Tangled Webs

Lofty Skies

Chapter Seven: Beneath him crawls

A tide of insanity swept through the home of the Protectors of the Plot Continuum. None seemed immune - Agents and Flowers alike were taken by the madness and driven to violent excess. Dr. Fitzgerald devoted several wards to those injured - either by the Afflicted or as one - and was forced to restrain many of his patients while he tried desperately to find a cure.

The Department Heads and other remaining Flowers mostly locked themselves away, monitoring the process of the war (although none would call it that) from the safety of their computers. For the most part, the Agents of the PPC followed their example, huddling in their RCs and listening in fear for the pounding knocks of the Afflicted. The HQ network - the recent viral infection forgotten - was ablaze with theories as to the cause of the outbreak. 'Something in the food' was a popular theory, as were 'demonic (or angelic) possession' and, inexplicably, 'zombies'. None of them struck upon the truth, and few ever would.

Not everyone hid away. Through the echoing halls of HQ a growing army moved, capturing those they could and killing only when they had no other choice. At their core were a host of Assassins and a trio of Nurses, and in the lead, seemingly everywhere, always seen where the fighting was thickest, a young man with flowing dark hair, clad in white robes that almost glowed. He carried whatever weapons the Afflicted dropped, wielding sword, club or plasma cannon with equal effect. Persistent rumours, however, stated that he preferred to eschew weapons altogether, fighting with his bare hands - and some said that his very touch sometimes healed the Afflicted, leaving them weeping and eager to join his cause.

No-one knew who the young leader was - he might have been a Secretary for DAVD, or equally a retired Untangler or a mysterious Flower called the Mandrake. The most popular rumour - however unsubstantiated - was that he hailed from the secretive Legal Department, and embodied the Laws of the Multiverse themselves.

All anyone knew for sure was that he drove back the Afflicted, bringing safety to Headquarters while the Sunflower Official cowered in his office. Of such things are born legends - or revolutions.

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