a child when the world around me began to change, where innocence became
nothing more but a waning memory. My father was a blunt realist, he believed
that we should be shown the harsh reality of things at the earliset of ages.
When I was no more than six, I asked my father a question that would change the
very fabric of my perception of man. I asked him ‘what were humans capable of
when it came to the bad things in life’. He told me to come to his office,
there he turned off the lights and turned on a projector. He then asked me if I
knew anything about Stalin in which I told him no. All he said about him was
that Stalin was a man that had grand visions on what to make of his country before
coming into power, once in power he grew to be something else entirely. A
picture came out of the projector, it showed an endless pile of bodies lying on
the ground. They were all deterioriating, and only had a sinlge cloth to cover
them. Individual shots were taken of each body; things such as deteriorating
skin, blank facial expressions, and glaring red eyes were common attributes
given to each corpse. Mass graves were dug where these naked corpses were
buried. He then turned it off and told me that all sorts of men were capable of
doing the unspeakable, but that it was men with vision that were the greatest
dangers to civilization. After that everything changed for me, I no longer
asked questions, no longer felt the joy of playing in the park. I was just a
still and quiet boy who detested man for all its faults. Chaos within my family
began to propagate after my mother began to realize something was wrong, I told
her about what father showed me. She fell into a state of despondency and
anger, fights between her and father grew in frequency. Not a day went by where
I did not hear her cry. Then, one day she disappeared and I never saw her
again. I took a tragic evolutionary misstep in my early years, I grew up too fast.
My mother saw it and looked at me in hopelessness,a product of a world
glistened with abomination and travesty. In the end she was right, I became a
killer of men, and now I was a killer of women. I had truly become my fathers
I left the lobby in a rush, after the gunshots went off a multitude of screams came after. I did not wait to see what was coming, I was in too much shock and could not shake it off. I was running in full acceleration, passing by lobbies, stations, and hallways. Soon I reached what seemed to be a functional elevator. I could still hear the screams drawing closer to me, screams of men and women. I pressed the elevator button multiple times for the door to close. Soon I saw them, running like vile fiends shrouded in darkness, carrying metal rods and wrenches. The door began to close and the sight of them faded away. The elevator began to ascend and I pointed my revolver towards the door anxiously awaiting for something to come in, something sinister and bred to wreak fear in the hearts of all men. The elevator stopped and the door opened . . . nothing was there. I entered what seemed to be a bar. Broken bottles were littered all over the floor. I looked at both corners and then exited. I checked the counter, the storage area, even the flipped tables. No one was here; I closed the only door that led out of the bar, sat down next to a wall, and then pointed my revolver at the door, waiting for someone to come in. But after five minutes of anxiously waiting, nothing came. I gave a sigh of relief, put the gun down and then laid my head on the back of the wall.
*Will, are you alright?* Said my ghost Buchanan. This time he came in form sitting right next to me, drinking a bottle of imagined whiskey.
“Not now . . . I need time to think,” I said closing my eyes.
*Only you don’t have time. It’s not going to be long before another one of those things shows up, only this time you’ll only have two bullets to stop one of them.*
“And what do you suppose I do, hm?” I said in an angry tone “Being that you’re the expert.”
He did not speak afterwards and everything was silent and still. What did he know about my field of work. This was John Buchanan, the golden goose of Rapture, a wealthy member of the elite without a care in the world. It was not him that had to pull out the gun and make the hard choices. But now he was quiet, sitting next to me, not making a single whisper. I stood up and went inside the storage room. There were a dozen plus unused bottles of whiskey. I took one and sat back down next to Buchanan.
“Did I ever tell you about my tour in the Korean War?” I asked him
“ . . . I was assigned to a station located in the outskirts of Seoul. I was supposed to gain intel on North Korean positions for American aircrafts to target. The station was located inside an apartment building, pretty much invisible to the public eye. Next to the building was The Seoul National University Hospital. There was a window where I worked that overlooked the entire University. Every so often I would look out and see one troop transport after another dropping off wounded soldiers. I saw medical students carrying these soldiers inside the hospital, they were nothing more than kids, forced to undergo the realities of war. Still they handled it and better yet faced the challenge wholeheartedly, treating their troops to the best of their ability. These kids became the reson for my staying in Seoul and helping with the war effort. I wanted them to go back home to their families, and if that was too much to ask for, then at least let them come out of this thing alive. A few days later reports came in that the platoon protecting the university was overrun by the North Korean Army. The station was evacuated and all our documents was put into the fire. But I stayed, in hope that I might get a chance to warn the staff of the hospital, but I was too late. Tanks surrounded the university and troops stormed into the buidlding. After that all I was able to do was listen to the endless gunshots and screams that precipitated after. I was stuck in the station for days, waiting for the troops to move along, but they didn’t, and the screams of nurses getting mauled by automatic guns continued. A week later they finally moved along and I left the station. I then entered the Hospital in hope that there was still someone alive . . . someone I might be able to get out. The moment I walked through the door, I saw bodies littered on the hallway. Bodies of doctors, wounded soldiers, nurses, and students. All were riddled by bullets, leaving no flesh untouched. The result was the same everywhere else, nothing was left but punctured bodies. Nine hundred people died in that hospital, nine hundred families forced to have closed casket funerals because those bastards disfigured all of their bodies with high caliber guns. No one in the hospital made it out . . . there was one case that . . . “
*. . . What case?*
“Nothing,” I said getting up and leaving the bottle of liquor on the floor. “We . . . I should get moving.”
He did not answer back. I picked up a backpack lying on one of the tables for the sake of storing supplies. I then exited the bar and began my search for my daughter.
“Hold it right there.”
Standing in front of the door was another man, waiting for me this entire time to come out, and I fell right for the trap. He was a mid-sized white male who had a long scar across his face. He was pointing a shotgun directly at my head, this could not have come at a better time. Though he was not like the others I just encountered, he was . . . normal. Maybe he could be reasoned with. I placed my revolever on the ground and put my hands up, in hope that he would not blow my brains out.
“Who were you talking to?” the man demanded
“What?” I asked
“I heard you in the other room, who else is in there?”
“No one, it’s just me pal! Listen why don’t you put the gun down and we can talk about this?” I said to him, doubting that tactic will work, but it was worth giving a shot.
“Get back in there!” he screamed. He then hit me in the chest with the back of his gun. The impact was not hard but it was enough for me to realize not to patronize him again. I walked back into the bar. He took out a pair of handcuffs and chained me up to one of the poles, never leaving his eye off the room, just in case “someone” did jump on him. He then checked every corner of the room, only to realize there was no one here. But for some reason this only worried him more. He came to me and then said “Let me see your arms.”
“Get me out of these handcuffs and I’ll be happy to show them to you.” I said. He complied and uncuffed me. I then pulled out my arms and he began to check them intimately, looking for something. After checking them, he gave a sigh of relief but still pointed his gun at me.
“Who were you before you came down here?” said the man
“Names Will Sullivan, I’m an operative for the CIA and am here to extract a very delicate package.” I said to him. He’s here for a reason, meaning he’s no friend of Ryans; the enemy of my enemy is my friend. He gave me a look of bewilderment and then, surprisingly, a smile. He put the gun down and then offered to help me up. I accepted and he lifted me up from the ground.
“Jimmy Thompson, analyst for the CIA, I was sent here to extract that package”, He said, putting out his hand to shake mine. I was positively relieved, I had an ally in this miserable hellhole. “We’ll talk later, right now we need to go. We’ve been here too long.”
I knoded my head in agreement, picked up my revolver, and headed out of the bar. Outside of it I entered another hallway and then came an large metallic door with no knob to be found, only a malfunctioning switch.
“Great, how are we supposed to get out now?” I said, while constantly looking behind me to see if anyone was coming.
“I got just the thing,” said Jimmy. He raised his hand and suddenly jolts of electricity came out and hit the switch. Somehow it was operational again. He uses plasmids, and in a very effective matter too. He pulled the switch and the door opened, but suddenly the air got colder. We entered what used to be a diner and it was entirely frozen. Multiple corpses occupied the café and sat frozen on the chairs. There was a large window that gave us a view of the ocean floor, but it only added to the gloominess of the room. I could see nothing but dark rocks and and a hideous glowing fish that just circled the window. I suddenly heard footsteps, me and Jimmy hid behind one of the tables to see who it was. Unfortunately it was another one of those things I just encountered. She . . . it . . . stopped in front of one of the tables that held a corpse.
“And what could I get you today mister? We have smoked fish for the house special.” It said, talking to the corpse. What the hell was wrong with them? “Oh t-thank you for noticing, I j-just got my hair done today, you like it?”
“How do you wanna go about this?” I asked Jimmy “We could try to go around her or we could go in guns blazing.”
“I got another solution, stay here.” Jimmy crouched and pulled out a wrench from his bag. He then walked away from the table and slowly began to walk towards it. What was he thinking? I was barely able to stop one of those things with four bullets from a revolver. What the hell is a wrench going to do? Bolts of lightning came out of his hand and hit it, completely immobilizing the thing. Jimmy then sprinted towards it and slammed his wrench on its face. The thing fell to the ground and Jimmy continued to hit it with his wrench. Blood began to squirt out and I could hear the gore getting pummeled with each hit. After ten or so strikes, Jimmy stopped, the creature was now nothing more than a bloody pulp, it’s face turned inside out. It was not exactly the most subtle way to get rid of the problem, nor the cleanest, but it was effective and he did save bullets and blood. I left the table and started to follow Jimmy once more.
“Where are you taking me?” I asked
“My hiding place, it’s in the next room. There we could talk.”
We entered a room inside the cafe ,it was an office of sort. Behind the office desk there was a shaft. Jimmy removed the exterior protection with his wrench. “After you.”
I went through the shaft and entered a small four cornered room. In it was a mattress and an influx of ammunition, weapons, even explosives. It looked like Jimmy was prepping himself for war, though I could not blame him for stockpiling this many weapons. Jimmy came from behind me, took off his boots and laid down on his mattress. “Alright we’re here, is there anything you wanna ask me before my questionning?”
“Yeah, what the hell are those things and how many of them are there?” I asked. I was still not able to get their faces out of my head, nor their vicious screams. They were following me as if they were ghosts from my past. Jimmy looked at me curiously and then asked, “How long have you been down here?”
“An hour at most.” I said back.
“Makes sense, I’m assuming Ryan didn’t spill the beans on what happens when you inject too much Plasmid into your system, did he.” Asked Jimmy
“Wait you can’t mean-“
“That’s precisely what I mean. Remember the effects of ecstacy? How large amounts of serotonin are released into in your system, giving you the allusion of invincibility. Imagine a drug that releases twice the serotonin and actually gives you that invincibility by rewriting your entire genetic code so you could obtain superpowers. Heh, you release plasmids into the surface and the worlds economic landscape changes in a heartbeat, the way we fight wars will take on monumental shifts, hell even policy making won’t be the same. But like any drug, addiction arises. What do you think happens to addicts?”
“Mental and physical deterioration.” I said
“Precisely, and being that plasmids are such powerful stimulants that changes the very nature of the human body, that physical and mental deterioration reaches resounding . . . horrifying new heights. Addicts begin to have extreme hallucinations and the lines between reality and whats in their head becomes severely blurred, they lose all sense of sanity. The person that was once there becomes an killing machine without any sort of moral compass, all thought is focused on satisfying their unquenchable thirst. As for their physical deterioration . . . whatever was once there, whatever was deemed beautiful before, there’s nothing left. They all became reincarnations of Frankenstein’s monster. Whenever you see one of these things, don’t hesitate to put a bullet in its head, they won’t wait.”
“Do you have a code name for these things?”
“Yeah . . . people call them splicers”
“ . . . Christ.” I said. I was this close to sending one of these bottle of plasmids to the surface. If a greedy business CEO got his hands on this, a pandemic would have spread. We would tear ourselves apart. Whenever I do end up dead, I need to thank Turner. “Is there anyone else stuck here? anyone sane?”
“Mostly political prisoners, but the main honcho in this place is an irishman by the name of Atlas. He was a champion of the destitutes of Rapture and a huge adversary of Ryan, that is until Ryan sent him here. Ever since then Atlas has been gathering all the poor saps locked up here and is amassing something near an army. Don’t know what for though, not like we’re getting out of here.”
“Atlas huh,” I said, this was interesting yet not surprising. Like any prison there seemed to be a hierarchy at work here, and this Atlas was at the top of the pyramid. Someone in that position knows all the internal workings of what is going on in his domain, meaning he might know something about Elena or Elizabeth. “Can you lead me to him?”
“No one just sees Atlas,” he said giving off a smirk
“You just said he’s a man of the people, isn’t he inclined to see all sorts of folks?”
“That was then, now he’s in an purgatory full of psychopaths, you can understand the need for discretion.”
“What do I need to do to see him?”
“You need to join his peoples army and prove that you’re loyal to the cause, once that’s done Atlas will tell you all you need to know, that is if it doesn’t interfere with his plans in anyway.”
“Thanks that’s all I need to know, I suppose it’s your turn for the questioning.” I said to him
“I suppose it is”, Jimmy said in a saddened tone, staring at the floor and not saying a word for a few seconds. “How are the boys doing up there, are they all right?”
“Jimmy . . . they’re all gone . . . Turner gave Ryan everything, betrayed us all for cash and an fancy apartment.“
“Yeah I figured . . . you should go then, get your daughter out of this place and make it back home. Atlas has an outpost located in the Blue Hill Diner, once you exit the shaft just head right.”
“Come with me, I could use a man with your talents, plus at this point you’re the only person I could trust down here.” I asked him
“ . . . I’m sorry, I can’t. I’ve been down here for two years, the people I worked with, we became close. Under orders from the heads of the CIA I was told to come down here and get your girl . . . I’ve been down here for seven months fighting these things and finding any possible escape route. Their isn’t any, we’re all animals in a cage. My hope was that I would eventually rendevous with my boys and find a way out of Rapture together, they were my means for staying alive. Then in the blink of an eye they’re all gone. Langley just left us to rot. I’m tired of following the orders of old men while watching the young die. No more . . . just leave me.”
I was about to say something and try to make him reconsider, but. . . he was broken. So much loss and travesty took a toll on him. I respected his decision and let him be. I picked up my belongings, took twelve .32 rounds, and headed towards the diner.
“Sullivan . . . I’m sorry I couldn’t get her.” He said to me with a crackling voice. He then took out a bottle of liqour from his bag and took large sips from it. “I’m . . .I’m sorry for dragging you into this god damn mess.”
“Hey, hey,” I said putting my hand oveer his shoulder “ You did everything you could and I’m greatful for that. Don’t you dare blame yourself. Just take care of yourself now, alright?”
With that, I vacated the premise. My goals were clear, but in the instance I left his room, they became blurred. After what I told him I felt like I had a responsibility to him, to care for someone who had seen the worst of us. Like me he became an efficient killing machine out of desperate action. Unlike me, he has nothing left to fight for, all his comrades were dead. I gave him a heavy burden to carry, would it have been better if I simply told him a lie? Or was I just delaying his inevitable fate? I stopped walking the instant I was in front of the exit and pondered on these thoughts. I just stood their contemplating on what to do. Soon I made my decision and walked back to the shaft, in hope that I could do some good.
A gunshot went off. I rushed back into the shaft, went into the room, and there he was; Jimmy Thompson lying on the floor, and blood scattered all over his room. I was now, undoubtedly, alone.