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.

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“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?

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BioQuest: Future

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He waited patiently for her answer, but first came a soft smile she couldn’t resist– this was right from the stories she’d read again and again in the tower. Maybe he wasn’t a knight and this wasn’t a paradise by any stretch, but… Her heart swelled with joy, her face was warm, and she nodded. “I’d love to, Jack.”

He smiled back and wrapped in her a gentle hug that she returned instinctively. Whatever happened in Rapture, Elizabeth could never regret the choice to date Jack. No matter what.

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Booker cleared his throat behind them, smirking from the clinic doorway. “You’ve got a strange sense of timing. Sullivan will be here any minute.”

She turned around, breaking off the hug to hold Jack’s hand instead. “We’d better get inside, then.”

Jack squeezed her hand gently, his smile taking on a distantly sad air. “How’s Diane handling it? Ryan being here, I mean.”

Booker sighed and shrugged. “Not well. Better than Ryan, who’s trying to turn it all around on her as a traitor to him and Rapture.” He scoffed, shaking his head. “That’s when Tenenbaum and I had to drag her off him before she knocked his head off.”

Looking at Jack, searching, Booker ventured a question of his own. “How’s Jolene?”

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“Rattled, but she’s alright. We’ll keep in touch,” Jack wrapped up quickly, stepping towards the clinic door with Elizabeth at his side. To his credit, Booker followed after them without prying… But Elizabeth could tell already that discussion wasn’t over.


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BioQuest: Questions

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So they stood together in the low light outside the clinic, Ryan’s shouting seeming as faraway as the nations above– and Elizabeth leaned in, gently kissing Jack on the cheek.

When she opened her eyes and stepped back, he had a frozen smile and a light pink color to his face. And she held back a playful laugh for his sake. “You’re a good man, Jack. I hope you always remember that.”

“Th-thanks,” he answered, evidently finding his ability to form words again.

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“Of course,” Elizabeth assured him. Maybe someday she’d find the words she needed too. “So!” She leaned against the wall, crossing her legs and smiling at him. Honestly, Elizabeth thought she’d be more self-conscious after that kiss. “Tell me your plan. I want to help.”

Jack smiled back, his expression softening. “I wouldn’t have it any other way.” He crossed his arms and began. “Ryan knows the truth about me now– or part of it. He won’t hurt us now.”

Elizabeth showed her skepticism with a raised eyebrow, although he continued.

“Hear me out. He’ll piece together that you all helped me escape Fontaine, who he thinks is dead.” Jack was back in his element, decisive and even energized. He looked to her with lit-up eyes as he went on. “He’ll trust us. Right now, Rapture is divided between Ryan, the Family, and Atlas.”

Gesturing to the clinic, Jack concluded, “We have a chance here to unite the Family, or at least some of them, and Ryan against Atlas. We can take back Rapture, make it a better place for everyone.”

Elizabeth wasn’t sure what to think of such a plan– it was risky, if doable, but he hardly gave her time to think before he suggested something else too.

“In the short term, I want to know if you’d like to date me.” He smiled, a little uncertain. “I like you, Elizabeth. And you seem to like me. But I’ll respect whatever you choose.”

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What do you want to do, Elizabeth?

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