Dr. Tenenbaum had implied that the plasmids were permanent, but even months later he was surprised how much one still helped him.
Jack - still deciding on a last name - stood in front of his beehive as he gently checked his bees. He never needed a beekeeper suit and even just imagining wearing the suit under the July sun made him uncomfortable.
It had taken some time - and clearing out the casinos in Rapture - but Jack had bought a house with a large yard by the beaches of Georgia. Okay, it was a little creepy to suddenly appear with 21 little girls, and after everything that had happened, he didn't want to say he was running an orphanage... but he was running an orphanage. They didn't remember where their family lived before Rapture. so why not just stay with Jack who was barely older than them. Maybe even younger.
Their sheep that Maria had named "Mr. Fluffy face" baaed and went over to a new patch of grass.
Jack - really needed a last name for this. Wynand is stupid and why would one want to be associated with Ryan? - went back to the bees on his farm. Maybe he could claim it was a farm and all the girls were extra help. The bees covered a lot of space. They had a couple of sheep, two dogs, a cat, a field of vegetables, the bees, a few chickens and soon a cow. A farm would work, right?
As he began to check the combs for disease, the bees began to buzz angrily. But Jack just waved a hand and the remnants of Insect Swarm calmed them right down. Funny how that one worked the best.
The girls were at school today. He had to send them. They needed to learn. Well, he did too, but it was easier for him to learn at home, in the quiet. The girls needed to learn how to interact with people.
The comb looked fine, so he put it back and went off to check the feed on his chickens. Jane had made these coops. "Made" as in she went up to him and said "We need chickens, here are plans for coops" then ' supervised' him while he put them together Still, it was more than what Barbara had done. Barbara, though, had what one of the books called "Agoraphobia" and it took a doll and three of her sisters to get her out of the house every single day.
They all needed to get better.
As Jack entered the coop's area, their chickens crowded around him. The big gold one they all agreed was "Daddy." The first hen was... well originally it was "Mommy" but Jack talked them down to "Brigid" (And she would never know they named the chicken that. She would probably laugh though) and the last hen was called "Mrs. Chicken." Because that was what Anita said. And you do not argue with Anita when it comes to chickens.
Jack still smelled like honey, but now it had a chicken smell on top of it. After gathering the eggs from the coop he began to walk back to the house for just a bit. Their larger dog - who Jack had named after his imaginary dog from his fake memories named "Bandit - ( Come to think of it, was that something that Atlas did as a swipe at Ryan? Or was it just a common dog name?) bounded around Jack's feet, clearly smelling something good on him. But this was a farm, and farm had work.
The house they had painted green and every bit of the lawn they could spare was covered in flowers. Tammy had seen the flowers first when they made it to shore. She had been rescued from Arcadia and knew what they were. She would sometimes try to sleep out there in the flower beds she had planted. At least until her sisters dragged her to her bed.
They could never escape the water, but the flowers anchored them to shore.
Jack knew the ocean called to them. It called to him too. It called to sailors and explorers, and so many other people. But the call of Rapture was hard to deny. It wasn't the ADAM or the atmosphere. No, you were BOUND to it somehow. It whispered that it was your home. No one here could understand you.
Or maybe no one could and he just imagined the ocean calling him.
Their mouser - who answered to Shadow but who knows if that was her name - meowed before jumping down and chasing their smaller dog named Fluffy who was not fluffy at all. Jack was never sure if Sasha had understood irony or it was just an understanding that dogs should be named Fluffy. As Sasha generally preferred to spend her time drawing or taking care of Fluffy, he wasn't getting an answer either way.
Sheep were next. Sheep just needed to eat grass, get some water, and be sheared at the appropriate times. Which was good. That wool got them through things. He was still trying to find a job for the daytime, but in the meantime, he needed the local farmer's market. Their flowers, the wool, and most of all the honey is what got them through things. Add in a few odd jobs - apparently, Atlas thought a carpentry Splice was a good investment - and Jack could support these girls for now.
A sheep began to nuzzle at his sleeve and he pulled it out of the way before it began to eat his shirt. His shirt wouldn't give great wool in a few months.
There was more to do. There was always more to do. Fix the plumbing, double check their fake Birth Certificates were coming soon, and see if he can sneak into the library again. They had books on gardening. He needed to garden better and not be known as " That creep that barely talks and has 21 daughters"
Still, they were his daughters. His Sisters, through Dr. Tenenbaum of course. But this farm. This farm was his. Made with his blood, sweat, and tears and nothing of Rapture. His Sisters helped him of course. This was a family farm after all. And it would be their center. Their new home, away from the ocean and memories of monsters.
Jack looked back at his bees, then gave Bandit a pat before they both went inside the house. The girls would come back soon, and he needed to finish baking a birthday cake.