":Sigh: Well, that was another entertaining two hours going through these diaries. Sofia wants these all archived and organized, as sort of an official history of Rapture. And since I'm 'chronicler', that duty is mine. Not the worst job I've had, Mindy, but… well, lemme put it this way. There's stuff like this…
"Charles, we need to buy more cigarettes. Be sure to go by the Oxford Club on your way back from getting the milk, cheese, EVE hypos and bread. And if you really are strapped for cash, swallow your pride and go to Nicotime. I can handle that stuff, honestly."
With stuff like this…
"Honey…I…I can't believe…no, please, no…our own daughter? Alyx? You just…sold her? You…god…do you know what happens to those girls? Honey…I can't believe it. That's it. We're….we're over! I'm gonna find Alyx before it's…too late, and you…"
And also stuff like this.
"Picked up rounds and shot some in head. Not mine, never mine. Always theirs. They think better than me, how can I be smart when everyone thinks better than me? Adam has opened my eyes. He told me that if I would ever get ahead it wouldn't be with them thinking like that. So I get rid of them. Soon, I'll be over them. And then, I'll be the F*%^*$# KING!"
See? Boring, sad, crazy, day after day after day. It's really getting to me…I don't know what it is, whether I feel bored or scared or stir-crazy or depressed…good idea for a song, but not so pleasant personally. A song…that's it! I need some music, I haven't strummed my guitar since that soldier got angry. Maybe that'll make me feel better."
Whoever or whatever Sander Cohen was, he clearly didn't know how far a Pikachu's electric attack could reach. No sooner had he announced his name and presence than Jimi hit him with jarring thunderbolt. The man shook on his feet for a moment, but quickly recovered, shooting a blazing fireball at the mouse.
Casey swiped Jimi out of the way just in time. The fire exploded on the stage. Sander wasn't very pleased it had missed, snarling like an animal. Once he had been a brilliant artist, a respectable composer in Rapture and an associate of the city elite. Now he…wasn't anymore.
Jimi charged his electricity and fired another thunderbolt. Unfortunately Sander saw it coming, and in a flash of red mist, he vanished again, the lightning bolt charring the wall and not him.
"Shit." Casey voiced aloud, her eyes darting about to find her attacker. But the man in the bunny mask was gone.
He quickly returned. Casey felt the heat from a fireball just in time to duck. The flames charred the tips of her hair as the orb whizzed over her. Link spun around and saw that the flame wielding mutant had teleported onto the stage, almost right behind Casey. In a split second the youth had whipped out his bow.
Casey glanced up. "You gotta be joking."
Cohen thought it was amusing as well, and laughed aloud as Link swiftly notched an arrow.
He stopped laughing the instant the arrow imbedded in his chest. It's always funny until someone gets hurt, Casey thought as Sander stared down at the wooden shaft in his chest.
The mutant stayed standing, however. Link wasn't sure if he wanted to kill the man outright…but it was clear the arrow didn't do as much damage as he would've thought. Sander looked back up at him, growling with all the deformed teeth in his mouth showing. The front teeth were abnormally large and sharp.
Link readied another arrow, but Sander Cohen had disappeared again, in that flash of red mist again.
"Get out of here!" Link ordered. Casey got to her feet again and scrambled for the door, accompanied by her faithful Jimi. The two bolted for the door as Link searched the Fleet Hall for the maniac who attacked them.
Casey ran right into the door. She hit it, tried to yank it up, and discovered a major problem.
"Door's jammed! Cohen must've blocked it or something…" she shouted back at the youth. "We're frickin' stuck in here!"
Out of the corner of his eye Link saw a red mist collect. Trusting his instinct, he turned his arrow towards the spot. Sure enough, the man in the tattered suit appeared from the mist. Before Sander could launch another assault, Link's arrow had been released. Sander shrieked in pain before vanishing again.
Casey saw the whole thing. "Jimi, go help him. I'll find some cover. Go!" Her pet looked at her oddly for a moment, but obeyed. Casey ducked behind a wall, peeping out once or twice to watch the action.
Link scanned the theater, waiting for that mist to reappear so he could take another shot. Jimi watched where Link wasn't looking. They stayed back-to-back, walking in a small circle.
Jimi saw it first. Sander had thought they wouldn't expect him to reappear on one of the balconies. He had a fireball ready for a quick attack, but Jimi was much quicker. Another thunderbolt stopped him from attacking, paralyzing him for a second. That second was long enough for Link to fire another arrow at the mutant.
It hit, but didn't seem to do much except make Sander angrier. Another flash of red hid Sander's escape. This guy was tough. How much more could he take? Link saw another gathering of red. This time, Sander was able to fire an attack before Link could fire the arrow. Both dodged the other's attack, and Sander vanished again. Link readied himself for another hit-and-run attack.
"Wanna know something cool, girl? Take wine, beer, any alcohol that's fermented enough, add a little fire, and BOOOOM! I did this all the time with my camping buddies. Our beer made a hell of a bonfire! BWOOSSSSHHHHH! Aheeheeheeha! And you know what a Molotov is, right? Just a bottle of alcohol with a rag set on fire. Easy to make, and really livens up a good riot!"
Casey huddled in a corner, feeling pathetically helpless. Link and Jimi were trying to stop this teleporting freak who locked them in and tried to kill her, and what was she doing? Twiddling her thumbs, waiting for it all to blow over, staring at the wine bottle someone had left behind…
Casey stepped over to the strange bottle and picked it up. What was it doing here? Sander didn't strike her as a wine connoisseur. Well, maybe he had been, but why would he keep this bottle around now? The girl also noticed the label had been scrawled over. "'DON'T drink me'?" Casey uncorked the bottle and quickly regretted it.
It wasn't wine. It was alcohol that had fermented badly. It made quite a stink, and Casey quickly recorked it. No wonder it said 'don't drink me'…
Casey had a revelation. She looked out at the fight outside. Cohen had reappeared on the stage and blasted a ball of flame at Jimi. The Pokemon hopped aside just in time and counterattacked. Sander was hit with another thunderbolt-arrow combo before vanishing into that red mist again.
Casey looked back at the bottle and smirked. From what her old boyfriend Johnny told her, there was only one other use for alcohol…
"Sander, I greatly appreciate your support in light of recent events. However, I am afraid that due to certain…incidents brought to my attention, our partnership will have to end. For the good of Rapture, you understand. Too much is at stake right now, and I have more important concerns that your 'art'. Rest assured, I will contact you as soon as the matters in the city have been handled."
Link was getting frustrated. Sander Cohen had been hit with multiple thunderbolts and many of his arrows, and the crazed mutant was still attacking. What more, he was employing hit-and-run tactics to an extreme, firing off attacks and vanishing before Link and Jimi could counter effectively.
Still, they couldn't rest or get complacent. They had to stop this psychopath before they got killed. Link readied another arrow to his bow, searching the room for that red mist. He didn't see it, and neither did Jimi.
Back-to-back, the two were excellent scouts. Unfortunately, they did not think to look up.
A ball of flame enveloped Link's bow. Link threw the weapon away as the wood disintegrated, rendering his bow and arrows useless. Jimi looked up and saw Sander clinging to the chandelier like an oversized spider. A thunderbolt connected, and the chandelier exploded just as Cohen dissolved into the red mist again.
With his bow gone, Link had to draw out the plasma pistol Aven had given him. It was just in time too…a confident Sander had reappeared almost next to him and kicked Jimi away hard. The Pokemon squealed as it hit the back of a theatre chair.
Sander would've done more if Link hadn't suddenly shot one of the blasts. The plasma burned a hole in Cohen's tuxedo, and clearly caused him pain. He screamed in pure fury and vanished yet again.
How tough is this guy? Link readied another shot as the red mist of Sander Cohen began to reassemble on the stage…
"HEY FREAK!" Suddenly Casey was right beside Link. The girl ferociously threw the wine bottle at the red mist.
The bottle of alcohol flew through the air as the mist gathered together to form the pyromaniac that destroyed Casey's guitar. When Sander Cohen was standing on the stage again, the bottle was almost right in front of him. If Sander had known that, he wouldn't have been so quick to use another fireball.
The Molotov Cocktail exploded. Blazing alcohol splattered all over Sander Cohen, much to his horror. The bottle had blown apart with a great force, propelling the now-flaming Sander Cohen into the back of the stage. The man slammed into the wall, screaming in fear and agony. The flames on his clothes were hotter than normal, likely due to the mysterious composition of the liquid. Sander muttered something about a quadtych from amidst the flames, then fell flat on his face. He didn't get up.
Once assured Sander wasn't going to attack again, Casey ran up to her pet with Link. Pikachu moaned groggily as Casey picked her up.
"OK?" Link asked.
Casey smiled. "Sure. He's a tough little guy. He's just blown. Didn't expect to get action like this. Still, that was kinda fun." The girl shrugged. "You were pretty good there. I owe ya."
Link blushed a little. "Thanks."
Casey would've loved to do more, but she heard a rumbling at the door outside. She sighed resigningly. Maybe next time.
The sealed door was smashed open by Rtas Vadum's powerful foot, and he immediately readied his rifle. He blinked at what he saw. The two humans he had been sent to rescue had a few burns on their hands but were otherwise unharmed. Meanwhile, the flames of a deformed man on the stage were only starting to go out.
The elite lowered his weapon. "What happened here?"
"We got locked in and attacked by a teleporting pyromaniac." Casey pointed at the corpse on the stage with a sneer. "Gave him a taste of his own medicine."
Rtas glanced up at what was left of Sander Cohen. Just like those 'splicers' he had run into the day he was escorting Sofia, the things that had staggered the Hunters. Then he looked carefully at the boy and girl who had handled the situation very well by themselves.
After Link, Casey and Rtas had left the Fleet Hall, a tiny figure hopped down from one of the vents. The last little sister skipped over to where the ruined bow had been left behind. The weapon had been burnt to a crisp, utterly useless now.
Masha smiled. She now had another gift to make.