“This is a mistake; this man is a menace and a fiend. He gained an insurmountable of wealth in a matter of months in the guise of an artist. This is Frank Fontaine all over again; you really want to repeat the process?”
I slowly began to open my eyes, everything was out of focus. I then let out a gasp, my memories were intact, I still remember everything. A smile came out of my face, but then my eyes began to clear and I saw an infuriated Dr. Turner staring at me.
“Look at him! He’s a scoundrel, how can you-“
“Look pal, these are Ryan’s orders and I’m just the messenger and the enforcer, so could you please step aside so you can give Sullivan and his guest some privacy?” said a guard of sort
Dr. Turner looked at me with absolute hatred and malice. But he walked out of the room in defeat with the guard and I was alone, chained up on some sort of surgical table. The door opened and a new figure came in, a familiar one. It must be William Firth, after all he was . . . John’s only friend in this city.
“From a butterfly who soared to the highest of points, to a conniving snake that has a knack for deception. My . . . my, you most definitely have the eye of the artist, whether you see it or not.”
Well I’ll be damned, this was not Firth, but rather it was John’s mentor, Sander Cohen. I have memories of seeing his face but it was something extraordinarily terrifying to see up close; the fake eyebrows and mustache, the mortifying eye liner, and those god awful eyebrow extensions. His face was a memory I would have until the end of time itself. I sometimes ponder upon whether or not he was an old fruit. But at this point it was a pointless thought. He stopped Turner from undergoing the surgery so I should show some gratitude.
“Little viper, why do you forsake me? Why take away my compeer, my soaring butterfly? He shunned the doubters, but because of your engagements, I will be left with more than just a pack of wolves howling on my doorstep.” Sander said outraged.
“Hate to burst your luck but Buchanan never really existed, there was only Will Sullivan, which is me.”
“No . . . one cannot simply produce transcendence in the arts. That is something achieved through sweat and tears, not through outlandish gadgetry. Tell me what I need to know, and I can see fit that you leave this abominable place.”
“Look there is no Buchanan, they planted a chip in my head with fabricated memories, that’s all there is to it Cohen. So are you here to help or are you just wasting my time?”
“Oh . . . Sullivan, you entreat me to release you from your harness, but what good is a rabid dog to Rapture, after all . . . the good doctor did complete his surgery and this meeting never truly came to being. Farewell little viper, after Turner is done with you, you’ll be nothing more than livestock.”
“Wait, WAIT!”, I screamed out to him. It was dumb of me to provoke him. I needed to come up with an answer, Sander maybe a wacko, but he was not stupid. Then it came to me, the answer to my problem. “Buchanan may not be real, but his memories, well that’s a completely different story.”
“Ah . . . it’s the chip you speak of. What good are memories if the host refuses to accept them?”
“You don’t need the original host, anyone will do. You can reinvent John Buchanan completely and get back your prized gem.”
“That is certainly a sound plan, but then I remember you are a conniving viper. Tell me viper, why should I trust you with such a delicate matter?” Sander said.
“Cuzz then you can provide me with something I need, a way into Fontaine’s Department Store.”
Sander gave a bewildering expression when I mentioned the Department Store, but then he began to laugh hysterically. I wanted to shut him up, but in these harnesses I could not even plug my ears. “Sullivan, now I know . . . you’re out of your wits. No one voluntarily goes into a purgatory that defeats the whole purpose of it. Why would you want to go to such a hellish place?”
“Because my daughter is in there and I have to get her out,” I said hesitantly, I did not want everyone to know about my purpose, some would certainly use that against me, but not Sander. “Isn’t that one of the only things you believe in, how love and pain are emotions that help transcend our . . . meager existence? Please, let me fulfill my existence, my daughter Elena means the world to me, and I would do anything to get her back because of how much I love her, please Sander.”
“And what’s stopping me from simply asking Dr. Turner to give me the chip and implant it into a host?” Sander said
“Turner’s a man who likes to keep his gadgets to himself, and pride himself on his accomplishments. You really think a man like that is simply going to give away his prized gem?”
“And what, you can make him spill out his secrets?” Sander said curiously, wondering where my plan was going.
“You’ll be surprised at what I could do to men like Turner.”
Sander did not respond. He just put his hands on his face in frustration and then walked in circles around me. He was contemplating my plan, probably assessing the risks involved in it. After all Sander was a huge supporter of Andrew Ryan, and he thinks that in essence he would betray him by doing this. But that was not the case at all, so I elaborated further. “Untie me and bring Turner into this room, once in I’ll interrogate him and he’ll give me the location of the chip. After that I take care of him, and leave a note of the location the cabinet to your left. You will come to the conclusion that I’m too mentally sporadic to be part of a mental asylum and therefore should be sent to Rapture’s purgatory, The Department Store. After that you’ll still be recognized by Ryan as one of the greatest artists in Rapture and you’ll have your prized gem, in which someone like Steinman could implant the chip into a new host, what do you say?”
“It’s a deal,” Sander said, he started unstrapping me from the harness, that was much easier than expected, he must be very eager to get Buchanan back. “Wait here.”
Sander left the room and I quickly got off the surgical table. I looked around the room to see what I could use. I picked up the metal pick that Turner was going to use for the lobotomy along with a scalpel and a white rag. I hid them and went back onto the table, waiting for him. The door opened and in came Turner, holding a clipboard and a pen. He put those aside and went next to my table.
“I just got approval from Ryan to perform the surgery, but before I have to give you a sedative, so stay sti-“
Before he had a chance to finish I went up, grabbed the back of his neck, and slammed his head with the back of the scalpel. He fell to the floor dazed and confused. Before he had a chance to scream, I dashed from the table, placed him face forward, and stuffed the rag into his mouth. Then I took out the needle and put it through his leg. He screamed as loud as he could but it was no use, his face was covered with pain and his eyes expressed shock and bewilderment. He struggled, but I had in my grasp, he did not stand a chance. I got out the pen and clipboard he brought in and then pointed the needle on his other leg.
“Where is the chip?” I said to him, he looked at me in confusion. I didn’t have time for this, so my needle punctured his other leg. Once again he screamed in agony, tears started to flow down his face, and blood was gushing out of his leg. Like he could draw any sympathy from me. “WHERE IS THE GOD DAMN CHIP?”
He then put his hands up, signaling me to give him a piece of paper from the clipboard. I did so and he began writing the destination. When he finished I checked it, it seemed authentic enough. I quickly grabbed hold of him and dragged him to the nearest cabinet, where I put the note. I then made him stand up and put the satchel to his throat.
“You did all of this so you could live a grand life while the rest of us get the axe. You betrayed the agency, worst of all; you threatened to kill my wife. You think you get to walk out of that? You think because you gave me what I wanted that I would let you go? You’re a stupid, sick fuck. This is where you scream.” I said, then I took the piece of cloth out of his mouth and he did what I expected.
“OH GOD, PLEASE DON’T DO-“
I grabbed him by his hair, slammed him against the wall, and then slit open his throat with the satchel. Blood poured out of his neck and dripped all over my clothes. I let go of him and he fell to the floor. He was choking on so much blood that he began to spit much of it out of his mouth. He started looking at me, drawing out all his energy to reach his hand towards me, as if I was supposed to do something. I just stared at him expressionless, void of any emotions. Soon he lost consciousness and did not draw breath. He was dead, and the blood just kept oozing out of him. I dropped the spoiled satchel and waited for the guards to show. Two men stormed the room, following them was Sander. The two men quickly went up to me with their batons and one of them smacked me right on the head. I fell to the ground unconscious, losing sight of what was real and what was not. I entered a sleep that would last for days, after one injectable to another.
I gradually began to regain consciousness. There was a bag over my head, though the bag was not thick enough to cover all my sight. I saw that I was in one of the more glamourous rooms of Rapture and standing beside me were two figures, both of them were smoking cigars and looking out at a window showing off parts of the city. Though everything was shrouded, I was not able to get a clear picture of where I was and who was with me.
“This is a mess, having him in an asylum might allow him to kill again, that will only stir panic amongst my citizens, former star now turned into an outright maniac. You were a witness Sander, how appalling was it?”
“Blood was everywhere in the room; Sullivan merely stood still and smiled at what he had done. His eyes craved blood, the blood of others. If I did not know any better I assume that he brands what he did as art. I’m no professional in the field of psychological behavior but any dim witted buffoon can see that Sullivan’s affliction cannot be cured. The most reasonable thing to do right now is to send him to the purgatory. Once there, I doubt he will last more than a day. All your problems will go down the drain.”
“So be it, put him in the bathysphere, I do not want to hear the name Buchanan ever again in my city, do I make myself clear?”
“He is a renowned figure; one cannot simply use an eraser to wipe away a painting.”
“Tell them the truth, if I learned anything about my citizens, it is that there hatred for federal agents outweigh their love for anyartist . . . that will be all Sander.”
I began to lose consciousness once again, I was too weak to continue this. I fell into another deep sleep. At this point I assumed I left the room with Andrew Ryan and Sander Cohen. Hopefully this was the last time I would ever see the two again, the last time I ever see this city.Even Vietnam was a more preferable choice than this; at least there I would be amongst friends. Here I am alone and isolated. The only friend I probably have left here is Elizabeth. I had to find her, by now she’s already at the department store.
“Will Sullivan, the hero of the hour.”
I opened my eyes and felt a strange descending feeling. I looked up and realized I was in a bathysphere, and it was moving down. I no longer saw the shining city of Rapture, or the rays of light that made the ocean floor visible. I was descending into an unseeable place. Suddenly lights from the bathysphere came on and in front of me were large rocks filled with underwater sea creatures, ranging from sharks to other such organisms. The bathysphere just continued to go down and did not slow in pace. This purgatory was located at the deep in the ocean. Fantastic, how the hell was I supposed to get out of this? Surely there were some bathyspheres down there that I could use; otherwise I just made a grave mistake.
“We’re headed 5,000 fathoms below Rapture, as happy as I am to be alive thanks in part to you, I must say you’re an absolute idiot. How do you propose on getting out of here?” said Buchanan
“I’ll figure it out”
“That’s a relief,” John said sarcastically
I was about to answer back but the rocks cleared, and the purgatory was right before my eyes. It was a tall building with neon lighted signs all around, though most of them were broken. The building was shaped like a man with spiky hair and a pronounced beard, as if it were some sort of temple to Poseidon himself. Right in the buildings chest, the words ‘Fontaine’s Department Store were inscribed in it, open enough for anyone to see. This was the place, chills ran through my spine, what the hell was in there that everyone was so afraid of? Before I even had time to contemplate that, the radio inside the bathysphere turned on.
“And now a poem from an anonymous author relating to your ill-fated position” Said Sander Cohen
“You're being held down.
Held down by your demons
You can't breath
You can't take it anymore
No one will care
No one will notice
The time has come
Grab the knife
Grab the pills
Grab the rope
Write you're note
“In essence Sullivan, this poem translates to, embrace death. Alive or not, you’re descending to a dark and forbidden place that knows nothing but suffering and pain. Welcome to Hell, the one and only.”