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Old Soldiers

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"Mockingbird!" exclaimed a new voice in the comms, as she and Gabriel landed.

"Mei? That you, luv? When'd you get here?"

"Just when you started on the outdoor range. I watched from the cameras. That was amazing!"

"Thanks! That's a real compliment coming from you! Did you get my terms?"

"I did. They are fine. But Mercy wants to talk to you again."

"Not surprised. I'll head to the main hall right away."

"She said to come to her office."

"Her office?"

"Her office."

-----

"First," said the doctor, "I have confidentiality papers signed with Lena Oxton, not Mockingbird. Are you Lena Oxton?"

Lena made a face, and stuck out her tongue. She was on Swiss, not Lunar, soil now. The two buildings were separated by only a small, enclosed courtyard, but it made all the legal difference in the world. "Yeh."

"Good." Dr. Ziegler entered a short command on her keyboard, activating medical confidentiality rules, and outside sounds - already quiet - vanished. "This was good enough for you in London. Is it good enough for you, still?"

Venom thought about it for a moment, and idly flipped her suit back to Talon black and violet. Angela had never violated her trust. She was the first of the old school - the first generation of Overwatch - to come onboard the new Overwatch, and most importantly, the one Venom truly wanted onboard.

Well, her, and Mei, but Mei hardly counted as 'older generation,' having been in cryogenic suspension for all those years. Besides, Mei was a real hero. Mercy was also a hero... mostly. Which made her perfect.

If we're ever going to get her to come over to our team, she thought, we're going to have to trust her. "Yeh. It is."

Mercy nodded, once. "Thank you. Now. What the hell is this?!" She brought up the emergency response protocol for blood loss and shock. It showed how to inject the the contents of a venom mine into Mockingbird's thigh or heart. "This is not funny! How can I treat you if you are putting nonsense into the protocols?!"

Venom laughed a little. "It's not a joke, doc. Not one laffer in there. If I'm going into shock, if my heart isn't pumping and I can't get it to start, and I can't do this myself... do it for me."

"You are joking. This is a deadly poison, and a neurotoxin, and it will kill you."

"This," Venom said, "would kill you. Or... well, maybe not you. Definitely not me."

"Lena, what have you done to yourself?! "

"C'mon, doc. You think we want to get killed by our own mines?"

"I have some idea what's in them, you know. From before."

"Yeh, I figured."

"So you lied to Winston."

"I didn't! Well, not so's it'd matter. Once this is over, I'll come back all rosy-cheeked and brown eyed and faster - and happier - like nothin's ever happened. This isn't me, it's just somethin' I wear, like a spacesuit."

"Except it is part of you." No pretence at that being anything short of a statement. "When?"

Lena grimaced. "'Bout a year ago. We were in a firefight in Jakarta, one of Amé's mines got blown up straight into my face and I was out of jinks."

"Ah, I see," nodded the doctor. "So, not going to let that happen twice."

"Nope. Besides, we can always use another sniper. I wasn't good enough, unmodified."

"And now you are."

"Sure am."

"I'm not sure what to do with this. What you are doing is dangerous and disturbing."

"That's bloody hilarious coming from you, doc. The others may ignore it, but I don't."

Angela froze, just for a moment, and Venom charged ahead.

"You're no more baseline human than I am. Maybe less. Don't take it the wrong way, luv, I think it's brilliant! But you think I don't notice you don't age?"

Angela laughed a little, caught out and knowing it. "I suppose you will not accept that I work out and live a very healthy lifestyle."

"Got that right. S'why I didn't let you touch me before, either."

"I would not have needed to touch you."

Ooh, thought the assassin. Didn't think of that. "Fareeha, too?"

"Not yet. We argue about it."

"I hope you win that fight," Lena said, simply, but sincerely.

"I very much do as well."

A moment's pause from the Talon agent. "You wouldn't have to hide it, with us, y'know."

"Your wife is blue and has a giant spider tattooed on her back. I am not surprised," smirked the Overwatch doctor.

"We have our way, nobody would have to hide any of it."

Angela Ziegler tilted her head a little, and looked wistfully at the Talon assassin in front of her. She had to admit, it was an attractive proposition. It would be wonderful not to have to... no, she thought. Assassins. Maybe on our side, but still, killers.

"If I have to inject this... monstrosity... into your bloodstream, will you turn completely blue? I need to know what to expect."

Venom giggled. "Nah, take a lot more than that! It'll just reset a bunch of systems to baseline, refill my cellular energy reserves, restart my heart... things like that."

"Lena, I am a medical doctor. I do not want to treat you blindly. I know what I agreed to, but I am your doctor. Not Overwatch's. Please, I have to know."

Lena Oxton nodded, thought, in for a penny, in for... not quite a pound, and pulled a stack of very thin, but strong, flimsies from the largest pouch on her costume. "We're takin' a real big risk here, doc. Don't let us down."

"Does Amélie know you're handing me these documents?"

"I did say 'we.'"

"Do I get to to keep them?"

"Nope. You get to read 'em, now, while I'm here. You can take notes, but you can't make copies. Then I take 'em back."

Angela read. The document was intricate, and detailed, and incomplete in certain areas - she was not being completely trusted. It was enough to know how to provide genuinely proper care for a Widowmaker-class assassin - at least, in a conventional sense. But not enough to... I will need that scan.

"This," she said, "must've been very painful to undergo."

Venom shrugged. "Hurt a lot less than the Slipstream. And hurt Amélie more, she went all the way through it."

"And you didn't."

The younger assassin smiled. "I like who I am. I didn't need to..." and she stopped. Dammit.

Angela picked up the sentence, and finished it. "...run from who you were."

"...yeh."

The doctor stood up, and handed back the papers. "I'd love to talk with the researchers who came up with this."

"She'd love to talk with you. She's a big fan."

Angela nodded. "I appreciate that."

"Someday, maybe?"

"Perhaps. But it's not enough. I still need a scan."

"Doc," Venom said, frustration in her voice, "we've been through this."

"No. You don't understand, but you will." She stood up, and straightened her jacket. "I am asking you to trust me in ways you do not want to trust anyone, and that requires a return of that trust, and that requires a demonstration."

Venom looked confused. "What d'ya mean, doc?"

Dr. Ziegler walked to the corner of her office, and picked up a long, metal staff leaned casually against one wall. She tapped it on the floor, and a set of metal hard-light blades popped out from one end. She walked back in front of her patient. "May I borrow one of your pistols? Do they behave normally, now?"

Venom handed one of her twin firearms to the doctor. "Yeh, just point and shoot. I didn't know you had handgun training, though."

"I'm Swiss, we all do." She flipped the safety off, put the pistol to the side of her own neck, and fired a full clip right at her own carotid artery.

Venom shrieked and shot out of hear seat, grabbing Mercy as she slumped down to the floor, staff still in hand, blood and viscera everywhere. "NO! WHAT?! NO! WHY? DOC!"

As the light in her eyes faded, Angela mouthed, silently, "wait"... and then, as she died, she was enveloped in light even as she lay in Venom's arms, light which spread across the floor, and over wherever her blood had spilled, gathering around it all.

Lena jinked back to the far side of the room, in a combination of terror and awe, as the light regathered, formed into the shape of her friend, and vanished... leaving Angela Ziegler, whole and returned.

"Would I have to hide that? " the doctor asked, pointedly.

Lena Oxton fell to the ground, shaking. "Wha... wha... what... you... that was not right..."

Mercy walked over to the young assassin, bent down, and offered her hand. "I am ready to revive everyone in Overwatch this same way, in combat, if needed. Including you - and even Amélie. But I have to know how you work, first. Otherwise..."

"Cor blimey," Venom said, still in shock, taking the Swiss woman's hand. "What are you?"

The much older than she appeared battle medic helped the Talon assassin up off the ground, and smiled. "I am your doctor."