Broadhead Journal #9: "Seriously, we’re not done yet? Now I’ve got to go activate the whole shield system because there’s a control center at the Vertex in the same star system as the Assassin’s watchtower. If the Heechee had just activated the thing in the first place, this wouldn’t have been necessary."
I'm almost ready to trigger the fourth shield generator, but I still need an actuator cell to fix the controls if I don't want to dig up the one buried by the trailhead.
Getting the actuator cell out of the wreckage is a rather delicate operation, involving multiple tools and quite a lot of technobabble. I'd poked around earlier and saw that the actuator panel looked relatively intact, but was secured with grommets that I couldn't remove. I examined everything again and this time saw that the maintenance crib could be opened, so I did that and found a flange defuser and a grommet wrench. Now I should be able to do this.
|Technobabble for Heechee technology.|
The next step is the trickiest. I don't know if there's a hint somewhere in the game about which way is correct, but I have to use the clips from the actuator discharger on the actuator plug to defuse the core before I pick it up. There are two clips, gray and blue, and two anodes on the plug, "pyramid" and "tetrahedron". Connecting the gray clip to the pyramid anode or the blue clip to the tetrahedron anode sets off the core like a bomb. There's no way to get out of range fast enough. Oops.
So the right way is to connect the blue clip to the pyramid anode and the gray clip to the tetrahedron anode. I'm guessing it's like a strong capacitor. Anyway, with the core discharged, I can pull it out of the cylinder with the calipers and take the cell out .
|Successfully moving the pet out of the way.|
After that, it's straightforward to put the pieces in place and activate the shield. Points for the individual actions: inserting the lens , inserting the lens cover , replacing the actuator cell , pressing the activation button . The activation itself is exactly the same as the other three.
|Rolf's final summary of my actions.|
Rolf follows me back to the ship, and when I return to the station, as expected, I get the $5 million bonus for the shield activation, plus the $1 million bonus for returning him . Now we start Part 3: Endgame. You didn't think it was going to be that easy, did you? There's one more slot for a location code in the ship's display, after all...
|Worden's clue about the next step.|
He doesn't know the code or the location of that component, but he thinks it's on Gateway somewhere. All he knows is that the Savant, the Heechee computer that gave the original warning about the Assassins, showed him a diagram with four circles arranged around a rectangle that disappears to reveal a silver sphere. Where have we seen a diagram like that before?
|The silver sphere, right where it's supposed to be.|
I take the sphere back to Worden in the meeting room. Of course it's the right thing. They take it and shortly return with the course code and add it to my badge . Since I did all the other pieces, they want me to do the final mission as well, but before I go, they require me to complete a psych evaluation in the VR lab.
|Ever had a psychologist ask you to step on your own hand?|
|Attacking the demon is too obvious.|
Somehow I can still jump across the crack when it's nine feet wide. Eventually, the demon is frantic to escape itself and no longer paying much attention to me. I can't reach the bar of the door directly, and I can't stand on the demon. If I untie the rope at any time, the program automatically ends.
|Cooperation is clearly the solution.|
|The complete list of destinations in the game.|
|I bet my hair is standing on end from the static.|
The globe is attached to the compartment, but the ring is actually a collar like the VR collar I just used. When I wear the collar , the globe starts throwing off staticky sparks. I touch the globe , which triggers a cut-scene conversation with an AI in the satellite's system. Nevermind that it's a Heechee system and the AI should have been unintelligible. Handwave that the AI is sending meaning directly to the user's brain, perhaps.
|The Heechee AI reveals the enemy AI.|
|Traveling to the Watchtower.|
A woman appears at the doorway, cheerfully escorts me inside, and confiscates the collar and my gun. She explains that everyone in the party is a prospector who stumbled on the coordinates accidentally and is now being held here by the Heechee for some reason in total comfort. She hands me a credit card for use at the party's entertainment booths and walks away again.
|The mysterious woman tries to distract me...|
Third, why are all the visible people beautiful women? The majority of prospectors we've met have been men, as you'd probably expect for a dangerous and solo occupation like interstellar prospecting. And especially if many have been here for a number of years - the description says the clothing represents a cross-section of generations of prospectors. Very few would be young and beautiful any more.
|Cue Admiral Ackbar.|
The party has three different games: ball throw, guess your weight, and wheel of fortune (roulette), and they're all rigged so that you win. There's also a poker game, but it's high stakes and doesn't let me in. Other than buying into the games, the only other thing to spend money on is drinks at the bar. But I can't get anyone drunk (even me) and I can't multiply drinks like at the beach, so that's not useful.
|Implied adult content, for those that are curious.|
|Guess Your Weight!|
|Ball Throw with magic balls.|
|Trying to lose at Wheel of Fortune.|
|GameBot: electronic mind blown.|
|If you attach the clips to the actuator backward… (#15)|
Status: Orion Program (green badge)
Shield Generators: 4 of 4
Session Time: 1.5 hours
Total Time: 12 hours 0 minutes
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