"Casey! That's mine!" yelled the very distressed voice of Lindsey, a Little Sister aboard Sinclair's lifeboat. She was reaching for a box of cookies currently held by her fellow Sister. Casey, the offending Sister in question, was under the exact same impression.

"Nuh-uh! You finished your cookies yesterday!"

"No I didn't! I saved some for today, just like Big Sister said!"

"The only way these could be your cookies is if you stole my cookies and replaced them with yours!"

"That doesn't even make since!"

"I'm telling Big Sister that your fighting!" a third voice shouted. As promised, she disappeared down the hall, intent on finding the Big Sister who had saved her from the house of upside-down.

"Alice, don't be a tattle-tale!" Casey yelled, but if Alice had indeed heard her, she pretended not to. Lindsey, sensing her chance, grabbed the cookies while Casey was looking away and made a run for it. What happened next could almost have been mistake for a friendly game of tag.

"Lindsey! Give me back my cookies or I swear I will hate you forever!"



Meanwhile, Eleanor's feeling that something was off was growing stronger and stronger. She had yet to see or hear any Splicers, but that wasn't the part that was making her feel like she was about to step into an ambush. No, the worst part was that she knew they were there. She'd see a shadow, or hear a metal pipe bang against a wall in a Splicer's hurry to conceal themselves. But why? she had to ask. They're not acting like themselves.

She knew she was, if not the greatest single source of Adam in Rapture, than very near it. Yet, the Splicers not only held back their assault, but seemed to be running in the opposite direction. She tried to make the pieces on the board fit into place, but there were just so few of them that they could have taken on nearly any shape that she wished. Were the Splicers playing her, bringing her further into their trap, or were they genuinely too scared to even try and attack her? It was like a game of poker, a game her mother had taught her to play so long ago. She hated poker.

Suddenly a noise so awful ripped through the air that it forced her to one knee, and she clutched at the sides of her helmet like it might actually help to block out the pain. Just when she was sure she'd be deaf, the banshee screech came to an end. She regained her balance on unsteady legs, the ringing in her ears at least bringing some background noise to the eerily silent streets. She staggered forward a step, only to stop at an intake of breath.

"Another one?" a male Splicer attempted to whisper, though he spoke plenty loud enough for her to hear him clearly. Eleanor turned towards the dimly lit alley, raising her needle high, ready for a fight should one occur. "Now she knows we're here asshole!" a second male Splicer yelled. An explosion of red mist indicated a Houdini had just ditched his friend in the alley. Eleanor dashed towards the alley wall and threw herself against it, fully expecting an attack from behind that would never arrive. The deathly Splicer in the alley, however, interpreted her movement as an attack. "I swear I don't know anything!" the man pleaded as he fell backwards onto the dirty, blood splattered ground. "Just- Just don't kill me!"

If only the man had kept his mouth shut, Eleanor would have probably run off looking for the Houdini before he could pelt her with a barrage of fireballs. However, one thing she knew was that the only people who ever say they don't know anything are the ones that are afraid to be interrogated. And why would he think he was going to be interrogated if he didn't know something he thought she would want to know? But there was something about that voice. Something familiar, yet hazy. Like trying to remember a dream when you were still half asleep.

She grabbed the man by the collar of his ragged and worn shirt, holding him off the ground with easy and pinning him to the brick wall of the alley. She decided that resting the sharp end of her needle on the side of his neck would only make him confess his knowledge faster. "Tell me your name", she demanded with as much steel in her voice as she could muster. It appeared to be more than was necessary when the Splicer fainted. Dropping him to the ground, she thought she heard someone running over a nearby rooftop.

Thoughts immediately returning to the Houdini from earlier, she lifted a nearby trash can with telekinesis, and threw it towards the roof with all the force of a bullet exiting the barrel. A ball of fire now flickering in her palm, she sent a steady stream of fireballs flying towards the roof, setting the whole thing alight. It had the unintended side effect of lighting up the alley she was in, though she really wasn't displeased with this turn of events.

Without turning around she picked up the unconscious man with telekinesis, once more pressing him to the wall in front of her. The one thing she noticed immediately was that he was no Splicer. There were no tumors covering his face, and no mask or bandages trying to cover up any mutations or disfigurations. That's when she paid closer attention to the man's face. It was this simple act that sent a chill up her spine, one by one the pieces of a puzzle she hadn't even been able to see falling into place. The unconscious human she held in the air right now was one of the only friends she had ever had. This, was Amir Naji.

The End

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