A/N: Hello everyone. I just got the idea a while ago after I finished up playing Bioshock: Infinite and this was the idea that came to mind. I just want to know how far I can take it, but to my fans of my other story The Matrix Effect don't worry I haven't forgotten about it. I just want to see where I can take this story so enjoy and let me know what you think.
If there is grammar errors, I apologize.
"Booker, are you sure this is what you want?" Elizabeth stopped Booker from entering the lighthouse and lightly brushed his hand.
Booker DeWitt replied with a sense of determination as he was about to enter through the wooden door. "I have to. It's the only way to undo what I've done to you."
He pushed the door open and he is once again by the baptismal spot by the river and the same preacher standing before him with his head bowed and his hands clasped in prayer. Then the preacher lifted his head and raised his right hand. "Booker DeWitt, are you ready to be born again?"
Booker turned and faced Elizabeth. "What is this? Why are we back here?"
Elizabeth approached him and explained. "This isn't the same place, Booker."
"Of course it is. I remember, wait." Booker looked at Elizabeth and sensed that something was not right. Something was different about her. Then another Elizabeth showed up. Then another. Each was wearing a different outfit similar from when he first met her to what she was wearing now. "You're not… you're not… who are you?"
More and more Elizabeths showed up and spoke in turn.
"You chose to walk away."
"But in other oceans, you didn't"
"You took the baptism."
"And you were born again as a different man."
Then it dawned to Booker. He said to himself. "Comstock."
"It all has to end."
"To have never started."
"Not just in this world."
"But in all of ours."
Booker was now looking at possibly a dozen Elizabeth look-alikes. Then he made another realization. "Smother him in the crib."
Then each Elizabeth repeated the word. "Smother. Smother. Smother."
"Before the choice is made."
"Before you are reborn."
During the whole time, the preacher was reciting a phrase from the bible and then he asked Booker. "And what name shall you take my son?"
Then one Elizabeth said it. "He's Zachary Comstock."
Then another Elizabeth said. "He's Booker DeWitt."
Booker's eyes widened and looked directly at the Elizabeth in front of him. "No… I'm both."
The three Elizabeths grabbed him and plunged him beneath the water. Booker struggled for air and he tried to free himself from their grip. The action was futile and his world began to turn black. He felt his last dying breath leave his mouth in the form of an air bubble. Then, he just stopped moving.
Booker suddenly woke up. His first reaction was to cough and take in deep breaths and gasp for air. His heart was beating in rapid speed as he lifted his head up from the floor, that was when he realized that he was no longer drowning or being held down by the numerous Elizabeths trying to 'baptize' Booker DeWitt from becoming Zachary Comstock.
Now he found himself lying on the floor of his office. He noticed he wasn't feeling hazy and sluggish as he normally felt after downing a bottle of whiskey. He also noticed that he was dry, his clothes weren't damp. Was it all a dream? He thought to himself.
Then he remembered Anna in the next room. "Anna. Anna." Booker stood up and rushed into the next room that belonged to his daughter.
Booker opened the door and to his shock wasn't a bedroom. It was a movie theater house. He stopped and looked around, he wanted to go back but his office wasn't there anymore.
When he turned back around, he saw two very familiar characters standing before him, Robert and Rosalind. The Lutece twins.
"Welcome to the crossing, Mr. DeWitt." Robert said.
"I hope the journey wasn't too unexpected?" Rosalind said.
"You two." Booker's eyes narrowed. He didn't want to deal with these people anymore, but now he had no choice. He wanted answers. "What is all this? How is it that I'm both DeWitt and Comstock? Where's Anna? Where's my daughter?"
As nonchalant as they always were they simply responded to Booker's request. Rosalind spoke first. "If you have a seat, Mr. DeWitt the answers will be explained."
"Perhaps the answers aren't what will be explained, but what will be shown." Robert said.
"Please. Have a seat." Rosalind said. "The show is about to start."
Booker reluctantly complied with their request and took a seat from the empty theatre. The red velvet curtains parted ways to reveal the flat white screen as the projector reel began to roll. Robert walked over to a piano over by the corner near the screen and began playing a few notes from the music sheets. Rosalind stood in the front of the screen and cleared her throat.
The theatre went dark and the projection portrayed the words 'Booker DeWitt or Zachary Comstock. Who is who? The curious notion of parallel realities.' Booker shrugged when he saw his own name being projected on the screen.
Rosalind spoke up. "We start with the aftermath of Wounded Knee. We come down by the river where Booker DeWitt is about to receive his baptism. Did he reject the baptism… or did he embrace it?" She paused for a moment and stared at Booker with an inquiring impression. "The answer is 'yes' to both the questions. You see Mr. DeWitt; you became the lush you have to see in the mirror every day ever since you rejected the baptism. However, have you accepted the baptism you would've renounced your name and had taken the name Zachary Comstock."
Robert stopped playing the piano and said. "Dear sister, perhaps we should let the moving picture show explain to Mr. DeWitt."
"As we should." Rosalind raises her right hand and lowers it back down. The lights of the theatre dimmed and the music continued.
Booker watched the screen as the film progressed as the phrase 'Universe A' projects on the screen and it shows a baptismal by the river. Booker realized that the man about to be baptized is himself. Then Booker cringed when he saw himself shake his head and pull himself away from the crowd of church-goers.
Then the scene went blank and the words 'Meanwhile on Universe B'. The same baptism takes place, but this time Booker accepts the baptism. Then the man conducting the baptism began to move his lips. Then the phrase written on the next scene said "You are now born again my son. Have you chosen a new name for yourself, my son?"
The next scene was Booker being helped up and looked at all the people around him. He began to move. The next scene said "Zachery Hale Comstock."
The next scene said 'The two different, yet same men, progress their lives from that day "down by the river bed". DeWitt continue his path of self-destruction while Comstock follows the path of righteousness.' The film shows a side-by-side comparison of the two men as the words 'Universe A' and 'Universe B' hung above each of their designated slots. The images show Booker DeWitt on the left participating in the breakup of a workers strike with the Pinkerton Detective Agency while Comstock was tilling the land as a farmer. Then Booker was seen drinking shot after shot of whiskey at a local tavern while Zachery Comstock was reading various books on scripture. Finally Booker was watching the horse race while Comstock was making a speech before a large crowd of people.
Booker just lowered his head and clasps his right hand over his eyes. His whole life was being projected on the screen as if he was being judged by a higher power. Is this my punishment for rejecting the baptism? Booker thought to himself. Is this my judgment before I'm sent to Hell?
The screen said 'Comstock meets Rosalind Lutece. She offers him a chance of a lifetime, a chance to be the leader of a wonderful city, a city in the sky. However, an heir is needed… an heir to continue the work for future generations.' Booker noticed that last phrase was underlined for some reason. 'Ms. Lutece and her brother Robert show him the wonders of her discovery of Tears and Quantum Levitation. However, the Tears left Comstock to age rapidly and to become sterile and he is unable to bear children himself. The Lutece twins found a solution for Comstock's inheritance problems.'
The Lutece twins activate a tear from the controls of a machine and Comstock nods in approval. The three people walk through the Tear. Booker was gazing intently at the screen, because he knows what is going to happen next. The words on the screen states 'The Lutece twins and Comstock travel to Universe A from Universe B. The Lutece twins offer Booker DeWitt an opportunity for his outrageous gambling debts.'
Rosalind spoke up and the piano music became more dramatic. "Bring us the girl, and wipe away the debt."
Booker knew what the next scene was going to be. It was him giving up his infant daughter just so he wouldn't be in debt to loan sharks and cut-throat bookies. His memories recalled trying to get his daughter back from a younger looking Comstock and the twins. Then he remembered the infant girl losing her finger when the Tear closed and now he remembers when she tried to cover up the missing finger with a thimble. She lost her finger when she was sold to the Luteces and made the connection when he realized that Elizabeth was his daughter Anna.
Booker no longer wanted to see any more of the film. He quickly rises from his seat and screams. "Stop it! Stop it, now! I know what's going to happen next and I get it now! You don't have to show me my mistakes! Especially after giving up my daughter, Anna so she could be renamed Elizabeth Comstock and used for a megalomaniac's plan for the future! Only to find out that same megalomaniac happens to be me if I had chosen to get baptized!"
Booker takes a deep breath and continue to speak, but in a calmer tone. "I know what I have done, but I am not proud of it. I rejected the baptism originally only to realize that if I were to forget the crimes I have committed, the faces of those slaughtered Sioux back at Wounded Knee would fade away and nobody would've remembered them."
As the lights came back on, Booker slumped back down on his seat. Robert and Rosalind approached the beleaguered old soldier.
"He didn't wait till the show ended." Robert said. "Just as I thought he would."
"I guess you win this round, brother." Rosalind said. "I suppose we should go straight to the point."
"Indeed." Robert said as he points to the double-doors at the end of the aisle. "Mr. DeWitt. In the next room you will see what you will need for your next assignment."
"What?" Booker looked at the eccentric man. "Next assignment? The hell with you two. I did the job, remember? 'Bring us the girl, and wipe away the debt.' Well I brought you the girl, brought down Columbia, brought down Songbird, and stopped New York from being destroyed. I think I'm done here."
"You think you are, but you must consider one fact." Rosalind said. "You are now dead and if you were to return to where we found you, you will not have existed."
"You would just be a ghost, a figment of someone's imagination." Robert explained.
"Just like us." Rosalind said.
Booker was now fuming. "Where's Anna?"
"Oh, I'm afraid she has already gone on ahead without you." Rosalind said.
"Yes, after she fulfilled your wishes to 'smother Comstock in his crib' she moved on to another place she felt she needed to be." Robert said.
"Where?" Booker demanded.
"The question isn't just where, but when." Rosalind said. "Hence the next assignment… if you choose to accept."
Booker didn't move, but he asked. "When? What are you talking about?"
"The future of course, but how far is what you should ask?" Robert said.
"He's willing to go, but we should prepare him." Rosalind said. "Come along, Mr. DeWitt. We have work to do."
The twins moved towards the double doors, but Booker was a little hesitant to follow. Rosalind opened the right side of the door while her brother opened the left. Booker froze for a moment when he gazed inside and he could see a strange chair. It reminded him of the same red chair he sat on when he first arrived on the lighthouse the Luteces dropped him off at. Then he remembered the chair strapping him down only to be rocketed off to the floating city of Columbia.
"Not this shit again." Booker said.
"We assure you Mr. DeWitt it's not going to be a similar experience as before." Rosalind said.
"You are just going to be introduced to the wonderful universe of knowledge." Robert said.
"Your mind cannot grasp the concept of the science to where you will be going." Rosalind said.
"Technically sister he cannot grasp the concept of scientific knowledge of his own time." Robert said while looking at Rosalind.
"If you want to call me an idiot, tell it to me to my face." Booker tone was festering of anger. "I might have not been the best student in my schooldays, but don't you two think I want to hear your condescending remarks as if I'm not in the room with you. Now tell me what the hell you are about to do with me if you two expect me to sit on this chair."
The twins were quiet at first as they stare at one-another for a moment. Then they look at Booker.
Rosalind was the first to speak. "Very well, Mr. DeWitt. As you see, by eliminating yourself from the equation Comstock wasn't able to run Columbia."
"Therefore Columbia will never become what it is or will become." Robert said. "The knowledge that made Columbia what it is, is now forever lost."
"Or is it?" Rosalind said.
"What are you talking about?" Booker asked sternly.
"The knowledge of the vigors." Rosalind said.
"It can be quite useful for your next assignment." Robert said. "But you need the knowledge if you want the next assignment to be successful. Come and sit."
Booker shakes his head and reluctantly sat down and his hands and feet were clamped down, just like before when he took the flight up to Columbia. Robert pulls down a lever and a spherical metal object comes down from the ceiling. When the sphere stops just above Booker's head, Rosalind pulls out a leather helmet with wires coming out padding. She connects the wires to the sphere and places the helmet over his head. Then she pulls out what looked like goggles. She straps the goggles around his head and connects wires coming out of the goggles into the leather helmet.
"Now Mr. DeWitt." Rosalind activates a few switches. "Relax your mind."
"The images you are about to see will bombard you with knowledge." Robert explained. "A lifetime of knowledge all granted to you in the time it takes for a rooster to crow."
"You will feel a slight pinch in your mind, but that will subside." Rosalind said.
"Are you ready, Mr. DeWitt?" Robert said.
"Ready as I'm ever going to be." Booker mumbled to himself. "I could really use a drink right now."
The twins activated the mechanism and Booker felt a jolt of pain coursing through his skull. As soon as the device was activated, it was over. Booker just felt tired and used up after an evening of heavy drinking. "Forget the drink. It feels like the day after all that drinking."
"I see you're still functioning." Rosalind pulls out a piece of paper and a charcoal pencil. She hands over the items to Booker. "Now let's see what you have learned."
Booker takes the pencil and as if he was under some form of possession, he scribbles down numbers, letters, and he drew in a few lines. When he finished, he looked at what he had written. He didn't know what it was at first, but then he realized that he just wrote down the formula for "Devil's Kiss? This is the formula, but how?" Booker asked himself.
"We simply instilled the knowledge vicariously through your subconscious brain." Robert said.
"You will need to know it for where you will be going." Rosalind said as she activated another series of controls. "Next, lessons in history… future history."
"This will be a longer session than the last." Robert said as he pulled what looked like a mouth piece, the kind of mouth piece that would only be found in mental asylums when the electroshock therapy was administered. "You will need to bite down on this, unless you would want to grind your teeth to dust."
Before Booker could protest, Robert placed the foam piece inside his mouth. Then Rosalind activated the device again. Now Booker was being bombarded by images of things that are to come, from the end of 1912 to the end of the 20th Century and then he will see the events that go beyond.
After five agonizing minutes strapped onto the red chair, Booker's heart rate was speeding out of control. He was short of breath and his mind felt like someone was beating it with a sledge hammer.
Booker spat out the mouth piece and yelled. "What the hell was that all about?!"
"Let's ask a question." Rosalind asked her brother.
"Something simple. Something close to home for him." Robert agreed. "Tell us what happened on the date of December the 7th of the year 1941?"
Before Booker could shout out more obscenities at the twins, he impulsively spoke. "The Imperial Japanese Navy launched its aircraft fleet towards the territory of Hawaii. The mission was to destroy the U.S. Navy's Pacific fleet. This attack eventually pushed the United States to fight against the Empire of Japan and later on to fight Germany which was eventually called the Second World War…" Booker trailed off as he couldn't believe he knew all that information and tried to find out where and how he learned such information.
"It worked." Rosalind said.
"Now the final installation." Robert picks up the mouth piece "Personal history."
"Yes." Rosalind said as she takes the leather helmet off along with the goggles. "You will still be you, but in a different era. This will tell you everything you are." Rosalind inserts a small skinny ring on Booker's wedding finger.
"And now the journey begins." Robert said.
Booker was not looking forward to what was going to happen next, because it's usually bad. Then it happened. The floor around the chair opened up and glass panels arisen from the floor, then he was encased inside the panels. When the panels locked into place following the hiss of compressed air, he was engulfed inside a blue light as Robert activates another switch and Rosalind watches as she places a set of goggles over her eyes.
Before he can scream in pain, Booker can feel himself being disintegrated into nothingness and his whole world turning black. That was when he woke up.
When he jerked away from where he was lying, he opened his eyes and looked around his surroundings. He was inside a small room; the room reminded him of being inside a train compartment. The only difference was that the material wasn't made of wood; it was made of sterilized metal. He could feel the floor vibrate and he knew that he was being taken somewhere. Then the words starship flashed across his mind.
Booker looked back down where he was lying down and realized that it was some type of container in the color of white. It was padded on the inside and there was cold mist emitting from inside the container.
Then an electronic voice emitting from the side of the container spoke. "Are you finished with the sleeper pod, Mr. DeWitt?"
Then Booker didn't know what to say exactly when the object said his name. Then he nervously said. "Yes."
This thing calling itself a sleeper pod then closed up its door and automatically slid underneath a hidden compartment. Then a padded bench popped up where the sleeper pod once stood.
He still didn't know where he was, but he was suddenly being rushed with a flood of memories. Then he felt the trickle of blood coming down his nose as his vision was turning blurry. It was just then he possessed new memories that tagged on to the old ones.
Booker looked down and realized that his apparel was radically different. He was no longer wearing his blue vest, his red ascot, his blue pants, and his boots.
"I need a mirror." Booker said out loud and just then a light shined in front of him and projected his mirror image. He realized that by simply asking for the item, the item presented itself. "Uh, thank you." He said to whatever answered his request.
Booker looked at himself into the strange mirror and examined his clothes. He was wearing a black long sleeve shirt and pants to match. The material didn't feel like cotton or wool, the material he was accustomed to wearing all the time. Then he looked at his face and noticed his hair wasn't wavy like he remembered, instead it was cut short on the sides and it was slightly longer on the top like his haircut was cut with precise pair of cutters. The words buzz cut came to mind as he felt his scalp.
Then he looked at his arms and instinctively lifted his left arm. With a little shock, his left arm lit up with an orange transparent glow. Then the words Omni-tool came to him in his mind. He knows what it is for some reason and he suddenly knows what to do.
Booker activates a program and as if by instinct, he requests his personal history. He found what he was looking for and the file states:
NAME: DeWitt, Booker B.
DATE & PLACE OF BIRTH: April 19, 2144/New York, NY, UNAS, Earth
PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION: Species: Human Gender: Male Race: Caucasian Height: 6'1 Hair Color: Brown Eye Color: Green
DATE OF ENLISTMENT: April 19, 2162. Joined the Alliance Military on his 18th birthday. He said he joined when his girlfriend got pregnant and needed the supportable income.
DATE OF DISCHARGE: April, 19, 2183. Will be granted the retirement pension after full discharge.
OCCUPATION: Soldier. Currently serving in the Human Systems Alliance. Current rank is Gunnery Chief.
FAMILY: Wife: DeWitt, Fiona (deceased). Daughter: DeWitt, Anna (missing). Colony planet where Fiona and Anna were staying was raided by pirates while Booker DeWitt was on deployment.
Booker studied the file intently and realized that so much was the same from his old life from the late 19th century. It was remarkably similar in ways he didn't want to know. Losing his wife, losing his daughter, and now he was about to retire. Then he remembered to check up for the year, he immediately looked up the date and he also checked on his current status. The date was July 6, 2182. Before he could find out where this starship was taking him, there was a knock on the metal door.
When Booker answered the door, a woman was standing at the threshold. Booker realized that the woman was a Negro, but Rosalind Lutece's voice told him. 'That isn't the appropriate term anymore, Mr. DeWitt. Try to refrain from such comments.'
Booker shrugged off the voice in his head and asked the woman. "Yes, ma'am? Can I help you?"
The woman said. "Yes, Mr. DeWitt. I just wanted to tell you that we'll be landing shortly. Your gear is being prepared as we speak. Just like you requested."
Booker didn't know what to say but just told her. "Thank you, um by the way miss. I have to ask, are you treated well? I mean do you…"
The woman smiled. "If you are offering me a job, it's alright. I mean I like the pay they give me and I get to travel. Sure it has its ups and downs, but what job doesn't. It is what you are offering, right?"
Booker didn't want to answer right away, but he remembered the mistreatment of the blacks and Irish back on Columbia. Then he just simply replied. "Never mind. Thank you, ma'am."
"You're welcome." The girl said.
The ship landed smoothly and everyone exited the ship accordingly. Booker waited patiently when someone told him that all of his worldly possessions were being offloaded. He waited by the platform and got a full view of this place… this world… this planet that wasn't Earth. The sky was blue and the hills were green just like on Earth, but the trees and the landscape was radically different from what he was used to, but despite the difference he was not accustomed to large fields of grass and plants since he spent a nice chunk of his time in New York City.
Booker was still trying to grasp where he is and now the time period. While he's still trying to figure out what is going on and why the Lutece twins would send him here, someone calls to him while boxes of his belongings were being offloaded on a cart without wheels. The cart was hovering, but it was nothing new to him since he has already become accustomed to the strange sights of the floating city of Columbia.
Booker didn't respond at first to the person calling his name, but the voice grew louder. It was a feminine voice from behind. "Booker DeWitt? Gunnery Chief DeWitt?"
Booker turned around and noticed a woman with olive colored skin, black hair rolled up into a bun, soft brown eyes, and she was wearing white and pink armor casing covering her body.
Booker replied. "Yes, that's me. Can I help you?"
The woman approached and gave him a crisp salute. "Gunnery Chief DeWitt, I'm Gunnery Chief Ashley Williams. Welcome to Eden Prime."