Beck and Tyger are a couple of Nanos (humans with nanomachines in their genes) trying to scrape together enough money to afford the absurdly expensive procedure to get their nanos removed so they can become "pure" and join the Pure humans. To do this, they take part in the usual job for Nanos, hunting Magicicadas in parallel worlds.
One day, while waiting in line for their turn on the Parallel Machine to go hunt Magicicadas, a mysterious girl sneaks into their van. When they find her, she begs them to let her join them, introducing herself as Call, and saying she could be of use to them, as (she suddenly claims) she's a Nano who can use echolocation to find Magicicadas. Of course, they also discover she's on the run from some nasty folks.
Red Ash: Gearworld contains examples of:
- Blessed With Suck: Having nanomachines in their systems may grant them amazing powers, but at some point, they error out, which apparently isn't pretty. As a side benefit, this leads Nanos to be restricted to certain jobs or living spaces; Call half-heartedly repeats the justification that "we" can't be relied on for important jobs if they could error out at any time.
- Calling Your Attacks: Call resorts to this to convince Tyger and Beck that she's a Nano who could be useful to their team. When the scam starts to fall apart, Beck complains about her always yelling, and Call's sincere response is confusion that they don't.Beck: Tyger, we should call the police. I don't wanna...
Call: ANGEL EARS!!!
Call: That's my power. Should be good for finding Magicicadas.
- Cape Busters: Attack Drones are on the lookout to incapacitate any Nanos who use their powers without permission, like the brief fight at the start of the film.
- Dimensional Traveler: Hunters regularly travel to other worlds to search for Magicicadas.
- Elemental Shapeshifter: Beck, better known as "Red Ash", has the power to dissolve into ash at will, which grants him limited Voluntary Shapeshifting abilities and Super Smoke-styled Nigh-Invulnerability.
- Get Out!: Beck orders Call to leave their van when she first shows up (a lot of it having to do with the fact that she knocked their lunches on the floor when she burst in from underneath).
- I Just Want to Be Normal: Beck and Tyger are hunters because they're trying to save up enough money to get the nanomachines in their bodies removed before they start to malfunction.
- Interdimensional Travel Device: The parallel machine. It's a massive machine supported on three legs that fires a huge blue beam sending Hunters to alternate dimensions. Said hunters must be under the machine to use it.
- Logical Weakness: "Red Ash" can't use his elemental shapeshifting abilities while he's wet.
- The Mourning After: Beck and Tyger are still in mourning for Lucy at the start of the film — for instance, Tyger still ordering an extra meal for her at meal times.
- Power Limiter: Members of the Nano race wear watches that keep them from using their powers.
- Projected Man: Deny, the leader of the Terrible Trio pursuing Call, isn't actually in the car with his henchmen; instead, he uses a hologram of himself to micromanage his goons and taunt Beck.
- The Power of Trust: Call's character arc as she becomes True Companions with Beck and Tyger; the two of them risking themselves to help her, and also learning about Lucy, inspires Call to risk herself in order to save Beck when he's trapped fighting Safari and Stripe while weakened.
- Sequel Hook: Beck, Call, and Tyger are trapped in a mysterious clean-room factory complex after the Blind Jump that ended the chase with Safari and Stripe; only to escape with the help of... Lucy, who they thought was dead half a year ago. The only explanation that she offers is that "Maybe the Parallel Machine leads to heaven? What I mean is, there's more than one world." The film ends with a closeup on Call, and her MacGuffin bear backpack, before fading to black.
- The Smurfette Principle: Call is the only female member of a three-person team with Beck and Tyger, taking the role originally filled by Lucy. Later Subverted when Lucy rejoins.
- Sunglasses at Night: Tyger. He's usually seen wearing orange mirror shades. He takes them off during the Car Chase, when it's time to get dangerous.
- Super Senses: Call pretends that her ANGEL EARS grant her Super Hearing. By a complete coincidence, it turns out that Lucy actually had this ability.
- Terrible Trio: Safari, Stripe, and Deny, the trio of Hunters pursuing Call and her backpack.