The beam creaked below her as her weight shifted, she checked the splicer she'd been watching but to her relief it seemed unaware. Again she settled her body for the long wait ahead of her.
The docks were quiet, only the gentle lap of water on the metal rusting walkways echoed through the dead space, it was almost peaceful, the reflections of the leagues of water that stretched above her casting beautiful rippling patterns upon the floor.
The change in Rapture was bizarre really, from the place of terror that she had known only six months before to this strangely serene echo of a city. Of course it wasn't always like this, there were still those moments of utter terror as Splicers appeared in their 'hunting parties' stalking the halls, then she would fight, firing her pistol at each one, usually catching it in the shoulder or if she was lucky the head.
She had Tenenbaum to thank for that transformation. Ever since she'd awoken in the Doctor's 'sanctuary' the change in her own personality had become a constant source of surprise. She'd stayed a top that table for a week, Tenenbaum had put it down to the amount of drugs Steinman had pumped her with, Alice had been allowed to come in and see her after a few days.
As the office doors had slid open she'd sat up thinking that Tenenbaum was returning from one of her jaunts round the city but instead she'd been leapt upon by a girl she had to take a moment to recognise. Brigid had warned her in advance that she had extracted the slug from Alice, but she would never have guessed how much the absence of the little parasite could have changed her.
Her eyes as they'd looked up at her watery with tears were a hazel brown, tiny and perfectly round, her skin was no longer a sickly grey, it was a pale peach with rosy cheeks, and her hair that she was almost certain had been black had been washed and combed back to reveal that its true colour was in fact a light brown.
After the realisation that the little girl that was clinging to her neck was her own little Alice, Miriam had wept her own share of tears, and there they had stayed for the remainder of Miriam's stay in bed. Brigid had found them their when she had finally returned, Alice sat across Miriam's lap talking to her animatedly about all the little sisters that were playing outside. That was when Tenenbaum had started to trust Miriam.
For the few days after she'd woken the Doctor has treated her with a great deal of distrust, questioning her about her actions with Atlas and Alice and what she remembered of the encounter with Alice's Big Daddy, whenever she wasn't asking questions she was treating her much like an inconvenience that someday soon she would deposit as far away from her as the sea would allow.
After Miriam had finally been able to get out of bed Tenenbaum began her 'training'.
It appeared much to Miriam's surprise that the Doctor was a crack shot with a pistol, she could shoot the weapon from a splicers hand at twenty yards, and this knowledge she began to pass on to her. They had started in the alcove just outside the 'sanctuary'. Tenenbaum would sit an old tin can at one end, stand Miriam at the other and tell her to shoot.
It had taken a long time for her to actually hit the target, it took even longer for her to do it at any great speed, Brigid would drill her making her stand with her back to the target then ordering her to turn and shoot. Many of her attempts were met with "Scheisse!", or "Keep your eye on the target" but gradually she got better, in fact she began to get good.
It was while she was taking out the stitches that Tenenbaum explained her plan to Miriam.
"You know there are many more little girls in rapture like Alice" she had said carefully picking out the last of the thin wire, said little girl was sleeping in Miriam's arms soundly her little hand clasping her momma's tightly just in case she slipped away again. Miriam had nodded absently she was aware there were others, how many she was not sure. Tenenbaum dabbed the scars mopping up the tiny droplets of blood that dotted the skin where the stiches had been, "I have been attempting to change many of them back since zee war" she explained going over to a small cracked basin of warm water where she washed her hands, "but there are too many".
Miriam had stroked Alice's hair absently watching Tenenbaum's back as she put the various tools to one side, "You want me to help" she said solemnly.
Tenenbaum nodded, "exactly" she walked over to a small cabinet, taking a small grey key from her pocket she unlocked the cabinet.
Miriam leaned forward slightly trying to catch a glimpse of what Brigid had retrieved, she saw a strange red glow coming from her hand.
Tenenbaum turned slowly holding the glass heart shaped vessel carefully in her palm, when Miriam saw it she had gasped holding Alice that much closer to her chest.
Miriam sighed flexing her hand watching the new minor muscles clench under her skin, how normal it seemed even though the plasmid was pulsing round her veins, swimming among her blood bewitching the cells that lay underneath into new shapes. She closed her eyes pressing her fist against her lips, her eyes knitted together into a deep frown, how she hated the ADAM that lay under her skin, the craving that came whenever a little sister lay before her helpless.
But she resisted just like Tenenbaum did, they were not splicers they were still human, the plasmid allowed them to return the little sisters to girls, nothing more, no fire, no lightning, no inhuman powers, just a rescue mission.
Brigid reassured her that she could survive without an updated supply of ADAM but the need still twisted her gut.
A low rumbling echoed up from the lapping waters, Miriam shook herself from her musings and looked down to the shadows below, to her terror the splicer was gone, instead a man stood there, a man she recognized as one of Atlas' cronies though his name escaped her. He was staring at something just below where she knelt.
Suddenly she heard it, ragged breathing the kind that could only mean a spider splicer, she dare not move, the terrible hooks slid through the grate narrowly missing her by inches, careful not to make any sound Miriam cocked and aimed her pistol ready to shoot incase the splicer became aware of her.
She needn't have bothered. The man below her was the real target. The splicer leapt for him landing only a meter away, the man backed up slowly crowbar raised above his head, the splicer jumped cleanly landing before the man. Suddenly the man's offensive disappeared and he began to back up even faster.
Miriam didn't have a chance to really take in what was happening as suddenly the structure she was knelt on began to shake. She used her hands to steady herself, she stared down between her hands to the churning water.
She blinked trying to clear her eyes, for surely they were playing trick on her. She couldn't be seeing what she thought she was seeing, it just wasn't possible…
A bathy sphere!
A god damned Bathy Sphere was emerging from the water!
There was a guttural cry from below, she looked finding Atlas' crony falling to the grated floor his blood spilling to the sea water below. The splicer had already moved to the bathy sphere, she let out a piercing scream clawing at the side of the sub.
Without thinking Miriam cast around her for something to throw, she spied a iron bolt worked loose by the splicers no doubt, she threw it at the splicer. It caught the foul thing on the back of the head producing a satisfying crack.
Miriam sprang to her feet as the things gaze snapped to exactly where she was hiding, as fast as she dared she started to run for the vent she'd come from ducking past the loose cables and discarded work tools. All the while she could hear the terrible scraping coming from behind her; the splicer had spotted her for certain and was now racing after her. She tried to pick up her pace, pushing all that she had into reaching that vent.
Suddenly she heard the creature stop.
Curious she turned back slowing to a stop a few meters from the vent. The splicer was crawling along the ceiling, it was stalking something, heading over to the flickering lights of the distant stair case, and there it dropped gracefully landing in the flood light. Something or perhaps someone caught Miriam's attention, the briefest of movements from the shadows by the massive windows.
Gunfire stole her attention however and she shot into the vent. The splicers mad screams echoed along the passage behind her, but she didn't stop until she reached the meeting room bursting out of the vent at high speed almost taking down the woman who stood within.
"Sorry" Miriam gasped trying to refill her lungs as Tenenbaum picked herself up from the floor brushing down her clothes.
"What zee hell is going on in the port?" she asked helping Miriam to her feet.
Miriam explained the arrival of the bathy sphere and the splicer then the gunfire. Tenenbaum listened her frown deepening with every detail.
"Atlas?" she asked when Miriam mentioned it was one of his cronies by the sub,
"We should see what he's up to" the doctor concluded picking up her revolver from the table and checking what ammo she had in there.
Miriam followed her out of the office they had set up base in grabbing the extra bullets she had found and stuffing them into her pockets, she would probably need all the ammo she could carry when it came to Atlas.
She'd look back and smile at this moment, since at the time she'd never guess at just how right she could be, or how much the person that had emerged from that bathy sphere could mean for her and the rest of this dead city.
Shows over time to go home!
Well sort of...
Don't worry i'm not going to abandon Miriam and Alice down in Rapture, if I can get my head around juggeling Uni and writing then anouther story will be up real soon, all about when a certain passenger in that Bathysphere is added to the mix...
Anyway thanks for all the wonderful reviews and favs that i've received, hopefully i'll see you all in a month or so!