Author: EcoSeeker247 PM
Sequel to Paradise Lost. As Ryan and Atlas continue their war for the city under the sea, Amanda struggles to remember her life before she woke up. But does she really want to, especially with Rapture being plunged into further chaos? Rated T for language and violence.Rated: Fiction T - English - Suspense - Jack R. & Atlas - Chapters: 26 - Words: 134,478 - Reviews: 81 - Favs: 13 - Follows: 13 - Updated: 10-21-12 - Published: 02-11-12 - id: 7824014
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Okay! Here's the next chapter! Thanks again to everyone who's been reading, reviewing, and alerting!
EDIT: Wow! About 10 minutes after posting this chapter, I had a scary Amanda Copeland moment: I fell down the stairs in my house! Luckily, I didn't break anything, but my toe's killing me. Leave it to me to be that clumsy! Just thought I'd mention that.
DISCLAIMER: Only my OCs, plot ideas, and modifications from the original game are mine. Everything else belongs to 2K/Irrational Games.
"Yes, Amanda," Cohen confirmed as I remained in a silent shock, "I know it's you. Atlas's favorite, if I remember correctly. I thought you were supposed to be like Fitzpatrick."
I tensed a little bit. I didn't like the tone he was using, which made me think the voice was right about him hating me. "Sorry to disappoint you," I replied hotly, "But I'm very much alive, as you can see already. The only ones who don't know are Ryan and Atlas."
"How can you be certain Ryan hasn't found out by now? I know he's been tracking your group since you started wandering around Rapture with the newcomer. Not to worry. I won't say anything. I no longer care about what happens to Ryan. Or you, for that matter. I thought we made it clear that you were never to step foot here again."
I grew even more tense. I had been banned from Fort Frolic? This was news to me. "Why?" I questioned.
Cohen narrowed his eyes. "You mean you don't remember?" he asked in mock surprise, "I knew it. The Doubters always forget."
I glared at him and folded my arms. "No!" I snapped, "You have no idea what I've been through for these last six months. I nearly got my head cracked open after someone tried to kill me, I've been spending this whole time trying to get my memories back, some of them I don't think I'll ever be able to recover, and half the people in my group don't trust me. And now you're starting with all this. Can't someone, for once, cut me a little fucking slack around here? My God! It's like I do one little thing wrong and you're all ready to crucify me! I'm not perfect. I know I've done a ton of things wrong, but so has everyone else in this city and none of them are being ripped to shreds over it!"
Cohen stared before moving away from the door. "I think you should join the others at the Quadtych," he suggested, completely ignoring everything I had just said, "There is much to be done, and I know you know your way around here. You can guide the man who will help me put my masterpiece together. Just don't make him start doubting me."
That's it, I thought, No more Miss Nice Girl. I raised my fist and pounded on the door a bit more aggressively this time. "Don't walk away, Cohen!" I shouted, "I'm not finished! If you could tell me what exactly I did to make you hate me, I'd leave you alone. Believe me, I don't want to talk to you anymore than you want to talk to me."
With that, he turned around, and although I couldn't see his whole face, I had a feeling he was smirking. "Go to Poseidon Plaza," he said, "And you'll find out. I don't feel obliged to have to remind you of the trouble you caused here, Amanda. Besides, I've read about cases like yours. I think you should test your wings and try recalling this place on your own. That is, if Poseidon Plaza doesn't take you first."
"And what's that supposed to mean?"
Cohen winked. "You'll find out. Now, go. The artist waits for no one." He slid the screen shut, and I pounded my fist on it one more time just as I caught him humming from the other side. The tune he was humming sounded very familiar, almost patriotic in a way, despite the fact that there was resentment in his voice. I couldn't remember all the words, but I closed my eyes and whispered the words I did know:
"Oh, rise, Rapture, rise,
We turn our hopes up to the skies!
Oh, rise, Rapture, rise,
Upon your wings our dreams will fly.
A city in the ocean's deep,
A promise we will always keep,
To boldly turn our eyes upon the prize,
So rise, rise, rise!"
That was it. I was sure of it. Everything that Andrew Ryan had promised Rapture would be, and he had failed to deliver. I took a deep breath and opened my mouth to reprise the song when a voice that wasn't mine started singing instead.
"Oh rise, Rapture, rise,
We merrily sing this reprise!
Oh rise, Rapture, rise,
To help us crush Parasites despised…"
I whirled around just as a familiar face stepped out of the shadows. One I wasn't expecting to see right now.
"Eva?" I gasped, "What are you doing here?"
I took in my other best friend as she walked towards me, finishing her part of the song.
"A city on Poseidon's floor,
A set of ideals we adore,
A philosophy we all can emphasize,
So rise, rise, rise!"
She took a deep breath as she finished, smiling sadly at me as she folded her hands together. She then chuckled weakly and shook her head.
"Rapture's 'National Anthem'," she commented, "Sander Cohen's song. One of a kind, huh?"
"I'll say," I concurred, "Even though it's full of nothing but lies. Just like this city. I have no idea what I ever saw in this place. When I was a kid, I thought this was the best place in the world, but now that I see it for what it really is…I don't want to be here anymore." I then faced her.
"I don't know what you ever saw in Ryan, either," I said, "Looking at you now, I remember everything about you. You betrayed me, like Parker said. You handed me over to Ryan because you were full of anger and hate. You've pulled yourself away from him, but that hate is still there. I can tell."
"It was this place," Eva insisted, "Rapture. It's turned me into someone I never wanted to be. And in the process, I hurt a lot of people. I think I've learned my lesson to never betray anybody like that again. I'm sorry I did it to you, though. I realized in all this time, I never officially apologized for it, but I know I owe it to you. I'm sorry for everything, Amanda."
I wanted to forgive her. I really did, but I couldn't stop thinking about my killing spree from last week. In my anger, that part of me was returning, even though I didn't want it to.
"I know I was nice to you in those two months we stayed with Parker," I told her, "But that was before I remembered what you did. Before I even think about forgiving you, tell me what you're doing here."
Eva sighed. "I was trying to find you," she explained, "The others-Catherine, Oakes, and Lutwidge, that is-found a submarine and they've been preparing to head back to the surface. They sent me here to get the rest of our group together. We checked security cameras all over Rapture and knew you'd be here. I saw Park and Ms. Copeland were with you, but I wasn't sure who the man was."
No way, I thought, They've got an escape plan? "What about Sinclair?" I asked, "I thought you all were still with him."
"Oh, he's around here, too, if you want to see him. He stopped by Sinclair Spirits to pick up some of his drinks. He said, and I quote, 'Don't want these fine drinks to go to waste, Miss Eva. I can still profit from them'."
I shook my head. Typical Sinclair. "You two realize that Cohen trapped us all in here, right?" I asked.
Eva closed her eyes. "Figures he did," she mumbled, "So are you gonna come to Sinclair Spirits with me?"
"Maybe later. I've got to find the others. And that man's name is Jack, by the way. He's from the surface, and we're trying to help him get home." I turned to leave.
I faced Eva again.
"I thought you might want to see this, too. I happened to notice it and took a picture to show you. I have to warn you, Amanda, you're not gonna like what you see in the photograph."
She handed over the photograph in question, and what I saw did indeed shock me.
It was a picture of my "memorial" in Apollo Square.
And it had been vandalized!
No, I thought, my heart sinking as I took in the burnt out candles that had been knocked over, the dead flowers scattered all over the floor, and the smudged handwriting from all my friends and family. I couldn't help but feel tears roll down my cheeks at the sight. Even though I wasn't dead, it was still the principle of the thing.
But the most distressing thing of all was the fact that the photograph of me that had been right in the center was gone!
"I was shocked when I saw it, too," Eva said, "I just don't understand who would do this. As a matter of fact, I noticed all those posters of you that used to be on walls all over Rapture are gone, too. It's like someone wanted to make sure your image was erased from the city. I know Sinclair burned your records, but I have no idea who this could be…"
However, my sadness turned to anger. While Sinclair may have been trying to help me, I knew this time, the culprit behind this wasn't doing it for the same reason.
"I know exactly who did this," I growled, "Come on! We've got to find Jack!"
By the time we returned to the atrium, I noticed Jack and Parker were gone and Mom was still standing by what I assumed was the Quadtych, four frames being held up by plaster-covered sculptures. One of the frames had Kyle's picture in it already. "Where is everybody?" I asked.
"I have given your friend the task of immortalizing my three other disciples in the Quadtych you see before you," Cohen explained before my mother could answer, "I'd like to have some memory of them in case this place plunges even further into ruin. They were each interesting in their own way, and my masterpiece would not be complete without them."
Eva eyed the Quadtych with a look of skepticism on her face, but shook her head, declining to comment.
"Remember what I told you," Cohen reminded me before hanging up for the time being. I looked up again just as I caught Eva and Mom staring at each other. My mother had a cold expression on her face.
"So," she began, "Eva Hastings. You're stuck here, too, huh? A bit convenient, don't you think?"
"Yes," Eva agreed, "But I don't mean either of you any harm. We're just trying to find Jack. Amanda has something important to tell him, apparently."
"Not apparently," I corrected, "It is important. About Atlas. Guess who his wife is?"
Neither one of them responded, so I took the photograph from the Smuggler's Hideout and pressed it into Mom's hands. Both she and Eva gasped.
"You?" they cried.
"No," Mom added, "This isn't possible. Surely you're not suggesting that…?"
"Did you ever wonder why we never met his wife or child when we were part of his army?" I pressed, "His 'family' was fake! Those other people that died in the submarine were strangers! Sad that they had to die, but that wasn't his family."
Mom closed her eyes and nodded, looking more and more bitter every second. "I thought their reactions to Atlas were strange," she said, "But knowing this puts a new spin on things. No wonder he was trying to cozy up with you all the time. Made some cryptic comment about how you cared…I don't remember exactly what it was. I told him to stay away from you, because I thought he had a family. Why the hell would he lie about this?"
"Because he's a Parasite," Eva spat. Mom and I just stared at her, and she shrugged, looking a little sheepish.
"Sorry," she quickly apologized, "Old habits die hard."
"I don't care," I declared, "I tried telling Jack, but he didn't believe me. Well, I'm gonna make him listen. No more secrets. No more lies! If he hates me after this, that's fine, but at least he'll know. I was going to wait until later, but I realized I can't. If Jack finds out later and realizes I kept this all from him, he'll never forgive me." I briefly looked around.
"You two stay here," I said, "And if Parker comes back, tell her what I told you. Eva, tell Mom about the sub the others found, and why you're here, because I'm sure she wants to know." Between this new information and Elsa getting an army of Splicers together, I was sure there was nothing we couldn't handle throughout Rapture. Where was Elsa right now, anyway?
"You wanna go by yourself?" Mom asked in surprise, "After everything we've been through so far?"
"I've held my own before. Don't worry about me, I'll be fine." I held up my fist to show her Electro-Bolt 2, and then I turned and headed towards Poseidon Plaza. I couldn't believe I was actually following Cohen's advice, but it was better than just sitting idly and not taking any action.
I quickly glanced around, spotting a tunnel that looked as if ice was trying to seep through from the other side. I remembered Cohen mentioning something about cold storage. That must have been here.
I stepped closer to the door, allowing it to slide open, and I took careful steps onto the other side, noting the ice-covered walls and floors. I cursed myself for not having shoes, and I tried not to slip and fall in the process.
I turned the corner, looking around before continuing on my way. Halfway through the tunnel, something made me stop: a shuffling noise to my left.
All I could hear was my breathing, and I could even see my breath in front of me. I tried not to breathe as hard while I continued to tiptoe to the other side of the tunnel.
Still, I couldn't shake that feeling that someone was following me. Just keep moving and get the hell out of here, I thought to myself.
Suddenly, a beam of ice appeared out of nowhere and slammed into my shoulder. "AHH!" I gasped, stumbling back as I fumbled for my gun. I fired a few rounds in the direction the ice had come from, but another beam sailed right towards me. I ducked out of the way, watching as it hit the wall and froze in its place.
More beams flew in my direction, and I fired Electro-Bolt in front of me as I continued to duck, rolling out of the way and eventually hiding behind an ice sculpture.
Wait a minute, I thought, catching a glimpse of red. I examined this sculpture a little more closely, my eyes traveling up until I realized what this really was.
And it wasn't a damn ice sculpture.
"Well, now," a voice spoke up as a man wearing an elaborate bird mask appeared out of nowhere with a large needle, "What are you doing here? Looking to get a taste of an ADAM cocktail?"
I balked. "N-no," I stammered, shivering and hugging myself.
The man poked the needle into a slightly melted portion of ice, near the Splicer's arm, and I watch in horror as he drained the ADAM out of the frozen man. He removed the vial from the needle, tilted his head back, and downed the ADAM as if it were beer. He smacked his lips and offered me a smile.
"Don't give me that look," he said, "A man's gotta survive in here. I'm hoping more than just those Splicers will end up in here."
"L-like who?" I whispered.
"Cohen, for one," the man answered, running his hand along the frozen wall next to us, "That bastard just threw me in here and left me to freeze. But don't worry, I'll get him back. The Ice Man always finds a way. He won't fuck with me again." He examined his ice-covered fist.
"Neither will that girl who promised she'd get me out of here," he added.
"Who?" I asked.
"I don't remember her name, but she was lookin' for one of these to find her friend." He held up an Accu-Vox Recorder, and just like that, things began to click. Oh, shit, I thought, This is Martin Finnegan. I remember him now. I better get out of here.
I just nodded and made for the exit when more ice clipped my other shoulder.
I turned around to face Finnegan as he held up an ice-covered fist.
"I never said I was lettin' you leave. I've been running out of ADAM from these other cowards. I think it's time I had a fresh supply."
I bolted towards the door, but Finnegan grabbed my arm and sent me flying to the other side of the room. Before he could reach for me again, I struck him with Electro-Bolt, causing him to step back and massage his arm. While he was distracted, I grabbed the needle out of his hand and gave myself the ADAM inside it, thinking that if the situation were reversed, he would have done the same without even a second thought.
Well, I had gotten in the gutter before. I wasn't afraid to do it again.
Finnegan tried to freeze me again, but I ducked and punched him across the face. Unfortunately, this caused him to retaliate by returning a slap of his own, knocking my mask and wig off and sending them clattering to the floor.
Shit, I thought, reaching out to touch my hair…only to realize it was my natural hair.
Finnegan stopped, taking in my features after unintentionally removing the disguise, and though I couldn't see his face, I was sure he was frowning. "So it is you," he hissed, "I was wondering when Cohen would bring you back. Did you forget that you were supposed to come back for all of us?"
I had, because of my condition, but looking at him now…everything was coming back to me.
"I'm sorry," I apologized, "But so much shit happened between then and now. I didn't mean to just forget about you guys. I swear!"
"Well, you did. I knew anyone who was friends with Cohen couldn't be trusted. Tried to convince myself otherwise, but you're no better than he is. You made a promise, and you broke it. I can only imagine who else you've done that to."
More than I care to admit, I said to myself, sighing. "Look, Finnegan," I huffed, "It was an accident! I wasn't trying to purposely break my promise!"
"Liar! You're nothing but a liar! Just like Cohen. I wish I had never met him in Marseilles all those years ago." He grabbed my arm again.
"Now hold still," he commanded, but before he could do anything, we heard the door slide open again, and he whirled around, trying to figure out who it was now. Before he made a move, he turned around and froze my feet and hands.
"Stop it!" I hissed.
"Shh!" he whispered, moving away from me and towards the door.
"Who's there?" he called out, "I can see your breath!"
No response, but I held my breath anyway as Finnegan tiptoed even closer to the source of the breath. There was silence for a minute or two before…
"AHA!" he cried triumphantly, using Winter Blast to freeze someone else. When I peered around him, I saw who it was. Damn it! I thought, Not him, too!
"Well," Finnegan began, laughing a little bit as he circled a frozen Jack, "Guess Sander baby finally sent someone! Don't worry. I've got a pose all picked out for you."
Come on, Jack, I thought to myself, You can break out of there. I rocked myself back and forth a little bit to try and move my feet, but I was still frozen to the ground. My hands weren't thawing out, either, so I began hitting my right hand against the wall in order to attempt to break the ice.
Up ahead, the ice surrounding Jack began to melt, and he eventually thawed out, shivering violently while he regained the feeling in his feet and hands. He reached for a new weapon I had never seen before-a crossbow-and fired and Incendiary Bolt at Finnegan.
"AHH!" Finnegan gasped, running in between some of the other frozen Splicers and waiting, pretending to pose as one of them. Come on, come on! I shouted at myself as I continued to attempt to free myself. The ice was thawing now, but only a little bit.
Up ahead, Jack, who hadn't seen me yet, switched to Incinerate and began hitting almost everything in the room, even thawing out some of the other unfortunate Splicers.
"Thank God!" one of them shouted, "I can move again! Get him!"
They all charged towards Finnegan, attacking him and forcing him to emerge from hiding. "Bastard!" he cursed, sprinting over to Jack, who moved out of the way and dashed to the other side.
"Come back here, you son of a bitch!" Finnegan snapped, only to get hit with another round of Incinerate. Despite the fact that he tried to shake the flames off, he had sustained too much damage to continue fighting. He glared at me before finally collapsing right next to my frozen feet.
The other Splicers who had been trapped in here used their newfound freedom to leave the tunnel, running in all different directions until only Jack and I remained.
"Yes," Cohen spoke up through Jack's radio, "And now Finnegan has joined Fitzpatrick. Take his photo and then place it in the Quadtych, like you did for Fitzpatrick. Then, my masterpiece will really start to come together. What are you waiting for, little moth? Chop, chop!" Out of the corner of my eye, I saw Jack take out the research camera and snap the photograph, looking more and more disenchanted with this task. Cohen is nothing more than another Atlas right now, I thought, shaking my head.
Meanwhile, I continued to hit my hand against the wall as Jack approached me.
"You okay?" he asked.
"Yeah, I'm fine," I assured him, "I've just gotta break out of here, that's all." I looked up to meet his gaze, and just like that, he gasped, taking a huge step back as he dropped the camera. In that moment, I noticed his face and hands were finally starting to show the physical side effects of splicing. His skin was a light shade of grey, and uneven lines ran down his face. His mind still seemed to be intact, though. For now, anyway.
His gaze shifted from me to my disguise, which was still lying on the ground next to me, and then back to me, as if he couldn't believe what he was seeing.
Which I knew he couldn't.
"A-Amanda?" he gasped, "Is that you? You're…you look…" He quickly used Incinerate to melt the ice on my feet and hands, and once I could move again, I swiftly stood up.
"Yes, Jack," I confirmed, "This is what I look like without the mask and wig. No more secrets, lies, or beating around the bush. My image was stolen from me, and I'm here to reclaim it. And now that we've lost contact with Atlas, I figured this was the time to come clean about it." I reached for the picture of "Moira" and handed it to Jack.
"Notice a resemblance?" I asked, and he then stared back and forth between me and the picture, his facial expression showing that he was clearly in disbelief over this.
"But…I don't understand," he said, "So this means that what happened back in the Smuggler's Hideout…that was…?"
I nodded solemnly, feeling guilty for bursting Jack's bubble. The shocked and confused look on his face made my heart break, and I was beginning to wish I had just kept my mouth shut.
Please. Do NOT feel bad about what you did. He deserves to know the truth.
"I thought I knew him," Jack whispered to himself, "I just don't get it. Then who were those other people screaming in the sub besides your mother?" He clutched the photo and studied it again.
"My God," he whispered, staring up at me, "It's like seeing another ghost."
"You could say that," I agreed, "I'm actually not even supposed to be alive, but I am. Ryan and Atlas think I'm dead, and for right now, I'd prefer for it to stay that way. You wanted to know who exactly I am, and I'm gonna tell you right now. My name is Amanda Copeland. I was a big supporter of Andrew Ryan back when Rapture was on the rise. Once the Civil War started, I realized he was taking this city in the wrong direction and he started acting just like all those surface dictators he despised so much. So I defected to Atlas's side and became a part of his army."
"His army?" Jack echoed, "What army? Is that what those posters in Arcadia were all about?"
"Let's get back to the atrium. I'll tell you on the way."
Jack was curious, but I could also see he looked hurt at my revelations. I still felt bad, but he needed to know.
With that, we left the tunnel and began the trek back to the Quadtych, walking slow on purpose.
"To answer your question from before," I continued, "Yes. He was the leader of a group of rebels fighting against Ryan. The working class. People who weren't living in Ryan's vision. My friends and I were part of a specific division that always stayed close to Atlas. We always fought with him and performed small tasks to help his cause. And things were great! I thought I had finally found my place in Rapture! Until…" I stopped there.
"Until what?" Jack pressed.
I sighed. "That's just it. I still can't remember. One minute, I was part of Atlas's army, and the next…I was knocked into a coma for two months. I don't know if Atlas was responsible for it or not, but my friends have their suspicions about him, much like you do now. I woke up, and at first, I couldn't remember anything about this place. Some memories are still dim, but I've recovered most of my past. I had a feeling there was something familiar about this place, and I realized there was."
Jack looked thoughtful, and he raised his hand to his chin. "Interesting you should say that," he mused, "Because I've been feeling like this city is familiar to me, too. Like I've been here before. But that's not possible. I've never seen anything like this before the plane crash. I mean, I've done my fair share of traveling, as you saw on my passport, but never to a place like Rapture. It seemed to just come out of nowhere, too. One day, I got a letter from my cousins saying they wanted to see me, and they included a wrapped up gift along with my plane ticket." He sighed.
"Anyway," he continued, "I just can't believe this. It doesn't seem like it's in Atlas's character to lie. Why would he do that?"
"I couldn't tell you," I sighed, "Because I don't know myself. All I know is that he's up to no good somehow, and just to watch him if we ever get back in contact with him. I swear on my life that everything I told you about me and this situation is the truth." We were almost back to the Quadtych at this point, and I hoped that Cohen would start to let up on us a little bit.
"I tried to tell you all this back in Arcadia, but something was always interrupting me. Well, not now. Since Apollo Square is a bust, I thought it would be better to reveal everything now-"
"Wait a minute!" Jack interrupted, glancing up at me, "You wrote that message in the apiary, didn't you? 'Apollo Square Will Reveal All'? While I was gathering the honey bee enzymes for the Lazarus Vector?"
I hesitated in answering at first.
You said you weren't going to lie to him or keep secrets from him anymore. And you're on a roll right now with the truth. Just tell him. What with everything else you revealed, this can't hurt.
"Yes," I confirmed, "I wrote that. Since you didn't believe me in Arcadia, that was my way of trying to get through to you. But I don't think we'll be getting any answers in Apollo Square, so I sort of jumped the gun a little bit."
"What was in Apollo Square?"
Before I could answer, we stepped in front of the Quadtych, and Jack took out Finnegan's photograph and placed it in the next vacant spot. Mom and Eva were gone, but we'd catch up with them later. I just hoped they were all right.
"It's coming together, yes," Cohen commented, clapping his hands from his end, "But there will always be Doubters. You don't doubt me, do you? I could never stomach Doubters. I hope you are aware that you're traveling with one of the biggest Doubters in Rapture."
I blushed as Jack glanced at me. "Yes, I mean her," Cohen said, "If you only knew what kind of trouble she's caused here. But I'm certain she wouldn't tell you herself. You'll find out eventually."
"That was a long time ago!" I insisted, but Cohen merely began humming again as he hung up.
Next to me, Jack took out an Accu-Vox Recorder that had Cohen's name on it and pressed Play. He must have found that sometime after I separated from the rest of the group.
"The Wild Bunny, by Sander Cohen. I want to take the ears off, but I can't. I hop, but when I hop, I never get off the ground. It's my curse. My eternal curse. I want to take the ears off, but I can't. It's my curse. It's my fucking curse! I want to take the ears off! Please! Take them off! PLEASE!" He sounded as if he was sobbing towards the end of the poem. That was no act. I could hear the frustration and anger in his voice, and even though there was no denying that he was a sick person, I wondered if it was like what Eva had told me earlier, about Rapture changing everyone. Cohen only wanted to be noticed again. Being stuck in Fort Frolic without company for a long time had to have helped drive him insane.
And whatever I had done to make him hold a grudge against me must have also been a factor as well. I had kicked him when he was already down. Did that make me any different from my enemies?
No wonder Cohen hated me now.
"I never thought I'd say this," Jack spoke up, "But I feel sorry for Cohen."
"I just feel bad that whatever potential he may have had was wasted on this place," I added, kicking a stray piece of concrete, "Come on, let's get out of here."
"Even if what you said before is true," Jack quipped, "Ryan's still going to pay for trying to kill us."
And with that, we headed back to Poseidon Plaza. As we walked in silence, I wiped my forehead, feeling a little relieved at not having to wear my disguise for a while. I could tell Jack was still trying to process everything, and I knew he eventually would. It would just take him some time.
It also made me wonder what else we would discover here.