The Department of Floaters is a catch-all department for those agents who have not specialized in a single job, continuum, or type of badfic—either new agents, or simply those who wish to take on a wide variety of roles in their work.
The exact function of the Department of Floaters is, almost by definition, somewhat unclear. Its agents have historically served as temps for other departments, including Infrastructure, to draw on when short-staffed; as auxiliaries to field any badfic of a type or canon not covered by regular agents; and as pinch-hitters to take overflow missions from the other departments. As such, a good floater must be prepared to handle anything that comes down the pipeline at any given time, the more obscure and unexpected, the better.
Floaters may use whatever methods and equipment are best suited to their current task: charge list and assassination for Mary Sues, exorcism for cases of possession, fire for geographical aberrations, etc. Observation and improvisation are perhaps the most important skills for an agent in the DF.
The DF's history is even more confusing than its job description thanks to some unreliable and contradictory records. Recent evidence indicates that its existence may stretch back at least to 1996 HST, when April Halloway was purportedly transferred to it (three years prior to her transfer to the DIC after the Reorganisation in 1999). However, there are no corroborating records from this time, and no others that suggest this or any other date for the creation of the DF.
The use of the term "floater" was first recorded in 2002 by Agent NytBloomer, who claimed to be a member of the Department of Multiple Offenses. However, she identified the waterlily as her insignia and received "a cleanup job for the Department of Bad Parody," which doesn't fit the DMO. Given other inaccuracies in her report (e.g., "Crisis Response Center" in place of response center, "portal key" in place of remote activator, "Offense Detector" in place of CAD), it is reasonable to assume she simply got the name wrong.
The term next appears in Agent Ginger's tale from 2003, wherein she is assigned to the Sorting Room in the Department of Intelligence while her partner, Gata, goes on a mission with a member of the DBS whose partner is in FicPsych. Ginger also explicitly names the "Floater Department" and describes a meeting with the "Water Hyacinth." This is more in accordance with modern understanding.
Since then, the department has increased in popularity to the point it may or may not be the largest in the organization. Out of universe, the DMS still contains the greatest number of known agents with published spinoffs to date, but in-world, the Floating Hyacinth was given a spot on the Board of Department Heads during its 2006 restructuring for having the largest department, replacing the Lichen, whose department was no longer among the three largest Action Departments, so it was at least the case then.
The DF's divisions are nearly all former departments or other independent units that got folded into the DF due to their small size and/or redundancy in their functions. They all have their own division heads and operate more or less autonomously while still falling under the authority of the Floating Hyacinth.
Division of Cool and Unusual Punishment
- Main article: Division of Cool and Unusual Punishment
DCUP is a small division that was formerly a small department, formed in mid-2004. Its agents consider the destruction of badfic to be something of an art form. It is headed by the Sadistic Bladderwrack. Its original agent was Scorpia Lotus.
Eclectic Subdivision of Advanced Species
- Main article: Eclectic Subdivision of Advanced Species
ESAS is technically shared between the DF and the DMS. It deals with Sues of species more powerful than usual. It is headed by the Strangler Fig and was formed in 2004. Its first agents were Aegis and Iodin.
Special Interdepartmental Elven Languages Unit
- Main article: Special Interdepartmental Elven Languages Unit
Special Operations Division
- Main article: Special Operations Division
The SOD deals with unusual cases—more unusual than even the DF typically deals with. It is headed by the Bonsai Monkey Puzzle Tree. Its earliest known agents were Cassiopeia Orange and Skuld Taipan, who were with the division when it was still called the Special Sue Unit.
- Main article: Floater
In a large and hard to define department, these agents have managed to stand out from the crowd by virtue of their accomplishments.
- NytBloomer, aided by her sentient guide-dog, Judy, is likely the first floater on record, though she herself was a little confused about what department she worked for.
- Ginger and Gata (RC 53) are the earliest confirmed floaters. Ginger in particular was infamous for her enormous personal bubble, drunkenness, and violent tendencies.
- Flip Finley and Rez Montrose (RC 1020) were involved in the famously aborted mission to Legendary Badfic "Subjugation." They declared themselves retired after the fiasco and are currently fugitives from HQ. Flip is also known for inventing the Pan Galactic Gargle Bleeprin Blaster and starting the trend of using whisks as exorcism tools.
- July Flame and Library (RC 2985) are the quintessential modern floaters, having tackled everything from trolls to trans-dimensional snatching in a variety of lesser-known continua. They have the third place for highest number of recorded missions in the department.
- Cadmar, Maria Nightingale, and Mark Sienna (RC 481,516,234,277) boast the second- highest number of missions recorded in the department so far. Cadmar alone has racked up an impressive total of thirteen counting her three training missions, and she has the scars, shark-teeth, and newly matched set of sex chromosomes to show for it.
- Anneli Rodriguez, Cinderella, and Xanthus Garkaran (RC 2183) have the fourth place for highest number of recorded missions completed in the department. They have since transferred to the DMS, so they're unlikely to usurp anyone's record.
- Fritz Sorgebrunnen and Silas (RC 518) are celebrated for taking on the Legendary Badfic "Cupcakes" in the My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic continuum.
- Tawaki Penguin and Iskillion-Galuit-Elendil (RC 4913) were at the center of both the Assimilation Crisis and the encounter with the mirror multiverse during Tawaki's stint in the DF.
- Agents Falchion and Rashida Mafdetiti (RC 227) hold the current record for the highest number of continua encountered in a single PPC mission as of October 2014: last they counted, at least eleven.
- Valon Vance and Kala Jeng (RC 211) are relative newcomers to the Department of Floaters, but their close relationship, their efforts in pioneering new continua, and the ease with which they make friends have given them a sort of notoriety. At fourteen missions, they have the highest number of recorded missions in the Department of Floaters.
- Aiko Kimura and Henry Asclepe (RC 1822) are the newest additions to the Department, and have already taken down a Sailor Moon bleepfic.
Missions from this department are listed on the Complete List of PPC Fiction, Department of Floaters.
- "The Adventures of Agent Ginger" by Oracle, Dec 22, 2003
- "Beats Working" or "Literally, Floaters" by JulyFlame, Nov 27, 2015
- "Prophecies" by Rez Montrose, Sep 23, 2005
- "A Promise To Be Kept," Part 1, Part 2, by JulyFlame, Trojanhorse, and Paddlebrains, Aug 1, 2008
- "April Halloway - Agent History," PPC Wiki, by Tomato, Sep 16, 2008
- "The Floater: An 'Easy' First Assignment?" by NytBloomer, Apr 3, 2002
- "The Chaos Begins, or 'Silmarien Goldeneve'" by Laurelil, c. 2004
- "My Yankee Colonel" by Bubonic Woodchuck, Aug 18, 2005
- "Category: Department of Mary Sues"; compare number of pages with "Category: Department of Floaters," PPC Wiki
- Crashing Down, Chapter 19: "The Oak Has Hit The Ground" by Huinesoron, c. 2008