A Buffy the Vampire Slayer fan-fic. The Scooby Gang thought they might actually get a breather in the brief span between Graduation and college... but this is Sunnydale, and they really should have known better. As Xander returns from his road-trip, a number of attempts are made on the lives of the whole Scooby Gang by an unknown group. The Scoobies have become ensnared in someone's Evil Plan(s) and are making new friends and new enemies... but which is which?
The following tropes almost certainly contain SPOILERS for the plot!!!
- Bad Boss - the SHRIKEs in general, and Onyx in particular.
- Bad-Guy Bar - Umbra.
- Cool Guns - left, right and centre.
- Cold Sniper - Ruby.
- Dynamic Entry - 'Orion's' appearance in ch.12.
- Eyepatch of Power - 'Nemo'.
- Good Guns, Bad Guns - averted; everybody's using Western hardware from all over the show.
- Instant Death Bullet - averted on multiple occasions.
- More Dakka - Ruby in Ch.4 is the most egregious example.
- More Than Meets the Eye is a major theme.
- My Death Is Just the Beginning - Taz and Misha used the enemy's intent to assassinate them to plant a Reverse Mole in the other camp. Neither expected their newly-acquired Healing Factor to actually save them to participate in the ensuing stages....
- Obfuscating Stupidity - ... where to begin?
- Omniscient Council of Vagueness - the prologue.
- One Dialogue, Two Conversations - Xander references the SHRIKE callsigns during the hospital-visit with Oz, apparently to get a rise out of "Shooter" and "Nemo". It's meant to look like he's checking for the mole(s); really, he's winding them up over how 'well' the plan has gone so far.
- Rock Theme Naming - the SHRIKEs are callsigned for gemstones and precious stones.
- Scars Are Forever - 'Nemo' is the most visible instance.
- Semper Fi - Gunny/Detective Sergeant 'Little' Bob Patterson on the SPD side, not to mention the Marine training base two hills over from Sunnydale itself.
- Sergeant Rock - 'Little Bob' to LaFollet, Andrushka, Taz and Misha to Xander.
- This Is Gonna Suck - a Mook discovers he has been set up the bomb and has just enough time for a single utterance of disgust.
- The Mole - if you turned it into a drinking game, your liver would thank you if you counted the characters who aren't double- or triple-agents.
- Title Drop - in chapter 15, Xander describes the Scoobies' current predicament as having "more layers than a matryoshka doll".
- Took a Level in Badass - Xander, of course, but he's not the only one.
- Twofer Token Minority - LaFollet knows this is why the SPD bumped her to Detective so fast, and she's (mostly) okay with it.
- Xanatos Speed Chess with The Plan
- You Have Failed Me - Onyx to Ruby.
- You Have Outlived Your Usefulness - why Buffy's in trouble in the first place.