Disclaimer: Mulan and Pirates of the Caribbean belong to Disney; Mass Effect and Geth belong to EA and Bioware; neuralysers and the Men in Black belong to Columbia Pictures; the concept of minis belongs to Miss Cam and the PPC belongs to Jay and Acacia.
Agents Mara and Isaiah belong to Araeph.
The fic 'Mulan and Shang 300' belongs to Wills Lover, and can be found here: http://www.fanfiction.net/s/4039012/1/Mulan-and-Shang-300
Thank you to Firemagic and my other readers on the Board for beta-ing this.
Chapter 2: Mission to 'Mulan and Shang 300' (wherein Eagrus and Cyba have to contend with technological issues as well as suffering the bad writing).
BEEP BEEP BEEP!
Cyba emerged from her room to find Eagrus presiding over a beeping contest between the console and the two mini-Colossi.
"Enough! It's bad enough with just the console, without you two joining in!" Eagrus cried.
"QUIET!" shouted Cyba. "Joke, Mess Efekt, behave! You'll give the console ideas..."
The minis, listening to their agent, at least, fell quiet. Joke tried to hide behind Mess Efekt, who promptly cloaked.
"Alright! Alright! We get it already!" howled Eagrus.
Both agents went over to the console and peered at the screen.
"Well, the good news is it can't be worse than our last..."
"Don't say that!" Eagrus elbowed his partner in the ribs, but it was too late. "Oh great, a link to an entire pile of badfic. Let me see... a couple of continua I don't know..."
"... Pirates of the Caribbean... and Mulan."
"Well, it isn't space."
"Why do I get the feeling that won't be much consolation?"
"Are we supposed to handle this on our own?"
"No, something this big will require a team-up."
"Oh. That's a good thing, right?"
"Good that we get backup. Bad that we need backup." Eagrus peered at the console screen a little harder. "Ah, hahahahaha, oh, I see!"
"What?" Cyba managed to get close enough to follow his gaze, then began laughing too.
"Agents Isaiah and Mara seem to have called in the recruits to help..."
"Oh," sighed Eagrus, reading further down the list. "It seems all the Pirates of the Caribbean ones are already taken." He sounded a bit downhearted.
"Ohhhhhh," moaned Cyba. "Mulan, then?"
Eagrus cheered up a bit. "Yes, Mulan... hmmm..."
"I may have seen that once, a while ago. Isn't that set in Old China, with the Huns invading?"
"It is," Eagrus confirmed, then his eyes wrinkled in a way that suggested he was grinning under his helmet. "That also means I get to use a sword!" He immediately went over to his weapon racks to make his choice, positively emanating glee.
Cyba's thoughts whirred a little longer, before coming to rest on a conclusion that made her grin, too. She rubbed her hands together in anticipation.
"Ooooh, armour-fest!" she cried.
"Right," said Cyba, suddenly enthusiastic. "Minis, I want to talk to you while we're waiting for Eagrus."
Joke came right over, while Mess Efekt cloaked instead, apparently being rebellious again.
"Mess Efekt, you too. In fact, especially you. Ow!" She yelped as a small energy ball hit her right in the rear. She had been following the sound of Mess Efekt's footsteps heading around behind her, so Joke had taken the opportunity to surprise her while her back was turned.
"Joke!" Cyba rounded on him, hands on hips.
The mini looked the picture of innocence, but it was not as effective as it had been the previous day, when HQ and everybody in it had turned into anime for twenty-four hours. With everybody falling into character, the situation had managed to get sticky rather fast, resulting in a somewhat rapid retreat to the RC and Eagrus insisting on assigning watches. Needless to say, there was now a new armour-stand in the RC, displaying a set of cartoon-style samurai armour. Nobody knew quite why it had not vanished when HQ had reverted to its proper state, but Cyba had insisted on keeping it even though it was miles too big (it being Eagrus' size).
"Anyway, you two minis, I had a few questions for you. First: is that port on the console sufficient for your charging purposes?"
The minis bleeped something affirmative-sounding. Mess Efekt even de-cloaked and sat beside Joke at Cyba's feet.
"Good," smiled Cyba, crouching down and patting the pair of them. "Now, Mess Efekt, do you mind if I call you Mess, for short?"
Mess Efekt performed a four-legged shrug.
"Alright, Mess it is then. So, I wondered how come you can cloak, and if there were anything else either of you can do that I ought to know about?"
Joke shook his head, while Mess put on a concentrating pose, before transforming into from his usual mini-Colossus form into a miniature Geth Prime, Mass Effect 1 style.
"That everything?" asked a surprised-looking Cyba Zero.
Mess nodded, and Eagrus started giggling from where he was.
"What's so funny?" Cyba directed at the latter.
"Well it makes perfect sense, doesn't it?" said Eagrus.
"Well, what is the primary effect of mess? You can't find anything! Of course he can turn invisible!"
"And I suppose turning into a Geth Prime is because he came from the misspelling of the actual continuum..."
Mess Efekt nodded and drew himself up proudly. He was now a bipedal robot, about as tall as Cyba's knee. He still had the traditional Geth head, dominated by a single camera-eye, and a number of solid struts extending vertically from his back, either as aerials or decoration. Instead of being white, though, he remained the blue-silver of a Geth Colossus.
"Joke's still a right whatsit, though," said Eagrus, with feeling.
"They are Geth, Eagrus. They're networked AIs that communicate at the speed of light; software entities. They'll share some of their personalities, and I'll bet these two can even swap bodies, same as Geth do in the canon."
"Networked? That would explain their sneaky collaboration against me whenever you're not around..."
"Mess, Joke: be nice to Eagrus, please. He's my agent partner, after all. We're also about to go on a mission. I'm sorry, but you have to stay here... rules are rules. Have fun, and don't scratch my armour."
"Oh, and if anybody invades the RC while we're away," said Eagrus, "you can play as many tricks on them as you like."
Mess immediately did an impression of Cyba rubbing her hands together in glee.
"Don't scratch my armour!" Cyba reminded the pair as she extracted the remote activator and CADs from the cupboard.
Eagrus had finally chosen his sword and was perusing the list again.
"Ah, it seems we have already been assigned," he said. "Let me see... two missions in the Mulan continuum. Sue-wraith exorcisms required."
Cyba obligingly got the exorcism equipment out of the cupboard as well, along with a bag to put it all in - which she was sure had not been there last time.
"We'll need neuralysers and dark glasses, too," added Eagrus.
"But the glasses won't go with the armour..."
"Well, if you want your memory wiped, that's your call."
"Forget that; I'll take the glasses. Er - ahem."
"Besides, I just read the summary from the DoI," Eagrus began carefully. "We won't be in armour."
"What?! No armour! Who called off the armour-fest?"
"Sword-fest, too, I'm afraid. Oh, and that would be the Suethor."
Cyba bustled over with all the equipment and pored over the console screen.
"Well, would you look at that." She started grinding her teeth, while simultaneously producing a pen and paper and starting a charge list. "I can't wait to have at this one."
The charge list now looked like this:
1. Ruining my armour-fest - and Eagrus' sword-fest - by moving the continuum's setting from Old China to modern day. Despicable!
"Cyba, I hope you aren't charging them with ruining your armour-fest..."
"Who, me? Not exactly..."
Eagrus' eyes narrowed beneath his helmet. "Right, disguises are set: let's go." He opened the portal, and they both stepped through, eager to get this over with.
They came out on a school football field. It was a rather small field, and the air held the quality of a muggy summer's day when a storm is long overdue.
"Urgh, why does it feel so stuffy here?" asked Cyba.
"Lack of paragraphs," said Eagrus.
Cyba did not bother replying; she simply pulled out the charge list again and set about adding to it - in such a way that it looked more like she was stabbing it than writing. It was then that she noticed what she was wearing. The pair of them were both in some kind of school uniform, but that was not what made her already bad mood worse.
"EAGRUS!!! WHY AM I WEARING PINK?!"
"Um..." said Eagrus, an oddly dreamy expression on his face. "I dunno..."
That earned him a raised eyebrow. 'Dunno' was not a word Cyba had expected to be in his vocabulary.
"I really dunno. It looks nice on you, though..." His voice sounded a bit - away with the fairies - too.
"Eagrus, you're worrying me..."
"Letz go do this miiiiissionnnn," slurred Eagrus.
Cyba lost it. "SNAP OUT OF IT, EAGRUS! ARE YOU DRUNK?!" Then she slapped him one. "And what is that colour you're wearing? It's already giving me a headache!"
Somewhere between the slap and looking down at what he was wearing, Eagrus came to his senses.
"OW!" he cried, rubbing his cheek frantically, followed rapidly by: "Yeurgh! Why is my uniform Bled?"
"Bled?" asked Cyba.
"Suvian colour, a cross between blue and red."
"It's giving me a migraine."
"And yours... oh no, it must be High Pink."
"Another Suvian colour - looking at it makes you high."
"That explains something," stated Cyba, hands on hips. "So the next question is: why are we wearing Suvian colours? What did you program into the disguise generator?"
"Definitely not Suvian colours, that's for sure." Eagrus was taking care not to look at her, making the conversation appear somewhat bizarre.
"Could the minis have messed with it?" asked Cyba worriedly.
"They haven't been unsupervised since we adopted them - not with our watches and the whole anime thing."
"The disguise generator must be faulty."
"We'll have to get DoSAT to fix it when we get back. Meanwhile, we ad-lib and try not to look at each other. And... let's put on our glasses. That might help - a bit."
Both Cyba and Eagrus stopped and looked at each other, realising that neither of them had been the source of the last statement. Then they quickly looked away, remembering that they weren't supposed to be looking at each other. Slowly, their gaze came to rest on the person who was the source of the sound.
"DoSAT? Disguises? Who are you? Hun spies?" inquired Possessed!Modern!SoccerCaptain!Shang.
"Um..." said Cyba.
"I recommend a strategic withdrawal," whispered Eagrus.
"RUN!!!" screamed Cyba, trailing exclamation marks as she went.
There followed a short and rather ridiculous chase around the playing field, ending with Cyba and Eagrus diving through the hedge.
"So, now they're onto us," spoke Eagrus resignedly. "Great." Sar-Plasm splattered the foliage.
"Is that what you look like under your helmet?" Cyba quizzed irrelevantly, earning herself a glare.
"No," her partner stated, flatly.
"Now, we come up with a new strategy."
Accusing us of being Huns and subsequently chasing us around a field, Cyba wrote on the charge list. There isn't even a Hun war, nowadays. Go check your History, wraith. There was a hole in the paper, now, too.
"Any ideas yet?" she asked Eagrus aloud.
"Well, I managed to aim my CAD at Shang while we were running away."
"Well..." said Eagrus, holding up the melted remains of his CAD.
"Oh dear," commented Cyba. "It looks like we'll be bringing multiple tech failures to DoSAT's attention."
"I told you magic was better."
"Is not, times TEN!"
"Is too, tiiimmesss, urm..."
"Eagrus, you're looking at me again."
"Errr, whaat...? Oh, blast it!" He looked away quickly, not being quite far gone enough not to be able to rescue himself this time.
"Did your CAD tell you anything before it melted?" Cyba brought the conversation back on track.
"Yes: that wasn't Shang. We have a character replacement on the loose, probably two. I'd wager Mulan's an imposter, as well."
"So where are the proper Mulan and Shang?"
"Shut in a plothole, waiting to be pulled out and sent home."
"And the plothole?"
"Usually that can be found where and when the replacement occurred. So, this time: at the beginning."
"Shall we go and get them, then?"
"Not yet. Let's get those imposters, first. I actually quite like the Mulan continuum - they have good tastes. As such, I'm getting fed up with these Suvians already, because they don't have good taste. I'd say about the only canon things about this place are a few character names, a dislike for Huns and the fact that Mulan and Shang are attracted to each other. The moment we've got this under control, I'm calling in DoGA."
"Meanwhile, let's plan the best way to deal with these two character replacements..."
"Oh yes, let's," grinned Eagrus. Somewhere between the effects of High Pink and being chased, Eagrus was beginning to get riled.
They opened a portal to Mulan's house, just in time for Mulan and Shang to arrive in Shang's car. It seemed the lack of paragraphs had shortened the distance quite considerably.
Distorting geographical distances with bad paragraphing, wrote Cyba. She heard Eagrus muttering something about modern technology, and added that, too.
There followed a brief conversation between 'Zouh', Li, Mulan and Shang. It was very hard to follow, thanks to the mass of jumbled voices, itself caused by the lack of new lines for each speaker and a distinct lack of commas.
Suddenly, a little man, dressed head-to-toe in armour and brown furs, appeared next to them.
"Now he's a Hun," observed Eagrus.
"And a mini?" guessed Cyba.
"Now he's the kind of mini I like," said Eagrus. "Zouh, presumably."
The mini-Hun nodded vigorously and climbed onto Eagrus' shoulder, balancing there with surprising skill.
Eagrus took a look at the Words and cringed at the darkening sky.
"What is it?" asked Cyba.
"There's a storm coming," Eagrus told her.
"It might clear this muggy air," shrugged Cyba.
"Don't say tha-" Eagrus was too late.
"Ow!" squawked Cyba, as a falling comma hit her shoulder. "Oh no, not again!"
"Comma storm!" howled Eagrus. Luckily, their quarry had already left with the canons in tow. Zouh the mini, meanwhile, seemed glad of his armour deflecting the falling punctuation, as he remained perched on Eagrus' shoulder, holding his hair for stability.
"Eagrus - OW! Does this always happen on missions?"
"Not - ouch - always. Just - ow - often. Depends on the - ouch - punctuation." He jabbed the remote activator frantically, and they dived through a portal to Shang's house.
It was still storming.
Eagrus winced, pushing Cyba into the lee of the house. It only helped slightly, and there was absolutely nothing else around due to lack of description. The scene consisted of just a house and road, hanging in the comma-storm. The agents really needed to get indoors, but there were charges to note.
Zouh and Li drove Shang home when they got there Shang smiled and thanked the Fas Mulan said 'I'll walk with him." Mulan and Shang walked to the door. Shang said "Mulan I love you." "I love you too." "want to go out sometime?" "YES!" Shang said "See you at school." they said goodbye and Mulan went to the car and the fas went home and went to bed.
Zouh and Li's car drew up, before proceeding to do so a second time.
Temporal distortions, was added to the list.
"Cyba?" queried Eagrus. "Have you ever heard of a Fas Mulan?"
"Fa Mulan, yes - but Fas Mulan? No," agreed Cyba.
"No, me neither. Charge."
As it turned out, the Fas Mulan was a more athletic version of Mulan, who ran up, was thanked, offered to walk 'with him' to nobody in particular and winked out of existence. A 't' and a full stop fell from the heavens in her place, owing to the Word World's confusion about what was actually meant.
"Did they just fall in love in the short time from the playing field to here?" asked Cyba.
"I think they did," Eagrus agreed.
Cyba pulled a face and scribbled on the list.
"Hey, it's those two Huns again!" cried Shang, noticing them standing by the wall.
Mini Zouh drew a tiny sword and brandished it at Shang in defiance.
"I'll give you 'Huns'," muttered Eagrus. With that, they jumped off the edge of the floating island the house was on, and fell through another portal.
In the Morning Shang met Mulan in the school parking lot and said "Hey." Mulan walked over to him and said "Hey Shang." they held hands and went inside Mulan gently kissed her boyfriend and said "i better go I have Health." "OK" they went to their first block class and second the next thing they met up Mulan's locker and smiled Shang said "want sit together at lunch?" Mulan said "Sure!" they went to lunch and sat with each other.
They could still hear the raging comma-storm, but fortunately it was not so bad as to be storming on the parking lot, which was underground. They hid behind a pillar and waited.
"Important morning," observed Cyba, with a glance at the words. Meanwhile, Mulan and Shang exchanged greetings, held hands and then performed an unpleasant and somewhat impossible act.
"Did Shang just go inside Mulan?" spluttered Eagrus.
"Yeurgh!" Cyba retched. "Did she just eat him?"
"No, I think he shrunk himself and jumped into her mouth. Gently."
"She also has Health, apparently."
"She's going to need it, after that."
A spatio-temporal wrench hit them.
"Bleurgh!" heaved Cyba immediately. "Oh, I had forgotten how I dislike it when that happens."
Out came the charge list again, as the pair hid in the gap between two sets of lockers. They could hear the imposters' jumbled idea of speech, again, but their own voices slipped easily into the babble of other people around them.
"Does this school seem a bit... American... to you?" Eagrus questioned Cyba.
"You know about America?" gaped Cyba, surprised.
"I've encountered the style and setting on missions before. I took the liberty of studying a little; understanding the Sues' and Stus' backgrounds helps in planning the strategies to defeat them."
"Well, you're right, Eagrus. It definitely feels American. Health? Blocks? Meeting at the lockers? Definitely American."
Eagrus noticed the charge list now had at least four holes in it as they followed the imposters to lunch.
"I wonder what lunch is? Who will they eat this time?" commented Eagrus.
"Shang seems to be back, now, anyway," shrugged Cyba. "Oh crikey, did they just say pizza?!"
"They did," confirmed Eagrus.
"Rhetorical question," stated Cyba crossly. "Pizza! That's not in the least bit Chinese! And now they're going to the cinema! Eagrus, stop looking at my uniform!"
"Urgh, sorry. I just need something to dull my mind from this."
"Then look at your own uniform. I've already found it has a similar effect to banging one's head on the wall - at least, it makes it hurt the same, anyway."
Another series of lurches hit them, and when they stopped, Cyba and Eagrus found themselves on Mulan's bedroom floor. Cyba immediately dashed for the bathroom, and Eagrus rolled under the bed.
Outside the window, the comma storm was still going on.
Fake!Mulan rushed in and Eagrus averted his eyes until she had finished donning 'the prettiest dress ever'. That phrase alone made him grit his teeth, especially with the lack of description otherwise attributed to the dress. As such, it was extremely pretty while also being extremely formless and washed-out. What nonsense!
Then Fake!Mulan rushed out, and came back with her mother riding on her shoulders. Eagrus checked the words. Apparently her 'mom came in on her', which explained that. He was also sure that, somewhere during the last series of spatio-temporal disturbances, there had been mention of Mulan's parents being at her 'aunts house'. Why Mulan owned a house full of random aunts was a mystery, as was the fact that her mother, at least, was not there as stated previously.
Shortly after Mulan's mother left, Shang arrived and Mulan headed off to dinner with him. Eagrus took the opportunity to pick up Cyba from the bathroom, before opening a portal to wherever it was that the imposters were having dinner. That turned out to be floating in the middle of the comma-storm, so the agents watched through the portal, ignored all of the jumbled romantic stuff and ground their teeth at the mention of 'the boy who cried Huns'.
"That's IT!" snapped Eagrus. "I've had ENOUGH."
"Where do we get them?" quizzed Cyba.
"At the wedding."
"We have to wait that long?"
"Oh no," Eagrus corrected her. "Apparently it's in three minutes, a few days in the past."
"What's the plan?" pressed Cyba. "Didn't you say something earlier about giving them Huns?"
"So I did..." mused Eagrus, an evil grin spreading across his face. "What a good idea..."
Shang and Mulan got in the car and went to the fa's "I had a wonderful time tonight Shang." "Me Too. Mulan would marry me?" "YES!!!" Not many days past the wedding was in 3 minutes and as usual Mulan was nervous. But they got thought the wedding in one piece. they came in as bf/gf and left man and wife. Shang and Mulan lived happily ever
"Oh no you don't!" interrupted Eagrus. "Shang and Mulan will live happily ever after, but not you two imposters!"
"It's them again! Those two Hun spies!" cried Fake!Mulan, completely oblivious to the fact she was floating in the middle of a comma-storm. Cyba grabbed her, and Eagrus grabbed Fake!Shang, and both imposters were yanked in surprise through the portal.
"Do you even know anything about Huns?" demanded Cyba.
"Hey!" yelled Fake!Shang. "You will not hurt Mulan!"
"No, we won't," agreed Eagrus. "We're rescuing her. The woman you love, though, that isn't Mulan. And you're not Shang."
"What are you talking about of course we are!" retorted Fake!Shang, his punctuation going out of the window. Neither agent really cared about the window, though, because more than that would be broken after DoGA had finished.
"Right, give me the charge list!" called Eagrus. Cyba handed it over obligingly, while desperately hanging onto the struggling 'Sue. Eagrus took a very deep breath.
"'Mulan' and 'Shang', you are charged with: being imposters and Suvians, terrible punctuation; causing temporal distortions, including getting married before you even met; lack of paragraphs, leading to geographical distortions and muddled conversations; historical inaccuracies; impersonating canon characters - appallingly, by the way; bad capitalisation; causing a massive comma-storm due to lack of commas; creating 'Fas Mulan'; missing full stops; accusing us of being Huns; chasing us around a field; ruining Cyba's armour-fest - CYBA! Hmm, ruining my sword-fest - yes, agreed; changing the setting to modern-day; abducting Fa Zhou and Fa Li into this world, among others; creating a mini, 'Zouh'; driving cars and using modern technology; playing football; attending an American-style high school; eating pizza; going to the cinema; falling in love during the space of two - SHORT - car-journeys; having Shang shrink and be eaten by Mulan - and having Health afterwards, you vampire, Fake!Mulan; spatio-temporal wrenches; wearing 'the prettiest dress ever' - which is also formless and washed-out; lack of description; having Mulan's mother riding on Mulan's shoulders whilst also supposedly being somewhere else; and having an 'aunts house'."
Eagrus managed to restrain Fake!Shang enough to jab the remote activator, changing the portal's destination to Old China, right in front of the advancing Hun army.
"Here," said Eagrus, "meet some real Huns." With that, he and Cyba shoved the Suvian imposters through and changed the portal to after the Huns had gone. There, the 'Sue and 'Stu lay slain amid the Chinese landscape. The agents stepped through, savouring the newly clear air.
"So, what do we do with the bodies?" Cyba wondered aloud.
"Oh, I thought of that, too," smiled Eagrus. "I'm sure the Chinese can spare one rocket. Stand back." He changed the portal to the armoury in the Chinese camp where Mulan and Shang met in the canon, took a rocket, lit it, and fired. The remains of the 'Sue and 'Stu were exploded, and Eagrus was satisfied.
"Now to rescue the real Mulan and Shang," he said, stepping through the portal to the camp and re-opening the one to the playing field. Feeling around, he found a plothole by the goalposts and Mulan and Shang tumbled out.
"Is this real?" Shang asked of Eagrus, and Eagrus nodded.
"Step through that portal and you'll be home," he offered. "We can even help you forget this nightmare."
"You can do that?"
"Consider us allies of the Ancestor Spirits. Step through, look into the light and everything will be back to normal, as though none of this ever happened."
Eagrus drew his neuralyser and the agents checked their glasses. Zouh the mini hid his face in Eagrus' hair. Mulan and Shang stepped through the portal, watching the red flash as it went off.
"None of this ever happened," Eagrus told them. "You never saw us, or any of this modern techno nonsense." With that, he and Cyba stepped through another portal, back to HQ.
Back in the RC, Eagrus approached the console and sent a message to DoGA, informing them of the floating world of Modern!American!Mulan and asking them to return any characters to Old China, who had not already been transported by the death of the imposters. Then he sent another one to DoSAT, asking for disguise generator repairs and a new CAD. Behind him, he heard something like a small explosion go off.
"MESS! JOKE! YOU'VE BEEN USING MY ARMOUR FOR TARGET PRACTICE AND IT'S COVERED IN SCORCH-MARKS!"