Bonus chapter: Isabella Bykov
by Hugo Klopp
“And remember: you are corporate property. Corporate property is meant to serve clients. Corporate property is expendable. If you have a problem with that, you can go back to wiping asses at the hospital, doctor Meyer.”
Sergeant Baker had always liked to scare new Trauma Team™ personnel before their first ride, a half smile on his grizzled face. Now he was sitting in his own blood, his back on a white wall which would have been impeccable were it not for a few shining red dots on an Arasaka logo. His visor was open and his eyes were visible, though they did not move. His mouth was trembling and forming unintelligible words, but it made no sound. Guess that’ll teach the prick about being corporate property, thought corporal Bykov, the team’s weapons specialist. The Trauma Team™ medic and engineer had both found cover after the first bursts of fire had come from the end of the translucent corporate corridor. Their AV4 - a flying, armored vehicle - was scheduled to pick up the four paramedics shortly. Isabella Bykov’s heart was beating quickly; her job was dangerous with high death rates, but I never knew a big-mouthed asshole like him could die that quickly. On her left was a small open space that led to double glass doors; on her right, a tinted glass door was indicated as the entrance to a back stairway.
“Going for the black door,” said Bykov through the comms. “Stay put.”
She bolted towards the door and had no trouble shattering it. She found herself facing a set of grey, concrete stairs and jumped down to another floor. The ground cracked as she landed with a heavy, metallic sound. She opened a door and ran a few meters forward in the middle of an AV parking lot bathed in blue morning light. The entrance to the parking lot was 6 meters tall, and was as wide as the colossal building itself. Through it, one could see Night City’s thousands of office buildings and dozens of broadcast towers. Isabella noted the presence of a black, paramilitary issue of a Militech AV4 that was parked farther away. She took out her tech rifle, also a Militech issue. It could pierce through anything - except, of course, Militech’s own crowd control and military-grade vehicles. Corporal Bykov activated her infrared eyes and looked at the ceiling, waiting for her targets’ silhouettes to appear.
“I’m one floor below you,” said Isabella over the comms. “I’ll cover you from down here, shoot them through the ceiling. Now go. That’s an order.”
As the heat signatures of her colleagues sprung out of cover, she began shooting quick and precise bursts; enemy figures’ limbs were torn out and heads blown to bits as the sound of her shots echoed through the parking lot.
“Targets down,” said doctor Meyer on a secure radio channel, “Sergeant Baker died of a severe internal injury, extraction costs unreasonable.”
“Got it. Keep going forward, I’ll stay down here and cover you.”
She looked around the immense ceiling, searching for heat. Farther away and on top of her a few silhouettes stood; one was tied to a chair. Bykov made her way through the parking lot.
“Turn right. Keep going. Keep going. Door on your left; looks like Mr. Nakamura.”
She positioned herself directly under the armed figures, and aimed at the client. Once the rest of the Trauma Team™ had burst into the room and started shooting, she pierced Nakamura’s throat with a few rounds, then waited for the shooting to end. She heard screams and gunfire for a few seconds, then all went silent. She heard the engineer’s voice crackling through her comms device.
“F… fuck, Corporal. Client’s dead and I’m… I mean I don’t think I’m gonna make it.”
“Just wait for me.”
She ran back through the AV parking lot, jumped up the stairs and strode through to the immense, bloody room. In front of its open doors, Arasaka security men in white corporate armor lay dead, along with masked, heavily augmented corpses. Inside, Mr. Nakamura’s body lay on the ground, still strapped to an imposing corporate chair. His throat had been reduced to meaty bone. Three masked men in grey overalls had been shot close to him, one of which with incendiary ammo that had burned his head from the inside out. The Trauma Team™’s medic’s spine had been broken in half with incredible strength, and the engineer was supporting himself on a towering, dark brown desk in the middle of the room, his blood spreading on dozens of loose sheets of paper. The room was lit by a four inch high, twenty feet long aperture behind the desk. The rising sun pierced the heavy, dusty air in a delicate and calculated line. The engineer chuckled.
“I wish I was rich, corporal, so TT’d… hehe… ‘extract’ me.”
Isabella softly took off the man’s helmet to uncover his resigned, yet amused face. She took out a vibroblade and effortlessly ran it through his face, piercing his eye and blending his brain. His body fell down, hit the floor with a soft, fleshy noise. Not much metal in this one. Isabella took out a small, chromed device, placed it on Nakamura’s corpse and left the room. As she closed the door, all organic matter within the room started to melt. Her breath was short and her head was boiling. She went through her contact list in her in-brain phone, then called ‘’Mr. B.’’. A cold, masculine voice answered.
“What is it, Miss Bykov?”
“Please tell me nobody has footage of that.”
“Nobody but me.”
“That’s... good to hear. So what now?”
“You did good. Really good. Welcome to Militech, Agent Bykov.”