The team gets about three weeks of down time before their next job. They spend the time healing up and replacing damaged gear.
November 7th, 2038
Dollar Bill contacts Riptide. He says he has a corp looking to hire some edgerunners and wants to know if Riptide can meet at the Forlorn Hope tomorrow. Riptide agrees.
November 8th, 2038
Riptide goes to the Forlorn Hope. He meets a man wearing some serious yuppie flash, including pointed ears, fangs, and color-changing suit. He introduces himself as Mr. Y.
Y is looking to have a data-chip recovered that was stolen from another corporate by an exotic joy girl. He does not have a lot of info on the girl other than she is a cheetah-exotic who goes by the name of Misty. She was last seen working the Night City Convention Center the night the chip disappeared. He doesn’t say what the chip does, only that its ID code is EBMBIOPROC971X.A.
He agrees to pay $10,000 for the chip plus $5,000 upfront to cover expenses. Riptide gets him to agree to an incentive bonus of $10,000 if they can get it to him in 24 hours. No contact information is exchanged. Instead, they simply agree to meet back here at the Forlorn Hope in 24 hours.
Riptide talks to Dollar Bill to find out what he knows about joy girls. Dollar Bill says he only knows two guys in the area pimping exotics. One is named Hartely. He works out of Durant’s restaurant in the EBM Tower. The other is Wilson, who works the New Harbor Marina area.
Riptide contacts the others and fills them in on the details. They meet at the hospital, in the room where Zenis recovering. She uses her resources in Infocomp to find out anything about Misty, but with nothing more than that name to go one, she comes up with nothing.
Saito puts on his Sunday best and heads over to Durant’s. He figures out which patron is Hartely and asks him about hiring a joy girl, specifically of the cheetah variety. Hartely says he only has one currently, and her name is Baja. Saito agrees to set up a date in one hour at the Hotel Hamilton.
In the mean time, Riptide heads down to the marina and begins looking for Wilson. He finds the dread-lock bedecked pimp and inquires about hiring a cheetah joy girl. Wilson says he has one but has not heard from her in a couple of days and is not sure what her availability is. He is clearly not happy about the situation, as she owes him for some drugs her got her.
Riptide offers to track her down for a discount on the session. Wilson agrees, saying if Riptide can get her furry butt back here, Riptide can have a go for free. They agree on the deal. Wilson says her name is Misty and she lives at the Meadow Creek Pines.
Riptide contacts Helios and Saito and has them meet at the Meadow Creek Pines. Saito sticks around the Hamilton long enough to meet Baja. He cancels the date, but still pays the $600 minimum fee. She gives him her contact number if he changes his mind.
As Helios and Riptide drive to Meadow Creek Pines, they notice that they are being tailed by a blue sedan. They are able to shake it before arriving at the Pines.
Meadow Creek Pines is a rundown apartment building with zero security. Its home to blue collar types in the upper levels and a cheesy country-western bar on the first floor. They talk to a resident reading a newspaper in the second floor lobby. Being an exotic, Misty’s hard to miss. He says she lives up in apartment 503. They wait for Saito to arrive. When he does, Helios stays in the lobby while the other two head up to the fifth floor.
They approach the door and Riptide uses the thermo-imager in his cyber optic to scan the apartment. He sees one prone person in the living room. They knock a couple of times, but get no answer, nor does the person move.
Riptide picks the lock and they enter the apartment and see that it has been ransacked. Lying on the couch is a man who doesn’t register that they are there until they are standing in the living room. Talking to him they realize that he is stoned on Blue Glass. He talks about being visited by angels and trying to find God in the Net. He says he found God once, but he called himself Masslight and zapped him with lightning.
When asked about what happened to the apartment, he says the angels came asking for Misty. When he said that he did not know where she was, they created a terrible wind, which trashed the place.
They relayed this information to Helios who asked the man reading the newspaper if four people came to visit recently. The man said that four attractive ladies came by a short while ago. Based on the language they were using, he guessed that they were German.
Saito and Riptide are about to leave the stoner when the phone in the apartment rings. It rings only once before switching to an answering machine. The voice on the phone is a rugged female voice that says, “Misty, Its Bee. Your brat is here from the grocery store. Are you with the program or not? If your not here in 5 minutes, I’m bugging out. Call Chueng if there is a change of plans.”
They head back down to the lobby to talk with Helios and the newspaper reader. As they are talking, they hear a commotion in the back stairwell. Saito goes to check it out. He sees two women in the back stairwell. Saito approaches and one draws a pistol and aims it at him, warning him off. Saito continues forward and she fires at him.
Hearing the shots, Riptide and Helios move to the stairwell. Saito gets in contact range of the shooter and swats her gun away and tries to grapple her. He now has full view of the stairwell, and sees a third woman who zaps a badly beaten Misty with a Tazer. The third woman exits, while the second joins the struggle with Saito and tries to get him to release her.
Riptide and Helios try to help, but the fight in the stairwell has them bottlenecked. Eventually the second woman gives up and leaves the first to her fate. The first woman succumbs to Saito’s chokehold and collapses. He moves to check on Misty, who is barely alive.
Riptide and Helios push past the melee and out the back door where they are greeted by a claymore mine blast. It rips up their armor, but they survive. However, before they can recover, a fourth woman, covering the escape of the other two opens fire with her assault rifle. Riptide is able to dive back inside, but Helios is cut down. Riptide drags Helios into the building. Saito calls Jarvic for a medical evac for Helios and Misty.
They discuss what to do next, knowing that they may only have a few minutes before the chip disappears forever. They ask the newspaper guy where the nearest grocery store is. He says it’s the MaxiMarket one block east.
They head over there and ask the clerks if anyone knows Misty or her daughter. A grocery runner says that Misty’s daughter Kelly was in here just a few minutes ago. She bought some groceries and headed over to the medical supply warehouse that is across the street from the Meadow Creek Pines.
They run over to the warehouse to the door that the clerk had pointed towards. The door has an intercom and a camera. Riptide buzzes the intercom and a voice asks what they want. Riptide says that he is looking buy the chip. The door unlocks.
They head up a set of stairs where a solo instructs them to place any weapons in a box before having them walk through a full body scanner. They do so and enter the warehouse room.
There they meet Queen Bee, a fixer who is looking to sell the chip. She asks for $750,000 for the chip. The edgerunners don’t have that kind of money, nor do they have any way of getting a hold of Mr. Y. They are considering what to do, when the voice from the intercom now comes over the loudspeaker in the room telling Bee that there is a problem.
A moment later a small explosion tares open the front door. Saito runs to the gun box to get their weapons. Two grenades are launched into the stairwell. Saito is able to grab the box, but is badly wounded by the grenade detonations. He hobbles over to a crate where Riptide had dove for cover.
One of the German solo girls charges up the stairs, now decked up in Full Metal Gear. She opens fire with her assault rifle and guns down the solo that had been watching the stairs.
The lights suddenly go out and a crate opens up. Out rolls a drone mounted with a mini-gun. It opens fire, ripping apart the German solo. Riptide and Saito run into the warehouse office, as the drone keeps the other solos at bay.
Inside the office they see the girl Kelly, and a man lying on a couch, wired to a deck. Queen Bee is pushing a shelf out of the way revealing a hole behind it. She orders the girl through and then follows her self. While Riptide watches the door, Saito unplugs the Net Runner.
The man is disoriented for a moment and looks at Saito angrily and demands to know why he did that. Outside, they hear the drone’s mini-gun wind down as its controller had just been disconnected. Saito picks up the man and they move through the hole in the wall. Beyond is a small room with a fireman’s pole descending to the floor below.
Below is a small parking garage with a single small roadster. She tells Saito to put Chueng in the trunk. Riptide demands she turn over the chip. She knows the deal is cooked so she decides to take what she can get. Riptide offers the $5,000 they got in expense money, and she agrees. They make they exchange as two solos slide down the pole.
Queen Bee and Kelly take off in the roadster leaving Riptide and Saito to run off on foot. They are pursued by the solos who fire at them while chasing, but the shots go wide.
As they exit the warehouse, they are forced to dive out of the way as the blue sedan drives up onto the sidewalk and tries to run them down. Both of them are able to dive out of the way just in time.
The sedan begins to circle around the block and the solos continue to pursue from the warehouse. Saito and Riptide run down an alley dodging bullets the whole way.
As they run through the alleyways, they happen to come across the headquarters of the infamous booster gang, the Maelstrom. Riptide tries to convince them that the two girls chasing them are going to attack the HQ. The punks out front laugh at that notion stating that the building is a fortress.
The two edge runners continue on. A few moments later, they hear gunfire. The boosters may not have believed Riptides story, but the German girls, being out-of-towners, probably didn’t realize whom they had just run into. A fatal mistake made on their part.
The pursuers were dealt with, but now there is still the sedan. Free to stand their ground, Riptide and Saito open up with every once of firepower they had at hand. The windshield of the vehicle explodes, and the driver is riddled with bullets. The car swerves past them and slams into a light pole.
They make a quick stop at Trapper John’s to get Saito stitched up. They then decide not to go home. Saito calls Baja, and agrees to pay double the standard fee if he and Riptide can crash at her place that evening. She agrees.
They head to her place at the Mallplex. Riptide sleeps on the couch while Saito retires to the bedroom and lives out his Thunder Cats fantasy.
November 9th, 2038
Riptide goes to the Forlorn Hope and meets with Mr. Y. Y examines the chip. Satisfied with what he sees, he transfers $20,000 into Riptide’s account. The money will have to last. With Zen and Helios in the hospital, and Saito nursing some serious injuries, it would be a while before the team could take another job.