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Fanfic / The Weakest Link

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The Weakest Link is a completed Axis Powers Hetalia fanfiction written by Tanglepelt.

In the year 2030, an underground organization known as the Sunrise Party captures four nations - Latvia, Estonia, Iceland and Sealand - and holds them ransom in exchange for top-secret information from the governments of the world. As the young prisoners endure torture, manipulation, and their own fear, they find that a bond stronger than they could have imagined is growing between them. Meanwhile, on the outside, the rest of the countries have to decide what they can and cannot sacrifice in order to save their friends. The captives cannot remain strong forever, and the Party's plot may be even more sinister than it initially appeared...

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As a warning, this Fan Fiction is rated M, and contains many instances of graphic violence and sexual themes.

The fanfic contains examples of these tropes:

  • Adult Fear: America, England, Norway, Denmark, Russia, Finland, Sweden, Poland, and Lithuania are Forced to Watch as sociopathic scientists torture Sealand, Estonia, Latvia, and Iceland in the name of 'science'. Made worse as Fletcher's pedophillic obsession with Latvia forces the adults to worry that he might end up being raped and the others will be forced to watch.
  • Anti-Villain: The scientists Katya and Stanfield are Type II; they never intended to go so far as to torture children, but simply got in too deep with the Sunrise Party to back out without their loved ones being harmed. Both attempt to help the captured nations to the best of their ability throughout the story.
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  • Asexuality: Estonia is asexual in the Fan Fic's canon, which makes Strike's sexual abuse of him all the more tragic and traumatic.
  • Bloodier and Gorier: Than Hetalia, by a long shot. Latvia is vivisected alive in chapter 3 and it only gets worse from there.
  • Break the Cutie: What the scientists, especially Fletcher, intend to do to their four captives. There has been many a Heroic BSoD so far, but no one has crossed the Despair Event Horizon yet.
  • Cold-Blooded Torture: What the captive nations must endure on a near-daily basis.
  • Cowardly Lion: One of the story's greatest strengths is the fact that the four protagonists, particularly Latvia, exemplify this trope. All of them are very prone to open and realistic displays of fear, act foolishly in moments of panic, and often sink into despair, yet all four retain their immense inner strength, courage and compassion when it comes to keeping one another safe.
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  • Cruel and Unusual Death: A staple of the story - the nations cannot be killed permanently, and the scientists exploit this freely. To list some of the more extreme examples: Latvia dies once from vivisection without anaesthetic and once from having his skull cut open; Iceland is brutally electrocuted; and Estonia succumbs twice to the plague and once when Fletcher steps on his throat, choking him. In addition, Fletcher's Start of Darkness involved him vivisecting a young Latvian soldier named Nikolajs Vanags, whose death, unfortunately, is permanent.
  • Darker and Edgier / Dark Fic: Obviously.
  • Electric Torture: Iceland dies this way once.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Russia isn't evil, but he's definitely been the most negative and destructive force in Latvia's and Estonia's lives up until this point - and even he is utterly horrified at what the scientists, especially Fletcher, do to their captives.
  • Eye Scream: Poor Estonia loses his vision twice, first after being inject with a drug that burns his optic nerve and than by having his eyes stabbed out.
  • Fire-Forged Friends: Although all of them were at the very least acquaintances beforehand, their shared suffering draws Latvia, Estonia, Iceland and Sealand even closer together than before.
  • First Kiss: Iceland and Latvia are this for each other.
  • Forced to Watch: Too many examples to list with the captives, including one particularly gruesome scene in which Fletcher re-opens Latvia's old scars, forcing him to relive the memories associated with them while the other three can only watch in horror. Also, the nations on the outsides are sent video tapes showing the torture and ending with ransom demands.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: At the beginning of the story, Latvia volunteers to be the first tortured in order to spare Sealand.
    • Later on, Estonia agrees to sleep with Strike so that she will give Latvia medicine. He changes his mind.
  • I Have Your Friends: One of the main reasons that the Sunrise Party captures Latvia, Estonia, Sealand and Iceland is so it can use them as leverage to persuade world governments into giving them vital information. Lithuania, Poland, the Nordics, America and England are the most strongly-affected of the Hetalia nations.
    • Reluctant villains Katya and Stanfield are also kept in line by the threat of the Party harming their children.
  • Merciful Minion: Katya retrieves medicine for Latvia despite her superior's orders, and Stanfield comforts and heals Estonia after he is assaulted by Strike.
  • Mercy Kill: One of the reasons Iceland responds affirmatively to Fletcher's attempts to make him shoot Latvia is because the latter is already in unbearable pain.
  • Mutilation Interrogation: Latvia gets a particularly horrific one at the beginning, being vivisected alive in order to make him reveal the names and addresses of other nations. He eventually cracks, but not after holding up under intense pain for several hours.
  • Nightmare Fuel / Tear Jerker: The whole premise - four children, aged 12 to 17, are captured by a secretive evil organization and horrifically tortured, abused and killed multiple times over in various disturbing ways, while their loved ones cannot help them without betraying their governments and risking millions of lives. Made even worse once Fletcher starts showing sexual interest in Latvia.
  • Recursive Fanfiction: There exists a fanfiction chronicling Fletcher's Start of Darkness and motives here.
  • The Stool Pigeon: Latvia is one, albeit of the sympathetic 'Lacerated Larry' variety. He reveals the names and addresses of the other nations to the Sunrise Party only after hours of agonizing, unimaginable torture.
  • This Is Unforgivable!: The other nations' reaction to learning about the captives' situation.
  • True Companions: Latvia and Estonia were this before the story even began. Iceland and Sealand come to be included through the Fan Fiction's events.
  • 20 Minutes into the Future: The story is set in 2030.
  • Villain Opening Scene: The story begins with Crowley and the rest of the Sunrise Party discussing their plans.
  • Wham Line: "Es esmu latvietis" - Fletcher reveals that he is one of Latvia's citizens.
  • What Measure Is a Non-Badass??: A great measure, according to the Fic. Much emphasis is put on the fact that, although Latvia, Estonia, Iceland and Sealand are seen as 'weak' by many due to various reasons (lack of fighting ability, extreme anxiety, PTSD, to name a few), this does not undermine their worth or their inner strength, courage and goodness in any way.
  • "Where Are They Now?" Epilogue: The epilogue is set a year after the events of the story, and shows everyone's recovery from the events of the fic.
  • The Woobie: All of the four captives, in spades. Not to mention Lithuania, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Denmark, America, England and all of the other nations longing for their loved ones' safety.
    • Katya and Stanfield, hating what they do but forcing themselves to go along with it to protect their children.
  • Would Hurt a Child: Fletcher, Schramm, Strike, Rodriguez and Crowley, definitely. A great deal of focus is put upon the fact that the four captured nations really are just kids. And even if you don't count the three teenagers as children, poor Sealand is just twelve.
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