Drifters

Pete's Log #3

Getting Our Groove

I love Night City.

It’s dangerous as fuck but damn is it fun. Especially when you’ve got kickass cyberwear. The last couple of days have been awesome. You might not think so when I start this tale but by the end you’ll see what I’m saying.

A little background

About a week ago we figured we’d help Stephanie find her sister. As we understood it, she had last been seen at the Tarsus Academy in Cairo. We figured that a trip there would be in order and we could get some of the Triad heat off of us while we were at it; two birds, one stone. To get to Cairo we figured we’d hire a private plane so that we wouldn’t have to deal with security. We got turned on to this stoner cat named Tripper. He was a zoner so we headed down to the CZ to meet up with him.

Turns out he was a pilot, he had a plane, and he was willing to take us. However, his plane was currently in the possession of some slumlord gang leader cunt. The only way to get his plane back was to win it betting a long shot on a greezle match.

What’s a greezle? Good question. Well, I’m not exactly sure but it’s some sort of lizard, dino genetic lab thing. A lot like those frilled lizards from Jurassic Park that spit that paralytic goo. Except replace the paralytic part with acid and you pretty much got it. I don’t know why they exist or why they run rampant in the sewers but apparently people eat them and fight them. And for the record, they are quite tasty.

Back to the story. So, Tripper had to win a big bet against a long shot greezle match to get his plane back. To make sure this happened, we cooked up a half assed plan and decided to go to the slumlord cunt’s house and kill the competition. It wasn’t a bad idea but our plan sucked and our implementation was even worse. I won’t get into that here because it is a long depressing story and would only kill any respect you might have had for us.

Long story short, we boned it. We did the job, killed the greezle, got totally fucked up in the process, lost the bet anyway, and wound up at Doc Browns for an extended stay. Ugh.

Okay, now that I have the totally fucked up part out of the way, I’ll get to the slightly fucked up part.

The Slammer Incident

We still needed a plane and we didn’t really have a way to win it back so we decided to just take it. We met up with Tripper at a restaurant across from the Slammer and worked out the plan. He told us that she had the plane on her building. This only made the previous story even more pathetic. We only would’ve needed to have gone about 100 yards further and the return trip wouldn’t have been necessary. Anyway, we decided to go down there and take it killing anyone who got in the way. These people were scumbags anyway. This time though we had a real plan. Cory would run the net with Sam as watch dog and relay. Steve would take up a sniper position across the street and would provide cover fire. Knucks and myself would go in and secure the plane. Sounds crazy with only two of us going in but this was an awesome plan and straight up cyber punk.

With our plan was in place and dinner finished we decided to slip over to the Slammer to have some drinks. As soon as we walked in the door I should have known it was going to get out of hand. Everyone was excited that the Blitz was in the place and they kept talking to me about “the fight”. Then I met the Blitz’s crew and they were buying me drinks and slapping me on the back. I don’t really know why I went with it or what the fuck I was thinking but I hung out and played the role. I knew he/I would show up eventually but I had no idea what I was going to do when he/I did. Also, unbeknownst to me, Kurt Reznor was in the house and he was looking to cash in on the price on the Blitz’s head. Of course those that recognized him neglected to let me know. Assholes.

The night went on and I was having fun but it degenerated fast; wicked fast. It started with the arrival of the Blitz. I saw him enter and I headed to the bathroom. I don’t know what I was thinking but I guess I figured I could hang there until after the fight and then slip out. Anyway, he headed over pretty quick so someone must have spotted me and sent him there. He came in and it was tense but we talked. I told him I was an alternate from another dimension. I doubt he bought it though. I bet he thought I was a nutty fan who was trying to cash in on his fame.

I don’t know what his plan was but I guess he figured that I could take the fight for him which would give him a chance to slip away. What I figured out later was that he knew something I didn’t or at least didn’t understand. The Blitz was in trouble with some heavy hitters and with me on the ground taking the spotlight he could slip away and no one would even notice. He probably hoped one of them would smoke me and he could start over.

Anyway, he left just as Knucks came in. We talked a few minutes and I was about to head back out to get ready for my big fight when I got a message over my radio from Steve that Kurt was gunning from me and was on his way in the bathroom. Great, fucking Kurt Reznor and he was about to draw on me. The call came just as Kurt was coming through the door; guns out. Nowhere to run, no point in trying to negotiate, it was time to man up and go toe to toe with one of Night City’s deadliest solos. I drew and fired but he was as fast and skilled as I had remembered from the games.

We exchanged fire. I hit him but his armor ate most of it. He was using those crappy little Glocks but, true to character, every round was ringing against my skull. My skinweave and subdermal were holding up but a bullet to the head is a bullet to the head. My fucking ears were ringing and I saw stars every time a bullet bounced off my skull. The blood ran free from my scalp. The only solace I got from this endeavor was that my hand cannons were punching through his armor. Every hit produced blood and I was pretty sure that I was going to win this exchange. However, I’m not an idiot so I took cover while I plugged in and kicked in my speedware.

Kurt took that opportunity to spread Knucks brains across the wall. Poor Knucks, he was still pulling his shit together and hadn’t had a chance to get a hit in yet. He obviously wasn’t aware of Rezor’s rep enough to go for cover, or charge him, or do something other than draw and plug in.

I leaned out and took a bead on Reznor’s head. I had the drop and my aim was solid. My smartware had a solid lock on his left eye. With my hand cannon, I would have split his head open like a ripe watermelon. I had his ass dead to rights. I was going to be the guy to kill Reznor. Years of gaming agitation with Lawrence’s most annoying and arrogant character and it was going to be me that took his ass out.

And then, Kurt’s most annoying trait kicked in. His fucking uncanny luck. Now I don’t believe in that magical nonsense but damn it, what the hell could this be? My round didn’t fire. Fucking finicky caseless ammo. My state of the art death dealer went click and yes it’s true, it is the loudest sound on the battlefield. Meanwhile, Kurt’s crappy little outdated Glocks dropped two rounds into my scalp with two solid hits.

However strong skinweave and subdermal are, they can only take so much. He split my skull right open. I heard it crack and I actually felt the bones separate. A fresh spray of hot blood covered my arm. If not for the pain editor that I had just kicked in, I would have probably passed out from that hit. As it was, I dropped to one knee and tunnel vision was starting to set in.

Fuck. I was dead. I knew it and Kurt fucking Reznor definitely knew it. The bane of my gaming was now going to be the end of me. That last hit; my gun jammed; too far to close distance; nowhere to hide; Kurt already taking his next bead; damn. Then again, everyone’s luck runs out at some point and Kurt was about to meet destiny in a harsh and messy way.

Now Kurt was good, one of the best, but you see he was at a disadvantage. He thought I was the Blitz and unfortunately for him, this version of Kurt hadn’t discovered alternate dimensions yet. Had he known that, he might have a chance to know what was coming next.

So back to the action. Kurt was about to finish the hit when Cory burst through the door big as shit, like a freight train. Yeah baby, the Calvary had just arrived. Kurt, keeping one Glock on me, tuned to see what this new threat was but it was too late. Cory struck him square in the side with the force of a jack hammer. The crunch of Kurt’s ribs was unnerving but he’d survive that. Unfortunately for him, the hit sent him flying towards the exhaust fan. He stepped down, dropping one of his Glock’s to catch his balance. Unfortunately the universe must have had a luck debt because it was time for Kurt to pay back some of the luck he had borrowed and the universe was collecting with a vengeance.

He put his foot down on a chunk of Knuck’s brains, and the spot where he grabbed was covered in his own blood from my hits. He sailed head first into the exhaust fan.

I would later find out that the abnormally large and powerful fan was a leftover artifact of the Slammer’s previous life as an industrial welding shop. That fan was designed to draw out fumes from a highly toxic welding process. I never found out why the safety grate wasn’t on it but that’s Night City for you. Kurt hit that thing full tilt and head first. The bathroom received a fresh coat of red paint and the man known as Kurt Reznor, at least from the waist up was no more. And if I know the Slammer, there will be parts of him left there in the duct and the cracks of the tile for years to come.

With Knucks dead, and me nearly dead we evac’ed to Doc Brown’s. The good doctor took care of us and, using some sort of experimental nano tech healed us up right as rain in a few days. Guess he figured Knucks had nothing to lose and as I was unconscious, two experimental subjects are better than one.

Still fucked up but we are improving. We took out one of Night City’s hardest hitting solos and we did it in public. Yeah we took our licks but we survived.; and we got some bad ass rep in the process. I’ll count this one as a win.

We Kick Some Ass

It was about this time that we found out that Cairo was unnecessary. However, we still needed that plane to support a job for Boss Skiv so we decided to initiate our plan. We headed down to the CZ. Cory and Sam took up position in an alley around the corner. Steve took up a sniper position in the tower of the church across the street. Knucks and I went on standby for insertion. Cory flew an ROV for recon but blew it by flying it right past Steve’s position. Two of the guards watching it noticed Steve and opened fire. Knucks and I took off for the gate, instructing Cory to get it open.

Cory already in the net managed to get the gate open just as we got there. I went through at full tilt. Some punk about jumped out of his skin and took a bead. I squeezed off three rounds and dropped him in a spray of blood. There was a second fence and I called back to Sam to let Cory know. We hit it about the same way as the last and I hadn’t broken stride.

No one was in there but I found the ladder to the roof. I slung my rifle and up I went. Half way up Steve took out two of the guys that were about to shoot me in the back. I got to the roof and took cover; Knucks was tight on my six.

A bullet zipped past my head and a chunk of wall exploded behind me. I dove behind some boxes and Knucks charged forward tossing in a grenade. Just then two men came up from behind. I turned to take them out switching to full auto. I hosed the doorway and down they went.

Kunckes was at the hanger and gunfire was rampant so I moved to cover. He called out three targets inside; turned out to be four but whose counting.

Steve was still firing so I assumed he was taking out the garbage all around us. I later found out that Cory was taking care of business in the net. Like I said, we were in the zone baby.

I hit the hanger in a knee slide and swinging to the right where Knucks had been firing. I spotted two guys over a third who was down. I emptied the remainder of my clip into them and they hit the dirt.

That’s about the time I heard “That’s it man, I’m outta’ here.” The sniper. Looks like he didn’t like odds anymore and bugged out.

That was it, all targets were neutralized and we secured the plane. We called everyone in and flew out. What a wild ride.

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