Posted: Mar 6 2013, 06:41 PM
1910-1945: The Birth of an Ideal
Andrew Ryan, the future founder of Rapture, was born during the time when the Tsar still held autocratic rule over the country. In 1917 he witnessed the Russian Revolution which catapulted the Bolshevik Party into power. Ryan's experiences under Soviet rule led him to his personal philosophy: the modern world was created by great men who strove to make their own way. Anytime "parasites" gained control of such a world, they destroyed it (as the Soviets did "trading one lie for another," the autocratic rule of the Tsar for the repressions of Bolshevism). In 1919 he anglicized his name to Andrew Ryan and fled Russia to go to America, believing it to be a place where a great man could prosper.
For a time, he was devoted to his adopted country, grateful for the wealth and fame it awarded his intellect and determination. However, the state social programs adopted in the 30s increasingly tested that devotion. His experiences in the "worker's paradise" made Ryan despise the ideals of Socialism, believing that those who benefited from others were parasites (e.g. he considered Roosevelt and his "New Dealers" to be the ones "spoon-feeding" Americans on the "Bolshevik Poison"). In his mind, one could only own what one earned.
The final straw for Ryan was the destruction of Hiroshima with the atomic bomb. In his eyes, the bomb was the ultimate corruption of his ideals — science and determination harnessed for destruction, creating a weapon that gave the parasites the ability to destroy anything that they could not seize.
1946-1952: The Founding of Rapture
Ryan's response was to use his entire fortune to build Rapture; a community where "the artist would not fear the censor, where the scientist would not be bound by petty morality, where the great would not be constrained by the small," in the only place he felt the parasites could not touch — the depths of the Atlantic Ocean. In terms of its philosophical underpinnings, Rapture can best be described as a "gulch", (a term derived from Galt's Gulch in the Ayn Rand novel Atlas Shrugged). A "gulch" is a localized underground economic and social community of free-minded individuals and differs from a commune in that it is uniquely freedom-focused and so upholds individual and property rights rather than operating by the rules of a collective community.
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 or 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 called "The Vanishing". Rapture's population numbered at least 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 Central 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 Sister's 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.
1952-1959: Beginning of the End
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 within 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 admired 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, creating Fontaine as a new target.
Posted: Mar 6 2013, 07:00 PM
I am also sharing the novel "BioShock: Rapture" by author John Shirley. This is the novel which includes yet an even more detailed history of the events leading up to our story, as well as detailed accounts of canon characters and the history. Definitely a great read in general, a must read for fans, and the perfect way for new fans to understand the back story of Rapture.
Attachment is virus free and it is hosted directly from the clean file on my computer onto a secure, virus free site. c:
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