The Department of Implausible Crossovers is responsible for dealing with bad crossover fanfics involving fictional continua. Crossovers involving the Real World are handled by the Department of Trans-Dimensional Hopping and Snatching, more commonly known as Despatch.
The Department of Implausible Crossovers is rather unusual in that the corridors in this section of HQ are not grey, but have been painted a uniform matte black, and there is no lighting. It's easier on the eyes if you don't mind not being able to see at all.
DIC agents are responsible for disentangling continua that have been smashed together without explanation or regard for whether or not their coexistence makes a lick of sense. The primary hazards in bad crossover fics stem from the pittance or complete absence of logic in such stories: plotholes, OOCness, and reality distortions abound, which can cause the Word Worlds to be highly unstable. In addition, untanglers may encounter continuum-hopping Mary Sues, cases of possession, and cross-continuum bad slash, so it's advisable for them to be prepared to handle a little of everything.
If a team of untanglers are assigned a fic involving continua or problems they aren't equipped to handle, they may also be assigned backup from another department. Similarly, in cases where the crossover itself is not the main problem, but the fic is assigned to agents who don't know one or more of the continua involved, one or more agents from the DIC may be assigned to help out.
Crossovers come in many types, but typically one continuum will be the main setting and act as "host" for the other(s). Implausible crossovers in which the Real World is the host continuum for snatched fictional characters, or in which Real World people hop into a fictional host continuum, are typically handled by Despatch rather than the DIC.
Untanglers aren't required to keep a charge list unless an OC is involved, in case it turns out to be a Mary Sue, but most do anyway for record-keeping purposes. They do go in disguise.
The bulk of the job is to round up any and all canonical elements that have strayed from their home 'verse and put them back where they belong, thus restoring stability to each continuum involved. Untanglers must be on the lookout for anything from anachronistic knowledge or technology to canon characters to whole canon locations.
Canon characters must be relieved of anything extra-canonical they may have picked up during the story before they can be sent home. The standard Despatch Kit contains technological means for removing anachronistic elements from the canon characters' minds and bodies, including the Anachronism Detector (or "Decontaminator"), the neuralyzer, and the Anachronistic Biochemical Substance Eliminator (or "Whatsit"). Unlike the DMS, neuralyzation is a standard procedure in the DIC.
Misplaced canonical locations may move back to their proper places on their own once enough other elements have been disentangled, but if not, a portal may suffice. For very large locations, several agents with remote activators may need to coordinate to create a portal big enough for the job, but this puts a lot of strain on the equipment and may cause it to short out, injuring or killing the agents in the process, so it's best to try other ways first.
If the story isn't set in any particular canon location, the setting may vanish once the canon characters are sent home and any non-canons holding it together are removed, so the untanglers must make sure to get out before it collapses into oblivion.
- A Chronologically Correct Time Device, for keeping track of time in one continuum while working in another.
- A Despatch Kit, including:
- A Decontaminator for scanning canon characters for any extra-canonical material in or on their person.
- A field Memory Implant Device to restore canonical memories to characters whose entire history has been wiped by a fic.
- A neuralyzer for wiping any extra-canonical memories, languages, skills, etc. from canon characters' minds.
- A Whatsit for removing extra-canonical substances from the canon characters' systems.
- Various mundane means for purging canon characters and subduing non-canons.
- An inter-continuum communications device, which looks and acts like a mobile phone, allowing untanglers to communicate across continua.
The first department to be split off from the PPC's original Department of Action was the Department of Improbable crossovers. Only a short time passed before it was decided that this department should be split, yielding the Department of Trans-Dimensional Hopping and Snatching (better known as Despatch) and the Department of Implausible Crossovers. It was once one of the three largest Action Departments, and in recognition of this fact, the Lichen was given a spot on the first Board of Department Heads in 1999, in the aftermath of the Reorganisation.
In 2002, most of the department were drawn into the "Tangled Web" fiasco, a megacrossover involving at least five continua—more if you count the various Star Trek spin-offs separately. According to the Sunflower Official, most of the DIC was only "some dozen" agents; the DIC had not benefited much from the recent influx of new recruits, since most had become assassins. Therefore, famous assassins Jay Thorntree and Acacia Byrd were temporarily transferred to the DIC to handle regular crossovers during the crisis, for a total of four missions.
While the current size of the department isn't known, by 2006 the DIC had lost its place among the largest in Action, and so in the first restructuring of the Board the Lichen was replaced by the Floating Hyacinth, whose department was by then the largest in the PPC.
The DIC was known to have three divisions c. 2003-04: LotR, Jossverse, and Freelance. However, exclusive specialization isn't terribly practical for agents who many encounter any continuum mashed with any other continuum, so this is no longer the case. Despatch, although it covers a subset of the crossover genre, is a sister-department, and the DIC has never overseen its functions.
- Main article: Untangler
The DIC is neither the biggest nor the most celebrated department, but some few of its agents have gained a reputation in Headquarters for their service record or other achievements.
- Jay Thorntree and Acacia Byrd (RC F) carried their fame from the DMS with them when they transferred into the DIC, bringing the department itself an increase in notoriety with their habit of publishing their mission reports. Acacia is also known to have been an untangler before being partnered with Jay, though she got into trouble for trying to kill a canon character.
- Annie and The Lovely Beta were part of the Jossverse Division in 2003. They tackled the infamous world-hopping Gary Stu Steven "the Wanderer" St. Wolf.
- Supernumerary and Ilraen-Aroline-Fothergill (RC 999) hold the record for the longest stint in the department, having been untanglers since late 2006.
- Florestan and Eusabius (RC 1810), though relative newcomers, held the highest published mission count in the department (with a total of 12 recorded missions involving either or both) as of late 2013. As of 2016, however, this record has been surpassed by Sarah Katherine Squall, Cupid Carmine, and Lapis Lazuli (RC 333), who boast both the youngest member to join the department (Lapis, who joined at age 12) and a total of 14 recorded missions between these three agents.
- Elisabeth, one of the original Action trio, was also one of the very first untanglers, joining the newly founded DIC as soon as three agents who weren't Anya or Osbert were recruited.
Missions from this department are listed on the Complete List of PPC Fiction, Department of Implausible Crossovers.
- "Darkness Awakened" by Jay and Acacia, Jun 29, 2002
- "Learning the Knots" by Adagio, Jan 10, 2009
- "Harry Potter and the Dragonriders of Pern" by Neshomeh, Nov 21, 2008
- "The Dark Side" by Neshomeh and Phobos, Aug 11, 2010
- "Secret Agents" by Guvnor Of Space and Neshomeh, Oct 7, 2011
- "Tales from Despatch: Prologue" by Meg Thornton, May 22, 2002
- "More PPC Archival Stuff," rehosted on the PPC LiveJournal by Araeph, Sep 10, 2005
- "Notes on Despatch," rehosted on the PPC LiveJournal by Araeph, Sep 12, 2005
- "Two Worlds" by Jay and Acacia, Aug 21, 2002
- "The Luggage Runs Off With The One Ring" by Jay and Acacia, Oct 9, 2002
- "Lofty Skies: Chapter 1" by Huinesoron, Jul 21, 2011
- Crashing Down, Chapter 19: "The Oak Has Hit The Ground" by Huinesoron, Jul 30, 2009
- "PPC Departments and Agents," PPC Handbook, compiled by Artemis c. 2003