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Fanfic / Goggles And The Tears

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A Massive Multiplayer Crossover, tying together System Shock 2 alongside Bioshock Infinite, Half-Life 2, and Marathon.

It starts as System Shock 2 ends, where the main characters survive the aftermath of The Many, but because of SHODAN's tampering with the Von Braun's FTL drive, Tears are opening across time and space, some of them linking back to the Von Braun, and because of a strange implant someone found, a copy of SHODAN gets loose. But, some of those Tears bring Mjolnir 54, Gordon Freeman, Alyx Vance, Booker DeWitt and Elizabeth all together to help stop this AI once and for all.

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Goggles and the Tears provides examples of:

  • Aggressive Negotiations: Goggles and his teammates all draw their weapons on Comstock to break the argument between him and Elizabeth, and interrogate him for answers. Then Archangel!SHODAN interrupts, embracing Comstock while telling him all his visions were false, then snapping his neck and dunking his head into the baptism dish.
  • Anti-Hero Team: Not everyone trusts each other, but they still work toward the common goal of stopping SHODAN. The narrator calls this team "The refugees".
  • The Alibi: While the Von Braun returns to Earth, Goggles asks Marie Delacroix to not mention this time travel story to his superiors, and instead say that nothing happened after he beat the original version of SHODAN.
  • Apocalypse How: SHODAN's citywide takeover of Columbia almost immediately results in her android minions destroying and restructuring its buildings to fit her needs, and either killing or enslaving its population, most of whom bow to her for forgiveness.
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  • Autobots, Rock Out!: During the climactic battle against SHODAN, Gordon finds a Tear in Comstock's quarters that's playing Knights of Cydonia, then gleefully hooks it up to the airship's P.A. for the battle. Also subverted by the fact that the battle goes on longer than the song, and the PA briefly screeches with feedback when the tear closes.
  • Bad Future: Before the main cast can get back to Comstock's airship, the Hand of the Prophet, SHODAN uses a Siphon to teleport the refugees forward in time, so that they'd eventually be killed and unable to stop her.
    • Booker ends up in a future version of Comstock's church, which abruptly links to cyberspace where a full-on cyborg factory is located, including a cyborg Elizabeth that almost kills Booker out of rage by exposing him to every alternate version of his body.
    • Goggles is sent to A decaying version of the Von Braun with its engines crippled and the entire crew dead.
    • Gordon and Alyx are sent to an alternate Citadel where SHODAN controls the Combine in the place of Dr. Breen.
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    • Mjolnir 54 is teleported back to the Marathon, except with the ship in hard vacuum and all 3 AIs, plus the Pfhor, dominated by SHODAN.
  • BFG: During the battle against SHODAN, Durandal instructs Elizabeth to open two large tears, the first of which deploys the fabled Wave Motion Cannon, that outright vaporizes dozens of SHODAN's androids in one shot.
  • Character Development: The refugees' time together brings some development between each other.
    • Gordon comes to appreciate Goggles for not being as tactically incompetent as the HECU troops or the Combine soldiers, going so far as eventually comparing him to Han Solo, in terms of being a good leader.
    • Mjolnir 54 starts to like being around other people, as up to meeting them he'd only seen civilians as a hindrance, hence why he tried to shoot Goggles first, and poking fun at NPCs in Marathon doing nothing but getting in the player's path.
    • While not a fan of Gordon's continuous pop culture references, Goggles does come to enjoy having someone around to lighten the mood with occasional humor.
  • Chekhov's Gun: The flash drive Mjolnir 54 was given still had a copy of Durandal on it, deliberately done by said AI. This allows Mjolnir to fling it back to the Von Braun to delete the copy of SHODAN that's building the androids to begin with.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: Near the beginning, Durandal hijacks one of SHODAN's androids and inserts a slow-acting virus into several of the others. But other than that, he spends most of his time airborne, watching SHODAN's actions, while the refugees do the killing for him, much like in the original Marathon.
  • Cliffhanger: At the end of Gordon's part of the story, just when he gets a phone call from Barney on the Borealis, saying that they're waiting for him and Alyx along with a bunch of other Black Mesa survivors in a reunion party, he hears a familiar voice singing a song about Aperture Science. This tangent ends with HALF-LIFE 3 UN-CONFIRMED
  • Combination Attack: Goggles and his teammates use their combat skills together to fight the Founders and SHODAN's robots. One notable examples comes when Booker tosses a Devil's Kiss charge towards Gordon, who catches it with his Gravity Gun and then launches it at a group of Founders.
  • Continuity Nod: In the Sea of Doors, one of the things Goggles sees behind several doors is the Hacker removing SHODAN's ethical constraints before the first System Shock game.
  • Contrived Coincidence: The main characters gradually notice that the version of Columbia that they arrive in strangely works out in better ways than what Booker and Liz had been through before, time travel support notwithstanding. It turns out later that this was deliberately done by the G-Man, out of frustration with the Luteces' stoic treatment of Booker's 122 attempts at his original mission.
  • Couldn't Find a Pen: On his way out of Pathos-II, Goggles stumbles upon the gutted corpse of Simon Jarret. With his flashlight barely working, it reveals, "Simon Jarret, 1989-2104" written in his own blood.
  • Deflector Shield: Goggles uses his Psi-Barrier ability to block off a squad of Founders while trying to break into Comstock House, and later sets up more shields to protect the generator on the Hand of the Prophet before fighting SHODAN.
  • Diving Save:
    • The cyborg version of Elizabeth pushes Gordon and Alyx out of the way of a ceiling-mounted plasma cannon that SHODAN intended to use on them. But she gets hit by the beam instead and writes a message on the wall with a laser in one of her fingers just before dying.
      "GET OUT WHILE YOU CAN. PEOPLE WILL COME TO HELP YOU, SOON. TELL BOOKER...I’M SORRY."
  • Didn't Think This Through: Gordon refuses to believe that SHODAN really knows what she's doing with the power she's been granted, and the Luteces agree, saying, "Power is useless when one lacks the logic to understand it."
  • Didn't Want an Adventure: During the scene where Comstock tries to indoctrinate his daughter in his baptism room, Elizabeth suddenly breaks down after the others also criticize what he did, saying she just wanted Paris, refusing to be a part of his prophecy, and shows him a Tear of a warzone to signify what he put everyone through, capped off when she calls Comstock a monster, over Booker being a mere thug.
  • Downer Ending: Unlike the others, Mjolnir 54 is simply sent back to the Marathon and told by Durandal to get back to his original mission.
  • Dressing as the Enemy: The men of the team bribe their way into disguising themselves as Handymen. It doesn't work, due to the Hair-Trigger Temper of Comstock's soldiers and how they weren't actually grafted into the armor like real Handymen. After hijacking a gunship, they switch back to their regular armor.
  • 11th-Hour Superpower: When the team infiltrates Comstock's airship, Elizabeth gains the ability to open Tears more potent than she could in Bioshock Infinite, to the point that they could reach into other time periods, allowing her to summon things like a shield recharger from 2785, A hijacked Combine Hunter-Chopper, and D0G. The catch is that, like in the beta version of Infinite, this causes a severe physical drain on her, and if not for Goggles having a Medkit on him to help, it'd have killed her.
  • Enemy Scan: SHODAN's robot body is described to be able to perceive body heat and nerve activity, magnetically scan machines, and contains a targeting system. It's implied that her drones have this as well.
  • Enhance Button: Goggles does this with his PDA, taking a recording of when Booker tried to stop Comstock from stealing baby Elizabeth, zooming in super-close to the portal made by the Lutece Device. Through it, behind Rosalind, is a second portal of SHODAN in her cyberspace realm. This provides a clue as to when and where their bomb should be set off.
  • Establishing Character Moment: Each member who visits the Von Braun from their respective time zones are quick to react to what they see there.
    • Elizabeth freaks out when she sees Tommy Suarez holding a shotgun, and more so when a malfunctioning escort robot lumbers in. Booker promptly destroys it on sight, much to Tommy's surprise.
    • Gordon still hasn't forgotten about his lack of a grappling hook since his trip through Black Mesa.
    • Mjolnir Recon 54 tries to shoot Goggles the instant he walks in, to the point that he nearly depressurizes the room with a rocket. It takes Durandal speaking up to break the fight between them.
  • Evil Gloating: SHODAN, oh so much. Not that the other characters enjoy it.
  • Face Death with Dignity: Comstock knows he might die when Goggles' teammates hold him at gunpoint, and even asks, "Well, are you going to kill me?".
  • Fake Special Attack: SHODAN attempted to use energy shuriken previously used by cyborg assassins, but none of them actually damage anyone due to defenses.
  • Fantastic Racism: Alyx is captured by Comstock's guards for being tan, and a cop who interrogates her, smacks her for daring to ask why they're racist. She also makes a Face Palm when hearing Comstock gloating about how his society is better than the other races.
  • Fix Fic: To Bioshock Infinite's Gainax Ending.
  • Foreshadowing: In their typically cryptic manner, much of what the Lutece Twins and G-Man say is pertinent to the ending.
  • Gunship Rescue: Inverse to the final battle of Bioshock Infinite; thanks to Chen Lin's rescue, the Vox Populi arrive in their gunships and zeppelins to help the refugees fight SHODAN and her robots, eventually joined by Daisy Fitzroy two-thirds of the way into it.
  • Hand Wave: At one point, Goggles has to use his hacking software to override the mechanical gate to Comstock House, despite using tech that should not be compatible in 1912. The explanation is that the interface he uses is an interpreter for any device's electrical signals, so that he always has a universal interface to work with.
  • Happy Ending
    • Goggles returns safely to the Von Braun in the nick of time, and no sooner does he arrive than the crew sets the ship to return home over a period of 4 months. In that time, Tommy and Rebbeca make out and have a baby together, a dance party set to the game's soundtrack takes place, and Goggles opts to be frozen in cryo for the voyage until they reach Earth. When they arrive, Captain William Diego is given a proper burial, and the crew is given a lavish awards ceremony, at which point Goggles even gets to meet and have lunch with the Hacker and Rebecca Lansing from the first System Shock game.
    • Booker and Elizabeth arrive in New York, where Robert Lutece thanks the two and gives Booker his paid debt, and two tickets to Paris. Elizabeth sheds Tears of Joy in their hotel room, singing La Vie En Rose when she hears it on the radio.
  • Heroic BSoD:
    • Alyx, after stealing a guard's keys and breaking into the main area of Comstock House, she stops inside the screening room where dozens of inmates are being brainwashed by subliminal films. Looking at it and hearing Comstock lecture on the P.A. proves to her that people can be just as cruel in 1912 as the Combine were in her timeline, not to mention Comstock's eerily similar appearance to Dr. Breen himself. When she describes all this to the others later on, Alyx is visibly freaked out.
    • Goggles nearly shoots himself in agony upon seeing a past version of Marie Delacroix shooting herself in despair, after having already endured the deaths of Dr. Polito and his idol, Captain Diego.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Goggles gives himself up to SHODAN in exchange for letting his teammates continue his plan, and he gives Gordon the key to the alarm clock detonator just before leaving. SHODAN begrudgingly accepts the terms, and hands him over to a version of her from Pathos-II in 2104, to be scanned.
  • I Don't Like You and You Don't Like Me: The G-Man is none too pleased with the Luteces Twins' motives for Booker, but they unanimously agree that SHODAN's meddling is disrupting the outcomes they've predicted, and so the G-Man cuts past the Luteces' methods and gives Elizabeth the proper version of Columbia to go to, so as to give the refugees a chance at winning.
  • Imperial Stormtrooper Marksmanship Academy: Discussed when Gordon Freeman and Goggles swap stories between the former's struggle with the incompetent HECU and Combine, and the latter's survival training on Io. Goggles' reaction to the HECU is, "Geez, who trained those guys? Probably someone who had a bullet in his head!"
  • Industrialized Evil: An alternate timeline where SHODAN controlled the Combine reveals that she'd exploited Elizabeth's power by enhancing soldiers and machines with them, the former of which were amputated in various spots to do so.
  • Imported Alien Phlebotinum: Goggles becomes curious as to the similarities between his Psi-Disciplines and Booker's Vigors. When he gets back to the Von Braun at the end, he downloads a file from the O.S.A. that reveals that, thanks to a military investigation of Rapture after Bioshock 2, Psionics are reverse-engineered from Plasmids, except safer and nowhere near as physically taxing. And that research is still ongoing to convert the remaining plasmids into Psi-disciplines.
  • Just Think of the Potential: At the end of the climactic battle, SHODAN tries to talk Elizabeth out of siding with Booker or his teammates, saying her power is untapped. But Elizabeth chooses to decide on her own, being 19 years old. In response, SHODAN just kidnaps her and rides a Sky-Line into Monument Island. Booker decides to unleash Songbird to destroy Monument Island before SHODAN's mooks can deactivate it, risking stranding the team in 1912 forever. Fortunately, Elizabeth manages to open a Tear to the Von Braun to dump SHODAN into, and Songbird manages to rescue the girl before the whole structure collapses.
  • The Kid with the Remote Control: SHODAN, by use of the Whistler that controls Songbird. Subverted as while she knows how to use it properly thanks to a list of command codes she memorized, she uses the beast as her dragon to wreak destruction on Columbia. Booker becomes a straighter example when Gordon steals the Whistler and brings it to him during the battle. At the end, he gives control of Songbird to Daisy Fitzroy with the assumption that the Vox, being allies, will fix Comstock's damage and set the world of 1912 straight.
  • Kleptomaniac Hero: Booker's tendency to loot everything in sight wears off at the beginning of the story, after getting sick from looting a trash can.
    • Later comes out as a Brick Joke, as the ridiculous amount of cash he collected allows him to both bribe Paul Swanson with 1200 Silver Eagles for Handymen armor, and pay for his hotel room in Paris at the end, using a bar of silver.
    • This trope also gets played with when Goggles uses the collected litter from Columbia using a recycling tool he brought, to gain more nanites, with which to make more ammo during the battle against SHODAN.
  • Lampshade Hanging: The main characters are quick to notice Comstock's trigger-happy guards and SHODAN's ego, and all but mock both of them.
  • Laser-Guided Amnesia: Goggles can't remember his real name due to SHODAN messing with his memories at the start of System Shock 2 to hide how she gave him his upgrades. He gets them back at the end.
  • Laser Blade: The Laser Rapier. Here, it's much more deadly than its nerfed version in System Shock 2.
  • Let's Split Up, Gang: After temporarily planting the bomb in the damaged Lutece Lab, Fred, Booker and Liz opt to take a detour back to Finkton to rescue Chen Lin, thinking that they have a chance to do it right this time; the rest of the group heads for Comstock House to go after SHODAN and rendezvous there.
  • Level in Reverse: In the beginning, where Goggles has to backtrack from the bridge of the Rickenbacker to the Von Braun's command deck to meet up with Tommy and Rebecca, who were returning to the ship in the Escape Pod they previously left on.
  • The Load: Gordon comes off as this during the first third of the story, constantly complaining about what they run into. This eventually gets on everyone else's nerves, and Goggles demands that Gordon either shut up and cooperate with the rest of the group, or go home. After this point, he subverts this trope somewhat by greatly contributing to the team's combat tactics.
  • Machine Monotone: SHODAN's android minions speak in this manner, extending to Durandal while using one of them.
  • Macross Missile Massacre: The Vox's main weapon during the battle against SHODAN, which proves to wreak the most damage against her androids compared to other weapons.
  • Made of Phlebotinum: SHODAN's nigh-indestructible androids spawn from a huge replicator on the Von Braun, but the material used to make them is revealed later to be the quantum energy that the Siphon is draining out of Elizabeth in Columbia, connected to the replicator via a Tear.
  • Mission Briefing: The story gets kicked off during a conference with all the main characters in attendance, starting with a review of what Goggles had endured in System Shock 2, complete with video footage recorded from his Electronic Eyes, of everything he went through, then escalating when SHODAN emerges from the implant Rebecca took with her, and breaks into the network. Mood Whiplash briefly ensues when Tommy calls for some quiches and wine for everybody.
  • Mecha-Mooks: SHODAN uses a replicator to spawn thousands of hostile androids armed with laser gauntlets. They can also fly using jetpacks, and they're designed to resist every known type of ordnance. Or rather ordnance from 2114. Older ammunition, particularly Vox Populi explosives do a lot more damage.
  • More Dakka: The warden of Comstock House is armed with a machinegun, and Gordon gets a moment of glee when he takes a Crank Gun from a destroyed Motorized Patriot.
  • Mouth Stitched Shut: The Combine cyborg version of Elizabeth, combined with Electronic Eyes and her legs replaced with long, spidery metal legs. Bonus points that Gordon was just comparing the differences between SHODAN and AM.
  • Multiversal Conqueror: SHODAN's new plan after dethroning Comstock, using Elizabeth's powers to conquer every universe and every time period in existence, and knowing that if she failed in one universe, she'd start over with the next. The Sea of Doors reveals this with hundreds of alternate versions of SHODAN.
  • Mythology Gag: Gordon taunts a Fireman by saying, "Don't play with fire if you aren't ready to get burned!", which was one of Ross Scott's actual lines from the Freeman's Mind series.
  • Nice Hat: Goggles wears a UNN military beret for most of the story, but prior to the climax, he swaps it for a blue beanie often seen in fanart.
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain!: This story's universe explains that the entire reason for the existence of Tears comes from SHODAN having tampered with the Von Braun's FTL drive, and some of those Tears drew the heroes from their timelines to the ship out of curiosity. Marie Delacroix speculates that it was more of a side effect of SHODAN's actions, rather than a deliberate act.
  • No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: Booker does this to SHODAN, 2/3 through the climax. It is Awesome.
  • Off with His Head!: One of the more violent combat scenes comes when Gordon decapitates a Founder wearing flak armor that previously pinned him down with a volley gun. He does it using a Sky-Hook while uttering one of Duke Nukem's famous lines . Goggles also does this to another guard with his laser rapier, after adjusting its tension settings.
  • Ominous Multiple Screens: In SHODAN's version of the Citadel, her throne has a cluster of monitors that can move around on spindly metal arms. She uses these to show Gordon and Alyx just how widespread her reign has grown in that time period. To as far back as Ancient Egypt. Just to drive it home, when she orders a Combine Advisor to drag Eli out of his time period and kill him right in her throne room, the screen showing his history changes to a different period in which the City 17 Uprising never happened.
  • Ominous Visual Glitch: When the refugees reach the Sea of Doors, Goggles starts to suffer the same physical issues Booker did in Infinite, with nosebleeds and headaches, but the static is replaced with pixellated effects, implying that his cyber-interface is also being affected; complete with alerts in his HUD warning him of what's happening.
    HUD: Warning! Psionic interference detected, neural damage imminent!
  • Original Character: Several examples
    • Fred, the Vox Populi soldier who helps Booker free Chen Lin, and helps the uprising against SHODAN later on. He's also allegedly related to Sam from Holes.
    • Ben Gorrister; A UNN operative who, along with a number of other survivors, helps during a shootout on the Von Braun to cripple SHODAN's android fleet.
    • Corporal Denning, who secretly smuggled a prototype Cyber-Interface from Citadel Station, allegedly because his grandfather knew Bianca Schuler to get it, and cleared his records when he did.
    • Paul Swanson, a timid contractor of Handymen suits, who later defects to the Vox out of cowardice towards Jeremiah Fink.
    • Susan Forthright, a Cyborg Midwife who wasn't mind-controlled because of a defective control chip in her spine.
  • Painting the Medium: In the Sea of Doors, Elizabeth claims that every possible door leads back to the beginning; that Booker's fate has already been decided, coinciding with one of the doors leaking the Narrator of The Stanley Parable, talking about Stanley having been mind-controlled.
  • The Plan: Two plans
    • The first plan, formulated by Durandal, involves finding SHODAN and weakening her chassis enough so that he could download himself into her CPU, and crash her. But given what she and the other androids are made of, it takes much more damage to do this than at first expected.
    • The second plan is established when drowning Booker before Comstock could appear did not work. Instead, as Goggles had planned much earlier, they would retrieve the bomb they left behind, trace the timeline to where the Lutece Device was in operation, and blow it up while forcing the Luteces to part. This would allow Goggles' past self to wipe out that AI like before, without any side effects, and also prevent Comstock from ever stealing Elizabeth in the first place.
  • Plug And Play Technology: Durandal equips his minion with a flash drive to carry him on, and this drive, despite being 600 years newer than the Von Braun's, inexplicably can work with its computers with no trouble whatsoever.
  • Race Against the Clock: Using a timer set in his HUD, Goggles tracks the distance it'd take for Comstock's ship to reach Monument Island, and occasionally reports how much longer they'll have to hold off SHODAN's forces until it gets there, without its power core being damaged. Similarly, after Gordon arms the bomb, Goggles syncs his timer to when it'll go off, in which time the group has to hoof it back to their native time periods before the bomb closes all existing Tears and potentially erases anyone caught out in the Door network. Goggles himself just barely makes it back to the Von Braun before the timer reaches zero.
  • Rage Breaking Point: Gordon Freeman, having struggled to keep calm throughout the story through combat and teamwork, finally snaps when Elizabeth explains the "constants and variables" theory while in the Sea of Doors; ranting on how little sense that makes in comparison to his own knowledge of physics, and even threatening Elizabeth with his revolver when she doesn't give him a straight explanation
  • Reality Ensues: The other characters are quick to notice that attaching to Sky-Lines HURTS.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Durandal gives a powerful one to SHODAN when the airship reaches Monument Island, in a variant of his "Can you conceive the birth of a world?" speech from the first Marathon game.
    Durandal: I am Durandal, and you, my dear SHODAN, you are no goddess.
  • Red Herring: The Pfhor aliens pose little to the plot, and serve only as a hindrance to the Von Braun until Elizabeth is able to shut the Tear they're invading from. SHODAN does enlist them into her army in some of the alternate future time periods, though.
  • The Reveal: The very end of the story reveals that The Luteces had been watching SHODAN through their Tear device to prove that their research wasn't as new as they thought. But SHODAN noticed this and hijacked the machine along with the Von Braun's FTL drive to extend her reach to godhood, creating a paradox that caused the wormhole.
  • Ripple Effect-Proof Memory: At the end, Robert Lutece reminds Booker and Elizabeth that their memories will still be intact despite history being changed. They don't mind.
  • Rocket Jump: As a nod to the game mechanic, Mjolnir 54 prefers travelling in this manner compared to using Sky-Hooks like everyone else. The others are naturally confused.
    Mjolnir 54: I've been practicing, bozo.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: Gordon tries to do this when fed up with the stress caused by Elizabeth's Constants and Variables theory, and leaves with Alyx for his own time period. But seeing that SHODAN has spread into it along with everyone else's timeline, he changes his mind, albeit begrudgingly.
  • Set Right What Once Went Wrong: Natch, being a Time Travel story. It's even the title of the chapter where Booker, Elizabeth and Fred go back to Finkton prematurely, and rescue Chen Lin just before Fink can kill him all over again.
  • Shout-Out
    • Gordon Freeman lists too many references to keep track of, being based on Ross Scott's caricature from his Freeman's Mind series.
    • The scene where several androids hold down and nearly kill Goggles is a reference to Robocop 2, by smashing a wired shoulder joint with his wrench and nearly drilling out one of his camera eyes.
    • The ending of Gordon's part of the story includes him and Alyx watching a video tape describing how scientists from the Borealis discovered a severed hand and a backpack belonging to someone named Joe Freeman, a Brick Joke to Penumbra.
    • The scene where Monument Island is destroyed as SHODAN's robots attempt to shut it down plays out like the destruction of the Death Star, capped by Gordon referencing Han Solo's line.
    • The Sea of Doors has a whole barrage of Shout-Outs stitched together from different time periods and locations meant to reinforce Elizabeth's "constants and variables" theory, including an appearance from Samara Morgan, a peek at the Stoneship Age, and the voices of Wheatley, Andrew Ryan, and Dr. Breen all forming one conversation in sequence.
  • Six-Man Band: The refugees, consisting of four men and two women.
    • The Leader: Goggles, being the first to experience it all, with tactical experience in both the UNN Marines and Navy and supercharged cybernetic enhancements.
    • The Lancer: Gordon, an egotistical Deadpan Snarker armed with enough media experience and physics knowledge to plan around the largest of threats.
    • The Big Guy: Booker, the burliest of the group who will do anything to keep Elizabeth safe.
    • The Smart Guy: Elizabeth, with enough research from Booker's collection of audio logs to help.
    • The Chick: Alyx Vance, having helped Gordon maintain his sanity since Black Mesa in the past 20 years, and always good with a sniper rifle.
    • The Sixth Ranger: Mjolnir 54, being quiet and aloof from the others, but packing some of the toughest weapons.
  • Somebody Set Up Us the Bomb: Goggles sets up a plan to undo SHODAN's space-time damage, by using a Time Bomb constructed from 2 crates of TNT and an alarm clock. However, they have to leave it behind to figure out where to set it off. This turns into Chekhov's Boomerang, when the refugees return to the time period they left it in, and use Elizabeth's guidance to go backwards in time to when the Lutece Device was in operation.
  • Suddenly Voiced: In their respective games, neither Goggles, Gordon, nor Mjiolnir 54 ever talk, but here they all do. Justified with Gordon, being based on Ross Scott's caricature in Freeman's Mind; Subverted with Durandal who normally communicates through text, but uses speakers in a text-to-speech-like voice due to not using terminals in most of the story.
  • Suspiciously Similar Song: In-universe, when Gordon notices a record of "Modern Major General" having the lyrics he made up from when he was at Black Mesa. When he sees that Albert Fink "wrote" the song, Gordon brutally scratches the record.
  • Symbol Swearing: Most of the swear words in this story have their vowels replaced with asterisks.
  • Unwilling Roboticization:
    • Initially, SHODAN simply fits Elizabeth with a mind-control implant to understand her, but when she kidnaps her again after the main characters confront Comstock, at least some distant futures resulted in cyborg versions of her.
    • Attempted by an alternate version of SHODAN in Pathos-II, using a brain scan of Goggles in a large loader robot. Realizing that this is what SHODAN meant by "transform you into something more...efficient", he tells this Mockingbird version of himself to take out this SHODAN clone for him.
  • Villainous Rescue: Just when the refugees think they're dead in the Bad Future time periods SHODAN sent them to, The G-Man pulls them all into his pocket dimension and, after a brief discussion with him and the Lutece Twins, the G-Man returns them to Columbia to rescue Elizabeth. Albeit he does warn them that after this instance, he won't help them again.
  • We Can Rule Together: The story begins just as SHODAN says this at the end of System Shock 2.
  • Why Won't You Die?: When Booker finally gets the Whistler, he commands Songbird to attack SHODAN face-first. But, despite some noticeable damage to her chassis, this fails to kill her.
    Booker: God, these things just don't die!
  • A Wolf in Sheep's Clothing: SHODAN builds an android body for herself meant to trick Comstock into thinking she is the prophesied Archangel, helped by briefly using Elizabeth to study Columbia for her to get the idea. She plays on his beliefs and manipulates him into doing her bidding this way, while reveling in the religious attention the people of Columbia give her, right up until Goggles' team finds them on his airship. Then the guise is dropped once he dies and she takes the throne for herself, and chaos immediately ensues.
  • Wrecked Weapon: Goggles tries to stop Booker from going back in time to kill Comstock, as he already knows what would happen if he did. The ensuing argument escalates to the point that Goggles takes out his laser rapier and destroys Booker's Sky-Hook, or at least the business end of it. After that point, he backs down and lets him go on.
    Goggles (under breath) It's your funeral, asshole.
  • You Can Run, but You Can't Hide: Android!SHODAN says this during the battle, while tracking Goggles with targeting software. He manages to get away by riding a Sky-Line, but, having set him as her primary target, her android minions nearly finish the job.
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