Thursday, October 7, 2010

The Fall Of Rapture

Throughout 1959, a full-scale decline of Rapture took place, with many large battles occurring between the armies of Andrew Ryan and Atlas. Ryan used the opportunity of the conflict to test many of Ryan Industries' plasmids and gene tonics on citizens on the field through Sinclair Solutions, a company owned by Augustus Sinclair. Early 1959 also saw great advances in the technology of Big Daddies under Gil Alexander's influence.

As Rapture society began to fall apart Andrew Ryan attempted to maintain control by enacting harsher laws, limiting the movement of the population, locking dissenters up in Apollo Square, shutting down the Bathysphere network, and putting the death penalty in place for anyone who broke these laws. In an act of desperation Ryan even violated the greatest virtue he held dear, free will, by introducing a type of "pheromone" into the air which would allow him slight mental control over all of the splicers. Once Ryan had complete control of the city, Atlas went into hiding, and the insane splicers roamed the streets of Rapture.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

The Rise of Rapture

When Ryan initially noticed Lamb's political influence he agreed to a series of publicized debates with her, hoping to ruin her popularity by exposing the weaknesses in her philosophy. This was a miscalculation on his part, and it only increased the number of her supporters. At last Ryan began to fear her influence, and he commissioned Augustus Sinclair's company "Sinclair Solutions" to monitor her and her followers, hoping to find an excuse to take her into custody. Stanley Poole of the Rapture Tribune acted as an undercover spy for Sinclair, becoming one of the "Rapture Family," Lamb's followers. Eventually Lamb was taken by Ryan's men and locked away at Persephone, a prison complex owned by Sinclair.
Once Fontaine Futuristics was able to produce ADAM in a massive scale, the marketing of gene tonics and plasmids (developed by Dr. Yi Suchong) went mainstream, selling to any individual that could afford them. These tonics and plasmids allowed individuals to do superhuman things, such as create fire at their fingertips (Incinerate!), release a swarm of bees from their arms (Insect Swarm), or increase muscle tissue and movement speed (SportBoost). Originally, Andrew Ryan enjoyed the success of Frank Fontaine, citing him as a prime example of the type of individual that should be inhabiting Rapture.
A few years passed, and Andrew Ryan began suspecting Fontaine of various crimes, ranging from smuggling to murder. A full-scale genetic arms race broke out between Ryan and Fontaine, as Fontaine's monopoly on ADAM threatened the current social structure. Andrew Ryan then attempted to arrest Fontaine; but Fontaine decided that he himself wanted to go down "guns blazing" and faked his death during the shootout in late 1958. After this, Andrew Ryan assumed control of Fontaine Futuristics, and began to produce plasmids and tonics within his own company, Ryan Industries. Tightening his grip upon the city, Ryan began instituting harsher punishments against problem citizens, arresting many of Dr. Lamb's followers.
Rapture was filled with civil unrest in the following months as Fontaine stepped into his Atlas persona, rallying the people who had flocked to his poor houses in subtle guerrilla warfare against Ryan's security forces. To combat this threat Ryan adjusted the Little Sister program to send the little girls out into the streets to gather ADAM from corpses. Ryan also commissioned Dr. Suchong to develop protectors for the girls, taking many of Lamb's imprisoned followers from Persephone and modifying them into prototype Big Daddies. To supply even more ADAM for the growing need Ryan's men began kidnapping little girls to turn into Little Sisters. After Suchong's accidental death by a prototype Big Daddy, the Protector Project was placed under the control of Gilbert Alexander, another brilliant scientist from Fontaine Futuristics. He finally completed Suchong's work by bonding Eleanor Lamb, daughter of Sofia Lamb, who was abducted and turned into a Little Sister, to Subject Delta. They became the first ADAM gathering couple working in Rapture.
The minor skirmishes reached a climax on the New Year's Eve of 1958, when the disenfranchised citizens who supported Atlas attacked various key locations in the city, including the upper-class Kashmir Restaurant. This event was the first large-scale battle of Rapture's Civil War.
Prior to the New Years riots Sofia Lamb had escaped from Persephone and was searching for her daughter. On New Year's Eve she and a few loyal splicers finally captured Eleanor from her protector. Delta was incapacitated by the Hypnotize plasmid, with which Sofia Lamb forced him to kill himself in front of a shocked Eleanor. Lamb then retreated back to Persephone with her daughter, avoiding the conflict of the war.
Throughout the Civil War, citizens and Splicers who were skilled enough to take down a Big Daddy learned how to retrieve more ADAM from the Little Sisters, harvesting, which resulted in the girl's death. Dr. Brigid Tenenbaum then felt something about the girls she turned into Little Sisters. She also noted how despite the mental conditioning, they are still and act like small children when they sing and play. Finally, Tenenbaum was confronted by a Little Sister in Farmer's Market. The Little Sister then came over and sat in Tenenbaum's lap, resulting in Tenenbaum pushing her off. She felt like she had strong hatred against the girl with the disgust in her. Tenenbaum then realized, it wasn't the girl she hated, it was herself. Tenenbaum then saw the error of her ways, she then made a Plasmid of her own that would kill the slug inside the Little Sisters, turning them back into humans, but only retrieving half the ADAM rather than harvesting. Tenenbaum then began to collect the girls she rescued and continued to do so, but no where in Rapture was safe. Eventually, she did manage to find an underground safe room in the sewers of Olympus Heights, keeping her and the girls safe from harm or the Splicers. Vents were then made into the safe house, so Little Sisters may find themselves safe and rescued by Tenenbaum. After being characterized as a monster for taking enterprise, Tenenbaum then hid away from the public into the safehouse until Rapture fell.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Building of Rapture

Andrew Ryan first began construction of Rapture in 1946. Using his own private steam-liner, the Olympian, he transported building supplies to the coordinates where the city would be built, roughly 63° 2' N, 29° 55' W, in the North Atlantic ocean. A building platform, nicknamed "the Sinker", was lowered from the Olympian to bring the supplies and crewmen to the seafloor where it was permanently moored at the bottom.
The city was primarily designed by the architectural firm Wales & Wales, and the art-deco metropolis was meant to be the ideal utopia, where art, industry, and science would thrive undisturbed by interventions from governments and other social agencies. Rapture was designed to be entirely self-supporting, with all of its electricity, food production, water purification and defense systems powered by undersea volcanic vents. People from around the world emigrated to the hidden city during the time period of 1946 to 1952, sparking conspiracy theories on the surface about mass disappearances, termed "The Vanishing." Rapture's population numbered several thousand at its peak during the early 1950's and was composed of those people Ryan viewed as the "best examples" of mankind.
Unfortunately, the city did not plan accommodations for the large number of workers who had labored to construct it. While the artistic and scientific elite from around the world emigrated to fill the metropolis, these workers were left in leaking, crowded, "temporary" housing in Pauper's Drop. This stark contrast between the poor and the intellectual upper crust was mostly ignored by Ryan and his City Council. However, Ryan did listen to advice that the citizens were becoming anxious from the isolation of the city and the lack of sun. Thus he hired Sofia Lamb, a renowned psychiatrist on the surface, and invited her down to Rapture to help individuals cope with life under the ocean. Lamb's utilitarian beliefs largely clashed with the free market ideal of Rapture, and she devoted much of her efforts to the poorer citizens. In this way she became a significant political rival of Ryan.
During this same time period, between 1949 and 1951, Dr. Brigid Tenenbaum happened to be passing through the docks in Neptune's Bounty, and noticed that an individual whose hands had been paralyzed in the war was playing catch. After inquiring as to the reason behind the revival of his hands, she was told that the man had been bitten by a sea slug. Tenenbaum then asked the man for the slug, knowing that she had discovered something amazing, and began to search for a benefactor who would fund her research.
Tenenbaum was scoffed at by all of the other scientists in Rapture, until she approached Frank Fontaine, a businessman with a distinguished name in Neptune's Bounty. He agreed to fund Tenenbaum's research and development as long as he was able to profit from the findings in the end. He funded her research using the fortune he had acquired from his smuggling ring, bringing contraband items from the surface down to Rapture. Tenenbaum's research quickly began taking off. She discovered that a substance the sea slugs secreted behaved like stem cells, and that by using it she could manipulate DNA entirely. She was able to "bend the double-helix", cure diseases, and give organisms amazing powers. The substance was thought to be a "rebirth" for humanity, and it was dubbed "ADAM".
Shortly after the discovery of ADAM the scientists made another breakthrough: If the slug was implanted into a host, it would produce twenty to thirty times the original amount of ADAM. Presumably they tried to insert the slug into the stomachs of various other test subjects, but only one type of subject seemed to work well with the slug: young girls. After this discovery, they started to implant the slugs into little girls, but they needed a ready supply of hosts if they were going to mass produce ADAM as Fontaine wanted. Taking inspiration from Sofia Lamb's earlier charity work, Fontaine set up the "Little Sisters Orphanage," advertising it as a place where financially pressed families could send their little girls for care and schooling. The transformed girls eventually came to be known by the orphanage name.

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Monday, October 4, 2010