Humanity and the avian Ornos attempt to hold a Peace Conference aboard the HSV Concord, which is rudely interrupted by Stuff Blowing Up. After the blast, Ketier, sole survivor of the Orno's Succession Crisis and Spare to the Throne, is stranded on a Ghost Planet with a Ragtag Bunch of Misfits and things go to hell quickly.
With only a few of xeir original crew left, and a ramshackle assortment of super powered humans, will xe manage to survive and possibly claim the throne?
The cast is comprised of:
- Netza: Ketier's parent, and the one who ordered the sabotage of the ship. Xe seems to want Malkut for some kind of plan, and definitely wants to keep the throne at any cost.
- Ketier: The bird heir of giant-insect dwelling Potanikyaa, xe has mostly lived as a sheltered royal with nothing expected of xem. Xe starts to learn and change as the story progresses, possibly straying into Can't Refuse the Call Anymore.
- Chokma: The Quiet One, a sworn servant of Ketier; a dutiful butler and a skilled hand-to-hand combatant. The Big Guy.
- Chised: The Chick Ba dum tss. Therapist and councellor, although not unskilled in beating up giant insects. Xe checks in on the various cliques, and ensures everyone is safe.
- Malkut: The Medic, The Smart Guy, Insufferable Genius, Malkut is a medical genius, able to survive being impaled and reattach legs without equipment.
- Cora: The Lancer; a military officer with fire powers. She's methodical and a strong contender for Team Dad, managing crises and uniting people when Ketier can't.
Crash and Burn contains examples of:
- Assassination Attempt: Numerous, and they're mostly spoilers. Needless to say, few people on Potanikyaa are happy Ketier is alive.
- Big, Screwed-Up Family: Although Ketier is the only living heir, xe originally had many siblings. They all killed each other.
- Broken Faceplate: This happens to Votakh shortly before death; xe is impaled by an insect in a hall of mirrors.
- Color-Coded Characters: It's a colorful comic - every character has a signature color combo.
- Death Seeker: Votakh looks forward to xeir death, and smiles while saying "Finally" when it comes
- Death World: The planet the crew crashes on is not only a sadistic amusement park, but filled with aggressive, giant bugs.
- Drama Bomb: Ketier gets dumped at a funeral that xe's blamed for.
- Elemental Powers: A lot of powers are present, including elemental ones.
- Fire-Forged Friends: The cast is thrown together and forced to survive on a Death World. It took a while, but they've grown loyal to each other. Except maybe Ash.
- Hive Caste System: Orno castes have the appearance of different types of birds, and each has their own group of superpowers with traditional jobs that make use of them.
- Light Is Not Good: Pienya, the god of Light and Lies, blinded the other gods for power in Orno mythology
- Love Cannot Overcome: Malkut and Ketier break up over the death of Votakh and Ketier's inability to take responsibility for xeir position.
- Malfunction Malady: When Malkut is exposed to Ketier's powers xeir powers cause xem serious harm, and xe can't undo it. Xe has to wait out xeir recovery with Ash.
- Non-Residential Residence: The surviving members of the ship crash live together in a re-purposed info booth.
- No One Gets Left Behind: Ketier shouts this as Chokma urges xem to leave the planet with the others, likely leaving Chokma to die.
- One-Gender Race: Ornos are a zero gender race, actually, but they're single-sex.
- Only Sane Man: Cora. Malkut on a good day.
- Princeling Rivalry: Orno royal succession relies on this to choose an heir.
- Psychopomp: Votakh is a kind of secular psychopomp, xeir main duty is getting living people to accept the inevitability of death and offer them a traditional orno funeral.
- Royally Screwed Up: Netza's a despot and the royal family is full of drama.
- The Sacred Darkness: Mirin is the god of Darkness and Healing.
- The Sociopath : Netza, current monarch of Potanikyaa, who pit xeir children against each other in a fight to the death over the throne.
- Working with the Ex: Malkut and Ketier still have to work together to get off planet and survive, despite having broken up very recently