also

Apr. 25th, 2017 05:09 pm
solarbird: (Default)
You know you played a good game when your team loses but despite that you get eight votes on your card.
solarbird: (tracer)
Nobody expected a fireball. Or screaming, or the containment chamber suddenly exploding. But it all happened nonetheless when flame, fragments of metal, silicates, plastics, and the distinct tang of burning jet fuel showered the interior of the small building.

And then a small woman in a flight suit collapsed onto the scorched floor. "Get it on her!" shouted the hacker, retrieving the second chronal accelerator from the bench behind her, throwing it towards Amélie, already there, who slapped it onto the body just as it began to shift to red.

The figure solidified, the flight suit suddenly Overwatch blue and grey and a bit too much red, but with blood.

Mon dieu, elle est en vie! thought the assassin, as she and the medic, Taviano, pulled the young pilot - and freshly-minted accelerator - from the smoking remnants of had been a containment chamber, onto a stretcher. "What happened?!" she shouted, as the medic ripped away the shredded flight shield and threw on an oxygen mask.

░░░░░░ grabbed a fire extinguisher, swearing, spraying down equipment, "I dunno, but get her out of here, I'll take care of this little problem."

The assassin, medic, and pilot were already out the door, moving towards the emergency aid unit set up the previous night. "Vitals are good," the medic told Dr. Mariani, who nodded, "Keep an eye on lung function and blood oxygenation levels, let's get her on the table" - she grabbed the stretcher - "tre, due, uno, hup!"

It didn't take three people to lift the small woman, but three were involved nonetheless. "Thank you, Amélie - now let us do our jobs." The assassin nodded once, and backed away. "Let's get this flight suit off - can you hear me, pilot?"

Tracer's eyes snapped open, and she looked around wildly. The doctor looked at Taviano - "Sedativo pronto?" - "Sì." Buona, she thought. "Pilot, the slipstream you were flying exploded, but we have you on the ground now. I'm Doctor Mariani, I'm a field medic. Do you understand?"

The pilot's eyes locked on the doctor's, and she nodded, blinking.

"We're going to give you a little sedative while we check you out, and then we're going to transfer you to a medical unit. Do you know your name?"

Through the mask, a garbled, strained, but understandable response: "Lena. Lena Oxton."

"How many fingers am I holding up?" She held up three, and Tracer's answer was correct. Occhi non dilatati? Non c'è concussione? The mediscanner verified - no concussion. Che era un buon casco.

"You're very lucky pilot, Lena. Here comes the sedative."

Inside the building, ░░░░░░ put out the last of the fires, mostly caused by flaming debris from the chamber. Now, what the hell was that about? Everything was fine until the fire attacked... Flames doused, she opened the second door behind the bench to clear the remaining stink of jet fuel.

"Oh." she said aloud, getting it all at once, as Amélie marched back into the building. "Nique ta mère, what went wrong?"

░░░░░░ laughed, filled with the delight of success, and the assassin glared evilly. "This is not a good time to be laughing."

"Nothing happened! Well, nothing we shouldn't have expected, anyway." She swept debris off her chair and plopped down with what was left of Winston's original device, poking at it and flipping between screens of data in the air. "It was perfección! We all just forgot something very obvious."

Lacroix narrowed her eyes, smelling the jet fuel again. "...the slipstream exploded."

░░░░░░ nodded, grinning. "...when the field generator failed, sending her out of time, along with the explosion in progress around her."

"C’est le bazar."

"Hey, you're just lucky you hired me. Someone not as good might've brought back the whole thing, and then we'd all be in that tent."

She gestured. "But, don't keep me in suspense - how is she?"

Amélie Lacroix exhaled, slowly. "Alive."
solarbird: (tracer)
"So... you're saying she came to you."

Winston, on the far side of a screen with a three second lag, took off his glasses, and polished their lenses, looking down at his bench. "By radio, of course. But yes."

"Winston, I've... I've read up on what she's done. On what's happened. On what the UN and Overwatch and Blackwatch did, and... But..." She waved her hands around, words not coming. "What."

"It was the only chance I had to pull you back into normal time - the first chance I'd had in years." He shifted his weight a bit, leaning a little on the edge of the bench. "I was almost ready, before - I was this close." He held two fingers a millimetre together to illustrate. "I only needed a little more time, that's all. Not even budget, just time. Just two or three more days." Old frustration radiated through his otherwise-calm tone.

"I was so angry when the UN swooped in and shut us down - I'm afraid I may've lost my temper." He chuckled. "I'm not saying 'excuse me' for that."

Lena Oxton laughed, and ignored her almost-mended ribcage's complaint. It'd been an effort, getting up this high. "I know, I know, Winston, none of this is your fault! I'm grateful, believe me, I really am! I just don't understand why."

The hyperintelligent gorilla leaned back into his chair, looking down. "I'm not even sure shutting down Overwatch was the wrong decision. The black ops group..." he sighed. "I wish I could say I was completely unaware, but I wasn't. I didn't know details, and things were worse than I suspected, but the honest truth is that we were... at least to some degree, we were complicit."

Lena nodded no. "That's not what I meant, Winston."

Ah, thought the scientist. "I see. I presume she's trying to get you to join her organisation."

"Ah, c'mon, big guy, I'm not stupid. Sure, she's put that out there, but that isn't what I meant either, and you know it." She waved her hands around in the air, frustrated, frustrated that words weren't coming as quickly as they should - something else that should improve over time. She shouldn't really have been climbing yet, but she missed the heights - and the adrenaline rush - too much not to. Everything gets so fuzzy at the edges, red and blue shifted, drifting just slightly back and forth, like a boat not fully anchored. "I'm a damned good pilot, Winston, but they don't have an air force and this isn't what they do. So what is going on?!"

The face on the screen scowled, and the delay seemed longer this time, somehow. "I don't know. I don't know why she did it. I'm glad she did, but it bothers me that past a point I don't care, because I'm just so happy to see you back with us again."

The pilot once known as Tracer smiled and spread her arms wide. "Aw, c'mere, y'big lug."

"I would, if I could." He smiled, wryly. "I can't even do a lot of digging from up here. Dr. Ziegler and I talk regularly - we're doing some research together on the long-term effects of artificially assisted gravity on mitochondria, I have some ideas to improve our systems - but the rest of us haven't exactly kept in touch."

"Given everything, I'm kind of surprised you talked to her - much less believed her. In your position, I wouldn't've."

"I didn't talk to her, at first. If that friend of hers hadn't managed.. do you know she started leaving messages on our internal comms? They're not even connected to the uplink. I got one in my bathtub - it took us three weeks to track down how she did it. So I decided, if she was that determined... maybe I should listen."

"That, and she threatened to start shutting down your environmental support."

"I think that was a joke."

"She told me it wasn't."

"Oh, dear." That's bad, he thought, leaned forward, and earnestly - even for him - in a low voice - even for him - continued, "Where are you? Do you need help? I can get Angela at any time. Just give me some kind of sign."

Lena laughed, and leaned back. "No, no, Winston, it's fine, honestly - now I'm the one who's joking. Look, I'm - look, I'll show you!" She picked up the comm and aimed its camera around, showing no one around her, showing the rooftops of old London, with the newer, taller buildings behind it, and then pointed the camera down a bit, showing the height of her perch.

"Is that... that's... that's Westminster?" came Winston's voice from the small speaker. "You're on top of Big Ben?! How did you...?! ...are you sure Amélie isn't there?"

Lena put the comm back into its little improvised holder atop one of the spiky ornaments of the tower roof, and laughed again. "Yes, Winston, honestly, it's just me here. Me and the pigeons! They're after my chips." She shooed one away, and distracted another by sacrificing one chip to the rooftop.

"And it's called Elizabeth Tower, Big Ben's just the bell. Honestly, luv, you're such an American - even if you are from the moon."

"But," she added, "she's been showing me a few of her tricks. And... I just needed some air. I just needed some up."

Winston looked particularly grumpily at his now-even-relatively-younger old friend, through the camera, through hundreds of thousands of kilometres, through seconds of time. "You needed some fear. Or maybe you needed to be arrested. Why aren't the police after you, up there?"

"I needed to feel like myself again. This is as close as I could come without something dangerous to fly." She smiled, and twirled a little grapple around in one hand. "And like I said, she's been teaching me some of her tricks."

"Lena..." He rubbed around his left eye with his left hand. "Just... I don't know the whys. I didn't decide to trust Amélie; it was just the only shot I had to save you, and even then - I didn't think it'd work. I thought you had to be dead. I guess... frankly, I guess I was looking for closure. I thought she'd be bringing back a body."

Lena replied, as soberly as she ever had in her life, "But she didn't."

Winston nodded. "She didn't." Not yet. "But it's what she does. The first time we trusted her, and that turned out to be a very bad idea. This time has worked out - so far. Be careful."

Lena blinked. He doesn't know. She told me, she thought, but he doesn't know. Why not? She smiled briefly, and tried to make light of it, but found she just couldn't. She wished she could hug the big ape, instead. "I will be, Winston. I promise."
solarbird: (tracer)
before this, this, and this

The woman in blue sat perched on the walkway, still, and waiting, sniper rifle - for once - not at the ready. Across the broken strip of road before her, on the roof of the low empty building found there, a macaque sucked on a bit of orange, pointedly ignoring the seagulls settling in nearby for the night.

If he was right, thought the woman who waited, it should not take very long.

In the corner of a room visible through the open front door of that building, a small hexagonal device lay silent, looking entirely like just another piece of abandoned hardware in this place strewn with abandoned hardware, forgotten. Of course, it was not; and it, too, waited.

From the far distance, across the bay, came the noise of a freighter, anchoring down; a sharp ear could almost hear the crew talking amongst themselves as the stars came out, one or two or four or eight at a time. A small boat launched, towards shore, possibly carrying sailors on leave, and possibly not.

The macaque, finished with its fruit, climbed around the front of the building and leapt over to the cliff face, disappearing into the low shrubbery clinging to pockets of rocky, hard soil. Further down towards the beach, sandpipers briefly argued, then apparently settled things amongst themselves, leaving only the sound of waves and far-distant traffic.

The watcher touched the side of her headdress, and goggles slid quietly into place over her eyes. The device was warmer than the rest of the building, the power supply and sensors creating the smallest glow of heat - not even enough to attract the animals, but just enough to measure.

She waited.

Only after the last maroon of twilight fled, and the bright nearly full moon set, only then, just visible through the entrance, did a glow arise in the deep black gloom, inside the building, past the doorway. The faintest trace of colour, a deep, dark blue - and the device reacted instantly, throwing all of the power it had in its tiny power cell into its small accelerator field. The blue glow strengthened sharply, and the woman on the walkway breathed sharply in, thinking, Now I see you, as the glow briefly attained form - and the field collapsed, power supply exhausted.

The glow yellowed, turned red, darkened, and vanished.

Hooking her grapple, the blue-haired woman dismissed her goggles and dropped to the ground below, running over to the device. Of what she'd just seen, no trace remained, dust on the floor and walls not even disturbed - but the data remained, safely tucked into a small, heavily shielded storage card.

The assassin held it up, and smiled. Now, she thought to herself, I have you.
solarbird: (tracer)
also before, but only just, and not as far before

Amélie punched a very old access code into a keypad lock, and the door opened, silently and quickly. The morning sun lit the small workroom inside, the overhead lights popping on unnecessarily. "Will you have enough room to work here? The medic can set up just outside the door."

The hacker stepped around the room, carefully avoiding one corner. "I think so. This tracking equipment needs to go - we'll need to set up the containment chamber in the corner. And I want that workbench from the main floor. The nice one, with the grey top, against this wall." She pointed towards the western wall. "It'll block the other door, but we don't need it."

She paced around the room. In the corner she avoided, a faint flicker of light, then gone.

"So let's say she's alive, and this works, and we get her back, and she survives that too... what's your plan?"

Widowmaker raised an eyebrow. "Recruit her, of course. You know that."

░░░░░░ shook her head, no. "I know you said that, but, well, I've read her files, and I have to tell you - that's hilarious."

"Not at all. If this device works as Winston believed it would, she'd become a tremendous asset."

"That's not what I mean and you know it."

Lacroix said nothing.

"What are you going to tell her? What could you tell her?"

Ah, thought the assassin, a question I can answer. "The truth."

░░░░░░ threw back an amused, you-cannot-be-serious glare. "...the truth."

"Yes. Starting with the truth about me. And about Gérard."

What?!, thought the hacker. "Now I know you have to be kidding. Mi dios, why?"

"Because that way, cherie, she'll know."

"Know what?

"She'll know that if I'll tell her the truth about that, I will not lie to her. Not about anything."

░░░░░░ tilted her head to the side, and thought hard, trying to figure out how Amélie Lacroix telling Lena Oxton about how she assassinated the head of Overwatch's anti-Talon task force - and her husband - could convince anyone of anything other than running away now seems like a really good idea. "'I assassinated my beloved husband but I'm totally fine with it.' That's very reassuring."

"You know nothing about him. Or her."

"I know none of this makes sense and I don't think I want to be here if she wakes up."

Amélie laughed, delicately. "The support staff will be so disappointed."

The hacker sighed. "Fine. It's all pointless anyway if the accelerator doesn't work. Help me haul this gear - we have a lot of setup to do before I can test anything."

before

Apr. 13th, 2017 12:07 am
solarbird: (tracer)
[this bit of story, chronologically, goes before the previous story post here]

"Okay, hang back a second, I've set the lifter but I don't know how much charge is left in the battery pack..."

Lacroix backed away from the wrecked door as ░░░░░░ punched a sequence into a small handheld pad. The sound of metal scraping against metal followed a loud, low hum and electrical snap, and half the ruined door slid into the ground, and the other half bent upwards towards the ceiling.

"...Impressionnant."

░░░░░░ looked atypically confused at the damage. "ah... I don't..." She shook her head. Materials science wasn't really on her list of priorities. "eh, whatever. We needed it open, it's open, I'll take it."

Widowmaker activated her visor, scanning for potential targets, finding none. "We're still alone, for now." The two women stepped into the ruined research lab. "But be careful. I do not think we've done the floor any favours."

"No, I don't think so either." said the hacker, throwing a light onto the ceiling. "Do you see the accelerator?"

"Yes. It's still here. Incredible." Widowmaker retrieved the small chrono-tunneler from its storage case, and laughed a little, in her best mission-accomplished way. "It's not even dusty."

░░░░░░ frowned. "This was too easy."

Half of a smile. "Leading you down through 15 stories of collapsed building was not 'easy,' even for me."

"Yeah, well, whatever." She pulled down the light. "I don't mean to crash the party mood, you know, buuuut..." started the hacker, drawing out the u.

"Yes, we are finished here." Lacroix replaced the tunneller core into its protective case. "Let's go."

"That's not what I mean."

"No?" said the assassin, stepping back into the ruined hall.

"No." replied the hacker, following the blue woman upwards towards the next level. "I mean, don't get me wrong, this is a neat bit of tech, and I'm glad to get my hands on it. But..."

Amélie's expression didn't change, as she launched her grapple upwards through three stories of ruined training room. "We don't even know that she's not already dead."

"She probably is, you know. It's been years."

The assassin nodded, and triggered the winch. "Elle est en vie ou elle est morte. De toute façon, nous allons le découvrir."
solarbird: (tracer)
It's in French because only the French version got leaked and it wasn't up all that long:

solarbird: (tracer)
Backfilled into a game, one that was running out of time and someone had dropped. This almost means instant DEFEAT notification, sometimes before you can even pick a character, but I have time to pick Tracer and run to the point. I never actually see any of the enemy (and am firing where I think they're going to be) before I'm hit from behind by enemy Hanso's ult and die. At which point...

VICTORY

...and I am "okay that's hilarious," but wait, it gets better, because after the play of the game and the cards come up (enemy team has all of them), I discover zero kills, zero damage, one death, and...

I bronzed in objective time.

WHAT HOW WHY HOW DID THIS TEAM WIN? HOW? XD XD XD

lol what

Apr. 9th, 2017 02:59 pm
solarbird: (tracer)
38 kills in one game (as Tracer) and I didn't even medal. jfc that was hilarious.

(28 on objective, though, and that did medal. Silver I think? And golded for Time On Objective, which is super-critical on payload levels.)

I've had half a song in my head for a while, it's about playing Tracer as a tank. BECAUSE TRACER CAN BE A TANK ON PAYLOAD LEVELS I HAVE DONE IT ENOUGH TIMES I KNOW.
solarbird: (tracer)
"You know," said ░░░░░░, carefully manipulating microforceps above the small silver device sitting atop the matte glass workbench, "I really have to hand it to the gorilla. This is a very clever piece of hardware."

A short series of beeps, a blue light, and she leaned back, smiling at her own cleverness. "It's a shame they sent him back to the moon."

"He always was the smart one," agreed Amélie. "I met him... a few times, before." Before Overwatch was shut down. Before its agents were decommissioned or exiled. Before many things.

"But can you make it work?"

░░░░░░ laughed. "Can I make it work. Please! Of course I can! All it needs are some tweaks to its software. And a few more functions." The Talon hacker raised some screens, flipping through lines of code. "He obviously never got to finish this code. There are all sorts of missing case handlers." And, she thought, peering at class stubs, extensions. What they don't know won't hurt them. "But the core functionality is all in the hardware. It'll be easy."

Beside them, in the corner of the room, an empty chamber flickered, and lit up, glowing right blue, then briefly yellow, then brighter, almost taking form - before, after a flash of red, it was again empty. For just a moment, if the right person looked at the right time, they might've seen a small figure in a pilot pressure suit, before it was gone.

"She keeps almost being able to land here, doesn't she?" said the assassin, who most definitely did see it. "I wonder if she has any idea what has been happening since..." She looked back to Winston's little device, and then to ░░░░░░. "How long?"

"If I had to push it?" said the hacker, "...eh, two, maybe three days. But if you want me to be suuuuuure..."

"Be sure."

"...oh, give me a week. And unlimited access to hardware, so I don't have to waste time stealing things."

She'd lied, of course. She could write and test the software in a day. Even Winston - who was far better at hardware than software - could've done it in two or three, if the UN hadn't stepped in when they did. But it would take that long to make a second version of the hardware, for herself, which the upper-ups would find and she'd say was for testing, which was even kind of true, and a third version, for herself, which they would most definitely not find and which she would most definitively keep. As she was fond of saying, a girl always needs the latest tech.

"Very well. I'll talk to the directors, but - consider it approved. On my authorisation." She touched a panel; a door unlocked, and opened, revealing the ruins of the Overwatch research facility outside. "Don't short-cut this, ░░░░░░. Be. Sure."

That, thought the hacker, almost sounded like an emotion. Let's file that away for later. "C'mon, Amélie, am I ever not? Stop bothering me. Go outside, shoot some wings off of mosquitoes or something." She cracked her knuckles, dramatically. "Let me get to work."
solarbird: (tracer)
stupid servers why are you being stupid tonight?!

heavy tracer play kind of relies on the servers not doing horrible things like:
  • undoing your jinks (moving you back to where you'd been)
  • not exploding your pulse bombs
  • exploding your pulse bombs but not registering the damage
  • jerking you back and forth between two positions in rapid succession for no apparent reason
  • VIBRATING YOU IN PLACE SOMETIMES WHAT EVEN.
I know other people don't see this or at least don't see it as much (except the Tracer bomb thing, that shit's infamous) BUT I HAVE WITNESSES I'M NOT MAKING IT UP.

and tonight it's like DO ALL THE STUPID THINGS. even when I win I feel like I'm beating the server, not the opposing team.

nghghghghghghgh.
solarbird: (Default)
obviously this is old, i'm just making a point here >:D

solarbird: (pindar-most-unpleasant)
i don't know what i did to piss off the overwatch gods - maybe this is payback for my "lol" move a few days ago - but gods dammit i can't buy a win the last couple of days.

i mean, okay, that's an exaggeration, i've got a few wins in there? but it's getting real sparse. i'm constantly on teams allergic to the point (news, kids: pharah should not be the ONLY TEAM MEMBER WILLING TO BE ON THE POINT), i'm constantly leading charges that evaporate to leave it 5 or 6 on one against me, i'm on griefer teams with mei players deliberately blocking my attack routes (SERIOUSLY THIS HAPPENED; you do that to me, I drop immediately, which is what I did, because fuck you), today i was on a team where i kept pulling literally half the opposition team off the point and the rest of my team would still be all dead because they would run in a straight line, one at a time, into a bastion sitting on the objective.

(i know this because it was play of the game. i saw it. i sat there and watched four? all five? of them run around the corner into continuous bastion fire. it was like watching the charge of the goddamn light brigade. it was amazing.)

i'd even told them on the voice channel about the bastion. presumably headphones were all off.

also, there's the every-session routine now that's started up, where i join a game as backfill and before i can even pick a character I get the DEFEAT animation. what the fuck good is that?

i mean, i can pick up a mediocre team. i've done it. i can even pick up a weak team and make them competitive, if things go right and we get some luck and they're responsive at all. but nobody can fix this shit.

this game is a lot less fun when you know thirty seconds in that you have no chance of winning. none. and it's that obvious, and you're getting gold medals with three kills. not three objective kills: three kills. (yes, that happened. and also massive damage and a gold for that too. but I'm Tracer, I spread the damage around a lot, by necessity. tracer can 1-on-1 with a tank, but not 1-on-3, much less 1-on-6, and when the other team has things like healers, you can harass all day at 1-on-6, but you aren't going to get a lot of kills in your pocket.)

i got onto one good team today. one. and i got one game with them before the server picked me out of that team and put it on the opposition we'd just crushed, presumably to balance the game, and that's where we had the get-in-a-line-to-be-killed-by-bastion play of the game.

it's just not fun. it feels like i was kind of getting decent at this game, and now that's over. it's the kind of thing i'm not good at handling. ah well, maybe i'll just go back to fallout.
solarbird: (gun good job)
the best bit of overwatch today was being pharah and grabbed by roadkill when i had my ult up, so he pulled me over to him and i was all JUSTICE RAINS ON YOUR FACE

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