Part 3: Questions and QuarrelsPart 03 - Questions and Quarrels
Hello, and welcome back to Shadowrun: Dragonfall. Previously: Our supposed milk run to the Hartfeld Manor went south fast when our decker leader bit off more than she could chew and met a rather gruesome end in the cyberhands of... something... while jacked into the building's security systems.
But hey, at least she got the door open.
The doormen waiting for us on the other side of the murderous entryway quickly get their eyes clawed out, alongside a variety of internal organs of which many were necessary for maintaining the state of being alive.
The bloodshed seemingly pleases the nearby computer terminal as it comes to life soon after their bodies hit the floor. Maybe it was designed by Aztechnology. Let's take a look.
Well, that's a little creepy.
Monika was trying to tell me something about this terminal. It must be important.
Well, any ideas? Something tells me we're going to have more company soon...
I don't know yet. Watch my back while I figure this out.
Now this is the kind of hacking even our technologically inept ass can manage.
[As you watch, the number on the screen slowly begins to climb. This is going to take a while.]
Aw come on, have you people not heard of SSDs?
[If you're reading this display correctly, the only exit from this room is the holdfast's old servants' entrance, on the western side of the building.]
Careful, we're no rookie!
Eiger. New extraction point.
Hold up. Wheres Monika?
Down. We'll be exiting via an old servants' entrance to the west of the main grounds. I need you to keep that exit clear.
We were off to a bad start with Eiger and I can't imagine this mess will improve that situation any, but I'm glad she didn't start arguing here. Guess a soldier knows their priorities in a bad situation.
Our escape route will open in a minute. We hold tight until then.
By hold tight, you mean sit here and fry anyone who comes through the door, dont you?
Pretty much, yeah.
I thought so. When the door locks disarm, we make a break for it. Until then, we make them pay for Monika.
Our mission is simple, we simply need to not die for 10 turns and then leg it the hell out of this wacky death basement.
What makes this a little tricky is the amount of entrances to this area, and with enemies coming in from all sides finding reliable defensive positions is tougher than usual. We're given a couple of free turns to make sure we don't get flanked right away at least. Staying near our future exit seems like the smartest bet, so we take cover on the western side of the room.
With 8 turns left, our first guests in the form of a guard and a security drone arrive from the direction of the Door of Doom.
Glory shows off her pistol's rapid fire function, taking down the guard after a bunch of missed shots from our side. Without Monika's rifle and Mark Target ability, our group's offensive capabilities are pretty shaky as neither Glory or Dietrich can land hits reliably even with Dietrich's Aim buff. We're the only one here with good accuracy, but we can only do so much with our crappy spell selection.
Note that the drone wasn't destroyed because the guard wasn't a rigger controlling it. Autonomous drones are new to Dragonfall.
With 6 turns left, heavier-duty guards make their entrance from the east. Dead Man's Switch was pretty scared to send in enemies with anything bigger than handguns even late in the game, but Dragonfall has no such qualms.
Of course they fry all the same at the end of the day. Heavy cover protects against crits but is no protection against Glory's cover-negating claws, allowing us to execute this beautiful bit of teamwork.
The sound of a door opening to the north marks the arrival of more security. Let's see who our next victim is.
Hmm, okay, this guy has 80 health and pretty much more damage reduction than we have damage. That could be a problem.
Wait, is that a fucking minigun?
All right, friends. Playtime's over. All you shadowrunners are the same - skulking, sneaking. Steal a vase or two from the museum - no harm. Maybe I'd let you scamper away into the night.
Look man I'm with you we were all about that vase, it was these other guys' idea to come down here! Honest!
That's military-grade armor he's wearing, Rosa. Hardened against small arms fire. We'll have a tough time getting through it.
I'm less concerned about the armor than I am about that minigun. Those things can tear a man in half.
You have three seconds before I open the hose. Step out here and surrender, and I promise I'll make this easy.
Right, sure. Easy for you to turn us into a real shitty day for the cleaning crew tomorrow morning, maybe.
How 'bout you drop your enormous gun and step over here instead?
Well it was worth a shot.
Due to a slight tactical error from my part, the pesky drone from earlier manages to land a flanking shot on us while we were distracted by the large orc with an even larger gun.
Glory swats the pesky fly away while Dietrich patches us back up.
He also summons a windy new friend from the summoning spot in the corner of the room!
Cute. The Wind Dancer comes with a basic 8 damage ranged attack, but also with two pretty decent abilities: Electro Current which deals ongoing 10 damage for the next two rounds, and Lightning Bolt I which mixes both normal and AP damage.
The Security Captain is seemingly intimidated by the breezy little guy, and retreats behind a pillar near the door he entered from, leaving his less intimidating buddy to deal with us. The AI has improved from the previous game, but it still makes more than its share of questionable decisions.
His friend's a Grenadier and grenades make for bad bedfellows, so he needs to go quickly. Dietrich's throwing knife only lightly scratches his left ear, but that's enough to scare him out of cover.
Our lil' spirit claims this kill with a well-aimed lightning bolt.
The Captain is content trying to snipe us from across the room which is just fine with me, that gun's a lot more intimidating from up close. Like shotguns it has some spread and thus can hit targets adjacent to each other, and it also fires multiple shots at once. Nasty stuff.
With 3 turns left, a lone security drone makes a poor attempt at flanking us. 20 HP against 99% hit chance make for bad odds for the little fella.
Killstealing bastard. Ah well.
Just like in the previous game, spirits have a continously increasing chance to go berserk every turn. Not too worried about these odds yet, though the miss just now was a good lesson about not taking anything for granted.
The last couple of turns are peaceful, with no additional arrivals and only the jolly Captain as our company. The spirit keeps him distracted in his shame corner while we wait for the doors to open.
Incidentally it is actually possible to beat the ork, all it really takes is a bunch of critical hits to punch through his armor. Even our low-damage group managed it when I gave it a try. Alas you can't actually kill him as once his health is depleted he gets a conveniently-timed radio call from some higher-up and leaves, leaving you to deal with a veritable army of nasty guards.
Like so. It's a bad scene, so just avoiding him for a few turns is likely the smarter if somewhat less badass course of action.
Whatever his fate, after 10 turns the door finally slides open. Time to get the hell out of this terrible place.
There's one more guard waiting behind the door, but there's no combat experience in this game so we simply ignore him and dash through the building exit and to the welcoming arms of moonlit German streets.
Hi Eiger, looks like there's been a bit of a party out here too.
We can talk about this later. For now, we need to bug out.
And that, folks, is a mission complete... ly gone to hell. What a goddamn disaster everything about that turned out to be. Our leader's dead, there are some pretty powerful-seeming witnesses to our criminal activities, and it's looking pretty unlikely we're even going to get paid for our trouble.
We have a lot of things we need to figure out, back home.
(Blood Hounds returns from Dead Man's Switch, though we're hearing this section of the track for the first time. When I think of Dragonfall's soundtrack, this is pretty much the track that comes to my mind first. If you've ever played Dark Souls, you might know that feeling of comfort and safety you get from hearing the Firelink Shrine's music after returning from a long and arduous journey to some godforsaken corner of the land. This is pretty much Dragonfall's equal to that, to the point that even Hong Kong's safe house theme is based on it.)
Also as is mentioned in the loading screen description, Kreuzbasar is based on the real-life location of Kreuzberg, Berlin.
We make our way in through a metro tunnel located below the safe house.
Let's get inside.
Can't happen fast enough, love. The sooner we get in, the sooner I can get drunk.
At least someone has their priorities in order.
Ah, home sweet home. If only we had better souvenirs to bring.
[His eyes sweep across the team as he takes it all in. The grim faces. The hard stares. Eiger's fury. Monika's absence.]
Something in the vault security system got her while she was jacked in. It was over in an instant.
I've seen Monika hit Black IC before. This... this was something worse.
[Glory nods, her motions robotic and spare.]
Monika died of a biofeedback-induced stroke.
Gonna have to scribble that one into the long list of "ways I definitely don't want to go".
Whoa whoa, what the hell? That's a pretty damn creative interpretation of what went down.
[You brush her finger aside.] Thats bullshit, Eiger. You weren't even in the room.
No, I wasn't there, and that's *exactly* the problem. If I'd been in your place, Monika would still be alive and with us. Instead, I left her with you, and now my friend is a corpse in a basement.
Oh fuck off with that. Also, "your" friend? Are you being serious right now?
Look, Eiger. Rosa's right. You *weren't* stuck in that basement with us. You *don't* know how things went down in there. So do us all a favor and shut it down, okay?
Monika was good. She was the best, right? But she was also overconfident. She treated the job like it was a game. Do that long enough, and you're gonna get burned.
[Eiger turns her focus back to you.]
If you'd been paying attention, you'd have figured all of this out on your own by now. You'd've known that Monika needed watching as much as that door.
We were literally like one and a half steps away from her, but that shit went bad in a literal instant. No way could anyone have done anything.
[Amsel's voice is hoarse, his expression blank.]
Eiger, I don't--
You don't have to answer that. Of course you know. Monika died while you stood there and watched. This is all YOUR f--
We need to talk *action.* Our client sent you into something much bigger than he'd led us to believe. I want to know why.
It falls to the boss to be the voice of reason.
Right there with you. This was supposed to be a milk run.
Payback isn't the only reason why we need to find him. We saw something back there... something that we weren't supposed to see. It's fair to assume that we're all still in danger.
[He pauses. Rubs his temples.] Agreed. And to neutralize that danger, we need to know who we are dealing with. Let us review the events that transpired tonight. The smallest detail could be important, so hold nothing back.
We can choose what to tell here, but we have to go through everything so it's just a matter of picking the order.
The estate was just a front for whatever was going on in the basement.
[Amsel nods.] That much is clear.
It wasnt a minor enterprise, either. That facility took serious funds to build.
And time. There was more to it than we saw. Places like that dont spring up overnight.
Maybe if we had asked nicely they would've given us a tour. Unfortunately all we managed to gleam from the terminal was that the place was big, whatever it was for.
And all in secret. The owners - whoever they may be - were none too pleased by your escape, I'm sure. What else did you find?
After everything went to hell, we were confronted by an ork in military-grade armor.
He appeared to be the head of security.
Your boss having both a bad attitude and a minigun seems like pretty good motivation for keeping things as damn secure as you possibly can.
That is not... much to go on. Do any details about this ork come to mind? Any distinguishing features that I could look into?
He was an older guy, for one. From the sound of his voice, I'm guessing mid-to-late forties. Pretty old for an ork.
Definitely had a bit of a Frankenstein's monster look going on, though he wasn't much of a looker even outside of that.
That is something. I will see what I can find out. Did you note anything else during the run that may be of value?
Monika lived long enough to say a name: "Feuerschwinge." She fought hard to tell us... it must be important.
[Glory raises an eyebrow.]
It just couldn't have been synonymous with "love, candy and rich rewards to anyone who breaks into secret underground hell complexes", could it. Of course not.
The dragons of today are subtle creatures, full of patience and guile. Feuerschwinge was not. After her Awakening, she went on a four-month rampage that claimed tens of thousands of lives.
What stopped her? I can't imagine that a rampaging dragon would just go away on its own.
Eventually, the Firewing was brought down by a man named Dr. Adrian Vauclair. Well - with the help of the Luftwaffe, of course. But it was experimental weapons designed by Dr. Vauclair that finally pierced her hide. She fell in a hail of bullets and rocket fire, and crashed down in the radioactive wasteland of the SOX.
You definitely know you're dealing with Shadowrun when the Luftwaffe fighting a dragon is a thing that happened. But the Firewing was killed, and this definitely isn't a radioactive wasteland either, so we should be cool, right? Right?
Safe at last from the dragon's wrath, Germany celebrated Vauclair as a hero... our own Siegfried, a modern-day dragonslayer. My own family practically worshiped the man.
If the Dragonfall was as important an event as you make it out to be, I'm surprised that I've never heard of it.
In light of such turmoil, is it any surprise that Dr. Vauclair and the Firewing were forgotten? Dragons were yesterday's news.
I don't know, I feel like a dragon going on a rampage would've still been a pretty big deal and something people remember.
[He rubs his temples.] Again, all of this happened decades ago. To the best of my knowledge, the story of Feuerschwinge is a bit of historical trivia, and nothing more.
I'm a little surprised she didn't blame us of reviving the dragon via sheer incompetence or something.
[He visibly struggles to calm himself. Takes a deep breath, then slowly releases it.]
I will look into this, and I will find answers. In the meantime, did you turn up anything else of value?
That's all we got.
Thats not much.
[Amsel nods. His face is drawn and haggard.]
It is thin, I agree. A basement, a middle-aged ork with skin grafts, and a long-forgotten world event.
That's... maybe underselling each of those things just a touch, but it's true that none of it points us in any definite direction.
Whoever sent us knew what we were walking into. We were set up.
Thats obvious. But why?
[Paul's face reddens.] I I warned her. I told her not to take this run. But she assured me it would be a cake walk.
The cake walk and the milk run, the most delicious yet always vaguely ominous Olympic events.
You didnt bring it to her?
No. She set up the whole thing herself.
But Monika, she would do anything for her Cause. Anything for the Flux State.
We'll get more into this Flux State business later on. For now, it seems like we have at least something to work with.
[He sighs.] Winters swore that the data he was after was crucial to ensuring the future stability of the Flux. And that is all it took.
It sounds like Green Winters is our best lead, then.
Yes, most definitely. It is clear that Green Winters has involved us in something much larger than he led Monika to believe.
When he finds out what happened on the run, he's probably gonna rabbit. We need to chase him down before that happens.
So how do we find this guy?
I don't speak Turkish, but Turkish names always sound cool.
And you think he would know something about Green Winters?
[Amsel nods.] When I discovered Monika's renewed association with Green Winters, I contacted Altuğ. One of his people has been keeping tabs on Winters ever since. As I said, I did not trust the man.
For good reason, it would seem. Ill talk to Altuğ and see what he knows about Green Winters.
We have a goal now, but this is an RPG, so before we get to it we have some catching up to do and an entire town to explore.