Cyberpunk 2020 - A Fistful of Eurodollars

Can You Grok It?
In which the enterprising Corporate Kojo meets his new hires and contractor

June 2nd, 2020: 0030 PST
The Lo-Life, 43rd & Quill St.

The enigmatic Mr. “Kojo” MacKenzie of Daedalus Biocorp hires a motley crew of edgerunners to meet him at The Lo-Life neon bar on the edge of the combat zone (preferring to keep his solo work under wraps). He’s received a tip about a lucrative contract opportunity and awaits both his clients and their new employer outside. A band of street punks approach Kojo, recognizing his important stature and ready to rustle him up, when said motley crew arrives in a gloriously violent fashion.

Swingerson swings into the fray, spike/flamethrower heel first oblivious to the small arms fire pinging off her faceplate. Kojo dives for cover and takes potshots as his new hires make quick work of the Zone trash.

No sooner had the blood started to reach the sewers when the bartender, far from perturbed by the raucous gunfire and screams outside, poked his head out to tell Kojo there’s a call for him. After receiving their employer’s location, the party clamors into Kojo’s luxury stretch sedan and head off to the warehouse district.

June 2nd, 2020: 0200 PST
Warehouse 214, 31st St. & Wellborn St.

The gig turns out to be a snatch and grab of a man named Fargo Wells, requested at the behest of a mysterious Japanese businessman you later learn is named Namura.

You meet in a retrofitted warehouse and speak to him through a one-way mirror. It appears this Fargo Wells underling has double-crossed his employer and absconded with some valuable genetic data and is in Night City securing its arrival by way of smugglers to sell to the highest bidder in town. Although not explicitly stated, Namura implies that securing Wells is not nearly as important as ultimately securing their “genetic data”

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Slow Boat From Chiba
In which the crew discovers their target, Fargo Wells

The meeting over you turn to leave and are confronted once more by your enigmatic contact. He holds a large brown envelope in one hand and a cell-phone in the other.
“All the information you require is contained in here,” he says, extending the envelope towards you. “When you have found him, use this to contact me and I will relay…” He pauses, unsure of his software. “I will give you further instructions, dial two-four.” With this he hands you the cell-phone and opens the door.
-—-
June 3nd, 2020: 0300 PST
By way of SCKUG’s awkward parlay with the target’s ex-input, Caitlin Jones (secretly spying on the party for Infocomp, although the bug she planted on SCKUG was easily thwarted) they discover Wells’ favorite watering hole: The Garbage Pail.

The ‘runners make it into the bar just in time to see Fargo’s face take a bullet or three from Arab assassins. The party wrests a Palace of Puppets coffin card from their corpses after a brief bout of shooting. At the coffin motel they find a booby-trapped suitcase in Wells’ compartment but Swingerson’s technical wizardry disarmed it. A call with Namura confirms they’re looking for something “larger than a toaster” in essence; not to be found in the suitcase or even the Night City International locker which you now have the key to.

June 3rd, 2020: 1900 PST
The contents of the suitcase lead the chase to Raphaels Rock Emporium for a rendezvous with one of Wells’ contacts: Mitshiko Anasho at 7pm. Assassins attack again, firing a micromissile inside the museum and killing Anasho. The party managed to sneak in enough weaponry to quickly kill off the Arab Assassins and bail before the NCPD show up. Anasho’s hotel card leads the crew downtown to Hotel Pallazo, wherein they finally discover a shipping manifest linked to Wells. A dangerous Solo outlined in your dossier, Lorenzo Damarith, is bringing in the contraband to Night City and offloading it to a buyer.

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Rumble at the Docks
In which you find a horse

Kojo calls in a favor from one of his contacts at Daedalus, a teenaged Netrunner prodigy Vali T. Bland, to discover the location of Lorenzo’s docked ship at Wharf P47 as well as the transfer time the following evening.

June 4th, 2020: 1930 PST

A carefully laid ambush nevertheless results in your Cop, Professor Super Dragon, having his neck snapped off by Damarith’s mighty tae kwon do kicks. When the dust and blood settle into the pavement, the crew break into the convoy’s trailer to find a vat-grown Andalusian stallion worth untold millions of euros.

A tense trek back to Namura’s warehouse is punctuated with an ill-thought-ought attempt on your cargo by some Slaughterhouse Boosters, whose unfortunate gimmick is their reliance on melee weapons. Kojo negotiates with Namura upon the horse’s delivery for a doubled cash reward. As the party takes a round of back-patting for a job well-done Kojo gets a call from Daedalus’ headquarters requesting his audience with the CEO Nha Khaller.

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Ameliorating Monetary Deficiencies through Equine Enterprise
In which you tensely make the horse handoff, only to be pulled into a new job

June 4th, 2020: 2100 PST

Ms. Khaller disapproves of Kojo’s working off the record but tantalizes him and his cronies with the possibility of their own department for black-water operations on Daedalus’ behalf. That is, if they will make good on the mess they’ve made so far by tidying up the smuggler’s loose ends. She implies you could incur much favor within the company depending on how lucrative your exploitation of this stolen valuables ring is.

June 5th, 2020: 1030 PST

After taking some much-needed rest the party stops by an arms dealer for a shopping trip and has an amusing encounter with unioner Mountain Joe at the shipping container SCKUG stored his stolen AV-6 in. Hauling the obtuse Aerodyne out of its crate allows the crew to jet their way back to Wharf P47 to the Lollipop 5, the boat Lorenzo arrived on with the stolen horse.

In the span of about 5 minutes a dockside observer would’ve seen an unmarked AV screech over the boat as a parade of figures rappel to the deck, seemingly killing all aboard and then climbing back up to the hovering craft to disappear. Your rapid search revealed a number of pirate guards on-and-below-decks including one crazed-looking Solo with a checkered trenchcoat, as well as the terrified boat captain and his coded sea charts which would eventually reveal the smuggler’s stopover point up the coast.

In your stop at Daedalus Tower’s rooftop maintenance facility, Kojo meets up with their assigned netrunner Vali Bland to go over the data recovered from the Lollipop 5 while SCKUG negotiates refueling and arming his suspicious outsourced AV-6 varietal. Within a couple hours at a low cruising speed your hefty Aerodyne sweeps over the rocky and desolate eroded coastline to a set of coordinates a few hundred klicks north of Night City.

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Coastal Erosion
In which you hit the Smugglers where they Smuggle

June 6th, 2020: 0830 PST
36°21’31.2"N 121°54’18.5"W

The lone figures for dozens of miles in all directions, you scoured the cliff face and discovered three sea cave entrances, two of which were connected and one of which showed signs of more thermal energy venting out than the other (the north entrance). Swingerson secures her line to the cliff’s edge and slowly descends into the mouth of the southern tunnel, peering into the dark for signs of life and receiving a volley of automatic fire from a boat camped inside.

With everyone’s adrenaline now kicked into high gear, Run Papa dispatches the cave’s perimeter watchmen with well-placed grenades from his launcher, taking chunks of sediment into the surf with them. SCKUG maneuvers skillfully, going from a landing on the uneven rock outcropping of the coast sustaining only minor gear damage to navigating the narrow confines of the cave’s snaking tunnels with only meters to spare in all dimensions.

More gunfire loosens more rocks as a pontoon boat makes a desperate charge at the AV; A demo expert barely manages to attach C4 to the underside of your raging jet inferno before Kojo tackles him into the water and Swingerson quickly goes about disarming the explosive. Run Papa picks off targets in rapid succession and SCKUG faces down a plebby grunt through the windshield, firing a 20mm Gatling burst in self defense.

Those able to spare a moment to glance into the cave see a high ceiling shrouded in darkness and amorphous shadowy edges as the distant lights on the cave shore spill over a clanky-looking troop transport beached across your tunnel. The figures on board train their sights on you quickly but without the group’s massive killing capacities, falling to Run Papa’s smart-targeting FN-RAL bursts.

And then . . not so much silence but a pause. The scream of the AV Jets melds nicely into the surfs rhythmic pounding of the freshly scarred coastline. The bodies begin to sink, their blood spreads, and while your rampage has faced soft outer defenses without a wince, that sense of impending doom becomes all the heavier as the stakes continue to rise and the water beneath your wings churns and boils.

Kojo clamors back aboard the AV-6 and with his advanced cyberoptics spots a painting laser shearing across the inner cavern from some mechanical spider in the upper recesses. Despite his skilled aim, Kojo’s pistol burst misses the laser-guiding spider and SCKUG spurs the Aerodyne forward over the inner cave’s pool. A moment before the coming storm Run Papa sees a lurking shadow beneath the waves approaching from the northern edge, but before he can bring the Gatling Cannon to bear the water erupts:

FWOOSH. A burst of shrapnel and fletchettes pierce the surface of the pool, the floor and ceiling of the AV, and shriek into splinters on the cave ceiling. SCKUG defiantly wrestles the groaning aerated vehicle into a steady position so Run Papa can unleash with automatic fire at the lurking ACPA, shredding the Power Armor’s chestplate and riddling the Trooper with holes.

A quick check around the wrecked cabin confirms that miraculously none of the crew were injured. Before the others can even ask what nearly killed them a pack of Smugglers charge down to the beach in what was your blind spot until now. The first to the shore raises a Pulse Rifle at the limping Aerodyne and unleashes an invisible EMP beam which causes the vehicle to drop like a rock, splashing down to the sandy bottom of the cove.

SCKUG and Run Papa scramble to the punctured steel roof of the AV to spray lead back at the beach-bound Smugglers. As the party make it out of the water they realize what the Smugglers were trying to get away with: a fiber optic rainbow unicorn and 3 rare horse breeds were making a giant fuss at all the gunfire. Dispatching with the straggling survivors was easy enough.

But getting a bio-engineered Unicorn and three horses to cooperate wasn’t as simple as murder. Despite Kojo’s chipped out enthusiasm to prove his worth with the equine beasts the Unicorn neighs and stamps and wards him off with a glowing crystalline horn. The Doc manages to get “Rainbows” and the other horses onto the troop carrier, Kojo sheepishly turns his attention to the haphazard pile of contraband and supplies across from the horse’s makeshift paddock, Run PaPa chases down the RDAK across the cave to a narrowing crevice behind the generator/ACPA charge station and smashes it to pieces, Swingerson recovers a microbattery from said pieces, and SCKUG shouts out that he sees a survivor rowing away up the coast to the north.

A well-placed shot incapacitates the man’s left cyberarm, freezing it mid-paddle-stroke, giving the group time to collect themselves into the troop transport and go scoop him up for questioning. The guy calls himself Tiny and he’s a nervous motormouth. He spills the beans on just about all he knows on this setup, which isn’t much given their secrecy. They were all given Water Rats crest rings (Swingerson swims over to the sinking paddle boat to collect a bag of them) when they arrived to this cave weeks ago and had to have them on when the black ship arrived to drop off the horses as well as when the Lollipop 5 came to pick up Napoleon. Further interrogation on this “black ship” which some of the others called “Bloody Wake” reveals that it’s a large transport of some kind that approaches from out to sea on a coded schedule. Everyone’s roles were highly specialized and no one knew much about their employers or business partners in crime; Tiny was hired to maintain the Grasshopper ACPA now lying at the bottom of the cove.

While out of the cave Kojo makes a call to Daedalus Tower for a cleanup crew. They are told to herd the horses up to the top of the bluffs and move any other assets they can. Swingerson notes there’s a working forklift next to the pile of contraband and makes use of it.

June 6th, 2020: 1045 PST

Daedalus Reapers touch down on the barren cliff by the cave’s sloped secret entrance in their V-22 Ospreys. The pilots shoot the shit with the crew as everything gets loaded up; one of them notes that they see a lotta shit and this is gonna be one for the rumor mill for sure.

The flight back is uneventful, giving everyone a head start on their rest. Once word reaches Nha Kaller of your blind suicide mission’s resounding success she immediately promotes everyone involved: their own new Search & Seizure department with onsite labs, workspace, and luxury apartments, as well as a 2.55 Million Eurodollar payout for each member with Kojo getting an even 3 Million.

Macho Vendetta 3000 Run Papa immediately takes his earnings under the knife with him; he’s the first in the party to take advantage of Daedalus’ obscenely good cybernetics health plan which matches work-related upgrades (a 50% discount).

Not bad for a day that could’ve ended with all of your corpses stuffed into a cave crevasse.

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Smuggler's Last Stand
A story told through cybernetics recordings and speculation

DAEDALUS BIOCORP L8 RESTRICTED

What follows is an artist’s reconstruction of events. As such, internal dialogue is presumed based on contextual clues from all datum collected at the sea cave (36°21’31.2"N 121°54’18.5"W); only Trooper Margarita E. Gonzalez had any records on file: the rest are referred to by their code-names as they referred to each-other. Narrative treatment for future archival reference only, not a literal transcription of events. (For all known details see: KM-1007:REAPER_LOG)

June 6th, 2020: 0750 PST
36°21’31.2"N 121°54’18.5"W

Rings scratches his nose, the dull silver Water Rats crest on his finger providing an engraved surface for the damp skin to rub against. He flips his IR smartgoggles back down, leaning on his makeshift barrel seat with crate backrest. Normally he doesn’t fidget with his gadgets so much on these campouts, preferring to think of himself as ready within a picosecond’s notice. Something about the salty sea air circulating through the cave and mixing with the crude oil generator’s fumes drove both his implants and nervous system nuts. And not only that, his leg was on the fritz after weeks without proper maintenance in their environment.

Glaring across the cove in the dim haze Rings watches Tiny and Gonzalez canoodling next to the bright orange thermal signature of the generator, tinkering with the fancy VR settings or balancing the gyros or whatever the hell those Trooper shitheads do. Can’t be that smart if they’d bring an ACPA, even a small one, into a place like this. Give Rings the budget for this setup and he sure as shit wouldn’t spend it on an overspecialized retrogade hunk of steel. Just a few gatling placements would have covered the seaside entrance just fine, and they wouldn’t have everybody, cargo included, wheezing away on account of the fucking Power Armor’s battery charger.

Mohawk sidles up alongside him, dropping her bag of equine doctoring supplies into the sand with a thud and wringing her fleshly left hand as she takes a seat on another crate facing the water.

“Well rainbows is uncooperative today, but at least I got through their shots without being trampled,” she says out loud to no one in particular, fishing in her bag’s side pocket for a crumpled pouch of smokables. Rings shrugs and grunts, swiveling his goggles from Gonzalez and her lackey’s diagnostics date to the crude pen behind their pile of equipment, rations, and less-valuable goods. There it was, clear as day: a bioluminescent sparkling rainbow unicorn sticking out from the brown rock like a blade from a ‘borg arm. Flanked by three exotic horse breeds, as though horses in these parts weren’t exotic already, they made an optically striking image of opulence.

Rainbows, as Mohawk called it anyway, was normally pretty well-behaved even without the drugs they shot em up with. Unusually, it was currently trotting and snorting up and down the pen’s barrier washing the rear entrance, where Wild Hair sat next to the treaded forklift, in fractaling patterns of light and color. Wild idly flips through their battered binder of contracts and scheduled arrivals and departures. Rings honestly didn’t care to know how many days they had left of horse-shit-shoveling; It would only make the contract feel longer.

The little RDAK scuttled overhead making its routine surveillance sweeps around the cave. It had taken them awhile to get used to that when they had arrived. Blackwater hires tend to be a paranoid bunch by trade, and sleeping with one of those Spiders crawling around answering to none of them was nigh-impossible the first couple nights. Rings still had more than a few fatalistic thoughts about the poison injector finding its way up their veins roundabouts when they’d have an opportunity to rejoin the NorCal Ecotopia with full credit chips.

0756 PST

“No sleep,” growls Stocky as he raps Mustache on the skull with a Sternmeyer.

“Ain’t we done yet?” yawns Mustache, smoothing his code-namesake before awkwardly turning onto his front and fumbling to put his smartgoggles back on, the speedboat rocking incessantly in the near-dark bend of the Southern cave entrance.

“Heard,” clips Stocky, teeth gritted and eyes squinting at the brightening Pacific horizon.

“Use your words, you’re Stocky not Stoic. Herd of what?” but Stocky was already standing surefooted atop the boat’s captain chair, flashing a morse code across the tunnel to the cove beach where Gonzalez and Tiny were just finishing sealing away the Grasshopper’s internal components. Catching Tiny’s goggles, the diminutive mechanic drops his spanner and hops over one of the PA equipment cases, rushing to kill the generator which was still belching noise and smoke.

Rings was getting nervous; the horses were anything but calming down and it wasn’t hard to spot the kerfuffle brewing at the maintenance pad. The generator was off and Gonzalez was climbing into her cockpit without her usual self-importance when showing off her Trooper training exercises; much moreso on the panicking fight or flight response. Sure enough her voice crackled through their short-band radios

“Stocky thinks*kshhhhh* AV topside, *kshss*wept the coast. Get hors*kshsss* of the pen”

The cove was suddenly alive with fervored rushing to boats, vantage points, and the valuables. Rings, Mohawk, and Wild Hair were heaving their steel rebar traps into softer sand deeper into the cave, making way for the horses to stamp closer to them. The RDAK scuttled to a corner of the ceiling with a sweeping view of the cove. As Rings roughly yanks Rainbows’ harness towards the beached troop carrier, he sees the RDAK’s painting laser narrow on the IR band down to a point where the southern cave entrance opened into the main chamber.

“Why’d it have to be fucking horses!” Rings bellows, giving Rainbows another hard tug.

0758 PST

“Head down,” grunts Stocky.
“I can’t aim if I do that,” replies Mustache, awkwardly kneeling inside the speedboat in full MetalGear and bringing his battered FN-RAL to bear on the edges of the sea arch.
“Can’t aim with no head,” growls Stocky, but just then a silhouetted figure begins to inch down from above the sea arch, dangling precariously. Mustache slaps the trigger and his FN-RAL kicks him back on his ass, the bullets pinging off the cave and rocketing towards the Pacific ocean.

The first shots are fired.

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Dates and Times

November 18th 2016 (A Stormy Night in Night City 1.1) https://www.facebook.com/events/1184010678357130/
September 14th 2015 (Bloody Wake) https://www.facebook.com/events/823668884415268/
May 20th 2015 (Coastal Erosion 1.2) https://www.facebook.com/events/976239705749036/
April 28th 2015 (Coastal Erosion 1.1) https://www.facebook.com/events/1810501192509134/
June 4th 2014 (Ameliorating Monetary Deficiencies through Equine Enterprise) https://www.facebook.com/events/269591086559847/
May 7th 2014 (Rumble at the Docks) https://www.facebook.com/events/282102805291565/
April 16th 2014 (Slow Boat From Chiba) https://www.facebook.com/events/614904251919289/
March 23rd 2014 (Can You Grok It?) https://www.facebook.com/events/589887377761892/

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