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Children Of Rapture (1)
April 13, 1960
My name is William Koster, and today, the thirteenth of April, is my birthday. I am now fifteen years old. I wish I could say it was a happy birthday, but it wasn't. There was no party, no visits from either friends or relatives and no day trips with the family; but I am not ingrateful. My parents more than likely risked life and limb to find me my gift, this journal, and despite the difficulties of leaving home as of late, my mother made a plain cake for my birthday. It wasn't much, but I loved it simply because she made it. And when I went to blow out the candle, my little ten year old sister, Louise, said, "Make a wish!" and my wish was for you, Reader.
Yes, my one wish is to expose the truth, the whole truth, of this city that was once called hope and is now called hell. What was meant to be a city of freedom has become a city of death and damnation. This city should never have been made. Man built the impossible with his hands, but we were not ready to build the impossible with our hearts. As a result, this city and all the people in it are condemned. Though religion is forbidden here, I have been told about some of the biblical teachings from above, and I reckon this city suits its name well.
This city called Rapture.
I still remember when me and my family first came here three years after it was built in 1946. I was only five years old and Mum was still pregnant with Lou. I remember stepping into the bathysphere, a suitcase in each hand, and Mum and Dad right behind me with more suitcases. I remember staring in amazement as the bathysphere descended into the depths of the ocean past schools of fish, and my awe as I viewed the city itself with all it's glass domes and tunnels connecting the buildings. It was like a whole new world and my childish imagination was whirring with excitement what with all the stimulation for my young mind. I remember hearing a recording of his voice, of Andrew Ryan's voice, the founder of Rapture, and he promised us freedom and utopia. And for the first few years that's exactly how it was.
I grew up in Rapture, and Lou was born here. We've explored the city's lowest levels and viewed it from glass towers at the very top, this city beneath the sea. How they managed to construct it, I'll never know. I wonder if I correctly remember what cities on the surface are like. Or the country. Hell, I wonder if I can even properly remember the sun (though I've described it to a curious Lou more times than I can count, I haven't seen it in ten years).
Rapture seemed like the the most beautiful place in the world--I loved it here--but as the poet, Robert Frost, once wrote, nothing gold can stay. As Rapture was a place of absolute freedom, there were no ethical or moral boundaries to science. New discoveries and creations were always coming out and we advanced rapidly. It was simply amazing! But nothing could have prepared us physically or mentally for ADAM and EVE. It all started with the discovery of these sea slugs whose stem cells had the ability to regenerate damaged tissue and rewrite human DNA. These stem cells are ADAM. Bridgette Tenenbaum, the woman who discovered these sea slugs, partnered up with a businessman named Frank Fontaine, and with ADAM they created plasmids which give people amazing powers. Telekinesis, pyrokinesis, the ability to shoot electricity from your fingertips--you wouldn't believe what they could do! To retain and recharge the power, EVE was created.
But there is a darker side to ADAM that was ignored. Without regular infusions of ADAM, the people start to go insane and even physically mutate. I remember a couple years ago there was a boy I knew who snuck some ADAM and...well...last I heard, he slaughtered his entire family in their sleep. And that's not all. Tenenbaum started mass-producing ADAM by implanting these sea slugs in the stomachs of little girls, little girls like my Lou, and the slugs would live as parasites inside their bodies, living off them and keeping them alive with their regenerative properties, and do you really think these girls stayed sane? No way. They were turned into perfect little drones called Little Sisters, collecting ADAM from the bodies of the dead who'd spliced with syringes. And the people? They went around slaughtering these Little Sisters just to take their ADAM, that precious, precious substance I abhor.
Because so many Little Sisters were being killed another heinous creation was concocted by a Dr. Suchong. Big Daddies. Men were taken, their bodies and organs grafted to diving suits and their minds were neutralized, turning them to mindless slaves capable only of repair and labour and protecting Little Sisters. They cannot speak and these hulking abominations are always armed--whether with heavy artillery or a bloody drill for an arm!
Believe it or not, this has been accepted by Rapture's society. It's never felt right to me, but it's not my place to say anything about it either. Despite it all, people acted like it was a utopia after all. I don't know if they just ignore and numb themselves to the horror or if they really are that shallow, but it's wrong. No one cares as long as they're making money.
But as rich and poor became more evident, Frank Fontaine started charities and smuggling businesses for the underclass, making himself out to be the Underclass Messiah. I remember asking, "Mum, is Fontaine a Communist?" She didn't answer me. I don't think she really knew what Fontaine was up to either. He turned out to be a fake Messiah anyway. All he wanted was to overthrow Andrew Ryan and take the power for himself. He failed miserably and was killed in the revolt, leaving Andrew Ryan to take over the plasmid business.
Although Rapture was peaceful again, there was still unrest in the poor. Things were alright again.
Or so we thought.
Everything changed on New Year's Eve--just three months ago. A new bloke, called Atlas, rose and became the new Messiah for the underclass. And this time around, Andrew Ryan wasn't just fighting regular people. Atlas lead Splicers--maddened ADAM users--and Ryan started splicing his own forces until everywhere is just carnage. Andrew Ryan is becoming increasingly paranoid and has been publically hanging those connected to Fontaine and Atlas, or even just agree with their views. And sometimes he hangs people he just thinks are connected to Fontaine and Atlas.
This distresses my parents. They've done business transactions with Fontaine in the past (no splicing, of course--Mum always believed it was unnatural and that no good repercussions could come of it and boy, is she right) so they worry that our family may become a potential target. So for the past two months, Lou and I haven't gone to school and Dad hasn't gone to work. Mum and Dad tutor me and I teach Lou, but it's not the same. Mum and Dad try to shop as little as infrequent as possible and when they do they go to nondescript stores late at night and buy all the groceries they can at the time. Usually they are gone overnight and stay at the home of their friend, Rosie Campbell, who lives closer to that area of the city. In the case of emergency or if they do not come home by lunchtime the next day, I have strict instructions to find Dad's old fencing foil for protection and take Lou to the residence of our family friend, Macy Hughes. I don't like to think about something going wrong, but it is better to be safe with a plan than sorry and dead.
Anyways, Mum and Dad are going for food tonight and they are about to leave, so I'll end this entry here as I go to bid them farewell and wish them a safe return.