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Fanfic / Top Dog

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On the southeast fringe of the Rahavi'therata galaxy, there is an insignificant-looking little star system known to the universe as Tars Sahal'dat and known by many of its inhabitants as Sol.

Top Dog is a Mega Crossover fanfic by Doghead Thirteen. It hypothesizes a galactic history and society that approaches All Fiction Is True status, and uses it as the setting for stories that follow the cast of one canon interacting with this world. The universe is epic in scope and the writing does a good job of communicating it; even when the current story follows a small slice of it, the sense of big things happening in the background is there.

Top Dog refers to the entire universe and shared background, and there is no one main story. Instead, there are three legs, each essentially following one canon and acting as a rather extremely odd but more conventional fanfic for that canon—at least so far. Word of God is that as the stories progress they will start having stronger effects on one another. The stories are:

  • Biker Half, which is Ranma with a Nerima that is, by legal arcana, its own country fully owned and ruled by Soun Tendo, ruler of the Asinara clan of the Amerai, which was long ago plunged into war with the Saotome clan by his father's insanity. After his father's assassination (at the hands of a certain magi mercenary), he entered a deal with Akira Saotome, the seventy-thousand-year-old lord of Clan Saotome, to end the fighting by marrying a child of his with Akira's Named heir, who just came back from a long trip bearing a certain shapeshifting curse. Available here.
  • Enter the Fnords, which is Harry Potter with the Hogwarts Collegium Arcanum instead of the School of Witchcraft and Wizardry; Hogwarts is, as the name suggests, a college, and the best school of magic in the galaxy, making it one hell of a political football and strategic asset for the warring states of galactic politics. Follows Hermione Granger, the most powerful sorceress ever born and considered fifth on the universe's list of Top Ten Most Dangerous Weapons, as she enters Hogwarts, tries to cope with the villainy-upgraded Magi politics which deny those born of nonmagical parents any rights whatsoever, and meets Harry Johnson, the Crazy-Prepared badass Anti-Hero Voluntary Shapeshifting Time Travelling mercenary who started using fake names at the age of sixteen when he noticed that being known as Harry Potter, the sort-of-killer of the galaxy's most notorious terrorist, led to people shooting at him on occasion. Currently in the middle of the second book; constitutes multiple stories, which are the 'Harry Johnson' titles listed here.
  • A Fox in Tokyo, which is Naruto in a Konohagakure that lives under the surface of Soun Tendo's Nerima. Naruto Shinra Namikaze, known as Uzumaki, grew up under constant ANBU guard against those who would have killed him for hosting the Kyuubi. Having been essentially raised by his special-forces guardians, in particular one ANBU Hound with white hair and one odd eye, he graduates the Konoha Ninja Academy to find a familiar face waiting as his sensei. Available here.

The stories share the experience of seeing familiar settings folded, spindled and mutilated to make their host canons fit the quasi-Grimdark universal structure. It's very good writing, and a novel concept carried off well. The author cites Undocumented Features as an inspiration, but instead of the Author Avatar Original Characters that make up the core cast of UF, he uses the protagonists from whatever work he's fitting into Top Dog at the moment. There are also minor crossovers, references and Shout Outs to everywhere; a list would be long, but includes at least Star Wars, Star Trek, Warhammer 40,000, Discworld, Girl Genius, The Matrix, David Weber, Sluggy Freelance, Tenchi Muyo!, Dune, Babylon 5, Asterix, the Cthulhu Mythos, Sailor Moon, and Transformers along with, of course, the three core continuities.

Provides examples of:

  • Academy of Adventure: Furinkan is one. Dr. Moreau and Dr. Frankenstein are their biology teachers, and the former high-energy physics building is closed down due to radioactivity from a reactor accident. Not to mention the Trebuchet Incidentnote . Also describes Hogwarts, though it's less because of ill judgment on the part of the teachers as because it's politically neutral and the best school of magic in the galaxy, so citizens of nations currently at brutal war attend concurrently.
  • Ancient Conspiracy: This is the flavor that the Amerai clans have from the perspective of the younger Saotomes and Tendos in Biker Half. Severely creeps out Nabiki, in particular, because Genma Saotome and Soun Tendo, both being involved deeply with the Clans, have no records at all in Earth-based systems.
  • Anti-Hero: Harry is a type IV-ish; his motivations are extremely screwed up, but he's certainly not nice, and his past actions include several Roaring Rampages of Revenge.
  • Bodyguard Crush: Hinata is due to be assigned as Naruto's full-time bodyguard due to the Hyuuga Legacy of Service to the Fourth's family. She has been notified, but he has not. Her attitude towards Naruto is similar towards that of canon, but she's also kind of insane.
  • Cluster F-Bomb: Lydia McKraken. The author took an ordinary dialog, with some Cluster F Bombs already, then quite literally inserted 'fucking' as every other word. The result is hilarious.
  • Cool Ship: Several. The Blink Dog is the coolest, most likely, especially once Harry gives them his high-end warp coil. Harry's alleged spelljammer is also cool.
  • Extended Disarming: Mu Tze, the master of the Art of Concealed Weaponry, does one when rummaging around for the shotgun he uses to jokingly threaten Ranma.
  • Extreme Mle Revenge: Harry, to several people including the Dursleys and Marcus Flint.
  • Fixed Forward-Facing Weapon: The most powerful weapon on most spaceships is the keelgun. Unusually, it's not generally a Wave-Motion Gun but a Kinetic Weapon. The League's headquarters are technically a ship (though it's more like a space station) and whose keelgun fires a shell a kilometer across.
  • Good is Not Nice: Harry, again. He's working in the long term for a galaxy less Crapsack World-ish, but his plan will cause major turmoil in the short term. He's a highly-priced Person of Mass Destruction mercenary who will take most any contract without regret, unless it's a hit on someone he cares about, in which case he will immediately kill the person who called it. For that matter, when he's contracted to deal with a traumatized innocent who happens to be an uncontrolled psychic starkilling bomb set off under stress, he several times expresses the desire to simply kill her and save the possibility of megadeaths wherever she went off rather than trying to safely transport her to the contractor's drop point.
  • Hammerspace, and, more specifically, Hyperspace Arsenal: Naruto has his storage seal, and the Amazons of Joketsuzo have their "Way of Hidden Weapons". It's even explicitly referred to as hammerspace, for the tendency of unpracticed users to pull hammers out of it instead of whatever they put in. An Amazon using the technique is able to pull a four-foot sniper rifle out of her sleeve, then stuff it back into her cleavage, and comments that the room she's in is unlikely to be able to hold all the concealed weapons she's carrying. Exaggerated when the current master of the art stuffs an autorickshaw into his coat.
  • In Name Only: Harry, kind of. His personality is almost, but not entirely unrelated to that of canon!Harry, but he does look kind of like canon!Harry might if you gave the Dursleys an upgrade from "abusive and neglectful" to "insanely evil", make him remain with them until the age of sixteen, put him through three years of a hellish siege in which there are about 100 survivors from the entire, large city under attack, then have the only person he ever cared about turn out to be a really evil infiltrator. Which, to be fair, would just about completely overwrite most people's personality (if they survived at all).
  • Legacy of Service: Clan Hyuuga has one to Clan Namikaze. When Hiashi finds out that Naruto is the son of the Fourth Hokage, he is rather upset with the Third that he let the Hyuugas believe that Clan Namikaze was extinct, which led to the ritual suicide of several Hyuugas. He then immediately plans to assign Hinata to him as servant and bodyguard, which, given Hinata's outlook, will have predictable results.
  • Locked Out of the Loop: The children of the Clans, about the Clans' existence, state, and, well, species. Both Xian Pu and Ranma are the Named heirs to clans, Xian Pu to Joketsuzoku and Ranma to Saotome. Neither know. It is the custom to explain "you are a werewolf" to people when they actually activate the ability.
  • Memory Gambit: Harry has apparently done this to himself. He has a very long-term plan to save the galaxy, but he doesn't remember much of it.
  • Mythology Gag / Bilingual Bonus: In Biker, Genma mentions a training manual for a technique called cat-fist, which is unbeatable but drives the user insane and makes them deathly afraid of cats. In Fox, Naruto gets usable photos of only two pages from the forbidden scroll: Kage Bunshin, his signature technique, and something called "neko-ken", which he reacts to as if afraid and decides firmly not to study.
  • Noodle Incident: The Trebuchet Incident in Biker, originally, though you get a few more details as to what actually happened later. It involved a trebuchet, the principal's car, and apparently some form of dessert.
  • Obfuscating Insanity: Luna. She's the same sort of Cloud Cuckoo Lander as in canon, but now has precognition and is working on the same level as Harry to try to increase her survival percentage in his plan.
  • Papa Wolf: Harry, most definitely. Screwing with someone he cares about is a really good way to get yourself painfully killed.
  • Person of Mass Destruction: Several.
    • First and foremost, Hermione herself; it's mentioned in the first book, then really made clear in the first summer intermission (Lunatic Scientist). It's also something of an Informed Attribute until that point, due to her lack of training; then during Lunatic Scientist, she lands Harry's Cool Ship, which has lost control in high atmosphere while under attack, using the levitation spell meant for broomsticks, and takes out a Rancor, which Harry-as-dragon was quite concerned about fighting, with one spell. Word of God about Hermione is that, with conscious attempts to overpower them as much as possible, her Lumos would leave permanent shadows on walls a la Hiroshima, and her Reducto would leave a crater a mile across. Lumos and Reducto in canon are, respectively, a low-level flashlight spell and a minor blasting spell. Later on we find out that Hermione is officially listed as Omega Five, fifth from the top on the known universe's list of Omega Weapons. The author clarified what that meant in a comment thread:
    Doghead Thirteen: These are the sort of weapons that prevent wars merely by existing, and, when they come up for grabs, wars begin over who gets them. They are equivalent to really freakin' massive nuclear warheads on the scale of, if one goes off, fallout and nuclear winter will do for everyone on Earth even if the blast doesn't ignite the planet's atmosphere.
    • The other examples of Omega Weapons given in the comment thread were Omega One (God Almighty, and that gives you the kind of scale this list operates on), what would be Omega Two if her existence were publicly known (Dawn Summers/The Key, in this setting described to be "a living space/time occilation bomb with enough oomph to frappe entire universes", and the officially listed Omega Four (the Silver Imperium Crystal).
    • Harry and other dragons and weredragons also count, since in dragon form they can fly through space faster than the vast majority of spaceships and have firepower equivalent to moderately heavy naval units.
    • Also, Naruto. His chakra capacity is bumped up from canon; Hinata says that when she looks at him with the Byakugan it's like looking at the sun, and he's capable of constantly sustaining hundreds of shadow clones, when the Hokage can do five at a strain.
  • Shout-Out: At least half the sources referenced pull in only a single Shout-Out rather than any more significant contribution.
  • Shrinking Violet: Hinata is this, as in canon, but with a strong added side order of insane. Naruto notes that her stutter goes away after about the fifth drink, when she's feeling uninhibited enough to stop being nervous.
  • Stealth Hi/Bye: The ninjas can turn invisible. This is kind of a staple. The Konohagakure are sworn to the Kuno line and act as their servants; Kodachi Kuno has only ever seen one (other than the Hokage when asked for) once, and she's constantly guarded by at least three of them due to their paranoia about another assassination. Kakashi, once he starts taking a more active role, severely freaks her out by addressing her from behind while she's looking in a mirror; she sees him when she turns around, but he ducks back whenever she looks at the reflection.
  • Time Abyss: The first Amerai created by the Hardaks still exist. Clan Saotome is still led by Akira, the first Saotome, who is seventy thousand years old; Kami Asinara, father of Soun Tendo, was of similar age, but went insane and was assassinated in the backstory.
  • Xanatos Speed Chess: Harry has The Plan. Luna is messing with it. They are the only two people we have seen to have been planning on this level.
    [N]o plan ever survives contact with the enemy, as the saying goes. Well, no enemy is going to survive contact with this plan.