A tale of life, love, and internal parasites.Abbey is a sixteen-year-old girl living on an alien world. Her sole companion is Scut, a genetically engineered symbiote called a Gnoph which lives in her left lung. Gnoph were designed to give superhuman powers to the host... but without access to her homeworld's medicine, they will both soon die. Attempting to transport back to her world, Abbey winds up on a medieval planet instead. There she makes the acquaintance of Duke William of Klag, a somewhat inept and cowardly young man. Will's fate becomes entwined with Abbey's when Scut lays an egg inside of him. With both their lives now at stake, they proceed to Abbey's world, which on the surface is not dissimilar to our own. But as Secret Police hunt them down, they have to fight to survive.Contains heavy Mood Whiplash, combining humor and romance with tragedy and the grotesque.Read it here. Rated "M" for blood, language, and sometimes nudity.This series provides examples of:
Bifauxnen: Abbey is frequently mistaken for a boy. It doesn't help that she once had to metabolise her (admittedly rather small) breasts so she didn't have to start in on more important organs.
Big Eater: A necessity for Gnoph hosts. If they don't eat enough, the results aren't pretty.
Black Box: The creation of the RJFH strain of Gnoph was purely accidental. As one scientist mockingly puts it, "Gotta love that military mentality. "Ah don' know why ut works, but they sure do kill!" Idiots."
The author once remarked something to the effect of, "I'll never get tired of drawing Abbey coughing up blood."
Body Horror: If someone carrying a Gnoph doesn't take the appropriate growth-suppression hormones, as in Abbey's case, this is the inevitable result.
More specifically, the Gnoph eventually grows too large to be carried in the host's lung. If it goes on long enough, the Gnoph will metamorphose while still inside its host, creating a massive, necrotic cyst that takes up pretty much the entire host's side/back. The only reason Abbey survived that was because some doctors killed Scut and tied his remains back into her nervous system. Much of this is drawn and colored in loving detail.
Deadly Upgrade: Being infected with a Gnoph grants incredible powers... which use the host's body as a fuel source. If they're used too much, or if the host doesn't eat enough, they'll be slowly eaten alive from the inside. With rest and food, it's possible to recover with the Gnoph's added Healing Factor, but burning through a kidney is still an experience best avoided.
What Measure Is a Non-Human?: Created as living computers, Gnoph symbiotes are generally regarded as non-sentient. They are killed just as casually as we would throw away an obsolete computer. But the 04:67:RJFH Gnoph are sentient, and started the Lytton Rebellion.
Eventually, Liss manages to manipulate events so that all Gnoph gain sentience.