Part 52: Warehouse Warfare ReturnsPart 52 - Warehouse Warfare Returns
(This may or may not be the only time this track plays in the game, so listen to it while you can. One thing Dragonfall definitely has its sequel beat is in the variety of unique combat themes, Hong Kong has like 6 in total and half of those are exclusive to individual missions. They're all good ones, but still.)
We have successfully made a non-explosive entry into the old warehouse the Rammbock apparently call headquarters. We are also spotted immediately which sure makes one question our prior 500 nuyen investment.
In there! That's our man!
Looks like a bad halloween party in there, one dude in a cheap skeleton getup and another dressed up as a disco ball. Presumably she's referring to the ork with giant metal arms though.
Over on this side of the window we have a couple of nuisances to deal with. Nothing especially threatening, but taking out people who start behind cover with just the two of us is kind of annoying.
Our regular Clawstress of Cowering Cowards is not around, but Eiger's recently obtained Wired Reflexes which allow her to automatically dodge one attack each round for 3 rounds at least allows for some extra safety for aggressive maneuvers.
While the the heavily armed troll with ninja reflexes provides an understandable distraction, we indulge in our favorite pastime of Leyline-boosted Lightning Balls to the face. The lingering damage is enough to take out the Conjurer and her watery buddy with her.
In the meantime the Engineer hears the commotion and bolts out the opposite door while we're still several rooms away. So much for getting the jump on the guy. Hell, we'll be lucky to catch up with him with a car now.
A Rammbock Enforcer joins the fight and immediately goes for a nasty flank attempt but fails to land the shot. Good thing too since we haven't increased our Body in a while, getting shot is a job we prefer to relegate to other people.
Oh by the way, this guy? If you opt to use the propane explosive method to enter instead of bothering with the keycode, he's killed by the blast and you won't have to fight him at all. As far as I'm aware, this is the only practical difference between the two methods of entry, meaning we paid ¥500 for the privilege of having to put down one extra goon.
Let this be a lesson to us all - Whenever one available option involves explosions, it is the only option worth considering.
Regardless, a bit more magic and a couple of well-placed sniper shots later, we're clear to continue the chase.
The next idiots insistent on wasting our time are the pair of questionably dressed gangers we saw chatting with our target. Target who is probably out of Berlin by now if he's kept a rapid pace.
Gotta say though, for a group that has supposedly taken over this part of town, their HQ is awfully empty of actual gang members. Not that we don't welcome a small break after some of our recent meatgrinder runs.
We take a bit of magic fire in the face as we push on, but that's a trick we're much better at. A lot of time and practice has gone into honing the temperature just right for that perfect crispy finish.
We also still have our busted disables in the form of Blindess and Mind Wipe, so small-scale encounters like this are pretty much always bound to go in our favor. Quickly starting to miss having the damage output of a full group though.
Once again a lone Enforcer charges into the room to predictable results. That's how you can tell mere street thugs from proper organized groups like the Knight-Errant, at least the latter's insufficient and poorly timed reinforcements usually arrive in pairs.
That's all the Rammbock losers haunting this place, but it's also been like eight turns since the Engineer himself took off. Do we have any hope catching him anymore?
Plenty of it, as it turns out. Maybe he had trouble getting the door open with those metal trunks. He's still running though, and we need to get him into zapping distance before he's out of here.
Of course now that he's in our casting range we can just blind him at will which happens to be something of a disadvantage in a running contest.
Now we can just casually walk up to him and deliver a poke from Bannik's deactivator which leaves him too preoccupied with spasming on the ground to go anywhere.
Now we just need to take care of the witnesses, namely two last Rammbock thugs who clearly expected to ambush us mid-chase but who ended up just kind of standing there looking dumb.
Out of the way losers, we have an interrogation party to attend to and no-portrait rabble like you aren't invited.
Oh and case you're wondering, it takes a minimum of 9 turns of uninterrupted running for the Engineer to reach and escape with his bike which he has parked comically far away.
[Eiger glances at you.] An aerosol BZD, to help treat the seizures. Bannik was kind enough to include it in his goody bag. It won't last long, but it should give Yuli here enough muscular control to answer a few questions.
[She raises an eyebrow.] See? He's talking already.
Our options range from immediately punching him to acting all weirdly sorry for him, but let's try the silent protagonist approach proven effective by many of our Japanese counterparts and see how he reacts. We were meant to take him out of his comfort zone and all.
[The silence stretches. Finally, the Engineer speaks.]
T-tell me what you w-want from me, s-so I c-c-can t-tell you to go s-screw yourselves.
I wouldn't recommend that, Yuli. You know who I am - I can see it in your eyes. You remember me from the old days, right?
[Her voice is cold. Sharp.]
You know what I'm capable of. So do yourself a favor: answer our questions.
[The ork's eyes shift from Eiger to you.]
Y-yes. I know you, t-troll. B-but your friend I do not know. D-does she have the s-stomach for this? N-not many do.
[Eiger inclines her head in your direction.]
She doesn't talk much. But she's a great listener. Of course, if you don't tell her what she wants to hear, she might lose her patience. And then... well, then things are gonna get loud.
Little does he know, things have a tendency to end up loud around us pretty much no matter what. It just kind of happens.
You're helpless, Yuli. A cripple. But if you answer our questions, things will go easier for you. So tell us: whose payroll are you on?
[His voice sounds stronger now. The stutter that marred his speech has almost completely faded away.]
I'm on n-nobody's payroll. I'm here on vacation.
[Eiger grabs a fistful of the ork's hair and lifts his head. Her face is inches from his.]
Tell us who sent you to Schattennest!
[There is a long pause. Eventually, the Engineer looks away.]
[He leans forward and locks eyes with Eiger.]
There. You've got your intel. Now set me free or kill me.
It came up before but Tamanous are a crime syndicate specializing in all kinds of highly unpleasant organ-related businesses, ranging from simple organ theft from either the living or the dead to running so-called fetus farms where artifically fertilized women are harvested for fetus tissue which is then transplanted and used to breed "custom-made" children as slaves for the ultra-rich, bioresearch subjects, and so forth.
Yeah, they're not on most people's Christmas card lists. But this confession was obviously far too smooth.
[Eiger leans back, shaking her head.]
You wouldn't roll over on an employer this easily. Your rep tells me that much.
[He raises an eyebrow in a look of mock astonishment.]
No - Eiger's right. You're jerking us around.
Unfortunately we don't have the option to just say silent for the entire rest of the mission.
You wanted a name, I gave you a name. Want more? I can give you those, too. I can name you a hundred clients who'd love a piece of Schattennest. How do you intend to determine who really sent me?
You let us worry about that.
Oh, I intend to.
[He wrestles the corner of his mouth up into a smirk.]
I've got no worries - I already know what my future holds. Maybe you try to reason with me, and that fails. Maybe you try coercion? That'll get you nowhere, too.
You try beating on me, and I start giving names. More names than you know what to do with. Torture me, or don't. It'll all end the same way. I'll be dead, you'll know nothing for certain, and my clients will move ahead on schedule.
Cooperate, and maybe it doesn't have to end that way. Maybe you'll get out of here alive.
Just no end to the many charmers and not-total-pieces-of-shit you meet in this line of work.
[Eiger's hands bunch into fists. She's still smiling, but you can feel the heat of the hatred behind her eyes.]
You've got bigger issues to worry about than my face, Yuli. If you don't start telling me what I want to hear in the next thirty seconds, this is going to get messy.
I know that look, Yuli. I'd start talking if I were--
[Eiger says nothing, but her eyes narrow. The Engineer continues, his grin broadening.]
This... this is a funny story. It's a story about your time in the KSK. A story about futility. I can tell you all about the many lives you've touched, and how the syndicates touched them again afterward. Would you like that?
[There is a long pause. Eventually, Eiger turns to face you.]
Rosa... do me a favor. Sweep the building for intel - anything that we might have missed on the way in.
Not a bad idea but er, it feels like there's a non-zero chance we'll come back to this guy's head being turned into mushy paste and since skulls don't work like coconuts, it'll be a lot more difficult to get what we need from inside one if it's been split open.
I don't know if that's a great idea, Eiger.
It's necessary, Rosa.
[She shoots a disgusted glance at your captive.]
And I won't let this twisted little prick chase me out of the room. He can tell me whatever story he likes.
It feels like this guy is getting under your skin, and we can't afford to kill him before we get to the truth.
Don't worry about me - everything's all right on my end. But this asshole is right about one thing: we aren't going to solve this on his word alone.
Agreed. But I don't think that we can beat the answer out of him, either.
No. Of course not.
I'm sure that he'd eventually spill the name we're looking for. But it'd be buried in so much white noise that it'd be impossible to filter out.
All right, Eiger. But remember - we need this son of a bitch alive. No torture.
[She turns back to the Engineer.]
I'm good. But be quick.
Right, we'll leave them to their private story time and take a better look around now that we're in a less of a rush.
Discovery number one: A dead person in the room next door. Not that shocking given this is a gang hideout, but worth investigating all the same.
Brutal gang violence, one hell of an S/M session, or evidence of the Joker vacationing in Germany? Forensic pathologist Rosa is on the case.
We've all had days like that sometimes.
Guy probably had it in for a concrete wall or something. It's obvious he wasn't in his right mind, but what would cause something this extreme? Maybe our medical training will help us figure out this mystery.
Results: Inconclusive. Whatever the case, he's clearly in no condition to be telling us about his possible connections to Yuli and they didn't sell Stories-Bones-Tell at Aljernon's. Let's move on.
And what do we have here then, a pair of courier drones? The one on the left is no good for anyone anymore, but the other one is more interesting.
Not easy being a teenager these days, if you can't put together a simple drone then it's right into the idiot corner of the class for you.
The law states that it's not really stealing if you're stealing from criminals. Granted we're also a criminal, so it's possible that a criminal stealing from criminals might be some kind of a double negative deal and wrap around to being illegal again. Which is irrelevant to us since we're a criminal.
In conclusion, free stuff ahoy!
Everyone is so distrusting these days. It's not a number pad either, but seeing as people are really bad at coming up with good passwords, it's almost certainly just a single word with no special characters or anything. Any hints anywhere?
This weirdly low Intelligence check which makes you wonder why they even bothered provides us with a hint of a sort, namely that we probably shouldn't try and smash this thing open. We could certainly try but well, we'll leave the result of that attempt for the Extras section and keep a lookout for the password for the time being.
And in case you were wondering, yeah, Drone Control would let us attempt to bypass the password here. Not enough points in it would lead to a failed attempt though, which is not something you see very often in these games.
After looking here and there, we eventually come across a ledger close to where we entered the place.
How was it again, if there's an ø in there that means it's... Danish? Norwegian? Both?
Ah whatever, we'll take it with us and see if Eiger knows what we're looking at here. They teach all kinds of things in the military.
We look around a bit more but find nothing but a lonely forklift, abandoned and bereft of purpose. A heartrending monument to disorganization no proper German should ever have to lay their eyes on. Let's just head back before we grow too depressed to go on.
Well, at least he's still breathing. What happened to "I'm good"?
I'm not doing this for fun. I'm doing it because he *deserves* it. If you knew half of what this bastard has done... if you'd heard the things that he just told me... you'd do the same.
Maybe so. But you're on edge, and I need you calm. Beating on him isn't helping.
[She pauses, then turns away.]
Just tell me what you found.
[The Engineer's voice is thick and wet. He smiles through a set of gore-streaked teeth.]
I found a body in the other room. From the looks of him, he tried using his head to beat down a steel-reinforced door.
Interesting, but not unusual in these parts. There are all kinds of drugs that could make a person act that way, and most of 'em aren't hard to get in a place like Schattennest. Have you found anything else?
I also found this ledger... I don't recognize the language, but it looks Scandinavian.
[Eiger leafs through the journal, quickly flipping the soykaf-stained pages.]
Norwegian, maybe... I'm thinking that this is written in Bokmål. I can't read it, but it looks like a shipping manifest.
Yeah, something like that. There are a lot of addresses in there.
Find something interesting?
[She nods.] Yeah. Not particularly helpful without a full date, but I guess it's something. Of course, "Wednesday" might not refer to a day of the week at all... it could be code for something. Taken out of context like this, it's impossible to say.
A single, out-of-context English word you say? Yeah, we might have some idea.
So what do you make of this?
This should be good.
[Eiger ignores him. Her gaze remains fixed on the book.]
It might be nothing. Or it could mean that he's back in bed with the Lobatchevski Syndicate.
[The Engineer holds his silence.]
Is that it, Yuli? Are you taking orders from your old bosses again?
[He pauses a moment before croaking out an answer.]
Maybe. Who's to say?
You are, if you know what's good for you.
You going to hit me again? Okay, then, yes: I *am* working for the Lobatchevskis. You want names? I'll give you names. More names than you know what to do with.
What's happening on Wednesday, Yuli?
Pfft, really? That what you going with?
You can do better than that.
Go die in a ditch.
Did you find anything else? We need to be sure about this before moving forward.
I must have missed something. I'll keep searching.
We all know where this is going, so let's just cut to the chase.
Hmm, more expected to find some kind of experimental drugs or something along those lines. This is probably worth holding on to though.
Good thing we didn't try to bust the thing open, probably would've lost this chip for good. Hell, might've lost a whole hand.
Back once more...
You're back. Find anything else?
There are a pair of courier drones in the other room. No markings - they looked custom-built. One of them had been slagged, but the other had this chip in its storage compartment.
Interesting. This mean something to you, Yuli?
[Eiger takes the chip from you and holds it up to the light.]
No identifying markings. I've seen enough BTLs in my time to know one when I see it, but this is different - it's been modified somehow.
Go ahead and slot it, bitch. It'll take you on the ride of your life.
[She raises an eyebrow.] Smack him for me, will you? I'm busy.
Tempting, but we have 1 Strength, trying to hit people deals more damage to our pride than our target.
He isn't worth the effort.
[She pauses a moment, then nods.]
Yeah. Yeah, you're right. Besides, I think that we're getting closer. Look at his temples - see the sweat beading up? I'd say that Yuli's developed himself a habit.
At this juncture one has the option to ask for a refresher on the nature of Better Than Life chips, in case Dragonfall is their first foray into Shadowrun:
Eiger, refresh my memory... what's a BTL?
You don't get out much, do you? A BTL is a kind of simsense chip. Stands for "better than life." They're cheap, easy to find, and incredibly addictive.
People have died of dehydration while riding BTL highs... it's pretty common on the streets. They just stay plugged in until their bodies give out. Not a pretty way to go, believe me.
...And speaking of which, look at Yuli's temples. See that sweat beading up? I'd say that our friend here has developed himself a habit.
I think that you're right, Eiger. Our friend here is an addict.
[The Engineer glances at you with a snarl.]
Strong stuff, huh? Maybe strong enough to cause a person to say, try to break through a metal door with their head?
That's a frightening thought.
You're telling me. The last thing that we need is more sim-junkies on our streets.
[She turns to face the Engineer.]
You got anything to add to that, Yuli?
Had we'd picked Street as one of our etiquettes, we'd have a little more input here. We only have Corporate and Security at the moment, but this is an LP and we're not subject to normal rules so here's the insight we could offer anyway:
(Street) This wouldn't be the first time that something like that hit the streets. Talk with enough sim-junkies and you'll hear all about it.
Interesting. Tell me more.
There's a sort of legend out on the streets... the ultimate high. They called it "2XS."
Huh. Never heard of it.
Supposedly, it hit the streets of Seattle a couple of years ago. It vanished after a couple of months... there one day, gone the next. Nobody knows why.
Scary stuff. I haven't heard rumors of anything like that around here, thank God.
I'm not saying that this is 2XS, or even anything like it. But there *are* sims out there that are even stronger than BTLs. It's possible that this is one of them.
It is said that the Japanese-developed 2XS was used by a certain Universal Brotherhood to find suitable hosts for insect spirits, their logic being that anyone strong enough to withstand the effects of it could also live through the bugification process.
I'm sure that you would.
[She glances over her shoulder at you.]
Good find, Rosa... we've struck a nerve. Any other thoughts?
Yeah, actually. I think that I might know where the other chip went. Remember that body I found in the other room?
Yeah. Yeah, good thought. Go check it out, but be quick - I don't know how long it'll be before we have company here.
I'm on it.
Hello again, body buddy. Sorry to intrude again, but there's something we need to check.
Ah, the plot thickens. We'll let it simmer for a bit though and see what kind of stew we ultimately end up with... next time.
As was mentioned in the update proper, punching Yuli right off the bat is an available option:
Y-yes. I know you, t-troll. B-but your friend I do not know. D-does she have the s-stomach for this? N-not many do.
[Punch him again.] Language.
His reaction to the second punch depends on your Strength. At 3 or less:
Y-you sucker punched me before, okay. I admit, I was not ready. Now I am. And you, my darling human, are *weak.* A word of advice that I will give you: you'd best kill me here. I mean that.
Because if I ever get off of this floor, I'll snap you in half like a twig. And then I'll do the same to your she-troll friend.
Y-you're not weak, human. I'll give you that much. Not strong, but not weak. A free piece of advice, from me to you: kill me here and now. Do it quick.
Because if I ever get off of this floor, you're dead. First I'll do you, then I'll do your bitch friend. And it will be *messy.*
Finally, at 6+:
You hit hard, human. G-good on you. You've got muscle - I can respect that. A free piece of advice, from me to you: kill me here and now. Do it quick.
Because if I ever get off of this floor, your muscles will not save you. Or your she-troll friend.
There's nothing especially noteworthy in the other options, so we'll move on to the results of trying to use force on the courier drone:
15 points of damage worth of pain, to be precise.
And so the chip is lost forever, which as you may have guessed locks you into a worse ending for this mission which we'll cover later.
Incidentally, with high enough Quickness it is possible to snatch it before it melts away. Still gonna get burned in the process though.