For a moment, Eleanor just looked down the stairwell, trying to hear or see anything that could be lurking in the dark, waiting for her to make her first mistake. A lesson she learned from watching father fight his way through Rapture, every turn bringing only more resistance. She only wished that she were as brave, or as determined as he had been, walking into the unknown. But as she cringed with every noisy step taken, she found herself slowly making the decent into what could very possibly be a trap.

She kept her breathing even, her heart rate down, and tried her best to be ready for anything. As the light continued to fade, she brought forth a trickle of Adam and let it loose as wicked red flames that jumped from her palm and lit up her entire immediate area. The soft steps of Tenenbaum were more easily heard on the metal stairs than above, and it was fairly easy for her to tell that Tenenbaum wasn't more than five steps behind. This time, she was taking no chances on missing whatever happens.

Once the duo hit the bottom, they stayed relatively close; mostly for the reason that Tenenbaum could only see what the fire cast its unnatural, flickering glow over.

"Help me open this box, " Tenenbaum instructed, one hand resting on the top of a crate with a bowed lid that had certainly seen better days.

Eleanor, holding her right hand above her head so that they could both see what they were doing, tried to grasp the lid with little luck. The wood simply disintegrated under her fingers. Tenenbaum, to her left, circled around the crate to her right. "Use your syringe as a crowbar, " she instructed once again. "Just be careful not to stick it in too far and risk hitting whatever is inside. It may suck things into the vial on your arm, but that vial connects directly into your bloodstream. There could be dish soap in here, but that would still be lethal."

Stating her willingness and her understanding with a nod, Eleanor tried to position the needle between the lid and the container. After many awkward positions that offered her no leverage at all, she finally ripped the nails out of the rotting wood, allowing the lid to slide backwards and clatter to the floor.

They both stood stock still for a moment, listening for any movement before peeking inside. The light reflected off of something in the crate, which Tenenbaum couldn't immediately identify. It was conical in shape, had several tubes sticking out the back of it, and seemed to have an odd spiraling design all the way down. Eleanor, however, had no such issues. The moment she saw it, she knew exactly what it was. A drill. But not just any drill. She brought her flaming palm closer to the box, allowing its light to chase away the shadows that clung so forcefully to the death machine.

It was a Bouncer's drill, no doubt about it. Eleanor was already trying to figure out what Sinclair could have possibly needed a drill like this for when Tenenbaum realized what it was. "Gott helfen Sie uns, is that what I think it is?" As it was apparent she wasn't actually expecting an answer, Eleanor kept her thoughts to herself and allowed the woman to continue with her ranting. "Was Sinclair really going to bring these horrible... things back with him? He said he wanted to sell Rapture's technology... But this?"

Tenenbaum was still going on when Eleanor turned her gaze to another crate and, having already found a technique for cracking them open, popped its lid off. Inside was the same thing, maybe five drills that looked like they had simply been thrown in and had a lid shoved down on top of them. One of the metal tips had nearly pierced the side, and she suspected that one had probably pierced the bottom. She moved on to another crate, and this time she found a Bouncer's suit laying in dusty folds. Again it appeared that it had simply been shoved in and sealed. But for what purpose?

She hadn't known Sinclair. All she did know about the guy was that he'd been helping her father, was an ally of Tenenbaum's if not a friend, and one other thing. That third thing, however, was what she had been basing his character off of. Whenever she heard his name mentioned, it was this that she thought of.

He'd come to save them. Both of them. He'd broken into Inner Persephone and tried to rescue them when he knew full well that even Delta, the infamous Big Daddy, had failed. And when Sinclair had been captured and turned into a Big Daddy himself, he fought harder than anyone Eleanor had ever seen to stay in control, just so he could tell them to kill him and take his key to the lifeboat.

Everybody in Rapture has at least some dark motives, Eleanor told herself. The one's who didn't, died. But could that really justify this? In the end, years from now if she survived, how would she think of Sinclair? As the guiding hand that brought her father back to her, or as the man who would have willingly unleashed Big Daddies on the unsuspecting world, just to make a buck?

It will have to wait, she decided. She sniffed the air, all traces of Adam except for her own and the lingering smell of the Sisters' was gone, and even the Sisters' scent was starting to fade. "Come on, " she said quietly, as if something in the shadows might stir if she spoke to loudly. "Obviously the Sisters aren't down here, and if there were Splicers, we'd already have been attacked. There's nothing left for us down here."

"I know, child," Tenenbaum said absently, starring at the boxes that stretched the entire room. "Besides, there's something Alice isn't telling us. I think she knows what happened."

"I got the same feeling. She didn't seem to want to talk, but I think living with mother may have at least given me some tools to help me in a situation like this."

Tenenbaum didn't say anything in return as they turned to make their ascent up the stairs, but there was really nothing more that needed to be said.

The End

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