I was back, back to my former self, Will Sullivan. No longer
was I trapped by the harness of highbrow pleasantries and useless squabbling, I
was free. Though for some reason, I remembered everything that transpired as
John Buchanan; my employment with Sander Cohen, my friendship with William
Firth, and Elizabeth. They were all still there and it was hard to make sense
of it all. Nevertheless I was able to clearly distinguish between John’s
memories and mine. That man was nothing likeme; every action he took went
against my code and beliefs; excess drinking, excess materialism, excess
spending. No longer was I an eloquently spoken man with refined taste, but an
average Joe who works for the Central Intelligence Agency. I was right at home
in Rapture as John Buchanan, but as Will Sullivan, it was as alien to me as the
endless cosmos. It felt like a lush surreal world full of fanaticism, and that
frightened me. What frightened me more was the prospect that these little girls
had already undergone that horrific surgery presented by company men. Though my
little girl Elena was safe, Alexander promised me that much. I fulfilled my end
of the bargain, after that I would retire and return to Jessica with Elena.
I’ll start a family again, no more yearlong missions and high risk operations,
just a suburban home and a daughter to look after.
I followed the man who interviewed me through a short hallway; his name was Frederick Pitt,an analyst who had been here for the past two and a half years.
“Where’s the rest of your team, I heard you had a whole operation set up here?” I asked curiously, noticing that there was no one here but me and him.Where were the two men that were holding me? Where was the doctor that treated me? Was that all a product of my mind?
“There’s just me and a couple of others left, after Fontaine’s death, Ryan black bagged one of the officers who gave the names of most of the operatives down here. From there it all went to hell, the operation nearly busted, until we took hiding here in Neptune’s and kept our heads low. We can’t leave this shithole; Ryan’s security goons know all our faces.”
“He gave out all your names?” I said a bit surprised by this; we were trained to withstand this sort of thing, interrogations and what not, what led him to this? “Damn traitor.”
“What was he supposed to do?” said Frederick
“What do you mean by that?”
“Sodium thiopental,” he said “Ever heard of it?”
“Can’t say I have”
“Truth Serum, god damn truth serum.”
We exited the hallway and entered a dock; three men were standing beside what seemed to be a bathysphere. Two of them were bulky men; the other was a smaller, fragile looking, and somewhat older man.
“Sir,” said the two men, I shook both of their hands. These two carried me to the investigation room; one of them hit me in the head with the butt of his gun. I let it go, no point in holding grudges for something so petty. I walked towards the smaller man; it looked like he was calibrating the bathysphere. He did not even look at me.
“So is this my exit plan?” I asked him
“Yes it is, a fully operating metro bathysphere, makes for a wonderful souvenir for the surface, don’t waste it” said the man. I knew that voice; this was the man who was operating on me.
“You’re the one that removed the chip from my head.” I said surprised
“Yes as a matter of fact it was me! And I prefer the term microprocessor; you should know that much Will.” He said deviously. He then looked away from me and continued his work. What an odd fella.
“Sullivan!” said Frederick, calling me to come to his direction in which I did. He pulled out a map of the surrounding ocean and set it on a nearby table.
“You’re here,” he said drawing a circle on one point of the map and then a line stretching across it. “This is where you’re bathysphere is designated to go. There’s a shortwave radio on it, use it to contact the USS Independence which is around here. From there they’ll fly you out of here and into Langley with a full bottle of plasmids. You’ll be a decelerated hero in the agency.”
“Before any of that happens I want to see my daughter. Where is she?” I said anxiously
“Sir?” Frederick said a little startled
“You heard me; I want to see my daughter. We’re boarding this sub together.” I said insistently
He did not respond, instead he began to look away from me. Something was wrong; it should not have been this much as a hassle to ask to see my daughter. What was he holding back? “Hey! Did you hear me?”
“Sir . . . we don’t have her.”
“. . . What?” I said, bewildered and infuriated. They were supposed to have her. Damn it . . . damn it . . . Alexander you bastard. “Where is she . . . where the hell is she?”
“. . . Fontaine’s Department Store.”
My heart stopped beating, my astonishment turned to dread. Fontaine’s Department Store: the penitentiary of Rapture. It is a hundred leagues below the city, a dark abyss where Ryan locked up all of Fontaine’s goons; smugglers, criminals, collectivists, and from what I’m hearing, employees of the CIA. What is my little girl doing down there? “Why is she in a god damn prison? She’s just a kid.”
“I don’t know . . . I sent one of my men to get her and maybe reconvene with some of our guys down there. That was three months ago, haven’t heard back from him since. We couldn’t risk anymore manpower to get her, we are a five man operation now.”
I started walking in circles and put my hands on my face in frustration. It was happening all over again, I should have known better than to trust Alexander. “What the hell is going on in this city? It’s just a fucking whirlpool of nonsense and blood.”
“Sir . . . I do-“
“Stop. . . I’m going after her.”
“What?” Frederick said in disbelief “Sir, this might be our last chance to get this package outside of this godforsaken place. Don’t throw this away, we’ve been in here for years and haven’t made any progress until now.”
“That’s why one of you guys will be heading up there.” I said
“Sir?” He said, a bit confused
“I’ve been in this field of work for a long time. Whether or not I come back a hero or a disgrace to the agency doesn’t mean a thing to me anymore. But coming back home to my wife with my kid means the world. Take one of your guy’s home. Whoever he’ll be; he deserves it way more than me. Whichever volunteer decides to go, he has to tell the USS Independence to remain stationary for at least another week, if I don’t make it in time then it gets the hell out of here.”
He did not say anything to me and looked down. He was contemplating my plan, considering it. He better take it because I was not taking that bathysphere without Elena. Frederick then walked towards the feeble man, the one who did my surgery. They were talking to each other, no doubt about my plan. I did not have time to ponder over their decision; I had to make my next move. How the hell was I going to get to the Department Store? I don’t know how to operate a bathysphere let alone reconfigure its coordination system. The only sound thing I could come up with right now is to buy a private bathysphere; but where will I get the money? The damn thing is more expensive than a home in Olympus Heights, selling my apartment will compensate for most of the money I need. Maybe there is some fool in Olympus who keeps all his valuables in an apartment. I can easily access a personal vault without any issues, and it would not draw any attention. That’s my plan; withdraw any cash that I have gained over the past few days, sell my apartment, and steal whatever valuables those rich bastards might leave lying around. It was not a particularly good plan though. What were the chances that someone had left behind fifty thousand dollars in an apartment vault?This was more of a gamble than a plan, but it was better than anything else I could come up with.
Frederick and the doctor walked next to me. Frederick said “It’s a done a deal, old Turner over here will take your place, the rest of us will stay and continue on with our mission.”
“Frederick, what mission? You guys stay here any longer eventually Ryan will bring the hounds down here and none of you will see solid land again. Get that damn bottle out of here and take your men home.” I said stubbornly.
“Sir . . . it’s not that I don’t want to get out of this rat hole . . . it’s just . . . I’ve seen things . . . unspeakable things . . . things I wish I never saw.” Frederick said with a great amount of despair “But I did and now I have a duty to stop it. Before I leave I need documents, proof of any sort that these things took place so I could bring the full force of the U.S. navy down on these scumbags.”
“You’re talking about the girls aren’t you?”
“It’s more than that . . . much more. . . No we’re staying, there’s still a lot to be done, but thanks for the offer.” Frederick said. He then left my side and exited the dock. I suppose this was my queue to leave, and so I did. But first I went to talk to this Turner fella to thank him for his decision, and for getting that chip out of my head.
“Hey Turner” I called out; he looked at me and gave me a blank face. “Thanks for this pal, really needed someone else to take that bottle out of here and I’m glad it was you.”
“You made a grave mistake Mr. Sullivan,” Turner said to me
“Fontaine’s Department Store, correct?” he said “How much do you actually know about the penitentiary?”
“That a bunch of criminals take refuge there? I’m not following.” I said. Was there something I didn’t know about this place?
“Tell me Sullivan, have you ever read the bible?”
“Can’t say I have.”
“Revelation 6:8: ‘And I looked, and behold a pale horse: and his name that sat on him was Death, and Hell followed with him. And power was given unto them over the fourth part of the earth, to kill with sword, and with hunger, and with death, and with the beasts of the earth’. Does that mean anything to you?”
“I honestly don’t know, haven’t been very good at interpreting biblical met-“
“Hell on Earth, Sullivan. If you go down there the apocalypse will commence. The Four Horsemen will wreak havoc amongst humanity; conquest, war, famine and death will consume us.”
“Stop speaking in metaphors. If you want to say something then say it?” I said
“I’ll tell you this; the devil lurks in the halls of the abyss. His cunning is unmatched, his antics supreme. He hides himself in the guise of others, those who are weak and feeble minded will fall for his falsehood and become servants of hell. Do not fall for his guise, for once you make a deal with the devil, his wrath will be unleashed onto all of humanity. Everyone you hold dear will be no more.”
Turner then walked into the bathysphere with the plasmid in his hand. I did not answer back to him because I was lost in confusion. There were so many ways in which that could be interpreted. I then walked towards him and asked him what I thought at the time to be a thoughtless question. “So you’re a devout Christian?”
He looked at me and gave out a short laugh, “I’m as much a Christian as you are a musician. All I am saying is that what is beneath this city is of biblical proportions, and has made me a believer in burning pits and demons.”
The hatch to the bathysphere closed and the sub went under. It was finished, my mission to Alexander was complete, and never again will I take part in his schemes and plots. My other mission on the other hand was far from done. I still had to find my daughter before I could leave here.
I soon left the dock along with my fellow CIA brethren and entered one of many fisheries in Neptune’s. The place was jam packed with workers, many of which looked to be in poor health. This was a deep contrast from what I saw earlier last night; which was like walking into a dark barren wasteland. I soon exited the fisheries, entered a bathysphere station, got into a bathysphere, and headed into the forbidden city; though this time not as John Buchanan, but as Will Sullivan. The smug elitists surely had a surprise waiting for them; a ‘low life’ operative representing everything they despise was currently their next door neighbor.