A new official, canon Overwatch short story has been released. Valkyrie, written by the game’s senior lore and story designer Michael Chu, is a first-person story about Mercy coming to terms with the role she performed in the Overwatch organization after it has disbanded. The short story appears to be set shortly before the beginning of the game, and ties in to an in-game story event that can net you a new Mercy costume.
We’ve gone through the story and summed up the lore highlights from it below–stop now if you’d like to read it yourself without spoilers.
The story begins with Mercy remembering her parents, who were volunteering at a hospital in Switzerland during the Omnic Crisis, and were killed by an airstrike one day when she was still young. The story jumps forward to Mercy as an adult, working at an aid camp just outside Cairo. She’s been there for two years removed, having ended her tenure as head of medical research for Overwatch when the organization collapsed sometime earlier. Her reputation was in tatters when Overwatch was disbanded, and she headed to Egypt to help out because Overwatch was “responsible for much of the country’s suffering.”
The story then cuts to Mercy being reunited with Soldier 76 and Ana, who have tracked her down as 76 badly needs healing. Mercy and 76 have a heated discussion about the state of things–76 is out for revenge, especially against Reaper, and the two don’t see eye to eye.
The story flashes back to Mercy and 76’s first meeting, sparked by Mercy’s research into nanobiotic healing (which is, the story assures us, not related to nanobot technology). We’re given some insights into Mercy’s research background, and how she was brought on bought with the promise of letting her develop healing technologies for use off the battlefield–which is, of course, not exactly what happened.
Back in the present, the trio is jolted by an explosion at the nearby Anubis facility, and a reluctant Mercy straps into her Valkyrie suit alongside the other two to go help fend off Talon forces. In the heat of battle, Mercy finds Hanan, a young girl trapped by rubble, who recognizes her as Mercy when she uses her healing staff. She soon finds herself having to rescue Hanan’s brother, too, who is trapped in a collapsing building.
A mortar hits the building during the rescue attempt, and Mercy’s suit is badly damaged. She manages to save both children as the building collapses, getting trapped as the building collapses around her. But 76 comes back for her, and ultimately everyone survives. In the aftermath, 76 and Ana tell Mercy that they’re leaving to continue hunting Reaper, who was responsible for what happened that day. Mercy does not go with them, but as she continues her work, and as she reflects on saving the two children and how excited they were to meet Mercy, she starts to reassess the value of her work with Overwatch.