Die, Die, Die

Reaper_portrait.png

The grave cannot hold me.

Don’t worry about me, Jack. I’m gonna live forever, just to annoy you.

He had always been an accomplished liar. Right now, he resented that Morrison wasn’t anywhere nearby to gloat about how he had been wrong. Commander Morrison, as he still styled himself, was likely already dead somewhere beneath the rubble. It wouldn’t be that long, Reyes figured, before he joined his one-time friend. Because he, too, was dying. Of that there could be no doubt at all. All that experimentation with O’Deorain had been for nothing. All that genetic testing, all those injections, blood-tests and seemingly endless sensor scans had been a waste.

As far as he was concerned right now, O’Deorain was a liar, too.

We will find the solution, Gabriel, she had promised him. We’ll get this right. I just need to zero in on the trigger for the re-write of your genetic code. This is new science. We’ll be remembered for it, don’t you worry. Biology’s habits are hard to break. We’re re-creating you on a cellular level. It’s not going to happen overnight.

He was not a patient man.

They’d tried almost everything to get the result he desired. There had been small levels of success: his injuries certainly healed faster than they had done before and there was considerably less pain than usual when he sustained damage. But right now, Gabriel Reyes was most definitely in pain. He was most assuredly dying. And he was angry about it.

Everything hurt. The shrapnel embedded in his lower abdomen was the cause of the blood pooling steadily on the ground beneath him, leaving a slick, scarlet trail as he dragged himself away from the remains of the building. His face was numb; the skin blistered and burned from proximity to the fire. Despite wishing that he could not, he could visualise with glistening clarity just what it must look like; several pounds of raw beef that had been roundly assaulted with a tenderiser.

He pressed at the wounds in his gut. More blood oozed forth and he cursed. He should be healing faster than this, but he suspected the injuries were too extensive. His body could knit torn flesh, repair broken bones – he knew that. He had sat through Moira’s lab tests and endured pain and indignities in the name of science. She had sworn that breaking his bones or slicing open his flesh had brought her no pleasure. He’d long doubted the veracity of that statement.

He dragged himself with great difficulty a little further away from the burning, smoking ruin. The thought entered his mind that the explosion that had rent the building asunder was a very clear metaphor for what had become of Overwatch. Torn apart from within and left broken and bleeding.

Every breath was a struggle now. He felt as though his lungs could no longer bear to take oxygen on board, as though the very air around him was trying to murder him. His anger was the only thing keeping him alive now.

And that rage burned brightly, maintaining his tenuous link to existence. He was nothing short of furious. There was so much still to be done, so much still to achieve. So many questions he could never get answered. One thing stood proud in his thoughts, something that shone like a beacon in the quagmire of rage that was dragging him down.

I hate Overwatch.

It was a glib statement. Three little words that could not even begin to convey the sheer depth of revulsion he felt towards the organisation that had, for so long, been his life. Whatever Overwatch had set out to be, it had become something else. As a result of that, Gabriel Reyes had become someone else. He would not live to see revenge taken out on those who had ruined it all. Because it was not all his fault. It had never been his fault…

Right?

Don’t worry about me, Jack. I’m gonna live forever, just to annoy you.

He offered up a silent prayer to any deity that cared to hear him. Let me survive. Let me survive, and I will make them all pay.

“Reyes!”

The sound of his own name seemed alien to him and he had no strength remaining to lift his head to see who had found him. But as the shadow moved to stand over him, blocking out what little light there was, he could smell her distinctive perfume. A heady, powerful scent that had always called to mind poison flowers and clinical spaces. As he slid from consciousness into a dark abyss of nothing, he became aware of a soft, lilting voice; sensed a pair of long-fingered hands close around his arm.

“Allow me to repair the damage.”

Even as Moira spoke the words, the last rush of air left his lungs. He did not draw another. Death, it transpired, would be the trigger that she had failed to consider. But it was too late for the one-time Blackwatch commander. With that last breath, Gabriel Reyes died.

And Reaper was born.

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2 thoughts on “Die, Die, Die

  1. Richard Lowe says:

    These are fantastic, they really capture the feel of the characters, Blizzard should pay attention. One can but hope there’s an Overwatch novel from you in the future 🙂

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