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Solarbird

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Coexistence Alpha: a responsive mobile and desktop overlay for Dreamwidth
[28 Apr 2018|04:15pm]

[ mood | ambitious ]

You Want Mobile Dreamwidth, Artie? You Got It:

Coexistence Alpha: a Neutral Good CSS patchset v0.842 BETA 1

As of 7 May 2017, *** WE ARE NOW IN BETA ***

This is a fully-responsive mobile-ready theme modification layer intended to make Dreamwidth's default style fully functional on both mobile and desktop devices wherever it can be applied. Features include journal and reading pages with near-zero horizon scrolling on mobile, including in long comment reply cascades, and more-comfortable comment creation, including on iOS.

To install: Choose style "Neutral Good" for "Practicality" in the journal style selector. Copypasta all of the linked CSS into the Advanced Seettings Custom CSS box, and save. (This may require a desktop device.) Apply "your style" to everything you can.

This build includes Navbar 2, which is mostly cosmetic but somewhat mobile-aware upgrade of the Navbar.

Revision history and bleeding edge code (there will be a beta2)Collapse )

Also posted to ソ-ラ-バ-ド-のおん; comment count unavailable comments at Dreamwidth. Please comment there.

at least it ended well
[22 Feb 2018|01:11am]

[ mood | okay ]

Tonight was terrible. Team after team of silent non-cooperators. I'm going to finish this fucking season in bronze, thanks to those shitheels.

But. Finally got a win tonight without having to report somebody on my own goddamn team, which was a good way to end the night. (Yeah, seriously, I had a win where this fucking jackass tore into me with bonus homophobia for me playing Widowmaker - all while I was golding in kills and objective kills. Fuck you, dickbag. That shit is why the first rule of playing Widowmaker is not to join team chat.) But that was not this game, and I did play Widow on defence here, too, and was golding in kills when I changed, again, and nobody said boo. BECAUSE I WAS IN CHARGE IS WHY.

Kill streak got to 19, I think, and when enemy team finally got me I thought we'd lost, but our D.va - who had been kind of low-key - got off an absolutely brilliant nerf just after I got back (heading into overtime) and we closed with a fucking TEAM KILL.

And that is why you never fucking give up in this game. You just don't.

Also may've set a new personal high in comp for objective kills in comp? That's what it said, anyway.

Golded in all the things, like y'ought, as Tracer, too.

(gfycat version)

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lol no, mccree
[21 Feb 2018|08:14am]

[ mood | amused ]

Overrun on point A almost immediately, we discover that our Lúcio is trolling - he’s turned off passive heals and is wandering around the map seeing how slow he can go. We proceed to lose, but not until after holding on point B for seven fucking minutes, with no healer, and me as a solo-tanking Orisa. [highlight video] Our Torb was great, constantly feeding me armour packs, trying to make up for it.

I survived that Reaper ult in the highlight video, too. They took me down with under 60 seconds left with a triple-ult-stack, and that was it, but… those seven minutes were pretty glorious.

In other news, IT'S [pow] [cue monty python theme].

Also posted to ソ-ラ-バ-ド-のおん; comment count unavailable comments at Dreamwidth. Please comment there.

The Armourer and the Living Weapon, Chapter 20: (breaking) radio silence
[20 Feb 2018|12:07am]

[ mood | nervous ]

Shit is getting real.

This chapter is worksafe. [AO3 link]


Winston sat, quiet and unhappy, as the transport piloted itself back into the Watchpoint. That... could not have gone worse, he thought, as the vehicle rumbled quickly down the Gibraltar city streets. Lena had emerged from the washroom, given them the news, warned them about the Reaper, and had taken off just as quickly, Angela's attempts at an apology largely brushed off, an issue to be settled later.

At least she seemed to be in a better mood, he thought, as the gate closed behind them and the vehicle floated towards its garage, stopping just outside to let everyone disembark. I hope that's a good thing.

"Keep an eye out," he said, as the side doors folded back and the storage bay rattled open. "We have no idea where... uh... hello there."

Reyes stood, unhidden and unarmed, beside Morrison, who called, "Stand down, team. We have a truce."

"Nuh-uh," Hana said, pulling her pistol from the transport's small armoury, and aiming it at the hooded former Blackwatch commander. "Not 'til we're all ready to play."

Reaper shrugged. "The more time you waste with that, the more time you lose."

"I'll take that chance. You make one funny move, smoke boy, I'll blow your head off! Everybody, out of the transport, get inside and gear up."

"Whatever. I'll wait. Where's Oxton?"

"Wouldn't you like to know?"

"Oh, give me a break. I know she was with you."

"Jack, are you okay?" asked Mei-Ling.

The soldier nodded. "I'm fine, Mei. I've got this covered. Go on in with the rest of the team, gear up as much as you need to. We'll meet you in the conference room under the launch pad."

"Okay!"

-----

Reyes looked wistfully around the table. "Man, it's been a while."

"Since you came in shooting and tried to kill me?" asked Winston. "It hasn't been that long."

"I'm a heavily-trained special-ops super-soldier, and you're a research scientist. If I'd wanted you dead, you'd've been dead." He snorted. "But I have to admit, I made it look pretty good. Finally got you to issue the recall, too - that was a bonus I didn't expect."

"...what?" asked said research scientist. "You're joking, right?"

"None of you ever understood my plans," he replied, only so patiently. "I'm going to reach into my jacket, pull out a sheet of paper. Don't shoot me, that shit stings."

"I'll be watching you," said Angela, staff at the ready, Fareeha armoured and beside her.

Reyes nodded, and reached into his jacket, as promised, and pulled out a sheet of paper, which he unfolded, and slid over to Winston. "Ask Athena for Blackwatch arms inventory record 20680524b1640. It's encrypted. That series of words forms the decryption key."

"Athena, does that record exist?"

"It does, Winston," came Athena's voice. "It is indeed encrypted. Checking for payloads and other inappropriate material..." She paused, several seconds. "Apparently clean."

"Does this series of words form an encryption key?" He held the paper up to one of the cameras. "Can you read it?"

"Yes, Winston. Scanning keywords for payloads... clean. Decrypting record and analysing for payloads..." Athena, in her own way, made it very clear didn't trust Gabriel any more than anyone else did. "Clean. Result is... a text file, last edited 24 May 2068, author Reyes, G., Commander, Blackwatch. 75 pages."

"To save time," Reyes grumbled, "it details my... belated... discovery of the key members of Talon, and my intent to go underground inside their organisation, in order to take it apart. I left it in case things went badly. I did not think I'd be using it like this."

"Athena?"

"The summary of the text is brief, but reasonably accurate."

"Last Blackwatch agent standing?" Hana mocked. "What kind of n00b do you take me for?"

Jack squinted, and tilted his head. "Agreed. Reyes, are you seriously trying to tell me you've been undercover this entire time? After all that's happened? After Geneva?"

"Bullshit," Winston said. "Pardon my language, but - bullshit! You had devices plugged into the mainframe for several minutes. Adding a minimally-restricted file like this wouldn't've taken a microsecond."

"True, and I'd be the one able to do it. But the transaction logs, not so much - and particularly, not the offline transaction logs from '68. Still got those?"

Morrison snorted dismissively. "No."

"I almost hate to say it, but... we might," Winston said. "I'd have to check long-term storage. There are several older archives left over from the investigations that we never destroyed."

"Really?" Morrison asked. "After that explosion?"

"Offsite backups are the best backups," Winston shrugged.

"This is stupid. What do you want, Gabe?" Song demanded. "You're here for a reason."

She's the one who keeps them on track, the former Blackwatch commander thought. Good to know. "Yeah. I am. What the hell are you doing assassinating Talon board members? I didn't think that was your sort of thing, or Oxton's - but that photo makes it pretty damn clear she's involved."

"Putting it all on the table, then?" Morrison asked, and Reyes nodded his confirmation. "Good."

"Fine," Song said. "We're not the one p0wning your bosses. But we know who is, and we're staying out of the way."

"Oxton's not. She's involved. Where is she?"

"She's trying to stop your war!" Dr. Zhou interjected, immediately regretting it.

"What?"

Song nodded. "Akande wants to start a second Omnic War. He's been planning it for years. We know."

"That's... true," Gabriel said, "at least, in part. Growth through conflict."

"So you admit it."

He shrugged. "Lesser of two evils. That's always been the game. I pit faction against faction, wasting money, whittling them down. It's why I got him put in jail, and it's why I broke him back out."

"But the world will not survive it," Mei-Ling said. "My paper on the climate anomalies will be in Nature in another few months, but the data are clear now. The world cannot survive another Omnic War on the scale of the last one. Not even half."

"I... what?" Reyes's surprise looked genuine to the scientist.

"Besides," the doctor continued, "What would be worse than another Omnic War?"

Reyes laughed, just a little. "O'Deorain. Who else?"

-----

"The operation is simple," the armourer said to her living weapons as the chartered transport took off from Dublin with its payload. Officially, they carried sub-Omnic level processors for automated assembly devices, along with a crew of four.

She projected an image against the cargo hull wall. "This is Antonia Rizzuto, the current leader of the Rizzuto crime family, and, through a variety of shell corporations and private investors who exist only on paper, the largest stockholder in INCAS, an arms manufacturer of some note. She is also the last target before we take on Akande and Gabriel directly."

"More spy action?" Tracer asked, brightly. "Liked that. That was fun!"

Moira smiled the least-ungenuine smile Tracer had ever seen her manage. "I'm afraid not - I don't know how much Reyes knows, but we must assume the worst. This will have to be a direct assault." She flipped to another image, a three-dimensional display of a wood-and-stone mansion on open ground, surrounded by forest. "Fortunately, I know she is at the family compound outside Laval, Quebec. It is more heavily fortified than it looks, and security will be heavy."

"Good!" Oilliphéist said. "I need a real fight. Anyone special?"

"No, unless Reyes beats us there. Otherwise, only ordinaries - but a large number."

Widowmaker smirked, and Oilliphéist shivered a little, excitedly. "Oh, all the better. I haven't been able to give myself really free rein since the chateau."

"Any... non-combatants in the mix?" Tracer asked. "If it's a family compound..."

"Crime family, not family-family, dear. They've controlled Quebecois organised crime for nearly a century. We'll be doing the honest local police - insofar as there are any - a favour."

Tracer bit her lip, nodded, and flipped through the satellite photos on a disposable padd. "Snipers likely ... here, and here..."

"And here, and here," Widowmaker added, pointing. "Less obviously."

"How far into the building were you taken when you were last on mission in Quebec, Danielle?"

"Only to the first rooms on the ground floor. The left room off the main entrance is a library and office. There are central stairs up in the foyer, which is two storeys tall, and has hallways leading left, and right, in back with two doors visible. The right room on the ground floor is a salon, and is where we discussed the mission. There are double-doors from there to another room, further back, but they were closed. Also, there were exits back and out on the ground floor, on either side of the stairs."

"Good memory, love," Lena said, appreciatively.

"For some things, at least," the assassin replied.

"Neither Emily nor I have ever been there, so unless Lena has any surprises..."

"Sorry - never even heard of it before now."

"...then we will be operating on far less ground data than I would like. I apologise for that, but it is what it is."

"This is a terrible idea," Tracer said, frowning. "We need more about the interior layout, at least..."

"We lack options. Reyes knows what's going on - and he may well know of your involvement. At the moment, we are ahead of him; we must stay that way, for the final stage to have a solid chance of success." She flipped the padds to another document. "For what it's worth, building plans were on file with the provincial offices, and I have included them. We should assume they are incomplete and at least partially out of date, but they are more than nothing."

Lena frowned, but nodded. "I don't like it, but ... I guess so."

"Memorise all of this, then get some sleep. I'll awaken you before we land, we'll scout the situation, and plan on site. Any questions?"

"Yeh. Do these seats fold out?" She fiddled at the attachments. "Oh, they do. Brilliant!"

"Memorisation first, sleep later," Moira said, sternly.

Lena glared at the doctor. Bloody hell, you're irritating, she thought. "Thin dossier, doc. Already done," she said, finding a blanket, and rattling off the building's key points as she lay down. "Well, mostly. I'll get the rest of it before I'm asleep."

"You also have a good memory," the Widowmaker said, approving.

"For some things," Tracer replied, grinning wickedly, "at least."

By the time Widowmaker curled up against her back, she was already mostly asleep, but woke just a little, and smiled at her lover's cool touch. Ohhh, that's better, she thought, barely even forming the words in her mind. Much better.

-----

"...and you let her out of confinement?! Didn't you learn anything from Lacroix?"

"Her brain was not altered. We did full-time intensive analysis and simulations for over two weeks, and found nothing. Her peripheral nervous system, her eyes, yes, and we have been studying those changes ever since she returned, but her memories have checked out, her psychological profile has checked out, and her mind shows none of the Widowmaker markers - and we had Widowmaker to compare against directly."

"Look. I don't care what your scans say, I don't care what your tests say, she's not Lena Oxton anymore. Not the same Lena you knew. Not if O'Deorain's had her." Reyes cradled his head in his hands. "You've given Moira the most dangerous weapon she's ever had, and on a silver platter."

"And why should we believe you?" Song snapped. "You've killed dozens of people that you say were generally Talon agents or founders - how can we know that? We can't! Even if Winston and Mei-Ling find that old data set, and even if that file turns out to be from '68 - you've been in Talon for years! You could've gone over to their side three months in. This could all be you just trying to distract us, throw us out of the game. Save Akande, get your war."

He nodded, slowly. "You're right. All that could be true."

"What's your real goal, Reaper? Whose side are you really on?"

Reyes leaned back in his chair, and for a moment, looked not only human, but old - genuinely old, and very, very tired. "Ogundimu wants to force humanity to improve," he said, slowly. "To put it to a test. To push growth, but not dictate its path. O'Deorain, on the other hand... she just wants to 'improve' humanity - to her ideas - directly. Reform it to her model. To perfect it, all at once."

He closed his eyes, head back. "Can you picture that world, with her ideas of perfection? One of her favourite sayings is 'stupidity is not a right.' People laugh it off - even within Talon - but she has very narrow ideas about what's smart, and damned few people make the grade. Imagine that world." He looked back up, eyes open. "Where is Oxton?!"

"Winston to conference room C - uh, guys? We found it."

A holographic projection of Winston's office appeared in the open area between the stairs down to the conference centre. Winston held up a storage pack, Mei-Ling beside him, looking very unhappy.

"What'd you find?" Song asked.

"Backup datapak with all the logs from 2068. It's had evidence tape across the access port since it was sealed in '70, and it was still in place. I'm afraid..." he took a deep breath. "I'm afraid it backs Gabe's story. The file existed, same checksum, same last-modified date."

Gott in himmel, not again, Angela thought, hands raising to her mouth. She looked at her wife. "I... I think Fareeha and I should get back to Oasis right away. Awaken everyone, bring in the whole staff. See if anyone can find what we have missed."

"I'm not a biologist," Reyes interjected, "but I know know a few things about her work over the last few years. Most of it's been focusing on the idea that you don't need to control someone's will - or even rebuild their mind - if you can just make them want the same things you want, on a very low level. Change them so they like the 'right' thing, and they'll just do the 'right' things - creatively, even - all on their own. I don't know if that's any help, but..."

"It might be. Thank you. Athena, is the Sparrowhawk prepped for return flight?"

"Affirmative, Dr. Ziegler."

"Hold on, Angela," Morrison said, "we don't know that any of this is real, yet."

"The best lies," she said, side-eyeing the once-Blackwatch commander, "are at least partially true. I'm not panicking - Reyes gave me an idea, and you cannot do everything by remote. I need to get back to my labs."

"Fair enough. You can send Jesse back via the Sparrowhawk, and Lúcio if he's available - we need a medic on site. Everyone else should stay, I think." He paused for a moment. "Hana, can you call in a replacement mech here? We need to be in operational condition as quickly as possible."

"No sweat," the once-pro-gamer replied.

"Athena?" Winston asked. "Contact Genji; update him, see if he can come in. And bring the Watchpoint out of standby and up to full operational status."

"Acknowledged, Winston. Beginning wakeup."

"We have to try to recall her," the scientist continued. "I insist."

"That'll tip her off," Gabriel said, "and that'll tip off Widowmaker, and that materials engineer she was sleeping with, what'd you call her, Oilliphéist? And Moira."

"Her niece, Emily," Winston said, and Gabriel blinked, momentarily confused.

"Yeah, it might," Song said. "Don't care. Do it. She's one of us," ...I hope... "and she needs to know what's going on. But she'll be in radio silence 'til..."

"Where is Lena?!" demanded Reyes.

Song bit her lower lip, and gave him a long, hard look before deciding. "...we dunno. Not specifically. She's with O'Deorain. On another mission."

"Shit. Well... we're already at maximum alert. I'll have to tell Akande that Oxton's involved, but otherwise - I guess we're as ready as we can be."

"We?"

"Talon."

"Of course." She glared. "You need to make a call, and we need the room. Reyes?" she continued, "Out. Athena, watch him. Close. And listen in on his comms - no cheat codes for you."

"Decided to believe me?" he asked, standing.

"Don't get cocky," Morrison replied. "I know you. It's probationary, at best."

Reyes snorted, and even managed a hint of a grin, before jogging up the stairs. "Good."

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The Armourer and the Living Weapon, Chapter 19: The Wembley
[17 Feb 2018|05:08pm]

[ mood | calm ]

This chapter is worksafe. Also, it's the second longest chapter I've written so far! [AO3 link]


"Really?" she said, leaning forward with her phone. "The Wembley, back in Gibraltar? That's nearly five hours away - bit far for a night out, innit?"

"That's true," Winston replied over the line, "unless you go suborbital."

"You serious, mate?" Lena blinked. "You've got a Sparrowhawk?"

"We had to get here before you did. How'd you think we managed that?"

"...didn't think of it, I guess. We were a bit distracted." Some pilot I am, she thought. Should've realised. "Seems a bit much for a night at the pub, though."

"Well, it is. But it is our usual hangout, and we've been in Oasis for weeks now, for the most part, and we were thinking it's about time for something a little more ... routine. See if we can get a little more back to normal."

Tracer considered that. "Doctor O'Deorain's signed off? She's supposed t'know if Em leaves Oasis - y'know, the agreement and all that rot - and really..."

"We... weren't thinking about including Widowmaker or Oilliphéist. Just the Overwatch gang, like usual. Like old times."

She frowned, but could see the point in it, so let it go for the moment. "Does this mean I'm cleared for Gibraltar? Me spending the night there, I think that's..."

"You are, but we'll come back here, as agreed. If we're... how do you put it? A little too much in our cups? Athena can fly us back as well as I could."

Lena smiled a little at that. "Who else is coming?"

"Almost everyone who's here. Jack isn't - he's going along to give the Watchpoint a look-over, make sure nothing's been disturbed, but won't be out with us. It'll be you, me, Mei, Hana, Fareeha, and Angela."

Tracer felt a little frisson of fear run up her spine at the last name in the list. No, that's not fair, this isn't another test, it's just a night out, she thought to herself. Just that. I think. "Even Angie? She doesn't usually come along, not unless it's a special occasion..."

"Well, it is - first night out since you got back."

Lena nodded, pointlessly, and frowned again, thinking. Won't leave Oilliphéist here alone. Can't take her with us without breaking the agreement, least not without Moira's approval. Means Widowmaker has to stay here. Really don't like leaving them behind, though...

She took a nervous breath. "Let me... let me think. When d'ya want to leave?"

"We were thinking we'd head out at 17:00 - the flight won't take too long, but we'll still have to deal with clearance and landing and everything else."

"Makes sense. Um..." she gave it a thought, "...pencil me in, I'll meet you up half an hour before. But I'm gonna check with Danielle and Em, make sure they're comfortable with it, and I'll call y'back."

The hesitation on the other end of the commlink was small, but definite. "Sure thing. Talk to you soon."

Tracer broke the connection, and looked unhappily at the phone, before looking back up to her counterparts. "I..."

"Go," said Oilliphéist, from her seat across the living room table, Widowmaker nodding her agreement. "They're worried about you, luv, and trying to make it up. So go."

Danielle sipped at the tea Lena had made a few minutes earlier, a pleasant tippy assam which had become the teleporter's favourite. "They want to make sure you're all right, and get you somewhere away for a little while from... everyone they consider dangerous."

"You," Lena said, dejectedly.

"Yes," said Widowmaker, raising one eyebrow amusedly. "And Oilliphéist. Correctly so, let us not pretend."

"Don't like the way they're dancing around it. Makes me nervous."

Emily grinned. "Ah, don't worry, Lena! We'll be fine. I can handle my aunt."

"It's not that, luv, it's... well..." She shrugged. "Well, it is that, partly. But also, Angela's gonna be there, and I don't like... bein'... alone? That isn't right, Winston'll be there, I know he won't let anything happen, but..."

"You do not like being the only person there who has been through what we have been through," Widowmaker said, voice quiet. "Particularly not a gathering with someone so capable, who fears us so very much."

Oilliphéist nodded to her lover, picked up her phone, and made a call. Her silver eyes flashed to Tracer, and she said, "Y'won't be alone."

She heard the other end of the signal connect. "Hullo, Aunt Moira! It's Em." She nodded her head back and forth, a yes, yes, I know you're busy motion. "Yes'm. But mind if we step out for the night? We're thinking of going to a pub in Gibraltar." She smiled, as a quiet voice on the other side of the line made noises unintelligible to Dani and Lena. "Yes, Gibraltar. Yes, it's far. We'll be quite late, but certainly back before tomorrow morning. And I'll keep a locator beacon turned on." Some more voice over the far side of the line. "You're so good to me. Thanks, auntie." A little more voice. "Love you too. Bye!"

She put the phone down and grinned as Widowmaker smirked. "Now," she said, "was that so difficult?"

"But you're not..."

"I know, luv. We'll just be..." She waved her fingers in the air. "...around. Go, relax, have some fun, let them feel better. We'll keep watch."

Tracer huffed out a little bit of a laugh, and felt herself calming down a bit. "Thanks, luv." She stretched, big, in her chair. "Might do me some good, I suppose. I could use a night out." She reached over and took Widowmaker's hand. "I'll make it clear, though. Next time - it's not just me."

"I do not mind." Widowmaker took Lena's hand, nuzzled, and kissed it. "We are not joined at the hips, ma chérie."

"Well," chirped Tracer, wickedly - "Not all the time" - and Widowmaker almost giggled a little in return.

"C'mon, Widow," Oilliphéist said, rising from her seat, picking up her Breath. "If we're gonna beat 'em to Gibraltar, we need to leave right now."

"Ah, yes," Widowmaker replied, picking up her Kiss. "We should." She kissed Tracer's hand again before rising. "See you soon, ma petite contrariété."

-----

Tracer's smile flashed as she teleported directly out of the Sparrowhawk at Watchpoint Gibraltar. "Hooo, I'd forgot how much fun those are!" She teleported around more a bit, apparently for no good reason other than she could. "We should use these for everything!"

She's certainly high-strung this evening, Angela thought, unstrapping herself from her flight seat, stretching out from the high-G transit. I hope that's a good sign.

Tracer teleported around the control tower and looked towards the north in the not-so-darkness, out of sight of the others for a moment. Where are you, I know you're here... ha! In the mid-distance, she spotted a familiar silhouette, and then a second, and she waved, and both waved back, and she grinned, broadly, relaxed. Then she rewound, appearing back at the ramp amidst the Overwatch crew, grin still intact. "C'mon, slowpokes! That lager won't drink itself!"

Winston punched in an access code, a large door opened, and the larger civilian transport floated out onto the tarmac. Morrison checked security systems, verifying no detected intrusions, and nodded as he ducked inside to do a manual sweep. "See you when you get back," he said, gruffly. "Apologise to Blair for me."

"Will do," Fareeha replied. "He's not going to be happy that you're working tonight."

"He'll live."

Fareeha smirked, a little.

"He's not my boyfriend."

Fareeha eyes narrowed, and she smirked a little more.

Morrison scowled, but with a hint of humour in it. "With all that's going on, I can't not run a full check. But... I'll join you later, if I can."

"Much better," Fareeha said, as Angela giggled and pulled her away to the transport. "Come on, dear, stop trying to fix the soldier's love life. It's impossible."

"I'm coming!"

-----

"Yeah, I was afraid of that," Lena said, as she walked in through the antique front door.

"What's wrong?" Winston asked, following in behind her, the large scientist a tight fit in the frame.

"Ah, not much - this place is pretty dark, yeah?"

"Sure! But it's comfortable."

"It's a lot less atmospheric when you can see all the dirt and th' holes in the plaster. That ceiling's a mess."

"Ah," said the Lunar scientist. "I'll have to take your word on that. Nothing's going to fall down, is it?"

"Nah, it's just old. Most of it's been painted at least once. I mean, why fix it if y'can't see it, right? I get that, but... c'mon." She snorted. "Well, beer's still beer."

"And darts are still darts."

"Won't be fair now, luv."

"It will be if we handicap it right."

Lena smiled as Hana ran over and grabbed their usual corner booth, the big one with the movable bench, and Mei-Ling followed closely behind. "We already had t'do that once, big guy. Can't compete with a Brit at darts, not on level ground."

"Sure - we'll just do it more." He grinned.

"Well..." She took a big sniff of the room. Smelled like old times, mostly, but with a little bit of an odd tang, like cleaning fluid in the w.c.. Ventilation system must be off, too, she thought, shrugging. "We can try. We'll figure it out, somehow."

"Get enough bitter in you and we'll be even!"

She chuckled, and hopped next to the table as Fareeha called over from the bar - "Everybody's usuals?" - having just relayed Jack's apologies. Blair waved at the chorus of yes-please and thank-you from behind the counter and filled a large tray with an assortment of beers and wines, and a separate, smaller tray with a brownie and glass of sahlab.

"Thanks," Fareeha smiled, with a small nod, as she took her own tray to the small individual table Angela had placed by the end of the booth. Blair followed, serving the large tray of drinks. "Good t’see you lot back in town! Chip order's in, I'll be right back with the munchies."

"Brilliant, luv," Tracer chirped, and the barkeep looked, then started, surprised. "Yeh," she said, a little tiredly. "I know. They're new. Long story." He nodded, and kept his smile as he retreated to the kitchen.

"Guess I'm gonna have t'get used to that all over again," she said, taking a pull from her pint. Mei-Ling poured half her Tsingtao pilsner into a glass, leaving half in the bottle, to go back with the tray.

"I don't know why you just didn't wear your contacts," Hana said, sampling her lager. Ah, yeah. Nice to be back, she thought, relaxing into the padded leather bench.

"Don't like 'em," Lena said, shifting a little on the bench seat. "They bug me."

"We can take some time tomorrow for a new fitting, if you'd like" Angela said, brightly.

"Nah," Lena replied, taking another drink. "Rather not, luv."

"Well, it's either that, or get used to his kind of reaction."

Lena glared, expression sharp. "I like my eyes, doc. You got a problem with that?"

"Of course not, it's just that..."

"I like them too," Winston interrupted, Lena turning to look at him with a quick smile.

"Y'do?" she said, surprised.

"They're pretty. And you like them, so, I like them, and that's all that needs to be said about that," he stated, firmly.

"Of course," Angela replied, just as quickly. "I'm sorry, Lena, I am sometimes too much a doctor."

"It's true," Fareeha said, having taken another bite of her brownie. "She really is."

Lena leaned a little against her best friend's arm. "Thanks, luv." She downed the rest of her pint, all at once. "Y'wanna have a go at those darts? Only double and triple scores count for me, and only for regular value."

"Sure!" The gorilla pulled himself out of the way, and Lena wobbled a little as the alcohol hit her bloodstream in a rush. "Woah! That's..." She laughed. "That's good. Let's do this!"

-----

Lena picked at the fish. They'd finally figured out how to make a competitive game at the dart board, but it involved spinning the target, and it hadn't taken too many rounds of that nonsense to bring Blair over full of all-right-all-right-none-of-that. But he'd agreed to let them install a second, spinnable board, later.

"You okay, Lena?" Winston asked.

"Yeh, I'm good." She popped a chip into her mouth, and finished off the third pint. "A little bored, tho', t'be honest."

She looked over at Fareeha and Hana playing at the snooker table, Angela watching from the opposite side, Lena not entirely able to convince herself that she was watching the game and not her. "And a little paranoid. Angie's not taken her eyes off me all night."

"I know what you mean," her friend said, quietly. "I think you're right."

"Not just me, then."

"No. We talked about it earlier, she's ... worried."

"Doesn't trust me anymore, y'mean."

"She trusts you. She just doesn't trust what might've been done to you."

"Yeh," Lena muttered. "Not much difference from this side, though."

"I just wish all this was over," he said, quietly. "Over, and we could go back to normal."

"I wish Wids was here," she said, quietly, staring into her empty glass. I know she's just outside, but it's not the same. "She could be stared at too, and at least it wouldn't be just me."

"I got stared at a lot, when I first landed," he said, sipping at his lager. "Still do, most places. It's not fun."

"No," she agreed, squeezing his hand. "It's not."

-----

"But what're y'gonna do when all this is over?" the MEKA pilot demanded tipsily. "This isn't a game you can play from both sides."

"I dunno - we'll figure it out!" Lena replied, frustration in her voice. "We're still gettin' t'know each other properly, yeah? It'll be fine."

"Lena, please - haven't you thought this out at all?" Angela asked, a little too crisply.

"Course we have, luv - we're gonna buy that condo, live on an island..."

"Lena, please, I am serious! Emily is... how can I put this?"

"She's a psycho killer," interrupted Hana Song, definitely one too many into her cups. "That's what I don't get. I get it with Widowmaker, kinda - she didn't ask to be what she is, you're a sucker for a nice ass, and that is one nice ass. But Oilliphéist did."

"I'm not certain Danielle is so very different, defection or not," Mei-Ling opined, on her third pilsner.

Tracer glared, copper eyes hard. "I thought this was supposed to be a nice night out at the pub, not a fucking intervention."

"It's not an intervention!" Hana huffed. "I just thought maybe you'd've thought his out a bit by now."

"Or at very least," Fareeha noted, "had a plan. You've got to have some kind of plan in place for when this is over. I'm good at plans, I'd be happy to help with..."

"Happy t' help with ganging up on me, apparently."

"That's not fair," Angela retorted. "Yes, we have all wanted to know how you're intending to handle the situation after this one, but I think we have a right to know that, given the people involved."

Lena looked around the table, eyes widening. "This whole thing was a setup, wasn't it?"

"I wouldn't go that far, no," Angela replied, warily. "We've always talked about problems on these nights out."

"Is this another one of your simulations?" Lena snapped, fear in her stomach. "Am I gonna remember this in the morning?"

"Woah, woah, Lena, no!" Winston insisted. "No. I swear to you, no. This is real."

"Is it?!" She spun in place, and her gaze softened, a little. "...Yeh. Okay. I guess I don't really mean that, but..." She rubbed her face with her hands, breathed out raggedly, and put her hands back down on the table.

"I need a mo'. I'm takin' a trip to th' loo. Don't follow me."

As she left, Winston looked back to his tablemates. "Well, that couldn't've gone worse. What were you thinking, ganging up on her like that?"

"She needs to face reality!" Hana insisted. "She needs to deal with it, or we're all in trouble!"

"We are already in trouble," Mei-Ling said, sadly. "But we don't have any choice in it."

"I just wanted to help her analyse the situation tactically," Fareeha said. "I honestly didn't mean any more than that..."

Angela rubbed her temples, frustration in her forehead and eyes. "I should... I should apologise. I should follow..."

"No," the Lunar scientist said, firmly, "you should not."

-----

Lena stepped into the washroom, and into a stall, and sat, shaking, on the commode. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. That was... oh god, that was bloody awful... She pulled some tissue off the roll, and blew her nose into it, hard. What's going on, why are they so... so...

She shuddered, eyes wet. It's all right, Lena. It's all right. Pull yourself together. You've got this. They'll, they'll, after this is over, they'll... understand. Eventually. They have to.

She was about to pull out her padd and bring up the private commlink she and Oilliphéist had set up with Widowmaker, when her phone vibrated. "Cherie," she heard Widowmaker's voice say, "I hate to break into your evening, but..."

"Oh love, you have no idea how glad I am to hear your voice right now."

"Perhaps not. We have had an urgent summons - Moira believes Reyes has discovered our operation, and we need to move quickly."

Tracer blinked her eyes clear, swallowed hard, and smiled broadly, already feeling better. "Some action, then?"

"Yes. The timetable must be advanced. We're to leave at once, and rendezvous with Moira en route to North America. Warn your friends."

"Right! Will do. Where do we meet up?"

"In front of the casino by the airport. You know it?"

"Absolutely. See you in a few minutes."

Tracer stood, took a deep breath, and let it out slowly, before exiting the stall. She pulled a sheet of paper towel out of the dispenser, wetted it, patted down her eyes and face, and dried, with a second towel. There, she thought, looking at her copper eyes, famous half-grin spreading across her face. Much better.

-----

Morrison closed the last door behind him, sealing the auxiliary entrance. He nodded to himself, satisfied - no sign of intrusion anywhere, all safe and secure. I'm really looking forward to getting back here, he thought. Oasis is beautiful, but... I just can't trust it.

He brushed off his hands - even a locked-down facility gathered dust - and was about to signal Angela, see if there was still time to catch up, when he saw an all-too-familiar column of smoke coalesce at the foot of the launch pad, next to the Sparrowhawk. He pulled his rifle and aimed as the Reaper appeared, maskless, glare visible in the pad lights, even at range.

Gabriel Reyes dropped his shotguns, dramatically, to either side, and made no move towards the Soldier, who held his fire as his former compatriot raised one arm, slowly, a large, clear photograph of Lena Oxton serving drinks to the wealthy in São Paulo hovering in front of his hand.

"What the fuck," he said, "do you idiots think you have been doing?"

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ai mei needs to learn about icewall
[15 Feb 2018|12:40pm]

[ mood | amused ]

yeah, this video is just against bots (training, AI, hard) but how often do you get a 30 kill streak? besides, i like shooting mei in the head whenever I can when she comes out of the ice. you can tell when to shoot by the sound, and it's just lovely. [pow]

(better video but no sound over on gfycat)

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widowmaker to the rescue but too late
[14 Feb 2018|12:33am]

[ mood | okay ]

we ended up losing this point (and the whole game for that matter tho' we gave 'em a good fight on objective B) but i feel i did my part.

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also this was fun
[13 Feb 2018|11:40pm]

[ mood | amused ]

was out-duelling enemy widow pretty substantially on defence at numbani

she got tired of that shit and came back as reinhardt

who i machine-gunned to death three times when he came to the back to get me. it was pretty hilarious.

(reinhardt is paper people. honestly. paper people.)

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okay i guess it's not all suck
[13 Feb 2018|04:00pm]

[ mood | amused ]

okay, so

defence at Gibraltar, it's just quickplay, we're pretty much stuffing 'em from the start

one of the enemy team changes to widowmaker and starts pot-shotting our team from the upper balcony spawn exit and our team is backing up and stuff and being all "agh agh agh widowmaker"

and i - who am our widowmaker - am all "oh ffs she's not very good" so chain over to the walkway, step out in front of her, and headshot her. [pow]

and she quits the game.

i hit her so hard i knocked her offline (i guess).(⌒▽⌒)

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that feel when aiming just turns off
[12 Feb 2018|08:41pm]

[ mood | amused ]

Miserable week of gaming. My aim collapsed again - like it does every so often - but instead of a short run of suck, it's been days. I'm finally starting to get it back, but fuck, it's been a grind. This POTG was from one of my last games before the slump started, last... Wednesday? And since then, garbage.

I'm changing the way I'm using the controller, a bit - I'm moving jump to the left hand in a way that lets me keep both thumbs on the sticks throughout jumping. This lets me maintain better aim, or at least try to, in ways I've seen other Widowmakers doing. Leaving out anyone who may be using some sort of weird interface to use keyboard and mouse - theoretically not allowed on PS4 and XBOX - they have to be doing something like this. It's hard getting used to the change, but I can tell that eventually it really will be for the better, as even in this hellish slump, my reticle is staying closer to targets during jumps.

Still, coming out of it, I think. I hope. I finally got a top-four again in Deathmatch FFA (and Play of the Game) today, so that was nice. I was in second until the four people behind me gave up on going at the leader and just dogpiled me repeatedly at the very end. And this Pharah POTG in a losing cause was fun because that Mercy is someone I know in real life, and on the first point, I was playing Tracer, and chased her down and realised, "...wait, is that Torrey?!" and it was. So I apologised to her on Twitter for all of the JUSTICE and she said "you're not sorry" and I said no, I really wasn't. (✿◠‿◠)

Anyway. The only way out is through, and all that.

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oh god make it stop
[12 Feb 2018|08:22pm]

[ mood | amused ]

I want a remake of The Abominable Dr. Phibes starring this guy, playing this thing, stat.

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The Armourer and the Living Weapon, Chapter 18: forgetting the old days
[12 Feb 2018|12:12am]

[ mood | nervous ]

I forgot to mention, last time, but Dr. Ngcobo is based on concept-art Mercy, for those familiar with that.

This chapter is worksafe.

[AO3 link]


"Oh, I know this," Lena said from inside the sensory isolation chamber, as the song played. "You used it last time, too."

"You know it?" Angela asked by microphone, watching peripheral nervous system reactions in real time. Dr. Ngcobo, also watching by remote, noted that the ring didn't shift, but Lena talked through it, so of course it didn't. He queued the sample for replay again, later.

"Yeh. Always have."

"That's interesting," Dr. Ziegler replied, pausing the stimulus set. "It's a fairly obscure traditional tune, a lullaby - how do you know it?"

Lena shrugged, mostly relaxed and floating in the dark. "Just do, that's all. Makes me think of my mum."

"You... I did not think you remembered your mother."

"Don't, love. Pop, either, not really. But, y'know..." she waved her hands around a little in the small space. "Y'have impressions, doncha? Ideas? I do."

She's never mentioned this before, Angela thought, but when has there ever been cause? I should check her psychological profiles. Aloud, she replied, "I suppose one may well. I'm going to repeat it, later - when you hear it again, I'd like you not to talk. Let your body react to it, but nothing else. Is that all right?"

"'Course it is. I like it - particularly the tune, yah?" A little 'heh' came over the speakers. "Shame the singer sounds like, well, you know. Her."

"...Moira? Does she? I didn't notice."

"T'me she does. Particularly in the low notes."

Well, Angela thought, that's interesting. She added two more, similar snippets she had identified in advance to the queue, randomly interspersed. Let's see if that repeats, as well.

Oilliphéist and Widowmaker watched from behind glass, sitting in a viewing room, able to see the chamber and both doctors at work, and hear them as well. Lena had insisted on that in the strongest of terms, and Angela did not push back, but certainly noted it for discussion later.

Danielle considered what she'd heard. "Did... that sound like Dr. O'Deorain to you?"

Emily snorted. "Aunt Moira can't carry a tune in a bucket. But if she could - maybe, a little?" She smiled, calm but deeply aware and ready, her arm around her lover's shoulder. "I really don't know what Ziegler's chasing, here."

"Perhaps some sort of keyword, some sort of..." She tapped the armrest of the chair. "Some sort of activation phrase?"

"What, like in those old movies?" Emily laughed, a little. "Doesn't work that way. Even I know that."

"Doesn't it?" the Widowmaker asked, one eyebrow raised. "I received a 'go' code."

"You were already all there, sweet. I know, I was on the team."

"My first kill," the senior assassin sighed. "And I felt nothing at all."

"I'm sorry for that. The doctor and I both wanted it to be different for you, but..." She shook her head. "That... reminds me... of something. What... was it... oh!" She sat up straighter, silver eyes bright. "In your office at the chateau, you have a framed picture from Amélie and Gérard's wedding. It's the two of them cutting the cake."

Danielle blinked, surprised, something not easily done to the spider, and she looked directly at her counterpart. "...I do? Really?"

Emily nodded. "Yes! It's on the bookshelves, to the left of the desk. I was so confused. Why?"

"I..." She shook her head. "I suppose it was already there, and I never thought to throw it away," she replied, not as entirely convinced of that as she wanted to be. "I imagine you smashed it?"

Emily chuckled. "'Course not, sweet. It's yours! Why would I do that?"

"Because you hated him! Fiercely. I may not have felt anything yet, and I know not to entirely trust my own memories, there have been too many changes, but... I still remember how you hugged me when I returned. How happy you were that he was dead." She gave the other woman a soft smile. "That... I did feel. Just a little."

"Aw. Love you too, pet. And I remember that. But it's all water under the bridge, these days." She grinned, freely. "He's gone, you're here, we're together, I'm..." she hugged herself, and shivered a little with pleasure, "...oh, it's hard to describe, but I feel so... complete, at last."

She looked back through the window, keeping an ear out for any additional conversation from the doctors on the other side of the glass. "I really think she's starting to settle in, too. I was thinking about it a couple of nights ago, I thought it'd be such a struggle, but... no. She's become a brilliant weapon."

"She already was," Widowmaker noted, a little quirk up at the side of her mouth. "That's what got my attention at the start."

"And so easy to like! I told her back at Auntie's place that I'd never kill her, because you love her, but..." she smiled broadly, "I don't even want to!"

"I like our new sleeping arrangements," the spider said, quietly, gaze focused on the chamber.

"So do I," replied her beloved.

"We should talk more seriously about the future, you realise. Not here, of course, but..."

Oilliphéist nodded, agreeing. "Yes. I love Aunt Moira, but..." A bit of a grimace. "She's a tricky one. We'll have to stay a couple of steps ahead of her if we can, for all of our sakes."

Danielle reached over and took Emily's hand back into her own. "I'm... relieved to hear you still agree."

"Don't worry, sweet." She grinned, nuzzling at Widowmaker's hand. "I've got you. We'll be fine." A glance back up, through the window. "All three of us."

-----

"I am increasingly worried," the doctor said, sharing documents across the table to the subset of Overwatch personnel present. "But I cannot give you a firm reason why."

"She's not... acting entirely like herself, is she?" Winston said, nervously, flipping through pages of data he was not reading. "I've worked my entire life to understand human body language, and it's not always easy, but I've got a pretty decent grip on it. Hers is different, now."

"It is," Morrison nodded. "Has been since the eyes, but it's getting worse."

"She was always very tactile, very physical," Dr. Zhou said. "But you see her with them, and they're always touching. Over and over again. It's a little off-putting."

"It's a little creepy, you mean," said Hana Song, back from Korea only a few hours before. "No, it's kind of a lot creepy. And that palm nuzzling thing is just bizarre."

"She is not changing any more, not physically," Angela said. "Some of the body language, I think, is more getting used to a very different nervous system than she once had. But I have also noticed the... nearly obsessive need for physical contact with Widowmaker and Oilliphéist. With everyone else, she's hardly touch-averse, but it is different."

"That part seems pretty normal to me," Winston noted. "She still sneaks up and gives me a noogie at least once a day."

"I could fly in after the show tomorrow," Lúcio said, over comms. "I haven't seen her in a while, I could tell you how much she's changed, or hasn't..."

"If you can manage it, certainly," Angela replied. "The more data I have, the better. But I am far more concerned with the reactions in her nervous system."

She brought up a set of charts that wouldn't mean anything to anyone not a research doctor, but they gave her something to point at while speaking, and that made her feel better, like she had more of a grasp on the situation than she really had. "There is a hint of a pattern to sensory input reactions. It is not a pattern I can yet identify, it is not anything easy to find - she does not react, for example, to video samples of Moira, with or without sound." The doctor switched to paired video of Dr. O'Deorain and Lena's data, placid and nonreactive.

"It would be very tempting to make assumptions and be led seriously astray... but... there are... agh," she spat the word. "I do not like speaking in such terms. It is very un-Swiss of me, but there are... rumours and innuendoes. There are inferences in these numbers, barely outside margin of error, but... I cannot even say they are statistically significant. I simply do not understand them yet."

"She clearly hasn't been programmed to like Dr. O'Deorain," Winston said.

"No, clearly. Similarly, not Talon. It is entirely possible that it is just biases in the way her nervous system works, and it could turn out all to be something as trivial as your love of peanut butter, which is, for the record, complex in similar ways." She glared at the shifting data. "But - I am convinced something is here."

"You heard her at the debriefing," Morrison said, flatly. "Would the Lena Oxton we know - we knew - smile at Widowmaker relishing a kill?"

"That's unfair, Jack. You know how she scored on psych exams back in '68. It's why..."

"Maybe it is, maybe it isn't. But..."

"Look, n00bs," Hana Song interjected. "You're all missing the obvious. Spiderbitch is one thing, okay? She's a defector. She's a merciless assassin, but she's also a victim. So I can just about see Lena going for that, particularly given her looks. Everybody with me so far?"

"What are you getting at, Hana?" asked Lúcio.

"C'mon - Oilliphéist? Really? Oilliphéist?! She isn't a victim. We don't know much about her, but we do know she wanted this. And Lena is apparently... okay with that? And we're supposed to be okay with her being okay with that?" She crossed her arms and leaned back in her chair. "I don't think so."

"She and I have talked about it," Winston said, "She's aware..."

"And she's still doing it. Watch 'em touch. I'm not sayin' they're in love, it's not even sexual, they're touching just all the time. Watch them. It's weird."

"Should we cancel this operation? Talon has already taken a real body blow. The governments are finally starting to set their operations in motion..." asked Winston.

"No," said Mei-Ling, firmly. "Absolutely not. The risks are too great."

"Even if it means we lose Lena to... whatever this might be?" If it's even anything, he prayed to himself.

Mei-Ling looked down at her padd, eyes haunted, and did not reply.

"Look," Winston continued, "why don't we just... get her away from them for a few hours. See how that goes. We could have an Overwatch Night Out tonight, like we used to. Hana, you come; Angela, you bring Fareeha. All of you, me, Mei, Lena... see if we can't just remind her who she's always been. She if she snaps back."

"That would be wonderful," Mei-Ling said, wistfully. "I miss those days very much. It seems so long ago already."

"The pub back in Gibraltar?" Angela asked, a bit of a smile. "It has been a while."

"Why not? It's a bit of a haul, but at least they're used to me," Winston noted, "And Athena could fly us back if we stayed up too late."

"It would be worth a try, at least," Angela said, thoughtfully tapping her chin. "We are in an alien and stressful environment, particularly for her. If she reverts to normal in a comfortable, normal situation, then perhaps... we are all just reading too much into everything."

"She is not the only one under stress," Dr. Zhou noted.

"I can't believe we're having an executive meeting to decide to go out for drinks," Morrison snarked, shaking his head.

"You have forgotten the old days, Jack." Dr. Ziegler snorted. "I absolutely can."

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The Armourer and the Living Weapon, Chapter 17: morning, midday, afternoon, night
[07 Feb 2018|01:52pm]

[ mood | calm ]

I have changed the tags on AO3.

Previously, this story had the "hurt no comfort" tag attached, but that was always a bit of a caution, because I didn't want anyone going in without warnings that this is in many ways not a happy story. But having written the ending, and the coda, I have been told: while it is not a happy story, there is too much comfort - important comfort - in amongst the hurt, and so, I have removed the tag.

This chapter is worksafe. [AO3 link]


Oilliphéist rolled over in her bed, alone. She could sleep, if she really pushed herself into it, and it would be adequate sleep - but that's all it would be, and she wanted better.

She missed Widowmaker's presence. She missed her counterpart, her companion, her other self, and having been apart for so long, to have to split time like this... she didn't like it.

She wasn't even mad at Tracer. Who wouldn't want to be next to her? How could anyone not want that? Lena just had the good sense to go for it, that's all. Emily smiled a little as she thought about that, and rolled over again.

She's already become everything I'd hoped she'd be, the assassin mused, the boat dual a few nights before flashing across her mind, and well on her way to who she could be, without even any real remaking. She took a long breath. I can't wait 'till we really all get to fight together properly, it makes me want to...

She shivered and then laughed to herself, softly, thinking of the night after São Paulo, when she and Lena both decided to entertain their common lover, suddenly falling on each other as well, ravenously, not love, just need, just lust, but none the less so satisfying for it...

I know what I want, she realised. I didn't mind... so... maybe she won't, either.

All but silently she rose out of bed, crossed the hall, and entered Tracer's bedroom in the temporary apartment that already felt so very much like home. Lena had left the door open, as she was wont to do, and Emily knew already that somehow, none of them set of each other's defences, not as long as they were calm and quiet, and she was rewarded with the view of her spider holding her pet, big spoon and little spoon, calm, at peace - a small hold of serenity in the middle of a mad world.

Ever so carefully, she stepped over and onto the bed, under the covers, nuzzling against the back of Widowmaker's neck, and her lover rolled, still mostly asleep, onto her back, nuzzling into Oilliphéist's hair, breathing in reflexively, and stilled again, at peace.

And Emily slept deep, and well.

Some hours later, Lena woke, slowly, eyes still mostly closed, sun not yet risen, but the first hints of morning light just peeking their way past the blinds. She opened her eyes the slightest bit more, then blinked, seeing Emily across from her, on Danielle's right, asleep.

Her eyebrows furrowed for a second as she wordlessly took the sight in, unalarmed but briefly wondering if maybe this is why she was awake before either of the others, for once. She bit her lower lip and nodded, just the tiniest bit, an unvoiced assent, a silent yes, before closing her eyes again and going back to sleep.

An hour later, Lena woke again, the room a little brighter, Emily stirring, her eyelashes fluttering open, as Lena's eyes opened as well, copper meeting silver, halfway.

"Hiya," Lena said, softly - not a challenge, not even a question, just a greeting, with a a small but genuine smile.

"Hey," whispered Emily, smiling in return. "G'morning."

"G'morning." Lena reached over, gently and without active thought, and ran her hand through Oilliphéist's hair. Emily's eyes closed again and she breathed out, a long, slow exhalation of pleasure. She nuzzled gently into Tracer's hand, the cool touch of her lips soothing against the teleporter's palm, and together, they waited for their beloved to awaken, before - again, together - they would face the day.

-----

Hana Song frowned across visual comms, having read Tracer's mission report overnight. "This is not 'protecting Widowmaker,' Lena. This isn't being 'backup.'"

"I seem t'recall sayin' from the start it wouldn't be just that," Lena retorted, irritation in her voice.

Morrison nodded his agreement with the MEKA pilot. "You weren't supposed to take the lead."

Song scowled, encouraged to hold her ground. "You're supposed to be an observer and maybe support, not DPS."

"I think it sounds pretty durn good," McCree interjected. "Nice improvisation, good use of the landscape..."

"Thanks, luv," Tracer said, with a little grin and salute.

"That's exactly what I don't like about it," Morrison snapped, as Lena leaned back, frowning, across the table, with one of her two counterparts, the other, outside, in the next room, waiting. "You seem awfully happy about having killed this man."

"Kinda the point, wannit? I'm RAF. You see a way to complete a mission safely, with no risk to civilian life - you take it."

"Yeah. You do. But..."

"I didn't hear you complaining about those Omnic troopers."

"Hardly the same thing."

"Exactly the same thing."

"They were in violation of treaty - and they attacked you," Song pointed out.

Lena's mouth twisted a little bit between sadness and defiance. "Just as dead either way."

Jack nodded, "That's the first hint of regret I've seen out of you for any of this."

"Don't regret it, luv. None of it. Unless Mei's data's changed..."

The climate scientist looked up. "It has not," she said, wishing very much that it had.

Lena nodded, gratefully. "...then we don't have much choice, do we?"

"Lena, I'm..." Soldier: 76 rubbed the bridge of his nose, high, between his eyes, "I'm not angry. I'm worried about you."

"Worried I don't know what I'm doin'? Worried I'm too good at it? Worried I'm taking that Blackwatch patch too serious?"

Morrison put his hands together, and his elbows on the conference table, and leaned forward, eyes closed. "I've killed a lot of people, Lena. A whole lot of people. Too many."

Tracer paused, and frowned a little, but not angrily.

"I've been glad I did it. I've been convinced it was the right thing - the necessary thing - and for the most part, my conscience is pretty clear." He leaned back, eyes open again, looking at Tracer's copper eyes. "But I've never enjoyed doing it. It's never been... fun."

Oxton nodded, chewing for a moment on her upper lip, as Danielle smirked dismissively beside her. Your emotions make you vulnerable, echoed the remnants of her conditioning, as she mentally batted it aside.

"Don't cross that line, Lena. Reyes did. Ogundimu did. I came... closer than I want to admit."

"I remind you," said the Widowmaker, "that I am the one who took that particular shot."

"And enjoyed it, I bet," Hana said.

"It was exquisite," replied the assassin, her voice warm. "Perfect."

The small smile Lena flashed her lover made Winston flinch just a little, and he reached across the table and took Tracer's hand. "I... Lena... don't lose yourself, okay? That's all we're talking about. We are working with some..." she hesitated a moment, looking at the Widowmaker, who arched an eyebrow amusedly, "...pretty frightening people, and doing some pretty questionable things. Just don't forget who you really are."

Widowmaker chortled at the softened word choice, but Tracer smiled. "Aw, luv - you know better than that." She squeezed Winston's hand, a wistful expression on her face. "There'll be time to sort all that out soon. Get this stashed away, then afterwards... anybody know a good therapist?" she joked.

"Yes," nodded the Ecopoint survivor. "I do."

Ouch, Lena thought. "Sorry, Mei, didn't think about that..."

"Oh, it's okay. I'm sure she will accept you as a referral. And she follows very strict medical privacy rules."

Tracer snorted a short laugh. "Also didn't mean it literally, luv, but - if it'll make you feel better, I'll give her a call once all's said and done."

"You could even do it before that. I will call her today, to let her know," she replied.

Winston nodded. "I think that would be a very good idea."

Lena rolled her eyes. "Really?"

"Yes," said Winston, firmly.

Lena smirked a little. "All right, big guy. Fine. I'll give her a ring tomorrow. Happy?"

"Not really," he said, "But it's a start. Thank you."

"When's the next mission?" Morrison asked, a hint of reluctance in his voice.

"A few days. Don't know the details yet. But now we've reached the board, everything's gonna move quickly."

"Good," nodded the former Strike Commander.

"Yeah," echoed Hana Song. "This sooner this is over, the better."

[An hour later]

"I know they mean well, but cor blimey, that was grating," Tracer complained, over lunch - curry on chips, of course, courtesy the only English takeaway in the city, picked up and taken home. She leaned back, into the sunbeam shining through the western window.

"They didn't appreciate your work?" Oilliphéist said, poking at a reasonably convincing Cornish pasty, from the same location. "Philistines. I thought it was bloody marvellous. You looked brilliant out there."

"Aw." She smiled, a little, sipping from her water. "Thanks."

"So - y'gonna do it?"

"Do wot?"

"Call that therapist," Emily reminded.

"Right, that." Lena shrugged. "I suppose. No harm in it, yeh?"

"Not the most fun people in the world, therapists," Emily replied. "But it's up to you."

"I wasn't going to bring this up," the Widowmaker added, amused, spreading cheese across another piece of baguette. "But I must say, their reactions... I still enjoy being - how should I put it... I enjoy being..." she waved her knife around, a pointless motion, "...a little bit feared? Perhaps you should consider the value in it."

Tracer laughed, despite herself. "Mei did jump a bit every time you said something, didn't she? Kinda funny. But... you're gonna have t'let that go, love, leastways within Overwatch. S'bad for teamwork." She picked up another chip, and threw it into her mouth.

"But not in public!" Oilliphéist insisted, with a grin. "You're a legend, sweet - you've got a reputation to maintain! And, of course, scared people don't aim so well."

"I know," the spider replied, smiling wickedly. "Believe me - I know."

-----

Angela Ziegler rubbed her eyes, or, at least, around them - being a doctor, she knew better than to rub them directly. This is brilliant work. But so complex.

She cycled through sets of responses, tracking Lena's enhanced nerves through her body. So much interconnection, and yet, still so fast. I can't imagine how much faster it'd be if all this wasn't...

She blinked - Oh! - as the pieces fell together, the realisation tingling down her spine. Oh, this is brilliant, why do you have to be on the wrong side of everything, Moira? This is... it makes a self-stabilising cycle! Of course! And every perturbation is felt almost instantly across the whole system, because each one upsets the entire cycle, so reflex actions and analysis are also distributed, shared...

"Ahhhhh," she breathed, leaning back in her chair. "Moira... you are a genius."

"You found something?" asked Dr. Ngcobo, her lab's peripheral nervous system specialist.

Ziegler nodded. "I've figured out the basic operating structure. It's... oh, it is very good. This is... so clever. It is breathtaking."

Knowing, now, how it worked, she could filter data to show the system in action, and did, both in physicality and abstraction. "Do you see, do you see, the stimulus response? How it's shared, spread across the entire structure?"

"That is astounding," he replied, in all seriousness. "There's... not even really a periphery anymore, it's so integrated - at least, on this level. All of this is unlike anything I've ever studied."

"Well," she said, cheerfully, smiling. "I think I know where to start, then - right here."

"Good a place as any."

Angela leaned over in her chair, pulling up the armrest, watching the abstracted system move in time with the physical system, replaying the session from the beginning, through the new view, seeing reactions spread, so quickly, so cleanly, cycles building upon cycles, forming curves, settling back down, stabilising themselves.

It's beautiful, she thought, as they watched the cycles form and dissipate. Genuinely, just... beautiful.

"May I add another layer of abstraction?" Dr. Ngcobo asked. "There's a differentiation function that's useful, sometimes, when studying self-stabilising feedback systems like this. It was developed for studying vertigo problems, but I think it might..."

"Please - do!" replied Dr. Ziegler, and he did, on the station next to hers, and they brought the three displays together. The third display formed a ring that rotated in three dimensions as Lena's nervous system reacted to stimulus. She started the replay over, watching the ring vibrate, shimmer, moving slowly around its axes.

"It's memorising," she said, aloud, as they watched the abstractions play out.

Huh, she thought, as the ring reacted sharply to one particular stimulus, throwing itself sharply along one axis, before drifting back, and a little past, where it had been before. "...I don't know this particular filter... what was that?"

Dr. Ngcobo leaned in, confused, and replayed that segment of data, watching more closely. It only showed up in the second abstraction layer - at least, as an obvious phenomenon. He stood up, and scratched the back of his head. "That is very strange. My first guess would be that the filter was not designed for this sort of application, and it is just noise. But if it is not that... then..." He put his left hand to his mouth, playing with his lower lip, "...I have absolutely no idea. What's the stimulus?"

"Already bringing it up." She played the short audio track - a snippet of traditional song in Irish Gaelic - in synchronisation with the collected data, watching the ring react when the singer hit her low notes, and she frowned.

"I'm not getting it," said the specialist. "It's just singing. What is that language?"

"Gaelic. And I'm not sure I get it either," replied the head research scientist, "but I have some ideas that I do not like. Not one little bit."

-----

"The police have ruled Korpal's death an accident, and Deshmukh's, a murder. They're looking for a mugger, but..."

"You've got to be kidding me," Reyes growled in his deepest hiss.

"I'm just relaying the police reports," the Talon field operative replied. "Don't kill the messenger."

"They don't know who was piloting the Brazilian boat and there's no second body and they're still calling it an accident?"

Across comms, the agent shrugged. "Everybody knows Sanjay had a lot of enemies in São Paulo, but nobody wants an assassination on record at the Grand Prix, so..."

"So everyone involved has reasons to keep this quiet. I just didn't expect they'd be so blatant about it." He covered his eyes with his right hand, and rubbing his temples for a moment, before speaking again.

"Get me every piece of video and every still image with a face that you can find from that party. Particularly of the boat launch, but cover the whole area. Also, throw in whatever you can find from outside, nearby, starting about an hour before."

"Yes, sir."

"And get me anything and everything you can from inside the Paddock Club the previous two days. Whoever did this probably cased them in advance, and we'll start there."

"Sir. I'll forward material to the facial recognition database as I get it."

"Copies also to me directly."

"Acknowledged."

"Reaper out," he said, cutting the channel.

Photographs began arriving in under a minute, and the former head of Blackwatch sat down in his chair and began flipping through them, one at a time, sorting the known from the unknown in his head, looking for faces, for body shapes, or any part of anyone he might possibly know.

You're in here somewhere, pilot, he thought, leaning back as pictures flickered by. And I will find you.

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gpu prices returning to normal, but...
[06 Feb 2018|04:38pm]

With bitcoin crashing, a lot of miners are starting to dump their GPUs, selling used as like-new or even returning. Be warned.

Also posted to ソ-ラ-バ-ド-のおん; comment count unavailable comments at Dreamwidth. Please comment there.

ugh, placement
[04 Feb 2018|01:46am]

[ mood | blah ]

Very frustrated. Went back into comp today, went through placement, got placed in low silver (5 wins, 5 losses, every loss but one I was golding in all the things, they say that matters but I really don't think it does). This play in particular was a real “what do I have to do?!” moment, because I cleared the point solo like this several times and we still couldn’t win.

This is a play from one where we did win, but barely. I dunno. I can carry teams in quickplay but apparently not in comp. (And no, I’m not trying to play superstar/carry artist, not in comp, I’m usually the one desperately trying to get people to group up. Like, the last two post-placement games I was in, both losses, the 5-group I was clumped with came into match chat (finally) to tell me that I was absolutely crushing it (as Widowmaker, Tracer, and a little Orisa in those games) but clearly I wans’t crushing it enough, because we lost, and now I’m down in bronze.)

I have another highlight I haven't uploaded where I'm playing Widowmaker on defence, and we hold, but it's a push, but what's crazy about it is that I'm playing some seriously heavy-duty Widow:76 because I fucking had to, and when I didn't on the turnaround (on offence) I was able to buy us the first point with some critical headshots, but I couldn't do it on the second point because you really just don't get to do that in Hanamura second point.

I guess, I guess I wish... I had somebody good in comp who could watch me play for a while and tell me what kinds of things I'm doing wrong. People in these games generally are telling me good things - I had a Mercy on my team giving me absolute hell for picking Widow on defence at Eichenwald and then about three minutes in was damn near pocketing me because I was the one killing everyone else. (We won that one.)

So. I dunno. See also the previous post - people looking at the highlights and stuff and saying this is pro-level play and I am seriously OP. And yet: silver. bronze. What am I doing wrong?

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i can deal with that
[03 Feb 2018|01:13pm]

[ mood | contemplative ]

I've now had the... frankly, pleasure... of being booted from a bad-Widowmakers-only custom game, one that I didn't know was bad-Widowmaker-only because it wasn't tagged appropriately.

(If you're going to set up a widow-only headshot-only ffa game for beginners only, tag it as such. People generally do and the better players generally respect it.)

All over the fucking place continues to describe my target practice rounds (these widow-only games HS-only games), today particularly. I shot 50% headshot through the first third of a round today, then struggled, and went 0 for 21 before being booted the very next round. Round after that? Backfill halfway through, shot 28%, finished 5th overall out of 12 as backfill. (And was shooting, again, for a while, at 50%+ headshot.)

Then immediately struggled not to time out next round, but recovered.

I look over my overall numbers in these special games since I started keeping numbers and honestly they say I haven't improved. I guess I could be getting harder games, since the bad-Widows-only thing only became really popular in the last few weeks, and so there started being a distinction, and maybe I was in some mostly-bad-Widowmaker games at the beginning and that's throwing my numbers around. I dunno.

But... I do think I feel like my good streaks are much better than they were. And I had a couple of people from the widowtracer discord watching me play a bit in one of those yesterday and saying that I was doing some "next-level shit" and that I am OP, and I thought yesterday that I was pretty terrible, so... that made me feel better.

I have to get some consistency going. I really do. BUT NOT CONSISTENTLY BAD THAT IS NOT BETTER. You know.

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The Armourer and the Living Weapon, Chapter 16: Sanjay and Kishori
[31 Jan 2018|12:45pm]

[ mood | pleased ]

This chapter contains canon-level violence.

[AO3 link]


The brown-eyed woman raised her right eyebrow. "Oxton."

"Last name only? A bit formal for a waitress, don't you think?"

"Lena Oxton," replied said waitress in her formal black-and-whites, with a bit of a nod. "Mum." Her curly walnut hair - a reasonably convincing wig - bobbed a little with the rest of her head.

"Well then, Lena," said the older woman in her dark business suit - a bit out of place in the grandstand, but layered with enough of the right kind of jewellery to make it up - "why don't you be a good girl and see what you can do about a better version of this." She handed over a lightly-sampled vodka martini, which the waitress took and gracefully placed atop her tray. "I'll be out on the terrace - I'm sure you can find me."

"Right away, mum."

The woman turned back to her colleagues as Tracer slid away, through the crowd, drink on a small tray. "Any sign of 'em yet?" she subvocalised over comms hidden in her ear.

"Non, ma chérie," came Widowmaker's reply from the roof of the recently-rebuilt Maternity Hospital, less than a kilometre south. "If they're outside, I do not have them."

"They're here, somewhere. I've spotted the driver," came Oilliphéist's voice, from atop a fully-rented B&B on the hill to the northwest. "No sign of targets yet, though."

Trader handed the glass over to the Canadian bartender working with the English-speaking waiters. "She says she wants a 'better' one," and the mixologist nodded. "I saw. More vodka?"

"Given how she's been drinkin'? Probably."

"Gimmie a sec, there's a rush." She dumped the glass and queued a double as Tracer turned around and leaned back against the end the bar, coolly surveying the £11,000-a-seat crowd, a mix of celebrities, the 'rich,' and the actually-rich, some few actively caring about the Brazil Grand Prix - those, mostly out in the heat of the pavilion overlooking the track and pits - mixing with a larger number there more to party on their parents' money. The rest hustled and toadied, currying favour with all of the above.

All these bloody 'luxury grandstands' look the same to me, Lena thought, still scanning the glittering crowd, as her supervisor stepped up with tray full of cocktails. "Oxton, do a circuit. I'll take care of the outdoor delivery."

"Gotcha," she said, looking over the drinks. Damn, she thought. No mojito. As her supervisor vanished with the double martini, she leaned back to the bar. "Chloe, priority mix me a mojito for this tray? Please?"

"Why?"

"I've had a bloke on me for one, he's really annoying." A small lie, but only a small one, and she absolutely wouldn't do a circuit without Sanjay Korpal's favourite drink. "Heavy on the mint."

"Right."

"I have him," came Emily's voice in Lena's ear. "Oh, better - I have them both."

"Where?" breathed Widowmaker.

"Behind too much glass. Tracer, second tier, third window from the north."

Lena smiled at Chloe as she added the drink to her tray, and stepped back from the bar. "Thanks," she said, to both the bartender and her counterparts. "On my way."

-----

"I really don't know what we're going to do about this," Kishori said, as quietly as could be said as the F1 automobiles roared by, outside the windows. "The board is on lockdown, neither of us know why - and you're sitting here watching noisy antiques being driven around in circles."

Sanjay smirked, the right side of his mouth twitching up, as he watched the action on the track, actually interested despite himself. He wasn't sure what he liked about it - the noise, the smell, the chaos, everything so utterly unlike everything Vishkar stood for, at least, in theory.

"Reyes has always been volatile," he replied, eyes not leaving the cars tearing their way down the track. "This is not the first time his paranoia has run away with him."

"Half my agents have gone quiet. I don't think this is paranoia."

Sanjay shrugged, having seen it all before, when Akande went to prison. "I don't pretend nothing is going on. I just know the best way not to be involved is... not to get involved. It will blow over." He wondered whether what really kept him on edge was the possibility of a fiery crash and explosion. Even the qualifiers - like the race in front of him - were more than their fair share of dangerous, and his pulse quickened a little as two cars bumped tires during an attempt to pass.

"Boisson, madame? Boisson, monsieur?" A brown-eyed waitress with curly walnut hair and a fleet of cocktails stepped to the small serving table between and behind the box seats, and Sanjay looked back at the tray. "I don't suppose you..."

"English? Of course, my apologies," Tracer said in her carefully-coached French accent. "Cocktails, sir? Madame?"

"Water," said the older woman. "If you have it."

"Of course, madame." She reached forward and across, her hand on the back of the woman's chair, and placed a small cocktail napkin on the table, along with iced water. The small tracking device attached to her collar was as complimentary as the drinks, of course.

"You wouldn't have a... oh, is that a mojito?"

"Yes, sir. But if there is something specific, I would of course be happy to fetch..."

"No, I'll take that." He reached and leaned over to grab it himself, and Lena insured the tray toppled in a way that made it clearly his fault, the drinks cascading into their chairs.

"Oh, for... Sanjay!" Kishori glared at the other Talon board member, as she dodged alcohol, extracting herself from her seat.

"Monsieur, madame, I am so sorry, it is entirely my fault! Please, allow me..." She dabbed carefully with a large cloth napkin, leaning forward as she had with his viewing companion, tracker number two attached as had been tracker one. "It appears that for the most part the... damage is to the chairs. I will summon cleaning staff at once. Would you like me to bring your drinks to your outdoor box?"

"That," Sanjay said, embarrassed, "might be the best idea. Kishori?"

"My seat is soaked, thank you - I'll be outside." She picked up her glass. "But I'll take my own water."

"Very good, madame. Monsieur?"

"Just get me another goddamned mojito," he snapped.

"Vous avez renversé de la vodka sur, ah, I, there is a bit of vodka on your sleeve, here, I have remover..."

"He's fine," Kishori interjected. "Let's go, before you embarrass yourself any further."

"I will bring your replacement drink to you. Would you like an escort to the outdoor grandstand?"

"No," he snapped. "I know where it is. Extra mint."

"Very good, sir," she smiled contritely and bowed a bit, backing away. "I will bring you your drinks presently."

She watched from the bar - cleaning staff already alerted, replacement mojito queued - as the two Talon board members fussed a bit more at themselves, and at each other, before picking up and heading towards the terrace. "Packages en route," she subvocalised. "Trackers," not tracers, she thought, amused at herself, "in place."

"Your accent has improved," Widowmaker said, into her ear. "But you would not fool a native French speaker."

"Yeh, yeh," she subvocalised. "Good thing they're from India, innit. You got 'em?"

"Signals are clear and locked..." said the Widowmaker. "Movement tracking verified. Both trackers confirmed live and functioning."

"Nice work, luv. How much vodka you dump on him? He won't change before going out to the afterparties tonight, will he?"

"Nah - he'll be fine. Everything else ready?"

"We can go as soon as you slip away."

"Gotta get 'em their drinks first," Lena smirked. "Wouldn't want 'em t'go thirsty."

"'course not," Oilliphéist snickered.

"Very well. I will watch for your departure at the gate."

"See y'soon."

-----

[São Paulo Yacht Club, some hours later]

"I'm not going to waste any more time with this stupidity," Kishori snapped. "The cars are bad enough, now you want to go boat racing?"

"I don't expect you to come along for the ride. You're perfectly welcome to stay inside and be grumpy at potential backers."

"You promised ... ah," she dropped a small hologrammatic card, made a frustrated noise, picked it back up, and glared at it. Even at a distance, Tracer could clearly see the yacht club's logo. "This nonsense is a complete waste of my time. I am leaving."

Bugger all,, thought Tracer, now all in black with the wig long gone, backing the slightest bit away as Sanjay ran after his ally. "You hear that, luvs?" she asked, over comms. "She's leaving early. Should I track 'er?"

"No - stay with Korpal," the Widowmaker replied from her position in Parque Guarapiranga, across the water, but with an excellent view of the club's boat launch. "Oilliphéist, do you have her?"

"Not yet, but I certainly will," replied her counterpart, chuckling, from the playfields to the south.

"Are you tracking her?" clarified Widowmaker, dryly.

"Tracking signal clear and strong," Oilliphéist confirmed. "Mind if I have some fun? Different methods would cloudy the picture..."

"I cannot imagine you doing anything less. Go."

Tracer worried a bit at the idea of Emily letting herself have fun. "Don't let's make a mess, Oilliphést."

"Oh, Tracer, don't worry. I'll be careful."

"I don't mean, that, I mean, just..." She felt conflict rising inside her as opportunities began to realise themselves. "...don't draw it out."

"What do you... oh!" She heard a bit of laughter over the comms. "Don't worry! I'm not going to torture her - though it's not like she hasn't directed her own fair share of that. No, no, I'm just going to make it... interesting! For me. It's not as much fun without a challenge, is it?"

"Ricochet shot?" asked the senior assassin.

"Maybe! But we'll see. I'll improvise."

"As long as she goes down," Widowmaker stressed.

"I'm on mission, sweet. She'll go down."

"Perfect."

"I don't care!" Sanjay shouted, regaining Tracer's attention. "Just... send the car back to pick me up when you're done." Lena watched as he waved his arm after Kishori, frustration clear in the motion, before turning back towards the yacht club, where he presented an invitation to the tuxedoed man at the door.

"Don't suppose we've got one of those holograms?"

"I'm afraid not, cherie."

"Right. Long 'way 'round it is."

"Be careful not to wake the capybaras on the beach."

"I'll do my best, love."

-----

Tracer made her way all but silently through the wetlands to the club's south, dance music and boat engines masking her approach. Huh. Didn't think he was the thrill-seeking type, she thought, as she watched Korpal walk towards the boat launch. Is he actually going t' get in one of those?

As it turned out, he was not. Instead, he presented a small teleporter-like device, which projected a hardlight foil racer, similar in size and shape to the two traditional boats already in the water. She could see him grin and nod at other two pilots, who argued with him noisily, one in Portuguese, the other in Mandarin.

"Please tell me you're gettin' some of this," she said, quietly, in comms.

"I have a little of the Portuguese - I believe they're saying he cannot be an entrant, but he may demonstrate his, I think, toy?" She snorted. "From their tone, they have decided he is... gauche, I think."

Tracer smirked, but kept it quiet. "Looks like a closed cowl from here. Can you shoot through that?"

"Almost certainly, though it is difficult to be sure, with hardlight. It would be better if I could get him on the water, without so many close witnesses. He may have many enemies in this city, but it is still worth complicating any investigation, if we... ah, look."

"Yeh, I see it." Korpal guided his craft into the water, climbed aboard, the ship's cockpit sealing itself as he settled into the pilot's seat. He rolled the little boat, foils retracted, demonstrating that he could, and gunned the quiet - but not excessively quiet - engine. The Portuguese-speaking woman made a disgusted noise and walked away, back towards the club, but the other man laughed, jogged over to his racer, jumped in, and cast off.

The two boats roared towards deeper water, and the glittering crowd in the catering tent turned to look at the two sleek ships slicing through deeper water, matching manoeuvres one to one, and Tracer grinned, wickedly.

"...I've got an idea," she said, and, carefully but almost impossibly quickly, made her way to the second launch.

"I... hm, yes. You can...?"

"I can pilot anything, love," she replied, slipping into the Portuguese racer and casting off, following the first pair. "I think it's time for a boating accident."

-----

I knew she couldn't resist, Sanjay thought, grinning, as he saw the third racer, with its São Paulo Yacht Club flag, charging up from behind. Too much pride involved - so easy to manipulate. He gunned the hardlight engine, making it roar - an illusion, of course, the engine was all but silent, but appearances matter - and the São Paulo boat responded in kind, foils out, coming up on his port side, riding very, very close - and bumping, hard, hull to hull.

Oooh, playing rough? I like it, he thought, grinning and bumping back, before spinning round, already past the park, heading northeast, both carbon-fibre craft slower than his 'round the turn.

I'm faster in the straights, Lena thought, calculating. He's got the edge in manoeuvrability, but I'm faster. As she caught up, she shoved him west, port flank against starboard, hard. The Shanghai craft caught up as well, getting into the game, standing off just a bit before gunning past them on the starboard side, the pilot apparently quite happy to let the other two slow each other down. He reached the third buoy in the clear lead, and spun tightly and precisely around it, back down the temporary racing lane, off again before the other two could even get 'round.

"Enjoying yourself, cherie?" came Widowmaker's voice over comms.

"Honestly?" She grinned like a madwoman. "Yeh. I am. This is fun. Think you can do something about the SYC's steering?"

"I believe I can damage the starboard foil. If you could make that engine roar again..."

She did, and there was a little bit of an extra bang, but nothing that sounded like a gunshot, and the Shanghai Yacht Club-flagged craft slowed, veering just a little, slowing to compensate. The Vishkar and São Paulo craft closed, quickly, then passed, as the Shanghai pilot veered off the course, heading back towards the launch.

"I like that," Tracer said. "Ready for your shot?"

"I am, as always, ready."

"I'm gonna ram 'im again. See if you can nick his foil at about the same place?"

"I understand." As they rounded the southern buoy again, Tracer slammed her ship hard into Sanjay's hardlight craft, sending it west, towards the park, where Widowmaker waited, and fired, and Korpal's craft veered the slightest bit further to port, almost exactly at the same point.

He bhagavaan!, thought Sanjay, as his craft shook, and he moved to reset the foil. Something's in the water. Or is it that damned...

"Well, guess that's answered. I'm gonna hit 'im again. You ready?"

"Of course," the assassin purred, as Tracer threw her ship's prow directly into the Vishkar foils. Sanjay's ship flipped, rolling, and as he panicked, Widowmaker sighted, targeted, and fired, the hardlight canopy dissolving like so much candy floss in the water, and Sanjay Korpal's head with it.

"Perfect," she purred into comms, as Lena spun her craft around.

"I think we made a bit of a splash tonight, don't you?"

Widowmaker chuckled, darkly. "Agreed."

"Care to shoot this one's engine? It's combustible..."

"Acknowledged," she said, firing, seeing the craft catch fire, slowing, as light flashed from the cockpit and then beside her, copper eyes now glinting in what would be the darkness. "Oilliphéist, target one down. Check in."

"Oooooh, I saw," came Emily's voice, liquid, thick with ecstasy. "Beautiful. That was lovely work, hon. You too, Tracer - gorgeous."

"Thanks," Lena said, still grinning, for just a moment, before not. "I... I..." she shook her head. "Uh. How's your... target?"

"Oh, she's taken care of. A mugging gone bad, I'm afraid. The area around the track is awfully sketchy, and always has been... really, she shouldn't've gone back there on her own like that."

Emergency sirens blared in the distance, as the burning SPYC craft drifted, sinking, following the Vishkar boat underwater. "We should go," said Widowmaker, sternly. "Rendezvous point one, immediately, yes?"

"On my way. This has been the best date. I'm so happy."

Tracer's smile returned, as she replied. “Yeh. See you soon.”

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send moar reapers
[29 Jan 2018|04:16pm]

[ mood | amused ]

I spend a lot of time in Widowmaker-only headshot-only free-for-all deathmatch custom games, wherein my play swings between “warnings that I’m gonna get booted for inactivity because I can’t fucking hit anything” and this. Consistency? What the fuck is consistency?

But then after an hour in that drill hell then I'll go into general FFA deathmatch for a round? And that’s always better. I love it - love it - when I'm playing a Reaper who is absolutely convinced that if he just teleports up next to me the right way, it'll work this time and he won't get shot in the head before he can fire.

Really, I think he was mad 'cause the round started with this, and then he charged at me again (without even teleporting) and the same thing happened? So he was fucking determined to make it work.

[Narrator: It never worked.]

Best part was that one of those guys got Play of the Game, but it was for a death blossom, when really, it should’ve been a montage of his materialisation headshot deaths courtesy me. O(≧∇≦)O

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woah!
[26 Jan 2018|12:24am]

guess who finally figured out how to capture video correctly on PS4?

yeah that would be me

Also posted to ソ-ラ-バ-ド-のおん; comment count unavailable comments at Dreamwidth. Please comment there.

365 days meme, the fourth
[25 Jan 2018|09:42pm]

[ mood | calm ]

I forgot this yesterday!

January 24 - What is your favorite movie?
Proooooooooobably Spirited Away. I love that film in ways I don't have words for. Due to reasons, I have been looking at Bond films lately, and my favourite of those is Goldfinger.

January 25 - What is your favorite TV show?
Revolutionary Girl Utena, maybe? The Legend of Korra, maybe. Two that made a big big difference for me, because representation fucking well matters, and Korrasami is canon.

Some days, I still can't believe it.

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