The Battle Barge is the largest Space Marine warship and is configured for close support of planetary landings. Battle Barges were originally a simple designation during the Great Crusade to refer to Battleships under Legiones Astartes control. Today, most chapters control two or three Battle Barges designed to deploy a fighting force to planets in a rapid fashion. Each of Battle Barge capable of deploying 3 Space Marine Companies plus supplies and support. Large amounts of space are designed to hold launch bays for inter-system craft and drop pods allowing up to three companies to deploy simultaneously. The vessel is extremely heavily armored and well-shielded for breaching planetary defenses while also protecting its cargo. It is also a dangerous enemy, especially with boarding actions but also contains enough firepower to destroy all but the most powerful of warships. Battle Barges are some of the most powerful ships the Imperium has at its disposal, due to both the power of the ships and their contents.
Stained glass above radicals, for the title prompt
@obaewankenope, @kyberpunk, @meabhair, @lilyrose225writes, @maawi, @eclipsemidnight So remember when I said I was working on title prompts, and one got away from me? That was this one. Honestly, this title is so beautiful, I just – !!! So the first piece, the one that I’ve linked, it hit the Stained Glass part of the title, but not the Radicals, so now - here, have the Radicals. (honestly I added like… 4 paragraphs in maybe 10 minutes? just now? and all the rest had been written before??? I’d just realised I didn’t have enough of crèchemaster Anakin and for some odd reason it took me A MONTH??! to add that in, sorry!, brain funnies) More from the Tahl Lives AU (aka the Blind!Obi-Wan AU also):
One day, not long into Qui-Gon’s newest nightmare of running the Alderaanian Temple, Tahl arrives in a whirlwind of activity and roughly jabs a finger into Qui-Gon’s sternum.
“You,” she declares, “need an Archivist. Your record-keeping is horrid.”
Qui-Gon raises his hands and backs away, shamelessly placing his Padawan between them. Obi-Wan takes this in good humour, but he also takes every opportunity to tease his Master afterwards. Qui-Gon does not mind. His Padawan can tease as much as he likes, but he’ll always protect his poor old Master.
Tahl’s appearance does make things much easier. And it’s not really Qui-Gon’s record-keeping that’s appalling, as it turns out. It’s that the systems in place in this Temple are outdated. Tahl tucks Obi-Wan under her arm and vanishes for three days straight, living on nothing but tea and biscuits – a programmer’s lifestyle that Qui-Gon, frankly, does not approve of.
“You’re very attached to your Padawan, Qui,” Tahl teases him.
“Don’t you start,” he grumbles, curling around the same sleeping Padawan protectively on her couch.
But by then things are already running more smoothly. At least now when they send out messages, there’s a chance someone will hear them.
Alvin let out a sigh, looking out to the crew as they carried multiple packages onto the cargo ship. “Protection of goods transport, huh?” He muttered, folding his arms and leaning against the gate of the sea haven. It should be a breeze of a job. And was well paying too. He could definitely use it.
It was then that he heard another man talking to one of the sailor’s with distinct details about the same job that he was working.
“Hey buddy.” He cantered over with a cheery smile on his face. “Hate to break it to ya, but the positions already been filled.” He took note of the man’s firey red hair, and serious stature. He kind of reminded him of another mercenary. It wouldn’t surprise him, but in all of his gigs he hadn’t come across him before.
Seven months after the end of the world that did not happen, Chrom was doing alright, or so he kept telling Lissa every time she asked. Their sister may have been returned to them, but she was in no state to rule. He would have liked to return her crown to her but it would be cruel and selfish to do so to a woman who had wished for calm and quiet all her life. Had she not sacrificed enough? The war had taught him many things, like how to lead an army and when to ask for help, but most importantly to do what must be done. And so, with a heavy heart, he finally conceded to his council and accepted the crown and title of Exalt of Ylisse.
The coronation ceremony was beautiful, and while he wasn’t very fond of being the center of attention, he was honored by the presence of all remaining shepherds, who had traveled far and wide to be by his side on the day the crown was placed on his head.
That is, all accept Robin. The crown meant for his queen remained on its cushion, and the throne next to his stayed empty. Lucina stood on his left, her hand on his shoulder and unwavering support, but Robin’s rightful place on his right echoed louder than any applause.
But that was six months ago. More than half a year had passed without Robin, and as much as it scared him, Chrom was getting used to waking up in bed alone. She had promised she would return, but with every passing day he found himself believing in it a little bit less. Death was eternal, and Naga had been silent lately. As much as he ached to see her smile just one last time, he had a kingdom to rule and a daughter to raise: there was very little time to mourn, and perhaps that was for the best.
He was not alone. Every morning Frederick would appear besides his bed, already dressed to impress and updating him on today’s agenda. Sometimes, when he thought he could get away with it, he even made his bed while Chrom was dressing himself. Frederick was no mere valet, but caring for the Royal family was in his blood. In return for his satisfied smile, Chrom was willing to close an eye from time to time and allow Frederick to perform one of his old duties.
But not all remained the same. While Frederick was the first face he saw every morning, he no longer stood by his side at any moment. After the war, Chrom had made him accept a position on his small council. He had initially refused, claiming himself inferior to the task, but when Chrom had enlisted Sumia, he eventually agreed. Several months down the road Chrom could only conclude that he had done the right thing: Frederick’s many years of experience in dealing with international and military affairs as a knight reflected in his wary but often much needed questions. Not a single policy could pass without amply scrutiny, and it was most often for the best.
And, as Sumia told him often during their monthly shared lunch, his new position was a lot less demanding, which left him with time to spare to care for her and their newborn daughter, while Sumia set up her pegasus riding academy. It was hard work, but from the healthy tan on her face and the smile on her lips, he could tell that peace had been treating him well.
He got up every morning in his lonely bed for people like them. If he honored his sister’s ideals and created a long lasting peace for their children to enjoy, then the tiredness that seemed to never go away again was well worth it.
A though day of many delicate nobles to please and finances to juggle was instantly made good when he would sneak into little Lucy’s bedroom to find her two older siblings napping in chairs beside her crib, a book full of stories still in Lucina’s hands. He didn’t know how much longer they would stay with him. Lucina was getting more anxious with every passing day, the wanderlust that she had inherited from him making her hands itch for adventure. He hoped that before she left, she at least would stop to say goodbye to them, but he had a fleeting feeling that she would be with them for at least a while longer. They both shared a concern for Morgan, whose smile became a little more strained with every passing month without their mother. And at night, or so Lucina confided in him one quiet afternoon, he cried out words in a language she did not know. Was it his memory, finally returning? Or merely memories of the war, as seen by a boy who was far too young to have fought in it. Whatever the case, Morgan would deny and deflect every inquiry, preferring perhaps to suffer in silence.
Still, they shared breakfast with him whenever possible, with matching bags beneath their eyes. Perhaps this was not true happiness, with that aching Robin sized hole in his heart, but it sure was the next best thing.
Until one day it wasn’t. He’d woken up with from a dream he couldn’t remember with a strange feeling of longing, long before even Frederick would be there to wake him up. And yet, he had found him, in full plate armor, dozing in front of his door. After ensuring that this was not a regular occurrence, they both concluded that they were hit with the same sudden restlessness. Chrom would have shrugged it off and invited Frederick for an early morning spar between two friends, until Lissa approached them. She had given birth less than two months ago, and not all of the fat had faded yet. But in that moment, wearing an old yellow dress that she liked to wear during her childhood, it was almost as if they were five years back in time, long before all went to hell.
A strange dream, a siren’s call, she named as her reason to dress as such in the early morning for no other reason. The gods worked in mysterious ways, Emmeryn used to say when he was young, but Naga was no god and Grima was dead. So who else but Robin could be pulling these strings?
He doubled back inside to grasp Falchion and without another word lead his sister and oldest friend into the darkness of the early morning to a meadow they all knew too well. While they rode, too tense to speak a word of what they all thought, too afraid that if perhaps acknowledged their folly with a single sound it would disappear in front of their eyes. It would be too convenient for Robin to just reappear where she had first been found, five years ago.
And yet, Chrom thought to himself, too afraid to form the words even in his mind. He had sided with little girls who could turn into dragons, aided by a daughter and a son who hailed from a lost future, and succeeded in striking down the closest thing this world had to a god. Stranger things had happened here, and how much stranger would it be for history to repeat itself, one last time?
In the end, Robin was not in the meadow, carelessly napping on the ground. They stood there, lost and feeling a little bit silly, a hint of tears burning in their eyes. Frederick’s hand on his shoulder kept him from falling down to the ground, either laughing or crying, he did not know which one. Was this what madness was like?
They stayed there for another few minutes, perhaps hoping for a miracle. But those who had been called gods before hadn’t spoken a word in months, and something told Chrom that he should get used a life without divine interventions. He had saved the world, his story had come to a close. All that remained were the twilight days were her ruled the legacy his friends had fought and died for, entrusted in his hands.
Chrom steeled his mind, exhaled a very heavy breath, and turned around, ready to return to real life. With Lissa and Frederick at his side, he was at least not lonely. Tomorrow, Morgan and Lucina would have breakfast with him again, and he would not tell them of this little folly of theirs, ready to bury this morning with the past.
That was, until a soft cry caught his ears. It was faint, not so much a scream but rather a whine. For a second Chrom thought it was a trick of the wind, or his memory of little Lucy and all he owed her manifesting on this strange morning. But then he heard it again, louder this time, and this time he was not alone. Frederick shot him a wary look, and Lissa’s eyes instinctively moved to her empty stomach, where little Odin had resided until not too long ago.
They stood so very still for a moment, looking at each other in tense wonder – Could it be? Then they heard the sound again, even louder, joined by another cry. The sun peaked over the horizon, bathing the earth into a gentle light and allowing Chrom to detect a small movement in the grass, not too far from where they were standing. His legs carried him there before he could stop himself. And all he could think of was her name, forever echoing in his mind like a desperate prayer.
It wasn’t Robin, but it was her cloak. Chrom fell to his knees next to it, carefully unwrapping the sacred garment from the precious cargo it protected. The day was may the twenty-seventh of may, and never in his entire life had Chrom expected to receive two crying babies wrapped in his wife’s old cloak as a birthday gift, both as naked as the day they were born.
Chrom knew they were his before he could even spot the brand of the Exalt, proudly portrayed on both of their tiny little fists. A girl and a boy, both slightly aggravated at being woken, but with Robin’s cute nose and his blue shock of hair. Lissa let out a shriek behind him, and without looking Chrom knew that Frederick was shocked to silence.
With care he cradled the two tiny bodies against his own, covering them with their mother’s cape while Lissa stammered words of disbelief and wonder. He praised Naga, and all that game before her. And above all, he thanked Robin, from the bottom of his heart, tears rolling down his face in spades but a smile on his lips larger than any had been since she’d been gone.
Lets meet again, in a better life. Those had been her words, and Chrom heard them every night when he closed his eyes, seeing her fade away and out of his life once again. Sometimes he thought he would never see those eyes he had fallen in love with again, but here he was, early in the morning with twins pressed against his chest, when the boy opened his eyes. It was Robin staring back at him, only this time less jaded. Chrom pressed a gentle kiss against his tiny brow, and when his sister whined, he gave her one as well, vowing carefully that neither of them would grow up like their parents had.
Lissa was laughing and crying along with him, and even Frederick was muttering words of thanks to the gods, who never answered. It did not matter, he thought, and ordered Frederick to saddle up their horses again, refusing to hand over either of his children. He had wondered what would happen to Morgan now that he would perhaps never be born in this world, but he should have known that Robin’s love for him was stronger than any force of nature, even death. Had they not speculated that perhaps she was in some early stadium of pregnancy when Grima claimed her life?
He looked at the grass where he had found her one last time, with his heart in his throat but a smile on his face, before turning around and returning to Ylisstol. For no more than a split second he swore he spotted in the corner of his eyes a lone figure standing at a distance, quietly regarding them in long white robes billowing in the wind. But when he looked again, it was nothing but a trick of the light, slowly waking up the world.
Chrom smiled, and solemnly professed his love in the quiet of the early morning. With those words he let go of a hope he didn’t know he had still been holding and set his eyes on the future. Robin would understand.
Naga remained silent. Grima was dead. The birds were chirping, and the sun rose slowly into the sky, heralding the start of a brand new day. Perhaps, Chrom thought as he carefully pressed his newborn children closer against his chest, this was not how he had dreamed of Robin’s return. But it was the next best thing.
Together, they’d be alright.
Chromgratulations Chrom, you deserve some happiness. If life has taught me something, then it is that while things hardly ever end up the way you hoped they would, they can be beautiful in ways you did not expect. I wrote this rather quickly because I had very little time, but it turned out well and surprisingly non-angsty! So here is to my favorite husbando, may you reign in my heart forever more.
Cloud pulled over inside the ruins of Midgar, peering around the ruins of what was once the ShinRa tower. He caught sight of Marlene and Denzel waving for him about 100 yards away. He rolled Fenrir over.
“He’s in there,” Denzel said, pointing to a particularly decrepit piece of the tower. Cloud frowned, but moved in, leaving First Tsurugi in Fenrir.
Not five minutes ago, Denzel had called him, saying there was a kid running around in the Midgar ruins.
Cloud’s first impulse was chastisement.
“What are you and Marlene doing there?” He had asked.
“We were at the Church,” Denzel had insisted, “He was watching us…and then he ran.”
Cloud came over as fast as he could. A child running around could mean many things, none of them good: A refugee from meteor still wandering and homeless (and alive by some miracle), a geostigma victim looking for the well Aerith’s posthumous Limit Break had created, or…another Remnant. Cloud wasn’t sure what he could do if it was the latter. Denzel said the boy had looked young…younger than even he was.
Denzel and Marlene stayed back, remembering Cloud’s warning about Midgar: It wasn’t safe and liable to collapse at any moment. Stay at the church and go no where else.
Cloud felt uncomfortable just stooping into the tower section. It didn’t look stable at all. He picked his way through carefully, not wanting to disturb any of the trusses still holding the walls together.
Then he saw him, the boy. Tucked into the far corner, trying to hide himself behind an upturned bench.
Time for FRIDAY FASHION FACT! Today we are talking about what is likely the single most popular piece
of clothing of our time- jeans! I can almost guarantee that everyone
reading this owns a pair. Most of you are probably even wearing them
now. Jeans span class, gender, age, and culture. So where did they come
from, and how did they grow to be so prevalent?
origins of jeans dates back centuries. In the 17th century, textile
workers in Genoa, Italy were well known for producing a sturdy cotton
fabric, though it may have originally been created much earlier. This
fabric was ideal for laborers or artisans who required durable, yet
affordable, clothing. Soon, textile workers in Nimes, France attempted
to recreate this fabric (sidenote- the French word for Genoa is “Gênes,”
likely source of the word “jean.”) The result was an even tougher
fabric, ideal for aprons, and other such outer-workwear. The fabric from
Nimes, or fabric “de Nimes” (denim!) spread across the globe thanks to
sailors who used the durable material to cover their cargo, protecting
it from the elements.
Throughout the 17th, 18th and
19th centuries, laborers in Northern Italy, Southern France, and beyond
did wear trousers constructed out of jean cotton, and possibly even
denim. Even at this time, they were blue. Why? It all comes down to
chemistry. Just like all cotton, jean and denim are naturally white.
Since these fabrics were used for work wear, though, it was only logical
to dye them a dark color to hide the dirt and stains. Without getting
deep into the science of it, before artificial dyes were created, indigo
was one of the most steadfast natural dyes, with a strong, rich color.
Additionally, while most dyes permeate the fibers, indigo clings to the
surface. When it is washed, bits of the fiber are stripped away along
with the dye. While this may sound like a bad thing, that is what causes
jeans to soften and become more comfortable the more you wash them.
Finally, it was a very affordable dye, despite the fact that it was
imported from India.
Many people believe Levi
Strauss created the first pair of denim jean pants as we know them
today. However, he did not create them alone, or really at all. Strauss
owned a prominent dry goods store in San Francisco, where, among other
things, he sold fabrics. One of his frequent customers was the tailor
Jacob Davis. Davis was asked by a customer to create a pair of
extra-durable trousers for her woodcutter husband. Davis used heavy
cotton fabric known as duck, and came up with the idea of reinforcing
the weak points with copper rivets. It was extremely effective, and the
design was an instant success among railroad workers. He made many pairs
out of both duck and denim, determining that, due to the way blue denim
softens and conforms to the wearer with washing, it was the more
desirable fabric. However, he could not keep up with demand.
approached Strauss to collaborate with him on his successful venture,
as Strauss could provide financial backing. Strauss agreed, and in 1873
the two men obtained a patent for “improvements in fastening pocket
openings” aka riveted trousers. They were a huge success. Strauss opened
a large tailor shop, followed by a factory, to produce the trousers,
among a few other items. Davis ran the shop. It was also Davis who
decided to add the bold orange double line stitching, created as a way
for his product to stand out from competitors.
how did denim jean pants, a workman’s pants, become so popular- even
high fashion? The simple answer: Hollywood. First, around World War I,
silent film actor William Hart starred as a jeans-wearing cowboy in an
incredibly successful string of westerns. He spurred many men to buy the
rugged style, though they were still seen as work-wear. John Wayne
followed suit when he starred in the 1939 smash hit Stagecoach. During
World War II, it became more common for women to wear jeans as many
women took up factory jobs. Jeans solidified a place in the fashion
world, though, in 1955 when James Dean wore a pair of blue jeans in
Rebel Without A Cause. His style in that film was instantly iconic,
though for some time the association with the film caused jeans to be
associated with delinquent behavior. Despite that fact, it inspired
designers to begin creating jeans purely for fashion, and within about
15 years, they were a common and acceptable style. The rest is history!
Want to learn more about the history of jeans? Check out these books:
Denim: From Cowboys to Catwalks: A History of the World’s Most Legendary Fabric, by Graham Marsh
Denim: An American Story, by David Little
Have a question about fashion history that you want answered in the next FRIDAY FASHION FACT? Just click the ASK button at the top of the page!
I want a tiny ball of flame Grillby. Badly. I want this to be a thing. SO HEY HAVE SOME TINY GRILLBYxREADER FANFICTION. (Completely SFW. Minor angst and some fluff ahead.)
It was difficult for anyone who didn’t know the flame monster well to read his moods. Often the signs were subtle, easy to miss if you didn’t know what to look for. A slight change in the colour or density of his flame could reveal an awful lot, and it had taken you a while to decipher all the tiny signals, like figuring out a complicated puzzle.
Luckily, you were pretty good at those.
However, the look he gives you as the water hits him, pouring down on his head like a torrent, was clear as day to anyone. His mouth, so rarely seen, splits open in shock, jagged tongues of flame acting like teeth as he lets out a cry that’s equal parts surprise, pain, and fear. Behind his glasses his eyes are wide, glowing white-hot with shock as he staggers forward out of the water. His whole body hisses like a kettle, his clothes flapping wildly as steam rolls off him, and you move forward instinctively to help him as he drops down onto one knee with a grunt of pain.
NOTE: please see my side blog porte8a2-fanfiction for future updates.
Title: Just A Scratch
Category: Games » Overwatch
Characters: Fareeha “Pharah” Amari/Angela “Mercy” Ziegler, Overwatch Team
Language: English, Rating: Rated: T
Chapters: 1/?, Words: 3,316
Notes: Writing prompt from Tumblr. Use of the 8-Point Story Arc. I’ve never played Overwatch (I definitely want to) but I’m total Pharmercy trash. Originally intended to be one chapter but think I’m going to have to break this into multiple parts. I’m getting back into the swing of writing so should hopefully have the second part up next weekend.
Summary: Problems arise on a mission and the team has to deal with the consequences. Mean while, Angela “Mercy” Ziegler has to maintain her composure.
Angela stood in the shadows of the top floor of the vacant office building. Snow fell gently in the early, dawn light. She shivered when the breeze blew through the windows, her armor blocking out most of the bitter cold. They were in some forgotten Russian city, abandoned years ago in the Omnic Crisis. The asphalt street cracked and broken apart as if an earthquake had ripped through. Buildings stood empty and dilapidated, some nothing more than a pile of rubble, ravaged by war, by time and nature.
Overwatch had been dispatched to this remote location to intercept a Talon Payload. What exactly it was, they didn’t know but intelligence reports indicated that it was capable of destruction on a massive scale. It was strange to see Talon active in such a desolate city, preferring to stick to civilization and hiding their operations in plain site in the guise of legitimate business interactions.
Angela tapped her fingers against the Caduceus Staff in impatience. She was wound tight, the lack of details they were given for this mission of deep concern for her. Details were sparse and they didn’t have much actionable intelligence other than Overwatch Command deemed the threat was viable. That was enough to warrant a full squadron.
She pressed the side of her visor and her team mates came to light before her eyes. The payload would come from the south, marching directly towards their location. The plan was to intercept and ambush the payload at this location. DVa and Tracer were positioned south of the intersection and had already laid charges on the East and West buildings. Once the payload had reached this location, they would blow the charges and funnel the payload farther north. DVa and Tracer would provide covering fire to prevent Talon from retreating back South.
Zarya and Reinhardt had taken postions on the East and West sides on the second floor. Their job was to keep Talon from fleeing down the side streets and to ensure they stayed centered on the road. Widowmaker, located farther North, would then begin picking off the Talon agents one by one. Pharah was located across from Angela on the rooftop and would provide covering fire.
It was a simple plan, one Pharah had designed. The intent was to overwhelm the enemy with speed and force. If all went to plan, the Talon agents wouldn’t stand a chance and the Overwatch crew would be headed home by nightfall, payload in tow.
From her perch, Angela could monitor the team and provide medical assistance as needed in the span of a beat of her wings. She touched the side of her visor and their life signs were brilliant beacons in front of her eyes. Hopefully, they could all get out of this with minor scrapes and bruises.
Static came through the comms and she heard Pharah issue a sharp command to DVa. DVa was live streaming the event, per usual. This, of course, irritated Pharah to no end, always the consummate soldier. The static made it difficult to understand exactly what Pharah was saying. It became obvious when DVa voiced her displeasure but dutifully stopped her live stream, muttering curses under her breath. The comm channel cleared of static, Reinhardt and Zarya laughed catching the last few curses.
Angela heard Pharah sigh through the comms and her heart went out to her. Angela understood just how much Pharah took her duties seriously and knew that the lack of protocols sometimes got to the professional soldier. They settled into silence as the wait continued.
“Hey love, when is this payload supposed to come? I’ve a hot date tonight I don’t want to miss.” Tracer’s voice broke the silence.
“Satellite maps indicate the payload is on schedule and should reach the target area half-past O'seven hundred.”
“No offense, love, but it’s almost time and there’s been no sight of the buggers.”
“Patience is a virtue, Tracer. The payload will be here on time. You should see them crest the hill before we do.”
“Right, I’ll just go give it a peak then.”
Tracer blinked out before Pharah could tell her to hold her position. Angela stifled a laugh when she heard their commander curse in Arabic. Just as quickly, Lena blinked back to her position. Her voice was giddy with excitement as she spoke.
“Right on, Cap! Those Talon bastards will be cresting the hill in the next five minutes.”
“What are we looking at?”
“What do you mean Cap?”
Angela could almost see Pharah as she pinched the bridge of her nose in frustration. Her mouth was probably set in a grim line as she counted to ten in her head. Pharah was known for her patience and calm demeanor and Angela could tell Pharah was grasping for patience as she dealt with the hyperactive Tracer.
“Tracer, intelligence reports gave no indication of troop size or units. What troops do they have assigned to that payload.”
“Right, be back in a jiff, Cap.”
It took no longer than a minute and Tracer was back. Her report was detailed. They were looking at a light escort detail, no heavy arms, only assault-type plasma rifles. Ten soldiers flanked each side of the large truck carrying payload. The soldiers weren’t even wearing full body armor. It was strange, for such an important shipment, they should have had a heavier detail to protect their cargo. A niggling doubt made the hair on the back on Angela’s head stand on end but she shook it off. She needed to focus, soon they would be in the heat of battle and none of them could afford to be distracted.
Sun peaked through the buildings as the sun rose in the East. It wasn’t long before they saw the transport detail. At first, nothing more than tiny blurs on the horizon, they gained shape the closer they got. Tracer had been spot on. They were looking at a small contingent, nothing that they couldn’t handle with ease but the closer they got the more Angela’s concern grew. She couldn’t shake the feeling that something was off. Although not a combat expert, she had experienced more than her fair share. She opened a private channel to Pharah.
Angela waited patiently then heard the soft click of the radio indicating communication was coming through. When Pharah spoke, her voice was strong and quiet. It was lightly accented and almost lyrical, a transference from her native Arabic. Angela let that soothing voice wash over her. She could never tell Pharah how she made her feel, duty and responsibility always first in the forefront of their minds. Personal feelings could not be allowed to interfere.
“Does something feel off to you? There is a distinct lack of soldiers on what is supposed to be a high-priority payload.”
“I agree but the intelligence reports were incomplete at best. Command thinks this is a real threat. We couldn’t wait and miss the opportunity.”
“I understand, Pharah but I don’t like this. We should be looking at a heavier detail or at bare minimum more soldiers. Look at the size of that truck! What exactly are they transporting?”
The truck was large, wide and long enough to transport at least three tanks. Whatever it was, it was large and heavy, if the way the tires bit into the asphalt was any indication. She began to wonder exactly what it was they were dealing with.
“Unknown. Our assets inside the Talon organization couldn’t provide specific details without risking their cover. We are, in essence, operating in the dark.”
“So, we don’t have any idea of what we’re dealing with?”
“Affirmative. All I know is that Command felt this was important enough to send us out, even with the lack of details.”
Angela’s smile was grim. Her soldier always following protocol and respecting the chain of command. Pharah had only been with Overwatch for about a year and she had still not learned to relax when on a mission like the rest of the team. She also didn’t argue with Overwatch Command unless she felt she had valid ground to debate their decisions. Pharah was a soldier first and foremost, years of training drilled into her on how to act and react in the most professional and efficient manner.
“Maybe we should abort?”
Silence greeted Angela. She knew it wasn’t because Pharah was indignant with her suggestion but because she was seriously considering the merits of such an action. Pharah treasured each and every member of the Overwatch team, even if at times she seemed aloof and uncaring. Angela knew better, knew just how much weight Pharah carried on her shoulders. Pharah would put herself in the line of fire to save one of her team mates. She wouldn’t risk their lives unnecessarily and only then if the mission was of the utmost importance. When Pharah spoke again, her voice was filled with the steel of a soldier knowing they were about to walk through hell.
“We stay the course and adjust as needed.”
“Don’t do anything crazy. I-… We need you to stay in one piece.”
Angela’s heart skipped a beat at what she thought, what she hoped she heard in Pharah’s voice but knowing it was just her wishful thinking. Shaking her head, she tried to let go of such unreasonable thoughts.
“Don’t worry about me. Just try and get us out of here alive. Mercy out.”
With that, the comm channel she had opened was severed. Next she heard the click of the radio as Pharah’s voice was broadcast to the team, telling them to prepare themselves. The payload was getting closer, already having passed DVa and Tracer,’s location, she could almost pick out the details on the Talon uniforms. Anticipation and fear settled in her stomach with each step they took. She tightened her grip on her staff, the raised edges biting into her gloves, she sunk farther into the shadows. Soon the command would come and all hell would break lose.
Angela didn’t have to wait long. As soon as the escort detail had passed half-way through the intersection, Pharah gave the order. Explosions ripped through the buildings on the East and West side, the implosion causing them to come down, a cascade of concrete and rebar falling, crushing some of the soldiers, impaling others. Angela, closed her eyes and gritted her teeth against the screams of the dying. She was a doctor, sworn to protect life but in this case she could only watch and listen as people died before her. Steeling herself, she opened her eyes and began monitoring the team.
The Talon soldiers were in disarray, they tried to backtrack south, only to have DVa and Tracer blocking their path. The two women keeping up a barrage of fire, preventing the retreat. As expected, the soldiers tried to flee down the East and West streets but Zarya and Reinhardt were there, bullets tearing through armor, severing limbs and staining the ground red with their blood. Screams and shots fired rang through the streets, the comms were cluttered with chatter as the team rang out status. Angela checked her visor, the team was in good health although it looked as if Zarya might have taken some damage from the initial explosion. She was safe for now and would not need assistance just yet.
Angela heard the shots as they whizzed past her window. Widowmaker making quick work of the remaining soldiers that were disoriented from the ambush. They never stood a chance. Angela looked across and saw Pharah also dispatching the last of the soldiers. Through the noise and the chaos, she felt more than heard Pharah’s voice.
“Ceasefire! Ceasefire! Damn it, Zarya, I said hold your fire!”
The last shot echoed through the empty streets. Dust was still settling from the explosions, bits and pieces of concrete fell, kicking up sediment as it rolled down the side of the buildings and finally coming to rest in the road. The fire fight couldn’t have taken more than ten minutes. Pharah’s voice, calm and self-assured whispered in her ear.
“Everyone hold your position. I’m going to circle around and ensure the enemy has been neutralized. Widowmaker, keep an eye on the target area.”
The jets of the Raptora suit roared to life and Pharah took to the sky. Ten minutes, then twenty passed. Pharah had gone out of range of her visor. Only the sound of the jets in the distance did anything to reassure Angela that Pharah was still alive and well. The sound of the jets grew closer as Pharah continued her aerial sweep, spiraling back towards their location as she scanned the ground. Finally she returned, hovering directly above the worst of the carnage.
“All clear. Everyone regroup on my position. Widowmaker, maintain surveillance.”
Cheers came rushing through the comms and Pharah cursed in Arabic as she grabbed quickly for her ears. She landed next to the transport truck and waited patiently for the team to join her. Angela, glided down from her hiding spot and quickly went to Zarya’s aid. The woman was still pumped from combat, wrapped up in celebrating their victory with Reinhardt. Tired of trying to wrangle the woman, Angela hooked the Caduceus staff on the large woman’s shoulder, swinging her around and down to her eyesight.
Angela’s voice was firm, leaving no room for argument. She quickly scanned Zarya, aside from some minor scrapes and bruises, the worst injury were a few broken ribs, most likely from being so close to the concussive blasts of the explosions. She administered a couple booster shots filled with the nanotechnology that would help repair the damage.
“No more rough-housing for you, Zarya. I’m recommending at least two days rest before you’re ready to go out on missions.”
“If you say so, Doc.”
Zarya’s thickly accented response showed no signs that she was taking Angela seriously or any remorse for not taking her seriously. Angela released a long sigh and scanned the rest of the team. All were in good health and could be treated back at base. She left the group and walked over to Pharah who was looking at the truck in consternation. She gently laid her hand on the taller woman’s shoulder, standing closer than she probably should have been. She felt Pharah relax next to her.
“What is it? You look concerned.”
“My scanner can’t penetrate the shell of the truck. I can’t see what’s inside. If we open this thing up, we could set off a trap.”
“Unfortunately, there is only one way to find out.”
Pharah nodded and walked to the back of the truck. Angela followed closely behind. As soon as Pharah reached for the panel to hack the console, there was a whoosh of air as the truck exploded. Angela found herself being flung through space, she braced herself for the impact that was imminent but only felt strong arms wrap around her waist and pull her close, one hand coming up to cover her head and tuck it into the crook of a neck. Jet engines roared to life, desperately trying to slow their tumble through the air. Pharah. Angela could feel the sickening thud as Pharah’s body absorbed blow after blow as they crashed through the buildings from the force of the impact.
They finally came skidding to a halt, the back of the Raptora suit firmly lodged into a wall of a building, the jets sputtering in one final attempt before dying. Angela lay draped over the prone body of the wonderful woman that had saved her life. Blood dripped from under Pharah’s helmet and Angela’s blood ran cold. She tried to get a reading on the woman beneath her but the force of the explosion must have damaged her suit. She could get no health readings.
“Everyone, report! What is your status? Repeat, what is your status?”
Static buzzed in her ear, there was no response, She tapped the side of her visor, finally blips began appearing before her eyes but she could only determine the location of the team. She took a breath, she needed to confirm Fareeha was safe, then she could address the injuries for the rest of the team. Her hands came up shakily, feeling for a pulse, breathing a sigh of relief when she felt the steady thrum under her fingers. Still, she couldn’t prevent the panic from seeping into her voice.
“Fareeha! Fareeha, wake up!”
Angela, gently poked and prodded the woman, trying to get a reaction from her. It took a few minutes but finally Fareeha responded to her gentle but persistent touch, waking with a groan. Angela couldn’t see her face and cursed the wretched blue suit from preventing her from looking into Fareeha’s eyes. She needed to see the woman under the mask, feel her heartbeat under her fingertips but she settled for resting her hands on the Fareeha’s arms.
“Mein schatz, speak to me. Tell me where it hurts.”
With another groan, Fareeha lifted her head, eyes still hidden from Angela, her gaze was drawn to the lips quirked in a lopsided grin. Fareeha’s hands came to rest softly on Angela’s waist and she felt a blush creep up her neck.
“I’m alright, just got knocked around a bit. Are you okay?”
“Ja, all in one piece thanks to you.” Fareeha lifted her hand and brushed the blonde wisps of hair that had fallen in Angela’s face away, tucking them behind her ear. Again, Angela wished she could see the woman’s face.
“I’m glad. What about the rest of the team?”
“I don’t know. My suit is damaged, all I can get is a location on them, no health readings.”
“Go to them. I’ll be alright. They may need help and there is no point in you staying here with me.”
A protest perched on her tongue but Fareeha brought her hand up and rested her gloved fingers on soft lips. Angela was at a loss for words.
“Don’t argue. I’m fine and someone could need your help. Can you fly? Do you have your staff?”
Angela looked around and found that her staff was a few hundred yards from where they had come crashing through. She gingerly lifted herself off of Fareeha and stretched her wings. All seemed to be in working order. She looked at Fareeha longingly before taking a step back.
“Don’t you dare move. We’ll be back to pick you up. In the meantime just rest, mein schatz.”
Again, the lopsided smile graced Fareeha’s face and Angela couldn’t understand where she could find humor in this mess. With reluctance, she turned her back and flew off into the distance, picking up her staff along the way. Tracer was closest and she sped towards the locator beacon. Little did she know, behind her blood had begun slowly pooling around Fareeha, seeping from beneath the Raptora suit and the pipe that had been impaled in her back.
I have a robot that was supposed to be used in the war, but after it and the only surviving teammate almost die, they are sent back to their homeland to retire. The veteran has three daughters and the giant death machine takes care of them as if they were special cargo to be protected at all costs. Girls grow up with a terrifying robot uncle that most of their friends are afraid of. Many problems arise but they love the robot anyway. :D
Giant scary robots loving and protecting human kids is probably the most important thing in the world