Overwatch Spanking Chronicles
By Lonewolf86 (AOTK)
Chapter 10: Defection
“Are you all right Ana?” Angela asked in a concerned manner after noticing Ana looked upset.
“I pushed Fareeha too hard and I'm afraid I got her into serious trouble with Rayna.” Ana admitted. “I don't know what to do. I think I may have ruined Fareeha and Rayna’s relationship. I forced Fareeha into saying some things that should have been kept private between them until a later date.” Ana’s voice wavered, “Fareeha refuses to speak with me now.”
“What did you get her to say?” Angela asked, not really surprised to the outcome of Ana’s ‘chat’ with her daughter. She knew that Ana pushed Fareeha but she didn’t think she would push her so far.
“She was hiding the fates of her comrades from Rayna and she became extremely upset.” Ana paused briefly before continuing. “Rayna broke down and had us leave.”
“It’s understandable why she would react in such a way.” Angela replied. “Why didn’t you just wait until she was ready to talk. She would have opened up with you once she was ready?”
“I was just trying to help!” Ana became defensive. “I came for your advice not to be lectured.”
“Fine, given how tensions are so high right now between them, my advice would be to give them their space and be patient. Let her approach you when she is ready.” Angela’s tone became serious. “I know it’s going to difficult for you but you need to be patient with her.”
“I'm sure those two will be able to work things out.” Angela consoled Ana, but it didn't seem to uplift her spirits at all.
“I hope you are right, if they break up, it would be my fault. Fareeha would end up hating me.” Ana sighed heavily as Lena approached them. “It breaks my heart seeing Fareeha this way. I don’t know how patient I can be.”
“Just try your best.” Angela’s expression softened, “Fareeha will come around eventually.”
Lena stopped an arm's length away from Ana and Angela, “Hey, where did Fareeha run off to?”
“She went for a walk to clear her mind.” Ana replied quietly.
“Which way was she headed?” Lena asked.
“She was heading West last I saw. She was walking pretty fast, you'll have to move quickly to catch up to her.” Ana responded, she was hoping that Lena would have better luck talking with Fareeha than she did.
“Cheers!” Lena replied as she dashed off to catch up with Fareeha. Catching up with anyone had never been a problem for her.
Lena exited the hospital and headed West as instructed. She didn’t see anyone nearby so she began running. After running for about ten blocks, Lena spotted Fareeha walking just ahead.
“Hey! Fareeha, wait up!” Lena shouted as she continued her rapid pace to catch up to Fareeha a few seconds later. “Where are you going?”
“Nowhere really.” Fareeha sighed deeply. “Just trying to clear my head.”
“Do you want to talk about what's bothering you?” Lena asked, worried about her friend.
“No thanks, I don't feel like talking right now.” Fareeha replied in a dejected tone.
“Can I keep you company at least?” Lena asked, hopeful that Fareeha would at least agree to that.
“Fine, but I likely won't be very good company.” Fareeha responded.
* * *
“Angela, I think it's time to talk about Amelie Lacroix. How could that woman be exonerated of her crimes?” Ana's tone shifted from upset to angry in no time at all.
“That is a long story Ana. And if you want the whole story, you are going to have to talk to Isabel about it. I can only fill you in on a small part of her story.” Angela could tell by Ana's frown that she was frustrated about Amelie and rightfully so.
“Who is Isabel?” Ana asked with a hint of annoyance in her voice.
“She's a cyber-analyst. She has proven herself to be reliable. It was her plan that allowed us to rescue Fareeha and Rayna. She was the one waiting with Fareeha outside when you landed.” Angela explained while leaving out the part that she too was once a Talon operative.
“She's a hacker then. Don't sugar coat this for me Angela. She was a part of Talon too wasn't she?” Ana's temper was flaring.
“Sorry Ana, but yes, she was part of Talon before she defected.” Angela felt a bit sheepish after being called out on leaving out rather important details about Isabel.
“She likely belongs in a prison cell too then.” Ana began to think about all the crimes that Isabel would have committed while working for Talon.
“You are probably right, but Overwatch needs all the allies we can get when fighting Talon. Sometimes concessions have to be made for the greater good. Isabel has a lot of useful intel and abilities that we can put to use.” Angela defended Isabel.
“Can she be trusted?” Ana asked straight faced.
Angela hesitated. “Yes, she has proven that she can be trusted. But she still has her secrets, as do the rest of us.”
Ana stood in silent contemplation. How she kept herself hidden away for so long before being rediscovered by Jack came to mind.
“Okay. Can you arrange a meeting with Isabel for me then?” Ana asked calmly.
“I'm sure I can do that.” Angela smiled. “I'll go track her down and see what she says.”
“Thank you.” Ana replied before Angela nodded and began her search for Isabel.
Angela walked to the nurse's station and asked if anyone had seen Isabel. One of the nurses pointed down the hall and quickly resumed her work at her terminal. Angela thanked her before proceeding down the hall to a fairly quiet area of the hospital. She found Amelie and Isabel on a couch in a common area. Amelie was laying across the couch with her head on Isabel's lap. Amelie was fast asleep while Isabel gently stroked Amelie's long black hair. Isabel noticed Angela approach and put her right index finger to her lips. Angela nodded as she neared the two and knelt down beside Isabel.
“Hey Isabel.” Angela whispered quietly.
“Hola.” Isabel replied softly.
“Could you talk to Ana about something please?” Angela pointed a couple times down at Amelie.
“I assume she wants to know why she doesn't get to parade her around in shackles?” Isabel smirked. Amelie had told Isabel of how Ana had treated her back in Cairo.
“That would be the gist of it.” Angela sighed. “Do it as a favor for me if you must.”
“Okay deal, just remember, I'll cash in on the favor one day.” Isabel yawned sleepily. “Tell her to meet me in the cafeteria in a couple hours. I'm going to have a bit of a siesta with Amelie first.”
“Thank you, Isabel.” Angela smiled as she stood back up and left the two in peace. Angela knew that whatever favor Isabel asked in return most likely wouldn't be a fair trade but it was going to be the only way she could convince Isabel to speak with Ana. Angela returned to Ana a few minutes later and notified her that Isabel had agreed to speak with her.
* * *
Ana felt a knot in her stomach, she knew this wasn't going to be a meeting she was going to enjoy. She sat in the back corner of the cafeteria facing the entrance. The cafeteria only had a small fraction of its tables occupied, and those that were, had nurses or some of the patients sitting at them. She sipped her tea anxiously waiting for Isabel to come meet her. She let out a deep sigh as she glanced around the room, still no Isabel. She had been waiting for about forty five minutes but it felt more like hours. Ana was about to stand up and leave as Isabel entered the room. She made her way over to one of the employees and ordered a coffee before casually making her way over to Ana and took a seat across from her.
“You're late.” Ana was irritated with being kept waiting.
“No, I'm Isabel.” Isabel smiled just before she took a sip of her coffee.
“Great, a smart ass.” Ana sighed and shook her head, she could already feel that her conversation with Isabel was going to be an ordeal. “I know how to make an ass smart.”
“I'm sure Fareeha was one of those on a few occasions.” Isabel smirked.
“She was. But there might be another one soon enough.” Ana's not so subtle threat didn't evade Isabel. “Angela told me to talk to you about Amelie Lacroix.”
“What do you want to know specifically?” Isabel asked as she leaned in. “The news had pretty extensive coverage of her trial you know. I'm not sure why you want to talk to me about something that was covered in great detail by the news. Everything that went on in the courtroom is on the public record.”
“I went through the public record and there are some details that were left out that a former Talon agent can fill in.” Ana took a sip of her tea and placed the cup back down on the table. “What was your role in helping Amelie escape Talon?”
“It's a long story, think you can stay awake for it abuela?” Isabel mocked Ana as she leaned back in her chair.
Ana's hands disappeared below the table and she looked like she was fidgeting for a moment. Then Ana removed her thick leather belt and placed it on the table.
“Do you want to find out how spry an old lady like me can be?” Ana was not going to play games with Isabel and taking the belt off was her final warning.
“No, I think I'll pass.” Isabel stared at the belt and thought of the damage it would do to her bottom.
“Hmmm.” Isabel thought of how she should recount her past with Amelie. “I guess my involvement with her began the day Talon operatives kidnapped her and brought her in for reconditioning. I was told they ambushed her when she was out jogging her usual route. Her bodyguards were 'neutralized' before they had a chance to act and she was unconscious when they brought her in. She was strapped into a chair with a neural helmet secured to her head and she was about to be forced to watch a reprogramming video. She looked so scared but she remained defiant. Tears streaked down her face as she shouted that Gerard would come and save her and they would regret kidnapping her. This was the first time in a long time that I began to question what I was doing. I grew up in Mexico, life wasn't easy. There were murders and kidnappings all the time there but now I was working for the ones committing these horrible crimes. I … I even helped orchestrate some of them.”
“Are you are saying you were having a change of heart?” Ana asked, eagerly awaiting Isabel's reply.
“Si. I knew I had to find a way to help her.” Isabel nodded before continuing her story. “I wasn't able to help her escape her current situation but I thought of a way that could help her eventually. I hacked the reconditioning program and made some alterations to it. I had to be extremely cautious changing the code but I managed to include additional subliminal messages to her video and tell her I was a friend and going to help her escape. My changes to her reprogramming were discreet and undetectable but sadly, I wasn't able to stop her from being reprogrammed completely. If the changes would have been discovered I would likely have been executed.”
“Couldn't you have done more?” Ana wondered how effective Isabel's modifications were to the neural reconditioning. “You still allowed her to be turned into a sleeper agent.”
“I tried!” Isabel raised her voice before lowering it again. “I tried. The reconditioning program is quite complex and I could only modify certain portions of it without being noticed. Like I said, I would've been killed for that if they found out about it. Talon doesn't tolerate deserters and will hunt them down with extreme prejudice.”
“How long after her reprogramming was she released?” Ana asked as she took another sip of her tea.
“About two weeks. Then after two weeks she took her husbands life.” Isabel replied flatly.
“Couldn't you have warned Gerard about Amelie?” Ana questioned Isabel.
“I did but he ignored my warning. I wasn't the only one that warned him about her. Dr. Ziegler even warned him about her being released from observation so soon but he wanted his wife to be happy again so he took her home early. I did manage to send him a warning about her and even gave him a disengage code that he had to say to her to get her to pass out if she tried anything. Turns out he was unable to say it as Amelie smothered him in his sleep.”
“What's her deactivation code?” Ana asked thinking it was possible to use against her in case of emergency. “And does it still work?”
“You must be loco to think I'd tell you that!” Isabel shook her head angrily at Ana for attempting to get such information from her.
“I'm sorry, I thought that it could save someone's life if she somehow was reactivated again. I know you want to protect her.” Ana paused for a moment. “Sometimes we do questionable things to protect the ones we love.”
“It's not something I am going to share with you, so I suggest you stop trying for it.” Isabel glanced over to the leather belt on the table. “Not even if you use that on me.”
“I believe you.” Ana could see a fiery passion in Isabel's eyes. She knew Isabel wouldn't budge on the subject. Ana could see that Isabel was ready to end their conversation. “I'm sorry, I won't pursue her deactivation phrase anymore.”
Isabel sighed and relaxed slightly as she took a sip of her now lukewarm coffee.
“What happened to Amelie after she returned to Talon?” Ana asked as leaned back in her chair.
“Her training began.” Isabel sighed, this was part of the story that she disliked the most. “They destroyed the most beautiful woman and turned her into 'Widowmaker'.”
“How did they turn her into 'Widowmaker'?” Ana inquired, she was quite interested in what Isabel had to say.
“First they finished her behavioral modification. They turned her into a more moldable recruit. Then they taught her hand to hand combat. They showed her the basics before throwing her to the wolves. She would spar against other Talon recruits until one was left standing. She didn't stand much of a chance during many of her matches and she would often be carted off to the infirmary as she had no previous combat experience. Some of the recruits would taunt her and let her hit them a few times before they had enough and sent her to the infirmary again. She was never suited for close quarters combat and the other recruits were quick to let her know. She stayed in the infirmary for a long time after one of her lost bouts. Many of the recruits thought that she had been killed in her match but they were wrong. Well, maybe not entirely, Amelie Lacroix died that day.”
“What do you mean? What happened to her?” Ana asked, she was hanging off every word Isabel spoke.
“Dr. Moira O'Deorain sank her claws into her. She began subjecting Amelie to her experiments.” Isabel's tone was that of disdain for the doctor. She hated her and what she had done to Amelie and some of the other members of Talon.
“What did Dr. O'Deorain do to Amelie exactly?” Ana was quite curious as to what the experiments she performed on Amelie.
“She did something to her that slowed her heart rate down significantly. I watched in horror as she gave various injections to Amelie and watched her writhe in pain. Dr. O'Deorain had a sadistic smirk on the whole time she performed her sick tests on Amelie. After a few months of her experiments, Amelie was starting to turn a light shade of blue.” Talking about what Moira had done to Amelie was starting to aggravate Isabel as tears started to form in the corners of her eyes. “I wanted to stop her somehow!”
“I don't think you could have stopped her experiments even if you wanted to. You would have likely compromised yourself if you did. Then neither of you would have been able to escape. As painful as it was to watch her suffer, you did the right thing.” Ana's tone seemed to relax Isabel. She needed to hear that she couldn't have helped Amelie from someone.
Isabel wiped away the tears forming in her eyes, “I'll make her pay for what she's done.”
“Do you know how the injections worked on Amelie?” Ana inquired after Isabel regained her composure.
“I don't understand the science behind the experiments, that's something you'll have to ask Angela about. I sent all the data from Moira's computers to her to decipher.”
“Okay, I will. Who trained Amelie how to shoot?” Ana asked, whomever her instructor was, they must have been quite a good shot.
“Gabe.” Isabel replied quickly.
Ana thought for a second before realizing who Isabel meant. “Gabriel Reyes?” Ana didn't think he would be the type to teach how to become a sniper since he wasn't known for patience and preferred a more up close and personal combat style, but he was skilled with a rifle.
“Si. He taught her how to shoot various firearms before advancing her to the sniper rifle. When she wasn't on the table under Dr. O'Deorain's gaze, she was honing her shooting skills. She was a good shot but Gabe's superiors weren't satisfied with a good sniper, they wanted perfection. Gabe was forced to implement a more strict training regimen for her. It was brutal but effective. For each missed shot, he would give her a stroke of the cane after their shooting session was over.” Isabel paused for a moment to remember Amelie's first intense training session with Gabriel.
* * *
It was late in the afternoon and the Sun was starting to disappear behind the treeline before them. There was a small moving target about six inches in diameter darting from left to right and back again about five hundred meters ahead of them. Amelie had hit the target multiple times throughout her course of fire but the twilight was making it difficult for Amelie to focus on the target and fatigue was setting in.
“Amelie! Are you even trying anymore?!” Gabriel scoffed at Amelie's recent missed shots. “Need I remind you what awaits you after we are done here?”
“I'm sorry, Sir!” Amelie responded quickly, her shoulder ached from the repeated impacts from the recoil of the rifle. Amelie winced from the pain in her shoulder before she prepared herself for her next shot. She lead the target and squeezed the trigger. The bullet struck the target on its outer edge. Luckily for Amelie, it was a hit, but just barely. Any further to the right, it would have grazed the target and been considered a miss. She let out a sigh of relief, she was finally out of her allotted ammunition for the day and it felt good to go out on a hit even though she had missed a rather substantial number of her shots prior.
Gabriel shook his head in disappointment, she should have been able to hit the target's bull's eye without any issue. “Go clean your weapon and get yourself cleaned up before reporting in to the punishment room. You have one hour, now get out of my sight.”
Amelie quickly went to the weapon cleaning station and tore down her rifle and began cleaning it. There was quite a bit of carbon build up and gun powder residue from the thousand rounds that she had fired today. Her shoulder ached as she shoved the cleaning rod down the barrel and she grimaced from the pain. She continued to clean the rifle until not a trace of the residue could be found in the barrel or its mechanisms. Amelie reassembled the rifle and finished wiping it down in some light gun oil before returning it to the weapons master.
She returned to her quarters and stripped down before she jumped into the shower. The hot water washed away the day's mud and grime from her slender form. She could see a newly formed bruise on her right shoulder and she lightly ran her fingers over it. The water massaged her back and she briefly lost track of time but quickly snapped out of it. She couldn't afford to be late. She toweled off and made her way over to the dresser where she noticed an envelope atop it. She opened it inquisitively and a small device about the size of a grain of rice was attached to a note.
“Put this device into your ear, it will allow me to talk to you undetected. I have eyes and ears everywhere and will know if you have done so.” The note was signed with a purple candy skull.
Amelie picked up the tiny device and stared at it for a moment before she placed it into her right ear.
“Hola, chica.” Isabel greeted Amelie as she watched her on one of her spy cameras she had placed into her room.
“Do you spy on all the recruits or just me?” Amelie asked as she looked at herself in the mirror above her dresser.
“That's my little secret, cute butt by the way.” Isabel zoomed the hidden camera to Amelie's posterior and smirked. “It's a shame what's going to happen to it though. It will be worse if you are late for your 'appointment'.”
“Ah merde!” Amelie muttered, Isabel was right, the clock was ticking down, she would have to hustle. She took a bit longer than she had hoped in the shower. She quickly put on a clean black sports bra and black thong before finding some fresh recruit's garb, black cargo pants and t-shirt. Amelie hurriedly laced her boots and raced out the door towards the punishment room. As she ran down the corridor that seemed to go on forever, she wondered who the woman was that gave her the ear bud. But her voice seemed familiar somehow but she didn't know from where. She huffed and puffed as she entered the punishment room, Moira's experiments were beginning to take their toll on her. Amelie's physical endurance was diminished compared to what it once was.
“Reporting as ordered.” Amelie stood at attention. Both Dr. O'Deorain and Reyes were waiting for her in the room. She noticed the clock just to her left in her peripheral vision, she was just in time. She could feel her heart sink when she noticed the punishment bench just behind Moira and Reyes. She knew that she was in for a harsh session, the instruments of her punishment hung along the wall behind the bench which included several canes of differing length and diameter. Even at just under ninety three percent accuracy rate, it wasn't good enough for Talon's lofty standards and her bottom was about to pay the price for her failure.
Dr. O'Deorain took a step towards Amelie. “Remove your clothing and hang them up over there.” Moira pointed to a row of clothing hooks on the wall to her right. Amelie did as instructed without hesitation. After Amelie finished disrobing, she returned to just in front of Dr. O'Deorain. Moira circled Amelie, inspecting her for any signs that her punishment shouldn't be carried out but found nothing. Moira noted to herself that Amelie's previous skin tone was starting to become more fair from her treatments. “Amelie Lacroix, you are in fit medical condition for your punishment. You will receive seventy five strokes of the cane or until you are no longer able to continue with your caning. Proceed to the bench.”
Moira and Gabriel each took a couple steps away from one another so that Amelie could walk past them. Both followed her to the punishment bench where they secured her wrists, ankles and small of her back to the bench. Gabriel retrieved a thin rattan cane from the wall and took up position to Amelie's left.
“Are you ready?” Gabriel asked as he flexed the cane in front of him.
“Oui.” Amelie replied as she took in a deep breath and readied herself. The last time she had felt the cane was when she was a teenager. She hated it then and she was sure her opinion wasn't about to change.
“Remember Amelie, each stroke is for each missed shot. A missed shot could mean the difference between life and death.” Gabriel lined up the cane and delivered a sharp blow across the center of bottom, leaving a faint red mark causing Amelie to yelp and tug against her restraints.
Gabriel struck Amelie again, this time low across her sit spot. Once again, a fine red mark appeared where the cane had impacted. Amelie bit her lower lip in an attempt to keep quiet and hide her pain.
The cane swished in for another taste of Amelie's bottom. This time it struck an inch lower than her first stroke. Gabriel's strokes were surprisingly accurate, each of his marks were almost perfectly straight across Amelie's backside. Amelie masked her pain and made no sound. It wasn't until her sixth stroke that she let out an audible yelp.
Reyes continued to administer Amelie's punishment and aimed for 'fresh' buttock leaving a new welt.
“Ah!” Amelie moaned in pain as she fought against the tight restraints. Her eyes were beginning to well up.
Gabriel wound up for another blow to her welted bottom finding an untouched strip of Amelie's bottom, turning it red with another raised welt.
“Oww!” Amelie whimpered, each stroke of the cane stung and her punishment was just barely started.
“Yeow!” Amelie yelped as Gabriel aimed his stroke across a previous cane mark. The welt grew in both size and redness.
Reyes continued to cane Amelie mercilessly, targeting previously caned locations on her bottom. Amelie yelped and whined in pain while fighting against her restraints. All she could do was wiggle her butt from side to side slightly which didn't hinder Gabriel's strikes against her defenseless bottom.
“Owwa!” Amelie cried out as the cane bit into her heavily welted buttocks. She now struggled to maintain her composure. Tears began to run down her cheeks and her chin to the ground below.
“AIEEEE!” Amelie screamed out as the cane struck the back of her left upper thigh, leaving yet another painful welt. “Please no more! I will do better!”
The caning paused for a moment when Gabriel walked over to a table just off of Amelie's left side and he retrieved something from on top of it. He made his way over to in front of Amelie and he could see she was crying. He held out a leather bit gag for her.
“Bite onto this. It'll help.” He spoke as if he cared for Amelie's well being. Amelie nodded her head slowly before she opened her mouth and bit into it.
“You better do better or this will become a common occurrence.” Reyes warned Amelie, who started to cry even more, she knew the caning was just getting worse.
Gabriel resumed his previous position and would alternate a couple strokes of the cane to her bottom before administering one to her upper thighs. Amelie would let out muffled screams but maintained her hold of the bit in her mouth. Most of her bottom was scarlet red now with some bruising starting to appear. Unfortunately for Amelie, her session with the cane wasn't even close to the halfway mark. Gabriel's caning of Amelie was unrelenting. Amelie's bottom and thighs were thoroughly welted with heavy bruising. Amelie sobbed uncontrollably before she finally dropped the bit gag.
Amelie could hear a woman's voice coming from her right side, it almost sounded like a whisper, then Amelie's vision blurred and she passed out. She woke up in her quarters an hour later still naked. She was laying on her stomach with her rump elevated by some pillows under her hips. She ached, the pain was unbearable. She attempted to lightly caress her bottom but the sting was too intense for her so she grabbed a pillow and began to sob into it.
“Hey chica, how are you feeling?” Isabel asked through the ear piece still in Amelie's ear.
“How do you think?!” Amelie retorted angrily before continuing her sobbing into her pillow.
“Well it could have been worse. You could have received the full caning.” Isabel attempted to console Amelie.
“What do you mean? How many strokes did I take?” Amelie managed to ask after calming herself down.
“You took about forty five or so before you passed out.” Isabel thought for a moment. “I mean, if you really wanted to know, just count your marks in the mirror.”
* * *
“Had I not intervened, Amelie's ass would have been a bloody mess. She was supposed to receive seventy five strokes but I used her deactivation phrase and made her pass out long before her caning was supposed to be finished. Unfortunately I had to wait until she was a sobbing mess to use it or else it would have looked like she was faking.” Isabel shook her head, she wished she could have done more for Amelie but anything else she could have done would have only postponed or prolonged her punishment.
“Oh my, that seems quite excessive.” Ana shook her head in disbelief. “She is pretty fortunate to have had you watching over her. How often did she receive these punishments?”
“Every other day it seemed. But she would have to report in to Dr. O'Deorain's lab to have her culo healed prior to receiving her next disciplinary session. Amelie was highly motivated after her first session to make improvements to her accuracy. And Dr. O'Deorain's treatments seemed to help with that.”
“It would have been pretty difficult to maintain focus with a caned bottom.” Ana thought of how much it would have stung to maintain her position and to pay attention to her targets and not her bottom. “How long did it take for Amelie to achieve one hundred percent accuracy?”
“Just under a month. Like I said, she was highly motivated and determined to improve.” Isabel replied quickly. “After that, she was sent out as support for other agents in the field and later various assassinations. That's when she and I started working together and became close.”
“How long did it take for Amelie to break free from her brainwashing?” Ana asked, fully focused on what Isabel had to say.
“Even with my modifications to her programming, it was still quite effective unfortunately. She was starting to break free of her programming after about four and a half years. I tried to get her to snap out of it sooner but there was nothing I could do. I just had to wait until the time was right to act.” Isabel sighed, it was a long wait for her moment to free Amelie.
“How did you end up getting free of Talon then if you had to wait so long to act?” Ana inquired, she wondered how she would have been able to stay off Talon's radar.
“Well it wasn't easy. We waited until we were on an op together and we managed to slip out from under Talon's grasp. From there, I was able to move us from safe house to safe house undetected by hacking the security on them before moving to the next. There were some close calls. Talon started sending strike teams to the various safe houses in search of us before we even got to some of them.” Isabel smiled while looking at her augments on her right hand, she was pleased with herself on being able to hack and avoid Talon for so long.
“I know what it's like to go into hiding. It mustn't have been easy for you two. How long did Talon hunt you? How did you come into contact with Overwatch?” Ana sympathized for Isabel and Amelie.
“Well we stayed in some pretty shady locals for a while but Talon was unrelenting especially after they found out that I took some files before leaving. Amelie and I got tired of running so I found out where Dr. Ziegler was stationed and we made our way there. I sent her some of the videos showing what they had done to Amelie. It didn't take much to convince her to help us with her savior complex.” Isabel respected Dr. Ziegler, she did more for those in need at the expense of personal gain, unlike most doctors, she genuinely wanted to help others.
“Dr. Ziegler did always have a soft spot for lost causes.” Ana got a glare from Isabel after her remark. “Sorry, I didn't mean it to sound like that. What happened after you contacted Dr. Ziegler?”
“She made arrangements for us to meet at an Overwatch controlled hospital. I didn't trust Overwatch at the time so I convinced Amelie that we had to part ways for a while and Dr. Ziegler would take care of her.” Isabel felt ashamed for abandoning Amelie but she knew it was for the best.
“You thought they were going to take you prisoner. I understand why you acted the way you did. I probably would have done the same thing.” Ana empathized with Isabel. “What did Dr. Ziegler do with Amelie?”
“Dr. Ziegler had Amelie confined to psychiatric care for months. They treated her neural reconfiguration the best they could. After six months in the hospital, they concluded there was nothing more they could do for her. Amelie had her emotions suppressed under the neural reconditioning but she is slowly regaining her emotions. It is pretty difficult for her at times to express herself.” Isabel felt sorry for Amelie for not being able to feel anything, she just hoped one day she would become herself once again.
Ana was starting to feel regret for how she had treated her when she had captured her now. “I'm sure Dr. Ziegler devoted a lot of time to Amelie and made her feel safe while she was treating her. What did you do while she was under Angela's care?”
“I actually visited her a few times. I disguised myself as a nurse and hacked the security and would talk with her for a few minutes until security figured out what was going on. This went on for quite a while until I came face to face with Dr. Ziegler and a couple of armed guards she had with her. She was clever, and put the pieces together pretty quickly as to who I was. She made me join her in her office where we ended up chatting for quite some time.”
“What did you discuss?” Ana asked as she leaned back in her chair.
“Amelie mostly. She also told me that I didn't have to hide anymore and that I could be safe too.” Isabel's voice wavered, being safe was something she had dreamed of for a long time. “Dr. Ziegler made me a deal I couldn't refuse. She was going to let Amelie live in the manor with her and the other girls and I could as well as long as I supplied Overwatch with useful intel from time to time.”
“I'm sure there is more to the deal than that.” Ana cocked her head to the side. “Why would Dr. Ziegler let Amelie live with her?”
“Dr. Ziegler convinced me that it was the best way to help Amelie's recovery. I wanted to be with Amelie, and agreeing to her terms seemed like the best option at the time. She got authorization from the brass to keep me out of prison as long as I honored the deal with Overwatch and kept myself out of trouble.”
“Keeping you out of trouble sounds like an impossible task.” Ana smirked at Isabel. “How has Amelie handled living with the other women?”
“Oh you have no idea.” Isabel smirked back at Ana thinking about her extracurricular activities. “It's been difficult for Amelie. When she first moved into the manor, the other girls didn't trust her at all. She and Lena got into quite a few heated arguments. They still don't get along that well. Lena took the loss of Mondatta pretty hard and still holds a grudge towards Amelie for his assassination.”
“Can you blame them for not trusting her? They would have thought she was a ticking time bomb, or at least I would have.” Ana raised a valid point.
“No, but Angela was able to convince them to give her a chance. Not all of Talon's members had a choice in whether or not to work for them like I did. The other women were able to recognize that fact and eventually forgave Amelie for what she had done. But it was never easy for Amelie in the manor with a rather diverse group of personalities.” Isabel thought for a moment of how each of the girls interacted with Amelie. “Amelie treats Hana as a child most of the time which causes some fights but most of the time they avoid one another. Since Mei is a scientist, she was quite understanding of Amelie and she just felt bad for what Talon did to her.”
“What about my daughter, how did Fareeha feel about Amelie?” Ana wondered how Fareeha would have handled having the woman who 'killed' her mother living in the same house.
“Fareeha on the other hand...Fareeha and Amelie didn't get along for quite some time They got into a few physical altercations that had to be broken up on several occasions. Fareeha and Amelie had to avoid each other until Fareeha found out you were still alive. Eventually Fareeha even forgave Amelie for her past which was beyond her control to begin with.”
“I just hope Fareeha can forgive me for what I have done.” Ana said under her breath. “How did the women treat you?”
“They treated me well. They didn't and still don't know much about my past. They know I used to be Talon's top hacker though. Beyond that, they don't know much about me.” Isabel paused for a moment. “It's something I would like to keep from them.”
“I understand. Everyone has their secrets. I hope you can keep them. But be warned, they will come to light one day, and most often they aren't at the time of our choosing.” Ana let her last statement set in before continuing her questioning of Isabel.
“Some of us are better than others at burying our past, but you are right.” Isabel thought about the implications of her past coming to light.
“What about Angela? How did she handle having Amelie in the manor?”
“Despite Angela being close friends with Gerard, she didn't hold his death against Amelie after she learned of her extensive reconditioning. Instead she devoted a great deal of time and energy to aiding Amelie and made her feel at home. Angela has helped Amelie more that you can imagine. She is quite the remarkable woman and she has earned my respect.” Isabel was grateful for Dr. Ziegler's aid and if it wasn't for her, she and Amelie would either be in a prison, dead or in Talon's hands again. The latter would be the worst of the three options.
“She is quite the woman indeed.” Ana took a deep breath. “You have given me much to think about. Thank you for having this chat with me.” Ana then removed the belt from the table and fed it back through her belt loops and fastened the buckle.
“I hope you can forgive Amelie for her time in Talon. And thanks for not using that on me.” Isabel glanced down at Ana's belt before she stood up and parted ways with Ana.
“I'm not quite ready to forgive her, but maybe in time.”Ana thought to herself as she took a sip of her tea. Ana would have to thank Dr. Ziegler for arranging the meeting. It was a far better conversation than she expected, even though she did have to threaten Isabel with the belt.To be continued...