What If...Mature

Alice sat silently, starring at her hands as the other two talked. She made no attempt to wipe away her tears, nor could she have without touching her iced over fingers to her skin, more than likely freezing her skin on the spot. She just kept her hands balled as tightly as she could, holding the hem of her dress for the small amount of comfort it afforded her. Small amounts of ice had crawled up the fabric, holding it stiffly in place, and had nearly reached her waist by the time she'd calmed herself enough to force the ice back to wherever it came from.

It was then that she looked up, finding herself alone once again. When she listed more intently she could still hear the sounds of receding footsteps heading across the deck, though soon they would be gone completely. For a brief second she wondered where they were going, but she wasn't stupid. In only a moment, she knew they were searching for her Sisters. The thought alone brought on such a strong mixture of emotions, her left hand was freezing and her right hand was about to burst into flames, before great clouds of steam would fly into the air as the two elements switched places. She could feel them in her veins, the power of the flame and the shock of the ice, intertwining and warring. Mixing. It sort of-

She screamed and jumped backward when a light blue bolt of lightning arced between her hands, causing her to hit the control panel behind her. As the bathyspheres power still hadn't been restored nothing happened, but the light show coming out of her own flesh had, understandably, left her startled. She tried to will her heart to slow its pace, afraid of what horrifying ability fear could be linked to, which ironically only made her even more afraid. But when she tried to look at her hands and see if anything was happening, she wasn't prepared for what she found. Nothing.

She wasn't sure what to think. She tried to touch her face, and was startled even more when she felt her hands touch her cheek. She held them in front of her, turning them first so that the back of her hand faced her, and then the front. But there was nothing. I'm... invisible? she thought. She looked down to see her feet, but they were gone as well. After a moment, she realize her dress had disappeared with the rest of her. She could feel a flutter of panic, but she squashed it like the pesky bug it was. Calm down, she told herself. Just calm down, and everything will go back to normal.

She closed her eyes, taking a deep breath, and counted to five. Exhaling through her nose she opened her eyes, checking her hands once more. As if on cue, a small ripple-like disturbance appeared in the air around her. Within only a seconds time, the ripple stretched farther and farther outward, warping the air around her like heatwaves. In the next second, it collapsed in on her, and again she could see her own hand in front of her face.

She took a second to silently rejoice regaining her visibility. As the smile fell, however, she began to scold herself for being so careless. That had been risky. What if, instead of invisibility, fear had made her explode like a bomb? What if it leaked a poisonous gas in the air? What if it still had, and she just didn't know it? A thousand scenarios, a thousand fears, and a thousand reasons to feel so stupid for ever touching that vial on the shelf. What if she had an accident like that where someone got hurt, and Big Sister started to hate her? What if her Sisters all thought she was a freak? What if...

She tried her best to push aside her thoughts and emotions once more, bringing everything back into the grey area. Alice knew that she had to tell Big Sister what had happened, but she wasn't sure if she could. What choice do I have? Someone has to do something. I can't just act like I have no idea what's going on! I just wish I could find a way to help. Suddenly, she knew what she had to do. She couldn't bear to tell the story of how her Sisters had been taken, but she couldn't do nothing either. So why couldn't she go after them? She held her own against Big Sister, she might have even won had things continued to play out the way they were going. She certainly had stronger plasmids than Big Sister, and using them wouldn't be a problem. The more she thought about it, the more she was able to convince herself.

The only thing holding her back, was how.

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Every beat of her heart was distracting, the weak pulse within her chest so close to the Adam slug she'd mistake it for movement. She felt violated on some basic level. She'd never had much of a problem with the thing living inside of her, probably because she'd been programmed not to. But now, it felt every bit like the slimy little worm that it was.

Eleanor and Tenenbaum made their way over the deck, slick with sea water, to the most likely place either of them could think to look for any remaining Splicers. The storage hold. Eleanor had only been in the storage hold once, when she went through it to bypass some sealed off flooded areas on her way to the engine room, and even then she hadn't looked around all that much. All she really remembered about it was the masses of crates stacked along the walls and in rows down the middle of the floor, along with the smell of mold, rot and dust. It was an ideal place to hide for a small, smelly pest.

Eleanor kept taking glances back at Tenenbaum, making sure she was still there. The woman moved like a panther, and even Eleanor's ultra-sensitive hearing was having trouble detecting the soft thud of her steps. Eleanor couldn't quite say the same for herself. Metal and rubber squeaked every time they met, and the metal on metal clank wasn't much better. It's odd how you never notice these things until you're trying to be quiet.

The door to the storage area was the typical airtight bulkhead found all throughout Rapture, with the wheel lock turned to the 'open' position. "I suppose I'll be the one going first again?" Eleanor said, easily pulling open the steel door that was nearly as thick as her hand was wide. "You are the one in the armored suit, so yes. You take the front."

The End

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