Blizzard has released a new short story for the gun slinging combat medic, Baptiste, “What you left behind.” The story digs into the Overwatch support hero’s past and sheds light on why he left the shadowy Talon organization, one of Overwatch’s deadliest foes.
When Baptiste was first announced Blizzard released a short origin story alongside the announcement. This revealed that Overwatch’s newest hero was orphaned as a child during the Omnic crisis, and in an effort to help people, joined a military group called the Caribbean Coalition. At some point after joining the Coalition, he left for Talon.
We know that Talon brought Baptiste a number of special skills, and helped transformed him into a talented combat medic, but the organization also put him into a position in which he was no longer helping people. He was hurting them.
This of course lead to Baptiste leaving Talon, and to his former Captain, Cuerva, hunting him down. We now know that the Captain failed his mission, and Baptiste survived to become a man on the run, and a thorn in Talon’s side.
And since then, that’s it. That’s where Baptiste’s story stopped.
This leads to one of the biggest criticisms the Overwatch community has levied against Blizzard — the story. A lot of players feel that the characters and the story that surrounds them is extremely lacking. While Blizzard has released a few comic books, and some short stories that usually come alongside Overwatch’s events, there hasn’t been much that really digs into the at-large story or the characters.
It looks like that’s changing with “What you left behind.” This 20-page story digs into Baptiste’s past, deeper than players have ever gone before, and solves a number of mysterious, as well as creating several more.
The story, written by Alyssa Wong, takes us to a clinic in Port-de-Paix, Haiti, four years after Baptiste’s departure from Talon. It’s here that we meet Dr. Roseline Mondésir, a friend of Baptiste’s that he grew up with at the same orphanage. While Baptiste served in the Caribbean Coalition, Roseline went to medical school and realized her childhood dream of building a clinic for the folks in the neighborhood.
Baptiste finds the clinic in dire financial straights, Sainclair Pharmaceuticals, run by Vernand Sainclair, the largest medical supplier in Haiti, keeps raises their prices, making it difficult for the clinic to get supplies, and people can’t afford their medications.
After helping out Dr. Mondésir at the clinic, Baptiste heads to his favorite local bar, Lefort’s, and it’s here that trouble finds him. Waiting within are two figures from his past: Nguyen, a thin, sharply-dressed Vietnamese man who operates as a Talon analyst, and Mauga, a gigantic soldier with wild black hair, streaked with white, that appears to be samoan.
Both men are former Talon squad mates of Baptiste, and make it clear that he’s not only going to help them with a local mission, but he’s returning with them to Talon HQ, in Rome.
Leading up to the mission Baptiste experiences a series of flashbacks, and it’s during this that we learn about the night he left Talon. Four years ago on a mission to Monti Cristi against the Playa Cartel, Baptiste and his squad went to the town to capture the cartel’s leader, Daniel Fernández.
When they get to the safe house in Monti Cristi Fernandez is gone, and the Talon mission leader, Captain Cuerva orders Baptiste’s square to rip the town apart until they find their target. Realizing Fernandez isn’t there, Talon ships fire on the town to make an example of them. As a result civilians are killed and injured, and Talon troops loot the townspeople as the town burns down around them. Baptiste watches his fellow Talon soldiers having fun while they loot people’s precious heirlooms, and nearly shoots a small girl who approaches him with a rock.
This is the last straw for Baptiste, who decides to flee and quit Talon. As he’s about to leaving Monti Crisit on a boat, Mauga confronts him. “There are no good people. Not you, not me. All we can do is have fun while we’ve got the chance,” says the giant man to his friend and squad mate. In a tense moment when Baptiste has him gun trained on Mauga, the huge man decides to let Baptiste go, telling him “Call me when you’re ready to come home.”
We learn that Mauga and Nguyen in town because Sainclair Pharmaceuticals isn’t paying Talon what it owes them, so they’re going to put pressure on Vernand to pay up.
The three travel to Vernand Sainclair’s mansion, fight through the guards, and find Vernand in his office. Scared, sweating, and desperate, the pharmaceutical kingpin offers the Talon agents and Baptiste information on the location and name of every former Overwatch agent. Someone is trying to reform Overwatch, and as a former agent himself, Sainclair received the recruitment message.
Mauga and Nguyen want to kill Sainclair, and instruct Baptiste to do it. Instead the medic throws a flash bang grenade, and uses his exo-boots to jump up through the stain glass window onto the roof. After escaping with Sainclair, Baptiste promises to help him if he provides free medicine for all of the clinics in Haiti.
As Baptiste is about to leave Haiti and escape to safety, Mauga confronts him at the docks. Only through the use of his prototype immortality field is the medic able to escape intact. While Mauga’s fate is left up to question, though Baptiste sincerely doubts it’s the last he’s seen of his former friend and squad mate.
As the story closes out Baptiste is on a journey to the Middle East to find Mercy, whom he met at a humanitarian aid site in Venezuela several years past. But to find her, he needs some help. After opening an encrypted app on his phone and hitting the call button, none other than Sombra answers “Hey, mijo. It’s been a while.”
This story gave us a great look at Baptiste’s past, solved a lot of mysterious, and added even more burning questions to the list of things fans are dying to know about the Overwatch universe. Find out everything we learned from the story here.