Chapter 1: A New Discovery: Part 1
Rapture had seen better days. The tension between Fontaine, Ryan, and Lamb was growing, but Tenenbaum did not care as long as she would be able to continue her work without being disturbed. Tenenbaum would walk into her joint lab with Suchong. The smaller man was rambling into an audio diary about a new unknown ‘phenomena’ that he had witnessed. She wanted to dip into this theory, but knowing how protective he was about certain subjects, she kept her distance and on the occasion tuned in. She knew that, of recent, he had been working on a secret project yet had no clue of what it was. She was unaware if Fontaine was attuned to this secretive project, but figured he must’ve due to the fit of rage she saw the man when he encountered Suchongs wild trials of drinkable plasmids. Tenenbaum was not opposed to the idea but on a rare occasion, she agreed with Fontaine. The use of sea slugs to create the drinkables was inefficient, they were running through the creatures faster than they could be collected.
Behind her, she could hear Suchong place the heavy recorder. Part of her could not help, but to turn and look over her shoulder to him to which she was met with his glare.
“Have something to say, Tenenbaum?”
Of course, she did but knew that he would just accuse her scientific curiosity to be nothing more than a woman’s curiosity. “No. You just seemed to be irritated. Perhaps this is due to Frank putting a restain-”
“-Know your place woman!” Suchong snapped at her,” Why do you insist to meddle in things that do not involve you?”
Tenenbaum would huff, bringing the attention back to her own research. In response to her huff, he scoffed collecting his papers and leaving the lab. For a moment she stood in the place, gripping tightly onto the papers.
Silence. For once the silence was bothering her. Tenenbaum would let out an annoyed grunt, letting go of the papers. She had to see what Suchong had been disappearing off to, it was bothering her curiosity and she had to find the answer. She had decided to follow after Suchong, as long as she kept her distance from him, no one else would question as to why she was following behind the other scientist.
Following Suchong was easier then she expected, the point to which she lost pace with him was when he approached the old Silver Fin Restaurant. She knew that it was closed down as of recent, but never knew why, well until now. Suchong seemed to have had the door lock with code. Scheisse. Tenenbaum would stand beside the lock of the door, glaring at it. That damn man and his secrets. She would look around, her arms cross. There had to be another way in, but how… The air ducts. She realized that all she had to do was fine the main air duct to she could crawl through into the restaurant.
Tenenbaum would trace along the walls hoping to find one of the old maintenance rooms, and with her luck she did. For once her size benefited her, she is a pretty petite woman shorter than Suchong who was already a short man, but it would mean that she could fit through the ducts without a struggle. As she made her way through, she could hear Suchongs voice echo through the empty restaurant along with another voice that she could not recognize nor did they sound like they were from Rapture. The duct led her inside to the main entrance, where she would quietly climb out and land on the carpeted ground. No security? With how quiet Suchong has been about this place, she would have figured at least one camera or even a turret but assumed that not even Gil Alexander would have known of the place.
She had to stay quiet, which in retrospect was not hard for her. Tenenbaum walked over to the old hostess table, and what was scattered across the wall and table only made her more curious. Photos of a woman in a Victorian age dress, a man who seemed almost familiar, and a city…. That was floating. Curious. Her fingers would trace along with the photos until she heard the doors slide open and the sound of Suchong fussing to himself. She quickly hid against the opposite end of the table.
“How is it that stupid man like Fink can successfully bond child with dumb bird! If someone as stupid as him can do it, Suchong should not be having the same issue!”
Fink? That name did not sound familiar to her, nor did some experiment of bonding a child to a bird. She knew they had been having issues with bonding little sisters to the big daddies, but whatever Suchong was talking about did not make any sense. As Suchong left, locking up the restaurant behind him Tenebaum got up and made her way into the main section. Inside stood a device she had never seen before, the closest thing she would have seen to this was The Thinker in Minerva’s Den but this thing is something completely different. She approaches the machine which was still radiating heat, gently pressing and gliding her fingers along with the metal.
Notes. There had to be notes or even something that would tell her what it was or what it even did. Her attention was pulled by the staircase to which she would follow up to the second floor. At a corner of the room, she noticed a table which was scattered with papers, and there she would find her answer. As she approached she noticed the largest paper was a blueprint for the machine reading ‘Suchong Device’. Very original, you’d think a man with half the mind like his would come up with something more unique. As she shuffled through the papers she’d gain even the knowledge to the password of the front doors. Really? His birthday? My last statement still stands. Ah here. Finally some information about the machine, her eyes run along with each sentence and which each word read only brought more confusion.
“A device that can… connect our world with an alternate universe… is that truly possible?” Tenenbaum would look over to the machine, then back at the notes and multiple photos. There’s proof, but why was it that there is only one universe Suchong was going to if there was such access the possibilities are endless. She took the notes down to the machine with her, perhaps for a trial so that she too could witness these amazing phenomena.
As she approached the device, she gripped the lever looking back over to the door before giving it a tug. Before her eyes a tear opened and through it she could see the city that had been photographed.
Of course, having lived in Rapture, she wouldn’t be too shocked to see a city that seemed to be levitating on the clouds but it was still breathtaking.
“I wonder what other fascinating worlds you hide.” Tenenbaum almost seemed to be speaking to the machine, closing the tear. Once again, she pulled at the lever causing another tear to open. This one seemed to be the same room, yet abandoned, words on the ground that read ‘bad juju’. She assumed this was another timeline for Rapture, but did not what to know what caused the lovely city to nearly destroy a restaurant that's currently not even in use. Her curiosity began to get the best of her as she continued to open different tears, each leading to a different world, an alternate timeline.
Yet none of them seemed to peek her interest, there was something missing, but alas with the latest tear opened something that catches her attention. The sound of glass shattering and a feminine Irish voice, proclaiming an eccentric,’Curious.’ Tenenbaum shifted her view through the tear, making eye contact with a tall lanky woman that had fiery hair and a pair of miss-matched eyes.
“Fascinating.” Both women said, almost in sync.
Chapter 2: A New Discover: Part 2
Moira's day started as per usual, starting early in the morning and working until her usual planned lunch with Angela to which both always set a reminder for since once they started working they'd easily lose track of time. Their lunch was nearly the same every day to which normally consisted of rabbit food that Angela packed, they'd eat together and talk about current research or, on the occasion, gossip. After lunch, they would either part ways or finish out their day in the same lab. Today Angela needed to speak with Morrison about an upcoming mission, so Moira was left to her own in the lab. It was quiet, which made it optimal for her focus to be deep into the project she had been working on.
Her stare mesmerized by the combining chemicals in the Erlenmeyer flask, carefully she swayed the glass watching the liquid create a small whirlpool. Then from the corner of her eye, she noticed something unusual, something she had never seen before in her life and in that moment it caused her to drop the flask. The pieces of glass shattering on the hard surface as Moira focused her attended to, what seemed like a rip through their reality.
“Curious,” was all she could think to say. She began to walk closer, examine the world on the other side to which she was greeted with a short petite woman, her hair dark brown and a tangled mess.
A smile grew on her face as both, nearly synchronized with a gentle,” Fascinating.” The brunette walked closer to the tear, it seemed as if she was more interested in the lab then actually interacting with her.
“What a fantastic discovery…”
“Discovery?” Moira grinned, walking closer to the tear so she could make eye contact with the other. The brunette paused, almost surprised that she was heard. Carefully she watched the shorter female examined her as if she, herself, were a subject.
“You can hear me, yes?” Moira had noticed the heavy German accent and as she responded to the question with a nod, the brunette began to grab items like a clipboard and pencil. She couldn’t help but grin, she knew the feeling exactly the excitement of discovering something completely new.
The brunette approached with the writing utensils,“ If I may?”
“Of course. I take it you’re a fellow scientist.”
A kindred spirit. Moira paced around the tear,” I’ve never seen such a phenomenon before…”
“Nor had I, until of recent. I must admit this is something of a creation that belongs to… my colleague.”
“I see and, if I may ask. Who do I have the pleasure of making the acquaintance with?”
“Dr. Brigid Tenenbaum. I do prefer being adressed as Tenenbaum.”
“Dr. Moira O’Deorain. It is a pleasure.”
Chapter 3: Pair Bonds
The two Geneticist were lost within each other, the fascination of the current connects between worlds. They had spent but a few hours speaking to one another. Tenenbaum was much luckier of the two to find information about the amazing discoveries that come with 2071. The advancement in technology and medicine, the idea of super soldiers which is something she, herself, had attempted to create through the plasmids. It was a treasure that Tenenbaum had discover, and it was something she did not want to lose. Moira, on the other hand, had been given very little information. All she knew was that the small brunette was from 1957, which in itself was peculiar, and survived the events of the Holocaust unscathed. The information about the smaller geneticists work was lacking, almost as if she was trying to keep the information secretive.
The same can be said about the ominous work environment. Moira could easily tell that it was nowhere she had ever seen or even heard of. It was dark, but not dark enough to indicate that it was night. Whatever light that was hitting the surface of the floors and walls seemed to ripple as if the light was fighting through the water to illuminate the dark room. Every time she attempted to bring the location to the conversation, it seemed as if it was avoided which only made her curiosity grow.
Tenenbaum knew that her Irish counterpart was curious about Rapture, besides the blatant questions, but her concern laid with the fact if it was alright to speak about the city to her. She knew that it would not affect her timeline, but if Rapture did indeed exist in their world and timeline the question would be if Rapture had finally come out of hiding. She knew that one of the biggest restraints to the city was communication to the outside world, although Fontaine and many other smugglers have already broken that bond of trust. Was she prepared to do what her partner has been doing for years, for the name of science?
Moira had broken her train of thought. She’d blink towards her direction,” I apologize. I got lost in thought.” Tenenbaum placed the clipboard down, rubbing the bridge of her nose,” I must confess, the answer you’re looking for is not so simple.”
“I would say it is, all you’d have to do is tell me.” After that statement, Moira could feel a similar stare, one that Angela has given her one too many times for being a smart mouth. “Sorry. Continue.”
“My home is one that may very well not exist in your universe, but if it were to exist, then the question remains if they had decided to announce themselves to the world or continue to stay hidden.” Tenenbaum paced beside the tear,” And-”
Both the Geneticist had their attention is taken from one another, Moira quickly standing in the way of the tear doing a poor job at it. Tenenbaum could hear the two distinct voices approaching.
She quickly grabbed the lever and tugged it, but it did not shift down as easy as the other times. “No no.” Her tone was faintly unsettled until she was able to get the lever to unjam causing the tear to shut. Tenenbaum's balance was thrown off when the lever had completely pulled off, but there was no time for her to dread on the lost. She quickly tossed aside the lever and went to hide behind one of the many desks.
“I promise Mr. Fontaine, Suchong has not seen Tenenbaum since earlier today. I am not to look after her! It is not my job!”
“I know it ain’t Suchong-”
“-Outrage! Some theft has come in here! Damage my machine! I told you I need security!”
Tenenbaum could hear the steps shuffle quicker to the device, perhaps she could take the opportunity to escape while they were distracted.
“Well must’ve been a splicer or something, Suchong. I’ll see if I can get a turret in here-” Both their attentions were taken by surprised by the sound of items falling off one of the desks. Suchong stepped behind Fontaine as the other pulled out a pistol,” You’re pretty damn brave to still be lurking around here!”
Tenenbaum knew there was any way out she was cornered, she stepped out from under the desk and out of the shadows her arms visible,” Frank… Suchong.”
The tear closing took Moira’s attention from the opening door, just as it appeared it disappeared without a trace. Bewildered she felt frozen in place until a gentle hand rested on her shoulder.
“Moira? Is everything alright?” The voice was gentled,” There is glass everywhere.”
“Yes… everything… everything is alright.”
Moira turned to see Angela with a concerned look on her face. She’d softly take the blonde's hand,” Angie I’m fine.”
The worry seemed to lessen when she was addressed by her nickname, a soft sigh escaped from her lips as she murmured, “What happened?”
As Moira gently released her partner's hand and motioned to get a broom, her mind seemed to blank. What was she to say to Angela? Should she just be honest and tell the truth? Or would it be more ideal to say nothing at all, to avoid being assumed of hallucinating?
“Yes Angela, I heard you the first time. Nothing happened. I just… I must’ve had a loose grip on the flask and it slipped through my fingers.”
The angelic woman stared at her, watching as she swept up the glass from the ground.
“I thought I heard you speaking to someone.”
“Really Angela? Do you see anyone here?”
Angela rolled her eyes, going over to the unoccupied space of the lab. Moira turned over to where the tear had been, there was nothing to prove that it existed. Nor did she get any information about the machine that created its existence. Perhaps she could collect information about multiverse theories, or even the idea of alternate timelines. She knew if she did it get down to a science, she’d need assistance from Torbjorn to create the machine. There was so much more she wanted to learn, to be able to solve the mysteries that the brunette kept hidden. Moira also pondered what caused her counterpart to close their connection in such a rush. It would be a lie if she didn't find herself inside Tenenbaum, young and curious determine to push their research for the greater no matter what the cost. Yet, she could also see parallels of her personality that ran similar to her angel's. Maybe that's why she started taking a liking to her. It was a shame they lost their connection, but she figured that if Tenenbaum could open the tear the first time she could easily do it again.
For now, all she could do is continue her work, research and wait.
This one is short, short for a reason, but short. The next one should be longer, I'm trying to stick to switching POVs between both geneticists.
The room was tense. Tenenbaum put her hands down to her side, walking closer to her colleagues almost like a child that was caught for doing something they shouldn’t have. She felt no guilt for what she did, she felt disappointment in her rash reaction. She could not make eye contact with either Suchong or Fontaine, only to the lever on the ground.
“I could have shot you, Brigid.” Fontaine’s voice was rather rough as he put the gun down.
“But you did not.” She knew it would take more than an accidental bullet to kill her.
Fontaine looked about ready to argue back with her but was quickly over voiced by Suchong,” How did you get in?! Door locked with personal passcode.”
“Your birthday is horrible passcode.”
Suchong visibly became flustered,” You did not answer the question!”
“Air ducts… and without security, it was very easy.”
There was a pause of silence until it was broke by Fontaine who let out a faint snort,” Alright I get it, security. I’ll see if I can get Alexander in here. Didn’t expect certain people to snoop around.”
Tenenbaum knew he meant her, but she didn’t care. Her focus was on the lever and the machine. She could hear the other two continue to talk, that's the thing she could hear them but she was not listening to them. Instead, her focus was on how she could fix the machine, perhaps she could ask Alexander while he was here or maybe get in contact with Porter down in Minerva’s Den. The worse case she would figure out how to solve it on her own, and truthfully she wanted to fix it now it was at the center of her world at the moment.
“Brigid? Hey. Snap back to reality for a second.”
Tenenbaum glanced up to Fontaine, she slightly hated when he knew that she was off in her own world. She’d remove his hand from her shoulder looking back to the lever,” Yes? I am listening.”
“For real this time?”
Bobbing her head, she’d begin to chew on her nails. Fontaine ran his hand against his head exhaling loudly,“ Fine…” He walked over to the device, “While I was agreeing with Suchong how you shouldn’t sneak around to get information-”
“-If I had asked, Suchong would not have told me.” Before she could begin to show frustration, Fontaine looked to her and Suchong.
“Then you could have come to me. I paid for the damn thing, so as far as I’m concerned it’s my device.”
“But Mr. Fontaine, Suchong was the one to discover phenomena!”
“And if it wasn’t for me, you wouldn’t have access to it. Y’hear me Suchong?”
Suchong grumbled in resentment, but knew not to argue because Fontaine was right he knew better than to argue with his employer,” Yes, of course.”
“Good. As I said, I’ll get Alexander in here as soon as possible. As for now… seeing that it’s… unusable just call it a day.”
Suchong gave Fontaine a small bow before glaring at Tenenbaum as he left. He was upset, clearly but there wasn’t much that could be done about it now. Fontaine motioned closer to Tenenbaum, gently taking her hand to stop her from chewing on her nails.
“Brigid. I know you must’ve found something that's got your interest, but there’s not much we can do about it right now. And we aren’t going to be knocking down on anyone's door to get it fixed today.”
“You would not believe it, Frank. I have met someone with such similar ideas to my own! I thought maybe I was alone.” Her voice was almost frantic, not intentionally but she desperately wanted to be able to open the connection again. Her focus was taken back to the taller individual as he gently squeezed her hands.
“That is pretty incredible, but like I said we can’t do anything about it now. Would it help if we took the lever home? So you can remind me every moment I don’t do something about it.”
Tenenbaum looked at their hands before responding with a small nod, separating from Fontaine to pick up the lever. Together they exited the former restaurant, and as they walked away she looked back at it one last time, her grip tightening on the lever.
Soon. Everything will be fine soon.
I'm always down for super freaking domestic Fontbaum hahahahahaha (but there's also a reason for this too oof)
Chapter 6: Some Piece and Quiet
Time. How would time differ? In mere seconds the smaller geneticist could be back, the tear in the lab. But how long would it have been for her? Days? Months? Maybe even years, whilst for Moira it would have been nothing more than a few minutes. For once she could not focus on her given work, the thought was making her anxious which was rather abnormal for her. Moira knew it was best that she didn’t show the symptoms of anxiety near Angela since she was very quick to react. She needed to get some fresh air and to clear her mind, that should be able to ease her.
The sound of glass gently clanking on the table caused the blonde to turn, and in response placed down the project that she was working on. “Is something the matter?”
“My mind has been running as of late, I think I may need just a moment outside. Would you like to join me?”
“Of course. Is there something that I can do to help put your mind at ease?”
“Your company would do just fine.”
Moira offered her hand to Angela which was taken with gentle acceptance. The two went outside and took their place on the rocks which looked out to the bay. Angela sat dangling her feet, her eyes closed as she listened quietly to the waves crashing against the rocks. Moira sat beside her, feet crossed and hands resting in her lap. She could not help but watch her angel bask in the setting sun, she almost seemed to glow. It was moments like these that she wouldn’t trade for the world, no discovery on this planet could replace the sense of peace.
“We really should do this more often.”
Moira looked over to Angela, nodding before she began to speak,” We should. It’s rather relaxing.” She shifted so that her feet would also dangle over the rocks. In the distance, voices could be heard of others that resided on the base. It was filled with laughter and shouts that almost blended with the crashing waves and the wind whistling as it hits the rocks. Angela pressed her head against Moira’s shoulder and in response she put her head against the blondes. The smell of her was slightly intoxicating, her eyes began to close until the sound of heavy steps approaching them broke the peaceful atmosphere.
“Moira? Angela?” The voice was deep and rough.
Moira’s sigh had a hint of irritation,” Yes, Gabriel? Can’t you see that we are busy at the moment?”
“Yeah well I wouldn’t normally interrupt you two, but I had a concern about your lab?”
The two sat up from their comfortable position, looking back to Gabe,” What’s wrong with it?”
“Well see now… that’s the part I can’t really explain. It doesn’t seem like it’s doing any harm, but I… don’t know what it is.”
Angela looked confused, while Moira nearly jumped up from her spot. Before the others could say anything Moira had left for the lab. With a confused look towards one another, Angela and Gabe followed in suit.
Moira nearly tripped over her own feet when she got back to the lab. There it was, just as it was but an hour ago.
“Moira, what is this?”
Her head would turn to see Angela and Gabe. She paused, biting her bottom lip ever so slightly. “Well, what it is, I’m not sure. What it does, is remarkable.” Moira would walk up to the tear, Angela following behind. Gabe, on the other hand, stood in the doorway watching the two.
As Moira gestured to Angela to come closer, through the tear it can be seen that her German counterpart was speaking to a short heavy set man, his hair slicked back and a nicely trimmed mustache. Angela was speechless, which brought amusement to Moira then she’d look to Tenenbaum. The way her counterpart looked seem different though… Time. Who knows how much time has past for her. Regardless, their door was open again and perhaps the time has given the other to consider to open up about her research.
And in a moment Moira’s pair of mismatch eyes met the soft tired eyes of Tenenbaum.
Chapter 7: Patience is a Virtue
Tenenbaum knew that it wouldn’t take a day to get everything fixed, but she so desperately wished it could be so simple. Every day seemed to go by longer than the last, and with each passing day, she grew more and more impatient. Fontaine had contacted Gil Alexander, but it seems that the man was rather busy with a current project on the vita chambers with Sinclair. She even had made an attempt to contact Porter in hopes maybe her friend could come and assist her, but alas he too had work in Minvera’s Den that needed his complete attention. So she tried distracting herself as much as possible, she spent more time with her Fontaine, working on the concept of imprinting, and even just finding little things to do on her own. Yet everything was futile.
Tenenbaum stood in front of the machine, gripping the lever tightly. She was left helplessly staring at it hoping that maybe the longer she stared the sooner it could work. She wished she had known something about mechanics so she could have done it herself, she attempted to pick up a book on it but the words did not make the same sense to her as the genetic code did.
The sound of the heavy machine doors opening behind her momentarily caught her attention, but not for long as her mind went back to the device. She was so lost in it she did not even hear the footsteps approach her. Her attention was finally taken when the warm touch of hands moved her hair, and a pair of lips pressing lightly against her skin. She couldn’t help but close her eyes from the contact, it was warm and inviting her to pull away from the machine yet another part of her was telling her to stay.
“Not even a hello?” The deep voice had a flicker of amusement.
Tenenbaum's eyes shifted over to see Fontaine towering over her, her body seemed to relax more, “I acknowledged your presence.”
“Yeah of course you did. What are you doing here?”
“What does it seem like I am doing?”
“Seems like that you aren’t listening to me.”
“I thought you said Alexander would be here soon.”
“I said he’d come when he was able to, you know he’s been working with Sinclair. I cannot pull them apart.”
Tenenbaum let out a faint irritated sound, “Porter could not offer help either.” She had been gently pulled away from the device, now facing her partner. She knew the look he was trying to give her, “I know what you want to say. Save your breath.”
“Well, then can we leave this place? Do something nice?”
Her eyes wandered back to the device for just a moment before nodding. Fontaine’s hand softly pressing against her back, guiding her out of the restaurant. Patience, she just needed to be patient as much as she did not want to.
Nearly two months had passed for Tenenbaum, and not once did it not cross her mind to attempt to find a solution for the device. But truthfully Fontaine had kept her busy with more personal affairs. The two had been more intimate, with it came changes not only to Rapture but to herself as well. Although there were still conflicts between Ryan and Lamb, Fontaine had seemed to step away from the feuds. The two often seen together through Rapture; leisurely strolls through Arcadia, critiquing shows seen at Fleet Hall in Fort Folic, or on the occasion catching a meal together at one of the known dinners.
Tenenbaum had also started to become more unsettled around the little sisters. A part of her felt disgusted, her chest tighten as if it was hard for her to breathe. Yet it was not towards the little sister she felt this for, it was herself and she could not explain why she was getting these feelings. She did not express these feelings to anyone, although to those close to her could tell. She thought that perhaps if she attempted to spend more time with the sisters, treat them like children instead of little monster it would lessen this feeling. She’d also notice that she began to become fuller, some of her clothing feeling tighter then she wanted but that was not her main concern. It was the unexpected need to care for these girls that concerned her.
It was a slower day in the labs, Tenenbaum had needed a moment to sit for she had felt out of breath. Through the doors, Gil Alexander entered with a cheerful grin he seemed to naturally have.
“Tenenbaum? I believe Mr. Fontaine wanted me to get you when I had finished work on the broken device in The Silver Fin-” His grin changed to a look of concerned, “Are you okay?”
When Alexander had mentioned the device, she quickly picked herself up,” Fine. I am fine. Let us go yes?”
“Are you sure? You seem a little pale as if you need to rest.”
“No. Alexander let us go, please. I had been waiting for the device to be repaired for far too long.”
The short man followed the excited geneticist, the last time he had seen her so excited she had gotten her funding on the sea slugs. He was curious as to what the surprise the device had, especially to get Tenenbaum so content.
As the two approached the device, Alexander was nearly out of breath, “Can… Can you please tell me now? What is so exciting about this, Tenenbaum?”
“I will show you!” Her fingers wrapped around the newly placed lever, and with a gentle tug it slid down. Following it, a tear to an empty lab opened and Alexander was left in awe. Tenenbaum motioned closer to the tear but was disappointed, the redhead was nowhere in sight.
“This cannot be right. It looks the same, but where is she?”
“Where is who? What is this Tenenbaum? It is absolutely amazing.”
Tenenbaum turned to Alexander, ”Another like me, but she is not me. Suchong labeled the device as ‘Suchong Device’, but it seems to open door to different worlds… alternative timelines.”
Alexander nearly snorted at the name,” Do you know how many it could open?”
“I do not. I would assume an infinite amount, in theory. Any little difference and choice in our world could open a different possibility.” And from the corner of her eye, her attention was drawn from the larger man.
A grin belonging to a pair of the mismatched eye brought a sense of relief to her. Beside her stood a shorter blonde, who seemed just as mesmerized as Alexander.
“Tenenbaum. Seems as if time did not treat you as fairly as it did me.”
Chapter 8: At Long Last
Moira could hear Tenenbaum scoff in return to her statement, she proceeded to be jabbed by Angela giving her usual irritated looks. Yet Tenenbaum did not seem to defend herself, because part of her must've believed that it was true.
"Why would you say that Moira?"
"I didn't truly mean it, but it did seem that her time worked differently to the speed of ours." Moira has noticed the heavyset man fluster," I take it that the gentleman beside you was behind the delay."
Tenenbaum had turned to look at Alexander, who was embarrassed and red-faced. She nodded, which did not help the man feel any better.
"But he had a personal project he had been working on before the events. This is Gil Alexander, he works with mechanical and robotic engineering."
Alexander seemed to approach the tear nervously, his voice almost shaking, "It's a pleasure, Ms…"
Moira had noticed on the occasion that Tenenbaum almost seemed to react when Angela spoke. Almost as if it was a rarity for her to hear someone with a similar accent to her own. Truthfully Angela’s wasn't as thick as Tenenbaums, but it was noticeable on certain words. Tenenbaum now seemed almost fixated on her angel. While Angela, on the other hand, proceeded to speak with Alexander who gushed on and on about his experimentation genetics and robotics. Granted it was an interesting idea for sure, Moira thought.
"Tenenbaum, was it?" Angela, now including the petite German, received a faint nod that was barely visible. "How is this possible? Where… or more so when are you located."
The atmosphere seemed to have changed between the two on the other side of the tear. Alexander looked to Tenenbaum, obviously looking to her to decide if she was going to answer the question. The rooms grew quiet. Moira was too curious, perhaps she would finally learn the whereabouts of a city not bound to morality. If really a place like that could exist.
Angela broke the silence by clearing her throat and smiling, "if it is an uncomfortable answer there's no need to answer."
Yet another failed attempted.
"It’s not uncomfortable, it’s more of a rule we have here in Rapture-" that sound of heavy metal doors opening cut Alexander off. Rapture, at least now there was a name given.
Tenenbaum attention, along with Alexander's, shifted from Moira and Angela to the two figures making their way into the room. Moira noted the complete change in posture that Alexander had and the way his hands nervously started holding one another while for Tenenbaum the world's microscopic grin crept on the corner of her mouth.
"Ah! Mister Fontaine! Doctor Suchong! Pleased to say the machine is at tip-top shape. Works perfectly." Alexander seemed to be one that wanted to please whoever was in charge. Which was a fascinating thing to watch, yet Moira could barely make out the other two that had entered the room.
"If machine is fixed, then why are you still standing here !? Front is still unsecured."
"O-oh right. Of course Suchong. I'll be right on it," Alexander turned his attention to Moira and Angela once more," it was a pleasure making acquaintance with the two of you."
Moira dipped her head while Angela muttered a like-wise, watching the heavier man leave. Angela slightly scoffed and looked at Moira,” You’d think he’d at least get a thank you…” Tenenbaum reacted to the comment with an amused huff as if it was a rarity to hear a thank you. Moira couldn’t help but grin,” I take it that her colleagues are not that kind of people.”
The two men were now close to Tenenbaum; one tall with a bald head, pencil mustache and a smile that clearly couldn’t be trusted. The other was a short man, yet taller than Tenenbaum, of Asian ethnicity and wore large thick round glasses.
“Moira. Angela. This is Dr. Suchong and Frank.”
Angela, per her usual self, smiled and greeted them kindly. Moira, on the other, had taken a moment to study the two before offering them any sort of greeting.
Frank had seemed to look right at Moira with a sly smile,” I take it you’re the one that had Brigid so fixated on this machine.”
Chapter 9: How Did We Get Here
”I take it you’re the one that had Brigid so fixated on this machine.”
Tenenbaum had already noted how taken aback Moira was of Suchong and Fontaine. Even more so when Moira looked to her, before conversing with Fontaine. This wasn’t the first time someone gave her that look, actually, it happened multiple times. The first time was when she announced her partnership with Fontaine Futuristics to Sinclair and Porter, the second time was when she mentioned her relations with Fontaine to Sinclair and Porter. Although it didn’t seem too much of a surprise the second time since Rapture had deemed the two of them officially unofficial. Moira, too, was giving her that ‘Really? Him?’ look. Amusingly, Tenenbaum didn’t really know how it ended up like this. There was a multitude of times that she played out that day in her head, and how it led her to where she is now:
“Brigid? Can we talk? One to one?” Tenenbaum turned her head to Fontaine, who was approaching her and Suchong. Her eyes wandered back to the slug she had been picking apart for the last hour or so. A sigh finally broke the silence, “I suppose.” She removed her gloves and motioned towards Fontaine, “This must be important for you to come to the labs.”
The two didn’t trail off too far from the labs so much so that Tenenbaum nearly walked into Fontaine having expected them to walk farther.
“Brigid… I was wondering, well hoping… that you would agree to have dinner with me?” Fontaine nearly sounded nervous, which was already unusual but so was the question.
“... I… That is not apart of our deal…”
“ I know, but…I- Fuck- Just forget about the deal, Brigid.”
Tenenbaum blinked, she really wasn’t aware of how to respond. Her heart felt as if it were to jump out of her chest. Which was a very unsettling feeling in itself.
“People will say something.”
“People are already saying things, Brig. Why not give them something to actually talk about?”
“Is that why you’re asking me to dinner?”
“No- I… I really mean it. I actually want to take you out. What do you say?”
What was there to say? This has never happened to her, on the occasion she would be intimate for an exchange of goods, but no one had genuinely asked her out.
“Why?” She felt like a broken record, yet she had not really gotten the answer she was seeking from him. An actual reason as to why he’s asking her out when he could ask nearly anyone and get a yes. Part of her knew she was making it harder for him too, not because she was doing it on purpose but because this was never asked of her.
“Because… I want to get to know you, Brig.”
“You really don’t…”
“I do, I know shit hasn’t been easy. I get it, my past wasn’t much of a cakewalk either- I mean nothing in comparison to you, but there has to be more to you than that.”
Tenenbaum looked at him, and for a moment she could understand that he was trying to be somewhat genuine. Was she really going to believe he wanted to hear about her father, her childhood, her life before the war? And, what the worst that could come of telling him? Exposer. Truth is that her father was the last person she was open to because he knew her, and he understood her. To her, the idea of having another person understand her was exhilarating, fascinating. Yet, in the end, would he really understand her or just understand how she functions as a living being.
“Dinner… Tonight then?”
“Tonig- Yes! Tonight. I’ll pick you up!”
She found the excitement in his voice amusing. Watching Fontaine walk away, Tenenbaum was thinking once again. Would he really understand her? Her desires to create superhumans, her need for consistent human experimentation so that she evolves the perfect person. No, of course, he wouldn’t, he would only know how to sell it. It’s what he was best at. In the end, no one would really understand her, and she had come to terms with that.
For the longest time, she never questioned the idea of another person existing with her similar mindset. Until recently. Yet she would circle back to her original question. Does Moira understand her? Her desire to push science further, to bend the double helix and evolve men, to better a person through their DNA. Or is Moira’s work for her own guilty pleasure, to see how far she could take science. Tenenbaum could not be sure, but what she was certain of was the time she would now have with her Irish counterpart.
“Dr. Tenenbaum? Are you alright? You look rather pale.” The gentle German voice through the tear seemed to bring her back from her thoughts.
“Yeah, Brigid, you need to sit or something?” Fontaine turned to her, seeming ready to catch her if she were to fall. Which admittingly, she felt dizzy and nauseous.
“No. I’m fine-” But she wasn’t, taking a step back was enough to trigger her body to start shutting off, which was quickly supported and caught from falling to the ground.
“Shit- Suchong get me a chair.”
“Yes, Mister Fontaine.”
This was more attention than she ever wanted in her life. Sounds started to echo in her ears, everything started to white out and the last thing she would see is the concerned faces of Moira and Angela through the tear.