Science Fiction [Cyberpunk] If the money Is right
This is a cyberpunk story with pretty much free form, open ended rules. I hope you like it.

 This rain is relentless! I huddle under the awning as the city pulses around me. People hussle past despite the rain, eager to get where they’re going I assume. I open my leather trench coat and check my pistol one more time. Still fully charged of course, I haven’t fired a shot yet. My paranoia is getting the better of me.

Will this rain ever end?

(50/50 | 2[d10]) No

I didn’t think so. Oh well time to go in I suppose. 

“The Heretic Bar” is lit by the soft red glow of nearby vid screens and the trashy decor and cheap drinks attracts the type of crowd that under normal circumstances I would be caught dead with.

I hope they don’t check me for weapons.

(Unlikely | 5[d10]) No, but...

The bouncer gives me a look over and lets me through, but as I pass he grabs my shoulder and swings me around. His tall gangly body towers over me and his dead eyes per right into my soul, emotionless and eerie. Is he going to say something?

(50/50 | 6[d10]) Yes, but...

“I know your type” he grunts. “Any trouble and I won’t hesitate to put a hole in your head, you understand?”
I nod in agreement. He lets me go.

Jadd Danner is my name. I’ve called New Union City my home for the past 7 years. Some people call me a drifter, some like to think of me as a hired gun. Truth is i’ll do anything if the money is right.

And the money this time is right.

It was supposed to be simple you know?


The mark is a girl. Cathy they call her but who the fuck knows her real name. She’s dying of some terminal fucked up thing. Like a cancer but not a makes no sense to me either I’m not a god damn doctor. Her daddy wants to see her one more time before she dies so he hired me to find her.

And here we are.

At the Heretic Bar.

And she’s inside.

The place is actually quite beautiful... in its own way.  The metal interior is minimalist and the sleek lines are lit by floating holos drifting through a layer of smoke. The pulsing beats of deathcore almost drown out my internal thoughts. I turn my auditory implants down a notch else it might melt my brain. 
There’s a moderate sized crowd. These people are vacuous airheads only concerned with their image. I  can see several low level goons, several droids and a Prostitute or two. There are mostly standing tables with people scattered around.

Seeker droid

Now this is inconvenient. Fucking Seeker Droid. Whether it’s after me or not I don’t know but I hate the damn things, floating around like disembodied robot heads. 
Is it after me?

(Unlikely | 4[d10]) No

It passes me by as I hold my breath. I still owe a lot of people money. Seekers are not too bright but when they lock into you, expect company within a matter of minutes.

I wander through the crowd. A short wiry girl eyes me off as the music beats a monotonous rythym. Her see through pants draw my attention but she turns away as she flashes me a flirtatious smile.

Cathy is here somewhere. I flick her image onto my retina HUD. Blonde, mid length hair with a striking face and sparkling eyes. Probably wearing a breather too. I bring up my wrist and chance running a trace.

(Very Unlikely | 1[d10]) No, and... +Event: Carelessness / A plan

There’s pretty much no way I’ll be able to track her but it’s worth a shot.... well... not really. It’s a pretty careless thing to do. The second my trace goes out it pings a trace lockout someone is running, maybe Cathy herself? 

I feel someone behind me. I feel their breath. I feel their gun in my back. I feel the anger in their voice as they ask me to come with them.

I’m lead outside into a back alleyway. I don’t even know what the goon behind me even looks like but I bet he’s one ugly mother fucker by the sound of his voice. As we step into the alley he throws me against a rusted metal railing. The only light is from a nearby transit shelter and as I turn around I can see that I was right. He is an ugly fucker.

“What was that trace?” He grunts. “Who sent you? What do you want?’

“Look buddy I just want to talk to Cathy”, I reply. “I have a message from her father...”
“Cathy no talk to father. Father is dead to her. Father not welcome. You not welcome!”

He raises his pistol and fires just as I leap out of the way. A piece of wall explodes behind me as he lets out a chilling war cry. Dogs bark nearby.

I pull out my pistol and fire in his general direction.

(Very Unlikely | 1[d10]) No, and... +Event: Failure / Friendship

As the shot bounces off a light pole, the back door to the bar flies open and several of his friends pile out, weapons drawn. This is it. Time to bail out. There’s no way I can take 6 of them. Is there a way out of here?

(Very Likely | 10[d10]) Yes, and...

The alley continues on behind me and I have cover from a dump crate that’s conveniently positioned between me and the goons. I empty a clip for cover as I run off down the alley.

(Unlikely | 4[d10]) No

They’re not hit but it keeps their heads down and allows me to escape. I take one last glance before I round a corner. 6 of them taking cover still, unwilling to follow me. 
And then there she is. Out of the smoke walks a striking young blonde. Cathy. As she chastises her protectors for their incompetence and well, cowardice, she glances my way. We hold a quick stare. I can see the anger in her eyes, a hatred even.

She coughs into her breather as I make a quick getaway, still cursing her entourage for letting me get away.

After 10 minutes I stop running. I’m out of breath. An alleyway makes a good place to rest.

Did they manage to follow me?

(Very Unlikely | 8[d10]) Yes

I hear something or someone coming down the alley way. There’s 2 of them ‘cause I can hear them talking. There are piles of refuse dumped in the middle of the alley. Pieces of ladders, pipes, scafholding and a partially collapsed wire fence. The only light comes from an old disused transit shelter, it’s neon advertising still looping a decades old holo. Flashes of colour momentarily light up the alley and I see silhouetted against the grungy steel walls, two of the goons who were chasing me.

Do they see me?

(Very Unlikely | 5[d10]) No, but...

I remain hidden but they’re getting close.

PC positive


I slowly sink deeper into the piles of waste around me. I need to get my pistol out silently.

(Very Likely | 9[d10]) Yes

They’re point blank and they still don’t see me. I pull the trigger.

(Very Likely | 5[d10]) No, but...

Just as I fire my target makes an abrupt turn and my shot sails past his head and explodes on the wall behind him. The shock of the ambush and the blast of light from my pistol momentarily stuns both of them. I fire again. Twice.

(Likely | 9[d10]) Yes

(Likely | 5[d10]) No, but...

The first one goes down, his head kicks back showering the second guy with blood. My second shot misses.

The remaining guy steadies as best he can and fires at me.

(Unlikely | 2[d10]) No

It misses as I drop into cover. He tries to wipe the splattered blood and gore from his eyes and I take the opportunity with a quick shot.

(Somewhat Likely | 8[d10]) Yes

(12 = 12[d20]) Moderate Injury: Hampers action significantly; will require first aid/medical attention.

I hit him in the shoulder and he goes down next to his friend. There’s no time to waste now. I run down the alley and up an elevated walkway. Soon I’m back on the street again. The city continues on, oblivious to my troubles. People hustle by around me. I have blood on my coat and my shirt but no one seems to care. This is par for the course in New Union City. Looking up I catch a glimpse of an air freighter. It’s driver catches my eye momentarily as it crawls along. Did he see what just happened? No. Paranoia again.

Cathy, I don’t know where you are or who the fuck these goons of yours are, but I ain’t giving up on you. Not yet.
Part 2

“Are you awake?”

Obviously not. Though she makes little noises as she shuffles around. The sheet draped over her naked body forms odd folds where her ‘bot arm meets her shoulder. Skin, twisted and mangled where the graft attaches to the metal joint - unnatural but erotic. Borgs have a beauty all their own.

“Are you awake?”

(50/50 | 6[d10]) Yes, but...

“Fuck off” she mumbles in a half daze.

I leave Emily to her dreams and walk to the window. From the two hundred and ninety something floor the city looks like a monstrous cavern of light and movement. Holos and beams of light flicker past our window. You have to get used to the lights, even as you sleep there’s no respite from it even though the city is in perpetual twilight. I’ve seen other worlds with day/night cycles but I’ve never gotten used to the constant changes.

And somewhere down there, amongst the crap of society is my mark. Cathy.

Adding her tattooed name to my body will give me a sense of satisfaction I’ve not felt since I brought Rodriguez in last wet season. I hauled his fat arse for 2 days before my pickup. His name is spelt out in Bold Albryan Script on my left arm and I have a spot for Cathy just below it. That will almost complete one arm.

“Em, I’m heading down for some food. You coming?”

(50/50 | 9[d10]) Yes

Emily twists and turns, mumbles a few expletives then reluctantly gets out of bed. There’s nothing like a good feed to get Emily moving. She stumbles into her leather leggings and throws on a bra and jacket. Her hair is a mess. Bleached blonde and tied in a multitude of rubber bands, it sticks out in no discernible style.

1-5 Emily wants to eat
6-10 Emily wants to talk

8 = 8[d10]

“So this Cathy is dying right?” Emily asks as we walk along the street. People pass by in weatherproof ponchos even know it’s not even raining. Above us the air lanes are bumper to bumper with speeders sitting there motionless in the sky.

Will it rain?

(Likely | 9[d10]) Yes +Event: Starting / Peace

The rain comes suddenly and now I get why people are prepared for it.

“Yeah she’s dying. As far as I know. Her dad wants to see his girl before she’s gone but she doesn’t give a shit” I say as we hurry under the cover of a nearby building - a slum stack maybe 300 stories high.

“So why don’t you just leave her in peace? Seems like the right thing to do.” She says.

“Because her dad is paying me 20,000 to find her”

Galactic freighter

A big freighter passes overhead, squeezing between two massive buildings. It stops right above us and forms a temporary shelter from the rain.

“That’s a lot of cred for one little lost girl,” Emily exclaims.
“Too fucking right” I reply. We hurry across the street in the rain shadow formed by the parked freighter and get a bite at one of our favourite eating joints, “Darpy’s“.

The place is in a recessed area off the side of the street, lit by holo screens displaying ads for Vesta Credit, a scam finance management enterprise that has yet to be tried for fraud despite admittedly ripping off thousands of customers. The decor looks a bit out of place on this world, but it’s 4those kind of things that I like. The staff struggle to keep up today, so we wait to be served. There is Machine-Soul Dub playing and it’s pleasant but utterly unrecogniseable as music.

Excitedly / Ancient

This place has been around for maybe a hundred years. It’s owner, Darpy must be at least that old himself since he’s run it for like...forever. Emily is excited for her meal but she continues the conversation.

Abandon / Exterior factors

“I’d give it up. 20k is not worth it to fuck some one over like that right before the poor girl dies” she has a point but I’ve never abandoned a job like this. Ever. And I’m not going to start today. There’s too many external factors at play. Like the shit load of money I owe.

“Hey big shot, I heard you owe a shit load of money” says Darpy as he comes up to take our order.

“Haven’t you got staff to take orders” I tease him.

“Too busy. What’ll it be?” He responds.

“Would you haul in a dying girl for 20 big ones Darpy?” Emily casually asks as I put my head in my hands.

(50/50 | 5[d10]) No, but...

“No, but...” he starts

“But what?” I ask.

“Well it depends if I owe someone a shit load of money!” He says with a smile.

“Fuck you”

We all have a good laugh.

The Buck-Burgers are good as usual, roasted Honey Buck with all different kinds of cheese. Darpy always finds a way to surprise us with new flavours or sauces. Almost as surprising as the man who has appeared in front of me, pointing a gun in my face. Emily snaps around to grab him but isn’t quick enough. Another thug grabs her in a head lock and forces her to the ground. Darpy reaches for a weapon but two more pull their guns on him.

The rest of the patrons clear out pretty quick.

Someone who appears to be their leader walks up to me. She is very tall with a sharp face and inquisitive eyes. She has a well used Mitsubashi head visor with 6 vision ports, jacked in to their skull. There are many wires hanging out the back of her head.

“Cathy is dead” she says. “Tell her father that her little girl sends her one last message...”

Heal / Ambush

“Ours will never be healed” she goes on, “I’ll never forgive your ambush, your betrayal”

Overindulge / Attention

She continues, “Your petty overindulgences, your lack of giving me any kind of attention will forever seal our fate”


“There was never any dispute. Red23 has always been mine, and in death it will be forever”

The thugs release their grip and lower their weapons. “You tell him those words” the leader says as they walk off, “You tell him!”

No one says anything for several moments.

“Who the fuck were they?” Says Darpy

“Who or what is Red23?’ Asks Emily

“ I don’t know” I say, “But it looks like I have a message to deliver”
Good stuff, and timely with Altered Carbon making a big splash. Which buttons render those plot prompts, like "dispute" or "illness"? I might have to try those.

Oh, and Nightcore's "Undead" makes a great soundtrack to Part I.
Thanks Sam! It’s good to hear positive feedback.
You just gave me an idea, I might have to link a particular music track to listen to with each story.

As far as the buttons go I just used the “Mythic” and “Genre” buttons as well as the CD and CQ buttons. I mix it up a bit. I usually try try and get random outcomes and see where it goes. I have a brief idea of the story/plot but I Let the website drive in in random directions.its fun because you don’t know where you’re going to go or how your characters will react to new situations.
(02-07-2018, 07:19 PM)Bingo Wrote: I let the website drive in in random directions.its fun because you don’t know where you’re going to go or how your characters will react to new situations.

I agree that's part of the fun. I could easily write a story related to my tabletop sessions, but it's more entertaining to see what kicks out of the oracle and work to accommodate those twists.
Part 3

WARNING 18+ (this part of the story might get a little NSFW)

He just sat there, not saying anything. After a few moments of gazing into space he turned to face me. I could see the helplessness in his eyes as he fought back tears. He’d lost something, something very special to him. A child, a lost child but his child nonetheless.

“I couldn’t even ask for her forgiveness” he mutters.

All I can think of is when am I going to get my money. I did my job right? The girl died before I got to bring her back but I did find her and I did bring news of her death. Surely i’ll get my 20 thousand, right?

He gets up out of his chair, turns to look at me again, then walks out of the room.

“Hey...” I say after him, “um...”

“Don’t waste your breath“ says a bodyguard, lurking in the back of the room. “The deal was to bring her back here.”

“The deal was to find her” I protest, “I found her....she just happened to be dead...”

Am I convincing?

(Very Unlikely | 4[d10]) No

“You waited to damn long!” The bodyguard screams at me. “What part about ‘Dying of a Terminal Disease’ didn’t you understand!?”

I just stand there with a dumb look on my face.

“Out!”, he raises his carbine to his shoulder and points it towards the door. Two more bodyguards enter the room, weapons at the ready. I hesitate for a second, then realise it’s no use. They’re not going to pay me and if I put up a fight, i’m hopelessly out gunned.

“You didn’t get it, right?” Emily sits on the speeder, legs crossed, cigarette in hand.

Is she angry?

(50/50 | 3[d10]) No

I walk by, saying nothing and get in the driver’s seat.
“Didn’t think so,” she says, “the girl is dead. No one pays for a corpse”.
Emily has the unnatural ability to look sexy in a pair of old combat coveralls, half covered in grease. She lays back in the side seat as I fly, feet on the console, her ratty hair swirling in the breeze.

“Guess you won’t be getting that tattoo” she laughs. I don’t see the humour. Tattooing the name of a mark upon completion of a successful job is a tradition many of us hold dear.


Emily is not my girlfriend. I have no illusions about that. Sure we fuck each other but we see it as a mutually beneficial situation. I’m kinda turned on by borgs anyway and she likes the companionship. She’s also a good gunslinger to have around when the shit goes down. Many a time she’s saved my sorry arse when I’m in over my head.


We fly under a massive holo advertising some product I’m not even remotely interested in. It’s light illuminates a whole city block - massive towers hanging in the air on ancient support lifters. Once a paradise in the sky to the richest who could afford to live in a floating city, now a hive of slums and squat holes infested with people like us - drifters and vagabonds scraping their way by in the world.

Setting is deserted tower involving damaged arc gun and motion detector.

I guide the car into a break between two towers of the floating city. Both now deserted except for rats and junk birds. A small light goes off on my console as a signal is sent to let the motion sensors know not to fire on me. Not that it matters as the Arc-Guns I’ve set up as defences have been out of action for some time.

Our squat hole is part of an old former mansion, abandoned years ago and divided up by various tennants over the years. I guide the speeder through the concealed entrance and put it down in the main hall, well our whole place is basically one big room. Steel arches and vaulted ceilings shape the room. It is lit by thousands of stringed LEDs, scavenged over the years. Screens cast an eerie glow throughout. I stare at all of them - video feeds of the city below, figures and facts, rumours and gossip. There’s a 20,000 Credit hole in our balance sheet and we need funds. Fast.

I scan the job networks.

(50/50 | 5[d10]) No, but...

Nothing that would interest us, or nothing that pays enough. Emily wraps her arms around me from behind. I feel the warmth of her skin and the cold metal of her right arm and left leg.

“We have valuable information we could sell”, she says, unbuttoning my shirt and sliding her metal hand over my chest.

“Red23?” I reply, “I don’t even know what that is?”

“It was something to Cathy, it’ll probably mean something to her father?” Emily nibbles my ear then slides her other soft, warm, human hand into my leather jeans.

“I don’t want to put our cards on the table with him just yet. Lets find out what it means first” I’m sure this information is dangerous. But why would these people, Cathy’s entourage, why would they tell me if they didn’t want anyone to know about it. “It would be a trap?” I say.

“I don’t care right now” Emily’s naked skin and metal body wraps around me. Soon she has me undressed and then I’m inside her. Thoughts of Cathy, of conspiracies, of strange code names drift away in to the night.
Part 4

The urban sprawl of New Union City stretches as far as I can see. Ag domes dominate the landscape around me and beyond that a jungle of towers, mixed with refinery stacks, extends to the horizon.

This area is industrial. There are a few slum stacks but mostly factory towers. Emily and I stand in a narrow space between two buildings illuminated by flickering fluorescent lights. Grease stains the filthy walls and broken terminals and equipment are thrown in piles over the ground.

“Lovely isn’t it” She says.

“I sense a hint of sarcasm” I reply. She looks at me like I’m stupid.

This place is covered in graffiti. Among the factories and industrial towers are a few brothels and eating places. There’s an odd bar as well.
The traffic here is very quiet, which is probably why our contact chose to meet us here. I can hear the drone of a service droid as it goes about its monotonous everyday life.

Is there danger?

(Somewhat Unlikely | 8[d10]) Yes +Event: Divide / News

A flash of sparks erupts from the wall behind me and we both fall to the ground, struggling to get into cover.

“Fuck what was that!” I shout.

“They’re shooting at us” Emily replies with an almost casual indifference. “You know, you’re friends. The ones you said you could trust”. She sits against the wall on the other side of the street. Gun drawn and scanning the rooftops. They’ve managed to divide us. From my position I can’t cover Emily and she can’t cover me - that’s the bad news. The good news is...well there’s really no good news.

“Danner!” A voice shouts out.

“Mezzix!” I yell back, “Why the fuck are you shooting at us?” The small street is now choked with smoke. Debris litters the already dilapidated street.

Mezzix is the best chance I have to find out what “Red23” means. But does he know about Cathy? Is he already one step ahead of us?

(Somewhat Unlikely | 6[d10]) No, but...

“Throw your weapons out in front of you” he says.

“You know I’m not going to do that” I reply. I wonder how he’ll respond to that?

Change / Expectations

“Ok but I’ve got both of you covered from multiple angles. Any funny stuff and you’re history”. I sense a change in his voice. He would never have expected me to lay down my arms in this situation. He wouldn’t either. I glance at Emily. She has her pistol lined up on a target, either Mezzix or one of his men. I feel confident that she’s got my back.

I stand and step out of cover, my pistol holstered and my hands up. I sure as hell hope they don’t open fire.

(Very Unlikely | 6[d10]) Yes, but...

I freeze as several warning shots blast the ground in front of me. Emily opens up hitting one henchman in his armoured chest plate, knocking him down.

“Cease fire!” Both Mezzix and I shout at the same time. The gunfire stops.

“Fuck! Fuck! Fuck Mezzix, I almost shit myself!”

Mezzix snorts and his men have a good laugh at that. Emily, who is still behind a pile of junk, has them all covered still.

“You just can’t be too careful these days” he says to me from up on a nearby roof.

“Yeah well I thought you could trust me a bit more than what that reception warranted.” I hit back at him.

“Mmmph” he snorts. “What do you want?”

”Red23,” I say, have you heard about it?

(50/50 | 3[d10]) No

“No, what is it?” He asks.

“If I knew that I wouldn’t be here asking you about it, would I?”

“Have you heard of a guy called Ganton Grabelle?” I continue.

(50/50 | 10[d10]) Yes, and... +Event: Take / Tension

That question seems to stoke a reaction. He and his henchmen look at each other with an uneasy tension.

“I take it you’ve heard of him,” I say.
“Have you heard of his daughter Cathy?”
“I heard she died. Some mysterious disease”
“That’s right. Grabelle hired me to track Cathy down. I found her, well I almost found her right before she died. One of her aquaintences mentioned something about Red23 and I want to know what it is. That’s where you come in”

“You want access to my information network” Mezzix says.
“That’s right”
“That doesn’t come cheap, and rumour is you ain’t got a very good cash flow these days?”

“I think we can come to an arrangement.” I suggest.

(Likely | 8[d10]) Yes

“Go on...”
“Put us on your payroll, split our deal as half cash, half information” I propose. Emily looks at me as if to say “what the fuck!”

Mezzix laughs “Oh man, hah, you must be desperate!”


(50/50 | 2[d10]) No

“Information only. You work for me, i’ll put my team on this Red23 thing. That’s not cheap you know”

“25%, come on, i need to eat?”

(Likely | 10[d10]) Yes, and...

“Ok, here’s the deal,” Mezzix has come down from the roof and faces me on the street. “I have a job, tonight, a grab and run. Shouldn’t be too hard for a professional like you and your cyborg girlfriend”
“She’s not my girlfriend”
“Whatever.” He continues. “You complete that job for me, I’ll pay you 25% of what I have one of my goons do it for and I’ll have the information you want in a week or so. Deal?” He holds out his hand.

I look at Emily...

(Unlikely | 5[d10]) No, but...

She shakes her head.

“Deal”, I say and shake his hand.
“I’ll flash you the details.” He smiles and turns to walk away.

“Pleasure doing business with you Mezzix” is all I can say.
“Yeah, yeah” is all I get from him as he disappears into the night.

I head back to Emily. She has that look on her face. That “you’re a fucking idiot” look.

“I know what I’m doing” I say as I walk past her.
“Yeah, of course you do.” She picks herself up and follows me back to our speeder.

This had better be worth it.
UII can’t help staring at Emily as we ride the elevator up.

“You’re staring at me again” She says.
‘Don’t be. Just be ready to do your job”

Even a borg looks sexy in a slinky satin dress. She is mostly still human after all. I don’t look too bad myself in a tuxedo and ruffled shirt. This is going to be one hell of a party, especially after we arrive, guns blazing.

Swiftly / Quaint

The elevator trip is swift and takes about 5 minutes to get to the 389th floor. It’s an old building, very quaint and stylish. Even the elevator itself is decked out in an old world decorative style. Fancy curved lines join at the centre of the ceiling where a chandelier hangs. The door opens and a world of opulence and glamour lies before us.

Powerfully / Classy

“Your invitations please?” An incredibly huge security bot hold’s out it’s hand perhaps to take our invitations, or perhaps to crush our heads in it’s powerful grasp. I’m not sure, judging from it’s demeanour. At least it has a sense of class, dressed like a butler in a tux and tails.

It looks at the invitations.
“Thank you Lady and Lord Oberon” it says, handing back the invitations as another bot scans us for weapons. Emily looks and me and gives a little chuckle. Mezzix must have pulled a few strings to get these things forged.

The job Mezzix set us up on is a grab and run. The “grab’ part is a piece of jewellery, which happens to be around the neck of the party’s host Mrs Geraldine Loxley-Price, the until recent wife of a Mr Thalbert Loxley-Price, CEO of LP Universal, a major shipping conglomerate.

I scan the room to see if I can see her.

(Unlikely | 5[d10]) No, but...

“I don’t see her”, I whisper to Em.
“No but there’s a crowd up ahead. That could be her.” She replies.

Mr Loxley-Price wants the necklace back after the couple’s recent divorce. It’s an heirloom. So he contacted Mezzix to pull the job off and he handed it to us.

“Mezzix, we’re in” I say into my headpiece. “Are you ready to kill the security system?”

(50/50 | 7[d10]) Yes

“All cameras are now offline and locks are coming down.” He responds with a crackly tone. “Give me the word when you’re in position and I’ll fry the bots”

Mezzix has some of the best bit-jockeys in town on his books. This job was worth a lot to him so he brought in some big guns from off world to help as well. They should easily take down any security in place.

All he needed to pull the caper off was two people stupid enough to go in the front door and grab the necklace. That’s where we come in.

The room is opulent and the mood is dynamic with pulsing electronic beats playing over the sound of the crowd. It is somewhat dark and there are antiques of a period i am not very familiar with. Soft lights keep everyone in partial shadow and it’s hard to make people out, not that we’d recognise too many of them anyway.

I look around again for our target.

(50/50 | 8[d10]) Yes

“Got her” I say into my headset.
“I see her. Mezzix get ready”, she replies.

How many people are in her group?

10 = 10[d10]

Are there security bots with her?

(Likely | 6[d10]) Yes, but...

2 Security bots guard Mrs Loxley-Price.

Is there an obvious escape route to the balcony?

(50/50 | 9[d10]) Yes

“Mezzix, Go, Go, Go!” I shout into my com. The lights flicker, then go out. There is an audible gasp from the crowd. Emily and I have already adjusted our vision implants to compensate. As each of the tuxedoed security bots start to slump and shut down, Emily swings open the skirt of her dress and from a concealed compartment in her robotic leg pulls a small blaster pistol which she throws to me.

Do I catch it?

(Very Likely | 10[d10]) Yes, and...

She then flicks back her cybernetic hand and a stun stick appears from her wrist.

Do any of the guests react to us?

(50/50 | 5[d10]) No, but...

The guests seem to freeze in terror as I make a lunge for the target. Emily swings her stun stick and several of them fall to the floor as I grab Mrs Loxley-Price’s arm. She stumbles backwards and steps into a fountain.

My momentum carries us both forward and we plunge into the knee deep water.

“Shit!” Screams Emily, “what are you doing?”

I hold onto her as we wriggle in the water. I make a grab for the necklace.

(Somewhat Likely | 6[d10]) Yes

As the old lady thrusts around in the water, her elaborate dress constricts her movements and I get a handful of the necklace - a huge gemstone set in gold. Hopefully I can get it off without breaking the chain?

(Unlikely | 2[d10]) No

The chain snaps but I get the goods.

Is their any reaction from the guests now?

(Likely | 8[d10]) Yes

Someone grabs my arm as I struggle, soaking wet from the pool. Emily swings her stun stick at him.

(Likely | 5[d10]) No, but...

She misses but he stumbles. I’m able to get a swing at him.

(Somewhat Likely | 3[d10]) No

I can’t dislodge him. I didn’t want it to come to this, so I place my pistol on his head. Does he let go?

(Likely | 1[d10]) No, and...

He grabs me tighter and pulls me to the floor. I’m forced to shoot at point blank range.

(Sure Thing | 10[d10]) Yes, and...

Blood and pieces of his head fly across the room. Emily is swinging her stun stick at several other guests who have reacted to the situation. The balcony is on the other side of the room and Mezzix will arrive any minute in an air speeder.

I start firing randomly into the air, over the heads of the guests. Does this deter any potential attackkers?

(Likely | 5[d10]) No, but...

Most of the screaming party goers hit the floor. Several are pulling a hysteric Mrs Loxley-Price from the fountain, but there are some who charge Emily and I. I fire off 3 quick aimed shots.

(Likely | 4[d10]) No

(Likely | 9[d10]) Yes

(Very Likely | 8[d10]) Yes

2 go down but one lunges and goes for my gun.

(50/50 | 9[d10]) Yes

He knocks it from my hand. Emily swings at him.

(Somewhat Likely | 2[d10]) No

I swing my fist at him

(50/50 | 9[d10]) Yes

(10 = 10[d20]) Minor Injury: Largely superficial; painful and distracting, but not life threatening.

Having the initiative, I punch again

(Likely | 9[d10]) Yes

Can I get free?

(Likely | 8[d10]) Yes

Em and I run to the balcony leaving a chaotic scene behind us. Other than those that charged us, people are walking around confused and befuddled, but some are starting to figure out what’s gone wrong. We don’t have a lot of time.

Is there anyone on the balcony?

(50/50 | 2[d10]) No

Has Mezzix arrived yet?

(50/50 | 9[d10]) Yes

The air speeder pulls up next to the balcony, the gull wing door opens and we both stumble in. Mezzix is in the driver’s seat and there is barely enough room for Em and I in the passenger side.

“You got it?” Mezzix asks.
I smile and show him the necklace.
“Haha!” He shouts with glee.

I’m dripping wet and partly covered in blood and brain. Emily lies on top of me in the cramped seat. We both start laughing at the ridiculousness of the situation. She then kisses me, and pretty soon we’re making out passionately.

“Guys!” Mezzix shouts. “Guys! Seriously........Ah shit”

The trip home is cramped and sticky, but it’s worth it.
>System reboot_





>All systems online_awaiting input___

Holy fuck my head hurts!

“Your implant core rebooted” a voice comes from outside.

Am I disoriented?

(Very Likely | 3[d10]) No

It’s a wonder I can walk straight and see clearly. When your implants reboot it can really throw you. It’s happened to me a few times before but this time it was under very different circumstances. A torrent of data flashes across my ocular implants. With a thought I dump it into my offset memory - I can go through it later and check for any permanent damage. 

I drag my aching body out onto the balcony. Emily sits alone, naked in the warm rain. A soggy cigarette hangs from her mouth. Her half metal body glistens in the evening shower, water trickles between her breasts and her wet hair drips flat across her shoulders.

“You went into reboot when you came you stupid fuck” She says with a laugh. Well that’s certainly a first for me - a climax induced implant crash

“Did it happen to you too?’ I ask her?

(Somewhat Unlikely | 5[d10]) No

“No way buddy. I’m much more machine than you. We have more control than you dumb imp-jocks”

I go to whack her on the back of the head but she ducks under my hand. 
“Too slow!” She giggles.

“Has Mezzix called?” I ask.

(Somewhat Likely | 2[d10]) No

“No, he said he could be several....”

My terminal flashes. Speak of the devil...
“I’ve got your info” Mezzix’s voice comes through the tiny speaker. “I’m dropping in”

“Where are you?’ 

“Above you dipshit, I’m landing on your balcony now”

I look up and see Mezzix’s air speeder descending down through the neon lit mist onto our balcony.
“And for fuck’s sake, both of you, put some fucking clothes on!” 


“How do you like it?” Emily asks.

“Hot, real hot. With sugar. And just a little bit of milk. Are the beans fresh?” Mezzix replies. His taste in coffee is obviously more refined than ours.

“We got no milk and the sugar is war surplus. Beans have bean in storage for the last 40, maybe 50 years. But if your majesty pleases I can have the household staff fetch you a cafe latte on a silver tray that is of your liking?” Emily has no time for his shit.

“Charming” is all he can muster

“What do you have Mezzix?, did you find out anything about Red23?”

(Sure Thing | 10[d10]) Yes, and...

“Ok, you’re going to love this!” He starts. “That girl, Cathy was working on some AI project. Her daddy had her set up in some secret research lab...”

“Her dad was involved too?” I ask

(Likely | 10[d10]) Yes, and...

“Yeah, he had some project running, some fucked up shit where they were supplementing people’s brains with AI implants”

“Yeah so what, that happens all the time, right?” Emily interjects

(50/50 | 7[d10]) Yes

Hopelessly / Cold

Mezzix continues, “Yes but your regular imps, like the shit we all got in our heads are slaved to our cortex. “Cold Implants” they call them. They obey your commands.”

“So Cathy was doing something different?”

(Likely | 2[d10]) No

“No.” Mezzix shakes his head. “Cathy’s team was researching cold implants. Her father on the other hand was not. Cathy’s lab - the Blue Team as they were called - was about to release onto the market a new suite of military grade implants. Fucking serious stuff. Top spec. The Union Navy had contracts lined up and all....and then daddy shut the whole thing down”

“Why?” I’m puzzled now.

“Grabelle had another covert project that Cathy didn’t even know about. The “Red” Team.” Mezzix lays it out to us . “Cathy’s team was just the public face of the project. A facade, a cover story and she didn’t even know about it. Project Red and specifically “Red23” was the code name for a “Hot Implant” System. Software that not only augmented your functions but controlled them. Controlled them centrally if need be. Daddy could build an entire army and have them do his will”

“Fuck!” We both exclaim simultaneously.

“Fuck indeed” Mezzix replies. “So Cathy stumbles across this right after her team is shut down and she dumps all the data and takes it with her.”

“She stole the project?” I ask 

(50/50 | 3[d10]) No

“No”, Mezzix goes on, “More like Red23 stole her...”

“Go on...”

“The only place she could smuggle Red23 out was in her own head. So she jacked in and put the entire program into her own cortex. That’s when Red23 came alive. Cathy ceased to be Cathy in an instant. Her Blue Team helped her escape into the underground obviously believing it was still Cathy, but it was Cathy in body only. It was Red23 in her head and her body started to die. That’s why everyone though she had some disease. It wasn’t a disease, it was a rogue, self aware AI living in her brain

This takes some time for us to process.

“Do you know where Red23 is now? Now that Cathy is dead?”

(50/50 | 8[d10]) Yes

The former “Blue Team”, who now call themselves the “Azzure Prophets” have gone into hiding. They keep Red23 somewhere. On a server, on a soft, on a fucking floppy disk for all I know, but they have it. And it’s worth a lot of money to a lot of people. Hell it could be in someone’s brain. It could be in all their brains!”

We all sit there in silence for a few moments to digest this information.

Mezzix gets up and heads to his air car. 
“That’s my part of the deal done. Whatever you do with this information is up to you”

And with that he’s gone. 

And we have to decide what our next move is.
PThe place is pretty small. It’s brightly lit and there’s quite a few customers. Emily stands at the front desk while the attendant shuffles through an old filing cabinet.

She is quite short, overweight with a symmetrical face and vibrant eyes. Her black dreadlocked braided tightly. She turns to Emily.


“I need a booth” Emily asks. The attendant brings up a holo and waves her arms through the projected map of the building.

“With a tub” Emily adds. The attendant’s bored demeanour doesnt change as she adjusts the log in. A strip of glow ribbon hangs down above the desk making swirling patterns of light through the holo. The soft hum of cheap air conditioning provides a mono chromatic undertone.

“Booth 17” the attendant says. “No data dumps and keep the tub clean ok?”


Jacking into the deep cortex is one way of infiltrating a network through cyberspace. Most bit-jockeys wire themselves directly into their brain via various implants and connectors. A public jack-house is one way of not leaving a direct trail, especially if you have good softs that can hide your prints.

The back hallway is jammed with people. Hackers, deckers, imp-jocks and thrill seekers all seeking a run in cyberspace.

Is there any trouble?

(50/50 | 7[d10]) Yes

A group of youths blocks the pathway. One of them steps forward in front of Emily. He is of average height with a taut body with a striking face. His bald head and sharp, compelling eyes look give a sense of danger.

“Dirty borgs like you aren’t welcome here” his face sits about 1 inch from Emily’s as he stares straight at her.  

Lazily / Soft

“I don’t want to hurt you” she whispers softly to him in a gentle, almost compassionate way.

The youth and his 2 friends laugh in her face. One pulls out a switchblade.

“I don’t really think,” he goes on, “we are in any danger from a filthy steelskin like you”. He clears his throat and spits right in Emily’s face. Saliva sprays all over her.

As he spews his vile tirade, Emily quietly, almost lazily has reached her left arm around his side and raises it up near his shoulder. In a quick move she attempts to rip his jack plugs out from the back of his neck.

(Likely | 6[d10]) Yes, but...

Her right hand on her robotic arm opens up and a stun stick deploys. Before he can react, she swings him around but misses out on sticking the stun stick in his jack port. He trips and falls to the ground.

Another youth tries to grab her.

(Unlikely | 1[d10]) No, and...

Emily dodges the attack forcing him past her. As he falls over his friend she hits him with the stun stick.

(Likely | 10[d10]) Yes, and...

In a lucky swipe, she collects them both, stunning them unconscious.

Does the third stay and fight?

(Very Unlikely | 2[d10]) No

The last guy thinks better of it and runs off, leaving his friends on the floor. There’s a few “whoops” and cheers from the crowd but they mainly go back to what they were doing.  

Booths 17 is near the end of the hallway. The massive steel door is enough to hold off an assault by a battleship and it clunks with a thud as Emily closes herself in.

The room is small and old. It’s a tight fit just getting in. The walls are filthy; there are old pinup posters from half a lifetime ago and everything is dusty. Wires and cables hang from the roof. A multitude of old monitors wait to give readouts. Against the back wall is the gel tank. Filled with a vicious liquid that will keep the occupant alive as they journey into cyberspace.

Emily strips down to her underwear and starts placing wired patch sensors on her body. She takes several cables and jacks them into her neck sockets. Others clip into ports on her metal arm and leg. A breather mask fits over her whole face and she tightens the strap so it creates a waterproof seal.

She has one last thing before going in. A “soft”, a ROM chip given to her by Danner is inserted into a special slot at the back of her head. This is a stealth infiltration chip. It will help cover her identity but it’s not great at breaking security.

She climbs into the tank and lets the gooey gel envelop her body as she sinks in. A menu of options flashes up on her ocular HUD and she activates the program. Her body tightens, then goes limp as she sinks fully into the tank.

Cyclic city

Worn-out vibro-blade

Emily is standing in the middle of the street. A vast city extends into the perpetual twilight. Speeders and cars are going by around her though none seem to hit her. Power conduits and free floating weapon pods adorn the building exteriors and atop some structures are built solar reactors. At street level some buildings are derelict and have inviting window displays showing news feeds. There are many bridges and upper level pathways crossing the street.

There are no people. Only traffic which blurs into nothingness.

Her body is whole. She looks at her right arm she remembers from her youth. It feels good to have it again. She follows the lines on the road as they flow like water downstream into a grassy field. The grass is soft and the city is gone. Sunlight and the sound of birds now trigger her senses. The program is pulling memories from her deep consciousness. This is a place she remembers. The soft wind blows her long white satin negligee around. She wears nothing else.

In her hand is a vibrio blade. It’s old and covered in blood. She drops it immediately and grabs her right shoulder. A sense of pain flows through her and those are memories she tried to erase but in here she is nothing but totally human. No implants to suppress trauma. No circuits to hide old memories.

Expose / Weather

The wind blows from behind her as if to push her on; as if to expose the truth. There is a sense that someone is watching her, that someone is seeking her but she knows as long as Danner’s stealth soft is working, she can’t be touched. She follows a path down to a riverbank and by the riverbank is a bench. On the bench sits someone. Someone she doesn’t know - this is not pulled from her memory, this is someone she has connected with.

Beautiful mechanic

He is quite striking, almost androgynous. Perhaps this is an avatar or this is his true self. Emily will never know.


He smiles at her and beckons her to come sit with him.

“You have questions?” He asks
“Yes”, Emily responds,”Who are you?”
“I am a mechanic. A functional program, in my case I’m a database”
“I thought you were a user” Emily asks.
“No not a user. How could I be - no one knows you’re here.” The Mechanic says.

A wave of anxiety washes over Emily, quite a common thing in cyberspace when you’re in the tank. Sometimes it comes after just a few minutes and sometimes you’re ok for hours, days even. She stands, then sits down and looks around. Her heart is beating quickly and she is covered in sweat.
“I don’t have much time” She says, “l’m starting to red-line”

“Then ask me your question?” He says, calmly.
‘Cathy Grabelle, The Azzure Prophets, Red23. Give me everything you have on those”

“Hmmm”, says The Mechanic, “Interesting. I’m giving you a dump. Straight to your cortex. You won’t be able to access without jacking though.”
“Don’t care, just hurry!” She screams as her anxiety starts to peak.
The Mechanic sits peacefully as the circuitry behind the veil transfers the information straight to Emily’s brain.

“Transfer complete” he says with a smile.
“Thank you!” Emily places her lips on his and kisses him, then runs. Runs down the path and onto the grass. Runs across the grass and into the city. She follows the white line to the road. And from the road she emerges from the tank.

Is Emily ok?

(50/50 | 7[d10]) Yes

The breath mask is on tight and she rips it off, gasping for air. Her eyesight takes a moment to adjust but within a few minutes she can see the room again. There is a cascade of information on the screens, the content of the data dump.

Emily stumbles out of the tank, still covered in gel and unsteady on her feet. This too will take some time to recover from.

She looks at the screens. It’s still machine code but there is a wealth of information. The Mechanic came through with the goods. Mezzix was right in putting us onto him.

There’s a small shower cubical where Emily cleans up. She takes a shot of Myo Spice, that should get her perked up.

Does the Myo have an effect?

(Very Likely | 10[d10]) Yes, and...

The Myo is a stim and gives Emily a good jolt. Any side effects?

(Unlikely | 5[d10]) No, but...

She feels good. It’s quite addictive Myo Spice, and Emily has been relying on it of late.

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