Welcome to Arcadia (Bioshock Fanfiction)
By Ryan Matejka
Based on the writing prompt: There is always a lighthouse. There is always a man. There is always a city.
After a mere three hours of travel, Liam Connor never thought he'd be so happy to sense gravity weighing him down. His pod clanked into place as several locking mechanisms secured it to the dock. Again he struggled against the restraints in the confined, coffin-like space he lay in, but they had yet to loosen.
As the last locking mechanism connected to the pod, Liam sensed it begin to twist and descend into some unknown structure. As it did, the television screen that had sat a foot from his face and completely blank for the entirety of his departure immediately lit up with snowy black and white as the familiar sound of a video cassette whirred to life from somewhere behind the metal panels before him.
The words "Arcadia Welcome Video" projected from the screen in white against a plain black background. A neatly dressed old white man then appeared on screen, standing on a beautiful grassy hill, holding a golf club and posed at the ready to strike a ball that was teed at his feet. He pulled his club up behind him and twisted his body, then swung at the ball which soared off into the distance.
"Welcome to Arcadia," the man said, turning to face Liam. "The last true escape for the most elite individuals from the pettiness of lesser men. My name is Gordon Bradford, founder of Bradford enterprises and visionary pioneer of this fair city where you will spend the rest of your life enjoying the finest luxuries known to man, all literally light years away from the goings-on of the poor and unintelligent lower classes of Earth."
The pod's motion came to a complete stop, and to Liam's delight the restraints which had held him completely motionless for the last three hours came automatically unlatched, though that didn't relieve the claustrophobia of the pod's cramped interior one bit.
"That's right," Gordon Bradford continued on the television screen. "Although you experienced only three hours of travel time, you have traveled much farther than light itself could on a direct route to this very spot. As you might have noticed by the temporary roughness during your second hour of flight, you passed through a wormhole in our Earth's solar system and have come out of it on the other side of the universe. You are as far as can be from the poor that reach out to you asking for a handout, from the politicians who reach out to you asking for a donation, and from the God that reaches out and demands your charity. Here, nothing will be asked of you and you will need but to ask for anything you'd like. Welcome to Arcadia!"
The seal on the pod opened up around Liam, and its front face slowly slid up to eventually reveal a small white interior with a massive window overlooking the otherworldly city of lush green hills, restaurants, lodges, spas, tennis courts, golf courses, pools, a beach, and more, all housed within a giant dome made up of hundreds of clear hexagons that looked out into the vast unfamiliar sea of stars.
Liam stepped out of the pod, adjusted his tailor-made suit as best he could, considering it wasn't actually made for him, and gingerly reached into the inside breast pocket for the bloodstained business card he'd pulled off the original owner of the suit. He studied it one last time, reciting to himself the name embossed upon it, the name of the man he killed four hours ago at the lighthouse.
Aloud, he said to himself, "my name is Gordon Bradford the Second," then straightened up his shoulders, tore up the card, and tossed its remains into the pod.