In the far reaches of time and space, things are different. Strange forms of matter abound, and exotic radiations. But by far the strangest thing to us earthbound is the sheer number of plotholes.
In our world, these strange portals occur only by a million to one chance – something which, in our Narritivium-deprived corner of the universe, happens rather less than nine times out of ten. On the world in which our story begins, however, plotholes are packed in closer than we can imagine, several hundreds per square kilometre.
Plotholes come in many varieties. One of the more benign type allowed this world – which orbits around a binary system of yellow dwarf and superdense black hole – to hold an atmosphere which would seem familiar to any terrestrial life form. However, it is a more dangerous variety which concerns us, specifically the time-space distortion. These, although less common than the reality-twisters, can still be found at a rate of one per kilometre or so.
Most reach only a handful of metres before fading out. Some, though, stretch across entire continents. One in a million is long enough to escape the gravity well even of the hole in the system's centre. There is no practical limit to their length, whether measured in time, space, or alternate realities. Nevertheless, a long hole is very unlikely. Only one in nine hundred billion reaches as far as our insignificant planet.
For our purposes, that is enough.
It was a time of expansion. Great wooden vessels sailed the seas between the Old World and the New, Europe and America. One such ship was carrying a selection of seeds for the captain's garden. The name of this ship, and of its captain, are irrelevant, for a reason that will now be seen. The vessel struck the nine hundred billion to one plothole at exactly the right moment and was whisked across space at many times the speed of light.
However, even at such fantastic velocities, the journey was too long for the terrified crew. They died there, in the empty airlessness of intergalactic space, and none now live who remember their names. Yet, though they knew it not, they played a part in the creation of the greatest organisation ever.
For, in the rich atmosphere of that far off world, the seeds sprouted. Spreading slowly from the crushed remains of the ship that had brought them, plants of Earth soon covered the once lifeless planet.
The black hole, however, would not let them rest. One day, a bright flash lit the sky as the hole grasped its companion, the small yellow star, in tendrils of gravity and devoured it. From that meeting strange radiation flooded out, distorting space and twisting the DNA sequences of the plants on that nameless world.
In short, a miracle occurred.
A sunflower, tall amid the grass of the endless plains, sensed the sudden light and flinched. Then, in wonder, it realised that it could flinch, and more – that it could think.
He was the first. There were others. Daisies, ivy, even a lichen – across the globe representatives of the plants came slowly to awareness, and began to seek out others of their kind.
At first they moved in silence, but when one poppy tripped and let out an enormous psychic scream, they began to call to one another with their newborn minds.
In time, a great number had gathered, and they built themselves a gleaming city amid the grass of the plains. Slowly, they learned to use the resources of the world around them – stone, water, iron, coal (which was there due to one of those abundant plotholes), and eventually the most powerful of them all. They began to manipulate plotholes.
At first they could only ride them, going blindly to the end. Several of the Firstborn were lost in that way before sensors were developed to find the endpoint of a plothole. Great was the day when, after watching a machine screen for several hours, the First of the flowers, the Sunflower Official, stepped forward and found himself at the other end of the plaza, right where he expected to be.
After that, knowledge increased exponentially, and it was only a matter of time before plotholes were being twisted, moved from their original courses and used as public transport. A new building was constructed to house the plothole technology, a building known only as Headquarters.
Great devices were created to stabilise the plotholes, and using them the HQ building was extended. When a hole opened to a planet in a neighbouring system, a stabiliser and pressure seal were thrown up, and in time a corridor was built through the hole and HQ expanded further.
Then, one day, and ironwood tree named Hornbeam made the greatest technological breakthrough yet. He learned how to create plotholes.
The Organisation expanded yet again, leapfrogging from planet to planet. In some realities they encountered beings now known as 'Mary Sues', beings who created plotholes instinctively. After a few efforts to harness the power, the Sunflower Official decreed these rogue plotholes a threat to stability, and ordered all 'Sues executed if they produced too many.
At that time, in honour of this new role, he also renamed the Organisation as the Protectors of the Plot Continuum.
By the time the PPC happened upon the Earth, their original home world had been lost, destroyed when the Hole had imploded. This destroyed only a small fraction of the HQ complex, and it was decided to leave one plothole – or 'portal', as they were now known – open to the system. Here they brought specimens of all the new plants they found, in the hope that they too might mutate.
On the day the plants opened their first portal to Earth, a young man stumbled through. His right name they never learned to pronounce, but because of his proficiency in technology they dubbed him Makes-Things, and the name stuck.
Makes-Things found ways to miniaturise the plothole creation and stabilising technology, and to fit them into a console that filled only a single wall. In the space that remained he added some things of his own invention – a device to detect the hated 'Sues, a summariser of their effects on the host reality, and a really loud annoying thing that went [BEEEEEEEEEP!!!!!!!]
Adapting these new inventions, he designed Canon Analysis Devices to detect the specific influences of the 'Sues on each character. However, all this technology was rarely used – even with disguises, the Flowers did not enjoy leaving HQ, and often merely destroyed a planet housing a possible 'Sue to save time. The S.O. knew about this, but there was nothing he could do.
... nothing, that is, until a portal to Earth scooped up two girls and dumped them in Makes-Things' lab, giving him the shock of his life.
Their names were not, sadly, Jay Thorntree and Acacia Byrd. It would have been nice, but unfortunately, History doesn't work that way. However, at some later date – two later dates, in fact – Jay and Acacia were recruited. And after that, the rest, as they say, is history.