Literature / Sapphire
is a series of Web Serial Novels
written by SpyHunter89 on his DeviantArt
page. The chapters may be viewed here.
The first episode was released in 2007, with the second carrying over into 2008. The third episode began in 2009, and is currently ongoing.Sapphire
is essentially Spy Fiction
; the stories are set during the Cold War
; more specifically, the late 1970s
. But instead of regular Russians, the antagonists (and some of the minor protagonists) have Psychic Powers
This series provides examples of:
- Action Girl: Michiru.
- Affably Evil: Boris would prefer to show someone a magic trick before killing him or her.
- All There in the Manual: Many, many characters have been introduced through the author's DeviantArt page that have not had even a remote chance to show up in the story yet.
- Animesque: The character artwork is done this way by SpyHunter, an American.
- Arabian Nights Days: The Altair base evokes this trope. However, although it is based in Iran (as was the real Arabian Nights, bonus!), the base is under control of the Soviet Union and a Renegade Russian third party...
- Author Appeal: How else do you explain the contortion scenes in Episode III?
- Bishōnen: Boris Rubanenko, Daisuke Midori, and Nikolai Kitano, to name a few.
- Alec Langley could fit into this, but it's a bit of a stretch because Evil Is Sexy.
- That's subverted with Claude Duchamp, who is good and beautiful.
- Bi the Way: Nikolai kills two birds with one stone when he tells Alec that both he and Boris were bisexual for one another.
- Big Damn Heroes: Andrew, who saves Alec from Boris's firing squad in Episode III.
- Body Snatcher: Ivanka takes posession of Khina's body to save Alec. It works, but she is discovered because Khina was two months pregnant.
- Brainwashed and Crazy: Boris takes over Khina's mind from afar to have her assassinate Elodie. She fails.
- Brother-Sister Team: Subverted - Ivanka is working against her brother Boris.
- Calling Your Attacks: Psychics do this sometimes, often in their native language. For example, the call for Boris's Blood Rose attack is "Krov' roza", which in fact is Russian for its own name.
- Camp Gay: Nikolai and Claude, although they're only bisexual.
- Camp Straight: Claude was this until the author outed him as bi.
- Cartwright Curse: Somewhat. Ivanka gets killed, but only five years after she marries Alec, which in turn was four years since they first met.
- Catch Phrase: Boris has "Comrade Alec", and Artemis Gilliam has "Seriously!".
- The Charmer: Alec refueses to fall for more than one woman at a time - even if the woman in question has been kidnapped for three years.
- Chinese Girl: Lucia and Lumina Liang.
- Circus Brat: Elodie, Nikolai, and Claude, who contrasts with Jake.
- Cloak & Dagger: The Delta Defense Alliance and Omega Order are both fictional organizations not officially aligned with any real-world government.
- Cold War: Specifically, the later period.
- Damsel in Distress: Ivanka.
- Depraved Bisexual: Marriage means nothing to Boris.
- Dirty Communists: Mostly averted. All the Russians/North Koreans/miscellaneous Communists in the story are either good and/or being played by the bad guys (a Renegade Russian third power).
- Disney Death: Double Subversion. Boris gets pinned down by a truck and riddled with a full clip of AK bullets. Yet being a Psychic, he survived the whole thing.
- The '80s: Episodes II and III take place mainly in 1982 and 1989, respectively.
- Everyone Looks Sexier If French: Elodie.
- Everything Sounds Sexier in French: Lampshaded.
Alec: Why is it that whenever you talk in French, it sounds cuter?
Elodie: Well, I know they say French is the language of love...
Alec: ...Then I guess they were right.
- False Flag Operation: Boris's evil plans in Episodes I (USA vs. USSR) and II (Japan vs. North Korea).
- Fanservice: Many, many examples, including the following subcategories:
- Faux Action Girl: Ivanka.
- Furo Scene: Between Alec and Ivanka on their honeymoon. They try to get close to each other during their bath together, but Ivanka is reminded of a time when she was raped, and suffers a Heroic BSOD before running out crying.
- Gender-Blender Name: Not only does Claude sound rather feminine in English, it is a gender-neutral name in his native French.
- Girl of the Week: Ivanka, Michiru, and Elodie.
- Averted in Episode II. Michiru would fit this trope, but Alec refuses to fall for her, still waiting to be with Ivanka again.
- Although, Alec and Michiru eventually try to make love, but are rudely interrupted by Daisuke.
- Goggles Do Something Unusual: Michiru and Daisuke use Psychic-scanning Aura Vision binoculars.
- Good Smoking Bad Smoking: Subverted: Elodie uses a cigarette holder, not because she's an evil Baroness, but because she's rich and glamorous. That still doesn't stop Alec from trying to make her quit.
- Gratuitous Foreign Language: Not only are Russian, Japanese and French stock phrases used, but the Psychics call their attacks in their native language.
- Handsome Lech: Gabriel Garnett and Claude Duchamp. Or perhaps Claude falls more into Chivalrous Pervert territory.
- Harem Nanny: Khina fulfills this role (in a literal harem, no less) by helping Ivanka with her problems.
- Heroic BSOD: Alec, after Boris kills Ivanka. He even tries to shoot himself, but backs down before pulling the trigger.
- Heroic Sacrifice: Ivanka offers to be executed in Alec's stead. A Senseless Sacrifice is narrowly avoided.
- Highly Visible Ninja: Averted in Episode II; the author even makes a point to mention that a grayish ninja suit blends into darkness better than a black one. Aika Akagi, however, plays this trope straight with a shiny red Spy Catsuit and green hair.
- Hollywood Atlas: A number of subtropes are averted, including:
- Big Applesauce: The Delta Defense Alliance HQ is based in Philadelphia (formerly Washington, D.C.). Alec and Andrew also live there, but were born in Cape May. Only Gabriel was born in New York.
- Gay Paree: Elodie lives in Marseille, on the southern Mediterranean coast of France, and has only been to Paris for a circus festival.
- Glorious Mother Russia: Boris and Nikolai call each other "comrade" ("Comrade Alec" is becoming something of a Catch Phrase for the former) and have ties to the Red Army / KGB, but that's about it.
- Olive Garden: Fiona Marino (who is not scheduled to appear in the story until Episode V) lives in an uncommonly used part of Italy: the Isle of Capri. And unlike what this trope would have you believe, she is a redhead (but then again, so was another famous Fiona...).
- Oktoberfest: West Germany, as depicted in Episode I, looks and feels remarkably similar to any old Western-world place. As is the disco scene (this is The '70s, after all). Of course, Ivanka and Boris defected here from the Soviet Union.
- Qurac: The Arabian Nights flavor of this trope is represented a little bit. Khina's backstory had her robbing from the bazaars of her hometown in Iran (before and during the 1978-79 revolution, although this is rarely if at all brought up) for sustenance.
- Also, the Altair base, although it is technically under the control of the Soviet Union / Omega Order.
- Bonus points since the actual Arabian Nights took place in Persia (present-day Iran).
- Tokyo Is the Center of the Universe: Episode II takes place in cities including Osaka, Nara, and Kyoto - but not Tokyo. Also subverted: Alec and Ivanka do try to travel to Tokyo on their honeymoon, but only make it about halfway before deciding to fight the Big Bad once and for all.
- Also, Nikolai was born and raised in rural Hokkaido before defecting to Russia.
- Hot Scientist: Wendy Blume.
- Identical Son: Alec and Jake were so similar at first, but this was changed when Jake was given a little beard.
- Intercontinuity Crossover: SpyHunter's crossover fanfics with Totally Spies!. Contains copious amounts of Take That.
- It Is Pronounced Tro-PAY: A recent bonus chapter featured Alec having difficulty pronouncing Khina's name.
- For those unfamiliar with Persian / Arabic, "Kh" is a glottal sound, like the "Ch" in German or Hebrew, or the "J" in Spanish. It is not (commonly) found in English... Or French... Or Japanese.
- Katanas Are Just Better: Especially when it's the detonator for a bunch of exploding throwing stars.
- Karaoke Box
- Magic A Is Magic A: The details of Psychic magic have yet to be explained.
- Marshmallow Hell: Happens to Alec by Khina in the Episode I Bonus chapter.
- Meganekko: Wendy Blume.
- Military Brat: Jake, a little bit. Contrasts with Claude.
- Ninja: See Episode II. In particular, Michiru Murasaki and Daisuke Midori.
- No Bisexuals: Averted. Boris and Nikolai were both gay for each other, despite finding girlfriends later on down the line (Boris & Khina, and Nikolai & Elodie). In fact, the only fully gay character in Sapphire is Claude's coach/boyfriend, Valko Petkov.
- No Celebrities Were Harmed: Artemis Gilliam is an Expy of Simon Cowell. He even judges a karaoke contest at one point.
- No-One Could Survive That: Boris being pinned down by a truck and riddled with a full clip of AK bullets. Yet being a Psychic, he survived the whole thing.
- Not Distracted by the Sexy: Alec refuses to fall for Michiru. Although, they eventually try to make love, but are rudely interrupted by Daisuke.
- Or Khina during their first encounter(s).
- Paid Harem: The Altair base. And on a small scale, Gabriel Garnett.
- Paper-Thin Disguise: How in the world could Elodie not tell that was Nikolai behind that eye-mask!?
- Power Crystal: On nearly everything Morgana wears. Even on her more-Stripperiffic-than-usual bikini.
- Psychic Powers: Many of the villains - and some of the allies - are Psychics, and demonstrate all manner of powers.
- Even ninjas are Psychics, in a sense. Alec makes the connection that "ninjutsu is probably some variation on the whole psychic philosophy".
- Rape as Backstory: What happens to Ivanka while she was kidnapped during Episode II.
- Recycled IN SPACE!: It's James Bond... with Psychics.
- Renegade Russian: Boris Rubanenko. Officially, he pledges alleigance to the Soviet Union. However, in Episode I he plans to nuke the West AND East indiscriminately, so that both sides will be weak enough for a Psychic takeover.
- Not to mention trying to start another war between North Korea and Japan in Episode II, plus whatever he has up his sleeve for Episode III...
- Ring of Fire: Daisuke creates a green ring of fire during his duel with Michiru. She defeats him by teleporting out of the ring, then leaps back into it and skewers him.
- Schedule Slip: One of the longest gaps was between Chapters 11 and 12 of Episode II. SpyHunter even joked about this:
- Chapters 8-9 of Episode III are set to break that record...
- Senseless Sacrifice: Almost happened. Even after Boris killed Ivanka after promising Alec would be spared, he proceeds to kill Alec as well. He is saved, however, when his friend Andrew pulls a little Deus ex Machina.
- Turns out it was senseless after all. You can imagine Alec's surprise when he saw Boris alive two years later.
- Shameless Self-Promotion: the author himself started this page.
- Spell My Name with an "S": Elodie Duchamp's first name was originally written without the accent mark. However, after the author did some research and learned that there is a French name with the accent mark but not without, it has been retconned as such. The only reason it's not written like that on This Very Wiki is because the accented 'E' gets corrupted to 'É'.
- Spy Fiction: Martini, more so in Episode III than the first two. With eye of newt.
- Suck My Rose: Boris's 'Blood Rose' attack. Which involves killing the victim by teleporting it into his/her heart.
- Tear Jerker: When Boris kills Ivanka.
- The Baroness: Khina and (more so) Morgana both fall into the Sexpot flavor of this trope.
- The '70s: Episode I takes place mainly in 1978.
- The Unpronounceable: Alec has trouble pronouncing Khina's name in the Episode I bonus chapter, since the glottal 'kh' sound does not occur in (American) English.
- Unholy Matrimony: Boris married Khina during the events of Episode II.
- Unwanted Harem: It's not his harem, but Alec refuses to fall for the advances of Khina and the other girls.
- Why Don't Ya Just Shoot Him?: Averted by Alec. After their first few encounters, his way of greeting Boris involves shooting him in the head. It never works. It even gets lampshaded: "You should have learned by now, that will never work on me... Comrade Alec." "Always worth a try."
- Yaoi Guys: Nikolai and Boris. Nikolai was even a Wholesome Crossdresser as a kid.
- You Fail The IQ Test: In Chapter 0 of the first episode, Nina Rubanenko is described as having an IQ of 5000.