Despatch, or more properly the Department of Trans-Dimensional Hopping and Snatching, is an off-shoot of the Department of Implausible Crossovers that specializes in fanfics involving the Real World.
It is headed by the Hydrangea, and its flash patch is a lightning bolt. Its agents are known as despatchers, from whence comes the department's nickname. Senior despatchers are affectionately referred to by junior agents as the Powers That Be Dangerous To Mess With.
The Department of Implausible Crossovers deals with all sorts of cross-continua contamination. Despatch, however, has one primary function: ridding the plot continuum of trans-dimensional snatching and trans-dimensional hopping. Despatch handles badfic in which either a) a fanfic author has snatched canon characters from their continuum and brought them to the Real World, or b) an author has hopped from the Real World into a canon continuum. Neither of these is a thing that can normally happen in reality, so the very act can destabilize both the fictional world and our own. It is the job of Despatch to protect both.
In Despatch cases, the culprit is not assumed to be a Mary Sue or avatar, but a real person—the fic's author. Despatchers, like the rest of the PPC, are forbidden from killing real people, so a charge list is filed against the author and sent to the Legal Department for further action. Legal deals with the literary and reality-based charges themselves. If necessary, they refer any criminal charges to appropriate in-universe law enforcement agencies. If an author persistently violates reality, they can be arrested. However, the agents may decide to simply return the characters to their home.
The first priority of a despatcher is to return snatched characters to their home universe to minimize the distortions to the Real World caused by their presence. Once everyone is in the correct universe, the canon characters must be scanned for anachronisms, decontaminated, and neuralyzed as applicable before being sent on their way. They may also need canonical memories to be replaced if the badfic has made them forget who they are or what they're supposed to be doing.
The author may need to be knocked out to free the canon characters from the story's influence long enough for the despatchers to get them squared away. The preferred method for doing this seems to be knock-out drops, but presumably anything that won't permanently harm the author would suffice. When the canons are safely returned to the appropriate times and places, then the author may be charged.
Despatchers are not authorized for assassinations, either of authors or original characters. If a Mary Sue is involved in a Despatch mission, the despatchers must coordinate with a pair of assassins versed in the appropriate continuum.
Similarly, if despatchers are assigned to a story involving a standard crossover, they'll need to coordinate with a team of untanglers. Jurisdiction in a crossover is determined by who has the longest charge list by the end of the mission.
- The Despatch Kit
- Technological items:
- Non-technological items:
- Ipecac syrup
- Knock-out drops
- Senna pods
- Other equipment:
Despatch was the fourth current PPC Action Department to be formed, after the Department of Mary Sues, the Department of Improbable Crossovers, and the Department of Bad Slash. Only a short time passed before it was decided that the Department of Improbable Crossovers should be split, yielding the Department of Implausible Crossovers and the Department of Trans-Dimensional Hopping and Snatching. It was hoped that Trans-Dimensional Hopping would attract enough agents to become its own department, but that never happened.
Prior to 2002, the Powers That Be Dangerous To Mess With incited Makes-Things to create the Anachronism Detector, the Memory Implant Device, and the Whatsit. Precisely when or in what order is unknown, but rumor has it that they got their nickname around the time the Whatsit was created.
- Agent Meg is the first and only despatcher to publish her mission reports. She was partnered with Will for her second mission, but sadly, only the first part of that report was completed.
- Agent Shelley is a former despatcher who transferred to the Department of Implausible Crossovers. She worked with Meg and Will once.
- Agent Jean intended to join Despatch and specialize in Dragonball Z missions, but she never published or appeared in any reports.
Missions from this department are located on the Complete List of PPC Fiction, Despatch.
- "Darkness Awakened" (Star Wars x Lord of the Rings), Agents Jay and Acacia (DIC)
- "Sleepover!!! – A Girl Called Bob" (Real World x Lord of the Rings), Agent Meg (Despatch)
- "Notes on Despatch," PPC LiveJournal Community
- Kelly Meets Macgyver, The Adventure of the Misplaced Musical Miscreant
- "Teddy Bear – Celeste," Part One (Lord of the Rings x Sailor Moon), Agents Meg and Will (Despatch) with Agents Shelley and Nia (DIC)
- "More PPC Archival Stuff," PPC LiveJournal Community