Part 0

Leaning against a tree with her arms folded, Amari stared out over the cliff side in front of the Overwatch base. It was evening now and the sun was setting behind the hills abroad. She wasn't looking at anything in particular, just out into the distance- deep in thought. This wasn't exactly an uncommon occurrence for the captain. Her home was Overwatch and she knew this to be true. For as long as she could remember being a part of Overwatch was a dream, to follow the footsteps of her mother. Since she was a child, little Fareeha had a strong desire to protect those that couldn't defend themselves. Because of this, she could never leave Overwatch. Fareeha whole-heartedly believed this is where she belongs. But every now and then… her mind couldn't help but wander. Perhaps… there is more out there.

Angela, who just finished her meal now walked out of the base and towards her lab. As she walked down the dirt path Fareeha's shadow caught her eye. She paused her step, tilting her head in question. She had always noticed when the captain dazed off at nothing, always at that same spot of hers too, and for so long it seemed. "What was Fareeha looking at- the environment?" she always wondered, "Well, I guess we are in quite an amazing location to be honest. Though, she doesn't seem the type to be such a nature lover. Or to even take something like beauty into account… then again how would I know!" Well, these thoughts continued to run through Angela's mind. People might believe she were the type to overthink things, or rather, just extremely thoroughly. Her naturally caring characteristic couldn't help- same with her impressively vast curiousness about all things. One thing that was sure, Angela wanted to know more.

The problem is Angela would never approach the captain. Why? Because… well, it's Fareeha Amari. It wasn't that the captain was rude or mean, not at all actually. Amari has always been extremely polite and courteous. The captain never failed to greet the doctor if they happened to be at the same place, on the same mission, or in the same room. But Amari had an intimidating aura about her. Everything about Fareeha exhibited strength and utter independence. Something about her… Angela found unapproachable. Unlike Angela, who seemed to brighten the room with her smile and greetings absolutely everywhere she went; Fareeha on the other hand rarely offered a smile, treating everything around her as if it was a part of her duty.

The doctor bit her lip nervously and clenched her fist with determination, "What am I even afraid of?" she thought to herself. "What could possibly go wrong? She's… just as human as anyone..."Angela gathered her courage and slowly walked up next to the captain, staring off into the distance alongside her, "It's pretty, isn't it? When all is calm like that-" she said softly.

Startled, the captain just barely fidgeted in place. She very much hoped that Angela didn't notice. "Oh, H-hello, Doctor Ziegler."

Angela looked to her and smiled delicately, "Please, just call me Angela. We are partners, no? We've been working together for quite a while now."

Fareeha nodded slowly, it took her a moment to realize what was happening. She hadn't expected anyone to interrupt her thoughts. Besides, no one normally did. "Ah, sure, Miss Angela…" she corrected herself.

The doctor giggled softly, "Always so polite, shall I just call you Captain Amari, then?"

Fareeha's brow rose. Although 'Captain' or simply 'Amari' was what she was usually referred to, for some reason she felt somewhat embarrassed hearing this from Angela at this moment. "Wait, did she say partner? Colleague is more like it…" she thought to herself before speaking up, "Oh, ah, Fareeha is just fine." She nodded at the doctor before turning to look back out towards the hills.

Angela smiled, happy with herself for making some progress. She too looked back out towards the landscape, "Fareeha it is, then." The captain's ears perked at this. Less than a handful of people call Fareeha by her first name, and it's been years since anyone has.

A few minutes passed by, Angela didn't know how to break the silence. And Fareeha simply didn't care too, she easily got lost in her thoughts again. Angela swallowed, gathering a bit more of her courage before speaking up, "You ever wonder what's beyond this?"

"I've already scouted the area," Fareeha replied, just as any skilled soldier would. "On the other side of the hills way over there is a small town. To the right is an open plain. And on the left side is our watch towers, as I'm sure you're aware of," Fareeha stated in a matter-of-fact tone. "They chose a good place for this base, not many citizens around."

Angela laughed a little, shaking her head. "Not beyond here, silly," she replied, "I mean all of this, beyond Overwatch."

This caught Fareeha's attention and she looked over at the doctor who continued to stare off into the beyond. She watched her intently; she could see that Angela's vision went past that of the plains, the towns, and the distant hills. Angela's mind reached somewhere farther, just like hers.

The doctor continued, "It's hard for me to imagine a life outside of Overwatch. This war has been going on for so long… and I've been here about… well I suppose around five years or so before you joined us. But I have faith that one day the war will end… and then what?"

Fareeha continued to watch Angela carefully, silently. She had no idea that Doctor Ziegler had been with Overwatch for so long already. For herself, it had only been a year. The doctor finally looked back at the captain and smiled a bit, "Not much of a talker, are you?"

Amari could only shrug in response. Although thoughts continued to fill her mind, the captain didn't know what to do with them. For her, words do not come out so easily. Angela tilted her head at the captain before speaking up once more, "And what about you? When the war is over… what do you plan to do?"

The captain looked away and she tightened her grip around her folded arms. Angela noticed that Fareeha's already hard expression turned a bit… colder. "I'll go back to Helix Security International, fighting is all I know," she answered. Fareeha's expression somewhat softened as she continued to stare out into the horizon, wondering if that was really what she wanted.

Angela frowned; she didn't like the sound of this at all. Angela Ziegler hated violence with a passion. In fact, she joined Overwatch in order to stop it. "And why did you join Overwatch? Because you like to fight?" she asked with an almost confrontational tone.

"I want to protect those that can't defend themselves. I will protect the innocent." Fareeha said this with utmost confidence, in such a way that Angela truly believed these words with all of her heart. Angela's expression relaxed, she couldn't help but smile at this. 'Protect those that can't defend themselves…' the line echoed in her mind. She intrinsically understood this wish, this desire to help others, this longing to achieve something greater than you are. A newfound adoration for the captain bloomed within her.

"Is… that what they do at Helix?" Angela finally asked.

Fareeha didn't respond. Deep down she knew it wasn't. The captain loved being on the battlefield, it made her feel almost invincible, and better than that- purposeful. And just like her mother she believed in sustaining global peace. Safeguarding AI installation at Helix… wasn't exactly what she had in mind. But what else could she do? "This woman should mind her own business," the captain thought to herself.

The silence caused Angela to bite her lip, she hadn't meant to pry and hoped she hadn't somehow offended Fareeha. The doctor finally spoke up again, "I used to work in medicine you know. I was head of surgery in a hospital back home. But then… my parents were taken in the war…" Fareeha looked back at Angela, as oblivious to emotions as the captain is; even she knew she was being told something… intimate.

The doctor continued, "I just… felt an inherent need to do something more- so I began to research and invent new restorative methods through nanobiology," Angela laughed, "Well, you should know, I patch you up all the time don't I?" Angela smiled at her, "Even if you don't think you need it," she winked.

The captain nodded; she could feel the depths of Angela's desires, for she shared something somewhat similar- a passionate desire of her own. Fareeha's curiosity got the best of her, "Then… you'll continue your research after the war? Or go back to the hospital?"

Angela smiled brightly, both happy and surprised that Fareeha had taken an interest enough to ask, "Well I don't know! It is certainly what I know best. But perhaps, there are more ways than one to protect the innocent, right?"

This thought had never occurred to Fareeha. Being brought up in a militaristic family, she had been raised to believe that the resolution for peace was in fact war. Not even realizing it, Fareeha stared at the doctor with an expression that could only be described as both curious and cautious.

Angela had never seen Fareeha with a face such as this; in fact, she has rarely seen anything outside of the captain's normal confident and collected self. "Hmm, so, I guess she really is only human after all," Angela thought to herself. This fact positively delighted her.

The doctor couldn't help but continue to smile, "Well goodness, I'm sorry, I'm very sure I've talked your ear off by now. I'll let you be. But- it's nice to know there is something softer underneath all that hard armor of yours. This was nice. We should talk more, no?"

Fareeha was speechless; she could only nod slowly. Normally, the captain would have objected to such a comment. The captain soft? Never. "Wait, what did she just… say?" she thought to herself. Once again, Fareeha Amari was caught by surprise by this seemingly intrusive doctor. No one else would ever dare say such a thing to her. Well except for maybe Zaryanova, definitely Zaryanova, but she's a different case entirely.

"Well then, I'm off for now. Until next time Miss Fareeha," Angela said in an innocent yet mocking tone. Angela, truly happy with herself, walked off humming a beautiful yet bittersweet melody, "Beauty intensifies that moment before dawn…" she sang softly.

Fareeha Amari stared after the doctor. "What… what just happened?" she thought to herself. Although sharp on the battlefield she was rather the opposite with socializing. Slowly but surely a new feeling cultivated within her chest- that of interest and admiration. The corner of her mouth lifted into a small but genuine smile as she continued to watch this strange doctor walk towards the Overwatch lab, "Till' next time… Angela," she whispered to herself.