Part 84: A Dragon's Due (Ending Showcase 1)Part 84 - A Dragon's Due (Ending Showcase 1)
Alright, Berlin is saved and the story of Rosa and the Berlin crew has officially concluded, but what if that story had taken some different turns along the way? Let's go back and find out. We're going to start from the different fates of Feuerschwinge which don't actually have that dramatic an impact on the ending itself what with its consequences being more of a long-term deal.
As this is all basically an extended Extras section, we're going to bouncing around a lot and skipping things we've already seen. We'll also assume all crew members are present for dialogue purposes, include more of said dialogue even if it technically can't all trigger in-game, and overall explore some different dialogue choices which we didn't pick in the LP proper even if they're not directly tied to the alternate outcomes themselves.
First we'll cover the "kill Feuerschwinge" path, and there are actually two slightly different versions of this depending on whether it's done before or after she regains some of her mental clarity and asks for death herself. If we just go for it right away:
[Shut down the cell and kill her.] No. You're going to die for your crimes, monster. See you in hell.
We did it, we killed a Great Dragon! Who's the Dragonslayer now, huh?
You did the right thing, Rosa. She was insane and dangerous. I wouldve made the same call.
Agreed. She was too dangerous to live. Better to kill her and be done with it.
And we did. With the push of a button.
Too bad about the no treasure thing.
[He looks at the sea of blank faces surrounding him.]
Come on, boss. Let's get the hell out of here. I want to go home.
Next, the same thing but after we've first figured out her deal and she herself wishes to die. We'll also be a little less hostile about it as there's actually an internal "was mean to dragon" -flag which affects the crew dialogue afterwards.
[Engage the emergency protocol and end her life.] Yes. I will finish it, Feuerschwinge. Your long flight is over. Rest now.
Yeah... I know what you're sayin', man. I'm not sad that she's dead, but I almost feel a little sorry for her.
You did the right thing, Rosa. She was insane and dangerous. I wouldve made the same call.
As would I. We saved a lot of lives today.
[She pauses for a beat, then a small smile crosses her face.]
That's a good feeling.
[Eiger's eyes widen in surprise.] Yeah, Glory. Yeah, it is.
Yeah. Maybe. But I'd always thought that killing a dragon would be a heroic thing to do. I used to dream about it as a kid.
[He shakes his head, his eyes never moving from the broken body in the containment cell.]
I don't feel like a hero.
This isn't about you, Dietrich. It's about the people who might have died if we'd set the Firewing go.
Yeah. I guess so. Come on, boss. Let's get the hell out of here. I want to go home.
And home we go, we have our last chat with the team which isn't in any way affected by the Firewing choice, and eventually come across Aljernon and Absinthe outside the cafe.
Do not mock the human, Aljernon Half-Dream. But nor should you praise her, either. For good or ill, the cycle of a Great Wyrm has ended. Never again will she walk upon this Earth, nor soar over its mountains. This day is full of portent.
How did you know about the dragon?
When a dragon falls, the sound resonates across time and space. The death of a Great Wyrm is of interest to a multitude of beings, and Aljernon Half-Dream is among their circle. There will be a reckoning.
Am I in trouble?
[Aljernon stares at her, lost in thought. Finally, he speaks.]
We must be going. And soon.
What the hell is going on? Why are you leaving?
I have business that has become urgent.
It will not be urgent till tomorrow, Half-Dream. You have time to pack up your wares.
Maybe I should come along... to protect you or something.
Where the Half-Dream goes, you cannot follow, human.
Afterwards Altuğ offers his services as a Fixer and in the train to Brandenburger Tor we meet totally-not-Lofwyr who introduces himself as Hans Brackhaus.
...My employer also wishes to hear about the Lady Feuerschwinge. A fascinating creature - so unlike her brothers and sisters.
It is a pity that she has passed from this world. She was a magnificent creature, and the world is diminished by her passing. I am sure you would agree.
I dont know. Dragons are dangerous.
[He purses his lips. Considers.] This is undeniable and as it should be. The Great Dragons are very old and very powerful and very, very cunning. A cunning unknowable to you.
Some moth chat later...
[He leans forward.] You will live and die between the beats of a dragons heart, meine Freundin. What hope do you have of understanding them?
None. Feuerschwinge massacred thousands, and a stranger on a train calls her fascinating. Obviously, this is all beyond my comprehension.
[He leans back again.] Do not choose ignorance, shadowrunner; it does not become you. Nor does sarcasm. The Lady Feuerschwinge was fascinating because she was different.
He then talks about Firewing being a nurturer who woke up to messed up world and all that.
...She unleashed fire and death through her tears. And now she is gone. The Sixth World was her last. It is a comfort to know that she found peace at the end. You are to be commended for that.
Thanks for the lecture, professor. Now who are you?
The representative of a potential client. A very influential client, and one who pays extraordinarily well. And he is someone who demands a modicum of respect. Now listen.
Next comes the question about whether we would've wiped out the dragons or not. These answer options aren't in any way tied to the Firewing outcome, but let's try a different one this time.
I think so. The worlds complicated enough. One less group of players simplifies it a bit.
[His response is flat.] Of course. Better to wipe out a species older than humanity, yes? A creature that has seen the cycle of magic rise and fall time and again could be of no use, surely. Still, you are correct. In the world of power, fewer players make the game clearer.
Well, on to the business at hand.
He gives his job offer and reveals that Lofwyr had it all figured out from the start.
...Or did you think Green Winters found the Harfeld Manor on his own?
If your boss was behind this whole thing, then he really backed the wrong horse. Something tells me that he didn't want the Firewing dead.
Perhaps. One might assume that the outcome could have been better suited to his interests. But, then again, perhaps not. You are not in a position to know.
Bullshit. My choices didn't play into any interest of Lofwyr's, or any other dragon's.
Underestimating an ancient dragon is never wise, shadowrunner.
The same "he think three moves ahead" deal here, until eventually the train comes to a halt. We didn't accept his offer in the main run but hell, why not this time? Dragons are mostly jerks and Lofwyr's a right bastard, but it's not like we can hope to avoid his attention at this point and he probably pays better for less dangerous work than shadowrunning. A chance to move up in the world!
Ah, this is my stop. Coming?
Well, what do you know? Looks like this is my stop, too.
The ending text remains the same as before aside from the small Feuerschwinge-related section at the end.
Alright, so what about simply leaving dragon imprisoned? As before, there are a couple of slightly different versions of this, the first being simply not talking to her at all and marching right out the door.
[Exit the facility.] We came here to stop Vauclair. He's a corpse now. Let someone else deal with the dragon.
The other option involves talking to her and then choosing to be extra thorough about her extended stay.
yes? iamfree? tellme saythewords
[Destroy the control console.] You're gonna rot here forever for your crimes. Goodbye, dragon.
Are we doing the right thing, just leaving her like this?
Damn right. She's insane, and dangerous, and she's murdered thousands. I wouldve made the same call.
It was a little anticlimactic. I was expecting us to kill her, or set her free, or *something.* Just walking away feels wrong, somehow.
I wonder how long shell last in there.
[Glory's tone is cool, seemingly indifferent.]
Maybe not. But it's a start. C'mon, let's get the hell out of here. When we get back to the Kreuzbasar, the first round of drinks is on me.
Again, how hostile our motivations are changes the crew interaction afterwards. A little curiously it actually straight-up reverses some of the attitudes even though the outcome remains the same:
[Destroy the control console.] What Vauclair did to you was horrible, but you're too dangerous to let free. I'm sorry.
Feuerschwinge's reaction is the same as before. Afterwards...
[Glory eyes the smashed console.] We're leaving her trapped here. Interesting choice. I wonder if it was the right one?
It's not the call that I wouldve made, but...
What's done is done.
[Dietrich shoots a backward glance at the wretched woman, still silently wailing in her glass prison.]
Yeah, I guess. C'mon, people. Let's get the hell out of here.
Let's see what Aljernon thinks about this one.
Do not simply dismiss the human, Aljernon Half-Dream. You are wiser than that, and she has proven her worth more than once. Here, we have a firsthand account of the Feuerschwinge Wyrm and what became of her. Shall we remain ignorant, or shall we listen?
[Aljernon stands silent, considering.]
I know that Feuerschwinge is alive, Rosa. Yet... she is not free... is she?
How do you know she's still alive?
Because I know she is not dead. When a dragon falls, the sound resonates across time and space. There are many beings interested in her fate. Now tell me what happened.
She was insane when I found her. An insane Feuerschwinge would be even worse than the one who torched thousands.
[Aljernon contemplates this wordlessly while Absinthe watches him, concerned.]
And? What has become of the Great Wyrm, human?
And I left her where I found her - imprisoned. She had to pay for her crimes.
[Aljernons expression is blank.]
[She raises a hand.] We cannot judge this woman, nor her actions, Half-Dream. We have lived long enough to know that the spectrum of the world contains myriad shades of gray...
[Aljernon stares at her, his expression unknowable.]
Go, Rosa. You have given me much to think about. Yes... much to think about.
Later Hans comments on her fate:
...It is a pity that she was left in that place to rot. Dragons are not meant for captivity - the Lady Feuerschwinge least of all. Creatures like her should be cared for. Wouldnt you agree?
Maybe, but lets face it - dragons are scary.
[He inclines his head, and the corner of his mouth curls into a bit of a smile.]
This is true. As it always has been. As is anything that metahumanity does not understand.
Exploring some more possible answers to ol' Hansy-pants:
...What hope do you have of understanding them?
I dont need to. I have enough troubles of my own to care about what a Great Dragon thinks.
Of course. Your myopia is by design. And just as one drops a frog into cold water, slowly turning up the heat to veil its impending doom, metahumanity has slowly allowed itself to be enslaved by the megacorporations - and now the megacorporations are slowly becoming enslaved by the Great Dragons.
But not the Lady Feuerschwinge. Not her.
...She unleashed fire and death through her tears. And now she is trapped. Driven insane by those whom she sought to protect. The Sixth World was not worthy of her.
Time to cut to the chase, friend. Who are you, and what do you want from me?
And again on to the question of using the weapon. What if this time we adopt a directly anti-dragon stance?
Yep. This world doesnt belong to dragons. Its ours.
And why? To master this planet, to bend it to humanitys will, to proliferate, and ultimately, to spread to the stars. People and dragons are not so different from that perspective, yes? But whereas humanity dominates through overwhelming proliferation, dragons hoard.
[He reaches into his pocket, puts on a pair of round sunglasses.]
Well, it was good to meet you, Rosa. That business with Dr. Vauclair could have gotten disorderly and my employer wishes to express his gratitude. You are a most remarkable woman.
So is your employer my new client?
I do not think so, no. I do not believe you are well suited for one another, though you do seem able to insert yourself into all sorts of interesting business. But as you shadowrunners are fond of saying...
Never make a deal with a dragon.
Yep, no job offer at all this time. Seems he was testing us to the end, and we did not pass.
The only change to the ending from before pertains to the fact that we didn't blow up the facility this time, meaning Firewing never reappears and her ultimate fate remains unknown.
And that just about covers it. Next we'll be taking several steps further back to a choice with more potential for significant short-term consequences as we give a certain AI a taste of freedom. And while we're at it, see how our crew would've ended up had we dealt with their personal problems differently than we did.