The World Could Always Use More Heroes – Chapter 2

written by Thenlar

 

Brigitte gave the screwdriver one last twist, and then nodded in satisfaction as her personal shield returned to its proper configuration. She released the grip trigger, letting the shield wink out of existence, and then let out a startled yelp.

“Wow, you really are oblivious!” Tracer laughed from her perch just a couple meters away. The young agent was sitting on one of the spare parts crates with her chin propped on one hand. “I’ve been sitting here for at least a full minute!” Her head tilted to the side. “You gonna stick me with that thing?”

Brigitte simply gave her a glare in response before realizing that she’d taken up a defensive stance, shield raised and screwdriver at the ready. She blushed and shoved the tool into her toolbox and pulled off the shield emitter gauntlet, setting it next to her disassembled armor. “Can I help with you something? Or did Reinhardt break something else I have to fix?”

Tracer laughed again, slapping her thigh. “Ha! Not yet! No no, I just came to check in on you! The big oaf told us that he’d been training you, but this is going to be your first actual combat action, right?”

The Swedish woman let out a heavy sigh and turned to face Reinhardt’s armor suit hanging up next to her. The metal was covered in scratches and impact marks, a testament to the difficult life the former Crusader led. Her gaze shifted to her own armor, still gleaming and polished, untouched and untested. “Yes, this will be my first battle,” she finally replied.

Tracer hopped off the crate. “I bet you’re nervous, yeah?” Brigitte only nodded in response before Tracer continued. “Well, that’s okay! First time’s always scary. Did Reinhardt ever tell you about my first mission? During the Null Sector Uprising?”

Brigitte shook her head. Tracer grinned. “Of course he didn’t. You know, first thing Captain Amari says when we get there is, ‘Reinhardt, don’t charge in there on your own.’ Guess what he does?”

The squire dropped her face into her palm. “Charged off on his own.”

Tracer snapped her fingers. “Got it in one! I thought Angela was going to kill him at the end when he went plowing into an OR-14 unit, and there was another one right next to it, just shooting him in the back!”

“That sounds like Reinhardt, alright,” Brigitte sighed.

Tracer waved her finger. “Oh, and then don’t get me started on your dad’s little payload, that he SWORE was going to work on the first try…”

 

“Athena and I expect that Talon will attempt a two-pronged attack on the museum with operatives landing on the rooftop, as well as others attempting to infiltrate underground along the power maintenance conduits. As such, we will divide our team to meet both of these threats according to our strengths.”

Brigitte leaned forward in her seat, straining to hear Winston over the humming of the stealth dropship’s engines. Winston’s plan seemed simple enough to follow, although given Tracer’s story about her Null Sector mission, no plan ever seems to work quite right.

“Tracer can’t play to her strengths in the tight tunnel system, so she will be deployed on the rooftop. My jump pack will allow me enough mobility to keep up with her movements, therefore, Reinhardt, you and Brigitte will take the tunnels, where you can take advantage of both your shields and close combat weapons.”

“Tunnels?!” boomed the massive German man. “Of course evil lurks in the darkest of places. My squire and I will be happy to root them out!” He threw his shoulders back and laughed, then grinned broadly at Brigitte. The squire shook her head in dismay at his theatrics, but somehow the familiar behavior settled her nerves somewhat. Reinhardt didn’t seem worried, so why should she?

“Of course, given that Overwatch is officially disbanded, let’s try to not to make too much of a disturbance, but the priority is still stopping Talon in reclaiming the Doomfist gauntlet, or any other objectives they might have. Any questions?”

Brigitte silently shook her head as Reinhardt started to inquire about a local sausage shop that had been open the last time he’d visited several years ago.

“Two minutes to drop!” called out Tracer from the cockpit. Brigitte saw the pilot lean out of her seat and give her a thumbs up before steering the aircraft into a banking turn. The squire grabbed Reinhardt’s shoulder, and started one more series of checks to make sure they were ready.

 

Brigitte flexed her left glove nervously. The creaking of armor seemed to echo all around her in the narrow metal passage. Two conduits led to the museum underground, so she and Reinhardt had split up to cover each one. Left by herself, her nerves started to waver again. She had trained hard for this day, to face enemies (evil villains! Reinhardt’s voice boomed in her head) in combat, but this was the first time she would face anyone actively trying to kill her.

She squinted her eyes in the dim red lighting. Was she ready? Could she look someone in the face and swing her mace?

The crash of metal ringing down the hall scattered her thoughts.

Faintly, but clearly, she heard a voice issuing commands. “Door clear. Squad, advance to objective.”

They were coming.

Brigitte took a deep breath and resisted the sudden urge to flee. Flashlight beams probed the darkness ahead of her, Talon agents just around the corner.

She took a step to the side, behind a heavy pipe just as the pointman stepped into her corridor. Lights flashed up and down the passageway as the Talon squad approached her.

“Contact!” the lead trooper barked, his gun-mounted flashlight reflecting off her boots. “Who’s there?”

Brigitte stepped out, arm raised up, but shield deactivated. “My name is Brigitte Lindholm! And you shall go no further!” The conviction in her own voice surprised her, but she didn’t have the time to think about it as someone yelled, “Take her down!”

Her fist squeezed and her shield flared to life moments before the first hail of bullets smashed into it.

Brigitte shut her eyes a second at the terrible cacophony, the barks of gunfire deafening and terrifying her. She knew that she should charge forward under the cover of her shield while it still held, to bring them into range, but she couldn’t bring herself to walk INTO the bullets.

-crack-

The hardlight shield started to splinter under the barrage. It was going to go down soon, she had to do something, anything! But what-

CRUNCH-

The metal wall behind the Talon squad crumpled, and a rocket-boosted suit of Crusader armor barreled through the hole. One trooper sprawled to the ground as Reinhardt’s shoulder clipped him, his weapon spraying bullets into the ceiling. He barely had time to let out a scream before a huge hammer crushed him against the floor.

“SHIT! BEHIND BEHIND!”

The enemy squad immediately spun around to address the new threat, submachine guns spitting bullets. A few smacked into the knight’s armor before his own shield sprang to life, intercepting the rest of the gunfire.

Now completely ignored, Brigitte’s paralysis faded as she saw Reinhardt’s shield shudder under the next volley of bullets. She sprinted forward, armor clanging on the metal flooring, letting out a yell just before she swung her mace at the nearest Talon trooper. The heavy metal head caught him in the shoulder, staggering him sideways.

He tried to spin around, but her backswing caught him across the face next and he hit the wall and slumped to the ground.

Behind him, a female trooper whipped around and leveled her weapon. Brigitte’s shield came up, blocking a burst of bullets, and then the squire lunged forward, smashing the shield into the Talon operative. She lost her grip on her gun as the impact threw her backwards to the floor. Brigitte let out another yell and brought her mace down, crashing square into the trooper’s chest with a sickening crunch.

Panic set in to the remaining Talon troops as they were pinched in on both sides, trying to fend off the knight and his squire. As the gunfire coming at him withered, Reinhardt dropped his shield. A few bullets rang off his armor as he brought his hammer back, over-charging the rocket motor, and then swung it forward. Emergency vents spit out a superheated cloud of exhaust that washed into the clumped operatives. They let out anguished screams and collapsed. Brigitte herself yelped in surprise and threw herself to the side just as the flames licked past her.

“Hey! Watch it!” she yelled as she painfully bounced off the wall. She automatically raised her mace for her next strike, but realized that no enemies remained standing.

Reinhardt stopped to survey the devastation and then lifted his helmet, giving her a broad smile. “Well done, Brigitte Lindholm! We win this day! Let us see how our friends fare above!”

The squire nodded and took a deep breath, realizing that the fight had left her feeling a bit tired, short as it had been.

“Reinhardt here, we’ve intercepted and defeated a Talon squad in these tunnels! What news from above?” the German knight spoke into his headset.

There was a brief pause before Tracer’s voice came back, panting. “We… we stopped ‘em… up… up here! Just… trying to chase… damn! They’re getting away! Oi, Winston! Don’t you do it! The whole city’ll see you if you jump from there!”

Reinhardt and Brigitte stared at each other for a few seconds, suddenly reminded of the supposedly clandestine nature of their mission here, before Winston’s voice came over the radio.

“Yes, of course. Thank you, Lena. Very well. Talon has been driven off for now, we should withdraw as well. Reinhardt, Brigitte, please make your way to the rendezvous.”

“We shall see you there!” the German replied, and stepped forward, clapping a hand to Brigitte’s shoulder. “Athena will notify the authorities to deal with these miscreants after we have left the area. Let us be off!”

Brigitte nodded and took one last look at the two troopers she’d taken down herself.

Blood had been drawn today, Talon put on notice that their activities would no longer be unopposed. Overwatch and Talon were at war once again, and Brigitte Lindholm was right in the middle of it.

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