BioQuest: Lost

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Tenenbaum scoffed when Elizabeth answered honestly… She did hear plenty of death threats towards Booker in Columbia. Even Slate did it once in a while. “Why am I not surprised?”

“But I can do better than killing him,” Elizabeth teased, approaching with a swish of her skirt. “I’ve traveled with Booker for a long time and well,” she hesitated and laughed nervously. “I am his daughter. I know him better than anyone.”

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All these families losing their little girls to Ryan, and here she was… Planning a search for her missing father. And of course he didn’t go off alone this time.

Nodding, Tenenbaum placed her pistol on her faded, slightly warped desk. Little burn marks spotted it from ashes she forgot to tap into the tray… Or Elizabeth hoped that was the case. “Unfortunately for you, this is true. What is your idea?”

“We can be sure Booker is behind this escapade. I’m best suited to find him and Jack, so you’ll stay here to keep an eye on the girls,” Elizabeth outlined the plan and Tenenbaum dropped into the chair at her desk.

“Good luck.” That was oddly easy for convincing Tenenbaum… And as close to agreement as Elizabeth was going to get. They had a head start on her, after all.

“And you be safe,” Elizabeth answered. She trotted to the door, the little girls talking to each other about her departure. The words passed by her as she picked up the crossbow right from where she left it after her last search.

She hadn’t touched a weapon in months, but… Elizabeth pushed the labs from her mind and took firm strides out of the Sanctuary.

Following the winding tunnels out, she found herself near Artemis Suites in Apollo Square. She took a moment to brush the tunnel’s dirt off her shoes. It wouldn’t be any good to be seen with obvious evidence of trespassing on her person.

As for Apollo Square, it had seen better times even for Rapture’s young history. Her steps resonated down the broad hall with no one else in sight or earshot. Elizabeth tsked and repositioned the bow. Between Ryan’s regular arrears and searches, this place was emptier than ever.

Then the dark teal and gold sign posted beside a nearby doorway reminded her of the day. Rather, of the holiday. “New Year’s Eve,” she muttered. “Would they be so foolish?”

She sighed, conflicted. If she was Booker with Jack at his side, where would she go?


What do you want to do, Elizabeth?

Read the next chapter.

– – –

Suggestions from last chapter:


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BioQuest: Sacrifice

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It was too late… Elizabeth ran her fingers over the stub of her little finger, sighing. “It’s not scared, exactly. We…” Elizabeth leaned against the wall behind her, feeling distinctly like Booker as she did it. There were worse habits of his to pick up.

“We have work to do, I know, it’s just–”

Tenenbaum tapped ash from the tip of her cigarette, continuing Elizabeth’s thought. “The work will be there.”

The embarrassed smile came to Elizabeth’s face instinctively, and it was a sort of relief. At the labs, the sterility and risk were stifling. Betraying her emotions would make them lose everything. All of their sacrifices would be for nothing.

Elizabeth steadied herself with a series of long breaths… And Tenenbaum’s hand rested on her shoulder.

“I have worked there,” she reminded Elizabeth, her eyes focusing on the wall behind them. Did… Did Elizabeth look like that these days…? “What you see and do, I will understand. And you need to know that you do this for far nobler reasons than Suchong or I ever did.”

“It doesn’t feel noble,” Elizabeth admitted in a whisper. “It’s not just the girls. The plasmid testing,” she hesitated, remembering the assistant who died in the last failed test, shuddering.

“The failed pair bonds and the Big Daddy project, it’s all…” She rubbed her forehead, trying to counter the dull headache that came whenever she thought about these experiments outside of the lab. “There’s the little girls, the people who just didn’t agree with Ryan, and we can’t save any of them.”

“Not yet,” Tenenbaum corrected, pulling Elizabeth closer. Their gazes met and in Tenenbaum’s eyes, she saw a softness… And a certainty. “But by what you do, however monstrous, your actions will ultimately save these girls.”

Smiling again, Elizabeth looked towards the beds as she thought of another person who would be rescued. “Wait… Where are Jack and Booker?”

Tenenbaum whipped around, the maternal tenderness dissolving almost instantly. The guitars were each on their own beds, but both Jack and Booker were nowhere to be seen.

“Scheisse!” She flicked the cigarette to the ground, crushing it under her dirty brown heels. Tenenbaum was usually insistent on cleanliness, a good habit for the girls, she said.

She stormed to her office area past the reinforced glass, and Elizabeth approached to see her grabbing a pistol. “I will kill that man, I swear,” she spat and paused. “He is your father, I know–”

“No, no,” Elizabeth waved her apology off. “I hear that a lot…” Her eyes wandered to the other weapons in Tenenbaum’s office and slowly, all her muscles tensed.


What do you want to do, Elizabeth?

Read the next chapter.

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Practical Magic: Star Ocean

Spoiler Alert!

Big spoilers too

Originally created for the Practical Magic prompt on the Square Enix Amino.


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Placing his lunch onto the steel table, Fayt settled into a chair in the common area of the Quark ship, Diplo.

“Eating again, Fayt?” Sophia looked up from her digital book, smirking with a glimmer in her large blue eyes. Stray hair fell into her face and she tucked it behind her ear. “You’re going to gain weight. Remember?”

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“You’re still mad about that?” He held his open hand above his lunch, the symbol of his ability forming in front of his palm. He’d learned to refine it from a massive laser beam to destroy whole battlefields to something he could use casually.

“Fayt,” Maria snapped, flowing blue hair behind her. Military grade boots carried her to stand between him and Sophia. “These abilities are to help us stand against the threat to–”

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“Come on, Maria.” He laughed, stirring the fork through the vegetables on his plate. “You need to relax a little.”

The faint hum of runology came from Sophia’s seat and an angel statue made of ice slowly formed beside her. Maria shook her head, the tips of her fingers brushing her forehead. “Don’t encourage him. I thought at least you would take this seriously.”

“I am, Maria. We have worlds and lives to save, but…” She tilted her head, leaning forward to rest her hands on her delicate knees. “We are not war machines. Our abilities can be more than just weapons.”

Briefly, a shadow passed through her oceanic eyes. An unknowable figure beneath an unfathomable surface. Sophia’s smile softened and Fayt watched her from the edge of his vision.

“We have a purpose. The Federation and the Creator won’t rest, and we won’t rest,” she insisted.

Sophia stood from the reading chair she claimed from Cliff, gliding to Maria and putting a hand on her shoulder. “We have to fight. We all understand that. But if we don’t rest, what kind of threat will we pose or withstand?”

“Sometimes,” Fayt started, getting up to stand with them. “You’re the only one who can make a difference.” He smiled and shifted his weight to one leg, propping an arm loosely on his hip to that side. “But that’s just sometimes.”

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Maria studied them both in the time of a steady breath. She slipped her shoulder out from Sophia’s hand, raising her own hand as the rune appeared before her hand. The ice statue gradually altered to a dark, metallic stone.

Maria approached it, picking the angel up. Another beat, another breath. She looked over her shoulder and glanced back at them. “Can I keep this?”

“Of course!” Sophia beamed, nudging Fayt.

“What? It’s not my statue,” he protested. But Maria had already tucked it beneath her arm and strode to her room. The door sealed behind her.

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BioQuest: 1959

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The scientist in her spoke of reason. Booker and Elizabeth were here and they had work to do. And yet, there was Jack. Shaking in her arms, crying, baring his heart without a word to the only mother he would ever know.

In the far reaches of her vision, Elizabeth put her hand on Booker’s shoulder to stop him from coming closer. With a nod, Elizabeth had bought them both time for this moment.

Because of Suchong’s work, Jack was exceptionally fit with the musculature of someone in their twenties… It wasn’t easy, but Tenenbaum pulled him closer into the hug, basking in this peace between them.

As his breathing steadied, he stepped back and wiped his tears off on the back of his hand. “I…” He rasped, clearing his throat to continue. “I’m sorry, I don’t know…”

He caught sight of Booker and Elizabeth, he straightened and forced a smile. “Oh, uh. Hello. I’m glad you’re safe,” he recovered, relaxing a little.

“You too,” Booker answered, eyes locked on Tenenbaum. She only chuckled. Would Booker ever learn that every woman in the world had dealt with a strong, angry man. It was really dismissed. Taking out a cigarette, Tenenbaum lit it and looked past him to Elizabeth.

“And what did you find?”

Elizabeth glanced to Booker, who kept his distance. “Cohen is definitely involved in smuggling, and it seems he’s taking Fontaine’s place for Ryan.”

Jack looked away, adjusting the neck of his sweater. As Elizabeth continued, he wandered to lean against the wall beside Booker.

“But his mental state is falling apart, fast.” She twisted her fingers around the metal stub of her pinky, her ponytail swaying with her gestures as she explained. “Whatever information he has, he’s not sane enough to relay it. It’s not worth the risk.”

Tenenbaum exhaled a cloud of smoke. “Then we need our next steps. Fontaine has already made his.”

“What? He has?” Jack licked his lips, coming back from a slightly calmer Booker. At least someone could calm that beast. “How, what–”

“Easy, Jack,” she said. “There are posters. Rallies. A man, Atlas, is speaking against Ryan and gaining followers.”

“Oh,” Jack answered.

“And Ryan has started gathering the followers of Fontaine’s who can’t offer him anything, locking them away.” She took another drag from her cigarette and for a moment, Jack was present in body only. When he looked at her again… That was a gaze that held hers.

“Suchong?”

Tapping the cigarette into a tray, she could think of no means to make this news lighter. “He works for Ryan. He will take more girls, and he will keep one dose of Lot 192 with him in the lab.”

“The city is rapidly deteriorating,” Elizabeth interrupted, heels clacking against stone as she moved between the two of them. “We need to act. I’ll apply to work with Suchong as an assistant.”

“No!” Jack flinched at his own volume, covering his mouth for a second to collect himself. “It’s not safe.”

“Nein, she will be perfectly safe,” Tenenbaum thought aloud. “Too old for being a Little Sister, sweet and so invisible to him because of it… And she is intelligent.”

“She’s ready to fight too,” Booker finally pitched in. He rubbed the back of his head as he continued. “Trust me, she can swing a wrench. So what do I do?”

Elizabeth sighed, weighing her words. “I need you to lay low here.”

Booker scoffed, then it sunk in that she meant it. “What, I just sit here while you put yourself in danger?”

Walking to him, her hand going to his shoulder instantly, Elizabeth took on a softer tone. “Tenenbaum said it was safe, and you said I can protect myself.” That moment, she whispered and Tenenbaum couldn’t make out the next words.

“And… And me?” Jack knew the answer when he asked. He wouldn’t look up and instead watched the girls playing.

“Who will keep Booker from going mad?” Tenenbaum offered and in a few seconds, Jack looked at them… And laughed.

“Yeah, you go ahead and laugh,” Booker snarked, coming to join them too and Tenenbaum could swear she saw the beginning of a smile.

“You could teach him guitar!” Elizabeth nudged Booker, and for a moment… It was a family.


Time Skip

December 31, 1958


Elizabeth returned to the Sanctuary, hanging her lab coat on a hook. There was an odd feeling, her coming home to a place where Booker… Her father… Waited for her because she was coming back. Always did.

She wore flats now, cut her hair to her jawline in a layered bob – very popular in Rapture so it was easy to blend in. And when she came up those stairs, the little girls were playing games without once mentioning angels. Tenenbaum watched them, smiling and smoking.

Better, Jack sat beside Booker, both with guitars. The music reached her first. Jack learned quickly and took a liking to the gentle folksy music Booker was so fond of.

“It’s a chance for them both,” Tenenbaum interrupted her thoughts and Elizabeth jumped. “Has your work with Suchong made you that scared?”


We are changing perspective!

What do you want to do, Elizabeth?

Read the next chapter.

– – –

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Events During the Time Skip:

During the time skip, Tenenbaum has been declared missing by Ryan Industries. Reed Wahl took over at Rapture Central Computing. Big Daddies have been commissioned by Andrew Ryan but are not active yet (except the Alpha series).

Sophia Lamb overthrew Sinclair at Persephone, so Atlas and his followers are imprisoned in Fontaine’s Department Store. Incinerate and Telekinesis Plasmids have been publicly released.

Girls have been disappearing from Rapture and civil unrest was growing. Elizabeth has not obtained Lot 192. The New Year party is tonight, keep that in mind. There will be big wigs at Rapture there but other areas of Rapture will be mostly unmanned.


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BioQuest: Freedom & Adulthood

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Jack waited, searching her eyes. A weight rested, rather buried deeper into her heart. Jack had a mother. And she sold him to escape his father. Whatever little Tenenbaum could do to be a mother to him, she would… Difficult as it was.

She put her hand on his shoulder and gave a gentle squeeze, but Jack did not react. “You will have…” And she hesitated, looking beyond him to the little ones making chalk drawings on the stone floor.

“Tenenbaum…?” He licked his lips, his breath picking up. Nervous or scared, maybe both. He’d always been so free with the emotions he was allowed to express, it was truly incredible. Such strength of heart in the face of such ugliness.

“You have the right to choose. And when the time comes, it will be up to you what you do.” She took her hand away, sliding both into her pants pockets. “You are a man now, Jack. You can do as you wish and you do not need a promise from me to make your own choice.”

Only his unsteady breath filled the next beats of silence. She exhaled sharply when his arms locked around her, and then she felt it. The sobs shaking his core and shoulders.

Instinctively, she smoothed his hair and before she could speak, she saw Booker and Elizabeth in the doorway at the top of the stairs.


What do you want to do, Tenenbaum?

Read the next chapter.

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