... It takes the biscuit, kills the cat and leaves the nations broken.
is an Axis Powers Hetalia
fic by Super Sister
The story kicks off with the revelation that almost all of the Nations have mysteriously vanished. One century later
, all of the remaining Nations have given up on finding them again...except for America, who doggedly follows every lead he can get. Unfortunately things look bleak, until he happens to meet a blind waiter named Arthur Kirkland, who strangely has amnesia and can't remember anything before a year ago. Clinging to this discovery, America sets off to discover the truth behind the "nation-napping", which apparently is connected to a mysterious group known as the HCS.
The author, after completing the story, made a sequel fic, Human Curiosity: The Bonus Chapters
, a series of one-shots meant to fill in any holes left behind by the first fic. A prequel called What Curiosity Brings
is in progress by Zelda Queen
This Fan Fic contains examples of:
- Adult Fear: Nearly all of the world's nations disappear. They just vanish, leaving their friends and family panicked and traumatized. This goes on for a century, leading to most of the remaining nations to assume that their loved ones are never coming back. And then, they learn that not only were the nations kidnapped and tortured for that entire century, but a lot of them were horrifically murdered and frozen in blocks of ice. There's a bit where America, Germany, and Japan get to explore the kidnappers' base, while being terrified and trying to guess who was and wasn't killed. Oh, and the surviving nations were all completely insane when they were found, to the point where they couldn't even recognize their rescuers as people.
- And I Must Scream: Speculated to be the case with the frozen Nations.
- Anyone Can Die: It's easier to name the nations that were specifically mentioned to be alive by the fic's end. Subverted at the end though, when it's revealed that not only did the nations survive, but the sequel fic implies that it's impossible to kill any of them.
- Attending Your Own Funeral: After the surviving Nations hold a memorial service for the "dead" Nations, it's revealed that Lithuania, who was among those "killed" was watching from afar.
- Back from the Dead: Russia in the last chapter, who systematically murders the HCS members and creepily informs the leader that he does not appreciate being killed.
- Badass in Distress: Nearly every nation kidnapped by the HCS, even Liechtenstein (who shot several guards during her escape). England, Italy, Latvia, Canada, and Japan are able to escape long enough to scout the building they're in and find exits, and it's mentioned that Hungary launched several unsuccessful escape attempts.
- Big Damn Heroes: The Swiss Guard, when the HCS tries to kidnap Liechtenstein again. Also, Liechtenstein remembers Russia and his team saving her and England during the escape, after she was concussed and he was blinded.
- Bittersweet Ending: America finds several missing Nations and discovers the truth behind their disappearance, allowing him and the remaining Nations to storm the HCS facilities and get their research and rescue the other prisoners. On the other hand, a large number of Nations are dead, and their family and friends are left to pick up the pieces, all while most of their governments refuse to help track down the hidden HCS members. The last chapter does imply that the dead Nations survived after all (which the sequel fic confirms), but they have yet to reunite with everyone else.
- It also doesn't help that the HCS orchestrate World War III through selling their weapons. On the other hand, its members get killed one by one as they're hunted down by the Nations.
- Break the Cutie: Poor Liechtenstein. Forced to leave her brother in the HCS facility (under his orders, but still!), nearly kidnapped a second time, and learning that her brother was killed. Oh, and when she tries to find some peace by seeing her brother's retrieved body, she finds that all of the Nations have vanished and that the floor is covered in blood and water. This understandably does nothing for her peace of mind.
- Broken Bird: The remaining non-captured Nations by and large are so disillusioned and bitter that they force themselves into going through the motions, if only to keep their minds off from what happened a century ago.
- Broken Masquerade: The Nations eventually decide to reveal themselves to the world at large.
- Brought Down to Normal: The HCS invented drugs that, among other things, can erase the Nations' memories, remove their healing abilities, make them blind, deaf, or mute, and take away their ability to nation-hop.
- Chekhov's Skill: In an earlier chapter, America tells Arthur about nation-hopping, or the ability the Nations have to teleport from one area of the globe to another. It later turns out that nation-hopping was one of the skills that the HCS tried to unlock when they kidnapped the Nations, and it was failed nation-hopping that caused the escaped Nations to end up scattered in random locations around the world.
- Crapsaccharine World: The Bad Future shown in the fic at first glance looks fairly stable and prosperous...at least until the truth about the HCS and what they've done to the Nations is revealed.
- Cut Lex Luthor a Check: One of the reasons the HCS experiments on the Nations is because they hope to replicate their skills for practical applications. When they disband, they sell their weapons to make money.
- Distressed Dude: After being caught by the HCS guards, England is tied to a chair to be "punished". It's implied that the same thing happens to Latvia, Italy, Japan, and Canada, in response to their own escape attempts. That's not mentioning the fact that nearly every Nation in the world, most of which are men, spend a century locked in cells.
- Dressing as the Enemy: Naturally done when six Nations escape long enough to try to find some exits. England apparently did it well enough that he conversed with some actual guards and, upon being captured, still managed to convince more guards that he was working for the HCS.
- Enemy Mine: All of the kidnapped Nations work together to save themselves, even the ones who don't normally get along.
- Expy: The HCS are essentially a darker, more amoral version of the SCP Foundation.
- Interestingly, the writer doesn't know anything about this.
- Genre Savvy: Most unfortunately the HCS leader, who opts to disband the group until further notice and sell their weapons for money, because he realizes that recapturing the Nations would be futile and it's better to disappear before a group of skilled military people come after them.
- Go Mad from the Revelation: Briefly happens to Liechtenstein and Hungary after they regain their memories as Nations.
- Great Escape: One was launched by the kidnapped Nations.
- Heroic Bystander: When Liechtenstein is kidnapped a second time by the HCS, she is rescued by the Swiss Guard and a group of nearby citizens.
- Heroic Sacrifice: During the breakout from the HCS facility, Switzerland stays behind to give Liechtenstein a chance to escape. It's later revealed that the HCS killed him.
- Heroic BSOD: America, Germany, and Japan have this after finding out exactly what happened to the "dead" Nations. In a flashback, England had one for the same reason. It can also be said that the remaning non-captured Nations were by and large on a prolonged one for almost a century.
- Human Popsicle: What happens to the Nations that are killed.
- It Got Better: The story itself, while having a few typos in the early chapters, does noticeably improve as it progresses.
- Jumping Off the Slippery Slope: The HCS, while starting off with some dubious intentions especially in Alex Knöpfer's case, were initially content with observing the Nations from afar. As the fic reveals, they really sunk low.
- Karma Houdini: The HCS successfully disbands, preventing the Nations from catching and arresting them. Zigzagged in that the final chapter and sequel fic reveal that the "dead" Nations track the group down and kill them all.
- Modern Stasis: The world of the 22nd Century looks somewhat similar to the 21st. On the other hand, there are differences namely in the presence of influences from earlier parts of the 20th Century alongside futuristic tech. This could be justified by the disappearance of the Nations and as well as the HCS's involvement somehow screwing around with politics and society across the planet.
- Murder Is the Best Solution: Given how many Nations were "killed", this apparently is the mindset of the HCS.
- Not Quite Dead: As Japan discovers, the "dead" Nations are actually kept in a sort of stasis. Trying to wake them up though will cause them to die for real, because the HCS made them mortal and filled them with poison.
- Next Sunday A.D.: The mass kidnapping of the Nations is stated as having taken place from August 11 to 18, 2011. Which was at the time the fic was first written about a few months into the future.
- N.G.O. Superpower: The HCS presumably has become this by the 22nd Century, lurking in the shadows. They're at least powerful enough to maintain different front networks while keeping any government, investigator or Nation from figuring out their true purpose.
- No New Fashions in the Future: Clothes seem to be a mix of the present and the early/mid-20th Century with a few futuristic touches.
- Please Wake Up: England's response to seeing that Portugal was killed.
- Taking You with Me: Partly what the HCS hope to accomplish against the Nations by unleashing World War III.
- The Pollyanna: America, at least in the beginning, is shown as still keeping up his old happy-go-lucky persona and tries to act like everything's normal...although it soon becomes clear that it isn't.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: The Swiss government at least seems willing to help Switzerland and Liechtenstein take on the HCS.
- Stepford Smiler: America to an extent, though Spain has also developed something of this trait.
- The Determinator: America, who spends an entire century searching for the missing Nations, after everyone else gives up on it. Also the kidnapped Nations, who spend a century carefully planning their escape.
- They Would Cut You Up: The entire story happens because the HCS got bored with studying the Nations from afar, and instead decided to kidnap and experiment on them.
- Twenty Minutes into the Future: It's been about 100 years since the disappearances happened. The main bulk of story itself begin in January 2103.
- Visionary Villain: The HCS leaders, particularly Alex Knöpfer, justify their atrocious MO under humanitarian or scientific pretentions. As the fic reveals however, their actions are far from being for the good of all mankind.
- What Happened to the Mouse?: New Zealand is largely absent from the fic, being neither kidnapped nor involved with dealing with the HCS. When he last makes an appearance, he has forgotten that he was called to a World Meeting, and instead falls asleep. This is lampshaded in the second epilogue, when America finally remembers to call him and tell him what happened. The author takes the opportunity to poke fun at anyone else who forgot about the character.
- What Measure Is a Non-Human?: A major theme in the entire plot. The HCS in general seem to regard Nations as little more than tools and lab testing material. Alex Knöpfer meanwhile apparently views them as utterly inhuman, thus justifying in his head all sorts of horrors.
- World War III: In the final chapter, it is revealed that this happens as a result of the HCS selling their highly advanced weapons to countries like North Korea.