Chapter One: Night City
Enter the Fox
I'm known about Night City as Fox, secret head of the Rapid Fire's Arms Service. It's a gun running business I built from the ground up. Rapid Fire provides quality weapons to anyone who can pay for it. In Night City, weapons are big business. If there's something special you want I'll get it for you if your money's good. Naturally by business isn't strictly on the up-and-up. But by giving the cops a special discount and making an occasional donation to their heavy weapons division, I manage to keep the law off my back.
I consider myself a successful business man. Not because of what I've done, but because of the enemies I've earned along the way. It started over a decade ago with International Munitions Transport (IMT). Actually IMT started it. My real name is Nate Conners, last surviving member of the Conner clan. My family was made up of professionals in quasi-legal occupations, fixers (like myself), solos (trained fighters), and netrunners (computer wizards) who primarily worked for the mega-corp Miltech.
Back then IMT was just a fledging organization, still trying to formally break away from their parent company, Miltech. When they were approaching their goal, it was decided it would be in their best intrest to remove one of Miltech's best assets, my family, to reduce the chance of any reprisals. I admit, it made sense; eliminate those most likely to be sent after you in a preemptive strike. They attacked at our annual reunion. I was sixteen.
IMT launched a surprise attack with more firepower than they deserve. The battle lasted an hour. When it was over, IMT lost all but a pair of pencil pushing cowards in heavy armor. I lost more. My whole family was murdered and I lost my right arm and eye. Miltech gave me a large insurance check which I used to replace my lost body parts with cybernetic replacements plus a few surprises. Then I began my crusade against IMT.
At first I tried stealing their weapon shipments to disrupt their schedule. But this left me with a slight problem, what to do with the guns. This is when Rapid Fire was born. I met with a friend of my uncle's, a gun shop owner, known as Caliburst. He and his wife helped form my new business. I made the deals and acquired most of the merchandise and they served as a front balancing the books and gathering information about IMT. Everyone benifited. IMT was noticeably weakened and Caliburst's shop made a nice profit. Along the way Rapid Fire grew large enough that I needed to hire more help. A few beginning fixers did wonders for my business. Even the solo and techie I contracted on a regular basis agreed to sign on full time.
When I first started this mission, I decided that I needed an alias as a cover for my activities. The name of the persona was the same as my business. I designed Rapid Fire to be a mysterious figure rarely seen in public, prefering to send his employees (such as myself as Fox) to close his deals. He was only seen on scrambled vid phones by an occasional high paying customer. Everyone outside the organization was fooled. Even the mafia and other organized crime decided to stay away because of the friends I've made.
One of my better thefts was a high powered Colt-Mauser cannon. Though I couldn't use it well, I took an instant liking to it. The Colt-Mauser cannon was one of the most powerful hand held weapons in existence. I made it into Rapid Fire's trademark. It was seen in all the important deals and especially when I was angry at someone. No one ever tried to rob me after I demostrated my willingness to use the Colt on anyone who crossed me. People knew that seeing the Colt at a meeting meant Rapid Fire took a personal interest in the deal and they intimidated by it. Later, I had it modified to be lighter, absorb the recoil, and make it collapsible to a portable size.
I had become their largest weapons dealer in Night City perhaps even in the California Free State. But despite my lucrative business, I always worked toward IMT's downfall. I was doing well, but the final stroke had yet to be dealt. Near the end, IMT decided to try to take me out of the picture. Fortunately word got to me in time. Along with the warnings, I was offered pledges of support by several booster gangs and the NCPD's Cyberpsycho Squad. What more could I ask for? Finally all those gifts paid off.
I personally lead a team of over 30 heavily armed cops and thugs against IMT's last stronghold and won. In the ruins of the office among the dead bodies of the CEO and his advisors I found something most disturbing. IMT was secretly founded and financed by Araska, the largest arms manufacturer in the world. IMT was created by bribing Miltech personnel to help prevent any anti-trust actions by the United States Provisional Government against Araska. When this hit the screamsheets, their stock fell to half. But they recovered somehow, they always do. It was purely IMT's decision to waste my family so I considered my feud with them over.
However Araska thought differently. My crusade against IMT was responsible for causing Araska a massive loss of profits, plus I was becoming a competitor. I was targeted for death. Several times Araska almost succeeded. I had spent ten years of my life fighting a war against a corp and I didn't want to start another one. Araska was too big and too powerful to take down and I really had nothing against them. It took some doing and a few favors, but I was able to form an honorable truce with Araska.
Their representive understood my desire for revenge and decided that the costs to eliminate me and my business far outweighed what I did to them. He declared a truce, all debts and vendettas were canceled. Placing a relatively small monetary value on one's loved ones was an insult. But if that's what it took to keep their ninjas out of my bedroom, so be it. When the Araska supervisor prepared his report, explaining why I was allowed to live, a fortunate discovery was made. Through my war on IMT, I actually did more damage to Miltech and other rivals than Araska. His discovery snagged me a formal apology and the company's good graces. Friends are hard to find these days. You have to take what you can get, even if they make themselves your friends. Miltech's gratitude for eliminating their deserters also put me on their list of friends. Naturally, I kept this from Araska, and vice versa.
After my ordeal all I wanted was to make Rapid Fire's Arms Service the best it can be. The game of cat and mouse was over until yesterday when I received a call from the head of Miltech himself. He said he had an job for me, something I had a personal interest in. I was told the two agents who survived my family's massacre were still alive. He said there were rumors that they, and a few others, were planning to recreate IMT, this time without Araska backing. He would prefer to have Miltech care of this problem, but the powerbase they built was too big and complex to be destroy from the inside. Outside intervention was necessary.
Currently IMT was still gathering power inside the Miltech infrastructure. When they felt they have developed well enough, they would declare their independence and start their own company. Whether or not they would keep friendly relations with Miltech was none of my concern. The natural assumption of them targeting me for payback as soon as they were able was. I've been in this business too long not to smell a trap. Not on the part of the CEO, I saved his life some years ago and it was my destruction of IMT that allowed him to acquire his current position in the first place. No, I figured that somehow those flunkies had recorded this conversation and were ready. I wanted to finish this once and for all.
I felt I couldn't risk my friends on this mission so I convinced the CEO to give me enough money to hire mercenaries, a C-team. Our mission was to break in the office and kill the rogue agents. The leaders of IMT were in the building's most secure science lab. He didn't know just what was being developed, but he say I was to be careful of the equipment. Chances were IMT falsified reports and were researching something completely different. But regardless what items were in there could turn a hefty profit for Miltech if it survived. Personally, I didn't really care what got broken. Revenge was burning in my heart and I came ready for a fight.
Now, I'm no warrior which is why I made protecting me the second priority for the C-team, killing IMT was first. In retrospect, not being careful might be considered a mistake, fortunately everyone who knows that is dead, everyone but me. My guess was right and this was a trap by IMT. Not being rich enough to purchase any full combat borgs or powered armor meant that they were armed to the teeth themselves with only body guards to support them. Those bunch of pansies fought well. I gained cover from a metal desk as the fire fight began. Funny how self preservation can override some emotions like vengeance. There were explosions around the desk. I only came out when a grenade landed next to me. I leaped over the desk just before it exploded.
Four of the six C-team members were dead and the two remaining ones were seriously wounded. They were locked in combat with a trio of IMT's remaining goons. The two agents who were there at the reunion were all that was left of IMT's businessmen. Untouched by battle and enraged as memories of the massacre flooded my head, I charged them. My two submachine guns filled the IMT leaders with more than enough holes to kill them. However the controls to the rather large screen was also damaged.
Static filled the air and the screen began to glow. A purple glowing spiral grew out from the center of the screen. When the swirl reached the edge of the screen the security doors closed and a computer voice said, "Stargate open". Then everything in the room was being sucked into the screen.
I saw the bodies of the people I just killed get pulled in and they seemed to fall toward the center shrinking as if the center was miles away. More bodies, loose papers, weapon shells, even the remaining combatants were sucked screaming into the purple spiral and fall to the center. My battle armor reported that the air was getting too thin to breathe and that it was automatically switching to the 30 minute on board air supply. Then I lost my grip and fell through the screen myself.