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Fanfic / The TSAB Acturus War

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The TSAB - Acturus War by rider of war a.k.a lord admiral belisarius (also available on is a Lyrical Nanoha fanfic.

Five years after the Scaglietti incident, the Time-Space Administration Bureau faces a new threat: the expansionist Democratic Republic of Acturus. In response to Acturus's hostile actions, including against a Bureau-administered world, the Bureau sends men and materiel to make an example of it.


Be warned: It suffers from the dark side of Growing the Beard, more accurately the weak starting chapters aspect. While how much better it gets is something that YMMV about, most seem to agree that the beginning leaves something to be desired.

Now complete.

This fanfic contains examples of the following tropes:

  • A Father to His Men: Field Marshall Parker.
  • A Million Is a Statistic: Example of the "Not Good" side of Tropes Are Tools. Early on the author tries to avert this by pinning names to individual ships and redshirts, but the average reader's response seems to range from finding it redundant and distracting to outright finding it a turnoff.
  • Ace Pilot: The DRA has some.
  • Abnormal Ammo: The TSAB redshirt's standard firearm fires mana bolts.
  • Anti-Villain: The DRA develops into this. Not everyone is a bloodthirsty expansionist; they are still people.
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  • Armor Is Useless: Averted. Lt. Rakas recalls that the gorget of her armour protected her from shrapnel, while the main suit took dozens of hits from insurgent fire.
  • The Battlestar: Bureau capital craft almost all carry a space-capable mage complement.
  • BFG: The guns of the DRA's artificial mages are 20mm.
  • Better to Die than Be Killed: Shank says this after his loss to Vita.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Inverted when the Assault Troopers show up to help their muggle comrades.
  • Cool Plane: The DRA's Lancer and eXperimental High-Maneuver Fighter (XHMF).
  • Cradling Your Kill: Shank did this for his first.
  • Cruel and Unusual Death: Being exposed to vacuum.
  • Dirty Business: Nanoha regrets that the power of the Starlight Breaker needed to blow through a mountain to reach Field Marshall Parker's command post leads to the death of several DRA personnel.
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  • Dungeon Bypass: Nanoha using a Starlight Breaker to blow through a mountain to reach Field Marshall Parker's command post.
  • Elite Mooks: The DRA's Assault Troopers, who are mages on top of their conventional military special forces prowess. We only see four named ones in action, but they make a good account of themselves considering that their opponents are TSAB high-tier assets (read: Nanoha, Fate, Vita and Signum).
  • Elites Are More Glamorous: Both used and averted; Rakas and Hennessey's squad are grunts and have the most screentime of the DRA forces, but the Assault Troopers are elites and get quite a bit of focus too, and the TSAB perspective also switches between redshirts and aces.
  • Energy Weapon: Used as point-defence systems. "Unless you were many millions of kilometers away, there was no dodging a laser."
  • Explosive Overclocking: The crew of the Sacred War do this with their particle cannon in their Last Stand.
  • Faceless Goons: The majority of DRA troops, but particularly Assault Troopers, whose Badass Creed is variations on "no one unmasks an Assault Trooper and lives".
  • Fake Ultimate Mook: The DRA artificial mages, who do okay against TSAB grunts but get stomped by Signum and Vita.
  • Fights Like a Normal/Kinetic Weapons Are Just Better: While the DRA does have mages and magic weapons, it also uses magic as an adjunct to projectile weapons eg. maintaining weapons and auto-loading tank rounds. Furthermore, the vast majority of its weapons are mass-based, such as standard rifles, tank guns, artillery pieces and starship coilguns.
  • Fixed Forward-Facing Weapon: Sacred War's particle cannon.
  • Foregone Conclusion: The author has been forthright about the fact that the TSAB will win. The story is in the journey there, not what end.
  • General Ripper: Field Marshall Parker's old mentor was one of these.
  • Grey-and-Gray Morality: The author's stated intention. While individual characters may be anywhere in the Morality Kitchen Sink, both sides as a whole are assholes.
  • Groin Attack: Lt. Rakas gives one to Sgt. Hennessey, but it's definitely Played for Laughs.
  • Honor Before Reason: Inverted by Acturan Admiral Calhoon, who surrendered because "reason comes before honor".
  • I Know You Know I Know: How Fate defeats Smiley in their second and final run-in. Smiley sees Fate repeating the blast attack that took him out the first time. With his drug-granted Super Reflexes, he attempts to dodge it, but Fate had anticipated that he would do so and performed it slightly differently, still catching him.
  • Interservice Rivalry: The DRA has some of this. Infantry deride armour as "softies" and the armour returns the favour with "crunchies". Hennessey also takes some potshots at the Air Force and dry Navy.
  • It Has Been an Honor: Said by the DRA's Rear Admiral Vaina as the Sacred War makes its Last Stand.
  • Kill It with Fire: Thermobaric rounds are employed.
  • Knuckle Cracking: Brute does this before engaging Signum.
  • Last-Second Chance: The Bureau's leader aims to offer "one last chance at mercy for the Acturans" even after the Sacred War and Deep Space Fleet carry out a decapitation strike on Mid-Childa that leaves millions dead.
  • Last Stand: Rear Admiral Vaina and the Sacred War do this, overclocking their particle cannon to hold off TSAB ships and allow the Deep Space Fleet to retreat.
  • Lethal Harmless Powers: Brute using his barriers as blades.
  • Life Imitates Art: In-Universe. At the end of chapter 19, Admiral Lokan shoots the DRA's president and organises a coup to call for his country to lay down their arms, which Field Marshall Parker recognises as eerily similar to an Earth book he read - namely Red Storm Rising.
  • Macross Missile Massacre: The DRA starships manage to fire off over 27,000 nuclear warheads in the first space battle.
  • Magnetic Weapons: DRA starships mount coil and railguns.
  • Meaningful Funeral: Given by the DRA to Rear Admiral Vaina and the Sacred War's crew.
  • Mirror Match: Averted. While Dragon the bombardier does go up against Nanoha, Shock and Awe Knife Nut Shank goes up not against Cinque or Fate but Vita, Cold Sniper Hawkeye faces Fate rather than Vice and More Dakka Barrier Warrior Brute has to settle for Signum rather than Yuuno, Arf or Zafira. On that note, Dragon is technically a fire mage and should probably have gone against Signum.
  • Mood Whiplash: At one point, Hayate segues from a serious discussion on the DRA and the war into teasing Nanoha about her relationship with Fate.
  • Moral Myopia: The DRA has this.
  • Not Quite Flight: Brute jumps from barrier to barrier as a substitute for flight.
  • Nuclear Option: DRA starships spam magic-enhanced nukes.
  • Nuke 'em: Near the end, the DRA employs tactical nukes. Comes complete with a noting of how in-atmosphere nuke employment differs from starship-to-starship nuking.
  • People's Republic of Tyranny: The DRA.
  • Phantom Zone: It is specifically mentioned that the DRA's citizens get inoculations that introduce enough magic into their bodies that the TSAB can't simply use this to sieve out civilians and make the war easier.
  • Punch-Clock Villain: Most of the DRA's grunts.
  • Razor Floss: At one point, a Walter Dornez Expy stonewalls a DRA advance until the Assault Troopers arrive.
  • See the Whites of Their Eyes: Invoked. In the first space battle, the TSAB fleet CO orders his vessels to get into the DRA wall of battle, where the Bureau starships' individual superiority can seize the day, rather than being mowed down from afar by DRA More Dakka.
  • Shoot the Bullet: Nanoha does this with Divine Shooters. The Sacred War does this with its particle cannon against TSAB Arc-en-Ciels during its Last Stand.
  • Shout-Out:
  • Showy Invincible Hero: Inverted. The author has admitted that the TSAB will win and the DRA will lose; the question is how badly will the DRA make the Bureau bleed to get that victory?
  • Space Fighter: In going with the "Nanoha is a human Gundam" idea, mages are used as these.
  • Space Is Noisy: Averted, complete with obligatory "no one could hear you scream".
  • Super Reflexes: Smiley takes a concoction to get these in his second and final run-in with Fate.
  • Take That!: Averted with Pvt. Marona and 2LT Mari Shikinami, who the author has stated were coincidences and no malice aforethought went into making them redshirts.
  • Technology Porn: Sometimes to self-indulgent extents.
  • Veteran Instructor: Field Marshall Parker briefly considers making Smiley this before sending him to the XHMF programme.
  • Villain Protagonist: While the action switches between many viewpoints on both sides, the one that receives the most attention is the DRA grunt squad led by Lieutenant Rakas and Sergeant Hennessey.
  • Villainous Valour
  • War Fic: Exactly What It Says on the Tin.
  • War Is Hell: Not really a focus, but it's there.
  • Wave-Motion Gun: Arc-en-Ciels up the wazoo. Then there's the Self-Propelled Weapons Platform Sacred War, which is essentially a mobile particle cannon capable of hitting targets from a light-second out and is used against Mid-Childa itself for millions of casualties. Nanoha uses a Starlight Breaker to blow through a mountain to reach Field Marshall Parker's command post.
  • We Have Reserves: One DRA POW is told that the TSAB can win by virtue of sheer numbers if it has to.
  • What You Are in the Dark: Assault Troopers are meant to fight in the dark and die unknown. Brute is very disheartened to be his squad's sole survivor and a POW, being both magically and physically restrained from suicide to deny himself to the TSAB.
  • Worthy Opponent: Brute sees Signum as this.
  • Would Not Hit a Girl: Brute subverts this, saying that he would rather not but needs to make an exception for Signum.


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