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In which Suicide and Diocletian come along for "evaluation" and Nume says the F-word a lot.
Mission tagline

"Ring Child" is a crossover mission undertaken by Agents Ilraen, Supernumerary, Suicide, and Diocletian. It is a crossover between the spin-offs Response Center 999 and Response Center 2771a and co-written by Neshomeh and Tungsten Monk.


The Return of Makes-Things[]

With a new mission waiting, Nume makes a trip to DoSAT to get a replacement for his Canon Analysis Device. To his surprise, he discovers Makes-Things at work on the salvaged command deck of a Federation starship. The technician had been presumed dead following the events of the 2008 Macrovirus Epidemic.

When Nume questions him about it, Makes-Things replies, "No! I think I would know if I was dead!"

Focused on getting his new CAD and leaving, Nume doesn't ask for any further explanation.

The Return of Diocletian and Suicide[]

At the end of his previous mission, Nume and erstwhile partner Agent Eamon Brightbeard discover the AWOL Agents Diocletian and Suicide hiding out in Azeroth. Nume recognizes the two due to having worked with them once before, on the infamously disastrous attempt to bring down Subjugation.

Following the encounter, Su and Dio decide to return to the PPC.

They find Response Center 2771a not exactly as they left it, since Ithalond and Mithiriel have been using it in their absence. The prodigals are returned to active duty right away, but with caveats: since they're considered a flight risk, they aren't allowed any weapons or advanced PPC technology, and they must complete a probationary mission under the supervision of another team.

Naturally, that team is Nume and Ilraen.

The Mission[]

Nume, Su, and Dio agree to get on with the assignment without dredging up the past, but this doesn't prevent tension between the two teams, particularly Nume and Suicide. Their diametrically opposed personalities eventually bring them to blows.

They manage to get it together after a total canon break, which was caused by the fic's Gary Stu putting on the One Ring with no consequences, briefly wipes Middle-earth out of existence. Floating in nothingness even for a moment tends to refocus one's priorities.

Along the way, the agents rescue a small herd of nine uncanonical horses created just to take the Fellowship (plus Gary Stu) from Rivendell to the Gates of Moria. Suicide claims a large bay stallion. All nine are sent to live with Alice in the Courtyard.

They also pick up Bad End, a large relative of the Bad adopted by Jay Thorntree.

Suvian Encounter: Archir the Emerald[]


Archir starts out as seventeen-year-old Harry Potter, but as soon as he bamfs into Middle-earth, he shrinks down into the form of a three-year-old and goes by Archir for the rest of the fic. Gandalf insists that Frodo take him along on the Quest, despite the fact that he is three and never actually does anything useful, "Istari child" or not. In fact, he mostly sleeps. He also sits in the lap of just about every strong character in the canon while they coo over how cute and innocent and precious he is. Aragorn in particular he turns into a fussy mother hen rather than a stern and proud warrior.

In addition to sapping the vitality of the canon characters and creating a series of suspiciously pedophilic moments, messing up the timeline and the geography, and creating such artifacts as the record of Mazarbul chiseled into a wall (swiftly dubbed the Wall of Mazarbaaargh by the agents, who couldn't resist the Monty Python joke), he also does the utmost unthinkable: he puts on the One Ring, and as if that weren't taboo enough, it has absolutely no effect on him.


As read by Diocletian:

"You are charged," the female voice continued, "with usurping the role of a canon character, to wit, Harry Potter; with replacing said canon character via a combination of infantilization, character corruption, and saccharinity; with perpetrating distortions of space, to wit, having Gandalf exist in two places at once; with perpetrating distortions of time, to wit, everything ... Committing no less than forty-seven counts of aggravated creepification, making everybody fawn over you . . . um . . . giving the people in the Prancing Pony spots, stopping to work off the damages of the Black Riders' attack despite it being the stupidest possible thing to do at that moment, putting the safety of yourself over the safety of the frickin' Quest of the Ring, with controlling and degrading moo shu pork with hot curry—no, wait, hang on a sec . . . "

As continued by Nume:

"Addendum: you are further charged with making a fuss over common names, nonsensical naming, asynchronous anatomy, unnatural illumination, mangling the canonical timeline, horribly misquoting passages from the book despite clearly having a full knowledge of it, various geographical aberrations, multiple counts of bizarre descriptions, malapropisms, ridiculous nicknames, and other proofs of having a very weak grip on the English language indeed; and let's not leave out setting yourself up as Eru by being able to put on the One Ring with absolutely no effect whatsoever, apart, of course, from completely shattering the canon.
"As if that weren't enough, you also went on to join the Fellowship of the Ring, mount the Fellowship on horses—which is completely asinine since you knew full well they'd only lose them at Moria anyway—to cause the existence of a flannel Fëanor, open the Doors of Durin, cause Frodo to sprout a 'fro, cause unspeakable things to happen in Moria, turn yourself undead, woobify Haldir, and cause my normally polite and level-headed partner to turn into a raving maniac."


After being charged, Archir is compelled to reveal his true form:

The fake childlike form peeled away, and a mass of darkness came boiling out, forming in midair into a strange hunched shape with protruding teeth and a shadowy, skeletal body. Glowing ice-blue eyes surveyed the horrified agents as it landed again in the midst of the clearing, and it bared its teeth in a mirthless grin.

Diocletian dubs it a fic incubus, or ficubus, a more solid relative of the Sue-wraith with a glitter level Nume believes to be over seven hundred. It would have killed the unarmed agents, but Ilraen rallies in time to revert to his Andalite form and slice it through with his tail-blade.