Tangled Webs

Lofty Skies

Chapter Nine: From his mountain walls

You understand why I have to do this.

The long-haired man shook his head slowly. "I truly don't believe it's necessary, sir. Surely some other Flower could take charge of the DMS. A human, even."

The Sunflower Official shook his blossom. It isn't... that I don't think they can. But the Poppy... before she died, she made me promise.

The other sat up straight. "What did she say, sir?" he asked, and if there was an edge to his voice, the SO put it down to the stress of the situation.

She told me to keep up her work. She said she had documents describing her plans for bringing down the great enemy. And she made me promise not to give in to the Mary-Sues. Those were her words - ‘Don't let the MS win. The PPC is too precious.'

The man in the white robe nodded slowly. "I understand, then, sir. And have you found these documents?"

There is no sign of them. One of the Afflicted must have wiped her computer. The Sunflower shrugged his leaves. I only hope I can continue her work anyway.

"Are you sure I can't persuade you, sir?" the man tried again. "Perhaps you could run both the DMS and the PPC entire - with a secretary, perhaps?"

The SO laughed. After what the Big Thorn's team did? I hardly think so. I have already ordered the Admin Department split up and downsized - perhaps my last act as Head of the PPC. The Flower focussed his petals on the man in front of him. No, it must be this way. The PPC needs fresh sap - or blood. I will be content as Head of the DMS and Action. The only question is, will you accept the burden of the Protectors?

The tall man was quiet for a long moment. "It will be a challenge," he said at last. "A task which taxed a Flower will be nigh-impossible for a mere human. I have an assistant in mind - a Flower, one of our staunchest fighters against the Afflicted. The Nightshade?"

A just reward for her bravery, the Sunflower Official agreed. And I have already given the Evermind headship over one of the fragments of Admin - the Department of Finance. As for the Orchid-

"I have something in mind for her," the man said. "Well, then... I accept. I hope I will do your legacy justice."

As I will our dear Poppy's, the SO replied. The man sitting across from him rose and turned to leave. One more thing, the Sunflower called. What are you named? In all this excitement, I never seem to have found out.

The man turned, a slight frown on his face. "No, you didn't," he said. "In that case... just call me the Mysterious Somebody."

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