Moira/Mercy

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Pairing
Pairing: Dr. Moira O'Deorain/Dr. Angela Ziegler
Alternative name(s): Moicy, Moircy (uncommon)
Gender category: Femslash, f/f
Fandom: Overwatch
Canonical?: non canon
Prevalence: popular
Archives:
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Moira/Mercy is a popular femslash pairing in the Overwatch fandom between Moira O'Deorain and Angela Ziegler.

Canon

Moira is a 48-year old geneticist from Ireland. During the times of old Overwatch, she published a controversial paper about DNA alteration that got her blacklisted by her peers but gathered the interest of Blackwatch, Overwatch's covert ops division. She worked there in the shadows until Blackwatch's activities were made public. In the current timeline she is working as the Minister of Genetics in Oasis while also being affiliated with the Talon organization.[1]

Moira was revealed as a playable character at Blizzcon 2017 on 3 Nov 2017[2], over one year after the game's official release.

Mercy is a 37-year old doctor and field medic from Switzerland. Unlike Moira, she's a pacifist and has high ethical standards for her research. Due to her past and current affiliation with Overwatch, she's working against Talon and thus against Moira.[3]

While it is unknown if Moira and Mercy have met directly in canon during their respective times in Blackwatch and Overwatch, they've been confirmed to work together or having worked together.[4] Within their shared research they're however divided by strong ethical conflicts, directly setting them up as scientific rivals. In the game they have two sets of sprays that, when combined by both characters, perfectly complement each other.[5] Furthermore, an in-game voice line exchange between the two indicates that Mercy doesn't hold Moira's questionable ethical standards in high regards:

Mercy: Describing your work as unethical would be a kindness.

Moira: But the true question is whether or not you can deny my discoveries... No. I didn't think so.

[6]


Fandom

Moira's release and her canonical connection with Mercy were greeted by fans with enthusiasm. The stark contrast between them opened the possibility of a Rivalship or a love/hate relationship, as it was already popular in Overwatch with Reaper/Soldier: 76 and Widowmaker/Tracer. Within days it spawned several fanarts, fanfics and community platforms and is still one of the most active femslash fandoms within Overwatch.

Moira's and Mercy's rivalship is indicated by several points:

  • While both are scientists, Mercy works in the name of peace and values ethics over progress. Moira however wants scientific progress at all cost and is willing to make sacrifices.
  • Both are healer characters in the game, yet Mercy focuses strictly on healing whereas Moira has notable damage abilities and is even required to cause damage to recharge her healing.
  • Mercy's more feminine and gentle looks and manners are a stark contrast to Moira's androgynous looks and her sharp personality.
  • One set of their combined sprays indicates a light vs. dark theme.
  • An old concept art of Moira shows her wearing a Valkyrie suit just like Mercy's with slightly different colors.

Kotaku noted that:

When you think about it, it’s not all that surprising. People ship, Spike and Buffy, Sherlock and Moriarty, Chuck Bass and Blair Waldorf, The Doctor and The Master, hell, even Tracer and Widowmaker. Tension of ethics and ideals, even with variances as great as the ones between Moira and Mercy, can sometimes be interpreted as sexual tension. As in the most recent season of Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, where the sexual tension between the amoral Nathaniel Plimpton and the altruistic (kinda) Rebecca Bunch has bloomed into a sexual relationship, fiction can be a place to explore the sexiness of totally fucking hating someone.

The same can be said of Moira and Mercy. Moira’s ruthlessness is at odds with Mercy’s selflessness. Although they are both healers, giving them a common ground, their motivations conflict with each other. This fundamental friction of personalities is a shipper’s bread and butter.

[7]

As of 25 Oct 2018, the Moira/Mercy tag on AO3 had accumulated 470 works within one year after Moira's release alone.[8] It is thus the fourth most popular femslash pairing in Overwatch, having overtaken several older established pairings. The ship continues to produce numerous fanarts on Tumblr and Twitter and is subject of two Fanzines. It has been well-received in the Korean part of the fandom as well, where it is called "MoiMei" (Korean: 모이메르 moimeleu from the Korean writing of Moira and Mercy).

Due to its sudden fame, the ship can sometimes receive Ship hate, most notably by other pairings involving Mercy. Moira's questionable ethics and affiliations are occasionally subject to criticism by Antis, just as the hate relationship that is often portrayed by Moira/Mercy fans. It is argued that Mercy would deserve a more wholesome relationship, whereas other shippers simply embrace the Hatesex potential between the two. It has also been pointed out that the enemy relationship between them is no different than in other Overwatch pairings like Widowmaker/Tracer or several other pairings in fandoms in general.

Notable Fan works

Fanfiction

  • Antipode by jarofbeees and Recourse which explores the possibility of Moira and Mercy working in old Overwatch together and growing closer (Rating: E)
  • Biological Imperative by RedundantHarpoons in which Moira and Mercy conceive a science baby (Rating: E)
  • Fucking and Champagne by Valpur, a classical example of Moira/Mercy Hatesex (Rating: E)
  • You, Again by ziegler, another case of the shippers' love for Hatesex (Rating: E)
  • Mending Bridges by antivanarmada in which Moira and Mercy meet again in Oasis years after being divorced (Rating: E)
  • Embracement by flylow, exploring Moira's personal history with her own sexuality and how everything fell into place with Mercy (Rating: E)
  • Complementary Colors by CrimsonRaven, covering mostly fluffy one-shots about Moira and Mercy's time in Overwatch together and later in the opposing factions that are Overwatch and Talon (Rating: M)

Fanart

Zines

Chemical (est. Dec 2018)

The first Moira/Mercy zine, "Chemical", was greeted with enthusiasm upon its announcement on Tumblr in 2018. It gathered over 70 applications for the fanart section alone.[9] Applications for fanfics and fanmixes were also accepted. It is organized by Hatsunemikuo and Neroakita and all proceeds are set to go to charity.

The organizers however have stirred some controversy about self-selected admission criteria. Applicants that had in the past supported pairings they deem "problematic"[10] or "toxic and abusive"[11] could be rejected without further explanation. This was followed by some M/M Ship wars on the Zine's blog, unrelated to Moira and Mercy themselves. Following this, some of the ship's artists have conveyed uncertainty about whether to apply for the Zine, whereas others were rejected without specific details.

During the production progress one of the two organizers went missing, leaving it unclear for a while whether the Zine would make it into production.[12] The issues were cleared and the Zine went up for preorders in Oct 2018.[13]

Close to the publication date, one of the accepted fanfic writers claimed to suddenly have been barred from the Zine, only after the whole fanfic had already been completely written out:

To make a long story short, this is a fic that was supposed to be for the Moicy Zine, "Chemical", a project I had been very eager to participate in from the start. At the last moment, instead of trying to consult me throughout the creation process of the Zine, the two admins decided last minute as they're setting the zine up for printing to let me know my fic was unacceptable and they had tried to edit it to make it more 'acceptable' for the zine. In the end, they could not do that and decided to scrap me and my piece altogether and tell me literally last god damn minute. [14]

Lipstick, Labcoats, and Lesbians (est. 2019)

A second Moira/Mercy Zine, "Lipstick, Labcoats, and Lesbians", was announced on Tumblr in Oct 2018.[15] It is run by Crpytid and Owlett and has no affiliation to the "Chemical" Zine. The list of the 12 contributing artists was released in the same month.[16]


Archives & Communities

References

  1. PlayOverwatch: Moira's Story
  2. BlizzCon 2017: New Details on Overwatch Hero Moira and Blizzard World Map
  3. PlayOverwatch: Mercy's Story
  4. BlizzCon 2017 Overwatch: What’s Next Panel Transcript
  5. New Mercy and Moira Sprays Live on PTR
  6. Moira: Quotes
  7. Kotaku: Overwatch’s New Character Leads To A Surprising Ship
  8. Archive of Our Own: Moira/Mercy
  9. Moicy Zine Chemical: Over 70 applications (June 2018)
  10. Moicy Zine Chemical: Admission criteria (May 2018)
  11. Moicy Zine Chemical: About problematic pairings (May 2018)
  12. Moicy Zine Chemical: How are things progressing? (Sep 2018)
  13. Moicy Zine Chemical: Preorders open (Oct 2018)
  14. Comment by HackedTig, one of the accepted and then excluded writers for the Moicy Chemical Zine (14 Oct 2018)
  15. Lipstick, Labcoats, and Lesbians Moicy Zine: Accepting applications (Oct 2018)
  16. Lipstick, Labcoats, and Lesbians Moicy Zine: List of artists (Oct 2018)