Cyberpunk 2036

Episode 29 - All Fall Down

The team gets about a month of downtime before their next opportunity comes along. They begin to look at turning their salvage business from a side source of income into a legitimate business. The first step is to move the operation out of the Combat Zone. It turns out that such a move will cost more money than they now have. If only there was a way to make some quick cash.

February 28th, 2039

Zen gets a call from someone who knows her real name. He says his name is Mark Vincent, and his manner of speaking has cop written all over it. He wants to meet her team. She agrees to meet with him the next day at the Forlorn Hope.

She checks with Infocomp to see what they know about any federal agents named Mark Vincent. If he is who he says he is, he is DEA.

March 1st, 2039

Zen, Saito, Helios, and Riptide meet at the Forlorn Hope. There they meet with Mark Vincent. He tells them that Diego Entrada has shutdown his operation in Columbia, and they are not sure where he has gone off to. The search is complicated by the fact that no one really knows what he looks like.

The DEA does know that he has begun shipping his new drug Blue Glass to the U.S. A shipment showed up in Las Vegas and is currently under the control of a nomad named Raze. Raze is looking for a distributor.

Vincent wants them to go to Las Vegas and try to become Raze’s distributor with the goal of winning his trust and eventually tracing the drugs back to Diego Entrada. The job doesn’t pay anything, but he will give them $50,000 to make the purchase from Raze, and what ever they profit from the sales they can keep. Also, he seems to know about their history with Entrada and figures they would like the opportunity for revenge.

They agree to take the job. Raze is currently planning to use the James Gang, a Las Vegas Booster Gang as his distributor. The sale goes down in two days.

The team spends the rest of the day making arrangements to be gone for potentially several weeks. Mouse is able to acquire a 6-month lease on a warehouse facility in Vegas that they will be able to use as a headquarters. Infocomp is none too happy and tells Zen if she leaves, not to bother coming back.

March 2nd, 2039

The team spends the better part of the day driving through the desert to Las Vegas. They arrive at their warehouse, and set up operations there.

Zen and Riptide hit the streets. Riptide reestablishes contact with some of his old compatriots from back when he called Vegas home. They are able to learn that the James Gang hangs at a bar called Ace in the Hole. They also learn that the gang’s number one rival is a local chapter of the Blood Razors.

Later that evening, they head to the Ace in the Hole. The place is packed with lowlifes and off duty cops. The James Gang members are easy to spot in their cowboy hats and dusters. The team sits near them, but does not draw their attention.

A short time later, a large man in biker gear shows up. He goes to the James Gang table and begins talking to them. The team hears him referred to as Raze. After several minutes and a few drinks, Raze heads out the door. Riptide and Zen follow.

Outside the bar, Riptide introduces himself. He explains that he has a group that would like to be the distributor for the drug. Raze asks how he knows about it but Riptide manages to dodge the issue. Instead, Raze gives him an invite to bid for the job. The meet is tomorrow at the old army depot at high noon.

March 3rd, 2039

Early before sunrise, Saito heads out to the army depot and checks it out. It contains four large warehouses and eight two-story buildings all surrounded by a double layer of fence. The buildings are all empty and the fence has several large gaps in it. He scopes out a rock ridge about a quarter mile away, and then returns to the team’s HQ.

About 10:00 AM, Saito returns to his selected spot and conceals himself and his rifle with a camo-tarp. The others arrive at 11:00 to find the depot crawling with nomads. They are allowed in and guided to one of the warehouses, where they are left to wait.

At 11:45 the James Gang arrives. Not surprisingly, they are very unhappy about the unannounced competition. Too bad for them they are outnumbered about 10 to 1 by nomads, so their protests remain strictly verbal.

Raze explains that the bid today is not just for this one 50 Kilo shipment of Blue Ice, but if the winner is successful in selling the first batch, they can be the primary distributor ongoing. He also states one important stipulation. The drug cannot be sold outside of Las Vegas.

The bidding then begins at $20,000, the James Gang original offer. If goes back and forth with the James Gangers getting more upset every time Riptide raises the stakes. Eventually the James Gang is forced to concede when Riptide offers to pay $42,500 for the shipment, more that 80% of its estimated street value.

The James Gang storm off in a huff. They vow that this is not over. Meanwhile, the nomads help load the 50 Kilos of Blue Glass into the back of the team’s van. The team then heads back toward Vegas.

They don’t get very far when three dune buggies loaded with James Gangers come up behind them and open fire. Luckily the van they are using is the armored tactical van than they had liberated from Militech. The gangers open fire, and despite using armor piercing rounds, the rear armor of the van holds. It is getting chewed up though, and eventually a couple of rounds penetrate, nearly hitting Zen who is sitting with their cargo.

Helios is doing his best to keep his distance, but even the van’s supercharged engine has trouble staying ahead of the dune buggies, which are designed for this kind of terrain. But while he swerves back and forth, giving Riptide chances to take shots from the passenger side window, Helios is slowly circling back towards where Saito is positioned.

Once they get to within about three-quarters of a mile, Saito opens fire with his heavy rifle. The .50 caliber electro-thermo rounds easily blow through the light armor of the dune buggies and disable them. With that threat eliminated, they all return back to their warehouse.

As soon as they get back they began planning their next move. Riptide still has the connections in the city to plan a rave, the ideal place for the introduction of a new drug. They plan it for the 6th.

March 4th, 2039

They begin the process of finding a place, acquiring food, a DJ, alcohol and security. Just in case the James Gang decides to crash the party, Riptide decides to hire the Blood Razors as security. He also finds an old friend of his who is a supplier for some of the local social elites. He gives him 100 grams to distribute for free.

March 5th, 2039

Eventually, they have their place set up. It has a capacity to hold 1,000 people and it costs them $8,500 in upfront expenses to get it set up. They hope to get about 750 people to actually show in order to cover their costs.

March 6th, 2039

The rave goes off without a hitch, but only 600 people show. At the end of the night, once door fees are added up as well as their share of the drink sales, they actually profit $500. Plus they make an additional $800 selling 800 grams of the drug. That is a lot less then they were hoping to move that night, but it is a start.

March 7th, 2039

They begin looking at hosting another party, but going bigger this time. They find a facility that holds 5,000 people, but they realize that they don’t have the funds to set up something that big. Instead they plan for something about twice the size of their first event.

Riptide checks in with his old buddy. His friend says the Blue Glass is a hit with the swells, and he figures he can move about 100 grams a day. He wants 30%, which means $70 going back to the team. Its not a lot either, but it’s a steady sales and revenue stream that’s a good point to build off of.

March 8th, 2039

It turns out that Jarvic is in town. He is also in Las Vegas looking to move some of his Super Fly. He hears about a big rave coming up and decides that it would be a good place to dump some product. He begins to ask around to find out where and when it’s going to take place. In the process of doing so he finds himself face-to-face with Helios. Helios not only tells them where the rave is, but also invites him back to the warehouse to meet with the rest of the gang.

There he meets with Riptide and convinces Riptide to buy some of his stock. He also decides to give away quite a bit of it for free at the rave in order to generate some interest. The team hopes that that added draw should bring in more people although they are concerned that it may dilute their own sales.

March 9, 2039

The next party draws a bigger audience. They get about 1600 people to show. They are able to move about 3200 grams of the drug.

March 10 – March 11, 2039

They spend the next couple of days recruiting more individuals to help move the drug. They also slowly begin to expand their network of dealers.

March 12, 2039

They begin to plan their next rave. This time they have enough money to shoot for a 5000 person venue. They do get some bad news though as one of Riptide’s dealers is apparently shot and killed. The perpetrator is unknown.

March 13 – March 14, 2039

Riptide adds two more dealers to his network.

March 15, 2039

Another one of Riptide’s dealers is killed. This time however they know that the hit was conducted by the James Gang.

March 16, 2039

They find out that the James gang hangs out in the old subway system. Saito tracks down one of the subway entrances that the gang uses. After waiting patiently for several hours Saito snipes two members of the gang as they emerge.

March 17, 2039

Their third rave takes place today. They get over 6000 people to show up. Unfortunately the venue only holds 5000 so they are forced to turn some people away. They do issue coupons to those that were turned away to give them priority access to the next event. They move almost twice as much product as last time.

March 18, 2039

Three of their dealers get arrested and Riptide has to bail them out.

March 19, 2039

The team now has 10 dealers working for them. Saito tracks down one of the teams of the James gang who were on the street dealing their own product. He waits for an opportune moment with his sniper rifle and picks off one of the members mid-transaction.

March 20, 2039

An uneventful day.

March 21, 2039

They continue to expand their network of dealers. They also hear on the news today of a missile apparently being launched into the 35th floor of the Biotechnica building. They do a little digging and learn that the office the missile was targeted at belongs to a man named Dr. Thomas Moore. The missile was fired from the parking lot on the ground floor. A witness claims that the person firing the missile appeared to be of South American dissent.

March 22, 2039

They now have a team of 12 dealers working for them. They contact Mouse to search out who Dr. Thomas Moore is. He calls them back a short time later and says that Dr. Thomas Moore is part of Biotechnica’s bio-weapons division. Riptide contacts Tobias Luna in regards the situation. Tobias indicates that he will find out what Riptide wants to know, but that Riptide is going to owe him a favor in exchange. Riptide is fully aware that Tobias will cash in on that favor someday but agrees to the deal.

Riptide also decides to hit streets to find out what the James Gang’s reaction is to the recent deaths of their members. He learns of their preparing to go to war with someone. He also learns that apparently the gang has a corporate sponsor that will be sending in outside support.

The team decides to kidnap a member of the James Gang and find out exactly what they are up to. They go to the Ace in the Hole and wait for a few members of the gang to leave. As always members of the James gang seem to travel in threes. This particular group of three pops into their dune buggy and begins to drive away. The team, using their Militech van, begin to follow. But moments later they find out that they themselves are being followed by another van. Saito, from several blocks, away opens fire with his sniper rifle disabling the pursuing van. Moments later the van doors open up as several Colombians pile out and begin to open fire on the team’s van. One of them uses a shoulder-mounted missile launcher, but thanks to the Helios’ driving, the team’s able to avoid the incoming artillery. Saito then opens fire on the Colombians forcing them to scatter.

The dune buggy and the team’s van race through the streets of Las Vegas, exchanging gunfire. Eventually the dune buggy is disabled. One of the James Gang members is killed by the gunfire. Another is killed when Helios rams the van into the dune buggy causing it to roll over one of the gang members. The third is knocked unconscious and the team members drag him into the back of their van.

The team then drives out to the old abandoned Army depot. There they begin to interrogate their prisoner. They learn that they are the ones of the James Gang plans to go to war with. They’ve got something big planned but the prisoner doesn’t know what that is. The team assumes that the James Gang intends to attack on their next rave. They also learn that the gang’s corporate sponsor has called in a large number of Colombians to help out. Those Colombians are currently holed up at the old abandoned Air Force proving grounds. The corporate sponsor is Diverse Media Systems. They have him draw a map of the subway system including any traps or ambush points that the James gang has set up.

March 23, 2039

In the news today is a story about a man who went crazy in one of the casinos. When he finally collapsed and died, witnesses say he had a strange purple substance oozing from his nose. A toxicology report indicates that he was hopped up on Blue Glass.

Riptide gets in touch with Tobias Luna. Tobias indicates that Dr. Thomas Moore was working with the gentleman from DMS, but the deal went drastically south between the two of them. Riptide tells Tobias that it was a group of Colombians who attacked the Biotechnica office. He then tells Tobias where the Colombians are currently hanging out. Tobias lets him know that Biotechnica will deal with the Colombians.

Saito heads out to the Air Force proving grounds and scopes out where the Colombians are. He estimates that there are roughly 50 of them there.

March 24, 2039

Today in the news is a story about a man who went running down the Las Vegas strip completely naked, punching people at random. When he was subdued he was found to be frothing at the mouth with a strange purple foam. A toxicology report is pending, but it is assumed that he was also on Blue Glass.

That afternoon the Air Force grounds are leveled by a Lazarus strike team. From what Saito can tell in his observations, there are no survivors on the Colombian side.

That evening they hold their fourth party. This time they get a full 10,000 people to show up and this time they have a big enough venue that can hold them all. With the Colombian threat neutralized, the rave goes off without a hitch. Between the drug sales and the profits from the venues, this is beginning to turn into a very lucrative gig.

March 25, 2039

They decide to let their prisoner go. They send him off with a message to his gang. He is to tell them that if the gang leaves town, there will be no further incidents. Otherwise, they will continue to suffer at the hands of their new rivals. Apparently, with the complete destruction of the Colombian contingent, the James Gang realizes that they are outmatched. A couple hours later, the team watches as the entire James Gang rolls out of town.

Later today is another news report involving two people this time. As the two of them seem to go crazy begin attacking people at random. Also as before, they have a strange purple substance oozing from their mouth and nose.

The team begins preparing for their next planned event. This time they talk about hosting the event inside the tunnels that have been abandoned by the James Gang.

March 26, 2039

Today in the news, the mayor announces a crackdown on the new menace to the city. He declares that this new menace is Blue Glass.

The team has managed to sell most of the product. Riptide decides to make contact with Raze to obtain some more. Raze indicates that he will need a couple of days, but he will get them another shipment of the product.

March 27, 2039

The mayor’s crackdown on Blue Glass begins. Four of Riptide’s dealers are arrested and put in jail. This time the city is not letting them out on bail.

Riptide gets a call from Raze. Raze says the source is willing to sell them the next 50 kg shipment for only $20,000, but in exchange for a favor. He wants them to kill John Carter, a DMS employee. John Carter works and lives on the 120th floor of the DMS building. As far as anyone knows he never leaves. Riptide accepts the deal.

March 28th, 2039

By this time, their suspicions about what is going on are starting to grow stronger. They decide to send a sample of Blue Glass to Tobias Luna. They give some of the product they have left to Jarvic, who takes it back with him to Night City. Once there, he gives it directly to Tobias.

Wondering why the drug is only being distributed in Las Vegas, they start a rumor that Blue Glass has been showing up in Reno. They pick that city because it’s where the James Gang has migrated.

Riptide contacts Mouse and sees what he can learn about DMS’ activities in Columbia. Mouse says he will see what he can come up with.

March 29th, 2039

In the morning, Riptide gets a call from Mouse. Mouse informs him that for the last few years, a DMS jet has been making regular monthly flights to Columbia, returning a week later. Then, about six months ago, the flights stopped.

The team starts plotting a way to get into the DMS building. Riptide inquires as to what outside vendors conduct business in the DMS building. They get some ideas, but are unsure if this is the best route in.

They decide to try another angle. Since Riptide has a dealer working the upper class clientele, he checks if any of them are DMS employees. Sure enough, one of the Blue Glass users is Bryan Wainright, a host of a local entertainment news show, taped right inside the DMS building. They decide to make him an offer he can’t refuse.

Riptide gets a call from Tobias. Tobias explains that the Blue Glass has been mixed with a Biotechnica bio-weapon. Tobias won’t share any details on the drug, but will say that by all accounts, people should be dropping dead left and right in Las Vegas. It seems the bio-weapon has a 97% lethality rate. There should be a lot more dead people.

Riptide asks what are the other businesses that Biotechnica operates in Las Vegas. Tobias mentions a few, including managing the city’s municipal water supply.

They contact Mouse and ask him to hack the County Coronor’s computers and get the autopsy reports on those that died from Blue Glass. He says he’ll get to work on it.

They then drive out to the city water plant. They can only get so close before they are stopped by security. Its enough to see that Biotechnica runs the security there, and it appears the be the tightest security they have every seen for such a facility.

March 30th, 2039

They get a call from Mouse regarding those who had died from the Blue Glass. It seems that most of the victims were dehydrated, either due to sickness, or excessive alcohol consumption. This confirms the team’s suspicion that Biotechnica is putting something in the water supply that suppresses the bio-weapon.

Shortly thereafter they head out to Bryan’s house. He grants them access to his high-security gated community. He greets them at the door in a bathrobe and invites them into the house. They work on a nice deal giving him some Blue Glass on the cheap.

Afterwards they asked him what he knows about John Carter. He refers to John as the creepy guy on the 123rd floor. Rumor has it the guy lives in the building and never, ever leaves. He doesn’t know if that’s true, but he himself is never seen the guy outside of the building.

He also recognizes Riptide. He recognizes him from the days when he used to play arena football right here in Las Vegas.

They asked him about getting them into the DMS building. Not surprisingly, he’s reluctant to help. However, since his deal hinges upon him helping them, he’s open to suggestions. He says the best way that he could get them in the door, is by giving him an opportunity to interview a celebrity, conducted in the building. They can then come in as part of that person’s entourage.

Riptide had noticed that a buddy of his from his earlier days in Vegas, who was a small time entertainer back then, was on posters and billboards everywhere. Ray Stevenson was his name. Apparently in the time since Riptide was gone, the guy’s become a big deal in Las Vegas. He’s now one of the city’s top entertainers. They decide to go visit Ray Stevenson, and let Riptide catch up on old times.

They are able to meet up with Ray at his penthouse suite in the Sands Hotel. He recognizes Riptide right away, and the two begin to reminisce. He gets Ray to agree to do an interview with Bryan Wainright. This is something that Ray is not particularly excited about, as he sees doing Bryan’s show as slumming it, but anything for an old friend. Ray and Riptide then hit the town for a long night of drinking, partying and debauchery.

March 31st, 2039

The next morning Riptide decides to check in on Tobias. Tobias was supposed to call them regarding information on the Vegas water sample, but they never heard from him. He is unable to reach Tobias however. Tobias’ personal assistant simply says that he is out of town on an important project.

Using Bryan’s access to the Wynn Estates gated community, they head over to Thomas Moore’s house. There they stick it out for the better part of the day until finally Moore comes home.

Once he is inside, the team storms the house. There’s a guard at the door who is easily overtaken. Riptide and Helios charge upstairs and are able to secure the family before they were able to get into a panic room.

Dr. Moore confirms their suspicions. He purchased a large quantity the drug from John Carter at DMS. He then used the drug as a delivery system for sending out a Biotechnica bio-weapon. However the weapon was not what was being tested. Instead they were injecting a chemical into the water supply that could suppress it.

He pointed out the possible tactic of injecting the suppressant into a city’s water supply, while simultaneously getting the drug in the common use with the city’s population. One could then extort the city, threatening to end the water treatments, thereby leading to thousands of deaths.

When asked him why he had a falling out with John Carter, he explained that John Carter did not realize that he intended to test the drug right there in Las Vegas. When John Carter realized what was happening, he attempted to end the deal and get his drugs back. However, thanks to a crack group of edgerunners, hired by his man Raze, Carter’s plans have been foiled and the drug was now in wide use in Las Vegas.

They then asked him why a DMS agent had come to have a pipeline for Blue Glass, a relatively new drug that have been recently created by Diego Entrada. Moore explained that Diego Entrada and John Carter are in fact one and the same person . John Carter used to go back to Columbia about once a month to check his operations there. He would take an AV-4 directly from the roof of the DMS building to the airport and from their fly to Columbia. This is why no one ever saw him come or go from the building. Due to DEA pressure several months ago, Diego was forced to suspend his operations in Columbia. Luckily for him, by this point he had sent a large amount of the new drug into the US. He saw the deal with Thomas Moore is a great way to get it moving quickly.

Riptide then revealed that his team were the ones were selling the drug. He told Dr. Moore that if in the future, he should decide to carry out such an operation; Riptide’s team would be the ones a higher make it happen. Dr. Moore agreed.

The team makes a change of plans. Riptide calls Mark Vincent, the DEA agent who had hired them. He tells Mark they want the DEA to contact Diego Entrada. Let them know that they were on to him and that they were coming to get him. The plan was that the call should flush Diego out of the building. The team decided that it would be much easier to intercept him at the airport when he was fleeing, rather than trying to break into the fortress that was the DMS building.

April 1st, 2039

Early that morning, Riptide contacts Ray. The good news is they no longer need to Ray to do that interview. The bad news was that they need Ray to give them access to the airport. Ray has his own charter jet there. They would use that crews’ credentials to get themselves into the private jet hangers.

Using those credentials, Helios and Zen hid inside the DMS hanger. Meanwhile, Saito and Riptide positioned themselves in another hanger kitty corner from the DMS hanger.

The plan was for the DEA to contact Diego at 4 PM. Everything seemed to go according to plan as around 4:45 several SUVs rolled up to the hanger. However, Diego was not in any of them. Instead the convoy contained only security personnel who began to sweep the area. Helios and Zen manage stay hidden from their prying eyes.

Then several minutes later, two more SUVs roll up. Out steps a man who appeares to be Diego Entrada and his assistant. Saito, takes a shot from his position. The bullet explodes through Diego’s head, killing him instantly.

The security team jumps into action, and immediately begins escorting the assistant back into the vehicle. The urgency with which they were protecting him made the team realize that the man that Saito had shot was a decoy. The assistant was the real Diego Entrada.

Saito ias able to snipe Diego while in the armored vehicle as it is backing out of the hanger. A shot to the gas tank makes sure that no one in the vehicle was alive. However, at this point, security team has honed in on Saito’s position. A couple dozen men begin to converge on the other hanger. Riptide begins to offer supporting fire, but the two are heavily outgunned.

Meanwhile, Helios and Zen remain hidden behind crates and barrels in the DMS hanger. As the security team begins to rush out the front, they quietly make their way out of the back door. They ran into a security fence, where Helios uses wolvers a cut a hole. The two then make their escape.

Things are not so easy for Saito and Riptide however. Not only were several security personnel converging on their position, but two of the SUVs rolled up to the gate, and pop-up turrets emerged on the roofs. .50 caliber machine guns began to pour lead into the hanger. Riptide and Saito are hit, however a combination of their armor and cover keep them alive.

Riptide slowly makes his way towards the backdoor of the hanger. Once outside however, he is not near the perimeter fence. Instead he is simply along a pathway between more hangers. Coming from the other side of the hanger are more security personnel that begin to open fire.

Saito is able to snipe the two guards manning the SUV turrets. The two SUVs then pull off to the side of the hanger. Saito takes this as an opportunity to fall back and head for the backdoor.

As Riptide comes around the North side of the hanger and he sees the two SUVs pull up and park. He immediately charges the first SUV and shoots the driver through the windshield. He then climbs onto the hood of the vehicle and rolls through the broken windshield. He then shoves the driver out of the driver side door.

Saito then comes around the corner and ducks low along the side of the SUV and climbs in the passenger side door. Riptide then steps on the gas and they pull away from the hanger, but are immediately pursued by the other SUV.

They race through the airport, dodging vehicles and baggage carts. Someone mans the turret of the pursuing SUV and begins to open fire on them. .50 Cal begin to shred the armored back of the SUV they are in. Saito is able to get his sniper rifle in position and first shoots the gunner, and then disables the vehicle. They then race out of the airport and pick up Helios and Zen.

They then try to contact Dr. Moore, to tell him that his rival has been eliminated. Much to their surprise it was not Dr. Moore who answers the phone, but Tobias Luna. It seemed he was now in Vegas and wants to congratulate them on a job well done. He says that when he realized what was happening in Vegas immediately headed down. He convinced the powers that be in Biotechnica that Dr. Moore had crossed the line with his experiment in Las Vegas. They decided it was best for Tobias to take charge of the operation. He intends to shut it down at this point but appreciates their generous offer to help Biotechnica in the future if they ever decided to use the bio-weapon.

The mission was done. They had traced the source of the Blue Glass thereby meeting the DEA’s objective. But this was a big personal victory for them as well as they had eliminated Diego Entrada. One of the two forces working against them had now been eliminated. They head back home to Night City for a much-deserved rest.