In the beginning… no, you know what? That’s boring and cliché. Let’s start somewhere else.
In the end was the silence of an empty multiverse. All the life and vibrancy that had once filled it was gone – never to return. From the end, all that had gone before was as a wink in the eye of the lonely universe.
Okay, that’s far too depressing. Cliché it is.
In the beginning was a ship. Not a space ship, or a ship of ages, or a metaphorical ship – just a ship, a manmade lump of wood with a vague ability to stay afloat. The passengers and crew all thought themselves very important as they set out from England for the New World.
The ship was the Voyager. The place was Earth. And the passengers never made it to America.
Instead it fell through a plothole – one of the few natural plotholes with enough strength to reach Earth – and plunged through billions of light-years to reach an unnamed world orbiting a black hole. There it crashed, and the crew became fertilizer for the seeds in the hold – the seeds of a legend.
Three hundred years later, the plants of Earth had spread across their small world when happy disaster struck. Their sun, a small yellow dwarf, finally succumbed to the black hole’s embrace and died, emitting a burst of exotic radiation which caused near-miraculous changes in the plants it hit.
The plants stirred. The Sunflower Official awoke. The Firstborn walked the planet.
The world became known as Origin, and in time there were new Awakenings as the black hole spasmed. Through manipulation of plotholes, the Flowers found a way offworld – and in the depths of the multiverse they discovered the malevolence of Mary-Sues.
These creatures, in all their wondrous shapes, had the power to manipulate plotholes, wreaking havoc on the worlds around them. The Sunflower Official met with his closest advisors and founded an Organisation dedicated to wiping out their menace – and all others who would manipulate plotholes irresponsibly.
Then came the Civil War. In the middle of what would come to be known as the 1970s HST, a rebel faction on Origin cut the planet off from the Organisation, claiming that plothole manipulation in any form was wrong. The Organisation fell back into the confusing warren of tunnels and portals that became known as HQ, and there they stayed.
A young human from Korea was the first non-Flower to enter HQ, and he quickly gained the name of Makes-Things. His technologies revolutionized the Organisation, but with tragic consequences: in the 1980s Makes-Things sparked off the Cascade, a massively expanding network of stable plotholes which continues to grow even now. As Captain Dandy and his Weeds set out to explore the network, a message came from Origin. The Cascade had destabilized the black hole. Origin was dying.
The massive rescue operation embarked on by the Organisation, the successes and failures they faced, are far beyond the scope of this history. With Origin dead, the Organisation moved out, spreading across the multiverse. Inevitably, more humans arrived.
Elisabeth, Anya and Osbert may have arrived together or separately: the records are lost to history. The trio became the first Assassins, and in honour of their arrival, the Sunflower Official renamed his Organisation. They became the Protectors of the Plot Continuum, and the Worlds rejoiced at their arrival.
Actually, that was hyperbole, or more accurately a lie. The Worlds never noticed their arrival. The PPC worked in secret, fighting the scourge of the Mary-Sues from behind the scenes – and they liked it that way.
The PPC continued to grow, and in 1992 HST a person who would become known as the Mysterious Somebody joined the Protectors. Within days of his arrival, a wave of insanity swept HQ, and in the aftermath the Poppy, head of the Department of Mary-Sues, lay dead. Grieving, the Sunflower Official stepped down to take control of her former department – and the Mysterious Somebody became Head of the PPC.
Under his rule the PPC entered a golden age: wages were high, and morale was higher. It seemed too good to last – and it was. The benign watchfulness of the new Department of Internal Security soon became oppressive, and unknown to the Protectors, the MS started a new organization: a Mary-Sue Factory, churning out the very creatures he had pledged to destroy. It had to end. There had to be a Reorganisation.
Sparked by the chance discovery of the Factory by a pair of Assassins, in 1999 HST turmoil tore the PPC apart. When the dust settled, the MS had left, taking his loyal Flowers to the Factory, and the DIS had fled into the multiverse. Power in the PPC now rested in the leaves of the Board of Department Heads – the heads of the nine most important departments in HQ. One of their first acts was to slash wages – with the loss of the secret income from the Factory and PPC Biotechnology Inc., the Department of Finance was in dire straits.
During the Reorganisation, an agent in the small Lord of the Rings division of the Department of Mary-Sues had made something of a name for herself in the fight against the DIS. Her name was Jay Thorntree, and when the movie Fellowship of the Ring came out in 2001, catapulting Lord of the Rings to prominence, she joined forces with itinerant Agent Acacia Byrd to become the most famous partnership in the history of the PPC. Together they faced the forces of bad fanfiction, and emerged victorious – if slightly insane.
During their time, the hordes of badfic authors became, if possible, even more dedicated to the desecration of canon. The Tangled Webs fiasco in 2003 drew in almost the entire Department of Implausible Crossovers in an effort to contain it, and that was only the beginning.
The Mary-Sues became more confident too. During the time of Jay and Acacia came the event known as Suedom – the mass abduction of authors by an unknown entity, and their insertion into Middle-earth as Mary-Sues. Many died at the hands of the PPC before the truth of the matter was uncovered – and Middle-earth would never be the same again.
Perhaps intended by the Mysterious Somebody as an investigative force, an army of Sues invaded HQ in November 2003. Makes-Things was critically injured, and the PPC was shocked into an awareness of just how bad things had become.
Things remained quiescent for some time, until in 2005 a Sue named Alumia sparked a crisis by merging her body with Arda, the world of Middle-earth. Any PPC Agent who could be spared was called in to perform the largest exorcism ever known, and rid the world of the Suvian infection.
The next salvo came in early 2006 HST, when with no warning dozens of Agents, Mary-Sues and innocent bystanders found themselves trapped in the Les Misérables continuum – forced to act out the story in song. They were only rescued by the Sunflower Official’s elite intervention force, rumoured to have been led by the agents of the Eclectic Subdivision of Advanced Species. We may never know for sure.
June of that same year marked the breaking of a storm that had been building since 1999: the Black Cats, formerly the PPC’s DIS, invaded HQ, slaughtering their way through Agents and Flowers alike. Sensing an opportunity, the Mysterious Somebody mobilized his armies, and war tore through PPC HQ.
The bravery and sacrifices of the invasion that came to be known as Crashing Down are better told elsewhere, but the results were inspiration: through the valiant efforts of the Protectors, the PPC’s twin enemies were struck down, never to return. The PPC was saved – for now.
To round off the year came a crisis of happenstance. Several agents of the Department of Floaters were captured and assimilated by the Borg, giving one of the most terrifying races in the multiverse knowledge of PPC technology – and the organization which had created it. The Collective had to be neuralysed, that the sanctity of HQ could be preserved.
More than a year passed before the aftermath of Crashing Down was felt. In March 2008 HST it was discovered that the secondary Mary-Sue Factories built by the Mysterious Somebody had formed a League to continue his foul works. With malevolent cunning, they snuck into HQ a pair of Sues infected with macroviruses – fearful organisms which grow from nanoscopic to man-sized, killing their hosts along the way. More than a thousand agents died during the epidemic, and rumours abounded that even the legendary Makes-Things lay slain.
No, those rumours weren’t true. But they were pretty scary nonetheless.
As HQ reeled from the effects of the infection, the League launched the second prong of their attack: a full-scale invasion of HQ. Only with the intervention of the EPC of the Mirror Multiverse were the armies beaten back, and the Massacre at the Tomb of the Unknown PPC Agent marks the largest pitched battle since the Civil War. The leader of the League was slain, but their threat remains – waiting for another opportunity to strike.
Barely had the dust settled than an old trick reemerged. Robecca, a Narnia Mary-Sue, imbued that world with her essence, leading to another pan-PPC exorcism to remove her. The Talking Animals of Narnia proved vicious foes, and the Sue was only destroyed after much pain.
Strange creatures filled HQ as the year drew to a close, creatures known only as Ypurs. Their swarming came from nowhere, and ended just as suddenly, leaving a surplus of them trapped in the Cafeteria. Despite rumours, there are no indications that they are being fed to agents.
Since 2008, life in the PPC has been reasonably quiet. The opening of 2009 was marked by the Gender Bender Crisis, with a malfunctioning disguise generator swapping the genders of most of the PPC’s agents, but this lasted only about a day. Does this mean we are still waiting for the other (other other other) shoe to drop? Of course we are.
Appendix: The Legendary Badfics
There are some badfics whose names are only spoken in hushed whispers. Agony in Pink. My Immortal. Through one circumstance or another, several of these have received the tender attentions of the PPC.
The first series to meet its end was the tales of Marissa Picard, a fearful Star Trek Sue. Alec Troven was tasked with killing her, and did so – many times over.
2006 was a year of crisis in the PPC, with the events described above more than matched by an influx of legendary badfic. legolas by laura almost defeated Dafydd and Selene of DOGA, with its near-incoherent story of a foundling Mary-Sue, and a month later, in May, Dafydd found himself facing the most famous of them all: Celebrian, the orc-lusting replacement of Elrond’s wife. The mission cost him his life, and when he got better, he left the PPC for good.
Subjugation, a legendary Harry Potter story, was targeted for extermination, but proved too much for the eight agents assigned to it. Suicide and Diocletian, Gunny and Wayne, Rez and Flip, Supernumerary and Cameo – only one returned, and some have never been seen since.
2006 drew to a close under the shadow of That Series, Redwall badfic of the highest order. Five agent pairs went in, and between them brought canon justice to fourteen of the fifteen parts. Whether they have yet recovered is unknown.
The year ended, but the Legendary Badfics still came. In March 2008 Trojie and Paddlebrains (with help) faced down dinosaur smut in Land Before Time: Littlefoot x Cera, and in late 2011 Cupcakes, a butchering of My Little Pony, felt the tender mercies of Fritz and Silas. Will there be more such stories? No doubt – but the PPC will be ready.