Ginger sat in an uncomfortable chair in front of a large desk. Behind the desk, a pot of water supported the Water Hyacinth, the head of the Floater Department.

'Really, Ginger, this is the fourth time I've had to reprimand you for fighting. Next time, I might consider transferring you to Bad Slash.'

"Sorry, but it wasn't my fault. It was all his."

'You were still fighting, and that's fairly upsetting.'

"It was the Bleepka."

The plant seemed to sigh 'Indeed. I'll have to put this on your record, again. Try to stop fighting, Ginger. Next time, there will be more. serious consequences. You can go now.'

Ginger picked up her half-full bottle of Bleepka and walked in the general direction of her office.

"Good morning, Gata. How was your night?"

Her partner made a face. "Be thankful that it was not yours. I had a call to go on a Sue with an agent from Bad Slash whose partner was in Fictional Psychology. I shall never read Harry Potter the same way again." The normally stoic Gata shuddered.

"That bad, huh?"

"Yes, indeed it was. I do not think that Albus Dumbledore and Harry Potter are in love."

Ginger blinked. "Me neither, Gats. Want some Bleepka?"

"No, thank you. I think I shall search through my collection of video games and find one in which you kill old men with long, white beards."

"Sounds good to me, Gata."

Ginger flopped down at her desk, looking at the sheets of paper that covered it. They were various notices from the Plants That Be, including one that said in large block letters, "GINGER, YOUR TIME IN THE SORTING ROOM HAS BEEN EXTENDED TO A FULL THREE WEEKS. YOUR PAY SHALL BE ADJUSTED ACCORDINGLY


"Bloody hyeck, they can't do that to me!"

"What can they not do, Ginger?"

"I have to spend another two and a half weeks in the Sorting Room!"

"That is certainly an unpleasant thought. Ah, there is my copy of 'Mutant Old Man Death Three'"

Ginger pushed herself up from her chair and started pacing.

"Just because I got into another fight doesn't mean they have to do something like this! I was going to stop, I just needed to teach the brat a lesson!"

"You were fighting again? I have told you many times that fighting makes the Plants That Be very angry with you."

"Yeah, I know, but he was just asking for it."

"That does not matter. It still makes them angry, and with the amount of bad things they can do to you, it is a good idea if you would stop."

"You don't get it, Gata. Anytime someone comes near me, I feel like mangling them. I can't help it."

"That reminds me, it is time for your appointment. Perhaps you should go."

"I don't need a shrink, I need a vacation."

"Yes, we all need vacations. Perhaps you can reserve one soon."

"I'll check with the Marquis after my appointment."

"That sounds like a good idea."

Ginger walked out of her office and down the halls again. Ever since her second fight, she had been having appointments with Fictional Psychology, where her psychologist would ask silly questions and try to get her to talk about her feelings, from ten feet away. She had the impression that he was afraid of her.

She knocked at the door, and then pushed it open. She didn't want anyone coming from the other side unexpectedly. The irrepressibly perky receptionist smiled at her.

"Good morning, Ginger! How was your evening?"

"I got drunk and fought with another agent then spent the night in the Hyacinth's waiting room before she assigned me to the Sorting Room for another two and a half weeks."

"Well, that's rough, but I'm sure Doctor Kinkade will help you with your feelings about that. He'll see you now."

Ginger sighed. She had a low opinion of psychologists, and Kinkade in particular. There wasn't any particular reason; she just hated the man with a fiery passion. It was probably because, as a psychologist, he tended to ask deep probing questions about her mental state.

An hour later, she walked out of the office with a dark look on her face. "Stupid Kinkade. Who does he think he is?"

"Your psychiatrist, Ginger." Gata was standing next to the door.

"I decided to drop by the Marquis, because I had nothing else to do. I have secured a vacation next year."

"Next YEAR? Are you kidding me?"

"No. Next year is the earliest they could spare us. I suppose we shall have to bear it with fortitude."

"Do you want to know where you can stick that fortitude?"

"I think not. I have to go now, and the Sorting Room awaits you. It is almost two o'clock."

Ginger and Gata split up, Ginger heading down the hall to the double doors saying 'Sorting Room' in large, black letters.

She pushed open the doors into the room. The room was lined with desks, each with a computer monitor on it. She walked down the aisles to the row marked 'NC-17' and found an empty desk.

She closed her eyes before she could see any of what was on the screen. Just her luck to forget the half-bottle of Bleepka in her office. Ah well, nothing she could do about it now. She carefully opened her eyes to the horrors in front of her.