Part 27: The PharmassacrePart 27 - The Pharmassacre
The people voted on whether to bring Dietrich or Glory for this run, and the result was so clearly in favor of the latter that the hair product industry is suspected to have tampered with the voting process in order to minimize on-screen baldness. My lawyers are investigating the matter as we speak.
(We're going back to the DMS well for this mission's music.)
We get to start from inside the building this time, conveniently avoiding gang ambushes, hazardous currywursts and other such obstacles which have haunted us in the past.
You ready for this, fearless leader? According to what Herr Fuchs told us, this entire complex is gonna be crawling with hired security. I'm guessing Knight Errant, but we'll see. Either way it's gonna be a hell of a fight.
We can handle it. Get ready, people.
Eiger's right on that front, while some missions are best handled stealthily and others with careful diplomacy, that isn't going to be on the menu today.
Probably won't have to bust out a notebook to remember these mission objectives either.
Also our party members have spent some of their share of the pay upgrading their guns. There's no real need to ever buy weapons for anyone unless you're an ardent follower of min-maxism and knowing that you're being inefficient makes you physically uncomfortable.
Anyhow, we've ways to go so let's get this murder journey underway. This is one of those areas where we're in combat mode from the get-go, meaning nothing would stop us from skipping turns casting Armor until everyone's maxed out from the start. We'll just slap one on Glory and get to it though.
That looks like Knight Errant armor alright, these guys get to play the role of the faceless grunts that get mowed down by the protagonists quite often in this game. There's also a jack-in point on the desk there, but we'll fiddle with that once we have a bit more privacy.
(Still one of the better combat tracks from the last game.)
Never stand too close to each other during casual conversation in the Sixth World, you never know when someone'll suddenly initiate turn-based combat and start messing you both up.
Shouting while bleeding all over the floor is a free action though, something to keep in mind if you ever find yourself in a similar predicament.
A demonstration of Fray Armor which we picked up for Glory from her last level up. It'll remove 4 armor in total if both attacks hit, though these guys only have 2 to begin with due to recent budget cuts at Ares leading to low-rank KE personnel having to wear spray-painted cardboard instead of proper protective gear.
These two were never even given a fair chance to be honest, but someone's gotta provide that first blood and we prefer holding on to ours.
Barely has the second guard's body had the time to hit the floor when another combat couple charges into the room.
We still have enough spare AP to take one of them out right away. This is what happens when those people in online team games who refuse to group up and instead opt to drip in 1-2 people at a time only to be repeatedly destroyed by the opposing team grow up and get real jobs.
If there was a rating system for feelings of despair, the mug of this guy already facing impossible odds having his shotgun blast bounce harmlessly off of Glory's face would probably represent the top end of it.
It was a good effort at least, now go ahead and take a break.
Now that we have a moment of peace, Blitz takes the opportunity to do a bit of cyber-diving.
The standard welcoming committee is quickly dismissed. Blitz isn't quite on the level of Amazon from the previous LP, but he's getting there pretty steadily. It's mostly his low-level cyberdeck that's holding him back at the moment. As with everything that isn't armor or cyberware, you can lend him a better one if you don't want to wait for free upgrades.
This section consists only of a single large cyberarea containing a sole camera control node. If there's pay data to be had here, we'll have to search elsewhere.
Blitz only gets to take a few steps before more IC pop up from whatever cybercafe these things hang out in on their free time.
While he's dealing with this new nuisance wave...
...another pair of KE willing to try their luck against our group make their way to the room. Knight Errant really, really likes two-person formations for some reason.
While they're being dealt with, Blitz finishes off the last IC and heads for the node.
Or tries to, until yet another wave of IC pop up into the scene. Who the hell installs this kinda security just to guard the cameras, we've stolen major company secrets facing less resistance than this.
Nothing significant happens this turn in the real world, though an Inferno summoned by the KE conjurer is taking a jog. Aw, just look at 'em go.
Blitz eventually breaks through last of the pesky cybersecurity, finally reaches the camera node, and starts heading back.
Glory meanwhile breaks through last of the pesky flesh security, allowing us to at last move on from the first room which when you think about it would probably be a pretty horrifying scene by now if all the blood and corpses didn't just cleanly disappear into the ether.
The extra visibility provided by the cameras show that we're not done yet though, not by a long shot. Four guys in the next room...
...and more in the hallway with the elevator. They even got gun turrets installed, it's like we were raiding an army base here or something.
Before we charge headlong into the next fight, Glory and Blitz take a side passage and find a side entrance to the larger room ahead which should make for a good flanking position. There also appears to be a corpse on a table in the next room, but we can't investigate it from here as the door doesn't open.
There's also a small storage room at the end of the side hallway containing an Advanced Medkit and some Kamikaze (+2 Body, +1 Strength, +1 Willpower).
Now that everyone's in position, let's start round 2. Amongst the four guards is a mage standing on a leyline and a heavily-armored captain.
You know what they say about geeking mages first. Those leylines are real tempting, but you maybe should've looked for cover like your pals instead of getting greedy.
The grunts fire back on their turn, but 10 armor is real hard to punch through with the kind of bargain bin weaponry they've been provided. Have I mentioned that Armor III is a touch busted at this stage of the game?
Blitz and Glory (mostly Glory) execute their flanking strategy, quite literally tearing the duo away from their cover.
That's another two names added to the long list of victims of good teamwork, that most dangerous foe of all. Luckily it's on our side most of the time.
Only the captain remains, but a single cast of Strip Armor leaves them just as vulnerable to claws and bullets as everyone else. The two armor spells aren't nearly as flashy as most other stuff Mages have, but sometimes substance does triumph over style.
Yeah, I'd say the odds are not in this person's favor. Let's just quickly finish 'em off, shouldn't take more than a couple of good hits...
Feeling a bit evasive are we? That's cute, but can you dodge... everything?
As it turns out, yes, yes they can.
And right on cue, another two guards rush in to waste our precious time and their slightly less precious lives.
At least we finally manage to grab hold of and strangle this slippery eel.
This duo-based approach ends up working just as poorly here as it did for all the previous contestants. Now that we've finally cleared up this room
What, seriously? How many sets of two guards did they post in this place, and why are they so utterly terrible at coordinating their attacks?
What a pain. At least this lets me demonstrate this weird quirk of security cameras actually being untargetable and invulnerable NPCs. Hitting them with an area effect makes their stats and name pop out, though sadly this doesn't cause them to run around trying to kill things or anything funny like that.
We all could've just walked away y'know.
Eiger wraps things up with her newly-acquired Dragon's Breath Round, giving the last guard a nice and warm feeling during their last moments. Now that we've actually cleared the room for real (and for the first time get out of combat), we can go back to take a closer look at that body we saw earlier.
Shit, look at that! What happened to him?
Whether it was Knight Errant, the runners who came here or someone else entirely, murdering janitors is just low-class. For shame.
Nothing else of note here, so let's move on. There are no cameras in this next room so we've no visibility there.
...Maybe it was better that way. Geez.
Drek! What happened in there?
I'd say that part's pretty plain to see, but "who" and "why" are pretty valid questions. Either this poor bastard suffered a real nasty workplace accident, or someone did this on purpose.
Whatever the case, we'll leave solving the locked room murder mysteries to Sherlock or Conan. What's more relevant to us are these idiots who clearly haven't learned anything from their buddies' mistakes seeing as they haven't yet fled for the hills. Our camera view shows us three guards, a pair of drones and two turrets behind a corner. No side entrances this time aside from a vent which we could send a drone through if we had one, so we'll just jump directly into the fray.
Our sudden appearance leaves our opponents visibly shocked as the room jolts into action.
The two enemy drones are hilariously frail (20 HP) so we clean them up first. They really went quantity over quality for this job.
Been a while since we last saw this kind of drone-on-drone violence. A bit nostalgic really.
This fellow had cover literally right next to them, so they really only have themselves to blame for getting a bullet in the head on the first turn like a chump.
The woman in the back is another conjurer who summons another Inferno...
...which then goes berserk and attacks her literally on the same turn. I'm starting to think someone on this floor picked Jinxed at character creation.
Well, thanks for the assist, we'll take it from here.
Her losing control of the spirit like that is actually kind of an annoyance since it's no longer bound to her and thus doesn't vanish when she eats dirt, meaning we'll have to kill this thing the hard way. It's not a real threat by itself, just hard to pin down thanks to its high defenses of which Strip Armor at least eliminates a large chunk of.
The Glory-Eiger duo doing what they do best.
The rebellious spirit also gets targeted by the turrets behind the corner but they whiff every single shot. Seems like the sentry gun community didn't exactly send their finest either.
We can add some insult to injury by having Blitz tinker with this panel here.
Taking remote control of the turrets also requires 5 Drone Control which he doesn't have, but we already got a demonstration of their "usefulness" anyway so we might as well do this the simpler way.
Overloading the power to the turrets blows 'em both right up, an event which largely happens off-screen meaning this one frame kinda reminiscent of those blurry off-center photos of the Loch Ness monster is all I have to offer as evidence of it happening.
With the mechanical security out of the way as well, Eiger Steady Shots the lingering fire spirit down and we at last wrap up this area.
...Just kidding, you thought we could get through this room without seeing at least one more reinforcement duo? Have you learned nothing?
One of the two latecomers is a mage who automatically runs to the large ley line in the middle of the room. With some support this could actually be a bit dangerous as large ley lines give a very sizeable boost.
With everyone else already dead though, well, all it really does is give their corpse a fancier-looking spot to crumble on.
Phew... Alright, now we're done. Actually really for real this time.
Well, done with the first floor in any case. It took a whole update just to walk through like four rooms thanks to all these suicidal jokers and their poor grasp of team play, and it's probably safe to assume the pile of corpses is only going to rise ever higher once we get upstairs. Or downstairs, I'm not really sure.
Either way, just goes to show that sometimes in life you've gotta kill a whole lot of people just to kill one person. Shadowrun life lessons!