— Heroes On Campus
Heroes on Campus is forum/web story created and edited by a variety of people. It details the emergence of superpowers within a group of random students on a university campus and their subsequent struggles when a mysterious villain called The Redeemer of Men appears and begins to challenge everything they know. It draws heavily from established superhero conventions and plays very much like a teen version of Heroes.
The main story is now finished; you can read it here, and heck, start creating your own stories in the universe. Link is here: http://superpowered.freeforums.net/board/3/introduction-start
Set in an alternative version of present day, the major divergence being an event some forty to fifty years before, when a mysterious event created a superhero called Captain Omega (your typical Superman type) and the Redeemer of Men, who then started a firm called Olympus which aims to protect people and regulate superhumans. Spoiler alert, not everyone likes Olympus.
It all starts as you expect, with the students enjoying their powers but the Redeemer of Men quickly enters their lives, throwing up a larger plot, and providing the overall arc. As the students begin to develop their powers they all begin to realise that actually, they aren't just going to be allowed to be students anymore, but that they have larger responsibilities to either oppose or join the Redeemer as he plans to bring the foundations of Olympus, and pretty much all the order that goes with it, down to the ground.
The forum-story has a large ensemble cast, but the major characters (by way of frequency of posts and their involvement in the plot) are:
- Herbert Flynn, a 19 year old Classical Studies student, and the primary protagonist, who is a bit of an aimless dreamer, but potentially the most powerful power of them all with empathetic mimicry. This allows him to replicate the powers of other superhumans, provided he can relate to and understand them. His body works like a memory bank; it stores powers, but they can be 'forgotten' like memories. As it turns out, throughout the story Herbert becomes the Redeemer's primary adversary and eventually ends up actually redeeming him in the end.
- Aurora Ross, a 21 psychology student who acts as the moral compass of the group, even as she herself struggles to realign her own compass at points. She can transfer any illness or injury to herself, and onto another person if she wants. She also has a heightened pain threshold and immunity. Aurora is currently in a corrupting relationship with Olem.
- Christina Savage, a 19 year old resident bombshell who can control energy. Chris is fun loving, but at her heart, she is as heroic as Herbert. Unfortunately she is also Reaper, the Redeemer's minion.)
- Lucio Rico "Bella" Bellatore, a 19 year old studying Classical Civilisations with healing abilities. He possesses hands that can heal most major physical injuries on others, and his own self-healing powers can deal with almost any injury or ailment thrown his way, as long as it is not instantly lethal. He has already died once, and was resurrected by the ancient Goddess of his homeland as the physical embodiment of Hope. So that's happening.
- Olem Tamas, a 32 year old ex-military student studying medicine. Ironically enough, he is given the ability to control and create any illness that exists, and to this end he keeps a black book full of illnesses. Olem is the resident anti-hero.
- Nathan Cloud, a 35 (or so he would like you to believe, but actually 50-60) stalker with a sarcastic, devil may care attitude who largely acts as the comic relief and resident Obi-Wan of the group. He has the ability to absorb intangible things and uses this to become invisible.
- Thomas White, the resident psychopath who has the dark version of Herbert's powers. He can steal the powers and skills of anyone else, provided he touches them for long enough. Thomas also kills them by doing this. Thomas is outwardly charming, but batshit crazy inside and quickly joins the Redeemer. He has set his sights on Herbert's power, as his limits how many abilities he can hold, which annoys him to no end.
- Edwina "Ed" Malone, a 19 year old Journalist student, who has a natural inclination to detective work and resolves to investigate Olympus. Ed has been transformed into a dog like creature from the blast, (like the Beast), with enhanced physical capabilities.
- Taniel, a slightly nerdy guy who is a pacifist with elemental, magical powers. Taniel joins the Redeemer as his rhetoric makes sense, but quickly grows disillusioned by the methods used by his fellow converts.
- Signe Vestergaard, a 19 year old student who can shapeshift into anything, but largely retains her same physical strength. She is introverted and finds it difficult to socialise with others. After her death, she becomes Guardian Angel, a strange and powerful entity that has is a Stalker with a Crush on Aurora, also proving that Death Is Cheap. She does however die a permanent death shortly afterwards.
- Alex Stone, a 20 years old student studying Film, Photography and Media, who has the ability to control gravity, and quickly 'gravitates' towards the vigilante path.
Heroes On Campus provides examples of:
- Academy of Adventure: Not quite a classical example, but since quite a lot of students have suddenly become superheroes, it's definitely becoming one. See also Herbert's crazy lecturer, who certainly isn't part of a normal university system. Doubles as Superhero School.
- All-Loving Hero: Herbert Flynn, all the way. Also Lucio, but with more sass, whilst Aurora wants to be this, but can't quite live up to it.
- Anti-Villain: The Redeemer of Men. Evil, but he has some sympathetic goals cause Olympus ain't all its cracked up to be, but at the same time he's goals are extreme to say the least, and he can be friendly until he loses his temper. Olem and Aurora, he's looking at you.
- Bad Future: The Redeemer shows one to Herbert when he Mind Rapes him.
- Berserk Button: Olem to Aurora. If you hurt her... Well, don't.
- Beware the Nice Ones: Lucio is very slow to anger and is willing to help and forgive anyone, but can get pissed off. Herbert is also like this, being an inherent nice guy.
- Big Bad: The Redeemer of Men.
- Big Good: Captain Omega before his death, and this is what Olympus is seen as or, or pretends to be, depending on who you are.
- Bilingual Bonus: Lucio's last name, Bellatore, is a slightly modified form of the Latin word for warrior, bellator . His nickname that derives from it, Bella, is a double pun in itself: in Latin it is the plural of war and in Italian it means beautiful. His divine patron even acknowledges this, calling him "Warrior" whenever they talk. Clever huh?
- Corrupt Corporate Executive: Some people think that this is Olympus in a nutshell.
- Deadpan Snarker: Nathan Cloud, the drunken invisible teacher of Herbert, oh so much. He rarely says anything which isn't sarcastic.
- Do You Trust Me?: The Redeemer's signature move to get people to join him. The only time this has really badly failed is to Herbert, when he refused. It didn't end well. In any case, very much not a heroic example of this trope.
- Dreaming of Things to Come: Herbert frequently does this, and it guides his actions.
- Empathic Healer: Aurora's main power.
- Hope Bringer: As the physical embodiment of Hope, this goes without saying for Lucio. Herbert is this in Nathan's view, and he even sings a song to make the point.
- How Do I Shot Web?: Herbert's arc in a nutshell as he attempts to defeat the Redeemer.
- Invisibility: His signature ability without a doubt. By manipulating colours around him, Nathan can create a chameleon effect, and so render himself invisible.
- Jumped at the Call: Hebert for sure, who even jumped off a building to get at it!
- Plucky Comic Relief: Nathan's primarily purpose is to defuse the drama and inject some fun into proceedings.
- Let's Get Dangerous!: The students in general, but Lucio stands out. Olem subverts this because he is always looking pretty dangerous.
- Light Is Good: Lucio wears bright colours and his healing powers create a soft golden glow. Chris is pretty easy going, and has light powers as well.
- The Obi-Wan: Nathan is fulfilling this role towards Herbert, but given his drunken, sarcastic attitude, he's not actually the best role model. Won't stop him trying though.
- Neck Lift: The Redeemer does this to Herbert during their first fight as he mocks him, then again when demonstrating his power to Thomas White.
- No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: The Redeemer inflicts on this on Olem, in particular.
- No-Sell: Herbert tries to use lightning and invisibility to combat the Redeemer in their first fight in the underground. It merely annoys the Redeemer.
- Obfuscating Stupidity: Lucio is actually highly intelligent but acts somewhat stupid. Nathan is probably smarter, but certainly acts the fool.
- Odd Friendship: Nathan and Herbert, being generations and worlds apart.
- Personality Powers: Every super's power reflects them and their attitudes.
- Poisonous Person: Olem's power allows him to control illness.
- Powered Armor: The Redeemer's suit.
- Real Life Writes the Plot: Being a web story, entirely based on people contributing to the arc, this is the case. Signe's death is one such example as are the 'time bubbles' where the plot can't progress until people post or characters just leave suddenly when they need to go etc. It's fairly common.
- Resurrective Immortality: Lucio demonstrates this in his power. It's a pretty cool one.
- Rousseau Was Right: Lucio, and his outlook on humanity.
- Shapeshifting: Signe's power which reflects her desire to be included and change to please others.
- Shock and Awe: Electricity is a staple power. Gilbert Flynn, Herbert's father, is a famous Olympus hero who can control electricity.
- Superhero School: Considering that there are more heroes than just the group, it is quickly becoming this.
- Superpower Lottery: Herbert can, eventually, access to all the powers of any other super he's ever met, making him take the most powerful card in the future. Currently, he can barely control his powers so this is somewhat inverted.
- Super Strength: A few characters have an element of this, but most notably, the Redeemer, who threw Herbert into a wall with no effort, and can fight off anyone with ease.
- Super Toughness: This is Aurora's secondary power. A few heroes have it, but Aurora is the straightest example. The Redeemer subverts this a bit, as he has a power suit of armour to protect him.
- The Heart: Aurora seems to fulfil this role and tries to keep everyone together and honest.
- The Hero: Herbert Flynn fits this trope most traditionally. He has perhaps, the most obviously powerful ability of the heroes emphatic mimicry and he encourages the others to save the world. He is also the student most dedicated to stopping the Redeemer.
- The Nicknamer: Nathan regularly nicknames people. Ed is 'Scooby Doo', Herbert is 'Sky High' etc. Also the Redeemer when he names Herbert an Olympian before he is anything of the sort, in a mocking manner. Doubles as Meaningful Echo.
- This Is Something He's Got to Do Himself: Herbert Flynn is fairly convinced that only he can stop the Redeemer. No one else has really bothered to agree yet.
- Thou Shalt Not Kill: Lucio, due to his views on redeeming people. Also, to an extent, the Redeemer, although he struggles to stick to this. But points for trying!
- Took a Level in Badass: Pretty much everyone! Most of the students are really coming to terms with their powers, and often learning to fight as well. They know what's going on now and are actively working to defeat it. In terms of specific examples, Olem's training with the Redeemer, Chris' general training with herself and when Herbert faces off against the Redeemer in Trafalgar Square and actually nearly rips apart the Redeemer's armour and holds his own in their fight using his plethora of powers.
- Training from Hell: Nathan is currently trying to impose it on Herbert.
- You Are Better Than You Think You Are: With redemption being a major theme, seeing as there are three sides to the conflict, and crappy, this comes up now and again. Aurora is the major example in this case, as she manages to somewhat redeem Olem. But Nathan also has to pull this out for Herbert when he feels dejected and powerless.