Escape From The City of Dreams (Cyberpunk/Escape From Tarkov/Gamer) (2024)

Warning: Due the nature of the Cyberpunk setting, especially the Scavenger faction, this fanfic contains descriptions of crimes like kidnapping, human trafficking, organ harvesting, snuff films, and other reprehensible actions.

Cyberpunk belongs to R. Talsorian Games, Escape From Tarkov belongs to Battlestate Games.


Chapter 1: Death by Common Sense

Quiet Life or Blaze of Glory? That was the question that drove many fools in the City of Dreams. Despite being a lawless hellhole where power resided on who had the bigger guns and influence, Night City was the rare place where one who started with nothing could rise as a legendary Edgerunner, basking in eddies and fame reserved for legends like Achilles and Hannibal.

Of course, Night City loved to spit out almost everyone who tried their luck. From the most daredevil Solos to the most inquisitive Netrunners and even the most ambitious Corpos, they all found thousands of ways to meet their doom that barely made it to their news, to the point most Edgerunners these days only had the goal to die in a way so outrageous not even the greatest PR teams from Arasaka would be able to cover up.

I'm pretty sure getting stomped by a blown-up door wasn't among the deaths worthy of an Afterlife drink.

It bears mentioning that I wasn't one of the countless gonks who bet everything to get a little slice of the glory the likes of Morgan Blackhand and Adam Smasher had. I was one of those who preyed on the fools who bought their own hype and used their remains to enrich myself.

No, I'm not speaking about Corporats. I was what the locals call a Scav.

Among the lowest in the pecking order of NC's Underworld, yet we were among the biggest main reasons people died in the City of Dreams. Entire careers lived and died depending on our abilities to steal and resell chrome, and that without counting the important folks who fell to our saws.

Going back to the door, I was part of a cooperation between my family—the Magomedov Clan—and Misha's Vory, both of which settled in Kabuki. Compared with my peers, I had a talent to separate chrome from the unlucky donor to almost perfect precision, which allowed us to save costs on the necessary repairs and reprograming for reselling. So, in a show of good faith, after our operations clashed so badly that it summoned Trauma Team, I was borrowed from my Clan by Misha's gang for a few months so he could recover his losses.

One day, Misha was bragging about an incoming biz with some folks overseas, and they wanted chrome fittings for 14–16 year olds; thus, he gave me the deets of a pair of potential "donors": a corpo brat from Arasaka Academy and her choom with Tyger Claws attire. One thing my Clan was notorious for was that we didn't target kids for scooping, less because of morals and more because of the surprising lack of market for small chrome.

I was busy fixing a Gorilla Arm when the photos arrived from my agent, which I made a point to not insert into my own head due to a lack of good ICE, and I sighed at Misha's obvious show of sadism. Yes, he wanted me to doom one kid whose only notorious crime was having good chrome and make me feel bad about it. But a), Tyger Claws and Arasaka were among the greatest scum in Night City, Scavengers included, and b), what kind of Scav I be if I didn't learn to not give much of a damn anymore?

*TC. Saka might have Ninjas* I texted him in a few seconds and went back to fixing the arm.

*Corpo brats have better chrome* Misha replied soon after. *Better chrome = Eddies*

*Corpo brats have bare minimum for school* I replied back. *Better grades = TT*

I didn't know the girl's grades, but when we f*cked with corpos, we had to ensure a handful of things: a buyer, a secure place, enough demons and viruses to block any SOS, and of course, knowing if they had enough chrome to cover all of the above and still make a profit.

*Fine, TC it is* Misha replied, and I could feel the sigh from his lips. *I expect you to scoop her fresh the day we get her.* I was not looking at that part. My personal policy about scooping is that the donor had to be either dead or heavily sedated, officially because it had fewer chances to damage the chrome, but in reality, I wasn't comfortable with all the screams and loud music the usual scav procedures went with.

My family was fine with my boundaries, Misha wasn't. It was true that a lot of cyberware and bioware were at their best if scooped out before the donor flatlined, but his way to do his thing was to shove the unlucky gonk to my table and tell me to start scaving. Until now, I fared fine due to mostly the victims being dumb gonks looking for cheap thrills in Kabuki and Tyger Claws stupid enough to go away from their pack, plus the occasional Maelstrom who pissed off Brick bad enough to be sent to Misha's as punishment. But Misha always felt I wasn't a "true" Scav and needed to "fix" that.

One week later, they did klep the TC wannabe, shoved her to my table, and told me to carve her up right now. I told him I needed to finish my RaMMMMen and NiCola Dark lunch first before I started. He told me I was so much of a puss* that I would puke all of it if I finished it. I replied that the donor was still squirming. Misha wanted to shoot back, only for the TC brat to validate me by kicking one of Misha's goons in the groin. Someone rang the door, which I used as an excuse to leave the room for a few seconds, but I was already near the main door when someone shouted alarm, and then the door launched itself to my entire body, with Tyger cyborgs screaming bloody murder.

Later, I discovered it was part of some ploy by the Claws to train their own squad of borgs for an eventual takeover of Watson, which meant war with Maelstrom, aka the most chrome-out nutjobs in Night City and the only gonks deliberately seeking Cyberpsychosis on perhaps the entire planet.

But Past Me was more worried about how my face hurt so much that I would need to get new teeth from a ripperdoc and barely hearing the leading Claw screaming about his imouto, just before my head landed to the floor and I blacked out instantly.

By the time I woke up, I was under the broken piece of metal that was once a door, with the air filled with the smell of blood, both real and synthetic. The fact that no one tried to get me out implied a really bad clash for Misha's group. I stood still for a while as I waited for anything that answered if the Claws were still in the department, yet nothing resembling steps or voices was heard. Deciding to risk it, I moved my arms, despite all my body aching with pain, and I pushed the door out of my body.

It was a horrific massacre; the Claws were merciless in their butchering of Misha's gang, many bodies were literally cut down in halves, and Misha himself looked like he was scooped out of his implants before receiving a bullet between the eyes. And speaking of scooping, the stash Misha had with all the chrone he had ready to sell plus the eddies and the weapons they had were gone.

I searched my pockets and sighed in relief as my Agent and my Lexington were still there. With that assurance, I knew I had a call to make.

"Vasili!" My brother and current head of the Clan, Alexei Magomedov, replied. "How's your day going?"

"Pretty nova," I reply. "Some Tyger c*nts arrived, flatlined Misha and his chooms, and klepped all the chrome plus the eddies. I'm the only one left."

"CYKA!" My brother empathized. "Do you need a ride back?"

"Nah, just a trip to a ripper," I assured him. "I'm grabbing anything valuable the Claws forgot, then I'm ghosting back home."

"Alright, I'm still sending some guys over there. See you later." Alex cut the call, and I grabbed a duffel bag left in the carnage and proceeded to scavenge anything valuable.

There were bandages and medical gauze still without use; I took those. Below a couch were Samurai vinyl, probably bootlegs, worthless. There was an ammo box with Nekomata bullets, low quality, but I knew some vendors would buy it regardless. I scrounged the bodies, and I found mostly CredChips, which probably were meant to be used in side cons; I grabbed them regardless. Scrounged the fridge, the Claws robbed everything except a pair of Broseph Ales, their loss.

The total was salvageable, but I felt something was missing. I looked at Misha's cadaver again, and I remembered it.

Among his gangoons, there was talk about a secret stash where Misha guarded the stuff he wanted to chip in for himself, but nobody knew where it was besides somewhere in the building, and some of the people who got scooped during my stay were gonks playing as treasure hunters.

I exanimated Misha; the Claws made a dedicated effort to make his last minutes as miserable as possible. I suspect the Devil of Kabuki had a hand in this massacre, and wherever chrome they didn't rip out, they made a point to destroy its software as painfully as possible.

Everything except the eyes.

I noted his Kiroshi optics were still in perfect state, I suppose to ensure he saw whatever the TC did to him. I remembered some of the old spy movies I watched with my brothers as kids, which brought me to a realization. I grabbed a scalpel and began to scoop the optics as carefully as I could, not yet deciding if to let Alexei sell them or use them for myself. A minor shake in my hands forced me to stop before I destroyed the Kiroshis, and I looked behind me to see if any Claw returned. Sensing none, I went back and cut the last cables to free the Kiroshis. I put them in a bag and went searching for any clue.

Misha's computer was destroyed, and I wouldn't put the TC above to destroy the software as an extra insult—Claws are the pettiest among NC gangoons, after all—so I scrambled my spy movie trivia for something else. I notice below the fridge that the floor has marks. So I push the fridge away (thank the TC for leaving it empty) and discover an ancient looking eye scanner. I put the Kiroshis in front of it, and suddenly the wall reveals itself to be a secret door. My anticipation was covering my body as the door opened up. As the room revealed itself, the treasure was…

A small box.

Disappointed at the reveal, I went to open the box anyway. It didn't have a system that required a netrunner, dashing my hopes of something valuable like Nudes of Us Cracks. Instead, it held a single chip with a note saying, "Insert only after borging enough."

I don't know what I was thinking back then—was I mad enough at Misha and the Claws to make one spiteful act? Was I desperate for compensation for the months I spent carving people alive? Or I just underestimated how battered my body still was thanks to that goddamned door?

The point is that I committed one of the cardinal f*ckups when dealing with potential dangerous tech: I inserted the chip without having a netrunner analyze it first. As a gonk reward for my gonkish behavior, my own optics began to fizzle, and big white letters appeared before me.

TERRAGROUP PMC ENHANCEMENT PROGRAM

DETECTING NEW USER…

ANALYSING USER DNA…

DNA COMPATIBILITY: 92.5%...

USER IS DEEMED SAFE TO BOND WITH PROGRAM…

PMC ENHACEMENT PROGRAM INITIALIZING…

PLEASE STAND BY…

And then the world went black again.


AN: The fic itself was inpired both by reading Ghost in The City and watching Let's Plays of Escape From Tarkov, mainly the SPT mod(s) that allowed Single Player before the official devs made an official version to justify their greedy practices. Anyway, after seeing how things were supposed to work in the Cyberpunk tabletop, I felt it fit well with the behavior of veteran Tarkov players. Plus, I'm a sucker for lore involving constant backstabbing and Russian/Slav things in general, even after the war in Ukraine.

As for the Gamer system applied? I'm shameless enough to admit it will be the same as the one Seras uses (Using 2077's system with some tinkering), but with the addition of some of the skills from Tarkov itself.

With all that said, please read and review.

Escape From The City of Dreams (Cyberpunk/Escape From Tarkov/Gamer) (2024)
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