Jack wrestled against his bonds to no avail. It was embarrassing, really, all of his strength and he could be stopped by three words and a good set of chains. He hung by them from the ceiling, secured to them by a metal cuff around each wrist, even as his ankles were cuffed to a chain that looped through a metal ring in the floor. Jack couldn’t use his plasmids, and he sure as hell wasn’t going anywhere.
He had been alone in the room for… he didn’t know how long. Since he woke up like this, his shoulders aching, his lips dry, and his fingers twitching with the beginnings of withdrawal. He was hungry, he was thirsty, but most importantly he was starving for ADAM.
Jack was just starting to contemplate the small amount of EVE he had left in his system and if he could do anything productive with it when the man walked in. Atlas? No, Fontaine. It was Fontaine, Atlas wasn’t real. He just still looked like Atlas. Not that Jack had ever really seen him in person much. Jack looked up at him warily. The man was grinning.
“So, kid. Didn’t think you’d end up here, did you?” He laughed. Jack grimaced. The sound of his voice was practically the polar opposite of Atlas’s. He hated it.
“‘Course,” Fontaine continued, ignoring Jack’s reaction, “you probably didn’t think a lot of things. Content to just go along with whatever some Irishman said, no matter what it was, weren’t you.” He laughed again. Jack was getting angry. The sound of his voice grated on his ears and the things he said hit him deep in his core.
“You stupid son of a bitch,” Fontaine said.
Jack growled, deep and low.
Fontaine raised an eyebrow and pulled out a cigarette, lighting it with a snap of his fingers. “That all you got, kid? I’m almost disappointed.”
Jack stopped growling and settled for glaring. “What would you prefer?” he snarled.
Fontaine looked a little surprised to hear Jack talk, but he didn’t comment on that.
“I’m a fan of begging, myself. Or threats you can’t possibly follow through on, from your position. But that ain’t really what I’m here for.”
“Then what are you here for?”
Fontaine laughed again. Jack was getting tired of it. “Impatient, ain’tcha? Well, I’ll tell you.” He took a long drag from his cigarette and stepped up close to Jack. “I want you to work for me, kid.”
Jack lunged forward, but Fontaine had placed himself a fraction of an inch outside his reach, and all Jack got was a facefull of the man’s cigarette smoke. And god, it smelled good to Jack’s deprived body.
“Fuck you,” Jack said. “What I already did wasn’t enough?”
Fontaine raised an eyebrow, breathing out another plume of smoke into Jack’s face and grinning at the way Jack greedily inhaled it.
“Well see, kid, I’ve been thinking. And to kill a creation like you? It’s a goddamn waste of money and talent, is what it is. So here’s what I’m thinking. You work for me, we run Rapture like a couple of kings, and everyone lives happily ever after.”
Jack’s throat and mouth were dry, but he managed to work up enough saliva to spit in Fontaine’s face. Fontaine flinched backward and rubbed it away.
“Now, see, kid, I ain’t gonna take no for an answer. And while I do have a couple of pretty solid ways to keep you in line--would you kindly smile for me?” Jack’s face immediately twisted into a grotesque smile. “You see? But it would be so much easier if you were just--willing and enthusiastic. So right now, here’s your choice. The easy way, you say ‘yes’ right now and we get started on our mutually beneficial partnership, or the hard way, which is I get you so desperate to work for me that the next time I ask you don’t even hesitate to say yes, no command phrase required. How does that sound?”
Jack suddenly wished he hadn’t spit at Fontaine when he did, because now seemed like a much more effective time for it. Still, he growled and managed a “fuck you” regardless.
Fontaine grinned. “you know, I was kinda hoping you’d say that. Hard way it is, then. God, I haven’t done this in ages, this is gonna be fun.” He blew one last puff of smoke in Jack’s face and watched Jack inhale it, then turned the cigarette around, grasped Jack by the back of the neck, and held his head still as he ground the lit end of the cigarette into the center of Jack’s forehead.
It certainly wasn’t as bad as a drill to the chest, but the concentrated burst of pain was enough to make Jack yell and struggle, though of course it was pointless.
Fontaine released him and stepped back, flinging the cigarette butt onto the floor as he laughed.
“Hope you like that, kid, you’ll be getting a lot more soon.”
He left, shutting the door behind him and leaving Jack to try and not think about the pain of the burn on his forehead, his thirst, his hunger, the ache of his shoulders, or his very real need for a fix.
Maybe he should have said yes.
No, fuck that. Maybe he should have said yes? This was Frank Fontaine, the man who had him created to be an attack dog, then used him like a puppet to do his dirty work. He wasn’t going to let that happen again. Jack was going to kill him.
That thought sustained him for a while, as the hunger and thirst got worse and the need for ADAM overshadowed it all, driving most rational thoughts into the corners of his mind.
He didn’t know how long he was there, and after a certain point, he stopped caring, his thoughts replaced by want… need… kill
His hands shook, his head ached, and his mouth was so dry he couldn’t even wet his chapped lips.
So when Fontaine finally reappeared, a glass of water in one hand and a needle full of bright red ADAM in the other, Jack’s eyes went right to the ADAM and stayed there, unable to look away. He lunged forward, pulling desperately on the chains.
“You know, I was wondering if you was immune to the side effects, but it looks like you’re just as bad as everyone else in the end.”
He pulled a chair from the corner of the room and set the hypo on it, directly in Jack’s line of sight, then carefully stepped between Jack and the chair.
Jack whined, not even realizing the sound he made, and tried to lean around to look at it, but Fontaine continued to block him.
“Maybe later, kid. First…” he held up the glass of water to Jack’s lips. “Would you kindly drink this? I don’t want you dying on me.”
Jack drank, and though the water soothed his dry throat, all he could think about was the ADAM just behind Fontaine.
Fontaine laughed. “Jesus, kid, I could probably get you on my side right now.” He brought the empty glass down and tilted his head, considering Jack. “But I have really been looking forward to this.”
Jack stared back and said nothing, his thoughts jumbled and incoherent.
Fontaine grinned and in a movement that was too fast for Jack’s frayed nerves to track, smashed the glass against Jack’s face.
Jack screamed in agony and raw rage. He pulled hard against his chains, but they held him fast as he writhed in pain, blood streaming from the myriad cuts on his face.
Fontaine laughed and laughed.
“Fuck, you should see your face, kid! Funniest goddamn thing I’ve seen all day!” He bent over and practically wheezed before finally getting himself under control, wiping his eyes. “This is gonna be so good.”
Jack lunged again, but Fontaine was well out of reach, and there was no fighting the chains. All he could do was drag himself to his own two feet while Fontaine grinned at him.
“Got something to say, kid?”
Jack growled. “Fuck you.”
Fontaine shook his head, chuckling. “Not very creative, are you, kid. Well, I didn’t pay for creative. Might be nice to get some different insults outta you once in a while, though.”
He turned to bend down and grab one of the larger shards of glass, and with it he started cutting away Jack’s sweater, pulling it off of him in pieces.
Jack shivered as his skin was exposed to the cool air, and he stared as Fontaine cut it away.
“Why are you… don’t…”
Fontaine snorted. “What, don’t like that I’m slicing up your sweater? What, did your mommy make it for you? Which one, the liar or the whore?”
Jack snarled, but Fontaine stepped out of the way and Jack could do nothing.
“Not a lot of creativity, not a lot of smarts,” Fontaine shook his head. “It don’t matter. All you gotta do is follow orders, right? So here’s one. Stay still.” He stepped forward, glass shard in hand, and when Jack lunged yet again, he tsked and held out his free hand, placing it flat on Jack’s chest.
“Now, now, what did I just say? Stay still would you kindly.”
Jack watched, his focus suddenly sharp and narrow and fixed on the shard of glass as Fontaine pressed the tip of it to his skin. He let it sit there a moment, just before breaking skin, looking dead in Jack’s eyes.
“How’s that feel, kid? Probably not so bad. How about this?” And he pushed the glass into Jack’s skin and pulled it down. Jack yelled wordlessly, feeling how his skin parted so easily under the edge. Fontaine’s hand moved slowly, and Jack couldn’t move--he wanted to flinch away, escape, anything, but he was held fast by the command.
The pain burned, and even when Jack had run out of breath to yell he whimpered. But Fontaine didn’t stop. He cut a line all the way from Jack’s shoulder down to his navel and then back up again, drawing a giant triangle into Jack’s chest. When he finally pulled the glass away, in what seemed to be an eternity later, blood streamed down Jack’s chest and Fontaine’s hand was covered in it. He laughed softly as Jack breathed in ragged gasps and brought his bloody hand to his mouth. As Jack watched, eyes wide in horror, Fontaine licked a wide stripe across his hand.
“Ever tasted someone else’s blood, kid? On purpose, I mean. All the killing you’ve done, you must’ve had some get in your mouth, right?” He looked down at his hand and licked his lips. “Not much point to it, honestly. Would be nice if you could get ADAM out of it like those damn monsters can, but…” He stopped and looked up at Jack consideringly. “Though, you know, you probably could. At least from the girls. You ever think about trying it, kid?”
Jack’s mind was frayed at the edges and clouded with pain, but he managed to snarl. He couldn’t even begin to think about doing something like that to the Little Sisters.
Fontaine rolled his eyes.
“‘Course not. What was I thinking. You’re too much of a goddamn bleeding heart to hurt those fucked up freaks of nature.” His face twisted into a look of absolute disgust. “Can’t fucking stand it.” He brought the glass back up to Jack’s neck, tracing a thin line down it and then cutting across his collarbone. “We’ll drive that right outta you, kid.”
Jack gritted his teeth against a whining cry. It would be so much easier to ignore the pain if he wasn’t also starving, for both food and ADAM. It felt like his veins were burning, dried into husks, his head pounding as he clenched his hands into tight fists, the glass slicing right down to his clavicle and lighting him afire with the agony of it all.
And Fontaine laughed.
“Not so tough after all, are you, kid? C’mon, I’ve seen you take more than this--or is it something else bothering you?” He tilted his head into Jack’s field of vision, taking one bloody hand to grab him by the jaw and force him to look at him. “You’re hurting for something else, ain’tcha?”
Jack glared at Fontaine, but he had moved just enough so that Jack could see the hypo sitting on the chair behind him, and Jack found it impossible to look away from it. Jack tried to swallow, but his mouth and throat were dry again. Fontaine followed his gaze and looked back to Jack, a wolfish grin on his face.
“Ah yes, that’s right. I almost forgot.” He pulled Jack’s jaw to force him to look at his face, but Jack’s gaze lingered on the needle until Fontaine actually stepped in front of it again, his eyebrows raised. “Fuck, kid, you’re hurting for it more than I thought.” He grinned. “Excellent.”
Fontaine lifted the glass and tapped the side of Jack’s face thoughtfully, idly licking the fingers of his other hand. Jack breathed heavily through his nose as he watched him, the pain of his wounds fading under the all-consuming need for ADAM crawling through his brain like millions of insects. He felt his face twitch.
“How desperate are you, kid?”
Jack growled and pulled himself together enough to answer. “Fuck off.”
Fontaine laughed and pulled away. “Not desperate enough, apparently.” He nodded. “We’ll fix that. But for now…” He looked up at Jack’s hands, each wrist individually cuffed to the chain.
“Alright, kid. Would you kindly break your fingers for me?”
Jack stared at Fontaine in horror, but he was already complying, his right hand grasping his left index finger and snapping it easily. Despite his screams, despite the excruciating pain of it, his hands moved of their own accord, and one by one, Jack broke all the fingers and thumb of his left hand.
The right hand was harder to do, but he was able to brace his fingers against the palm of his left hand and bend each one backward in turn until they broke.
He was sobbing, spouting desperate gibberish, and Fontaine just laughed and laughed.
“Jesus kid, what a spectacle you are. You’d cut of all your own limbs if I just asked. But I’m not gonna. What use would you be with no arms? Nah, we’ll keep it to that for now. I got stuff I need to do, kid. You think you’ll be okay until I get back?” He grinned. “Don’t go anywhere, now.”
Fontaine walked out then, whistling some cheerful tune Jack didn’t know, leaving him to stare at the hypo left on the seat. As soon as Fontaine was out of earshot, Jack felt a sob erupt from him. He hurt so badly, but all he could think about was the needle full of ADAM so far out of reach.
Time had no meaning. All Jack knew was pain and thirst and hunger, and all he could do was slump in his chains and stare at the needle on the chair, the memory of ADAM keeping him alive.
When Fontaine finally returned, Jack was a shell of himself, no thoughts left but those of pain and desperate need. He didn’t even look up when Fontaine entered, and was only capable of acknowledging his presence when he picked up the hypo and came up to Jack, a mere two steps away. Though he had no strength left, Jack’s need drove him to feebly lean forward against his chains, getting as close to the ADAM in Fontaine’s hand as he could.
Jack’s eyes tracked the needle as Fontaine slowly raised it, pressed it against his arm, and injected the glowing red substance into his veins. Jack whimpered to see it, the chains rattling as he pulled against them.
Fontaine dropped the needle on the floor and it shattered. Jack’s gaze was forced upward when Fontaine placed a single finger under his chin and tipped his head up.
“Tough luck, kid,” he said, a look of mock pity on his face.
Without another word he turned and left, leaving Jack with nothing but agony and dire, desperate need.
With nothing left to distract him, Jack felt consumed, torn into pieces by his hunger for ADAM and no relief in sight. It seemed he hung there, the world burning with agony forever.
It seemed an eternity before Fontaine next returned. Jack stirred from his daze and managed to look up at the man as he walked through the door, but he met his eyes for only a moment before his gaze was drawn to Fontaine’s hands.
They were absolutely soaked in blood, dripping, holding a slightly squirming thing, dark red and pulsing.
“You know what this is, kid? I picked it up myself, just for you.”
Jack swallowed and shook his head. He didn’t recognize it.
Fontaine snorted. “No, you wouldn’t, would you, goody two-shoes monster loving freak you are.”
He held the thing close to Jack’s face. In the midst of the metallic tang of blood, Jack could smell something familiar, something that woke him up and made him twitch.
“This is the thing that drives the monsters, that made me rich, that made Rapture what it is today. This is an ADAM slug, and I pulled it out of a screaming girl with my own hands just for you, because I like you, and I care about your well-being.”
Jack recoiled as much as he could. The blood… was a Little Sister’s? She was dead now, clearly, slaughtered… for him? No, he couldn’t… not a little girl… her life twisted for the greed of men…
...but Jack leaned forward despite himself, drawn in by the smell he knew now as ADAM, even though the blood repulsed him.
He wanted it.
He needed it.
He needed it more than he needed anything before in his life, he needed it so badly…
But the blood was everywhere. He couldn’t ignore it. The blood of a little girl formed thick droplets and fell to the ground.
But still Jack leaned forward, until the chains held him still and Fontaine drew the slug back.
“You want it? Even though I killed one of your precious monsters for it?” He let out a short laugh. “Yeah, you want it, don’t you. Here, show me how much you want it.”
Fontaine held out one bloody hand to Jack, close enough to touch his face, and Jack found himself leaning into Fontaine’s hand without thinking, opening his mouth and reaching out with his tongue to catch a drop of blood as it fell. It tasted of of metal and death and sweet ADAM, and as Jack closed his mouth around Fontaine’s fingers, as soon as he tasted the ADAM, he forgot about the Little Sisters, he forgot his pain, he forgot everything except the hints of ADAM in the blood he sucked off of Fontaine’s hand, hints that weren’t enough, weren’t nearly enough.
Fontaine laughed as Jack sucked hungrily at his fingers, trying to get as much of the blood and ADAM into his mouth as he could, curling his tongue between each finger--once he had started, it was impossible to stop, and he didn’t want to. He wanted more, more, but it wasn’t enough, not enough, not nearly enough-- and then there was none left, and Fontaine’s hand was gone, and Jack whined at its loss.
He didn’t have to wait long, for suddenly Fontaine’s other hand was there, and Jack eagerly took his tongue to it, lapping every drop he could from his skin, but it still wasn’t enough, no matter how much he licked and sucked, he needed more.
When Fontaine’s hand was nearly clean, he laughed and stepped back, and Jack pulled against his chains, trying to follow him. It was almost worse, so much worse to have such a small taste but no satisfaction.
“Look at you, kid. Total mess. You completely forgot all your fucking morals just as soon as there’s ADAM in the picture.”
Jack barely heard Fontaine’s words. Fontaine was holding the slug out to him again, and this time he was holding it up to Jack’s face, close enough… close enough… Jack opened his mouth, salivating even through his dehydration, and Fontaine put the slug in his mouth.
The texture was disgusting, and the thing squirmed until Jack bit down on it, sucking its vile, delicious juices down his throat, chewing and swallowing and feeling an intense rush as the ADAM flowed through him, igniting him, revitalizing and soothing him as the world began to gleam with a golden sheen. He licked the blood and juices from his lips and chin and shuddered at the overwhelming bliss of it.
His fingers were broken, he was thirsty and starving, his chest and face were deeply cut and scabbed, but Jack felt giddy, like he could fly, like he could run a million miles and rip a Big Daddy limb from limb with his bare hands. His mind whirled and raced in ecstasy, and Fontaine grinned down at him with a look of pure satisfaction.
“So, kid. What do you say? You work for me, no questions, no disobedience, I’ll keep you swimming in as much ADAM as you want. You don’t… well. You don’t, you live without it. It’s your choice.”
Jack stared up at Fontaine, face wreathed in tendrils of gold, and felt his stomach sink at the thought of never having ADAM again, never feeling like this again. He couldn’t stand it. He swallowed, the taste lingering in his mouth, foul and tantalizing at the same time.
The girls would die.
He would never see the sky again.
But he’d never be without this again, he’d get the exhilaration of killing splicers and the adrenaline rush of taking down a Big Daddy and…
Jack blinked through the brilliant haze as he realized he’d be killing Little Sisters himself. Fontaine’s bloody hands would be his. There was no way the man would let him save any of them--and did Jack really want to? Maybe death was best for them. And Jack could make it quicker and cleaner than anything they’d get at the hands of anyone else.
And then no one else could get their ADAM, either.
Jack licked his lips and looked up at Fontaine, who was looking impatient.
“Well, kid? If you don’t got an answer I can leave you to hang here a couple more days to decide.”
Jack swallowed. There was really only one answer, and the moment he had eaten that slug he’d made his decision.
He couldn’t live without this. He wouldn’t.
“I’ll do it.” His voice was harsh, cracking in his dry throat, tinged with the madness the ADAM was infesting in his brain.
“Good. Now say it for me. Who do you work for?”
“Who do you belong to?”
“Say the whole thing. Say my name.”
“Say it,” Fontaine growled, leaning close to grab Jack’s jaw hard.
“I belong to Frank Fontaine.”
Fontaine straightened and released Jack, laughing. “Damn straight. Now let’s get one thing clear. I need to know you’re not gonna turn on me. You got that?”
Jack nodded. Even through the gleam of the ADAM high, he could guess pretty well what was coming next.
“Ain’t nothing personal, kid. Never betray me ever, would you kindly? And while we’re at it, don’t you ever even think about hurting me either, would you kindly.”
Jack blinked up at Fontaine, and the commands settled in his head. Any thoughts of betraying or harming Fontaine dissipated. Fontaine nodded, satisfied.
“Now we’re ready.” He pulled out a key and began to unlock Jack from the chains. Jack struggled to get to his feet, but even with the ADAM surging through him he didn’t have enough strength to find his feet quickly enough. When Fontaine released his hands he collapsed to the floor. Fontaine snorted but said nothing as he unlocked Jack’s feet, then straightened and tossed a health pack at him.
“Get yourself fixed up, kid. We’ve got work to do.”