The World Could Always Use More Heroes – Chapter 1

written by Thenlar

Recall

“Winston? Is that you, love? It’s been too long!”

“Yes, yes it has,” Winston replied, smiling at the screen. Of course Lena ‘Tracer’ Oxton would be the first one to respond. After the initial exchange of pleasantries, the scientist got down to business.

“Listen, Tracer, things are getting out of hand. Reaper just attacked Gibraltar, he was trying to access the archives. Talon is more active than ever, and no one’s doing anything to stop them. Or even figure out what they’re up to. We have to do something!”

The irrepressible young Brit just gave a short laugh. “Winston, Winston! You don’t gotta convince me! You called us back, I’m comin’ back! I’m sure you’ve got a bunch more people to talk to, so I’ll just get goin’ now. Gotta let Emily know where I’ll be! Anyways, see you in a few days!” -beep-

Winston stared at the monitor for a second, then burst out laughing. It didn’t upset him that she hung up on him, and if he was being honest, it felt good to hear Lena’s voice again. And she was right after all, there were going to be more calls to handle soon. The next monitor flicked through portrait after portrait as Athena cycled through the agent dossiers in the archives.

Three Days Later

Winston tossed aside another empty jar of peanut butter and morosely stared at the screens. After Tracer had hung up, he hadn’t received a single call. There were a few acknowledgements, but he had no way of knowing if anyone else was even returning. Athena informed him that nearly half of the notifications had failed. She presumed that the contact information was old and out-of-date, or that the agents in question were deceased.

Then another thought struck him. “Athena, did the UN intercept our communications? Do you think anyone was detained?”

“No, Winston,” she immediately answered. “Although there are monitors on our outgoing communications, I was able to mask the recall within routine data transfers from your lab work.”

“Oh. Okay.” With that, the gorilla slumped into a dejected silence, only to have his melancholy interrupted by a cheery sing-song voice.

“Ohhhh Winston~!! Got your favorite~!”

Winston pulled himself out of his tire nest just in time to catch a blue streak of light bouncing into his chest, accompanied by giddy laughter.

“For the last time, no more bananas!” he replied in a mock exasperated voice.

Tracer continued laughing as she hugged him. “Good to see you big guy, you still addicted to peanut butter?” Her eyes flicked over to the mountain of empty jars. “Ha, of course you are!”

The gorilla sighed heavily as she hopped off him. “It’s merely a condiment for my fruits, Lena.”

She responded with a disbelieving snort before changing the subject. “Alright, so! Who else is coming??”

Winston visibly drooped. “I… don’t know. No one else actually called back.”

“Whaaaat?!” Tracer paused in shock, then blinked up in front of the computers, peering at the monitors. “Athena, you didn’t call a buncha wrong numbers did you?” she asked playfully.

“I assure you, Miss Oxton, I sent notifications to all of the last known contact information for every agent in my database,” the AI replied in a slightly miffed tone.

Tracer snickered. “I know, I’m just takin’ the piss!” She turned back to Winston, but before she could say another word, a ringing crash echoed out from the hallway.

After a brief glance at each other, Winston rolled towards the door, grabbing his Tesla Cannon along the way as Tracer blinked next to door with her pistols already in hand.

She peeked out, then paused to listen as laughter echoed. Her body relaxed as she holstered her pistols. “Oi, Winston, it’s okay! I know who it is, the lug!”

“Ha ha! These doors weren’t so weak the last time I was here!” boomed a German-accented voice down the hallway.

Tracer and Winston rounded a corner to come across the source of all the commotion. A small exterior door was bent and mangled on the floor while a thickly-built German man with a shock of white hair towered in the frame.

“Reinhardt!” complained Winston. “You’re going to have to fix that, you know!”

“Winston, my friend!” the massive German replied, stomping forward with a hand outstretched. “I’m glad to see you alive and well! And Miss Oxton too!” Winston looked at the hand a moment before shaking his head in dismay and giving Reinhardt a clumsy handshake. “As for the door, do not worry! My squire shall effect the proper repairs!”

At his words, a brunette woman with a ponytail poked her head around his massive torso. “Reinhardt! You can’t expect me to keep fixing all your mistakes!” she complained.

Tracer gave a little gasp and blinked right up to her. “Cheers, love! Aren’t you just the cutest thing?” Reinhardt stepped aside, letting Lena get a full view of his squire. She was dressed casually, wearing cargo pants and a black shirt with cut off sleeves, showing her muscular arms. “Oh bloody hell!” Tracer exclaimed. “Lookit those muscles!”

The taller woman blushed and stammered, “Th-thanks?”

Tracer laughed and danced a few steps back.

Winston sighed and loped forward. “Lena, please, control yourself. Welcome back to the Watchpoint, Reinhardt. If I’m not mistaken, this young lady must be Brigitte? Torbjorn’s daughter?”

Brigitte turned her attention to the gorilla. “I am! Hello, Winston! I’ve heard a lot about you from my father!”

“Good things, I hope!” he responded with a smile. He turned back to Reinhardt. “Everything is still the same, so I’ll leave it to you to find some rooms for you both. Tracer, same to you. Once you’re all settled, come see me at 1800 hours, I have a briefing for you all.”

Tracer nodded. “Okay!” And she dashed off down the hall.

Reinhardt grabbed the door and propped it against the wall. “Brigitte, bring up the van to the garage and secure our armor in the workshop, I will get quarters ready for us!”

She nodded and stepped back outside. The big German man turned to face down the hall. “I’m going to get my old room back. I hope my favorite couch is still there!”

Once all the agents assembled in the conference room, Winston flicked on the wall screen and played the security footage of Reaper’s attack.

“As you can see, Talon has access to a number of well trained troops, plus the services of a skilled hacker who must have provided Reaper with the device he used to access the mainframe. Athena was able to force a server shutdown to prevent the breach, so we believe our agent dossiers to be secure. However, we were able to learn something out of this attack. Athena, if you would?”

Winston gestured at the screen as the image flickered and changed to display the exterior of the Overwatch museum. Athena’s voice emanated from the room’s speakers.

“As the Overwatch AI, I am still linked to our museum for monitoring purposes. Analysis of the device used to attempt to breach our defense here has given me a series of algorithms used by the hacker in the attack. Those same algorithms were recently used to successfully infiltrate the computer systems at the Overwatch museum. This enabled the hacker to gain access to security systems on site. Over the past few days, the Talon hacker has made a series of subtle changes to scheduling of security personnel. By tomorrow, there will be a one hour window where only a single guard will be on shift, with none on patrol. I believe Talon will use this opportunity to attack the museum, most likely with the aim of stealing the Doomfist gauntlet.”

Reinhardt surged to his feet before anyone else could get a word in. “Then we shall stop them!”

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