An original, unpublished work done by Serocco, so updates on the work are regular.In the setting, mankind lives in a sprawling metropolis several years into the future, living alongside a diverse row of alien, mystical and fantasy races. Mankind itself started off as community-based nomads, helping other species survive in Diseon, as well as living amongst them like refugees or immigrants. When a sizable number of humans congregated, they constructed a Close Knit Community that evolved into a municipality. Due to a massive (and impressively fast-paced) population growth, Metropolis extended its districts into other sectors of Diseon, turning Metropolis into a technologically advanced megalopolis. Consequently, as the humans ended up populating 67% of Diseon, other species had much of their available resources limited, with their land encroached, at best, or outright annexed, at worst. Furthermore, powerful factions from other realms recognize the danger of mankind becoming The Empire, and have taken steps to prepare for an inevitable confrontation, all the while attempting to halt the humans' progress as best as they can.The humans themselves aren't exactly living perfect lives, either. Initially a community-based society, the humans expanded their civilization to an alarming degree, establishing a system of progress (education, infrastructure, research - you name it) and development with a bizarre communist-capitalist mindset. At least, that was the intended result, born from the hybrid perspective of "Too primitive - let's evolve", "How about some organization?", "Everyone can benefit from it", and "Let's add more". If you want an analogue, take a story that starts off small, but quickly becomes larger and larger, as the author decides to add incredible amounts of detail and depth into every little thing. The result is a hyper-advanced civilization much like the one humans have in present-day Real Life — generations of Blue Bloods founding, owning and/or controlling enterprise, by virtue of being the kingmakers, power-brokers and office-holders. As a result, a revolving door exists between politicians, lobbying firms, mega corporations and various industries, practically all of whom act like plutocrats, but most are pragmatic enough to not (brazenly) screw over workers and middle class families.Each species in Soundscape has the ability to manifest and weaponize their Battle Aura, allowing them to utilize whatever arsenal of abilities that they happen to possess. Naturally, humans are the only species that haven't made such a discovery, keeping them from becoming too over-powered. Predictably, a ragtag gang of friends and rivals end up discovering, not only how to utilize their innate energy, but the resident Sentient Cosmic Force, Magitek that manipulates said Sentient Cosmic Force, the Eldritch lifeforms and artifacts spawned from Seithr/Syeir, and a secret Citadel that houses entire archives in creating an Empathic Weapon. As a result, this set of friends and rivals, with varying reasons, decide to form a watchmen-like clique dedicated to protecting humanity, safeguarding sources of power and combating whatever abominations that were spawned from the Sentient Cosmic Force. However, as the organization expands in reputation, roster and power, and frequently clashes with the Powers That Be, the personalities, goals and motives collide within the ensemble cast, as the series gets Darker and Edgier with every Big Bad defeated.Here is the character sheet, currently in-progress.
Tropes in the story:
Abnormal Ammo: Boomerangs, bones, energy, spikes, nails - you name it.
Absurdly Powerful Student Council: The Hierarchy's academy has one, which is in charge of all managerial and administrative duties for the cadets. Only seniors are allowed to be a member of the student council, though.
After Boss Recovery: There are several times where their brawls are put to a temporary halt, either through an unexpected interruption, a sudden separation, or in part exhaustion. These periodic "cooling off" segments are used for the two to recover and contemplate for a bit, before continuing with their fight.
After the End: One of the first, and biggest, reveals of the series. An Eldritch Abomination (known as Apocesis) was discovered, who began plaguing the inhabitants of Earth with insanity, paranoia, disease and decay with its very presence. It's dark aura corrupted the environment, wiping out cities, animals' natural habitats (but not the animals themselves; they were immune), and even spawning several smaller abominations (Shrouded Lurkers) from the very people it corrupted. Extensive research was made onto the dark energy emitting from one of the captured spawns; they managed to create a countermeasure to the dark energy (Seithr), reforming as much of the world as it could. However, as long as Apocesis existed, it would continue distributing Seithr throughout the world, so the humans used the aforementioned countermeasure to manipulate Seithr, subsequently developing a form of magic-science nicknamed "Magitek". To combat Apocesis, Magitek-produced weapons called Evokers were constructed and distributed; mankind finally defeated the Apocesis and sealed it within a monolith, constructed as a prison. Following Apocesis' imprisonment, the Magitek researchers sealed the Evokers into a secret inter-dimensional armory called the Citadel, as a precaution to keep others from misusing combat-type magic-science. Even after Apocesis' imprisonment, the Seithr had suddenly intensified its power, as if angry or even frightened that its source was cut off. Even with Magitek, the Seithr had crippled the world beyond repair, to enough of an extent that the Seithr became immune to Magitek. In order to survive, the humans were forced to abandon their world and create inter-dimensional cities in places unaffected by Seithr, while forming Magitek-type barriers to keep the Seithr from entering. However, certain dimensions were already inhabited by other creatures or species, and the intrepid humans were either killed, integrated into that society, driven away or went missing. With several hostile transient species surrounding the cities of humanity, the story starts with a random looter discovering the location of the Citadel by chance, eventually forming the Destrier Hierarchy.
A House Divided: Ideological differences and philosophical disagreements are commonplace within the Hierarchy, with the central arguments revolving around which direction the Hierarchy should be taken.
Isolationists believe that the Hierarchy should stay within its own boundaries, deal with its own problems and stay away from multidimensional affairs. The radical camp would've preferred that the Hierarchy wasn't formed and the individual Destriers were to go their separate ways. The moderate camp believes that the Hierarchy would've been better off as a smaller-scale mercenary band like the Freelancers. The militant camp believes that the Hierarchy should expand into an N.G.O. Superpower, in order to protect itself better and terraform the Seithr-infested areas, to provide easier living conditions.
Interventionists feel that they should take it upon themselves to help other species that have troubles with Seithr or invaders. Moderates want to limit their amount of assistance to the ones that ask for it, along with the ones that the Hierarchy can actually spare the resources to help. Radicals wants to expand it into outright protection of other realms and species, simultaneously gaining (and co-developing) newer allies and more breathing room for the humans. Militants feel that it's the Hierarchy's duty to police The Verse.
Imperialists want to defend the entirety of humanity from whatever threats that might crop up, so they want to expand the Hierarchy's borders and resources tenfold. The moderates prefer subtle influence over direct control. Radicals use authoritarian, but pragmatic tactics. Militants are totalitarian and genocidal, but with different executions of both. Moderates are clear-cut a soft power, who would utilize something like neo-liberalism as one method of subtle control; radicals are invaders, suppressors and occupiers, but pragmatic enough to use satellite states, strong diplomacy, and expansive culturally hegemonic influence; and militants use genetic enthrallment, biological regression, sexual starvation, and suppression of individuality, independence and responsibility.
Airstrip One: Any speck of land taken by the humans is renamed "District X".
Balance of Power: Evident in all species, but Metropolis' bureaucracy is an especially standout case. There's a delicate balance between guilds, brigades, militias, unions and corporations, regulated enough that none get more power above the others and interwoven enough so that it would cause a domino effect if one was wiped out. Scorridor is one of those looking to change the former, while blissfully ignoring the latter, and it's part of what causes Metropolis to fall apart.
Resentment: Tomoe dislikes her breast size; it often gives her unneeded staring and unwanted attention, but she later grew used to it and switched to Indifference.
Indifference: Most of the girls fall under this category.
Pride: Aryn and Serori flaunt their breast size for all it's worth.
Ignorance: Asceli can't understand why guys enjoy staring at her figure.
Big Brother Is Watching: Warrant-less surveillance includes cameras outfitted with turrets, heat sensing security devices, drones following citizens, bugs all over offices, racial profiling of ethnic minorities, scanners on doors, and phones that get turned into sonar imaging devices.
Blood Sport: Syracuse University has the raw power-based Rampage, where your team is enveloped in a sphere-shield - you're to charge into the opposing group, ramming them off the court. The second is the more precision-based Flashpoint, where you throw discs at someone in a tough environment. Both are about gaining territory, but both offer the question: are you cooperative or competitive?
Non-humans have Dogfighting. It's their version of boxing. Illegal dog-fighting is when it's used for executions.
Boss Rush: Every time the Precursors fight as a group.
Bread and Circuses: People in the middle class, by and large, are more concerned about sensationalism and entertainment value over anything else. They cut themselves off from reality, willingly or otherwise, to escape the reality of their lives, and it's turned them a blind eye and a deaf ear to the happenings of the universe at large.
Chekhov's Skill: The original batch of Destriers all used to be athletes back at Metropolis, mostly for the university-sponsored sports games.
Complete Monster: The author himself specifically invokes these on certain villains. invoked
Cosmic Horror Story: Comes with being set in a completely different dimension from Earth. To wit, the universe is made of (and maintained by) sentient energy known as Seithr, which gets frequent mood-swings (causing fluctuations like black holes or the stars exploding), but its influence varies depending on the individual or sector of space. Under specific circumstances, Seithr can alternatively help or harm you, from making you more agile or physically durable, to corrupting your presence, devolving your sanity, even morphing you into an Eldritch Abomination, but it also ends up affecting the state of the dimension, timezone, galaxy or universe as a result. In fact, Seithrs' independent influence even extends to pieces of the universe itself, forming Anthropomorphic Personifications.
Crapsaccharine World: Metropolis is a hyper-advanced civilization, with a Close Knit Community and an opportunity for everyone to prosper. However, its capitalist-communist mentality is incredibly parasitic - its capitalism quickly devolves into greed for greeds' sake, where those that hold the power hoard all the privileges and stamp on the rights of others to remove competition. Its communism quickly turns into collectivism (live as a group, not an individual), myopia (everything for us) and/or xenophobia (none are allowed in).
Valhalla is based on (surprisingly tasteful) hypersexuality, and they lack any of the gender conflicts or inequality, but it's ultimately a Fantastic Caste System where Might Makes Right based on sexual prowess and promiscuity. Rituals are made to stimulate sexual partners, with incrediblydisturbing results. The scariest part about it is that nobody ever notices that they're practicing or participating in sexual slavery.
Aselia looks like a healthy and productive society, but it's a xenophobic theocracy that uses faith to halt progression, demolish creativity and manipulate the populace to do horrific things (even to themselves) willingly and eagerly.
Crapsack World: And its residents are often too cynical, apathetic and/or desensitized to care about even attempting to change anything, often making things worse as a result.
Culture Police: Meant to remove any traces of cultural or societal themes in conquered species.
Depopulation Bomb: There was a chemical substance meant to release a toxin that would evolve the biology of a newly-discovered species, which they themselves agreed to - a lot of research was made for it. Unfortunately, it went from a toxin into a plague, horrifically mutating the populace, butchering their biology and screwing over their genes. While it was stopped within a month, without the skills of those that died, the basics of a society's infrastructure - like politics, military, agriculture, farming, and construction - go unfulfilled, prompting its society itself to collapse.
Distracted by the Sexy: A band of guys took turns flexing their muscles as their way of showing who has the better 'pack. Needless to say, the girls were appreciative; they literally stopped what they were doing and just stared at the guys with raised eyebrows. One mother even said to her daughter, "For my birthday present, get a boyfriend as good-looking as them".
Dystopia: One where everyone knows that life sucks, but everybody believes that there's nothing you can do about it. One that trains you to be pessimistic. One that conditions you to be desensitized. A horror that can't be defeated, because you're taught to believe that it cannot be defeated, and as a result, everyone is given an opportunity to fuck it all up for everyone else.
Elaborate University High: Metropolis has one that doubles as a megalopolis; it's split into districts that function as municipalities, and every district has one university, alongside 11 to 13 colleges. District citizens end up working at a slightly more school-oriented version of regular jobs (i.e. policemen are just campus security guards). Currently, each with their own statutes of governance, based on the collegiate constitutional charter.
Trinsloc is a numerical object that looks like a deranged combo of the letters S, W and X, along with the numbers 3, 6 and 7, and a few appendages that look like claw-limbs. It's apparently the embodiment of time, which exists, used to exist and doesn't exist, all at the same time.
Eldritch Location: For starters, there is no sky, but there is no space. Instead, the 'sky' is a large mass of greyish-black clouds, cracking and twisting as they motion along. Streams of lava are found in those clouds, contorting like veins. The orange-red light on the 'lava' darkens every so often, enhancing the the liquid within the planet. The lava-veins brighten red when the liquid boils. The veins brighten orange when the plants evolve. The clouds have an organic, almost metallic surface, pumping every so often, like the heart in your chest. The lava within the veins flow through the clouds, changing color as a response to the environment, instead of vice versa.
Empathic Weapon: When Evokers are made, a sample of Seithr is implanted to power it. In order to work adequately, a Destrier needs to form a bond with their Evokers. Often times, the Seithr takes some personality ques from the Destrier. If the Seithr, and thus, the Evokers, already have personalities, that's dangerous territory.
Enemy Civil War: Aerugo was embroiled in a controversial topic - staying as an ally of Amestris, or breaking away, as there was a growing sentiment of Amestris being a Doom Magnet for Taetrus. For example, in the backstory, the Aerugo soldiers were used as Cannon Fodder for battles against pirate crews, prompting the pirates to launch assaults against Aerugo under the assumption that they were shock-troopers for Metropolis. Eventually, civil war broke out between the secessionist confederacy and the loyalist council.
Evil Cannot Comprehend Good: Inverted; established heroes have a hard time understanding the motives and mindsets of particularly unpleasant individuals. They literally cannot understand why someone would gleefully cross the Moral Event Horizon without a second thought.
Evil Power Vacuum: After things blew up in Metropolis following Scorridor's downfall and the destruction of the establishment, everyone wanted a piece of the action, and it wasn't long before the entire city fell apart. The guys that benefited from it the most? The Destrier Hierarchy, who evolved from an N.G.O. Superpower into an Hegemonic Empire.
Exotic Eye Designs: The Trope Maker. You can determine what species, race or even family that a character might hail from, based on the designs of their eyes. Parts of their eyes change shape, color or form, as a reaction to something life-threatening or astonishing. Some species can even rearrange the designs of their eyes in order to adapt to a new environment.
Family Business: Several Metropolitan districts have Blue Blood families that own the bureaucracy of their respective municipalities, with a few rivalries (in bothuses) thrown around. Some clans own the actual institutions, thereby controlling and running the student union, the college faculty and the colleges' judicial court. Some clans own corporations, providing consumer-garnered products and managing loans for their clients. Some clans own manufacturing facilities, which themselves are subsidiaries of the corporations. Some clans own the entertainment industry, too.
Fantasy Counterpart Culture: The talk about interventionism, isolationism and imperialism has several similarities with political debates (right-wing versus left-wing).
Amestris takes a lot of elements (politically, culturally and geographically) from America, Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the United Kingdom (as well as the Republic of Ireland). Militarily, it most resembles the colonial empires and industrial armies practicing total war.
Drachma is a Steampunk civilization with a medieval setting added to the mix. It is a knight-like order that preaches a code of pride, honor and chivalry, a culture that members of several races practice in spite of their ethnic differences, similar to the Mandalorians. A militaristic society, they are a mercenary state, where they serve as a bulwark against invaders, a counter against insurgents or a vanguard against warlords; regime changes are their specialty.
Gaulhyr, at its core, is a democratic socialist monarchy resembling several Real Life Hispanic countries, mainly Mexico, Brazil and Spain. Some regions can remind one of any combination of Argentina, Portugal, Nicaragua, Venezuela and Colombia, as contradictory as it may seem to some.
Qur'ol is an Islamist Emirate with Arabic, Kurdish and Turkish ethnics, so it most resembles the Middle-East. Yes, we are aware of the irony that an Islamist faction is named after Greek money, but historically speaking, some Islamist nations used drachma as currency.
Russayr, naturally, reminds one of Russia.
Tartary is an incredibly unstable region resembling Africa, characterized by high amounts of violence, ethnic nepotism, poverty, famine, apartheid and anocracy.
Thrissur is a merge of the Nordic countries (Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden), plus Ukraine, Croatia, Bulgaria, Serbia, Poland, Belgium, Lithuania and Switzerland.
Xing is an Asian-influenced imperium. Think China, Japan, Vietnam, Taiwan and Korea merged together.
The Federation: The Metropolis Elaborate University High acts like a Real Life collegiate university - governing authority and functions are divided between a central administration and a number of constituent colleges. The actual level of self-governance exercised by the colleges varies among the institution, but most are nearly autonomous, even as the central administration (spearheaded by the Principal) remains as the primary authority in institutional affairs. Independent colleges vary in the level of teaching that they provide, but they create positions independently from the university, which play a role in deciding admissions and provide their own funding for research. Colleges provide most, if not all accommodation and bursaries, and each have their own halls for meals, libraries, sports teams and societies.
That said, Metropolis is a very thorough Deconstruction. Although their districts have a degree of autonomy, their increasingly imperialistic policies, where they benefit from war profiteering and the looting of natural resources, are the products of an alliance between the arms industry, military services and political bureaucracies. The foreign, economic and domestic policies are heavily influenced, if not dictated by powerful corporations and banks looking to make an extra buck from Seithr investments and Magitek developments, often at the expense of the public interest. Lobbying (legalized bribing cast as business representation) ensures that the politicians impose policies that loosen deregulation, stifle competition and enhance regular pay for corporations, in exchange for a load of currency by the end of their terms.
Great Offscreen War: Several are mentioned between the non-human species, like the conflict between holy and unholy beings, the hostility between vampires and werewolves, the war between the Domens and Reapers, the rivalry between Reapers and Valkyries, an assault on the Welsh Circle City Hall, the Brotherhood organization versus the Order, or the hunters and slayers antagonizing Mythicals.
After 84 years of relative peace and minor skirmishes, Metropolis started a rivalry with the Crucible, a hyper-advanced, metallic alien species fed up with the humans' antagonism towards other species. The aftermath of the war was the beginning of the humans' imperialism period.
Gut Punch: The characters we've seen up to this point were quirky, funny and likable. And then we see them slaughter a village, including the children.
Hegemonic Empire: Metropolis is a textbook case, promoting and imposing their culture as the societal norm towards Human Aliens, often through establishing quisling governments, collaborationist entities, tributary states, vassal states, unincorporated territories, watchmen states, protectorates, copycat states, associate states, colonies and satellite states. Annexation, cession, amalgamation and occupations are also popular tactics, allowing the humans to dominate technological development, regulate trade and distribution, provide security and infrastructure, handle agricultural development, command the largest military, research diseases, construct habitable cities and direct policy; if they fall, so too will everyone else connected to them, hence why humans are often nicknamed "Forerunners".
Henchmen Race: Pygmy Dragons, Twili Shadows, the homunculi, the Troopers and Prawns.
Karma Houdini: Take the politicians that tried to cut the social programs. All were re-elected anyway. Why? Because they're rich and powerful. They have connections inside the beltway. They're loyal to their party. This means that the national party will donate to their re-election campaign, and people will vote for them because they're the "lesser of two evils".
The Kingdom: Many Mythical species seem to be kingdoms.
Language Equals Thought: It doesn't work for some, though - body language, emotions and physical contact work just as well for self-expression... which also get suppressed, prohibited and/or corrupted anyway.
Legacy Character: There's an Evoker that takes over several of its wielders' identities when they failed to keep it in check, overused its power, didn't live up to its expectations or mistreated it without provocation.
Made a Slave: While they don't call it that (or even realize that it's slavery), Valhallans are lustful enough that.... yeah.
Magic Skirt: Almost nobody's gotten a Panty Shot, no matter how short the skirt, unless you count the ones that wear shorts underneath.
Mega Corp: Thanks to neo-liberal privatization and deregulation, each of them has legal authority to establish fortresses and strongholds, to sign treaties, to enlist its own army and navy, and to wage defensive war. Consequently, this allows corporations to specialize in virtually anything, from commerce, trade and transportation, to weapons, supplies and other resources. Lobbying is used as a means to essentially bribe politicians into deregulating and privatizing subsidiaries, gaining major subsidies for things that they already make money from anyway, along with individual executives getting into higher positions of power in order to further incentives.
N.G.O. Superpower: The Destrier Hierarchy has an astonishing level of supplies, connections and resources at their disposal. The first batch alone had hundreds of Empathic Weapons that were already finished and ready for use, thousands of archives that detailed how to make more, an array of armored vehicles, heavily advanced Magitek, and an entire army of Elite Mooks, all based on an underground city. It's almost as if the Citadel was designed for such a purpose.
By definition, The Syndicate, with control of the trade capitol, an espionage net, a logistics branch and information dealing. Furthermore, they have influence in the Black Market, a dozen lobbying firms and various street gangs.
Similarly, the Black Market is an encompassing gestalt of illicit goods, coordinated and organized into an underground industry. They have the shit you want, and only they can give it to you.
Nothing Is Scarier: Ever faced a being so unpredictable that you're not sure what to do or how to do anything around it? The uncertainty of your actions' consequences around it, the fear of not knowing what would provoke it, the confusion in why those acts would provoke it, the impossibility to retaliate or escape, and the inability to determine where, when or how it would appear? Those are what you get when you encounter anything made or controlled by Siethr.
Phlebotinum Overload: Generally speaking, Destriers often face problems with their Evokers, including Seithr addiction, ability overuse, failure in balancing their powers, and/or strained bonds with their Evokers. This results in Destriers manifesting unpleasant symptoms - death isn't always the result.
Planet of Hats: All Mythicals have at least three identical personality traits, like Domens being helpful, defensive and bloodthirsty, vampires being short-tempered sadomasochists, or dragons being territorial and brutal. On the other hand, all Mythicals value family over all else, and individuality over family, even though many have trouble figuring out who they are and what they want. Another hat of theirs is that their lives tend to be worse off than humans, so they tend to prefer to live as half-humans, if they're not already human-ish to begin with.
Population Control: Done to the aliens in Metropolis, enough to keep them thriving, but enough to keep humans as the alpha species.
Predecessor Villain: Apocesis gets saddled with this treatment by the Destriers, but his influence remained in the form of the Monolith (his prison).
Asuturo was very much a Disc One Final Boss, but his legacy served as stepping stones for successor villains.
Private Military Contractors: There's a lot of them running around here, but the stand out cases are the literal private contractors, who personally form pacts with various outlaws and mercenaries at the behest of their benefactors. While all contractors are independent, with varying methods of gaining such a status, there is an established company (the Circuit) located on Metropolis, operating like defense contractors.
Metropolis actively employs a PMC called Vanguard, the shock troops for combat operations. They take the heat for any questionable acts, receive tons of payment by the contractors, retain diplomatic immunity by the politicians and gain seats in government or business once retired. Metropolis denies any involvement, burying the evidence and removing witnesses to keep the secrecy.
Also employed by Metropolis - Nightwatch, who run the watchmen states in Metropolis' outer districts (as in, the annexed territories originally inhabited by aliens). These guys double as a Law Enforcement, Inc., given their actual duties.
Justicars, who work as an organization of jailers and own their own private prisons. Lobbying allows less regulations, looser self-policing and more inmates for relatively minor offenses, as well.
In a way, a majority of soldiers in the Metropolitan Armed Forces; they're usually former convicts. Arrest a citizen, treat him like shit while serving time, remove his rights while he's released, draft him into the army, treat him even worse while in bootcamp, and give him a gun. No surprise that he's a Sociopathic Soldier. Maybe even a Psycho for Hire, if he gets a Catharsis Factor from it.
Destriers provide military products, such as aircraft, ships, vehicles, weaponry, and electronic systems to a military department of a government. Additional services can include logistics, technical support and training communications support, and in some cases team-based engineering in cooperation with the government.
Privately Owned Society: Metropolis evolves into one, largely due to a string of politicians implementing neo-liberal policies.
Propaganda Machine: Corporate domination of the media allows an officer to fix the premises of discourse and interpretation, and the definition of what is newsworthy in the first place.
Proud Warrior Race Guy: There's a race of pack-like hunters, a race of gladiators, a race of spiritual tribesmen, a race of assassins, a race of bloodthirsty savages, a race of sadomasochistic cannibals, a race of nomadic conqueror-crusaders, a race of agile warriors who view fighting as self-expression, and a race of serial killers.
Punk Punk: Given the size of Metropolis, a lot of these sub-genres are present in its various districts. Notably, when the page itself describes the various methods used with technology, Metropolitan technology is all of the above.
School Newspaper Newshound: The only organization that rivals the Student Council in influence, it's an absurdly elaborate school paper with production values and writing quality that rivals real commercial newspapers, though they tend to report on actual news, like sports or politics. Sensationalist journalists like to report gossip, using yellow journalism and sensationalism to make good stories. The Newshounds chronicle the activities of the Student Council and other very popular students in minute detail, though the newshounds can very well be used as an efficient smear campaign.
Sinister Silhouettes: Upon his escape from the Monolith, Apocesis (now reformed into Nylorow Rothage) is primarily seen as a silhouette, because it's the closest he'll ever come to returning back to his original form.
Skirt over Slacks: About half of the girls wear shorts underneath their skirts, but upskirt shots are actually more likely to happen with those girls, since seeing boxers or shorts technically isn't a Panty Shot.
In fact, take a look at The Federation. More men than women, with women in some of the highest positions, but both royally fuck things up for everyone involved, from regular jobs to political positions. The Valhallans have women in charge, with the more numerous men basically being used for procreation, military combat and manual labor, but they're treated like people, instead of sex slaves or second-class citizens. In fact, the Valhallans' meritocracy allows for either gender to gain high "prestige", allowing for more authority to gain higher positions.
Strawman News Media: Types 1, 3, 4 and 6 are all present here. They're all portrayed as a hairbreadth away from Complete Monster. When a dark-skinned father talked about his dead son, like being a Big Eater, some reporter said "What was he eating? Chicken?" Owch. Even worse - the other reporters snickered.
Superpowered Evil Side: Seithr can spawn "shadow selves", who embody repressed aspects of your personality. Those shadow selves represent a What If? version of you, functioning as a literal Shadow Archetype, an Evil Counterpart, a Foil or a Lighter and Softer version of yourself. If you can form a bond with it within your inner world, a mask will be formed - it'll allow access to its abilities. The more a mask evolves into a helmet or a suit of armor, the more powerful and varied your abilities will be, and the quicker the shadows' personality will merge with your own. Sometimes, you'll lose your sense of identity upon further evolution.
The Syndicate: Several, with a strict code of formal behavior and ritual etiquette employed, with a veneer of class and sophistication (you may even say honor). Ala The Mafia, it may follow a patron-client network, where there's a distinct nepotistic flavor to those in charge, who profess familial bonds. Ala the Yakuza, the Syndicate can follow a fraternal, if pack-like mentality, with a service to society that borders on vigilantism (or a night watchmen state). Ala The Trands Andthe Tongs, it can resemble a political bloc due to dabbling in bossism and patronage. Ala The Mafiya, it can be just as brutal, ruthless and sadistic as any other street gang.
Thoughtcrime: Almost every major superpower enacts policies that inhibit free will.
Took a Level in Badass: At the very beginning of the story, the Shalkry weren't much of a threat. Sure, they were capable predators, dangerous warriors and incredibly durable, but they didn't have much intelligence (preferring instinct) and they were vulnerable to a Superpower Meltdown, so numerous smarter, stronger species (especially Insectoid Aliens) made life hell for them. Until Apocesis staged an extinction event that wiped out numerous habitats and species, allowing the Shalkry to fill in the gaps left by the now-extinct insectoid predators. The Shalkry were able to quietly evolve into numerous variant species, living in every possible environment and becoming nature's top predators.
Once again, it goes further. There's a group of Forerunners, but Asuturo isn't one of them. Instead, he's an Avatar, a physical, humanoid manifestation of the Monolith.
Wham Line: Right when you think things cooled down for the cast, we see "The Chancellor is dead!"
"I'm not here to 'help' you. I'm protecting you." Bloomberg ran his entire campaign platform about changing the system and prosecuting the banks for their fraudulence. He never meant a damn word of it.