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Webcomic / Monster Pulse

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Monster Pulse is a Webcomic by Magnolia Porter of Bobwhite fame. It is now complete. A mirror can be found here.

When walking home one day Bina Blum sees something out of the corner of her eye move behind a building. When she goes to investigate a strange creature jumps into her body and causes her heart to become its own sentient entity outside of her body. A mysterious organization seeks to control the process and use the phenomena for its own gain.

Bina interacts with various other children affected by this strange ability which causes one of their body parts to take on a mind and personality of its own, whilst still functioning somewhat as if the organ were in/attached to the body from which it came, which in Bina's case keeps her alive.

The CoLab HQ has begun a let's read.


Monster Pulse contains examples of:

  • Abhorrent Admirer: The one girl who is interested in Ray is Claire; she makes no secret of her crush when they're in SHELL's dormitory, but he's completely uninterested and rebuffs all of her hints.
  • Adult Fear:
    • When they find the voice monster, the kids quickly realize that somewhere, there's a baby crying, and no one can hear it.
    • Lulenski tells her Arma team not to contact their parents because of their monsters—leaving them bereft of their children for weeks. Enid's mother eventually shows up on the group's doorstep in the hopes that they might know where her missing daughter is.
  • Applied Phlebotinum: The Arma Energy SHELL uses. It is an amazing power source, with the tendency to create new life from existing forms of life, life that is still maturing.
  • Artistic License – Biology:
    • The author has admitted that before designing Rixis she had believed the pupil to literally be a black spot on the eye. If she had known it beforehand he might have turned out different.
    • Advertisement:
    • Before looking at more references for Skulls, Wilbur initially had "ear holes" on the sides of his head.
  • Art Evolution: Just compare the first page of chapter 1 to the first page of chapter 22.
  • And I Must Scream: A more literal interpretation than most; the baby in "Crybaby" has their larynx turn into a monster, leaving them unable to speak or cry, and leaving their parents baffled about what to do.
  • Animate Body Parts: The premise in a nutshell.
  • Anti-Villain: The team of Arma kids that Lulenski creates to counter the main cast. They're only fighting because she's promised them to turn them back once they do the job—other than that they're as ordinary of teenagers as their foes and none of them even chose to be there in the first place.
  • Attack Animal: The monsters, as far as the director of SHELL is concerned.
  • Armor-Piercing Question: After about three weeks working for SHELL, Ozzy asks the other kids what exactly prevents them from leaving apart from Lulenski's instructions. He also asks if their parents would really rather believe them dead than know they're alive, just with a changed body.
  • Awesome, but Impractical: If the monster is destroyed, the original person permanently loses said body part. For someone like Julie (hair monster), it'd be inconvenient at most. For someone like Abel (left eye monster), it would create a noticeable disability. For West and Bina (stomach and heart monster, respectively), it would be fatal.
  • Barrier Warrior: Red's strongest power - even Ayo's strength can't break them. Nancy is dangerous enough to have figured out how to weaponize it.
  • Blackmail: How West gets Lulenski to become The Mole - he took video of her killing Roger. Unusually she doesn't hold a grudge about it, even becoming protective of the kids.
  • Blessed with Suck: Monsters in general are these, according to the former director of SHELL. He theorizes that the ARMA monsters draw life force from their original source, and that anyone with a monster, even one derived from a non-vital organ, would die at most after 10-15 years. Based on what happened with Rjinder, the second person to get an ARMA monster and the first to keep it, he might be right.
  • Blob Monster: Red, Nancy's monster, is made of her blood.
  • Bloody Murder: Nancy's monster is made from her blood, so all of its attacks qualify.
  • Body Horror: While the comic is meant to be all ages, (or at least around the PG rating) Bina's heart graphically bursting out of her chest and turning into a monster may cause a few restless nights for younger readers.
  • Body Motifs: Unavoidable, considering the subject matter. For example:
    • The longer Bina has gone without her heart in her chest, the more willful she becomes, because she literally had a big heart. However, she also becomes more heartless, easily growing jealous of Abel and Violet hooking up and becoming more pragmatic.
    • Nate's immaturity about the possibility of becoming a father is reflected by his pituitary gland, which releases hormones that cause growth, reverting him to being a child.
  • Boring, but Practical: Julie's monster is her hair. It's not very powerful, but it's hair, so it can regenerate from pretty much anything.
  • Bottle Episode: Chapter 17 is revealed to be this on pages 15 and 16. Everything up to that point was a Lotus-Eater Machine inside of Violet's brain monster, Anima, constructed for Abel.
  • Brain Monster: Violet's monster. It's literally her brain pulled out of her body and given monster form, like other monsters in the comic. Unlike other monsters, it's also where her personality now resides, remote-controlling her human body.
  • Breaking Speech: Violet gives Bina a hell of one when Bina tries to drag Abel out of Anima's mindscape—she accuses her of being resentful towards West, seeing Julie as a nothing more than an entertaining distraction, and willing to destroy Abel if he got in her way, finishing with "you have no love in you at all." Bina's reaction indicates that she's afraid it is true.
  • Broken Masquerade: For Bina and friends, the result of the attacks on their monsters results in having to let in their whole families on everything going on, including how many other people have monsters.
  • Cardboard Prison: Claire initially keeps her spine-monster Luna behind a baby gate because she's afraid it will attack her. Ray points out that it's not likely to actually stop it if it decides to do so.
  • Character Development:
    • Bina starts the comic off as an Ordinary High-School Student who is thrown into the plot when a ghost gives her Ayo. She gradually starts to accept the absurd situation, and she gains enough confidence to stand her ground against Violet, and lead the rescue attempt.
    • Abel enters the story as a homeless, wandering loner who distrusts most of the group and doesn't show his emotions very often if at all. He warms up after spending time with the group and having a fling with Violet.
  • Chekhov's Skill: West figures out that Greenie can throw his voice and spends their time together practicing it. It comes in handy when Bina and West are held up by the neighborhood patrol and need a quick distraction.
  • Chivalrous Pervert: Ray is an obnoxious flirt who disgusts Bina by trying to hit on her while he and his tooth-monster are fighting her and Ayo. When pressed, however, he can be surprisingly mature and gives solid advice.
  • Cognizant Limbs: Only one in this case - Ned (one of SHELL's guards) has a monster made out of his right arm. Due to its abnormal shape, he leaves it at home and pretends to be an amputee when going out in public, but it still can function normally when he needs it to (for example, it's his writing hand).
  • Defeat Means Friendship: Deconstructed: Nancy and the kids become allies after her defeat, but that does not make them friends. Bina even states outright that she only keeps in contact with Nancy because her powers are too useful to pass up. Played straight with Violet and Anima, who are more selective and considerate with their powers after befriending Bina and crew.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: Luna's vicious and uncontrollable behavior is implied to be due to Claire being in a constant state of freakout over the situation and frequently shouting at her, similar to owners whose erratic behavior reflects in their pets.
  • Double Reverse Quadruple Agent: Lulenski appears to be heading this way, if accidentally. To recap, she works for Shell at the start of the comic, then is blackmailed into working as the kids' mole at chapter 4, and then she and Rjinder start working in secret on a couple of dubiously-ethical experiments. Unusually for this trope, however, she seems to have genuine loyalty for every side she's on.
  • Driven to Villainy: Nancy didn't escape Shell. She's a wreck because of everything they did to her.
  • Embarrassing First Name: West isn't crazy about Desmond.
  • Evil Counterpart: Chapter 22 deals with the main cast facing off against a team of kids put together by SHELL. In many ways, they mirror Bina and her friends. Ozzy and Drummer are clear parallels for Abel and Rixis - both have monsters based on sensory organs (the left one for each, at that) and gain improved sensory input via proper use of their monsters. Bina and Ayo's counterpart are Ray and Cav - both have imposing and powerful monsters, though Cav (based on the body part with the greatest hardness) is defense-oriented while Ayo (based on the strongest muscle) is offense-oriented. Enid and her unnamed monster are most capable when separate, while West and Guuzy do their best work together and even use sticking together to beat her. Claire and Luna are slightly different in that they're not a counterpart for Julie and Kera, but for Violet and Anima - whereas Violet outwardly became an Emotionless Girl when part of her brain became a monster and the two try to keep things calm and peaceful, Claire is overly emotional after her spine becomes an apparent Blood Knight.
  • Eye Beams: Rixis can fire one at will, though he can only fire so many in a short span. He is also limited by available light levels — because his beams come from condensing light, he can't gather energy for more if it's too dark out.
  • Eyepatch of Power: Abel, due to his left eye becoming Rixis.
  • Eyes Do Not Belong There: Guuzy has this as one of his defining monstrous traits. Guuzy's upper body seems to have most of his sensory organs near a vaguely defined head near the top of his body, but his eyes are on a different vaguely defined head near the legs.
  • Fiery Redhead: In a twist on this trope, Julie is shown to have been incredibly shy when she still had her long red hair, it wasn't until losing it and gaining Kera did she become the bold Plucky Girl we know today. Her older sister is a straight version, and a flashback implies that they get it from their mother.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • After a particularly pathetic pick-up line directed at Lulenski, Roger engages in some Self-Deprecation with the line "Just kill me next time!" Once chapter 4 rolls around, Lulenski does just that.
    • It's revealed early on that one of six powerful ARMA ghosts was destroyed after possessing someone. Nothing is known about the specifics of who this was or what their monster was, although it's suggested that Abel killed it.
    • Violet is introduced as an Emotionless Girl, but in Chapter 14, Abel finds a picture of her. She's smiling.
    • When the Chakra Device is reintroduced post-Time Skip, it's shown to have been improperly repaired, and it looks like using it would turn the person into an amalgam of their original form and their ARMA monster. It's clearly set up to suggest that one of the mains will undergo this. Bina is the one unfortunate one who needs to undergo it..
  • Fountain of Youth: It turns out Nate has this: due to his monster being manifested out of his pituitary gland, he gets transformed from a thirty-year old man into a child smaller than the main characters. Once he gets reunited with his monster, he discovers the process is controllable. It's also variable - Nate later takes a form that's younger than his actual age but older than when he first met Bina and friends.
  • Four-Temperament Ensemble: Bina-Phlegmatic, Julie-Sanguine, Abel-Melancholic, West-Choleric, Lulenski-Supine
  • Fusion Dance: Lulenski and Rjinder create a machine called the Chakra Device to merge the ARMA monsters and their progenitors back into one being. It's successfully used on Enid. However, it's broken in the last fight between the kids and SHELL - while it's repaired enough that it can be used to save Bina's life later, the fusion is incomplete, turning Bina into a blend of her features and Ayo's.
  • Genki Girl: Julie, overlapping with plucky girl at times. She routinely breaks out of shady laboratories, isn't fazed by the idea of organs as monsters walking around (she actually seems thrilled by it) and only panics for a second when threatened by a creepy arm monster before deciding to fight it.
  • Gory Discretion Shot: Roger's death. All we see is the kids' reactions to it, with disturbingly angular sound effect text.
  • Healing Hands: A bit more disgusting than usual. Guuzy can produce a substance that rapidly accelerates healing - since he's made from West's stomach, that means he has healing vomit.
  • Heart Is an Awesome Power: It may seem inconvenient for Bina's monster to be her heart, but Ayo is quite strong.
  • Heart Trauma: Bina's heart is literally gone due to transforming into Ayo, which initially freaks her out quite a bit. She can still function normally though, and is even able to feel her pulse.
  • Hearing Voices:
    • Rjinder reacts as though his skin speaks to him at certain points - it's certainly making some sound, though it's never been intelligible to the reader. Around others, he generally passes if off as it merely requesting food or the like. In private, however, he reacts as though it's giving him suggestions to kill Lulenski - it's still not clear if it actually is or Rjinder's going mad.
    • After Ayo and Bina are critically injured, and the two are combined into one being again, Ayo and Bina can talk internally to each other. Unlike Rjinder, we are shown that this isn't just Bina's madness.
  • The Hero Dies: Bina, the first character we are introduced to, dies in chapter 35 after the Wham Shot below. However, in the next chapter, she and Ayo are merged by the Fusion Dance above.
  • Heroes Gone Fishing: Violet's father has to adjust to things like Ayo, Anima, Greenie, and Lampwick relaxing by the television.
  • Hollywood Acid: Guuzy can produce some extremely powerful acid. It's used to dispose of Roger's corpse off-panel.
  • I Just Want to Be Normal: Abel's life as a vagrant clearly wears him down - while he feels it necessary to be a drifter and not get close, there are several scenes where he clearly just wants to live a life like normal kids - he even sneaks into school so that he can learn and get some of the experience.
  • Instantly Proven Wrong: Lulenski is busy explaining how her plan will work with no lasting harm when the Arma chemical begins working on Enid. Cue Lulenski frantically trying to stop the procedure because it's changing Enid's head.
  • It Never Gets Any Easier: Abel has the strongest reaction to seeing Lulenski kill Roger for this reason.
  • Invisible to Normals: Another of Anima's abilities is to make it so that Violet and anyone Violet designates won't be noticed. However, there are limitations - the larger the group being hidden, the more energy it takes to hide. There also are limitations - if someone already knows where the hidden people are, the power won't work on them.
  • Jumped at the Call: West and Julie both are very proactive about investigating anything related to SHELL - West wants to help people, while Julie seems like she likes the action. Comparatively, Bina and Abel prefer to not be nearly as involved.
  • Jumping Off the Slippery Slope: Lulenski becomes more and more desperate as time goes on, with her attempts at trying to fix her mistakes in her early Arma research making her becoming more and more desperate. She goes from killing Roger because an Arma ghost possesses him to telling Ned to kidnap four kids to make SHELL's own team of monsters... and telling Ned that his daughter could be used if he can't find any.
  • Kaiju: Lulenski becomes one when she merges with Roger and Rjinder's remains, towering many meters above the surrounding forest. The author had a friend design the creature so that it would look appropriately monstrous and alien from the familiar monsters who accompany the kids.
  • Kids Are Cruel: The most vicious of Shell's counter-team is Enid. She always suggests killing people and even sets fire to Kera. Given that she appears to be kindergarten age and her monster is her own head, she may not understand how much pain she's actually inflicting on people.
  • Kid with the Leash: The kids and their respective monsters. West also acts as a surrogate one to Greenie, since her partner is a baby.
  • Laser-Guided Amnesia: One of Violet and Anima's powers is the ability to selectively edit memories. In addition to removing memories, they can also restore or modify them.
  • Latex Perfection: Only demonstrated to entertain Julie, but one of Edward's monster's abilities is to perfectly imitate anyone else's head.
  • Loner-Turned-Friend: Abel, after the second time SHELL finds Ayo.
  • Losing Your Head: Enid's partner is her own head.
  • Marked Change: Several of the people who get monsters get a distinct mark (suggested to glow slightly) on their bodies from where their monster left their body. Bina has one on her chest, West has one on his abdomen, and Abel has one where his left eye used to be. Based on what happens when she's cut, it's strongly suggested that said glow replaces Nancy's entire circulatory system. Rjinder's marking is slightly different - he doesn't have a glow mark, but he's completely hairless (flashbacks show that this wasn't always the case) and there are striations on his skin from where the strips of his monster can pull from his body.
  • Meaningful Name: It's not immediately made obvious, but Abel's name is evocative. Ironically and accidentally, though, he became the Cain for his sister in a Cain and Abel moment - he destroyed a lung monster manifested from his sister's body, which is sadly how he learned that destroying a monster destroys that person's corresponding body part, thus killing her.
  • The Men in Black: SHELL. Between the kidnappings, experiments on monsters, scary opaque glasses, and some ominous overheard conversation, they're not exactly looking like good guys.
  • Mirror Character: Unstated, but there are huge parallels between Roger's treatment of an Arma ghost regarding Lulenski and Abel's sister and Abel. It also serves as Foreshadowing that just as Abel later received another Arma ghost, Lulenski may yet receive one, too.
  • Mon: A more serious take on the genre.
  • Mobile Shrubbery: Bina and Julie use a recycling bin to bypass security.
  • The Mole: The kids blackmail Dr. Lulenski into becoming one, giving them updates as to what SHELL is doing.
  • Morality Pet: Roger functions as this for Dr. Lulenski until she is forced to kill him. Red could also be considered one for Nancy, as Nancy only reveals her true feelings while talking to Red.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Abel's reaction to learning what happens when you destroy someone's monster, when he killed his sister's lung monster before finding out the truth about Arma monsters.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!:
    • See What The Hell, Hero.
    • When cornered by Rjinder's skin monster with everyone else knocked out or in danger, Bina tells Greenie to "catch my voice" and then screams as loud and high-pitched as she can. This incapacitates Rjinder's skin, but it also shatters every tube containing an Arma ghost and they escape across the island.
  • Nightmare Face: After Lulenski tells Rjinder that she killed Roger, Rjinder's skin looks as if it's about to undulate away from his body.
  • Nothing Is Scarier: Two examples in quick (and effective) succession:
    • After Roger saves Lulenski he starts turning, very slowly. We never see his face in full (it seems to have LEGS), because...
    • Lulenski has a major freak out and picks up a rock. The next page is simply the kids staring in horror, with no noise, save the sound effects.
  • Nothing Is the Same Anymore: Chapter 29, "The Storm," ends with the monsters being revealed to all the world.
  • Obfuscating Stupidity: Nancy and Red might not seem the most astute pair, but they have perhaps the strongest understanding of their potential offensive abilities of any person/monster combo, making them deadly in a fight. She later reveals that she and Red managed to hide most of their abilities from SHELL, so that they just put her up in an apartment rather than try to use those abilities themselves.
  • Oh, Crap!: Violet in Chapter 17 when Bina has had enough.
  • Open-Minded Parent: West is fortunate in that both of his parents know of his situation with Guuzy, although it is heavily implied and at times outright stated that they are frightened and ashamed of what's become of him, and want to hide Guuzy's existence from West's brother. Bina's mom is working towards this regarding her daughter and Ayo. Julie's mom is like this as well regarding Julie and Kera, but is hiding that she knows from her children.
  • Organ Autonomy: Practically the entire premise—these organs aren't just autonomous, they're physically separate from the original body! And yet, somehow, the walking, talking organ continues to perform its function just fine—Bina still has blood moving around in her body, West still gets nutrition, etc.
  • The Paranoiac: Nancy, who hits most of the traits - blames others constantly for various issues, seeks revenge on those who do hurt her, suspicious to the point of irrationality, rude to everyone, and sees the potential for SHELL everywhere. Given what SHELL has done to her and others, a level of paranoia is understandable, but Nancy takes it too far and is unable to discern what actually is SHELL in the heat of the moment.
  • Parental Abandonment: Abel's a runaway, because both of his parents are dead.
  • Parents as People:
    • Most of the parents in this comic try their best to be supportive when they have to come to terms with the fact that their children have body part monsters.
    • Bina already has a difficult relationship with her mother when the story starts because she's a student in her mom's classroom. Sharing the secret of Ayo actually helps them repair their relationship as Mrs. Blum tries to be more supporting of her daughter.
    • Julie's mom usually has to leave childcare details to her oldest daughter because she's a single mom working as a nurse. But she's supportive and open-minded towards her daughters and is aware of Kera, but chooses not to say so until Julie is comfortable telling her.
    • The Wests don't treat Guuzy's presence as a horrifying deformity, which is good. They do seem to treat it as a nuisance that Desmond has imposed on them, which is not. He often winds up excluded from their social plans rather than them trying to find things to do that don't involve food.
    • Nancy's mom. It turns out that Nancy's exposure to Arma was an accident, but Nancy was so angry and scared that she convinced herself that it was intentional and her mom was to blame for it. However, Ms. De Witte's reaction was to put Nancy in an apartment across town and let her stay there indefinitely, and her behavior towards Nancy upon meeting again was fairly cold. When Ned tries to talk it through with Nancy, he admits that her mom might not be able to give her what she needs. (Not helping the situation is the fact that Ms. De Witte has become a public scapegoat and had to go on the run, making it seem as though she abandoned Nancy again.)
  • Reality Ensues: Lulenski's plan to create a SHELL counterpart to the main crew doesn't go well because Ned grabs four random, unconnected kids—one of whom is a kindergartner and another who seems to have an anxiety disorder. The only reason it kind of works is because their monsters are strong.
  • Rule of Cool: Edward's monster is his face and all the skin on his head, which he wears like a mask; however, the tuft of blue hair on his head remains even if his face is taken off, making him resemble the poster for a punk band of some form.
  • Run or Die: In Chapter 23, almost every person with a monster is forced to go into hiding after SHELL forms their own team of kids to hunt them down to power a machine that could THEORETICALLY reattach their monsters to their bodies. This gets resolved in Chapters 28-29, when the core gang, Nate, Nancy, Greenie, and Violet all infiltrate SHELL and destroy the machine, though it gets replaced by every single ghost in the SHELL facility being released into the surrounding town.
  • Secret Keeper: Bina is forced to confide in her mom after her mom sees Ayo. Both of West's parents know about Guuzy and try to help him the best that they can. Julie's older sister, however, not only knows about Kera, but she actively helps out where she can. Julie's younger brother knows as well.
  • Secret Secret-Keeper: One of the kids has one of these, too. Julie's mom knows about Kera and sometimes talks to her when Julie sleeps.
  • Self-Serving Memory: Lulenski blames Rjinder for being the one to talk her into creating their own team of Arma kids. He immediately points out that while he agreed to her plan and likes her ruthless thinking, the idea originated entirely with her.
  • Shame If Something Happened: Lulenski makes this threat against Ned to procure experimental subjects on Arma energy - kids are needed, and Ned's teenage daughter would be perfect if he can't find enough.
  • Shell-Shocked Veteran:
    • Abel has apparently been living on the run from SHELL for a long time, and it shows. He has trouble showing emotion and becomes nearly hysterical at the prospect of being found by SHELL. This extends to the point that he is willing to threaten the lives of others to stay hidden from SHELL.
    • Nancy is an even more extreme example: Her Berserk Button is being called "stupid" or looked down upon, with disastrous results. She is easily one of the most violent characters, with a penchant for striking people in neck with her crowbar. She also has paranoia, claiming that everyone is a member of SHELL and even targeting children.
  • Ship Tease: Bina and Abel. It's made clear from very early on that Bina has a crush on Abel, but it's kept ambiguous as to whether or not Abel likes her back. The ship is temporarily sunken when Able hooks up with Violet, but after their breakup, Bina and Abel get a Relationship Upgrade in Chapter 29.
  • Shout-Out:
    • Rixis's name is an anagram if "iris" with an additional X, exactly the same thing Organization XIII does when naming its new members.
    • At one point, West is seen playing a game with a dialogue system ripped straight from Mass Effect.
    • Julie plays Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door in Chapter 13.
    • Nate, whose monster transforms him after he tries running from responsibility, names his pituitary gland monster Lampwick.
    • Ned named his monster Orville, since it's his right arm.
    • The titles of chapters 13 and 14 ("Poor Edward" and "Blind Love" respectively) are both named after Tom Waits songs.
  • Sinister Surveillance: Abel can play this a little more literally than most - while he's mostly an Action Survivor Anti-Hero and not evil, he is capable of using Rixis to view things from Rixis' viewpoint instead of his own. And Rixis is his sinister (read: left) eye.
  • Sir Swears-a-Lot: Nate. (Although granted, it's always Symbol Swearing.)
  • Sixth Ranger: Nancy, Red, Nate, Lampwick, Violet, and Anima after they're forced into hiding along with the main cast.
  • Skull for a Head: Edward; his monster is the skin covering his entire face.
  • Stockholm Syndrome: Strange as it might seem, Lulenski feels this towards the kids. After she showed blatant disregard for their lives, they are blackmailing her and increasingly putting her entire professional career at risk for their sake. However, as they're the only ones who know about what she did to Roger, she makes several attempts to reach out to them and get to know them socially (though they unwittingly turn her down each time).
  • Symbol Swearing: Nate does this frequently.
  • Taking the Bullet: Roger saves Lulenski from a Ghost. It seems he would have gained a particularly nasty face-based monster if Lulenski hadn't "stepped in."
  • 10-Minute Retirement: Julie withdraws entirely from both her duties and her friends because she was terrified of seeing Kera almost burned to death as well as confused about changes within herself. She comes back just in time to save West and Rafi from Rafi's new liver monster.
  • Telepathy: One of the powers of Anima, Violet's monster (which, based on design, is made of at least some part of her central nervous system).
  • That Came Out Wrong:
    West: It's been awhile since I've had a boy friend. URK! I meant-
    Abel: It's okay. I know what you meant.
  • Time Skip: Chapter 31 takes place a few months after the final assault on SHELL Labs and its aftermath. SHELL now exists as an organization out to stop the loose Arma ghosts and provide support for anyone who ends up with Organ Autonomy outside of that. Ned has become Mission Control for them, and all of the kids who still had monsters as of Chapter 29 are on the team except Nancy (so far) and Edward (who's presumably still in Ireland).
  • Toxic Friend Influence: Rjinder invites Lulenski to his lab and the two become steadily closer as friends and business partners. Lulenski also starts making baby steps towards the slippery slope she later jumps off in the more recent chapters.
  • Trademark Favorite Food: Rjinder's skin just loves tea.
  • Trauma Conga Line: Lulenski in particular - first the business with Roger, then being continually blackmailed by the main cast regarding it to deliberately counter her own work.
  • Trial Balloon Question: While out drinking with Ned, Lulenski awkwardly asks if he ever had to kill anyone during his days with a cop. What might seem like random, morbid curiosity is in fact her way of testing whether he'd be a sympathetic confidant...or at least would have any advice for dealing with her own guilt over mercy-killing Roger.
  • Troubling Unchildlike Behavior:
    • Bina gets progressively colder as the series goes along, as her resentment over her circumstances grows. Several characters remark on how intense she can be.
    • Nate, an apparent elementary-school kid with a foul attitude and fouler language, and who immediately dives for his cigarettes after the kids break him out of the lab. It turns out that he's actually an adult man—the Arma nailed his pituitary gland.
  • Unskilled, but Strong: SHELL's team of monster kids. They're untrained and uncoordinated, but the monsters they wound up with are strong enough that they're effective enough for the purpose.
  • Unusual Ears: Well, more like ear singular, as Osborne's partner is his left ear.
  • Use Your Head: A rocket powered heart monster headbutt attack, no less.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: This is the best way to describe how Bina feels about Ayo. On one hand, Ayo is literally part of Bina, and Bina cares about her like Ayo was her child. At the same time, Bina fears that her lifespan is cut way too short because of Ayo's existence, and she finds part of herself hating Ayo for that reason. When, near death, Ayo can finally communicate with Bina, she admits that the feeling is mutual.
  • The Voiceless: Greenie's kid is an odd example. Since Greenie is the voicebox, it "talks" in place of the kid.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist:
    • Nancy has a good idea - stopping SHELL from their experiments on people and the Arma ghosts is probably a good call. How she goes about it, however, puts many innocent people at risk. Plus, since she's paranoid, she's not good at determining friend from foe.
    • As of Chapter 23, Lulenski. Sure, her goals are ultimately noble - she wants to reunite the monsters with their owners' bodies as well as find a way to bring Roger back to life. However, her methods go beyond the pale - blackmailing Ned into kidnapping four kids to become SHELL's own monster team.
    • When finally revealed as someone with an Arma monster, Violet. Best of intentions, including relieving Abel of his massive trauma and making things easier for their father, but completely rewriting their minds without their permission is going way too far. Bina causes a Defeat Means Friendship by pointing this out.
  • Wham Episode:
    • Chapter 4, Page 13-14. Dr. Lulenski, in a fit of delirium, bludgeons Roger to death with a rock after the latter gets possessed by a stray ghost. The moment is one hell of a reminder that this isn't just a bunch of kids and Grotesque Cute monsters running around.
    • A later one occurs in Chapter 17, Page 35-36. We see Abel flash back to when he killed an Arma monster for the first time. It was a lung monster... belonging to his sister. He didn't know at the time what it was, or what the consequences of killing it would be.
    • Chapter 28. Director Maugras discovers Bina is alive, and by extension Lulenski's attempt at recreating his son. Lulenski and Rjinder have succeeded in capturing the kids, and use Guuzy and Ayo to power their machine as planned, with West as the first test subject. However, a scuffle occurs and the machine hits Enid instead. And it WORKS. Overjoyed, Lulenski decides that Rjinder should be the next one to use it, but he refuses, stating he's become attached to his skin. Lulenski reveals she's heard some of the things his skin has said, and insists on him being next. Rjinder ends up knocked unconscious and his skin completely takes over, determined to destroy anything it sees as a threat to either of them.
    • The Chakra machine is used as an Emergency Transformation to save Bina after Ayo is punctured in a fight in Chapter 35, killing her and rendering Ayo comatose, but ends up fusing the two together.
  • Wham Shot:
    • Chapter 29, Page 9-10. Osborne's ear monster tries to attack. After it's sliced to bits, a shot of Osborne's left side of his face suddenly bleeds.
    • Rafi is hit with an Arma ghost and gains a liver-monster. Being used to Guuzy, he tries to greet it as a friend, but it attacks him instead.
    • Chapter 35, Page 13-14. Bina, on the previous page, came up with a plan to use Ayo to give Luna a power boost to deal with a stronger-than-usual ghost. On this page, it backfires horribly; the ghost sends Luna flying right into Ayo... and we cut to black with only a "SLICE." The worst has happened: Luna has punctured Ayo and put Bina's life in serious jeopardy.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Perhaps it's a stretch to call a Well-Intentioned Extremist a "hero," but Bina gives this to Nancy when Nancy reveals that she's the one responsible for the repeated security failures that results in the Arma ghost escapes, and consequently the number of monsters manifested.
  • Wide-Eyed Idealist: West, to the extent that Bina wants to shield him from some of the darker aspects of the world, including that Abel killed his own sister.
  • With Catlike Tread: Ray and Claire sneak out to make sure Ozzy isn't breaking Lulenski's instructions. After he's done visiting his girlfriend, he calls to the bridge they're hiding under—he doesn't have his ear monster, but neither of them were being remotely stealthy.


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