The Von Braun Incident: Chapter 6 – Run ninja run
It tends to take a while between these things, mainly because I know they take so long to do.
The process for this thing is that I set myself a loose goal of 11 entries, and try to end on some sort of goal completion. Between playing the game and writing the entries as I go this rarely takes less than 5-6 hours. Then there’s the editing and proof-reading, and I’ve gotten fond of writing these little introductions and unrelated thoughts before I post the log entries. And I’m bad when it comes to setting aside time, but one of my new year’s resolutions is to get better at it. We’ll see how that goes.
There’s been a fair amount of stuff happening since last time, what with December passing by and all. A few family emergencies, including a sudden, accidental death, meant it was more hectic and more tragic than what is usual. Even so I’ve gotten some moments to reflect on the year that’s passed, which in part led to my “Favourite Games of 2012” list.
It feels like there’s been a rise in games that want to make us care in the past few years. Mass Effect had some success with that, even if it ultimately fell short, but titles like Journey, Spec Ops: The Line and The Walking Dead all employed ways to tug at our heart strings most effectively. I was also recently introduced to the title To The Moon, which dates back to 2011, and it is simply beautiful. I plan to do a short PSA on it soon, but if you’re reading this and haven’t played it, then I urge you to do so.
56th entry: You know, it’s funny. I remember the first question Xerxes asked me: Whether I served the machine mother. I didn’t understand then, but I guess the answer was ‘yes’ all along. SHODAN turned me into whatever it is I am now, and has guided me since. I have taken stock of whatever supplies I have left. Food is almost gone, but I have a moderate supply of various hypos. I still have a few advanced med kits, an auto-repair unit, some batteries, the hazard suit. And when it comes to weapons I have the two laser pistols, the rapier and the regular pistol with various ammunition. It might seem like much, but I fear it’s going to be insufficient. SHODAN told me that the Many are working on a way to turn the dead into a new type of Hybrid: the “Hunter-Killer”. I should probably try to prevent that…
57th entry: I have found… a thing. SHODAN called it a spike. Said it could be the key to saving my life, to stem the corruption. It’s made of a strange crystal. I’d rather not use it without doing some research into it first, something that sodding AI agreed with. I need to find the chemical storage room on this level as I still haven’t found any sodium. Things aren’t looking great, to be honest. All these bodies… all curiously dressed in the same purple jumpsuits. And I saw something, just glimpsed really, that ran into a corridor. I tried to look down there, but it must have gone further in. There’s a pit of dread in my stomach, and I’m not sure what is the chief cause of it. So many things to worry about…
58th entry: I retreated down to deck 2 and got some Yttrium from the chemical storage down there to analyse the crystal. The research suggested some light alterations to my rig in order to let me safely handle it as a weapon, as it was considered highly dangerous. I have now employed the necessary amount of cyber modules to effect such a change, and I can hold this crystalline branch. It hums in my hand, and if I put my ear close to it, I think I can hear song coming from within it. I am cautious about letting it touch my skin or really anything apart from my now-modified gloves. Hopefully this thing will truly help even the odds a little.
59th entry: I think I found the something that slipped away. It was a cyborg of sorts. Dressed kinda like one of those ninja assassins from the old vids, only it was red. It even had throwing stars, that look to be made of the same crystal as my branch. It had the first simulation chip, and SHODAN is pleased. Do I want it to be pleased? I do not know. I am honestly not sure which of us is the crazier one. There was also a curious organ of sorts in there, that I can detect an electrical charge in. The computer has determined that it needs some Cesium to fully research it, so I am headed back down to Hydroponics.
60th entry: There is a curious chittering in Operations C. It doesn’t sound quite like the spiders, so it is really putting me on edge. The organ I found was actually an implant based on annelid research. It allows for a certain amount of automatic regeneration upon injury, though it drains psi power in the process. I am not sure if this is actually helpful to me. I will take it with me, but as I am not psi-trained, it might not work completely. I also worry what putting more annelid stuff inside me is going to do. Just that once… I should stop thinking about this and proceed further into the area. I need to find and reprogram that Sim unit. Initial recon led me straight into two curiously unarmed Hybrids. They had strange clothes, but I didn’t ask what they were for.
61st entry: I was thinking for a bit there that Bronson might be one of my allies, but then I saw more ghosts. In the mess hall Bronson and her security detail just shot down four people for… I don’t even know why. And I found a recording of Bayliss, which told me why I don’t remember. SHODAN told him to make it so. Well, under the guise of Dr. Polito. I guess I didn’t exactly volunteer for this service as I have been led to believe. I don’t have much choice now though. I have to finish this, one way or another. As a curious side-note I ran into a swarm of annelid flies in the bathroom. Trying to combat them in any manner was fruitless, but their life cycles are shamefully short, which I guess that’s a good thing for me. I hope these bites or stings or whatever they are won’t swell up.
62nd entry: I raided the kitchen for food before I analysed the remains of one of those swarmer eggs. It didn’t really tell me anything I hadn’t guessed, so I ventured further into the sector. I saw another of those new Hybrids run by. This one wasn’t quite so unarmed, as it looked to be carrying a grenade. I guess that’s what those vests were for. I didn’t even know they could use grenades. I have discovered the first Sim unit, but I don’t have the right chip for it. The chip I found on the cyborg is apparently for another Sim unit. Curses. At least this sector is now reasonably secure, so it shouldn’t be too much trouble to come back. I guess I’m going to a different sector for now.
63rd entry: I finally found the chemical storeroom, and there was some sodium in there, at last! It turns out those strange hypos also use annelid tissue, surprise surprise. Their effect seems to be to strengthen psi power for a few minutes, assuming you see nothing wrong with injecting purified annelid into yourself. I have ambivalent feelings about this thing. Part of me wants to feel the annelid tissue interact with mine again, but it also terrifies and disgusts me. I no longer know what to think. Which voice is the crazy one? Do I have any rationality left?
64th entry: The voices are back! Marvellous. I was almost starting to miss them. “We are many, and you are one,” they said. I don’t even really have a response, because that is just a fact. Also, Xerxes is a bastard! I was exploring some rooms, and noticed that some doors were behind security lockdown. I figured there might be a console further into the room to undo the lockdown, but Xerxes did it as soon as I got past, and there was a bloody big spider in there! The ruddy thing jumped out and bit me! While I was able to seal up the wound pretty fast, it was also highly toxic. I had spend some of my precious few anti-toxin hypos, because there is something about these annelid toxins that my body just doesn’t seem able to get rid of. Maybe I can ask SHODAN for an upgrade!
65th entry: Chasing around these cyborgs will be the end of me. I swear it. It started with me running into another cyborg ninja thing, only this one was blue instead of red. And then I found a second red one! It started running away, which was an odd response considering everything I’ve met so far has tried to murder me horribly. I ran after it and straight into another blue ninja, and two of those grenade-throwing Hybrids. Even set off an alarm which brought even more of them. It was quite hairy there for a moment. The power armour is the only reason I pulled through. I employed one of the advanced medical kits I’d found to get me back on my feet after the adrenaline wore off. At least I now have the simulation chip that fits the Sim unit I passed earlier. As soon as I get my breath back I’m heading over there.
66th entry: I installed the Quantum Simulation Chip, and for my trouble the Many sent another spider after me. I was prepared this time though, and buried the sharp spikes of my crystal branch deep into its skull. SHODAN is pleased. Called me “an exemplary specimen of a pathetic species”. I think that’s a compliment? The Many are annoyed I believe, for the voices spoke up again and said that once my “kind” are gone, they’ll wipe the memory of individuality from their collective mind. Maybe that was a form of compliment as well? I wish there was a single being on this ship that spoke in clear sentences. At least Xerxes has shut up for a while. Between me, SHODAN and the voices, there is more than enough crazy going around without another berserk AI adding to the mix.
That was quite the exciting and tense episode. I honestly didn’t see cyborg ninjas as being the next addition to enemy roster. Still wary of one of those flesh giants showing up. Hopefully next time we’ll get the final two Sim units and be done with this deck.
Posted on January 5, 2013, in Games, Retrospective, Thoughts and tagged blind, Chapter 6, FPS, impressions, log, PC, RPG, serial, System Shock 2, The Von Braun Incident, videogames. Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.