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Webcomic / Recursion

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Recursion is a furry webcomic by Rae Bruner, the author behind Faulty Logic and Dissonance.

Legend tells of a time when the world of Kass was invaded by an army of demons. They commanded incredible powers, and the Kassians were rapidly conquered and enslaved. But just when everything seemed lost, a hero appeared. Her magic rivaled that of the demons, but her real power was the ability to inspire others. The Soulless Wars, as they came to be known, raged for years. And, although the hero gave her life in the final battle, the Kassians were victorious.

It's more than a just legend. Kassian archeologists have discovered the remains of the hero. What's more, it has intact DNA, letting them clone the hero of old, which they name Jade.

Jade, however, doesn't exhibit any of the magical and psychic powers attributed to the legendary hero. She is, as far as anyone can tell, just an ordinary little girl. The experiment is declared a failure, and Jade herself is adopted by a relative of one of the admirals overseeing the experiment.

And that's just the backstory.

The comic proper starts with Jade, now the leader of a squadron of fighters in the Kassian space force, preparing for the last battle in the war against Dr. Deathe. Since this is Deathe's last stronghold, they are expecting a big fight. But there's one factor that nobody expected; one that will change the course of Jade's life forever.

You see, Dr. Deathe is working on a time machine.

You can read Recursion on its own website.

Recursion provides examples of:

  • Added Alliterative Appeal: Dr. Daphne Deathe.
  • Alternative Calendar: Kass has apparently changed dating systems at some point between Jade and Toban's times. As when she asks him the date he lists something in terms of moons and eras.
  • Brainwashed: After Deathe makes it to the past, she brainwashes several of the locals to do menial work, like picking up the weekly shipment of food from the local village.
  • Dark Lord on Life Support: Dr. Deathe, see evil cripple below. In her first appearance she has a coughing fit that requires her to use an oxygen hose quick, though she tries to pass it off as a hairball.
  • Deceased Parents Are the Best: Admiral Mosley carries a photo of Lt. Seren Mosley, his relative (daughter?) and Jade's adopted mother, with him at all times. Just to drive the point home, there's an extreme closeup of the photo during his speech, specifically when he mentions how much the war has taken from them.
  • Description Cut: One pilot comments on how brave Jade is as she faces a possible death in a fiery crash. Meanwhile, she's screaming out an Atomic F-Bomb.
  • Do Not Adjust Your Set: Deathe interrupts Admiral Mosley in the middle of his rousing speech to the fleet. Unfortunately, she doesn't coordinate the broadcast very well.
  • Drowning My Sorrows: Kibret does this before siding with Deathe.
  • Endearingly Dorky: Jade calls Toban a dork in a decidedly friendly way.
  • Evil Cripple: Dr. Deathe has an extremely frail body as the result of a genetic condition. She has several surgical scars, is confined to a wheelchair, has to wear some type of mobility augmentation just to move her upper body, and requires supplemental oxygen.
  • Final Battle: The battle at the beginning of the comic is the final battle of the war we never got to see.
  • Furry Reminder: Apparently, anthropomorphic cats suffer from hairballs from time to time.
    • Josie twitches her tail before a pounce.
    • Jade climbs a wall with her claws.
  • Invisibility Cloak: Deathe has seeded the area around Celeria with mines that are partially submerged in subspace, making them invisible and undetectable. Jade overloads her impulse drive to make them visible again.
  • Is This Thing Still On?: When Deathe interrupts the Admiral's speech, she starts to broadcast the audio before the camera is set up, so the whole fleet gets to hear her argue with her cameraman about setting up a low camera angle to make her look better. What's more, when she's done with the intimidation she cuts the video but not the audio, so everyone hears her ask a minion if there's time for her to take a leak before the battle starts.
  • It Has Been an Honor: Jade tells one of her pilots this as her fighter is going down.
  • Marriage of Convenience: Proposed by Toban, because nobles in his setting don't get to Marry for Love. Jade declines in disgust, because they hardly even know each other yet.
  • My Own Grandpa: It appears that Jade is not only a clone of the great hero, but the hero herself. Meaning the DNA to create her came from her own remains.
  • Names to Run Away from Really Fast: "Dr. Death" would be such a name, which is why Dr. Deathe insists that her name is pronounced "Deeth."
    Dr. Deathe: I am not some kind of monster.
  • Only One Name: Jade. That's her whole name.
  • Outliving One's Offspring: An empty crib implies the reason for Jeremy Kibret's misery.
  • Pardon My Klingon: "Flux" as a substitute for a certain other four-letter word.
  • Portal to the Past: The eponymous "Recursion" is a portal to the past. It's also a portal through space. One end of it is on Celeria, while the other is in the distant past of Kass.
  • Ramming Always Works: How Jade and Toban deal with Kibret in his armor.
  • Rousing Speech: Admiral Mosley gives one to the fleet before the battle starts, but gets interrupted.
  • Ship Tease: When Jade pulls Toban away from an explosive just in time, she suddenly realizes that she is lying on top of him, and he is on the verge of expressing gratitude. She quickly kills the moment, but it's bound to stay on her mind.
  • Stable Time Loop: It's looking that way to Jade.
  • Symbol Swearing: Jade discovers that Kassians of the past swear with good old-fashioned "#$%@". She finds it cute.
  • Trapped in the Past: Since Recursions can only go backward from their point of origin, the only way to go forward would be for someone in the future to open a Recursion to you. This happens to Jade, since her ship self-destructing destroyed the Recursion she came through.
  • Unwanted Assistance: The Computation Library Interface Personality, or CLIP, is an obvious parody of Clippy. He can be genuinely helpful but is rather tone-deaf to the situation.
  • Wait Here: Mug tells his young daughter, Josie, that she can't come on his dangerous mission.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: Deathe doesn't want anyone else to suffer like she has. Unfortunately, she believes the best way to do this is to force everyone who wants to be a parent to submit to invasive genetic screening, and deny permission to anyone who's genes don't pass muster, and she's willing to conquer the world to ensure her rules are put into effect.
  • Will They or Won't They?: Jade and Toban are clearly best friends and have moments that hint at potential for more...if they can stay together that long.
  • With Catlike Tread: Jade is hiding from some security drones when she finally gets her stolen gauntlet-phaser to boot up. It boots up all right; right into a cheery holographic welcome message and an offer to register the unit with the manufacturer. Then it shuts back off to download a firmware update, so not only does she still not have a working weapon, but everyone in the base now knows where she is.
  • You Will Be Beethoven: Although it hasn't been fully confirmed, it certainly appears that Jade is actually going to be the great Hero of Kass she was originally cloned from.
  • 0% Approval Rating: When Toban surrenders to Deathe, he becomes so unpopular that he has little choice but to live in Deathe's compound.