Betas: Linstar, my younger sibling (aka Lightning)
Age: 15 (adult for a gryphon)
Continuum: The Gryphon Generation
Appearance: Zenzile is a medium-sized gryphon (about four feet tall). She has the front half of a secretary bird and the back half of a cheetah. She wears a black armband around her front left leg with the PPC Floaters flash patch on it.
History: She was created in South Africa and lived most her life in it and surrounding countries until she fell into HQ. Like most gryphons, she grew up in the labs. As an adult, she mostly kept to the wilderness, occasionally entering human towns and cities to meet up with her fellow gryphons. One day, she was hunting when she fell through a plot hole and into the PPC.
Personality: Introverted and aloof, Zenzile has a hard time connecting with humans and mostly distrusts them. She dislikes the spontaneous chaos of the PPC in general, much preferring planned order, and prefers to spend most of her rare free time alone, such as in an unused RC. She’s often researching continua to prepare for future missions, although she vastly prefers animal-centric stories over human ones. She’s quite confident and doesn’t care much for others’ opinions. She’ll never say it, but she’s glad that the PPC staff is so diverse; it means no one will look surprised when they see her and she won’t be seen as a mindless animal. One of her huge pet peeves is the trivialization of bigotry. Prone to snark and/or swearing. She usually performs the kills in a mission.
Continuum: Eagleverse (private)
Appearance: Has tan skin, dark eyes, and usually-messy black hair from his mother. His PPC uniform resembles a military uniform.
History: Lived in the Democratic Union, an interstellar democratic state that was under constant threat from several other space countries. As an adult, he worked as an engineer and war secretary. He fell through a plot hole during a space battle and ended up in the PPC.
Personality: Frederick is timid, jumpy, and easily bossed around, although he’s curious and always looking for answers. He’s talkative and is fairly good at calming people who are in a bad mood. He often just wants to help people and has a personal moral code that he strictly adheres to. He’s not a good planner and tends to be sloppy, though he tries his best to do the things he needs to do; he’s also surprisingly good at doing things when he puts his mind to it. He doesn’t know what things like “McDonald’s” or “Star Trek” are. He enjoys entering badfics for the sake of adventure and sees the Duty to be quite important. He’s more helpful than he was when he was a secretary, though he misses his home continuum. Frederick usually tries to keep outbursts to a minimum, although he may be prone to sarcastic asides. He’s the one who often writes the charges during a mission, since Zenzile isn’t very good with writing.
Within the gray labyrinth of Headquarters, a gryphon was looking for her response center. She was grumpy, so other agents had best look out; a grumpy gryphon could shred valuable furniture or clothing into coleslaw.
Zenzile was looking for Response Center 240. She was annoyed at the layout of Headquarters, and who could blame her when she passed RCs 9755, 6.21, and 90-Musical-Chairs in a row? She thought she had been searching for hours, although it had actually been around thirty-eight minutes; but time was difficult to keep track of in Headquarters anyway.
She looked around, wondering if there was anyone else around. The hallway was currently empty, but she had passed plenty of other agents. Some were clearly not human, none had looked disgusted or scared of her.
She wasn’t aware that the other agents were avoiding her for obvious reasons. Her feathers stuck out at odd angles, and her fur was a complete mess. She didn’t know this, either; Generic Gray doesn’t exactly provide a reflective surface. The agents she passed earlier hadn’t exactly been scared; after all, most PPC agents are at least somewhat insane.
But then, at least she didn’t stick out like a sore claw here. Species-wise, at least.
After her frustration reached a boil, she decided to swallow her pride and ask someone for directions. Unfortunately, when she started to look for an agent, there were none to be found.
Seriously? she thought, somehow getting more irritated over the course of a few agent-less minutes—and that was when she stumbled upon a door that bore the plaque RC 240. It looked like asking for directions wasn't necessary after all.
Well, assuming she could turn the doorknob. Her talon kept slipping on it, because heavens forbid HQ have gryphon-friendly doorknobs.
“You have to be kidding me,” she muttered, giving the door a quick shove. It refused to budge, and she leaned against it. “Come on, open already, you—”
The door was opened from the other side, and Zenzile stumbled into the RC, flaring her wings open for balance. The human on the other side jumped back with a yell.
Wait, what? A human?
“Excuse me,” Zenzile said once she regained her balance. It took longer than she would’ve preferred. “Why are you here?”
The human blinked at her, clearly confused. He was lanky, with messy black hair and tan skin. He wore a black military uniform with a waterlily flash patch on his arm that looked identical to the one Zenzile wore.
“Oh, uh, hi?” he said. “This is my, you know, response center? RC 240?”
“Hmm.” Zenzile lashed her tail. “The RC I was assigned to is also 240, but I thought I would receive an actual partner.”
“I… think I’m your partner?” He stuck out his hand. “Agent Frederick at your service.”
Zenzile scoffed, ignoring the proffered handshake. “Oh, really? A useless, scrawny thing like you as my partner? Listen. I was briefed on what I would be doing as a PPC agent, and they said I would be facing dangerous things. Mary Sues, possessed canons, warped timelines. What makes you qualified to run straight at something that could kill you? Have you ever used your claws or teeth or anything to protect yourself?”
“Um… no?” Frederick replied. He fidgeted with his fingers, wondering why in the homeworld he had been assigned someone like this… Alien? Monster? Animal? He settled on the word individual; it was safest.
“I mean, look at you,” Zenzile said. “You can barely string words together, and you’re a human besides! How can someone like you help me on a job like this?”
Frederick sat down on the cot. The individual that was his partner seemed rather intent on being rude to him, or whatever it was she wanted. She seemed to hate humans. Given the treatment of aliens in his home continuum, it was understandable.
“Well?” Zenzile asked.
“Well, I know how to record things,” Frederick said. And before he could stop himself, he added, “And you could… introduce yourself. And explain who you are, and why you joined the PPC, and why you hate, you know, humans so much.”
“I don’t have to explain myself!” the gryphon snapped.
This only made Frederick more determined to get his partner to behave. “Well, if we’re going to be partners, we—”
“Fine, fine,” Zenzile said. “I’m Zenzile, I’m a gryphon from South Africa, I showed up in Headquarters by accident and I’ve decided to go along with it just to see what happens, and I hate humans because they think they’re superior to all other species and deserve everything even when they really don’t.”
So, Frederick thought. If she’s going to be so stuck-up about everything, I’ll just be better than her.
“Good to know,” he said politely. “Is there anything I can help you with? Other than, of course, permanently turning myself into a different species?”
Zenzile growled; she wouldn’t take nonsense from this human. “Turn yourself into a different species? Are you insulting me?”
Frederick sighed. “Look, I mean anything that I can do. Like, I can’t shapeshift, obviously.”
“Oh, and what can you do? Run away at the first sign of danger? Complain?”
“Listen,” Frederick said, his patience running out. “Just stop, or I’ll—”
“You’ll what? Gloat about how amazing your species is?” Zenzile curled her claws, ready to fight.
It was at this moment that the console detected a very high threat of the RC getting trashed, and of agents getting injured.
I chose this badfic because of its rampant plagiarism and obvious, obnoxious Sue character. It’s also of a decent length, which gives plenty of time for my agents to banter and argue. (Side note: The author has stated her intent to rewrite the story to make her character less of a Sue, and I wish her the best of luck, but before that I do want to spork it.)