"I chose the impossible. I chose... Rapture. A city where the artist would not fear the censor. Where the scientist would not be bound by petty morality. Where the great would not be constrained by the small. And with the sweat of your brow, Rapture can become your city as well."
About Andrew Ryan
Andrew Ryan was born Andrei Rianofski in Russia during the time when the Czar still held autocratic rule over the country. In 1917 he witnessed the Russian Revolution which established the Soviet Union and put the Bolsheviks in power. Ryan's experiences under Soviet rule led him to his personal philosophy: the modern world was created by great men who strove to make their own way. Anytime "parasites" gained control of such a world, they destroyed it (as the Soviets did "trading one lie for another", the autocratic rule of the Czar to the "insanity" of Communism). In 1919 Ryan fled the economic hardships in Russia and came to America, believing it to be a place where a great man could prosper.
For a time, he was devoted to his adopted country, grateful for the wealth and fame it awarded his intellect and determination. However, the social programs adopted in the 30s increasingly tested that devotion. His experiences in the "worker's paradise" made Ryan despise the ideals of Socialism, believing that those who benefited from others were parasites (e.g. he considered Roosevelt and his "New Dealers" to be the ones "spoon feeding" Americans on the "Bolsevik Poison"). In his mind, one could only own what one earned. For instance, he once owned a large forest as a personal retreat, one that many groups envied (one group told him that it "belonged to God", demanding that he establish a public park there). When the government attempted to nationalize it as parkland, Ryan's response was to burn it to the ground so no one could have it.
The final straw for Ryan was the destruction of Hiroshima with the Atomic Bomb. In his eyes, the Bomb was the ultimate corruption of his ideals — science and determination harnessed for destruction, creating a weapon that gave the parasites the ability to destroy anything that they could not seize.
Ryan's response was to use his entire fortune to build Rapture; a community where "the artist would not fear the censor, where the scientist would not be bound by petty morality, where the great would not be constrained by the small," in the only place he felt the parasites could not touch — the depths of the Atlantic ocean. He created a shield company on the surface named Warden Yarn (an anagram of his name), and through it he conducted business with suppliers, such as Orrin Lutwidge's Scarlet Sovereign Import and Export, to receive materials necessary to build his city. When Rapture was completed, Ryan filled it with several thousand of the world's best and brightest, it was everything he dreamed it would be, a paradise of freedom and wealth. Rapture has experienced tremendous economic prosperity, and solid political stability.
The goal of Rapture is to create a capitalist society free of religion and government, where any citizen could achieve for his or her own gain, rather than for the altruistic fulfillment of the wants of others. The "world's best and brightest" were granted freedom of will and choice in Rapture, unrestrained by government, religion and similar established institutions. Instead of abiding by the morally idyllic restrictions imposed by these institutions, values such as logic and scientific reason were to guide the inhabitants in their pursuit of achievement.
Rapture is a massive underwater city, forged by the personal dreams of Andrew Ryan, to escape from the political, social, and religious anxieties of a post-World War II world. It was established on November 5, 1946 and finished in late 1951. It is located at 63° 2' N, 29° 55' W, which places it at about 433 kilometers west of Iceland's capital, Reykjavik.
Rapture sits at the bottom of the North Atlantic Ocean, as a gleaming metropolis of massive Art Deco buildings, connected by networks of glass tunnels, Bathysphere systems, and submerged railways. All-in-all resembling the Manhattan borough of New York, in both size as well as general appearance.The city is completely self-sustaining, and all of its electricity, food, water and air purification and defense system are powered by the volcanic vents in Hephaestus
Ryan believed that scientific achievement in the world was being restricted by "petty morality," so he ensured that the inhabitants of Rapture could explore paths of inquiry previously deemed too immoral or controversial to follow. Some scientific breakthroughs were in robotics, bringing about an advanced automated security system; others in biology, where developments advanced in the restoration of life, both in plants (the Lazarus Vector) and humans (the Vita-Chamber). There were also some technological advancements regarding items that were created before they were commercially available on the surface, such as portable audio recording devices (approx 5 years earlier), automatic doors (8 years earlier at the most) and vocal biometric security (something that wasn't availible on the surface in 1958).
One of the major breakthroughs achieved in Rapture was the discovery of ADAM, unstable stem cells from a species of sea slug, and this led to the creation of plasmids and gene tonics. Essentially, ADAM allowed a user to splice new genetic material into the user's DNA, enhancing health and intellect, and even giving superpowers.
Transportation within Rapture is provided by Rapture Metro, a connected bathysphere system, which consists of spherical pressurized capsules, through which citizens could access most areas of the city. Part of Rapture Metro is the bathysphere inside the remote lighthouse in the North Atlantic, which is Rapture's only entrance from the outside world. Another mode of transportation within Rapture is The Atlantic Express, a pressurized rail system for moving larger number of citizens. Other areas of Rapture are connected through bulkhead doors. Areas within some levels are connected by glass tunnels: smaller ones for pedestrians; larger ones for tramways of a rail system between the areas of Olympus Heights and Apollo Square.