Stationery Voyagers is an allegorical, melodramatic dry PasticheScience Fiction serial Space Opera book (and hopefully, also eventually TV) series in development by Dozerfleet Productions (the makers of Ciem Webcomic Series.)A team of anthropomorphic writing utensils is assembled to embark on diplomatic recon missions. Their goal: to prevent widespread imperialism in their star system. Only problem is, they find themselves accidental heroes destined to battle an even bigger scheme by an ancient evil which threatens the eternal damnation of their entire universe. But it's not like they had any good alternatives.Floating around the Internet since 2009, two minisodes have been published online: "The Wages of Cheating Death" and "Ties That Confide." The latter became the inspiration behind a wedding slideshow video dubbed "Ties That Confide: Reception Wishes." Most episodes are not yet published, due to its creator keeping them on a hard drive until they are ready for publication in large volume book format as "seasons."The Voyagers' universe involves a very philosophy-laden deity named Minshus, who due to the paradoxes of love, is forced by his own nature to allow its opposites a chance to come into form on their own, if only temporarily. Due to this, a third of his Apthalans rebel and get their own universe. Outer Reality is defined as three universes, two that are perfect spheres that represent Heaven and Hell, while the third is shaped like an inverted onion and dubbed "Physicalia, the Great Testing Ground."Several events similar to their Genesis counterparts happen, but instead of a Tower of Babel, there's a battle amongst tribes against the dreaded Drisalian Cult. One tribe stays behind to populate Mantith as mankind. The defeated members of Drisalius' cult are transformed into the hideous, bobcat-like Drismabons, and exiled to the dark world of Drizad. The tribes that ran away from the very beginning and tried to flee the battle are turned into Mosquatlons and Aviatets as punishment, and live in underground labyrinths and caves. The tribes that joined in on the fight once but then lost their courage and fled later had all become known for the creation of various writing utensils. They were thus exiled to the worlds of Statios, Markerterion, Whixtitout, and Neothode and transformed into creatures resembling writing tools, complete with a complex biology designed to work within those parameters and a sort of limited telekinesis called "phantomitics" that help them compensate for lacking arms and legs.Fast forward thousands of years later, and things are a mess. Pirates under the leadership of Astrabolo are running amok, and trying to destroy everything from democracy to the institution of marriage and then some. FlatEarthAtheists in the very 70's-cultured Mantith are desperately trying to silence their Creationist critics before a tip can occur in the balance of cultural power. Under the influence of a mysterious Bedouin, Emperor Alhox of Markerterion has been convinced that the only solution to fighting Astrabolo is to pool resources by annexing all the other planets into his empire. Leading the charge in this is his Supreme General, Bluque.The nation of Stato on the world of Statios won't stand for losing its sovereignty, and decides that creating its own sort of United Nations that involves a planetary scale is a better solution than being annexed to Markerterion, so they send a diplomatic recon team to argue the case to worlds where communication has not occurred until recently after a several-thousand-year hiatus. As the new astronaut team is about to discover though, they have more enemies than they thought possible.Though many of its episodes remain in Development Hell, it has already developed a reputation amongst reviewers for having a high HSQ, and for often slamming head-first into Narm with its Refuge in Audacity and heavy-handed philosophy.The series is told in the course of four "seasons," which are namedVocations, Repercussions, Surfaces, and Reconciliations, respectively.
Drizad goes back and forth between communes that look like The Dung Ages and palaces that look like Arabian Nights Days and spaceports that have The New Tens all over them. The cities are underground, beneath the commune farms. And they resemble Mordor.
Markerterion is California meets Kalamazoo meets Spain in The New Tens.
Likewise, other than having some necessary Magitek and other advanced alien technology, Statios is 2006. The nation of Stato, at least. Nations with weaker economies have even more outdated dispositions.
America Saves the Day: Callously averted, if not outright defied. The Moral Guardians are shown to be horribly ineffectual at protecting the public from rabid straw liberals. Because of this chaos, Antia is rendered utterly useless most of the time. And when the Drismabons attack, Antia is just as dependent on Stationery technology as everyone else on Mantith to fight back. The president is so inept, that even God is convinced to give the Voyagers to another country: Bulgadia. And that country proves to be only slightly better at protecting the Voyagers' diplomatic safety.
Pextel wanted to be an astronaut. He became a robot astronaut, but had to fight evil against his job description. He also wanted to have an intelligent discussion with his father. And Huli dies shortly thereafter. He wanted his mother to believe in him. Too bad! She doesn't trust Mechies.
Rhodney wanted to live a life that didn't feel wasted. He ends up in a relationship that feels like a Shaggy Dog Story anyway.
Marlack wanted to settle a score with the Yehtzig pirate who raped his sister. He nearly gets himself killed trying.
Pinkella wanted her family to come to their senses and start behaving themselves again. They died defying her wishes, to no benefit of theirs.
Consto wanted a shot at becoming a god. Too bad those Definition Essentials got in the way...all he can hope for is to become Preamble...who in the end, never really does completely break free from his servitude to Astrabolo.
Bizarre Alien Biology: What else do you expect from living pens and markers??? Surprisingly, they behave almost the same as if they were still human.
Bizarre Alien Reproduction: Subverted. The way they have sex is very similar to human reproduction, although they require different positions and derive less pleasure from it than we do. They are, however, more sensitive to sex-enhancement drugs, which put them in a trance easier. This is partly why the Yehtzig Pirate League can weaponize sex against targeted cultures so easily. That, and the fact that while much of Statonian culture tries to avert it, their government's official policy on sexual politics is...less than impressive.
Cosmic Plaything: Pretty much everyone. Due to the nature of Volition Dilemma and the other Definition Essentials, even God has to play by rules that sometimes produce situations he'd consider less than ideal. But those thinking they can do a better job soon find out just what a bitch the universe can be, and what it takes for God to keep it in line. And as God always works as The Chessmaster to produce the most ideal possible outcome within the confines of his own rules, the pawns discover that The Evils of Free Will do not grant them the absolute control they hoped would result.
Pextel wasn't so much delivered the Call by The Herald as he was pretty much kidnapped and metaphorically raped by said herald. Who, only afterwards, decided to let one of his underlings explain what the hell was happening.
Cloud Cuckoo Land: All the worlds view each other this way to an extent. Ironically, the fanatical politics and religious wars between a tiny minority of non-compromised church intellectuals and an entire world of paranoid anti-theists that makes up the human world of Mantith ends up fitting this better than worlds that are run by Pens and Markers trying to battle sex-crazed terrorist-pirates. Almost all parts of Inktacto have a few too many Red Shirt characters to truly qualify any of them as a World of Badass.
Demon Lords and Archdevils: The Dark Wanderer, analogous to Beelzebub as depicted in The Pilgrim's Progress. He is the Giver of Sorcery and Lord over Contracted Wizards. Thankfully, he is only seldom a threat to the Inktacto system. Part of this is because, like his master the Vile Chameleon, he is bound to Depositalium such that he can only normally operate by proxy. And his proxies have to get past the universe's firewall, which is maintained by Levio the Nullfier. Mezelwradd and Lorkush are just the Chameleon's disguises, used to create Consto's religion and the Yehtzig cult, respectively.
Diplomatic Impunity: Callously averted on Mantith, as the Antian president shows little to no interest in actually keeping his promises to keep the Voyagers safe. Sure, the government funds them and helps them find jobs, but they're on their own for protection. They are regularly harassed, threatened, and abducted. By governments and Civilian Villain types alike. The Antian government primarily abuses them as publicity stunts as well, even considering revoking the little immunity they have, just to appease gay special privileges groups who are out for their ink.
Instead of Mary/Maria simply waking up one day pregnant, the Muellex stops time save for one isolated locale, and a Chasm Tube opens up where the Trimalus strikes her like a bolt of lightning. A "divinospermato" instantly forms, and with the aid of no other sperm cells, is able to fertilize an egg the same way sperm fertilizes an egg during artificial insemination.
Every Car Is a Pinto: Played around with. Mitchell and Eliot's car pretty much is a Pinto. But when their cabin is attacked by arsonist-assassins, it's one of the few things that doesn'tcatch fire!
Everyone Is Related: Heavily subverted. Other than a few marriages resulting later on, almost nobody is blood-related (or for that matter, Ink-related) to anyone else (important)! Yet, while blood relations are severely lacking among major cast members, everyone is "connected" in more abstract ways.
Pextel and Consto are foils of each other: both of them had fathers whose minds were destroyed by Vornsid's disease. Neither one of them had a healthy relationship with their mothers. Yet, one becomes captain of a band of accidental heroes. The other becomes evil.
Pextel is also the one-time boyfriend of Pinkella Goldsen, who is related to the owners of a Bubblegum Factory that is being taken over by the Voyagers' sworn enemy Astrabolo; who lives on the same planet as future Voyager Neone. And Neone's family (while none of them are relevant for more than a few episodes is pretty screwed up. Things are made worse when Liquidon, who killed Astrabolo's brother, joins the Voyagers' team.
While it's inevitable that Mitchell Lomken and Co. will meet up with the Voyagers, it takes 2-1/2 seasons or so for this to happen.
Played a little more straight in the Final Hope timeline: Philidrio and Verdegal used to date each other. Molly is the grandaughter of Liquimo, Liquidon's twin brother. Verdegal is the granddaughter of Monigo Lanchez, who helped two of the original Voyagers escape from prison.
The Good, the Bad, and the Evil: Voyagers (good), Skidders (good, but anti-heroic), the Xylien Society at large (sketchy), and Imperial Markerterion (bad), against the Paltaki Organization (bad), the Crooked Rainbow (evil), la-Qualda (evil), the YPL (evil), the Drismabons (evil), and Varikton's army (evil).
Kung-Fu Jesus: Minshus is the only being who can authorize large-scale muellexic tampering with the space-time continuum, he helps blow up an entire planet, he had a bodyguard for a short while that was made of Supernatural Martial Arts, and when he came to raise an army of resurrected souls to lift other resurrects out of their graves and collect everyone around the world for Judgment Day, the news reported it as him starting a Zombie Apocalypse.
Morgan Le Fay is a random prostitute with no relation to Arthur.
Mordred remains the Bastard Bastard, but is learning sorcery to Take Over the World. To fulfill his contract to the Dark Wanderer, he must completely undermine Arthur's kingdom with controversy.
Just as a Mikloche Warrior was sent to Mantith to keep a Drismabon away from baby Minshus, another one is sent to defeat Mordred's power. He succeeds at defeating Mordred's contract and robbing him of his dark powers forever; but ultimately fails to save Gwen's reputation.
Guinevere is 17 at the time she is accused of sleeping with Lancelot, and Lancelot is 19. Arthur is 35, and fairly aloof.
And Subverted: Neone Washingtip knew she had to fulfill Pentacko's orders; but if only she'd known: Consto wasn't even interested in sex! So even if she did get to get it on with him, he'd've killed her anyway.
As well as deconstructed and justified. See the Character Sheet section on Neone Delft for an example.
Liquidon's quest to protect Alaina from a deviant Mosquatlon during the Surfaces arc is meant to combine this with a parody of Twilight. In fact, that episode is even titled "Crepuscular."
Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: What Liquidon is convinced he's done to start the Imperial War of Markerterion. In reality, it would've happened with or without him killing Astriliad. But by doing that, he convinced Astrabolo to switch from a campaign of conquest to a plan of viral genocide.
Not Wearing Tights: The Voyagers only look like they're wearing something along the lines of "tights" to Mantithians. To everyone else, their suits appear to be just spy-geared forms of regular civilian clothing. Then again, how else do you dress six-foot-tall talking Up-Pens, but...like...large pens?
Pinocchio Syndrome: Subverted. Mechies, while they may dread the cosmic dissonance of being possessed robots, realize that only Minshus (or an extremely powerful angel/demon) can change them back into truly living things; and learn to content themselves with their (un)life.
Pextel and Ribando would like to be living again, but learn to be content with their new forms.
Inverted in-universe on Mantith: The Bindaf 3000's landing on Mantith was actually expected, with Strawmen Political from every ideological camp trying to exploit the situation to their cause. It was the Voyagers who were caught off guard! Even for those causes the Voyagers agreed with, their insistence on wanting to stay on task rubbed many the wrong way.
Whiteouts that travel to Mantith by their own means may be able to remain as Stationery beings, but attempting to use Mikloche beyond Shell 8 may lead to casting from hit points. Likewise, if a Whiteout is messed with by a wizard, the chances of them needing to cast from hit points increases exponentially. Whiteouts who travel to Mantith by supernatural means (e.g., Maurice the Ferryman) slowly become human. They can use Mikloche once human, but again, only if they cast from hit points.
Other Stationery beings who travel to Mantith by supernatural means simply become gradually human, except for Mechanical Pencils. Those who travel by technology remain Stationeries, but become gradually more susceptible to catching human diseases.
Likewise, muellexic techonlogy has allowed for phantomars to be disabled on Stationeries with the aid of certain devices, effectively serving as a sort of replacement for handcuffs in a world of creatures that don't have hands.
Also averted: Maurice can leave the Haragad Cavity whenever he wants, but is required to release Preamble from it temporarily near the end of time. (Same cannot be said of the Yehtzig trooper who was trapped in the cavity with Preamble...)
Sixth Ranger: Neone, a subversion in that she was always meant to be part of the original team, but got delayed by reason of being on another planet.
Then there was Liquidon, who didn't fight the team but instead needed their help to get his name cleared as he was mistaken for a terrorist.
Viola also pulls it off.
Perhaps the most egregious example is Cybomec, subverted in that it was only a Cybomec the one possessed by Richard Ribando that joins, not the Clandish "Cybomec" Consto that nearly killed everyone. He becomes Preamble instead.
Erasaxo, while technically number six, was part of the original team. His reclusive nature and small size tend to make him an afterthought to others though. Made worse in that he's ordered by the Xylien Society not to leave the ship very often.
Soul Jar: "S-chips" (soul-containing, microchip-moduled cartridges) are a type of Soul Jar. Drisalian status of an S-chip's ghost prior to death determines whether or not phantomitics are possible, which determines which type of Librion body is appropriate. (Androidal Librion bodies for humans, Mechanical Pencil Librions for Stationeries.)
Note: Most Whiteouts are acceptable in a Mechie body. Hyper-Mikloched ones, however, are better off merely sent into the stratosphere to explode.
Straw Hypocrite: A judge in Braldon bans Oceanoe from visiting the country, based solely on the fact that he was a victimized by the Crooked Rainbow in their intolerance of the Voyagers' Minshan beliefs. Yet, the judge allows several of the exact same Crooked Rainbow members who victimized Oceanoe into Braldon for an all-expenses paid, taxpayer-funded (without taxpayer consent) trip, to spread propaganda for their lifestyle, in the name of "tolerance."
Stuffed into the Fridge: Usually averted, at least for women. Just as long as you don't cross paths with Clandish "Cybomec" Consto. Granted, the Mosquatlon heroine Cindy turning into a bomb to save Liquidon; and then blowing herself up to defeat Varikton's monster is probably about the worst example. Susani Malone's death might count as this as well. Hidicky Delft's death is a very straight (albeit, gender-flipped) version of this.
Team Rocket Wins: Nonpriel actually manages to capture Rhodney and Liquidon in one episode. They get loose when trying to save their captors from burning up on reentry into Markerterion's atmosphere after Nonpriel revives Consto.
He also starts out as successful in teaming up with Lamdock to capture nearly all the Voyagers. But overlooking Richard Ribando proved to be the necessary component to reversing that situation.
The Smurfette Principle: Played straight with the angels. Most of them see no point in manifesting as a woman, especially since few cultures in human history respected the words and voice of a woman. One notable exception is Critiqamas, who rarely makes an appearance since she is an even biggerWalking Wasteland than Liquidon. She shows up in a minisode explaining why more angels don't manifest as women, and turns her captors' apartment into Chernobyl Lite. She also makes an appearance in "Bittersweet This Bargain," since the Crooked Rainbow begin to get smart after the events in "Choice After All" and start wearing flame retardant to thwart off Filforth's attacks.
Unobtanium: Nobody on Mantith knows how to manufacture lead-balzhite. Nor do they think to actually employ the Voyagers' supply of it to practical application as an energy source, in spite it being at least as reliable as uranium but producing far less dangerous waste.
Where I Was Born and Razed: Clandish Consto sought revenge on a girl who got him expelled from grade school YEARS ago, murdered every teacher that ever verbally abused him that was still living, poisoned his own landlord, murdered his landlord's wife, joined an invading enemy army, and hijacked an entire space center. And all in his own hometown! He then proceeds to threaten the world of that army he initially joined, and eventually becomes such a threat to the universe, that the Angel of Death traps him in the Haragad Cavity until the end of time so he can't learn sorcery. So much forthe "I'm back" celebration!