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Literature: Bystander
Lucretia wearing the outfit she picked for her first meeting with her parole officer.

"I'm just a bystander."
Lucretia

Empaths. Superstrength. Kung Fu Masters. Petting Zoo People.

There is a word for people like that. A pre-packed fluffy-feeling word the government’s spin doctors had come up with.

Peak.

Lucretia had her own words for her peer group: freaks of nature, science projects, and fanatics. They were all the people that had been born, transformed or self-willed into something that should have been bizarre, but was becoming less so.

All she wanted to do was live an unnoticed life in her brownstone, working at the library and chasing down idiot cops who took her books on stakeouts.

Of course, there are problems with that, such as the fact that she's considered an interesting research specimen by some of the more amoral companies. Her tendency to stick her nose in where it probably shouldn't be. A love-hate relationship with various alcoholic beverages.

Oh yes, and the fact that she's still on parole.


Bystander is a self-published novel written by Luke "Thrythlind" Green and set in 2035 Seattle detailing the plight of superpowered parolee Lucretia. Starting with her interfering with a bank robbery and blowing outward from there.

Free chapters are available here.


Note from the Author: I tend to use these pages as sounding boards for ideas as well as a form of self-promotion. For my original fictions, I do most of my troping on my own files offline, because I don't want to spoil anything...as I am wont to do when ranting about my stories. However, currently most of the entries were done by me as part of a way of figuring out how to summarize the setting. From here on out, however, this page will be only occasionally updated by me specifically. (Though I might run a promotion that involves troping my stuff.)


This novel provides examples of:

  • The Alcoholic: Lucretia
  • An Ice Person: Lucretia, though the temperature more affects her physical abilities than that she has control over it.
  • Anything That Moves: Lucretia at least claims to be this way.
  • Attack Drone: Isaiah's gun emplacements
  • Attention Whore: Inverted. Lucretia feels that acting like this is the best way to get people not to pay attention.
  • Awesome, but Impractical: When first seen wearing at least part of her assigned armor, Robles complains that she wonders what the designers were thinking to give a highly distinctive and unique sort of armor to an undercover operative.
  • Badass Normal: Robles and Kali
    • Robles demonstrates quite thoroughly for Lucretia that she doesn't worry about Lucretia's powers.
    • Kali gives an even firmer demonstration with less regard for Lucretia's health.
  • Batman Gambit: Lucretia's normal plans for dealing with problems.
  • Becoming the Mask: Karen Jasthi identifies more with her codename Kali
  • Chronic Hero Syndrome: Lucretia, despite wanting the world to more or less ignore her existence, will always find someway to talk herself into getting involved in emergency situations that appear in front of her. However, she'll do it in a way to keep her involvement unnoticed.
  • Cool Car: Robles' termite straddles this and The Alleged Car given that it's a 24 year old obsolete model that apparently costs her an arm and a leg to keep operational.
  • Cosplay Otaku Girl: Lucretia's favorite dresses reference various traditional guises and roles including: a kimono, a Victorian dress, a poodle skirt, a sexy secretary look, a faux prisoner outfit, a Native American themed dress and mention of an Arabic themed dress and a Chinese dress.
  • Ethical Slut: Lucretia.
  • Friend to All Children: Lucretia drops some or all of her Jerkass attitude when faced with children.
  • Functional Alcoholic: Lucretia. She only drinks when she's partying. She just happens to drink a very, very large amount. And then burn her clothes.
  • Government Agency of Fiction: North American Military Alliance (NAMA)
    • The Goddesses - women trained to build and run mercenary organizations to do missions for NAMA with deniability.
  • Guile Hero: Lucretia
  • Gun Fu: Robles and Kali. Goddess fighting is a cross between Aikido, knife fighting from The Hunted (Tommy Lee Jones) and normal pistol skills.
    • It has also been described as "give Legolas a hand gun"
  • Heroic Bystander: Lucretia
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Lucretia
  • Mundane Utility: It is mentioned a few times that most peaks have everyday jobs like waiter or construction worker.
    • Lucretia is one of the few whose current chosen profession is more difficult because of her powers. Since she has to claim dyslexia to explain reading issues and use a braille translating attachment device to read the computer screens.
  • Not Using the Z Word: One use of the phrase "super villain" and no "meta" or "metahuman". Instead superhumans are called "peaks."
  • Obfuscating Stupidity: Lucretia.
  • Omni Glot: Lucretia speaks English, Japanese and French relatively natively but also demonstrates competence in Thai, Arabic and Latin. When asked how many languages she knows, she responds that she wasn't sure and just seems to pick them up.
    • Played with in that Lucretia speaks most of languages with understandable but poor grammar. So, it's more realistic than most.
  • One of Us: The author. As obvious by his intro.
  • Only One Name: Lucretia
  • Refusal of the Call: Lucretia refuses to get actively involved in life, preferring to exist mostly unnoticed and insignificant.
  • Regular Caller: Despite being ignorant of the larger call, Lucretia tends not to let trouble pass by without her doing something about it. Preferably in a way that makes her look like a jerk and grants someone else the credit for the save...or, even better, without people realizing she was involved at all.
  • Sexy Librarian: Lucretia
  • Shock and Awe: The bad guys try to contain Lucretia this way
  • Superpower Lottery: Lucretia by virtue of being the world's main character. Balanced by her total lack of fighting skill.
  • The Unmasqued World: "Peaks" were revealed to exist in the world some time before the story begins.
  • Useless Superpowers: Lucretia doesn't have much skill in using some of her powers and doesn't even know how some of them work.
  • Weapon of Choice: A couple of different examples.
    • The Goddess avatars are personally made firearms with either hidden or attachable blades and reinforced for melee use.
      • Robles' avatar is designed to receive a large number of attachments to alter it's use.
      • Kali's avatar has a poison reserve
    • Sightseer is noted as a sniper but doesn't get to show that off much.
    • Isaiah uses attack drones and gizmos

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