BioQuest: Growth

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“Endlich,” Tenebaum agreed, exasperated. “I will collect the girls for travel to the clinic. The older ones will help carry supplies with me.” She nodded to the girls in their preteen years and they smiled to varying degrees, just eager to help.

“And Booker, you talk to Sullivan about ammunition.” Tenebaum had already begun, grouping like things together for the girls… Although they were packing blocks and bears with clothes and medicine. “We will need that, more than we can smuggle in or steal.”

“Yes ma’am,” he almost joked and they shared a smirk. Elizabeth raised an eyebrow at them, but of course they pretended not to notice. Booker picked up a radio and his shotgun, heading out on his own in less than a minute. Some military habits never left, Elizabeth knew… Or at least tried to understand.

Tenebaum crossed her arms and looked Diane over. Hopeful, naïve, ready to make a difference… And what was bad about that? They would have to keep an eye on her, that was the worst of it. “Diane, perhaps you would come with me and the girls? It’s too much to set up with just us.”

“Oh! Oh, I–” She looked at the girls, delighted already to meet someone new. “Well, of course I would.”

By the door, Elizabeth picked up a pistol from their weapons cache. She gathered spare ammunition for it as she spoke. “I’ll go ahead to the clinic, make sure it’s clear.”

“Jack,” Tenebaum called. He turned to her, silent and waiting. “What’s that look? Go with Elizabeth,” she playfully lectured him, waving him towards the weapons cache. “Keep each other safe.”

“Right!” He shouted and the girls laughed at his excitement. “Right,” Jack corrected at a normal volume and picked up the other pistol.


What do you want to do, Elizabeth and Tenenbaum?

Because they are both present, you can choose how they react… BUT you must choose someone to go with as they will be separated.

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BioQuest: Assembly

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Tenebaum watched as the arguing went on… Booker unable to pick a side, Diane falling to her emotions, Jack fighting for answers, and Elizabeth trying to restore order.

She dropped her cigarette on the floor, crushed it under her shoe. This happened plenty with Fontaine and Suchong, so she’d had practice – and luckily, these people weren’t out for power.

“Blutige hölle,” Tenebaum muttered, drawing her pistol and aiming for the ceiling. “Listen or I shoot!”

They all turned to her, though only Diane was surprised. The rest knew both that she would not shoot and that this was the fastest method. Why else would she use it?

“For God’s…” Booker came over to her and put his hand on her arm. “Just put that down, we can talk about this.”

wallup.net
“Now you can.” With that done, Tenenbaum holstered her pistol.

Jack and Diane would not look at one another, so all of them were staring at her and Booker. Elizabeth stood between them both for the second time that hour and raised her hands passively.

“Let’s focus on solutions. We’ll have plenty of time to discuss…” She paused, weighing her words. “The rest. First, Tenenbaum, is there a way to reverse the effects of ADAM in any addicted splicers?”

Tenebaum frowned, crossing one arm across herself and putting her other hand to her chin. “I hadn’t thought of that. But yes, yes, it could. Painful withdrawal, but quick. Mentally, who knows?”

“You can’t be serious, Elizabeth,” Booker scoffed, shaking his head. “Splicers? We aren’t bringing them down here.”

“They do make up most of Atlas’ numbers. For now,” Jack added. “If we break their addiction, it would at least get them stable. Let them really decide for themselves what they want.”

“Regardless,” Tenebaum interrupted, “there isn’t enough ADAM in Rapture for both Ryan and… Atlas.” The bitterness in her tone was obvious, but Miss McClintock had enough stress for one day. Telling her now about Fontaine being Atlas would likely prove too much for her. “They will still have withdrawal symptoms, which will absolutely make them insane. We can only win.”

“Precisely,” Elizabeth agreed. “We’re already starting to see it out there. Only a few have lost themselves, but it’s only a matter of time.”

“I will need tools, supplies, chemicals, more staff beyond just Elizabeth in my lab,” Tenebaum listed, counting them off on her hands. “There’s not enough space here and not enough bullets for us to collect those things to put there.”

Elizabeth ran her fingers over the metal stump of her pinky, thinking. “Suchong’s Clinic is free now, I could step up for that, but the defenses…”

Jack smiled and stood tall, answering, “Booker can help with that! He works with–”

“Jack,” he warned, putting a hand up to silence the boy for what little good it did.

“It’s civil war out there, we can’t be keeping secrets from each other now.”

Tenebaum couldn’t help but smile. Jack was coming into his own and Booker, well… Anytime he was caught off guard was a reason to smile.

“Yeah, so says the kid who snuck out. Twice.”

“Three times,” Tenebaum interjected, putting her hand on Booker’s back. “And once with you, no?”

Booker sighed and ran a hand over his head. He new when he’d lost. “When you asked me to lay low, I took up work with Sullivan. He doesn’t agree with Ryan anymore, not after–”

Booker cut himself off and wouldn’t meet anyone’s gaze. “Doesn’t matter. It’s hitting him hard. We can rely on him a lot better than a splicer, there’s that.”


What do you want to do, Elizabeth and Tenenbaum?

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BioQuest: Rebel

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Jack stayed silent with his back to them, unreadable for the moment. Elizabeth, though… Diane’s naivete and honest wish to change Rapture with the rebellion moved her. She saw an innocence in Diane and there was this tightness in her chest– regret? Mourning? Elizabeth smiled, sliding her arm out from Diane’s and resting a hand on her shoulder.

“It does mean something,” she began, her mind already made up about Diane before she’d even spoken to the others. They would just have to understand. “But not to Atlas. I know another group who has done honest good deeds and can do even more for these people, but you have to promise to keep it secret.”

Elizabeth heard Jack turn and felt his eyes on her as real as if he’d reached out to her. She continued only to Diane, her eyes wide and all even hopeful. She simply nodded, the ghost of a smile still on her face.

With the help of Diane, perhaps more would join and then… They could do more than save the girls and Jack. Elizabeth would have to tell them all her hopes, although for now, just having the hope was enough.

“Then come with us. Jack,” Elizabeth offered and held out her other hand. His eyebrows raised, he took her hand and Diane held the other.

They walked together in the shadows, avoiding the firefights and vandalism with surprising ease. It wasn’t often they were that lucky, and Elizabeth chose to believe it was a sign she’d done the right thing.

Once they reached the Bathysphere, however… An announcement overhead repeated that there was an incident at the Kashmir and at least one attempt on Ryan’s life, screaming and clanking echoing in the distant halls. The chaos had driven some of the unarmed citizens away, even as the corpses facedown in puddles proved that not all made it.

Diane stepped closer to Elizabeth, watching as she tried to access the Bathysphere and the radio on the wall dinged. “I apologize, but you do not have access to travel now. Given the emergency, only leaders of Rapture can travel. Thank you.”

“Oh, oh no,” Diane muttered, shaking her head. “What’ll we do now? Ryan, he must’ve found out, he…” Her free hand went to her chest, and her voice caught. “This’s my fault, isn’t it?”

“Let me try,” Jack said, pushing ahead and opening the door instantly. Without so much as a glance to them, he stepped inside and set to directing it to Olympus Heights.

Diane lowered her hand and slowly turned to Elizabeth. “Is he… With Ryan? I never met him, never saw… Elizabeth, what’s going on?”

“I can explain once we’re back.” Elizabeth faced her, holding an arm out to the Bathysphere ahead. “Please, I need you to trust me.”

Moments passed, the gunfire coming closer even in that short time. Diane breathed in and out carefully and went inside without another word. Though she sat at the opposite side from Jack and they traveled in silence, she was there. That was a start.


Elizabeth went first with Diane into the Sanctuary, dank as always, watching her for a reaction. The girls’ giggles floated to them first and Diane reflexively beamed– a weight off Elizabeth’s shoulders.

Then Booker rounded a corner, his button down shirt hanging open as he searched the area. Presumably for the clothes Jack took, but… Diane sighed wistfully, tapping Elizabeth’s shoulder. “Oh, you didn’t say you had such attractive men here.”

“Diane,” Elizabeth introduced her with a gesture that passed back to him. “My father.” Diane gasped, her hand over her mouth before an apology could escape. Elizabeth tried to do the same for her laughter… Mostly succeeding.

“Call me Booker,” he told her, settling his gaze on Jack wearing his clothes. “I expect my clothes back clean, Jack.”

“Right,” he mumbled behind her, shuffling to his bed to change. Or so she assumed, at least.

“Is no one going to ask why Ryan’s toy wife is here?” Tenebaum had collected herself, at least, but Elizabeth put herself between the doctor and Diane at that statement.

“Tenebaum!” It was an accusation, a demand for an apology, whatever Diane wanted.

“She’s, she’s the one!” Diane pointed over Elizabeth’s shoulder. “Ryan said she’s been taking them little girls away.”

“I have and I will continue.” Always the same bluntness with her… Elizabeth frowned, Tenenbaum took out a cigarette to light. “Your husband continues where Fontaine ended, and he will sink the city–”

“I know he will!” Diane marched to stand beside Elizabeth, her brows furrowing once she was there. Jack made his way back to them beyond her, and she looked to Elizabeth for support.

“Go on, Diane. You’re safe here.”

“I’ve seen it,” she started softly, eyes locked on her clasped hands. “The party, and then… People burning, screaming, those hulking monsters killin’ people, and now Bathyspheres are all closed up.”

Silence hung in the room for a moment. Booker was already sold right there, with his soft spot for people in need ever since Columbia, but Tenebaum? She smoked, studying and inscrutable.

Diane kept on, finally looking up. “We got nowhere to go and I… I just wanna help. Elizabeth said your people were better than Atlas, is all.”

Booker scoffed, buttoning up his shirt for what little it mattered now. “Hard not to be.”

“But I’ve got questions, you know?” Diane took another step forward and Elizabeth couldn’t help being proud of her friend. This was so much growth, so fast, and yet she was still holding to her ideals. “I don’t want to be blind to this no more.”

“As do I,” Tenebaum answered. “Elizabeth, what exactly is your plan? You kidnap Ryan’s wife now, and he will notice. Eventually,” she corrected, and at least Diane and Tenenbaum looked equally disgusted in that moment. “His attention is on his mistress and Atlas for now, but–”

“Mistress?!” Diane recoiled, her hands clenching into fists instantly. Before Elizabeth could get a word in, Jack came forward.

“My mother?”

“What?!” Diane snapped, stomping her foot and turning on Jack.

“Hey, hey, would you both stop it!” Booker raised his voice, but soon all the shouting blended together between them.


What do you want to do, Elizabeth and Tenenbaum?

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BioQuest: Seeking

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She stood over Suchong’s body, mangled and covered in reddish-brown stains. The sight should have made her nauseous. Instead, she examined his body for a place he’d store the formula for Lot 192.

Nothing so straightforward as a pocket, although… Elizabeth went to the supply cabinet and pulled on a pair of surgical gloves with a delicate snap of the elastic band around her wrist.

She found herself approaching his corpse with calculated steps, not just for the blood pooled on the floor. There was a chance the formula wasn’t here, and then– They would find another way. With a tear or Tenebaum’s help, somehow they would make this work.

Elizabeth peeled open the left-hand coat pocket on the corpse’s jacket, peering inside. “Too dark,” she whispered to herself. Slipping her hand inside, she wrapped her fingers around a small box.

Turning the side not soaked in blood to the light, she made out the phrase ‘NICO-TIME’ and dropped the cigarettes into the trash. “Now for the other pocket.”

Reaching in, the right-hand pocket came up empty. She set both hands on the table, looking over his facedown body. “Suchong… Where would you hide it?”

Nowhere Ryan or Fontaine might come across it and nowhere that he couldn’t readily access it in an emergency. Dr. Suchong needed to be indisposable to any political power to ensure his safety at all times, after all.

Not that it helped him in the end.

Elizabeth crouched to eye level with the desk, looking for any pockets he may have had on the front of the coat. Keeping it on his person made the most sense for him to do, and… “Wait, is that…?”

She reached for an edge of photo paper sticking out from the seam of his shredded lab coat, pulling it out as she tore the corner pinned by the drill. The secret pocket protected it somewhat from the pooling blood, and with the overhead light, Elizabeth could make out the picture.

It was Jack, staggering out of the Vita Chamber after– After the fight. Turning it over, she saw a notation in the center, L192, and a chemical formula she could only partially understand.

But Tenebaum would know exactly what to do and Elizabeth breathed a laugh. Finally, a bit of luck. She tucked the photo into an inner pocket of her coat, peeling the gloves off and tossing them into the trash.

None of the security staff so much as glanced her way as she left and only the small chirp from the camera made it clear she was there at all.

She walked down the short hallway, past two couches, and into the panicked crowd on their way to someplace they hoped would be safe or to arm themselves with plasmids or take their money out from the banks– all contributing to the growing chaos.

Except for one person. He was at the edge of the crowd, calm and certain as to where he wanted to go. His black button down with white cuffs ended at his forearm, baggy and poorly fitted just like his black vest.

Something about him was familiar, but she didn’t recognize the crew cut he had– not until he glanced over his shoulder before ducking down a passage deeper into Apollo Square. And she knew it was Jack, going out again when she asked him to stay. Towards Hestia Chambers, if she remembered correctly…

She looked to Bathysphere waiting the in dock, then down the hall with a flickering light where Jack made his way towards… Whatever he sought.


What do you want to do, Elizabeth?

Read the next chapter.

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BioQuest: For Family

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Elizabeth paced in the tunnel, kicking some pebble into the running water now and again because, well, she could. “The formula is easier to steal, harder to miss. I should go for that,” she muttered to herself, gesturing as if it was on a table beside her right there.

“But then, the materials,” she trailed off, thinking on where they would even get those legitimately. It’s not as if she could steal the makings of it and the formula. That would be a good portion of the lab’s supplies, they would know.

She pivoted, looking into the shadows of the tunnel arches for an answer… Or maybe the feeling of being watched was finally getting to her. “For goodness’ sake,” Elizabeth scolded herself. “My family needs me at the labs.”

Her meaning caught up to her after she’d already said it, and she strode purposefully to the pathways leading out and up to a Bathysphere that would take her to Artemis Suites.


The streets were already in chaos. People crying, shouting to sellers and bankers, maintenance men installing the glowing Vita Chambers already… Elizabeth fought the urge to reach for the familiar surface of her pinky’s metal cover and focused on removing the image of a revived Jack covered in his own blood from her mind.

My family needs me.

That thought pushed her ahead with a shaky breath towards the next ready Bathysphere. Lucky for her, the lockdown being broadcast overhead didn’t apply to scientists.

It would make her a target eventually, but for now… Elizabeth sat in the Bathysphere alone and the door closed behind her. Anyone who targeted her was in for more of a fight than they realized. She was a DeWitt, after all, and she smiled out at the inky black ocean floor dimly lit by Rapture.

Or what was not broken in the city. The amusement park was dark, and Elizabeth only barely noticed it was there at all. Hardly a priority when one considered that other critical areas of the city had been blown apart and if the damage was to be contained, the repair Big Daddies would have to focus on those regions.

Just like that, the Bathysphere docked and she was in Artemis Suites of Apollo Square, following the practiced walk to Suchong’s clinic. She was surprised to find the entrance unmanned with countless moving shadows cast on the floor outside the door.

What they were saying, she couldn’t tell. The clinic had been heavily soundproofed to the outside long ago. And the moment she passed through the doorway, a camera chirped to life– calming when it was only her– but still, she had everyone’s attention now.

A sea of faces she didn’t know parted to show Sullivan, marching up to her and dropping a hand on her shoulder. “Miss, what are you doin’ here alone? Don’tcha know there’s a war on?!”

“I, I thought people may need help, so I–” He led her further into the lab, pulling her into an empty surgery room she distinctly recalled as beige, not the red-brown she saw splattered behind his looming figure.

“Look, your dad does great work, but I can’t keep covering for ya if you pull stunts like this,” he scolded her and kept her in place with his hand.

“I’ve got break-ins, turrets to set up, artsy types going ape, and this area’s turning to a prison overnight.” His face was unhealthy combination of pale and flushed, and Elizabeth wasn’t certain he even breathed during that lecture. She nodded, putting on her best wide-eyed innocent look. “So you beat feet outta here back to Booker, you hear me?”

“Yes sir,” she nearly answered to empty air as he went back to the main entrance of the lab… Leaving her to finally see Suchong’s maimed corpse affixed to his old desk with a bloodied stump of a drill.


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BioQuest: Improvisation

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“Thank you for offering, Jack,” she started and his eyes dimmed almost instantly. Elizabeth stepped towards him, suddenly aware of Booker watching them, and still putting her hand on his arm. “As much as I’d love to have you join me, they need your help here. Booker is hurt, he can’t look after Tenebaum–”

“Like hell I can’t,” Booker cut her off, turning his bandaged hand over despite himself. “I stayed in one piece when I was drunk, I think I’ve got the maternal scientist.”

Jack shrugged, smiling weakly. He looked sincere if a bit embarrassed – perhaps a light blush? – but he wouldn’t meet her eye as he continued. “I’ve no doubt, Booker. But if Elizabeth wants to go alone, I won’t go with her.”

“I’m still grateful, I just–” Jack finally turned to her, something she didn’t quite recognize between them… Admiration, that had to be it. He rested his hand over hers.

“Be careful.” With that, he went to the beds to get a pillow and blanket that she presumed was for Tenebaum.

Booker stared at her expectantly, eyebrows raised and arms crossed.

“Well, what is it, Booker?” She started towards the door and tried not to give herself away. After all, there were plenty reasons to be in a rush! The Lot dose was essential to freeing Jack completely and they only had so much time until security seized everything. Of course!

“Come on, Elizabeth,” he chastised her as she passed. “The boy likes you.”

“And Tenebaum likes you.” He scoffed, she smiled. Not the best distraction, but it would do for now. “Behave yourself,” Elizabeth told him and left the Sanctuary closed behind her…

To take a few moments to herself in the tunnels. Just to gather her thoughts. A plan for the labs, that’s what she needed.

To get the formula or the dose, and how? Improvisation at least needed framework to work at its best, after all.


What do you want to do, Elizabeth?

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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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