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Recap / Deus Ex Mankind Divided Mission 15 A Criminal Past

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Mission 15:

A Criminal Past

Sometime after Adam confronted Viktor Marchenko in London, Adam reports to Dr. Auzenne's office for an evaluation.

After asking why he's been called in, Auzenne tells him that she wanted to ask some questions about a mission he conducted in the past at "The Penthouse", a maximum-security prison in Arizona that houses dangerous augmented officials. He contends that he already filled out a report months earlier, but she says that some of the details aren't clear, and asks about his interactions with an undercover agent named Hector Guerrero.

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Clearly annoyed, Adam tells her that it was the first mission he conducted undercover for Task Force 29, and says that he Guerrero had been investigating reports of a possible terror attack and was the only one who could confirm the intel Interpol had received...

Several months earlier, Adam (using the alias "Derrick Walthers") is flown to a maximum-security prison in Arizona called "The Penthouse", which has been specifically built to house violent augmented individuals. Clad in restraints, Adam is led off the VTOL and into the prison's processing area, where he is injected with a suppressor chip that disables his augs and leaves him reeling in pain. In a nearby room, Warden Thomas Stenger looks on smugly and insults Adam, who he believes is a member of a drug cartel, while a nearby technician is confused by the fact that Adam has several military-grade augs in his system.

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Adam passes out and wakes up later within Cell Block A, and immediately reels when he realizes that he can't activate any of his augs and is suffering from random health spikes. Soon after, all of the inmates are called out to the exercise yard.

When he gets there, Adam immediately runs into a prisoner, Theodore "D-Town" Zenga, a Tattooed Crook who recognizes Adam from a police bust back when the former worked as a cop in Detroit ... except that he can't remember Adam's actual name. Despite telling him that his name is Walthers, D-Town says he'll be keeping an eye on him before leaving. Soon after, Adam meets Frederick Flossy, a friendlier prisoner who tells him about the history of the prison and the nature of the criminals locked within. When Adam complains about the disabled augs, Flossy suggests going to a nearby prisoner named "The Fixer", a Back-Alley Doctor who can do something to alleviate the pain. He also asks Adam to do an errand for him — find a package that was smuggled into the prison and deliver it to another prisoner who needs it for a task.

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Adam subsequently retrieves the package, an Altered Biocell, and brings it to Red Shoes, an Ax-Crazy inmate who thanks him and promises that things are going to get very crazy very soon. Adam returns to Flossy and asks him about Guerrero's whereabouts. Flossy reveals that there is something shady happening with the officials running the prison, and that the prisoners have been baited into breaking rules and then being executed for some unknown purpose. Flossy suggests that one of the prisoners, Wilburg, was killed by the prison guards shortly before Adam arrived, and encourages the latter to look into the matter. He tells Adam that all of the inmates need to band together and make a stand.

Flossy directs Adam to find Guerrero in Cell Block B. Before he goes over, Adam stops to speak with The Fixer, who gives him a pill that mitigates the symptoms of the suppressor chip and restores access to some of his basic augs.

Sneaking around Cell Block A, Adam finds a back passage that leads him to a maintenance shack situated between the areas, which houses a Cell Block B jumpsuit. Adam puts it on and manages to make it into B-Block. Looking around the area, he comes across two guards investigating a crashed drone that was supposedly responsible for murdering Wilburg. Upon evading the guards and investigating the wreckage, Adam discovers that it was modified by someone else to be hostile towards the prisoner. He continues on to Guerrero's location — the showers.

Inside, Jensen meets Guerrero and informs him of the mission to rescue him. In turn, Guerrero reveals that he has no intentions of leaving the prison and wants to see his "mission" through. Before the conversation can continue, Stenger and a pair of deputies arrive at the shower and accuse Guerrero of murdering Wilburg, before beating both him and Jensen unconscious.

Jensen comes to a short while later and is met by an apologetic Stenger, who wrongly believes he was sent by the black-market group Junkyard to oversee what's happening in the prison. Stenger reveals that he (and the other officers in the Pent House) have been killing augs in order to harvest their augmentations, that Guerrero went "off-script" by killing Wilburg, and that the murder has now caused an ongoing riot amongst the inmates. Stenger tells him that Guerrero has been placed in solitary confinement and will be executed for his crimes, but before the conversation continues, the riot spirals out of control, forcing Stenger to contain the situation while leaving Jensen in a security office.

Adam leaves the office, passing hostile gun turrets and ongoing gunfights between the prisoners and security robots on his way to the solitary confinement wing, which is situated just past the site's administration building. While rooting around the offices, Jensen finds a number of Pocket Secretaries and documentation proving that Guerrero murdered Wilburg, via hacking a security drone's command log to make it look like an accident.

Jensen eventually reaches Guerrero and releases him from his cell, but not before goading him into confessing to Wilburg's murder. In turn, Guerrero tells him that the only way to escape the prison is to access a VTOL on the roof, but that doing so will require them to shut down the prison's anti-aircraft turrets so they won't be shot out of the sky as they attempt to flee. He tells Jensen to access the Warden's office in the admin building in order to start the process to disable the turrets.

Heading back to the building, Adam finds Flossy and a number of inmates holed up in the Warden's office, who thank him for instigating the riot and allow him to access the computer. While Flossy goads about being on national television for his part in starting the riot, Adam begins to disable the turrets and learns that government reinforcements are on the way to secure the prison. He heads towards the roof, though not before encountering D-Town, who once again threatens him for what happened in Detroit. A fight ensues, and Jensen defeats D-Town before taking the elevator upwards.

On the roof, Jensen sneaks past automated turrets and cameras to finally disable the anti-aircraft defenses. Once he does so and doubles back to the chopper, he finds Guerrero waiting for him — along with the Fixer, who had attempted to sneak about the aircraft but was restrained. Guerrero says that he's willing to go back to TF29, but contends that the Fixer is the real mastermind behind the riot. In turn, the Fixer suggests that Guerrero has undergone Sanity Slippage and isn't in his right mind.

Jensen resolves the situation by pointing out all of the evidence he collected over the course of the mission, and blackmails Guerrero into standing down by threatening to reveal that he killed Wilburg in order to protect his identity, in exchange for Guerrero handing over the evidence he was initially planning to give to Interpol...

...in the present, Auzenne expresses surprise and confusion for how Adam was able to successfully defuse the situation and bring Guerrero/Meija back to America, though he reveals to her that he cut Guerrero loose after receiving the intel.

Auzenne thanks him for coming in to meet, but before he leaves, Adam suggests that he's aware that she has a secret agenda, and then asks her what she would have done if she were in his position—whether she would have killed an agent in front of her, with no questions asked, if she had a suspicion that the agent was bad. Auzenne answers by saying that maybe she would, if she really felt that the person in front of her was no longer on her side. Auzenne also tells Jensen that understanding when to pull the trigger in this situation is the single most important instinct an agent can possess. As Jensen departs, he tells her that Guerrero was right that there was no terror attack, and that he wonders what else Guerrero was right about. Following his exit from the office, Delara picks up the phone and makes a call to an unknown party.

Tropes:

  • Abusive Parents: The Fixer tells Jensen that the reason he listens to convicts and corrupt guards is because they remind him of his father, who is suggested to have been abusive towards him as a child.
  • Affably Evil:
    • Stenger (wrongly) believes that Jensen is a Junkyard mole, and is incredibly apologetic about beating him up in the showers, to the point that he makes it a point to protect Jensen (in the guise of "Derrick Walthers") when he leaves to contain the riot.
    • As long as Adam is compliant with Flossy's requests, the latter is extremely helpful and allows Adam to do as he wishes in the Warden's Office towards the end of the DLC. Fail to heed his requests and talk him down in the office, though, and Flossy will set the entire place (including a legion of prisoners) hostile on the agent.
  • The Alcatraz: The Pent House itself, which shares more than a few similarities. It's situated on the top of a butte in Arizona, only accessible by VTOL, has heavy anti-air defenses and houses some of the worst (augmented) prisoners in the country.
  • All Crimes Are Equal: Invoked. The plot is motivated by Adam learning that Stenger has been running a harvesting operation in the bowels of the Solitary Confinement wing. Augs with desirable implants are goaded into acting up, then the administration uses a legal loophole to sentence them to death in 24 hours.
  • Ambiguous Disorder: Both the Fixer (who has delusions about being a real doctor) and Red Shoes (who sings obsessively about a woman who wants a pair of red shoes) are implied to have some kind of disorder.
  • And Now For Something Completely Different: While the 2 other DLCs take place during the story and could easily be inserted back in without distracting from the game's pacing, this one is entirely self-contained, and is a prologue told by Adam after the main story ends. Due to it's length and theme, it would be difficult to put this DLC into the main game without disrupting the natural flow or causing Ending Fatigue.
  • Artistic Licence – Law: The Pent House is named for a fictional US Senator who successfully lobbied for the Terminal Violation Policy. Under this policy, the prison is permitted to deliver 24-hour execution orders without trial or appeal, if an inmate is judged to have committed an infraction falling under certain the "Terminal Violation" classification. Ostensibly a means of exerting greater control over augmented prisoners, it is a major plot element of the DLC, as prison officials are killing prisoners with valuable augments and re-selling them.
  • Back-Alley Doctor: The Fixer, who offers Jensen an illegal method of getting his augs partially restored, as well as helps out in the prison's infirmary. Later on, thorough digging in the Admin building reveals that the Fixer has no formal medical training and is implied to be having delusions about being a doctor.
  • Becoming the Mask: Rooting around the Admin offices enough reveals that Guerrero/Oscar Mejia murdered three people and became just like the inmates he was brought in to investigate, including a woman he was having a relationship with.
  • Brought Down to Normal: Jensen is outfitted with a suppressor chip that disables his augs as soon as he arrives in the Pent House. Depending on the player's choices, Jensen can either take a pill that restores them, a Biocell that does something similar (and gives extra Praxis Points) or go without it. (Foregoing the pill or the Altered Biocell earns the "Winners Don't Use Drugs (or Biocells)" achievement.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: If he isn't knocked out or killed in the showers beforehand, D-Town will confront you on your way up to the roof to disable the anti-air defenses during the final mission.
  • Color-Coded for Your Convenience: The prisoners in each cell block wear distinctive colored outfits (red for Cell Block A, yellow for B). Later on, once the Arizona Riot Squad arrives, their radar markers are listed as white, while the friendly inmates are marked as green.
  • Continuity Nod: Adam's alias, "Derrick Walthers", appears to be a nod to Michelle Walthers, the nurse who saved Adam from the White Helix Labs fire as a child (which was explained during a side mission from Human Revolution).
  • Deep Cover Agent: Hector Guerrero, a.k.a. Oscar Mejia. The final confrontation of the game involves Adam trying to talk Guerrero (who has the Fixer held at gunpoint) to come back to Interpol and explain what happened with the case.
  • Developers' Foresight: If you knock out or kill Flossy before the riot starts, he won't be present in the Warden's Office when you visit it later, and several of the inmates will remark that the riot was started "for Flossy".
  • Dungeon Shop: The Fixer's... teddy bear, which operates a storefront and can be used to buy various supplies.
  • Face–Heel Turn: Guerrero turns hostile and tries to attack Jensen if the player sides with the Fixer during the final confrontation.
  • Foregone Conclusion: The prison riot is doomed to fail, as Adam discovers that the Arizona National Guard is making plans to retake the prison by force near the end of the mission.
  • Framing Device: The storyline is presented as a flashback Adam recounts after the events of the main game. This also extends to player deaths — if Adam dies during the flashback, Auzenne will then say that it wasn't the correct sequence of events.
  • Gameplay and Story Segregation: Invoked. If you choose to restore your augs, the game asks you if you want to add the experimental augs to the skill tree (remember, the mission takes plage before Adam discovers them), or if you want to follow canon and, well, not have them in the skill tree. Delara doesn't have extra lines for either option, however.
  • Hidden Supplies:
    • Many of the cells in both A and B Block have hidden items within them, including Praxis Kits, Neuropyzyne, medical supplies and more all stuffed within wall and ceiling panels.
    • By snooping around the airvents enough, the player will likely discover several caches left by The Fixer, in the form of stuffed teddy bears.
  • I Know You Know I Know: Adam and Delara's final conversation suggests that both of them are aware that the other has a secret agenda and are willing to take down each other if necessary.
  • Interface Screw: The game begins proper with Adam waking up in his cell and suffering from random hits to his health and crippling pain if he so much as thinks about his augs. It's up to the player to decide whether to mitigate those symptoms (either by taking the Fixer's pill or the Altered Biocell) or going without them. Doing the latter earns you an achievement.
  • It's All About Me: Flossy's remarks in the Warden's Office suggest that he started the riot as a self-serving exercise in order to get airtime on national television.
  • Karma Houdini: Played straight if Adam chooses to let Guerrero/Mejia go free at the end of the mission after bringing him back to the States, even though the latter was involved in three murders and was working on his fourth when the former got to him.
  • Not-So-Harmless Villain: The Fixer is implied to be the real mastermind behind both Junkyard's operation and the prison riot, despite his claims of being a harmless old man. It's up to the player to decide whether to follow Guerrero's advice of executing him before leaving at the end of the mission or bringing him back stateside to face justice. Speaking with the Fixer if you spare him reveals that he's been at the mercy of others who forced him to commit crimes, under penalty of harm.
  • Not-So-Well-Intentioned Extremist: Guerrero/Mejia claims that he was forced to commit several murders in order to justify dismantling Junkyard's operation, which saw them dismantling augmented prisoners in order to sell on the black market. Depending on the player's investigations, it is revealed that Mejia is just using excuses to remain as a criminal because he can no longer adjust to a normal life.
  • Rabid Cop: Stenger, as well as several of the guards at the Penthouse, kill augs in order to resell their wares on the black market, under the guise of a legal loophole that allows them to execute prisoners 24 hours after committing a crime.
  • Restart at Level One: The suppressor chip knocks Adam back down to zero functional augs, while taking the Fixer's pill sets all of Adam's base augs at level one. Using the Altered Biocell gives you an additional five Praxis Points to play with, though at the cost of making the rest of the mission more difficult.
  • Running Gag: D-Town knows what Adam looks like (from being busted by him back in Detroit years earlier), but can't remember his name and makes constant guesses each time he's encountered. He starts getting closer by the end of the game (referring to Adam as "Johnson" and "Johannson"), but he becomes hostile at that point and cannot be talked down.
  • Stalker with a Crush: Reading some of the emails in the computers in the Administration Building reveals that one of the employees had a woman stalking him. Despite ordering her to stay out of his life and threatening to call the cops, her final message says that she wants to talk about it with him in person — at his vehicle.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: Red Shoes disappears once the riot starts and is never seen for the rest of the mission, not even as a corpse. Despite this, several of the inmates continue to talk about him for the rest of the riot.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Flossy and the rest of the inmates in the Warden's office will call out Adam if he used the Altered Biocell instead of giving it to Red Shoes prior to the riot. Failing to talk down Flossy will result in the entire room going hostile.
  • You Know Too Much: Adam discovers near the end of the mission that Guerrero/Mejia killed Stenger in order to cover up his own involvement in Wilburg's murder, as well as revenge for the plot to execute augs and sell their wares on the black market.

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