solarbird: (Default)

Alliances, it has been said, are at their weakest on the brink of defeat, and on the brink of victory. After defeating the China Sea omnium, the gods of Oasis offered their help to Russia, to defeat their own Siberian threat, and Russia accepted that offer - but made additional secret plans of their own.

Of Gods and Monsters: The Arc of Conflict
Fragment e14c,1: Backups and the need for them

solarbird and bzarcher

It's been years since Sombra hung out with the rest of the Los Fantasmas hacker collective. She learned so much from them, and then, abruptly, left. But why?

Of Gods and Monsters: The Arc of Conflict is a continuance of The Arc of Ascension, The Arc of Creation, and The Armourer and the Living Weapon. It will be told in a series of eddas, sagas, interludes, fragments, texts, and cantos, all of which serve their individual purposes. To follow the story as it appears, please subscribe to the series.
solarbird: (Default)

Alliances, it has been said, are at their weakest on the brink of defeat, and on the brink of victory. After defeating the China Sea omnium, the gods of Oasis offered their help to Russia, to defeat their own Siberian threat, and Russia accepted that offer - but made additional secret plans of their own.

Of Gods and Monsters: The Arc of Conflict
Edda 14c: Questions of Balance

solarbird and bzarcher

Who do you love?

Who do you protect?

Who do you believe in?

Who do you trust?

With the world on the brink, the balance begins to shift.

Of Gods and Monsters: The Arc of Conflict is a continuance of The Arc of Ascension, The Arc of Creation, and The Armourer and the Living Weapon. It will be told in a series of eddas, sagas, interludes, fragments, texts, and cantos, all of which serve their individual purposes. To follow the story as it appears, please subscribe to the series.
solarbird: (tracer)

Alliances, it has been said, are at their weakest on the brink of defeat, and on the brink of victory. After defeating the China Sea omnium, the gods of Oasis offered their help to Russia, to defeat their own Siberian threat, and Russia accepted that offer - but made additional secret plans of their own.

Of Gods and Monsters: The Arc of Conflict
Text e14b,1: Weekend Update for Sunday, October 1st, 2079

solarbird and bzarcher

Ah, Sunday afternoon. A cup of coffee, a bowl of cereal, a couple of eggs, some toast, jam, and the latest headlines.

Of Gods and Monsters: The Arc of Conflict is a continuance of The Arc of Ascension, The Arc of Creation, and The Armourer and the Living Weapon. It will be told in a series of eddas, sagas, interludes, fragments, texts, and cantos, all of which serve their individual purposes. To follow the story as it appears, please subscribe to the series.
solarbird: (tracer)

Ana plans ahead, Sombra thinks maybe Lena has been overestimating Morrison the whole time, and Laticia Delgado knows who to talk to, particularly around here.

This chapter is worksafe. [AO3 link]


"She's saying the old dude is back," Sombra reported, listening in on Laticia's conversation with the older woman running the little store by the side of the road, near the nature preserve. "The creepy gringo who scares off the kids."

Amélie and Lena could hear everything being said over their headsets, and understood it all. But Angela appreciated the translation.

"Does he have a friend with him this time?"

"Sssh, she's asking."

More Spanish, and Sombra grinned. "Yep. He brought 'er along. We've got 'em."

"El es un problema," said the shopkeep. He's a problem.

"Nos desharemos de ellos por ti, Simona," Laticia replied. We'll get rid of him for you. "Gracias por hacérmelo saber. Lo aprecio." Thanks for filling me in. I appreciate it.

"Oye, también nos estás haciendo un favor. Gracias." Hey, you're also doing us a favour. Thank you.

"No es nada," the younger woman said, with a grin, bringing her candy to the counter. It's nothing.

"Nos vemos más tarde," Simona replied, ringing up the small purchase. Don't be a stranger.

"Could you follow the conversation?" Gabriel asked, over comms, as Latica paid for her saladitos and a couple of bottles of sangría señorial, before making her way out of the little shop, into the sun.

"Yes, Gabriel - thank you," the Widowmaker responded. "Her signal is loud and clear."

"We'll still have to pin him down, but now we know where to look." Lena chewed her lip a little. "He'll have the place boobytrapped to hell and back, won't he?"

"Hell yeah he will. He's pretty good at that, too. I used to be better, but he's still in practice."

"You'll run us through his library of tricks?"

"It's nothing you wouldn't know, but sure."

Laticia's voice broke in, now over comms as well, back in the second stolen - 'borrowed,' Reyes insisted - transport. The door closed, making a noise under her voice. "Hey, did you all get that?"

"We did," Sombra replied. "Thanks."

"I bet he's holed up in one of the old counsellor's cabins." The sound of one bottle cap popping, and a second. In the background, Reyes thanked her for the drink. "He's not gonna be in the ranger house, it's too close to a road. But I'd bet good money he's in one of the cabins."

"What?" Angela broke in, surprised. "Counsellor... cabins?"

"This is a park," Laticia laughed. "I thought I explained that. There were older kids from school who worked here in the summer, before things went to hell."

Angela could hear a rustle as the gangster settled in, buckling her seatbelt.

"How do you think I knew to ask Simona? Nosy old woman knows everything. She's trying to get it going again, wants him gone."

"...I like you, amiga," Sombra said, not keeping her grin out of her voice, looking for older maps of rather different sorts, online.

"Not sure how much I want to be liked by a Talon agent," Laticia quipped, "but I'll take the compliment."

Sombra just laughed, as she forwarded around an old camper's map of the extensive park and nature reserve, with all 14 cabins clearly marked. "Venom, I know you keep saying we have to be ahead of this guy, but... I have to tell you... he looks to me like an easy mark."

"I know," Lena agreed, nodding. "But he just keeps..."

She growled a little, frustrated, wishing she had a soda.

"...slipping out of traps. He's way too good at getting away. Don't underestimate him."

"I guess so, la rapidita, but..."

The hacker shrugged, her hands a little in the air, not seeing it, and Lena shook her head and wondered, not for the first time, if they'd been - no, if she'd been...

"...I think maybe you've been overestimating him this whole time."

"He's a legend," Lena insisted, defensively.

"Oooooooor... consider... maybe these days... he's just a myth."

-----

Ana watched, silently, as Jack napped, unsettled, writhing, on the large couch. Occasionally, wisps of grey smoke, foglike, would trail off of his body, and she shuddered when it did.

How much control does he really have? she wondered, again, and not just about his physical form.

Jack had become... erratic, over the years, it seemed. In public, or on mission, or when planning an action, the old man could pull himself back together pretty well. But on his downtime...

If I hadn't known him before, she thought, I probably wouldn't've realised how far he's gone. He's still quite the charmer, and he can put on a good show when he needs to, but...

He'd started rambling, earlier, the previous evening, a little drunk, first about how they would take apart the conspiracy at the UN, and how once they could just show everything, how they'd be hailed again as heroes, and that struck her as unrealistic enough, but then, as the night wore on, he went on about Spain, and about a girlfriend he'd had once, while in the Spanish army.

He'd never been in the Spanish army. Ana knew this. And he'd most certainly never had a girlfriend. Jack could do many things, but pretend to be straight - or even bi - wasn't one of them. When she asked about it, he looked confused, and said he had no idea what she was talking about, and she said she must've misheard, because they both knew that was impossible, and they laughed about it. On the outside, at least.

How many people have you stolen from without knowing, she wondered. And how many pieces of them are you still carrying around with you?

She pulled up the tactical plan they'd worked on, for California, glanced over it again - it was a stretch, to put it mildly, but sound enough - and then back up at Morrison.

Perhaps I should work on a second plan, as well. For afterwards.

She put the tablet down, and sunk deep into thought.

If I am going to finish this, after all... I should really finish it. He may be the lesser monster, but he is, still, a monster. And monsters must be slain, even if they are useful. To a point. For now.

A part of her wanted to grieve at how far they'd both fallen, but she did not let it. Grief, too, would have to wait for after.

-----

"I have him," Widowmaker subvocalised over comms. "Through the west window, off of a mirror. But I have no shot."

She frowned.

"I also recognise the glass. It is not original. It will not stop my bullets, but it will change their course - I should not target through it."

Lena nodded, and smiled. "Good," she replied. "I want 'im."

"Not in the daylight, ma chérie. Not unless you also want a firefight."

"Kinda do," she said, spotting another trap. "But... yeh. I'm still findin' his little surprises."

She crawled over to the tripwire, following it, carefully, found the bullet trigger, and the little pack of explosives it would ignite, when fired. She pulled the cartridge carefully from the rig, and the explosives, but left the rest set up, not obviously molested. Across, on the far side of the ravine, Gabriel and Laticia were doing much the same, up and down the hill. They'd found multiple areas with proximity alarms, but the cordon... well. Once, it had probably been comprehensive. Now, not so much, and they'd make their move before either Ana or Jack could try to fix it.

"Mexican police are gonna spend weeks in here trying t'clean all this out," she muttered, pocketing the cartridge. "Listen to me - he's got me sympathising with the bloody filth." She suppressed a snort at herself. "Another thing he's bodged up, the absolute rotter."

Widowmaker continued to watch, through the scope, off the mirror, as Morrison slept, writhing a bit, wisps of smoke floating around him. We should not assume he is done with surprises - but where is Ana? She has not left him, I do not think.

She shifted her sight, looking for reflections, and spotted a metal pitcher, and through it, reflected in it, distorted, thinned, the other target, the target they still hoped not to take, apparently still, apparently also at rest, and the sniper smiled.

"Ana confirmed," she subvocalised again, over comms. "Sombra, if you could place the beacon within range?"

"Already there," the hacker replied, a smirk clear in her voice. "I planted it as soon as you called Spooky."

So close to ending this, she thought, a little excited by the prospect of the kill, even if - most likely - she would not be the one to get to make it.

She adjusted her scope, and looked again.

I see you, she thought.

Do you see me?

solarbird: (widow)

Alliances, it has been said, are at their weakest on the brink of defeat, and on the brink of victory. After defeating the China Sea omnium, the gods of Oasis offered their help to Russia, to defeat their own Siberian threat, and Russia accepted that offer - but made additional secret plans of their own.

Of Gods and Monsters: The Arc of Conflict
Edda 14b: What Would You Have Us Do?

solarbird and bzarcher

As the details of what happened in Russia begin to spread, the Gods must make a decision. Will they be vengeful? Or will they offer Katya Volskaya as chance to stop the war before it begins?

Of Gods and Monsters: The Arc of Conflict is a continuance of The Arc of Ascension, The Arc of Creation, and The Armourer and the Living Weapon. It will be told in a series of eddas, sagas, interludes, fragments, texts, and cantos, all of which serve their individual purposes. To follow the story as it appears, please subscribe to the series.
solarbird: (tracer)

Alliances, it has been said, are at their weakest on the brink of defeat, and on the brink of victory. After defeating the China Sea omnium, the gods of Oasis offered their help to Russia, to defeat their own Siberian threat, and Russia accepted that offer - but made additional secret plans of their own.

Of Gods and Monsters: The Arc of Conflict
Fragment e14,2: Los Fantasmas

solarbird and bzarcher

A long time ago, Olivia Colomar went to someone, for help, to become Sombra, even before she remade herself into a Goddess of Oasis. And then, she left... with not all debts repaid.

Of Gods and Monsters: The Arc of Conflict is a continuance of The Arc of Ascension, The Arc of Creation, and The Armourer and the Living Weapon. It will be told in a series of eddas, sagas, interludes, fragments, texts, and cantos, all of which serve their individual purposes. To follow the story as it appears, please subscribe to the series.
solarbird: (tracer)

Alliances, it has been said, are at their weakest on the brink of defeat, and on the brink of victory. After defeating the China Sea omnium, the gods of Oasis offered their help to Russia, to defeat their own Siberian threat, and Russia accepted that offer - but made additional secret plans of their own.

Of Gods and Monsters: The Arc of Conflict
Fragment e14,1: Memories of Ice and Snow

solarbird and bzarcher

Mei-Ling Zhou became a goddess to fight for the people under her protection. But now she must decide if fighting is always what would be best.

Of Gods and Monsters: The Arc of Conflict is a continuance of The Arc of Ascension, The Arc of Creation, and The Armourer and the Living Weapon. It will be told in a series of eddas, sagas, interludes, fragments, texts, and cantos, all of which serve their individual purposes. To follow the story as it appears, please subscribe to the series.
solarbird: (widow)

So my co-author in Of Gods and Monsters, bzarcher, has a crypid AU which started with the novel Candyfloss and Lace, and it's pretty fun. Recently, I saw an article in Smithsonian about medicinal cannibalism in Europe, and, well... this happened. Don't worry, it's fluff. And all horribly, horribly true, at the same time. You're welcome. ^_^

Overwatch Cryptid AU
Good For What Ails Ya

solarbird and bzarcher

Amélie Lacroix has a lot to learn about being a vampire, but fortunately her girlfriend always has a few ideas about how to help. Maybe a few stories about the good old days is just what she needs...

solarbird: (tracer)

The new gods have risen, ready, at last, to grapple with a world of heroes. Moira O'Deorain herself has been reborn, now made one of the creations her previous self meant to rule, and she works with her wife - the goddess Mercy - and their ensemble of new deities to remake the world, to improve it... for everyone.

Of Gods and Monsters: The Arc of Ascension
Saga 8: The Odyssey (a novella, in three parts)

solarbird and bzarcher

Hana Song has been a gamer, a soldier, a hero, and an icon, and now she's become a Goddess, all for one goal: to defeat the Giant Omnic, and bring peace to Korea.

But what will D.Va do, if and when her war is over? And in the end... who is Hana Song?

Of Gods and Monsters: The Arc of Ascension is a continuance of Of Gods and Monsters: The Arc of Creation, a side-step sequel to The Armourer and the Living Weapon. It will be told in a series of eddas, sagas, interludes, fragments, texts, and cantos, all of which serve their individual purposes. To follow it as it appears, please subscribe to the series.

solarbird: (Default)

The new gods have risen, ready, at last, to grapple with a world of heroes. Moira O'Deorain herself has been reborn, now made one of the creations her previous self meant to rule, and she works with her wife - the goddess Mercy - and their ensemble of new deities to remake the world, to improve it... for everyone.

Of Gods and Monsters: The Arc of Ascension
Text s7,1: *ALERT: DiVA has logged in*

solarbird and bzarcher

[Whisper to DiVA, Brynhildr] Naveed: HANA WHAT THE FUCK

Of Gods and Monsters: The Arc of Ascension is a continuance of Of Gods and Monsters: The Arc of Creation, a side-step sequel to The Armourer and the Living Weapon. It will be told in a series of eddas, sagas, interludes, fragments, texts, and cantos, all of which serve their individual purposes. To follow it as it appears, please subscribe to the series.

solarbird: (widow)

The new gods have risen, ready, at last, to grapple with a world of heroes. Moira O'Deorain herself has been reborn, now made one of the creations her previous self meant to rule, and she works with her wife - the goddess Mercy - and their ensemble of new deities to remake the world, to improve it... for everyone.

Of Gods and Monsters: The Arc of Ascension
Fragment e9,3: The Very Purple Adventures of Widowmaker and Sombra

solarbird and bzarcher

As the Weapons enjoy an afternoon off, Sombra is reminded of a little story from their shared past, and Widowmaker reflects on some of the differences between the old Talon and the new.

Of Gods and Monsters: The Arc of Ascension is a continuance of Of Gods and Monsters: The Arc of Creation, a side-step sequel to The Armourer and the Living Weapon. It will be told in a series of eddas, sagas, interludes, fragments, texts, and cantos, all of which serve their individual purposes. To follow it as it appears, please subscribe to the series.

solarbird: (tracer)

The new gods have risen, ready, at last, to grapple with a world of heroes. Moira O'Deorain herself has been reborn, now made one of the creations her previous self meant to rule, and she works with her wife - the goddess Mercy - and their ensemble of new deities to remake the world, to improve it... for everyone.

Of Gods and Monsters: The Arc of Ascension
Fragment e9,1: Restitution

solarbird and bzarcher

With absolute control of the Vishkar Corporation, Satya Vaswani takes stock, and finds that perhaps there is more to be done than she had previously considered.

Of Gods and Monsters: The Arc of Ascension is a continuance of Of Gods and Monsters: The Arc of Creation, a side-step sequel to The Armourer and the Living Weapon. It will be told in a series of eddas, sagas, interludes, fragments, texts, and cantos, all of which serve their individual purposes. To follow it as it appears, please subscribe to the series.

solarbird: (tracer)

The new gods have risen, ready, at last, to grapple with a world of heroes. Moira O'Deorain herself has been reborn, now made one of the creations her previous self meant to rule, and she works with her wife - the goddess Mercy - and their ensemble of new deities to remake the world, to improve it... for everyone.

Of Gods and Monsters: The Arc of Ascension
Edda 9: According to My Design

solarbird and bzarcher

Unhappiness in Eastern European operations reaches Vishkar CEO and Chief Architect Satya Vaswani's attention, in the form of a bizarre protest, and she takes action to make it stop.

Of Gods and Monsters: The Arc of Ascension is a continuance of Of Gods and Monsters: The Arc of Creation, a side-step sequel to The Armourer and the Living Weapon. It will be told in a series of eddas, sagas, interludes, fragments, texts, and cantos, all of which serve their individual purposes. To follow it as it appears, please subscribe to the series.

solarbird: (widow)

Well, it's been a while for a new chapter of this story, and to be honest, I'm as surprised as you are and am making no promises about an update schedule, but... for what it's worth, I have some idea where this is going, and I've never considered it abandoned, so... here we go!

And Just Like That, She Was Down
Chapter 7: what a good girl
[AO3 link]


[Late 2070]

"Oh, nicely done. What a good girl!"

Widowmaker smiled, her head tilted, just a little, as she looked down the sight of her very, very long, very, very large rifle, at the blood splatter she'd made against the far floor, the body fallen beneath it, before being cleared away, by silent, jumpsuit-clad workers.

The tall woman behind her patted her head, and she smiled again.

"Are you ready for the next one?"

The young Widowmaker - only weeks old, at this point - nodded eagerly, golden eyes bright, reloading her rifle, and then, another figure ran, darting, across the wide, open floor below. She tracked, quickly, excitedly, firing, and missing, but close, just behind; she fired again, and missed as the figure jerked and she reacted, but too much, the bullet flying ahead.

"A little too much, dear. You've almost got it. Keep tracking."

"I'm so slow," she said, sadly, firing again, and just missing.

"No, no, no, dear. You're learning. And - well, we are going to speed you up again, soon. I know it's frustrating, but you're faster than you think. Try again."

The baby spider nodded, shooting the new figure down, and then, as another was thrown onto the floor, she instantly snapped over and shot them, a single round to the back of the head. Blood flew from both bodies.

"Very nice, young lady. Particularly the second shot. Note the artistry of the spray. Beautiful."

She shivered, happily, feeling, deeply, something she wasn't allowed to do, often, but which she was allowed, occasionally. When she was good. Particularly when she was very good.

They released three prisoners onto the field at once. The first fell to the ground, holding their head in their arms, shaking, and she silenced them with a single shot to the top of the skull, whispering, "Pathetic." The other two she tracked, as they ran, missing one with one shot, growling a little in frustration...

"Stay with it, you can do it," she heard, from behind.

...until they ran together, for just a moment, and she took them both, with a single shot, as they crossed her sights, and she smiled again, allowed to feel.

"Exquisite," the voice behind her said, filled with pride. "What a good girl! I knew you could do it, damhán alla."

"Are there more?" she asked, excited, but then calmed, as she felt her emotions being shut down, again.

"No, not right now. I need to analyse these readings. Stand down."

The pale woman tinged in blue nodded, emotions again disabled, unloaded her rifle and set to its holder at her side, as she'd been trained to do. It disappeared, and for just a moment, she felt enough to feel sad, before she again felt nothing at all.

The red-haired woman lowered the force field surrounding the two of them and stepped forward, removing the sensors, one at a time, from her body, as she watched, disinterested. "We'll be introducing the next round of therapy once I've studied these results."

The blue-haired baby spider nodded, but said nothing, until a thought occurred, surprising her, and so, she voiced it. "Why do they take my rifle away?"

Dr. O'Deorain looked up, a little surprised at the initiative herself. "To analyse it, dear. The perfect spider should have a perfect weapon. Eventually, it will be tailored to you, exactly." She pulled the last of the sensors off the woman's body.

"Now, Lacroix - it's time to get you back on the treadmill. Get changed, and meet me there in ten minutes."

"Acknowledged."

-----

[present day]

"Miss? I know it's none of my business, but..."

Widowmaker - non, she thought, Danielle Guillard, here - raised a single eyebrow at the older woman behind the counter. "Quoi? No, wait, I can guess."

"I really am sorry, I guess you must get it a lot... colloidal silver?"

Mon dieu, she thought. Lena avait raison. "How did you know? My parents, my father, particularly - he was a, how do you say, 'big believer?' in all of that nonsense." She shook her head. "It was not my idea."

"I knew it," said the white-haired woman, tapping the countertop with her hand. "I had a great-uncle, out in Montana, went blue just about the same way. Argyria, they called it."

Je doute que c'était la même chose, she thought. "Yes - I believe that is correct."

"Does it hurt?" asked the store's owner. "I never got to ask him, I only saw pictures."

"No," she smirked. "Though... the treatments to make it a deeper, more solid, even blue... those did."

"Well, they did a good job at least. It looks a lot better on you than it did on ol' Uncle Stan." She put the last of the items into the large cloth bag. "Thanks for stopping in again - you with Lena and Emily? Are we gonna be seeing you on the regular?"

"I am, in fact, working for them," she said, with a small and particularly enigmatic smile.

"How nice! I heard they were back in business."

"They never left the business. They simply had a long-term contract elsewhere, and it is over."

"Oh, I see! I know it's all very hush-hush, some kind of military consulting, isn't it? So I won't ask. But is that where you met?"

The blue assassin considered the question, and found it amusing. "Yes. I was with a rival company, but they made a very good offer, and I accepted. The work is different, but I am... glad... I did."

"Well then," she said, putting the receipt atop the groceries. "Hope t'see you back again soon," she looked back at the register, "Dani?"

"I prefer Danielle. But - thank you," said the blue woman. "And it is likely you will." With that, and a small smile, as she picked up her bags and left the Shaniko general store, putting on her sunglasses, and stepping out into the late August heat.

Mary picked up her phone, and placed a call. As it rang, she smiled, and when it picked up - "Hello?" - she smiled to herself. "Sylvia, it's Mary, over at the store. I was right - it was colloidal silver, just like great-uncle Stan. Her parents' fault. And you owe me ten dollars."

"It's worth it," came the voice on the other end of the line - and just across town, at the ice cream parlour - "if you'll come over here and dish the whole story."

"I'll be right over."

-----

Lena smiled at the first payment made to The Oxton Group since the Overwatch recall, from one of her old regulars, putting her back on retainer. Paperwork from four other former clients were en route. She'd explained the "non-compete agreement" that some members of her group had with those in the reformed Overwatch; it hadn't caused a moment of hesitation. I don't like how it happened, she thought, leaning back in her chair, but it's nice to have money coming back in, regardless.

She saw the proximity alert fire, and the IFF with it identifying "Danielle Guillard"'s vehicle. Emily popped her head into the office, hair finally dry. "Is that Widowmaker, love?"

Lena nodded. "Yep! Just home. And walking into the elevator right now."

"Brilliant," she said, popping 'outside' to wait by the elevator, beating the doors by only a few seconds. "Hey, love - welcome home. Hoo, that's a lot of bags. How'd it go?"

Widowmaker nodded, and her eyes widened, and she jumped forward, wrapping Emily in a tight, tight hug, nuzzling into her neck, before shaking herself, and making herself let go. "I... I apologise. I have..."

Emily smiled, gently, and took Widowmaker's hand. "Love, it's fine, honestly. You can hug me like that whenever you want." The assassin had not discontinued her conditioning medications, but she'd lowered the dose back, just a bit, feeling her way forward as the enhancer in her bloodstream ebbed down, just the slightest, after the latest injection. "I did ... not have this problem, outside."

Kestrel nodded. The strongest emotions... "It went well, then?"

"It did," Widowmaker said, picking up most of the bags. "It felt very strange to be doing such... ordinary things... as myself," she said, a little bit uncertain, almost a little bit confused. "Talon had staff for such tasks, and Amélie remembers the same for Overwatch, except at home, where they had..." She searched the previous woman's memories. "A person would deliver such things, I think."

"We're a bit far out for grocery delivery," Emily nodded. "But nothing upsetting?"

"No," Danielle said, with certainty.

"Hey, luv!" said Lena, appearing at the door. "Ooh, that's a lot, lemmie help." She jogged forward and picked up a few more of the bags. "We got paid!"

The blue assassin tilted her head, a puzzled expression across her face. "The clerk - Mary, is it? - asked about colloidal silver, just as you expected. How did you know?"

Emily laughed, and Lena rolled her eyes, grinning. "She's got about six repeating stories about her family, and her great-uncle or whatever is one of 'em. I'd've been surprised if she didn't talk about it."

The three of them made their way back 'inside,' and Lena tore into bags, putting things away, until, "Ice cream! Brilliant." And she dove for a bowl and spoon.

"Will the payment you mentioned be followed up with an assignment?" inquired the assassin, one eyebrow raised, as she watched Lena eat.

"One of my Chinese clients wants me to fly out, look at a security system up close after I audit the plans," she said, between bites of ice cream. "But that won't be for a few months. It's retainer work, but it adds up."

"Don't worry too much about it," Emily said. "I've still got the BAE gig, that money's coming in just fine."

"I do not worry about it," snorted the spider. "It has only been a few weeks, but I feel..." she said the word, with a hint of distaste, "idle, in ways I do not like."

"Does that mean you're wantin' to sign on?" Lena asked.

"I think it does."

"We'll need to keep it on the down low, y'realise."

Emily nodded. "Tight NDA wrappers, top-level clients only. Would that work for you?"

Widowmaker thought about it carefully. Her aim had not suffered, at least, not yet, from the reduced conditioning drug dose. Better training - better use - would serve her well. "Yes," she said, eventually. "I am conditioned to working in total secrecy - this would be more open than in my past. But I think it would work."

"Brilliant. I'll send some discreet notices out tonight."

Emily poked at her wife. "You gonna share that, or just eat the entire two litres yourself?"

"Oh!" She said, surprised. "Y'want some?" She teleported across to the kitchen, and grabbed two more bowls. "Wids, can you eat ice cream?"

"Yes," she said, pulling out the baguette she'd made that morning, herself, a bit of strong cheese, and the blackberry preserves, from the store. "But I prefer this."

"Y'sure? Have y'tried it?" she asked, scooping some out for Kestrel, topping it with a dusting of chocolate shavings.

"Have you tried this?" the Frenchwoman asked, archly.

"Y'offerin'?"

She tilted her head to one side, considering. The question hadn't crossed her mind, at least, not in any sort of conscious way. "I... think I am. Doesn't it.. mean something, to share food? I think it does."

"Yeah," Lena grinned, and put the rest of the ice cream away. "It does. I'd love to. Thanks!"

"Kest... Emily?"

Emily smiled. "Is there enough?"

"Of course."

"Then yeh, love. I would."

"It is best just cooled from oven, I think, but it has only been a couple of hours..." She tore off a pair of pieces, spread a little of the French-made raspberry preserves over the exposed white interior, and placed a piece of the strong Belgian goat cheese on each.

"You make something so simple seem so posh, did y'know that?" Emily said, and Lena laughed, just a little, agreeing.

The blue assassin shrugged in response. "It is how I do this." She handed each of the pieces off, one to each of her...

...que sont-ils? she thought, to herself. "Partenaires d'affaires" n'est pas la bonne réponse...

The attachment she'd felt to Emily hadn't dimmed in the least, over the last few weeks. The trust she felt in Lena hadn't, either.

"Oh, this is nice, Blue," Emily said, eyes half-closed. "Sharp, and sweet..."

Tracer nodded. "Really good. Didn't imagine you'd be a baker, luv."

"I am not sure I imagined..." She thought, for a moment, looking down at her own portion, then looking over at Lena's and Emily's ice cream, waiting, still cold on the table. Her hand darted out, grabbed the spoon sitting in the bowl, took an outsized amount, and ate it, almost before she knew what she was doing.

Emily blinked, surprised, as Lena looked back and forth between the two of them. "Well," she said, a little nervously, "we did offer..."

"...I don't know why I did that," Widowmaker said, sounding a little confused, a little lost, but feeling... satisfied, somehow, that she'd done it. "I do not even like ice cream. Amélie did not, either. And I have never had ice cream, not since..."

...depuis mon enfance? Je n'ai jamais été un enfant., she thought. Pourquoi ai-je pensé ça?

"Bits of your conditioning flaking off, like the hug, maybe?" Emily suggested.

Bien sûr, she thought, as she nodded her agreement, and drank some of her water, and returned to her bread, and preserves, and cheese, which were familiar, which tasted...

...so much better.

She looked at her two rescuers, and nodded again. "I think so. I also think I should be very careful in how I manage this... adjustment."

"PTSD survivor, luv," Lena said, offering a hand, across the table. "I know from mood swings. We'll take it slow."

The spider smiled, her head tilted, just a little, as she looked down at Lena's hand, which was joined by Emily's, and then, to her surprise, her own. "We will."

solarbird: (tracer)

Of Gods and Monsters
Saga 4: (Caught in) Suspension
solarbird and bzarcher

Even old-line Talon is starting to get nervous about Moira and Angela's activities, particularly regarding Efi Oladale, and Maximilien, Kamaia and Jabari begin working to secure their own positions both inside - and outside - of the terrorist organisation.


Of Gods and Monsters is a side-step/alternate-ending sequel to The Armourer and the Living Weapon, told in a series of eddas, sagas, fragments, texts, and cantos, all of which serve their individual purposes. Eddas and Sagas appear late Sunday/early Monday, fragments, texts, and standalone cantos appear Thursday and/or Friday. To follow the story as a whole, please subscribe to the series.

Because this is a co-authored work, I'm only posting links here.

solarbird: justice rains on your face (pharah)

Of Gods and Monsters
Fragment e6,2: Mid-November, 2077
solarbird and bzarcher

Moira O'Deorain kept a lot of data secret, and separate, even from her wife, Angela Ziegler - and has no idea why, anymore, really. So she stops.


Of Gods and Monsters is a side-step/alternate-ending sequel to The Armourer and the Living Weapon, told in a series of eddas, sagas, fragments, texts, and cantos, all of which serve their individual purposes. Eddas and Sagas appear late Sunday/early Monday, fragments, texts, and standalone cantos appear Thursday and/or Friday. To follow the story as a whole, please subscribe to the series.

Because this is a co-authored work, I'm only posting links here.

solarbird: (tracer)

Of Gods and Monsters
Fragment e6,1: Early November, 2077
solarbird and bzarcher

Sombra discovers something she didn't know could be done can, in fact, be done, so, as always - she does it.


Of Gods and Monsters is a side-step/alternate-ending sequel to The Armourer and the Living Weapon, told in a series of eddas, sagas, fragments, texts, and cantos, all of which serve their individual purposes. Eddas and Sagas appear late Sunday/early Monday, fragments, texts, and standalone cantos appear Thursday and/or Friday. To follow the story as a whole, please subscribe to the series.

Because this is a co-authored work, I'm only posting links here.

solarbird: (tracer)

Of Gods and Monsters
Saga 3/Edda 6: Sombra, the Self-Made
solarbirdy and bzarcher

Satya Vaswani offered Sombra a chance to become a member of their elite - a 'Goddess,' alongside her. Widowmaker has promised that there is a place for her within Talon. But Sombra won't accept any offer blindly. Not without knowing exactly what is going on first.

This work is three chapters long, but all three have been posted at the same time.


Of Gods and Monsters is a side-step/alternate-ending sequel to The Armourer and the Living Weapon, told in a series of eddas, sagas, fragments, texts, and cantos, all of which serve their individual purposes. Eddas and Sagas appear late Sunday/early Monday, fragments, texts, and standalone cantos appear Thursday and/or Friday. To follow the story as a whole, please subscribe to the series.

Because this is a co-authored work, I'm only posting links here.

solarbird: (tracer)

Of Gods and Monsters
Fragment e4,2: Mid-July, 2077
solarbirdy and bzarcher

Talon board member Angela Ziegler is in Numbani, preparing for an event where she will show a new technology, and, hopefully, meet a certain young and brilliant woman. Fareeha and Moira have remained at home, in Oasis, and - for the first time - are sharing a bed without her there.


Of Gods and Monsters is a side-step/alternate-ending sequel to The Armourer and the Living Weapon, told in a series of eddas, sagas, fragments, texts, and cantos, all of which serve their individual purposes. Eddas and Sagas appear late Sunday/early Monday, fragments, texts, and standalone cantos appear Thursday and/or Friday. To follow the story as a whole, please subscribe to the series.

Because this is a co-authored work, I'm only posting links here.

solarbird: (tracer)

Of Gods and Monsters
Edda 4: The Ostrich Feather of Ma'at (a.k.a. The Ever-Shifting Balance)
solarbirdy and bzarcher

Talon scrambles, reasserting its positions in the aftermath of its civil war. Moira O'Deorain's control over the board grows, as she brings on ever more allies, while simultaneously looking for even more candidates to be Changed, to further extend her influence.

But her adopted daughter - and loyal Weapon - Lena "Tracer" Oxton is unhappy, as are her wives. They demand, unexpectedly, that nothing else proceed until Angela's wife Fareeha is properly fixed, and her unsettled mind calmed, once and for all.


Of Gods and Monsters is a side-step/alternate-ending sequel to The Armourer and the Living Weapon, told in a series of eddas, sagas, fragments, texts, and cantos, all of which serve their individual purposes. Eddas and Sagas appear late Sunday/early Monday, fragments, texts, and standalone cantos appear Thursday and/or Friday. To follow the story as a whole, please subscribe to the series.

Because this is a co-authored work, I'm only posting links here.

April 2019

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