Cyberpunk 2077: Shadow of Night City - Chapter 19 - Planemo (2024)

Chapter Text

26:34:20(12:31 PM)

Molly watched as four black painted Hellhounds rolled up into Lizzy’s parking lot, stopping in a line and blocking up the entire parking lot. Four soldiers in white, black and orange armor stepped out of each one, weapons already in hand. Her eyes glowed blue as she connected to Rita. “Might wanna come up here boss-lady and let everyone know to delta if things go south. We won’t be able to hold our own against this group.”

On my way. Keep the line open till I get there.

“Will do.” She kept her bat on her shoulder and did her best to look relaxed as the group approached. “Gotta fellin’ you aren’t here for our preem BD’s. My boss is already on the way up if you can wait a sec. Though I gotta fellin’ I already know why you’re here.”

A blonde woman stepped forward, her hair in a high ponytail and a shiny cybernetic arm going all the way to her shoulder with exposed synthetic muscles. “Do you now?”

Molly shrugged. “Not hard to figure out. You’re not the first group to stop by and probably won’t be the last.” Rita stepped through the door at that moment and the Mox took a step to the side to clear the way.

“What can I help you with, input?” The Mox leader asked, voice calm and arms crossed.

“Judy Alvarez.” The woman said firmly.

“Sorry to disappoint, but V got her out of the city before this whole sh*t show started.”

“You expect me to believe she knew about the bounty? How?” The woman demanded.

Rita shrugged. “Beats me. I didn’t ask and she didn’t tell. Only thing she said was to answer anything people like you stopped by and asked.”

“Why?”

“Cause she knows groups like you could wipe out the Mox. And while she won’t come running to our rescue, she didn’t want us getting taken out on her behalf.”

The woman shifted and put a gun to Rita's head. “You so sure about that first part?”

The Mox leader didn’t flinch, but her eyes roved over the group wearily as they all looked ready to move at the woman’s order. “I’d bet my life on it.”

Things were tense for a moment as the two women stared each other down, before the blonde eventually lowered her gun. “How do you know her?”

“Outside of Judy? She trained the Mox’s special ops team. Their final test was to take out a Tyger Claws hit team without getting caught or traced back. They passed.” She said, a bit of pride at the end. “Course she still kicked their ass in a training drill after so they didn’t get arrogant about it.”

“And her skills?”

Rita's eyes glowed blue. “Here’s a recording of that drill. Otherwise she’s gotta be pretty bad ass to survive this long with a bounty that high.”

“Did she work with anyone?”

“Jackie Welles.” She shrugged. “But If she got Judy out of town, she probably told him to delta too. Gonna have to ask one of the city's Fixers for his deets. I only ever knew him as a bar patron.”

“And V’s deets?”

Rita's eyes glowed blue once more. “Here ya go, for all the good it’ll do ya.”

“We’ll see.” Turning on her heel the blonde left, the rest of her group following along behind her.

The two watched them leave, only sagging in relief once the cars had left.

“I’ll let Mateo know you’ve got an open tab for the rest of the week and see if I can get someone to cover your shift for tonight.” Rita said wearily..

“I’ll take the tab, but I can still run my shift.” Molly assured her.

“You sure?”

“Not really. But bustin’ a fool that tries some sh*t tonight can only make me feel better.”

“Right. Your drink limit while on shift is still the same.”

“Got it. Tell Evelyn I say hi when you get back to your office.”

Rita didn’t answer, but her slight blush was the only answer Molly needed to burst out laughing.

I_I_I_I_I_I_I_I_I_I

22:18:22(4:47 PM)

V put her palm on the back side of the katana in hand and forced it through the spine of the man she had been fighting, cutting him in half and ending the fight. He had been some Tyger Claws assassin that had gone half-cyberpsycho but V hadn’t had much trouble fighting him. The sword in hand had been his own until he had lost his footing and the merc snatched it from his grasp. The decorated underpass the fight had taken place in was no worse for wear, only one of the vending machines had taken any damage and the assassin's blood was the only thing marring the ground outside of NC’s baseline level of trash.

She’d run across only a few obstacles since escaping Militach. Taking out half a dozen mercs and this assassin, none of whom gave her any issue.

A glint from the corner of her eye had V activating her Kerenzikov, barely dodging the sniper round the speared through the area her head had just vacated. The gouge the bullet tore in the concrete would have atomized V’s head had it hit. She threw a smoke grenade in the shooter's direction and shot it midair. The plume of smoke covered her retreat and another shot split the air where she had just been standing.

A door was blown off its hinge by the alley entrance to allow a group of soldiers in orange, white, and black armor to enter and another moved in from the street side entrance.

She threw a napalm grenade at the group as she took cover behind a pillar but it was shot out of the air, and sent lit napalm splattering over V’s cover. She flinched away from the heat as a patch burned face level. Jinx hadn’t been lying about the increased heat. The soldiers kept sustained fire on both sides of the pillar, preventing V from offering up any kind of response.

Dropping two more smoke grenades at her feet, V waited until the last second to leap up as high as she could. She sank the katana into the concrete and hung there for a few seconds, until one of the soldiers started to look up and let herself drop.

Mono wires flared out, V became a spiral of death and carnage leaving limbs and dismantled weapons in her wake as she cut down half a dozen soldiers before those on the outside of the smoke started to shoot in blind. V stayed low, throwing two napalm grenades at the largest concentration of fire. The explosions gave V the short window she needed to run towards the maintenance way the soldiers had breached. Her eyes widened when she saw two Hellhounds with roof mounted missile turrets take aim. Her eyes glowed red and the turrets detonated and took out the vehicles. Only one missile was launched and detonated ten feet from V, throwing her through the air and tumbled along the ground.

Ears ringing and head fuzzy, V stumbled to her feet before falling back to her knees and vomiting. Wiping her mouth with the back of her hand V took notice that she had been thrown into the tunnel and got to her feet before trotting off down the hall. She hid a napalm grenade on a proxy fuse in among some of the pipes and made her way about two blocks down and one block over through the winding tunnels before taking a ladder to street level.

She emerged in an alley and hopped out of the tunnel, closing the access behind her. They had to be tracking somehow as that was the only way a trio of orange clad soldiers could have turned down that same alley once she had just emerged onto.

V ran forward, pistol firing the whole time and pullets pinging off the soldiers armor. Juking left then right to avoid the first few shots, she shoved the first man into the wall and punched the second in the kidney. Grabbing the second man's wrist she twisted it hard and shot the first man in the leg, sending them stumbling back into the wall. Wrenching the second soldier's wrist, he stumbled into the third soldier, blocking his path and throwing off their shot as he fell to the ground.

The first soldier fell into her, grabbing her arm and nearly dragging her down with him. She shot twice, hitting him in the leg once more and backhanded the third soldier as he swung the butt of his rifle into her stomach. The second soldier had gotten back to their feet and shoved V into a wall, their gun across her chest.

With a grunt she kicked them in the groin and shoved them off, unsheathing her knife V stabbed the man in the shoulder and followed it with two more quick jabs to the chest and throat.

The first soldier seized her by the front and V pulled his sidearm from the holster and shot them three times in the chest, sparks flashing as the bullets impacted his vest. Seeing the first in her peripheral she turned and shot him once in the shoulder before the third threw her into the opposite wall. Ducking under his fist V shot the first man in leg and head, helmet sparking from the shot and sending the man stumbling into the wall.

The third man grabbed at her pistol and V kneed him in the gut and followed by slamming the butt of the pistol into his chest when she was released and shot him twice more in the chest. Armor saving him once more, he grabbed the pistol and tore it from Vs grip. Free hand going to his side, he brought up the rifle that had been hanging from his vest the whole time and tried to shoot V point blank but was redirected when V grabbed the barrel and forced it to the side. Brick fragments peppering the two V grabbed the man's vest and shoved him into the first, kicking him in the balls and slamming his head onto a dumpster and leveraged her entire body to throw him head first into a wall.

Stealing his knife as she flung him away, V stopped the first from bringing his rifle up once again she stabbed him in the wrist and cut free the rifle, swinging it like a club at the third and knocking a pistol from his hand. Kicking them in the chest, V was grabbed from behind and she threw her head back into her assailant's chin. Escaping from the grasp she spun and stabbed them in one shoulder, then the other before slamming them into the dumpster. Bringing the knife down she stabbed them in the thigh and dragged the blade down, opening most of their leg and sending blood spewing out of the wound.

The mast man grabbed her and V stabbed him in the shoulder but managed to grab her by the front and throw her into the wall. Bringing out his own knife the man stabbed down and V barely managed to stop the blade but when the soldier put his entire weight forward V screamed through grit teeth as it sank into her shoulder.

Getting a knee between the two V shoved him away, following him as he stumbled back she seized his wrist and slammed it on a drain pipe three times before he dropped it.

Surging forward he threw her to the ground, wrapping his hands around her throat as the two fell. Vision darkening V grasped out blindly and wrapped her hands around something that she slammed into the man's head. When she realized it was a gun V aimed and fired into his chest and neck until the gun clicked empty.

Groaning, V threw the empty weapon away and rolled to her front. Using her relatively functional arm she pushed herself up, ignoring the burning from the recently repaired shoulder. Walking away from the street V picked up her Nue and continued on, taking an inhale of Bounce Back while retreating further into Night Cities extensive alleyways.

I_I_I_I_I_I_I_I_I_I

18:22:36(8:34 PM)

V didn’t have much trouble reaching her destination, only a few Sixth street with a grudge and a few gonk solo’s out to try and make a name for themselves had tried anything. Arriving back at the four armed statue in Japan town she took a breath, centering herself and fortifying her conditioning for the final stretch.

Heh heh. You’re a hard woman to find.

V’s eyes opened slowly, looking over to see a cyborg on par with Adam Smasher in size.

At eight feet tall there was no skin visible, just grayed plates of armor covering their entire body. He looked at her with a large grin full of fangs reminiscent of an orc and glowing red eyes as he removed his trench coat.

“You’re in it for the thrill then?”

“Smart girl. Can’t wait to see how long you last against a cyborg you can’t hack.”

Colors bled out of the world when V activated her Kerenzikov, only just dodging a haymaker that would have taken off her head. Pivoting, V shot the man twice in the armpit only for the bullets to spark off. Putting a foot on the side of his knee V pushed off to dodge an elbow that could have caved in her skull.

Around them the crowd scattered. Running and screaming once V had started shooting.

“Clever.” The borg growled. “Most knee joints for a frame my size can’t take much horizontal pressure.”

Three shots rang out, impacting his eye, nose and teeth doing no damage.

“Ha ha! Yes! Fight harder!”

V activated her Kerenzikov once more to twist out of the man's way and felt his fingertips brush against her arm. Stepping into his guard V pulled out a knife and tried to stab up between armor segments. Her attack was aborted to get out of reach of another attempt to grab her.

The borg ripped the knife out of his chest and shattered the blade in his hand. “Hmm. Arasaka. Ninja most likely.” The red in his eyes glowed brighter. “Or a Fixer.” His manic grin was once more on his face. “Yes! This is what I’ve been waiting for! Smasher is too much of a co*ck sucker. More interested in going after whatever soft targets his masters point towards.” The remnants of V’s shattered blade clattering to the ground. “But you? You know how to pick apart a superior target bit by bit instead of brute force. I can’t wait to hear you scream while I tear you apart.”

Charging once more with a roar, V backpedaled and activated her Kerenzikov once more. She dropped an EMP grenade in her wake. If the detonation at the man's feet did anything to slow him down V couldn’t tell.

Ducking under another punch V grabbed his arm as it passed overhead and used the momentum to swing above the borg. Mono wires active she wrapped them around his neck and pulled with all her strength. This achieved nothing and the merc had to cut her lines before they could be used to whip her into the ground.

Landing in a crouch she cartwheeled away and skid between his legs. She punched up between his legs but only got a dull thunk in response and the borg punished V for her attack. She barely managed to turn enough so that the foot that would have crushed her chest only just grazed her ribs. Dark spots still exploded across her vision and the air was driven from her lungs when his foot impacted her chest. V rolled along the ground and curled in on herself for a moment from the pain when she stopped. She only had a moment to recoup before having to roll away to avoid getting turned into paste by the borgs stomp.

Come on! That can’t be all you got!”

The yellow filter over her vision increased as V ignored the warnings blaring from her Kerenzikov. Rolling onto her back to avoid another swipe she twisted her legs out, catching the borg on his chin with her heels and whipping back onto her feet.

The woman ignored the pain in her chest as she flowed around his attacks. Lashing out with her mono wires when able alongside shooting at potential weak points. Fingers, toes, ears, knees, elbows, groin. V couldn’t slip anything past the man’s defenses.

In desperation V sidestepped a thrust kick and swung onto the man's back, desperately punching at where his neuro port should be.

“Get- OFF!”

V jumped off the 'borgs back when he reached to grab her. Her lips curled when more warnings flashed on her hud. Flexing her fingers, the ring finger on her left hand refused to uncurl. Cutting the power to the digit V shot it off with her last round in her mag.

But that attack had achieved something. “That armor. It’s from Kang Tao’s tee three-thousand line, isn’t it?”

The 'borg punched his fists together. “So you figured it out huh? Thought I’d have to start bragging about it for you to notice. I spent two million on this stuff and having it formed into an unbreakable shield.

“Then you were ripped off.”

V tossed up a smoke grenade, reloaded and fired at the canister as the 'borg was taking his first steps in response. V wouldn’t be able to outrun this guy so she would have to deal with him now. Activating her last two smoke grenades she tossed them in opposite directions.

You won’t be able to run from me!

V didn’t answer, and instead primed a napalm grenade. While not clear, she could make out the 'borgs form and threw it at his back.

Upon detonation the high temperature goo clung to the 'borg no matter how he tried to swipe it off.

If you think this’ll get you anything you got another thing coming.”

V moved silently through the smoke, keeping the massive 'borg just in view. Every now and then she would scuff a foot or kick a piece of debris to let him know she was still there.

“This smoke’ll run out soon. What’ll you do-”

Another napalm impacted his back, interrupting the man's heckle.

V let her foot scuff and the 'borg charged at where she had been but she was already gone. Circling behind him her mono wires flared to life as she struck out, a brief gout of spark flying off the armor as her wires lanced through.

Tink-tink clung

The 'borg spun around. V was already gone but his focus was on the ground where bits of his sliced armor was lying on the ground. “You bitch!’ He raged. “What’d you do!?”

His answer was another attack from behind and the sound of more shards of his armor falling to the ground. He spun around frantically, head whipping back and forth trying to spot the woman.

“f*cking smoke.” Raising his arm a projectile launcher popped out and he shot the ground twenty feet away.

The explosive round sent a shockwave nearly knocking V off her feet but was able to grab a lamp post to steady herself. Spotting her broken knife between her and the 'borg V dashed towards it, scooping it up as she moved. There was only about 2 inches left of the blade, but that was enough.

Jumping towards her target V slammed the blade into his spine, right into the Sandevistan implant.

The man went rigid while he screamed out in pain as he jerked and spasmed to the ground face first.

Weary of any potential contingencies of last resort his chrome may house, she kneeled down and gave the knife a twist before ripping it out. An automatic response activated in the man's chrome and every emergency port along his body snapped open, including his neuro port.

Pulling the link from her neck V jacked in. “The problem with the Tee one-thousand line is that it loses much of its strength when exposed to high heat. It’s still tough, but not the impervious wall you thought it was.”

The man glared at her and V was sure he would try and bite at her ankles if he was able to move.

“Doesn’t matter. You’re out of grenades, and nowhere you’ve weakened will let you kill me.”

“Very true. But I won’t have to be the one to kill you.” Just then the projectile launch popped up from the man’s arm. Dragging his arm around she pointed the barrel at the man's head and set it to maximum charge. “Shoulda swapped out your ICE. It’s at least five months out of date.”

As she walked off V could hear the man huffing as he tried to force his body to move.

Get back here you bitch and kill me yourself damnit! I refuse to be done in like this!”

V took cover behind a concrete barrier before covering her ears. A blast even larger than the first shook the area and when V peeked over, she saw that the borg’s head had been completely blown off along with the arm that held the projectile launcher.

Finally able to slow down V pressed two fingers gently into her ribs. Hissing she took out a MaxDoc and carefully injected it where the worst of the pain radiated. At least four had been bruised or fractured but she was lucky none had been broken. A hit from a Bounce Back followed that and then a Baloperidol. So many chemicals swimming through her made V’s head swim and she ended up stumbling and falling in her rear. Lying back she spent several minutes breathing deep, willing her now raging heart to calm.

She slowly forced herself to calm and staggered to her feet. Head floaty but able to breath without feeling like she was going to vomit, V left the mayhem behind her.

I_I_I_I_I_I_I_I_I_I

18:16:53(8:40 PM)

“Threat assessment.”

The words came over her coms on a flat tone. Her sister never had been one for chit-chat on the job. Tayh and her sister, Reesa, had been forced into the South African branch of the Cerberus Mercenary Company at a young age. High test scores and parents with a huge pile of debt had seen them bought up before either girl was out of their teens.

Their current target was the woman that Tayh had just seen tear apart a 'borg that should have had her dead to rights from second one.

The borg was co*cky. Underestimated her from the get go. From our own records on him his Sandevistan has a maximum safe output of eighty percent dilation, but he barely broke thirty during the fight.”

“He was playing with his food?”

“And it got him killed.” The girl confirmed. The two worked best this way. Tayh was an excellent scout and could pick apart weaknesses and strengths after only a few moments of observations. Reesa though was a born leader and commanded their unit into combat. She had only just survived their first attempt at taking out the target.

“And the target?”

“If we had the option I’d say abort now and gee-tee-ef-oh. She had a reflex enhancer that’s thirty percent at best, but she moved like it was fifty. Hand-to-hand is no joke either. Turned a fatal hit into a glancing blow.”

Ressa hummed on the other side of the line. “How much damage did she take during the fight?

“Not much. Probably a few bruised ribs. Damaged one of her fingers trying to punch her way into his nero port and had to shoot it off. Way she was moving though, she’s taken damage. Not a whole lot at once, but bits and pieces here and there are adding up.”

No surprise there. She’s been at it over fifty hours. That’s damn near inhuman given her level of chrome.”

“About that.” Tayh said cautiously. “Borg liked to talk. He mentioned her working for Arasaka.”

Makes sense.”

“As a Fixer.” Tayh waited for a few moments as the silence stretched. “Ressa?”

“I just- give me a second.”

Tayh stayed stayed quiet. They’d heard of other teams going up against Corpo Fixers in the past, it never ended well.

Keep trailing her for now. And stay out of sight. I’ll figure something out.”

“And what’ll that do? There’s only four of us left combat capable.”

A sigh came in from the other end of the line. “No. Just us. The other two deserted.”

Tayh cursed. “And what does command expect us to do?”

“Die trying. Don’t be surprised they’d sacrifice us all for a payday that size.”

“Not surprised. Just pissed.” Tayh said despondently. “I’ll stay with her. Try and get as much intel as I can and send a few smaller groups her local to wear her down.”

“Just be careful.”

“Always. It’s the assholes around me that’re reckless.”

I_I_I_I_I_I_I_I_I_I_I

14:34:05(12:22 AM)

V’s eyes itched from exhaustion more than the pH of the rain falling in sheets around her. A mercenary company numbering just over a dozen had chased her into the dump nestled in the small hill pass just southeast of North Oak.

Lightning flashed and illuminated the dozen mercenaries all wearing dark armor and full face gas masks before thunder rumbled so loud that V felt the ground shake beneath her feet. The wind was gusting too hard for them to launch any drone and the one time they had tried it was swept away by the gale only four feet off the ground.

She found a nice spot to hide just as a group started approaching, flashlights scanning back and forth. A slash of lightning crackled above, illuminating her face just as they passed. When a head snapped towards her, V struck, grabbing the knife from his vest she stabbed the man in the eye while the crack of thunder covered up the sound of her shooting the other two in quick succession.

Stripping two of the men of their explosives she piled them on the third and dragged them away, a plan forming in her head. She shoved his body into the driver seat of a rusted out car and used the zip ties on his vest and some cables she’d pulled from the garbage to attach his rifle to his hand to hold it aloft. Another longer cable was attached to the trigger and she armed the explosives before darting off.

She waited until there was a group in the line of fire before pulling the cable. A burst shot off from the car, taking out two of the mercenaries while the others scattered. Return fire soon followed and V let loose another burst, not hitting anyone but continuing to draw the company towards her trap.

The first target reached the car just as the gun ran empty and V’s eyes glowed red, sending a spike of pain through her head.

“AMBU-” The cry was cut off when the explosives detonated, taking out all but a few of those that had hung back to provide over watch.

I_I_I_I_I_I_I_I_I_I_I

14:24:35(12:32 AM)

Tayh had watched it all through her night vision binoculars. Unsurprised at V’s survival but still a little unnerved at how easy she was still able to make it look as she snuck up on the survivors and cut them down.

“We can’t let her out of sight. The instant we lose her she has us by the balls. But her cyberware is hurting her enough that she’s barely using it. She could’ve hacked them all easily from what I’ve seen, but she took a riskier approach by setting up the trap.”

“Another group or do you think we can take her?”

“Another group. Ten or so strong. But that’s it. We’ll wait until there’s only a few hours left to take our shot.”

“Stay on her then. And stay out of sight.”

I_I_I_I_I_I_I_I_I_I_I

10:04:34(5:01 AM)

V took a final huff from her neuro-stim, dropping the empty inhaler as she hopped a chain link fence blocking off a small construction site. The half finished structure was a maze of exposed rebar and utilities that was slated for more office space and V needed to separate her pursuers, a small group of Sixth Street and Tyger Claws. A single shot rang out and V stumbled, an angry hiss escaping through her teeth as she turned a corner. She pressed a hand to her hip, a small caliber round having found a gap in her armor and now resting somewhere in her flesh.

She grunted in annoyance when she reached into her first-aid and found nothing of use left. Even her Baloperidol only had one more dose remaining. Both she and Ekko had underestimated just how much she would need in order to stave off cyberpsychosis. Even now she was coasting through the world with a light yellow filter over her eyes and was fighting against violence for the sake of it against her numerous assailants. Her arms still burned from having to use her mono wires an hour ago to turn a Tyger Claw into chum before he could warn his comrades.

She was pelted with specks of plasterboard when a Sixth Street goon crashed through the wall, more chrome than flesh and an insane grin on his face.

“You ain’t getting away from me, girlie!”

V reacted by throwing her whole momentum into stomping his ankle and kicking him in the balls as he fell to his knees. Barely able to keep her balance, V shoved her knife into his ear to end the fight.

She ignored the burning in her side as she bent down, only finding a single MaxDoc in his pocket and injecting it next to her bullet wound. The sound of boots stomping her way had V hurrying down the hall, and up to the second floor.

A single man moved past the room she was hiding in, briefly glancing in and by the time his head snapped back towards her she was already on him. She smashed his head into the wall and sliced at his wrist to make him drop his gun. Grabbing his vest she flung him around into the wall opposite and stabbed him twice in the neck before slicing it through completely.

She moved silently down the halls, if one man was moving alone then the others were probably similarly grouped up. A barrel came around the corner and V foolishly grabbed it, causing the owner to fire a shot in surprise as she pulled him around the corner and slammed the butt of her pistol into his throat. She twisted the rifle out of his hands and shoved him back into the man behind him, throwing off their shot.

Using the rifle butt she smacked the first man in the chest followed quickly by the shoulder of the second man, leaning back to avoid a desperate shot that would have struck her throat. Grabbing the first man's wrist as he reached for her shirt she twisted it in her grasp and shot him in the wrist while grabbing the gun arm of the second man in her armpit and twisted her entire body to shoot a third man running down the hall towards them.

Throwing her body back into the two men she released her hold as they stumbled back, managing to shoot one in the head before the other managed to shove her into the wall. Before he could do any more she smashed her forehead into the bridge of his nose, and sent him a step back, just enough to put a bullet in his throat and then his head.

V made it two steps before someone slammed into her from the side and into an unfinished room that was most likely used by the workers for breaks with the tables and utensils scattered around.

Wind knocked out of her and gun clattering to the floor, V used all of her strength to bring both fists down on her attackers back. The woman screamed and fell to her knees giving V the space she needed to slam a knee into her face.

A yell from her right and V barely had time to dodge a machete swing by a Tyger. She grabbed the extended arm and swung them into a wall and kicked the first woman in the face, stunning her once more. Taking the back of the machete wielder's vest in hand, V kicked the back of their knee and slammed their head into the ground, a quiet splat sounding on impact.

Another attacker came in, mantis blades swinging. Dodging under a swipe V took a hammer off a table and slammed it into the back of the man’s head before he could take another swing. An arm wrapped around her from behind, cutting off V’s air. Stomping down on their foot, V then swung down a punch to the balls when the first attack brought a masculine yell. Swinging her hammer around, the claw caught the man in the jaw and tore a large gouge that sprayed V with blood.

Hearing someone running behind her, V grabbed the stunned man and swung him around into whoever was coming her way. Two shots rang out, both taken by her human shield and she threw the hammer at them. It did little damage as the flinched away but V kicked the table next to her, sending it sliding into the shooter, knocking them off balance long enough to pick up the machete from earlier and throw it into the woman's chest.

Only V’s heavy breathing punctuated the silence. She retrieved her gun from the floor and quickly went through pockets of the corpses on the ground, cursing when she found nothing but street drugs and gum.

I_I_I_I_I_I_I_I_I_I_I

9:58:31(5:07 AM)

“Ya know, I coulda just taken her out with this rifle if I had actual bullets instead of that tracer round.” Tayh griped.

“With what money? You know what our contract says about freelance and we sure as sh*t cant pawn our equipment. And the NCPD already has us on their radar from the failed attempt so we sure as sh*t can’t show our faces on the streets.”

“Stop finding reasonable arguments against my complaints.” She huffed.

“Never. We getting a signal from the tracker?”

“Yeah. Made sure it’s working before turning it off to prevent detection.”

“Good. Head back over here and we’ll work on a plan to get out of this mostly alive.”

“Will do. See you in a bit.”

I_I_I_I_I_I_I_I_I_I_I

1:22:25(1:43 PM)

V kept her attention on her hud’s countdown as she drove the border area of Santo Domingo and Westbrook. She’d only had two more encounters since her last fight and had stuck to back alleys and side streets since. Doing everything she could to avoid further encounters as her body ached even as she sat and her eyes bedded for sleep now that the neuro stim was wearing off.

She pulled into a parking lot looking for a suitably sh*tty car to hotwire, her deck having been removed a few hours ago due to the headache it caused just sitting in her head unused. As she got out of the rusted Hella a Militech Behemoth cargo carrier came barreling into the lot, slamming aside park cars like toys as it made b-line for her. V only just noticed someone jumping out of the passenger door before a Mackinaw was sent tumbling in her direction and only just made it over a barrier that stopped the vehicle dead.

V didn’t have long to take stock of the situation as a blonde with a chrome arm and exposed synthetic muscle fibers jumped over the car with the sound of whirring servos.

V dodged out of the way, rolling to the side and the woman's fist impacted concrete, embedding a full inch. V hopped to her feet and went on the offensive, almost missing the woman holding a knife as she made a slash. She was able to redirect the attack away from her stomach and had to block a follow up elbow strike from her cybernetic arm that had V’s own cyberware creaking.

Turning out of the way of another knife slash, the attacker's elbow grazed her side, hitting the same spot the 'borg had at the statue what felt like days ago. Wincing, V crossed her arms above her head to stop another knife strike from below and kicked the other woman in the shin to intercept an kick.

A punch to the gut caught her off guard and before she could recover, the tip of a knife sliced into her cheek and through her optic. Backpedaling to get away from a follow up strike to the neck V was blind sided by a drop kick that sent her stumbling away.

Earlier

“So how do we surprise her?” Ressa asked. The sisters were parked in a lot in City Center. Without access to any funds from their company they could no longer pay for the sh*tty apartment the team was working out of previously.

“That’s an advantage we can’t count on. Each encounter I witnessed whether she was surprised or not didn’t matter. She’s professional enough that even when caught unawares she doesn’t freeze up or hesitate to act.”

“So we what? Attack her head on?” Ressa asked incredulously.

“In a manner of speaking.” Tayh tapped her fingers on the armrest. “We do something that she can’t help but give her attention, and that’ll give you a chance to get close.”

“And what? f*cking die? I’ve seen recordings of what you’ve seen. She’s f*cking death at close range.”

“Yes, but she’s exhausted now. She hasn’t used her mono wires or deck in hours. That’ll give you enough of a chance to hold her attention until I show up. You go in and do that unstoppable berserker thing you like to do and don’t let up until I launch a sneak attack.”

“And then we double team her? That’s your plan?”

“It’s the best we can do without any supplies, a five figure local bounty, and zero resources or backup.”

Ressa sighed. “I hate this plan.”

“Me too. But those deserters are already dead, so if we try and pull the same we won’t be far behind.”

Ressa snorted. “Figures they have the resources to send out a kill team but not to actually f*cking aid us.”

Present

V slammed painfully into a guard rail, her limbs all spasming on impact as her Kerenzikov took the brunt of the impact on her spine.

A click and V forced her arms to respond, bringing them up to cover her face just as bullets began impacting her chrome. Diving to get out of the way she crouch-ran away, trying and failing to move the wrist of her right wrist only for it to be non-responsive.

Another whirring had V spinning on the spot, using her semi-disabled arm as a club to send the blonds arm into the side of a van. Responding faster than V expected, she shifted her momentum into a spin kick that sent the former Fixer into the entrance of a parking structure.

V struggled to her feet, black spots blinking in and out of her vision as she fished out her last and slammed it into her thigh. A silver arm came into her peripheral and she activated her Kerenzikov in a short burst to duck underneath and slam her busted arm into the woman's knee.

Another Kerenzikov burst allowed her to dodge a kick from her second assailant, grab their leg as it impacted Vs ribs and punch her three times in the face before her partner took another swing at V, their arm whirring as it went for V’s throat.

Swinging her busted arm again V smashed the second women leg at the knee, but the sound indicated chrome not flash and V was forced to back away when the blonde started her attack once more. She grabbed V’s busted arm and pulled her forward and slammed her chrome arm into V’s chest.

The woman was sent staggering back several feet until she hit a wall, gasping for breath. She used another Kerenzikov burst to roll out of the way of an attack as the blonde swung at her once more, taking out a section of concrete with her punch. Responses slowed and half blind V caught a kick to the ribs from the second woman that sent her staggering into a concrete pillar.

Back against the pillar she brought up her arms to block a kick to the face only to get punched in the ribs.

Blocking a punch to the gut meant a kick to the knee.

V was losing. She couldn’t, wouldn’t die here.

Earlier

“Okay. So it’s a sh*t situation with sh*t solutions. But what about her final stand?” Reesa asked, tapping her fingers on the steering wheel. “We've seen it plenty of times in the past where someone pushed into a corner digs deep to pull out that little bit extra to try and survive.”

“She won’t. Hell, she probably can’t.” Seeing her sister’s questioning gaze, Tayh continued. “People like Vitaliana are high-functioning sociopaths. She may act like she cares about people like Jackie Welles and Judy Alvarez but she’s putting on an act. For herself or others is irrelevant. But the point is, you don’t get to be a fixer by ass kissing. They do the kind of sh*t Adam Smasher is famous for. They literally don’t care cause they can’t. And since she doesn’t care about anything-”

“She doesn’t have anything to fight for.” Ressa finished.

“And that’s how we get her.”

Present

With a scream as lava coursed through her veins as she activated her Kerenzikov to its max, her arms feeling like the bones were being pulled through skin when her mono-wires flared to life. She cut the woman with the cybernetic legs in half from hip to shoulder and the blonde with a cyber arm had her organic arm lopped off at the shoulder. That was all she was able to do as the pain became too much and V deactivated her cyberware, staggering as the world snapped back into real time.

The blonde stared at her companion as they fell to the ground in several pieces before charging V with a roar of her own, arm raised high to strike. V barely managed to activate a single mono-wire but the attacking woman ignored the lash upon her torso and grabbed V’s arm at the wires port and crushed it.

Swinging her other arm into the woman's head, she managed to force her back. Pressing the attack, V ducked under a punch and grabbed the knife sheathed in the woman’s vest with her teeth. Spinning on her heel she speared it into the blonde's liver before being forced back or take an elbow to the head.

The blonde attacked relentlessly. Anger at the loss of her sister fueling her movement, and clouding her judgment. When V ducked under an attack she was off balance and the merc slammed her shoulder into the blondes stomach, stabbing her in the gut twice. Ignoring the danger, V went for the kill. She stabbed the woman twice between the ribs into her heart as her metal arm grabbed V by the shoulder and squeezed hard enough to crush flesh and bone between her fingers.

V screamed in pain around the knife and continued to stab at the woman's ribs until she was ripped away and thrown into the opposite hall. Knife slick with blood and spit it slipped from between V’s teeth but it didn’t matter. The blonde fell to her knees, barely able to look at V with half lidded eyes before she lost enough blood to pass out.

Using the wall as a brace to stay standing, V left the two bodies behind her as she slowly made her way towards the parking structure exit.

BANG

V lurched forward as blood blossomed from her chest. Sinking to her knees V slowly turned to look behind herself and saw the woman she had cut in half earlier holding up a pistol. The barrel was still smoking and the slide locked back showing the clip was empty. The gun clattered to the ground as whatever strength remained left the woman and her eyes became glassy.

Vs breath came out in wheezes as she forced herself back to her feet, blood dripping out of her new bullet wound and coating her back and side from her crushed shoulder. Her head spun and each movement sent her nerves on fire like nothing she had ever felt, but the 1:03:35 on her HUD was a siren's call to freedom she couldn’t ignore. She fought for every inch as she moved back to the parking lot and found a red and gray Galena with its doors unlocked and used her foot to lift the handle.

It took some more luck than skill to use her busted hands to pull the personal jack from her neck and plug it into the car to start it. SHe ignored the spike of hot pain in her head as she broke through the car's non-existent ICE and started it, but from there she pulled out of the lot and headed for the city's limits. All of the city's rippers were under watch for her, especially Vik. She also couldn’t trust that there weren’t personal bounties out for her due to all the bodies she had left in her wake. V’s best chance for survival now was to head for the coordinates the Cassidy had given her he had picked up Judy.

Just a little longer and she would be free.

-06:33:12(9:38 PM)

Panam had spent the last two hours on the eastern side of the camp, eyes firmly in the direction of Night City. Her foot had been tapping away in the dry dirt for that entire time, and also keeping an eye on Judy.

The BD editor had been there longer than Panam by a large margin, with Guadalupe, Carole, Cassidy, Mitch, and Scorpion all taking turns until Panam couldn’t hold her patience anymore and joined the woman in her vigil.

“Panam. One of our scouts reports a single vehicle coming from the east.” Saul said over the radio. “Might be your missing merc. Plates are from NC.”

The woman immediately stood up off the crate she had been sitting on, catching Judy's attention.

“What’s-” She stopped when Panam held up a finger.

“Thanks Saul.” Ending the call she immediately sent a message to Mitch, Scorpion, and Nate, their ripper before turning to Judy. “Scouts spotted a car heading this way from NC.”

“Val?” Judy asked hopefully.

“I sure as hell hope so, but we can’t be sure till it gets here.”

“I’ll let Mama know.”

Panam nodded, catching Mitch and Scorpion approaching from the corner of her eyes.

“So our girl’s finally showing up, eh?” Mitch asked, arms crossing over his chest.

“I hope so. Don’t know what shape she’ll be in and wanted an extra hand in case it’s bad. Called Nate too, he should be here in a bit.”

“Here’s hopin’ she’s not banged up too bad. Dakota get back to you on the going’s on over there?” Scorpion asked.

“A bit. She was able to confirm V took out a MaxTac group and some Columbian super assassin was found dead yesterday afternoon. Though she can’t confirm V had anything to do with the last one.”

“There it is!” Judy cheered, causing everyone to snap their heads towards where she was pointing.

A single headlight crested over the hill. The group waited tensely as the car coasted to a stop, Mama Welles and Nate showing up just as it came to a halt. No one exited the car and it was too dark to see inside.

“Wait.” Panam said firmly to Judy as the Mox took a step forward. “Cover me.” She said to Scorpion and Mitch as she approached the car.

Carefully opening the door, a body spilled out of the driver's seat and onto the ground. Panam's eyes widened when she saw the driver's condition.

“Nate! Come help me!” She called frantically, lifting V’s bloody form off the dirt. Her exposed skin and clothing coated in sticky blood. She could barely feel a pulse and the breathing was so shallow Panam could barely feel the rise of her chest.

Judy was thankfully being held back by Mama Welles as Nate rushed forward, small bag of emergency supplies in hand while Mitch followed with a collapsible stretcher.

The ripper plugged his personal jack into the nape of V’s neck only to wince and quickly unplug it. “Old fashioned way it is.” He mumbled, taking items out of his bag to measure V’s vitals. His eyes glowed blue as he called his assistant. “Get everything ready for emergency surgery. Old fashioned set up.” He barked out while Panam and Mitch carefully put the woman on the stretcher.

“Old fashioned?” Judy asked, taking V’s hand in her own.

“Her cyberware had put a huge load on her nervous system. It’s a miracle she got out here in the first place. I don’t want to put any more load on her than I need to so I’ll be operating on her the old fashioned way before they had to do was plug into your neuro port.”.

As they moved, Panam noticed V’s lips moving, but speaking too softly. Putting her ear to V’s lips her eyes widened. “Scorpion! Get over here!” She spoke again as soon as the man approached. “Sounds like she’s saying some of the prayers I’ve overheard you say, but she’s struggling.”

The man's eyes widened before leaning down to listen for only a moment, standing up and walking with the group as they moved the wounded merc. “Kalahira, this one's heart is pure, but beset by wickedness and contention. Guide this one to where the traveler never tires. The lover never leaves. The hungry never starve. Guide this one Kalehira, and she will be a companion to you as she was to me.”

Judy looked at him, eyes burning like she wanted to say something, but stayed silent as the group rushed towards the rippers operation trailer Nate and his assistant were the only ones to enter and the red light over the door immediately flashed on.

“What the hell was that?!” Judy demanded of Scorpion as soon as the door closed. “Some kind of last rite sh*t! You think she’s gonna die!? Huh!?” Judy raged, tears streaming down her cheeks.

“It can serve as such, yes.” The man said gently, not backing down from the younger woman's grief. “But it can also be one of protection, a prayer to ask them to be allowed to show they deserve the life they have, despite the evils they have done.” He took a step forward and placed a hand on her shoulder. “But if she were to pass, she would be allowed to be with those she loves when their own time comes.”

Judy's lips quivered as she fell to her knees, crying loudly.

“Was that true?” Panam asked him softly as he walked away.

Scorpion shrugged, looking at Judy as Mama Welles comforted her. “Does it matter? If it helps her get through this, I’ll tell her whatever she needs to hear.”

Prologue will be up in the next week. Take care all.

Cyberpunk 2077: Shadow of Night City - Chapter 19 - Planemo (2024)
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