Like all places you have traveled; your team's stay in Austria came to a close. You couldn't decide whether to feel grateful or disappointed. For sure one thing that was made up in your mind was that it was certainly more eventful compared to your last locations. You liked Hazyfort, and perhaps one day you may wish to visit again on your own time...
When everyone forgets about the bar mishap.
The great news was that you all were informed that you will be stationed at 2Fort once again for some time. Everyone was overjoyed, for them it seemed to be a place they could call home. You certainly did not mind to go back; your space for an office was a lot more spacious. Plus, the back areas you can maneuver through were a lot shorter due to the battlefield being of a smaller scale.
It was like a trip down memory lane from your first experiences with RED!
Within about two days you all were back in the sweltering heat of the New Mexican desert. Perhaps it was one thing you could have cared less to ditch, but everything else seemed to have its perks.
Driving through the town of Teufort couldn't help but make you smile. It reminded you of the beaten up RED Bread truck pulling up in front of Miss Pauling and yourself where you first met Engie, Scout, and Soldier. Driving towards the old wooden red building flashbacked to the astonishment the building gave off when you first saw it in person. Finally, you couldn't help but remember the welcoming dinner the team threw for you as you all ate at the table with glee that evening. Even your room's bed that night felt like you were somewhere right at home.
It was strange to have the same sense of yearning to come back as some of the other mercenaries may have felt. Even if this was only your second time having to stay at this particular base, it was a nice feeling. You couldn't help but feel optimistic about the days to come.
Of course, your ankle was still an issue. It was making terrific progress with healing according to Medic. He said that if it kept up at the rate it was healing you could be back and walking like normal in about a week and a half. The thought filled you with delight; you wouldn't have to have constant help anymore! Even if you did have the ability to work alone, you were unsure if that meant you could meet with Spy again. It didn't bother you that much anyway. If you felt like communicating with him, you could just send a note anytime through the teleporter you gave him.
You were curious as to how that form of contact would work. Since the night you took the teleporters from the workshop you have yet to open yours back up. Hopefully, you weren't keeping your Spy friend waiting, but being caught up between base switches served you no time to sit down and write him a note.
On the first ceasefire back at 2Fort you came to realize; your office was pretty barebones. Besides the large computer that sat on the desk and whatever shelves and paper items the company included within the room. The stuff inside has probably been sitting there for years. Dust, poor lighting, and a strange smell riddled the space. So, you brought the decision on yourself that you wanted to spruce the place up to your liking. You might as well since you're contracted to stay here for a long while, and this may not be the last time you revisit the base.
You proposed your weekend's task to some of the other mercs. Pleasantly, Engineer opt to help you out by moving bigger objects using teleporters. He explained how he wanted to make some repairs to some of the gear in the intel room anyways. Medic volunteered as well solely to make sure you didn't reverse the healing on your ankle. Soon enough, everyone volunteered to help you out in some shape or form. Perhaps they wanted to only cure the weekend's boredom, but you did not mind.
"Hey Soldier, can you hand me that wrench? There's a wobbly part of the chair's structure I want to fix." You pointed to the socket wrench that was sprawled out on the floor of the intel room along with an assortment of other tools. You and the warm-blooded American sat on the floor going through a blueprint that laid out in front of the two of you. For the fun of it, Engie gave you and a few of the other mercenaries simple instructions to assemble some furniture kits he made himself.
"I want you to ask again, and I want you to ask like an AMERICAN!" The man in the helmet squawked. He held the wrench you pointed towards you as if it was a magic wand.
"Soldier, can I have the wrench? Uhh... GO AMERICA!! U.S.A! U.S.A!" You repeated the question raising your hands in the air at the 'go America' portion. Soldier let out a goofy chuckle and tossed the tool to you.
You tightened the part you wanted and rose to your feet looking down at your creation approvingly. Soldier got up and immediately hopped into the chair and began to spin in it. Your body turned to Engineer who was across the room tinkering on one of the panels on the wall.
"Wow, these kits turned out pretty nice. You did a nice job writing the instructions for them too." You complimented.
"Why that's very kind of you, pumpkin! 'Happy you enjoy them!" He turned to you and gave a friendly smile.
From the propped open door of your office, you heard the teleporter give off a buzzing sound as Scout grunted and almost flew forward onto his face holding a large open crate. He caught himself just before he could fall and stumbled back up to face the opening.
"Yo, Backie! Where does Engie want this scrap metal crap? I almost sliced my face fallin' into it!" He called to you, trying to peak his head from behind the box to look at your face.
"Just bring it in here, Scout!" Engineer called from the side of the room. His response was met with a bitter look from the young man.
"Uh- I was askin' the lady! Whateves." He stumbled towards the door frame with the crate. To his shock, the box didn't fit in the door frame. "Oh, great! It doesn't fit!" He complained as he tried to force the box through the door a few more times to no avail.
A long drawn out sigh came from the Texan as he strolled up to the door to meet you and Scout. "Now boy, why didn't you come through the teleporters that are out here in the intel room? There's THREE of them, for Pete's sake!"
"I got confused! I jus' went through a random one and it happened to be the one that's in here!" Scout blurted out.
"The only one that goes to the office? That happens to be the ONLY teleporter in Backer's bedroom?" The man in the hardhat raised a brow at the boy. Scout was immediately flustered by his accusation.
"I-It's nothin' like that! God, you guys suck!" His cheeks flared into a red tint. You rolled your eyes and couldn't help but laugh a little along with Engie.
Scout groaned and marched back towards the teleporter with the crate. The device made its all too familiar whirring and beeping. Within a few moments, he disappeared once more.
That gave you a queue to walk into the office. A few other mercenaries were scattered around the room. Heavy and Pyro were placing down a new desk to replace the old rickety one that supported the computer, Demoman was on a ladder replacing some of the burnt-out lightbulbs in the ceiling, Sniper was dusting off some of the shelves, Medic was reorganizing some of the file cabinets, and Spy was observing a new painting hung up on the wall while smoking a cigarette.
You first approached Pyro and Heavy. "Do you guys need help? I can carry something if you want." The two men turned to you. Pyro began to mumble something you weren't able to interpret. Heavy slowly shook his head.
"Backer's little foot needs rest. Heavy has it." He concluded as the two continued to readjust. You then approached Medic with the same positivity.
"Need any help, Medic?" You volunteered, slightly hovering over the open cabinet. In return, he gave you a goofy beam.
"Alles gut here, Backer." He assured you. You nodded your head and asked if Demo needed any assistance.
"I've got it, lass. Thanks for the offer!" He made sure to include. You repeated the same offer of help to Sniper.
"I'm almost done here, cobber. 'Appreciate it though." He nodded. This string of responses left you a little surprised.
"Trying to make yourself useful, I see?" The red Spy turned to you with his arms crossed, a smirk stretched on his face. You approached him putting a hand behind your neck.
"Yeah, it's just weird because I'm so used to having to give everyone a helping hand with something. I can't help but feel bad thinking you guys are doing the work for me. It was my idea that wasn't meant to burden anyone with."
"Do not fret. Think of this as a thank you for all your hard work for us. Besides, I do not think any of us had anything better to do today." His head glanced back at the painting and your line of sight followed.
The creation in front of you was beyond gorgeous. The acrylic paint and tones blended together nicely with the atmosphere. Your head turned to the Frenchman out of curiosity, "Did you paint this?"
"Yes, I did." He confirmed.
"It's really beautiful. You did a wonderful job! I didn't know you could paint."
A look of pride surfaced on Spy's face, "Why, thank you, Backer. You're too kind. And painting is merely only a hobby to me. It helps pass the time."
You nodded your head. It seemed ridiculous while thinking about it for a long period of time, but perhaps the BLU Spy had a similar interest? Your team's Spy and he carried the same kind of tastes when comparing the two beings. Maybe it was just a coincidence? You made sure to mentally note it for later and looked back at the artwork.
"That's great to hear..." Your eyes settled on the painting. Something intriguing caught your eye about such a work of art. "... Yeah, the painting fits the atmosphere very well... almost too well." You had a hand to support your chin as your eyes traced back to the suited man. A smug smirk rested on your lips.
"What may you be implying, mademoiselle?" His eyes drifted towards yours with a somewhat stumped expression.
"Oh, nothing. I just notice that the painting just seems to fit perfectly with the room's theme. Right to the subject of the work. From what I know, this is your first time ever coming in here and seeing the room. Maybe we've been snooping around here before?" You kept the same complacent look.
This made the Spy give his French sounding chuckle and mimicked your body language. It seemed like he admired the humor you carried with your keen eye, "We may never know." He made sure to include.
Despite his open-ended comment it still mentally made you irked. You've heard about Spy going around and gathering bits and pieces of everyone's information. You were no exception to the rule. From what it seems, he may not know too much as of now.
"Alright, that should do it. Y'all ready to pack up?" Engie called out from the door into the room. Most heads turned towards him and signaled some sort of verbal agreement.
The next few minutes were of the mercenaries collecting their goods and leaving the area. Some of them left through the front door, but others who held objects of greater size hopped on the teleporter and vanished to the other side where your room was. You watched in fascination.
You have never attempted to use the teleporter before. Truthfully, you've never had too much contact with it besides when Engineer was doing a demonstration for an invention to the entire group. Sniper was just done using it to return to the living quarters. You waited for a moment.
When the light returned to the machine. You enthusiastically stepped onto it. Your heart began to race with excitement as the teleporter began to make an array of different noises and started to spin around your feet quickly. The glow of the teleporter grew brighter and brighter, for a mere second, you closed your eyes.
The heat of the moment came to a halting stop.
A pair of hands shoved you off the device with urgency.
You stumbled back catching your balance just before you could fall onto the floor in front of you. Your eyes traveled back to where the source of the sudden force came from.
"Fräulein! Was ist los mit dir?!" A panicked Medic called out from the opposite side of the teleporter. You didn't know how to respond. Your mouth hung agape staring at the Doctor in a confused manner.
Engineer's head popped back into the office from the Intel room. He looked just as puzzled as you did. "What's all the commotion in here?" He asked the two of you.
Medic brought up a gloved finger and pointed it in your direction. "Backer just attempted to go through the teleporter!" His voice still quivered with alarm.
"Oh, sweet mother of Joseph!" Engineer pranced up to you. He gently took your arm and began to examine it like a concerned parent. His line of sight also kept traveling down to examine your chestal area which took you aback a little."You're not injured, are ya?" Medic's worry seemed to transfer to the man's southern drawl.
You gently pulled your arm away from the hardhat's grip, "I'm fine..." You mumbled with some disturbance. What the heck was going on?
"I was able to push her out of the way before the teleporter could be taken into effect." Medic made sure to include.
This made Engineer wipe his brow with his forearm and let out a sigh of relief. "Thank goodness." He commented along the side.
"I don't understand. I've seen you and all the other guys use the teleporter all the time! What's the big problem behind me using it?" Your inquiry caused Engie and Medic to exchange a few glances. You couldn't read exactly what they meant, but it left you with a hint of suspicion.
Engie walked to Medic's side so they stood shoulder-to-shoulder facing you. Their faces held the exact same strange look. Your eyes squinted in their direction demanding for answers.
Medic was first to break the silence and began by clearing his throat, "Well, fräulein... The teleporter is a very special tool for our work. You probably know that already, ja?"
You nodded your head with hesitation, but you were still unable to interpret where he was going with the explanation.
"And it provides us a lot of useful opportunities. Like moving bigger items, and even people!" Medic included as well. Though, it seems as if he ran out of ideas. He looked down at Engineer as if he were begging for help.
The western man focused down to the ground and shook his head. It then slowly raised back up so he could look at you through his goggled vision. "Well... it's just that we tell the fellas how to uhh... step on it correctly before using it." His voice was soft as he spoke.
How to step on it correctly? That sounded like a bunch of hooey. It seemed there was only one way to properly stand on the device anyways. You thought back to the agitated exchange between the two men. "You asked me if I was injured. Was the teleporter supposed to hurt me when using it?"
Medic's lips folded in to become pursed. You could also tell that Engineer bit on the side of his cheek and brought a hand to cover his mouth. Both just gazed at you for they did not seem to know how to respond. Medic then approached your side and put an arm on your shoulder. He managed to form a grin, "There's no need to worry about that now! To put it simply, the technology we use here is just extremely advanced!" His pointer finger of his free hand shot up into the air next to him. "Truly, someone of only common knowledge would not be able to comprehend!"
No look of surprise was found on your face. Your brows furrowed as you could feel yourself slumping down. His beating-around-the-bush attitude was nothing new, but it irritated you to no end. His last statement rubbed you the wrong way especially. It was as if they were treating you like a child.
Engineer nodded his head quickly to the doctor's response. "It's just important to know it's not a good idea to use the teleporter, B." He came to your other side and patted your free shoulder. "We ain't tryin' to baby ya; you're just as responsible with your own duties as we are. I hope you know that. We are just looking out for your well-being."
At least Engie was a little more conscious of his word choice. You turned to him and was able to break a smile. You gave the same face to Medic as well. By this point you just wanted the conversation to end. "I understand," you forced out. The words felt heavy leaving your mouth, but you continued, "If there's for whatever a reason why you can't tell me, it must be important." You gave yourself brownie points for sprinkling in a hint of passive-aggressiveness to your statement.
The men seemed to just brush over it and nod. Engie's head dropped down to look at the three pairs of feet that now stood before the teleporter. It hung down for a few moments before he quickly picked it back up. He let go of your shoulder and turned to you so now you stood across from him. He brought a pointed hand up and waved it in the air slightly.
"That reminds me. I have a question for you, Backer."
You tilted your head a little waiting to hear what he had to say. His glance went back down to the teleporter before looking at you once more.
"You remember how I showed y'all those mini teleporters I've been working on? You remember what they look like, right? A small box with the lil' button on the side? Anyways-- well, I noticed as we were packing up to leave Hazyfort-- two of 'em seem to of gone missing. I don't know if I'm going crazy, but I could have sworn I made eight. But we left with six... I'm just wonderin' if you may have happened to of seen them around at any point? Either before we left Austria or around here somewhere?"
Your face held no expression, but you could feel your chest tighten up. You should have expected this; taking something without someone's knowledge that they were recently working on without being questioned? To some degree you did. You took in a small breath, "That's strange... Maybe one of the other mercs took them to toy around with?" You suggested. Good thinking! Trying to divert it away from you was the best option. Just in case you slipped up when being caught in a lie.
"I asked around already. No one knows what happened to them. Usually, my workshop is pretty tidy, too. It ain't often that something goes missing that I'm not able to find within a short time." His glance kept going to the teleporter and back to your eyes. His entire body shifted around quite a bit.
"I'm really sorry, Engie. I wouldn't have any idea where they went." A jolt went rushing up your spine. Huh, how strange... there was a layer of guilt you felt lying, but you pressed on. "I know you were pretty enthusiastic to show them off to us. Maybe you'll get lucky and they'll turn up somewhere?"
His gloved hand rested on one hip as he shook his head off to the side. "I hope so... I think this is just me bein' paranoid, but I just can't help but worry about what would happen if they got into the wrong hands. I guess my biggest spook is if one of those dastardly BLUs got a hold of them."
You could feel a little heat radiate off your forehead. Remain calm. Just-- remain calm.
A sad laugh escaped from the laborer's toothy grin. "I know, that's just me being a little ridiculous. The worst-case scenario seems to be impossible. Maybe you're right, I'll take a peek around my workshop once more to see if they turn up." He took a step towards the teleporter and got down on one knee. He tapped a side of it which made the glow of the center fade away and for its edges to come to a slow halt. "Well, that's all I had to ask. Y'all did a nice job with the decorating in here."
"Thanks, Engie." You could feel your entire being shake as you grinned down at him.
"Never a problem, 'darlin. Just ask me any time if you want to fix-up a room like this. I'd be happy to help and give you the supplies. Run along now, I'll come and get the teleporter out of your room in a while." He waved his hand for you and Medic to leave. You turned to Doc who looked just as cheerful as ever.
"Let's leave the Engineer to finish up his work. I wanted to check on your ankle once more! Let's see how the healing is going!" His head kept nodding at you in smaller and more repetitive mannerisms. It made you a little ill at ease.
"Yeah, sure... Let's do that..." Your voice held an unsettled tone. Both of you began to exit the office. Though, you couldn't help but turn your head back to face the engineer. He still kept knelt in front of the teleporter. His body remained rigid.
Waves of stress and delinquency since he brought up the mini teleporters kept hitting you. Was this enough to question and re-evaluate your practices of morality? You didn't know. It was painful to think about at the moment. There was only one reason why you were forced to turn away from the kind-hearted man; you turned the corner of the doorframe so he was no longer in sight.