Lloyd Bonham's office, 1958

It had been a pretty slow day, relatively. That is, until the pretty, young redhead walked through the office door with a troubled look on her face. Quite a looker. Of course, Bonham didn't notice her until he got out of the bathroom. He was sweating when he came out. Since he'd first tried one, half a year ago, he'd been feeling a little addicted to those plasmids. He'd seen firsthand what could happen if you over indulged, but he knew he could stop at any moment. The last week he'd taken a BruteMore to work in his lunch bag every day. He'd felt really ashamed about it every day, too, until about ten minutes after lunch, when he injected the ADAM into his veins in the office bathroom.

He tried to keep a straight face, but knew he was sweating. The high made it easier to ignore, but he knew if anyone found out, he might lose his job. Well... who wasn't splicing these days. At least, he'd gone without for years before he even tried it once. Boss might see it another way.
"Good day, miss. M'name's Bonham. Lloyd Bonham. What can I do for you?" He took her by the hand, all professional. Couldn't tell if it was the ADAM talking, or if he'd always been like that, but he felt a sudden urge to bend the redhead over the desk and do unspeakable things to her.
"Hello, Mr. Bonham. I'm Julia Jensen."
"Please, please sit down", Bonham made a gesture towards a chair in front of his desk, and the redhead sat herself down. He had to force himself not to think about her perky little ass, bending down to sit as she did. "What can I do for you, miss Jensen?"
The lass looked down. Tears welled up in her eyes. Then she wiped a strand of scarlet hair from her face, looked up and said, "it's my parents, Mr. Bonham. My mother is gone, and my father has gone insane."
Bonham sat with an elbow on his desk, and leaning the fist on his chin, trying to listen carefully but unable to get the image of the young woman's behind out of his mind. He shrugged as she spoke.
"Would you care to explain, miss Jensen?"
"My mother, she's been going to -"
"Wait a moment", he interrupted, "let me write this down." He grabbed a pen and a writing pad from the top drawer in his desk and bade her continue.
"As I said", Julia Jensen went on, "my mother has been going to see Dr. Steinman a lot. The last time I heard from her, in fact, she was going. And then I've simply heard nothing."
"I see", Bonham said. He looked almost perversely into miss Jensen's eyes. "And what is her name?"
"Barbara Jensen."
"Bar-ba-ra..." Bonham mumbled as he wrote the name down.
"That's right."
"I will call Dr. Steinman's office and we'll clear this out, don't you worry. It's not really something we do, but I'll help ya out", Bonham said and winked at her, unsure himself of what he meant by winking at the sexy young woman.
"Thank you, Mr. Bonham", Julia said.
"Now, tell me about this insane father of yours." Bonham could tell the betty was blushing, even though she looked away.
"I... it's those plasmids
. He's been taking too much of them -"
"Now, miss Jensen, if your father uses plasmids there's simply nothing I can do. He's free to use them as he pleases. That's the whole concept of Rapture, and to be frank, most everyone uses them plasmids", Bonham explained, taking her words almost as an insult toward himself, "I actually know people myself who -"
"You don't understand. He's - he's changed."

"What do you mean?" Bonham's face became all wrinkled, "changed how?"
"I believe he's been trying to make himself stronger, more physically adept, you see. But when I saw him last... it was grotesque. He was so large, just bulging with muscle. And he was out of his mind, thrashing walls and everything. I'm just lucky he didn't turn to me!"
"And where is he now?"
"I don't know. He ran away. This was just a few days ago."
"Wait. Was this over in Mercury Suites?" Bonham suddenly became more focused, his eyes now fixed professionally at Julia's.
"Yes. Mother and father live there. Why?"
"I've heard of the incident. We are looking for your father actually."
"Miss Jensen, from what I've heard, this splicer has been destroying Ryan Industries property. Simply put, we must find him and make him stop."
"You mean..." Julia was absolutely horrified, eyes wide open.
"No, no", he deflected with a smile, "what will happen to him will be decided when we find him. Now, miss Jensen, since this is an ongoing investigation I can't say any more about it, but I was hoping maybe you could give me a few more details."
"Like what?"
"You said he was using plasmids? Do you know which ones? Which ones made him grow so much, as you said?"
"I'm not really sure... Sports Boost and BruteMore and the like. I'm so sorry, I'm just not sure. He may have been mixing them."
"Mixing them?" That last part caught Bonham's attention. He took a few more details from the girl and then sent her on her way. When she left, she said thank you, and smiled. But what Bonham noticed more than her smile was her firm butt, as she walked out.  God damn it, but he would like to fuck her pretty ass. He was sweating, his inner self trying to restrain the beast. Knew that was just the plasmid talking. The rest of his afternoon was a blur, consisting of thoughts of the redhead's backside and the things he'd like to do to her, and the idea of mixing gene tonics together to make one super human cocktail.

The Rapture Tribune, 1958

With all the splicers running around Rapture lately and the state of the economy, there were hardly anyone around who was able to afford a newspaper anymore. And since Ryan Industries took over Fontaine Futuristics and Atlas popped up to get justice for the working man, tensions were rising all over the city. Still, it was the writer that haunted Julia Jensen's mind. She hadn't seen him since that night in Arcadia, and even more alarmingly, no one else had either. And that was more than a month ago. It was New Year's Eve and there were some optimism around. She felt none of it. She had a hard time doing her job. Those papers she found in the writer's apartment... Ryan's men had taken him away, she was getting more sure of it every day. And she was letting herself go, too. Losing another one, like she'd lost Robert, was devastating. And her parents were gone, too. She hardly slept, and when she did, she'd wake up crying. And still, losing the writer was worse than losing Robert. The writer had as of late been what kept her alive in Rapture.

She forced herself to walk around those Gatherer's Garden machines, because with each passing day she felt she needed something to take the pain away. But she had to retain her humanity. She couldn't give in to plasmids. Every day she saw what they did to the people. At times, when she walked around the higher end parts of the city, she'd feel like there was hope for the city; there, people and businesses still thrived. But then she'd remember Pauper's Drop or see Apollo Square, where people had been hanged - hanged! In Rapture - and think to herself... what was there left to save?

Now she sat by her desk trying to write, but unable to get anything on paper except for a few words that were stuck in her brain. It always starts with a sentence.
Sometimes she'd cast a glance at the writer's desk. It had been emptied two weeks ago.
"He's not coming back", she whispered.
"Who ain't comin' back, doll?" The voice behind her was Stanley Poole. Always Stanley Poole.
"You, I hope", she said, no longer managing a smile. Poole laughed it off, but she knew it got to him. He shrugged and scratched his hand, just a bit. He, too, looked like he'd indulged in plasmids overmuch, as well as other luxuries that befell the one who controlled that woman Lamb's bunko art house Dionysus Park. Luxuries like women, wine, drugs and more women. His eyes were hollow from staying up all night and he looked thin, making his already unpleasant visage even more disagreeable.
"Aw, you still hung up on that writer fella?" He said, "doll, he ain't comin' back and even if he was, he's all but forgotten about you. Them artsy types are like that. But lucky for you I'm here. And I'm perfectly willing to take ya to the New Year's-"
"Mr. Poole", she snapped, "need I remind you that you are almost twice my age and that it is perfectly inappropriate for you to behave in such a way around a woman! First of all, it is quite obvious that you are over indulgent in who knows what substances, which is not something a lady appreciates in a date. Furthermore, I have no interest whatsoever in going anywhere with you and I shall not tolerate your inappropriate behavior any further!"

"All right, doll", Poole said, shrugging, "you don't have to yell and get all teary eyed."
"And one last thing, Mr. Poole. My name isn't 'doll'. It is Julia Jensen and you would do best to remember as much. As the writer did. Does."
"Of... of course, miss Jensen... excuse me." And he went off, his head hanging low and he looked away not showing his rat like face in humiliation. Julia's face was red with anger. Telling Poole off felt good. She'd wanted to do it since forever.
"Julia", she turned around to see Mr. Reid, the editor in chief and Sandy's father. "Julia, I'd like to see you in my office." He seemed distraught, but why wouldn't he. He'd lost his only daughter not long ago.
"About Poole? That-"
"No, no. It's not about Poole. I suspect that was nothing but good for him. There is however something else. My office, please?" She nodded and went with him.

"Julia, my dear", he said as she sat down across the desk from him, "I care for you as my own. You are, in part, as much daughter to me as my dear Sandy was. And ever since she..." His eyes welled up with tears and his cheeks turned a flustered red. There looked like there was a thickened red welt on his cheek, but she didn't mention it. Mr. Reid went on:
"I have become afraid that you are treading a path... you don't look well, Julia. You seem to be feeling worse by the day. Have you been... you know?"

. Reid! Never! I specifically avoid it."
"That's good, my dear. You just look tired is all." He fell silent for a moment, looking into her eyes. He, himself, looked tired. So tired. Finally he spoke:
"It's the writer, isn't it? I've noticed you two, don't think I have not. Even after your parents, uh... went missing. He's a fine young man, only..."
"He's gone."
Mr. Reid sighed. "Julia. I have something to share with you. But only if you can promise me you will not share it with an
yone else."
"What is it?"
"You must promise me."
"I cannot, prematurely."
"Julia, please", she saw in his eyes that he really wanted to show her, "it is both for your safety, and mine."
"I promise, Mr. Reid. No one else will see it", she said, finally. He opened one of his drawers and produced a thick bundle of papers, and a letter.
"I believe you should read it", he said. Julia took the letter and unfolded it. It read:

Mr. Reid,
I shall be short. Firstly, I heard of Miss Sandy's passing and wish to convey my deepest condolences, insufficient though it may seem.
The reason you have not seen me in some time is in this still unprinted book. In it I describe, in detail, the reality of Rapture, as seen through my eyes. Mr. Reid, what's being done to people here is unspeakable. I will not shy away from saying that Andrew Ryan is in fact the greatest tyrant in human history, or among them. But you shall read of it in the book. You will, I hope, excuse me for writing it as a fictionalized novel and including the many personal passages. I am a writer, after all, and wished to leave nothing of my experiences out. Know that I trust you, Mr. Reid, to see to it that this information does right by the people of Rapture and that this book finds its way into the right hands.
This is my final farewell. I do not expect I have long left, before I am taken away.

Chris Perkins Jr.

Julia stared at his name. He was alive! And he'd written the book, even though she had the notes for it.
"Mr. Reid. This- this is..."
"Hush. We can't speak of it. It isn't safe."
"But, Mr. Reid. He asks you to make sure the book makes it to the right hands!"
"I think you'll find, my dear, that I am."

Don's Gymnasium, 1958

Getting a job as a constable in Rapture - Andrew Ryan's personal little police force - had been pretty easy. Might have been because Bonham was pretty big. But still, these days was even easier. Constables seemed to drop left and right, to rogue splicers and... other factions. Bonham had a knack for keeping himself alive though - and his job was mostly behind a desk - having gone through the entire war without a scratch. He sometimes had nightmares about the banzai charges. Well, now he was more than a soldier. He was a detective of sorts, working under Sullivan. And a good one at that. Bonham had worked the foundations of Rapture; he helped build the city. Then when it was built he couldn't leave. And he figured, he might as well get a job in a field he knew. So he joined the Rapture constabulary. Surely, his impressive stature and bull's shoulders had helped. Remarkable, really, how not a single Jap had the marksmanship to take down such a big target.

Well, now he was even larger, thanks to the plasmids he'd taken the last six or seven months. He had to admit, he liked that stuff. It had improved his physique a lot, and best of all, it let him take up boxing. He'd just sparred with Prangley - the last training of the year, before 1959 would start - the student he'd once thought, who was almost thirty years his junior. They sat side by side on the warm up bench, watching two other kids sparring. The entire place smelled of sweat and had a burly, manly musk among the boxing paraphernalia. They were both panting, tired from a good, exhausting work out. "Damn boss, you got some moves for an old soft guy", Prangley said, impressed at how good Bonham was, even nearing fifty as the man was.
"Soft? Speak for yourself, kid", Bonham joked, patting the kid on the back. Then he wiped some sweat off his face with a towel.
"You been taking lots of those tonics, boss?" Prangley asked carefully, like he'd been avoiding the subject before. Bonham looked at him and shrugged.
"Some. Why?"
"It's nothing, boss", Prangley shook his head, "it's nothing. Just noticed you, uh, been gettin' stronger each week. Like you been training as hard as I have."
"I won't lie, kid", Bonham said, "I wouldn't be able to do this without plasmids."
"Hm. I've been thinking of laying off 'em for a while, m'self", the kid said.
"Laying off? Prangley, you should probably be taking more of them", Bonham sounded like a plasmids spokesperson, "why I've heard you can even mix them together for an even better result. For an even better physique."
"Really?" Prangley looked intrigued at Bonham, "ain't that dangerous?"
"Why would it be more dangerous than they are now?"
"I dunno... you done it?"
Bonham looked at his feet. Looked at his muscular legs and thought of how unsatisfactorily thin and bony they were to him. They could be so much stronger. With ADAM, there was no excuse they shouldn't be. Then he said:
"Nah. But I've been thinking about it. And I sure as hell ain't quitting plasmids all together."
Prangley didn't answer. He just sat in silence for a while, before getting up.
"You leaving?" Bonham asked.
"Yeah, I gotta get to my night job. Can't be staying around here all night, y'know."
"How many jobs is that you're working now, Prangley? It has to be tiring you out."
"It's just two, now. Got laid off from the one at the Jet Postal. Still a server at the Kashmir though. Guess they wanted a colored guy to make it seem like they're all good and fine, to all the rich people. Weird, though, being up there among the rich quarters."
Bonham nodded, understanding. It was hard for a lot of people. He was lucky, himself. And Prangley was damn lucky, too.
"I'm going to stay a while, get some more sweat going. Just half time, for me."
"All right boss", Prangley said. He stretched out his hand. It took Bonham a moment, but then he shook it. "You be careful boss", Prangley went on, "if you decide to try what you were talking about. You be careful."
Bonham saw the concern in Prangley's eyes, and nodded. Prangley nodded, too, then gathered his gloves and his pack and went for a shower. Bonham got a look at him as he walked away. Talented kid, he thought. Smart. Kind. And damn clever, if a bit over eager. Would have had it a lot tougher on the surface, what with being black and all. Rapture sure was a better place than the surface. But the kid worried too much, Bonham thought. Worried about nothing. Now, Bonham had work to do. He'd heard rumors of someone big shaking things up down by Neptune's Bounty.

Adonis Luxury Resort, 1968

Moving through the ocean was slow and heavy.  Though beautiful, the seabed was a treacherous place. Coral and anemones sparkled with color against grey rock and colorful fish danced the depths they fancied adeptly. But everything and anything could kill a man. Unless he was encased in metal. Mr. Bubbles thumped along heavily, hoping to find an airlock entrance into the facility and hoping it would be functioning. He passed through the belly of a whale. What was left of it. Only the bones. They lay unaware and forgotten by some colorful cliffs. The children used to love its singing and now the majestic beast was fallen. Did they ever see the tears? There was something morbid to it, emptiness and hollowness was all that was left of the majesty. As he looked up the undersea mountain he could see the tail of an airplane, debris from a crash. A story he never knew. The sea was taking it.

It took some time, but around the back he found the maintenance airlock. After stepping inside and draining it he was at last inside Adonis Luxury Resort. Like the rest of the city it was dark and forgotten. But there were others in here, too. His stalking shadow had no doubt gotten here before him. And yet, there was a ghost of a memory inside himself, too. Looking over his shoulder. There were splicers, too. Mr. Bubbles went upward, vigilantly, to find the pumping station for the lower levels.

Soon, he found himself on a balcony overlooking the banquet hall, fallen into ruin yet retaining its sadistic splendor in hues of black and grey and ocean blue. Morbidly insane splicers were looking  for ADAM in the murky darkness and on the rotting panels of the walls. On one of the tables in the banquet hall, one of the splicers found a slimy sea slug - the carrier of the desirable drug called ADAM - and squealed gleefully. Moments later, one of the splicer's buddies raised a gun and said:
"Give it here! It's mine!" But too late. The first splicer had already shoved the slug into his mouth and chomped it down. "You fucker!" The second splicer screamed, and then he fired his gun. But before the first splicer went face down in the ankle deep water, he hurried to shoot a ball of Incinerate at his attacker. Panicking, set aflame, the burning splicer threw himself into the water, whereupon the fire was extinguished in a gust of white smoke. As he got up, it seemed he was fine, except for some burns, and smoking clothes. All the years of ADAM usage had made the citizens of Rapture able to withstand great amounts of damage.
"Hey! Quit your stupid pissin' contest and come help me with this here table!" A female splicer said, angrily and waving her fist in the air.
"Yeah, yeah, yeah, I'm comin'. Typical broad. Need a real man to lift a little furniture."
"A real man? But I asked you, didn't I?"
"Shut it!"
They continued to argue whilst lifting the table and scrounging for ADAM as Mr. Bubbles watched them, unmoving and silent. This was what Rapture had turned into. The best and brightest turned to crazy, homicidal maniacs who cared for nothing save their next fix of ADAM. After the war and Ryan's death, the city had definitely fallen into ruin, under Sofia Lamb's totalitarian, collectivist rule. Lamb - Ryan's complete opposite - had made the entire city into one big Rapture Family.

Mr. Bubbles stood in the shadows, overlooking the entire banquet hall in its ornate yet silent splendor. The ornate statues which gracefully held the window, which covered an entire wall, called out in silence.  Sea water dripped from the ceiling, and from outside, the neon glowing told tale of Rapture's once so stunning heydays. Mr. Bubbles watched the splicers argue and bicker over what they found. The woman wanted a watch they found on one of the tables, but the pistol wielding splicer kept saying it didn't work, then put it in his own pocket. Why fight for anything, if that was how you turned out? A husk of a man, with nothing to live for. Just as he himself was now. Still, there was something. Those flashes of red; sudden sparks of memory. A desire to know, who am I? And now he had to get past the splicers, if he wanted the answer.
"Herr Bubbles. You must go this way", Tenenbaum said, "but those splicers are too many for you to fight. Now, here is what I propose -" There was a crackle, and Tenenbaum vanished. She was replaced by an eerie silence, which lasted for a few seconds. Suddenly, he heard Sofia Lamb's cold, calculated voice:
"There you are. I know the face behind your mask. But amnesia, it seems, is tearing you apart. Ask yourself, now that you're standing at the crossroads waiting for a sign; is it not better to reject the self and the past that you seek to remember, and instead embrace the family and serve a purpose. Your silence says it all."
Mr. Bubbles raised his hand, and with a slight twist, shot an electric bolt straight into the pool of water below. In an instant, all the splicers down there lit up blue and white and they died as the water electrified and fried them. Lamb fell silent for a moment, then he heard her breathe and she said, as calm as always:
"And so it is. Do as you please, build your ruins of ego if you please. But I tell you this now; the name you seek, the past that you wish to recover is not your own. It is Andrew Ryan; it is only your ego. Rapture is deliverance, and it will endure with or without you and your search to glorify the self. Unless you listen to these words, there is no place for you in paradise."
As another act of defiance, Mr. Bubbles took a dexterous leap into the electrified water, crackling with blue-white lightning. He grunted as he felt the sting of the shock burst through him and his vision became white for a moment. At the same time, the radio crackled again.
"-bles? Herr Bubbles, are you- ah, there you are. I thought you were gone."
Mr. Bubbles felt electrocuted. He was tired. He could just return to Lamb and get his purpose. It was heavy, but he stood up on his own two legs.
"Great men sometimes ask, Herr Bubbles; why do we fall? Und they say we must learn to rise. Perhaps it is so. But a better question is, why do we rise, Herr Bubbles?" Tenenbaum fell silent for a moment. Mr. Bubbles sighed and looked around at the splicers lying face down in their watery graves. Then Tenebaum went on:
"Sofia Lamb is creating new little ones, continuing my work. Und I have returned to rescue them. That is why I rise." To be redeemed. Maybe that wouldn't be so bad, he thought. Red. And a pair of eyes like the stars. To return to the source and be redeemed.

Leaving the banquet hall and getting closer to his destination, he heard commotion, over by the bathysphere station. Approaching as silently as he could, he saw a pair of rogue splicers attacking a Rosie Big Daddy. Someone like him! And the Rosie was protecting one of the Little Sisters.
"There!" Tenenbaum called over the radio, "you must help her, und... und she will help you.  But to do so, you must kill her guardian. Please, Herr Bubbles."
Mr. Bubbles stood in the doorway, atop some stairs. He revved up his drill which started spinning furiously, making a great deal of noise. That got the splicers' attention.
"Hey, Martha! He's got backup! Let's scram!" The male splicer yelped and they both ran for it.  The Rosie saw Mr. Bubbles as no threat and instead aimed for the fleeing splicers with its giant rivet gun.

Mr. Bubbles took the chance and rushed the Rosie, swinging his drill. The Little Sister screamed and the Rosie was swiftly back in action, now aiming the rivet gun at Mr. Bubbles. It fired, and several burning hot construction rivets got stuck in Mr. Bubbles' metal skin. But Mr. Bubbles also wielded the power of plasmids! The Rosie froze for a moment as it was hit by the electric shock. Mr. Bubbles struck. The drill made a large dent in the Rosie's armor, bringing it out of paralysis and knocking it back. Mr. Bubbles noticed how it wanted distance. It could aim better from afar. And he used this. He rushed again, hitting the Rosie hard, with the power of a charged up Bouncer. The Rosie backed into the door at the other end of the room, from where Mr. Bubbles had come. When it opened Mr. Bubbles fired again. A shock from the Electro Bolt followed by a powerful drill dash and the Rosie fell against the wall and tumbled down. It went down beside the statue of an angel, lumping as a colossal sack of bricks. The angel statue, in contrast, rose its wide open arms to the sky, opening itself to the salvation that Rapture was to be. Not much of a salvation for the Rosie, which, mournfully murmuring, sighed as its red glowing porthole turned a dull grey.

It had dropped its rivet gun, which fell under the door, stopping it from going all the way down. And beside the corpse of the Big Daddy stood the Little Sister, crying. As Mr. Bubbles came close she cowered, whimpering in fear. He slowly stretched out his hand, reaching out to the little girl, this fragile little being who wouldn't last seconds without his protection.
"There", Tenenbaum said, relief in her voice, "now, the little ones tell me, you must bring her to the Gatherer's Garden und she will set up a welcome. It is just a little bit further, by the baths."
Mr. Bubbles carried the Little Sister along the darkened hallways, following the haunting shadow which led them past running water and big pools.
"The shadow, it is a Big Sister. She watches you, Herr Bubbles." They went into the swimming pool area. A great hall with a giant, empty pool at the center. Just some murky water that remained at the bottom. Around it stood large carved statues of more angels stretching out their open arms, magnifying the awesome view; somber in the darkness, yet mournfully grand.
"Ooh, let's go swimming, Mr. Bubbles!" The Little Sister said gleefully. Atop one of the statues perched a thin creature, watching them. He wouldn't even have noticed it, if it weren't for its glowing red porthole eye. It wore armor, like a Big Daddy, but thin, suited for a teenage girl. A Little Sister, grown up. It watched them, menacingly. Mr. Bubbles only looked away for a split second, and then she was gone, the statue upon which she had perched speaking only silence.

They passed through the hall and into the Plasmid Therapies area. From there the Little Sister led the way. She ran off, saying:
"This way, Mr. Bubbles!" He followed her through the dank, dark waiting room. It seemed almost reclaimed by nature, but it was human planted foliage that covered walls. Another murky wall was covered with a large photo poster of Sofia Lamb. She was a woman of full control; her posture straight and eyes fixed into the viewers eyes, her hair perfectly made up and her matronly eyes circled by elegant horn rimmed glasses. Below the poster, some unlucky splicer had made a home, using an old, foul smelling mattress and lit candles. On the opposite wall was a large neon sign of a hand throwing lightning bolts, glowing and flickering in light blue and purple. It pointed the way to the Gatherer's Garden. The entire scene felt familiar to him, like he'd seen it before, but the depressing darkness that drenched Rapture encased the entire scene in an unfamiliar, haunting melancholy.

Mr. Bubbles continued beyond the poster and the neon sign and found the Little Sister over at a Gatherer's Garden machine, drawing on the floor and the wall, using colorful chalk. 'From Eleanor', she wrote.
"Just a minute", she chirped, sounding almost independent and free from the ADAM spell. Like someone else was inside her at that moment. When she was done, she tinkered with the Gatherer's Garden machine until a plasmid bottle fell out. She stood on her toes to place it neatly in the slot of the machine, like a gift for someone to find.
"No touchies, Mr. Bubbles. This isn't for you." Then she turned to him and gave him a big smile. "All done!" She stretched out her arms and Mr. Bubbles grabbed her gently and picked her up to ride on his shoulders.
"Now, Herr Bubbles. I have good news." It was Tenenbaum, "this man Sinclair, he says he knows you und he is trying to find your name. This is good. Now outside the area you are in and to the left just by the swimming pool, there is the generator. You must turn it on und head back where you came in, to maintenance. There you will pump out the lower levels. The little ones will do the rest. But first, you must cure your little one. She cannot go out to the ocean with you."
Bubbles went out to the dark swimming pool area and up to the generator, spitting blue white sparks from broken wires. It said high voltage, but it was dead. It'd start right up with a direct spark. He raised his hand. It pulsed with electric energy for a moment, and then it shot a bolt of electricity at the generator, which kick started. One by one the lights overhead sputtered to life. And the entire hall lit up. In the light it really showed all its former glory and splendor, gone now with the decay of the city. Walls corroding by the sea water were adorned with salty seaweed, hanging from over ledges, having found its way in with the trickling seawater over the past decade. A canned version of Daddy, Won't You Please Come Home, sung by Anette Hanshaw played on loudspeakers. Though it was supposed to give a soft, cozy feeling, now it crackled and buzzed from the old technology. A wonder it still functioned. The entire pool, emptied but with a small pool of murky, stagnant water at the bottom, was surrounded by the magnificent statues of marble angels, dirty, torn and brittle over the years, but the shadow was nowhere to be seen.
"To the maintenance area, Herr Bubbles", Tenenbaum said, and the lumbering Big Daddy followed orders and started back the other way. Back through the halls with all their leaks. The sound of running water and creaking metal. The place looked all different when they walked in the other direction. Blacks lit up blue; spots of rust that colored the walls a dismal brown.

Over by the resting area, a large ankle deep make shift pond in the center and with a stone bridge crossing it, stretching from one side of the room to the other, a few splicers were searching for ADAM. One was digging in a pot where plants no longer grew and another was walking back and forth muttering to himself on the bridge over the pond. The other two were scampering in the water, bickering back and forth, a man and a woman. As the door swung open and the big, lumbering shape of Mr. Bubbles appeared in the opening, the splicer on the bridge noticed him and looked up, immediately raising his pistol. He fired a shot, just as the splicer by the pot rushed over, wrench in hand, and struck Mr. Bubbles across the helmet. There was a loud crack, one of the Bouncer's glowing porthole eyes cracked all over. Mr. Bubbles revved his drill fast and shoved it into the thug splicer's chest, mixing all his insides with a gurgling roar as he shouted. The leadhead on the bridge fired his gun again.
"Mr. Bubbles is mad and you'll be sorry!" Cried the Little Sister, holding on for dear life, sitting in her place on the Big Daddy's protective shoulder.
"Help me out with this guy!" He yelled, his mostly toothless mouth gawping wide at the sight of his comrade. But the splicers in the water scampered and ran away in fear, screaming:
"Let's scram!" And the leadhead kept shouting and firing his six shooter. The angered Big Daddy yanked his drill away and the thuggish splicer dropped dead on the slippery floor, insides dangling outside. Bubbles charged up another of his powerful plasmids, Telekinesis, just as another shot hit him in the mask, making a fissure. The next shot pierced entirely. Mr. Bubbles groaned in pain as air seeped out of the whole in the big, metal mask, and raised his hand against the splicer lying dead in front of him. As if moved by an invisible force, the body writhed and flew up into the air. Mr. Bubbles held it in place, hovering in front of him as a shield. The body took the next shot, and the leadhead started to reload, muttering angrily.
"Catch!" Yelled the Little Sister in a high pitched voice. The next moment, Mr. Bubbles released the body, which was flung hard through the air, striking right at the splicer on the bridge, making him fall down into the water, yelling loudly. The Big Daddy again activated his Electro Bolt plasmid, blue and white lightning beginning to sparkle around his left hand and wobbling unstably in big arcs. He stretched out his hand, just as the leadhead got up, dizzy and muttering, wet all over.
"Oh no", the splicer said, realizing in the very last moment that we was about to die. Mr. Bubbles zapped him, the water enhancing the electrifying shock tenfold. He convulsed and danced as the electricity fried his inside, turned his skin into a blackened crisp and cooked his eyes. Then he fell backward into the water. Mr. Bubbles sighed heavily, feeling the pain from the gunshot wounds. But he carried on.

The odd couple trudged slowly through Adonis Luxury Resort, the Little Sister hurrying her protector on impatiently. His heavy metal boots lumped hard on the moist floor, but they met no further resistance. At length, they reached the maintenance area, a dark, damp room with a control board that seemed a bit too silent. A lamp on it glowed a dull red.
"See, Herr Bubbles. Over by the control board. But first, the little one. Bring her to the air vent, und do with her as I did. This will save her."
On one of the walls, next to a couple of filing cabinets, was one of the Little Sister vents, adorned with its stylized leaves and flowers and with its silent, black hole sun for the Little Sister to crawl into. A trickle of water ran from a leak in the ceiling right in front of it, creating a small pool and spreading to the closest filing cabinet, making the wood on it rotten and slimy and covered in algae. Mr. Bubbles did as Tenenbaum asked and brought the little over to the vent, only to hear her say:
"Sleepy time is near..." Then she yawned. With a silent, murmuring sigh, Mr. Bubbles held her in front of him. She smiled, and looked at him with her big, glowing, yellow eyes.
"The little ones I rescued before are all grown up und think of me no more ", Tenenbaum said, sounding sad, like all her melancholy shone through the words she now spoke, "after what I once did to them it was a joy to be forgotten. But now, all around the world, children vanish by the sea. Kidnapped. Und so I return, in fear of what I already know. Someone is continuing my work... Sofia Lamb. I know that I have no right to ask anymore of you, Herr Bubbles, but I beg of you to please make that girl human again. What is in her, it is an abomination, und it is my fault. All of this you see, it is because of me, my sins."
The Big Daddy looked long into the little girls eyes. They were as the stars, even contaminated by the ADAM curse. It was Brigid Tenenbaum who had found the slug that produced ADAM, all those years ago and it was she who had come up with the idea to host the slugs in little girls, turning them into this. Basically, living ADAM factories. The innocence of eyes that did not choose Rapture, but had it forced upon them through someone else's sins. It felt like release when he put his hand on her forehead to rescue her from her fate as a slave of Rapture's unforgiving queen.

He was overcome with a bright blinding light as humanity returned to the girl. When it was over, her eyes were normal; human. Blue and shining with the immense power of innocence and laughter. And the Little Sister gave him a big, heartwarming smile. Mr. Bubbles put her down on the cold and wet metal floor, but it didn't bother her. Instead, she took his hand and looked up at him one last time, into his soul.
"Thank you", she said, smiling yet again. The sweet face of innocence that Mr. Bubbles had seen before, in another life. The giant metal creature said nothing, but in its flesh heart it woke more and more. Another flash of red and of words, and the girl vanished into the vent to find Tenenbaum. With a metallic sigh, Mr. Bubbles turned around to finish his quest, knowing that memory was not far away.
"Thank you, Herr Bubbles", Tenenbaum said, "now I will give you what I promised. Sinclair, he has looked through the archives to find all the Big Daddies, he knows your name." She was interrupted by a shrill, shrieking sound that echoed through all Adonis. It was an unnatural sound that could have torn through flesh. The very air grew thick and hostile.
"Watch out", Tenenbaum shouted in his ears, "it is the Big Sister!"




Julia Jensen's apartment, 1958

He was alive. She could scarcely believe it. But where was he? In hiding, no doubt. If Ryan got a hold of this book the writer would not be long for this world. She burned the letter and shoved the bundle of papers that made the book in her purse. Crude, but it'd have to do. She wanted to find him, but where would she start looking? His apartment hadn't yielded anything in the last month. All that was different was the missing plasmid hypos, but she'd attributed that to splicers or thieves, finding their way through the unlocked door. He could be anywhere!

Back in her own shack of an apartment the place seemed big and hollow. In her bedroom, on the bookshelf, stood a couple of black and white photos in nice frames. Her parents' wedding photo; another photo of her parents, from a later time - a happy time; one of herself as a child and one of... Robert. She looked at it and couldn't even recall his name at first. Then she took the photo and held it into the light, looking at it. Nothing. She put it back, face down. There were no photos of the writer. But she did have his books, The Moon and Returning To The Source. She even had a couple of magazines which had published his short stories. They stood there silently, next to her parent's picture, and told her nothing. Julia took the bundle of papers out of her purse and sat down in her bed, far in the corner. It was silent all around, and she'd never felt lonelier. She turned to the first page to start reading.

'It always starts with a sentence', by Chris Perkins. It wasn't a very long book, and she read it from cover to cover, by candle light. It seemed he'd been all over Rapture. Caught everything, seen everything. What was going on in Rapture, what with Atlas and Ryan and everything, told of oncoming change, but there was no real documentation of Ryan's rule. Until now. And it was the story of the writer's life in Rapture, written so as to appear like a fictional novel. She realized why he'd sent it to Tribune. All the peoples of the world should know what went on in Rapture. But if Ryan's people found out about it, they would surely burn every copy. That's why he was in hiding. And it was also his final farewell to her. His heart burnt on paper. His legacy, in a rhyme. Not if she found him. But where would she start looking?

Andrew Ryan's office, 1958

Being Andrew Ryan wasn't easy, Sullivan knew that much. Sullivan, Ryan's chief of security, was holding a bundle of papers that he'd come by through a crazed splicer who handed them out in Apollo Square. It was the manuscript entitled 'It always starts with a sentence'. Clearly written as an intended piece of literature, drenched in some bunko love story. But it also contained well documented reports on events that went on in Rapture. Among them were the takeover of Fontaine Futuristics, Sofia Lamb's disappearance from the public eye after that public debate between her and Ryan, exposures of how Ryan dealt with socialists and union organizers in Rapture. There was even some stuff on Persephone. And, evidently, copies of the manuscript were being handed out for free around town. Now it was chief Sullivan's job to tell the Great Man about it. He felt like he need a drink first, but  - he sighed - it'd have to wait. Because he knew what would happen once he told Ryan about it all.

He was standing just outside Ryan's office door. It was New Year's Eve and he was still drenched in work. Ryan's secretary had left for the day and there was an almost eerie silence beckoning him. He felt so tired lately. Clenching the manuscript of the book under his arm, Sullivan knocked glumly at the door and heard Ryan's voice from inside, telling him to enter. Sullivan cleared his throat and opened the door to step inside.

The Great Man's office felt as sullen as always, dark and not exactly conveying a sense of forgiveness. Andrew Ryan sat behind his desk, a martini in his hand.
"What is it, Sullivan?"
"Sir. Come across something you might want to know about. Man in Apollo Square was handing out copies of a book, that... that's not going easy on your administration."
He handed over the manuscript to Ryan and looked nervously at him. Ryan eyed the front page in silence. There came a redness to his eyes and his jaw clenched.
"Have you read it?" He asked finally, voice tense.
"Yes, sir. Had to know what it was all about before I told you about it. It's very damning stuff. Stuff he shouldn't know about." Sullivan closed his eyes and thought about it all. He'd been a damn good cop topside and after he got framed and fired, he'd served Ryan and Rapture loyally, but so much of what had been going on the last couple of years, rounding people in Apollo Square, hanging people who smuggled in contraband, it didn't hold right with Sullivan. And the book pointed a finger right at that. Things were brewing in Rapture.
"Written by someone on my side?" The thought made Andrew Ryan shake with anger. Sullivan noticed the slight quiver of the Great Man's upper lip and pencil thin mustache.
"No sir", Sullivan handed Ryan the manuscript, "Chris Perkins. Best I know, he wrote columns for the Tribune, before he stopped showing up. Wrote a few books, too."
"I know him", Ryan said, remembering the brief meeting he'd had with the writer, "the Tribune, you say? Could Poole be in on it?"
"Don't think so, Sir. He don't seem to hold Poole in high esteem."
"Do you know where he is?"
"No, sir, no one's seen him in a month. I went to his place. It's empty, much as I can tell. Found a few old columns is all. Seems like he left in a hurry."
"And the man who gave you this?"
"Went back to Apollo Square, but I couldn't find him. I've got constables on the lookout for him and others that may be handing copies out."
"Good. Sullivan?"
"Yes, sir?"
"Bring me this writer. He's about to see what happens when you betray my trust. We will have a good New Year's celebration tonight and 1959 will be our best year yet. The parasites will not take any more from me." He was bubbling with anger inside but he kept his veneer of calm.
"Yes, sir." Sullivan saw the rage in the Great Man's eyes. His hand shook as he took the manuscript and threw it angrily into the bin. Turning around, the Great Man pondered; reminiscing an age gone by. Sullivan left the office. For all this writer knew about Persephone, he'd see it real close, real soon. Just the small matter of finding him. Among all the others that needed finding and rooting out.

Leaving Ryan's office, Sullivan sighed and ran his hand through his hair. Yeah, things were getting out of hand. Before he started working for Ryan, back in the forties, he'd had a gambling problem and his wife had run out on him. He'd almost ended himself with a bullet, several times. Those feelings had started to come back to him. But he pulled himself together, putting his trust in Andrew Ryan. He walked glumly over to the elevator, ready to put his best constables on finding the writer. And there was the matter of Atlas. He sighed. First, though, chief Sullivan needed that drink.

Market Street, 1958

There was celebration and joy on Market Street. Sander Cohen, one Rapture's best and brightest as well as master weirdo, was hosting a closed off New Year's party and there were people enjoying themselves and celebrating life and Rapture and the new year. Couldn't they all see what was happening? The city crumbling. Or may that was just Julia Jensen's city. There were lots of people there, and judging by the newsstands, there'd be a while before the Tribune went out of business, despite the losses it'd taken. Rapture was still alive, much of the crumbling had yet to spread to the richer parts of the city. But it was beginning to show. The poor had been having it rough for years. What with Atlas and everything going on in Pauper's Drop not everyone could be smiling, right? It was undeniable, but all of these people lived in denial, sure that Andrew Ryan would see Rapture through the hard times. Maybe that was true. Maybe Rapture held a new life, if she left this one behind like she left the surface. All it took was accepting that the writer was not coming back. Perhaps the people wore pretend faces under those masks, pretend faces with pretend smiles. Or maybe they had the optimism she didn't.

She was standing by the main window on Market Street, overlooking the city outside in all its darkened splendor. Schools of brightly colored fish scampered by, uncaring of her or Rapture, and in the distance, dimmed by the murky water, she saw a giant squid thrust through the water as it was air, "flying" adeptly through the narrow passages of the city. It was lit in gold and blue and purple from the neon signs. Worley Winery shone bright, close to her, in a deep purple, as well as the more modest Fighting McDonagh sign, shining in pale gold and white.She was taken by surprise as a Bouncer Big Daddy leapt through the ocean water outside the window, and onto a ledge where it revved up its great drill to start drilling in the rock. A grand thing to behold, the working Big Daddy, when you not know the manner of beast trapped within.

Sighing, Julia moved on. There were too many people here, too much noise, to think clearly. Something felt so false about Market Street. And the entire place looked too nice, like it was all a facade; fixing a crack by painting over it with gold paint. The ornate golden linings of the streamlined art deco facades, olive and marble walls and the polished ivory white flooring contrasted by the most beautiful polished wood you would find in Rapture was so delicate, so minutely precise that it felt like you would just flow with it if you let yourself. The sophisticated Satyr Lounge and Maison Vosges, where the rich indulged in the latest high fashion, were here, as well as other still thriving businesses. And not far away was the Kashmir restaurant - the finest in Rapture! This was the finest, most luxurious part of Rapture and it still showed, on New Year's Eve 1958. She walked, almost numbly, only fleetingly aware of all around her. She had a headache from drinking too little, and she was hungry.

There was going to be a Masquerade Ball in the Kashmir later in the evening, to ring in 1959. All over the city there were adverts for it; a bunny mask with a pair of inquisitive eyes peering out, among a rain of confetti against a deep sea blue backdrop. In fact, she saw several people about wearing those same bunny masks, and other masks. They were all laughing, thriving. A thought in her mind said to join them, but she couldn't. She felt as though she was miles out of place among these people, but she would have looked very much in her element, if it weren't for her sad expression. She wore one of her finest dresses, the black one with pink polka dots, rather low cut for such a young woman, but it lifted and showed off her young bosom quite seductively, turning more than a head or two. With it, she wore black pumps and a silver bracelet. Her scarlet red hair she'd put into a ponytail held by a black bow. Suddenly, she heard a whistle and felt a glance directed at her. She looked up and saw a young man nodding at her, obviously struck by her as she'd walked past. Even with everything that was happening, she couldn't repress a smile and a blush. She knew he looked as she kept walking and so she sort of swaggered off, the smile erasing from her face as soon as it'd come. Pain is just a state of mind, but once there, it is not so easily broken. She watched an odd looking couple running about, back and forth. It was that private investigator who had an office nearby and a woman she didn't know. Maybe she could hire him to find the writer. But they went on their way, and she went on hers. Somewhere quieter, where she could think. Arcadia?

Neptune's Bounty, 1958

There had been some rustling of late, down at the wharf. Rustling and whispering about someone raiding fisheries of their fish. Someone large. That was cryptic at best. Not to mention unusual. These days, most theft would just be passed by the constabulary as irrelevant in the long scheme, especially when what was taken was loads of fish, as long as there were deeper murmurs of discontent and tensions and threats of violence. But Bonham was there nonetheless. He stood in the dark just getting a lay of the land. He had a feeling what was going on down here was just dirty tricks between business rivals - that's what it had been written off as, at least - but ever since his meeting with the redhead he'd wanted to get a look at whatever it was her father had turned into, and when he overheard a dockworker say the words "biggest guy I ever seen", he just knew. That's why he was standing alone in the dark in Neptune's Bounty on New Year's Eve. He'd been there a while already, and was getting tired of standing around. He was cold and needed to take a piss. Felt his shoulders ache a bit, as they do when you've been waiting tensely for something for some time only to be met with more waiting. The rush, if you will, of going to the docks to meet whatever it was had waned.

From where he was he could see a bunch of shipping containers filled with fish, knee high water, and darkness. But there were also a lot of places for someone to hide. The entire underground docks looked like it was built into a cavern, giving an outdoors-y feel to the place. There were even boats - boats! - clucking around, moored in the undersea harbor. Fishing was usually done by special submarines dragging fishing nets behind them, a technique introduced by Frank Fontaine when he was head of Fontaine Fisheries, before he got involved in the whole plasmid business with those kooky scientists Yi Suchong and that crazy Eastern European Brigid Tenenbaum. Seemed like a simpler time, because then of course it happened that Ryan Industries took over Fontaine Futuristics and the whole plasmid business. Bonham shifted his foot and took a deep breath.

He looked at his wrist watch and saw that it was late. Too late to go sneaking around the docks on New Year's. He was just about to go home; visit his neighbor's New Year's party and have a drink, then go to his place and have a gene tonic. But just as he sighed and took a step forward, he saw the shadow. The shadow of something huge. Looked like a man, but he was too big. Bonham snuck closer, boards creaking under his feet. The shadow of the form of a brutish looking splicer walked up to the crates of fish standing by one of the pylons for unloading first thing in the morning, and looked them over. It was just outside the light, so Bonham couldn't get a good look.  As Bonham came closer he saw that it was indeed a man. His heart raced. Should he draw his gun? Could a gunshot even pierce that skin? The man that he presumed must be Peder Jensen was thick skinned, his muscular arms bruised but incredibly strong.

Bonham held his breath as he snuck closer yet, trying his damndest not to make a sound or draw attention to himself. Then he saw the brute's face; hardened jaw line, extended chin, widened shoulders. Just the spitting image of a strongman, Bonham thought. There were some welts on the thick skin on the face, but rather than giving Bonham a sense of distaste, he found they added character. Afraid of drawing attention, Bonham looked around and found a crevice between two buildings, just big enough for a man to fit into. He snuck in there to hide and to watch the creature, who began to lift crates of rotten fish for discard - those crates with the black handprint on them - and carry them away, one by one.

Bonham sat cowered in the corner, watching the overgrown man haul the crates for a few minutes. He made out one thing; the brute was stealing fish. For what purpose? That baffled him. For... for Atlas, maybe, to give to the needy in Pauper's Drop. Or for himself, think of what a person that size has to eat each day. Those crates were heavy, no doubt about that, but the brute carried them like they were just empty boxes, whistling while he worked. He didn't carry them far, either, just inside an empty building down the wharf. It had been empty some time, since the owner had to close down for lack of business. Bonham remembered hearing the poor guy hanged himself short after. After a while, the brute seemed to be finished. He didn't come out of the building once he'd carried something around ten or twelve crates in there.

Intrigued, but still alarmed and on his guard, Bonham got up and sneaked closer to the so called abandoned building. Maybe he could sneak a peek in the window. As he came closer he could definitely hear the brute still in there, now muttering to itself instead of whistling. Bonham was quiet as a mouse as he drew closer. He reached the building, but the windows were too high. He'd need something to stand on, in order to see inside. He looked around and found a stack of old wooden pallets. As quietly as he could, he stacked two of them and got up to look inside. The window was dusty gray on the inside, but that's not what made Bonham fall down and shriek. It was the brute; it had heard him moving the pallets and stood in the window looking out, big angry lookers peering out at the intruder. Their eyes met, and Bonham fell down, yelping.

As quick as he could, Bonham got up and took a few steps back, just as the brute came out through the door to say hello to the mystery man sneaking outside. The brute was laughing to himself as he walked, hunched forward, toward his new friend.
"S-stay back", Bonham warned, "I'm with the Rapture constabulary."
"Hah! You sound like a cunt", bellowed the brute, "sneaking about in the darkness like a coward, spying on honest hard working people. Like a right cunt."
Bonham took a few trembling steps back. He looked quickly around. He could probably make it back to the little alcove where he sat minutes ago, watching the brute work, if he was fast enough. But before he could strike into action, the brute did.

The brute splicer knocked him off his feet and roared, a deafening noise that tore through his eardrums. Terrified, he fumbled at his coat pocked for his gun, but he couldn't get it - his hands were shaking, and he felt his legs getting warm and wet. Bonham, a grown man, was pissing himself, as the terrific, terrifying splicer that was once Peder Jensen stood looming above him, covering out all light with his immense figure. Then the splicer leaned closer to get a good look.
"And you look like a cunt, too", he said, eloquent as you please. Bonham felt every inch of his being trembling. Even his mustache. And he felt the sweaty odor of the splicer; like someone who had been carrying weights at the gym for half a day then not showered. The face was greasy and blotched, with a big, stretched mouth and an overgrown chin. Slowly a grin started to emerge on the face. It was broken, as the entire moment was, by some New Year's celebrators who couldn't wait for the midnight strike to get drunk. They were cheering in the distance, and drew the splicer's attention with a loud splash.
"Huh? Wassat?" The splicer said, looking up and in the direction of the noise, taking his eyes of Bonham. That same moment, Bonham sprung to his feet and ran. He didn't look back, didn't want to be in that ogre's grasp again. He didn't watch where he was going. The planks were slick, and he slipped and fell. He hit his head right on a pole, and blacked out, concussion ringing in his head during his last moments of consciousness on New Year's Eve 1958.

Arcadia, 1958

The garden was all quiet where she walked. Everyone was busy celebrating the new year, which was just hours away. There were some people around of course, mostly drunks and splicers enjoying the celebrations in their own way. In fact, there were surprisingly few people in Arcadia. Most who were in Arcadia were probably around the picnic area and the Tea Garden, closer to the Rolling Hills. But Arcadia was in fact much larger than that, there was a whole forest there. Needed to be, to provide oxygen for the entire city. It was the only real park in Rapture, and it was New Year's Eve. Julia came across one or two couples out for a stroll, and a few high looking splicers where she walked among the greenery, in a less frequently visited glen in the green, not far from a part of a natural cave system, corroded by sea water ages before people began to inhabit the ocean and made this particular part of it into a park.

Then there was the odd passer-through, but for a night like this it was curiously empty. Julia was following in the footsteps of the date they'd been on in what seemed like another life. She stopped exactly where they'd stopped and looked into the air where his eyes should have been. A bee flew by, buzzing busily just by her nose. It didn't care a bit about writers or celebrations. She followed it with her eyes and looked around the garden. The silence of the trees beckoned her. She noticed the still of the wind, a bush - you, me and behind that bush - and a shadow. She closed her eyes and took a deep breath. Got to keep it together. You had to pay for the air, huh? Didn't seem very Rapture like. And there was supposed to be some kind of cult located here. The Saturnines, or whatever they were called. Religious cults? Also not very Rapture like. She checked her purse to make sure she had the gun with her. She'd checked twice already. Sighing, feeling the weight of defeat upon realizing she'd never find the writer, she turned to go sit down by the neat little picnic area arranged for by Ryan Industries, who took a fee for every visitor, and collect her thoughts. Her heart was heavy as she sat. He could be anywhere, and if Ryan's men were unable to find him, what chance did she have? Or he could already be dead.

No. She felt that he was alive. And she knew she was overlooking something.

Billy, the teleporting splicer, was creeping not far away from the pretty red haired lady. Wondering what the hell she was up to, just walking about. He looked through his shabby pack and grabbed the EVE hypo he'd been saving. Oh, he had plans for the redhead. Months since he'd gotten laid. Plus, there was no one around. He kind of recognized her, too. He'd seen the bitch before, somewhere. She'd been following him around, hadn't she? Knew he was the best lay in Rapture. He injected himself with the EVE and felt the whites of his eyes start glowing. It was rushing through him, filling him with ecstasy and the thrill of being alive. Pure energy oozed within him and poured out of his pores, and he teleported away.

When he arrived over at the bench where the redhead should be, she was gone. He went into the splicer's rage when he heard her scream for help. She was being dragged away by one of those painted nut jobs. A Saturnine, painted blue.
"Hey!" He yelled, getting their attention, "let her go, you weirdo! She's mine!" He'd allow no one to take his bride. He was the god damn hellfire! The Saturnine looked back at Billy, crazy written all over his face, then let the redhead go. The Saturnine drew a knife, much bigger than Billy's. But Billy had more than the teleporting trick up his sleeve. It's what he started with, though. He disappeared and turned up a moment later behind the Saturnine. He gave the bastard a kick in the back and laughed. The cultist fell, but got up quickly, swinging his sharp blade. Then he started charging up, and it was only Billy's quick thinking that saved him from becoming a meat popsicle. The Saturnine shot ice crystals, using the Winter's Grasp plasmid, but Billy teleported to safety. Some ten feet away he retaliated using incinerating fire at the crazy bastard. The Saturnine caught fire and met his doom as Billy finished him off with another ball of hellish inferno. The victorious splicer looked around for his prize, but found that the pretty redhead was crawling away.
"Hey!" He shouted and teleported once again to intercept her.

Julia was crawling away from the fight, tears running down her cheeks. She could see one of the men going up in flames and suddenly remembered she'd brought a gun. She grabbed her purse and took out the revolver. She'd never even fired a gun in her life. For all the things she'd been through, all her experiences with men thinking of her as some frail girl to do with as he pleased, she'd never really realized the danger. Not before she saw a man being set on fire by a lunatic. Her hand shook, but she steadied it as best she could. The screams of the burning man was dying out and she dared to glance behind her, just as the other splicer yelled after her. But he wasn't there. And then she noticed the shadow towering in front of her. It was the splicer. How in the world could he move so fast? What was in those damn plasmids? But she remained clear headed and quickly swung around to aim the gun at her attacker. The moment she fired he was gone. Just vanished. He appeared just a few feet ahead as she got up to her feet.
"Now is that any way to thank the handsome devil who just saved your ass?" He cackled. It took Julia just a quick glance to see that the man was anything but handsome, the weight of the plasmid usage taking its toll on his visage, distorting him from a human into something decidedly monstrous, skin connecting where it shouldn't, pieces of warts and welts over his disturbing visage.

Her hands shook as she raised the gun again.
"Don't even think about it, bitch", he yelled and teleported away again. Julia noticed him appear to her left and aimed quickly. Two shots she fired. Both hit, but he was still standing! Then she heard him laugh behind her. A decoy! But she was quick to swing around; Julia grabbed Billy by the collar and pulled with all her strength, grunting as she threw him to the ground. He yelped as he fell. She refused to just lay down and be a victim, then she drew the gun at him, but before she could pull the trigger he teleported away again.
"Fight like a man!" Julia demanded of him, adrenaline and fear mixing inside her to make something terrible but awesome. Yet again, he appeared behind her. The coward. Before she could swing around the splicer grabbed her. He covered her mouth to stop her from screaming and grabbed her pistol wielding right hand and held tight. She could hardly move, but she smelled his breath. As if something had died in there. The splicer whispered:
"All I want me is some pussy. That ain't too much to ask, is it?" Julia started thrashing and jerking her head to get loose. Doing so, she accidentally fired the gun, the gunshot echoing through the trees in the underwater park. It startled the crazy splicer, who let her go, only to give her a head butt right in the face. Julia lost consciousness from the hard bang and fell to the ground with a deep sigh, dropping the gun.

A few moments later she came to, feeling the weight of the splicer upon her. She was groggy and her head ached. Her face was warm - she could feel blood running down along the bridge of her nose, as well as from one of her nostrils. And she saw Billy, the teleporting splicer's face, just inches from hers. It was deformed into something unknowable by the cancerous growths. He missed most of his teeth and the upper lip seemed to have grown into the nose in some way. Most of his hair had fallen off, what was left was only a few small patches around his skull. He panted and kissed her cheek with his swollen lips. She was still groggy from the blow to her head, but as soon as she came to, she began to resist. He moaned lightly into her ear. The repulsive call of the love sick splicer. Soon, he began struggling with his libido. Julia on her part was struggling to get loose, making him angry.
"Stay still, bitch!" He commanded, trying to hold her in place with his legs and his sheer weight. In response, Julia spat in his face, making him yell out in surprise.
"Fuck you!" She shouted. Billy wiped the spit off his spliced up face with an angry muttering.
"You bitch!" He growled and struck her hard across the cheek, giving her another nosebleed, perhaps even breaking her nose, and making her dizzy. He struck her again across the other cheek, making her hover around unconsciousness. Then he returned to his pants. Julia, knocked almost unconscious, couldn't do anything but let what happened happen. Billy sure was brave.

In the corner of her eye, Julia saw a shadow moving. Her mind still hazy, she was convinced it was the angel of death, come for her. Then she drifted off into unconsciousness again, the defiled world around fading to black. The shadow, her angel of death, was a man of flesh and blood. He moved slowly, making sure the splicer not notice him before he could grab the gun. Once he held it in his hand, the splicer's fate was sealed. With a few steps he was up by their side.
"Hey, can't you see I'm busy? Wait your turn! Plenty of whore to go around!" The splicer yelled. The shadow didn't care. He grabbed Billy's shirt and drew him up to his feet, much to the splicer's confusion. Before another word could be spoken, the shadow put the gun to Billy's head and blew it clean off. In his last second, the would-be rapist wished he'd died with Sam, back in Siren Alley.

Tossing the splicer's mostly headless corpse aside, and himself covered with the grey brain matter from inside the now nonexistent head, the shadow turned to Julia Jensen on the ground. Her eyes were flickering. It looked like she was coming to. The shadow grabbed her and gently helped her to her feet. She could hardly stand, and only stood up because she leaned against him.
"How are you feeling? Can you walk?" The shadow asked, holding her up.
"Who are? What..." Julia mumbled, unable to think clearly. She saw the remains of the splicer on the ground and the blood and brains that had squirted all over the shadow, covering him with squishy brain substance and smelly blood. But she couldn't make that connection.
"Let's get you somewhere safe", her rescuing shadow said and started walking. She could do nothing but follow, her legs moving automatically because his did. Still, she knew by heart that she was safe. And she smiled, even with all that happened, because she knew she'd found him. And she went with her savior, the angel of death.

The writer's apartment, 1958

Of course he'd save her. She'd planted herself in him along with that fateful seed. Only now he realized which was truly worth nurturing. She breathed, but she was out cold on his bed, her face bloodied and a cut on her forehead. The place wasn't exactly safe, but then again, nowhere in Rapture was safe anymore for a traitor. Especially not tonight. If his information was correct, New Year's Eve 1958 would be a night for the history books. The apartment was a complete mess. Everything of any value was stolen. Typewriter, radio and coffee table were all gone. The padding had been torn from the couch and it smelled of stale blood. There was no mattress in the bed, just a wooden frame that he put some overlooked and relatively clean sheets in , so that Julia would be more comfortable. The wallpapers were ripped and there were sheets of paper - his old notes and work - lying about. There was no light; all the bulbs were broken. Thus the apartment was dark, lit up only by the eerie blue green ocean outside the window. It glimmered ominously as he stood staring out. He watched the ocean, the stars, though his mind was elsewhere.

The writer hadn't been here in quite a while. He used to come here some times while writing the new book, but he stopped when he noticed others came there too. He'd left the door unlocked one too many times. But he also knew that Ryan's people would come looking here eventually. He looked out through the window with tired eyes. Not much sleep when you run around Rapture trying to find dirt on the people in charge. Even went so far as to try to infiltrate Atlas' place, but he had to bug out when they got on to him. Never met the man himself. Irish bastard. The writer had a growing stubble and his clothes were torn and dirty. He kept his few things in a backpack he'd stolen. A few Rapture dollars; a creme-filled cake; the gun he took back in Arcadia; and the still unused Electro Bolt plasmid with the accompanying EVE hypo. Still hadn't worked up the guts to use it. It just lay there, glowing red in the backpack, which he'd put on the desk.

With a sigh he sat down on the floor to wait for Julia to wake up. She was snoring a bit. All around Rapture the citizens were enjoying themselves with the New Year's masquerade ball. In a way, he'd stolen that from Julia. A chance at a normal life. But normal life in Rapture was about to abruptly end for all its people. To pass the time he grabbed a blank paper from the mess on the floor and the pen he kept in his pocket. And he started to write.

'My shadow fades and lays to waste'. Words that returned. He scrapped the paper. Meant nothing, he thought. Inside, maybe it did. It was nearing midnight. He made a ball of the paper, tossed it aside and sighed. Alone in the dark, fumbling for understanding. What. Had. He. Done. There was a moment of calm before the storm, but it seemed a lot less calm when he thought of what the storm would really bring. He'd spread anti-Rapture propaganda. Men had given their lives for a lot less. Dwelling on the thought made fear rise in his throat, and he began to hyperventilate. Leaning back against the wall he tried his hardest to focus on something else. It was a low purr and a soft stroke against his leg that brought that something else.
"Tyger?" He said, looking up and smiling. By his side, looking back up at him was indeed the tabby he called Tyger. The writer picked the cat up and put it in his lap, and began stroking its fur affectionately. Tyger, in turn, immediately began to purr.
"Where'd you come from?" The cat didn't answer him but stroked himself against the writer, who looked around. Door was closed. Couldn't have been in here the whole time... there, the vent into the air duct. It was missing; just a black hole in the wall.
"Where have you been?" The writer asked as he kept petting his friend, "I've missed you." For a long while Tyger just lay in the writer's lap and they both finally did feel the calm. Tyger purred and clawed affectionately at the writer's pants. It was a moment of blissful serenity, the cat's calmness transferring over to the writer, like a ray of light in an otherwise impenetrable darkness.

It felt somewhat similar to Tyger. The cat knew, as the writer knew, that they soon must be parting. Though they found in each other something of worth to hold on to, they were nothing alike. Tyger had perfectly adapted to the harsh world of Rapture, whereas the writer could not alienate himself more if he tried, and was bound to struggle against the cult of personality. It felt as if the entire night had passed when Tyger finally got to his feet and stretched his nimble and agile body. In reality, it couldn't have been more than an hour, if that. Tyger getting up woke the writer from slumber. Tyger meowed softly and walked, tail high, into the kitchen. The writer got to his feet, almost slipped on a sheet of paper, and followed his cat and friend over to the cupboard. Tyger sat neatly down in front of the cabinet, looking at the writer with big eyes.
"Let's see", the writer said, opening the pantry. He sighed; "darkness there, and nothing more." But then he remembered, on the top shelf. He usually put tuna tins there. Standing on his toes to get a good look, he found the sole last one. Tyger got up, standing cutely on his hind legs and leaning against the writer's leg when he saw the tin.
"Let's hope it hasn't gone bad", the writer said. Opening the can, they both felt the distinct smell of tuna fill the room. Tyger was excited. The writer was not. But the tuna was good to eat.
"You can thank Ryan Industries preservatives for that", the writer said and put the tin on the floor. Tyger immediately began munching the smelly fish down. Within short, he'd eaten it all, leaving not a single scrap.
"You really were hungry, huh?" The writer picked the cat up and scratched his head. Tyger licked around his mouth, still tasting the - to him - delicious tuna. He looked content. Looking at his on and off again companion, the writer sighed.
"I just wish you could come with me. Wherever it is I'm going." Then, over from the bed, they both heard Julia stirring. The writer put Tyger down and went over to see if she was waking up. He didn't think of it then, but that was the last time he ever saw Tyger the cat.

Over at the bed, Julia was stirring. Seeing her wake up made the writer feel nervous. What if she still hated him. Her eyes were flickering and as soon as he turned, she awoke.
"Ugh..." She moaned, her voice shaky. She was still groggy. She put her hand on her forehead, grimacing in pain. The writer turned to her.
"Good morning." He said. She sat up on the bed. "And happy new year I guess", he continued.
"Is it... where..." She wobbled a bit, then steadied herself, "are you the angel of death?" The writer smiled his rare smile.
"No", he said, "it's just me. The god damn writer. But I might use angel of death the next time, that has a nice ring to it." Julia leaned back down again.
"I knew I'd find you", she said, looking up at him.
"I think, I found you."
"Nuh uh", she smiled, though she was obviously in pain and felt bad. The writer sat down beside her.
"We have to get you out of here", he said.
"Why? What's going on?" She sat up once again, and looked into his eyes.
"It's not safe here. You read the book I assume?" She nodded. "So has Andrew Ryan, I expect. He'll have people looking for me." He looked at her. It was as if her beauty glowed in the darkness. "I've put you in too much danger."
"What do you mean?"
"There's going to be a war. Atlas will start a revolution. Tonight. He has the biggest collection of ADAM in the city and with it he controls most of the splicers. I don't know if it's possible, but you have to get out of the city, maybe get one of those private bathyspheres and just go, preferably while Ryan and Atlas are going at it, hot and heavy. Because they will."
"What about you?"
"There's no time for me. Even with the war, Ryan won't tolerate his so called parasites. He'll be looking for me. I... you should go. Go to your family, your friends-" Her eyes turned hollow when he mentioned them. "-Then try and find a way out of Rapture. Just... don't be around me when they find me. It will not end well." Julia was silent for a while.
"No", she said at last, standing up, "there's nowhere I'd rather be."
"But... you have to get out. Rapture is burning!"
"I will if you come with me." She sounded like a child who always got what she wanted.
"You don't know what you're saying..." He looked at the floor.
"I do. I'm a grown woman. And if Rapture is lost, then how, exactly, are you protecting me by throwing me out?" She grimaced in pain again, and touched her forehead. The writer sighed.
"Okay." He resigned and stood up, knowing full well she was right. It is better to live one day as an eagle, than a lifetime as a fly.
"We'll find a way", she said and took his hand. They looked into each other's eyes. The writer had dreamt of it. To think that it would happen now, at a time like this. Fate, no matter if they shaped it themselves or not, sure had a sense of humor. They were already at the source.

Julia's stomach was completely empty. It felt kind of as if her throat had been cut off, she hadn't eaten in so long.
"I'm starving", she said, "is there anything to eat?"
"No. Wait, yes", the writer said and grabbed his pack. From it, he took the creme-filled cake and handed it to Julia. Her hand was dirty. "It's not much of a New Year's dinner", he said, "but it's all I've got."
"Want to split it?" Julia asked as she took the cake out its plastic cover.
"Sure", the writer said, giving her his rare smile. Julia split the cake in two and quickly put her half in her mouth and ate it. The writer ate his half, too, and it was the best thing he'd had since...
"Not exactly blueberry pie, but I like it", Julia said, her mouth full. The writer looked at her as she munched on her piece of the cake. A curious thing, how that which is dear to someone will appear a hundred, or even a thousand times prettier to that person. Julia was wearing a black dress with pink polka dots. It was a little torn in a few places and there was mud from Arcadia and dirt from all around the city on it. But she rocked that rapturous dress. And her hair, burning as red as ever, was let out and flowed light as air over her shoulders. A little tattered, and it needed a wash, but still as beautiful as ever. She was the first dream he knew. Every other one would be a charade of her. He watched her take one of the sheets from the bed to wipe dry blood from her face with. When she was done, her pretty young face was mostly clean, but there was still some blood left. And a little dirt. Then she looked back at him with her big blue eyes that told secrets of the stars, holding the bloodied and dirty sheet in her hands.
"What?" She said, smiling at his dreamy expression. The writer blushed and looked down, embarrassed. She smiled even more at that.
"It's nothing", he said, looking shyly away.
"It's not nothing", she said, dropping the sheet back onto the bed. She walked up to him, standing close to him. "Tell me."
"It's... you. You're beautiful, is all I was... thinking." Julia giggled, but she blushed, too. She knew that's what it was. Girls always know these things. Outside the door, they heard the public address system going on, and Andrew Ryan beginning to speak, his voice muffled by the walls.
"Good evening, my friends. I hope you are enjoying your New Year's Eve celebration; it has been a year of trials for us all. Tonight I wish to remind each of you that Rapture is your city. It was your strength of will that brought you here, and with that strength you shall rebuild. And so, Andrew Ryan offers you a toast. To Rapture, 1959. May it be our finest year."
They listened intently. He spoke with such resolution, such passion for a man whose dream was crumbling. He would not stagger. Hard to imagine to the writer, how the two of them could be of any significance to a man who'd built an entire city. How two lonely specks of dust in cosmic sand could matter to the man who followed his dreams and did the impossible. Now, the dream was true, and it was ending, the last petal about to fall. At least for the specks of dust. And then it was 1959. With that the fall of Rapture must have begun. For them, a new age was moving in. The chronicles of a frozen era was a thing of the past. The writer took Julia's hand and pulled her close to him. She'd saved him from the abyss.
"Fair maiden mine, forever we shall love."