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04 September 2011 @ 10:49 pm
fan fic :: a change of heart - chapter two (bioshock)  
Title: A Change of Heart
Rating: R
Characters: Augustus Sinclair, Ruby Bowen (OC)
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 2

No rays from the holy heaven come down
On the long night-time of that town;
But light from out the lurid sea
Streams up the turrets silently —
Gleams up the pinnacles far and free —
Up domes — up spires — up kingly halls —
Up fanes — up Babylon-like walls —
Up shadowy long-forgotten bowers
Of sculptured ivy and stone flowers —
Up many and many a marvelous shrine
Whose wreathéd friezes intertwine
The viol, the violet, and the vine.
So blend the turrets and shadows there
That all seem pendulous in the air,
While from a proud tower in the town
Death looks gigantically down.

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

The heavy metal door slid open to reveal a badly lit room and another of those freaky murals devoted to the Cult of Lamb that were all over Rapture these days. ADAM-extracting needle poised, Ruby led Sinclair toward the atrium area, next to the now-deserted quarantaine rooms where Delta was reunited with Eleanor. Ruby paused to look at the teddybears and the Little Sisters toys that were strewn across the room. Memories of Little Sisterhood and Eleanor’s companionship flooded her head. She put a hand on the cold glass and bowed her head.

I’m so sorry, Eleanor. I hope you and Delta will get out of this hellhole. I have been horribly selfish all this time but now I have a goal to achieve and a reason to live. If your Big Daddy can prove that sacrifices are an option rather than a necessity, then I shall do the same, starting with this man Sinclair. Maybe we’ll meet again one day… And maybe you’ll be able to forgive me.

Ruby felt hot, salty tears running down her cheeks and immediately scolded herself for showing signs of emotional weakness. The Big Sister suit couldn’t hide the violent sobs that shook her fragile frame. Suddenly, she felt a hand on her shoulder.

“Hey, kid. I’m sorry for all the sufferin’ you’ve endured. Hell, I know I’m not a saint an’ I’m not gonna try an’ deny that I came to Rapture to strike it rich, no matter what the cost, and maybe even played a part in what happened to you, but… just be strong now, like you were when you fended off those Splicers. When all this is over, you an’ I can go wherever we please. Thanks to you, the world will be at our feet. Not even the likes o’ Sofia Lamb will be able to stop us. An’ if she crosses our path again, we’ll stick it to her for once an’ for all, won’t we?”

Sinclair’s radiant smile made Ruby straighten her back and swallow back the tears. He was right, there’s no sense in breaking down. She had a plan, she had the means to make it happen. Failure would be paramount to surrendering, and that was the very last thing on her mind.

“We have to get back to the train station near Fontaine Futuristics. The Rapture Metro entrance is right below the station. As for the genetic lockdown, if Eleanor can rewrite the Vita Chamber’s settings to accept Delta’s genetic patterns, reconfiguring bathysphere controls should be a walk in the park. Unfortunately, to get to the Atlantic Express terminal, we’ll be forced to cut through the main building. However, after Subject Delta’s little clean-up round, I’m sure the place will no longer be crawling with splicers. Also…”, she said, pointing at Sinclair, “that implies you don a diver’s suit. A Big Daddy outfit, in other words. No need to start injecting yourself with Plasmids and the like, but it might be a tad uncomfortable if you haven’t been inside one of those things before.”

“Eh… if you don’t mind, do you think we have the time to pass by ol’ Fontaine’s office? He has somethin’ that belongs to me.” Despite the severity of the situation, the businessman side of him was as persistent as ever.

“I shouldn’t even be considering that request, but… I suppose we can afford a little detour, yes. And that’s it, no more excursions to any other part of Rapture, got it?”

“Well, I do believe you an’ I can do business, Missy.” Sinclair grinned, his hazel brown eyes twinking. For the first time since Lamb’s followers had thwarted his plans to reach the surface, he began to believe in a life after Rapture again.

When they arrived at the airlock that connected Lamb’s hideout to the ocean between the two buildings of Fontaine Futuristics, Ruby started to assemble a diver’s outfit for Sinclair.

Ironic, isn’t it? Sinclair thought while he watched her, She’s gonna make you imitate the very thing she saved you from turnin’ into, even if it’s only a costume.

“Here you are,” Ruby says, handing him a complete Alpha Series suit. She helps Sinclair fasten the helmet to the chestpiece and steps back to inspect her handiwork. “That ought to do it. Now try and keep up with me.”

“Thanks, kid. But I might hold you back, what with this damn metal junk bein’ so heavy an’ all.”

“I knew you were going to say that.” Ruby sighed and grabbed Sinclair’s hand. “Come on, let’s go.”

She reversed the airlock cycle, causing the door behind them to close. Water began to flood the tiny space, making Sinclair feel slightly uncomfortable. Ruby, however, didn’t hesitate once the ocean had invaded the airlock entirely. She pulled him outside, past torn pieces of metal and the odd Alpha Series corpse, as well as some ADAM slugs that were attached to pillars and rocks. Sinclair tried to keep up with the lithe creature in front of him, occasionally stumbling over a stray pebble or getting caught up in a bush of gently waving plants.
Before long, they reached the next airlock. Once inside, Ruby signalled to Sinclair to be quiet while she walked ahead to check for any unwanted company.

“Hey! Hey, kid, wait a second. I’m going to need a hand to get out of this thing!” Sinclair shouted through the metal casing.

“Have you forgotten that the train station and the main building of Fontaine Futuristics are seperated by another stretch of ocean? Or do you suppose you could fit all components of your suit into that silly utility belt of yours?” Ruby sneered, her porthole flashing a piercing yellow light at Sinclair.

“But what about my helmet? Can’t you at least help me take that off?”

“Actually, if you want my opinion, you’d be better off keeping it on. It’s more bulletproof than your head, you know.” Ruby replied. “But if you insist… Fine, then, let’s remove the suit. There’s bound to be more pieces near the other airlock. I hope…”

“Wheew, feels much better this way. Can’t say I’m particularly lookin’ forward to the second round.”

“Would you kindly keep your voice down? You’re a bloody sitting duck. These goddamn splicers don’t know the difference between a mean and Plasmid-packed Big Daddy and a harmless guy with a gun in his hand. Do I make myself clear?” Ruby hissed.

Sinclair nodded wearily. He began to long back for Subject Delta’s lack of verbal feedback.

This girl is spunkier than a handful o’ rabid raccoons. But the way things are, I’m gonna have to play by her rules, or I’ll be splicer bait faster than you can say ‘Jim Dandy’, he thought.

The main room that led to the office area above was deserted, barring a couple of splicer corpses. Sinclair followed closely while he and Ruby ascended the twin staircase in the middle of the room. When they entered the anteroom to Fontaine’s office, Ruby immediately aimed a flame-filled left hand at the turret up against the wall. Luckily, though, the light atop the turret was still green, indicating a succesful hack. Ruby and Sinclair stepped across the lifeless hulk of an Alpha series just outside the door of the office. Inside, everything was just the way Delta had left it when he sneaked into the office to disable Gil Alexander’s rigged bot shutdown panels.
Sinclair walked straight up to the hidden row of safes in the northwestern corner of the spacey office.

“I knew Delta wouldn’t leave a stone unturned,” he said, smiling broadly. “Makes things a lot easier for us. Ah, here we are…” Sinclair rummaged around the middle safe a little before pulling out a small lockbox and an unused EVE hypo.

“Seriously? You really think this is the right time to start hoarding stuff you can show off to your pals on the surface? You can have the hypo for all I care, but don’t go and take more liberties or I’ll leave you here and swim up to meet the sunset by myself”, Ruby snapped, crossing her arms.

“All right, Little Miss Spoilsport. Let me just put it away an’ we can be on our merry way again.”

Sinclair turned the key on the lockbox and put the EVE hypo inside. Without further ado, he closed the safe and tottered after Ruby, who was already standing in the doorway, tapping her foot impatiently, arms still crossed.

The lobby of Fontaine Futuristics had been the scene of a lengthy battle between Gilbert Alexander’s personal security guard in the shape of an Alpha Series, and a bunch of Houdinis and Leadheads who liked to roam the place in search of free goodies from the vending machine and health station in the lower lobby. Small pockets of fire persisted here and there, indicating the corpse of a splicer who’d been hit with an upgraded version of the Incinerate! plasmid.
As Ruby and Sinclair descended the sweeping staircase, their footsteps echoed through the empty space. Once again, Ruby had the impression that the silence was a deception, like the silence before a storm. Like Eleanor, she had developed a sixth sense in the face of sudden danger. She reached out for Sinclair’s arm and motioned for him to stop.

“Sssh. Don’t make a sound. Don’t move unless I say so. I think we’ve got company.” Ruby said.

Sinclair tried to keep a straight face while fear took a hold of his wits and shook them up like a spaniel with a bunny in its mouth. Mere minutes after Ruby’s warning, the all too familiar sound of incoming splicers trickled into the large space.

“Here they come,” Ruby said. “I’ll cover you, now make your way toward those crates in that corner over there. Stay put and don’t shoot unless they’re practically in your face. This kind of environment is in my favour, but only if I’m the centre of their attention.”

Spurred on by the terrifying Big Sister screech that pierced his eardrums, Sinclair dashed in the direction of the corner Ruby had indicated. He crouched behind the tallest pile of crates and slipped his gun out of its pocket. The splicers were now all over the lobby. For the first time in his life, Sinclair wished he could turn invisible. Or, barring that, having a Vitachamber tuned to his genetic frequency might be a welcome alternative. Adrenaline coursed through his veins while the sound of gunshots and the mad cackles of splicers became too close for comfort. Eventually though, curiosity got the upper hand, and he managed a quick peek over the top of a crate.

There she was, Ruby Bowen, squatting on the big globe in the centre of the room, objects hovering all around her while she showcased the power of her Telekinesis plasmid. Effortlessly and gracefully, she reflected any object the splicers hurled at her, returning their attacks with a couple of well-aimed fireballs. Whatever stray bullet hit her agile frame and caused her to growl in pain was retaliated by a jab of the spear on her right arm or the imposing ADAM-gorging needle on the other arm puncturing the nearest splicer. But the splicers kept coming, and Sinclair’s sense of self-preservation slowly turned into a guilty stab of responsibility. Sinclair did a mental countdown, cocked his gun, and crawled towards the wall in front of him. He nearly dropped his gun when a Houdini splicer appeared a few feet away, but she was only interested in the Health station at the far end of the wall. Unfortunately for the Houdini, it had been rigged by Delta, and within seconds the splicer fell to the floor, poisoned by the foul-smelling gas that trickled out of the Health station. Sinclair, who had been holding his breath, gasped a sigh of relief and prepared to execute his insane plan.

Ruby screeched fiercely while she lifted a Spider Splicer into the air, tearing off his head and plunging her ADAM needle into his convulsing torso. From the corner of her eye she saw the glint of a gun and instinctively she prepared Telekinesis to surprise her attacker. But then she recognised the figure who had appeared from behind the wall and a jolt of panic ran through her body like an electric current when she realised Sinclair was putting himself in harm’s way for her. Tossing the dead splicer aside, Ruby lunged toward the Leadhead whose attention had now shifted to Sinclair. A loud snap told her that the splicer’s neck had been broken beyond repair. Before she could turn around to mow down two Houdinis, a gunshot was heard, followed by a distinct yelp of pain. A human cry of pain. Ruby’s eyes opened wide, the porthole lighting up in response to the shift in her emotional state. She didn’t need to look up to know what her other senses confirmed. Fire burst from her left hand, engulfing the splicers who were encroaching upon Sinclair.

In one smooth movement, Ruby picked up Sinclair’s limp body and dashed out of the lobby and down the stairs towards the airlock. She had guessed correctly, there was a full diver’s suit hanging on the wall next to the airlock door. But Sinclair’s soft moans made it clear that there was no time to rejoice. In his current condition, he wouldn’t even make it into the suit, much less survive the small stretch of ocean to the train station. She hadn’t been able to eliminate all of the splicers that had invated the lobby, and it wouldn’t take long for them to catch up with her.

Only one thing could save us from this mess, Ruby thought, but it’s not going to make much of a difference if I’m wrong about this.

She closed her eyes and took a deep breath. Suddenly, a bright purple flash ripped through the room. At that very moment, the remaining splicers barged into the tight space, their rage temporarily replaced by incomprehension as they stared at the empty space where Ruby and Sinclair had been.


CHAPTER ONE
CHAPTER THREE
 
 
that sound?: Ruth Etting // Ten Cents A Dance