The flight into Korea was quiet and uneventful. As arguably one of the best pilots in the world, it felt a little weird for Tracer to be flying commercial, but her time in Overwatch hadn't left her that well off, and where was one supposed to store a plane capable of intercontinental flight in downtown London anyway? Instead, Tracer found herself flying business-class on a Boeing 787 and trying her damnedest to relax; this was hard at first, then they brought around the fizzy drinks and it was easy. (A slender 5'4", Tracer was an incredible lightweight when it came to champagne.) The poor gentleman sitting to her right found himself forced to endure a good hour of her nonstop rambling about this and that before he had the good sense to pretend to be asleep; as it was a 11 hour flight scheduled to arrive early the next morning, Tracer figured it would probably be wise to follow suit. Having said that, it was still high noon Greenwich (Tracer smiled at this realization, and absentmindedly wondered how McCree was doing on the lam), and her mind clearly had different plans. She didn't sleep a wink until late into that night.
Her destination was Seoul—Gimpo International, to be specific, as Incheon was too near the sea to be considered a safe destination for commercial flights anymore. Athena had arranged for her there a meeting with a prominent member of the Korean military, who seemed enthusiastic about having her in their service. A touch addled from the champagne, she pulled out her phrasebook and did her best to study up before her arrival—Athena had assured her that the military official spoke English, which was good because Tracer sure as heck didn't know any Korean. Studying was never Tracer's strong point, however, and before long she gave up, choosing instead to blast 에픽하이 Epik High through her headphones with the vain hope that she would be able to absorb something through osmosis. I didn't realize that the show was over, the chorus rang in her ears. The band was coming back with their first studio album after two of their members had been conscripted into mandatory military service; the sensation felt familiar, even if Tracer's situation was reversed. After spending so much time with Overwatch, the military was her normalcy, and she felt an uncertain excitement to be coming back.
The gradual decline of their descent woke Tracer from her nap. She glanced at her watch: 08:57 local time. Right on time. She yawned and stretched, then was suddenly jolted forward as the plane's wheels touched the ground. Frowning at the unexpected disruption, she cracked her back and began to gather her things. Her back was sore from where her chronal accelerator had made contact with the seat, and she was eager to be on her feet again. Before long, she was out on the streets. “Nando, find me a coffee,” she muttered. It pained her British tea-drinking sensibilities, but the Americans were right—nothing cured jetlag like an old-fashioned cup o' joe. “There is a McDonald's a few hundred yards east of here,” came her watch's electronic reply. “Perfect,” she said, heading off in the appropriate direction.
Tracer loved McDonald's.
They didn't sell bagels at the McDonald's outside of Gimpo International Airport, which didn't surprise Tracer particularly since they didn't sell bagels in most of the McDonald's she'd visited around the world, but they sold bagels in the McDonald's outside her apartment in London so it was always worthwhile to check. She ordered extra hash browns to compensate, and by ìextraî she meant, like, five. The coffee was… bracing, and she drank it slowly as she ate. She had just finished her sandwich when a text message from Athena appeared on her phone.
Tracer. Please do not miss your appointment.
She rolled her eyes. Glancing at her watch, she still had an hour, and Tracer was more than effective at moving quickly when the situation required. But, if only to appease Athena's nerves, she decided it wouldn't hurt to get going. She dumped a handful of sugar packets into her coffee and chugged the rest, before discarding her trash and stepping back out onto the street. It was the end of May, and the weather was clear and temperate. There was a stop nearby, and she caught the next bus heading east as soon as it arrived.
One transfer later and she was standing outside the public offices for the Republic of Korea's Ministry of National Defense with fifteen minutes to spare. She showed her passport to a man in the front office, and a phone call later an escort arrived to take her to her destination. He seemed friendly enough, but was clearly not a talker: Tracer's attempts to strike up a conversation fell immediately flat. Surprisingly, this didn't bother her: She was jetlagged enough to not mind a little bit of silence.
She found herself in a nicely-furnished office, greeted by an older pudgy man who, while his uniform suggested he was highly-decorated, had clearly left his days of running about in the field behind him. The man closed the door behind her, although Tracer noticed that her escort still waited outside. She wracked her brain for the man's name; she was fairly certain his surname was Kim—in any case, it was a good guess. Kim… Yung-keun? He certainly had no doubts about who she was.
“Ms. Oxton,” he said, smiling and shaking her hand. “A pleasure.”
“Right,” she replied, a little absentmindedly. This side of military operations—the meetings, the bureaucracy—was never one she'd had a particular knack for. She was a field agent; her M.O. was to get in there, take out as many bad guys as she could, and then get the hell out of Dodge. Jack had always handled the… other bits, and it felt weird handling things for once without his oversight. A little like signing your first lease, to be honest. “Apologies in advance if I seem a little jetlagged; it was a long flight over.”
“Yes, yes.” Kim what's-his-name seemed cheery, which Tracer took as a good sign—it was clear that he wanted her on their side. “Uneventful?”
Tracer nodded. “Very.” There had never been any Korean members on Overwatch, at least not any that she'd known, and so she found his accent a little difficult to parse. He seemed fluent, however, and she imagined that it was something she would just have to get used to.
“Good.” The man walked over and took a seat at his desk—large, well-organized, with a number of photo frames of family and accoutrements of various sizes—and for her part, Tracer took a seat on the opposite side. “Well,” he said, clasping his hands in his lap. “To business.”
Tracer nodded, taking a deep breath to calm her nerves.
“Your AI explained to me your current situation,” Kim continued. “After what happened at the museum, it is good that you have decided to… play by the rules.” He laughed. “We were all a little worried. I am a little surprised, though, that you decided to contact us directly? Normally this is something that would be arranged by governments—It's not often a British citizen shows up on our doorstep asking to join the Korean Army!” He laughed again.
“Well, as you know, I'm not a member of the British Armed Forces,” Tracer replied, “and we figured that the sooner I could get over here and doing things, the better.”
“Yes, well, your history and abilities certainly put you in a unique position!” Kim gestured at her chest, where the chronal accelerator glowed softly. “We can't just turn you away. I've put in word with Jang Seo-jun, who commands the MEKA force down in Busan, and he has promised to set you up with a worthwhile position.” He picked a folder up off of his desk and handed it to her. Tracer took a quick glance inside and then let it rest on her lap. “Your travel information is in there,” Kim continued. “In the meantime, hopefully you will permit us a short interview for the press? The country is excited to welcome you.”
“Right. Of course.” A press release she could do. At their peak, Overwatch members had been bona fide celebrities, and Tracer had always taken to the spotlight better than the rest. She liked inspiring people, and her upbeat, cheery energy quickly made her a favourite for the public and journalists alike. After Overwatch had disbanded, she did a number of high-profile sponsorships, but as public interest in the organization had faded, so too had requests to use her image. She was sure she was a little rusty.
“Perfect.” A large grin spread across the man's face, as if this was the greatest news he could have received. “We'll receive you at 14:00?” He collected her information, and soon Tracer was being escorted back to the entrance.
“Nando, shoot Athena a message for me,” Tracer said. “Things seem to be going good.”