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?

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BioQuest: Runaway

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Footsteps and rose petals fell, coming closer as the three of them waited behind cover. The crossbow was gone and they had two weapons between them… If they didn’t know about the tunnels, they’d have nowhere to go but the dead end in Kashmir.

So this is what it looks like when he’s not faking his own death.

Elizabeth kept low and reminded herself – this was good intel against Fontaine. “The tunnels,” she whispered to Booker. He nodded, tapping Jack on the shoulder. “Take the lead.”

By Pirate Cashoo on dA

Following him again by the hand, Elizabeth went with Jack to the tunnel’s entrance. Nothing but a vent beside the restaurant to the regular citizens and even smugglers. These tunnels, they belonged to Tenenbaum and her runaway family.

“There’re plenty o’ ways to find you, son,” Atlas taunted. Jack crawled into the tunnel ahead of her, waving her in once he’d shuffled forward enough. “And I will save you from Ryan’s men, you mark my words.”

Keep talking, Fontaine. Tell me your story.

Yet Fontaine wasn’t using his other code words against Jack… Tenenbaum knew about them, so they all know. His men didn’t know.

Elizabeth slid into the vent behind Jack with a smirk. That was leverage in the right hands. Booker hunkered into the tunnel behind her, pulling the vent cover on behind him, and put his hand on her back with a little too much force.

“We need to move,” he said as plain as small talk. Jack picked up the pace with them in line behind her, although…

“Booker, what did you do?” She ran her hand along the wall as they rushed forward, bumps and nicks mapping a mental image for her as they went.

“I got him a little present too.” The explosion rocked the frame of the tunnel and only Booker kept steady.

“Come on,” he ordered, helping Elizabeth hang onto her balance.

“Wait,” Jack interrupted. She could see the curve of the wall ahead… They were at a fork in the tunnel. “Which way? The medical pavilion or home?”


What do you want to do, Elizabeth?

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BioQuest: Reunion

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She returned his second gesture to sneak around their potential attackers and he gave a curt nod, giving his attention to the thugs outside the bathysphere.

“H-he’s not here,” a third, jittery voice muttered, seeming on the edge of screaming, crying, or laughing. “He’s not, he’s not, he’s not.”

Elizabeth ran her hand along the floor of the bathysphere, smooth wooden flooring even underneath the seats.

At least Ryan’s consistently over the top…

Her fingers grazed the box, and she pulled it towards her as Booker wrapped his hand around her arm.

“I can smell him,” the woman breathed, her voice fading as if she’d turned away. A ploy…?

Booker led her out of the bathysphere in a walking crouch, passing them by towards the battered entrance of the Kashmir.

“Elizabeth,” he whispered, shooting her a half-hearted scowl. “When did you start keeping secrets?”

“I’m not, not from you,” she answered, resting her hand on his shoulder. “Jack was here. And so was Fontaine.”

Booker shook his head, but he held his position and simply waited. Seconds passed in stillness and the people waiting for them had wandered off in whatever madness had them…

Although Elizabeth knew. She knew too well exactly what it was.

“Well, they’re not here now and we don’t have much in the way of time,” he advised, taking out a pistol in addition to his shotgun. “We’re going to Fort Frolic, that’s where the Vita Chamber’s hidden.”

He stood and held out the pistol to her. “I am a detective, Elizabeth.”

“Booker.” That was a quiet, steady voice she recognized. “Can we go home?”

She stood and took him in, dried blood set into his suit. A sleeve was ripped at the shoulder and right over his chest, an entry point showed where he’d been shot… But he was here. “Jack, I…”

Booker grabbed them both, pulling them down, and then she heard it. Metal clacking overhead, faint humming, and last, an Irish brogue.

“Boyo,” the man’s voice was clear but far enough that she knew they could evade him. If only barely. “Where are ya now, boyo?”

But to where? The bathysphere, Kashmir, the tunnels? Jack held her hand tightly and met her gaze. She held onto the gift box in her other hand, and in his other hand, he had the pistol from Booker.


What do you want to do, Elizabeth?

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BioQuest: Pickup

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Jack.

She could see him waiting outside the Kashmir if she closed her eyes, blood speckled on his white suit jacket and something between fear and determination in his eyes.

At least he had the crossbow… And seeing him in her mind’s eye, even like that, was better than the Big Daddy that almost drilled into their bathysphere. Drastically better.

Elizabeth reclined against the bench, crossing her legs. If nothing else, she could appear more poised than she felt.

“He’s at the Kashmir Restaurant, I…” She could tell Booker about the gunfire that started right before she left for the labs. She could tell him that Jack was sure Fontaine was in there and he went to find him. But with Booker injured in a confined space at the bottom of the ocean, nothing to do about it but wait…

She pulled a kerchief from her pocket, reaching out for his hand. There was no need to distress him now. The bathysphere wouldn’t move any faster and Elizabeth could always tell him later. “I’m sorry I broke the flask.”

He scoffed, but Booker put his hand in hers to let her wrap it tightly. “Come on, Elizabeth, I said forget it.”

Yet somehow, he changed in a matter of seconds. When she would look up, he would look out at the lights or schools of fish passing instead.

No wonder he lost so much money on gambling.

“Jack won’t even notice, I’d bet. Just couldn’t stop mentioning that party.” Booker forced out a breathy laugh, but the smile was genuine. However slight.

“Speaking of which,” he cleared his throat, digging in an inner vest pocket with his good hand.

“Booker?” She’d finished wrapping his injury, and Elizabeth leaned back. She tilted her head and felt a smile she couldn’t fight any easier than he had. From his vest, he took out a dark blue matte velvet box with a thin pink bow keeping it shut.

“Happy New Year’s,” he almost whispered. “Figured it was about time I got you a new necklace.” He held the box back at first and she teasingly scowled at him, crossing her arms. Of course she had already guessed Booker would stall like that, but half the fun was humoring him. “Before you ask, Jack helped.”

As the bathysphere settled in, he held the gift box out to her.

A bullet whizzed between them, lodging into the thick metal frame of the window. They both reacted in an instant, taking cover, although Elizabeth hadn’t the slightest idea where the box went.

“That was ‘im,” a woman cackled, “Place’s gone to hell, but I’d know that pretty fella in any ol’ place.”

“Shut your hole,” a man hissed, somewhere to the northwest of Elizabeth.

She looked to Booker and he made two gestures, one after another. From their time in Columbia, she recognized them: go through the thugs or around?


What do you want to do, Elizabeth?

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