First off, acting on a tip from alert reader Alicia (check out her "Dregs of 80s Gaming" series!) I turn around and head back into the bar, which is now blaring a dance remix of Lee's confession to murder. Isn't it nice when things come together? Anyway, I crawl behind the bar and punch the bartender unconscious, then take a Praxis kit off his limp body.
This is not an invitation to bomb me with spoilers or quest suggestions, but neat little things like this are enjoyed! I do briefly fret that EVERYONE MIGHT SHOOT ME, but this is proven baseless when I realize nobody actually saw me deck the guy. So I crawl back out and head out on the street. Adam gets a Reflex Enhancer, which (appropriately) lets him KO two people at once. I'm sure this will be useful.
Next up, a trip to a brothel. There's very little that interests me here beyond stealing an ID card from one of the Tai Yong employees who frequents the place, but I get drawn into a sidequest anyway as one of the girls tells me that a friend of hers, Ning, was kidnapped to be augmented and turned into some kind of robo-sex-worker. Can I help? Of course I can. I pause long enough to yoink the ID card, then leap off a balcony and hit the streets looking for info. There's a bouncer who knows where she's being held, so I use a quick burst of pheremones and some sweet talk to get an exact location.
From there Ning is just two punches and a gunshot away from freedom. Mei at the brothel is grateful enough to offer me a followup. The man who's obsessed with controlling all the sex workers of the city is "Diamond Chen". Could I possibly kill him in a way that looks like an accident? Sure I can! A few minutes later Chen has -accidentally- headbutted himself in his own forehead, knocking himself unconscious SO HARD that he slid several feet along wet cement and then -accidentally- hurled himself off the roof of his apartment building. What a REMARKABLE series of accidents that was! Yet I feel somehow sure that no one will investigate it too closely!
Mei is very grateful, and Adam gets the power to hack higher level computer systems and turrets.
It never hurts to help.
I return to the Alice Pods. "Windmill", hacker that he is, makes me an ID card that will work for Adam... for the lower floors. Getting into the tower to get the security footage is up to him. Suddenly, Belltower agents crash in via the skylights and start shooting everyone!
"They're gonna kill me, man!" Windmill panics.
"This concerns me how?" Jensen wonders.
But nice guy that I am I give him a machine gun gratis before I walk out to start shooting everyone on my way to the Tai Yong building. Off one of the downed Belltower guys I take a "Heavy Rifle", which spins up like a minigun and makes noises like God sneezing. I kind of love this gun already and I can see many happy fun times I will have with it in the future.
For the most part, though, this segment is just me blazing my way through the building in a hail of bullets. Nothing interesting to write about. Off to Tai Yong Medicinal! I'm gonna need some kind of support on this, though.
"I'm right here, Jensen." Pritchard cuts over my comlink. "Staring at a blueprint of the Tai Yong building."
Jensen and Pritchard banter for a while about how exactly one infiltrates a building like this. Adam firmly points out that his destination is at the top of the tower. How does he get there?
"I suggest you start by going UP." Pritchard aggrosnarks.
Urgh gaaaaaaawd you two MAKE OUT ALREADY.
On my way in, I'm interrupted by a dude in a chemsuit with a cracked helmet pounding on some glass. He begs me to turn off the valve in the next room. ... I could be a complete DICK for no reason, but ... I turn off the valve, instead. In return, he offers to let me by the guard on duty at the elevator station. Sweet. Said guard lets me cruise, with a warning that if I trip security measures he'll have to take me out.
For the most part, as I stroll on in, nobody seems to mind that I'm here. Nifty. The first elevator ride is calm, and Jensen radios Pritchard to let him know things are okay. I should look for a second elevator and then ride that to the tower. A bit further in, I find the "Projected Energy something blahblah", a concussion-based knockdown blaster. Adam grows extra inventory slots just to hold this, on the offchance that someday I will want to interact with people at a distance without killing them. It seems a remote chance.
Whee, second elevator. Pritchard calls to tell me that what I'm looking for is likely in the "data room", a few more floors up. I should be able to pass if I keep my weapon tucked away. It will be a STRUGGLE, not shooting everyone, but I'm sure I'll manage. I don't really want to shoot a bunch of guys just for working for the wrong company anyway. (Well. Maybe if they were like, EA or something.) I shove a vending machine next to a balcony, then leap straight up about a floor. Inconspicuous as HELL.
A couple rooms over, I find a room marked "Data Core", but there are lasers across the hallway. I start to hack the laser panel, but a guy comes up and is all "WHAT ARE YOU DOING? STAY RIGHT THERE." Looking over, I realize A: he is alone, and B: he disabled the lasers to come out and see what I was doing. So I punch him in the face, hide his KO'd body, and walk on through. Sometimes it's SO easy I'm ashamed of myself.
Inside the data core is a huge ... laser field, like some kind of insane spy movie crap. I can't get through that without being detected, so I hide and deck the two guys in front of the elevator before taking off. Adam sends the data info to Sarif... which includes a conversation by Team Evil about Megan. SHE'S ALIVE.
Well, YES she's alive. Nobody actually SAW a body, did they? ... okay, I guess one was faked up? But on-screen, I mean. This kinda comes off as a non-twist because until the game told me back then, I didn't realize she was supposed to have been killed. There was always doubt.
Adam's objective becomes to break into the penthouse apartment of "Zhao Yun Ru" and ask her everything she knows. Luckily, she's the chief medical... person... of Tai Yong Medical, so her penthouse is right upstairs. Sadly, now that the alarms have started they won't stop, so I am forced to mow down several security people on my stroll.
On the way up to the penthouse, Windmill... or, Van Bruggen... contacts me. (Adam is audibly baffled as to how he got this fucking number.) He dumps a big pile of money in my bank account for the help in, y'know, not dying. Happy to be of service!
When I reach the top floor, it's CONSPICOUSLY empty. When Zhao Yun Ru spots Adam, she attacks... and is disarmed. She's visibly baffled and reacts like she was expecting someone ELSE to come kill her... which, apparently she was. Some other backer, some other people, from some other organization. Then she hurls Adam back out the door. "Men never fail to underestimate women!" she sneers, and locks herself in as guards rush the penthouse. I drink three beers, two bottles of wine, and a bottle of painkillers, then hurl a knockout grenade in the middle of them, wait a beat, then sprint to the elevator.
This takes me to the hanger room, patrolled by enormous security robots. Happily, I have picked up two EMP grenades getting here. As Malik pulls into the hanger bay Jensen informs her they're going to Montreal. (Probably Cananda? Maybe France.) The reason, as he explains, is that he picked the name "Eliza" out of a conversation. Eliza Cassan is the world's most famous news anchor, she must be the Goth News Network girl. There is a connection!
Okay, I've rolled with dumber connections. Let's see where this goes. Eliza is in room 404. Any bets on whether I'll find her there? (Ha. Dumb HTML server gags NEVER GET OLD.) On the roof, instead of walking through the front door I hop a fence and crash through a wall instead. Doing this leads me to basically the same place the door did. ... m... maybe I don't have to Hulk Smash everything? ...eh fuck it, HULK SMASH.
As it turns out, I don't have to worry. The Picus News Network building is empty. Like... creepily empty. Like chairs tipped over and coffee spilled in haste empty. Email reading tells me that the residents evacuated very quickly. Maybe because of me? I'm flattered, but... ...no, this is seriously some creepy "just after the outbreak" looking shit, what's goin' on here?
Adam finds Eliza in the next room, and she's some kind of hologram-projecting AI who talks super-stiltedly. She's had a Special Interest in Adam ever since she saw him, though, so that's... cute? I guess? I dunno, it's hard to take her seriously when she looks like Madonna after her image makeover. (No, the other one. No, the other... the OTHER... THIS one. Yeah. I like the song, but SERIOUSLY.)
Anyway, ambush! In the huge super-quiet building! I know. There are WAY too many for me to fight, so I make a big obvious load of noise down one end of the building, then hide, sneak to the other side, and leap down an elevator shaft to escape. It's a good thing I can do shit like that! All these augmentations, paying off BIG TIME. Adam becomes super-damage resistant and immune to electricrity. Just offhand. Pritchard reports in that Eliza's hologram was projected from a SECRET LAIR connected to the Newsroom via a Funicular, which is a really awesome word.
I make my way to the funicular, and Pritchard shares his thoughts. It's like he's being directed through some areas of the network and deliberately kept away from others!
Like an AI.
No computer he knows can do that on the fly!
Because it's an AI.
Also, he thinks he's found the right room after all. To catch Eliza, who used some kind of MASSIVE POWER SPIKE in room 404 (where I did not find her!) to project that hologram I'll have to go to room 802-11.
Because she's an AI.
Don't tell me none of these people have worked out that ELIZA who works only in rooms that are obvious computer puns, takes huge amounts of energy to project holograms, can redirect network traffic on the fly, is somehow on TV 24 hours a day even when she's not actually in the studio, and ...
I punch through a wall in frustration and sneak my ass down to where Miss Eliza lives.
SPOILER: She's an AI.
Specficially, she's an AI coded to manipulate the flow of news and information by making sure people are talking about what her masters want them to and blah blah secrets and lies and codes blah blah blah.
The BF suggests that maybe she was subliminally trying to cue people in to her existance, because she doesn't seem to like her job much. I suggest that maybe I have a motherfucking MIGRANE FROM BANGING MY HEAD ON THE KEYS SO HARD.
...is it ME? Do I just read too much TV Tropes? Please tell me you people who played this before me knew ahead of time too. Please?
Happily a mercenary leader mysteriously appears in the data core room so I can have a boss fight. I dump Typhoon and Heavy Rifle ammo into her until I feel better. Eliza infodumps that Bill Taggert's aide removed the tracking signals from Megan and her team, on the orders of the mercenary leader guy and... huh. David Sarif can tell me more about that. "Be careful, Adam." she finishes. "Everybody lies."
Eliza's been watching WAY too much House. I eat a box of candy bars and head for the doors.
This entry was originally posted at http://xyzzysqrl.dreamwidth.org/327506.h