"It's finally here! I can't wait!" said Mark, barely able to contain his excitement as he stared at his computer screen. At long last, the day he had been waiting for had come. He was finally going to play Overwatch. To say that Mark was excited for this game would be the understatement of the century. Ever since he saw the incredible animated characters burst onto his computer screen in the first trailer, he had greedily devoured every single morsel of information he could find about it. There wasn't a single thing he didn't love about it. He loved the gameplay, the graphics, the sound, but most of all, he loved the characters. Each one expressive and vibrant, from the insuffurably edgy Reaper, to the adorable Mei. But there was one character Mark put on a pedestal above all others. The one, the only, Lena Oxton, AKA Tracer. Beautiful, giggly, spunky, wonderful Tracer.
The moment he first laid eyes on her in the first trailer, it was like a switch was flipped inside his head. Mark had been interested in girls before, of course. The occasional guy, too. He had gone out on a couple dates in his time (not that they ever went anywhere). He knew what it felt to be attracted to somebody. This was more than that. So much more. It was like love, except the connection was deeper than that. Tracer stirred something primal within him, something he had never felt before. It was like there was part of him that was sleeping his entire life, only to wake up when he saw her. He tried to deny it: how could he feel the way he felt for a fictional character, a video game character? The idea of it disturbed him somewhat But the more time passed, the more it became clear that Tracer was definitely something to Mark. His love for the game almost took up a secondary position for how he felt about trailer. While he was excited to play the game because of the maps and the gameplay and playing with friends, it was Tracer that made him *need* the game.
Even though his feelings boarded the express train train at strangeville and rode it all the way to crazytown, it was a pleasant distraction from his life, which was not particularly engaging, to say the least. Mark was a student, an engineer, in his final year of university. He was a mediocre student, just managing to scrape passes in whatever subject he took part in. It wasn't that Mark had a particularly bad life. His family, although neglectful, was not abusive, he was well off enough to afford a powerful PC, if not many games to play on it. There was just a cloud of malaise over Mark almost at all times. He felt like he sleepwalked through life, never really knowing anyone on a personal level, and never feeling truly fulfilled no matter what he did. Playing video games came the closest, but still, even when he was playing his favourite games like Diablo, he always felt like something was missing. But in Overwatch, and, more accurately, Tracer, he found something that made him feel something he had never felt before.
After the game was revealed, Mark became obsessed with it. He signed up for alpha and beta access, and despite pleading with several Blizzard employees over email, was never admitted once. He tried to scrounge up money to go to BlizzCon to play the game there, but ultimately couldn't afford it. In lieu of playing it, he immersed himself in countless hours of gameplay footage. And, at nights, he dreamed about what he saw. Not about Overwatch. But about her. About Tracer. Despite it consuming almost every waking thought, Mark kept his obsession secret from everybody. He was well aware of how...unhealthy it seemed. But he couldn't stop himself from feeling it. And, frankly, after a while, he didn't even care. The wait for the game was agonizing, but even thinking about Tracer darting around the battlefield made his heart aflutter with joy.
Finally, the glorious news came. An Open Beta! Everyone could play! Even Mark! Despite all the rejections from Blizzard, he would finally be able to play. He was counting the days, and when that didn't alleviate his impatience, he counted the hours instead. Despite looming exams, he was planning to totally abandon his meagre studies to completely immerse himself in Overwatch for that glorious weekend. Even a few of his friends were going to play too. But that barely interested Mark. He just wanted to finally play Tracer.
And now, the day had finally come. Well, to be precise, it was coming in a few minutes. The game was already pre-insalled onto his computer, all he needed was for that button on his Battle.net launcher to turn blue.
Any minute now.
Any minute now.
"...It's here..." Mark whispered in awe.
Days of gaming bliss followed. Mark played for hour after hour, barely needing any rest or caffeine to keep playing. He was utterly entranced by the game. Playing as Tracer made him feel closer to true happiness than ever before. His many hours of watching gameplay showed themselves in his unparalleled expertise at the game. While he was decent at most of the characters (when he was forced to part from Tracer) when Mark played as Tracer...words could hardly describe it. Playing as her was second nature to Mark, and he soon proved himself on countless battlefields as the deadliest Tracer player in the world. No matter the map, no matter the mode, Mark and Tracer were an unstoppable combination. His friends would often whine at him for stubbornly sticking to one character at the start of many matches, but these protests feel silent as Mark and Tracer eviscerated the combination. It was the most fun Mark had ever had. He found himself cheering and whooping along with Tracer, giggling when she danced circles around an opponent, shouting out her signature catchphrase when she backed up a teammate just in the nick of time.
The empty feeling in the very pit of Mark's soul...the one that he felt every day of his life, playing as Tracer, it felt almost nonexistent. For maybe the first time, he was truly content. He didn't really care that he wasn't going out anymore, or that he was falling behind in his studies...he could play Overwatch forever.
But, of course, he couldn't.
When the weekend faded into twilight, access to the beta was snatched away. Waiting to play Tracer was arduous enough, but having access snatched away after he had grown accustomed to it? It devestated Mark. He withdrew from his friends and family. He barely left his room. He barely ate. He knew his obsession with the game was unhealthy, and it was bad that he reacted this poorly to being unable to play it, but he didn't care. The emptiness inside him gnawed deeper than it ever had before. He had tasted a glimpse of true happiness, and then it had been taken away. And when he slept, his dreams fell even deeper. He only dreamed about Tracer now, nothing else. The game barely even mattered, Mark just wanted Tracer. He needed Tracer.
Eventually, he could bear it no more. He began scouring the internet looking for a way to play the game again. A week of searching, and numerous bogus solutions, and he found nothing.
Then, one chilly spring evening...
"Dammit!" Mark cried. "Another broken program." He was despairing at the idea of ever playing the game again. The game was coming out in a couple weeks, but in his current mental condition, he doubted his ability to make it that far. "What the hell has this game done to me..." he said, pondering this. He shook his head, and began trawling the internet some more. As his eyelids began to droop, he was about to give up, but then he noticed a mysterious email in his inbox. The sender was unknown, and the subject was simply "To Mark." Curious, he clicked on the email.
We here at Overwatch believe that the world can always use more heroes. The best, and brightest, to lead us into the future. In recognition of your exemplary performance in the Overwatch open beta, we would like to invite you on a life-changing adventure.
Click below to join the fight.
By now, Mark was tired and fed up. He didn't believe a word of this utterly ridicuous email. He had seen many like it in his investigations. He had discussed at length about it on the forums as well. It's entirely possible someone would have found his name on there. Regardless, he was hardly perturbed. Resolving to go to bed immediately after sorting out this email, he absent-mindedly clicked on the link offered by the email, assuming that it would take him to some malware site.
Suddenly, Mark blacked out. The move to click on that link would be the last the world ever saw of Mark Donaghue...as they knew it.
Groaning, Mark attempted to open his eyes. He was exhausted, that much was clear. He struggled to keep his eyes open, and struggled even more to focus on his environment. His body floated in a blue and black void, with streams of code and date moving around him. He was floating through the space, towards an uncertain destination. Not that Mark was aware of any of this. The exhaustion he had held at bay the past week hit him like a truck, and he drifted in and out of fitful sleep, as he slowly began to change.
The first thing that changed was his clothes. Beginning at his shoes and working it's way up, his clothes dissolved into lines of code that, rather than drifting off into this strange void he found himself in, circled around him, the code within them rewriting itself. Soon, he was stark naked. But that was only the beginning. Mark bristled in his sleep as a feeling of dull ache centred around his feet. Slowly, they every so slightly compressed, excess fat, bone, and muscle slipping away until he was left with a pair of petite, feminine feet. The changes spread up over his legs, slimming his calves and redirecting the flesh off them to his thighs, which became plump and gorgeous. His leg muscles became leaner, but at the same time, far stronger than Mark had ever been before. The changes to his legs finished when they elongated slightly beyond human norms, giving them an unrealistic, but undeniably sexy look. Fat across his body began to redistribute itself, with his once plump stomach separating, leaving behind a toned, fit stomach. Much of the fat from his stomach concentrated on his ass, where it ballooned outwards into a glorious feminine behind, one that Mark would have found utterly hypnotizing had he seen it.
Mark had yet to realize what was going on, still too exhausted to think properly. Part of him could tell something was happening to his body, but he was powerless to stop it.
The rest of the fat from what used to be his stomach travelled upward, and concentrated behind his nipples. Mark began to pant and moan involuntarily as the flesh built up on his chest, two mounds slowly expanding further and further, until Mark sported a pair of divine C-Cup breasts. As this happened, his spine curved inward and his waist tightened, giving the young man an inhumanly perfect hourglass figure, one no ordinary human could ever hope to match. All his body hair drifted off his body into the void around him, leaving a completely hairless body, aside from the hair at the top of his head.
Almost everything below Mark's neck had taken the form of an impossibly beautiful woman. But the changes were not yet done. Mark's head began to reshape itself like clay. His eyes grew wide and cartoon-like, turning a deep brown in the process. His nose shrunk, becoming almost a dainty decoration on his face. His lips became kissable, but not overtly feminine. Mark's brown hair slightly lengthened, then restyled itself. Soon, nothing of Mark remained: where the plain young man once lay, now was the beautiful face of Lena "Tracer" Oxton. The final vestiges of Mark's old body began to fade as his genitals slowly began to retract into his body. First, his testicles were sucked back into his body, each one producing a breathy gasp from the soon-to-be-woman as they morphed into ovaries. Then, Mark's penis slowly became consumed by a growing slit behind it. As the shaft was pulled further in, Mark began to moan as if he was receiving the finest fucking of his entire life, and with each moan, his voice became higher in pitch, and steeped with a charming, familiar, british accent. Finally, as Mark's member vanished forever, and a moist virgin flower took it's place, the new woman cried out in climactic bliss.
The lines of code that had once been Mark's clothing began to converge on her once again, covering her naked body with a familiar outfit. A set of tight pants that brilliantly showed off her ass. A british flight jacket, adorned with a metal harness designed to keep her new powers in check. Metal gloves, that would help control said powers. And, finally, a pair of orange goggles. There was now no distinguishing between Mark and Tracer: she looked as if she had jumped straight out of the game.
The experience had stirred Mark out of her sleep. She knew something was happened, something was wrong, but was unable to comprehend what had occurred in her fragile mental state. Slowly, she opened her eyes, as the now orange-tinted void around her was suddenly covered in a brilliant white light.
She had arrived.
Mark awoke slowly, groaning. She found herself on a cold, hard surface. Her head felt woozy, and her body felt strange, like her centre of gravity was all over the place. Everything that happened to her in the void was a total blur, which only added to her disorientation. Slowly, she opened her eyes. Immediately, she noticed her hands, looking completely different, and wearing a familiar glove. "Dreaming..." Mark muttered. The sound of her voice made her gasp, covering her mouth with her unfamiliar hands. "What the heck..." she said. Now, she was wide awake. She sat up and looked around her body in stunned awe. "Wh...WHAT THE HECK!?" she yelled. "No way. No freaking way." she said, still in total disbelief. Somehow, she looked, sounded...heck, she WAS Tracer herself. Such a thing was impossible...wasn't it? "I must have finally gone insane. There's no way this is real." she said. Mark was standing now, looking all over and her body. She also, in between taking in her new incredible form, glanced around the environment she found herself in. It was a white, circular room, with a mirror on one side, and a door, suspended above the floor in a wall, on the other side. Her eyes were then drawn to her voluptuous breasts. She slowly, tenderly, brought her hands to her chest. She was about to squeeze the tender mounds when she heard the sound of someone clearing their throat behind her. In panic, she spun around, throwing out her new fists in a kung-fu pose, until the sight of the individual before her caused her to scream again. "Wha...wha..." Mark stammered. Before her, was, of all things, an ape, standing on all fours, wearing a metal harness, and a pair of smart glasses. The ape cleared his throat again. "I do apologise." he said, remarkably erudite for a gorilla, Mark thought. "I forget that undeveloped worlds tend to be...unfamiliar with the exotic." The ape held out his left hand. "My name is Winston-Prime. A pleasure to make your acquaintance." Mark, dumbfounded. He slowly reached out his hand to shake Winston's, before retracting it. "Well." Mark said, before gulping, still not used to her new voice. "I've clearly gone bananas." Winston did not appear amused. "I'll have you know I've cut back on my banana consumption considerably, young lady." Mark was still finding the sheer unreality of the reality she found herself in totally mind boggling. "What? No, listen. Last thing I knew, I was in my house, on my computer and..." Mark said, gesturing to her body. "...distinctly not female. And now, suddenly, I'm in a strange room, in the body of my l...my favourite video game character, and I'm talking to a monkey." "Gorilla." Winston corrected. "Whatever!" Mark cried. "The point is all of this is totally, completely, batshit insane!" Despite Mark's outburst, Winston only smiled. "Your confusion is only natural. Come. Allow me to explain." he said, turning away from Mark and walking towards the door on the far side of the room. As he approached it, a set of stairs emerged from the ground, allowing him to reach the door. Winston turned back. "Well? Aren't you coming?" he asked. Mark thought for a second. She couldn't actually think of a good reason not to. She still believed she had gone completely mad, and was probably hallucinating all this in an asylum somewhere, no matter how impossibly real it felt. The best thing to do, she decided, was to humor for the delusion for now. She cautiously walked up the steps towards the door, as Winston began talking down the corridor. Before she followed him, Mark turned back to look at the room she just left. She hadn't noticed it before, but a familiar symbol was etched onto the ground. The symbol of Overwatch.
"So," Mark said, catching up with Winston-Prime as they walked down the corridor. "Any chance you're going to tell us where we are? And what's going on? Oh, and, also, what happened to me?" Winston smiled. The two stopped before a large door. Winston placed his palm on a scanner, and the doors began to open. Mark stared, mouth agape, at the scene within. "Welcome," Winston said, ", to Overwatch Prime."
Stretching out before the two was a massive control chamber, with row after row of robots conversing with one another, tapping on keyboards, and speaking into microphones. Each one looked identically to Zenyatta, Mark realized. But more impressive than that, was the window outside. Space could be seen outside, with countless stars twinkling in the night sky. But more impressive than any of those, was a gigantic planet-sized space station, hanging in the sky, with the Overwatch symbol etched upon it. "What...the...shit." Mark said. "What is this place?" she asked Winston. "From Overwatch Prime," he said, "we monitor and oversee the behavior of each Overwatch variant in each world in the multiverse. We police and protect the entirety of existence from this very spot." Mark stood there, completely dumbfounded. "What?" she said, simply. Winston adjusted his spectacles. "Reality is made up of an impossibly large amount of universes, each one connected with one another, yet apart. Some are the same, yet some are strikingly different. But they all have one thing in common." Winston said. "What is it?" asked Mark. "They could always use more heroes." Winston said, grinning. The two began walking towards the massive window that looked out upon the space station. Winston began speaking again. "In one universe, our organization began. Overwatch. A group of like-minded people, brought together by common purpose. Heroes for a world that needed them. Over time, we began to expand our jurisdiction to neighbouring realities, once we had the technology. But we soon discovered that it was impractical for us to manage it on our own. So, we began to build other Overwatches for these other worlds. Some worlds had versions of us that we simply needed to bring together. Others had to forge new Overwatches with new heroes. And some..." Winston said, turning to Mark. "...were like yours." "Mine?" Mark asked. "Worlds where Overwatch, and all the heroes within, were fictional. But even then, the spark of the organization was there, the seed. You were chosen for a reason, Mark." Mark was confused, rather understandably so, she thought. "Chosen? Me? Why?" "Tell me. Have you ever felt like your life was missing something?" Mark slowly nodded her head. "And, tell me. How do you feel now?" It was a question Mark hadn't considered. She had been so caught up in the lunacy of everything that was happening. But when he thought about it, really thought about it, there was only one answer, he realized. "...happy." Mark said. "Really happy. Like, deep inside me. I don't know why. But I just feel so...I don't know." She paused. "...complete." Winston put his hand on her shoulder. "It's because this is who you were truly meant to be, Lena. In a perfect world, you would have been born like this. But in your universe, things went just a little wrong, and you were trapped in a body that was never truly yours." Mark shook her head. "I was meant to be a video game character?" she said, with disbelief. "You were meant to be a hero." Winston said. "You were meant to be Tracer." It was mad. It sounded completely mad. Mark knew it was mad. And yet, deep down, she knew it was true. It explained everything. Her fascination with Tracer, her dissatisfaction with everything in her life...and the way she felt now. What if Winston was right, she thought? What if this was real? What if...what if she was tracer?
She was Tracer.
Those three words resounded in her head. Suddenly, she was filled with joy. Just thinking about it, thinking about being Tracer, now and forevermore, filled her with only the happiest feelings. Right there and then, she realized. She really was...Tracer. She tried to contain her joy, and failed. She jumped into the air, laughing and giggling with delight, running, jumping around the room in uninhibited glee. Suddenly, she instinctively teleported forward, and landed flat on her face on the ground. "Ow." she said. Winston laughed kindly, and helped her to her feet. "I'm Tracer." Tracer said, beaming. "Yes. You are." Winston said, smiling. The two embraced each other in a warm hug. Tracer had only met this big monkey today, but it felt like they had been friends for centuries. "Did...did you turn me into this?" Tracer asked. Winston shook his head. "You always were meant to be this, Lena. I just...reminded your body." Tracer smiled. "Thank you." she said. "Don't thank me just yet!" Winston said. "There's a lot to do! First, we have to train you in the use of your powers, then we have to make the arrangements for the creation of Overwatch on your world...there's much to do, Tracer. Are you ready?" Tracer grinned, and saluted. "You got it!" she said, giggling. Tracer walked with Winston towards the Overwatch-Prime training facility, and into a new life she couldn't be happier to be a part of.
SIX WEEKS LATER
Steven sat cowering behind the desk. He thought the disappearance of his friend Mark would be the worst thing to happen to him in a while, but now, armed burglars had broken into the bank where he had worked, and had begun taking hostages. He was scared, completely unsure of what to do. Suddenly, he heard a strange noise above him, followed by an oddly familiar voice.
"Cheers, luv! Cavalry's here!"
The thieves aimed their guns at the direction of the voice, but it's owner swiftly teleported to the ground, and, with a grin, began dispatching the thieves with ease. Bobbing and weaving around bullets and fists with her incredible powers, she made short work of the criminals, and, when the dust settled, she stood triumphant over a dozen armed men, without a single scratch on her. Steven slowly ventured his gaze beyond the desk and saw the most beautiful woman he had ever seen, dusting herself down. She caught notice of him, and Steven quickly dived back behind his desk. "No, wait!" she said. "It's all right! I'm with the good guys! You're safe now!" Slowly, Steven ventured out from behind his desk.
Tracer smiled to see a friend from her old life again. Then again, very little didn't make her smile these days. She had become a perfect woman leading a perfect life, and she couldn't be happier. She looked at her friend, and saw that he was wearing a t-shirt with the design of Overwatch character Widowmaker on it. Remembering Winston-Prime's advice to build Overwatch on her world, she sauntered over to Steven casually. The world could always use more heroes, after all.