BioQuest: Standoff

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Tenenbaum casually checked her pistol, reloading while Jack stepped back from Jolene and closer to her side.

“Both of you, hide,” she ordered flatly, taking out her radio. Anyone who left the clinic had to carry one– though that was only Jack and Tenenbaum these days. She pressed the button and spoke. “Booker, meet me at Siren Alley.”

The radio crackled for a few moments, then Booker’s voice came through. “What in the hell are you even doing there with Jack–”

She interrupted him there to explain, “Ryan is coming to us on the only path out.”

“I’m on it,” he barely finished speaking before the radio cut out.

Giving her attention back to Jack and Jolene, she sighed at the sight. Now it was Jack trying to get her to hide, but she would not hear him.

“Dr. Tenenbaum can handle it,” he insisted, exasperated, holding his arm out to the armoire. “Please, just listen.”

“No, no! You don’t know him, what he can do,” she spoke half to herself, hands gesturing wildly.

“It isn’t even half of what I will do to protect him,” Tenenbaum answered, pointing to the armoire with her pistol as she went to stand in front of the door. “Now hide.”

With only slight fussing after that, they rushed to hide just before Ryan barged in. Tenenbaum guessed from what she heard that one of them was under the bed and the other was in the armoire.

“Mr. Ryan,” she greeted. “What brings you here?”

“Ms. Tenenbaum?” His rage gave way to surprise, if only for one eyebrow-raising moment, before he got his cool front back. However thin of a facade it was. “I ought to ask you the very same question! What are you doing here?

“Dr. Tenenbaum,” she corrected, smirking. If he even noticed the pistol in her hands, he gave no sign of it. Typical. “Where’s Diane?”

“Diane?” For yet another moment, he seemed to truly not know who she was. “We’re not together, it’s not my responsibility–”

“Ja, it never is,” she talked over him, nodding in false sympathy. “But did you not bring her here? Wasn’t that your choice, not hers?”

“No, she had a choice! She,” he trailed off to a grumble. “You have no right to accuse me of anything! What are you here for? Hm?”

He snapped his jacket collar lightly and tried to circle her to her farther into the room. That’s when the pistol came into play, locking on his grinning expression. “There’s no one here for you to prey on. So what have you done with Jasmine?”

“You speak as if you are not a predator here to cause harm,” Tenenbaum observed, training her pistol steadily on him.

“The difference between us, dear doctor, is that you cannot harm me without harming Rapture.” He crossed his arms in a gentlemanly manner, chuckling from his chest like he told a clever joke.

She scoffed back. “Those in power are always so ready to believe in your own importance.” He relaxed beside the armoire, but there was nothing she could not do that would not betray that as a hiding place for whoever was inside.

“I could shoot you now and you would be just another corpse in the filth,” her accent thickened with the heat of the words. “The people of Rapture would strip you cleaner than any vultures could.”

“This city was brought up by my hands, doctor. And it will be undone by mine just the same if you do not tell me–”

The door slammed inward, and Booker came in after with a shotgun leveled at Ryan’s head. Apparently, he felt that spoke for itself and Booker said nothing. All Tenenbaum could think of was how grateful she was that the Bathyspheres were much faster now that so few could use them.

“What was that again?” Tenenbaum taunted.

“I won’t be scared off by thugs,” Ryan spat, looking at Booker with disgust. “Where is Jasmine? We have business and you will not keep me from her.”

What do you want to do, Tenenbaum?

– – –

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