September 9, 1958
Faces…I see them, but I don’t know who they are. These strangers keep appearing everywhere I look. Like ghosts of someone else’s past, other people seem to have the similar side effects to plasmids. I haven’t told Lawrence this… he would only worry and he doesn’t know that I’ve started journaling again. It’s just symptoms though, of the plasmidic medicine I suppose, but these memories follow me wherever i go. This isn’t just some projected image on a wall…it’s vivid…with color like pictures!
Maybe after this whole wedding is over, I’ll calm down from the stress.
“The price of this dress is just what you were looking for. It’s elegant and beautiful and matches the decor perfectly!”
“I think its wonderful Alice, don’t you agree?” said Diane.
Alice was looking out the window, like she always was, with a glazed look on her face.
“Go ahead and get another dress won’t you?” Diane whispered to the store keeper. The woman went out of the dressing room. “Now how are you suppose to look great on you big day when you aren’t even paying attention to what your going to wear?”
“I’m sorry Diane…I guess I’m just not up for trying on dresses today.” Alice stepped down from the podium.
Diane tried to make her feel better, “Well at least your getting married…I can’t talk to Andrew about this without it ending in an argument!” She joked while placing a wedding dress over her torso. “Alice your so young and beautiful. You should hold on to a guy when you get one. Lawrence is a bright and handsome young man who is lucky to have you.”
Alice smiled at her softly and then began to change her clothes as Diane walked out. She slipped off her dress and looked in the mirror, twirling her fingers through her short curly locks that now only reached to her jaw now. Alice wished it was longer as it had been before, which was odd to her; she didn’t even remember her hair past her shoulders. She looked at down at her stomach to where the scar from her surgery was. She hated this scar, every time she thought about it or even looked at it the thought made her angry.
“Are you and Lawrence going to the party Thursday night?” I hope you make it to show off that ring!”
“I don’t know if we’ll be able to. It depends on how much work he has. But we’ll see.”
Later that night when Alice finally came home from shopping with Diane she found Lawrence in his study reading the paper, after knocking gently on the door she came in to greet him.
“Good evening darlin’, Diane didn’t run up the bill did she now?” He laughed.
“It was good; stressful, but good. Didn’t exactly find the one yet but we’ll keep looking.”
“Well as long as it’s what you want.” He came up and kissed her on the cheek then sat back as his desk.
“It will be. Dinner will be done soon enough.”
Alice sat there on the long cherry wood table eating the roast that she had prepared earlier, she didn’t even like roast and had no idea as to why she was sitting there eating it. Getting fed up with poking her fork into the semi-rare meat she finally gave her plate an angry shove, sliding it two-thirds of the way across the table; nearly sliding it completely off. Once again Lawrence was off on a business meeting leaving her all alone, with nothing to do but sit there and stare out the window to the watery world outside the glass letting her mind wander to the repetition of her days which seemed to blur into one long session of either having lunch with Diane, getting ready for the wedding or just sitting down and listening to radio stations that played continuously. As she was getting lost to her thought’s a sudden pain shot through Alice’s head making her cringe terribly…which was a sign that she needed to take her medicinal tonic.
At which point Lawrence came through the front door, just in time to give Alice her stuff.
“Lawrence? It’s happening again.” Alice said steadying herself on the table while Lawrence came over to take her arm and help her to the couch before grabbing the tonic ingredients and mixing them into a glass for her.
She never liked to take it, at all. It was bitter and foul, different than when you taste a sour lemon or something. With this, she could actually feel it running through her veins. Not to mention afterwards she had a very short sense of memory. Alice once forgot who she even was. It took a lot of convincing to get her to remember.
Lawrence came back with the medicine mixed in with water. Alice looked down over the rim of the glass at the glowing red liquid swirling around with the water. She hesitated to drink it.
“It hurts…” She said it to herself.
Lawrence was on his way back out the door when he overheard this.
“You say something, hun?
“I said…it hurts. Why does the medicine always hurt…every time!” She threw the glass on the floor with the liquid flying everywhere.
“Alice! Where has your mind gone?” He said while grabbing a blanket from the lounge chair to get it up. Alice just sat there watching him clean the carpet.
“I forgot things after I take it. Important things! It’s like it does the complete opposite of what we need it to do. I feel like someone else, but I’m still me. I’m still Alice!”
Lawrence had a look of concern on his face. He came up to Alice and took both her hands in his.
“Alice, I know it’s hard to stand with these things but we have to press on. Maybe we can get you a higher dosage to speed up the process.” He spoke with a loving tender voice, trying to calm her down back to normal.
“I never knew how to cook… Then one day I was in the kitchen making turkey.”
“Well hun, things manifest in all of us. Maybe that’s why I became such a great businessman.” He laughed, but Alice wasn’t exactly amused.
“Get some rest love. In the morning I’ll call the doctor about a simpler situation.”
“Wait, what do I have again?” Alice asked Lawrence.
“Alzheimer’s.” He said simply, “Just Gods’ way of taking our thoughts away from us. But never fear, we’ll beat this one.”
“Good evenin’ Alice. Why darlin’ don’t you look like a daisy in the middle of May!”
“Oh Augustus, your too kind.” Alice smiled embarrassed and gave him a hug, then Lawrence shook his hand and they went into the restaurant.
“Why I think I’d like to try the cherry pie. My stomachs’ been croonin’ for something sweet.” Augustus said to the waiter once they were seated.
“You should have told us. Then I could have just made something at home instead of coming here to pay for it.”
“Now Alice, he doesn’t need that. He’s got plenty of money around to pay his way.” Lawrence said, unamused while looking though the menu.
“I know, but this isn’t about money. He’s your brother, family!” Alice said cheerfully before looking at her menu. Both of the brothers’ shared a short glance, indicating the obviousness of the situation, which Alice was unaware of.
“So how’s your business project goin’? I see you keep a steady eye on it everyday.” Augustus over exaggerating the statement.
Lawrence gave a short glare from behind his menu then set it down a bit forcefully, “Well, Ryan and I are no longer working together. So, it’s more of an independent with help from Dr. Suchong.”
“Suchong eh? Well doesn’t seem to have much progression.” Augustus said in a snarky tone.
Lawrence was now extremely annoyed and tried to compose himself in front of Alice.
“Love, why don’t you go and freshen up before the food comes.”
Not asking any questions, but still full of curiosity she got up to go the powder room.
“I’ll let you boys talking about your business and things.” She joked.
Once Alice was gone Lawrence went at it.
“Now don’t you go pullin’ some stunt like that! Jeopardize everythin’ I worked for!”
“You know she can’t go on thinkin’ things are all fine and dandy when they ain’t. Sooner or later that girls gonna find out what’s real, and when she does you know what ya’ need to do.”
“Well what else do you expect me to do? The only reason you are in her life is to give her some form of family or normalcy.”
“Well then let her know her mother, you ain’t never gonna get that mind of hers to cooperate until you let her see that woman again. If you know anything about plasmids you would know that…”
Lawrence grew increasingly aggravated at Augustus calm temperament. He quickly stood up. A couple of people in the restaurant looked over to see what was going on, but most just went on to their dinner.
“Y’know, I really would appreciate you not talking to me like I’m your son. Your not daddy, and if you want me to listen then I suggest you don’t go actin like him.”
“Lawrence, when daddy died he told me to watch after you. That’s real hard to do when someone is bein’ so stubborn.” He said, never once looking up from his pie to acknowledge Lawrence, a sign of disrespect.
Alice came out of the bathroom and way on her way back when she bumped into a man walking past her. Her pocketbook was knocked out of her hands and when she went down to get it the man reached for it first. When he looked up Alice was startled. The person before her was tall and had brown hair. He looked so familiar to Alice she even stared a bit. She couldn’t put her finger on it. He handed her the pocketbook and she took it slowly. She looked at the pocketbook then back at him to find someone different. She snapped out of her gaze.
“I don’t mean to startle ya.” Fontaine chuckled, “Why ain’t I met you before?”
“I’m afraid not Mr. Fontaine. I’ve heard of you of course but I don’t think we’ve personally met.”
She tried not to stare or even be seen with him since Lawrence didn’t like Fontaine at all.
“Well, looks like the damage been done already.”
Alice had a strange notion that he knew something she didn’t, as usual.
“Don’t worry about it doll. If he wanted you to know, he’d tell ya.” He walked off with a grin on his face, seemingly like he had accomplished something.
Alice returned to find Augustus was seated at the table, full from his cherry pie. She looked around to see find where Lawrence had gone off to.
“Did I miss him? Is he in the bathroom?” She asked curiously.
“No. He ran off for…business reasons. But don’t worry, I’ll keep ya company!”
Alice has a look of disappointment but was glad that she had this time to talk to him. She sat down across from him.
“Can I…confide in you? I mean I don’t mean to keep anything from your brother, but I don’t him to be worried…”
“Your secrets safe with me!”
“Well…I don’t feel like…me lately. It’s odd as if I’m some other person. I’m seeing things and people that aren’t real. I don’t know what to do with myself…”
Augustus knew exactly what she was talking about, and wanted so desperately to tell her…but didn’t.
“That’s no more than stress mixed with your medicine. Maybe take a smaller dosage and leave the weddin’ stuff to Diane.”
This wasn’t the answer she really wanted to hear. That’s the same thing that everyone’s told her. She even thought to herself, why and since when did everyone suddenly know about her sickness. Something inside of her knew better….
This is what it’s like for me…
Yes…lots of scribbling…and lots of pink :)
“Ms. Alice…Ms. Alice!”
Her stare was broken from being lost in thought and she came back to reality. Brigid Tenenbaum had just arrived in her office to begin the interview.
“Oh yes…I’m so sorry. Let me just get my recorder and things together.” She proceeded to get things out of her bag, fumbling around with stuff like her hands were made out of noodles.
Tenenbaum took a puff of her cigarette seeming impatient. “Do you want to do this at another time?”
“No no, it’s okay. Nothings on my mind.”
“But I did not ask you if something is on your mind.”
Alice looked at her like a deer in headlights and Tenenbaum could see right through.
“Ms. Alice, I am scientist but also psychologist. Is there anything you want to talk about?” She asked.
“No…” She forced a smile, “It’s quite alright. Let’s just go ahead and start the interview, shall we?”
She pressed the record button to begin, holding a notebook full of questions.
“I’m going to need you to pronounce your name please.”
“So when did you first come to Rapture?”
“I came 1946, after living in Nazi Germany for most of my life. I came here because I was given opportunity never before heard of. To create a new genetic enhancement made to do the impossible. This include the creation of the Little Sisters as well the Big Daddy’s and plasmids.” Tenenbaum answered.
“What are some of the projects that you all working on now?”
“Well we are working on different things now. People that have various problems. Making someone with dyslexia read 10,000 words per second. Giving an obese woman the perfect size over night. Someone with cancer living forever.”
Alice was about to go on with the next question when she heard her say “cancer.” For some odd reason she thought about her mother. There were too many coincidences going on here with Tenenbaum having a link to her mother as well as working for Andrew Ryan. Out of sheer curiosity though she went on to ask.
“Interesting… I know someone with cancer.” She clicked off the recorder.
“Is the interview over?” Tenenbaum started to leave.
“No. Off the record, Ms. Tenenbaum, what exactly are you all doing to this particular cancer patient?”
Tenenbaum stopped for a moment. In a way she somewhat expected this to come up in questioning.
“That information is not to be given to the public. On or off the record, I cannot have my job at risk because of a nosey reporter.”
“Ms. Tenenbaum I assure you I wouldn’t be a blabber mouth. I would just like to know for… the sake of Rapture that our system knows what they’re doing. Nothing more, nothing less.”
“Like I said before, we have everything under controls and it is no open for discussion.”
“Please…” She closed her eyes tightly, wishing this situation was going better, “I need to know this. That patient…might just be my mother.”
Tenenbaum looked at her for a long moment. She had a look of daze on her face not sure to believe her or not. Alice, clenching her hand on the chair arm hoping for a response.
“Your last name Delgado?” She asked.
“No…I’m Brown. My mother changed her name back after our father died.”
“My sister and I…she’s no longer with us.”
“They informed me that her nearest relative knew of this…”
Alice looked up at her once she said this. Tenenbaum stood up after putting out her cigarette. After this she speak only simple words.
“Come with me.”
Alice followed her trying to keep up as the two talked on the way to the Eugenetic Lab where Tenenbaum did her work. She asked Alice what she knew and she couldn’t hardly say anything. All she knew was that her mother was going to be working for Andrew Ryan, and that in return he would pay her a large amount of money and treatment for her cancer.
Alice stopped in her tracks. Breathing heavily she thought to herself why she hadn’t seen it all before.
“Are you just going to stand there or do you want to know the truth?” She said.
At the end of their trip they reached a lab that looked over what seemed like an operating room. Alice slowly walked into the lab, in fear of what she would see and rather it was real or not. In the room beneath them was her mother, held in bondage by buckles in a chair.
“What’s going on? What is she doing in there!” Alice pressed her hands up against the wall to maybe get her mothers attention.
“She cannot hear you or see you. She’s getting her dosage of the plasmid. You see Alice, as you my have observed the plasmid has been working very well. Her health had recovered in the matter of weeks, as though it was not even there to begin with. But then, we started seeing side effects.”
“What kind of side effects…” Alice was still watching the proceeder going on.
“Nothing we thought was too bad. Short temper, anxiousness, nothing we couldn’t take care of with medicine and such. But recently it started getting worse. With her moods shifting rapidly we found that the plasmid started reversing it’s effects. We soon realized that they were mimicking the cancer cells.”
“So the cancer came back…”
“Worse off than before.”
Her mother got the shot and screamed in agony. Alice released her hand from the glass leaving a foggy hand print.
“We have to do something…anything. This is literally killing her faster than it was healing her!”
“There is nothing I can do. This would risk my job and myself.” Tenenbaum turned away to the intercom to stop the procedure.
“And this is risking my mother’s life… I came to Rapture all because of some lie that we were going to have this great life. But I guess everyone came here for that….” She looked away back to the glass. She held her arms around herself trying to be comforted like once before, “But now my mother is on the verge of death…and my sister might as well already be gone.” Alice closed her eyes tightly, “Please…you have to help me…”
Tenenbaum thought long and hard about what to tell her. What was she to say anyway? There wasn’t much she could do except for stop the research on Alice’s mother. She knew that what she was doing would threaten everything she worked for, but she went ahead anyways.
“There is not much I can do for you. I do know that the person in charge of this program and matters is Lawrence Sinclair. He is the reason I believe for you in Rapture today.”
Alice felt faint. Tenenbaum obviously didn’t know of Alice’s involvement with him and her. It was all coming together now that he was in the picture and it wasn’t just Ryan doing the dirty work; though he still had to have had something to do with it.
“Do what you will with this information. But do it with caution… Over the years the views of men like Ryan have been skewed. Even I myself disagree with their logics. Whatever it is you do just be careful.”
Alice quickly walked out of the lab trying to devise a plan in her head of what to do. Now that she officially knew that Lawrence was up to this she had to think of what to do with all this. First she would need some information on this with some actual evidence.
The security in Rapture was as locked up tight like murderers jail cell. The first thing she thought of was to call Bucky. She remembered back when she first met Bucky and he would tell her of all the secretive places that he’s been or had access to.
Alice went to the nearest phone booth to give him a call.
“Hello! Buck here!” He greeted.
“Bucky! I’m so happy to hear your voice… Look I need a favor.”
“Oh sure Alice, what do you need? Anything at all!”
“Well, do you remember when you told me about getting me into anywhere? I sort of need that favor right about now…”
“What exactly are you looking for? I could get you into anyone, some more safely than others though, but I’m you guy!”
Alice looked around to make sure that no one overheard her conversation, “Do you by any chance know the pass code to Lawrence Sinclair’s office? I know it’s rather strange that I need it but I’ll explain to you later.”
“A pass code? For Sinclair’s office?” He began to open his lockbox, “Isn’t he sweet on you? Why not just go on and ask him?”
“Let’s just say this isn’t the type of thing you just go up and ask for permission…but like I said I’ll tell you about it soon.”
“Oh, so you haven’t heard from Max yet…?”
“Ah! Found it! Okay here it is: 0927. You’re going to have to take the back entrance to his office. There’s security camera’s everywhere so and I remembered having to go through some tough checks to just take a delivery there!”
“Okay then, thanks Bucky!” Alice was about to hang up but Bucky stopped her.
“Wait, Alice…” Bucky hesitated.
“Just…be careful, okay? You sound really troubled and I don’t know what’s getting you down but it will all be okay.” He said. Alice smiled to herself and hung up the phone. It was odd, Bucky has a strange feeling in his voice like this last time he would hear from her again.
Access to the office wasn’t too hard. There were signs that read on the way, “Office of Lawrence Sinclair.” To a certain point though she started to see the red light of a slow moving security camera darting back and forth. It was easy enough to get past it with some kind of security evade plasmid, but she didn’t have this.
Once the camera was out of the way she ran to the other side of the hallway, avoiding the view. She was safe for now, walking down the back hallway like it was nothing and finally to the pass code locked door. The pass code Bucky had given her worked perfectly and she was in.
The office was cold, remaining the same exactly way it was from the last time she was there. She worked past the wall that Lawrence had her pinned up against in his drunken daze. She cringed at the thought of him. He was like a little child, whenever he didn’t get what he wanted he had to throw a large fit and to get his way.
Alice soon went to his filing cabinets and desks searching for anything that was recognizable. Most of it was just paper work and things that didn’t seem as important. She found a file enclosed with numerous amounts of photos of boats and things all looked alike. The golden coast with a boat named The Maria, she would recognize from anywhere. This was her father’s boat that she used to ride on when he went out fishing. Alice gasped, covering her mouth with her hand. It was like they were being watched the entire time. She found another file with very in depth information on her father.
“Tobias Brown, TERMINATED.”
Alice set this aside to look at a group journal entires. Reading through them all she noticed one continuous theme for all of them and it all sounded so familiar. This was because they were hers, all of them. Every journal entry written since the first days she came there to Rapture, all obtained by Lawrence.
She had gotten what she needed and didn’t really have time for getting angered over it. All she was concerned with was getting out of there safely before anyone had realized she was in there. She gathered up a couple of the files and went for the door to leave when she stopped. Her body turned stiff with every breath as she remembered how the door was closed when she came in.
“Forgetting something?” The voice behind her said. It was Lawrence, who somehow miraculously got into his office without Alice knowing.
She couldn’t make an excuse, she couldn’t do anything but stand there and in some way figure out how to try and convince him into letting her go.
“Lawrence, I would have called…but I just really wanted to see you and…” She was stopped by his sudden laughter. He chuckled grimly, the both of them knowing this was a lie.
“Alice, I’ve tried to do this the easy way… but I guess I didn’t cover up my footsteps very well.”
Cover up his footsteps? What is he talking about? She thought. “I know, Lawrence. I know everything now! And you’re not going to get away with it either!” She proceeded to walk out when Lawrence swooped around and blocked the door from her way. Alice grew tense; this wasn’t a good situation because she never liked to feel vulnerable, giving in to the other person’s power…
“Away with what might I ask?” He provoked, now walking away from the door and closer to her, “I mean it was my job to get you all to Rapture, which I succeeded.
“But…why? What’s so important about us? Just because of my mother’s cancer?”
“Well, I can’t give it all away. Leaves the mystery out of it.” He winked.
“Stop it! You’re not fooling a soul… Just tell me what I need to here!” She sank to her knees on the ground, letting the papers crash to floor. Her hands were in her palms as tears slowly started to form.
Lawrence walked over to her and gently yet firmly grabbed her chin and partially her throat, pulling her up to her feet again. Once up, she pulled away from his touch.
“You know I think it’s an awful shame, Alice. Now with the termination of your father, I have only your mother to ask for your hand in marriage.”
“I will never marry you! And what do you mean by terminated? He died in a boating accident…he’s a fisherman.” Alice stopped herself, thinking even deeper in thought of what happened. “You…you killed him! Didn’t you?”
“Well what makes you think that, sug?”
“At this point I don’t really rule that option out.” She said very stern, almost deathly.
Alice wasn’t going to stay so polite, so Lawrence now found no reason to be cordial with her.
“Do you really think you would have come here if it weren’t for your daddy’s passing? I would say I did ya’ll a favor if I didn’t do what I did. Can’t you see Alice? This is a brand new world out here. The war is over now and with that is the birth of a new being.”
Alice stared backing away faster but trying to be less noticeable, “Lawrence…you’re scaring me. What are you talking about?”
“Isn’t it obvious Alice? The treatment everything… it’s to creature a new human. One that could surpass any of our wildest dreams. Now we can truly live forever!”
He was delusional and Alice could see it in his eyes. He was brainwashed, still his same self only a brainwashing only formed by repetition. Lawrence honestly believed this, but someone other than Ryan had to have convinced him of this.
“With me, this can all be possible.” He stepped forward halfway into the light. The shadow of his face made him look menacing and frightened Alice even more. She had to get out of there if not in one peace, “I know how much you need this.”
“No! Stop thinking you know me! Just because you’ve read my journal doesn’t mean you now a single thing about me…”
“Alice please listen!” Lawrence said, but had no room to talk as she continued to go on.”
“I’ve had it with this…”
“No…Never will I support this…this. I just can’t! ” She quickly walked towards the door in hopes to leave without any problems. This ended up to not working.
Lawrence quickly grabbed her by the waist and forcefully pushing her against the office desk, come up close to Alice and holding down both of her arms. Alice’s eyes got wide now as she tried to think how to get out of this. He struggled to keep her down as she fought with all her might.
“Get…get off of me!” Tears started flowing from her eyes, “What are you going to do to me? Please stop!”
“Oh now don’t think that way Alice. What kind of man do you take me for? I’m going to get my way, to make this city greater than Andrew Ryan ever could and I’m not going to let you get in to way of that.” When he said this he emphasized it by pushing her back once again, his strength being overbearingly strong. Probably powered by some commercial plasmid. He held her with his hand and knee while grabbing a plasmid syringe from his desk drawer.
“Trust me, Ms. Alice. After takin’ this, you’ll be more than willing…” He lifted it high above his head.
Lawrence stuck her with the plasmid deep into her stomach. It happened so faster that all she could do was lay there and stare at the large needle that was halfway into her abdomen.
“No more Patricia…” He pulled it out and in again. Lawrence continued to do tis over and over each time.
“No more Bucky… No more Daddy…” And he did one more painful stab, deeper than any of the other times before.
“And no more Max…”
After he had drained every inch of the plasmid into her it began to seep into her bloodstream and started to take effect. Alice laid there with a dazed look on her face almost as if there was nothing there.
I see…I could see in front of me a bright light that was slowly fading away into the distance. I couldn’t be dead, right? It’s always said that when one passes, they see a bright, radiant light greeting them softly. But this wasn’t. I find myself waving my arms repeatedly trying to grasp what’s in front of me. I’m running… faster and faster to keep up with it. I know what I see is a light, but it’s almost like trying to catch up with Max. I’m keeping up with everyone I hold dear to me until the light has completely faded away, leaving me in the dark.
I’ve made changes to stories page, and also changed the title of the story. Hope you all like :)
October 9, 1957
I haven’t heard or seen Max since he left the apartment…or maybe ever since that time at the rally. I don’t really remember anymore. I’ve cried myself to sleep many times…but I’ve now come to the point where I don’t think about it, as much. More and more of those maintenance workers are becoming Big Daddy’s. I hope that’s not the case for Max. At night I’ll see a diver outside my window walking into the airlock but I know it’s not him. I try to pretend it is but it doesn’t work.
I finally receive that job at the Rapture Tribune. But its not that great, just a small entry level job typing things for my boss. The head of the newspaper is a man named Stanley Poole. I would prefer someone different. He gives me odd looks every once in a while like he’s plotting something for me.
It’s alright I suppose, anything to keep my mind occupied for longer. I think that……
At this moment there was a loud knocking at the door. This interrupted Alice’s writing and she got up from her bed to go see what was the matter. When she opened the door there was a young postage boy that seemed out of breath. He was holding a small sealed envelope that looked like it had been dusting for a long while.
“Yes, can I help you?”
“Gee miss, I’m awful sorry about this. I was putting the mail in the mail boxes but I’d forgotten about this one. It’s been sittin’ in my bag for months now. I’m real sorry…”
He handed her the letter then was on his way in a hurry. Alice looked at the letter and then closed the door slowly. She looked at the envelope and debated rather or not she should read it. No one had called her about follow up on the letter, so she figured if she waited this long she mine as well not bother right away.
The next day she was off to work with her bag packed up including the letter. It had no return address, making it almost impossible to identify the sender.
“Good morning Mr. Poole. You have a 2 o’clock meeting with Officer Sullivan and a lunch meeting with a….Luci and Lolli Cartwright?” Alice said as Stanley entered his office.
“Thanks Alice. Hmm, cancel with the chief. I’ll keep the lunch with the girls, your welcome to join us if you like.”
“Well, Sullivan says he can’t make any more appointments and this is his last available time this month, and no thanks, sir. I brought my lunch today…”
“If you insist…call Sullivan and tell him to meet me for lunch then. Maybe the extra blonde will soften him up. I’m gonna need those report on my desk by the end of the day.” He was about to go into his office but then stopped like he had remembered something, “Oh yeah, I’ve been meanin’ to talk to you. You know how you wanted to start writing for the paper, right? Well how’s about you do an interview for me, only if you’re interested. I’m booked up tight tomorrow.”
Alice lit up, this was now her chance to start her way into writing professionally.
“Of course, Mr. Poole. Who would I be interviewing? When do I start?”
“Brigid Teneanbaum. She’s in charge of science and what not. And about tomorrow evening. Work will be over by then, so you’ll have to go on your own time.”
“This would be a great opportunity, thank you.” Alice said.
He went into his office and closed the door shut. Alice sat at her desk excited and ecstatic but tried to hide it well. She began typing up his reports and other work that he “neglected” to do. Not too many exciting things happened there at the Tribune. Mostly just show girls and dancers coming in for “casting meetings” with him. Casting for what…she never was sure.
It was nearly lunch and Alice had forgotten to call Sullivan to meet with Stanley for lunch. She picked up her phone line and was about to call when she heard a familiar name in a curious conversation.
“After you off Fontaine, I wanna be the first to know.” Stanley began.
Alice’s pupils widened. She had begun to gasp but stopped herself by holding her breath.
“I’m not saying I’m in on it but I gotta know. This story is too huge and once Fontaine is outta the picture then Ryan’s name is gonna be all over it…Sullivan is coming by today so I’ll get the spotlight off of you but you have to do this for me.”
Alice slowly hung up the phone. She had already heard too much and to make it even worse, actually knew him. She had hung up too early to hear the other person speak, but she was too nervous and on edge to pick it up once more. At lunch every look and glance made her more and more paranoid, so she did as anyone would and tried to act natural, avoid any contact with her coworkers. She thought to herself about what had happened. Should she warn him of this? No, she thought, He’ll probably just shrug it off like some tall tale…he doesn’t care what I say. He just thinks I’m some dame…
“Hey there Alice.” Betty said as she sat down beside her for lunch suddenly.
Betty Richards was definitely an oddball. She had dark brown curly hair and thick white horn rimmed glasses. She was basically the leader of the little pack of women that worked here in the office and always tried to get something out of Alice. For good reason, Alice was young and that’s all people there strived for, their “youth.”
“So, you hear?” She asked.
“Hear…what exactly?” Alice asked while taking a bite of her sandwich. She was trying to be smart-alec, but honestly had no inkling of what she was talking about.
“Oh…well I thought you knew… But anyhow, what’s it like working for Stanley Poole. He fondle you yet?”
“Excuse me? Whatever it is you’re getting at your way off of your story!” Alice exclaimed.
“Well I’m just saying, he’s a trying man. And I just assumed with your pretty little face he would have…oh, you know I mean no harm. I’m just warning you…he’s got something up his sleeves.”
Alice was once again reminded of his recent telephone call. She soon found the need to go; she stood up and threw away her food remains.
“It was nice talking to you Betty, but I need to return to work. Mr. Poole will be coming back soon.”
Alice left in a hurry out of the break room so she didn’t have to be around Betty’s insulting attitude.
On the way home Alice was excited and anxious all at the same time. But the thought about Fontaine soon faded, for she knew that he was strong enough, and most likely witty enough to know all of this already.
Once home she went to her room and listened to the radio.
I don’t want to set the world on fire
I just want to start a flame in your heart
In my heart I have but one desire
And that one is you, no other will do…
She got her notebook out and was about to write down some interview questions for Ms. Tenenbaum. As she lifted her book pulling the letter out with it, it fell to the floor, reaching down to pick it up she flipped it on both sides still only seeing her address. After taking one more look at the letter she began tear the seal open. She had no idea what it could be; her paychecks always came directly from work. Maybe it was from Patricia, the lack of return address could explain this. She opened the envelope even faster now.
Alice unsealed it and then proceeded to read it. Her simple expression and feeling suddenly became sadness and confusion. After about three times reading though it the letter slipped out of her hand and onto the floor. Her hands lost feeling and her heart traded spaces with her stomach. Tears continued to flow from her eyes and feeling absolutely alone. Alice sat there for a few hours on end sulking. She didn’t understand it, why would he just leave her like that. He did have everything she wanted; it wasn’t the “life” that she set out for. Alice bit her lip once more to hold back, using the pillow to soak up her tears.
How could he have been able to leave without being found out? It’s hard enough to get things from the surface, so if he knew that he would get in trouble…so why the urgency? She thought, which didn’t last for long as she went back thinking that it was her fault.
Laying there in the darkness she looked out of the window to the ocean floor. She saw a diver walking into the airlock like before, some lifeless lug lurking around like the Big Daddy it was. Alice tried to pretend that it was Max, but it didn’t work this time.
It pains me to say that shortly a few days after I last saw you I left Rapture. There’s nothing here for me. Not even you. I know you loved me, but I don’t share your feelings, I never have…It was all a ruse, a farce to get what I wanted. Every touch, every kiss, and every word of love all a lie…I used you Alice, like a puppet on strings. I had you wrapped around my finger and you ate it all up like a lost puppy, always pining for attention. You will never see me again Alice, I have left, left to freedom and to be away from you.
So I know it seems like forever for this next chapter to come out
I just started senior year and they’re overloading us with information and work.
I’ve been writing every chance I get and I’m hoping to get the next chapter on here
So I hope you guys haven’t forgotten about this little old story of mine. It’s my baby ^_^
August 15, 1957
Contrary to popularized belief, August has to be the hottest month of all. I would think that they’d want to keep the place cool. The combination of the heat and the ice Arctic Ocean water isn’t a good mix. The upside to this would have to be going to the pool with Max. While at the pool Max makes me do silly things like make faces just while he records me on his moving picture camera. That goon, he’s always such a kidder in the best of ways.
Max and I have had many wonderful evenings together. Every once in a while we’ll go off to the Tea Garden, and on other occasions elsewhere. We’ve gotten looks from some. This at times brought my spirits down…but he always keeps his eyes on me, which makes me blush terribly.
Mamá has started warming up to Max, though at first she was a little distant. I still think she wants me to marry Lawrence though…
Overall though, this summer is turning out to be real swell. Being with Max has made Rapture ten times better. Perhaps when the winter comes, it will be double as exciting.
The Limbo Room was the busiest it had ever been in a long time. The band was playing jazz while Alice and Max sat in the corner of the place eating dinner. There wasn’t much dinner though, they mostly just talked. Alice slid up closer in the booth to Max who had his arm up on the top of the booth seat, bringing it down around her shoulders’ as she slid closer.
“Al, if I could get you one thing in the whole world, what would it be?” He said in a tender voice.
Alice thought about it for a second, “I’d have to say…the biggest house in the world!”
“The biggest house in the world? Well that’s a tough one…but Alice you have my word!”
“Maxwell Callahan, are you saying you’re going to buy me a house?”
“Yes I am, and it’s going to be just what you wanted.” They smiled sweetly at each other and both kissed. When they pulled away and looked into each other’s eyes, Alice’s attention went past Max and to the women in the booth a few feet behind them. She was shaking her head and whispering to her husband. Alice’s smiled faded and she went back to watching the show. Max wondered what the problem was until he turned around and saw.
“That’s the third time this month, Max.”
“Alice, don’t worry about them. They’re just…”
“Why do you like me anyone? I’m sure I’m not like your other partners in the past…”
Max thought about this for a second, “That’s just it Al, your NOTHING like those other girls. And I don’t care what you are, as long as you’re a woman,” Alice smiled and looked away, “I mean, you are a woman, right?” He joked, pulling Alice closer to him.
“Oh Max,” She laughed, “Well gee, of course I am.”
The two laughed again and began to watch to band play meanwhile coming out of the private side room was Lawrence and his dolled up date from their light at the Limbo Room. Lawrence took a sort of inspection of the place and then saw Alice sitting with Max. He thought it was only fitting to see her. He walked over, the girl wrapped around his arm.
Alice and Max actually weren’t paying attention to anything but the show until Lawrence said Alice’s name.
“Alice, well I’d say this is a delightful coincidence.” He said, “Fancy seeing you here.”
Alice was shocked at first, but then smiled politely. So did Max, he knew that he had nothing to worry about anymore.
“Oh hello, Lawrence! It’s good seeing you here. Come often?” Alice greeted.
“Well only if often is once a month, then sure, let’s say that. I see that you have…company.”
“Maxwell Callahan, nice to meet you.” Max leaned up and shook Lawrence’s hand. It was a strong sturdy grip shared by the both of them, full of tension. Alice found it quite awkward and comical at the same time.
“Lawrence, baby, I’m tired. Let’s go home…” The girl said wrapping her furry boa tighter around her shoulders.
“Stop your whining, hun. We’re leavin’ in a sec!” Lawrence barked at her, “Anyway, it’s nice seeing you again…Alice.”
Lawrence and his date walked off out of the club. Alice watched them while Max started talking about the band.
It was interesting to Alice, how he seemed so different than before. Not much of the southern charm like before but only a dimmer and harsher him. For instance, he walked out of the club like it was just himself, all alone not knowing that there was a model right next to him. Did she really have that big of an effect on him? Or was he just pouty that for the fact that Alice was the first girl that he didn’t sweep off her feet…
“Come on in! Just autographs though, no pictures please.”
Alice quickly slipped into the dressing room without a sound, “Well I sure hope you’ll make an exception for a special someone.”
Bucky turned around and nearly jumped out of his seat in the site of Alice. They hugged and said their hellos.
“Alice you should have told me you were coming by! I would’a got you some nice seats. The front row to be exact!”
“Oh I’m just fine. I’m just glad to see you doing so well! You did wonderful in the show; I never knew you were so talented Bucky Belmont.” She teased.
“Now you and I both know I only go by Buck Richards now…but I think I can make an exception.” They laughed and he got up to pour them a drink, “So, I hear you and the handy man are taking it full circle now. When should expect wedding bells?”
“Goodness, Buck. We’ve only been together for about 3 months. You can’t honestly see me as a housewife can you?”
“Well, for some people maybe. But no Alice, you’re too stubborn for that.” He chuckled.
“So, tell me what it’s like to be under the great Sander Cohen’s wing?”
“In one word…exhausting. I mean don’t get me wrong, the man’s got vision. But sometimes I just feel like…I don’t reach his expectations. Besides, I’m thinking about branching out. Starting my own act in a little musical number, the theater owner said they could set a whole opening week up for me!”
“That’s terrific news Bucky! Well you’re just the man for the job.”
“Thanks, Alice. So how have you been? Besides all this Max stuff?” He joked.
“I’ve been…great actually. Nothing too big going on really. I’ve started writing though. I’ve actually always wanted to be a writer for a newspaper and was maybe even thinking about working at the Tribune.”
“Well Alice that’s swell! You know what, speaking of which…” Bucky sat his drink down and walked over to his drawer beside the vanity. He reached in and grabbed a small flyer that looked like a letter, but only to seem inconspicuous.
“I know just what you should do your first story about. Tomorrow night me and some of the boys are going to a rally held by Fontaine. Now it’s a secret event so don’t tell anyone else, but he’s talking about starting a revolution. The man’s got brilliant ideas. Better than Andrew Ryan…driving the whole place to hell.” He said.
“Well we aren’t too far away from it here. Sounds… nice. I’ll try to make it there.” Alice said. She couldn’t help but remember the last time when she met Fontaine and he had invited her to the same exact thing.
“Anyway, that could get you your own office right in the Tribune! Maybe write about the current conflicts going on. Being here will get you frontline resources.”
“Your right…sure, I’ll go.”
“So it’s a rally? What are we doing praising this Fontaine guy?” Max asked looking at the flyer. The two were sitting in the bed listening to the radio as Alice was writing.
“Not praising Max,” She chuckled, “It’s just support. And besides, I’m not going in support. Bucky invited us and I’m just wanting to see first-hand what it’s like.” She said. Alice didn’t once take a look up from her writing.
Max watched as she intently wrote and erased, wrote and erased over and over again. He laughed and took her glasses off, putting them on and lying on the bed like it was nothing.
“Wha?….Max I need those when I write.” She quickly put down her notebook and reached over to get her glasses. He took them off and held them farther away from Alice. It was then when she reached and fell on top of him. They both laughed and giggled.
“Alice, you received a tele…”
The two paused and Alice quickly got off of Max to straighten out her dress. Her mother, flustered and embarrassed turned and walked out of the room. Alice soon ran after.
“So, I see you’ve invited him into your room, no?” Her mother asked her.
“Mama, I’m 21 years-old. Besides, it’s nothing like that. It was a simple accident that’s all. Nothing was going to happen.”
“I trust your judgment but really Alice…” She sighed, “I just…”
“Don’t want me to turn out like Pat?”
Her mother paused as she was getting dinner ready. It was true, she didn’t want Alice to become like Patricia, but it had been like this even before Rapture.
“I understand what you’re coming from, but it’s not that I won’t become like that. It’s that I don’t want to be that way in the first place.”
Her mother set down the pot and embraced Alice, “I know meha.” After their hug her mother went back to cooking, “Oh, Lawrence called…Wants to speak with you.”
Alice stopped before leaving, What does he want to talk to me for?, She thought to herself. “I’ll…” She lowered her voice, looking over to see if Max was paying any attention, “I’ll call him tonight.”
“I think he want to see you though.”
Alice went to her room to find that Max was getting himself ready to go. Alice got the sudden urge to have him stay.
He was putting on his jacket as Alice slowly entwined her hand with Max. He looked into her eyes with concern thinking something was wrong.
“Alice, are you okay?” He inched closer to her, taking her face in his hand.
“Yes, I’m just fine. I was just wondering if you wanted to stay for dinner?”
Max thought about it, “I don’t know, Alice. I think I should just head out. Give you guys some peace.”
“No, not at all Max. She doesn’t mind…I don’t mind.”
Max gently placed both of his hands on her shoulders, somewhat pulling her closer to him, “It’s okay. I’ll just walk home and I have to get up for work early tomorrow.” He kissed Alice on the forehead lightly. Alice walked him to the door. His hand slowly losing grasp with hers as he left out.
“Mr. Sinclair, Ms. Alice is here to see you now.” The receptionist said.
“Send her in.”
Lawrence sat his bottle down and tried to slick his hair back like usual, but it just fell in his face again. Alice walked into his office cautiously since she didn’t want to be there in the first place. She thought about the promise she made, to Max. He was already indifferent about her mothers’ feelings towards him.
“Take a seat Alice.” He said, still facing away from her, spinning the ice in his glass around.
“I rather not, I can’t stay for too long.”
He didn’t answer right away. He just looked like he had been drinking for a while. His eyes were tired and he could barely hold himself on the legs he was given.
“Frankly, I just wanted to see you. I’ve just…needed to clear my mind. When I see you there’s just a calming sort of thing with you. Can’t explain it.”
Alice started to reconsider her decision to come here. She looked at him odd and wondered what he was talking about.
“Lawrence, maybe you should talk to a professional. Sofia Lamb perhaps?”
He started a dark drunken chuckle hearing her name, which made even more uncomfortable hearing this.
“Sofia Lamb…ha!” He poured himself another drink, “She caused me nothing but trouble from the first day she got here. The reason I get yelled at everyday by Ryan. I even told him not to hire her from the beginning…she stood against everything we ever were!”
Lawrence started going on his own little tangent about the subject matter. Alice didn’t pay much mind until she was startled by him slamming his fist on the desk. He looked at her and brought himself together, somewhat. He began walking towards her, slow and calm. The calmness though didn’t translate as such to Alice, it was threatening to her like a lion about to ponce.
“Do you remember the gala, Alice? That night when you walked into the room with that long beautiful gown…unaware that anyone was watchin’…but I was watching, Alice. I was the only one.” Alice now had her back against the wall with Lawrence’s hand placed on the wall blocking her way.
Alice grew increasingly anxious, her hand became sweaty and she felt a lump in her throat. She didn’t want to make I contact with him, but she looked into his eyes. She saw a mixture of many things; sadness, compassion, anger, guilt…
“I think…I think I should go now. It was nice speaking to you.” She said with no remorse.
With his free hand he grabbed her by the wrist before she could slide by him, “We all have to take a risk. This whole place is full of these. Every building…every person.”
“Lawrence, you’re hurting me…”
“Think about it, Alice. You and I, together! Isn’t that what you’ve been wanting?”
“Enough!” She suddenly yelled.
He looked down at her wrist and let go. The redness from the heat of his hand slowly faded and both his arms dropped to his sides.
“I’m with Max now… Goodnight Sinclair.”
Alice got from against the wall and began to exit the office. She didn’t feel bad for this, for saying how see truly felt and demanding her rights. But for good measure she said one last thing.
“Lawrence, go get some help…please…”
“I’m sorry, Maxwell Callahan isn’t available. Want me to try again?” The operator asked.
“No, it’s fine. Thank you.” Alice hung up the phone. She just held her hand there for a long time, staring at it. Does he know about her seeing Lawrence the other night? Was he still saddened by her mother’s opinion? These were the questions cycling through her head. She tried not to linger on it too much, he may have just been working overtime that night. Bucky was waiting for her anyway and she didn’t want to be late.
The scene was less than what Alice expected. It was a secluded area around the docks of Fontaine Fishery. There were all kinds of people there, all wanting something more and wanting freedom from Andrew Ryan’s “Great Chain” government. Though Alice was a bit uncomfortable being there. She definitely wasn’t for Ryan, but she was still wary about joining Fontaine’s “team.”
“Hey Alice! You made it! Where’s Max?” Buck asked once he found her in the crowd. He was with two other people, seemed like thespian types.
“I tried to call, he couldn’t make it this evening,” She soon changed the subject, “Who’s your friends, Buck?”
“This is Prudence and Alonzo! They’re gonna be in my next act.”
“Charmed!” Said one.
“Salutations!” Said the other.
“Oh! Well very nice to meet you two.”
Bucky put his arm around Alice guiding her as he walked while Prudence and Alonzo followed shortly behind.
“Don’t mind them, they’re real ‘theater types,’ I say keep the act on the stage but you know how actors are.” Alice laughed like she knew what he was talking about, “Now tell me about this Max thing? It’s not normal for you two to be apart. Plus, the maintenance staff is supposed to be off this week from what I’ve heard.”
“Really?” Alice looked concerned, “Well I’m sure there’s nothing to be worried about…”
Bucky gave her a look but left it at that.
“Citizens of Rapture!”
The whole crowd turned facing the highest platform to find Fontaine and a few of his men. They cheered for him but it wasn’t as loud as the greeting Ryan had gotten at the gala. This was most likely because they didn’t want to be at risk of being found out. Alice quickly reached into her bag and grabbed the recorder.
“It’s out time! We gotta take back the city and opportunities Rapture given us! You think Ryan’s gonna come to you and hand us our freedom back?”
“No! The crowd yelled out.
“What are we gonna do?” Someone from the audience asked.
“I’m asking you tonight to join us in the planning of our rebellion. We’ve got to assemble! We gonna make him understand, that we won’t be held back! Support our cause. If you’re not with us, you’re with Ryan…”
Alice thought about what he was saying about that in correlation to the fact that her mother actually worked with Ryan.
A few men stood at the front from the crowd to take down names for this “resistant movement.” Alice soon realized this wasn’t where she should be. She collected her recorder and was about to leave when Bucky stopped her.
“Hey Alice, where ya goin’?”
“Oh…an awful cold just came over me… I think its best that I go.”
Alice turned the other way and was about to leave when she saw a shadowy figure across to crowd.
“Max?” She started walking faster towards this person when suddenly gun shots fired from the crowd. People began to rush and take cover to get out of the way. While the rush was going this way and that Alice tried to run after what she thought was Max. By the time she reached where he was that person was gone. She looked around frantically trying to find him again.
Fontaine grabbed Alice and they both fell hard to the ground. The bullet would have hit them if they didn’t duck out of the way.
“Thanks.” She said, her mind still wondering if that was Max.
“Don’t mention it. The heat’s been tryin’ to tag me since I came here. I’d get outta here if I were you.” The two were still ducked down so he could see a good exit out from under the docks, “Here, get under there and if ya keep walkin’ you’ll hit home.”
“But aren’t they after you? You should get away.”
He scoffed, “They can go ahead and kill me all they want I’ll just keep comin’ back.”
“There he is!”
“Get outta here!” He yelled.
Alice jumped down off the dock and into the fishy piles below. She pulled herself up slightly just to peak to see the officers’ hand cuffing Fontaine and taking him away. She jumped back down and landed back on the pile. This wasn’t particularly her favorite.
It was a long smelly walk to the main tunnel. She was cold and wet and far from home once again. Alice hoped that whom she saw today really was Max. This made her smile a little bit to know that he actually tried to see her again.
On her way back she saw two large men. Alice tried not to make eye contact with either one of them. She’s usually not the type to back down, but these men seemed like they were up to no good…