The Von Braun Incident: Chapter 15 – Finale

Chapter 14

Chapter Index

Yes, this is indeed the final chapter. The saga has ended.

You are no longer welcome.

Now that it’s all over I am not quite sure what to think. I’ll offer some thoughts after the end.

——————–

156th entry: After making my way through a nest of spiders, I came upon what the voices are calling their ‘womb’. They say I haven’t seen their greatest creation yet, and this is absolutely true. I’m not sure I want to see it, either. These things on the wall are making me nervous. They have large orifices, almost like… like they’re some sort of birthing canals. Maybe that’s just my imagination running wild since they called it a ‘womb’. There is a tunnel leading further in, but I think I’ll prefer backtracking and checking out that other passage I saw back there. This place creeps me out way too much for the moment. I’m also considering that I might need to backtrack all the way to the vending machine. Past the grinding. We will see…

157th entry: Crap. There was a hole. I could see a large pond at the bottom, so I figured it would be safe to jump, but I could see no way back up. So I went back to the ‘womb’ to investigate that further, and it was a literal dead end. I found some equipment, but that was it. So I went back to the hole, and seeing no other option, I jumped. There are a ton of Reavers and Rumblers down here. I am so completely screwed it’s not the least bit funny. I am tempted to stay in this pond until my body dissolves and becomes nutrients for the biomass. There are several other bodies in here to keep my company. I named that one Steve. That’s Susan over there. And all the way down we have Chad. He’s a bit of jackass.

158th entry: I made a small raid out of the safety of my pond, and found Prefontaine’s final log. I think… I think I just listened to him being eaten. The sounds… his description… they all came together to form one big terrible mess. I need to get out of here. I’ve set the viral proliferator to annelid, which should hopefully deal with the Reavers. And there were some anti-personnel bullets on Steve and Susan that should help me. Chad only had prisms of course. I can’t use those, jackass! Anyways, bye guys. I gotta run.

159th entry: I have to talk a little louder than normal! See, I am being chased by a lot of Rumblers, but my agility upgrades let me keep ahead of them! I found the heart! I think! It was guarded by three Reavers, one of whom was really big! I smashed all the brains! Then I took them out! Then I tried to hit the heart with the- oof- the viral pro-thingy! Hey, watch it! But there were these three crystals floating around it, right? So I hastily loaded some bullets into my pistol and sniped them! Keep it down back there! I am trying to talk here! And then I just sent a couple of pure anti-annelid blasts into the centre mass, and BOOM! It was glorious! The voices said I did a bad thing! So I’m fairly certain I did the right thing! Okay, I am sick of this! Let’s just snag this brain stem from the large Reaver, and jump into the hole left by- [splash]

160th entry: I am back! Somehow! The Many are dead. Or dying. Their final words to me were to beware SHODAN. Like I didn’t know that already. In fact, she graciously revealed her plan to me as soon as I came back onto the bridge. The Many seem to have absorbed part of the walls here. Anyway! She is not destroying the Von Braun, disappointingly enough. She intends to use the faster-than-light drive to… change reality, was that what she said? Can this thing even do that? I don’t know. Apparently I won’t live to find out. That’s all well and good, but lady… neither will you. Maybe I should have taken Chad along. He could have been bait.

161st entry: Clever Delacroix. She has left little messages for me in SHODAN’s data loop. I didn’t even know you could do that. The bridge looks quite different from what I remember. According to Marie, it’s because of the FTL drive’s warp capacity. SHODAN’s reconfiguring it to suit her needs, so I am literally in her world now. I have no idea what to expect, but I have my EMP rifle on maximum charge, and anti-armour rounds in my pistol. Whatever sort of robotic or electronic chicanery she’s gonna throw my way… I’ll just have to deal with it. I’m coming for you SHODAN. Let us die together.

162nd entry: This is her… memories? Does that mean… this is supposed to be Citadel Station? It certainly does not resemble the Von Braun in any way. And there are of course a bunch of virtual horrors in my way. I do not like this one bit. If I am inside SHODAN’s memories… am I also inside her, in a way? Ugh, just the thought… maybe I can destroy her from the inside. Before this effect reaches all the way to the rest of human civilisation.

163rd entry: This place is full of virtual assassin droids. Is that really her best shot? Somehow I doubt it. And what is up with all these geometric shapes flying about the place? What do they want? Are they SHODAN’s thought processes? I’d prefer not touching them, no matter what they are. Strangely enough I am finding useful items around here, and I can’t help but wonder why. Just errant parts of her memory? Because I can’t believe she’d willingly help me in any way. … perhaps there’s still a part of her that wants to be destroyed?

164th entry: As I think more on it, it is possible that it’s Marie’s influence that has left me with these gifts. Whatever the case, I am apparently close to SHODAN’s ‘seat of power’. Let’s see how she likes my EMP rifle. On a side-note, those geometric shapes are mostly harmless, with one exception. That one stings like a right bastard.

165th entry: I have done it. SHODAN is defeated. At least for now. It was… a tough battle. But Marie’s little additions helped a great deal. I was able to disable the shield around her core and blast her with the EMP rifle. She offered me such wonders at the end. She would make me a god. I would be her friend… I could use a friend… I had to refuse though. I can’t trust her. I can’t risk the end of humanity, no matter what it could give me. I can’t trust me… The world appears to have returned to normal around me. I am back on the bridge. Marie would be proud of me, I’m sure. I don’t… I don’t know what to do now… The Many are dead, SHODAN is gone… there’s just me left. Tommy and Rebecca are out in an escape pod somewhere. Not sure if they are still alive. Regardless, I have complete control now. I could attempt to hunt them down, or lure them back, but the risk is too great. I can’t live. It’s too dangerous. What if my mind goes as well? No, this is my final log. Should this by some chance not be destroyed after what I am about to do, and someone finds it… know that this was the only way. Soldier G65434-2 signing off, for the last time.

——————–

So that was the conclusion to System Shock 2. It was certainly one hell of a ride. During this final part the game literally had me paralysed with fear for a short while. I didn’t want to proceed any further. It passed, but even so, quite the achievement. I feel like I should do a post-mortem on this, but not right now. It’s late, and I’m tired. Maybe SHODAN will get me in my dreams.

Chapter 14

Chapter Index

~Wulf

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Posted on March 4, 2013, in Games, Retrospective, Thoughts and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. Congratulations for making it to the end! 🙂 The fight with The Many at the end is the toughest bit of the game and the major problem is that there so many things to worry about at the same time. This is one of the advantages of co-op. One person can sit at the top of the stairs and fire at the stars and the body of the Many, whilst someone goes into the room to deal with the brains, Rumblers, Spiders and Cyborg Midwives..or rather acts as a meaty decoy to keep them away from the other player outside the room. As a single player game it’s quite difficult to keep moving around the room to avoid the chasing Rumblers whilst trying to aim at the stars. It took me a couple of hours on my first attempt because the frame rate on my old computer was impressively low.

    I liked the final level set on Citadel Station, and it’s a shame they didn’t got back and take the original System Shock I and port it to the revised 3D engine. It would have made it a lot more accessible.

    I did wonder whether a multiple ending scenario would work where you could either join the many by deliberately infesting yourself with a parasite and kill SHODAN. The Many would reach Earth on the Von Braun. (2) Kill The Many and join SHODAN – SHODAN would rewrite reality in her image..or destroy both and escape.

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