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05 September 2011 @ 09:56 pm
fan fic :: a change of heart - chapter three (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 3

There open fanes and gaping graves
Yawn level with the luminous waves;
But not the riches there that lie
In each idol's diamond eye —
Not the gaily-jeweled dead
Tempt the waters from their bed;
For no ripples curl, alas!
Along that wilderness of glass —
No swellings tell that winds may be
Upon some far-off happier sea —
No heavings hint that winds have been
On seas less hideously serene.

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

The Rapture Metro sign flashed on and off, casting eerily moving shadows on the walls and ceiling of the Metro station. The silence inside the room was interrupted by the humming sound of a teleport. After the purple light had faded out, two figures appeared on the gangway which lead up to a large bathysphere, its door opened invitingly. Ruby looked around, barely able to believe that her little trick had worked. Her heart was pounding in her ears, her head was spinning from the heady mix of fear and adrenaline that had forced her to a not-so-metaphorical leap of faith.

“Look, we’re almost there. Almost out of this rathole. We made it this far, so please, stay with me.” Ruby whispered to Sinclair while she supported his barely moving frame.

Those long, armour-clad arms, once capable of dismembering splicers in the blink of an eye, were now lovingly lifting her wounded companion into the cosy interior of the bathysphere. Ruby closed the door behind her and slammed the lock shut with a satifying thud. She kneeled down next to Sinclair and began to unbutton his blood-stained shirt. A red polip, its colour slowly shifting to dark green, appeared in the palm of Ruby’s hand as she employed the Hypnotize plasmid in order to remove the bullet that had penetrated his right shoulder. When her little surgery stint was over, Ruby readjusted Sinclair’s shirt, leaned back and began to remove her helmet. The soft green glow of the porthole was now replaced by a pair of big, crystal blue eyes amidst a slender, pale-skinned face. Despite the white hot pain that had taken over his senses, Sinclair noticed that something had changed, but he couldn’t quite make out what that was. He forced his eyes to adjust to the dim lighting inside the bathysphere and let out a faint gasp when his gaze met Ruby’s.

“Hush, you need to rest. Although your pulse is still weak and you’ve lost a lot of blood out there, I’m sure you’ll make it through. I hypnotised you while I removed the bullet in your shoulder and gave you some of my ADAM to help you recover. Remember,” Ruby said, mimicking Sofia Lamb’s voice, “Big Sister is watching you.”
Sinclair reached out a trembling hand and smiled faintly.

“Thanks.” His voice was no more than a whisper. “I guess I kind of overestimated my heroic qualities out there.”

Ruby grasped his hand and clenched it firmly, biting her lip hard as salty tears began to blur her vision.

“You are one of the bravest people I’ve met in a long time. At first, I thought you were just another scheming bastard whose mind was warped by the thought of money. But now I know there’s more to you than meets the eye.”

“Speakin’ o’ which, I really hadn’t expected to see a pretty face like yours hidden behind that rusty helmet. You sure are a sweet sight for sore eyes, kid.”

Ruby chuckled, and wiped the tears out of her eyes. Even though he was injured, Sinclair couldn’t resist flirting with the mysterious creature that had saved his life.

“Well, Mr Sinclair. You might have shown some heroic antics out there but seems like underneath that all you’re just like any other man when they see a lovely young thing.” Ruby sighed, and shook her head in a deprecrating manner.

“What?” her companion grinned. “I’m a man, I have needs.”

“Okay, I think I’d better start explaining a thing or two about who I am, Mr Flirty Pants. After all, in Rapture, everyone has a story, right? Well, here goes mine. Eleanor and I share a common past, we were both taken from our parents and placed in the Little Sister Orphanage down in Siren Alley. I’d always been an independent spirit and a precocious girl, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise that I managed to escape from the Family’s radar once Dr Alexander helped me to reverse the mental conditioning that Little Sisters are subjected to. I realise it was wrong and selfish of me to leave her behind, especially since we were best friends and all that, but… I was scared, I didn’t know what might become of me if Sofia Lamb found out that I was as special as her own daughter.”

Ruby stopped and sighed as more tears began to trickle down her cheeks. She turned away from Sinclair and rubbed at her red-rimmed eyes. Suddenly, she felt a hand on her shoulder. Sinclair had raised himself, his face unable to mask the pain he experienced while doing so.

“Ever since this place went to Hell in a handbasket, the border between good and evil sorta stopped existin’. You can’t go on an’ blame yourself for somethin’ as natural as the will to survive. You an’ me, we’re not all that different. We both figured out that the key to survival in Rapture is nothin’ more than a survival o’ the fittest. And Eleanor, in her own way, is doing just that.”

He winced as he fell back against the soft, velvet-covered seat. Ruby slipped a hand under her friend’s neck and helped him find a more comfortable position.

“You need to let the ADAM do its job. Please, don’t fight it. Lie down and take a rest, and I’m right here if you need me.”

Sinclair closed his eyes and tried to relax. Ruby found herself absent-mindedly stroking his cheek – soft skin against the roughness of his five o’ clock shadow. The pent-up tension from the splicer fight finally subsided and an unfamiliar sense of safety and belonging began to unravel inside of her. Time seemed to stand still inside the bubble of the bathysphere, while the rest of Rapture continued to crumble and fall apart. And at the exact moment Ruby Bowen bent down and planted a kiss on Augustus Sinclair’s forehead, the bombs in Persephone detonated.

A low, menacing rumble shook the foundations of Fontaine Futuristics. The light fixtures in the Metro reflected a jittery shadow dance across the walls of the station. The water began to ripple and splash around the bathysphere, pushing and heaving against the mechanism that held the sphere in place. Ruby snapped out of her dreamlike state, her eyes grown wide with fear, her lips forming soundless words. She had forgotten about that particular ‘little treat’ Sofia Lamb had planned for Delta. She’d let her guard down long enough to lose whatever headstart she’d gained, that’s what. And now, all of the trouble she’d gone through to save the man who had given her a new outlook on life might have been in vain – just another failed attempt at trying to make sense of the chaos around her.

“I will get us out of here safe and sound, like I promised I would. I will not let you breathe your last in this demented fishtank.”

Ruby’s voice sounded slightly shaky, but the hands that fastened her Big Sister helmet onto her suit were not. Already she could feel the vibrations of her ADAM-powered body while she searched for a way to override the bathysphere’s genetic lockdown. She tried to a combination of Hypnotise and Telekinesis but to no avail.

Figures, Ruby thought, it’s a machine, not an organic lifeform. You can’t hypnotise inanimate objects. Think, dammit, think.
The more she racked her brain, the less certain she became of finding a way around the issue. And then it hit her.

Let the ADAM do its job.

The very same thing she’d told Sinclair when he struggled against the healing process which the small dose of ADAM had initiated. ADAM knows, it remembers and it can apply that knowledge. It can interact. A solution so simple, anyone might have overlooked and discarded it. Yet it was the best shot she had to gain control of the bathysphere. After all, ADAM was all about genetics and taking or losing control.

Ruby shut her eyes and focused all of her willpower on the bathysphere’s lever. A few minutes later, she heard – and felt – a distinct click, followed by a croaking sound as the lever shifted for the first time in years. The bathysphere was released from the holding mechanism and began its descent into the Metro tube below the station. Ruby let out a sigh of relief and quickly returned her attention to the arduous task of piloting the bathysphere with the aid of Telekinesis. At this point in Rapture’s history, the guiding beacons that used to propel the bathyspheres toward the various stations had stopped working altogether and only escape pods such as the one Sinclair had prepped back in Persephone could make it to the surface without much trouble for its passengers.

“I’ve swam in these parts of the ocean plenty of times,” Ruby mused. “I used to come over and look at these structures, wondering what it’d be like to shoot from one section of the city to another. Never did imagine I’d find myself actually doing that.”

At last, the bathy had reached the ocean part of the tunnel. Ruby rechanneled the ADAM-charged Telekinesis plasmid and forced the walls of the tunnel to bend outwards. Like a fish slipping through the maze of a net, the bronze sphere gracefully rose up through the gap. Once they were out in the open, Ruby’s mental grip loosened slightly. The final leg of the journey had begun. Slowly but steadily, the bathysphere commenced to rise to the surface.

Behind her, Sinclair stirred. “Wha-what’s goin’ on? Did we drop or somethin’?”

“Shush, it’s all right. We’re on our way to the sunset. We did it, Mr Sinclair.”

Sinclair’s face lit up at those words. He raised himself carefully but the pain did not come. Instinctively, he touched his shoulder, probing the skin as if to test that he had not become paralysed.

“You really patched me up well, darlin’. I’m feelin’ as good as new. But are you sure there won’t be any, ah, side effects to be reckoned with?”

“Not my ADAM. Like me, it’s evolved. It’s more refined than the stuff you’ll find in splicer corpses. I’d even go as far as to say that it’s on the verge of perfection. Just a few drops of this are enough to heal most wounds, no matter how severe. Getting you to the Metro station, that was the tricky part.”

“Well, I never woulda thought a day would come when I am grateful to have crossed paths with a Big Sister.” Sinclair grinned.

He sat down next to Ruby, who was gazing out the bathysphere’s porthole. Helmet lying beside her, she had once again revealed the fragile adolescent behind the fearsome Big Sister. Her face radiated a mixture of sadness and hope that Sinclair couldn’t quite grasp.

Together they sat and watched the art deco buildings of Rapture slide past. Neon signs lit up the indigo darkness of the ocean depths. Viewed from the outside, the city remained as stately and imposing as ever. Fish shot through the space between the skyscrapers, unperturbed by the presence of this vast city on the ocean floor. As the vessel rose, the buildings appeared to stretch out their spires like claws, threatening to reclaim all those who dared to escape. Ruby had pressed her hand against the cold glass of the porthole, as if she were trying to connect with the last cinders of the life she was leaving behind. Suddenly, Sinclair felt a hand slipping into his. The girl in the armoured suit curled into him and lay her head on his broad shoulder.

Shortly after the top of Olympus Heights, Rapture’s tallest structure, had disappeared below the cloak of darkness, the bathysphere broke through the unusually calm surface of the North Atlantic. The sky around them had coloured a fiery orange, fringed with hues of grey and purple. To their right, the Lighthouse towered above the ocean, backlit by the sun’s downward movement at the horizon. Ruby Bowen stared open-mouthed at the glowing disc in the sky. For years, the spectacle of the surface had failed to capture her interest. But now, its shining beauty meant only one thing to her: the promise of a new start, a new life.

Their perilous journey to the surface was over. Ruby couldn’t help but think of the flawed attractions in Ryan Amusements. Getting to the world above had been as awful as the rides had made them out to be. But even though she firmly believed that Andrew Ryan’s brainwashing about the evils of gods, kings and the government could never beat the terror of Rapture’s downfall, she actually felt proud of her heritage. She was well aware of the fact that she wielded power beyond anything the world had ever seen, and with such great power comes even greater responsibility.

They’re not ready for me, and I don’t know if I’m ready for them. Without Sinclair to guide me, I might as well dive straight back to the depths and become a relic of that dismal place, Ruby mused.

She didn’t like having to surrender her independence and even though he had not given her reason to doubt, there still remained a shimmer of uncertainty as to Sinclair’s real motives. What bothered her the most, though, was the undeniable fact that he had unleashed an emotion within her that she had never dreamed of experiencing. At last, Ruby knew what it felt like to have fallen in love.

“We made it, kid.” Augustus Sinclair said, patting her shoulder. “You and I, we’re going places.”


THE END.


CHAPTER ONE
CHAPTER TWO
 
 
feeling kind of: calmcalm
that sound?: Caro Emerald // That Man