Night Terror is the greatest supervillain in the world. Between her superhuman inventions and "no collateral damage" policy, she has her entire city completely cowed. All the other villains report to her, heroes only occasionally pop up to get smacked down, and civilians are kept out of the crossfire.
She's bored out of her skull.
During a mundane bank robbery she started just to do something interesting, she encounters Fialux, a new hero in town. Despite her best efforts, Fialux quickly overpowers her and takes her to jail. After Night Terror escapes, she makes it her mission to take Fialux out.
Possibly on a date.
A lesbian romance novel by Mia Archer, and the first of a series about Night Terror and Fialux's tempestuous relationship. Seven more books have been published in all.
This novel provides examples of:
- A.I. Is a Crapshoot: CORVAC is an unstable vacuum-tube AI created in the 70's by an evil Mad Scientist, then found and upgraded by Night Terror. He wants nothing but to take over the world, which is why he works with Night Terror; their goals align. When she admits she might not want to conquer the world any more, he turns on her. Night Terror is not happy, but also not particularly surprised.
- Anti-Villain: Night Terror identifies as a villain, but under her rule criminals avoid endangering innocent bystanders at all costs, and the vast majority of her crimes are directed at the city's corrupt elite. Some of her worst "crimes" were misunderstandings, though likely spurred on by those corrupt elites who are covering up their own crimes. She stopped an alien invasion when the US government got bribed into opening a portal for them, she connected a nuclear reactor to the power grid to give everybody free power only for the power company to send it into a meltdown, and she threatened the mayor because that is simply the only way she could get him to actually do his job.
- Awesome, but Impractical: CORVAC keeps bugging Night Terror for a giant robot, which she only built grudgingly. The whole idea was impractical from the start, got worse when CORVAC insisted on "improvements" like a single vulnerable eye stalk, and became completely obsolete once Fialux showed up. Night Terror never actually told CORVAC that Fialux could easily handle the robot, which is why he still tries to use it when he goes rogue.
- Be Careful What You Wish For: The novel starts with Night Terror robbing a bank out of boredom and wishing something interesting to happen. She soon finds herself on the wrong end of an embarrassingly one-sided battle.
- Bleached Underpants: The novel was originally published under a different pen name as a Porn with Plot story titled "Futavillainess". The big difference, of course, was the main character accidentally turning herself into a hermaphrodite. And lots of explicit sex. And Shadow Wing was a girl who was Fialux's ex girlfriend- the two of them were on the outs due Rex's manipulations.
- Brainwashed and Crazy: Rex and CORVAC brainwash Fialux into trying to sex Night Terror to death. She snaps out of it once Night Terror cuts the power to the mind control device.
- Closet Key: Night Terror only realizes that she's attracted to women after meeting Fialux.
- Dating Catwoman: This is most of the point of the series, especially the first book. Night Terror is the Anti-Villain who has conquered her entire city, then in comes the absolutely invincible Fialux, who blasts through all of Night Terror's defenses while Night Terror is still gobsmacked by how beautiful she is. By the end of the first book, they are officially dating, even if Fialux still dislikes Night Terror's methods.
- Dirty Cop: Night Terror bribes the police union and commissioner for Starlight City to insure they don't try impeding her crimes too much (aside from a token effort). She's gotten far too powerful for them anyway-this is just softening things up further.
- Eating the Eye Candy: Night Terror looks over Fialux's figure enraptured for a long time after first seeing her, noting all of her attractive attributes.
- Every Car Is a Pinto: Police cars blow up instantly when hit by Night Terror's weapons, which makes her snarkily think in her internal thoughts how their contractor should look into improving that.
- Expy: Fialux is an obvious one for Supergirl, with an identical powerset and origin. Shadow Wing initially appears to be an expy of Batman, but turns out to be a serial mind-control rapist like the Purple Man. He stole the name from the original Shadow Wing, who he brainwashed into fighting a giant monster that killed her.
- Hero Insurance: Standard policy seems to be to blame any destruction the heroes cause on the villains they were trying to stop. This annoys Night Terror to no end, as she had a strong policy of no collateral damage, and Fialux causes more damage in a couple weeks than Night Terror did in her entire career.
- Idiot Ball: Night Terror, who knows that mind control exists, repeatedly sees Selena demonstrating strange behavior when talking to her boyfriend over the phone, and yet never considers that she might be mind controlled. Night Terror implies near the end that she had assumed that Fialux was immune to mind control just like everything else, so the possibility never crossed her mind.
- Immune to Mind Control: Night Terror, as the supposed leader in the field of mind control, has multiple ways of protecting herself against mind control. Even when something slips past her defenses, she is able to keep her wits enough to plug the hole and become immune again. The fact that this still didn't work and she almost kills herself while under a hypnotist's control is her first clue that CORVAC is planning to betray her soon.
- Love at First Sight: In her internal monologue, Night Terror cannot stop gushing about how perfect Fialux is. One of her final clues to her secret identity is when she finds someone who causes similar feelings. Turns out it was mutual.
- Love Makes You Dumb: The series would be about half as long as it is at best if Night Terror wasn't so prone to spacing out in the middle of danger when she starts thinking of Fialux.
- Love Potion: Rex was apparently using his mind control to build himself a harem. It's strongly implied that he had been raping Fialux this way for months if not years. It might be for the best that she doesn't remember anything that happened while she was under hypnosis.
- No Challenge Equals No Satisfaction: The lack of challenge is why Night Terror feels so bored at the beginning. She's defeated all the heroes, who now run off at the sight of her, with the police putting up only a token effort to stop her too. Thus she's delighted when Fialux challenges her.
- Outside-Context Problem: At the start, Night Terror is prepared to fight basically anything on Earth; she states at one point that she, personally, is the strongest military on Earth. Then Fialux shows up, who is stronger, faster, and tougher than even Night Terror's greatest weapons can handle.
- Out with a Bang: Invoked. CORVAC brainwashes Fialux into having sex with Night Terror, minus any restraint. Night Terror admits it sounds like a fine way to die, but saves them both instead.
- Psychic-Assisted Suicide: Rex (as Shadow Wing) tries this on Night Terror when Night Terror thinks she's immune to his mind control. The fact that CORVAC didn't even try to warn her is a big clue that something's up.
- Sadist Teacher: Night Terror takes over a class on how to survive a super battle when you're a civilian. Since she's just there to draw out Fialux in her secret identity, Night Terror spends the entire time psychologically torturing the students by threatening them with all manner of very dangerous weapons and demonstrating how they could be killed in horrible ways. When CORVAC attacks the school, everyone in her class survives due to her training, which leads to the school hiring her to teach the class for real despite the fact that she still has no actual credentials (she only got the job in the first place due to mind controlling the one in charge of hiring).
- Significant Green-Eyed Redhead: Fialux has dark red hair and deep green eyes. She's the series' deuteragonist, a superheroine whom villain Night Terror falls in Love at First Sight with.
- Victory Is Boring: Night Terror starts the book bored out of her skull because she has the entire city completely cowed. The villains all obey her rules and pay her a percentage, the heroes largely avoid her, and the police only make the most token of attempts to stop her; she's even on a first-name basis with the commissioner. Then Fialux shows up and beats her to hell and back.
- When All You Have Is a Hammer…: Rex has a minor mind-control power. Night Terror soon realizes that the reason he's a smarmy asshole is because he's never had to learn actual charisma. When facing two people immune to his power, he tries to talk them over to his side because that's always worked before, but has no success. When Night Terror confirms that he has no more tricks (and he's admitted to a long list of horrible things in front of Fialux), Night Terror casually disintegrates him.
- Wide-Eyed Idealist: Fialux believes that criminals are evil, and if they can all be stopped then the good people will be able to rise above their problems. It takes her a while to understand that Night Terror was doing more good for the city as the top villain than Fialux does as its top hero.