From the game: Cyberpunk: Night City Enforcers
Bio: A speed junkie to the core, once the physical world proved unable to satisfy the thirst, Knightshade turned to the net. He is in constant search of the hottest prototype. Pushing his mind, body, and hardware to the edge takes its toll resulting in many forms of “burnout”. He knows nothing else though. A botched job left his long-term memory fried. What happened or who caused it, he doesn’t know. The first thing he remembers is the message “User disconnected for inactivity: Kn1ghtShad3” blinking in the terminal.
[Chapter 1, Scene 4]
It was anyone’s guess if this guy was covered in more sweat or cyberware. Who am I to judge? The tainted-grin growing on his face as I examined the chip in his outstretched hand gave reason to appreciate my QwikScan upgrades. At present I just want the bike.
“Go ahead, it’ll let you ride like a pro!”, he says. “They’re just for a few lucky members of the audience. Take it, hop on that bike, and we’ll film you doing a few …eh, tricks between sets.”
I snatched up the chip and mounted the bike, returning my own tainted-grin. “I guess it’s just my lucky day.” As the chip seated, the engine roared to life and we sped off towards the sound of music stumbling through the corridors of the city. Me …and it.
Quite quickly it became clear I was only along for the ride. The QwikScan warning lit up my periphery as the ejected malicious chip danced off somewhere on the pavement behind. I don’t know what that was all about, but a free ride is a free ride. Let’s see how this plays out.
To my surprise- and if I’m honest, delight -the bike barreled faster as we neared the crowd. I could feel the rush start to wash over me. We joined in formation with a few others identically mounted, only I didn’t have that little chip and they all had… chainsaws?
Now this is getting interesting. We seem to be converging on a heavily modded borg whose speed might rival my own.
Time to find out; with a single round she dropped the bike directly ahead of me. I can feel my pulse slow as my mind is rocketed into overdrive.
Beat 1: Get armed.
I vault forward from the shattering frame, arms crossed one hand liberating a chainsaw from the explosion, the other drawing my vibroblade.
Beat 2: Time to fly.
Arms spread, I hurl over her with my targets dead- or soon to be, rather -in my sights.
Beat 3: Like a ghost.
For an instant, my Dazzle Skin flashes white-hot, imprinting my spectral image in their minds.
Beat 4: Tangos Down
I slash right and the blade connects, separating the rider from shoulder to hip. Using the momentum, I slingshot the chainsaw at the remaining rider. The machine’s teeth connect with the seat and it claws it’s way up the rider’s spine.
[Other character’s dialog removed]
From my position kissing pavement, I initiated an Enviro-Nav scan. Am I a good guy? I hollered, “I honestly don’t remember, but I’m not about to be a dead one.” <Scan complete>
Ok. Break line-of-sight with smoke from that bike, vault to amp, fire Dazzle, finally high arc leap on stage blade in hand. Take down. “Looks easy enough,” I muttered.
The capacitor whine from the Dazzle charge ceased. That’s my cue. I sprinted for the bike, but something wasn’t right. As I prepped to leap my hip joint seized up, I hit the ground and rolled; headed near the bike. The impact must have loosened it back up, because as I rolled past the joint gave way. The jump-turned-kick sent the bike spinning off sputtering burning fuel and rubber as it went. I came to rest in a pile at the base of an amp.
FML, now what? “The amp! Let’s hope he doesn’t have sound dampening.” I pulled the cable, jacked in, and blasted a mind-shattering series of frequencies. Luck smiled on me and the amps were daisy-chained. The 50,000 Watt punch brought the gunner to his knees, dropping the Gatling while trying to cover his ears in futility. Of course, about half the crowd went down too, but what can you do?
I turned to my only friend left within earshot ,“You got that under control?”
[Chapter 2, Scene 1]
So, I’m an anti-terrorist at heart. Who knew? Was that always the case?
I don’t know about this “team”, but at the very least they appear to have some funding. That sounds a lot better than scraping for scrap to keep my crap running. Plus it sounds exciting to boot. I guess the worst case is I just bolt if it doesn’t work out…
I stared back at Walter Reese, contemplating his offer for what seemed like months… … literally…. Wait, what is going on? Something doesn’t feel right. When was the last time he blinked? How long have we been stopped at this light?
A small blinking envelope on my HUD finally caught my attention.
<WARNING: Power saving mode active. Slight video lag is possible.>
SLIGHT?!? What the hell kind of idiot created… Ugh, it doesn’t matter, because I’m the idiot that installed this garbage. Well, let’s see where we really are. <Power saving mode disabled.>
I found myself laying on a table in a dark room. Various neon rows of green and blue lights lined the room. Looks like some sort of brain activity monitor is beside the table.How long have I been “out”?
That God-forsaken power saving mode in effect put the rest of the world in bullet-time and left me drooling like a vegetable.
I hope this little malfunction didn’t blow my chance to take Reese’s offer.