I was going to post another chapter of Old Soldiers today, but this is ready, and that chapter needs to sit a little more, so you get this instead.
This chapter is worksafe. Canon-level violence, at most. [AO3 link]
"Well well," the doctor said, as the door closed, muffling the sound of flight engines revving up. "It's been a long time since I've seen that particular emblem on anyone's shoulder."
Lena, all in black, smirked. "Seemed fitting, mate, if I'm workin' with th' likes of you."
They'd found the old Blackwatch armour Tracer now wore while looking through storage at Gibraltar. Tracer had gone looking for her locker not long after the recall, and found it empty, but the storage closet at the end of the row had held all sorts of surprises.
"It won't slow you down, will it?" Oilliphéist asked, already settled in next to pallets of boxed cargo. "All that extra weight..."
"It's not so bad, luv," Tracer replied, "Lighter than it looks."
"But not as light as mine," pointed out Widowmaker, making room next to Oilliphéist, and further room for Tracer, on her opposite side. "We should find a way to get you something made of the same material."
"Might do," Tracer nodded, sitting down next to her lover, "later. But," she smiled at Widowmaker, "maybe somethin' with a bit more to it. Maybe you don't feel the cold, but I sure do. Particularly places like where we're goin'..."
"Be glad it's autumn," Widowmaker noted, "and not winter."
"Got that right." She felt the aircraft launching forward and up. "Hup, we're off!"
"I brought blankets," Emily said, smiling while pulling one over.
The pressurised - but not entirely climate-controlled - cargo hold in which the four women sat wasn't the worst transport Tracer had ever been on, but it wasn't a day in Spain, either. Officially, all four of them were "machine parts," which Emily in particular found strangely funny.
"Well, we're all here now - let's hear it," the Overwatch agent said. "Where're we going, other than 'north'?"
Moira tipped her head in acknowledgement. "Tiksi. It's the closest remaining inhabited city - if you can call it that - to the Siberian Omnium. From there, we're going to Kyusyur, which is both uninhabited, and closer still. It was held as military outpost early in the previous war, before being abandoned. If my information is correct - and I'm quite certain it is - there will be a small cluster of abandoned computer storage devices containing files showing how our analysts stole a rather substantial portion of defence data for resale." She handed out three disposable PADDs. "Maps, with all routes and relevant locations. Memorise them."
"How'd y'find out about this?" Lena asked, dubiously.
"They ended up selling it to us, dear. I've met the charming couple. Unfortunately for them, they like to tell stories - including the one of their daring escape from the Omnics."
"'Course they did," she snorted, flipping through pages on her device. And now you're betraying 'em. "So if you've got the sale, why not... oh, I get it, y'need proof of theft, 'cause that wasn't you."
"Proof of a high crime connected in no way to Talon," the doctor nodded. "Exactly."
"And you're along 'cause..."
"Because I'm the one who can confirm the data. But surely you wouldn't turn down a field medic on assignment, would you?"
"If it's you, I might."
"Well, then, also consider me an observer. I need to see how the three of you work together in practice, not just theory."
Emily smiled, hopefully. "We might see some action?"
"I'd be surprised if we didn't. Kyusyur is officially abandoned and demilitarised, but I think we all know better than that."
"Omnics, then?" asked Tracer.
"Better than nothing," said Emily.
"NT-5s? Really?" replied Tracer. "Null Sector had a lot of those on their side in London. There're still up and running?"
Widowmaker nodded. "Running well enough to appear in my sights, at very least." She touched the side of her headdress, transferring the data to their PADDs.
Oilliphéist chortled. "Do you think they're aware the war is over?"
Tracer snickered. "Good question. Guess we'll find out!" She shook her head. "No, wait. These... aren't actually in the way?"
"No," said the sniper. "If we are stealthy, we should be able to retrieve the data without alerting them."
"Then we ought," said Tracer.
"Ah, well," sighed Oilliphéist. "Another boring mission. Omnics aren't as much fun as humans anyway."
"You weren't there for Null Sector, mate. Don't underestimate 'em," Tracer warned, but Oilliphéist just shrugged.
"I will take this tower," Widowmaker indicated the highest point on the map. "It will give me a good view of the building on the two sides closest to the Omnic presence. Oilliphéist, you take the other side, on the roof of the low building just northeast. We'll maintain tight contact. Tracer, you and Moira can enter the facility together and acquire the data, yes?"
"Gotcha," said the teleporter. "I can jump ahead, make sure the coast is clear before the rest of you move in."
"Then let's not waste any more time," Moira said. "Go."
Tracer teleported ahead, jinking faster than any eyes other than Oilliphéist's, Widowmaker's, or her own could follow, reaching the back of the target building in under half a second. "Nothing on the southeast side," she said, waiting for recharge. "Tower looks clear and sound."
She jinked around the building, verifying ground level all around. "Wids, move in?"
The quiet chain of the Widowmaker wasn't quite silent, and Tracer watched as her lover launched herself up, onto the top of the abandoned lookout tower. "Tower clear," she said, scanning the surroundings. "No additional Omnic activity detected. Northeast building appears clear; Oilliphéist, move in."
Oilliphéist ran half the distance, than teleported the rest of the way to her designated rooftop, laying low to the surface. "Position clear and held. Moira, clear to move in."
Tracer jumped as Moira appeared next to her from a small cloud of black smoke. "That's even creepier when you're the one doin' it, y'know that?"
"I should add sulphur to my field kit to complete the impression, don't you think?"
Lena grimaced, and pointed. "Door. Open."
"Of course." The Talon director pulled a small device from her coat pocket and placed it over the disabled lock and hit a small red button. Coils inside induced power to the circuit; the lock reactivated, and she punched a very old security code into the keypad, and the door politely opened just enough to slip inside.
"Neat gadget," admitted the teleporter, looking into the darkness. "Widowmaker, anything?"
"Not yet. Still watching."
"Follow me," said Moira, lighting a very dim lamp as she stepped into the hallway. "This should not take very long."
The two women walked quickly down the empty corridor. Most of the doors remained closed, as Tracer presumed they would've been at abandonment. A left turn, then a short right. Another closed door, a replay of the previous lockbreaking, and they were in.
"This should be it," said the Irish woman, looking at the small workspace, with its sensor equipment, radio gear, desk, rotting chair, and most importantly, Omnic War-era computer system, sitting where it had been abandoned, all those years before.
Tracer stood guard at the doorway and watched over the corridor back out as Moira worked to take apart the antique computer. "So, Lena - how do you feel?"
"No time to feel anything, mate. Guarding a hallway. Creeped out, a little, maybe."
"No difficulties with your vision, then?" She pulled open an access panel. "You've clearly adjusted to your improved reflexes and nerve speed. You haven't encountered any problems?"
Lena frowned, eyes flickering back to the Talon doctor for just a moment, before turning to her primary task. "...nah. Everything works fine."
"Good." Moira pulled a set of storage elements from the case, and started plugging them into her padd's special interface, one at a time, as it scanned for data on each one. "Is Angela satisfied? She was always so conservative. It has always held her back."
"Most of Overwatch is a little afraid of me, thanks to you," the teleporter replied, quietly, with a hint of a hiss. "If this wasn't so damned important, I'd probably be helping hunt you down right now, not Akande - Ministerial position or no."
"So suspicious, all of you! You'd think I'd sent you back cold and blue, not copper-eyed and warm." She flipped through more storage elements. "Even we wouldn't've kept you locked up so long - Talon knows a good thing when it sees it."
"Y'mean, like you saw Amélie Lacroix?" Tracer did not hide her hostility.
"Exactly like we saw her - and who she could become." She smirked. Ah, there's the first half... She pocketed the card, and moved to the next. "It would have been so much easier to condition her to assassinate first Gérard, and then herself. But we saw who she could be. You see it, too, or you couldn't be in love with who we made."
"Dangerous ground, mate. Watch it. I could still change my mind about all this."
"I'm sure you could," she agreed, a hint of amusement in her voice, "but our purposes are aligned, so why would you?" She moved to yet another card. "It's too bad, though - you'd make a wonderfully effective Talon agent. Should this work out - and once we've eliminated the threat of war - I'd hope you'll consider it. Humanity does need to improve, and you'd fit in well."
Ugh, Lena thought, shuddering. "Now you're just bein' mean. You done yet?"
Ah, the doctor thought, there we are, as her padd confirmed the missing data's integrity. "Yes." She pocketed the second matching card.
"Movement," said Widowmaker's voice over comms.
"Did we trip something?" asked the teleporter. "A silent alarm?"
"I do not think so. They are moving out, but not quickly."
"I've got them - heading northeast, away from us," reported Oilliphéist. "Maybe just a patrol..."
"Possibly. We should evacuate immediately, nonetheless," continued the senior assassin.
"Yeh," Tracer replied. "We got what we came for."
"That we did," agreed Moira, packing the last of her toolkit, and heading for the hallway. "Let's make for the flyer."
Widowmaker's voice appeared again on comms as the two women slipped through the exterior door. "Drone incoming! Omnic. Armed. RO-12." She shot it out of the sky with a single shot as it approached Oilliphéist's position. "Move!"
Oilliphéist appeared beside Tracer in a puff of black smoke. Somehow, it didn't seem as creepy to Tracer when she did it. "C'mon, girlfriend-in-law, let's don't dawdle..."
Tracer nodded, pistols already out, scanning the sky for another drone. "Looks clear, but eyes up, people. Wids, join us at your..."
"Patrol has changed course. Incoming hostiles." She threw herself over the tower railing, then reached back with her chain and launched herself high into the air just before touching down. At apogee, she fired. "First OR-14 down."
The three women on the ground jogged towards their flyer which lay hidden in the wide, frozen ravine to the southwest. "The OR-14s aren't fast, but they have good range, and those troopers can make pretty good time..." Tracer said, as bullets flew overhead, and all three women teleported further along, catching up with the landing Widowmaker.
"Nice shot, love," Tracer said, as the sniper fired another round.
"Second OR-14 down, but the troopers are closing upon us."
Moira frowned at Oilliphéist. "I said you should've let me give Widowmaker teleportation."
"Sounds like now's the time to see how we fight together, Em," Lena said, and Oilliphéist grinned broadly. "About time! Moira, you and Wids keep going."
"No. There is a third OR-14, I will continue to provide cover."
"And I am your field medic." Moira launched a strange, yellow sphere towards the oncoming troopers. "I will take care of you."
Oilliphéist and Tracer nodded, and separated, left and right, flanking the incoming group of NT-5s as single-person pinchers, dividing the group into forward and rear halves, five a person.
They're so much slower than I remember, Tracer thought, as she emptied clips into Omnic heads, smashing sensor arrays, destroying processors, dodging lagging fire. Must be the cold.
At least these old models explode prettily, Emily thought, smiling, as she smashed chassis with the hilts of her fangs, alternating rifle shots with body blows. Smell awful, though. Must be the electrics.
The two women met, back to back, in centre, unharmed, and finished their last remaining opponents almost simultaneously, Oilliphéist with a shot to a primary sensor array, Tracer with a set of shots separating a head from its body, and they turned their heads and looked at each other.
"Wow," Tracer said. "That was..."
"...fun," grinned Oilliphéist. "Nice shooting, by the way."
"Nice punching. Didn't know you had that."
"It's nice to get up close once in a while."
Lena found herself smiling back at Emily. "Yeh. It is."
Widowmaker smirked, rifle at her hip, not so far away. "Third OR-14 down, if you were wondering," she said, over comms. "We should still not dally, reinforcements are almost certainly en route."
The two younger fighters teleported back to the group, and Moira smiled a thin smile as she bathed them in her biotic healing field. "I admire your efficacy. Do you realise that took you all of 18 seconds' time?"
"18... seconds?" blinked Tracer. She'd felt unhurried.
"I know, coulda been faster," Oilliphéist grinned. "I was just enjoying the dance."
"I enjoyed seeing it, as well," replied her creator. "But fun time is over. Widowmaker is correct, we have accomplished our mission." Oilliphéist relaxed, subtly, at those words. "We should depart."
Moira watched out of the side of her eye as Oilliphéist and Tracer joked with each other, and Widowmaker smiled, almost softly, at them both. That went well, she thought, as she quietly disabled the omnic intruder alarm she carried in her coat pocket. No need to bring in any more enemy troops - not now that I really do have everything I came for.