Bring us the girl, and wipe away the debt. The words thrashed and slammed against the edges of Booker DeWitt's thoughts, as turbulent and unyielding as the vicious storm he was being ferried through.
"I'm getting tired, will you help me row?"
He examined the photograph once more; she was striking, beautiful with an air of innocence about her, he thought. Putting the picture back in the briefcase, he examined the rest of its contents; his trusty Broadsider, fully loaded.
"Now now, this was your idea in the first place, it's only fair that you should do the work."
A drawing of what looked to be a scroll, a key, and a sword was the next item, with the numbers 1, 2, and 2 next to them. … I hate cryptic nonsense, Booker thought, replacing the drawing. Finally, he pulled out an ornate key. Maybe this will get me in to where they're keeping the girl, Booker thought, stashing the key in his right front coat pocket.
"Be that as it may, it's not very easy navigating to a point in the middle of the ocean during a storm, whilst being the only one rowing."
"Well, you could always ask him to row."
Booker was pulled from his thoughts upon hearing mention of him. If they wanted me to row, they should have said so well before now.
"No, it wouldn't be any use, he doesn't row."
"He doesn't row?"
What is with these two, talking as if I'm not even here. Well, I won't give them the satisfaction of asking what they're on about.
"No, he doesn't row."
"Oh, why didn't you say so then?"
Thankfully, a lighthouse appeared on the left, their destination. One of Booker's two companions steered the boat over to the dubious looking dock. Briefly pausing to stow away the rest of the contents of the briefcase on his person, Booker then climbed up the wooden ladder next to the boat. Why don't I see anyone else here? He thought, looking up and down the dock.
"Hey, is someone going to meet me here?" Booker shouted, just barely audible over the rain and wind increasing in intensity. The boat was nearly out of sight now, taking his last chance to turn back with it.
"I certainly hope so, that seems like a dreadful place to be stranded."
"Shit. Well, no place to go but up." he said, and began walking the path toward the lighthouse. As he neared the doors to the lighthouse, he saw a note stuck to the front. "Last chance huh? Funny, that's how I feel about this job too." He said, pushing the door open and walking inside. A cryptic verse stared back at him from across the way, and Booker also noticed a wash basin.
A chance to cleanse my sins? Sorry buddy, a bit too late for that.
Continuing onward, he began to smell something foul, and getting stronger with every step upward he took. Finally he reached the second floor; the odor was overpowering, and Booker saw the cause. A man with a bag over his head sat dead on a chair, with a pool of his own blood surrounding him.
"Shit." Upon closer examination, he saw that the man was bound to the chair, with various torture devices on the desk next to him. Hope that guy wasn't my contact, else I'm screwed. Booker thought, and continued onward, stopping only to pick up a few coins he saw along the way.
"Huh, Silver Eagles? Never heard of these damn things, but they look to be worth a pretty penny." He thought out loud, pocketing them and climbing the second set of stairs.
He had finally arrived at the top of the stairs, and the top of the lighthouse. Booker searched around, but couldn't find anything apart from the light in the center. On the door were three symbols which seemed very familiar to him. "Scroll, key, sword… some sort of puzzle." He said, taking the drawing out of his coat pocket. Moving toward the pictures, he hit the scroll once, the key twice, and then finally the sword twice. Nothing happened.
"Well, that was certainly anticlimat-"
Suddenly, a loud noise permeated the storm, echoing for miles and nearly knocking Booker down.
"What the hell was that?" he said to himself, before there was a red hue to the sky, and a returning noise of equal magnitude emanating from the very heavens themselves. The room at the top of the lighthouse began making grinding noises, as a trapdoor opened up, bringing a red chair up to the top, complete with restraints. Then, all was silent.
"Huh, guess they want me to sit in their fancy chair." Booker said. I don't much like the looks of those restraints, but if this is the only way to get to the girl… he thought, as he made his way over to the chair. With some trepidation he climbed in to the surprisingly comfortable chair, only to find his heart racing as the restraints snapped expertly into place.
"Son of a-"
Anything else Booker said was lost in a din of gears and whirring as the space around him came to life, enclosing him in a metal tube. The chair briefly tilted forward, and his Broadsider slid out of his holster, just as a fire seemed to ignite directly underneath him.
"Fuck, somebody's going to die for this!" he shouted, as a mechanical voice rung in the tube.
"Ascension in 5, 4, 3-"
"No Shit No God Damn-"
"2, 1, 0-"
And suddenly Booker was breaking through the clouds, looking at a view that many would call life changing.
But he was focused on one aspect of the floating city in particular. There it is, the monument where the girl is being kept. Looks like it's easy enough to spot, so how hard can it be to get to? He thought, unaware of the trials that awaited him in the floating city below.