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The remote activator, also referred to as a portal device, is one half of a pair of devices essential to the work of the PPC.

Portal Generator[]

Embedded in the console in each response center is a portal generator, which, as the name suggests, opens a portal from HQ to a target world or location defined by the user. It is also possible to home in on specific characters, canon or otherwise. Use of portals within HQ is limited to emergencies, so the generator is most often used to access Word Worlds to begin PPC missions. It's unknown if the portal restriction in HQ applies to security departments.

Once a mission has begun, the agent team is not permitted to return to HQ until it has been completed, barring emergency circumstances. This is because of the danger of "losing their place"; when agents enter a Word World, they modify it just by being there; and when they leave, the fic's Words may return to their Sued version of normal and any work the agents have done made useless. It can even be impossible to find a way back into the fic. The danger can be much reduced if only one agent leaves the fic, letting the other remain behind.

Remote Activator[]

The remote activator itself is a handheld device linked to the portal generator back in HQ. As the name suggests, it can be used to remotely activate the generator, allowing for portals to be opened within the mission either to travel around the Word World, or to return to HQ at the end.

The exact appearance of the RA is inconsistent—as with most HQ tech, "standard" is something of a foreign concept—and seems to have changed over time. In its earliest appearances in the Original Series, it is simply referred to as a "trigger"[1] or "button."[2][3] In TOS mission twelve, however, Jay taps coordinates into it, indicating there must be pushable keys of some sort, and the coordinates can be very exact: Jay configures the destination time and place, and the portal's height above the ground, which trips up the unsuspecting Acacia.[4] The name "remote activator" is first used in mission five, which also marks its first use for traveling between points within a fic rather than simply going back to HQ.[5]

According to one description, the remote activator is cylindrical, with three numbered dials around the circumference and a large button on one end. The dials are set to define the location, and the button is pressed to open the portal. According to this description, the remote activator code for HQ is 112.[6] However, as other descriptions involve setting portals to lock onto locations or specific people,[7] either this describes a simple version of the RA (the one in question was sent to a recruit to allow him to reach HQ), or the dials are very, very versatile (likely, as at least one Intel agent used one). Some models include a display.[8]

In another, more modern description, the RA resembles a generic smartphone. The screen's display includes a slowly spinning wireframe globe, as well as numbers displaying coordinates. The ability to warp to MST-style movie theater described in scriptfic is a simple hotkey away.[8]

According to other descriptions, RAs have a "Home" button which opens a portal back to HQ.[source, please!]

The remote activator, like other pieces of iron-based technology, does not work in the home of the Discworld elves. It is possible to portal in, but not out.[9]

Remote activators have been known to malfunction and drop agents—or Mary Sues being transported—off in unexpected places.[10] It has also been demonstrated at least once that an RA will not work while inside a Plothole, instead displaying a "Service unavailable" message.[11]

The Department of Internal Security had their own version of the remote activator, designed to lock onto a specific subject of surveillance and allow the Guards to portal straight to it.[12] It is unknown if the Department of Internal Affairs issues a similar variant to its officers, but possible.


  1. "Rambling Band" by Jay and Acacia, c. 2002
  2. "Lady of the Fellowship" by Jay and Acacia, c. 2002
  3. "Protector of the Ringbearer" by Jay and Acacia, c. 2002
  4. "Gwendolyn" by Jay and Acacia, c. 2002
  5. "What Might Have Been" by Jay and Acacia, c. 2002
  6. "Techno-Dann's Backstory" by Delta Juliette
  7. "We Cannot Be" by Jay and Acacia, c. 2002
  8. 8.0 8.1 "Interlude: Messin' with the Tech" by Mattman the Comet, May 13, 2016
  9. "To Know Where You Are Going" by Jay and Acacia, c. 2003
  10. "Woodsprite of the North" by Huinesoron, c. 2004
  11. "You Should've Left" by SkarmorySilver (August 19, 2015)
  12. "Agent Ontic's Backstory" by Huinesoron