minutes in and a bag was still over my head. Men dragged me out of Atlas’s
office and like that the process repeated itself. An omnious silence crept,
darkness lingered, it all felt so familiar. The calm before the squall, until
the next batch of splicers show up. I was dreading my next inevitable encounter
with them. The only thing I can hope for now was that I would be ready next
time. I heard a door open and suddenly the silence was replaced by the
chattering of men and the moving of objects.
The bag on my head was removed and what stood before me was the storm that would wake the bourgee. I was in a large room that contained tables holding a ludicrous amount of weapons. On the side were boxes full of posters and other such things. Organizing all this were thirty plus men; all of which were disgruntled, stern and battle ready. It was truly a sight to behold, I never seen the inside operations of a revolt. Usually I was the man that stoppped such things. But circumstances have changed since the CIA no longer operated here, which in turn has made me a very desperate man.
“Welcome to Pete’s Caliber Warehouse, go to the far left and talk to Lonnie, he’ll set you up with the rest of your crew and you’ll be on your way.” Said one of the men who escorted me. He soon left my side and started helping the rest of the men with their work. I followed what he said and walked my way to this Lonnie. The set up was very elaborate, their were dozens of crates carrying weapons of all sorts; semi automatic luger pistols, tommy guns, pump action shotguns. Cuban revolutionaries would salivate at the sight of this. On top of that Atlas had an absurd amount of man power, all of who seemed to be battle hardened. Judging from the apparel, they were probably the grunts of Fontaines Smuggling Empire, unloading crate after crate of contraband items. To Ryan, these men were the lowest of scum. So when someone like Atlas comes along promising to vanquish their oppressor, they flock to his side without a seconds hesitation. But what was Atlas’s end game? With all these weapons at his disposal, he could send all those living in Rapture to their grave. Was he really a champion of the destitutes and disenfranchised or did he have another agenda?
It did not matter, he was just a means to an end for me. Whatever he does down here is not my concern. The only concern I had was to get Elena and any other child living here out of this place, before this revolution takes place. Once that begins there will be no safe haven, no shelter that can protect them from the hailstorm of bullets that was to come.
“Hey, hey! You Will Sullivan?” said a man from the otherside of the room. I turned my head to see who was calling out my name. A tall black man came up to me, he was unshaven and had ragged clothing, but was built and carried a strong presence.
“What’s it to you?”
“Heh, Shelby told me about you, he says you’re a CIA man. Where’s the rest of your kind?” he said in a forceful tone.
“Either dead or incarcerated, now if you don’t mind I have a meeting that needs attending” I said frustratingly. I started to walk again until suddenly this man stops me by putting his hand on my chest. He was testing me in some matter, but all he was managing to do was test my patience.
“Hey back off pal, I don’t want any trouble.”
“Really?” he said laughing “You come here and say to my face that there ain’t no trouble? You bastards forced me to come to this shithole.”
“And you are?”
“Marcus Hill, former right hand man of mob boss Bumpy Johnson. That is until the CIA started trailing me everywhere I went. Bumpy let me go due to me becoming a liability, a fucking liability!” he said furiously “The only man who would give me a job was Fontaine, and all I did was unload crates for him. Then he died and we were sent here. Your agency took everything from me, so don’t tell me there ain’t no trouble.”
I looked at him in disbelief and then gave out a small laugh. His statement was actually amusing, it gave me a full picture of what really went down. Of course he grew angry by this, grabbed my shirt tightly, and then picked me up, or at least attempted to.
“You got something to say? Huh!” he said, getting angrier by the second.
“Yeah I do, you’re a dipshit.”
“ . . . What did you say?” he said giving off a face of disbelief.
“You actually think the CIA gives a shit about you? Some low life domestic criminal? You see it’s the FBI’s job to give a shit about scumbags like you, we handle cases like the de-escalation of The Cold War, the dethroning of some senseless fascist dictator, and loads of paperwork. So for you to come to me and say that we ruined your life is something you made up in your head to make yourself feel good. In truth your boss, Bumpy, probably let you go because you were too stupid to get anything right, if you even worked for a mob boss that is.”
“You little shi-“
I did not let him finish his sentence and immediately jabbed my fist on his throat, possibly causing his windpipe to collapse. Marcus fell to the floor stunned while at the same time gasping for air. He looked at me with wide, shocked eyes at how easily I managed to put him down. But it did not have the effect I was hoping for. I assumed that this would show everyone here to back off, instead they all pulled out their guns and pointed them at me; all 30 of the men. It was hardly a standoff when you are outnumbered thirty to one.
“Stand down!” yelled a man from across the room. All of the men put their guns down. I looked the other way and out came a older looking man; unlike the rest of this lot which consisted of top brass men at the prime of their youth. This must be Lonnie.
“You two, pick up Marcus and treat his throat,” he said, the two men complied and took him out of the room. “As for you Sullivan, step into my office, now!”
And so I complied as well, he had a menacing authoritative presence. I knew immediately that I would not want to get on his bad side. I walked away from the crowd of men, who were all staring in awe at me, as if I performed a grand act of sorts. Maybe it has to do with the faint chance that I was still alive, I could not believe it myself. A few hours here and I nearly got killed three times, yet I survived them all. Maybe some sort of supernatural presence was watching me from above. Some would profess that it is God; while others would say it might be aliens from Mars. I say it’s a combination of skills and luck, nothing more. Something like this does not deserve excessive pondering and thought. I stepped inside Lonnie’s office. It was not nearly as glamourous or appealing as Atlas’s office, but it was functional enough. To be offered a space for the sake of privacy is a blessing in this hell.
“Two minutes and you already stirred a ruckus amongst my men, let me guess, you’re from New York.” Lonnie said. He had a thick German accent and a very calm mannerism. There was definitely something imposing about him, he did not seem to be your traditional cargo loader.
“No, Chicago actually, what started the ruckus was my association with the CIA. But that’s not relevant, I was told to meet with you. Presumably so you can introduce me to my new companions?”
“Yes, and to change your genetic code in it’s entirety, giving you the ability to wield things like lightning and fire at the palm of your hand.” Said Lonnie enthusiastically. “It’s quite the venture, I can assure you that much. One just needs the courage to take it. Tell me Mr. Sullivan, are you a cougar or a chicken.”
“I’m in whichever side that chooses sanity and a peace of mind. I’ve seen what these things do, turn you into freaks of nature that go on a rampant killing spree just for a bit of juice. What’s to say I won’t turn into one of those things, those splicers?” I said to him, waiting for some sort of reassuring response. If their was none, then it would be a one way trip for me, and Elena would have to return to the surface without me. What other choice did I have?
“I am assuming you are unaware of that piece of Rapture’s history. There are two factors that made these poor citizens turn into vile creatures, one was that the ADAM that splicers used was . . . less refined than the current product. At a time when Fontaine was still breathing, our understanding of ADAM was rudimentary and the alpha product produced many negative effects on the general consumer as you can see; physical and mental deterioration were just the tip of the iceberg. Worse was the high level of addiction it produced, making this product irresistable to the average person. Tenenbaum, the geneticist who discovered ADAM, saw the moral repercussions of selling such a product, but it was too late. She was under the employment of Frank Fontaine, a man who lacked general humanity and ignored the consequences of mass producing it, because in his eyes there were no consequences. He would make a large sum of money and never look back at what he’s done. But that is besides the point. Simply put, we use beta plasmids, the level of addiction is very minimal as opposed to the alpha. Now for the second point, those who became splicers were weak willed and weak minded. They chose pleasure over duty and never had to undergo the harsh reality of things. You know of what I speak of, being a man of the CIA I’m sure you had your fair share of hardships and loss. In turn, using something like this will have little to no ramifications on your mental stability, that I am sure of.”
“Then why don’t you use any?” I said, Lonnie seemed perfectly healthy, mentally and physically. For the beta to be so radically different from the alpha seemed absurd to me. Like that they were able to get rid of the problem of addiction and deterioration. It all just seemed wrong.
“As a matter of fact, I’ve already taken my fair share.” Said Lonnie, he pulled up his sleeve and showed me his arm. I could see where the needles pierced it, though it did not look infected. “No symptoms, no splicer attributes. Though there is one thing I must caution you on.”
“And what’s that?”
“Once you take your first dosage, a part of what you were before vanishes. To fill that void, a beast takes it place. One of which the likes you will never see come to being on the surface. When it comes down to it, only you can determine whether to repel that brute for a lifetime or to let it consume you and make itself whole. Because no matter how hard you try to rid yourself of it, that monster will follow you where ever you go. Do you understand?”
“Believe me . . . that monster is already inside me.”
“No, it’s not even close . . . but when it is . . . believe me, you’ll know.”
Suddenly Lonnie’s office door opened and in came a short white man. He had thick blonde hair and looked like he was in his mid 30s.
“We’re ready,” he said to Lonnie
“Wonderful, ah Sullivan, this is Garvey Rockefeller, a veteran of the Korean War. He will be accompanying you on your trip to secure that package we so adamentally need, along with two of his men. He and his men will also be the ones holding you down when you get your first dosage of ADAM.”
“Holding me down?” I asked curiously
“We’re rewriting your genetic code, you did not think any pain will be involved?”
“Let’s just get it over with,” I said to Lonnie. I exited the office and followed Garvey to wherever I had to go. Once again everyone in the room was staring at me, stopping whatever work there were doing to see me undergo my transformation. The silence was almost unbearable, no distractions to keep me from thinking of the pain that was to come. In the center of the room was an empty table and around it were two men, probably the ones that would accompany me.
“Get on the table and lay down,” said Garvey in a commanding tone
I listened and lied myself down, now all I was able to see was a bright light staring right at me. The two men then grabbed my arms and held down my chest. Then came Garvey holding the one thing I truly feared in this hellhole, the reason why I was sent down here: a bottle of plasmid. The liquid was a glowing blue and was moving inside the syringe, as if it were alive.
“Pull your arm out, and hold on to something.”
“Why, what the hell is this?” I asked
“Just do it”
And so I did, I held on to the table with one hand and left my other one open so it can receive the shot. Both of my hands were shaking and sweat was dripping off my face. If there was one thing I truly feared, it was heading into the unknown without any intelligence or guarantees. And this was exactly that, a tilted gamble with no way out. And like that, Garvey injected it into my system. It felt, cold and heavy, a chill ran through my body, yet there was no pain. I let go of the table.
Like lightning, it all hit without a seconds notice. I felt my insides twisting and turning, my veins growing in size and fury, my eye sockets about to burst, chemicals were surging through every portion of my body. It was all too much . . . and it would not stop . . . please make it stop . . . MAKE IT STOP!
“Hold him down, NOW!”