The sun had started its ascent on the horizon, painting the sky a shade of pinkish red. No clouds were there to obscure it’s early beating rays. Despite it being late winter in the Southern Hemisphere, it was due to be another warm day in the Australian outback.
Casting a sole shadow down on the red earth below was a single airship. Sporting a turquoise V on its sides, it flew all the way from Utopeea, India, the headquarters of the Vishkar Corporation, on official business. It had been flying the entire evening and its passengers onboard were starting to wake up, preparing for it’s eventual decent.
Ajit, the ship’s pilot, had been awake the whole night, navigating the ship over the Indian Ocean and the initial expanses of the outback before the sun rose. He briefly put it on autopilot as he got up from the pilot’s chair to make himself some coffee and open up a pack of moong dal in the food space. A normal piece of spicy flatbread to wake himself up after flying for hours.
One by one, the Vishkar members assigned to this particular project woke up from their sleep quarters and took some pieces of moong dal too, along with pieces of fruit and cereal provided for them. Vishkar certainly can’t let their agents appear restless when carrying out an inspection like this.
Aside from Ajit, their pilot and native of Chittagong, Bangladesh, there were six others on the aircraft heading to Australia, 2 high-ranking agents and four standard ones, all in their mid to late 20’s. Javed, from Karachi, Pakistan, was always seen wearing the two metal light-bending arms VIshkar had made for him. He was a born with a shriveled left arm, yet excelled in Vishkar’s admittance program for Pakistani youth. When he was deemed old and qualified enough to sport the gauntlet from which hard-light could be made from, Javed requested he have them replace both arms. He had no qualms about not having normal arms anymore. Not since he would create such fantastic structures with his metal hands.
Amarjeet was from one of Mumbai’s wealthiest families, making a killing every year producing many hit Bollywood movies. But she was never satisfied with just living off of other people’s work, she wanted to make her own. Which, after failed attempts of getting into various art schools, led her to Vishkar. She was known amongst the younger recruits for her erratic, experimental designs. Very much against traditional VIshkar’s normal designs emphasizing order and harmony.
Deepa came out sporting her usual eyepatch over her right eye, a hard reminder of how she contributes to building projects. When she was in Vishkar’s Colombo, Sri Lanka academy, she contacted glaucoma, causing her to lose sight in her right eye. Where most would see this as a loss, a critical blow in one’s education, Vishkar decided to take Deepa down a different path. She had one of the corporation’s experimental cybernetic eyes take her blind eye’s place, allowing her to see the best possible outcomes in constructing a project based on numerous conditions. The one downside was that her eye rested in a metal socket, and needed to be removed every night to recharge. Her eyepatch, in her mind at least, spared those who didn’t want to see a gaping hunk of metal leading to the center of her head.
Mansoor grew up from a war-torn area in Afghanistan, close to the border with Tajikistan. A part often overlooked in the various reconstruction efforts after the Omnic Crises. So, as a child, he helped rebuild homes out of whatever scrap materials he could find. This young boy caught the attention of many surrounding villages, wanting him to rebuild their homes as well. So much so his parents thought his particular interests would be nurtured better at a new Vishkar satellite academy in Kabul.
Sanjay Korpal was one of the head-honchos among field-level Vishkar agents, helping the company through the controversies surrounding their involvement with Talon and enthusiastically working to make their allegiance to the revived Overwatch as smooth as possible. After all, what would make a better show of public trust than affiliation with the world’s main peacekeeping organization? When he did go out on assignments like this, he always had the thoughts going through his head about how this would benefit the company first and foremost. But then again, he wasn’t normally sent out on simple inspection duties. But this case in particular did involve his co-worker.
The last one to emerge from their chambers was the ringleader of this particular operation. Satya Vaswani, better known to her Vishkar acquaintances as Symmetra.
Satya designed their destination, a restructured edition of the Australian junker’s home, Junkertown. And it had been a year since the final touches on construction were put in place. Apart from this, her focus lately wasn’t on what Vishkar projects were developing around the world. It was her duties as part of Overwatch.
As part of her agreement of staying with Vishkar after the Talon scandal, Satya would spend half of her paying time with Overwatch, helping in whatever missions her talents were required for, and showcasing new developments in hard-light technology to the organization’s heads, mainly Commander Jack Morrison and Winston. However, the deal did call for her to be on Vishkar duty for several weeks at a time. And this inspection fell into one of those lapses of time.
“Well, look at what the cat dragged in,” Sanjay remarked at her disheveled appearance.
“Don’t blame me. I had a late night last night,” Satya defended herself.
“Hard to have one if we’re in our quarters the whole night.”
“I was busy making final arrangements for our arrival.”
“You sure that’s all you were doing?” Ajit said with some snark. Given the professional façade Vishkar agents had to give off when on assignments, morning breakfasts like this were some of the only times they could be relaxed.
“No Ajit, I wasn’t doing anything else!”
“You were talking to your boyfriend, right?” Deepa chimed in.
“I mean I was, but who else am I going to make arrangements with?” Some of the others started snickering. “Knock it off!”
“Oh, the great Symmetra’s embarrassed by her boyfriend,” Amarjeet jeered.
“No I’m not! What I do with Jamie doesn’t concern you.”
“Of course it does, since he’s a criminal,” Javed said, eating some bread while making sure crumbs didn’t get in his metal arms. “How’s he gone so long without getting caught?”
“It’s easy if you don’t commit crimes, and stay in Junkertown like he’s supposed to. Along with occasionally helping out Overwatch now and then.”
“Ah yes, because that hasn’t stopped anything illegal from happening before,” Deepa was eating some cereal. “What could you possibly see in someone like him?”
“We all want to improve the world in our own way, and so does Jamie. Just not the same way Vishkar sees it.”
“By destroying things?”
“If you spent as much time out there as I have dealing with who will be affected by our projects, along with Overwatch operations, you can see why some people would look up to him.”
“I know I would,” Mansoor interjected. “Growing up in a forgotten part of the world, having to fend for yourselves.”
Ajit went back up the pilot’s area to see how far out they were. “We’re about 100 kilometers out.”
“Alright everyone,” Sanjay ordered. “Hit the showers.”
One by one, each person took a quick shower. Satya was one of the last one’s to take hers, removing her metal arm and carefully putting it in the sink where it wouldn’t get wet from any shower water. After cleaning herself off, she donned the blue and gold uniform of high-ranking field agents, modified to accommodate the arm. Normally a similar colored visor would go around her head, but she decided to eschew it for this assignment. She trusted Jamie enough not to make too much a mess since she was last here.
The Vishkar unit reassembled again next to the loading door, waiting for the final descent. Sanjay wore a similar blue and gold uniform while the rest wore the standard purple and white.
Looking out the window, the team saw their destination, near the geographic center of Australia on the former city of Alice Spring. Junkertown. But it was a far cry from when Satya first visited the place. The old scrap metal shacks and visibly rustly vehicles were nowhere to be found. In their place, contained inside a walled perimeter, the land inside the place was actually green for the most part. The structures did resemble other Vishkar projects. Even from far above, the typical hard light designs showed through. Simple dirt roads bisected the homes, a reservoir of water was still in place, rows of crops on a set aside portion of the area for food, and rows of solar panels and wind turbines provided any electricity they wanted.
But something was also notably off about the buildings. They were colored the same as the red earth around them. Not the normal pristine white or silver Vishkar buildings normally were.
“Care to explain?” Sanjay requested.
“Those buildings weren’t like that last time I was here,” Satya tried to explain.
“And how long ago was that?”
“5 months, at least.”
“Is that landing pad for us?” Ajit wanted to know. “Looks a bit small for something this size.”
“Trust me, it’s large enough,” Satya, urging to make the final descent.
“Remember you all,” Sanjay told the white-purple wearing agents. “Let me and Symmetra do all the talking. You’ll be asked to carry out inspections when you’re asked to.”
The landing door opened as soon as the aircraft hit the ground, letting the Vishkar people out of the airship onto the rough dirt landing pad. The sun was nowhere near the center of the sky yet, but the dry desert heat struck the Vishkar people immediately.
And waiting for them outside the pad was Junkrat. Of course Satya had grown close enough to them to refer to them by his actual name. Jamison Fawkes. Except he wasn’t wearing his usual gettup of explosive gear strapped to his upper body. Instead, along with his stitched together cargo shorts, he wore a short red top exposing his middrift.
“G’day Sat,” Jamie said the two hugged each other.
“Greetings Jamie,” Satya returned the gesture. “Where’s Mako.”
“He’s busy rehearsing. Part of something we have planned for later. Who are these other suits?” Jamie flashed a look at the rest of the assembled agents.
“Jamie, these are the other VIshkar people I told you would accompany me. Everyone, this is,”
“Junkrat,” Sanjay bitterly replied back. “I’m well aware of your record, especially that one incident of yours in Hanoi.”
“Well that’s a fine how-do-you-do. And you are,”
“Sanjay Korpal. I studied with Satya at the main Vishkar academy, both graduating at,”
“Who are the rest?” Jamie interrupted. Sanjay got a bit deterred.
“These are the rest of the people I told you would come. Field agents like me, though not as high ranking.”
“They from India too?”
“Vishkar is dedicated to recruiting talent from all over South Asia. Ajit is from Bangladesh, Deepa’s from Sri Lanka, Javed’s from Pakistan, and Mansoor’s from Afghanistan.”
“Well now that introductions are over with, may we get this inspection started?” Sanjay was eager to get this assignment over with.
“Yeah, sure, sure,” Jamie started leading the group away from the pad to the main street beside it. He attempted to hold Satya’s metal hand with his, but she waved it off, thinking it would be unprofessional at this point. “Why does this have to take so long anyway?” Jamie asked.
“Vishkar is insisting on something extremely thorough, given the amount of time I spent designing and constructing this place,” Satya replied. “And with a man of your reputation in charge, even if you haven’t committed as many crimes lately, no doubt has some of my superiors uneasy. So it’s my task to show them how this project is a worthwhile investment.”
“I mean I get that, but does it have to be for a week?”
“When Vishkar wants things done thoroughly, they mean it. Besides, why are you complaining about wanting to spend less time with me?”
Jamie shut his mouth up, instead trying to focus on the leading the VIshkar team down the dirt road. As revealing from the view above, the houses, once pristine shades of white and silver, were now covered in smears of what looked like brown and red dirt. Still miles above the rusty shacks and makeshift homes that once stood here, though. Every, well, once pristine one-story homes were nearly identical, having a front door leading out to a sidewalk running alongside the main road. Satya found inspiration for these designs in various suburban plans in America and India. Some of the homes, along with the dirt, did have broken windows for what must’ve been a few months now.
“Well, the first thing I need to ask is why are all the buildings covered in dirt?” Sanjay had to bring up.
“Oh it’s not just dirt, it’s brown paint we scavenged from elsewhere,” Jamie gave his answer. “You have to admit it looks more natural that way, doesn’t it? Harkens back to the old days. A set a shiny white buildings in the desert is a easy target.”
“I take it you’ve never been to the Middle East then on your, ahem, travels?”
“Can’t say I have. You can only spend so much time in a desert, you know.”
“Hmm, you haven’t been to Oasis?”
“Sounds a bit too posh for me.”
“What about the broken windows on some of these homes?”
“What can I say? Sometimes parties can get a bit out of hand. Considering sometimes you have ten people living in one of these.”
“Ten?” Sanjay sounded perplexed. “Satya, how many people is each home designed for?”
“Six at most,” Satya started getting nervous. “Jamie, how can ten people live in one home?”
“It’s easy once you do some rearranging,” Jamie responded. “You’d be amazed at what sleeping on the couch does for toughing someone up.”
Sanjay made a mental note to return to that point later on before asking another question. “Is this place in any way affected by the Australian omnium fallout?”
“That’s in the detailed plans for here,” Satay replied instead of Jamie. “The walls surrounding here have built in absorption capabilities in case any manages to make it’s away out here.”
“Besides, that place is all the way in Warburton. I’m pretty sure whatever stuff spilled out of there stopped by now.”
Sanjay decided to accept the Junker’s naiveté and move on. “Would you mind describing the racial makeup of this town?”
“Sanjay!” Satya quickly reacted, though Jamie didn’t get as rifled up.
“I’m just wondering, since this is the middle of the desert after all. Outsiders can’t predict what they find here. Maybe it’s full of what some would find undesirable.”
“Undesirables?” Jamie sounded offended by Sanjay’s allegation. “I’ll have you know we’ve taken in every person who came across here. And not a single bad thing happened yet.”
“Of course. We junkers had to survive the elements together back when this was just tin shacks. And we’re doing the same now that we got this fancy shit. Who are we to turn away anyone who wants to be here?”
“What about housing shortages? Where will everyone sleep? What will they eat?”
“Calm your tits, will ya? You Vishkar people provided more than enough for everyone to survive, didn’t ya?”
“Sanjay,” Satya tried reassuring her co-worker. “Need I remind you that these Junkers haven’t caused any international incidents since this place was finished? Even with that Hanoi matter you brought up, which, by the way, I and several other Overwatch agents were present to make sure it didn’t get out of hand.”
The next stop was a large oval shaped patch of grass, encircled by a thick stand of rope. The grass itself had a few brown patches and kicked in areas exposing the dirt underneath. About twenty or so junkers, male and female, were taking part in a game Satya recalled Jamie telling her about, but hadn’t entirely grasped yet. The field, big enough for a game of cricket, had four tall poles at each elongated end. And the players were dribbling, kicking, and punching around an oval ball, often jumping onto each others shoulders to catch it.
“I take it this is where all the physical activity takes place?” Sanjay asked dumbfounded at the game being played.
“Yep,” Jamie replied. “Rugby, Aussie rules, football, cricket, they all happen here. And other events happen here too. Like what we have planned later.”
“Eh Junkrat!” two voices from the people surrounding middling crowd came out to greet them. From a short, feisty woman and a tall, lanky man Satya remembered from before.
“Roadman, Stomper!” Junkrat greeted them, as they weren’t sure what to make of the dressed up agents now standing before them.
“These the Vishkar suits?” Roadman asked.
“That they are. These are,”
“Sanjay Korpal,” the VIshkar agent interrupted Jamie, reaching out to shake their hands. “Pleased to meet you. I remember hearing about you two helping Overwatch bring down Talon.”
“Yeah, us and god knows how many other Junkers.”
“We’re not being asked to help with anything else, are we?” Stomper asked in her high-pitched voice.
“No, we’re just inspecting. Making sure this is a worthwhile endeavor.”
“Oh. Sorry this isn’t in better shape. Since you suits like things in order and all that.”
“That’s not my concern at the moment, though I may get back to that at some point. What kind of game is this?”
“Footy. Aussie rules,” Roadman clarified. “Some of the people from Melbourne wanted to start something, so we did. Right now, the Kangaroos are leading the Demons 46,” one player kicked the ball through the center posts as he was talking, “52 to 38.”
“Should be wrapping up soon,” Stomper clarified. “Need to set up for our show later.”
“Something for the Vishkar people. We have to set up the stage and all that.”
“Oh really? What is it?”
“Well that would be giving the surprise away, wouldn’t it?”
“Get on that then,” Jamie came back in, urging the Vishkar group to get back on their tour. “Gotta see what Roadie’s up to.”
Jamie and Mako’s home was, by this town’s standards, a few blocks away from the oval field. It was the same one-story style as everyone else’s. Along with the smears of red and brown dirt and paint as the others. But in addition, on both sides of the front door, there was a painted image of a crude pig’s face and a smiley face with X’s where the eyes would be. Along with the words “Junkrat” and “Roadhog” under the appropriate symbol.
“Home sweet home,” Jamie remarked.
“You two go ahead, I’ll take the other agents around to examine further,” Sanjay said, leading the five lower-ranked Vishkar agents away down the road.
“You sure?” Satya asked.
“There are plenty of other things to look over. We’ll catch up with you later.”
Jamie led Satya inside to the house’s main room, which was standard for all the units built here. A combination sitting area/kitchen, with a couch and some chairs. Various doorways lead to the bedroom, bathroom, and basement. Unlike the outside, the inside was respectfully well kept. Well, as much as the two junkers wanted it to be, with some traces of dust and dirt abound and uncleaned dishes in the kitchen.
“You look around the basement a bit. I’ll tell Roadie you’re here,” Jamie said in a hurry, pushing her towards the basement door.
“I’ve already gone through all your ‘treasures,’” protesting Jamie’s actions
“Well maybe you missed something. Like that set of props from that one theater in Hollywood,” he said pushing her down the stairs.
Jamie then ran in the direction of the bedroom he and Mako shared, where the man also known as Roadhog was busy making himself over. He had a role in the performance the Junkertown citizens were putting on later. Mako covered up his pig and metal gears tattoo on his belly with some concealer so he could apply temporary one’s over it. Ones that ended up looking like traditional Polynesian designs. He didn’t have his gasmask on so he could see better. Jamie frantically running in didn’t disrupt his concentration at all.
“Where is she?” Mako asked, not looking away from the mirror as he applied the temporary ink.
“She’s in the basement, going through our treasures again,” Jamie replied, digging through a pile of clothes he left lying on the floor. Amidst the various tattered pieces, he pulled out a rusted ring. “There it is.”
“What you have that for?”
“Mako, Roadie ol’ bud,” Jamie slowly built up the confidence to say. “I’m gonna ask Satya to marry me.”
“What?” Mako shot him a confused look.
“I figured after your show, we would go out beyond the walls, spend some time out there doing whatever, then I’d just ask her.”
“Did you think this through?”
“Of course I did. I love her. What’s more to think about?”
“You do know I was married, right?”
“Oh no,” Jamie got a bit apprehensive. “You’re not gonna pull your sad story over my happy moment.”
“Marriage is about more than just having sex, you know. It’s about being together through thick and thin. You know if you can handle that?”
“Handle what?” Satya’s voice echoed from the hallway, coming closer. Jamie fidgeted the ring into his pocket before she came into the doorway. “Oh, hello Mako.”
“Hey,” Mako replied, still not phased as he put on more ink.
“So is this what you were distracting me from? Am I ruining something?”
“No. I’ll just go to the bathroom. I’m almost done anyway,” as Mako left the two of them alone.
“See Satya?” Jamie acted impressed with himself, despite the fact there was still a pile of clothes on the floor. “Have it all set up just how you like it.”
“Jamie, I don’t think I should stay here, considering I’m on business.”
“Come on. How often do we actually get to spend time together, and not just talk through a screen?”
“Not nearly enough. But I have accommodations onboard the airship, and I’m expected to make use of them.”
“Don’t your bosses know about us and how long we’ve been together?”
“They do, but they certainly wouldn’t approve if I hadn’t proven myself as an asset they couldn’t afford to lose.”
“But those people seem like such snobs!”
“You must’ve thought I was a snob back when we first met. Because that’s how Vishkar handles matters. So what were you and Mako talking about?”
“Oh, oh nothing,” Jamie tried covering up. “I thought you were in the basement looking at my stuff.”
“I told you I’ve been though all that already. I can name every single piece there and where they came from. Like the replica crown jewels from King’s Row,”
“Wait, replica??” Jamie appeared shocked at the accusation. “Those are the real deal!”
“I’ve seen the jewels on display since your ‘robbery.’ And trust me, they’re much more pristine than the ones you have there.”
“You’re kidding me. That was me and Roadie’s proudest achievement,” Jamie sulked onto the bed, the happy thoughts he had earlier dissipated.
“I didn’t think you’d be so attached,” Satya tried comforting him, sitting next to him on the bed, “considering you don’t do that sort of thing anymore.”
“You know, just a reminder of the good ol’ days. When me and Roadie would just take what we thought was ours. Not like now with all these responsibilities.”
“But you’re going such a good service. Taking in all these lost souls, keeping them safe.”
“Yeah, but why’d it have to be me and Roadie in charge? We hardly knew how to take care of hundreds of people.”
“You’ve managed well so far, given the circumstances. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise,” Satya reached in to give him a kiss on the lips. Jamie fiddled around with the ring in his pocket, contemplating whether to ask her right now and get it over with.
“I swear if you say anything about me joining Overwatch full-time,” Jamie broke away to say.
“No, not right now. Clearly you are needed here,” Satya reassured him before giving him another kiss. “You said something about a performance?” she had to remind him once she finished.
“Oh right. Onto the show then.”
Jamie led Satya out of the house back to the grass oval, starting to get filled with the town’s residents. This time, a small stage made out of scraps was set up at the north end, with stairs set up leading up too it. Jamie took his girlfriend up to the front of the crowd so they had a clear view of the stage. Satya had glimpses of the crowds, where Jamie’s talk of taking in anyone who wanted to be here was true. As far as she could tell, she could make out East Asians, Filipinos, Aborigines, Polynesians, and whites. Some had metal appendages like Jamie had or were visibly “slower” than most. Yet they all wore mostly the same tattered kinds of clothes she often saw Jamie and Mako wore and went on without prejudice. Jamie, the man known as Junkrat, despite his complaints, certainly walked the walk. This place was open for all.
“Gotta get the best view for what Roadie’s about ta do,” Jamie said as he made himself settled in their spot.
“Was there no time to set up chairs?” Satya wondered out loud, a bit nervous before sitting down next to her boyfriend.
“What ya need chairs for?” Jamie replied. “The ground is just fine.”
“I don’t want so much dirt on my pants.”
“Why don’t you make one?” a voice next to Satya called out. Sitting on her right side was a person, on initial glance, didn’t give off the appearance of either a man or a woman. Their head was shaved, yet their face was soft, though with some patches of dirt from whatever they did earlier that day. And they wore baggy shorts and sported what appeared to be a wide, black binder across her chest.
“I would,” Satya replied nervously. “But I would block whoever’s sitting behind me.”
“Oi, Bushwhack,” Jamie defended his girlfriend. “Let the lady make up her own mind.”
“Lady?” Bushwack replied back, then something turned in their head. “So she’s with you?”
“Ya bet she’s with me.”
“So, you’re the great Symmetra, are ya?”
“Don’t know about great, but yes, I’m Symmetra.”
“Well, I apologize then. Suppose I have you ta thank for letting me be here.”
“If I heard that from everyone here, I’d be here for weeks.”
“Nah, it means a lot more to me. I don’t think me and my boyfriend wouldn’ve survived if we didn’t make it here.”
“He’s part of the show. We didn’t have that much for us back in Darwin. My parents threw me out when I came out. So we decided to try our luck out here, and it’s been pretty good for the most part.”
Satya was at least happy for this person, but gave off a look where she didn’t entirely understand their situation. Buckwhack thought they’d made their point clear enough and didn’t acknowledge her anymore.
“Like you said,” Jamie cut back in. “We take in whoever wants to be here.”
Then, a group of 7 people walked onto the stage, and Satya recognized Mako, Roadman, and Stomper among them. But they changed out of their normal rags into more outlandish gear. Outfits Satya recognized from resorts with Polynesian themes. Mako, in particular, wore a red and green shirt with ropes dangling underneath, red and white bacelets, and sandals. In place of his regular gasmask, he had a carved pig mask with the same colors as his skirt, topped off with a plume of white feathers. The rest had a similar outfit on, including the women, letting their breasts hang out exposing various painted on tattoos, but some had a dark blue/green scheme instead.
One of the performers Satya didn’t recognize approached the front of the stage, waving his hands to get the crowds attention.
“Hello? Everyone?” he shouted, loud enough to get the talkers to quiet down.
“For those who don’t know me, my name is Tamati, or Uenuku if you do know. I’m one of practically hundreds here who owe their lives to what Junkrat, Roadhog here, and Vishkar have done in this patch of desert. I was just a young Maori kid from the Auckland suburbs, just trying to come to terms with a bunch of aspects of my existence going to school and getting a job in Darwin. There I met Riley, who you all better know a Bushwhack, someone else in the same boat I was in. And when he got kicked out of his home, we decided to make our way here. A place where everyone’s accepted no matter their situation. And the rest is history.
So tonight, as members of Vishkar who helped build this godsend of a place are here among us, we’d like to perform some traditional Polynesian dances for you all. Kids, don’t try these at home.”
When Uenuku finished speaking, he got down in a squat, starting to slap his hands against his exposed chest and thighs, starting slow, then getting faster.
“Tenei te tangata puhuruhuru nana nei I tiki mai whakawhiti te ra!” Uenuku shouted. “A, upane! Ka upane! A, upane, ka upane, whiti te ra!”
As Uenuku finished shouting and slapping himself, Stomper leaped over his shoulders down in front of him, sticking out her tongue and contorting it, spewing out phrases Satya found intelligible, assuming it was of some other Polynesian language. Roadman and another performer got behind the sets of tribal drums and got into a rhythm, anticipating the performances. A female performer pulled out two sticks with dry grass stuck to both ends and lit the ends on two of them with a cigarette lighter, then lighting the others. To the beat of the tribal drums, she started twirling the now-lit sticks around, bending her body back so she could have the sticks surrounding her front and back. But she didn’t show the slightest bit of hesitation or fear of being burned.
“Uh Jamie,” Satya nudged his shoulder, a bit uncomfortable from being so close to the fire. “Are all these people, um, Polynesian?”
“Not all of ‘em. Roadie might be part of some, he never told me the whole deal with that.”
“Isn’t this, kind of, insensitive?”
“Uenuku says this kind of thing happens back in New Zealand all the time. White people and Maori doing this kind of thing. Just how their country is, I guess. It’s something they enjoy doing, so who are we to stop them?”
As soon as the first performer finished her set, and took in a round of applause, Mako pulled out a bottle and sucked down some of the fluid inside through his mask, making sure he didn’t swallow. Upon lighting one end of a similar stick, he squirted out some of the fluid, causing a fireball and getting some “ooohs” in reaction. After getting the other parts of his sticks lit, Mako did a similar twirling act, occasionally spiting out more fluid to create bigger and bigger fireballs.
Jamie was having a blast watching all the fire go round and round, but one look at Satya, clutching his normal arm out of some kind of discomfort, let him know she had enough. And any more would irritate her more.
Maybe now, Jamie thought, he could make his move.
“Ey Sat,” Jamie whispered to her. “You wanna leave?”
“Why’d you ask?” she responded, still gripping his arm tight.
“You seem pretty tense. Seem like something’s acting up again.”
“I suppose. And I’m just nervous with all this fire.”
“We can leave if you want.”
“Wouldn’t that be disrespectful?”
“Nah, Roadie hardly knows what that word means. Come on,” Jamie grabbed Satya’s normal arm and lead her away to the left, keeping their bodies down as to not obscure anyone else’s view.
“Where are we going?” Satya asked.
“Just away from here,” Jamie replied, taking her down the street towards one of the town walls. When they reached one of the still-white metal doors, he typed in a code in a keypad, making it pfft open, a gateway to the very dark blue of night beyond the city walls.
The lights coming off from inside the walls were more faint, but still shone over the walls. Nowhere near enough to affect the two’s view of the starry night above them. Even though it was night, some residue heat from the day still permeated the air.
“Jamie, what are we doing out here?” Satya wondered.
“Hang on, I’ve been meaning to show you something.”
Jamie grabbed Satya’s metal arm and put it on his shoulder while he put his metal arm on her waist. His flesh and blood hand grasped hers, raising it up to the side.
“Oh Jamie,” Satya was surprised at this gesture. “Have you been practicing?”
“Can’t promise you that much,” Jamie replied, trying to keep his peg leg as firmly planted in the ground as possible. “Especially if my leg gives out.”
“Seems odd that we’re dancing to nothing.”
“I could hum something if you want.”
“No, this is fine. I think I prefer this.”
Jamie’s mind was racing. The little ring was still in his pocket, waiting for the right moment to be revealed. When they were done dancing, right? Jamie kept thinking if this would be the right point. The right time to ask her to marry him. After all, by his standard, he couldn’t think of a more romantic time for it. Here, in the middle of the desert, underneath the sky lit by stars.
But doubts started to flow in again. Maybe this wasn’t as romantic he thought. How would she take this while she was supposed to be working? And even with all the times they’ve said they love each other, he still couldn’t believe it. Why would someone who worked for a fancy corporation, building fancy buildings, want to be in a relationship with him? Considering how likely he’d rob those places if he were given a chance. She always said how she sees a little bit of what her life used to be like, before she joined Vishkar, in him. Plus, what would everyone else back at Overwatch think? No matter how many times he’d been offered to join their operations, he couldn’t bring himself to do so out of his duty for these disparate souls. What would being married to Satya mean then, having his time divided into duties for more things than he could hardly keep track of? Was Mako right? Had he thought this through the whole way?
“Something on your mind, Jamie?” Satya asked once she noticed her boyfriend was zoning out.
“N-no, nothing Sat,” Jamie briefly stammered, having his mind made up.
“You looked like you wanted to say something.”
“I mean I did, but it can wait.”
“Positive. Just waiting for the right time.”
Don't let the peace and good times of the first chapter fool you. It will get heavy soon.
Y.A.L.A. - M.I.A.
T.N.T. - AC/DC
Slow- Kylie Minogue
This chapter introduces one of the more prominent OC's of this story. Along with our villains.
Two days earlier:
Perth. Often billed as the most isolated metropolitan city in the world. Thousands of kilometers from even the closest other major Australian cities, separated by the vast barren, radiated outback. It was the only sign of any kind of civilization in this part of the vast Australian continent.
Leslie Martin was taking the train back to her apartment after a day of work for Lucheng Interstellar’s Perth branch, located along the beaches of the Indian Ocean. Working in a laboratory all day is grueling work. Making sure all tests go according to plan, making sure no one gets accidently killed, seeing if all the calculations used for whatever new aerospace travel devices were correct.
The day was long and the work arduous. All Leslie wanted to do now was to go home to her girlfriend.
Leslie undid her dusty blonde hair down from the ponytail it was done up it so it could drape across her shoulders and the top of her blouse. She couldn’t wait to change out of her work clothes into something more comfortable. Even if she did wear a labcoat for most of her job’s duties, she was still required to wear proper clothes. Even if no one could actually see them.
The train reached her stop in West Perth, as Leslie walked down the main boulevard straddling West Perth and Subiaco. Her apartment was in one of the mid-tier high-rises near King’s Park, one of the many developments built to keep Perth on pace with the rest of Australia in post-crisis development. It was on the third floor, not at all out of reach from walking up a flight of stairs in the central area to reach.
“Emma, I’m home!” Leslie called out, wondering if her girlfriend was in the place. It wasn’t that late yet, and she didn’t have to work late. “Emma?”
“In here sweetie,” Emma replied from the kitchenette, waiting for her with two Swan beer bottles in hand.
‘Thanks babe,” Leslie kissed her girlfriend on the lips, taking one of the bottles and leading her to their couch.
Their apartment was what you’d normally find. A living space with a tv and couch, kitchenette, bathroom, and bedroom. At least it would be considered normal if it weren’t for the massive amount of Overwatch paraphernalia littered all over the place. Simply put, even thought they were mature adults, the couple were huge fans. Hell, they had plenty of action figures of the heroes scattered about in various poses.
Posters filled in whatever empty space the walls had, the most prominent heroes featured were Tracer, Zarya, Lucio, and Winston, though he was only there do Lucheng’s association with the Horizon moonbase Winston grew up on. The other three were their definite favorites, the largest poster they had depicted them in outfits of their respective countries as part of the Summer Games promotion. In others, Lucio was depicted either DJ’ing in front of a large crowd or gliding across walls on his blades. Zarya would be shown either lifting weights or surrounded by a shield-bubble as she fired her particle cannon. And all the posters they had of Tracer had her showing a two-fingered salute in whatever pose she was in, either casually or in action. The place they bought these from just had it labeled “salute,” but the two women had other ideas as to what it really meant.
“How was work?” Emma asked, after they clanged their bottles and did a brief chug.
“It was rough,” Leslie lamented. “Just more tests for the new Slipstream model, but nothing was going right. One of the test pilots came close to being flipped inside out.”
“Well of course it wasn’t going right. If our girl Tracer couldn’t pilot it, what makes you think anyone else can?”
“Oh we’re nowhere near close enough having someone pilot it yet. Still working on time-jumping aspects of it.”
“Don’t say I didn’t warn you when there’s so many more Tracers around.”
“You say that like it’s a bad thing.”
“Well Tracer herself is our little gay cinnamon roll. You don’t know what other people having this tech can do.”
“Emma, it’s not the same thing. Plus no one’s gonna steal it. No one can if the public doesn’t know it exists yet.”
“Oh sure, that helps. Let me remind you we live in a country with a bunch of outback nomad thieves that can just take whatever they want at random.”
“Babe, you’re worried about the wrong parts here. When this is all said and done, when we finally perfect this, Overwatch’ll be able to put down any chances of whatever terrorist uprisings happening.”
“It’s gonna backfire, I’m telling you.”
“You do know there’ve been 10 years of improvements since our gay sunshine got in her accident. That’s what I was trying to say.”
“We’ve pretty much figured out what malfunctioned in the original slipstream. Some miscalculations with the quantum drive. Ended up being too powerful and harmful for the pilot. So we’re working on toning the tachyon field down, bring it back up one babystep at a time, and insuring all our test subjects get the adequate projection they need.”
“What kind of protection?”
“We’re still working on developing that.”
“When will it be finished?”
“Not for a few months at least. With prototypes, testing, all that shit. All that on top of finally presenting the thing to Overwatch. Hell, we don’t even know if they actually want the thing.”
“So what if they say no?”
“Sure some lower-level national military wouldn’t mind buying some. These jets are fucking expensive to produce.”
“Well, if anyone can do it, I’m sure it’s you.”
“You’re too optimistic, you know that?” Leslie chugged down more of her beer before kissing Emma again. “Anyways, I’m parched. Wanna get something to eat?”
“I don’t feel like sitting down and waiting.”
“Could just be take-out.”
“How ‘bout we just go the first fast-food place we like?”
“Sounds like the boring usual.”
“Come on, you like our boring usuals.”
“Could be worse. It’s better than trying whatever tea-infused crap you’re trying to make.”
“Hey, I worked hard on those!”
“Did you? I don’t believe it?” Leslie reached in to give Emma another kiss.
“When we get back, how’s ‘bout we do a gaming marathon run?” Emma suggested. “I’d at least like to reach gold before the season’s over.”
“Just let me change into something else, then we can go.”
Leslie went into their bedroom, and a few minutes later, re-emerged wearing jeans and sleeveless top with an atom on it and the phrase “My favorite compound is Gallium Yttrium,” offering her arm to lead her brunette girlfriend out.
The couple headed east towards downtown as they leave their building, as the sun was setting over the outlying areas on the coastline. They passed a movie theater showing the 100th anniversary re-release of the first Star Wars movies, reminding themselves they had to see it at some point. After walking a few blocks, the couple found a Mad Mex’s taking up the bottom floor of an office building, one of their usual places, with the line starting just inside the main entrance. The two argued what kind of salsa to get with their chips, since they liked to share. Leslie was more inclined to have the spicy, soupy kind where you had to dig around for the veggies, while Emma just liked the kind that was essentially Pico de Gallo. A quick game of rock, paper, scissors decided that they’d get Leslie’s option. The dusty blonde ordered a burrito with most of the fixings inside while the brunette got an order of tacos. They sat down at two open stools near the entrance facing a wall with a ledge for food hanging off it.
“You know what Leslie,” Emma said as they sat down, the blonde already preparing to take a bite out of her burrito. “What would happen if you did join Overwatch?”
Leslie bit down awkwardly as she chewed, biting her tongue amidst the food in her mouth. “Ahh,” she moaned with the food still there. “I bit my tongue!”
“Didn’t mean for that sweetie,” Emma rubbed her shoulder as Leslie tried drowning out the pain more by eating more of her burrito, swallowing before talking again.
“Emma, everyone in the world wants to be part of Overwatch. It doesn’t mean they can. There’s a whole process of vetting and going over qualifications for non-military people.”
“No really, I think you’d make a kickass scientist, or engineer like Torbjorn.”
“Building little turrets around a battlefield isn’t my strong suit.”
“Then you can help the scientists then. I’m sure Winston or those Vishkar people could use whatever ideas are in that head of yours.”
“I deal in particle physics. I don’t know if that stuff is in my area of expertise.”
“Isn’t everything, including that Vishkar hard light stuff, made of particles?”
“I suppose, but I haven’t’ the faintest idea how that works.”
“I’m sure it’s not that hard. And when you do, you can crank it up a notch.”
“Vishkar people have whole academies dedicated to that sort of thing. You can’t just pick it up on a whim.”
“Then learn how.”
The innocence Emma gave off amused Leslie as she ate more chips.
“And you can find out if Tracer actually is gay!” Emma insisted.
“Oh come on! I’m not gonna join to fuel your obsessions.”
“If Overwatch isn’t gonna tell the public who is and who isn’t, we have to figure out through other ways.”
“What about you? Am I just supposed to leave you here in Perth?”
“There has to be shore leave or something like that. Plus, I’d visit wherever you’d end up.”
“The nearest bases are on the east coast, and I don’t think I’d end up there. Don’t think that’s a journey you want to make all that often.”
“Ah, it’d be worth it. Not to mention all the dirt I’d get.”
“You’re awful, you know that?”
“Oh I know,” Emma took one of the chips and booped Leslie on her sharp nose with it before dipping it into the salsa.
Out on the streets, a siren started going off. Normally, this sort of thing would happen during the day, testing for the event of any sort of attack on Australian cities, like a citywide fire drill done at schools. It’s what the country implemented after the Omnic crises and the occasional appearances by the Junkers. This was only a problem on the more heavily populated East coast, with the likes of Brisbane, Sydney, and occasionally Adelaide dealing with them in the decades past. Nothing like that ever happened in Perth, due to its isolation.
But the fact that the sirens went off in the evening seemed odd.
“Damn siren tests,” Leslie muttered as she lead Emma out, following the rest of the Mad Mex’s crowd from inside onto the streets, the sirens from the streetposts still blaring. “We get it, it’s a test. Will you shut up!?” Much to Leslie’s chargan, the sirens didn’t stop, leading her to kick one of the metal posts.
But a noise came from the north heading east. A large crowd numbering the thousands was heading their way, all shouting, screaming, gasping for air, with most of them looking behind to keep pace and run away from what was pursuing them.
“What’s going on?” Emma asked, constantly turning her head back and forth to keep track of the crowds.
Then, another noise growing louder and louder came down from the Northwest. The noise of combustion engines and revved up motorcycles. The kind no modern person had anymore.
Oh god, Leslie thought to herself. Junkers.
“Run goddamnit!” Leslie shouted, grabbing Emma’s hand and running along with the crowd. Emma didn’t look ahead to where everyone was running to, she just continued to look behind her at the group of Junker trucks appeared in her field of vision. Motorcycles carrying a single junker each ran ahead of the main pack. They wore black and white facepaint with bizarre designs on them, had rounds of ammunition around their chests and wielded crude, homemade looking submachine guns.
“Who among you’s ready to be judged?” one of the junkers shouted, firing his gun into the air and occasionally into the crowds.
Leslie led Emma down one of the sideroads, trying to make it to the next street over, still making their general way to the bridge across the Swan river. The situation was the same there, with crowds fleeing the grotesque looking trucks this band of junkers possessed. Among each one, with large tires, rusted exteriors, and designs of skulls, guns, and worms decaled on them, a man or woman with tattered clothes and facepaint was standing on top shouting about judgment has come, the Australian people have lost their way, and there was no use fighting. Leslie and Emma didn’t hide for long, returning to the fleeing crowd making their way to the river.
“What the fuck is happening?” Emma shouted, trying to keep pace. “I thought the junkers were supposed to be peaceful now.”
“Clearly these one’s aren’t,” Leslie quickly replied, not looking back. “Just keep running.”
“Where are we even running to?”
“The river, by the looks of it. Just away from these savages.”
“Can’t we run back to our place and wait this out?”
“We’d be going straight back into them,” Leslie got out before the crowd abruptly stopped, causing the two to collide into the people in front of them. That gave the pack of junkers more than enough time to surround the fleeing crowd, at this point Leslie guessed was in the thousands. They were just short of a bridge going across Heirisson Island and the Swan River. And motorcycles, cars, and trucks encircling them shocked them into not moving with their firearm displays.
Leading the pack was a souped-up picked-up truck painted in a similar black and white fashion as the people driving the cars. But Leslie couldn’t be sure of it being another truck since the loading area had a retractable cover over it. And the cover started folding back in.
Standing up in the space was probably the fattest man Leslie saw in her entire life. His body was covered in tattoos of designs she couldn’t sure of, though some did resemble the shapes painted on the cars. Worms, skulls, and some hammers too. Given the tussles of obviously dyed long black hair along with desert worm wrinkles on his exposed skin, he’s seen some shit. And next to him was a similarly middle-aged woman, wearing only stitched together leather pants, a black crop top, and sunglasses against her bleached hair.
“Citizens of Perth,” the fat man started proclaiming, speaking into his truck’s built-in radio, with the words coming out of some in-board speakers. “Tonight, you are witnesses to what the future of our proud country holds. What started with destroying the Omnium will come to an end soon. No more will we revel in what other powers have decided for us. We’re taking control of our nation’s destiny, one free of the control of the U.N. and their lackeys! Now,”
“Piss off,” an Asian man near the front shouted.
“What?” the fat man got off his radio to address the man himself.
“Why don’t you piss off back to the Outback and let us live in,” he didn’t finish his sentence, as the woman pulled a shotgun out and fired right at his chest. He collapsed to the ground out of Leslie’s sight.
“Damn chink,” the fat man muttered to the woman before returning to his radio-mic. “That kind of behavior won’t be tolerated. Acts that go against the unity we’re trying to promote. Australia has lost its way in putting our decision-making above ourselves. We are the ones who’ll take that power back. Now who will join us and be spared?”
More sirens sounded out, which everyone thought at first was just coming from the streetposts again. But they were coming from far away, and approaching closer and closer. Followed by flashing lights of police cars and military vehicles heading their way.
“Maggots, take care of them!” the fat leader shouted, directing the motorcycle-riding junkers to leave and deal with the law enforcement heading their way. But the break in the loose circle of maniacs was all that about 30 of the crowd needed, Leslie and Emma included, to try and run for it on a bridge across the Swan River.
“Run!” Leslie tried shouting amidst all the other screaming happening.
“Maggot, after them! Waste them!” The fat man instructed one of the trucks, to follow across the bridge.
The group had run about halfway across when the junker truck came back into their field of vision. The painted man standing up through the truck’s sunroof wielded a submachine gun, shooting whoever was lagging behind with untempered fury in his eyes
A crack when off from in front of the running group and the truck driver slumped onto the steering wheel and the car started serving before crashing into the right barrier, the momentum sending the crazed junker on top over the bridge into the water below. The crowd was too busy running to pay attention to what caused that.
At the end of the bridge, they found a group of seven covered trucks and one man with a black goatee standing with a rifle. This must’ve been the cause of that car serving off the bridge.
“Anyone who values your life, get in these before more junker’s come along,” the man shouted. And while the crowd did disperse and followed his orders, filing in the canopied back of the trucks, Leslie and Emma were briefly confused. Why this person was saving the mass of people by loading them into his trucks.
“Hey, you,” he called to the dazed scientist. “What’s your name?”
“Hey Leslie, I’m Bruce. You wanna get out of here?”
“Of course, but,”
“Well, yer coming with us,” Bruce picked Leslie up and slung her over a shoulder, walking towards a truck with a canopied back, with others inside. “Hey Cait, start ‘er up!” he shouted. The sound of the truck’s ignition followed.
“No, let me down!” Leslie shouted, pounding on his back with her fists and trying to wiggle out of his grip. “Emma!” she screamed.
“We’ve got plenty of other trucks. Your friend can tag along in one of those.”
“Put me down right now!”
“Ain’t letting you die miss.”
Emma saw her girlfriend being carried away and ran towards her, but Leslie pointed at one of the other trucks, urging her to get in one of those. Not before Bruce threw her into the back of his truck, along with other people with as much fright on their faces Leslie had inside herself. Bruce hit the side to let whomever Cait they were ready. Pretty soon, as Bruce took the driver’s seat, the truck started moving and heading it’s way along the highway heading north, passing by suburbs where people were still panicking in the streets out of fear the junkers would head their way.
“Was only a matter of time,” Bruce started ranting. “We knew at some point, those Junkers would end up here, tearing up the place like they’d used to do back before the second crisis. Course this ain’t like the ones who showed up in Cairns, Townsville, Newcastle, or even the ones in Melbourne or Sydney. Those ones just wanted to rob and disrupt things for a day. These wankers, they’re something else.”
Looking at the open view behind the truck, Leslie saw that of all the seven trucks that the convoy started off with, only one was still following them. “Where are the other trucks?” she nervously asked, crawling from the back to a little window behind the driver’s seats.
“Making it harder for those Junker freaks to catch us,” Cait said from the passenger’s seat. “Too wrapped up destroying whatever they find to follow separate convoys.”
“Okay,” Leslie continued, rubbing her fingers against her temples. “I’m only gonna ask you this once. Where are we going?”
“To where we can get to the bottom of this,” Bruce explained as the truck started to make it’s way through the northern city limits. “There’s only one place those savages could’ve come from, and they have to answer for what,”
“Shut the fuck up and say where already!” Leslie shouted impatiently.
“We’re going to Junkertown.”
Junkertown? Now? Smack-dab in the middle of the Outback? Right where these monsters came from? The destination, on top of not knowing where Emma was, sent Leslie into a panic.
“We’ll never make it,” Leslie started panicking in rapid succession. “This truck’ll run out of fuel. The Junkers will catch back up to us. There’s bound to be more along the way! We’ll starve!”
“Shut up back there, will ya?” Cait shouted back at the passengers in a way that didn’t help the situation, then dialed back her tone. “If you want to get out, we’ll gladly stop for you. But for one thing, I’d like to imagine all of ya want to get to the bottom of this. Why these lunatics attacked our city. Well, Junkertown’s our best chance of figuring out. Besides, we can get food, water, and fuel along the way there.”
“But the people who live there are supposed to be peaceful. We haven’t heard anything from there in months.”
“Well maybe they cracked. You’d think with all the weridos out there someone’d be spreading crazy ideas.”
Leslie stopped spouting what harmful thought came into her head and paused, trying to think this through. She saw behind her the convoy was now passing through the forests that dotted the eastern parts of the city. And soon, in a few hours or so, they’d reach the mountain ranges that’d mark the beginning of the outback. Sure it won’t be that bad, Leslie kept thinking and reassuring herself. We’ll end up wherever Junkertown is, meet up with whatever truck Emma ended up in, and get everything settled so we can go back to Perth. Shouldn’t be that hard. Hopefully, none of our stuff is damaged.
“Do you have a plan for when we get there?” she asked the drivers.
It took the two people up front a few seconds of silence to think of something before Bruce replied. “It’s a three-day drive. We’ll come up one on the way.”
I Predict a Riot - Kaiser Chiefs
The people who've fled Perth arrive in Junkertown, and their welcome isn't so smooth.
As Satya had forcibly told Jamie when they arrived, she was obligated to stay with the other Vishkar members. So when the first night’s festivities were over, she returned back to the airship to her sleeping quarters there, leaving Jamie and Mako to head back to their home on their own.
Jamie and Mako slept in their underwear in their shared bed. One that was barely large enough to contain the two, and even then Mako still took up most of the space on the right side. Snoring loud enough to wake up the neighbors on both sides, it was something Jamie had gotten used to in the years they’ve spent together, roaming the world in search of treasures and artifacts to steal. But Jamie tossed and turned in his sleep, the snores coming from Mako didn’t help when he briefly woke up and then tried going back to sleep.
Jamie kept thinking about how he blew it. How he chickened out of asking Satya to marry him. It was the best chance he had yet, and there’d never be another one like it. Under the stars, with the faint sounds of the performance in the distance, it was perfect. Or at least as perfect as he thought it’d be. Now then, his mind would reassure himself. Of course there’d be another chance. One better than what he had in mind before. Maybe it would be best to wait until she was done with her work. It would only be a week. He could wait that long. Hell, he’s waited months just to be in the same physical space as her again.
No! his mind also kept telling him. She’s here with her suit friends. Whatever parts of you she’s looked past, they won’t. You’ll screw something up at the worst time.
You can’t help it.
You haven’t done anything wrong yet.
Did you see how the suits looked at the place? With dirt over their houses?
They understood, right?
Of course they didn’t! They can only have things squeaky clean!
Well that’s just how we are.
Jamie thrust himself awake, not even trying to sleep anymore, the voices and Mako’s snoring getting too much for him. So he just lay on his side, staring across his nightstand out the window he faced, leading to the next house over. Of course the suits liked us, Jamie kept thinking. We sure put on a show for them. Why wouldn’t they? That Sanjay though, he rubs off the wrong way.
It then occurred to Jamie they didn’t have anything else like that planned for the rest of Vishkar’s stay. Well, the probably didn’t need to. But he supposed they needed to think of something just in case.
The alarm clock read 5:30 am when Jamie’s phone started buzzing on the nightstand. Roadman’s name popped up along with the picture Jamie set up for him, which was taken as he was chasing his junker friend. It was his turn for wall guard duty tonight, a position that exists just because someone thought it should. It didn’t amount to much since they rarely get visitors at night. Still, Jamie felt obligated to answer, just to see what’s up.
“What is it mate?” Jamie inquired, still groggy from the varying bits of sleep he was able to get.
“Some trucks showed up on the western wall, want to come inside.” Roadman explained.
Trucks? At this time of day when people are still sleeping? That never happened. “What for? Can’t they wait until it’s daylight?”
“They say they drove all the way from Perth to speak with us.”
Perth? Huh, Jamie thought. That’s quite the distance. And they want to see me? I’m that important, huh? “What for?”
“They won’t say any more.”
Oh they drove all the way out here to see me. Must think I’m a head honcho or something. Like I really am King Jamison Fawkes the first! Well, at least we’ll actually have something to do today.
“Oight, let them in, but I ain’t seeing them until I actually get some sleep.”
“Got it boss,” Roadman replied and then hung up. Jamie started to nudge the giant sleeping next to him.
“’Ey Roadie, wake up,” Jamie nudged, then he nudged harder, but Mako just kept on snoring. Jamie resorted to shoving next. “Roadie, wake up!”
The shoving, along with an oblivious Mako shifting so his back faced Jamie, lead Jamie to push so hard, the fat man fell onto the floor with a loud “thud!”
“Junkrat!” Mako shouted as he climbed his way back up. “The fuck’s wrong with ya, dipstick?”
“Yeah, yeah, I know it’s early, but we got company.”
“Company?” Mako wondered, seeing it was still as black outside as when he went to sleep. “What time is it?”
“Fuck, mate. Can’t we get a few more hours of sleep?”
“That’s what I told Roadman. So just be ready when there’s some strange trucks outside looking for us.”
Mako had gotten back to his position on the bed, easily ready to fall back to sleep at any point. “They ain’t military, are they?”
“He didn’t say. Why would anyone be after us when Overwatch is on our side?”
“Your idiocy will find a way.”
“Hey, that’s harsh, seeing I’m head hancho here. I don’t say anything about you snoring.”
“We’re head hanchos. And I don’t say anything about your mumbling.”
“Mumbling?” Jamie wasn’t aware he’d been doing anything in his sleep. “Was I mumbling?”
“’Bout how you blew your chance with Satya and how the suits don’t like you.”
Jamie felt a sense of shame creep up in his face. “Oh, I swear I wasn’t mumbling. It was just thoughts passing through me head.”
“Worry about it later, with these other people,” Mako turned to face away from his sleeping partner. “You’ll find other chance.”
After two and a half more hours of sleep, attempted sleep on Jamie’s part, the two got up and cleaned up enough for their standards. For Mako, it meant taking a full shower, something he relished every time since the new Junkertown was finished. And Jamie, he occasionally showered, but more often, he brushed his teeth without the toothpaste and considered it good enough. After donning their usual tattered makeshift outfits, along with Mako’s gasmask, the two left the house and walked down the street to the Vishkar airship, still parked on the landing pad. The glass door leading in was locked.
“’Ello, anyone up yet?” Jamie shouted through the door, pounding on it a few times without regard. Mako worried he’d pound hard enough to break the glass.
The first Vishkar agent to appear was Deepa, still wearing her eyepatch and Vishkar pajamas. From her looks, no one else was ready yet.
“Symmetra isn’t up yet,” Deepa told the junker, already assuming what he was doing here.
“She ain’t?” Jamie got distracted before Mako slapped him on the back, his attempt to get him back on task. “Oh that’s not why we’re here. I mean it kind of is, since we need to talk to her.”
“Should I get everyone else up?”
“Yeah,” Mako spoke for the both of them.
“Wait, no they don’t.”
“Be right back,” Deepa went off to fetch the rest as the two junkers spotted Ajit sitting at a table at the other side, eating his breakfast out of a bowl and giving a dity look at them.
“Roadie, what’ya do that for?”
“What? We need all the help we can, don’t we?”
“It’s just some people in trucks. We can handle them without help.”
“That’s what you said when that Adelaide gang first came up here.”
“Yeah, well they’re part of the collective now.”
“It took you five days to settle on terms.”
“Hey, they’re still good terms.”
“Planting deadly nightshade with the food garden’s a terrible idea.”
“No one’s died yet.”
“Oh Jamie,” Satya was in the same Vishkar nightwear Deepa was, with one sleeve gone for her metal appendage. “I’m surprised you’re up this early.”
“Yes, dear. Listen, I know you’re all still in the middle of your once over here, but something’s come up.”
“What’s come up?”
“Apparently, there’s some trucks waiting for us. An’ we have no idea what they’re doing.”
“Oh. Did you ask them what they wanted?”
“All we know is they came from Perth.”
“Perth? Isn’t that,”
“On the west coast, yeah
“Do I hear something about visitors?” Sanjay appeared in his
“Seems that way.”
“Well that’s a fortunate stroke of luck for you. I wasn’t expecting to do something related to outsiders until Thursday.”
Thursday? Were you expecting someone?”
“No, but since Mr. Fawkes boasts himself on Junkertown taking in anyone who wants to be here, we can see him put those words into action.”
“Woah, woah there. We don’t know if that’s what they want yet.”
“What else could someone want to the dead center of the outback for?”
“Maybe they’re just curious. Or they’re tourists.”
“Hmhm, tourists. Sounds like someone isn’t all he’s cracked up to be.”
“Ah shut it, ya suit. You want to meet these people so bad, why don’t you talk to them?”
“I plan on it, as soon as you lead me to them.”
“I ain’t leading you nowhere, dipshit!”
“Jamie!” Satya finally got between the two of them, feeling the need to end this before it had the chance to get ugly. “Sanjay, I do apologize.”
“You have no need to. I’ll just get changed then we’ll leave,” Sanjay left as calm and collected as he’d entered the fray, his tension with Jamie not at all visible on his person.
“Jamie, what’s wrong with you?” Satya reprimanded her boyfriend.
“What’d I do? He was the one making the demands.”
“He’s my equal on this operation. And there are times where his words have more weight than mine.”
“Oh I’m sure they pay a lot more attention to what you have to say.”
“Not if I’m not doing things for Vishkar at the moment. I do work for Overwatch too, in case you’ve forgotten.”
“Well that’s a load of horseshit.”
“It won’t be if you mind your tongue around Sanjay. I’m not the only Vishkar agent here, And as far as I can tell, there’s no sweet-talking him.”
“Well,” Sanjay returned, properly dressed in his Vishkar attire. “I’m ready.”
The team finally left after Satya changed into her work uniform as well. As the group of Jamie, Mako, and the seven Vishkar agents walked down the dirt roads to the west entrance, they saw Roadman had already done some of the work for them. Three trucks with the back’s canopied over had already pulled inside, with a goateed man and woman with poofy curly brown hair, dressed in beige clothes that suited travel in the outback and carrying rifles. They had been standing for a while, waiting for someone in charge to speak with them.
“Finally, someone,” the man said as he saw the group heading his way. “Name’s Bruce and this is my wife, Cait.”
“G’day, what can we do you for?” Jamie started when they arrived.
“Ah, so you’re the famous Junkrat. The one who,” Bruce’s attention was more on the people in uniforms behind Jamie than the junker leader himself. “Who the fuck are they?”
“We represent the Vishkar corporation, who built the town you see before you,” Sanjay took the lead. “You actually stopped by at a very opportune time. We’ve yet to see how the people of Junkertown truly treat outsiders.”
“I don’t understand,” Bruce was confounded.
“We’re here to do an inspection of the facilities, since we’ve finished here a year ago. It’s not something we normally do, as our projects are mostly in cities. But this place is a special exception since,”
“You, suit,” Jamie called him out. “Let me speak in a way he can understand, ya hear?”
“I was just explaining to him our purpose,” Sanjay tried fighting back.
“Well he ain’t interested! So pipe down and let me speak,” Jamie snapped before trying to cozy back up with Bruce. “Sorry about that mate. These suits and their yammering, ya know. What’d ya got in those trucks?”
“A bunch of people we picked up in Perth. We all fled there three days ago.”
“Three days?” Jamie seemed impressed with their determination. He and Mako used to travel all across the desert to the east coast for their robberies. Anyone doing the same “And y’all decided to come here?”
“Yeah, because we are holding you responsible for destroying Perth!”
Whatever goodwill Jamie was hoping for, either from himself or these strangers, was gone, as Bruce pointed his finger right at him. The Vishkar people had shocked looks, with Satya in as much disbelief as the rest of them. Sanjay, meanwhile shot a disapproving look, moreso having to do with Jamie’s rude attitude towards him.
Whatever Junkrat needed to do to rectify the situation, it needed to be done quick.
“Woah woah woah, you got it all wrong,” Jamie tried soothing Bruce down. “I haven’t been to Perth in years, let alone this week. We’ve all been here with the Vishkar people.”
“That part’s true,” Satya spoke up. “We’ve were here enjoying ourselves yesterday, and as far as I know, the Junkers have been here this past week. So why are you accusing him of destroying a whole city?”
“Because it was Junkers like you who did it!”
“Like us?” Mako said.
“Wouldn’t mistake it for anything else. What with your old cars that had wheels on them and your hooting and hollering and wasting bullets like no one’s business.”
“Hold on everyone, let’s group up,” Jamie gathered Mako and the Vishkar people away from where Bruce and Cait couldn’t hear them. “This is bad, what’d y’all think?”
“Think what?” Satya questioned, not having seen this kind of worry on Jamie’s face in a while.
“What should we do?”
“What have you done before?” Deepa asked. “Like when people came by wanting to live here?”
“Oh they’d just explain themselves and let them stay. They’ve been fleeing something, but none of them had guns.”
“So just let them stay,” Ajit recommended.
“Oh, that guy ain’t staying here. People can insult me as they want, but they can’t say me and Hog destroyed any cities.”
“Well, have you?” Amarjeet asked.
“Of course not! We don’t have the firepower to pull something off like that. And what use is a destroyed city anyway? Nothing worth stealing there now, is there.”
“Ugh, sometimes Jamie,” Satya rubbed her fingers along the bridge of her nose.
“Sometimes your head isn’t on straight and doesn’t see the obvious. What harm can come from letting these people talk?”
“You see that gun he had? It could clean any our heads clean off! Who knows what the rest ‘em are packing!”
“If they had any other weapons, wouldn’t they just be for protection? From whatever they were fleeing from?”
“Or it’s just a diversion! To have our guard down.”
“Jamie, if worst comes to worst, I’m sure you and the other residents could take them on. And the photon projectors back on our ship are more advanced than anything they’re likely to have.”
Jamie looked back at Bruce and Cait, still waiting for their response.
“You do know what the diplomatic thing to do is, correct?” Satya reassured him. “I’d take it the man in charge would have some experience negotiating with other.”
Jamie didn’t understand some of the words Satya used, but got the gist of it, walking back to the trucks.
“A’ight Bruce, we’ll hear what ya have to say.”
Jamie pulled his phone out of his pocket to call Roadman, just finishing up his wall guard duty. “’Eh Roadman, those trucks you let in, they got new residents inside. Get everyone up!” he instructed.
“Right away,” Roadman replied. He hung up, which followed with the sound of a siren going off, waking everyone else in Junkertown up. Along with the sounds of Roadman’s voice ordering everyone to meet Junkrat by the west gate. Not everyone in the place showed up, but enough to satisfy Jamie.
“A’ight everyone,” Jamie called out to those who showed up. “We got some new visitors. They say they’ve fled Perth because we destroyed it. Before you go on rumbling, we’ve agreed to hear what they say. So let’s make them feel just like any one of us here.”
With that, the junkers started helping the people in trucks get out, most of covering their eyes with how bright it was. Uenuku was the most enthusiastic, carrying people out cradled in his arms with ease, and occasionally lifting them over his head before settling them down on the ground and moving on to the next one.
“There’s still one in here,” Uenuku called out from a truck. He emerged carrying the last person, a dusty blonde in a grey tank top with an atom with shorts. She kept her head buried in her arms as the Maori brought her to where the other guests were making small talk.
“Care to speak up?” Uenuku asked the girl, with no response. Just some shaking from the girl’s head. He just laid her down on the dirt road, as Jamie, Satya, and other Vishkar people gathered around her.
“Eh, what’s your name?” Jamie asked the girl.
The girl finally raised her head up out of her arms to look around. Just at ground level, seeing the dirt she was on. Then she looked up at who was surrounding her. She noticeably hadn’t cleaned herself in a few days, like the rest of the travelers, but she also looked like she hadn’t slept for as long too.
“Wh-who? Junkrat?” she asked, slowly getting herself settled on her feet.
“Ah, you’ve heard of me. Yes the names Junkrat, and you’re among friends. Looks like you had a rough ride.”
The girl saw the people she rode with and immediately ran to them, thinking she recognized some of them.
“Emma! Have any of you seen Emma?” the girl shouted, shaking some of them for answers. “She’s about my height, has brown hair, should’ve been on one of the other trucks,” then she looked back at the trucks, seeing there were only three present. “No, no! Where are the others?!”
“Ma’am, would please clam yourself,” Satya and Mansoor went over to soothe the frantic woman.
“Don’t touch me until, . . . wait, I know who you are,” her mind was too flustered to stay on one thing for too long. “You, you’re Symmetra. Yeah, with Overwatch!”
“Yes, that’s true,” Satya replied.
“Oh man, we’re such huge fans! Of Overwatch of course. I mean we like Tracer and Zarya more, but oh, those designs you come up with, those bases you designed,”
“Ma’am,” Mansoor tried getting her to slow down, thinking it be better for Satya not to interact with a crazed fan. “I know you’re feeling many different things, but would you mind telling us your name?”
“My name? Yeah, it’s Leslie Martin.”
“Alright Leslie, would you tell us more about yourself? What did you do back in Perth? Who’s this Emma you’re shouting about?”
“Emma? Emma? Where’s Emma? Where is she?”
“There’s no one here named Emma. Maybe there is, considering these junker’s take on new names, but not as far as I know.”
“Mansoor, go check up on some of the others,” Satya ordered, feeling her underling wasn’t helping. He complied and left the two alone. “Sorry about that, he’s rather new to field assignments. He hasn’t had to do anything like this since he was back in Afghanistan.”
“Are there any other Overwatch people here?”
“I’m here on VIshkar business. So, Leslie, I’ll ask you the same questions Mansoor did.”
“I, I worked to Lucheng Interstellar, back in Perth.”
“Lucheng?” Satya was amazed. She remembered that company’s name, mainly from hearing Winston’s stories on their moonbase and the various deals between them and Vishkar. “You were a scientist?”
“Yep. A particle physicist. And Emma, she’s my girlfriend. She was on one of those other trucks we escaped Perth on, but she’s not here.”
“How many were there?”
“So she’s most likely delayed in some manner, I’m sure that’s it. Can’t be much more than that. Have you had anything to eat along the way?”
“All they had was boxes of cereal in the trucks. We only stopped for water and fuel.”
“Don’t worry, we’ll be taking care of you.”
Satya led Leslie down the street, where see saw everyone else had gone too. The newcomers had gathered in front of Jamie and Mako’s house, with Mako sitting on the steps leading to the front door, Jamie standing beside him.
“Alright, talk,” Mako bluntly put it.
“Talk?” Bruce was put on the spot. “I wouldn’t know where to start.”
“From the beginning.”
“Okay, okay then. Me and Cait, we knew it was a matter of time. With all the attacks that happened out east, the west had to get one eventually. So we prepared ourselves,”
“No, nitwits,” Mako stopped them, sensing which direction this story was going. “I meant about Perth.”
“Oh, okay then. When me and Cait heard the sirens going off around Perth, we knew trouble’s a coming. Cause when they do drills, it’s during the work day so everyone knows. See, we live on the south side of the Swan River, so we ain’t getting hit by them first. But they finally did come to us, oh we were loaded and ready to blow them all the way to Albany,”
Mako was growing bored by Bruce’s ramblings, which weren’t telling him anything about the threat they left behind. He then spied Satya and the woman he thought was crazy earlier, finally catching up with everyone else. “You,” Mako pointed at the broken woman with Satya. “What’s your name?”
“Her name is Leslie,” Satya spoke for her.
“What happened to you?”
“Mako, she’s been through a lot, and it wouldn’t be wise to force someone to recount their miseries so many times.”
“You forget who you’re talking to.”
“Symmetra, I can handle this,” Leslie reassured her. “So, you’re, you’re Roadhog, right?”
“Well,” Leslie started off, slowly, gradually building her voice. “It just happened. When I was getting dinner with Emma. There was a siren, then crowds of people just started fleeing. Away from whatever was chasing them. We joined them as soon as we saw them. They just had to be junkers, with all the cobbled together weapons and cars they had. But they were covered in black and white paint, and had tattoos and decals of hammers, worms, fists, and guns. Eventually we were surrounded and talked down to.”
“Hold on,” Mako stopped Leslie, the wheels turning in his head. “Did these other junkers have a leader?”
“Y-yeah they did. A fat guy, fatter than you, with way more tattoos, barking out orders. And a ragged woman was in his truck too.”
“Did you get their names?”
“We ran first chance we had. ‘Till we ran into these people who drove us here.”
“Shit,” Mako gave off in contempt, rubbing his left hand over the gas mask.
“What, hog?” Jamie wondered.
“I may know who did this.”
The assembled crowd turned to look at the fat masked junker. He was only in his late 40’s, but definitely one of the senior members of this junker group. So any affiliation he had to anyone outside or before the people here was stretching their memories.
“Ah yeah? Who then?”
“Someone I used to run with. Back in the Australian Liberation Front.”
Jamie could tell Mako was going to start a long story whenever he mentions any names from before he met Jamie. “I swear Hog, if you go back down one of your stories again,”
“Well now I will just to piss you off. And these people need to know what we’re dealing with. So all you better settle down. We’ll be here a while.”
New York Mining Disaster 1941 - Bee Gees
Mako recalls his time with the Australian Liberation Front and how the Australian Omnium was destroyed.
The majority of this chapter is Roadhog narrating his past life events.
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
“As you all know, the junkers grew out of a group I had a particular role in. The Australian Liberation Front, or ALF for short. Anyone who knows about Australia after the first crisis knows why we formed. The country itself was spared from most of the heavy fighting, but the government decided to appease the Omnics living here. By giving them vast stretches of land and greater rights for those who lived in the cities.
Of course, people like me and my new wife, Matilda, we didn’t like the Omnics already. And we were some who just wanted to be left alone. Just in our patch of land near Wagga Wagga. But them just coming in and taking what was ours, giving them to the machines. Oh we were rightly pissed? And what do pissed-off people do? We organize.
Calling ourselves the Australian Liberation Front wasn’t my idea, but we spread and recruited quickly, mainly in the areas far away from major cities out east. When some people come from Tazmania to join the cause, you know you’re onto something.
When we had the numbers, then we thought about getting physical. Getting weapons and all that to make our points clear. Funny how we all agreed that violence would be the answer. No pussy protesting for us. So we either made our own weapons and guns, or we ventured out to steal them. And our units formed up from there, which were just who we were comfortable around.
There was one unit in particular that gave us all plenty of headaches though. Commanded by one Floyd Kelly and his girlfriend, Steph Jones.
The only rule we had for joining was you had to hate Omnics. Fighting against the omnics was what we’re all about. But other than that, anybody who wanted to take part in the war we were fighting, we’d let ‘em in. No questions asked.
Except Floyd, he’d ask some questions. Questions about their loyalty to the cause. If their actions or thoughts would get in the way of a better Australia. He’d do that to who he thought, in his own words, could get in the way of the ALF’s master plan. Plan of what? Destroying Omnics? It shouldn’ve been more complicated then that. But he had visions of what we should do once we won. Ones that had ideas even seemed out of date for us.
Floyd was nothing but an opportunist. And Steph was an enabler. But he was a surprisingly good rallier of troops. And we needed the numbers to fight.
It started out simple enough. Dress up in whatever Mad Max gear we have and storm cities, taking out whatever Omnics we could find. Letting them know they weren’t welcome. Harassing the leaders to get them to stop promoting Omnic rights. But of course, when someone deals with adversity, their resolve only gets stronger. It’s like that on both sides.
Eventually, we’d have enough. The government was only going to favor Omnics more and more. Omnic rights, the wave of the future.
One we had no intention of letting happen.
So we found exactly where the Australian omnium was, Warburton. Prime outback material. Built on an indigenous community. Only fitting we’d screw them over one more time for the sake of the future.
I still remember the place. A huge grey factory rising out of the red dust. With plenty of roads leading into it. Tight security, since the government wanted to protect their investment. Some other buildings for human workers to stay at, never knew if the automation would ever stop working.
It was all ours for the taking.”
Mako had to pause to use his inhaler. Recounting these events from decades ago made him fairly winded.
“We had an armada of trucks. Old, abandoned, rusty on the outside, fixed them up the best we can. Then we tricked them out like those cars from The Road Warrior.
Every leader had their own squad of troops, leading them into battle with their trucks. I was driving one such truck, with Matilda in the seat next to me. I wasn’t wearing this gas mask then, so I was breathing normally. And I can still remember Matilda’s face. She had sunny blonde hair, freckles on her cheeks, and, to me, a smile that could outshine the desert sand.”
“Oh brother, hog, get on with it!” Jamie was growing impatient, as he’d heard this story a few times already.
“Pipe down, ya little shit,” Mako snapped back at him, taking another breath of his inhaler, feeling the next part was going to take a while.
“Floyd’s group. Oh they were something else. He tried convincing the rest of his unit to wear facepaint, which they didn’t. He was riding on the back of his lead truck, Steph by his side, raising his shotgun in the air.
So he was standing on the rear of his truck, thinking he was so fucking clever blasting Pink Floyd out of his truck’s speakers. Shouting out ‘I don’t need no arms around me!’ and ‘Run! Run! Run!’ Needless to say, the other legions kept their distance from him.
The people and omnics guarding the place were expecting us. I mean it’s hard to hide when you have black and rusty trucks heading our way in the open Outback. They had the place on lockdown. But we were more prepared.
We had the works. Machine guns, rocket launchers, any spare handheld weapons we could find. And we just stormed the place. Made little work of their barriers to get on the grounds.
When the coast was clear, a bunch of my and Floyd’s unit managed to find a door and get inside the Omnium.
There was one problem. None of us had any idea where to look. None of us had been inside an Omnium before, so we had no idea where to destroy it.
So we just wandered. Me, Matilda, my men, Floyd, and Steph. Trying to find anything that powered the whole thing. Wandering across whole sections of conveyor belts, other assembly sections, repair shops, and a part of delivering the bots. It was huge, to say the least. And plenty of omnics were thrown our way to protect the inside. They’re all buried in a scrapheap somewhere.
Then, amid all the fighting and wandering, we found it. The Omnium’s power core. Sure, there were signs saying “Warning: radioactivity present. Please wear protective gear.” But we didn’t care. All we knew was to just destroy the thing and our job would be done.
My squad were looking out for any omnics while Floyd and Steph went straight in, trying to sabotage the power core. They didn’t know what they were doing. Hell, if I was sabotaging it instead of them, I wouldn’t know what I was doing either.
More omnics came to fight us, but they were pretty feisty this time, trying to stop us at all costs. I lost plenty of good men that day in that omnium, most of them fighting by my side. Trying to hold ‘em off.
Then, something over the speakers said. “Warning: meltdown in progress. Please evacuate and get to bunkers.”
“Mako, we gotta run!” I remember hearing Floyd shouting, starting to run away.
“Did you do that?”
“The fuck did you do?”
“Just pushing buttons, ripping wires out, then this counter started going off!”
“Floyd!” Steph shouted. She was lagging behind the rest of us and, in her stupidity, decided to hold off the oncoming Omnics instead, thinking her guns would be enough.
“Steph!” Floyd shouted as he ran back, shotgun in hand to help her fight them off. There was a lot of thinking without second thoughts that day.
Me and Matilda knew we’d never get this golden chance again. So we left them behind, thinking the world would be better off without them.
I wasn’t the fat man you see right now. I could at least move around back then. So we bolted out of there, trying to remember how we got there in the first place. Even then, the whole place started falling apart. Steam bursting out pipes, machines
We only got out in time before the explosion blew off the side we escaped out of. Thank god it wasn’t completely nuclear. Some of the omnics must’ve gotten to it in time to prevent that. But busted metal was sent everywhere.
The force threw us far enough away that I didn’t get too many injuries. Some burns and cuts that could be handled. But I looked back, trying to see where Matilda landed.
Her body was underneath some of the giant metal thrown from the explosion. I ran back, and tried to dig under the dirt, trying to reach her that way. When I did reach her, some of the metal pierced her back and legs, blood trickling out, staining the dirt.
She was dead before I could reach her.
As I carried Matilda’s body back to the rest of our units, they asked me what happened to Floyd and Steph. And I said the honest truth. We left them to die inside the Omnium, didn’t even give it a second thought. And they didn’t pay mind to it either. We just buried Matilda somewhere outside the grounds and left.
What was done was done, no amount of reflection could change what we’ve done. The destroyed omnium eventually bathed everything in a 200-kilometer radius in some kind of radiation. Honestly, at that point, breathless after destroying the thing, it was the last thing we worried about.
So, there was no need for the ALF anymore. We took on new names to hide our past associations and split off into the various junker groups that roamed the outback since. Funny how we all agreed on the fact there was no way civilization would take us back, so we didn’t even try to go back. We knew we’d fucked the place up big-time, so the least we could do was own up to that.
The group I ended up with, the largest one who built the original Junkertown, got along pretty well. We only scavenged out into the outside world whenever we needed too. Or when we felt someone else was stepping on our turf. But we didn’t mean any more harm. And that’s the life I lived, until a fucker named Junkrat came along.
Of course, we heard stories about what the other bands were up to. The one’s who resorted to raiding the cities more often. And their names would make their way back to us. Some of them, we’d hear particularly brutal things about what they did. Like an attack out on the Gold Coast. Normally, raiding junkers would just rob, take what they need, and get out as soon as possible. These guys, they graffiti the place with what they think is cool. Last I heard, there was hammers and worms, and calling people maggots. And most of the people dead weren’t white. Some of the dead were saying, letting everyone know they were faggots. There wasn’t a doubt in my head Floyd and Steph were the culprits.
If anyone can organize an attack on Perth, and be crazy doing it, it’s them.”
The crowd wasn’t sure how to react. Did Mako have more to say? Did he have any advice to give? They were holding their breath waiting for more information, but none came.
“So that’s who we’re up against?” Satya was the first person to ask when Mako finished.
“If they ever come around here, yes.”
Satya had heard enough, and in her head, knew exactly what needed to be done here. She separated herself from the rest of the group hearing Mako’s story and headed back in the direction of the Vishkar airship.
“Sat, where ya going?” Jamie followed his girlfriend.
“The sensible thing to do. Call Overwatch for backup.”
“Overwatch?” Jamie panicked. “What do we need them for? Thought you said we can handle things.”
“I said we could handle three trucks of stangers. I did not account for an army of insane nomads being a genuine threat for us.”
“Come on, we can handle them. Besides, Roadie said we don’t know if they’re even coming this way.”
“Jamie, your instance isn’t going to help your cause.”
“Overwatch ain’t coming here, Sat. This is my place, for us junkers. It’s only right we defend it on our own terms.”
“Jamie, we helped Overwatch take down Talon. And you even helped their operations on more than one occasion. Why the hesitation now?”
“What about it being my place don’t you get?”
“Considering I designed this place, I might have more of a say than you actually.”
“Sat, you don’t know the kind of people we got here. We’ve been training them in case someone would attack us. These people are fighters.”
“As amusing as seeing a force trained by you must be, you have actual soldiers at your disposal. Protecting innocents against threats larger than themselves is what they do. There’s no shame in asking for help. You think you’re the head hauncho? King Jamison Fawkes the first? Well best you act like it and protect your subjects properly.”
By now, the two had reached the Vishkar ship. Jamie knew calling in Overwatch would at least be sensible, protecting the sheltered here. But given how most of the people were driven out of their homes or were lost souls, they still had ambivalent views of the
Best she see for herself.
“Fine, fine, call Overwatch if you want,” Jamie finally gave in. “But don’t be surprised if trouble comes.”
“Thank you,” Satya boarded the VIshkar dropship, making her way to the communication’s screen, and starting a call to Gibraltar. Given the 8-hour time difference, she had no idea who would be awake to receive her messege. But sure enough, someone did answer. “Hello, Winston, . . . Satya here. There’s an issue developing in Australia I think requires Overwatch’s help.”
Finally, more actual Overwatch people show up next!
World Destruction - Afrika Bambaataa & John Lydon
Elephant - Tame Impala
Winston gathers whose available on base to send to Australia.
This chapter brings in the rest of the established Overwatch characters we'll be following.
Sorry this took so long to update. Other life things have been in the way.
“Alright Satya, I’ll send some agents down there to survey the situation. Hang tight,” Winston ended the transmission with Satya.
The sentient gorilla, one of the main commanders of Overwatch, was in his personal laboratory back on Watchpoint: Gibraltar. It was 2 in the morning, and he was passing time not sleeping by working on a few more inventions of his. Mainly to provide more protection to Overwatch soldiers on the field. With Overwatch back in full swing, this was a common occurrence for him.
At least he was working when Satya called. He wasn’t aware if anyone else on base was awake at this hour.
“Athena,” Winston ordered his computer. “Which main agents are still on base?”
“Current mission assignments of others indicate agents Amari, McCree, Song, Santos, Zaryanova, Zhou, Lindholm, and Schmidt are still on base.”
“Just them? What about Lena?”
“Agents Oxton, Lacroix, and Shimada are engaged in cleaning up a splinter cell in Istanbul.”
“What about Angela?”
“She’s in Numbani, trying to bring a girl named Efi Oladele into our youth program.”
“What about Reinhardt?”
“He and Capt. Amari are on shore leave.”
Winston wondered about the selection available to him. Some weren’t his ideal choices for a mission like this, dealing with a major threat for all of Australia. Then he thought about what exactly this would entail. There haven’t been confirmed sightings of this enemy in Junkertown yet. It could just be a survey job. To see if this plea for help had any credence. At the very least, since Vishkar was one of many corporations now affiliated with Overwatch, they would surely be pleased if their investment was kept safe.
“Are they not sufficient for our needs for this mission?”
“No, they’ll do fine. I just need to think more on how to approach this.”
“Should I put that into their schedules for tomorrow?”
“Yes, do that Athena. For 9 am.”
“Done. I’d advise you get some sleep, Winston, if you want to be prepared for this as well.”
“Thank you Athena, but being one of the commanders here demands a lot of my time.”
Winston was in one of the Overwatch boardrooms, waiting for the requested agents to appear. The clock read 9 o’clock, when the meeting was supposed to start. The gorilla didn’t expect everyone to be timely, morning meetings weren’t everybody’s strong suit, but he at least expected someone to be here.
One by one, the agents rolled in in their casual wear. Fareeha Amari, daughter of Captain Ana Amari, the effective second in command of Overwatch, walked in with her childhood friend, Jesse McCree, deciding to go sans cowboy hat for moment, but still adorned his BAMF belt buckle. Aleksandra Zaryanova, former championship weightlifter and member of the Russian military forces fighting off omnics, and her girlfriend, climatologist Mei-Ling Zhou, soon followed. Hana Song, known throughout her pro gaming and MEKA careers as D.va, and her boyfriend, DJ and freedom fighter Lucio Correia dos Santos followed suit. Head engineer Torbjorn Lindholm arrived in a particularly bad mood, not often called down to meetings like this.
The last one to arrive, one of the newer Overwatch agents in this particular circle, was Brigitte Schmidt. During the era of Petreas Act, she Reinhardt Wilhelm’s travelling companion, taking care of his crusader armor when Torbjorn wasn’t available. She had also gotten close to Torbjorn during that time, often spending holidays with his large family and Reinhardt, and teaching her the finer points of metalworking he picked up over the years. Now that Overwatch was firmly re-established in keeping world peace, Reinhardt and Torbjorn made an offer for Brigitte to join, effectively becoming Torbjorn’s right-hand person in engineering and mechanics. It was simply an opportunity too good for her to refuse.
“Good morning everyone,” Winston started off. “You’re probably wondering why I called you down here.”
“Yes we do, monkey,” Torbjorn seemed cranky this morning. “We all have busy schedules that don’t need cluttering with meetings.”
“Well you’re gonna have to clear those, because you all have a mission to go on,” Winston stated, typing on his computer as he brought up a large map of Australia.
“Australia?” Mei questioned, as the map zoomed in on the Outback, then on the area where Junkertown wa. “Seems a bit out of our way, doesn’t it?”
“During the night, I received a message from Satya. She and a few other Vishkar agents are in Junkertown doing an inspection of the Vishkar facilities there when some refugees showed up at their doorstep. They said they came from Perth, which was attacked by different band of junkers.”
“Different from who?” Jesse asked.
“The junkers living in Junkertown. Last we checked, the place is for everyone to live as they wish. Now for these attackers. Roadhog claims to know the leader from his past Australian Liberation Front days, and he has some questionable methods, to say the least.”
“How questionable?” Aleksandra asked.
“Roadhog claims he attacked people because of their race and sexuality. Part of what he wants a greater Australia to be.”
The team took some time to process. The new Overwatch certainly dealt with sporadic riots and terrorist groups claiming to be fighting for a greater cause. But for the people here, this was certainly the first one they’ve encountered whose methods were so blunt. Only fitting he come from Australia.
“So he’s a dictatorial madman, I gather?” Lucio inquired.
“As far as I can tell.”
“So, we know what we’re dealing with, what do you want us to do?” Fareeha asked.
“What I want you eight to do is to head to Junkertown and survey the situation. Verify their claims of this junker threat. If it’s true, we’ll send in more troops to properly deal with this.”
“Winston, if I may ask,” Torbjorn disrupted. “This is clearly a task for proper soldiers. Why do you want me and Brigitte to go?”
“Junkertown is surrounded by a large wall. If there are any attacks while you’re there, I want someone as defensive minded as you being there.”
“Why don’t just send a squad of field recruits out there?”
“They don’t have the experience of dealing with junkers and VIshkar like you have.”
“But Brigitte hasn’t been on a mission before. She’s as green as any recruit here.”
“Torbjorn, I’m surprised at you,” Brigitte seemed aghast at the accusation. “We both know I’ve dealt with Reinhardt’s shenanigans as much as you. Plus you get to see as much of the world as other agents. Why not me?”
“You don’t have any combat training. We didn’t think you’d be out on the battlefield.”
“What are the odds that’ll happen? Besides, I’ll do what you do. Make repairs to everyone’s weapons.”
“I think a bit of field experience would prove invaluable,” Winston offered. “It’s about time she got some. What harm could come out of it?”
“Just don’t see the point, that’s all,” Torbjorn muttered under his breath.
“She’s coming along, no if’s, and’s, or but’s. As for the rest of you, you’re all due to leave in 24 hours. More than enough time to pack and learn about the area. You’re all dismissed.”
With the briefing over, the eight members left the boardroom and headed back to their respective spaces. 24 hours was enough time, but still short notice enough that they had to pack quickly and clear everything else they had planned.
Jesse was in Fareeha’s quarters, watching the Egyptian pack various articles of clothing into her suitcase, looking around her mess of a room if she forgot anything.
“You think I should bring the raptora suit along?”
“If you feel like going overkill, yeah. It shouldn’t be that much work we have to do.”
“I know. Better to be safe than sorry I guess. There’s a new model I’d like to get some field action on.”
“What, the turquoise mess? Where the helmet covers your whole face?”
“It’s a prototype model for a reason. To see what works and what doesn’t. They must do the same for the guns you use.”
“Nope,” Jesse bragged pulling his revolver out of its holster, twirling it around his index finger. “This is the same Peacekeeper I’ve used since the Deadlock Gang days.”
“That was 20 years ago!”
“Still works as fresh as the day I got it.”
“You’re telling me you’ve never tried a different gun in all your time at Overwatch?”
“Of course I have, but none of them suited me. Fareeha, when have you ever seen me go to battle without my Peacekeeper?”
“I guess I just assumed there must’ve been a time,”
“Never. So think about that next time R&D puts you into that cyan monstrosity. Or whenever, since you shouldn’t need it.”
“I suppose that means you don’t need Peacekeeper either.”
“Oh no way. What if I need it?”
Mei was her room, looking up the Australian conditions on her personal computer setup. She was obsessed with figuring out if the heat there would cause any interference with her ice equipment. Aleksandra laid on her bed, staring at the ceiling.
“Average temperature will be around 25 degrees Celsius. Mostly a dry heat. Scant chance of thunderstorms.”
“But the nights should be cold. Least we have that to look forward to.”
“Nights? How long do you think we’re staying there for?”
“However long it takes. You don’t think we can do this all in one day, do you?”
“It’s just a survey mission. Get in, examine, and get out.”
“Hmph hmph,” Aleksandra chuckled. “You really don’t know what these are like, do you?”
“Umm well, . . . uhh, no.”
“This isn’t one of your scientific missions where you gather a sample of something and perform tests on it back at a base. You have to deal with real humans affected by war. Who knows what the people who live there have been through?”
“Didn’t think you’d take this so seriously.”
“Sorry. I just hear we’re dealing with relocated persons and, . . . it just reminds me of Siberia, that’s all.”
“I’m sure the situation is different. We’re not fighting omnics, after all.”
“Sure it will,” Aleksandra got up from the bed to give her girlfriend a hug. Mei accepted it, but didn’t focus too much on it, her eyes still on the computer screen.
Hana and Lucio were in the base’s main hanger, the Korean giving a once-over of her giant pink MEKA, seeing if the fusion cannons and defense matrix were in proper working order. Lucio had his arms crossed, appearing less than enthused about the mission.
“You seem tense babe,” Hana noticed her boyfriend’s behavior while inside the MEKA.
“I know I shouldn’t. It’s just, dealing with these Vishkar people. Being on their side.”
“We’re on the same side. And we’re friends with Satya.”
“Well we work with her. We know where we stand. I have no idea what these other Vishkar people are like.”
“Think of them as like her. Just doing their jobs.”
“Yeah. Doing their dirty work. Forcing people to abide by Vishkar’s rules.”
“Sorry, neném (babe). Guess I still have some problems with them.”
“You know we haven’t heard a peep from the place since Satya finished her work there. Plus, who do you think helped rebuild Overwatch’s bases? Maybe you’re not giving her enough credit where it’s due.”
“Yeah, or maybe it’s something else.”
“Can you just save your anger problems until we get there? How about this? Instead of thinking about working with Vishkar, think about how you’re going to save all these people. Threatened by outside forces who don’t like how they are. Just like what you fought for back in Rio.”
Lucio decided to take Hana’s suggestion to heart, but it didn’t completely cover the way he felt about the assignment.
Meanwhile, in the base’s main workshop, Torbjorn was already at work packing whatever tools he might need aside from his trusty red and gold hammer. He barked out orders for Brigitte to take whatever parts and tools off the shelves, packing them into various cases.
“Now Brigitte,” Torbjorn went on, “when we arrive in Australia, I want you in my sight at all times. Don’t go talking to anyone looking like a troublemaker.”
“Torbjorn, I’m not a child. I’m 28 years old.”
“You don’t know what these people are like. They’re all off in the head. Years of baking in the sun and radiation will do that to you.”
“From what I’ve heard, they just want to be left alone. Doesn’t sound so crazy to me.”
“But the lengths people’ll go for that.”
“For finding peace? I’m sure we can find a proper way. Besides, these evil junkers sound like the kind of boogeymen Reinhardt and I fought back in Germany. They won’t be that tough.”
“Heh, you’re just as hopeful as I was at your age. Best start packing your tools. Never know what you’ll find down there. The points I said before still stand.”
“Don’t worry Torbjorn, I swear I won’t get into any trouble.”
“You better hope so. If anything happens to you, Reinhardt won’t let me hear the end of it.”
The Overwatch team arrives in Junkertown, where the situation starts to deteriorate.
Hey everyone, it's sure been a while since I last updated this, especially since my life has gotten a lot shittier since then. Anyway, I'm trying to get this story started back up again, which is the most ambitious fic I have planned out. Retcons from the last chapter to this one are that Brigitte is Torbjorn's daughter, and I'll probably get into the game's version of Junkertown at some point.
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
It took the Overwatch airship a non-stop flight of seventeen hours to go from Gibraltar to the middle of the Australian outback. Torbjorn took the reins for most of the flight, continually saying to Brigitte that staying awake for such a long time kept his senses on alert. Though she kept insisting that autopilot would do just fine.
As the odd day changed around them due to the time zones, Hana, Lucio, and Brigitte passed the time going through Hana’s old Gamecube games. Jesse aimed his revolver at the edge of one of the windows, imagining who his bullets would hit if he were to shoot from this height. Mei tried catching up on her sleep, an odd challenge given the sun was still out, and she was avoiding the stresses Aleksandra was putting on their relationship.
When the airship finally headed over the Outback, the sun was in a midday position, with the desert landscape below stretching to infinity. Little signs of life. Hardly a cloud in the sky to block the sun’s rays from heating the ship’s interior. No settlements. Only the occasional twisted metal remains of past conflicts between junker groups.
But at last, Junkertown finally came in sight in the early evening. Appearing out of the coarse, light-brown desert, a white plastic assortment with greenery inside the walls, and more sporadic on the outside.
Down below, everyone guessed they were anticipated since what looked like hundreds of junkers stood at the cricket field, their landing spot awaiting the arrival. And since they weren’t all idiots,
The group of eight disembarked the ship, Torbjorn already carrying some defensive equipment on carts, but the hundreds of junkers appearing to greet them, expecting to find a full force of Overwatch agents to help, were less than thrilled with that they received.
It didn’t help that while Torbjorn, Brigitte, Zarya, and Mei have been part of hot-weather missions before, the dry heat greeting them here made their skin feel it was going to shrivel to the texture of raisins.
“Oi mates!” Jamie staggered out of the crowd onto the boarding ramp, first giving a hug to Mei before giving slaps to Lucio and Hana.
“Thank goodness you arrived,” Satya greeted the team, her Vishkar associates not far behind.
“So, Overwatch,” Roadman pessimistically said as he eyed the small group. “We meet again.”
“Is this seriously all they sent over?” Uenuku said before muttering to Bushwack. “The Vishkar lady must not’ve made a good pitch.”
“Overwatch’s resources are spread out all over the world,” Fareeha explained. “We can’t drop everything else we have on our plates. So where do you plan on having us set up?” she asked Satya.
“There have to be some Australian agents somewhere. Why aren’t they here?” Roadman grumbled.
“These are people Junkrat and I can trust,” Satya interjected. “We’ve taken part in numerous missions bringing down terrorist sects, and corrupt men like you seem to be dealing with here. Better than some unknown randomly assigned to you.”
“Roadman, we should be fine with these guys,” Stomper reasoned. “They saved our skins before, they can do it again.”
“Hate to break the party, but I’ll take my chances just with Vishkar,” Roadman decided.
“The fuck you say?” Jamie was perplexed by the response.
“I’m grateful for what Overwatch has done for us, but Vishkar gave us this home, and we have some agents to help. Have you seen their weapons? They’re just lasers that won’t stop till the person’s dead! And don’t think we’re pushovers ourselves.”
“Roadman, you’re acting fucking insane,” Mako scolded his subordinate. “We’ve worked with these guys before, saved your sorry ass.
“Hey Roadman’s right,” Bushwack chimed in. “Overwatch doesn’t have the best track record in this part of the world. Why should we trust these guys?”
“I appreciate the gesture, Satya,” Sanjay directed at her, “but we have this under control.”
“Now you listen here, you wallaby-riding goons,” Torbjorn burst out. “We flew halfway around the world to offer our assistance in fighting some crazed maniac who’s coming for you, and we’re not leaving!”
The arguments both for and against Overwatch staying got uncivil from there. Roadman, Sanjay, and some of the other junkers kept rambling on how they were perfectly capable of protecting themselves. And Satya, Jamie, Mako, Overwatch, and some other junkers said their protection was necessary. Lucio even got a point in about how Vishkar couldn’t be trusted to operate a place like this on their own.
“Hey, hey guys,” Brigitte tried getting her opinion heard, thinking about how Overwatch did need to bring in more troops and engineers. She raised her hand trying to get somebody’s attention, but the likes of Jamie, Satya, Bruce, Roadman, and the other Overwatch agents didn’t pay attention, too busy arguing their case.
Eventually figuring they could get on with it without her, Brigitte made her way out of the crowd of junkers and wandered down the nearby street. Despite Torbjorn’s rules about wandering off, she wanted to see the place she was supposed to be defending with everyone else.
Walking down the nearly empty street, Brigitte looked at the identical, pristine homes. She had heard about how Vishkar helped provide homes for these people, despite their shady track record. She heard the past stories of the company assisting Talon in secret and wiping out whole favelas in Rio to make way for their gentrified developments. But she also heard how the residents of India, Vishkar’s home county, were happy with the changes.
Can’t fault them for that, Brigitte thought, though the sterile plastic-like white buildings could use some more character. Hard to think the feared junkers of Australia lived in these abodes.
Passing by one house, she saw a home with its garage door open. A dirty, primitive dune buggy was sitting there as a pair of dust-covered legs in cargo shorts stuck out underneath the front bumper. The sounds of gears turning came from underneath as well. Brigitte figured she might as well introduce herself, seeing someone else interested in mechanics as much as her.
“Hey,” Brigitte called out as she walked up the driveway. “You need help under there?”
“Could you hand me that 15 mm wrench?” the woman under the buggy said. Brigitte saw a bunch of wrenches to the right of the buggy with some other tools and grabbed one with a 15 on it. She handed it by the edge as a similarly dusty arm with black fingernails reached out to take it.
“Thanks, dear,” she responded, continuing to make cranking noises underneath.
“What are you working on?” Brigitte had to ask the obvious question.
“This buggy was left abandoned outside the walls, and nobody bothered to take it in until I did.”
“A nice model,” Brigitte remarked. “You’re really working on it now?”
“Yeah, why not? It’ll be great for when I drive across the desert getting out of here.”
“Overwatch is here, and everyone in town went to see them.”
The cranking from under the car stopped as she slid out from underneath the buggy. Brigitte saw this woman was, aside from her cargo shorts, was wearing an inside-out grey top with the sleeves ripped off. Her blonde hair on her left side was completely shaved off, leaving her right half to tumble down normally on that side. And she had dirt and grease messing up some black make-up she had underneath her eyes, smudged from wiping her hands across her face.
“Overwatch is here?” she questioned excitedly, jumping up immediately at the woman she only just met.
“Yeah,” Brigitte was taken aback. She expected the people here to at least know what Overwatch was, and had, but they didn’t show the enthusiasm this woman did. “I’m actually part of it.”
“Oh my god, Overwatch is here. What am I gonna do? What am I,” the woman mumbled as she paced around her garage, then realized how crazy she must’ve seemed. She offered her hand for a handshake. “Oi, sorry I didn’t get the chance to introduce myself. The name’s Crank.”
“Crank?” Brigitte acted a bit confused as she shook this junker’s hand.
“It was the junker name I was given, and I didn’t complain about changing it. So that’s just what people call me.”
“Because you like cars?”
“Na, everybody out here does. Was a professional scientist out in Perth before I got driven out here. Where're the Overwatch people?”
“Out by the field, I think it was. Name’s Brigitte by the way.”
“Aight Brigitte, what is it you do?”
“I’m one of the engineers with Overwatch, working with my father Torbjorn Lindholm a lot. He’s here.”
“Who else is here?”
“We have agents Amari, McCree, Song, Dos Santos, Zhou, Zaryanova,”
“Zaryanova?” Crank stopped Brigitte from going further. “Aleksandra Zaryanova?”
“Oh this is something I have to see,” Crank grabbed Brigitte’s hand, and they both ran out of the garage down the way the Swede came down.
They ran back to the crowd the German had left, only to see the arguing she had left behind somehow had gotten worse. Whatever peace Jamie and Satya tried to work out hadn’t materialized. The two sides were still bickering over whether Overwatch’s presence was necessary or not. Continued shouts of “Overwatch isn’t needed here,” “We need protection,” and a few “wankers” were thrown out. It did not come to any real blows yet, but the possibility it would be not out of the question.
Brigitte and her new friend Crank their way through the crowd, with Crank wanting to get a closer look without standing right out in the open. She saw Aleksandra arguing for the side of Overwatch, hearing some sentences about helping others back in Russia in her thick accent. Crank thought her heart skipped a few beats.
“Never thought I’d see the day,” Crank muttered.
“What day?” Brigitte asked.
“The day I’d get to meet Aleksandra Zaryanova.”
Her attempts to meet the woman she idolized would have to wait. On the eastern wall surrounding the town, a low tone from a didgeridoo blew, but it was not loud enough to get the majority of the crowd’s attention.
Then a rattling explosion broke out, a large da-doom, bwach destroying the hard light of the eastern wall. A fair amount of debris dissolved into the atmosphere, joining the rest of the beating sunlight. The supports turned into rubble, with the crumbled metal and desert dust covering the survivors and casualties.
The debating mob stopped their bickering to try and save any of the posted guards. Two survivors were found, with varying injuries to both. It was better than the caved-in heads, and broken backs of the corpses found surrounding the hole in the wall. And chunks of other others, those who must’ve caused this destruction.
“What the fuck happened?” Mako demanded to know of his troops.
“These guys just just came up on motorcycles and one of th-them ran their straight into the w-wall,” a traumatized guard to get out. “Must’ve been laced with explosives.
“And another one managed to throw this up,” the other junker held up a piece of folded paper bound by rope to a rock. Mako grabbed it, slipped the paper out from the rock, and unfolded it so he could read what it said.
“To the residents of Junkertown,
We let you live these past few months out of the assumption you would eventually return to the pure Junker ways. But that’s not the case. In return your spared lives, I ask you to surrender peacefully and join us. Together, with the Junkers united, we can make Australia what it was meant to be. And drive out anyone who seeks to change that. We’ll give you three days to make your decision.
- Big Entity
P.S. I’m coming for you Mako either way.”
Of all the people he had pissed off in his decades in the outback, Mako knew of only a handful of people willing to try and get at him. One shot to the top of his mind, who this Big Entity was, with his blood pressure rising.
“Umm, Roadie?” Jamie asked, trying to get his attention by patting him on the arm.
“It’s Floyd alright,” Mako tore up the paper and dropped the pieces to the ground, trying to smother them in further with his foot.
“Wait, Floyd. The Floyd?” Jamie tried making sense of this.
“Everyone,” Mako shouted, “we’re calling in more Overwatch people. No questions asked.”
“Roadhog,” Roadman once again tried to convince him otherwise. “We can handle this just fine.”
“We’re not taking any chances here, asshole. We just blew up our wall there. I do not want to see what he has planned next.”
The junker crowd hounded at Mako, demanding to know why they needed to rely on others for help. And why the large group was not going after whoever caused this explosion. Not to mention a few bickers in there about how stupid a name like Big Entity was, even with some crazy junker name among them. Mako ignored them all, heading to consult with the Overwatch and Vishkar members present.
“How soon can you get that wall back up again?” Mako asked Satya.
“With some simple reinforcements on top of the patched in the hole, it’ll be like the hole was never there.”
“Call however many people you need,” Mako further demanded the Overwatch group, then walked away towards the direction of his house.
10 kilometers west of Junkertown, a series of tents stood out. The sun was close to setting for the day, blazing the sky in a red-orange color. And a group of motorcyclists were hollering in the wind as they made their way back.
The same group of junkers who caused the surprise attacks on Junkertown and Perth populated the camp. They were less concerned with living comfortably than creating quarters that can deconstruct quickly. They were nomads after all. Something their leader Big Entity stressed was one of the essential parts of being a junker.
The five who launched the surprise attack had just returned to base, jumping off their motorcycles without turning them off properly. The cycles slid on the dirt before some other junkers worked to turn them off. The five walked towards one tent as big as four of the smaller ones.
They pulled open a flap leading inside, where Big Entity and Feral Nix were meeting with other commanders, planning another attack on Junkertown on a rather poorly drawn map missing details about Junkertown and the countryside. That didn’t stop them from planning further attacks.
“Entity,” one of the junkers said as they entered. “Our initial strike on Junkertown was successful.”
Big Entity looked up at the five with the rest of his face firmly downward towards the map. The other people surrounding the map looked to their direction shortly after.
“How successful?” Big Entity asked.
“We sent in the message demanding immediate surrender and blew up the west side of their walls. Their Vishkar and Overwatch allies appeared plenty in fright.”
“Overwatch?” one of Big Entity’s advisors questioned, his skin starting to shiver under some of the white makeup he had. “Overwatch is there right now?”
“An airship with the Overwatch logo was there. We believe Vishkar is there as well.”
“Of course Vishkar is there,” Big Entity raised his voice, preparing to chew out his subordinates. “They built the place! Did you at least kill any of the Vishkar people?”
“Not that we know of, sir.”
“Idiots! They can create buildings and contraptions out of thin air! They can rebuild what you destroyed in a matter of minutes. Your attack was fucking worthless now, wasn’t it? And now Overwatch is present?”
Big Entity had to sit down on the dirt floor. His body was acting up from getting stressed and it became harder to breathe. The advisors took turns making statements, making him more stressed.
“If Overwatch is here, we won’t stand a chance.”
“They have resources and allies all over the world.”
“It’s suicide to fight against them. We should turn back.”
“We should fight them,” Feral Nix got her word in.
Everyone turned to look at Big Entity’s wife as she acted confident in her words. Big Entity himself was looking forward to her words of encouragement.
“Think of all the forces who took on Overwatch in the past. The Omnics, Talon, us Junkers, whatever number of terrorist groups along the way. True, they may all have ended up losing and Overwatch only destroyed itself on the inside, but think about what we could be if we were the first ones to defeat Overwatch fair and square. People fighting for proper freedom from their control will look to us as a shining beacon of light. They’ll say, ‘Oi, those junkers out in the Outback who took out Overwatch. If they can do it, why not us?”
“Feral Nix is right,” Big Entity managed to stand up on his own freewill, taking a few small steps back to the map.
“Defeating Overwatch is our best chance for showing the rest of the world what we’re capable of. We know Australia rightfully belongs to us and the rest of the world needs to be cleansed. The impure members of Overwatch and Vishkar will meet their end by our hands. Once we take Junkertown, the rest of Australia is ours for the taking. The world will soon follow afterward. Are you all with me?
A rousing yell from the rest of the junkers in the tent greeted the end of Big Entity’s speech.
“Very good men. Now you five goons, get out of here. We have a long night of planning ahead of us.”
Beds are Burning - Midnight Oil