Well, it was sixty-four episodes and about nineteen months, but we finally made it through the Fourth Corporate War. Our group closed out a number of plotlines that have been active over the years and opened a few more. Old characters made appearances and new characters were created. Some prospered, others died, but all struggled to make a difference in the War.
Right now, here are the (brief) stories and fates of the characters that participated in this opus. They are listed by their Killer Bee, principle character’s or real name.
“Christy” – One of the original members of our gaming group
Christy was one of the original members of the Killer Bees (or the B-Team as they were first called), when we started the Fourth Corporate War. She was a young and beautiful solo (an all-natural ATTR 10, no biosculpt) who moonlighted as an exotic dancer. Her looks and skills proved key in a few operations (particularly in Mexico City during Episode 11). After the disaster in Las Vegas, when the Killer Bees were betrayed to Militech, ‘harshly’ interrogated, and sent to prison, where they escaped, but got lost, and almost died in Death Valley, Christy had enough and returned to her home in Worcester, Massachusetts. She made a brief appearance back in Night City at the start of the Hot War, but the Army wasn’t for her. She survived the war, and still lives in Worcester taking the occasional solo job, while dancing to cover the lean times.
Grimjaw (whose given name was Ken) was the character that replaced Christy, and was a completely different sort of solo. As described in Episode 17 he is ….”Mr. Grim Death” himself, Ken. With his faceplate and kimono, he just didn’t blend in well with the mostly working class crowd. Surprisingly, this solo was a polite and cultured gentleman. Although not Japanese, he was raised by a Japanese couple, and lived his life with honor and respect for all. Yes, he was extremely deadly, but he treated it as his vocation, not his avocation. Grimjaw was killed in Episode 39: The Battle for San Morro, while trying to take out a Militech tank.
Thor/Opium was perhaps the most interesting character concepts we saw. Many years ago we ran a rocker campaign that was based around a band called Cheap Sex. This band made an NPC appearance as the feature act at the Rainbow Nights Dance Club in Episode 10. Opium was the bassist for the band, but her SA was that of a Techie with an interest in weaponsmithing, although at the beginning of her play she supplemented her income by stealing cars for a local chop shop in Night City. To make a long story (mercifully) short, the band became hugely successful (and unplayable). Opium opened a small but modestly successful arms factory when not touring with the band. The band had developed an interest in ACPA armor (to the misfortune of one Edgerunner Team that tried to extract them) towards the end of that old campaign. Opium had also developed a friendship with Colonel (now General) “Blackjack” Pershing. As Pershing’s player was GMing the middle part of the Hot War, the two took the concept that these two characters got together and with Opium’s money and Pershing’s design skill, came up with the Thor ACPA for her to wear. The catch was that this suit looked like and was the size of a Sampson full conversation cyborg. This would be the field test for the Thor. No one ever guessed what was going on. Eventually Opium/Thor came clean to Damien, an NPC netrunner, and Caitlin, the ‘teenage’ assassin with the group. Opium and Caitlin became quite close and Caitlin had a fascination with weapons tech. In the end Opium bought the “lifetime contract” that bound Caitlin to their employer, Jack Smith. The war ended leaving Opium back in Night City at her factory mentoring Caitlin in weaponsmithing, and still playing in the band.
Chaos is this player’s oldest character. She is a member of the Firemen, which is also the original Edgerunner Team that our group started with years ago. Chaos is a Japanese-Thai solo, who had a twin sister that was killed early on in our group’s game play. Chaos eventually became a national hero in Thailand, and is also very popular in Japan and Night City. She made her only appearance in the campaign in Episode 63 with the attack on Arasaka Tower with the rest of the Firemen. She was alive and well after he War.
Admiral Jane Smith was a former SEAL commander and retired navy officer. She made a couple of appearances during the Hot War as she occasionally serves as Blackjack Pershing’s Director of Covert Operations with his mercenary unit. She led the Team on the last mission of the war (Episode 64). Now, the Admiral is retired again, but still active. She is this player’s character in New York 2026 Campaign. Her current ‘official’ position is Head of Security for the Gramercy Park Hotel in New York City.
“Cletus/Kenny” – “C3PO”
Cletus/Kenny is given as this player’ primary character only in that it is his oldest that plays with our group. He is General Pershing’s principle ACPA and cyborg tech. This character dates from the Security Solutions Campaign, and made a fortune when Lone Star Inc. (Pershing’s ACPA design and manufacturing company) was sold to Arasaka. Cletus’ normal non-combat body is a gold plated custom Alpha. DO NOT scratch it or damage it in any way! Cletus is active, when not on duty; in Night City’s cyborg rights group led by Samantha and the two are good friends. He has a major character flaw in that he is an unrepentant racist. He is not a hater; he just doesn’t like them, and is occasionally a little too vocal about it. Pershing keeps him in the workshop as much as possible to keep him from causing too much trouble.
Screech is a slightly crazy nomad ‘panzerboy’, who came to the group in Episode 34. He is also a DJ of no mean skill although his taste in music tended to drive some of the Team to distraction. These skills turned out to give the group some crucial breaks in the mission in northeastern Nevada. Screech stayed with the Killer Bees through the end of the war, and ended up as Bea’s tank driver.
Onyxia was a bipedal Dragon exotic on the original Team put together by Jack Smith during the Hot War. ‘She’ served as medical support, but her eating of Michael, an NPC traitor killed by Jack during the first Team meeting put just about everyone off. No one wanted to be left alone for treatment by this ‘doctor’. Onyxia did serve well until she was killed during the hit on a Mob meeting outside Las Vegas in Episode 49.
Yoruichi Kuukaku was his next character and appeared to all the world as some hentai wet dream with her youthful female Japanese appearance complete with schoolgirl sailor outfits and large lollipops. She quickly befriended Caitlin, the other ‘teenage’ girl in the group, and the two became really annoying to all the other adults. As it turned out, she was a Gemini cyborg, who refused to believe that she wasn’t a ‘real’ girl. (I don’t care what her Humanity score was, this character was ‘cyberpsycho’) By Episode 53 the group discovered that she was actually Yoshi Nakamura, the daughter of the CEO of Nakamura Inc., which was a major Japanese agricorp. He father wanted her back and thought that we had kidnapped and brainwashed her. In Episode 55, she was severely damaged in a firefight, which exposed her mechanical nature. She went screaming off into the combat zone right into a booster gang that killed her, and then stripped her for parts.
Kim Zuikawa was the next sweet little Japanese plaything to be created by this player. She was an assassin that joined us for the ‘hit’ in Balsam, North Carolina. I have never seen a character so perfectly research her target, stalk and set herself up for the kill. By the time we were ready to assassinate the members of the EBM board, she had positioned herself in one of the target director’s bed with him asleep as our attack commenced. Kim choked. A bodyguard entered to hustle the executive out, and even then the GM turned the guard around and gave her a clean surprise attack. Kim did not take the opportunity. After the door closed, she killed the other prostitute that was there, and rushed out into the hall to get her target. Unfortunately, she also ran right into the fire lane of an EBM guard’s assault rifle. The Team found her shot to death, with only a bloody bed sheet covering her nakedness.
Grogg was the next character he came up with. This was an interesting concept. The GM had come up with a blood sport called Bloodbowl from the old Warhammer 40K game, but this ‘sport’ was more like the film, Blood of Heroes. The local team was the Balsam Orks, and their star player was “Grogg”! I can’t do what happened next justice. Read Episodes 59 & 60. Damien eventually ‘put down’ Grogg like the animal he was. Most of the Team executed the rest of the Balsam Orks and then bet against them (through cutouts) for the next game. Wow, that was cold! We have continued the Bloodbowl theme into the New York City Campaign. Most of the ‘new’ Team lives a couple of blocks from the New York franchise’s arena (New York Night Elves). A number of people are playing the same characters, so this might not be over. However, as far as Grogg is concerned, it is, he is dead.
Sasuke is a media that went with LRT-7 on the drive to Las Vegas at the end of the war. Yes, we have a few Naruto fans in the group, but this character has only the name in common. Sasuke remains alive and well working for DMS in Night City.
Colonel Maxwell Steele was an old character brought back for the final assault on Arasaka Tower. The Colonel served as General Pershing’s commander of the third battalion of his mercenary force, but as an experienced and skilled commando, he was chosen to go in with the elite team to bring down the Tower. He was killed in the major firefight of the scenario on sub level ten of the Tower as five 14.5 mm rounds tore into him.
Sayaka Tashiro (“Pinky”) was a Japanese – American tech from Texas that was recruited for Episode 64. She saved half the Team’s lives by jury-rigging the sabotaged watertight doors to close in the rapidly filling underwater base. This character is now in the New York City – Land of Opportunity Campaign.
Eric Hart – One of the Firemen and an Original Group member
Cleo Jane Skye was the name used by my character, Nikita Alexandra Bakunin (Nikki for short). She joined (actually took over leadership of) the Killer Bees for the Shadow War. She faked her death (again) just as the Hot War commenced, and has reappeared as Nicole Victoria Alexander in the New York City – Land of Opportunity Campaign. Nikki sits on the Consortium Council
Caitlin Jones was introduced for Jack Smith’s team in the Hot War starting in Episode 45. This apparently 15-year-old naïve assassin was under a ‘lifetime contract’ to Jack Smith. She was little “Miss Happy Kill” who was convinced that she was the most talented and skilled assassin in the world let the Team know it. As a killer, her skills were far beyond her years. As a person, she was completely socially inept, and seemed oblivious to the simplest interpersonal dynamics. Still, she maintained a bubbly optimistic outlook on life. Opium eventually bought her ‘lifetime contract’ and discovered Cailtlin was actually a biogenetic construct (a human appearing cat/human hybrid) created and programmed as a corporate assassin. Caitlin ended the War, as Opium’s Weaponsmith apprentice in the latter’s factory. It will be interesting to see the effects that living the hedonistic jet set lifestyle of Opium and her fellow band mates of Cheap Sex will have on the impressionable young girl.
Dr. Mariska Benes is the first cyberpunk character I ever created, and I am amazed she has survived this long. She is a member of the Firemen, a dedicated cyberpunk and violent anti-corporate. Her work with Europe 3000 has kept her on Interpol’s Most Wanted List, but her help of the poor and oppressed (especially in Night City with the rest of the Firemen) makes her a hard target to bring down. She appeared in the Shadow War as Rissa Aldecaldo (she spent a good part of her teenage years traveling with that Nomad group), and went in with the Team that brought down Arasaka Tower in Episode 64. The doctor in her name is because of her P.H.D. in Computer Science from Night City University. In the NET she is known as Raggedy Anne after her icon.
Paul Richard was born a French-Canadian, but joined the French Foreign Legion and kept his French citizenship. He is a skilled sniper and jungle warfare expert. I created this character when we did the Chrome Berets Campaign. The man is a pleasant fellow, a good comrade in arms, but a nightmare as an opponent. Paul did Episode 64, survived the War and continues to work out of Night City.
Peter was the first character that Daithi Dubh created when he came back to our gaming group. Peter was one of the original group put together by Jack Smith in North Dakota. As an occidental Shaolin Monk he was a bit of an anomaly for an Edgerunner group, but quickly became the moral force in a team that, to put it charitably, did not suffer from an overabundance of Empathy. He met his end in Episode 56 with quite a few other members of the Team.
Steve Lomax was his next character to join the Team. He was serving with Jack Smith’s security forces during the disaster of Episode 56, and fled with the surviving team members. He helped the Team reform, and provided the local connection the group needed in Balsam, North Carolina where that Team went next. Steve is Daithi Dubh’s principle character in the New York 2026 Campaign. Eventually he takes over Bruce’s Balsam, NC empire and becomes a principle in the Consortium, a group of wealthy political leaders, business people and high level criminals from around the world.
Shamus is the first character Daithi Dubh created when we restarted playing Cyberpunk years ago. He was an original character from the Security Solutions Campaign. Shamus is a world class Netrunner, and became very wealthy during that first campaign. He now teaches at Night City University and has attained his doctorate. He was recruited for Episode 63 and helped bring down Arasaka Tower.
Eli Rubinstein is a Spy and that may not even be his true name. Eli was on Episode 64. Although he provided key information that made the mission a success, the Team ended up distrusting him (and almost killing him). Nobody likes (or trusts) a Spy.
Ted Salonich – One of our principle GMs and writers
Beatrice Laugherty or Bea was one of the original members of the “B” Team, which became known as the Killer Bees. She liked to call it “Bea’s Team” to the minor annoyance of all. Bea was a wild and undisciplined girl. She was the daughter of an agri-corp executive (mother) (see Shadow War Episodes 22 thru 30) and a United States military officer (father)(see Hot War Episode 61). This girl was totally unfit for corporate life and her stint in the army wasn’t much more successful, although she did show great promise as a tank commander, when she wasn’t in the brig. Bea was the kind of person that never saw a bee hive she didn’t want to wack with a stick, or a stogy, self-important fool that she wouldn’t try to drive over the edge. She drank and swore like a sailor (and fucked like one too). Her methods were unorthodox, but she got the job done. Hooking up with a bunch of rowdy sailors from the USS deWert in Aberdeen, Washington during Episodes 5 and 6 gave them a key clue to their mission, and allowed Rose to meet Archie, her future husband. While her antics could get the Team in trouble (Episode 8), there was no one more loyal as a teammate and a friend. She helped Takashi find his courage, and Rose to come out of her shell. Bea attained international fame (or infamy), when she “stole” a job for the Killer Bees that ended up launching the first ortillery strike on United States soil (along with Jose) in Episode 34. She commanded a Merkava Mark IV tank with General Pershing’s mercenary unit in the Hot War. (She had served with that unit in our Liberian Campaign.) When the United States government stepped in, she was offered a choice: arrest, prosecution, and probably execution for the orbital strike, or a commission in the United States Army (courtesy of her father). After the war, General Pershing decided she was too valuable as a tank commander, and kept her in the service. Bea eventually served a full 20 years in the United States Army. She raised a family in Shining Springs, NV.
Senator Thomas “Roy” deChartier only really appeared in NPC mode in this campaign although many of his actions were directed by Ted. He has become a major player in our Cyberpunk world. Roy made his first appearance when we restarted playing Cyberpunk again, and was one of the leaders of Security Solutions. The Senator is also a founder of the Consortium. He and his two primary political allies: Billy Joe Brentwood, who eventually becomes CEO of Petrochem, and Senator (later President) David Whindham, formally with Biotechnica’s Night City office. Yes, this is the same man from Cybergeneration. Although we will be having an alternate future, I have never believed in wasting a good villain.
Edward was recruited when Jack Smith put together his Hot War Team. Edward was actually an escaped clone from a top-secret project. He was NOT quick grown, but still he and his ‘brothers’ became a potential legal liability to their creators. Instead of being terminated, their “instructor” let them flee. Edward was very mission oriented and had the talent to ‘become’ whatever (or whomever) he needed to be for the mission. This was not any kind of Special Ability (like a Spy), but purely a role-playing exercise. His past would have led to some interesting play in the future. (It seems his brothers were disappearing.) Unfortunately, he was killed in Episode 56: Shootout in Jacksville.
Alex Wojak was a member of Jack Smith’s security force, and joined the Team after the debacle of Episode 56. In addition to his combat skills, he was an independent trucker, who had lost his rig. He was also familiar with the Balsam, North Carolina area so proved to be very valuable on the missions in that area. The Team was forced to break up after only a short time in Balsam, but by then he had acquired enough of a stake to purchase a new truck along with Frank Martin. The two now ply the highways of America as independent truckers.
Thomas (the Covert Op) was just there for Episode 63, but has a history. This character was created a while ago for our Chrome Berets Campaign. He is Senator Thomas “Roy” deChartier’s major domo with the Consortium. He had a special mission from the Senator to assassinate Kei Arasaka if the opportunity presented itself. He appears later in the Union City Campaign as Max, and in the Burn Notice Campaign as William Eller.
“Dr. Gordon Freeman” – Original Member of the Killer Bees
Dr. Gordon Freeman was created for the Las Vegas Campaign. He was a teacher at Las Vegas University and worked for the police forensics department. He signed a few autopsies that covered up some murders by the Cacciolo Crime Family. The doctor did it as a favor to a corrupt colleague, but he was unaware that this was part of a criminal conspiracy. Dr. Freeman was not prosecuted for it, but his career was destroyed. He also angered Jesus Menendez during that recent Las Vegas Mob War. These two facts also cost him his job with the University. The doctor is a cybernetics specialist and was recruited for the B-Team (later known as the Killer Bees). During the Ocean War he became associated with the Morrison Square Neighborhood Association, which ran all organized crime in West San Morro area of Night City. His desire to give a “pelvic” examination to any female party member, no matter where she was wounded, creeped out all the women and none would be alone in a room with him. He remained with the Team all through the Ocean and Shadow Wars, but did not follow them when the Killer Bees became LRT-7. The doctor was recruited for Episode 64, and his mini-torpedo launcher became critical in the success of the Hull Island Operation. Doc Freeman appears in the Romanian Campaign, the C.I.A. Blues and the Burn Notice Campaign.
Hisoka was recruited by Jack Smith for his Hot War Team. Hisoka was a genetically engineered “Super Solo”. We ran a campaign about ten years ago, where Arasaka and Biotechnica formed a third company to develop the “Perfect Operative”. They were grown from mostly animal DNA and bred to have no mercy or remorse for anything human. They were truly masterful creations. Of course, they were a complete violation of every genetics law on the books. When the corporate heads realized the danger of creating such a race, they tried to dispose of them. Well, a number got away with some of the key researchers, a lot of money, and all the research to make more of themselves. Hisoka is one of the new models. (They have since developed a fourth generation that are fertile). The “Super Solos” raise money for their “Collective” by renting their skilled warriors out to a select cliental. (Senator Thomas ‘Roy” deChartier has a close relationship with the group and supplies them with much of the materials they need to incubate new members.) Hisoka was killed in Episode 53 in a shootout in Stateline. All evidence (his corpse and any forensics) were cleaned up by an elite team from the “Collective.”
Grave was a custom Alpha cyborg with (usually) a Gemini head. His manner of dress (designed to looks like the Undertaker from WWE wrestling) hides this fact, but makes him even creepier (especially when he takes off his head, so that he can switch it for one of the others that he carries around in a duffel bag). If that isn’t unsettling enough, he also exhales frost every time he “breaths” and has an IR signature, which is colder than ambient temperature. Grave had only a sliver of humanity left, but has, since the end of the War, undergone extensive therapy to pull back from the brink. He survived the Fourth Corporate War and goes on New York City – Land of Opportunity Campaign.
Sarge is a retired General that serves in General Blackjack Pershing’s mercenary unit. He is a full conversion cyborg with a biopod and usually is in an Eclipse. The accident that ended his military career affected his mind and ability to lead. He now prefers to serve a common soldier and refuses all command duties. Sarge is a skilled fighter and a dangerous opponent. He continues to serve with General Pershing’s unit.
Jason Tuttle was introduced during the Chamberlain adventure in Episode 22. As described, Jason was a short and wiry girl crazy pretty boy, who seemed to lack impulse control over his mouth. If his acerbic wit didn’t land him in the hospital, his reckless driving might. He was a local guy from the Chamberlain area, who was best friends with Jose Thomas (see next player), and a new player to the group. One of his first “jobs” was to deliver some furniture. One of the deliveries was to Nikki/Cleo, who was under cover as an exotic dancer named Jane. Well, the two met (with Destecado playing Jane/Cleo). Jason (not knowing that she was a PC hit on her) and a 96% reaction roll got him a date. The romance was short-lived as Jason was gunned down and killed by a young boy in Episode 28. This has led to long term guilt by Nikki, and her secretly helping Jose Thomas, Jason’s best friend, in his career as an Edgerunner. Jose Thomas has no idea that he has this (kind of) guardian angel (or demon depending on your point of view).
Ser was a brief replacement character that closed out the Chamberlain story arc, and returned to Night City with the Killer Bees. On their return to Night City, the Iron Sights gang attacked their neighborhood in Episode 31. In a panic, Ser went running off into the night, and was mowed down.
Louie Lam with his sister Lulu Lam (see second player entry after Jason for details) entered during Episode 32. Louie and his sister were cousins of Rose from Laos. Louie had spent time in the West with his father so was a bit more sophisticated than his sister, but was still a “fish out of water” in the Cyberpunk culture. The young man was adaptable though and flourished unlike sister Lulu. He made it through the rest of the Shadow War and joined LRT-7 (the Killer Bees) for the Hot War. Unfortunately, in Episode 43, he was the only PC (or NPC) in sight when Bea rolled a confirmed botch with the result of “hit a member of your own party) as the result. Since Bea was firing a 120mm main tank gun, the result was disastrous. Louie had used LUCK as a dump stat so his attempt of ameliorating the result to a “glancing blow” failed. Ironically, if he had put an average six in the stat he would have survived. Instead, he became a cloud of red mist.
Azoth was the adopted son of Jack Smith who put together a Hot War team in Episode 45. The young man was a genius with monster tech skills, especially in demolitions and structural engineering. He was also a top remote pilot. His work was instrumental in many of Tex’s Tag Alongs successes. He met his end (along with his father and most of that Team) in Episode 56.
Dr. Leroy Jenkins became his next character. The doctor was serving on Jack Smith’s security force, and found himself out of work with the death of his boss. The Team needed a doctor so he was brought on. Dr. Leroy remained with that Team until it dissolved at the end of Episode 60. He now lives in a moderate zone apartment in the Borough of Queens in New York City with Cliff.
Philip Jackson was Prowler created in Episode 64. He is shy, but apparently competent young man from the Orbitals. Philip is currently involved the Destecado’s New York City – Land of Opportunity Campaign. He survived the first episode and had rented a two-bedroom apartment with Sayaka Tashiro (“Pinky”) in Linden, NJ.
“Jose Thomas” – Skyrocketing to Fame
Jose Thomas was also introduced during the Chamberlain adventure in Episode 22. He was described as “Big as a Beefalo…you know…those cattle/buffalo hybrids; Kinda has the demeanor of one too. He and Jason go way back. After his father’s death (killed in his own gun store), Jason’s family took him in. Jose’s mother had lit out years before, never having wanted a kid.” At first he didn’t approve of Jane (Cleo/Nikki) going out with his friend, Jason, and those two squabbled. They finally got along, but Jason’s death cut his last ties with Chamberlain. An uncharacteristic pang of guilty led Cleo/Nikki to invite him to permanently join the Killer Bees when they returned to Night City. When Cleo faked her death, she made Jose her heir, and he inherited a couple of thousand Euro and her Ford-Mazda Luxus 14. Jose was watching Bea’s back when she called the ortillery strike on the Iron Sights Gang’s headquarters in Episode 34. This made the country boy from South Dakota one of the most wanted men in the country, when his role was discovered by the police (or rather LawDiv). His reputation went really up, when he walked up to a DMS reporter, who was broadcasting live and offered to give an interview. He used the airtime to denounce Militech, which was carried LIVE around the world. This precipitated the Battle of San Morro, which led to Militech being forcibly evicted from Night City proper. Circumstances favored Jose as Arasaka gave him corporate immunity, and a large settlement to tow the corporate line. Instead of staying with the Killer Bees as LRT-7, he used that settlement to buy a full conversion cyborg body, a Gemini. He survived the war and was covered under a general amnesty. He is now in Destecado’s New York City – Land of Opportunity Campaign. Still unknown to him, Nikki continues to help his career, and made sure he got the offer for that Team.
Holden “Big” Johnson was a soldier-solo from General “Blackjack” Pershing’s mercenary unit that was assigned to fill out LTR-7. He continues to serve in that mercenary unit.
Izaac was a hard-bitten solo that was recruited by Jack Smith for his Hot War team. He was a tall, shorthaired man in his late thirties to early forties He carried himself with the assured ease of a seasoned professional. Izaac did well, but made two critical mistakes in San Diego. First, he killed a low level corporate in a bar in the Corporate Zone, and learned that the police DO care, when you kill someone like that. Second, he ran into a gang infested combat zone, and learned that a mob of people can bring down even the toughest meat solo. The lesson wasn’t fatal, but he was in a coma for over a week. Fortunately, he face was so beaten that the police couldn’t recognize him. He survived the shootout in Stateline, but died in Episode 55, when he and Yoshi Nakamura failed to fall back to the rest of the Team after their initial attack. The reaction force hit them and Izaac caught a full clip from a Ronin assault rifle (30 rounds).
Cliff was a black “Rastaman” from Jamaica, who joined the Team right in time for the massacre of Episode 56: Shootout at Jacksville. He fought hard and was one of the few survivors. This scary wolver wielding solo stayed with that team until they broke up. He moved to Queens in New York City where he shares an apartment with Dr. Philip Jackson.
Lulu Lam was the sister of Louie Lam (and cousins of Rose) both of which were introduced in Episode 32. Lulu was from Laos and found the cyberpunk world of Night City a strange, frightening and eventually fatal place. In the fighting during the Siege of Morrison Square, Lulu ventured out a door (against orders) that was being covered by an enemy sniper. She was shot dead through the head.
Leon Glojevich was an ACPA trooper working for General Pershing’s mercenary unit. He joined LRT-7 (the Killer Bees) and served with them on the drive from Night City to Texas. He survived the war and remains in the employ of that mercenary unit.
Airy Massoon was an artist and art thief that was recruited by Jack Smith during the Hot War. While she provided valuable services, she was horrified by the cold-blooded nature of that Team and bowed out. She disappeared soon after her return to San Francisco under mysterious circumstances, but her body was never found. Her fate is unknown.
“Michael Lars Cooper”
Michael Lars Cooper was also known as “Old Grenade Face” due to the hideous scarring that tanked his ATTR. He was an original member of the Killer Bees, but disappeared in the Olympia Forest with Tyree Jones during Episode 4. Tyree and he were separated when they were ambushed by eco-terrorists. Tyree escaped but Lars’ fate remains unknown.
Mike deFevers – An Original Group member and (Jason) one of the Firemen
Rose was one of the original members of the “B” Team (eventually called the Killer Bees). She was a member of one of the last authentic Ninja clans in Japan although her personal history was quite checkered. The player wanted to try to play a mixed race (Japanese/Afro-American) Ninja. Since that was a tough one to justify, I decided to weave that into the published Fourth Corporate War history concerning Kagekaze. Although the character was created for our Liberian Campaign, we knew that the Fourth Corporate War would be next, so the tie in was made then. The disgrace that made Kagekaze commit seppuku was his daughter NOT marrying a member of a cadet branch of the Arasaka family and eloping with a black American military officer instead. Kagekaze’s act saved the daughter and granddaughter’s (Rose’s) lives. The marriage didn’t work out and both mother and daughter returned to Japan. Rose was “officially” accepted but not really. The secret of the disgrace was kept from her. It was also kept from the player who had no idea of this connection. Ted and I fed him another story to explain all of this. The campaign would also be a journey of self-discovery and (hopefully) redemption for both the grandfather and Rose. The young Ninja is now a commissioned first lieutenant in the United States Marines, with a staff job at the Bremerton Navy Base in Washington State where lives with her husband, Archie. She also serves as her clan’s chief assassin in the Pacific Northwest.
General “Blackjack” Pershing was a character created using the character creation rules from Home of the Brave for the Security Solutions Campaign. The rank of general was attained in the Fourth Corporate War, but we still often refer to that character as the “Colonel”. General Pershing mostly appeared in the Meta Game plotting although he did make two combat appearances in Episodes 39 & 61. The General was a firm backer of Arasaka for years due to his hatred of Militech, which was responsible for destroying his company, Lone Star Inc. However, when called to duty by President Kress, his patriotism easily took precedence over his personal feelings, and he prosecuted the battle against his former friends and allies with all his skill and cunning. This man has soaring ambitions for power and intends to become the first cyborg President of the United States or perhaps even greater if he can. Now he serves as commander of all Federal troops at Fort Hood, Texas. His Texan roots makes this acceptable to that Free State, and he has many personal and political supporters there.
Jason Westmoreland was one of the Firemen and served that group as the Team sniper. He assassinated Councilman Saul Morris in Episode 34 and Tank in Episode 35. It was Jason that led the attack on Arasaka Tower in Episode 63. Jason survived the War and remains one of the most feared snipers in the world.
Dr. Michael Smith is the son of Admiral Jane Smith. He made only one appearance in the Fourth Corporate War, and that was as a willing extraction target for the Killer Bees in Episode 38. Dr. Mike is now involved in New York City – Land of Opportunity Campaign.
Lars MacGregor is a former British Army member, who could never seem to make SAS. While he was able to master most of the technical skills required, his poor TECH stat kept him from actually passing the tests required. At the end of his last tour, he went independent. Lars served in Episode 64 of the Fourth Corporate War. He was also now also involved in New York City – Land of Opportunity Campaign.
Sam Hart (my yougest son) as “Takashi Obahoko” – An Original Killer Bee
Takashi Obahoko was a young Netrunner from Japan that had been raised as an orphan in a Shinto Temple. He was from the same Prefecture as Rose and quickly realized what she was. Takashi started out as quite the coward, and living in the Combat Zone drove him to distraction. Bea made it her personal mission to make a man out of him (“grow some balls”), and actually succeeded. Takashi stayed with the Killer Bees right through the end of the Shadow War, but when a member of the Iron Sights booster gang, who had a murderous vendetta against him (from his Life path), moved into the neighborhood, the young Netrunner returned to Japan. Takashi survived the War and continues to work on his theory that the NET is just an extension of the spirit world of the Kami.
Horse was a rough and tumble Nomad that joined the Killer Bees along with Screech during Episode 34. In his own words, he is good at “killing stuff”. Despite this sanguine self-description, Horse was basically a good, decent person ready to help out another with no expectation of reward. This could prove inconvenient to the Team’s aims, when he punched out a “slave catcher” trying to retrieve some “property” (in this case a young woman who begged Horse for help) in an outlaw “Trade Town” in northeastern Nevada. Normally this would be a commendable thing, but part of the Team was in delicate negotiations with elements in that town that would have brought the group a big payday. They had to flee that “town” under a hail of gunfire. Horse remained with the Killer Bees until they became LRT-7 under Blackjack Pershing’s mercenary unit. The military life was not for him.
Roca was an interesting character. “She” was created for the Security Solutions Campaign. I told the group that I would consider letting someone start with a Full Conversion Cyborg, and this player approached with the concept of playing an AI that inhabited a computer in a Cyborg body. Even in 2020, no computer is small enough to do what he wanted so I allowed him an “x-tech” computer that would fit inside. Roca has a couple of bodies and may switch between them as long as she has a NET or radio link between the two. The change is not instantaneous and can be interfered with so “she” has always been careful with this ability. No one knew the truth about this character either in or out of game for a long time. Roca was part of a secret Defense Department Project, and her mind was created using the memory engrams of the chief researcher’s late daughter that he had assembled for another project while teaching at a university. The Defense Department wanted a perfect killing machine (one of her “bodies” is a Dragoon), but in the end, the scientist wouldn’t pervert his greatest work. As he was dying anyway, he arranged for Roca to escape with the aid of one of his former graduate students, and set up an identity for “her”. He then blew up the lab and himself and made it look like everything and everyone was destroyed. Roca much prefers her Gemini body, and is obsessed with finding a way to become fully human (almost a “Data” Complex). “She” has actually acquired an Empathy stat, and now has a life and friends. General “Blackjack” Pershing and her became (and still are) lovers. General Pershing seeks to become more machine, while Roca becomes more human. The General is aware of her true nature, and this will certainly become a major issue as both these characters now have huge international reputations. Roca appeared in Episode 39 & Episode 61. Roca still serves with General Blackjack Pershing’s mercenary unit, but spends a lot of time at Fort Hood where the General is on active duty with the United States Marines.
Longbow is a veteran of the Malagay Campaign (Chrome Berets). He went Borg after that campaign because his flesh body kept getting torn up. Longbow rode with LRT-7 (the Killer Bees) from Episode 41 to Episode 43.
“Tex” – One of the Firemen and an Original Group member
Tex is the principle pistoled of the Team, the Firemen. While he was in the area when the Killer Bees were in Wells, NV during Episodes 35 to 37 they never ran into him. Jack Smith recruited Tex as a PC during the Hot War as the face that the Team was built around. His fame became a problem, as the Team became known as Tex’s Tag Alongs. It became apparent to Tex that he would become the center of all the retaliation for the jobs they were pulling, and he left the group. Tex survived the war, and is still with the Firemen, who are still one of the top Edgerunner Teams in our Cyberpunk World.
Frank Martin came into replace Tex as a player, and to replace Michael as a vehicle specialist. Frank was our transporter (apologies to Jason Statham), and survived the War. He and Alex Wojak bought a tractor-trailer rig and now ply the roads as independent truckers trying to avoid any nasty consequences from working for Jack Smith.
“Tyree Jones” – Our C.I.A. Guy
Tyree Jones is listed as this player’s principle character as it is his oldest with the group, but started the Fourth Corporate War after Alec Ravnor’s death. His actual character name is Sam Fisher and started with us in the Security Solutions Campaign. As Sam he is a principle character in the Romanian Campaign, the C.I.A. Blues and the Burn Notice Campaign. Tyree looks like a twenty something Caribbean mulatto but is actually a middle-aged white man, who retired from the Army as a scout sniper. See Episode 10 for references to his past. He got this biosculpt when he let a media look at classified records of some of the black ops he was on, and the media happened to have a camera eye. A friend in the C.I.A. faked his death, which some in the government wanted for real. After a few years killing for Uncle Sam (again), he was released with this new identity. Tyree, but ended up as Militech’s prisoner after the Team’s betrayal in Episode 13. The C.I.A. swept him up again, and he is now serving his country again doing things no one wants to acknowledge.
Alec Ravnor was one of the original “B” Team that became the Killer Bees. He became the “blown melon” (head) when he kicked the door in of an apartment in a building they had “rented” in the Night City combat zone. Unfortunate as the incident was it did provide a valuable lesson that the Team was not invincible.
James MacDonald joined the Killer Bees during the Chris Carney’s Carnival of Dreams Tour during the Shadow War. He provided muscle during the entire Shadow War, but declined to join with the others who formed LRT-7 during the Hot War. (Here real life intervened as he got a job as an over the road long haul trucker.) James continues to live in Night City in the Killer Bee’s apartment house in the San Morro neighborhood.
Xui” – An old gamer returning
Xui player was an old member of our gaming group that rejoined us during the Hot War. Xui was a heavily modified human with two cyberlegs, one cyberarm, and lots of modifications. So much so that her humanity was .5, yes that was it. About as close to the Edge as you could get. Her stealth skills could not be denied, and she provided valuable service to Jack’s team. A large successful bet against the Balsam Orks provided her with a large sum of money. Xui survived the war, and used the funds to go full conversion borg with lots and lots (and lots) of therapy. As a custom Alpha she has a 3 EMP, now, and could improve that further with more time. For now, she has joined the Team in New York City and is doing Destecado’s New York City – Land of Opportunity Campaign.
There you have it. We had sixteen players off and on over the course of this Campaign. There were fifty-nine characters involved out of which sixteen died and two are officially listed as “missing”.
The three GMs that run our sessions have thought long and hard about where to go after the Fourth Corporate War with our game. Cybergeneration has some interesting ideas, but seems to stray away from “Cyberpunk” and into the realm of a “Kiddy Super Hero Game”. The Incorporated States of America is a good idea, but the whole focus of “evolved kids” verses monolithic “big government” struck most of us as too simplistic. As for V3 (retch), please, NO WAY! As a stand-alone game set a hundred (or many more) years in the future it’s not too bad, but as welded on to the “official” Cyberpunk timeline it just doesn’t cut it.
We have decided that the future should belong to the players of our group, or at least those with an interest in shaping world events. History has an inertia all its own. You can affect it, but you can’t really control it. Rache Bartmoss cannot destroy the NET. He is not god (maybe a minor demi-god), but he is dead. The NET will be saved (see March 2026), and again work will commence on reformatting it so it can grow with the technology. The world will struggle towards a new order. The details of what that will be will be worked out as we go along. For now, we have mapped out some major events for the next eight years. The Mars Revolt of 2027 is based on the scenario from Deep Space. The Firemen did that adventure years ago, so it will occur in this timeline. As you can see, we opted for Martian independence, but did not go any farther than that. David Whindham will (probably) become President of the United States, and the country will head in the direction of an Incorporated States of America. As to whether it gets there or not, that will depend on a lot of factors. We will just have to see.
As you can see, Yorinobu Arasaka will challenge his father (and win) for control of Arasaka. His body will be cloned by Spider, the doctor of the Firemen, and his Soulkiller stolen mind will be downloaded by Dr. Mariska Benes of that same group. What is left of Arasaka (after the dust settles) will be under Yorinobu’s control, and that corporation will become a model of responsible corporate capitalism. They will be no less dangerous, but “Big Black” will become more of the “good guy” in the world. The fate of Militech is yet to be determined, but General Lundee is a broken man. There is a lot of room for unscrupulous people to take advantage (in a Cyberpunk world? Really?). We shall see what happens with that.
So, here is our proposed timeline of (some) major events for our next eight years:
2025: November: End of the Fourth Corporate War
2026:February: Saburo Arasaka arrested (house arrest) in Japan. The United States and the EU both issue extradition warrants. Japan considers them.
March: The Magnificent Curtis finishes successfully leading a horde Netwatch personnel, corporate programmers and outlaw hackers to put down the “Super Virus” released by Rache Bartmoss at his death. NET communications are safely reopened and enough uncorrupted data had been saved to restore the system. A worldwide project is started to update the NET to make sure nothing like this happens again. (This will represent our rewrite of the NET rules, which is (very) slowly being worked on.
April: The United States and the EU agree to give the US first crack at Saburo in spirit of international good will. Actually, United States has information on complicity of Euro Bank in the Ocean War, and trades it for support.
May Just before Japan announces Saburo Arasaka’s extradition to the United States, Saburo’s coup overthrows Japan’s Prime Minister. Japanese SDF navy sails from ports and refuses to recognize new government. The United States mobilizes for war against Arasaka. In a rare show of international cooperation, both the EU and Russia move to provide the United States with logistical support. (With the fervent hope that they bleed themselves dry in the process.) As the Arasaka controlled Diet is about to confirm Saburo as the new “Shogun”, the Emperor appears before the Diet and denounces the aging patriarch of the Arasaka clan. An angry loyal “samurai” of Saburo’s personal guard kills the Emperor in front of the Diet. A spontaneous rebellion erupts. Saburo’s denials of involvement and his immediate execution of the assassin do not save him. A general strike cripples Japan’s already shattered economy. He tries to seize the Imperial Family but the Imperial Guard holds the palace long enough for them to escape. The Emperor’s daughter claims the throne, as the late Emperor had no son, and endorses Admiral Hattori as acting Prime Minister. Saburo declares the new Empress’s accession illegal and tries to claim the Imperial mantle through an ancient marriage link to the old Imperial family. Arasaka security forces try to ruthlessly suppress the general strike. The use of Arasaka’s foreign mercenaries as shock troops outrages the Japanese people, and fighting erupts all over the country. Violence becomes so bad; Saburo must call in the ground forces of the SDF. They refuse to fire on their own people, turn and declare loyalty to the new Empress. Arasaka forces waiver, and at that moment Yorinobu Arasaka appears publicly to denounce his father’s actions and calls on all corporate employees to support the new Empress. Those who remain loyal to Saburo Arasaka are cut to pieces. Foreigners in Arasaka’s service, who fired on the strikers are ruthlessly hunted down and executed. Those that flee to their own countries are often returned and executed.
June: Saburo is captured, tried and publicly beheaded by Admiral Hattori. His head is sent to President Elizabeth Kress “to express the profound apologies of the Japanese people.” The United States military stands down from its prepared attack on Japan. Arasaka is banned from doing business on United States soil for two years as the issue of reparations and ownership of former Arasaka facilities are worked out. Arasaka’s worldwide holdings fragment. All of their facilities in the EU that were nationalized are permanently seized, and sold off to Euro corporations without compensation leading to a continuing hostility between Japan and the EU. All South American holdings spin off to a former Arasaka subsidiary, Amazonian Security. Negotiations between Arasaka Japan and Amazonian Security drag on for several years. Arasaka forces in Western Australia are nationalized officially, but those corporate offices actually just become an official arm of the government. Negotiations between the government of West Australia and Arasaka Japan quickly result in an agreement that fills the latter’s corporate coffers with much needed capital. Arasaka’s African operations declare their corporate independence under the name of the Orochi Resource Group (ORG). Many of their leadership were close personal associates of Kei Arasaka and refuse to deal with Yorinobu Arasaka. Arasaka Japan cuts off the Orochi Resource Group from all replacement parts and ammunition.
July: O’Neill Two’s (the Galileo Station) government promulgates its Declaration of the Rights of Sentient Life. It grants AI’s equal rights with humans and ends all debate as to the rights of Full Conversion Cyborgs. Sentience of a species or group NOT biology becomes the basis of citizenship. Most Earth bound religious leaders decry the Declaration, but many governments agree to honor the citizenships that will be granted by O’Neill Two (the Galileo Station). Diplomatic negotiations commence to work out the details. Within a year Iceland, New Zealand, Singapore, Switzerland and the remaining independent O’Neill adopt the Declaration, and a number of other countries start to consider similar measures.
2027: Revolt on Mars. Both NASA and EU colonies overthrow their governments and form the Martian Republic (with the assistance of the Firemen). The independent O’Neills immediately recognize the new government. The United States and the EU form up a joint venture to put down the Mars revolt. NASA sends its new carrier, the USS Lexington, and the gunship USS Constellation, and the EU sends its new gunship, the EUS Strasbourg (the largest space vessel ever built) under command of French admiral Daynes to suppress the Martian rebellion.
2028: Repeated provocations by American nomad groups along the Texas boarder forces the tottering Mexican government to demand that Texas rein in these groups or face reprisals. The nomads’ grievances (besides the memory of the Long Walk) are based on repeated attacks by “bandits” on their people. These bandits are more often than not members of the poorly paid Mexican Army. The Federal government in Washington empowered by its successes in the Fourth Corporate War sees this as an opportunity to end Texas’ Free State status, and insists that Texas comply with Mexico’s demands. Texas refuses, and the United States cuts off military support. General Eddington resigns as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff in protest, and declares his candidacy for President of the United States under the Republican Party’s banner. The Mexican Army backed up by disaffected former members of Militech, who refused to comply with General Lundee’s reorganization after the Fourth Corporate War, invade Texas. With their back to the wall, Texas accedes to Federal demands to give up its Free State status and rejoin the union. Some of this is covered in the Union City Campaign.
October: The combined US and EU fleet is defeated as the try to enter Mars orbit. The Martians have built two smaller gunships of their own. The USS Constellation and the EUS Strasbourg are destroyed. The USS Lexington is captured. The Lexington is repaired and renamed the MSS Aries. The Martian Republic now has the largest single fleet in the solar system. Russia recognizes the new entity and promises aid. The EU and the United States fall to bickering about responsibility for the debacle. Mars announces preparations for a space assault on both EU and United States holdings in the “dark”.
November: The former General Eddington and his running mate, David Windham, defeat Roger Hargrove, President Elizabeth Kress’ former VP, who was running to succeed her.
2029: President Eddington recognizes the Martian Republic and restores cycler service to Mars. The second cycler ship is put into service later that year. The EU refuses to recognize the Martian Republic, but agrees to a cease-fire. Mars cancels its offensive against the United States and the EU. It was a bluff anyway. The Martian Republic is barely hanging on.
The EUS Aachen (sister ship to the destroyed EUS Strasbourg) is launched, and construction of the third ship in this class, the EUS Roma, begins.
2030: O’Neill Two (the Galileo Station) at the L-3 point announces its intention to move to the Martian L1 point using its new stabilizing engines. These recently installed engines are far bigger than necessary for maintaining position at the less than stable L-3 point. EU objections are muted as the United States and Russia announce support for the move after the Martian Republic and the Galileo Station announce a treaty bringing the O’Neill into the Republic. Galileo Station begins its journey that fall.
Space faring terrestrial powers immediately fall to bickering over possession of L-3 point in the earth-moon system abandoned by the Galileo Station
2031: “A disaffected family member of an officer who died on the Martian debacle” assassinates President Eddington in August. Vice President David Whindham becomes President of the United States. United States corporations fall in line behind now President Whindham, and an economic boom grips the country.
Russia launches its second gunship, the Gagarin. The EU proposes a moratorium on construction of new space warships to be followed by a conference starting the next year to discuss space disarmament. Russia and Japan agree, but President Whindham insists the EU suspend construction on the EUS Roma or allow the United States to construct a replacement for the lost USS Constellation. He even offers to suspend construction on the United States’ new carrier, the USS Yorktown, which is nearing completion. The EU refuses, and insists the United States adhere to the same conditions that Japan and Russia agreed to. Against President Whindham’s wishes the Senate refuses to fund the new gunship, and cuts funds for the USS Yorktown, slowing its completion.
2032: The Carbon Plague erupts in Night City after an AV crashes and releases the pathogen. The situation soon becomes too much for NorCal to handle as its spreads east and across the Pac Rim. NorCal teeters on the brink of collapse. President David Whindham mobilizes the government to fight this new plague and secures the cooperation of most developed countries. By August the CDC has produced a cure and a vaccine to prevent it. By Presidential order the formula for the cure and vaccine are distributed free of charge to all the governments and corporations of the world. President Whindham is hailed as a wise and compassionate world leader.
Despite opposition from the Senate, the USS Yorktown is launched in October, but budgetary considerations keep it from being fully operational until the middle of the next summer.
President Whindham is overwhelmingly reelected for his own first term. The Republicans gain control of the Senate.
2033: Galileo Station arrives at Martian L-1 point (in Sun-Mars system). Its large engines allow the station to maintain its position. Scientists and Earthbound governmental officials realize that Mars now has enough of a population, technical expertise, and orbiting factories to be self-sufficient from Earth. The Martian Republic announces the construction of Unity City.
The EUS Roma, the third ship in this class is launched, and construction of the EUS Orleans, begins in secret. Two months later, in a move that shocks the world, the EU launches a huge space carrier, the EUS Charlemagne, from its test bed platform at the L-2 point. It dwarfs every vessel in existence. Construction commences on another ship of the same class. Russia and Japan drop out of the Space Disarmament Talks as the EU announces its intent to “spread its influence” (and control) to all parts of the solar system. A space armament race begins.