As before, CW: this story is going to get pretty fucked up. Archive tag: violence. Also note: I categorically do not write non-con/rape or underage. [AO3 link]
And then, one day, she was gone.
Emily howled like a banshee when she heard. A perfectly ordinary mission, a perfectly ordinary encounter with a decidedly, almost determinedly predictable opponent, and - gone? Just like that? No. Refusal, in purest, distilled form.
She spent an evening raging on the training grounds, injuring half a dozen opponents, all but killing one in her fury.
She spent a night barely sleeping, barely thinking, being apart so different now, so much worse because suspicions or not, she had no true idea where her lover might possibly be.
She spent a morning raging at Akande, demanding the right to follow, to retrieve, and was, again, refused.
She spent an evening demanding the same from the greater council, and was yet again, refused. "Impossible!" she shrieked, bursting out into the hallway. "I will not have it! I won't!"
Quietly, at the back of the table, one member of the council smiled, as the armourer stormed back to her workshop, ordering everyone out, and grabbed her rifle, enough standard rounds to kill an army, all the experimental rounds she'd made, every single one of them, and the chain grapple she'd made for herself, knowing that her unenhanced body would be wracked with pain, injured every time she used it.
She did not care, not at all. If they won't try to retrieve her - I will. And I'll make them stop me.
She made it further, far further, than she should've, then she could've rationally expected.
She made it past the therapist, and her security escort, roused to talk her down.
She made it past the security cordon, roused quickly to sedate and jail her.
She made it past the soldier ring, who weren't expecting anyone like her - certainly, not coming from the inside.
And, shoulder aching, exhaustion creeping up her spine, she made it 20 metres outside the base entirely - just short of her waiting flyer - when her neck suddenly stung, and her vision turned grey, and her skin turned numb, and her arms turned leaden, and the ground came up to meet her, fast, too fast, far too quickly for her even to say hello, before the world snapped hard to black.
She floated, freely, in the haze, slowly becoming aware of that, slowly becoming aware of her own existence. So calm. So still. So bright. So quiet. So unlike herself, and yet, so familiar, so like herself, so right.
Is this death? she thought. No... that can't be it. Death is... death is... peace, but not questions... and that was a question...
She didn't move. She didn't feel any urge to move, either. But if she listened, listened with her body, and not her ears, she could feel, she could feel motion, she could feel... what? She could feel her blood flowing. She could feel her heart slowly beating, she could feel everything in the little world that was her own.
What? What is... that?
A whisper. The faintest of whispers, a voice she knew, but not the one she wanted, a voice familiar, but not the one she loved, but... a voice. And words - "Ah, my lovely, do you feel it? Starting to rebuild in there, are we? Good."
She could feel so much, and yet, some things, she could not feel at all. With a beautiful clarity, she felt every strand of muscle, every shaft of bone, every length of tendon, every fibre of carbon and metal, every drop of blood, and oh, blood, there is so much of it, but so little past that, nothing outside...
Outside. There is a boundary? Yes. Of course. Skin. She has skin. Of course, she has skin, and she can feel it. So obvious, and yet, somehow, now, so novel, as though she'd never truly realised it before, not even before before, and she knew there was a before, even if she couldn't quite say what it must have been.
"There was so much," said the voice, "that we had to burn down, with Lacroix. So much to suppress, so much to rebuild, to form into your image - and ours." Fingertips, suddenly, along one arm, like electricity, like fire, and she felt as if she screamed, but didn't scream, and didn't even want to, but should have, all from the intensity of the touch.
"All that, when we already had *you*. We even knew it - well, I knew it - that's why you were the perfect template. You were already so completely, utterly prepared. And yet, we wasted so many months making a muted copy... but, well, you know that, or you will, again, in a few minutes. After all, you were there." A small laugh, and the touch vanished.
"And all you have to do is bring her back to us," the voice cooed. "Bring her back to me. Something you begged us to let you do. Then we can take all the things we've learned, making you, and give them to her, too, just like we've given them to you. And then you will both be together, and all - all will be forgiven."
I get to bring her back, she thought, and smiled, at least, inside. I have... I have a task. I have a mission. How... wonderful...
"Ah, almost there," said the voice. "Are you ready to be standing?" She realised the voice was louder now, and had been growing so, the entire time. She'd focused on it, so intently, so completely, and yet missed that most obvious point.
Moira, she knew, feeling herself take a long, slow breath. Moira O'Deorain. I know her. She found herself knowing many more things, many more things she'd already known, as if lights were turning on, one at a time, inside herself, her ability to conceptualise expanding, growing. The doctor. The one who...
"Ah, your first breath entirely on your own. How does it feel for you to be alive again, I wonder? It's been twelve weeks, you know - or, well, you know now."
Balance, she thought, feeling being poised, ready, in an effortlessly familiar way, and gravity, the pull of gravity, aware of it, at last. I'm not floating, I'm... standing.
"Are you ready to see?"
She was. She opened her eyes, spotted a running, ducking human target, and reflexively, without thinking, without needing to think, sighted that target with the metal and carbon extension of herself she held in her arms, and shot it down. She felt the bullets fly, so pure, so fast, so quick; blood spilled from the shattered skull as the body which had supported it slumped to the ground, heart still beating, at least, for a moment, spurting blood, and she admired the splatter, from her stance, not needing to move, watching the blood pool, so bright, so red, and felt it, through every cell of her body, through sinew and bone, through nerve and steel, through heart and soul, and it took what was left of her breath completely away.
"Beautiful," said the voice, by her side. "Superb."
She licked her cool, lavender lips, with a cool, violet tongue, shivered with pleasure, and turned to the good doctor beside her, appraising her anew through brilliantly silver eyes. "Delicious."
"Do you know your name?" asked the Talon doctor, the one who had given her everything she ever wanted, for a price she did not yet know. "Tell me who you are."
"Oilliphéist," she said, without thinking, just knowing, having never said or heard the word before, yet she knew, it was a great, ravening beast - as was she. "I am Oilliphéist."
Widowmaker lay next to a sleeping Tracer, gazing at the foolish girl's head, amused by the insanity of that hair despite the swirl of thoughts keeping her awake. This entire plan is falling apart, she thought.
What else could go wrong? she asked herself. It'd seemed so simple, at the time. So obvious. Pretend to fall in love with the irritating teleporter. Arrange a "defection," and get away from the abusive mess that is Talon. They'd finally accept Emily's petitions to upgrade, and send her out to bring her back. She'd help Emily break the conditioning, as she learned so well now how to do, and then Emily would have everything she ever wanted, they'd be together, and Widowmaker would be free. They could freelance. They could buy an island with a condominium on it. It would be wonderful.
Instead - nothing. Emily hurt, badly, trying some sort of mad run to retrieve her without upgrades, after being refused yet again. No concerted recall effort - just an "acquire if encountered" order, according to Sombra. And worst of all - worst of all - discovering she'd actually fallen for the hyperactive little idiot across from her in bed.
Disaster. Complete disaster.
Ah, well, she thought, at least it makes the acting easier. She smirked at herself. Acting is trivial if you don't actually have to act.
She rolled over, facing away from her new lover, and checked her dead-drop boxes again. Nothing... then, she blinked, and there was something, something new, appearing as she watched.
Hey, Chica, it's your best friend -
I'll keep this short. The official story? It was bogus. Most of the club haven't figured that out yet, but turns out Doc Two-Tone's been working on her out of town, and from what I hear, looks like she got your present after all.
But watch out, she's not a backup copy, she's a version two. Keep your eyes open. I don't know what new features have been bundled in, and you know what Two-Tone is like when she really gets going. She might not know either.
She'd signed it, "your favourite chupacabra" - one of Sombra's many running jokes the spider didn't understand.
"Mmmm?" she heard, from the woman next to her. Damn, she thought. The light from the screen woke her up.
The Overwatch agent rolled over and nuzzled the back of her neck. "G'morning, love. Whatcha lookin' at?"
The spider took a long, deep breath. I think... it is time to come clean.