History Literature / Caliphate

9th Dec '16 4:02:29 AM IdumeanPatriot
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* AbusiveParents: Besma's mother. Her father isn't, at least not generally, as he's for the most part really a very nice guy [[DeliberateValuesDissonance by Caliphate standards.]]
* ActionGirl: Laurie.
* ActionSurvivor: Petra.
* AgentPeacock: ''Chung Hsiao''[[note]]i.e., Lieutenant-Colonel[[/note]] Lee Gen of the [[TryToFitThatOnABusinessCard Celestial Kingdom's People's Liberation Army Air Force Intelligence Division]]. Graduate degrees in the plural, speaks multiple languages, ex-military attaché, qualified pilot, spook extraordinaire and deadly CombatPragmatist. And making him this trope, quite the [[AttractiveBentGender vamp]], too.
* AmoralAfrikaner: Since this is a ''massive'' CrapsackWorld, South Africa resembles not so much the Boer era as the antebellum South--Or maybe the [[Literature/TheDraka Draka]]. The Boer airship captain is a rather nasty piece of work and StrawMisogynist personally, who does not mind taking advantage of a pretty slave girl. [[spoiler: Which, however, backfires spectacularly on him, since the girl is really [[CreepyCrossdresser Lee]] in disguise.]]


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* BareYourMidriff: To be expected of the seraglio.


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* BattleCouple: Hamilton and Laurie.
* BigBrotherIsWatching: Chinese Intelligence know ''everything'' and have spies ''everywhere''.


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* BreakTheCutie: Petra, massively.


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* ColonelBadass: Not the main lead, unlike most other Kratman stories, as Hamilton is a mere captain (OF-2). Bongo is arguably one, however, as is Lee.


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* CreepyCrossdresser: Lee, who, being an effeminate homosexual, is only too happy to temporarily assume the body of an attractive young woman. He makes sure to [[ReallyGetsAround make the most of it]] while it lasts--Also seriously creeping various people out in the process.
* CruelMercy: The Islamic justice system, at least as practiced in the Caliphate, is practically made of this. Petra is only ''one'' of its victims.
* CultureClash: Hamilton doesn't much like Neo-Boer culture, and he ''hates'' Caliphate culture. So much that he'll risk the mission to save a few innocents from it.
* CurbStompBattle: Hijacking the lightly guarded zeppelin isn't too difficult for a crew of trained intelligence agents. For another example, in the backstory, the Imperial States also made short work of the ''first'' Caliphate, once it became arrogant enough to push their enmity to the point of war. The European Caliphate is not--quite--stupid enough to ask for a repeat performance.
* DarkerAndEdgier: ''Caliphate'' is probably the darkest of Kratman's books so far, what with the massively dystopian setting, the gratuitous abuse, the easy mind control and various other horror technologies, and so on. And the man doesn't exactly write sunshine and happiness for his usual oeuvre.
* DefectorFromDecadence: [[spoiler: Retief]] becomes one by the end of the story.
* DidNotGetTheGirl: [[spoiler: Hans. Because he [[HeroicSacrifice died saving her escape.]] ]]


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* DirtyCoward: O'Meara, the utterly repulsive, sex-fiend MadScientist villain. Defied and averted with Lee, stereotypes notwithstanding. Bongo masquerades as one, but soon makes clear he really isn't.


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* DistractedByTheSexy: Mixed with some [[ShowSomeLeg deliberate]] instances. Played straight with Ling, and Petra in one case. Also invoked, inverted and subverted all at once by [[AttractiveBentGender Lee]].
* DoomedMoralVictor: [[spoiler: Mahmoud, in the secondary storyline]].
* DoubleConsciousness: Mandatory for undercover agents, but even more so with fantastic sci-fi technology assisting.
* DownerEnding: The secondary storyline, which tells the backstory of the setting through Petra's ancestors. Given what the main story is like, this is sort of a foregone conclusion in itself, but there are twists that manage to make it ''worse''.


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* DystopianEdict: In the secondary story arc/backstory, the ruling of the German Supreme Court to accept Sharia law as binding in Germany.
* TheEmpire: The Imperial States of America, being the dominant world superpower, and rather tyrannical about it. The Chinese want to replace them eventually, but they still have a long way to go.


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* EpicFail: The Islamic terrorists launching ''nuclear'' attacks on an America which is both bigger and ''much'' more militaristic than in real life. DidntThinkThisThrough, much? The retaliation [[GuiltFreeExterminationWar annihilated]] much of the Middle East.
* EvenEvilHasStandards: Retief, who transports slaves, but treats them as decently as possible while they remain in his care, and very much regrets the abuses they suffer from others.


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* FemmeFatale: Ling. At one point, Petra ''tries'' to be one, but doesn't really succeed.


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* HeroicSacrifice: [[spoiler: Hans, who dies helping his sister and the others escape the Caliphate]].
* HumansAreBastards: True on the macro-scale, [[CrapsackWorld in this world.]] There's not a single "good" faction or country on the planet, or at least none are shown; the "good guys" are morally gray at best, being a moderately genocidal and moderately totalitarian empire, while the ''bad'' guys are not-at-all-moderately genocidal and utterly tyrannical slavers, rapists and religious fanatics. Averted, however, on the individual level: Hamilton [[KnightInSourArmor keeps defying it]] with iron resolve, and the ambiguous and even several of the outright villainous characters are shown to have ''some'' good to them.


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* InspirationalMartyr: As one of the original and greatest, Christ functions as one for several characters. A lesser but more contemporary example is a Catholic priest who suffers a comparable fate for his faith, and makes a deep impression on [[spoiler: Hans]].
* InterserviceRivalry:
** In the Imperial States, the Army and the Marine Corps present a reasonably friendly example: The Army thinks the Marines are primitive and retrograde, the Corps that the Army is over-teched and over-staffed, and consequently weaker where it counts.
** In the Caliphate, the Janissaries versus everyone else. They're the [[BoringButPractical pragmatic]] arm who just want things to work, whereas most of the other services are either [[TheFundamentalist fanatics]], or else just [[MilesGloriosus lazy and corrupt]]. Or at least, that's the way the Janissaries see it; to the others, they're the bad ones, being serious try-hards, and/or too lukewarm on politics and religion.
** Seemingly averted with the Celestial Kingdom, where the [[StateSec Ministry of State Security]] play nice with Air Force Intelligence, and even allow them to borrow one of their deep-cover agents in the Caliphate for an important mission.


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* KnightInSourArmor: John Hamilton, who tries hard, and sometimes even succeeds at, being a good guy in a setting that heavily penalizes this. Besma's father, a semi-decent Caliphate character, also tries, though not as successfully.
* LackOfEmpathy: Doctor Sands. Unlike O'Meara, he derives no pleasure from seeing little children die slowly in their medical experiments: He just simply does not care, one way or the other, except for the valuable scientific results.
* LipstickAndLoadMontage: Subverted. There is a scene with Lee-as-Ling putting on [[AttractiveBentGender his]] make-up before going to work [[TheVamp vamping]] the Boer guards. Agent Matheson is ''seriously'' bothered, because he is so obviously [[CampGay enjoying himself]] playing the part of the wicked seductress.
* MakeAnExampleOfThem: The Caliphate believes in this, publicly crucifying dissidents and subversives. It [[InspirationalMartyr backfires]] on them in at least one notable instance.


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* NeverLearnedToRead: Inverted; Petra ''did'' learn to read, despite this being very uncommon among women in the Caliphate, and especially lower-caste ones. This is one of the few things about herself that she feels she can be proud of... Which makes for a sad scene when she realizes that this is nothing special at all in the Imperial States.
* NiceGuy: Relatively. John Hamilton is arguably the nicest, sweetest protagonist to feature so far in Kratman's original works. Which still makes him a cynic by most other standards, admittedly.


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* PeoplesRepublicOfTyranny: The Caliphate, with some additional religious trappings.


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* PragmaticVillainy: The Imperial States are rather restrictive with their [[MindControlDevice mind-control implants]], not because they object to the technology in principle, but because, back when they were more common, the Chinese hacked them, and they don't want that to happen again.
*{{Sadist}}: Al Khalifa. Also O'Meara, to an even more horrible extent.
* SecondLove: For Hamilton, Petra, after Laurie's death. It's hinted that [[BetaCouple Ling also gets one.]]
* ShellShockedVeteran: Hamilton is a mild example. He is obviously scarred by his traumatic war experiences, and for a while is a straight case, but manages rather successfully to move on, so that this is not his defining character trait by the time of the main story.


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* SlaveLiberation: The Americans instigate a minor one as part of their coup to destroy the Caliphate's biowar project.


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* TheVamp: A rare male example, enabled by futuristic technology. [[CampGay Lee]] very much enjoys the opportunity to [[ShowingOffTheNewBody present himself]] in a smoking hot female body, and is particularly delighted with the way this improves his prospects with various handsome men who probably [[BedTrick wouldn't ordinarily go for his type]]. He [[ReallyGetsAround gleefully takes full advantage]] of his femininity and sexiness in the service of the mission.


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* WeHardlyKnewYe: Laurie, who is killed by the Moros early in her military career.


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* YouAreBetterThanYouThinkYouAre: Hamilton to Petra, who is not exactly proud of her life thus far.
1st Dec '16 11:47:48 PM THEKHAN
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* NobleBigot: Adbul Mohsem might be anti-American, but he did care about Petra's well-being unlike his wife Khalifa.

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* NobleBigot: Adbul Mohsem might be anti-American, a slave-owning Muslim in Germany, but he did does care about Petra's well-being unlike for dignity of life of even lowest of slaves: setting them free after their effort and labor reaches their purchase price (even then with a discount), and doing his wife Khalifa.damnedest to care for/repurchase the poor Petra who gets in legal trouble. The worst thing he did to her own daughter Besma was an impulsive, low strength slap at her boast of "she'd lay with everyone if Petra is sent away, from slaves to infidels"
28th Nov '16 12:28:04 PM Nylsa
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* {{Anvilicious}}: The book is, shall we say, ''not very subtle''. Muslims bad, freedom good, m'kay?
22nd May '16 6:00:41 AM Nohbody
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* EagleLand: ''Caliphate'' has an unabashedly fascistic "American Empire", [[BlackAndGreyMorality although they're still the "good guys" by virtue of their enemies being even more violent and crazy]].
24th Apr '16 9:35:13 AM InsomniacWeasel
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* {{Anvillicious}}: The book is, shall we say, ''not very subtle''. In the sense that a hydrogen bomb is not very subtle.

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* {{Anvillicious}}: {{Anvilicious}}: The book is, shall we say, ''not very subtle''. In the sense that a hydrogen bomb is not very subtle.Muslims bad, freedom good, m'kay?
24th Apr '16 9:31:31 AM InsomniacWeasel
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* {{Anvillicious}}: The book is, shall we say, ''not very subtle''. In the sense that a hydrogen bomb is not very subtle.
5th Jan '15 6:31:14 AM Nohbody
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* EagleLand: ''Caliphate'' has an unabashedly fascistic "American Empire", [[BlackAndGreyMorality although they're still the "good guys" by virtue of their enemies being even more violent and crazy]].
4th Nov '14 5:51:18 PM Nohbody
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* BigDamnHeroes: The Swiss Airforce, moments before [[spoiler:the Caliphate airforce blasts the airship full of child slave escapees and the world infecting virus.]]

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* BigDamnHeroes: The Swiss Airforce, Air Force, moments before [[spoiler:the Caliphate airforce blasts the airship full of child slave escapees and the world infecting virus.]]



* CrapsackWorld: Oh boy, where to begin? Before starting, let this troper summarize everything as "No Geneva Convention, no United Nations". Much of Continental Europe is under decay under Caliphate rule. The Middle East is a crapsack state as well, as noted by character Besma. Occasional postapocalyptic Muslim raiding parties strike out into Russian controlled territories. Russia has a socialist Tzar who holds his Muslim majority under an iron fist. South Africa has a darker Apartheid (this time with genuine black slavery) after embittered European Refugees filled it. China is a strange posthuman empire which breeds genetically engineered women to infiltrate the Caliphate. Fuel is strictly rationed and most cars run on methane engines, and stink to hell. Mass transit is the only way to move around, and the Caliphate's infrastructure is reduced to horse-drawn carts for Christian dhimmi and methane-stinking cars for rich Muslims. The United States? A new Roman Empire whose soldiers commit horrid atrocities because the enemy would do much, MUCH worse. The first combat scene we read has a group of Muslim Philipinos (Moros) raping and torturing captives to death, only to be caught, shot, their DNA analysed and everyone back in their village with matching DNA killed Einsatzgruppen-style. Some of the American soldiers actually laugh,sing and celebrate the executions, and they are "genuinely" the only stable guys in the story(even from a neutral point of view). That should give you a general idea of the setting.The rest of the world isn't much better, with everyone pretty much in a state of hostility to one another that's effectively low-level war punctuated by periods of actual armed combat. Even Switzerland is a gigantic armed camp surrounded by the Caliphate.

to:

* CrapsackWorld: Oh boy, where to begin? Before starting, let this troper summarize everything as "No Geneva Convention, no United Nations". Much of Continental Europe is under decay under Caliphate rule. The Middle East is a crapsack state as well, as noted by character Besma. Occasional postapocalyptic Muslim raiding parties strike out into Russian controlled territories. Russia has a socialist Tzar who holds his Muslim majority under an iron fist. South Africa has a darker Apartheid (this time with genuine black slavery) after embittered European Refugees filled it. China is a strange posthuman empire which breeds genetically engineered women to infiltrate the Caliphate. Fuel is strictly rationed and most cars run on methane engines, and stink to hell. Mass transit is the only way to move around, and the Caliphate's infrastructure is reduced to horse-drawn carts for Christian dhimmi and methane-stinking cars for rich Muslims. The United States? A new Roman Empire whose soldiers commit horrid atrocities because the enemy would do much, MUCH worse. The first combat scene we read has a group of Muslim Philipinos (Moros) raping and torturing captives to death, only to be caught, shot, their DNA analysed and everyone back in their village with matching DNA killed Einsatzgruppen-style. Some of the American soldiers actually laugh,sing laugh, sing and celebrate the executions, and they are "genuinely" the only stable guys in the story(even story (even from a neutral point of view). That should give you a general idea of the setting.The rest of the world isn't much better, with everyone pretty much in a state of hostility to one another that's effectively low-level war punctuated by periods of actual armed combat. Even Switzerland is a gigantic armed camp surrounded by the Caliphate.



* DisproportionateRetribution: In the backstory, even though only three nukes were successfully detonated, President Buckman literally razed the Middle East and North Korea with at least a hundred nuclear warheads. The US then invaded Saudi Arabia to secure the oil fields there. When said oil ran out, the US forces left and destroyed the oil field facilities with nuclear weapons, literally crippling the Middle Eastern economy for decades to come. Also, in the book, for supporting Moro rebels in Philipinnes, the Imperial American airforce razes entire Malayan cities to the ground.

to:

* DisproportionateRetribution: In the backstory, even though only three nukes were successfully detonated, President Buckman literally razed the Middle East and North Korea with at least a hundred nuclear warheads. The US then invaded Saudi Arabia to secure the oil fields there. When said oil ran out, the US forces left and destroyed the oil field facilities with nuclear weapons, literally crippling the Middle Eastern economy for decades to come. Also, in the book, for supporting Moro rebels in Philipinnes, the Imperial American airforce air force razes entire Malayan cities to the ground.



* ObligatoryWarCrimeScene: Moros roasting captive Americans alive, Americans killing said Moros and their DNA-tracked families, then razing every city that send Moros arms. Boer slave farms where black kids are seperated from their mothers, and crucifixion scene of every Dhimmi that commits a crime. The book bulges with every war crime imaginable, and openly states that the American side laments the destruction of liberties associated with the war.

to:

* ObligatoryWarCrimeScene: Moros roasting captive Americans alive, Americans killing said Moros and their DNA-tracked families, then razing every city that send Moros arms. Boer slave farms where black kids are seperated separated from their mothers, and crucifixion scene of every Dhimmi that commits a crime. The book bulges with every war crime imaginable, and openly states that the American side laments the destruction of liberties associated with the war.
26th Oct '13 5:03:44 AM THEKHAN
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Added DiffLines:

* ObligatoryWarCrimeScene: Moros roasting captive Americans alive, Americans killing said Moros and their DNA-tracked families, then razing every city that send Moros arms. Boer slave farms where black kids are seperated from their mothers, and crucifixion scene of every Dhimmi that commits a crime. The book bulges with every war crime imaginable, and openly states that the American side laments the destruction of liberties associated with the war.
26th Oct '13 4:52:58 AM THEKHAN
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* BigDamnHeroes: [[spoiler:The Swiss Airforce]], moments before [[spoiler:the Caliphate airforce blasts the airship full of child slave escapees and the world infecting virus.]]

to:

* BigDamnHeroes: [[spoiler:The The Swiss Airforce]], Airforce, moments before [[spoiler:the Caliphate airforce blasts the airship full of child slave escapees and the world infecting virus.]]



* CrapsackWorld: Oh boy, where to begin? Much of Continental Europe is under decay under Caliphate rule. The Middle East is a crapsack state as well, as noted by character Besma. Occasional postapocalyptic Muslim raiding parties strike out into Russian controlled territories. Russia has a socialist Tzar who holds his Muslim majority under an iron fist. South Africa has a darker Apartheid (this time with genuine black slavery) after embittered European Refugees filled it. China is a strange posthuman empire which breeds genetically engineered women to infiltrate the Caliphate. Fuel is strictly rationed and most cars run on methane engines, and stink to hell. Mass transit is the only way to move around, and the Caliphate's infrastructure is reduced to horse-drawn carts for Christian dhimmi and methane-stinking cars for rich Muslims. The United States? A new Roman Empire whose soldiers commit horrid atrocities because the enemy would do much, MUCH worse. The first combat scene we read has a group of Muslim Philipinos (Moros) raping and torturing captives to death, only to be caught, shot, their DNA analysed and everyone back in their village with matching DNA killed Einsatzgruppen-style. Some of the American soldiers actually laugh,sing and celebrate the executions, and they are "genuinely" the only stable guys in the story(even from a neutral point of view). That should give you a general idea of the setting.The rest of the world isn't much better, with everyone pretty much in a state of hostility to one another that's effectively low-level war punctuated by periods of actual armed combat. Even Switzerland is a gigantic armed camp surrounded by the Caliphate.

to:

* CrapsackWorld: Oh boy, where to begin? Before starting, let this troper summarize everything as "No Geneva Convention, no United Nations". Much of Continental Europe is under decay under Caliphate rule. The Middle East is a crapsack state as well, as noted by character Besma. Occasional postapocalyptic Muslim raiding parties strike out into Russian controlled territories. Russia has a socialist Tzar who holds his Muslim majority under an iron fist. South Africa has a darker Apartheid (this time with genuine black slavery) after embittered European Refugees filled it. China is a strange posthuman empire which breeds genetically engineered women to infiltrate the Caliphate. Fuel is strictly rationed and most cars run on methane engines, and stink to hell. Mass transit is the only way to move around, and the Caliphate's infrastructure is reduced to horse-drawn carts for Christian dhimmi and methane-stinking cars for rich Muslims. The United States? A new Roman Empire whose soldiers commit horrid atrocities because the enemy would do much, MUCH worse. The first combat scene we read has a group of Muslim Philipinos (Moros) raping and torturing captives to death, only to be caught, shot, their DNA analysed and everyone back in their village with matching DNA killed Einsatzgruppen-style. Some of the American soldiers actually laugh,sing and celebrate the executions, and they are "genuinely" the only stable guys in the story(even from a neutral point of view). That should give you a general idea of the setting.The rest of the world isn't much better, with everyone pretty much in a state of hostility to one another that's effectively low-level war punctuated by periods of actual armed combat. Even Switzerland is a gigantic armed camp surrounded by the Caliphate.



* DisproportionateRetribution: In the backstory, even though only three nukes were successfully detonated, President Buckman literally razed the Middle East and North Korea with at least a hundred nuclear warheads. The US then invaded Saudi Arabia to secure the oil fields there. When said oil ran out, the US forces left and destroyed the oil field facilities with nuclear weapons, literally crippling the Middle Eastern economy for decades to come.

to:

* DisproportionateRetribution: In the backstory, even though only three nukes were successfully detonated, President Buckman literally razed the Middle East and North Korea with at least a hundred nuclear warheads. The US then invaded Saudi Arabia to secure the oil fields there. When said oil ran out, the US forces left and destroyed the oil field facilities with nuclear weapons, literally crippling the Middle Eastern economy for decades to come. Also, in the book, for supporting Moro rebels in Philipinnes, the Imperial American airforce razes entire Malayan cities to the ground.
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