BioQuest: Together

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Elizabeth took slow steps after Jack as he passed the news on to Booker and Tenebaum. They’d become like parents to him in their own right – and he deserved a chance to talk to them alone for a moment.

And truthfully, she needed a moment to catch up to tonight. Elizabeth took calculated steps as she reviewed the night in her mind. The New Year’s party, Jack’s calloused fingers around her hand, the Big Daddy at the lab and Booker’s ‘luck’ knowing that security code, Atlas’ appearance at the Kashmir Restaurant.

So much new data to consider for their plan to save the other Little Sisters and now themselves.

She joined them by standing beside Jack, glancing to Booker. “I’ll still be a trusted face in the labs, and that’ll give us the chance to get another dose – or at least the formula from Suchong’s belongings.”

Elizabeth took a moment to smirk at Booker and his grimace said he knew what was coming. “And you can have some quality time with Tenenbaum, hmm?”

“Elizabeth,” he warned and she only laughed.

“So I’m going with you,” Jack interrupted, almost commanded. “You can’t go alone, Booker is injured. Tenebaum is…” He glanced to her playing with the girls by the blocks. “That leaves me.”


What do you want to do, Elizabeth?

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BioQuest: Connection

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Tenebaum pulled herself to stand on her own using Jack’s suit coat, looking skeptically at the blood stains and holes there… And he let out a breath when she didn’t comment on it. Of course he was hiding something. All that time with someone like Booker was making him secretive after all.

We have that in common, ja? Such a terrible affect we have on those we know.

“Verdammt,” she grumbled. “Get off me, I’ll go help.” He trailed after her, his concern in the air like atmospheric pressure. Tenebaum kicked her heels off as she continued, and the little ones took to them quickly…

And she stopped, stumbling to her knees and almost falling by the pieces of their tower.

“Schnuckiputzi,” she slurred at the closest of the girls and pat her head. She giggled, rushing at Tenenbaum with a hug – drawing in the others as well in a wave of children.

“I’ll just…” Jack’s voice disappeared or maybe went away, she couldn’t tell– no, she wasn’t listening. Not to him.

“Mama B!” The girls called over each other, tiny arms wrapping around her, voices blending with her laughter. It was better than ‘Mr. B’, to be certain. And to think, her maternal instinct once repulsed her.

“Tenenbaum,” he interrupted, but he was too gruff and deep for Jack… She looked up, straining to see at such an awkward angle.

And through the alcohol.

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Stubble, bandaged arms crossed over his chest, and cool blue eyes watching her. She blinked, he stared. Booker, then. “Looks like it’s my turn to babysit.”

She chuckled, sitting up as the girls scrambled away to rebuild their tower. The floor was damp, uneven stone and yet the little ones still ran barefoot without trouble. Tenebaum didn’t find it as forgiving.

But at least she had a handsome distraction. One that was easy to tease. “Have I not been sitting you these past months, keeping you from going mad in your idle days?”

“I… Wouldn’t say that.” Yet he had more to say and only shifted his weight in silence. Maybe the dose left him restless? Or maybe…

Fighting her way to her feet, limbs warm and heavy, Tenenbaum shuffled over to Booker.

Where did the girls take her shoes?

She didn’t get this drunk often… Tenebaum impressed herself being at least decently spoken and coordinated as she was. Das Wunderkind had learned new skills– and she buried that thought quickly.

“I know a better way to return this favor,” she suggested, reaching out to grab the red sash around his neck. What were they called again?

Booker tensed, shoulders locked as he pulled back in equal force to keep from getting close. And in the corner of her eye, blurry shapes of Elizabeth and Jack sat across from each other.

Art by NeonBairon on dA

Let the children talk…

Tenebaum twisted the fabric around her hand and stepped forward to be right in front of Booker. Without her heels, the height difference between them was even clearer. Yet he did not resist. Not truly. “Fontaine was into business, the work of the mind. He was a bit soft underneath that fancy suit.”

“More than I wanted to know,” Booker grumbled and kept a confused glare on her. He didn’t trust her and he showed it. Booker wasn’t a good man, no, but he couldn’t hide what he felt. That, Tenebaum could trust.

“You,” she went on, smirking. “You are a man of the body, a solider. It would be an improvement and we could help one another. Think about it, Booker.” And she let go of the sash, staggering back and trying to pass that off. “I will be.”

“Wha– that’s–” His hand found the back of his neck and his eyes wandered off to an empty corner of the room until he recovered. For a man who had committed such atrocities, Booker could be such a prude. “Don’t compare me to Fontaine.”

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Tenebaum shrugged, feeling clumsy even in doing that. “I didn’t hear no.”

“Tenebaum, just– just focus,” he snapped. “We need another dose of Lot 192. Did you get enough to make it?”

She snorted and dropped into a wheelchair nearby, rolling away a small distance. “No, your blood made a mess of it – to put this in words you will understand.”

“Hey,” Jack’s thin voice interrupted. “Elizabeth got some news… Over the radio. The city’s falling apart. People are panicking with all this fighting between Atlas and Ryan.” Jack heaved a breath, buttoning and unbuttoning his blazer.

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Booker stepped closer to squeeze Jack’s shoulder. What could Tenenbaum do but smile as he fathered the boy better than he ever had been? An opportunity for them both.

all this drinking made her emotional

“And Suchong returned to the lab after Booker hit it. Maybe under orders to work on the bond between the girls and Big Daddies and…” He forced his hands into his pockets, looking to Booker. “He’s dead.”


What do you want to do, Elizabeth/Tenenbaum?

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BioQuest: Recovery

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Booker tolerated her bandaging him up properly, which she supposed would suffice for now. He’d be more grateful later once the wounds had healed correctly and Booker could make his next reckless decision… She chuckled to herself, shaking her head.

Booker was smart enough not to ask what was so funny.

“Jack,” she asked and he set the guitar down on the bed.

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“Yes?” He turned around with a faint smile and seemed warmer somehow, if a bit shaken still. And who could hold that against him? “Can I help?”

“Ahead of me already, I see,” she teased and while she didn’t get a laugh, his smile did grow just a little. “Go talk to Tenenbaum, see if she can help me out.”

“Ah, Jesus,” Booker answered. “I’m fine!”

“I’ll go get her.” And with that, Jack stood and went over to Tenenbaum’s lab door, rapping gently on the window for her attention.

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Elizabeth didn’t even have to say anything, Booker offered the information she’d been wondering about.

“He’s in a bad way, but he’s a tough kid.” His voice was quiet, soft. Proud, maybe? “Give him time. Jack will pull through.”


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BioQuest: No One Can

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Booker forced out a breath when she pulled him into a sudden hug, squeezing him tightly. Surprise gave way to a quiet laugh from his chest and he put his arm around her shoulders. Lightly, uncertain, but still…

Stepping back, Elizabeth smiled up at Booker, her father – for better or worse. “Come on, Booker, you need rest.”

He grimaced but followed, led by her arm wrapped around his now. “Elizabeth, please, I’ve had worse hangovers than–”

“Which is exactly why you need your rest,” she finished his sentence, taking her arm away from his beside a bed next to Jack. They may not have existed at all other than a short pause in his strumming the guitar.

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Booker sighed and sat on the bed, glancing up at Elizabeth. “You’re a little more north of forty than you used to be,” she teased half-heartedly and Booker only nodded to Jack.

Elizabeth’s fingers ran over the metal stump of her pinky instinctively as she walked over to him, the folksy guitar music continuing. Her arms slid over his shoulders, which she felt tensing beneath her as her hands met in front of his chest. A comfortable warmth radiated between them and the music trailed off.

“Thank you,” she whispered, “for getting Booker home safely.” He nodded stiffly and Elizabeth moved back, putting the bag on the table between the two beds. “So,” she started, trying to break the silence. “Has anyone come upon our hideout while I was away? And how are the girls? I’m sure the explosions can be felt down here.”

“Hm,” Booker mused aloud. “I was in and out the past few hours. Can’t say I noticed much of anything.” He rubbed the back of his neck, eyeing the bag wearily while she sorted through it.

Must’ve felt worse than he let on to be too tired even to get patched up.

“You can feel them,” Jack answered softly. “But the explosions won’t hurt us here. No one can find us.” He spoke over his shoulder and stayed facing away.  His voice was authoritative in a way… of one trying to convince himself.


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BioQuest: Sanctuary

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Elizabeth held tightly to the strap on her shoulder, the bag of supplies that Jack and Booker would need… And her shoulders fell. Turning away from Diane and Steinman’s absent humming, she made her way to the exit and even passed the nurse-guard without trouble.

Somehow, even more people had arrived in the time she was gone and distant explosions still echoed through the walls. There wasn’t a corner or open area without weapons or someone huddling there…

Security bots chirped and whirred by as Elizabeth went back to the closet containing a disabled turret. Locking the door behind her, Elizabeth crouched at the tunnel’s opening and lowered the bag in first.

A voice on the intercom outside made an announcement while she climbed down herself. “Rapture Security is containing the parasites. Stay in your homes and take shelter. Rapture will rise.”

Elizabeth exhaled as she dropped, taking a moment to put a shipping pallet over the tunnel entrance. Everyone would want a secret shelter now and she couldn’t be too careful with theirs.

The tunnels were humid, cloaked in shadow, and each explosion rattled more dust from the roof and walls… Yet Elizabeth emerged safely, if a bit dirty, in the drainage of Olympus.

Here, it was quiet. Elizabeth felt that peace wash over her and welcomed the change. Water rushed down the large half pipe beside her and she pushed herself faster towards the door to the Sanctuary.

She barely had her hand raised to knock before Booker opened the door, looking her over. He was pale with a sheen of sweat still hanging on him and he let out an uneven breath. “I swear, Elizabeth… You look worse than I do.”

And he stepped aside, letting her in, up the stairs… Jack sat on a bed in the far corner, a guitar in his arms and a slow familiar tune barely audible while Tenenbaum watched the TV in her lab behind reinforced glass.

“But, uh… I’m… Glad you’re home safe.” He cleared his throat, waiting beside her in comfortable silence.

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What do you want to do, Elizabeth / Tenenbaum?

Since both Elizabeth and Tenenbaum are present, you can give suggestions for one or the other in the next post – but remember that you can only make suggestions for one of them at a time.

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BioQuest: Aftermath

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“Booker, wait,” she pleaded, catching up to him and holding him back with a hand on his shoulder. “You need to rest, please… Just let Jack take you home.”

With faint footsteps, Jack came up beside her and nodded once. He seemed lost in thought, but there would be time to talk to him later. First, they had to get Booker to safety. And who knew what state Jack himself may be in? The VitaChamber had never been tested before tonight… She played with the end of her pinky, looking away from Jack.

There will be time.

“I’m fine,” Booker muttered, unconvincing. He took shallow breaths and honestly, she doubted that she was the only thing keeping him from going on ahead.

“It’s alright to not be fine, Booker,” Jack reassured him, keeping his gaze on Booker now. “You remember what you told me? During guitar practice?”

“Yeah,” Booker rushed to answer. “And I’m in no grand hurry to talk about it.”

Jack breathed a laugh and Elizabeth traded places as he put Booker’s arm over his shoulder. “We don’t have to talk. I’ve got you.”

It was an odd picture to be sure, but lucky for them, neither man was on the tall side. She glanced to the gift box in her other hand, running her thumb over the corner. Jack watched her when she looked back up and he smiled.

“We can open it together when you come back.”

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“We will,” she agreed, watching them shuffle ahead for a few moments before taking the fork towards the pavilion. They would be safe, she calmed herself. Both of them knew how to handle a fight.

Pulling herself up from the tunnel exit, Elizabeth came out into a closet with a turret set up inside– once the realization hit that it was off, she exhaled and stepped out into chaos.

Pained screams and groans filled the air, mixed with smoke, sterilizers, and sweat. Some people just waited in corners, legs pulled in tight, and muttered to themselves while they waited for someone to notice they were there. Others cried at the desk, demanding to see someone inside or be seen by a doctor…

Looking down at herself, Elizabeth had enough dirt on herself to pass as a patient and enough decorum to pass as a frazzled scientist. She threw her mask out from the ball and ran to the pavilion.


What do you want to do?

Search the Medical Pavilion labs with Elizabeth?

Help Booker and Jack with Tenenbaum?

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BioQuest: Down One

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“Hm,” Elizabeth stalled and tried to do a quick recount in her mind of their supplies in Olympus. They’d need them for Booker for sure, maybe Jack too depending on where all that blood was from… She closed her eyes and rested a hand against the craggy wall. “What does Tenenbaum have for supplies?”

“Bandages, antiseptic ointment, a small lab of chemicals…” His voice strayed and she opened her eyes as he looked at the tunnel roof. “Footsteps above us,” he dismissed. “They can’t hear.”

“What’s it matter?” Booker interrupted, exhaling sharply. He had to be feeling that injury now, the adrenaline was fading. He shifted to take a knee, continuing. “Anything she needs, you can find easier at your lab.”

As her eyes adjusted to the weak lighting, she saw Booker brace a hand against his head. Elizabeth turned to him so quickly she nearly stumbled on debris by her feet and she hovered a hand near him. “Booker, what is it? Are you–”

“Tell me someone else sees this blue light,” he mumbled, wincing. The tunnel had sparse orange lights burning low, some flickering, and even that was enough to catch the sweat beading on Booker’s face.

“Lot 192,” Jack whispered. He put his hand on Elizabeth’s shoulder, moving past her to Booker. “He got the dose…?”

“Listen, Jack, it– ngh,” Booker grunted and dull blue electricity arced on his forearm, blinking out just as suddenly.

“Down to one.” Jack breathed the sentence, sinking to the floor. “And Booker could die.” He pulled at his tie, ripping the shirt collar open so forcefully that the top button rattled off down the tunnel somewhere.

“I’m not going to die,” Booker forced out the sentence, getting to his feet with the wall as support. He shuffled ahead against the wall… going nowhere fast. “Not here. We’re getting out of here.”


What do you want to do, Elizabeth?

Read the next chapter.

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