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Fan Fic / With Apologies to Harlan Ellison

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A Darker and Edgier reimagining (or perhaps Deconstruction) of the Team Fortress 2 universe by Cat Bountry, in which the old Administrator is replaced by an insane AI and things just get worse from there in the style of I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream by Harlan Ellison (hence the story title).

Read it here.

A fan-made sequel is also available here, by Dot-chan.

MASSIVE spoilers ahead. Beware.

With Apologies To Harlan Ellison provides examples of:

  • And I Must Scream: Inverted, despite being a tribute to the trope namer. The last thing Engineer does is open his mouth and scream.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Engineer kills all of his teammates in order to spare them from the Administrator's torments. Lampshaded by Demoman:
    Demoman: Ye come tae kill me too, eh?
    Engineer: You gonna make this hard?
    Demoman: At least ye weren’t lonely before. I should a’ suspected it was you who would snap. Ne’er trust th’ nice ones.
  • Body Horror: In so many horrible ways. Especially Pyrobeast and TwistySpy.
  • Cute Mute: The Scout, due to the Administrator ripping out his tongue.
  • Companion Cube: Soldier's shovel.
  • Expy: The Administrator is very similar to GLaDOS, only much more malicious and less comedic.
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  • Fandom Nod: Possibly the Pyro's gender bending, to the constant arguments about his/her gender.
  • Harmless Electrocution: Averted. Soldier is killed when he uses Shovel to yank out one of the Administrator's cables and is fried to death.
  • Head-Turning Beauty: Inverted. Pyro is transformed into a horribly exaggerated caricature of a woman, causing reactions of disgust rather than attraction from most of the team.
  • Heroic BSoD: Well, everybody, but the Sniper in particular has more or less given up on doing anything except laying there.
  • Jerkass: The Spy. It's really difficult to sympathize with his predicament when he shows little to no sympathy for the others himself.
    He hates us. Whenever Medic is crying over whatever torment he has had to endure, you can hear Spy laughing. And when he’s not laughing, he’s screaming.
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  • Killed Off for Real: The entire RED team except for Engineer.
  • Living Emotional Crutch: Heavy and Medic to each other.
  • Meta Twist: If you've read the original, you'll be expecting the story to follow the same groove. But unlike AM, the AI Administrator is lying about nuking the world, and the Engineer discovers a perfectly lively town nearby. Even the famous ending line is twisted: "I open my mouth. And I scream."
  • Mercy Kill: Inverted. Despite Engineer's apparent intentions, the way he kills his team-mates is less than merciful. Not to mention how it was all in vain anyway.
  • Neck Snap: How Engineer kills Pyro.
  • Off with His Head!: Spy's and Scout's deaths, courtesy of Shovel and Engineer.
  • Painful Transformation: Spy. And HOW. Pyro's later transformation is also implied to be quite painful.
  • Perpetually Protean: Apparently despising Spy worst of all, the Administrator inflicts the worst fate on him by making him into a real shapeshifter: not only is he perpetually transforming and unable to control it, but the constant process of growing, shrinking, expanding, contracting, melting and morphing causes him agonizing pain - to the point that he avoids walking because his legs break and reset with every step. Also, making eye contact with him is extremely difficult, for not only is his face changing constantly into everything from Richard Nixon to Frank Sinatra, but his eyes are described as "runny."
  • Rape Is a Special Kind of Evil: Discussed by Engineer when the Administrator offers the team a woman to "pass on their genetic material".
    I feel sick all over again. The rancid meat in my stomach probably plays a factor in this. I may have been trapped here for more than a century but the thought of possibly raping a lady is still abhorrent to me. Especially if she’s been tortured just like we have. Can I trust these men, my fellow prisoners, to feel the same way?
  • Sanity Slippage: After 112 years of being tortured by the Administrator, Soldier completely loses it, forgetting how to speak English and talking in gibberish to Shovel.
  • The Power of Hate: The only thing that has kept Demoman alive all these years, geared toward the Administrator.


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