[[quoteright:350:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Unfamiliar_3156.jpg]]

->'''Louise:''' What makes you think my familiar is something other than a simple human commoner?\\
'''Kirche:''' When he put his hands on your shoulders, I saw his face change.\\
'''Louise:''' Who wouldn't want to make faces at a shameless woman like you?\\
'''Kirche:''' This is serious, Vallière. You remember that sound it made? I know you heard it because you looked up. Your familiar's face changed. ''[[VoluntaryShapeshifting It started wearing your face]].''

There are many ''LightNovel/ZeroNoTsukaima'' fics where Louise summons a different person at the beginning of the story, providing dynamics parallel to or wildly disparate from those in canon. In very few of those stories, though, is the summoned being an unstoppable, betentacled monstrosity fresh from (literally) chewing his way through most of the U.S. Marine Corps.

Started in the wake of ''Fanfic/TheHillOfSwords'' on the [=SpaceBattles=] Fanfiction Forum, ''[[http://forums.spacebattles.com/showthread.php?t=197517 Unfamiliar]]'', by Cpl_Facehugger, is a crossover between ''LightNovel/ZeroNoTsukaima'' and ''VideoGame/{{Prototype}}'', where Louise summons Alex. It's actually less unfair than the premise sounds (no [[RocksFallEveryoneDies Mercer Attacks Everyone Dies]], for example).

Yes, seriously.

See ''VideoGame/{{Prototype}}'' and ''LightNovel/ZeroNoTsukaima'' for the tropes of those respective universes. DeadFic.
----
!!''Unfamiliar'' provides examples of the following tropes:

* TwoDSpace:
-->''"One thing to keep in mind," Mother said, even as she dodged once more. "Is that mage battles take place in three dimensions."''
* AbusiveParents: Initial impressions of Louise's mother Karin were like this. It turns out that things are more complex than that.
* AllJustADream: [[spoiler: The night she summoned Alex, Louise woke in the middle of the night to see Alex in BlobMonster form, who tells her she's having a nightmare. [[SubvertedTrope Some time later, he admits the truth of it]].]]
* AnimalsHateHim: Or rather, familiars are terrified of Alex.
* AntiHero: Alex, obviously. He's less a good guy and more an independent, sapient killing machine that happens to hang out with the good guys, and lacks a firm grasp on that whole 'ethics' thing.
* AntiVillain: [[DiscussedTrope Discussed]] in Alex's internal monologue. "Why was it that everyone always had to have sympathetic reasons for being his enemies? Why couldn't he ever have to kill someone who was just a raving murderer, driven by hate and evil and an urge to [[KickTheDog kick puppies]]?"
** Becomes HilariousInHindsight after Mott.
* ArmCannon: A wrist-mounted crossbow.
* {{Asexuality}}: Alex doesn't care for human notions of romantic love; [[spoiler:viruses, even humanoid ones (presumably), don't reproduce that way, after all]].
* AuthorityEqualsAsskicking: King Albrecht Wales, who takes positively ridiculous amounts of punishment. [[spoiler: Hinted that he's not fully human.]]
** [[spoiler: Henrietta]], showing that one can be the most Badass person in the realm without being a OneManArmy
--->"Allow me to promise you this, Karin: If you cross me, I will break you. I will use your family as an example of those who oppose me. There are but two options. You can join the tsunami or you can be crushed underneath it. I'll drag Tristain into the future whether you like it or not."
* {{Badass}}: Alex all the way.
* BadassBoast:
--> '''Alex''': "I tear your arms off and use them as clubs to beat down the man next to you. By then the arms are getting pretty bruised and tender, so I simply tear the next man's spine out. Now, a spine is a useless weapon, no matter what literature would tell you. So from there, I start gutting your men like fish and feasting upon their delicious flesh. Perhaps I could even skip the gutting and start when you're alive." Mercer replied. "Either way, I proceed on to the rest of your gang and kill them too."
** Another one:
---> '''Alex''': "I survived the heat of a newborn sun! I survived a building collapsing on me! I've survived things you can't even ''imagine''! If that's your best shot, you better start running!"
** A third:
---> '''Alex''': "Individuals can't win wars where I'm from. The wars are too big for that," Mercer leaned in, giving her a cold grin. "[[OneManArmy Unless that individual is me.]]"
** Henrietta, of all people, to [[OneManArmy Karin]].
---> '''Karin''': "Nobles have always policed themselves. Some abuses are the price we pay for the freedoms we cherish."
---> '''Henrietta''': "That must change. Justice is the word of law, not the perverse whimsy of men like Lord Mott. And change it will. My mother will not be queen forever.
---> '''Henrietta''': "Then, I will no longer have to hide in the shadows and sign minor reforms in her name. When that day comes, you will have two options. You can support me and secure the Vallière family's future... Or you can obstruct me, and I will grind you to dust underneath my heel."
* BarehandedBladeBlock: By Alex, of course.
* BeCarefulWhatYouWishFor: Louise wanted a powerful familiar. [[spoiler:What she got was a walking supervirus]]. Oh yeah.
--> Hadn't she begged for exactly what she got? Some powerful monster to be her familiar? Clearly God had a perverse sense of irony.
** [[CursedWithAwesome Not that it's a very bad thing.]]
* BerserkButton: Okay, Alex, as in canon, has more of a Berserk ''Switchboard'', but of importance to the story is his insistence that you never treat people like things. You can insult them, hate them, kill them, whatever, but you acknowledge them as ''people who can think'', just like you, not tools to be used or toys to be played with or animals to be caged, even if they're peasants and you're a noble. It doesn't just apply to him, either, though he reacts violently to Mott calling him Louise's "pet".
** He also ''really'' hates Blackwatch. [[spoiler:His joy at finding the armory full of modern weapons is sullied when he realizes it's a Blackwatch armory.]]
* BreadEggsMilkSquick: "No soreness? No nausea? No [[spoiler:urge to infect everything with an unstoppable zombie plague]]?"
* BreakTheCutie: Louise promptly goes catatonic after she sees Alex [[CurbStompBattle effortlessly and ruthlessly kills some thugs]] with his {{Lovecraftian Superpower}}s right in front of her.
* BreakTheHaughty: Many of Alex's actions at the beginning of the story are about systematically doing this to Louise, showing her that she cannot and will not control him.
* BrokenPedestal: Alluded to by Karin, who thinks that putting Louise on the throne as a puppet would be a bad idea because of this.
* CallBack: Several regarding the events of ''Prototype''.
* CargoCult: In a way. [[spoiler: They are a bunch of descendants of the Blackwatch group that got stranded that are continuing the mission and protecting the base.]] Also they lampshaded it a bit.
--> "What do you think we are, superstitious barbarians who worship anything that's shiny?" The cult leader replied. “We may venerate our ancestors and respect them, but we know they were human just as we are today. And we know their weapons are mortal weapons, made by man to slay his enemies."
* CargoShip: [[spoiler: In-universe, Alex shows a bit too much affection for the Javelin.]]
** And just like the [[Comicbook/{{Doom}} Doomguy]], [[spoiler: he ditches the Javelin when he stumbles upon a stocked Blackwatch base, complete with helicopter gunship]].
* TheChessmaster: [[spoiler: Henrietta]] is playing a long game. Time will tell if she becomes a full MagnificentBastard; she's too ambiguous to be a GuileHero by chapter 9.
* ClapYourHandsIfYouBelieve: The big reason behind why Alex can't use magic, despite having consumed several mages.
--> Just a simple gust of wind, just like his memories showed him.\\
Nothing.\\
Probably because he'd not expected anything to happen. He had dozens of scientific degrees telling him that it was impossible after all.
** Also counter-used by Alex twice.
---> "You don't believe you can do it. That's why it's not working. Magic won't work if you don't believe you can do what you want."
--->--
---> "This base is powered on electricity, and that won't change just because you deny it."
* ComedicSociopathy: Alex's sociopathy is frequently PlayedForLaughs. Particularly whenever the subject of explosions comes up.
--> "I like explosions. I like them a ''lot''."
** [[spoiler:Dark Derflinger]] as well.
--> "It'll be fun! In fact, let's go down there right now and introduce ourselves with a great big surprise stab! Like surprise sex, except even more fun!"
* [[spoiler:CoolAirship: Alex gets a helicopter in the Blackwatch station.]]
* CruelMercy: [[spoiler: Foquet/Matilda]] is spared, but will be watched closely by Alex from then on. One slip and Alex will go after her.
** “I wanted to punish [[spoiler: the Flame Snake]]. ... But seeing him here... Any punishment I dole out is just going to be weak next to what he's already doing to himself. The cruel thing will be to let him live."
* CurbStompBattle: [[spoiler: Guiche, Montmorency, Kirche, and Tabitha all gang up on Mercer. Mercer takes them out in less than a minute.]]
** [[spoiler:Alex]] still has a hard time with [[spoiler:Kirche's flame spell]], though. It became a war of endurance.
*** If by a hard time, you mean walking it off in a few seconds and replying that he "survived the heat of a newborn sun", sure.
** [[spoiler: The duel between Mott and Mercer ends the same way. But this time with Mercer killing him slowly.]]
** According to WordOfGod, this will be averted in the HoldTheLine scene in the original story, when Saito holds off the army of 70,000 men.
* CynicismCatalyst: In this continuity, [[spoiler:Dana never came out of her coma and eventually passed away; Alex is therefore left with no emotional ties to his old world and a vacancy for a young adopted sibling to alternately protect with his life and unintentionally horrify. Until he meets Louise, he starts to lose any sense of humanity he may have formed after the events of the game.]]
* DangerousDeserter: There are some who have turned to piracy and taken a warship with them. [[spoiler: Except they aren't.]]
* DarkerAndEdgier: A lot. Where do we start? How about... Alex only being summoned in a second, half-crazed attempt? [[spoiler: Henrietta]] being a firm practitioner of GoodIsNotNice?
* DatingCatwoman: Jean Colbert and [[spoiler: Longueville/Foquet]]. Mainly because Colbert is such an [[SingleWomanSeeksGoodMan unbeliavable nice, cuddling considerate guy]]... [[RetiredBadass who is]] [[EatingTheEyeCandy very well]] packed that [[spoiler: [[BrokenBird Foquet had]] become very possesive of him and [[DevotedToYou him]] [[FlirtingUnderFire of]] [[HeartbrokenBadass her]] ]].
* {{Deadfic}}: While there have been hints to the contrary, the last story update was August 2011.
** Apparently, the next update is/was supposed to contain a cluster of three chapters, 13-15, which would take a considerable time to write. But a year-plus-long wait is rather discouraging...
*** Author refuses to answer whether or not the fic is going to be continued, going as far as deleting questions and speculations posted on his profile, and locking threads. It's dead fic all right.
* DeadpanSnarker: Both Alex and Louise show the traits.
* DeconstructionFic: The story closely examines the dark implications of the abuse that Louise would often inflict on Saito by using Mott as a more extreme example. And when Louise is confronted with how much of a sadist she can be [[spoiler:after she has Alex kill him]], she's notably horrified.
* DesperatelyLookingForAPurposeInLife: Alex, now that he has nothing connecting him to his old life, which is why he chose to follow Louise.
* DirtyOldMan: [[LampshadeHanging Old Osmond knows he is]], though in his own words:
--> '''Osmond''': What you failed to realize is that I'm an intelligent, wise, and experienced dirty old man who can tell when a woman is trying to exploit him for her own ends.
* DramaPreservingHandicap: Alex's semi-functional conscience. Both ways.
* TheDreaded: The viral monsters created by Redlight and Blacklight are scary in their own right, but after six thousand years they have become apocalyptic monsters of legend. [[spoiler:Siesta's]] reaction when she realizes that Alex is ZEUS says it all.
* DrivenToSuicide: [[spoiler: Some of the Blackwatch soldiers.]]
* EpicFail: [[spoiler: Alex trying a fireball.]]
* EvenEvilHasLovedOnes: "But, see, even [[SociopathicSoldier psychotic soldiers]] and [[MadScientist amoral scientists]] have families and people they care about. So I get it from both ends. Seeing them kill or experiment on innocent people, but also seeing that they're a husband, father, or son."
* [[EvenEvilHasStandards Even Heroic Sociopaths Have Standards]]: Louise notes that Alex's kills, while incredibly brutal and bloody, are also very quick. Mott prefers to draw out the suffering of his victims and break their wills along with their bodies.
** Kirche also mentions that Germania, which likes to think of itself as sexually liberal, banned the book ''A Thousand and One Albion Nights'', which Mott drew from, as being too depraved.
---> "And if they ban it in Germania of all places, it must be really sick."
** In terms of actual ''villains'', [[spoiler:Wardes]] prefers to avoid unnecessary civilian casualties - he's insistent on any deaths he causes being meaningful. Note, however, that he has an extremely broad definition of 'meaningful'.
* EvilSoundsDeep: [[spoiler: The leader of the cultists maintaining the Blackwatch base]] has a "low and sinister" voice.
* FaceDeathWithDignity: [[spoiler:Foquet]] makes a point of keeping her dignity intact once Alex has her at his mercy, simply requesting that [[spoiler:they pass a message on to Tiffania. Luckily for her, he spares her life.]]
* FeelNoPain: When Louise first tries whipping Alex. She's extremely sore at the end of the session, and he is far from fazed.
* FinaglesLaw: Mercer grumbling to himself as he glides towards an enemy airship.
--> "Should've brought the chopper," Mercer muttered, barely able to hear his own voice over the wind rushing all around him as he glided towards the enemy. "No, it's too obvious I said. I won't run into anything I can't kill myself I said. I should've known Murphy would screw with me."
* FirstNameBasis: Louise eventually changes to this for Alex.
** [[spoiler: Kirche deigns to use Louise's first name when trying to calm her]] after Mott's death, but reverts shortly afterwards.
* FluffyTheTerrible: Mr. Fluffles, Karin's manticore.
* {{Foreshadowing}}: "Come to think of it maybe I should try flying. I've never tried before. With the right adaptions, I bet I could. Hmm, maybe later."
** [[spoiler: 'Someone named "W" provided the group with funding and intelligence, possibly in hopes that it would weaken confidence in the Tristainian government through their activities.']]
** [[spoiler: 'Unfortunately, he hasn't collected enough EP to unlock Skyjack: Dragon yet.']]
** [[spoiler: "Listen, Alex Mercer can't be a plaguebearer for one simple and little known reason. Plaguebearers, also called Maidens of Pestilence in some apocryphal sources, are ''female''."]]
** [[spoiler: "I might have just found two members of your team."]]
** [[spoiler: "A ring was stolen from me. ... It was stolen by a human, Cromwell."]]
** [[spoiler: 'Tabitha's dragon always seemed to fidget whenever the topic of rhyme dragon scales came up in conversation.']]
** [[spoiler: "[The D-Code Super Soldier] gave of his own blood, which Brimir used to anoint the Knights Carnifex and render them immune to the infection." And now Henrietta and Agnes have samples.]]
** [[spoiler: Blackwatch put up satellites recently.]]
** [[spoiler: Sheffield's ''missionaries'' look a ''lot'' like Runners. And they're about to spread their gospel.]]
* FutureImperfect: The many tales about Brimir and the "angels of God", [[spoiler: Blackwatch]].
* GeniusBruiser: Remember, Alex has eaten doctors.
* [[ABoyAndHisX A Girl and Her Humanoid Killing Machine]]
* GlasgowGrin: When Kirche meets Alex she assumes he's human and in the same breath insults Louise. There are some tearing noises and…
--> '''Alex [[spoiler:(wearing Louise's face)]]''': Whoever said anything about me being a ''human'' familiar?
* GoingNative: [[spoiler: The Blackwatch soldiers in Halkeginia.]]
* GollumMadeMeDoIt: [[spoiler: Louise]] is developing one.
* GonnaNeedMoreX: In response to [[spoiler: Foquet animating part of a mountain]].
--> '''Alex''': ... I'm gonna need a bigger tentacle.
* GoodIsNotNice: A more positive view of the current portrayal of [[spoiler: Henrietta]].
* HiddenDepths: [[spoiler: Kirche]] showing a suspicious amount of knowledge about violence.
** Also what appears to be Karin's heavy hand towards parenting is something else entirely.
* HighClassGlass: [[spoiler: Wales']] majordomo has one, complete with it dropping out when surprised.
* HorribleJudgeOfCharacter: [[spoiler: Alex about Wardes]], not helped by the latter being a smooth operator.
** Also, [[spoiler: Louise about Henrietta]] some degree. Entrusting [[ManipulativeBitch her]] with all your secrets is not a great move, especially [[spoiler: when her first thought is how to use those secrets to remove a potential threat to the throne and the Valiere family.]] It did have the upside of [[spoiler:[[ObliviousGuiltSlinging guilt-tripping her]]]], though.
* HorrorHunger: Not that horrific to him, but Alex has to actively rein in his urge to feed. WordOfGod states that this Alex did not have a civilian all-you-can-eat buffet during the game's events.
** As said to [[spoiler: Cattleya]], ''"For instance, right now, I'm having to restrain myself from killing you. Not because I have anything against you, but because there's a big part of me that looks at you and sees fresh food. There's another part of me who wants to infect you and make you like me, but that's just the same as killing you. We'd end up with something that looks like you and has all your memories but isn't you."''
** It's implied that it was less than a ''standard'' player's run of the game but more than the "minimal civilian consumption" achievement.
** He eventually deals with it by feeding on orcs which he claims aren't truly self-aware.
* HumanoidAbomination: Alex of course. Even before people find out what he is, they suspect there's something not right about him.
* HumansAreCthulhu: '[Alex] seemed to be tapping the letters set into its form, and moving around a strange rounded ''thing'' that reminded her of a field mouse, if some unthinkably alien mind were to take it and reimagine it according to their sensibilities.'
* HumansThroughAlienEyes: [[spoiler:Alex is a sapient virus, after all. He knows the rationale and underlying science of stuff, but still doesn't actually understand why people think and act the way they do, lacking proper human intuition. He knows when Louise is upset, but has no idea what to do about it or what to say to make her feel better.]]
* HyperCompetentSidekick: Although he's technically her familiar, Alex is far more dangerous than Louise.
* IAmAMonster: [[spoiler: Louise's]] opinion of herself after the killing of Mott.
* IfIWantedYouDead: Alex says this when [[spoiler: Siesta connects Alex to Manhattan and Kirche points her wand at him.]]
** Then [[spoiler:Henrietta]] says it of Louise to her [[MamaBear mother]].
** Foquet says the same [[spoiler: about Wales]], not to the man directly though.
* IfYouKillHimYouWillBeJustLikeHim: Mott tries to use this against Alex. As it's ''Alex fucking Mercer'', it doesn't take. [[spoiler:Louise, on the other hand, takes it badly.]]
* IronLady: [[spoiler:Henrietta]]. Karin of the "Heavy Wind" is one of the strongest and most feared warriors in the land, her name told in awed whispers and her mere presence making even [[RetiredBadass Colbert]] sweat in fright. When she confronts [[spoiler:Henrietta]] thinking she was [[BerserkButton using her daughter]] as blackmail material, she not [[FascinatingEyebrow only was]] unamused, but completely derailed her opinion and called [[TheReasonYouSuckSpeech out her nonsense]] while drinking tea.
* {{Irony}}: Kirche saying "Tabitha! I need your brain!"
** Look at the first MythologyGag below. Louise tells Alex that she would have stopped before causing permanent damage.
** Alex notes the irony when [[spoiler:Foquet's mountain-sized golem]] grabs him with a huge tentacle.
** [[spoiler: The D-Code Super Soldier being called a ''Hunter'' of God. For those of you joining us from the ''LightNovel/ZeroNoTsukaima'' side, D-Codes were created to kill Hunters.]]
* ItAmusedMe: Alex has ''just'' enough empathy and social skills to know that [[MurderIsTheBestSolution violence doesn't always immediately solve a problem]] so he sometimes goes for this instead.
* ItGetsEasier: Louise's desensitisation to violence.
* "JustFollowingOrders doesn't cut it." Admitted by the guy who did the following, no less.
* KidWithTheLeash: Although Louise doesn't have anything like complete control over Alex, he'll defer to her if she asks nicely. And he makes it clear that he must be treated as a partner, not a servant or a pet, if Louise wants him following any of her orders. Then again, if she ''does'' ask nicely, there's pretty much nothing he won't actually do for her.
* KnightTemplarBigBrother: In a spiritual sense, Alex. [[spoiler:Justified considering what happened to Dana.]]
* LackOfEmpathy: Probably the strongest thematic in the story. Just like in the original work, the Lack of Empathy is what can and did create some of the greatest brutalities in the world. And this goes not only for obvious monsters like Mott and the King of Albion, it goes for even the main and secondary characters: Louise and Karin's view of commoners, Siesta's view of nobles, and Mercer's view on humans in general. As stated by Mercer;
-->''You can insult them, hate them, kill them, whatever, but you acknowledge them as "people who can think and feel."''.
** Mercer in particular has instinctive LackOfEmpathy due to his viral nature, and tries even harder to fight it. He also encourages Louise to avert it.
* LadyAndKnight: Louise and Alex, of course.
* LandMineGoesClick: [[spoiler: Under Louise's foot.]]
* {{Lolicon}}: [[spoiler:Derflinger]] keeps accusing Wardes of this. When the latter sees her for the first time in years, and delights that SheIsAllGrownUp:
--> "I thought you'd be scowling! Why, she looks mature now! I just know how you despise boobies!"\\
"For the last time, [[spoiler: sword]], I do not like children!"
* LonelyAtTheTop:
--> "Poor kid. I didn't have the heart to tell her what you have to give up to get to the top."
* LoopholeAbuse:
--> "Belong to?" Montmorency asked, looking at the servant nearest her as if for the first time. "B-but slavery isn't legal in Tristain."\\
"Of course it isn't! Keeping human beings as chattel? Horrible. Absolutely horrible," Mott replied. "I'd never condone such a thing."\\
"So what do you call this," Louise gestured towards the three servants. Her voice came out as a low growl. "If not slavery?"\\
"These aren't people. They're trained dogs." Mott replied. "You can't enslave an animal. You can only tame it."
** Note: This is him actually believing it. The man went off the deep end a ''long'' time ago.
* MadBomber: Alex. For him, the bigger the explosion, the better. He even provides the quote for WhenAllYouHaveIsAHammer below. It's justified by him having consumed several pyromaniac soldiers.
-->'''Alex:''' After class, I want you to show me your spells; (...) I know they're explosions, but I like explosions. I like them a lot.
* MamaBear: Deconstructed. Karin loves her daughters very much and wants to protect them above all else... so she ended pushing each one [[TrainingFromHell beyond their breaking point]] and ''refused'' to even smile in pride of their accomplishments to make them strong. This has left Louise with severe emotional problems and [[FriendToAllLivingThings Cattleya's]] openly questioning if she even cares.
* TheManBehindTheMan: [[spoiler: Henrietta]] is the real power behind the throne.
* ManipulativeBitch: [[spoiler: Henrietta]]
* MentorShip:
--> Though [[spoiler: Wardes]]'d have to make sure that damn sword never met Karin. Because he just knew it would start teasing him about having a teacher complex, and how Louise was clearly just a stand in for his mentor, despite that being just as foolish as the idea that he somehow liked undeveloped girls.
* {{Metaphorgotten}}:
--> [[spoiler: Derflinger]]: "Then we kill it? Because I'm behind that. I'm so behind that I've warped around to being in front of that. And by in front of that I mean I'll stab the hell out of it. Stabbity stab stab-"
* MoneySpider:
--> '''Kirche''': "Or find it on animals that have absolutely no business carrying money!"
* MoralityPet: Louise serves as this for Alex. [[spoiler:In fact, she takes Dana's place in this regard. Alex's memories of Dana sometimes keep him honest...ish.]]
* MoralMyopia: [[spoiler: Siesta accuses Louise of this. Henrietta poses a similar question to Karin, though the readers have noted that ''Henrietta herself'' is guilty too.]]
** The difference with [[spoiler: Henrietta]] is that her ruthlessness is with people ''[[DeadlyDecadentCourt in the game]]'', while Karin was content enough to let Mott act scot free as long it suited her goals. She was not amused by this.
* MuggingTheMonster: A bunch of bandits see Louise and her "servant" walking alone at night down a blind alley, and think they'll be easy prey. They are disabused of this notion thoroughly when Louise' "servant" makes [[ImAHumanitarian easy prey]] of ''them''.
* MundaneUtility: When Alex tries to explain electricity by likening it to lightning magic, Montmorency is outraged by the thought of using it for light and likens that to using a fireball for toe-warming.
* MurderIsTheBestSolution: No, it isn't and Alex at least tries not to immediately start killing people.
* MyCountryRightOrWrong: Karin holds this attitude.
* MyFriendsAndZoidberg:
--> "Excellent. A full quad of experienced mages," Osmond had an unsettling twinkle in his eye, "as well as [[GameBreaker Miss Valièrre and her familiar]]."
* MyGodWhatHaveIDone: [[spoiler: Louise]] after Alex kills Mott.
** [[spoiler: She's]] still recoiling from that one.
* MythologyGag: "Imagine you came upon a scene where a woman was beating a man with a bullwhip. Imagine you saw her cackling like an insane harpy, imagine you saw the whip tearing long bloody strips from the man's back... Imagine you saw him begging for mercy."
** "Louise thought she felt a slight tug in the back of her mind as she passed a particular shop, one with a bronze sign in the shape of a sword."
** "Louise recognized its make, it was a form of training harness, used for training hunting dogs. Enchanted with wind magic, it was able to give a powerful shock on command.\\
But seeing a human being in it made Louise feel ill. She couldn't imagine anyone who would put a person in something like that. She didn't ''want'' to imagine anyone who would put a person in something like that."
* NamesTheSame:
--> "Just following orders? That excuse went out of style at Nuremberg," Mercer muttered.
--> "What does a Germanian township famous for its crab apples have to do with such things?" Cattleya asked, now thoroughly confused.
* NecessarilyEvil: How Louise and Alex interpret [[spoiler: Blackwatch's]] motives. The fact that the group recognizes their evil and does it for a tenuously good purpose is perceived as what keeps them from Mott's level of depravity.
** Brutally mocked by [[spoiler: Henrietta]] to Karin, stating simply that there is no excuse for ''knowing'' what Lord Mott did and still protect him to advance [[ForGreatJustice her schedule]].
---> ''[[TheReasonYouSuckSpeech Your daughter seems to have the compassion for my people that you yourself lack. She, at least, had the proper horrified reaction to meeting a man like Mott, as opposed to accepting him as a... What did you call it, a “necessary evil?“]]''
* NeverSayDie:
--> The words "kill them" were on the tip of his tongue. But Cattleya's words about how Louise felt responsible for his actions bubbled up from the back of his mind. "-Knock them out so we can interrogate them."
* NoSocialSkills: Alex hasn't improved in this regard since the game. He does not, for instance, see any problem with walking up to a pair of arguing sisters, lifting one off the ground, and threatening her with death unless she makes nice with his mage. It says something that this is actually a step ''up'' from where he started.
** When Louise [[spoiler: starts to fall apart, thinking she's becoming a monster, he's completely unable to do much more than watch in frustration. He didn't even notice Louise was freaking out until Cattleya pointed it out to him.]]
** He also doesn't see anything wrong with [[spoiler: reassuring Louise with a hand on the shoulder after she commands him to kill Mott... while the hand was still a claw, covered in gore, and he was feeding on Mott's severed head with his free hand.]] Granted, he doesn't understand human behavior, but what's commonplace to him is often Nightmare Fuel.
* NotSoDifferent: Louise realizes this after she learns Alex's true nature and compares his own struggle with himself to her desire to prove she isn't just "zero".
-->She frowned; hadn't she begged for exactly what she got? Some powerful monster to be her familiar? Clearly God had a perverse sense of irony.[...]
-->Something struggling against itself, wanting something new for itself...She laughed. A perverse sense of irony indeed.
* ObfuscatingStupidity: [[spoiler: Headmaster Osmond]].
* ObliviousGuiltSlinging: Louise to Henrietta.
* OffWithHisHead: [[spoiler: "Alex, be a dear and remove Lord Mott's head from his shoulders."]]
* OhCrap: Siesta's [[spoiler: "You're ZEUS. '''You're ZEUS.'''" after Alex does his face-transformation thing.]]
* OlderThanTheyLook: Louise is 17, but Alex initially thinks that she's only 12 when they first meet. Hence, he finds the way [[AMagicContractComesWithAKiss she seals the magic contract]] with him a bit creepy.
* OOCIsSeriousBusiness:
** One from Cattleya:
---> Louise was struck by how vicious that last line was, at least for Cattleya.
** Another from Louise:
---> Louise cut her off. Meek Louise cut her off. \\
The shock of that was almost enough to give even Karin pause. The very notion was stunning, like having a battalion of mage-knights wiped out by a farmer's militia.
* OutOfTheInferno: Who else?
* PatchworkFic: [[WordOfGod Cpl_Facehugger has stated that he is largely writing this based on the light novels]], but Mott was an anime-exclusive.
* PayEvilUntoEvil: Absolutely no one misses [[spoiler:Mott]]. No one in Louise's main group, of course... but also not his servants, his political allies, NO ONE.
* PowerCreepPowerSeep: So far Colbert, Kirche, [[spoiler: Henrietta, Foquet/Longueville,]] and Cattleya have been upgraded to [[RankInflation Triangle]] or [[PersonofMassDestruction Square class]].
** Personalities have also been greatly improved, [[spoiler: Henrietta]] most of all. Karin is also shown to have HiddenDepths in the recent chapters.
** By WordOfGod, Montmorency has been upgraded to Triangle class [[spoiler: after the events of Chapter 7, where [[CrowningMomentOfAwesome she overcomes her limits to save a life]].]]
* PragmaticAdaptation: With Alex as the familiar, some things obviously have to be changed if it's not to be a curbstomp fest.
* PrecisionFStrike: Provided by Siesta.
--> Now [Erina] was quiet. She never spoke once on the way back, and the only sound she made was the soft inhale/exhale of breathing. And she never, ever smiled. Now she seemed hesitant and frightened and ''fuck Mott''.
* {{Protectorate}}: Alex's - along with every other familiar's - purpose is to protect the mage he's bound to, and thus far he's shown very willing to threaten and/or murder anything that looks at Louise funny.
* PuffOfLogic: [[InvokedTrope Invoked]] by Alex.
--> "I'm here, aren't I? I didn't just appear for no reason. You summoned me. With magic." Mercer replied. "I think that disproves any delusions that you're not capable of magic. [[DissonantSerenity Because otherwise I'd be vanishing in a puff of contradictory logic right now, and you'd be plummeting to your death. Probably trying to grab ahold of nothing and watching as the ground rushed closer and closer with every second...]]"
* RagnarokProofing: Justified for the [[spoiler:six thousand-year-old Blackwatch base]] by the preservation spells cast on it long ago and [[spoiler:the cult of Blackwatch descendants maintaining the place.]]
* TheReveal: [[spoiler: Derflinger the EvilWeapon in Wardes's hands.]]
** [[spoiler: Siesta's ancestors were Blackwatch.]]
* SentryGun
* ShoutOut:
** "[[TabletopGame/{{Warhammer 40000}} Exterminatus?]] We're looking for effects for spells and you just leap to 'kill everything?'"
** "That's heresy! That's – that's why, that's extra heretical!"
** "[[Creator/FriedrichNietzsche Gaze not too long at the abyss]] [[HeWhoFightsMonsters lest the abyss gaze back at you]]."
** "[[VideoGame/{{Diablo}} The Countess, she who once bathed in the blood of a hundred virgins.]]"
*** Cf Elizabeth Báthory.
** [[spoiler: Henrietta]] and Karin's conversation in chapter 9 reminds some people of Wrex and Uvenk's talk in ''VideoGame/MassEffect2''. Most especially ''"I'll drag Tristain into the future whether you like it or not."''
*** Later, Agnes reveals that the reason she survived the Flame Snake's attack was because "Hate is a hell of an anesthetic," taken nearly word-for-word from DLC character Zaeed's description of how he got shot in the head. Interestingly, they both have heavy facial scarring, both seek out a man they're trying to kill (Flame Snake for Agnes, Vido for Zaeed,) and both are... rather good at killing people.
** Lord Mott's discussion about [[spoiler:how he makes his slaves wear their collars]] is right out of Silus' description of the same to Carrie Boyd in ''VideoGame/FalloutNewVegas''.
** Another for Mott: [[spoiler: [[Literature/NineteenEightyFour Using rats to torture people? Where have we seen that before]]?]]
** [[VideoGame/{{Crysis}} "This isn't a war ordinary humans can win."]]
** [[Advertising/TheManYourManCouldSmellLike "You have a musket," Joseph said. "Now look at me," Wardes did so. "Now back at your musket. It's a machine gun!" ... "Anything is possible when you're not a knife eared girlyman! ... But if you're a real man and not a girlyman, you could use it to kill five hundred and fifty girlymen per minute! Sadly, that's cyclic, not effective."]]
** Albion airships are referred to as [[Literature/HonorHarrington ships of the wall.]]
* SlasherSmile:
--> [[spoiler:The Princess']] smile was too predatory to be anything else, and her eyes said she'd not been bluffing.
** And when Agnes confronts [[spoiler:Colbert]]
---> It was a smile, yes, but it was different. Malicious, cruel. This was scary. His smile was scary. [[spoiler:Matilda]] realized then that [[BeneathTheMask she was seeing the true face]] of [[spoiler:the Flame Snake]], perhaps for the first time.
** And when Mott begs Louise to spare him.
--> Louise smiled, eyes wide and gleeful. She didn't even notice Kirche and the others backing away from her.
* {{Squee}}: Alex, [[spoiler: when he finds the Blackwatch armory.]]
* TheStationsOfTheCanon: Does a good job of mangling this to make the plot more interesting. Louise only summons Alex [[spoiler: after the formal class]], the duel arc involves Guiche, [[spoiler: Kirche, Tabitha, and Montmorency trying to kill him for being a plaguebearer while using Louise as bait,]] etc.
* StealthHiBye: Done to Colbert, Kirche, and Karin by Alex.
* StrawMisogynist: Averted. While a lot of villains may look like this (Mott, the King of Albion, and [[spoiler:Wardes]]), it immediately shows that they are horrible people to ''anybody'' [[LackOfEmpathy weaker than them]] and ready to exploit them for their own end and pleasure. What the King did to [[{{Room 101}} his prisoner]] [[NightmareFuel must be read to be believed]].
* StuffBlowingUp: Alex likes explosions. He likes them A LOT. He perks up immediately when they are brought up.
* SuperSoldier: [[spoiler:The various nations of the [=ZnT=]-verse are gearing themselves up with elite forces using Blackwatch biotechnology. [[SarcasmMode Naturally, this can only end well.]]]]
* SuspiciouslySpecificDenial:
-->"I should not speak ill of a noble, milady," Siesta replied.\\
What her handmaiden didn't say was more informative than what she did. Mott clearly wasn't a good ruler.
** Inverted later when Kirche notes a suspicious ''lack'' of denial [[spoiler: by Alex about being the plague-spreader]].
* SympathyForTheDevil: Louise notes similarities between Alex and [[spoiler:Foquet]].
* TastesLikeChicken: Alex says this about Orcs.
* ThisIsReality:
-->"So who's resetting those traps then?" Louise asked, more to herself.\\
She almost expected some hideous and reptilian voice to call out "I am," but that only happened in clichéd stories.
* ThisIsUnforgivable: Alex and Louise both say this nearly verbatim when they see what Mott's been up to.
* ThrowEmToTheWolves: [[spoiler: Both Inverted and played straight. Louise leaves Mott to the mercy of Alex, intending for her familiar to kill him in a duel... but Alex had been fully intent on killing the guy anyway, and might have done so even without prompt. And Louise definitely didn't avoid [[MyGodWhatHaveIDone getting her hands dirty]] in the incident, at least how she sees it.]]
* TimeyWimeyBall: Used to explain how [[spoiler: Blackwatch]] was summoned by the [=Founder=] six thousand years before Alex was.
** [[spoiler: Moreover, Blackwatch from several years after VideoGame/{{Prototype}} happened.]]
* TrainingFromHell: Alluded to.
--> '''Cattleya''': Almost too easy. Except for the dying. That sounds more like Mother's training regimen than any teacher I've had.
* UncannyValley: InUniverse, Karin's reaction to Tabitha.
* UpToEleven: The duel with Guiche [[spoiler: is turned into a four-on-one battle]], Foquet [[spoiler: is a Square-class mage]], the Staff of Destruction [[spoiler: is an FGM-149 Javelin missile launcher rather than a LAW]] etc.
* ViolenceIsTheOnlyOption: [[spoiler: Averted when Louise manages to talk down the cultists tasked with maintaining the Blackwatch base.]]
* VoiceOfTheLegion: Alex does this at least twice. One of those being [[spoiler: reciting Blackwatch's BadassCreed.]]
* WhenAllYouHaveIsAHammer:
--> '''Alex''': "There is no problem that can't be solved with an explosion of the right size, in the right time, and the right place."
* {{Who Names Their Kid Du|de}}ke: Louise's father.
* WordOfGod: Cpl_Facehugger has provided some in-depth analysis of how this version of [=ZnT=] came to be, including history, technology, personal history, military doctrine, the works. He's [[ShownTheirWork shown his work]] quite extensively.
* YouHaveGotToBeKiddingMe: Foquet realizing that Louise is a Void Mage.
--> "Wait. Wait. Dispel. That's what that brat and her pet monster were researching. Dispel. But that's a '''void''' spell. Oh that is ''bullshit''."
* YoungerThanTheyLook:
--> '''Kirche''': [[spoiler:"Just how old are you, Mercer?"]]
--> [[spoiler:'''Alex''']]: [[spoiler:"About six weeks, give or take."]]
----