Infinite Galaxy

Chapter 28

For the last twenty-four hours Shepard, Booker, and the whole ground team along with the salarian Special Tasks Group stormed Saren's compound which have been a facility for cloning full grown krogan soldiers for Saren's army to the addition of his geth allies. Then they found out that an ancient race of sentient machines calling themselves the Reapers is behind this plot while indoctrinating key people to carry out their mission which includes Matriarch Benezia and Saren Arterius. They had just narrowly escaped a nuclear blast by rescuing Ashley while Anna rescued Kaidan opening a Tear to pull him out of imminent doom only to cause his L2 implant to malfunction when crossing through the threshold of dimensional rifts.

Now Kaidan was comatose and after a visit from the Leutece twins, they advise that Anna knew what to do in order to save him from a life of permanent psychosis was to travel to this strange place. A place opened by one of Anna's Tears which brought the entire ground team to this strange underwater structure calling itself Rapture.

The group had a chance to recuperate from their instantaneous travel, Shepard was the first to ask what everyone was thinking. "Anna? Where are we?"

Anna takes in a deep breath as she carefully chooses her words. "It is not just where are we you should ask. This is a place that was never meant to exist or ever to be found in a history book." Then she looks at everyone gathering around eagerly awaiting her explanation. "We are beneath Earth's North Atlantic Ocean, exactly 224 years in the past."

The silence of disbelief was thick while trying to grasp the information given to them. Ashley was first to speak. "The past? You mean we're back on Earth in the 1960's"

Anna corrected Ashley. "It's 1959 to be exact." She turns her head to the ceiling above and walls around. "This place is called Rapture. A city under the ocean built by an ambitious yet arrogant tycoon named Andrew Ryan. A city created for the purpose of uninhibited business ventures, uncensored art, and unrestricted scientific research."

It was Shepard's turn to ask. "How come I never heard about this city in my history class?"

"A well-guarded secret it was." Anna answered. "Anything could be well guarded almost indefinitely, if you have the right connections. And this Andrew Ryan had those connections."

Garrus was next to ask. "Why did you bring us here?"

Anna looked at the former C-Sec officer. "Kaidan needs a cure. There is a cure here in this time and place. This place made break-through scientific research of all kinds. We need to find it to save Kaidan."

"This cure?" Wrex said. "If we find this cure, that's when we go back?"

"Yes." Anna said.

"What is this cure?" Shepard asked.

Anna turned to look through the window of the underwater city, standing next to an antique type dispensary machine. The dispensary had a large circle on top which reads Gatherer's garden and two ceramic little girls leaning on opposite sides of the dispensary. "The cure is in the form of a little human girl dressed like these two. Unfortunately, if you run into such a girl she won't be like any of the girls you have ever encountered in your life."

"What is different about these girls?" Tali asked.

Anna takes another deep breath. "Each of the girls possess an organism. Each in their bodies is a parasitic worm giving the girls unique qualities, qualities which gives them the ability to produce the correct type of chemical reaction which creates a form of tonic for the user. It is called Adam and these girls are constant producers of the product which Kaidan will need for the cure. They are called Little Sisters and they can be quite elusive so you will have to keep an eye out for them."

Then Liara was next to ask a question. "How is this possible?"

Then Ashley follows up with another question, almost sounding rudely. "And why are we in 1959 of all places?"

Anna calmly explains to Liara. "What makes these powers possible in these Little Sisters are the parasitic slug which inhabits their bodies. They are a constant factory producing Adam, which under the right hands can be used to improve Kaidan's condition." Then she turns to Ashley. "Unfortunately this species of sea slug no longer exists in our time, because of the overuse of their bodies they were rendered extinct. So we must come to this time when they still exist to extract their essence."

Ashley shakes her head as Anna continued to everyone. "There is also something else. These Little Sisters are always guarded by these monstrous beings. These beings are like bodyguards for these little girls and they are not to be taken lightly. They are called Big Daddies. They are protectors of these little girls to ensure their safety from others."

"Others?" Shepard asked.

"The others I talk about are referred to as splicers." Anna said. "Splicers are normal human beings who injected themselves with Adam for too long and have become addicted to the drug. As a result, they have turned into monstrosities who will stop at nothing to kill for more of this Adam. Which means harming the Little Sisters by taking them away from the protection of the Big Daddies. A typical Big Daddy will aggressively protect a Little Sister like a mother bear to her cubs."

"How do you know all this?" Liara asked.

Then Booker spoke up and answered her question. "Because I think she has been here before. I know because after we destroyed the Siphon, we ended up here. Something tells me you have more than one visit here to this underwater city before. Am I right?"

Anna nods. "Yes, but in different worlds and different situations. I will explain to you later, but right we must focus on trying to help Kaidan."

"I agree." Shepard said as he looked at his squad. "Normally I would say we should split up and cover more ground, however we don't know anything about this place. Or time for that matter so I think we should stick together and try to find one of these Little Sisters. Agreed?"

Everyone in the squad agreed and they ventured down a tunnel which turned out to be a once glamorous hallway. Everyone examined the details of this once-attractive facility which is rather large it must have been an amazing obligation of construction which was artistically detailed. Unfortunately, the beauty has been spoiled as the place was riddled with bullet holes, damaged windows, and areas where explosions have gone off.

"What happened here?" Garrus questioned after taking a quick glance of the destruction. "Looks like a battle took place here not too long ago."

"There was." Anna said. "A workers' revolt. This city was so obsessed with free enterprise, unrestricted science, and uncensored art that the founders completely ignored the working castes which finally reached a boiling point. This was the end result of such a battle."

"Too bad we missed it." Wrex said. "We could have seen what they were like and we could learn what kind of weapons they used."

Anna replied. "The weapons they used would be primitive compared to your standards, but they are highly effective so I stress caution."

The group continued to explore the maze of tunnels which led them to a massive hall which looked like a ballroom. The floor and the tables that weren't turned over was riddled with confetti, cocktail drinks, champagne glasses, cigarette butts, and rabbit masks. A banner that was partially torn down reads Happy New Year 1959.

Shepherd was to first point out to the banner. "I guess we really are in 1959." Then he notices certain areas of the ballroom littered with dead bodies. "We have something here."

"Checking in the bodies." Garrus said while Ashley did the same.

Ashley made a revolting discovery. "Oh my God." Most of the faces that belong to the dead bodies had a rabbit mask covering their appearances. The one she found had his mask missing. "His face. It looks so… distorted."

Anna explained. "That is a splicer. His face is the result of Adam abuse. It destroyed his appearance and his sanity. Take caution if we run into one, there is no telling how they will react."

After Anna described the splicers condition, laughter echoed across the ballroom. The group made ready with their weapons while the laughing continued to get closer and closer. As the noise intensified it was clear that there was more than just one approaching. The laughter was coming down from a hallway which made it easier to pinpoint where they were coming from. Shepherd and a few others tilted a few tables up to create instant cover for whoever or whatever was coming.

What came out of the hallway was a group of eight men wearing vintage style shabby clothes and wearing rabbit masks. It was clear these men had no idea what they were walking until it was too late. However, Shepard was not the type of man who would shoot first and ask questions later. He was more interested in finding out what they were dealing with, so he allowed these strangely dressed men to identify them first.

The man in the front noticed Shepard's squad. He stopped laughing and called attention to his comrades. "Why do people always try to surprise us in the ballroom?" His voice shrieked as he and his comrades pull out weapons. Some were antiquated firearms while others carried blunt instruments.

When the strangely dressed men attack, Shepard gave the order to fire. Their mass accelerator bullets easily ripped through the bodies of first three men. As they fell and died, the remaining five fanned out. They showed no fear by persisting to attack the group with any force possible. Despite being outclassed and out-manned, the strange men did not back down and did not give an inch.

One of the men attacked Tali with what appeared to be a wrench. His aggressive swings were quite fast, but Tali was able to dodge the blows. When he threw an overhead blow to her, he missed and turned out to be his last mistake. She takes opportunity of the splicer's mistake by taking her right foot over the wrench and places the business end of her shotgun to his head. She squeezes the trigger and the thing called a splicer fell to the wet floor.

One of the splicers charged at Liara. She discharges her pistol at her attacker, but the being had some sort of kinetic energy field around him. Then he does something she didn't expect. The splicer summoned a jolt of electricity from his left hand and zaps her body. She fell back feeling the shock as she hits the floor. She was dazed for a moment, realizing that she is all right and it only damaged her kinetic shields. When she tried to stand up, the splicer who attacked her crouched over her while pointing his primitive gun at the asari's chest.

The creature examined Liara. He said through his sickly voice, breathing behind his rabbit mask. "What kind of creature I caught? Pretty blue girl, but was daddy an octopus?"

Liara gathered her equanimity, something she have learned during this entire mission with Shepard since being rescued on Therum. She directly confronted the splicer by charging biotics. "You are not ready to deal with someone like me!" She lifted him up and threw him towards a wall with exposed rebar. The force of her thrust impaled the splicer through his chest.

One of these splicers charged at Wrex at full force, waving a lead pipe in his right hand. He quickly grabbed the deranged creature around its neck. Despite the splicer's disadvantage, he kept swinging at Wrex with his right hand. Wrex shakes his head and says. "You got to be kidding me."

Then the splicer manages to drop a few blows on top of Wrex's head plate, but nothing happened as he shrugged off the hits. Despite Wrex clenching the splicer's throat, he was able to speak. His only reply was. "Die! Die! Die, you giant crab!"

"I'd admit, you got quad." Wrex said as he lifted him up. "But I don't have the time for this." Wrex quickly twisted his wrist which in turn twisted the splicer's neck. The splicer dropped to the floor, dead. That was when everything calmed down and Wrex said while looking over the dead body. "That wasn't much of a fight."

Garrus looked at one of his kills. "If that's what we have to deal with, this should be no problem."

"Those were splicers." Anna said.

"They looked at us and immediately they attacked us?" Tali said. "I know they weren't much of a challenge to take down, but didn't they know that they were outnumbered?"

Booker kicked one of the dead bodies. "I guess that Adam really got to their heads."

Liara wanted to say something. "What did these men want?"

"They were looking for the same thing we were." Anna said. "They were searching for Little Sisters and extract their source for their addictions."

"We should go." Shepard said. "The sooner we find Kaidan's cure, the sooner we get out here."

They took another path in hopes of finding one of these Little Sisters and kept their weapons drawn just in case they come across other groups of splicers. They try to keep their small talk down to a minimum, but sometimes talking about the situation made things a little easier to bear.

Ashley was the first speak up about her opinion of this place. "Besides from the mutants and the damage all around us, this place would be the kind of place that would still give me the creeps. This city gives off some really corrupt ambiances, even before all this damage."

"Not me." Wrex said. "This place reminds me of Omega. Never had a problem finding work in that rundown space station."

Garrus shakes his head. "Omega. Can't picture myself going to that cesspool of the galaxy."

"You would hate it turian." Wrex replies. "No law. No order. Being C-Sec, that's must drive you crazy."

"On the contrary." Garrus said. "C-Sec has too many rules and regulations. Now that I think about it…"

"We should focus on what ahead." Shepard stepped in. "We don't know what to expect right now, so let's have this discussion later. Back on the Normandy… and in our own time."

"Right, Shepard." Garrus's old military discipline kicking in and reminded him that this wasn't the time to have a discussion about places in the galaxy he would and would not visit.

After an undetermined time traveling through the strange maze, the group discovers a plaza center. It was a collection of shops mostly in disrepair. Shepard halted the group when he comes across a soiled map hanging on a display case. He uses his Omni-tool to download the image and creates copy in his program.

Then they take cover in what appeared to be an antiquated diner straight from the early 20th Century. After a quick inspection for more splicers and making sure the coast was clear, they all gathered around the counter. He displayed the map's copy in a well-lit projection viewer as he gave out his plan. "Alright, here's what we'll do. We should split up and cover more ground. If we can't find anything, we'll meet back here. This will be our base camp."

Then Liara asked. "How will we divide our group?"

Garrus suggested. "Maybe four teams, two per group."

Shepard makes his decision. "Maybe one of us should stay here and keep guard in case one of those splicers comes here while we're away. Wrex? I need for you to stay here."

"Alright." Wrex nods.

Then Booker made a point. "That way you can help out if one group is in trouble."

Wrex nods again in agreement

"Alright." Shepard said as he looked at his group. "Anna, Tali, Garrus, and Liara. You take this area west of here. Garrus, you take lead."

"Got it Shepard." Garrus acknowledged.

"Booker. Ash. You're both with me." Shepard said. "We'll take the north side. And remember, if anyone finds this Little Sister Anna was talking about call it in and assist the other group."

The two groups split up while Wrex stood behind. He wasn't pleased about staying behind at first, but that was before he opened the diner's freezer only to find a large case of plankton thawing out due to the lack of electricity. He was last seen munching through the box or raw fish.

Booker, Shepard, and Ash cautiously explored the heavily damaged structures, searching. Searching for a random little girl they have no idea how this girl could help Kaidan. Booker kept thinking of how this could be a possibility while maintaining his alertness, watching every corner and crevice in case another one of these splicers make an attempt to surprise them.

Looking for a random little girl wasn't the only thing on his mind. He was watching Ashley in front of him. She barely survived a geth attack and she was wounded for her actions, yet she immediately dons her uniform and throw herself back into danger. This made Booker a little uneasy seeing the woman he loves doing this, this added to his anxiety when she takes a quick second to grasp on to where she was shot. Despite the quick healing of advanced medicine of the 22nd Century, it was obviously the pain still lingered.

Booker wanted to say something about her persistence, but then she quietly spoke up. "Commander. I hear something up ahead."

Shepard lifts his left arm as he glances over the map on his Omni-tool. "Looks like three hostiles gathered up ahead. And it's inside this toy store."

Booker added. "Looks like the perfect place to find a girl."

When the three entered the toy store, they found the store almost undamaged. Most likely the store held no strategic value during a battle. The store was stocked with stuffed animals and dolls. Toys specifically targeted for boys and girls. The toys seem so archaic to Shepard and Ashley, but not to Booker for the obvious reasons.

They were amazed how large the toy store is from the outside and one of the features that caught Booker's attention was the railing encompassing the large toy store. The rails reminded him of the sky-hook railings that were placed all over Columbia. That was when he saw the sky-hook on display, intended to target a child audience. Selling this as toys to children. Don't they know how dangerous this shit is? Booker thought to himself.

Ashley also takes notice of the sky-hook and quickly points out. "Booker? Isn't that like that Omni-hook you have?"

Booker nods, but Shepard soundlessly speaks up. "Quiet. They're right there." He points to three splicers gathering around a corner shelf. "It looks like they cornered something."

"Or someone." Ashley added.

The three moved closer to get a better vantage point and listened to the splicers speaking. "Come here. Come here."

"Get over here you moppet."

"Come here and sit on your uncles' laps."

Then the demands followed some strange audible girl's voice. "No! No, no, no!"

Shepard looked back at Booker and Ashley. "I have a feeling this is our girl. We got to help her." He said as he raises his rifle.

"Wait a minute, Shepard." Booker glances at what is overhead over the splicers. He notices the hook hanging over their position. "I got an idea. Just watch my back." He activates his Omni-hook.

Booker stashes away his rifle and musters up the strength to leap from his current spot to the overhanging hook. The Omni-hook is just like the Sky-hook from Columbia and it is also magnetized to assist with his leap. He springs from his chosen position and soars towards the hook. The Omni-hook latches itself to the structure without alerting the splicers below. While hanging above the splicers oblivious to the hanging Spectre above them, he pulls out his Carnex pistol. Then he unleashes the Omni-hook and dives onto the unsuspecting splicers for an aerial attack.

He rams his Omni-hook into the skull of the center splicer while using his body to break his fall from the hook. Then quickly regained his composure and points his pistol at the splicer on his right, then emptied a shot right through the splicer's head.

The other splicer was too slow to react, because he was too busy trying to reach the little girl hiding below the shelves. He tried to stand up, but Booker caught him with his Omni-hook. He used the hook to take hold of the splicer's neck until the fleshy link snapped as it twisted.

Booker takes a deep breath and guise over at Shepard and Ashley. "All clear."

"Nicely done." Ashley smiled as she and Shepard quickly approached where the girl was hiding. She stows away her rifle as she drops to her knees. She changes her tone of voice to make it more affectionate as possible to a child. "Hey. Little girl. It's okay. Those bad men are gone."

The girl didn't move. She just huddled in the corner. She would move slightly as her shadowy silhouette was the only proof that she was there and suggested that her face was buried in her knees. Ashley inched closer to the girl as she kept reaching out. "It's okay. You're safe. You just need to come with us. We'll take you someplace safe."

The girl didn't respond. Ashley came closer until she was able to take hold of the little girl's left arm. That was when the girl screamed. "Ahhhhh. No! No!"

To Ashley's shock the girl's voice echoed deep as if a chorus of little girls were chanting the same word. She shrugged off the odd sound as she pulled the little girl into the open.

"Be careful, Ash." Shepard said.

"I am, but she's not making this easy." Ashley said as she carefully pulled the little girl back.

"No! Leave me alone!"

Shepard got on his comm link. "This is Shepard. We possibly found one of these Little Sisters. Come to our co-ordinance immediately."

Garrus' voice responded. "You got it, Shepard."

Wrex's followed. "On my way."

Booker looked over Ashley's progress. "How are you doing, Ash?"

"Almost done." She said as managed to get a hold of the little girl's other arm. "Here she is. Now we can… Oh, my God!" Ashley leapt back and dropped the little girl after she looked at the girl's eyes. Her eyes were not normal eyes, because they did not have irises or pigment or corneas. They were yellow, bright, and glowed unnaturally.

The little girl, wearing a worn out pink dress, scampered away from Ashley. She tried to make a run for a metallic structure fused on the wall. The fused structure had a hole on the top and she made an attempt to climb up the structure, but she was caught by Booker.

Booker picked up the child as she squirmed to get free. "Stop it, kid. You'll call out those splicers."

The girl didn't listen. She continued to yell in her unnatural voice. "Leave me alone!"

Shepard tried to reason with the girl. "We're not going to hurt you. We're going to help you. But first you have to…"

"No! No!" The girl interrupted with more yelling, but briefly stopped when she looked over Booker's left shoulder. Then she screamed at the top of her lungs. "MR. BUBBLES!"

Both Shepard and Booker turned to see who she was calling for. It was large, covered in metal, and charging right after the trio.

"Oh, shit!" Booker yelped as he dropped the girl.

The immense creature covered in odd looking armor charged quickly, but Booker was quicker to dodge the creature's large dagger type weapon. Booker rejoined Shepard and Ashley as they drew their rifles. After the creature pulled its right arm back revealing to be a large pointed object, the creature turned its back showing two tanks on its back looking at the little girl lying on the floor. He picked up the girl and helped her into the hole attached to the wall as she skulked inside.

"What the hell is that?" Ashley pointed her rifle at the hulking creature. "Is this one of those Big Daddies Anna told us about?"

The creature turned to face Booker, Shepard, and Ashley. It was a massive creature and they weren't sure if it was human or not. It looked more in common with a krogan rather than anything else in this place. It was clearly not a krogan since the creature had five gloved fingers on its left hand while its right arm was not a large blunt weapon, but it was a large drill. It wore a type of armor which looked like an antique diving suit only large enough to fit the size of the creature. Its face was covered by a massive metallic dome with multiple holes to give it something to see out of.

The creature's growl sound like a cross between a whale and an alligator ready to strike. Shepard tried to calm the situation. "We mean no harm. We didn't mean to harm the girl. We rescued her from the splicers trying to take her. Do you understand what I'm saying?"

The creature's response was the turning of its drill.

Booker pulled out his shotgun. "I don't think he cares."

Immediately the intimidating creature wearing the diving suit charged at the trio with surprisingly quick speed. It was too fast for anyone to fire off a shot, which immediately gave the creature the advantage. When the creature's back was turned, Shepard tried to unleash a volley of rapid fire on the moving target. However, the creature waved its left arm and gave Shepard a massive backhanded blow to his chest. Shepard flew back a few yards. Luckily for him the armor is strong enough to withstand the blow and lucky for the three that this creature is in all shape and form similar to a krogan. It might be fast in short bursts, but slow when it comes to maneuverability. The creature took a few moments to turn around and it was enough time for Shepard to get up while everyone else regrouped.

"Pull back and take aim!" Shepard said as they aimed where they are anticipating the large creature to come out.

As predicted, the creature stomped out of the corner where the three splicers tried to take the little girl. Shepard gave the order to fire and the bullets began to fly. To their surprise the bullets were ricocheting off the armor, making little impact. The creature staggered, but in no way was going to stop.

Shepard, Booker, and Ashley ceased fire for a moment for their weapons to cool down. The metal clad creature reactivated its drill and it was obvious that the creature was about to attack again.

Before the creature could lunge at the three, a voice piped up behind the creature. "Hey whelp!"

The voice was loud and powerful enough to make the creature stop its drill and attack. It turned to see who or what it was.

It was Wrex. "How 'bout you try your luck with me?"

The creature turned to face Shepard, Booker, and Ashley. Then it turned back to face Wrex. It stood in front of the krogan warlord as it pointed the drill bit at him while giving a deep rasping growl.

Wrex's biotics flared up which was his reply as he gave a large grin to this creature in the large diving suit. "Heh heh heh. This is gonna be a fight!"

A/N: Hello everyone. This is an important announcement. I am sorry for the long delay again, but this time around was due to a lot of planning for the next year for me. If some of you didn't already know, I am a reservist for the military. I'm a U.S. Navy Reservist to be exact and for the last couple of months I've been trying to get my personal matters in order. This mid-October I will be leaving for various types of training which will take approximately one month and in mid-November I will be going to Afghanistan. Yes, you read correctly. I am a sailor who is going to Afghanistan, go figure. Anyway, I don't know how often I will be able to sit in front of a computer, but I will make the effort to churn out more chapters and I will do my best to churn out another before I leave since I know how much some of you hate these cliffhangers. So anyway, I hope you enjoy my chapter and I will push on till the end.