Following Dr. Yi Suchong's story in Rapture, from his invitation in 1946 to his death in 1959. Using information found on the BioShock Wiki, I have tried to keep this story as canon as a fictional story can be.
Work in progress
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"War a terrible thing. Japanese kill every man in my city, except for Suchong." - Dr. Yi Suchong
The sound of gunfire echoed down the street. Its source could not be far away, the sound was still too painful to listen to, it couldn't have travelled far. What Yi had just witnessed had still not completely sunk in, it's not every day a man sees his entire family murdered before his eyes. It was still so clear in his mind, the way the bullets tore their way through his helpless family, the way their lifeless bodies crumpled to the floor in front of him. Things like that change a man forever.
Sticking to the shadows Yi made his way to the corner, he moved swiftly down the deserted streets. Most of the population had been killed or worse already, but this just made it easier to hide from the soldiers that remained in the city. Reaching the junction, Yi peered around the corner. Seeing nothing that hinted at any danger, he stepped out into the street and quickly began to make his way to the other side. SNAP! A shot rang out in the dark, and Yi felt the air move as the bullet flew past far too close for comfort. Instinctively he dropped to the floor, making himself less of a target. Quickly coming to his senses, Yi crawled his way back into the cover of the street he had just come from. Getting back to his feet, he checked his pockets. They were still there, perhaps they could get him out of this situation as they had the last time he had been shot at. Removing one of the packets from his pockets, Yi edged his way back to the corner. Stepping out for no more time than was needed, he threw the packet down the street towards the source of the shot. Silence...for what felt like an hour, Yi waited for some sort of response, and then it came.
"Show yourself!" The accent was unmistakably Japanese, the Chinese was flawed, but still surprisingly good. Shaking slightly, Yi stepped out once more into the street. Nervously making his way forward, he felt eyes on him from ahead.
"The powder is yours if you want it." Yi shouted into the gloom, "I can get you more if you spare me, I am a simple doctor. I am no danger to you."
1946 - Nine years later...
Dr. Yi Suchong looked back at his surgery for the last time that week, glad for the weekend. What was left of the paint on the walls was sporting the tag of the gang that controlled the block this week. It had been a hard week, obnoxious patient after obnoxious patient, each of them the same as the last. Demanding to be treated as if somehow he owed them something as a doctor. Well they could all go to hell, he didn't deserve this treatment, he was better than that. Graduating as a doctor of medicine back in his student years, he had not only surpassed the rest of his class, but was also the highest achiever to come out of China's top educational facilities in the last century. He never could understand how he had ended up in such a terrible job, but he had a feeling that his opium days may have had something to do with it. Yi turned to face the rusty bike he had chained up outside the surgery door that morning, it had served him well for the last eight years, the first and only bike he had bought in his lifetime. With a squeak and a wobble, he set off down the road, he was heading home.
Home to Yi was a one bedroom flat above one of the busiest shopping streets in the city and he hated it. It was dark, damp and cold and of course Yi deserved more. On reaching the flat, Yi gave the front door its traditional kick to unstick the bottom corner from damp swollen frame and walked inside, slamming the door behind him. He barely had time to take two steps into the flat when there was a sharp knock at the door. This was a first, nobody had visited him here before. Since leaving what was left of Nanking all those years ago, Yi hadn't had many associates, and none of those came close to being called friends, he couldn't even begin to imagine who would be bothering him this late on a Friday night. Opening the door revealed a tall man in an expensive looking suit. From the look of him, the mystery guest was in his early forties and probably American. Slightly worried about what could bring such a man to his home Yi invited him in.
"Can I get you a drink? How may I help you?" Yi asked nervously.
"Nothing for me, thank you. I won't keep you long Dr. Suchong, but I have a proposition for you, and I think it will be of great interest to you. The name's Orrin Lutwidge, and I'm here on behalf of Mr Andrew Ryan." The mysterious American began.
"I'm listening. Please go on." Yi proposed, curiosity beginning to get the better of him. He had no idea who Andrew Ryan was, but for him to have his own personal messenger he must be somebody with some money.
"Mr Ryan believes that a man is entitled to the sweat of his brow, he also believes that you are one of a few people in the world who have not been given the lives they deserve. You were meant for bigger things, surely you have noticed this?" Lutwidge began.
"Well yes of course, if it wasn't for those bloody Japanese invading my home nine years ago, I would be living off a small fortune." Yi agreed.
"Exactly, well Mr Ryan would like to give you a second chance. At absolutely no cost to you, you could begin afresh, live the life you deserve. The only catch is you must agree to this now before we go any further." Lutwidge had just dropped a bombshell. Yi was definitely interested, but he had no idea what he was getting himself into. He began to think about his life, what did he have? A dead-end job, crappy flat, and no friends to speak of. What did he have to lose?
"Okay, I'm in. Tell me everything." Yi's heart leapt to his throat. He'd just sold his soul, now he could only hope it was not to the devil.
"Excellent! What if I told you there was a place, a place where..." Lutwidge pulled a sheet of paper from his pocket and began to recite its contents, "... the artist would not fear the censor, where the scientist would not be bound by petty morality, and where the great will not be constrained by the small." He carefully folded the sheet back into his pocket as he continued. "There is a city, a hidden city, designed by Mr Ryan himself. It lies on the bottom of the ocean, and is free from the laws and problems of this world. Mr Ryan has named it Rapture, and he wants you as one of the privileged few to help him realise his dream."
"When do we leave?" Yi demanded excitedly, this sounded like the exact thing he needed to get his life back on track. A fresh start, somewhere where he could be free from all the petty laws of this world, his research could finally get somewhere.
"No Gods or Kings, Only Man" – Andrew Ryan
"We should be seeing the lighthouse any second sir!" the first mate informed the captain. Right on cue, a huge tower began to materialise out of the wall of rain that had been surrounding the ship for the past seven hours. It was taller than anything Yi had ever seen, who would have thought something this huge could be hidden in the middle of the Atlantic ocean. At the base of the lighthouse, lanterns illuminated the stairs leading up to the entrance door. At the base of the steps stood a tall, lean man. Anything else Yi might have discerned about the man was covered up in a waterproof jacket and hood to keep out the driving rain.
The boat pulled neatly up to the steps with practised precision, and the man stepped forward to help secure it. Yi disembarked, waving his thanks to the captain and crew of the small fishing vessel, giving his new companion a brisk handshake. Only three days ago Yi had been approached by the mysterious Mr Lutwidge with a shocking proposition, and now here he was. Stood at the entrance to the greatest technological achievement the world had ever seen, the secret underwater city of Rapture. Yi couldn't believe that such a city was even possible, let alone actually existed.
"My name is Andrew Ryan, you must be Dr. Suchong? Welcome to Rapture my friend." The man spoke with a strange mix of American and Russian accents, Yi supposed that Andrew Ryan was not his original name, but this mattered little as it was common for people moving to America to take on more American-sounding names.
"I am indeed, it's a great honour to meet you Mr. Ryan. I understand congratulations are in order, if what I have heard is true you have made an incredible achievement!" Yi returned.
"Oh please! I had help from many extremely skilled men. Now please let us get inside, this rain will give us a chill." Ryan signalled for Yi to lead the way up the steps, and then followed on behind.
Reaching the top of the stairway the men came to a large double doorway, decorated with carvings depicting the Titan Atlas holding up the world. The huge doors were open much to Yi's relief, he didn't fancy having to haul open the weight of those doors. Yi followed Ryan into a high circular room, in the centre of which was a view down to the floor below. Directly above the hole in the centre was a huge statue of what was presumably Andrew Ryan himself, the resemblance was breath-taking. Hanging from him was a banner stating, "No Gods or Kings, Only Man." Probably the motto of the city, Yi thought to himself. Peering over the railings in the centre of the room, Yi could see a circular pool of water, the depth of which could not be determined, however Yi had a feeling that it was very deep indeed. Ryan removed his hood, and Yi was able to get a proper look at the genius he had heard so much about.
Andrew Ryan was in his mid-fifties, with dark hair and a moustache. He had an air of success about him, and this was strengthened by the expensive suit he wore. While he appeared kind-hearted and welcoming, Yi had a feeling that getting on the bad side of this powerful man may be a mistake. Making their way to the back of the room, the men headed to the steps leading downwards.
The walls of the room were thickly decorated with various ocean-themed carvings and ornaments. The room at the end of the steps was circular as with the one above, and the walls contained only three carvings stating the three fundamentals of the city Science, Art and Industry. Suddenly there was a deep rumbling coming from the floor, the pool in the centre of the room began to bubble and froth. Yi glanced around nervously, Ryan noticed his new friend's anxiety and began to calm him.
"Do not panic my friend, it is just the Bathysphere. It is our way of travelling between the various buildings of the city, it is also the only way to reach the surface." He had barely finished, when a metal sphere slowly surfaced from the pool, just small enough to fit through the hole in the floor. As it came to a rest on the surface, the door at the front swung open automatically. The inside of the sphere was solid oak with red leather benches running along the left and right sides. In the centre at the back was a lever, much like the chadburns used to control the speed of a ship. At Ryan's gesture, Yi stepped into the sphere tentatively, feeling it bob slightly under his weight he had to steady himself. Luckily the trip in on the boat had strengthened his sea legs.
"Make yourself comfortable, I'm afraid we are still waiting for one more to add to our party. She is a German woman named Bridgette Tenenbaum, you might like her, she has a love for science like you. If you'll excuse me I shall go and wait for her arrival by the door." At this, Ryan turned and disappeared from view. Yi took the next few moments to study the newly discovered mode of transport, it was amazingly well made, obviously to withstand the massive pressures found at the bottom of the ocean. The lever in the centre of the sphere could be set to one of many locations in the city, and seeing the names of some of these places – Neptune's Bounty, Arcadia – made the adventure feel all the more real.
"Admiring the bathysphere I see," whilst Yi had been busy, Ryan had apparently returned with Tenenbaum, "they were designed by my good friend Anton Kinkaide, he designed the whole of the Rapture Metro. We use these Bathyspheres to get from area to area, and then there's the trams that connect the various residential areas to the central hub at Apollo Square. Amazing isn't it? Anyway allow me to introduce Dr. Bridgette Tenenbaum. Dr. Tenenbaum has just moved to Rapture like yourself. Bridgette this is Dr. Yi Suchong from China."
"Pleased to meet you doctor." Yi stood to shake her hand. Bridgette Tenenbaum was of average height, with a slim build. Her hair was brown and flowing, reaching just below the broad shoulders of her outfit. She was bone dry, which suggested that she was originally wearing some form of outer layer over her purple and white dress. Presumably this was left on the boat she arrived on as there was no sign of it on her person.
"The pleasure is all mine doctor." Her accent was German, and strong. Her voice was stern yet comforting, it reminded Yi of the grandmother he had left back in Nanking.
"Well lady and gentleman, shall we begin? I've introduced a bit of a speech into this Bathysphere, some call it propaganda, but I believe actually witnessing the city is all the propaganda you'll need. Nevertheless I shall sit back and allow my recorded self to take over this part of the tour." With that Ryan waited for them to all sit down, and then proceeded to pull the lever, setting it to Bathysphere Station. Almost immediately the door slammed shut and the sphere began to shudder, then there was nothing. All was still and silent. Then the sphere began to move downwards and under the surface of the pool.
Deeper and deeper they went, the light coming in from the porthole slowly getting darker. Every few fathoms a new sign was posted on the wall of the tube guiding them downwards that stated their current depth... ten fathoms, eighteen fathoms. At eighteen fathoms, a screen slid up over the porthole and a hidden projector began to count down to the main feature. Accompanied by images of the strict world they had left behind, Andrew Ryan's welcoming speech began to play:
- "I am Andrew Ryan, and I am here to ask you a question.
- Is a man not entitled to the sweat of his brow?
- `No,` says the man in Washington, `it belongs to the poor.`
- `No,` says the man in the Vatican, `it belongs to God.`
- `No,` says the man in Moscow, `it belongs to everyone.`
- I rejected those answers. Instead, I chose something different.
- I chose the impossible. I chose...Rapture!"
On this last line, the screen retreated back into hiding to reveal a rocky scene out of the porthole. With perfect timing, the bathysphere emerged over the edge of the rocky cliff as the word rapture was spoken, revealing a magnificent sight. The city of Rapture was laid out in front of their eyes in all it's glory, it was huge. Yi thought it must have easily been as big if not bigger than most cities on the surface, it was an astonishing achievement to say the least. All of these buildings had to be built perfectly, in order to withstand the immense pressures on the sea bed. Neon signs did a fantastic job of advertising all the different areas of the city, there were signs for places like Fort Frolic, Worley's Winery, and Arcadia amongst many more. The bathysphere slowly wound its way towards the centre of the city, meandering around the many different buildings. The area was teeming will all sorts of sea-life, casually going about their daily lives, as if the city had always been there. All the while the speech continued, despite the fact that its audience was captivated by the vista outside and were no longer listening
- "A city where the artist would not fear the censor,
- where the scientist would not be bound by petty morality,
- where the great will not be constrained by the small.
- And with the sweat of your brow, Rapture can become your city, as well."
As the speech came to an end, the bathysphere rounded the final corner, and approached a tube presumably leading to the Bathysphere Station. Above the tube were the words All Good Things Of This Earth Flow Into The City. The tube walls were adorned with adverts, showing off the various pleasures that could be found in the fledgling city. As the bathysphere surfaced, the two new additions to the population gasped in awe.
The bathysphere station was a magnificent building. As high as it was wide, it had room for two bathyspheres to dock at once. In front of each tube was a walkway, complete with red carpet down the centre, leading onwards towards the full-length windows opposite that gave a stunning view of the city exterior. To the left, there was a queue of people patiently awaiting their turn to ride the neighbouring bathysphere to their new place of residence. It couldn't escape Yi's attention that these new people had not had the privilege of being greeted by Andrew Ryan in person, this made him happier, already he was being treated with the respect he so deserved. Above the other bathysphere was a red banner with gold lettering, much like the one in the lighthouse, only this one bore the message The Great Chain Is Guided By Our Hand.
"I am afraid," Ryan started, "that this is where I must take my leave. Unfortunately running an entire city, especially one so young as this one requires most of my time. As to what you should do next, follow the signs to the lounge. Unfortunately there will be a bit of a wait, I wish I could do something about that but it would just not be fair. At the end of the queue you will reach the records office. Here you will need to sign in to the city, you will be given the keys to your apartment, and in your case Dr. Suchong to your new clinic in the Artemis Suites just off Apollo Square. If you have any problems, don't hesitate to come and see me in Central Control. Good day." With that Ryan turned and was lost in the crowd.
"Well so much for the personal tour, how dare he just dump us here!" Yi cursed, outraged that someone as important to the city as him had just been left with all the common folk, waiting to be allowed entry into the city.
"Well I think we should be honoured he found the time to come and meet us at all, he must be a very busy man. Shall we?" Tenenbaum countered, gesturing forward into the crowd. An hour later and the words above the door ahead were beginning to taunt Yi. Welcome to Rapture. Opportunity Awaits...
"Opportunity Awaits...pah! How long do we have to wait for it though I wonder!" He scowled at Tenenbaum, whilst waving his fist at the crowded lounge. At that moment, a short, plump man in a suit came up to the pair.
"Dr. Suchong, Dr. Tenenbaum. If you would like to follow me, I will take you up to the records office." He smiled at them cheerfully, and bowed slightly as he gestured to the doorway. The two doctors stood, and followed their new guide. On the other side of the doorway was yet another magnificent spectacle, they were in a glass tunnel, providing exquisite views of the entire city, at the other end was another doorway. As they stepped through this next set of doors, the man turned.
"This is the records office, if one of you would like to take the room on the left and one of you to the right, we will have you signed up before you could say Rapture!" With that, he proceeded to walk back the way they had come.
"I guess this is where we part ways then doctor? No doubt I will be seeing you around, it was an honour to meet you." Tenenbaum said.
"The honour was all mine Dr. Tenenbaum. I look forward to working with you." With that they both turned their separate ways. The office was clearly a temporary set-up, in place just to accommodate the rush of thousands of new citizens to the city. The room was merely an adjoining corridor between the tunnel and whatever lay beyond the door ahead, on each side of the main passage was a small alcove with a make-shift office. Heading into this alcove, Yi was called forward by a smartly dressed woman with thick-rimmed glasses. He took a seat at the desk opposite her.
"Welcome to Rapture Dr. Suchong! How are you finding the city so far?" The young receptionist chirped.
"So far I am impressed, but I do not like having to wait so long to see more." Yi snapped.
"Yes, I am sorry about the wait doctor, after this brief process you will be free to wander the city as you like with no more distractions." The receptionist remained cheerful under pressure, Yi commended that, here was a woman who knew how to play kiss-arse. "Now let us see...ah here we are, your papers. If you could just read this and sign here, I can hand over the keys to your new properties." Yi took the papers and glanced over them, one was a residential agreement form, and the other was for his new clinic. Checking there were no catches, he carefully signed the bottom of each.
"Thank you doctor, and here are your keys. You will find your accommodation on the ground floor of the Mercury Suites in Olympus Heights, as you enter the suites, your apartment is on the left hand wall, you will find your name above the door. You can reach Olympus Heights from the tram system in Apollo Square, which coincidentally is where your new clinic is situated, just take the tram from the square to the Artemis Suites where you can't miss the clinic. Once again I would like to welcome you to Rapture, I hope you enjoy it here. Thank you Dr. Suchong, you may now enter the city, you will find the bathysphere to Apollo Square on the first floor." Yi paused for a moment trying to let the huge amount of information he had just been given sink in, then shook the receptionist by the hand and turned to leave. On his way to the door, Yi was disappointed to note that Tenenbaum had already left the room.