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1[[quoteright:300:]] ²[[caption-width-right:300:The original [[{{WesternAnimation/Animaniacs}} Katie Kaboom.]]]]²²->''"It was a pleasure to burn."''²-->--'''Epigraph''' (from ''Literature/{{Fahrenheit 451}}'')²²''Firestarter'' is a 1980 novel by Creator/StephenKing. It's about a 7-year-old girl named Charlene Roberta [=McGee=] (she goes by Charlie), who can [[PlayingWithFire start fires just by thinking about it]], or if she's feeling particularly upset; she also has a hint of precognition and a fair amount of telekinesis. Her father, Andy, has a mental domination ability he calls the 'push', allowing him to enact powerful influence over people; and her mother, Vicky, has a very limited form of telekinesis, which only extends to closing doors and turning off the television from across the room.²²They have those abilities because Andy and Vicky participated in an experiment sponsored by a government organization called the Department of Scientific Intelligence (nicknamed "The Shop," after Creator/AEVanVogt's [[ "The Weapon Shops of Isher"]]) during their college days; they were told that there was a 50% chance they would be injected with a small dose of harmless hallucinogenic drug and a 50% chance of being injected with water. It was actually an incredibly dangerous PsychoSerum, which gave them - and all the other participants in the test - paranormal abilities. Out of these other people, all but 3 are either dead or in a mental asylum of some sort. (The third one lost his abilities and is living a normal life.)²²The agents of the Shop kept the [=McGees=] under surveillance, eventually killing Vicky and kidnapping Charlie. However, Andy freed her, using his 'mind domination' ability. At the beginning of the book, Charlie and her father are on the run from the Shop, whose members want to use Charlie's power to "influence" world leaders.²²Also made into a movie of the same name in 1984, starring Creator/DrewBarrymore as Charlie, David Keith as Andy, Creator/GeorgeCScott as Rainbird, Creator/MartinSheen as Hollister and Heather Locklear as Vicky. This was the first of several Stephen King adaptations produced by the Creator/DinoDeLaurentiis Company. There was a ContestedSequel sometime later on titled ''Firestarter 2: Rekindled'' in 2002.²²----²!!This book has examples of:²²* ADateWithRosiePalms: Dr. Pynchot [[spoiler: in the middle of the ricochet set off by Andy's MindRape, puts on his wife's lingerie and masturbates over the garbage disposal]]. ²* AffablyEvil: Rainbird gains Charlie's trust by posing as a friendly janitor.²** Cap Hollister often comes across as a kind, elderly gentleman.²* AllGirlsLikePonies: Rainbird correctly predicts that, like pretty much all little girls, Charlie will no doubt love horses, and thus allowing her to visit the stables and even ride the horses is a perfect way to bribe her into cooperating. ²* AllPsychologyIsFreudian: Wanless' explanation of Charlie's relationship with her father, and how the [=McGee=]s controlled her ability by creating a complex. ²** Andy also explains Wanless' habit of shredding cigarettes in this way. ²--> An oral retentive smokes them. An anal retentive shreds them. ²* AnOfferYouCantRefuse: After the conflagration at the Manders' farm, a government agent shows up at the hospital where Irv is recovering. He offers them a $35,000 check (equivalent to over $100,000 in 2017) and tells them not to talk about what happened—leafing through files with their names on them. The files contain information (some of it potentially damaging) on relatives of theirs both immediate and distant, and the agent implicitly threatens to make a lot of trouble for those people if Irv and Norma don't keep their mouths shut.²* ArcadianInterlude:²** Andy and Charlie have a short break from being chased by the Shop when they stop for a big country lunch at Irv and Norma Manders' farm. [[spoiler:Charlie returns alone after the death of her father and the destruction of the Shop.]]²** Although the weather is rough, the winter Andy and Charlie spend hiding out at his grandfather's cottage in Vermont is on the whole peaceful and restorative.²* BadassAdorable: Charlie is a cute, blond-haired, little girl... who is capable of vaporizing people with her mind.²* BecomingTheMask: Rainbird takes his assumed role as a janitor very seriously. He stays in character even if Charlie is not around, exchanges his luxurious car for a more humble one, and always uses the employee changeroom to get into his work uniform. His motivation for doing so is that he wants to fool not just Charlie, but also all shop employees working directly with her, because he fears that otherwise rumors that he is not who he claims to be will eventually reach Charlie.²* {{Blackmail}}: Rainbird blackmails Captain Hollister into both letting him live (Hollister wants him to have an "accident" after he captures Charlie) and letting him get close to Charlie, by revealing he has gathered enough incriminating evidence to have the Shop closed down and Captain Hollister put behind bars for the rest of his life.²* BlatantLies: The Shop claimed that they were using the double blind method in the Lot Six experiment, in which only half of the volunteers will get Lot 6 and the other half will just get distilled water. They also said that Lot Six is a harmless hallucinogenic. Actually, all the volunteers got Lot Six, to which they reacted in different, but drug trip-like ways. Special mention going to the [[EyeScream eye clawer]], Andy and his future wife.²** Rainbird's story of his time in the POW hole, which is completely fabricated. ²* BlessedWithSuck: Andy's powers give him pain and minor brain hemorrhages when he uses them; Charlie's does not, but she has a hard time controlling them (and, of course, they are chased because of them).²* BloodierAndGorier: Charlie's escape from the Shop in the film compared to the book, where she massacres quite a few more Shop agents and personnel. At one point, she even blows up a helicopter in mid-flight.²* BullyingADragon: The government ''knows'' how powerful Charlie and Andy are, or have the potential to be, so what do they do? Give them all sorts of reasons to hate the government!²** Mostly averted with the Shop people. They do everything possible to keep Charlie happy, including using Rainbird as TheMole, and give her a chance to exercise her power in safe confines. However, the one thing they ''cannot'' do is let her see her father, and after a while, that's all she wants to do...²* BurningWithAnger: Charlie has some anger issues, and that makes her a [[JustForPun little hot under the collar]] sometimes...combine that with the murder of her mother and being on the run, and she's a lit fuse the Shop willingly takes into itself.²* CantStopTheSignal: Throughout the book, Andy is desperate to make his way to a national media outlet with no government ties so that he can tell the story of the Shop and what they did to his family. [[spoiler: In the book's final scene, Charlie is seen entering the offices of ''Rolling Stone'' magazine.]]²** Which makes far more sense than the movie's ending, which has her heading to the office of The New York Times...²* CementShoes: The subjects for the Lot Six experiment were chosen from people with no living relatives, so there would be fewer problems if they die. The Shop still had to kill the godfather of one of the victims, who had been determined to find out the truth of what had happened to his godson. Rather than getting to the bottom of what happened, the only place he wound up getting to was "the bottom of the Baltimore Trench, where he presumably still was, with two cement blocks tied around whatever remained of his legs."²* CreepyCrossdresser: Dr. Pynchot who has secretly enjoyed dressing up in women's underwear since his college days. [[spoiler:His crossdressing eventually becomes, literally, the ''death'' of him, after a "push" from Andy goes horribly wrong and causes him to [[ItMakesSenseInContext stick his arm in a garbage disposal while crossdressing.]]]]²* CurbStompBattle: Right before he dies, Andy tells Charlie to take the gloves off and kill anyone who gets in her way, because he knows they'll kill her if they get the chance. Charlie, pissed off over the death of her father and completely out of fucks, proceeds to burn ''everything and everyone.'' Grown men are pissing themselves while trying to get away.²* DaddysGirl: Charlie (though it's just because her mother was killed).²* DeathSeeker: Rainbird pretty much. The root of his obsession with Charlie.²* DoesNotLikeShoes: Rainbird goes barefoot when he's alone. He's fascinated with shoes and has a whole collection of them; he just doesn't like ''wearing'' them.²* TheDragon: Rainbird to Captain Hollister.²* DragonInChief: Rainbird²* DramaticChaseOpening: The book starts with Andy and Charlie chased by the Shop agents in New York. The movie replicates this, only transferring the scene from New York to Washington, D.C.²* DramaticWind : The FilmOfTheBook features this. Charlie's hair starts to blow around, then straight out, when she uses her powers. ²* TheDreaded: John Rainbird, within the Shop. Even Cap Hollister is afraid of him.²* DrivenToSuicide: Several participants of the Lot Six experiment. Also, [[spoiler: Dr. Pynchot (in the book) who commits suicide by shoving his arm into the garbage disposal while it's running, after Andy triggered an 'echo' in his mind.]]²* EmptyPromise: After Charlie finds out that her mother is dead, Andy tells her that everything will be all right, while knowing perfectly well that nothing will ever be all right.²* EvenEvilHasStandards: Cap Hollister on a number of occasions. He is disgusted when Dr. Wanless tells him about how his brother burned his child's hand with a match to stop him from playing with matches and about an experiment that tried to convince participants to wet their pants. He is also horrified when he mistakenly thinks Rainbird wants to rape Charlie and loathes Rainbird's enthusiasm about killing her.²* EyeScream: One of the participants in the Lot Six experiment goes insane and claws out his own eyes.²* FateWorseThanDeath / CoolAndUnusualPunishment: When Andy and Charlie escape from the Shop the first time he puts one of the agents responsible for Vicky's death in a coma, and permanently blinds the other one by [[MindRape mindraping]] him into "knowing" he's blind.²* FieryStoic: Charlie generates spontaneous combustion just by concentrating on the target, and once the sinister government agents kill her father, all she wants is out of the Shop. TheFilmOfTheBook shows actress Creator/DrewBarrymore as Charlie giving the eye to every Shop agent she meets, giving each the chance to stand down. Alas, Shop agents are all TooDumbToLive and dare to oppose her, which nets them instant cremation right where they stand. Although the complex and all its personnel are left a roaring bonfire, it was not a RoaringRampageOfRevenge by a [[HotBlooded hothead]]; it was a methodical eradication of all those who opposed her, with Charlie's grim purpose being especially chilling.²* TheFilmOfTheBook²* {{Fingore}}: The Shop agents pulled some of Vicky's fingernails out before killing her to get her to tell where Charlie was. Andy feels her pain in his fingers at his workplace, among other sensations, which gets him to leave early and head home, only to find her murdered.²* {{Foreshadowing}} : A very early mention of ''Magazine/RollingStone'' foreshadows Charlie approaching them to tell her story in the epilogue.²* FunnyBackgroundEvent: After the woodchips scene if you look hard enough, you can see Charlie walking out of the room while the Shop agents discuss what to do about her and Andy. Rainbird was the first to notice when she leaves.²* GildedCage: [[spoiler:When Charlie and her father Andy get kidnapped by the Shop they are given attractive living quarters. Andy notes, however, that his apartment has no inside handle.]]²* GoneHorriblyRight: The Shop wanted to see the full extent of Charlie's powers and trained her to harness them. This blew up in their faces. Literally.²* GoryDiscretionShot: Played with with the Lot Six victim who rips out his own eyes; it's flashed briefly, then you get a long, loving look at the poor sot screaming, covered in blood and [[{{Squick}} holding his own eyes in his hands]].²* GovernmentAgencyOfFiction: Department of Scientific Intelligence (the Shop).²* HappilyMarried: Andy and Vicky, before she is murdered.²* HealThyself: By way of a dream, Andy "pushes" himself clean of his thorazine addiction.²* HeroicRROD: [[spoiler: Andy eventually has a stroke because he overuses his power. He dies soon after this, but it's unclear if it was the result of the stroke or getting shot by Rainbird immediately after.]]²* HiddenDepths: Rainbird, of the villainous kind. Though he is a murderous, death-obsessed psychopath, he is also a gifted actor who is able to convincingly portray himself as a [[TheMole friendly janitor]] who is also shell-shocked from his ordeals in the Vietnam War, and hence gains the sympathy and trust of a very suspicious Charlie. By the time the novel begins he also already knows much more about the Lot Six program than Cap Hollister realized, having been able to secretly tap into Hollister's computer and personal files for the past three years. He was also able to finance all his information gathering through some skillful financial investments.²* HoistByHisOwnPetard: Charlie uses the same pyrokinetic powers the Shop has been training to turn her into a weapon in order to escape and burn the Shop down in the climax.²* HypnoFool: Andy puts a Shop agent into a coma by telling him to "go to sleep" and giving a strong 'push'. He wakes up after six months, but from that moment on, everytime somebody mentions the word "sleep" in his presence, he will fall into a deep slumber again that usually lasts for four hours to a day.²* ILoveTheDead: When Andy temporarily gains telepathic powers during the Lot Six experiment, he reads the mind of one of the Shop agents present, and learns that he killed four people and raped one of the bodies.²* ImmuneToBullets: At the end, Charlie reaches this; her powers become fast and strong enough to ''explode'' bullets before reaching her.²* InMediasRes: The novel starts with Andy and Charlie escaping from the agents of the Shop. Their backstory is told in parts in Andy's flashbacks.²* IronicNickname: "The Shop," a ''nom de guerre'' hung on the Department of Scientific Intelligence, is a grisly joke. It's derived from Creator/AEVanVogt's ''The Weapon Shops of Isher'', except that, in that book and its sequels, the Weapon Shops are intended to give power to the people against their government; The D.S.I. is only interested in expanding government power at the expense of its people. ²* KnockoutAmbush: The Shop agents capture Andy and Charlie this way. Charlie is shot by Rainbird with a tranquilizer dart from long range, and Andy, distraught over this, is easily taken out from short range.²* LamarckWasRight: Andy and Vicky gain mental domination powers and telekinesis, respectively, from a [[PsychoSerum drug]] given to them in an experiment. Their daughter is born with telekinesis and pyrokinesis as a result. This is HandWaved when the father speculates that the drug must have affected their DNA. [[WordOfGod King]] mentioned afterwards that he never liked that explanation, preferring stories where supernatural things just happen, and are never explained.²* MadScientist: Dr. Wanless. Lampshaded when Andy's friend compares him to [[Film/DrCyclops Dr. Cyclops]].²* MagicalDefibrillator: Averted; Lot Six causes a heart attack for one of the participants of the experiment. They use a defibrillator on him, but he dies anyway.²* MagicalNativeAmerican: A rare example of subversion. Rainbird's death-oriented mysticism makes him terrifying and dangerous rather than understanding and helpful.²* MeaningfulName: ''Char''lie. Also, in Stephen King's ''Dark Tower'' books ''Char'' is a root word meaning death in the High Speech of In-World.²* MeetCute : Vicky borrows a pen from Andy when they have to fill out a questionnaire for the Lot Six experiment.²* MexicanStandoff: At the end, Charlie, Andy and Rainbird have a three-way MexicanStandoff, with Rainbird being the only one with a gun. He's arguably the ''least'' well-armed of the three.²* MistakenForPedophile: Cap in the book wrongly assumes Rainbird wants to rape Charlie when he says he plans to know her "intimately." Rainbird's intentions towards Charlie are murkier in the movie, however.²* MundaneUtility: Andy uses his powers to hold diet classes and confidence classes. Charlie once uses hers to light a fireplace. Vicky's powers are quite weak and she uses them to do things like close doors. ²* NextSundayAD: The novel, published in 1980, is set between 1981-1983.²* NiceJobFixingItVillain: In a combination with HoistByHisOwnPetard, by taking Charlie hostage and running tests on her, thus making her use her ability in a safe, controlled environment on successively bigger and bigger targets, The Shop is solely responsible for teaching Charlie how to gain control over her pyrokinesis, which [[spoiler:is exactly how she manages to utterly destroy it.]]²* NoControlGroup: The participants of the Lot Six experiment are told that half of them will only be injected with distilled water in a double-blind test. Actually, everyone gets Lot Six.²* NoConservationOfEnergy: Lampshaded. In an interdepartmental memo, a Shop scientist writes that they have no idea where the heat Charlie is producing is coming from. "Figure that one out and you've got the Nobel Prize in your hip pocket!"²* NoSell: When Andy first describes his powers, he makes it clear that his "push" does not work on everybody. How effective it will be depends on a person's ethnicity (Caucasians are easier to manipulate, while Asians are very hard), age (the older a person is, the harder it becomes to manipulate their mind), and intelligence (intelligent people are the easiest to manipulate, while very dumb or even insane people are [[InsanityImmunity immune]] to the push).²** The [[InsanityImmunity immunity]] of very dumb or insane people to supernatural powers is a recurring theme in Stephen King's works, most notably in [[Literature/TheStand The Stand]], where Tom Cullen, a lightly retarded man, is immune to Randall Flagg's "eye". ²* OneDimensionalThinking: Subverted. Three men try and run away from a line of fire at the climax. It seems to be played straight until two of them try changing direction. All for nought when the fire just splits in three and follows them anyway.²* [[OneManArmy One Girl Army]]: Charlie, as the arrogant idiots of The Shop find out the ''hard'' way. She essentially becomes a walking tank - armored against conventional firearms with heat-walls and rapid-firing incendiary projectiles at everything and everyone in the vicinity.²* OnlySaneMan: Rainbird; see TooDumbToLive below. (Well, "sane" perhaps isn't the right word to describe him, but he sees the situation more clearly than others).²** Orville Jamieson - manages to survive relatively unscathed, as he's one of the few Shop agents to understand that FearIsTheAppropriateResponse when it comes to Charlie's powers. Surviving as long as he did, only because he ran away after getting a front row seat in the Manders' farm incident, he has ''no'' intention of joining his fellow agents when the alarm sounds at the Shop. ²* ObiWanMoment: A villainous example. Despite being power-hungry, Rainbird tells Captain Hollister that he hopes to die as soon as possible and take Charlie’s power with him into the afterlife.²* PersonOfMassDestruction: Charlie, obviously. And her powers are constantly increasing. Dr. Wanless says that when she grows up, she may be able to cause nuclear explosions, or even destroy the whole planet. Later on, Charlie herself thinks that she may one day be able to affect the sun itself.²* ThePeterPrinciple: Lampshaded by Rainbird in reference to Patrick Hockstetter, one of the shop doctors in charge of Andy and Charlie. When summoned back to the Shop one night for an emergency involving Charlie, Hockstetter is mainly peeved that he was interrupted while watching a James Bond film.²* PinealWeirdness: An acceptable variation. The extrasensory powers induced by Lot Six are connected to changes this drug creates in the pituitary gland. Dr. Wanless says that if the soul exists, it is probably located in this gland.²* PowerIncontinence: Charlie finds it very hard to control her power at first. Even at the end, she still has trouble getting it to stop working, it seems to "want" to keep going, burning up everything.²* PowersDoTheFighting: Used to very eerie effect in the film version, especially in the climax. Charlie just stands with her hands at her sides and ''looks'' at the people, building and vehicles she is blowing up, while also remaining unflinching as she vaporizes bullets fired at her.²* PstandardPsychicPstance: In the movie, Andy has a variant where he brushes his hair back from his forehead and presses his palms to his head.²* PsychicAssistedSuicide: Cap thinks that the Shop could use Andy's power for that: "Imagine him getting close enough to that pinko Ted Kennedy to suggest in a low voice of utter conviction that suicide was the best answer."²** Andy is momentarily tempted to use a strong push to interrogate Pynchot of everything he knows, then get him to go home and commit suicide so the Shop doesn't know. He's repelled by the thought, and decides not to risk pushing Pynchot further. However Pynchot kills himself anyway, due to his own neurosis interacting with the effects of the push.²** Downplayed in the climax, where Andy "pushes" Rainbird to jump off the loft in the stable, to break a MexicanStandoff after he was momentarily distracted by Cap's screaming. While he only got a broken leg out of the deal, this was followed quickly by Charlie ''[[TheresNoKillLikeOverkill vaporizing]]'' him (and Cap, blowing open an entire wall of the stable, and killing most of the people on the other side). ²* PsychicNosebleed / DeadlyNosebleed: In the film, Andy gets one of these whenever he uses his power; in the book, he has terrible headaches, scleral hemorrhages that turns the whites of his eyes red, and eventually small strokes which leave part of his face numb.²* PsychicPowers: Well, yes.²** CompellingVoice: Andy's "Push" ability.²** MindOverMatter: Charlie's mother, Vicky, has some limited powers of telekinesis. Charlie also has this power; she uses it to get change from payphones. There's still some crossover from her pyrokinesis, as the phones give off some smoke after she makes them release their change.²** PlayingWithFire: Charlie, of course.²** {{Telepathy}}: Andy and Vicky could converse without talking when they were under the effect of Lot Six (though not later). Charlie also has limited telepathic powers. It could also be mild precognition, as she knows the Shop agents are coming to the Manders' farm.²** MindlinkMates: Andy and Vicky's telepathy seems to still be working slightly after the experiment, and is even subtly hinted that this link is the reason they don't go insane like most of the rest of the experimentees. Their connection is also the only reason Vicky is able to eventually make love to Andy, as she was abused when she was young, and very scared of sex. ²* PsychoForHire: Rainbird. He kills people because he's obsessed with death. From the money he receives for it, he mostly buys shoes that he never wears. He uses the rest to finance his information gathering on the Shop itself, first for protection, later to blackmail Hollister into letting him get close to Charlie.²* PsychoPsychologist: Dr. Pynchot who grins too much and gets Andy hooked on Thorazine. He also suggests torturing Andy with electric shocks in front of Charlie to convince her to start lighting fires.²* PsychoSerum: Lot Six, the experimental substance given to 12 college students, including Charlie's parents, in hopes of boosting their ESP abilities. Most of the participants [[GoneHorriblyWrong didn't live very long afterward]].²* PubertySuperpower: Not precisely, but it's hinted that the psychic powers are linked to the pituitary gland, which goes nuts at puberty. Charlie is already extremely powerful, and she's ''prepubescent.'' At the end she reflects that someday she might be able to affect the sun itself.²** At least some of the Shop's scientists think that the pituitary gland is the key to the powers, and during puberty they fear Charlie will literally be able to [[ApocalypseMaiden destroy the world at will]].²** Played with in the "sequel" as a now-adult Charlie unwittingly generates fires when she's [[PowerPerversionPotential sexually aroused]].²* RaceLift: Rainbird in the novel is Native American. In the movie, he's played by George C. Scott. ²* RoaringRampageOfRevenge: [[spoiler:Charlie burns down every building belonging to the Shop, and kills Rainbird, Cap, and pretty much every other agent in her line of sight after her father dies]].²* ShellShockedVeteran: Rainbird plays that role for Charlie: he pretends that he has a paralyzing fear of the dark, because the Vietcong imprisoned him in a dark cave. (He really is a Vietnam War vet, and he saw plenty of disturbing things, but they don't seem to affect him much and he was never captured).²** The "firing line" that attempts to stop Charlie is made of Vietnam vets, who lose it when the fireworks start. ²* ShootingSuperman: In the film's climax, the Shop agents can't seem to get it through their heads that Charlie is ''visibly vaporizing'' every round that gets near her.²* ShoutOut: A subtle one: Charlie's full name is Charlene Roberta [=McGee=]. Her father calls her Bobbi, a short version of her middle name, as an alias, making her full name [[Music/JanisJoplin "Bobbi [=McGee=]"]]. Joplin died in 1970, shortly before Charlie was born. It's hard to imagine that Andy (or King, a shameless rock-and-roller) would not have had this in mind.²* TheSoCalledCoward: The Shop continually underestimates Andy, regarding him as an outclassed English professor.²* SternChase: About half the book.²* StuffedIntoTheFridge: Andy finds Vicky's body in an ironing closet after the Shop agents killed her.²* StupidEvil: It's noted a few times that the majority of the Shop's agents really suck at their jobs, having ended up there because no reputable place would hire them. The team monitoring Andy and Vicky showed their hand and attacked the house because they missed that Charlie was ''having a sleepover'' and figured her not coming home that night was because the family was on to them.²* SuperiorSuccessor: The biggest reason The Shop's modus operandi changes from "reacquire the [=McGees=]" to "nab Charlie" - despite her age, Charlie has all of the benefits of her parents with none of the [[BlessedWithSuck side effects]] that plague them. She has her own [[PlayingWithFire pyrokinetic abilities]] with a bit of her parents' power on top of that, with her only real problem being a bit of PowerIncontinence... and it's implied that she'll eventually grow out of that. ²* SuperSoldiers: One of the goals of The Shop's experiments on parapsychology is creating people who might be useful as weapons.²* TakeAThirdOption: After his duplicity has been revealed, Rainbird manages to take Charlie out of the fight by pointing out that she'll kill the horses in the barn if she starts burning everything. While this does succeed at first, Charlie eventually realizes, during a second standoff that comes later, that she can simply melt the hinges off the stall doors so the horses can run out on their own.²* TestedOnHumans: The Lot Six experiment.²* TomboyishName: Charlene's nickname "Charlie". Also her alias "Bobbi" (Roberta is her middle name) used by the kind-hearted farmer Irv Manders.²* TooDumbToLive: Like with many horror stories, lots of examples from the heroes and villains alike.²** You have a girl who you ''know'' can start fires -- ''BIG'' honkin' fires -- just with her mind. Wouldn't it be a lot better to, oh, be ''nice'' to her?²** Rainbird once muses how stupid the Shop's agents are, comparing them to thieves who he had heard of. They blew a safe, destroying all the money in it because they used too much explosive. ²--->"The Shop, like the FBI and CIA, had a long history of killing the money. If you can't get what you want with foreign aid, go in there with some Thompsons and gelignite and assassinate the bastard. Put some cyanide gas in Castro's cigars. It was crazy, but you couldn't tell them that. All they could see were RESULTS, glittering and blinking like some mythical Vegas jackpot. So they killed the money and stood there with a bunch of useless green scraps sifting through their fingers and wondered what the hell had happened."²** Actually averted at the end with the Shop agents. Once they figure out Charlie's impenetrable from the front (and lose several agents horribly in the process), they try going at her from the back, sniping her, using heavier and heavier firepower, and finally just [[VillainsDyingGrace line up to be fried]], to give as many civilians time to escape as possible.²** There's a heroic example too: after Andy watches his daughter get shot (with a tranq dart) by Rainbird, does he grab her and run for cover? Nope, just kneels right out there in the open holding her (unconscious) body until another agent shoots him too. However, this is an understandable reaction as he was in shock.²* TookALevelInBadass: Charlie starts the story giving people hotfoots when she loses her temper. By the end, she's creating ''high-explosive plasma projectiles'' and rapid-firing them into everything in the vicinity.²* {{Transvestite}}: [[spoiler:Dr. Pynchot]] returns to being one of these in the book, as a side effect of being "pushed" by Andy.²* TykeBomb: ''Literally'' what Charlie is. The Shop wants to make her ''their'' TykeBomb, which is why she and her father are on the run in the beginning of the story. They succeed in [[PersonOfMassDestruction training her how to use her powers]], and then they discover that she [[RoaringRampageOfRevenge doesn't belong to them after all]].²* TheVerse: The Shop has a lot of fingers in a lot of pies throughout the Kingiverse (''Literature/TheStand'', ''Literature/TheTommyknockers'', ''Golden Years'', etc.).²* VillainHasAPoint: While the Shop's methods are wrong (and wrong-headed, to boot), they are perfectly correct to view Charlie and Andy as hideously dangerous threats. And if any other country knew of their powers, they would be in constant danger of abduction. ²* VillainousBreakdown: [[spoiler:Captain Hollister receives an awful side-effect of Andy's powers, heightening his love for golf and fear of snakes, to the point that they're pretty much the only things he can think of. When Andy and Charlie finally meet, he believes he finds a snake in the barn and screams loudly in terror. This leads to the complete and utter destruction of the compound, and the deaths of himself, Andy, Rainbird, and countless Shop employees.]]²** The one mook during Charlie's rampage, he thought he had a clear shot but the bullet exploded before it could hit Charlie. When Charlie faces him, [[OhCrap he already knows he's screwed]] and helplessly begs for his life. Of course Charlie's in no mood to take prisoners.²* VillainsOutShopping: Rainbird's home has entire rooms full of shoes that he collects during his travels.²* VoiceOfTheResistance: Andy believes that the media will expose the Shop's corruption and save him and Charlie if only he can contact a reputable newspaper. [[spoiler: His letters to ''The New York Times'', ''Chicago Tribune'' and ''Washington Post'' are intercepted by Shop agents, but Charlie makes it to the offices of ''Rolling Stone'' at the end of the novel.]]²* WithGreatPowerComesGreatResponsibility: At the very end, Charlie starts to realize this, and goes back to the Manders to blow the story open.²²----


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