Recommended reading: The Average People, by Doctor Shemp. I've always found Splicers interesting because they all have their own grudges, personalities and motivations and Jack just seems to plough through them regardless of if they were/are people, so I thought I'd take a quick look at it, from the otherside. Drop me a review on your way out, would you kindly?

Between Sane and Insane

Rosemary McGuire was transfixed by the monster staring at her through the shop window.

Despite it catching her entirely by surprise during a noncommittal stroll, she did not startle or flee, but stood motionless regarding the beast as it regarded her back. It was a monstrosity to say the least. Its hair had probably once been preened into ringlets, lips rouged with utmost care, its eyes a shade of blue so brilliant even the sky would envy it (though Rosemary had to admit that the sky seemed a distant, alien creature to her now), but this image of beauty was no more; its skin was cracked, bruised and disfigured. From its head sprouted a tumour the size of a man's fist, oozing from the skull like a ruptured brain. Its eyes were sunken and its bottom lip was pulled down by a gash that ran from its nostril to its chin, from where a thin line of drool trembled with every breath it took.

Rosemary stared at the monster, and the monster stared back.

When her thoughts began to stray again, as they so often did nowadays, she turned from the creature's profile and walked on, not noticing the creature doing likewise.

Up above, Rapture's foundations groaned, and Rosemary cast the far away roof an uneasy glance. She appreciated the engineering genius of the city as far as her limited understanding of the subject would allow, and she had been reassured of its stability by the very engineers who had worked on its building and upkeep personally, but the nature of Rapture often awed her. She'd seen the leaks, and even though these were sporadically fixed by those hulking monsters, she found their maintenance to be unreliable and therefore discouraging, distracted as they were by their duty to those things people called children.

As Rosemary passed another building, one that looked to have been a pharmaceutical store once, she spotted two Splicers arguing over a hulk of meat. She slunk into a shadowy crook and prayed they hadn't noticed her. Splicers were unpredictable, welcoming one moment and violent the next; though she longed for company she avoided others to maintain her own wellbeing. She wasn't stupid.

These Splicers were horrendously disfigured due to excessive use of Adam; the male of the two had a grotesque bulge on his back that Rosemary could have sworn was another arm, but the thought was so dreadful she brushed it aside, along with the idea that the lump of meat they were arguing over looked suspiciously like a human foot. She fled the scene entirely when the male Splicer brandished a pool cue and smacked his companion over the head. The noise the impact made was wet and meaty, and Rosemary abruptly felt ill.

She continued her walk through dilapidated buildings that stunk of rot and damp. Electrical lights glared and flickered through the jagged lids of broken windows while neon lights flashed above their doorways, throwing stripes of gaudy colour across her path. She strained to remember the bustling hive of civilised society before this mess had occurred. There had been corpses in the street for so long it was unnatural for them to be absent now.

As her wandering continued her thoughts drifted back into focus and she remembered why she was wandering in the first place. This remembrance jarred her heart and she let out a jagged sob, furious that she had forgotten something so important.

"Jessica!" she shrieked, suddenly panicky, for God only knew how long she'd left the girl to roam Rapture alone. "Jessica, love, where are you?"

Jessica had been missing for… for a long time. She couldn't remember exactly when or how she'd lost her (in fact, even the memory of her face was beginning to fade around the edges) but she knew she was lost, and that she had to find her. Jessica was all she had left to remember herself by; she was her purpose in life and the only remainder of her husband who had died of a cancerous stomach tumour, five years ago. As a skilled surgeon who had fought against a male dominated industry that dismissed her intellect as a woman, she had been devastated to learn she could not prevent Jim's death. Andrew Ryan's invitation into Rapture had been a light at the end of the tunnel, a new start for her and Jessica and an escape from a world hindered by status, sex and religion. But right now finding her daughter was her priority, all that mattered, and by God she swore if anyone or anything had laid a finger on her she'd –

"- tie them down with some good strong rope and rip off their fingernails one by one. Yes, start with the nails, they deserve to suffer. But I… I need some good rope. Some strong rope. Damn Splicers get so strong and I –"

Rosemary stopped in her tracks and glanced around, startled. "Who's there?"

Somewhere to her right, unseen, a leaking pipe drip-drip-dripped water, and in the distance a scream echoed hollowly through the eaves of Rapture's abandoned shops.

"H-hello?" Rosemary called uncertainly, voice cracking. "Is somebody there?"

Silence prevailed. She began her search again warily, eyes darting into the shadows wherein any beast could lurk, and baffled as to where the other voice had come.

She struggled to recall where she'd last seen Jessica. She guessed it must have been around New Year 's Eve before all the… havoc. She had been in a crowd, there had been a riot and Jessie had been… been snatched. Yes, that's right, stolen. Someone had stolen her sweet baby girl and when she found them they would pay. They would pay dearly. She'd show them what a woman was capable of. She'd make them regret shunning her medical prowess, every one of them, she'd make them see, make them understand, make them pay.

She punctuated each thought by smacking the lead pipe in her right hand against the palm of her left, then stopped and frowned at it.

"Where did…?" But then she shook her head. It didn't matter. Only Jessica mattered and anyway, she might need it to get her back.

There was a faint niggling at the back of her skull and she sighed distractedly. She knew that niggling. It was that nasty little voice reminding her that she hadn't had a fix in… in forever. Forever. And now she noticed it it roared like a stoked furnace and right then Rosemary would have killed her own daughter to get another hit of Adam-

A noise severed her thoughts and she spun around. A small clearing intersected the higgledy mess of ransacked stores and in its centre was a cracked water fountain. A statue of a woman holding a vase crowned its centre and would have once been beautiful to behold, but a Splicer had written 'Atlas Lives! Atlas Lives!' all over the stonework.

Rosemary suddenly found it most absurd that there should be a fountain in a city under the sea because who in their right of mind would want to look at a water feature when they needed only to look out a window? That thought might have made her chuckle if a Splicer hadn't burst from the other side of the square at that moment.

"Can't catch me! Can't catch me!" he bellowed wildly, waving his arms as slobber flew from his lips. A trail of blood gushed from a wound in his back as he ran, splattering against the floor, but he didn't seem to notice. "Never never never!"

Rosemary shrieked, forgetting entirely her lead pipe, and leapt out of the Splicer's way. She stumbled over her own two feet and fell hard against the unforgiving ground. A shard of glass the size of her hand pierced her thigh and she screamed again, the pipe dancing out of her fingers and skidding across the square. She looked after it helplessly but by then she realised the madman had gone, skipped past her and down an alley, where his bellows became hysterical sobs. She scowled in confusion, but his words were forgotten as the shadow of a man fell across the concrete beside her. Rosemary looked up, one hand pressed against her thigh as it shot bright sparks of pain all the way to her shoulder. She beheld the new arrival in terror.

It was a man. A normal man. He might have been quite dashing in appearance if not for the flinty, distant look in his eye that disturbed her – disturbed almost as much as the monster in the window or the wet crunch the pool cue had made as it struck that Splicer's skull. Her animal instincts detected something wrong and a warning prickled down her spine, but despite this, Rosemary was left momentarily speechless by the appearance of a human that wasn't disfigured, abnormal in his normality. This might have had her wondering, but the gun he pointed in her direction left her a little distracted.

She stammered, "Puh-please d-don't… I… I'm looking for Jessie. My daughter. H-have you seen her? I… Nuh-need…"

The man's gaze did not flinch, and neither did the gun's point. As her eyes darted from the gaping hole of the gun and back to those eyes, something inside her mind twisted and snapped like a dry twig, perhaps provoked by her helplessness and an imminent death.

Those eyes, she didn't like those eyes at all, not one bit. Those were the eyes of a madman, of a murderer, of a… a… kidnapper. Oh yes. Now it made sense. She'd blamed those awful Splicers all this time but now she could see clearly. So clearly. The Splicers were too stupid to steal her poor Jessica but this man… this man was mean and clever. He was wrong. And she would make him pay. She would make him see and understand, and when he did, Jessica would come back, yes, she was sure now.

Rosemary tore the shard of glass from her thigh with a bloodcurdling screech and gripped it between fingers that were quickly slashed to wet pulps. Blood glanced across the street and spurted from the severed artery in her thigh almost comically, though she did not notice. She lunged, snarling, revenge a thunderstorm in her mind and Jessica's blurred face a flash of lightning. She would get her back, she would, she would make them pay, she would make everyone pay, she would -

The man did not flinch, and his eyes did not change. Indifferent, he took a step back, and the last thing Rosemary heard was the click as he pulled the trigger.