Bioshock Infinite Creative Writing Contest Winners

We announce the winners to our Bioshock Infinite Creating Writing Contest

by

The time has come to announce the winners to the GameSpot Bioshock Infinite creative writing contest. We asked users to delve deep into the beautiful world of Bioshock and come up with a short story. After collecting all of the entries and pouring through page after page of blogs GameSpot has finally determined their winners. rwc117 and partenie_marius

Bioshock Infinite: Prologue

By rwc117

In the pre-dawn light, even a place like Brooklyn seemed serene and peaceful. The soft purple sky heralded the arrival of the morning, the solitary sound of hooves clapping on pavement echoed through the streets, and without all the people hustling and bustling about their daily lives, the brownstones, buildings and lamp posts were deathly still, like the calm before the storm.

BOOM-BOOM-BOOM-BOOM

The loud, heavy knocks at his front door roused Alonzo Rossi from a dreamless sleep. Dazed but alert, he instinctively reached a hand under his pillow and felt the familiar heavy metal of his Browning 1903 pistol…. [read more.]

The Atlantis in the Sky

By partenie_marius

12th September, 11:35 p.m.

My name is Alistar Bloom and this is the first entry of my expedition. I am searching for Columbia, the City in the Sky. As the whole world knows, in March of 1981, a mysterious building was found high in the Alps. From the remains of the wreckage, it was deduced that the fallen object was part of Zachary H. Comstock's flying metropolis.

That was the first evidence in over 80 years. Somehow it felt unusual to me. Could it have been a technical malfunction that brought the flying tower down? If so, I don't think Columbia would leave such a trail behind. They are still wanted by the American government. Where they unable to clean their tracks? Was this an act of sabotage? I don't know yet. What I do know is this wasn't a random event. Call it a reporter's gut instinct, but something big is going to happen and I'm going to be the first to tell the world about it…. [read more]

Runners Up

While there were only two first place winners, we were so impressed with the amount of talent displayed during the contest that we added two Boys of Silence figures to be awarded to these fantastic writers:
- "The Lighthouse Keeper" by: justice2501
- "THE REPLACEMENT" by: kyleshamburg

Second Runner Up

A great piece that also deserves to be featured in its own light. Many of the judges felt that this piece clearly had a lot of heart and effort put into it. So we couldn't let him go away empty handed. So our second runner up will receive the psychology of dissent journal - saurabhfiction's three part submission.

Honorable Mentions

Last but not least, a very special thanks to our honorable mentions.
- Darkwrath016
- Kelsus
- kirbyjedi
- renpup
- robertlachlan
- Khartan
- seanmdotcogan
- blueboxdoctor
- pokecharm
- Krogan_Ballet
- Halcyon3210
- Booker_Dewitt
- InvalidLogin
- AnotsuStark
- WoodRatJack
- kentriz
- AGreyKnight
- Chainsofstrife
- MasterTheHero
- amf3988
- mgsfan104
- shadowdrummer99
- JoeManners
- vadicta
- MarkVills
- ripplep
- eaze2010
- TaoranPrince
- Clawofdeath25
- TimeTrotters
- g1rldraco7
- samclockwise
- Deathsim
- appleknight
- TheFrostWolf
- Sharpie125
- thomasmclean
- kentriz

Bioshock Infinite: Prologue

By Ryan C.

In the pre-dawn light, even a place like Brooklyn seemed serene and peaceful. The soft purple sky heralded the arrival of the morning, the solitary sound of hooves clapping on pavement echoed through the streets, and without all the people hustling and bustling about their daily lives, the brownstones, buildings and lamp posts were deathly still, like the calm before the storm.

BOOM-BOOM-BOOM-BOOM

The loud, heavy knocks at his front door roused Alonzo Rossi from a dreamless sleep. Dazed but alert, he instinctively reached a hand under his pillow and felt the familiar heavy metal of his Browning 1903 pistol. In one swift catlike motion, he slid out of bed, his bare feet making no sound on the cold wooden floor. He positioned himself with his back to the wall, just to the left of the door jamb, pistol in ready position.

Looking down at the dim light spilling under the bottom of the door, he could see two shadows, one for each leg. At least he was only dealing with one person. His mind raced to who could it be? The police? He quickly dismissed that notion. If it was the police, they would have busted right in, yanked him out of bed, and hauled him down to the station. Coppers might be a lot of things, but polite was not one of them.

Maybe it was someone from the Genovese family, come to do him up? Alonzo let that idea pass, because button men dont knock, either. After awhile, his landlord would have found him sleeping in bed with an icepick jammed into his skull, the only calling card of men whose trade is murder for hire. Who could it be?

His finger gently, slowly, agonizingly pulled back the hammer of the gun, as he challenged the presence at the door,"Who's there?"

"Alonzo, it's me, Tony. Zo, you gotta open up."

Alonzo made a sign of the cross with his gun still in hand, while exhaling a sigh of relief. Mio dio, he muttered to himself, as he opened up the door and Tony burst into his living room.

"Tony, what time is it? Did Gina throw you out again? What the hell's the matter that it couldn't wait til morning?"

"No, Gina and I are fine. Alonzo, I'm sorry, you know I'd never wake you like this, but I think we're in danger. Real danger."

Tony, all six-foot four of him, went over to the solitary window in the room, and peered up and down the street. He was a good looking man, with a scar running down his right cheek that he was self-conscious about. In his suit and coat, he looked like he just got back from a night out with the boys. Satisfied by what he saw, or by what he didnt see, Tony closed the curtains and turned to face Alonzo.

"Tell me something I dont know already," said Alonzo, adrenaline wearing off, sleepily rubbing his eyes. "We're a couple of soldati working for Boss Magaddino, in a city filled with robbers, thieves and even worse, honest cops. Were always in grave danger, paisano. Why are you so worked up tonight?"

"Zo, I was staying over at Ginas tonight. I love her, but her bed is hard as a rock, and it kills my back, so I got up and left her place about an hour ago. I get back to my place, walk in and the place is trashed. Torn to shreds, like a lion or a bear went through there."

"Jeez, Tony, Im really sorry about your place," Alonzo said, patting Tony on the shoulder. "But we live in New York, so unless there was a breakout at the Bronx Zoo, there aren't any bears or lions loose. My guess, its a couple of neighborhood kids, showing off. We'll ask around tomorrow, and find out who did it. A thing like that, someone's always got a big mouth."

"No, you dont understand," Tony pleaded. "I was going to tell you when I knew more about it, but we're in way over our heads. His hands were visibly shaking as he spoke, and with each passing second it made Alonzo more and more uneasy. "Do you remember that garment warehouse we shook down last week? The one where we had that accident with that guy?"

"The one out on Lombard, under our protection now? I ain't that old, that my memory is going to pieces. And if that stupid Polack foreman had just sat down and shaddap when we asked him too, there wouldnt have been any accidents that day. Another deadbeat lowlife that likes to play the numbers, and not pay whats due. Whats the big deal here?"

"Well before it was under our protection, it was under someone else's protection. Someone…something big."

"Who? LoMonte? Morello? So help me if it's that son of a bitch, Toto…"

"No, no, its none of the other families. They ain't like us. Everyone is too scared to talk, so all I've got is just bits and pieces"

"Who?" Alonzo barked, waving his gun in his hand for emphasis. "Maybe everyone else is too scared of them, but I ain't everyone. Tell me, so we can go pay them a visit tomorrow for redecorating your place."

Tony stood there, eyes wide and unblinking, and whispered, "They call themselves the Vox Populi."

"Voxa who? Never heard of em."

"Vox Populi. It's Latin, it means, Voice of the People. Zo, theyre real pissed about what we did, and they've been asking around about us. You and me. I couldn't find out any more than that."

"Latin, Greek, it could be Chinese for all I care. You listen to me, Antony Calvetti. We're in with one of the most powerful families that runs New York, which means we work for one of the most powerful families in the world. Unless we step outta line, we're untouchable in this city. We've got whole neighborhoods that would tear a man to pieces, if they so much as said a disrespectful word about your mother, God rest her soul. You packing?"

"Of course, but…"

"But nothing," Alonzo said, opening up his front door. "Go back home, clean up your place, and get some rest. I'll talk to some of the guys tomorrow, and we'll get this taken care of. If this Voce del Popolo wants a vendetta, you and me, we'll teach em the true meaning of the word."

Tony nodded his head in reluctant agreement, and walked out into the front hallway. Turning back to Alonzo, he warned,"Just keep an eye out for something, anything, that dont look right to you. I heard they aint got no honor or rules.

Without honor or rules, Alonzo said, shaking his head in disbelief, how powerful could they be?

Alonzo closed the door behind Tony, and waited until the click-clack of his footsteps had faded down the stairwell to lock the door. Just in case, he flipped the deadbolt shut too. There may be nothing to what Tony had to say, but there was also nothing to taking a little added precaution. If there was one piece of advice he picked up from the old timers in the family, is that they didnt get to be old timers by being careless or overconfident.

Exhausted, Alonzo plopped back down on the Murphy bed, staring straight up at the ceiling. Tony was a real tough guy, not easily intimidated. Down at P.J. Hanleys, out by the docks, he'd once seen Tony take on three longshoreman at once without breaking a sweat. One of them even pulled a knife, and so help me God, Tony just laughed at him. That and he broke the guys arm in three places.

If something had spooked Tony, then it had to be more serious than he was letting on. Alonzo could tell there was something he wasn't saying, something he was holding back about that Vox Populi outfit. Hed be sure to ask him about it that evening, at a more gentlemanly hour over dinner. Maybe if he…

The sound of gunfire erupting on the street below, shattered Alonzo's next thought completely.

 

Located next to the river, the long wooden warehouse looked no different than any of the others. Three stories tall, with a gently curved roof, men carried boxes from boats, back and forth through oversized doors, loading up horse-drawn wagons lined up at the side. It stunk to high heaven, but then again, everything that went on by the East River reeked in one way or another.

On the side facing the docks, at the top of the warehouse, was the foreman's office. Visible from the window was the Brooklyn Bridge, its rust-red spans a tribute to the engineering prowess and ingenuity of the American people. Seated quietly at a table with a stack of folders was a petite, yet tough looking black woman, idly flipping through a small pile of folders directly in front of her.

Daisy could hear Carl and his heavy boots, thumping up the metal stairs leading to her office. Before he had a chance to knock, she shouted through the closed door,"Come on in, Carl. Wipe your feet before you do."

Carl , a middle-aged mountain of man dressed in worn slacks, a brown vest, and white button-up with the sleeves rolled, looked genuinely surprised that Daisy anticipated his arrival. He drug his heavy boots on the mat outside the door, before taking the cap off his head, and entering. He looked around the room, as if to make sure they were alone, before speaking.

"Its done," he said matter-of-factly, in a heavy Polish accent. "We took care of the one named Tony. He went straight to the other one before we could get to him. He may already know we're coming."

A regretful smile played across Daisy's face for an instant. A look that read: so this is the world we live in.

"It was supposed to look like a hit from a rival family, so we wouldn't have to fight a war on two fronts," she exclaimed, pounding her hand on the desk. "Dammit, comrade, you've put us in a real bind. We can't afford to turn our attention away from the girl. One wrong move, and she slips through our fingers and all the work we've done here is lost." She gently massaged her temples before turning her gaze back on Carl, who seemed to have physically shrunk a few inches during her tirade.

"You know, maybe your failure can be good for the cause," she mused, Carl wincing at the word 'failure'. "Maybe we can use this Alonzo Rossi to get what we need out of our agent. What do we know about this Rossi, other than he likes to shake down honest laborers? Where is he from, does he have any family?"

Carl looked relieved for any way out as he promised Daisy,"We know very little, but by tomorrow, I will know the soul of this man, Rossi. I swear it."

"Good. We need someone with something to lose. And Carl?"

"Yes, Miss Fitzroy."

"If this man truly has nothing left to lose…" the silence hung heavy in the air, the fire in her eyes conveying everything unspoken.

"Yes, Miss Fitzroy. I understand, Miss Fitzroy," Carl said, bowing slightly as he backed out of the room and hurried down the steps.

Daisy was furious when she found out one of the businesses that supported to cause was being shaken down by common criminals. Here she was, trying to change, no, trying to fix the world, and these neighborhood thugs were busy fighting like dogs for scraps at their masters table. If she was to have any chance, however slim, of removing that snake Comstock from power, she was going to need all of the resources at her command. Not a portion, the rest siphoned off by these Sicilian leeches.

Besides, no matter what she seemed to do, that blasted Prophet was always one step ahead of her. Every single attempt made to infiltrate Columbia was thwarted before it got off the ground. Maybe this Rossi fellow is what she needed, a wild card they can use right under the so-called Prophets nose. Maybe. Then again, maybe not. Back to work.

She reopened the manila folder on her desk, resuming her study of the contents inside, photographs, telegraphs, and some handwritten letters. In typewriter script, on the filing tab, was the name: DeWitt, B.

Alonzo walked down the street, stopping at the front steps of Dizzy's Pub. Cigarette dangling from the side of his mouth, he looked up and down the street for anything unusual or amiss. Sensing nothing out of the ordinary, he tossed the cigarette onto the sidewalk, ground it with his foot, and went inside.

In contrast to the concrete impersonal streets of New York, Dizzy's was charming, inviting, and friendly. The tables were all covered in red checker tablecloths, the brass fixtures all freshly polished, and dapper looking couples dined, laughed and enjoyed one anothers company.

Sitting at a semi-circular table in the back of the room, were a half-dozen well dressed men. At first blush, it looked no different from any other table. If you were keen and observant, however, you would notice that nobody looked directly at them, or if they did, it was a quick, furtive glance. Also, the service at Dizzy's wasnt exactly the greatest in the world, but for this particular table it seemed every waiter in the joint pitched in to keep the food and drink coming nonstop, and the table clear as soon as it was gone.

Alonzo's arrival caught the attention of a thick necked man in a white suit and red tie seated in the center of that table, and the man beckoned Alonzo to come over. He obliged.

"Don Meggadino, its good to see you," Alonzo said, respectfully. "How're the meatballs tonight?"

"Good, Alonzo, real good. If my wife could cook half as well as Dizzy, I'd probably be as big as Sal over here," he joked, pointing his thumb at the largest man sitting on the end of the booth.

"Don," Sal smirked. "Meatballs aren't going to make you as big as me where it counts!"

The entire table of men erupted in laughter, and although Alonzo politely laughed along, his face quickly shifted back to a more serious expression.

"Alonzo," Don said, "that mug you're wearing tells me you're here about more than meatballs. Speak your mind."

"Don Meggadino, I apologize for interrupting your dinner to talk business. I know you heard about what happened to Tony yesterday."

"I did hear. A good kid too. A real earner. We're going to find the son-of-a-bitch rat bastard that did this to him, and make him regret he was ever born. Rocco?"

A large man stuffed into a suit, with slicked back hair and large bulbous features sitting next to Don Meggadino, raised an eyebrow in acknowledgement.

"Rocco, I want you to make sure that everything is taken care of regarding arrangements for Tony. Swing by his family, let them know that our famiglia, is their famiglia," Don said, using the old world term for it.

Rocco nodded thoughtfully. "Consider it done, Don."

"Alonzo, you know we always take care of our own. See, you got nothing to worry about. They're already taken care of."

"Thank you Don, thats very generous of you," and he truly meant it. "But before Tony died, he came to my apartment to tell me that someone trashed his place and was coming after him. After him, and me."

"Who, Alonzo?" the Don asked, his face becoming as expressive as granite. "Do you know who did this?"

"Don Meggadino, I know this is going to sound pazzo, but Tony said some group named Vox Populi was seeking revenge for shaking down that warehouse out on Lombard last week. From what he said, they're like a secret society or cult or something."

The men at the table all stopped eating, stopped drinking, and drilled their eyes into Alonzo with unreadable expressions. The seconds felt like hours, the only sounds in Alonzo's ears were the clinking of glasses, the shouting of waiters, and the steady buzz of conversation.

Then they all started laughing. Maybe it was the wine, maybe it was the absurdness of the claim, but they all started laughing as if this was the funniest thing they ever heard.

"Alonzo, I'm sorry about what happened to Tony. I really am, but there ain't no secret society or cult trying to bump us off. Believe me, I can name for you four not-so-secret societies, trying to do the same thing. That warehouse you're talking about? It used to be run by the Gambinos, for crying out loud. Zo, I promise you were going to make them pay but c'mon. Secret societies? Dont be a pagliaccio. Come, sit down, have a drink or two."

Although Alonzos face and body language gave off the impression that nothing was wrong, inside his mind he was beyond furious. Pagliaccio? He wanted nothing more than to whip out his pistol, slap it across that smug man's face, and show him whos a clown. To do that, however, would be like committing suicide not only for him, but maybe even that of his older brother, Francis.

Francis…the respectable shopkeeper who wanted nothing to do with his lowlife, criminal of a little brother, would end up floating in the East River because of Alonzo's short temper. No, he couldn't let that happen to family, no matter how much of an uptight prick he was. He forced a smile and a laughed.

"Don, I'm just telling you what I heard. They shot him on the street like a dog, I couldnt imagine anyone with a shred of honor doing that."

"Zo, zo, zo. Those Gambinos wouldn't know honor if it fell out of the sky and landed in their Ziti." More laughter. "Trust me, well find them."

"Thank you, Don. I mean no disrespect, but I gotta be going. Please give my regards to your family." Alonzo shook the Don's hand, gave a nod of acknowledgment to the rest of the men at the table, and left the restaurant, wounded and raging, his soul on fire.

Standing on the sidewalk outside Dizzys, Alonzo was in no mood to walk, talk or be civilized. How dare they laugh at him like he's some kind of joke? A horse-drawn cab was slowly headed down the street in front of him, and Alonzo gave a wave of his hand to flag it down. He hated riding in the back of these things, but right now, he needed to get to Fulton Street quickly and get access to that warehouse.

The big horse and buggy came to a halt in front of Alonzo. The cab driver, a large mustached gentleman dressed in a grey suit with black bowler, hopped down from his seat at the back of the carriage, and opened the door for him.

"Right this way, sir," the cabbie boomed. "And where might we be headed this evening?"

"Lombard Street," Tony growled, as he settled into the plush seat of the coach.

"Right away, sir!" he barked, as the whip in his hand thwacked against the hind quarters of the horse, propelling the carriage briskly down the street.

The whole ride, Alonzo kept thinking about what Tony had told him before he died. Vox populi. Voice of the people. There was something about the name that was bothering him. People. Why the people? It was literally the exact opposite of the way the families of New York were set up.

As long as hed been an associate, he'd always reported to someone, who reported to someone else, on up the line. There was always a boss, to keep order, to provide direction, to keep things running smoothly. If there wasnt a boss, the whole system would turn into chaos, murder or even anarchy. He may not like the boss, but they needed him. Or did they?

At the end of the day, the operations were run by the people. From the legit business owners who gave them their tributes, to the people on the street who would witness a murder in broad daylight and tell the cops nothing. We needed those people more than they needed us. Ordinary everyday people. All the crime families, like the Morellos, Gambinos did, was find a way to harness the power in the ordinary citizen…but only if you had enough of them.

The glue holding it together was fear and respect, and if there was some other group out there that could inspire more of one or the other…then the Don was a fool to ignore it. If there was a group that was organizing people, then that could put an end to the way things worked and the way things worked was good for Alonzo.

Exhausted by the events of the day, he rested his head back against the velvet headrest of the cab, and closed his eyes as the carriage plodded forward towards Lombard Street. Half awake, half asleep, he could feel each bump in the pavement along the way. He drifted off at some point, and only came out of it as the cab came to a halt at its destination.

As he blinked open his tired, weary eyes, the big cabbie was standing over him, handkerchief in hand.

"How much do I owe you?" Alonzo asked sleepily.

"Nothing at all," the man said, as he put the foul-smelling handkerchief over Alonzo's mouth and nose.

Tied to a chair, with a burlap bag over his head, Alonzo slowly drifted back to consciousness. Although he couldn't see clearly, he could see faint outlines, hear the rustle of footsteps, and knew he wasn't alone.

"I see youre awake, Mr. Rossi," a soft female voice said. "So glad you could join us from your little nap."

"I don't know who you are, or what you want," he blustered,"but youre making a big mistake." He tugged at his bonds, but found them perfectly tied.

"People who make big mistakes, Alonzo, get tied to chairs with bags over their head. It seems that you're the one who's made a big mistake. One so big, it could even cost a man his life."

Silence. Alonzo continued to tug his arms and legs to get free, but he was held securely.

The female voice laughed heartily. "Keep struggling. If you want to tie a knot, get a dockworker to do it for you."

"So kill me already, like you did with Tony. Or don't you have the balls."

"No, I guess I don't have the…balls." The unmistakable sound of a gun cocking, was the only sound in the room. "But I do have the will. The will to kill you, stuff you in a barrel of concrete, and then drop you off a pier never to be heard from again."

"Talk is cheap, and dead is dead. You can stick my body in a cannon and shoot me to the moon if you want."

"I'll tell you what I might do, instead, " the female voice said coolly. "After you're at the bottom of the river, I might just start spreading rumors about how you went rat, and dimed out every lowlife you ever met, all the way up to your precious Don. I wonder what he would do to your brother Franics, if he thought that happened? Francis Rossi, your brother who lives on 1337 Fulton St."

He'd be dead. Dead in under a week, Alonzo knew. The family could take a lot of things, but a rat was not one of them.

"Do I have your full attention now, Mr. Rossi? Or do I need to kill you to earn it?"

Alonzo had been threatened by a lot of people over the years, but all of them were men. The ones that shouted or were loud never amounted to anything; it was always chest puffing or posturing. When the person saying it delivered the threat like they were discussing the weather or the baseball scores…you ignored it at your own risk.

"You have my attention," he said, sullen.

"Good. Here's what I propose. If you do this thing for me, this one job, then I'm willing to forget about your shakedown operation here in Brooklyn. I'm willing to forget about your brother Francis. I'm willing to forget that I would love nothing more than to pull this trigger right now and fill that bag with your brains. So tell me, Alonzo Rossi. Do I have my man?"

Whoever this woman was, this silver-tongued devil, she had left Alonzo with no choice unless he wanted to set fire to his world, and his brother's as well. What was worse, is that he couldn't even count on Don Meggadino's help without putting his own life in danger. What was he going to tell him, that he fell asleep in a cab, got kidnapped and threatened by a woman who belonged to that same secret society him and his capos thought was nothing but a hilarious joke?

"A job? Couldn't you get one of your hired goons to do it?" Alonzo challenged.

"If I needed someone tied to a chair and beaten, I could have them do it. I need someone able to persuade. Shake someone down, so to speak. Yes or no, Mr. Rossi. Give me your answer. Now."

He was itching and sweating under the makeshift hood, but he could make out a faint outline of the woman speaking to him in front of him. She was standing rock still, and he guessed she was holding a gun. He was right.

"Si, si. I'll do it. What do you need?"

"There is a man in this city. A brutal man, like yourself, but very important to us. I need you speak to him, make him a deal, and he must accept it."

"Thats it? That's what you need me to do?"

"This man owes us a great deal."

"This is about money? Are you kidding me?"

The metal of the pistol, was unforgiving as it struck the back of Alonzos head hard. It hurt like hell, and he couldnt do a thing about it.

"Does it sound like I'm kidding?"

"Ah, jeez. Fine, fine. If he doesn't pay up , do you want me to throw him off the Brooklyn Bridge too?"

"We dont want him to pay up. We want him to accept an alternative offer. An offer that if he doesn't accept, Mr. Rossi, you might want to consider throwing yourself off the Brooklyn Bridge first."

"But wha…"

Just as he was beginning to speak, Daisy grabbed the back of his head with one hand and jammed the barrel of the pistol into his mouth, the taste of burlap and gun oil dominating his senses.

"No harm will come to this man, Mr. Rossi. He has a considerable debt with us, a considerable debt that can be repaid only by doing this for us. Unless you want me to blow your head off, you had better make him understand that. Do you understand? Shake your head yes if you do."

Alonzo shook his head slowly in the affirmative.

"There is a girl that is very important to us, being held against her will. This man, Booker DeWitt, using whatever methods he deems necessary, will go and set her free. We have two contacts waiting for him at Grand Trunk Station, in Portland, Maine, that he will rendezvous with. They will take him to the drop-off point and provide him with the necessary equipment. Here," she said, shoving something into his jacket pocket, "is the train ticket in Mr. DeWitts name. If he agrees to those terms, and boards that train, all is forgiven and you live. If not," she pressed the gun slightly deeper into his mouth and said nothing more.

Just as quickly, the pressure on his head was released, and the gun removed from his mouth.

"Do you have any questions?"

"He didnt. One day he'd find out who was doing this to him, and have his revenge. But for as long as he could remember he'd been taking orders, and right now the smart move was to do what he was told.

""Where can I find this Booker DeWitt?

"His office is at 212 West 2nd Street, 3rd floor. He runs a private detective agency. If I were you, I'd visit him as soon as possible. Good day, Mr. Rossi."

Which was the last thing Alonzo heard, before being knocked unconscious.

 

The sounds of the surf gently lapping against the sand, and seagulls crying out to each other, woke Alonzo up from his sleep. It was not a pleasant transition.

Lying on the beach, his suit covered in sand, his head felt like it had been hit by a baseball bat. For all he knew it was. Sitting up, he patted himself down. He still had his billfold, but his pistol was gone. Standing up, he looked around to get his bearings, and the boardwalk quickly let him know where he was. Coney Island. He even knew why they dumped him here. De Witts office was only a few blocks away.

DeWitts building was very easy for Alonzo to find. He'd spent the past few blocks shaking sand off of his suit, and although he still looked a bedraggled mess, he had improved his appearance considerably. The building was a four-story job, brick, with a few scraggly bushes and some flowers planted out front. A wooden sign hanging by the door read, 'Booker Dewitt Investigations Into Matters Both Public & Private - 3rd floor'. Bingo.

Rossi entered, and made his way slowly up the stairs. His head still throbbed, and his neck was sore from sleeping on the sand, but other than that he was fine. The sound of his expensive shoes on the stairs, seemed to be the only sound in the building. Finally he reached the third floor, and walked into the building's main hallway.

It was well lit, with a tile floor and plaster walls that made every sound he made echo. At the end of the hallway, was a wooden door, with a frosted glass panel with a stencil that read exactly the same as the wooden sign on the buildings front: Booker Dewitt Investigations Into Matters Both Public & Private. He went over to the door, and turned the knob. It was open.

"Hello, Mr. DeWitt?" Alonzo peered his head inside.

A brown-haired man was face down at his desk, surrounded by bottles and glasses.

"Oh no, you gotta be kidding me," Rossi exclaimed as he ran over to the desk to check on him. Please don't let DeWitt be dead.

"Whuzzah, who," DeWitt mumbled, much to Alonzo's relief. Bookers eyes opened wild and wide, as he pulled a revolver seemingly out of nowhere and shoved it in Rossi's face. "What do you want!" he exclaimed.

This was starting to become a really annoying habit, Alonzo thought.

"Easy, fellah. I mean you no harm," he said, hands raised. "The name's Rossi."

"I dont know any Rossis" said Booker, unsteadily.

"Well you do now. My name is Alonzo Rossi. Can you please lower the gun, I'm here about a job."

In that instant, the look on DeWitts face changed, as if he suddenly remembered who he was and what he did for a living.

"Sorry, friend. I just…forget about it. My apologies." Booker opened up a desk drawer and put the gun inside the desk. "Let me make it up to you, can I get you a drink?" he asked, as he grabbed the nearest non-empty bottle and poured a generous glass of whiskey for himself. Booker looked at Rossi's suit and remarked,"You look like you had a rough night."

"You too, Mr. DeWitt, and no thank you. My head is pounding enough already. Please just let me do what I gotta do, and then we can both be on our way."

This interested Booker. "Speak, then."

"Ive been hired," Alonzo said, choosing his words carefully,"to contract you for a special job. A recovery."

"Recovery of what?"

"Recovery of who. It's a person."

"Yeah, see, I don't do those anymore. Those are too tricky Mr. Rossi."

"Why is that, Mr. DeWitt? It's a paying job."

"I'm sure. See, the tricky thing about recovering people, is that they can walk where they like. And unless I handcuff them, or tie them up, they tend to walk right back to where I found them in the first place."

"Its a dame."

"I'd be more surprised if it wasn't. I'm afraid I can't help you, sir. Might I suggest your employer move on, and fall in love with a different girl."

"If you do this," Rossi countered, placing the train ticket on the desk in front of Booker. "If you do this, my employer is willing to wash away your debts. Which I understand are considerable."

DeWitts face shifted imperceptibly, as he looked the man up and down.

"Does your employer routinely hire gangsters to deliver his threats?"

"To be honest, I have no idea who he or she hires, Mr. DeWitt. What I do know is that the people I work for, are dangerous people. I dont know how much you got yourself into them for, but if I were you, I'd take this job. This is quite literally," he said nodding at the paper on the desk,"your ticket out of this."

Booker examined the destination on the ticket.

"Portland, Maine?" he mused out loud, gulping down the shot of whiskey in one smooth motion.

"Once you arrive, you will meet with my employers contacts, and anything else is none of my business. They'll fill you in on all the details…I'm just the messenger."

"Doesn't your employer believe in Western Union?" DeWitt noted, pouring himself another shot.

"I will tell you what my employer does believe in," Rossi said, turning his back so Booker could see the back of his head. The matted blood from where he was struck, still visible in Rossis hair. "If you still got half a brain in that whiskey filled head of yours, youd be smart to be on the first train to Maine."

The two men stared at each other. DeWitt was the first to break the silence asking, "All of it? Every cent of what I owe will be cleared?"

"That's what they told me: Wipe away the debt. Listen Mr. DeWitt, when I'm not getting kidnapped by whoever you owe money to, I spend my own time collecting debts for another group of people. Vicious, cold people. Let me assure you, Booker, that the people I normally work for would rather cut off your fingers before forgiving one red cent of what you owed them. Because once you owe somebody, that somebody owns you and they can do with you whatever they want. I was sent here to give you a way out of this, unless you want to get killed, that is."

Rossi could see Bookers jaw firmly set, but something in that speech reached him. What it was, he would probably never know.

"So what are you getting out of this?" asked Booker.

"If I get you to board that train, then I get to live too. So please do me a solid favor, and lets not get you, me and possibly this broad in Maine killed, and just do whatever the hell they're asking of you."

Booker picked up the ticket, and slumped back in his chair to inspect it.

"At least it's First Class."

"Only the best. Can I take it you're interested?"

"I'm interested. You can tell them that."

"Thank you, Mr. DeWitt. With a little luck, maybe we can both live to be old men."

"With a little luck," DeWitt said without enthusiasm.

Rossi half-smiled, nodded, and started to leave the room, when he turned to Booker one last time,"I am asking you to get on that train, DeWitt. But if you dont get on that train, then I'm as good as dead, but not before I find a way to take you with me. Nothing personal, its just business."

Booker toasted his glass in the direction of Alonzo Rossi, and pounded his shot.

"To business."

 

BOOM-BOOM-BOOM

The brownstone door opened partway, the only part of Daisy visible was her face. Carl tipped his cap to her, and said in a low voice,"Rossi visited Mr. DeWitt this morning."

Daisy took a second to consider it. "Keep an eye on Booker. If he doesnt get on that train by tomorrow afternoon, I want you to pay him a visit."

Carl nodded. "What about Rossi?"

"Hes a loose end. Tie it up."

I thought he was forgiven?

"Nothing inspires revenge, quite like forgiveness, Carl." Her eyebrows furrowed and her expression hardened, "Now get it done, comrade, and let me know when DeWitt boards that train."

And with that, Daisy slammed shut the door.

The Atlantis in the Sky

By partenie_marius

12th September, 11:35 p.m.

My name is Alistar Bloom and this is the first entry of my expedition. I am searching for Columbia, the City in the Sky. As the whole world knows, in March of 1981, a mysterious building was found high in the Alps. From the remains of the wreckage, it was deduced that the fallen object was part of Zachary H. Comstock's flying metropolis.

That was the first evidence in over 80 years. Somehow it felt unusual to me. Could it have been a technical malfunction that brought the flying tower down? If so, I don't think Columbia would leave such a trail behind. They are still wanted by the American government. Where they unable to clean their tracks? Was this an act of sabotage? I don't know yet. What I do know is this wasn't a random event. Call it a reporter's gut instinct, but something big is going to happen and I'm going to be the first to tell the world about it.

Since that day, people have been trying to find the lost city. A new Atlantis was born in the minds of both amateur and professional adventurers alike. If Andrew Ryan took the Greek myth more literally when he built his sunken city of Rapture in 1951, Columbia is more like Icarus and I think the day when its wings will melt is coming.

For over 5 years now, I have been tracking any rumours, any sightings, anything remotely related to the flying city. Most of the Columbian Seekers think it's somewhere over the mountains in Tibet, hidden between the cloudy peaks of the Himalayas. From the evidence I managed to gather, I think the city follows a certain pattern. Such a huge city could not be hidden on a clear sky. It must move with natural phenomena, such as rain clouds, and fly far from any populated areas. From three years' worth of weather reports and very few eyewitness accounts, I may have found out its trajectory. In a few days, it will be flying over the lush rainforests of Indonesia. Heavy rain has been announced and in South Vietnam some locals reported seeing a giant bat, but I think it was the songbird. When hunting for something that wants to stay hidden, small odds is all you get.

Let them search the mountains; I'm going to have the best view.

 

17th February, 09:05 p.m.

I did it! I have found it! I found Columbia!

But it didn't go as well as I had hoped. This place is beyond imagination. I am changing with every waking moment. I can feel it in my bones. Something is grinding away at my sanity.

I feel the urge to continue my journal. This is the only way to document my experience here, even if it's only on a piece of white paper. Some evidence of my existence must stay behind. I don't think I'll make it out of here alive. Even if I am wrong, I won't be as I once was. This city scars you for life.

It's been more than 5 weeks since I got here. Though I stopped writing in my journal after my first entry, I shall continue from the day I landed in this godforsaken place.

In the middle of January, I rented a plane and started chasing rain clouds over Southern Greenland. I circled the clouds for over three hours, but I couldn't find anything. My fuel indicator showed that I should get back to the airport, having only a quarter of my fuel. It was my tenth try to find Columbia. As I was about to give up, a strange beam of light started piercing through the black clouds. In a moment of instinct, I knew this was once in a lifetime chance. If I went towards the light, I wouldn't be able to return. But this was a story worth throwing my life away for. So, I steered my airplane into the clouds. After a few minutes of blind flying, I emerged on the other side.

Then, right before my eyes, was Columbia. My personal Holy Grail. Slightly under my plane, a vast city was floating in the sky. It was beautiful. I kept flying around aimlessly. A building could appear in front of my plane and I would have crashed into it without noticing it. The city had my full attention. I was mesmerized.

As I was taking in the thrill of my discovery, I heard a thunderous scream. My survival instinct kicked in and woke me up from my lucid dream. I knew it wasn't a friendly greeting. I looked frantically around for the source, but I couldn't find it. Something was stirring in me. A subtle uneasiness. Then a sudden loud noise came from the left of my plane. I was losing control of my flight. I looked in the side mirror. Some big black thing was destroying the back of the fuselage. It's all still a haze. I don't remember many details about the accident, but what I saw was a giant winged beast tearing at the airplanes tail. I now realize that it must have been the songbird.

I tried to steer the plane, but I was unable to do so. The hydraulic system was dead. The airplane was steadily gaining altitude. I was breathing erratic. My hands were sweating and holding tight to the steering wheel. The uneasiness became fear and panic. Overcome by them and a rush of adrenaline, my body moved without my consent. I pushed the automated S.O.S. button. Next, I quickly got up from my seat and took a parachute and my bag. My heart was pounding. I thought it would burst open through my chest and then explode. With my hands still shacking, I opened the airplanes door and waited for the right moment to…

 

18th February, 11:35 a.m.

Yesterday I heard a noise from the floor below. I grabbed my things and went to check. I didn't find anyone out there, but I moved regardless. This eerie city is no place to take any risks.

To continue my arrival in Columbia: I jumped out of the plane and I pulled the parachute's ripcord, but it didn't open. I desperately pulled until the ring system broke of along with my parachute. Fear, panic, everything went away. I knew I was going to die at that moment. But life didn't flash in front of my eyes. It didn't have enough time. While I was realizing my impending doom, the reserve parachute automatically opened and I lost consciousness. I don't know what caused the blackout. Was it the sudden physical shock or the relief of not dying? Nonetheless, I was at the mercy of the wind.

As I regained consciousness, I could smell grass. I opened my eyes slowly and started looking around. I was hanging upside down from a tree branch, a short distance above the ground. I started breathing fast, somewhat overjoyed that I was still alive.

While I was looking around, the first thing I saw was a noose dropping down from a nearby branch. A bad omen I thought, but it didn't give the scare you would imagine. The fall took all my energy. I couldn't even react to such a sight. No one would commit suicide in such a place, so the noose must have been used for public executions. For an advanced city, that seemed rather… primitive.

I turned my attention elsewhere. All around me I could see Columbia. But it wasn't the magnificent view I imagined before I arrived or the mystic sight I saw from above. I turned around in dismay until I got dizzy. The buildings are old and in bad condition. Smashed windows, bent light posts and smoking machines were all around me. Everything is in ruins. My heart started beating faster with a crushing sensation. The shock of the landing and the disappointment of my find were taking a toll on my sanity.

Although, it all started as a normal journalistic story, the fascination for this place grew with every piece of information I found. It grew until all I could think about was Columbia. I dreamt of my arrival here. I dreamt of fame and glory. But at that moment, I realized my plan had failed and I couldn't even get back home.

I pulled the release system and fell to the ground. It got up on my knees and with my hands wide opened I started screaming with tremendous rage. I stood there, breathing heavily and in disbelief. Screaming again when I got the strength. My expectations were shattered, but I had lived. I never felt such opposing feelings at the same time. My face was trying to express a new emotion. It was going back and forth from fiery eyes and angered eyebrows to a huge grin and laughing. And then, tears came pouring out of my eyes.

As I was about to lose all logic, a thought came to me. There was a way. This was a flying city. What goes up must come down. It moved freely in the sky. I could, in theory, fly it back to America and land. "Alistar Bloom - returning Columbia home". Yes, that would be an excellent title. I had a new goal. Sanity started to return back to me. A new force was flowing through my veins. A determination I have never felt before. The will of a madman. I felt like nothing could stop me. But, first I must get my barring and explore the city. I must do my research in order to write my Pulitzer winning article.

After coming to my senses, I got up. As I took a few steps backward, I hit my boot on something. I quickly turned around. Below my sight was a giant machine. It was a robot. Very human in its design, but the head was missing. I examined it carefully. The inside was hollow. Could someone fit in this weird contraption? It had a round hole in the middle of the torso. It looked like it was covered by a glass cover, but it was shattered. It also had clothes. I unbuttoned its vest and underneath, it read: "Bettermens Auto Body".

While I was looking at the mechanized corpse, I heard the thunderous scream that caused my plane crash. The songbird was back. I remembered the fear from before, but this time I was the one in control of my movements. I run through the park to the nearest building I saw. I went upstairs and crawled into a corner somewhere, grinding my teeth and shaking my body in fear, until I fell asleep.

 

19th February, 9:05 p.m.

I was woken up by the scream of the songbird. I looked carefully out the window. Its gaze is always fixed on the ground, zigzagging between the clouds and the buildings, looking for something. I just hope it isn't me.

I haven't left the building I ran into on the first day. I will stay here until I have a plan of action. I have managed to get by using my own supply of food and what I could find around. This place looks like a small hotel of sorts. It has a reception and a bar. Upstairs are 4 rooms. I found plenty of food in the kitchen. But it will eventually run out.

For the past few weeks, I couldn't see anyone else around. Except for the songbird. Did the people of Columbia really abandon their city? What cataclysm befell this place?

 

22nd February, 08:10 p.m.

The strangeness and marvel of this place grows with each day that passes. The buildings float on giant reactors. Without anyone around, how can they keep running? What is their power source? Could the city descent from the heavens to refuel itself? Or are they using some kind of miracle energy?

But, the most intriguing thing is a building left of the hotel. Upstairs, I have found the most unnatural sight I ever saw. It is something out of Asimov's imagination. A fluid like door. On the other side I could see the Eiffel Tower. I saw Paris and people walking on the streets. I screamed at them. Nothing. They ignored me. I picked up a chair and threw it at the portal, but it didn't go through. It bounced back like it hit a wall of water. Then I saw their clothes. They were early 20th century items. What I saw wasn't just another place. It was another time as well. But how can that be? I have seen some weird military experiments during my life as a reporter, but this place… this city defies everything I know. Everything is a reflection of Comstock's twisted and brilliant mind. "A man before his time" the newspapers called him. Maybe it was more literal than anyone of them thought.

 

26th February, 10:30 a.m.

I have finished the last of my food supplies. I will have to search for more. I must go out there, where that monster is constantly flying. I had many nightmares about it. It is chasing me and when I'm near its grasp, I wake up breathing heavy, sweating and with a pounding heart.

I studied the beasts flight path and I know in what patterns it moves. At noon, I have 40 minutes to get across the park. I will not return here. Staying put will not save me. I must find a way to escape from here. The isolation and silence of this place is maddening for anyone, especially for someone raised in the noise of the city. I only get good night's rest while the police sirens echo in the night.

I hope someone got my S.O.S. message and is looking for me. I also left some documents regarding my quest at the airport in case I didn't return. I hope the Greenland authorities gave a crap about their plane and notified the American government.

As it seems I don't have any other choice, I must explore the city. I must find a way of flying this sky prison. I will leave these journal pages here. If someone finds them, I hope it will not be too late for me. I saw a market across the park. It had food stalls in front. I'm heading there when I get the first chance. I'll continue leaving more notes behind.

May whoever finds these pages have more luck than me in this godforsaken city before it starts falling out of the sky!

 

This is my entry for the BioShock Infinite Creative Writing Contest.



THE REPLACEMENT

By kyleshamburg

1890 Wounded Knee Colonel James Forsyth surrounded the encampment supported by four Hotchkiss guns. They nearly wiped out a whole tribe of Lakota Sioux all because of a Lakota Sioux man named Black Coyote. He was a trouble maker that waived his rifle, declaring that he had given money for it and no one was going to take it unless he was paid. When He and another Lakota Sioux named Turning Hawk wrestled with the rifle it went off and started the war. Later after the battle Turning Hawk said that, "Black Coyote was one crazy pony and he was always up to no good."

1912 The Sky City of Columbia was owned by Zachary Comstock. Every dead beat, low life and officer was on his payroll. Every Bookie, or thug that wanted to make a buck went to Zachary for a job. Pitch Fork was a hired gun from Zachary Comstock. He was sent down from New Columbia in search of a shooter named Plunger. Similar in looks to the Handyman in Columbia City, Plunger was an ugly brute that bullied everyone for cash. He played poker and won more than he lost. He didn't always play fair. He had built in contraptions up his sleeves that held cards that magically appeared in his hand when he needed a better one. He plays at the White Key Saloon off in a little dusty town below Columbia.
Turning Hawk a Lakota Sioux was searching for the white man that was at Wounded Knee. Turning Hawk enters the saloon and sits next to Booker DeWitt. Turning Hawk looks at Bookers Medal of Honor that lies on the table. Booker is using his medal in means of payment to be part of the poker game. Booker Dewitt was a gambler, but not a very good one. Lucky for him he is a better shooter. Turning Hawk, "That's a pretty shiny medal." Booker, "If you want it you need to play for it." Turning Hawk, "It wouldn't look good on me, but I could tell interesting stories of how I got it. I could tell my people that I killed a white man and took it from him. What can you tell me about Wounded Knee?" Booker, "I don't want to talk about it. (Booker reaches for his gun) Are we going to have a problem?" Turning, "No, there is no problem. I just don't think you should give it up. You survived… Booker interrupts Turning Hawk, You do not speak to me about things you dont know about! Turning Hawk, "I know plenty; you were given that medal because of a massacre that took out a lot of my people." Plunger interrupts, "Ladies please, lets play the game or you can just save yourself some time and give me the money Booker! Pay off your debt. I am going to bleed it out of you if you lose. No point of still crying over a few reds and you! I don't play with your kind, so get out!"
Pitch Fork came into the saloon and passes two old guys drinking whiskey. He over hears them talking about how wonderful it would be to live up high in the clouds, to be near God and live out the remainder of life. They talk about the city in the sky like it's Heaven. Pitch smirks and thinks if they only knew of the hell that is up there. Pitch lost his hand as an example from Comstock. Pitch was trying to defect to the other side. He stole some plans of Comstocks. Comstock found out. Comstock, "steal from me and lose a hand! Now go back to the hole that you came from and get me a replacement." Pitch can still feel the pain in his wrist as he stood next to Plunger who was at the table with Booker and Turning Hawk. Turning Hawk was just leaving and He goes outside and waits by the door. He needs to tell Booker something, but it can wait. Plunger looks at Pitch Fork and says, Do you bring money? Yes, Pitch says while shaking his head away from the memory of the pain. Plunger, "Then you're my kind of player."
Pitch takes a seat. "Do you want me to get you a salad for your hand?" Plunger mentions to Pitch. What? Your hand looks like something found at a dinner table. Put that thing away before you poke an eye out. Pitch puts his hand behind his back in embarrassment. He was too intimidated to say something back to Plunger.
Booker has a couple flashbacks of Wounded Knee. It was total chaos with gun fire and people with their guts ripped open. The stench of bodies filled the air that attracted a swarm of flies. Booker was shooting anything with a heartbeat, he couldn't tell anyone apart at times with the smoke and gunfire from the Hotchkiss guns. He sees an Indian waiving his rifle off in the distance before the massacre started…. Plunger, "Hey Pinkerton, snap out of it! Lets play." The image of the Indian fades away and Booker is back in the smokey saloon and now staring at Plunger. They played their game and near the end Booker noticed the little machine inside of Plungers sleeve. Booker, "You're a piece of work, you've been cheating this whole time?" (Booker reaches for his gun under the table, Plunger ketches this and shoots out from under his sleeve one of his mechanical gadgets that has a claw at the end of it and it grabs Bookers gun. Plunger stands up knocking the table and all the chips and cards off including Bookers medal.
The medal goes sliding out by the door. Turning Hawk picks it up. Plungers claw throws the gun into the air and out the door. Booker takes a swing at Plungers chest and it felt like hitting a steel wall. Booker holds his hand and tries to shake off the pain. "What do you have under your shirt?" Plunger lifts up his shirt to reveal an iron door from a stove embedded in his chest. Booker, "You are a piece of work." Booker picks up a chair and smashes it across Plungers head. It didn't have any effect on him. Plunger taps his head with Pitch Fork's hand and you could hear metal on metal. Pitch, "Hey!" Pitch takes his makeshift hand back. Plunger, "I have a tin plate up there Pinkerton." Booker, "That explains your looks." Plunger, "That tares it!" Plunger plunges forward towards Booker, but Booker side steps and lets the raging bull take it outside. Booker, "Bully!" Booker follows because the fight isn't over. It's going to take more than that to take out this brute. Turning Hawk was still outside by the door holding Bookers gun. Pinkerton, here's your gun. Booker takes it, but Plunger was already up on his feet. He grabbed Booker by the neck and held him in the air and then through him. Plunger looked at Turning Hawk. Plunger, "I told you to leave! It was a big mistake that you are still here. It will cost you your life." Plunger punches Turning Hawk in the chest. Plunger, "I will take you back down memory lane of Wounded Knee!" My soul is ready for the white horse to take me away, Turning says with a winded breath. I will be with my people and we will rain down on you. Cold rain with hard hammer strikes upon thee. You will feel my wraith come down on you with lighting speed. I am ready… are you? Plunger takes both of his hands and squeezes Turning Hawks head until it cracks. Turning Hawk falls to the ground. A gun shot rings out from behind Plunger. Plunger falls to his knees and plants his face into the dirt. Booker walks up to him and kicks at him to see if he is dead. Plunger doesn't move. Booker sees his medal in Turning Hawks hand. Booker goes over to retrieve it and then gets startled by Turning Hawk. Turning Hawk gasps for his last breath and his final words Turning Hawk, "Fear no guilt about Wounded Knee, storms may come and wipe out lives, but without weather we have no rain for the new corn of life. The storm is coming." Then it started to rain and it was a cold rain. Plunger starts yelling behind Booker, I'm going to get you!"
Booker, "No way!" Booker turns around at the same time a bright flash from the sky like a thunder bolt shoots Plungers body. Sparks fly off of his metal plate in his head and the iron door on his chest Plunger, "Noooo! I am not ready!" Plungers body is gone and so is Turning Hawks. Lucky for Pitch Fork the lighting was only attracted to Plunger.
Pitch, "That wasn't odd at all was it?" Booker, "No, not at all." Pitch, "Look I was sent down here to get someone to replace me for the City of Columbia and I choose you. All those stories you hear of it being a paradise are true." Booker, "Why do you want to leave?" Pitch, "There are some people that are looking for me, I figure I could just disappear down here." Booker, "Do not lie to me." Pitch, "I do know someone that can pay off your debt." Booker, "How do you know about my debt?" Pitch, "It doesn't matter." Booker, "Who do you work for?" Pitch, "You might have heard of him, Zachary Comstock." Booker, "The big guy huh?"
Pitch, "I have a case here just look at it." Booker reads the outside of the case, The flame that will ignite the world. (Booker opens it) There is this picture of a beautiful girl in it. Booker, "Who is this? Pitch, "Oh, Her, that's Elizabeth. She is actually who I need you to look for, She is missing. Now that I have your attention please come this way. You will take my zeppelin up to the City. There are arrangements made for you inside. My people will help you the rest of the way. Enjoy your flight. There is money involved."
Former Pinkerton agent Booker DeWitt, is sent to the floating air city of Columbia to find a young woman, Elizabeth. Find out what happens next in the game Infinite Bioshock.

 

This story is for the Bioshock Infinite Creative Writing Competition

The Lighthouse Keeper

By justice2501

The Lighthouse Keeper I see red everywhere, I assume its blood. I dont know whose, but Im pretty sure most of it is mine. My vision is blurry; I can only see general shapes and colours. I can feel sweat beading down my head and back yet I am shivering from head to toe. I feel my cloths clinging to my body in the spots that my blood is flowing out. There are dried up trails of blood from my nose, mouth and lacerations on my face that crack and crumble to any facial expression. You had such an easy task. A womans voice; smooth and calm but with an overwhelming amount of hidden anger and rage behind it comes into focus. CRACK! If my vision wasnt bad enough, a strike to the side of my head didnt help it. I can feel a new wound opening above my eyebrow, blood dripping down into my eye. Do you have any idea how much harder you just made our plans, the woman states this time, a bit of her true emotions peeking through her calm demeanor. CRACK! Another blow square in the nose; a fresh new coat of blood for my face along with an all-around broken nose. I can feel the warm blood drip down over my dry and cracked lips and a faint taste of iron with it. Do you know how hard you have just made it for our next volunteer, she says, this time with even more emotion. CRACK! This time a blow straight to the mouth, the faint taste of iron turning to a whole mouthful as I spit out, what feels like a pint of blood, some residue dripping down my chin. I feel one of my teeth wiggle back and forth and I push it out with my tongue. The cracks and crunches as my gums reluctantly release the tooth years sooner than my body intended. I spit it out, hearing the quiet bounce as it hits the floor. I, instinctually, try to move and tend to my wounds but to no avail. My ankles are tied to the front two legs of the chair and my hands are tied behind the back rest. I can feel the rope digging into my raw flesh, chafing with every movement but still I fruitlessly attempt to break free. Think, remember, how did you get yourself into this position, the woman says coldly, this time right by my ear. I feel a rough tug on my hair as my head is thrust against, what I can assume to be the wall with a wet splat. My head droops down, surely leaving remnants of hair, flesh and blood plastered to the brick behind. The coldness starts to embrace me as my eyelids grow heavy. The pain starts to fade as my consciousness goes with it. I start remembering back as I try to utter a couple last words, each one a struggle to produce from my lips. Wipe.thedebt I start to remember back to the beginning, Theodore, that is my name. My family lives in Peking, but I immigrated to the United States looking for work. It wasnt long before news spread of the rebellion that started in my home country. There was no communication from my family and with no way for me to try and reach them I had only one option; to travel back home and try and find them. When I reached home, my country was ravaged; where our home use to stand was nothing more than a smoldering pile of rubble. The smell of burning was everywhere; burning vehicles, burning homes and burning lives. There were rotting bodies just left on the street in all sorts of fashion but many were dismembered and burnt to ash. It was then I noticed something was out of place, someone that didnt belong amongst the ruins and desolation of an old town. If youre looking for someone chances are they are on the side of the road. She speaks with a frank, straight forward, emotionless tone. Just what the hell happened here how did this happen?? I manage to mutter, looking again at the mutilated bodies. It was a fair fight right up until she says, then giving the sky a look. I follow her gaze. The bright blue sky, shinning with peaceful bliss, completely independent from the horrors of the vicious and wanton destruction below. Little did I know, the sky isnt so innocent from these terrors. The bright blue cover is just that, a cover for something horrible, something unholy. A floating fortress in the sky, she continues. From what we know, it looks like they have weapons far beyond our own, weapons we can only dream of. They have innovated and developed arms faster than we imagined. This looks like the work of what we called The Barnstormer; a portable device that fires some type of explosive, along with other monstrosities. But why, why did they come here, what interest do they have in China? I ask, tearing my eyes away from the blinding blue sky. Who knows, but I do know this, there is still a chance they are alive, she says again coolly. I look up at her, with little hope in my eyes. The floating fortress, called Columbia, needs people for man power. They need people to make their weapons and also people to make examples of. We could have mutual interests. We can get you into Columbia; you can look for your family and come back safe and sound. You just have to do something for us in return. Her eyes narrow as she gazes at me, watching my every movement, looking for a telltale sign of what my answer might be. But she didnt need it. I already knew what I was going to say. Deal, I said without a moments hesitation. I stood up straight, confidence returning to my demeanor staring right back at the woman. I know its a long shot, but if there is even a chance, then Ill take it. The first time in this whole conversation she smiles. It gave me a bad feeling. It seemed twisted and distorted, not a friendly smile that two business people would make but more like how a snake would smile before swallowing a rat whole. Its not like I have much choice though, if I need to reach the sky city this woman is the only one that can help me. I suppose if we are sending you up there, I should tell you who I am, and what we need you to do, she says gesturing with her hand to follow. The surroundings start to fade away to blackness. The bright clear sky dims, the sights and smells of a destroyed town dissolve around me. Finally, my body breaks down putting me in a new memory as it starts up. The sun is the brightest I have ever seen it, shinning down on the cobble stone streets, marble buildings and religious propaganda. If it werent for the violent mob after us or monsters protecting the city it might actually be a decent place to be. COME ON, I scream as I look behind me to see how many of my people are following. There are a fair number running close behind, some crying, some screaming, all of them frightened; my family are the ones directly behind me with worried looks on their faces, but complete trust in me. The mob of Columbia citizens are chasing right behind with torches lit and guns at hand. Their self-appointed Prophet spewing his propaganda so it rings out throughout the city. The chosen citizens of Gods city, the wickedness from below have infiltrated our holy land. They aim to taint that which is pure and corrupt all that is good. It is time for you all to act as Gods hand and strike those that are wicked out of our garden and to bring them before the Almighty for judgment. The world breaks down and rebuilds itself again. My perspective has changed; Im flying higher and higher, above Columbia. I can see all my people surrounded by its citizens. I can barely see my mother, screaming with tears running down her face, her arm outstretched towards me. I am moving too fast and I am too weak to call back to her. The mechanical bird tightens its vice like grip around me, digging its claws into my flesh. I can barely breathe; the world dissolves down along with my consciousness to the song of the song bird screeching. I wake up, back in the chair bleeding, in pain and cold. I see the Woman staring at me, fury and rage behind her eyes. How did I get up here, I ask, looking around at the interior of the familiar lighthouse. You were conveniently dropped off here by, what we assume to be, the song bird with a message strapped to you. Its far more sophisticated than our gramophone thats for god damn sure, she replies quickly. Did you fulfill your end of our bargain? she asks, probably already knowing the answer herself. II had a choice. It was either complete your task or save my family and the others that were picked up by Comstock. I made my choice, I answer back, standing by my decision to truly help those that needed it. We went you up there on a promise that you could get your family back as long as you brought the girl back with you, NOT JUST A PICTURE! She had finally lost it, her cool demeanor has shattered, and she was finally showing her true emotions. It was sort of calming to see her true self. She went on, and now you have neither. She took a deep breath, brushing her hair out of her face. Do you have any idea what you have done; you have not only **** us over, but think about what you have condoned your family and your people up there to. My stomach drops, as I suddenly feel nauseous. All the external pain on my body was nothing compared to the pit in my stomach that was growing with every wild thought that entered my head. Theres a crackle that fills the room and static as I look up to see a weird contraption that says Voxophone along the side. Comstocks voice fills the room: I dont know who you are, or what you were trying to pull but know that we are protected by God. It is Gods plan that we strive and prevail in hardships and only those faithful to the Lord Almighty belong on his land. Know that all those who have wavering faith will have their faith tested by fire in our town square as a message to all those that might be irresolute. They will be displayed for all to see as a reminder to those that the false prophet exists and they must heed his treachery. As for our little lamb, I have but one thing to say. She is ours. It is Gods will that she be with us, do you dare go against god? The crackling stopped as the mechanism turns off. My family will be burned alive; everyone will be burned alive for the whole public to see. What have I done? I suppose its good we at least got a picture of her, and you'll serve a useful reminder to our next agent, she says emotionlessly again, hanging a sign around my neck that reads: Dont Disappoint Us She pulls out a gun and points it at my head while asking, Do you have any last words? I can barely speak, while I try not to think about what will happen to my family, about my failures, about the last image of my mother. I answer I dont know if God exists, but if he does I pray he has mercy on you, me and those we care about. She scoffs as she puts a burlap bag over my head, her last words being the final ones Ill ever hear, In this room with just you and me, Im the one pointing the gun at you, and I am the one you should be asking for mercy. In this room, I am God, and I am not feeling Merciful. I just hope the one after you, Booker DeWitt, can actually get the job done. I dont feel any pain, I am dead before I even hear the bullet. I just hope Booker DeWitt does a better job than I did. [img]http://orcz.com/images/thumb/e/eb/Gaggedmanbioshockinfinite.jpg/400px-Gaggedmanbioshockinfinite.jpg[/img] [This is for the BioShock Infinite creative writing contest]

Discussion

7 comments
saurabhfiction
saurabhfiction

wow! thank you so much, everyone + all judges! congratulations to our winners! yeah!

eaze2010
eaze2010

Wow, honorable mention me? I hope you didn't just mention everyone who made a piece there... ha ha.

kyleshamburg
kyleshamburg

This very cool!  I enjoyed the challenge. 
Thank you

June-GS
June-GS

Damn. I'd been away and didn't even know about this 'til now. I love doing stories AND Bioshock! Sigh. But anyway, maybe next tme then.

What were the prizes, BTW? And yeah, congratulations, everybody.

g1rldraco7
g1rldraco7

Cool I was mentioned!!!!!! Congratulations to the winners, you guys deserve it :D

June-GS
June-GS

@JodyRWut??? ​O.M.G.​ Elizabeth?! Seriously!?! I would have killed for that!! Jeez, now you just made me feel even worse... Hahahah! Thanks, @Jody!  ;)