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At Jack’s offer to go after Booker, Elizabeth recalled the warning from the woman on the bench, Miss Holloway.
Grace leaned forward, setting her eyes on Elizabeth with a pinning intensity. “They’re looking for your man in there, and he’s gon’ need all the help he can get.”
“No, I’ll go. We’ll need more defenses here with everyone settling in,” she explained to Jack’s quizzical expression.
Tenenbaum nodded, folding her arms. “Two of us with the turret, that’s what we’ll need to keep everyone safe.”
“Hey, don’t ignore me!” Diane insisted, stepping up with a perfect pout. “I can hold my own.”
“Mmhm,” Tenenbaum dismissed her, exhaling cigarette smoke. “You shoot?”
Diane only wavered slightly, but held her ground. “I, I can. A little.”
Elizabeth was tempted to step in, knowing how Tenenbaum could get– but Jack beat her to it.
“I can teach you,” he said, somewhat uncertain. “If you want.”
Diane studied him for a moment. It was difficult for her to feel comfortable with so many changes, Elizabeth knew, so it was touching when Diane smiled at him. “Well, aren’t you sweet?”
“Since that’s settled,” Elizabeth began her goodbye, picking up a pistol on the way to the door. No weapon really belonged to anyone, exactly, and perhaps that should have been a cause for concern that they had a need for ‘household’ weapons.
“Be careful,” Tenenbaum warned, watching her prepare. “Sullivan is experienced, and he appeared… Upset.” She chose the word carefully, eyeing Diane.
Elizabeth nodded, smiling slightly. When they first started with Tenenbaum, you could have cut the tension with a knife on most days. She did shoot Booker, and they did essentially manifest from another time and place.
But here she was, advising Elizabeth to be safe. It never ceased to amaze Elizabeth how at home and welcomed she felt here.”Thank you, I will. And I’ll make sure Booker is too.”
Tenenbaum scoffed, dismissing that with a wave of her hand, the smoke trailing from her cigarette. “He can take a bullet or two, he’ll be fine.”
“Alright, then,” Elizabeth answered through a chuckle.
As she left the clinic, she realized the state of Rapture just seemed to be getting worse. Old repair models of Big Daddies tried to fix the damage caused in the outbreak of the civil war, plus the pockets of riots that followed, but with everyone pulling their money from the banks–Elizabeth walked the tattered halls that were clean and safe just a few days ago, even if the air was a bit tense. The people down here deserved better than this, and she really hoped that Tenenbaum could help splicers recover so they could have that chance.
There weren’t many now, but there would be more. To protect themselves from those present, others would follow suit. Her thoughts dwelled on that situation as she avoided debris and security cameras in more restricted areas than she’d ever seen before– all to retrace Diane and Tenenbaum’s path to find Booker and Sullivan.
Which took far less time than she thought. The shouting interrupted by the occasional splicer and gunfire was easy enough to track down.
Elizabeth stepped into a small plaza in the city’s pathways, finally seeing the two men standing too tensely with matching incredulous scowls for this to be a civil talk.
“Dammit, Booker, I can’t go handing out ammo to anyone who asks!” Booker went to snap back, but Sullivan cut him off. Even at a distance, Elizabeth felt he’d seen better days… Sullivan put a finger in Booker’s face as he talked over him. “An’ you’re hardly on deck for needing anything for a time like this, I watched you end a man with a broken plank!”
“Not the point, Sullivan, just– would you just listen for a second–”
“I hear you,” Sullivan grumbled, not noticing Elizabeth as she approached from the darker hallway. “I gotcha, I really do. Better than most. But these folks, an’ you didn’t hear this from me, they’re stuck between this Atlas fella and Ryan right now.”
Booker sighed, taking a step back and rubbing his neck absently. A sure sign that he knew Sullivan was right, but he didn’t want him to be right.
“It’s just getting worse out here. No doubt most of ’em will die without help, and they– they deserve someone lookin’ out for ’em.”
What do you want to do, Elizabeth?
Read the next chapter.
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