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[personal profile] rc45
Title: Luxury's Backstory
Author: [livejournal.com profile] agenttrojie and [livejournal.com profile] julyflame



The PPC operates in the Prime Multiverse. This much we know, and we know it's the Prime one because, hey, it's the one we live in, and we're doing the naming. There are other multiverses, and there are Alternate Prime Multiverses, and when you think that each multiverse is made of dozens, hundreds, googleplexes of individual universes, all navigable to differing extents with the help of PPC technology and plotholes, you see where the variety of PPC agents comes from; even if each universe only had one person, just one person in its whole entire population throughout its entire history, wander their way into the PPC, that would still be, well, an infinite number of PPC agents recruited.




One of the, er, less talked-about AUs of the PPC is the one sometimes called the shipverse. This is nothing to do with supertankers or container-loads of parallel imported fragrances, oh no. The shipverse is the AU of the PPC where pheromones are more common than oxygen, and any simple stroll through the corridors usually turns into a six person orgy with feathers, latex costumes and interesting wind-up clockwork devices. Agents in the shipverse are friendly to the point of not understanding personal space, and in favour of free love. Free love, free-range love, and free-for-all love, in point of fact. These things are not common in the Prime Multiverse of the PPC, where Agents generally refrain from any kind of physical contact. The shipverse and the Prime Multiverse don't generally interact, although tales of each have filtered through to the other, generally labelled 'Very Odd'.



But who is this, striding through the corridors of PPC HQ in her enormous combat boots and fur bikini? Other Agents leap out of her way, hide down dank and ruined corridors, or in extreme cases pretend to be dead rather than attract her attention. Is she dangerous in some way? Is she psychotic? Is she a tax-gatherer?



...She's Agent Luxury, the one shipverse PPC agent to have strayed from the grey corridors of there to here. And while she's dangerous, she's no more dangerous than any other PPC agent. Ditto psychotic. And she has nothing to do with taxes other than that time she mistook Agent Aspen's look of sheer terror for a coy come-on.



The reason they all avoid her so is that Luxury, most often known as Lux, is tactile. Cuddly. Flirtatious. Molestatious, in fact, even though that's not technically a word. She is the one Agent to have slipped through from the shipverse to the Prime Multiverse, and most of the time she acts like she hasn't realised.



***



It was a normal day in the PPC. The corridors were grey, there were BEEPing sounds in the distance, and sounds of people socialising with what might have been called gay abandon (also straight and undecided abandon) in the more immediate foreground. Agent Luxury stepped out of her Response Centre and over some of her colleagues.

'Morning.'

'Morning.'

'Fancy a quickie?'

Lux considered this for a moment but decided to move on to pastures greener and possibly more well-inhabited. It wasn't like there was a lack of choice. She spotted a group of friends further down the corridor, giggling at something that whirred.

'No, but thanks anyway,' she said. She patted someone's limb absentmindedly and skipped off down the corridor towards the intriguing gathering around the mechanical device.



Fifteen minutes later, and six Agents were immured in a broom cupboard with a Remote Activator that had developed a fault.

It, er, vibrated.

Surprisingly, no-one seemed keen to take it to Makes-Things.

'Give it here!'

'No, my turn!'

'Please?'

Lux groped randomly in the dark, eliciting giggles and squeals, and was rewarded by a handful of mechanical gubbins. And then ...

FLASH

'What the?'

Lux looked around. The dark closeness of the broom cupboard had been replaced with the dingy light and less dramatic closeness of a university hostel room.

'Luxury? Why are you back? And, um, why are you naked?'

Lux was sure she'd never been here before. 'You know me?'

'Sure I do. You only stormed out of here, like, fifteen minutes ago. And you used the door then.'



***



'So you're saying you're not Luxury my old girlfriend who was majoring in Women's Studies and Oriental Languages, you're actually a different version of her who policed fanfiction in another dimension? Cool!'

It was easy to win over anime fanboys. Especially the ones who dyed their hair blue. Especially the ones who, when confronted with a naked woman in their dorm room, did not immediately offer her clothing to cover up with. Lux felt right at home.




***




It was almost surprising how well Sean had got used to sharing his small room with Luxury. It was almost surprising as well how much of a distraction she was. Wait. No. That's not true.



What was surprising, though, was the ad in the online student magazine: 'Join the Professionals! Combat the Forces of Darkness on a Daily Basis! Full on-the-job training, equipment provided, GSOH required. Apply PPC HQ: Dept. of Personnel.'

'We should do this!'

'But, Seanish, I only just left,' said Lux, idly tracing circles on Sean's back. 'We're having fun here. Why do we need to leave?'

'Cos I'm flunking CompSci and my parents won't pay rent for me any more?'

Luxury contemplated the idea of a future where she might have to work in a supermarket checkout, and made one of the split-second decisions she would become famous for.

'Okay!'



***



'Aargh!'
'Whaat?'

'Lux, there's friendly, and then there's, uh, whatever that was,' said Sean, dragging Lux away from the unfortunate newbie-Untangler. 'Come on, we need to find the Marquis de Sod's office.'

'You are so no fun anymore,' Lux pouted. 'And stop concentrating so hard. Here-' and she pulled Sean into a compromising embrace whilst still somehow propelling herself, and him, along the corridor. After ten minutes Sean was out of breath, but grinning, and Lux was knocking on the door of the Department of Personnel.

Come in.

Sean opened the door, and in a very short amount of time Luxury had wrapped her arms around the bowler-hat-wearing Flower.

'I missed you!' She nuzzled the Daisy.

What? The Marquis did his best to try and push her off; unfortunately, the poor Plant was not strong enough to pry the dedicated Luxury away. Get off me!

'But, Marquis darling, don't you remember me?'

By this point Sean had managed to remove Luxury from the Plant.

Not in the slightest, young lady. Now, what do the pair of you want?

'Like, I want to be an Agent of the PPC,' said Sean hopefully. 'Like my girlfriend.'

Hmm. Can you work in Lord of the Rings? the Marquis asked, picking up some paperwork and filing it away. A fanfiction explosion has just begun in that continuum, now that the first film is out, and Agents are woefully short.

'Of course we can. I love Lord of the Rings!'

Well that is, of course, a start-

'Can we work in the Department of Mary Sues? Luxury said that has the most hot chicks in it,' Sean asked, with a hopeful expression.

'Sounds good to me,' said Luxury.

The Marquis paused for a moment before it tapped something out on its screen. Are either of you any good with weapons?

'I used to totally rule at Wolfenstein,' said Sean, as Luxury shook her head.

It tapped the screen once more and the two new agents could hear a printer running. The Marquis pulled the printed pages up and pushed them towards Sean. I am sure you two can gain experience as Assassins with some minor training, if you don't die first. Take those to the Sunflower Official. And leave. Now.



***



I'm sure you heard me clearly. They must be transferred. Now. They have wrought havoc in my Department.

The Marquis would have glared at the SO if it had had eyes. I refuse to have them in my office ever, ever again. I have been molested by that ... woman.

And I have suffered such indignities that they would make the very sap in your xylem boil were I to detail them. I want them out of my Department. If we were to get rid of Luxury, then doubtless Sean's ... quirks could be contained
, the SO mused.

But then we would face the problem of who to partner with Sean, the Marquis pointed out. It shuffled papers desperately. No, I think it is better to keep them together rather than disrupt other pairs of Agents. But where will we put them, pray? The only continuum they appear to be at all conversant with in enough depth to work in is Lord of the Rings - Sean's anime fanboyism appears to extend only to cover catgirls.

My Department is not the only one to cover Tolkien's works
, said the Sunflower Official with an odd note to his psychic voice. Or have you forgotten ... Bad Slash?

A hurried search through some papers, and the Marquis was wearing the floral equivalent of an evil grin. Yes, they are very short staffed, aren't they? Let us let the Queen Anne's Lace deal with these ... problematic new Agents.

Sending Luxury to work in the Queen Anne's Lace's Department would be for the best
, the Sunflower agreed. She seems to have no experience with any canonical weapons besides swords, and that seems to only be, er, recreationally.

That may improve - she seems to have become interested in taxidermy of late
, said the Marquis, perusing her personal files. What's strange is that she claims that she was already an Agent, but I have no record of her before she joined a few weeks ago. And I certainly wouldn't have hired her alone. A petal twitched, signifying that the Marquis had still not completely recovered from its run-in with Luxury. While things have changed since our reorganization, our standards haven't dropped that low for employment. Of course, since she's here we may as well make use of her.

You say she says she claims she was already an Agent. Could she be suffering some kind of delusion?

Well, I haven't had her examined by Fictional Psychology, but most of the staff and Agents I have had opportunity to talk to about her say that she acts as if she knows them, and knows them well. She also knew immediately how to find her way around the corridors, locate the Cafeteria and so on.


The SO pondered for a moment, then leaned in closer. You don't suppose that she originates from an Alternate Universe of the PPC, do you?

If she does, her behaviour is certainly not at all like that of the denizens of AUs that are hostile to our multiverse.

And so, in your expert opinion, she is not a threat to our Organisation?

Unless Legal start allowing people to sue for sexual harassment, Luxury does not present a significant threat to the Protectors of the Plot Continuum
, the Marquis confirmed.

Then let us pawn her off on the Queen Anne's Lace with all speed, said the SO. She is far more tolerant of ... quirky ... Agents than any other Department head. She will keep them out of trouble.



***



Sean was understandably confused. 'Wait, we're being moved to a different Department?'

Yes, the Sunflower Official said.

'But er- why? Ack, Lux!' Luxury had switched from sitting in one of the highly uncomfortable metal chairs that had been in the SO's office to sitting in Sean's lap.

There are severe shortages of Agents in the Department you are being moved to, and I feel that you have aptitudes that would help your work there.

'Ooh, which Department is it?' Lux asked eagerly.

The Department of Bad Slash, said the SO lugubriously, and braced itself for the fallout.

Lux punched the air. 'Yesss!'

If the SO had had eyelids, it would have blinked. And if it had had limbs, it very probably would have flailed. As it was, there was some twitching of leaves. I'm sorry, what? it said unguardedly.

'That's my old department!' Lux said with enthusiasm, hauling Sean to his feet. 'We'll be right off to see the Lace,' she added. 'I've missed her so much! Come on, Seanish! Let's go!'

Of course. The girl persisted in maintaining that she'd been a member of the organisation in the past. Of all the odd delusions his agents had, this was possibly one of the strangest, and yet, at the same time, one of the least harmful and most helpful. Ah well. The girl and her partner were now the Queen Anne's Lace's problem. Without any kind of remorse, the SO turned back to his paperwork.

Date: 2008-06-04 11:38 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] sedri.livejournal.com
*cheers*

You both deserve big hugs; this is very, very good. I particularly like the opening paragraph, and it sums up all of Luxury's... well, 'Lux-ness' very well.

*presents you both with chocolates*


Just one thing - and to any Grammar Nazis around, please don't strangle me - shouldn't there be a comma here, after "Luxury"?

'So you're saying you're not Luxury my old girlfriend who

Date: 2008-06-05 12:03 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] agenttrojie.livejournal.com
probably, technically. I sort of envisaged him saying it without a pause though, so I didn't put one in. A case could be made either way though. I can edit it though if people think there should be one there?

Date: 2008-06-05 03:40 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lady-rilwen.livejournal.com
Hehe, very funny. I like it.

Date: 2008-06-05 04:41 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] elvenpiratelady.livejournal.com
*applauds* Wonderful, wonderful! I am intruiged by, and yet at the same time very afraid of the possibilities of the shipverse. (Would this be the AU where Huinesoron's Odd Days are set?)

If the SO had had eyelids, it would have blinked. And if it had had limbs, it very probably would have flailed.

I find the idea of a flailing SO utterly adorable. :D

Date: 2008-06-05 04:51 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] agenttrojie.livejournal.com
Yep it's that AU. Quail, brief mortals :)

Date: 2008-06-06 02:53 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] anjilly.livejournal.com
Aw, Lux. Nice to know more about her, now. The shipverse... *snickers*

So, Legal doesn't allow people to Sue for sexual harassment? Goodness, Luxury is a lucky girl. XD

Great job, both of you! *gives you celebratory bleepka* ^_^

Date: 2008-06-06 11:31 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] chelonianmobile.livejournal.com
*shnerk* Lux is muchfun.

Date: 2008-06-07 12:53 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] agenttrojie.livejournal.com
She's muchmuch fun to write, too.

Date: 2008-06-13 06:58 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] chelonianmobile.livejournal.com
Absolutely. Gotta have her meet up with my agents at some point - she did help to save the M-kids, so she'll want to check on them. Already worked out a little bit where Skyfire meets her for the first time and Lux behaves as usual ... "Um, Luxury, I think you've confused my backstory with my partner's ... whaddya mean 'what backstory'?!"

Speaking of my agents, may I request that mine and Kit's agents - Laburnum, Foxglove, Drake and Naomi - are not used in future installments of the Trojie/Pads arc even though I said you could earlier? Timing issue - their characterisation will be changing over time, since my works about them are currently still set around late 2007. For one thing Drake is starting to actually grasp human values as portrayed in things other than badfic, and so on. And I don't know exactly where it'll go over future thingies, so I don't want to mix it up too much.

Date: 2008-06-13 08:09 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] agenttrojie.livejournal.com
Sure thing :) I know how confusing it can be to keep a character arc on the straight and narrow

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