Guardians Come in All Shapes and Forms

Chap 8

"That's a lot of weapons." Mercy said, shocked. After leaving her office, Mercy decided to show Pyro a few parts of the base before taking it to Winston's office. However, once they arrived and entered the room, Mercy nearly froze in shock at the number of weapons on the table in the center of the room. Mercy knew Pyro had a few weapons, but she didn't expect this amount.

'Each has its niche.' Pyro signed before turning to Winston. 'Are you done?'

"Yes. All your weapons are clean. But there is something that Athena found that, hopefully, you can explain." Winston answered while looking over his clipboard.

'What is it?'

'While scanning your weapons, Pyro, I was unable to make heads or tails of two of your weapons.' Athena answered.

'Which ones?'

'The first one is the flamethrower that has an under-barrel fuel canister. The second one has a tube above the handle.'

'The Phlogistinator and Manmelter.' Pyro sighed, confusing everyone.

"The what? I'm sorry. I don't know what you signed." Winston said.

"Here, Pyro. Perhaps you can write it out." Mercy said, handing the arsonist a paper and pen.

"Finks." Pyro said before writing out the names of his weapons.

"The Phlogistinator and Manmelter? What odd names." Winston said, reading the names out loud.

'I didn't name them.'

"Then who did?" Mercy asked, curious.

'And how did you make them as I can't identify half of their components?' Athena added.

'I didn't make them.'

"Then when and how did you acquire them?" Winston asked.

'My co-worker and I were spending the holiday together when a ship came crashing into his house. And inside it was the weapons along with a note attached. Apparently, creatures in another dimension thought we sent out a plea for help and sent the weapons to help out. And before you ask, we never heard from them again.'

"Typically, I'm not one that believes in extraterrestrials. But considering the unknown elements we found in the weapons, there is a high chance that is the case. Anyways, you can take them as we detected nothing harmful in them." Winston said.

'Thanks.' Pyro signed before storing his weapons.

"I trust everything went well with the examination." Winston said, turning to Mercy.

"Yes, everything went well."

"Good. Now, tell me again where Pyro lives so I can send the coordinates to Tracer, and we can have her drop Pyro off at its home."

"Actually, Winston. Something came up, and I'm afraid that's no longer possible." Mercy said, surprising Winston.

"Why's that?"

"It's best if we have all of the senior members in one room, so we don't have to repeat ourselves."

"Alright. I'll contact the others, and we can meet in-"

"Winston. I think it would be best if we use the War Room." Mercy interjected, significantly unsettling Winston.

The last time any Overwatch member used the War Room was during the early days of the Omnic Wars. Since then, it has been gathering dust as there was no need for it. Soldier 76 and Reaper even contemplated renovating it for something more practical, like a pantry or storage room. But to hear from Mercy that the senior Overwatch members would need to use it again sent a chill down Winston's spine. And he didn't need someone to tell him that it related to Pyro. When Winston first laid eyes on the arsonist, he knew something was off about it.

"Okay. I'll alert the others and tell them we're meeting in the War Room. But it will take Athena about thirty minutes to set up everything."

"Thanks, Winston. Come, Pyro." Mercy said before motioning Pyro to follow her out of the room.

'So, what now?' Pyro signed, curious.

"Well, we have a half hour before the War Room is ready. How about we grab something to eat at the cafeteria?"

'Okay.'

Five Minutes Later

"So, this is the arsonist that set ablaze Sombra and saved Mercy." Zarya said, curious as Pyro and Mercy sat at one of the tables in the corner of the cafeteria.

"Yes. This is Pyro. It saved me after the plane crashed." Mercy answered before taking a bite out of her avocado and egg sandwich.

"Is that really your name?" Symmetra asked.

'No. It's a code name my employers gave me. And I have used it ever since. I don't remember my real name since it's been so long since I last used it.' Pyro signed before taking the straw and using it for drinking his soup. It was a puree form of chili con carne. While it wasn't Pyro's favorite food, it always helped the arsonist unwind from a tedious or difficult day. But it also reminded it of the Engineer. Pyro wondered how the Engineer was doing and if he was also looking for a way to get the arsonist back home.

"Either way, thank you for saving Mercy."

'You're welcome.'

"Is it even comfortable to eat like that?" Zarya asked. "With your mask on, I mean."

'At first, no. But I got used to it. Now let me eat in peace.' Pyro answered.

"You can take it off if you want. No one is going to judge you. After all, judging someone is wrong." Orisa said, walking up to them. Despite not needing to eat because she was an omnic, she always liked being near the others. Although, Pyro did wonder why the machine sounded like a young girl.

'If it's all the same with you, I'll keep it on.' Pyro signed, getting annoyed. All it wanted was to finish its food and get the meeting underway. The quicker they find a way to send it home, the better.

"Come on. Take off the mask. Are you afraid?" asked, smirking as she sat down next to it. But she did move to the side when the scent of gasoline assaulted her senses.

'No. Leave me alone.' Pyro signed before turning to look away from them.

"I really should download that program so I can learn sign language." said. "But come on. Are you scared?"

"Hana. Please leave Pyro alone." Mercy chided.

"Yeah, Chica. Unless you want to get burned. Besides, you don't have your precious mech to protect you." Sombra added from about ten feet away from the table.

'Is she always like this?' Pyro signed to Mercy.

"Unfortunately. Hana is a great mech pilot but still doesn't understand personal boundaries and privacy." Mercy answered.

"HEY!" shouted with a pout.

"Angela has a point, Hana. You hate it when any of us even ask something of you that's even the slightest bit personal. Yet, you won't stop until you get what you want, even if it's something very personal to someone else." Ana said, causing to cross her arms. Ignoring her, Ana turned back to Mercy. "Is everything alright?"

"Yes. Everything is alright. Just a small complication arose with my machines. Hopefully, we can patch it soon." Mercy said, catching the hidden message.

"What complication? Perhaps I could help?" Symmetra asked, with Zarya looking on in curiosity as well.

"Oh. For some reason, one of my machines uncalibrated itself while I was checking Pyro."

"Isn't that normal? I mean, I don't work with those machines, but I do remember my doctors sometimes grumbling about that." asked.

"Yes, that does happen. But it has never happened to this extent before. Every time I recalibrate it, it uncalibrated itself a second later. What normally would have taken only a few seconds now lasted about five minutes." Mercy explained.

"Sounds like you might need to do a complete check on the thing." Torbjorn said, walking up to them.

"But if that doesn't work, send me some information on the machine, and I'll make you a new one from Hardlight." Symmetra offered.

"Danke." Mercy said, smiling despite feeling bad internally at having to lie to her co-workers. Well, at least to Symmetra, Torbjorn, and Zarya, as they often tried to protect her while on a mission.

"Speaking of checking things, I would like to see your savior's weapons." Torbjorn said, causing Pyro to groan.

"You can see them another-" Mercy began but stopped when Pyro pulled out its Third Degree Ax and Degreaser flamethrower. "Or now. But please, be careful."

"Hmm. Crude but well built. And worn. I take it you made them yourself." Torbjorn asked.

"Uh-huh." Pyro answered.

"It seems like they have been through many battles." Zarya commented.

'More than you would know. Stranger too.' Pyro signed.

"And scarring as well. I can't imagine having to deal with the smell of gasoline and burning people daily. I guess that's why you wear the mask."

'At first. But there is another reason why I keep the mask. And I will not disclose it.'

"What did Pyro say?" asked.

"Pyro said that is part of the reason why it keeps the mask, but there is another reason, and it won't disclose it." Mercy answered.

"What is it?" asked, curious. Annoyed, Pyro responded by using the compression blast on the Degreaser to blast away. The resulting crash caught everyone's attention, yet no one moved a muscle. "HEY!"

"I warned you. Pyro obviously doesn't like talking about its mask." Ana chided.

'She reminds me of one of my co-workers.' Pyro signed.

"Which one? The one that you moved in with?" Mercy asked.

'No. Another one. I think he's about a few years older than her. But he was just as annoying, if not more. I had to shut him up a few times by burning his ass.' Pyro answered, remembering the times Scout annoyed the entire team. Thankfully, he became more tolerable a few years into their employment under Redmond Man.

"Did he ever become more tolerable?"

'Yes. But not by much. It took a life-changing event for him to change. We even came up with a nickname for him.'

"What was it?"

'S-C-U-N-T.'

"That bad, huh?"

"Uh-huh."

"Well, hopefully, he changes, and this behavior from also changes." Mercy said.

'I doubt it.' Pyro signed before putting its weapons away.

"What was that? What did you do that caused Hana to be sent flying away?" Zarya asked.

'I call it an air blast. Basically, I press a button, and the flamethrower lets out a burst of air. Useful for putting out burning people, shoving people away, like the little gremlin, or reflecting projectiles.'

"Relfect projectiles? Like Genji?"

'Not sure. I didn't know he could also reflect. And I'm not sure who that is.'

"Genji is the cyborg ninja. He's the one with the sword on his back and generally hangs around Zenyatta, the Shambali monk." Mercy explained.

'The floating one, right?'

"Yes, that's Zenyatta." Zarya answered.

'So Genji can reflect, neat.' Pyro signed, not really caring.

*Ding*

"Okay. It's ready. Come, Pyro." Mercy said, taking out her phone and seeing that Athena had sent her and the senior Overwatch members the message.

'Alright.' Pyro signed before getting up.

"Where's everyone going?" Tracer asked, blinking to them when she noticed some of the Overwatch members leaving the room.

"Pyro and I are going around the base. It asked me to show it around the base." Mercy lied.

"What about you two?" asked Soldier 76 and Reaper.

"We're heading to Winston's office to discuss a few things." Soldier 76 answered.

"And don't even think about trying to follow us. If we catch you, I'll let our guest deal with you." Reaper warned. And even though he didn't say it out loud, Sombra knew Reaper was talking directly to her.

"I wonder where they are going." said.

"I don't know. But I'm not going after them. I don't want that thing to set me ablaze again." Sombra said before heading toward her room.

"She might be out, but I'm not. I'm going to find out what's going on. Anyone cares to join me?" asked.

"Count me in." Tracer answered.

"And me." Lucio added.

"Mind if I tag along." Junkrat asked.

"Sure. Just be sure to be quiet." answered.

"You bet. I'll be quiet like a mouse."

"Alright. Let's go before we lose them." said before the three of them ran after the others.

"This isn't going to end well for them, is it?" Brigitte asked.

"No. It will not." Widowmaker answered with a sigh.

"I think it would be for the best if one of us gets Baptiste and asks if he has that burn medication ready. I might not know anything about our guest, but I can tell it's not very patient. And certainly pissed it off already. And if they get caught, well, let's just hope the extent of the damage will be third-degree burns." Cassidy said.

"Right, I'll go get him." Widowmaker said, not believing this was happening.

"Mind if I join you? I have a few questions for Baptiste." Symmetra asked.

"Sure."

"Should we inform Mei of this? She could use her invention to extinguish any fires Pyro causes." Pharah asked.

"I could send her a message. But we cannot rely on her now. She is busy helping a few ecological teams to reestablish the Eco Point base in Antarctica." Zarya answered before taking out her phone to send a message to Mei.

"In that case, I think it's best if we gather all fire extinguishers in the base." Hanzo said, with everyone else agreeing. They then got up and went all over the base, getting anything they thought could help in case a fire broke out.

War Room

"So, what did you call this meeting for, Angela?" Torbjorn asked, jumping to sit in his chair.

"Is it about Pyro?" Reinhardt asked, curious. While he wouldn't admit it out loud, he felt there was something strange and off about the arsonist. Something just told him that Pyro was out of place in a sense.

"Yes." Mercy answered.

"What about Pyro?" Soldier 76 asked, gripping his pulse rifle.

"Is it related to how it said getting home would be complicated?" Reaper asked.

"Yes. While Pyro and I were walking through the Australian forests, we talked a bit to help pass the time. But as we did, I noticed a few things that did not seem right." Mercy began.

"Like what?" Ana asked.

"Well, for starters, Pyro was unsure if we were in Australia or what the year was. For a moment, I thought it had suffered a concussion that caused Pyro to forget a few things. But I started to doubt after Pyro became confused at things that would be common knowledge."

"But that wouldn't necessarily mean something is wrong or be reason enough to call this meeting. It could still have been the concussion." Winston said.

"I thought so too, that is, until I checked Pyro with one of my machines. Pyro sustained no concussion or head trauma. So it could not have forgotten those things. But what really made it clear that something was not right was how quickly Pyro answered some of my questions." Mercy said.

"How so?" Soldier 76 asked.

"The answers Pyro gave showed that it had prepared them in case someone asked about that topic. It was as if Pyro wanted to hide something. I was curious at first about what it was until Pyro told me about it in my office."

"What are you getting at, Angela?" Torbjorn asked.

"Pyro is not from here. And when I say that, I don't mean it is from another state or country. No. Pyro, by its own admission, is from another universe." Mercy answered, surprising the others.

"That is certainly a claim I was not expecting." Ana said, still trying to process it.

While the Senior Overwatch members had seen their fair share of outlandish and strange things or events, this easily topped everything else. And while the technology in their universe, specifically transportation, has certainly made leaps and bounds in advancements, they were still in the infancy of teleportation. The only fully functioning ones that were also devoid of problems were the teleporters that Symmetra could create. But even those had limits to their range. However, the Overwatch members knew it would be foolish to dismiss this as a possibility. While they might not be able to teleport anywhere they please, the inhabitants of another universe might have that ability. And perhaps an incident caused Pyro to be sent to their universe. But they would need proof before coming to any sort of conclusion or whether or not to believe Pyro.

"Do you have any proof? It's not like we distrust you, but it is a big claim." Reinhardt asked.

'It's fine. As you said, it is a big claim. But I have proof.' Pyro signed before reaching into his back.

"Have any idea what Pyro might pull out?" Torbjorn whispered to Reinhardt, curious.

"No clue." He answered.

"Murr hurr mphuphurrur, hurr mph phrr." Pyro said, startling the two. And even though they didn't understand it, they knew Pyro said it had heard them. But they could not dwell on it too much as Pyro pulled out a newspaper, a tube containing a small yellow rock, a film reel, and a film reel player. 'Alright. Just need to set this up.'

"Actually, Athena can transform that into digital media. It would be easier for everyone." Winston said, going up to them.

'Digital? Um. Okay.' Pyro signed before handing the film reel to Winston.

"Thanks. This will only take a moment." Winston said before exiting the room.

"In the meantime, you can tell us about the newspaper and the rock in the tube." Ana said.

'Alright. The paper first.' Pyro signed before handing it to Reinhardt.

"Thanks." He said before looking it over and passing it to Torbjorn a second later.

"Poopy Joe?" Ana asked in disbelief once she received the paper and looked it over.

'Yeah. My world is kind of dumb in a lot of ways. And that's putting it lightly. And before you ask, I don't know why they named it that.'

"This is certainly a strange event and decision, putting it lightly. But it doesn't seem like made up. It appears authentic." Reaper said, taking the paper and looking it over.

"Although I am curious as to why Florida is up for grabs and why the paper is advertising a rocket launcher to kill Fred Astaire, an actor that died in 1987." Soldier 76.

'He's still alive where I'm from and how fame, and practically everything, works differently there.'

"That was intriguing, to say the least. But I'm more curious about the rock in the tube." Ana said, not sure what to make of it so far.

"Wait for me." Winston said, entering the room.

'Where's the reel?' Pyro signed while it stored the paper.

"It's in my office. Don't worry. I'll give it back once the meeting is over."

'Alright.'

"So, what did I miss?"

"A rather interesting paper." Soldier 76 answered before handing Winston the paper. And like the others, he became shocked at what he read. Winston tried to find fault with it but couldn't. Although, he did feel sorry for the monkey that died in the explosion.

"I don't think interesting is the right word or the one I would use." Winston said, giving the paper back to Pyro. "Now, what will you show us."

'Something very dangerous.' Pyro signed before grabbing the tube.

"What is that?" Torbjorn asked.

"I want to say a rare gold rock, but something is telling me otherwise." Reinhardt said.

"Is that Australium?" Mercy asked.

"Uh-huh." Pyro answered.

"What exactly is Australium?" Soldier 76 asked, curious.

'You ever seen a movie where something gives someone powers.'

"Yes." Reaper answered.

"We all have at one point." Reinhardt added.

'Australium, in a sense, is similar to that. After being around it for a while, it will grant you increased strength, intelligence, and virility, among a handful of other... strange qualities.'

"What kind of strange qualities, Pyro?" Mercy asked, curious, while grabbing a notepad and pen.

'Um. Increase in muscle mass, love of fighting, heavy drinking, as well as increased growth of facial hair, even in women.'

"Um. I was not expecting that." Mercy said, setting down the notepad.

'No one ever does. But Australium has many other useful traits. One is that it can power anything for years. The only limit to that is how much Australium you have and what you want it to power. '

"Will you allow Athena to scan this Australium?" Winston asked.

'Sure. Just tell me where to put it.'

'You don't need to put it anywhere, Pyro. I can scan it from where it currently is.' Athena said. It was then that Pyro noticed it had already placed the tube on a scanner.

"Can you tell us anything about it?" Reaper asked.

'From my preliminary scans, not much. All I could learn from this sample is that it shares a similar electron configuration to gold. The only difference is that there is a kangaroo with boxing gloves in the center of the electrons. However, when I scanned it again using a different method, I detected several unknown properties. I require more time to analyze them better. But what Pyro said about useful traits is correct. This single piece of Australium can power this base for the next year on its own.'

"That only makes Pyro's story more believable. From what I know, there are no substances that small in existence, at least here, that can power this base on their own for a year." Soldier 76 said.

"But I think what will ultimately decide on whether or not we believe Pyro all depends on what was on the film." Ana said, with the others agreeing.

'All right. So, how do I play the film?' Pyro asked.

"Athena will play it. Give her a moment." Winston said, with the lights going out right after. Then the screen behind Mercy and Pyro turned on, with the RED Team's symbol appearing a second later.

"Come, Pyro." Mercy said, sitting at one of the free seats. Nodding, Pyro moved to sit next to her. But as the footage began to play, Pyro wondered what the Engineer was doing at the moment.

Bee Cave, Texas, U.S.A.

TF2 Universe

"DAMN IT!" The Engineer shouted as he walked into his workshop. Walking over to the fridge in the corner, he opened it and grabbed one of his favorite sarsaparilla drinks. Typically, he would grab one of the stronger drinks he keeps there after a long or tedious day. However, he could not afford to become even slightly intoxicated now.

Initially, after Pyro had mysteriously disappeared, Engineer only felt slightly frustrated but wasn't worried. He had figured that the teleporter had sent Pyro to one of the locations they don't frequently visit. Plus, while it might seem apparent initially, Pyro knew how to take care of itself and had excellent navigation skills. With that in mind, the Engineer went about making some Pecan Pie and some 5-alarm chili, which was Pyro's favorite food. But instead of using the traditional peppers that the recipe calls for, Engineer would use some Carolina Reaper, Trinidad Moruga Scorpion, 7 Pot Douglah, 7 Pot Primo, and Trinidad Scorpion "Butch T" peppers as he knew Pyro loved hot foods. And a dish like this would certainly make a weary Pyro feel better once it returned.

However, Engineer soon became worried. The farthest teleport he has active was only about ten miles away. And since Pyro had its thermal thrusters, it should have been able to make it home after about twenty minutes. But soon, minutes turned into hours, and hours turned into days. Now worried for his best friend, Engineer sets out to find Pyro. Unfortunately, after checking all the locations where he set up teleports, he found no trace or evidence of Pyro.

Undeterred, Engineer contacted some of his college acquaintances he met before joining RED Team. He even checked through every news report he could get his hands on yet still came up with nothing. Now, every chance Engineer would get, he would go around all of Texas to try and find something that could tell him where Pyro was. He was also planning on reactivating some of his other teleporters to expand his search all over America. But problems quickly arose that put a stop to it, which was what caused the Engineer to storm into his workshop.

"Where are you, Pyro?" Engineer asked as he set up his Rancho Relxao to rest a bit. However, as soon as he sat down, the doorbell went off. "AH! GOOD NIGHT IRENE! COMING!"

Getting up, Engineer waited for his invention to revert to a toolbox before putting it under his desk. He then grabbed his Frontier Justice Shotgun, pistol, and wrench from his closet. While there was little chance of the person who rang the doorbell being hostile, it was better to be safe than sorry. Plus, after years of working for RED Team, the Engineer gained some habits like always taking his weapons everywhere. Once he was ready, Engineer went to the front door and opened it.

"Yes?" Engineer asked, slightly annoyed. However, he became surprised by who was standing in front of his house. Or rather, the people wearing RED Team uniforms.

"Greetings, laborer." Spy said, smiling while the rest of the Mercs also smiled.