Wednesday, 2 January 2013

Ispace Chapter Two: Pointy and Platy

Liliac entered Lecture Hall Three and stood against the back wall, her dark purple cloak allowing her to blend into the shadows. At the front of the large chamber, Marcus was standing on a podium, talking about the principle of Dimensional Split.

". . . contrary to popular opinion, the splits in any given Dimension come not from war, political upheaval, or any such thing, but from works of fiction.

"When an author writes a story, or tells it in any other way, that is not based on fact, this causes a split into two dimensions - one where the story was told, and one where it was not. Hence such universes as Middle-earth, where reading is an uncommon skill, have barely a dozen different, conflicting timelines, while Earth has countless millions.

"But that is not all. A story written in one universe can affect another. And that is why the Middle-earth reality has, in recent times, been fractured into countless different strands. Since the release of the Lord of the Rings movies in many of the Earth realities, many have taken up the practice of writing 'fan-fiction', stories of their own set in Middle-earth.

"Each of these tales then splits the Middle -earth continuum in two, doubling the number of universes - one half in which the story occurred, and one in which it did not.

"In your free time, I want you to use the Trans-dimensional computers to visit a storage place of these tales, a place called '', and find me an example of a fanfic that you believe has caused a great split in the Middle-earth reality. That is all."

The class of Agents in training filed out, and Marcus wandered down to the back of the room. "Hi, Lili," he said as he approached. The yellow and brown haired girl sighed. "There's no way I can hide from you, is there?" she asked.

"No, not really," came the reply. "I train people to spot those who are hiding, and I'm pretty good at it myself. What was it you were wanting?"

Reluctantly, Liliac dragged her mind back to the business of the day. "One of our Agents, Merrylyn, showed fangirlish tendencies while on a mission. She's been taken off duty for a while."

"Fangirlish tendencies?" Marcus grinned. "You mean she tried to jump on Legolas, don't you?" At Liliac's startled expression, he laughed. "I remember that girl. She did seem to have a thing for the Prince of Mirkwood. I assumed it would pass. After all, Mary found her, and she usually does a good job."

Liliac looked at him. "Well, whatever happened, we need a new Agent. Have you got one ready to go?"

The Trainer smiled. "As it happens, I do. Pointy Ears! I know you're there! Come out!"

There was a rustling behind the curtains at the back of the room, and a girl stepped out, accompanied by some sort of small furry creature. Marcus nodded. "Liliac, this is Kjersti. For some unknown reasons she insists we refer to her as Pointy Ears Are My Thing. Pointy, this is Liliac, the Head of Assignments."

The girl nodded at Liliac, who said, "Hello, Kjersti . . . I'm sorry, Pointy Ears. And I see you have a pet?"

To her amazement, the strange furry thing - which had a beak, she noticed - said, irritably, "I am not a *pet*! I am the Noble Platypus!"

Liliac blinked in surprise, and was glad that Pointy Ears covered her shock by saying, "Platy! She's the Head of Assignments! She could give us an actual job, please don't be rude to her!"

Marcus smiled. "Platy is Pointy Ears' permanent partner. The girl has the tendency to get sidetracked a lot, so Platy is needed to keep her working properly. Apart from that, they're both good workers - although how Mary knew that the beast would be I don't know - and they're also all I've got ready at the moment. You think they'll do?"

"I do indeed. Pointy, Platy, come with me. We've got a briefing for you."

Liliac had found several missions that she could use to test the new Agent - or Agents - but the one that stood out the most was the Battle of the Five Armies. That had taken place in the era before the timeline of the Lord of the Rings movies, and so had less fanfics written about it, and less timeline splits. Helping the elves in just one would have a great effect.

And, of course, there was another reason. She had an obligation to MEAPS, the Middle-earth Animal Protection Society, as well, and had been itching to get her hands on the lovely dragon, Smaug. If she could get Sarah from Tech to throw together a large portal generator, one of her operatives, the MEAPS ones, could accompany the team and retrieve the dragon. Then Sarah could get the Resurrector out and fix him up. Lovely.

All decided, Liliac led the two Agents to her office for their official briefing.

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