My eyes opened instantly and a burst of energy swayed throughout my body. I began to look frantically without any given purpose. Then something held me down, it looked like a hand.
“Hey, take it easy, this ain’t the time,” said a man
I looked at him in awe and bewilderment, it felt like a turbulence of some sort was instigating behind him. A perilous ride on a mountain top, yes that was what it was, or what it felt like, whatever it was. Everything somehow felt surreal, I could feel this unwavering energy surging through me, as if nothing but adreneline was flowing through my blood stream.
“Look alive, we got tengos coming in” said the man, my vision began to clear and then I realized it was Garvey. He was taking cover on some sort of desk along with two other men. All of them were armed to the teeth; tommy guns, grenades, lugers, you name it.
“Here take this,” said Garvey, he handed me a tommy gun and a bag of ammunition and I wholeheartedly accepted it. I took a good look at where I was and realized I no longer was in a safe zone, rather I was back in the hyenas den. The ruined rooms, the blood soaked floors, the ominous silence, it all came back to haunt me. I picked myself up and peeked my head out to see what Garvey was looking at. On the otherside of the room were three splicers, all of them were knocking on a door trying to get in.
“Come on Billy, there ain’t no harm in sharing, be a good Christian and let me have some!” said one of the splicers
“Hey you see all that water they’re standing on?” said Garvey, pointing at an puddle that was growing by the minute, in which all three splicers were standing on. “Blast it and a shockwave will form, immobilizing all of them. Then we’ll take care of the rest, you think you can handle that?”
“Oh yeah,” I said with more confidence than I have ever felt. I knew exactly what they were talking about, blue currents were flowing through my veins and were just waiting to burst out. It was time to show these bastards what I was made of. I stood up, pointed my hand at the puddle, and a blue current of electricity surged out of my hand. The current hit the water and multiplied, hitting every splicer that stood on it. They were shaking and screaming like mad dogs as volts of electricity hit their bodies, then Garvey and his men came up and put them down with their lugers.
It was enthralling; the thrill of letting out the supernatural, the immediate ease of taking out splicers. It felt all too gratifying, I no longer dreaded my next encounter with these fiends, but was anticipating it.
*Well I’ll be damned, this ADAM contraption works wonders! Turning men into brutish, efficient killing machines without a hint of that gad awful sympathy malfunction. Stellar stuff really, perfect if you want to avoid the hassle of children* said a familiar voice, one in which I had not heard for a brief time; John Buchanan. The excitement and jitteriness I felt faded as the realization of things hit me; why I was here, why I needed to get out. How could have I forgotten?
“What took you so long?” I asked John
*Well you had company, didn’t want to impede in anyway*
“I’m still with that company.”
*Whenever you go off course from your primary task I interfere in some, shallow, mundane matter*
*I don’t know!* He said sounding irritated *Probably some sort of higher functioning I have going on that automatically makes me signal out a response to you everytime you stray from your current course. It’s all mumbo jumbo that comes splattering out more ferociously than paint for contemporary art.*
“Hey! Who are you talking to?” said Garvey
“Nobody, just childhood habits,” I said to reassure him
“Well quit it, that’s a splicer symptom, last thing I need is to nerve up my men.” Garvey ordered, and so I complied. Garvey’s men then barged through the door the splicers were trying to get into just earlier. Inside was another splicer waiting right at the door. It panicked and tried to run, but with a flick of a finger from Garvey, the splicer turned on fire. It ran frantically through a hallway screaming, trying to find something to put it out. But within seconds it fell to the ground and became a burnt crisp. We searched the room and found a shotgun with some 12 guage shells, three syringes of ADAM, and a bottle of plasmid that had the label ‘Incinerate’.
“Here take this,” Garvey said, handing me the bottle. “It’ll give you the ability to do what I just did, believe me you don’t want to miss out.”
“I’ll use it when I need it,” I said to Garvey, remembering Buchanan’s “signal”. My priority was to find Elizabeth who will in turn lead me to my daughter. Killing splicers was a secondary objective. I took the plasmid and put it in my bag. Meanwhile we exited the room and entered a large hallway that was leading to a bathysphere station, we were enroute to the secondary complex of the Department Store to receive that package Atlas desperately needs, whatever it was.
We soon entered the bathysphere station which was completely desolate. All the docks were empty except for two; one was damaged beyond repair, the other one seemed manageble enough to fix, so we headed to that one and began our repairs. One of Garvey’s men was in charge of that. The rest of us kept watch to see if any more splicers will show.
“So what’s your story?” Garvey asked me “You probably have one that’s worth telling, especially now that you’re down here.”
“Would you believe me if I told you that it’s confidental?” I said to him
“Being that you’re a CIA man, I’d imagine everything from your marriage is confidential as well.” He said, I gave him a confused look, not sure what he was implying there. He got the message and nervously said, “Which it should be, no man should pry into another mans business, especially when it comes to their prized gem.”
“You married?” I asked Garvey
“Maybe, maybe not. Most likely divorced.”
“Now that seems like a story worthy of telling.” I said to him in a joking like matter
“There’s not much to it.” He said to me “The day Fontaine was killed was the day all his grunts were arrested and sent down here, I was one of them. My wife and I didn’t know what he was doing in his so called “House for the Poor”. So when I was caught and Ryan announced what Fontaine was doing, she assumed I was involved. Before I had a chance to explain, one of Ryan’s goons grabbed me and put me on an all express ride to a bathysphere leading to The Department Store; like that I was cast away. So right now she’s under the assumption I’m a cold blooded killer with a superiority complex and an obsession with killing the needy, end of story.”
“Sorry to hear that, I’m sure once you get up their you can explain the whole thing to her.” I said, trying to reassure him.
“What’s the point,” he said indifferently, which came to me as a surprise. He then continued by saying “I’ve been in here for a long time and accepted the fact that she probably met some guy and started anew. Probably has a kid by now scurring around on the floor and the apartment of her dreams. In all honesty I could care less about her. You’re new here so I’ll give you some advice, after a few days of killing splicers and wandering around deserted shopping malls, you’re priorities start to change. It becomes less about going back to your loved ones or just simply getting out of here and more about things like payback. When I met Atlas, he promised me that he’ll get me and the rest of the guys back to Rapture and that the first thing we do is wake those bourgeoisie bastards from their slumber. That became my number one aspiration, so to speak. And believe me, you’ll come around.”
“It’s ready,” screamed Garvey’s repairman. We all made haste to the bathysphere and set coordinates to the secondary building. Like that we started our descent from the station and exited the central building. Garvey and his men put their guns down and took a breather, I did the same. I took a seat on one of the leather chairs and shut my eyes. This was going to be at least a ten minute ride, giving me plenty of time for shut eye. Then something came to mind which made me curious. I opened my eyes and then asked Garvey, “I don’t think I was formally introduced to your men.”
“Ah shit, that’s right. This is Bobby Hendricks, our weapons specialist. And this is Dennis Tipperman, our tech specialist. Sorry for the late introductions, but hey, bonding is stronger when killing splicers becomes our number one chore. Small talk is pointless; especially with this lot. They’re as silent as a weeping turtle.”
“So . . . knowing their names is just, small talk?” I asked curiously, obviously these men came from a very different social circle, a minority group in the face of the rest of society.
“Who’re you to judge?” said Dennis in a very annoyed matter “You being a CIA man I’d expect you to understand. In shitholes like these we can’t afford the luxury of friends or loved ones. They’d all end up dead faster than we can react to it. Best thing we can do is go about our days trying to fulfill a goal, cuzz those never die. Those are something you can depend on always being there.”
“Hey I lost my share of friends, but I moved on,” I said defensively “Giving up on your humanity is the wrong way to go, believe me I’ve been there. It’s good for nothing but separating you from those you care about. It’s a miserable life.”
Dennis started laughing and then said “Let me tell you something so you don’t get too lost in that idealist mindset. Once, I had someone I cared about. A good dependable man, we always had each others backs. Then one day, it all ends. Shit like that, bonding or whatever you call it, it’s only good for one thing, getting you killed.”
“Hey, knock it off!” Garvey screamed “Now we gotta mission to finish and I can’t have you busting the new guys balls while splicers are on our tail. So suck it up, pick up your weapon and get your shit together.”
Dennis was silent and complied, though he also gave me a blank, hateful glare. I had to watch out for this one, he was quick to react with emotions. We arrived at the docking port of the secondary building and everyone picked up their gear. Garvey took a seat next to me and gave a large sigh.
“Sorry about that, Dennis has been jumpy ever since he lost his man. He acts like this to all newcomers, give it a little time and he’ll come around.” Garvey said, trying to reassure me.
“How long do you expect to be up here?” I asked
“If everything goes smoothly, two hours at most. If not, we’ll be here for the long haul.”
Soon we arrived at the station and the bathysphere hatch opened. Dennis and Bobby quickly got out while Garvey waited for me. I was hesistant, the more splicers I had to fight, the more plasmids I’ll end up using. The more of that stuff I take, the less human I become. If I come back home will Jessica even recognize me? Will Elena?
“Hey Sully, you ready?”
I took a long, deep breath and then said, “ . . . Yeah, let’s go.”