is an online science fiction novel set in the distant future, taking a number of influences from Victorian Gothic Horror, 50's science fiction and Silver Age
comic books, along with just a dash of Kaiju
Following a Zombie Apocalypse
, human civilization has been cast down and risen back up in small but technologically advanced pockets, while the wilderness has taken back most of the land. Few of the shamblers
remain today, but the so called 'wastelands' hold far more secrets. Fearing similar disasters in the future, the new world government has taken the reins, the people trading freedom for security. The NWP, as it's called, watches constantly, its rule cripplingly tight. The people simply take it, not knowing anything better.
But the shamblers aren't the only monsters hiding in the shadows, and even the most bloodthirsty among them are growing less and less satisfied with the new order. As the NWP's grip grows tighter, it brings together an unlikely group of monsters and madmen
, all with different goals, but one singular desire: Freedom.
This work contains examples of:
- Affirmative Action Girl: In-universe, Sky Spy was added to the NWP superhero team because they needed a woman for appearances. This worked out for the best, given the mental state of her teammates...
- After the End: So long after it, in fact, that humans have already made significant progress starting over.
- A.I. Is a Crapshoot: Believed in-universe more than it's supported. A squad of NWP drones are reprogrammed for sentience and decide that their intended function must be killing humans. Their rampage lasts for all of ten minutes before Straitjacket points out the silliness of the idea of humans creating machines to destroy themselves, and offers them a new home to get things sorted out. The robots greatly prefer this to overthrowing humanity.
- Big Brother Is Watching:
- Brain in a Jar: Dr. Promelion. Straitjacket gushes over the novelty of such quite a bit.
- Crapsack World: On one side, you have the oppressive government. On the other side, you have the Wastelands. Of course, Straitjacket doesn't see the wastelands as anything less than beautiful.
- Dark Is Not Evil:
- Deadpan Snarker: Straitjacket, Phoebe, Sky Spy, the Bogie, Mr. Smoulder, Mr. Crypt... A good majority of the cast displays this, really.
- Forbidden Zone: The wastelands.
- Haunted House: The prologue is about one of these. Subverted early on when it turns out to be an AI.
- I'm a Humanitarian: Plasman, one of the NWP heroes has a habit of consuming bystanders to replenish his strength.
- Light Is Not Good: The NWP-appointed 'superheroes' are arguably worse than the 'villains'.
- Mad Scientist: QUITE a few! Straitjacket and Dr. Promelion pass this ball back and forth. The NWP probably has more than a few, if their 'superheroes' are anything to go by.
- Not Using the Z Word: Played straight with the shamblers. Inverted whenever Straitjacket runs into futuristic super-science, as he'll immediately and enthusiastically insist on calling it by what it is: A 'skeletonizing ray', a Brain in a Jar, etc...
- Our Monsters Are Different:
- Robot Maid: Vassal is a more obviously mechanical example than most.
- Savage Wolves: The fauna in the wastelands haven't learned to fear humans. Wolves are suddenly much more dangerous.
- Spider Tank: Straitjacket's housekeeper, Mr. Moofy is a tiny one of these.
- Sweet Polly Oliver: Phoebe falls into this accidentally, as her armor is extremely gender neutral.
- Technicolor Science:
- Tin-Can Robot: The machines have their own aesthetic, but it's clear based more on oldschool sci-fi than anything else, and nowhere is this more apparent than in the robots such as the police drones.
- Vegetarian Vampire: Straitjacket doesn't have any moral issues with feeding on humans. They just taste terrible.
- What Do You Mean, It's Not Symbolic?: Straitjacket invokes this in-universe with his 'mad actor' theme.
- With Great Power Comes Great Insanity: Almost all the monsters and superpowered beings have a less than firm grip on reality.