BioQuest: Free

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Was she ready? It was a good question even if she didn’t feel any fear at facing Fontaine… There was someone she was afraid of leaving behind. Almost without thinking, Elizabeth reached out for the front of Jack’s sweater, her fingers twisting around plush, worn cabled yarn as she pulled him into a kiss.

Not a chaste one either. The last they might ever share if something went wrong, as this things so often did, and she put all that feeling into it. Jack gasped and she took the opportunity to deepen the kiss, her face flushing at how bold she was being.

But this was it, perhaps the only chance she’d have. Elizabeth had no idea what she doing outside of the romance books from the tower she read time and again.

The hand he’d held out to her found its way to her back and for a moment, she could pretend they were safe and the fight was already over.

Then Jack pulled away, resting his forehead against hers and gently rubbing her back. “It’s time, Elizabeth.” He didn’t have to say any more. “I love you with everything I am, whatever that might be… I’m yours.”

Elizabeth chuckled warmly as tears pricked at her eyes, not quite coming. “You’re whoever you want to be, Jack. And wherever your path takes you, no matter what comes, I will always love you.”

She opened her eyes to see his still closed, and he bit his lip to keep from crying– she assumed. He turned to the stairs, going up and into the elevator and kept his head down.

“Thanks, Elizabeth. For everything you’ve done. I…” His voice wavered for a second and he recovered as she came to join him, holding his hand. “Thanks.”

— Fontaine’s Lair —

“We didn’ know one another long, boyo,” Atlas droned as the elevator rose. At the gates of the last stand, it made sense that she felt Jack’s hand tighten around hers. “But you? You were like a second son t’me.”

The ADAM distorted his voice and she almost couldn’t believe it hadn’t warped his mind so far that he’d drop the Atlas ruse.

“Way I see it, your old man took my family from me. All of it,” he spat. “And that’s why this hurts. Betrayal, boyo… I know life ain’t fair, I know it better than most. But this one’s personal.”

And the elevator stopped, pausing for only a moment before the deco doors slid open to reveal the massive empty room. In its center stood some device, Atlas— no, Fontaine suspended and barely recognizable as human, never mind himself. Ryan was slumped over in a chair beside him, bloodied but still breathing.

“I’ll take care of draining the ADAM,” Jack explained, pulling his hand away as his eyes hardened. “And I’ll fight with everything I’ve got.”

“You won’t be alone in that,” Elizabeth answered curtly, holding her gun at the ready.

The fighting truly began once Jack drained him of ADAM, and Fontaine broke free, backhanding Jack clear across the foyer. It was chaos from then out– a cycle of super-powered plasmids overtaking Fontaine’s body as his ADAM resources became more and more depleted.

He screamed at them from the device, how he was going to cut them to pieces and the girls would be next, all the most horrible things he could think of. Elizabeth wondered if there was another version of him in some reality that might be horrified by this, but somehow, she doubted it.

It was luck that she found the bot shutdown panel before the security bots got too out of hand, and that bought her time to hack them to their side too. The splicers were another story altogether, even with Jack turning them with Enrage…

Every muscle in her body screamed, and there were far too many close calls to count. Jack drove the needle into Fontaine’s chest for the fourth time, hopefully the last. But he didn’t move fast enough to evade another brutal backhand from Atlas that sent him flying.

“Jack!” She started reloading, cursing the exhaustion that fighting this long brought with it.

“I made you,” Fontaine began, stomping towards Jack as he scrambled back. “Showed you what you were, all you were capable of… If you don’call that family, I don’t know what is!”

She finished reloading, aiming for his heart, when the first little girl leapt at him. But it wasn’t until the rest of the girls came from the tunnels of Rapture, stabbing him as their cries mixed with his, that Elizabeth could let herself believe it was over. Well and truly over.

Everyone was free.

She ran to Jack, dropping her weapon uselessly to the ground as she helped him to his feet. “Jack, are you hurt?”

“All over,” he breathed but smiled. “But… I can be free. I can go anywhere, be anyone.” He didn’t seem to believe it himself. One of the little ones ran up to him as Tenenbaum and Booker stepped out of the elevator, going straight for Ryan.

“I think I’d like to be with you. In Paris,” he added, laughing tiredly. “I don’t even know where that is or what it looks like.”

Elizabeth threw her arms around him, pulling him in tightly. “It’s alright. We’ll see it for the first time together.”


An epilogue turned out to not be necessary, so this is the end! Thank you for all your support.

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BioQuest: To the Point

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The presentation of two doses of Lot 192 from Tenenbaum got more of a reaction from Jack than the message from Atlas did. As pained as he was, he seemed suddenly… Unsure was the closest word Elizabeth had. He stared at the bottles as if they might disappear at any second.

“Drink them both quickly,” she ordered, somberly staring him down. “This will not be pleasant.”

Like a spell was lifted, Jack took both bottles without a moment’s hesitation and downed the first. He almost dropped the bottle once it was empty, a shuddering gasp escaping him the second he was finished drinking.

“Tenenbaum,” Elizabeth warned, reaching out to Jack to– she didn’t know what. How could she help when she didn’t even know what was happening? She could feel the tremors in his body even with a light touch.

“Nein, Jack, the second bottle,” the mother in her kicked in, pushing his other hand up to jolt him out of whatever the effects of the first were. Fire and electricity ran up his forearms and over his hands as he drank the second bottle, his face twisted in pain.

“Jesus, Mary’n Joseph,” McDonough exclaimed, taking a few hearty steps back. “What in blazes?!”

“It’s… It’s over now.” Jack did drop the bottles now, color back in his face even as he trembled– however slightly. “We need to go.”

Elizabeth nodded, knowing this is exactly what she would want in his place. “And we will.” She marched over to him, met with a tired, confused stare as his shoulders slumped. And Elizabeth hugged him gently, feeling his breath steadying and finding a bit of solace in that. “I love you, Jack. Now that I’ve said it, we can go.”

She tried to ignore Booker and Tenenbaum sharing a grin, but her own smile wouldn’t quit.

“I’m… Right behind you!” Jack caught up, walking beside her with a bright-eyed smirk. Whatever Point Prometheus held, she knew they could handle it. Together, they could handle anything.

“W-wait,” a young girl’s voice called after them, and she turned to see Sylvette. She gave Jack the present from the girls at his birthday party, and she was close with Carol, but Elizabeth didn’t know much else about her. “You’ll need help… From a former Little Sister. Fontaine, he… He’s splicing now. I can help you against him. Me and my sisters.”

Without missing a beat, Jack nodded. “Thank you, Sylvette. This means a lot to me.”

Her smile was faint, almost invisible in the dark, and even less obvious as she shrank in shy delight. “Oh… Of course. We’re family.”

— At Point Prometheus —

Leaving the Bathysphere station, everything was calm… Even if it was in shambles.

“Watch your step,” Sylvette advised, flitting over the wreckage like a natural. Her boots helped with that, no doubt, though her floral overalls were well out of place here. Elizabeth figured her dress and Jack’s knit sweater were too, though.

“Oi remember puttin’ you into that sub,” Atlas drawled on overhead speakers, so sincerely hurt. Jack exhaled sharply, but otherwise, his mouth was set in a hard line and he never stopped scanning their surroundings as they pushed ahead.

Atlas had to have his people eating up some story or another, a hint of the truth drowned out by pretty lies. “T’help you escape this awful place. And what’s my thanks? You come right on back, but to save your daddy even after he tried to kill your mum.”

Turrets and splicers broke up his speeches, inaudible underneath her calls out to Jack, Sylvette warning about more splicers, and the general chaos of combat.

“S’ppose there’s no helpin’ it. Blood’s blood, and yours is tainted,” he accused. Even if Jack didn’t feel that, she did. Her grip tightened on her weapon, and Elizabeth got a second wind. Atlas would eat those words.

“You wanna find me, save your wretch of a father?” He chuckled drily, a twinge of… Something else layering his voice now. Something inhuman. “Come to the top o’ the Point. We’ll settle this like men.”

The overhead speakers hissed off, and they came out from their long trek to an atrium of sorts… Filled with vending machines and weapons, and the odd corpse or leak. Had Fontaine been preparing for them here, just like they would now? And where was Ryan?

Sylvette darted over to a Little Sister holding out a needle from the flower tunnel, muttering something to her before running back.

“We… We can’t beat him without this.” She bit her lip, looking down at it before presenting it to Jack. “Drain him of ADAM. It’s the only way.”

He took the needle, pulling her into a one-armed hug. His voice was low, tender, but Elizabeth could just make out the words. “Thanks again. You’re the family I’ve always wanted. All of you.”

With a sniff, she nodded and took off to the tunnel. Soon, she would be too big to use it. Carol was already, and she was so proud of herself for it. For them, they had to win. This was why they came here from Columbia in the first place, and she got so much more than she ever hoped for.

“Elizabeth?” Jack held his open hand out to her, waiting for her on the first few steps to the elevator that would take them to Fontaine. “Are you ready?”


What do you want to do, Elizabeth?

Two chapters remain, potentially one (an epilogue will only happen if I need to tie up any loose ends). 

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BioQuest: Coming Storm

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Relief washed over the clinic collectively once Ryan and Sullivan left. And as much as Elizabeth knew that she had to see Grace and the Rapture Family as soon as possible, she wanted to take this opportunity to check in with those she considered family.

Who knew when that would happen again?

She pushed aside the nagging thought, walking over to Jack by the doorway leading out of the clinic. His expression softened as her hand rested on his arm, and she revelled again in the good that came of all this– they were dating.

And by pure circumstance, Booker already knew about it (saving her the anxiety of that discussion even if she knew he’d approve). It hardly seemed real, which was almost comedic given everything else that had happened.

“Jack,” she asked the unspoken question. So much changed in a matter of hours and most of it impacted him directly.

Art by Neon Bairon on dA

“I’m alright.” He smiled, putting his hand on hers. “Better than alright. I’ve reconnected with my mother, and now we have the chance to unite Rapture and end the bloodshed. Plus, I have you at my side,” he rushed, his nerves winning over his confidence. Elizabeth chuckled, glad for the attempt regardless.

“You’re sweet,” she consoled him from his embarrassment. “And I know we can see this through together.” Feeling bold, Elizabeth kissed him on the cheek and earned a bright smile from him– and Diane over his shoulder– before she made her way to Booker.

He was working on his gun with his back turned to the group, a sure sign he didn’t want to be bothered. Which was too bad for him because Elizabeth wasn’t taking no for an answer at the moment. There simply wasn’t time for that now.

“Elizabeth,” he sighed in begrudging acceptance. “Congratulations on finally moving forward with Jack.” He set part of his gun aside, though she wasn’t sure which part it was.

“Seems you didn’t inherit your mother’s nature to take the first step. Unless it comes to hitting me with a wrench,” he tacked on sarcastically, though without malice. “That, you can do with no trouble.”

“Har har,” Elizabeth deflected, crossing her arms with a teasing smile. “You know that’s not why I’m over here.”

“I imagine not,” he answered, letting her take the floor from there.

“With Sullivan… What were you two whispering about?”

Booker set the gun down on a nearby desk, turning to her with a grimace. “Nothing pleasant.” It was a warning rather than avoidance for a change, and her silence was his go-ahead.

“Ryan’s gone mad with power, everyone knows it.” Booker stared off in the direction they left in as if his disdain could still reach him. “He had Sullivan murder an artist, for Christ’s sake.”

Booker had no love or respect of artists, especially those in Rapture, but at least he wasn’t behind their arbitrary murder. Well– he’d probably allow the murder of Cohen. Elizabeth waited silently for Booker to continue, and he obliged.

“This Culpepper woman was supposedly in league with Atlas,” he explained, obviously skeptical. “Not that Ryan has any proof but a random conversation they had over a year ago that could’ve been with any Anna in Rapture.”

In that instant, she remembered– when they had made their stand against Fontaine that let him fake his death and she spoke to Ryan on the radio, giving her name as Anna. Unable to fight the habit, her hand went to her short pinky and she ran her fingers over the metal cap.

Bless him, Booker badly pretended not to notice and dropped the subject. “It’s weighing on him because, like every soul trapped down here, this isn’t what he signed up for. The next target from Ryan is Bill McDonough, one of the few truly good men on Earth.”

Elizabeth raised her eyebrows at that. It wasn’t easy praise from Booker, who generally assumed everyone was terrible.

“He’s got it in his head to kill Ryan, and of course Ryan knows it. There’s not a damn thing Sullivan can do,” he sighed, picking up the pieces of the gun again to do something with his hands. “But if a third party were to step in before Sullivan’s men got to him, and if that party had an agreement with Ryan, well… That’d change things.”


What do you want to do, Elizabeth?

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BioQuest: Contract

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Tenenbaum pushed her way forward, crossing her arms once she was in front of Sullivan and Ryan. “Jack may care only for the people of Rapture, but we don’t work for free. Our price for this bargain is all the chemical supplies and equipment given to Suchong, or there is no deal.”

Jack’s gaze went to the new desk to replace the one she found Suchong on– and his eyes were faraway. Elizabeth wanted to reach out to him, but with the present company… She stepped towards them as well, drawing herself up.

“And as Sullivan himself knows, we are worth any price. I’ll be your liaison to the Rapture Family,” she explained, firm but calm. “It’s a pleasure to work with you, Mr. Ryan.” And Elizabeth offered her hand with a small smile.

“But it doesn’t have to be,” Booker tacked on, making his point known. Sullivan pointed a half-hearted glare at him, at any rate.

And yet… Ryan smiled, taking Elizabeth’s hand. “I enjoy your proud, entrepreneurial spirit. Let’s see you make good on your word.”

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The next few moments passed quickly but awkwardly as Ryan stepped out of the clinic while Sullivan and Booker exchanged harsh whispers and the rest of them comforted the patients at the clinic.

Elizabeth hadn’t expected his agreement to be so easily acquired, though she expected the skeptical comment at the end… Ryan really had latched onto Jack. It was a miracle he was letting him remain here instead of moving him elsewhere. As if Jack would allow that, of course.


What do you want to do, Elizabeth / Tenenbaum?

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BioQuest: Truce

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“What the hell you’d want to talk to him for?” Booker asked Jack skeptically, pulling Ryan to his feet. Booker’s contempt was for Andrew rather than his son, of course, a fact that Sullivan clearly knew well from his open indifference.

Better than open hostility, at least.

Elizabeth stood beside Diane, who had ushered the girls off to look after patients, and now all they could do was wait. That was likely easier for Elizabeth than the others, since she at least knew what Jack wanted to discuss.

“It’s important, Booker. Trust me,” Jack added, going for Booker’s weakness. He let go of Ryan with a warning look and standing close to Rapture’s founder just in case. It was a start.

“You’ve already figured out that these people saved me from Fontaine,” Jack said, gaze set on Ryan. “But there’s more to this than you could find out on your own. Than any of us alone could.”

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Elizabeth caught Tenenbaum smiling and couldn’t resist a smirk herself. Who knew she’d start in the sky and find her place at the bottom of the sea? (And a boyfriend– nothing could dampen that recent development.)

“I need you to trust them like I do, because they’ve always looked out for me.”

Ryan scowled, holding out his cuffs to Sullivan, who fished out the keys to free Ryan. “Son, they hid you from me.”

“Because they didn’t know what you’d do.” Jack let the implication hang, and it worked: Ryan let his argument die. “And now that they do, they’ll have to learn to trust you too.”

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Tenenbaum scoffed. Crossing her arms, Diane muttered loud enough for Ryan to hear, “You said it.”

“Please listen,” Jack implored, less tactical and more emotional when talking to them directly instead of Andrew Ryan. “This plan means everyone has to work together. Right now, Rapture is divided between Ryan, the Rapture Family, and Atlas.”

Gesturing to the inner clinic beyond him, Jack continued, “We’ve helped the Family and you here, Ryan. Together, we have a chance to unite the Family, or at least some of them, with you against Atlas. We can take back Rapture and restore it as a better place. For everyone.”

Ryan banner over Rapture

“Hold it,” Sullivan stepped in. He didn’t agree with Ryan, Elizabeth knew as much from Booker, but he must still be caught off guard. “We just find out he’s your son, and he’s making decisions now?”

“He is, and he will be part of my decisions,” Ryan answered curtly, “Though he should know that peace with those cultists is–”

“They’re not all cultists.” The hushed surprise at someone daring to talk over Ryan was heavy in the room. “People took shelter with the Family after they’d been driven from their homes by poverty and war. There’s no city without people, Ryan. And this is our only chance to save it all.”


What do you want to do, Elizabeth / Tenenbaum?

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BioQuest: Parting Thoughts

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Sullivan’s arrival and reach for his weapon set everything on its head all over again. Jack tensed, moving instinctively to a combative stance, and Tenenbaum reached for her own gun in return.

Diane went to calm down the recovered sisters, since most of them were already picking up scalpels already– and they could be deadly with those. There was no stopping Tenenbaum, but Elizabeth stood between Sullivan and Jack, calling to Booker at the same time. “Booker, please,” she asked, and he delivered.

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“It’s alright, Sullivan. Tensions were running high between Ryan and Miss McClintock here,” he explained in what was only partially deceitful to cover up the entire messy story where Ryan tried to kill Jasmine (and the reasons why by extension).

Elizabeth knew he was doing it to protect Jack’s identity from Sullivan and the public, but it made her stomach twist to think they were covering Ryan’s attempt on an innocent woman’s life. Fontaine had deceived her into giving up her child. That– hit close to home.

“And it didn’t seem right to restrain the lady. It’s not as if I could send him out on these streets alone either,” Booker finished. He and Sullivan stared at one another tensely and yet– the director of Rapture’s security moved his hand away from his holster and crossed his arms instead.

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“Is that the case, Mr. Ryan?”

Andrew laughed drily, turning to look at Sullivan. “I’m… Afraid so.” Bound by the laws of his own city, Andrew couldn’t tell the truth of what happened here any more than they could. He’d be arrested for his intentions and possibly even killed. Who knows what would come of the city then?

“I’ll just get him to his feet now,” Booker talked to Sullivan, reaching a hand out to Ryan. “And hopefully they’ve both learned their lesson.”

“Wait,” Jack interrupted and all eyes landed on him. “I want to talk to him first.”


What do you want to do, Elizabeth / Tenenbaum?

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BioQuest: Crossroads

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The clinic had quieted down a bit since they left not long ago, but a thick tension took the place of stewing rage. Jack took his hand from hers as they stepped in, an act she attributed to Ryan more than anything.

Booker stood between the door and Ryan, and Tenenbaum put herself between their captive and the rest of the clinic. Elizabeth found herself going to check on Diane first while Jack went over to Tenenbaum.

“Diane, how—”

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“A traitor, he called me,” she answered the question before Elizabeth could finish. “Me, after all he’s done!” She threw her arms up, crossing them right after and finally looking Elizabeth in the eye. “I just can’t believe it. Can’t believe him. The arrogance! How did I ever get fooled into loving such a– Ugh!”

To get her attention, Elizabeth put her hand on Diane’s shoulder and smiled. “Because you see the best in people, Diane, and you look past their flaws to see their potential.” Her anger softened to surprise, and at last, Diane smiled back. “It’s not your fault that he chose to be how he is now.”

“You’re sweet,” she answered, pulling her into a quick hug. “I only needed a second. Come on.” She stepped back and lead the way back to Ryan and the others.

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Elizabeth ignored Ryan in favor of the last friend she’d yet to check on. “Tenenbaum, are you alright?”

The doctor only chuckled, waving away her concern. “Liebling, I am fine.”

“Jack,” Ryan interrupted almost fondly. “I should have known that a son of mine would not be contained by the likes of Fontaine.”

“I didn’t do it alone. I couldn’t have,” he amended, gesturing to the them.

“Booker?!” Sullivan’s distinct accent cut through the gathering, and Elizabeth looked his way just in time to see him reaching for his holster. “You got two seconds to clear this up.”

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What do you want to do, Elizabeth / Tenenbaum?

Read the next chapter.

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