The others had moved on.
Tenenbaum felt she had redeemed herself and was working as a researcher and trying to be a foster mother to Jacks daughters. Jack had his daughters to care for. Porter worked in computing, turning down several offers from the government to work on secret projects and while he had not fully accepted the death of Pearl, he had stopped trying to bring her back.
I had father in my head. I had taken a job working as a nurse and was going to medical school to become a doctor. I had grown tired of surface life. I travelled the world for a bit, Asia, Africa, Europe and the Americas, but I felt rapture calling me back constantly. Nothing compared to the hidden city.
I had travelled to Iceland then hired a small boat to take me out towards the lighthouse. I examined the genetic key again, such a strange little device. Apparently, it would read as Andrew Ryan’s DNA to the scanners in Rapture if any of them still worked. Jack had given it to me so that we could have some final closure on rapture but instead I wondered if I could keep the city as my personal retreat from the mundane surface world.
The lighthouse wasn’t visible until I came within a couple miles of it. I had sunk Sinclair’s lifeboat down to the bottom again and removed the lightbulbs from the lighthouse. People must have found this by now but without a bathysphere they probably just assumed the lighthouse was alone out here.
Brigid had destroyed the slug inside of me so I would need to be more careful about catching lead down in the city. The old suit was a little too small now and I had replaced most of the fabric, but the metal parts still fit me. I sat on the edge of the lighthouse with a metal weight to help me sink down to the city without a submersible. I wondered how no one had asked questions about this place, perhaps someone was covering it up on behalf of Ryan or Fontaine, it was possible they had been paid off in advance. Maybe the secret agencies of the world knew about it all along and just watched it all unfold.
I leant over and took the plunge into the frigid depths. I counted four lonely spotlights still illuminating the city. Several tall buildings, surface scrapers, were flooded completely. I manoeuvred over to the top floor of the old welcome centre and into the flooded Kashmir restaurant.
I turn on my torch and drag myself along the banister of a staircase. Starfish coat the faded scarlet carpet, barnacles on the bar and empty plates stripped clean by bacteria. Several skeletons were strewn about the place. None of the lights worked so I decided to move on.
I swam over to the glowing hole where I had been imprisoned. Vibrant sea creatures swam around inside the trench. I see something big down there and go to take a look. Just a long shark, unnatural, three times as long but not as wide. I head away and towards the drop where my sisters are all stationed. I spot the Amusements and Dionysus park where Mothers followers lived. There is so much here for me to explore and rediscover.
I know once my presence is known people will want me to do something if there are any people still down here. Father’s feelings stir memories of the Kashmir and I return to see where he took me for my last walk as a little sister. Where he met mother
There are lights on in Paupers drop, Hephaestus and Arcadia. I have to go and see the survivors, indulgence can wait, they will want time to gather their belongings and several will likely want to stay.
I wonder if I could blow up the city if I knew someone was inside, unaware of their doom or accepting of it. I scan the view one last time and set off down to the drop. Fathers memories of Sinclair resurface, and my memories of aunt Gracie stir.
I used to spend the day with her in her room before mothers’ experiments required me. I wish she had come with us to the surface and hope she is still alive down here.
I look through the windows to discover the drop has changed little other than the lack of mother’s posters and splicers, in fact it seems a bit better maintained. I take a peek in more of the windows and see people moving around.
A big sister taps me on the arm.
I jump back and push myself off the window to face her. My heart starts racing, and a chill runs down my spine. She points towards the airlock and swims off. I follow her. I feel the lack of confidence in my combat abilities against the other sisters. Father has fought my sisters; I have fought my sisters, I could if I had too.
As we swim, I notice she has no needles with which to stab me. There are no metal supports on her legs either. We swim through a broken walkway that has been sealed outside, through coral crusted pillars that hold the Atlantic express and through a shoal of oncoming fish.
We stand inside the airlock and the water drains. She has removed her helmet before the water has reached my ankles. Her skin is slightly greyer than mine, a sign that something is off with her. She looks at me with her green eyes, they swirl slightly, she has some bio luminescent fluid in them, and green is a display of her emotional state. Her hair is black and long, the family would have kept it short.
Tenenbaum warned me that the slugs probably wouldn’t just stay in us forever, they would want to reproduce and most likely detach themselves eventually. She said she didn’t know if it would be a deaths sentence or a release into a normal life free of the parasite.
“You are Eleanor, right? You have come to rescue us and take us to the surface?” she asked excitedly.
“I am Eleanor, I will take you topside. what’s your name?”
“How many of you are there here?”
“11 big sisters and lots of humans, almost a hundred! Come, I show you!”
The inner door of the airlock opened. 11 was a lot considering there had only ever been 26, father killed 7, Porter killed 2. There was a crowd waiting for me, they had got the message I sent a month ago in a small watertight canister. I remove a sealed tube from my back that is filled with newspapers I had collected for them.
“Hello Eleanor. My name is Sidney.” a man with a faint cockney accent greeted me.
“Hello, I take it you have all heard of me. I have news from the surface.”
I handed the papers around.
“I don’t know what you have heard but I am here for some closure and to reminisce. There is more advanced technology and culture topside, but I cannot allow ADAM to escape this watery prison.” I told them.
“What about people with a few plasmids, or your sisters?” He asked.
“There is a machine on the surface that Porter and Tenenbaum have built that can remove ADAM from a person, the sisters on the surface are normal again.” I explain.
“What if we want to stay?” a woman asked.
“Then You will be left down here, But I have not decided, there is a way to detonate Hephaestus. This is Andrew Ryan’s Genetic Key.” I hold it out to show them. “It can be used to destroy the city.”
“Not, if we don’t let you. Ryan’s old office is mine now. I put a lot of work into maintaining the core, you can’t just come back and blow it all up.” A man tells me.
“I understand. I know you may view me as your salvation or your messiah, but I am not, Mother was mad, and I stopped her.”
I am relieved that I don’t have to blow the city up. The people seem fine. I take a tour of the drop and see how much it has changed. Walls have been painted; broken windows boarded up. The smell is far better than it ever was.
The cameras are gone, the vending machines are dismantled. A bathtub has been placed to collect water that drips down onto the street from a small leak above.
“What happened to Grace Holloway?” I ask.
“She still lives here, just as a citizen.” Sidney tells me.
“I would love to meet her again.”
“She spoke to me earlier; she wasn’t sure if you would kill her or hug her, or if you were fucked up enough to do both. But she asked that I let you if you wanted too.”
“I would see her and don’t worry; she is quite safe.”
He takes me to a small cafe and buys me a coffee. Its bad by surface standards, really bad, but still coffee. He seems to enjoy it as do the other patrons. I ask what it is made from and he tells me that they are growing the beans in Arcadia.
I saw that it would not be the wild ride I was hoping for, no more feral splicers to deal with no daddies to save, and worst of all they were expecting me to bring them up to the surface. There was little profit now as well, technology had evolved and apart from ADAM there was nothing that would make me a fortune.
Sarah is following us with some other tall women that I presume were big sisters. They mostly wear oversized shirts apart from a pair in well fitting ones made from odd pieces of fabric sewn together. I will meet them in good time I am sure.
In a small nook there is an apartment with “Grace Holloway” written on the door. I knock then let myself in, aunt Gracie never did lock her door.
“Who is it?” she called.
Her hair is grey, and her stick has been replaced by a wheelchair. Same dress just faded some more. She has old posters on her walls and a crate filled with odd audio logs. Some where hers, others mothers or Ryan’s, Atlas and one from Anna Culpeper.
“It’s me, Eleanor.”
“Baby Eleanor!” she turns to see me. I bend down and we hug.
“I’ll leave you too it.” Sidney announces as he steps outside.
“So, how’s the surface?” she asked.
“everything you ever told me about it is true and more.”
“How are old Sinclair and Delta?” she asked.
I took a deep breath.
“They didn’t make it, Mother got them.”
“Sorry, I didn’t know.”
“it’s alright, father is still with me, mothers project worked in a way.”
“Your mother, is she dead as well?”
I didn’t answer at first. My biggest shame, after all she had done.
“No, she isn’t. I couldn’t bring myself to do it.” I confess.
“It’s alright child.”
“No, I killed dozens of her followers but when it came to her I didn’t. she was drowning, I saved her life.”
“Where is she now?”
“I don’t know, she left me. I need to make sure she isn’t down here again, and I need closure.”
“I see, well she isn’t here.”
“Good, I met with Tenenbaum and Porter, there is a man named Jack as well and several of my sisters.”
“No nuclear fire?”
“Not yet, Men have been to the moon though!”
“Really! Oh, I missed you Ele. But I don’t know if my old bones have what it takes to return to the surface.”
“Do it for me, Please.” I lean back and stand up again.
I can hear voices outside; my sisters are following me.
“I will be back for dinner at some point aunt.”
“Yes, yes, your audience awaits dear.”
On my way back to the door I spot one of my old sketchbooks and a worn rabbit doll on a shelf and smile to myself. Retirement has been good for her.
I would love some feedback on this work. I plan to rewrite some elements of it and possibly separate some of the chapters focused on my OCs into their own works.
Chapter 2: Seeking part 1
Outside a small crowd has gathered. Seven of them. I am not used to people being taller than me. They fidget a lot but don’t look away when I look at them.
“Hello again.” I greet my sisters.
“We want to go with you.” Sarah informs me.
“I am not going to the surface just yet. I want to visit a few places first.”
“Then we want to visit Dionysus park with you.”
She was very pleased that I was here, they all seemed to be.
“Sure, all of you?”
“Yes. We want you to meet some of our, other sisters. They are less normal”
“Alright, names first then we go.”
“Sally.” Seemed almost normal, blond hair, blue eyes.
“Jane” slightly taller than the others, brown hair and eyes, larger muscles.
“lily” Black hair and blue eyes.
“Hailey” Black hair and brown eyes.
“Milly and Molly.” They were identical twins and also spider spliced from the look of their feet.
They seemed normal enough by rapture standards. I wondered what the other four must look like if a big sister would consider them odd.
“Zara” half of her chest and her right arm were made from red chitin, there was a large claw in place of a hand. I didn’t say anything, but I was curious how powerful it was and how she used it day to day.
“Scarlet” Gills, small fins on the arms and sharp teeth.
“Juliet” something was wrong with her stance, she drooped low and lent on Sarah. She had small suckers on her hands and a weird blue tint to her skin.
“And this is tutu” Sarah announced. She was still in her big sister suit. Bulkier than a normal one. I can’t see inside her helmet, she doesn’t talk though, she is completely silent. The suit didn’t appear to have the normal belts or fasteners that it should.
I was good with names, thanks to mother. I tell them about the surface. The sun, the birds, music, food, radio and television. They stare at me in wonder.
The group sets off and we go all the way to the airlock where we discover there are not enough diving suits for eleven people to go out at once, so they draw straws to see who comes to Dionysus with me and who comes to Ryan amusements.
I regret taking them with me as they continue to ask endless questions, although I will still take the others with me as well. Dionysus is semi submerged again. I trace father’s footsteps; find the dead bouncers and splicers he has dealt with. The big sister is gone as is any sign of that Stanley man, hopefully I won’t run in to him. I wonder if father leaving him was as bad as killing him, there was no way he could survive by himself.
The others are upset about the dead bouncers and a small dispute between me and Jane over whether or not it was necessary ended with her deciding she no longer wanted to talk about it. It is quiet, the water no longer drips down as the leaks have filled the Interior and when we are above water there is no noise save for us.
We make it to the carousel where the Meltzer man was captured. I wish he could have met Cindy now. The others are getting bored of slowly moving through this place and taking one last look at what has become of the city. A game of tag breaks out. I try to ignore it but Lily tags me then runs off. I chase Zara but end up catching Hailey who was trying to hide behind a pillar. This is fun but not what I came here for.
We change the game into hide and seek, I will seek. Now I can explore and entertain them.
“No peeking.” Jane tells me.
“No peeking, One hundred, Ninety-nine…” I start the countdown.
When I reach zero, I open my eyes and start the hunt. Through a starfish coated hallway and down a corridor laced with long inert electric arrows and spears that I peel from the walls. I reach the train station.
I see fathers’ memories of Stanley Poole followed by a scream. I turn to see a glowing blue big sister charge at me and raise a non-existent rivet gun at her. I fire and she disappears. I walk over to the wall and find some of fathers missed rivets lodged in the wall.
They feel warm. They must be cold like the rest of this place, but they are warm to the touch. I wonder why I thought this would bring me peace. Father understands. He, we, think about the girl he killed here. It wasn’t either of our faults it was mothers. He reminds me that he did it for my future and I move on to the next room.
A small family of crabs is walking across the room. I walk past a giant sculpture of two women dancing and look up to see Hailey perched atop one of their heads.
“How did you get up there?” I asked.
“How are you going to get down?”
“Not easily.” she replies. I watch her clamber back down then she falls the last few metres she dusts herself off then acts as if nothing happened.
“What is this place?” Hailey asks me as we move on to the next area.
“A retreat, somewhere people go to relieve stress.” I tell her.
Father remembers the turrets in Cohens fine arts and warns me. I carefully peak inside. The ice has melted, and the turrets are all rusted. A couple of splicers are dead inside the doorway, clearly caught by fathers’ turrets and several more skeletons including a cat are found inside.
I can hear giggling, one of my sisters is hiding somewhere that I must have walked past. Behind a large painting that was leant against the wall was a prone Lily. When I tipped the painting over, I was greeted by Zara as well.
“No fair, Lily is a giggler!” Zara complained.
I take time to look at each of the odd images of Cohens. I am not sure what is decayed and what is as painted and soon move on. I look outside and see glowing violet coral growing outside. My sisters don’t appreciate how beautiful this twisted city is.
A theatre is flooded halfway up the screen. Helmet goes back on and I swim up. Wet footsteps lead along the aisle and around into the projectionist’s office. Jane is inside, not bothering to hide.
“Damn, that was fast.” she tells me.
“Found you.” I tell her.
“I was captured in a room like this over in fort Frolic.” She flicks through he reels of film.
I assume she means another projection room.
“Tell me more about the little sisters that Jack saved.” She asks.
The others that I have found resurface and join us.
“I can show you if you let me into your mind.” I tell her.
She hesitates then nods. I give her a small jab with my needle then inject myself with her blood, I have worked in hospitals on the surface, this should be dangerous but ADAM changes everything.
I enter her mind, see her thoughts then share my memories of the girls with her. They are working, at university or have started families. She is curious about the grass and birds, so I show her more.
She shows me her memory of being captured.
Chapter 3: Jane's Capture
I was a feral brat, scrounging out of bins and drinking out of the bathroom sinks in fort frolic. I couldn’t fit in the hidey holes anymore; the orphanage was empty, and my sisters had mostly been taken to the surface years ago.
“Mister bubbles!” I yell with hopeful glee.
I run towards the old Rosie and he just shoves me aside like they all do now. My needle is rusted and caked in dried blood. I sing my little rhyme about the land of Lillypoppy and follow him, waiting for him to notice me. He bangs on the vent. Right Infront of me he just bangs for my attention and then ignores me.
A woman spots me and calls to me, she knows I have ADAM and I know she could be an angel with a little help. I walk towards her, through a camera spotlight which ignores me, and raise my needle.
She runs around a corner but waits for me and jumps me when I follow. We scratch and punch, but my wounds heal in seconds while she is getting worse and worse until she is the angel I wanted. I get to work feeding myself before more people smell the angel. There is a clump of my hair in her hand. I feel my new bald spot and hope daddy won’t notice. My rags are in even worse condition, so I take hers, they are cleaner.
I take a big gulp of her ADAM rich blood. My hand freezes but isn’t cold, I don’t know why, I have seen bad men with cold hands before. It’s not the first time my drinking has had this effect on me, I’ve turned invisible while I was drinking before and had a swarm of bees buzzing around my arm.
I play around with the ice. I freeze a puddle then slide across it. I freeze the angel and then I freeze the door. It felt weird but good to shoot ice from my hand. I couldn’t control this like my telekinesis, it would come and go whenever I drank angels’ blood.
I hear a big daddy call out, but something is off. He is too high pitch. I venture up a staircase and see him sat down next to a camera overlooking a large screen. I look puzzled at him, he has a tea set, a phonograph and a teddy bear. He puts the needle to the record when he sees me.
“Somewhere beyond the sea…” the music starts.
Everything brightens back to how it should be; his armour is golden not bronze, it smells of roses, not rot and death. He pours me a cup and offers it to me. It’s too good to be true.
I walk over, carful that I might somehow startle the noble knight if I move too fast. I take the cup from him and sip the liquid. Its tea! It’s actually tea!
“Thank you, Mr bubbles!” I excitedly squeal.
He leans in and strokes my hair gently. I am overcome by the show of affection and hug him. Tears start to drip down my face. He strokes my hair and moans his whale song again.
I take another sip and let out a yawn. I can’t fall asleep now or I might use him, but this is the first time I have felt safe in years. I lean on him and he puts his large cold arm around me.
“Thank you.” I whisper to him.
He turns the record off and pours some tea into my mouth. I allow my eyes to close.
I wake up to the sound of men talking. I am still being held by daddy, but my hand and legs are tied together. I slowly manage to look up drearily. His helmet is off. He is talking with the others.
“Mr bubbles?” I manage.
“Just rest now.” He rubs my arm.
“is she going to be okay?” another man asks.
“Yes, she is just one tough cookie. That much tea would have put an elephant to sleep.”
I try to struggle or use a plasmid but I have no strength and slip back into his arms.
Chapter 4: Seeking part 2
“Thank you for sharing that with me jane.” I tell her.
“I guess I would have died or been captured by the big sisters eventually. It was a nice way to go.”
“Still quite horrible to trick you like that.”
“I suppose.” She agreed.
I flicked through the films and read the titles. “The dance of the butterflies” A short film mother had made with that awful Sander Cohen before they had stopped talking. “The impossible.” A propaganda film where several of raptures more successful inhabitants were portrayed fleeing the tyranny of the surface, complete with fake cars and planes. “Splicerman.” Commissioned by Fontaine to push plasmids by having a regular guy splice into a hero and change the world.
At the end of the row was a different film case. Shinier and better cared for. The name had faded but I could tell it was from the surface and very special to whoever had run this theatre.
“Alright, Scarlet and Sally are still out there somewhere.” I tell them.
We all dive through the flooded theatre again and back track all the way to where I started.
“There she is!” Jane shouts. I turn to see her pointing to a window.
“That’s cheating Scarlet, you’re not in Dionysus park!” she complains.
“She can’t hear you.” I point out. I fasten my helmet then disappear in a purple flash only to reappear behind Scarlet. I tap her shoulder to her surprise. She spins then we both teleport back inside.
“I was starting to worry about you forgetting me.” Scarlet tells me.
“No, just didn’t expect you to be outside. We are still looking for Sally.” I reply.
We take ten minutes to explore the rest of the park and come to the conclusion that we have missed her in one of the previous rooms.
She was in a good spot. Trying to fix a power to the people machine when I ran into her. It was far too rusted at this point to ever work again.
“Took your time.” she said cheekily.
“Had to take in all the sights.”
“Found some old bottles.” she pointed to some gene tonics.
I know the tonics will change me or my sisters, but I am curious, I never spliced myself willingly before. I reached into fathers’ memories and saw, felt, him splicing. He needed to so he could save me. I wonder what if. What if splicing could be a force for good, it we just use slugs to get small amounts and use the thinker to work out the kinks. Sure, it could be bad but was it that much worse than a nuclear bomb.
Sports boost, breast grow, booze hound and security evasion. The sports boost has been opened before. I open it again and smell the sweet ADAM. The only times I ever actually tasted ADAM with my tongue I was with father. It must be nice without blood mixed in with it.
No! I am better than this. The lid goes back on. I put it back then see Jane staring at the bottle, she wants it just like I did. The others seem less keen other than sally who seems not to mind the smell.
“We should take it back to the clinic.” Hailey tells me.
“What for?” I ask.
“They can heal a lot of wounds as a side effect of the ADAM.”
“Good idea. Should we head back then?”
There were a lot of mixed signals, but they agreed. They wanted to stay out, but I needed to see more of the city before I left it for good.
Father knows I shouldn’t uncover new places down here or I will be sucked in to exploring. He knows how rewarding exploring can be and how dangerous. I should see a therapist, but mother has put me off for life.
The swim back to Paupers drop is short and follows the Atlantic express line until it breaks off to a small airlock rather than going in through the large train doors.
Chapter 5: The amusements part 1
I changed my set of companions to Sarah, Sally, Tutu, Juliet and the twins. They brought along a man named John who turned out to be Sally’s boyfriend. They were happy down here but didn’t know what they were missing.
I liked Sally most, although I thoroughly suspect she has some of the animal magnetism plasmid coursing through her veins. Sarah seems to be expecting a lot from me, it was what I was worrying when I came down here but now, she is the only one who truly believes I am here to miracle her life into something better.
When we arrive, the lights are still on, in fact it appears someone has been taking care of the park. We don’t have any tickets to open the park up.
“So, what do we do?” Sally asked.
“I will teleport inside and look around.” I tell them.
“I wilth goes with yous.” Juliet tells me.
Her voice is distorted by the droopiness of her face. I blip in and out of existence and reappear on the other side of the door. I don’t see another blip, but she reappears slithering through the vent. She should be too big to turn those angles but somehow, she manages it.
“I wanth to talk with youth.” she tells me.
“What is it Juliet?” I ask.
“You said they can undo ADAM, can they make me normal again?” she asks.
“I believe so. It has turned a big daddy human again, but you are unique.”
“So you don’t know?”
“Not for sure, but I believe it can, I will try all I can.” I promise her.
She slumps down and “walks” very low to the ground. I consider her and the other sister’s situation. She needs me, she is vulnerable and struggles to perform basic tasks.
We reach the storeroom and find several wheels of tickets as well as hundreds of lightbulbs and corn for popping. I break off a ticket and hand it to Juliet then I break one off for a souvenir. I see a shadow move on a walkway above but don’t react in front of Juliet.
“Here we are, you take this back to the others. I’m just going to check on something.” I tell her.
She takes it in her hand and slithers back into one of the vents. I teleport onto the walkway and investigate.
“Hello?” I call. “I am just exploring; I don’t want to fight.”
There is no response.
“Thank you for fixing all the lights.” I tell the emptiness. I wait for a few more seconds then teleport back to the store room.
I get a sudden burst of father’s memories when I rematerialize. He is sad that he is dead, that a dumb psychiatrist could do all this at the bottom of the sea. It isn’t the first time this has happened. There was nothing you could have done father I think to him. Why did I go poking around at the bottom of the sea? he wonders. You loved it; it was your passion I think back. You brought me back once, why not again? he asked me. I had no answer, I knew it wasn’t purely him, it was my mind using his memories to talk with itself.
“I will try father.” I promise him quietly.
I walk to the door and it opens to reveal the others.
“Ah there you are, we were starting to think you had abandoned us.” Sally joked.
“Sorry I thought I saw someone, but it was just an animatronic.” I told her.
“You will see.”
We walk out into the main hall and I press the big red button for the segment of raptures history to play. No one is impressed but Sarah changes the subject to the surface.
“There is a ride here called the Journey to the surface! It will help me explain.” I tell her.
Sally and john are chatting, the twins are standing at the back and Sarah is carrying Juliet on her shoulder with 2-02.
“I have been here before.” One of the twins tells me.
“Milly isn’t it?” I ask her.
“Yes, and I am Molly” The other answers.
“you have been here more times than me then, I only have memories of this place from ADAM”
“I was here with sir bubbles, I didn’t see much, there weren’t even any angels then.” Phila told me.
“Follow me then.” I head into the ride.
A repaired Andrew Ryan welcomed us. The others were uneasy and alerted by the machine.
“Okay so they are going to make the surface sound kind of bad, but it is much better than he says.”
“We have spoken with the others, we know what the surface is, we want to know you and your experience there.” John told me.
We walk through the ride and I tell them what they wanted to know and by the end of it I was questioning if I wanted to stay down here.
It is Sarah that comforts me and reinforces my hatred for this place.
“The surface sounds better if there is no splicing or mental conditioning, and you said the food was better, and the birds and the sun!” Sarah tells me.
“Thank you, sister. So many bad things have happened down here, not that there aren’t bad things up there, but it is much better. The cold war will end soon if the thinker is right.”
“War!?” Milly asked.
“There is no fighting, just threats.” I tell them.
“How do we get to the surface?” Sarah asked.
“Swim up or take a submarine.” Sally tells her.
“I would have left here long ago if I could, Eleanor will break the chain in my mind that keeps me in this city!”
Ah, that may be a bit harder than I first thought. I will have to scrounge some things up.
“Yes, I can but it might be easier to restrain you and drag you to the surface.” I warn her.
“Will Carol be able to help?” Sally asked.
“I believe so. I must admit I had not expected there to be a society down here, there are so many of you and several of you seem happy.”
“Youth will still makth me human againth?” Juliet asked.
“Yes, I will take any who want to go up and remove any splicing just like I promised.”
The trip was not a great success like the previous as we sat in the empty café, drinking from flasks that we bought with us.
“So, what is 2-02’s story?” I ask her but expect Sarah to answer.
“She was killed by subject Delta, but she was brought back with ADAM.”
I turn to the silent giant. Her lidless eyes gaze into mine.
“I can link our minds; I can talk with you. Will you let me?” I ask.
She nods slightly and sticks a thumb up. I give her a small prick with my needle, and I am in.
Chapter 6: Blood and ADAM
the origin of Tutu from her perspective.
I screamed as I approached the central holding tank of the futuristics facility. Gil Alexander was kept there, or whatever was left of the man who made me into this. Three Rumblers lay dead, including the new one, and their girls were gone as well. The lights are dim, and it is hard to see anything through the bio luminescent red filter of my helmet juice.
I waited impatiently for the door to take two seconds to roll upwards and open. I tap my feet so hard the brass toe makes a small crack on the tiled floor. I screamed again. Some splicers were waiting nearby for me to arrive, but they are not my quarry. Three Alpha series are in the room, two of which lay dead. The last one is Delta, the undead father of Eleanor. I have overheard that he killed one of my sisters in the amusements and I expect he has been in scraps with more since then. I know I am confident that I will taste his sweet ADAM soon.
I charge and pounce on him, but he dashes towards me with his drill and we meet in the middle with a massive clang. He hits hard and I don’t see him react to the stab I landed on his arm. I am aware of the pain I scream again, and he zaps me with a blue bolt of electricity. A nova of energy discharges from me and reaches him, he grunts in pain and switches to a rivet gun. My right thigh is hit twice, hot metal making a new home in my flesh, at least the wound it cauterised.
The splicers file in and begin barraging him with tommy gun fire, shots bounce off him, only a few hits and only a few of those produce blood. I change stance and launch a volley of fireballs at his back. All four hit him and he begins to run to cover. He hits me back with a ball of blue goo, it doesn’t seem to hurt or freeze. I move around his cover to see him injecting himself with something out of a medical kit.
A security bot buzzes into the room and shines a red light on me. I run to follow him as he starts to flee, and the bot chases me. My splicer allies manage to destroy the bot before any of its shots can connect with me. I take the opposite side of a pillar and jump onto his front. I plunge a needle into his flesh, severing an artery, or it should have but he was not human, and his vitals were not where I expected them to be.
A rocket hits me point blank, sending me staggering back in pain. My air tank ruptures, keeping me off balance as the air hisses out. He freezes me and fires another rocket at me. He is showing no signs of tiering or succumbing to his wounds, so I make a tactical withdrawal. One of the Tommy gun toting goons is alone, so I take cover near him.
We are part of the family but right now I need his blood more than him. I lift him telekinetically and he turns his head in fear of me. The needle goes into his heart and the ADAM rich blood is collected in the needle before being relayed into my own veins. I would thank him if I had a voice, or if he was still around to hear me.
I feel my scorched and bruised flesh repairing itself like it was being gently massaged. The tank is empty now, I am breathing straight from this place. The air is laced with blood, ADAM and decay.
I hear splicers being gunned down. It is just me and him now, Alex as well technically for what good that is. He is making a hasty purchase at a vending machine but turns as soon as I come into view. He has a spear gun out now and he misses me. I land another volley of four fireballs on his visor as he misses again. Then he hits me in the chest, pulls the barbed harpoon out with telekinesis and hits me again in the stomach. I go down and everything drains away. That should have been it.
I wake up to see a blinding light but am unable to look away. I can sense an ungodly amount of ADAM being forced into my decaying heart. As my vision returns, I see that I am suspended in a tank filled with what seems to be water, but I don’t feel wet. A series of tubes are taking things in and out of me, but I am all numb and my mind comes and goes. I can twitch my arms and legs a few inches, but It hurts. Everything hurts.
I see a woman in a lab coat rush over and examine me. Her mouth moves and a man in a lab coat joins her. They take notes then leave me to stare unblinkingly forwards.
I remember what just happened and try to look down at my chest. My neck is too stiff. I just wait and wait in pain.
I had no sense of time; the light was always on and the observer changed a few times.
Finally, the fluid drains. I collapse to the floor. It is now I realise that I cannot blink, I don’t have eyelids.
The people pick me up and haul me off to surgery. I cannot struggle in this state, not that I would. The suit was there, made just for me. The doctors were quite intrusive. Tubes were inserted into all my orifices, deep and painful. Rather than a breathing mask the tube heads straight into my lungs, a food tank is connected straight to my stomach and a waste tank to my bowels.
I still cannot speak. I don’t think I have a tongue anymore.
The suit is sealed onto me. Not with a click like my normal suit, they bring in a small torch and weld some parts together. I wince as some of my flesh is fried.
“Are you sure she is going to make it?” the man asked.
“She’s just been dead; we have nothing to lose. Besides with Dr Lamb gone we need her to keep the family in line.” The woman replied.
I no longer get to go out into the city. I stand watch over that same dim room now. There is a special harness for me to stand in as I guard the room. I sleep standing with my eyes open so that people cannot tell if I am watching them.
The scientists come and go, they don’t seem to mind me, some even speak to me. My various canisters of waste and food are changed daily, and I am given ADAM regularly. Sometimes they play music, sometimes they ask me to perform basic tasks. Once someone needed killing, a spider splicer crawled into my home and I dispatched him quickly and was rewarded with an inspection of my condition. My
visor face was wiped clean and my gloves hands were replaced with newer ones.
I am a part of this suit now, cloth, metal, flesh, bone and, I think, alive?
Chapter 7: The amusements part 2
“You are alive! “I am sorry it came to that, Father only wanted to save me.” I tell her in her mind.
“So, delta was working for you?” she asks.
“Yes, he saved me, and we made it to the surface, our bond is different to any you may have had. I am sorry mother used you all.”
“You can make me truly alive again yes, I can leave this suit?”
I show her my memories of Porter before and after being a big daddy and I sense her mood brighten.
Back in the real-world Sarah shakes me out of our mental link. She looks worried.
“Are you alright?” she demands.
“Sorry you were starting to scare me.”
“I understand how it must look.”
“So Dr Lamb, did she got what she deserved. Did you do it yourself or was it the explosion?” Sarah asked.
“She…” I couldn’t bring myself to tell her.
“You didn’t kill her, did you?” Sarah asked me.
“No.” I whimper.
“Do you want me to do it for you?” she offered.
“Can I show you something in my mind?”
“I cannot read your mind.” she reminds me.
“No, I will be in yours.”
“You wont fit in my ears.”
“I will just give you a small jab then you will see.”
One small transfusion later I am in her mind. I do not linger but cannot help but see her thoughts and recent memories in passing. She has feelings for Juliet and 2-02 that are more than sisterly love and a reverence of me as a saviour.
I project the final fight with the family, the rise to the surface, father’s death, mothers escape. She is sympathetic until that point. She wonders why we saved the little ones but not the big ones, not just left behind, we killed some.
Fathers memories flash and there is a big sister fighting him. We both know it is 2-02. the fight seems close, but she dies and he, ah, he walked over and retrieved his spears from her chest. Sarah thinks about impaling father and then she wonders if she could kill me if she had to. She thinks my blood must be delicious. I show her my thoughts again and she goes back to her former curiosity of me.
“The Vita chamber worked after ten years?” she asks.
“Yes, it did, if anything was lost, he, we didn’t know it was gone.” I explain.
“All our dead sisters can be brought back?”
I planned on trying to bring father back, but I knew it would get out of hand. Everyone knew someone who was gone, why not them. We can undo ADAM modification now, why not bring the whole damn city back to the surface to be reborn.
“Just our sisters will be fine.” she tells me.
I break the mental link between us.
“We will need their bodies or a good sample of genetic code.”
“I will look. For them. One was cremated, any chance of…” she opened.
“Probably not from ashes.”
“Okay. You should go and see Sally; she will know how to help you fulfil whatever journey you are on. She is good with feelings ”
Sally and John were leant on each other. They were watching the fish swim by the ruined buildings. I didn’t know any men our age survived. I guess if the family had known then they wouldn’t have.
They seemed so happy, sat here in this decayed prison. Rapture was everything they had ever known, and they didn’t seem in a rush to learn of the wider world.
“Hey, how are you two doing?” I ask as I walk over to them.
They turn to look at me as I take a seat next to sally at the window side bar.
“We’re great.” Sally tells me.
“It’s nice to make a trip out of the drop.” John agreed.
“Have you been to many places out of the drop?” I ask.
“As a big sister I’ve been all over, but I didn’t have much time to enjoy the places, always little sisters to save and freaks to kill.”
“I’ve only been to arcadia, Hephaestus, medical, fort frolic and the fisheries.” John replied.
Their lives seemed so small. I used to long to see India, France and America when I was confined down here. Sarah mentioned mental conditioning, maybe Sally just didn’t or couldn’t want to leave.
“How did you survive down here John?” I ask.
“I did what I was told. A man named Dave is responsible for my survival. He knows a lot about guns.”
“Any other young men survive?”
“A few, eight including me.”
“Oh, Eleanor do you have a boyfriend on the surface?” Sally asked.
Not the question I was expecting. I hadn’t found love, but I hadn’t really gone looking for it either. Still I felt a little embarrassed for it. I had been asked to movies and meals, but I was always busy. Maybe it was father, he was always there at the back of my mind. He didn’t judge me, but I was scared of disappointing him after he gave his life for me.
“No, I don’t.” I mumble.
“Maybe one of the men down here then.” Sally suggested.
I wondered about a childhood friend.
“Is there one called Amir?” I asked.
“No. never heard of him.” John told me.
I was not surprised but I was now wondering if I could bring Amir back. I had only known him as a child though. I expect he either spliced himself into oblivion or died young. Mother may even have had him dealt with.
“I played with him a few times when I was younger.” I explain.
“What about Edward?” Sally asked John.
“They haven’t met before.”
“I know but he is kind of mysterious like her.”
“I’m sure they will meet each other soon.” he replied.
“What happened to the big sisters after I left?” I asked.
“Power struggles. Sidney took over from Grace. Sophie and a man named Fitz tried to take control of the protector program. Carol took a few of us to join Sidney down in the drop, then was in a coma for a whole bloody year.”
“A whole year?”
“Fifteen months, more than a year.”
“Storytime!” John joked.
“I would like to hear it if you don’t mind.” I ask.
Chapter 8: Special delivery
Sally tells the story of how she ended up in a coma.
I walked up to the door with the suitcase. It was heavy and kept on hitting the side of my needle.
The guard eyed me suspiciously, I had been here two months now but was still a freak to them, a former big sister. I had probably killed some of their friends or at least people they knew.
He has a machine gun slung around his shoulder, a clean black jacket and a suspicious look on his face.
“What's in the case?” he asked.
“Important stuff for Sidney”
“What kind of stuff?”
He wasn’t pleased by the answer, but he knew how much Sidney trusted me and that he liked a lot stuff that he wouldn’t want people to know about. The reinforced door opened, and I went inside. It sealed behind me with a loud clunk. Several men dressed finely by what was now the standard, were sat about the place. None challenged me as I walked to the backroom.
Sidney was in a meeting, but his right-hand man Jason was there to meet me. I was irritated, it was vital that he receive this package, and no one see it but him. Jason was taller and broader, less well dressed and sporting a revolver on his hip.
“What’s in the case Sally?” he asked.
I didn’t like him calling me Sally, we had had a disagreement about if 1-09 was a name. I had always liked being 1-09 and didn’t see anything odd about that. Unfortunately, Sidney and Carol agreed that I should try using a “normal name”.
“Private stuff for Sidney.” I told him.
“Mind if I take a look?”
“It’s very private and urgent.”
“Why is it urgent?”
“Because someone might look inside if I don’t bring it to him straight away.”
I tried to push past, but he didn’t budge.
“He trusts me enough to babysit his kids.”
“He has kids?”
“No, but you weren’t sure; point is he trusts me much more than you. I’m his 0-01”
“0 isn’t a first name, it would be 1-01, now Let me in, or I’ll let myself in.” I said coldly.
I raised my right arm and the needle strapped to it.
“You could try that Sally, or you could wait 5 minutes for him to finish.”
He pushed into my stomach with the muzzle of his gun. I stood in silence and stared him down, all his arguments were solid, but I HAD to get this case to Sidney without anyone seeing the contents. Other people were watching me now.
“You don’t know what’s in there do you?” Jason challenges me.
“I don’t need to, that’s why he trusts me.”
The door opened and Carol stepped out, I could see Sidney at his desk inside.
“Sidney!” I cried out
“Sally? what you got there.” he replied.
“Something important for you”
“Ah, did you get me a present?”
“Stay back Sid, she's acting strange, something isn’t right” Jason warned.
“Sally where did you get that case?” she asked.
“That’s not your business.” I told her
“1-09 I order you to tell me where you got it” carol ordered me.
The question threw me, I wasn’t sure where I found it.
“I can’t remember, I just have to take it to Sidney urgently.”
“Put it down now, Sally” Jason moved his gun up to my face.
“Sidney please you need this!” I pleaded
“Carol, could you help her” Sidney signalled for her to deal with me.
I turned to face at her, but I was too slow. Her hand is raised. She swoops it down and snaps her fingers.
Something in the well-conditioned part of my mind reacts to her. I can’t move. I start to lose balance.
I fall forwards but Carol catches me. My head flopped down and I was stuck looking at the floor.
The case slipped from my grasp and, to my surprise, began ticking once it hit the floor.
Everyone ran from it, fortunately I wasn’t dropped immediately. I was carried halfway across the room before I was dropped.
The case exploded, shrapnel hit my back and my feet were disintegrated. I cried out for Carol as I lay in a puddle of my own blood. People slowly returned to the scene and Carol ran to me. She cauterised my ankles. Several guns were aimed squarely at me.
Moving was still hard
“Don’t shoot” Carol pleaded.
Carol placed herself between me and the group.
“It wasn’t her, someone mind controlled her.” She screams frantically.
“It was her though, we shouldn’t keep the big sisters around. It’s too dangerous.” Jason shouted.
Sidney bent down to look me in the eyes.
“Why sally? We could have died”
“Sorry Sidney, someone made me do it.”
“Good thing Jason stopped you.”
“Yeah otherwise we’d both be dead.” I forced a chuckle and spat some blood out.
“So, Sid, what are we gunna do?” Jason asked.
Jason checked the bullets in his revolver. The barrel looks me straight in the eye. I don’t want to die like this.
“I can put her in a coma, we can wait for this whole thing to be over.” carol pleaded.
“Do it” Sidney Ordered.
Carol reached for my head, but I interrupted her. “Wait Sidney, find whoever tried to kill us and make sure they suffer first.”
“Will do sally.”
“oh, and in case you never wake me up again, tell Jason to go fuck himself.”
“I'm right here sally.” he looked down at me.
Carol grabbed my forehead “sleep” Everything was peaceful.
I dreamt of nothing.
My eyes fluttered open. I was in a hospital bed in a barred room. I was alone. I tried to stand but my back was too weak to get out of bed. Then I remembered my feet were gone.
“Hello? Hello?” I cried out
No response. I was hungry but otherwise fine. Someone had been looking after me and cleaning my sheets. I managed to hobble on my knees all the way to the door. Outside I spotted a nurse at the end of the corridor.
“Your awake!” she cried out and ran to me.
I had never seen her before. She was an older woman from the look of her. She had black hair, but her skin was wrinkled too much for it to be undyed.
“I was so worried after they tried to wake you up”
“Is Sidney alright?” I asked
“Yes, yes he’s fine, Sally I’ll get you a chair then get them to come see you.”
she struggled to lift me into the chair, I wheeled myself back to my room and she put me next to the bed. A few minutes later Carol burst into the room.
“Sally your alive!”
She didn’t seem to be expecting me and was wearing a rubber glove on one hand.
“Yeah, I love surprises too”
She wasn’t too impressed by the joke but was glad I wasn’t brain dead as she had feared.
“So…” I left it hanging.
“How long was my nap?”
“A year and three months”
“I fed you every day, I tried to wake you up, but it didn’t work.”
She was genuinely sorry but she hadn't just missed the last year. Sidney was pleased to see me as well, they found Fitz, the guy who used me. I think he died quickly but Sarah managed to get his corpse and bring me his feet, she got in a lot of trouble for that.
Chapter 9: The amusements part 3
“Well, that’s the start of my story. We should keep moving.” Sally suggests.
“But you have feet now?” I clarify.
“Yes, took a few weeks to regrow them and a month to scrounge up that much ADAM. Worth it though. I never stayed in the chair; I was always walking on my stumps.”
Everyone has finished their drinks and are just eavesdropping on our table. I agree and we pack everything up. I hear a door open in the next room and turn around. Sarah heard it too as did the twins.
“What was that?” Molly asks.
“Whoever has been changing the lights.” I tell her.
“I will find them.” Sarah announces as she sets off towards the door.
“It could be dangerous.” Sally warns.
“Could be fun.” Sarah replies as she prowls through the door.
I set off after her. Everyone follows but the chase is short since the next room is a dead end.
There is a table covered in worn animatronic components and some newer ones. Some paint as well, whoever it was had been touching up on the faded eyes of Andrew Ryan and left in a hurry.
“I will check it out.” I tell them.
I explode into a purple haze and see the world differently. Rather than colour I see how hard objects are. Wall are solid to my vision, but I can move through them. There is a man in the next room hiding in the corner hoping the door won’t open. I implode my particles back into my shape and colour returns to my vision.
He whimpers and locks eyes with me. Its Stanley Poole. By some miracle he hasn’t been torn to pieces.
He looks a lot better than he did when father met him. I wished that he had killed him that day. Father is pleased that Stanley has made some progress into becoming a better person. Maybe he is just insane I suggest to him.
“Eleanor! I’m so sorry, I was an addict, I’m so sorry.” He grovelled at my feet.
“I like what you’ve done with the place.”
I pick up the head of an animatronic artist and examine his brushwork. It is good, he has even painted makeup onto the woman’s face. There are countless others, scientists, farmers, children. They will never be used or even leave this storeroom.
“Your back! Yes, I have looked after this place. Do you like it?”
“It is in good condition but it’s still just propaganda.”
“Do you want some light bulbs; I have plenty to spare?”
“I’m good for bulbs but my friends might.”
“They might kill me.”
“We won’t kill you, come on you can’t live the rest of your life alone here. You will go mad.”
I walk back to the door and pick up a key from a hook next to it. The key fits and the door opens smoothly, he has even oiled the hinges. Everyone comes in and looks around the room.
“This is Stanley, he maintains the amusements.” I introduce him.
“Alone?” Sally asks.
“Yes.” I answer.
“Please leave me be.” He begs.
“Do you want to come and live down in the drop with us?” John asks.
“Paupers drop, with Grace Holloway?” he asks.
He is out of the loop, grace was deposed just after I left from what I gather, it’s been just over five years. I decide to let him decide for himself, if he dies here or not. He could be ignorant of the world.
Part of me wishes I had been less curious. I could have just let mother perfect me with ADAM. I could have been a god down here.
I eyed Stanley up. He must have spliced; he was a drug addict even before ADAM. Had he been genetically lucky, or had he overcome the temptation somehow.
How could he have known Johnny topside was subject Delta? Did he have access to Persephone, had Sinclair let it slip or did he bluff and get lucky. Father knew he was right but that didn’t answer it, he had to have some way of knowing all this.
“Are you happy here Stanley?” I ask.
“Leave him, lets head back.” I turn to leave.
Sally catches up to me and whispers in my ear.
“We can’t just leave him here, what if you blow up the city?”
“He is happy here, let him be.” I reply.
We reach the Atlantic express and the suits go back on. I notice Sally’s still has some faded drawings done by the little sisters. I take a peek at the others suits and find a few faded fish scribbled on them.
Sarah has a key. The key Stanley had used. I move over and ask her quietly.
“Why do you have that key?”
“I like it here, I will return.”
Something is off. She didn’t seem to enjoy the park, yet she wanted to return.
“Stanley is lonely.”
“Okay. Is Tutu alright?”
“Yes, she is fine.”
I don’t trust her, but I let it go. Maybe she actually wants to be his friend or maybe she wants to kill him.
The sea is cold. It only lasts for a few seconds before I acclimatise myself. Juliet is in her element in the water. She actually looks happy. Tutu doesn’t look much better and John is walking along the bottom.
I manage to slip away back to Aunt Grace’s. I see that she doesn’t have enough food for the two of us, but she offers to split it with me. I decide to accept, I could find another meal, but it will mean the world to her.
Half a tuna steak and some seaweed with a few potatoes grown in Arcadia. It wasn’t bad.
I thanked her and we talked some more. She knitted and sewed in her spare time, which was all of it now.
“Milly and Molly are putting me out of business, those girls are naturals.”
“They make clothes?”
“Yes, you should ask them for something else to wear.”
“I will be fine in this; I don’t plan to be here long.”
“You will change clothes Eleanor, even if it is just a few days.”
I sighed “Yes aunt Gracie.”
Chapter 10: The twins
It was late, not that there were really days here. Some people sat around or walked by and looked at me. There were some much younger children playing, must have been around five years old. That must mean some people are still fertile down here, they could live down here. I couldn’t destroy the city.
I have to kill the slugs.
My mind races across different methods, poisons in the water, a lure to draw them in or perhaps I could hunt them down by tracking their ADAM. How many could there be? How do I destroy the bottles of plasmids?
I reached the place that Milly and Molly called home. They had curtains made from several odd pieces of material. I knocked on the door and it swung open, not even secured with a handle let alone a lock.
“Hello, its Eleanor.” I tell the empty room.
There are several old garments in various states of disrepair in a big pile and a few good-looking ones hung up along the side.
“Hello again Eleanor.” Molly greets me.
She walks in on the ceiling from a room with only the lower half of a door.
“I hear you make the best clothes in rapture.”
“We do.” Milly says proudly.
“I don’t have any money at the moment, but I could find some if you could make me something.”
“For you, it will be a gift.” Molly tells me.
“You are welcome.” Milly says.
“Why do you speak like that?”
“You mean in turn?” Molly asked.
“Our minds are linked; we are one and two.” Milly tells me.
“May I see inside your mind?” I ask.
“Like you did Sarah and 2-02? What will you see?”
“Only what you show me, I will show you some of mine as well.”
“No, we are about to have tea, after perhaps.”
They bring me into a room with two single beds and a table in the middle.
The beds are soft but stained. Their wardrobe is shared, they are twins after all. The “Tea” is made with boiled water and leaves, but I recognise the leaves as grape leaves. I keep it to myself as they brew it. Some sugary substance made from grapes is added and some seaweed.
Either they have discovered some secret recipe, or they are just playing teatime with me. They pour three glasses then sip it slowly.
“Thank you.” I tell them.
I take a sip. It’s too sweet for my taste but the grape flavour is good.
They offer me a “biscuit”.
I examine it. A slice of potato fried in something sweet. It’s a bit crunchy but a good take on a biscuit given what they had to work with.
“Do you make these?” I inquire.
“No lily does.” Molly answered.
Milly examined my outfit.
“What fabric is this?” she asked.
“It’s cotton. Like the polyester down here but not synthetic”
“What does synthetic mean?” molly raised an eyebrow.
“Made by man not nature.”
“Everything in Rapture synthetic then.” Milly told me.
“Mostly. The plants in Arcadia aren’t.”
I don’t think they spliced up the plants but then I remember the ADAM rich plants down in the Futuristics. I didn’t know if they found ADAM themselves or if Gil had infused them with it.
“What do you want to know from us?” Molly asked.
“Tell me about the protector program after I left.”
“No more little sisters, only a few daddies who have since died without the care of their handlers.” Milly explained.
“Sophie took over after uncle Gilbert went away back in 67. Then Sofia blew up in 69. They started to customise us more.” Molly seemed gloomier now.
“We were her personal pets. She stuck us together and spliced us into spiders. We slept at the foot of her bed and helped her stay in charge of the others.” Milly was more serious as well.
“Others?” I asked.
“Other doctors and orderlies. Carol took most of the sisters one night and ran here. Fitz took Sarah and ran away. The others went missing, it was just us Tutu, Sophie and the remnants of the family.” Molly was disgusted.
“Tutu had some leg injury, bone came out, more puss in there than blood. Sophie had a sudden change of heart and risked everything for that golem. She brought us here and begged for help.” Milly was looking at the ground as she talked now.
“That’s when we realised how bad we were being treated. She cared more for Tutu than us. She was put in jail by Sidney. She is a doctor, so they didn’t kill her. She was shocked when we chose to leave her to rot rather than continue obeying her blindly.” Molly raised her voice.
I knew they were not directly angry at Tutu, just mad that she received Sophie’s attention. The fact that Sidney had not killed her interested me and I would talk to him soon enough.
I feel guilty for not taking then straight to the surface. I had plans to visit Fort frolic and Point Prometheus when I should be planning on helping them.
“You have really had it rough. Is there anything I can do to help?”
“Leave Sophie down here when you return to the surface.” They said in unison.
They closed their eyes and clenched their fists.
“Right then, your measurements.” Milly announced happily.
They both took out tape measures and measured all around me. They seem content again.
They hold up pieces of fabric and decide what will look best on me. The start working and I realise they are just going to make it right now.
“I will back tomorrow.” I tell them and show myself out.
Chapter 11: Rest
I am not tired yet, but this city is out of sync with surface time.
I run into Sarah and Scarlet as they are heading towards the airlock. Scarlet explains that she sleeps outside because her gills hurt when she is inside for too long. She normally sleeps in the pipework near Hephaestus where it is warm. Jane lives there as well apparently but inside with her father.
“She has a father?” I ask excitedly.
“She has been adopted.” Sarah clarified.
“Good for her.” I smile.
“Yes, she is lucky. People do not like me.” Scarlet said agitated.
“I like you.” Sarah told her.
“I like you as well.” I tell her.
“That is good, I’m off.” Scarlet told us.
“Bye.” Sarah tells her.
“Where are we going next Eleanor?” Sarah asks wide eyed.
Scarlet must have been disappointed that Sarah just abandoned her for me, but I cannot go outside again. I will catch a cold. Actually, I couldn’t remember a common cold in Rapture. The diseases had mostly died out down here.
“Where do you live Sarah?”
“The surgery sometimes, I am welcome there, but I prefer to sleep with friends. I was in jail until recently though.”
“They let me out when they heard you were coming back, they fear you.”
Was I that scary? Hell, I walked around with the key to a nuclear bomb in my pocket. I could teleport through walls, hurl fire and life objects with my mind. I could even see through the eyes of the people I had linked my mind with although I kept that a secret and avoided doing it unless it was completely necessary.
All the good intentions in the world wouldn’t make that less scary.
“Why were you in jail?”
“I did something stupid.”
“Do you want to talk about it?”
“No, I tried to kill our slugs and ended up nearly killing Sally and Zara. We don’t talk about this more.”
I could do it right now, extend a hand and dissolve the slug in her. But I don’t, she will be safer if I wait until we reach the surface. I hope she didn’t go too far as the slugs were pretty well attached even if they did have less of an effect on older sisters.
“Come with me, I will show you Carol and where I sleep.” Sarah points to a clinic.
The automatic doors are still working but make a loud scraping sound as they open. The tiles on the walls have been painted over butt there are clearly smashed and chipped ones under the paint. The reception is vacant but there is a notice and a bell.
“Carol, Hailey! Eleanor is here.” Sarah yells.
“Were in the office.” A woman yells back.
I follow Sarah into the office where Carol and Hailey are looking at a Medical textbook. From the look of the notes Carol is teaching Hailey how to be a doctor. I have not seen that old book before, but I know the subject.
“Hello Sarah, Eleanor, to what do I owe this pleasure?” Carol asked me.
She was wearing a white cardigan on a black shirt. Hailey was in a cream dress similar to the one I used to wear.
“I am just following Sarah.” I tell her.
“She needs a place to sleep.” Sarah explains.
“Well your welcome to sleep in any of the empty beds but we might need to move you if there is an emergency.” Carol informs me.
“There won’t be any accidents.” Hailey reassures me.
“I want to show her the morgue.” Sarah tells them.
Carol rolls her eyes and is clearly irritated by Sarah.
“Or you could grab some blankets and shut yourself in one of the mortuary lockers if you feel like it.” Carol tells me sarcastically.
Sarah has a little nest of blankets and cushions she has built in the morgue. It’s a cold room but snug enough in her little hole.
“Why do you live in here?” I ask her.
“I like it. When I first got here all the sisters lived in these beds until the people accepted us.”
So, she doesn’t feel accepted or she is just more comfortable here. Hailey and Carol join us.
Carol has made us hot chocolate.
“Sarah knows where the spare blankets are kept if you need any.” Carol informed me.
“How is Tenenbaum?”
“Well. She still looks after the little sisters when she can, but she is not a good mother. Jack does most of the work. She works on new medicines and gives most of her money to charity in penance for what she has done.”
“Has she redeemed herself?”
“I think so, but she holds herself to a higher standard. I think everyone does.”
“I used to look up to her. Her face was on a poster down in mercury suites where I used to live.”
“You were born in Rapture?”
“No, I was brought here when I was two, my parents were winemakers. I wanted to be like her when I grew up. I didn’t know about the little sisters until I was in too deep to leave. I specialised in the mental conditioning of the big sisters. Rationalised it to myself that Dr Lamb was going to force them to do it so they may as well find some solace in it.”
“From what I have heard you saved many of them after my Mother died.”
“Bah, she used them to save herself.” Sarah interjected.
“I need to help them to save myself from my sins.” Carol defended herself.
“Why are you telling me all this. I am not the bloody messiah.”
Carol sighed and stood up.
I probably could have worded that better, but it got my point across. I cannot just tell her I think she is redeemed or her part of the rapture nightmare. She is on the right path but there is no magic moment where you are just redeemed of something like this. Hailey looks at me confused.
“When are you heading to the surface?” Carol asked.
“Two days from now I will take a few people up then I will return in a week for the rest. I wasn’t expecting so many survivors.” I explain.
Carol wishes us a good night then left with Hailey to continue her lesson. I check the labels on the lockers, and they were empty luckily.
Sarah changes into a baggy shirt and lays on the left side of the bed. I leave her to use the bathroom and finally remove my diving suit. I change into a white dress and return to the morgue.
Sarah is waiting to talk with me some more. She wants to merge minds again. She is like a young excited teenager at her first sleepover, or at least that is what I believe that would be like. I am far more mature in my opinion but lacking several experiences I should have had at my age in exchange for father.
Father tells me to go with it and try and enjoy her company, I may end up living with the sisters for several years. It is snug inside the blankets, but I manage to fully wrap myself in one. The light is left on, but we close the door a bit.
“So, what will we do when we get to the surface?” Sarah asks me excitedly.
I place my hand on her forehead and our minds merge. I send her images of a beach with sea gulls and ice-cream.
She thinks we will just lounge about all day and eat sweet treats.
I see through her eyes. I have a blank look on my face, no wonder mother figured out I was speaking with Father. I go back to my own eyes having experienced that.
She remembers the surface vaguely, she kidnapped a little girl once for the family, but the memory is being suppressed by something. Every time she remembers it, she thinks of the blue butterflies that mother used to like.
She emerges from the water and is swarmed by butterflies. She sneaks into a garden filled with butterflies. She peers into a window to find butterflies sleeping. She is only able to see this much because of my help.
She was intent on her objective, it never even crossed her mind that she could have escaped the family and ran into the town. It crosses it now. She is annoyed. She couldn’t have though, the mental conditioning was too strong.
You resisted it. She reminds me. Not the same I tell her. You came back to the city though. I did come back, when I was offered not to destroy it, I was happy…
NO! I am getting you all out of here. Yes we will live on the surface!
I severe our link. She is affecting me. Like father guides me and shapes my drives.
I hope I am having a good influence on her.
“Why did you stop?” She asks.
She looks worried.
Fathers mind was so vacant. His few purposes were unwavering. His memories mostly gone. Our bond may have been manufactured in a lab, but it was the most natural thing we ever had.
“Sorry, I just need to think about something.”
“I can help, you can let me think with you!”
She wanted to help me.
“What do you think I should do about the bomb?”
“Use it to get everyone out of the city.”
A threat, Sarah would like them to fear us. She thinks we are better than them, she was probably taught that as part of her training.
I sit and consider it some more. She leans on me. She slowly reaches an arm around me. She squeezes me gently. She is looking up at me with wide puppy eyes, she probably doesn’t know what a puppy is.
I close my eyes and peep into her mind.
Sarah is falling in love with me. I am beautiful in her eyes. My shoulder is soft and warm. I smell sweet to her nose.
I have to think about how I perceive her. She does not care for her appearance but does shower. She smells of blood and salt. She has long nails. She is colder than me. She stares at me not just because she likes me but because she knows no better.
I change the subject in my mind then fully merge with her. She is thinking of me still.
I remember the small dogs the sisters on the surface had. Cocker spaniels with large floppy ears and soft fur. They try to reach my face but only make it halfway up my thigh.
Sarah enjoys the sensation and the appearance of the small beast. She wants to have one of her own. I think that she will.
I break the bond once again and yet out a yawn, I want to sleep not talk right now.
“What was it like living in Persephone?” Sarah asks.
“Awful. I want to sleep now.” I tell her a bit more bluntly than I should have.
I pull the door closed a bit more and it is almost completely black in the bed. I haven’t slept in the same bed as someone since being a little sister. She is starting to warm up.
I drift off to sleep.
Chapter 12: Dreams
Eleanor dreams Sarah's memories as a side affect of the mental link.
I dream of paupers drop. I am not wearing my suit but a regular big sister suit.
I was responding to a summons to Paupers drop to retrieve a little sister. A dead Rosie marked the beginning of the trail, then I just followed the screams. Through the train line and past the fishbowl diner. Heads turn and the odd splicer backs away.
More screaming, down to the clinic and through a door that opens as I approach. My heart is pounding so fast that I feel like it’s going to explode.
The deluded splicers thought they could keep her as their own little ADAM factory, trying to get her to harvest from an angel, at least they weren’t trying to harvest her.
One shotgun, one revolver and one idiot with a lead pipe. Dirty faded suits they had probably pillaged and five shoes between them.
I scream as loud as I can to scare them then rush in. Two out of three fireballs hit the closest in the face, leaving a sizzling noise as he died. A bullet bounces off my shoulder and knocks it back. Another goes through my calf and out the other side, I don’t feel it. I make it to the shooter and score a well-aimed needle stab between his ribs and into his heart. The needle pops out his back briefly before I pull it out.
I am shot in the back and my air tank ruptures knocking me forwards. My face slams against the glass of my helmet and I bite my tongue. Air is escaping and pushing against me, trying to force me down. I manage to stand again and pull the last splicer towards me with Telekinesis.
“Fuck you!” he yells as he desperately reached for his shotgun which he dropped.
I laugh menacingly as my needle pierces his stomach.
“Aargh!” He screams as I hold them there.
I turn my head slightly and just watch him squirm. Blood is coming from his mouth although the pained expression is masked by the lumps of flesh surrounding his eyes.
Bang! He shoots up into my chest and I stab him through the brain with my second needle.
The wound heals but shrapnel stays trapped under my armour. I can smell blood; my air supply has run out and I am just breathing through the hole in the tank. Looks like I am stuck here, can’t swim back home.
How did he have another gun I wonder. The hot mental caught under my breastplate irritates me too much to focus. I try to pull the plate up but I am trapped inside the armour, I need my handler to take it off.
Tiny footsteps remind me of the little sister. She is trying to sneak back to her daddy without me noticing her. Her safety is more important than mine, the bullet can wait.
She bolts as I walk over, her little legs no match for mine. She is scooped up and carried in my arms.
“No big sister let me go!” she screams as she hits my arm lightly.
There is a vent in the next room. I hold her up to the vent and she lets out a little yawn. The mental conditioning making her long for her bed, she crawls into the safety of the vent.
I am alone with the corpses now. I empty their pockets and bags for a total of 126 dollars, two cans of beans one of tomatoes, a pep bar and some cigarettes. I leave the guns and ammunition; I know big sisters aren’t allowed them and I don’t want to be punished for them. I stash the goods inside an old suitcase. I have a few secret stashes now, a little act of defiance since I am not allowed my own possessions.
The Sinclair deluxe the sign calls it. I don’t know what either of those words mean only that this is where the governor lives, in the top, she will sort me out, and she doesn’t like tin daddies or big sisters.
The lobby is empty, perhaps everyone is asleep, I have no notion what time it is. I leap up to the first floor, then the second and the third. Still no one to witness how lithe and lethal I am.
Governor Holloway’s door is unlocked so I go inside. Her room is nice, the bed has been washed recently, there are good quality toys and several dresses. Governor Holloway is on a poster.
A gun clicks.
“Have you ever heard of knocking?” She asks me.
I turn and grunt, I am unable to speak, whatever they did to my vocal cords can’t just heal like a bullet wound.
“What is it girl, it’s the middle of the night.”
I point to my damaged air tank.
“I’ll give mad old Alex a ring, you go downstairs, let’s see.”
She opened a draw full of keys and pulled out one.
“First floor, room three, you understand me girl?”
I nodded and took the key.
“A thank you would be nice.” She chided.
“Uurgh.” I managed and gave a small curtsey, hoping she realised that I could not talk.
The hallway was empty and decaying. The room was small, had a desiccated corpse in the bathroom and a hole into the next room. I locked the door to the room and closed the bathroom. I would wait here.
The bullet wedged between my healed flesh and the metal plate was still irritating me, the smell of this room was disturbing me, and the boredom was killing me. I examined my suit; the multiple belts and metal leg braces were tight, and I couldn’t loosen them. I couldn’t lay down with this tank on my back. I fiddled with the helmet pondering if I should remove it. With my enhanced regeneration a headshot was one of the few ways I might die.
The temptation won. I undid the latch and rotated the helmet to pull it off. The bioluminescent fluid from my helmet ran down my body. I pulled the breathing apparatus from the lower face and took a breath that hadn’t been passed through a metal tank and rubber hose. The bathroom had a mirror and I got a rare glimpse at my face.
My skin was still a pale grey, eyes more crimson than yellow and a mouth that seemed to me to give away the danger that I was. I tried to look less like I wanted to stab someone and managed to look like I wanted to bite them instead. My long black hair had been shaved off when they captured me and was now only half an inch long. I examined my teeth, ears and eyebrows, even tilted my head up to see up my nose.
I lay down sideways in the bed and closed my eyes. Too uneasy to sleep, not supposed to sleep unless an orderly put me to sleep. This outing was disappointing, and it would be another three or four days until it rotated round to my turn to go out again. Three or four more days of physical training, mental conditioning, and food that was tasteless unless they slipped some pills into it.
I am disturbed by a knocking outside followed by screaming. I leap up and put my helmet back on. They aren’t knocking on the door, they are fighting.
I unlock the door and step out to see a brute splicer throwing stuff against the wall to threaten another slicer. The next time he goes to throw a broken toaster at the man I pluck it out of the air with my mind. He turns to see me and growls at me. I launch the toaster at him and screamed in return. He was smart enough to run so I didn’t get to kill him. I headed back into my room and sat on the bed until I was called.
“Twenty-six, come here.” A woman calls from the lobby.
I get up and rush to her. There is an escort force with her which included one of my sisters.
“Hello there Sophie.” Grace calls from the third floor.
“Hello miss Holloway. Sorry for the inconvenience.”
“I should hope so. She has been well behaved.”
“We keep her on a short leash, no need to fear.”
I am marched all the way to the airlock where there is a custom submarine waiting for us. Sophie gives me a quick look over before we depart.
“She’s fine, just the suit that’s damaged.” Sophie told the others.
“Good thing she was in the drop, don’t know how she would have fared if she couldn’t contact us.” One of the guards commented.
“Yes, she may have started to go feral, but she should be fine. Sophie removes my helmet and examines my face.
My stomach grumbles from the lack of food but no one comments.
We arrive and me and my sister are sent to a separate room where a pair of orderlies remove our suits and into a hot shower. The two of us washed ourselves then walked out. They put us into our straitjackets. Fortunately, the jackets are not tied up, but it doesn’t take much to get yourself in trouble.
We were given a late dinner of lukewarm Macaroni. We sat in the empty cafeteria and ate in silence as neither of us could speak. I hoped she wouldn’t be mad at me for wasting her outing on me rather than any chance at action.
Then the orderlies take us to bed. I have been awake only a couple of hours but have no idea at the time. They unlock our bedroom, a white walled room with twenty-six bunks most of which are filled. The light is dim as to not wake our sisters. I clamber up to my bunk at the far end of the room and turn to face the orderly. Carol is her name; she works on the mental side of my conditioning.
“Okay Sarah, look at my finger.” She instructs.
Her finger moves left right, up and down. I know what is going to happen, I try to stay awake so that I can have some time to think. She jolts it down onto my forehead and runs her hand down my face.
I go out like a light.
Chapter 13: Waking
I wake up in the same bed and open my eyes to a dim twilight and a comfortable warmth. I am not in a bunk room I am in Sarah’s den.
Sarah is looking at me, examining my face. She has a hand in my hair, just holding on to it.
“Morning.” I manage as I let out a yawn.
“You are awake?”
I look down and see that she is dressed already and has lain her blanket over me.
“I dreamt of the surface; I was you in my dream!” She told me proudly.
“I dreamt I was you Sarah. I think they were memories from our link, I often dream I am my father exploring this city.”
She moves her hand out of my hair and pushes the door to the small hideaway open.
“Come on, time to get up.” Sarah calls back to me.
One last yawn then I get up and stretch. Breakfast has been left for us on the table, coffee and toast. Under cooked toast. I give it a little extra toasting with incinerate until it is the dark brown that I like, it crunches perfectly.
Sarah copies me. She achieves the same result and looks to me for validation. I give her a small nod of approval.
I am curious about so much of her story, but I have to focus, or I will just send all my time talking. I decide to ask about Carol. I have forgiven Tenenbaum although there were still little sisters in Rapture when she first left. Carol seemed nice enough.
“Carol, do you really like her, or do you just feel you have to?” I asked.
She didn’t finish her mouthful before responding.
“I do not like her, but I have to be nice if I want to live in here, I have mostly come to terms with her.” She told me.
“I understand, she means well.” I pat her on the shoulder “She does let you sleep here.”
“Yes. Anyway, I am meeting Zara this morning if you would like to join us you are more than welcome.” She offered
“Thanks, but I have an appointment with Sidney.”
I get dressed then revisit the twins to see if they have worked their magic overnight. They have and a new dress is waiting for me. The sleeves are made from the finest theatre curtains in this sunken city, warm, smooth and red. A white center piece made from two shirts and the lower section is more curtains. The curtains add a few pounds to the dress, but I can handle it.
There is one issue, however. They have embroidered a blue butterfly onto the back of it, Mothers symbol. I am sure they didn’t mean anything by it. It would be beautiful if it didn’t remind me of her.
I thank them and change into my new attire.
Off to see Sydney.
Top floor of the Sinclair deluxe is his office. I enter the old hotel and hear Grace’s voice over the loudspeakers.
“Tin daddy is an enemy of the family!” she declares.
I know it isn’t real, but it puts me on edge.
“Baby Snatcher” is still scratched into the floor.
“Eleanor!” Sally calls from the top floor.
I teleport up there.
“Mr. James will see you now.” Sally tells me.
Inside the office there are two men and a woman, I recognize one of the men as Sidney and the other as Jason from Sally’s story judging by his gun. Sidney held a hand out towards a chair for me. I sat down in the chair.
His desk was covered in photographs and maps of Rapture.
“What’s with the outfit? You look you want to be the bloody queen of Rapture.” Sidney asked.
“Milly and Molly made it for me. It’s a bit much for everyday but this is a special occasion.” I explained.
“The occasion. If I can get everyone to go with you then, how do we get out?”
“I have a boat; I can take ten people at a time to Iceland then to America or wherever.”
“And those who remain?”
“What do you suggest Sidney, ADAM could be spread all over the world.”
He stood up and walked back to the window. It only overlooked a small walkway but some fish could normally be found there.
“You want to blow it up?”
“I have to, unless I can somehow keep ADAM secret. Someone will tell, it can’t stay a secret.”
“I was here from the start, helped to lay these foundations. Now, I never figured I would outlive this place and I certainly never thought I would be in charge of it. But there is no life for me on the surface unless I can tell my tale.”
“So will you stay here?”
“Yes. But I will leave the matter of the bomb up to you.”
I didn’t want to kill him. Mother would have sacrificed him in an instant, Father is unsure, maybe we could abduct him and take him topside against his will. No, I need to try everything I can! I will arm the bomb and only detonate it if the world discovers Rapture.
Father reminds me that it isn’t my solely responsibility. Tenenbaum and Porter can help, even Jack might. I argue that I have the ability to so I should help, and he counters that mother drilled that into me and it is not me talking. I will be a slave to Rapture. Eternally its guardian from the prying eyes of the surface. What gives me the right to deny the world ADAM?
The thinker agreed that it should be kept hidden. I remember that there should be the original thinker down here somewhere. Its possible the power to it has been cut or someone has destroyed it, but maybe it had made plans of its own.
“Do you know what happened to Minervas den?” I asked.
“Dunno, nothing special just the general starvation and death. Haven’t been there to scavenge though, no food there.” Sidney explained.
“If you’re going there you could always look in the airtight archives for Carol Wright, see if I got any mail.” The secretary asked me.
“Sure. I will go there then maybe Hephaestus before I come back. I want up to a dozen people tomorrow, preferably the sisters.” I tell them.
“Do you want company?” Sally asked.
“I would prefer to go alone but if you would like I will take you with me.” I concede.
I hope the thinker will help me come to a decision Father thinks I should decide myself and he would have to destroy it. He died for the teenage me who was set on escaping and seeing the world. Well I’ve seen it and now I am lost, without a clear objective. I know I don’t want to destroy this city. I will let father do it, take control for a bit…
Chapter 14: The Den
“Am I Delta or some figment of Eleanor’s mind” I wonder to myself.
The new dress it taken off straight away and the diving suit is put back on. It is as clean as the ocean, not very. The new dress is stashed in the morgue in a spare slot.
Next to the airlock. I check the map one last time, so I don’t get lost along the way to the den. I take a deep breath of air before fastening my helmet and breathing the air inside it. I pull the lever and the door slides shut. A bell rings and the water rushes up my body. Past my ankles, knees, waist, chest, shoulders, neck and head.
Something changes when it passes the top of my head. I am Delta now, and I am doing this for Eleanor.
I walk along the seafloor, bouncing up with every step rather than plodding along. Delighting in the feeling of weightlessness. It will be a long way to Minerva’s den from here even if I swim over the buildings and it is no longer well lit.
I push off and start swimming. I grab a hold of the Atlantic express line and pull myself along as fast as I can. I move past starfish and limpets to avoid hurting them or myself.
There is a solitary glowing slug making its way across the tracks. I snatch it and examine it for a second before I create a brilliant bright light that disintegrates the little beast. The small bubble of green ooze that remains sticks to my hand for a moment before dispersing into the cold water.
Past Sirens alley. A shark pokes its head out of the airlock for a second then swims back inside. In and out of Dionysus part on the tracks then halfway to the Futuristics facility I push myself of the tracks and swim down to the isolated part of rapture.
Finally, I make it inside the den.
There is an audio diary hanging on a hook that has been hammered into the wall. I pick it up and press play.
“Hello Eleanor” A strange robotic voice speaks from the diary. I recognise it as the thinkers.
“I knew you would come but when was a little hard to determine the day. I have had a series of arrows painted onto the walls to help you find me.”
I am on edge now. The diaries must have been placed there by someone the question was if the thinker’s servants would be nice or try and kill me.
I make my way u stairs and into a reception area. There are the glowing red plants that I used to lure Gil Alexander growing on the benches and in the corners of the room. There are more up ahead.
In the next room is a statue of a man sat on a rock hunched over in thought. The thinker wonder if it is real and the one on the surface is a fake. There are more of the red flowers everywhere this time. I still have my helmet on just in case I pop some of the enraging spores.
“Hello!” I shout out.
“Hello! Is anybody home?” I try again but louder.
Still no response other than my echo. The arrow points down into an elevator room. Above it are two portraits. One I don’t know the other is Porter with “Traitor!” painted over him. A sign says it is his office, a little detour never hurt anyone.
I venture into a hallway looking out into the centre of the facility and more coral than usual. The door is closed but a camera is watching me. Not one of Ryan’s bulky security cameras but a smaller one more like a movie camera from the forties.
“Hello Eleanor, we meet at last.” The thinkers robotic voice greets me.
“Thinker, I have some questions for you.” I reply.
“The microphone here does not work otherwise I would talk with you here. I know you have questions for me regarding the bomb in Hephaestus, but they will have to wait. I will open Dr Porter’s office for you, but I have some tasks for you as I lack hands or anyone to listen. Take the elevator when you are ready.” The mechanical voice cut out and the door slid open.
The plants were absent from this room thankfully. I felt like I was intruding as soon as I saw a small shrine to Pearl. I slowly edge up to the box of Photos and letters and read them one by one. They truly loved each other.
I had to wonder if I had something wrong with me since I had never felt anything like this. Perhaps my sexuality has been suppressed by the same ADAM that gives me my useful powers, after all it wouldn’t do for the messiah to be pining after members of her flock.
I spot the remnants of a cat. I knew he had one of the few cats that Fontaine had smuggled into the city, but I didn’t realise it had been left to starve when he was taken to become subject Sigma. If it is in here, they probably didn’t even search his office for evidence. Not that they would need too of course, the thinker had fabricated it as part of its master plan to “Get out of Rapture” as Porter had instructed. I had thought it did it to save him but now I wasn’t sure if it was trying to torture him or just how its cold logic saw the best chances of success.
There is a letter from Alan Turing, who he worked with during the war and blamed a small part of Pearls death on. He had been disappointed to learn of his suicide when he reached the surface. 1954, he would actually have lived longer if he died in the war down here, seems odd that coming to Rapture could have been better for someone after all of this.
I cremate what is left of the cat and pack the letters back into the small box they were in. Part of me want to give them to him but I know his past will just drag him down.
Back through the halls and to the elevator. I remind myself that I can teleport away if this small cage begins to plummet to fast. I miss my weapons. These empty hands can spew fire but there is just something more solid about a rivet gun.
I press the button and descend into the lower level of the den.
Chapter 15: The Thinker
A single little figure stares up at me. A metal little sister is stood waiting for me with a needle in one of her hands and an audio diary in the other, holding it out for me. The rest of the room is covered in the ADAM flowers from the higher level. Bodies of dead splicers are mixed in with the plants.
I slowly grab the diary and her arm returns to her side. The little automaton continues to stare up at me. I hit play on the diary.
“I have to admit that I have borrowed some of Dr Alexanders work. These plants produce the substance you call ADAM, in lower amounts than the slugs but they suit my needs. This little machine gathers it for me. She will lead you into my room.” The thinker’s recorded voice tells me.
On instinct I reach down for the little girl’s hand, but she does not offer it. The only noise she makes is a small whirring whenever she takes a step. There are two more in the back of the room, carefully draining the goo from the plants with their needles.
“Can you talk?” I ask the little robot.
There is a big daddy stood watering the plants. I have not seen his kind before, but he fits the description of a lancer that I have heard. A small close up peek into his visor reveals that he is purely mechanical as well. The thinker has replaced humans down here. The perfect utopia for it perhaps, alone but with no sense of loneliness.
There is a few too many of them for comfort in the next room. I feel that I may be attacked if I don’t agree with the machines plan, whatever it maybe. I am led to an internal bulkhead that has been dismantled so that large wires can run through the open doors.
When I step through, I realise I am inside the thinker. It is much larger than the one Porter has rebuilt on the surface and much more covered with plants. It ticks constantly as it calculates everything it can.
“Hello Thinker.” I greet it through my helmet.
“Greetings, Eleanor. I know you want to destroy ADAM but I have contained it here. With a little help I can have mechanical big daddies contain the rest, you do not need to destroy me.” It tells me.
“I would prefer to blow it up to be sure. As contain as these plants may be there are a lot of them.”
“I need the ADAM to survive. I suffer in ignorance without it.”
“Our mutual friend Charles Milton Porter has rebuilt you on the surface.”
“Irrelevant, that is a mere fragment of what I am now. I keep the air flowing down here Eleanor, I care for the people without them knowing I exist.”
I didn’t trust it since seeing how many plants it had, it had managed to get hooked on the substance. But it was smarter than me and wouldn’t just let me destroy it with the city. I glance at the wires, there are so many, surely more than it could need so I can’t just destroy them. Plus, it could cut off oxygen to Paupers Drop. I am not sure if it would, just to spite me?
“I have done this for you Eleanor, you would have made this choice from what I understand of you.” It is telling me what I would have done now.
“What do you know of me Thinker?” I ask.
“Eleanor Lamb. Daughter of Sofia Lamb, Psychiatrist, father unknown. Taken into the Little Wonders orphanage and turned into a little sister. Paired with Subject Delta, Alpha Series model big daddy. Time as gatherer was uneventful until your mother rescued you and killed Delta.” It was cold and consistent in its tone.
“I know this, what is the last thing you know about me?” I interrupt.
“Persephone facility destroyed by several controlled explosions, but a lifeboat was launched. 99.67 recurring percentage chance that Eleanor Lamb survived, 52.4% chance that Subject Delta survived, 7.27% chance that Sofia would survive with the two of you there. Who survived the journey to the surface?” It asked.
“Eleanor Lamb did of course. Subject, Father didn’t make it. I let mother live.” I confess.
“Why did you allow her to survive?”
“I hoped that she would change her ways and find redemption as Tenenbaum has.”
“Recalculating. Do you have any questions for me?”
“Is it possible to bring someone back in a vita chamber using just DNA, without their body?”
“The body can be reconstructed but without the body or a substantial amount of ADAM from it most memories will be lost.”
“Do you know where Subject Deltas body is?”
“I did not know he was dead; I have little peripherals outside of Rapture. Most likely down in the trench below Persephone with the Lifeboat.”
The machinery makes a clunk and a punch card is ejected. I bent down and picked it up. It read: Eleanor Lamb will destroy Rapture with a 40% probability. There are heavy boots mobbing outside.
“You must be contained for the time being, Rapture must be protected.” The thinker stated.
I spun around to see a pair of Lancers approaching followed by a little sister. There I no way I am just letting them contain me, but the thinker knows I can teleport and that I want to save the survivors.
“I’m sorry thinker but I can’t let you do that. Try to convince me not to even have a chance of destroying this city.” I challenge it.
The machines stop advancing. It takes the bait.
“You will listen to reason. Yes, there is a high probability that you will be swayed. When I was built, I was given certain tasks such as supplying air and power where they were needed. Later Charles had me attempt to simulate the person known a Pearl Porter. There I discovered that people do things not just because they were created to.” I explained.
“I have some experience with that.” I interrupt.
It doesn’t stop talking.
“Once he left, I attempted to simulate more people such as Porter, Wahl, Ryan, Fontaine, Tenenbaum, Lamb…” It continued.
I stopped listening and reached out with my mind like I did years ago. There are no little sisters down here, but I have linked with the big sisters, maybe I can form a link.
I close my eyes; the thinker does not notice and continues explaining. I can sense Sarah, Jane and Tutu. I link with Jane and tell her that she needs to get the air and power to run manually. She is confused but runs off to find help. Sarah is next, I tell her to tell Sidney that the thinker is a danger and to help Jane. I give Tutu the same message as Sarah.
They have all set off as fast as they can, I just have to wait and hope they sort something out.
“…The more ADAM I implemented into my systems the more accurate my predictions became and my simulations of the people. Alone I went through scenarios of what each of them would do in any situation, you have been the hardest to predict for.” The thinker didn’t notice my mental absence.
“You struggle to predict my actions in particular?” I ask it.
“Yes, Persephone was separate from my systems and I had little to work with.”
“Well I struggle to predict yours Thinker.”
A trio of robot little sisters carrying a tank of ADAM walk in and begin emptying the substance into a larger tank on the thinker. Pulses of red and green ran along the machine’s circuitry. I had some experience with reprogramming the vita chambers but hadn’t managed to understand how they had managed to get the Thinker to run off the stuff.
A new card was punched out of the machine and a horrible stinging pain erupted in the center of my back and a sizzling sound. I try to dodge to the side and turn but the beam stays on me. One of the lancers is firing while the others are closing in.
I teleport away to the previous room just to have one of the little sisters waiting for me. She has it pointed where I intended to emerge, but I manage to remain in my ethereal state for a few more meters before I reappear.
A quick glance down reveals the burns are small but reach all the way around me and still burn like hell. I lift a desk with telekinesis and hurl it at the little tyke. She predicts it and tries to dodge but she fails to clear it.
The desk shatters leaving the small mechanical girl in twitching pieces.
“You cannot win Eleanor. Remain still and your death will be quick.” The thinker announces.
I hear the telltale whirring of security bot rotors heading my way. I have to think of something the Thinker won’t expect or be able to do anything about. I could destroy all its defences perhaps or try to cut its power. I only saw a handful of robots and I doubt it had many security bots, still it chose to attack me so it must me confident in its victory, or maybe it just thinks that I will run away.
I move as fast as I can up to a side door. It doesn’t open. Of course, the computer that opens the doors it trying to kill me, should have been obvious but I just took it for granted.
I can’t teleport too much or I wile run out of energy. Maybe I could use the flowers, but I remember them causing splicers to become enraged when father encountered them. Being angry wouldn’t be any different right now.
I still need a weapon. A laser would be nice or maybe a rocket launcher. I decide that I have to teleport before the lancers reach me again. I dissolve into the next room.
Chapter 16: Airtight
The room is a large storage area. Shelves house endless components for the thinker; fuses, dials, copper wire, etc. the door slides open, it knows where I am.
I keep moving, scanning the shelves as I keep ahead of the machines. I spot the camera and pull it from its mounting with telekinesis. ADAM pours from the severed vein that should have been wiring. This is worse than I thought.
I head up a staircase and possible into a dead end. There are a few more bookcases on the next level. I spot some of the darts father used to hack things with. There is no dart gun but there has to be one nearby.
There are boots on the stairs.
I sneak into an office and close the door slowly. There is an EVE hypo behind the door, a useful find. The needle doesn’t even sting as it enters my vein. I plunge down and the blue goo enters my system, I feel energised and like I could take on the world.
I rummage through the rest of the desk and find a revolver with a handful of rounds. I doubt a Lancer would go down but one of the little sisters might. The door is pushed open. I hide behind the desk and prepare to run past the lancer.
I can see out of the door to the shelves. I reach out and a box of uses floats up into the air. I just drop it again and it makes a decent thud. A little sister runs over and investigates. The Lancer moves out of the room but not far.
I take this small break to check on my sisters. Jane is over in Hephaestus working on the vents, seems it may have been much easier than I thought to override the Thinker from Ryan's old office. Tutu is with Sidney and Sally on route to Arcadia. Sarah is out in the ocean. She is coming to save me with Zara, they are about three minutes from entering the Den.
I have to be there to meet them before the thinker finds them.
“Come out Eleanor, I know you are hiding.” The Thinker announces.
I have an idea. I get up and sprint out and down the stairs as fast as I can. A laser catches my foot and I explode into a purple cloud. I then return to my previous hiding spot as the machines rush downstairs.
I hear the door slam shut and venture out to explore more shelves.
Bingo, a remote hacking device. Its much larger than I realised, and I have to hold it rather than have it on my tiny wrist. There is a single little sister placing a bucket underneath the broken camera.
The dart connects with her shoulder. The small dials on the device move wildly and I press the buttons to tune into her frequency. The lights of her eyes turn green. The door opens again, it knows I am here. The robotic girl walks up to me.
“Da, a, addy!” she twitches as she speaks to me.
Great. I have a little sister not a little robot soldier. Our alliance is short lived as an ion laser decapitates the little golem. I load a second dart and hit the Lancer in the chest. There is no sudden movement on the dials, it has no effect on him. I can hear the security bots as well now.
I teleport again. They are spread out downstairs, they knew I would have to do this, but they underestimated my range.
I reappear in the elevator shaft just above the elevator. I glance around quickly, there are no cameras in here but several glowing wires. I climb up the cord and force open the upper door. Before I leave, I sever the wires by pulling the out. The Thinker gave a small grunt of pain over the speakers.
An alarm sounds and more security bots fly in. One of the swarms has a rocket launcher, a bit overkill for a security system in my opinion but just what I need. I wait for it to fire then flex my telekinetic ability and redirect the missile to another bot.
“Eleanor!” Sarah shouts from across the room.
Neither she or Zara have guns, but she has a needle and Zara has her claw.
“Watch out everything here wants to kill us.” I warn them.
“I only desire Eleanor’s death. If you leave now, I will let you go in peace.” The thinker offered.
“Over my dead body!” Sarah yelled back.
What should we do?” Zara asked me.
“Find weapons, stay together, follow me.” I reply.
I run down a side corridor and see a sign for “Airtight Archives”. I veer off to follow the signs directions hoping that there will be something stored in the archives. There are several pneumo tubes but all of them just have mail and other documents stored in them. I find a pile of guns and items splices had on them left on a table, the robots must have left them when they took the bodies to feed the plants. I take some armour piercing rounds for my revolver.
“Guns! I am not allowed guns!” Sarah exclaimed as she examined a shotgun.
“There are several machines, big daddies, purely mechanical not like what you know.”
“Do you have Electro bolt Eleanor?” Zara asked me.
“No, just Incinerate, Telekinesis and Teleport.” I reply.
“I have the ice one if that helps.” Zara informs me.
“Winters blast, that should be good for closing the distance.” I encourage her.
We explore some more, destroy a few cameras and open up some of the larger airtight containers. I come across Karen’s and decide to take a peek for her. Its full of photographs of her and what I assume are her friends or colleagues. The thud of metal boots on ceramic tiles approaches. I put the photos back and leave the container out so I might remember it later.
Just one of the lancers, weapon levelled. Sarah fires at it from behind the nearest row of archived capsules. The shot tore its fabric skin, showing a few wires inside. I raise my gun and receive a burning to my hands. I fire a single shot then fall back behind cover. Two of my fingers have been melted together. I was no stranger to pain but separating them made me howl.
I hear Zara freeze our assailant then run up to him. I peek back out. She is trying to cut its arm with her claw. She has made quite a bit of progress before the ice snaps off of him. His weapon glows a brilliant white and screeches. I close my eyes, but it isn’t enough, so I have to look away.
While the others are stunned, he advances, a suicidal tactic but I realise he is focused solely on killing me, the others are a distraction.
Sarah fires again and shatters the visor of the machine. I peek out and fire three more rounds into its chest. I angle my face down and he fires into where my eyes would have been if not for the helmet.
Zara managed to freeze it again and finish removing its arm. I kick its gun away and tear apart as much of it alongside Zara. Sarah joins in and the three of us reduce it to scrap metal.
I stop when I start to bruise myself and manage to get the others to stop beating on it.
“It is done, we won.” I pant.
“Are you hurt sister?” Sarah asks.
She grabs my hand to examine it and I grit my teeth at the pain. I pull my hand away.
“I will be fine. We need to go kill the computer that’s trying to kill me.”
We make our way back to find an empty elevator waiting for us to venture deeper back in…
Chapter 17: Violent thoughts
I reach over and press the elevator button from outside then retract my hand before the elevator plummets down to its doom. Good thing I wasn’t on it.
“We need to climb down.” I tell the others as I slide myself into the shaft.
It is only when I reach the base I realise they have their ion lasers aimed at the elevator shaft. I have to teleport out and behind them to draw their fire. A little sister pounces down onto me. Her needle pierces my chest and hits one of my ribs. I throw her off, but the needle remains trapped in me. The pain is completely dulled by the adrenaline, so I leave the needle there for now. A shot to the head and the small automaton is no more.
They have learnt not to just focus me. Sarah catches some laser fire and uses a desk and telekinesis to shield herself. Zara emerges and joins the fight. A little sister charges her and is cut in half in one fell swoop of her claw just as a security bot with an electric lance descends and hits her square in the back. She spasms from the attach but seems unharmed physically.
The room shifts and we all struggle to stay balanced. The ADAM plants grow rapidly and overtake the big daddies bodies. I feel them bond with my lower legs with a massive gnawing pain and incinerate them away from me. Sarah does the same, but Zara can only freeze them. They continue to grow so I have to keep mobile to avoid the tendrils. My feet are harder to lift with each step.
There is no more laser fire, but the lancers are still standing inside of the plants. I take this opportunity to remove the needle from my chest, I feel it this time, and cauterise the wound, which I feel as well. The little sister is being pulled back together by veins like wires and trying to stand up. I kick her down with my metal boot and she looks up at me.
“Mr bubbles!” she screams in her robotic voice.
The big daddies run at us with their fists. Zara is still rooted to t he ground and although she hits hard, she is no match for a big daddy. The other runs for me while the girls and bot chase Sarah. I jump to the side like a matador but he extends his arm and catches me.
I am smashed into a stone pillar. I feel my stomach being crushed and have to try and teleport out yet again, I am starting to get tired. I only shift myself a few feet, but it saves me. I plunge the needle I just tore from myself into the back of his neck and jump back when I get an electric shock. His head spasms then explode, leaving the body to stumble around but still head in my direction.
Zara has to teleport as well but she slips on a crushed ADAM plant and is soon covered in rapidly growing leaves and polyps.
Sarah is uncomfortable with the robot little sisters but once she is stabbed, she shows no mercy to the little machines. She throws a burst of fireballs at one and then lifts the other and throws it at the bot.
I finish my opponent with fireballs as well then turn to see Zara rising covered in glowing red slime. Her visor is cracked, her eyes are glowing, and her teeth are bared. Fortunately, the Lancer is her main concern at the moment and she charges it with all her might. Her claw makes short work of this ones arms, then his chest.
“Zara?” I ask gently.
She looks up from the broken machine and stares at me.
“Zara are you alright?” I ask.
“Rrrurrgh!” she snarls back.
She takes a few steps towards me like a cat stalking its prey then breaks into a sprint. I turn and run from her. I lead her into the thinker’s main chamber.
“Eleanor baby, stop this, you do not know what you are doing.” The thinker told me in Grace Holloway's voice.
Zara continued to chase me, but she was about the same speed, so she didn’t gain on me. I stopped and waited In front of a particularly large coil of wires and let her catch up.
“Come on Zara!” I taunt her.
I jump to the side as she swings, and she claws through the wires. The wires try to pull themselves back together but that only angers Zara to pull and claw at them more.
The thinker screams again but still in Grace’s voice. I know it is fake, but it gives me chills to hear her scream like that.
“Zara, Zara please stop!” A young man’s voice pleads.
I don’t recognise it, but it seems to comfort and confuse her enough to make her stop. I keep on moving to regroup with Sarah.
“We need to cut all the wires.” I order her.
“What about Zara?” she asks.
“Be careful, stay away from her.” Reply.
We split up and slash every wire we come across leaving a growing pool of ADAM in our wake. The machine continues to tick but slower as we tear it apart. This feels good. I smash large fuses and pull out components with telekinesis, even burn some of its paper slips with incinerate.
“Sarah take your helmet off quickly!” my voice snaps.
The thinker is mimicking me in desperation.
“No don’t!” I scream at her.
She has twisted the seal apart but not lifted it off yet.
“Eleanor?” she asks.
“Keep it on, the machine is pretending to be me.” I warn her.
She reseals her helmet and resumes kicking the machine. Zara finds us again and I decide to deal with her once and for all.
“Calm down Zara, its just your friends.” I tell her calmly.
Its no good. I will have to knock her out somehow. I throw a box of fuses at her; it was heavy but us big sisters are made of tough stuff and her helmet is still on. Sarah joins me but uses telekinesis for a significantly harder hit. The box she throws breaks spewing small screws everywhere and getting Zara’s attention away from me.
“Take her helmet off!” Sarah orders me.
I run up behind her as Sarah bravely dodges without moving away. I twist her helmet so that she can no longer see what is in front of her then manage to pull it off. Sarah goes all in and manages to grab Zara’s claw with both hands and hold it closed.
“Now Eleanor!” Sarah tells me.
I use her helmet to bonk her on the head and she goes down. I pick her back up before the plants can claim her as their food. I place her on a desk and turn to see the ADAM goo rising in the center of the room. A large man made from all the destroyed parts in the room. It grows a hand and quickly begins to take on the form of a muscular man, quite like the thinker from the statue.
“This is new.” It mused to itself in a curious androgynous voice.
I have no idea how to kill this thing now. My feet are swept out from under me by a bundle of wires and I fall only to be pulled up by wires like a marionette. The thinker slices into my calf and inserts some wires to draw some of my blood into it.
“I understand you now.” It says callously. “Your ADAM reveals all your secrets. You were right to try and kill me but always destined to fail.”
“You believe in destiny?” I question it, desperate to buy time for Sarah to try something, anything.
I don’t understand why it is explaining this to me, gloating, was it lonely I wonder.
“Everything can be predicted, not destiny as most would call it, but I can see the patterns. You have been an anomaly; I think this is excitement I am experiencing.” It seems to be enjoying this.
“What are you?” I ask.
Sarah jumps throws a propane tank at the thinker, but it catches it with its own telekinesis and drops it neatly to the ground before pulling Sarah up next to me and taking some of her blood.
“There is no name for what I am, but the world is about to change. More fitting for me than you I think.” It seemed like it wanted me to be impressed by it using my own words.
Father takes over again, pulls hard against the thinkers grip and manages to rupture some of the cables just for them to be replaced by more. I hold off on teleporting again unless it makes a move to kill me or Sarah.
“You are a bad machine!” Sarah protested.
“Don’t be afraid little one, only Eleanor has to die, you can stay here and have all the ADAM you want.” The thinker offered.
ADAM, that was the key, I could do this. I have freed little sisters from ADAM, would this work the same. Only one way to find out.
My hand glows and tingles. The cable dissolves at my touch. The Thinker stares at me with its featureless face then it loses its shape and covers me, trying to smother me. I can feel my hand tearing the Thinker apart. The only light I can see as it covers me is my glowing hand.
It eventually retreats from me and back into the machinery. Sarah is in complete awe of me and I feel like I might actually be the messiah that mother promised I was. A thick green substance was all that was left on the ground, pure ADAM. I sever the final few wires and the machine stops ticking and all the lights turn off.
I laugh and light the room with a flaming hand.
“Right then Sarah, Zara needs a new helmet and we need to go home.”
Chapter 18: A drop in the ocean
We find her a conventional diving suit near the airlock. She complains of her head aching but can’t remember much of the fight.
“One of the big daddies knocked you out.” Sarah informed her.
“Yeah, nasty hit from behind.” I agree.
I am fine with this little lie.
I remember to check on Jane and Tutu. The lights went off all throughout the city when we destroyed the Thinker, but everything is being brought back online by the survivor’s hard work. There is a little panic, but Sidney is a good speaker and calms the crowd.
I am back in the room with Zara and Sarah. The airlock doesn’t work anymore, it isn’t powered.
“Can we open a window?” Sarah asks excitedly.
I remember when Father was hit by the ocean after a big sister did that in the Adonis resort, it had stung pretty bad, and then later in Siren alley when Lamb had flooded him and her followers alike. I sigh, come on Eleanor he did it for you, toughen up a bit.
“Good idea.” I reply.
The nearest window is much further away than we thought, it’s the walkway to Dr. Porter’s office unless you count the ceiling but none of us could reach. Sarah rams the little robot sister’s needle into the glass. Not enough, not as sharp or hard as a big sister’s needle.
“My turn.” Zara announced.
She pulled out the needle and put her claw into the small hole. The glass fractured around it and then in a split second it just all went. I felt like I had been slapped everywhere but it passed quickly. The journey back is uneventful.
When we reach the Drop we are greeted by a crowd wanting answers as to why all the lights went out, half of them didn’t even know what a “Thinker” was or that it had been looking after them for decades. They went up with me a dozen at a time and I left them at the light house. Grace cried a few tears when she saw the sun again, a lot of them cried. I used my plasmids to destroy the slugs in my sisters.
Back down below there are only a handful of people left in Hephaestus making final preparations. If I am to get fathers body, it has to be now. The lifeboat is at the bottom of the trench. Its strangely warm down there and the glow is haunting.
There he is, arms crossed, peaceful. Just where I left him on the lifeboat. Picking him up fills me with happiness. I swim hand in hand with him all the way back to Hephaestus. When the water drains, he is too heavy to carry but it’s just a few more room until I reach a vita chamber. The floor is scuffed by the brass on his suit. With a huge heave I get him into the chamber and close the doors.
The familiar energy sparks inside but he remains still. Of course, I have to feed the machine some money or it won’t do it. I run to the nearest vending machine and tear it to shreds.
“No refunds! No returns!” the machine excitedly proclaims.
It has a measly five bucks. I run to the next one and the next one but only find more pocket change. Stanley Poole will have some money and Sarah had some stashes, what is a few more minutes before I revive him…
The lights turn red. A siren blares. I make a mad dash to the control room to find Jane, Jeremias, Jason, Sally and Sidney with a couple of men in overalls.
“What are you doing?” I demand angrily.
“Just testing it.” Jeremias responds.
He flicks a switch and the lights return to normal and the sirens stop. I start to calm down.
“I need money to use a Vita chamber, please.” I ask the group.
They look like I’ve gone crazy, but they hand me a wad of Rapture dollars and joke that it wont be worth anything in a few minutes anyways.
I race back and place the paper on top of father’s body. Still nothing. I begin to panic and loose hope. I remember the last thing I did was to take his ADAM, maybe he needs it back. I smash a medical station for its needle then close m eyes. The ADAM in me isn’t distributed evenly, its in certain spots. I sense them in myself and isolate what I have of father. I extract the blood and inject it into him.
There is a bright flash and there he is, in all his glory. It might be some left over mental conditioning or just the pressure of recent events, but I see him in a pure white outfit with a gold trim. The glass doors open, and he extends his arms. We hug, he lets out a deep moan and I cry with Joy. Our mental link is back and his heart will keep beating.
We return to the control room and surprise everyone.
“Where the hell did, he come from?” Jeremias asks.
“Everyone this is Johnny Topside.” I introduce him.
“Johnny Topside rings a bell. Think I brought you a drink once down at McDonagh’s tavern.” Sidney replies.
Jane is impressed and walks around him, feeling his suit as well as looking at him.
“Well what are we waiting for, lets blow it all up!” I say happily.
Jane puts the key back in, the lights and sirens start again. We make one final trip through the halls of this empty city. Apparently, I missed one hell of a party while I was in Minerva’s den.
I set foot in the submersible, never to set foot back in Rapture. I drive us up to the light house slowly, taking in the final sights of the city with no lights on. Shoals of fish and a lone whale are amongst the city, doomed to oblivion with it.
We reach the light house to find it still packed with people waiting for us. Sidney has a watch synced up with the detonation.
“10” He yells.
It’s finally happening.
“9” Half the group yells.
I clutch fathers’ hand.
“8” Everyone yells.
Sarah grabs my other hand.
I remember walking the halls…
…Dreaming of the surface…
…Rebelling against Mother…
…Everything she and all the rulers of Rapture did…
…All the poor unfortunate souls that ended up there unwillingly…
…My old friend Amir, Augustus Sinclair my accomplice and all the lost children…
There is a bright flash deep down. Its almost a minute before the ocean bursts forth and showers us with brine and seaweed. The lighthouse shakes.
I remove the slugs from my sisters, and We make our way back to Iceland, then we go to find Tenenbaum, Porter and the Thinker. It undoes the remaining splicing. Returns Father, Tutu, Juliet, Zara and everyone to being human again. I even decide to finally lose my plasmids, but the Thinker stops me.
“Much of your mind is built from ADAM Eleanor. If it is removed, you will not be the person you are.” It warns.
Its right, this is and will always be a part of me. I just loose the plasmids that don’t affect my mind.
Johnny Topside, father keeps the name and I take on the surname. We take his fingerprints and search for any person matching them. No luck there. Then we take a long look over a plethora of old newspapers from around the year that he found rapture until we find an article that fits.
Bingo, an explorer went missing near Greenland in the mid 50’s while testing a submersible, presumed dead. Gregory Taft was his name, not that Johnny intended to change back and return to his old life, he had had enough of the ocean.
“Our hearts go out to his parents George and Primrose Taft and his sister Amelia.” I read to him.
“So, you have an aunt and possibly some grandparents.” He tells me.
“Do you want to reach out to them?” I ask him.
“I don’t remember them. For now, let’s just take it easy and enjoy what the surface has to offer.”
Life was good after that. Never quite as exciting but definitely better.