Even in Death...Mature

"Why are you here?"

Why am I here? she wondered. She remembered it had been something important, it was right on the tip of her tongue. "I think... I came here for you, right?" Slowly Eleanor sat up, holding her head in her hands. It was then she realized she was no longer wearing her helmet. "Yeah... I did. You... You wouldn't answer the radio. What happened?"

"You should not have come back, " Tenenbaum said sullenly. She let out a heavy sigh, pulling up a chair to sit next to the hard bed Eleanor was laid out on. Eleanor tried to be respectful and open her eyes to look at Tenenbaum as she spoke; after all, this was her first actual face-to-face meeting with the woman who had done half the work of bringing her father back from the dead. It took all of her willpower, but she was just able to manage keeping her eyes half opened.

"We were being attacked by Splicers, as you know, " Tenenbaum stated. "They were nothing we couldn't hold out. They were trying to beat down a blast door with a wrench for heaven's sake! They were all in an Adam frenzy, swarming by the dozens, just waiting for their turn to take a whack at the door. But then they just stopped. Like someone had flipped a switch, they all ran off into the shadows. It was the strangest thing."

"You don't have any idea why they ran off?" Eleanor asked.

"Well, I didn't at the time. But Shannon here, " with a flourish Tenenbaum indicated the shy Little Sister by her side, still holding the empty syringe gun. "Had seen a Big Sister outside the window, so I guess she must have scared them off." Tenenbaum mentions nothing of Eleanor's suit, but the way Tenenbaum was eying it didn't escape her. Tenenbaum sighed once again, reaching a hand into her pocket. She pulls it back out with nothing, and Eleanor is left confused as to what she could have been doing.

"So Eleanor, now that you are here what do you plan on doing exactly?"

Eleanor's mind was returning to its usual breakneck speed, and she didn't even hesitate before saying "To bring you up to my boat. Yours isn't sea worthy, and I could use your help with my engines." A saddened look passed over her face for a moment, then she shook her head. "I can't leave yet, child, " she said. "There are still more little one's to be saved."

With that in mind, a thought Eleanor had had before crosses her mind once more. "Speaking of which, why don't you free your Sister's? Father and I freed every one that we came across."

A look of confusion passed over Tenenbaum's features as she tried to make sense of what she'd just heard. "What do you mean, 'free' them?" she asked.

"Well, you know, " Eleanor starts, unsure of how to continue, uncomfortable because of both having been a Sister herself and having to say it in front of one. "You just kind of raise your hand, and wish them better. The plasmid does the rest." By this time, Tenenbaum was growing paler and speaking faster. It was making Eleanor terribly nervous.

"And where did you get this plasmid, Eleanor?"

"I... I'm not sure. Father did it, and I just copied him."

Hands steepled in front of her, she asked in as most serious a tone Eleanor had ever heard her use "Do you remember where you found it?"

"No, I don't. I don't even know when I received most of my plasmids."

A few quick phrases were uttered in German, and fortunately the Little Sister seemed just as mystified as Eleanor as to their meaning. The string of obvious curses grew longer and louder as she went on, until finally she stopped with a word Eleanor actually understood. "Fontaine!" Eleanor wasn't sure what to make of Tenenbaum cursing out a man that had been dead for nearly a decade, but if it made her react that strongly, it couldn't possibly be good.

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Alice was actually making better time on her way back to the top of the ship than she had on her way coming down. Among the reasons why could have been that the flickering flames jumping from her fingertips were more than enough to light up the hallway. The adrenaline was probably helping too.

She pushed open a final set of doors, the salty sea air assaulting her nostrils. She'd been expecting the bright sun to flood over her as she'd pulled open the final barrier between her and the outside world, but it wasn't there. Instead, only the crisp, cool glow of the moon illuminated the deck in a ghostly pale white.

Was I really down there that long? she wondered. Giving her head a scratch, she wondered around for a minute, checking to make sure that no one was still up. There was no point in giving any of her Sisters a heart attack by running around with flaming hands, acting like it was perfectly normal. Though, in truth it nearly was. With a satisfied smile, she realized she was indeed alone on the deck. She headed towards the edge, intent on smothering the flames in a nice bath of cold sat water.

She crouched down by the edge, frothy bubbles bursting as wave after wave assaulted the side of the ship. She was about to lower her hands in when she saw something moving underneath the water. At first, it was nothing more than a black speck. She thought it was some kind of small sea creature, but the dot continued to grow, and she realized that the shape was in fact drawing nearer rather than growing. A red light seemed to emanate from it as it continued to swim closer and closer. Big... Sister? she wondered. What are you doing in the water?

Then she noticed another, slightly farther off. It was a similar size, swimming at a similar speed, headed in a similar direction. Perhaps they're together? Alice thought. Then she noticed another, nearly straight beneath her. Then she noticed a fourth. And then a fifth. Alice tilted her head to the side just slightly, her confusion plain on her face. Did she bring friends?

The End

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