I'm trying to wrap my head around the events that lead up to Consortium. There's two facts that Pawn 64 gives us. Here are quotes that sum it up most completely and succinctly.
Rook 9: [Pawn 64] actually said, and I have confirmed this, that someone aboard has been making calls to Bulgaria over the past month. The first call was made the day after the incident with Bishop Eight. And yes, it seems the records show the calls all came from the Med Bay.
If you click on the link to the Information Console article, you'll see that it takes place on November 16, 2042. The day after would be November 17, 2042. Zenlil had no Bishop from November 17, 2042, through December 20, 2042. Bishop 6 comes aboard December 21, 2042.
Kiril Angelov is in Bulgaria so let's focus on what he claims to know:
Kiril: One of you paid me, one of you fed me information... and you... well you are a bit of a wild card, aren't you?
We're looking for three people: the paymaster, the informant, and Bishop 6.
This one is actually pretty easy if Pawn 32 and Kiril are locked up together:
Pawn 32: And you were hired to protect the lives of every man, woman, and child in London. Kill the Bishop, crew expendable.
Keyword is "hired." Pawn 32 undoubtedly provided the money and the EMP. Her behavior closely matches that the Welcomers of the Guardians and their attack on Sanctum Station all of the way down to the EMP
and insistence on not hurting people (the bomb was a ruse on Sanctum Station).
Kiril never claims to know who the informant is so all we have is the process of elimination.
Kiril: No, my other contact is the one who told me about Pawn 7, through another coded C.M.C. transmission. One of your crew has been updating me on mission details for weeks, whereas YOU only started talking to me this morning. Except... you claim you did NOT speak to me...
The informant has a C.M.C. which means there's only six potential subjects. Some are crossed off and the reason for being crossed off is provided thereafter:
- Knight 15
Bishop 6Because Kiril names him exclusively and we controlled him when all of the reported events occurred. Rook 9Because his arguments are valid that Kiril would have succeeded; he was also notably on the defensive throughout the entire game and not on the offensive. Rook 13Because he was not present for the first transmission.
- Rook 25
All I can do at this point is speculate because there's only bits of suspicious activity here and there but nothing conclusive. If I had to bet, my money would be on King. Motive: the Kiril/Pawn 32 attack is a test to see if the Seeker controlling the Bishop has any chance of succeeding at the Churchill Tower. If the Bishop fails, King puts in motion alternative plans. Adding some heavy clout to this theory:
Kriil: I have people who know people, and they figured out how to detect the C.M.C. network.
Why detect the CMC network when you are the CMC network?
Kiril: Three times this morning, I spoke with you, Bishop Six. You are who initiated Phase One, you are who told me to blame Rook 13 if the chance arose.
|Off topic: Kiril draws suspicion on Rook 13|
Kiril: So tell me... why were you my contact earlier today? And why did you not mask your voice?
There's only one plausible explanation for this: As Bishop 6 slept, King engaged his motor chip to send the three messages to Kiril Angelov before the Seeker joins with the Vessel. King altered the records to appear that they came from the Medical Bay because King needs Bishop 6 and can't implicate him in the attack that is about to commence. At the same time, King can't use his own voice or Kiril wouldn't have even attempted to complete the mission he was assigned because his failure is guaranteed.
Zenlil went on the offensive in orbit against the Long Dragon Syndicate escapees from Voltaire Prison. Zenlil was damaged during the exchange which lead Knight 15 to order armor upgrades to the aircraft. Rook 9 was placed on forced leave by the Queen during this period. Rook 9 was in Perth on December 14, 2042. Pawn 64 appears to be wrong on two accounts:
- Rook 9 had nothing to do with the upgrades because he was in Perth.
- Knight 15 had a legitimate reason to upgrade the armor that was unrelated to the events of December 21, 2042.
One could argue the entire mission could have deliberately been planned to set these events in motion. For example, King may have ordered Zenlil to take on the mission, even without a Bishop for the purpose of damaging it. Even if this were the case, the intent could be both ways: armor it up so the crew possibly won't die on December 21 or armor it up so Pawn 32 wouldn't die before she could complete her mission. Where both scenarios are plausible, I feel they are not probable. The most simple answer is usually the best: the upgrades are related to the December 10 events and not the December 21 events.
The Deeper Question Here
Why attempt at, and maybe succeed, murdering Pawn 64? Let's focus on two things: ability to commit the murder and motive because it definitely wasn't accidental.
We don't really know how door controls work on a C-3800 so I can only name those that demonstrably controlled doors throughout the game:
- Pawn 32 by way of the virus. This is proven in her locking the cabin door Bishop 8's BUS is in.
- Rook 9. He repeatedly locks and unlocks the door Bishop 8's BUS is in. If he can focus, he also forces Bishop 6's cabin door open.
- King. When Rook 9 is unfocused and failing to open Bishop 6's cabin door, Knight 15 turns to the King:
Knight 15: <fast/still trying> I'm trying to contact the King, there's got to be something HE can do...
It stands to reason that the statement Pawn 64 makes leading up to the door locking is what lead to the attempted murder. Here it is:
Pawn 64: Well... you know those experimental bullets Angelov hit us with? <clear throat> During our last major repair only two weeks back... I happened to notice--
This is what doesn't make any sense. No one has a motive because we so handily dismissed the upgrades as being significant above. With no motive, there ought to be no murder. Since the murder can happen, let's pretend that there's a delay between wanting to murder and the murder actually beginning. We have to, therefore, focus on who had a motive from the first quote and who had the ability to carry it out in this fashion:
- Pawn 32: If anyone discovered she paid Kiril Angelov and provided the weapons, her cover would be blown and she would be a mostly defenseless pawn against a very mad Bishop in a BUS. As she does at the end of the game, she would easily justify Pawn 64's death for the greater good.
- King: If anyone discovered that King was the informer, all faith, credibility, and trust in him would collapse faster than a sand castle against a tsunami. That outcome is unacceptable so killing Pawn 64 is deemed a justifiable homicide by him. Again, greater good.
Problem with the King theory here is that John Wilconson (and follow up messages from Henry) gives the impression Henry can't knowingly harm a human being--even a digital representation of a human being. It is very possible the Pawn 32 is the only one with not only a motivation, but capability of carrying out the murder.
George Hamlin insists that he did not pull the trigger. Kiril may confirm this conspiracy:
Kiril: <sigh/quietly> First Bishop Eight kills two of my men and gets off with a mansion from the King, and now you have a new Bishop working for the enemy.
The Consortium should not reward criminal activity with a mansion. This strikes me as buying George's silence. It didn't work on him because he would rather have his old job back. The fact is that one of the C-3800s needed a vacancy and George became the fall guy and King (if Kiril is correct) lavishly rewarded George for taking the fall.
The sum of the pieces here suggests that another world that was in control of George Hamlin pulled the trigger and Hamlin had to be retired because that is what the public expects. The same fate may befall Robert Jenkins if we don't act in the Consortium's interests.
Taking the information above, I'm constructing a timeline that places everything in order without citing sources to avoid complication/confusion.
- August 3, 2038
- Knight 18 reports on the Canadian Dispute that Jenkins is known for.
- October 28, 2041
- Welcomers of the Guardians captures Sanctum Station and an EMP is fired at the Mission Pod/Stormbird. Bishop 10 kills most of the "cult."
- October 9, 2042
- Katrina Crusher goes missing.
- November 2, 2042
- Jenkins prepares to become Bishop 6.
- November 16, 2042
- Bishop 8 attacks and kills two Homeless Mercenaries with Zenlil's Point Defense Lasers.
- November 17, 2042
- An unknown individual starts transmitting coded messages to an unlisted number in Bulgaria.
- November 19, 2042
- Pawn 4 and Rook 13 board Zenlil.
- December 10, 2042
- Zenlil engages an Orbital Authorities space ship and sustains heavy damage. Rook 9 begins forced leave; Zenlil is grounded for repairs and armor upgrades.
- December 14, 2042
- Rook 9 gives speech in Perth.
- December 21, 2042
- King tells Queen to ask Bishop 6 his relationship status. Bishop 6 boards Zenlil and Rook 13 implants his MUVI. Zenlil is struck by the same EMP weapon that was used on October 28, 2041.