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Creator / Vathara

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A long-time fanfiction writer who started out in fanzines and is now found on and Archive of Our Own, Vathara is often referred to as the Crossover Queen. Despite that, her most famous work, Embers, is not a crossover, although it contains a large number of expies. Her largest series, the Urban Legends universe, is based off of and views as series canon (link removed, led to spam site) a fanfic by another author.


Notable works include;

Embers, which has its own tropes page. Theft Absolute takes place in the Embers universe; Scarlet and Black is a standalone pilot episode for another Avatar: The Last Airbender AU fic universe.

A Net of Dawn and Bones is her first original fiction to be published.

The Urban Legends series, which contains;

Among others.

Foreign Exchange, a series of five fics, one removed (songfic).

Upon A Fiery Steed, a novel-length Stargate/Gundam Wing fusion.


Thrower of the Dart, an Artemis Fowl/Avengers cross that picks up right at the end of The Lost Colony and immediately takes a hard right straight into the MCU. How the hell did Atlantis lose a Bio Bomb? And just what is Doom, of all people, up to?

Blades of Blood and Witchy Woman, a series of two novel-length fics (so far) combining Rurouni Kenshin and the NightLife RPG.

Ethan Rayne's Very Bad Day, which takes the Buffy the Vampire Slayer's Fandom-Specific Plot of "What if they went as someone else that Halloween Episode?" and turns it Up to Eleven.

Mending Songs, Clean and White, Stained, Take Two – a series of four Rurouni Kenshin & Bleach crossovers.

Lone Flower, Petals in the Wind, Petals Scattered – a series of three Buffy the Vampire Slayer & Bleach crossovers.

Shadows in Starlight, a novel-length Star Wars & Rurouni Kenshin crossover.


Project Tatterdemalion and its sequels, Project Asclepius, Project Thoughts, and ''Sanzo vs. the Alien Invasion'', a Bleach and Manga/Saiyuki sci-fi/horror AU Fusion Fic. This series also has its own TV Tropes page.

Change Of Fate, a standalone (so far) fusion between Star Wars and Sword Art Online.

Her first original work, A Net of Dawn and Bones, is available on Amazon.

Tropes appearing in her work:

  • Achievements in Ignorance: Kenshin's surviving an attempt on Jusanro Tani's life in Blades of Blood counts because if he had known that the curved side was supposed to be sharp, he would have flipped the blade and then he'd be dead. The Virus in Witchy Woman, the second entry in the series, employ evolutionary computer design, which is explained on the trope page.
  • Adaptational Villainy:
    • Daniel Jackson's grandfather dumped in the foster care system after his parents died when he was eight in canon. In the Urban Legends Verse, he did so after fighting to get custody of him from Ariella Coldsmith-Briggs. Ariella had had him because the Drs. Jackson were spies as well as archaelogists and their deaths were not an accident.
    • Mackenzie is an NID mole in Upon a Fiery Steed who forced Col. Makepeace to go rogue for the NID by reminding him that Sen. Kinsey was paying for his sister's psychiatric care. He's so villainous that he regards the transplanted humans they've found as humanoid aliens.
    • Tomoe Yukishiro, Kenshin's first wife in canon, was reinvented in Witchy Woman as a mere girlfriend whom he had to temporarily kill to preserve his humanity. Afterwards, he spent a year hiding out from her. In canon, her death, which was permanent, was a Heroic Sacrifice.
    • The Tok'ra of Stargate SG-1 are presented as exploitative allies not so different from the Goa'uld who have no exit strategy and terrible spies.
    • The Air Nomads of Avatar: The Last Airbender are presented as a mind-controlling regime which takes all children from their mothers at age two to be placed with airbending masters — and those who aren't airbenders are adopted out of the Nation; the swordsman who trained Aang's biological father was one such.
  • Adaptation Dye-Job: Duo Maxwell has violet eyes (official website says Prussian blue).
  • Adaptation Species Change:
  • A.I. Is a Crapshoot: Subverted with Airwolf. She's genuinely loyal to her adoptive family, and wouldn't hurt a fly. Unless it shot at them. Then she'd blow it to smithereens.
  • Air-Vent Passageway:
    • The Hollows in Project Tatterdemalion are so flexible that they can manage this. Hitsugaya considered it in Project Asclepius but the passages weren't big enough, so he went through the window.
    • Conference Calls
      Archangel: "Foreign operatives turning the source of life, the very air you breathe, into the channel for your destruction. Freud or Jung, the psychological connotations are damning… And second only to air ducts, I despise babbling."
  • Aliens of London: Averted in Upon a Fiery Steed, where the English of the Sanqians is said to have an odd flavor.
  • Aliens Speaking English: Justified in Upon a Fiery Steed, where the people of Sanq learned English by raiding Goa'uld databases, and the Goa'uld extracted it from kidnapped SGC personnel.
  • Alternate Universe: O'Neill encounters one where the SGC has a longstanding alliance with The Firm, and Sha'uri was found alive.
  • Always on Duty: Deconstructed. It is stated in various Urban Legends fics to be a risk factor for cracking up and a problem for an SGC effectively under seige by a rogue government agency that has bought off most of the people who could stop it.
  • A Mind Is a Terrible Thing to Read: In Walk Through the Valley, the merrows of The Federation insist on subjecting its citizens to a form of Mind Control called conditioning, which amounts to telepathic Mind Rape, for this reason.
  • The Assimilator: Jack O'Neill thinks Kenshin is this after a breach of medical ethics goes horribly wrong and he gets some of his blood transfused into him. He even references The Thing (1982). He's wrong, by the way.
  • Assimilation Plot: The Arrancar of Project Tatterdemalion, according to her blog, and the Federation of Walk Through the Valley.
  • Aura Vision: Kenshin in every fic of hers, along with the rest of the Kenshingumi in Urban Legends and the youkai, shinigami, and yuurei of Project Tatterdemalion. In Blades of Blood, it's just Sanosuke and Kenshin.
  • Author Appeal:
    • Awesomeness Is a Force: Jedi, benders, psychics - Vathara really likes the concept of "perfect leaders" who can walk into a rabble and instantly cow them, inspire them, and turn them into an army. Often becomes an Accidental Aesop as this phenomena is repeatedly demonstrated to not just rally the masses into victories over evil, but is often the cause of hellish conflicts that annihilate populations; it took a "perfect leader" to defeat the tyrant, but the tyranny began with a "perfect leader."
    • Determinator: Cloud in Thorns, Kirito in Monstrous Compendium Online and Waking to Another Sky, Kenshin in every story he appears in, Genjyo Sanzo in every story he appears in,
    • Friendly Neighborhood Vampires; most of her stories involve: (psychological) transformation, predatory variants of humanity, or (psychological) transformations into predatory variants of humanity. In every case, these creatures are demonstrated to be, if not noble, then Necessarily Evil, even in universes where a significant percentage of such entities regularly terrorize, torture, kill and eat humans For the Evulz.
      Kenshin: You don't think of someone you - care about - as food!
      Battousai: Have you never cherished an apple tree?
    • The Evils of Free Will. At the very least, in her universes, freedom has liabilities significant enough that some could rationally justify abandoning it.
      Amak: We didn't want to be ruled by the Northern Chief or the waterbenders; we didn't want to be ruled by anybody. And we weren't. Which worked just fine. Until it didn't. Until someone who actually wanted to do us harm came for us, and wouldn't stop coming.
    • She loves defying Cool People Rebel Against Authority: every rebel figure she has written has been a fanatic, while Just Following Orders is commonly praised, with the obedient Easily Forgiven and their detractors "revealed" to be far worse than those they despise. She's a big fan of this last one even in Real Life — for example, she believes the Kent State shootings were justified. might want to do more research on Kent State than Wikipedia has up. And on the Sixties in general, and the so-called anti-war movement in particular. A lot of those people were not pacifists. You're not a pacifist if you throw rocks at firemen and police; you're an idiot, depending on someone else to act in a much more civilized manner than you are. Also note that at the same time said shootings occurred, groups like the Weather Underground and others claiming to be part of the anti-war movement were busily wreaking havoc, inflicting property damage, and murdering people across the country. And there were all kinds of rumors and noises about people like that being in the crowd. Potentially with bombs.
      Context, people. Know your historical context.
  • Autopsy Snack Time: Inverted in Blades of Blood, where an ME was snacked on by a werewolf coming back from a temporary death.
  • Badass Adorable: Airwolf, who would count as a Tyke-Bomb if the people who'd intended to use her as a weapon had considered her a person in the first place. Kenshin in every story in which he appears.
  • Badass and Child Duo:
    • Kenshin and Yahiko in Blades of Blood and Witchy Woman, although Yahiko is male, not The Pollyanna and got into martial arts before his half-brother. Neither is Walking the Earth and there is no villain after Yahiko.
    • Hiko and Kenshin in Walk Through the Valley. Hiko may fit the requirements for the Badass almost to a T (he's implied to be at least fifty, if not sixty at the beginning of the story, though), but Kenshin is a boy who was savvy enough to know that he wouldn't be taken in because of his red hair and command of Federation Standard (the tongue of the enemy), was not regarded as valuable enough to worth trying to snatch from Hiko at first and Hiko began teaching him Hiten Mitsurugi Ryuu very shortly after his Emergency Transformation was finished. Kenshin was not a Replacement Goldfish. In fact, Hiko was a Child Hater until he came along. Hiko walks the galaxy, though, after Kenshin is lured off-planet by the bastard who almost killed him five years earlier and a man who turned out to be a military recruiter.
  • Barehanded Blade Block: A force technique that allows one to do this exists in Shadows in Starlight and is actually a major plot point. It's fairly dangerous technique to use and it is still recommended the force user who employs it should wear kote to minimize the possibility of permanent damage to their hands if they mess up. Kenshin was once forced to perform the technique without kote to save his own life against a fallen jedi back during the Bakumatsu and his hands were badly scared as a result (it didn't help that he was pretty exhausted at that point in the battle).
  • Barrier Maiden: Kenshin is this in the Urban Legends Verse as of Flat Tire with Bad Guys. So long as he is standing, nothing dangerous will escape Cheyenne Mountain.
  • Beethoven Was an Alien Spy: Whenever Historical Domain Character Hajime Saitou of The Shinsengumi appears, he's not human. But the Urban Legends and Blades of Blood Verses are especially notable in that they are Urban Fantasy.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Vathara portrays Katara as this in Embers — as much as she loves Kenshin for being "a peaceable guy until [he has] a target" and Unohana for letting her temper fly when the situation calls for it and still keeping it under control, she does not like Katara.
    Word of God: Katara is not honest. Katara is sweetness and confidence and "we're going to help Aang save the world!" Until she runs into something she doesn't like, at which point the Sugar Queen cracks, and a lot of nastiness oozes out. ...Yeah. That relationship is going to end so well. I think I'll take my chances with Azula....
  • Bizarre Human Biology:
    • In ''Flat Tire with Bad Guys, Kenshin was revealed to have nucleated red blood cells, like a reptile, which could take on the function of white blood cells in a pinch. In fact, any cell could take on any function, if need be. They can form new organs wherever and whenever they're needed. It's because he's a hanyou, and Youkai, in the Urban Legends universe, are a Human Subspecies created by the Ancients, whom Vathara envisions as Abusive Precursors.
    • Cloud and Zack become reliant on the sun for much of their nourishment in Thorns after they become Winged Humanoids. Guess where their solar panels are?
  • Black Speech: The EMP-based Starfish Language of Hollows in Project Tatterdemalion makes all but the toughest normal responders drop to the ground, curl up in the fetal position and whimper. All EMPs are this to electronic equipment in Project Tatterdemalion.
  • Blue-and-Orange Morality: In Flat Tire with Bad Guys, hanyou would sooner forgive you for trying to kill them than for lying to them.
  • Bond Creature: Airwolf.
  • Bring My Brown Pants: In All I Need is a Miracle, one glare from Kenshin is all it takes to make a treasonous lieutenant crap himself.
  • Call a Rabbit a "Smeerp":
    • Shadows in Starlight alone has "Miasma Fever," for malaria, whose name is a relic of a time when it was thought to be caused by swamp gas; kokumotsu, for millet; "biters," for mosquitoes; "brown cane," for sugarcane, which Japan has grown for a long time; yanagi no kuroi (black willow) is loosely based on the jubokko (vampire tree), which had no symbiotic relationship with leeches or the power to put unwary animals to sleep.
    • Walk Through the Valley has "tree-rats," which are clearly squirrels, given that they are arboreal, bushy-tailed Rodents of Unusual Size. Okay, so maybe most squirrels aren't huge enough for Hiko to say that Kenshin was smaller than some of them, but bushy-tailed and arboreal still apply.
  • Cat Girl: Muscular, Tall, Dark, and Snarky Hiko, of all people, is one in all but three of the stories in which he is even mentioned. He not may be Moe or soft and he doesn't necessarily possess any external feline features whatsoever, but his personality, as in canon, splits the difference between the highly affectionate male and aloof female versions of this trope, making him a snarky and egotistical Jerk with a Heart of Gold.
  • Celibate Hero:
    • In Walk Through the Valley, Hiko's rash decision to break his own laws and splice alien felinoid pack animal DNA into his genome created two insurmountable obstacles to sex;
      • Mid-back length sensory tendrils that looks just like human hair blowing in the wind (it is living tissue that moves on its own) until it is touched, which causes it to curl against whatever lifeform is touching it, provided it's upset, at least. His scalp tendrils are never shed, not even in the shower. His hairbrush, if he owns one, would have zero hairs. They also don't feel like hair, as Okiku felt for herself when rubbing Kenshin's scalp. He has the vellus hair women and prepubescent children have on his face and neck instead of the terminal hair a man should, except for the eyebrows and lashes, of course. Any woman Hiko brought to the cabin would have to be really drunk not to pick up on that. Kwannon, as a world that has been slated for absorption by The Federation, has a No Transhumanism Allowed policy.
      • Becoming a Knight Templar Parent in spite of himself with the desire to kill any predator that approaches his cabin (including humans) ever since Kenshin's second shedding. Only one person, Okiku Toyotomi, is allowed to see the cabin after Kenshin finishes his Emergency Transformation and it took months for him to reshape his instincts enough to allow even that. She was simply one of his few friends and the only other person who knew about Kenshin at first.
    • The first, he deliberately inflicted on himself. The second was due to never guessing he'd be anyone's Parental Substitute, much less transform them as he did himself. He never mentions missing sex. In fact, the only indication that Vathara doesn't think he's asexual is his interest in Joyce Summers in Ethan Rayne's Very Bad Day.
    • Misao in Witchy Woman is stated to have sworn off dating after Aoshi went missing five years earlier.
  • Combat Tentacles: The Reavers of Upon A Fiery Steed and all the shinigami in Project Tatterdemalion have two pairs of such growing out of their backs.
  • Conscription: Kenshin in Walk Through the Valley was sold to a Confederate military recruiter by Yoson Hotate, a grief-stricken member of La Résistance, because he looked to be the perfect Deep Cover Agent.
  • Containment Field:
    • The slaves in Walk Through the Valley were held back by a wall of light at a wavelength that would caused their slave tattoos to poison them to death (see Explosive Leash below for details).
    • As of Flat Tire with Bad Guys, there is one around Cheyenne Mountain in the Urban Legends Verse courtesy of Kenshin Himura, who doesn't want to have to hunt for another off-world predator a la Spin Cycle.
  • Continuity Nod: Three examples from just her Ruroken fic;
    • When Hiko and Kenshin meet after fifteen years in Rurouni Kenshin, the former dredges up an embarrassing incident in which the latter ate one of the species of Magic Mushroom called waraitake, or, "laughing mushroom," which the Media Blasters dub translated as "funny mushrooms." Guess what Janet was exposed to before Spin Cycle opened?
    • In Walk Through the Valley, Hiko kills an Oniwaban who had previously tortured a man to death using iron spikes and candle wax during an Unstoppable Rage. In the original manga, an Oniwaban named Okina does the same thing to one of Shishio's messengers.
    • In Shadows in Starlight:
      • Katsu was put under compulsion to bring Megumi to Kanryuu, who planned to take her back from them in exchange for Katsu life. In the course of the discussion, Kaoru said the onmitsu were good enough to have studied them, and would know they were coming:
      Yahiko's eyes widened. "It's a trap?"
      • Katsu notes that Sano has qualms about shooting first.
  • Cool Old Guy: Hiko in Walk Through the Valley was still practicing Hiten Mitsurugi into his old age over the objections of his superiors.
  • Cool Shades: Hiko was forced to wear them in Walk Through the Valley due to his extremely acute Innate Night Vision. As in, he's Blind Without 'Em. Kenshin was never mentioned as having them, but he would need them.
  • Cuddle Bug:
  • Dark Is Not Evil: In Shadows in Starlight, Kenshin uses Force lightning, the Agony Beam of the Star Wars universe, to heal Obi-Wan Kenobi of Kanto Plain Miasma Fever because the Light Side doesn't kill and the disease is caused by a blood parasite. On Yamato, Sith and Jedi had to learn to get along to survive. Sith alchemy gave Yamato crops and animals that could survive its climate.
  • Darwinist Desire:
    • The Federation of Walk Through the Valley has practiced eugenics since it was founded to ensure that the descendents of the small-but-not-too-small starting population didn't perish from inbreeding. Even after their civilization grew to include more planets than the Confederacy, they refused to stop.
  • Deconstruction Crossover: The Urban Legendsverse is a Massive Multiplayer Crossover that deconstructs at least two of the works incorporated into it.
    • Stargate SG-1;
      • Hearts On Barbed Wire points out that the SGC essentially started and is fighting an illegal war with an unspeakably powerful enemy — one that a number of more ethical individuals in the government would attempt to stop if they knew of it.
      • Flat Tire with Bad Guys expands on this — the scientific staff cannot publish research or take interns, and is subject to casual degradation by military personnel. A similar situation for soldiers would be if they were repeatedly sent on high-loss missions with minimal support to capture objectives that were later surrendered without any stated reason — while being treated as barbarians by their supporters.
      • Veritas points out that General Hammond is playing fast and loose with his non-military personnel. The SGC's treatment of their scientific staff is appalling — ordering Jackson to publish false documents to preserve the SGC's secrecy would permanently ruin him academically if it was ever discovered — no scientist would trust that he is publishing legitimate research if he is willing to create false documents for the government, and he would essentially be the next Trofim Lysenko. On top of that, in the mythological background, Amunet(the Goa'uld who possessed Daniel's wife, Sha'uri) is far older, smarter, and more powerful than early Big Bad Apophis (her husband). It's entirely possible that Sha'uri is still alive — and that General Hammond knows this. Daniel Jackson is The Worm Guy of Worm Guys — a uniquely capable individual in an already small and specialized field. If Daniel got his wife back, the possibility exists that he'd retire to Abydos and leave the SGC without his talents. Therefore, Hammond could be refusing to even allow anyone to consider the possibility that Sha'uri is alive and could be rescued... which is a good example of the "military intelligence" oxymoron — ensuring the defeat of Apophis while faking Amunet's death is like ensuring the death of Osama bin Laden and faking Stalin's death — something that could lead to Earth's defeat... just to make sure his pet geek won't desert. Worst part? Since Daniel's not military, yet used those talents to ensure a place in his command, it's entirely ethical by military standards to screw with his head to ensure his loyalty in turn.
      • Contact points out that Jack O'Neill has no family outside of the ex-wife he's not in touch with, hasn't been on a date in years and has no friends outside of work or neighbors to lean on when things go wrong.
      • Waking to Another Sky deconstructs Adventurer Archaeologist when Daniel himself points out that the pressures of fighting the Goa'uld force him to do his job completely wrong.
      "What I do isn't science, Janet. Science would be careful. Science would take time to develop theories and test them by experiment, instead of rushing through translations and hoping I get it right before something else blows up. What I do - it's not science. It's rescue archaeology. We pick our way through the ruins and yank out anything that might be worth saving, because god only knows if the planet will be there tomorrow."
    • Rurouni Kenshin:
      • Veritas again: if Tomoe had succeeded in killing the Hitokiri Battousai, the Shogunate would seen it as a stain on its honor to be wiped away with her death because she was a woman.
  • Deep Cover Agent:
    • In Walk Through the Valley, Kenshin's father was this. The ookamimoya alterants created by Project Miburou were to be this. Kenshin was taken from Kwannon to become one as part of Project Miburou.
    • In Blades of Blood, Kenshin's parents were tasked with keeping Irish-American money out of IRA coffers.
  • Demonic Dummy: Han'nya in Witchy Woman is a bunraku puppet brought to life centuries before the story opens.
  • Doing In the Wizard: Her profile states that she enjoys scientific explanations of magic.
  • Drowning My Sorrows: Hiko in Walk Through the Valley after Kenshin leaves him.
  • Emancipated Child: Kaiba in the Foreign Exchange universe.
  • EMP: Hiko and Kenshin can generate and sense them in Walk Through the Valley, as can all the shinigami, normal responders and Hollows of Project Tatterdemalion. Precisely how is never stated, but it is implied to be electroreception, which shouldn't work above water because air is a poor conductor—unless you ionized the shit out of the air with EMPs and had a lot of electroreceptors like the kind Hiko, Kenshin and the shinigami appear to have on their sensory tendrils. If this is the case, then they are living EEGs, and they've got a hell of a thought helmet, but instead of hearing voice commands like the soldiers of the future in the TIME magazine article, they have to share the thoughts they read. The empaths, hanyou and Youkai of the Urban Legends series are implied to be able to sense the differences in electromagnetic fields between living and nonliving things as of Contact and Flat Tire with Bad Guys, but they aren't Walking Techbane. In fact, only the shinigami can knock out electronics. As for Hiko and Kenshin, not only are they not stated to be able to do this, they can't even navigate their way around inanimate objects; Hiko couldn't find the bathroom after he woke up and before his eyes unsealed.
  • The Empath: Vathara loves this trope;
  • Empathic Weapon: Airwolf in Urban Legends and Battousai in Blades of Blood, where he's a Muramasa blade, and a rare heroic example, at that.
  • Empowered Badass Normal:
    • Shunsui, Yumichika and Ikkaku in ''Project Tatterdemalion. Sgt. Petrillo and Gen. Yamamoto are this as of Project Thoughts , as well.
    • Daniel in Upon a Fiery Steed caught a Beneficial Disease, underwent an Emergency Transformation as a result and gained a killer instinct that he is going to need lessons to control.
    • Kenshin in Blades of Blood can really think on his feet even before he started sharing headspace with a Bakumatsu assassin in a Soul Jar.
    • Hiko in Walk Through the Valley was already a master swordsman, a master scout explorer and a gene-tech. Kenshin in the same story was more of an Action Survivor before he transformed.
  • The Evils of Free Will: The Federation in Walk Through the Valley is a False Utopia ruled by a telepathic Human Subspecies called the merrows who've eliminated it from the citizenry because A Mind Is a Terrible Thing to Read.
  • Explosive Leash: The Federation of Walk Through the Valley uses poison tattoos to keep slaves from escaping. They are designed to release their toxic cargo when:
    • The slaves try to get out of the cell door they just unlocked.
    • Another slave cuts out the tattoo.
    • A slaver presses a remote detonator.
      • The signal is strong enough that it will rupture one or two beads on the tattoo of any slave behind them.
    • The beads went a year without being replaced.
    • The beads' coating fools the immune system so that it regards them as just another body part. If a slaver tattoos themselves, the skin will slough off after a few weeks.
  • Expressive Hair: Hiko has a variant of this in Walk Through the Valley; his sensory tendrils curl around upset creatures they come in contact with.
  • Faking the Dead: Shauri is alive in the Urban Legends Verse because Amaunet can use the abilities of empaths like her to for the kind of Jedi Mind Tricks it takes to play dead.
  • Fantastic Racism: After Demona nearly exterminates New York, and would have killed more, orders were nearly cut to wipe out all gargoyles. There's also Colonel O'Neill's reaction to youkai, and the people of Cerberus regard him as an inhuman monster because he carries Ancient genes.In Walk Through the Valley, Kenshin fell prey to this (see Red-Headed Stepchild below for details).
  • Fantasy Kitchen Sink: Urban Legendsverse.
  • The Federation: The one in Walk Through the Valley is a False Utopian Lost Colony that was found centuries before the story opens and boy, does the Confederacy regret it. It started when a small population of humans, a Sleeper Ship, perhaps, became very lost in space and was forced to cull children with undesirable mutations in order to prevent inbreeding from destroying their people. In trying to make their people more genetically diverse, they created a Human Sub Species called the merrows that possessed Telepathy, six fingers on each hand and a vicious hatred of those who have not submitted to their Mind Control because A Mind Is a Terrible Thing to Read. That last was an accident. They conduct slave raids to increase their genetic variability and the slaves are fitted with a unique variation of the Explosive Leash that consists of poison-filled beads tattooed into the skin. The only way to prevent yourself from being conditioned is to become a Little Bit Beastly (i.e., an alterant) through LEGO Genetics because the mind is too far off the human mold for conditioning to take. Because of this, they kill alterants on sight. Mental alterations alone drive subjects insane. Alterations must use Conferacy-approved genetic sequences and cannot be permanent. Before the story opened, Hiko was working on making permanent, covert alterants using DNA from a lupine carnivore from Satoyama called an ookamimoya (see Little Bit Beastly below for details).
  • Fix Fic:
    • The Urban Legends series does this to Daniel Jackson's shitty personal life. In canon, he was orphaned at age eight, dumped into the foster care system by his grandfather, had his last public lecture end with people walking out on him, found love in outer space only to have a Puppeteer Parasite chose her for a host for his own wife and finally lost her forever when Teal'c killed her to save his life. When Vathara started writing, Daniel was treated with less respect than he deserved because he was a civilian. His friends outside of work were nonexistent. The base psychiatrist is a piece of shit. The life he has put together in spite of all this is under seige from the NID. In Urbans Legends;
  • Forceful Kiss: Duo Maxwell to Daniel Jackson in Upon a Fiery Steed.
  • Functional Magic
  • Golem: Hyottokko is this in Witchy Woman.
  • Gone Horribly Right: So, Hiko, you're tired of being told by your bosses that your telomeres are too short for you to ride, er, practice Hiten Mitsurugi and explore strange new worlds. And instead of saying Take This Job and Shove It, you want to secretly break the law and use LEGO Genetics and stick genes from a creature that has a Psychic Link that spans the entire spark (pack), never died of natural causes on your watch, and is very protective of its young? Good luck keeping your sanity and your jo... well, one out of two isn't bad.
  • Good Is Dumb: Vathara has a tendency to portray Paragons as... well, not exactly "stupid" but painfully naive. Both Aang and Katara take an absolutely BRUTAL lashing all throughout Embers, and Captain America is treated as a somewhat dull but occasionally insightful Audience Surrogate in Thrower of the Dart.
    Tony Stark: You dealt with the Resistance, right?
    Steve Rogers: (unhappily) Yeah...
    Tony Stark: (Oh good. There was some practical sense under the shiny stars.)
  • Gunship Rescue: Airwolf, most notably rescuing Archangel from Muerta.
  • Happily Adopted: Kenshin in Walk Through the Valley because kiryuu cubs form equally close bonds with all the adults in the spark.
  • Heartbroken Badass:
    • Kenshin and Kaoru in the Urban Legends verse, where they lost their last child to the Illuminati, who wanted to extend their lives, in spite of their Roaring Rampage of Rescue.
    • Hiko after the smuggling ship carrying Kenshin off of Kwannon cleared the atmosphere.
  • Heartwarming Orphan: Kenshin may have been adorable and sweet but he only melted Hiko's heart. This would only count as a subversion if she had changed the names and published professionally, given that Kenshin wasn't one in canon, either.
  • Healing Herb; Hashima in Shadows in Starlight is the only treatment for Miasma, Yamato's answer to malaria, but it has side-effects and only treats Miasma.
  • Hell of a Heaven: For Kenshin in Ethan Rayne's Very Bad Day, Heaven was Hell because he couldn't share it with Kaoru as she was a Slayer and was given the worst lives the Powers That Be could find as punishment for being protected by Kenshin and the others.
  • Hitman with a Heart: How Battousai is presented. This does not mean that he is a gibbering wreck even when he's explicitly stated as having PTSD. The Kenshingumi simply conclude that he won't harm them.
    Hiko, remembering the havoc Angelus and Darla wrought in Japan: "Battousai may have been a ruthless killer, but he was sane. ..."
  • Hyper-Awareness: Multiple characters have this, and not just Jim Ellison, like Daredevil.
  • If You Kill Him, You Will Be Just Like Him!: Inverted in Walk Through the Valley, which has Hiko offing evildoers in order to avoid becoming just like them.
  • I Have Your Index:
    • Bound and Gagged: Kaoru in Blades of Blood. Kaoru and Alexandra Eames in Witchy Woman.
    • Bring Him to Me: Subverted in Witchy Woman when Kanryuu Takeda insists that Aoshi bring Misao to him even though this could have upset his plans for Kurogasa.
    • I Have Your Wife:
      • The NID attempted this with an SGC widow's daughter outside her school with the mother watching in Contact. Kenshin nipped this in the bud.
      • In Blades of Blood, Jin-e Udo, the Evil Counterpart to Battousai, kidnaps Kaoru to goad him into a Demonic Possession. Earlier, Battousai's employer, Target Alpha, attempted it with Kaoru and Yahiko to get him away from Kenshin, which simply served to lure Kaoru out from under Kenshin's protection.
      • In Witchy Woman, Kaoru is again kidnapped and so is Misao.
  • Imminent Danger Clue: Hiko's warning that he was about to get tranked was some stray thoughts from Yoson Hotate.
  • Index to the Rescue:
    • Roaring Rampage of Rescue:
      • In Urban Legends, Kenshin, Kaoru, Misao and Aoshi attempted this in the 1970's when their last child was kidnapped by the Illuminati. They didn't make it in time. Almost everyone else there died, too. Suffice it to say, Kenshin had to show Kaoru how to clean her blade.
      • Another unsuccessful attempt was made by Hiko towards the end of Walk Through the Valley. Kenshin cleared the atmosphere just after Hiko learned he'd been sold.
      • Kenshin for Kaoru numerous times in Blades of Blood and Witchy Woman. She manages to free her lungs from Shin no Ippou in Blades of Blood and in Witchy Woman, she gets to work untying herself right away.
  • Interspecies Romance: In the Urban Legend series, epecially in Gargoyles/Godzilla where Delilah and Kraven seem to have something going on.
  • It Gets Easier: Hiko goes from heartsick over the deaths of conditioned agents, psi-active agents and merrows to merely sad in Walk Through the Valley.
  • Jedi Mind Trick: Kenshin does this everywhere he appears without saying a single word to let us know he's doing it, unlike Obi-Wan:
    • In All I Need is a Miracle, he, Aoshi, Saitou, Misao, Megumi and Kaoru use it to stow away aboard a Japanese military vessel bound for Korea without staying cooped up below decks.
    • In Spin Cycle, he uses it to get his sword past SGC security.
    • In Blades of Blood, it conceals not only his sword, but his fangs, hakama and gi.
    • In the Star Wars Crossover, Shadows in Starlight, to pass unnoticed in crowds. Especially with a gaijin like Obi-Wan Kenobi in tow.
  • Just Woke Up That Way:
    • Subverted in Walk Through the Valley, where it turns out that Hiko simply forgot about his decision to metamorphose into a Cat Boy under his government's collective nose during his coma.
    • Played straight in the opening of Project Tatterdemalion, where Juushirou wakes up shinigami.
  • Karmic Transformation: Hiko in Walk Through the Valley tells us that his government psychological profile described him as an arrogant, insensitive jerk many, many paragraphs after he learns that the creatures he'd spent decades studying shared emotions with other beings. The story opens with Hiko waking up with no idea what he's waking up from. He only brings up his profile because now that he's regained his youth in the course of illegally making himself a permanent alterant, he's going to have to break the profile to stay out of jail. It not only never once occurs to him that this is his punishment for insensitivity, but he learns to play with it.
  • Kidnapped Scientist: In A Swing and a Miss, the NID attempts this with Nick Tatapoulos. They fail. As in, they were deposited, bruised and tied up, outside a brothel.
  • LEGO Genetics: Played with.
  • Little Bit Beastly:
  • Lost Him in a Card Game: In Witchy Woman, Sano claims that he and Kenshin won Megumi in a dice game from a player who wouldn't pay up. Kaoru was not pleased.
  • Mad Scientist Laboratory: Only two of the laboratories depicted even faintly resemble this trope.
    • Hiko's lab in Walk Through the Valley is meant to allow an accomplished scientist like himself to provide all the care an alterant in transition could need. Even this is lacking in flashy equipment. This ensures that Hiko's scientific prowess remains hidden.
    • Hojo's lab in Thorns is a straighter example, but this is canon.
  • Magic Hair: Kenshin in the Urban Legendsverse has hair that goes from true red to scarlet when he lets more of his youkai side show.
  • Mama Bear: Angel, the Tulpa inside Airwolf, counts, as do Michael Coldsmith-Briggs III's mother, Ariella, Kaoru Kamiya and Misao.
  • Master of Illusion: In Ethan Rayne's Very Bad Day, Kenshin, Giles, Joyce Summers, Buffy, Jonathan and the Scoobies have to become this to conceal the fact that the effects of "Halloween" far outlasted the night. Enough other people were hit that they had to settle for a less well known spell that had to be renewed every month.
  • Masquerade: In Urban Legends, the US government (or parts of it) are aware of much of what's out there.
  • The Men in Black: Sort of subverted by the Firm, a rare sympathetic example which wears white, and while they do do cover-ups, they're rarely supernatural-related. Despite being a more conventional espionage and R&D group, they are gradually shifting towards handling supernatural and alien issues since the CIA often refuses to take it seriously, the NID can't be trusted, and the SGC aren't sharing their information.
    Marella: The truth? The truth is, good friends of mine risked their lives to save you.
  • Minor Crime Reveals Major Plot:
    • In Contact, the NID makes the mistake of trying to kidnap an adorable child in broad daylight because her mother was asking too many questions.
    • In Witchy Woman'', Goren and Eames found what Kanryuu Takeda had planned for New York because of a report of firecrackers going off. They were already looking at Kenshin for a quadruple-homicide-that-wasn't, and they later found him next to some corpses that were once Beijings, but it still applies.
  • Mighty Whitey and Mellow Yellow: Vathara loves playing with this.
    • Inverted in Blades of Blood/Witchy Woman, where Kenshin's mother is white and she and his father are Kissing Cousins, and Walk Through the Valley, where Cadnawes was a white merrow out-cross and his father a Wakuseigo-speaking Deep Cover Agent.
    • In Ethan Rayne's Very Bad Day and Urban Legends fics from Spin Cycle onward, the red hair comes from Youkai blood.
    • In Shadows in Starlight, Kenshin's father may be white, but his mother is part-Firrereo.
  • The Mind Is a Plaything of the Body: In every story dealing with Transhumanism, this appears.
    • In the first two installments of Project Tatterdemalion, the shinigami really struggle with the urge to sting people who smell Hollowfication-prone. In Project Asclepius, they even sting Unohana and Kaien because it's raining. No one was infected.
    • Hiko in Walk Through the Valley almost killed one of his few friends out of the parental instincts that come with being a kiryuu alterant. A more humorous example from the same story has him resisting the urge to climb up tree, blind, and eat a tree-rat. He started offing the Mind Controlled Turn Coats known as the "conditioned" because kiryuu instinct dictates that people who feel wrong have to die.
  • Mindlink Mates: A rare platonic instead of romantic example in the Wolfpack. There are also romantic examples, such as Daniel Jackson and Sha'uri. There's a parent-child example in Walk Through the Valley.
  • The Mirror Shows Your True Self: In Witchy Woman, the most unusual variant appears, in which the character's true, fanged, clawed, scarlet-haired self is revealed through the mirror not to one or more other characters but to himself. He hadn't had time to look in a mirror in ages. He has the power to project the illusion that he is harmless and a mirror wouldn't foil this.
  • Multicolored Hair: Kenshin in Shadows in Starlight has both crimson (bluish red) and scarlet (orange-red) locks thanks to his Firrereo mother and his redheaded father.
  • Must Have Caffeine:
    • The shinigami and normal responders in Project Tatterdemalion need it to fuel their Psychic Powers, as do the Quincies.
    • The shinigami in Upon a Fiery Steed need it to prevent Shi no Yami, a Beneficial Disease, from sucking up all their glucose to build the metabolites from scratch.
    • Daniel Jackson in Flat Tire with Bad Guys just because he's a caffeine addict.
    • Badass Normal Misao in Witchy Woman is a "self-confessed caffeine addict."
  • Nature Hero: Hiko wound up becoming a unique combination of this and Science Hero in Walk Through the Valley. He turned himself into a kiryuu alterant (see Cat Girl above) using what is implied to be a retrovirus (that would cause the fever and she'd used that earlier in Upon a Fiery Steed) but his only feline feature is Absurdly Sharp Claws and he kept his fingernails. For reasons stated at EMP above, this Metamorphosis gave him the ability to perceive the thoughts and feelings of animals as well as people; the Terrible Ticking that resulted from gaining this ability so late in life forced him to become The Hermit. However, instead of living completely off the land, he has a job as a potter. He's also territorial and dedicated to his mountain's protection. Unlike many examples, though, he's not a Socially Awkward Hero and his clothes are neither leaves and vines nor furs.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero:
    • In Blades of Blood, Target Alpha made it easier for Jin-e Udo to abduct Kaoru by luring her away from Kenshin because they didn't trust Battousai, a Muramasa blade of the Soul Jar persuasion, not to wipe Kenshin's personality. Kaoru, to her credit, managed to rip out the hooks of the taser from her legs and deal with the fool who put them there, but the distraction allowed him to grab her.
    • In Walk Through the Valley, Yoson Hotate sold Kenshin to a military recruiter, driving Hiko off the mountain he'd been keeping safe from The Federation and the Mind Controlled Turn Coats working for it to go looking for him.
    • The Empire, according to a loose definition of The Hero, in Shadows in Starlight tried to kill the Recycled IN SPACE! mosquitoes ("biters") that carried the Recycled IN SPACE! malaria (Miasma) in Tokyo. This starved the species that preyed on them, and cleared the way for biters from far away carrying a more lethal strain (Kanto Plain).
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain: The NID should have thought twice about kidnapping the child of an SGC widow who happened to be a student of Kamiya Kasshin Ryu. Kenshin witnessed the whole thing and managed to destroy the car without harming the little girl. The result was a massive investigation. In Flat Tire with Bad Guys, they had to catch the attention of a Hannibal King, who'd been trapped in the Urban Legends universe for a year, by spying on Sam after he met her.
  • Ninja: Maekawa believed Kenshin's father to be a ninja accountant because he was a very private person in possession of a kodachi.
  • No Transhumanism Allowed: If Transhumanism comes up in a Vathara story, this point of will not be presented in a positive light.
    • In Walk Through the Valley, the Confederacy (where Hiko's from) allows you to become an alterant, provided you use approved genetic sequences from Earth-native animals and it's not permanent. The Federation will kill you on the spot because alterants cannot be conditioned.
    • In Upon a Fiery Steed, Relena's late father founded a movement that came to include Fantastic Racism against the Super Soldiers developed by their Goa'uld overlords; the extremists were removed from power and have stayed that way thanks to Relena's efforts.
    • In Project Tatterdemalion, the characters are UnPersoned over it except for Yamamoto, who had to use blackmail to keep his post.
  • Oh, My Gods!: Throw a brick at Vathara's oeuvre and you should hit at least one example. We're never told what religion these characters belong to in the case of, say, Daniel Jackson in the Urban Legends Verse and Kenshin in Blades of Blood, who don't live in Constructed Worlds. Hiko in Walk Through the Valley might have been a Shintoist.
  • Painful Transformation:
    • Defied by Hiko in Walk Through the Valley before the story opened. Not only did he have an assistant to give him painkillers and keep him in a controlled coma during his Metamorphosis, but the story opens with his return to consciousness. Apparently, those painkillers were so potent that he didn't know what the hell was going on for several paragraphs. Kenshin doesn't get painkillers because Hiko didn't have any on hand and he can't just compound the damn things even though he can cobble together nutritional supplements for the little guy; however, a controlled coma was still possible. Kenshin was still in pain, but he wasn't quite there for it.
    • Defied in Blades of Blood, where Kenshin didn't hurt until he woke up from letting the Empathic Weapon Battousai take him as a Heroic Host.
    • Played straight in Upon a Fiery Steed, where becoming a Reaver starts with a fever, progresses to thrashing and delirium and onto Body Horror that turns you into a Voluntary Shapeshifter with Combat Tentacles. Of course, you can only change from your true form to your former appearance.
  • People of Hair Color: In Walk Through the Valley, the natives of Kwannon don't divide humanity into groups based on skin color. Hair color? Yes. And they tend to assume that Caucasian features means merrow ancestry. However, the actual merrows looked different.
  • Permashave: Kiryuu have two types of tendrils: sensory and pelt. Hiko's Metamorphosis replaced his scalp hair with sensory tendrils, his eyebrows and eyelashes with tendrils with a mix of sensory and pelt tendencies, and his facial hair with very fine tendrils resembling vellus hairs.
  • Planet Terra: Used in Walk Through the Valley.
  • Playing with Fire:
    • The Dragons of Upon a Fiery Steed, Wufei's people, were bred by Lord Yu for this. Now that he's out of their system, they are Pro Human Transhumans.
    • The kiryuu of Walk Through the Valley could do this, but it appears that Hiko didn't engineer this ability into himself or Kenshin.
  • Playing with Syringes -
    • All the Goa'uld in Upon a Fiery Steed, but only Dimme did this in-story, which set off a chain of events leading to Daniel's Emergency Transformation.
    • Hojo of Thorns, as in Final Fantasy VII canon, who had Zack and Cloud in mako tanks where they were to be "tested to destruction."
  • Pregnant Badass: Kaoru in All I Need is a Miracle, but it's only the first trimester and it's not divulged until the last chapter.
  • Pretty Butterflies: Aoshi is an Ubo in Witchy Woman, and they turn into butterflies instead of bats. He's still the Okashira, though.
  • Professor Guinea Pig:
    • Hiko in Walk Through The Valley, who detested being a government contractor if it meant being too important to be allowed to practice Hiten Mitsurugi and explore strange new worlds once he became old and creaky, so he decided to make himself hate it so much more that he'd kill anyone who tried put to keep him in captivity and possess the Absurdly Sharp Claws with which to do that.
    • The survivors of Project Tatterdemalion were fighting for their lives when they injected themselves with a terrifying Super Serum.
  • Queer Romance:
    • Desert Fox has Original Characters Isabela (human) and Zorra (gargoyle). The human is a Native American woman and undercover DEA agent and they're both on the run from drug smugglers.
    • Trowa and Quatre of Upon a Fiery Steed, who come from another solar system instead of ours in this AU fusion where there's apparently so much acceptance that the word for "spouse" is "life partner."
  • Red-Headed Stepchild:
    • Kenshin in Walk Through the Valley had no friends amongst the children of Kwannon, a planet mostly populated by people of Japanese descent, because his red hair marked him as having been born off-planet. Hiko didn't find out until after Yoson Hotate sold him to a military recruiter who was there to pick up youths for Project Miburou. Apparently, he managed to confound Hiko's ki sense whenever the two were around children at the same time so thoroughly that Hiko had no idea why Kenshin had no friends his age; given Hiko's instincts, he probably saved them a world of pain.
    • Kenshin and Kaoru in Urban Legends left Japan because they were tired of being called gaijin, Kenshin, for his red hair, and Kaoru, for her blue eyes.
  • Reset Button: Used in the one fic that incorporates Seven Days and then never mentioned again. So far.
  • Resist the Beast: Yumichika in Project Tatterdemalion struggled to resist biting Madarame 45 minutes after he was stung by a detached tentacle.
  • Reluctant Retiree: Hiko really was told to put aside his sword and stay off of wilderness planets because he was getting in years and he really did have a body that was slowly breaking down. It's his stated motivation for becoming a kiryuu alterant.
  • Sensory Index:
    • Limb-Sensation Fascination:
      • Hiko in Walk Through the Valley was fascinated by his new sensory tendrils, especially when they started curling around his fingers as if he were an upset cub. Later, he gave his claw muscles some exercise.
      • The shinigami of Project Tatterdemalion had better things to do than ooh and ahh over new limbs when they emerged. Like survive. Even when they had time to think, it didn't feel odd.
    • Signature Scent:
      • In Ethan Rayne's Very Bad Day, Xander, Giles, Joyce and Kenshin gain the ability to distinguish people (and their moods) by smell.
    • Smells Sexy: Ryan Saitou O'Connell got a snootful of his partner when they were pretending to make out in Spin Cycle.
  • Sex Tropes:
    • Come Back to Bed, Honey: Kaoru to Kenshin in Spin Cycle right on the roof of the apartment they share with Daniel Jackson.
    • Fantastic Arousal:
      • Kenshin and Battousai really love having their hair brushed, making them purr and knead.
    • Gag Penis: In Ethan Rayne's Very Bad Day, Xander is implied to have acquired one as a result of wearing an enchanted Inuyasha costume, but none of his friends will tell him in plain English why he needs new pants.
    • Hemo Erotic:
      • Kenshin and Kaoru; Aoshi and Misao; Megumi and Sanosuke; and Saitou and Tokio in Urban Legends. In each pair, the latter supplies blood to the former; the situation is reversed if the latter is sick.
      • Kenshin and Kaoru have this in Blades of Blood much to Kenshin's horror. Misao and Aoshi have this as well in the same fic.
      • Cordelia and Xander have this in Ethan Rayne's Very Bad Day. She's part-youkai, part-Sidhe as a result of wearing an enchanted Tatsuhiko Shido costume during "Halloween."
    • Kiss of the Vampire: Misao really enjoyed being fed on by Aoshi in Witchy Woman, and while Kenshin wasn't technically a vampire by Night Life RPG standards, Kaoru loved being fed on.
  • Silk Hiding Steel:
    • Every Rurouni Kenshin story except Walk Through the Valley makes Kenshin this. As Bobby Goren in Witchy Woman put it, he's a really peaceable guy until he has a target.
    • Unohana in Project Tatterdemalion is this in a way that her canon counterpart isn't. It was unavoidable given how little fandom knew of her when it was written. Instead of being a reformed Serial Killer, this Unohana is a mild-mannered doctor who was willing to put her claws to Urahara's during his non-drug-related intervention.
  • Sink-or-Swim Fatherhood: Hiko found himself instinctively driven to be Kenshin's parent by the latter's second shedding. Before the second shedding, he was ridiculously worried for a professed Child Hater, but once it happened, he became a Knight Templar Parent who regarded all predators, humans included, as threats. He didn't want to want to hurt them. It took several months, but he finally managed to control his defense-of-den reaction enough to let Okiku meet Kenshin. By the time Kenshin woke up, he'd learned to love him like a son. Zero hilarious hijinks ensue once Kenshin emerges from his coma, unless you count freaking out and breaking half of Hiko's stuff, believing himself to have drugged to the teeth with sedatives, and nearly falling to his death from a tree.
  • Skyward Scream: Hiko after the smuggling ship carrying Kenshin away from Kwannon cleared the atmosphere, severing their Psychic Link.
  • Sorry to Interrupt: Daniel caught Kaoru and Kenshin cavorting on the roof of the apartment building they shared in Spin Cycle.
  • Speaks Fluent Animal:
    • Kenshin in Ethan Rayne's Very Bad Day found himself fluent in Kitsune.
    • The shinigami of Project Tatterdemalion found themselves fluent in Hollow.
    • Hiko and Kenshin were instantly fluent in pulse-speak in Walk Through the Valley.
    • Kenshin in Shadows in Starlight is fluent in kitsune because he had so much contact with them as a child.
  • STD Immunity: Judith Williams is an interesting case in that it was retroactive. She becomes a Tok'ra host because her HIV is killing her.
  • Super Empowering:
    • Emergency Transformation:
      • Kenshin in Walk Through The Valley because his slave tattoo, which was an Explosive Leash as well as a Slave Brand, was about to expire, and that would poisoned him to death very rapidly. The only way to get his body to reject the tattoo and make the skin peel off in time was to change his surface antigens so they wouldn't match the protective coating. He shed everywhere at least three times, starting with around the time the tattoo was set to expire. He was told he'd be different for the rest of his life.
      • Kenshin in Blades of Blood, who had Kaoru to save. He consented.
      • Daniel in Upon A Fiery Steed, who was about to lose his humanity to the Reaver virus. He almost didn't make it even with Shi no Yami in his system. Duo didn't have time to tell him what he was about to do.
      • Kenshin again in Clean and White into a Bleach-style shinigami after his Soul-chain was severed by a Hollow out for revenge.
      • Every survivor of Project Tatterdemalion except Madarame and Retsu, who volunteered.
    • Mass Super-Empowering Event: The release of the vaccine into the ventilation system of the original project site in Project Tatterdemalion qualifies.
    • Superhuman Transfusion:
      • Played straight and defied in the Urban Legends series: Youkai blood gives Muggles special powers. Kenshin, being a hanyou, has to have his blood specially treated before turning it over to the blood banks. No comic book superheroes who received their powers this way are mentioned ever. Jack O'Neill got some transfused into him due to shenanigans that began when Janet discovered Kenshin was a blood donor in Spin Cycle and ended with Jack passing out on Cerberus in Flat Tire with Bad Guys. The resulting discoveries can be found at Bizarre Human Biology above.
      • Inverted in Upon a Fiery Steed, where Daniel is taken off the blood donor list permanently because a transfusion from a shinigami will destroy the recipient from the inside-out, starting with the white cells. Comic books are not discussed here, either.
    • Viral Transformation:
      • Kenshin's transformation in Walk Through the Valley was implied to be this, given that Hiko had a fever when he took the same serum.
      • Daniel in Upon a Fiery Steed, although his was technically a slime mold; the Reavers from the same story were transhuman traitors who were definitely made that way by a viral vector and as far as it was concerned, there was No Conservation of Energy.
      • Getting vaccinated/infected in Project Tatterdemalion confers traits that are covered at Little Bit Beastly and LEGO Genetics.
  • Team Pet: Airwolf. Never has a helicopter been so adorable.
  • Technology Marches On:
    • In Walk Through the Valley, drugs are apparently made in enormous manufacturing plants if they are made at all, so poor Kenshin had to do without the painkillers that Hiko took during his Metamorphosis into a Pro-Human Transhuman Cat Boy because there were none in the cabin and a world controlled by The Federation wouldn't have drugs made just for alterants in transition given that it's punishable by death there. Seven years after the story was posted, it looked as if Hiko could have just printed them. Hell, he could have printed the tattoo remover he needed. Or some new cartilage for his back and knees...
    • Apparently, The Republic of Project Tatterdemalion still uses silicon in its electronics. After all, the Hollows were able to knock out the lights by pulsing at them and the shinigami needed hardened electronics. Nowadays, it looks like we're well on our way to EMP-proof transistors.
  • Terrible Ticking: Double subverted in Walk Through the Valley, where Hiko was basically The Empath except with all living things, trees included. He seems fine when it's just Arai with him but when he gets out to meet the rest of the village, he suffers from this even with much better control of his powers. Between this and his accidental tumble into the Fountain of Youth, he was forced to become The Hermit.
    Hiko:The closer I was to people, the more I could sense. And knowing everything your fellow sentients are feeling, when they have no idea they're forcing their hates and loves and petty cravings for revenge down your throat, isn't exactly conducive to peace and goodwill toward your fellow man.
  • Terror Hero:
    • Kenshin straddles all types in Blades of Blood and Witchy Woman, with the possible exception of The Cowl, because he's host to a Muramasa blade, a Warrior Therapist, an ambush predator, er, hitokiri (as in canon) with a frightening reputation and a demeanor that elevates polite requests to back off to the level of threat. While he is capable of some amazing Jedi Mind Tricks, he uses them to convince random people that he has neither claws nor fangs. Most people don't even notice the Awesome Anachronistic Apparel unless they are kendo practitioners and even they have trouble seeing the sword even if they can feel it. He has a touch of Horrifying Hero given that Muramasa blades tend to wipe out the host personality.
    • Hiko in Walk Through the Valley counts as all types but The Dreaded and that's only because he doesn't want it known that he's the reason the mountain is haunted.
      One of the brighter ones Hiko killed: What are you?
      Hiko: You won't be alive long enough the remember my name.
  • There Are No Therapists: Averted. Dr. Lita Kino, an Expy from Ellen Brand's Power Rangers series Personality Conflicts, makes several appearances, and several fics comment on the amount of damage having an incompetent (or outright enemy agent...) psychologist on staff has done to the SGC.
  • They Look Like Us Now: Rare heroic example in Walk Through the Valley in the form of the ookamimoya alterants Hiko was working on when he left, who were meant to be Deep Cover Agents with the mission to destroy the Federation from the inside-out.
  • The Tape Knew You Would Say That: Daniel does this to Jack twice in a letter he sends to SG-1 after being rescued by Duo in Upon a Fiery Steed. "Stop strangling the paper Jack."
  • Torture Always Works:
    • Subverted in Walk Through the Valley where the man in question is more interested in the claws digging into him than in answering Hiko's little question.
    • Subverted again in Project Tatterdemalion because the man in question was so broken that there was almost nothing anyone could do to him anymore after he found out that in his government's eyes, he was as much a monster as the shinigami.
    • In All I Need is a Miracle, Sano didn't have the information they wanted, but the villains thought he was just lying to protect Kenshin. It eventually dawned on them that should ask about behaviors consistent with being a hanyou (It Makes Sense in Context). Sano was too loyal to Kenshin to cooperate and after the way they treated him, most people wouldn't have.
    • Triple-subverted in Shadows in Starlight, where Obi-Wan had no idea where Battousai was, but when Kurogasa realized that, he decided to keep torturing him in the hopes that the Force would carry the pain to Battousai. Fortunately, the real Battousai was able to lure Kurogasa away and rescue Obi-Wan and keep his identity secret.
  • Totally Not a Werewolf: Hiko in Walk Through the Valley was mistaken for a werewolf by a member of La Résistance working with him at night because that's when his eyes change from blue to amber. By that time, bodies of psi-actives, merrows and the conditioned had been found torn apart by claws when they weren't hacked apart by a sword. If they were found at all.
  • Transformation of the Possessed: How Kenshin gets his Cute Little Fangs, Absurdly Sharp Claws and scarlet hair in Blades of Blood.
  • Transhuman:
    • Bio-Augmentation:
      • The shinigami of Project Tatterdemalion.
      • All alterants of Walk Through the Valley are this.
      • The medusae of Upon a Fiery Steed.
    • Designer Babies:
      • The Quincies of Project Tatterdemalion.
      • The merrows of Walk Through the Valley.
      • The medusae of Upon a Fiery Steed.
    • Humans Are Psychic in the Future:
      • The Quincies of Project Tatterdemalion possess destructive psychokinesis, as do the shinigami. It is implied that there are other types, but they are never seen; when Ryuuken admits that he's from PSWAT, they don't automatically assume he's a Quincy.
      • The merrows of Walk Through the Valley with their Telepathy, which they use to relieve The Federation's citizens of their free will through Mind Rape, er, "conditioning," along with the ookamimoya and kiryuu alterants with their ki-sense, which allows them to pass for having been conditioned but does not confer the power of Mind Control.
    • Magic Enhancement:
      • Kenshin, Giles, Xander, Willow, Joyce, Cordelia, Jenny and Jonathan in Ethan Rayne's Very Bad Day owe their respective conditions to a bargain with the Phantom Queen, which Ethan Rayne invoked not realizing what it was.
      • Cloud Strife and Zack Fair in Thorns became human-griffin hybrids because Aeris made a deal with a gargoyle.
      • The shinigami of Viper owe their power to the infusion of monster blood into theirs.
      • Kenshin in Blades of Blood became a Heroic Host to a Muramasa blade named Battousai that served as a Soul Jar.
    • Pro-Human Transhuman:
      • Youkai in Flat Tire with Bad Guys.
      • Kenshin, Hiko and Golgotha in Blades of Blood.
      • The shinigami of Project Tatterdemalion, along with the Quincies.
      • The Guardians and Gundam pilots of Upon a Fiery Steed.
      • Cloud Strife and Zack Fair in Thorns, much to the surprise of all but one of the men after them.
      • Hiko and Kenshin in Walk Through the Valley. Hiko here is an interesting case in that he's a Jerk with a Heart of Gold who thinks that he's just really impatient with humanity's greed and stupidity and the government personality profile is wrong.
      • Kenshin, Giles, Xander, Willow, Joyce and Jonathan in Ethan Rayne's Very Bad Day.
    • Super Breeding Program: The Guardians of Upon a Fiery Steed were created this way except for the medusae and the shinigami.
    • Super Serum:
    • Super Soldier:
      • The Gundam pilots in Upon a Fiery Steed, along with the Guardians.
      • The ookamimoya and kiryuu alterants of Walk Through the Valley even by alterant standards.
      • The shinigami of Project Tatterdemalion are accidental versions.
    • Touched by Vorlons:
      • In Flat Tire with Bad Guys, Youkai turned out to be human test subjects of the Ancients, whom Vathara envisioned as Abusive Precursors.
      • The Guardians of Upon a Fiery Steed were this and the Vorlons were Goa'uld.
      • The Hollows of Project Tatterdemalion and, indirectly, the shinigami.
    • Uplifted Animal: The Grim Squeakers of Project Tatterdemalion were once ordinary mice. They now possess all shinigami abilities except destructive psychokinesis.
  • Trans Nature: For a woman who loves turning canon characters into Pro-Human Transhuman kemonomimi predators, this rarely comes up, but in Walk Through the Valley, we are never given a reason for Hiko to have made himself a permanent alterant even though it's a felony that doesn't fall apart on closer examination. If Hiko just wanted to keep on being a scout explorer and swordsman in his old age, he could have just taken the anti-aging drugs he and his partner-in-literal-crime, Shakku Arai, had developed and avoided the end of a brilliant career instead of just prison. The latter seems to have picked up on it, though, even if Hiko hasn't.
    Arai: I hate what I'm doing, yes,... [b]ut you, Hiko - you hate what you are." A flicker of humor. "Or I should say, what you were.
  • True Companions: HEAT and Airwolf's pilots, among others. It's essentially the key theme in just about all of her works—you may not be "normal" now, but You Are Not Alone.
  • Tulpa: In the Urban Legends verse, Airwolf, a high-tech helicopter, hosts a thoughtform named Angel created by Jane Bethancourt and given Class Six strength by the deaths of all but one of the people who worked on her, Hawke, at Moffet's hands.
  • Uneven Hybrid:
    • Hajime Saitou's OC daughter, Mika, and OC grandson, Ryan Saitou O'Connell, are one-fourth and one-eighth wolf-youkai, respectively.
    • Kenshin in Shadows in Starlight is no more than one-quarter Firrereo. Saitou is implied to be this, as well.
  • Unintentionally Notorious Crime: When the NID attempted to abduct the child of an SGC widow asking too many questions in order to silence her, they should not have picked the child of a Kamiya Kasshin Ryuu student. Kenshin was standing guard outside the school on behalf of his wife's students' children and caught the bastards. They were up to plenty of awful things before then, like trying to vivisect Teal'c, and now they have the FBI crawling up their asses.
  • Vague Age: Just how old is Hiko in Walk Through the Valley, anyway? His life history is consistent with someone at least eighty years old.
  • Vampires Own Night Clubs: In Witchy Woman, there is Club AfterDark, which is owned by a very old vampire named Golgotha, a Creepy Good Friendly Neighborhood Vampire and the only character explicitly stated to be Christian.
  • Vegetarian Vampire: Kenshin may not be a vampire in the Urban Legends verse, but as a hanyou, he must feed on blood and killing. The blood comes from Kaoru, who donates willingly. But he has learned to substitute pain for death, which means beating the shit out of local bad guys.
  • Villains Act, Heroes React:
    • Averted with Kenshin, Honori Jacobs and the NID in Contact when Kenshin caught them abducting the little girl in question from her school because Archangel said that they'd gone after General Hammond's granddaughters and Honori's mother was a student of Kamiya Kasshin Ryu. He managed to destroy that car without harming a hair on the child's head. In Flat Tire with Bad Guys, we learn that he'd put a Containment Field around Cheyenne Mountain that will stay powered so long as he is standing. It keeps nasty things like the gaki from escaping out of the mountain.
    • Discussed by Phil Coulson in a dressing down to Artemis Fowl, Sr., in Thrower of the Dart.
  • Weirdness Censor:
    • In Ethan Rayne's Very Bad Day, the residents of Sunnydale are kept oblivious to the monsters preying on them by the youki of the Hellmouth. Until the events of "Halloween," this included Jonathan and Joyce Summers.
    • In Lone Flower, the residents of Sunnydale are oblivious to the monsters preying on them. Cordelia wakes to the reality when she undergoes an Emergency Transformation into something like a shinigami.
    • In the Urban Legends verse, large amounts of PKE prevent the government from realizing Stringfellow Hawke has the real Airwolf and prevent Michael from noticing that Kenshin is over 140 years old. Michael read enough of Kenshin's file to know he'd reproduced by the 1970's, by the way.
  • You Sexy Beast: In Blades of Blood and Witchy Woman, this is inverted, with Kenshin not becoming a Dragon until a damn long time after he met Kaoru. They weren't dating, though, but only because neither one had any idea that the other was interested. When he showed up to rescue her after letting Battousai take him, she was horrified, thinking it had wiped his personality. The Beta Couple, Aoshi and Misao, also consists of a woman and a man who became a vampire long after they met. In Aoshi's case, he was kidnapped.


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