NOCO: Calcin Inc, is a novella written by Nathan Thornsbury. The story follows a former soldier turned convicted and most likely framed murderer, Roman, as he is given a way to work for the government in a special secret organization to avoid his prison sentence. That organization was NOCO, or the National Oddity Containment Organization. There, he discovers that NOCO is actually an organization that captures, collects, and sometimes experiments on strange, anomalous, other-worldly, and most likely dangerous items and beings. Not only is Roman blindsided by the very existence of these strange and terrifying things, but he is also informed that his job with the organization will be to lead one of the special task-forces in order to capture some of these powerful things. However, he is having to work with a team of these beings in order to do so.
Join Roman on his adventures with the Delta Squad, consisting of Wyvernic (The Last Living Dragon); Emory (The man who can draw things into reality); and Allison (The little girl protected by the giant unseen beast, Fluffers Mctinkerton) among other oddities that join the team later in the story.
ALSO: NOCO is not just exclusive to this story, but it is actually a large piece of the expanded universe built by author Nathan Thornsbury. There are large-scale database encyclopedias in progress for the many different secret NOCO files and documents, similar to the SCP Foundation Database, which greatly inspired this story and the idea of NOCO itself.
This book provides examples of:
- Absurdly Sharp Blade: The Judge's claws, as well as most blades drawn by Emory.
- Accidental Misnaming: A running gag in the Delta Squad is calling Allison's invisible protector, Fluffers Mctinkerton, random variations of his name, such as 'Floppers Mctonky-Honk' and 'Flubber Mactinker-Toy'.
- Alternate History: It is hinted that many of the events of history have been due to different oddities causing havoc, such as JFK's assassination, Amelia Earhart's disappearance, and the Roswell alien sightings.
- Alternate Reality Game: There is currently an ARG in development, about a former scientist for NOCO, turned whistle-blower.
- Artificial Limbs: Allison, after she looses her arm to Cheshire.
- Ax-Crazy: Emory, after he goes full blown crazy, feeling betrayed by his team.
- Badass: Pretty much everyone on Delta Squad... Actually, pretty much everyone, period.
- Bilingual Bonus: When Roman is talking to The Judge for the first time, it is mentioned that the cat-like oddity can speak all languages, and this is shown when randomly in their conversation, The Judge starts speaking various different languages to Roman. Those that actually know the languages (Or they could just throw it into Google Translate) see that The Judge is actually threatening to kill Roman painfully, after he watches every single person he knows and loves die before him, and that he will cause this world to be bathed in blood and flames. He says all of this though with a very polite, calm tone.
- Bread, Eggs, Milk, Squick: The first incarnation of Delta Squad consists of a hardened but passionate leader, a nigh-all-powerful artist who can create anything he can draw, a badass dragon man, a little girl with her invisible protector that's the size of a bus... And a talking corgi.
- The Brute: Many of the oddities in the story qualify, the primary ones being Wyvernic & Fluffers Mctinkerton.
- Crossover: So many from the other works of Nathan Thornsbury, all in his literary tied-together universe, Universe 11-N.
- There is a pile of Z-Class Personnel recruitment requests that Roman sees at one point, the top file being 'Jacob Smith' from an asylum in Chicago, but it says that his current location is unknown. This becomes a very terrifying thought of what could have been, if the reader has also read Non-Existent, also by the same author.
- Roman mentions one of his old friends from his squad back in the military, Jonas, who is the main character of The Girl On My Back. Arguably, he ended up worse off than Roman did.
- In the NOCO files, Lucius Morningstar is mentioned as an oddity that they sometimes procure, but he keeps escaping containment. It is said that he only allows himself to be captured anymore due to pity. Lucius is a staple character in Universe 11-N, starring in many different stories from Centrallia College to Reverence... He's also literally the Devil.
- Sabre, one of the main characters in the superhero anthology Dark Moon, has had multiple run-ins with NOCO agents, and they even work together on a few occasions... And by work together, we mean they both are working towards a semi-similar goal, and they barely tolerate each others very existence.
- The new team-mate brought on to Delta Squad to replace Emory, WX-78, has a logo imprinted onto his lower back: Ozymandias Corporation. If the company brings back no memories of a future of synthetic humanoids, then one should read The Copper Marionette.
- While on a mission later in the story, Delta Squad are passing through Boston, and Allison suddenly runs away from the group to find someone. When they find her, she is talking to a man with a face bandanna and a winter coat that she calls Uncle John. She speaks as though they spent a significant amount of time together, but the man turns out to be a mute, and he signs that has no idea who she is. Allison comes to the realization that they must not have met yet, and that this will probably make the time-space continuum very confusing, and then she returns to the group and they leave. Not only is the Boston mute in a face bandanna the mute vigilante, John Doe, from the Silent Knight story, but it is an even bigger reference to The Squadron, a story with both John Doe and Allison. This brings up the convoluted point that the Allison we see in this story actually is from the future, after the events of the Squadron, while John Doe doesn't know her because this is the past version of himself... Yes it's confusing but it's what happened.
- The story, Infamy, is a massive crossover in itself, where after The Judge escapes from NOCO, he collects many different villains and holds them hostage, including the original Mister Purple, the mob-boss from Silent Knight, as well as many villains from Dark Moon, including Uncle Sam, Liberty, Iron Claw, and Vladimir Alucard. Sabre also shows up in that story, along with Nightmare from Dream Jumpers, and in the end, even Lucius makes an appearance.
- In Father & Son, it is mentioned that in the future, a terrible organization is exposed to the public.
- In Data-Basers, the final speech of the all-powerful AI known as G 0 D mentions that he knows of NOCO's existence, but not even he can decode all of their data.
- Wyvernic mentions that his people used to be a very powerful and large race, which truly began with his ancestor, Godfrey the Savior. If the name sounds familiar, it is because his ancestor is actually the titular character of the childrens' play from the same author, Godfrey: The Kinda Sorta Dragon.
- Faux Affably Evil: The Judge.
- Glass Cannon: Emory.
- Government Conspiracy: It is heavily hinted that, though they don't know the specifics, the governments of the world are aware of, and they even condone the actions of NOCO.
- Pretentious Latin Motto: Tuentur populum a veritate... Protect the people from the truth.
- Time Travel: Okay, this may get a bit complicated, as a warning. While on a mission later in the story, Delta Squad are passing through Boston, and Allison suddenly runs away from the group to find someone. When they find her, she is talking to a man with a face bandanna and a winter coat that she calls Uncle John. She speaks as though they spent a significant amount of time together, but the man turns out to be a mute, and he signs that has no idea who she is. Allison comes to the realization that they must not have met yet, and that this will probably make the time-space continuum very confusing, and then she returns to the group and they leave. Now, not only is this a massive crossover reference to both Silent Knight and The Squadron, but it brings up a very big problem that is only briefly mentioned in the story, but the author has actually explained. The following explanation/quote will contain unmarked spoilers for NOCO, Silent Knight, and The Squadron.
- "Okay, I guess I should explain that whole scene where John and Allison meet back in NOCO. To clarify chronology, the order of how the stories take place is: the end of The Squadron; NOCO; Silent Knight; and then the rest of The Squadron. In the Squadron, Allison, John Doe, and the rest of the team are transported into another dimension, where they decide to work together and try and save dimensions... And when that doesn't work, they go a bit stir-crazy, and they start just causing chaos in random dimensions, while sometimes trying to save the day if they feel like it. Now, because of the dimension jumping, the biological traits of the entire group is changed, and they are perpetually stuck at the age they are now (Which is why Allison never ages past about 5). They do this for at least 30 years, making Allison still have the biology and mindset of a 5 year old, while having at least 30+ years of memories. In the end of The Squadron, John ends up changing the time-space continuum entirely as the group is split up in the past of the NOCO world. John decides that he's not going to allow himself to go through all of that again. The original John Doe from the Squadron takes the place of his own dimensions John Doe, and the version of John Doe that we know in the Squadron is stuck in a constant time-loop forever, always losing the memories of his infinite cycles until that point. When Allison was sent back in time at the end of The Squadron however, she is discovered and is captured by NOCO. So, the Squadron version of Allison is the same version that is in NOCO. After the incident where Emory is put away and Allison loses her arm, then comes the scene where Allison meets John in Boston. Allison knows who he is, but he doesn't remember her, and she realizes that it's because they haven't met yet in the time-space continuum. She accepts this and seems to understand the time-space continuum, and they leave. Then in the Squadron, when John meets the original version of Allison for the first time he seems to remember her, and he asks if her arm is okay, but is confused when he see's that her arm is still there. He tries to make sense of it all for a moment, but it gives him a headache and gives up... So yeah... A bunch of crazy, time-space-continuum bending, and the only ones who truly understands it is a five year old girl."
- Tragic Monster: By the end of the story, Emory becomes this in a non-literal way.
- Wham Episode: The containment breach during the mass-collection celebration, where Allison loses her arm, Cheshire is killed, and Emory is removed from Delta Squad.
- Wham Line: When the scientist is talking to an irate Roman. "I'd suggest that you stop asking questions Agent Dakota... You wouldn't want to lose another member of your team, would you?"