HITS: Right, wrote this at two in the morning and finally got around to putting it up. Let me know if you want it kept or rewritten. I'll go take a nap now.

I wasn't the calmest person in the room. We had run into a group of sane Splicers that Heather knew. I couldn't care less about them except for one of them. The leader of their group kissed heather on sight, right on the lips.

Needless to say a Father's Wrath welled up in my chest at the image that was now burned into my skull. Even though she was old enough to do what ever and she wasn't even my kid, I wanted to pry the two of them apart.

Being in the back of the group, only a few noticed that my hand was on fire. I couldn't repress it. My trembling left hand burned hotter and hotter until the very metal of my suit singed my skin. Even then, I didn't calm down. I couldn't.

After a few seconds, they parted and I could feel my left eye twitching. I was far from calm and some of our own group backed away from me, including Grimm.

'Omega, calm down. Now.'

I felt Don trying to manipulate me, but it was a slight tug compared to the times that I let him take over. I shut him off from my mind. It actually seemed to work, as I couldn't even tell he was there.

Fang started whimpering by my leg. I knelt down and, with my right hand, patted his head. He calmed down quickly. The Splicers mingled with our group. They had five men and two women, none of which I gave a shit about. I of course stayed out of sight. Chances are they killed their fair share of Bid Daddies to survive this long. I hid in the shadows and kept my eyes closed with Fang as a lookout. The dog sat on my lap as he watched everyone. One man caught my attention and it wasn't the leader.

I did open my eyes every now and again, but one man was doing the same as me. He was tall, skinny, and judging from how he was crouched, flexible. He had long black hair that reached the bottom of his shoulder blades. His black clothes added to his hiding place. His skin was about the same as mine. I could see him looking over the area. It dawned on me that he was watching for weaknesses in my group. I kept an eye on him. After a minute of watching him, a sharp scream made me jump. He hasn't even moved and he looked at startled as I did. One woman from their group was looking right at me. Well shit.

I looked to where the man was and he was gone, probably getting a position to jump me. The rest of the group aimed their weapons at me and electricity sparked from the hands of the leader, just like Marcus.

With a sigh, I got up. Fang started barking at them. It took me a second to realize that he was barking at the man, who now had a bead on me with a Spear Launcher. It looked way too heavy for someone so thin, but he handled it like a pro. As Big Sisters moved to intervene, a Spear hit the ground right in front of them.

The man intentionally missed, as he was already reloaded and aiming at them. I held up my hands reluctantly. The leader looked confuse by my action, which most Daddies couldn't do or at least didn't want to. No one fired, probably waiting to see what I would do next.

"Damien, wait!"

Heather ran to the leader. Damien... That name.

'Why does that name sound so familiar?'

I hate to acknowledge him, but even Don knows it. Damien let Heather push the gun down and everyone else did the same. He fixes her with a glare, but she whispered something. He instantly changed his attitude. God I want to kill him!

He looked to the Spear holder in the back, "Axel, come up here." The man with the Spear Launcher obeyed and walked to the front, keeping the weapon on me.

"Axel, put the weapon down. It's Donavan."

I raised an eyebrow, "Do I know you people?"

All the weapons were back up in a second, "He talks?"

The leader looked to the man that spoke, "It talks."

Their weapons went back down and so did my hands. God knows what color my eyes were, but I was still angry with the leader for that past spectacle yet calm enough to avoid my arm catching fire. I took off my helmet and held it under my arm. If I really wanted to, I could kill them all before even Heather could stop me. It was so tempting. I could gut every one of them and decorate my suit in assorted parts. To my own amazement and horror, I thought of Alexis.

I calmed down instantly. The mere thought of her pale skin, soft smile, and raven colored hair made my arms go limp. Just as quick, the thought vanished and I couldn't remember it in the slightest. As if I had imagined such a clear image, which I kinda did, and it had been ripped from my mind.

Now I was back in reality. Damn. Just as Damien opened his mouth and I swore I was going to shove my fist down his throat, Grimm pointed towards the door we had come from. A faint shouting was steadily getting louder. The other group seemed to know what it was as the started making for the door.

I didn't miss a chance like this, "Grimm, you and me can take 'em. Everyone else, get out."

Marcus, who was helping the limping Jenny, moved as he spoke, "What is it? Splicers?"

One of the big men took offence, "Hey! I'm a Splicer!"

I could tell by the sound, but as the first figure became barely visible at the end of the long hall, I knew for certain. They had a kind of movement pattern, a corpse with a purpose. "Titans! Get moving!"

Damien waved for them to follow him, "Follow the king!"

King? Why that little-


One of the Sisters threw a pistol my way. I caught it. The minute my finger was against the trigger, I started firing at the Titans. Grimm was ready. The minute he saw an end to them, he'd go behind them and work his magic. Damien was waving for his group to follow him. The man with the Spear Launcher, Axel, stayed behind. He started firing spears with godly precision.

"Axel, get back here!"

Axel didn't say anything, he just kept firing. Grimm didn't have a weapon, but from the corner of my eye I could see something black extending from his back, going straight through his white shirt. As the Titans got closer, my pistol hit empty.

There had to be at lease forty still alive and my drill only had so much fuel. Finally, there was an end in sight. Grimm vanished. I couldn't see him, but I could hear the screams he caused. Axel didn't really care, he fired until the quiver on his back was empty. As he fired his last, he threw his weapon and pulled out two cleavers. Every one of his shots hit an enemy, but some took two shots to kill. They didn't even try to surround us. They just charged for us like starving animals. Good, just how I like them.

I readied my drill like a lance and charged forward, impaling three of them. As I threw them off, I stopped to pick up a spear from one of the corpses. As I bent over, Axel vaulted over me, planting one of his cleavers in the skull of an unfortunate Titan. As he spun in a circle to slash those around us, I used my height to shove my new spear into the throat of a Titan behind him.

One managed to climb onto my back, but Axel kicked it off me and took its place. Riding on my back, he jumped up into the air and landed right on the skull of a Titan.

He was a fighter unlike anything I had seen. With a sweep of my arm, I sent some Titans sprawling, but they got up faster than I could knock them down. Yeah, my drill was racking up the body count, but not as fast as Axel. He fought his way back into the circle and got on my back again. He used my back as a vantage point to slash at their heads.

It wasn't long before I was overwhelmed. Axel jumped off me as they pulled me down. They threw me on my back and started beating me with everything they had. They hit with such force that I could feel the bruises forming. Don wasn't active, like he had gone dormant in my head. Someone help me out.

Their fists connected against my helmet, their pipes connected to my stomach, their wrenches beat my legs. Then a curse drifted into my mind.

It was Alexis again, but now she was crying. She had a large gash in her side. I didn't remember this. She never had a gash in her side, I'd remember it clearly. Blood everywhere. She's scared. It's her own blood, there's so much, and she can't get away from it. There's something wrong with her. Her eyes... they're black! Someone is there. Help her. Help her! Stop laughing and fucking help her!

Something snapped in my skull. As flames covered every surface within four yards and my blood boiled to the point I could taste it, I got up. The Titans didn't care at first, but it took its toll right quick. Axel and Grimm were still killing in the back, though I thought Axel was near me, but there were at least fifteen Titans between them and me. I looked through the crowd to see a Titan raise its pipe, ready to strike at... Alexis? Her black eyes locked onto me. That scared look, the kind you can't just pretend you didn't see, the kind you see in nightmares.

Fuck. No.

An inferno would be a sore understatement. I tore through the crowd, drove my drill into his head, and helped Alexis up. I blinked only once, and a stunned Axel took her place. I looked everywhere, but she wasn't there. She was never there. I could have sworn he was near Grimm! And before that, he was practically right behind me. Now is not the time for me to lose my mind.

I swore under my breath as I turned around to fight off the Titans. I started swinging, but then I noticed there weren't anymore. They were all dead, most were charred. What did I see then? We were literally surrounded by them not three seconds ago.

Axel tapped my shoulder and motioned for the door. With a nod, we walked out of the slaughterhouse. As the door opened, a series of shots rang out. I shoved Axel down as all the shots hit me. It was nothing vital, but it stung like a bitch. Someone was still firing. It was Damien.

Heather forced his gun down. He glared, but did nothing else. She walked up to me, "You okay?"

She couldn't see my face. You know, I can remember every time I took my helmet off, but I can never remember putting it back on. Thank god I did though. I was gritting my teeth, and my eyes were probably red. Either from the fight or that bout of rage I had towards Damien, I couldn't tell which. What I did know was that there had been times where I asked if she was okay and she refused to answer. Odd, I suddenly don't feel like answering.

I walked past her, careful not to brush her. In all fairness, I was anything but okay. I could feel bruises forming from the fight and those bullets were sure to leave welts if not actual wounds. I sat on a nearby bench. She took a step towards me, but Damien pulled her aside. He spoke in a hushed tone, but I could take a few guesses as to where the conversation was heading.

After a while, Damien waved everyone over, even me. "Listen up, we know of a Bathysphere in the area. We can take it to the surface. However, I'm the only one who knows where it is. You know what that means. Relax, I have only one condition: your pet Frankenstein stays here."

He was pointing at me. Fang, god knows where he was right now, started growling and a few Big Sisters outright said no, but I knew he wanted me to make the choice. It was actually a no brainer.


Everyone looked at me. I couldn't see many of their faces, but they were probably shocked. I started making my way towards Damien, "I'll stay, but you have to take everyone here. Every. Single. One."

He thought for a moment, but with a smirk he extended his small hand. I grabbed it, trying so very hard not to destroy it. Needless to say, I'd get hell for that. With a smile on his face, he started walking towards a door.

Heather and Marian walked up to me. Heather patted my arm, but I didn't acknowledge it. I was too far-gone in rage. I didn't even know why. Maybe because of the fight, maybe because of Damien, I don't know.

Marian tapped my helmet. I looked at her, "You're not really going to stay here, right?"

I nodded, "I am. I still have some business to finish."

Heather locked her arm tightly with mine and wouldn't let go, "No, you're not staying here. Whatever you need to do down here, it'll die down here. We can live up-"

I tore my arm away and pressed my visor to hers, "If she dies down here, I'm not leaving! She was like a sister to you and you've all forgotten her. I've been dead for ten years, but I'd rather stay dead than leave her here. The same goes for all of you. I'll shove all of you into that Sphere and launch it to the surface without a second thought, none of you are staying here."

Heather grabbed my helmet and pulled, sending me falling onto her. Marian hopped onto my back and held me there with something against the back of my head. Heather tore off my helmet so that I was staring right at her as she removed her own.

"Look at my eyes, Don."

"I'm not Don."

"Look at them. We are monsters, monsters that man created, monsters that man will never understand. We are the same, you, the Little Sisters, and me. The only way we will survive up there is if we stay together. If we leave you down here, we'll lose that one element holding us together."

"You were fine when I showed up."

I tried to get up, but Marian pushed my neck down and swept my hands out from under me, making me land on Heather, who wrapped her arms around my head and held it to her chest. I could hear her faint heartbeat through the suit.

"We stayed together in hopes of achieving what you wanted for us. I held them together with stories about you, then you come back into this hell for us, to escort us out. You are like a Shepherd and we have become your sheep. Without a Shepherd, the sheep will fall pray to the wolves and die out."

"Then find another Shepherd. I'm sure Damien would do it."

Oops, that wasn't supposed to come out.

"He is a tyrant. He has control over his group only because of Axel. He constantly refers to himself as King of the Ruins. He could never lead us out. The group is scared of Axel. Without him, Damien is just a jackass."


"Sorry. My joint is that we need you to lead us out. I can't do this forever."

"You're not dying so enough with that. You have done a good job. I'm proud of you. If you need a break, I'll do what I can."

They don't want me leading them around anymore. They want their hero, the one who killed the Leviathan, and the one who best death itself. We need you."

"Ha! Half of you don't know me, the other half don't want to, and I'm pretty sure Marian has a gun held to my head."

Heather glared over my shoulder and the threatening presence vanished, "I can't force you, please think this through. We can find another way out. We don't need his way out. You really can come with us."

My rage was coming back, "You're not listening to me! I'm not leaving until I get her back."

"Then we're not leaving either."

"Wanna bet?"

I was planning to break her legs and throw her in the damn Sphere if she refused to listen. Her grip around my head tightened, "Marian, go tell them that we'll catch up."

Marian hopped off my back and walked on her way without looking back. There was practically nothing holding me to Heather, but now I was faced with a bigger question. Did I really want to get up?

I didn't want to stay near her, but this felt... Nice. This brought back memories of before I died. She was always quiet, shy, and a bit cut off from everyone else, even the other Big Sisters. So much had changed over the years. It's hard to realize that just a few days ago, this place was a luxury and everyone did their own thing. Now, I'm thrown into a world run by the very monsters man had made. It never really hit me until now.

I felt something tug at my eyelids, but refused to let them out. God willing, I'd cry only when I was dying. You know, for the second time. That's another thing. I died. Why am I back? How am I back? I'm not going to pry if no one wants to tell me, but I'm going to use this chance for all its worth. Starting with these people.

With a heavy mind and heavier heart, I slowly lifted myself off Heather. I had to look at her on my way up. While I managed to fight back tears, she didn't. Streams of water flowed down her face. Whether it was the fatherly thing to do or not, I don't know and probably never will. I leaned down, moved a few strands of hair, and quickly kissed her forehead.

"I really am proud of you."

She drew her arms close to her chest, "Mean it?"

I nodded. When I got to my feet, she was smiling. Sure tears were still going, but a smile was progress. I offered to help her up. She accepted it, grabbing my helmet on the way up. When she was to her feet I let go, but she didn't. I let her do as she wanted. We walked at a leisurely pace down to the door, only separating when the door opened. As we walked through, Damien stopped me, "What did you two do?"

Instead of being a nice guy, I pulled a Damien, "Wouldn't you love to know?"

"As a matter of fact, I would."

"Kiss my ass, your highness."

That seemed to piss him off more than if I told him what happened. The angrier he was, the happier I seemed. I cracked my neck a few times. The group seemed to be catching their breath. Axel was refusing treatment for his scrapes he got during the fight. Grimm didn't have any wounds and there were no signs of the black things from his back. I probably had my fair share under the suit. Marcus was practically Jenny's aid for walking. Once her leg gets better, he'd be out of a job.

Gina jumped onto my back. I saw her coming, but didn't really mind. She rested her elbows on my head, "So, need anything?"

I didn't tell her about the bruises I could feel. "No, ask Heather."

"She's fine. And before you ask, so's Marian. All that leaves its Y-O-U."

"Look at that, you can spell."

She playfully knocked on my helmet right before she drove her knee into the upper right section of my spine, causing me to freeze in place. Damn her! Thankfully, this locked my knees in place so I wouldn't fall. It would only last a few seconds, but I was at her mercy until then.

She hopped down and ran her index finger along my bottom jaw, "Either come peacefully or I'll drag you there."

That phrase... A destroyed room comes to mind. Images flashed across my eyes. A flipped table, teacups broken on the floor, a shattered window, jagged glass, and a figure lying on a bed.

I shook my head to clear the images.

"I was hoping you'd say that!"

Wait what? What did I say? Gina whipped around me and punched my spine as hard as she could. I practically turned to stone. She pulled me onto my back. Once she had me on my back, she sat cross-legged on my chest and waved towards us, "Take him away, girls!"

I felt hands grab my shoulders. They dragged me across the floor and hauled me onto a stone bench. Apparently, the harder you hit that spot, the longer the effect lasts. I could literally do nothing as they undid the latches on my suit. I couldn't even count on Heather to save me. Hell, she was one of them!

Is it me or is she getting more aggressive? In fact, much more aggressive.

As they exposed my torso to the cold air, I couldn't even shiver. This is ridiculous! I was hoping Don would do something, but he'd been dormant for sometime. I was right about the bruises. They formed as dark purple spots all over. Everyone seemed to stop moving and just try to count how many I had. They even checked my back.

Gina got off me, "And you said you were fine."

There was a mix of hurt and spite in there somewhere.

I couldn't even speak, but I wanted to say I was actually fine. They all seemed to move with less vigor than before. They took a few bottles from a large medical kit. With cotton balls, they applied the freezing fluid to each and every bruise, never going below my waist. Thank god.

My paralysis ended in the middle of their treatment, but I let them finish. They even redressed me. I didn't need that part, but they did it quickly and without hurting me.

After their little patch job, I went looking for Axel. I didn't try to hide how impressed I was. He was a fighter straight out of the books and was down right impressive. I found him trying to get past a bottle of whiskey filled past the label. After his performance, he deserved one.

He heard me coming, casting me a glance before pouring some more. He handed a white glass to me. Oddly, it was a cold glass. Taking light sips, I sat on the ground across from him. I've been going without my helmet more often, but I always keep it with me. He had a bruise on the back of his neck like the one I had on my cheek.

"So... Where'd you learn to fight like that?"

He looked at me, almost like he was trying to see through me. After a few second, he shrugged. He was quiet, almost like Grimm. He had the option, I know that, but he never did. Speaking of Grimm, I could see him across the large room in the corner, watching everyone.

"Grimm! Get your ninja ass over here."

He vanished, reappearing next to me. If I hadn't guessed he would do that, I would have jumped. Axel poured Grimm a white glass as well. Where does he keep getting these glasses? More importantly, how are they so cold? I could actually see the mist on that one. None the less, a cold drink is nice.

We just sat there, only having enough to be satisfied without the buzz. It was interesting to just sit there for a change, but we weren't setting up here. We were catching our breath while Heather and Damien figured out where to go next.

Eventually Jenny and Marcus came over. Jenny was getting better with the quicker healing Big Sisters had. It wasn't instant, but given a few days it could fix most non-mortal wounds. She could use her leg now, but not very long and definitely not to fight. Marcus had become scarce when he and Jenny hooked up.

Yeah, they hooked up the night me and Heather were fighting. What they did was their business so I don't have many details, but they both look happier.

Axel hid his whiskey and we downed ours in one go, hiding the glasses behind us. Marcus waved, "Hey guys."

I waved back, "Hey."

Grimm waved, but Axel stayed neutral. I could see his hand resting on his cleaver. Marcus and Jenny both sat down, "So what's going on over here?"

"Did you miss the part where I got carried off and stripped by Big Sisters?"

"Uh... Yeah, I think I missed that."

"Shame, it was interesting."

"They stripped you why?"

"No reason in particular."

He narrowed his eyes, "Did you-"


"Oh, well then what?"

I could have cleared everything up, but not only did I want to see where this went. I was having fun. He hung his head and sighed. I'll leave it to his imagination.

"Alright lovebirds, breaks over."

God, I hate Damien's voice. It was higher than a man's should ever go. I'm guessing because someone already kicked his balls up into his throat.

His group and ours got their gear and started to move out. Damien waited by the door until I passed, "Remember out deal."

Can I please hit him? Just once, hard as I can. He walked off with the most smug grin I had ever seen. I could feel my eye twitching, bad sign. As Grimm, Axel, and myself followed the tail of the group, Grimm raised his middle finger to Damien's back.

After about an hour, he stopped and turned to all of us, "Okay, behind this door is the sphere. Everyone go on in. If you want to say goodbye to your tin man, do it now."

So this was it. They were leaving, finally being safe. I couldn't help the feeling of warmth in my chest. They all came up to me in a single filed line. You'd think I was the president or something. A few I hadn't really met shook my hand and walked off. The Little Sisters grabbed wherever they could and didn't want to let me go.

Then, Heather came up.

"You don't have to do this. We can find another way."

"If there was any truth to that whole Shepherd speech of yours, I have to do this. It's my job to keep you safe."

"Can you guarantee we'll be safe without you?"

"No, but this is the best I can do. Do me a favor and go with them."




"Look at me. Look right in my eyes."

She did so as I took off my helmet. I gently grabbed her shoulders and got level with her.

"I get it. You've spent years putting this whole family together. Then the final piece shows up and you don't want it to go missing again. You've done my job well while I was gone. It's my turn now. Please, rest. For me."

Her arms coiled around my neck like a Boa. I didn't struggle, wouldn't help if I did.

"Okay... Okay, I'll go, but promise me I'll see you again."

"You know I ca-"


"... I... Promise."

She must have known. Her grip got tighter. She knew that was one promise I might break. She went to pull away, but I didn't let her, "I don't trust him. The minute Damien does something odd, you find me. Forget everything and everyone, just find me and I'll take care of it."

She nodded, probably trying to keep from crying. Marian was next. "So... I just, you know, wanted to say, well, thanks. For my sister, for helping us so much, and for Miranda. I'm sure she's watching you and smiling."

"More like looking at all of you, but I think you're right."

"And I'm sorry I beat the living shit out of you."

"You know, apology accepted. Try not to cause too much trouble up there, okay kiddo?"

I ruffled her hair. "Don't call me that."

"Fine... Princess."

"I will destroy you and everyone that reminds me of you."

"Alright, sorry. No need for Genocide."

Marcus walked up. "So, where to now?"

"You're going with them, I'm finding Alexis."

"You'll need some help with that one. Besides, I'm not leaving."

"What about Jenny?"

"We talked it over, she's not leaving either."

"And after the speech I have Heather."

"Yeah. Sucks, don't it?"


Grimm stayed right next to me.

"You're not leaving either?"

He shook his head.

Gina walked up, "Hey big guy."

"Oh, hey Gina."

"So, remember that game I started?"

"Yeah. What about it?"

"Well, this is my last chance as much as it is yours."

"You know I'm not going to let you."

"Relax, I got Heather's permission."

She what? I looked to Heather. She seemed slightly irked, but she nodded. If she could spew fire like I could, she'd have burned everyone around her. Seeing what I was hoping she would, she turned towards the window.

Gina pulled me down to her level, "C'mere!"

While her approach was violent, she was shy about actually getting what she wanted. Rolling my eyes, I started it with a gentle touch of the lips and slowly progressed until she caught up and even passed me. She quickly sucked out everything I had in my lungs. Her tongue coiled around mine like it was a live serpent. It wasn't something a normal human could do. Then I realized her tongue was also longer than mine. Slightly freaking out, I quickly came to terms with it and even fought back with my own. She was stealing every breath I took. The threat of passing out was ever present.

"Okay, that's enough!"

Gina was yanked away. She had a dazed look on her face and her eyes were... Blue?! Holy hell, her eyes were ice blue! She was smiling ear to ear, "God damn it, that was good."

If I had never been scared before, I was now. I fought hard not to take a step back.

"Down, Gina! Down!"

Heather had Marian and another Big Sister hold her back, "Did we ever tell you about her special ability?"

"Yeah, that experimental plasmid."

"Right, well it causes her to get out of control when she gets too much of a good thing."

"You mean she's-"

"No, but she wants to be. She's actually turned on us a few times. Now that I think about it, you're the only one who actually willingly provided her with what she wanted."

"So how long have you known about this?"

"You know, I completely forgot about it. She hasn't had an episode like this for weeks."

She knew. She probably wanted to use it as payback. I narrowed my eyes at her. Gina was trying to calm herself. Her eyes were closed and she was taking deep breaths.

"I think it's safe to say you almost got me killed."

Heather smiled, "No, that wouldn't kill you. I saw how you died last time. You'd be... Alive, I think."

"That's not comforting."

"Neither is someone coming back from the dead, but you're full of surprises, aren't you?"

"Okay, fair point."

Gina cleared her throat. Her eyes were a turquoise color and she seemed to regain some composure. "Sorry. I, uh, I kinda lost my head there."

I smiled, "No harm done."

"It was just so, you know, pleasant. You know that feeling when you have something good and you don't want it to leave?"

"You mean like food?"

"Kinda. When I want something, I tend to not want to tear myself away. It was just so... Enticing."

"You know, you did most of the work."

"You weren't paying attention then. You did just as much as I did. I almost thought you were more aggressive than me."

I felt my face heat up. I didn't recall being that active in the kiss. Heather looked angry. Again. She, however, took a deep breath and calmed down.

"Let's go. We have a date with the surface. Gina, could I talk to you for a second?"

They started whispering as they moved towards the door. I made my way to Damien. "Hey, can I ask you something?"


"I won't go with you, but I want to watch them leave."

"And I want to plow your girlfriend, but we can't all get what we want. Oh wait, I just might."

I actually felt something snap in my skull. I got angry, but he started laughing, "There he is! There's the thing I want to watch. Get me? I want to watch you whither away as those girls are torn away from you. And I'm the only one who knows the code for the sphere, so you can't risk killing me. In fact, come on everyone! We're leaving."

He shoved me towards the door. I kept repeating my mantra: it's for the girls. That alone kept me from killing him. We entered a large circular room. In a pool of water near the wall sat a Mass Sphere. A special Sphere meant to carry around twenty people.

As Damien said, there was a code lock. He paraded to the front of the group and stopped right in front of the keypad. He turned to me, "You. On you knees."

"You can't be serious."

"Do it."

I did as I was told. My urge to kill was rising.

"Now beg."



"Pl... Please take them with you."

"You have to try harder than that."

"I will do whatever you want, just take them with you."

He started clapping, "Good boy. Now, Heather, come here."

Beyond confused, she did so. He pressed a gun into her hands, "Kill him."

She slapped him, hard. He recovered quickly and pressed it towards her again, "Do it or no one leaves alive."

Gina started shouting from the sidelines, "Who do you think you are?!"

Damien held his arms out wide, "I'm king, my lovely little subjects. I own everything now, including you."

A voice as cold as ice, low but louder than theirs, filled the room, "King?"

A metallic thwack was heard, followed by a wet splatter. The sound that followed was a blood filled shriek of pain, a sounds that would make a saint turn sadist. I looked up to see a spear lodged in Damien's shoulder. Axel walked to the front of the crowd, reciting something he had clearly had on his mind for a while.

" You tortured me, you shot me, you mutilated me, and you forced me to work with you. I've watched you do it again and again to everyone here."

He fired another spear into Damien's leg. Damien tried to pull it out, "You can't do this. I'm not supposed to die here. I'm-"

Axel pushed the next spear against his forehead, finger on the trigger, "A king? This is a revolution."

He fired, ending Damien's very short reign of tyranny.

Heather dropped the gun and looked at me, then at Axel, then me again. I nodded. She wrapped her arms around Axel's neck and hugged him close. He looked uncomfortable and awkwardly patted her head.

Gina ran up and kicked Damien's corpse right in the groin, making even me flinch. She sighed, "I'm glad he's dead, but now we can't go anywhere."

Axel pried Heather off of himself and walked to the lock. It was hooked into the hatch. Not even a good shot from a shotgun would blow it off. Axel grabbed the lock. Frost started to crawl its way up the hatch.

We watched in awe as Axel froze and broke the lock off, keypad and all. He had froze it clean through and ripped it off. With a grin, he opened the hatch. He motioned for people to get in. I got to my feet and walked over to him. He gestured for me to get in.

"Thanks, but I can't."

He looked confused, but only for a moment. As everyone got in and began hugging a Little Sister each, promising things they'll do on the surface, I felt my chest get warm at the sight. I didn't want to burst their bubble, but some of them are still teenagers. Those that weren't would have to get jobs. They've known nothing but this their whole life. It'll be hard for them to live up there. You never know, they might become rich, meet a nice guy, be happy. Hell, they might add to the family. Once I get Alexis, god willing, I just might have to visit them.

If I keep watching this, I'm gonna cry. I turned and started walking. About halfway to the door, a thick sheet of ice sealed it. I followed the ice back to Axel. He motioned me forward. I sighed and walked up to him, still on the verge of crying. He didn't look too happy.

"It won't go without some help. Detachment's jammed, but the motor is fine."

I knew what he was getting at, "Alright, get in and I'll get it."

"Not leaving. Come on."

He shut the hatch. I couldn't exactly complain to him, I used most of my debating power getting Heather to go. Speaking of which, I looked inside. I saw both her and Gina clear as day right next to the lever. Heather looked like she was trying to fix it and Gina was glaring at it.

Tearing my gaze away, I asked Axel what we need to do. He pointed to two mechanical latches hooked against the underside of the Sphere, "Need to break those at the same time. On three."

I got to my side and positioned my heel above the latch. It was slightly frozen, but it still held firm. Axel counted down. On three, I braced myself against the Sphere and drove my foot down. I noticed the Sphere leaning towards me as the latch broke. Regaining my footing, I caught the Sphere.

My arms burned as the occupants moved around. I could head Axel stomping on his. Once it gave, the Sphere dragged me down with it. I managed to get my hands out from under it, but I couldn't regain my footing and fell on it. My weight pinned it into the side of the tube. I was able to easily get off the damn thing as we walked around to the front of the Sphere.

As the Sphere slowly started to descend, Heather put her hand on the glass. There we go, I'm about to cry. Where the fuck is my helmet when I need it?

I pressed my hand against the glass right above hers. I watched as Gina pulled the lever and the Sphere started to drop faster. Her hand slid up the glass, trying to stay on mine. Then, it was gone. Half of my job was finished. I looked at Axel, "So where t-"

I followed his eyes down to two heads that were standing between us, still waving at the Sphere.

God. Damn. It.

There stood Gina and Heather. I looked to Axel, "Did you see them get out?"

He shook his head. Gina smiled and raised her hand, "I... May have fooled you both."


"I made you see us, but we were hiding behind the Sphere. We crawled over the top when it dropped."

Her fucking plasmid!

"When did you-"

Heather hid behind Gina, "Remember when I was whispering to her? Yeah, that was when we came up with it."

The bad news is that they are still here. The good news is that I'm not about to cry anymore. In fact, I'm furious.

"Heather... Gina... Why the fuck are you two still here?"

Gina halfheartedly raised her hand, "Would it be better if only I stayed?"

"Ten seconds. Ten, nine, eight-"

"We didn't want to leave you down here! We're not exactly fast in the head, but we're not stupid either. We know you planned on dying down here."

I went silent... Only for a bit though, "Four, three, two, one."

When I hit one, I'M the one who went down. Heather slipped around me and hopped on my back. She actually tried to bring me down on her. As I fought to stay up, Gina tackled me. I slammed into the ground instead of Heather's legs. Her legs wrapped around my chest. Heather held my head to what I assume was her chest and stroked my forehead as Gina started nuzzling my stomach. It was so damn... Comfy!

Yeah, I kept trying to get up, but it was futile. Heather's voice was low and right next to my head, "When this is over, I'll do this again... Without the armor."

I tried to crane my head in a way to look at her, but I saw nothing, "Did you and Gina switch places or something?"

"No. We all wanted something to care for. Did I ever tell you why I had so much time all those years ago?"

"When I was alive last, you were so quiet I thought you were scared of me. So no, we didn't really talk about it."

"Well, we- me, Jessica, and Alexis- were thought as unfit to care for Little Sisters. We were never allowed near them. Even when the city died, they stayed away from us. You, on the other hand, voluntarily get involved with us. If you think we'd give up the one thing we can take care of, you're beyond stupidity."

I looked down to my stomach, where Gina was still rubbing her face with an expression so happy it was terrifying.

"And you? What's your excuse?"

She smiled, "I like the sound of your heartbeat."

"You do realize you're laying on my stomach, right?"

"Yeah, I can hear it even here. If Heather would move her legs I could get a better angle."

Heather's legs shifted only enough for Gina to rest her head on my chest. She stopped her nuzzling tactic and just sat there, listening to my heart, which was going fairly fast.

Axel cleared his throat, "So... We're going now?"

Heather and Gina glared at him, making him shrink back a few feet, "Camp is good too."

We still had our materials and about half of our food as we gave the other half to the ones who left. After a good night of rest, for them anyway, Axel and me were discussing where we could find Alexis. I pointed at the train map, "Here?"

Axel shook his head, "All an amusement park slash intro to the Cult of Ryan. Nothing there."

"Alright, here?"

"No, destroyed. Nothing left to go to."

I was about to point to a place labeled Fontain Futuristics when I found my finger jabbed at an unmarked location, one I didn't even notice.

Axel got close, "Persephone? Thought it wasn't supposed to exist."

"What is it?"

"Correctional Facility. Lamb's territory. Damien got a lot of us killed on her grounds. Heard of a hidden inner part only Daddies can get to. Might be there."

A correctional facility? It's a start. A glance at Axel revealed his approval. He walked off to let the others know. I walked over to the train. It was pretty dusty. The door was sealed from lack of use and the windows were so dusty no one could see through it. I tried to force it open, but it was pretty damn tough.

Something tugged on my leg. I turned around and found a Little Sister of all things, "Now where were you hiding?"

I knelt down and ruffled her hair. She smiled, giggled, and her eyes went black...