Cyberpunk 2036

Episode 4 The Agency Job

After the events of Girls Night Out, Riptide is in the hospital, Zen is stuck in the cramped apartment healing, and the rest of the crew return to their jobs. Eventually, both Riptide and Zen heal sufficiently to return to work as well. Helios continues work on the truck and eventually gets it up and running. Jimmy Two Teeth sells it to him dirt-cheap. No more bus passes for Helios.

December 20, 2036

Being a Saturday Night, Riptide is at his usual post, manning the stage-side bouncer station at the Golden Saloon. Boredom is starting to creep in. The team hasn’t had a job for seven weeks. Riptide’s attempts at networking have been slow as well. Apparently street punks and edge runners have had Christmas shopping to do to. He wished Zen would get her ammo sorted out. He is tired of eating his scop standing up because she has the kitchen table piled with 7.62 mm rounds. His thoughts are interrupted by the DJ sending up the next girl. Oh yeah, and if he has to watch one more stripper in a “sexy elf” or “sexy Mrs. Clause” costume, he is going to put his own brains on the wall.

Thankfully, things become interesting when he is approached by a man dressed in black, with slicked back white hair. He indicates that he heard Riptide is part of an edge running team, and he is looking to hire one. He introduces himself as Kronos, and agrees to meet with the team the next day.

December 21, 2036

Because Kronos had inquired if any of the team were SCUBA trained, Helios spends the morning at the mall, in the “Dandy Mountain” sporting goods store. There he picks up some re-breathers and a SCUBA skill chip.

At 2:00 PM, they meet Kronos at the Forlorn Hope. He indicates that he works for an “agency” that needs to have some work done that they cannot be linked to. It seems that a drug lord by the name of Diego Entrada, with the cooperation of the Columbian Government, has been smuggling drugs and a special ops team in and out of the U.S. via a private yacht. Kronos believes that the yacht is currently anchored in the New Harbor Marina. He doesn’t know which yacht it is, but he does know where to find out. The Columbian Consular received an information packet, which Kronos believes contains the identity of the yacht. He hires the team to break into the Columbian Consulate, learn the identity of the yacht, locate it, and introduce it to the bottom of the marina. He gives them a satchel charge that they can use. He also offers $1,000 each in payment, but after some haggling, agrees to $1,250 per person.

Helios and Riptide hop in the truck and head out to the Steiner Building, which is the office building that the consulate is located in. Torrent drops into the Net, and locates the Consulate’s data fortress. His decryption program easily cracks the code gate. Unfortunately, a Pit Bull spots him and immediately begins running a trace. Torrent begins skimming files but finding little of value. His time is limited because of the trace, plus an attack program attacks, trying to fry his deck’s CPU. Torrent is able to raise a shield program in time and defend the attack. However, he is forced to log off before he can complete his search. Knowing the Pit Bull will have an easier time finding him unless he relocates, Torrent catches a bus, with Zen and Riptide along for the ride, and finds a Net café that he can use.

Saito and Helios arrive at the Steiner Building. It is a two-story office building. The consulate is located on the second floor. The buildings in the area are well spaced, and appear to have a similar level of security. Luckily, being a Sunday, traffic is light.

Torrent, Zen, and Riptide find a suitable establishment for Torrent to use. Apparently, the consulate does not use an active sysop, as the gate codes remained unchanged. Again, Torrent is able to defend himself against the attack program, but again is forced to log off early to avoid the Pit Bull trace. The team decides to relocate again and find another location.

Saito and Helios perform walks around the building to map out doors. There are no outside cameras but the doors all have electronic locks. The first level has at least two Arasaka Security guards, which does increase the danger level. The two sit in the truck and begin brainstorming attack methods.

Finally at a third location, Torrent is able to get into the consulate sub-grid and find the terminal map. This allows him to determine the relative location of the Consular’s office, which should speed up the search. Once again the trio are on the bus, this time to meet up with Helios and Saito at the Steiner Building.

They meet up and return to their apartment to get their equipment and finalize a plan. Zen would approach the building in a supposed drunken state and try to gain access to the building. She would then attempt to neutralize the two guards and let the others in.

They return to the Steiner Building after dark. Saito sets up in back of the truck where he has a view of the lobby. Riptide, Helios, and Torrent approach the building away from the lobby and wait to move in.

Zen enters the unlocked foyer and tries to gain access to the lobby. One of the Arasaka guards opens the door to see what she wants. She acts drunk and claims she needs to use the restroom. While the guard seems to believe that she is drunk, he proves unwilling to break protocol and let her in. He is about to shut the door when she wedges her self in, and zaps him with the gang-jazzler. She tries to hold him up, but he proves too heavy. Instead she allows herself to be pulled down with him, but turns to keep him between her and the guard stationed by the elevators. The guard opens fire with his sub-machine gun as he runs for cover, but does not score a hit. Zen begins to pull the unconscious guard with her as she tries to get behind the security console. As she does so, she hears the other guard radio for back up. A couple members of the team have had enough experience with Arasaka Security to know that the guard’s call would bring an AV-4 loaded with a pissed-off Arasaka strike team to their location in a matter of minutes. Riptide, Torrent, and Helios rush in.

When the guard comes out from behind cover to open fire, Saito takes his shot. The electro-thermo round punches through two plates of armored glass and strikes the guard. He is badly wounded but still alive. The guard opens fire and hits Helios. Helios, though wounded, returns fire and finishes off the guard. Helios and Torrent run into the elevator and head to the second floor. Riptide checks on Zen, holed up behind the security counter and then sees the security console. There is a map of the second floor, and monitors indicating that there are two shotgun-armed guards patrolling the back hallways.

On the second floor, Helios takes one step out of the elevator and bullets from three different guns slam into the elevator doors. He quickly jumps back and prevents Torrent from stepping out as well. Checking that his assault rifle was still set to full-auto, he steps out of the elevator car and sprays down the entire room. One guard dives behind a counter, another drops behind some chairs. The third is unable to get out of the way and goes down after catching a few rounds. Torrent steps out behind him and shoots at the guard behind the chairs.

Hearing the gunfire being unleashed upstairs, Riptide runs to the elevator and heads upstairs. As he steps out, he sees Helios pushing a magazine into his rifle as Torrent trades shots with a guard behind the counter. Riptide makes his way to the door that leads to the back hallway. He opens it to find a guard standing there who blasts him in the chest at point blank range with a shotgun. His armored vest absorbs most of the impact, but the severe stinging in his chest says it didn’t stop all of it. Despite being rocked back by the impact, he pursues the guard into the hallway and guns him down with his two pistols.

Another shotgun wielding guard appears at another hall door and adds his firepower to all of the lead that’s already flying around the waiting room. Eventually, the three guards fall, but all three members of the team are wounded. Unfortunately, there is no time to rest as that AV-4 is undoubtedly lifting of from the helipad, high atop the Arasaka Tower.

Riptide and Torrent run to the Consular’s office and force their way in. It takes a few minutes to find the hidden safe, but they locate it and crack it. Taking the contents from the inside, they rush down a back stairwell and out of the building. Outside, Saito is at the wheel of the truck, and Zen and Helios are already inside. Riptide and Torrent pile in and Saito takes off down the street. They are no more than a couple of blocks a way when they see a black AV-4 hover over the Steiner Building and men in black tactical gear descend on ropes to the building’s roof.

As they drive away, Torrent goes through the information that they pulled from the safe. The ship is called the “Celeste”, sails under a Norwegian flag, and is registered as privately owned by a Kjell Onsen. The ship has deployed a special ops team employed by Diego Entrada, to a small airfield outside of Night City. The exact objective is not stated. Furthermore, a Mr. M was also dropped off. His mission is also unknown.

The team returns to their apartment. Torrent drops off the terminal he grabbed from the consulate. Torrent then takes off to acquire some software, while Zen and Riptide catch a bus down to the East Yacht Marina. The marina contains only a single building, but the rest is open space. However, most of that space is in pitch-blackness. The property is protected with a chain-link fence and a guard gate. Zen decides to scale the fence and make a run for the office building. Riptide, a bit surprised by Zen’s impulsive move, quickly follows afterward.

Unfortunately, both of the solos fail to notice the vibration sensor on the fence. They are on the ground inside the fence for less than a minute when two armed guards come running from the guard gate. Realizing that they would never get to the office building, the two instead make a break for the docks. The guards open fire, but are literally shooting in the dark.

Zen and Riptide reach the dock, which is unfortunately well lit. They run up an anchored yacht and look for an unlocked door, but find none. As the two guards scramble onto the yacht, Riptide boosts Zen up to the roof, but she is unable to pull herself up in time. The guards find them and order them to surrender. Riptide tries stalling by asking the guards for help boosting Zen up. The guards are briefly distracted by Riptide’s odd request when Zen leaps from the roof onto one of the guards. Unfortunately, the guard opens fire and strikes her three times. Both Zen and the guard are stunned. When the other guard turns to help his partner, Riptide’s old arena football instincts kick in. He launches at the guard and drives his shoulder into the guard’s gut. As they hit the rail, Riptide raises up sending the guard somersaulting over the railing and into the cold bay water. The first guard recovers and pulls his SMG out from under Zen and tries to take a shot. Riptide sidesteps the shot and places his pistol against the guard head. The guard surrenders.

Riptide handcuffs the guard to the railing and takes his weapon. He runs off of the ship and down the dock. He is waiting at the end of the pier when the other guard fishes himself out of the water. Riptide disarms the guard and brings him back to the yacht. As Zen recovers and bandages her wounds, Riptide handcuffs the other guard. They then learn the bad news that the guards have already called the police who are in route. The two solos find a motored raft in the back of the yacht, deploy it, and escape into the bay.

Helios, Saito, and Torrent are in the truck on the way to the marina when they make radio contact with Riptide and Zen. When they learn of the situation, they decide to find where the Celeste is anchored through the Net. They stop at a Net café and Torrent jacks into the Net. Using his recently acquired Chinese Water Torture program, Torrent works his way through the wall of the data fortress. Once inside, he finds he picked a good place to burrow in. He finds himself at the CPU and is able to quickly go though the files. The second file he checks is the harbor map detailing where the Celeste is anchored. He logs off and the team returns to the truck. The whole process takes less than three minutes. However, as they are piling into the truck, they see NCPD squad cars speed down the street on their way to the marina.

They rendezvous along the harbor away from the marina. Everyone gets into the motor raft, except for Torrent who stays behind as wheelman. As the rest of the team heads toward the Celeste, Torrent finds a public phone and places an anonymous call to the police regarding the airfield.

On the water, the team gets within a kilometer and a half of the boat when they notice it is equipped with marine radar, which means that in all likelihood, they can be detected. Zen arms the satchel charge and hands it to Helios, who, now geared up in his wet suit and re-breather, takes the charge and drops into the water. The raft then moves at a tangent to the boat, hopefully alleviating any suspicions.

Helios has never been under water before, but his brain acts as if on instinct as the SCUBA skill chip he plugged in feeds the needed information to his brain. Helios reaches the bottom of the boat and attaches the satchel charge. He then swims as fast as he can away from the boat to avoid the impending concussion. The charge detonates and an explosion rocks the yacht. It slowly starts to list to port and the team quietly celebrates a job well done. Unfortunately, the boat only lists so far and then stops.

Helios begins swimming back to the boat as the rest of the team turns and heads straight for the yacht. Guards are now on the yacht’s deck inspecting the damage. Saito takes a shot. Despite the distance of over a kilometer and the fact the he is in a speeding raft that is bouncing up and down, his first shot finds its mark and takes down a guard. The rest of the guards open fire. They cannot see where the shot came from, so they do not realize that the sniper is well out of their range. As they close in on the yacht, Saito takes a couple more shots, but misses. It is enough though to make the guards take cover, some returning to the interior of the yacht.

Torrent drives to the marina with the intent of stealing a boat to assist the team. However, his plan falls through when he arrives to find the marina crawling with Night City Police. He turns around and heads back to the harbor in the hopes of finding a boat there.

Helios reaches the yacht and finds the hole in the hull. He enters and sees that an automatic bulkhead has closed and sealed the hull. Prying open an electrical panel, he is able to jury rig the controls and the bulkhead begins to open. As more water rushes into the hull, the yacht continues to list further.

The team closes to within a few hundred yards of the yacht when they notice the ship beginning to sink again. But then from behind the yacht, a speedboat comes around and heads directly for them. Both sides trade shots and the two boats race toward each other. Saito takes a shot at the boat’s pilot and takes him out. However, the boat is still on a collision course with the raft.

Helios is about to swim out of the hull when he hears the bulkhead begin to close again. He returns to the control panel, knowing that he is in danger of sinking with the ship. He is able to lock the bulk head open this time and swims back out the hole at the bottom. With the entire yacht beginning to descend down on top of him, he manages to swim out from underneath the yacht and return to the surface.

Helios surfaces just in time to see a few hundred meters away, where Zen maneuvers the raft out of the way of the speed boat as it zips by. However, the boat’s wake ends up capsizing the raft and dumping Zen, Riptide, and Saito into the water. All three are able to recover and get back to the raft. But it is then that they see the speedboat coming around for another pass. Zen clicks her AK-47 to full auto and lays down some suppressive fire on the boat. One passenger is hit, while the other two drop down. Zen continues to empty the magazine as the boat passes by. One of the other passengers sticks his head up to take a shot, but is hit as Riptide and Saito return fire.

The speedboat starts to turn away. Off in the distance, they see a Night City Police boat begin to close on them. They quickly turn the raft back over and climb back in. They are relieved to see that the police boat gives chase to the fleeing speedboat, leaving them behind. The team picks up Helios and heads for the harbor where Torrent is waiting for them.

December 22, 2036

In the early morning hours, the team heads for home. A quick stop at a late night ripper doc gets lead pulled out of wounds, disinfectant applied, and lacerations sewn up. After popping a few pain pills, (except for Saito who seems to rely on heavier stuff) each team member calls it a night.

After getting as much sleep as they can, the team members return to their day jobs despite the pain and a lot of soreness. The news stations a buzzing about the terrorist attack on a privately owned yacht in the marina harbor. Nobody is sure who did it, but several local booster gangs are more than happy to take credit for it.

December 24, 2036

Riptide is manning his post at the Golden Saloon. It is Christmas Eve, so the crowd is a pathetic mix of punks and losers. How sad do you have to be to spend Christmas Eve at a strip joint? Unless of course the reason is you happen to work there. Kronos then walks in and thanks Riptide for a job well done. In addition to payment as promised, Kronos shares the information that the special ops team was apprehended at the airstrip. Not much information was gained on Mr. M, except that he is here to track down a group of wayward edge runners that Diego Entrada considers a loose end in need of snipping.

Is Riptide and the others his target? If so, does Mr. M. actually know that they are in Night City, or is his being here a shot in the dark? Speaking of shots, the bartender sets one down in front of Riptide. “Here’s to the upcoming new year!” he says. “Yeah,” Riptide responds as he picks the small glass up and tosses back the drink. “It looks like it’s going to be an interesting one.”

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Episode 3 Girls Night Out

October 24th, 2036

Most of the team was relaxing at the Forlorn Hope. It had become a refuge from the 50-60 hour workweeks, and the cramped environs of their apartment. Helios was at work and Torrent was back at the apartment. He used the times when everyone else was gone from the apartment to relax and get some reading done.

Around 6:00 PM, a 6’x2’x2’ package arrives for Saito. Torrent lugs it up to the apartment and opens it up. Inside is a very large rifle and three boxes of ammunition. Torrent sets it aside and goes back to his reading.

At 7:00 PM, shortly after Helios shows up at the Forlorn Hope, Krissy and Roxie arrive. They are two solos that Zen has befriended over the last couple of weeks. Roxie is in her mid-twenties, wears a lot of black leather that goes with her jet-black hair, and is stunningly beautiful. Krissy is around 20, wears a lot of white leather, blonde and almost as attractive as Roxie. Swapping stories with them, Zen has learned that while Krissy and Roxie are effective solos and always get the job done, subtlety is not their strong point. They tend to create a lot of collateral damage.

Tonight, they are looking for more than just trading stories. It seems that they have been hired for an extraction job, and are looking to sub-contract out for a little help. There is a member of the Chinese Tongs in town tonight named Hu Jin Kang. He plans to meet with the local Tong members. Krissy and Roxie intend to extract him from his hotel before that happens and deliver him to their employer. They are offering $500 each for the team’s assistance.

Not ones to turn down work, the team agrees. They pile into the girls’ van and head to their apartment. Torrent, who was hoping to have a quite evening to himself is surprised to find the entire gang returning, plus two more. Krissy and Roxie explain that Kang is staying at the Kuroshita Hotel, but they don’t know which room. The team debates how to get Torrent into the Hotel’s office to hack their computer. Roxie asks why he doesn’t just hack it from the Net. Torrent is reluctant, since he only has a basic deck and one decryption program. Eventually he agrees to try it, and heads down to the local coffee house to make a run. Helios tags along in case trouble shows up while Torrent is jacked in.

Torrent runs the Net and finds Kuroshita’s sub-net. Easily cracking the code gate, he infiltrates the system, but draws the attention of the defense programs in the process. Quickly searching through the files he finds an encrypted log. Running his decryption program, the log reveals to be the guest listing. Searching for Kang he finds a H.J. Kang staying in room 1211. Dodging a DekCrash program on the way out, he makes his escape. Torrent returns to realspace, and lets the team know the location of Hu Jin Kang.

The team begins to plan the extraction. Roxie and Krissy intend to go into the hotel disguised as call girls, bringing Riptide along as the escort. They will first go to the top floor, set some explosives and then go to the twelfth floor. Once Kang lets them in, they will walk him out of the building. If he creates a scene, and security comes, they will blow the top floor as a distraction. The team is less than thrilled about that part of the plan, but it seems to be the SOP for these two. Saito will set up in one of the two adjacent parking ramps, Zen will patrol the ground floor perimeter, and Helios will be the wheel man.

Upon arriving, everyone moves to his or her position. Saito tries to gain access to one of the parking ramps but it is secured. Torrent runs over to try and bypass the system, but it proves too tough. Torrent returns to the van, while Saito sets up in the public ramp behind the hotel.

Riptide and the girls head up to the top floor and set the explosives. They then go to Kang’s room. Kang is reluctant to let them in, indicating that he made no such request. After Riptide states that the girls are “on the house” Kang relents and lets them in. The girls immediately pull guns on Kang and order him to come quietly out of the hotel. He complies. However, once in the hallway, where the guns have to be kept hidden, Kang immediately calls for help. In a flash, Riptide is on him, wraps him up in a chokehold, and puts him out. With a sigh of relief, Riptide begins to hoist the unconscious man up.

Unfortunately, at that exact moment, the elevator at the end of the hall opens and several guests step out. Krissy immediately goes for the detonator, but Riptide stays her hand. He explains to the patrons that Kang is passed out drunk and they are taking him to his room. For a moment, it looks like the ruse will work, but then one of the men reaches for his phone and calls security. Riptide is about to try another tactic, but realizes he’s got nothing. With a sigh of resignation he nods to Krissy.

The rest of the team are startled out of the monotony of their tasks as nearly every window of the top floor explodes in a shower of glass. People begin to run from the hotel and security personnel can be seen scrambling about. Two security guards take up position outside of the loading dock where Riptide and the girls are to make their exit.

With the elevators in fire-safety lockout, Riptide and the girls make for the stairs. They are about halfway down the stairs when they encounter two armed guards coming up the stairs. With Kang in one arm, Riptide is able to bring only one pistol to bear. A firefight ensues. Krissy gets grazed by a bullet, but the damage is only superficial. In the end, the two guards go down, and Riptide and the girls continue their descent.

Outside, Saito lines up a shot, and indicates that he can pop the two guards. Zen insists on a less lethal approach and intends to knock them out. The others are skeptical of this tactic, considering how long it took her to disable one guard on that airstrip, and there are two guards here. Zen ignores their concerns and moves in. This time she intends to use more than a choke hold. She sneaks up behind the first guard as pair of metal prongs extends from the top of her right index finger. She touches the guard on the shoulder, his body stiffens, and then he collapses unconscious to the ground. The other guard raises his sub-machine gun and fires. Zen is close enough to bat it aside and strikes again with the “gang-jazzler” implant, stunning the other guard. She drags the bodies out of the way just as Riptide and the girls burst out of the loading dock door. Everyone piles into the van and swing around behind the parking ramp to pick up Saito.

They start heading towards the south side of town. While in route, they spot a sedan with Asian passengers following them. Losing them while driving the bulky van is unlikely. “I got this” say Saito as he drops to one knee and shoulders the big rifle. Roxie swings open the back door and Saito takes aim at the grill of the car. Despite the jostling of the van and the swerving of the car, Saito’s instincts as a sniper combined with the smart weapon linked to his nervous system, allow him to place a shot dead center in the car’s grill. The radiator explodes, blowing off the front bumper and the car hood. The vehicle swerves out of control until it slams into a fire hydrant. Satisfied with the result, Saito sets down the rifle and turns to see everyone staring at the rifle. He simply smiles and sits back down and Roxie closes the van door.

They drive to Little China to an apartment building where the girls’ employer Mr. Li lives. Zen, Riptide, and the girls take Kang up to the apartment. Repeated knocking on the door gets no response. Roxie, short on patience, shoots the lock and enters the apartment. There she finds Mr. Li lying dead in his recliner with his throat slit. She explains that Mr. Li worked for the Chinese Tongs and was skimming money from his bosses. Word came out that Hu Jin Kang was coming in from Hong Kong to inspect the books, an action that would undoubtedly reveal Li’s theft. Li hired the girls to bring Kang to him.

Zen begins to question Kang, who claims he is not Hu Jin Kang, but instead Ho Jun, Jin Kang’s brother. Zen’s experience as an interrogator tells her that unfortunately, he is telling the truth. Jun Kang is in town for a nephew’s Tae Kwon Do tournament, and knows little of his brother’s activities other than to say that Jin Kang is currently in Hong Kong. Apparently this whole job is based on bad information. It’s a good thing the girls got paid up front.

Time to regroup and head back to the van with Kang in tow. As they emerge from the apartment building, a car screeches to a halt in front of the van and five Japanese men with sub-machine guns begin to open fire. Zen shoves Kang back into the apartment building as Riptide draws dual pistols and fires as he moves from the building to the van. Zen and the girls follow behind him.

One gang member shoots up the windshield of the van. The windscreen holds but Helios and Torrent are forced to dive out of the way of flying glass fragments. They take up position behind the van doors and return fire.

Saito steps out of the sliding side door of the van and braces his rifle. As one of the gang members raises his weapon to gun him down, Saito fires the big rifle. The Japanese man screams as his thigh explodes, effectively severing his leg.

Two gang members run to the side of the building, giving them a flanking position on Helios. Helios is hit. The wound is not life threatening, but the shock takes him down. Riptide runs in guns-a-blazing, and gets to Helios’ position. He scoops the big man up, and stuffs him back into the driver’s seat.

Another gang member runs to the front of the van. Zen drops down and tries to hit him from under the van but misses. The two begin to trade fire under the van. Saito drops another with his rifle, while shots from Torrent and Riptide take down one of the gang members on the side of the building.

Krissy and Roxie emerge from the back of the van wielding a grenade launcher and a RPG launcher respectively. Roxie uses the RPG gun to explode the sedan, causing the gang member along side the building to run away in panic. Krissy lobs a shot in his direction from her grenade launcher, ending his escape attempt. Saito comes around the front of the van and places his rifle on the back of the gang member’s head. The ganger surrenders and the fight is over.

The team decides to leave, but Krissy and Roxie insist on getting Kang. They dragged him into this mess, so they want to make sure he gets out of it okay. As they are about to re-enter the building, a car speeds away from the back of the building. Kang can be seen trying to climb out one of the car windows, but a hand pulls him back in. As they are getting back into the van to pursue, another vehicle pulls up with Chinese men leaning out the windows getting ready to open fire.

Realizing that another firefight here was likely unwinnable, the team take the captured ganger with them as they quickly pile into van. Helios dismisses any concerns about his ability to drive in his current condition, as he tightly clutches the wheel waiting for the world to come back into focus.

The van speeds away from the apartment building in pursuit of the car containing Kang. Behind them the latest arrival joins the pursuit. Unfortunately the car in the back gains on them faster than they gain on the car in front. The back doors are thrown open as Krissy, Roxie, Zen, and Saito open fire on the chasing car. The car absorbs most of the rounds, but Saito’s 7.62 mm Electro-thermo round punches through the armored windshield, through the driver’s armored vest, through the driver’s chest and is finally stopped by the driver’s back armor. The car’s front passenger grabs hold of the wheel as the driver slumps and the car swerves onto the sidewalk.

With that problem dealt with, the van speeds forward to catch the fleeing sedan. Helios pushes the van to its limit, but being waited down with armor plating, the van struggles to keep up. In the back, Zen tries interrogating the hostage, using Torrent as an interpreter. First she inquires about handcuffs to secure the hostage, to which Krissy responds by handing her a pair of pink fuzzy handcuffs. The hostage’s tattoos clearly mark him as a member of the Japanese Yakuza. He admits that they did not actually know who Kang is either, but since the Tongs clearly act as though he is important, the Yakuza figured him for a valuable hostage. Attempts to get him to reveal where they were taking Kang fail. Further attempts to interrogate him have to be suspended as the passengers began getting thrown around the back of the van.

The sedan makes a couple of high-speed turns to try and lose its pursuers. Helios makes it through the first turn, throwing everyone else about the van. In the passenger seat, Riptide tightens down his seat belt as he tries to mentally will the van closer to their target. On the second high-speed turn, the top-heavy van proves too unwieldy and spins out. Helios throws the transmission in reverse and reorients the van. Riptide then sees the car that was chasing them is now back in pursuit and bearing down on them. Helios slams the van back in drive and stomps on the gas. The three-way chase begins again.

Once again, the back door swings open and Saito positions himself. A passenger in the car opens fire, but fails to hit anything. Saito fires the big Towa rifle, once again scoring a clean shot to the driver, killing him instantly. This time the car swerves out of control and smashes into a parked car. Slowly the van begins to gain on the sedan. Helios and Riptide exchange nervous glances as they see someone emerge from the sunroof of the sedan with an M-60 machine gun. The gunner locks down the bipod, and opens fire on the van. Helios does his best to swerve the clumsy vehicle out of the path of fire, but several rounds hit the van, including one striking Helios square in the chest. Luckily his armor holds.

Another volley slams into the van as Riptide points out their precarious position, since the sedan is out of their range, but clearly they are in reach of the M-60. But then he and Helios see the barrel of Saito’s Towa rifle extend forward between them. Riptide covers his ears, while Helios can only cringe as he prepares for the loud blast.

Saito takes aim at the gunner on top of the sedan. Unfortunately, the target proves too difficult to draw a bead on, and Saito’s shot goes wide. Another hail of 7.62 rounds strikes the van. The engine begins to sputter as smoke and steam seep out from under the hood. As the van begins to coast, Saito takes a final shot at the van itself. He hits the back of the Sedan, causing the back bumper to fall off, and the trunk lid to fly off.

The team debates what to do next when they notice that they are only a half block from the Sherrington Hotel. Torrent and Riptide go in to book some rooms as the rest of the team push the van into the parking lot. As they are signing the guest book, the hotel manager watches as the van rolls past the front office window and into the parking lot. He does not seem particularly phased.

October 25th, 2036

Torrent jumps into the Net and checks for Police traffic. He determines that the car chase/shoot out has been reported and units are on their way. Saito runs down the street to where the bumper is laying, and relays the vehicle’s registration number to Torrent. He returns to the hotel just as a police hover cruiser zooms overhead spotlighting the street.

The team takes their hostage into one of the hotel rooms and handcuff him in the bathtub. Numerous horrific methods of torture are debated. However, Zen can tell that he would die before he betrays the Yakuza.

Torrent easily cracks the DMV database and finds that the sedan is registered to Tsuyomi Shipping. A quick scan through the city registry finds them located in the warehouse district. The team decides to move on the warehouse.

Helios breaks into another car in the lot and hotwires it. Once that is complete, he returns to the hotel room, indicating that he will sit the rest of this operation out. Saito holds the hostage under water in the tub until he stops breathing. The six edge runners then pile into the car that barely seats five, and make their way to the Tsuyomi Shipping office and warehouse.

They park a couple of blocks away and make the rest of the trip on foot. The warehouse has four bay doors in the north side, two pedestrian doors on the south side and one pedestrian door in the east side. The east door has two guards stationed by it. Torrent and Saito move toward the unguarded south doors. Riptide, along with Krissy and Roxie, observe from a position northwest of the facility. Zen circles around in an attempt to get to the bay doors.

Unfortunately, she is spotted. She quickly moves around one of the semis, only to come face to face with two armed dockworkers. They exchange fire as Zen charges at them, her rifle blazing on full auto. Riptide, along with the two girls, runs from his hiding spot toward the docking bays.

But then, two of the bay doors roll open, and four armed men prepare to fire on Zen, who is caught out in the open. Luckily, she has the lighting advantage and is able to avoid hits as she dives under one of the semis. Riptide also arrives, rolls under the other trailer, and opens fire with his dual pistols at the guards.

After failing to pick the door locks, Saito and Torrent move past the south doors, and continue around the corner. As the move north, they hear one of the south doors open. They turn back around the corner and open fire on two guards that have emerged. Torrent kneecaps one guard while Saito, now using a more practical AK-47, takes down the other. They go through the door and into the warehouse. They begin trading fire with guards located on a mezzanine. Both receive minor wounds from incoming rounds. Torrent hears someone jump down from the mezzanine and moves to investigate while Saito continues to exchange fire with the guards on the mezzanine.

Outside, the firefight heats up. Riptide, Zen, Roxie, and Krissy are exchanging fire with six guards. Riptide takes out two guards, but when he runs out of ammo he is forced to drop the pistols and switch to his Uzi. Zen takes out another guard but is seriously wounded while reloading her M16. Both she and Riptide team up against a guard using a semi cab as cover and take him down. Roxy and Krissy eliminate the other two guards.

Riptide hears someone entering the trailer above him. He climbs out from under the trailer, climbs into the loading bay and enters the trailer. There he is confronted by a Yakuza warrior wielding a mono-katana. He tries to shoot the swordsman, but his gun is batted aside. The swordsman’s first two slashes are absorbed by Riptide’s armored vest, but the thirds slashes deep into his leg, and Riptide collapses.

The swordsman reverses his grip and is about to deliver the killing strike when he head jerks back from a gunshot delivered by Torrent. At first Torrent is surprised at how well his aim proved to be. But then the swordsman straightens back up, blood pouring from the gash in the side of his head. Torrent raises his pistol to fire again, but the man’s cybernetics enhanced reflexes make him a streak of motion, as he is suddenly upon Torrent, ready to cut him down. But in his attempt to cover so much ground so quickly, the warrior over extends himself. Torrent’s Aikido training kicks in as he easily sweeps aside the sword swing and kicks the attacker’s legs out from underneath him.

But the Yakuza soldier is still not finished. He slashes the sword in a 360-degree arc, nearly cutting Torrent’s legs out from underneath him. Torrent tries to draw his gun on the man, but again, the slashing sword prevents him from finding his aim. Finally, Saito comes around the corner, having dispatched the other three guards and slams the butt of his AK-47 against the swordsman’s arm, causing him to drop the weapon. Finally, the warrior has had enough and surrenders.

Kang is then found in one of the offices. Saito releases him while the others begin gathering up equipment and weapons. A debate ensues over what to do with the swordsman. Eventually it is decided that he is to be brought along. They leave with both the car that they have stolen, along with the Yakuza sedan that is parked out front.

Their first stop is back at the Sherrington. There they pick up Helios and the dead Yakuza. Riptide is then taken to the hospital. Torrent drives Zen and Helios to find an all-night Ripper Doc to patch them up. They then ditch the stolen VMW and return home.

Saito stops at the Forlorn Hope, and checks with Dollar Billregarding the location of the Tongs. Unfortunately, Dollar Bill does not have that information. Saito, Roxie and Krissy drive back to Li’s apartment and leave the two Yakuza there. Saito also leaves behind a “confession” that pins Kang’s kidnapping and Li’s death on the Yakuza.

That leaves the matter of what to do with Kang. The girls are very apologetic to him, and much to everyone’s surprise, now that its over, he is not that upset. In fact he says it’s the most excitement he has had in years. They drop him back off at the Kuroshita Hotel, where maintenance staff are busy sweeping up glass and debris. Saito drops off the girls at a parking ramp where they have a back up vehicle and then follow him as he ditches the sedan. He is about to walk away from the car when a thought occurs to him and he searches under the backseat of the car. After a minute of rummaging around, he emerges from the back seat with the M-60. You never know when that might come in handy.

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Episode 2 Welcome to Night City

August 17, 2036

After a couple of relaxing days aboard the Galveston Star, the team disembarks at the Miami port. Being everyone’s first visit to Miami, everyone is astounded by the impressive wealth of the city. Years ago, Miami basically declared itself a city-state, independent of Florida. The main reason for this decision was the citizens, wealthy to begin with, got sick and tired of being forced to fund the state’s wasteful spending. Apparently the move worked, because the massive glass encased skyscrapers that dominate the downtown give the city a startlingly clean look, something that is very rare nowadays.

As the team walks the streets (with Riptide on crutches) to the Miami Interstate Transit Port, it quickly becomes clear that they stand out. The cops, in their neatly pressed and spotless uniforms, eye the group suspiciously, as they move about town in fatigues and carrying military style duffle bags. The first order of business has to be getting some civilian clothes. Luckily there happens to be a shopping mall along the way.

With the clothes issue resolved, the team finishes its journey to the Interstate Transit Port. Moving through the clean, white painted, well-lit interior of the multi-floor structure, the group follows the ample signage to the ticket boot. From a distance, the woman behind the counter appears quite attractive in her pristine, body-hugging MITP uniform. But upon getting close to the counter, her slightly blank expression and repetitive movements reveal her to be an automaton.

She smiles and says, “Welcome to the Miami Interstate Transit Port Departure Ticket Terminal, what is your intended destination?”

Any attempt at small talk is met with a blank stare. This expression remains unchanged until someone finally mentions Night City. She smiles and says, “Here are your travel options:

Option 1 is a direct flight via passenger jet from Miami to Night City. The cost is $400.00 for a coach ticket, and $800.00 for first class. This trip has a travel time of 5 hours and 30 minutes.”

Option 2 is direct flight via dirigible from Miami to Night City. The cost is $100.00 for a coach ticket and $400.00 for a first class ticket. This trip has a travel time of 35 hours.”

Option 3 is a flight via dirigible from Miami to Atlanta. At Atlanta you would transfer to the Mag-Lev train which will take you the rest of the way to Night City. The double ticket cost is $250.00 for a coach ticket, and $750.00 for a first class ticket. This has a travel time of 7 hours to Atlanta via dirigible and 13 hours and 30 minutes to Night City via the Mag-Lev.”

What type of ticket do you wish to purchase and how many?”

After some initial discussion, Riptide suggests trying to get work on a convoy heading out west in exchange for free passage, maybe even a little money. Torrent and Saito both indicate that they have calls to make, so the group breaks, agreeing to rendezvous a few hours later.

Riptide takes to the docks where cargo is transferred from ships to trucks. He spends the next couple of hours trying to drum up some work, but being complete unknowns, the team doesn’t have much of a selling point. Ultimately, he comes up empty.

Saito gets a hold of his overseas contact in the Mossad, who indicates that they have been getting pounded by attacks from troops in Arasaka power armor ever since he disappeared. They do have a contact for him in Los Angeles named Apoc. He gets Apoc’s contact information.

Torrent checks his bank account and finds out that it has been cleaned out. He decides to call his mother, but hangs up before the line picks up. Taylor’s words about how someone powerful wants him dead come to mind. At least for now, it’s probably best to let that someone believe he is dead. Despite his concern for his mother, he walks away from the phone.

Eventually the team meets back at the Transit Port and purchases coach class tickets on the dirigible. At 10:00 PM, they board the cramped passenger space and begin the trip. Its 36 hours crammed shoulder to shoulder and knees to back with the other passengers. The smell of unwashed bodies and the constant noise of crying babies and yelling children make the trip seem even longer.

August 19, 2036

At 10:00 AM, the dirigible arrives at the Night City Airport. Unlike the clean and well-ordered appearance of the Transit Port in Miami, the NCA is crowded, noisy, and dirty. Eventually, they make there way to the train. Once on board, they watch the scenery pass as the train winds its way along the coast. They see several gated corporate communities with massive houses poking up from behind the walls. Paramilitary forces guard the gates and walls. Riptide makes a comment about how he intends to live in one of those communities someday. The others scoff at the notion the he would give up edge running and live in a posh neighborhood, but Riptide hints that for him, edge running is merely a means to an end.

As the Night City skyline grows closer, the skyscraping towers of the corporate zone can be scene off in the distance. Much closer though is the massive stretches of poor and destitute neighborhoods, including the ones that are so dominated by booster gangs that they have been designated as Combat Zones. But before the train reaches the city edge, it plunges into darkness as the tracks guide it underground for the rest of the trip. After someone comments about how dark it is, Helios and Saito both smugly state that they can see just fine, referring to the advanced optics in their cybernetic implants. “I can see fine too,” says Riptide, as he fishes his flashlight out of his pocket and switches it on.

Eventually they arrive at the central transit station in Night City. Riding up the escalators, they find them selves in the shadows of the massive corporate center towers. A quick check at a data terminal reveals that the Forlorn Hope is nine city blocks west of the station. They debate getting a taxi, especially for Riptide who is on crutches, but they ultimately decide to walk it.

At about 11:00 AM, they walk into the front entrance of the Forlorn Hope. The bar takes up most of the first floor of a converted office building. Banners and military insignias decorate the walls. The bartender, who is also the owner, introduces himself as John Freeman. He is a South American War vet, as are most of the regulars here. He indicates that Dollar Bill will be in around 5:00 PM.

Torrent surfs the Net using the public data terminal, trying to get a lay of the land. Saito places a call to Apoc and places an order for a weapon.

Right on schedule, Dollar Bill arrives, and the team introduces themselves to him. He has their new IDs ready. He indicates that the IDs are expensive to make, so they should take care of them. They are getting them free because they agreed to help Taylor rescue the POWs from the drug lab. As another vet of that war, Dollar Bill greatly appreciates their actions.

Inquires about a place to stay mostly leads to getting directions to the nearest coffin place. Torrent, however, finds an available one-bedroom apartment for only $1,100 per month. It would be cramped with five people, but its cheaper, and still roomier than a coffin. A phone call to the landlord reveals that they do not have enough money to cover the security deposit and first months rent. A loan with Dollar Bill is applied for and accepted.

Torrent and Riptide head to the apartment, while Helios, Zen, and Saito go job hunting. Torrent and Riptide find out why the apartment is so cheap. The place is filthy and infested with vermin. The crime rate in the building is sky high, with deaths being a common occurrence, despite the fact that it is located right across the street from the local police precinct. Torrent, having grown up in much more antiseptic environs, immediately runs to the store and stocks up on cleaners, rattraps, and insecticide. He returns, along with bedding for himself and Riptide, and sets about cleaning the place.

Meanwhile, Saito and Zen secure 3rd shift jobs patrolling warehouses as security guards. Helios gets a job as a mechanic at Jimmy Two-Teeth’s Repair and Custom. The jobs don’t pay much, but it will cover the rent and keep them in kibble.

Over the course of the next five weeks, the team settles into their new life in Night City. Torrent job-hops until eventually landing a nice paying job doing software engineering at Raven Micro-Cybernetics. He also gets a deal on a broken cyberdeck that he is able to fix and get running as good as new. Saito gets a second job riding shotgun for Red Cab, providing security for fares that go into the slums and combat zones. Zen picks up extra work at Guido’s Fashion Trim, providing stylish yet affordable looks for the fashionable Night City male. After going stir crazy for several weeks, Riptide is out of his cast and finally free. He scores a job as a bouncer at the Golden Saloon Gentlemen’s Club. The pay is horrible, but the scenery is nice. It also provides ample networking opportunities. Helios spends his free time at the garage trying to get an old truck up and running, that Jimmy promised to sell him cheap, although the definition of cheap is debatable.

Everybody was working hard just to make ends meet, only to go home to an overcrowded, shitty apartment. That’s life in the big city. But things were about to get interesting, and very dangerous. That’s life in Night City.

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Episode 1 Colombian Cookout

August 13, 2036

A canvas covered army truck drives down the rough jungle road, its jolting movements awakening three of the four passengers in the back. All four are leg shackled and their arms are handcuffed to the bench seats. Eventually the truck enters a bustling village and backs into an alley. Two guards armed with AK-47s escort the passengers, (carrying the unconscious one) into a steel shack. The shack contains a few cots and a bucket for waste.

Eventually the unconscious one, and the only female in the group, awakens. Introductions are made. Riptide, a Caucasian male, bares multiple link plugs and a sardonic sense of humor. Helios, a male of American-Thai descent, also has plugs and based on his frame, likely had some muscle grafting done. Saito, a male of Semitic descent, also has plugs and a cybernetic eye. The female goes by Zen. She is of Chinese-American descent. Unlike the others, she seems to have no cybernetic enhancements. None of the four are very forthcoming about their backgrounds, but each is in the same predicament. Each was recently kidnapped and brought here. None of the four know each other, although Helios and Riptide met right before they were taken.

As the hours pass, Saito and Zen decide to conserve energy and lay on the cots. Helios tests the dirt floor and begins trying to see if he can dig his way out. Riptide paces for a while, but eventually claims a cot for himself.

Over time, sounds from the other door in the shack reveal that this is likely the back room of a local drinking establishment. Eventually the door opens, and two men enter. One of them is one of the guards that brought them here; the other appears to be an American in his mid-40s. The American introduces himself as Taylor Czarnecki, and the guard as Alanzo. He indicates that Alonzo told him the group was a bunch of troublemakers from America, but the captives say little in response. He then inquires if any of them have combat experience. Zen indicates that she does. They ask where they are and Taylor tells them that they are in Colombia. Alanzo, apparently not able to understand English, upon hearing the word Colombia, pulls Taylor out of the room and locks the door back up.

Sometime later, Riptide hears a distinct gurgling sound and a thump as a body hits the ground and is dragged away. Shortly there after, Taylor opens the exterior door, leans in and says, “Its good to see you are still here.”

Armed with the guard’s AK-47, he ducks into the shack. He tosses Saito the keys for the shackles as he explains that he has a proposition for the group. His first priority is getting them out of town.

Saito, having no reason to trust the man, darts at him in an attempt to snatch the rifle away. A struggle begins for the rifle. Realizing the contest won’t be resolved before guards are alerted, Saito changes tactics and lets go of the rifle, but as he does so he ejects the magazine, and keeps hold of it. This leaves Taylor with the rifle and Saito with the ammo.

Realizing that he will have to give them more to go on, Taylor explains that he needs their help, and they clearly are in trouble themselves. He has a truck waiting on the edge of town to get them away from here. Taylor will tell them the rest once they are safely out of town. Saito gives him back the magazine while Riptide comments that no doubt the truck sneaking them of town will be the loudest one in town.

They are able to sneak safely out to the edge of town where an old pick-up truck awaits. Taylor gets in the front while the other four climb in back. Sure enough, the truck has no muffler and a tendency to back fire. Despite this, they are able to make it safely out of the area. As they are driving along, Taylor passes back a canteen and some candy bars for the hungry and thirsty group. As they are sharing the canteen, Riptide decides to tell them about the time he was dating a porn star, who went by the stage name Megan Fux. The others wondered if they would regret that drink.

Eventually, the truck comes to a stop, and Taylor and the others get out. They hike a mile into the jungle and set up camp. Taylor has a tent, but the rest must fend for them selves. Helios shows a talent for constructing lean-tos and helps the rest of the party stay dry.

August 14, 2036

As the group breaks camp, Taylor fills them in on the details. He is here to destroy an airfield, owned by the Entrada drug cartel. He does not know whom he works for, as those details are taken care of by his handler, Dollar Bill. He was to meet some local talent here in Colombia, but they pulled a no-show on him. While hanging out in a bar, he heard an Entrada soldier named Alanzo talking about some Americans he had. Taylor bought him a few more rounds and found out that Diego Entrada had purchased the Americans from William Moss, a corp who works for Arasaka. Entrada intended to use them for test subjects. Taylor decided to break them out and make them an offer. If they help him take out the airfield, he will get them back to the States. As a bonus, they can keep any of the weapons and gear they are issued. The group takes him up on the offer.

They then spend the better part of the day hiking through the jungle. Eventually they reach a drop point. After a half an hour, an AV-4 aerodyne hovers up over the jungle canopy, and drops a large crate. Taylor opens the crate and issues the team their gear. It includes weapons, radios, fatigues, body armor, and other miscellaneous equipment. They are also given C-4 with detonators and a satchel charge for the runway.

The team then continues on. They eventually reach the airfield. Taylor designates the targets. The satchel charge must be used on the runway. C-4 needs to be set at the fuel tank and Diego’s personal jet. Finally a shack at the back of the airfield was heavily guarded, and Taylor wants to know why. Saito will take out the jet and Riptide will handle the fuel tanks. Zen will set the satchel charge and Helios and Taylor will investigate the shack. Helios notes that there is a helicopter on site, and that he could fly it out if need be.

Zen sets the charges and takes up position near the runway. Saito crawls his was through a field of tall grass to a spot that gives him a good view of the jet and the two guards that stand near it. Riptide, Helios, and Taylor move counter-clockwise around the airfield, reaching the north side of the facility. Taylor and Helios head for the shack, while Riptide makes for the fuel tanks.

Taylor and Helios make it to the back of the shed and prepared to take out the guard. However, the guard catches a glimpse of Riptide as he is going for the tanks and walks around the back of the shed to investigate, bringing him face to face with Helios and Taylor. After a brief awkward moment, knives are drawn and the guard is dispatched.

Meanwhile, Zen moves onto the airstrip, positioning the satchel charge and setting the timer. Unfortunately, a guard stationed at the helipad sees her movements and approaches the airstrip to investigate. Zen lays low near the strip hoping that the guard will fail to see the satchel charge. Unfortunately, luck is not on her side and the guard’s flashlight beam eventually comes across the satchel charge. As he investigates the mysterious satchel, Zen sneaks up from behind, jumps on his back, and tries to lock him into a chock hold. The guard is not easy prey, and struggles for nearly a minute, managing to break the hold a couple of times, but never fully escaping. Just a Zen thinks her arms are about it give out, the guard finally collapses unconscious onto the airstrip. Zen ties him up, and drags him into the jungle.

As Riptide sets the C-4 charge on the fuel tanks, Taylor and Helios break into the shack. Inside is a desk full of papers and maps. In the center of the room, is a young man of Japanese descent, strapped to a chair. He has been stripped to a t-shirt and underwear, and appears to have been enduring an interrogation. Helios unties him as Taylor looks through the papers. He is grabbing some papers that look important when he notices photos from the drug lab at Entrada Diego’s plantation. They depict several American veterans being used as guinea pigs for drug experiments. The hostage introduces himself as Torrent, and they exit the shack. Riptide meets up with them as Torrent is putting on the dead guard’s boots. They reenter the jungle and circle back around the airfield.

With all of the other charges in place, Saito makes his move. His smartgun, jacked directly into his brain, communicates with the targeting scope in his cybernetic eye, lining up a perfect shot. Responding to a thought command, the gun fires, dropping the first guard. Saito quickly resets his aim to take out the second guard and is surprised to see that not only did the other guard fail to here the shot, he did not notice his partner collapsing to the ground. Saito fires a second shot but the second guard is only grazed by the shot.

Saito switches to full-auto, and begins advancing on the jet, firing controlled bursts at the guard. The guard takes up position behind the landing gear and returns fire. Saito scores a hit first and the guard goes down. Just as Saito reaches the jet, the doors burst open at the security building and guards begin to pour out. Saito sets his explosives as quickly as he can and then runs back into the jungle.

The team regroups as the charges detonate and the airfield is disabled. Taylor then explains that he will not leave American vets behind at the plantation. He asks the team for help, and they agree without hesitation. They make for the plantation immediately, hoping that most of Diego’s security force will be going the airfield to investigate. As they approach, they do see several jeeps and trucks of men travelling down the road on their way to the airfield.

August 15th, 2036

The team arrives at the plantation in the early morning. It is mostly coffee fields, but also contains a walled estate, a few bunkers, two warehouses, and a large well-lit facility. There are also numerous jeeps on patrol, each with two men and a .50 caliber machine gun. Torrent identifies the well-lit facility as most likely a drug lab, where the vets are probably kept. The team slowly circles the plantation until they are behind the drug lab. Saito scales the building, and once on the roof moves the camera that is aimed at the back door. Helios is able to bypass the lock and they enter the facility.

They find the communications room and consider disconnecting the security system. Torrent points out that the system is using a carrier signal for tamper detection, and disconnecting it would just set off an alarm. They decide to leave it alone.

After checking the back section of the building, the team moves to the front half. Finding a hallway that has PZT cameras at each end, Saito and Zen decide to run to the cameras while they are panned away and black out the cameras. Zen activates her adrenaline booster, and when the timing is right, they go for it. Unfortunately, Zen does not get to hers on time, and is in the frame when she blacks out the camera. Saito gets to his on time, but finds himself at a hall intersection, with another camera down the other hall pointing at him. They disable the cameras and begin searching rooms as quickly as possible.

Riptide moves down the center hall and begins checking doors. Suddenly the front door bursts open and two guards armed with AK-47s charge in. Riptide realizes that he is caught in the open, and brings his two pistols to bear. The first guard has the jump on him however, and fires a 3 round burst. The first two hit Riptide square in the chest and gut, but his body armor protects him. The third round, however, rips into Riptide’s thigh, cracking the bone within. Riptide falls back against wall, but stays supported on his good leg. He squeezes off four shots from each pistol and all eight rounds find their target, and the guard collapses to the ground.

The second guard had moved behind the first and was heading down the east hallway. Saito, hearing the shots runs down the intersecting hall. As he reaches the corner he drops to a prone position and extends his upper body around the corner. The guard shoots first, but his rounds either hit the wall above Saito’s head, or hits Saito’s back which is protected by body armor. Saito squeezes off a three-round burst and drops the second guard.

Zen comes around the south hall to the front door and shuts it. As she does so, she sees the guard on the jeep out front charging the .50 cal and aiming it at the front door. Meanwhile, Torrent has found a computer in a back room, and begins pulling apart the casing to get the hard drive. The team eventually finds the room that contains the vets and Torrent emerges with the hard drive.

With two of the vets and Riptide unable to move under their own power, the team makes a slow retreat out of the back of the building and into the jungle. Taylor gets on the radio and sets up an evacuation point, but it will take an hour for the AV-4 to get there. They move slowly through the jungle. Saito and Zen remain in back providing covering fire for the team. Zen also plants some left over C-4 chargers to take out some of their pursuers.

Eventually they reach the evacuation point. While Zen lays down some suppression fire, and Saito takes out any guards he can spot, the team is able to get aboard the AV-4 and is flown out of the jungle. The hour flight takes them past the coast and into open water where they see a cargo ship loaded with freight containers waiting. As they pass over the ship, they see that the containers form a ring, at the center of which is a hidden landing pad. The ship is called the Galveston Star, commanded by a Captain Greer.

Riptide is taken to the infirmary where his leg is set and put in a cast. Saito raids the medicine cabinet and swipes some morphine for his own purposes. Torrent is able to hack the stolen hard drive and finds that Entrada Diego has some sort of business relationship with William Moss of Arasaka. The exact nature of the relationship is unknown, but Diego is working on a new synthetic drug called “Blue Glass.”

In appreciation for their efforts, Taylor gets permission to double the team’s payment to $1,000.00 each, including Torrent. He also advises them that they each had acquired a powerful enemy in someone at Arasaka. It was probably best if they got new IDs and laid low until they knew exactly whom they were up against. His handler, Dollar Bill, would set them up with new IDs for free; they just had to find him. He hangs out at a place called the Forlorn Hope in Night City. But first the teams gets a much needed shower and bed rest as the Galveston Star makes its way to Miami.

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