The following story is the penultimate chapter in a rather lengthy Overwatch series of tales I've been telling, and by this point in the story, it's highly recommended that you have read the previous stories leading up to this one. I would suggest reading in the following order if you're new to this story, as it will be referencing key plot moments, as well as certain character moments, before we reach the final chapter that brings it all to, what I hope to be, an epic conclusion.
'Reign From Above' and/or 'Lacroix'
-Recalled to Action-
'Madness and Meihem in the Outback' and/or 'Deadlocked'
(Aren't essential, but feature the same characters in this universe)
'Christmas at Tracer's' and/or 'Days in the Life' and/or 'Off Days'
'Until Dawn Do We Part'
If you're new to this entire endeavor, I hope this makes you excited to experience it from the beginning! I started writing this, and fan-fiction as a whole, really, two or three years ago, and it's been one of the most amazing parts of my life being able to share something to personal to me with you all. For those of you who have made it this far, I can only hope beyond hope that I give this series of stories an amazing conclusion- but first, some time with Talon ;p
Happy reading :)
The dead lighting of the Gibraltar interrogation room unnerved even the most hardened of criminals, it's ghostly sort of white light flooding the room with a sense of dread. Beyond the industrial-looking metal table at its center, it's uncomfortable aluminum chair where many a villain had sat, it all completed a lifeless portrait, one that would haunt many simply by how drab and dreary it was, yet how quickly it seemed to force itself into its visitor's psyche.
Even for those administering such interrogations, the room was a place where no one voluntarily entered, especially Lena Oxton, who'd once confided with Winston that even the atmosphere in that room was positively ghoulish, almost haunted; the floors, walls, and ceilings all painted, repainted, all to hide the pounds of flesh and blood that had stained the place during Blackwatch's darker days.
One needed nerves of steel to resist the urge to go insane in there, and many Overwatch personnel would enter and remain emotionless, not daring to allow their spirits to enter along with their bodies. The speed at which people would fall apart, either emotionally or psychologically, made it all the more odd that it's current occupant remained silent, even now after five hours of mind-numbing silence.
Jack Morrison stood behind the window that stood on the opposite side of that room's mirror, his eyes narrowed with a subtle curiosity, trying to get a read on the man sitting there. Trying to gain any insight, silently, on this person of interest, trying to figure out what could have possibly connected this man with the woman who killed one of Jack's closest associates. One of Jack's closest friends.
How could this shell of a man be connected to Amélie Lacroix? the very woman who had murdered Gerard Lacroix as he lay there, defenseless, fully trusting of the woman who'd married him not a month earlier.
Jack's lips tensed as he eyed the man's scalp, hoping to peer into his eyes for some read on him, though the man simply sat there, head hanging from his shoulders, his body language signaling a man more akin to a mannequin than a living, breathing human being. He nearly wanted to barge into that room and pull the man's head up, though that would ruin both the sense of tension he was attempting to grab ahold of the man with as well as the appearance of his associate, whose arrival was bound to be made in the next few moments.
"Commander Morrison". This sudden reemergence of Lacroix's murder forced untapped memories to flood back into Jack's mind. Memories of Blackwatch, Talon… him. He thought of Lacroix's voice, "Commander Morrison", referring to him perpetually in his professional manner despite being surrounded, in informal settings, by the rest of Overwatch, who'd often simply call him "Jack". Blackwatch…
Jack's face remained stagnant as the door to his side slid open, revealing the robotic body of Genji Shimada, whose whole form had become more metal than man, his neon green slits of suit glowing bright in the darkened room surrounding his Captain as he stepped toward him, turning to give attention to their prisoner as the broken man came into sight.
"McCree finished his debriefing," Genji noted, "This man didn't speak a word of anything. He claims he didn't do anything to interrogate him, however."
Genji's head lowered only slightly, "He didn't want there to be an accident."
Jack shrugged with a singular shoulder, "You Blackwatch guys were some sick fucks, huh?"
His friend chuckled, "Got us results, didn't it? What's that- utilitarianism? What's one criminal's life compared to millions of good people?"
"Which one is he?" Jack asked sardonically, turning a sidelong glare toward Genji, who simply shrugged.
"You live in the business long enough, you start to realize nobody's good or evil. Even if everybody was, you've good people doing bad things and bad people doing good. What did you think Blackwatch was for Overwatch? Good people, doing bad things, for good people," Genji concluded simply.
Jack muttered, "Does that bother you?"
"Not much. Not anymore," Genji shrugged, "I'm at peace with myself and my family's past. I'm little more than a hand being instructed by a mind; I can only hope I've aligned myself with people who do more good than harm."
The cyborg dropped his head, "Jesse seems to have more difficulty with that."
"He always has," Jack nodded, reached down into his pocket to retrieve a small device, handing it to Genji, who eyed him curiously, "This locks the doors. Make sure none of the women wander in here."
Genji watched him with darkened eyes, "Why? What are you going to do?"
"I don't know yet, if that guy's good or bad," Jack explained calmly, "Guess I'll find out. All I know is he's the one associating with the woman who shoved a hair pin straight into the chest of my second…repeatedly."
Genji watched without a word, his face bowing to examine the tiny key fob in his hand, both to find the correct buttons and to not watch as Jack entered the cold, dreary room. He stepped up toward the window as Jack fell into the chair opposite the man, recalling the proper callsign to retrieve the services of Dr. Ziegler, should such an occasion arise, not knowing what Jack would do, or more to the point, what he was capable of.
The man sitting in front of the Commander remained unmoved, save for the most minute of shaking due to his breathing, forcing Genji's eyes to narrow only slightly with curiosity. He knew from his work with his family, the Shimadas, the kind of person this man was. Either he was a harder man than the most ardent criminals, or he was so broken by now, to the point where little troubled him, even the threat of death, maybe even especially death. Genji's arm shivered for a brief moment at the thought. Perhaps this man was welcoming death.
The mechanical whirring to Genji's side forced his attention away, the metallic doors sliding open to reveal Jesse McCree walking in, his bare chest revealing the cold bite of machinery that had torn through his whole forearm. His silver hand clutched at a towel slung over his chest, reaching up to dry out his ear while his dark eyes tracked up toward Genji, his voice emotionlessly professional.
"You called?" he muttered with a gravelly voice.
Genji nodded, "Figured we should have a professional on site. Can't have the Golden Boy going from ten to a hundred his first go-round."
McCree's eyes turned to slits, unable to ascertain his former associate's meaning, though it became clear soon enough. His head swung to the side as he approached the glassy window dividing the two men from the interrogation, Jesse quickly keeping an eye on Jack, who'd sat down across from the still-slumped figure.
"The ones that were personal," Genji muttered coolly, "They were always the easiest. There never was much art to those- you just whew and let your emotions take over."
He'd made a slicing motion with his open palm as he spoke, turning to examine the metallic portion of his comrade's body, "How's the arm?"
Jesse shrugged absently, "Not too bad. You sure he'll be alright?"
"Who, Morrison?" Genji asked sincerely, "Lacroix was his best friend in many ways; I haven't a doubt he'll pass with- Oh, look."
The two men stood motionlessly as Jack shot up to his feet, throwing a hand across the table and grabbing a fistful of the man's hair, pulling their captive to his feet as he pulled his head close in a magnanimous emphasis.
"Michael Hale," Genji explained, "He was reported around our prime suspect, Amélie Lacroix nee Guillard, mere days before the assassination. What all did you catch while you were out West?"
Jesse took a moment of silence before replying lowly, "Just a name and a description. Figured I owed the broken shambles of Overwatch somethin' once I headed back home. Lacroix was my friend too."
"Ah, yes," Genji noted with a nod, "I never exactly got along with the ma- Look, back to the file. Michael Hale is an American, traveled to France as a English teacher. By all accounts, he was a stand-up guy; frequented a bar or two, but we all have our vices."
Genji's spine shook after saying that, catching a glimpse of Jack shaking the man's head to get some point across.
"Before we could go through witnesses and video feeds, he'd already fled," Genji explained, "Hopefully Jack can coerce him to fill in a few blanks. This Michael Hale is the only true lead we have; Amélie Lacroix has been missing for years now, leaving the case resolved, not to mention a lack of closure for many Overwatch associates who've returned for this recall, yourself included, I presume."
Jesse frowned, "Closure ain't all it's cracked up ta' be, partner."
"I was never one for it, personally," Genji shrugged with a tilted head, "It's a good way to get in trouble if you're seeking the wrong thing."
The two men watched as Jack strode around the interrogation table, tying the man down to his chair, tightly, before pulling the manila folder that had been slid into the back waist of his pants, splaying it open before dropping onto the table in from of their prisoner as though to force him to examine the contents in some psychological torment. Leaving the man to the crime scene photos, Jack turned back toward the door, swinging it open and saving his exhausted sigh for after it closed behind him, shaking his head before eyeing Genji.
The cyborg chuckled, "You expected the world in a day? Some gods even take longer."
Jack grunted dismissively before turning to Jesse with a nod, "How's the arm?"
Rolling his eyes beneath Genji's wry grin, Jesse replied heatedly, "Y'know, both 'a you, there's a men underneath this metal thing!"
"We're all old bastards; I figured it'd be in better shape than your ticker. Gotta stay hopeful," Jack managed a smirk.
Jesse answered, "My heart's fine, thanks. My hair is too, you old, silver-haired fart."
Jack's grin remained as he offered a handshake, "Not bad for my first interrogation, huh?"
"From what I saw, anyway," Jesse answered simply, "Best not ta reveal all yer cards the first hand. Their mind is the easiest avenue- you get 'im sweatin', eat at himself from within, that does more than any-"
The cowboy eyed Genji, who snickered while nervously scratching his face, leaving Jesse to bring up the simplest tool he could think of, "More than any bobby pin, anyway."
Their Commander's eyes gradually shrunk as he attempted to understand the complexities of such a tiny instrument when it came to 'interrogation', but quickly shook his mind of the matter, reaching into his pocket to retrieve his phone, "McCree, you gave your deposition. I assume you've been caught up on things here as well?"
Jack's eyes jumped up from his phone to watch Jesse's face, "So you know our enemy?"
The cowboy nodded.
Jesse chewed at his tongue for a moment, managing to calm his reflexive venom at his loyalty being somewhat questioned, and ultimately answered, "None whatsoever."
"Good," Jack acknowledged easily, returning his attention to his phone, "With you back, the recall is complete. I'll be the one coordinating our first course of action with the assistance of Winston and going through Ms. Adawe as far as clearance goes."
Jack's eyes lit up again, "Reinstatement means thin ice. We aren't hunting down another Blackwatch scandal. Nothing, nothing, happens without the chairwoman's approval."
Genji's cybernetic air pulled up into the air as they crossed his chest, his head falling to the side as he asked curiously enough, "Any particular reason you're saying such things to two former Blackwatch members?"
Slowly, Jack's fingers slowed atop his phone, his head rising to meet Genji's inquisitive stare, his voice stern as he clarified, "No clearance, no assignment. Adawe wants every last operative, every last target, every last mission we have account of accounted for."
As if reading between the lines, Jesse's eyes narrowed suspiciously, jumping toward Genji to gauge the cyborg's like reaction, the three men all in understanding regarding their assignment…official or otherwise.
"Now," Jack concluded with a softer air, "Jesse looks like he's just had a shower and he's been here five hours. Not sure why I've gone days without, now. We'll keep an eye out for our suspect here through the feeds; let him stew in his-"
The three men all shared quick glances toward one another before immediately swerving their heads toward the interrogation room, their faces all wide open in horror. Michael's face now had a massive collection of blood pooled at his forehead as he lifted his torso up from being smashed into the table, his eyes inflamed and scorching red as tear-strewn cheeks grew raw. His gritted teeth chattered in terror, as if a lifetime's worth of pain and suffering had collectively enveloped his body.
The operatives watched, unmoving, as though in shock, until Michael suddenly threw his head down
"Fuck!" Jack exclaimed as he dove for the door, Jesse having beat him to it to swing the door open furiously.
The men flooded into the room, Jesse sliding toward the chair and wrapping an arm around Michael's neck as the man shouted out angrily, twisting and turning his head to get away from the frigid metal that now restrained him. Jack grabbed at the man's wrists, his fingernails already malnourished and had now torn as he clawed at the arms of the chair, desperate to yank his way out from his imprisonment.
"Goddamn it!" Jesse shouted, "Get the fuckin'-!"
Genji slammed a syringe into the back of Michael's neck, the vial automatically injecting itself into the man's spinal cord, nearly immediately rendering him weaker as his resistance waned further and further. Jack's heart continued to race a mile a minute as he cautiously released the man's arms, watching Jesse do much the same, allowing their prisoner's head to fall forward as the man slipped into a deep sleep.
His eyes jumping from either of his men, Jack quickly pulled his phone out with a swift shake of his head, "Fuckin' hell- I didn't want- Hey, Z? Get down here to the cell block. Possible concussion. Yeah. I fuckin' told you already, I didn't-!"
Jack left the room with a tense posture, running his hand through his hair to leave Genji and Jesse behind, the two men examining the scene before them, more aghast than anything. Genji bent low to pull the man's face toward him, working a thumb to lift his eyelid for any signs of anything that might explain his suddenly erratic behavior, while Jesse took a step toward the table, reaching his silver hand down to slide the open folder closer.
It was the case file for the Lacroix murder, pictures strewn about from having been dropped there; grisly images of a man, Gerard Lacroix, laying atop his bed, his nude body sprawled about with blood coursing throughout the pictures, the unmistakable sight of a large, bulbed hairpin rising from his lifeless chest. Jesse's eyes twisted angrily upon seeing the file for the first time, quickly falling with curiosity as his hand slid toward the crease in the folder, fingering a silver necklace that had been included with the rest of the evidence, a bloody mark strewn across the pendant.
He mouthed quietly to himself, curiously, "'M'..?"