BioQuest: I’m Not

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Elizabeth followed after Jack, which was easy enough. He was walking quickly, though not even close to jogging. The moment she laid her hand on his shoulder, he stopped.

“Jack,” she broke the silence. “After listening to that…” She took a breath and tried again. “Are you alright?”

He stood still for a minute, maybe more, and she waited. In a way, her tower was… Somehow a mercy compared to what he experienced. There could be no comparison, but Elizabeth was the only one close to his age who would understand. His mental age, she supposed.

“No,” he breathed. It wasn’t hurt or anger in his voice, more of a tiredness… His arms hung limply at his sides while he continued. “I’m not.”

“We all called him Papa Suchong, you know.” He glanced over his shoulder, barely brushing her gaze before looking away again. The faint rumble of the turret’s motor filled in the space between his words, turned to face the door now as if giving them privacy.

“Me and the girls. I don’t even know how it started.” He scoffed, shaking his head, and yet he stayed exactly where he was. “A cruel joke from Fontaine, maybe. I can’t imagine Suchong wanting to be called Papa.”

Jack shifted under her hand and Elizabeth took her hand back to instead stand beside him. He looked distantly at his hands, not her. “He made another recording, one of me during the mind control tests. It’s got to be in the city somewhere.”

She tilted her head and waited, not failing to notice that her heart was beating a bit faster. Something akin to fear and worry mixed together, and Elizabeth couldn’t avoid it as much as put it aside for now.

“I had this puppy. She was little, I could cradle her in my arms, but,” he chuckled and his breath caught. “Her legs dangled because I wasn’t big enough yet. I, I don’t remember how old I… Should’ve been.”

He trailed off, gazing towards the door. “Tenenbaum and Miss Diane will be coming soon. We should see if that woman is still there.” Finally, he looked Elizabeth in the eye. Tears ran down his face, the last of a few, and now his eyes were calm. He’d put the pain aside too.

“I think she knows something about the state of Rapture now. What she said, it’s either an offering or a threat.”

What do you want to do, Elizabeth?

Read the next chapter.

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