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The Best Knight

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Gil had a hell of a time setting up Epsilon’s camera feed, but it worked, and he got a pretty good quality signal. The audio was a little bit fuzzy, but otherwise, he could hear what was happening.

So much had changed, even that voice that used to carry Sinclair’s smooth, beguiling drawl was now a droning, almost painful hum.

Occasionally the camera feed would become shrouded by static, but it was of no consequence. He watched him approach one of the vents to retrieve his ward. Fortunate, the navigational faculties of Epsilon’s conditioning were active, functioning, and right as rain. No Sister vent in Rapture could evade him.

The great, metal fist came down thrice against the surface of the vent.

Gil pulled up a seat to observe comfortably—it seemed that lately observation was all he could do. Since there were no incoming patients or subjects for the program to feed his acquired taste for science and experimentation.

He couldn’t ever seem to get in to talk to Miss Lamb, either, who had become quite the celebrity around Persephone.

And she had somehow become something of a target for his affections. Damn it, he lamented, well, I suppose I am rather starved for emotional attachments. But those are rather antiquated nowadays—quaint even—aren’t they?

Epsilon had retrieved his daughter and had her now in his arms. The little girl then looked up and called him papá.

And the camera tilted so, enough for Gil to tell that Epsilon was indeed listening to his daughter.

It seemed that emotional bonds were still possible even in Rapture’s fast-lane.

But the bond seemed far more true before Sinclair had been fully converted.

The girl saying papá had set a memory in motion. Sinclair spoke similarly of her, with a heartfelt, all-too-soft muttering of mi hija—but not at all held back by Sinclair’s heavy deep southern inflection.

Gil’s heart jolted with a pang of realisation. Epsilon—Sinclair—he... understood. He knew what she was saying.

There was no longer a clear line that could accurately describe who this particular specimen of an Alpha Series represented more—the input or the output, the science or the psychology?

 


 

A blur of motion from the camera caught Gil’s attention again after a while of inaction, the scientist was aware that time had indeed passed—but how much?

It seemed that Epsilon was moving fast—assumedly with his Little One on his shoulders—toward someone who had overstepped their boundaries something fierce.

In a lovely, high-definition, muted colour, first-person view, Gil witnessed the brunt of Epsilon’s absolute paternal rage, as his arm drill thrusted straight through the aggressor like they were nothing. Effectively skewered and dying—slowly, but surely.

Gil was hardly surprised by this—but disquieted. It was instant, and ended as quickly as it started.

The camera turned to the right, looking at Marina, whose face was speckled with cute little freckles mingling among shining spots of splattered blood. She clapped her hands together jubilantly and announced, dementedly, that her daddy was the best knight that she could have ever asked for.

Gil sat back in stunned silence. She didn’t see corpses—she saw angels, and her father jousting. It was how the Little Sisters were conditioned.

This illusion was the easiest way to ensure the girls kept their heads about them. To make certain that fear did not grip the poor things. Their fathers were fabricated, made into a child’s vision of what God was. Giving God a definition before they could even comprehend the concept of metaphysics.

Yet Gil wondered, how did they see their Protectors? What were they in their eyes? Gil figured that it was also worth noting if it even mattered to wonder about it.

Perhaps he was jealous, they didn’t have to see the ravaged hellhole everyone else did. They could only see what Ryan promised and what Lamb hoped to promote—paradise.

Marina was back to leading Epsilon on yet another adventure.

Gil steepled his fingers, watching them be happy. Marina loved him, and he loved her right back. Love and science never seemed to mix well. 

It was funny to think of how ironic—however astringent—this fate was, especially for a man as self-serving, as cajoling, as Sinclair.

But Gil could not bring himself to laugh, only watch silently, as Epsilon continued to be Marina’s brave and dutiful knight.

Perhaps there was still a man under the knight’s armour.