BioQuest: Constants

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With his cautious pace towards Hestia Chambers, Elizabeth easily caught up with Jack. He didn’t notice her at first, at least not visibly, which could have been just part of his disguise… As she got closer, she picked out the details in the worn, faded black vest draped over his shoulders as the one Booker was never seen without.

Except today, apparently.

Of course they bought extra clothes in Rapture, but none matched that so perfectly. Elizabeth fell in stride with Jack, who simply let her– he knew he was caught, she supposed, but he didn’t seem even slightly guilty.

“What exactly do you think you’re doing?” She kept her voice and expression even. The others around them were too frantic or busy to observe them, but Atlas’ people could be anywhere. Especially as they went closer to the prison areas of Apollo Square that Sullivan mentioned at the labs.

“My part,” he answered with a small smile and a glance her way. A bulb burst a few feet behind them and she tensed, but he kept steady. Times like these, Elizabeth recalled all the files from Suchong’s work on what they did to Jack.

He was genetically and mentally conditioned to keep his cool in tense situations, particularly combat. This civil war was his element– and she shuddered at the thought of her future self that helped Booker.

“I’m not sitting this out, Elizabeth,” he continued, stepping over rubble and minding the crowd with a familiarity that still seemed uncanny although she knew its source. “I only said I wouldn’t go with you, not that I wouldn’t go.”

He was silent for a few beats, and she could tell he was considering his words. From his eyes sometimes catching hers, from the calm way he carried himself, who knew how she knew, she just did. Living with someone as long as they had… It could do that.

“You were right not to take me to the lab. I’d be recognized or worse. Too risky,” he admitted heavily, sighing. “Instead, I’m tracking Atlas and his thugs.” She expected some disgust or perhaps hesitation, not how matter-of-fact he was striding ahead of her into enemy territory.

…it was nostalgic, in a way.

“The radio chatter reveals a lot if you cycle through,” he explained and turned to her as they reached the district beside Hestia. “And I think he’s treating this prison like a base. A bit of Rapture all his own.”

And suddenly, he waited there. First, he took in the damage, the people rushing by, security directing those who would listen, and last, he rested his gaze on her.

“Booker told me. About where you were kept.” He kept up an even tone and she reached for the bird necklace, remembering how sudden her freedom was. Sometimes, even after all those years, it still felt surreal. “You didn’t just let Booker save you on his own. I want to do the same, and this isn’t like with Cohen. The only one at risk now is me. Unless…”

He faltered, looking away from her to finish that sentence. “You want to join me?”

What do you want to do, Elizabeth?

Read the next chapter.

– – –

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