|“||This is so fucked, Dave.||”|
So it’s all come to this. Now that we think of it, it couldn’t have ended any other way.
The Dragon Friends face their greatest challenge yet. There’s violence, hacking, a kickass soundtrack by Tom Lowndes and the deaths of untold innocents. Also Sam Campbell wore a mask and an elephant trunk for all of the recording so if it helps, imagine that.
Picking up immediately following the events of A Dog With Human Eyes, the Dragon Friends find themselves face-to-face with the horrifying figure of Michael Hing. He introduces himself and immediately sprays them with sap from the proboscis emerging from his head. This immobilizes Philge, though Bobby Pancakes is able to deftly dodge away.
Hing has taken control of Freeside and the Voss-Saito Group, having captured and imprisoned the reclusive Lord Saito whom Bobby — perhaps inadvisably — shot earlier. The biotech systems of the station have been keeping Hing alive for many years, and he can no longer leave unless someone else takes his place. He points out that he has complete control of the satellite, and that he could therefore save it (and the Dragon Friends) from certain destruction if they do what he wants: take him with them on their future adventures and leave Freezo behind plugged into the satellite in his place.
Before this can fully sink in, alarms begin wailing and a voice encourages all members of Freeside to evacuate via the space elevator. Through Hing's surveillance systems, the Dragon Friends are able to see a huge rush of one-percenters stampeding for the arrivals lounge.
However, when the elevator arrives, it disgorges an army of barbarians from the Tribe of A Million Kings. At the head of the mob is Dobson Bugnutt who, with a cry of "Put it all on RED!", leads the wastelanders in a charge against the rich folk. The Dragon Friends realize that the odd skull-like sigil they have associated with the Tribe of A Million Kings is actually a stylized image of Michael Hing's face, and that he is their true leader — possibly even their namesake, as it's likely they were originally called the Tribe of A Million Hings.
Baston has managed to drag the damaged cryocell containing Johnny Playstation into the room. Michael Hing offers to save Johnny's life in exchange for someone taking his place in the satellite. Baston calls a Dragon Huddle to discuss this and Philge suggests calling Mr. Sour. Sour, with a surprisingly improved accent, puts them onto the idea of connecting to the mind of Julian Fairbanks.
This idea is quickly forgotten when Freezo suggests actually taking Hing's deal; but Freezo wants some assurance from Hing that he won't betray the Dragon Friends. After an extended, pedantic, and frankly pointless debate about how to pull off the exchange while ensuring that neither party could betray the other, Freezo decides to try to kill him with his electric hammer. A fierce battle ensues.
Philge attempts to engage Hing in the Matrix; with a stirring speech on the values of friendship and empathy, Philge is able to rattle Hing's Matrix form enough to disconnect him from the satellite's systems. This causes a dimensional rift that restores Freezo's magical abilities, including a new Fireball spell. After some desperate soul-searching, and some rules lawyering from the live audience, Freezo finds it within himself to cast Witch Bolt at Michael Hing.. and misses.
But with a little help from his friends, Freezo is able to fire the gun in his hand and kill Michael Hing. Hing's dead-man's-switch is released, setting Freeside on the path to destruction in only thirty seconds. At the last moment, Johnny Playstation asks the Dragon Friends to plug him into the station in Hing's place.
As Johnny's cryocell finally fails, his mind is uploaded into the station and he is able to take control of all of Freeside, escape onto the Matrix and rid our heroes of the toxins that are slowly killing them. Johnny is able to delay the destruction of Freeside for long enough for the Friends to reach the airlock and Mr Sour's spaceship (Erotic Cirque Du Soleil states that Freeside was later destroyed), and the Dragon Friends are transported in the blast to the City of Brass. The episode and the season finish off with Johnny Playstation's performance of Phoenix.
Non-Player Characters (NPCs)
Themes, tropes and running jokes
- Baffling Reference for our International Listeners - Michael Hing makes several references to Michael Hing's work with Australian TV network SBS.
- Dragon Huddle - called by Baston to discuss whether to make a deal with Michael Hing.
- There is some confusion in this episode on the statement made to Philge by Julian Fairbanks. He tells her that "there is no cure for the virus I gave you" and God/Dave clarifies with "that was Mr. Sour". It is not clear if he was saying that there is no cure for the Myocardiac toxin chips implanted by Mr. Sour, or for the computer virus unleashed by the Haywire Cube (which Hing is claiming to be able to cure). Neither has been referred to as "a virus" previously and, as Philge correctly points out, she was not implanted by Mr. Sour, but was involved in the activation of the Cube.
- In A Very D&D Stream, Dave states that the original plan for the villain was not going to be Michael Hing (NPC) himself, but a construct based on Freezo's personality. He also, however, stated that "in Episode 1 they found you with a room with lots of apparatus.." but in the actual episode Freezo was found collapsed in the cell with the other Friends.
- "You were at minus one hit point, and your pride died, and I guess that's two hit points." — Dave Harmon
- "Your sap don't scare me, Michael Hing!" — Philge
- "Michael Hing gets to do whatever Michael Hing wants to do. Like always." — Dave Harmon
- "This is fucked. This is so fucked, you guys." — Michael Hing, many, many times
- "Am I that neurotic?" — Michael Hing, on Sam Campbell's performance as Michael Hing
- "This Michael Hing fellow seems like he's a cool, confident guy. He seems like he's the kinda guy who, I don't know, he does things that are commercially successful, but he also does things that have artistic merit. He's just, like, that kinda guy who's got broad appeal across mediums, I guess, and he's available to host things..." — Freezo
- "I'm not sorry! Fuck you, sweetheart!" — the last words of Michael Hing