A Tale of Heroes (WIP) - 162k words. Updated 29/08/2022 (New Update in Early Dec!)

I am writing a story where the US clothes you, feeds you, pays you millions of dollars every year, and somehow, most of you are still convinced that the Americans are the bad guys.*

Honestly, I’m not sure what that’s a bigger indictment against- me as a person, or the United States as a country.

*This doesn’t mean the Americans aren’t the bad guys.

10 Likes

This just describes Kissinger, so “bad guys” is perfectly on-track.

1 Like

The first step to accepting tyranny from the state is to no longer question what they are doing. One should always be skeptical of government.

3 Likes

True, true, both are fair points.

I’ll say this, then:

So many stories, both for CoG and just media in general, concentrate on Nazi expys, a dictatorial US, or even (in the most ‘political’ of cases) the evil communist regimes that it’s the MC’s job to overthrow or fight against for the sake of liberty, or freedom, or any such thing. Even some of my favorite books here concentrate more on stuff like Imperial Japan (the Infiniverse books), taking a very clear look at the ‘modern era’ of conflicts.

We aren’t going to be fighting that.

We’ll face something else.

8 Likes

That is true in the meta sense, the Senate gives the league a budget in the millions, which is also still pretty cheap compared to some other military boondoggles, from the mc’s personal POV it is the League, which just means Ignis in practice who sees to most of those things.

The mc hasn’t gotten paid yet…and even when they do I thought the salary was about $400-500k a year, very substantial, yes, but not millions and it still pales compared to most of today’s most famous celebrities.

So, at least in direct pay it seems superheroes are much cheaper than today’s celebrities as there are players in the current world cup who probably literally wouldn’t get out of bed for that kind of money. And for that matter in formula 1 too.

Ignis and Nova do and thus far the clothes are pretty boring too, at least by celebrity or other fictional superhero standards. :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

I assume Ignis handles purchasing of foodstuffs along with the other administrative things and cooking seems to be a shared duty at HQ…my mc is probably one of the better ones. :wink:

4 Likes

It is, I was thinking more on the scale of everything else they have to provide. Stuff like the Mansion’s upkeep (though the Mansion is surprisingly very green, despite its size), the maintenance for stuff like the Wing, and even all the special materials Nova uses for the super resistant clothing and other inventions of his.

You are right though, the League is a pretty small expense, even in-universe. Realistically, basically every other superhero team is costing their government something closer to billions.

The reason the League isn’t is basically Ignis, and their status as the first powered team. Who would have thought having a champagne socialist as leader would be a good thing?

8 Likes

that sounds like the ultimate revolutionary leader

2 Likes

@Jjcb – I really look forward to your updates. :revolving_hearts: Thank you for the earky teases

4 Likes

I’m glad to hear! :smile: The intent is to get people interested and speculating about what’s coming, so I’m happy they’re enjoyable.

Yes, in all the good ways!

And all the bad ones.

6 Likes

Literally every story, film, whatever where the mc is working for the US government involves said government being corrupt and shit. Outside of like military propaganda films. Maybe not actually all but its probably close. So, it’d be more surprising if they weren’t shit to be honest.

5 Likes

Gloria has an Awesome McCoolname that says “I made this name up to seem cool” who oh so conveniently becomes president from the actions of a mysterious mind controller.

Sure he might be a red herring but if this was a TV show watchers would be screaming at the TV “Don’t trust him!”

3 Likes

My thing is less about trust and more about the simple fact that he has power, I have power (in a different form but still) so at some point, we’ll need to decide who has power over the other and nobody like being at the bottom.

So like I’m a hero so I won’t hit first but no hard feeling when push come to shove, that’s just how balance of powers form.

2 Likes

I’m pretty sure the government wouldn’t take kindly to being “equals” to the superpowered. I would think if the League wasn’t a thing in the US, the politicans would be all over them with anti-superpowered laws and worse.

3 Likes

That’s kinda my point, nobody with power is happy with being equal with anyone else with power, not without it being clearly demonstrated who has the most power or at least the most capabilities to exerce that power over the other.

2 Likes

But if both sides are not careful they’ll end causing a civil war with lots of damage caused to both

1 Like

Not at all wrong, and that’s not something I plan to necessarily shy away from. The US government (or governments in general, really) has corruption, it can be incompetent, and, some times, it can cause malice upon the world for its own goals.

But even if that’s going to be the case, that doesn’t mean that the US are the bad guys.

Which brings forth a question, I think. If the corrupt, insensitive government that isn’t afraid of stepping on the little guy isn’t the bad guy… what is the actual bad guy like?

Note that this is a conflict going at least a thousand years back, at least in the world of AToH.

Phokas believed that his institutional power (that of being a General, part of the nobility, and the man given command over the Chandax Expedition [or the Foolish Campaign, as it would come to be known in the future]) meant that the BQ and BK, who at that point in time were (although relatively famous) peasants, would follow his orders, as the power they had was nebulous, and thus couldn’t be ‘properly quantified’.

Which, as we can tell, wasn’t the case at all.

Some people think that they have figured out a solution to such things (Aki’s grandfather, the Cretan President, etc), while others who are arguably just as far-sighted (such as Gloria, Julia Adams, one of the HoS in the G7 meeting) think that this is a conflict which can’t be avoided forever, and thus they need a way to make institutions succeed where they failed in 961 (and 1945, technically).

Hint:

Two clashes over ‘who has power over who’ have already happened in universe (and I don’t mean the BQ/BK). You are very correct on it causing a lot of damage.

Aki’s family was involved in both.

3 Likes

Except the corrupt, insensitive government that isn’t afraid of stepping on the little guy IS the bad guy. This does not preclude the existence of more bad guys. Just because the Soviet Union found out that the Nazi leopards were aiming to eat THEIR face, too, doesn’t make them any less of a bad guy who were totally happy with aiding the Nazis before that (just ask Poland).

3 Likes

A fair enough point. A better way to put it would be “the bad guys you’re supposed to punch”, then.

But the question still remains, I think- if the imperialist power uncaringly crushing tens of millions under its boot for the sake of wealth and power isn’t going to be the main threat, what could the main threat be like?

Then again, this may just be empty words. There’s… a certain character, somewhere, that’s done with the idea of compromising in the face of insurmountable odds or armaggedon.

Everyone pays, as far as she is concerned. After all, the world already burned once. It can handle burning again.

4 Likes

I just have to ask something from the brief convo in the other thread when you mentioned running into a plothole regarding Turkey and the drones.

Just how much did the recent irl world events changed the plot of the story and character development? You mentioned that Nova may or may not be getting a job offer of sorts while talking about Turkey being one of the leaders in drone technology?

It’s slightly complicated. See, for characters like Seeker, or Forlorn or Aki, it doesn’t change much, since their situations are more personal (Seeker’s attachment to Victoria and the fact that he’s basically a volcano at the verge of eruption, Forlorn’s war trauma, Aki… spoilers), but for others such as Ignis (who’ll soon be nicknamed ‘Princess of Destruction’) and Mars, uh… let’s just say I have had to revisit some of my lore for the Coltello family, and while Mars’ endgoal is still set in stone, there are some steps which look a decent bit murkier than they used to.

There’s also a lot of background lore that while not… changing, per se, is going to need a lot more ‘word of God’ to remain valid. For example, Russia was supposed to play a part in Crete’s story, but, uh, the past 8 months or so have kind of shot the whole ‘Russia is a credible rival to the US’ take to bits.

Another thing is sanctions, look how quickly Russia’s economy has melted after the US and the EU went to bat with sanctioning it. This is part of why I have changed a bit of my wording regarding Crete and its commercial partners. Originally, my goal was simply “pit stop between the Middle East and Europe that is mostly concerned with the Eastern Med”, and while that’s still its political view, you’ll note I have now made at least a few comments on how commercial trade between Crete and France/Italy/Spain/etc is ‘vital’.

That’s not to say it’s all been bad, and while it feels a bit callous to say this, the war in Ukraine I guess serves as a bit of vindication in something we’re going to explore (a people’s determination to defend their homeland, and how invading/imperial powers are actually liable to go mask off ‘let’s pull off a genocide, why not?’), but the global events have definitely added a certain tier of complexity to the story that I wasn’t accounting for, and, not going to lie, part of my slowness to update has been because I’m having to re-weigh certain parts of the narrative now that so many new things are coming to the forefront.

One thing that I can say was a net positive, though?

After the past ~2 or so years of the Republicans, Trump, and the general far-right craziness, I now have zero fear that my plans for Stratton will have anyone going “wtf, no President would do that!”.

5 Likes