The Von Braun Incident: Chapter 13 – Rumble in the Metal Jungle
I will be somewhat busy in the following days, so I figured I’d just complete chapter 13 a bit early. I hope you won’t mind.
You know, I probably died more times making this chapter than I have total over the rest of the game. Breaching and securing the Rickenbacker bridge was more than a little challenging. And since there aren’t any revival chambers on the bridge, at least that I could find, that meant a lot of reloading and trying over. Maybe more hectic than tense, but since we’re at what I assume is the endgame, I guess it’s okay to get a little climactic.
The reveal of just how large the Many have become wasn’t entirely unexpected, but it was still rather special to behold. It does remind me again of Dead Space though, as the Necromorphs also have a tendency to form large flesh-masses that cause problems to spaceships. While Dead Space never billed itself as a spiritual successor to System Shock 2 as far as I heard, it definitely feels like that was what they intended. The parallels are too many to be simple coincidence.
132nd entry: Okay, hopefully one of these buttons will do something helpful. Let’s start on the left. Uh… huh… it turns out all four buttons just raise the torpedoes, so I have now raised all four. I can use them as platforms to get higher up, though I am unsure whether climbing on torpedoes is wise. I don’t really have much of a choice though. Since this might be my last log… why I am even making these, it’s not like anyone will ever hear them.
133rd entry: I got up safely, and murdered an assassin droid up here, but now the windows are breaking because something is pushing in on them, and… it looks like flesh. Could it be the main body of the Many? That’s what I suspect, and really hope it isn’t. It’s glistening. It seems to be too big for this rocket turret I reprogrammed to even register. Do these windows normally exit into space? Have the Many wrapped around the Rickenbacker? How do I kill something that big?
134th entry: I came across a trio of regular old hybrids up by the torpedo launchers. I quickly bashed them, but I can’t help but wonder why they were even here. A last desperate line of defence? Had they merely escaped from the Von Braun? I also came across some leaking torpedoes, that I had to launch out of the ship. I tried to brave the radiation with my hazard suit, but it was too much. Only a quick retreat and some anti-radiation hypos saved me. I am worried that I might have just launched something I shouldn’t have along with the torpedoes, so I hope they explode somewhere out there. If I sent some worms off to live another day… that wouldn’t be good.
135th entry: I found the final egg. Its song was a lonely one. Now it sings no more. SHODAN seemed unusually pleased. Yes, she still called me insect, and told me to hurry to the bridge, but as she transferred the latest batch of cyber modules, she said she was enjoying my transformation into her “image”. “Maybe there is hope for you yet” she claimed. The implications of that terrify me to my very soul. Is she just talking madness again, or am I slowly turning into her? Am I truly her rightful avatar? Will I end up terrorising the dreams and lives of the entire human species?
136th entry: I am officially in pod 2. Gravity here is as wonky as expected. The voices are not pleased. They say I was warned, and I can’t really dispute that. The connection was a little fuzzy, so I didn’t quite get what they were saying at the end. I was to prepare to be cut down, by the progeny of their… joy? Joining? Could that be right? Hang on, I have to deal with this turret.
137th entry: So that’s how it was. After Bayliss brought SHODAN to Polito, she attempted to make the doctor her avatar, but she refused. So I was ‘chosen’. By what criteria, I cannot imagine. But she had a robotic servant knock me out, and then she administered my upgrades. Even going so far as to complete them in cyberspace. My flesh is still weak, she claims. I don’t know how much flesh I have left. Am I still human? At all? Does it really matter whether I am or not? She tells me that once her “wayward children” are dealt with, we can discuss a real alliance. Discuss all you want, I am just looking for my window.
138th entry: I examined the on-board chapel, and found Polito’s last log, saying she couldn’t stand to watch the consequences of having awakened SHODAN. As for why the chapel now contained several cyborg assassins, I can’t say. But shortly after I found a curious armour suit seemingly made of annelid tissue. After running the research routine on it, I have determined I’d rather not wear it. It seems to be still alive, and might well attempt to eat me if I put it on. A strong psionic could probably control it, but I am lacking in such skills. I’ll find some fiery pit to drop it into.
139th entry: By all that is holy, the spiders have have grown transparent, or there’s some kind of stealth field on them. I can hear them, slithering and chittering, but I can only barely see them, if I strain my eyes. NO! STAY BACK! [a trio of gunshots is heard] I can’t talk anymore… have to find the spiders…
140th entry: I found Diego… he had already been put out of his misery. He… he had had the presence of mind to order the auto-doc to cut the annelid worms right out of his body. It ended up killing him, but not before he could record his final words. I found the passkey to his quarters, where he said there was something that could help me. Even as he added that the only one I can trust is myself. I am not sure if that is necessarily true, as I wouldn’t trust myself right now. Nor him. His quarters could be a trap. Full of transparent spiders…
141st entry: Assaulting the bridge was brutal. But I found something… huge, in Diego’s quarters. Definitely an annelid-based weapon, but my research software is not up to snuff to figure out what it is, and I don’t have enough modules to fix that. Chances are that even if I had, I then wouldn’t have had the cyber modules needed to augment myself to safely wield it. Regardless, SHODAN has a plan. I don’t like it. The Many have indeed become some sort of giant mass, as I suspected. They are holding onto both the Von Braun and the Rickenbacker, meaning that they can’t separate. So my dear “ally” says I should use the bridge escape pod to launch myself into the heart of the mass and cut it out. The heart, that is. There are not many plans that could be worse than this. I honestly do not feel ready, in the least. My grenade launcher is empty because of all the Rumblers I found here. The huge alien weapon I can’t use. The Viral Proliferator is unsafe and possibly useless. My energy weapons are pointless. And I am running out of anti-personnel bullets for my pistol. Why does it always have to be me?
Next time we’ll have some boss-fights, I guess. Possibly the final chapter? This should be interesting. Maybe I’ll get it done a wee bit early…