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Fanfic / Dial

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Dial is a Marvel Cinematic Universe Self-Insert fic written by DesertChocolate (author of Hunters of Death, and the Saiyan In Brockton, and Adorable Murderbeasts SI fics).

Mahmoud Schahed was just writing fanfiction one evening when a guy named Professor Paradox drops him into New York City, with an Omnitrix on his wrist. He has no idea why he's there, or why the Marvel characters he knows so well are played by famous actors he also knows well, with events having occurred that he has no idea of. Soon after settling down, he receives an alert that Captain America is now a wanted fugitive, and starts seeking them out to save the world, as the shapeshifting hero Dial.


As such, this story is about the Self-Insert and his arsenal of alien species becoming heroes in the MCU.

Also posted on Sufficient Velocity and

Has a character page that could use some serious love.

Dial contains examples of:

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  • Accidental Misnaming: After she and Bruce meet again and she has time to get used to the Hulk being nice, Betty Ross still ended up calling the Hulk Bruce one time. Though it visibly upsets Hulk, he doesn't lose his temper.
  • Ace Custom:
    • Out of the recovered Insight Helicarriers that were created by HYDRA, Dial ends up Upgrading one to end the Battle of the Triskelion. Later, this one is refurbished into the Enterprise, the main base of the new organization BRIDGE.
    • Fury gives Dial his own personal Quinjet, and he uses Jury Rigg and Upgrade to enhance it into one which he names the Defiant.
  • Actually, I Am Him: When Christine Everhart confronts Tony and Pepper about the new suit-wearer Rescue, what her purpose is, and if Pepper knows about "the woman on the side", Pepper steps up, and just like her boyfriend a few years ago, states that she is Rescue.
  • Aliens of London: Some members of the Russian Winter Guard are not exactly happy when Dial unlocks NRG, the Russian-accented nuclear alien, thinking Dial is doing the accent on purpose.
  • Ascended Epithet: During the discussion to eliminate the HYDRA moles within SHIELD, and the decision to dismantle SHIELD as well, Mahmoud proposes another solution, to rebuild it into something better, the organization that SHIELD was meant to be, "the bridge between what people consider normal, and all the weirdness out there", to not only protect the innocent the misuse of power, but to also assist those that gain powers. Afterwards, SHIELD is indeed disbanded and reformed into the Bureau of Reconnaissance, Intelligence, Development, and General Enhancement, a.k.a. BRIDGE.
  • Adaptive Armor: Using Jury Rigg and Upgrade's abilities, Dial develops Armor Gear, Powered Armor made out of catoms that can coordinate with X for assistance, can be compacted into clothing and can adapt to form weapons and other devices, like arm blades, tower shields or an agents' Weapon of Choice. And since these are standard issue, they are usable by everyone, from the baseline human agents to the Enhanced soldiers and full-on Avengers.
  • Adorable Abomination: Ruby Hale is a 14-year-old girl, raised and taught from birth to be the ideal, ruthless, heartless assassin of HYDRA's dreams, and Natasha can see it in her eyes. But to the veteran assassin Black Widow (and slightly to Hawkeye and Nomad), she comes off as a deadly but incredibly cute and naive puppy.
  • Alcohol-Induced Idiocy: In a party with drinking and superheroes, this was bound to happen sooner or later. In this case, Tony, Fitz and Jury Rigg challenge each other to a build-off to make non-lethal guns. Fitz's gun shoots air, but Tony's and Jury Rigg's shoot tomatoes and cake. Guess what happens next.
  • All of Time at Once: A city-wide example happens to Rio De Janeiro. In addition to a mundane, intense earthquake decimating the city, the city is then festooned with creatures and characters from different points in time, from dinosaurs and direwolves, to medieval knights, to literal demons.
  • Amazon Brigade: The Grapplers are present in this fic under employ of HYDRA, wanting to defect.
  • Animal Superheroes: After the Graveyard incident, where several HYDRA-experimented animals are rescued and had gained powers from the aftermath, Dial throws around the idea of the Pet Avengers.
  • Armor Is Useless: Averted hard, as Dial works with Tony to make sure everyone has access to power armor, even the more agility-focused Avengers like Hawkeye and Black Widow, though tailored to their needs.
  • Armor-Piercing Slap: Audrey Nathan delivers one to Phil Coulson when she finds out he's alive and had been alive for 5 months without contacting her.
  • Ascended Extra: Isabelle Hartley and Bobbi Morse, mere SHIELD agents, become the full-on Reserve Avengers Warrior and Mockingbird.
  • Ascended Fanboy: It's a Self-Insert fic, it comes with the territory. Hell, Tony's nickname for Mahmoud is "Fanboy".
    • Mahmoud later embraces it whole-heartedly, buying a whole load of Avenger merchandise on one jaunt through NYC and then a load of Winter Guard merch after a mission with said Russian Super Team.
  • Awful Truth:
    • Leo Fitz doesn't take the reveal that Grant Ward was always HYDRA well, and one of the first things he asks Mahmoud when he meets him is if the Hercules app made a mistake.
    • Letha delivers this fact to the Maximoff twins about the truth of their employer HYDRA and their grudge against Tony Stark.
      Letha: We need to tell you something, about Strucker. About HYDRA, and their role in Sokovia. Because after all this time being pissed at the blacksmith for making a sword, you've worked with the knight who wielded it.
  • Badass in Distress: HYDRA kidnaps Antoine Triplett and Sharon Carter to try and brainwash them into agents.
  • Badass Longcoat: Hawkeye gets one with his version of BRIDGE's standard issue Armor Gear.
  • Bait-and-Switch: The Avengers party is winding down, the six original members are shooting the breeze, then an unexpected robot walks in, everyone gears up to fight... and then Jarvis speaks up within his new dedicated robot body.
  • Bash Brothers: There are a few two-person teamups in this fic:
    • Dial and Alloy fight alongside each other against the Wendigo.
    • Captain America and Nomad, natch, after the latter has his HYDRA brainwashing removed.
    • Against Abomination and Aberration, each holding one half of the Berserker Staff from Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., the Hulk gains a partner for the fight: Iron Man + Hulkbuster armor.
  • Beam-O-War:
    • Iron Man gets into one with Blackout during their first encounter.
      • During their second encounter, they both get into another one, and then Iron Man and his new heat-based weapon gets into one with Blizzard. Neither Blackout nor Blizzard walk away from those wars.
  • Big Bad Duumvirate: After being ousted from SHIELD by the Avengers, HYDRA and Baron Strucker ally with Samuel Sterns a.k.a. the Leader, who helps them develop even more Gamma mutates.
  • Bilingual Backfire: Some members of the Winter Guard are surprised when Dial shows he can understand their Russian. Of course, they don't know about the universal translator in the Omnitrix.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Thor arrives just in time to both assist Tony with a barely-recovering Abomination, and save Dial from a nasty plane crash.
  • Bleed 'em and Weep: With the Omnitrix on cooldown, Dial has to resort to his sidearm and knife to deal with a threat, and ends up having to kill a HYDRA agent. Afterwards, he doesn't shout his Transformation Name Announcement, only whispers it.
  • Body Horror:
    • The failed HYDRA experiments in the Graveyard, which the Reserve Avengers have to clear out, a good chunk of which are human. Even after Dial activates the genetic reparation function of the Omnitrix to restore them, some of them are left with animal or artificial limbs grafted to their human bodies.
    • When Upgrade!Dial interfaces with the cybernetic-enhanced Centipede soldiers, he ends up flowing through someone's eye into their cybernetics. It's enough to make Hawkeye go Green Around the Gills.
  • Boxing Lessons for Superman: Beyond his Omnitrix and being a casual weightlifter in his old world, Mahmoud isn't exactly groomed to fight, so he gets training from his superhero peers and invents Adaptive Armor to make up for it, especially when his Hour of Power times out.
  • Bratty Teenage Daughter: Ruby Hale comes across as this to Natasha. Having been groomed and praised by HYDRA all her life to be trained to become the best assassin, she is taken aback when Nat chooses to walk away instead of accede to Ruby slacking off. And when she gets petulant and violent about it, the Black Widow is more than skilled enough to give her a reality check.
  • Building Swing: Snare-Oh!Dial does this one time. Despite him using bandages, as he is in the Marvel Universe, he explicitly refers to it in his mind as "web-swinging".
  • The Cameo: Stan "The Man" Lee and his wife Joan appear in Chapter 54 traveling the multiverse, a few days after the former's passing in real life.
  • Comes Great Responsibility: Even though Jury Rigg just gave her the Rescue Armor so she could fly with Tony, Pepper soon finds Rescue on the receiving end of criticism in the news, talking about how she has all the armor but is not getting into fights and all but calling her a spoiled coward. Eventually, after being confronted by Christine Everhart, she decides to step up and actively help people.
  • Cool vs. Awesome: Dial's thoughts run through how he's always wanted to see this matchup when he gets the chance to spar with the Hulk as Fourarms.
  • Cursed with Awesome: After Dial performs a DNA repair on the failed HYDRA experiments in the Graveyard, a number of them are turned back to normal with either superhuman physiques or limited versions of Creel's absorption powers. See Body Horror for those that aren't so lucky.
  • Dare to Be Badass: Mahmoud gives what he sees as a "draft notice" to the Wakandan Royal family, that they can choose to join BRIDGE and be part of the conversation as the world accelerates into the future, or eventually be left behind when their vibranium-based technology can no longer keep up. They eventually agree to trading talks in Chapter 63.
  • Detect Evil: Technological variant: Jury Rigg and X distilled Arnim Zola's Insight algorithm into an application named Hercules, which is sent to the phones of all loyal SHIELD agents during the Battle of the Triskelion to identify all the HYDRA moles lurking among them.
  • Dirty Communists: Ivan Kragoff a.k.a. the Red Ghost has a touch of the bad sort of Patriotic Fervor. He views Russia as weak for having accepted capitalism, and has began demonstrations of his own version of superweapons on Russian citizens, intending for the Russian government to accept his weapons and establish their true place at the top of the world, or to force the issue if it doesn't. To contrast, he is introduced in an arc where the Avengers meet the newly-formed Winter Guard.
  • Discard and Draw:
    • After the Winter Guard arc is over, Fantasma is transferred to the Avengers as a show of camaraderie, while Ursa Major and Darkstar are unveiled as her replacements.
  • Dishing Out Dirt: The initial power of Dial's Asgardian form.
  • Do-Anything Robot: Averted with X's new robot body. Tony is upset that his chassis was built for great strength and insane durability (and not even to the level of the Hulkbuster) and nothing else, with no extra bells or whistles.
  • Don't Make Me Destroy You: During Iron Man and Dial's second clash with Blizzard a.k.a. Donnie Gill, the latter is pumping more and more power to destroy the Avengers after Blackout is overloaded. Dial yells for Donnie to stop and let them help him, and that Fitz misses his friend, but Blizzard is too far gone, leaving Iron Man no choice but to lethally overpower him when he aims for a vulnerable Dial.
  • Dysfunction Junction: Mahmoud and Jen discuss this trope on how they both need therapy, along with everyone else on the team. Then it devolves into a joke on how they should just ignore their issues in favour of everything else that's weird cropping up and it ends with both of them laughing depressively.
  • Entertainingly Wrong: For whatever reason, Christine Everhart was under the impression that the new armor-wearer Rescue was one of Tony's newest paramours and was effectively cheating on Pepper. The thought that Rescue is Pepper Potts never crossed her mind until Pepper told her so to her face.
  • Exact Words: Due to international pressures, BRIDGE is forced to withdraw from Rio... but the Avengers are BRIDGE contractors...
  • Expecting Someone Taller: When Dial goes up against the Hulk as Fourarms for the first time, he is surprised to find that the 8.5 ft tall Hulk is only waist-high to the Tetramand.
  • Fastball Special: Frankenstrike!Dial pulls this off against the Wendigo, using Alloy's metal body as a railgun projectile. He even calls the move "Fastball Railgun".
  • Fire-Forged Friends:
    • Despite his reservation about Alloy being a past criminal, Vanguard soon finds himself warming up to him after the battles with the Red Ghost's forces, especially after Creel saves his life.
  • Flaunting Your Fleets: What the Russian government intended when they invited a BRIDGE team and some Avengers over - to show off their new Super Team, the Winter Guard. At least on the surface; there is a problem that the Russians need BRIDGE's assistance with, but a propaganda-style meeting was needed for some prideful higher-ups to save face.
  • Food Fight: What happens when three drunken engineers build guns that shoot tomatoes and cake.
  • For Want of a Nail:
  • Friendly Enemy: Applies even if the 'enemy' part is implied. Dial finds himself on friendly terms with some of Russia's Winter Guard, but it's no secret that a main reason the Guard was formed in the first place was precaution if the Avengers invade Russia or go rogue. Dial even calls himself and Fantasma frenemies in light of this.
  • Fun with Acronyms:
    • After SHIELD is disbanded to be reformed, Tony and some others have a lot of fun suggesting replacement organization names, like Government Agency of Super Powers (GASP), Supreme Military Agency of Super Humans (SMASH), Government Goon Gallery (GGG) and even Dynamic Action Intelligence Liaisons (DIAL) and Public Legion United by Mission to Bridge Education for Races (PLUMBER).
    • One of Dial's first creations for StarkTech is a fabricator to make anything out of catoms called the Claytronics Object Creator. After Dial realizes the acronym and what letter could be juvenilely added to it, he renames it to the Claytronics Nanoforge.
  • Fusion Dance: Upgrade!Dial fuses with War Machine's armor to take down the Absorbing Man.
    • And later with Iron Man to take out Blackout.
  • Genre Savvy:
  • Giver of Lame Names: Mahmoud thinks this about himself when he names his Asgardian form "Asgarditen". He resolves to rename it later.
  • Gold-Colored Superiority: Averted. Creel hates turning into gold, as even though it makes him look awesome, it also makes him both heavy and weak.
  • Gone Horribly Right: Titania attempts to use her love powers on Rath!Dial. This works. Unfortunately, Rath, as an Appoplexian, believes that the most traditional, romantic thing you can do to someone you love is to beat the tar out of them in a battle.
    • Tony and Thor work together to fight Ulik, who just defeated Fourarms!Dial and is trying to finish him off. They end up overdoing it and turn him into A Twinkle in the Sky.
  • Good Cop/Bad Cop: Or Bad Dog in this case, as Daredevil and Wildmutt!Dial respectively interrogate a sex slaver about more information on his operation.
  • Grew Beyond Their Programming: Jury Rigg took the computer containing Arnim Zola and his algorithm and rejiggered it into a device with a VI named X. Eventually, X became a full on Artificial Intelligence within a manner of days.
  • Gunship Rescue: The Battle of the Triskelion comes to an end when Upgrade!Dial descends on the HYRDA convoy controlling an Insight helicarrier.
  • Headbutting Heroes: In additional to all the canon examples:
    • After being rescued, Ava Starr/Ghost takes issue with working with Dial, since she views him as too naive and arrogant for his power level, while he reciprocates simply because he doesn't know why she dislikes him.
    • Bucky/Nomad has a few problems working under Falcon as his team superior, simply because he'd prefer Captain America in charge and not someone less skilled who was only put in charge for publicity.
    • There is a fair bit of friction when some representatives from the Avengers (Dial and Alloy) meet their new Russian contemporaries, the Winter Guard. Of particular note is Vanguard, who dislikes the idea of working with ex-criminals like Creel, let alone a God of Evil like Chernobog.
  • Heel–Face Turn:
    • Crusher Creel and Bucky Barnes are captured after the Insight incident, successfully deprogrammed by Jury Rigg and Upgrade's device, and become the Reserve Avengers Alloy and Nomad.
    • General Hale and her daughter Ruby turn themselves in to BRIDGE, allowing Ruby to be trained.
    • While HYDRA is trying to regroup, putting more effort into their Gamma enhancement experiments, the Grapplers and the Maximoff twins decide to defect to BRIDGE. Later, they along with Deathlok are put into the Initiative, a sub-team working for BRIDGE for superheroes who deserve a second chance.
  • Heroes Gone Fishing:
    • One chapter shows the Avengers men having a movie night.
    • Chapters 62 and 63 have Mahmoud and Steve just acting like regular tourists in New York City. And then they buy over $2,000 worth of Avengers merchandise just to mess with Tony.
  • Heroic Bystander: A bar-ful of earthquake victims in Rio de Janeiro that the Avengers have to rescue are this; when the ceiling collapses on them, a few of them catch the falling roof, and everyone inside helps support it, trading off in 20-minute-shifts for 5 whole hours, until they are finally rescued.
  • Hero of Another Story: The Artificial Intelligence X, when not helping Dial and the Avengers, has been working with Maria Hill and Jarvis to clear out the seedier places in the Dark Web, and saving innocents from the monsters that lurk in cyberspace.
  • Hidden Depths:
    • Frank Castle's first impression when working alongside Captain America was of a rather carefree and naive greenhorn soldier. It's only in the field that he goes from Nice Guy to the ideal military commander the world knows him as.
    • When Dial compares some remains found in a Russian warehouse to Servitors from Warhammer 40K, Crimson Dynamo of the Winter Guard recognizes the reference.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: The algorithm that Arnim Zola created to track down anyone anywhere in the world for HYDRA's benefit is taken by Jury Rigg!Dial and repurposed into an algorithm to instead identify all HYDRA agents worldwide, allowing SHIELD to precisely excise them from their ranks.
  • Hollywood Tactics: The Punisher breaks down the HYDRA tactics use to kidnap Audrey Nathan (confront her in the middle of her run with military backup) as showy and idiotic; the better solution would be to spirit her from her bed in her sleep. He justifies it as the HYDRA cell being in command of Blackout, an Enhanced with no proper military knowledge - just an obsession with Ms. Nathan and a bunch of goons to command.
  • Homeless Hero: Mahmoud spends the first few months of his time in the MCU as a New York squatter. It's downplayed since he can Jury Rigg all the amenities he needs, and it isn't too long before the Call to Adventure is heard.
  • Horrifying the Horror: As scary as a gang of roaring demons are, even they are taken aback by a yelling Punisher blasting one of their own to bits with auto-shotgun and bayonet. Later chapters reveal that they've started fleeing as soon as they see him coming.
  • Hypothetical Casting: For the characters that haven't appeared in the MCU:
  • I Do Not Like Green Eggs and Ham: Ruby Hale is recommended a book by Natasha, though she has doubts when she sees Santa Claus on the cover. After Mahmoud lends her his copy and tells her to give it a try, he finds her sleeping on his couch the next morning having finished the book and in the middle of watching the film.
  • I Have Your Wife: Hacking into a Centipede soldier's cybernetics, Dial finds out that some HYDRA soldiers are operating under duress because of hostages.
    • As in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Deathlok works for HYDRA due to them holding his son Ace hostage. Once Skye rescues him, Deathlok turns on HYDRA and helps wipe out the remaining forces, turning himself in afterwards.
  • Inherently Funny Words: Klaue bases his operations out of the bowels of a ship partly because he thinks "bowels" is this.
  • Interrupted Intimacy: One time, Jen and Mahmoud accidentally walk in on Creel and Hartley getting frisky in a lesser-used hallway.
  • Irony: After Frank Castle breaks down the latest attack by Blackout as a self-driven rampage, Dial mentally notes the irony of The Punisher saying something like that.
  • The Knights Who Say "Squee!": As established a hero as Dial becomes, he still is starstruck when Thor finally enters the story.
  • Laugh Themselves Sick: Tony cracks up when Dial introduces Big Chill and tells him that his species reproduces asexually.
    • Gets a Call-Back when Dial unveils his symbiote form.
  • Loophole Abuse: When BRIDGE is ordered to leave Rio due to international pressures, in addition to taking full advantage of the fact that doing so will take time to continue helping people as long as they can, it's also noted that the order only applies to BRIDGE, not contractors like the Avengers.
  • Lost in Transmission: Discussed amongst the Reserve Avengers and explicitly averted by Dial while they are cleaning out HYDRA's Graveyard. While his colleagues are concerned that their comms might suffer a cliche cutoff, Dial says that with the robustness and efficiency of his alien-based Quantum comms, if HYDRA could cut off his signal, they'd already rule the world by now.
  • Love Makes You Stupid: Once the HYDRA commander commanding Blackout and Blizzard decides to scrap the operation to kidnap Audrey Nathan, the love-obsessed Blackout kills him and goes after Audrey directly, heedless of the Avengers in his way.
  • Meaningful Name: In Classical Mythology, the Lernaean Hydra was slain by the hero Hercules. Here, Hercules is the name of the app that identifies and excises HYDRA from SHIELD's ranks.
  • Moment Killer: The heartwarming moment that Rath!Dial feels after saving a little girl from an apartment fire is broken by a jittery cop pulling his gun on the tiger-man.
  • Motor Mouth: Ulysses Klaue, who proceeds to irritate just about everyone he interacts with, from the Wakandan troops to the Leader.
  • Mythology Gag:
    • Dial's first major metahuman opponent in this fic is Carl "Crusher" Creel a.k.a. the Absorbing Man, who later becomes his rival and comrade. Now think about Ben Tennyson and Kevin Levin.
      • Later, the two of them are put on a sub-team with Scarlet Witch, who refers to Gwen Tennyson in this analogy.
    • Dial mentions the idea of having superhumans deputized to assist law enforcement while having their identities protected as a "Secret Warriors" program. Later, he mentions that Daredevil is one of the Marvel Knights, to cover that he is not from an official Avengers team.
    • Ulysses Klaue feels that working with robots feels sort of familiar after he is rescued from the Wakandan mines.
      • From the same film, an Avengers party where the participants took turns trying to lift Mjolnir to no avail ends with a robot showing up. Not Ultron thankfully, but Jarvis showing off his new robot chassis.
  • Neutrality Backlash: Mahmoud spells out to King T'Chaka, Prince T'Challa and Ayo that this is the future that awaits Wakanda if they choose to remain neutral and hidden. He and BRIDGE are planning on bringing the world into the future, and if they remain out of the conversation, the world will eventually become advanced enough to both leave Wakanda behind and find out the truth, and the results won't be pretty.
  • No One Could Survive That!: Iron Man ends up blowing Blizzard to smithereens after the latter undergoes a Villainous Breakdown and attempts to drop a cold storm over the West Coast, and makes this comment. Of course, some twitching ice is unnoticed by the heroes.
  • No-Sell:
    • After his deprogramming, Creel's old HYDRA control phrase does absolutely nothing to his mind.
    • The Life Draining Blackout finds his Touch of Death completely useless against Snare-Oh.
  • Oh, Crap!: After the Omnitrix scans a new alien in Rio de Janeiro, Dial checks his roster and finds two new profiles. The Unexpected Character? A Klyntar symbiote.
  • Old Flame: Chapter 65 has Bruce and Thor meeting back up with Betty Ross and Jane Foster, with Dr. Samson and Darcy tagging along.
  • Omnidisciplinary Scientist: Discussed when Darcy asks Jane if she wants to get into a discussion on the Gamma gene, and Jane answers she's an astrophysicist.
    Darcy: Oh come on, all you geniuses say that, and then you guys start, like, hacking the Pentagon with a biology degree, or cure diseases with an engineering Ph.D.!
  • One Degree of Separation: Dr. Karl Malus didn't just have Jessica Jones as his patient/test subject, he also treated four women that would become the Grapplers.
  • Only Sane Man: Victoria Hand finds himself in this role during the BRIDGE strength testing session, given the attendees include Thor, Hulk and She-Hulk.
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business: Tony is completely polite and serious when he requests to be on the protection detail for Coulson's old girlfriend Audrey Nathan.
  • Opponent Switch: Snare-Oh!Dial and Iron Man exchange opponents against Blizzard and Blackout respectively, when it becomes clear that Snare-Oh's cloth regeneration is stalemated against Blizzard's ice, and Iron Man's suit is stalemated against Blackout's Darkforce.
  • Order Reborn: After the Battle of the Triskelion, SHIELD is disbanded and reformed into a new organization: BRIDGE, the Bureau of Reconnaissance, Intelligence, Development, and General Enhancement, and the bridge between normal and weird.
  • Out-Gambitted:
    • Despite the Grapplers' attempts to double-cross HYDRA, Baron Strucker saw through their ploy.
    • Samuel "The Leader" Sterns always planned to betray HYDRA and abscond with most of their tech, but Baron Strucker saw it coming from a mile away and made sure everything the Leader was teleporting away was replaced with explosives.
  • Passing the Torch: Along with the above Order Reborn, Director Fury steps down as Director of SHIELD and Maria Hill is instated as Director of BRIDGE.
  • Perception Filter: When he first arrives into the world and starts looking for information about the Marvel world he's in, Mahmoud wonders why he can't find anything about mutants or the X-Men, but then something comes over his mind and makes him dismiss it as unimportant.
  • Percussive Therapy: When Dial tells Bruce that HYDRA has abducted his cousin Jennifer, he has to transform into Fourarms and beat some sense into the Hulk.
  • Pokémon Speak: The only thing the HYDRA monstrosity called the Wendigo can say is his own name.
  • Powered Armor: Iron Man and War Machine are a given, but Mahmoud goes one step further, using Jury Rigg and Upgrade to create armorsuits for everyone, superheroes and agents alike. See Adaptive Armor above for specifics.
    • Jury Rigg's first armor project is to build the Rescue Armor for Pepper.
  • The Power of Friendship: Discussed between Natasha and Ruby Hale when talking about what makes Steve so powerful and successful. Ruby views him as idealistic, naïve and predictable, but Natasha corrects her by saying that Steve's idealism is what allows him to gain and keep other people's trust, and it is what makes it so that no matter how many times he's knocked down, he'll always get back up and keep on coming.
  • Reed Richards Is Useless: Dial is actively working to avert this; as the world gets weirder, more people with abilities show up, and Earth becomes more appealing on the cosmic scale, he plans to use all the resources available, including Jury Rigg and Upgrade's powers, to upgrade Earth's technology to match it. Giving all BRIDGE agents Adaptive Armor is the first step.
    • He also shares his rather uncomplimentary thoughts to the Wakandan Royal family about their country's choice to hide their technology away instead of sharing it.
      Dial: You turned your back on the rest of the world. But I won't have BRIDGE do the same.
    • Played with when Tony asks why he doesn't want Upgrade or Jury Rigg tech in a potential spaceship to scout out threats to Earth- while it is advanced, a) Any ship out there they'd want to be able to be fixed with human hands rather than stranded a thousand light years from the nearest service stop, and b) Jury Rigg tech is... unpredictable, as shown when the DNA sequencer will randomly show Godzilla films or dye people's hair.
  • Refusal of the Call:
    • Dial reaches out to Jessica Jones and Luke Cage, but both decline his invitation.
    • Similarly, when BRIDGE approaches Hank Pym after making contact with his old associate Bill Foster, he slams the door in Coulson's face.
    • Dial calls out Wakanda on this in the face of extraterrestrial and world-ending threats.
  • Remember That You Trust Me: Maria Hill has a conversation with her predecessor director Nick Fury to this effect, about why he chose her for the job if he doesn't trust her. Fury acquiesces and starts sharing a few secrets.
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: Dial did this one time during his first few months vigilante-ing in New York, when he failed to prevent a woman from being raped and beat her attackers within an inch of their lives. Later, while heading to break up a Russian Sex Slave ring with Daredevil, he tries to remind himself to not go overboard again.
  • Robot Maid: Applies when JARVIS reveals his new dedicated robot body. Complete with butler suit.
  • Sadistic Choice: Baron Strucker pulls this during his Villain: Exit, Stage Left after the final HYDRA confrontation - Dial's group (containing the defecting Scarlet Witch and the Grapplers) can either stop him, or go after John Garrett, who is in the process of spiriting away Quicksilver, Letha and Jennifer Walters in another direction.
  • Samus Is a Girl: In this universe, the pilot of the Crimson Dynamo suit (which is bulky and deep-voiced) is Galina Nemirovsky.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!:
    • Tony walks into a room where Thor, Bruce and Coulson are all moping about their fraught love lives. He turns around and walks right out.
    • After a Ship Sinking conversation with Skye, Mahmoud abruptly walks off because he is in no mood to deal with an Asian chef named Mr. Foom.
  • Secret Test of Character: When Dial delivers the offer to Wakanda to join BRIDGE in the endeavor to protect and improve the world, T'Chaka delivers a counteroffer for Dial to join them instead, offering riches, land and women for his exclusive help. Dial sees through his test instantly.
  • Ship Tease:
    • Mahmoud is getting a little of this with Skye. Unfortunately, due to Skye's recent issues with Ward, it doesn't work out.
    • Creel has a few moments with Isabelle Hartley. Eventually, the two start sleeping together.
    • Early on in the story's lifespan, some of the fans made a hobby out of pointing out unintentional Ship Tease(es) with Black Widow and Dial.
    • Maria Hill and Sam Wilson start to bond over being thrust into leadership roles from the second-in-command post.
  • Shout-Out: Seeing as how the story is a self-insert fic, and the author is quite active on the Sufficient Velocity and Spacebattles forums, there are quite a few shoutouts.
  • Skilled, but Naïve:
    • Ruby Hale counts, since she has all the deadly skills and mindset of a trained assassin, but so little real-world experience that Natasha views her as adorable.
    • A few of his hero colleagues are starting to view Dial as this after working with him for some time. For all that Mahmoud is powerful, personable, and genuinely heroic, he still isn't a soldier and has trouble following orders to the letter, isn't as disciplined, and still goes off on vigilante runs without informing anyone, which could get him killed if he isn't careful.
  • Snark-to-Snark Combat: While testing each other's strength with a measurement machine, She-Hulk and Letha can't help but be catty to each other to spur the other on.
  • Spotlight-Stealing Squad: Tony Stark is his usual attention-grabbing self at one of his regular gala events, where he gives a speech in the place of the guy who was actually supposed to give a speech. Much to Pepper's exasperation.
  • Spring-Loaded Corpse: With a dash of Waking Up at the Morgue:
    • War Machine, Mockingbird and Nomad enter a room filled with Hammer drone remains that HYDRA was attempting to piece back together, only for the one they're inspecting to jerk back to life. Though they gun it down, it's quickly followed by its fellows trying to follow their programming to kill the allies of Tony Stark.
    • When BRIDGE comes to Russia to assist with a situation, a handful of half-monkey half-robot corpses that were collected turn out not to be corpses after all.
  • Straight Man and Wise Guy:
    • When seeing Victoria Hand and She-Hulk interact, Dial starts thinking of sitcom ideas with the former as the serious one and the latter as the party girl.
    • This becomes the first dynamic between the The Leader, and his rescued, irreverent ally Ulysses Klaue.
  • Swiss Army Gun: Using his alien know-how and all the genius assistance available, Dial's developed Weapon Gear, now standard issue for all BRIDGE Elite agents. The Model 1 handgun can switch between bullets and ICER rounds; the Model 2 BCW rifle is similar but has more variety, ranging from laser to repulsor fire and shotgun and automatic configurations.
  • A Taste of Defeat: Dial had been on a winning streak in actual fights ever since arriving in this world, but the streak is finally broken when Ulik the troll beats him as Fourarms like a drum. The fact sticks in Mahmoud's craw for quite a while after, and he doesn't like it.
  • Terror Hero: Snare-Oh!Dial drops into this alongside Daredevil as they go on a nighttime patrol, and end up breaking up a sex slave trade in progress. Fittingly, that chapter was published on Halloween.
  • Teeth-Clenched Teamwork:
    • This is what Dial tries to teach to the Hulk and Bruce Banner during his Percussive Therapy session with them, as they need both the Hulk's power and Bruce's logic to save their cousin Jenny, no matter how much they dislike each other. Indeed, their mutual hate for one another is what finally triggers the Hulk's famous rage-strength boost during his next encounter with Blonsky.
    • A few other heroes with the Headbutting Heroes relationship have this problem - see the trope above for specifics.
  • Tempting Fate:
    • After BRIDGE successfully rescued Audrey Nathan and driven HYDRA off, Simmons comments that they should simply attack and get it over with. Guess what happens next?
    • Ulysses Klaue thinks that today will be a good day, immediately censures himself for thinking it, then relaxes when nothing happens. Cue Black Panther.
    • When asked to head off to Russia for an assignment, Mahmoud asks how cold it could be in April.
  • That's What She Said: She-Hulk comments that Fourarms is a big one when she first sees him, and when Thor says the same thing, Dial says the line. He immediately regrets it.
  • Token Evil Teammate: The Winter Guard has two, Kraven the Hunter, who is the only one who relishes being a potential guard against the Avengers, and Chernobog, a literal God of Evil that was put on the team for his divine powers.
  • Transformation Name Announcement:
    • BRIDGE Agents or heroes wearing the catom-based Armor Gear say their codename to materialize it.
    • Dial copies Ben in doing this. And later, Hulk copies him.
  • Trash the Set: The SHIELD Bus gets destroyed at the hands of Red Ghost's cybernetic monkeys.
  • A Twinkle in the Sky: What happens to Ulik when Thor and Iron Man hits him with a combination attack, much to Hill's chagrin as it meant they lose track of him.
  • Ungrateful Bastard: After Upgrade!Dial removes a Centipede-enhanced HYDRA agent's nanites to save her life after her HYDRA handlers try to self-destruct her, all she does is scream about how he stole her powers once she recovers.
  • Villain: Exit, Stage Left: The Red Ghost manages to escape in a rocket after BRIDGE and the Winter Guard manage to foil his plans.
  • Villainous Breakdown: Blizzard pulls out all the stops after Iron Man and Upgrade!Dial eliminate Blackout.
  • Welcome to My World: After Pepper makes the decision to do more and protect people in her Rescue suit, Tony finally understands what she feels about him going out, doing good, and getting shot at in the process.
  • What a Piece of Junk: War Machine, Mockingbird and Nomad come across a HYDRA prototype armorsuit drone that was cobbled together from Tony's Igor suit, Ivan Vanko's Whiplash suit, and the Iron Monger, held together with Chitauri tech. Despite looking and acting like a clunker, it still gives the group a run for their money.
  • Why Don't You Just Shoot Him?: During a council meeting in Wakanda, where T'Chaka and his advisors discuss Dial's intent to improve the world's technology and his invitation to bring Wakanda into the fold (which would mean exposing their secrets), one council member gives a cynical suggestion to eliminate Dial before his developments surpass Wakanda's. Even if Dial's invitation wasn't to Wakanda's benefit, T'Chaka pragmatically points out that taking into account Dial's power, versatility and connections with the Avengers, a successful assassination would require so much of their power that it would reveal their capabilities to the world anyway.
  • Willfully Weak: Black Widow orders Dial to not use his alien forms during their assault on the suborned SHIELD Academy, both to conserve its power until they encounter a major threat, and so that Dial doesn't use the altered mentality of his aliens as an escape from dealing with his first kill.
  • Wonder Twin Powers: Whatever was done to Blizzard and Blackout to boost their powers seems to grow stronger the closer their physical proximity to each other.
  • Why, Thank You, X!: When Tony is looking for a refill, JARVIS obliges. Tony thanks him... then realizes JARVIS doesn't have a body to pour him one.
  • Wrestler in All of Us: The Hulk starts using wrestling moves, having picked it up from Rath.
  • Wrong Genre Savvy: Mahmoud has only knowledge of the general Marvel universe, and the MCU doesn't exist as a franchise in his world, making him rather bemused by all the famous actors portraying the Marvel characters he knows.
    • As an example, he knows Scarlet Witch as the reality-warping badass in the comics, so he is slightly surprised at how scared she is when he first meets her.
    • It's implied early on that something has put a Perception Filter on his mind, making it so that he has no conscious memory of the MCU (or even certain aspects of the main Marvel universe, as he very quickly loses interest and forgets about the X-Men after trying to look them up). It comes up in small ways, but it's telling that he accidentally quotes one of T'Challa's lines from Black Panther to T'Challa himself, using the same accent that the character in the movie did... and T'Challa was the only one of the two who noticed he did that. It should be noted that a similar censor was put in place in his story Adorable Murderbeasts (though that censor was about the show Young Justice, not the MCU, obviously).


Example of: