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Literature / In the Blood

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A work by Ryumaru as a school assignment, published on his DeviantArt account. Not to be confused with In the Blood, although the work is named after the trope.

Things just aren't going well for Bryant. He's just trying to drive home when a girl runs out into the street, causing a traffic pileup. Then it turns out she's chased by something that's causing water mains to explode. One such explosion sends her through his windshield, and then... well... things get worse.


Turns out that this girl, Salla, is a werecat in disguise and on the run from a Mad Alchemist. Now he gets dragged into her world, and ends up turning into a human/werecat hybrid himself. Now they have to trust each other while running like hell from Thanatos while trying to come up with a plan.

(For the Nancy A. Collins novel of the same name, see Sonja Blue.)

Tropes I included:

  • Action Girl: Salla. She's used to doing stuff on the run.
  • All Just a Dream: Bryant initially thinks this when he wakes up with fur, claws, and a tail. Too bad it's not, because then he'd get to score with the head cheerleader.
  • Applied Phlebotinum: Not only do cloakers allow various members of The Masquerade stay Hidden in Plain Sight, but it's how one of the Agents tracks Salla and Jaden to Thanatos' lair.
  • Author Appeal: Why yes, I'm a bit of a furry. Why do you ask?
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  • Berserk Button: If you value keeping your limbs, don't hurt Salla. Jaden/Bryant is rather protective of his newfound friend.
  • Bio-Augmentation: What Thanatos is using to beat death. Salla's his guinea pig, and some of the stuff he's done is pretty creepy.
  • Blind Seer: The old lady Bryant meets on his way out of the hospital. Just like in The Odyssey.
  • Chekhov's Gun: Those silver keys Jaden picks up from the fairies that waylay them? Turns out silver really screws with potions....
  • Cursed With Awesome: Bryant gets turned into a Beast Brood (human/lycanthrope hybrid) thanks to his blood mingling with Salla's after the accident, so he has to keep his new ears, fur, and tail hidden as part of The Masquerade, but hey, he's faster and can use Le Parkour. Salla also counts, since Thanatos' experiments were pretty horrific, but her fur's now fireproof and acidproof.
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  • Dark-Skinned Blonde: Bryant/Jaden's Beast Brood form invokes this, especially since he inherited a lot of were form traits from his accidental blood donor.
  • Determinator: Jaden has become one by the end of the story. Salla's legs are broken, he's had the hell beat out of him, and they've both just barely survived the climactic battle, and he still is ready to fight when he thinks Team 18 is going to get in the way of their escape.
  • Early-Bird Cameo: This was intended as a side story to my main books, which I'm still in the process of writing. As such, my main characters get involved. I also throw in a cameo for an OC of a friend's who might or might not show up in the main continuity.
  • The Everyman: Bryant started out like this. Then the story happens.
  • Fire-Forged Friends: Bryant/Jaden and Salla. The ending hints that they might be becoming more than that.
  • Large Ham: Thanatos really plays it up in Book Two. Jaden even comments on it. Also counts as an example of Evil Is Hammy.
  • Mad Scientist: Thanatos. He wants to be invincible, and he's sure as hell not going to let some petty thing like morality get in his way.
  • The Men in Black: While their job description is the same, Team 18 is most emphatically made up of good guys.
  • Meaningful Name: Thanatos was named after the Greek god of death, which he's trying to cheat. When Bryant (who's name means "noble." It was actually accidental on my part) changes his name to Jaden Leandros, his selected last name is pidgin-Greek for "lion man." Even his hometown's name, Delphi, is an allusion to Greek Mythology. And yes, it's a real town.
  • Moment Killer: Thanatos kills a moment between Jaden/Bryant and Salla. Just when they're about to kiss.
  • Muggles: Bryant starts out as one. Then the story happens. His parents go in for extreme examples, being pretty oblivious to his plight.
  • No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: At the climax, for poor Jaden. Ouch.
  • Not So Great Escape: The escape attempt mounted by the protagonists at the end. It starts out nice, but it gets worse when Salla's leg gets snapped by a particularly large homunculus.
  • Now, Let Me Carry You: Jaden all but says this at the end.
  • Precision F-Strike: While there is some mild profanity sprinkled throughout, Salla gets a good one when she discovers her blood has turned Bryant into a Beast Brood.
    Salla: "Oh, shit."
  • Red Herring: Thanatos claims to have homunculi hidden in the Agency. We find out why this is impossible later.
  • Roof Hopping: The escape scene in Book Two, sprinkled with a bit of Prince of Persia-styled Le Parkour.
  • Secret Identity: Bryant is forced to drop his name temporarily as a precaution. Can't let the psychotic Big Bad track his family down, can he?
  • Shout-Out: I'm a huge freaking geek, so I loaded on the shout-outs. Of note is that I practically included a character from another series - Jim Qwilleran, from The Cat Who... Series, now runs a local bookstore. There's also a series of shout outs to Greek Mythology (The Odyssey in particular), given that it's what we were studying when it was assigned.
  • Strapped to an Operating Table: One of the many things Thanatos did to Salla.
  • Take That!: To The Odyssey. Quoth the newly-christened Jaden: "It's better than calling myself Antinous."
  • Theme Naming: All of Thanatos' homunculi were going to be named after Castlevania characters, but I ran out of good ones. So I switched to Marvel and DC comics writers. Yes, Quesada gets killed brutally. Happy?
  • Too Dumb to Live: Yes, Thanatos, chug the potion you've spent so long on that looks like it's been messed with. See what'll happen. To be fair, he was already pretty mentally unstable, and just wanted to finally cheat Death.
  • Unwanted Assistance: Salla's initial attitude towards Bryant. After her legs are broken in their escape, he tells her to shut up and stop complaining.
  • Volcanic Veins: Happens to Thanatos after doing what's outlined in the above bullet. And it's not without side-effect.


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