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"So you're... terrorists, then?" Tracer stared at Widowmaker, mystified.

"That's what they call us," Amélie responded, lightly. "We see it differently, of course."

Tracer looked over the news reports, the government statements, the public record. "You've certainly been busy," she said, nervously. "25 assassinations in the last year! That's quite the murder spree."

Amélie's face betrayed her amusement. "Is that the current count? How foolish. No, we prune the tree, not create topiary." More earnestly, she added, "But we are very convenient people to blame."

The padd fell through Tracer's hands, as she momentarily lost anchor to normal time, the blue flash reflecting off the screen. She gasped, and tried uselessly to anchor herself, physically grabbing the bedsheets - Here. I'm here. I'm really still here. Good. Now more afraid, she asked, "Why'd you show me this?"

Amélie looked thoughtful, and checked the synchronisation panel monitoring Tracer's accelerator. Not so big an event as it seemed; fear made the young pilot drop the tablet, not displacement. But the field coil had degraded again - just a little, but it was there. I'm glad we're upgrading her soon, she thought. "It is important that you are fully informed."

"Informed that the people who pulled me back from oblivion are terrorists. And you're implanting... what are you really doing to me tomorrow?" she demanded.

Amélie smiled that cool, pleased smile she used whenever she felt something significant had been accomplished. "Et, voilà."

"Voila what?"

"A question best addressed now, rather than tomorrow, or the next day."

"...right..."

"We will do exactly what we have said, no less; no more. We will implant in you a next generation chronal accelerator, of our own design, and its necessary neural interface. It will do only what we have discussed. With practice, you will have absolute control over it. And that is all."

"And not some kind of bomb. Or some kind of mind control device. How could I even know?" Red outlines flashed around the world.

Amélie's face flashed with disgust, and she waved dismissively at the articles on the padd. "This contemptible trash has frightened you. I understand why. But we do not use suicide bombers; we do not use unwitting or unwilling agents; both are barbaric. We do not conceive to create terror at all; if our assassinations went undetected, our methods would be more effective, not less."

"But..."

"But what would you have thought, had we let you discover these reports on your own, but only afterwards, too late?"

"I'd've known you lied to me."

"Exactement. And now, you know we have not."

"But it wouldn't matter," she protested. "You'd have me by then. I'd be one of your brainwashed agents. Or a bomb."

"Were that our goal, would we even want your permission? Would we even ask?"

Tracer tried to find a reason, and couldn't. "...I don't know."

"Indeed - we would already have done it. If not that, if it is all some other kind of trick, does showing you all this propaganda against us beforehand make such a deception more likely? Or, is it, perhaps, less?"

While Tracer thought about that, Widowmaker picked up the padd and scrolled through documents, working backwards in time, to the beginning: the Overwatch reports regarding the death of Gérard Lacroix. She pulled them up together on the screen, in columns.

"Here is what they say about me," she said, handing the padd back. "You'll note the Blackwatch and Overwatch reports are vastly different. Neither, I'm afraid, are particularly accurate, except in the one key point."

As Tracer read, Amélie continued. "Since I was very young, I have been able to feel the strands of the past, of the present, and probabilities forward... I do not pretend to see the future itself, but I see the many connected strands of where and how it can be directed, and where, without direction, it is all but certain to go."

"I read once," Tracer said distractedly, still reading, "that spiders think with their webs."

The assassin laughed, lightly, genuinely pleased. "I am delighted! You are the first to see that part of it. Splendid!" She shifted forward in her chair. "And by nudging the flow of history, we are attempting to avert a cycle of Human-Omnic wars which I am convinced will destroy most or all life on this earth. But it is for this, and for our methods, that they call us terrorists. We do not care, because we believe in our cause - and I think, methods aside, that you do as well, no? Otherwise I do not think you could've joined Overwatch and remained untainted."

"I think I met Gérard, when I met you," said Tracer. "At the Overwatch Christmas party, last... six years ago, wannit? This says you murdered him."

"Gérard," sighed Amélie, taking the padd, looking at the seven year old Overwatch photo. "My beloved, my husband. I miss you so." She handed the device back to Tracer. "I loved him dearly - he was everything to me. He was also my second in command, and my most trusted confidante - even the name Talon was his idea."

"But he was in charge of anti-Talon operations at Overwatch!"

"Delightful, is it not? It was a game for us - we fake an operation, Overwatch thwarts it, accolades are handed out all around, the budget goes up, Talon takes a share, the real plan goes by, unnoticed."

"Nice one," she said, sarcastically. "So... who really killed him?" asked Tracer.

Amélie raised an eyebrow. "I did. That is the one and only correct detail in those reports. And to be absolutely clear: it was not an accident, and if everything were the same, I would pull that trigger again."

"That's..." A series of blue and red shifts shook the pilot. "...why?"

"Because it was necessary," said the assassin, resolute.

"And why save me?" Tracer questioned, insistently.

Amélie faced the young, frightened pilot, but her real gaze aimed deeply inwards, sorting history and time and probabilities and odds and the strange, random pieces of knowledge she'd been sorting through for all of her life. "I do not expect you to understand this, or even believe it, but there is a broken strand in the web of the world - I can feel it. It has been broken for five years, and it cannot be healed by any number of exquisite deaths."

Widowmaker's focus turned back outward, her gaze firm and voice strong. "You are needed, Lena Oxton. I do not yet know how, and I do not yet know why, but your life, like Gérard's death, is necessary, and so... if I must, I will move the world to save you."

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