and he’d be forced to end the mission right there, but . . . they just . . . kept staring, and the dragonman’s brain kicked back into gear.
“Look! A distraction!” he shouted, pointing over their heads.
Shaking his head, Derik took advantage of the “as” convention for the first time to pick up the RA, open a portal, pick up the kender by the back of his jacket, and leap through to the other side all at once, before the dragons figured out anything was wrong.
They emerged in the woods some distance from the cave, Earwig still in the throes of amusement. Derik dropped him gently to the ground.
“Honestly, it isn’t that funny,” the man said. “Not enough to warrant nearly ruining our plan, anyway. For all I know, it’s a perfectly acceptable name in World One, like Earwig is a perfectly acceptable name in Dragonlance.”
“Well, to be honest,” Earwig chortled, beginning to recover himself, “it’s only perfectly acceptable among kender on Krynn. You wouldn’t see a human with a name like mine, at least not usually; or a dwarf, or—or an elf.” The mere thought of a elf with a name like Earwig—or Siemen—sent him into a brand-new giggle fit.
“All right, all right. Anyway, we’re more sensible on Pern. Our names don’t carry any burden of meaning—they are what our parents give us, and they’re unique. Now, we’re in the next chapter, and we have to find the ‘rebel Vikings’ that are supposed to attack. Are you going to help?” He headed in the direction of the village, figuring there were only so many places to cross over from the mainland. Earwig jumped up and followed him.
“Sure! I bet it’s Luga and her father. I told you they got banished, right? I’d be pretty mad if I got banished. Why, I’d come right back and hit them with my hoopak!”
“You don’t know what banishment is, do you?”
“It means you’re not allowed to come back. Banishment means you’re supposed to go away, so they never see you again.”
“Oh.” Earwig screwed up his face in thought. “What if I forgot my socks? They wouldn’t mind if I came back for my socks, right?”
“You would have to get new socks somewhere else, Earwig.”
The kender was crestfallen. “But I liked those socks! They were the blue knit ones with the poms on the sides!”
“It’s hypothetical, man! Forget about it!”
“Hey, look! Rebel Vikings!”
Indeed, Luga and her blue Nightmare, her father, and a few other Generic Vikings turned to look at them. The Vikings raised their axes, but Luga held up a hand to stop them from attacking. She stood out clearly as the leader, and also because she was more three-dimensional in appearance and clearly had blue eyes and dark red hair pulled into a fat, bedraggled braid that swung between her shoulder blades. She appeared to be about nineteen or twenty—plenty old enough to be a Viking warrior—and carried a wicked-looking mace.
“It’s all right. I know the midget,” she told the Generics. “Long time, no see, Earwig Slugthrower. What happened to your beard?”
“Hi, Luga! I’ll let the midget thing go this time because I’m in disguise, but really I’m a kender—and I don’t have a beard normally; it was part of the disguise, but I lost it. This is my friend Derik. He doesn’t have a beard normally, either. Say, you’re looking a lot more described than before. How are you? Are you planning to attack the village?”
The girl blinked at the stream of talk, but sorted it out in her head. “Actually, It’s Gall now—Gall Knutson. I thought about what you said, about my name. Told you I could think of a better one. As for the village, I wasn’t going to do anything, but these guys just showed up and it suddenly seemed like a good idea. It’s like, I wasn’t going to, but then it was like, I could, so why not?” She smirked, then turned to Derik, looking him over like a cut of meat. “You want to join up with us, right? You’ll do. I’ve seen better hammers, though.”
“It was forged in the Reality Room of PPC Headquarters,” Earwig intoned while Derik recovered his jaw. “It has mystical powers that even he has not truly come to know!”
“Really?” Gall-formerly-known-as-Luga raised an eyebrow.
“Maybe,” Earwig said defiantly.
“Look,” Gall’s father interrupted, “are we going to stand here gabbing all day, or are we going to do some Viking stuff already?”
“YEAH!” the Generics cheered.
“We pillage, we plunder, we rifle and loot, / Drink up me hearties, yo ho!” Earwig shouted, dancing about and generally getting into the spirit of things. “We kidnap and ravage and don’t give a hoot, / Drink up me hearties, yo ho! / Yo ho, yo . . . ho . . . ?”
A cricket chirruped. All eyes were on the kender.
“Aw, come on! Nobody knows that song? Really?” he cried.
“No,” said Gall.
“But we like it,” said a Generic Viking. “Teach us!”
“Yeah, teach us!” the others called.
“No, no! Bad idea!” Derik bellowed over them. “That’s an anachronism, and don’t forget we have a mission, Earwig!”
The kender blinked. “You really do sound weirdly like Stoick when you shout. Doesn’t he sound like Stoick?”
Gall and her father nodded. “Looks a bit like him, too, now that you mention it.”
“It’s just the disguise! Now, the mission. I want you lot” —he gestured at the Generics— “to continue as planned, but I happen to know that reinforcements are hiding out in the woods, so Lu—sorry, Gall—you and your blue are with me. Earwig, I want you to go with the Vikings and grab Sienna, then meet me at the cave. Oh, and don’t let them kill any canon characters. Got it?”
“Ahem.” The Viking woman had one hand planted on her hip, and the other held the mace resting on her armored shoulder. “This is my raid. Have you got some kind of problem with that, one-eye?”
Derik squared off, looming over her. “I have a problem with your attitude, bluerider. We don’t have time for childish power-play—we have a Duty, and it doesn’t wait on our convenience. If you don’t like my leadership, when this is over you can take it up with—Yunith.” He choked off the last word. It had been as though he were back in the Weyr, about to lead the wings into battle, but of course that was impossible. Yunith was the gold dragon belonging to the Mary Sue Alanna, who had been his Weyrwoman in his fic of origin. Yunith was the reason his own dragon was dead and he was here.
“Um, Derik?” Earwig tapped his elbow. “Did you know you’re making that really very scary face again? I don’t mind, but I think you’re scaring the Vikings.”
The Generics had all taken a good few steps backward, and Gall was patting the Monstrous Nightmare, which had begun to growl and smoke at the corners of its huge mouth. Derik fixed it with a look from his hazel eye, and it shrank against the girl’s side. It was her turn to be pinned with a look.
“Are. We. Finished?”
“Finished,” said Gall, effectively frozen in place. “And by the way, if you want to kill Kana, I’m totally cool with that. I was going to, but I think you’re crazier than me, so by all means take it out on her.”
“Good. Earwig, lead the Vikings into Berk. Grab Sienna. Don’t kill anyone important.”
Earwig threw a creative but very un-military salute. “Yes, sir!”
“See you back at the cave, then. Gall, you and the Nightmare come with me. We’re going Sue-hunting.” He turned and stalked into the trees, and Gall led the dragon after him.
Earwig turned to his charges, wondering whether he preferred General Earwig or Captain Earwig, or maybe Commandant Earwig. He couldn’t decide, so he just shrugged. “Come on, Rebel Vikings! We’ve got a village to sack! But no killing.” He lifted his hoopak high in the air and marched away, followed by Gall’s father and the Generics. They grumbled a bit about the “no killing” part, but on the whole it was an optimistic procession.
By the time they reached Berk, Kana was just telling Astrid and Stoick how she wanted to become part of a Night Fury clan. This was met with an incredibly beige response from Astrid.
"I'm not mad at you for this.
I had a feeling this would've happened." she replied.
“That’s . . . so boring,” Earwig complained. “Rebel Vikings, CHARGE! But not lethally!”
Led by the kender, the Generic Vikings bellowed Generic War Cries and swung their Generic Axes, but managed not to hit anyone with them as they overran the area. Stoick and Astrid grouped around Kana and Sienna, but the Sue immediately ran away toward the forest. Gall’s father started after her, but Earwig shouted at him to let her go. He darted between the legs of the Vikings fighting the canon characters, managing against all odds not to get caught by the butt or blade of an ax, and grabbed the five-year-old Sienna. This was not, in fact, the easiest part. Earwig was only three feet eight inches tall, which is not that much taller than the average five-year-old, and Sienna fought like the obvious ancient, war-like, seafaring Scandinavian generalization that her people were.
“Lemme go! I’mma beat you up, and my stupid sister’s supposed to come save me anyway!” She kicked and squirmed and bit, but Earwig was every bit as slippery as she was, and in a few twists and turns, Sienna was startled to find herself on the ground, gagged, with her hands and legs tied to his hoopak.
“There,” the agent said. “Kana’s not coming back, ’cause Derik and Gall are gonna get her. Now, be a nice captive and come quietly, all right?” He picked her up by means of the hoopak and slung it across his shoulders so that she hung down against his back, then quickly decided this wasn’t going to work and put her down again. “You’re heavy, do you know that? Sheesh!” He looked around and spotted Gall’s father nearby, just finishing the destruction of a hapless hay cart. “Excuse me! Mister Knutson! Could you please carry this prisoner for me?”
The Viking glanced at the bits of broken cart, shrugged, and handily picked up the hoopak with girl attached. Single-handily, even.
“Great! Thank you! Now, we have to go meet Derik. Come on!” He led the way through the battle, dodging weapons, limbs, and the occasional unconscious Viking.
As he and Gall’s father entered the trees, he heard a shrill sound followed by a boom from the direction of Berk. Huh, he thought. That sounds like a Night Fury’s fire breath, but all the Night Furies should be in the woods. I guess it must be something else. Maybe someone fell and they landed on a big drum! That must be it. Gee, I’d like to see a drum like that . . . and so forth.
Derik led Gall and the Nightmare toward the clearing outside the cave, where the Night Furies and humans-turned-Night-Furies were gathering, but abruptly he stopped and turned around.
“Can you get your beast to move more quietly? It won’t be much of an ambush if they hear us coming a mile off.”
“The dragon’s name is Fellrazer. And just for the record, Mister Dragonrider, I don’t know what you’ve heard, but me and my father never had any problem with Vikings and dragons getting along. I just had a problem with Kana ’cause she’s a freak, pretending to speak some secret dragon language or whatever. Her father, too, clan chief or not.”
“Very astute, for a bit character,” Derik replied. He had apparently forgotten his rage and now sounded calmly introspective. “I needed a lot more help to realize the truth, but then, I was completely in thrall to my Sue.” Gall gave him a flat, uncomprehending stare with a bit of “you’re mental” mixed in. He changed topics. “You’re partly right: Kana’s a freak, what we call a Mary Sue. The others are innocent bystanders, and we’re here to save them. That’s why I told your Vikings not to kill anyone, and that’s why I need you two to be as quiet as possible. Got it?”
“We can do quiet.”
They started off once more, the intelligent Nightmare now stalking silently along the forest floor. Soon, Derik held up a hand for them to wait and crept slowly around a large boulder. They were all there: Kana, Ari, Toothless, the still-human Hiccup, and the infant dragon. Hiccup was trying to get a look at the baby, but, in a final odd twist of grammar, he was hiding inside Ari. A glance at the Words revealed the extent of the problem.
"Did you guys have a kid?" Hiccup asked.
Toothless nodded as he was trying to get Siemen to come out from his mother
Derik had to slap a hand over his own mouth to keep a guffaw from blowing his cover. He stood by his conviction that the name alone wasn’t that funny, but add horrible grammar to the mix, and, well . . . .
“What do we do?” Gall hissed in his ear. She’d crept up behind him and now surveyed the scene with skepticism. “Fellrazer’s tough, but he can’t take three adult Night Furies.”
“Don’t worry. Kana and Hiccup are about to leave, but Kana will be back when she sees your rebels attack. That part’s—”
“How do you know?” the woman interrupted. “And what do you mean about Kana? I don’t see—you can’t mean—” She broke off, confused.
“Yeah. Kana turned into a Night Fury, and I know what she’ll do because that part’s in the story. Don’t ask, I’ll explain later. While she’s gone, we’ll capture Ari and—and the dragonet. If Fellrazer can hold Toothless off while we grab them, it’ll be fine. Toothless won’t attack if there’s a chance of hurting them while he thinks he cares.”
“It’s still just two of us against a Night Fury who’s going to be protecting her baby,” Gall pointed out. “And what do you mean, ‘the story’?”
Derik shook his head, dismissing the question and the problem. “I doubt if she’s as tough as a normal Night Fury. Anyway . . . I think I can walk right up to her. Just be ready to move in and grab S—the hatchling—when I signal you.”
He stepped out from behind the rock and called a greeting before she could say anything. Shaking her head, she went back to Fellrazer and mounted, ready to spur him into the fray when needed.
The Night Furies looked up in surprise at the unknown, yet oddly familiar man with the sledgehammer who approached them. They hadn’t seen, heard, or smelled him until he’d spoken, which was a little weird, but something about him said he was supposed to be there, doing exactly what he was doing: walking up to Ari like an old acquaintance who wanted to catch up.
“Ari,” he said. “You remember me, don’t you? That time in the cave, I pulled an arrow from your side. Remember?” He smiled and held out his right hand, coming almost within reach. Toothless growled suspiciously, but Ari only tilted her head. Siemen peered up at the man shyly.
“I . . . don’t know,” Ari said. “That was when I met Kana. I . . . that was you? The arrow . . . just went away, somehow.”
“That’s right. I took the arrow away. And now I’m going to take you away. GALL, NOW!”
In a rush of wings and claws, Fellrazer ripped into the clearing, jaws leaking the fuel for his flame. He forced himself between Toothless and the others. Derik leaped at Ari, dropping his hammer in favor of grabbing her around the muzzle with both arms and using his weight to pin her head to the ground. He heard Gall spring from Fellrazer’s back and land nearby, and Fellrazer roared a challenge at Toothless, simultaneously lighting his own body on fire in an intimidating display. Ari struggled and flapped her wings, but only succeeded in dragging Derik across the ground. Siemen screamed as Gall picked him up and held him in front of her like a shield.
“All right, that’s it!” she shouted. “Nobody move, or the runt gets it!”
Ari tried to yell something in protest, but with her jaws pinned shut it didn’t really work, and anyway, she was drowned out by Toothless and Fellrazer bellowing at each other. Toothless tried to dodge past the Nightmare, but Fellrazer refused him.
At this point, Kana turned up again. She came running into the clearing.
“You guys have to help one!” she shouted—that’s what it sounds like when the writer forgets to hold the Shift key for an exclamation point and type a numeral 1 instead. “Rebel Vikings showed up and attacked. My parents need . . . uh . . . you?” She came to a stop and looked around, eyes going wide.
“Scorch it!” Derik cursed. In Kana’s presence, Ari suddenly became much more animated, and he found himself struggling to hold on as she whipped her head back and forth in an effort to shake him off. “Somebody get her! Don’t let her touch the heart!”
“Fellrazer!” Gall called to the dragon. He broke his stand-off with Toothless and in a flash turned and pinned Kana under his long claws before she could take off the necklace. The flames along his body had gone out, but the look in his yellow eyes suggested that he was thinking about starting a different sort of barbecue. Toothless howled and danced from side to side, unable to attack without risking the lives of the captives.
“Nooo!” Kana screamed. “This isn’t supposed to happen as we have to save the village from the rebel Vikings as I have to save my sister even though she hates me along with my parents!”
Derik snarled in irritation. “For the love of—everybody SHUT UP AND HOLD STILL, OR KANA GETS IT RIGHT NOW!”
Everybody shut up and held still, even young Siemen.
“Right. That’s better. Ari, I’m letting go now. If you move, Fellrazer eats Kana right in front of you.”
Slowly, he released his bear hug around her head and got to his feet. She didn’t move, but stayed where she was and looked up at him with fear and confusion.
It was about then he realized he wouldn’t be able to kill her, or the hatchling. He ran a hand through his hair. Up until that point he’d figured he would be angry enough to do it, but now . . . it was all Kana’s fault. His homicidal rage was reserved for her and her alone.
He turned and picked up his sledgehammer, then walked up to the Sue, imprisoned under Fellrazer’s claws. He peered down at her coldly as he pulled the charge list out of his pocket and spoke. “Kana, on my authority as an Agent of the PPC, you are hereby formally charged with being a Mary Sue. Your offenses as such are many and heinous.” He looked down at the sheaf in his hand, shook his head, and threw it to the ground. “No, it’s too long. Let me just tell you why I’m going to personally end you.
“I charge you with being an insult to dragonriders and dragonkind everywhere. You have no appreciation for what it truly means to have a bond with a dragon, your pathetic aping of Hiccup’s story notwithstanding. Don’t talk to me about telepathic bonds with dragons. Just don’t. You only caused these events for your own benefit with no thought for them, so you could construct an artificial draconic ‘family’ that would love and adore you for artificial reasons, and all the while you ignored your human family, which would have been there for you if you had only been big enough to see it. It’s all a play for sympathy, but your actions deserve none. You have ignored the canon and the laws of grammar, causing a plague of deleterious effects on this world. I charge you with being shallow and selfish, and for dragging innocent bystanders into a place they have no business being, thereby risking their lives and the well-being of the world around you, you horrible Sue.” He paused there to give her a look that would have curdled milk, liquefied it, re-curdled it, made cheese, and shredded it into nothing.
“For your many crimes, the punishment is death. If you have any last words, now is the time.”
“I just think Night Furies are really cool as I want to be like them and have a bond with them along with Hiccup! What’s wrong with that?”
“Hm,” Derik said, fingering his chin through his beard. “Well, basically, this.”
“You just gestured to all of me!”
“Correct. Now, Fellrazer, if you would please move.” The Nightmare removed his claws, and Derik swung his sledgehammer into Kana’s head. She didn’t even have time to scream.
There was an eerie silence while the characters adjusted to her influence being gone. The world was suddenly a smoother, less hurried place. Without realizing it, they all sighed in relief.
Abruptly, Derik shook himself and turned to Toothless, pulling out a neuralyzer and his sunglasses, which were both miraculously in his pockets. “Look here, please.” Ever curious, he did. The neuralyzer flashed. “Toothless, you’ve never heard of Kana, Ari, me, or any of these others. You don’t speak English. You can’t fly without Hiccup. In a moment, you’re going to have a strong urge to fly back to Berk and defend it from the random Vikings attacking it, which you will do, and then you’ll forget about it.”
Derik put away the device and the glasses. Toothless shook himself, glanced vacantly at the assembly, and then took off in the direction of Berk. Ari opened her mouth, presumably to call after him, but was shocked when only a roar came out.
“Hey, wait a second!” Gall shouted, recovering herself. The hatchling squeaked in protest. “My father’s one of those ‘random’ Vikings! He’ll be killed!”
“Depends,” Derik said, wiping the worst of the Sue-gore off his hammer on Kana’s vest. “Can he duck?”
“That’s not funny! What are you, some kind of sociopath?”
“No. I’ve just had a very long few days and I don’t have the energy to worry about it. We’ll just wait for Earwig to come back, and then we’ll see what happens. Why don’t you take mother and baby into the cave so they don’t wander off?”
Gall fumed quietly, trying to come up with a retort, but finally just settled on “Fine,” and did what he said. Derik settled on a log to continue cleaning his hammer, and to make sure that Fellrazer didn’t eat the corpse. He couldn’t imagine it would be good for the dragon’s digestion. Instead, the Nightmare charred a fair-sized bit of ground and settled down for a warm nap.
A few minutes later, Earwig came along, followed by Gall’s father carrying Sienna. “Hi, Derik!” the kender said. “I did what you said! It was really easy, because everyone was so busy waving weapons around. I don’t think they ever actually hit anything, though; just waved them around. It was kinda weird.”
Gall came out of the cave. “Dad!” Forgetting to act tough, she hugged the older Viking. “Toothless didn’t torch you!”
Earwig blinked. “Oh! That WAS the noise!”
“Probably,” Derik allowed. “Now, listen. Kana is dead, but Ari and her hatchling are still alive, there’s the Island of Dragons to deal with, and we have to make sure Hiccup doesn’t transform. I propose we find the island and set it on fire, and leave Kana’s body to burn there, too. Then we can come back to Berk and neuralyze everyone who still needs it and go home.”
“Setting things on fire sounds good,” Gall said.
Earwig smirked smugly. “I knew you couldn’t kill Ari after you helped her. Is she still here? In the cave?” He ran inside to look. “Yep!” his voice echoed faintly from within. In a moment he was back outside, Siemen in his arms and Ari huddling protectively behind. “Derik, can I keep him? He IS cute, you have to admit! We can give him a better name and everything, and I know Arasgorn and Severe will like him!”
“Awww, come on!”
“No. Come on, we have things to do. Mount up. Mister, uh, Knutson . . . please stay behind and watch over Sienna until we come back. You should probably untie her a little. Just don’t let her run off.”
The Viking nodded and went into the cave with the girl. Gall climbed aboard Fellrazer, and Earwig hopped on Ari’s back, the hatchling clinging to his coat. Derik picked up Kana’s corpse, and seemed to freeze in place, staring at some spot between the two dragons. After a few seconds of confused looks and shrugs between Earwig and Gall, the woman spoke up.
“Well, are you coming? You’re too big for the Night Fury, so you’d better ride with me and Fellrazer. He can carry both of us and that debris, no problem.”
Derik’s whole body shuddered. “Right. Of course. I was just . . . nothing.” He slung the body across Fellrazer’s back and, after a final moment of hesitation, pulled himself up, too.
“Okay, Ari!” Earwig said. “Take us to the Island of Dragons!”
She leaped into the air, followed by Fellrazer, and flew off across the ocean. It was a short flight, owing to the time-space compression involved in the journeys to and from there earlier, and it was a simple matter to dump the corpse overboard and let the dragons light the place up. They watched from a safe distance overhead until finally, when everything was ablaze, the whole thing lost what little ontological stability it had and winked out of existence.
From there, they flew to Berk and saw that Toothless had done a more than adequate job of driving off the Generic Vikings with no more than the usual destruction and scorch marks to show for it. The agents (and Gall) left their mounts outside the village and rounded up Hiccup, Astrid, and Stoick, and neuralyzed the lot of them. A few tests revealed that Hiccup’s memory was back to normal, and he showed no signs of being a Night Fury. With the Sue’s influence removed, it simply couldn’t happen.
Finally, they returned to the cave.
“You have a choice now,” Derik told Gall. “You can stay here, and we’ll take away your memory along with your father’s and the rest, and you can live a normal life. Or you can come with us, remember everything, and do our job.”
“We fight crime!” Earwig interjected. “Well, sort of.”
“Whatever,” the woman said. She became thoughtful. “I’ve seen too much crazy stuff to go back to normal now,” she decided. “Anyway, I wanna know what this ‘pee pee see’ is all about. You guys hunt freaks, these Mary Sues, right? Sounds exciting. And the Night Furies go into the wild and my dad stays in Berk and takes care of the kid, right? And Fellrazer comes with me?”
“No,” Derik said at the same time Earwig piped, “Sure!”
“Yes to the first part, but I can’t imagine the custodians would like a full-sized, fire-breathing Monstrous Nightmare running around, not to mention the Flowers,” Derik elaborated. “Be serious.” What he thought they would have done with his own dragon, had he lived, he didn’t say.
“I am serious!” Earwig protested, spoiling the effect somewhat by jumping up and down. “We could . . . shrink him! Yeah! Then he’d be the same as a mini-Balrog, or a mini-Dragon, even.”
“Ignoring that last . . . do you know how to shrink a dragon? ’Cause I don’t.”
“No, but I bet I know who does.” Earwig grinned, and Derik saw what he was holding.
“Earwig . . . give me the remote activator.”
“Nope!” He broke into a run, playing keep-away with the RA while he punched up the coordinates. Being much smaller and nimbler than Derik, he succeeded easily. A portal popped open right next to Gall and Fellrazer. “Run, guys! Run!” They took his advice, and giggling, he leaped in after them. At the last second before the portal closed, he chucked the RA back through. “See ya!” he called. Then the portal was gone.
Derik snatched the device out of the air and prepared to go after him, but his nagging conscience got the better of him. Donning his sunglasses a second time, he hastily neuralyzed Ari, Siemen, Sienna, and the Viking. “Right, you lot, none of this story ever happened. Sienna, your parents died in a raid and this man adopted you. You live happily in Berk together and do Viking stuff, you both have proper Viking names, and you have no problem with dragons. Night Furies, you have no names, at least not that a human gave you. You got blown off-course in a storm and have to find your way to a better place to raise a baby, whose father is probably not Toothless. You’re a good mother and you’ll raise a fine son. I was never here.”
He punched up the portal and left the fic behind. His next mission: to find and strangle his partner.
Thanks to Data Junkie and Sedri for beta-reading this monster. I tried to make it shorter, I really did. Incidentally, the original, uncut version of Derik’s charge list can be viewed below, if you’re really bored.
I don’t even know what else to say about this. It’s possible that the full horror of the grammar in this fic is lost on you, but let me assure you that it is the worst I’ve ever seen. If you’re really bored and masochistic, you can check out the original fic.
Oh, one note. In the books the movie is based on, I think the dragons actually do speak Dragonese, and Hiccup actually does speak it, too, so there is some excuse for that. But then again, since we’re talking about the movie here, it’s basically irrelevant.
“Kana, on my authority as an Agent of the PPC, you are hereby formally charged with being a Mary Sue. Your offenses as such are many and heinous: Section A, Canon Violations; Heading One, Character Disruptions; list item one: personality alterations, to wit, driving everyone so out of character they couldn’t touch canon with a ten-foot pole, most especially Stoick, Hiccup, and Astrid. All of it so you could angst about how misunderstood and lonely you are, I expect.
“List item four: causing Toothless to act like a lovestruck fool over Ari and causing one of the worst love-confession scenes ever.
“List item seven: creating gratuitous offspring or siblings of canon characters, to wit, yourself, Sienna, and Siemen. Not to mention giving all of you horrible names. Also, Toothless is not your brother, he’s a dragon.
“Heading Two, Social Disruptions; list item one: altering the known characteristics of a canon species, to wit, causing Berkverse dragons to speak in English, to have the ability to become invisible, and to use “dragon magic,” exposure to which had a most deleterious effect on my partner. Also, I don’t know if reptiloids can get fevers, but I’m fairly certain you wouldn’t be able to tell with your bare hand unless it were lethal. And don’t talk to me about telepathic bonds with dragons. Just don’t.” He paused there to give her a look that would have curdled milk, liquefied it, re-curdled it, made cheese, and shredded it into nothing.
“List item two: changing the social conventions and structures of a canonical society, such as causing Stoick to relinquish his leadership of the clan despite being neither very old, nor sick, nor disabled, nor dead; and also causing Hiccup’s story to be a legend despite being a very recent occurrence, if your age at the start of the fic is anything to go by. Can’t have been more than twenty Tu—years—hence. I think causing Viking houses to have windows also goes into this category. They don’t. It gets too cold for windows this far north. Oh, and again, the introduction of magic to a world where none exists.
“Heading Three, Environmental Disruptions; list item one: changing the geography of Berk to include rivers large enough for a Night Fury to fish in. First of all, it’s a small island, there are no rivers; and even if there were, they wouldn’t be that big. A spring, maybe. Two, creating an Island of Dragons that apparently has nothing to do with the one in the movie.” He paused to clear his throat and flip the page before continuing:
“Section B, Space-Time Distortions. List item one: time compression or expansion—I’m not sure exactly how you managed to age only two years while Sienna aged five, but it was wrong. Also, your horrible grammar caused multiple events to occur all at once throughout the fic, which was painful to watch.
“List item three: anachronisms. This canon is relaxed about them, but still, all of your names and that little remark about ohana have no place in this time and culture.
“Section C, Technical Improbabilities. I don’t even know where to start. There’s bad biology, bad physics, bad plot devices—including dei ex machina, Cute Animal Friends, gratuitous magical jewelry, and magical Mary Sue Powers—not to mention all the bizarre manifestations of your grammar. But I’m coming to that. Let me tell you a few specifics. One: Toothless can’t fly without a rider, and you can’t possibly know how to operate his special harness. You’re terrible at everything, remember? Two: you can’t have injuries without describing how they actually occur. Three: all the nonsense with Hiccup having amnesia. You have to be consistent with your storytelling; you can’t have a character know something one minute and forget it the next, or do something and then not do it. Make up your mind. Four: deciding Sienna’s personality the moment after she was born is sick. And lest I leave it out, five: turning into a bloody Night Fury.
“This brings me to Section D, Language Abuse. This is where you really racked up the charges. List item one: mangling the English language. First, paragraphs and sentences are not the same thing. You need multiple sentences per paragraph, and you do not need to put a line break after every sentence. Second, the word ‘as’ is not a punctuation mark, nor is it a substitute for ‘since’, ‘because’, ‘while’, and the wealth of other prepositions this language has to offer. You can’t just use it wherever you want and expect to make sense—this is the cause of so many of those technical errors and space-time distortions I can’t even list them. Third, spelling. Yours isn’t the worst, but things like ‘seeubf’ that a spellchecker could have caught are completely unacceptable in a work that’s available for public view.
“List item two: I’ve already mentioned the inappropriate names for yourself and your OC friends, but let me take a moment to acknowledge Siemen as the worst of the lot. It may not seem so bad in print, but out loud . . . do you even realize what bodily fluid it sounds like? Maybe you don’t.” He shook his head.
“List item seven: melodramatics. You can’t be as pathetic as you describe yourself and expect anyone to take you seriously as a protagonist. It’s all a play for sympathy, but your actions deserve none.
“Finally, Section E, Subjective Charges. You gave my partner a bad case of SILAS, for one. But the worst thing is that you got me as the agent on your case. I charge you with being an insult to dragonriders and dragonkind everywhere. You have no appreciation for what it truly means to have a bond with a dragon, your pathetic aping of Hiccup’s story notwithstanding. You only caused these events for your own benefit, so you could construct an artificial draconic ‘family’ that would love and adore you for artificial reasons, and all the while you ignored your human family, which would have been there for you if you had only been big enough to see it. I charge you with being shallow and selfish, and for dragging innocent bystanders into a place they have no business being, thereby risking their lives and the wellbeing of the world around you, you horrible Sue.
“For these many crimes, the punishment is death. If you have any last words, now is the time.”