Part 17: Henry the Tough GuyAll RIGHT
Back in the regular timeline, back with me not having to RHYME (let's leave the pain to the professionals, please), and back getting some COCAINE, BABY. Let's ROLL! (Kind of a shorter update this time, as the big decisions come more and more quickly!)
- Now everyone keeps to themselves,
and there are drug-pushers with mohawks.
They will sell drugs to anyone,
the one with green hair controls these blocks.
Kind of a funny note here: it's not talking to the bartender, it's talking to THESE guys that triggers your ability to try to buy coke from The Tsar out there.
But I didn't know that, because I thought the bartender was the only one who got new dialogue. Because for some reason, in both the main playthroughs I did, these guys bugged out and repeated their old lines about the declining neighborhood, instead of this one. Kind of a weird flag issue - and honestly, for all I make fun of the dialogue, this game has VERY few bugs/glitches like that. OH WELL
So last time, we just barely voted for Henry to try BEING A BUSINESSMAN. I'll be honest, I hadn't tried this before, and I assumed that he was going to basically say 'look, I'm here for a simple reason, nothing saying we can't exchange money and just get out', which seems sensible.
No, no. No, this is Henry. Instead:
- Ok, calm down there buddy,
I've got a business proposition.
I could bring you new customers,
and you'd pay me a commission.
You what?! Henry, 1) you don't REMOTELY have time for that, and 2) THAT DOESN'T ACTUALLY GET YOU THE COCAINE. He just can't help himself though, he is just the kind of bad business advice.
- You're not fooling anyone nark,
I know cops are watching me.
Move along and don't come back,
your disguise is rather beastly.
- Keep moving mark-boy,
find another play-toy.
And, as ALWAYS, it doesn't work. In fact, "Be Direct" is the only choice that lets you get away from this paying just $50. Instead, he just says no and there is NO further dialogue telling you what the next step is.
Fortunately, the answer's close, but this is taking and AWFUL risk in a giant world like this, that the player would start hunting for alternate sources of cocaine (like Harris' supposed back-alley deals?)
No, instead this guy now has new dialogue.
...buddy, we... youv'e been be telling us, IN SOME DETAIL, about how broke and hopeless you are for like four days now. We have INSIDER KNOWLEDGE that you aren't good for it.
- Uh, I'm not sure about being your financial savior.
Maybe I could if you would do me a massive favor?
- Sure man, I'll do whatever you need!
DO you want to use my asshole to plant your seed?
Kind of... kind of jumping to that sort of quickly, fella?
- What? Oh god no, nothing like that, I hope that was a joke.
I just need you to go out there and score me $50 worth of coke.
I might call out the kind of puritanical ethics here. "Sex? For PAY? No, no no. Don't be disgusting. I just need fifty dollars worth of hard DRUGS, you freak."
- The dealer by the alleyway won't sell me any of his stash.
You buy me some coke, then I will give you some cash.
- Here, take 50 bucks, go and your duties fulfill.
Once you bring coke back to me I'll give you a $100 bill.
You handed over $50
- You got yourself a deal, ya feel?
- Stay right here,
don't go anywhere.
And he saunters off... hopefully, we've given him another month of rent or something, and he can work on his marriage in the meantoh who am I kidding. He's drinking this immediately.
You scored $50 worth of coke
- You kept your end of the bargain,
and I'll surely keep mine as well.
Here's 100 dollars for you friend,
spend it wisely while raising hell.
You paid $100 for services rendered
I "like" that Henry has no illusions about what's going on here, but also doesn't attempt to suggest anything at all. He'll tell a murderous drug dealer that he has a good business plan, but he won't give any advice to a guy at the end of his rope. Class as always, m'man.
A short drive later...
You gave cocain[sic] to Dawn
- Holy shit Henry,
look at all this blow!
Enough coke here,
to give me vertigo!
- Can I have the badge now,
to access the third floor?
I upheld my end of the bargain,
and to uphold yours you swore.
- Sure, here you go Henry,
but security will be aware.
UP there are lots of cameras,
they're practically everywhere.
You picked up a badge that has 3rd floor clearance
- You'll have to disable the security cameras somehow,
or Harris will catch you and will your asshole plow.
...kind of a theme emerging in the dialogue of this episode, huh. Well, WHATEVER.
One thing they totally don't tell you at all (add it to the list?) is that the 3rd floor keycard ALSO
gets you into the 1st floor IT room!
No, I DON'T know what's up with the fourth server from the left! Looks like the asset was fine, but SOMEBODY just plopped it down wrong!
1 - Safe
- A wall safe with a keypad and a door made of steel.
Trying to pry that open would be quite the ordeal...
- A note next to it reads "Putting all complete backups in the safe is key.
Hand them to the IT Manager has access - he's in room 403."
I'll be honest, security here is... not great.
I mean, you COULD argue that by the time you get into here they assume you're supposed to be here, so detailing security procedures on the wall is fine, but then why also have a safe?
2 - Servers
- So much data stored in millions of kilobytes...
All echoed by the constellations of blinking lights.
Can you imagine? MILLIONS of kilobytes?! (1m kb = 1 gb)
So what to do?
Well, because this is how it works, the IT room has a fusebox for each floor. Shorting out the fusebox means everything is fine except for the cameras, and also doesn't raise any alerts
So we just kind of.... either smack it with the iron bar? Or short everything out by kind of gently hucking it in there.
Not... flipping the switches? Is the front panel of a fusebox vulnerable to putting a big bar across it?
(Incidentally, if you DIDN'T pick up the bar earlier, you're just out of luck at this point. There's no penalty, but the game grinds to a halt until you figure out what to do, go back home, grab the bar, and come back here. Yes, that's not great. I wish everything was like that Punk encounter, where having or not having items just changes how you react to different situations.)
- That should definitely take care of it,
the cameras can no longer their feed transmit.
Having the screen to the left there instantly go BSOD is kind of a nice touch. I'm also, again, VERY concerned that this doesn't trip any alarms anywhere. The Liebermann Group!
- I should be able to access the test subject holding rooms.
I better hurry before my momentum goes up in fumes.
I mean, this IS the most productive and driven you've been in the last... ever. So yeah, I'll buy that logic!
But taking a second out here... what do you need the animals for? Specifically, what do you need the animals for that you couldn't get by presenting your findings already?
"It's nice to have test subjects" well, you've got two, and ONE of them you know where she is, and the other one was widely seen recovered.
"You can't prove what they've done without test subjects" sure you can. Take a sample of Grace!
"The animals aren't sick beforehand. You take a sample of healthy blood, inject them with some virus, then cure them with the pill" no, sorry to spoil it, but Henry is very clear that these animals are already sick.
"Nobody will praise you, since these aren't your pills" they still won't be!
The only POSSIBLE advantage you gain by using an animal is establishing that the medicine works in non-human hosts, and... we don't care, right?
Wouldn't have made MUCH more sense for there to be an elaborate chemical-structure tester on floor 3, and we have to get there so we can describe the chemical formula for the pills, and replicate it en mass? But there IS a formula machine, and it's on floor 4, where we can get right now!
I just... fine, let's keep risking our necks.
To floor 3!
Doesn't look like all that...
You know, I WOULD give real comedy points that HR is on the inaccessible, super-restricted third floor, except that we've heard plenty of people, including Ms. Underperformer in the old department, describe how they met with HR, so apparently EVERYBODY can get here. Just not us.
1 - Noticeboard
- Nothing but reminders to keep computers secured.
Apparently we're no longer data breach insured...
2 - Bookshelves
- These are books from the company book club.
Though I hear it's more of a gossip hub...
Kind of a nice move, having them all be freely available. Of course, from Henry's POV, there's absolutely no reason to meet except to try to tear other people down.
And given this place, that might be true.
1 - Bookshelves
- Mostly books on chemistry.
To me, it's all a mystery...
Henry isn't... isn't this your... job? Oh who am I kidding.
3 - Beakers
- Please don't touch those! For the reaction to work, they need to stay very still!
I'm hoping the slow chemical process will result in a new anti-inflammatory pill.
So you need a.... very slow reaction. That you're performing at room temperature, just out in the open, in two Erlenmeyer flasks. You know they probably have FACILITIES for this kind of thing, right? Fume hoods? Lab benches? At the pharmaceutical and chemical research company?
Buddy, as soon as it's night, we're gonna come back and mix the HECK out of these beakers, just out of spite.
2 - Busy-looking Worker
- I'm working on a career defining project!
I'll be making headlines if my theory is correct!
- The beakers over there are the central component to my entire theory.
A slow reaction, requiring absolute stillness, the chemicals are so weary.
Weary? Weary?! Get FIRED. I AM going to ruin this reaction!
- It was such a pain to get the chemicals,
even though we had them in stock.
Filling out that endless paperwork.
In the end it nearly gave me a shock.
IT'S A JOKE YOU SEE BECAUSE YOU HAVE TO JUMP OVER A LIVE CURRENT EVEN THOUGH LOTS OF IMPORTANT PEOPLE NEED THE CHEMICALS AND THIS INSANE COMPANY SOMEHOW WON'T FIX IT
Back in the hallway...
Be still my heart. Henry continues to have Lots of Opinions about Printers.
1 - Bookshelf
- A bookshelf with different instruction manuals a plenty.
There must be a dozen here, if not closer to twenty.
2 - Broken Equipment
- A broken PC and a non-functioning blood analysis machine.
I've heard the cost of fixing the latter is absolutely obscene.
Here they actually TAUNT us, with a broken version of an actually useful machine. A machine, which, again, is on floor 4, which we DO HAVE ACCESS TO
- If I'm caught with these I'm sure to be fired.
With that on my record I'll never be rehired.
I would ask why they would possibly have these, but I've given up.
I would ask if we should pick them up, but I'm pretty sure I know the answer.
You picked up some night vision goggles!
Good 'ol HR. This game is super edgy, but turns into Dilbert as soon as it's time to describe how an office functions (OR DOESN'T, AND 101 MORE OFFICE JOKES IN THIS ONE VOLUME!)
1 - Human Resources
- Look, Henry, I'll tell you what I tell everybody else:
I don't know when you'll get out of that old place.
- Everybody should be out of the old building by early winter.
Until then, you're allowed to use the new building's printer.
"Also, how did you get here?"
2 - Bookshelves
- Books on internal process and employment law.
That anyone would willingly read these has me in awe...
Again, doing your job is something Henry finds scary and alien.
3 - Armchairs
- These armchairs look nice, but they'll give you lower back pain.
It's ironic, or fitting, that HR has chairs that are so inhumane.
O BUT YOU GOTTA LAFF
Ok, this looks like the animal place.
Let's finish exploring, then come back!
Yeah, HR and "those millenials and their green bean fritos", we're officially middle-aged and grouchy on the jokes this time.
1 - Cheerful Worker
- I just love the seasonal rain, don't you?
The only thing bad about fall, is the flu!
The mood IS notably more cheery here, since, you know, the workers aren't in a rotting deathtrap of an office, reminded daily that they're considered superfluous.
2 - Bookshelf
- So many books in here, but all still in plastic wrapping.
There's so much knowledge here that nobody is tapping.
Henry continues to be a snob about anybody not currently reading either a technical manual or Hamlet, while making a mental note to check out FART SQUAD 8 before he goes home tonight to the dinner that he is ABSOLUTELY expecting will be ready.
3 - Plant
However much I tell you that you're a loser, Henry, it's somehow never enough.
Note the flash from the desk - another 'hidden' interactive object!
Oh sure! RC-06!
Hole-punched to death? Somebody using it for a nervous habit? M...moths? Well, I'm sure it'll come in handy!
Almost looks like a genetic typing for alleles...
- Everyone talks to me like I'm not worthy enough to be here...
As though I should hurry and clean up, then quietly disappear...
Henry can truly appreciate the horror of being expected to do your job without bothering everybody else.
Is... is this a second protagonist? In the wild?!
1 - Chemicals
- This stuff all looks like a very risky line of work!
Handling this stuff daily? I'd rather be a mail clerk!
So this is probably where that one interviwee died. Notice of course the UTTER lack of safety precautions. "Flammable fumes! Wear anti-static gear! What's a fume hood? What's a chemical cabinet?"
2 - Lab Assistant
- I took this job hoping my grandfather still worked here.
I remember playing hide and seek, and sitting in his chair.
- One day when I was still young my mother took me away.
I haven't seen or spoken to him since that faithful [sic] day.
Yeah! Because of your crappy dad! We know that guy!
- I cannot seem to remember his name anymore,
and my mother took her maiden name back.
I just want to tell him that I miss him dearly,
and I miss our drives in his fancy old Cadillac.
That's pretty stupid, actually! It's not THAT hard to find him, and if you just... took this job in the HOPE that he'd be here, you could... ask around? For old people? Look up the company directory? ASK YOUR MOM HIS NAME?
Of course, any of those options would be WE wouldn't get to save the day!
- I think I know who your grandfather is,
I'm sure he's waiting for your return!
He's talking about you all the time,
with an emptiness that seems to burn.
- Oh heavens! I think I'm about to cry,
I hope you're not yanking my chain!
Tell me where he is, this I beg of you,
all I ever wanted, was to see him again!
I've started imagining that everybody is affecting these faux-English accents and really dramatically and sarcastically saying this stuff, for 'chain/again' and the like. It makes things better. Barely.
- He's in the old building block! Office two zero three!
You should go see him right now, don't you agree?
- I will! Thank you ever so much!
I'll never again let him out of my clutch!
And off she saunters.
- I remember this office vividly!
We used to play hide and seek!
I took a job here just to find you!
I can visit your office every week!
Somebody pointed out that a good crapsack world game needs to have SOME hope, to ground things a little, so it's nice to see
- Oh, this warms my old heart so,
and my, you've grown up too.
My eyesight isn't what it was,
come close, let me look at you.
...no, come on. Come on, no.
Oh screw you, game.
I don't quite know why, but this one bugs more more than most of the other ridiculous stuff. Maybe the party people getting nailed to the wall is up there too, but just...
...like, this wasn't foreshadowed really at ALL. We didn't have any clues to keep this lady away from her Grandpa. He was just a sweet old guy wanting to reconnect with his granddaughter, she was in the opposite position, you make it happen NOW SURPRISE HE'S A SECRET PERVERT AND WANTS TO SEX HER AND SHE'S SAD HA HA HA HA.
I can get past gross, and I can get past sad, this just feels really UNNECESSARY. Like the writer was, to return to an old image, some emo kid who wants to prove that nothing is REALLY happy, because of This Dark World or whatever. Bah.
If you go to his office, I believe they're now both missing, so I guess the author didn't want to deal with the fallout of this, so my canon is that she just punches him in the throat and takes off to a better company.
Shut up, Henry.
OK, so I don't hate how he's just smug and ignorant about this. Completely missing the point IS kind of our thing, after all.
Of course, doing this is mandatory for the best ending. Of COURSE.
Turning our attention to the rest of the room...
3 - Smug-looking worker
- Management feels my work is so important,
that I'm one of the few to get an assistant.
I tried to find someone as smart as myself,
but such a person proved to be nonexistent!
I actually like this guy. It's SO over-the-top, it's like Henry, if Henry was good at his job. Or at least not as bad as he is.
- As you can see, I'm entrusted with dangerous compounds.
And before you ask, yes, it is as high-profile as it sounds!
ALSO, I probably got a girl KILLED, because I don't even wear latex GLOVES in here! I'm SOOOO great.
4 - High-pressure gas canister
- There's gas under very high pressure in this thing.
If that vale came off, across the room it'd go flying.
- It'd be very heavy to carry around.
If I fell in water, I'd surely drown.
Who are we kidding, w-
- Would you like me to break your nose or jaw bone?
That gas canister belongs to me, so leave it alone.
dang man! That's cool!
I mean, for real, don't go into a lab and steal a big canister of gas, but... sheesh!
Ok, that's all the way to the left. We've only wasted, what, a half hour? Yeah we maybe DID run out of steam.
It's SHOWTIME NOW, THO!
1 - Chemicals
- All sorts of nasty chemicals filling up these shelves.
Just to come up with expensive drugs for ourselves.
Yeah... what a... bummer?
"Sure, we make new drugs to cure horrific conditions, but we have to have CHEMICALS! On our SHELVES! Will nobody think of that?!"
Ok, looks like we got... pigs, dogs, and more dogs. Yeah I don't actually disagree with Henry not wanting a bunch of diseased huge animals in his office.
So I know this is the evil pharma comapany, but having dogs (or cats?) makes absolutely ZERO sense. There's a general principle that you use the 'lowest' form of life possible for your tests.
Do it in a glass jar or computer simulation if you can, if not use a single cell. If you can't, use a colony of cells. If you can't, use a mouse, then a rat, then... probably a pig, then. Pigs have immune systems and organs that are surprisingly human-like.
Dogs... do not. I can't really think of any good reason to experiment on a dog, since they're different enough from us (and poorly-studied enough as model organisms) that any conclusions from the study would pretty much just apply to dogs.
Also, while it probably doesn't need to be said, these cages aren't anything LIKE big enough for a pig or dog. And that IS important, since confinement like this (probably for days/weeks on end, in this case) would be a HUGE sressor, and a stressed animal is an animal with a confounding factor, since stress affects the immune sys...
oh, that's right. Sorry, umbrella corp. Evil AND stupid.
You know, discovering that our company is actually some giant front for something more sinister, as we piece together the fact that behind the scenes, it's more cargo-cult science than anything else, and a lot of what is being done is just for show would be PRETTY interesting!
And that happens! Look up Theranos, if you want an example, it's FASCINATING.
Sorry, diversion. To the issue at hand:
"Interesting" maybe, but not "useful", and certainly not "actionable", but who am I t-
We're pooched. I'd like to again quickly register that I complained about us being on this floor from minute one.
- I've got you now, you rotten little shit!
Going where you shouldn't, without a permit.
- Harris, please, just hear me out.
Let me explain what it's all about...
- Save it Henry, your career is done.
Come with me, you're not fooling anyone.
- Listen Harris, I'm really not trying to fool you.
Just take two sec to listen to my point of view.
Yeah, he's not having any of it.
WHICH MEANS IT'S DECISION TIME, MY DROOGS!
Fight or Lie-t?!
LET ME KNOW, AS WE HURDLE TOWARDS THE END OF FALLING FROM GRACE!