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Recap / Deus Ex Mankind Divided Mission 09 System Rift

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Mission 9:

System Rift

Adam is settling down to enjoy a beer while watching a baseball game in his apartment. During a climactic moment in the game, the screen glitches out and reveals... Frank Pritchard, who mockingly asks how Adam is doing.

Clearly annoyed by the situation, Adam asks what he wants. Pritchard tells him that Adam owes him for helping him escape Alaska, and says that he needs assistance investigating a company for a client. He admits that the contact who was overseeing the investigation is not responding to him anymore, and he tells Adam to follow-up with the informant, claiming that it will make them "even" if Adam follows through. After giving him the address of a meeting site at the local Zatopek bar, Adam hangs up on him in mid-sentence.

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Pritchard radios again and says that before Adam interrupted him, he was going to say that Zatopek is located in a very anti-aug district. Adam takes a subway car over and encounters several armed women who refuse to give him access to the bar. Adam knocks them out and continues inside, where the bartender directs him to the basement with a look of disgust.

As Eliza Cassan delivers a news report about a Space Base that is being expanded on the Moon, Adam finds the informant — Slaw, a tense man who wonders how he got past the guards despite being an aug. Slaw tells him that he has no interest in going on a "heist" anymore and offers an apparently-useless "Palisade Security Pass-Port" to him, claiming that it was supposed to be a dual employee card and VPN key. Adam takes the device and calls Pritchard, who asks him to head to a nearby internet cafe.

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Upon arriving at the cafe, Pritchard appears via hologram and says that he is attempting to perform a Bank Robbery at the Palisade Blade, a massive multi-floor server farm located in Prague. He tells Adam that he's looking to retrieve confidential information from the Santeau Group on behalf of a client, as he's looking for a connection that they may have with the Illuminati, as well as information about the planned city of Ra'biah. After more questioning, Pritchard sheepishly admits that David Sarif is the client, but is keeping the matter a secret between himself and Sarif. He directs Adam to go to another hacker named "ShadowChild", who can reprogram the passport to get into the Blade and retrieve the information. Adam is swayed after hearing that it could get him closer to finding out the truth about the Illuminati.

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Pritchard directs Adam to the nearby Klimova apartment complex. When Adam gets there and finds the apartment where ShadowChild lives, he's surprised to find that the apartment is empty. Pritchard tells him that ShadowChild is showing up online in his system, and to check the apartment for any clues. Upon further investigation, Adam finds a hidden room behind a wall, but is quickly stopped in his tracks by a security system. ShadowChild disconnects from the system she was connected to by a headpiece, and congratulates him for being smarter than she thought. She is shocked when Adam shows her the Pass-Port, and says that she can't believe "NuclearSnake" (Pritchard's alias) is making a run for the Blade. She agrees to help and reprograms the security codes so he can access the Blade. She also tells him that she's part of a group called the "Rippers" which hack into secure servers to access secret information and leak it to the rest of the world.

Before leaving, ShadowChild reveals some more background about the Blade, and says the owner, Masaaki Oshiro, deals with competitors by making their deaths look like accidents. She also asks him to plant a figurine on the desk of the Blade's engineering project head on the third floor before he leaves, and warns him to be mindful of the Blade's security defenses.

As Adam gets to the Blade, he's stopped by a man named Niko Saridakis, who is loudly preaching about how the Palisade Blade founders cannot be trusted. Niko tells Adam that the company caused the death of his wife, Simona, and has been covering it up ever since. He tells him that the company claimed she was killed by a security system inside one of their server rooms, but they barred the police from investigating said servers and haven't changed their stories. Adam promises to look into the matter before continuing on.

Adam gets inside the Blade, sneaking past the front-door receptionist and a group of security cameras to a nearby elevator. Once inside, he uses the Pass-Port to gain access to the atrium. Pritchard calls to let him know that the servers are located at the top of the Blade's funicular, and that he doesn't know which server belongs to Santeau. He asks Adam to find the CEO's office and get the client registry before continuing on.

Eventually, Adam gets to the third-floor offices and sneaks past several guards and sentry bots. He finds the office of the Engineering Head and plants the figurine on the desk. ShadowChild calls and thanks him, then says there might be some interesting information on the head's computer. When Adam hacks into it, he discovers that Simona Saridakis' death wasn't an accident, but that someone manually turned the security system on and off in the server room where she died. He decides to look for more information to see if he can discover the full extent of what happened.

Adam continues on to the top floor and finds the executive suites. Upon accessing the computers of Oshiro and his wife, Ashani Talwar, he discovers that Palisade is buying and selling a number of shell companies to cover their tracks. He relays this information to Pritchard and says that he found where the Santeau server is. Pritchard tells him to hurry up, but Adam says that it's not all about the hacker's needs, and that he's going to get to the bottom of what Palisade is up to.

The nearby funicular lift transports Adam up to the server rooms, and he begins to hunt through each room. Inside Server Room 209, Adam finds a Pocket Secretary written by Simona, who says that she was going in to investigate a maintenance issue after being ordered to the server room by Oshiro.

Soon after, he finds Room 209 and plugs the Pass-Port into a terminal. A group of servers rise from the floor, and he radios Pritchard to ask what to do next. Pritchard accesses the server, but discovers that the files have been moved to a nearby workstation that belongs to Oshiro. He heads over to the private room and digs around some more, eventually discovering a Pocket Secretary with a voice message from Oshiro talking about how Stanton Dowd is blackmailing him because the latter knows about Simona's death, and that Simona found out about an insider trading ring Oshiro was running. Adam realizes that Simona uncovered Oshiro's secret, and he killed her for it.

Adam accesses the workstation and Pritchard radios back to say that he's been able to access the server. Before he can obtain the files, the system's AI core activates and locks Pritchard's avatar in, along with cutting off his communication. When Adam runs to get the Pass-Port, the machine fries it. Left with few options, Adam calls ShadowChild and tells her about the situation. She tells him to access an NSN chair located in the room, and says that she'll access the server through his infolink frequency. Adam sits in the chair and logs into the system.

Inside the server, a digitized avatar of Adam appears and he relays to her that he's in. He begins to travel through server partitions, activating data towers along the way so that she can pinpoint Pritchard's avatar. After accessing several of the towers, ShadowChild uses the help of other Rippers to distract the AI core and allow Adam to slip in unnoticed. He eventually finds Pritchard's avatar, who relays that he has what he needs and will analyze them when they get out from the server. Adam logs off and relays to her that both of them got out fine.

ShadowChild tells him that the only way out is a nearby maintenance shaft that exits out to the river. Adam sneaks past activated sentry bots and cameras and finally exits the Blade. He goes back to his apartment and finds her waiting for him. After complimenting him on his decor, she tells him that the police likely traced the location of her apartment because of what she did, but admits that she was happy to help break into the Blade. She tells him that what they accomplished will help embolden other Rippers to expose the secrets of corporations across the world because she didn't close the "Breach" she made in the server. Before she leaves, she tells him that they'll only use their skills to stop corrupt individuals and groups that would beat down the common man, and that she is thinking of moving out of the country.

Pritchard calls Adam on his vidscreen and congratulates him for pulling off the heist. He says that the authorities can't track them, but Adam says that ShadowChild is leaving town.

Adam brings up the information Pritchard found, and muses about Stanton Dowd's connection to the bank and Oshiro's part in Simona's death. He says that they can't release the evidence of Simona's death themselves because it wasn't obtained legally, but that it would be worth sending it to Niko. Pritchard agrees, and says that it would give him the ammunition needed to take down Oshiro and the Palisade. Pritchard also says that he's looked through Santeau's files on Ra'biah and that it looks legitimate, but that something still seems off. He says he'll look into it further.

Pritchard thanks Jensen again for his help, and laments that it might be the last time they work togeth. Jensen ends the video call mid-sentence, but tells Pritchard under his breath to take care of himself...

Tropes:

  • Book-Ends: The DLC's opening and closing conversations end with Adam cutting off communication with Pritchard in mid-sentence.
  • Canon Immigrant: Marta (a.k.a. "ShadowChild"), who acts as Mission Control in the Breach multiplayer mode.
  • Comically Missing the Point: If the front-desk clerk at the Blade is persuaded to deactivate the security gate (as he is a friend of ShadowChild's), he will ask what Adam's Ripper codename is.
    Adam: It's classified.
    Clerk: That is such a cool username! "Classified!"
    Adam: (Beat, nods his head half-heartedly)
  • Call-Forward: At the end of the mission, Pritchard and Adam muse about Stanton Dowd's relation to The Man Behind the Man, and think he's part of a much wider conspiracy. As long-time fans of the series know, Dowd is one of the last vestiges of the Illuminati who appears in the original game.
  • Continuity Nod:
    • When Adam first meets Marta, she tells him about Pritchard's online identity ("Nucl3arsnake"), prompting the latter to respond that "this seems like something out of a bad screenplay". Pritchard's alter-ego is a reference to an email found on his computer in Human Revolution detailing his attempts to get a screenplay of the same name made into a television show.
    • Additionally, ambient dialogue from certain NPCs suggests that Pritchard's script was made into a movie, with the main character looking like an amalgamation between Adam's and Pritchard's likenesses.
    • Pritchard continues to end his conversations with the classic "Pritchard out" response.
  • Developers' Foresight: A minor example. The only way to get the Praxis Kit hidden inside ShadowChild's secret computer is to visit her apartment and access it before Pritchard formally asks you to visit her.
  • The Gambling Addict: Various emails found at the Blade's security terminals indicate that several employees were taking part in a sports betting ring, which was shut down once it was discovered.
  • Gameplay and Story Segregation: Like the Desperate Measures DLC, this mission takes place somewhere around the middle third of the game, but Adam can use any of the TITAN augs without the need for the neuroplasticity calibrator.
  • He Knows Too Much: Oshiro killed Simona Saridakis because she discovered evidence of an insider trading ring he was running, and made her death look like an accident to boot.
  • How We Got Here: The mission sets up the circumstances behind the Breach multiplayer mode, as Adam and ShadowChild's actions result in the Blades' servers being exposed to digital attacks by Rippers.
  • Information Wants to Be Free: Marta's philosophy for Ripping is to uncover corruption, no matter the cost.
  • Make It Look Like an Accident: Oshiro's modus operandi. Simona Saridakis was murdered in this way, and you can help solve the investigation by finding four pieces of evidence to disprove Oshiro's alibi.
  • Pillow Pistol: One of the homeless people encountered in Prague is seen sleeping on a pillow that has a revolver hidden underneath it. If the player attempts to openly attack her, she will pick up the gun and defend herself.
  • Properly Paranoid: Between one of the early conversations with Pritchard and the ending dialogue, it's clear the Sarif hired Pritchard to investigate the Blade in the first place because he was suspicious of Santeau's motives for building Ra'biah. As it turns out, Sarif has plenty of reason to be suspicious, as Nathaniel Brown's plan will result in millions of augs being shipped off to the city if the Human Restoration Act passes.
  • Sequel Hook:
    • Marta tells Adam at the end of the mission that her actions will allow Rippers across the world to access the "Breach" she created and steal confidential files from companies and corporations, thus setting up the "Breach" multiplayer mode.
    • Adam and Pritchard also muse about Santeau's plans for the city of Ra'biah, and the latter says that if the Human Restoration Act passes, millions of augs will be forcibly sent to the city...
  • Shout-Out: The figurine ShadowChild gives to Adam to plant is that of Garrett, the title character from Thief (2014).
  • Space Base: Much like the Samizdat side mission and the Missing Link DLC, Eliza Cassan can be heard delivering a news report about a "Moon Base Omega" that is being expanded while Adam goes to speak with Slaw at the Zatopek Bar.
  • The Stinger: A mid-credits scene shows a news report from Eliza Cassan, who talks about the recent break-in at the Blade. If the player completed the Saridakis sidequest and gave the information to Niko, Eliza will say that proof of Oshiro's involvement in her death was brought forward.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: Much like Human Revolution, Adam and Pritchard bitch at each other through much of the mission. However, Pritchard admits at the end that it might be the last time they work together, and is somewhat saddened when thinking of it.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: Marta, who hacks into private corporations and companies in order to expose their secrets to the world. Though she claims that she and other Rippers have no intention of harming innocent people, Adam calls out her antics at the end of the DLC and says that she may have made things worse by leaving the "Breach" that she created left open.

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