|Nothing Good or Bad
Author: anneka59 PM
When Adam Jensen is asked to shape the world, he chooses death and mystery, and allows the pieces to fall where they may. An investigation of one of the endings of DX:HR. Rated for language.Rated: Fiction T - English - Sci-Fi/Tragedy - Words: 1,620 - Reviews: 4 - Favs: 6 - Follows: 3 - Published: 05-08-12 - id: 8099891
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Disclaimer: Square Enix and Eidos owns all. Many thanks to them for creating this lovely playground called Deus Ex, and letting me play in it.
Nothing Good or Bad
Adam could hear the crunching and groaning of steel and concrete, carbon polymer plate and other supposedly indestructible materials; all falling so easily to the press of water.
Never a victim of claustrophobia, Adam is still unsurprised by the panic that tries to bite into him now. He is kilometers below the surface of the ocean and just signed his own death warrant – along with that of the many others trapped in this place – with the simple press of his fingers to a button, and the too-sweet voice of an A.I. assuring him it "has truly been a pleasure" while simultaneously drowning this whole sordid affair like an unwanted litter of kittens.
He might be tempted to call Eliza Cassan cold, but then, he's the one who chose this.
Adam waits (foolishly, why does he still expect this?) for the physical symptoms of fear. Heightened heart rate, shallow breathing, trembling, sweat, anything. They never come. He is a mechanical piece of art, the perfect marriage of man and augmentation. It will take more than a rush of adrenaline to mar his functionality. Yet he is still human and mortal and afraid of death, and his mind is screaming.
So Adam stares at his hand and searches for a tremor, and as he nears the close of his life, he considers what has led him to this.
They wouldn't let him see himself. After the attack and the bullet in his brain, days and days of darkness while they operated on him, changed him, yet no one had the common courtesy to bring a mirror.
It didn't matter at first, of course. For a while all he cared about was the next hit of morphine, the pain in between, and Megan. Megan dying, Megan kidnapped, Megan hurting, Megan waiting. Even when he couldn't recall the events that landed him in this hospital bed, he still knew that she needed him.
Eventually his brain woke up, feeling overly full and invaded, so scrambled that trying to remember his parents' names was like turning somersaults while he could effortlessly calculate the dimensions of his room, the pressure points of his nurses, the ways he could incapacitate or kill them.
His memory returned as he relearned to see, touch, walk and then fight. He became accustomed to the whirrs and clicks as his eyes focused, the too slow pace of his heart, the open stares of those trying to rehabilitate him. He jogged when they told him to run, put his fist through walls for them, assembled delicate puzzles and hefted weights no three ordinary men could lift, all at their say so. Yet the bastards wouldn't let him look at what he'd become when he asked.
Finally, after a temper tantrum and an unconscious doctor and an impromptu visit from Sarif, they took him home. Or the home that Sarif had made for him, filled with gaudy furniture and all his stuff in boxes. The first thing he did after stepping into his new place was swallow two doses of pain meds with a jigger of scotch, strip naked, and stalk into the bathroom.
The next thing he did was stare at himself, or what was left. And there was so little left. He had seen some of it, obviously, the sleek carbon fiber of his limbs and the almost seamless transition from flesh to prosthesis. He had felt more, the ports around his shoulders and across his chest, the brackets around his eyes. But nothing could prepare him for the alien thing he was looking at now.
For a few gut-wrenching seconds it was impossible to believe that he was seeing a reflection, Adam Jensen, and not some corny sci-fi vid.
He was bigger, ridiculously so. Month's worth of surgery, recovery and rehabilitation should have left him wasted, all his muscles shrunken to nothing and his bones etched in high relief. The last thing he would have expected was this robust figure thrown back from the mirror's surface.
But Sarif and his team of doctors had taken care of all that, hadn't they? Fed him shakes crammed full of amino acids, injected him with vitamin-rich fluids, pushed him to the very limits of his organic tissues and then further, forcing him to rely on the superior augmentations. The muscles of his abdomen and shoulders and back were more defined now than ever before, and it was little wonder. Though Sarif Industries had provided him with state of the art prostheses, most likely some of the lightest on the market, they were still far heavier than any human leg or arm. It was vital that he have the core strength to support such powerful augs.
Terror and fury rose, and for the first time he waited for his body to catch up to his emotions, and it never did. His knees didn't buckle, his vision didn't narrow, and his stomach remained bafflingly calm. It was the strangest thing he had ever experienced, knowing he was the most horrified he had ever been, but having no physical reactions to confirm it.
That was also the first time it occurred to him to feel robbed. He had been resentful countless times already in the hospital, but there had always been a portion of gratefulness mixed in; he was half machine, but he was alive.
At that moment though, struggling and failing to come to terms with what he had become, he missed those bodily cues, wanted them, even if they were crippling. Fear and anger built, and built, and nothing else happened. He continued to scan his statue like body until he finally made eye contact with himself, noted the delicate circuitry worked in gold. Not human.
Fear and anger. They reached a white hot pitch; all coherent thought stopped. Adam slowly raised one hand and gracefully curled it into a fist.
And slammed it into his reflection.
If Adam was completely honest with himself, he would have to admit that he knew Megan was using him. From the beginning. He knew it, though it was a long time before he allowed his consciousness to think it. There were too many clues: his accidentally contaminating one of her samples, her sudden ending of their relationship and Sarif's subsequent job offer, that obnoxiously blatant report about 'Patient X' carelessly left in her office. Adam may not have been a natural at science and genetics, but he was by no means stupid; his mind could connect the dots well enough.
But the truth was so much more painful than the lie, and maybe deep down he knew that too. So he let himself believe otherwise on the surface: that this was about weapons and the military, that Megan was dead or being used, that this had nothing to do with him.
It didn't help that he loved Megan. Enough to die for her, and he did. Enough to live for her after he came back from the dead. His life became a clusterfuck of astronomical proportions after he woke up in the hospital with only half of his body left and Sarif Industries stamped on the rest of it, but that part had been simple: he had loved this woman and he would breathe, walk, fight to avenge her, and later to find her.
Still, he wasn't surprised when he finally came face to face with her again, in her sickly white living space, and she explained just how integral he was to her research. Surprised at how content she was, maybe. Surprised with her new allies, hell yes. But the rest about him... no. The ache of betrayal wasn't even all that terrible, because it had been growing for months, he just finally allowed himself to name it. The only one who had really fooled him was his own goddamned mind, and even though contrition had looked as pretty on Megan's face as anything else, the expression had ultimately meant nothing to him.
The realizations that came later were worse. That maybe he didn't know nearly as much as he thought about the woman he had loved and fought for. That she was actually a complete stranger; a cold, calculating person only interested in the golden cipher hidden in his DNA. That she manipulated him as callously as almost everyone else in his life had done.
He had no defense against these thoughts, couldn't un-think them once they had scrolled across his brain.
But God help him, he still loved her, even after all that. Even though he didn't know if she had really loved him back. And, oddly, that thought didn't feel as terrible as maybe it should have; it just felt flawed. It felt human.
A/N: Of all the choices at the end of DX:HR, I found the one culminating in suicide the least likely and therefore the most intriguing, because it begs the question: What must be going through Jensen's mind that would lead him to kill himself? Then, for some reason, I decided to write about it. Let me know how you like it, if Adam's voice is any kind of accurate, and if I'm the only one who finds this stuff interesting. Also, excuse the science related stuff. I actually really like science, but I am by no means good at it. Hope y'all enjoyed! More to come!