A Posse Ad Esse
"[Kroko. Lilo. Dolly. Sly. There is little point in me beating about the bush: (...) the majority of us have gained, for lack of a better word, superpowers.]"
Sly was the only one to vocalize a reaction: "[Awesome!]"
is an Alternate Universe Fic
for obscure web game Die Anstalt
. Specifically, an AU where the six main characters all gain superpowers. Considering these characters are all disabled cuddly toys (five patients and a doctor, to be exact), the inevitable result is conflict, confusion and a different kind of therapy: experience.
It can be found on LiveJournal here
. Recently given an AO3 backup
A Posse Ad Esse provides examples of:
- Actual Pacifist: While hinted at in previous chapters, Kroko confirms himself as one of these in Chapter 10, to the point where he doesn't even want the primary antagonist to get hurt.
- Altum Videtur: The title of the story, and of each chapter, are all Latin phrases, some more recognizable than others, that indicate the content within. (EG: A posse ad esse means 'from being able to being'.) Overlaps with Pretentious Latin Motto for the particularly obscure ones (Incepto Ne Desistam, anyone?).
- An Ass Kicking Christmas: Played with. The story starts "literally three days until Christmas", but only Dr Wood knows this. The other patients have very little concept of time passing, and no reliable clocks once they are forced to leave the asylum, relying on the sun setting and other visual cues just to figure out whether it's morning, afternoon or night. Nonetheless, the prose attempts to make clear that the two first fight scenes between hero and villain sides occur on Christmas Day, four hours apart.
- Apologizes a Lot: Kroko, sometimes Dolly in a sadder mood. Most egregiously done in Chapter 6, when he allegedly manages to say sorry for yelling at Lilo forty times in the space of three minutes.
- Author Vocabulary Calendar: The author has been making an active attempt to avert this; one revision removed redundant instances of "a little", "a bit" and "seem", amongst other changes.
- Bilingual Bonus: An slightly complicated one for the sake of a joke in Chapter 10.
Dolly: [Wood's the only one with any horrible intent note , so it's safe to-]
Sly: [He doesn't have a view note , he can't see us through the hood.]
Dolly: [Yes he can, and I said intent, not view.]
- Cloudcuckoolander: Sly. Downplayed and justified, given thought disorder is one of the expanded symptoms of his condition. Specializes in Neologisms.
- Crash into Hello: Dolly and Kroko's first interaction, and the first toy-toy interaction in the entire fic, begins with one of these. This is then echoed in Chapter 10. It should be noted that both of these are due to a weather-based influence.
- Dating Catwoman: Not exactly this as of Chapter 7, but more textual than Foe Romance Subtext too.
- Dysfunction Junction: A small group of mentally ill toys with superpowers? Hmm.
- Fantastic Recruitment Drive: Villainous variation. Dr Wood manages to drum up a large number of toys to side with him within a matter of five days. Justified, because in canon he has already been shown as very good at persuasion and charisma, and he is at the point of his therapy when that trait is even more enhanced.
- Five-Man Band: While not entirely cohesive, properly established by now.
- Flat "What." and Big "WHAT?!": One right after the other in Chapter 6, courtesy of Sly.
- For Want of a Nail / In Spite of a Nail: Crosses between the two. In recent chapters, despite there being no currently accessible therapists, the toys have been making what would be deemed therapeutic process in a similar, but not the exact, way as they do in canon. Most notably, in Chapter 10, Lilo skips Stage 3 of this therapy after oscillating between 1 and 2 for a while to go straight to Stage 4 (the one with the rectus trementis), which actually kick-starts Sly's slide from his own stage 3 to 4!
- Genre Shift: Expected, given the premise.
- Grey Rain Of Depression: Taken very literally with Dolly, particularly in Chapter 5.
- Hypocritical Humor:
"[What's up with your eyes? They're wide and size-changing. It's creepy,]" said the snake with the constantly dilating and constricting pupils.
- In Medias Res: The fic starts, and thus begins to diverge, in the middle of most toys' cases when Dr Kindermann has already left.
- Literal-Minded: Kroko, as in canon. Lilo and Sly also fall into this sometimes.
- Living Toys: As in the original, they oscillate between 3 and 4 on the sliding scale.
Very few shoppers noticed the toys, leading to a couple of narrow escapes from falling winter shoes, and those who did didn't speak to them.
- Mass Super-Empowering Event
- Max Trope: Dub's unseen but oft-mentioned owner, unnamed in canon, is here given the name of - well - Max. Given Dub's retooled-mostly-by-accident backstory, this can come across as Developing Doomed Characters.
- The Nicknamer: Lyall. Names so far: Dolly = "Doll", Sly = "snake boy", Dr Wood = "Woodster". Lilo and Dub, ze just refers to as their species. "Doll" has been the most consistent.
- Only Neurotypical Toy: Applied more literally than usual to Dub; despite having been in an asylum for the best part of six months, he persists in his belief that he didn't need to be admitted there. But, as Dr Wood puts it:
- Personality Powers: Sort of. The powers the toys gain reflect the therapeutic state they were in at the time of receiving them, but the discoveries of these powers serve as each's Establishing Character Moment.
- Powers in the First Chapter
- Precision F-Strike: In Chapter 12, after Sly manages to kick off a Rant Inducing Slight.
Dolly: [How is that my fucking problem?]
- Savage Wolves (to Dolly anyway)
- Scam Religion: As in canon, from Chapter 5 onward.
- Schedule Slip: One that lasted fourteen months, no less.
- Shout-Out: While the original was rife with shout-outs to deep or otherwise psychological works, the author makes those in this more contemporary. In Chapter 9, Minesweeper and SuperTed of all things are name-dropped, and the writingasm scene in Chapter 10 has shades of the "I WILL READ" scene in Fame.
- Suddenly Voiced (a necessity)
- Switching P.O.V.: Most chapters have a single POV character, but there are some where the switching is in within the chapter. For Dolly, this is a plot point.
- Thank the Maker / Oh My Gods!!: Zigzagged. Usually the toys invoke God and Goddamn in the traditional way, but other times they say Steiff instead, in a reference to Steiff being the first company to create stuffed toys en masse. At one point, Dolly even says "For the love of Beanie Babies". Justified because, aside from Sly (who explicitly invokes Hinduism, Shiva, to be exact), none of the toys in canon really have a belief system.
- Translation Convention: The author took the original game's German origins and ran with it, setting the game near Sassnitz and making the vast majority of the characters German speakers as a result. All German dialogue is rendered with square brackets around it, to help distinguish it from...
- Switch to English: ...Dr Wood and Dolly's English dialogue. This, and their speaking it at all, is a necessity both for characters and readers, since Dub is actually from England in this version and only knows a few German words. Mind you, he has been attempting to learn more of the to-him-foreign language in an active effort to help Dolly defy Translator Buddy.
- Trigger: Dolly carries over her adverse reaction to dog bones, and fear of dogs in general, from the original canon. Kroko's aquaphobia also shows signs of this, since it leads to a couple of panic attacks. These have both hindered and helped the team over the course of the fic.
- Villain Episode: Dr Wood gets Chapter 9 to himself post-Official Heel Turn.
- Violent Glaswegian: Dolly has a Scottish accent when not speaking German, a Funetik Aksent to boot. This is actually lampshaded the hell out of in Chapter 12:
Dolly: Look, Ah dornt like it either, but [the German language] jist doesnae work 'at way. We've bin ower thes.
Dub: Says she who says "over" as "ower".
Dolly: Leave mah accent out ay thes, ye ass!
- Virtual Soundtrack: On the LJ copy, each post has a certain song outlined in the 'Music' qualifier; on AO 3, this is recreated in the author's notes. The soundtrack is also accompanied with a moodlet to show the central character and overall theme of each chapter: for example, Chapter 2's theme is conflict.
- Overlaps with Song Fic slightly come Chapter 12, wherein the associated song is a lyrical-overlay, for lack of a better word, written and sung by the author herself.
- What Kind of Lame Power Is Heart, Anyway?: Kroko gets this feeling most of the time, since his flight is a minor advantage compared to the others. So does Dub, at least once.
- Your Mind Makes It Real: The closest trope that comes to describing one of the techniques Wood wants to perfect. One of his long-term goals is to combine this with an inverted Lotus-Eater Machine.