My understanding of the events leading up to the start. Major spoilerathon. Your reading may differ.|
There are an infinite number of universes, Infinite primarily concerns itself with two sets of these. The ones where DeWitt is baptised, becomes Comstock and builds Columbia, and the ones where he doesn't get baptised and finds a wife but loses her during childbirth sparking his decline into drink and gambling.
In both these sets, Lutece makes a scientific discovery, one that exploits quantum effects to make things float. Comstock uses this to build Columbia. Lutece also finds that the same technology can be used to communicate with other universes. Two sets of Lutece, the ones resident in Columbia, the others set in a DeWitt universe find that they can send each other messages. They eventually expand this technology to allow matter to pass through. The Columbia Lutece, Rosalind. Her contact in the DeWitt universes is Robert. For simplicity's sake their relationship is described as that of siblings. (Note: Not all Columbia Luteces are Rosalinds, we see a statue of Rosalind briefly tear into one of Robert. However, we are only ever concerned with a Rosalind-Robert pairing of universe sets.)
Comstock, in need of an heir but himself rendered impotent, charges Lutece with retrieving DeWitt's daughter. Robert tracks down DeWitt, finding him a broken man, racked with gambling debts. Lutece convinces DeWitt to give up his daughter, Anna, in exchange for the debts to be cleared. However, DeWitt has a change of heart and tries to retrieve his daughter. His interruption of Robert's passage into Columbia results in the severing of Anna's right pinky finger.
It is important to stress that these events are happening many times across an an infinite sub-set of universes. The interactions between universes is also happening many times, each one is both the exact same event but also a different event, they only way to perceive the difference between them is how far in space or time you observe them from.
In Columbia, Anna is given the name Elizabeth. As she ages, tears between universes begin to appear. Lutece discerns that this is likely due to Elizabeth's presence in this universe as the phenomena are centred around the child. (Lutece also posits that the tears also occur because part of Elizabeth was left behind, I find this to be a silly reason. It's more likely that it's because Elizabeth is uniquely alien to the Comstock universes. She never existed there until she was brought there. There's also a flying city that abuses similar technology, that would compound things).
Elizabeth is locked away and then studied. She finds that she can manipulate the tears to increasing degrees, but so do the incidence of uncontrolled tears around Columbia. At puberty, the activity spikes, the likely cause is that Elizabeth is subconsciously creating the tears and that the menarche is just adding fuel to the fire. The syphon is hastily created to subdue the creation of tears. Elizabeth can still create tears through sheer will but she has difficulty doing so.
Some other things happen, I'm not sure of the order. Comstock's wife is murdered, likely by Comstock himself. A maid in the household, Fitzroy, is blamed. She flees and joins the Vox Populi. Comstock also tries to have Rosalind Lutece killed. She flees to the DeWitt universes for sanctuary with her brother. It's implied that Comstock has used the tear technology to spy upon multiple universes and futures, these form the basis of his prophesies. It is by this method that he also perceived a future threat from Lutece.
Still intrigued by the phenomena surrounding Elizabeth in Columbia, and the odd effects upon memory that inter-universe travellers experience, Robert suggests an experiment, one that revolves around the quantum nature of human memory. Some 20 years after DeWitt sold his daughter, the Lutece twins lure him back to his old office, likely with news about Anna. They open a tear between the office and the Columbia universes, it's not too difficult to get DeWitt to cross over. However, DeWitt's memory doesn't quite make the journey intact. This/these universe(s) is/are so different that his memory collapses, most of his life since wounded knee is gone. Some is retained. Lutece however is only interested in the cases where DeWitt loses the memory of Anna. The twins observe these DeWitts throughout the rest of the game.
Edited by Tiger_Walts at 14:45:09 29-03-2013
#9474626, By Tiger_Walts Bioshock Infinite +++ SPOILERS +++ Thread
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