Cyberpunk 2036

Episode 9 Family Business

The second half of April and all of May pass without incident. The team completes work in their new home and move in, despite an almost total lack of furniture. Saito gets some neural-ware installed to boost and control his reflexes. Helios gets wolvers, retractable blades, mounted in his forearms. Helios considers getting counseling as he realizes the toll on his humanity that all of his cybernetic enhancements have taken.

Much to Saito’s disappointment, the Aston-Martin is stripped for parts and sold on the black market. After all of the middle men get their cut and Death in the Afternoon collect their share, the team gets less than $20,000 out of the deal, but its enough to cover some immediate expenses. Money is becoming an issue as the team tries to get their salvage business off the ground. They start hoping a paying job comes their way real soon.

June 6th, 2037

Riptide mans his podium at the Golden Saloon when a woman, well dressed, but a bit roughed up, walks in and immediately approaches Riptide. She bluntly asks him if the rumor is true that he has an edge-running team. When he confirms the story, she asks how quickly he can have them assembled. He asks for an hour, and she agrees to return then.

Riptide contacts Zen, who rounds everyone up. They jump in Helios’ recently restored truck and head to the Golden Saloon. They arrive around 9:50 PM. Saito takes a seat at a table away from the rest of the group so that he can watch for any potential trouble.

The woman returns at 10:00 PM and meets with the team. Her name is Cassandra Luna. Her four year-old son Mathew has just been kidnapped, and she would like to hire the team to rescue him. She knows where her son is being held, but is unsure of who the kidnappers are. Cassandra works for Biotechnica and figures it may be one of their competitors behind the kidnapping. She agrees to pay the team $800 each upon the safe return of her son. They try to press her for more information, but she quickly grows impatient and demands that they get going.

They explain to her that they need to first return to their headquarters to get their gear. They agree to meet back at the Golden Saloon at 11:00 PM. While they are gearing up, they have Torrent research Cassandra Luna and Biotechnica.

Biotechnica lives up to its name as a biotechnology firm. It was their development of “CHOOH2”, the alcohol formulation that most vehicles now run on that allowed them to grow to become one of the great mega-corporations. They are headquartered in Rome, but have a regional office here in Night City.

Cassandra works in Biotechnica’s marketing department. Five years ago she married one of their top researchers, a man name Tobias Luna. The rumor mill has it that she has developed a drinking problem and has been seen frequently on the club and social circuits without her husband. Despite their growing reservations, the team decides to take the job anyways.

Leaving Torrent behind, they return to the Golden Saloon where Cassandra is waiting for them. They follow behind her, Helios and Saito in the truck and Zen and Riptide on motorcycles, as she leads them out of Night City and eventually to Night Beach, located in Pacifica, a secured community of very expensive properties.

They get past the perimeter checkpoint easily as Cassandra has an access pass that she uses to get everyone in. She then takes them down some winding roads before stopping about 400 feet from a driveway. She indicates that this is where her son is being held, and she will wait for them here.

The driveway passes though some woods and then enters a clearing that contains the house and a small bunker. The bunker is set back and to the right of the house. The house is three floors high, with the ground floor being the garage. Saito circles around the left side of the house, using his infrared optics to easily see in the dark. Zen, Helios, and Riptide approach the house.

As they get closer that find that a microwave fence surrounds the house, and the immediate grounds around it. Taking advantage of the narrowness of the beam at the antenna points, the three are able to jump over the microwave fence.

Saito detects two guards at the back of the house, hanging out by the pool. He also detects a half dozen men in the bunker.

As Riptide, Zen, and Helios approach the house they detect an infrared camera mounted under the water fountain, pointing at the house. Helios sneaks up and disables the infrared light. This gets an immediate response from the bunker as two guards emerge and walk towards the front of the house. Zen decides to wait outside as Riptide and Helios go to the front door that is atop a set of stairs going up to the second level. They pick the lock and slowly open the door. This results in even more activity in the bunker as four more guards emerge and the two in the back start to come around the house.

Inside the house, Helios and Riptide are confronted by a guard. Riptide opens fire with his dual pistols, hitting the guard multiple times. Before the armored guard can recover, Helios charges in with his mono-knife and cuts the guard down. The two then make for the stairs and head up.

As Saito and Zen observe the guards from the darkness, they each realize at the same time that the guards are wearing insignias that indicate that they are Biotechnica security. Saito is able to sneak up behind one and knock him out. Deciding that somebody needs to explain what the hell was going on, Saito grabs the guard and begins hauling him back to the property line.

Zen attempts to take out the guard circling around the right side of the house. She struggles with the guard, but in doing so she steps under the house’s perimeter lighting. The other four guards spot her and close in on her. Knowing she is hopelessly outnumbered, she breaks free of the melee and flees back behind the house. The pursuing guards open fire but do not hit her.

Meanwhile, in the upper level of the house, and Riptide and Helios are checking rooms, they come across a family portrait of Tobias, Cassandra, and Mathew Luna. The fact that this is not a rescue, but a kidnapping is now undeniable. They finally find Mathew’s room where the terrified boy is cowering in fear. When Riptide tries to console him by stating that they are taking him to his mommy, the boy begins to cry out for his dad.

Realizing that the situation was now completely out of hand and not what they signed up for, Riptide announces he is aborting the mission. He and Helios decide to leave the child, but Helios does consider swiping the kid’s racecar bed. They both head down the to second level as guards enter the front door, resulting in a brief exchange of fire. Helios and Riptide retreat deeper into the house, eventually finding the stairs to the first floor garage. There they find several vehicles as well as a key box.

Outside, Zen has managed to lose her pursuers. Both she and Saito make their way through the woods, back toward the property line. Then they hear the sound of two AV-4s approaching the property. The first coming from the front is a Trauma Team AV that immediately heads toward the front door. The second is a weaponized AV that begins to sweep the property. Just as it begins to close in on Zen, the two garage doors on the house open, and Riptide and Helios race out in separate vehicles.

It goes after Helios first, then Riptide, shredding each of their vehicles with its .50 caliber machine gun. Helios and Riptide are unharmed however. Riptide makes for his motorcycle when Helios notices Cassandra driving over to him. He quickly jumps into the vehicle. When Cassandra demands to know where her son is, Helios pulls his mono-blade and orders her to drive back to the security gate. She turns the vehicle around and does what he says.

Eventually, Saito and Zen make it back to the road. Saito places the unconscious guard in the back of the truck and he gets in the front. Zen gets on her motorcycle and meets up with Riptide. The three of them drive farther into the Pacific Beach community.

The AV continues to follow Cassandra. It does not use its .50 cal, but instead a sniper using a rocket rifle attempts to disable the car. The first shot hits the engine, but the car keeps going. The second shot hits the passenger compartment instead, wounding Helios. As the security gate appears off in the distance, the third shot hits the engine again and the car dies, rolling to a stop. As guards begin to run up from the gate, and the AV-4 drops to the ground, Helios takes his mono-blade and slashes Cassandra’s throat. She quickly bleeds out and a security team pours out of the AV and runs up to the car. They order everyone out. Helios puts down the knife, puts up his hands, and exits the vehicle.

The security team orders him to the ground. He complies and they immediately jump on him and secure his arms and legs. Over all the noise he can here one of the guards reporting in, stating that Cassandra is in the car and that she is dead. He is then hauled into the AV-4. No sooner is the AV in the air than Helios is drugged and loses consciousness.

Saito drives around the community looking for another exit gate. Zen follows behind him on her motorcycle. Riptide waits around near the gate that they came in and waits for security to stand down after the AV-4 left. He then approaches the gate. The guard asks for his ID, and after examining it, lets Riptide pass.

Saito finds another exit and approaches. The guards drop the gate and demand that he stop. He pulls up and they request his ID. They examine it, return it to him, and raise the gate. He drives through, at which point Zen guns the motorcycle and races through before the gate can be lowered again.

The three return to Night City. On the way, Zen destroys her cell phone and ditches it. They return home and fill in Torrent on what had happened. Saito ties up the Biotechnica guard and allows him to sleep on Saito’s old cot in the shop.

June 7, 2037

In the morning, Zen and Saito interrogate the guard. Their worst fears were realized when the guard states that the Luna’s were still married and living together despite some issues they were having. Apparently the two had a big blow out early last evening and Tobias threw Cassandra out of the house. It would have been only a couple of hours later that she showed up at the Golden Saloon.

They drove the guard to another location and let him go. They knew that they had just made a powerful enemy, and it would not be long before they would learn what it will cost them.