"Don't call me Josie, Annie," Josephine said with a scowl. "I still can't get used to seeing you two apart, that's all. I mean, you're the Originals - you were meant to be a team."
Anya raised an eyebrow. "You've never met Elizabeth, have you?" she asked. "Seriously, a natural team we were not. She switched to DIC as soon as there were three more Agents to make up the team. And the Poppy's been trying to poach Osbert since he arrived. She called him her ‘ideal Assassin' once. And," she took a deep breath, "Suzay's gone to pick up some Chiss-issue drugs, of course. But you knew that."
"I might not have," Josephine grumbled. "So what's keeping-"
"Ba-ack!" A blue portal flickered closed as Suzay skipped onto the bridge of the Chimaera. "Where's His Blueness? In the plothole? Nice trick! Here, Admirally Admirally..." The young Twi'lek sprinted over to the - to a PPC Agent - black void and vanished into it. Anya shook her head.
"Do you think the Gladiolus hates us?" she asked.
"No - the Marquis de Sod," Josephine suggested. "He deliberately assigned her because she's so unlike us. Well - me."
"Hey!" Anya protested. "What happened to that whole respect for the Original thing? Play nice!"
"Speaking of playing," Josephine said, suddenly serious, "did you catch all those comments in the Words about ‘a great game' and ‘a secret project'?"
"I didn't see what they were about," Anya said. "But I thought this was the last chapter."
"The last one written before the ‘fic was abandoned, yes. I'm just worried it'll make a mess of things if we just up and leave it."
"And done!" Suzay called, dragging the unconscious Grand Admiral Thrawn out of the plothole and over to a spare seat. "He'll think he just fell asleep."
"Then I guess we're-"
"Excuse me, ladies," a soft voice said, and the trip spun round to see a young man in white stepping onto the bridge. He seemed somehow familiar... but no, whatever it was slipped from their minds as easily as a suitable simile.
"Uh, hello," Josephine said. "This... isn't what it looks like."
"Oh, I'm certain it isn't," the man said, smiling reassuringly. "Actually, I was wondering if you could give me a lift. Your organisation sounds fascinating, and I think I would like to join."
"Hang on," Anya said, "how do you know about the PPC?"
"Your young Twi'lek friend told me," the man said, "didn't you, dear?" He reached over and patted Suzay's shoulder.
"Of course," Suzay said, her expression strange. "I... told him." She blinked. "I told him, Anya," she repeated, beaming. "He seemed really interested!"
"Josephine, we can't just go around picking up strays," Anya said. "Tell him, will you?"
Josephine frowned, but the man got there first. "I'm sure you can make an exception this once," he murmured.
"I reckon we can make an exception - this once," Josephine confirmed. "He's not a Canon, so we can recruit him."
"I don't like it," Anya grumbled. "It just feels wrong."
"You make me sound dirty," the young man smiled. "So, shall we go?"
"What about C'baoth's secret project?" Anya asked her partners.
"What secret project?" the young man asked, holding out one hand as if checking for broken nails. Anya frowned. There had been something... something important... but no, it was gone.
"Well, we'd best get going," Josephine said briskly. "HQ won't wait forever, except for the part where it will. And we need to get our new recruit... what was your name, again?"
"I don't think that's important, do you?" the young man said, eying Anya. She seemed lost in thought, trying to catch an idea on the verge of vanishing.
"No, I suppose not," Josephine agreed. "We'd better get you to Admin as soon as possible. Don't want to upset the Flowers, do we?"
"Oh, certainly not," the man murmured, and stepped through the blue portal into PPC HQ.