Cyberpunk 2036

Episode 21 The Berlin Contingency

After chasing down Rico and helping getting him out of the city, the team focuses on healing. Toshi “Torrent” Kimura and Helios get out of the hospital, Torrent with a new cyberarm. Helios opts for some elective surgery and has some additional implants installed, further damaging his already ailing humanity. The team gets about a full month to recover.

June 19th, 2038

Helios gets a phone call from a male voice stating that Helios should assemble his team and meet at the Caf-Caf coffee house at 1:00 PM.

Saito arrives early to watch the place. He watches as a girl behind the counter gets a phone call to reserve a table with a full brain-dance station. A few minutes later, when Helios, Riptide, and Zen arrive, the same girl seems to recognize Helios, and directs them to the reserved table.

Reluctantly, they put the electrodes on their heads and begin the brain-dance session. They find themselves outside a stately manor as it snows. They approach the front door, which opens on its own. They find themselves in a spacious living room with a roaring fire in the fireplace.

A side door opens and a man steps in wearing a velvet smoking jacket and matching ascot. His face is hidden in shadow however. As he moves about the room, the shadow seems to follow him so that his face is never clearly visible.

He thanks the team for coming, and indicates that the team possesses a skill set that he needs to make use of. The company he works for has had some important proprietary data stolen from one of its orbital platforms. Two files were taken, and word on the street is that it is going to be sold in Night City. He will pay the team $20,000 to recover the data and another $10,000 if they identify and eliminate the thief.

The two files are named “Berlin” and “N792B.” The files contain blueprints and biological data. Both are encrypted and contain anti-hacking defenses. He recommends not attempting to look at the file.

Zen insists that he reveal whom they are working for. The man is reluctant but indicates that Biotechnica is hiring them and that their Copernicus Orbital Satellite’s datafortress was hacked. The team agrees to take the job and the brain-dance session ends.

The team goes on their separate ways. Zen heads to Infocomp to see what she can learn there. Riptide goes to the Forlorn Hope and talks to the Professor. Saito contacts Apoc, his Mossad contact in LA. Zen and Saito come up empty, but Riptide is steered to Dollar Bill who is currently hanging out at the Tequila Sunrise.

At 5:00 PM, Riptide is at Tequila Sunrise and talks to Dollar Bill. Dollar Bill does not know about any deals involving stolen Biotechnica data. He does tell Riptide that if the stolen data involves biological material, there are two people he should talk to. The first is Bill McKlusky, a body parts dealer down by the marina. The other is Hamstring, a biotech dealer that hangs out at a nightclub called The Catch.

The team members make contact and compare notes. Riptide decides that he will hunt down Bill McClusky. Zen decides that she will head to The Catch and track down Hamstring.

Riptide spends the rest of the day tracking down McClusky. He eventually finds him and inquires about the stolen data. Bill McClusky remains vague about how much he does or does not know about the deal. Eventually, Riptide gives Bill $200 in exchange for info on the deal, which Bill promises he will have the next morning.

Zen arrives at 10:00 PM at The Catch along with Saito, who will remain in the van. The Catch has a line out front full of hopefuls hoping to meet the bouncer’s high standards for which patrons they let in. Although she has to make a wardrobe adjustment, she is able to get in.

Inside the club, she talks to the bartender who indicates that Hamstring can be found up on the mezzanine. She makes her way up there and is eventually able to get Hamstring’s attention. He is a handsome man in his late twenties. Most everyone on the mezzanine is a member of his entourage.

They make small talk for a few moments and then get down to business. Zen is able to figure out pretty quick that Hamstring is involved in the deal. Naturally, he is reluctant to discuss the deal. When she learns that he is interested in the Super Fly drug that has been making the rounds, she offers to put him in contact with its creator in exchange for info on the deal.

She learns that Hamstring acted as a go between for a hacker named Hijacker and a ripperdoc named Hing Wu. Hijacker was selling the data to Hing Wu, which he referred to as Berlin. Hamstring gives Zen the address of Hing’s shop in Little China. As agreed, she gives him Jarvic’s contact info.

She stays until after 1:00 AM, and then heads to the van. She learns that Saito also had a successful night, involving one of the girls who were waiting in line outside.

June 20th, 2038

At 8:00 AM, Riptide returns to the marina to meet with McClusky at the appointed time. McClusky, however, is a no show. Riptide spends the rest of the morning searching for him. At noon, he tracks down McClusky who admits he has no information on the deal. McClusky pays back the $200, which Riptide makes clear he had better give back.

The team meets back at their home to discuss the situation. Riptide contacts the man who hired them on the number they were given. He explains that the deal has already gone down, but they know whom the buyer is and have a lead on the seller. The man explains that they are to get the files back from Wu and find out who sold the data. After Riptide hangs up, he realizes he recognizes the voice on the phone. It was Tobias Luna.

At 1:30 PM, they head to down to Little China and stop at Wu’s Infirmary and Cyber Center. Riptide and Zen go in to speak to Hing Wu. They speak to Hu, who naturally does not acknowledge any involvement in the sale. Riptide and Zen apply some pressure and he cracks. He was paid by a company called World Genetics to purchase the data when it was offered to him. He then had the data hidden in a data fortress for Amstein Agricultural. Riptide calls Tobias and indicates where the files are located. Tobias says that his own netrunners can extract the data from Amstein without any issues.

Torrent checks out the BBS sites and is able to determine that Hijacker is a netruuner. Riptide arranges to have Dollar Bill contact Hijacker in regards to a big job that would need to be discussed in person. They offer to fly him to Night City. They plan to take him to the Golden Saloon and determine if he is the guy they are after.

At 10:00 PM, Zen receives a phone call from Hamstring. He indicates that earlier that evening, someone killed Hing Wu. He was apparently tortured and executed. He wants to know if Zen’s crew is responsible. She denies it and states that he may be in danger and should probably lay low.

Riptide contacts Tobias and asks if he was the one who had Wu killed. Tobias says he had nothing to do with it. The data was at Amstein as Riptide had indicated, so as far as Tobias is concerned, that end of the matter was wrapped up.

At 11:00 PM, Zen gets a call from Hamstring. Hijacker called him, asking about the deal just offered him by Dollar Bill. Hijacker is aware the Wu is dead, and he is therefore reluctant to come to Night City. Using Hamstring as a go between, she is able to convince Hijacker to come to Night City where he will be under their protection. They schedule him on a 7:00 AM flight.

June 21st, 2038

The team checks its bank account first thing in the morning and find that Tobias deposited the $20,000 as promised. They then head to the airport, but after the flight from Denver arrives, its clear that Hijacker is not on it. Zen talks to the airline staff and is able to determine that Hijacker never got on the plane.

Zen contacts Nails, and asks her to check the homicide reports for Denver for the last 12 hours. Sure enough, Hijacker was found in his apartment, tortured and executed.

The team decides that this event ends the mission for them. They contact Tobias and indicate that Hijacker was the thief, and that he has been eliminated. Tobias is satisfied with this, and promises to deposit the remaining $10,000.

The team decides to head home having completed the mission. However, questions linger. If Hijacker was the last link in the chain, why was he tortured for information? Perhaps more importantly, who is doing the torturing? Who ever they are, they beat the team to Hijacker. Is Hamstring on their list? Is the team?