Posted on: 2021-04-01 11:04:10 UTC
It's, goodness it's been a while. Hello! I should tell you that as the result of confusion over whether Dr. Niamh was a caustic Irish blonde or a cheery Vietnamese lady, she's now both. It seemed the most entertaining approach.
You should be careful about calling yourself a Tenth Walker, though. That can go badly wrong...
Lily Winterwood was chatting with Legolas. She wasn't, of course - that would be impossible, The Lord of the Rings was fiction and Agent Christianne would get quite sardonic if she admitted otherwise - but with nine other members of the English department, she had long since assigned them all a Fellowship name.
A sudden thought made Lily break off mid-sentence with a snort of laughter. Legolas raised an eyebrow at her, but she waved it off.
"Sorry," she said, "I just realised I'm totally the Tenth Walker." She shook her head, thinking back on all the badfic she'd read on that exact premise. "Don't worry, it's just-"
There was a sound which can probably only be described as WHOOM, and Lily vanished.
Nenya Quende didn't often visit PPC HQ any more, but made an exception for special occasions. The flier for the new Inconvenience Store that had come through her old ICEP mail had drawn her in, and on the appointed day she'd joined the large number of agents wandering the corridors trying to find the bloody thing.
She tried all the usual tricks for navigating HQ: listening to music, hunting earnestly for the Pool, banging her head against a wall and so forth. It took her an embarassingly long time to try simply looking for it, but when she did, she was rewarded with a neatly-painted sign hanging on a nondescript door.
Nenya pushed the door open (the sign was slightly too large for the frame, clattering against the sides), and winced as the strobelike flicker of a malfunctioning fluorescent light hit her eyes. Stepping through (the door failed to shut properly behind her), she took her first look at the PPC's Inconvenience Store.
A line of shelves stood directly in front of her, blocking any view of the rest of the store. On it were stacked vast quantities of lembas, each cake sitting in an open leaf packet. Curious, Nenya tapped on the closest piece: it was rock-hard, utterly stale.
Walking around to the left, Nenya discovered that the rest of the aisles ran at right-angles with the lembas shelves. She had to turn back on herself and walk down a narrow gap to reach any of them, and a quick glance ahead showed that each aisle ended flush with the far wall.
"I guess you get what you signed up for," Nenya murmured, strolling down the row of shelves. There were a handful of agents in there, each studying one of the products with a bewildered expression. She passed a Time Lady (leafing through a copy of The Andalite Chronicles in incredibly tiny print), a lizard-man of some sort (trying to hold a pair of two-handed kitchen scissors), and what seemed to be a domestic cat (glaring up at the cat food, which had been placed on the very highest shelf).
The final agent had been examining a crate of sodas, prominently marked as "Decaf! Sugar-free! No CO2! We don't believe in colourings or flavourings!", but straightened up as Nenya approached. Something about him - possibly the lack of a flashpatch - made her think policeman, and she tensed, but he ignored her and touched a hand to his ear.
"Say again?" he asked. "She's done what?" A pause. "How do you 'accidentally' send yourself to Middle-earth?"
Nenya turned to the shelf and picked up a replica of one of the Shards of Narsil, listening curiously. "I think this is a bad line," the agent said. "That sounded like 'She called herself a Tenth Walker and then turned into one'." A beat. "You're kidding."
Nenya choked, then winced as the sharp edges of the shard cut her. She dropped it back into its box of identical pieces and turned away, sucking at her fingertip. Behind her, the agent's voice grew increasingly exasperated.
"It's not that, what's her name, Vemi again, is it? ... no, I guess she did. ... yes, of course I'll deal with it. Right away. Bye."
The policemen pulled out a Remote Activator and tried to open a portal, only to be met with a warning ping from the device. "Naturally the store is damped," he muttered, then turned and stalked towards Nenya. "Excuse me please, Special Response coming through. Honestly, kids these days... 'I don't know why I'm singing Call Me Maybe at Legolas, I was just making a joke'... eesh."
Nenya watched him go and chuckled to herself. "I've got to tell Rosie about this," she said, and turned to pick something up from the shelf. "Maybe I'll take her a present, like this... oh, rubber duck teapot." She squeezed the pot, listened to the forlorn squeak it made, then put it back down. "Or maybe I won't."
Happy April Fool's! I'm sure the DIA will have you back home in no time.