Fanfic: Ferris

Jocasta: We've found that this isn't a war ordinary tactics can win.

The pitch: A geek ends up in the XCOM universe. Good News: He's just the Chief Engineer's personal assistant. Bad News: The Chief Engineer is Tony Stark.

Ferris is an XCOM: Enemy Unknown/Iron Man crossover fanfic by u63r.

Eamon is an Irish geek who keeps traveling between fictional universes at the behest of some mysterious figure he calls "The Benefactor". One day, he wakes up in the body of a woman named Irene on a helicopter next to Tony Stark, who's just been hired as the Chief Engineer of XCOM.

Needless to say, the bad guys don't like that one bit. Especially when Tony starts building powered armor for XCOM troops. Oh, and did we mention that the aliens are working with HYDRA?

This crossover fanfic provides examples of:

  • Accent Relapse: When Eamon gets drunk after Laura dies, Irene starts to lose her Chicago accent and gain his Irish one. Tony just assumes she's drunk.
  • Alternate Universe: For X-COM, obviously it's not the canon universe, but splits off from the first Iron Man movie by having Tony be recruited by X-COM and going to work for them instead of returning home after his captivity by Ten Rings.
    • Instead of Doctor Yinsin, it was Doctor Shen who helped Tony build the first suit of Iron Man armor.
    • The role of EXALT seems to have been replaced with the MCU organization HYDRA.
    • Doctor Vahlen's real name isn't Vahlen, it's Jean Grey. Yes, that Jean Grey.
  • Amazon Brigade: HYDRA seems to prefer female infiltrators.
  • Anyone Can Die: Well, it is about XCOM.
  • Beard of Sorrow: Bradford grows one after a failed mission, and keeps it.
  • Comic Book Movies Dont Use Code Names: Played with. Some aliens have the same names they did in the game, while its Thin Men are called "Infiltrators". In the spirit of the trope, since the first one we see in the fic is a thin man, he's identified as such several times.
  • Establishing Character Moment:
    • In the first chapter, Eamon deduces where the sniper is, comes up with a plan, and charges their position with an SMG. This after being next to a man who was just horribly killed by the same sniper.
    • Director Schmidt, in the meeting where she meets Tony, informs him that the briefing tablet will be waiting on his pillow. He quips that he wanted a chocolate. She snarks right back that she was feeling peckish, and apologizes. There actually is a chocolate when Eamon finally gets to bed.
  • Fan Wank: The first suit rolls off the line about two weeks after Tony arrives. The justification is that in-canon, the Iron Man suit took a month or so to make, and so did the Iron Monger suit. Working directly with comparable scientists (his team), and making a less-advanced powered rig lets them shave off a lot of time.
  • Fusion Fic: Fusing the worlds of the Marvel Cinematic Universe and X-COM: Enemy Unknown.
  • Heroic BSOD: After STONE PROPHET goes pear-shaped, both Tony and Bradford blame themselves for the mission's failure. They're snapped out of it by Vahlen and Director Schmidt, respectively.
  • Heroic Safe Mode: Irene/Eamon has one in the start of Chapter 2, after learning that the HYDRA assassination team killed a family, including a child, to take a poke at Tony. She defaults to analysing exactly how they died, hands over her weapon, goes downstairs, vomits all over the front hall, and then gets tranqued.
  • Hidden Depths:
    • Bradford plays the guitar.
    • Pena reads poetry, and is apparently an Emily Dickinson fan.
  • Improbable Aiming Skills: The main feature of the alien Infiltrators, which are this fic's Thin Men. And that's before one gets plasma sniper rifles.
  • Infant Immortality: Averted. The first chapter ends with Eamon and the readers learning that HYDRA killed a kid, and in the Moscow Terror Mission, an entire school is attacked and implanted by Chryssalids.
  • In Medias Res: As the fic opens, XCOM has been operating for some time, and has already started to populate the Memorial Wall.
  • Kill It with Fire: Repeatedly. Chryssalids have a vulnerability to flame in this universe, just like they do in Enemy Within.
    • Doctor Vahlen does this to several mutons... with her mind. Because her real name isn't Vahlen, it's Jean Grey.
  • Lampshade Hanging: At one point, the concept of bipedal robots is taken down, pointing out that while intimidating, it's usually better to have them with wheels or treads.
  • Lensman Arms Race: The opening assassination attempt gives XCOM early laser weapons. Later on, HYDRA starts reverse-engineering their Powered Armor to make bipedal robots. This gives XCOM the idea to make their own autonomous robots, though they're more like SHIVs, albeit with AI based on Dummy. Later still, HYDRA not only has fully functional robots of their own, they've also got their own Unibeams with an electrical version of the repulsor. Also, they've cracked the Plasma Sniper, and are letting the aliens use both. This is all before the end of the first arc, mind.
  • Must Have Caffeine: Bradford loves his coffee. It's later revealed he was in the Navy.
  • Name's the Same: Upon meeting a rookie with the same first name as his, Pena thinks "there's a pair of us, don't tell!"
  • Noodle Incident: What, exactly, Laura did in the garage.
  • Reality Ensues : In Chapter 3, Eamon is surprised to find that XCOM starts with six-man squads, not four like in the game. His internal chiding asks him whether he thought they would move on a grid.
    • XCOM also has multiple Skyrangers, much like in Arad's Stardust.
    • HYDRA tries attacking XCOM's satellite on the launchpad.
  • Religious and Mythological Theme Naming: Most of the equipment is named after Greco-Roman figures. This is revealed to be because Director Schmidt has a mythology degree.
  • Rousing Speech: Tony tries one, gets sidetracked, and admits that he's just not that good at speeches.
  • Rule of Fun: The author's notes for the Moscow Terror Mission note that the scenario in the fic would be nearly unplayable, and not much fun. He also points out that saving a few dozen people in attacks that kill thousands isn't really that notable.
  • Sequence Breaking:
    • Due to the opening assassination attempt, XCOM gets early access to not only laser weapons, but precision lasers (sniper rifles) and scatter lasers. They put it to good use.
    • Subverted in Chapter 4 when it comes to killing the Sectoid Commander during the "tutorial" mission. The Director doesn't allocate funds to the psychic research, because it's an unproven field and may not actually be replicable in humans, compared to Tony's suits.
    • Due to giving Thor additional weapons before he returns to Asgard, including ICER weapons, Thor is able to capture Loki, the Rainbow Bridge remains intact, and Asgard is setting up relations with Earth. What this means for how badly this throws the MCU off the rails remains to be seen.
  • Shipper on Deck: The staff seem very supportive of Irene/Laura, as well as Bradford/Director Schmidt, despite the latter being technically against regs.
  • Shout-Out:
    • XCOM has multiple Skyrangers, like in Arad's Stardust, as well as taking (David) Bradford and (Moira) Vahlen's first names from them.
    • The mayor of Vancouver is one Pierre "Pepe" Tucker, a reference to popular and prolific Spacebattles writer Peptuck. It is further noted that in the spirit of the MCU's Stan Lee cameos, he would be played by Sid Meier. It's not clear whether he knew Meier is actually Canadian.
    • When someone points out how hard XCOM's job, is, a squaddie responds "We do it, so you don't have to."
    • Chapter 3 has a marksman, AKA a sniper, by the name of Mundy. Mundy is the name of the Sniper from Team Fortress 2.
    • In chapter 5, they encounter a man named Wilson who is very good at weapons and constantly makes goofy remarks. Deadpool, anyone?
    • Chapter 9 has a discussion about animal names in regard to Squad Names. The first two mentioned are Mako and Hammerhead, which are the names of the Squads in Mass Effect 3's Citadel DLC.
    • Chapter 22 has an Asgardian saying, "It's the moment of dawning comprehension that I live for."
  • Shut Up Elves: In chapter 20, a group of Asgardians, superhuman beings who are nigh-immortal, practically immune to bullets, and practically view themselves as gods, joke to one another how weak these aliens are (and how the Puny Humans must be overestimating their threat)... right before their leader literally walks into a Muton and gets most of his torso obliterated. One of the other team members manages to kill the muton, but the group is now panicked.
  • Technology Porn: When new equipment or weapons are used, they're sometimes accompanied by a brief description explaining what they are, in order to inform the reader of how the poor X-ray or HYDRA terrorist on the receiving end is about to get hosed.
  • Tempting Fate: In Chapter 20, a newbie Asgardian team of mages is sent to assist XCOM. To keep up morale, the leader quips about how the aliens really aren't that dangerous. Then he's nearly killed when he walks into a Muton, loses an arm at least, and is incapacitated for the duration of the chapter.