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The more things change
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Hiding from the force that ravaged it 14,000 years ago, the alien supercomputer known as Se.Ra.Ph, the Moon Cell, quantum slides into another world where humanity advanced along a completely different axis, becoming a space faring civilization, one among many others. Still keeping to its objective of impartially observing the Universe, the Moon Cell, to familiarize itself with this new Alternate Universe, needs an agent to plant the necessary observation devices on Mars, where the ruins of ancient aliens called the Protheans are located.

And so, instead of being summoned to fight a Grail War, the Nameless Archer once known as Shirou Emiya, who spent idle years as a Counter Guardian contracted to the Moon Cell, is assigned this mission by Archimedes, the Heroic Spirit currently administrating Se.Ra.Ph. To avoid transgressing the unwritten law that dead people shouldn’t interfere with history, he is to be incarnated in the body of a young Street Urchin on Earth and find his way to Mars from there.

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A man of many regrets is thus given a second chance to walk among the living, and, with this new life, a way to come to terms with those regrets. What starts as a simple mission soon turn into a personal quest that would embroil the rest of the galaxy, including the fate of a certain red-haired woman…

Man off the Moon is a fanfiction by FiendLurcher, and a Fate/EXTRA/Mass Effect crossover, starring Nameless or No Name Archer, the EXTRA counterpart of the original Fate/stay night version of Archer that found peace in his ideal and fate as a nameless hero and a Counter Guardian of the Moon Cell, but did not go through the Character Development he gets in the game Fate/EXTRA, and so he is still wracked with doubts as to whether the path he took during his life was the correct one. And he now has to find his answer in the universe of Mass Effect, a galaxy of Grey and Gray Morality, conspiracies, and upcoming doom.The story can be found here. A discussion thread for the story, also full of extra materials, can be found here on SpaceBattles.com.

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Man off the Moon contains examples of the following tropes:

  • Action Girl: Shepard, obviously. But plenty of others in the work qualify, like Miranda Lawson, Rasa, Tela Vasir. the asari commandos, the Justicar, etc. Even Liara and Tyra, two regular civilians, get their moments to shine.
  • Alternate Timeline: Since the Moon Cell slid into another universe, none of the events of the EXTRA games ever happened, and no Moon Cell Holy Grail occurred. As a result, Nameless spent more than a century alone with his thoughts.
  • Always Someone Better: Shepard towards Emiya by the end of the boot camp, considering him a rival she wants to one day make run after her. Made even more poignant after his (fake) death, as she swears to live in honor of his memory. Another, more antagonistic example is Miranda towards Emiya (or "Emil" as she knows him), who Out-Gambitted her and is seemingly always one step ahead of her, leading her to decide It's Personal and thinking of herself as The Only One Allowed to Defeat You in regards to him.
  • Ascended Extra: Tyra T'Sanis, Professor Baliya Haphia, and Professor Henell are all canonical characters of Mass Effect, all briefly referenced in blurbs from the in-universe daily news feeds like Cerberus Daily News and other in-game Codices. In this fic, they are now major characters.
  • Big Damn Reunion: Ever since Shepard parted from Emiya at the end of the first arc, and ended up thinking he died on Mars, their eventual reunion has been one of the long-awaited and most hyped moment of the story. They finally do in Chapter 31.
  • Big Sister Instinct : As in canon, Miranda is protective of Oriana, even if only from afar and never meeting her. She almost shoots Emiya when she thinks he is involved in a hostage situation her sister is caught up in.
  • Bond One-Liner: Emiya at Synthetic Insights' party, before jumping off a terrace to escape Citadel Security and Alliance Intelligence forces:
    Emiya: "Officers, I'd love to stay, but I still haven't had the chance to try out the turian cuisine... So, if you'll excuse me."
    • His Catchphrase, "I am no one" also counts, as he tends to say it just before evading capture, even if he is actually genuinely answering queries about his identity (see Somebody Named Nobody below).
  • Boot Camp Episode: The first arc is one, taking place mostly in a facility in Massachusetts.
  • Bow and Sword, in Accord: Like in the game, Emiya's favorite weapon.
  • But for Me, It Was Tuesday: A trait of Emiya, carried over from both FSN Archer and EXTRA Archer, is that he tends
  • Call-Back: When shopping with Cassini and Shepard in Barcelona during their leave, Emiya explains to Shepard the practicality of dresses by offhandedly implying to having been attacked by someone who hid a weapon in her dress, which left a scar. Fast-forward to months later, Miranda attacks him the same way, having hidden a needle and a pistol underneath her form fitting dress.
  • Catchphrase: I am no one, usually said by Emiya after one of his cover is blown and people ask who he really is. He is also being completely sincere when saying that and not just being glib; see Somebody Named Nobody below.
  • Chronic Hero Syndrome: He wouldn't be a version of Shirou Emiya without one. One major point of the fic is him realizing that, thanks to his capabilities as a Heroic Spirit, he can actually be a genuine superhero in this universe, and save others without having to sacrifice the few as he sometimes ended up doing while alive.
  • Colony Drop: Hosin threatens to do this with his orbital station in order to reunite with his wife, but wasn't really planning to go through it. Unfortunately, Rasa hijacks it, and the station really goes on a collision course with Thessia, with the onlookers helpless to stop it. Emiya finally manages to stop it using Rho Aias to slow it down and explode it with Caladbolg, at the cost of his Spiritual Core.
  • Cutting Off the Branches: It's implied that Emiya meeting Shepard and befriending her pushed her off the Renegade path and onto the Paragon path of the game.
  • Digitized Hacker: Emiya eventually master Spiritual Hacking, a form of Technopath Post-Modern Magik of the EXTRAverse, allowing him to become this.
  • Distracted by the Sexy: In a Gender Flip of the usual trope, Miranda walks in on "Emil" in his underwear as he was changing into a hardsuit. She visibly freezes and can't even manage to say anything before he dresses himself. Following that, she asks him to strip again to take his measurements, but Emiya just gives her his measurements from his hardsuit readings, genuinely, completely oblivious as to her intent.
  • Door Stopper: The story is over half a million words as of this writing, and it hasn’t even reached the events of Mass Effect 1 yet.
  • Drives Like Crazy: In a bit of a Mythology Gag, the way Shepard drives the Mako her team acquires during the Shanxi exercise can be charitably described as "extremely reckless".
  • Eating the Eye Candy:
  • Fantastic Racism: Cerberus as usual, but especially Rasa and Kai Leng, the latter seemingly unable to even stand in the same room as an alien. Averted with Miranda, as in canon.
  • Gambit Pileup: The Thessia Arc quickly becomes one, between the Citadel forces led by Spectre Nihlus, the Special Tasks Group, the Serrice Guard, Matriarch Aethyta, Cerberus, and Spectre Tela Vasir working for the Shadow Broker, all looking to capture Redhax for their own reasons.
  • Go Out with a Smile: Emiya's original death. He died betrayed by an ally, and executed for war crimes, but was satisfied in the end and went to his death smiling. It's trying to reach that happiness again that drives Nameless' quest.
  • Ignorant of Their Own Ignorance: Archimedes has no idea that the Moon Cell transported itself to another universe. Word of God is that this is due to him relying entirely on the Moon Cell's continuing observation of their original timeline.
  • The Lad-ette: Shepard isn't all that feminine, and usually acts as One of the Boys, to the point that she thinks dresses aren’t very practical.
  • Last-Name Basis : This is the way Emiya and Shepard address each other, despite being close friends and even after having learnt each other's first names at the end of the Shanxi exercise. Shepard even says she finds her own first name, Jane, weird.
  • Loophole Abuse: Abused joyfully by Emiya and his team during the Shanxi exercise to net them advantages.
  • Magic from Technology: What Spiritual Hacking amounts to.
  • Metaphorically True: When introducing himself to Miranda as Emil Nguyen, he never actually lies about his background. He simply omits details, say half-truths, and word his statements in such a way that it can be interpreted differently.
  • Misanthrope Supreme: Archimedes, who only cares about numbers and not much else.
  • Noodle Incident: Whenever Emiya speaks of his past to Shepard, his vagueness on the actual details so his past can't be found false result in these.
  • Outside-Context Problem: The reason why the Citadel Council or any other faction in the galaxy can make sense of Redhax's abilities is because magic is something that doesn't exist in their universe. As such, they can only make guesses as to why he can do the things he do.
  • Papa Wolf: Matriarch Aethyta for her daughter Liara.
  • Red Baron: Redhax, the name given to Emiya as an infamous intergalactic hacker.
  • Sexy Walk: Miranda frequently does this, usually as a distraction.
  • Skewed Priorities: While prisoner of the house of an intergalactic criminal under siege by the Council forces and the Serrice Guard, Liara thinks now is the best time to debate Protheans and theorize about them with said criminal.
  • Somebody Named Nobody: Nameless introduces himself as I am no one, which is significant because he discarded his original name of "Shirou Emiya" when he became the embodiment of nameless heroes upon becoming a Heroic Spirit. When the Salarians analyze his words, which came out in the original Japanese as mumei (無銘), they find that it can mean many things; anonymous, nameless, lacking signature, but also 'I am not innocent'. Also, based on his words, the Illusive Man codenames him "Outis", based on the Greek hero Odysseus briefly assuming the identity of "Outis" (Greek for "no one") in The Odyssey as part of a ploy to outsmart the cyclops Polyphemus.
  • Space Station: The orbital station KX-0331, or "Hosin's Hangar", orbiting Thessia.
  • Street Urchin: As the fic uses the Earthborn origin for Shepard, she is an orphan and street urchin before joining the Systems Alliance. She was apparently known as "Fifth Street Shepard".
  • Two Aliases, One Character: Miranda is led to believe Emil Nguyen and Shirou Emiya are two different individuals and brothers, which Emiya is more than happy to let her believe. She eventually sees through the ruse.
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