Chapter Thirteen: Prosperity Peak
Note: I do not own Bioshock nor any related copyrights such as Rapture, ADAM, EVE, Brigid Tenenbaum, and other such related concepts and names.
Slowly, Henry opened his eyes. The bathysphere was dark, yet from the viewport a light shown. The bathysphere had crashed face-first into the side of one of the large buildings and lodged into a large window face. The room beyond the bathysphere appeared to be some sort of two-floor lobby that was once decorated in pure gold. Now, anything that glittered was taken away, but signs of the glamour the room once held remained in the remaining architecture.
Henry looked down at Victor who had been shielded in Henry's arms. Victor looked back, a bruise across his forehead. Victor shook his head and said, "Damn. At least we're alive."
Henry chuckled and looked up. Under his metal helmet, his face paled. "Victor, why do we always speak too soon?"
Victor frowned and looked up too. His eyes widened as he saw the jets of water that were spurting from the sides of the bathysphere's indent in the window and heard the groan of failing support.
"Out!" Victor called, pulling the manual release for the bathysphere viewport. The door swing open and Henry, pushing Victor in front of him, dashed out. More jets of water sprung from the window and landed on Henry's back as the spidery cracks spread along its face.
Victor dashed up the stairs as Henry, laden with his heavy armor, trudged behind. In front of the pair was an exit that lead out into a large hallway, unlit but still safer than this death trap. Victor dashed through the entrance only to see Henry fallen behind. "Hurry up!" Victor called out, wildly waving his hand for Henry to follow him.
In a burst of speed, Henry flat-out ran towards the door. Suddenly, an alarm sounded. A yellow light was illuminated at the top of the exit. Just as Henry reached the exit, a large heavy bulkhead descended in front of him. He barely saw the bolded word SECURIS before he slammed into it. He recovered, turned around, and faced the massive shattering of the window.
The force of the Atlantic Ocean tossed Henry into the bulkhead for a full minute. He struggled against the ocean, but there was no stopping this force of nature. Finally the pressure subsided and Henry slowly fell to his knees.
He looked up from his kneeling position to see the entire lobby flooded with sea water, stools and tables floating lazily. Looking down at his arsenal, he saw that his Tommy gun had been wrenched out of his belt and was not likely somewhere, drenched beyond use. Still, his massive rivet gun still seemed functioning and, thanking and cursing his fortune, Henry stood up.
Once again, Henry felt light as he walked down the stairs. He almost jumped down the entire flight he felt so free. Reaching to bottom, he looked out of the destroyed window. Dark buildings made up the skyline from this face of the building, but a red glow could still be seen in the distance.
Going over to the window, he looked out into the Ocean. Even with the buoyant forces suspending him, a fall from his current position would still likely break a few bones, at least. But that was not the focus of his attention. The side of the building seemed to be made of a decorative lattice, spaced similar to ladder rungs. One floor up, he could see what appeared to be an alcove.
Taking a look down, Henry thought If I could handle heights, I would have joined the Air Force. Seeing no other way out, however, he climbed over the bathysphere and leapt onto the side of the building.
The climb was surprisingly easy. Despite lugging his heavy suit, the water made him feel almost completely weightless. Still, halfway to the alcove, Henry suddenly felt a disturbance behind him. He turned, hitting the hearing module on the side of his helmet to activate it. The disturbance turned into a loud moan, then a dark shape, before finally materializing as a massive whale swimming through the streets of the sunken city.
The whale swam by, not paying any attention to Henry as he hung onto the side of the building. As it swam by, Henry was almost pulled from his grasp on the building. Regaining control, Henry pulled himself to the side of the building and weathered the whale's wake.
When I get back, I'm getting a topside job Henry thought to himself as he pulled himself up to the alcove.
Standing on the alcove was what appeared to be a large rocket launcher, though made with roughly assembled pieces rather than factory-grade metals. Behind the torpedo launcher was a plate riveted into place. Hope this leads inside Henry thought as he trudged over to it.
The rivet wasn't going anywhere without help, so Henry pulled his rivet gun up to the side of the plate and pulled the trigger. The forge of the rivet created a buckling in the side of the plate. Using the gun as a lever, Henry forced the plate open.
Water flooded the inner chamber and Henry was washed in with it. He picked himself off the ground just in time to see a bulkhead seal the external entrance to the alcove. He pushed himself up and flipped the light on his suit.
He was apparently in another maintenance area. It was much similar to the many other maintenance tunnels he had met previously, but there was one main difference. Through the hearing module, he could hear in the distance the soft hum of an electrical motor. Through his helmet's viewplate, he could see artificial light in the distance. Someone had turned on the power.
Henry shouldered the rivet gun and proceeded towards a door from under which he could see a pool of light. He slowly opened the door to reveal a staircase. Suddenly, in the distance, he could hear the sounds of yelling and gunfire. A rifle could be distinctly heard amongst the chaos.
Henry pushed down the staircase, his heart beating, and threw open the maintenance door at the bottom.
The magnificent hall must have been a sight to see in days of old. Massive arches suspended a glass ceiling through which swimming fish could be seen. A that must have once hung in the middle of the room had crashed to the ground, pieces of glass scattered around it. In the far back of the room, a massive vault adorning the statement WEALTH AND PROSPERITY loomed over the chamber. In front, desks much like those of a bank's were set up. In the middle, a large platform held aloft a brass hand gripping a giant chain in its fist. The plaque below was made unreadable due to time, but the entire structure gave off the air of an altar to wealth.
Henry turned his attention to the splicers that now ran at a white-cloaked figure whose back was against the wall. Henry lifted his rivet gun but the splicers were too far away for an accurate shot. However, there was a clap of thunder, a trail of smoke from the figure's hand, and a massive explosion threw back the crowd of splicers.
Henry brought the rivet gun down and started jogging towards the figure. Brushing the sweat form his brow, Victor turned and saw the large metal figure running towards him. He lifted the grenade launcher in his hands and called out, "Henry!?"
"It's okay!" Henry called back, lifting his free hand. "It's me. Where did you find that?"
Victor chuckled and held up the grenade launcher. "Wrenched it off of a splicer that didn't understand what he had. Never go anywhere without one I say. Looks like someone restored power to this dump."
"If he did I don't see why. This place was Prosperity Peak, the Rapture's piggybank. Ryan Security maintained the bank up until the Civil War. Sure there's still a lot of money left in the vault, but Reemus doesn't need money. Someone else is powering this place."
"So, any idea where to go from here?"
"Actually, I think this helped us more than it hurt us. You see that vault? It isn't just a big wallet. Ryan put a rapid transit elevator that stretches from here all the way to the underground network of tunnels that runs under Rapture. In my business, I had to use those tunnels form time to time. I know for a fact that, using those tunnels, we can get all the way from here to Hephaestus without putting us at risk of another attack."
"Makes sense. All right, let's go." Both men lifted their guns and proceeded towards the altar of wealth.
Next Chapter: The Altar of Wealth