Dead Man’s Switch

This is part of my playthrough of Shadowrun Returns. The entire series can be found on the Ongoing Series page.

When we left off, my group was heading to the Universal Brotherhood to find Jessica Watts, who very openly admitted to hiring Dr. Holmes, a.k.a. The Ripper. Her motivations were still relatively unclear and/or untrue, but we were bound to find out with a confrontation. Heading towards the Brotherhood, we came across a concert stage that was being set up, with an apparently popular singer performing that evening. I didn’t think much of this, but turns out it would be handy information.


There was a “dealer” nearby that sold me some performance enhancing supplements, what a nice guy. Heading towards the entrance, the same greeter I had seen in a previous part of the game was present. He answered some of my questions, but some he would not. He did confirm that Jessica and her Elf friend had gone inside. So I would do the same.  Unfortunately I was only allowed to go inside alone. Coyote said that she would lead the group around to a back alley and see if she could find another way in.


The lady at the front desk was just about as uninformative as the guy outside. She was dealing with someone who had lost a keycard, and gave out a new one, so I knew it might be a good idea to get one myself. Asking didn’t get me one, but she did end up being a huge fan of the person that performing in the concert outside. She ended up going out to get an autograph and I was free to pilfer a key card. It was blank though, so I needed to figure out what to do with it. The complex was rather large and there were many people to talk to. I’m sure there’s multiple ways I could have gotten into the Inner Sanctum, but I ended up using the blank keycard on a computer console and entering various bits of info repeatedly til I found the right combination that would allow me to print the card. Once inside the inner corridors, I had to find a uniform to keep from having any issues.


I found a couple uniforms before finding one that would actually fit my Ork frame. I guess I am a little tubby. Once I was dressed the part, I found the kitchen, and a back entry where I could let my friends in. I did have to subdue the cook before hand, yet in the picture you’ll see he commented on what we were doing, despite being chloroformed. Oh, inconsistency.



Having a Brotherhood uniform on seemed to be what I would need to pass by further security, but I was only half-right. My buds weren’t dressed the part, and the automated security attempted to stay my entry, but I managed to impart some wisdom onto said machine. Soon, we were passing one bit of security for another.


Just past this door we were confronted with numerous bits of security. A woman who was being held behind bars also screamed for help, and I’m rather partial to helping damsels in distress.


Her name was Marie-Louise, and apparently she had joined the Brotherhood because she was having a fight with her parents. After I let her out of her cage, Jessica appears and starts babbling about the future queen and other stuff that really didn’t make much sense at that point in time. Marie-Louise was adamant that she was being held against her will. I tend to side against creeps who kill their own siblings, but of course that meant more fighting. What we were going to be fighting was beyond what I would have guessed though. These guys started busting through the walls:


Part Bug, part Meta-Human. Rather creepy. Hard to kill too. Once their physical bodies had been killed, spirits of the bugs would appear. These were immune to our attacks. At this point Marie-Louise admits that she had been trying to hack one of the computers nearby and had been caught, which is why she was inside the cage. She said that she should be able to jack-in and open the door locks, we just had to cover her. Covering her meant killing the bugs over and over.


So we did. After a short while the spirits would reform their bodies and we’d kill them again. Healing in between when needed. On M-L’s side, she encountered some programs that needed dealt with, and then the door lock node. During her trip, a strange man showed up and talked to her.


Baron Samedi was his name. He would come to play a larger role later on. For now, we still had to escape the compound. Once outside, Marie-Louise didn’t give us much information to work with. She basically said thanks, declined to talk more, and ran off. Mine is a thankless job. At this point, I returned to the Union to see what information I had gathered could do for us. When I got back, Cherry told me that I needed to go see Johnny Clean right away.


Johnny tells me that Samedi has been causing a ruckus on the net, trying to find me. He said that I’d need to meet him in cyberspace though, as Samedi refuses to do any running or face-meeting. Time for more piggybacking.


Samedi has been digging around in cyberspace, and knows what the bugs are. They are some interdimensional race of creatures that need a Shaman to call them to this world. They exist on their plane of existence as well as ours (at the same time) as long as they have a host body here. He says that Telestrian Industries has been working on something called Project Aegis, and that he believes it is a weapon used to kill these bugs. There’s a lot more hyperbole here, but in the end it is said that I need to assault Telestrian Industries. Corporations are nearly invincible in this world, so this would be no small feat.


This bit ended up being one of the longest combat sequences in the game. Johnny Clean had recommended that I bring a Decker for this mission, and named his associate Dodger the best in the business. I took that advice and brought him along. I won’t bore you with countless screenshots of combat, but let’s just say that there was a lot of it. We were fighting in the real world against waves of security, and Dodger was jacking-in to gain control of the elevators and door locks, as we cleared floor by floor. Eventually we found the main man’s office where the sample of Aegis was supposed to be located. Samedi had been following us virtually all along, and this was the one snag he hadn’t accounted for: a security lock on the door that wasn’t part of the network. So at this point he tells me that the best thing to do is stay the night in the building, but to let my team leave. I’m skeptical, but I ended up trusting in the plan. Finding a storage room, I wait until the next day.


Samedi tells me that I’m now a new employee of the corporation. I’m to don a janitor’s uniform and report to a supervisor. The plan is to plant some evidence around the building, and then report that I found this evidence, which will get me into Eric Silverstar’s office, at which point I can steal the Aegis sample. Sounds good. So I set about having to clear people out of rooms so I can plant the chips on various terminals. Afterwards I approach one of the guards and let him know what I found. He radios Silverstar, who in turn demands I report to his office. The plan worked after all.


Face to face with the enemy. He tells me that I’m a bad ass, and then tells me to write down a report. He’s going to head to the location to check on what’s going on. After he leaves, I’m able to figure out his coding system, the three values of the corporation are titled paintings on the wall. If you’d been paying attention, you’d know what to do at this point, because there’s already been talk of wall safes and fine art being delivered to his office, along with those core values being mentioned several times. Pushing in the corresponding pieces of art opened his back store room. One more test pops up though. His safe is DNA coded, but thankfully he’s left a half smoked cigar in his office, allowing me to use that to open the safe. Aegis sample in hand, I rush to the executive elevator and get the hell out of dodge.


Right into the waiting arms of McKlusky. That bastard has been on the corporate payroll the entire time (this had only been revealed inside the corporate building), but I still knew I didn’t like him from the get-go. He says that Telestrian himself wants to speak to me, and he’s gonna take me there. Great.


Telestrian is an Elf, and you can tell their family is indeed VERY rich. He’s well spoken and pompous, and he gets to the bottom of things rather quickly. He feels I owe him for all that I had done to his precious corporation, but it turns out that I had already done him a solid without even knowing it. Marie-Louise busts in the room, and instantly identifies me as her rescuer. Talk about impeccable timing for a get-out-of-jail-free card. He commands me to enter his library.


Here is a gathering of people both strange and familiar. They reveal that the existence of these bugs predates any of them.  They also know that the Aegis project had been shut down, and is wholly untested against the bugs. A queen is close to being spawned by the Universal Brotherhood, and if they are successful the whole of meta-humanity will be consumed. Who better to test out the stuff than me? They equip me with an Aegis launcher, send along a couple of their own mercs equipped with the guns, and send us on our way.

Using the same side entrance we had used before to escape, we re-enter the Brotherhood’s compound, this time going even deeper.


It’s hard to determine which had more fighting, the corporate building or this stretch, but it was pretty close. We fought Brotherhood security and bugs to boot. After the first encounter with bugs we figured out that the Aegis weapons were effective. Kill the normal bodies with guns and magic, use the special blasters on the spirits. That deads em real good. Soon we were entering parts unknown, huge caverns that were obviously not made by the humans, but by bugs. They were everywhere.


Soon enough though, we were standing face to face with Jessica and her Elven friend who had been following her around previously. She doesn’t even seem like herself anymore, though that could be an improvement. She is pissed that we stole her queen candidate, but is willing to sacrifice herself to be the queen. She is the Bug Shaman!


This last fight was a total bitch. My first couple attempts saw me trying to follow the script, taking out bug tower things that she was drawing power from, and killing the bugs that would spawn every turn or so. I died a couple times attempting this, and then figured out that I could just focus fire her. This went a little better but I got screwed at least one more time before I actually completed the task. After she was done for, she runs away and I’m left to deal with the remaining bugs. Then I follow after her deeper into the caves.


She is more herself now, and is starting to realize what she has done. A couple of bugs bust in, and are readying themselves to kill her. I was presented with the choice of letting them eat her, shooting her before they eat her, or bringing her out with me. Call me a sadist, but I let her get eaten, and didn’t shoot her. Why? Cause fuck that evil bitch, that’s why.

Soon enough I had re-emerged among the living, and Telestrian tanked me for my efforts. I managed to get McKlusky fired and get a head of security job for myself as well. I spoke with McKlusky, and finally got my chance to lay him out.


That felt great. Dresden was nearby and after a little chat he told me he had a secure line I could use to call Sam’s lawyer, who was supposed to pay me now that the job was done. He answered the call, and then proceeded to play more of the recording he had shown me way back in the beginning.


I should have known. That bastard! He didn’t even have anything to pay me with anyway. All of these hoops, all these deaths, all the mystery and intrigue I experienced were all supposed to come with a payday. Figures.

And that concludes my playthrough of Dead Man’s Switch. Stay tuned, I’ll be playing through the Dragonfall expansion next!

#shadowrunreturns #crpg #playthrough #deadmansswitch