BioQuest: Accident

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She took the bottle from him, and it was light, but dense, it was… Elizabeth pouted at it, lost in thought, and turned it over in her hands. Booker let out a tense breath as he sat, rubbing his neck.

“Getting old, Booker?” She teased, and they both chuckled together.

“I’m still south of forty.” He rolled his shoulders, leaning back as the city passed behind him.

“And still north of me.” Elizabeth smiled, running a hand over the bottle. This would be the first step in freeing Jack. She wanted to scold him for such a reckless decision, but…

What other sorts of decisions did he make?

“Listen, Booker, tha–”

“Elizabeth!” The bottle slipped from her hands, she fumbled as it spiraled away.

Booker was on his feet, his hand under the bottle, but too late. The shatter filled the bathysphere for a few terrible seconds, and then…

Booker hissed a swear, cradling his bloody hand and pushed himself back onto the bench. Elizabeth glanced out the porthole window at the coming dock.

“Almost there, let me see,” she insisted, pulling his good hand off his injured one. The blood had shards of glass mixed in, embedded in his hand in places, but there was also a swirling, glowing quality.

“It’s just an accident, Elizabeth. I’ve been stabbed worse than this.” She stared up at him, studying his face. No symptoms yet, but how would she know? Would it take seconds? Days? Never?

“Forget it, there’s another dose in Rapture. And we’ll find it.” He took his hand back, wiping the blood on the bathysphere seat with a dry smirk. “Where’s Jack?”


What do you want to do, Elizabeth?

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BioQuest: One Dose

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The coming Big Daddy had all of Booker’s attention, he hadn’t even noticed the bathysphere arrive. That was his only tell. His hands were steady as he reloaded and he stayed in motion even as he sought out cover behind filing cabinets and surgical tables. Elizabeth fell right into their rhythm, crouching as she rushed to his side.

She was fortunate he hadn’t left much for debris, only the odd bullet hole or scorched mark on the wall. Once she was close to him, her fingers found the strap of his holster and he nearly found her with the butt of his gun. “Elizabeth?!”

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“To the bathysphere, this way,” she whispered, not that it would do much good stalling a Big Daddy. ‘Lucky’ for them, it was a Bouncer and not a Rosie… There was no outrunning a rivet. Booker and Elizabeth matched each other’s pace down the hall, the rumbling closer now. “Hurry!”

“I’m sure as hell not stopping,” he shouted over the groan behind them and knocked over a filing cabinet behind them as they passed.

“There’s no point, Booker—” A drill cut off the rest of her sentence, whirring down to an enraged roar and falling paperwork. “What were you thinking, coming here?!”

“Not this!” She could only scoff at that. Now was not the time for his sarcasm, but of course… Elizabeth got into the bathysphere ahead of him as he fired two more shots at the Bouncer, backing up into the bathysphere and slamming his fist down on the door button.

Its red eyes fixed on them, or it felt like that way, unfazed by the blasts. A robotic woman’s voice droned overhead, “Security protocol 52-C: travel locked.”

“Booker!” The footsteps in the hall were resonating through the bathysphere now, its eyes tinting everything red as it lumbered closer.

“On it,” he answered, pushing his gun into her hands. He typed a code into the numbered panel on the wall and the security message stopped mid-sentence.

The Bouncer was almost there, felt close enough to touch, until they rocked out of the port and onto the rails. Its eyes faded to that sick yellow-green and the security message explained. “Security clearance approved. Travel permitted. Rise, Rapture, Rise!”

She dropped to the bench, resting the gun beside her and finally breathing. Booker stayed and stared out at the Bouncer. Silent. Elizabeth slid forward in the seat and broke that silence with a question she knew she deserved an answer to. “What happened?”

He still didn’t look at her, holstering his gun with unnecessary focus on that task instead. She narrowed her gaze and scowled at the back of his head. But she would wait until he found the nerve that let him do this in the first place.

“This,” he offered, taking the flask off his belt. The solution looked like a star made liquid, shifting colors and giving off its own light. “Lot 192, one dose.”


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BioQuest: Be Safe

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Jack already had speckles of blood of the cuffs of his sleeves, standing over one of Sullivan’s dead men with the corpse’s gun in his hand. He stared at her, nodding towards the labs. “Go! Please, go.”

The outline of the crossbow nearly blended into the wall, but it almost neon for how difficult it was to tear her gaze from it to look down the halls outside the Kashmir…

Her dad, he could handle himself in a fight even if he couldn’t handle anything else on his own. But… Elizabeth looked back towards Jack, just as stuck as she was. And she closed her eyes, gunpowder and stale air filling her lungs as she breathed.

Booker, patch yourself up! I think there’s more of them.

She was part of his team now, whether either of them liked it or not. Elizabeth pointed to the crossbow she hid, shouting, “There, it’s a crossbow! Keep yourself hidden, stay safe.”

“No, you–”

She didn’t wait to hear the rest. Her heart beat in the effort and in concern– she ran through the notes she saw in Suchong’s files about Jack. Designed to fight, stronger than most people his physical age, and then there was the Vita Chamber.

The only one of its kind, a rushed prototype stationed in Fort Frolic where it could be concealed as decoration.

It wouldn’t come to that. Her heels echoed with every step down the halls, screams resounding behind her. It couldn’t.

The bathysphere was empty. The door sealed shut as security bots whirred and beeped towards the restaurant. She rested a hand against the glass, Apollo Square waiting out ahead. “Be safe.”

Bathyspheres were not fast, calibrating for fish and other sea life. She stretched, she hummed, she recited chemical compositions, she sat with legs folded and unfolded and folded. At last, the door swooshed open and she pushed her way out the moment she could.

“Shit,” Booker hissed, gun raised as he retreated. A vial hung from his belt, a mixed liquid shining from within. The camera at the front lay shattered on the ground, sparking, but…

She felt it first. The lumbering boots resonated through the floor of the lab, a low groan following.


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BioQuest: Find Him

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Jack was steady, calm. His gaze never left hers as he waited and he even nodded to reassure her. With or without the mask, his face would betray nothing…

Where was Booker? What had Jack sent him to get?

Elizabeth refined an inscrutable expression in her work with Suchong. That was the difference between doctor and subject in the lab. But she felt her shoulders tense and eyes widen, if only somewhat, as she wrapped her arm around his. “Where did he go? If he’s in danger, I have to know.”

“I can’t lie to you.” Jack looked straight ahead, watching the crowd. Perhaps for someone or to avoid looking at her. “He is.”

She tightened her jaw and her grip on his arm. Slowly, gently, he rested his hand on hers and squeezed. The guitar practice formed calluses on his fingertips… Elizabeth opened her eyes without realizing she’d closed them for a few seconds too long.

Of course Booker went wherever Jack asked. How many hours had they spent together over the past few months?

“Take me to him,” she meant to command when it came out imploring.

“I will. You are the only one actually allowed there, after all.” He stopped between an empty table and the dance floor. “I suppose I would be too.”

A flash of a wince, and he looked away to lead her out of the restaurant.

“What? Where are we–”

“You know where,” he reminded her. Not one person moved to stop them, perhaps thinking they were young lovers overcome with alcohol.

A thought like that, now of all times?

Elizabeth scoffed at herself, keeping pace with Jack. The crowd and music faded behind them in the halls of the Welcome Center… Until the music mixed with screaming and gunfire, and he stopped.

“Fontaine.” His voice was somewhere near a breath and a hiss, and his calm air disappeared. Jack took in a sharp breath, looked to Elizabeth, away, and back again. “The labs. Go find him.”

And Jack ran back towards the Kashmir, stopping only to get a gun from one of Sullivan’s men… He was already dead, blood soaking a dark pool on his suit and the plush carpet.

The crossbow was just as she concealed it beside the restaurant entrance, waiting.


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BioQuest: Be Here

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Diane offered her hand to Elizabeth, smiling even as her eyes hung heavy. There was nothing to fear from Diane and Elizabeth knew how she’d feel about Ryan… and she smiled, taking the lone woman’s hand.

“Good evening, Diane,” she answered. “I’m Anna DeWitt.” With her free hand, Elizabeth pointed to the pair of men she spotted as perhaps being Jack and Booker. “And I have an idea for you… I know that man with the red tie is here alone too.”

Elizabeth led Diane by the hand and she followed, her eyes already brighter in curiosity. She weaved her way through the party crowd, realizing as she did that everyone here was drinking not to celebrate, but to relax. Or make an empty attempt at it.

One of Sullivan’s guards was posted in each of the corners for this room, their guns concealed only as ominous silhouettes. She wasn’t the only one who saw it. “Hello, gentlemen,” she chimed. “Could you spare a dance for two ladies this evening?”

“Well, I’ll be,” the man with the red tie said in a smooth southern accent, turning to look Diane over and grin. “If it ain’t the fine Miss McClintock! I would be honored to have you on my arm tonight, ma’am,” he offered and put his hand out for her.

The man in the white suit angled his head down, but he glanced at Elizabeth through his mask… Yet she knew. There was Jack.

Alone?

“Mr. Sinclair?” Diane slipped her fingers out of Elizabeth’s, a smile coming to her voice. “My God, I had no idea you here! I…” She gulped, looking to Elizabeth and she gave her a small nod. Diane laughed and wrapped her arm around his. “I’d like that.”

Elizabeth watched them blend back into the crowd, waiting for them to get out of earshot. Once that was done, Elizabeth looked back at him and sighed.

“You look nice,” Jack admitted, meeting her gaze at last. “I thought you weren’t coming to the party.”

“I’m here for you and Booker.” Elizabeth watched the bubbles rising in the champagne in her glass… And put it on the table, sliding it away. One alcoholic DeWitt was enough. “Why are you here?”

“For you,” he responded, smiling. “Booker said you’d come looking, that you wouldn’t quit, and I should be here.”

He held his arm out and kept his gaze on hers. “He’s so proud of you, you know. So whatever happens, please don’t be upset with Booker. He went there for me. I asked.”


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BioQuest: Opportunity

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Scanning the room, Elizabeth looked for a red sash or necktie on any of themen… Booker loved that red sash around his neck, and she was counting on that. Drumming her fingers of her free hand on the champagne glass, Elizabeth answered the woman.

“Oh, I never had a date,” she chuckled and hoped that would comfort the blonde. After all, alcohol certainly wouldn’t. “Who could stand up such a charming woman as yourself?”

She counted five men so far with red neckties. Two were dancing with women and Elizabeth had never seen Booker so much as flirt with a woman since… Well, likely just before she was born. They weren’t him.

“Andrew Ryan,” the woman said, wistful and tender all at once, and picked up another glass. “Supposedly the man who loves me.”

“I’m sorry,” she caught herself and smiled. “I’m Diane. Diane McClintock.”

Only one of the men she counted stood with a shorter, leaner man at his side, both in suits… One black, one white. But she would have to get closer to see. And yet in front of her stood a valuable contact in Rapture who seriously needed a good friend. Someone she could n trust. Perhaps tell her secrets to.

Diane offered her hand and a sad smile.


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BioQuest: Masked

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The New Year’s party.

Elizabeth smiled, reaching for the bird necklace under her collar. Jack had never seen anything like a party. With all the time he spent with Booker, it’d be a simple undertaking to convince Booker to take him there. But at least it was just a party, where the greatest threat was a bad appetizer and small talk.

Or in this case, political tension… But she didn’t want to dwell on that.

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Still, she fought the urge to toy with the stub of her pinky. That was easy with Suchong around since he liked to ask what caused it, but here…? Elizabeth kept her eyes ahead and strode through the mostly empty halls towards the Welcome Center to the Kashmir restaurant.

At the front, a guard waited but there was no one else for security in sight. Safety ruined the atmosphere of Ryan’s strength, she guessed.

“Ma’am,” the guard said, adjusting his stance and offering yet another mask. “For the party.”

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She wrapped her fingers around the edge of the cat mask, nodding. “Thank you.” This was going to complicate it for her, although it explained why it was easy for Booker and Jack. With masks and suits, they’d look like everyone else.

She tied the mask’s strings behind her head and slipped into the crowd. Smooth jazz played on the speakers and streamers hung loosely from support beams overhead. But no Booker or Jack immediately apparent, and she couldn’t very well shout their names.

She stopped by a table of little snacks and drinks, picking up a glass. Elizabeth had to blend in even if she had no intention of drinking tonight.

“Hello,” a hollow voice greeted her, and Elizabeth turned to see a blonde woman in a butterfly mask.

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“Did your date stand you up too?” She laughed drily, swishing her wine and downing the glass.


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