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#15 - Strangers

#15 - Strangers

"You raised quite a bit 'a cain the other day, y'know..."

"So?" The figure in the open sensory-deprivation tank winced against the overhead light, but still managed a quiet glare at Sinclair. He wouldn't try anything, especially not with the guards in the room, but after last night's hullabaloo...

Even so, he smiled gently from behind his hand. In a way, he admired Johnny (though everyone insisted that he be called Delta, preparing them all - especially him - for the inevitable.) Fella had balls of steel, which was pretty much a requirement for living down here.

At least it was until Ryan got antsy and started treating everyone like they all had closet shrines to Marx and Roosevelt. He'd never hint at it to anyone - not even Ryan's personal troubleshooter was really safe - but it was a damn shame. Everyone knew his story, even if no one wanted them to, and watching him fight, knowing how it would end - how it always ended...

Real damn shame.

Couldn't do much 'bout it, though. He had too much to lose, especially when he could end up like Johnny, himself. Speaking of...

"Frank's gonna be in traction for a week, an' Rollins might not wake up at this point..." He tried to sound harsh, but after seeing those boys in action, it was hard to feel too sorry for 'em. Ryan really knew how to find the right monster for the job...

Johnny, bless him and his solid steel testicles, didn't even flinch - just snorted.

"Well, if you weren't so hell-bent on making me a guinea pig..."

Each and every one of the poor saps knew they weren't getting out alive if they were lucky. Of course, they weren't supposed to get out at all, but with Fontaine, then Ryan clamoring for "volunteers" to "sample" their latest plasmids, what else could he really do with 'em?

But if the whispering from Point Prometheus amounted to anything...

To his credit, Sinclair didn't flinch. But as big as the number on the bottom line got, the queasiness only got bigger when he chanced to hear things like "behavioral programming" and "ADAM strength enhancement."

"Won't do you any good, son..." Not where they'd all probably end up, if Suchong had his way.

"No? So I should just lie down and let them..."

He scowled impotently, and Sinclair felt a sudden burst of sympathy for the man, dished up with a side of guilt. He'd been privy to ADAM's little downsides - everyone high up enough in the splicing business knew. If a badly-made plasmid or tonic didn't poison you, or worse, then all that splicing made you fall apart.

Making sure that Johnny wasn't paying attention, he tried to remember what Suchong and Gil had been talking about. Some kinda "protector program", they'd called it. If the Little Sisters were to do business with all the corpses piling up in Rapture, they'd need some kind of bodyguard, preferably one that was devoted to its pint-sized charges.

"Make things a lot easier on all of us." Especially him. "'Sides, it won't do you much good anyhow."

"Nope." But Johnny smiled grimly. "I'm a dead man either way..."

Sinclair raised an eyebrow at the unspoken 'but'.

"So if it doesn't matter whether a needle or bullet does me in, might as well make these last days count..."

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