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?

– – –

Suggestions from last chapter:


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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Read the previous chapter.
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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?

– – –

Suggestions from last chapter:


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BioQuest: Promise

Read how to join this choose your own adventure story here.
Read the previous chapter.
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His apology hung in the air, but he met her eyes with more steadiness than she felt. How quickly being a mother figure had changed her already, so vulnerable to alcohol’s effects… Relatively little to how much she used to drink.

Taking a stabilizing breath, Tenenbaum adjusted her position in her seat.

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“Jack,” she began, “To sneak out of this place, leaving the girls unprotected…” She forced herself to stand, crossing her arms. “You know they are not as far along as you are. They needed you.”

“You’re right, Tenenbaum, but…” He narrowed his eyes at her, tilting his head.

“Nein. There is no but.” Tenenbaum approached and stopped a few steps away from Jack, who waited where he stood. “You will be able to do as you please when Fontaine is truly dead and you are freed completely.”

“I know, but,” he hesitated, his resolve turning to an imploring look. Not unlike the admiration of these little ones, and it awoke her maternal instincts just the same. “Tenenbaum, I’ve never had a say in what happened. I swear I won’t do this again, but when I can make a difference…”

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Watching his shoulders tighten, she assumed he was clenching his fists and yet still his expression was so sincere, so desperate for validation.

“Promise you’ll give me that chance.”


What do you want to do, Tenenbaum?

Read the next chapter.

– – –

Suggestions from last chapter:


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