The initial meeting of any dark mysterious entity was always nerve wracking, even for someone as experienced in enigmatic meetings as Sombra was. Especially if you had something very much at stake. But still, Sombra felt she had dealt deals with worse people than Talon. Talon had a code at least. Big organizations had to have one if they wanted to get anywhere, get anything done. Individuals were always worse - so unpredictable. Sombra chuckled into her solo cup, the flashing lights in the arena lighting up her ultraviolet tattoos. This time, she was the individual and the organization was at her mercy. At the same, it was a big night that could have big consequences.
Up until recently most of her deals had been at the behest of Los Muertos. Why else would they keep her or anyone around? You always had to pay your dues to the big boss. But Sombra was tired of taking orders. At least from lowlifes like the members of the gang. Hell, a group of them had shit their pants when they encountered the old man “Soldier: 76” or as she quickly found out, Jack Morrison (what? Like it’s hard finding out the identity of an ex-super soldier?). If so many of her comrades were pussies about a senior citizen, then she was out. Also, for the fact that Los Muertos couldn’t help and didn’t care that her spine was starting to decay.
So now she stood in an old airplane hangar that had been converted into the underbelly of Dorado’s more colorful class of people to party. Heavy trap and dubstep mixes beat through the ratty old speakers hanging from the ceiling, the crowd bounced up and down, bound by an ancient instinct to move together. Sombra pushed through the crowd, swiping some pork rinds from an unattended bag, and swallowed the rest of her coke to wash it down (no alcohol tonight - she needed a clear head). She glanced down at her wrist-embedded digital watch as she continued to slip between people unnoticed. Her green tattoos pulsed to the beat of the music, as if breathing. She had to meet the contact in one minute on the other side of the hanger.
Dropping her empty cup to get trampled on the littered floor, she double checked her standings on the betting boards. She was here to work, but who said play couldn’t be involved? Illegal omnic fights were always easy money, especially when 9 times out of 10 the omnics in question had very poor and questionable security protocols. She always bet on the underdog - better money that way, and then she would slide through the back door, unbeknownst to the omnic she wanted to lose and a few quick adjustments - voila she had the match play out to her liking. She wouldn’t allow herself to win more than 5 matches however, because if all the lower tier omnics suddenly won - well then the Los Muertos’ rival gang Colmillos Rojos (who ran the matches and made so much money oh my god why hadn’t she joined that gang?) would definitely beef up their security and look towards Los Muertos for the hacks. Which they wouldn’t be wrong. But she didn’t need that kind of heat, especially right now.
No, right now she had to stay as cool as possible.
Just as she reached the edge of the opposite side of the arena, the crowd let out a collective “OOoooh…” and a gloved hand grabbed her shoulder.
Smiling to herself she let the hand push her away from the throng of people. “Hola a ti también,” Sombra said as they jostled out of the hanger.
The stranger was silent.
“So, I’ll just be going along with you then?” Sombra asked in English, her accent thick. She hadn’t spoken much English in a couple of years out loud. The man continued to ignore her as they stepped out into the warm night.
“So professional,” Sombra quipped. “Not even looking at the goods. How do you know I am who I say I am?” She coyly pressed her arm into her boobs, pushing them up, accentuating her cleavage, and gave him the side eye. Still nothing, his dark glasses flashing with the street lights passing above them. Sombra relaxed her arm. No fun. “I’ll make sure to fill out a customer satisfaction survey. Add you were… very stoic, but not very satisfying….” Sombra teetered off as they approached a parked limousine, the windows tinted black. The man opened the door and shoved her roughly inside, her head smacking the door frame.
“Hey! Even cops have better manners than you, cabrón!” Sombra yelled out the door, but it slammed closed as a response. Scowling, Sombra settled back into the cushioned seat. But hey, if Talon let her ride in this kind of luxury, they already had a deal. She was far from a simple girl, but Sombra had simple needs. Especially because she slept on a canvas cot most nights, and that was wearing thin.
It was dark in the limo but she appeared to be alone. Her tattoos flickered on, casting an eerie green glow in the dark. The limo turned on and the quiet rumble of the engine alerted her that they were moving to a different location.
Very secretive these Talon people.
She couldn’t see out of the windows and there seemed to a location blocker in the car because she couldn’t get a read on her watch. She could easily get through that wall but she had to make a good impression. At least for now.
After about 30 minutes, the limo slowed, and Sombra was jerked from her reverie, and she sat up straight as the car finally stopped. The door opened and another gloved hand reached for her. Oh, so Talon had some real gentlemen in it. She stepped out to find herself in the middle of a clearing in the jungle, the road leading to it nothing but dirt. In the middle of the clearing was a helicopter, the blades already starting up their whirring.
Sombra’s mohawk whipped in her face as she was led to the helicopter that was surrounded by armed guards. Alright, this seemed like overkill - she wasn’t even armed! Her nerves were starting to jump, her spine heating up as her machinery buzzed to life (that would hurt like a bitch later). She could see a shadowy figure sitting in the back of the helicopter.
She was given a headset and then just as she stepped up into the helicopter it started its lift off. Sombra quickly sat and strapped herself in to the seat. The shadowy figure leaned forward so she could see the gaunt white face and ginger hair of -
“Moira O'Deorain?” Sombra said into the mic that wrapped around her face, the foam pressing into her lips.
“Ah, so you already know who I am,” The woman said, a smirk curling her lips, pulling at the sleeve of her dark suit, her long legs crossed.
“You’re my contact?” Sombra wasn’t surprised often but here she was, 100 feet off the ground, sitting across from the notorious scientist that helped with the downfall of Overwatch.
“Well,” Moira shrugged, pushing her mic closer to her mouth. “Not exactly, but I took over when I learned who we were making a deal with.” Sombra shifted nervously, looking out the open sides of the helicopter. The jungle was dark below them, to her right she could see the glint of the moon over the ocean. “So, we are here to discuss a transaction for my services.”
Sombra turned her gaze back to Moira. “But… why a helicopter?” She couldn’t help but ask.
“So that way if it doesn’t work out, I can simply push you out and we’d not hear a single thing from you again,” Moira said matter-of-factly. Sombra didn’t move. Moira chuckled darkly. “I don’t believe it will come to that. I’ve read of your… predicament.” Sombra wasn’t comforted one bit. So, Talon was a little… more unpredictable than she thought. Mierda.
“Onto business,” Moira said, pulling up a screen between them. “As you know, Talon is willing to make a deal with you for a few things in return. Firstly, the drive. Secondly, an upgrade on our cyber security.”
“That was some easy shit to get through,” Sombra scoffed, but then silenced herself quickly. Open helicopter, gotta remember.
Moira looked at her for a long moment and then continued. “Yes, well, we at Talon do not want a recurrence of that, and would rather you were with us rather than against us.” An interesting turn of phrase, almost sounds like Sombra had the upper hand, which about 10 minutes ago she did have the upper hand, the hand in question was a small usb tucked into her jacket pocket. “And since you did grab all our agents’ files and then subsequently deleted everything we had on file - including our backups…. We are willing to… comply with your demands.” Moira pulled up a window on the screen - it looked like a contract.
“If you agree to those terms, you will get the procedure you require.”
“I could sell this and probably get more money,” Sombra said. “Get the procedure done elsewhere. What’s stopping me?”
“Your life,” Moira shrugged. “And not have an international agency after you.”
“You make a compelling argument.”
“So, we have a deal?”
“Hah!” Sombra laughed. She glanced over the edge again. “Not yet.”
Moira leaned back, and Sombra noticed the grotesque purple veins winding up Moira’s right arm. Okay… what had she gotten herself into? She’d heard the horror stories about Moira O’Deorain, but up until this very moment she thought they were just that - stories, conspiracy theories. Now, she was wondering if they were a bit more than that.
“You’ll do the surgery,” Sombra didn’t feel like she was really in the position to bargain but if she was gonna get thrown out of a helicopter than why not try.
“Hmm,” Moira didn’t seem super pleased with that. Maybe Sombra pushed it. “I don’t particularly want to waste my time with that, and we have many qualified surgeons at our disposal.”
“Well then,” Sombra’s hands were shaking. She gripped her knees trying to steady them. “I guess I’ll voluntarily jump.” She looked over the edge again and swallowed. “You won’t find my body before the animals do, and the drive will be gone.”
Moira actually looked pissed by this statement. “You’re being dramatic. But fine, I will supervise the surgery.”
“Ah-” Sombra wanted to correct her.
“I will not perform it simply because I’m not going to get my hands dirty with your blood. That will have to do. Also, by the fact that I’m a scientist - not a medical doctor ready to correct botched surgeries at any time.”
Sombra looked at her, trying to read anything beyond annoyed. “Fine.”
“Now, will you sign the agreement?” Moira sighed, gesturing at the screen with a flick of her wrist. Sombra eyed her and then looked to the contract.
“You know I’ll want to read this first,” Sombra said. “Looks like you’ve got a couple of… cláusulas.”
Moira’s eyes flashed dangerously, but then her features softened ever so slightly as she chuckled into the mic. “Fine, I shouldn't have assumed you were an idiot. We’ll reconvene tomorrow on this arrangement.” Sombra relaxed for the first time that night, but only a little. They were still flying over the jungle at 2 AM to an unknown location.
“So now what?”
“Now,” Moira looked out, over the landscape. “I’m taking you to the base.”
Sombra fingered the flash drive in her pocket, her tattoos lighting up the interior of the helicopter. Everything was going smoothly (so far), and Moira would never be the wiser that Sombra had already made several copies of that list all hidden in different locations.
About 30 minutes later (while Moira did nothing but scan through a private screen, not even giving another glance at Sombra) the helicopter landed near a building all too familiar to Sombra.
“LumériCo?” Sombra whispered under her breath. While she knew LumériCo was up to some shady shit, she didn’t really put together the reaches of Talon.
“Yes, well, we can’t just build new buildings in every country,” Moira said carelessly. “LumériCo happens to be an ally.”
“A champion of the cause?” Sombra started to unbuckle her seat belt as the helicopter’s blades whirred to a stop.
“In so few words,” Moira said, stepping down from the helicopter. Sombra hopped after her and immediately regretted the short fall - her back spasmed and her knees buckled so she had to reach for the door frame of the helicopter. Moira turned to her and raised an eyebrow. Sombra forced herself to straighten despite her muscles screaming and tightening around the tech in her spine. She grinned at Moira.
“You can see I’m serious about this deal,” Sombra tried to joke, pushing her now limp mohawk out of her face. Moira didn’t respond as she turned and walked towards the entrance of the imposing neon-lit stepped pyramid.
As the entered, three security officers started to follow them, their eyes shaded by red-tinted glasses. Sombra gave them a wary look and turned up her pace, trying to keep up with the long-legged Moira. Moira entered an elevator, and Sombra tried to follow her but was stopped by a hand on her shoulder.
“I’m afraid you’re going down,” Moira said. “I will see you when you’ve made your decision.”
And the doors shut between them.
Sombra stood, staring at the elevator doors as the three security guards crowded around her, and her hackles raised on her neck. The next set of elevator doors opened with a ding and she was hustled into the industrial box. One of the guards punched the level called B4. This place was huge. The few minutes of silence felt sticky with anxiety as Sombra watched the floor levels flicker downwards into the probable depths of xibalba. Finally, the doors opened, and she taken down the hallway with LED lighting only highlighting the garage-like feeling of the basement levels. After turning a corner, Sombra knew what was happening.
The hallway was a series of doors, each with a panel of safety glass installed. No other markings indicate what these rooms were for so she could only assume. And her assumption was right. About midway down the hallway, one of the guards opened a cell door and she was shoved inside.
“Hey! Wait!” She yelled, spinning around, but the door was already slamming shut with a hollow finality. Resigned, Sombra looked around. It wasn’t the worst cell she had ever been in. The bed looked relatively comfortable, and it all seemed decently clean. But she was still locked up.
Hour passed in quiet, Sombra ticking away on her screens, seeing if she could dig up anything new on Talon but she just ended up on D.Va’s servers - the “star child” of the world, who could do it all - except avoid Sombra’s tricks. It was one of her favorite pastimes, messing with the gamer.
More hours passed by, and Sombra lay on the cot, staring up at the ceiling, regretting every decision that had led her here. Why couldn’t she have grown up to be a respected member of society? Why was she such a Mierdita as her aunt had called her, screaming from the open window as Sombra bounced from the apartment, the smoke of one of her experiments trailing after her. Yeah, their relationship had been less than great.
After Sombra had fallen asleep, her stomach growling, there was a bang on the door and suddenly her little room was flooded with light. More security guards were standing in the doorway, silhouette ominously as she blinked up at them.
“Vamanos,” One man said, beckoning her.
“Y vamos a…?” Sombra asked, standing up, her back tweaking as she stretched. No response followed her query, and instead she was grabbed by the wrist and escorted back to the elevators.
This time they went up, but only to sublevel 2. The doors dinged open and once again she was pushed down another poorly lit hallway. They turned a corner, and through a set of double swinging doors and then -
“Ah, there we are,” Moira said. She was wearing lavender colored scrubs.
“Sorry for keeping you waiting,” Sombra scoffed.
“We need you to strip and put on that gown,” Moira said, ignoring her comment. “Dr. Ortega will be performing the surgery.”
So, it was happening now….
“Oh, and before we forget,” Moira said, holding out her purple, decayed arm. “The drive.”
Sombra stared at the hand, her mind going blank. All she could think of was how she was about to go under the knife.
“Please,” Moira rolled her eyes, motioning with her hand again. Sombra came back to her senses. They were this far, she might as well as hand it over. She dug in her pocket and found the purple drive. She rubbed it between her fingers for a moment, before placing it rather gently into Moira’s palm.
“Thank you,” Moira said, putting the drive in her pocket and then turned around. “Get changed.”
Sombra felt in a haze as she undressed and donned the pale blue gown. She had to wipe off all make up and take out her earrings, and her gloves that connected her to the world, which made her feel the most vulnerable of all. She was then escorted into the surgery suite where an aesthetician told her to hold her arm out and a catheter was inserted into her wrist. Then, he put something into the tube and her world grew fuzzier and fuzzier as she lay on the table. She could hear Moira talking to someone - probably the surgeon, but their words were turning into a foreign language she couldn’t understand. Her back started to already feel lighter and better, the drugs numbing the pain that was always constant. She wanted to say she didn’t need the surgery now - the pain was gone! Everything was fine! But her arms were like steel bars, clamped to the table, and her head lolled to the side. She tried blinking morse to let a nurse know that she just wanted to go home, but the nurse didn’t even look at her, instead turning away towards the rumble of voices at her feet.
Then she slipped away, into the heavy blackness that felt like it could choke her at any moment.
The sound of beeping machinery woke Sombra. Not that she would call this state waking. It was awful - she could feel her brain sitting in her skull, her eyeballs seemingly too large for their sockets. She couldn’t move any of her limbs, and her mouth tasted like metal. Slowly, she blinked herself into consciousness, and she looked around the room she was laying sideways in. Her arms were at awkward positions, one was extended to avoid her ripping out the catheter by mistake, and the other was under her side, growing increasingly numb.
She tried to shift, roll over onto her back, but instantly she cried out in a rasping, dry voice as pain rocketed her ribcage and back. Panting from the pain, she looked around again, her eyesight incredibly clear from the adrenaline rushing through her now. The room was dark and small, a few monitors on the wall showing breathing, heart rate, and other levels she wasn’t sure of. Everything seemed to have spiked the instant she had tried to move and they were now slowly making their way back down.
But she couldn’t lay here like this, everything was too uncomfortable, starting to become claustrophobic, she tried once again to shift. She screamed into the pillow, her hands clenching, fingernails digging into her skin. Her voice was already so raw that she swore she could taste blood in her mouth. Finally, she stopped, unable to take the pain any longer, having only moved herself an inch to the side, and she sobbed into the pillow.
“You’re awake,” Came a voice. It was a nurse. She came in, wrote down something on a clipboard, and turned to the levels on the wall. “You shouldn’t move.” Sombra heaved a laugh, tears streaming down her face.
“Yeah,” Sombra whispered hoarsely. “I guessed that much.”
“Here, we’ll set you up with some morphine,” The nurse offered, sticking an already prepared needle into the catheter. “We didn’t want to dose you till you were fully awake. I’ll get the doctor.”
The relief was almost instant, as Sombra felt the morphine drip into her wrist and swirl up her arm into her back. She wiped as much of her face as she could onto the pillow and watched as Moira entered the room.
“Greetings,” Moira said, looking down at the chart. “The surgery was a success. And I believe you’ll recover quickly. We’ve installed the newest tech, and had to include some nanobots where your body was rejecting the implants.”
“So, I can still do what I’ve been doing?” Sombra asked, her hair tickling her nose.
“I’d say you’ll be able to do much more,” Moira said. “We had to go into your spine for one portion - that was where you were experiencing the most trouble. But I believe you’ll make a full recovery.”
“That’s what I get for getting implants on the black market,” Sombra blew at the strand, trying to get it out of her eyes.
“And now that you’re new, and improved,” Moira said, ignoring her. “I have a proposition for you.” Sombra eyed her wearily. “I would like to offer a position here at Talon. Your talents have not gone unnoticed and we can see real use for you here in the base, or in the field.”
“You’re… offering me a job?” Sombra asked confused. The morphine was starting to take its toll on her cognitive abilities.
“Well of course,” Moira looked at her. “Why else would we have agreed to perform that risky and expensive surgery on you?”
“Because… I had the files,” Sombra slurred. Moira was starting to wave around. “That or because you liked me.”
“You really think we didn’t have copies upon copies of those files? We liked your talents,” Moira laughed. “This was always the plan, Sombra. Or Olivia, I should say.”
“Nah… Sombra’s fine,” Sombra felt like she was pitching forwards, about to fall. “I’m gonna sleep now.” She didn’t hear Moira’s response as she started to drift off once again. The last thing she thought clearly was that she had absolutely known Talon had a multitude of copies of their roster… too many for her to completely delete, but were they foolish enough to think she wouldn’t have sold it to a government that hated their guts for a high price?
After a few days of haziness on pain meds, Sombra started her physical therapy. She was forced to walk at a painfully slow pace on a treadmill for hours at a time, her body an array of wires and monitors. After several hours of omnics helping her on and off different equipment, she was escorted (well, wheeled) to her cell that was still her home. Moira had made it clear she wouldn’t receive any upgrades until she had agreed to Talon’s terms for employment - or allegiance in other words. She wasn’t too keen on the idea, but Talon did offer opportunities that would never exist otherwise. She could work this into her plans no problem, as long as the fine print didn’t say Talon had the absolute right and ability to rip her tech out of her spine and leaving her to bleed dry in a ditch somewhere…. She spent several hours combing all the clauses and articles looking for just that stipulation. Luckily, it wasn’t there. She signed it and handed it in with only a small twinge of worry, but she pushed it aside. Like anything sticky, she had the ability to scrub herself clean.
Physical therapy post-op was worse than pre-op pain in Sombra’s opinion. The therapy moved from a slow treadmill pace to faster, and then faster uphill, and finally even faster, uphill, without handlebars for her to desperately clutch. Sombra never considered herself particularly fit, the shortest mile she ever ran was still at 9 minutes. Sitting at a computer console for hours had its toll, and now with the added effect of new back equipment, she thought for sure one of her lungs would rebel and vacate the premises.
“Carmina… por favor, déjame descansar un minuto,” Sombra heaved as the therapist pretended to be deaf. Despite the fact she was now an official member of Talon, and had been living at the base for a month, Sombra had the distinct feeling people either didn’t like her, didn’t trust her, or the most likely: too scared to talk to Moira’s newest test subject.
Carmina jotted something down on her clipboard, and then turned up the treadmill one more dial. Sombra almost sobbed. She liked what was happening to her body - but at what cost??
The door to the therapy room swung open. Usually Sombra and Carmina were the only ones in there, as the rest of the staff used the regular gym. Carmina’s eyes darted towards the door and Sombra caught the flash of fear in them.
“Sombra,” Came the Irish drawl. Ah. She was back in town… Sombra had liked not seeing the ghostly face in a few weeks. “Turn that off for a moment, will you?” Carmina reached up and quickly shut off the treadmill. Sombra instantly felt her legs seize up as she came to a sudden halt.
“Boss!” Sombra gasped as she turned and leaned against the treadmill. “What brings you back in town?”
“If you would be so kind as to leave us,” Moira motioned at Carmina, who nodded and quickly scurried out the door. Sombra couldn’t help but marvel at Moira’s ability to speak in suggestion but be followed with such subservience. “Sombra, you’ve improved vastly over the past month. I’m having you transferred so you can begin training with your team.”
“Team?” Sombra wiped her face. “I don’t work with a team.”
“Yes, you do.”
“I don’t need a team of IT wannabes getting in my way as they jizz looking at my parallelization.”
“Oh, my dear, you misunderstand,” Moira folded her arms across her chest. “We’re having you go out into the field.”
Sombra paused… “¿Qué?”
“We’re not locking you away in some basement to hold up the firewalls, we have many nobodies already doing that - admittedly somewhat incompetently as you proved,” Moira tapped her long fingernails against her arm. “We want you out there, gathering intel direct from the source.”
Sombra almost jumped with glee. Talon was making this almost too easy! ¡Los imbéciles! But she contained herself and settled for a bemused look. “My team - who are they?”
“I will introduce them when we arrive. Get cleaned up, we leave in two hours.” Moira turned quickly and left the room.
An opportunity handed on a silver platter. To be able to meet and directly manipulate the people she needed to manipulate…. ¡Perfecto! Sombra went back to her cell and washed in the communal showers. Her green hair was looking worse for wear as she didn’t have any means to upkeep it at all in the LumériCo pyramid. Maybe a change was due. After enjoying the steam from the showers a moment longer, Sombra hurried to get dressed. Her punk clothes had long been discarded - probably burned because Moira was just like that after the surgery and Sombra was left to wear gray sweatpants and tank tops and her gloves.
A knock on her door and Sombra was escorted out of the room, up the elevator, out of the building and onto a military grade stealth jet. So, they were flying further than a helicopter could go…. Moira pointed at the seat beside her, and Sombra was strapped in by a Talon soldier. It felt like she was about to go on a roller coaster ride with the worst companion at her side.
“While flying, I want you to go over your teammates files,” Moira said, handing Sombra a microchip. Sombra quickly opened her holo-interface, the skull flickering familiarly in and out of view.
“Where are we headed?” Sombra asked as she opened the files.
“Our base is near Tournai, Belgium.”
“Oh, we were so forthcoming and straightforward with our answer,” Sombra smirked. “Too bad I’ve never heard of it.” Heterochromatic eyes flashed dangerously at her.
“Yes, well, you will not be confined to the base.”
The sound of the engines roaring into life interrupted Sombra’s readied surprised response. The takeoff was a little rough, but soon they reached altitude. Moira occupied herself on her phone, and Sombra looked at what the microchip offered her.
>>Team Call #9
So, everyone had a code name…. ¡Chido!
Sombra selected “Sombra” first, because what were the other team members reading about her? It was only a paragraph long, with some stats on her physical appearance and how Talon had recruited her. Hardly anything on her past. Thank God. And it looked like they had opted to leave her full name out, which was a bonus.
Next, she opened “Reaper”. It was a blurb just like hers, very brief and to the point. She couldn’t help the intake of breath as she read the name. Gabriel Reyes? The Gabriel Reyes? Of Blackwatch fame? Thought dead. Wow, that had slipped by her. She scrolled more and discovered with less surprise that he had been a Moira experiment.
Sombra turned to Moira. “Hey, why do I get to know their identities but mine is left out?”
Moira sighed, obviously irritated. “The members of your team are high profile agents. You’d have figured out within minutes. You are the only one with the most appropriate call name.”
“Huh, well, thanks?”
“Trust me, it is in everyone's interest to keep your identity as close to home as possible at the moment.” Moira turned back to her phone. “We don’t want any leaks.”
Sombra shrugged, and opened the “Widowmaker” file.
Also, only a few paragraphs. The name jumped out at her. ‘Amélie Lacroix (née Guillard)’. She remembered reading about the ballet artist. Gerard Lacroix was an Overwatch agent that died and Amélie Lacroix went missing soon after - presumed kidnapped. And now Sombra knew by whom. She had never looked deeply into the Lacroix case, it hadn’t seemed important, but the blurb said a lot for so few words. Sombra leaned forward, putting her chin in her hand as she read the words:
>>In 2070, the Talon Group took the opportunity to eliminate Gérard Lacroix with the use of Amélie. With the switch in focus, the Talon Group was able to acquire Amélie and subject her to reconditioning programs that allowed her to become a sleeper agent. After the assassination of Gérard Lacroix, the Talon Group took repossession of its sleeper agent, and continued the process of weaponizing.
“Is her skin really blue?” Sombra asked.
“You ask that and not about Reaper?” Moira quipped.
“Well,” Sombra raised an eyebrow. “Says here Gabriel was clinically dead. Makes sense for you to mess with his cellular structure and bring him back como parca literal.” Moira gave her the side eye. “As the grim reaper.” Sombra muttered the translation. She was gonna miss speaking Spanish….
Moira turned away, “Yes, she is blue.”
“Qué chulo….” Sombra looked back at the files. It was refreshing getting to use her tech again - especially pain free. Maybe she could have some fun for the next couple of hours on this flight.
Sombra awoke with a sudden jerk and sore neck as the plane landed with a heavy bouncing jolt. Moira was already unstrapping herself before the plane even stopped, and Sombra blinked blearily about, wishing there were windows. How long had she been out? It had been about a 9 hour ride, but she had no idea if it was day or night outside. Sombra stretched her arms up, arching her back, the seatbelts pressing into her a shoulders. Aye… she ached.
She followed Moira to the door, and stepped out -
“Fuck! Maldito congelamiento!” Sombra choked as icy wind sliced at her skin. Why had no one told her how to dress? Moira flashed her an annoyed glance, eying her sweat pants up and down. Bitch! Sombra huffed, her breath coming out in swirling fog. She had never been in this type of weather. “So, this is Europe?” Moira didn’t bother to answer.
They stepped out onto the tarmac and Sombra followed Moira to a waiting black car with heavily tinted windows. It was evening in Belgium, and Sombra couldn’t see out of the windows even if she pressed her nose against the glass - great first time in Europe. They drove from the airport for about thirty minutes in silence. Moira was reading more reports, and Sombra played some games. Yes, cheating her way to the top - specially to beat that stuck up Korean girl - was fun, but Sombra still liked to test her actual skill in the digital world, within the confines of the game designers’ blueprints. After a while, the car seemed to have turned off the freeway, and they trundled through even darker forests from what little Sombra could tell.
They came to a stop, and Sombra stepped out of the car behind Moira. Before them, was a not very imposing building of dark gunmetal gray, that stood only one story. There appeared to be no door, but instead a pad sunken into the wall, that Moira approached. After typing, and scanning, an outline of an opening sank backwards and then slid open, letting Moira, Sombra, and the few Talon mercs to enter. They stepped into the building and walked quickly to a set of elevators at the end of a cold, metallic hallway. Two guards wearing concealing helmets stood sentry next to the elevators. There was a second pad, and Moira waved her hand over a reader (she probably had a chip installed in her wrist) and the doors opened and Sombra was shoved inside by a quick jap to her shoulder from a guard from Mexico. Then, they were heading downwards. Very, very deep down into the earth.
They stood in silence, Sombra wondering if she would get her hands on the speaker system and install some weird ass elevator music to make this long journey more tolerable. Moira stood beside her, thumbing one of her long claws. At this rate, Sombra wouldn’t be surprised if she saw cloven hooves instead of shoes. Moira was definitely in a different league.
“So, I’m guessing this is only one of the bases,” Sombra asked, leaning against the cold metal railing.
“You guessed correctly,” was Moira’s response. They stood in silence once again.
Finally, the ding alerted Sombra they had reached their destination. The doors slid open to reveal another hallway, only this one appeared to have more rooms leading off of it. No windows on these doors, instead there were small name plates beside each metal door frame, suggesting what might occur within. Data Research, Technology & Weapons Research, Biochemical Lab, etc. They entered a door with the label: Scientific & Medical Research. Because of course Moira was in “science”, and not Frankensteinien experiments.
What or who was inside, made Sombra wished she was in something other than sweats.
“Ah, Widowmaker,” Moira purred, moving towards the wispy woman, who looked up from a table with a strange, spider-like contraption sat in front of her. “I was hoping we’d run into you. What are you working on?”
Widowmaker glanced at Sombra briefly, her yellow eyes sending chills and ripples down Sombra’s back, before she turned back to Moira, her voice deeper than Sombra would have expected. “I’m improving the neurotoxin in my minds, I wanted to see if I could create a substance that would allow my helmet to track targets through surfaces.” Her French accent was strong and lilting, her dark purple hair highlighting in the ominous light.
“I hope you have help with this little project, you know how I dislike you being unsupervised, especially when I’m not even in the country,” Moira tapped her nails on the metal table, eying Widowmaker up and down. Sombra felt like she was intruding on some weird personal spat between the two, as Widowmaker dropped her eyes from Moira’s. Sombra leaned back against the doorframe, watching carefully.
“Of course, I have had help,” Widowmaker said, almost haughtily - but she still avoided eye contact with Moira. “I was just working on some tweaks here for the release mechanism.”
“It’s alright, but we should have our meeting in the morning, don’t you agree?” Moira coaxed.
“Of course,” Widowmaker conceded.
With a smug grin, Moira turned around and gestured at Sombra. “Here is your new partner, we’ll have an assignment for the three of you soon.” Widowmaker’s eyes burned at Sombra’s skin from across the room. “Her code name is Sombra.”
Widowmaker said nothing.
“I think it is best if you retire,” Moira motioned, reaching a hand out to grip at Widowmaker’s wrist. Widowmaker, obediently, was walked to the door and let out.
“Wow, she’s whipped,” Sombra muttered. Turning back to Moira, “So why did you bring me here boss?”
“This is just one of my offices, I will have a guard escort you to your new quarters. They will be better accommodating than Mexico I believe. Also, you need a uniform.”
“A uniform?” Sombra laughed, putting her hand on her hip. “I don’t wear a uniform.”
“We can’t have a green skeleton running around can we.”