Solarbird (solarbird) wrote,
Solarbird
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And just like that, she was down, Chapter 3: do not make me confess it

[Thoughts in «chevron quotes» are translated from the Spanish, if Sombra's, or French, if Widowmaker's.]

[AO3 link]


Sombra waited with her locator beacon, watching, scanning the pre-dawn dark skies in the mountains on the outskirts of Castillo. Cached nearby, hidden, the critical combinations of medications needed to keep Widowmaker healthy, and instructions on how to synthesise more. She just wished they'd thought to kidnap a chemist on the way out.

«Of course», she thought, «that assumes they actually managed to get her out in one piece...»

Finally, she spotted a glint of light - a civilian cargo ship bearing her direction low and slow, slotted in between the mountains. «About time.» She waved, unnecessarily, as the craft approached and landed on the only flat spot on the entire side of the mountain, five metres further below. She scrambled down to meet it, as its engines wound down.

"Hola, idiots," she called out, with a cheerfulness she didn't yet entirely feel. "Chica, you in there?"

The crew door opened, and Widowmaker stood in it, alone, in her usual sniper kit, but without her rifle. "I am here."

"And the twins?"

"Behind me. We decided it good for you to see me, first. I am... I believe I am unmodified. Do you have my supplies?"

«Straight to the chase», thought the hacker. «That's a good sign.»

"Yeah, chica, I do - but I gotta be sure, first." She threw the EMP trigger, grounding the ship's electronics, and trained her machine gun at the door. "Tracer, Kestrel - get in sight. Don't try to take off, you're on a buried pressure plate loaded with explosives which I'll disarm as soon as I'm satisfied. Chica, I'm not taking you far, but I want you far enough away from them to know you're not bein' coerced."

"Sombra, you absolute knob cobbler, I'm gonna..." Tracer bolted towards the door at a full run, and Kestrel cursed at her reduced mobility but made her best attempt at the same. Widowmaker stopped them both at the opening, saying, "No. No. Do not. I understand what she wants."

"EMPs don't last forever - you try to betray us," shouted Kestrel, "I will launch you so far into the ground you will never dig your way out!"

"Kestrel, no," said the assassin. "You both know full well I am more than capable of handling myself. I will go to her."

The flying agent all but snarled at the hacker, who smirked from behind the sights of her submachine gun. "Back away from her, both of you, got it? I've been very nice so far, I'd hate to have to be rude."

The Widowmaker chuckled mirthlessly. "You have not changed. Very well. I will follow." She turned to her rescuers. "Tracer, Kestrel, wait here - I will remain in sight at all times, and I will return. I swear it." She looked back up at Sombra. "That is non-negotiable."

"Fine by me, chica. Get over here. You two - stay behind the doorway. No further out."

Widowmaker stepped forward, and threw her chain grapple against the exposed rock beside Sombra, winching herself higher up the hill. "Stand right there," the hacker said, before waving a scanner wand around the assassin's body. "Huh. Looks like you got all the trackers. Even the passive one in your back tattoo." She examined the little red hourglass on the spider's back. "No sign of a scar. Nice work."

"Overwatch was thorough," replied the spider, "...and, apparently, careful."

Sombra gestured left, and the two women hiked slowly further up from there, side by side, following a trail clearly visible from the landing pad, staying in sight as promised.

"Okay, chica - now, for real... how you doin'?" She kept one eye on the ship.

"I am... I believe I am whole. Did Vialli really order my execution?"

"'Fraid so."

"For one failure? For one capture? " She snorted. "Fool."

Sombra shook her head. "No. For poking too hard at your conditioning. For figuring out how to limit recon."

The Widowmaker spun around, facing the purple-haired woman directly. "What?!"

The hacker nodded. "They finally put all the little pieces together. You've been declared unreclaimable - and to be retired." She gave her taller friend a sympathetic look. "You were supposed to die in Egypt, chica, not get captured. And," she let out a single laugh, "you're welcome."

"...what did you do?" she said, returning to the smaller woman's side, resuming the slow walk.

"Does it matter? You're alive."

"Alive, and in the de facto custody of two..." She shook her head. "...annoyances."

"Annoyances you haven't killed yet, I noticed."

Widowmaker glared at the hacker. "Do not presume to know my thoughts."

"Don't give me that crap, hon. I know your thoughts better than anybody outside the lab that made you. You wanted away, you'd be away." She glanced down towards the water, and the breeze coming from it. "Thought you even were, for a minute, when you showed up in the doorway alone. Thought maybe you'd killed 'em, dumped their bodies in the Atlantic."

The blue woman shook a little, and closed her eyes for just a moment, as though bracing herself. "I... we have had... a truce."

"Seems to me you have a lot more than that."

«Do not make me admit it», thought the blue assassin, gaze tilted down.

"You're feeling something, aren't you? C'mon, chica, you know you can talk to me..."

"Isn't their survival confession enough?" she said, in a quiet voice.

"No," she said, almost kindly. "But that question, on the other hand... it kind of is."

"Thank you."

The hacker kicked a rock on the trail, forward, along the path. "You'd decided, hadn't you."

"Yes."

"How much longer were you going to wait?"

"Another week."

"So really, you're just leaving a little early."

"Yes. But in a way that has... cost them both, dearly. I am... I find myself... disappointed, by that."

Something in the assassin's voice twigged in Sombra's mind. Disappointment, she knew the Widow could feel that, and did - at failed missions, at botched raids, at missed kills. But at someone else's loss? That was new.

"Any loose ends you want me to tie up?"

"No. I was ready. The Prague assignment would've merely been convenient."

"Got your equipment?"

"We raided two caches on the way here. We will raid more, after leaving."

"Any idea where you're going after that?"

"Their plan was inadequate. I have improved it."

"Do you know my personal blind drops, just in case?"

"A few."

"Good. Well, that covers just about everything... and here we are," said the hacker, looking down at a large rock next to the trail.

"This is a rock."

"C'mon, chica." She brought up her control system, cleared the lock, and flipped the cover over with her toe. "You know better."

"Of course - I just wanted to give you your reveal. I'd hoped it would be more dramatic." She looked down at the black case, the one with her own sign on it, the one with the Widowmaker logo. "How much?"

"A favour, that's all. Let's stay friends."

"I meant supply, but under the circumstances, the price is acceptable."

"Oh - I cleaned out the production lab, Made it look like a drug heist, a lot of it will appear on the black market, courtesy my old friends in Los Muertos. With proper care, you've got a year. But even better..." She flipped open the black case. "Separates. You've probably only seen the combined serum." She pointed to one set of vials, labelled in blue. "The components to keep your blood chemistry together, maintain your... unique... metabolic balance." She pointed to another set, in red. "The components to keep you conditioned - and compliant. Combine 'em one to one... or don't. Your call."

"...or don't..." said the Widowmaker, considering the implications. "...my call." She struggled, looking for the right word and not entirely finding it, "I feel a strange... confidence, in Kestrel."

"Confidence?"

"Yes. A bit like towards my handlers, originally, but different. Could I have been modified, without my knowledge?"

Sombra thought about that, and the disappointment, weighing them carefully before answering. "I don't think you'd be asking that question if you were. Could be your standard conditioning's trying to apply itself to new people."

"Can that happen?"

Sombra didn't know biowork, but she knew software, and she juggled what she understood of the Widowmaker protocol from that perspective. "Yeah, maybe, particularly if your old attachments were... violated... badly enough. A death warrant probably counts."

Widowmaker hummed, considering, uncertain, as Sombra closed the case. "Anyway, prep, care guide, synthesis instructions for more, it's all in there." She stood, picking up the case, and handed it to her friend. "And it's all yours."

"You realise," the assassin said, as she took the package, "I do not have to be the only one to leave, right now."

"Ah, you do care!" grinned the Mexican woman. "I can leave whenever I want, I'm just a contractor. But I'm not done with Talon, not yet - Akande should be breaking out of prison, soon, and if that happens, I'll learn all kinds of new secrets."

The assassin nodded. "Consider it, nonetheless."

The hacker in purple smirked. "Why d'ya think this costs you a favour?"

Widowmaker snorted. "You always want more friends, big mouth. Why should I be different?"

"You know me so well!" chirped Sombra, pleased. "But this time, I actually do have something specific planned. For later."

The assassin nodded, once, looking at the case, and the rising light around her. "The sun will be up soon."

"Make sure to tell your gullible gal pals I was lying about the explosives. And good luck, chica... hard times are coming. Don't go soft on me. Or them." Then the hacker vanished, translocating away.

"That is always so disconcerting," said the assassin, to no one at all. She looked down the steep climb, back to Tracer and Kestrel looking up, out through the doorway. As she made her way down the trail, she found herself humming a tune she knew well, and yet could not name.

But she was pretty sure it had something to do with swans.

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

Tags: also on ao3, castillo, emily "kestrel" oxton, gingerspider, lena oxton, overwatch, overwatch au, sombra, tracemaker, tracer, tracermaker, widowmaker, widowtracer
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