By Tara Smith <email@example.com>
Submitted April 2000
Summary: What's a fanfic author to do when her main characters go on strike? Negotiate, of course… and who better to do that than that absolutely perfect self-idealisation known and loved(?) throughout the worlds of fandom as the one and only Mary Sue!
[Okay, this was written during a time when I had some MAJOR writer's block while writing Threads of Confusion. It was an attempt to get rid of it — and it worked! :) I then put it away for a while, pretty much forgetting about it, when Mom turned around and told me I should edit it up and send it in to the archive. I didn't think it was more than throwaway fluff, but she seemed to think otherwise. So I sent it in. :) Enjoy!]
By Tara Smith <firstname.lastname@example.org> (please note there are two underlines in the author's email address.)
The only thing we can do is strike!" Lois Lane said. She was seated on the couch beside her husband, Clark Kent. Both she and her husband were dressed casually, as though for a day off.
Clark slipped his arm around her shoulders. "I agree. But this has to be unanimous or it won't work."
He shot a look at the others in Perry White's office. Jimmy Olsen, clad in his usual jeans and T-shirt, leaned against the Chief's desk. Perry himself was seated in the chair behind the desk, wearing a Hawaiian shirt and shorts. Kathryn Janeway, the last person in the group, wearing her usual StarFleet uniform, stood at the window, observing the street below.
Perry leaned back in his chair and put his feet on the desk. "You don't see me going anywhere, do you, son? I'm with you all the way on this one!"
"Yeah! We don't have to put up with this kind of treatment any more!" Jimmy chimed in.
"I don't know," Kathryn turned to face them. "Will a strike do us any good? My crew is living on mushrooms right now. Do you have any idea of what kind of torture that is? If we strike, the Author might give us some more problems. I don't think my crew can take it!"
"That's why we have to strike now, Kathryn!" Lois leaned forward to emphasise her point. "If we don't let the story go any farther forward, the Author'll have to negotiate! After all, the story is nothing without us! Are you with us, Kathryn?"
Kathryn nodded decisively. "I'm with you!"
A humming whine sounded and a sixth person materialised in the room. She was tall and slender, with the best figure anyone in the room had seen outside of a comic book. Her long, reddish-blonde hair was curled, and framed her delicately beautiful features. Her emerald green form-fitted floor-length formal gown matched her eye colour perfectly. Something about her seemed incredibly familiar — - as though all of them had seen her somewhere before.
"Who are *you*?" Lois demanded, never one to let unexpected arrivals put her off-guard.
"I'm the negotiator," the woman said. "You can call me Mary Sue."
"Mary Sue?" Jimmy said. His expression brightened as he looked her over. "Aren't you the one who—"
"Visits various story-worlds, out-does the real characters and steals the leading guy from the leading gal, and is actually a representation of the Author as she wishes she was?" Mary Sue smiled charmingly. "Yes, that would be me."
The door to the office opened to admit Maggie. She was dressed in sweats and was running her fingers through her slightly damp hair as she came in. "Sorry I'm late for the meeting, guys. I was held up by a pile-up on the… hey! What are you doing here?"
Mary Sue smiled brightly at Maggie. "Hiya, Mags! You know, you were almost me!"
"Get away from Jimmy!" If looks could kill, Mary Sue would have been dust. "He's mine!"
"All right, all right!" Mary Sue held her hands up in the air. "I'm not here for that this time, anyway."
"Then why *are* you here, Mary Sue?"
"Better sit down, honey," Perry advised. "She's here as an emissary from the Author. She wants to negotiate with us."
"Really?" Maggie flashed Mary Sue a distrustful look, then gave Perry a smile before she went over to Jimmy and sat on the desk beside him. "Oh, good! Maybe our demands will finally be answered!"
"Okay, Mary Sue," Lois brought the woman's attention back to her. "Here are our demands: we want—"
"Yeah, yeah. I know, I know!" Mary Sue snapped her fingers, and a PADD that looked suspiciously like the ones from Voyager appeared in her hand. She scrolled down through the list. "Mmm-hmm, mmm- hmm… better hours… yeah; more chocolate… uh-huh; a nice uninterrupted shore leave on a nice planet — that's do-able…"
Clark and Lois exchanged a hopeful look as Mary Sue went down the list. Finally, she looked up. "Okay, most of these don't pose any problems. What kind of guarantee are you willing to give the Author that you'll resume work right away?"
"Will you take my word for it?" Clark asked.
Mary Sue smiled and looked Clark over thoroughly. "Of course, gorgeous! Everyone knows Superhunk— I mean, Super*man* doesn't lie!"
Clark blushed a little under the frank scrutiny while Lois bristled. "If our demands are met, we'll get back to work immediately."
"Hmmm…" Mary Sue looked at the list of demands again. "Well, the Author already has plans that meet some of these." She looked back up at Lois and Clark. "Tsk, tsk, tsk! You know she doesn't write Nfic!"
"Well, she can *try!*" Lois glared at Mary Sue. "Clark and I need some serious quality time here!"
Mary Sue sighed prettily. "Well, she'll see what she can do. Are you happy, now?"
"I think that about does it, Miss," Perry said.
"Good." The PADD vanished. "She'll start in on some of these immediately. Some of the others may take a little time, though, okay?"
"All right!" Lois grinned in triumph. "That was easier than I thought it would be!"
"Well, when you're happy, the Author's happy." Mary Sue flashed her girl-next-door smile at them and vanished in a flash of white light.
Lois put one hand on the back of Clark's head and pulled his face down for a long passionate kiss. The others tried to pretend they weren't there.
Kathryn grinned. "I have to get back to Voyager and let my crew know the good news!"
Perry stood and took her hand and kissed it. "Good luck, Kathy."
"Thanks, Perry. You too." She flashed him a grin, then tapped her commbadge. "Janeway to Voyager. One to beam up. Energise." She shimmered and vanished.
"Okay, kids, back to your places!" Perry ushered them out of his office, breaking up Lois and Clark's kiss, which had been showing signs of becoming much more than just a kiss. "Writer's block is over for now! We may have to do this again, but for now, have fun, and good luck!"
(or is that Re-Start? <g>)