"I'm saving this city with or without you."
— Derek Huntsman
is a web novel about the title city, updating Mondays. The plot revolves around Adam Anders, a newcomer to the city, and his roommate, Derek Huntsman. The first few chapters are just Worldbuilding
, setting up the background of the city. But soon enough, things start going in unexpected directions. Derek discovers he has powers, and several of his close friends do as well. Then it turns out that there are super-powered zombies attacking the city, and a gang lord asks them to save it.
One of the biggest things that makes the city of Domina unique is its use of the toy maker, a Bio-Augmentation
device. People can use it to remake themselves however they like, and entire cultures have formed based on vampires, demons, and angels. The city's harsh nature
means that most of these cultures spend their time killing each other, but the political balance is being upset by the arrival of the screamers
The site broke in March 2013, and was moved to a wordpress.com blog
for the foreseeable future.
This web-novel shows examples of:
- Action Girl: Akane carries around a real katana, which she apparently uses in kendo.
- Alliterative Name: Adam Andrew Anders.
- The All-Concealing I: Every character's first POV chapter starts with "My name is ___" and a few short facts about themselves. The Composer is the sole exception, which means we don't know his name, gender, or anything else other than that he likes killing.
- Artistic License – Biology: The toy maker can do a lot of things, and we're never quite told how. Most of it is odd, but within the realm of possibility—enhanced muscles, eyes, or bones isn't really that far beyond what we can do right now—but stuff like glowing as bright as a strobe light and bulletproof skin is definitely something you just have to accept without asking too many questions.
- Big Bad: The Composer.
- Big Brother Is Watching: MC can do this with the GPS devices in phones. She's supposed to get permission, but she forgets.
- Bio-Augmentation: The "toy maker," a body-modification device. It's described as "like stem cells, but without all the moral implications."
- The Call Put Me On Hold: Lutum informis (means something in the neighborhood of "the misformed clay") can't use the toy maker anywhere near as well as normal people. Adam is one.
- City of Adventure: The titular Domina City.
- Childhood Friends: Derek and Laura, until something went wrong when they were eleven, and Laura moved away. All we know is she blames Derek.
- Chronic Hero Syndrome: When a man Derek has known for less than an hour is about to get hit by a truck, his first instinct is to tackle him out of the way.
- Conveniently an Orphan: Per Word of God, pretty much everyone.
- Cute Little Fangs: Lily.
- Evil Albino / Heroic Albino: Artemis Butler is implied to be an albino, though which of these he falls into remains unclear.
- Fantastic Racism: Between the various "monsters." The footnote makes clear that technically speaking its not racism, but more like a gang war.
- Gratuitous Foreign Language: Quite a bit.
- Gratuitous Irish: The Princess of Killing Sparrow lapses into bad Irish when she's angry.
- Gratuitous Latin: "Domina" means "Lady" in Latin. Every chapter title is a Latin word.
- The biggest gang in the city is Necessarius, which is Latin for "Necessary."
- A few of Adam's guns are named in Latin. The brand is "Telum" (weapon), then the pistol is "Sica" (dagger), and the SMG is "Caedes" (slaughter).
- Gun Porn: In chapter 10, Adam gets a case of guns, and a good amount of time is spent describing them in detail.
- Horned Humanoid: Lily and the other demons.
- I Am X, Son of Y: Akane's chapter starts with "My name is Akane Akiyama. Daughter of Akio, son of Yoshrou. I am the last of the honorable samurai house Akiyama, founded in the first days of the Edo period."
- Ice Queen: Laura, especially to Derek.
- Innocent Blue Eyes: Derek again.
- Lantern Jaw of Justice: Occasional mention is made of Derek's "strong chin."
- Little Bit Beastly / Petting Zoo People: The kemos vary on this scale, from people with just the ears to full-on anthropomorphic animals called "anthros." For bonus points, "kemo" is almost certainly short for "Kemonomimi."
- The Masquerade: Actually averted. One of the first things that happens after the screamers are discovered is Butler goes on TV, explains the situation, and asks the public not to panic.
- Meaningful Name: All three of Adam's names mean approximately "man."
- Derek thinks Dale Odell Abraham is dead. "DOA" also stands for "Dead On Arrival."
- Mind Rape: In the backstory, Malcanthet, the "Queen of the Succubi," used mundane rape to break people and turn them into her slaves. She was driven out of the city before the story started. By Lily, no less.
- Mission Control: MC, for the entire city.
- Naïve Newcomer: Adam.
- Not Using the Z Word: Averted. Screamers are called zombies pretty often.
- Occidental Otaku: Ling, the Chinese girl strangely obsessed with anime.
- Odango Hair: Ling, Akane's Chinese roommate.
- Our Monsters Are Different: A few have been mentioned in the title page, as "cultures built on legends." Apparently, they're groups of people modified by the toy maker.
- The Rant: A "Behind the Scenes" section at the bottom of each chapter.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: Artemis Butler, despite being a gang lord. The second he discovers a threat to the city, he works to stop it, including recruiting college kids (who happen to be immune to the zombie virus).
- Red Eyes, Take Warning: Seemingly subverted with Lily. She has red eyes, but seems gentle and kind.
- Possibly played straight with Artemis Butler. He's an albino (probably), and not someone you should cross.
- Rodents of Unusual Size: The "rats" are about the size of a dog.
- "Akamatsu University" is named after Ken Akamatsu, a famous mangaka.
- Ling namechecks a number of anime, including Gundam and Samurai 7. Those are so explicit they might not count, though.
- A reporter is named Eliza Cassan.
- During that same report, Butler mentions an officer who was dealing with (and soon infected by) a screamer was named John Romero.
- Kelly describes her immediate superior (a wolf-kemo) as "An ex-Rahu, a warrior wolf." In Werewolf: The Forsaken, Rahu are the warrior auspice.
- There is a shout out to Artemis Fowl. One character is named Artemis Butler.
- Two bloodlines of the Nosferatu subculture of vampires are named Niktuku and Guruhi.
- There's an Orc who calls himself Obould, and his chat handle is Many-Arrows. He is also currently the leader of the Orcs.
- George the giant is mentioned as being able to cook a mean chupaqueso.
- The poster who comes up with the name 'The Composer' has the handle 'The Conductor of the Cacophonic Steel Chorus'.
- Statuesque Stunner: Lizzy. Over six feet, in fact.
- Stock Superpowers: A number powers have been demonstrated so far, though it has not been revealed where they come from.
- Supernatural Gold Eyes: Lizzy. She even has the supernatural powers part (though we don't know what power).
- We ARE Struggling Together: There's a lot of bad blood between the various gangs and cultures, and they have shown various amounts of unity when it comes to outside threats. One of the characters says it best: "this is the same city where people were perfectly willing to fight a civil war while a zombie apocalypse dropped on their heads".
- Wham Line: Derek plotted out when the screamer attacks occurred, and found that there was a pattern. More importantly however, it meant that not only does the Composer know who they are, he's close enough to know their schedules.
- Wretched Hive Of Scum And Villainy: According to the title page, anyway. Doesn't get much more explicit than "A blight on the face of the world."
- Zombie Apocalypse: What the city might be headed towards.