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04 September 2011 @ 10:19 pm
fan fic :: a change of heart - chapter one (bioshock)  
Title: A Change of Heart
Rating: R
Characters: Augustus Sinclair, Ruby Bowen (OC), Sofia Lamb
Disclaimer: All credit goes to 2K for making this AWESOME game.
Summary: What if Sinclair's fate turned out a little different... what if Eleanor wasn't the only special Big Sister in Rapture?


CHAPTER 1

Lo! Death has reared himself a throne
In a strange city lying alone
Far down within the dim West,
Where the good and the bad and the worst and the best
Have gone to their eternal rest.
There shrines and palaces and towers
(Time-eaten towers that tremble not!)
Resemble nothing that is ours.
Around, by lifting winds forgot,
Resignedly beneath the sky
The melancholy waters lie.

(Edgar Allan Poe, “The City In The Sea”)

On her way back into the Persephone detention facility, Ruby Bowen couldn’t help but notice that something was out of place. Whilst crossing through the dark passageways of Outer Persephone, she had picked up sounds of a big fight going on. She’d been following the progress of Subject Delta since his resurrection in the Adonis Luxury Resort, but because she had long since adopted a staunch regime of self-preservation, she refused to interfere. She had observed how Delta saved Little Sister after Little Sister and how he chose to spare the lives of Grace Holloway and that treacherous rat Stanley Poole. He had even ignored the opportunity to kill the horrifying creature once known as Gilbert Alexander, whom Ruby pitied, though she didn’t have the heart to pull the switch after Delta had left. In the beginning of Subject Delta’s quest, he had been nothing more than a curiosity, a distraction from the boring day-to-day routine in the ruins of Rapture. And suddenly, amidst the all too familiar atmosphere of decay and despair that defined Persephone’s holding wing, Ruby realised that Delta might have meant more to her than a welcome source of entertainment.

A while ago, Ruby had witnessed the conversion of Mark Meltzer into a Rumbler type Big Daddy back in Fontaine Futuristics, but she’d decided to let him be. After all, wasn’t that exactly what this poor man had wanted? At last, the happy if severly twisted reunion with his little girl, Cindy. When Subject Delta entered the place on his quest to be reunited with his own Little Sister, he had no choice but to slay Meltzer in order to start gathering with Cindy. Ruby had been watching from the shadows as Delta protected the little girl with as much devotion as her previous guardian. She smiled when he gently put her down and removed the ADAM slug from her body, restoring her to her normal self, after which the girl swiftly disappeared into the nearest vent.

But this current situation in the detention facility wasn’t about an unfortunate outsider getting punished for sticking his nose in Rapture’s business. Sofia Lamb appeared to have caught a really big fish. It was the first time since the resurrection of Subject Delta had become a fact that Lamb had acted so complacent. Ruby’s ever-present curiosity urged her to abandon the safe cloak of shadows and dark corners. Cocking her head, she took in the face of the figure sitting strapped to a chair in the middle of the room. She thought she recognised him… and then it hit her: Augustus Sinclair. Tenenbaum’s ally and Delta’s very own tour guide. Ah yes, one of Rapture’s so-called Best and Brightest.

Well, not any more, by the looks of it, she thought, but immediately felt bad about mocking him. Ruby knew quite well what was going to happen. Lamb needed his lifeboat and while she was at it, she’d do anything to keep that runaway daughter of hers and her heroic protector from foiling her plans. One of Lamb’s favourite speeches revolved around sacrifices, after all. Whether it was due to the fact that they both were decidedly self-serving, or because Lamb was about to do horrible things to this man, Ruby began to feel sorry for Sinclair. Whatever mistakes he’d made in the past, he simply didn’t deserve this fate. She hopped onto the floor in front of Sinclair, whose eyes opened up wide at the sight of her approaching silhouette.

“No, please don’t…” he whimpered, still half-delirious with whatever drug it was Sofia had administered.

Suddenly, Ruby became aware of the reason for this reaction. She had forgotten all about her appearance. Of course he’d be cowering in fright, any of Rapture’s denizens did when she stepped in front of them. She took a deep breath and allowed herself to relax a bit more. The deep red glow of the porthole in her helmet instantly turned a vibrant green.

“It’s okay. I’m not here to harm you. I’m a friend. I will help you get out of here.” she spoke, watching the fear in his eyes turn into confusion. “My name is Ruby. Ruby Bowen. I may be wearing their suit, and wielding the same powers they do, I am not out to kill everything that crosses my path like most Big Sisters would. Wish I could tell you more about me, but there’s no time for that.”

Ruby reached out for Sinclair and in one smooth movement, she untied him and helped him back on his feet. When his gaze met hers, she was glad to be wearing that Big Sister helmet so he didn’t have to witness her blushing like a schoolgirl.

Damn, he’s actually pretty handsome, Ruby thought, checking out the half-Panamanian entrepeneur behind the impenetrable darkness of her visor.

Sinclair scrunched up his face, trying to discern a glimpse of the slender creature at the other side of the diver’s suit. For a moment, Ruby thought he was going to knock on her helmet, but instead stumbled backwards against the wall. Ruby caught his hand and pulled his arm around her shoulders. When they ventured out into the hallway that connected the administration offices with the rest of the therapy wing, the shrill alarm of a security camera could be heard coming from one of the rooms near the reception desk.

“Dammit, they’re on to us.” Ruby snarled, preparing herself for a fight. “Stay behind me, and don’t do anything rash, you hear?”

Sinclair nodded and did as he was told. Ruby’s lanky stature might not have seemed like it would provide a lot of cover, but even the most demented minds in Rapture knew better than to challenge a Big Sister and expect to get away unscathed.
Within minutes, a large gang of splicers came running towards them. Ruby swiftly employed the fiery Incinerate! plasmid and began to take out the tommygun-toting Leadheads before moving on to the Houdinis and their nasty habit of teleporting around the place. Jumping around the walls as if she weighed no more than a feather, Ruby matched the Houdinis’ every move. Before long, she managed to strike them down with a short burst of fire. Sticking the dreaded needle on her right arm into an unfortunate Spider splicer, draining him of his ADAM, she let out the typical Big Sister shriek. Sinclair, meanwhile, covered his ears and hid behind the reception desk.
When the last corpse sank to the floor, Ruby stepped across the fresh pile of dead splicers towards Sinclair. The porthole’s colour had changed to bright green once again as she reached out a hand. The light blinked on and off; her equivalent of a mischievous smile. Sinclair returned the gesture with a broad smile of his own.

“Come on, we have to hurry up. I don’t think we’ve seen the last of those maniacs yet.” Ruby said, gently lifting Sinclair’s arm around her shoulders again.

As they walked through the underwater tunnel that would lead them to the docking platform, Sinclair shot her a quick glance of gratitude and after a few coughs, he managed to speak.

“The name’s Sinclair, kid. Augustus Sinclair, Esquire. I was on my way out… tryin’ to run away from this madhouse – if you’ll pardon the reference – but that Lamb woman tracked me down an’… well, if you hadn’t saved me, I s’pose I would’ve ended up like another one of her brainless slaves.”

Ruby nodded in response, her mind already abuzz with plans to escape from this beehive. It was a whole lot easier to navigate this underwater labyrint on her own. Thanks to the suit, she didn’t even have to limit herself to the walls of Rapture. She often ventured outside for a swim, but something had kept her from going to the surface and abandoning the city of Rapture altogether. Having Sinclair accompany her would present one hell of a challenge seeing as he had none of the advantages she did. Before they left the room where Sinclair had been imprisoned, Ruby had picked up his gun from a shelf, restoring it to its rightful owner. Although he wasn’t in any condition to defend himself or anyone else for that matter, Sinclair felt a lot safer having that trusty pistol within reach again.

“Hang in there, Mr Sinclair. Almost there now.” Ruby said when she felt Sinclair’s grip loosen.

The door that connected the passageway to the docking station area slipped open and Ruby took a deep breath before passing through. Silence. Not a single sound that tipped off the presence of splicers. Had they all been send off to other parts of the facility? Upon descending the stairs, Ruby could see the lifeboat was still attached to the dock. But something was off here. She could feel it. This was simply too good to be true… Before she could ask Sinclair how to access the vessel, a female voice began to speak over the PA system.

“Citizens of Rapture, Subject Delta is in possession of the key to the lifeboat. It is time to show him his true home, on the bottom of the ocean.”

“Shit… what the hell does that mean?” Ruby whispered.

“It’s the bombs, kid.” Sinclair croacked. “She’s gonna send this place into the trench down yonder. Before you came an’ got me, she sealed off all of the bulkheads and managed to torture the bomb codes out of me… I’m sorry. There’s no way out, even if we were to find Delta and Eleanor. I know Lamb’s got somethin’ else up her sleeve. But without that boat… we’re not goin’ anywhere.”

After a few seconds of silent contemplation, Ruby’s visor lit up and she adopted the most cheerful voice she could muster.

“Oh, I don’t think we should throw in the towel that quickly. First off, I’m pretty sure she won’t blow us out into the water just yet. Knowing Lamb, she’s gonna sabotage the lifeboat and make sure Eleanor has to pick a side. That’ll buy us plenty of time to get to a safer location. Which brings me to my second point: there is another way out of here. Remember the Rapture Metro system? All we have to do is find a functional bathysphere and we’ll be back on the topside in no time.”

Sinclair looked up at her, staring in disbelief.

“But those have been out of use for years! That’s why Delta an’ I been using the Atlantic Express. Besides, I never would have thought of travellin’ to the surface in one o’ those shambly things. I still trust my own stuff more than any of Ryan’s inventions, thank you very much.”

“Look, if you want to get out of here, you’re going to have to listen to me for a change, mister. And considering the position you’re in at the moment, I dare say I am the only chance you’ve got at ever seeing the sunset again.”

Ruby’s porthole had turned a menacing yellow, and her grip on Sinclair’s shoulder tightened enough for him to silently nod back. She knew that the nearest functional Rapture Metro entrance was not even close to their current location. There was no turning back, she had to get out of Rapture. But she couldn’t leave this man behind, even if he would only cause her problems along the way. It really did seem like the days when she wouldn’t think twice about saving her own arse were finally over, then.

You can trust me, if I can trust you, Mr Sinclair, Esquire. This is how we’ll do it. If you think I don’t have a clue regarding your intentions for returning to the surface, you’re dead wrong. But I can tell that there is a good soul behind the cunning businessman façade, so I’m going to give you a chance, she thought while the two of them crossed the doorway into Outer Persephone.


CHAPTER TWO
 
 
feeling kind of: accomplishedaccomplished
that sound?: The Ink Spots // If I Didn't Care