Book 1, Chapter 90

Elroy pointed to an image of Ean on the screen. “This terran is subservient to the other two,” he said, “as evidenced by the spiky-haired one telling him to ogle the female on his own time. However, he is distinctly incompetent, as evidenced by his inability to take any action that was oriented toward facilitating their escape. Archetypically, I think he is most likely a ‘useless sidekick.’ Terrans that fill this archetype rarely provide any significant advantage to their companions – except that their inevitable deaths provoke the other heroes to retributive deeds that would otherwise have been impossible.”

The commander keyed a communication unit and transferred Ean’s image to her troops. “This terran is not to be harmed,” she said – then indicated to Elroy that he should continue.

Elroy pointed at Sakura. “This human is mysterious, highly competent and, from my understanding of human norms as expressed in media, an attractive female. I must admit I’m a little uncertain as to the distinctions terrans employ there. Regardless, I believe this makes her the ‘romantic interest’ – another supporting archetype.”

“And this one?” the commander asked, pointing at JD. On the screen, JD hefted a pair of laser pistols as he led the others through the ship’s corridors.

“Ah. Yes,” Elroy said. “This one shows alarming indications of the archetype that is most dangerous to us – an ‘action hero.’ He is also obviously the leader of this group: you can tell by how he ordered the other male around and by how, after he attempted to escape the female changed her activities to follow suit.”

The commander frowned in consideration. Then she seized on a word in Elroy’s report. “What was alarming in the indicators of this ‘action hero’ caste?”

Elroy swallowed. “He was immediately opposed to his state of captivity: a common trait in all heroes. But he then walked so deeply into a force field that it physically expelled him. He should have died from the compression forces, but the primary indicators of an ‘action’ hero are a fondness for weaponry – which he has acquired – and an immunity to the logical consequences of injury that is indistinguishable from invincibility.” Elroy bobbed his head apologetically. “Previously, I had thought that was exaggerated by media.  But now: I do not believe your troops will be able to apprehend him by force and bring him here. However, I do not believe this will prove to be an issue: from my study of heroes in general and ‘action heroes’ in particular, I believe he will make his way to this command room in order to confront you on his own.”

Et Alia, Book 1: Aliens, Ninjas, Demons and Pie

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