Cyberpunk 2036

Episode 50 - The Noose Tightens

August 1st, 2041

Zen, Riptide, and Helios stand in the Night City Park, staring and the bloody heap that was Burton Chambers. Adam Smasher’s words still ringing in their ears, “You guys are so predictable.” They had been had and they knew it, they just didn’t know how. Now they can hear the sirens, lots of them. Kahale emerges from the lake and Saito comes down from the roof of the Hotel Hamilton and the team scatters.

They came back together at Fast Eddie’s Pool Hall, down in the O-Zoners territory. They watch the Network 54 news which headlines a story about the murder of Arasaka executive Burton Chambers in Night City Park. Not only does it feature video of the incident clearly shot from the AV, but at the end they post images of Saito, Riptide, Helios, and Zen, including their real names. It is clear some of the patrons in the bar recognize them, but no one wants to be hassled by the cops, so no one makes a call.

August 2nd, 2041

The team doesn’t have a home, but Fast Eddyies doesn’t take boarders, so they are back on the streets. They drive deep into the Combat Zone and find an abandoned warehouse they can hole up in. There they take turns on watch and try and catch some sleep.

In the morning, Riptide gets a call from their lawyer, David Wilson. He tells them that their bond has been revoked and they have 24 hours to turn themselves in. They only have 12 hours to check in with Barbwire Bonds before she starts putting bounty hunters on their trail. He strongly advises that they turn themselves in. Soon they will have the NCPD, Arasaka, and bounty hunters all looking for them, and it’s only a matter of time before someone finds them, and if it’s Arasaka that finds them first, they are good as dead.

They stay for the remainder of the morning, although Zen becomes increasingly restless. She is convinced that Riptide taking that call from their lawyer has given away their position. The others are skeptical until an AV is heard patrolling overhead.

Deciding it’s time to move on, they head out in different directions. Helios heads south and quickly finds an Arasaka checkpoint. He ditches his vehicle and heads into the sewer.
Saito and Zen head east in separate vehicles. They come upon two Arasaka APCs and several troopers milling about. Saito attempts to drive through all casual like, but one of the troopers recognizes him. He takes off as one of the APCs follows in pursuit.

Zen tries to drive through next but she is ordered to stop. Knowing that the jig is up, she guns her motorcycle and tries to escape. A storm of bullets comes her way, but her layered armor protects her. Her motorcycle is not so lucky and quickly dies. She dodges more gun fire but finally ducks into an apartment building.

Riptide and Kahale drive north in what was once the Golden Saloon Party Van, but was now just a non-descript van. They suddenly find themselves coming face to face with a walker tank, and an Arasaka check point behind it. Kahale casually pulls the van to the side of the road and gets out. He walks toward the checkpoint, doing his best to look unfazed as the autocannon on the tank tracks his movement for several steps.

He eventually reaches the check point and asks what is going on. He is shown pictures of the other team members and is asked if he has seen any of them. He says no and tells them he needs to do some repairs on the van and asks not to be shot at. The Arasaka troopers can’t give him any guarantees, but they appreciate the heads up.

Saito is able to lose the much slower APC, but he can hear the AV nearby. He does his best to evade the patrolling AV and soon finds himself out of the neighborhood.

Zen is holed up in the apartment building when troopers begin door to door searches. She goes to the back door where some troopers are passing through. The troopers on the street kicking in doors seem to be moving quickly while the ones in the alley seem to be taking their sweet time. Finally, the ally troopers move around the corner and Zen is able to step outside just as the other trooper enter the front door of the building and begin searching. Zen finds a sewer cover and goes sewer surfing as well.

Kahale pretends to work on the van while Riptide sneaks out. Once he is clear, Kahale gets in the van and drives to the check point. The Arasaka troops check over the van and let him pass. Riptide exits out the other side of the alley, narrowly avoids a couple of patrols and meets back up with Kahale a few blocks away.

Zen catches a cab and goes to Chinatown where she has an apartment she uses as an emergency safe house. Helios sits at a south side bar, stinking up the place with his wonderful sewer stench. The others meet up at the Night City Gun Range outside of the city.

Being the only one not currently wanted, Kahale decides to book a coffin at the EZ Overnighter, and spends his time at The Afterlife where he is employed.

Riptide works his contacts and learns an interesting bit of information. Network 54 investigative journalist Bryce, just Bryce, is interested in their story. He would be willing to give the team a safe place to stay in exchange for their story. Riptide is the only one who takes him up on the offer.

Helios eventually finds his way to the gun range as well. Both he and Saito decide to camp out in the woods, although not together for some reason.

August 3rd, 2041

Riptide meets Bryce, a blonde kid who looks too young to be taken seriously and yet is in fact a Pulitzer winning journalist. Riptide begins telling him their story, although a somewhat sanitized and less incriminating version.

Kahale, no longer able to depend on the others for a ride decides to spend almost his entire life savings on a vehicle. Unfortunately, Kahale’s life savings only buys a used electric two seater, but he seems to take delight in driving a car barely big enough to fit his large bionic enhanced body.

In the news that evening, someone has shot up the Caf-Caf. Video shows the shooter gunning down several people in the Braindance section, including Flatspin’s meat puppet. Observant team members spot the real Flatspin packing up her things and sneaking out the back.

August 4th, 2041

Riptide continues to tell his story to Bryce while the others lay low.

August 5th, 2041

A reward of $25,000 each has been posted for the capture of Saito, Riptide, Helios, and Zen. While working at the Afterlife, Kahale gets wind that someone is looking for Zen. He finds it’s a young woman he does not recognize. He gets a message to her to return in two days is she wants to meet Zen. After work, he relays to Zen what happened. She does not recognize the person based on his description.

August 6th, 2041

The battle between Arasaka and Militech has moved to Hwy 828. This means it is only a matter of time before it spills into the southern areas of Night City. Where Helios and Saito have been camping, everything from stray gunshots to full on engagements can be heard going on nearby.

August 7th, 2041

Saito packs up his camp and heads into the war zone. He is able to avoid several Arasaka patrols and finds a unit of Militech troops. He tells them he is the guy who shot Burton Chambers and they take him to the Heywood Proving Grounds.

That evening, Kahale is back at the Afterlife and so is the woman. He gets a message to her asking what she wants. She responds that she knows where Tobias Luna is. He advises her to return again the next night. He relays this to Zen and Riptide who realize it must be Flatspin.

August 8th, 2041

Kahale makes direct contact with Flatspin and takes her to see Riptide. There he pays her fee and she reveals that the woman in the photograph she had shown them several weeks back was of Tobias Luna and Dr. Evelyn Monroe. Dr. Evelyn Monroe is the head research scientist for the Prinn Institute. It seems that she and Tobias have been having a clandestine relationship for some time. A chartered flight with unknown passengers left Night City the day Luna and his son disappeared and flew to Lima, Peru.
The Prinn Institute has a research island in the south pacific about 600 miles west of Peru. A shuttle plane frequently goes between Lima and the island. Flatspin can’t be certain, but she is confident that Tobias Luna is on that island.

August 9th, 2041

Riptide and Zen discuss Flatspin’s information. They would really like to talk to Tobias, but realize in their current situation, they have not the resources to get there. They share what they have learned with the rest of the team.

August 10th, 2041

Bryce tells Riptide he has another story to cover, but will be back in a week to finish his interview with Riptide.

August 11th, 2041

They learn in the news that an unknown merc unit has attacked the Forlorn Hope. However, the regulars at the bar are hardened war vets and it’s not the first time that have had to defend their establishment. The mercs were successfully repelled.

Saito talks to a colonel at the Militech base and asks if there is any way he can get a plane ride to South America.

August 12th, 2041

Riptide calls Colin Fisk about getting his help. Colin tells Riptide that he is flying into Heywood tomorrow to meet with Saito about transportation to the South Pacific. Riptide says he will be there as well.

August 13th, 2041
Saito, Riptide and Colin Fisk meet. Riptide explains that they need to get to the island and find Tobias Luna. He explains that Luna may now why Burton Chambers wanted this corporate war to happen. Fisk is skeptical that this will help the war effort in anyway, but he agrees to requisition a jet that can take them to the island.

August 14th, 2041

The team makes preparations, including getting some Militech combat hardware.

August 15th, 2041

The whole team reunites for the first time since escaping the Combat Zone. They gear up, and that evening board a jet bound for the South Pacific.

August 16th, 2041
In the morning hours, their jet is picked up by the Prinn Institutes Island’s radar and they are immediately told to change course. They tell the radio operator that they are there to speak to Tobias Luna. The operator tells them that there is no one on the island by that name. They then ask to speak to Dr. Evelyn Monroe but they are told that she is not available or taking visitors. They argue with the radio operator for several minutes before they give up. The pilot says they will need to fly to Lima soon to refuel. They tell him to go ahead.

In Lima, while the jet is refueling, the team discussed what to do next. They consider just going back to Night City. They ultimately decide to give it one more shot.

With the jet refueled, it returns to the island and again they request permission to land. Again they are denied despite their multiple requests. The team again consider their options when the pilot calls out in confusion and surprise. The team looks out the front of the plane and sees a massive flock of birds. They only have a moment to consider the fact that they are flying too high for birds when the flock hits the jet. Both engines absorb birds and quickly flame out. Multiple birds slam into the front of the plane, shattering the window and hitting the pilot, killing him.

As the pilot collapses, the plane banks and pitches forward. With no pilot and no engines, the team watches as the ocean looms before them and they rapidly plunge towards it.