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Thread: Rapture: House of Broken Mirrors

  1. #1
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    Default Rapture: House of Broken Mirrors

    First of all: PG-16/17, due to the source material.

    No knowledge of the games required.

    I hope fans of the games can appreciate this view on Rapture

    Without any further ado, I hope you enjoy it. More to come!

    Rapture: House of Broken Mirrors

    Chapter I: It dawned on him


    Ship log, date 10th of March, 1946.

    Happens to be my birthday today. Figures. I was assigned to steer this ship, since no man may return from this here secret destination. They'd shoot me off the cliffs probably if they'd find this. No matter. I'm not going anywhere. This Rapture's a grand place to live and tell the tale. Someday. Just gotta ditch these rich folks at where they need to be and then I can take a new look at life under the sea. Under it, you heard me! Hm, shouldn't be writing like I'm adressing a paper man instead of a captain's log. Wonder whose this used to belong...

    The log ended with a bloody print, presumably of the former owner. In the distance, the lighthouse loomed in the eerie light of the waxing moon. The sea was unusually calm, the captain could feel it as he felt he'd grown a year older once more. They were close and he didn't need the map or his eyes to tell him that. He could smell it.

    Meanwhile, tall and short men in sharp suits were gathering their wives and children on the top deck and held onto their hats as there was a mild draft. A light beam was jettisoned into the sky and the dark clouds that hung over them. The ghost lighthouse, it was real and was about to reveal all its secrets to them, so a man had thought as people made way for him and his family so they stood closest to their destination. His name was Ferris Fawl and he was a respected businessman back in America, having turned his grandfather's relatively small invention into a succesful multimillionaire concern of consumer goods. Why he would come here?

    "My apologies, you were saying?" Ferris Fawl said, still absorbed in thought as he turned to the man that had adressed him.

    "Oh, I was just wondering what a man such as yourself would be looking for here. After all, it's vast and mysterious, but I bet my hat it isn't as big as the western hemisphere. Bilbo Quickly, nice to meet you," the man said as he reached out his hand.

    Mister Fawl returned the gesture and studied the man's appearance. His white hair, wrinkles around the eyes and walking cane clearly signified he was of great age, but his sparkling blue eyes seemed to note an almost childish energy and confidence in the world which mister Fawl believed he'd never possessed in even his early childhood.

    "Well, mister Quickly, let me say it like this," mister Fawl began as one of his children started shouting.

    "Daddy, daddy look!" the young girl said as she pointed to a man completely dressed in a dark brown attire holding up a lantern. He signalled to the captain to follow his directions to safely make it through the shallow waters. They were treacherous indeed, as the news reports had said. Getting to this place of wonder was certainly no easy task, first and foremost depending on whether you were invited. Or forced to take refuge there.

    The captain, anxious to dock, gently pushed against the cliffs with the bow as they came to a stop.

    "Follow me please," the man in brown said as he nodded at their vessel, "and sink the boat. We don't need its presence pointing to us. As our founder says, our secrecy is our shield."

    "Whadyou mean? How are we gonna get around then?" the captain wanted to know.

    The man in brown turned to face him and whispered, just loud enough that the most prominent looking businessmen and the sharpest ears could hear, "Down there, you won't need simple ships to go unmeasurable lengths."

    "Quite the speech," a guy muttered under his breath.

    They ventured on in the tower. All alone, the man in brown pushed open the large, metal-cast doors and as the many men and women followed after him and entered, bright lights sprang on and cast their light on a giant bronze bust of a charismatic looking man in the sky-high atrium they came to stand in. The man seemed to hold up a strikingly red banner sporting golden letters that read: "No gods or kings, only man," one of many appealing declarations of grandeur that had drawn them to this place.

    Science, art and other words were shown on plaques with stylised representations accompanying them as they descended the stairs behind the bust.

    "We go down in groups. The first group will be accompanied by me, the second by Mr. Green," the man in brown said as a man in a green tweed jacket and trousers appeared from behind him. It had to be out of thin air as the many men and women didn't see him pass or anything.

    "And so on," the man concluded.

    Before them a spherical object lied in the water. A few had seen them photographs of their local newspaper, but nothing could quite depict it as they saw the wondrous device now: the bathysphere to revelation. All those yellow lamps and rivets intrigued them all, children and adults alike.

    "After you, my dear," mister Fawl said as his darling wife silently obliged and went along with the children. He turned to the crowd, many of them unsure how to proceed as mister Fawl said: "Mister Quickly, will you join us?"

    Like the stars in the night sky, the elderly man's bright blue eyes lit up as he went along to sit with Fawl's wife and children. One of them touched the cane, curious as to what it was. At the friendly gesture of mister Fawl, more men and women boarded the craft.

    As their guide, the man in brown, closed the doors he yelled: "Last man in, no men out. Going down."

    They started moving. Slowly but steadily the craft went deeper and deeper untill several miles under the ocean, they were still breathing. The first group crowded around the window of the bathysphere to see. How many fathoms deep were they again? And was that good-looking man statue going to be repeated down the way, some of the young women thought giggling. A screen suddenly folded out, urging Fawls children to step back as a slide appeared on it and a voice began to speak.

    The children weren't very interested in the speech that the man, who their father mentioned was the 'founder' as he said it with pride. Finally, the screen went back up as the 'founder' man said: "I chose the impossible, I chose... Rapture."

    The light of the bathysphere shone on some rather uninteresting cliffs before they went up a little and looked out on a city unlike any man had ever dreamed: an underwater paradise. At first glance it looked like a magnificent Manhattan, where so the children assumed, men wore hats, save for the sky being a beautifully dark blue ocean. Very soon the occupants of the vessel had to review their hastily thought up opinion as they heard the values resonate through them as it felt as what they've been missing for all their lives. What mister Fawl had been missing. And so it dawned on him: this impossible creation had been made possible through the will of one man. Glass tunnels connected every part of the city, with beautifully crafted sculptures littered everywhere, billboards, advertisements, grand towers reaching higher than any structure that had been made before.

    "Look mommy, a whale," said the Fawl boy.

    First Fawl's wife shrugged it of as non-sense but then she saw it as well and directed all the other people's attention to it. What wonderful creatures, what a wonderful world, Fawl's wife thought.

    "Rina," Fawl said. "We're here."
    Last edited by Scriptor Scorpio; 4th July 2012 at 7:09 AM.

  2. #2
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    This started of a bit slow, so here's chapter II in order to move towards the main plot


    Chapter II: There are friends and there are fiends


    We'll meet beyond the shore
    we'll kiss just as before
    Happy we'll be beyond the sea
    and never again I'll go sailin'

    I know beyond a doubt
    my heart will lead me there soon


    "My favorite," a young girl named Sandy Fawl said as she moved along with the rhythm tapping her feet. She suddenly stopped. "Do you hear that?"

    "What?" her stepbrother Darren asked.

    "Come on, follow me," Sandy said with a giggle as the six-year old girl went and skipped along the fence of the second floor.

    They'd come to live in a place called Mercury Suites, reserved for only the richest of the rich.

    "What do you see?" Darren asked.

    "Oh oh, they're building something!" Sandy said.

    Their mother, Katherina Fawl, called for them to come inside as she came to take a look herself.

    "A railway," she said with delight.


    12 years later...


    "Wanna take a ride on the railway, honey," a smooth looking type said to the girl he'd set his sights on.

    "No Arnold, leave me alone," the girl said as she pushed him away, but he was persistent and touched the bottom of her skirt.

    "Get off!" she yelled.

    "Hey!" a young man shouted and pushed Arnold farther back. "She said no."

    "Alright alright, big brother coming to the rescue again, drah," Arnold said before barging off to harass a waitress or something.

    "Thanks Darren," Sandy said to him as he nodded. He considered it as no less than his duty to protect his stepsister, even though she could usually take care of herself. Sandy had grown into a startling beautiful young woman with her mid-long black hair arranged into a feathered perm, kept short to remain a respectable look. She fixed her long pale yellow skirt and shirt and said: "Let's go to Sumner's Place, shall we?"

    "Good evening, my friends. I hope you are enjoying your New Year's Eve celebration; it has been a year of trials for us all..." it sounded over the intercom, but Sandy quickly tried to drown out the chatter. "I don't like that guy," she said as she pulled her brother along.

    A lot had changed since they'd first visited the lovely Italian restaurant, except the owner, Mr. Matthews. Always welcoming young men and women with a smile and offering them a table as he personally came to recommend the special of the day. He hadn't smiled much the past few weeks, since his wife died. As Darren and Sandy entered you could see the glimmer in his eyes, noticing that his two favorite younglings had arrived, but he didn't come over. Instead, a waiter took their orders, which they had to stipulate somewhere from the back of their heads as 'the usual' wasn't accepted by the new and very uptight waiter.

    "To a new year, sis?" Darren said as he raised his glass.

    "Even with Mum and Dad not being able to attend, we shall nevertheless party like never before," Sandy said joining the raising of glasses and happy festivities.

    Then the food arrived on exquisitely painted plates, with the dishes being even more beautiful like a dashing painting. Finally, they could eat when a scream was heard.

    "Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaargh!"

    The dreadful sound pierced the ears of Sumner's Place's customers as they clenched in agony. What could have possibly made a woman cry out like that. A few people went to watch as Sandy followed them and asked around.

    "What's happening, what's happening?"

    A blast, a shivering went down Sandy's spine as the city shook on the ocean floor. This didn't feel like an earthquake with every glass window shattering and her ears deafening... It sounded like the end of the world, as those recordings sounded that her father had made her listen to, to cower in fear whenever she heard it. The explosion turned out to be the least of their troubles.

    "What was that?" Darren asked.

    "Long live Atlas! Death to Ryan!"

    "Long live Atlas! Death to Ryan!"

    "Long live Atlas! Death to Ryan!"

    "It's Atlas' rebels, they're attacking the other restaurant," a man yelled.

    Immediately began to run out of Sumner's Place before the 'monsters' would get them.

    "Run for your life! It's every man for himself, get out of the way!"

    In the panic and madness that followed, it was unclear if it was only one man who caused all the uproar, or if the hole city had gone insane following the attack. Reports soon went out that many had lost their lives to the disastrous 'super powers' which the poor sods of Rapture had used to turn the city into a tyranny. Atlas' parasites had to be stopped, so did Ryan say in his many speeches that repeatedly blasted through the intercom that day. But what could they do against inhuman creatures that turned you into a sea of flames with the snap of a finger? Suddenly, those ads about your daddy being stronger than your friend's became all too unsettling and far too real to really be real.

    The siblings raced to the railway station as the cries and gun shots increased. Gun shots? They're shooting the Welcoming Area? What the hell was happening in Rapture? They turned around the corner and crashed into something.

    "Wha... Wyatt?" Sandy said sighing heavily.

    Or someone.

    Behind them a monstrous voice screamed: "Get the Fascistsssss!"

    "Quickly, this way!" Wyatt said as he led the way.

    Before they knew it, the two of them dropped in after him into a hole and plummeted into darkness.

  3. #3
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    Now it's getting interesting.


    Chapter III: ADAM and EVE


    Pitch black dark. Nothing could be seen nor heard apart from the lonely drop of water that bursted open landing on Sandy's perm. It was water-proof, but she wasn't about to find out how long that would hold. She moved away from the dripping and bumped into someone else, being hunched over.

    "Darren, Wyatt, are you alright?" Sandy asked.

    "All good here," Darren said a few meters away.

    "Yeah, I'm fine too," Wyatt said as he flicked on his flashlight in front of Sandy. He pointed it to the partly flooded floor of the maintenance tunnels, to give the others a chance to adjust to the light. "Don't worry, it's gonna work just fine, at least for the trip... Where did you two decide to go anyway?"

    "I don't know, away from here," Sandy said as she remembered the sickening scream that she'd felt resonate in every part of her body. She still couldn't comprehend what kind of monsterous attack could have done that.

    "If you mean away from the Splicers, there's nowhere to go. They're everywhere. We're at war, not with 'the parasites' as Ryan kept blabbing on about, but real people with families. Monstrous people that is," Wyatt said. "Bloody ADAM."

    One day, when Sandy had been skipping along the sidewalk on the arm of her mother, she'd seen a man cradle something in his arms as he went into an apartments building. Whatever it was, it glew right through with an eerie red shine. When she asked mother about it, her face twisted as her lips shook and she pulled Sandy along, saying nothing for the rest of the way home.

    "Why would anyone use those things anyway. We never needed them," Sandy said.

    "You'll have to ask someone else to explain how it works, Sandy, but what I do know is this: ADAM makes you smarter, stronger, faster, grants you super powers, makes you beautiful on the outside, bigger, taller. Some people at my dad's work used plasmids for some interesting effects, looking around the women's locker room for one," Wyatt said and pretended he didn't like to do this some time as well. Or maybe he'd already done it.

    "When you're down in the mouth, and life's a pain
    Weatherman says 'heavy rain'
    A little boost is all you need
    Average Joe to Hercules
    A Stronger Arm, A Sharper Brain,
    That's Why The Future Is Fontaine!"

    Such a catchy jingle...

    "Something tells me, soon nobody will question ADAM," Wyatt said as they went on through the tunnel.


    1947


    "But Dad," a young boy with blonde curls said.

    "No son, I have to get this done and I promised your mother I wouldn't leave you out of my sight," his father said as he tried to crank a machine into working.

    Realising his dad wasn't getting anywhere with the thing, the blonde boy went to sit and pout on a bench and tried to sigh profusely and loudly so his father could hear how much he disagreed. He could very well take care of himself. He'd take a job at McClendon Robotics with his inventions.

    "What's your father doing there?" an angel said with the most eloquent voice.

    Wyatt turned around to see a confident looking girl about his age with another boy looking around for signs of any trouble, holding her hand.

    "He's... He's starting up a generator that'll drive the construction machines. The railway will be up in no time," Wyatt said.

    "Really now..." the girl said dreamy. "Oh, I'm sorry, I'm so rude. My name's Sandy Fawl and this is my brother Darren Waters. What's your name?"

    "Ehm, Wyatt Daniels," the blonde boy said.

    "Boy, who you talking there to? Trouble I need to know about?" his father said. "Come on over here, can't go playing when I'm at work."

    "But Dad," Wyatt said.

    "Excuse me, Sir, if it's alright with you, maybe Wyatt can come and play with us," Sandy said.

    Wyatt's father being kneeled down in front of the generator looked up at the young sprite with a layered pink dress and said: "Hm, well. You look like a decent enough young lady. Ah I might be naďve as butter, but I believe I can trust you young misses. Run along now then and take good care of my boy."

    "We will, Sir," Sandy said with a nod.

    Back in Mercury Suites, under the watchful eye of Darren's mother, the kids began to play around with a ball as Wyatt noticed a few scrap parts just laying there. The trash service should've picked it up quite a few days ago, but now Wyatt could start to fumble around with them, wondering what every part did. He began to think something up that would surely get him into McClendon Robotics as a lead designer.

    "Still good with mechanical things I see," Sandy asked, now a grown woman with her ever intriguing blue eyes, lighting up the even faintest lit rooms.

    "Even better. This souped-up flashlight is my work. Shame it had to see its first use in such a way," Wyatt said mysteriously. "So, here we are, Mercury Suites."

    As he flicked off his flashlight and was putting it away in his jacket, Sandy could briefly see the blood stains on its front. Had he...

    "So where're your parents. You all still live around here, right?" Wyatt asked.

    "Yes, but they aren't here, they're..." Sandy said as she paused to look around. A large ruckus was made in the usually so quiet suites complex.

    "Let me through you lower-classers! I demand to be given service at once. Where's my EVE hypo so I can charge you all up!" a familiar voice said as Marianne Dellahunt, one of the Fawl family's neighbours and close friend of their mom Katherina, raced past them as a crowd of heads and arms tried to get their hands on the ADAM bottles streaming out of the Gatherer's Garden. The supplying system could hardly keep up although that was the least of people's problems: without remorse or even noticing, people got trampled and pushed against the brick wall as only the thought of surviving the next few hours counted in their newly adopted mindset. Me me me me, it's all about me!

    "What in heaven's name are they doing!" Sandy said.

    "Defending themselves against Atlas' splicers by becoming splicers themselves. Thing is, the stuff's quite addictive. Plasmids, gene tonics... those things will give you the power to stop an army. Either way, you won't be able to live without it once you go over the top," Wyatt said. "Since there's a good chance I might get shot in the head for the next three or four hours, I just wanna say... I used a couple of gene tonics. For engineering stuff, mostly. Seems it wasn't enough to get me the position of head engineer, at least not after McClendon drank himself to death and Ryan sold us all out."

    "So what you're saying is you're siding with the rest of Atlas' supporters, the lower class which these hypocrites of the surface have come to loath?" Darren spoke up, having been silent for all this time.

    "Darren!" Sandy said. She'd never heard him talk like that before.

    "I don't know whose side I'm on," Wyatt said, "All I know is, it's been one hell of a massacre and it isn't even morning on the first of January glorious 1959, is it."

    "We'll have to prepare to kill splicers when they come after us, don't we Wyatt?" Sandy said.

    She'd said it calmly as the fact that it unmistakably was, even though she was only eighteen years old, not having worked a single day in her life and it being the most atrocious thing a person could do: to take the life of another in cold blood and rather swiftly at that.

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    Chapter IV: We need some play, ground rules


    "You make it sound like a hindrance, perhaps an inevitability," Wyatt said.

    "While in reality it will probably be synonymous with surviving, as natural as breathing. I know," Sandy said. "If it's necessary to protect our own life for as long as we are the fittest of the jungle, we should. If it's necessary to protect the ones we love and cherish from any harm for as long as that's possible, we have to. If we decide to hold unto the ideal that all human life is equal and should be treated the same respect as our own, maybe we're foolish idealists who die before we can say 'if only I'd been a backstabbing son of a *****', but we all gotta die someday and I've got the feeling either way, it won't be long and it most certainly be down here."

    "Although I don't intend to," Wyatt said. "Nor should we intend to save some random stranger from certain death just to prove our ideals and go out with a bang."

    "Most certainly not," Darren answered in Sandy's place.

    "Well then, we should get a gang together. Though those splicer types have worked together before and in case I didn't mention this repeatedly during the way here, they burp fire, zap, whoosh, psychically nail you to the ground," Wyatt said.

    "We'll have to gather some quite the observant individuals then," Sandy said with a decisive nod.


    6th of June, 1947


    "Dad?" Sandy said with her high-pitched, but sugarly sweet voice.

    "Hm?" Mister Fawl said.

    He looked over his newspaper to his lovely daughter and it made him think of her mother, who was quite the natural beauty as well.

    "What is it, dear?" he asked.

    "We were wondering if we could invite Wyatt and his parents to Darren's birthday party," Sandy said as Darren was standing around trying to like posh for a soon to be seven year old.

    "Of course darling. Do we know them?" mister Fawl asked.

    "I do," Sandy said with a glimmer in her baby blue eyes.

    "That's just great, dear," mister Fawl said with a smile, rubbing her brown-haired head before focusing his attention at the Rapture Gazette again.

    At the party, mister Daniels looked around anxiously as he approached Sandy, Darren and her parents dressed in the best suit he could afford. Which wasn't much, really. He didn't really want to address such a powerful looking man, being from poor man's Hestia and all.

    "Wyatt!" Sandy exclaimed as she ran towards him to hug him. "Hello mister Wyatt!"

    "Daniels, dear. And happy birthday," Wyatt's father said.

    "It's Darren's birthday actually," Sandy said.

    "Oh, yes sorry about that. Happy birthday Darren," Wyatt's father said.

    "Daddy, this is Wyatt's father, I mean, mister Daniels," Sandy said.

    Mister Daniels could see that the great Ferris Fawl was inspecting him from tip to toe. His ruffled suit undoubtedly tipped him off that he was a worker, nothing more nothing less.

    "Welcome to the party, mister Daniels," Ferris said as he reached out and the two shook hands.

    "Glad to be here, although I have to excuse my wife. She was unavoidably detained," mister Daniels said.

    "Oh," mister Fawl said with a worried look. "I hope she can join us the next time."

    "That would be great," mister Daniels said.

    Soon, they came on the subject of the engineering which they both had extensive knowledge on.

    A lot had changed since then.

    "Well, time to assemble the troops, not much time before Atlas' gang of crazy attacks," Wyatt said as he scribbled something repeatedly on a few notes as Sandy and Darren followed him to the Jet Postal station. He dropped each note in a separate pneumatic tube as he turned to the others.

    "What was that all about?" Sandy asked.

    "Now we wait..." Wyatt said. "We should probably head to a safer location."

    "I've got one," Darren said.

    This couldn't possibly go like when they all first met and introduced themselves. It had been such a long time and it felt as though they were asleep and had forgotten about the harsh realities they could see when they were young, as though they'd been shifting through a long, comatose dream.

    "I'll keep guard," Darren said firmly.

    To him, switching shifts was completely unacceptable and so Wyatt and Sandy covered themselves in blankets, each leaning against a pillar trying to get some sleep. As she began to sink away into the night under the sea, the intercom in the station could be heard playing, 'Daddy's Little Girl' by the Mills Brothers:

    "You're the end of the rainbow, my pot of gold,
    You're daddy's little girl to have and hold.
    A precious gem is what you are,
    You're mommy's bright and shining star."

    Darren didn't particularly like the song, but waited for Sandy to fall asleep before he went to cover the intercom. By then however, it had already stopped, as the eerie silence set in. Untill tomorrow and good night, he thought.

    "You always hurt the one you love
    The one you shouldn't hurt at all
    You always take the sweetest rose
    And crush it till the petals fall

    You always brea-eak the kindest hear-eart
    With a hasty word you can't recall, so
    If I broke your heart la-ast night
    It's because I love you most of all."

    The Mills brothers, again? Darren said as he yawned, rubbing his eyes gently. You could never tell when it was light down here, apart from the lights which had broken down repeatedly that night. Determined to not let any splicer creep up and surprise him, Darren had taken Wyatt's flashlight and shone it from one entrance to the other. Once in a while, he pointed it at his own eyes to keep awake.

    He checked: everything lied exactly where they had left it and Sandy and Wyatt were still sleeping like babies. Remarkable really if you thought about what they had seen and experienced. Wait, what was that noise?

    He quickly jumped to Sandy's side as he shook her to wake her up.

    "Huh, what?" she said as she seemed to be far more tired than Darren despite him having been up all night. "You look like ****, you know that?" the girl added for extra effect. Darren could only smile. Then he remembered why he had woken up and it wasn't for seeing her smile the way she did. Not at first anyway.

    She heard the sounds as well. They stood up with their improvised weapons held up high.

    Let them come and get to know the taste of human blood. Their own blood that is. They rounded the corner, they shuffled out of the darkness into the faint light of the flashlight.

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    Chapter V: Sticking together or stuck up forever


    Sandy ran towards the sound and yelled as she readied the plank she'd ripped from a broken down bench. As she reached the spot where she'd seen the devilish eyes of the monster, a red flash blinded her as she blinked. And then the thing had disappeared. What did it do? Did she feel dizzy? No, that wasn't it, surprised maybe.

    "You can't tell me what to do!" someone yelled.

    Wyatt and Darren looked around as they kept wary for signs of attackers.

    "Where are you? Can you hear us?" Darren said as Wyatt turned to him.

    He whispered: "Don't you see, that's not a..."

    "Stop it, stop it stop it I don't want you touching ME!" the voice yelled as Darren determined where it was coming from.

    Right behind him.

    "Raaaaaaaah!" it said as Darren turned around to see a young man, not much older than him, throwing fire from his hand at him.

    As both him and Wyatt jumped back, he could smell how his clothes and hair were singed by the extreme heat. The only thing he could yell, was: "What the ****."

    In yet another red flash, the young splicer disappeared. What, did he just teleport out of here or what?

    They listened for foot steps when Sandy looked around and swung her plank. It hooked onto something as in a cloud of blood red ink the splicer appeared again and lit the plank on fire.

    "Hello love. Don't worry, won't hurt a smidge so stay still," he said with his face contorted into a devious smile. His eye glistened unnaturally. "Poke out an eye, make you smile." The other eye was wrapped up in bandages.

    Suddenly as a flash of blue light flew at the splicer's head, he let go of Sandy and shook uncontrollably, screaming, untill his head exploded into a bloody pulp. Behind him a woman stood with a smoking revolver. There was no mistaking it: it was Adelaide Finn, all grown up.

    "I see the surviving has already begun without us," she said as she bent down to frisk the splicer, seeing if he had anything useful on him.

    "Hi everybody," another woman said as she waved. Was that, Sally? Her, Adelaide and the others gathered around the body to look at it, some out of curiosity, some out of disguised disgust. It was a far larger group than Sandy, Darren en Wyatt had expected so they didn't care to count all the heads that had appeared just a tad late as they got attacked. Although the young splicer had an ability unlike any they had seen before and they weren't quite prepared, it still had easily killed both of them if not for Adelaides headshot... and the strange blue light.

    "We brought some friends that want out as well, if you don't mind. The more fists the merrier whooping. Although you seem to have quite the fist already," Adelaide said as she pointed to the blue crackled lines surging across his forearm. Darren quickly rolled down his sleeve to cover it.

    "That's... only when it's been recently fired," Darren said. "I couldn't risk you getting hurt."

    Sandy bowed down her head as Wyatt said, "Well, doesn't this change everything."

    "Let's... ehm, let's get down to the plan, shall we?" she said as she tried to avoid Darren's gaze.

    "Yeah, so... here we are at the train station... Why?" Adelaide wanted to know.

    "Let's get on and I'll explain," Sandy said as Wyatt added, "All aboard the crazy train, strap yourself onto something and I don't mean what you're thinking right now."

    "All of you that are only interested in looking out for number 1 can get off right now and I mean you Charlie Dawkins," Sandy said. In his childhood he hadn't been that succesful at scamming the other kids and making any grand speeches, but his father had been an unrelenting supporter of Ryan, more than willing to convert Charlie's little friends to the extreme of Ryanism. If any of them would betray Ryan's Rapture's ideals like its founder did, it would be Charlie.

    "I'm not a traitor, that's not how my family lives life," Charlie said ticked off. He waved his baseball bat around like it was an honored sword forged for his elite family and it alone.

    "I'll still keep my eye on you," Darren said as he tried to catch some sleep in all the chatter from the subgroups made my the respective friends of each of the invitees. He'd crawled up nice and comfy in the corner chair of the middle wagon.

    Sandy looked away, shook her head and then said: "Well, let's depart," as she nodded to Wyatt who went up ahead to set the train in motion. The Atlantic Express didn't bear that name for nothing. Soon they went under the ocean and so, they went off to anywhere but the cursed place they had lived for most of their frail, happy childhood.

    A half hour later, when everyone had calmed down a bit, they sat down to talk. Sandy explained how she thought of the group: as a tight band of friends that would together face the adversities they'd come across in Rapture. Adversities like the splicer popping up in place out of nowhere and lighting things on fire.

    "Ha, are you serious? Friendship?" Claire Reyes said. She'd always been quick to challenge Sandy's charm, which drew people to her as well as her gentle smile and polite manners. Claire however, was richer than most people's families. That gave her authority in Rapture, at least in Rapture. "So what're you gonna name this little group of yours? Fawl of Rapture? The Rapture Friends? Sandy's Merry little Sailors? Rogue Ravengers? The third faction? Come on, without plasmids we'll be picked off one by one and I ain't giving any ADAM I find to these clowns who wouldn't anything to do with it."

    "Hey!" Charlie said as he'd thought of doing just that. Now he couldn't do it that covertly. Hm.

    "Well we certainly won't call it Reyes of Rapture, seeing as what happened to Athena's Glory. Nobody can ever rebuild what happened there," Adelaide said as she spun around the cilinder on her gun. She was clearly adding it as a threat to shut Claire up. She did.

    "How about we decide on a name when we're down to the size of a soccer team?" Ernie said, being a Brit. Few understood his European sports and culture comments apart from the occasional Irish who were his sworn enemy. Like Wyatt.

    "He means when we're close to a dozen, you numbnuts," Wyatt said.

    "So, where are we going anyway?" Claire said before a cold look from Adelaide quieted her.

    "Eh, well..." Sandy said.

    "We're... going to Fontaine Futuristics, formerly," Darren said as he pulled away the blanket Sandy had laid on him as he'd fallen asleep. Having slept somewhat, he was again as sharp as could be and continued: "To get plasmids and gene tonics."

    "Ha," Claire said as Adelaide spun her revolver and pulled back the hammer.

    "Only problem is, how not get addicted to it. I don't much about the stuff, but..." Wyatt began, but was suddenly interrupted by someone standing up and saying: "Well..."

    It was Ernie. "I used to work as a lab assistant there before Ryan went and nationalized it. As long as we take small amounts and reinforce our existing genetic upgrades instead of splicing every single cell of our body over and over again, there's a minute possibility you don't go mad."

    "Hold on," a buff looking fellow said.

    "Buck, is that you?" Sally Goodluck said, the one providing most of the chatter the whole way. She'd only just met up with the rest of the group as she came from Pauper's Drop. "You certainly kept word with your eating regiment."

    "Ehe, thanks," Buck Manning said as he blushed. "Guess I shook my Roundy nickname off."

    "Hardly," Claire muttered under her breath.

    "Anyway, don't we need all kinds of plasmids and gene tonics to defend ourselves? Maybe we all don't need to be able to make stuff like Why-why..."

    "Thanks, Buck," Wyatt said upon hearing his own embarassing nickname.

    "... But don't we all need to fight? Burn, bash, roast, whomp, cool down, shatter? How are we gonna get so much ADAM and split it amongst ourselves to each have a fair chance against the likes of that one-eyed Jack?"

    "I can't believe I'm gonna say this, but Buck's got a point," Wyatt said. "But I think I have the solution..."

    He pulled out a strange device which seemed to be downright broken and worn down. It looked quite old. He rubbed its surface as the thing started to glisten. One piston slowly started moving, then another and soon the whole thing started spinning and humming.

    "So what're you saying?" Ernie asked.

    "We specialise," Wyatt said.

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    Chapter VI: Shards of shattered glass


    'Hush now. Mommy’s gone… and daddy too. Wait. This is happening before, and not - Why are you here? W-why is it today and not then when you were warm and sweet? Why can’t mommy hold you to her breast and feel your teeth?'


    "I'll be the Queen, with the best of plasmids and only the most classiest of gene tonics, because I will wear them with a fist of lightning ready for the strike," Claire said.

    "We're not playing Chess, at least I think we weren't," Ernie said as Buck bumped him. As Ernie was particularly scrawny, he fell over right away.

    "I seriously hope you were joking there," Adelaide said.

    "Ah come on, there are gene tonics for everything. We aren't gonna balance out this lot, are we?" Claire said.

    "You know Claire, that's the kind of thing that makes people wanna fire a bullet in your eye. Repeatedly," Adelaide said.

    The others gently nodded in agreement.

    "What if we uhm... assign certain tasks along the way to the one that strive to be good at that task. Wyatt's a real genius with machines and all, even before the... gene tonics," Sandy said.

    "Why, why thank you Sandy, I..." Wyatt said. He suddenly didn't seem to care he stuttered his way through his sentence with the origin of his nickname nicely underlined. Everytime he got a compliment back in the day he'd go all blushy, although he would only stutter when... He turned to read Sandy's face and could tell she was still wrestling with the whole genetic upgrades driving you crazy stuff. More importantly, her own brother having changed himself into a living Tesla coil.

    "I guess I'll be handling the technical stuff. We'll see who handles the rest after we get through this," Wyatt said. "We're here. Darren, somebody wake him up."

    "Darren, we've arrived. Had a good day's sleep?" Sandy asked as she nudged him out of his dreams and thoughts.

    "Hm?" he said as he opened his eyes. "We'd better get moving then, I guess... Keep close by, I... will zap 'em and whack 'em."

    "I can take care of myself," Sandy said as she stood up and ran ahead of the rest of the group.

    "So Ernie," Wyatt said as they walked through the doors into the welcoming hall, "Where should all those genetic upgrades for the future superman be at anyway?"

    "Top floors, I guess. I... was never allowed there," Ernie admitted.

    "Oh great, that's just great," some macho friend of Claire said.

    "You need a Lighten up tonic? I think they still sell them here," Ernie said clueless as ever.

    "Well, we should search every floor one by one, stick together if you wanna live," Wyatt said.

    Just then, a loud, elongated moaning could be heard. It had soothing but also warning, like a mist horn out at sea. Most of all, it sounded like the whales that swam through Rapture's skyscrapers sometimes. And then they saw it: a brown behemoth three times the mass of a man with yellow glowing eyes and in front of him a petite innocent girl, save for the dito yellow eyes and it looking quite the worse for wear. She in a ragged looking dress, him in a clunky diving suit that looked like it could take quite the punch. A Big Daddy and his Little Sister, a dangerous duo to come across.

    'Nobody messes with the big daddy,' Dr. Suchong had said when he visited Ernie's lab. They were one of his most proud creations: puppets that were once called men before they were conditioned to be a Protector to the Little Sisters with their organs and skin grafted to the suits, permanently. Now, the bio-luminescent fluid in their helmets controls their every empty thought and would show their emotional state towards any splicer.

    "Those ugly little things, they got the ADAM!" the macho said as he moved forward. The Big Daddy quickly ran to stand in front of him and growled menacingly like those gorilla bouncers in front of the real sweet joints. Buck and some other guys quickly pulled him back as the first one said to the macho, "Are you out of your freakin' mind. That tin doomsday cannon could take you out in one blow! Or are you too spliced up to think straight."

    "Maybe I am. These muscles can take you out in one punch, fat boy," the macho said as he cracked his knuckles, ready to rumble.

    "Oh yeah, well I'll punch your two-inch brain right outta ya, faker!" Buck said as he pushed against the macho's chest, as Claire's friends, or rather radical supporters, started to involve themselves and some other guys defending ADAM-less Buck.

    The Big Daddy, a Rosie model as Ernie correctly observed, meanwhile had lowered its threatening rivet gun and fists of iron and moved along following after the Little Sister. It's like he didn't even acknowledge the existence of other living beings untill they got close to his sole reason for living, the smiling little girl he 'swore' to protect.

    "You guys this isn't going to help you know," Wyatt said, but got drowned out completely by the ruckus the guys were making to top the other side's yelling and primal calls.

    "Boys..." Sandy said as she struggled to find the right words to make 'em stop. They couldn't live like this, couldn't work together like this. They had to survive and be friends like they used to be. "Cut it out guys, please."

    She sounded awfully shrill, nobody could hear her, nobody would listen to her. She got fed up with it and went to stand between the two groups. Buck snapped out of it as he saw his good old friend, but the macho didn't seem that convinced. "Work together, or I'll shoot you in the face myself," Sandy said as she held out her hand to Adelaide as Sandy continued to stare down the macho.

    "Pfeh, fine, whatever you feel like raven-head," the guy said as he backed off, shook his shoulders in the direction of Buck, intended as a warning and went on ahead with Claire and her supporters.

    "What's his name?" Sandy asked.

    "From what I've heard, big brute, but I did hear Claire call him 'Eddie Sterling'. I'll keep on him and all Claire's goons. Those guys are bad news," Adelaide said.

    "But Sandy'd probably say everybody deserves an equal chance at getting out of this hellhole in one piece, even if they're ***holes," Wyatt said.


    7th of June, 1947


    "So what do we do? We all say our names out loud and say 'how do you do, how do you do'? I've seen the people at my daddy's parties do it, it's very classy," Claire said with her snubby nose held up high.

    "Let's just pass around the ball, each one says their name and what they wanna be when they grow up," Sandy said.

    "Okay, gimme," Claire said as Sandy reluctantly threw her the ball. "Okay, so, my name is Claire Reyes, as in the proud daughter of Mortimer Reyes and that's exactly what I want to be when I grow up: succesful and rich."

    "Eh anything else?" Wyatt asked.

    "Hm? Oh yes, to grow beautiful and remain that way forever," Claire asked.

    'They say kids are naďve and innocent, that growing up is essentially learning the harsh truths of the world. That your childhood is happy as long as you're blisfully ignorant, but that you'd eventually have to wake up and see the injustice and the sheer bad luck that strikes the poor. I wonder if 'they' had ever lived in Rapture. I'd give anything to not see this filth,' Claire Reyes.

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    Chapter VII: Casualties of War


    'Why is it that civilized humanity can make the world so wrong?' Noël Howard, 20th Century Blues

    "Not much to be found here," Charlie said as he scrounged the seats of the second floor. "Any luck with the Vending machine hacking, Wyatt?"

    "Ssh, we don't wanna get Ryan on our backs or his blasted security system," Wyatt said as he looked around for any camera's. They weren't so much creepy as they were insanely dangerous once one spotted you.

    "Please speak clearly," a computerised voice said.

    Ernie was standing in front of the voice box that allowed employees access through the high security door... if the bio-scan camera recognized him. "It's me eh, Ernie Donner, remember me? I didn't bring my lab coat so, it's probably still there."

    "Confirming identity and sanity..." the computerised, yet female sounding voice said as it scanned Ernie's body.

    "Ernie Donner, employee at Fontaine Futuristics. Error, status: fired-d-d-d-d-d. Update: Ernie Donner, employee et Fontaine Futuristics. Status: active. Have a nice day," the voice said as the door opened to Ernie's genetic signature.

    "H-how did that happen?" Ernie said.

    "I happened. You're welcome, Brit-brat," Wyatt said as he put back the wires he'd ripped out of the wall.

    "Ehm thanks, Wyatt," Ernie said as he tried to put on a smile.

    "Let's go people," Eddie Sterling the macho guy said as he carelessly pushed Ernie out of the way, never mind that he was their key to the whole facility. "We're not here to sightsee, we're here to get the ADAM."

    "Oh yeah? Well looks like somebody tried to beat us to it," Buck said as he gestured to the wall up ahead.

    As his eyes traced the mangled looking body of a Splicer to the wall along the blood trail that seemed to have spattered in all directions as the metal shone brightly in the circular sight of Wyatt's flashlight and the corpse's mangled teeth seemed ready to fall out and attack them. Several people in the group looked away in disgust. Eddie however, tried to pull the spear stuck in its abdomen out as its entrails hung out and spewed their poison. The smell was as pugnant as the violent and gruesome death that the splicer must have suffered. Before the impaling that is.

    "What, kind of thing, hnnnnnh, could have launched a thing like this? It's, hnnnnnh, pretty much driven into the wall like a steamroller," Eddie said.

    "Do you really wanna know?" Wyatt said as he turned to look for Darren. All the time he'd been so quiet, even for his usual chipper silence and now he'd just been staring at the big bronze diver as it kept its eye on the little tyke. An indestructible tyke full of ADAM and delusions of a Rapture that would never be: peaceful and shiny.

    "Who looks after sleeping angels? I do...I do..." the tyke said.

    "Disgusting, ain't it?" Sally said. She was still shivering from the sight of the bloody corpses. Undoubtedly there were more to come. Darren just turned away and went along, rubbing his forearm as he went. It had started with a tingling feeling as if somebody continuously tickled him, but then it felt like he'd bumped his elbow into something repeatedly. Now, it just felt like a numb instrument attached to his shoulder.

    "Did I say something wrong?" Sally asked herself.

    "I think we've all got scars, Sally. But some if not most don't want to show them," Wyatt said. "In case ghosts from the past try to rip 'em open again."

    As long as Ernie was kept alive and aided by Wyatt, they could sneak into the supplies room and get what they needed before they'd go away from this place as fast as possible.

    "What was that sound?" Adelaide asked.

    "What sound?" Charlie said.

    Before they could find out what the curious sound was, someone or something revvied up a machine gun as those unlucky to have been standing on the left side of the group got gunned down one by one.

    "Mandy, nooooooo!" Sally yelled as she stumbled towards where here best friend had collapsed as her lungs got punctured. She twisted and turned as she tried to breath, but very quickly she stopped moving altogether. The first casualty.

    "Get behind the wall!" Buck said as he pushed people out of the way of the torrent of bullets.

    "Blasted turrets," Wyatt said. "We must be close to Fontaine's former office. He must've set up that place with automated defenses to brim. There's no way we're getting past without harm."

    "Can't you hack that thing or something?" Charlie said. "You're the engineer."

    "Do I look like a bulletproof shield to you?" Wyatt sneered.

    "We're all already harmed. My friends need help, they're bleeding out!" Sally said.

    Darren turned to face Wyatt.

    "Br... Wyatt, if I were to zap that thing, would you be able to hack it? Would it stop shooting?" Darren said.

    "If I don't get a bullet in me for a minute, say, while you overload it with enough volts, yeah that could work, but can you do that?" Wyatt said.

    "I'll have to," Darren said as he glanced at Sally. And Sandy as well.

    Darren aimed and fired as he went around the corner, his fingers twitching as the current raced through his nerves. He felt like throwing up as if he could feel the bullets perforating him. Quickly Wyatt dashed up from behind him and started fiddling around with the turret. It seemed to be scratched together from all the best parts they could find, with a wicked difficult wiring and hydraulic system. As it started to move again, Darren zapped the thing at close range as it turned off and surrendered. Wyatt looked at Darren for a moment before he said: "Got it."

    As the turret's lights flashed from red to green, Sally rushed over to her other friends' sides, as Mandys pulse was long gone. Wyatt handed out Med kits to her and the rest who'd been hit. He also offered one to Darren.

    "Thanks," as he looked at the gaping bullet wounds gushing out red liquid. Some of it could be ADAM.

    "D-Darren, you're hurt," Sandy said as she pressed on the wounds to stop them from overflowing. His shirt wasn't as pristine white as it used to be, although the trip through the maintenance tunnels had already seriously browned it down.

    "I'll be alright," Darren said as his sister nevertheless supported him as they went after the group. She tore of a piece of her long skirt and wrapped it around his waist as they stumbled along. Wyatt kept his eye on them before turning to tap the turret on his head and said: "Hope you haven't switched sides again when I come back."

    The turret just kept on spinning.

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    Chapter VIII: Sealed cans of insanity


    "Anyone want to make a headcount now?" Wyatt whispered to Sandy and Darren as they looked out at the group that were getting slightly ahead of them. They had lost three who succumbed to their injuries before they could be helped and one, Mandy, who was lost before she even hit the ground.


    1947


    "My name's Sally Goodluck. We don't have that much money like Claire's family but we make up for it with how much we smile," Sally said as she displayed the sunny disposition she'd been blessed with.

    Now, only traces, rays of sunshine if you will, of it remained in her bleak face as she cared for the wounded, as most of them had been her loyal friends for most of her life. First aid kits did wonders to regenerate cell tissue and so healed up anything up to heavily damaged organs, but it was exactly that: the first aid. Second to that came the removing of the bullets, as Sandy was doing with Darren.

    "Hold still, the ADAM's working against me. It's closing over the holes I'm making. How much of it did you take anyway?" Sandy said. She didn't seem angry at all, just sad that Darren's caring nature had made him do this to himself. And soon, all of them would have to 'upgrade' to keep with the genetic arms race.

    "Enough," Darren said.

    "Jackpot and it's all mi... ours," Eddie said as he rummaged through the file cabinets at the top floor. "This is unbelievable, this must be where they stored all the goods. Good thing we have gay old ratface's likeness to open all the doors."

    Ernie didn't seem particularly pleased with the description, nor that he'd be left in the dust as soon as that big brute powered up with all the juicy ADAM he could dream of.

    "If we inject minute amounts at a time like Miss Sandbag said, we don't all spliced up like those other poor chumps Fontaine and Atlas messed up," Claire said.

    "Hey, that's also my father you're trashing there!" Charlie said as he flew at Claire.

    Reaching to very literally and determined to scratch the other person's eyes out, the two rolled over the floor as they struggled. Eddie and Buck were quick to pull the two apart before they did some real damage.

    "We don't have time for this. I don't know how long it'll take for Ryan to find out I'm..." Ernie said before pausing.

    "... has come under my attention that there has been another break-in at Fontaine Futuristics. I'm only going to ask once nicely and one time only: Get off Rapture's property before I hanged and burned at the square with the rest of them parasites! Or perhaps you want to suffer a faith worse than death," Ryan said as you could distinctively hear the push of a button before the end of the transmission.

    "Maybe we should do as he says," Charlie said as he was deeply breathing in and out after his little roll in the mud with Claire.

    "And leave all this behind? No way, besides, we're gonna end up on that square anyway. Bastard's lost his mind. We'll be run through like holed cheese even if we run like hell."

    "I have to... agree," Wyatt said. "I guess that button already sealed our fate. Unless we fight back. Time for that specialisation. Attackers, supporters, hackers, pick your poison. If you try to mix around to become a one-man army, be my guest. The Little Sister will scrape up your entrails as soon as you're body get rips apart by Ryan's forces. And remember, we immediately shoot anyone who's gone insane. So start off very slow."

    The group immediately scattered as they pulled open every storage thing they could find and reached in with their hands, shaking as death loomed over their heads. In the distance, a clicking noise was heard. Snappy flying security bots of doom? Oh great, that's just great.

    "Shouldn't they... be humming?" Sandy said as she remembered the distinct sound you could hear from a yard or more away.

    "To all employees still present, my apologies for the matters that had to be taken. Go to the assigned safety hatches and close them before you get mutilated," Ryan said through the intercom.

    Everyone looked at Ernie.

    "What? There was never any need for safety hatches, at least not while I worked here, then," Ernie said.

    "How long ago was that anyway!" Charlie said.

    "Too long it seems," Buck said as he looked at a particular gene tonic he had found. "Brrrrain Boost..."

    "Sportboost," Ernie said.

    "Take what suits you best, guys," Sandy said.

    The two, the brainiac and the brawn, put down to the gene tonics as they raised their needles.

    A long, guttered roar echoed through the halls of Fontaine Futuristics as heavy feet stormed on the stairs below the group's floor. This wasn't a splicer of any kind, this was a Big Daddy. But even the most enraged tin can couldn't walk that fast. Suddenly Adelaide remembered: "It's one of the first Big Daddies from last year. This ain't good."

    "Keep splicing," Claire ordered.

    "How do we defeat it?" Charlie asked.

    "Just like the splicers take down Big Daddies. Then do it three times as fast before your head's the new decoration of its drill," Adelaide said.

    Ernie and Buck reached for the tonic that best suited their natural abilities as Sandy had said, drew out the thick substance and injected it directly into their forearm. They clenched themselves between their arms and sat on the floor, anticipating the worst of the worst.

    "Gah, my head," Buck said.

    "I feel like I'm collapsing like bad made jelly," Ernie said.

    "What the hell..." Buck said.

    "... did we take?" Ernie said.

    The first series Big Daddies paused as it came to the final stairs coming up from the floor directly below them. Then, it charged.

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    I do wonder if this story intrigues people. I sure hope so^^


    Chapter IX: Humans aren't build to last


    The drill buzzed as it flew through the air as everyone that was able to jumped out of the way. Miraculously, nobody was hit, save for some bruises from the Big Daddy's broad shoulders. It shivered as if it was in agony of how its attack could have missed. It punched the floor with a threatening roar, before he lighted up.

    "Help, hu-help, it burns me, aah, aaaaaah!" a guy said as he stumbled forward. "Water, waaaaaaaaaaateeeeeeeer!"

    "Archibald, no!" Claire yelled as the guy started running as he flailed his arms around, the flames digging into his flesh before he dived off the railing. As he plummeted down, Claire yelled as the Big Daddy turned its attention to her. A single drop flew up to their floor: Archibald had found the water that had been gathering at the bottom of the stairs. He couldn't have survived.

    "Burn you bast***!" Eddie said as he reached out his hand. A torrent of flames flew out and hit the brown monster as it screamed like a mad animal. Every man and woman used the distraction as a means of scattering across the top floor as they tried to activate their own plasmids.

    "Everyone with a gun, start shooting!" Adelaide said as she aimed for the Big Daddy's head. It didn't seem quite as reinforced as the Bouncer's or the Rosie's and so she shot it square in the visor. That just pissed it off more as it came running for her now, as Claire was unable to move. Archibald, he's gone... she thought.

    Adelaide kept aiming even though the Big Daddy, still writhing in flames, was closing the gap between them fast. It towered above all of them as it instilled fear with its size... and brute strength. It reached for its over-sized steam-powered gun, which it then seemed to handle with ease as it aimed for Adelaide's brown-locked head to return the favor. It fired.

    Once again it twitched and shivered but this time it seemed to be very much paralyzed by the release of electrical shocks all over its armor. Sandy looked at Darren wide-eyed as he lowered his arm.

    "Hit it now, Addie!" Darren yelled.

    Adelaide snapped out of her gaze as she realised she was still alive and emptied her revolver on the Big Daddy crazy fast. Eddie shot it again with a snap of his blackened fingers as its skin burned to a crisp underneath the red hot armor. Charlie Dawkins struck the thing with his baseball bat and such the heat set it aflame. Darren came closer as Sandy carried him so he could get another shot. The blue lightning raced through the air and as it electrictrified the tin monster's metal head, it screamed out for heaven and hell, ever so fleeting remembering its former life, before it called out words, intelligible to even its long lost Little Sister, before a muscled arm smashed its head in with a wrench. Finally, it died.

    "I guess I'm the strong one now," Ernie said as he lowered his wrench and eyed Eddie.

    Sandy gazed at him as she saw he had undoubtedly taken the Sportboost. That must mean...

    "And I'm the smart one, besides Why-why," Buck said.

    Sandy smiled as silence again set in. The survivors sat around the thing quietly, pondering as to what would happen now. Some of them felt sad they'd killed a being that never had a choice to live alone and happy to begin with. Not after they'd been turned into slavish protectors for the Little Sisters. Others were glad the thing was down and dead. Besides it lay the gun, too heavy to carry for any frail good shot. It needed too much precise aiming to be used by a big brute like Eddie, who showed no interest in it and its intricate design.

    "Epsilon, huh," Adelaide said as she studied the back of the thing's hand. It depicted the Greek symbol in question, as long as a print reading 'Alpha series, Persephone Penal Colony'. "Sorry, big boy. It was either you... or me."

    "Hold on a second," Charlie said as he scrambled to his feet, "What if there're more?"

    Immediately Claire let out a scream.

    "I'm not staying here, those iron mongers are... are... killed Archibald, how could they..." she said.

    Adelaide didn't need to point her gun or put on a scowl, Claire just shut up and went to sit, motionless overthinking how much her coveted future life in Rapture had shortened as she remembered the screaches of Atlas' men.

    "I should have never gone to Kashmir Restaurant," she said.

    "You were there?" Sandy asked before Wyatt interrupted.

    "We haven't got time for this," Wyatt said as he turned towards the stairs, "we've been really lucky Darren went and found that last Metabolic EVE gene tonic in the file cabinet way in the corner, so he could fire that Electro bolt again and again. We have to get out of here."

    "We'll take all we can carry so we can inject it when we've adjusted to the splicing," Adelaide said. "If we can get it loaded aboard the Express and mask the smell, we can keep it there and use it as our base of operations."

    "Okay then, let's go," Sandy said as Darren stood up. He seemed to be completely healed without a scratch on him. Sandy simply smiled, glad he was alright.

    "I warned you, but you didn't listen. Don't worry, I have plenty more atrocities to take you down," Ryan's voice blasted through the intercom as they made their way down.

    Claire stopped Eddie mid-step, pulling his arm. It was still pitch black with dark red lines resembling lava running across it. "There's no way we're leaving any valuables. Take the others and and bring along any weapons you find," Claire said.

    "But, Archibald..." Eddie said.

    "Do it, don't question me," Claire said as she struggled to hold back the tears. "This place is a goldmine and maybe, just maybe, what is stored here can keep us alive, maybe even help us escape and get Ryan's nightmare shut down."

    "Okay. We'll do our best," Eddie said as he tried to put up a brave stance for Claire.

    They could already hear many more Big Daddies, driven to insanity, being unleashed from what was undoubtedly heavy reinforced steel cabins.

    "We're not gonna make it!" Charlie yelled as he ran at the top of his lungs with many genetic upgrade glass containers cradled between his arms.

    Sally looked down to the plasmid she held. Time to unseal this crazy can. She suddenly stopped as she put the plasmid container down.

    "Sally, what are you doing we gotta get moving!" Wyatt said he said as he tried to close the heavy-security door. Ernie's genetic signature had changed and so no longer worked.

    "You guys go on ahead, I can do this!" Sally said as she put the supplied needle into the plasmid's substance.

    "Do what?" Charlie said.

    Sally struck into her forearm with the needle as she realised how fast the process really was. It was energizing, it was excruciating, exhilirating, it was... as if she was about to explode. She aimed her hand forward as nothing seemed to change on the outside, but her nerves certainly felt amplified.

    "Raaaaaaaah!" she yelled as a blast of invisible energy struck a hole in the wall above them.

    "Wow, so you really can take on an army with some o' them plasmids," Charlie said.

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    Chapter X: The trains always arrive late. I wonder why?


    "I don't think so, it doesn't feel like I could do much against thousands pounds of steel," Sally said. "If you keep 'em busy though, I can load the train with every supply we got in seconds."

    "Do it, Sally," Sandy said. Sally nodded as the others placed the genetic upgrades on the ground and she concentrated to pick them up nice and easy and hopefully move them into the train without splattering them all over the windows.

    "Good thing we'll have some time before they break through the door. Wyatt, how's it coming along?" Darren said.

    "I think I can close it," Wyatt said. "If I just move this wire..."

    "No!" Claire exclaimed. "Eddie and the others are still in there."

    "So what the hell are they still doing in there!" Wyatt yelled back.

    "They're sucking everything out of that place so we never have to come back!" Claire snapped.

    "You do know you ordered them to just loyally commit mass suicide," Wyatt said as he turned to Sandy. "What do we do?"

    "I... I... can't do anything, I don't even have a plasmid. What do you expect me to say to put your collective lives on the line?" Sandy said as she looked from one person's face to the other. "Well?"

    "I'll do it," Claire said as she held up a needle high then injected the red murky liquid directly into Sandy's forearm before she could react.

    "What the hell did you do, you spliced her up, she'll go mad, she never wanted such a curse, for any of us," Darren said as he pushed her away. No big brute to protect her this time.

    "Some sacrifices need to be made. Especially from your wide-eyed pretty doll leader," Claire said.

    "And what about you, huh? When your buddies make it out of their in much more than a few pieces, who's going to defend you, you sick twisted ice princess!" Darren roared as he charged up his hand. Now she was going to get it. This was exactly the kind of people he'd spliced up for to protect Sandy from. He wouldn't let this sociopath go on any longer, breathing.

    "Stop," Sandy said as she staggered upwards and a cold breeze past along her cheek. Darren shivered as he realised he couldn't move.

    "What the hell did you do?" he said as he felt the cold touch of ice all over his skin and cast a maddening glare at Claire as she stumbled back.

    "I did it. She injected me with something that freezes you, temporarily, so I hope..." Sandy said as she really, really did hope.

    "It's Winter Blast. It's okay as long as you don't damage him to much, lest he shatter. Guess the knowledge is just coming from me from all those files I sifted through..." Buck said.

    "Thanks, Buck," Sandy said as she started smiling again.

    "Wait for us," Eddie yelled as he looked over his back and set fire to the closest 'Alpha series'. As they made their way, the Alpha series screamed as the hellish fires made their branded print through the armor as it heated up. It must've feeled like a thousand degrees.

    "Saaaaaaaallyyyyyy," Wyatt called as he looked around the corner. Those Alpha's were dangerously close.

    "Almost done, unless somebody wants to splice up but I think we've all had enough to drink, well inject, for one day," Sally said.

    "Might, hz-hz-hz, use that if you ha-have it, S..." Darren said, still immobile.

    "Okay, ehm... Aim?" Sandy said as she held up her hand. Try to feel just like when you hit Darren, she said to herself. But then murderous.

    Like a white innocent snowball the 'winter blast' flew through the air and struck the Alpha behind Eddie and the rest of Claire's gang came running.

    "Huwooooooooooooaaargh!" Eddie yelled as he jumped through the door and landed face-first on the hard floor and kept sliding untill he reached the bottom floor. "Ouch."

    The others soon followed although with less extreme manoeuvers. It was clear Eddies physical prowess and resistance was only moderately due to natural circumstances. It could very well be he'd go spliced up screwed up first.

    Finally, Darren thawed and he went to stand alongside the others to halt every Alpha as Wyatt tried to seal the door. Sandy hit quite some tin cans as well, before she suddenly felt she couldn't launch another plasmid attack.

    "What's wrong?" she asked.

    Eddie quickly threw her a blue, ridiculously big needle and gestured how she should proceed, namely sticking in it like Claire did to her before.

    "EVE Hypo, when you run out of active juice," he said.

    Buck had picked up a curious camera that was lying next to Eddie and held it in front of him, aimed at the door the Alpha stood in frozen as the other bronze men tried to push him out of the way. He shattered on impact as he hit the floor, leaving nothing but bits and pieces in ice cubes. If this thing was what Buck thought it was...

    "Hayah!" Ernie yelled as he used his newfound strength to hurl a rock, the same piece of stone slab that Sally had blasted out of the roof, to shatter more of the Alpha's.

    "Close and... got it!" Wyatt said as the doors closed on themselves.

    "P-please stand in front of the camera," the slightly feminine voice of the security system said.

    "To hell and back, Miss Rapture's Grand. This is goodbye," Wyatt said as he ran after the others through the door to the station and flicked the switch as soon as everyone was inside. There was hardly enough room for themselves with all the bottles taking up almost every seat. They also had plenty of ammunition and weapons.

    Suddenly, something popped out of the thing Buck was holding.

    "Ha, a tonic, handy," Buck mused as he put the thing aside.

    "Wait, how the hell did that thing just produce that," Charlie said.

    "It's a Research Camera. If you study enemies with it, it sometimes gives you bonuses to use against them," Buck said. "This one works especially well against Alpha series Daddies."

    "Ladies and gentlemen, I think our chances just went up," Wyatt said.

    They chugged along as once again they disappeared under the water to unknown places.

  11. #11
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    Chapter XI: The manhunts and sinister Solutions


    "How much is the damage? How much did they take?" Andrew Ryan said. "Tell me, Dr. Alexander!"

    "Im afraid it seems they stole quite a bit of plasmids, gene tonics, ammunition and possibly parts for weapons. Also, a Research Camera. Of course, we shouldn't forget the loss of several Alpha series that were vital in..." Dr. Alexander went on before he was interrupted by his forced employer.

    "Yes yes. So they have escaped the facility. Do we know anything about where they are going, if they will lead us to Atlas? Do we know anything at all?" Ryan said.

    "The system erroneously granted access to an ex-employee, Ernie Donner, a lower lab assistant along with his band of followers. This won't happen again. Furthermore they took the Atlantic Express back, instead of forward to Persephone. That's all we got so far," Dr. Alexander said.

    "I want this Donner hunted down and hung up on my wall. These monstrosities are unusually smart and it unsettles me quite a bit," Ryan said.

    "Yes, Mr. Ryan," Dr. Alexander said.

    'Congratulations, Mister or Misses citizen Rapture! You've been approved to join the Sinclair Solutions team as a product tester in our Home Consumer Rewards Program! Here at Sinclair, the customer knows best. That's why we'd like to invite you to test our home-defense products in the field and tell us how you feel! By participating to our DNA wide clinical trials, you will automatically earn bonus gifts free of charges! Yes, we thought you'd like the sound of that! So get out there and start earning those rewards!'

    "What the hell is this..." Wyatt said as he gave the others a chance to read the grisly advertisement.

    "One more humongous problem to deal with," Ernie said. "Maybe we can't win this fight. Maybe we should head on over to the Medical Pavilion to escape."

    "Ryan's not letting anyone getting out of here alive," Charlie said as he picked up a poster.

    'ATTENTION! All bathysphere travel is now DENIED.'

    "So what, we're supposed to get trapped like rats down here?" Eddie said. "We ain't too much like rats that we can swim when all of this comes crashing down."

    "You seem to forget the ocean's pressure will crush us like a soda can caught in a grinder. Multiple grinders," Wyatt said.

    "Some of Ryan's own supporters talked of getting to their private bathysphere and getting the hell out of here. Haven't heard from them since," Darren said.

    "So what, we keep running? Where to?" Adelaide said.

    They had been hanging around Artemis Suites for a few days while as the real fight was taking place near Apollo Square, but as the fighting intensified, their chances of surviving diminished. It was time to go.

    "If we can change the tracks again, we can go to places most splicers won't think to go to. Meanwhile, we upgrade ourselves gradually with our stash that Sally and the others are protecting and..." Wyatt said.

    "We're going to our parents," Sandy said. "If there's anyone that can stay alive and help us in this madhouse, it's them."

    Wyatt had remembered the warmth he had felt whenever he visited Darren and Sandy. Both the latter's father Ferris Fawl and the kind-hearted Katherina Waters treated him as if he was their own. He now guessed it was a side result from their newly formed family being two halves before they came to Rapture...

    "Okay, so where are they?" Wyatt asked.

    "Far, far away," Sandy said.

    "Hello, come in, is anybody there?" a voice said as Sandy picked up the service radio on her improvised belt.

    "What is it Sally?" Sandy said.

    "Trouble, get back to our position, they've found us," Sally said.

    Quickly the group rushed back to the station where they had left the Atlantic Express. As they stormed in, they saw several men and women hitting the cars with whatever weapon they had at hand.

    "Give us the ADAM! Join Atlas or die!" the splicers yelled.

    They were dressed in rags and handy-downs. Insanity hadn't come to them yet, but they were still threatening to kill Sally, Claire and the others if they didn't give up the ADAM. If they did, they'd be dead soon anyway.

    "Back away slowly from those doors, boys," Adelaide said as she aimed for the instigators' leader's head.

    "You one of Ryan's guys? You haven't got a chance," the leader said even though Adelaide was looking like she'd be very much pleased to shut him up. And very able to.

    "Welcome to the Central Atlantic Express Station," the intercom said.

    "Nope, we're not," Charlie said.

    "So you're on our side?" the leader said.

    "Neither," Sandy responded.

    The leader listened to her answer and was dumbstruck. As he stroke his beard and his blue eyes glistened, he thought for a moment as his henchmen looked at him for orders.

    "How the hell can you be on either side? You have to be against Ryan's tyranny and if you're not, you're against us poor folk. I can tell from your torn but high quality clothes. Good chance my wife made it before Ryan sentenced her to death," he said.

    "We want to survive instead of slaughtering innocent people," Sandy said.

    "Even those fascists? No matter where you stand, we still need plasmids and gene tonics besides Sinclair's Sauce to make every friend of Atlas strong," the leader said, "So you don't leave us any choice. Get them!"

    "That's it," Adelaide said and before Sandy could intervene, she pulled her trigger and the bullet embedded itself in the leader's skull.

    He glanced briefly to her as he was clearly still thinking.

    "Hard head, perfect for any opposing combat pragmatist," he said tapping his spliced up head as around him his little army rushed at them with hands of fire and weapons of cold hard steel.

    "Did the radio get it all through?" Darren said as he glanced down to the service radio Sandy had nicked from the train.

    "Guess we're about to find out," Sandy said as she reached out and froze one attacker after the other.

    Eddie gladly set fire to them as he clubbed around with his bare fists and even Buck and Ernie joined along. Adelaide had relied on her revolver but now that 'hard head' gene tonic made it worthless, she couldn't decide what to do.

    "Addie, look out!" Darren said as he struck a woman that had been willing to strike her with a pipe ripped straight from the wall before Darren kicked the splicer over unto the floor. There was something strange going on with her face and it wasn't his footprint on her that gave him the weird impression.

    "Thanks Darren, I guess I... will need an upgrade to deal with these people," Adelaide said.

    "Death to the parasites!" it sounded as splicers, only distinguished by their battle cries as opposed to the other side's, rushed in as Ryan had commanded them following the 'tap transmission' Sandy had made.

    "Quick, while they're distracted," Sandy said as they rushed on board with nobody noticing. Before any of the hungry splicers realised what was going on, the cars had already dived into the water as they sped along to their eerie new destination.

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    Chapter XII: Old enough to do drugs


    "I don't want to go outside. I think nobody here wants to go outside," Adelaide said.

    "We can't keep in here for any longer. We've been splicing moderately as far as anyone knows, but how long is that gonna last?" Wyatt said.

    "Do you want to open that door and get your head ripped off by some splicer, be my guest. But close it after you so we can lock it tightly, if you will," Adelaide said.


    1947


    "My name's Adelaide Finn or Addie. I used to get any toy I wanted on the surface. My dad's succesful company made our lives so easy, I never went hungry and I owned several ponies before I could ever have ridden one. Then, something went bad, he told my mother. Soon we had to sell those ponies and I cried stupidly as if that was the most important part. Then we had to sell our house and everything in it followed. We came here searching for a better life but we haven't found it yet," the young Addie said as she had her knees up to her chin. Her beautiful dark pink dress was flawless if only for one single smudge. "Even though this is my only dress, I like it a lot. So please don't stain it. It's all I've got. And family."

    "Adelaide... This time we can fight back, we're stronger than before. And we need food," Wyatt said as he gestured to the others. Through the tears in their clothing their ribs started to show.

    "Then let's get the strongest ones to go find some food and bring it back. Contact us on the Service Radio when you're in trouble?" Claire said.

    Adelaide turned to face her.

    "Reyes, that's exactly the smartest thing I've heard you say... ever," Addie said.

    "I'll go," Sandy said.

    "Me too," Darren said as he went to stand alongside her.

    Buck and Ernie did the same as they glanced at Eddie. He quickly gave in to their glares and so Wyatt said: "Well, I guess I got my suicide squad together."

    Together the 'squad' cleared the door and Wyatt opened it. As soon as they went through, Adelaide closed it and ordered Sally to put the barricades back into place with her Telekinesis.

    "She only acts tough on the outside, doesn't she?" Sandy said to Wyatt. He nodded.

    Darren looked up at the sign above the entrance to the district that laid before them. Whatever was on it before now had been scribbled over with a cryptic name.

    "Siren Alley?" he said curious. "Never heard of it."

    "Sounds suspicious," Wyatt said as they went on their way.

    They crossed many corridors, some of which seemed to be in a dangerously unstabile state, ready to break at a moment's notice if only more cracks were to appear in the reinforced glass. They quickly continued on as they came to a bulkhead. After Wyatt fiddled around with the mechanism for a while, he got it to open and they stepped through.

    Sandy looked on as they oversaw the entire district. However, she didn't know this place as the creepy sounding Siren Alley, but as...

    "Galatea's Heart," she said.

    Darren looked around and although many buildings had been converted for more vile purposes, he still recognized them.

    "The shopping malls, the mason's district of Rapture. It was all here once," he said. "But now... None of that seems to remain."

    "Well then what do they do now? Is it safe here or did the war ravage this place?" Eddie asked.

    Ernie wanted to answer that it wasn't the war, when they suddenly heard people talking.

    "Come on baby, we should be able to work something out," a raspy male voice said as he rounded the corner.

    He and a woman in scarce clothing were walking by on a ledge on the central former shopping mall and were discussing something.

    "You know my price boy, no more no less for all of this," the woman said as she gestured for her attractive lines, although they were only a shadow of her former self, an actrice looking to hit it big in Rapture.

    "In the Rapture Family every woman owns every other man a sense of unity and brotherhood. We should join as one," the man said. "So, can you give me a discount?"

    "Ha! Go to the Pink Pearl if you want a discount, on your head," the woman said as she moved along.

    "W-wait, I got some left at my place," the man said as he followed after her.

    "If they've passed, we go to that Vending Machine over there. You got those extra discount tonics Wyatt?" Sandy asked.

    "You bet. Thrifty Hacker, Vending Expert 1 and 2, this stuff could've seriously undermined some businesses. No wonder it was in the confiscated safe. Took me a few minutes to drill through," Wyatt said.

    "Okay, they're gone, let's go," Darren said as they rushed to the machine checking their corners as they went.

    "This used to be such a beautiful place, but that was years ago. The Pearl... we stayed there once, but what they use it now for is..." Sandy said.

    "Got it," Wyatt said as he gestured to Eddie to keep the food bags ready. They probably needed some fresh water as well.


    "I wonder if we shouldn't join a larger force," Adelaide mused.

    "How do you say that?" Sally said uneasy.

    "Well, we're now targeted by pretty much everyone because of the ADAM we have. We know full well Ryan's days over and he's corrupt as hell. Maybe we can't trust Atlas either, but at least he helps the suckers wo got into this mess. Which is us namely," Adelaide said.

    "I don't know. Who says they won't betray us when we become stronger and smarter than them? What if one of those splicers turns insane and decides to kill us in our bunks?" Sally said.

    "Not if we're a secluded elite team," Adelaide said.

    "It'll be a long time before we come close to being something like that," Claire said as Adelaide gave her her trademark glare.

    "Easy to say for someone who spliced Sandy against her will, but remains pure and ugly herself," Adelaide said.

    "So do you, so... shut up!" Claire said as she went to sit on the other side of the train with what was left of her friends.

    "Not on the inside," Adelaide called after her.

    "If Mandy had spliced, would she have survived?" Sally's friend Allie said. "What if she had a Telekinesis like you and I, would she've been able to stop that turret?"

    "I... I don't know," Sally said.

    "I know I don't deserve ADAM," Charlie said. "I'm worth nothing, only getting dragged along because Sandy doesn't allow Adelaide to ditch me. No splicer will come for me to end it. So I'm gonna have to go to Ryan's office and end it myself."

    "But where're you gonna get the punch?" Claire whispered. "Many splicers have failed to even get to his office in Hephaestus, near the core that protects him. How're you gonna get to him and kill him?"

    "I'll find a way," Charlie said. "Maybe I'll even prove I'm worthy of genetic powers before I get there. Before we all get there. Eventually he'll be the one that stands in between us. And freedom."

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    Chapter XIII: The truth we teach, the knowledge we reap and salvage


    "We have returned with food and beverages. Open up," Wyatt said as he pounded on the doors of the cart.

    "How do I know it's you," Adelaide said.

    "Oh come on seriously, who else uses the word beverages in a time like this. Fine, Why-why would would you you please let us in-in, kind lady?" Wyatt said.

    There was a silence. Then something was moved and the door was opened and the suicide squad was kindly let in.

    As they passed around the supplies and everyone attacked the crackers like they hadn't eaten in days, which was sadly very true, Sandy pondered as to what they should do. They had to get her parents, she was convinced it was the only way out.

    We'll meet beyond the shore
    we'll kiss just as before


    "I'm sorry, I'll turn it off," Wyatt said as he walked to the train's radio system.

    "No no, let it play. I want to hear it," Sandy said as she closed her eyes and listened.

    Happy we'll be beyond the sea
    and never again I'll go sailin'

    I know beyond a doubt
    my heart will lead me there soon
    We'll meet (I know we'll meet) beyond the shore
    We'll kiss just as before
    Happy we'll be beyond the sea
    and never again I'll go sailin'

    no more sailin'
    so long sailin'
    bye bye sailin'...
    move on out captain


    The others, even Claire and Eddie, took a moment to not say anything and just hear it play. The owner of the Atlantic Express must've had a real sweet taste for music. Nothing to flashy, although Sandy's opinion wasn't the golden standard, naturally.

    Somehow, over the next few days none of Ryan's or Atlas' men and women came after them. This wasn't their territory for some very good reason. All their peace and quiet couldn't possibly last though, could it?

    It was the last day and the last few bottles were left. Claire had adamantly refused to take any of it and so the group turned to someone who they'd denied any ADAM of any sort upto now: Charlie Dawkins.

    "You can have those," Sandy said and Adelaide turned to look and nodded accordingly.

    "Use it well, Charlie," Adelaide said.

    Charlie could only look at the others and had a dual feeling. On one hand, they finally trusted him. On the other hand, they encouraged him to become less human. Would he ever be able to face Ryan as anything less than a man. He could very well kill him with these tonics, but would it be much of a victory. Father...

    Wyatt turned to Sandy and the others as he said: "Since we'll be no longer dependent on this mode of transportation as soon as the last of our stuff goes into us, we should try out other, less predictable travelling roads to get to Mister Fawl and Misses Waters. Sandy of course will lead the way. So if Dionysus Park is followed we should head on over to the next district. Galatea's Heart up ahead, now named Siren Alley raises my hear simply speaking about it."

    "Well let's go then," Adelaide said.

    Warily they stalked the corridors as Charlie followed with a backpack of the last plasmids and gene tonics. He couldn't gobble it up in one go he said, so he brought it along. His Winter Blast would keep any ADAM-smelling attackers at bay, he'd added.

    "Wait so according to this plan of emergency plans, you won't to go around and go there? Why?" Wyatt asked.

    "The further away from Olympus Heights the better. That's all for now," Sandy said.

    Wyatt turned to Darren.

    "Darren, what's up with her? We can't possibly be going the right way like this," Wyatt whispered.

    "Like she said to me before, we don't have a choice," Darren said.

    "But that place..." Wyatt said.

    "I know," Darren said.

    "If we go through here we can take the tram to..." Sandy said as a light appeared in the corner of her eye.

    A tram, or what was lef of it, was turned on its side being perpetually lit on fire with oil slicks running the entire length to their destination. What had happened here...

    "New disciples to add to her Great Flock, seize them and get the holy relic, the supply of ADAM and EVE!" a man said as he crawled to the top of the rounded ceiling. He wore the questionable suit of a priest and eyed them pointing one of his greasy meat hooks that shimmered in the heat they gave off. Soon, many splicers appeared behind them, eager to oblige the man's request.

    "Who the hell is that?" Eddie said as the group started to run to the other side.

    "I've got a feeling we're about to find out," Darren said as he threw a thunderbolt at the fake priest before one of the splicers jumped up and took the hit, dropping dead on the floor. Darren's eyes widened.

    "This but a sacrificial lamb," said the priest. "The disciples of Father Wales are with many, so is this the Rapture family. You may kill one of us, thousands of us, but you can never kill the Family!"

    "If I punch those poof's brains out I'll do the same to yours," Eddie said. As always when it came to senseless violence, he was all game.

    "I'll join you for the offense, Darren," Wyatt said as he struck out with a thunderbolt of his own striking a splicer as Ernie and Eddie moved to whack the paralysed ones quickly down and Adelaide aimed for Father Wales' head. She shot and instantly a red blur appeared in front of the fake priest as the splicer appeared out of nowhere and took the bullet.

    "But it's no use, you'll never get him if his... slaves keep doing that," Sally said.

    "I'd like to see which one runs down first," Adelaide said. "I got plenty of bullets."

    Sally hesitated for a moment, looked to her friend Allie, before she twisted her hand into a strange shape as it seemed to amplify her abilities when she held it like that. She targeted a pipe a splicer had dropped, pulled it towards her then fired. It drilled right through a woman's head.

    "What have I done," Sally said.

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    Chapter XIV: Sacrificial lamb


    "Brilliant shot, Sally," Adelaide said.

    "Take the ADAM, spread it amongst ourselves, listen to the way of the Lamb," Father Wales commanded.

    "Charlie, I regret asking you this but..." Sandy said as Claire screamed and fell to her knees.

    "I admit it, I admit it! I have a fund of ADAM with me, just in case. My father gave it to me but I never wanted to use it. And now they've come once again, because of that atrocious smell. My perfume wore off," Claire said as she sobbed.

    "You had a big sum of ADAM... all this time?" Wyatt said dumbstruck. How did he not notice...

    "I already knew, ha," Eddie yelled as he punched a splicer out cold. He snapped his finger to an oncoming, screaming splicer in a cocktail dress that went completely silent as she just stood there, covered in flames. Her eyes were as glassy as Father Wales'. Just, simply devotion. Nothing else.

    "They want her? They can have her! She's been nothing but misery to us and now as it turns out, she made it so very willingly. This is suicide Sandy and you know it," Adelaide said as she fired again, very close to Claire's head. The splicer fell on the floor as it blackened and the fires ran out of 'organic' fuel.

    "Wales and Wales will build the new world!" Father Wales cackled.

    "We can't wait, we have to leave!" Wyatt said as he ran to the bulkhead of the next door. If he had to, he would flood the whole damn place to take that manic priest and his believers with it.

    "Go go go!" Eddie said as he picked up Claire, having been frozen in place as she panicked and Ernie and Buck quickly following him.

    They slid under the bulkhead as it opened ever so slightly and the others crawled underneath it.

    "Charlie, come on, forget about the backpack!" Sandy yelled as she held out her hand.

    "I... I..." Charlie said as he looked back at the rabid splicers. One of them, it could be him, it could be...

    "Sandy, I can't hold this door, even Darren's EVE is coming to an end, we don't have enough hypo's!" Wyatt said as he struck the bulkhead with another Electrobolt. That wouldn't hold for long. Not long at all.

    "Charlie!" Sandy said, "I'm not leaving you here. Even if this thing crushes my hand, I'm not leaving you out to die!"

    Charlie shook his head as the bulkhead caved.

    It closed as the splicers banged on the hard metal, with not a bulge in it. They were safe. Darren stood up as he and Sandy pulled Charlie up, as he let his head hang. He'd survived, they had telekinetically pulled in his leftovers, his ADAM curse. For what? They all knew he was going to die soon with the cowardice he had shown.

    "You're... a friend and we'll help you take Ryan down if he stands in our way. With these gifts, though they can twist and turn us into monsters, we will survive," Sandy said.

    "You don't get it, do you?" Charlie said. "The reason you can bet I want to destroy Ryan unlike my parents who supported him no matter what is because... They spliced themselves untill they could have no more. Under Ryan's orders, who stays squeaky clean. The bastard."

    Sandy looked at her hand as the snowy white exterior had devolved into spikes of ice leaving red rings as they seemed to protrude from the skin. Had Claire through her forced splicing made her question her beliefs of what made a person a person? She always tried to spare the splicers if they gave her the chance, but hadn't hesitated to kill those Alpha's as their faces had been hidden beneath their helmeted masks. A rumor had went around that one of those things that had lost its Little Sister had kneeled down before a Gatherer's Garden... and cried untill he had to be removed, for the customers looking to buy a Real-Tan and that were disgusted with the shrivelling tin man.

    "Can we call ourselves people anymore? Aren't we just... splicers now?" Sandy said out loud.

    The others bowed their heads.

    "Yes you are and here's your poison. Do with it what you want," Claire said.

    "Why, who has come to view my home?" a strange voice echoed through the intercom.

    The place they had come to was Fort Frolic. There was no mistaking it: Sander Cohen had welcomed them, the famous playwright, performer, artist... He was basically anything you could think of when you saw the posters and collections featuring his art all throughout Rapture. He wouldn't be too happy if he saw what the splicers had done to some of it.

    "Come closer, little moths, come into my home. Come into... the Fleet Hall," Cohen said.

    As the group approached the octagonal space, the atrium or heart of the 'fort', they looked around for the man himself. Rumors had been going around that he had closed Fort Frolic and nobody had seen him since then. So he lived all the way over here, alone or so they at least thought. All the shops had been closed down and food had been rotting behind the glass. It smelled like a mausoleum for lonely artists.

    Claire in the meanwhile felt so much lighter without the belt of bottles she had worn underneath her dress and went to stand in the light as she gazed upon the place her father had taken her to with her mother and remembered it in all its glory. She pulled her shoe with her other foot and held up her hands high as she closed her eyes. Sandy stood and watched as she held the wretched ADAM. How could she be so naďve?

    The young woman, not yet close to being 19, turned on her toes as she twirled around in a graceful pirouette as a spot shone on her and a figure in the shadows looked on, intrigued.

    "She's perfect, don't you think so Martin?" the figure said.

    Claire looked up to see Sander Cohen appearing from the shadows.

    "You really think so?" she asked.

    "Absolutely," Cohen said as he disappeared into the shadows only to come walking down the grand stairs with an assistant of his wearing a beaked mask, so Claire presumed. "You would be perfect for my new show. We have to rehearse at once."

    "Will you make a star out of me?" Claire said as her eyes lit up like the flames of candles in the dim moonlight.

    It had been so long since anyone had actually seen the moon or its light.

    "I will make you The Star, my girl," Sander assured her. "Right along with young, strong Finnegan here of course."

    Martin Finnegan seemed to be rather rigid as Sander couldn't quite get to move him about.

    "Always uptight when new people arrive," Sander said. "Don't mind him, he'll perform excellently."

    Both Ernie and Eddie raised an eye at the statement.

    "You may all stay to watch your friend perform on stage, naturally," Sander said.

    "Thank you, but we best have to be going now," Wyatt said before Cohen grabbed him by the shoulder.

    "Oh, but I insist. Besides, in here you are safe for the war. Have you ever seen Happy Chappy? You simply must, I'm very proud of it, although I'm a bit short in actors right now," Cohen said. "No matter, Bedtime Surprise will be even better."

  15. #15
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    Chapter XV: The innocent youth


    She jumped over the stage as if she was one with it. Flying through the air like a gazelle on a cloud, Claire Reyes did what she was born to do: dance. Martin Finnegan, Cohen's personal disciple, followed close by as his face was contorted in a permanent scowl. Was it part of their role or was he just eternally raging about something? Whatever the cause, the twosome chased each other across the stage as Sander Cohen and the group looked on.

    "Beautiful, isn't he? And she, yes, she is simply perfect," Cohen said. "This is only a small taste of what you will witness when we've nailed perfection."

    They'd been there for a few days, just watching Claire's 'rise to stardom' as Mr. Cohen had provided them with anything they wanted. No one except what was left of Claire's once loyal and amply breathing supporters, wanted anything to do with her, the last 'human' of the group. That word, along with 'humanity' had disappeared from their vocabulary entirely and had been replaced with 'Splicer' and 'Splicerkind'.

    They didn't want to stick around, even if no 'fellow' Splicers had appeared out of thin air to cut their throats, because somehow seeing Claire revelling in this dream of a production, or this production of a dream repulsed them and frightened them more than the harsh reality out there they had come to know and respect.

    After Wyatt had approached Mr. Cohen, he'd granted the group permission to visit Poseidon Plaza, though he warned them there would be Splicers there that he wouldn't permit any access to the atrium, "those psychopaths," he'd said. Wyatt said he couldn't blame him, while leaving out the fact how spliced up they already were, probably.

    Martin, with that same empty look on his face, escorted them through the freezer and bided them farewell at the entrance to the plaza.

    "Good luck," he whispered snidely.

    As the bulkhead closed, the group looked on at the largely intact two-floored complex of shops and places of entertainment.

    "Poseidon Plaza, the place to gamble and frolic in Rapture!" Wyatt exclaimed as he turned around his arms spread wide. "Or was that the whole Fort's motto, I can't recall."

    He gestured to the others to just look at all of it and think what their parents were doing here when they 'visited' the 'commodities'.

    "Let me guess, Eddie, you want to pull the handle on the gambling machines? Or maybe you want to make a visit to the exotic dance venue? Too bad, they're all dead, insane or both," Wyatt said.

    "I guess you don't take Claire's insults of 'monsters' and the like as well as I do," Eddie said as he distanced himself from Wyatt. "I don't really care actually."

    "Well, what now, Wyatt?" Sandy said as she oh so subtly tried to change the subject. "If I remember it correctly, this place is a dead end. Is Mr. Cohen really expecting us to just loiter around here, waiting for his masterpiece? There's a war going on there whether he likes it or not."

    "Cohen!" a voice echoed.

    "****, splicers! Everyone, get ready," Wyatt shouted.

    "He locked you in here, along with me and all of us here. Don't be afraid and come 'up'," the voice went on. "Hector, Hector. Are you still with me?"

    "Leave me alone, bottle number 46. I want my drink now..." 'Hector' said.

    "Damn alcoholic, that stuff will run out you now. Rapture Dollar's useless now," the voice muttered.

    "Okay... Who the hell are you people?" Sally said, quite uncharacteristically.

    Claire exhaled slowly as she leaned back with Martin holding onto her and laying her to bed as if she was floating. The spotlight reflected on her soft light skin as the make-up made it glisten and shine.

    "We got plenty of weapons and plasmids to take you all on, dirtbag. Why don't you show yourself in the light?" Adelaide said as Sally wondered how people bring themselves to work someone up like that. What if that voice called their bluff and nuked them all?

    "Oh I get it, Cohen said there were insane, isolated splicers in here that would kill you right away if you weren't careful. Well, that's true," the voice said. "I'm Silas ****ing Cobb!"

    "Better be splicing up now Charlie," Adelaide said as Sandy turned to her, shocked. "What? You weren't going to say it, might as well been me to talk him into tactical non-suicide."

    "Fine. Cover me," Charlie muttered as everyone went to stand in front of him. They heard movement on the second floor. That was more than one pair of feet.

    "See?" the man said as he walked down the stairs and a spot curiously followed him. His deep brown eyes drilled holes in the group's heads as they stared back. "No guns. Not even my trusted cocktails. I might be loosing my mind in this tight space and whatever substances keep me and my kittens calm, but I'm still smart enough to recognize like-minded people."

    "Yeah sure," Darren said as all of them slowly backed away, "Why should we believe you? And we're far from like-minded, buddy. We're staying here untill we've seen Bedtime Surprise and then we can go. We were safe there, that's all I can say."

    Darren turned to Sandy as he said that.

    "Fine, keep your plasmids ready. Kitten, the pointy one if you will," Silas yelled up as a wooden device fell down into his hands.

    Immediately Sandy readied her ice-white arm and Adelaide her revolver as they both aimed for his hand.

    "Don't play any tricks now," Adelaide said as she pulled up her lip.

    "Tele-summon this thingy if you're so paranoid, missy," Silas said as he laid the crossbow, locked and loaded, on his palms as if it were a silver platter.

    Everyone looked to Sally as she drew the thing through the air with her hands and it hovered along untill it came to rest in her tight grip. What in heaven's name was happening? A 'pointy' weapon in her hands?

    "What's this about? You're supplying us? You think we're gonna take down Cohen? Why'd you think that?" Adelaide said as she turned back to Silas.

    "Because," the man said as he coughed, "I'll come find you and take your things and drag off your surviving youths when you find out too late."

    He put on a curious mask resembling a red and green parrot with a sharp yellow beak as he kept coughing.

    "Or my kittens will," he added before he walked up the stairs and disappeared into the shadows.

    "What about some service around here, Poseidon's finest?" 'Hector' the drunk said.

    "He's lying," Adelaide said.

  16. #16
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    PG-17 with great certainty.


    Chapter XVI: Bedtime Surprise


    'Why is it that civilized humanity
    Can make the world so wrong ?
    In this hurly-burly of insanity
    Our dreams cannot last long.

    We've reached a deadline,
    A press headline,
    Every sorrow.
    Blues value
    Is news value
    Tomorrow.

    Why,
    If there's a God in the sky,
    Why shouldn't He grin
    High
    Above this dreary
    Twentieth century din ?

    In this strange illusion,
    Chaos and confusion,
    People seem to lose their way.
    What is there to strive for,
    Love or keep alive for,
    Say, 'Hey, hey!'
    Call it a day ?'
    -sung by a Coward

    "Thank you, Claire. You enabled us to turn ourselves into complete monsters. That will survive this cesspool," Wyatt said as he loaded the ADAM into the Gatherer's Garden and pulled out a gene tonic.

    The murky liquid shimmered in its bottle. What he wouldn't give...

    "So, you're ready to escape? I wonder if Cohen's really as dangerous as that Silas figure said. Or if he's the dangerous one. Or if they're both bat**** insane," Adelaide said as she pun the cilinder on her revolver.

    "Who knows," Wyatt said as he stared at the gene tonic. "You sure you don't want some?"

    "I'm fine with my Sportboost. Never thought I'd say it though, I'm beginning to doubt my revolver will keep me safe for long," Adelaide said. "Eventually I'll splice some more, no qualms about that. Just don't know if people should bother."

    "You're quite the sunshine aren't you?" Wyatt said.

    Sandy, Darren and the others had geared up the last of their supplies and came to join Wyatt. Finally, they were ready.

    "Okay, here goes," Wyatt said as he sucked up the gene tonic liquid, put the needle on his arm and finally, injected the stuff as he cringed. Hell, he was getting used to it.

    He immediately started working on the bulkhead. It had been locked tight since their arrival and it been so before without doubt. Only at the whims of Cohen it would budge. Well, not if Wyatt had anything to say about it. His hand seemed to flicker as it delved into the mechanism. Even he didn't quite know how much it shaped when he was hacking something, all he cared about was getting the job done. As expected he was encountering some minor difficulties.

    Hours later, he'd made no progress at all and Sandy and Darren in particular were baffled at his lack of it. He was without a doubt a whiz and with all the tonics he'd been injecting...

    "Okay, I'm giving it one last, crazy shot. I'm telling you now though, there's no way in hell this door is moving anywhere soon," Wyatt said.

    Then a small backdoor opened a few meters away. The group looked on, curious.

    "Well, I did say this door wasn't going to move," Wyatt said as his amazement about the other door opening showed he had nothing to do with it.

    "Come in, Claire's friends," Sander said. "Don't be afraid."

    "Great, are we getting called that now," Adelaide muttered under her breath.

    "Come through, the emergency tunnel is open for you and only you, Claire's friends. Leave those worshippers of insanity behind, if you would," Sander said.

    "Cohen, you f..." Silas said as he stepped out of the shadows before Darren quickly muffled him.

    Silas nodded that he'd regained his composure and saluted the group or 'Claire's friends' as Cohen had called them and wished them the best of luck. He'd told them on every thinkable occasion that they'd need it, before bursting in a crass laughter and walking of, his 'kittens' following. Not even Eddie ever dared to check whether those things were still human inside. They looked human and not like cats, but it was just their morbid appearance even in the shadows.

    Through the dark of the emergency tunnel, seldomly lit by red bleak lights, they progressed as the doors had slammed shut behind them. Absently Sally pulled back Silas' crossbow's mechanism as she was still getting accustomed to using it. She'd offered it to Adelaide but she had refused quite bluntly, preferring to keep to her lone revolver.

    Guided by Sander's voice they came to sit atop his most treasured balcony as they looked onto the podium. The man himself was waiting there and insisted Eddie sit besides him. After sitting there quietly for a moment surrounded by the group, he suddenly stood up and said: "The role of the man shall now be filled in by Kyle Fitzpatrick, give him a hand folks."

    The group clapped quietly, then yet louder and louder as Sander encouraged them. What had happened to... that Martin guy?

    "Martin Finnegan had creative differences and his career has been put on hold. Now, the premiere of... Bedtime Surprise," Sander Cohen said proudly. It had been many weeks of practice, as he kept not only his actors from leaving, but locking up his test audience in the plaza behind a meat locker.

    The spots flashed across the podium as they slowly started focusing on the beautiful girl wearing a dazzling white dress, that literally shimmered in the spotlight as she darted across the stage. She looked happy, that was for sure, Eddie reassured himself. That was all that mattered.

    She was joined by a man, which somewhat darkened Eddie's eternal scowl. He shook his head as he looked on in amazement as Claire and Kyle danced together. Sander looked pleased as well. Claire's golden hair swayed through the air as it draped itself over her shoulders and her chest, before she shook it in front of her face and Kyle wiped it aside to give her a gentle kiss on the cheek. The others had tried to decipher from the folder what the play was about, beside the grace of its actors. This being Cohen's latest work after the war which he steadfastly denied acknowledging, the short summation was quite surreal. Honestly they didn't know what was happening. With Claire showing her talent her rich girl, backstabbing spoiled brat facade seemed to fade for only a few moments and they admired the perfection she'd attained. She too thought of that near-perfection she'd been stranded with before she came to Cohen.

    Every time she turned on her toes, she heard Cohen's voice echo: "No, again!" and she silently obliged, trying harder every time. But... "Trying is not enough! You have to really want it!" Cohen had yelled from his private booth, seemingly noticing any flaw with masterful vision, both ways. "I'm trying daddy, I'm trying!" she'd yelled. Now she yelled so though with played tears, so the others thought. Even when she had nearly attained Sander's level of perfection, he'd proposed to incorporate the subplot, fleetingly mentioned in random, artistically surreal outburts, into the play. And so, the subplot vanished again as the story or 'happening' went on.

    "Daddy's little girl," she whispered to Kyle, whose impressions of anything she had to say remained obscured behind his mask. Even her in totality as the actress he worked so closely with... He just stood there quietly when Sander berated someone, whether it was him or Claire. But undeniably, he was a professional who surprised the group with his performance.

    A stage machine operated seemingly by Sander's command, placed a sheeted bed on the stage as all the lights went out safe for the big spotlight fixed on the bed. Darren, Wyatt, Sandy, pretty much everyone blinked as they saw Kyle and Claire stepped into the light and said goodnight to each other. She laid down and he left. Should they clap? Sandy wondered.

    Then, Kyle came back, still wearing the red and green bird mask he'd worn throughout the play and identical to Martin Finnegan's. Claire's character had been fast asleep and she didn't notice Kyle coming closer. Sander looked on as he saw his greatest visions realised. In his head, he already began shaping strange tones following the other, as a musical masterpiece started to unfold. Yes, yes, this was a perfect piano piece of the gods. If only he could make it reality. Then the war... No it doesn't exist! He thought he lost it for a while there, now for the most important scene of all, now for real. A premier for everybody present.

    As Kyle tapped Claire's shoulder, she 'awoke' and looked him in the eye, bewildered with him being in her house after she had a dream of her. So Sandy did speculate, since not many dialogue had been spoken in the past hour. She looked on and wait. This couldn't be, what was happening...

    Strictly methodically Kyle came closer and laid back the white folds of the actress' dress, as he saw it in his mind. Visibly, she gasped as they kissed, ever more passionately. They laid both of themselves to rest as her blonde hair flowed over the pillow as she looked at the blackness of the theater's ceiling. So this is how it feels.

    "Mister Cohen, this has to stop, this goes to far," Eddie said exasperated.

    "Topside talk, my dear fellow," as Cohen patted his leg. "Down here, the artist shall not fear the censor. Ryan knew what he was saying. And yet... Anyway, enjoy the show."

    "Mister Cohen, I must object. Is this really necessary? Isn't symbolism more..." Wyatt began but Cohen immediately cut in.

    "It will be like this, like the actors have agreed. They are now part of my great art. Perhaps not my greatest, it's awfully uneasy, but a premiere is never perfect," Mr. Cohen said.

    They could do nothing but try to look away. They couldn't leave or be caught by this explicit playwright to be disapproving of his work, doubting it. Not yet. They had to get Claire out of here, if only if everybody started to realise to what lengths Eddie would go when he started to think things through. They'd seen as much in the weeks Claire was rehearsing and they were preparing to break out. Sitting through this just became the least of their problems.

  17. #17
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    Chapter XVII: The last of mankind, Addie and Claire


    And then there was no ending. Well, Cohen did suddenly invite them to the snack bar for a treat and had no intention of returning as he congratulated Claire and Kyle with their performance and a job well done. But why it had ended and in what way, completely alluded them. The group's bewilderment only fueled Sander's thought of a never-ending stroke of genius.

    Wyatt put on his straightest face and his sharpest wit in his eyes and said as he shook Sander's hand: "Well, Mr. Cohen, I must say you've produced quite the masterpiece. I do however think that we shouldn't take any places of a soon crowded theater as I'm sure everyone must see 'Bedtime surprise'. Even more, we must spread the word about it at once. How should we proceed?"

    That certainly was a mouthful.

    Somewhere in Sander's mind he tried to push away the thought of the war annoyingly getting in the way of his play ever being performed for a full room. Well, filled with alive people. He visibly struggled. The moment he'd snap, all promise of ever getting out of this rat cage were lost. He'd dabbled in quite the hacking to make the fort answer to his every whim, which with them still here, also included them as his personal puppets. Eddie gestured towards Claire that he'd do anything to take her with him. Absolutely everything.

    A loose cannon that just got looser. Why is everything so perfectly great today?

    It happened as fast as the term implies. Before the group's eyes, Sander Cohen was flash frozen. That impulsive... Sandy?

    "Don't kill him. I'd be mad too if... So, Wyatt, just fix the doors before he thaws and we can get out of here. Eddie, take Claire," Sandy said.

    Eddie stretched out his arm at her as it was stopped by someone. Wyatt quickly past by, thankful for the distraction, as Kyle Fizpatrick, never taking off his mask it seemed, just stood there, without an expression to betray his intentions.

    "Not so fast, brawn. Cohen needs her for the production. Hard to find and break in a new horse and old that," Kyle said as Eddie remembered what he had taken from her, like a machine doing its designed job, in the name of so-called Rapturian art.

    "Rrrraaaaaaaaaah!" Eddie roared as he grabbed hold of Kyle as well and bashed his head in.

    Wyatt rushed upstairs to Cohen's personal cabinet. The switches had to be here somewhere, then rewire...

    "I'll go see if Wyatt needs help," Sally said as she ran up the stairs.

    "We gotta move toward the atrium if we want to make a quick escape. Sally will take care of Wyatt's getaway, I'm sure," Adelaide said.

    "Okay, let me just refr..." Sandy said as she turned around. Cohen was gone and he couldn't have run this fast to escape their view.


    "You need help?" Sally said. "I got Scout and Telekinesis."

    "I don't think that could cover this. This guy... is a freakin' Mozart with his dummies, password encryptions... It's like defusing a freakin' bomb," Wyatt said. "I'm not a bomb kinda guy."

    "Light the stage!" Cohen yelled as a fireball whizzed past the two young adults and they dived out of the way.

    What was this guitar doing here?

    "Well I must say you've been quite smooth at hiding your true feelings, but I know you're all DOUBTERS!" Cohen said as he threw a punch.

    Wyatt immediately zapped him followed by a knock over the head with his flashlight. That didn't stopped the artist, who had now definitely lost it as he threw away all finesse and resorted to jumping on Wyatt and wrestling him into near-submission as they kept rolling over the floor.


    "Give, Claire, back!" Eddie said as he punctuated each word with one hell of a right punch.

    "Didn't quite expect this but... here goes," Darren said as he squeezed in a strange green ball in his hand.

    He threw it smack in the middle of Kyle's eyes as he stumbled back and fell to the floor. Green vapors started to form around here.

    "Did you... kill him?" Sandy asked shaking.

    "No..." Darren said as Kyle slowly rose up from the ground.

    "Help me, please," he said. "If I wasn't this cold, I'd be sent to cool off like Finnegan. My god, what that man had us do..."

    "Hypnotize 2. I finally found a plasmid to keep you safe, Sandy," Darren said as he looked at the strangely friendly Fitzpatrick, responding to his every move with a delighted nod. A sentient slave to his thoughts.

    "Why aren't the doors opening?" Adelaide said. "Cohen."

    "We gotta go get him. Without him succeeding, none of us is getting out of here alive," Darren said.

    "Claire, are you alright?" Eddie asked her.

    He didn't wait for an answer and held her tightly. He hugged her so close that neither could let go.

    "Can you handle him? Can I hack if you direct me?" Sally said as she looked around.

    "I'm a hacker, not a fighter, Sally," Wyatt said as he pumped Sander full of electricity, who wouldn't budge, transferring the shock to Wyatt right back.

    "Okay," Sally said, pulled the guitar through the air and smashed Cohen over the head with it. He was unconscious, but still breathing as it quickly turned out. That ****er had been insanely splicing himself.

    "Hack him, before he pulls another trick," Sally said as Wyatt got to work.

    "Someday we have to find the tonic those freaks use," Addie said as she walked through the door, the others following close behind.

    Kyle still followed Darren around like a puppy. A very cold-hearted, very sick puppy. Just like his loving master. Cohen, that is.

    "Can you hack it?" Sandy asked again.

    "I can, but we need to lock this madman up before he wakes up and we gotta fight through all this again," Wyatt said.


    "That's the bulkhead opening... and there's Wyatt now," Darren said.

    "Okay people, let's go!" Addie said as she spurred the rest of the group in action.

    Suddenly, somehow, Darren felt weaker. He looked behind him and saw Kyle shaking his head before his hand began to shine red hot, readying.

    "Darren, let's go!" Sandy yelled as she pulled his arm along and Wyatt disabled the bulkhead's controls and it came crashing down.

    Some people can't be saved.

    In the end, we don't get saved. We just survive.

  18. #18
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    Oh boy, it's catching up to me. Better start that new arc I've been working on


    Chapter XVIII: There's a war going on... We don't talk about the war


    "So... What now?" Wyatt said.

    "Ed..."

    "We... continue unto our parents," Darren said as he glanced aside to Sandy.

    "Right," Sandy said.

    "Eddie..."

    "It's a whole new game out here, if I need to remind you people," Adelaide said.

    Softly she felt her arm go numb for a second. Focus, I'll do what I can with my pistol.

    "We're ready," Sally said.

    "Eddie! Put me down now!" Claire yelled.

    Everyone had forgotten about her, even Eddie, for just a moment. Such a precious moment.

    Eddie obliged her request and she stroked down her ruffled dress as she eyed her 'rescuer'.

    "Why did you take me? I could've been a star," she said.

    She didn't put up much a fight since she knew going back had been made impossible thanks to that smartass Wyatt.

    "He forced you to... I wanted to..." Eddie said.

    "What he's trying to say is mphmphmph..." Wyatt said as Sandy silenced him.

    "That man... has gone insane. After you've served your purpose, he would've served you on a cold plate. I think you can no longer deny what happened to Finnegan, can you Claire?" Adelaide said.

    "I... I..." Claire said.

    "Freeeeeeesh meaaaaaaat!" a splicer yelled as he dropped down in front of the group's eyes and slashed away with greasy, bloody meat hooks.

    Claire backed away in Eddie's clutch as Ernie threw a punch, sending the splicer flying.

    "You got your camera, Ernie?" Buck said.

    "Right here," Ernie said as he raised the curious device in front of him.

    In a flash, dozens of splicers appeared out of thin air or from behind columns hidden in the dark. They'd been trapped like rats in a furnace. Only the rats had more chances of getting out alive, if singed more than a bit.

    "ADAAAAAAAAAAM!" the horde said in unison.

    "Seize them!" the meat hook splicer exclaimed.

    "Come and get it," Adelaide sneered.

    The splicers leaped through the air, crawled on the high ceiling and roared as they stumbled forward. The long shortages of ADAM had made their first casualties in hungry rabid beasts that had degenerated into lusting hunters smelling the ADAM fueled blood of the group's relatively sane prey. Sandy raised her hand in disgust and froze one madly gawking man and shuddering inducing woman after the other as Adelaide so easily shot them in the head and Charlie shattered the others before they could thaw.

    "Pretty!" a sharp-teethed splicer as he tried to put those teeth into Claire's neck. His nose seemed to have rotten away so he couldn't smell the difference anymore. What were the chances of anyone down here being sane and ADAM-free anyway?

    Eddie smashed the guy's head with one, crushing blow and lit a second guy on fire. Even writhing in flames, there was no mind left in these people and so the man stumbled forward, now licking his darkening teeth with a lit tongue. Eddie swung his wrench and smashed out the second guy's equally hideous brown teeth.

    "Gotta get their attention," Charlie said to himself. "If I use that Bright..."

    Just then, an arrow whizzed past them and as it scratched the surface of the dried out skin on its target's forehead, it unleashed into sparks and flames as the man in question collapsed and burned like a campfire as it layed silent on the floor.

    "You're welcome," Sally said as she went on to fire away even more arrows, each one more precisely between the eyes of its target than the last.

    "Rahahahaaaaaah!" Adelaide yelled as the depraved female splicer dug its teeth deep into her shoulder and she struggled to keep awake.

    The pain was too much, no matter how hard she punched the woman in the nose, the groin, which always hurts no matter if you're a man or a woman, knock her over the head, the splicer wouldn't let go. She turned her gun around and jabbed the barrel into her attacker's eye as it let out a scream, loosening her grip on Adelaide's shoulder quite unwillingly. She darted across the width of the Fort Frolic exit towards Wyatt and the others. Sally soon dropped the attacker as Adelaide's brown-haired head wasn't in the way anymore.

    "I can create a Decoy, you know that plasmid we got from Cobb? Everybody get ready to run!" Darren said as he zapped a guy that came just a bit too close to Sandy as she seemed to be distracted.

    The others planted their EVE hypo's in their arms as they readied themselves for one final attack. Incinerate, Sonic Boom, Insect Swarm, Telekinesis, Electrobolt...

    "Electric Flesh, Frozen Field, Human Inferno, EVE Saver, EVE Link... I'll show you what we freaks can do, Claire," Sandy said as she focused the strange build-up of biological energy inside her and then...

    Hurricanes of ice, storms of lightning and streaming jets of fire erupted from her body as it engulfed the splicer horde leaving them screaming, being afflicted by all kinds of bodily harm and most importantly, becoming completely disoriented.

    "I uhm... Decoy!" Darren mumbled as he concentrated to make an apparition appear of himself that most certainly could fool the brainless splicers.

    He then followed close after the others as they made a run for it. And so they had been welcomed to Talos Trappings, home of engineers and the Ryan Industries production line. It had been shut down for quite some time now.


    "Tell me, doctor, has that group arrived at our production line?" Ryan said.

    "Yes, Mr. Ryan. Shall I make some adjustments to the system?" Dr. Alexander said.

    "No... There are plenty of surprises for those who oppose me," Ryan said. "Very soon, resistance will be non-existent, an anomaly, a cancer excised from my city."

  19. #19
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    Chapter XIX: When it rains, it pours


    "Well that was one hell of a greeting," Wyatt said as he looked around the corners for any depraved splicer boneheads. "How're we doing?"

    "Administering aid kits now. How's the accelerated healing going?" Sandy asked the others.

    "Not bad. Though it never feels quite nice coming within an inch of your life," Adelaide quipped. "But hey, we survived, right?"

    "I eh, need some help," Darren said as he avoided taking deep breaths, clenching his side when he did do so.

    "My rib broke in two and its pieces are drilling into my organs I think. I can't quite get it, it's healing into me and..." Darren said as Sandy and Wyatt rushed to his side.

    "Hold on," Sandy said as she held on tight to his rib cage with Wyatt trying to shift the pieces back together.

    "Okay, that should do it," he said.

    We have to get to the houses, hopefully they won't follow us there," Sandy said.

    As they walked along, Sandy and Wyatt supporting Darren as he tried not to stress the healing process anymore than necessary, Adelaide went to walk side by side with Sally.

    "So Sally, you seem to be quite handy with that crossbow. Cool, calculated and quick on the trigger," Adelaide said. "I can tell, I was watching."

    "What, me? No no, I just acted in the moment, I could never start toppling one big brute after the other like you. I'm not like that," Sally said.

    "Is that so, Sally?" Adelaide said as she walked on ahead.

    "Nihahahahanihihimwhahaha..." it echoed above their heads.

    "Drive a bolt through that goddamn ghost brain as soon as you see him," Adelaide said. "Damn splicers."

    "Spliiiiiiiicers? I'm not a splicer, I'm something far more twiiiiiisted beyond recognition..." the voice went on as it became clear it was moving around, not making a sound. Apart from its hideous screaching tone.

    "There, I heard it over there!" Adelaide said as she tracked back to Sally and tried to keep her focus. "Eyes up there, not here. Listen to the sounds it makes. It must be digging itself into the ceiling to remain up there."

    "Heeell-o," the creature whispered in Adelaides ear as she struck back and hit nothing but air.

    "We'll meet soon lovely, oh yes we will..." the voice said as it grew quieter and quieter untill its echo had died out.

    "****ing splicers," Adelaide said.

    The group turned around as they heard a new sound cry louder and louder as its originator rounded a corner.

    "****, that bast*** must've lured them to thin us out before he goes hyena on our corpses, run, ruuuuun you idiots!" Adelaide said as the front pack of the horde let out a primal cry, signalling to the others that the scouts had found meat and it was dinner time. Every time was dinner time as those hellish lights were always on down here. Who knows how long it had been since New Year?

    They ran through an open gate and immediately pulled with man and might at the doors to close it before the horde could reach it. Ernie and Eddie joined forces as they lifted small cars to construct a makeshift barricade in tremendous speed. It would be shoddy work as Wyatt would have quipped if he wasn't catching his breath gathering smaller stuff to add to the thing. A large metal beam of sorts flew past him as it anchored itself into the structure. He looked behind him and saw Sally picking up another one with her telekinesis and couldn't help but be stumped as to how the power had transformed her from the happy go-lucky, passive girl she'd been before. Though it wasn't a good chance, he could see the regret and pain in her eyes of having to fight off fellow humans for survival.

    "That'll sure hold them back for now," Sandy said.

    "It sure will. As I always say, never do something yourself if someone else can do it for you, better and for free," a man said.

    Adelaide turned around as she saw a slick dressed businessman sitting untarnished on a balcony above the entrance to the houses of the engineers. Though few of them had probably stuck around right about now.

    "But enough about me. You probably had some trouble with those poor souls out there, haven't you? Well as a proud employee of Sinclair Solutions, I might have the, well, solution. Sinclair Solutions Customer Reward program. With your help we can test new plasmids for your home defense and the prices you can..."

    "Yeah yeah, we read the ad, sicko. We're not falling for your tricks," Claire said as the next moment she could hardly believe she just said it like that out loud.

    "Well then now this, young lady in white and ehm some red... If we've tested our next plasmid enough, there's a chance we can drive back those poor souls and get the heck out of here," the businessman said.

    "Not interested," Eddie said as he put his protective arm over a partially unwilling Claire.

    "I'm going," Adelaide said and before anyone, especially Sandy, could vehemently object she quipped, "I will make myself as useful as you. If I go mad from those plasmids, leave me behind."

    Sandy could only stare as she was at a loss for what to say.

    "So, what's your name anyway, spiff?" Adelaide said as she walked under him, with the latter opening the door to the houses.

    "Please do call me Mr. Maines, miss..." Mr. Maines said.

    "Finn, Adelaide Finn, testing subject nr. 500," she said.

    "Oh I beg to correct it's, you're much more than that," Mr. Maines quipped.

    "I guess we'll be making our way there as well. I guess we'll see her around..." Wyatt said.

    "As we work out a way to our parents," Sandy said.

    "With that horde out there..." Darren said.

    "Looks like we're stuck again," Claire said.

    "With you as a cement block attached to our collective right knee," Buck whispered as he was wary not to let Eddie hear him.

    As they walked through the door shortly after Adelaide had done so, a voice shouted: "Friend or foe?"

    "Friend," Sandy said.

    Immediately a rain of bullets flew past their ears as they ran to cover. It seemed the foes of the people they had declared to be friends with, were right across the street.

    "You better be telling the truth. Or else you'll be backstabbed from both ways," the voice said as it fired a RPG at the building at the other side. Behind the wall, there was a sturdy barricade from which the others proceeded to fire upon the side the group was currently on.


    "The hellhole that is my colleagues' home. Welcome to Talos Trappings, Ernie's traitors," Ryan whispered softly.

  20. #20
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    Chapter XX: Pure idiocracy


    "You?" the man said as he came down the stairs.

    Wyatt couldn't believe it. It was the hard-headed guy that had led Atlas' supporters back with the train. He didn't look quite as healthy as he did before. The ADAM shortage was taking its toll.

    "You guys for Atlas now? Or for Ryan?" he said as he raised his scratched together grenade launcher. It was both a marvel to behold and a terror to fear.

    "I think we can't get in even more trouble. We're supporting Atlas now," Wyatt said.

    "Very well, follow me. As you can see, I can't give you any plasmids or the like, but we've got ammo to spare," the Atlas leader said.

    For all they knew, he was Atlas.

    "Be sure to tag in your genetic codes. We wouldn't want our hacked security system to gun you down before you can put that ammo too good use, would we?" he said.

    "Why no," Wyatt said.

    "Can it be cleaned beforehand? I don't want any ADAM in my body," Claire said.

    "No ADAM? Ahahaha, that's a good one," the leader said heartily laughing as he moved along and showed the group the ammo room, locked with his private code. "That gene bank over there will let you assess your current modifications."

    One by one they stuck their arm in the machine, Wyatt being before Darren and admiring the nifty work put into the thing. He was however surprised it still worked. As the others had finished they stood by their unlikely new ally and looked unto the blood-run streets. How did it get so ugly so quickly...

    Their new 'leader' commented on the profiles that the gene bank printed out, an added feature.

    - Charlie Dawkins
    Plasmids: Bright Bulb
    Gene tonics: Scrounger, Bloodlust, Arms Race, Animal Magnetism, Melee Jockey

    "Hold that one back for gathering."

    - Eddie Sterling
    Plasmids: Incinerate!
    Gene Tonics: Frozen field, Armored Shell, Sportboost, Builder's Body

    "Interesting."

    - Ernie Donner
    Plasmid: Sonic Boom
    Gene tonics: Slugger, Armored Shell, SportBoost

    "An athlete? You don't look like it. But then, genetics don't lie, do they?"

    - Sandy Fawl
    Plasmids: Incinerate!, Electro Bolt, Winter Blast
    Gene tonics: Electric Flesh, Frozen Field, Human Inferno, EVE Saver, EVE Link

    "In front you go."

    - Sally Goodluck
    Plasmid: Scout, Telekinesis
    Gene Tonics: /

    "Scout it is."

    - Buck Manning
    Plasmid: Insect Swarm
    Gene Tonics: Expert Researcher, Damage research, Extended Reel, Keen Observer, Brain Boost

    "You... know anything about better plasmids?"

    - Wyatt Daniels
    Plasmids: Electro Bolt
    Gene tonics: Speedy Hacker, EZ-Hack, Hurried Hacker, Careful Hacker, Thrifty Hacker, Vending Expert 1 and 2, Safecracker

    "Ah, a hacker. We'll put you to work with our other one."

    - Darren Waters
    Plasmid: Decoy, Hypnotize, Electro Bolt
    Gene Tonics: Fountain of Youth, Metabolic EVE, Medical Expert, EVE Expert

    "That Electro Bolt's handy, with all those passive tonics. We'll see how we can mold you."

    "I wonder where Addie went," Sally said.

    Wyatt followed the Atlas leader to a workshop in the far back, where he was introduced to another hacker, nicknamed Dot.

    "Dot is the quiet sort, so don't mind him not greating you. Think you can do anything with this here gizmo?" the leader said. "I suppose I should let you call me something, tell your friends too. Heavy."

    "Got it," Wyatt said as Heavy left to take care of some business.

    "Rumor is the tool of the Parasite. Fontaine is dead; Rapture lives," the lady on the public announcements hummed.

    Wyatt shook his head as he turned his attention to the contraption that lay before him. The rotors. The magazine made out of what looked like a lunchbox. Motion tracking sensors... If he could repair this thing, the thing that used to keep Ryan's security water tight, maybe he'd be more careful to just let them lay around like this.

    "Now, we're safe and I can relax," Claire said.

    "Come on Claire, this ain't safe. They're not going to pamper us. We're going to be foot soldiers. Even if there's a good chance that's an improvement," Charlie said as he tapped his steel bat against his shoes.

    "Well why don't you go out and splice and slice and murder. I'm staying right here," Claire said.

    "I'll bring you some food when I find some," Eddie said looking up to the group.

    They'd seemed to have forgotten all about what had happened to her, he thought. Sad. On the other hand, she had done so as well. Maybe she was holding it in or something, he wasn't a therapist like Lamb or anything. Ryan's other archenemy that was erased from Rapture. He wondered what had happened to her?

    "Okay, lads and ladies, we're going to war," the leader said. "Call me Heavy."

    Armed and stacked from head to toe, his already menacing frame and bulging forehead, hefty jaw and all sure made him look quite intimidating. If only that kept back Ryan's splicer forces. Splicers like Charlie's parents.

  21. #21
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    Chapter XXI: Robbing the monster


    "Attaaaaaaaack!" Heavy roared.

    The machine gun rounds ate away the wooden post Charlie was hiding behind.

    Charlie sweared together all the nasty curses he could think of before he flinged around the corner and shot at random with the revolver Heavy had thrown into his hands. With all the mayhem that was ensuing from the ambush they had walked into, he was bound to hit something. Heavy had been yelling commands but most of his fellow splicers were pinned down and couldn't see a thing.

    A deafening sound buzzed through the air as a shockwave rippled and struck the barricades the Ryanists had set up.

    "Ernie?" Charlie said flabbergasted.

    "Raaaaaaah! Crush kill... Sorry, I'm going to talk normal now," Ernie said as he loaded his shotgun and subsequently unloaded it into the face of the only Ryanist that was still standing after his Sonic Boom.

    "Keep it up Ernie," Buck said as he held his arm in front of his eyes and saw it bulging like yellow stains ever growing bigger.

    Then they bursted, releasing ghastly insectoid creatures that proceeded to gather in a cloud the size of his head and fly at any enemy that came within sight. buck had to be careful not to hit any of his fellow freedom fighters, as a red-headed woman glared at him for a moment before striking an enemy splicer with a wicked fist of lightning.

    Buck shook his head as he held up the research camera and kept it fixed on Buck's targets. It printed out some data for converting the ADAM within him into gene tonics, at least that's what he theorized it did. It could produce small amounts of bonus damage ampules that they'd inject to improve their vision and reflexes to shoot people with certain varieties of common splicer cocktails more efficiently, but it couldn't produce vials of gene tonics rewards as Ernie had told him about. He needed another Brain Boost to figure it out.

    "I need another guy over here," Heavy said as he braced himself to shoot another payload out of his grenade launcher.

    A fiery stream of hot air passed over him as it consumed everything in its path.

    "Alright Eddie, finish 'em!" Heavy said as he readied to fire.

    "I'm not Eddie," Sandy said as she rubbed her bone-dry skin. Soon the black soot and white ice crystals would mix and pervert her arm and the rest of her body. She couldn't get used to the occasional shocks that sprung from her head to her goose bumps. "And maybe you should think more about ending this war than scoring kills."

    "The truce meetings will begin in a few days, missy," Heavy said. "Untill then, I ain't taking any chances. They do much the same."

    "Errrrrhuaaaaaaaaaaaaah!"

    "What was that?" Sally asked. "They're running."

    "Change operations, they're not running, they have the ultimate asset and weapon," Heavy said. "Any cowards come now or get shot if they run when I have to save their sorry a**es."

    "Ay ay, H," Charlie said.

    "Get ready," Heavy said as a yellow light shone from behind a holed house. The rusted armor of the Bouncer blended in with the rest of the crooked housing. The spherical shape that contained his head shone with its lights on its surroundings as it grunted at the debris that impeded its progress. He revved up his drill and barged on through, before stepping aside. A young girl came from behind him and hummed as she skipped along the corpses of the fallen Ryanists. It had to be a Little Sister, hardly a little girl at all, but Charlie couldn't judge as much from the distance he was at.

    "Bring it down and maybe you'll get a piece of the pie," Heavy said. "If you get too higher ground, we can easily take it down. Get on the most stable buildings and pump it full of lead. That drill ain't gonna fly upwards, but it will to anyone on ground level."

    The group did as they were told and climbed up as Heavy fired up his last grenade. It would sound off like the Fourth of July, but it wouldn't bring down the big guy on its own. That's where Sandy and the others came in.

    "Fire!" Heavy yelled as he shot his payload with an astounding accuracy right in the big brute's head.

    It moaned, then roared as the bioluminescent liquid in its helmet stated he was steaming hot mad. If that wouldn't become apparent precisely one second and a quarter later.

    "Bruuuuuuuuuuuuaaaaaah!" the Bouncer responded to its head being punctured with all kinds of shrapnel and in its blind rage tried to find a way up to mix Heavy into a bloody pulp. And any splicer that stood in its way.

    "Keep hitting it, fire away," Heavy said as he looked at his arm for a moment, then concentrated and fired a lightning bolt at the bronze Ryanist knight which confused it even more. And angered it to the truly dangerous level.

    An unexpected blood splatter made Buck turn around and catch the red-headed woman, who stuttered before her gaping head wound proved to take the life out of her body.

    Snipers, those Ryanists had returned to protect their gruesome little harvester. Buck looked over the roofs and saw them approaching. They had to get to cover. And weaken the Big Daddy at the same time. Charlie determinedly kept shooting it as the others around him ran for their lives.

    Darren and Sandy stood side by side and unleashed an Electro Bolt each before Sally finished them off with two rapid incendiary bolts. As the two turned to a crisp and others came to take their place, Sally changed her ammo for regular, piercing bolts and shot it at an enemy, telekinetically pulling it out than throwing it through another woman's eye. Eddie lit the Bouncer on fire as Buck followed his lead and unleashed another swarm of his creatures to further blind the Bouncer. Ernie had no way of hitting it, except...

    Again, a shockwave blasted through to the air and hit the Big Daddy it was still as mad as ever, but the only thing that been killed seemingly was Buck's creatures.

    "Raaaaaaaaaaaaaaaooooooooough!" the Bouncer roared as it rammed into the building, repeatedly, untill it started to weaken.

    The Atlas freedom fighters had to run for their lives as the building collapsed underneath them. Charlie only narrowly hung on as Sally pulled him up, semi-telekinetically. She plunged one of her last EVE hypos in her arm as she sat down. That was a close one. Determined to fix his mistake right away, Ernie dropped down before anyone could say anything and trashed the Bouncer's head before he shotgunned every single red light in its helmet untill the arm that had grabbed him lessened its grip and its drill stopped spinning.

    The group had come down to rescue Ernie from what should've been a suicide mission. As the others descended, Heavy commanded: "Harvest her, before the Ryanists return. That's an order."

  22. #22
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    A turn for the worse? I'd better say, I'm going on a lengthy vacation so I won't be back for posting untill September. Hope you enjoy the rest of the Summer!


    Chapter XXII: Black and white, part 1


    Adelaide felt her muscles tense as she slowly slid off the bed and unto the wooden floor. Her left elbow stuck out so she could see it as she noted how it felt to have such power. As a stream of water twirled around her finger, she stood up and turned to the wooden cabinet on the side. Her brown hair curled over her forehead, so she saw I the mirror that hung on the wall. As she stroke the stray hairs back, she picked up her revolver. Today, she would feel worthy.

    “Somebody bloody shoot ‘em, those bast*** are freakin’ everywhere!” the man leading the charge said.

    They had run into unexpected difficulties. As blasts of cold air and blinding lightning flew past them, the rebels tried to hold their ground. A small, but agile youngster, not older than 16 dived head-first next to the barricade on the side of the rebels and shouted:

    “They’re pelting us with hells of gunfires, Sir! They made the old McClendon’s storage facility into a genuine fortress. No caliber or bloke has been able to push through those brick walls!”

    “Hell, so that Dagson wasn’t telling a load of cr**. They’re gonna overrun us. Unless…” the mustached leader of the charge said as he tossed around before he faced the one he desired to speak to.

    “Finn, time to prove your worth. If you can pickpocket my watch without me noticing, well, you can sure as hell try pi**ing those snobs of b**ches!” he said.

    It had been quite clear to Adelaide from the very first day that this man liked to swear to his heart’s content. And send others on frequent suicide missions. Addie wasn’t afraid, she knew she was ready.

    “Send me in,” she said.

    The man’s mustache turned like whiskers as he narrowed his cold, blue eyes.

    “Send me in, Sir,” Addie added.

    “Very well, go now!” the man said as he directed others to provide fire support with their plasmids. Experimental hooch, the leader thought. No way they’re getting me into that insane Sinclair’s test batch.

    Adelaide readied her gun as she held it against her waist and her legs felt like they could move mountains, or jump one. As she leaped into the air, the Ryanists shouted: “Kill her, kill the witch!”

    When she suddenly disappeared. Some not too bright youngsters were still aiming their broken bottles up in the air, curious as to where she went.

    “Another one of those dirty tricks, McKinley!” the Ryanist leader spat at the mustached coward on the other side. “Fire some plasmids all over this sh**house of a dump. She’ll be dead soon enough,” he said while he was backing away to take refuge in the metal casing inside the storage facility.

    She’d made it, she slowly rounded the corner as she immediately backed away again as two gunmen seemed to look over to the corner she covered behind. Seems they didn’t see her, now how could that be, she thought with a grin. She forced herself not to roll the cylinder of her gun as she moved in closer for the kill.

    The Ryanist leader turned to see as a curious, long brown-haired woman rounded the corner, preparing to strike his men from behind.

    “Look out, behind you!” he shouted as he felt the pain surging through him as if it was his own body that got shattered and bludgeoned. But the gunman seemed alive and well and turned around to shoot the woman, but she didn’t feel a thing either. It was the leader himself that felt his intestines turn cold and his heart seized to beat as all the blood it had moving around was rapidly leaching from both the front and the back of his lower body. With a jam of the sharp blade in his spine, he dropped to the floor, the lights leaving his eyes.

    Before the two gunmen could fathom what had transpired and why one woman was immortal and her duplicate just appeared out of thin air to assassinate their leader, the same was dealt to them with three shots in the head, each.

    “We’ve been breached, breached!” a man shouted before she saw a woman in a black and green dress fly past him out of a window.

    He aimed to nail her to the floor, but before he could, a few drops of water fell of her hand and unto the pavement, blasting away a geyser from underneath the Ryanists’ feat and catching the wicked with in its powerful watery grasp before putting her down and a red flash of smoke made her disappear. Who the hell was she? And why were any of them still alive?

    “We got some food,” Sally said as she came walking down the stairs into the basement where the rest was gathered.

    Wyatt took one glance at the few ounces they’d received and he said: “That’s not enough, that’s not nearly enough.”

    Sandy followed after Sally with some more scraps of food and Wyatt had instantly noticed.

    “I.. I’m sorry, I shouldn’t have yelled at you, it’s just… Just look at it,” Wyatt said as it coincidentally just spoke.

    “Daddy, where are you Daaaddy, give me hugs and kisses, make it all right,” the thing said.

    If it were human, you could have said it had the twinkling big eyes of angels, with a shine of mirrors of brandished gold, the spotless skin of a baby seal and long, wavy hair in a ponytail as midnight black as Sandy’s. She wore her navy blue dress full cuts and holes with pride, as she mused where the angels went and if Daddy would come home soon. But she wasn’t a human. Not anymore. She was a Little Sister, the twisted harvester of corpses and drinker of human blood polluted with ADAM, drugs and alcohol. She wielded her long, rusted needle with the remodeled baby bottle container with as much delight as she sung eerie nursery rhymes, twisted into a mantra of subservience. They should have harvested her, Claire had said. She’d ordered Eddie to do it so they could grow strong enough to escape to the mainland, lest she had to have her hands get dirty. He’d refused and she had pushed him away, leading him to help find a place to hide the thing they had ‘saved’ from Ryan and Atlas alike. They had masked the loss of ADAM caused by not harvesting the little girl monster by handing over all the stabilizing supply they had saved up to keep from losing their sanity. The nuts and the crazies were banging on the doors of Talos Trappings every day now and it wouldn’t be for that long before they would join them.

  23. #23
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    Today is the first of October. Due to exams, vacation and now school having started a while ago, I find myself struggling to write chapters in a quick enough pace.

    Nevertheless, I feel after 500 views having been added after the posting of the last chapter, I should post my next chapter. I only got two in spare and I should be careful posting the subsequent chapters as the plot twists need to be played well-dosed and timed. I'm thus also overthinking slowing down the posting rate. Don't know how you guys feel about it though. I'll see what I can do, but I can't promise subsequent chapters that don't exist yet. Anyway, hope you like the 23rd chapter And see you someday.


    Chapter XXIII: Black and white, part 2


    “Listen to me carefully, in a few days, the truce meetings will commence,” Adelaide’s boss said. McKinley, the one with the mustache. “You and I and everybody else here knows those Ryanists are playing an angle. Nonetheless, we have to play along their game so our more naďve supporters still believe we can live free without being soaked in blood and all that. But what those snobs on the other side don’t realize is that this is a perfect opportunity to decapitate the Talos Trappings lieutenants, after you killed my brother. That is if they try something first, wich they will. You will be that assassin. They will be keeping a close eye on you, but we are confident you will succeed.”

    “Yes, sir,” Adelaide said.


    Wyatt had returned to the basement. Only Sandy was there to keep watch over the ‘girl’ thing, as to not attract attention to the food they’d been smuggling over to her. ‘An extra mouth to feed, you idiots’ Claire had yelled at them before Eddie took her along and had proceeded to stay by her side. Now not just to protect her, but to keep her from revealing the group’s secret to Heavy and the others. Or doing something stupid.

    “Wyatt, how are those bots coming along?” Sandy asked as she noticed Darren was following behind Wyatt a few steps above him.

    “They’re almost ready, just a little tweak here and there,” Wyatt said as he descended.

    He eyed the monster as he turned to Darren. His look seemed to mean to say if Darren was sure of this. Darren nodded and then they both turned to Sandy.

    “Something amiss…” Sandy said as she saw the thing in Darren’s hand shining as the light of their lantern bounced off of it and into her eyes.

    Darren walked right past her as he went to sit down next to the Little Sister.

    Though he still retained his brute appearance, Buck Manning had managed to drag the corps of a Ryanist into the basement without anyone seemingly noticing. Maybe his Brain Boost had really started to kick in, or perhaps people didn’t really care what you did with a Ryanist, dead or alive. As long as you didn’t start a cult or start spreading Ryanist propaganda amongst the ranks, you could do as you pleased. But this was something… strange…

    “Whose idea was this?” Sandy asked.

    She watched as Darren struck without hesitation into the stomach of the heavily mutilated corpse with a strange contraption. It had a yellow handle, a large bottle she remembered handing to Wyatt after she was done with it and a very long, rusted needle at the end of it. A small pneumatic system on the side helped Darren extract a sickening red paste from the body. But it weren’t the splicer’s intestines. Not completely at least.

    “This isn’t a good fill,” Darren said.

    “No keep going, recycle it with the switch,” Wyatt said as he had seemingly instructed before.

    Darren did as he said. Sandy couldn’t decide what she was looking at. Before she could say something, the girl crept closer to Darren. She hadn’t allowed anyone to come closer, lest she let out a hellish scream and call in the others, very eager to harvest her dry. But now, she took her smaller tool, her syringe with a baby bottle for a container and stuck it in the splicer’s stomach as well, as she clenched the handle, causing the internal pneumatics to create the necessary underpressure needed to start sucking up the rest of the fluid. Such a small creature acting with such precision. Darren observed the gestures and tried to best the Little Sister in getting enough of the red stuff as if they were playing a game. These creatures had a very different look on the world. Like with the Big Daddies, you could thank Dr. Suchong for taking away these ‘girls’ their humanity. At the Little Sisters Orphanage… though some say they’re now taking them off the streets.

    “You’re funny big brother,” the girl said.

    Darren looked at Sandy and seemed nervous.

    “Well done, little brother,” Sandy said.

    She looked very surprised, but in a good way. They’d just managed to find a way to procure raw ADAM.

    At night, or morning, it was hard to tell in a basement that was also perpetually deep, deep underwater, everyone in the group gathered around Darren and Wyatt and their wonder. It had been long and strenuous hours, as they’d relentlessly fought against the Ryanists, still winding up with a net loss of territory. Heavy wasn’t too happy. Their enemies would surely think twice about the meetings in a few days if they kept winning like they did today. Even the Wicked Witch, part of another squad on their own side, didn’t scare off all those snobs enough to stay on their own turf.

    But the group had other things to worry about. This discovery, or should it be called invention, of Wyatt, Darren, Ernie and Buck seemed too good to be true. Darren’s Fountain of Youth, Metabolic EVE, Medical Expert, EVE Expert… He’d gathered most of these ridiculously passive tonics when nobody wanted them. They made him hard to kill or hard to drain of EVE because he could metabolise the stuff and carry more supplies for health and EVE. The fountain tonic helped him heal when in running water and seeing as this whole place was leaking as much as it was corrupted, he’d put up an impressive defense as he shielded others. Mostly Sandy, who could overwhelm almost any opponent one on one. With some experimental defensive tonics made through Ernie’s experience and Buck’s ever growing intuitive mind, they had provided Darren with the means to heal his friends and himself with a simple injection of ADAM, or provide them with EVE. But First Aid Kits weren’t that up for grabs to provide that healing and usually also stabilizing dose of ADAM.

    Sally had talked to a woman about her age who had seen a Little Sister healing her Big Daddy after suffering near lethal injuries. All her fellow ADAM hunters had been killed before the Big Daddy had suffered the same fate and she couldn’t do anything but watch as all their efforts waned away with the ADAM tide. The Little Sister only did this to her ‘Mr. Bubbles’, though. They needed a way for her ADAM to become their ADAM without harvesting her for it. And so, Wyatt explained the plan to the others.

    They‘d convinced Heavy they had picked up a trail from a Big Daddy. It wouldn’t pick up a Little Sister from her vent if he noticed a large squad tracking him. They were smarter than people gave them credit for. A bit smarter at least. So the group managed to get permission to go at the supposed target with their small group, promising they would return any ADAM they’d get or be shot on sight if they didn’t return before midnight. The adolescents all agreed naturally.

    Eddie had to keep Claire’s mouth shut rude and manually until they were far enough so any splicers wouldn’t hear them: they were going to find corpses. This plan better work, Sandy thought to herself. How much would her stepbrother do for her to live? Probably… Anything. His large pumping ADAM syringe only seemed like the beginning.
    Completed:

    CHA-05: Teenage robot with organic skin starting war of sabotage and love.

    Pokémen: Trainers changed. Pokémon, then 'Pokémen'. Cure lies with villain?

    Rapture: House of Broken Mirrors: group of adolescents surviving, transforming...

    The Pokémen regain their honour in Season 2.

    Ongoing:

    http://www.serebiiforums.com/showthr...rds&highlight=
    Rebuild of 1000 Swords: Fun, easy-going RP: the 1k sword wielders' struggle set in our world. Still accepting!

    http://www.serebiiforums.com/showthr...ces&highlight=
    Code Lyoko RP (SU); still accepting! Looking for members

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    I got a ridiculous amount of things planned, actually.


    Chapter XXIV: Healing and growth, part 1


    “I found a body!” Ernie yelled as Buck prepared his Research camera.

    “Okay, let me set up a perimeter,” Wyatt said.

    Darren and Sandy meanwhile opened the bag the former had been carrying on his back.

    “Air is fun,” the Little Sister said as she peeked out with her yellow glowing eyes. Sandy tried to reach in, but the girl pulled back and looked like she’d let out a scream if Sandy didn’t back away right that instant.

    Sandy pulled back and let Darren handle ‘it’. She was sure there were plenty of Big Daddies around to hear the thing if it made as much as a squeak. Where did those things keep coming from anyway? Maybe if they killed enough of those bronze monsters, they could try to break through… which reminded her of why they’d been doing this all these weeks, becoming stronger and injecting more ADAM every day. Dad… and Darren’s mom, who Sandy almost considered to be her own. But getting to them wouldn’t be easy. They needed a bit… more. And this girl would give it to them through Darren.

    “Hand me my… angel tool, if you will?” Darren said as he Little Sister picked up his bigger syringe before he picked her up out of the bag and onto the dirty floor. She’d only worn one shoe when they’d found her and it was a bit worse for wear. She didn’t seemed to be bothered at all.

    “Angels are dancing, come on big brother,” the girl said as she skipped along to the corpse Ernie had found and immediately stuck her needle in it.

    “Wait! I’m not, not ready, G*d d*mmit!” Wyatt said as he went into overdrive to hasten his preparations. It was completely quiet here… Even this remote space had some kind of crawling echo through walls and windows. Now… nothing.

    “Everyone, get into your positions!” Sandy yelled as the others did as she asked almost immediately. “Ernie, Buck, Eddie, you ready?”

    “Ready,” they said.

    “Sally, Wyatt, Charlie… Darren?”

    “We’re all ready. Let’s do this,” Sally said.

    Just as she’d readied her crossbow, the first inhuman cry could be heard from just a few meters away.

    “Son of a… keep them off me!” Wyatt said while still fiddling around with a contraption of his. This really wasn’t a time to hack stu…

    A bolt flew pas Wyatt’s ear and into the eye of a rabid looking splicer, igniting as the deformed creature screamed in the raging fires, heading for a pool of water. As soon as it had entered the pool, Wyatt zapped the pool and the splicer along with it. As the former man hit the ground, Wyatt said: “Thanks.”

    Sally nodded before she aimed her crossbow somewhere else. The cries grew louder as more of the ‘pack’ tuned in. There had to be dozens of splicers heading for the smell of the ADAM wafting from the corpse’s intestines. The bath Darren had succeeded in making the girl take, although perpetually dragged in rags, had masked the girl’s pheromone signature with several scented brews to throw off Big Daddies and splicers alike. But Ernie and Buck’s brews couldn’t repress the ADAM smell out in the open and now they were hurling fire at the little girl. Darren quickly created a Decoy before zapping a splicer nearly spitting mucus hanging from his teeth over the corpse and the Little Sister. What if… he thought.

    Pulling a green polyp from his back and throwing at the splicer he just zapped, he commanded or rather hypnotized it to start attacking the other madmen. At the same time, he dug into the corpse and non-verbally dared the Little Sister to harvest more ADAM than him like they did the first time. The girl showed something reminiscent of a smile hanging from her face as the others held their ground. Shotgunning one splicer after the other, Ernie mowed through the attackers as Buck kept his Research camera rolling and creating more rewards through it. They wouldn’t be able to keep this up for long though.
    “Wyatt, I hate to be stating the obvious and be rude as well, but do you really think this is the best time to do your engineering stuff?” Sally said.

    Wyatt turned to her as he powered up his contraption with a flash of lightning from his fingertips.

    “Yes,” he said.

    The lights on the modified turret turned green as it spun its machine guns and fired on everything in range, being wonderfully programmed to not attack the people in his group. Eddie wasn’t about to find out if it was flawless or not.

    “Get down, Claire!” he yelled as he jumped, then huddled over her as the bullets flew over their heads as if they were mindless killer bees hovering over them. “You okay?”

    “I’m alright, Eddie,” Claire said.

    “Darren, how’s the thing doing? What’s your progress?” Wyatt said as he turned around.

    Sandy blasted another splicer with an icy touch before Charlie smashed it to pieces, as Sandy said: “Why are they retreating?”

    “Insane people don’t retreat, they lose interest,” Wyatt said as he looked on as well.

    The few splicers that had already caught sight of a target kept attacking before stab in their heart ended their struggle for life. Wyatt’s stationary turret took care of the last of them. Soon, only the crawling sounds of a few, disinterested splicers remained.

    “What happened?” Charlie asked.

    “The harvesting is finished,” Darren said as he looked to the Little Sister wiping her bloody face after gorging the ADAM.

    Darren looked at the red goo in his syringe and contemplated its effect on him. He quickly gave it to the sister, who happily downed the disgusting mix of human remains.

    “Why’d you do that Darren? You earned it,” Sandy said as she was sure Darren had sped up the harvesting process immensely with his little ‘competition’.

    “Raw ADAM… is dangerous,” Ernie chipped in.

    “The Little Sisters were only sent out and taught to recycle ADAM from corpses because they couldn’t produce enough by themselves in their symbiotic relationship with the ADAM slug, which also produced far less without the sinister union in the girl’s stomach,” Buck said.

    “Due to this bond, they are immune to the effect of raw ADAM on the drinker’s mind and body and they can regurgitate safe and useable ADAM on a later occasion. It was usually done in a lab, now… we will process it with some home-made equipment. Good thing Heavy never lets those on duty ever check the ADAM we give before they filter it,” Ernie said.

    “Or else they would’ve found out the purity of ADAM as opposed to that hogwash they offered us,” Wyatt said. “Hold on Sandy… We’ll have to save those First aid kits. Let’s tend to our wounds when we’re back at the basement.
    The others had looked on seriously disgusted, yet mesmerized as Darren had managed to make the Little Sister put her finger in her throat and spout out the ADAM into a small bottle as if she was a fountain. Or a money machine.

    Ernie and Buck had brought it to the improvised filtering department and came back with their share of the ADAM. It wasn’t much, but when they handed it over to Darren, he knew exactly what to do, as taught by the Little Sister when she’d healed his shoulder. He laced his palms with ADAM, rubbed them over the many wounds the others had sustained and within minutes, the gashes closed, burns made way for healthy looking skin and muscles could move again, their nerves no longer twitching.

    Finally, a stroke of good luck.
    Completed:

    CHA-05: Teenage robot with organic skin starting war of sabotage and love.

    Pokémen: Trainers changed. Pokémon, then 'Pokémen'. Cure lies with villain?

    Rapture: House of Broken Mirrors: group of adolescents surviving, transforming...

    The Pokémen regain their honour in Season 2.

    Ongoing:

    http://www.serebiiforums.com/showthr...rds&highlight=
    Rebuild of 1000 Swords: Fun, easy-going RP: the 1k sword wielders' struggle set in our world. Still accepting!

    http://www.serebiiforums.com/showthr...ces&highlight=
    Code Lyoko RP (SU); still accepting! Looking for members

  25. #25
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Kieken
    Posts
    248

    Default

    I feel nice and awful at the same time, I wonder why?


    Chapter XXV: Healing and growth, part 2


    “Dr. Alexander, do you have the report I asked you for?” Ryan said.

    “Yes Mr. Ryan, I have it here,” Dr. Alexander said.

    “Read it to me if you will,” Ryan said.

    “Very well ehm… We lost a number of Alpha series, Epsilon, Zeta and so forth, we believe they killed a former victim of child abuse, Jack Michaels, several members of Father Wales ‘flock’, they took a chunk out of the horde close to Talos Trappings, as well as loyal supporters of Rapture, among them Charles McKinley, Ian Mann, Lyra Mann, Jamie Iverson, Frederic Green, Ruben Green, Levi Green, Benny Brown, Christopher Kimball, Crystal Kimball, Chase Norton, Rachel Danes, Elisa Norton… the list goes on. The casualties among the horde blocking any access to Talos Trappings could not be properly identified. Also, they helped in taking down one of our more recent Big Daddies and killed a Little Sister. For her ADAM I suppose,” Dr. Alexander said.

    “Those savages and this substance… If only I could bring back Fontaine from the dead and punish him much more for what he’s done to my city with his… discovery. Tenenbaum has disappeared and the Little Sisters are dwindling. See to it that the ADAM gets to the true citizens of Rapture and start working… on stronger Big Daddies.”

    “And the target group, now that they have joined Atlas?” Dr. Alexander asked.

    “Yes well, whatever the case, they will not escape this place alive. Keep monitoring them,” Ryan said. “And start our first trial, according to Dr. Suchong’s specifications.”

    “Yes, Mr. Ryan,” Dr. Alexander said.


    “Miss Finn, I know you must realize why I summoned you,” the man in the leather chair said.

    As Adelaide looked around the ravaged room, she nodded and subsequently said: “Yes, Mr. Maines.”

    The man that had invited her to join the Sinclair Solutions Customer Reward program, an invitation she’d gladly accepted, had asked to meet with her.

    “The tests have gone swimmingly and most importantly, you’re not dead,” Mr. Maines said and laughed half-heartedly. “I however am afraid your promised vacation will have to wait. Normally me and my employer, Mr. Sinclair himself, wouldn’t cheer for either of the degenerate sides fighting this war, but in that prospect we ran into a little problem: we can’t get out of here. We need you to coerce them into going from peace to a peaceful retreat out of Rapture and back into the topside world, or ram through whatever side opposes you when things turn sour. We have a few gifts to help you to do just that.”

    Mr. Maines put his briefcase on his three-legged desk and clicked it open. Inside the red glare of the plasmid and gene tonic vials beckoned for Adelaide. She could actually get out of here.

    “Will you accept this offer and your promise that goes with it?” Mr. Maines said.


    “Not long now before the truce meetings. Maybe we won’t need these things after all,” Sandy said.

    “Things you say, but I call them Jimmy and Ada,” Wyatt said as he lovingly fastened a bolt on one of his security bots. He needed just a few more parts to get them airborne again and then Ryan would want to seriously watch himself.

    “We’ve all upgraded. Sally’s bought Electro Bolt, Insect Swarm, Headhunter, Clever Inventor, Prolific Inventor, Natural Camouflage, Scrounger… We’ve become trusted because of our ADAM supply and even given the right to keep some of it as we slaughter more and more Ryanists… It just doesn’t feel right or even… I can’t seem to feel anything lately,” Sandy said.

    Wyatt figured he should say something, when Darren walked in. Sandy’s face instantly lit up. It lessened a bit when she saw the girl following behind him, but not as much as she used to. The thing had started to grow on her. Maybe she even called it a she from time to time.

    “Wyatt, you won’t forget that thing I asked you to check?” Sandy said.

    “I won’t. And tell Buck just because he had so many Brain Boosts lately, that doesn’t mean he shouldn’t be looking for spare parts for me,” Wyatt said as he muttered a curse under his breath as well, fiddling around in ‘Ada’.

    “I’ll go tell Buck that so, yeah,” Sandy said as she passed Darren and the Little Sister by and went up the stairs.

    Making sure no one was there to see her do so, she left the abandoned basement and went to the filtering department where she found Ernie and Buck fiddling around in the brew of raw ADAM they’d cooked up.

    “Hey guys, how’s it going?” Sandy said.

    “Pretty good, it’s nearly done,” Buck said. “I figured out a way to get more out of it with my well, improved network.”

    Buck tapped his temple and Sandy nodded.

    “Oh good and Wyatt asked you to get those spare parts he needed,” Sandy said.

    “No prob,” Buck said.
    Sandy had wanted to leave as she turned around and noticed Buck wasn’t the only one that had been downing gene tonics.

    “Ernie, you’re looking buff today,” Sandy said as she pinched his arm in slight bewilderment. “It’s almost as tough as steel. Great.”

    “Thanks Sandy, appreciate it. I’ll be earning my keep from now on,” Ernie said.

    Sandy smiled and went on her way again.


    “Have you been keeping an eye on Eddie if he’s keeping Claire in check?” Wyatt asked Darren.

    “Yes, it’s been going good so far. She’s still jiggity around me with me carrying the creepy girl bag and all. Whenever she seems like she’s going to say something about it, I ask her if she wants to take a peek inside,” Darren said while the Little Sister looks around curiously singing some twisted lullaby. And grammatically incorrect to boot.

    “That’ll keep her quiet alright,” Wyatt said and let out a chuckle. “Maybe we can get on with our lives after all, even with all that has happened.”

    “I don’t wanna talk about it, give it a rest. Work on your bot,” Darren said.

    “I, I’m sorry… Forget what I said. We’ll go out for a run in a few hours, alright?” Wyatt said and returned to work on his contraption. He seemed to fare better in working with machines than in anything involving people.

    An hour later, Heavy called everyone together for something special and he ordered everyone to attend. The group of Atlas supporters under Heavy wasn’t that big, not many were left after the surprise attacks that the Ryanists had been plaguing them with. Nonetheless they were all very curious about what all the big fuss was about.

    “Ladies and Gentlemen supporting the Great Atlas against the vile Ryan and his Rapture, I’d like you to meet a great heroine in our latest battles here in Talos Trappings against our enemies and she should be treated accordingly. Her name… is miss Adelaide Finn,” Heavy said.

    The lady dressed in green stepped forward and kept her trademark no-nonsense pose as she held onto her revolver. Not that she needed it anymore.

    “Although I remember her as the girl that put a bullet in my skull,” Heavy said and laughed whole-heartedly. He seemed to be an easy forgiver. As long as you reel in the ADAM or build up the Ryanist headcount that is.

    “Addie!” Sally yelled as she rushed forward to give her old friend a hug. Sandy and the others soon gathered around to do the same as Claire and Eddie just stood by the side, which didn’t dampen the mood at all.

    They wanted to hear all about what she’d done while she was gone and even completely forgot about why she did so for a moment. They slowly started to connect the dots between the wicked witch that had been terrorizing the Ryanists and good old Addie that used to eyeball any target and shoot it dead-center if provoked. A lot had changed indeed.

    “It has reached a working concentration, Mr. Ryan,” Dr. Alexander said.
    Completed:

    CHA-05: Teenage robot with organic skin starting war of sabotage and love.

    Pokémen: Trainers changed. Pokémon, then 'Pokémen'. Cure lies with villain?

    Rapture: House of Broken Mirrors: group of adolescents surviving, transforming...

    The Pokémen regain their honour in Season 2.

    Ongoing:

    http://www.serebiiforums.com/showthr...rds&highlight=
    Rebuild of 1000 Swords: Fun, easy-going RP: the 1k sword wielders' struggle set in our world. Still accepting!

    http://www.serebiiforums.com/showthr...ces&highlight=
    Code Lyoko RP (SU); still accepting! Looking for members

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