Part 7: Even More Ways to Move Up in the WorldPart 07 - Even More Ways to Move Up in the World
(Sam Powell composed like three tracks which all sound like they were meant for a nightclub or something, but if memory serves this is the only one that can be heard in the game. Crank up the volume unnecessarily high if you want the Authentic Experience)
Time to party! And if you ask me, nothing says "party" like looking over some juicy character statistics! Woo! Wild!
Eiger is a sturdy Street Samurai specializing in shotguns and sniper rifles with solid grenade-tossing skills thrown in for good measure. While this focus on extremely short and long distances causes her to have a bit of a mid-range blind spot, someone who can both give and take hits reliably is otherwise a perfect fit for our team. Alongside ourselves she is definitely going to be doing the majority of the heavy lifting in combat situations.
Ah, the trusty ol' Benelli Raffaello. If it was good enough for Sam Watts it'll be good enough for us. The rest of her kit includes a couple of medkits, a frag grenade and a phosphorus grenade, everything a good soldier needs on the dance floor.
Her cyberware includes an arm replacement which neither costs Essence or shows up on her character model.
But enough gawking, let's see if the bouncer of this place is feeling cooperative.
[He looks up, gives you a cursory once-over, and sighs.]
Welcome to Das Kesselhaus, now under new management. Again. There's no cover. Just go on in and get your fix.
I know which side I'd place my bets on in the feud between the Zapp and Benelli families, but hopefully it won't come to that. This guy seems alright.
I'm looking for someone. Maybe you know him.
[He keeps his nose in his comic book.]
I doubt it. This place is filled with interesting people just dying to meet you. So go meet 'em.
Think any of these "interesting people" might know him?
Well he can't be that frank then can he
First things first, we head north to check the hotel elevator which to no great surprise won't let us pass that easily. Drone Control 3 does allow for rigging into the building's systems using the nearby panel and bringing the elevator down right away, but since that's not an option for us we'll have to look for some other method.
As we do our best to look around amidst the constant flashing of lights, one of the many partygoers invites us over.
Come party with me! You've got some cram, right? I just *love* a lady that's willing to share...
Sorry, I'm not carrying any.
Well, then, go get some, okay? At the bar! I'll be waiting!
Perhaps some drugs will grease the wheels of progress then. Let's go check out the bar.
It's pretty hard to miss, being right in the middle of the floor. As we approach we come upon some sort of a kerfuffle between the bartender and a nearby ork.
Hotel's under new management, beautiful. You don't HAVE a room any more. Whatever was up there, you might as well forget about it.
But... but that was all I had! And I... you know... I have to get right. Soon.
Well, maybe we could work out a trade. Cram for services.
We got a real charmer over here, huh.
[Understanding slowly shows on the young woman's face. Her eyes go wide.]
C'mon, Kroner, you've got to be fucking kidding me...
Do you want the cram, or not?
[The woman sets her jaw, a look of disgust on her pallid face.]
That ain't gonna happen, chummer. Not now. Not ever.
We're not here to solve the personal problems of every lost soul, but just leaving the woman at the mercy of that asshole doesn't feel right.
There are a couple of ways to deal with Silke. The simple way is to buy her the cram she's yearning for from Kroner, though that isn't exactly what you'd call a long-term solution. So let's try to do some good here instead.
Y'know, a cram habit is a rough thing to shake. I know a place that can help you get clean, if you're interested.
Who, like, said that I wanted to "shake" anything? Look around you. Like what you see? Of course you don't. My life is better on cram, why would I ever want to stop?
Why indeed? There's a whole bunch of reasons we can give - Intelligence 3, Charisma 3 and Biotech 1 all allow for different arguments. The Street etiquette can also be used, meaning it has now had twice as many potential uses as it did in the entirety of DMS. We'll go for the scientific approach.
Do you know what happens to long-term cram abusers?
It's a new drug! There *are* no long-term abusers. And besides, cram is a study drug. It's not, like, a BTL or anything. It won't kill you.
Cram is an amphetamine. Keep it up, and your teeth are going to rot out of your head, but by that point you'll be too manic to care... assuming that your heart doesn't give out first.
I'm not surprised... like you said, it's a new drug. But what you don't know can still kill you.
Stop it. Please, just stop, okay? I don't need your help, and I don't want it.
[As strong as Silke's words are, her voice sounds unsure. From the way that she's fidgeting, you can tell that you've struck a nerve.]
Making someone see they have a problem of this nature isn't quite that easy, and we actually have to succeed at two of the above checks to hammer the point in. Let's harness the power of intelligence this time.
So do you want to wind up "working" for that guy?
I'll tell you the same thing that I told him: That AIN'T gonna HAPPEN.
Maybe not. But in order to keep feeding your habit, you're eventually gonna wind up doing something that you regret. Trust me on this.
What you've said, it... it makes a lot of sense.
[She blinks, steals a glance back at Kroner, and shudders.]
You're right. I need help. I'll uh... I'll take you up on your offer. But I should probably tell you... I've tried to clean up before. Lotsa times. Never really worked out.
Maybe you've just lacked the proper support. As it happens, we recently came across a place that might help with providing just that.
Take the tube to Kreuzberg, to the kiez they call the Kreuzbasar. Look for a man named Samuel Beckenbauer. He can help you.
It's about time I left this place behind... If I never see another Kroner again, it'll be too soon for me. Wish I could get my stuff back from my room first, though. Stupid gang, closing the whole hotel.
Fun fact: You can still offer her cram at this point, and then either take it back because it was "just a test" or have her take some because "one more hit won't hurt". You little sociopathic rascal, you.
Anyway, she seems to have a better idea of what exactly is going on in this place than we do. Maybe we can come to a mutually beneficial agreement.
Yeah, sounds like the "new management" stole your property. Answer some questions for me, and I'll help you get it back.
Really? That'd be... well, that'd be incredible.
[Her lips struggle upward into a facsimile of a smile.]
I really need that money, and I left some things in there, too. Y'know, personal stuff.
I can be very discreet.
My stuff should be up in Room 304. That's where me and Nadja and Sara were staying, until... Well, you know. I'll be waiting right here when you get back down. So, uh, what did you need to know?
Tell me whatever you can about the gang that's taken over the hotel.
The floor manager, Frank, had a thing for my girl Sara. He was always comin' onto her, no matter how many times she told him no. I haven't seen her since the takeover, but he won't stop asking me about her. Guy's a real creep.
Sure seems like a running theme around here.
That's about all I can think of. I steer clear of the new guys when I can.
[She steals a glance over her shoulder at Kroner, a scowl on her face.]
I shouldn't have to tell you why.
What about a guy named Green Winters? Heard of him?
Now that you mention it...
I don't think I remember seeing him leave, so he's probably holed up in his room. I'm pretty sure that there're still some people up there - the ones that the gangers missed. I hear they locked themselves in.
One last question. What can you tell me about the layout of the hotel?
Well, um. It's a nice enough place. Y'know, for a factory. Let's see... well, okay. The second floor is a security station. Lots of high-tech stuff up there.
You've gotta be kidding, another sealed vault? Can't we all agree to just put our valuables in treasure chests or something, at least they let you check for mimics beforehand.
Thanks, you've been very helpful.
Sure thing. Just hurry back with that stuff, okay? I really, really need it.
Well that was all good to know, but it doesn't get us much closer to actually getting up there.
As we turn around to have a chat with the sleazy bartender, we make a mental note not to pay for any drinks here.
I overheard your little conversation with Silke, there.
Hey, if she wants her cram, she's gotta pay. Same as anybody else.
Your bosses might like to know that you're jamming their customers in exchange for their merch. What do you think?
Tempting... but this guy probably isn't worth alerting Winters to our presence by starting a massive gunfight down here.
Now, do you wanna buy something, or not?
Fine, show me what you've got.
You got it!
In a game where AP gain is king, cram is what it snorts from on top of its royal scepter. With the tried and true combination of a hefty dose of amphetamine and an assault rifle, you'll clear an entire room long before you realize you weren't holding a water hose and those people weren't flowers in your beautiful garden.
But winners don't do drugs and nobody's winning more than us, so we only grab one as a souvenir for the girl from earlier.
I'm also looking for a guy who calls himself Green Winters. Know him?
[He eyes you suspiciously.] Think so. Might be staying upstairs.
How do I get up there?
You don't talk to me. Talk to Frank. He's in the back. VIP Lounge.
It's all coming back to Frank it seems.
Know what Winters looks like?
Old. He doesn't use, but he's a raging drunk. That's all I got.
Before going to see this oft-mentioned Frank, we return to the party girl from earlier in order to make the narratively very difficult to justify decision of giving her some cram literal minutes after helping someone else get rid of the stuff. Such is the fate of those without names or portraits I guess.
Hey! Good-lookin'! You're back! You got that cram yet?
Sure, why not? The cram's on me.
Ooh, that is so, *so* much better. I feel... I feel ALIVE again!
Isn't it nice to help people have a good time?
So, uh, how long have you been partying here?
Oh, a real long time! I go where the cram flows. Y'know?
[She raises a hand to her lips to stifle a high-pitched giggle.]
Yeah, this is a really great place! Well, it was a better place, before it got taken over. But it's not too bad now! It's still got cram, right? Hahahaha!
How do you like the guys that run this place?
Oh, they're terrible. The worst! Loud, violent drekheads with grabby hands. But they have the cram, so whatcha gonna do? The gang that used to run this place, now THEY were classy. They had this awesome stuff... it was like, if cram and novacoke had a baby, that's what it would have been. It was DREAMY.
At the very least it's not looking like we'll have to head straight in the middle of a heated gang war, seeing as how they had the courtesy to settle things before we got here.
How about the hotel upstairs, heard anything about it?
Please never say "giant bug" again, thanks much.
Oh! And I remember hearing stories about a crazy troll running around in his underpants. I don't think he had a name. He just ran around and broke things. Things were kinda wild before the new gang took over.
Evidently. Anyway, it's been fun, but I've gotta get going.
Oh, okay baby! You come on back any time! Just bring more cram when you do, okay?
We leave her to her fun and head to look for Frank, eventually spotting him in the east corner of the bar. Loading a save here apparently broke the dancing animations though, so all the dancers are just kind of standing there looking awkward.
I'm looking for a guy. Calls himself Green Winters. Know him?
[His face screws up with a look of disgust.]
Yep. Sad old bastard with a datajack that oozes somethin' nasty. Wears cheap glasses and drinks like a fish. What about him?
Doesn't sound like someone who's going to put up much of a fight. Should make things a little simpler once we find him.
I need to talk to him.
Well, that would be your problem, chummer. My problem is, I'm talking to you instead of watching Inga dance.
Let me rephrase that. I need to get into the hotel.
Hotel's closed. We're, uh... fumigatin' up there. Y'know, for bugs.
We're in Drogenkippe. You think I care about a few bugs? I need a room.
Look buddy, closed is closed, and that's what we are.
Alright, we're going to have to do some persuading again. We have no less than five potential approaches here, one of which includes simply attacking him right here and now which leads to a firefight with all the various armed people in the room. I'm not sure if we're ready to deal with the most dangerous game of all though...
On the upside you get an achievement for it and it gives you an excuse to waste Kroner, so there's that.
The less bloodthirsty methods include straight bribery (costing you ¥200), using Corporate or Gang etiquettes, or going for another Intelligence 3 check which requires having talked to Silke earlier. While we do have Corporate picked, we're gonna go with that last one.
Sara needs your elevator key. She says it's important.
[His eyes go wide.] Sara? She needs something from ME?
She sounded like she was in a bad way when I talked to her. If you care about her, you'd better help her out.
Okay. Yeah. Okay. I, uh... I can't leave the floor. On duty, and all that. And I can't just hand over the key. I can open the elevator back up, though. And you can let her know?
Almost too easy. But the reason we picked this method in particular was because with our Charisma of 5 (we picked Security as our second etiquette by the way) we can make a little addition here.
For 200 nuyen I could.
Makin' progress and getting paid for it, the best of both worlds.
Incidentally here's the less profitable but more entertaining Gang etiquette path:
I can see that you're running an operation here. I'll bet it's a pretty delicate one. It'd be a shame if something happened to it.
[He looks at you incredulously.] You threatenin' me? In my own club? That's a hell of a mistake, friend.
I'll second that bet. It'll go easier for you if you let us upstairs. We'll get out of your hair and become somebody else's problem.
Oh, and Frank? I *am* threatening you.
Just like he promised, the elevator's here now, and we can move on to somewhere that's hopefully a little quieter and easier on the eyes than this place.
And boy do we have choices. Will we find Winters? Or will we find a troll in his underpants breaking things? Are they in fact one and the same? Exciting!