'Trust me to get stuck babysitting… I'm too busy for this. But… at least I've got a free ticket to Rapture out of this…'
"Gwen?" A voice interrupted the young woman's thoughts. She sighed, calming herself. She hadn't slept in two days because of constant travel, and lack of sleep was the only time she had a temper. She pushed her rather flat dark hair from out of her face and looked down. A girl of about twelve was sitting beside her on the train.
"What is it now? And I've told you before don't call me Gwen." She snapped, a little harsher than she'd meant to. Mary-Lou Durance was her cousin, and through their whole journey into Rapture she hadn't stopped pestering her. Gwendoline Hazelmere was not a very patient woman, least of all when faced with a grubby-faced child.
"B-But Gwen! Are we there yet? It's been forever!" Mary-Lou sniffled, turning her watery green eyes on her. Gwendoline gave up. Always the eyes… all the time.
"Almost, okay Mary? It's only ten more minutes until our stop, now stop complaining, honestly. No boys will want to marry you if you act like this when you're older."
Mary-Lou smiled slyly at her. "Well no boys will want to marry you Gwen because you're so grumpy!"
Gwendoline's face turned scarlet. "Why you little brat!"
***** Elsewhere, in Fontaine Futuristics *****
"… Three failed experiments, Dr. Suchong. The better one better not fail."
"Suchong know. Failure is not an option this time."
"We have… an idea for your last failed experiment in the series, Doctor. Perhaps you should look for a suitable bond… in a more mature field. Expand the age criteria. I have already selected the child."
"She arrives today?"
"I've already sent someone to pick her up. You just prepare everything."
*****The Atlantic Express- Olympus Heights Station.*****
"We're here! Look, look Gwen, you can see fish through the windows. Now I know why my parents moved here! It's beautiful!" Mary-Lou cooed, staring up at the ceiling as they made their way through the station. Gwendoline had to admit… it certainly was beautiful. What did worry her though was the fact no one else seemed to be around.
It was the screaming that snapped her back to reality. She stared in horrified silence for a moment as two lurching old men grabbed Mary-Lou, and proceeded to lead her away. She broke into a clumsy run, cursing her decision to wear her best shoes.
"Hey! Come back here, what do you think you're doing with her!" She yelled catching up finally and pulling at one of the men's arm. Caught by surprise, the men let go, Mary-Lou hitting the ground running.
Gwendoline was about to break into a run after her, when she felt the steely grip of hands on her arms. Mary-Lou screamed, and paused, torn between running to her cousin or running to her parent's house.
"Mary, go! Get help, you idiot! I'm probably about to be ravished by these disgusting beasts and you're just standing there! Use your head!" Gwendoline yelled, stamping on one of the men's feet, and struggling against the vice-like grip of their needle-poked arms.
Mary-Lou, not needing to be told twice, ran out of the station, not even pausing to look back. Gwendoline, still struggling, felt the relief that one of them had gotten out of this. However annoying Mary-Lou could be, she was still family. All thoughts soon vanished from her mind when something heavy hit her square on the back of the head, knocking her completely unconscious.
***** Later *****
Gwendoline's mind swam in and out of conscious thought, bobbing on the tides of dream and reality. Occasionally voices from outside of her mind flooded in.
"… Subject Gamma…"
"….May be too old… adult…"
"… Pheromones… little…?"
When she finally did rise to full consciousness, she dared not open her eyes. Two men were arguing close by to where she was lying. And neither of them sounded like her Uncle Albert, that was for sure. She listened intently to their conversation.
"This is not the girl I selected, Doctor. She's not even a child!"
"Procedure was successful. Does it matter?"
"You succeeded? With a fully matured subject? Fascinating."
"I Need to see how interaction is. Suchong shall do this soon, When she is conscious."
"Who is she then?"
"Name is Gwendoline A. Hazelmere. Nineteen year old. Uncle and Aunt live in Olympus Heights-"
"And she'd like to know why the hell she's here thank you very much!" Gwendoline said coldly, sitting up. She opened her eyes, and stared at the two men intently. One of them was Asian by the look of him. Probably Chinese. She assumed he was 'Suchong'. The other man was tall, dark-haired.
"Miss Hazelmere. Our… sincere apologies for taking you by surprise when we invited you here." He said.
"Invited? Hah! You try to abduct my cousin, a child, and then you take me? What is wrong with you people? And… why does my head hurt…? What did you do to me?" She demanded, scowling.
"Miss Hazelmere. You are here because you are a success. Thanks to you, we've done what we have struggled to do for years. Create an effective Pair-bond between a subject, in this case you, and a Protector."
She narrowed her grey eyes and stared at him. What was he talking about.
"Right. And… who's the 'Protector' then?"
"We call him Subject Gamma. You want to see him? Come, come." The Doctor helped her down from the slab she'd been lying on. She was in a clean, tiled room in neutral colours. Despite the uniformed look of it, it still had that style and class that told her she was still somewhere in Rapture.
Doctor Suchong led her down the corridor. After the rest, Gwendoline's temper had subsided. She was usually a very calm docile woman. But being trapped in a railway car with a young child all day with no sleep, then finding out some weird quacks had performed some crazy experiment on her was enough to make anyone annoyed.
There was something odd about this place… It reminded her of an asylum. She shivered at the thought; asylums and hospitals always gave her that awful feeling of dread. As they went deeper into the building, something caught her attention. There was damage on the walls everywhere. Dents in metal, scratches, even bullet-holes.
Dr. Suchong watched her. Curious woman. First she snaps at people like some furious little dog, and now she's suddenly timid as a mouse. She was about 5'3'', and had pallid looking skin, short black hair and tired-looking grey eyes… She didn't look like she'd grown much at all in… the 'womanly' department. He hurriedly directed his attention away from that part of her. She met him with a blank stare.
"What is it doctor?"
"We almost there. Thats all."
"This place? It's practically in ruins…"
"Alpha Series aggressive and uncontrollable. Subject Gamma is in there." He explained.
"A-Aggressive and… uncontrollable? That doesn't sound like a protector at all…"
"You expected knight in shiny armour?"
At that she fell silent. 'There was no need to be rude about it…' She thought, but supposed she hadn't been very pleasant herself at first. She suddenly felt bad about being so annoyed with Mary-Lou… maybe this was some kind of punishment for being in such a bad mood…
"Subject Gamma is in there. I will stay in observation booth. You go." He said, going into a room on the side of the main door, leaving a confused and suddenly terrified Gwendoline standing facing the doors in front of her. She took a nervous step forward, and the doors slid open, revealing a darkened room.
'No turning back now…' She thought, and stepped into the room…