On one hot summer day in Xicome, May Flowers and her father receive a letter from May's great aunt on her mother's side of the family. "Isabella", who will never be mentioned again, passed away, leaving May with a sizeable amount of CrediGold.
Her father, on the other hand, gets nothing due to his divorce with May's mother several years back. After an argument between them about May putting the money away for her college education, she storms off into the streets with a bag of her belongings and her giant duck Tippy in tow. May runs away from home by buying a ticket for the Orion Express, a luxury flying train. After a small mystery ends with the train getting grounded for health violations, she takes in the train's mechanic as her sidekick; Steamer, an orphan from the city of Clangston and a super-genius at only 10 years old. Together they register as Freelance Adventurers in the city of Denile.
As this is all happening, halfway around the world an evil mastermind known simply as the Overlord is well on his way to taking over the entire planet. Thanks to a mysterious list he found on an online auction site, Overlord is going against every standard villain practice and is making large headway. With some recently appropriated funds he buys a widescreen magic mirror and asks it who will defeat him should he slip up. The mirror, however, encounters magical interference and can only answer "something about flowers and rain".
With this information, Overlord uses his supercomputer to search for information on "flowers" in the International Justice Database, which brings up May's Freelance Adventurer profile. He then instructs his trusted adviser to sent an assassin after May.
The assassin, April Showers, tries and fails to kill May several times. Before she can finish the job, Overlord finds out who his adviser sent and realizes that "Flowers and rain" was a self-fulfilling prophesy, deciding to cancel the job. Unfortunately, April is a professional who doesn't appreciate people who waste her time, and vows to track down the anonymous "customer" who put a hit on May. May herself is confused at the whole event and asks Steamer to do some research as well.
Thus begins the chain of events that leads to Overlord's downfall. Along the way it quickly becomes apparent that "Thera" as the planet is known is a world that runs entirely on every trope in the book.
The story so far and various associated artwork can be found HERE.
Tropes used so far:
- Action Girl: May Flowers, though she has not had many chances to show it yet. (Hopefully she won't become a Faux Action Girl...)
- Ancient Egypt: Denile, an oasis town with a marketplace along the Denile River.
- Brand X: Candysoft (mentioned below) is a parody of Apple AND Microsoft simultaneously. There is also the Sosa-Soda soft drink, the McPatties fast food chain, the Mall-Mart superstores and the Go.com search engine among others.
- Cyberpunk/Dystopia: Neo Dystopolis is a megacity with towering arcologies covered in neon signs and a polluted sky rivalling Clangston's. Obedience by the "Submissives" is mandatory and visitors are unwelcome.
- Dark Action Girl: April Showers, a vaguely Emo assassin from a much Darker and Edgier background than most people on Thera. She grew up in the aforementioned megacity of Neo Dystopolis.
- Evil Overlord: Overlord, ruler of the Mortos Empire...
- Evil Overlord List: Overlord has a copy of the list from the very start of the series.
- Gadgeteer Genius: Steamer - he can build a laser pistol in seconds, a full-fledged computer in minutes and a whole train in 2 hours.
- iProduct: Candysoft manufactures the iHax home computer, the iCandy MP3 player and the iToy smartphone - the iToy in particular is prominent due to being owned and used for various hacking feats by Steamer.
- Jet Pack: Steamer's backpack is actually a steampunk jetpack hidden in a leather bag casing.
- Lightning Can Do Anything: Jace Charge loses his superpowers when struck by lightning.
- Magitek: Used in a lot of things, from the iToy's magical features behind a shiny modern shell to the clockwork machinations of Clangston to the Orion Express flying train.
- Not Growing Up Sucks: Steamer falls into the Fountain of Youth and becomes unable to age. Probably.
- Planet Eris: If you're gonna make a world where EVERY trope is practically a universal law, this is pretty much a given.
- Spexico: Xicome, May's hometown, a stereotypical Mexican town in the middle of a desert with a bullfighting arena, a marketplace and those colorful buses you see in third-world countries.
- Steampunk: Clangston, Steamer's native city, a steampunk city with several competing transit systems - standard gauge, narrow gauge, broad gauge, steam trolleys, pneumatic subways, gyroscopic monorails and airships - and gas-lamp street lighting under a sky filled with airships and smoke from dozens of factories. (Granted, the smoke is harmless and the not-so-acid rain pure due to magitech filtering, but it's still ugly smoke.) Computers exist and are as powerful as the rest of Thera yet are entirely mechanical, and most technology is clockwork or coal-powered.
- The '80s: Compressed into the city of Radica, where everything is perpetually stuck in 1980s America (even in the afternoo-noo-noon!) and the local military contracts help from the Joltron Cola Force.
- Troperiffic: The whole point of the series.
- Turn of the Millennium: Millennia, a city where everyone drives SUVs and has a LAZR, BlueBerry or iCandy, the teenagers are all wiggers, and The War on Terror never ends.