nanobiology

i just love how varied and impressive the women of overwatch are??? here’s a condensed lore post for people who are interested, or who don’t play but want to, or who just love these ladies:

zarya was a russian weighlifting champion (whose record was 512, higher than any olympic athlete to date) who gave up the competitive scene to save her family and homeland.

d.va was, at at 16, the youngest #1 professional gamer who joined up with other professionals to defend her country. she is fiercely competitive and very loyal.

mercy is a 37 year old doctor, and was the head surgeon at a swiss hospital who singe-handedly pioneered a breakthrough in NANOBIOLOGY before joining overwatch to save lives, even though she is a pacifist and very anti-war.

symmetra is a (canon!) autistic and ocd desi woman, a genius, and grew up in extreme poverty. even though she’s very logical, she uses the technology she mastered (top of her class) at an academy in a way that is conducive to her culture through dance. she has a prosthetic arm. 

pharah is an egyptian high ranking military officer who hails from a long line of distinguished soldiers. her mother was a renowned sharpshooter and one of the founding members of overwatch. after she left the army with distinguished service, she became a top-secret security agent for a research facility in giza, the most important facility for protecting the innocents in the area.

mei is a chinese scientist that specializes in abnormal climate phenomena. her team died but she loves the earth so much she continued the entire team’s worth of research by herself so she could try and fix the ecological crisis before joining overwatch

tracer was the youngest person to be accepted into an experimental flight program, and uses the powers she gained from an accident during one of her test runs to defend people.

widowmaker was once amelie, the wife of an overwatch officer in charge of strategy against a terrorist organization. when they couldn’t get to him through their usual methods, they kidnapped and heavily brainwashed her, performed experiments and training to make her the ultimate spy, and sent her back as a sleeper agent. she got her name by by killing her husband, and now is the most effective agent of the terrorist organization.

and as a wonderful bonus, none of the woc are voiced by white women. their ages are varied, but they are all good, heroic people, and the diversity in this game is just SO so amazing.

mercy, reaper, and genji

Ok but consider: 

Genji, Reaper, and Mercy all operate using different developmental stages of the same medical tech. 

GENJI:

Mercy was Overwatch’s chief medical officer, and specialized in applied nanobiology. She developed the Valkyrie Swift Response Suit while there. At some point after the inception of Overwatch, she used this applied technology to save the life of Genji. 

Hanzo straight up thinks his brother is dead- whatever happened to him, it had to be pretty drastic for him to believe that he finished the job.

The same technology that created the VSR suit likely stabilized what was left of Genji Shimada, and his current “robotic” body is the direct result of a nano-tech suit being modified to bring a severely crippled man back from the brink and back into front-line fighting order. 


REAPER:

At some point after the Omnic Crisis, Gabriel Reyes organized an armed rebellion that ended in a massive explosion at the Overwatch Swiss headquarters. He was presumed dead, and yet, he too is still here, under the moniker Reaper. In game conversation between himself and Mercy suggests that she’s responsible for his current state.

Reaper’s abilities could come from an upgrade of the same technology that saved Genji’s life. Mercy, likely seeing what turmoil Genji’s new “body” put him through (and what sort of doctor doesn’t do follow ups?) likely poured her efforts into refining her nanotech- and Gabriel may have been the first field test of that (either through panicked necessity or through calculated risk). Cellular regeneration without a full body robotic sleeve keeping you alive. Only… 

Reaper’s cells are said to “decay and regenerate at an increased rate” (Overwatch Wikia), and it’s also said that the bodies of his victims seem to have undergone intense cellular degradation. So to add to the sheer edge factor, consider this:

Reaper is basically a nanotech vampire. The nanites that flood his system stimulate rapid regeneration- … and rapid decay as well. If Reaper wants to stay “alive” as he is now, he has to be in close proximity to things that his nanites can cannibalize for materials so his body doesn’t eat itself up in a non-stop biological overclock.


now, MERCY:

Years after the fact, Overwatch and its agents are recalled by Winston. 
When Mei and Mercy are on a team together in game, Mei expresses surprise, saying that Angela hasn’t aged a bit. Ostensibly, Mercy’s age is 37- for a woman pushing forty, she’s remarkably youthful. Now, Mei was frozen in cryogenic suspension, but Mercy hasn’t been exempted from the flow of time, so what’s her excuse? 

Well, nanotech. 

A doctor committed to helping people in dangerous parts of the world should have at least two- maybe three tricks up her sleeve, right? Passive healing, an unusually youthful appearance given her age: I’m willing to bet that Mercy’s perpetual youth is a late stage refinement of the same nanite technology that saved Reaper. Cellular regeneration without the horrifying side effects. For a master in her field, it wouldn’t surprise me in the least.

It’ll be interesting to see if more info on these guys gets released, and how well it’ll line up with my two cents. Of course, all this is extrapolation based on character relationships, so take it as you will!  |D

Something that’s been bothering me...

Mercy didn’t build Genji’s cyborg/bionic/robotic/whatever body. She’s a medical doctor, a surgeon, a pioneer when it comes to applied nanobiology, but she’s not a damned engineer. She saved his life and kept him alive until his new body was built, yes. But she had zero input on the actual creation of it. 

I’m seeing all these posts of ‘Mercy built Genji’s butt lol’ and just… No. She didn’t.

on shipping and being frank

listen, it’s fine if you want to ship PharMercery, but call it what it is—an age difference ship where an older woman is paired with the daughter of her former close colleague.

Mercy’s official bio states that “Ziegler rose to become the head of surgery at a prominent Swiss hospital before pioneering a breakthrough in the field of applied nanobiology that radically improved the treatment of life-threatening illnesses and injuries. It was this expertise that attracted the attention of Overwatch.” (emphasis mine)

When Mei & Mercy meet in-game, they sometimes have these exchanges:

  • Mei: Doctor Ziegler, I don’t think you’ve aged a day since I last saw you.
  • Mercy: And neither have you, Mei.
  • Mercy: Mei, you haven’t aged a day. What’s your secret?
  • Mei: Cryostasis. But I’m not sure if I’d recommend it.

Mei’s bio states that she “entered cryostasis in a last-ditch effort to survive until a rescue attempt could be made” and “it was years later when the team’s cryogenics chamber was finally discovered. Mei, still in hibernation, was the only survivor.” 

Cryostasis kept Mei the same physical age, even though a number of years had passed. Possibly even the three decades that passed between the creation of Overwatch and its dissolution. This is probably why she’s only listed as being in her early thirties, when her backstory as an Overwatch Eco-Watchpoint agent and Tracer’s dialogue that “you were such an inspiration to me!” (were! Past-tense! An inspiration, suggesting Mei did things before Tracer became a hero herself!) all suggest that she should be closer to Ana’s 60 years of age. 

Mercy is old enough that she was a surgeon—which takes over a decade of education, plus residency, even shaving off five or six years to account for exceptional genius—and on top of that was head of surgery. This was before she joined Overwatch.

I’ve seen people looking at this image and saying that Mercy looks like she’s a teen, here. But if she’s already part of Overwatch in this, then there’s no way that she’s a teenager chronologically. Compare the above shot, to this one from the Winston short:

The guys look about the same, age-wise, don’t they? Mercy’s very youthful appearance in the first one could even be put down to art style, in my opinion. Then there’s this:

Mercy contributed R&D to the creation of Ana’s biotic sniper rifle, which she’s carrying in the shot above. 

All of this shows that Mercy was already an accomplished professional, fully qualified surgeon making advancements in her field, and full member of Overwatch while Pharah was still a little girl—and was likely close to Ana’s own age, if not possibly older. It’s very possible she’d already been tampering with her own aging, if not outright negating her own status as a living being. Much has already been written about this possibility (dialogue w/ Reaper, the animation where she checks her own pulse to find nothing, the angelic/valkyrie themes, the above dialogue with Mei), but for some reason, people suddenly forget all of that when it comes to shipping her with Pharah.

I don’t object to Mercy being shipped with Pharah. They’re both grown-ass adults by the time of the game’s setting, and Pharah’s 32 years of age are enough time to mature that I personally wouldn’t say that a relationship with a much, much older woman is a problem. Hell, I’m a pervert when it comes to shipping, I actually like ridiculous age differences (after all, I’ve shipped Transformers with their human companions, and that’s a difference of thousands of years).

What I do object to, is the people who are ignoring all of this—all of Dr. Angela Zeigler’s backstory relative to Ana and Fareeha Amari—and acting as though Mercy’s stated age is chronological and absolute. I’ve seen so much in the way of fanworks where people take the physical age difference and act like the situation is anything other than “woman who is chronologically at least fifty years old, romancing her former close colleague’s daughter”.

You can have weird ships, just be honest about them, and don’t invent BS to excuse them when people point out what’s weird.