Chapter 16:  Fractured

The very next thing on Hackett’s mind was catching the traitor, “Do you know where he is?” he asked.

“I was on my way to find him.” Jack said, “He’s somewhere here in the docks.” Her eyes were dead and her voice was low, slow and monotone.

“How should we handle this?” Hackett asked her.

Jack was surprised he was asking. But the expression on her face as well as her body language made it clear to everyone that she knew the traitor well. Much more than she was giving up in words at the moment.

“Let me bring him in.” She said. Jack had a wrenching feeling in her gut.

“Ok.” Hackett said.

Jack stood up slowly. She didn’t know exactly where Chesterton was. But she would find him, or he would find her. Either way it would lead to a meeting that she dreaded. But it had to be her. She had to find out for herself. She had to have one last chat with Chesterton alone. She imagined the conversation going differently on her way up to the docks but Hackett’s arrival dashed all her hopes that Chesterton was double agent, working undercover. Now she was faced with a more desperate outcome. She asked the C-sec attendant at the security checkpoint if a man matching Chesterton’s description walked through. Her words shocked her as they came out of her own mouth. She found it hard to describe him without adding frivolous details about his hair and body. Her feelings ran deeper than she was willing to admit. And now they were coming out. Every last, dead, one of them. The attendant turned her attention to one of the monitors. There Chesterton was, waiting by docking ring E11. He was gazing out into space at the ships coming and going from the Citadel. Jack lingered too long on the image. She said, “Thank you,” to the attendant and left. It took her a moment to reach the dock at ring E11. But to her it felt like forever. Her heart began to race and her breathing was erratic and shaky. She walked out of the elevator and down the hallway. As she saw Chesterton with his back turned to her, time seemed to stop. She remembered what it felt like to be carried by him out of the mines when she had almost no strength left. She remembered what it felt like when her lips first touched his in the medical bay with her leg strapped to the table. She remembered: their first night together on the ship, their second on the citadel, breakfast that morning and the chaos that followed. That was enough remembering, she thought. It was time to get this over with.

“Hey.” She said.

Chesterton didn’t expect to see her there, “Jack. What are you doing here.”

“I came searching for you after I went for a little walk.” Jack wanted to cut straight to the point, “I stumbled into your little room. At the back of the safe-house.”

Jack used the word safe-house, the alarm went off in Chesterton’s head, “You saw what was inside?”

“I met with the Illusive Man. He was quick to give you up.”

Chesterton sighed, “I was already given away. I left too large a trail.” Chesterton realized that he let his feelings get in the way of maintaining his cover, “I let you get too close.”

Jack’s head dropped, in disappointment. “That hesitation you felt, on the ship. Before you followed me into the showers, that wasn’t you being cute. You were worried about your job.”

Chesterton had a very big frog in his throat that just kept growing, “Yeah.”

“So why the fuck did you go through with it?”

“I never thought it would end up this way. I never thought I would develop any real feelings for you.”

“Well neither did I!” Jack snapped. “Yet here we are!” She shouted. “And we’re both fucked up.” Her voice cracked, her emotion bled through.

“Jack. What do you want me to say to you?” Chesterton asked her.

“Say this is all a bad dream.  Say I didn’t fuck up again. And that you never worked for Cerberus.”

“Even if I said those things. That doesn’t make it true.”

“Fuck you…” Jack winced, tears welled up in her eyes. She fought them off, “Why did you have to do this? Why did you have to betray the Alliance? You know they’re not going to let you leave.”

Chesterton thought of the pistol in his belt.

“I have to take you in.” Jack felt like the situation Chesterton put them both in was absurd,  “They’re gonna lock you away for the rest of your life. Or worse, execution.”

“I can’t allow you to do that.” Chesterton said.

“Oh no,” Jack shook her head, “don’t say that. Don’t make this harder than it is. It’s already incredibly fucking hard.”

Chesterton pulled out the gun slowly and held it loosely in his hands.

“Oh, god!” Jack said, she grit her teeth after seeing the gun. “Don’t, don’t fucking think about it! I don’t want to fight you.”

Chesterton slowly tilted his head, he looked at her in the eyes and said, “I know.” He lifted the gun to the temple of his forehead.

“NO!” Jack screamed.

“Goodbye Jack.” Chesterton pulled the trigger.

Chapter 17: Closing

Navigation: Chapter 1: Resistance Earth, Chapter 2: Grissom AcademyChapter 3: A Knife in The DarkChapter 4: Smoke and ShadowsChapter 5: Cold Revelation, Chapter 6: London Crypt, Chapter 7: Ghosts From Shadows Past, Chapter 8: Skyfall, Chapter 9: Apparatus Deus, Chapter 10: The Devil Within, Chapter 11: Hades’ Dogs, Chapter 12: TranshumanChapter 13: Phenomenon,  Chapter 14: AeonChapter 15: Endgames, Chapter 16: Fractured, Chapter 17: ClosingEpilogue.