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Fanfic / Acts of Mercy

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"You could call me pretty genre-savvy, if there's a word for it.
Marcy, in the opening lines

Acts of Mercy is a Left 4 Dead fanfiction by An Author By Any Other Name, which, while set in the same timeline (roughly) of the main games, has nothing to do with the canon characters.

Self-proclaimed Crazy Survivalist Marcy Walker escapes the zombie apocalypse by staying in an isolated cabin up north. Unfortunately,the zombies decide to come to her. She end up finding a Hunter that is more than it seems at first, and wonders if mercy can be afforded in the name of survival.


Labeled as Romance/Drama, it is currently Complete and viewable on The author has promised that a sequel is in the works.

Acts of Mercy provides examples of the following tropes:

  • Anger Born of Worry: In Chapter 17, after they are kidnapped by the CEDA, Marcy displays this towards Denver because of her attempted Mercy Kill.
  • Art Major Biology: Marcy is revealed to be The Immune, so the CEDA manufactures a vaccine (and a cure) from her blood. However, vaccines don't quite work that way. Lampshaded in the Author's Note.
  • Bears Are Bad News: And zombie bears, no less.
  • Body Horror: Multiple. The dead pilot, the zombie bears, Denver's mutations...
  • Cat Scare: Played straight when Marcy is spooked by, and shoots at, a squirrel on the way back from the downed helicopter.
  • Cosy Catastrophe: Lampshaded by Marcy a few times. While people running for their lives in the streets, shooting up zombies, she's living off MRE's and living in peave up north.
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  • Cluster F-Bomb: Marcy, when getting chased by the bear.
  • Crazy Survivalist: Marcy and her father. To the core.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Marcy, very much so. Denver starts to pick it up later on, and CEDA Director Gatling displays some shades of it.
  • Eye Scream: Denver's eyes. It's implied that he clawed them out himself, because of the pain of his mutations.
  • Florence Nightingale Effect: Girl saves zombie. Zombie becomes civilized. Girl falls in love with said zombie. Girl forced to kill zombie out of mercy. Mentioned by name in Chapter 17.
  • Heroic BSoD: Marcy displays this when she realizes she has to kill Denver after he attacks her.
  • Hellish Copter: How Denver manages to end up in Northern Maine, after he attacks to pilot.
  • In the Hood: Typical for Hunters, though even after his original hoodie is gone, Denver still prefers to wear one.
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  • Instant Sedation: Played straight twice. First, when Marcy knocks out Denver with the butt of her gun; Second, when the CEDA kidnaps Marcy and Denver
  • Le Parkour: Several of Denver's Strikethrough!Thoughts are references to parkour moves.
  • Mercy Kill: Played with. Originally, it's implied that the titular 'Act of Mercy' is Marcy saving Den from the barbed wire fence; later on, it's when she is forced to kill Denver after he tries to attack her. Ultimately subverted, though, since the CEDA intervenes before she does the deed.
  • Mr. Exposition: Director Gatling And Marcy, to an extent.
  • Noodle Incident: Marcy calls anything particularly memorable an 'Incident'. See: The Badger Incident.
  • Raising the Steaks: The zombie bears that Marcy finds near The Cabin.
  • Shout-Out: Multiple; mostly for other Valve games like Team Fortress 2, but there are some for other zombie works like Zombieland and The Zombie Survival Guide, or song titles. There are even some for TV Tropes.
  • Technically Living Zombie: Natural for the Left 4 Dead universe.
  • The Immune: Marcy is revealed to be this, which is why Denver was able to fight the Green flu (He took in some immune blood when he bit her) and why the CEDA is after her.
  • Trauma-Induced Amnesia: Seems to be the case for Denver.
  • You Can Talk?: Marcy's reaction to Denver asking for help.
  • Zombie Apocalypse: The story's setting, though it manages to avert several typical zombie apocalypse tropes.
  • Zombie Infectee: Marcy thinks she is when she is initially bitten. Ultimately subverted, though. Played straight with Max, the Gas-Station Zombie.


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