Cyberpunk 2036

Episode 46 - Special Delivery

April 11th, 2041 – May 8th, 2041

The team spends the next couple of weeks recovering from their recent adventures. Business returns to normal as they each go about their day jobs plus managing their salvage business.

One point of Interest though: Riptide decides to investigate something that has been bothering him for some time. He seeks out Alys Grant, with whom he and the team had a run in a few years back. He wants to know how she was always managing to live beyond her means, something the team never looked into at that time. He finds Alys still living at the same place and asks her about it. Naturally, she is at first reluctant to talk to him but eventually reveals to him that her adopted son Jace Grant, was part of an Infotech project known as Project Apotheosis. She knew a little about the project itself, only that they were paying her considerable money to raise the child. Jace no longer lived with her, as he was taken to a special academy run by Infotech.

May 9th, 2041

Riptide is watching reports on the news about Militech expanding its bombing campaign against important Arasaka targets when he gets a phone call from Mouse. Mouse says he has a job for the team regarding a ship that will be coming into the port on the 16th. The ship contains cargo that cannot go through customs. The job is to offload the cargo before it reaches shore. The details are: three roughly refrigerator-size crates weighing 3 ½ tons each, stored in a single cargo container on the ship. Customs could do a surprise inspection of the ship as far out as 30 miles from shore, therefore the crates need to be offloaded prior to the ship coming in within 30 miles. The crew of the transport ship know nothing about what is being planned, however they will have a man on board by the name of Kahale who will help unload the cargo and escort it into Night City where it needs to be dropped off. The pay is $10,000 a piece plus any reasonable expenses.

Riptide talks to the rest of the team about the job and they agree to take the job. The try to pry Mouse for information regarding the contents of the crates and who he is working for. Mouse stays mum for the most part but lets them know that the contents of the crates are fairly fragile. Mouse gives Riptide a scrambled satellite phone with which he can contact Kahale. They speak to Kahale, and find out that he is also unaware of what is in the crates.

May 10th – May 14th, 2041

The team begins planning how they’re going to offload the crates from the cargo ship. At first they consider simply bribing a customs official to make sure that the ship goes through port without inspection. However, when they suggest this the Mouse, he makes it clear that the ship must not arrive in port with those crates still on board. Although he does not give any details, he is concerned that there may be people at the port who know that the ship is coming in and will attempt to intercept the cargo there.

They talk to Kahale about the defenses on the ship. While the freighter is hardly a warship, it is fairly well armed to defend against pirates. They debate whether to approach this job via ship or via a helicopter. The challenge of the helicopter is that there are not that many helicopters short of a Chinook heavy lifter that can lift 10 tons of cargo, and they tend to be very slow and noisy. They also then debate using another ship, but then the question becomes how they get the cargo from one ship to the other.

Zen talks to Dollar Billl about getting her hands on an Electronic Warfare Suite. He says he can get one to her by the end of the week but that kind of rushed job will be very expensive. At first Zen is hesitant, but then remembers that all expenses are being paid for by their unknown employer, so she agrees to the deal.

As the debate continues regarding whether to use a ship or a helicopter, Saito suggests using a blimp. There are blimps that are capable of carrying heavy cargo over considerably long distances. While they are slow and vulnerable to attack, they are extremely quiet and it would allow them to perhaps stealthily take the crate from the ship without the crew ever being aware it was happening. They confirm with Kahale that the cargo container in question has been placed on top of the cargo stack on the ship. The question now is where they get their hands on a blimp.

Against his own better judgement, Riptide places a call to Tobias Luna. He asks Luna if Biotechnica has a blimp they can borrow. Luna points out that this is a rather odd request, but they do in fact have a blimp. He will gladly loan it to the team in exchange, as usual, for a favor. Knowing what that usually means Riptide, grits his teeth and agrees to the deal. The team now has a blimp.

The team then decides that hauling the cargo all the way into the city suspended beneath the blimp might not be a good idea. Riptide does some asking around and finds a boat captain who will be willing to take on the cargo and bring it on to shore no questions asked.

So the plan is to fly the blimp out to meet the cargo ship. They’ll use the electronic warfare suite to block the ship’s radar and communications. Helios will pilot the blimp, Zen will descend down onto the ship and help Kahale secure the cargo, while Saito remains on the blimp providing cover. Once the cargo is secure, it, along with Zen and Kahale will be hoisted back up and the blimp will head back towards the coast. Somewhere just off of shore, they will rendezvous with the boat that Riptide has hired. The cargo and the team, except for Helios, well then load onto the boat and take the boat to a location north of Night City that the captain has assured them no one will disturb them. The team will have a couple of their employees from the salvage company meet them with that location. There they will load the cargo onto of a truck and take it into Night City to its final destination. The plan is in place. What could possibly go wrong?

May 15th, 2041

Surprisingly little actually. The plan pretty much goes off exactly as intended. On the evening of the 15th Riptide goes to meet with the boat crew while the others head to the airport. There they use the passcodes given by them by Thomas Luna to access the blimp. Once on the blimp they find out it is designed for silent running, which is definitely to their advantage. They also find out it holds a military grade bio-containment chamber. The implications of this they try not to think about. They set up the electronic warfare suite and the stealth blimp heads out over the ocean.

The blimp, under the electronic cover of the electronic warfare suite approaches the ship. While they have electronic stealth, tonight happens to be a full moon. Helios is careful to approach the ship in a manner that minimizes the chances of being spotted.

Zen lowers down on a cable and meets with Kahale, a surprisingly large man with a metal cowl. They attach the cables to the cargo box and along with it are hoisted up by the blimp. The blimp then turns away and heads back towards shore with the crew of the freighter apparently completely unaware of what has just happened.

Also as planned, they rendezvous with the boat where Riptide and the boat’s crew are waiting for them. Everyone is loaded onto the boat and the boat begins it makes its way towards the designated landing spot.

Helios takes the blimp back to the Night City Airport and drops it off in the Biotechnica lot where they had picked it up. Once out of the airport, he heads to the nearest drinking hole and saddles up to the bar waiting for confirmation that the rest of the mission has been completed.

The boat closes in on the designated landing area. As planned the flatbed truck from Jimmy Two Teeth’s is waiting there as well. However when the team members with thermal optics in their eyes scan the truck, they notice that there’s virtually no body heat coming from the two employees.

Zen and Saito disembark from the boat using a zodiac and head to shore. Saito uses his sniper rifle to cover the truck as Zen circles her way around the beach coming up to the truck from the rear. When she opens the door to the cabin if she finds two men in the truck who are not their employees. Instead they are to operatives in thermos-shielding armor, one of them holding a gun to her head. He tells her he intends to take the cargo from them. The conversation comes to an abrupt end when Saito fires his rifle, killing the driver. Off in the distance they hear the sound of heavy truck engines fire up and begin to drive towards them.

Before they can make there get away two Biotechnica Security APC’s roll up. Both begin opening fire with their turrets as a score of tactical troopers pour out the back of the vehicles. A firefight ensues.

Zen is completely out in the open, and Saito isn’t in much of a better position either. They are quickly outnumbered and outgunned. Zen goes full auto, while Saito begins picking off soldiers as quickly as possible with his sniper rifle. But things are definitely not going their way.

Riptide contacts Mouse and asks what Biotechnica’s involvement is with the cargo. Mouse says he has no idea. He was worried about interference from Arasaka, not Biotechnica.

Riptide orders the boat to come close to the shore so that he and Kahale can provide supporting fire. Kahale removes his cloak, revealing he is a heavily augmented cyborg sporting four arms. A couple of those arms are equipped with implanted weapons including a rocket launcher. Bullets, bombs, smoke grenades, and rockets are flying at every which direction. A small war has broken out on the shore like a mini D-Day. Luckily for the team, apparently Biotechnica did not bother to bring air support. If they had, the team would have been thoroughly screwed.

Luckily the team is able to cause enough casualties that the Biotechnica soldiers choose not to press their attack. If they wanted to, the security squads could have wiped out the team, but probably at near total loss to themselves as well. Not being paid enough to be that hardcore, the remaining soldiers pile back into the one APC still mobile and drive off.

At the same time, Zen and Saito manage to retreat back to the boat where they are picked up by Riptide. The boat heads away from shore avoiding the danger of any long-range fire from the Biotechnica team. Once they confirm, however, that the Biotechnica team has retreated, they quickly make their way back to shore, transfer the cargo to the flatbed truck. They scan the truck and find multiple tracers. They remove all of the tracers, and take the crates on the final stretch of their journey into Night City..

Following the directions given to them by Mouse, they find themselves in a warehouse district on the southwest side of city. There the cargo is unloaded, and Mouse quickly checks to make sure everything is intact. He still isn’t telling them what’s in the crates but he pays them the promised money.

They also learn that Kahale is doing this job in exchange for information. Mouse tells Kahale that Winston Lee was working for a man named Adam Smasher, who in turn works for an Arasaka executive named Burton Chambers. The team doesn’t know what Kahale’s relationship is with these three men, but they are more than familiar with these three names. During the data mine that uncovered this information, Mouse’s employer also discovered that Burton Chambers is desperately but covertly looking for a man named Alfredo Bruga.

Kahale asks the team if they have a place he can crash. They know nothing about him, but clearly his history is somehow intertwined with theirs. They agree give him a place to stay, get into the truck, and drive back to Jimmy Two-Teeths, leaving Mouse to go about his strange business.

Although they can check off another job as successfully completed, this one is leaving an awful lot of lingering questions. What was the cargo that they just smuggled into the city? Who is Mouse working for that clearly has access to a lot of money, a lot of resources, and a lot of information? Why was Arasaka so interested? Is Biotechnica interested as well, or did Tobia Luna just finally pick this moment to betray the team? What was Burton Chambers up to, and did they need to care?

Comments

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Episode 46 - Special Delivery
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