BioQuest: Ruin

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Elizabeth agrees to go along with Jack, empathizing with his motivations. She quietly and discreetly also shows Jack what she found at Suchong’s labs.

“Of course,” she answered without a moment’s pause. “I didn’t let Booker do it all, but I didn’t go alone. Neither will you.”

He smiled, bowing his head gratefully, and she reached into her hidden pocket for the formula– careful to make sure not to show him the picture on the other side. “First, you’ll want to take a look at this.”

Jack glanced to the yellowed back of the picture, taking it between two fingers and scanning the formula. “This is for–” He breathed a laugh, eyes brightening. “You found it. I’m… I just…”


“I’m always glad to help you.” For a moment, they were an island of peace among the falling city. Panic and sirens surrounded them and yet they felt no need to rush.

When they were ready, Jack led on and the hallways emptied as people fled from the prison zone. Security and rebels were out, mostly security escorting them to their cells, and a few Big Daddies stood watch. No Little Sisters in sight, unfortunately…

And then Elizabeth saw her. A woman with bandages around her head beneath an elegant simple hat, muttering to herself as she weakly shuffled along. “Jack, wait,” she whispered, putting a hand on his shoulder.

He followed her gaze, catching her voice but not what she said– or at least Elizabeth couldn’t hear her clearly. “Is that…?”


“Miss McClintock,” he confirmed. “We should see if she’s alright.” He started ahead at first, hesitating to look back at Elizabeth.


What do you want to do, Elizabeth?

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BioQuest: Constants

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With his cautious pace towards Hestia Chambers, Elizabeth easily caught up with Jack. He didn’t notice her at first, at least not visibly, which could have been just part of his disguise… As she got closer, she picked out the details in the worn, faded black vest draped over his shoulders as the one Booker was never seen without.

Except today, apparently.

Of course they bought extra clothes in Rapture, but none matched that so perfectly. Elizabeth fell in stride with Jack, who simply let her– he knew he was caught, she supposed, but he didn’t seem even slightly guilty.

“What exactly do you think you’re doing?” She kept her voice and expression even. The others around them were too frantic or busy to observe them, but Atlas’ people could be anywhere. Especially as they went closer to the prison areas of Apollo Square that Sullivan mentioned at the labs.

“My part,” he answered with a small smile and a glance her way. A bulb burst a few feet behind them and she tensed, but he kept steady. Times like these, Elizabeth recalled all the files from Suchong’s work on what they did to Jack.

He was genetically and mentally conditioned to keep his cool in tense situations, particularly combat. This civil war was his element– and she shuddered at the thought of her future self that helped Booker.

“I’m not sitting this out, Elizabeth,” he continued, stepping over rubble and minding the crowd with a familiarity that still seemed uncanny although she knew its source. “I only said I wouldn’t go with you, not that I wouldn’t go.”

He was silent for a few beats, and she could tell he was considering his words. From his eyes sometimes catching hers, from the calm way he carried himself, who knew how she knew, she just did. Living with someone as long as they had… It could do that.

“You were right not to take me to the lab. I’d be recognized or worse. Too risky,” he admitted heavily, sighing. “Instead, I’m tracking Atlas and his thugs.” She expected some disgust or perhaps hesitation, not how matter-of-fact he was striding ahead of her into enemy territory.

…it was nostalgic, in a way.

“The radio chatter reveals a lot if you cycle through,” he explained and turned to her as they reached the district beside Hestia. “And I think he’s treating this prison like a base. A bit of Rapture all his own.”

And suddenly, he waited there. First, he took in the damage, the people rushing by, security directing those who would listen, and last, he rested his gaze on her.

“Booker told me. About where you were kept.” He kept up an even tone and she reached for the bird necklace, remembering how sudden her freedom was. Sometimes, even after all those years, it still felt surreal. “You didn’t just let Booker save you on his own. I want to do the same, and this isn’t like with Cohen. The only one at risk now is me. Unless…”

He faltered, looking away from her to finish that sentence. “You want to join me?”


What do you want to do, Elizabeth?

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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.


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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.


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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.”


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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.”


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