Monday, 26 May 2014

An Author and an Advert.

This was the Control Prompt for my PPC Permission application: One agent tells the other how they were recruited/We see both agents recruited.

 “So, you’ve never told me, how did you come to join the PPC?”

Sean Bellman’s favourite way of distracting himself while walking to the Cafeteria was by talking to his companion: in this case his partner, Agent Hild.

“Oh, the usual way,” she replied. “I fell through a plothole and landed in one of the corridors.”

Sean grinned. “Only in this place could that be considered ‘the usual way’.”

“Well, my plothole was larger than most, if you want something unusual. My author had never actually written my story, and very little was fixed. I didn’t know at the time, of course, but she actually thought she was doing me a favour by keeping it unwritten and flexible.” Somehow Hild managed to giggle and sigh at the same time. “Have you ever heard anything so silly?”

“I guess not. So what happened?”

“Well, apparently she never quite decided whether the messengers with Boromir’s ransom demand would be sent to Imladris, Isengard, or direct to Minas Tirith, and what happened to them anyway. Not that I knew anything about that. The first I knew anything was wrong was on our flight from the bandit camp. We overtook the messengers to Imladris, who were flickering in and out of existence. I reached out to touch one, and fell into the space where he wasn’t.”

She gestured around at the corridor, and continued. “When I landed in HQ, I thought I’d died and gone to Mandos. I was disappointed that it wasn’t as grand as I’d expected. I wondered if maybe that was just for elves, and humans got the plainer end of the Halls. Then half a dozen or so agents ran in, grabbed me, and dragged me off. And after I’d been analysed and tested, they told me who I was. And that’s when I learned I was fictional.”

“Must’ve been a nasty shock.”

“Not really, it explained all the strange inconsistencies in my life. Everything seemed to make much more sense. Maybe it would’ve been different if I’d been from a written story. One that was complete and made sense” She shrugged, then continued. “Anyway, I decided to stick around because I had nowhere else to go. What about you?”


“Yes. How did you join?”

“Oh, the usual way.” Sean smiled. “Well, what would be the usual way in most places. Nothing as usual as yours, of course!”

“Very funny!” She shoved him playfully. “Come on, tell me more.”

“It’s really not that interesting.”

“Come on. You know I love learning about your world.”

“Well, after I lost that job with the publishers - I told you about that, right?”


“OK, well, I was having trouble finding a new one. One day, there were a couple of ads that looked promising. It was either this, or be paid five pounds to move a piano from one room to another.”

Not surprisingly, she didn’t get the joke. “And you chose this one?”

“Yeah. The job ad was pretty vague, but I applied anyway. Went for an interview, at a small office in south London. I saw a pompous little guy named Rogers. He asked me all sorts of strange questions, but wouldn’t say what the job was about. And the really weird thing is, when I left, I could’ve sworn the building was a couple of blocks away from where it had been when I entered.”

“Knowing this lot, I’m not surprised. Probably a final test or something.”

“Yeah. Anyway, I must’ve passed. The next day, a portal appeared in my living room, and Rogers asked me to step through. I didn’t know what was going on, but went along with it anyway. Curiosity, I guess.”

“And when you found out, you decided to stay?”

“Yeah. They wanted to put me in Bad Het because of my experience rejecting romance manuscripts, but I’d had enough of that. And besides, I still don’t see why they need two departments. Bad romance is bad romance, no matter whether it just happens to be het or slash.”

“Ooooh! Did someone mention slash?” The new speaker was Agent Luxury. She jumped up from her table and bounced over to them excitedly. “That’s my fave subject ever.”

They’d finally reached the Cafeteria.

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