On January 1st, 2014, Simon Martin was given the power to touch a person and see how they were going to die. At the same time, ninety-nine other teenagers around the world were given powers of their own. Shortly thereafter, it becomes apparent that the world is in great danger, but the Children are a destabilizing element that might prove to be as dangerous to the world as anything else.
The story is about geopolitics and events on the world stage as much as it is about the main characters: in the first twelve chapters the narrative visited four countries, and more will be addressed in the future.
The story launched in September 2016, and updates every Tuesday and Friday.
Read it here.
Tropes applying to this series:
- Abusive Parents: Hannah, who is currently in foster care, has gotten this at least a couple of times. At least one of her prior parents hit her, and it is noted that her current foster father only refrains from beating her because "he takes some sort of pride from having a smart kid." He still hits his other kids.
- Agent Mulder: LN/Palatinate had this reputation among the rest of the CIA. The truth is a little more complicated: LN/Palatinate was put together from the remains of operations whose members were genuinely seeking after the paranormal, but afterwards it became a dumping ground for agents in disgrace (or at least this was the case for Mary Rucker).
- Blessed with Suck: Most of the Children have very useful powers, like being able to see how someone is going to die in the future, or control minds, or Body Surf. Others are lackluster: Hannah Johnson can make coins disappear. Zahra Ghorbani can make duplicates of herself, but they disappear if she's no longer touching them unless the duplicate dies first.
- Body Horror: The story practically begins with this. In chapter one, Simon, who is able to see how people are going to die, has a vision of "a forest of bodies, suspended, twisted into grotesque, wiry shapes." Simon dubs them "Giger trees."
- Body Surf: This is Michael Williams' power, combined with the ability to read thoughts and memories from whatever brain he's currently inhabiting.
- Compelling Voice: It appears that Yuka Sato has to speak in order to use her power, though it's possible that this was just for effect.
- Department of Child Disservices: Hannah Johnson thinks that Child Protective Services is this because they separated her from her other siblings when they were moved into the foster care system. However, it's common practice to separate siblings from each other when one has been Promoted to Parent for so long that they wouldn't accept an actual adult's authority and might undermine it for the other children.
- Fainting Seer: When Simon gets a vision of someone's future death, it unfolds in real time and he passes out for the duration. On the bright side, he only passes out for ten seconds, but on the down side, this severely limits how much information he can get.
- Mass Super-Empowering Event: This is what must have happened on 1 Jan 2014, but what it was is still unknown.
- My God, What Have I Done?: Yuka Sato experiences this in her introductory chapter. More than just realizing that she has become a bully herself, her angst is about they have been accusing her of being Evil All Along just by her background and wondering, now, if she's just proven them right.
- Obstructive Bureaucrat: Averted. The director of the CIA explicitly gives Mary Rucker near-carte blanche authority to do whatever is necessary to stay on top of the situation.
- Parental Abandonment: It's noted that Hannah has had to make meals for her younger siblings, often enough that seeing Austin get out some food for other people makes her think of these occasions. Many times, there wasn't even properly nourishing food, and she would have to scrounge up a meal from junk like chips.
- Promotion to Parent: Hannah Johnson was not just promoted to parent in her original home but, after being put in the foster care system, has apparently promoted herself again. It's not yet clear if it was necessary every time or if she's just unable to believe that other people can actually take care of her siblings.
- Protagonist Journey to Villain: It looks as though we're going to be seeing this for a few characters.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: Several of the Children have approached adults about what is happening. While they were met with disbelief, this gave way to acceptance after receiving proof of superpowers.
- Seeing Through Another's Eyes: This is how it works when Simon Martin sees how somebody is going to die. This can be quite distressing.
- Self-Duplication: Zahra Ghorbani can make copies of herself (or at least one copy), but her power is limited by the fact that she has to stay in physical contact with her duplicates.
- Shock and Awe: Ananya Sharma's range is limited to touch. It isn't clear how much she can generate yet, but she's managed to explode a cup of pop so far.
- Super Weight: Most of the Children are Class 2 ("Abilities are generally very specific and limited and may be useless in some situations"), with an argument to be made that some are Class 3 ("Powers, even if they are limited, may be used in a variety of ways").
- Superpower Lottery: Hannah explicitly brings this up as she thinks about how useless her power is.
- There Are No Therapists: Averted. All of the kids working with PALATINATE have to meet with a therapist. Simon has meetings twice weekly.
- Thou Shalt Not Kill: Austin is trying to adhere to this as much as he can. It's disquieting for him when he learns that he has the greatest potential for mass destruction out of the Children located thus far.
- Too Many Mouths: In Simon's first vision, it is noted that some of the body horrific "Giger Trees" have this.
- Weaksauce Weakness: Austin Smith can control fire, but apparently it slowly raises his body temperature as he's doing it. You can see how this might pose a problem.
- What Kind of Lame Power Is Heart, Anyway??: Hannah's amazing power? She can make coins disappear. It's not for nothing that she describes herself as having lost the Superpower Lottery. She makes do, despite that.