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Resignations Not Accepted

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So you've been working as a secret agent, or for The Mafia/The Syndicate, or as an assassin, or for an Evil Overlord and their Evil Empire, or for a Nebulous Evil Organization/The Conspiracy, or as a health inspector, when you decide it's time for you to retire or defect.
Ha! Good luck with that, because once you join a shadowy organization of this sort, you can never leave. If your bosses don't force you to keep working, they'll soon start saying, "He Knows Too Much" and making plans for your elimination. This normally only happens in villainous organisations, so the victim is either a villain or an antihero. Expect Retirony and a Contract on the Hitman to follow. If it doesn't, then the author may drop a bridge on you just to prove that crime doesn't pay.
Advertisement:propertag.cmd.push(function() { proper_display('tvtropes_mobile_ad_1'); })Depending on genre, one solution is to become a One-Man Army and simply destroy the former organization. One would think that after having half (or even a third or a tenth) of their forces destroyed they'd get the point and just leave him alone, but they never do. The typical route taken is that you fight your way out, but other solutions include killing off your bosses to put the organization in disarray, or faking your own death.
A subtrope of In It for Life. See also Mandatory Unretirement, The Perils of Being the Best, and Thrown from the Zeppelin.
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In one episode of The Jetsons, Mr. Spacely hires George to be the judge of a dog show, but tells him his wife's dog has to win or he'll be fired. Then he's coerced by a gangster that his dog better win or George will sleep with the fishes. Even moreso, his family enters Astro in the dog show and expect him to play favoritism. George tries to get out of the mess by resigning as judge, but Spacely orders him to be judge under threat of losing his job otherwise.
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The Pretender: The Centre won't accept Jarrod's resignation although he doesn't exactly try and stay below the radar after he escapes. Plus he was never an employee, only a company asset.
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Big Boy's organization in Dick Tracy.
Since Big Boy Caprice was played by this trope's page quote originating actor...
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Comes up again in the sequel, where after hearing of his exploits in the first film an old contact forces John to perform a hit for him by invoking a Blood Oath that the two took. The fact that he not only forced John out of retirement (as well as later trying to backstab him) is pointed out as a horrendously stupid move.
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 John Wick: Chapter 2
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This trope is the whole plot of RED.
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Dragon Age:
If an Antivan Crow like Zevran fails an assassination he/she is considered dead to the Crows. Some Crows like Ignatio are willing to merely pretend the errant Crow is dead. Others want to make absolutely sure that is the case one way or another. If the Warden lives, Zevran will tell him/her that he knows the Crows will keep coming after him and that he will keep on fighting them for his freedom which is canon in Dragon Age II. If the Warden dies, Zevran will return to Antiva and take over the organization. It is both a victory and a defeat. Zevran has his life and a position of power and influence — but he never truly escapes the Crows.
The Grey Wardens themselves aren't big on people walking away from them, and even if you try, you still have the Taint in your blood and a sharply reduced lifespan before the "last walk".
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Bleach: The Central 46 believes retirement is a waste of the resources used to train Soul Reapers so it's not permitted. Soul Reapers that leave active service officially take "extended leave" and could theoretically be recalled to service at a moment's notice. Soul Reapers officially recorded as "retired" have either died in battle, been promoted to the Royal Guard or been clandestinely shuffled off to a secret prison where people who are considered a potential danger to society - but who have committed no actual crimes - are locked away forever.
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Alias: Sydney Bristow tries to quit SD-6, The CIA and just about any other intelligence agency, even being called back into action in the series finale, after achieving happily ever after isolated on a remote island.
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Angel:
The evil law firm Wolfram and Hart doesn't just have its employees sign contracts that are in effect until death, they extend beyond the grave.
Lee was rudely awakened to this policy while attempting to jump ship to a rival firm. When they found out during a telepathic scan, they promptly blew his brains out.
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Averted with the Tanglewood Boys gang from CSI: NY. The Tanglewood Boys seem to be precisely the sort of group that this trope would apply to, but the official gang tattoo includes room for two dates: the date when someone joins the gang and the date when he leaves it. And while Danny says that leaving the gang alive "hardly ever happens," the show gives at least one example where it did: Danny's brother Louis.
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Chuck thinks he's free to leave the CIA in the second season, but he would have been assassinated by his own handler had he actually quit. Furthermore, in a somewhat non-fatal version of this Trope, Chuck quits the Buy-More at the end of the same season, but his job hunt at the start of the third is manipulated behind the scenes by the CIA (because he can be surveyed by them more easily at the store), so no other company but the Buy-More will hire him. As of the fourth season, Chuck's attempts to find a job outside the CIA after being given explicit permission to leave are foiled by the CIA, which is apparently willing to go back on its deal with Chuck and blackmail him into working for them again.
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In The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, a side-quest involves finding out Dorian, one of the guards in Kakariko Village, used to be a member of the Yiga Clan, a clan of assassins and bandits out to kill Link. He tried to leave the organization, but they tracked him down, killed his wife, and threatened his children in order to get him to work as a double agent. Fortunately, they leave him alone after Link saves Dorian from a Yiga Blademaster who was sent to steal the key to a Sheikah shrine.
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And similarly, Mean Guns.
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The Simpsons: "Don't forget, you're here forever."
Of course, despite that, Homer actually did quit and was hired again lots of times since that was said. A combination of the bad continuity of the series and Mr. Burns' tendency to forget who he is was likely to blame.
Homer's one-time boss Hank Scorpio is a straight-up aversion. The man is not only a James Bond-style supervillain, but also the most Benevolent Boss ever. Scorpio takes a time-out during a U.S. Army assault on his headquarters to listen to Homer's concerns about how moving has affected his family and recieve his resignation. Scorpio accepts it, gives Homer a short talk about the importance of family, and politely requests he "Kill someone on the way out. It would really be a great help."
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Kevin & Kell: The cult in The Wild. Rudy is forced to recruit for them at an airport, watched by several agents who plan to eat him if he attempts to run away. Kevin manages to sneak him past the agent at the exit by disguising him as his seeing-eye dog. On the other hand, when Ralph joins and never amounts to anything, the pack doesn't try to stop Kell from retrieving him.
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Heroes — the shadowy Company started by "the 12" doesn't like quitters. One guy does manage to quit, but he has to fake his death and remain invisible at all times in order to do it.
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Played for laughs in an episode of Totally Spies!, where Clover inadvertently joins Mandy's fan club. It's an irreversible lifetime membership, but seeing as this was never mentioned again, it's probable that Clover got out because the club disbanded. (Given the type of person Mandy is, it's likely.)
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Justice League: Task Force X — better known as the Suicide Squad, though they couldn't use that term on a kids' show. At the end of the episode of the same name, the criminals think they're done after one mission. Nope... they've got a long time to work off their sentences. They're let off once the parent organization (Cadmus) is disbanded at the end of the season.
Cadmus also manages to briefly twist Captain Atom into working for them, by reactivating his Army commission. Turns out "Captain" isn't just a cutesy name, it's his actual rank. He's not happy about it, but is duty-bound to follow orders.
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In Grand Theft Auto V, Michael attempts to enjoy his retirement from high-stakes robbery but finds himself dragged back into the game after accidentally owing a Mexican drug lord a lot of money, then doing a favor for FIB agent Dave Norton, who helped fake his death, which then drags him into a conflict between the FIB and the IAA. But, in the Golden Ending, he is freely allowed to leave and start a new life altogether.
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Akatsuki in Naruto. As Konan unfortunately finds out.
It's quite a bit more complicated than that... it's more like the new administration was running counter to its original goals and thereby disgusted original members like Konan.
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A standard in evil organizations (see Hydra for Marvel Comics) and villains' mooks. No one can leave The Joker's gang alive, or the Red Skull. Even Always Chaotic Evil races are so: Skrulls (Marvel Comics) are said to be euthanized when old. Ninja clans in particular are notorious for this rule.
The Hand is especially nasty, since they can raise the dead. Even death isn't an escape.
One that deserves special note was the Scourges of the Underworld, the murderous vigilantes that target super-villains, because this policy was what led to their undoing. One recruit, Priscilla Lyons, couldn't bring herself to kill her first mark and wanted out, but she knew they'd be after her; prior to this, every would-be defector (or failure, or even members who were in danger of being caught) had been killed by the others before they could spill any of the groups secrets. But she was smarter than the others. She quickly called the Avengers hotline, and got in contact with USAgent, and as a result, they both brought the entire organization down. (A few "lone wolf" Scourges have shown up since then, but the actual organization does not appear to have ever recovered.)
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Implied in the climax of Jin-Roh: The Wolf Brigade. After the protagonist Fuse shoots dead his Love Interest, we see another member of the unit in a nearby derelict building, de-cocking his Broomhandle Mauser which he had aimed at them.
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Kill Bill: When The Bride tried to resign from the Deadly Viper Assassination Squad, they tried to murder her. The second installment indicates that she didn't quit as much as walk off her current assignment and allow Bill to think that she was dead. This way she could start a new life somewhere else and avoid having Bill raise their child as an assassin. The ironic part is, by the time she woke up, the Deadly Vipers were defunct as a team; in fact, only two of them were still active criminals.
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A large part of the plot in La Femme Nikita, as well as The CW reboot series Nikita.
Sort of. Late in the second season of Nikita, Percy admits he's tired of the whole conflict and offers Nikita a deal to make Division leave her and her crew alone if they just stop interfering in Division operations. Nikita turns it down, as she refuses to let the fight end on anyone's terms but her own — after all, she's in it to save the world.
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From the Harry Potter series, the Death Eaters are this sort of organization, as revealed in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix:
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Shot Caller: After Jacob becomes a high-level member of the Aryan Brotherhood, their leadership imposes that he will continue to earn for them after leaving prison, even threatening his wife and son. Jacob eventually decides that killing the leader and taking over the entire gang is the only way he can permanently ensure his family's safety.
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Eternal Champions has Shadow, who was part of an assassin agency. When she found herself sympathizing with their victims and unable to kill anymore, she threw herself off the roof of their headquarters - they gave her no other way to leave.
Challenge from the Dark Side clarifies that she didn't fall to her death by choice.
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In The Dresden Files, this is how Lara Raith treats her employees. After several of them are crippled/fatally wounded in an attack by an Eldritch Abomination, she orders her people to take them to her (life-force sucking) sisters, who are also wounded. Harry protests, knowing that if the sisters feed on those people, the people will die. Lara calmly states that they know too much about the White Court to allow them to be let go, and that with the sheer severity of the injuries sustained, their quality of life is borderline nonexistent. Harry, naturally, finds this to be reprehensible, and Lara retorts that he seems to have forgotten that she's a monster. A neat, habitually polite, incredibly efficient monster.
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Cowboy Bebop: Death is the only way to leave the crime syndicates. Especially the Red Dragon.
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Whateley Universe: The Sonnenkinder, as said in The Final Trump (Part 5):
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Button Man: Button Men (participants in underground gladiatorial combats) are promised huge sums at the end of their "careers", but none of them are supposed to exit the Killing Game alive.
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Nextwave sees Dirk Anger contemplating/attempting various suicide methods. He eventually succeeds in hanging himself... accidentally, but to his annoyance, Beyond Corporation did not accept the terms of his retirement and brought him back as a zombie. A green one, who craved brains. It's that kind of series.
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In Heneral Luna, the titular general attempts to resign his post Commander-General of War Operations because he's fed up of the constant politicking and lack of commitment from his peers as they've made it nigh impossible for him to do his job. President Emilio Aguinaldo refuses it, then has him killed a short while later.
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The Final Fantasy VII novel Final Fantasy VII The Kids Are Alright: A Turks Side Story (also known as Final Fantasy VII Lateral Biography Turks -The Kids Are Alright-) reveals that the Turks are this type of organization. Even if you think you're retired, you can be called back in at any time.
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 Final Fantasy VII (Video Game)
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In the Planescape campaign, the Anarchs Guild is an organization exclusive to the githzerai with powerful Reality Warping abilities in Limbo. The downside is, you can't leave, and that applies to the organization and Limbo. (Even if a member did leave, he'd be a lot worse off, as the powers that come with membership only work in Limbo and are worthless anywhere else.)
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Donald Duck learns this the hard way in the 1942 short "Donald Gets Drafted". Inducted into the army, Donald gets fed up with his drill instructor, Pete, over his basic training and shouts "I quit!" Pete threatens him with brass knuckles and Donald instantly backs down. Justified due to the fact that you couldn't simply quit if you were drafted into the military. Pete's threatening of Donald is also justified due to the mentality present during World War II - not helping the war effort and doing your patriotic duty was tantamount to aiding the Axis.)
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The Sith on Manaan in Knights of the Old Republic has a double subversion. The young Selkath who are being trained as Sith claim that one who wanted to leave was allowed to do so, but if you look a few rooms over, you find him dying, and this convinces the Selkath to run away.
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 Knights of the Old Republic (Video Game)
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In Science Ninja Team Gatchaman some members of Galactor actually try to leave, most notably Condor Joe's parents but they are killed before they can do so. In fact, Berg Katse asks a girl who was told she could leave if she completed a special mission why she ever thought she could leave Galactor alive!
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In one episode of The Wonder Years, Kevin gets a job at a hardware store, a job he hates, but when he decides to quit, his boss won't let him.
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The Order of the Stick:
When Haley quits the thieves' guild, the leader, Bozzok, gives her a head start before the ditzy-but-powerful assassin Crystal is sent after Haley. Of course, she has to reenter Greysky City later in the story. Like the thieves guild rules say "You can only leave in a coffin. And vampires can't even leave in one of those."
Right-Eye ditched Xykon in order to start his own peaceful goblin community and almost convinced Redcloak to settle down with him. Then Xykon found his village and not only forced him to rejoin, but also forced the villagers to serve as his mooks.
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The Godfather trilogy, as seen in the page quote, but also The Mafia in general. This may be Truth in Television.
 Resignations Not Accepted / int_58f28be1
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1.0
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 The Godfather
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Metal Gear: Solid Snake's actions in service to the CIA has assembled enough war crimes to, if the U.S. government so chooses, piledrive him into federal prison until he's a "very old man." Essentially, Campbell can revoke his retirement anytime he pleases, which he does twice.
 Resignations Not Accepted / int_59151283
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 Metal Gear (Video Game)
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Spies Like Us.
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Nodwick
The absurdity of this sort of thing is pointed out when a cult with rules like this tries to recruit Artax and Yeagar.
Note that while the cult in that story didn't accept resignations, the creature that led the group did say that it had often fired members a lot. Whether such members survived or not, it didn't say.
Nodwick himself isn't much better off. In one story, he tried to use a device capable of altering time to speed up the conditions of his contract so he could retire; it wasn't able to, and its attempt to do so tangled the Loom of Fate. In another story, he explains to the Powers That Be that the contract also states that, if killed, he cannot pass into the afterlife until all hope of revival has passed, or three years, whichever is longer.
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 Webcomic: Nodwick
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Homer's one-time boss Hank Scorpio is a straight-up aversion. The man is not only a James Bond-style supervillain, but also the most Benevolent Boss ever. Scorpio takes a time-out during a U.S. Army assault on his headquarters to listen to Homer's concerns about how moving has affected his family and recieve his resignation. Scorpio accepts it, gives Homer a short talk about the importance of family, and politely requests he "Kill someone on the way out. It would really be a great help."
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In Sam & Fuzzy, the Ninja Emperor's retirement package is a bodybag.
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How Al Simmons eventually became Spawn. He was an assassin who wanted to retire from the profession, only for Jason Wynn, his boss, to screw him on his last job and send him to Hell.
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In Codex Alera, Amara ends up leaving the First Lord's service - but he manages to draw her back in, much to her hatred and disgust.
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In Bakuman。, writers cannot simply end their series when they want to, as long as there's still some life in the series, and if they simply abandon their series, they will never be able to write for Jump again. Mashiro and Takagi manage to secure a compromise in which they quit their current series to launch another that can compete with Eiji's works, and Eiji himself cancels his own series after becoming the most popular manga artist in Jump.
 Resignations Not Accepted / int_68ea0c85
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 Bakuman。 (Manga)
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Years before Galaxy of Fear, Mammon Hoole worked for the Empire in a lab. When something went horribly wrong and a world was cleansed of life, his lab partner stayed with the Empire and profited significantly from it. Hoole left, horrified, and found himself blacklisted by the Empire and blamed for the disaster. He had to drop part of his name.
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 Literature: Galaxy of Fear
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The Venture Bros. features a heroic version when Brock Samson goes on the run from three assassins after leaving the O.S.I. The twist ending, however, reveals that his termination from the O.S.I. was a misunderstanding or a manipulation, and they did not hire the assassins. The contracts actually came from the Blackhearts mercenary group who knew all along that Brock would defeat them and just wanted to eliminate the competition. Brock was deceived by his old mentor who infiltrated the Blackhearts as a triple agent (and a transsexual), and ultimately this was all part of a ploy to take down that organization too, and to found the shadowy S.P.H.I.N.X. team out of O.S.I. defectors.
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When Kyle leaves a message for the U.S. President in Parasite Eve 2 that he is retiring, the President is outraged because the guy knows too much on what happened in the hidden research facility that he was assigned to spy on. We never get to see what happens from there due to The 3rd Birthday having its plot being totally separate from the original canon.
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This is brought up in The Princess Bride (the book, not the film). Prince Humperdink informs his head of law enforcement Yellin of a plot by nearby Guilder to assassinate his bride to be, Buttercup. The problem is, there is no plot. It's just an excuse for Prince Humperdink to murder his bride and go to war with Guilder. As such, Yellin can find absolutely no evidence of any plot, and feeling himself incompetent at his job, hands in his resignation. Prince Humperdink refuses to accept his resignation, however, because he needs Yellin to rule Guilder after the war is over. As such, he confesses to his true intentions to Yellin, who graciously accepts the Prince's offer to rule Guilder in his name.
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After Mata Hari tries to resign from espionage work, her spymaster sends out his hit man to have her killed. She escapes from the hit man but winds up being arrested and executed by the French.
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A very persuasive example is in Berserk where Griffith was less than willing to let his best fighter leave him and pursue his own goals in life, feeling that he belonged to him and never before being denied by his minions in life. Very much less than willing.
 Resignations Not Accepted / int_701f0ece
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 Berserk (Manga)
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Common behaviour for the clans and sects in Vampire: The Masquerade, since they really don't want their secrets leaking out to enemy factions.
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Tales of the Branion Realm: The sovereign cannot abdicate, since he or she doubles as the Vessel of the Living Flame; only the Vessel may rule and only the ruler can be the Vessel. The Flame passes though the family line without regard for sanity, health, legitimacy, gender or age, so there is no way to be skipped save death. There are two known attempts — an apostate who converted to another faith, and a crown prince who abdicates in full knowledge that he could be executed for it.
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 Literature: Tales of the Branion Realm
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In Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, C.J. finds out that this is also true about gang-banging. So, he takes over the entire state.
 Resignations Not Accepted / int_72a1ac51
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1.0
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 Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas (Video Game)
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In The Fixer, John Mercer can either work for Lenny Douglas or go back to prison.
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Mass Effect 3: This turns out to be the case for anyone who decides to quit after joining Cerberus, including most of your crew from the second game. A number of missions center around helping various former team mates fight off Cerberus retribution, and at least one former crewmate's survival relies entirely on a dialogue choice when you first run into them in the third game.
 Resignations Not Accepted / int_7668653b
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1.0
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1.0
 Mass Effect 3 (Video Game)
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Shadow Warrior (1997)'s Excuse Plot has Lo Wang quitting Zilla Enterprises after learning of his employer's plans to rule Japan using creatures summoned from the dark side. Master Zilla decides to use said monsters to kill Wang. Much ninja asskicking ensues.
 Resignations Not Accepted / int_76bb4695
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 Shadow Warrior (1997) (Video Game)
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The Flash: the first episode that introduces Leonard Snart show him to be this sort of man. When a member of his crew of robbers tells him he's out, after the "Streak" stops them, Snart calmly puts a bullet in his head and tells his corpse, "Well, if you're out, you're out." When Snart's obsession with the "Streak" results in the remaining two robbers decided to quit, they pull a gun on him, causing him to applaud their forethought and tell them to hope that they never meet again, referencing this trope.
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 The Flash (2014)
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The Flintstones:
At the end of the episode "Fred Flintstone: Before and After", where Fred joins a group called Food Anonymous to help him win a weight loss contest. After winning, Fred resigns. However, it seems that those who join are permanent members as the head of the group steals Fred's dinner (a trait that Food Anonymous employes) and runs off, ignoring Fred's claims that he resigned as he chases after him.
In "The Beauty Contest", Fred and Barney are chosen to be the judges for a Beauty Contest (their names being the only ones in the hat). At first, the two are ecstatic, until they realize Wilma and Betty would object and try to drop out, only to be informed by the Grand Poohbah that either they do it or turn in their hats.
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A View to a Kill: When Zorin dismisses his relationship with KGB to pursue his own business interests, the officers warn him that no-one leaves the KGB, ever.
 Resignations Not Accepted / int_7e053c98
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1.0
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 A View to a Kill
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Mr. & Mrs. Smith (2005) had a double whammy of this: both of the title characters work as assassins, and when their respective employers begin to think that their relationship is a problem, the answer is not to let them go quietly.
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 Mr. & Mrs. Smith (2005)
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Guards of the Citadel of Minas Tirith in The Lord of the Rings swear to serve, "until my Lord release me, or death take me, or the world end."
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1.0
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 The Lord of the Rings
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In Star Trek, once someone is recruited into Section 31, they're considered to be an active agent for the rest of their career in Starfleet, as Malcolm Reed and Julian Bashir learned. What makes this worse, is that's it's also implied applications are not accepted. Once you're deemed to be a suitable candidate, you're given a brutal Secret Test of Character and then are considered a member, whether you want to be one or not. If you try to resist or go against the wishes of your handler, chances are Section 31 will simply have you killed and replaced with another unwilling agent. In Bashir's case, he was considered useful enough that Section 31 preferred manipulating him into carrying on their missions. Sometimes capitalizing on the fact that he's not going to ignore a threat to the Federation just because it was Section 31 that informed him of it and other times giving him a different mission than what they actually want accomplished, so that his attempts to subvert them will play into their hands.
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In Crying Freeman, The Freeman got abducted, then forced to work as an assassin for the Sons of the Dragon and obviously he isn't allowed to leave them as they initiated him against his will in the first place.
 Resignations Not Accepted / int_8206d54a
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 Crying Freeman (Manga)
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The Conduit in Mega Man: Defender of the Human Race makes it clear twice that those who refuse a job or try to quit only have two ways out: jail or the morgue. Tiesel was threatened with the former by having his crimes exposed when he tried to back out, possibly because he was the new meat and didn't know enough to be a real threat to their plans. When Mr. Black refused to go with their robot genocide plan, he spent an episode trying to prevent the latter.
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 Mega Man: Defender of the Human Race / Fan Fic
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The story in the original Bushido Blade states that the player's chosen character is part of a small assassin cell that has a "You only leave when you die" rule in place. They want out.
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Licence to Kill: M does not take kindly Bond's desire to hunt down Franz Sanchez after said drug lord crippled Bond's friend and killed his wife. M could not fire Bond or allow him to resign - only revoke his license to kill.
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In 30 Rock, Jack learns that the Bush administration is doing this, forcing him to instead lead a costly, embarrassing & useless military research project to get fired.
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In John Wick, you're not supposed to be able to leave: When John asked to do so, he was given an Impossible Task by his boss. But he succeeded anyway, and since the task involved killing a whole lot of armed gangsters, the boss had a clear view of what would happen if he tried to go back on his word.
Comes up again in the sequel, where after hearing of his exploits in the first film an old contact forces John to perform a hit for him by invoking a Blood Oath that the two took. The fact that he not only forced John out of retirement (as well as later trying to backstab him) is pointed out as a horrendously stupid move.
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In Death Note, at the Yotsuba group's "meetings of death," one member, Hattori, gets scared of going to jail and says he wants to quit the meetings. After Higuchi warns him that a statement like that might get him killed and Ooi reminds him that he's too deeply involved to escape blame, he apologizes and retracts his statement, but later gets killed anyway.
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Goldfinger: Mister Solo, after having Operation Grand Slam to rob Fort Knox revealed to him, states his intention to leave rather than take part in the plan with the rest of the gangsters. He is allowed to leave, and in fact, Goldfinger makes a point of saying that "We must respect Mr. Solo's decision". He's then driven away by Oddjob, and rather than taken to the airport, is shot with a silenced pistol by him.
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 Goldfinger
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Darker Than Black: The Syndicate (and probably everyone else). They don't get a lot of choice about joining, either.
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 Anime: Darker Than Black
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In The Brothers Grimm:
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Spectre: Franz Oberhauser/Ernst Stavro Blofeld didn't like it when Mr. White resigned from SPECTRE after it began to dabble in human trafficking, especially those of women and children, and so, he has him poisoned.
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Basically the whole plot of Sexy Beast. Though in this case the obstacle in the way of retiring from the London mob isn't so much the organization itself as a single psychotic member.
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Less sinister version in Ex Machina. During a crisis, Mitchell's second-in-command starts saying he's going to quit, only for Mitchell to interrupt forcefully and say he needs him because he needs someone questioning him every step of the way, even if he can't always agree.
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 Ex Machina (Comic Book)
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Like the books it was based on, Game of Thrones have the Kingsguard and the Night's Watch, which are meant to be served in until death. Jon Snow gets to resign from the Night Watch through Revival Loophole: he did serve until death, technically, and the fact that he's resurrected doesn't change that.
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 A Song of Ice and Fire
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The Shichibukai in One Piece are essentially mercenaries, pirates who work for the government to fight and scare off other pirates. So naturally, if one decides to quit, they go back to being pirates, i.e. enemy #1. It doesn't help that the Shichibukai is made up of pirates with massive former bounties, so as soon as they quit, their bounties are reinstated, leading them to be high-profile targets.
The Big Mom Pirates also have this; Once you're a part of the crew, you can't leave. Big Mom claims that if someone of strength wants to withdraw, they must turn over one of their limbs, but according to her daughter Praline, no one has successfully lived to escape Big Mom's control;. Only one of her daughters managed to pull this off, and as such Big Mom wants to kill her.
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In the Futurama Movie Within A Show "The Magnificent Three" from That's Lobstertainment!, the Vice President of Earth (played by Calculon), also the son of the President of Earth (played by Harold Zoid), refuses to follow in his father's footsteps and tries to resign at the end of the film. However, the President tears up his letter of resignation right before falling off the roof of the White House to his death, leading his son to become President, much to his dismay.
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B.P.R.D.: Ben Daimio attempts to hand in his resignation out of guilt over Roger's death. Director Manning refuses to accept it, as an Eldritch Abomination is rampaging across the country and the Bureau needs all the help it can get.
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The Loptous Sect in Fire Emblem: Genealogy of the Holy War and Fire Emblem: Thracia 776. In Thracia 776, Salem questioned the Loptous Sect's actions and defected. He was almost killed trying to escape. He even has this to say about the order:
 Resignations Not Accepted / int_a68c19b8
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 Fire Emblem: Genealogy of the Holy War (Video Game)
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Several episodes of Get Smart dealt with CONTROL protecting defectors from retribution form their old employer KAOS.
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Kasumi in Dead or Alive, who left her clan to search for her brother and stop DOATEC's evil plan.
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Cid of Final Fantasy Tactics A2 was once a part of The Syndicate Khamja, but left when he decided the privileges didn't outweigh the dirty work he had to do. Illua had him shot, and he only survived because there was a nearby Judge who he could swear himself to. She sends her minion to shoot him again during the storyline just to let him know she hasn't forgotten.
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Danger Mouse attempts to resign in "Demons Aren't Dull" when in a subplot he is humiliated on a testimonial TV show. But he changes his mind once Colonel K tells him the show was never transmitted. It was a Baron Greenback plot all along.
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In Catch-22 the main characters have to fly a certain number of missions before they are discharged. The number of missions keep increasing however...
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A big part of the plot of Analyze This and its sequel. A mobster wants to retire, both because the violence is getting to him and to keep his children out of that lifestyle, and his peers object strongly.
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The Killer:
After a hit in Paris goes wrong, resulting in a carnage and him almost shooting a kid, the protagonist decides to retire as a professional killer. However, his trusted handler Edward tries to have him killed out of greed, but makes a pretty stupid error by getting a rookie to do the job, which ends in both their deaths when the target finds out.
Averted by "El Padrino", the killer's later Colombian employer. He's fine with parting ways peacefully once the killer's debt is settled, although he later manages to convince him to come work for them again.
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Warhammer 40,000
Sidestepped by The Inquisition, of all people. Very few of them want to leave in the first place, and those that do have enough clout in the galaxy-spanning government that they could just sneak off to some remote world and take up an "undercover" desk job or something.
The Tau's Fire Caste (the military). There are only two ways to get out: death, or by opting to take a third "trial by fire" (the first two are given to all Fire Warriors), after which they are allowed to become military advisers instead of continuing to fight.
Technically applies to all five castes, though the civilian and government castes are much more chill about letting you retire once you get old.
While some Imperial Guard regiments have a fixed length of enlistment, others are more like this; some literally keep fighting until they are too depleted to be useful, then muster out all survivors, while others let enlisted men retire only at periodic reorganisations, while taking reinforcements at all times. Depending on when he joins, a soldier in one of these may serve for two years or twenty. Officers have a more defined idea of retirement age, but talented ones may be called back into service when necessary.
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In the 1970s The Bionic Woman episode "On the Run" (the final episode of the series), Jaime Sommers tries to resign from the OSI but discovers that if she does so, she'll be confined to a government compound for the rest of her life. (This storyline was inspired by The Prisoner (1967).)
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 The Bionic Woman
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Nuns on the Run: The problem the heroes find a way to overcome.
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 Film: Nuns On The Run
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Averted in Men in Black, where the technology to alter people's memories means an agent can retire without the agency worrying that He Knows Too Much. Although the second movie shows that it's possible for the agency to find an ex-agent and restore their memory if needed, which verges into Mandatory Unretirement (if things get to that point, they're not going to take no for an answer).
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Deus Ex:
The biggest downside of all that neat nanotechnology you have is probably the kill-switch no one told you about that can be activated if you ever decide to change sides.
This trope is also discussed when engaging in a social duel with a particular augmented soldier who observes that once you're part of a secret military organization, you can't resign without being designated as "going rogue" by the higher ups who seek absolute silence regarding their illegal and shady operations and will paint a target on quitters for hitmans and legal authorities.
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 Deus Ex (Video Game)
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Defied on The Wire. Cutty returns from prison and joins Barksdale's crew (Avon having recruited him in prison). After he can't pull the trigger on an enemy Mook, he apologizes to Avon, saying "The Game ain't in me no more" and clearly expects to be killed in response. Avon lets him go with a Man Hug.
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 The Wire
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In Robin, a teleporting supervillain put together a team of fellow bad guys to avenge himself on Robin. When he found one of the others electrocuting Robin it was revealed that while his recruits were in it for murder he had just wanted to humiliate his enemy and he tried to quit. His recruits quickly decided that a teleporter was far too useful and threaten his family to keep him on board.
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UFO: In "Kill Straker!", Colonel Foster is subject to alien brainwashing. The others contemplate killing him because He Knows Too Much about SHADO, and therefore can't just be fired.
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In the Screen Songs cartoon, "Gobs of Fun", the mouse captain finds a note from his crew outside a pub saying they quit. In response, he chews a tack and rapid firedly spits onto the note "SEZ YOU", before marching into the pub and throwing his crew out of it and back onto his ship.
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Nonlethal example for the eponymous organization in Codename: Kids Next Door. You can quit if you want and you actually have to when you turn thirteen, but anyone who does so (with a few exceptions) is subjected to Laser-Guided Amnesia. Very much justified, because some of their worst enemies are former members.
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 Codename: Kids Next Door
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This was true for the Dark Signers in Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D's, and to make it worse, at least three of its seven total members ended up wanting to quit (maybe four; Kiryu was a "maybe".) The fact that most of them didn't join willingly was a big part of that, but the Earthbound Gods were willing to control them like puppets to make sure they didn't actually turn against them. (And even that didn't work in Carly's case.)
Fortunately, the Dark Signers were revived as normal humans after the Earthbound Gods were defeated for good (except those who declined the chance that they were offered because they had become Dark Signers intentionally).
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The Dark Forest from Warrior Cats. In The Last Hope, Beetlewhisker tries to leave, but Brokenstar kills him.
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In Atlas Shrugged, John Galt, unwilling to countenance the socialist direction in which the U.S. government is inscrutably headed, institutes "the strike," encouraging all of the major players who run the industry, banks, etc., to quit their jobs and join him in his secret hideout of Galt's Gulch. As the government becomes more tyrannical, his idea spreads and more and more people begin quitting their jobs or working under their means, refusing to be exploited. In response, the government institutes Directive 10-289, in which nobody is allowed to quit their job. If they do, they are branded as an outlaw, and their job is given to someboedy else that isn't currently employed, regardless of that person's ability to actually do the job.
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 Atlas Shrugged
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The President's Analyst: Sidney Schaefer believes he will not be allowed to resign since he knows too much about the president. After a paranoia induced dream he deserts and is pursued by people who want him dead or captured.
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If an Antivan Crow like Zevran fails an assassination he/she is considered dead to the Crows. Some Crows like Ignatio are willing to merely pretend the errant Crow is dead. Others want to make absolutely sure that is the case one way or another. If the Warden lives, Zevran will tell him/her that he knows the Crows will keep coming after him and that he will keep on fighting them for his freedom which is canon in Dragon Age II. If the Warden dies, Zevran will return to Antiva and take over the organization. It is both a victory and a defeat. Zevran has his life and a position of power and influence — but he never truly escapes the Crows.
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 Dragon Age II (Video Game)
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In Our Little Adventure, Janice (one of the Souballo Empire's top members) flaunted her abilities to cast master magic in front of Angelo in an attempt to enact his Social Darwinism for him to destroy her. Brian and Angelo do kill her, but Angelo binds her soul to a gem and plans to put the soul back into a clone of her body they made for her. The kicker is that resurrection in this manner causes a loss of character level and Janice will no longer have access to the master magic until she regains the level lost.
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The Prisoner (1967) is based entirely around this trope. In the opening titles, an unnamed British intelligence agent (only ever referred to as "Number 6") hands in his resignation, at which point his employers drug him and ship him off to a bizarre isolated "Village" which is really an elaborate, luxurious prison. For the rest of the series, the Village wardens employ bizarre interrogation methods, trying to uncover why Number 6 resigned, while Number 6 tries to escape—and failing that, fights from the inside by screwing with the Village's plans.
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In Buffy the Vampire Slayer/Supergirl crossover The Vampire of Steel, a vampire decides to quit and run off when he sees what kind of Eldritch Abomination his boss Vladislav is summoning. Vladislav kills him off immediately.
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Non-lethal version of the trope in Rival Angels. Anybody who tries to quit working for Yvonne Carmichael (Damage Inc's leader) before she feels like firing them has at least one severe ass-kicking in their future. The York Sisters and all three members of The Syndicate learned this the hard way.
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Star Wars Legends: Uli Divini was a genius teen surgeon during the Clone Wars who had enlisted for one tour, after which he would go back to his homeworld and presumably start or join a practice. Instead, since the new Empire was short on doctors, they executed an Imperial Military Stop Loss Order, or IMSLO. As a result of that, Uli served for twenty years, getting rather jaded in the process. He tends to Princess Leia after she is tortured, and since he seems like a pretty decent guy she demands to know why he still works for the Empire; he tells her that he can't leave, he'll be shot. He joins the Rebellion when the Death Star is destroyed, somewhat to his own surprise.
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Ciaphas Cain: In The Emperor's Finest, Mira seems to think Cain can quit his job as commissar to become her consort. Cain knows better:
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Monica's Gang: A story featured three scientists who worked developing weapons for a Corrupt Corporate Executive. When they decided to quit, he kept them locked in the lab and said he might accept their resignations fifty years later. The scientists escaped.
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The Crying Game. Fergus refuses to do a mission for the IRA when Jude asks.
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Mass Effect: Andromeda: Vetra's Loyalty Mission has her and Ryder run into a bunch of people who used to work for a criminal named Merriweather, who gave them jobs but made them do increasingly illegal things until they wanted out. Vetra supposedly helped them get away, but Merriweather's tracked them down and captured them. Fortunately, Ryder manages to solve the problem by getting rid of Merriweather.
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Aubrey-Maturin: Secret agent Duhamel falls victim to this when trying to defect.
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The teams in Witch Hunter Robin.
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Burn Notice: Played with — Michael didn't want to leave his old organization, but everyone there wants him to just sit down and shut up. "Management" threatened him about leaving them, but he seems to be doing all right so far. And then, of course, Season 3 comes along and gives him a "Be Careful What You Wish For" as his search to get his job back leads to Strickler selling out Fiona to an Irish terrorist, Michael's CIA contact Diego being killed, and Michael's killing off Strickler having even further unforeseen consequences.
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Pretty much every evil organization in Feng Shui is like this. The Ascended are particularly ruthless in this regard when it comes to their Pledged pawns.
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Kingdom Hearts: Organization XIII operates this way. Marluxia, Larxene, Xion, and Roxas all have Axel, the group's official assassin, sent after them when they go rogue. When he eventually turns traitor, too, second-in-command Saïx comes calling. The Trope Namer is a line spoken by Saïx to Roxas when he tries to stop Roxas leaving the Organization for good.
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In The Sopranos Eugene Pontecorvo requests a resignation from the mob to retire to Florida after getting a hefty inheritance from his aunt. Tony Soprano brings up omerta and disallows Pontecorvo's retirement. It also turns out that Eugene is an FBI informant, and they also disallow his retirement, insisting that he continue to spy on the mob.
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Babylon 5: once a psychic is conscripted into the Psi Corps, they are not allowed to leave. Anybody who does leave is hunted down and executed. The telepaths who take sleeper drugs are sometimes killed or commit suicide. Oh, and did we mention that ALL human telepaths are legally required to make the choice between joining the Corps or taking the sleepers, making the only legal "third option" (and a rarely-taken one at that) to become a citizen of an alien government?
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Implied in Hellsing with Millennium. If they're willing to set you on fire if you fail your mission or were about to spill their secrets, do you really think they'd let you retire? Not that they care.
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The entire plot for Operation Endgame at first seemingly revolves around setting up a situation where all prospective defectors and/or resignors are tasked with killing one another.
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A City of Heroes story arc involves a Crey employee who wants to move out of Paragon City with his wife. They go to some extreme measures to try to keep that from happening.
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There's a saying in The Witcher games that Witchers never die in their beds. Meaning that they never live to see retirement, between either their profession as hired monster hunters (or regular mercenaries in a pinch, whatever pays) or the Crapsack World they live in killing them first. Their mutations giving them considerably longer natural lifespans, making them very good at very specific tasks, and being irreversible, pretty much shoehorns them into Witcher work until it kills them. In the third game, Geralt does get to meet a Witcher trying to use funds from Witcher work of dubious ethics to start a "regular" trading business (that is strongly hinted to be less than 100% legal and ethical itself), specifically claiming that he was trying to prove the "never die in their beds" saying wrong. The player can see that this fails.
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In Noir, the secret organization Soldats has absolutely no problem assassinating people who used to kill for them.
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Die Another Day implies that MI6 has an "evaluation centre" in the Falkland Islands for keeping agents deemed a danger (which may include those who decide to resign), and M can confine someone there as long as she deems necessary.
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Alex Rider: Max Grendel in Scorpia begins drawing up plans to retire from the titular terrorist organisation, citing a distaste for their latest scheme, which involves a mass-murder of children. One of his colleagues gives him a briefcase as a parting gift... which turns out to be full of scorpions.
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The following is a list of statements referring to the current page from other pages.

 Resignations Not Accepted
processingCategory2
Action/Adventure Tropes
 Resignations Not Accepted
processingCategory2
This Index Is Not an Example
 Jin-Roh: The Wolf Brigade / int_ebb900a7
type
Resignations Not Accepted
 Observe and Terminate (Blog) / int_ebb900a7
type
Resignations Not Accepted
 Suicide Squad (Comic Book) / int_ebb900a7
type
Resignations Not Accepted
 The Eye Sees (Comic Book) / int_ebb900a7
type
Resignations Not Accepted
 Uncanny X-Men (Comic Book) / int_ebb900a7
type
Resignations Not Accepted
 Ancienverse / Fan Fic / int_ebb900a7
type
Resignations Not Accepted
 Mega Man: Defender of the Human Race / Fan Fic / int_ebb900a7
type
Resignations Not Accepted
 Fan Fic: The Legend of Total Drama Island / int_c9b9db84
type
Resignations Not Accepted
 Nobledark Imperium (Fanfic) / int_ebb900a7
type
Resignations Not Accepted
 Relic of the Future (Fanfic) / int_ebb900a7
type
Resignations Not Accepted
 The Legend of Total Drama Island (Fanfic) / int_ebb900a7
type
Resignations Not Accepted
 Fanfic: Wish Carefully / int_c9b9db84
type
Resignations Not Accepted
 Fanfic: Worse Than Death Series / int_c9b9db84
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Resignations Not Accepted
 Alita: Battle Angel / int_ebb900a7
type
Resignations Not Accepted
 Film: Assassins / int_c9b9db84
type
Resignations Not Accepted
 Dogville / int_ebb900a7
type
Resignations Not Accepted
 Goldfinger / int_ebb900a7
type
Resignations Not Accepted
 Intolerance / int_ebb900a7
type
Resignations Not Accepted
 Kill Bill / int_ebb900a7
type
Resignations Not Accepted
 Film: Killers / int_c9b9db84
type
Resignations Not Accepted
 Film: Mr. & Mrs. Smith / int_c9b9db84
type
Resignations Not Accepted
 Network / int_ebb900a7
type
Resignations Not Accepted
 Night of the Ghouls / int_ebb900a7
type
Resignations Not Accepted
 Film: Nuns On The Run / int_c9b9db84
type
Resignations Not Accepted
 Super Fly / int_ebb900a7
type
Resignations Not Accepted
 The Brothers Grimm / int_c9b9db84
type
Resignations Not Accepted
 The Crying Game / int_ebb900a7
type
Resignations Not Accepted
 Film: The Devil Rides Out / int_c9b9db84
type
Resignations Not Accepted
 The Firm / int_ebb900a7
type
Resignations Not Accepted
 The Godfather / int_ebb900a7
type
Resignations Not Accepted
 The Penalty / int_ebb900a7
type
Resignations Not Accepted
 The Town / int_ebb900a7
type
Resignations Not Accepted
 Alcatraz Series / int_ebb900a7
type
Resignations Not Accepted
 Literature: Aquarium / int_c9b9db84
type
Resignations Not Accepted
 CHERUB Series / int_ebb900a7
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Resignations Not Accepted
 Death Star / int_ebb900a7
type
Resignations Not Accepted
 Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix / int_ebb900a7
type
Resignations Not Accepted
 The Princess Bride / int_ebb900a7
type
Resignations Not Accepted
 The Rings of Kether / int_ebb900a7
type
Resignations Not Accepted
 British Laws
seeAlso
Resignations Not Accepted
 Death Star / int_c9b9db84
type
Resignations Not Accepted
 Dogville / int_c9b9db84
type
Resignations Not Accepted
 Soundscape / int_c9b9db84
type
Resignations Not Accepted
 The War Against the Chtorr / int_c9b9db84
type
Resignations Not Accepted
 Bakuman。 (Manga) / int_ebb900a7
type
Resignations Not Accepted
 Black Clover (Manga) / int_ebb900a7
type
Resignations Not Accepted
 Change 123 (Manga) / int_ebb900a7
type
Resignations Not Accepted
 Manga: SWOT / int_c9b9db84
type
Resignations Not Accepted
 Disney Conquest (Roleplay) / int_ebb900a7
type
Resignations Not Accepted
 Gravefall (Roleplay) / int_ebb900a7
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Resignations Not Accepted
 Roleplay: Ilasgoc
seeAlso
Resignations Not Accepted
 Lucifer (2016) / int_ebb900a7
type
Resignations Not Accepted
 The Equalizer / int_ebb900a7
type
Resignations Not Accepted
 Series: The Prisoner / int_c9b9db84
type
Resignations Not Accepted
 The Prisoner (1967) / int_ebb900a7
type
Resignations Not Accepted
 The Sopranos / int_ebb900a7
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Resignations Not Accepted
 Utopia / int_ebb900a7
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Resignations Not Accepted
 Ars Magica (Tabletop Game) / int_ebb900a7
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Resignations Not Accepted
 Star Wars Roleplaying Game (Tabletop Game) / int_ebb900a7
type
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 Heathers (Theatre) / int_ebb900a7
type
Resignations Not Accepted
 Assassin's Creed: Rogue (Video Game) / int_ebb900a7
type
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 BioShock (Video Game) / int_ebb900a7
type
Resignations Not Accepted
 Bushido Blade (Video Game) / int_ebb900a7
type
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 Final Fantasy Tactics A2 (Video Game) / int_ebb900a7
type
Resignations Not Accepted
 Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas (Video Game) / int_ebb900a7
type
Resignations Not Accepted
 Kingdom Hearts: 358/2 Days (Video Game) / int_ebb900a7
type
Resignations Not Accepted
 Kiseki Series (Video Game) / int_ebb900a7
type
Resignations Not Accepted
 SaGa Frontier 2 (Video Game) / int_ebb900a7
type
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 Saints Row: The Third (Video Game) / int_ebb900a7
type
Resignations Not Accepted
 Video Game: Shadow Warrior / int_c9b9db84
type
Resignations Not Accepted
 Shadow Warrior (1997) (Video Game) / int_ebb900a7
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Resignations Not Accepted
 Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order (Video Game) / int_ebb900a7
type
Resignations Not Accepted
 This Is the Police (Video Game) / int_ebb900a7
type
Resignations Not Accepted
 Trials of Mana (Video Game) / int_ebb900a7
type
Resignations Not Accepted
 Outlast / Videogame / int_ebb900a7
type
Resignations Not Accepted
 Webcomic: Necessary Monsters / int_c9b9db84
type
Resignations Not Accepted
 Our Little Adventure (Webcomic) / int_ebb900a7
type
Resignations Not Accepted
 Brave / int_ebb900a7
type
Resignations Not Accepted
 ReBoot / int_ebb900a7
type
Resignations Not Accepted
 Get Smart / int_ebb900a7
type
Resignations Not Accepted
 Nikita / int_ebb900a7
type
Resignations Not Accepted