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Literature / ONSET

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An Urban Fantasy series wirtten by Glynn Stewart. The story revolves around small town cop, David White, who survives a vampire attack due the combination of Traumatic Superpower Awakening and a timely rescue. Due to his potential as an asset, David is recruited by ONSET, an elite government task force that responds to immediate supernatural threats in the United States.

There are currently 4 books in the series;

  • To Serve and Protect, released on November 29, 2016
  • My Enemy's Enemy, released on December 26, 2016
  • Blood of the Innocent, released on July 25, 2017
  • Stay of Execution, released on January 16, 2018


ONSET provides examples of:

  • Afraid of Their Own Strength: David is initially terrified of his powers and the temptation they offer. He's mostly over it by the end of To Serve and Protect.
  • All Myths Are True
  • Almighty Idiot: The Masters Beyond are former gods, or at least godlike entities, forced away from Earth by the Seal of Solomon. In the thousands of years they've been exiled, they've gone insane and even the entities that were considered "good" (or at least tolerant of humanity) would destroy humanity if the Seal is broken, trying to recreate the world based on their flawed and broken memories.
  • Anti-Antichrist: Some demons prefer the world the ways it is. As such, they often help the forces of good defend it from their would-be masters. At least one demon, Ix, is a loyal ONSET agent.
  • Anyone Can Die
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  • By-the-Book Cop: David is extremely reluctant to do anything that goes against police protocol.
  • Canada, Eh?: After The Masquerade is broken the result is chaos and panic in countries and governments around the world. The Canadian department responsible for supernatural defense politely informs Parliament of its existence, promises a full report in due time, and asks to get back to work. Given that the Canadian military is able to arrive in force to back up the Americans in the Battle of Portland, it appears it worked.
  • Chronic Hero Syndrome: Being a police officer, David's mantra is "to serve and protect."
  • Cool Knife: All ONSET agents are equipped with "Mageblades," heavily enchanted knives that can kill most supernaturals, even those who are immune to silver.
  • Cool Sword: Not only can Memoria, a demonically forged sword, slice through almost anything like a hot knife through butter, but is also a Power Nullifier that negates regeneration and magic.
  • Covers Always Lie: Memoria as seen on the cover of the books is a glowing blue Medieval longsword. As described in the books, it has a leaf-shaped, Bronze Age-style blade that glows red.
  • Comes Great Responsibility: This is ultimately why David joins Omicron.
  • Empathic Weapon: Memoria was forged with the souls of seven murdered ONSET agents by Ekhmez, a high-court demon, in the climax of To Serve and Protect. As a result, Memoria is sentient and chooses David as its wielder.
  • Entertainingly Wrong: At the start of Stay of Execution, scientists have a press conference announcing that based on a seismic event that has the signature of a nuclear weapon explosion but the lack of any other signs of one (such as radiation), the US government must possess some kind of new, non-nuclear explosive. In fact, it was a normal nuclear detonation, but the effects were contained via magic. The people trying to conceal and/or disguise the explosion simply forgot about the seismic detection system.
  • For the Evulz: Vampires can survive off of animal blood, but most (the Vampire Familias) choose to feed on humans for cruelty's sake.
  • Fun with Acronyms: ONSET stands for Office of the National Supernatural Enforcement Teams. OSPI stands for Office of Supernatural Policing and Investigations.
  • Genius Bruiser: Charles is ONSET's resident computer genius and Voice with an Internet Connection. He's also a very powerful and very large dragon.
  • Godzilla Threshold: The US government considers the use of nuclear weapons a requirement for dealing with a sufficiently threatening demonic incursion or a sufficiently powerful individual creature. It's the use of a nuke in Book 3 that eventually begins undoing The Masquerade.
  • Government Agency of Fiction: The Omicron Branch is a secret government agency dedicated to policing supernatural activity in America, its most notable divisions being OSPI (investigation), ONSET (SWAT), and Anti-Paranormals (military).
  • Heroes Prefer Swords: Memoria replaces David's Mageblade at the end of To Serve and Protect.
  • Healing Factor: All supernaturals with rapid healing are categorized as "Regenerators."
  • Hero of Another Story: Ix did something on a personal journey following the shutdown of ONSET that allowed him to overcome the problem of a lower-ranking demon being vulnerable to being commanded by a higher-ranking one. He never shares what it is, but during the Battle of Portland he heads off on his own mission and isn't seen until the very end, when he reveals that not only had he defeated the demon commanding most of the invading demonic horde, but essentially ate him, gaining his power and authority and thus was able to command the majority of the other demons to simply surrender.
  • Kryptonite Factor: Most supernaturals are vulnerable to silver. It causes severe pain and significantly slows regeneration if it enters the supernatural's system, at best.
  • Magitek: All of Omicron's technology is enchanted in some way, even their computers.
  • Muggles: Non-supernatural humans are referred to as "mundanes."
  • Mutants: "Empowered" are humans, such as David, who are born with supernatural powers.
  • Not Always Evil: Vampires are portrayed as Always Chaotic Evil in the first two books, to the point where there's a standing order to execute any and all vampires on sight. The main plot point in Blood of the Innocent is that this is not the case.
  • The Obi-Wan: Commander Michael O'Brien, the lycanthropic leader of ONSET Strike Team Nine, helps David adjust to his new life and offers advice whenever needed.
  • Only the Chosen May Wield: In the hands of anyone else, Memoria is merely a very sharp sword, albeit impossible to destroy. Only when David uses it does it demonstrate its full power.
  • Our Werewolves Are Different
  • Our Vampires Are Different
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: The general sent to shut down ONSET in the fourth book is initially fully on board with arresting any "rogue" agents and "neutralizing" specific targets. Once he realizes what ONSET was dealing with, which he now has to, he quietly sends out word he has no interest in pursuing people whose only crime was being a political liability.
  • Religion of Evil: The Church of the Black Sun is a demon worshiping cult hell-bent on starting the Apocalypse.
  • Running Gag: If David has a firearm at the start of a battle, odds are it's going to be sliced apart/smashed/snapped in half by whatever he's fighting. He thinks that at some point they're going to stop issuing him new ones.
  • Silver Bullet: All Omicron-issued firearms come with silver ammunition.
  • The Stoic: Major Traci Warner, a powerful Mage and second-in-command of ONSET, is almost always calm and rational and rarely ever expresses any emotion.
  • Superpower Lottery: David is a "Class 1" supernatural. As such, his versatile power-set consists of;
  • Super Cop: Most Omicron agents are supernatural.
  • Supernatural Martial Arts: Many Mages learn martial art styles that incorporate magic.
  • The Syndicate: The Vampire Familias are a criminal organization formed by the vampire race centuries ago. They are divided into the most powerful families. As a whole, the Familias are guilty of basically every crime known to man, even terrorism.
  • Technicolor Fire: The color of fire that Mages produce varies.
  • The Unmasqued World: The Masquerade was on shaky ground by the start of the series but it's blown completely early in the fourth book, and if someone didn't believe after seeing a bunch of superhumans fighting a giant troll in Central Park on live TV, they do when Portland, Maine is the site of a demonic invasion.
  • Weirdness Censor: It's explained to David early on that The Masquerade has succeeded for so long because normal people tend to avoid consciously noticing supernatural events, especially when they're relatively rare. It's theorized that the Seal of Solomon, aside from keeping most supernatural entities out of the world, has this as a side effect. Of course, the reverse is also true: as the Seal weakens, it not only allows more magical entities through creating more supernatural events, people are also more likely to notice and believe.
  • Who Wants to Live Forever?: This is the case with most major regenerators, due to potentially outliving their loved ones. Michael implies it's so bad that many commit suicide. This is confirmed in Blood of the Innocent.

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