No one could think of what to say. Matthias stood on the bridge, his crew staring at the black sphere. For so many years, he had believed that humanity would be its own undoing. Now he was given validation. Another bolt came from the sphere. This one went into a mountain to the side of the airships. It literally blasted it in half. Several crew members screamed. He was silent. There was nothing that could be done now.
Deep within the ship, the ground forces of their army stood on the flight deck, waiting. It was so clear to all of them – this was how it would end. Deadshot grabbed his phone, getting a link to the Net. He wrote a message to the woman who hurt him, saying sorry for leaving her, and wishing his son was happy. Delta saw him write it, putting her arms around him. Full-Crank and Scarecrow sat together, just holding hands. Ghost and Copperhead were behind some of the crates, making out. For the first time, neither of them cared what anyone thought. Gabby and Ariel had the same idea. Emily desperately wished that she was in Quinn’s arms. All she wanted was for her lover to be with her as they died.
In the ruins of the Fortress, the bulk of their ground forces were alive. They also stared up at the sphere, in awe and sadness. Riddler had long-since passed. His body was stewing inside of the wreckage that made a kind of ditch in the ground as it drained downhill. Azrael and Black Mask stood with Mary, each wondering why they had changed sides. In the palace section of the Fortress, Adam stood. Too late, he realized what his arrogance had done. Now, there was likely nothing that could be done to stop it.
I am such a fool! What have I…what have I done?!
Inside of the WASP, Wolf stared at the sphere, which had another bolt go out. This one cleaved through some of Winter’s Shadow’s airships. The sphere was getting violent. For as destructive as it was, the dark light was utterly brilliant. Beautiful in a way that she could not describe. Suddenly, an idea came to her.
“Oracle, bring up the data from the Final Infusion!”
He looked over at her in shock. “You can’t be thinking…? It would never work! The particles are too damn violent! You’d be torn to pieces!”
Her eyes got darker. “If you have any other ideas, I’m all ears. The truth is, if we don’t sort this out, we all die! Bring up the data.”
The man said no more, displaying it.
Wolf nodded. “I know what I have to do, Peter.” She stood up, disengaging the seals on her Armor. After she stepped out, the man got up behind her.
“Quinn, please! Don’t do this! Don’t go into that! I…” He desperately fumbled for the right words. “I love you.”
She grabbed his face, kissing him softly. “I know. But I can’t give you what you want. I’m sorry.”
He nodded grimly, a tear running down his face.
“Now, bring us into position above the sphere. Make sure to disengage the shield. If we don’t, it will draw the energy to us like it did with the Fortress.”
The WASP started to move. As it did, Wolf cued up a link with Emily.
“Can you hear me?” she asked.
It was audio-only. Inside of Emily’s helmet, she was silently crying. “I can. I wish you were here.”
“I know, baby. I wish I was too. But I can’t be. I think I can stop this. It’s a long-shot, but I have to try. All of this, all of the technology that made this day possible. It’s all connected to me! I think I’m the only person who can stop it.” She choked back a sob. “I have to try.”
Her lover was now openly crying, to the distress of anyone nearby. Grieving sobs, knowing that she was likely about to lose the person she loved, for good.
“I want you to know something, Emily – you are my reason for living! I wouldn’t have carried on if it weren’t for you. You are the first and only person who I have ever truly loved. If I don’t come back from this, promise me something.”
There was no response.
“Emily, promise me! Promise me that you will live! That you will carry on with your life and seek happiness. To whatever end.”
Still no response.
“Say the words, Emily!” The hatch to the ship opened.
Finally, “I promise.”
From above the sphere, she dropped. Falling down, down toward the sphere. Everyone, everywhere was on their feet. Screams, calls of insanity, desperation. No one understood. As she got closer, the ribbons of light came up to greet her. They almost seemed to be reaching out to her. In that moment, she made contact with the sphere. It was beautiful. The thing was becoming spastic, like it was trying to get rid of her. All anyone could do now was wait.
Quinn’s eyes opened and she saw that she was in a meadow. It went as far as the eye could see, with beautiful rolling hills. A smile came to her face. For the first time in as long as she could remember, the troubles of her life were gone. There was a truly massive tree in the center, and a mountain in the distance. From the top, there was a giant glow, beckoning her. She took off running, eager to get there. The wind was so warm, it was so peaceful. This place was one she never wanted to leave. There was no war, no end to mankind. Here, there was just this peaceful tranquility.
Sitting against the tree, there was a young boy. He seemed to be a Brazilian descent. He was reading a very old book, a smile on his face. When she got closer, he smiled up at her.
“Hello there! What brings you here?”
She looked around. “Not sure. Am I dead?”
He shrugged. “Who can say.”
She pointed toward the mountain. “What’s up there?”
A smile came to his face. “Would you like to see? I can show you!”
She nodded vigorously. “Absolutely!”
The boy started to change. His body shifted into the shape of a wolf. “Then change and let’s go.”
That got a confused reaction. “I can’t turn into a wolf.”
The dog tilted its head at her. “Are you sure? Way I understand it, a wolf has been your symbol for some time. You don’t have one inside of you?”
She reached into her mind. True enough, there was the form of a wolf. Her body started to change as well. Once it was done, the two of them took off. It felt so good. She was getting more and more giddy, the more they ran. The two of them were playing through the field. She tackled the young boy, yipping at him. Both of them liked this game.
Hours went into nothing as she went for miles and miles. The sun was starting to set. They came to the foot of the mountain, and there was something waiting. It was a building!
“What’s that?” Wolf asked.
“The Library. Wanna see?”
“Definitely!” They took off for the entrance.
They got to the door, poking their doggie heads inside. Inside, there was music! It was a soft and jazzy tune, being sung live. There was a woman laying on the piano. She had a British accent, but it was not very noticeable. The song she sun was soft. The kind that one would sing at a really quiet bar. Sure enough, there were a lot of people in the room. They were listening to the tune, drinking fine liquor. The man who was playing the piano looked oddly similar to the rest.
Wolf changed back to a person. As did the boy. They got to a table and a waiter came over.
“Can I get anything for you?”
She smiled at him. “I’ll take your best scotch. Single-malt. And throw in a couple of ice cubes, eh?”
The man nodded. “An excellent choice.” He looked to the boy. “And you?”
“I’ll have lemonade. Got any fresh?”
The waiter nodded. “Why yes. We have some made just in the back. It’s for some of our more…eclectic beverages, but it should work just fine.”
“Thank you kindly!”
The man left, and the two turned to face the musician. She looked so beautiful, in a shimmering red dress. Classy, yet attractive. The bar was very quiet as people listened. Their drinks were delivered and again, Wolf felt very relaxed. Like her troubles were washing away. It helped that they had very good scotch here. When the song was done, the crowd quietly applauded, not wanting to break the soft mood. The woman curtseyed and got off the piano. In an instant, the lights came on, and all of the patrons were gone!
Wolf stood up. “Where’d everyone go?” She turned to face the musician, only to see that she was no longer wearing the red dress. Now she was wearing a very proper shirt and dress-skirt.
“They come and go. As do all things here.”
The man at the piano was now also in a very proper outfit, like something from the 50s. “Yes, they are a very undependable lot. And they never tip!”
The woman gave him a look. “As if money means anything here.”
“True enough.” He turned to Wolf. “So, Miss Wolfe. Whatever brings you here?”
She seemed confused. “Well, I was wondering what this place was. I’m…a little lost, I guess.”
The two musicians smiled at each other. “So are all who come here.”
“But we can help you find your way! Would you like to see?”
She nodded, feeling oddly apprehensive. Like she was about to see behind the curtain. It was then that she noticed that the view in here was panoramic. They saw the beautiful world outside so clearly.
“Alright then. We’ll show you. Keep looking out the window.” The rolling hills suddenly vanished, save for the mountain. In its place, there was nothing. Flat, colorless land that stretched for eternity. Then it changed to something else. A city. A massive and beautiful city, but unlike any she had ever seen. The cars were floating above the roads, and there were trains everywhere. Airships were flying above, using the same kind of engines that Enigma and Brainiac designed.
“What is this?”
The musicians came up on both sides of her.
“You see, time has no meaning here.
“Future, past, present, it’s all the same.”
“All those who live, die, died and will die.”
“All those who died, live, lived, will live.”
“It’s all the same here.”
She was confused.
“You see, the Nova Particle is not just a fuel source. It is so much more!”
She nodded. “I know. It can contain a human consciousness. Like the machines that were made in Lab 451.”
The musicians shook their head. It was so strange how they were able to follow through on each other’s thoughts without missing a beat. Like they knew what the other was about to say.
“No, it doesn’t contain the consciousness. It IS the consciousness.”
Her eyes went wide. “You don’t mean…?”
“Ah, but I do. The Nova Particle may be toxic to organic tissue, but only in its raw form. Refined, the Nova Particle is life itself!”
“For years, science has grappled with where life truly comes from.”
Outside, there were ribbons of light floating. They made contact with the lifeless ground, and things happened.
“The Particle is everywhere! All the time. It is only ever visible when in large groupings. You’ve seen this, no?”
“The Particle is so much more than what your species has made it out to be.”
“The Particle is all life. All consciousness exists through it, and is connected to the greater grouping.”
“A grouping that flows across time and space.”
“It is called the Great Consciousness.”
“It is the ultimate end of all life.”
“Where we all go, once our physical time is up.”
“In this place, time has no meaning.”
“You can forward.”
“You can see distant worlds or see the history of your own.”
“There is nothing that cannot be done here.”
Wolf looked out, seeing what they talked about as they spoke. It was beyond amazing. That’s when it hit her. “Why am I here? Am I dead?”
The two musicians looked at each other, both clearly made nervous by this.
“You are something else.”
“Something never done before.”
“When you fell into that black sun, it changed you.”
“Gave you a connection to this place that no one else will ever have.”
“Your consciousness has been made immortal in a way no other ever will. It makes you body able to be taken apart and recombined at will.”
Wolf was shocked, sitting back down. “I can’t believe it. The Emperor was right! This is what I’m capable of!”
The two shook their heads.
“No, he was wrong. What he wished the Final Infusion to be would not have gotten you this far.”
“It was only this that could get you here.”
That was when a thought occurred to her. She looked at the boy. “You’re…me. Aren’t you?”
He nodded. “I am. When you were made, my consciousness died. Only the body survived. But the Nova Particle infusions made a new consciousness. In a way, you were born when I died. So, in a way, you are a totally new person.”
She started to cry. “I’m so sorry! I’m so sorry for this.”
He shook his head. “Don’t be! I’m at peace with what has been done. And you have gotten revenge against the one who did it. But now, it is time for you to make your own choice. What do you wish to do next?”
The musicians stepped forward, with the view outside changing to the rolling hills, with a path leading up the mountain.
“You can go back, and finish what you began.”
“Or you can stay, and explore this world greater.”
“Given you physical makeup, it is doubtful that you will ever be able to come back.”
Wolf looked at the path, nodding resolutely. “I’m going back. I won’t leave Emily and the rest to die back there! I love her.” The door to the Library opened.
“Then go, young Wolf! Go and finish your war, and make the world a better place!”
She shifted back, becoming a wolf once more. “Thank you. All of you.” She took off running, toward the world she left behind.
The path up the mountain was not some dangerous stretch. In fact, it seemed like they path was reaching out, guiding her up. It was a road, with brick-work of an ancient design. Like an old monastery. She ran, faster and faster. Her body turning back to a human’s. There was joy inside of her. She understood. She understood everything. Her entire life, it had been leading to this. The mist in the mountains parted as she got further along the path. There were these structures on the path. Whenever she walked past them, there were pieces of her life displayed. Her escape from Station One. Murdering the Aristocrat who was involved in making her. The first battle where she became the Wolf. The first kiss with Emily. Being rescued by Gabby from the hospital. The further she went, the more it became clear that she was on the right path.
Finally, after hours upon hours of climbing, she reached the top of the mountain. The light was coming from a massive crystal, in the center of what appeared to be some kind of temple. It was so beautiful. She approached it, feeling warm as it bathed her in light. That was when she noticed someone. A little girl. It was Eleanor! The real one.
She walked over. “I’m sorry! I’m so sorry for what I’ve done to you!”
The girl shook her head. “It’s alright. In this place, all of that has no meaning. It was done, will be done and is done. Now you have to return to your own world. To set things right.”
Wolf nodded, seeing the light reflected on a kind of mirror in the distance. It became a gate, with two giant doors.
“Good luck, Wolf.”
She went over, grabbing the two handles. She pulled with all her might, and there was a creak as the doors opened. The light came through, and she felt herself being pulled inside. There was a smile on her face as she vanished, with the door closing behind her.
Her eyes opened. She was in the center of the Black Sun. It was so beautiful. The particles were dancing around her, as if joyful at her presence. She could tell that her body was now nothing but Nova Particles. In here, she had no form. That was how she had reached the Great Consciousness. But now, there was a battle to win. Her mind focused, bringing the Particles into herself. To all who were witnessing, it was unbelievable. The Odysseus had risen above the mountains, to get a better view. As had almost all of the airships. What they saw defied comprehension. Like water going down a drain, the light was being sucked into a glowing human form. The glow became brighter and brighter as she was able to bring it all into her. When it was done, all that remained was a glowing blue figure. It wasn’t like pure light. There was something crystalline about this glow. It took shape, becoming Wolf, mask and all. The outfit was the one she had used a long time ago, with the Venetian cape and everything. She landed softly on the ground, snapping her fingers and pointing up. In a flash, she was inside of the WASP. Oracle was speechless. She removed her mask, and instead of the red eyes she had, the iris’ were now glowing blue.
“Cue me in to the fleet!” she commanded.
He quickly complied. “You’re patched in, ma’am!”
“All forces, prepared for attack! Wipe out the remainder of Prince Adam’s fleet! Ground forces, the Empire’s Fortress is still teeming with their people. It’s time we end this, once and for all! This is the last push! The last fight! Onward, brave soldiers. To victory!”
A cheer was run out as everyone ran to the landing craft. They couldn’t wait.
Until next time, a quote,
“When I was a girl, I dreamt of standing in a room looking at a girl who was and was not myself, who stood looking at another girl, who also was and was not myself. My mother took this for a nightmare. I saw it as the beginning of a career in physics.” -Rosalind Lutece, Bioshock Infinite