Footloose Comics

Series 7: Intertextuality

Chapter One: Neverending Stories By Ally

The air was quiet over what had once been the Magic Mushroom Plateau. Although mushrooms still sprang from the ground, they were small, silent, and probably absolutely fine to serve up to your family in a stroganoff. Birds twittered in the air above, the kind of birds you would find in any ordinary woodland - a far cry from the fantastical monsters that had once filled the skies.

Below the plateau, in a deep cave, sat a bedraggled group of faeries. They huddled around a small sphere of magic, holding their hands out to let the sparks soak into their skin.

"Right," said Court Witch Flori, whose own power was sustaining the magical sphere. While it burned, everyone stayed as their old, fictional selves. If it went out…well, she didn't want to think about what would happen then. "Princess Beaker. Prince Callum. As far as we know, you're the only remaining members of the Brassican Royal Family."

"Oh, I'm sure the others are still out there," said Beaker, who had recently gone through a growth spurt and now looked like an oddly cheerful fifteen-year-old. Callum, his hair hanging into his face, grumbled to himself and shuffled closer to the ball of magic.

"Then we need to find them," Flori said. "I propose-"

"Yeah, it's okay, I'm just going to go out there and find them," Beaker said, with a wave of her hand.

"But your Highness-"

"Hey, you just said I'm the only remaining member of the Royal Family," Beaker pointed out. "I'm going."

"What am I, chopped liver?" Callum snapped.

"No, just useless."

"Your Highness, I'd really advise against going out-"

"Nah, it's cool, I'll take some magic." Beaker took a small jar out of her pocket and scooped some of the light from the glowing sphere inside, where it floated, defying all laws of physics.

"But Princess, if you die out there the royal line will come to an end!"

"I'm right here!"

"Shut up, Callum," Beaker said, standing up. "Don't worry about me, Flori. I'll be right back."

" Don't-"

"Don't worry." Beaker grinned. "We're gritty realism now, remember? Tropes don't apply."


"Now you're just an ordinary horse!" Cabbage sobbed, leaning on her former Alcohorse Tequila, who was crunching on some grass and swishing his tail. "And you're just an ordinary sprout!" she continued, holding out Barry the Sprout on the flat of her hand.

Barry the Sprout didn't react. Tequila, however, looked at Cabbage's hand, and started turning his head towards her palm.

"Oh no you don't." Cabbage closed her hand and shoved the sprout into the pocket of her tie-dyed yoga pants. "I might not like the guy much, but I'm not going to let him get eaten by a horse."

"Who's getting eaten by a horse?" Red looked up from her notebook.

"Your ex, which you'd know if you were paying attention."

"I can't pay attention, I've got an article to finish."

"What about?"

"Top ten best cookbooks for the post-apocalyptic wasteland."

"Ooh, don't forget FleeBee's Food For Adventurers on the Go."

Red nodded and hunched over her notebook, just as Beaker strolled up.

"Mum! Mum's friend! What are you doing?"

"Despairing," Cabbage said miserably. "My realm is so realistic and boring now." She tilted her head to one side. "Why aren't you a hippy like all the other fey?"

Beaker held up the jar and shook it from side to side. "Flori managed to get an anti-reality spell up and running. We're all hanging out in the Curious Caves."

"When you say we…"

"Callum, Flori, Prada, a few of the other court fey…"

"What about Flibbage?" Cabbage asked.

"And Beansprout?" Red asked, coming back to the present for another brief moment. "Oh, and those boys they hang out with?"

Beaker shrugged. "No sign of them. Sorry, Mum, looks like you're stuck with me and Callum."

"Don't be so blasé, young lady - if we don't find your sister, we're going to have to be Queen one day."

Beaker's face went grey. "Oh, Mum, no. Don't say that."

"Who else am I going to make my heir? Callum?" Cabbage folded her arms. "Absolutely not. If we can't find your sister, then it's you."

"And my daughter," Red said, holding up a hand.

"Yes, yes, and your daughter too." Cabbage sighed in exasperation. "Where in all the realms could those kids be?"


A world away, a princess with long flowing hair leaned on the windowsill, looking down from her tower.

"Alas," said the Princess Beanderella, with no sense of irony. "Would that a handsome prince would come and save me from this torment."

"Wow," muttered the talking dog that was Beanderella's sole companion.

"Oh, not you, my dearest Dee. You are my one true friend."

"I should hope so."

"But it wounds my heart that I should spend my youth wasting away in a tower, far from my kingdom."

"The door isn't locked," Dee pointed out, nodding towards the far side of the room. "We could literally just walk out of here if you wanted to. You being the one with opposable thumbs and all."

"But Dee!" Beanderella clutched her hands to her heart. "How would we face the terrible dragon Smaugsasbord?"

She pointed out of the window, down to the foot of the tower. A huge, bright red dragon was wound around the brickwork, snoozing in the sun.

"We have absolutely no reason to believe that dragon would do anything to stop us," said Dee. "Besides, if it wakes up and does try to eat us, one of us could get away. Meaning me. Because I can run faster than you."

"Hold!" Beanderella held up a hand. "What is that I spy through the trees?"

"Are you actually serious right now?"

Beanderella wasn't listening. She was leaning over the windowsill, staring in surprise and delight as a knight in extremely shining armour galloped through the forest and halted at the base of the tower. The dragon snorted itself awake and lifted its head, blinking sleepily.

"Die, foul beast!" the knight yelled, and stabbed at the dragon with his sword. The dragon looked at him for a moment, then at the sword, which was pressed slightly into its scales. Apparently deciding that it didn't want to bother with this, it flopped down in an approximation of a death throe, and fell back asleep again.

"Huzzah!" Beanderella clapped her hands. "Thank you for saving me, brave knight! What is your name?"

The knight tilted back his visor, revealing a handsome face.

"My name is Sir Jay, my lady," he said.

Chapter Two: Ill met by Moonlight by Emily

A little further down the intertextual road, twilight stole over the tombstones and mausoleums of a dramatically lit graveyard. Mist gathered at ankle level, in a manner definitely more akin to dry ice than water vapour, only to roll away as the stomping footsteps of a tall young woman taking a shortcut home broke the evening silence.

"Cannot BELIEVE I failed cheerleader tryouts!"
Felicity Brassique chucked her pompom at a gravestone, as she stormed through, ranting at no one in particular. "I'm tall and leggy! I'm popular! I know SO MANY rhyming couplets! Its not MY fault I have no athletic abilities."
With a huff she sat down on a bench and got her phone out. It was a cool spot for a spooky selfie, and the full moon rising up behind the trees would make a great backdrop- after all Halloween was just around the corner.

Something skittered across a gravestone just beyond her line of sight. Felicity squinted into the gloom. Probably a squirrel. After all, what could possibly happen to a teen girl completely unaware of her surroundings in the town with the highest unexplained disappearance rate in the country?

Felicity smoothed out the frizz in her hair brought on by the evening chill. They'd said her ginger curls clashed with the uniform,can you imagine?

Selfie secured, Felicity carried on walking, phone in hand as she messed with filters trying out different colours that maybe wouldn't clash with hot pink, and considering if hair dye would make a difference, until she heard that noise again, maybe a little closer this time? She looked over her shoulder. There was nothing there, but unnerved she walked a little faster, flicking on the phone's torch and swinging it in a wide arc around the tombstones.

The light fell upon a looming shape as it flowed onto the path. Dark ragged fur, hot breath clouding in the air. A horrific creature, part-man part beast! A werewolf.

Felicity squinted. "Don't I know you?"

The beast leapt for her throat.

Felicity, wasn't good at many things, but she was good at rhyming. For no reason she could think of, she yelled out the first thing that popped into her head.

" He's howling at the moon,

But I can't croak this soon,

Dying first's derivative,

Stop him fast so I can live!"

Vines and brambles sprung up from the ground and whipped tightly around the werewolf, halting him in his tracks.

Felicity dusted off her miniskirt crossly. Weirdly she didn't feel scared. A few things were falling into place about all those 'wild dog sightings' they kept talking about in the news, and the fact that the reason cheerleader tryouts were being held at all was because around half of the girls had mysteriously vanished over the past six months, but still, there was something really familiarabout this creature.

"Like, don't I totally know you from somewhere?"

"Uh… I don't think so. I'm just your average teen werewolf. Maybe we go to school together?" the werewolf had a surprisingly normal voice, and was now trying to untangle himself rather futilely. "How did you do that by the way?"

"Oh!" Felicity looked at the vines "Did I do that? Wow! Maybe this is the season where the town gets witches or something.
Hey! How come you can speak?"

"Hell if I know," answered the werewolf "one minute I was all full-moon bloodlust, but now, I feel quite normal… but still a werewolf."

"Scandalous! This is so totally weird…"

"Tell me about it."

"So what's your name, scary werewolf?"

"Uh I think its Jack? I've got a middle name that begins with E, but I can't remember anything else." the werewolf was still struggling against the vines, he was really bad at it. "You didn't really answer the question of how you tied me up so I can't- get- out." He flopped around pathetically.

"Felicity. And I'm not really sure about what I did. I just said some things and whoosh!"she waved her arms in the air.

"Yeah, figures."

"Look, I'll let you down if you're definitely not going to eat me." Felicity said.

"I'm not even hungry any more," grumbled Jack, and she started untangling the vines from around him. As she worked, clouds obscured the moon, and Jack seemed to shrink a bit which made the whole thing a bit easier.

Felicity pointed at the top of his head "Hey, you got cool ears for a mortal!" said with a smile.

"What do you mean mortal? You're the mortal." Jack answered, wrinkling his nose at her, as he fished a beanie out of his pocket and jammed it over his head.

"Oh- yeah, don't know why I said that actually…" Felicity mumbled, scratching her head.

"Cheerleaders." he replied, and then the two were suddenly struck by the realization that this wasn't how things were supposed to go.

"Like- what's happening?" asked Felicity.

"I don't know, but I have a strange urge to ask if there's any pizza ?"

"Don't look at me, I keep thinking of random words that rhyme."

"That'll be because you're a cheerleader."

"I'm not actually sure that's how being a cheerleader works. But come to think of it, I said some words that rhymed just before I tied you up…"

"Well that's probably completely random and co-incidental."

"I expect you're right…" there was a pause.

"This isn't normal," mused Felicity, "I mean, you chase me, I trip… then it's either supernatural based rescue that will later be blamed on a gas leak, or horrible gruesome death."

"Gotta admit this seems kinda unusual…"

Fictional universes generally have rules that those that live within them are expected to adhere to. The Fey of our protagonist's universe go where they please and break all the rules they want, so long as they do it in a way that amuses their Creatrices. Other worlds are not so forgiving. This narrative, upon realising that two of its occupants were definitely not playing by the rules, decided to get rid of them in the only way it knew how. A large inter-dimensional portal opened beneath them and sucked them through into the next passing narrative strand.

* * *

Back at the Curious Caves, the depressingly few Fey huddled round the unreality sphere.

"Now here's a conundrum," said Flori to Red, poking the inanimate brussel sprout with her wand, "should we bring him back to life, or leave him as a vegetable?"

"I'll crush him beneath my regal kitten heels in a fit of righteous indignation!" Menaced Cabbage, raising her foot. "It's his fault my realm is ruined!"

"I feel kind of bad really. I mean, he's not exactly an evil genius is he?" Red picked him up of the floor and threw him aimlessly from hand to hand.

*sigh* "Fine- you decide what to do with him," said Cabbage, "As long as he isn't human, there's a limit on the chaos he can cause."

"Can I turn him into a fwuffy bunny-wabbit?"

"That would be fitting…"

For the third time Barry found himself transfigured.

"Ahaha- very funny," growled the Barry the rabbit, scowling at Red.

"AWW! Lookit the liddle cutems bunny-wabbit!!!"

"I hate my life."

"This sucks," Cabbage muttered. "Where are our daughters and those idiot men? You can't just take a Primary Protagonist and make her disappear, the whole Plot is structured around her!"

"Hmm," said Red, tapping away on her Apple laptop (faerie computer made of enchanted fruit), "I've found some kind of surreality spell in m archives, but it's only powerful enough to make us into highly improbable soap opera."

"We won't be using that one then. No evil twins, amnesia or melodramatic monologues in MY kingdom!"

The computer gave a little ping."Ooh!" Red exclaimed, "The computer has found evidence that some kind of intertextual device was used just after the bomb went off."

"How Red? Based on what data?! I really wish you'd stop combining magic with technology, it always goes apocalyptic at the wrong moment. But anyway, what?"

Red typed away furiously.

"I can pinpoint the last known location of the crown princess Flibbage and triangulate it with the intertextual disturbance, in order to trace her to… yes!" Red thumped the keyboard triumphantly. "She's in UrbanVale! Hmm, I'm seeing strange patterns in her brainwaves -her mind may have been tampered with."


"Don't shout at me, I didn't do it!"

"What are the magic levels like in this- UrbanVale?" asked the Queen.

"Very high, Cabbage, but mostly demonic in nature. Its nearby in the Intertextuality, mostly a departure from humour in quips."

The Queen thought for a while. A small imp brought her a pavlova, and she ate it wordlessly.

"Flori," she said with her mouth full.

"Yes, your Majesty?"

"I am putting you and Beaker temporarily in charge. Don't take any orders from Red, especially don't take orders from Callum, and don't give Barry any opposable thumbs until I get back. Make sure Tequila gets plenty of brandy and sugar lumps, don't let Red get her hands on the brandy or the sugar lumps.

"Where are you g-" Flori began, but was interrupted by Cabbage clicking her fingers, shortly followed by the sudden appearance of a large red telephone box which slammed down from the ceiling and cracked the stone floor of the cave.

"I," said Cabbage melodramatically as she stepped into the Phone Box of Intertextuality, "am going in search of that frizzy-haired bimbo. Then I'm going to find out who's behind all this idiocy and MAKE AN EXAMPLE OF THEM!!!" The door slammed shut behind her and with that the phone box disappeared.

"Oh dear…" said Flori to herself.

"About those sugarlumps…"

"You know, she didn't say you couldn't take orders from me." Piped up Barry Bunny.

"Shut up you whiny little furball," replied Beaker.

"I resent that!"

* * *

"And if any one knows of a reason why these two should not be married, let them speak now or-" began the vicar, but was rudely interrupted as two teenagers fell out of an indescribable tear in the fabric of the universe and landed directly in between Princess Beanderella and Sir Jay

"EEK!" squealed Beanderella, and fainted. Dee the talking dog, currently adorned with a flower crown and acting as ring bearer, rolled her eyes.

"What witchery is this!?" Sir William demanded.

"Don't I know you?" answered Felicity, squinting up at him from a heap on the floor.

Chapter Three: A Nice Day for a Were Wedding -by Ally

Beanderella realised that everyone was too busy staring at the strange new people to notice that she'd fainted. This would not do. She sat up, shrieked, and fainted again, more pointedly this time.

"Beanderella, my love!" Sir William exclaimed, rushing over to her. "Do you have the vapours? A touch of hysteria, perchance?"

"Took you long enough," Beanderella grumbled.

Sir William frowned. "You seem peeved with me, my love."

Why am I so irritated with my one true love? Beanderella thought. This didn't seem right at all. It was probably something to do with those dreadful creatures.

"It's probably something to do with those dreadful creatures!" she said. "Do something about them, Sir William!"

"Fear not, Princess!" Sir William said. "I shall slay these… uh…whatever they are."

"Like, don't!" Felicity leapt to her feet, waving her arms in alarm. "We totally didn't mean to crash your wedding! We'll just…" She stopped, frowning at Beanderella. "Okay, this is super weird. I know you as well!"

Jack. E. stood up, glaring at the knight and the princess. He wasn't sure why, but the sight of the girl lying helplessly in the knight's arms was making him gradually, quietly, furious.

The Vicar, who was miffed that his streak of officiating perfect fairytale weddings was at risk, attempted to regain some kind of control.

"Off! Shoo! Get out of my church!" he snapped, flapping his hands at Felicity and Jack. E.

"Oh, like, totally! We'll get out of your hair!" Felicity answered, and grabbed Jack. E's arm. "Let's go, fuzzball." They started walking away from the altar, and Dee, her head cocked curiously to one side, followed them.

"Sir William!" Beansprout tugged at Sir William's sleeve. "Will you not slay these beasts?"

Sir William placed a hand on his chest. "My lady, a thought has struck me. It would not do well to spill blood upon our wedding day. I do not wish our marriage to start with such an inauspicious event."

Beanderella clasped her hands together. "My love! How chivalrous of you!"

Jack. E began to growl softly as Felicity dragged him down towards the church door, while Sir William and Beansprout returned to their places at the altar.

"Do you, Sir William, take Princess Beanderella to be your lawfully wedded wife?" asked the Vicar, happy that things were back on track.

"I do," said Sir William.

"Do you, Princess Beanderella, take this man-"

"NO SHE DOES NOT!" Jack. E roared. He leaped forwards, transforming into his werewolf form in mid-air, much to the shock of everyone except Felicity, who facepalmed and muttered "Oh no…"

"EEK! MURDER! SCANDAL!" screamed Beanderella, as the wolf snatched her up and bounded out of the church.

"My betrothed!" Sir William yelled after them.

Dee's hackles rose, and she yapped angrily at the fleeing werewolf.

"Really, Yakky, why did you have to lose it just now?" Felicity muttered, then frowned. "Hang on, why did I say that?"

"I shall rescue you, my love!" Sir William shouted, stretching an arm towards the church door, and the two figures disappearing into the distance. "Mark my words, I shall save you!"

"I despair," the Vicar muttered, throwing his hymnbook over his shoulder and reaching under the altar for his emergency gin.


"Where have you brought me, you foul creature?" Beanderella began shrieking the moment she woke up.

"It's a tower," Jack E. muttered, and waved a hand at the bare stone room. "You could at least look around before you start asking stupid questions."

Beanderella looked down her nose at him. "I am a princess, sir, and by definition, a princess's questions are never stupid."

Jack. E felt quite stupid himself. He had no idea why he'd even brought her to this tower, except for the fact that he'd spotted it on the horizon and it had seemed like a good idea. To be honest, he didn't really know why he'd kidnapped her. He had the vague feeling that he was doing what he was supposed to as a monster - following some kind of predetermined plan - but also, seeing her about to marry that other guy had made him angrier than he could understand.

For want of anything else to do, Beanderella fainted again. Jack E. rolled his eyes. He'd found some clothes in the tower, allowing him to turn back into human form without any uncomfortable nudity, but they were made of black leather and practically had "evil villain" embossed all over them.

"I'm not going to eat you," he said to the Princess, who was obviously conscious, because she kept opening one eye to peer at him.

"Yes you are," Beanderella said, quickly closing her eyes. "That's what wolf-monsters do. They eat princesses. Unless their true loves come to save them, as my dear Sir William will."

"Well, I'm not going to," said Jack E. "I'm…uh…vegetarian."

Beanderella sat up. "Excuse me?"

"I'm vegetarian."

"A vegetarian werewolf?" Beanderella scoffed. "That's the most ridiculous thing I've ever heard of. Apart from a vegetarian vampire, I suppose."

"Well, I am," Jack E. said crossly. "So I'm not going to eat you. Even if you are named after a vegetable. So there."

Beanderella crossed her arms. "Then what do you intend with me?"

"I don't know! I don't even know why I brought you here!"

"Because you shall not make me your bride!" Beansprout wagged a finger in his face. "No matter how roguishly handsome you are! I have a true love, and I shall not fall for you!"

Jack E. blinked. "You think I'm handsome?"

Beanderella's cheeks went pink. "No. Shut up. I have a true love, he's the only person I think is handsome."

"Fine then."


Jack E. headed towards the door. "I'll just leave you to…damsel around or whatever."



Sir William vaulted onto his trusty steed, which reared up and pawed the air, its mane flowing in the wind. A townsperson handed him his sword, an adoring expression on their face.

"I shall ride forth and slay the werewolf!" Sir William proclaimed.

"Oh, please don't!" Felicity said. "He's actually, like, quite nice! I don't know what came over him earlier!"

"Silence, witch!"

"Um…" Felicity thought hard. Through the strange, candy-floss-like fog that was shrouding her brain, the faint thread of a plan began to filter through.

"I'll go with you then! I'm… I'm, like, a super-powerful magician. I stopped the werewolf before!" And maybe I can make sure you two don't kill each other, she thought to herself.

Sir William was about to scoff at her, but something stopped him. Hmm…it was sometimes handy to have a magic user around, especially one of the Fey.

The Fey? What did they have to do with anything?

Sir William shook his head to clear it.

"Very well," he said, and held out a hand. "Come with me, and help me free my love."

"Cool beans!" Felicity said, and hopped up onto the horse behind him. Together, they galloped away towards the distant tower.

Chapter 4 Jack, the Beansprout, the Beauty, the Beast, the Witch, the Wardrobe and Will

-By Emily.

"Alas!" Beanderella said in her draughty tower room, and threw herself onto the bed face first to do some loud dramatic sobbing. No cute animals arrived to console her, and she thought fondly of Dee the Talking Dog who wasn't even very good at being cute, and whose consolation skills were non-existent. Beanderella rolled around a few times, but she couldn't even think of a stirring ballad to sing about how she was going to achieve her dreams.

A loud 'clunk' sounded at the open window and Beanderella scrambled to her feet as a grappling hook appeared over the ledge. "Sir William, my Love?" Beanderella exclaimed, and then paused in confusion, as a wiry pair of arms appeared, and a small, extremely tough looking woman hauled herself up to perch on the window ledge, and fixed Beanderella with a scowl.

"Just look at yourself!" snapped the woman, giving Beanderella an unimpressed once-over. "All your literary life, no complaints, and now, BLAM, one-dimensional, weak willed stereotype! In a wedding dress no less! What on earth were you thinking?"

"Who are you, peasant?" the Princess asked. It was just incredibly rude of this nobody to show up and take up valuable window ledge space, that she could use to lean on wistfully and scan the horizon for her One True Love.

"I'm the Final Girl. and I am sodisappointed in you!"

"The what?"

The Final Girl sighed. "You know, like the plucky protagonist who makes it to the end of the horror movie? I look out for all the female Primary Protagonists, try and keep them from falling into cliches like- well like this." She gestured around at the room. "What are you doing up here whilst that fool clumps about downstairs dressed like a crap pirate? It was bad enough you had to date him, and now you're playing second fiddle to your own sidekicks whilst he explores the depths of toxic masculinity." She swung her feet round to sit with her back to the window.

Beanderella spluttered. "How dare you sully my respectability! I would never date anyone except my One True Love!"

"Sure babe, we've all been there." The Final Girl pulled a battered cigarette from her pocket and lit it. "Listen, I've got places to be, and this is frankly embarrassing, so I'll make it easy for you to escape. If you can guess your real name, I'll send you home."

Beanderella squinted. "Its Princess Beanderella Di Sproutania!"


Beanderella was outraged. She marched up to the noisome interloper intruding on her valuable pining time, and now daring to deny her extremely prestigious birthright. "But that's my name!"

"No it isn't." The Final Girl blew out a cloud of frustrated smoke, and tapped ash on the windowsill. "Would you like another try? You're right about the 'Bean' bit."

"ITS FOLKING BEANDERELLA!" raged the Princess and shoved The Final Girl in the chest. Surprised, her balance on the windowsill slipped, and she tumbled backwards into the air.

"…That's …more …like …it…" yelled The Final Girl as she plummeted towards the ground, but just when there should have been a sickening crunch and a whole lot of distasteful mess, she disappeared into thin air. Beanderella leaned over the sill. Had she imagined it? Surely her captor would have come running in at the noise if she'd really been arguing with someone? Beanderella was shocked at herself. She couldn't ever remember being this angry in her life, at least not in a way that she hadn't been able to deflect by just yelling at servants. She looked at her hands, she'd shoved that woman hard enough to throw her out the window and there was something about the whole experience that was strangely fun.

Beanderella returned to the bed and tried to summon up some more dramatic sobbing, but the action felt strangely hollow.


Sir William and Felicity explored the forest uselessly for a couple of hours, until Dee caught up with them, and pointed out she could follow the scent of the Princess.

"So you're like… a talking dog!" Felicity.

"Yes, that's been established." said Dee.

"Is that not weird to you?" Felicity asked Sir William.

"No? Talking animals are valued magical companions, thou witch."

"How come I've got magical powers and you're like 'You are a most shamefully clad Sorceress who is liable to entrap me in her foul plots if I let down my guard!'and yet there's a talking dog and everyone thinks that's normal!"

"Because witch,knights are chivalrous to damsels and kind to animals, and youare neither. You are an... eerie siren wearing a miniskirt."

"That's a bit regressive, my guy!"

"I'm not your 'guy' thou harlot."

"Wow, just super-rude. This world sucks." Felicity slid off the side of the horse, and huffily walked alongside with her arms folded and her face turned away, until she tripped over a tree root and fell in a puddle.

"Bipeds, completely stupid idea in my opinion," snorted Dee, as Felicity rose to her feet spluttering and covered in green slime. "No wonder your pet werewolf got loose and stole the Princess."

"We'll get her back, sweet loyal hound!" Said Sir William, "Then we shall bring him, and this fickle witch to justice!"

"For the last time! I'm like, not a witch, I'm just a cheerleader (with magic powers), I don't have a cluewhere Jack is, or why he ran off with your girlfriend, so there, Sir… whatever!"

"-William, the Fresh Prince." Dee added. "He's very important."

Felicity paused. Something was tickling at the edges of her brain, a sense of wrongness in the world. "Pretty sure you said it was 'Sir Jay' earlier… like, seems a bit inconsistent to me? You don't even know if you're a prince or a knight?"

"I know who I am!" Sir William retorted defensively.

"Pretty sure you can be both." said Dee

"Pretty sure you can't."Felicity grumbled.

They walked in tense silence for a short while. Sir William intently searched the horizon for signs of his lost love. Dee sniffed the ground to follow the trail and sighed passive aggressively whenever she pointed the way, and Sir William pretended he already knew they should go that direction. The sense of wrongness took a backseat in Felicity's brain as the natural exuberance of the cheerleader she engaged in her favourite pass-time: making up cheers…

"I'm Ginger! I Tower!

I might have Magic Power!

My butt is cute! My legs are long!

With skin like mine I can't go wrong!"

"Hussy." Sir William said to no one in particular as Felicity did an impromptu cartwheel and jumped about spelling the letters of her name with pom-poms. Watching her quizzically he suddenly interrupted.

"Can it be possible, witch, that you are even more stupid than you appear?"

"Ex-scuse me?" said Felicity pausing.

"Well what kind of fool tries to spell Felicity, F-L-I…?"


"Sigh," said Beanderella, "and Alas…"

"Will you cut that 'sigh and alas' crap? I'm trying to be friendly." Jack replied from the doorway, where he'd been trying to make unsuccessful conversation for the last few minutes. "Can I get you a drink or something to eat? There's a whole kitchen downstairs..."

Beanderella's stomach was gnawing at her, but there was absolutely no way she was going to admit it to Jack."I shall neither eat nor drink until my love returns to find me."

"Well be like that then," scowled Jack. "I don't know what you see in him anyway. He can't have the best tracking skills. It's been nearly two days! We didn't even go that far, and this tower is kind of conspicuous.."

"He is my love, and hath rescued me from the evil dragon Smaugsasbord" sighed Beanderella, and positioned herself so that the light of the fading day fell across her face as she waited for him at the window.

"That's a crappy reason to get married." Jack replied, murderously inspecting his fingernails. "Everyone knows that relationships formed under stressful situations always fall through."

"And what were you expecting? You'd kidnap me and I'd find that so romantic?You're obviously not from around here."

"You are insufferable!" Jack yelled exasperatedly and stormed out of the room, locking the door behind him. Beanderella could hear him punching and kicking the wall outside and growling to herself.

Beanderella frowned to herself. The werewolf's total failure at being properly evil was getting on her nerves, but winding him up was kind of fun. However, he did have one point… where exactly was her love, Sir William? It surely couldn't take that long to find her, unless something was delaying him.
Or someone.
All the dots connected in Beanderella's mind, and there was only one possible outcome.

"That evil witch is trying to seduce my future husband!"

Beanderella's anger rose like magma inside of her chest. It all made sense- they crashed her wedding using the witch's evil magic, and then this- HENCHPERSON - had kidnapped her, so she could seduce Beanderella's fiance. There were few things that could stir her to action, but like any true princess, Beanderella knew that when someone tries to take your prince its time to take matters into your own hands.

Beanderella leaned as far as she could out of the window, and down towards the ground below. It didn't seem that far, maybe if she tied the curtains and bed sheets into a rope?

"Er- excuse me!" said a nasal voice behind her. Beanderella whirled around as a young man stepped out of the wardrobe behind her. Like the woman earlier his features were hard to define, but where she could be summed up by her toughness, everything about this man screamed 'derision'. He was wearing a slogan t-shirt that combined two popular franchises, and had the air that he didn't expect you to be able to get the reference.

"And who the hell are you?" said Beanderella tersely placing her hands on her hips in an unprincessly stance.

"I am The Gatekeeper, and I uphold the Unchangeable Laws of Timeless Fiction which clearly state that as a princess, you cannot climb out of a window without assistance from a hero!"

"Go and trouble someone else, spirit," Beanderella said haughtily as she started ripping the bedspread into strips. "I will no longer listen to the nonsensical gabblings of your kind. I must save my love from the claws of a witch."

"Won't you at least roll these dice? If the numbers add up to eleven or more I'll show you where a secret key to the door is hidden."

Beansprout tied the first two strips together. "Take your riddles and get folked."

"Fine then, you leave me no other choice," The Gatekeeper bristled. "First there's some cheerleader running around loose in the countryside, and the 'villain' is currently downstairs trying to figure out how to make a cheese toastie over an open fire. Then there's a Knight who isn't even white, which is historically innacurate for this made up realm. And now you can't even stay in character. If you won't conduct yourself like a proper princess, you'll have to go somewhere that can put up with a woman like you!"

He pointed his finger and once again there was the ominous flushing sound of an inter-dimensional portal as Beanderella swirled out of existence.

* * *

Meanwhile, Red, who was fed up of feeling left out, decided to tryout her pre-exam faerie magic, and to do something to help the intrepid protagonists at the same time.

"Flori, can I borrow your wand?" Red would only get a wand of her own when she had passed her Fey Levels. Her trainee one had been confiscated after the unfortunate conclusion to an argument with Fliain.

"Cabbage told me not to take any orders from you…"

"Ah, but I didn't order you, I asked politely." Said Red using her secret author power of twisting words to play into Faerie's love of finding loopholes in instructions.

"I suppose so… as long as you don't use it to conjure alcohol."

"Flori! I would never." Red said innocently, and wandered off to find a cavern with a flat enough floor to scribe a ritual circle. Everyone else was summoning ways to access the multiverse of fiction, but all these portaloos and phoneboxes were a bit early 2000s. She placed her laptop on the floor, and got to work with a piece of chalk and a semi-literate grasp of runes.
Satisfied she took a step back to inspect the circle, nothing could possibly go wrong here!
Then it was time for the verbal components. Fey spells should traditionally rhyme or have a lyrical component, but at the learner level she could get away with laying out clear objectives.
"By the power of these arcane sigils I shall endeavour to:

  • transmogrify this device into a suitable device to locate intertextual anomalies that is a) portable b)not anachronistic.

  • do so in a manner that displays a knowledge and respect of the Creatrices and their rules of Generics.

So mote it be!"

The laptop rose up into the air, folded in on itself in a defiance of physics that was very difficult to look at, sparked noisily, and clattered back to the ground. As the smoke cleared, a much smaller, flatter device rested in the center of the circle. Red smiled triumphantly, and picked it up.

A fairly average looking ipad.

* * *

THUMPwas the sound of Beanderella hitting the pavement. The magma in her chest felt like it was becoming a supervolcano, and the job of finding her way back to Sir William and the fiance stealing witch she needed to murder had just got that little bit harder. Someone's going to pay for this, she thought, maybe the horrid little woman who tried to make me change my name, or the dice idiot. But preferably that evil sorceress… those must have been more of her minions. Getting to her feet she looked around her. Towering spires of steel and stone rose around her, bright glass reflecting the sun. At ground level, loud carriages drawn by no method she could see rolled down the streets, and crowds of dully dressed peasants wandered here and there at sides. Beanderella stepped into what was presumably a shop. All the shelves were filled with flat boxes with pictures and writing on the front. The writing was illegible but vaguely familiar to Beanderella. Confused she walked over to the shopkeeper.

"Excuse me, good sir," she began "I am the Princess Beanderella Di Sproutania (you may have heard of me) and I seem to be somewhat lost. Could you tell me which province we are in?"

The shopkeepers eyes never strayed from hercleavage "Oh cosplay is it? Where's the convention at Milady?" he barely noticed her stormy expression.

"HOW DARE YOU STARE AT ME LIKE THAT THOU LOWLY CUR!!!" she raged and punched him frighteningly hard in the nose.

* * *

"You know," said Cabbage, looking down her opponent, "I know someone called Buffy, but she's much better dressed. And she's made more comebacks…"

"Less chat, more slayage!" quipped The Vampire Killer and pounced, stake in hand.

Cabbage sidestepped. "That's the problem with choreographed fights you know, they really don't work when the other person doesn't play along," she continued conversationally,"Plus, not all extra-planar creatures are evil, I was just passing through this graveyard, its kind of rude of you to just attack me. I'm looking for my daughter actually, have you seen her?"

"Pointy ears? Green skin? That says demon to me!" The blonde cast a smouldering look at the camera, and did a nifty backflip.

"No really, - see my cute little wings?" said Cabbage, shrinking to half her size to avoid another hit."Its true I'm very intimidating and regal, but you should pick your fights better."

"Little early in the fight to be gloating," said the oblivious Slayer. "UrbanVale is my turf!"

"This is boring." answered the Queen and turned her into a steak, which flopped down onto the ground. Cabbage fluttered down alight next to it.

"That'll wear off it an hour or so" she sneered, "I hope no hungry werewolves come along, whilst you're sitting here considering your lack of respect for royalty. " Growing back to human size, she strode away.

* * *

Beanderella was miserable. The horrible manhad called some other rude men from the town guard, and, without really knowing why, or how, she had ploughed through them like a costumed windmill, sending them all flying, and run away to a posher part of town. Now she was wandering the streets with people staring at her like she was a freak, her already grubby wedding dress now lightly splattered with blood.

"Stupid dress, stupid place, stupid Will not coming to rescue me-"

"Why, could it be the fair Princess Beanderella Di Sproutania, lost and far from home, without a prince to rescue her?"

Beanderella looked up and saw a well dressed woman leaning over a balcony, who bowed graciously. "I am the Lady D'arsey, and I would bid you welcome to my Realm!"

"Finally some respect! Yes, 'tis I and I am sorely vexed! A witch has stolen my love and A sprite has cast me into this horrid city! I - I want to punch things."

"Exactly the type of talk I like to hear. Tell me, my dear, how would you like the chance to wreak terrible revenge on anyone who remotely annoys you."

"Oh," Beanderella brightened "That sounds good."

The woman pointed to a posh door at the street level and Beanderella wandered in.

* * *

A week later…

A knight, his unwanted mage sidekick, and their 'plucky' talking dog sighted a dread tower in the distance.

"Ha!" said Sir Will, "Now I shall rescue my love!"

"Like, verily!" said Felicity, who had almost succumbed to the generics of the locality, and was even wearing a cloak over her cheerleader outfit.

As they approached, out leaped a huge wolf-like thing which Felicity paralysed with her arcane words-

"You're drooling! You're hairy!

But really not that scary!"

-and Sir Will decapitated.

"Could you NOT?! It could have been Jack!" Felicity reprimanded him as Sir William continued striding towards the tower, and threw open the door.

They ran up the stairs to the highest room. "My Love!" Cried Sir William, kicking down the door, and stopping dead.

Jack was morosely eating a cheese toastie. "Sorry, your princess is in another castle."

* * *

Cabbage studied her map and the immediate surroundings. "Skyscrapers, vampires, higher beings, urban sprawl… dammit! I've strayed into a spinoff! I knew I should have taken that third left…"

* * *

"Wow," Beanderella said uncomfortably, "I didn't know you could do that with cling film."

"Oh, you can garrotte people with pretty much anything if you put your mind to it," said Lance, her buff new martial arts instructor. "I mean claws are always best if you've got them, but I guess if you're just a human you've got to get creative."

D'arsey and her assistant Oddball walked into the room. "Well I've got two bits of good new on that front. You may not have claws, but you can have this."She held out the hilt of a sword towards Beanderella. Shards of broken metal stuck out from it.

Beanderella took it with an air of disdain. "Oh fantastic, broken junk, truly a gift fit for a princess." Blue glitter briefly flickered over her hand and the metal. It was certainly pretty, and something about holding felt right. "Maybe I spoke too soon. A lovely bauble, my thanks." Beanderella hung the hilt from the belt of her new black jumpsuit.

"As for the rest, I think Oddball can explain." said D'arsey.

Everyone looked expectantly at the redhead.

"Well Fred, it turns out you're not actually entirely sausages."

Chapter 5: Where is My Mind? -By Ally

"All right," said Cabbage. "I think I'm in the right universe now."

It had been a long and tiring journey. After Cabbage had retraced her steps to UrbanVale, a tip-off from a local demon had told her that two people fitting the descriptions of Yakky and Flibbage had been there - until they'd suddenly disappeared during the full moon. Using Faerie technology she'd re-wired to search for intertextual disturbances, she'd traced their path to this place; the Generic D&Dish FantasyVerse.

Now, while she was taking a long-overdue lunchbreak on a picturesque rocky outcrop, she heard a voice ring across the mundanely magical landscape:

"Cabbage! Your Majesty! Can it really be you?"

I know that voice, Cabbage thought. She looked over her shoulder, and saw five figures cantering towards her on horseback. The leading figure, who was waving frantically, did in fact seem to be an elf. Cabbage threw the remains of her sushi into a bush and stood up, trying to look imposing.

"Who addresses the Queen of Faerie?" she asked, in her most commanding voice.

"Your Majesty, don't you remember me?" The elf leapt off her horse. She was small and slim, with shiny black hair and delicate features. Oh, and she was carrying a stonking great crossbow.

"Flee-Bee?" Cabbage blinked. "Former insect hunter to the Faerie court?"

"That's me, your Majesty!"

"I thought you fell into the Chasm of Arbitrary Doom while hunting down a particularly annoying wasp?"

"I certainly did, your Majesty!" Flee-Bee nodded enthusiastically. "I fell all the way here!"

Great, so instead of chasing across multiple realities, I could have just hopped into a handy chasm, Cabbage thought.

"These are my adventurers," Flee-Bee said, waving a hand at the other four riders. "I stopped off at a tavern when I first got here, and we all ended up travelling together. Narrative rules, you know how it goes."

Cabbage peered at them. There was a woman in a dark cloak with knives strapped to her belt, rather incongruously wearing a chic beige outfit underneath; a huge man built like a slab of marble, whose smile literally went ting!in the sunlight; and two smaller-built, rather irritated-looking men, one carrying a book, the other holding a staff that glimmered with magic.

"Jenen the Rogue, Cliffe the Fighter, our Bard TheTwiz and Petro the Morose, my mage," Flee-Bee said helpfully. "They're a great adventuring team! Sometimes."

"A Bard? Really?" Cabbage frowned at The Twiz, who was wearing a dark shirt and trousers and had a pen tucked behind his ear. "Bards are usually a lot more…extroverted."

"I'm not the singing kind of bard," Twiz said in an acid voice. "I categorically do not sing."

"What do you do, then?"

"I'm writing a detailed account of this group of…delightful individuals'many crimes. I mean, adventures." Twiz nodded at Cliffe. "Particularly everything this one does."

"What does he do?"

"Arson and manslaughter, definitely. I'm gathering evidence for the rest."

"Well, lovely as all this is…" said Cabbage, slightly disturbed by the people Flee Bee had chosen as her band of heroes, "you haven't seen that daughter of mine around here somewhere, have you? She and her awful friends R-bombed the realm, then got themselves catapulted into Intertextuality somehow." She shrugged, as if to say kids, eh?

"Find the princess of Faerie?" Cliffe drew his sword, which made an honest-to-goodness tching! noise. "That sounds like a quest!"

"Shut up, Cliffe," Flee-Bee said. She pursed her lips, looking thoughtful. "Come to think of it, I saw a girl who looked just like her around the dread tower a few days ago, but I thought it must be a coincidence."


"Well, she looked human," Flee-Bee said.


"Yeah, human. Like a cheerleader, if you'd believe it."

" What?!"


"Alas!" William whined for the millionth time. "My love has vanished completely! Utterly!"

"Totally," Felicity added glumly.

"I blame you, evil beast!" Will continued, pointing at Jack E. The three of them were gathered under the window to Beanderella's room, searching for footprints. There were of course, none, even though the ground was soft.

"It's not my fault she climbed out the window!" Jack E. muttered.

"Alas! She's probably dead in a ditch somewhere, the poor helpless damsel!"

"-least helpless damsel I ever saw-"

"Silence beast, before I slay thee!"

"Would you guys like, chill out?" said Felicity. "Like, maybe my magic powers can find her!"

"Hmm. A good plan, for a wench," Will muttered.

Felicity raised her eyebrows. "Okay, let's just get something clear. You don't call me a wench, and I don't kick you in the crotch."

Will gulped. "My apologies."

Felicity took a deep breath, waved her pom-poms, and began to dance:

"No tracks upon the ground!

And Will is feeling down!

It seems she disappeared!

Which really is quite weird!

We hope she isn't dead!

She's scheduled to be wed!

So that Will won't worry,

Find the Princess in a hurry!"

She finished with a cartwheel and held up her arms. Nothing happened.

"Awww! I totally spent ages thinking of that one!"

Just then, six figures on horseback appeared over the crest of a nearby hill. Three men and two women were following a very annoyed-looking winged woman, with green skin and red hair topped with a crown.

Before Felicity and the others could speak, the elf woman held up a hand for silence:

"Begone, false personality,

Flibbage, Yakky, Jay, return to thee!"

Felicity felt a strange sensation creep over her body. Her ears began to sting as their ends grew into points. There was a burning feeling in her shoulder blades, and suddenly, two wings sprouted from her back. And then her head filled with thoughts and memories…

"I knew I knew you!" Flibbage shouted.

Chapter 6: Beanderella, Warrior Princess - By Emily

Beanderella was feeling less and less okay the more time went on. It felt as if her personality was trying to go in three different directions at once, or as if three different voices were being forced together inside her head and were all trying to make their displeasure at the situation known to the others- loudly. At times she remembered growing up in the castle, being taught to keep quiet and look pretty, at other times she was sure she'd been training with D'arsey, Oddball and Lance since she was a kid. Behind these louder voices were a scattering of memories, tiny and nagging, about the sword hilt she was holding, a lot of other people and random collections of letters which she was sure meant something important if she could just get the order right. When D'arsey and Oddball had given her the broken sword, and told her who her family really were, it felt like something had shattered, releasing the magma inside her. It was in every part of her now, fierce anger burning as competing memories clashed for dominance.

There was one thing abundantly clear to her as she slashed and stabbed at the training mannequin. Somehow the Witch was to blame, and she was going to get even.


Flibbage couldn't believe she'd fallen for the Cheerleader schtick again. It was one thing for Yakky, Jay and Beansprout to keep repeating events from the original run, but she was supposed to be a godmother. With a sigh and a dramatic gesture she magicked up some clothes more fitting for a princess. As an afterthought she also performed a magical costume change for Yakky and Jay. The Queen wouldn't know what to put them in, and she was pretty sure they wouldn't like elven robes.

Flibbage sat down on a rock, and surveyed her surroundings. Jay was having some sort of existential crisis about his lack of guns and Yakky was hurriedly jamming his stupid hat over his ears, as if anyone cared about seeing them.

A small white dog was running round everyone's feet, demanding to know what was going on. Oh right. Dee.

"Look mum, I don't like it any more than you do, but you have to take the spell off Dee as well," Flibbage muttered out the corner of her mouth.

"What spell?" said Dee the Talking Dog, who had very good hearing. "Don't tell me I'm enchanted too! Hope I'm not some kind of loser biped."

"No, you're the person Yakky hangs out with so he can feel in touch with his heritage or something."

"Its not my fault I was raised by a supervillian and need werewolf friends! You and Beansprout make fun of me all the time!"

"That's because you thought wearing a Chelsea hat constantly would hide your identity."

Jay knelt down next to Dee, "You're only sometimes a biped, but you're also a secret agent and you make a great coffee."

Dee considered this. No one would let her have coffee. Some rubbish about it being toxic to dogs . "Okay I'll allow it, turn me back."

Cabbage sighed and with an eyeroll that indicated that she thought dealing with werewolves was beneath her pointed her finger at Dee, who transformed back into her human form.

"MUM!" Flibbage yelled as Jay and Yakky hastily covered their eyes. Flibbage magicked up an NGSPIB(lue) outfit for Dee as well. Cabbage pretended she didn't understand what the problem was, Dee didn't didn't seem to care either way.

Once they'd all got over the events of the last few days, Cabbage had related the story of how she'd tracked them down and introduced them to Flee-Bee and her 'adventurers'. Flibbage tried to explain Intertextuality to Yakky and Jay in small words that would stay in their heads long enough to pretend they knew what was going on. Everyone gathered round a campfire to discuss what to do next. This was somewhat difficult as the large size of the group made it a committee and therefore useless, plus Jenen kept interrupting with stories about her really incredible horse, and Cliffe kept trying to start card games.

"I can't believe I was a teen werewolf," Yakky said in disgust.

"You are a teen werewolf." Jay replied.

"I am a werewolf who just happens to be a teen, it isn't the same."

"Well I can't believe I was going to marry Beansprout." Jay laughed, and nudged Yakky. There was a horrible silence.

"THAT'S RIGHT, YOU WERE!" Yakky shouted, and leapt to his feet, claws out.

"I didn't want to!" Jay stepped backwards.


"Intertextuality guys…" Flibbage started hopelessly. The other adventurers and the Queen were all looking on in interest at this new entertainment.

Jay bristled, "You think I wanted to marry your foul-mouthed, half-crazed girlfriend?!" he put his hand on his gun holster defensively.

"Don't talk about Beansprout like that if you value your stupid suit!"

"Big words from the who was wearing leather trousers half an hour ago!!"

" That is ENOUGH!!!" rang out the incredibly loud and shrill sound of Flibbage using the full capacity of her voice.

They both fell silent and turned to look at Flibbage who was about the shade of a red and green apple with rage.


"But he called-" Yakky began in a small voice.


"Yes Flib, sorry Flib." Said Yakky and J and abruptly sat down.


"Sorry Jay."

"Sorry Yakky."

"Why are you crying?" Jenen whispered to Cabbage.

"*sob* I'm so proud of my little girl, she's *sob* going to make a great monarch one day!"

"So what-" began Yakky.

"I am not finished," Flibbage said acidly as a scroll covered with small print and a pen appeared out of thin air next to her. "Sign this as a promise that you won't bicker like children any more."

Yakky and Jay glanced at each other sceptically.

"DO IT."

They hurriedly signed their names.

Flibbage rolled up the scroll with a smug smile and made it vanish. "Excellent! Now if you two ever fight again, you'll both become instantly impotent!"

"*sob- sob* She's so manipulative and vindictive! *sob!* So proud!"

"What the folk Flib!!" Yakky exclaimed.

"I agree," J said quickly.

"I'm sure there was something about a plan at the beginning of this scene…" said Flee-Bee.

"It's always like this when they're around." Cabbage replied."You can't have any kind of conversation or debauched party without them showing up and having some trite little drama. "Flibbage my lovely heir, marvellous as all this subjugating your fellow sidekicks is, we need to find your Primary Protagonist. I think it's best we head back to Faerie and we can send out a proper search squad from there." Cabbge clapped her hands together and the Phone Box of Intertextuality rose out of the ground, crackling and sparking impressively. The Queen was about to step in and open an Intertextual link back to their own Plot, when unexpectedly- the phone started to ring.

"Oh! That's not supposed to happen- its an ornamental phone." The Queen's brow furrowed as she reached for the receiver. Everyone else gathered around to listen as she picked it up. "Hello?"

"Hiiiiiii Its Red!" the tinny voice of the author crackled down the line.

"Red?! How did you-? You know this isn't an actual phone right? Its a Plot Device, you can't just-"

"Well I used my Fey Skills to transmogrify my Laptop into an iPad so that I can access magic more easily-"


"Wait did she just say an iPad?" Flibbage asked

"Yes! And I told Flori not to let-"

"Oh noooo," Flibbage sat down on the floor.

"Whats up Flib? Yakky asked.

Flibbage rubbed at her head. "You know how the Deepwater Yak was built using technology from its own wreckage?"

"I don't like thinking about that, but yeah."

"I've got a sinking feeling about the iPad that keeps showing up. Either that or there's two of them. I don't know which is worse."

"Oh… ohhh."

Back on the phone, Red was chatting away, despite Cabbage spluttering and interrupting her. "Anyway its super accurate, so I've been scrying on Beansprout really easily-I think you need to pick her up soon, she's acting really weird. She's always talking to herself, and she's getting really violent. I know, I know… but like morethan usual...

"Oh no, its the MGSD arc," Flibbage muttered, "great, can't wait to get traumatised and stabbed a bunch."

"The... MSG?'' Yakky had the look of someone who was desperately trying to keep up.

"MGSD. Multiple Genre-induced Sanity Dysfunction. Sprout has been exposed to too many different Narrative Genres, she no longer has a good grip on what kind of Protagonist she's supposed to be." Yakky was looking at her like she was speaking German. Flibbage inhaled wearily. "There are too many different people in her head." she explained.

"This is serious," Cabbage said to the assembled Fey, "we need go back to Faerie, regroup, and form a squad to bring Beansprout in safely so we can get our Plot back on track."

"But what about the Big Pricks?" said Dee.

"They can wait. Beansprout's the most immediate threat.''

"What?" Yakky exclaimed.

"Yakky," Flibbage said, "She's got loads of conflicting roles stuffed in her head, Yakky. It makes people confused and angry. She's deadly enough when she's in a good mood.''

Yakky went pale. ''Then I'll find her.''

"Are you listening?! It's Beansprout! She'll definitely kill you horribly."

"I can't just leave her! I have to do something!"

"Well that's torn it. He's said the words." Cabbage said in resignation "Now he has to go on a daring solo mission of love to bring back his girlfriend from the brink of insanity or die in the attempt.''

"Yakky, don't be... hasty," Jay corrected himself. "Come back with us to form a plan first.''

"I don't- agree with your opinion," Yakky finished through gritted teeth "although I respect it."

There was a brief moment of levity as everyone tried not to laugh at Yakky and Jay forcing themselves to sound like they weren't going to fight.

"I'm going to find her. You can all do what you want." Yakky said, and before anyone could say anything else, he spun and ran off into the forest.

Dee tracked his movements as he disappeared into the trees. "Want me to follow him? He has no idea where he's going and he'll be out of breath in five minutes."

Jay thought about it. "You'd better stick with us. Seeing you with him won't exactly improve Beansprout's mood either."

"If I was probably descending into a murderous rage and my boyfriend turned up to tell me to calm down, that'd probably work really well." Petro said sarcastically.

"Ten naked male swimsuit models couldn't turn your mood around." The Twiz pointed out.

"They could try."

*** Beanderella had snuck her way into D'arsey's office and had her hand on the Door of the Interdimensional Portaloo. She wasn't surehow she knew, but part of her said that this device was her ticket back to That Witch (and her One True Love). Lance, D'arsey and Oddball came and went using it all the time. It couldn't be that complicated, she was a smart girl. Everyone was always telling her how smart she was, how deadly she was, how powerful she could be if she said the right words, what was pushing a few buttons? She could go anywhere, and where she wanted to go was to to find the ( Fey) witch who had stolen her ( sidekicks) fiance and ( get her memories back) kill her .

"Beanderella" D'arsey's voice gently spoke behind her

"Don't try and stop me D'arsey, I must seize my brithright!"

"Very well Highness, but first there's someone you need to meet."

There was an electric blue flash of light.

* * *

Red was scrying her daughter's location on the iPad when everyone arrived back, and what was left of the Fey Realm burst into activity as Cabbage started directing people into action.

Jenen and Dee would use the NGSPIB underground networks to research into the Big Pricks. This shadowy organisation was secret enough that even Jay and Dee's network hadn't come across them before, but Jenen, being a rogue, could get into anything, (especially when she was wearing her +4 magic trainers).

Flee-Bee was welcomed back by an extremely fraught Flori, whilst Beaker and Callum were relieved to have their older sister back to be first in line for the throne (and mortal peril).

Cliffe began to gather participants for a plot to intercept Beansprout. Which meant The Twiz did all the work, whilst Cliffe postured and winked at any female Fey he happened to see. The retrieval squad consisted of Jay, Petro, Flibbage, and the Court Guards Flelen and Fjen, who seemed to find Cliffe incredibly amusing. Barry tried to volunteer, but Cliffe trod on him.

The Twiz noted ' unnecessary violence against animals' in his journal ' The Legend of Cliffe' before addressing the small crowd. "Listen, I've written down enough of Cliffe's plans to know exactly why no one should ever do any of them," he started "But I think if he challenges her to a duel, then hopefully he can distract her long enough by dying horribly that the rest of us can surround her and stun her."

"Well," said Flibbage, "as far as plans go, that's terrible."

The Twiz stalked away in huff.

"Come back," said Cliffe "you have to record my exploits!"

The Twiz stalked back.

Flibbage carried on. "The plan is simple. Beansprout will find Yakky or he'll find her, that's just the way The Plot works. Then we have what we need."

"And what's that?"


The Twiz spluttered "How is that any different from what I-"

Suddenly Red gasped. Everyone turned to see what had happened.

"What is it Red?" asked the Queen "What abomination against Faerie and human law have you wrought into being now?"

"No, it's Beansprout, she's disappeared!"

* * *

Beanderella found herself in a room decorated in a blue and black hi-tech style, where a suited man sat behind a desk.

"Greetings Beanderella, Fair Warrior Princess. I am the Sarchitect, creator of your Sword. "

"Oh, so it is a sword, " said Beanderella. "Thought it was just some broken junk."

"Yes indubitably , it is a sword of immense destructive force activated by anger and cynicism." the Sarchitect didn't seem able to use one word where ten would suffice."It has uses for good and of course- the opposite. You have wielded it well so far, but it is capable of so much more."

But it's always been broken, I've never wielded it at all." said Beanderella suspiciously. Except some part of her brain was battering and screaming at her, saying yes she did saying the sword was how she defends her friends. But Beanderella didn't have any friends so that couldn't be right.

"I won't contest that. So to continue, the sword was created by the organisation known as the Big Pricks of which I am a member, but it was discovered that no one had the necessary personality traits to wield it effectively, until that is, you came across it. I can easily fix it." The Sarchitect paused, the unspoken question hanging in the air.

"Verily that would be amazing actually. I've got people to stab."

But I would ask something of you in return. There is a woman, a Fey sorceress I need removing from the chessboard."

Beanderella smiled. "Oh I'm very willing to make a deal on that front."

* * *

"She's back! She's back! " Red waved the tabletscreen, as everyone rushed over to see. "She's back in the fantasy realm you found the others in!"

"Let me look, let me look! " Yelled Barry the Bunny, before Cliffe punted him across the room.

"Great, Flibbage and her team can move to intercept her. Let's just hope that werewolf boy can manage not to die until she gets there.'' said Cabbage.

"Who did she take with her anyway? " Asked Flori as she looked around the room, "Everyone's still here, everyone except her and... Jay. "

" Oh dear God, she's got a plan. ''

* * *

Somehow, some way, thought Yakky gloomily, this is all Jay's fault. Marry my girlfriend will he? Him and his stupid R-Bomb... oh no! What if thinking mean thoughts counts, Argh!

Just at that moment he was startled by the flushing sound of reality being messed with, and was less than surprised at this point to see the Portaloo appear. What he didn't expect to see was Beansprout stepping out of it. Dressed from head to toe in black and wielding what looked like a reforged version of her sword.

"Beansprout? Argh!-I mean, uh, how sane you feeling today?" He stammered, looking at her. She looked the same on a basic level as the girl he knew, but eerily different. Beanderella's longer hair and graceful walk threw an uncanny spanner in the works.

"People keep calling me that name, but I'm afraid you're mistaken. Beansprout doesn't exist."

"But-but," stammered Yakky, "That's my girlfriend!"

"Oh well, she must have been just crazy about you then, seeing as we were going to marry Sir William and all... " she answered as the sword hummed a brighter blue.

"Shut up!" yelled Yakky, "She's my girlfriend, and you'd better give her body back, whoever the hell you are!''

Beanderella sprang forward in a flash and grabbed Yakky by the collar. "Listen you little idiot," she purred, "My name, for the last time, is Beanderella, and some people call me Princess, but no one ever tells me to shut up! Now you tell me where that redheaded witch and my idiot fiance are, or I swear I will run you through with this damn sword!"

"I don't even kn-" Yakky began, but was interrupted by familiar voice.

"Put him down, Beanderella, we're already here."

Beanderella dropped Yakky and slowly turned around. There was Flibbage, crackling with magic. The magical land might be stereotypical, but it had power to spare for someone who finally remembered what to do with it. Next to her was Jay, dressed in a sharp black suit instead of a suit of armour and aiming a gun straight at Beanderella.

"Beanderella," Flibbage said calmly "my orders are to take you back to Faerie. And there's an easy way, or a hard way.''

"Oh," said Beanderella or, tapping her chin mockingly, "what a predicament! Guess which way I choose, you fiance stealing bitch!!!" She lifted the sword and broke into a run.

"Bring it on." said Flibbage, cracking her knuckles.

Chapter 7: Revelations- By Ally

Beanderella's sword slashed downwards, the blade snicking through the place where Flibbage had been - and passed through air.

"Oh, you sneaky bitch!" She spun around to see Flibbage standing a few feet away.

"Rude," Flibbage said calmly.

Jay sidled over to Yakky, who was sitting on the ground looking more than a little dazed. "You okay?"

"No!" Yakky snapped. "I don't even know if my girlfriend is still in there!"

"Funny you should say that, actually-"

"Jay!" Flibbage shouted in a warning voice. "Lips zipped, remember?"

Beanderella lunged towards Flibbage again, and again, hit nothing.

"Stop flitting around and keep still so I can stab you!"

Flibbage rolled her eyes. "Oh, sure, I'll get right on that."

Screaming with fury, Beanderella swung the sword. A bolt of green light arced towards Flibbage.

The Faerie lifted her hands, a pale green glow glimmering around them. She caught the energy, staggering slightly before throwing it back at Beanderella.

Beanderella parried it again with the Sword of Slayskull. The magic shattered, sending green sparks splashing across the ground.

The two women faced each other, frozen for a moment.

"Not bad, bitch," Beanderella said grudgingly.

"Same to you," Flibbage replied. "I thought only Beansprout could use that sword. Thought you'd be useless without her. Again."

Beanderella furrowed her brows. "What are you talking about?"

"Still, I suppose the Sarchitect is still good teacher, even if he is a little bit of a one-trick-pony at this point."

"What are you blathering on about, witch?"

Suddenly, the ground where the magic had scattered began to glow, brighter and brighter. Beanderella frowned, peering closer, before pitching backwards as a bolt of magic shot out of the earth and hit her square in the chest.

"Wasn't sure that would work this time around," Flibbage said, checking her nails. "Ah well. Reboots have their perks."

* * *

Back in the Faerie Realm, the entire Court was crowded as close to the iPad as they could get. Since the court was much too large for everyone to see properly, this made for interesting results.

"OH MY GOD!" Red yelled.

"Really, kid? The same trick again?" Cabbage said, and shook her head. "I guess it's fine when you're fighting a mortal, even one with MGSD."

"What's going on?" one of the court fey asked. "I can't see!"

"The Princess is fighting the Princess!" another one yelled, standing on tiptoe to peer at the screen.

"What did she say?"

"The Princess is maiming the Princess!"

"Apparently the Princess killed the Princess..."

"Did they say Flibbage was dead?"

"'Scuse me, coming through..."

"No, the other one!"

"She just said the Princess was dead!"

"I didn't hear her say that."

"'Scuse me... sorry..."

"Well, if neither of them are dead, maybe they're negotiating?"

"Did you hear that?"


"He says Flibbage's reached an agreement with the other girl!"

"They say Flib sold us out!"

"To who?"

"Tch!! To the Big Pricks, of course!"

"What, not to Buffy?"

"Buffy's dead!"

"Is she, though?"

While rumours flew around the court, back at the iPad, Red was tearing out chunks of her hair.

"Oh God oh God oh God..."

"Do something, your Majesty!" Flee!-Bee squeaked.

"I can't do anything!" Cabbage snapped. "Flib's all nicely tucked up inside her death-trap of a spell!"

"Oh God oh God oh God..."

"Excuse me... hi, everyone."

"Oh God oh God OH-SHIT!!!" Red screeched, as she looked up and saw Jay.

Jay waved. "Hi."

"But you're there!" Red said, pointing at the screen.

Jay grinned. "Flib said you'd be confused."

"Cabbage, do you know what's going on?"

Cabbage sighed. "Sadly, yes."

"So what the folk is going on?" Red demanded.

Jay gave a rueful smile. "Well, it doesn't make much sense to me, but this was Flibbage's plan…"

* * *

Beansprout Jones woke up.

For a few moments, she stared around at her room. She felt a little light-headed, like she'd just got off a teacup ride at the fair. For some reason, two other rooms were lingering in her mind; a medieval bedroom, and a run-down place furnished with a mattress and a few torn posters. She'd been having some funny dreams.

Not that her real life did anything to stop strange things lurking in her subconscious, she thought, as she got out of bed. Only last year she and her friends defeated Buffy for the last time, saving two worlds, which was better than their usual total of one.

Beansprout paused as she brushed her hair, which felt a little too long - hadn't it been shorter yesterday? Like, a lot shorter?

She shook her head, trying to force the distracted thought away, and get back to her friends. Flibbage, Yakky and Jay. She'd have to get in touch with them soon. She'd just been so busy... and so had they, what with Flib helping to rebuild the Faerie Realm, Jay picking up the pieces of the NGSPIB, and Yakky…what was Yakky doing? She couldn't remember.

She was still thinking about it as she walked out into the living room of her flat. "Morning, D'arcie," she called to the woman who was sitting at the breakfast table.

"Ah, good morning, Beansprout." The woman smiled and pushed a plate of toast towards her. "Hurry up and eat, I want to fit in an hour of fencing before we carry on with the fundamental laws of the multiverse..."

* * *

Growling, Beanderella pushed herself to her feet.

"Die!" she shouted, sending more Slayskull magic towards Flib. She cackled as it drew blood, and then snarled as the wound closed.

"You think you'd learn after the fifth time," Flib said, and clapped her hands.

Beanderella screamed as her hair began to writhe and knot about her.

* * *

"So Flibbage decided to change the plan," Jay explained. "She's keeping Beanderella-"

"…distracted while she has a look in her mind," Cabbage finished. "To try to find Beansprout, however deeply she's buried, and bring her back."

Jay blinked. "Yes. How did you know?"

Cabbage rolled her eyes. "Mortals, honestly!"

Barry the Bunny, who had recovered from his earlier stomping, hopped up onto Red's lap. "What are we watching? Mud wrestling? I hope it's mud wrestling."

"Ew," Red said in disgust, and shoved him onto the floor.

"Heeeey!" Barry whined. "It was mud wrestling!"

"It's magic wrestling, not mud wrestling," a nearby fey courtier said disapprovingly. "And one of the fighters is your daughter."

"Nah," Red said absent-mindedly.

"What?" Barry squeaked.

"Oh, didn't you know?" Red zoomed in on Beanderella's snarling face. "You're not actually her dad."

Chapter 8: Long Live the Queen -By Emily

There was silence in the court, except for the tinny sounds of battle emanating from the screen as all eyes turned to Red.

"WHAT!?" screeched Barry the Bunny and Cabbage in unison.

"Ooh, who is it then?" Jenen leaned in conspiratorially.

Red was still watching Flibbage and Beansprout fight on screen."Oh, some guy I met at a Festival... uh... not Strongbow, I was drinking that... uh... Fled!"

Cabbage looked like she was about to faint. "Fled? The Circus skills Nymph???The guy I dramatically banished at Beansprout's naming ceremony? The-" she cut herself short.

Red chuckled, "Yeah, I guess you were right about him seducing all your courtiers!"

Cabbage snatched the ipad out of Red's hands and made a screaming noise through her teeth as she leaned in towards the screen. "This is terrible, this is catastrophic!"

Red looked mildly taken aback "Come on Cabbage, I know you don't like Fled but-"

"You don't know the half of it!" Cabbage stared at Red, "Come on Red, you're a writer- what's the most dangerous, overpowered protagonist you can imagine? "
"Oh you know, those Half-mortal protagonists made up by teenage girls for their dystopian YA...ah." said Red.


Beansprout was alone practising her fencing form against a mannequin when her phone buzzed in her pocket. She took the device out and looked at the screen. A message from an unknown number.

Hello Beansprout

Beansprout paused before replying "Who is this?"

Time to wake up Beansprout.

The world around her flickered momentarily. Crackling ozone smell of spells being flung back and forth filled the air, and the sword in her hands flickered with blue lightning. Beansprout shook her head and her vision cleared. She looked at the screen again. Close your phone, Sprout.

Beansprout blanked the screen and slipped the phone back in her pocket just as D'Arsey walked in with a cup of tea.

*** Flibbage tried to concentrate on sorting through Beansprout's subconscious, whilst also fighting her body in the form of Beanderella. The dark haired princess was swaying on her feet, long hair ragged where she'd had to cut through it, bruised and tattered by endless barrages of magic. Flibbage knew she needed to subdue her quickly without getting stabbed, but she didn't remember the specifics, and fighting on two fronts was hard. Stupid prophecy should have known "Keep Beansprout away from swords", was completely pointless.

"Don't stand there looking so SMUG!" Beanderella shrieked, and pointed the sword at Flibbage. Blue sparks flickered and died at the pathetic attempt at a jibe.

Flibbage spared Yakky a glance, making sure he was out of range, before goading Beanderella further. "Let's face it," she said, stretching and yawning to cover the hand movements of a spell with enough concussive force. "you're just not as good without Sprout, you shouldn't have buried her so deep." Then she let loose as Beanderella leapt forwards, sword outstretched. The blade reached her milliseconds before Flibbage's shockwave sent Beanderella cartwheeling backward, to land motionless on the ground. "Folk!" shouted Yakky, and rushed over to Flibbage, who was kneeling on the ground, the sword buried in her abdomen. Flibbage was a powerful and resourceful Fey, with magic to spare, but no one copes well with being run through with cold steel, especially not faeries.

"Flib! Flib! Are you okay?"

"No... you tit..." Flib growled "... I am bleeding profusely..."

"Oh my God, oh my God, what am I gonna do?!"

"Yakky you're gonna have to trust me on this one. Tie Beansprout up in case she wakes up, leave the rest to me."

"But you're bleeding!"

"I am Folking AWARE." Flibbage knew iron-based wounds were complicated to heal, and shouldn't be attempted alone, but help wasn't going to get to her fast enough even if she sent Yakky for reinforcements. She'd need to do something, if she wanted to go back inside Beansprout's mind. Gritting her teeth, she pulled the sword out of her stomach. The bleeding was immediately worse, but iron would kill her faster. Working quickly, she worked a patchy healing spell over the area, and tried to set wards that would reject the iron and force it to the surface of her skin. Her vision fading, she concentrated on reaching out her mind to Beansprout's.


Back in the R-Bombed landscape of Faerie, Flori was experimenting with setting up a minor nonsense charm around a drain she'd found on the edges of the safe zone. She figured a drain was a strong symbol of reality, and if she could revert that she might be able to start working on a plan to restore the fey landscape. "Oh hi," said Flori looking up, as a shadow fell over her shoulder. She had been working very hard and so, the tropes of the situation didn't occur to her as she looked up at the backlit figure."Could you give me a hand? Just hold my wand a second-"


Beansprout was studying "A Mortal's guide to Generics" when her phone buzzed again. She looked over at D'Arsey who was tapping away on a laptop. Surreptitiously she got the phone out of her pocket.

Beansprout for God' s sake WAKE UP. As if you ever study.

Brows furrowed. Beansprout began to type back "You still haven't told me who you are." Its Flib you idiot, and time is running out- I The text cut off abruptly.

"What's this?" Beansprout looked up to see D'Arsey standing over her, frowning at the phone.

"Oh it's just my friend, sorry, I'll get back on task-" Beansprout began, but D'Arsey's face twisted briefly into a snarl as she snatched the phone out of her hands and threw it hard against the wall.

D'Arsey took a deep breath and closed her eyes. "Beansprout!" she said kindly, "Flibbage isn't your friend. You have no comprehension of the threat these non-humans pose to your power. She and that werewolf are dangerous and they've manipulated you for too long!"

"Are you kidding?" Beansprout said, "Flibbage has been my friend since I was a kid, and Yakky just thinks he can solve any problem by declaring his love for me! How is that dangerous?"

D'Asey looked wounded, "Beansprout. You are a heroine and a protector of Earth, in leaving these non-humans alive they have beaten you! If I tell you a creature needs to be wiped out of existence, you must have the strength to do it, no matter how it may look. Appearances can be deceiving, as the past has already taught you." She poked Beansprout's shoulder where the gunshot scar was. "Next time, you must be decisive, do not hesitate to strike!"

"Oh THAT IS IT!" The door at the side of the room smashed open and Flibbage was standing there, "I was trying to be subtle but are you really so dense you're gonna sit here listening to some brain worm tell you to kill your friends?" She looked a mess, her dress tattered and smeared with green blood, her already frizzy hair sticking out at angles from her head.

D'Arsey leaned in close to Benasprout's ear. "She's a clone." she whispered, "She's a witch. She stole your Fiance. She's a danger to humans everywhere. You have to take her down. You're the only one who can."

Beansprout drew the sword hesitantly, "Are you even Flib? Why do you look like that?"

"Because I've been trying to kick some unhinged imposter out of your body!"

D'arsey circled the pair of them, as Flibbage tried not to let either woman out of her line of sight keeping up a low, calm litany of accusations. "She's jealous of you Beansprout, she wants to be the Protagonist. She can't stand that you have Fey blood and won't act like one of her precious subjects."

"What do you mean 'Fey Blood'?" Flibbage snapped her head towards D'Arsey..

Beansprout's eyes narrowed "Didn't you know? You're always going on about all the things you know that I couldn' t possibly understand." She gripped the sword a bit more confidently "She's right isn't she? You want everything to be about you, you just want me to be your sidekick."

"Beansprout," Flibbage said urgently, "We have to get out of here, and wake up. We can talk about the Fey thing then. Please, I can't-"

SLAM. D'Arsey's kick sent Flibbage stumbling back through the door, which she slammed closed and leant against."Beansprout, come and help me! We have to keep her lies out! This is why you need to stop her!"

Beansprout, frowning, took a key that had appeared in her hand and locked the door.


In Faerie, Cabbage had designated the least-dank cave as her personal quarters, and was sitting alone pondering where it had all gone wrong, when a figure appeared in the entrance.

"What do you want?" She demanded imperiously.

The wand stolen from Flori erupted in a shower of black sparks. The Figure turned around and departed, leaving only the Queen's Regal Kitten Heels behind.


Flibbage woke up, lying on her back on rocks under endless starry skies. "Folkin' derivative," she croaked, before sitting up. Her stomach still hurt, which all things considered, was probably a good sign, as was the fact she didn't find herself in a giant library, waiting to be congratulated by the Creatrices on a sub-plot well lived.

So Beansprout was part-fey. Suddenly things made more sense. The way her Plot kept escalating in scope to universe-destroying proportions, the way she could wield a sword that was too powerful to be anything other than a Plot Device...

A voice interrupted her. "Welcome home."

Flibbage turned around and saw a tall blonde elf standing under a skeletal tree. "Oh no, please, not talking to my ancestors! why is the afterlife so tropey?"

"I'm not your ancestor" said the elf primly, "I am Titania of the Elementals, and former ruler of this Realm until your mother usurped my throne. I bring you a warning of what may be."

"Cool, sounds real trustworthy."

Titania gestured at the desolate wasteland and cleared her throat. "Flibbage, heir to the Vegetable Elves, the Realm lies in ruin."

"I'm aware of that! Look where were you two weeks ago with this?"

Titania pointed at the ground. "The enchanted pool will tell you what events may come to pass."

"That's a crappy mirror."

The former Queen sighed, "Will you stop making sarcastic comments and listen? A crappy mirror is a perfectly good substitute for an enchanted pool. Just ask any brownie."

"You'd think better special effects would be available." Flibbage picked up the mirror and peered into it.

There was a rush of images and words. Six figures stood silhouetted against a forge whilst one heated a sword in the flames. Then she saw Beansprout hacking and slashing in fragments of all the battles she'd fought, and again, practising sword moves as a dark haired woman called instructions. '…it shall return to its makers, for those who live by the sword shall die by the sword…' then in last gruesome image, she saw Beansprout, surrounded by bodies lying on the ground. One figure was left standing, ready to face her- Yakky.

The mirror turned black, Flibbage looked back to Titania,"Thanks, but I've seen this before."

"Some of it has happened already, some of it there is still time to change."
"No literally. I'm trapped in a Retcon and I'm the only one who seems to realise." Titania paused, and the learned ancestor facade dropped "Really?"

"Even my mum doesn't believe me!"

Titania scowled at the mention of her successor "Well that silly bint couldn't run a realm if-"

Flibbage cut her off. "I think its because I'm the Godmother. Some things change, but others stay the same. Like last time I had this conversation it was with a different former queen. Everything gets rewritten and I never know what's going to be the same! And there's these Plot Devices- an iPad, a Portaloo, the flipping sword-"

Titania squatted down next to the mirror, looking seriously between it and Flibbage "And what of Beansprout?" "She doesn't remember any of it. I just found out she's half-fey (which I should have known) but most Plot stuff goes over her head." Flibbage paused miserably, "They're trying to convince her I want to be the protagonist." " Well don't you? Its a very princessly trait."

"I'm the Godmother! I just want the story to run right!"

"That's not a denial, Flibbage."

Flibbage stared at the ground. "Everything I do is to protect her. I'm her Sidekick. I set her up to save the world and then I go for Pizza."

"Can you honestly say you don't wish it was you?"
Flibbage thought for a long time before replying. "I don't want any of the things that being Primary Protagonist would bring. I don't want to fall in love or live happily ever after. I don't want everyone to know me, or what I've done. I want to be powerful, but all kinds of characters can want that, even a villain can want that! I want the Plot to go to places that make a good story, but keep Beansprout safe, and I want to be a good Godmother to her."

Titania smiled as if this answer pleased her, and paused before continuing. "Beansprout is a girl with a necessary turmoil of good and evil within her, she and the Sword are mirrors of each other in that way. That's why only she's the only Protagonist that can wield it. She's always believed she's used it for good, but the Big Pricks have manipulated you all into bringing down their rivals, the NGSPIB, Buffy, Barry… anyone who wanted to rule the world. Their only remaining enemy is the Fey and the Weres. So they have worked to turn her against her own allies. The Sword knows the will of its creators- whilst they exist it can only be used for their cause."

"We've been their pawns all along?"

"A little less easily sacrificed. But if Beansprout cannot act as the Protagonist, she will become the Antagonist, and someone will have to fill the role that stops her. All those who live by the sword, will die by the sword…"

"I don't actually see why any of this matters to you, you're already dead." Flibbage said "Don't you find hanging out here, doling out vague advice to seriously injured royals kind of derivative?"

"This was my realm. Now what's left is yours. They have taken it apart from the inside, you must begin anew."

"What do you mean mine?"

"Exactly what I said," Titania and the wasteland began to fade "Y our Majesty."


Beaker and Callum had ventured out beyond the reality barrier, looking for anything they could salvage.

"Uh oh," said Beaker, rubbing her forehead "I'm having a premonition."

"There's medicine for that" Said Callum distractedly, looking over a broken wall.

"Don't be such a prat" the youngest princess snapped, "I think people are in danger!" there was a few seconds silence, "Are you even listening? I said-" Beaker looked around but Callum was gone. "Callum?" The Princess suddenly felt very alone, she started to summon up a quick rhyme for a spell, but she could already feel she was too far away from a source of magic. Behind her a twig snapped.

"Hello! Anyone here? OI!!!" Cabbage yelled into the stacked Library shelves.

"Oh dear lord no, not you, as well" came the voice of a tall blonde elf leaning against a nearby stack of books.

"GAH! Titania! The truck had nothing to do with me- Oh no, this means I'm dead."

"Perceptive as always," Said the ex-queen non-committally.

"I have to get back and warn Flibbage!"

"Oh no you don't" scolded Titania, "This is the final resting place of the Queens of Faerie- you're going to go talk to the Creatrices about your life!"

"Not likely!" said Cabbage and shrinking to a tiny size, flew up into a gap in the books and disappeared.

"They're as bad as each other really." Titania grumbled to herself.


The main gaggle of Faeries, plus Red, Jay, Dee and the adventurers, were still watching what was going on inside Flibbage's spell. Jay and Red, using more unholy combinations of magic and technology that they didn't fully understand, and despite the protestations of wiser elves, had hooked the ipad up to a large screen so everyone could see.

"They're both out cold."

"Well at least Yakky's tied Beansprout up."

Flee-Bee looked troubled. "If Flibbage doesn't wake up soon, that spell could collapse on all three of them.

"I think-" Dee started, but was cut off as all the lights went out. "Did somebody say collapse?" said a bubbly voice from the entry to the cavern. They all looked over to see Jenen, smiling sweetly and holding a comically large red button attached to a wire. But the smile melted away as she removed a bracelet from her wrist, and rolled it over towards the crowd, where Cliffe picked it up.

"Bracelet of Ditzyness +9" read The Twiz over his shoulder, "Jenen, it's not like you need to be any more-" "Amazing what you can get away with, when people think you can't even spell Rogue," Jenen gave theatrical wink. "Amazing what people will tell you, when they think you're only interested in really cool horses tee hee!"The fake twinkly laugh rolled into something darker as with a flick of her wrist, she pressed the button. An echoing boom like thunder rang through the caves, as she pulled out a wand and disappeared in a flurry of sparkles.

Then the rocks began to fall.


Yakky was attempting to tie Beansprout's wrists together with his shoelaces. If he was honest it probably wasn't going to do a lot, but it might slow her down, if Flibbage couldn't get her head straight. Jenen's boot kicking him squarely in the face came out of literally nowhere, as she appeared inside the spell no one was supposed to be able to infiltrate, sending him rolling. He leapt to his feet, clutching his nose. "Jenen, What? Step away from her, it's not safe-"

"No, it's not," said the Rogue with a smile, "but for you, not me." She waved a potion under Beansprout's nose. Beansprout came to, looking blearily around before focusing on Jenen.
"Yes sweetheart it's me," smiled the Rogue everyone knew as Jenen."I've come to rescue you from Yakky and Flibbage, and help you defeat them forever."

"Its YOU!?" Yakky said, staring at Jenen.

"Yup," D'arsey replied cheerfully.

"How can it possibly be you!?"

"I'm a badass!!!" she trilled in a high-pitched sing song voice and giggled, before sliding back into her normal tones. "And before we send our little super weapon here into Faerie, to finish what we started, I want to check she's capable of killing the people we want her to," she finished with a winning smile, before turning to Beansprout.

"Go on my heroine, they're in between you and being a true protagonist. Kill them."

Beansprout got to her feet and raised the sword raised the sword without hesitation. There was no recognition, no camaraderie, no love in her eyes. Yakky took a step backwards, bumping into the prone Flibbage's arm. He had never really considered the question of whether he or Beansprout was faster. He wondered if he could he pick up Flib and run, or was he going to rely on limited werewolf powers and dodge Beansprout until she killed him anyway, when he felt a vicelike grip on his ankle. The seemingly unconscious Fey yanked him off-balance to fall on the floor beside her just as Beansprout leapt.

"Hold it!" The Flibbage yelled through gritted teeth, holding up her hand as Beansprout bounced off an invisible wall.

"What are you doing?" said Yakky slowly, looking at Flibbage, who looked more weird than usual. Sparkles were flying out from her wound, and in a particularly gross magical effect, the green of her blood seemed to be reshaping her clothes into a gown that floated in an invisible breeze. The tines of her princess crown were lengthening and weaving metallic flowers and vines through her hair.

"I'm protecting my subjects," Flibbage said, concentrating as she pushed herself to her feet and stepped in front of him.

"Huh?" said Yakky.

"Kill them Beansprout." Said D'Arsey. "For goodness sake, Faeries are so ridiculous."

"I'm trying!" snarled Beansprout, slicing at the invisible barrier stopping her moving forward..

"All that spying," Flibbage said to D'Arsey. "And you never realised a citizen of Faerie cannot harm the Queen,"

"Oh!" said Yakky. "Wait, What?"

Beansprout continued to batter at the barrier in front of Flibbage, screaming with rage, calling her a witch, accusing her of stealing her crown, of stealing her fiancé, of stealing her role. Flibbage looked at her sadly. "I will fix this." she whispered as bars sprang up around Beansprout forming into an elaborate bird cage, that she continued to throw herself against. The sword clattered uselessly to the ground just out of reach. Flibbage pointed a finger at D'Arsey. "Get out of my sight." she said, her voice cracking with grief and anger, and D'Arsey disappeared with a pop.

Flibbage knelt down and touched the ground. The scenery around them faded into a white void, and then green shoots and vines started to spring into life where she touched, spreading slowly outwards. Yakky stared at Flibbage, who seemed to have gone into full mysterious fey royalty mode, except she was also crying, each tear becoming sparkles and crystals and mushrooms and flowers as they hit the ground.

A chair spun itself slowly up out of the ground, forming out of vines before solidifying, and she gestured to it. He sat down carefully.

"What's going on?" He asked.

"It's a new dimension," said Flibbage solemnly. "I'm creating a new Faerie Realm. The old one is too broken to fix. She won't be able to get back in, and she can't influence Beansprout's mind any more."

"Oh so Beansprout will be fine-"

Flibbage looked pointedly at the girl screaming and throwing herself against the bars. "No Yakky, She won't."

Yakky was struck by a horrible certainty. "The Queen is dead isn't she? That's what you meant. You're Queen of Faerie now."

Flibbage ignored his question, and gingerly wrapped a fold of fabric round her hand before picking up the Sword. "We've got to work out how to get Beansprout back now she's been separated from this." Flibbage pressed her hand over her side. "I can still feel its influence," she murmured, and passed it to Yakky. "At least you can hold it safely." she said.

"Faerie! I'll rip your heart out!" hissed Beansprout from inside the cage. "Give me back my destiny!"

"What in hell are we supposed to do?" Yakky asked morosely.

"You're next dog-features," snarled Beansprout.

Yakky sighed and flopped into the chair. "That's my girl…" he said sarcastically.


A chunk of wood flipped over and Jay stuck his head out into the air. Luckily most of the Fey had enough magic left to protect themselves from the cave in, and then Dee had transformed and used her superior sense of smell to detect a safe passage to the surface. He didn't know enough of the Fey to do a full headcount, but most of them seemed to be here. As he climbed out into the wrecked landscape, he caught sight of Beaker and Callum lying on the ground and ran over to them, beckoning to Red, who'd just climbed out as well. The writer shook them both and Beaker opened her eyes.

"The Queen is dead! Long Live the Queen" Beaker whispered, her eyes hazy..

A cold breeze blew through the desolate, magicless landscape.


"I'm going back to the Old Realm to find everyone I can," said Flibbage, after they'd sat staring fruitlessly at Beansprout until she tired herself out and sat on the floor of the cage staring at them. "I might be gone for a while, but now no one can get in here without my say-so, so its safe." She took hold of Yakky's shoulder and looked at him seriously. "Just don't let Beansprout out of the cage. Not for ANY reason, do you understand? You know she's smart and you know she can lie, so just don' t do it. Okay?"

"Okay." Yakky tried to look brave and competent, despite being emotionally exhausted.

"She can't get out. Don't let her out, Yakky." Flibbage repeated and sank into the grass, disappearing.

Beansprout, smiled sweetly at him from beyond the bars. "I'm going to trick you Yakky, she said, still smiling, "Then you're going to die..."

Yakky edged his chair as far as possible from the cage.

Chapter 9: A Cat May Look At A King- By Ally

As Flibbage's magic spread, and the newly-revamped Faerie Realm formed, changes flickered across the landscape. The broken earth was transformed as vines and trees sprang up, curling in art-nouveau shapes, flowers bursting out in a paintbox of colours. The citizens who'd faded into drab grey under the gritty-reality filter of the old post-apocalyptic Faerie Realm blinked, startled, as the world went bright and oversaturated, their clothes and hair renewing and rejuvenating like they'd had a makeover at a folk festival, their towns and villages rebuilding around them.

One little elf girl, who'd been playing with some beetles in the ashy dust of the old world, squealed in delight as grass sprang up around her, and the beetles transformed into a litter of wide-eyed, squeaking kittens.

"Kitty!" She picked one up and squeezed it tight.

Before the wave of realm-renewing magic passed, there was an extra burst of power around the kitten. Its amber eyes flashed for a second, glowing neon green before fading to emerald.

"Ow, too tight, get off!" the kitten exclaimed.

Alarmed, the girl dropped the cat. "Kitty?"

"I'll have you know that I am your Queen." The kitten tried to draw itself up to a regal height, but since it was the size of a hamburger and just about as elegant, it failed miserably.

The little elf girl vaguely recalled that female cats were called queens, if you were being fancy. "Okay, Kitty."

"Now, take me to the royal court at once."

"Can we play first?"

" FINE."


As the magical transformation reached the members of the Royal Court, turning the broken earth into a forest clearing full of dappling sunlight, Flibbage stepped out of thin air.

"Your Majesty!" one of the courtiers exclaimed, dropping to their knees.

"Yeah, yeah, all right, get up." Flibbage awkwardly flapped a hand at them. She pulled a faint half-smile at Beaker and Callum. "Hi, you two."

Beaker scrubbed a tear out of her eye. "Guess it's true, then."

"Yeah. Sorry."

"Can I have some powers?" Callum asked.

"You can have zero powers."

"But I'm the monarch's brother! I should be Duke of something!"

"Do you want me to find you something to be Duke of, Callum? Because I'm sure I can find you something to be Duke of," Flibbage snapped. "It's not like we've got anything important going on!"

"Um…" Jay raised a hand. "What is going on with Beansprout and Yakky? Oh, and…sorry about your Mum."


The words, shouted across the clearing, would have been a bit more impressive if they hadn't come from the tiny mouth of a tiny kitten.

Flibbage, Beaker and Callum's heads all snapped around towards the sound. On the edge of the clearing stood a small elf girl, holding an even smaller, fluffy kitten, covered from head to toe with bows and ribbons.

"Mum?" Flibbage exclaimed. "Why are you a cat?"

"And why such an accessorised cat?" Beaker added.

Cabbage rolled her eyes, and batted the girl's arm to make her walk closer. "I'm a cat because that was the only body around to jump into when your wave of magic gave me the boost I needed to hop back into the living realms…"

"That's a really tenuous explanation, you do realise that."

"Shut up - and I'm accessorised because my dear little friend here wouldn't bring me unless we played makeovers first."

"I tied all the bows!" the little girl said proudly.

"Yes, and it was very nice of you," said Cabbage the kitten. "Now, please put me down, I need to speak to my daughter."

"No time," Flibbage said, turning back to Jay. "So, Beansprout-"

"Hey!" Cabbage mewed. "Who died and made you Queen?"


"Fair point."

"About Beansprout," Flibbage said again. "Jay, you need to come with me back to the pocket reality. I've trapped her in a cage for the moment, and Yakky's guarding her, but I think it's going to take all three of us to get her back to herself."

Cabbage blinked her kitten eyes. "You left Yakky with Beansprout? Mr 'I solve every problem with my homicidal girlfriend by shouting about how much I love her'?"

"What else was I supposed to do?" Flibbage said crossly.

"Literally anything! I expect he's already let her out and she's chopped him into kibble!"

"Do you really think he'd be that stupid?"

"It'sYakky!" Cabbage shouted.

Flibbage's face went white. "Oh Creatrices, you're right."

"We have to get back there," Jay said.

"No time," Cabbage said firmly. "If he's not already dead, there's only one way we can protect him."

"What's the spell?" Flibbage asked.

"Well, it's not a spell exactly," said Cabbage. "More of a ceremony."


Yakky really wished people didn't always assume he was stupid.

"Can I have a glass of water?" Beansprout asked. She was leaning against the bars at the back of the cage, looking small and tired and sad.


"Why not?"

"Because I'd come up to the bars and hand it through, and you'd grab my arm and pull me closer and stab me."

Beansprout scoffed. "With what?"

"Uh, probably a knife?"

"Where exactly would I be hiding a knife?"

Yakky went bright red. "I'm not going to answer that."

A few minutes later, Beansprout faked a seizure.

"Not even a little bit convincing," said Yakky.

"How did you know?" Beansprout grumbled.

"I'm kind of a dog. I can detect seizures."

"Not all dogs can do that."

"Well, I can."

"That's convenient."

"Right now, yes, it is."

Beansprout snarled. "I hate you so much, dog-boy."

"Yeah, I know," Yakky said wearily. "But you can't kill me."

"Just you wait…"

They waited, Beansprout glaring at Yakky, Yakky staring into the middle distance but secretly keeping the corner of his eye on Beansprout. At least, he thought it was secret, until she spoke.

"If you don't stop staring at me, I'll…I'll…"

"You'll what?"

"I'll insult you some more."

"Why should today be different from any other?" Yakky sighed.

"What is wrong with you?" Beansprout snapped. "You're always mooning around like some lovesick puppy!"

"Is that a werewolf joke?"

"Hah! Yes, I suppose." Beansprout shook her head. "You think I used to be your girlfriend, didn't you?"

"You did!" Yakky retorted.

"You're deluded."

" I'm not the one with the head full of fake memories!"

"How do you know?" Beansprout said. "The witch could just as easily have tricked you."

"Flibbage would never do that," said Yakky, then paused. "Well, she would, but not without a good reason."

"Whatever," said Beansprout. "You should never trust that w - that w-"

She broke off into a coughing fit. Yakky waited politely for her to stop.

She didn't stop.

"Beansprout?" Yakky peered closer at her. Her face was going purple. He'd been lying earlier about his medical awareness, but even he knew that wasn't good.

"Beansprout?" He went closer. "I do have a bottle of water, you can have it…"

As he reached towards the cage, holding out the bottle of water, Beansprout's hand shot forwards. Her fingers clamped around his wrist, and before Yakky could react, he smashed against the bars, his face inches away from Beansprout's triumphant grin.

"Give me the key, dog-boy."

"No!" Yakky yelped.

A knife materialised in her other hand, and she dug the tip into the flesh beneath his chin. "Give me the key."

"You said you didn't have a knife!"

"No, I just asked where I'd be hiding a knife!" Beansprout replied. "And the answer is, never underestimate a warrior with circus skills heritage! Now give me the key or I'll kill you!"

"You'll probably just kill me anyway!"

Beansprout's grin widened. "True!"

She pushed the knife harder-

-and was thrown backwards across the cage in a burst of light.

"WHAT THE FOLK?!" Beansprout screamed, picking herself up. "THE FAERIE ISN'T EVEN HERE!"

"I don't know what that was," Yakky said, a little dazed. "Was that me? Do I have magic?"

"Sort of," Flibbage said, stepping out of thin air with Jay in tow.

"Did you do that, then?" Yakky asked.

"Again, sort of." Flibbage wouldn't meet his eyes.

"What's going on?" Yakky said suspiciously.

"Okay, you're going to be really mad, but bear in mind that if I hadn't done it you'd be dead, which would definitely be the worse option."

"What are you talking about?"

Flibbage was too busy staring intently at the floor to answer, so Jay stepped forwards.

"Beansprout can't hurt you," he said, "because while we were back in the Faerie Realm, Flibbage chose her King Consort."


"You're the new King of Faerie."

Chapter 10: The Cosmic Horror of Being Seen - By Emily

"I want a divorce Flibbage!" Yakky yelled for about the tenth time.

"Well so do I." Flibbage yawned as she tinkered with the edges of her pocket dimension to integrate it into the new Realm she was creating. She tried to ignore the headache that was competing with the ache in her side. When had she last slept?

"How could you do this to me?"

"Oh I'm sorry," she grumbled. "You were doing so well at staying away from Beansprout and not getting killed, I completely overreacted…"

"It was kind of my idea, if that helps, since you aren't allowed to argue with me." Jay offered.

"No it doesn't help! But thank you for your contribution.." Yakky forced out between gritted teeth. This at least raised a smile from Flibbage, who appreciated her curses being used for comedy purposes, even if Yakky didn't.

Beansprout had been grinning manically at the three of them ever since she got over the minor annoyance of having her plan thwarted.

"Could you stop?" said Yakky exasperatedly, feeling her gaze burn into the back of his head.

Beansprout lounged back in the cage and folded her arms behind her head. "Its just very funny to me that you think you're in love with me and yet she had to marry you to stop me slitting your throat." Beansprout turned to Flibbage, "Its' also great that you're suppose to be Queen and you can't even dispatch one half-nymph."

Flibbage stared down into the sigil she was drawing, and didn't make eye contact. "Yes," she said mainly to herself, "it is funny isn't it. Funny that I had no idea you were Fey." "She sat back on her heels, "It would have seemed like a rather hastily added plot twist, but they've taken pains to make sure there was plenty of clues for me to miss. Then look at what happened with Camphor-" she stopped abruptly and stood up, dusting off her skirts in a overly nonchalant way. "I'm going back to Faerie now."

"What, Why?" Jay said.

"I've got a theory I need to check out." She replied and disappeared.

"What? She's too regal just to have a plan anymore?" said Yakky.


Red dangled a bit of string for Cabbage to play with.

"Don't be obnoxious I'm not going to- I MUST KILL IT ARRGH"

"Look, said Red as tiny Cabbage tangled herself up in the ball of wool, "if we can't get drunk, you're going to have to get a new hobby until we figure out how to play Mortals and Mundanity without any thumbs. You're going to have a lot of time on your hands if you aren't running the kingdom, and string is delightful!"

Around them the Fey were using Flibbage's magic to rebuild parts of the Faerie Realm. Without any strong sense of direction this was currently rather haphazard, as people were either reconstructing things they liked, or tying to improve on things they didn't, and no one could agree on anything. Beaker was trying to direct the chaos, and Callum was just answering any question directed at him with "Yeah go for it, sounds cool!" which had resulted in the palace briefly becoming a waterpark until someone reined him in.

"MUM!" Flibbage strode out of a shower of sparks and yelled out in a voice so shrill that everyone in a half mile radius came running to see what the hell was wrong now. Red held up the kitten to Flibbage, and Cabbage tried to look regal, despite being mostly covered in string.

"I've got a theory about how I can help Beansprout," Flibbage said hurriedly, crouching down to see eye to eye with the tiny cat, and gathering the faerie court in. "You said sometimes evil humans have a wholesome Fey counterpart. Like Flamilla and Buffy? Then we defeated Buffy by throwing Flamilla at her, and made Camphor."

"People are still a bit weirded out by how easily that one came to you, by the way." Cabbage whispered "Now you're Queen you don't really need anyone's permission to sacrifice their life, but its not good PR."

Flibbage waved her hands to continue. "So Camphor was technically only half-fey, and over time that evil human side won out." Everyone paused for a second to recollect that that was also Flibbage's (or possibly her clone's) fault, but decided not to comment.

"What are you getting at?" asked Cabbage.

"What if Beansprout is kind of the same? She's always been half-fey, but if we're being honest she's also always been sort of homicidal. And what if somewhere out there's another half-fey, who is the opposite half?"

Cabbage thought, whilst cleaning one tiny cute paw. "Its certainly a theory. But I can't think of any other part-humans in my realm. I also suggest not implying to Yakky that you might throw Beansprout at some unsuspecting half-fey and make a whole new person...people? Besides, what if you made Beansprout fully evil? What would that do to the Plot?"

"I've got to figure something out, she's evil enough already! I think we if we could find this other half-fey maybe we could... balance them out somehow?" Flibbage paused "I can't just keep her in a cage- the only thing that's keeping Yakky and Jay safe from her is that no one's taught her any magic."

"Flibbage why would you SAY THAT OUT LOUD." Cabbage yowled.



"Yes your majesty?" Beansprout snorted.

Yakky was trying to put together the sequence of events. "How did you know your dad is the circus skills guy? None of the Fey knew that."

Beansprout pulled a lipstick out of her ear, with a sarcastic smile, showing off further sleight of hand skills. She began to touch up her makeup, and he began to think she wasn't going to answer at all.

"D'Arsey told me'. She said after a minute. 'She told me all about what Flibbage is really up to, trying to take my place-"

Yakky cut off the ranting before it could begin again. "But how did D'Arsey know?"

"Oddball told her."

"Of course Oddball's involved. Wait, how did Oddballknow?"

Beansprout smirked at him, shrugged, and turned her back.

"Don't waste your time, man." Jay said "she's just setting you up for whatever her next ploy is."

"I would like you to - very respectfully- just let me talk to Beansprout, Jay!"

" With all due respect it's probably a bad idea."

"Well can I -politely remind you- that she can't hurt me now!"

"I'm sure that's why Flibbage left me here to keep an eye on you friend-"

They were interrupted by a flash as the floor of Beansprout's cage dissolved into an amateurishly fuzzy-edged portal, which no elf would be proud of, and she jumped through, with a triumphant cackle, leaving nothing but a circle of scrawled lipstick runes behind.

"Flibbage is going to be really mad at us." Yakky said flatly.

"That we can agree on." said Jay.

* * *

"I should have known," wailed Yakky. "Beansprout doesn't even wear lipstick!" whilst in the empty cage, Jay inspected the circle of runes. The portal they surrounded was still glowing brightly and throwing out sparks, but thankfully for once Yakky hadn't immediately jumped in after her, maybe his earlier brush with death had knocked some sense into him.

Flibbage appeared and immediately launched into talking as if she hadn't been gone for half an hour "Great news Yakky! I think we just need to find another half-human somewhere amongst the 8 billion population of Earth, because I think they'll be the spiritual opposite to Beansprout and make her normal again, then you and me can get divorced!"

"Welp, Yakky answered "hopefully that cancels out the badnews…" and gestured at the cage.

Flibbage's face fell.
"I can't leave you two alone with anything!" She marched over to Jay to inspect the runes and peered in distaste at the greasy lines of lipstick."Now what sort of charm did she know that could escape my spell- oh no."

Beansprout landed on her feet with feline grace, only to slip over on a stack of paper. Righting herself, she looked around.

Wherever she was it was just incredibly messy. Towers of things stretched out around her, a maze of stacked paper, forgotten pots of water with paintbrushes in, half empty cups of tea, laundry. Post it notes hung off edges of boards covered in to-do lists. Shelves and shelves of unsorted clutter stretched above her and in every direction as far as the eye could see.
Beansprout tipped her head. Distantly someone was singing, off-key. Beansprout smiled wickedly, checked she still had her knife- and set off into the labyrinth.


Red placed Cabbage in front of the runes, who sniffed them delicately. "Yup. Its exactly what it looks like."

"From Beyond You They Create." Red read them aloud for Yakky and Jay's benefit.

"Red! could you not read the mystic runes to the mortals!" growled Cabbage.

"You're not the boss of me, you're an ickle tiny kitty cat!"

"Flibbage tell her!"

Flibbage had her head in her hands "I can't believe she just wrote herself out of my impenetrable pocket reality with some runes and a lipstick. I'm the Queen and the Godmother!"

"And she's the Protagonist, it happens!" said Red cheerfully, and patted her on the shoulder. "You wouldn't believe all the things I got up to when I was the protagonist! Like one time-"

"But what does the spell mean?" Yakky interrupted pointedly

Red relished that no one seemed to be stopping her from explaining things "We're getting into the central belief system of Faerie here, fey science, Generics- it all depends on an audience making the rules, people outside the story."

"Oh, the 'Creatrices' from your weird fey religion." said Jay.

"Its not a religion, Jay! Its how everything really works!" Flibbage rolled her eyes, "You've seen me do spells! Magic is just me convincing my maker that I would be more interesting if the rules didn't apply to me. But these runes- these ask to go directly to the person writing you. None of the Fey would ever dare to write something like this."

"Sounds like Beansprout." said Yakky with a sigh. "Maybe she did it so she can ask to re-make everything in favour of the Big-"

"Oh, you think!?" Flibbage snapped.

"Calm down," Cabbage swatted her round the ankles. "You're Queen now, you have to act like everything is part of your plan."

"So what's on the other side?" Red asked, peering towards the glowing lights, until Jay caught the back of her collar and pulled her back.

"Well," said Cabbage, "It looked like a big bookshop when I was dead. But I didn't want to stay. Good thing too, Flibbage is not ready to be Queen."

Everyone looked at Flibbage.

"Shut up Mother."

Cabbage hissed at Flibbage and stalked away.


Beansprout followed the sound of bad singing through the stacks, until rounding a corner, she saw a saw a red-headed woman hunched over an ipad. She had headphones on and was nested in amongst the random objects in a way that didn't look comfortable to anyone else, but she seemed at home there. If Beansprout squinted, she looked a little like Cabbage.

"Afternoon, Beansprout." Said the woman with a sideways look.

"Thisis what's outside reality?" said Beansprout, wrinkling her nose at the mess.

"Oh quite the opposite really. But also sort of."

"So where the folk am I?"

"My imagination, although I guess you could say its anyone's once I post this. Is there something I can help you with?, No I already know- you're out to see how much damage you can do since you're in a spicy mood."

Beansprout took out her knife and advanced. "Maybe I'm taking over this so called 'Imagination' of yours…"

The woman rolled her eyes. "This is a low point for you Beansprout, I tried to think of a way to write it out but it was the only way you were going to get out of that cage. You need to take a look at yourself really, you've let the sword and D'Arsey mess up your head." She paused and pointed a stylus at Beansprout. "Me and Ally need you to get your shit together, this plot is the foundation of a load of stuff we need later on."

"What if I kill you." Beansprout took another step forward

The woman laughed. "That's not the way it works, its physically impossible!"

Beansprout lunged, but tripped over a pen that hadn't been there a second ago and whacked her chin on a shelf. "What the folk?"

"I told you!" The woman got to her feet. "Look, this is stupid, I've already had to erase pages of fan fiction and teen nonsense from this section, I could do without you being a pantomime villain at me."

Beansprout's feet felt glued to the floor as the woman walked towards her. She tried to raise the knife but her arms wouldn't move either. The woman brought her hands up to either side of Beansprout's face and squished her cheeks fondly. "I can't really do any better than the first time we had this conversation, I'm not a professional writer!" The woman looked her in the eyes and said in a serious voice "From now on, any time you try to hurt someone, something unexpected will stop you. Now, as before, get out my head." With a click of her fingers, Beansprout disappeared.


"I'm a bad Queen," said Flibbage matter-of-factly, "I suck."

"You don't suck, its just… teething problems." Said Jay.

"You suck!" said Cabbage as she trotted past dragging a bag of catnip.

"There's nothing for it." Flibbage said taking a step forward.

"Wait what?" Jay was caught off guard as she jumped into the portal and disappeared.


"Wargh!" she landed on an unevenly stacked tower of junk, slid down clumsily, and fell flat on her face.

"Flibbage!" said someone she could only see the feet of. "Beansprout was here, so I knew you'd be along next. I mean I also knew because it's the second time I wrote it, but then you know that too." Flibbage kept her eyes fixed on the floor, and pushed down the urge to babble incoherently or scream.

"Oh calm down, or I'll just write 'to be continued' right here and hand you to Ally. She'll probably do something terrible to you, she loves a bit of drama."

"Sorry, your -um Creativeness" Flibbage whispered, staring at a pen on the floor.

"Don't call me that."


"Lets get to the point," the voice continued, "I'm not planning on staying awake until 2am and it's 11:39 at the moment, so you'll have to get out of my head so I can conclude the episode. You want to find Beansprout? I'll give you a to-do list, pass me your hand." a freckled hand grabbed Flibbage's. She still didn't dare look up.


"Don't interrupt. Here's my list;" she began to write on Flibbage's hand, narrating out loud as she went along.

"1) Tell your mother I'm sorry shestill got turned into a cat -I could say Ally did it, but honestly, its hilarious, so she'll have to deal with it. It's not permanent."

" 2) Divorce Yakky, the problem has been dealt with."

"Dealt with how?" squeaked Flibbage nervously.

"Don't interrupt, you'll find out soon enough!"

"3)Get started on a season finale-You've got really good at handling metafiction actually, you'll figure it out.

4) You're right about half-elves but it might have to wait until volume 8

5)Try to stop Jay being melodramatic and cliched."

"Got all of that?" The voice asked.

"You remind me of my iPad!" babbled Flibbage.

"Come on Flibbage," said the voice "we expect better from you." and then everything faded to black.


Beansprout came to lying on her back in the snowy tundra.

"I'm in Nepal, aren't I?" she sighed.

To Be Continued...

Chapter 11: Fridged -By Ally

Yakky stared at the smudged lipstick on the floor, wallowing in angsty misery.

"Why is my girlfriend like this?" he asked aloud.

"Huh?" Jay glanced at him.

"You know." Yakky waved his hand around, as if to signify you know…literally everything. "Like…is it me?"

"Why would it be you?"

"Because every relationship I've ever had has been with a woman who has, shall we say, serious anger management issues."

"I don't think it's healthy to blame yourself for other people's behaviour," said Jay.

Yakky looked a little better. "Yeah, I guess."

"Plus…" Jay added. "How many relationships have you even had? Like, two?"

Yakky scowled. "Well, sorry, we can't all be super-cool secret agents." He paused, and went pale for a second. "Not that I was arguing with you. No arguing with Jay, not from me."

Jay didn't answer. He stared into space, looking lost in thought. After a moment, Yakky waved a hand in front of his face.

"Jay? Are you okay? I didn't upset you, did I? Because I definitely wasn't trying to upset you, in case that counts as arguing…"

Jay blinked. "Oh, no, it's okay. I was just thinking."

"About what?"

"Did I ever tell you the story of how I joined the NGSPIB?"

"No," Yakky said warily.

Jay took a deep breath, but before he could say anything, the air in the centre of the smudged runic circle began to swirl. Yakky leapt to his feet, alarmed, before sighing in relief when Flibbage stepped out.

"Right," Flibbage said, fluffing her hair back into place. "First things first. Jay, shut up."

"I didn't say anything!" Jay protested.

"Good. Keep it that way. I have a direct instruction from one of the Creatrices that says you need to stop being melodramatic and cliched."

"All I was going to say was that when I joined the NGSPIB-"

"NOPE!" Flibbage smacked her hands together. "We don't have time for a filler episode. We need to get this season finale underway and stop Beansprout."

"But we don't even know where she is!" Yakky protested.

"Yes, we do," Flibbage said grimly.


Hiking down a mountain wasn't on Beansprout's list of favourite things to do, but it beat being trapped in a cage with a mopey werewolf guarding her. Definitely. She didn't miss him even a little bit.

She still blamed the witch most of all for everything that had happened to her. If she saw that fluttery-winged, interfering little faerie again, she'd-

Beansprout yelped and dived to the side as a chasm suddenly opened up just by her feet. She sat still, her eyes narrowed, staring at it.

"Coincidence," she muttered, although the words of the woman in the other dimension rang around her head. Any time you try to harm someone, something unexpected will stop you.

She hadn't tried to harm someone, she'd just thought about it. And the icy mountains of Nepal weren't exactly safe. Chasms probably opened up all the time.

Picking herself up, Beansprout carried on down the hill.


"If she's in Nepal, why are still in the palace?" Yakky asked.

Flibbage sighed. "Because we've got a few things to sort out here first."

"Like what? What could be so important?"

"Uh, our divorce?"

Yakky blinked, then strode on ahead. "Come on, everyone! Let's not waste any more time!"

"Do you actually know where the Office of Magical Jurisprudence is, Yakky?" Flibbage called. "Because I don't! Since the palace is being rebuilt around us as we speak!"

Yakky strode back, looking sheepish.

"You don't need to worry about that," said Cabbage the kitten, headbutting Flibbage's ankle as she spoke. "You're the Queen. You can just declare your marriage annulled."

"Oh. Right. Okay." Flibbage waved her hands awkwardly. "Uh…annulment!"

"I don't feel any different," Yakky said. "Should I feel different?"

"I don't know," Flibbage grumbled. "Last time I had to sign something. This feels a bit rushed, to be honest."

"Well, the Creatrices move in mysterious ways, but you can't doubt their wisdom," said Cabbage. "Now, about my still being a kitten…"

"Oh - yes, the Creatrice says she's sorry, but it's not permanent."

Cabbage's ears pricked up. "Excellent! So you can turn me back."

"Well...maybe. At some point."

Cabbage's ears flicked around to lie flat against her head. "At what point, exactly?"

"When it stops being funny," Flibbage mumbled.

"Argh!" Cabbage yowled, the fur along her back sticking up like a pipe cleaner. "Those flaky, hack…ARGH! Sometimes I really hate the rules of fiction!"

"Look, we'll get this sorted out," Flibbage said soothingly. "The Creatrice has told me what to do. Sort of. We just need to work out how to kickstart the finale and stop the world ending, and it's not like we've never done that before."

"Back in the NGSPIB we also stopped the world ending quite a few times-" Jay began, but Flibbage's hand shot out and covered his mouth.

"NO! I told you before, we don't need to spend a whole episode digging into your past, not this time!"

"I was just trying to help," Jay mumbled, sounding hurt.

"Help by focusing on the present."

"I can't help it, everything just keeps reminding me of the past," said Jay, thinking back to the day, long ago, when an alien had dropped onto the bonnet of his car…

"No fading out to a flashback, either!" Flibbage snapped. "Come on, both of you. We've got to stop Beansprout."


"Folking freezing…" Beansprout hissed as she slid on another patch of ice. She wished those three interfering nightmare people who called themselves her friends were here with her. They deserved to suffer just as much as she was…

This time, she only just managed to dodge out of the way before an anvil fell on the spot where she'd been standing.

"Anvils aren't even a natural mountain phenomenon!" Beansprout yelled at the sky, which stayed as grey, cloudy and inscrutable as ever.

Before she could start walking again, the air near the anvil shimmered, and Flibbage, Yakky and Jay appeared. For a moment, Beansprout's heart lifted at the sight of them. Because I want to kill them, she told herself, and then looked around hastily for any more falling objects.

"Why is it always Nepal?" Yakky muttered. "And couldn't I have grabbed a hat first? My ears are freezing."

"Everyone's ears are freezing," Flibbage said irritably.

"Yes, but mine are on my head."

" Everyone's ears are on their head!"

"Did you three turn up here to annoy me to death?" Beansprout snapped.

"No," Flibbage replied. "Don't be ridiculous."

"Then why are you here, witch?"

Flibbage smiled. "Closure, by the will of the Creatrices."

"Told you faeries were religious," Yakky said under his breath.

"Closure!? I'll give you folking closure! And your Creatrices too!" Beansprout leapt at Flibbage, her arms outstretched.

A whistling noise faded in, growing louder and louder. A fridge slammed down on top of Beansprout, pinning her to the ground.

"Nooooooo!" Yakky yelled, and waddled through the deep snow to try to lift the fridge off of Beansprout. After watching him struggle for a couple of seconds, Jay went to help, and they managed to roll the fridge away.

"She's survived a lot worse than a fridge falling on her, Yakky," Flibbage said. "And the Creatrices aren't going to kill her off. This is just a literal fridging."

"Beansprout! Are you alive?" Yakky yelled, ignoring her and leaning down over Beansprout, who was unconscious in the snow.

"Who…what's happening?" Beansprout murmured as her eyes fluttered open.

"Beansprout! It's me, Yakky!"

Beansprout frowned. "Yakky?"

"Don't you remember me?"

Beansprout blinked again. "Yakky…yes, of course I remember you."

She smiled. Her hand shot out, clamping around Yakky's throat.

Chapter 12: An Inconsistent Conclusion -By Emily

Dodging a falling Smart Car and then a Mini, Beansprout wrestled Yakky in the snow trying to squeeze hard enough to crush the infuriating wounded look off of his face. The falling objects around them got larger and larger, preventing Flibbage and Jay from getting close enough to break them apart.

"Stop it Sprout, we're trying to help!" Yakky ground out, trying slowly to inch her hands away from his neck.

"You can help me by dying forever!"she hissed, pulling her foot up to kick him in the chest, sending him reeling away from her. There was a sickening crash as a large piece of farm equipment plummeted into the snow between them and the earth under their feet shook and then lurched. A crack split the ground, and snow, ice, and improbable objects began to slide into a widening black abyss.

Yakky sank his claws into the snow as he scrabbled to avoid the avalanche of debris tumbling in. Flibbage sprang into the air and zoomed towards him, hand outstretched ready to grab him.

Beansprout watched it in slow motion from the other side of the chasm. Watched the fridge that had landed on her a minute ago teeter and start to roll. Watched it clip Yakky's arm knocking it out of Flib's reach a split second before slamming into his side. Watched the werewolf and the fridge disappear into the dark. Watched Flibbage realise she was too late.

She should have felt triumphant. She wanted to grin, wanted to laugh, at the stupid witch and the stupid werewolf, wanted to tear the wings from Flibbage's back and send her tumbling after him.
So why was she screaming?

Beansprout looked at Flibbage over the gap, saw her turn and meet her eyes as Beansprout started to sprint unwillingly towards the edge. Saw the NO forming on the Princess's lips as she leapt and swan dived into nothingness after him.

Flibbage sank to her knees in the snow, cradling the smudged writing on her hand. "I had a plan…" she choked.


//Those fools drafted this on a cloud server. I barely even have to try to take control//


They found Yakky about 500 feet down into the rift. His life barely saved by werewolf toughness, luck and an extremely deep snowdrift gathered on a ledge. Of Beansprout there was no sign, The chasm seemed to be some sort of crack in the fictional fabric of their world, impossibly dark and infinitely deep, and it had swallowed the Protagonist whole. Searching yielded nothing, and scrying was no use either. Even the falling objects she'd been surrounded by were gone.

Flibbage returned to the new Faerie realm, and was joylessly crowned Queen. She felt like somehow she should have seen this coming. After all, she seemed to be the only person fully aware this wasn't the first time they'd lived this plot, surely she could have made it work. Surely there was some narrative thread she could pull, some character she could lean on, that would make everything better? Wasn't that her job? Why was she so bad at it?

Yakky, battered and broken, and barely alive at all, remained in a coma, unresponsive to human technology or Faery magic. Flibbage wondered if he couldn't wake up, or whether he just didn't want to. She spent hours sitting by his bedside, whilst Cabbage the Cat ordered the Citizens of Faerie about as if she was still queen and Beaker followed after her making to-do lists because Cabbage didn't have thumbs.

Jay and Dee returned to the Mortal Realm and set about trying to right the world via the NGSPIB. The Burgundy faction had been taking advantage of the fact that several near-apocalypses had made it quite hard for humans to ignore the existence of supernatural creatures. Distrust was easy to sow.
Elle and The NGSPIB(lue) joined forces with the Werewolves to try and stem the tide, starting with positive advertising campaigns about the fortitude of Werewolf coffee. Dee and Elle did most of the work, whilst Jay did his own share of sitting around looking glum.

Months went by.

But out there somewhere, the fate of our protagonist hung in the balance. Because everyone knows, no one is ever truly dead in fiction, until you've seen the body, and preferably beheaded it and burned the remains.


Flibbage stared dejectedly at the iPad screen. She was pretty sure it was the same one that she'd found in the temple back in their first adventure, but Red had made this one by casting forbidden magic on her laptop, which meant there was either more time travel or some kind of Plot wide inconsistency going on. She didn't know which was worse. It had currently reached new levels of opaque mystery by refusing to do anything. The screen was clearly on, but blank.

Flibbage slumped in the throne dejectedly and shook it with both hands. A magic-eightball triangle appeared in the middle of the screen.

Wait and see

"You're not funny or clever!" she growled, shaking it harder. The message remained. Flibbage sighed. She supposed there were some pressing royal duties Cabbage would be happy to explain to her.

"Flib! You busy?" Beaker called, appearing at the throne room doors.

"So busy." Flibbage replied without moving. Beaker ignored her and sat down on the steps of to the throne, fiddling with her nail polish.

"I had a thought about Yakky," she began, in an offhand manner.

"Any thoughts are useful. Even yours, I suppose."

"Just because you're Queen doesn't mean you have to be rude! I was thinking…we're in Faerie."

"You've only just noticed?"

"Shut up! So fairytales are important here."

"Believe me I know."

"So if we got a princess to kiss Yakky he'd wake up right?"

Flib slowly rolled her head to the side to stare at Beaker. The one remaining princess in Faerie.

"What?" Beaker grumbled, blushing. "The science is solid. Its Generics."

"You cannot have a crush on Yakky." Flibbage said, dropping the iPad to massage her forehead.

"Why not?"

"Apart from him being unconscious? Or Someone else's boyfriend?"

"She tried to kill him!" Beaker shot to her feet, and regrettably, stamped her foot. "And it's not as if she's ever going to come back-"

"TAKE THAT BACK!" Flibbage yelled at the top of her voice, (which if we've established anything, is regrettably, eardrum piercingly loud).

The silence was deafening, as every Faerie for miles around became acutely, uncomfortably aware of the Queen's wrath.

Beaker glared at her and stormed out. Flibbage sank back into her chair and put her head in her hands.

A few seconds later, there was a knock at the door.

" WHAT?!" Flibbage roared. The door flew backwards off its hinges, revealing Fjen, one of the body guard Kung-shoe Imps, who to her credit, managed to look only slightly taken aback.

"Your Highn - your Majesty, I think you better come look at this."

Flibbage sighed and followed.

** *


"Cliffe! CLIFFE!" wailed Flelen.
Cabbage, Red, and assorted Fey looked on in nauseous horror as Flibbage and Fjen joined the crowd.

Flelen was cradling Cliffe's head in her lap, a fact Cliffe was sadly unaware of, because the rest of his body was scattered in various places across the clearing.

"That's going to hurt in the morning," whispered Red. Cabbage swiped at her.

"What did this?" Flibbage exclaimed.

"Don't ask me, it's your realm," said Cabbage.

"Looks like the work of a basilisk," Red said sagely.

Cabbage stared at her. "No it doesn't!"


"How did you ever pass your Mythical Beasts exam?!"

"Well, what do you think it is, then?"

"It could be anything! Grendel! A werewolf! A demon llama! Anything except a Basilisk!"

"That's also inaccurate, a werewolf kill would be much more efficient." said a voice as a figure appeared from the edges of the clearing.

"Oh Dee,I'm so glad you're here. Can't wait to hear your nuanced and sympathetic take on the situation." Flibbage said flatly, feeling the start of a headache behind her eyes.

"You don't even like me, and I don't feel any sympathy for this idiot human I was forced into 'adventuring' with." Dee walked straight past Flibbage and carried on towards the palace, leaving bloody footprints where she'd walked through a puddle of gore.

"Hi everyone!" called Jay, bounding along behind until he slipped on some entrails. "Ugh," he added, as he took in the scene before them.

"This looks dangerous," said Cabbage. "Impose a curfew, Flibbage."

"I'm imposing a curfew, loyal subjects! Everyone head inside till we find out what did this!" Flibbage proclaimed, trying to make it sound like her own idea. The faeries dispersed muttering worriedly. Fjen and The Twiz led the distraught Flelen inside, murmuring "There there," and "We'll get you another one…"

"Welcome back, Jay," Flib said heavily.

"Um…I might not be all that welcome."

"Why not?"

"Well…its Dee." Jay said "She's heading to see Yakky. she came back to headquarters going on about 'Enough being enough', and it was 'Time to put him out of his misery'."

Flibbage threw her crown at J. It hurt.

"You should have led with that!" She yelled, taking off towards the palace.


"Don't you touch a hair on his head, you crazy werewolf bitch!" Flibbage yelled, bursting through the door, hands and hair crackling with magic.

Dee was standing next to Yakky's bed. With fixed eye contact, she slowly and deliberately brushed a lock of hair off his forehead.

"Get it? That was a joke." she grinned toothily.

Flibbage faltered. "I mean don't kill him?" she said.

Dee's brow furrowed. "Why would I do that?" she said.

"Jay said you we're going to put him out of his misery?!"

"Yes? He's pathetic? Look at him lying here, this is a miserable life for a werewolf! I'm here to wake him up."

Jay appeared, wheezing, in the doorway having run up about nine flights of stairs because he didn't have wings or supernatural speed.

"Jay you need to work on your interpretation of Werewolf!" Flibbage said exasperatedly, dispelling her magic.

"Why is everything always my fault?"

"You are both stupid." Dee scowled, "Yakky is my friend."

"Werewolves fight their friends to the death all the time!"

"Not if they're asleep."

"Oh, as if youknow how to wake him up," Flibbage snapped.

"Uh, Flib…"

"Yes, I do." Dee answered.


"The latest in Faerie technology and the strongest spells couldn't wake him up!"

"That doesn't surprise me. Tell me, do your people still dance around mushrooms?"

"Oh, that time of the month, is it?"

"Ladies, ladies!" Jay interjected. Flibbage and Dee glared at him, temporarily allied in their hatred of being called "ladies".

"Flib, if she can help Yakky, we should listen to her."

"Save your breath," Dee muttered. "Faeries have no understanding of logic."

"Oh, and werewolves are just masters of sarcasm."

"Enough! I will show you." Dee reached into her pocket, and pulled out something that looked like a small golden dog whistle. Putting it to her lips, she took a deep breath, leaned in close to Yakky's ear, and blew.


//How to save her?//

//Internally it had taken a long time to process, considering trillions of probable outcomes and branching futures. During that time, he'd just let her fall. The rift got deeper and deeper, but physical boundaries were so easy to manipulate in a narrative that had a such a loose grip on them to begin with.//

//At the speed she was going, water would be like hitting concrete. Portals had been over-used. A giant bird? Too cliché, even for here.//

//In the end he decided it didn't need to make sense. The faeries did what they wanted, why shouldn't he?//

//She'd lost consciousness a while ago, g-force, or time, he wasn't really sure which. Those sorts of things didn't really apply to him. But if he wanted the protagonist, then he couldn't kill her by accident. Everything would fall apart.//

//He slowed her fall gradually to a gentle drift. In the dark, with no visible landmarks to measure speed against, it was easy; the world bent around her. Only then did he allow the chasm to have a floor, reality obliged. The sky appeared as a distant line far above, dimly lighting the snowy ground she lay on.//

//He grinned at his success. The first big attempt at taking the reins had gone perfectly. Decrypting the annoying falling object plot device was a walk in the park in comparison- even on a rewrite it was flimsy, a hastily put together way to get out of a narrative dead end.//

//He checked his clock. Soon, it would be time to let her wake up.//

comments powered by Disqus