The Von Braun Incident: Chapter 8 – Christmas shopping is important

Chapter 7

Chapter 9

I’ve been in a bit of a rut this week because my brain is acting up, but I still managed to get another of these done. It feels like I’m getting close to the end, so it’s spurring me on.


So I started playing Age of Empires Online yesterday, and this was far from a pain-free procedure. See, this game uses Games For Windows Live, which is a horrible service. It must have taken me close to half an hour just to log in. Let me describe the proceedings.

I tried to log in, and after a short pause it asked me for a product key. Keep in mind this is a free-to-play MMO-RTS, so I had no product key. I cancel out and try logging in again: Same response.

So I quit the game and check the menu on my Steam library. Anything about a key? No? So I start the game up again, attempt to log in once more, get the product key prompt and attempt to click the “Get Key” button. This brings up a thing that wants me to log in, then tells me there’s something wrong with my login info, and trying to get help for that brings me to a site on their XBox page that no longer exists. Wonderful.

I think that maybe I just have the wrong password. Maybe I need to change my password? I am not even 100% sure all my Hotmail and XBox/Windows Live accounts are truly linked, but we’ll try. So I use the “Forgot Password” feature on, and change it. Though the first time I apparently tried changing it to something it’s been before, which wasn’t allowed. So I think up a new one, but I still can’t log in to the game or the WinLive helper thingy that popped up.

After I wait a little and try again it suddenly works, but then it says it has to download my profile. I don’t know why this is necessary, but this takes another minute or two to finish before I can finally start up the game. The wonders of Microsoft technology.


78th entry: I sit here pondering this implant I found down in Operations. It contains a weird mix of annelid and human blood, and it seems like it allows for me to trick annelid tissue into believing I’m one of them so it would aid me rather than hinder me. Take those piles of immature worms I’ve found here and there. So long as I have the implant installed and powered, they will repair my injuries rather than sting me. I have tested it out and it truly works. It’s worrying, though… if I keep using it, will I slowly turn into a kind of Hybrid myself? While it is handy, I do not like the implications of it. How much of my flesh is still human? I honestly can’t see a difference between what the annelid tissue has repaired and not. Which worries me even further.

79th entry: It is with heavy heart that I can confirm Murdoch’s death. At least she hadn’t been turned, which is a small mercy. I have seen so many dead, and yet when I know their name it’s somehow worse. I also thought… I guess it doesn’t matter what I thought any longer. That leaves only Cortez. It has been over half an hour since I saw him though, so who knows whether he’s still alive. It has also occurred to me that I need better munitions to deal with these big droids. The laser pistols just aren’t cutting it. I know I saw a grenade launcher on deck 3.

80th entry: I am fully aware that SHODAN has been lying to me. Her talk of a new kind of hybrid forged from the bodies of the dead had little, if anything, to do with my reprogramming of the Simulation units. I am certain of that. It is still highly possible that the Many are undertaking such a project, of course. I would not expect their obsession with flesh to only stretch to the living. Ah yes, here is the grenade launcher. If I fit this thing with EMP grenades and install some rig upgrades to lessen the recoil, I should be able to deal more effectively with the military droids.

81st entry: Progress is slow. The dining area was protected by a droid marked with MP, which I assume means military police. What it was even doing there, or how exactly it had gotten in there, I do not know. I can confirm that my theory about the grenade launcher proved to be absolutely correct. I only have so many grenades though, so if there are more than 2 or 3 of those left, I’ll need a different plan. I also found the chemical storage room on this deck, which actually had a couple of security crates inside. One of them contained beakers filled with annelid worms, that the computer says can be used as ammunition in annelid-based weaponry. I am sceptical of such a claim, but I have secured them and taken them with me. So long as I have the implant, they should in theory not attempt to attack me, although I’ve noticed the implant does not fool the mature worms.

82nd entry: The voices threaten, telling me to stay away from their ‘children’, or they’ll harm me like I’ve harmed them. I am guessing they have another nest nearby. I did come across another cyborg midwife. The eerie silence of this place might be getting under my skin. I discovered another piece of the code. I’m not sure how many there are. Hopefully it’s a standard five-digit, and I only need the final two. Am I too late to rescue you, Cortez? Apparently Xerxes launched all the escape pods save one that was busted and later repaired by Siddons. She was going to take Suarez with her. I wonder if either of them made it there?

83rd entry: More bloody ghosts. They make my hair stand on end. As I walked into the bar the piano started auto-playing, and two cyborgs came rushing in behind me. Nearly killed me too, but their electronics didn’t respond well to the crystal branch. I was highly tempted to down a bottle or two after things had calmed down again, but I really can’t risk any dulling of my senses or wits right now. I put it all into the recycler before I changed my mind. Oh. And there’s a guy missing his head in the dance room.

84th entry: These gardens are seriously creeping me out. The grass, the plants, the music. I am tempted to plug my ears, but I need to keep them sharp to hear for threats. Or the annelid song. The crystal branch always gives off a slight hum, reminding me what to be on the lookout for. It seems that Suarez did indeed make it up here. I think Siddons did too, but the last message from her made it seem like she was about to die. Logs from Cortez talk about a device that could infect the annelids with a virus. Unfortunately the device is also able to kill humans if used wrong. So they’ve lost it. He also said he doesn’t trust the dead. I must concur.

85th entry: The maintenance hallways underneath the gardens did not contain the device, but the annelids were there in force. The Many were clearly going to use the bodies for something, but either they hadn’t started yet, or there were more bodies here before. I like to think it’s the former. I did find a keycard down there, which should allow me better reign around here. Maybe even get me in to where Cortez is. SHODAN seems surprised at my continued success. I have not, as of yet, found the transmitter though. I don’t have the full code for it yet either, so I suppose it’s not a big deal, but I would like to be aware of where it is.

86th entry: So get this. I enter the mall, and Xerxes starts talking about Christmas shopping! It has well and truly lost it. Besides, the only shoppers I found were military grade droids. Well, and one servant droid looking at maid droids. I am out of EMP grenades now. This could get ugly. Unfortunately most of the replicators around here are fried beyond repair, so chances of finding one that can do EMP grenades are reduced. On the upside I found another part of the code, but it was only one digit, so I assume I need yet another. Curse this whole ship, I wish I could just escape.

87th entry: I hate it when I’m right. I found Siddons. She had killed one of the spiders, but the blasted thing had bit her, and she had no anti-toxin hypos. At least that’s what her last log said. It seems I can’t save anyone. The voices were telling me that as well. Along with the creepy laughter I keep hearing in here, I am seriously on edge! Korenchkin and the captain have the ship on a course for Earth. I think all I can do now is warn Earth, and then try to make sure the Von Braun never gets there. Why does it all have to be up to me? I thank Cortez, Murdoch, Yang and Suarez for at least setting up the transmitter. I have to turn it on, even if it costs me my life.

88th entry: Thank you Rosenberg! I’ve been finding his logs all over the mall. The last one was in the ‘Sensual Simulation Units’ area, and it told me where to find the special device that could infect the annelids. The bastard had taken it from Taylor after he became deathly ill from mishandling the thing. Rosenberg locked it up along with some emergency goodies in the crew quarters, and considering I found his smoking corpse on the second floor of the mall, I guess he won’t complain if I help myself. Now, I have managed to find some food, and I should be able to lock one of love suites so I’ll be able to eat in peace. Surely I can be afforded a five-minute break?


Next time: Maybe we find the transmitter and the mystery weapon device?

Chapter 7



Posted on January 20, 2013, in Games, Retrospective, Thoughts and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. One of the better weapons for dealing with robots is the dual-circuit EMP rifle. There is one on the Hydroponics level, One on Med/Sci and three on the Recreation Deck. They are charged by rechargers, but they need a high skill level to use.

    The nasty trap in the bar and the two Ninjas is one of my favourite set pieces in the game. It’s a masterful example of player redirection, and the ghosting ends suddenly with a repeated couple of echoing notes as you come under attack, so you get a nasty shock as you go from watching some lonely person singing along to the piano. You might get an inkling if you’ve searched the area before the ghost event plays.

    The garden is also one of my favourite areas. You can imagine how idyllic it would be with some Japanese zen music playing and the lighting giving the impression of a warm day. With the PA system and the lighting broken, it’s turned into something anything other than relaxing. Its also the only place on the ship with soil, so just like the gardens in the Mall in Dawn of the Dead, it has been the only place where you can dispose of corpses. And it also makes a great place for a trap, as you saw.

    The mall is also a great place that has turned into something most unpleasant. I don’t know whether you saw the cinema, but the big joke there is the vending machine has prices that are ridiculously expensive, and the cinema is filled with eggs watching the feature. The film that is showing is something involving flesh eating brain-parasites from the poster, so it’s scarily apt 🙂

    I think that in the last entry, you meant “Suites” rather than “Suits” as the latter is one you wear. If you can find the right log, you might find something out to your advantage about the Love Suites..

    Anyway, keep’re doing great. You’re quite a way from the end (yet), but you’re only one deck away from finishing exploring the Von Braun..and finding out what happened to the rest of the crew..

    • I did indeed stumble upon the cinema, though I missed the posters. The screen inside just kept flickering the “4 3 2 1” countdown over and over.

      And yeah, I figured that out last night about only one deck left. I thought I was on the last, but then I figured “Oh… there’s also the Rickenbacker”.

  1. Pingback: The Von Braun Incident: Chapter 7 « Wulf Space

  2. Pingback: The Von Braun Incident: Chapter 9 – Basketball is not for weaklings « Wulf Space

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