Wednesday, 24 February 2016


Grumble grumble. Grumble grumble grumble. GRUMBLE.

This is not my job. I'm an archivist who occasionally does secretarial work. It's not my job to sort out other people's mess.

But apparently the secretaries assigned to the DMS: Video Games crews are on their annual spend-three-days-getting-plastered today, so who's the lucky person assigned to cover for them?

It's me. The Marquis called me up to his office - which is a long way from my archives - to hand me a mission report, and told me to Deal with this, will you?

Thanks, boss.

Mission: Dundertale
Agents: Backslash & Whitney, DMS
Continuum: Undertale.

I don't know this canon, though I hear it's a big hit among people who have spare time. But the agents do a decent job of introducing me. I don't think I got all the references, but I understood roughly what was going on. That's a positive.

Less positive is that... well, the agents' writing style kind of gets to me. Apparently they're a humanoid Pokemon and a computer game trainer, so I should've expected that, but... I don't know. I feel like they spent far too much time writing down what they said, and not enough sketching in their actions. And when they did talk narrative, they did it... strangely. Look at this:

Surprisingly, it registered an OOC Level of only 3.4%, although it added that said level was gradually rising.

That just feels like a really convoluted way of saying that the canon was in-character; the 'surprisingly' and especially the 'although' feel massively extraneous. I dunno, though, maybe it's just because I don't want to be doing this job, sir.

Sorry, sorry. One thing the agents did do well is keep their report focussed on the key scenes - none of this 'here's nineteen pages about how we walked from A to B, then back because someone forgot her pen'. I appreciate that sort of tidiness.

But now we come to why I'm here: their final decisions, which have caused such widespread annoyance among the Flowers. First up, the agents decided that their best option for taking down a Suvian and a Character Replacement was to... confront them in head-on battle? Because clever tactics are so passé, am I right?

Hint: no, I am not right. This is the sort of reckless behaviour that leads to agents getting killed, FicPsych'd, turned into Time Lords, or retired. I know this memo is just going to be filed under 'Agent Ryan successfully completed her task', but seriously, people: it's better to be sneaky. We don't want HQ to be filled with overpowered trigger-happy lunatics who think roaring in your face is the correct response to everything - that just makes it all the more dangerous when they go flamethrower-crazy.

But, y'know what, fine. These two are already in HQ, and it's none of my concern if they get themselves set on fire or whatever. What is my concern, because my boss has made it my concern, is this:

They revealed themselves to a canon character and did not neuralyse him afterwards.

It almost doesn't matter that the character in question seems to be both malevolent and manipulative. What matters is that someone in a base canon - and this was after the Word World had reintegrated, so there's no 'we thought he'd reset when the fic was expunged' excuse - has been allowed to walk off knowing about the PPC.

There are characters for whom that's unavoidable. We've never had much luck wiping Aslan's memory, for instance. But this one? A talking flower with actual eyes? It should've been a cinch. "Hey, Flowey, you're so awe-inspiringly evil I'd like to take a picture of you, look this way, FLASH, we were never here." Back home to be lauded by your peers.

Instead, some poor me has to head into a canon Word World to try and track him down on his home territory. That means no canon-cloaking - that only works in badfics! - and, given that I absolutely am his problem, no SEP field either.

Dear agents-who-will-never-see-this,

Your reckless actions have put my life in danger. I am not happy. You may expect a visit when (if!) I get back.

Sincerely and with venom,

~Terri Ryan, DOGA Archivist, Department of Personnel

I think I've just been retconned.

I went into Undertale, as instructed. I spent about a day and a half hunting down Flowey. I confronted him.

And he had no idea who I was, or what I was talking about. So yes, I had to neuralyse him - to make him forget me and my insane ramblings.

Then I got back to HQ and went to complain to the Marquis - only to find out that he didn't know what I was on about, either. He claimed he'd never sent me the report, and that the VG secretaries aren't drinking themselves into a stupor until next week anyway.

The report's gone from my archives, which ticks me off no end. The copy filed on the networks makes no mention of the agents ever seeing Flowey, and frames their fight scene very differently too. No doubt if I go and ask them in person they'll deny all knowledge of what I read.

I'm either being pranked hard, or I've been retconned. Either way, I am mad.