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Fanfic / Exciting Opportunities

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Exciting Opportunities is a crossover fanfic between Warhammer 40,000 and Mass Effect 2 by Of Questionable Veracity on FanFiction.Net. The author has also posted the fic here on Archive of Our Own under the name JJMarmite. The first chapter was posted on April 15, 2019.

In an unexpected and highly unlikely turn of events, a catastrophic Warp breach from a crippled ship manages to fling a Rogue Trader — or rather, the youngest son of a Rogue Trader — through time and space to a universe quite unlike what anyone onboard is used to.

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They make the best of the situation.


Exciting Opportunities contains examples of:

  • Absolute Xenophobe: Jarrion can't even talk to an Asari banker on Illium about opening up an account without Stress Vomiting afterwards due to the "discomfort of such extended interaction with xenos". This gets slightly downplayed since he can understand other Rogue Traders working with xenos for the benefit of humanity, even though he still considers those same humans to be fools who are setting up their own downfall.
    • Played straight by the rest of House Croesus. Unlike other Rogue Traders, they only see aliens as something to discharge weapons at.
  • Arms Dealer: Shepard accuses Jarrion of being one after he sells lasguns to human colonists in the Terminus Systems, many of which end up in the hands of criminals due to trade or theft. Jarrion denies this by claiming that he only gave out civilian-grade weapons instead of the actual military-grade ones.
  • Bad Boss: The Eclipse spy in Chapter 24 is terrified of failing her boss and claims that her boss once tortured a lieutenant to death over the course of days for spilling her tea.
  • Cassandra Truth:
    • Jarrion initially has trouble getting Shepard to believe his claim of being from nearly 38,000 years in the future.
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    • When asked by the Citadel's delegates in Chapter 24 about the origins of the Assertive and who he works for, Jarrion happily starts to ramble about the Imperium of Man, including how it's led by a God Emperor, consists of a million worlds, and has a population larger than the every Citadel race combined. Given how wild Jarrion's claims are, none of the delegates actually believe a word he says and only humor him out of the belief that he is attempting misdirect them with disinformation and that they might be able to piece together the "real" truth if they let him talk for long enough.
  • Crafted from Animals:
    • The meeting room aboard the Assertive has a chair made out of the bones of an extinct xeno breed.
    • Jarrion also has a bone china tea set made from the bones of a xeno species that House Croesus wiped out.
  • Culture Clash: A lot of this arises between Jarrion and Shepard on various topics such as human-alien relations, the use of AI, and the Imperium being a state theocracy.
    • During the mission on Horizon, Jarrion stops the Collector cruiser from escaping with its cargo of human prisoners by having the Assertive fire on the ship, nearly destroying it. Given the Imperium's flippant attitude towards civilian deaths, Jarrion sees nothing wrong with getting the abducted colonists killed in the crossfire, and even considers accidentally killing them to be a mercy compared to what the Collectors have planned for them. Since Shepard comes from the Systems Alliance (which at least tries to act like it gives a damn about its people), she doesn't view the colonists as expendable and is outraged at Jarrion for almost killing the very people she was trying to save.
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  • Curb-Stomp Battle: The Assertive easily takes out the Collector cruiser on Horizon with a single shot from its prow-mounted energy lance.
  • First-Person Smartass: Shepard always has some snarky commentary that she inserts into the narration during the segments of the story which are told from her point-of-view.
  • Flock of Wolves: During the diplomatic banquet being held on Illium for Jarrion, Loghain eventually reveals through her telepathy that all of the waiters there are undercover spies sent by rival intelligence agencies. Since each spy had assumed that they were the only ones undercover, they are just as shocked to learn this as the guests and immediately pull guns on each other.
  • Mathematician's Answer: Inquisitor Loghain replies "Yes" when Jarrion asks her whether she's from Ordos Xenos, Malleus, or Hereticus.
  • The Mole: Shortly after being stranded in the Mass Effect universe, one of the Astropaths on the Assertive reveals herself to be an undercover Inquisitor assigned to spy on Jarrion for reasons unknown.
  • N.G.O. Superpower: House Croesus has so much wealth and influence within the Imperium's nobility that they can afford to have their own private army outfitted with infantry-grade weapons, maintain a fleet of powerful warships—including a Mars-class battlecruiser—and carve out their own little fiefdoms on the fringes of Imperial space.
  • Normal Fish in a Tiny Pond: Jarrion's ship, the Assertive, is an outdated Dauntless-class light cruiser that his family salvaged from an ancient battlefield and repurposed into an anti-piracy patrol ship for policing backwater colonies. However, it's only a light cruiser by the standards of 40K. Compared to the starships of Mass Effect, the Assertive is the largest warship in the galaxy and has armaments capable of taking out enemy dreadnoughts in a single shot.
  • Oh, Crap!: Jarrion has an epic one at the end of Chapter 35 when he finds out that his older brother Macharius has found out about the wormhole to the ME universe and followed Jarrion there in his own cruiser.
  • Our Founder: When Shepard and the Citadel delegates are brought aboard the Assertive, they come across a large relief sculpture of the Emperor of Mankind triumphantly standing over and stabbing a hydra-like alien with his Flaming Sword while holding a flagpole in his other hand. According to Jarrion, the artwork was an original feature of the ship from its time in the Imperial Navy.
  • Right Hand Vs Left Hand: Loghain lampshades this trope while observing the Flock of Wolves example listed above, noting how none of the intelligence agencies had bothered informing their delegates at the event that they would be sending spies.
  • Skeleton Motif: Being a citizen of the Imperium of Man, Jarrion naturally has a lot of skulls on his coat, rings, and all over the interior of his ship.
  • Sigil Spam:
    • Exaggerated with the interior of the Assertive, which is covered with skulls to the point where there isn't a blank space on the wall that doesn't have a skull on it. The first time that Shepard boards the ship, the first thing she notices aside from the Unnecessarily Large Interior is the sheer number of skulls.
    • According to Shepard, Cerebus is also guilty this.
      Shepard's POV: I understand that Cerberus wants to take itself super seriously and does have, you know, military origins and all that, but you'd think that a clandestine, widely-loathed and—let's face it—borderline-terrorist organisation would be less free-and-easy with just slapping its logo onto everything.
  • Sue Donym: In Chapter 23, Cerebus has a hotel room on Illium booked for Shepard under a fake name. Upon discovering that the pseudonym Cerebus picked out for her was "Miss Shepherd", Shepard lampshades this trope and wonders why they even bothered if it was going to be that obvious.
  • Telepathy: Loghain is a psyker who has the ability to read minds.
  • Title Drop: Occurs in Chapter 27.
    Jarrion: Exciting, exciting opportunities, yes. Wonderful stuff.
  • The Unfavorite: Jarrion was the unfavorite compared to his older brother, who his father claimed did everything wonderfully. While his father gifted his brother an entire fleet to go exploring the galaxy, Jarrion was only given one starship and told to stay behind to patrol their house's territory.
  • Unnecessarily Large Vessel: Lampshaded by Shepard, who finds it ridiculous that a 4.5-kilometer-long ship like the Assertivenote  is considered a light cruiser where Jarrion is from. She also finds the idea of a battleship seven kilometers long (which Jarrion offhandedly mentioned the Imperium has) overly excessive and thinks that the only reason to build one would be to show off.
  • White Sheep: In his home universe, Jarrion has cultivated a reputation for being the only reasonable Nice Guy in House Croesus, an extremely influential Rogue Trader house made up of iron-fisted aristocrats who view diplomacy as a weakness and raze entire planets for looking at them the wrong way.
  • You Wouldn't Believe Me If I Told You: Given how most of the galaxy already thinks she's crazy for believing in the Reapers, Shepard withholds a lot of information about her first contact with the Assertive in her report to the Citadel Council since she knows that even mentioning Jarrion's claim of being a time traveler would destroy what little credibility she has left.

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