The Let's Play Archive

Shadowrun: Dragonfall

by Kanfy

Part 50: Divided Halves

Part 50 - Divided Halves

Last time we left off we... uh, hold on a moment... Ah yes, we'd recently returned from the AG Chemie run where we eradicated what felt like the entirety of Germany's Knight-Errant presence with the help of a hulking Cyberzombie. We were also informed about the presence of some kind of a super lethal radioactive bio-weapon delivered to the Harfeld Manor because things were so goddamn great already.

We were in the middle of our usual crew member chat sessions during which we suggested that Dietrich dedicate his and the Dragonslayer's efforts on defending the Flux State instead of committing suicide by dragon, and we told Blitz to call off his pursuit of his disappeared ex after an unexpected but pretty clear message from the woman in question. Glory meanwhile was still struggling with her traumatic past involving an exploitative cult and her link to the Adversary.

And what's going on with Eiger today then?

Talk to me, Eiger. If something's put you on edge, I want to know what it is.

Who am I looking at?

His name is Yuli Kozlov, but he's better known by his handle, "the Engineer." He's a mercenary. Ex-Spetsnaz. One of the best in his field. I ran up against him in my KSK days.

Heard of a guy like that once, apparently a real wiz with a wrench. They say he could put together a lethal turret in a few seconds flat and there were even some pretty wild rumors about instant travel devices or something.

And why is this important?

It's important because he's a monster, Rosa. Where he goes, misery follows. The Engineer is cold, calculating, utterly pitiless, and impeccably well-trained. And he's all too willing to sell his services to the highest bidder.

All right. What kind of services are we talking about?

His specialties are social engineering and wetwork. In practice, he spends most of his time paving the way for organized crime syndicates to seize new territory.

Us, we're more of a disorganized crime specialist.

He sets up bribes, takes out key members of the opposition, and forges alliances with existing street gangs. All of the groundwork that a syndicate needs. He's extremely bad news, Rosa. And my contact spotted him in Schattennest.

Schattennest. Isn't that where we went for the Beckenbauer job? That's a little too close to the Kreuzbasar for comfort.

Ah, the good ol' supremacist murdering days. We were so young then.

Rosa... I have to stop him, before it's too late. What happened to that town... it can't be allowed to happen again in Schattennest.

We don't exactly have the time to run around preventing crime all over Berlin here, in fact some might argue that we've largely done the opposite so far. But if it's big enough to bother Eiger this much then I guess playing Fledermausmann for a day can't be helped, if only so that she can focus on more important things.

Agreed. Do you know who he's working for now?

The safest bet would be a Russian syndicate, but there's no telling. His client list is longer than you'd expect.

Got any examples?

Well, I know for a fact that he's worked for mafia groups operating inside and outside of Russia. And he put in a lot of time with the Lobatchevski Syndicate. He's taken contracts with the Triads as well. My contacts tell me that he's even done a few jobs for Tamanous.

That's a hell of a résumé.

If you want to make an impression at a job interview, nothing does it quite like busting out your past experience with human traffickers and organ harvesters. Just a small lifehack for you there.

I know how important it is that we resolve the Feuerschwinge situation. I get it. But I can't just sit back and let this happen.

[She shakes her head.]

I won't.

We can agree to let her go for a while or tell her we'll come along. As the team leader we could also order her not to bother, but antagonizing her after all the time and effort it took to make her trust us doesn't seem like the smart way to go about things.

If the Kreuzbasar is at risk, this is too important a job to rest on the shoulders of one person. I'm going with you, end of story.

All right, fearless leader. You're right, I could use the help. But the others... they can't know about this. This is going to have to be a quiet job, two people max. You sure you're prepared for this? If you can't hold up your end, I'll be better off on my own.

Of course we can hold up our end, though the idea that no one else is even allowed to know seems pretty unnecessary if not downright stupid. What if the run goes sideways and we get captured or something, and no one'll even know where the heck we suddenly disappeared to? We're like all of this team's real firepower too, with all due respect to Dietrich and Glory there's no way Team Support can they take on a final boss by themselves.

But yeah alright fine, mandatory two-person groups are written in the Personal Mission Law and that's one of the precious few we are not allowed to break.

Don't worry about me. I'm solid.

Now before we go visit Lucky Strike's favorite hangout, we still have one final Green Winters DVD to get through which Maliit had delivered to us earlier.

Let's load this thing up.

Four tracks this time. As always we'll just work our way down, starting from Track 1.

4 years ago, long after Vauclair's disappearance but before the current shitstorm.

This is it. The interview. Took some digging to find it, but here he is... my big brother, back in his prime.

Clearly a bad scene but that's a pretty cool van. Not sure how they managed to park it there though.

Doctor Vauclair, tell us about your efforts to bring down the dragon.

At least that's the official story, actually though dragon breath can't melt steel beams and Bush did 8/22 wake up dataslaves

Our R&D teams have been working around the clock to devise a weapon capable of downing the beast. In the interim, we are providing material support for the Luftwaffe's attempts to shoot her down via conventional means.

Herr Vauclair, why are you directing Diehl Defense's energies to the killing of Feuerschwinge? Are there corporate interests at play in this?

Corporate interests? No. This is a matter of human interest. Innocent lives are being extinguished at an appalling rate. I am in a position to help put an end to the slaughter, and so I must. It really is that simple.

Doctor Vauclair, you must understand my skepticism. Our viewers aren't looking for a PR statement, they come to us for the tru--

I'm afraid that I don't have time to go back and forth on this. Your viewers can think whatever they wish; my concern is in helping the people affected by this tragedy.

In that case, Doctor Vauclair, I thank you for sharing your valuable time with us.

You're very welcome. To the viewers at home, stay safe and watch the skies. Salvation is coming - I promise.

We know they succeeded, and remarkably quickly too considering they were fighting a damn dragon in the year 2012.

Holy shit, this is big. All right. Okay. Back up, slow down. Breathe.

[He takes a moment to calm himself.]

Okay. So these notes... they pretty much confirm something that I'd always suspected. The Luftwaffe didn't shoot down Feuerschwinge.

I don't understand the science of it. Not even a little bit. But from what I can piece together, it looks like they designed some sort of chemical/radiological agent that acts on the metagene.

Recent studies indicate that the metagene is linked to as many as 75% of all known cases of catastrophic fourth wall breakage.

I don't think that they fully understood what they were doing... it was 2012, after all. I mean, the process worked... but I don't know if they understood *why* it worked.

A discorporated body's *supposed* to die in a few hours. I've heard horror stories about ghost-walking mages getting trapped in astral space, unable to rejoin with their meat. I heard they went crazy from the pain.

And if what I'm reading is accurate, it's entirely possible that Feuerschwinge has been trapped outside of her body for over forty years.

Huh, now that's something new. Guess forty years of torment would be understandable enough motivation for someone to feel a little upset about the way things went down. Kinda reminiscent of the Cyberzombie, actually.

The government wouldn't let Adrian tell the public about any of this, of course. It'd interfere with the lie that they were feeding us... that the Firewing was dead, and that everyone was safe, and that people should stop hiding in their basements and get back to work again.

Joke's on them, some of us were jobless and hiding in our basements long before 2012 made it mainstream.

But privately, he always said that she was still out there, somewhere deep in the SOX. I'd always thought that he was paranoid, but I was wrong. He *knew.*

So. What does all of this mean? It means that the stories I got from that Ghost Rat suddenly sound a lot more plausible. It means that Feuerschwinge is *definitely* alive, and that Adrian's disappearance is unquestionably tied to her survival.

That much is a given, but there's still nothing but question marks in the space between the doc heading off to the SOX again and the mess we have in present day. If the dragon's really in that manor instead of the SOX then at some point she must've either been hauled out of the wasteland for some unknown reason, or she must've eventually recovered from this bizarre weapon's effect enough to get out on her own.

Then there's the burned and irradiated ork, and this Doom crap we just found out about... we're gonna need a lot of answers from Vauclair or Audran or Firewing or whoever the hell we'll happen to find in a talkative mood first.

Okay. That's enough for one night. I'm gonna go get drunk.

A solid call from the man, all things considered. Two more tracks to go.

Back in the good old days, huh.

Damn it, Adrian, this is serious. You're a public figure... you could lose everything if you don't keep these ridiculous fairy tales to yourself!

Hermie. My theories are not, as you call them, "fairy tales." Dragons are *real.* I saved Germany from one. Have you forgotten?

No. Of course not. EVERYONE knows that you killed the Firewing.

Stopped. Not killed.

Fine! Stopped! Whatever!

[Winters swipes a bottle off the table in front of him, drains it, and drops it to the floor.]

Call it whatever you want. But Adrian, you're the only one who's still this obsessed with the damned things! There aren't that many of them, and they're *not* taking over the world!

Oof, that sure aged like 21-year-old milk.

Certainly an interesting way to put it while you're literally sucking on a stick yourself.

[Winters snorts.]

Now you're just being maudlin. Look, Adrian--

[Vauclair shakes his head. His smile has disappeared.]

You mark my words, Hermie. Within five years, corporations... even *countries*... will fall to these creatures. And the worst part is, nobody will care.

Oh, people will tut-tut about it. There may be a protest or two. But nobody will actually *do* anything to stop them. The immortal, all-powerful, utterly pitiless reptiles will seize more and more of our power, wealth, and territory. And we foolish, short-sighted mortals will never get it back.

[Green Winters chuckles uncomfortably. Raises his hands in the air in a supplicating gesture.]

Come, now, Adr--

Okay, let's tone down the levels of getting real a tad here

[Winters shakes his head.]

You're hopeless, Adrian. Fine, by all means, keep caring... just keep your conspiracy theories to *yourself.* I'm telling you this for your own sake.

[Vauclair sighs. He looks incredibly tired.]

Yes, Hermie. You're right, of course... I mustn't jeopardize my credibility with the masses.

[Vauclair's tone softens again.]

Hermie, I--

[Winters cuts his brother off. A new intensity burns in his voice.]

Please, big brother. Just drop all of this. Stop hunting the Firewing, and start living your life again! If you won't do it for yourself, then for Christ's sake, do it for me.

[Vauclair nods, then looks away from the screen.]

All right, Hermie. I'll try.

And we all know how well that attempt ended up. Tragedy on the scale of the events of 2012 destroy lives long after they've passed, and this particular family ended up being no exception.

Been some unexpectedly heavy stuff on this disc, one dreads to imagine what kind of bombs the final track is going to drop on us.



Right it's definitely time to go, can't keep Eiger's contact waiting any longer.

-- EXTRAS --

Only one bit of alternate dialogue of singificance here, namely ordering Eiger to not go after the Engineer.


I know how important it is that we resolve the Feuerschwinge situation. I get it. But I can't just sit back and let this happen.

[She shakes her head.]

I won't.

As the leader of this team, *I* say what our priorities are. And I say that dealing with this mercenary pales in comparison with stopping the Firewing.

With all due respect, you don't know what you're talking about. You haven't seen what happens to the places that the Engineer goes to work on. We're talking about increased violence in the streets, the proliferation of the drug trade, and people pressed into sexual slavery.

If the Engineer is working for Tamanous, we could even be looking at wide-scale organlegging and fetus farming. And that horrible shit won't stay confined to Schattennest - it'll bleed over into the Kreuzbasar.

[She looks you dead in the eye.]

You really wanna tell me that we can't spare the time to stop all of that? That you don't think it's *important* enough?

I'm not going to argue with you, Eiger. I've made my decision, and it's final. You're staying here.

[Her lip curls, and she shakes her head at you.]

All right, fearless leader. You win. I'll stay here - for the team. But when we're done with this Feuerschwinge situation, I'm gone, you hear me? I won't hang around here to watch Schattennest fall, and I won't watch it drag the Kreuzbasar down with it.