Latest thing I've been focusing on for the past year or so.
I don't know if I've mentioned this story before (as in before 2020) but I've been toying with it since around 2016.
Little Miss Savage is ostensibly a slice-of-life story about nothing in particular, but that's really just a copout.
If you've ever seen Dragon Ball Z, you're probably well aware of the Saiyajins (or Saiyans, if you prefer as I do). If you haven't, you're still probably well-enough aware of Star Trek's Klingons, Warhammer's various races like Orks and Khorne's Warriors of Chaos, or any number of other ultraviolent warrior races.
What's more, you're obviously more than well aware enough of superhumans in fiction considering the MCU and DCU. Little Miss Savage first started life when I had a chance thought several years ago: What if a Saiyan appeared on Earth and killed a bunch of people?" In this instance, instead of asking "Who would we send to fight them? Would we train Jackie Chan?" I instead asked "So how would the criminal justice system handle a superhuman? Like, what if the police tried arresting them and they just said 'No' and walked off and went to the beach and did nothing else?" Human society would never be able to handle a superhuman. If a Saiyan really came here, forget having to gather a bunch of superpowered kung fu monks to beat them back. Realistically, just existing at all would be enough to upend all human society and mores. A few years later, a Reddit thread brought this back to mind in full force:
The most unbelievable part of any superhero movie is that the world economy is still intact by the end of it
Civilization period, never mind "economy."
A civilization with superheroes/villains is alternately chaotic and tyrannical, and people would lose interest in making plans or playing by rules when they see it all repeatedly evaporate every time someone with a power gets an itch.
This is what people don't understand about ancient societies ruled by God-Kings and cunning warlords - they were not orderly. At all. People had no control, so they didn't plan and didn't follow rules - didn't even know they had the option.
All these franchise movies where people go about their business like everything is normal and then just make a passing reference to entire cities being annihilated by incomprehensible menaces are just embarrassing. The world would revert to the 10th century in 5 years tops, at a quarter of its former population.
Yup. Most people would revert to desperate superstition and cultism because they have nothing else to rely on - a situation the villains would encourage, and build cults around themselves. The few willing and able to probe the physical nature of the "powers" would be massacred, or enslaved by the powers they study to develop weapons against their enemies.
Superman doesn't have time to be a laboratory security guard and ethical watchdog to ensure they're not just being forced to build weapons against himself.
Instant reversion to the Dark Ages.
I didn't want to immediately dive into this. Most of the series is slice of life, but the intent is to eventually play with this concept.
The creatures I've created are called "Yabans" who are blatant expies of the Saiyans to the point of literally being borderline copyright infringing, hence my joke of them being "Legally-Not-Saiyans." It was originally taken from the Japanese word for "Savage/Barbarian" (yabanjin) and was once "Yabansaru" or "Yabansarujin" (i.e. "Barbarian Monkey People"). However I decided I didn't want to be a weeaboo and went with a different word, one that also meant "savage" or "barbarian" or "outsider". I liked "Yaban" but I wanted something preferably not Japanese. My first choice was Turkish.
The Turkish word for "Savage" is "Yaban".
Technically it's the "foreigner/uncivilized" meaning of savage, not "barbaric wildman" but still. At some point, you just have to accept when the universe is telling you something.
"Barbarian" fits Yabans perfectly, as they're supposed to be war-crazed. So war-crazed that it gets its own designation, a specific kind of neurological quirk called "nexcidium" which typically means "impulsive aggression" though it can also be translated to "impulsive action."
The gist of Little Miss Savage is that one of these types— a fairly young, equivalently-teenaged and ridiculously battle-scarred female Yaban named Sol Yulaan— winds up on Earth by accident when her owner sells her to an eccentric man after the latter beats the former in a game.
You'd think a story like this would have nothing to do with my usual topics of discussion.
You'd actually be surprised.
There are really three big ideas at play here, each reinforcing why Sol Yulaan is the lead character, why Yabans have to be at least Saiyanlike/Orklike, and why it has to be our Earth/our universe.
1) Earth's inability to restrain superhuman forces. This is why Yulaan is so powerful as well as why she's the only one here. The idea is to bring in others now and again, but it's really only characters aligned with her. Human civilization is a fleeting thing, and the strongest men who ever lived only had social power. Alexander the Great, Genghis Khan, Joseph Stalin, Julius Caesar— all just men who convinced others they were something more through societal threads. There's a reason why I went with ripping off Saiyans rather than making them Space Vikings or making it so that Yulaan is just secularly strong and needs loads of sci-fi gadgetry to do anything more. The fact she can erase Earth with her own mystical strength, a flick of the wrist at most, is one of the biggest things that drives a bunch of stories and questions raised. There is nothing humans can do about her, no matter what she does. If she revealed herself, people would inevitably begin worshipping her as a god and disregarding established countries and institutions. Even if she remained concealed, she is really free to do as she pleases.
2) The ur-fascistic nature of warrior societies. This is something that tends to be ignored or glossed over (I recall Gears of Wars ran with this angle, and the Halo extended universe greatly hints that Earth is a fascist planet, and let's not forget Fight Club being all about ur-fascistic machismo driving aggression). A society that revolves around warfare, hero cults, and death worship are inevitably going to share tendencies with fascist regimes. Yulaan isn't just driven by a warrior culture but Yabanic bloodlust as well. All of which she has to keep under control.
3) The gender clash. *Little Miss Savage* wouldn't work without a female protagonist, and indeed, the Proud Warrior Race Guy trope runs into some issues when you get a Proud Warrior Race Girl and put her on Earth— especially when you have something like what Yulaan is. As I'll explain in greater detail later, Yabans have three sexes; the two traditional ones we have and a third hermaphroditic sex that's responsible for most breeding/reproduction because the males and females have virtually no sex or romantic drive outside pure, barely-there instincts. If this ever takes off, people are going to lewd them anyway, so why not have fun with sexless monkeys in canon? This, too, brings many cultural clashes because humans are incredibly sexual and romantic and consider females to be naturally romantic (heck, one major symbol we use to denote femininity is the same we use for romance). It's the best excuse to write a story about a "Man with Boobs" type SFC.
I should start publishing this next month, one month from now on the 16th. I promise this time. Not like the disastrous attempt with the last story from last year.
This is my infodump thread.