Part 68: HousecleaningPart 68 - Housecleaning
Well it's all fucked up now.
We watched Audran murder Paul in cold blood, the Kreuzbasar is under assault, we're separated from our team, and there's no saying what kind of welcoming committee has been prepared for us. Yet we don't really have much choice but to step outside and put on our best surprised face.
Speaking of surprises... Eiger?
Jesus. You're a mess.
Bastard came at me with a knife.
[Eiger wipes her mouth with the back of her hand.]
Under the circumstances, maintaining my personal cleanliness wasn't a top priority.
Damn, no cough drop big enough to help with that one. Guess a pair of tusks is just one of those problem-solving tools that'll never fully go out of fashion.
[She shrugs.] Well, you know what they say. "Any weapon at your disposal." Did you meet up with Alice? Do you have the information?
Jerk Rosa alternative:
I'm surprised you let him close the distance on you like that.
[She bristles.] Even the best shooters have to reload sometime.
Yeah, I got it. An optical chip. We'll have to use my mission computer to open it.
Whatever's on that chip, these bastards don't want us to read it. All the more reason to do exactly that. After we put the rest of them in the ground, that is.
Eiger... they killed Paul. I saw it.
[Her expression hardens.] Yeah, I know. He had us all patched in on that call. We all saw what happened.
You're a lifesaver, we're pretty good at defending ourselves but you could probably pierce the side of one of these rickety things with a sharp enough rock, much less concentrated gunfire.
[She smirks.] Save it. I'm here to protect the optical chip. That thing cost us fifty grand, after all.
Finally, something resembling a normal day in the middle of this madness.
The last I heard, Glory was on the north end of town. Dietrich was out getting coffee when all hell broke loose. Let's go get them.
Let's go hunting.
Yeah, let's go find er, what'd you say...
Right, our esteemed crew members, Glory and Dietrich. We must make absolutely sure no more of our comrades are lost this day.
Also praise all that is good and decent in the world, we at last upgrade to 3 base AP in combat! Took them long enough, though no doubt having it happen in a preset spot in the story is easier for balancing than having it be tied to amount of Karma spent like in the previous game.
And we'll make sure to put every point to good use booting these invaders out of our home.
(Oh hey Too Quiet is back from the beginning of the game)
As we step outside, we're immediately accosted by at least three armed mercenaries and... a spellcasting dog?
Wait a second, that dog...
Oh shit, it's Dante! Why is Dante casting spells? Perhaps more pressingly, why is he casting spells against us? Bad dog, we didn't teach you to cast Petrify! Could Dante have been working for the enemy all along?
The mercs are decently beefy too, not a ton of armor but a fair amount of HP. Standard fare all around.
Eiger is feeling too stiff to do much of anything this turn, but we make use of our increased AP pool to increase it even further with our fancy new bioware, armor up, run for cover and send a spicy Flamethrower to the back of the exposed Mage which is almost but not quite to turn him into a pile of ash on the spot.
Dante responds by... launching a Fireball? What the heck has Dietrich been putting into the food of that thing?
And now the mercs are also firing at Dante, guess they're not working together after all. It's a real mess out here.
Eiger recovers from her petrification and also heads for cover in the northwest, and together with sniper fire support from her, we catch the shotgun-wielding mercenary out of cover and take him out.
Not much is accomplished on the enemy turn as our hostiles continue their infighting and the mage patches up his most recent wound... which is literally all 47 damage from the Flamethrower we hit him with earlier. How disrespectful.
Our turn is spent repositioning, and the combination of assault rifle fire and lingering damage from our Lightning Ball is enough to take out the mage for good this time.
The AP damage from the lightning followed up by a stun grenade from Eiger takes both the remaining merc and Dante out of commission, so there's nothing but to blast away the mage. And...
Damn, first Paul and now Dante. Why did it come to this?
Shame it had to come to that. He just...
I've seen rabid dogs before. That was something else.
Yeah. Monika might have been holding something back from us. Or maybe she didn't know what Dante really was. I sure as hell didn't.
Drek. Dante... why? How did this happen?
He just snapped. When these mercs started gunning people down in the street...
[The words trail off again.]
A few seconds later, the shooter was a red smear on the sidewalk, and Dante...
[Eiger stabs a thumb towards the motionless dog.]
...looked like that. He started coming towards me next, teeth bared. I've never seen anything like it before, Rosa. It was terrifying. I dropped a flash grenade behind me and booked it down to the U-Bahn.
[She shakes her head, her eyes still focused on Dante's broken body.]
I'm sorry, Monika. Wherever you are.
What could have brought upon such a tragedy? Well that's simple actually, if you neglect spending time with Dante he never becomes loyal and is thus hostile here. But really, while I might've known about this outcome beforehand I fail to take all blame here, because none of you bastards at any point asked about Dante either.
That's right, I know many of you in the thread have played this game before, and I'll tell you right now, for over two long years I've been watching and waiting for someone to raise their hand and ask "hey why isn't Dante in any of these Kreuzbasar screenshots, isn't he supposed to follow you around if you've pet him? What's the deal huh Kanfy?"
But no one did! And now when it's all gone wrong it's all too late to start caring! So if I'm a monster for letting this happen, then YOU ALL BELONG IN THE MONSTER ZOO RIGHT WITH ME SO STEP RIGHT IN FOLKS IT'S GONNA GET CROWDED
But hey, at least I finally picked up the rarest achievement in the game.
And now, we have no choice but to persist in this doomed world we have created, brought about by the callousness of man.
...I'm obviously kidding, come on. What do you take me for, of course we've been petting the dog. We have been in the ~Non-Canon Zone~ all along, and what I actually did was flip the loyalty flag from the editor because at the end of the day this is still a completionst LP.
It is true that I was waiting for someone to mention his absence before covering spending time with him, but ultimately it never happened so we'll just do that now.
[On some instinctive level, he must know that his master is gone. Dante lets out a small whine, then rubs his head against your leg.]
[It seems he doesn't know that one.]
[He wags his tail.] Woof!
And with this healing gif of an excited good boy, let's take it from the top the canonical way this time.
Once again we emerge from the depths of the U-Bahn station to a very unusual dog and three of Audran's mercs, but this time with Dante going to town on them instead of us.
Between us now having 6-7 AP a turn just between the two us and Dante's considerable firepower on our side, we completely clown on the entire trio in a mere two turns.
[Eiger glances at you. Her voice is calm, but you can see the unease on her face.]
I forgot to mention, fearless leader... your dog's acting funny.
I can see that.
He also looks like he might be visiting the same hairdresser as uh, whatshisname redhead hacker guy, which really is the most concerning development here.
Happened fast, too. Just before you got here. I caught sight of him on the way down to the U-Bahn platform, and he looked normal enough. Then one of these bastards took a shot at him and winged him. Big mistake.
A few seconds later, the shooter was a red smear on the sidewalk, and Dante...
[Eiger stabs a thumb in the dog's direction.]
...looked like this.
We've seen something like this before, but just to make sure...
Did you know that Monika's dog was part hellhound, Eiger?
[She raises an eyebrow.] Nope. But considering the circumstances, Im good with it. ...You *can* control him, right, Rosa?
He's a supernatural dog, Eiger, not a toy car with a remote. But it should be fine, we do share a connection of a sort now.
Hey, Dante. Hey, boy. How you doin?
Looks like you got yourself a hellhound.
Hell yeah we do, so let's take a look at what the new and enhanced Dante is capable of.
Stats-wise, quite a lot. Dante's base stats are high across the line, to the point that in pure numbers he doesn't only beat Eiger in both strength and willpower, he's somehow even both more intelligent and more charismatic than her, and almost as tanky too. Wonder if we could teach him how to use computers and have him be our decker...
Dante's a free boy and needs no armor, and he attacks by well, biting things. Chomp deals 3 + Strength HP damage and 1 AP damage per hit.
He also comes with a shorter cooldown version of the unarmed skill Rip Armor, primarily mentioned here to show off his unique dog icon in the usual weapon/ammo slot.
His spell repertoire is a mix of setting things on fire and disabling them, which is exactly how we'd end up if we ever reincarnated as a magical dog.
While not listed amongst his spells, he also possesses the unique ability Pack Tactics which is basically a way worse version of shamans' Raccoon totem with a pretty insane cooldown of 8 turns. For comparison's sake, the Raccoon increases ally movement by 2 in a radius of 2 for 2 turns with a cooldown of 1 turn.
Last but most certainly not least if you'd ask Dante, our hellhound pal carries a set of treats in his item slots (or is that technically our item slots?) which are basically the dog version of medkits and drugs. Or maybe medkits and drugs are simply the person version of dog treats. Whoa.
With our new yet old companion in tow, we head off to find our missing teammates, you know, Dietrich and Glory. Ought to check the safe house first while we're here, although...
...the first thing that greets us isn't really something we would've wanted to see again. We'll make that bastard pay for this, Paul. That's a promise.
Otherwise there's no sign of anyone in here, friend or foe. Busted up the place pretty good though, including the DVD player we paid a good cup of coffee for. Wonder if Schrotty's still alive.
At least it looks like they couldn't get into the crew quarters, so our computer and gear are probably safe.
Back outside on the battle-scarred streets of our home, we take our search to the northern section of the Kreuzbasar.
And there we find Glory in need of some assistance against a trio of mercs.
Took you long enough.
We too find ourselves under threat from behind by a Vanguard Mercenary. Vanguard mercs are pretty tough cookies with a pile of armor and health, armed with an assault rifle, a knock-off katana (literally "fake katana" in the files), a pair of grenades and a medkit, overall probably the toughest non-caster basic enemy we've encountered so far.
Of course no amount of fancy gear is a match to disabling spells, so Dante knocks him out for a turn while we do the same for a couple of turns to the tankiest of the three mercenaries harassing Glory, leaving only the conjurer and a grunt functional for the enemy turn.
Unfortunately for the conjurer, she started within Eiger's line of sight and a trio of well-placed sniper shots brings her down right away. It's hard to overstate how nice it is to have 3 AP to work with again.
The battle is practically won and Glory hasn't even acted yet, so she goes ham on the last mercenary still capable of doing things, but perhaps out of shock of everything having gone downhill so fast he also ends up doing nothing, meaning absolutely no action is taken by anyone on the enemy turn.
And so turn 2 is already clean-up mode. Even petrified and stripped of his armor, the Vanguard's high defensive stats still somehow make him slippery enough to dodge most of our attacks, but a shot from the Engineer's fancy Steyr rifle drops him before he manages to recover.
And in the north the first mercenary bleeds to death from his claw wounds, leaving only the blinded troll who is helpless to resist as Glory works through him like a butcher carving chunks of meat off of a carcass. Under different circumstances we might even feel kind of bad for the man.
Glory rejoins us and we continue our search for our very last missing teammate, Dietrich. Along the way we check up on Ezkibel's clinic but find the doors firmly shut, selfish bastard probably went into full lockdown at the first sign of trouble and left everyone else fending for themselves.
We head west from the clinic towards the central garden area... and right into an ambush. Before we even realize it, a mage and a pair of grunts have put several holes in our suit and this time it's us who nearly goes down before even getting a turn.
As Glory patches us up we assess the enemy lineup which doesn't include anyone who stands out as unusually dangerous, but that just goes to show that getting the initiative counts for a lot. In their hunger for our succulent flesh they've left themselves in the open though, and none of them are especially good at dodging either.
As a result a flurry of critical hits from our side eliminates the whole bunch in just a single turn, Glory even getting a break from carving flesh sculptures to show off the capabilities of her customized Savalette Guardian chain pistol for a change. When accuracy and enemy armor aren't issues, and at least one of them usually is, its special ability to fire two high-crit chance shots for 1 AP is quite efficient.
Over here, boss!
And the party don't stop, as in front of Cafe Cezve we find Dietrich, the last missing member of our crew, in a strikingly identical predicament as Glory earlier. We're now officially breaking the fundamental laws of Shadowrun by having 5 party members under our control, definitely bad news for those who rely on such laws to avoid being faced with completely hopeless odds.
Eiger's sniper rifle continues to be a true force to be reckoned with in the outdoor battlefields of the Kreuzbasar, and exposed enemy casters continue to make for lovely first targets.
Despite our numbers, we don't actually manage to kill either of the other two mercenaries on this turn, but neither can they do anything back due to our access to two different disables. But we soften them up, secure our positions, and Dietrich even calls for a bit of extra help in the form of an Air Elemental.
The only thing that happens on the enemy turn is another Vanguard making an appearance through the gap in the fence behind Dietrich of all places. It's impassable for us so we can pretty firmly declare that as cheating.
Lookit all that delicious AP we have on our side now though, the possibilities are practically limitless. Limitless within the scope of murdering things in various ways any case.
And we happily put it all to work, the Vanguard is not within Eiger's rifle sights but our spells (boosted by Dietrich's unique portable Medium Leyline) reach him just fine, and Glory charges in to finish the job. Effective and highly messy, as per usual.
Never not gonna gif a good throwing knife kill. All crew members are now officially level 6 even though we haven't gotten the chance to pick their final perks, so Dietrich has quite the repertoire of knife abilities at this point. Spells tend to be a better use of his AP though, especially since most of those have also gone up in rank - notably he now has access to Haste III and Electro Core III as well as level 5 summoning fetishes.
The final blow of both this battle and this update is dealt by the Air Elemental, capable of doling out quite a bit of punishment with its bolts but generally overshadowed by the Earth equivalent thanks to that thing's ridiculously strong ability to give everyone medium cover status regardless of their position.
With the fighting on the streets over at least for the time being, Dietrich speaks up.
Glad to see you all made it here alive.
[Dietrich straightens, his joints cracking under the strain. He takes a step in your direction, his expression grim.]
Listen, boss. We've got problems.
What? Those cold-hearted bastards! What kind of monsters would force us to repeat a sewer level?
...Feels like we're forgetting about something though. Which is weird since we now have all of... oh. Ohhhh.
Where the hell is Blitz?
He took off with Maliit. Said somethin' about jamming the attackers' comms. Don't worry about them. We've gotta deal with those bombs!
Oh okay, yeah, we were er, pretty concerned so that's good to hear. Very good.
Before heading off we take a quick look at the cafe and the talismonger's, but like with the clinic the doors are locked tight. We can only hope Altuğ and Kami managed to get to safety in time. Aljernon and Absinthe for their part can probably handle themselves just fine, smugness of that magnitude could repel high explosive shells.
We know better than most the kind of havoc giant explosions can wreak on property value, and so we take our assuredly extensive knowledge in bomb disarmament and head down into the Kreuzbasar sewers once more. Some light shows are just best enjoyed from a safe distance, and on somebody else's money.
Not much worth a special mention this time, there are miscellaneous bits like some optional willpower checks one can take over reading his aura to have Dante follow you but there's no way to fail at it if he's loyal (or vice versa) so instead here's an aerial view of the besieged Kreuzbasar you can use to play a round of Where's Waldo with our crew.