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Trigger Warning: Gore
Jack bent down and sawed at the corpse’s shoulder, and Elizabeth took careful steps to join him. The floor was somewhat slick with what blood hadn’t dried yet and her heels weren’t forgiving in that respect.
She picked up a leg and pulled open the incinerator chute, tossing it in quickly. Even in the short time that it was open, a wave of heat and burning flesh odor came into the office. She wrinkled her nose, which was better than her reaction when Suchong first made her use this chute.
She stepped back from the chute to gather herself all the same. It was the heat on her face that did her in most of the time, so she would time it well as she went. They finished all four limbs together when Elizabeth put a hand on his shoulder, giving a gentle squeeze to get his attention.
“Elizabeth?” He stood, wiping his forehead with his sleeve again. It seemed the heat fluctuating was affecting him too.
“Why don’t we take a break?”
“But the girls–”
“Will be fine.” She would hear them when they came in and warn them before they saw anything. “Diane can keep them in the other room until we’re done here.”
He nodded slowly, searching for a place to put the saw aside. Elizabeth took it from him and rested it on the stained desk. “Why don’t you finish the story?”
“The–” Then it registered and Jack looked away. “Oh.”
She waited with him, his shoulder rising and falling slightly with his breathing. It’s amazing how these moments between them, no matter how heavy they should have been, always felt… Peaceful. Right.
“The puppy, she…” He shook his head, sighing. And he tried again. “I didn’t have her long. A couple weeks, maybe. Enough to love her more than anything. She made me happy in a way I didn’t think was possible.”
He looked at his hands, lost in thought, then buried them in his pockets. “It was all for a test. To make sure the mind control would work. Suchong ordered me to…”
Jack lurched, and Elizabeth leaned forward with him. Must have been worse than she thought– somehow. “The first life I ever took. And it wasn’t even my choice.”
What do you want to do, Elizabeth?
– – –
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