New York, New York
A few months later
Eleanor Lamb had trouble getting used to living in the Big Apple, though she managed. At first, when the city came into view, she thought that it would be just like Rapture, with Splicers crawling everywhere. However, that wasn't the case, and she quickly learned that the surface was much different than Rapture. She realized her other conclusion to be a bit silly. Because on the surface, people weren't deprived of sunlight, and therefore, they didn't go crazy.
However, that also turned out to be a bit laughable too. There were definitely some crazy people up-top as well as down-below. The ones up-top were just a different sort of crazy. She had to defend the little sisters from perverts every now and again, though she preferred them over Splicers, any day.
Finding a place to stay also proved to be a bit difficult as well, but she managed to befriend the owner of an apartment complex, and she lowered her rent payment to almost half, mostly out of pity. It also turned out that the owner, Mrs. Leon, had a son around her age as well. Ryan, that was the name of the boy. They had never met, strange enough considering they both lived in the same complex. Mrs. Leon had told her that her son was an early riser, so he would normally be on his way to school around dawn while Eleanor slept the day away.
Mrs. Leon also told her that she would have to go to school soon. She was lucky that the year had only just begun, she could still enroll in some classes and only have a few days of makeup work. "You'll love it," Mrs Leon kindly reassured Eleanor.
It could have been her other memories from Rapture, but she felt a resounding sense of foreboding that shook her entire core. She was sure that she wasn't going to like school because of the previous life she lived in Rapture, where if you didn't get the lesson, you would get the end of a ruler.
"Mother, I'm home!" A male voice exclaimed from outside the mahogany-wooden door. The next thing that happened was the door creaked open, showing, inch by inch, a young man. His cropped, unruly coal-colored hair only contrasted with his bright blue eyes. His slender frame filled out his tan trench coat very well.
He took no notice of Eleanor until he had set his bag down. He eyed her with curiosity, and she felt herself flinch under his gaze, though she didn't know why.
"Ryan, dear, it's impolite to stare," Mrs. Leon scolded him. Ryan snapped out of it, replying that he was aware of that and left to go wash for dinner. "Sorry about that. He's normally quite the gentleman," Mrs. Leon apologized. Eleanor told her that it was quite alright.
When he returned, he took some silverware from the drawer and set the table. His mother patted him on the head, where he brushed it off, obviously annoyed. He hated that she still treated him like a kid.
His mother took out a few sandwiches and placed them on the teak wood. Her guests accepted the food graciously. Eleanor because she didn't have any money and therefore couldn't afford the luxury of eating much. Ryan because he was helping with some photography and often forgot to pack his own lunch every day. His mother often chided him that his forgetfulness would get him into trouble one day. He laughed.
Ryan was about to take another bite of his sandwich before he noticed that Eleanor was done with her sandwich. He grinned at her, sliding his piece over to her before politely excusing himself.
Slightly grinning herself, she finished off the rest of the food. Ryan returned shortly after, putting the finishing touches on a suit that was as black as his hair. He messed around with the tie before finally getting it straightened out. From his pocket, he produced a silver pocket-watch with a shield that had a calligraphic R decorated on the front.
He took a quick glance at it and muttered something inaudible. Looking back to his mother and their esteemed guest, he grinned lopsidedly. He apologized for having to leave so soon after getting home, but he had some extra work to take care of and would be back in half an hour or so.
"Bye dear," His mother called out as he carefully shut the door behind him. Now that he was gone, Eleanor felt some compulsive behavior to ask her a question about Ryan.
"Mrs. Leon, what exactly does your son do? For a job I mean."
She was silent for a moment, and Eleanor thought she was treading on thin ice with the subject, but the weathered woman sighed before answering. "He works for the paper, and is a freelance photographer. Sometimes, he puts his own photographs into the paper, underneath his articles. The pay is good, but I know he can do so much better. The boy is smart, and why he chooses to do photography is beyond me."
Eleanor took another sip of coffee, now knowing that she did step on a sensitive subject after all.
Ryan clambered down the steps, and in his haste, nearly tripped. Quickly recomposing himself, he continued his rush down the flights of stairs. It was only a short amount of time before his lead would be gone and his window of opportunity would close completely.
He tackled the door, quickly getting out into the cluttered streets. Some people took a quick glance over to him, perhaps thinking that he was a madman. But when they saw his attire, they changed from madman to late businessman. He had business to attend to alright.
Casually readjusting his tie, he scanned the environment for the rat that would lead him back to the nest. It didn't take long to spot him, a man in rag-tag clothes and greasy hair plastered to his face was handing out vials occupied the end of the curb. Whoever he was, he wasn't very good at blending in; oh well, made Ryan's job a lot easier.
Careful as not to draw too much, or much more, attention to himself, he strolled over to a newspaper stand. He bought one copy and sat down on the bench, peering over every now and again to keep tabs on his subject.
It was ten minutes after he bought the paper that Ryan threw it away. He then trudged along, shoving his hands into his pockets. He clenched the cold steel of the pocket-watch for comfort as he passed the unpleasant man. He never made eye contact with him. His loafers padded along the concrete at the same rhythm his heart-beat hammered in his chest.
He entered a store, pretending to browse their wares while the rat-looking man continued to hand out the substances. Where were the police when this was going on? He realized that the only person he could rely on at this time was himself.
The man was on the move, and so was Ryan. Ryan kept his distance, only trailing him with at least thirty feet between the two of them. Thankfully, the man didn't turn around and didn't make any pit-stops. It seemed as if the man was blissfully unaware that there was someone whose agenda was about to make his day go from good to bad, then from bad to worse. Either that, or he was aware and he was good at playing dumb; he was probably leading him into a trap. Ryan would be ready. At least, he hoped he would be.
Gulping down his fear and insecurities, he kept his mind on the task at hand, and a single hand on the collapsible camera that took refuge in his opposite pocket. He was ready to take a snapshot of the evidence then bolt out of there as fast as he could. Suddenly, his meal was starting to bubble in his stomach from the anticipation.
The rat-man turned into an alleyway. The prospect of losing sight of his lead caused Ryan to speed up his pace.
Even though it was still daylight, he hugged the corner of the building. He peeked, trying to get a good view without giving himself away. The blaring of traffic horns and the hustle and bustle of New York didn't help with his investigation. He only got trace amounts of conversation, "Yes...we're moving...got the package? No...tonight...yes..."
When they started trading 'goods' was when Ryan took out the camera. He snapped at least fifteen photos before he turned to leave. Feeling satisfied, he replaced the camera into his pocket and started the trudge back home. Bad idea.
Something cold and metallic was bashed into his skull. He fell to his knees, barely conscious of what was going on. The next thing that came was another blow to the head, and Ryan went out like a light.
Half an hour passed, then an hour, then two. Both Eleanor and Mrs. Leon were getting worried about Ryan. They had called the police department, but the usual 'we'll do our best' was evident that this case was going to be on the bottom of the list; they would be lucky if their case was on the list at all.
Eleanor thought it best not to overstay her welcome and opted to go back to her own apartment. She thanked Mrs. Leon for the meal, pleasant company, and everything else before heading out. She grabbed her coat and slipped it on before saying her goodbyes.
I really hope he's alright. She thought as she bit her thumb. She took heavy steps down two flights of stairs before stopping in front of her apartment door. She fished out a key from her pockets and placed it into the lock.
Immediately, she was greeted by all the little sisters, whose eyes were back to their original colors instead of the haunting yellow that had occupied them for most of their little sister lives. Sometimes she wondered if they would be turned into big sisters if they had remained in Rapture. Choosing to ignore that dark part of her mind, she embraced all of them upon entrance.
Melody, the first of the rescued little sisters, brushed some of her blond hair from her face and said, "Welcome back Eleanor. We were beginning to get worried."
Eleanor smiled, picked her up and hugged her tight. "Don't worry about me," She laughed bitterly, "The one you really should worry for is Ryan Leon. He's gone missing. We're hoping that he's just late getting home from work, but something tells me that isn't the case."
Melody and the rest of the little girls threw worried looks at each other. It was Ella, one of the younger little sisters, who spoke up. "Um, we saw him leave. We also watched him from our balcony."
Eleanor was about to say she was being snoopy, but she was cut off by the same little girl. "He didn't leave for a while. He bought a newspaper and sat on that bench," She pointed at the bench where Ryan did his spying. "But wait, when he threw away the piece of paper, he left to go downtown, where a lot of the bad people are, instead of going uptown where he normally works."
She thought of telling Mrs. Leon about this piece of news, but decided that this info was better left unsaid. She turned to the little sisters, her lips pursed into a grim smile, "Get my suit."
Hell was going to be unleashed.
A.N. So marks the first chapter down. Hope you enjoyed reading as much as I did writing it. If I got something wrong then tell me, but for the sake of it, just pretend collapsible cameras are real in the Bioshock world. Also, reviews are appreciated, and so is constructive criticism.
Thanks for reading, and see you soon.