Tangled Webs

Lofty Skies

Chapter Two: Close to the sky

Now let me get this straight, the Marquis de Sod said, his mental voice dripping with sarcasm. Not only are you creating an entire Department out of nothing - eh nihilo, if you will - you also claim you need your own Intelligence and Medical Divisions - but not Heads for them.

The SO has approved this, Thornelius Archimedes II - the Big Thorn - said, sounding bored. I have veteran Agents from the DMS, Intel and Medical looking to join me. All I require from you, Sod, are five Secretaries to-

Five! the Marquis exclaimed. Do you think I'm made of Agents? I've a good mind to deny your converts' transfer requests for this!

We have never done things that way! the Big Thorn retorted, his calm breaking. Your Department is almost as large as the Assassins, you can afford to give me five.

Afford - maybe. But I'm not-

"Excuse me?"

The soft voice brought silence like a very quiet bomb. The two Plants turned to observe the shy-looking man in white. "I couldn't help overhearing," he said with a smile, "and since I was coming here to join the Admin Department anyway - might I volunteer to be one of the five?"

The Big Thorn rustled his branches. I was actually looking for proven Secretaries-

"Oh, I have extensive administrative experience," the man said, waving his hand in an expressive gesture. "The Marquis has seen my resume, I'm sure."

I've seen his resume, the Daisy confirmed, nodding his bloom. He has extensive administrative experience.

"And no doubt the esteemed Marquis can stretch to providing a mere four Secretaries," the man went on. The Marquis turned to the Big Thorn.

I can just about stretch to providing four Secretaries, he said brusquely. They will be in your new office soon. Now leave.

The Big Thorn nodded once and left, the young man following. "Sir," he said as they walked the grey hall outside, "what is our new Department, exactly?"

I have just formed - well, almost - the Disturbing Acts of Violence Department, the Thorn said, with a hint of pride. We need Agents trained to withstand scenes which could break their colleagues, and my Department will provide that.

"Ah," the man said, smiling faintly. "Disturbing Acts of Violence. That sounds... ideal."

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