Overwatch recently introduced some new characters into its ever-growing world, including a new playable hero. And while the giant centaur-like Omnic tank Orisa is an interesting addition to the fighting lineup, her creator is more interesting to me. Efi Oladele is an eleven-year-old inventor from the highly advanced African city of Numbani. Despite her young age, she’s already received worldwide attention after receiving a prestigious grant for her robotics work. After a mysterious attack at the Numbani International Airport, Efi was inspired to use her grant money to create a new protector for her city from an old OR15 defense bot. Thus, Orisa was born. Orisa is well-intentioned but still has a childlike innocence despite her many fighting capabilities, and Efi, while a genius, is also still an adorable preteen. The bot and her creator are to put it in simple terms, too precious, too pure, so I was excited to stumble upon a fic that captured that, especially since it hasn’t been that long since they were introduced.
Every one of Orisa’s footsteps seemed to rock the whole room as she padded this way and that, through the paths they had made for her by repositioning half their furniture very, very far to the sides of the floor. He savoured the moments of quiet between the steps and took it all in stride. In time, he thought, he would grow accustomed to this as well. He straightened his glasses, and drifted back to his work.
That was when they heard the scream.
He knew his daughter’s voice in an instant, and so did Orisa. Like a raging flood she tore down the hall to the lab, Mr. Oladele scrambling behind her. Had she hurt herself? He told her to be more careful with her tools. His mind flashed with all the worst possible images of her injured, and he cursed himself that they allowed their little girl to be unsupervised around such dangerous things. He hardly noticed when Orisa, attempting to open the door to the workshop, ripped it clean off its hinges and into the wall.
“Efi!” he shouted, scrambling past the Omnic’s legs, “Efi, are you alright?!”
Efi was uninjured. She was sitting on the edge of her bed (after she had continued to fall asleep amongst her tools, her parents acquiesced and set one up in the room for her), staring down at a small screen. Her eyes were saucer-wide and her hands were shaking. She appeared to be out of breath.
Mr. Oladele’s heart settled, if only by degrees. Her expression frightened him.
“Efi, what is it? What’s the matter?”
Her face shifted indescribably, lips quivering and her brows twitching. She looked as if she was going to cry. She opened her mouth to speak, lungs heaving to catch air, her chest fluttering more and more quickly.
“L…” Her voice cut out as quickly as it came. “L…”
He jumped to her side, heart pounding. “Efi, what is it?!”
“LÚCIO RESHARED MY SELFIE!!“
Efi’s father loves and supports his daughter in every way he can, but he is still getting used to living in a house that is suddenly also home to a giant battlebot. When he hears his daughter scream, he and said bot rush to her defense, only to find that there is nothing to worry about. It’s a delightful bit of canon trivia that Efi is a fan of the Afro-Brazilian DJ-slash-hero in his roles as a musician, as a member of Overwatch, and as a face for the (presumably delicious and nutritious) breakfast cereal Lucio-Ohs, so her totally tweeny reaction to attention from her idol is perfectly in character. It’s also a great reminder that being a fangirl and being a genius scientist are not mutually exclusive. (It’s an extra awesome touch that Lucio fanboys her right back.)
Rhythm and Robotics is a quick, light read at less than 2,000 words. If you’re looking forward to hearing more of Efi and Orisa’s story as events continue to develop in Numbani, this is a great way to get a taste of their characters until more content is revealed. You can read it here at the AO3!
Hear more from Lady Saika on Character Reveal, the podcast she cohosts with BrothaDom!