Psykotic Addiction's Challenge
Now normally, I despise reading things where people try to get others to write stories when they themselves don't do anything. "Don't preach what you don't practice" and all that. My philosophy is that if you really really want to see a story idea that you've had on your mind come to life, then do it yourself. After all, who can complete the vision of a story better than the person who conceived it in the first place? But on to the actual challenge part.
If you're a fan of stories like Bleach, Rosario + Vampire, Sekirei, Freezing, Familiar of Zero, Claymore, and perhaps even Fate Stay/Night and other nasuverse stories, then you'll find one parallel in all of them.
It sucks to be a plain old human.
In Bleach, people's property get wrecked and destroyed out of nowhere and a few people even get eaten by random hollows. In Rosario + vampire, the series damn near uses the word human as an adjective for weak, as made evidence by various quotes such as 'he's so weak, it's like he's an actual human!'. In Sekirei... well they outright gave the armed forces the middle finger. Then the Nasuverse just plain fucks over anyone without any sort of magical powers or inhuman heritage.
And every time, I suppress the urge to roll my eyes. Think about it like this. The FBI has the ability to track someone to any place in the country legally, should they get involved (which is actually pretty rare). They can do so from things as mundane as a finger print. The CIA, if so necessary, can track people to the other side of the world. And this is just the U.S. we're speaking about. Quite literally, almost EVERY country has their equivalent of the FBI and CIA. Their's may even be better. Unless you're in a third world country where murder is only punishable by law if you go out of your way to find a policeman, there will always be a method through which someone can track your every whereabouts.
Now think, the very shows I listed would have you believe that anywhere between one and several hundred people can be killed by the results of some kind of magic or monstrous ability, and such a thing wouldn't be investigated by the government through every possible means they have (not to mention that the entire world would be paying close attention to such an event). I get that they're just shows and I can't expect them to factor in every possible real life detail, but now it's at a point where I can't get into a story because I had to call BS on something. For example, in the manga 'Sekirei', 4 aliens single-handedly wipe out a full on invasion force on a tiny island. The aliens do so by using their powers to essentially sweep them all away. This should not have played out the way it did for... a lot of reasons I can't go into without ranting. In another example, the show Tsukihime has a building full of civilians disappear without a trace, and recently after a string of murders at that. If this were to happen in real life Japan, there would be a full blown military lock down followed by an in-depth government investigation at the least.
Anyway you get the picture. If you're a human in an anime/manga, you better have some sort of non-human/abhuman best friend or love interest whose willing to fight for you. Otherwise you're destined to die by being chased into a corner by some sort of inhuman monstrosity, and not even have the thought of self-defense cross your mind.
My challenge to the people of fanfiction, is to make the average human actually worth something.
For sources of inspiration, look up 'He Who Fights Monsters', 'Operation: Philadelphia', 'On The Wings Of An Eagle', 'Of Wagtails and Bellflowers', and 'Drifter Series:Revolution and Freedom'. These are all stories that had at least somewhat ordinary people going up against monsters and magic with positive results, through a plausible means. I quoted 'ordinary' because I'm not quite sure just how ordinary being a brotherhood assassin makes you, but you get the idea.
The way you go about this is entirely up to you. In my fic, I went the 'super soldier' route because I found out that the fields of power armor and enhanced human ability were almost scarily advanced compared to what most people would think (For example, there are currently several known power armor prototypes in existence, and a few may end up seeing field use in a few years). Of course, don't let me impose on you if that isn't the way you wanna do it. I stress you do quite the opposite even.
The show which you base this story on doesn't have to be specific. The only requirement it really needs is that people without magic or monster powers are considered to be powerless (or damn near) to defend themselves in that particular series. From there, it's your ball game.
The fiction rating can be whatever you like, though 'T' or below is preferable simply because more people would be able to see it.
The plot doesn't necessarily have to be all about 'The Underdog Makes a Stand!', but it should probably make that aspect pretty noticeable.
The only real handicap I'll give is that if the story is going to be focused on one character or group in particular, don't make them bad ass by turning them partially into a monster or gaining magic powers. That sort of defeats the purpose of answering this challenge. Now if they use magic based weapons or something, then that's fine. Of course, I'd prefer you make the person using said magic weapons to have more to him than just being 'the weapon-user guy'.
In case you're wondering, than yes, this is the probably the most vague challenge fic you will ever read. All the fics that I listed for inspiration range from being about NATO soldiers in a magic based monarchy to a kid that's forced to kill his monstrous classmates in the most improbable but no less successful ways, just to survive school. "If several fics like this exist already, than why do a challenge about it?" you may ask. Simple.
Because there aren't nearly enough!
For every fic I find about someone fighting and winning through their own natural ruthlessness, skill, or cunning, there are 1000 about some guy who steadily gets more powerful after someone is on the verge of beating him. Sure some are better written than others, but it still doesn't change the fact that we're essentially reading about Gary/Mary-sues who will inevitably beat everyone they fight by getting super strong at the very end of said fight. Exhibit A) Ichigo Kurosaki, who gains shinigami powers, hollow powers, hell powers, fullbringer powers, and then Quincy powers all because he simply had the 'force of will' to do so. Exhibit B) Tsukune, who sacrifices his humanity to become a steadily more OP ghoul/vampire thingy until he flat out becomes the strongest character in the series when he used to be weakest less than a year or two ago. And sadly, many fanfiction writers like to think "Hey, what if I make this character even MORE powerful by making him part demon or something? Or just replace him with a guy whose even more overpowered? That would be awesome!"
Someone needs to break this cycle of madness!
If you're interested in taking up this idea, than all I have to say is go for it. No need to put 'in response to so-and-so's challenge' in the summary or anything, just do it. I'll support you one hundred percent of the way. I can easily find a couple thousand fics where a Deus Ex Machina comes in to solve everyone's problems without repercussions, unwittingly attract harems, and stop bad guys because they're that awesome. I have to labor to find stories about people who had to get gritty and think out the box if they wanted to even survive, much less win.
I understand that I'm probably stepping on a lot of people's toes right now, but I figured someone needed to bring it up. At the rate things are now, fanfiction will be overrun by Deus Ex Machina stories.