etherthief: (whatever this feel is it's very intense)
Iman Asadi ([personal profile] etherthief) wrote in [community profile] rapturecity2015-10-24 12:01 am

the ocean on her shoulders [closed]


That's all she has room in her brain for: water. Water water everywhere. Freezing fucking cold. Shock to the system. She's sinking. What the hell is happening?

Dream. Gotta be a dream. One of those hyperrealistic dreams the rift always makes them have. Except she always knows when those are happening, like they feel real but they feel different too, and this—well, it's different, but it's reality, the distinction is intangible but it's there.

So she's just drowning in the ocean. Okay.

Her arms flail in slow arcs around her, her body kicking sluggishly into gear as she struggles back to the surface, kicking so hard she feels like she's going to dislocate something, until she's breached and gasping and choking on saltwater.

Where is she. Where is she.

What the hell is happening?

There is, by some apparent providence she's not stupid enough to trust, a structure within reach, and she swims toward it, already feeling a numbing in her extremities. She has to get there, out of the water, inside, and then she can—

She'll fill that part in later.

She hauls herself out and up the stairs, shivering so violently she can barely keep herself upright, rocking and stumbling against the hard, water-slicked stone. A staircase lit by lanterns that seem somehow out of place, and doors that are heavy and... gilded? Yes, a gilded fucking relief of a man and a city, which, she's never been to a lighthouse before, but this doesn't seem entirely on. Still, though, thoughts are so hard to hold onto right now, who even cares, she just can't be out here in the elements, the dark, icy wilderness; she needs to be inside. She hauls the door open and shoulders her way in and stops short, the door falling slowly, ominously shut behind her.

The room is brilliantly lit - more like a lobby than what she expects the inside of a lighthouse to be. She stares up at the absurd decor, the imposing statue greeting her, the bright red banner, the slogan—that slogan—all of it, all this art deco nonsense, what is this, what did she just walk into? Her first thought is 'cult' and her second thought is 'cult so secret it's in the middle of the ocean' and then she thinks she might rather go back outside.

But she's never been good at leaving things alone, so instead she steps forward gingerly to examine the plaque beneath the statue, which is both enlightening as well as not. Andrew Ryan is not a familiar name, which is neither comforting nor alarming. Thinking is still beyond her, so she keeps moving instead, trembling and dripping all over the elegant marble floor, down the stairs, slow and disoriented. She stares at shiny plaques proclaiming various nouns that seem meaningless out of context: art, industry, science. Pillars of society? And in the center of the room... is that... a submarine?

Her eyes widen and she spends a solid several seconds just staring at the spherical vessel, its door open, inviting.

She should not do this. Definitely should not do this. Doing this would be a terrible idea.

She steps forward slowly and extends a shaky hand to brace against the open portal. She ducks her head as she climbs in, then spends several more seconds staring at the lever.

Well. Why the fuck not, anyway.

She pulls it and falls sharply into the plush seat as the door shuts, sealing her in, and the vessel jostles into movement. Obviously this was going to happen, she doesn't know why she's surprised, but she's still breathing hard and sharp as she descends into the goddamn sea, and only then does she realize how fucking stupid this was, how she's trapped now, you can't just go back from this. She's going down, somewhere, and there is no turning around.

Through the window she sees a full statue in the same style as the design on the door, and numbers, hauntingly measuring the fathoms as she drops down deeper and deeper.

And then the lights go out and a little video starts to play, projected flickeringly against the wall of the vessel. The video is... distressingly old-timey, with a 1950s looking ad for something called Incinerate—"Fire at your fingertips!" it proclaims. And then, a photograph of a man sitting in an armchair smoking a fucking pipe, oozing smugness.

His voice rings hollow and tinny around the sphere. Illustrative images of bald-faced propaganda accompany his every word. I am Andrew Ryan, and I'm here to ask you a question: Is a man not entitled to the sweat of his brow? No, says the man in Washington, it belongs to the poor. No, says the man in the Vatican, it belongs to God. No, says the man in Moscow, it belongs to everyone. I rejected these answers. Instead, I chose something different. I chose the impossible. I chose... Rapture.

Oh dear lord. She can see where this is going and it's nowhere good. She's awake now, fully at attention. He's still talking, describing a city—a city. A fucking city. Called Rapture.

The projection stops, leaving only the self-satisfied narration, but Iman isn't listening anymore. She's looking out the window.

"Ho-ly shit," she breathes, and the glass fogs.
rapturenpc: (fontaine)

tw: racism, unsurprisingly fontaine is a fucking bigot

[personal profile] rapturenpc 2015-10-24 06:16 am (UTC)(link)
It's been a long time coming. Ryan and his stooges, all of them have no idea what the world's got in store. Great Chain, and Andrew Ryan's got it all set up so he's the only one at the top. Fontaine hisses out a languid rush of smoke between parted lips. Soon enough, Ryan won't know what hit him. Rapture won't know, until he's the one running the whole show.

There's something to be said for the supposed land of opportunity, of course. He reeled the old Kraut in easy enough, and the chinaman was shrewd enough to know to sell himself to the highest bidder. Seems everyone knows who the big man in town is these days. Everyone except the biggest fish at the top of the food chain.

Isn't that just the way with those fat cats.

The Welcome Center's been dead for a long while, and not since the early rush of hopefuls that come streaming down to Ryan's precious promised land has anyone seen much activity down with the Bathyspheres. But sure enough, there's a dull clank and the rush of water streaming from the dark-slick surface as the 'sphere emerges, neon welcome lights stuttering to life.


Fontaine stubs out his cigar and flicks it into the nearest ashtray. If someone's come down from the surface, chances are Ryan already knows about it. It doesn't give him long to make whatever move he's got to make. He hangs back just outside the Bathysphere Station, waiting for the creak of the 'sphere's doors as they groan open.

Who knows, these days. Might be there's something to Rapture's newest that'll make it worth his while.
rapturenpc: (fontaine)

[personal profile] rapturenpc 2015-10-24 05:41 pm (UTC)(link)
Hell of an entrance for a sweet little thing like her. Fontaine looks her up and down, his interest stark and unveiled. She don't look much like any kind of Ryan Industries-commissioned specialist. What she looks like is scared, wet, trembling, lost.

Desperate. These lonely little saps always are.

He smiles thinly.

"You're in Rapture now, sweetheart," he says in his thick Bronx drawl. "Didn't clean the water outta your ears, did you?" He cants his head lightly. "What's someone like you doing down here, instead of topside?"
rapturenpc: (fontaine)

[personal profile] rapturenpc 2015-10-24 05:59 pm (UTC)(link)
Well, now, this is something of a unique development. Asking the year? Snapping back like she's got something to defend. Someone or something's gone and riled her up, maybe addled her brains some, assuming she's got any in that pretty little head of hers.

It's damn fine clear from the outset. She's not from around here. She must've come from topside, landed herself down here, in the crown jewel of Andrew Ryan's overwrought list of trophies. What're the damn odds? Andrew Ryan don't send for anyone he don't already know up and down, tits to toes.

"1958," he says, slow and unhurried and easy. "People showin' up out of nowhere, right outta the blue - not exactly a frequent occurrence down here. Andrew Ryan invites you."

He lets his eyes glide right over her, onto the security cameras that have yet to spring to life. He looks back at her and arches an eyebrow. "You got something to show for it, or are you just sight-seein'?"
Edited 2015-10-24 18:10 (UTC)
rapturenpc: (fontaine)

[personal profile] rapturenpc 2015-10-24 06:23 pm (UTC)(link)
He watches her like she's a particularly fascinating specimen, glimpsing that flicker of unease over her features as she struggles to rein herself in. Emotional, volatile. The Kraut was a refreshing display compared to that, all stony and locked down, monotone and darkly focused to the point of unease, but those drawbacks are all secondary compared to the results she's drawn in. ADAM. Little Sisters. Old Tenenbaum's an asset, he can give her that.

"I'm sure he would," he says, even and languorous. "I'm also sure he'd lock you up as some greedy little parasite. Rapture's king, and more paranoid than he'll ever admit. You can trust me on that."

He extends a hand, offering a faint upward tick of one side of his mouth. Cute, thinking she can talk back, thinking he's some slimy nobody at the bottom of the Great Chain. But she's a topsider Ryan don't know about just yet, and he'll take anything that will put him one step ahead of the old bastard.

"The name's Fontaine," he says. "You say you're so smart? What say I offer you a better deal than working for Mr. Ryan's dying regime."
rapturenpc: (fontaine)

[personal profile] rapturenpc 2015-10-24 06:35 pm (UTC)(link)
"I'm aiming to change the world."

She says she's smart, does she? Time to see how much she knows. If she's not the type to be useful, well, then, no one'll miss another body floating in the brine. People die in Rapture every day, and it never makes the papers.

He looks at her with a hard glint in his eye, subtly challenging. "You ever see someone reinvent the nucleotide chain? Create history, rewrite genetics?"
rapturenpc: (fontaine)

[personal profile] rapturenpc 2015-10-24 06:52 pm (UTC)(link)
Looks like he made himself a right choice. He watches her hand unspool into an intricate array of miniature tools, the kind of precise work the old chinaman would be salivating to get his sights on. She knows what she's talking about, absurd as the idea is that someone like her would ever get the resources. But the proof's right before his eyes, and Fontaine's never been one to turn down an opportunity when it flares in his line of sight.

"I think we can help each other out," he says smoothly. "Ryan doesn't like people from the surface creeping in on his city uninvited. 'Course, there's no reason he ever has to know someone like you's down here with the rest of us, now, is there."

He looks back to the camera. He doesn't have to say it. She's smart enough, she'll know that time's ticking.

"Have we got a deal, or don't we?"
rapturenpc: (fontaine)

[personal profile] rapturenpc 2015-10-24 07:03 pm (UTC)(link)
He shakes her hand once, firmly, and turns away in one fluid movement with the implicit order that she follow - assuming she's not in the mood to get left behind for Ryan to uncover.

"And I didn't have to," he says, with the barest twitch of a satisfied smile. "You just gave it to me, free of charge."

He moves briskly, heading for the nearest lift and hitting the button in its gilded panel to call the elevator.

"I've been working on some projects," says Fontaine. He pushes one hand into a pocket as the elevator ticks lower. "Revitalization. Making man what he never was before. I'm thinking - someone with vision has to run this place. Someone who's willing to change things for the greater good."
rapturenpc: (fontaine)

[personal profile] rapturenpc 2015-10-24 07:21 pm (UTC)(link)
The elevator slides down, and the ornate glass doors rattle open. Fontaine steps back and opens a hand in a neutral 'ladies first' gesture.

"Ryan wants his elite utopia, but what happens when someone beats the man at his own game?" He smirks dryly, coldly, his eyes hard. "He takes them out. He brings them down to lower than they've ever been. So he's got the market on oxygen and entertainment and travel, and anything else that makes this great city tick. But Fontaine Futuristics? We've got ourselves a hard patent on genetics."

He waits for her to cross the threshold before entering and hitting the button with two fingers. The elevator shudders to life, then begins moving smoothly upward. The red-carpeted welcome center grows ever distant as they ascend higher and higher into Rapture's splendor.

"You ever want to shoot flame from your fingertips?" He snaps his fingers once. "Or stop a speeding bullet with your mind? Then I got one word for you, miss: ADAM."
rapturenpc: (fontaine)

[personal profile] rapturenpc 2015-10-24 11:09 pm (UTC)(link)
"Catalyzes the formation of stem cells. Rewrites your genetic code." He waves a dismissive hand as the elevator doors clatter open and he steps out onto the plush red carpet without looking back. "I got people who'll explain it better than I ever could. I'm no scientist."

Might be she's too on her toes to fall for a little ruse like that one, but it might be she's too weary to question it. Frank Fontaine: entrepreneur, businessman, but scientist? Far better to let them think low of him. Ryan never looked twice his direction right up until the moment he surprised him with a bit of business know-how.

He moves swiftly through the Welcome Center, cutting a hard line to the nearest Atlantic Express Station.

"We'll be takin' the train to my place - Fontaine Futuristics. Someday soon we'll be running this place."