I don't own Bioshock, no infringement is intended and no profit is to be made. When you get right down to it I'm not really worth suing anyway unless you want a share of an underpaid civil servants wages and it just wouldn't be worth the hassle trust me.
"There is a rapture on the lonely shore,
By the deep sea,
And music in its roar"
The Surface - Atlantic Ocean – December 1968
Eleanor Lamb stared off towards the horizon and thought about her father. For the North Atlantic in winter it was unusually calm and the clear skies and sunshine were keeping the temperature above freezing at least but that wouldn't last long this close to Iceland once the sun started to set she knew.
Not blessed with a diving costume of their own the girls were already starting to complain, the wonder of being outside soon eclipsed by the occasional chill breeze coming from the north. 'We're drifting Eleanor' her mother's voice close-by broke her train of thought. 'One does hope that you have a plan that doesn't revolve around waiting to be rescued because the chances of that are frankly...'
'Ahoy there' a man's voice calling out to them interrupted Sofia Lamb mid-sentence.
'Tell me mother' Eleanor spoke up, turning towards her, 'do you ever tire of being wrong?' she asked smugly.
'Being blessed by serendipity is not praiseworthy because merely being lucky is not an attribute that is earned' Sofia Lamb responded, her previously condescending tone replaced by annoyance.
'Whatever you say Mother' Eleanor replied, standing up and turning around to see a motor-yacht approaching them. 'Ahoy yourself' she called out, waving to the man atop the craft which was edging towards Sinclair's appropriated escape pod.
'Interesting outfit' the man said as he brought his boat up alongside them. His voice had to be the deepest Eleanor had ever heard and it was coarse too like he had been smoking sixty cigarettes a day for longer than his relatively youthful appearance would indicate he had been alive.
'I was diving a wreck' Eleanor lied. From his accent she guessed he was American or perhaps Canadian.
'Strange' the man replied. 'The only thing down there I know of in this part of the ocean is Rapture' he said, smiling. 'And from the looks of things they've really changed the recruiting policy on Big Daddies since the last time I was there' he added with evident amusement.
Eleanor and her mother looked at each other for a second before turning back towards the stranger. 'Who are you?' Sofia asked before her daughter could.
'Jack Ryan' the man replied eliciting a look of more than mild surprise from both women. 'You're lucky Brigid made me stay out here a while rather than hauling her back home straight away because I honestly didn't expect you to make it' he told them, taking up a rope to throw over to the escape pod. 'If you secure that to something I'll tow you to the Lighthouse and then I'll decide whether or not to throw her back in the ocean tied to a large stone block' he said, pointing at Sofia Lamb and looking none too pleased about the fact she was there along with the others. There couldn't be too many unspliced, six-foot tall blond women in Rapture for him not to be right about her identity based on what Brigid had said about her he reasoned.
When they arrived twenty minutes later at what superstitious fishermen called the "Phantom Lighthouse" Jack Ryan tied up his boat alongside a similar one already there and then helped Eleanor, her mother and the girls onto the structure. 'If you head inside you'll find something to eat and drink' he told them. 'Don't get too comfortable though, we're not staying long' he said.
'He smells like Daddy' one of the girls said as she got near Jack.
'Damn pheromones' Jack complained. 'I've got too many daughters already I'm not in the market for any more. Shoo' he said, waving her away. Brigid had been unable to do much about the musky smell he had now been forced to live with for eight years but at least she was able to salvage his voice enough that it was merely an unusually deep bass rather than sounding like a whale.
'You're mean' the little girl he had tried to wave away told him.
'The ability of those words to affect me died the fiftieth time I refused to raise an allowance' Jack replied. 'If you ask the nice lady inside to make you hot chocolate she will' he informed her and the others. 'There might even be some marshmallows left assuming the others haven't already eaten them all' he added. 'And don't run, it's slippery' he called out after them as the girls suddenly tore off up the stone steps leading towards the huge doorway in the great art-deco lighthouse.
'Will they be alright?' Eleanor asked.
'Brigid is already in there along with the other girls she helped rescue' Jack replied. 'And a black guy I just met who is probably more out of his depth up here trying to help her keep them under control than he was down there' he joked, pointing downwards towards where Rapture lay.
Eleanor looked the stranger up and down, noting the chains tattooed on his wrists. 'You're really him' she said in wonder. 'You're a legend you know.'
'So Brigid told me after I finished berating her for going ahead with her half-assed rescue plan and leaving me and the girls behind none-the-wiser as to where she'd gone' Jack Ryan replied. 'She told me all about you as well' he added, glaring at Sofia Lamb.
'Everything I did, I did for the greater good' Sofia defended herself and her actions.
'What is it about Rapture that brings out ideologically blinkered derangement in people' Jack asked rhetorically. 'It's either libertarian lunacy or collectivist claptrap' he growled, his low, rumbling voice making that growl impressive indeed. 'Here's a newsflash for you' he continued. 'If your beliefs lead you to the conclusion that it's okay to brainwash and exploit children then your beliefs are immoral bullshit, case closed' he said with certainty.
'A simplistic, irrational viewpoint' Sofia responded. 'If you give me the opportunity to explain my reasoning then I'm sure...'
'I wasn't bluffing about you, the ocean and the weight' Jack interrupted her.
'Perhaps we should broach the subject again at a later date when you're more open to debating the complex issues more calmly' Sofia Lamb wisely opted not to press the matter any further for now.
Eleanor couldn't help but be intrigued by the man in front of her. In his own way he was as much, if not more of an artificial creation than she was but he had also broken the chains of those who would be his master and chosen his own path. 'I didn't know how old you'd look by now, or even if you'd still be alive' she said.
'The rapid aging stopped when I was physiologically twenty-two or so' Jack explained. 'Still got a few decades left in me yet' he told her. 'Long enough to see my girls grow up' he said, clearly pleased by that prospect. 'We should get going before all the hot chocolate is gone' he advised before pausing to look around. 'I can't believe I'm back here' he said, a faraway look in his eyes. 'Took me five years to stop having nightmares about it' he admitted, leading off.
The inside of the lighthouse was spacious enough to hold all the girls plus piles of crates containing supplies Brigid Tenenbaum had brought with her when she first arrived some weeks ago now. The girls Eleanor had rescued were already mixing with the larger number who had been freed from their fate as Little Sisters by Subject Delta and Subject Sigma and they were mostly sat around on the spiral staircases leading down to the bathysphere drinking mugs of hot chocolate or occasionally soup being prepared in great number by two harried looking scientists.
'You found them, I knew you would' Brigid Tenenbaum said, looking up at Jack. 'You are always so reliable' she told him smiling.
'And you're still a long way from being forgiven' Jack replied flatly. 'How are you holding up Chuck?' he asked the man standing beside her.
'Charles Milton Porter, formerly Big Daddy "Subject Sigma" rolled his eyes as the mug of hot chocolate he had barely finished preparing was immediately snatched from his hands by an eager little girl. Until Tenenbaum could try and fix his own vocal chords he would be mute, his only ability to communicate resting in gestures and the pad and pencil now hanging around his neck by a piece of string.
'He smells like Daddy too' the girl who had said the same of Jack to Eleanor told her, indicating Porter. 'He's not mean though' she added, sticking her tongue out at Jack who did likewise in retaliation.
'I did wonder where Doctor Tenenbaum had gotten to' Eleanor commented.
'I was busy with a mission of my own' Tenenbaum replied, dropping a marshmallow into the mug of hot chocolate she was holding and passing it to another girl. 'Excuse me Charles' she said to the other scientist with her, 'there is something I need to do' she said walking across to Sofia Lamb and to the surprise of everybody but Jack slapped her hard across the face.
Sofia Lamb tried to keep her dignity and ignored the pain in her reddening cheek. 'He who is without sin should cast the first stone Brigid' she told the German. 'You created the first Little Sisters I merely copied your work.'
'Fortunately for me that verse comes from the New Testament and I was born and raised Jewish' Tenenbaum replied before slapping Lamb equally hard on the other side of her face using her other hand.
'That's enough Brigid' Jack told her sternly though she could tell by the twinkle in his eyes he didn't exactly disapprove.
Sofia turned to her daughter. 'Nice to see you leap to the defence of your mother' she said disparagingly.
'It's hard not to sympathise with the sentiment Doctor Tenenbaum just forcefully expressed I'm afraid' Eleanor replied with a shrug. 'For myself if father had not set me such a good example as regards mercy then I might have killed you' she admitted.
'Alright show's over, get back to your drinks please girls' Jack said loudly, realising that they were now being stared at by at least a dozen girls all wearing shocked expressions at the behaviour of the adults.
'She must be a very bad lady for Momma Tenenbaum to hit her like that' one of the former Little Sisters opined loudly.
'Out of the mouths of babes' Jack wryly observed. 'If you get the urge to slug her with my wrench take her outside where they can't see okay?' he advised Tenenbaum semi-seriously. 'And on that note although it's lower down my list of grievances I'm not happy at you taking my wrench either' he noted, crossing his arms. 'I realised straight away where you'd gone when I found it missing' he told her.
'I hoped it might bring me luck' Tenenbaum replied. 'Perhaps it did?' she wondered.
Jack sighed. 'Chuck can you watch the girls while I talk to Brigid outside?' he requested.
Porter nodded then pointed to his throat.
'Good point' Jack conceded. 'Can you help him keep the little hellions in line?' he asked Eleanor. 'Above all don't let them play with the bathysphere' he advised.
'I can do that' Eleanor agreed. 'Who is that man though?' she queried as a whisper, indicating Porter.
'Charles Milton Porter, the man who invented the computer that runs Rapture' Tenenbaum explained quietly. 'He was turned into an Alpha Series Big Daddy by Andrew Ryan after a rival forged evidence that he was an ally of Fontaine' she said. 'He is a good man as well as being a genius with electronics.'
Eleanor looked at Porter once again, An Alpha Series like her father had been, that meant if only he had lived he could have been turned back into a man too she thought sadly as Jack Ryan and Tenenbaum went back outside.
With the girls all now having a drink and finding himself with nothing to do for now Porter looked quizzically across to Eleanor and her mother and frowned. Taking up his pad and pencil he wrote something on it and held it up to them. "Hello, I'm Charles. So what's your story?" it said in very neat handwriting.
Eleanor laughed. 'How long have you got?' she asked him.
Porter scribbled on the pad again and turned it around to show her, smiling. "What else am I going to do? Sing the girls to sleep?" he had written.
Once outside Jack sat down on the stone steps outside the lighthouse doorway and beckoned Tenenbaum to take a seat beside him which she did. They started to talk and were soon lost in a conversation which began with Jack being angry but slowly became less heated as it went on.
Tenenbaum couldn't say how long it was before Eleanor came bursting out of the lighthouse at high speed, nearly tripping over them as she did, but she was more than a little embarrassed at being discovered with Jack kissing her not that the teenager in the diving suit seemed to pay attention to that or even notice. 'I have to go back!' Eleanor exclaimed, thrusting Porter's notepad at them.
Jack took the pad and tried not to look too annoyed at being interrupted. Unlike Brigid he wasn't remotely embarrassed by the age gap between himself and the woman that shared his life and his bed but he knew full-well that she still squirmed whenever anyone but the girls caught them being affectionate with each other. 'What's this supposed to mean?' he asked Eleanor.
'Just read it' Eleanor replied. 'I have to go back' she said once more.
Tenenbaum took the pad from Jack and read it herself. 'You just need to trigger the process which resurrected him the first time' she said, reading the last sentence aloud.
'The range didn't matter' Eleanor said excitedly. 'I thought he was too far away from the last Chamber he passed by for it to work but that wouldn't matter to the first Vita Chamber I brought him back in' she said. 'His memories, everything that he was is still stored as data in the system and it'll be downloaded into his mind as soon as it's created' she continued. 'I didn't know Rapture was so integrated with all the Chambers connected up that way' she told them. 'I can save him' she gushed. 'He'll be the same man he was just before we left Rapture with all the same memories and experiences.'
'Are you talking about Subject Delta?' Tenenbaum checked.
'My father yes' Eleanor confirmed. 'He's a good man, a decent man and I need to save him like he saved me' she insisted.
'She wants to return to Rapture to save a Big Daddy' Tenenbaum told Jack just in case he hadn't realised that by now.
'And that'll happen when hell freezes over' Jack said with finality, and I'm not talking about frozen pipes in Rapture he thought to himself.
Note from the author:
Got bored, played Bioshock 2, had an idea for a story...