However, we are not finished, and Storm has advised us that our sole mission now is to piece together what it was all about. One key of finalizing the puzzle is figuring out where Dr. Horn went, and that is what I'm going to hypothesize about today.
Before I begin, please note that this is only my personal take on the story--it should in no way influence your own examinations unless you wish it to, and even then it should only serve as a launching point for your own ideas, examinations, and hypotheses.
Where is Dr. Horn?
Note: If you wish to watch the video instead, scroll to the end of this post and click the video link.
My goal with this is to try and chain the events together, which includes indicating where Dr. Horn went and what may have occurred in the places he visited. To begin, we start with his office. Naturally, our first question is, was Dr. Horn even in here when things went down? My theory is that he was either in his office or heading towards the cafe, considering we have a looping message on one of the monitors that says Dr. Horn's pizza was ready for pick-up. This suggests it was his lunchtime when things got hairy, so he was most likely either at his desk, speaking with someone in their office, or heading to the cafe. With this in mind, I set out to find the closest area near his office that made sense for his "first moves" to occur.
Now, the X01 and X02 rooms are part of the ARG, and the X01 room is right down the hall from Dr. Horn's office, so it's possible he went there, first. However, he didn't stay there, and we know this from his movements around the rest of the facility. So, I kept looking.
Really, the only way to go from here was downstairs to the canteen, so I headed downstairs.
So, one thing we do know from this area is that there's a hidden room below the stairs here. There's a hatch in the floor that almost looks like it either leads below the facility or into another chamber--so, odds are this is how Dr. Horn was getting in. We also have a "the pizza is a lie" message down at the end of this hallway, where the door to Lab A is. Furthermore, we have a body here, which is perhaps where Dr. Horn got the blood from to write this message:
|A message written in blood, and Body 1|
This suggests that Dr. Horn came this way (since this hallway theoretically leads right to the staircase, but both ends are blocked off in the game). So, that means he either saw the body or killed the scientist, then used his blood to write his first pizza-lie message and the cipher on the wall.
The rooms to the left of this exit don't seem to have any clues as to Dr. Horn's presence (this is also where you start the level), so I went right:
|Oh look! Another body! Body 2!|
I'm not saying this one was Dr. Horn's fault, but I find it interesting that all of these bodies have a huge amount of blood. It almost makes you wonder if Dr. Horn was trying to get to this blood--perhaps because he thought he might garner some nutrient or needed entity from this blood? Perhaps because he thought people ate his pizzas, and he needed to get something from them? Either way, I continued my search, egged on by this discovery.
I followed the bodies, essentially, which eventually led me through the bathrooms and into the canteen:
|Bodies 6 and 7|
So, at this point, I was convinced Dr. Horn murdered all of these people.
My reasoning was that the bodies were are all eviscerated in the same manner, with huge quantities of blood. However, I realized these people could have been killed by Xenians, so I went back and tried to compare these bodies to people who were killed earlier in the facility. I went to the Office Complex level, and I was able to find many bodies that were in a similar state to our own--in one such case, it looked as though the person had just been killed by a headcrab scientist:
|The plot thickens.|
Okay, so maybe Dr. Horn isn't going around slaying these people, but what's the deal with him writing all the messages about the pizzas in blood? I was still convinced that it had something to do with the blood itself, so I returned to the canteen in QE and began moving forward again in my investigation.
I went directly across from the canteen into the general offices, and uncovered a few other bodies. The first had bullet-holes on the wall behind it, so I assume this was the HECU's work:
And another one:
And then here's a body in the hall beyond the canteen:
And then right after the body is Dr. Bottomley's office:
|Body 11 / Dr. Bottomley???|
Well, there's no doubt Dr. Bottomley (or this version of him) was killed by HECU, hence the multiple bullet holes. Furthermore, those bullet holes are likely MP5 bullet holes, based on the size of them and the spread. The only other weapon I could see it being was the shotgun, since the HECU did carry those, too, so I did a quick test. I stood in Dr. Bottomley's door and shot the far wall:
The holes on the left are from Dr. Bottomley's office door, the ones in the middle are from about halfway to the far wall from his office door, and the final shot was made with my back to the wall opposite Dr. Bottomley's office. The spread is nowhere near what we see behind his desk, and I really doubt someone would have shot him from that far away. So, my point stands--HECU killed Dr. Bottomley (and, as an aside, this is just further proof of how shitty of a shot they are). Furthermore, I'm under the impression that the HECU likely killed a vast majority of the other scientists, as well. At this point in the game, we know they are in the facility, and they actively try to kill us in the QE chapter.
Anyhow, with that determination made, I continued down the hallway opposite Dr. Bottomley's office and past the canteen.
Onto the next map, our first order of business is to take out the HECU in the central lobby. After that's taken care of, I notice that there's a bloodstain on the wall . . . but no body:
I think, well that's weird, but I don't really pay much attention to it, for perhaps either the HECU dragged the body away, or perhaps a headcrab took over whomever it was that was here. I do find it interesting, however, that our "Big Four" are listed here:
|"Founded in 19 (bloodstain)"|
Anyhow, I'm feeling particularly adrenalized by that last battle, so I continue on my merry way.
Oh, looky--another body in the conference room here, and another wall riddled with bullet-holes.
And then, finally, from here I went into the security office with the bloody footprints:
I noticed that in this instance, the footprints do not lead right to the hatch but instead seem to lead to the console, likely because Dr. Horn was opening the security doors. So, perhaps he wasn't actually using the hatches, but that point was moot now, anyway.
I also noticed that a pistol and a shotgun were missing from the wall mounts--possibly Dr. Horn took them?
|Dr. Horn wuz here?|
Anyway, onward ho!
Right through the double security doors is another body:
Another body in the Tesla overcharge button room:
And one outside in the main chamber:
There's another one in the pool of water at the base, although there's no blood so I'm not counting this one:
I then moved on into the next chamber . . .
. . . and this is where I came upon my first true evidence that Dr. Horn was doing something with these bodies. As you can see from this screenshot, his footprints are here, along with his handprints, and a body was very clearly dragged into the maintenance room:
And now I had some footprints to follow, both confirming that Dr. Horn came this way, but also verifying which way I needed to head next. So, I followed them.
Another body in the hallway after a couple HECU grunts:
Above the Cyronics room, I found another Tesla discharge button and another body:
Near the freight elevator past Cyronics, I found another body, and a door that looked vaguely familiar:
|Make note of this door--it will come into play later.|
In the hallway past the freight elevator, another body--this one may not count, for the simple fact that Dr. Horn likely took the freight elevator, which means he would not have passed by this way:
And then BOOM! Full circle--two bodies right outside the staircase to Lab D, just down the hallway from the Lab A doors that are sealed off:
|Bodies 22 and 23.|
So, without further ado, here it is:
So, long story short, I think Dr. Horn ended up taking the freight elevator down, and he then took the truck onto Silo D. Furthermore, although you can get 23 bodies total via the examination above, I'm wondering if the "21 into ONE" might have something to do with the bodies. If you exclude Dr. Bottomley's body, and perhaps one of the others (the one after the freight elevator, perhaps, since Dr. Horn would not have passed through that way) there are 21 total in my examination.
Perhaps the "21 into ONE" means Dr. Horn ate part of the bodies, or perhaps took the blood for purposes yet unknown? I do believe it refers to the bodies, and perhaps he was trying to reclaim his pizza because he thought the scientists were all eating it.
Whatever the case, that's all I have for you. Thanks for reading/watching, and I'll catch you next time!