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Fanfic / Worm: Artifice

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Worm: Artifice is a Worm Massive Multiplayer Crossovernote  fanfic by NathanAllenBaker.

The Tinker Artificer moved to Brockton Bay in 2005, serving as a member of the PRT.In 2011, she is requested to investigate the circumstances of one Taylor Hebert's hospitalization. The world is never the same afterward.

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A compilation of background information that is not necessarily mentioned in the story, but is common knowledge can be found here.


This fic provides examples of:

  • Adaptational Badass:
    • Many characters who were normal humans in their respective franchises are parahumans in this fic.
    • In canon Madison was a normal human here after having her drink spiked with a Cauldron vial she becomes a insectoid Case 53 with the power to create giant bug monsters.
    • In canon Emma was a normal human here after taking a Cauldron vial developes powers similar to canon Echidna.
  • Adaptational Sexuality:
    • In canon Taylor Hebert is straight, here she is gay.
    • In canon Lisa Wilbourn/Tattletale is asexual, here she is bisexual.
    • In canon there's no indication what Lustrum's sexual orientation was, here she is confirmed to be gay.
    • In canon Madison Clements showed no signs of being interested in girls, here she does.
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    • In canon Jeanne/Citrine is straight, here she only shows interest in other women.
    • In canon there is no indication what either Emily/Spitfire or Elle/Labyrinths sexual orientations are, here they are both attracted to women.
    • In canon Tammy/Rune showed no signs of being interested in girls, here she is.
    • In canon Victoria Dallon/Glory Girl is straight, here she is bisexual.
    • In canon Max Anders/Kaiser is straight, here he is bisexual.
    • In canon Brad Meadows/Hookwolf showed no signs of being interested in men, here he is.
    • In canon Hannah/Miss Militia never showed any interest in women, here she does.
    • In canon Kayden Anders/Purity is straight, here she is bisexual.
    • In canon there's no evidence that any of The Travelers are LGBTQ+, here most of them are.
      NathanAllenBaker: For shipping purposes, I'm portraying all of the Travelers except Trickster as generally queer, and that except for Noelle and Trickster, they've all slept together at some point. Luke prefers guys, Cody leans towards the middle of the Kinsey scale, Jess also prefers men. Oliver prefers women, while Sundancer's interest in women is mostly limited to Jess, Noelle and certain celebrities.
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    • In canon Emma showed no signs of being interested in girls, here she's in a sexual relationship with clones of Brian and Sophia.
    • In canon Dennis/Clockblocker showed no signs of being anything other than straight, here he is bisexual.
    • In canon Ashley Stillons/Damsel of Distress/Swansong is straight, here she is bisexual.
    • While in canon there were Les Yay moments between Amanda and Lily there was no proof that they were actually attracted to women, here they are and are in a relationship.
    • In canon Richard Hendricks never showed any interest in men, here he does.
    • In canon Jared Dunn was Ambiguously Bi, here it’s less ambiguous and does show interest in men.
    • In canon Ligeia showed no signs of being interested in women, here she does.
    • In canon Fortuna/Contessa showed no signs of being interested in women, here she used to date Karen/Miss Numbers.
    • In canon Paris Geller was straight, here she is gay.
    • In canon Dinah Alcott showed no signs of being interested in girls, here she does and has a crush on Missy/Vista.
    • In canon Rory Gilmore was straight, here she is gay.
    • In canon Dani Powell showed no signs of being interested in women, here she does.
    • In canon Malcolm Bright showed no signs of being interested in men, here he does.
    • In canon Leigh Patterson showed no signs of being interested in women, here she does.
    • In canon Ainsley Whitly showed no signs of being anything other than straight, here she is bisexual.
    • In canon Monica Hall never showed any interest in women, here she does and used to date Herbie.
  • Age Lift: In canon it's never specified how old Labyrinth and Spitfire are beyond the fact that they're both young, in this fic they are 20 and 22 respectively.
  • The Alcoholic: Carol Dallon
  • Big Creepy-Crawlies: After Madison becomes a case 53 she gains the power to create giant bug monsters.
  • Cast Full of Gay: Between Herberta/Artificer (who is a lesbian), a few canon gay characters, and various canon characters who have undergone Adaptational Sexuality this fic has no shortage of LGBTQ+ characters.
  • Content Warnings: Several chapters have these.
    • Chapter 22: Ramifications 4.1: Content warning for alcoholism, mild (but insidious) homophobia and implied verbal abuse.
    • Chapter 24: Ramifications 4.3: Content warning for what could be called a hate crime.
    • Chapter 26: Interlude 4.a-Herberta: Content Warning for a homophobic slur, general homophobia and abusive parenting.
    • Chapter 32: Tranquility 6.1: Content Warning for characters joking about sleeping with Nazis along with some sexual innuendo and mild nudity.
    • Chapter 33: Tranquility 6.2: Content Warning for mentions of pedophilia.
    • Chapter 47: Disruption 8.1: Content Warning for a disturbing nightmare at the beginning.
    • Chapter 48: Disruption 8.2: Content Warning for mention of an attempted date rape.
    • Chapter 73: Infiltration 11.3: Content Warning for discussion of drug addiction.
    • Chapter 79: Interlude 12.a-Ashley/Victoria: Content warning for discussion of a hate crime, emotional issues and Ashley's low self-worth.
    • Chapter 83: Interlude 12.b-Lily Reynolds: Content warning for choking kink.
    • Chapter 91: Interlude 13.b- Karen: Trigger warning for ableist language.
    • Chapter 95: Interlude 14.b-Millie: Content warning for anti-Asian slur.
    • Chapter 151: Groundbreaking 20.1: Warning, Roger Furlong is in this chapter, so there will be slurs and offensive language.
    • Chapter 155: Interlude 20.a-Catherine: Content Warning for Selina Meyer's parenting, which, if anything, is worse than in canon.
    • Chapter 156: Groundbreaking 20.5: Again, Roger's in this one, so slurs and swears abound.
  • Death by Adaptation:
    • Skidmark dies earlier in this fic then he did in Canon.
    • In canon Nilbog survived all the way to the sequel, here he is Killed Offscreen by Panacea.
    • Dorothy/Night and Geoff/Fog are both killed by Kaiser.
    • Stormtiger never died in canon, here he does.
    • Crusader, Victor, and Othala are Killed Offscreen. The first two having never died in canon and the third having died much later in canon.
    • Melody Jurist/Cricket never died in canon, here she does.
    • During the Leviathan attack quite a few people died some of whom either survived canon worm or died at a latter time.
      • Didn't die in canon: Assault, Dauntless, and Menja.
      • Died at a latter point in canon: Battery, Lady Photon, Oni Lee, and Leviathan.
    • In canon Cody/Perdition was sold to The Yàngbǎn by Accord after he caused an incident with Echidna, here Accord just killed him.
      • Subverted in Accord's interlude when it's revealed that while Accord did kill Cody it didn’t stick. He now keeps Cody in a secret chamber in his office where he constantly tries to permanently kill him.
    • In canon Eidolon is killed during Golden Morning, here he dies years before the start of the story.
    • In canon The Simurgh survived all the way to the sequel, here she died before the story even started.
    • In canon Francis Krouse/Trickster dies during Golden Morning, here he dies sacrificing himself to give the heroes and his teammates time to save Noelle.
    • In canon Gary Walsh never died, here he is shot and killed by the Undersiders.
  • Dies Differently in Adaptation: In canon Skidmark dies from dropping into spinning propeller blades, here his head explodes from a implanted Bakuda bomb.
  • Disabled in the Adaptation: Karen Wynn is mute while her canon counterpart wasn’t.
  • Double Standard: Herbie points out that when Armsmaster acts arrogant people like him, but when Swansong acts the same way people call her a “a stuck-up bitch.” This trope is even name dropped in a discussion between Herbie and Rory/Triumph.
    “So people think she’s arrogant. Who cares?” she replied. “Besides, people think Armsmaster’s arrogant, and they love him.”
    “Colin’s a guy.” Rory retorted. “There’s a different standard. You of all people should know that.”
    “I’m well aware of sexist double standards regarding how women assert themselves, Rory. I did want to be an engineer before I triggered.” Herberta shot back.
  • For Want of a Nail:
    • Leviathan attacks Boston instead of Brockton Bay. Also Leviathan dies there while in canon it survived.
    • Behemoth attacks Libreville instead of New Delhi. Also Behemoth survives the attack while in canon it was killed by Scion.
  • Gas Leak Cover-Up: To cover up the fact that Madison has become a Case 53 the Wards make it seem like the reports about the giant bugs she created were just hallucinations caused by a gas leak.
  • Gender Flip:
    • Danny Hebert is Danica "Dani" Hebert.
    • Theo Anders is Thea Anders.
    • Kurt Wynn (AKA The Number Man) is Karen Wynn.
    • In canon Jess is a guy, here she is a girl.
  • Incompatible Orientation: Dinah has a crush on Missy, unfortunately Missy is as Dinah puts it boy crazy.
  • Love Triangle: Vicky is dating Dean and she has a crush on Ashley. Neither Dean or Ashley are antagonistic to each other and Dean even tells Ashley that she is welcomed to try and ask Vicky out. It ends with Dean breaking up with Vicky so she can be with Ashley.
  • Massive Multiplayer Crossover: This fic is a crossover between Worm and thirteen different franchises.
  • Named by the Adaptation:
    • Bakuda's full name is Vivian Song.
    • Regent's full name is Alec Blanc.
    • Iron Rain's first name is Eva.
    • Battery's first name is Jane.
    • Rune's full name is Tamara Hulmann.
    • Accord's full name is Harold Norton.
    • In canon Dinah Alcott's parents were unnamed, here their names are Henry and Meredith Alcott.
    • Ligeia's first name is Maya.
    • Mrs. Geller's full name is Elleanor Geller.
    • Narwhal's first name is Elaine.
    • Amanda's full name is Amanda Vasil.
    • Flechette's full name is Lily Kimura.
  • Official Couple:
    • Taylor and Lisa start dating in chapter Investigation 1.3.
    • We find out that Emily/Spitfire and Elle/Labyrinth are a couple in chapter Combustion 5.2.
    • Dani and Herberta become a couple in Interlude 5.a- Herberta.
  • Politically Incorrect Hero: Carol Dallon aka the hero Brandish is a homophobe who at one point called Herberta a dyke to her face. Best summed up by the author from the ao3 comment section:
    NathanAllenBaker: Carol doesn't necessarily see gay people as less-than, but more of as inherently flawed in some way. She sees Herberta as promiscuous, owing to the fact that Herberta was engaging in a fair bit of casual sex around when they met, for reasons that will be revealed later. She sees Amy as a deviant, because she had a crush on Vicky. She basically finds character flaws in gay people she meets and acts like it's that flaw is what she's judging them. She does slip into overt homophobia, but rarely enough that she can pretend she isn't homophobic.
  • Redemption Equals Death: Zigzagged, after Francis/Trickster sacrificed himself Noelle only focuses on his positive traits, while Marissa doesn’t think that his sacrifice washed away his negative traits.
    Noelle: So, Francis is dead?
    Marissa: Yeah, he went off and threw his life away to prove how much he cared about you. Fucking narcissist.
    Noelle: Mars, I know you didn’t like that we were dating, but Francis didn’t deserve that. He did care about me.
    Marissa:And only you! I had to do this behind his back because he was so paranoid he would have stayed with Coil when it was clear we were being strung along.
    Noelle: He was trying to do what was best for me!
    Marissa: So was I! It pisses me off that he made himself a martyr and you’re crying over him when all he did was be a possessive asshole.
  • Related in the Adaptation:
  • Sex Slave: After Emma gets the power to make clones of anyone she touches that will do anything she wants them to she makes clones of Brian and Sophia that she uses for sex.
  • Shout-Out:
    • In chapter Synthesis 9.2 a character named Jane appears whose power is she can sense other peoples emotions by hearing them as music.
    • In Interlude 19.a-Narwhal we get Zodiac a group of clones of Vicky/Glory Girl who the author admits are shout outs to the Pandora clones.
      NathanAllenBaker: After reading the fic Atonement, I kinda fell in love with the character of Pandora, Amy's Echidna clone hive-mind. So, I decided to put my own spin on it, except with Vicky instead. They're less alien than Pandora, behaving more like a dysfunctional family.
  • Spared by the Adaptation:
    • Dean/Gallant survives the battle against Leviathan.
    • Behemoth isn't killed when it attacks after leviathan.
  • Time Skip: Tranquility 6.1 takes place two months after the previous chapter.

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