Damn things are spraying toxins all over the place, turning people into maniacs.
― John White, referring to the gas balloons[src]
John located a gas balloon hovering towards Cole's position in the Historic District. After turning Sasha's mind control agent into a gas, Kessler began using several of these balloons to spray it over each district of Empire City. In order to stop them, Cole would first have to destroy the UAV's circling them, then find a way to disable its shields. Once done, he would have to climb up to detach the platforms, which would allow the balloons to drift away.
Following the marker on his GPS, Cole followed the progress of the first balloon through the Historic District and destroyed the UAV. By summoning a Lightning Storm, he disabled the balloon's shields and made his way up to the platform to decouple the balloon from its gas distributor canisters.
Nothing happened like I thought it was going to. Story of my life, I guess.
― Zeke Dunbar, trying to reach out to his friend[src]
As he made his way to the second balloon, Cole received a call from Zeke, who was asking for his friend's forgiveness, acknowledging that he was probably the last person Cole wanted to speak to, but wanting him to understand that he never realized his actions would eventually lead to Trish's death. Cole made no reply and went over into the Warren to locate the second balloon.
Noting how the gas was affecting everyone, Cole once again disabled the balloon's protection before detaching the gas canisters. John contacted Cole, commending him on slowing the spread of the gas in that borough, but he then informed him about two more balloons deployed in the Neon District.
Why won’t they obey me? That damn Kessler. But you’ll show him, won’t you? Yes, you’ll make him pay for what he’s done to me. The thought of you electrocuting him excites me. Really excites me.
― Sasha, telepathically contacting Cole[src]
As he entered the Neon, Cole was contacted telepathically by Sasha, who expressed her anger with Kessler. She then became excited with the idea of Cole electrocuting the man responsible for her plight. Making his way past Eagle Point Penitentiary, Cole then received a call from Moya, who tried to reason with him. She explained her actions by pointing out the dangers of the Ray Sphere, describing it as “a weapon of ultimate destruction", but Cole snubbed her, telling her to “find another lapdog".
Once Cole reached the third balloon, not only did he have to deal with another UAV, but also three turrets attached to the platform. Once all the obstacles were dealt with, he disabled this balloon and made his move towards the next. Guarding the final balloon was a Reaper Conduit, though Cole was not able to fight him until the balloon's shield was disabled. After the Reaper was out of the way, he was able to disable the last of the balloons, ultimately clearing the skies of the toxic gases and saving the citizens from becoming mind-controlled slaves.[notes 1]
After being directed to the first balloon in the Historic District, use Precision to destroy the UAV circling it. Disabling the balloons will be a bigger challenge, as their shields will prove too strong for all of Cole's attacks, except Lightning Storm. As you trigger this move, it will automatically target the balloon and cripple its shield. With the shield disabled, you must move quickly to get to the balloon's platform, as the shield will eventually reactivate.
Use rooftops to your advantage to reach the balloon's platform. When you are in good enough range, glide to the platform, then get near the gaps in it to detach it from the balloon. There are three gaps in the platform; you must detach it from these three points. Jump carefully across them to get around the platform. Once accomplished, jump off as the balloon drifts off and the platform falls down. Follow this same process when dealing with the balloons that appear in the other two districts. Follow the waypoints on your GPS to locate them. When dealing with the final two balloons in the Neon, you will have to fight a Reaper Conduit, as well as protect yourself from the balloon's mounted turrets.[notes 2] Shocking the Conduit on the final balloon will force him to teleport to a rooftop, making it easier to fight him.
Note that getting caught within the spewing gas will temporarily impair your ability to jump or use any powers, making you vulnerable to attacks from the affected civilians.[notes 3] Also, the mission fails if Cole kills himself shooting a balloon while on its platforms; the same applies if a balloon has already been released.
- Brandon Carey is encountered on the street as one of the infected citizens, regardless of Cole's karma choice in the mission "Blood Trail". He carries his white crowbar and will attempt to attack Cole, alongside other citizens affected by the gas.
- Using Polarity Wall in conjunction with Lightning Storm, whilst disabling the shields on the last two balloons, protects Cole from the turrets.
- Some civilians may still attack Cole after the mission is complete.