As Terra had predicted, Tenenbaum figured out fairly quickly that she was in another world. Unfortunately, she didn't handle it as well as Terra had thought she would. She shut herself up in the library for a day, doing frantic research. Due to her mumblings about height, Eraqus figured it might have to do with how the Land of Departure was set up; in addition to the fact it was another world.
She emerged at the end of the day to ask his forgiveness. Aqua was playing in her room -it was very pink- and Eraqus was dispassionately watching her.
"Now do you see why I would have rather you did not come?" Eraqus demanded, ignoring Aqua trying to get his attention. Tenenbaum noticed though, and sat down in a chair, then gestured for Aqua to walk over. Aqua refused and hid behind Master Eraqus. "Why is she acting like this?" he asked.
"Little Sisters are programmed to hate and fear maternal figures. Part of the reprogramming will get her to trust women again. You heard her say how 'Mommy is a bad word'." Tenenbaum tapped the table as she spoke. "I must fix my mistake."
"Most people have mistakes they want to fix." Aqua had sat down and was now trying to hid from Tenenbaum by hiding under the table. "Aqua, go to her."
"But Mister Erkus" she began to plead.
"NOW!" Aqua fled and hid behind Tenenbaum.
"Do not do that; she will hate everyone," Tenenbaum chastised Master Eraqus. "She is five years old you are troubling her." Tenenbaum got out of her chair and held out her hand. "Aqua, please, sit with me. I will brush hair." Aqua brightened up a bit and tentatively sat down on Tenenbaum's lap, while Tenenbaum began to brush her hair. "You have no control over this. You cannot control life on other worlds. Is not that what you call the 'sin of pride'?"
"That does not matter to me. You still did not react well to the knowledge of other worlds."
"Of course I did not, just as you are not reacting well to knowledge of MY world." Tenenbaum retorted, tugging through a particularly bad knot. "And you do not know half of what happened." She sighed. "I am 37 years old, and you suddenly want me to accept other worlds exist? And it's..."
"You're scared of heights?"
"It's not that!" Tenenbaum lashed out. "I have never flown, but all my life I have lived either on the earth or under the sea. Here... it is so easy to fall off. And physics aren't working..." She returned to doing Aqua's hair. "I should not have acted up, but if you wish to discuss Aqua's deprogramming, now is a good time."
"You keep on saying that."
"And I mean it. We need to put Aqua back to her... eighteen?"
"Eighteen year old mindset." Tenenbaum explained. She began to fiddle her leg to keep it from falling asleep under Aqua's weight. "First is getting her to trust, then we need her to understand what happened in Rapture."
"Answer my question first. How did you figure out there are other worlds." Eraqus gripped a pen on the table.
"You have American accent with your English, I have German one. This would mean American Colony, but America does not have many colonies. If this was a colony then the American flag would be somewhere, but it is not. You could argue this is a city, but there are only three people here, and they are all in this room. So, we are someplace that is neither a city nor a colony. If this was outpost of some sort, it would not be well kept or large. Look around, the place is clean, the grass is green, and there is sun." she smiled for a second, before continuing. "Add that to how your physics work..."
"Then listen. Look at how this place is supported. You have some odd form of gravity or very advanced architecture knowledge – or both- to have a five pillar building supported by nothing more than chains with force resting on one open room." She began to part Aqua's hair again. "So I think that this place is another world. One which does not have permanent residence, or there would be more people here. And I found this in the library." She reached into her bag and tossed a book on the table before going back to Aqua's hair. The book was titled 'Eraqus' list of worlds he discovered'. Eraqus looked at it, and started to laugh.
"When did you find it?"
"When I finished with my physics and architecture debate. I was trying to find any books on architecture in your wundebar library when I discovered it. I see my world is not there."
"I've actually never heard of your world before." Eraqus admitted as he flipped through the book. "I had forgotten all about this, I made it when I was 13. What were"
"Surviving." Was Tenenbaum's answer. "Aqua, you should look at yourself in the mirror while I find you some new clothes. Can you dress yourself, or do you need help?"
"I can dress myself." Aqua said proudly. Eraqus put the book aside.
"Terra was right. You figured out you were in another world in less than a day."
"Because I am scientist." Tenenbaum said matter of factly. "You will want to leave when Aqua changes clothes." Eraqus left.
Tenenbaum was too excited over dinner that night, but once she quietly explained the state of food in Rapture Eraqus forgave her. As it was, he was impressed with her chain of thinking.
"So, when do you start fixing Aqua." he asked after dinner. He had found an old toy of Aqua's so she was busy playing with it. It was some sort of a train.
"Earlier today. You should probably reteach her what she knew to help reage her. While you are doing that I will work on trust issues and to dissuade her from corpses." Eraqus almost dropped the dish he was washing.
"What do you mean 'dissuade her from corpses'?"
"Little Sister's programming is to make it easy for them to take ADAM from corpses, swallow it, and regurgitate it later." was Tenenbaum's dispassionate answer. She dried her dish and put it away, and held her hand out for the next one. "I take it you are happy you never found my world? I do not know if Rapture- the city- would be built when you found it. But then again, you would have found the Second Great War..." Tenenbaum trailed off as she thought it through.
"Doctor Tenenbaum" Eraqus interrupted her train of thought. "If she is five, should she go to bed now?"
"I do not know. She may have the mental capabilities of a five year old, but her body is that of a teenager." Aqua solved their problems by yawning and asking for a teddy bear.
"Here" Tenenbaum placed several recorders on the table. "Those are my audio diaries and those involved with me. You can find out what I did, and how the sisters work"
"Have you ever manifested darkness?" Eraqus asked as he turned the audio diaries over in his hands. Aqua was safely asleep upstairs and Tenenbaum had been set up in one of the spare rooms.
"I do not understand."
"Have you ever used dark powers?" Eraqus asked again. Tenenbaum looked utterly confused.
"I have done evil things, if that is what you were asking, but I regret it and I am trying to atone I may have been trying to survive, but that does not excuse it.' She spoke slowly, evaluating and weighing each word.
"But you have never used dark energy."
"Then I shall keep an eye on you." Eraqus turned his attention back to the diaries and began to fiddle with them. Tenenbaum leaned over the table.
"Press the button on the right so the diaries play."
Tenenbaum watched the next day as Eraqus and Aqua began to relearn. As Aqua mentally aged she could reacquaint herself with the keyblade, so the two began to train while Tenenbaum watched.
"Like this?" Aqua squealed as she began to summon and dismiss her keyblade automatically. She became so excited that she began to hop up and down. Tenenbaum hid a smile as she went back to work on some obscure mathematical formula. Eraqus gave a nod, then moved onto the next technique.
As time went on, life quickly moved back into a comfortable routine. Tenenbaum stayed near by the two as much as possible and tried to show she was harmless by helping Aqua color or sneaking her sweets. Eraqus recovered her training and she relearned things. Tenenbaum looked down at a book on the use of fractals in architecture.
"Umm" Tenenbaum looked up, one thing Aqua had not done was give her a name yet. The closest she had come was when she had said that Tenenbaum would be a good mommy.
"What is it Aqua?"
"I... can you go cartwheel with me?" Aqua blushed and fiddled with the ground, her shoes would get so dirty.
"If I tie up my skirt, yes." Aqua smiled and ran off to find some rope.
Eraqus found them an hour later, dirty, exhausted, but happy.
"Mister Erkus! Look!" Aqua stood up and began to cartwheel and twirl. "She taught me!" She pointed towards Tenenbaum, who quickly tried to cover up her knees.
"I'm proud of you Aqua." And indeed he looked proud. "It's time to help with dinner, will you come in?" Aqua hesitated, but nodded and ran in. "I see your making progress."
"She approached me, it is marked improvement. It increases now. The hardest part is getting it started, yes?" Tenenbaum stood up and brushed off her dress. "Why do you let her dress like that?"
"Because she likes it, why do you ask?"
"Because, it is very immodest where I come from." Tenenbaum simply walked inside after replying.
There was a monster under her bed, Aqua knew it. They were called... un something? She huddled in the patch of light that her nightlight gave off. The moon, it would hide from the moon. She summoned her keyblade and opened the door with it. Once the moon drifted from behind the clouds, she jumped from her bed and landed in the open door-frame. She barreled down the hall.
THUD Tenenbaum grabbed her pistol and pointed it at to the door. Something was there. She tried to slow down her breathing as she slowly inched her way towards the door. She listened, and only heard sobbing. With a deep breath, she cocked her gun, pulled the door open quickly, and pointed it. Nothing. She looked down and saw Aqua huddled on the floor.
"Aqua, what is it?"
"Mommy? Mommy! There's a monster under my bed!" Aqua's voice was muffled from hiding her face in her elbow.
"I do not think there is monster under your bed." Tenenbaum sighed, but she uncocked her gun and knelt down to Aqua. "But, would you like to sleep in my room tonight?" Aqua looked up and nodded her tear stained face. "Okay, but first let us leave note in your room saying where you are, yes?" she held out her hand, and Aqua accepted it. The two walked off quietly until they got to Aqua's room.
"No monster, see?" Tenenbaum threw open the door and flipped the lights on.
"Because they disappear in the light. They're called un... something." Aqua muttered as she sat on her bed and drew her legs up. As Aqua babbled, Tenenbaum wrote a quick note and taped it to Aqua's door.
Knock! Knock! Knock! Tenenbaum jerked up in bed and pointed her gun at the door. "Dr. Tenenbaum? Aqua?"It was Eraqus. Tenenbaum sighed and dropped back in bed for a second until she pulled herself together enough to escape the bed. Aqua was both a very sound sleeper and one who liked to toss and turn. She uncocked her gun and left it on the table as she walked over to the door.
"You want her out of bed, yes?"
"I'm up, Mommy." Aqua sat up in bed, and pulled the sheets up. "Umm...can I change in my room? Alone?"
"Of course, do-"
"I can get back to my room by myself." Aqua walked out a bit, then curtsied. "Mister Erkus." Eraqus looked at Tenenbaum to see a very self satisfied smirk.
"She progressed to ages eight to ten. She called me Mommy last night."
"I heard it. How much longer?"
"A few weeks at most. You can see she is improving rapidly. And you only need to deal with her being teenager for few days."
"I'll get back to training. Good morning, Dr. Tenenbaum."
"I didn't ask this earlier, but what are your monsters?" Tenenbaum was sitting at the table outside while reading one of the books from the library. Eraqus was sitting next to her, writing down everything that Aqua told him about the worlds she visited. Aqua herself was doing cartwheels in the grass.
"What do you mean?"
"This morning. I only denied that monsters were under her bed. You didn't even do that. My monsters are the splicers, what are yours?" Eraqus put his pen down.
"Unversed . Unversed are made up of negative energy from people's emotions" Tenenbaum just shrugged after a minute.
"I do not get these kinds of explanations. They make no sense."
".... I would suppose not if you did not grow up or see them. You have never seen an Unversed?"
"No, never. Just Splicers, Big Daddies, and people like Ryan and Fontaine." She glanced at Aqua who looked like she was going to say something at "Ryan" but stopped herself. "Good, she's getting better."
"That's... would you like me to explain what they are?
"You can try."
"Mister Erkus, why don't you ever hug Mommy?" Tenenbaum started to choke over her coffee. Eraqus looked flustered. "I mean... my older Mommy hugs my Daddy. Why don't you?" Eraqus knew it was way too early in the morning to deal with this.
"Aqua, listen, I am not your father, and Tenenbaum is not your mother. But you can treat her as one if you wish." Aqua blushed.
"AQUA!" Tenenbaum stormed over to Aqua, who had found crayons and was busy drawing stuff on the walls. "What ARE you doing?"
"Drawing. I couldn't find paper." Aqua shrugged and went back on her picture of...
"Aqua, is that us?" Indeed it was. It was Aqua, Eraqus, and Tenenbaum sitting together on the edge of the Land of Departure. "Aqua, go to your room."
"I HATE YOU!" And Aqua ran off to her room crying.
"You did the right thing." Eraqus had walked up behind her. "But the drawing is rather nice."
"She probably hates me."
"She's probably 13 now."
"Aqua, Eraqus says he will forgive you if you paint over the drawings."
"Okay. Mommy, is there anyone you liked before?" Aqua was sitting on her bed and swung her feet. She began to fidget in an embarrassed way.
"There was a boy, back in Germany." Tenenbaum eased onto the bed. It creaked under the sudden weight. "He worked in a bakery and once a week he would bring me a flower and a little baked good." Tenenbaum smiled sadly. "I never found out what happened to him. Is there a boy you like?" Aqua nodded.
"His name is Zack." She began to blush and giggle. "He lived in the world of Olympus Coliseum and he wanted to be a hero." She sighed. "He asked me out on a date." Her skin turned from pink to bright red. "I said no" she admitted when she finally settled down. "I... I had training and then there was Gantu and... and... did I really?" Tenenbaum watched as Aqua jumped from the bed and fled towards the bathroom.
"Girl bonding?" Tenenbaum jumped, drew her gun, and pointed at Eraqus when she heard his voice. Upon seeing that it was just Eraqus, she lowered her gun.
"How long were you there?"
"As Aqua left."Eraqus stood in the doorway. Tenenbaum walked towards him.
"She's certainly thirteen, and I think she just figured out what she did in Rapture." Her voice changed back to it's business aspect.
"Will she be back to normal soon?"
"She was mentally and biologically compelled to drain fluids from corpses, then drink it. Give her some time."
"Master Eraqus, may I stay up tonight?" Aqua stood tall in the great hall. "I want to see the stars." She had asked this every night, but tonight was the first time she did it without holding onto a teddybear.
"You may, Aqua." Eraqus walked over. "Maybe you can find the worlds you visited." He placed his hands on her shoulders. "And I'm proud of you getting this far." Aqua brightened up, and gave him a huge hug before running off to the doors, stopping, and trying to walk dignified the rest of the way. As soon as the doors closed, Tenenbaum walked into the room.
"She wants coffee." Tenenbaum admitted as she eased into the chair placed for her. "Sixteen year olds usually want at least two things. Adult things like coffee, and freedom."
"Terra and Ven used to spend time watching the stars together. She may be trying to reconnect with them." Eraqus explained as he returned to one of the main throne seats. "Did you find a good book?"
"I had to search your fiction section, but yes. I thought you would have more books on science." She pulled the book in question from her bag, and the cream pastry that she had been saving. "Do you want some?"
"Yes." Eraqus said with a smile. Tenenbaum walked over to the thrones, but did not sit as she handed half of the pastry to Eraqus. "We were never too focused on science, we just had to know about the heart." Eraqus mused as he prepared to eat the pastry.
"Cardiology, you do not have book on that."
"A different heart. But..." Eraqus trailed off before pulling his old journal from a compartment hidden in his chair. "I don't know if we've progressed at all."
"Science always moves forward. It is what you DO with it that counts."
"Why don't you like power?"
"I've watched you. You only refer to me as 'Lehrer' occasionally and never 'Master'."
"It means the same thing-" Tenenbaum started to argue, but Eraqus stopped her.
"Even if it does, you are uncomfortable when anyone sits up here, you don't like the hierarchy, and-"
"Nein" Tenenbaum shook her head. "I do not like people presuming too much power. It drove all of my world into a war, and caused Rapture to fall into madness so quick. 'Master' brings back too many bad memories."
"Fair enough-" Eraqus was going to ask more, but Aqua ran back in breathless.
"Mommy! Master Eraqus! There's some colored lights but..." She grew frustrated at her lack of words. "Just come!" The three were greeted outside by a beautiful and unique sight, the Aurora Borealis.
After a month of living in the Land of Departure, Aqua was back to her eighteen year old mindset and had regained her "Master' level of powers, but Tenenbaum still called them "Lehrer" instead of "Master". One morning Tenenbaum was drinking coffee just inside the building.
"Brigid" she looked up and around to see Lehrer Eraqus running down the steps behind her. Why was he using her first name? They never did that. "Where's Aqua?"
"Outside, is there a problem?"
"How long will her mentality stay?" He was worried, but trying to calm himself.
"She is guaranteed sane for a few days, after that if something traumatic happens or if she is strongly reminded of Rapture, she will return to being Little Sister. What is going on?" she placed the coffee down and began to stand up.
"Master Yen Sid believes Ven suspects."
"Who is Lehrer Yen Sid? Herr Ven suspects... what?" Tenenbaum asked completely bewildered.
"It doesn't matter. Is there a place that you are safe?" He looked like he was going to grasp her arm.
"Herr Jack's house. What is going on?" she demanded.
"I need to send the two of you away. Don't ask questions. AQUA!" Aqua turned and ran back up the steps.
"I need you to leave now. Don't ask questions" Aqua closed her mouth. "Is there a world you haven't been to yet?"
"One, it had a rainbow and a mountain." She mused. "But why can't I go back to-"
"Trust me on this. Go there immediately. If you see Ven head him off and come back together. But do NOT go looking for him. Just get to that world."
"Yes Master" Aqua touched the yellow jewel on her arm and was instantly clad in some sort of armor. She shot a beam into the sky, transformed her keyblade, and flew off. Before she had fully left, Lehrer Eraqus turned to Tenenbaum.
"If I need you again, I'll contact you." He summoned a portal for her, this time on the ground.
"I'll be at Herr Jack's house or in Rapture. There may be more little ones that need me." She gave a rare smile, and she walked through the portal that lead to the white house.
Birth By Sleep credits:
Tenenbaum is seen writing at a table. The Ex Little Sisters grab her and then pull her away from the table. They pull her to the front door. Jack Ryan is seen walking up to the door, holding a puppy.
End of Part 1 of Rapture