Part 9: Time to BlitzPart 09 - Time to Blitz
Well, this is a somewhat alarming development.
...Any chance he just had real bad posture?
Looks like he convulsed hard enough to break his own spine.
Is that even possible?
[Glory gestures at the twisted form on the carpet.]
You tell me.
I suspect that it would have. We jacked her out in time to prevent it.
Hell of a way to go.
Too bad he didn't have a buddy to jack him out. He'd have been just fine. Right, Eiger?
Yeah. I'm getting that.
[Eiger takes another glance at the broken corpse, and you can see the uncertainty growing in her eyes.]
I've seen biofeedback deaths before. Never seen anything like this.
Typical, you go somewhere to get answers and all they've left in stock is more questions. Now we don't even know whose side Winters was on, he could've either outlived his usefulness or dug too deep and hit the same murderous security measures Monika did.
No choice now but to try and collect whatever clues we can from here. Speaking of...
If he wrote this before expiring he must've been bleeding and conscious for a while after his back snapped. Unpleasant. This is definitely an access code to something, but there are no visible safes or anything in this room.
Maybe he was a fan of the classic safe-behind-the-painting trick?
Unfortunately moving the painting aside reveals nothing but wall. Let's try another.
Had we named our character Faith I could've made some hilarious gag about Faith moving mountains here, but now that opportunity is forever lost. Thanks a lot guys.
Well that's a clear enough message. Discs though, that's not something you see a lot these days.
Apparently for a good reason, eesh. Like leaving your PS1 games at the mercy of your 8-year-old cousin. Let's hope at least some of these are readable, assuming we can even find something to read them with. There doesn't appear to be such a device in this room at least, which is actually a little weird when you think about it.
Guess we still don't get to write "actually succeeded at a mission that one time" on our résumé, but at least we don't have to return completely empty-handed.
...And now what?
We walk up to the vidphone and pick it up, hoping that whatever's been melting people's brains in cyberspace holds no power within these particular devices.
Okay first of all, dude you need to desperately change barbers into someone less blind and on drugs. Second of all,
Who are you, and how did you know I was in this room?
You've probably noticed that this building is under new management, right? And judging by the fresh corpses that I'm seeing strewn all over the hotel, I'm gonna guess that you don't like the new guys any better than I do.
They kind of started shooting at us before we could really get acquainted, maybe we could've created a real connection had we gotten off to a better start. Not with that scorpion though, he was a jerk.
Trust me, it's still secure... I set up the security protocols myself. The last decker they brought in to take a crack at it came back out on a stretcher. They haven't found too many volunteers since then.
Decking, not even once.
You're a decker, then?
That'd be an understatement, chum. More accurate to say that I'm THE decker, in these parts at least. My handle in the Matrix is "Blitz." Maybe you've heard of me?
[Lie.] THE Blitz?
The one and only. Glad to be talking to a fan.
Hah. With Decking 3 you can actually say you've heard of him though.
Tell me about the gang that used to run the hotel.
They called themselves the "Schwarze Herzen," and they pretty much ran Drogenkippe until a few days ago. They weren't a pleasant bunch, but they were better than the jackasses we've got in here now.
"Black Hearts", which is kind of a lame name for a gang so they probably had it coming.
What's the deal with the new gang?
They're terrible people. Real bad guys, all of 'em. Look, I don't mean to rush you, but we can discuss all of this later. Y'know, *after* we get out of the building full of murderous thugs.
Hold on. Why are you in this hotel, and how do you have access to the security system?
I may be one of the hottest deckers in Berlin, but a bullet in the head will kill me just as dead as anyone else. Given the circumstances, I didn't see how I could refuse.
Gang etiquette comes up once again here and while we don't technically have it, it gives us a little extra background stuff on Blitz and thus I think it's worth showing off for LP purposes. You can consider the following exchange non-canon if you like.
There's something about this that you're not telling us.
[From the pause on the other end of the line, you can tell that you've caught Blitz off guard.]
Yeah? What's that?
If you set up the Matrix security for the vault upstairs, you must have been a member of Schwarze Herzen. That's not the kind of job that a street gang would hire a contractor for. They'd use someone that they knew they could trust.
Yeah, okay, I was a member. For a while. But the old boss got himself killed in a firefight, and his second-in-command took over. That was when the new guys moved in... I guess that they sensed weakness, and the Schwarze Herzen were still disorganized from the transition.
Anyway, long story short, I don't consider myself a member any more... I just wanna get out and do my own thing.
That's quite an omission. I wonder what else you're not telling me.
Look, what does it matter to you if I WAS a member of Schwarze Herzen? I'm sure that you have some shady friends, too, but I'm not gonna ask about 'em 'cause it's none of my business. Let's just clean out the safe and get out of here, okay?
Let's get back to business. What's in the vault?
Gear. Money. You know, lots of good stuff.
You don't know, do you?
Well... no. I mean, I've never actually *seen* what's in the vault. Not personally.
Swell, nothing like heading blind into mysterious vaults with unknown contents. Soon we'll be able to write a book on the subject.
So how about it? You want a crack at that vault, or not?
But let's be honest here, we were always going to try and at least take a peek at the penthouse floor and this vault. If we can bypass the security without risking our own skin, all the better.
Fine. Where do I meet you?
Room 505, on the Penthouse floor. Come rendezvous with me here, and I'll take you to the vault.
Onwards and upwards.
The penthouse floor is too fancy to have a maintenance closet for us to raid, and in its place is the small room 505 where our redhead friend(?) is waiting for us.
Knew you'd come. I've always been a good judge of character.
In case you haven't caught on yet - Blitz here is our fourth and final party member.
The vault is just around the corner. Once we get there, I can unlock it with a few clicks on the keypad.
[Blitz offers you something between a smile and a smirk.]
Built myself a backdoor when I wrote the security system. Never hurts to be careful.
Sounds good. Let's go.
But first, time for one last character lookover.
Blitz is of course primarily a decker, but despite his self-hype he's strictly worse at it than Monika was right now. He also has some skill in rigging, but Drone Control 2/Drone Combat 0 is so pathetic that you have to stretch the definition of "skill" quite a bit for it to apply here. Finally he's also our first SMG user since like, Paco from DMS. As weapons which rely on multiple low-damage hits, the flat damage reduction from the new armor system in Director's Cut has struck this particular weapon type especially hard. All in all Blitz isn't really the most useful character in combat, but he'll eventually get better and can handle any decking job you throw at him right off the bat.
As a minor side note, bringing him to the first floor safe which had 'naperville' as its password is the "proper" way of getting it open for non-deckers.
The Ingram Smartgun is a mid-tier SMG and as is the case for all SMGs, its default attack fires 2 low accuracy and low critical damage shots. His skill in the weapon also lets him use Spray and Pray (which can hit adjacent targets) and Aimed Burst (which increases accuracy but is on a 3-turn cooldown).
Also despite his ponts in Drone Control he doesn't actually have a drone of any kind. Curious, that.
Amongst his inventory which includes a couple of medkits, cram and an Attacker ESP for Matrix runs is some Bliss which is basically +4 armor in narcotic form. -1 Strength is practically irrelevant so while it's not as good as the AP boosting drugs, it's a pretty decent survivability bonus for tougher fights. In theory that is, in practice you'll never ever actually remember to use it.
There are no surprises in his installed cyberware, so let's get a move on already.
We quickly stop by Room 501, devoid of anything interesting aside from a single Advanced Drone Repair Kit which we pick up and toss into our interdimensional item stash.
And because nothing is allowed to be too easy, the vault entrance is guarded by a trio of gang members we'll have to get rid of first.
Bit of a tricky spot for fighting, particularly since for some reason that pillar there counts as solid wall which means you can't shoot from behind it. Note that we're in control of 5 characters in this fight due to Blitz joining mid-mission despite the party member limit being 4. This is actually a little annoying because it means we need to always leave one character out when going on missions and since deckers are so useful, that'll usually have to be one of our cool non-Blitz crew members.
Anyhow, time to do what we do best, scratching people out cover and then blasting them into the nether.
Blitz comes with the classic decker ability to mark targets which makes people easier to hit. It's obviously not as reliable as boosting our own accuracy since it can miss and doesn't work on everything, but combining both means our bullets and other assorted methods of attack practically home in on their unlucky recipients.
Like so. I decided to mostly focus on combat highlights such as kill shots in this LP instead of going for a detailed turn-by-turn approach, so you'll get to see a lot of images of Eiger gunning down various people both up close and afar. Presumably nobody has any major issues with this fact.
Dietrich doesn't show up much because buffing people isn't exactly a spectacle despite its importance, so we give him this chance to fling a throwing knife in the throat of the third goon whose mind we'd wiped earlier.
With that minor speed bump out of the way, our way is clear.
All right, here we go... tap-a-tap-tap... and done!
You... disabled those things too, right?
Wait, when did that thing get installed?
We really need to hire someone else to stand in front of doorways for us.
Second round it is then. This fight can actually be a little dangerous if you get tempted by those delicious ley lines and just charge in, especially on higher difficulties. The panel on the right side of the screen can be used to self-destruct the defenses, but using it requires Drone Control 3 and that incompetent bastard Blitz only has Drone Control 2.
Also as a fun extra surprise, a giant insane troll charges out screaming from a side room in the vault on the second turn. We're definitely not in Seattle anymore, we were still fighting 20 HP thugs at this point in DMS. Granted, Dragonfall starts you with more people and at a slightly higher level but still.
We promptly wipe what's left of the giant's mind and then wipe him out too. Something went wrong with video capture here so you'll have to imagine his gruesome end in your head, but I'm sure you can come up with something suitably messed up.
Moving on to the electronic security, Dietrich attempts to provide a distraction by conjuring up Typhoon, also known as the Terror of the Seattle Docks, from a summoning spot inside the vault.
The spirit splashes the sentry gun with some water, washing off some accumulated dust from its surface and making it nice and shiny. How the mighty have fallen.
The rest of the group meanwhile focuses on taking out the Steel Lynx drone from a safe distance, with Blitz claiming his first kill as a member of the team. Two misses and a 9 damage crit is pretty much SMGs in a nutshell.
Not content on being merely useless, Typhoon decides a 12% chance of going berserk is perfectly in line with all the statistically unlikely fuckups we're already experienced and immediately turns on the party.
Dietrich opts to use an Air Elemental Fetish to summon a hopefully more reliable air spirit while the team guns down the traitorous blob of dihydrogen monoxide.
Eager to show off that air is totally cooler than water, our newly summoned buddy just starts tearing into the poor sentry gun.
And the crazy bastard doesn't stop until nothing remains but a pile of scrap on the floor. Friendship ended with TYPHOON, now WIND DANCER is my best friend.
Let's hope this was worth it.
Not exactly Scrooge McDuck's place at first glance. We check the unlocked safe nearby, but all it contains is some Bliss.
The thing that stands out most prominently is this busted drone. It's of no use in its current state, but we might as well bring it with us.
You can probably guess where this thing'll eventually end up.
On the southern table we find the formula for Jazz. That weirdo Flash might be interested in this.
Finally a switch opens up a pair of wall safes, containing Nitro and 1,410 nuyen respectively. We also get +1 Karma for looting everything.
That's all he had in there? Drek.
At least nobody died a horrible death this time, and we made some decent profit. Despite Blitz's complaining, I think we can call this a win by our standards.
We're done living the high hotel life. Time to return Silke's stuff and then get out of Drogenkippe.
Have you found my stuff yet? I really need that money...
Speaking of money, why don't you have a look at these 3 points in Charisma we have here.
I have it, but I think I deserve some credits for my efforts.
There. All done.
[She breathes a sigh of relief, then surveys the items that you retrieved for her.]
Thank you again, so much. I don't think I'd ever have seen this stuff again if it weren't for you.
You wouldn't have.
One last +1 Karma for the road. As for Silke, her fate is now in the hands of herself and Samuel Beckenbauer. Let's hope she can get things turned around for good this time.
[Blitz nods, then abruptly changes the subject.]
Say, you wouldn't happen to need a nova-hot decker, would you? 'Cause I suddenly find myself unemployed.
Well... I do need a decker but I'm not sure if you're the right guy for the job.
Deckers can point out that the position is already filled, which leads to this same response.
We should take him up on his offer. It was a stroke of luck that we found this guy, and the team still needs a decker.
[He nods vigorously.] Listen to your friend! Seriously, I'm pretty great! I promise that if you let me sign on with you, you won't regret it.
Absolutely nothing here is stopping you from just telling Blitz to scram by the way, in that case he'll leave and you'll never see him again. We're not going to actually do that of course, but I appreciate that there isn't some half-baked justification for why this random shady dude with terrible hair absolutely has to be part of our crew.
Alright, Blitz, you're in. Welcome aboard.
Maybe not. Judging by how things have been going, you on the other hand might eventually regret signing up as a decker for this particular group.
But that's a problem for another time, for now it's time to head home.