Author’s Note: First off, I need to say this, just so I don’t tread on anyone’s toes; Overwatch, and all characters affiliated, are copyrights of Blizzard Entertainment and no copyright infringement is intended for this story. All rights belong to Blizzard Entertainment and this story is strictly a fan-fiction, meant for entertainment purposes only.
Now that that’s out of the way, I thought I’d share a few things. This story has been tumbling around in my head for the last couple of weeks and I decided to finally craft it. Though it’s not my normal cup of tea, I decided to write this because firstly, I’m an Overwatch fan and secondly, the whole idea was just too cool to let it die.
Just so people are aware, this chapter has no sex in it, but there will be some in successive chapters. The story is about a character that does not officially exist in the Overwatch universe. Though, when I wrote this, I did with full respect for the canon, as a means of creating a story that people could believe would exist in the game. If it did become reality and was put in the game, well, I think that would be awesome. Just thought I’d put that out there. Now, shall we begin?
The transport ship soared through the cold Canadian air, its engines roaring with power. Lena Oxton, piloted the ship as it returned to home base, the crew having completed their mission. She chanced a look back, to see how her companions were faring on the long flight home.
Sitting in one of the built in benches that lined the transport’s walls, was Jack Morrison, a.k.a. Soldier 76. His mask was off at the moment and he was currently leaning against the bulkhead with his eyes closed, deep in thought. A couple of meters further back, sat Alexandra Zaryanova, whom everyone called Zarya. The brawny woman was busy tuning her Particle Cannon, making sure that it was still ready to fire when needed.
Opposite them, stood Mei-Ling Zhou, the very reason that they had gone up to North Pole in the first place. Despite being nearly forty years old, she didn’t look a day over thirty-one. Tracer supposed that being frozen in cryo sleep for nine years would do that to you. She was busy fussing over one of the tablets she had brought, going over the climate readings that she’d taken.
For some unknown reason, the climate of the planet had been changing at an accelerated rate and no one knew why. Mei had been chasing these abnormalities and anomalies since she woke up. She had made it her life goal, to find out why exactly these things were happening. Jack and Zarya had gone along with her on this mission, to ensure that there weren’t any unexpected surprises up there.
Thankfully, the mission had been a success and everything had gone off without a hitch. Lena maintained her focus on her flightpath, the Canadian government granting them a flightpath though their airspace. Despite the Petras Act’s political ramifications, they were granted safe passage though. Jack and much of the old guard from Overwatch, had some friends in high places and pulled some strings. As long as no weapons were being fired, the government would turn a blind eye to their presence.
“Come in, Snowhawk One, this is Hawk Nest. Snowhawk One, come in please,” came Winston’s voice over the comms line. The peppy British woman started in surprise, as it was unusual for any sort of contact to be happening when they were still so far out. Lena answered the call, flipping the switch, putting the call through to her cockpit.
“Snowhawk One here. I read you Hawk Nest. What’s the trouble?” Tracer responded, as the holographic image of the intelligent ape flared to life on her right.
When anyone saw the Winston for the first time, they often thought of him as some sort of oddball gimmick gone wrong. Most people would be wrong in that assumption though, as he often would have a kindly disposition. He also possessed a great love for humanity and his friends, which was echoed in his actions. Though he was a kind being at heart, few would dare cross him intentionally, as his exploits in Overwatch were well documented.
“We just got some new information from a reliable source. There’s a former Overwatch agent near your current position. Going on the intel we recently acquired, it seems like Talon is after him,” Winston stated, his gentle face quite serious.
“Another agent? Who?”
“Michael Perun, a former JTF2 operative. He was recruited quite some years ago. Official records say that he’s dead, but we’ve received documented proof that he’s still alive,” Winston replied. Moments later, an information packet was uploaded to the transport, the onboard computer pinging when the upload completed.
Lena set the autopilot and then brought up the file. Sergeant Perun had been a busy man when he served in the JTF2, even more so after he had joined Overwatch. With more than a dozen commendations for bravery from the Canadian military, he was the very exemplar of a good soldier. He had saved his team on more than one occasion, always managing to find ways out of impossible situations. He often cited that it was his instincts, that had gotten them out of scrapes that should have seen his whole unit K.I.A.
Lena zoomed in on his picture, getting a good look at the man. The large man would have been the poster boy for recruitment if his operations hadn’t been so secret. The soldier stood at six foot three, weighing in at two hundred and thirty-five pounds of solid muscle. His solid jawline and high cheekbones was indicative of his Euro-Slavic ancestry. He had a wide frame, brown hair and brown eyes, which seemed to twinkle with a sense of mischief.
Cycling through the photos, she found the more recent ones that had been taken and she did a comparison. The newer photos showed a man who was well into his thirties, a few pounds heavier, with some gray at his temples and a hardened look about him. After a brief computer scan comparison, the match correlation was over ninety-six percent. The man in the photos was indeed, Michael Perun.
“I remember him,” Jack said from behind Lena, as he leaned over her right shoulder to get a better look at the image. “A good man and an outstanding soldier. He was transferred to Blackwatch, as a means of putting his skill set to good use.”
“I don’t think I’ve ever met him,” Tracer said, scrutinizing the image.
“Few people did. He was a very private man, played things close to the vest. He was every bit as boisterous as Reinhardt though when he had a few drinks and loosened up,” Jack said, his brown eyes looking over the newer images. “Are you sure the source is reliable?”
“It is. The intel came from the Olive Branch,” Winston clarified, making Jack and Lena’s eyes widen. The Olive Branch was an online personality or personalities, but no one truly knew. They had offered the reformed Overwatch group much needed intel from time to time. Though the price he/she/they asked was sometimes steep, the information was usually spot on the nose and invaluable to them.
“What’s the price tag?” the white haired soldier asked, his face already wincing at what they may have asked for.
“That’s the only real oddity about this piece of intel. They offered it to us, for free.”
“What?!?” Lena responded incredulously. Jack’s face was equally stunned and bewildered as hers. It was practically unheard of for the Olive Branch to offer such information for no cost!
“Did they give any reason why?” Jack continued.
“None, but they did say that Talon is likely to have their boots on the ground shortly if they don’t already,” the kindly ape said worriedly. Nodding, Jack turned back to see if either Mei or Zarya had heard. Seeing them standing behind him, it was evident that they had. Jack opened his mouth to speak, but the Russian woman beat him to it.
“He is a soldier who could help us rebuild and a man who will need our help. Never leave a fallen comrade behind,” the big woman stated as she offered her hand to the battle scarred American. Reaching out, he clasped her arm, as one soldier to another. He looked over to the Chinese climatologist and though she seemed nervous, there was also the look of determination on her face.
“I may not be able to help much, but I will do what I can in order to help out. Overwatch needs to rebuild, if there’s ever going to be any chance of hope for this world,” Mei said ominously. Her little droid, Snowball, chirped an affirmative, fully behind his friend.
“Send us the co-ordinates Winston. Though it may cause trouble, we need to get there before Talon does. They’ve been too far ahead of us by half. It’s past time that we finally pulled ahead,” Lena said, her resolve solidifying.
“Co-ordinates sent. Good luck Snowhawk One. Hawk Nest out,” Winston replied before he cut the transmission.
Snow kicked up from the sleek, ethereal looking transport as it touched down in a remote area of the Canadian Rockies. The jets were still gushing out hot exhaust when the rear loading hatch opened, slamming the ramp into the frosty landscape with a crunch. Heavy armored boots clunked down the ramp, as the black figure took in the snowy forest around him.
Though he didn’t need it here, Reaper still preferred to wear his mask, rather than not. It also helped that it kept him warm, as he wasn’t one for this climate. He was used to sunnier venues whenever he was out in the field, but he didn’t complain. No one ever heard the man, who had once been Gabriel Reyes, complain. Since his change, he had become a shadow of what he once was. Some people called him a demon, though it never seemed to bother him.
Further up the ramp, the clicking of three different sets of feet sounded, each one far smaller than Reaper’s. He sighed wearily, as all three women lined up behind him, each one in their usual tactical outfits, with some added cold weather gear.
The first woman, who stood to his right was Amelie Lacroix, a gorgeous woman who went by the callsign, Widowmaker. Her skin was a cold, ice blue, but not nearly as cold as her golden eyes, which shone in the late day sun. Widowmaker’s black hair, which normally hung in a loose ponytail, was done up in a bun this time, primarily to keep it out of her face. Her sniper rifle/assault rifle weapon of choice, Widow’s Kiss, lay comfortably in her grip as she surveyed the area for any threats.
Moira O’Deorain, was a modest looking ginger haired woman, who no one would have picked out of a crowd. Were it not for the metal plate that gleamed on the left side of her face, she would have been unnoticeable. A brilliant geneticist in her own right, it was her advancements in genetic research, that gave Reaper the abilities that he possessed today. Though she tried to look cold and disinterested, she was as giddy as a school girl, as the mission they were on was one of great interest to the disgraced scientist.
The third operative who joined them was not one that the black clad team leader would have chosen, but orders from Doomfist cemented her position on this op. The violet eyed woman, known to him only as Sombra, shivered at the cold. She danced about in the cold weather to keep warm, clearly not used to the frigid atmosphere. Falling snowflakes peppered her purple and brown crest of hair, that she kept flipped to her right side, framing her beautiful face.
Ever since he came back from the failed attack on Volskaya Industries, he was distrustful of the woman. Reaper was of the opinion that Sombra actually had their target at her mercy, but he couldn’t prove it. He kept his suspicions to himself, as the enigmatic hacker had proven to be of great use before.
Despite what anyone else said about the Hispanic woman, he kept a close eye on her. If she made another questionable move, Reaper would get to the bottom of it and nail her. He hated working with wild cards but was left with little choice, as Talon’s hackers couldn’t hope to match her skill level.
“Are you certain that they are here?” Moira queried, her enthusiasm apparent.
“Chica, I told you before and I’ll tell you again, I made absolutely sure that they’re here. You know how it was. Both Vince and Mike were part of Blackwatch under Señor Muerte here,” she said, jerking her thumb at the foreboding team leader. Reaper sighed in annoyance, but Sombra only laughed, enjoying her teasing of the cowled man. “So it would only make sense for the two of them to stick together after things went all Ka-boom!”
To punctuate her point, Sombra then uploaded the digital photos that she had managed to procure and showed them to the rest of the team via her digital display. First was several of Michael, out and about in a nearby town, procuring supplies. The others were of some sort of feral man, who looked to be part animal, which Moira knew was Vincent McCready.
“As long as you’re certain. Well Gabriel, shall we get moving?”
“My name,” the name in black growled out dangerously, “is Reaper!” He then drew and cocked his shotguns, loading and readying them, making his position to the rest of them known.
“Right. Of course. After you good sir,” Moira gestured with her arm, doing her level best not to mock the man. He had an axe to grind and wasn’t shy about using it on anyone who pushed him too far. He gestured for both Moira and Sombra to fall in behind him.
“Widow, head to your vantage point. We need to draw them out,” Gabe ordered Amelie. Nodding, the assassin melted into the forest, silently moving towards her destination. The Talon strike team, then moved through the trees, silent as wraiths, fully intending to get the drop on their targets.
Moira couldn’t believe that two other men, both of who volunteered for her experiments during their time in Blackwatch, were still alive! Though truth be told, she was only interested in Vincent McCready, as he was the only one who was classified as a success. The lean, ebon haired soldier was the only one in which Moira had managed to make significant changes to the human genome. It mimicked the very experiments that were done to both Gabriel and Reyes and Jack Morrison.
Though the initiative was highly controversial, the super soldier program was responsible for producing the two former friends, into such outstanding specimens. The both of them were faster, stronger, more durable and resilient than the average human being. She had hoped that her tests on Sergeant Perun would have worked, but it turned out to be a dud, the serum having no discernable effect on him, aside from killing him. She wondered how it was that the man was still alive, but that would be a question that would soon be answered.
When Moira had used the procedure on Lieutenant McCready, there were several notable differences that had indicated that it worked. The once narrow man had started to fill out, adding heavily corded muscle to his frame in virtually no time at all. His abilities and enhancements were all reminiscent of Reaper, before his change. The only drawback was how he seemed less inclined to take orders and had a more….. feral disposition than most people.
Since the attack that had destroyed the Overwatch headquarters, nearly all of her research results and notes were lost. Though she retained most of them in her head, having her notes and results mattered, if Moira hoped to successfully duplicate her experiments. Shaking her head from the past, the ginger haired woman focused on the present, picking her way behind Reaper and ahead of Sombra, doing what she could to maintain silence.
Amelie Lacroix picked her way through the dense forest, her vantage point just ahead of her by five hundred meters. Though she had maintained her façade to the rest of the team, she remembered a few things from her past life. Things that came from the time before she became Widowmaker. Things that her husband, Gerard, had told her about Overwatch’s newest recruit.
“You should have seen this man Amelie! He fought with a sheer ferocity that I have never seen before!” Gerard exclaimed, going over what he had seen that day. He had just walked into their apartment and after greeting his dear wife, he launched into the first thing on his mind. Literally, the only thing on his mind that day.
“So the man can fight? That’s always a good thing, if he hopes to fit in with Overwatch,” she had mused disinterestedly, sipping a glass of wine. Fixing his wife with a look, the dark haired man knew that the next few words would certainly catch her attention.
“He beat down Reinhardt.”
Head snapping to stare at her husband, Amelie’s eyes nearly fell out of their sockets.
Shaking his head, Gerard replied simply. “I honestly don’t know Cheri. It’s almost as though the man refused to be beaten by anyone. It was like the force of his will was beyond that of even Commander Morrison.”
Amelie couldn’t help but gape at what she had heard. Someone with the strength and fortitude to put down Reinhardt was rare. The amount of willpower that he possessed must have been staggering.
“What is his name?” she asked her love.
“Michael Perun. He’s a Canadian man, though truth be told, I didn’t know that they made them that tough out there,” Gerard replied, still shaking his head in wonder.
“I suppose that great things will come of this man, considering the kind of men that are now his mentors,” Amelia said warmly, fixing her husband with a loving look.
The memory had surfaced upon hearing that name and she shuddered. She had gone over every personnel docket after the dissolution of Ovrwatch, and was relieved that this man had been counted among the dead. Facing a man that her dead husband had found to be fearsome was not something she relished.
Clearing her mind with an angry shake of her head, Amelie brought herself back to the present moment. She had reached her sniper perch and though she should have gotten down into position, she couldn’t help but admire the view.
Tall pine trees dotted the shores of a now frozen river, every one of the laden with heavy snow. Mountains provided a solid backdrop against the clear blue sky, while the wind whipped some small gusts of snow about. What appeared to be a small waterfall, was frozen over and its crystalline beauty was easy to appreciate. Widowmaker could hear the near silent movement of animals moving nearby, but not a one chittered noisily.
“So peaceful,” she mused to herself as she dropped into position. As she adjusted herself to lay down comfortably, she understood the idea why anyone would want to live out here. The peace and tranquility was like a balm, one she had not fully understood, until today.
Shifting her focus back to the mission, Amelie looked through her scope. After adjusting for the glare of the sun, she caught sight of her team, making their way across the ice. Reaper stood at point position, with both Sombra and Moira flanking him, as they moved. Her ears pricked up at another sound that was carried on the wind. It sounded like….an aircraft of some sort.
Quickly, she looked about, searching for its source. Eyes shot skyward and she did indeed spot a plane. It was one of those passenger liners, no doubt on its way to Vancouver or some other city within reach. Shaking her head, she mentally chastised herself for allowing paranoia get the better of her. Amelie Lacroix was unaware though, that the very thing she had feared, was actually happening.
Tracer had flown low, barely skimming the treetops in stealth mode, in the hope that the transport wouldn’t be detected. She had put them down, approximately two kilometers away from the GPS co-ordinates. As far as the whole team was concerned, there was no need to alert Talon to their presence, or spook the man that they had come to retrieve.
Once they had landed, everyone suited back up in the cold weather tactical gear that they had brought with them. Jack walked up to everyone, handing each of them a solid looking, cobalt colored helmet. All three women looked at the helmet questioningly, as Jack was busy fitting his on.
“If Talon is out there right now, I don’t want to leave anything to chance. Better to have those on and keep your heads right where they should be, rather than lose them to a stray shot, or a sniper’s bullet,” the white haired commander said seriously.
Nodding resolutely, both Zarya and Mei placed their helmets on, knowing the seriousness of this impromptu mission. Lena looked at hers for a moment, before donning it. Once it sat upon her head, the helmet began to shrink down in size, molding itself to her head shape. The sensation was weird and oddly disconcerting, but once it was done, Tracer no longer felt like she had a bucket on her head. It felt like something that was designed specifically for her, and her alone.
“Winston had these made just last week. He felt that generic tactical helmets just weren’t doing the job. He also notes how it’s been a miracle that we haven’t taken a bullet between the eyes as of yet. These will keep our heads in once piece while conforming to our individual needs,” he looked accusingly at Tracer, who had the sense to smile sheepishly.
Indeed, the helmets had formed to each one of them, scanning their base bone structure and shifting their forms accordingly. It went a step further and had their combat profiles uploaded to them, so each helmet would be calibrated to their own weapons, abilities and combat styles. Once the onboard HUD had finished calibrating, it came up as a full digital display on the inside of the tactical visors.
“Wish we had these back in the old days!” Tracer exclaimed excitedly. She couldn’t wait to take it out for a spin and put it through its paces! Jack grunted in assent before opening the hatch of the transport. He turned back to the team assembled before him, continuing on with his briefing.
“All right. I want everyone to stay alert and on point. We have no idea what exactly is going on, or what sort of system that the Sergeant has on his perimeter. It could simply be a warning sensor array, or a full grid of defensive turrets, we don’t know. I don’t want to have to zip anyone up today, so be careful out there,” the grizzled soldier stated to the team. All three ladies nodded their head, the gravity of Jack’s statement not lost on them. As one, they walked out into the forest, weapons at the ready.
“Any idea what we’re looking for?” Mei asked tentatively.
“A small cabin, hidden by the tree cover. The intel went on about how it was in a very secluded part of this forest. It checks out with what I remember of the man. He liked his privacy,” Jack said matter-of-factly. “We need to move fast, but remember, be mindful of any traps.”
With that, the Overwatch soldiers moved deeper into the forest, unsure of what they’d find in its depths.
Michael Perun sat in a squashy and cozy armchair, a steaming cup of coffee in his right hand, while holding a book in his left. He was bundled up in a heavy gray wool sweater, with a simple white t-shirt and a pair of black pants, that fit his legs perfectly. He had his bare feet propped up on a small stool as he continued to read his novel.
Though they were getting rare, Mike loved books. Though many tablets and readers afforded him the luxury of storing hundreds, if not thousands of titles on a small device, he liked physical books better. The feel, the look and smell of an actual book, reminded him of simpler days. Better days, before all this craziness that had blanketed the world in conflict, had happened.
He’d only been three years old when the Omnic Crisis had hit humanity hard. Many people were displaced refugees. Everyone fleeing the homes that they’d known all their lives, in an effort to evade the rampaging machines. Mike had been among those people and he recalled the horrific, bitter memories that had surfaced.
Quickly brushing them away, Mike refocused on his novel. It was an older copy of Robert Jordan’s first novel; The Eye of the World. Though he had read the whole series several times over, it was always good to pick it up again. It felt like going on an adventure, every time he picked it up. He stretched out comfortably, as the fire he had crackling on his hearth permeated a heavy warmth throughout the cabin.
He had just finished the chapter he was reading, when the perimeter sensors went off, sounding a quiet alarm in his home. Putting down his coffee and book, the cranky Canadian man hurried to his computer. Grumbling the whole while, he booted up the screen and in seconds, he watching a live video feed.
Initially, Mike thought it was another small grouping of deer, looking to pick away at what meager food they could find. Clusters of them, especially does with fawns, had been ranging through the area, but he always got up to check what set off his sensors. This time, he was glad that he had maintained such discipline.
The miniature cameras that he had placed within a one-kilometer radius of his home, displayed something that he never expected to ever see again. A team of what appeared to be mercenaries, and well-armed ones at that. Their lead was a man in a large black cloak and a stylized horror mask, armed to the teeth. The other two were also of interest to him, especially the red headed woman.
Moira O’Deorian! I swore that should I ever get the chance; I would kill you myself! The big man thought to himself. What she had done to him, was monstrous, subjecting him to what was tantamount to torture. Mike never gave up that one day, he’d get his chance for revenge. It had finally arrived and he would seize it!
The other woman was also of interest, as she was quite gorgeous to look at. But, she had the look of someone who was more at home with technology around her. No tech around here to help you out, girlie! He smirked to himself as he thought her an easy target. Until he saw the way that the machine pistol hung at her waist, like it was a part of her.
Mike growled to himself, angry and frustrated that this was happening, but he figured that it had to happen sooner or later. Someone, somewhere, would have found him and come looking. He was at least glad that it was here, on his home soil, where he had the advantage. With the hard looks on their faces, he knew that they had come looking to either kill him, or take him.
Michael had no interest in becoming a corpse or someone’s lab rat. Setting his jaw, he bolted to his room, which was a small, walled in space, containing a simple wooden bed and a nightstand. Reaching under the bed, he pulled out a locked chest that he kept under there. As it came out, he noted the thick layer of dust that lay upon it, not having opened it since he locked and sealed it years ago.
Sighing, he entered the pin code on the digital locking mechanism, then brought his face close, so the built in computer could scan his eye. Once completed, the locks clicked open and the lid rose, revealing the contents within. Inside, lay his old armor jacket and boots, still emblazoned with the Overwatch crest. They looked just as they had when he stowed them all those years ago.
Shrugging out of his sweater, Mike assembled the armor, fitting all of the relevant plates and catches where they needed to go. Once armed up, he stepped into his boots, before they snapped together, fitting and molding to the contours of his lower legs. The fit was a bit tight, as he wasn’t the same shape as he was all those years ago, but it would do.
Kneeling before the chest again, he fished out a sidearm, that went into the holster at his right hip and several clips for it. He then pulled out his signature weapon: Eternal Rest. It was a scout rifle, designed and modified per his specifications. First off, it carried a large clip for such a weapon, a total of fifteen rounds. Each one was a high caliber bullet, capable of dropping a deer at five hundred meters, with no power lost in its firing.
It was also highly accurate, though not as much as most sniper rifles, due to the lack of a scope, but he didn’t need one. It also featured the capacity to fire at full automatic, emptying the clip in a span of six seconds. The bullets were also designed maintain their shape whenever they hit a hard surface, making what he called, ‘skip shots’, basically ricochets, possible.
There was one final addition that he’d had placed into his rifle. It was a type of launcher, which would superheat a special set of caseless ammunition, made from titanium. Using a small rail system built into the mechanism, which formed a second barrel on its underside, the heated slug would be catapulted out at high velocity.
Effectively, it would shred anything that was in its way, but the distance on such an experimental device was abysmally low. Although the hitting power was phenomenal, the effective range was hindered to maybe twenty feet, before the heat melted the slug and it turned into little more than titanium Jello.
Satisfied that he had everything he needed, Mike sealed the footlocker, before kicking it back under his bed. He stepped out into the main room of the cabin and made for the back door. Since the merc group hadn’t come close and no other perimeter alarms were triggered, he took a beat and chugged down what remained of his coffee.
Placing his mug back on the small side table by his chair, Sergeant Michael Perun, cocked his rifle. Ramming a clip into the magazine slot, he hopped out the rear entrance, setting his mind into the focus of a hunter.
Sombra held her position behind Reaper, scanning for any sort of tech that could be out here. So far, she’d found nothing, which was quite odd, considering that this man had gone to great lengths to hide himself and his friend. It was then that she’d noticed some of the birds that sat upon their perches in the trees, which seemed to be looking at the group rather oddly.
The odd part was that they were just sitting there. They didn’t chirp, tweet or even ruffle their feathers as the Talon group passed by them. Squinting at them, she decided to look a bit closer at them and found that they were staring right at her. Sombra sent out a hacking signal, directed right at the birds and found that her instinct on them was correct.
The one bird she sent the signal to, dropped right out of the spruce it was perched on, falling to the ground several meters ahead of them. Both Reaper and Moira noticed the falling creature and hurried back to investigate.
“What is it?” Reaper asked in his grating, hoarse voice.
“Some sort of sophisticated spy camera, disguised as a bird,” the Latin woman stated seriously, after a brief examination of the bird like camera. “Our cover has been blown. They know that we’re here.”
The three of them had their weapons pulled and at the ready in a span of several seconds. The looked about the area, searching for any discernable threat, but found nothing. They continued moving, listening and waiting for anything that would indicate an attack.
As the Talon strike team continued on, a clearing was evident through the trees ahead, but they stayed just behind the treeline. As they approached the clearing’s edge, a clicking/thumping sound could be heard. In a split second, Reaper recognized the sound of a particle cannon firing.
“Get down!” he shouted, as mere seconds later, the explosive charge detonated against the tress. The blast shattered a great many of trees into splinters, which peppered the group. Reaper got up and was glad to see both Moira and Sombra relatively unharmed. He looked up and was both surprised and angry at what he saw.
On the far side of the clearing, Gabe saw two women, both of which he recognized. Alexandra Zaryanova had her particle cannon pointed their way, which she could obviously put to good use. He knew that she was the one responsible for the current devastation that he stood in.
The other woman he knew of, but was of little interest to him, until now. Mei-Ling Zhou was busy putting her endothermic blaster to use, crafting ice fortifications that both she and Zarya hid behind. He would have gone straight for them, to deal with them immediately, except that he had more pressing concerns. Both Lena Oxton and Jack Morrison charged towards him, weapons blazing and grim looks on their faces.
Cursing, he dove for cover behind the trees, with both Moira and Sombra merely a heartbeat behind him. He managed to get down behind some trees, away from the newly formed crater, as he called out to Widowmaker.
“We need some fire support, now!” Reaper shouted into the comms.
Widowmaker couldn’t see a damn thing, due to the extensive tree cover, that blocked her line of sight. Setting her visor to thermal, Amelie lined up her shot, ready to drop the troublesome Russian. She took the shot, but the soldier still stood, unflinching.
“Bon sang!(Damn it!)” she cursed as she refocused her fire. It was evident that Zarya was wearing a helmet of some unknown design, which made any headshots useless. Homing in on any exposed areas, she made three shots in rapid succession. Each one connected, hitting the brawny woman in the left shoulder, abdomen and right knee.
Though she couldn’t hear her screams of pain, the French born woman contented herself with the fact that she saw Zarya drop like a sack of potatoes. She made to take another shot, intending to end her life. But then she saw her thermal signature get much cooler, as though masked. Widowmaker growled as she managed to guess that the other woman with the soldier, had erected some sort of barrier, to block her shots.
Knowing that there was nothing for it, Amelie shifted her aim, searching out new targets.
Seeing Zarya go down in a spray of blood, Mei had hastily erected the ice wall higher, to keep any further sniper shots away from her friend. Having lost their supporting fire, both Jack and Tracer fell back to the additional barriers that Mei had constructed earlier. They continued to move about though, dipping and rolling, to keep the sniper from finding her target.
At this point, the Talon strike team counter attacked, Reaper with his shotguns blazing, while Sombra dashed in, machine pistol spitting fire and thunder. Moira hung back, using her biotic abilities to give both her compatriots whatever aid she could. Jack and Reaper engaged each other in close quarters combat, the two of them quite evenly matched.
Sombra engaged Tracer, trying to pin her down long enough to hack, but the pesky Brit kept dancing in and out of reality, pulse pistols flaring each time. She kept firing at the reality hopping
woman, keeping her distracted, as she then threw something. It arced upwards, going over and behind the ice wall that Mei had built, unnoticed by anyone.
Mike had heard the ruckus, not far from the position where he had hoped to engage his hunters, but it seems that someone else had beat him to it. He humped it, following the sounds of automatic gunfire and was surprised by what he found. An Overwatch strike team had landed in the area and was currently engaged in battle against the unknown mercs!
Not knowing what exactly had transpired for Overwatch to have shown up, Mike seized this opportunity and jumped into the firefight. Roaring as he charged in, he first focused his fire on the man in black, emptying his clip at the wraith like apparition. Most of the shots bounced off of Reapers armor, but a few found their way past those defenses, stinging the man.
Sombra saw that this new addition to the fight would turn the tide against them. Focusing on where Tracer would likely appear next, she kicked out with a roundhouse, her leg whistling through the air. Her guess was correct and she managed to catch Lena off guard, the kick hitting her in the lower abdomen, knocking the wind from her. As the British woman flew away, sprawling, the Latina wasted no time and hacked the newcomers weapon.
Michael had managed to get a Hellfire Slug off at the man in black after Jack had shoved him away, but then his weapon stopped working. He looked about and saw that the dusky skinned woman had been busy entering a sequence into her arm pad. Figuring out that she was the source of the hack, he began to charge towards her, until a bullet stopped him cold.
Crying in surprise and pain, Mike dropped to his knees, the shot having caught him in a weak point in his armor. It hit him below his collarbone, just missing his lung. The force of it was enough to drive the air from his lungs and he tried to regain his footing, but failed.
He saw that Jack had fired several bursts at Sombra, driving her back, as he went to help up Lena. Just as he brought the brunette to her feet, a purple orb of energy shot out from behind the trees, catching them both in its wake. Jack turned and saw it coming, but it was too late, as it was already on top of both him and Lena. They both dropped down, the orb sapping their strength to stand and fight.
Moira plodded out from behind the treeline, heading towards the downed heroes, a ghastly smile on her face. Though she had wanted to see what exactly her abilities could do to such unique specimens, she kept the draining effect of her to a minimum. She saw that Reaper had gotten up and was moving over to where she stood, his guns ready to kill both his longstanding nemesis and the hard to hit Brit.
“Keep watch over them, as I interrogate our new….guest,” she said to Reaper with disdain. The black clad man growled, but nodded, knowing that disobedience would not be looked well upon, as Moira had operational command of this mission. At this point, she dispersed the orb, allowing the two Overwatch agents to breathe again. Moira looked over to Sombra and saw her wave, before she disappeared.
Mei had done what she could to staunch Zarya’s bleeding. The bullets that hit the brawny Russian woman had also nicked a couple of arteries, and she was bleeding profusely. The Chinese climatologist had done what she could, using her blaster in minute amounts, to freeze the wounds. It wasn’t ideal but it was enough, so at least the soldier would stand a chance of finding proper medical aid.
The shock and loss of blood had knocked Zarya unconscious, despite her stubbornness to stay awake. Though she was out cold, she was alive, thanks to Mei’s quick thinking. Mei had then turned to further encase the two of them, so they would be shielded from the fight and instead, found herself looking down the barrel of Sombra’s pistol.
As she was tending her teammate, Mei didn’t notice the small device that had flown through the air and buried itself in the snow. Sombra’s translocator had activated and stayed online, despite the extreme cold. Now, here she stood, having gotten the drop on her.
The Latina then gestured with her pistol, indicating that Mei should move. Mei glanced down at Zarya, hoping that she’d pull through, but fearful that she wouldn’t. Sombra looked down at the unconscious soldier and tsked.
“You know, Amiga, you really need to be careful of who you choose as your friends. Some of them might just get you killed one day,” the purple haired woman said casually. While keeping her pistol trained on the climatologist, she grabbed the particle cannon that lay in the snow and dragged it along with her.
Passing into the sight of everyone else, Mei was prodded over to where Jack and Lena kneeled in front of Reaper, their hands on their heads. Seeing as how she had little choice, Mei walked over and took position beside her friends. Moira had started questioning the new arrival, which Mei could only guess was Sergeant Michael Perun.
Though she had seen his photos, she could tell that they didn’t do him any justice. He was far more handsome in real life than his photos had let on. There was rugged masculinity to the man, which found both enticing and appealing. As she looked on, the click of a shotgun, brought her focus back to the wraith like killer, that had them all at his mercy.
“What about Zaryanova?” Reaper had asked Sombra as she had directed Mei to join her friends.
“Unconscious, badly wounded, freezing and possibly dying. Without this though,” she gestured to the weapon that lay at her feet, “no way she’ll cause trouble, even if she does wake up.”
Grunting, he spoke out loud, catching Widowmaker’s attention, “Keep an eye on everyone. If they try anything, kill them.”
Moira had been asking pointed questions of Michael and he had refused to answer, simply fixing her with a deep scowl. Most of the questions consisted of how he had survived, when he was supposed to be dead, as he had died on her table, years ago. His only response was, “You’re a smart girl, figure it out.” Her response had been a hard slap to his face, which he took in stride, but stayed quiet.
Moira decided to follow another line of questioning, “So, since you survived, I would assume that Vincent has as well. Where is he?”
Mike, at first scoffed, which then bloomed into full out laughter, at the absurdity of her latest question. His laughter echoed throughout the trees as he continued on. He then decided that he would answer the hated scientist.
“That’s what this is all about? Finding Vince? If that’s the case, then you’ll have to go and dig through the detritus of Overwatch HQ. He molders in a shallow grave there,” the Canadian man said with a scoffing finality.
“Liar!!” Moira screamed at him as she slapped his face, yet again. “We have documented proof that he was spotted here. Where is he?!?”
“I told you, he’s dead. I would know because I killed him myself.”
Moira went to slap him again, until Sombra caught her hand and told her, “Chica, it’s pointless to try to slap another answer out of him. He’s being honest with us.”
“How can you tell?” Moira asked, her anger evident.
“Look at the way he’s staring at us. His gaze and breathing is steady, unfaltering, which means that he’s hiding nothing. The questions he’s answered have been quick and to the point. There is no trace of nervousness in his voice, or any change in his pitch. What he’s telling us is the truth.”
Moira grasped the big man by the jaw and demanded through clenched teeth, “How is that you, a failure, were capable of overcoming such an exceptional specimen?”
“Like I’d honestly tell you, bitch,” Mike said with all the vitriol he could muster. He then spat in her face, before yanking his head away.
“Oooooooh! I like him! Can I keep him?” Sombra asked, with all the sweetness of a girl who had just discovered boys for the first time. Moira shot her a withering stare, making her raise her hands in compliance, backing away.
“Just kidding, Amiga. You do what you want with him.”
The Latina shuffled away meekly, as Reaper looked on, chuckling to himself. He still kept his weapons trained on his prisoners, especially Mei. Though she was brilliant, she didn’t have the tactical or combat experience of the other two. As long as he kept her in his sights, Tracer or Jack would hesitate to do anything that might likely get her killed.
“This is a setback, but there is an opportunity here. Bind them all and we’ll take them with us. I could use some test subjects like these,” Moira said haughtily, looking down at Jack and Lena, her mind awhirl with the possibilities. Reaper laughed darkly as he and Sombra kept their weapons trained on their captives.
The Irish scientist kept wondering how it was that Michael had survived. There was photographic evidence that Vincent was spotted here, along with the Sergeant. Yet, the man present insisted that he had killed Lieutenant McCready himself. Could Sombra have been wrong or found bad information? No! It was a statistical impossibility, Sombra would have missed nothing in her information sweep, unless……
“Not on my watch,” she heard a guttural voice state, much closer than she thought possible. She turned for a moment, to see the Sergeant charge and hit Sombra with such force, that she went flying right past the red-headed woman. The next blow cane directly to Moira’s sternum, sending her flying through the air, just as Sombra had. Reaper turned his attention to Mike and that’s when Jack leapt up and struck, decking the black clad man as hard as he could.
Gabe went flying, as did his guns, but he flipped in midair and landed on his feet in a crouch. He drew another pair from within his coat and pointed them at Jack, whose weapon was at least ten feet away and to his right. Not nearly close enough to grab it, but just then an inhuman roar sounded, causing both men to turn and gasp.
They both saw Sergeant Perun, tearing away his coat and boots, as his flesh rippled and expanded. His back arched as he stood, his limbs lengthened and thickened, heavy ropes of muscle filling him out. The man’s bones cracked as they changed shape, and grew. His head turned from that of a human man to some sort of twisted hybrid of man and beast, canine teeth studding a toothy maw. His once pink skin was replaced with a rough hide that sprouted dark gray fur, so dark, it almost looked black.
When it finally stood, it towered over all of them, standing at nearly eight feet in height. It stared venomously at the Talon strike team and roared. It charged at Reaper on all fours, long, razor sharp nails digging deep furrows in the snow. Gabriel, despite never expecting this, maintained his ground and opened fire on the wolf man, emptying his magazines.
It trembled under the heavy slugs, before coming to a halt mere feet in front of the shadowy man. Reaper then laughed, figuring that he had either beaten it, or killed it, as it stood deathly still. Then it moved, standing at its full height in front of him, growling softly. Indeed, the agent hunter had wounded the beast, seriously by the looks of it. But right before his stunned eyes, the wounds closed over, almost as though they had never been!
“I was mad before. Now you’ve gone and pissed me off!” the animal said to the wraith, as he struck. Reaper teleported away, quick as thought, but the beast wasn’t fooled. It quickly sniffed him out and turned to where he now stood, guns ready. He fired at the monster, but it had simply shrugged off each shot, as though they were insects.
“Widowmaker! Abort mission! I repeat, abort mission! Get back to the transport and get us out of here!” Reaper screamed out, hoping that their fourth team member had received that transmission.
Amelie couldn’t see much, due to the thermal imaging of her visor, but what she did see, terrified her to the core. It was impossible! That a man could become such a feral and savage animal, was beyond her.
“Moira, what kind of monster have you created this time?” she murmured to herself.
Though she should have obeyed Gabriel’s orders, the golden eyed woman kept firing at the beast, in hopes of wounding it. Seeing that her rounds had little to no effect on it, she refocused her sights to the fallen Overwatch team. As she scanned for them, she finally located them, but only to find that their heat signatures had dropped substantially.
Widowmaker would have thought them dead, except they were actually moving. Merde!(Shit!), she thought to herself. They had likely made their way back behind that ice wall that Mei had constructed earlier. Taking a few pot shots confirmed her theory, otherwise, their heads would have exploded like watermelons. Amelie double checked and saw that at least one of them hadn’t moved much, if at all. She smiled to herself, believing that she had at least seriously wounded, if not killed at least one Overwatch agent.
Sweeping the battlefield, the blue skinned woman found her remaining team members. Though their signatures were a bit muffled, they were still moving, which was heartening to see. With that, she packed up her perch and hot footed it back to the transport. As Widowmaker ran, she called out, “Rendezvous at the edge of the waterfall! Repeat, pickup is at the waterfall!”
Waking up a few moments later, Moira clutched her head, as a headache threatened to pound its way through her skull. Her vision was blurred and for a moment, she forgot who she was and what she was doing here. Then, as her vision cleared and she remembered, then truly saw what had become of Sergeant Perun.
The monster he had transformed into, was magnificent! The way he could still articulate as a logic thinking being, yet still maintain his animal ferocity, was one of the limits that she had hoped to break. In breaking one of humankind’s shortcomings, she was finally successful! Now, everything made sense! However he had survived, he had lived long enough for the serum she had given him to fully transform his DNA. He was now a living hybrid of human, wolf, bear and wolverine!
Standing on wobbly legs, she moved her arms, trying to activate her biotic emitters, only to find them damaged beyond repair. She cursed quietly, hoping to avoid any attention from the wolf-like man and shrank back, just as Widowmakers transmission came through. The ginger haired scientist didn’t like it, but at this moment, there was little choice but to abort.
“We will cross paths again and next time, you won’t be so fortunate,” she said quietly. It was then, that she heard a moan from behind her and saw Sombra fuss around. The Latina was trying to get up, but failing, her face a mask of pain. Moira dropped down to her and felt around her mid-section, which was wet with blood.
“Seems like you have a couple of cracked ribs, possibly one or two of them broken, along with some severe lacerations. You’re bloody lucky to be alive,” the scientist imparted to her hacker team mate.
“Lucky? How is this lucky?” the dusky skinned woman groaned in pain. Moira simply pointed in the direction of the fight that was happening. The look on Sombra’s face, though priceless, sold her on how easy she was getting off.
“Madre de Dios!! Is that….?”
“Michael Perun? Yes. It seems he wasn’t a failed experiment after all, but we have no time. You’re hurt and I’m out of the fight. Widowmaker is on her way down in the transport, but we still have to get there. Can you stand?”
Nodding, the dark complected woman grit her teeth as Moira helped her up. Slinging her arm over her shoulder, then she helped the wounded hacker along. She could only hope that Reaper could keep holding the beast at bay.
The fight had lasted far longer than Gabriel had anticipated. The beasts’ resilience was astounding! Every time Reaper thought he had managed to wound it, the gaping holes left behind by the twelve gauge slugs closed over. Each one healing like they had never been there to begin with.
Facing a creature with this level of ferocity, forced him to teleport numerous times, just to stay ahead of it. He teleported again, coming up behind the beast, hoping to find a weak point, only to have it turn around and grab him in a two handed grip. The nails scored his armor, as the monsters grip kept his arms pinned to his side.
“Fight an enemy long enough, he starts developing a pattern and becomes predictable,” it snarled, before it jabbed its claws into the dark man. Reaper screamed out in pain, as the nails of this creature punched through his armor, like it was paper. Then it squeezed, crushing his bones, eliciting a howl of a dying man. In moments, Reaper fell limp, the pain too much even for him to endure.
Tossing him aside like a rag doll, the beast that was Sergeant Michael Perun, turned to face the other two women who had accompanied Reaper. The spot where they had lain was vacant, with tracks leading into the woods. Sniffing the air, he caught their scent and charged after them.
“You can’t hide from me!”
They had made decent time through the woods, until they reached the river. By then Sombra had recovered enough from the hit to manage to move on her own. They were halfway across the frozen river, nearly to the transport. Amelie stood waiting by the hatch, her rifle ready, when the wolf man burst out from the forest behind the fleeing women.
Shock, awe and fear flashed across Widowmakers face, as the beast charged at them, intending to rip them limb from limb. Widow’s Kiss chattered, bullets flying at it, as she tried to wound the monster, but to no avail.
Only when he was nearly on top of them, did he slow down, as a swirling nimbus of black mist, coalesced into Reaper. For once, the beast was surprised, but it only lasted a moment. He began tearing into the ice, intent on breaking the shotgun wielding terrorist, as he had before. Reaper kept firing, doing everything he could to keep it distracted.
As the rest of his team disappeared into the transport, Gabriel decided that it was time that he made his exit. As he began to teleport into the transport, he saw that both Jack and Tracer had come out onto the riverbank, moving as fast as they could to catch them.
Even with her chronal accelerator, there was no way Lena could catch them. The transport was already airborne, carrying the Talon operatives away from the conflict. Though they were already away, Reaper had dropped several grenades, the explosives forcing the Overwatch team to fall back. The hatch closed, sealing the Talon strike team safely within its confines.
Moments later, there was a clunking sound, which came from the closed ramp. Suddenly, hardened nails punched through, tearing small holes in the metal. Slowly, it began to move, widening the gouges. Then a fist tore through the hatch, causing the metal to tear with a shriek. Another roar sounded and they terrorists knew that the beast had somehow managed to latch onto their aircraft.
Taking a risk, Reaper punched the emergency open button, forcing the hatch to fly open. Once open, the wolf man that was Michael Perun, flipped up and stood before the black clad man. In the span of a heartbeat, Gabriel Reyes unloaded his shotguns into the walking monstrosity, the slugs exploding with concussive force. The blasts drove it back, forcing it to the edge. It was at that moment, that Sombra, though wounded, opened fire on the wolf man, pushing it over the edge and into the snow covered valley below.
“Not today, puppy!” Reaper growled as he turned back into the ship, closing the door.
“Doomfist, will not be pleased,” the Mexican woman stated, as she was being tended to by Moira.
“Better to come back empty handed, than not come back at all,” Reaper said, with a finality that made even Moira shiver with its implications. He walked on, deeper into the ship, with a slight limp to his step.
Michael fell from a height of more than a thousand feet, as he tumbled to the earth. Looking about, he saw that a copse of trees lay beneath him and he focused on dodging the tips, as he fell past them. His hands shot out, grabbing whatever branches were within reach. They began to slow his descent, and as soon as a large enough branch presented itself, he grabbed it and held on for dear life.
The branch he had grabbed actually held, for all of seven seconds, but it was enough. The tree limb snapped under his weight but by then, Mike had leapt from the tree he was in, to the one next to it. He made consistent leaps, working his way down, until he was finally on hard packed ground.
His eyes shot upwards, barely able to make out the fading aircraft, as it pulled away with all due haste. He roared after it, glad to see it gone, but still angry all the same.
“Merc scum,” he growled, before he turned his gaze back from where he came. Smelling the scent of blood, he raced off back to where he had left behind the group of Overwatch soldiers. He hurried, running on all fours to give him the speed that was necessary to get there fast. Michael knew that at least one of the soldiers had gone down hard. He only hoped that she wasn’t gone before he got there.