How NOT to Save the World (S1 E7)

Season Content Notes (incomplete): violence, anti-nonhuman bigotry, consensual violence

T-minus 1 year 355 days

Ho’neheso checked the time. Ey waited ten more seconds, then stood up and walked out of eir room. It had taken eir over a week to find the security break. Wu, ey thought, was getting sloppy.1 In fact, Wu was just as meticulous as ever, but with so much going on, things got missed. What had been missed this time was a coincidence of timing across several layers of security.2 Someone quick and agile (and lucky) could get from the penthouse suite to a back service door without security knowing. Probably.

The security teams knew better than to make their rounds on a timetable, so there was a chance ey would be caught. But not a big one.

Wu and Ho’neheso had played this ‘game’ from the time she was 5 years old. Wu and eir Mom had both felt guilty that she couldn’t have what they thought of as a ‘real’ childhood. So Wu had started leaving intentional breaks in their security and challenging eir to find them. At first, the breaks were only internal, with the challenge being to get from her room to, say, the kitchen or the basement. As she got better at finding the breaks (and Wu made the breaks smaller and harder to find), she started leaving wherever the current hideout was entirely.

The deal was that when she ‘escaped,’ she’d send Wu a priority message. Ey then had until ze came to collect her to find other kids to play with, go shopping, or just enjoy a few precious minutes of freedom.

Two years ago, Wu had sat eir down and told eir that ze could no longer create breaks in the security for eir. Eir mom was no longer hiding as a precaution, but necessity. People were actively hunting her. Ze apologized for taking away eir game but said it was necessary for eir safety.

It took eir two months to find a break in security that Wu hadn’t known existed and escape for real.3

Wu had other people, paid people, who tested the security from outside. But Ho’neheso had become zir best internal security check.

Tonight, ey didn’t have any plans. Ey just needed someplace quiet and a chance to be alone for a few minutes. Wu and Mom wouldn’t be happy with eir for sneaking out. Ho’neheso knew the game eir mom played and what rode on it.4 But no one except his most trusted people even knew eir dad had a daughter. Eir mother had actually done some genetic theft and illegal gene slicing5 to have Ho’neheso, so even eir mom hadn’t known about eir until after Mama died.6

Sure that no one could recognize eir, ey pulled eir cowl low over eir face and slipped out the alley behind the building.7 A single press of a button alerted Wu to eir escape. But zi was in a critical meeting; it would take zir at least a few minutes to extricate zirself.

According to all the maps, there was a small, almost forgotten park a few blocks away. A quiet park at night would be perfect.

 

Sitting on a swing, Ho’neheso heard gravel crunching behind eir. Ey spun around to find a figure stepping into the moonlight.8 Ho’neheso found eirself looking at a woman with short spikey hair in a long trench coat9 with a subtle triangle pattern running around the hem. The woman held up her hands in a ‘peace’ sign before lighting a smoke. “Hey, just wanted you to know you weren’t alone. No trouble.”

Ho’neheso reached into eir pocket and took hold of her holdout gun. “Okay. No trouble.”

A dragon flew by overhead, one from the Welsh clans.10 Ho’neheso recognized him and cursed under eir breath. So much for some alone time. After a moment, the dragon came back the other way and took up a circling pattern over the park.

“Huh. You know them, kid?”

“Yeah.” Ey sighed. “He works for my mom.11 I just wanted some time away from everything, you know?”

The woman laughed. “I think we all do, sometimes. But it’s good that your dad cares about you.”

“Yeah.” Another sigh. Then ey bit eir lip. There was a question she’d been wanting to ask someone but hadn’t. Ey was afraid of sounding foolish. But a stranger in the night, who ey might never see again… “Um… Can I ask something?”

“Sure, I got time to kill.”

“Um… how did you know that you’re a woman?”

The woman, a technomage named Joan,12 inhaled abruptly, then started coughing. When she had her breath back, she put her smoke out and squatted down in front of Ho’neheso. “Hell of an introduction, kid.”

Ho’neheso shrugged and traced circles in the dirt with her toe.

“Ah, like that, is it?” The last thing Joan had expected was to meet a rich kid in the pack having an identity crisis, but it wasn’t the strangest thing she’d ever seen. She thought a moment and finally said. “Hell kid, gender is like love. No one can define it, but everyone knows it when they see it. Damn sure no know else can give you answers.”13 She looked up at the stars and the dragon circling overhead. “I spent years worrying about it. What was I? What’s it all mean? Then one day, I looked in the mirror, and I saw a woman.”

The two sat quietly. The dragon circled a few more times, then peeled off and flew away.

A moment later, Wu walked into the entrance of the park. Joan stared at hir a moment. “Ah… that your mom?”

Ho’neheso smiled as ey stood up. “No, but ze’s here for me.” Ey paused a moment. “Do you think… you might be here again?”

Joan said nothing for a moment, then sighed. This was a complication she did not need. But she’d been that kid once… “Sure, kid. You come here again, you’ll probably see me around.14 My name’s Joan.”

“Thank you!”

She watched the pair walk away and sighed again.

A moment later, she pulled out another smoke and offered it to the young man who joined her from the shadows.15

“You’re here early,” he said.

“Yeah, we’re gonna need to find a new meeting spot.”

He blinked. “Why?”

“Did you see the per with the kid?” She nodded in the direction they had gone.

“Yeah.”

“Well, I’ve seen zir before. Standing next to our Big Bad on a netcast.”

“Oh.”

“Yeah, oh.”

A few minutes later, two more figures emerge from the darkness.

“Sargeant.16 Ahnold.17” The man greeted them. “Let’s take a walk.”

“What is going on?”

“Not here.”

Return to:
How NOT to Save the World S1e6


How NOT to Save the World (S1 E6)

Season Content Notes (incomplete): violence, anti-nonhuman bigotry, consensual violence

T minus 1 year 363 days

Ameohne’e Littlesun waited in one of the government building’s cleanrooms with a giant carafe1 of coffee2 and an aching head. She was not happy with herself, Wu, or the world at large. She was especially unhappy with the clock, which said her current appointment was running ten minutes late. Eleven.

On the other side of the door, Tamrat Tessaro pretended he wasn’t holding off a panic attack. Which meant he was slouched down, tapping his foot, and cracking gum every few seconds. The guard on the door was frustrated and growling. “Take them off.”

Tamrat popped a bubble3 to hide his shakes. “No.” He scratched the side of his head. “Look, the boss man wants me, I came. But if she wants to drag me away from my single day off4 this month, she can take me as I am.”

“It’s a cleanroom.”

“So you clean it after I leave. I’m not taking them off, and I’m not putting on the damn suit. Don’t like it? I’ll go write up my resignation letter.5 Tomorrow. Because, get this, I am off today.”

This argument, and variations on it, had been going on for most of the ten minutes Ameohne’e had been waiting. If she had known this, she would have been even less happy.

Before the guard could rebut, the door of the room opened, and Ameohne’e yelled, “What the hell is taking so–” she cut off abruptly as he saw Tamrat. Ameohne’e didn’t even notice the man’s clothes because her eyes were immediately drawn to the bunny ear headband6, one ear folded down, the other tall enough to Tamrat would need to duck a bit in most doorways.

Tamrat, who usually didn’t pay attention to what anyone was wearing, immediately noticed that she wasn’t wearing a clean suit.

“Tamrat Tessaro?” Ameohne’e asked.

“Evil Overlord?” Tamrat replied, too distracted glaring at the guard to watch his tongue. As soon as the words were out of his mouth, his tawny skin paled and he barely kept from cringing.7

Ameohne’e waved for the guard to stand down and grinned. “And I have the list8 in my office.”

“The List!” Tamrat’s jaw gaped. “You know the LIST!?”

“What self-respecting Evil Overlord9 wouldn’t?” Ameohne’e stepped back, suddenly much more at peace with the world. “Come into my parlor.”

“Said the spider to the fly.” Tamrat slapped his hand over his mouth, then banged his head into the wall. “I have no filter. I’m going to get myself killed. She’s going to throw me out a window because I can’t keep my damn mouth shut.”10

Ameohne’e laughed. The guard stubbornly muttered, “Sir, the cleanroom–”

“Can be cleaned. That’s what magic and modern technology are for.” She turned back into the room. “Oh, and Tamrat, you’d be safer in here. No windows.”

Tamrat followed the chuckling overlord into the room, muttering to himself.

“Alright, Tamrat, your name landed on my desk as someone who is always exceeding the mission brief, looking to build bigger, better, and out of budget.” With the door closed, the cleanroom was completely soundproof. Quiet enough that it usually pumped white noise into the impossible silence. Otherwise, folks working there ended up with unhealthy levels of stress and too many sick days. In that silence, Tamrat’s gum popping sounded loud enough it made him jump.11

“Um, well, yeah. I mean, why do a half-ass job, right? Hey, why is there a cleanroom here, anyway? I mean, it’s not like your manufacturing nanochips or something here.”

“Espionage. The computers here are supposed to be completely disconnected from everything else. Most folks have no idea how tiny a good bug can be these days, but you probably know something of that.”

Tamrat’s jaw dropped open, and he had to catch his gum before it hit the floor. He looked at it a moment, looked around for a garbage bin, then shrugged and popped it back in his mouth. “I mean, a bit, yeah. Not my area, but you have to know something. Still, this is, like, overkill. Or something.” He thought a moment. “I think.”

While Tamrat had been talking, Ameohne’e had been summoning up a holo projection.

“I need an engineer, with a background in spaceship and satellite design, who isn’t afraid to think big.” Ameohne’e pulled up an image, a sphere. Going by the scale notation is was around 6 miles across and had the Greek letter Lambda carved into one side.

Tamrat leaned closer and blinked. “Troy?” he blinked again. “You want me to build Troy?!”

Ameohne’e started to reply by Tamrat kept talking. “Alright, you know the List, so I suppose Troy isn’t too surprising. A bit more obscure.12 Also, you realize the maneuvering systems were shit, right? And the whole giant mirror thing… those kinds of AIs are STILL fiction and probably always will be. Argus we do not have. Also, I don’t think much of his politics.

“The basic idea is doable, I suppose. I mean, hollow asteroid designs as a practical matter go back to the early 21st century. But that’s not what you are looking for, is it?”

He actually stopped this time, and Ameohne’e hurried to answer. “No, it’s not. Don’t get me wrong, giant space station is cool. But I’m more interested in giant space laser.”13

“So why not the Death Star?”

Ameohne’e grinned and fiddled with the hologram controls. “Would you believe I hadn’t heard of it until last night?”14

“How the hell do you know Troy and not–”

The hologram exploded in a shower of sparks. “Also, for all its flaws — in both politics and physics — at least Troy was built with functioning armor and couldn’t be taken out with a single lucky shot.”15

Tamrat blinked at the fizzling light show. “You do have a point.”

He thought a minute. “Given modern technology, a profligate use of magic, and enough money, could probably do something in 5 years or so. Can’t imagine why you’d want it, but every Evil Overlord has to have some ridiculously over elaborate secret base, right?”

Ameohne’e grinned. “Exactly. But you have 18 months.”16

“Whaaat!”17

Ameohne’e ignored his sudden hyperventilating. “There will be bureaucrats over seeing the project. Their only job will be to make sure you have what you need, when you need it. Personnel, money, magic, you name it, you get it…”

An hour later, Ameohne’e and Tamrat shook hands and left the clean room. Tamrat had mostly regained the ability to breathe normally.

If Ameohne’e figured right, it would be about six months before Cheung Bo learned about this little project.18 She was almost looking forward to the Colonel’s reaction. Almost.

Return to:
How NOT to Save the World S1E5


How NOT to Save the World (S1 E5)

Season Content Notes (incomplete): violence, anti-nonhuman bigotry, consensual violence

The triumphant heroes took their bows, and the screen faded to black. Wu shook zir head. “That was…”

“Classic.” Tracey spoke quietly, trying not to wake the child curled up in her lap.

“Not the word I was looking for. And I’m not sure how it got on your ‘Evil Overlord’ list. That trash compactor was never intended as a death trap.”

“Come on, the explosions? The laser beams you could see? The aerodynamic starships? You don’t see vids like this anymore.”

“For which blessing, I will make a large donation to the next artistic fundraiser that hits you up for money.”

“Ha.”

Tracey shifted, preparing to stand.

“Would you like me to take them to bed?”

Tracey shook her head and pushed herself up out of the person-eating couch. Ho’neheso stirred, opening their eyes to look at her a moment before snuggling back into her arms. “You’ve stood in for me too often the last few years. I’m grateful, but Ho’neheso needs me to step up and be their father again.”

Wu followed her as she carried Ho’neheso carefully to their new—and well protected—bedroom. “You never asked them to change their name.”

“No.” Tracey laid her child on their bed and pulled the covers up. “They lost so much already. As long as I could keep them hidden…”

“And what of you? You no longer need to hide who you are.” They started back down the hallway towards Tracey’s rooms. “Taking an Anglo name made sense when you wanted to move unnoticed in North America. Even with the tribes reclaiming so much of their land, Anglo is still the ‘norm’ north of Mexico.”

Tracey grunted. Wu only stated the obvious when zi was building towards something big.

“You will be remaking the world in a new image. As you once remade yourself. But is Tracey Frederickson the person who should be remaking the world? Or Ameohne’e?”

“Does it matter? I’m me, whatever I call myself.”

Wu shook zir head. “Deborah has some interesting things to say on the importance and meaning of names. And I believe some of the First Nations have similar beliefs.”

Tracey let herself collapse on her bed. ”Wu… just drop it. I can’t think about this right now.”

Wu said nothing. Zi knew that sometimes it was best to sit back and let Tracey argue with herself.

Which is exactly what Tracey did. Argued, and remembered. Her thoughts circled endlessly until arguing stopped and only memories remained.

Setting up Tracey as a fake identity. The last time she saw her father. The day she read her obituary. The… No matter how hard she tried she couldn’t push the pain and the memories away. A sob caught in her throat.

With hard-learned patience, she steadied her breathing. I control nothing if I cannot control myself. Stepped back from the painful memories and watched them, like clouds scuttling across the sky. She looked for the meaning that tied them together. The belief behind the pain.

“Ameohne’e is dead,” she finally whispered, “They named her dead and did the rites. I walked away from that name, from that life. I killed her. There is nothing to go back to.”

“We live in an age of magic. Your servant would be honored to find a necromancer to resurrect her.”

“Ha. Ha.”

Wu knelt beside her, hand outstretched. Tracey sat up and rested a hand on Wu’s head. “What would you ask?”

“Only this. Does your soul bleed for the loss of who you were? Tell your servant it does not and I swear by the heavens I will never speak of it again.”

“I…” Tracey couldn’t say it. “I can’t answer that.”

Wu’s head bowed further, hir hand pulled back to hir heart. “As you will.”

Tracey’s fingers tapped against the bed, quick and discordant. Never before had she refused Wu an answer. It was her right. But she had never…

She pushed herself up and began pacing the room. On her third circuit, Wu stood.

“With permission,” the dragon said, “your servant will retire for the night.”

Pacing wasn’t helping. The buzzing in her head grew worse.

“Yes, go.” Another circuit before Wu reached the door. Quickening her steps brought her to the door as Wu opened it. “I’m sorry.”

Wu bowed. “Your servant will do all zi can. But I cannot fight your demons for you.”

“No.” Tracey smiled. “Zi can only precipitate the battle.” She stepped back from the door. “You can go if you want. But I would rather have you with me while I fight them.”

Wu closed the door. “Then I will stay.”

Tracey had been right — she did not have the time or energy for a crisis of identity. Certainly not one that kept her up and cost her sleep. She had stolen two hours from a too-short night already to spend time with her child.

But Wu was also right — she could not do what she must if she was not sure of herself. And that meant knowing who she was — and who she would be.

It was when she found herself wishing she could seek out the medicine woman who had guided her on that long-ago vision quest that she realized it had never been a question. Tracey was a mask she created. She was — had always been — Ameohne’e. She had come to believe the mask was the truth, like an actor playing a role for too long. It was time to take it off.

It was far too late when she finally crawled into bed. Wu climbed in behind her and wrapped hirself around her. Zi had been a supportive but silent presence throughout the night. Now Ameohne’e murmured, “One day you are going to be wrong, and I’ll be there to see it.”

“I have been wrong often. But not tonight.”


Note on names: You might recall from episode 1 that our Evil Overlord went by Trevor in the newsleter and Tracey on here. Similarly, there he reclaims the name and identity of Ma’evoto and on here she reclaims the name and identity of Ameohne’e. To the best of my knowledge, Ma’evoto (like Tracey) can be gender neutral, but I decided to continue the split naming, and Ameohne’e is explicitly a woman’s name. Feel free to mix and match names in your personal headcannon.

Sorry folks, don’t have the spoons to footnote this one. I’ll try to come back and update later, but no promises. FWIW, this episode was rather light on the tropes iirc.

How NOT to Save the World (S 1, E 4)

Season Content Notes (incomplete): violence, anti-nonhuman bigotry, consensual violence

T minus 1 year 364 days

Tracey watched as Kasmir Teufel hurried from—it wouldn’t quite do to say that he fled—the office. Filling Kasmir’s place in the government hierarchy would be difficult, but Tracey hadn’t even tried to convince him to stay.

Let the scared ones go, Wu had said, forcing them to work with you will only lead to problems.

So Kasmir would get a generous retirement bonus and a chance to escape.

After a few minutes, Tracey’s temporary secretary (a security guard vetted by Wu, Deborah, and Glen) escorted in Narges Khoroushi, the head bureaucrat for Arcane Persons and Artifacts.1

She walked stiffly, her starburst earrings chiming with each step. She wore a simple white cap covering her head that contrasted with her dark brown skin and curled black hair. Her pants were dark with intricate floral embroidery climbing halfway to the knees. A robed upper garment that fell to mid-thigh and mimicked the embroidery around the cuffs. Together, her outfit gave an impression somewhere between an active or relaxed lifestyler. An impression Tracey knew was false. She’d done her research and there was nothing ‘relaxed’ about Narges.

She stopped a few steps from Tracey’s desk. “Fredrickson.”

Keep the evil ones close to you,2 had been the second part of Wu’s divination. ‘Evil’ was a flexible concept.3 But Wu said that in this case, it meant those who would cause or force division. Which Tracey thought fit Khoroushi to a T.

“Thanks for coming. Please, sit, have a snack.”

On cue, her ‘secretary’ returned with a tray of finger foods.

Narges glared at Tracey. “There is no need for courtesy between us. Say your piece and have done with it.”

“I want you to step down from APA.”

She sniffed. “And if I don’t?”

“Then I can’t put you on the team that is going to be restructuring the World Peace Force.” Tracey leaned back in her chair and sighed. “You heard about Winehurst?”

Narges jerked her head.

“He was… typical of our so-called ‘peacekeepers.’ We need a military, with an emphasis on marines and space forces.” Narges opened her mouth but Tracey rolled over her. “We don’t need a bunch of bullies and jackboots who use chemical weapons on protesters and demonstrations.”

Khoroushi pursed her lips. “You watched my speeches.”4

“We were enemies.” Tracey smiled. “I try to know my enemies.”

“We are enemies. And if I’d been more willing to support… harsh measures against your street mobs you might not be sitting in that chair right now.” The stiffness was gone now. She leaned in, anger glinting in her eyes. “And you know damn well that not all your engineered protests were peaceful.”

“You and I both know your boss’ personal cowardice5 is the reason my butt is in this chair.”

Khoroushi glared but didn’t try to deny it.

“The protests,” Tracey waved out to windows, “helped me build grassroots support to take power without instant chaos or rebellion erupting. All the arrests, and beatings, and chemical attacks did was prove to my supporters that I was right. The World Government was a corrupt oligarchy in service of the elites.6 And don’t tell me they were democratically elected. When a full third of the world’s population couldn’t vote there was nothing democratic about it.”7

“Monsters.”8 It was quietly stated, without the venom most people would imbue in the word.9 But Tracey found it no less hateful for that.

“No. People.10 My people. And one way or another, I am removing you from power over them. But I’d rather make peace with you than toss you out a window.” She smiled again. “If nothing else the repairs will get expensive after a while.”11

“Ha!” Narges looked at her for the first time with interest. “So you’ll let me fix the problems with the peacekeepers if I buy into your revolution.”

“Not buy in. Just stop fighting me.”

She said nothing for a full two minutes. Tracey waited. Then Narges sat down across from her. “Tell me how this brainstorm of yours will work. And why you think we need a military at all.”

Tracey took 10 minutes to eat a quick lunch and check in with Wu, overseeing the set up of her permanent on-site security. Aside from that brief break, the rest of the day was much the same. Meeting with bureaucrats powerful enough to need an individual touch and cajoling them or coercing them into working with her. Or kicking them out of her government.

Three hours after the dinner hour, Wu messaged to confirm that zi was satisfied with the on-site security and would be getting Tracey’s household moved in that night.

Tracey relaxed and poured herself a celebratory drink. She was halfway through that drink when Colonel Cheung Bo12 reported to her office. They wore, as always when on duty, their tailored uniform with small trapezoid pins at the shirt cuffs.

Cheung Bo had never liked Winehurst, wasn’t surprised to learn the man was a traitor. Winehurst’s death was, as far as Cheung Bo was concerned, the only good thing to have come out of this ‘peaceful transfer of power.’13

But it did make them a little… apprehensive about receiving orders to report directly to the new dictator.

Of all the things they might have expected, being greeted with a cheerful “Colonel Cheung Bo, welcome. Would you like a drink?” never occurred to them.

“Sir.” The colonel saluted and took the indicated seat. “Yes, thank you.” In the military, it is generally considered unwise to refuse a drink from a superior officer. Cheung Bo figured the same applied here, only more so.

Tracey poured a second glass and waited while they sipped appreciatively. “I’m curious, Colonel. Did you realize my people tried to recruit you?”

The colonel had good control of their face — their surprise only showed in a slight widening of their eyes. “I have always been loyal to my government.”14

“That’s not an answer,” Tracey observed but continued without waiting for one. “You haven’t resigned your commission. Will you give me the same loyalty you gave my… predecessors?”

Silence.

“I have yet to establish my legitimacy in the eyes of most people. Assuming I ever can. Still, the best chance of overthrowing me would be in the next few months, before I have time to establish my control. And using the many people I can’t afford to remove.”

More silence.

“Give me your opinion, Colonel. What will happen if I am overthrown?”

Cheung Bo took a deep breath and set their glass down. They hadn’t expected to be able to avoid taking a stand. “Chaos. You have not established legitimacy, but your… predecessors have lost it, ma’am. Your followers would need to be crushed to keep endless rebellions from happening. There would be no guarantee that whoever picked up the pieces to form a new government would be able to hold it.”

Tracey smiled soberly. “I’m glad we’re on the same page.” She reached into a draw of her desk and pulled out a very thick, very old-fashioned paperfile. “This is your file Colonel. You have more disciplinary write-ups than any other officer of your rank, and those same disciplinary issues are the reason you have never become a general officer, despite your long and otherwise exemplary service.”

“I have become reconciled to it, sir.” The comment had an edge, a warning for Tracey not to think of bribing Cheung Bo with the rank they had been denied so long.

“These,” Tracey pulled out a much slimmer file, “are my plans for expanding our space forces and centering further military development around it. You started in the space forces,15 didn’t you Colonel?”

The colonel nodded, their face tightened. They understood now that the bribe was nothing so simple as rank.16

“He who holds the orbitals…” Tracey trailed off.

“… holds the world.”17 Colonel Cheung Bo finished the old space aphorism that their former superiors had refused to heed.

“I need an officer I can trust. Not because they are loyal to me. Not because they supported my coup. Not because I’ve bribed them.

“But because they want the same thing I do: to keep people safe.”

She picked up the thick folder and held it out to the colonel. “I think a soldier with a dozen write-ups for arguing against punitive actions18 might be that officer.”

Cheung Bo stared at the folder, then at the man holding it. They felt the sand shifting under their feet. Their commitment to hold themself aloof from this usurper and just do their job eroding. “What would you expect of me?”

“Remove the Winehursts, prevent chaos, prepare for anything.”

Cheung Bo reached out and accepted the folder, not entirely believing they were doing so.

“Hold the orbitals for me, Cheung Bo.” A hard light gleamed in Tracey’s eyes, the charming politician stripped away to reveal the fervor that toppled a government. “Hold the orbitals for us all.”

“I will, sir.”

They meant it.19


1 https://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/MugglePower
2 https://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/KeepingTheEnemyClose
3 https://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/WhatIsEvil
4 https://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/YouKnowWhoSaidThat
5 https://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/DirtyCoward
6 https://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/Cliche
7 https://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/SuffrageAndPoliticalLiberation
8 https://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/WhatMeasureIsANonHuman
9 https://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/FantasticRacism
10 https://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/EvenEvilHasStandards
11 https://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/HeroInsurance
12 https://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/ColonelBadass
13 https://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/AndThereWasMuchRejoicing
14 https://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/MyCountryRightOrWrong
15 https://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/SpaceNavy
16 https://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/EveryManHasHisPrice
17 https://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/DeathFromAbove
18 https://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/WouldNotShootACivilian
19 https://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/StandYourGround

How NOT to Save the World (S1, E3)

Season Content Notes (incomplete): violence, anti-nonhuman bigotry, consensual violence

In the silence only excellent soundproofing could create, the quiet rustle of reeds was loud.1

Wu sat in the middle of the floor, manipulating a double handful of dried stalks, while Trevor watched. Zi split the stalks, placing some on the floor in front of zir, a few at a time. Then set a handful aside before starting again with the rest.

Stillness had never come naturally to Trevor, but he held himself as still as possible. Only his fingers moved, tapping out a soothing rhythm on the seam of his skirt.2

Eventually, Wu placed the last handful aside and closed zir eyes.

Trevor had watched Wu cast zir reeds dozens of times over the years. He’d never shaken the edge of fear it brought him. And tonight, the night of their first great victory, the fear was worse than ever. Trevor knew he had good people behind him. But he didn’t think he could do this without Wu beside him.3

Wu opened zir eyes and smiled. “We have danger, but also opportunity.”

Trevor sighed, tension running out of him. But he couldn’t stop himself from asking, “We?”

Wu, not understanding, bowed, zir shoulders drawing inward. “Forgive this presumptuous one. Your servant only meant— your servant would not lay claim to what is rightly yours.”

“What?” Shocked, Trevor knelt beside the dragon. “Oh, damnit, Wu, I didn’t mean…”

Wu looked at him, and Trevor could see the confusion and hurt in zir gaze.

“I’m afraid of losing you.” Trevor reached out and took Wu’s hand, rubbing a finger across the braided ring zi hadn’t removed in over 10 years. “When you gave yourself to me, you said…”

“Your servant said many things. Do you doubt them now?”

“No! No.” He took a deep breath. “But… I guess I feared I would need to pay a price for winning today.”4

“Trevor.” Wu’s hand cupped his cheek. “Talk sense or I’m going to put you to bed and call a healer.”

“Your first loyalty, you said, would always be to your ‘path of heaven’ or whatever it is.”

“And you thought… what? That I would leave? Now?”

“If your Heavens called you, yes. Of course, you would.”

Wu sat back and covered zir mouth. Zir eyes sparkled. And every once in a while a strangled laugh slipped through their fingers.

Trevor didn’t see the joke.

“That… That’s not how it works.”5 Wu said finally.

Trevor leaned forward and tapped Wu’s knee. “What’s not how it works?”

“The Heavens…” Wu took a deep breath and fought down hir laughter. “They aren’t like Deborah’s God, Trevor. They don’t issue commands or expect people to serve them. They… they are. Their path is the path of righteousness. Of right conduct.6 Not… whatever you have been thinking.”

For a moment, Trevor was still. “…you mean I’ve spent over a decade worrying that one day you’d up and leave on some kind of divine marching orders for nothing?”

“Apparently.” Wu’s lips quirked.

“Are you smirking at me?”

“No.”

Zi was smirking at him.

“Where in the world did you get that idea anyway?”

Trevor glared. “Wu, I conquered the world because of a prophecy and a vision quest. Over half the magic workers and soothsayers in the world support me — many of them because they got some kind of divine marching orders7 from whatever it is they follow. You have not once in over a decade talked about your beliefs or faith or whatever it is you follow except to say, on the day you took my collar, that your first loyalty was to the path of heaven. What did you expect me to think?”8

“Oh.” The humor drained from zir face.

“It was pretty obvious you didn’t want to talk about your culture or past, and I respected that. I didn’t go researching Chinese belief systems behind your back or digging into your family and background.9 I figured you’d tell me if you wanted to. But… damnit, Wu…”

“Oh.”

This time Wu gave him a full bow, face pressed to the floor, hands clasped behind zir back.10 “Your servant most humbly begs forgiveness for zir foolishness. Your servant has… reasons for not speaking of things past. But your servant owes you the knowledge you need to make full use of your servant. And… your servant regrets, bitterly, the pain zir foolishness caused.”

Trevor grabbed a fistful of Wu’s hair and pulled zir head up. A frisson of energy danced along his nerves, stronger because of the fear and frustration which had come before. He knew why he took such pleasure in control. Knew also how dangerous it was for a man who had set himself up as a dictator and tyrant. But he and Wu had shared this bond almost since the day they met. He wasn’t giving it up unless he had to.

“Let me be sure that this time I understand.11

“Your path of heaven is a guide for your actions. A code of ethics or moral strictures.

“You have given yourself to me, and there is no person, entity, being, or god that can make you leave me. But your path of heaven comes before your loyalty to me, and if I tell you to do something that violates your code, you will disobey.”

He gave Wu’s head a little shake. The dragon winced but remained passive under his hand.

“Do I have that right?”

“Yes, you are correct.” Wu swallowed. “Only at your word will your servant leave.” Wu met his eyes for a moment, long enough Trevor glimpsed the fear in them, before looking down again.

“Wu…” he released the dragon’s hair and cupped zir chin. “Do you really think I would cast you off over this?”12

“No.” Zi swallowed again. “No. But one day you will learn of your servant’s past. And I fear that day.”13

Trevor’s fingers tapped on his thigh, but this time the rhythm didn’t soothe. “We will deal with that day when it comes. But I can’t imagine anything from the past that would change how I feel.” Trevor had killed a man earlier that day because Winehurst was no longer useful to him and couldn’t be trusted not to interfere. He couldn’t imagine what in Wu’s past could be so horrible zi feared to tell him.

Trevor pushed the question away. It was for the future, and this was now. He pulled Wu up and into a hug. “It’s okay. We’ll be okay.” They held each other for several minutes until Trevor said. “Now, tell me about your divination.”


1

https://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/QuieterThanSilence

 

2

https://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/CharacterTics

 

3

https://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/VillainousFriendship

 

4

https://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/PowerAtAPrice

 

5

https://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/DidYouActuallyBelieve

 

6

https://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/CodeOfHonour

 

7

https://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/MissionFromGod

 

8

https://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/PoorCommunicationKills

 

9

https://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/MysteriousPast

 

10

https://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/PoseOfSupplication

 

11

https://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/LetMeGetThisStraight

 

12

https://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/DidYouActuallyBelieve

 

13

https://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/DarkSecret

 

How NOT to Save the World (Season 1, Episode 2)

Season Content Notes (incomplete): violence, anti-nonhuman bigotry

The security team hit the doors and spread throughout the building. It looked choreographed because it was. The team had spent hundreds of hours drilling in a virtual mock-up of the World Government Building.1

As she stepped out of her armored car, Tracey wondered again why no one had come up with a more original name for it.2 (If she’d thought it worth researching, she’d have learned ‘World Government’ and ‘World Government Building’ were classic political compromises — no one got anything they liked, but no one hated it enough to keep fighting. The final selling point had been that you could translate ‘World Government’ into any language, and it would still work.)3

Wu, now in late 20th Century grunge,4 flanked her, scanning the gathering crowd. Word of the World Government’s surrender had spread quickly. The streets were filled with mostly-peaceful demonstrators — both those who supported and opposed Frederickson. More supporters, truth be told. If dissatisfaction with the World Government hadn’t been so high, she never could have pulled off her coup. But Wu was well aware that it only took one person willing to become a martyr. Tracey, after all, had sent out several such martyrs.5

Behind Wu, hidden by her sheer tininess, Tracey could hear Deborah’s quiet chanting. Deborah looked more like someone’s sweet old grandmother6 than one of the most powerful Kabbahlists in the world.7 (Like many whose power came from connection with a/the Greater Power, you called her ‘magician’ at your peril8). She was, in fact, both a sweet old grandmother and an incredibly powerful mystic. (That term was acceptable in most contexts.) Tracey had asked Deborah to explain her work one time and quickly learned that you only ask a Kabbalist to explain /anything/ if you have a spare decade or two.9 Deborah would only act offensively under rigorous circumstances that no one else understood.10 But her defense Tracey had trusted her life to many times. As always, Tracey found the sound of her invoking the NAMES of God reassuring. (Not ‘her’ God, something else Tracey had learned the hard way. There was only one God, Deborah insisted. It was just that people don’t all see God the same. Tracey eventually stopped asking Deborah questions.)11

By the time Tracey and her team took six strides, they had reached the door and the security team called the first floor clear.

Gunshot!

Forty feet of golden dragon wrapped around Tracey. Outside the coils, words of fire hung in the air before her, trapping the bullet. Deborah said something and the words faded, taking the bullet with them.

She, Wu, and Deborah held positions while security scrambled. The shooter was found and dragged away. Wu shimmered, hir golden scales fading and reforming into the human-seeming Tracey was familiar with. Wearing the ancient garments Wu called “hanfu.” Why, Tracey wondered, always hanfu when she transformed? And what happened to the grunge gear?12

Pushing aside the inanities, Tracey examined the various people gathered around her.

Outside the building, the sidewalks (and a good chunk of the street) were full and overfull. Security personnel had erected a barrier that kept Tracey’s supporters (a healthy mix of magical people and humans) and detractors (almost all human) away from each other.

Inside the building were humans (and perhaps a few magical beings in human seeming). Both inside and outside the building emotions ran high. Uncertainty, fear, hope, resentment, anger, exhilaration…

And above them, just outside the legal privacy limit, hovered the cam drones.

Tracey decided it was as good a moment as any. She signaled Deborah, who stepped back, fading into the crowd of staff, guards, and bureaucrats-to-be who were still climbing out of their vehicles. Then she waved the cam drones closer.

“Not how I wanted to start my first day on the job,” she said, “But first days tend to be shit anyway.” The tepid joke got a bit of a laugh. To her relief, the crowds settled a bit.

“All of you,” she took in the bureaucrats, “are probably wondering what to expect. There are going to be a lot of changes, and you aren’t going to like some of them. But I hope some of them you will like. For now, keep doing your jobs and focus on making sure food and energy keep moving to the people who need them. You’ll have plenty of time to gawk at me later. Promise.”

She refocused on the cams and the crowds. “To my supporters thank you. And go home! We have a lot of work to do, so don’t wear yourself out here. The real fight hasn’t begun yet. Now we need to fix things.

“If you want to help, stop blocking the street and check in with your cell leaders. Gene,” He gestured to the balding bespectacled man wearing his usual tweed and khakis, who waved at the crowd, “you may know him as Abbadon66613, is keeping the task boards running.”

They needed an outlet for all their emotion. Normally, that would be some kind of speech and event. But Tracey was self-aware enough to know she wasn’t any kind of speechmaker. So instead, she gave them something to do.

“To the protesters, I’m not going to silence you. I’m not going to arrest you. I’m not going to attack you. As long as you stick to making noise in the street, you can knock yourselves out. Any of you thinking that rebellion or armed resistance might be a good idea–let’s just say you do NOT want to join your friend with the gun.”14

As she finished speaking security called in to report the upper levels clear.

“For real this time?”

“Ah… yes, sir. For real this time.”

“Good.”

She signed forward and he, Wu, and the rest of the team that had gathered behind them moved for the lifts.

It was going to be a long day.

 

Tracey’s new office was at the top floor of the building. It gave her a panoramic view of the crowds. Many of her supporters had started to disperse. Others had sat down right in the street to pull up the holoboards and see what Gene had going for them.

Tracey couldn’t afford to tear down the whole government apparatus. She had to somehow control it and bend it to her needs. That task had broken better revolutionaries than he. But those people, with their numbers and drive, with her clearing the way, might just do enough in the short time they had.

Wu stepped up beside her. “General Winehurst wants to speak with you.”

“Already? He knows the timetable, damnit.” Tracey sighed.

“I believe he has his own timetable,” Wu said.

“Okay. Might as well get it over with. Send him in.”

Wu bowed and left. Tracey turned away from the window to survey the office again. Three cream-colored walls, bare of decoration, and one wall of windows rose 15 ft to a ceiling that had been painted with a mural of the world and its peoples. Or at least, it’s human peoples. The floor…

Winehurst burst in before she had finished the survey.

“We did it! I told you my troops were the ones for the job.” Winehurst’s milk-pale face glowed with excitement. Tracey almost hated to disappoint him. Almost.

Tracey smiled and took the general’s hand in both of hers. “You did, and they did. Your people have done us all proud.”

“So when do we start cleaning up?”

“Why, now, actually.” She tightened her grip, making the general wince. “I am delighted to accept your resignation general, dated immediately. Your assassination and leg-breaking teams were invaluable in creating this new world, and I know you’ll want to rest from your labors.”

Winehurst tried to pull away, but she had trained with weapons 30 years ago. Tracey trained in hand-to-hand daily with Wu. She couldn’t beat a real fighter–she hadn’t kept in real training for nearly ten years herself. But the general wasn’t escaping him by main strength.15

“What! No. Damnit we talked about this. You promised me a chance to rebuild the military, make it a real fighting force again! Let go, damn it!”

Tracey timed her release so the general lost his balance, stumbling backward and nearly tripping over Wu and Deborah.

Tracey’s biggest weakness as a world-conquering villain was poor improv. She was a planner, and Winehurst had arrived early.

Looking around she saw Deborah wore a distant look and her lips moved in a silent murmur. Tracey looked around and saw an almost-shimmer on one of the windows. So.

“I have every intention of keeping my promise, general. But I’m afraid you and I have very different ideas of what a ‘real’ fighting force will look like. My idea does not look like the murderers and bullies you’ve gathered around you to abuse and extort civilian populations. It looks like a military force. With discipline and a purpose.

“So I suggest you take your retirement bonus and go. You won’t get a better offer.”

Winehurst strode towards Tracey, getting in her face and looming over her. “I’m the only military officer you’ve got. Without me, you can’t hold the troops. And without the troops, your ass will be dead before the week is out. You may be the one with the big chair, but you don’t scare me.”

“I see. Well, I admit I was warned that even if you took retirement you’d be likely to try to… meddle. Better to have everything out in the open, then.”

“Darn right I would. Now let’s talk salary.”

“Of course.” Time to follow Deborah’s lead. Tracey stepped back, giving way to the general. A hand behind the general’s elbow turned him toward one of the conference tables. Then the grip shifted, and the elbow lock forced Winehurst to keep moving until he walked into–and through–the glowing 30-story window16 that should have held up to a shoulder-fired SAM. And it had before Deborah cast her spell.

Winehurst screamed all the way down, of course. Tracey sighed. “Goodbye general. I told you you wouldn’t get a better offer.”17

A squad of the security gryphons winged down to hover before the window. “Ma’am?”

“I’m fine. However, we need to up our weapon search procedures.” Tracey shook her head. “I don’t know what he thought he was doing, attacking me with Wu and Deborah right here. And please order a cleanup crew for the sidewalk.”

Deborah came to stand beside her and looked down at the splattered remains of the general.

“Thank you, Deborah. That was quick thinking.”

“Gevorah,” she said. “It was justice.”18

“Was it?” Tracey heard herself ask.

Wu put a hand on her shoulder, “Honored friend, not all the deaths on our hands will be just ones. But your servant has seen his work first hand. Even if he had accepted your offer, he would have continued doing harm to many. This death was indeed just.

“And having it known that you can defend yourself against attack at need? Your honored servant will sleep much better at night knowing that your enemies will know you are no easy target.”

With the window gone, the noise of the crowds, now punctuated by screams and shouts, came to her clearly. She looked down at them and waved, doing her best to show them that she was alive and unharmed. Cam drones zoomed towards her. “Wu, deal with those please.” She turned her back on the broken window and sat at the desk she had done so much to claim.

“I have work to do.”

1

https://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/ADogNamedDog

 

2

https://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/LampshadeHanging

 

3

https://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/LemonyNarrator

 

4

https://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/AwesomeAnachronisticApparel

 

5

https://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/AtLeastIAdmitIt

 

6

https://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/GrannyClassic

 

7

https://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/NeverMessWithGranny

 

8

https://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/ReligionIsMagic

 

9

https://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/RamblingOldManMonologue

 

10

https://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/RulesLawyer

 

11

https://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/AllMythsAreTrue

 

12

https://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/AWizardDidIt

 

13

https://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/DeathbringerTheAdorable

 

14

https://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/DontMakeMeDestroyYou

 

15

https://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/EvilVersusEvil

 

16

https://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/DestinationDefenestration

 

17

https://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/YouHaveOutlivedYourUsefulness

 

18

https://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/MurderIsTheBestSolution

 

How NOT to Save the World (Season 1, Episode 1)

Season Content Notes (incomplete): violence, anti-nonhuman bigotry

Author note: This story started on TVTropes and never left. It is not meant to be taken seriously and few (if any) of the characters are fully developed as they are, first and foremost, defined by the tropes that inspired them. Tropes are footnoted1 for my fellow fans of all things Troperific.2 For everyone else, please enjoy a rather silly story that knows not to take itself seriously.

Prologue3

In 2199, the usually ‘New century’ hysteria took over (The milder version of the new millennium hysteria which made 1999 so memorable for the people who lived through it).

No one really expected anything to change, except for the calendars.

Especially since many of them still remembered 2099.

For once, the hysterics were right.

On New Year, at the stroke of midnight (UTC -14:00)4, the universe as humanity knew it ended.5 Magic ripped through the world, returning6 from god-knows-where (and ze isn’t telling). In an instant, people were gifted with magical abilities, transformed, or in some cases just plain dead (usually of heart attacks).

Dragons appeared, and unicorns, and elves, and little plaid men in blue kilts who spent all their time getting drunk and stealing anything that wasn’t nailed down.7

And… the world went on. Granted it went on very differently than before, but food still had to be grown, sex was still a driving force behind society-as-we-knew-it, and politicians continued blathering.

One group rejoiced in the arrival of magic: bureaucrats, who were able to create a half dozen new departments at every level of government, and had an excuse to create new and arcane paperwork for people to fill out.

The argument about whether or not non-human intelligent races were people lasted about one month. By which point the dragons had eaten anyone stupid enough to get on tv and say that dragons shouldn’t be allowed to vote.

The head of the World police force, who had himself been transformed into a dragon, expressed consternation and dismay at his department’s inability to catch the perpetrators of these horrid crimes.8

Science tried to analyze magic, magic refused to be analyzed. Magic tried to invalidate science, science refused to stop working.9 In the end they settled into an uneasy truce, where science was allowed to catalog magic and they worked in parallel to find new ways to improve daily life and bring death and destruction upon the world. And thus did things continue, until the present day.

T-minus 2 years10 11

Tracey* Frederickson,12 who sometimes managed to forget for hours at a time that she had once been Ameohne’e of the Cheyenne, officially conquered the world,13 14 at 1:15 GMT on the 6th of March, 2465. At which time she was sitting in her office reviewing an archaic list15 a friend had shared with her the night before.

“‘All naive, busty tavern wenches…’ whoever heard of a naive bar server?” She flicked her finger, deleting the paragraph from her holographic display. ” ‘All non-instantaneous deathtraps…’ Really? Note.” A new holographic screen popped up, adding a bluish sheen to her bronze skin. “Wu: research old vids with drowning pools, trash compactors, and/or gas chambers for next month’s marathon. Send.” The second screen winked out. “There’s gotta be something behind that one. ‘All slain enemies will be cremated…’ how is that not obvious. Necromancers. ‘1.45 MB file size? Padded?” A light flickered at the corner of her eye. “Yes?”

“Ma’am, Mx. Lu is here to speak with you.”

She sat up, the chair reshaping itself as she moved. “Send zir in!”

The handle on the old-fashioned door opened and Wu stepped in. Tracey, for once allowing nerves to drive her into procrastination, took the excuse of admiring Xu once again. And as far as Tracey was concerned, Lu Xia Wu16 17 was always worth admiring.18

Wu was a small person with what zi said were ‘classic’ Han features. Though the scattering of golden scales19 across hir skin wasn’t really ‘classic.’ But as far as Tracey was concerned, they turned Wu’s face into a work of art. Wu wore a 20th-century Western man’s business suit, in pale yellow.20 To modern eyes the simplicity of the outfit marked it as antique and androgynous.

Wu, excited and impatient, cleared hir throat as Tracey admired the way the color of the suit brought out the warmth of Wu’s skin.

Tracey shook her head. “Yes, I’m delaying.” She took a deep breath, but couldn’t continue.

Wu bowed but kept hir eyes on Tracey. “May this humble one give zir report?”

It was a chastisement, though likely only Tracey and a few others would recognize it.

“Okay, I’ll be good.” Another deep breath. “Tell me.”

Xu smiled, grinned actually. “They have conceded. As of 1142 Greenwich, you are officially the ruler of–”

Zi didn’t get to finish because Tracey had raced across the room in an instant and caught Wu up in a bear hug.21 “We did it!”

“You did, my friend.” Wu’s voice rasped with grief and memories and lack of air.22 “You led the way and won the prize. Even when this one thought it impossible, you persevered.”

“Not alone, Wu. And I couldn’t have done it without you at my back.” She released Wu and took another breath. Allowed herself a moment to thank whatever gods or spirits might be listening. She hadn’t been bluffing, but there is a long distance between ‘not bluffing’ and ‘eager to assassinate opponents and their families in job-lots.’ Tracey was honest enough to know she was a villain. But there are villains and villains, and there were some types of villains she didn’t want to become.23

A moment only.

“We planned for this. Is everyone ready?”

They were of course, and Wu assured her that everything waited only on her orders.

“Perfect!” Tracey threw a formal robe with interlinking black-and-red triangles over her casual office outfit. “Let’s go.”

On the way to the door, she called over her shoulder, “Computer, print poster-sized copy of document ‘Evil Overlord list’.”

A yellow ‘acknowledged’ light blinked.

“Evil overlord list?” Wu tapped the sigil temp-branded on zir wrist that would order all units to start moving.

Tracey grinned. “Something for the waiting room of my new office.” They strode out of her old office together, moving for the garage. “I figure it will amuse people.”24

“You mean people’s reactions to it will amuse you,” Wu said, as zi summoned the elevator.

“I’m a people too.”

“Allegedly.”

Five minutes later a convoy emerged from the underground bunker, headed for the World Government headquarters in the city of Maua.


If you enjoyed this, subscribe to the newsletter! Newsletter subscribes get the story 6 weeks early, so they have 6 more episodes of How NOT to Save the World to enjoy.


1 Footnoting has been rather more of a pain than I’d hoped. Enjoy for now, but I can’t promise to continue.

* From the beginning (over 5 years ago), this character has been Trevor. But for some reason, I found about 2 pages of an earlier draft where ‘man!Trevor’ became ‘woman!Tracey’. After a lot of back and forth, I decided to go with both. So the newsletter has Trevor and the website has Tracey. Both are canon.