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There's something I found some months ago in Dunkelzahn's Secrets and more precisely the chapter "Who watch the watcher?". The book is about 8 years old, and I've never heard about what I'm going to speak about. It's quite probable all I saw are only mistakes. Otherwise the guy who wrote that chapter is a Master. As a warning, it is very complicated, and you won't understand a damn thing if you didn't recently read the said chapter.

For those who can't read it because they don't have the book, let sum up. Some weeks afer Dunkelzahn death, a runner called Hawke got a call from a fixer he knew, Xander Brand. When he reach BRand's home, a hitman killed Brand, and Hawke kill the hitman. In an attempt to uncover what happened, Hawke release on Shadowland a file from Brand pocket secretary containing basic profile of several individuals named in Dunkelzahn's Will. One of them, SylveryK, intervenes and denounces Xander Brand as a traitor to his friends. Shadowland community starts to work, and a theory arise. Dunkelzahn maintained a shadow network to conduct clandestine actions, especially against Aztechnology, and Xander brand and the people in his file were the heads. The last theory suggests Xander Brand wanted to betray the dragon. The dragon knew Brand wouldn't miss the opportunity of his death, when the network would be for a short time beheaded and disorganized. So he omit Brand from the Will, disowning him and making obvious he knew he wasn't loyal. This allegly leads to Brand's new masters sending the hitman toavoid being discovered by the rest of Dunkelzahn's organization.

Happy with that explanation ? Now, let the real thing begin. So, what are the elements really incriminating Xander Brand ?

- The text posted by SylveryK. She seems to suggest Brand betrayed all his friends. Whhat are the elements she have ? we don't know. I'll just note that only two people taking part in the thread on Shadowland knew Brand to some degree: Hawke and SylveryK. The former claims Brand would never have betrayed anybody that way, but he also believe he wouldn't be part of a draconic shadow network. So we dismiss his opinion. But SylveryK remains a decker with about as much social skills than a trash can, from what I remember of her profile in Target: Matrix.

- According to Watson own words, Brand "showed his cards" at the restaurant with Beatrice Wilder (or whoever it was). Yes, according to the witness, he was angry after the will was read. Does this prove anything ? Hardly. If you were a traitor to Dunkelzahn, would you be surprised that he omitted you from the Will ? No. You could still be shocked to discovr that he knew about your treachery and maybe panick and lose your cold. But if you were a loyal servant of the dragon, working for him for years, and finally omitted from the Will when all your colleague are in, you'd be angered as well. There's no way to tell what was Brand state of mind

- He was ommitted from the Will. That's the only valuable one, as far as dragon's actions are decypherable. I consider it is litle enough to open the door for another substantiated theory.

When Hawke access Brand pocket secretary, he sort the files and pick one, tagged highly prioritary, and accessed the night Brand was killed. This file contains the profile of his colleague, the other heads of Dunkelzahn shadow network. He calls Hawke to protect him, as he feel threatened. In such circunstance, why does he read that file ? Xander Brand worked with these people for years, he knew all of them received a token from the Will, and that he didn't. He thought that night, somebody could come to kill him. You don't stay in front of your pocket secretary without good reason in such circunstance. To go back on what I said above, it is probably a lot easier to understand the reason for a human to do that, than to understand why a great dragon dropped him for his Will. My first guess was that he could be searching for the one who discovered and informed Dunk of his treachery, or the one that would be tasked to eliminate him. But those profiles lacks information about their operational capacities to do so. And more important, if he had been searching something, I found something.

In the profiles Brand kept concerning his colleague, there is one detail: Henry Higgins is said to have received a bottle of wine, and "possibly nuyen". First check, for no other bequest in those profile, is the word "possibly" used. Brand doesn't know about the "secret part" of the Will that gave among other things a Coin of Luck to Akira Kageyama (see the novel Tail you lose). And as you might have guessed, nowhere in the public Will, Higgins is granted nuyen. Only the bottle of wine...

So here's the other theory: Brand learnt somehow after Dunkelzahn death that Higgins received important sum money. He mistakenly think it comes from the Will. In the meantime, Higgins dispatch a hitman to kill Brand, and spread among the network, especially toward SylveryK, the theory that Brand was a traitor, to get away with the fact that he was the real traitor, paid by an enemy organization. As for why Dunkelzahn gave Higgins a bottle, and nothing to Brand, that's anyone guess...
Once I get around to reading PoaD, I may have a comment on this theory. Until then, a placeholder comment.

As one whose knowledge of Great Dragons is limited to what was mentioned in the original series of SHADOWRUN novels by ROC BOOKS (aside, that is, from an occasional foray into on-line SR fiction on Shapcano's Shadowrun Stories or Winterhawk's Virtual Magespace), I confess that I have no idea who this "Xander Brand" person is, but I have ONE question:

Once you've earned the trust of a Great Dragon, why on Earth would you even THINK of betraying him or her (especially since, IIRC, ALL dragons, not just Great Dragons, are telepathic)?

There are certainly less complicated ways of committing suicide, I would think. Cement poisoning, while it leaves a ghastly mess, would probably be faster, and less painful in the long run, than having a slotted-off Great Dragon after you--even if the Great Dragon in question was one of the more benevolent ones, as Dunklezahn was.

Large Mike

Being able to speak directly into people's minds does not mind-reading make. EIs and other GDs obviously don't get read, and the voices of the dragons, (Nadja [iirc] for D, that shaman dude for GW, etc.) must not be mind-rapeable, or the dragons wouldn't use them, considering how much they see, even if they aren't told things.
The Jopp
Betraying a dragon is easy, it's the getting away with it and stay alive that is the real challenge. grinbig.gif
Not pissing them off, now that's difficult. Right, Jopp? grinbig.gif
The Jopp
Yes it is L.D, remember, we actually had to shove his nose full of swordcase wood splinters and give him an excessive noserub (with the help of 1 box filled with aproximately 1-3 KG of C12)...

Ok, so we DIDN'T know he was a dragon at that particular time, he DID get a mite upset afterwards though.

Hmm, the OTHER dragon we pissed off then? Hmm, can't really remember, did WE annoy him or was that just one grumpy dragon?

Short lessons

1. How to piss of a dragon

Promise him an object that he wants and has made repeated threats against you if he does NOT gain said object.

Exchange said object for an equal amount of C12. Result: 1 sootfaced dragon.

2. How to ANNOY a dragon

Infiltrate his personal terrorist group. Steal every loose piece of CPU hardware you can hide on your person.

Result: Promise that you WILL work for him for free at least once or suffer the consequences (we made a pretty good haul actually)

grinbig.gif grinbig.gif grinbig.gif grinbig.gif grinbig.gif grinbig.gif grinbig.gif grinbig.gif
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