Cyberpunk settings are very interesting to me, they're usually described as a depressive future where technology helps to make humanity even worse, as in: A world where the ever-advancing tech doesn’t make things better for people and instead makes it worse.
I've been gaining more and more interest in them, and before I realized I had started to make a story about one. This is technically the first time I post anything I write, so criticism is welcome.
Also, a disclaimer: Just because it has Cyberpunk on the name it doesn't mean it's the same thing as an already existing videogame/tabletop. Those guys were the first to use the name as part of their product. Cyberpunk is a setting, not just a specific game or thing.
It’s been hours now. Hours since he’s been waiting here inside his friend’s car and he can feel his nerves rise with every second that passes.
It’s just for a job he said. It should only take a couple of minutes he said. He’s been inside for an eternity and he’s still not out.
He’s tried everything now, taking deep breaths, trying to focus on the music that loudly blasts from the car’s radio… Heck, even tried counting sheep of all things.
He just has a feeling that something is bound to go wrong.
For what seems to be the umpteenth time today he checks his handgun, looking through the car’s windows for anything out of place, for anyone out of place. Looking at the people passing by, the boys and girls with gang colors, then looking around to make sure no one’s focusing too much on the car.
Using the cybernetic enhancements on his eye, he zooms onto the building his friend entered and, after a couple of minutes of doing nothing but staring, he checks his watch one more time.
Everyone always asks him Why do you even have a watch? Don’t you have a robot eye that can tell the time and more? It’s a fashion thing, besides, it gives him more stuff to do when he’s nervous, like right now.
“…C’mon Rico” He mumbles to himself “What the hell is taking so-”
“Hands where I can see ‘em, Punk.” A gruff voice stops him cold.
He jumps, but does nothing. Whoever it is probably has a gun pointed at him, so he just carefully drops his gun and turns his head as slowly as possible to try and take a better look at the man behind.
As soon as he does though, the fear goes away.
“Oh for crying out loud…” The man, his friend, doesn’t even try to hide his amusement and laughs loudly.
“You should have seen your face!” He says, in between laughs “The perfect expression Eddie!”
Eddie turns around on his seat “The hell’s your problem Rico!?” he says through gritted teeth “You wanna give me a heart attack!?”
Rico tries, and fails, to stop laughing. “Sorry man, couldn’t stop myself” He says. “You look like you were begging for someone to mess with you, so I did!”
“Yeah, I was begging for that. Thank you very much” Eddie responds, completely deadpan.
Rico laughs even louder, before speaking. “You my friend, need to laugh more”
“Get in the car before I shoot you”
He snorts “Yeah right”
Eddie fixes himself properly on his seat, as he waits for Rico to get in. Once Rico settles in the driver’s seat Eddie finally asks “What took you so long…” He looks at his watch once more “You’ve been there for years”
“Business” Replies Rico, while turning on the car.
Eddie sighs as the familiar sounds of the car’s engine fill his ears. It’s always the same thing with you he thinks.
Finally, as Rico starts driving, he says to his friend “Please tell me it was actually business and you weren’t sniffing something while I waited like a moron”
His friend snorts “Heh. That was only one time”
“I’ve sat on your stupid car for three hours with your god-awful music playing nonstop, please tell me you actually got something out of this.” Eddie retorts.
“Hey, I thought you liked metal!” He complains.
“Yeah, I like metal, not whatever the hell this is!” Eddie says “It feels like the lead singer is trying to choke himself to death with the microphone!”
As if cued, the song on the radio picks up, the singer making a shrill scream that grates even on Rico’s ears. Eddie gestures to the radio, as if saying ‘See?’, before muting it. Silence fills the car for a moment.
Rico mutters dejectedly, low enough to not be heard “…Uncultured swine”
He doesn’t let his friend continue “Do we actually have a job this time?”
His friend sighs “Yeah we do. We’re driving there right now” He says.
“Wait, right now?” Eddie says, eyebrows raised “We’re not even going to pick our stuff?”
“Chill. I got something on the trunk for these cases” Rico waves his right hand around, dismissing Eddie’s complaints. He turns the radio on again, it’s still metal, but this time it’s something less heavy.
“Our new boss wants us to pick something up for him” He says, turning at an intersection “Y’know we’re in Viper turf, right? Our job is to take something that was stolen from ‘em”
The Vipers are one of the many gangs of the city, one of the few ones that matter, as in “one of the big boys” of the city. Important enough for everyone normal to be scared of them and for everyone in their line of work to not want to mess with them.
They themselves were guns for hire, willing to do anything (with exceptions) and capable of everything! (according to Rico).
Which is why Eddie can’t help but ask…
“Why is it that they want us, of all people, to take back their stuff?”
They were, after all, small fish. Small enough to not be the go-to group if a gang needed something, so why is it they get the job?
His answer is a snort “We’re not taking it back to the Vipers we’re-”
“Please don’t tell me we’re stealing from them”
“Hell no” His friend immediately replies, head snapping to lock at him as soon as his own words leave his mouth.
“Eddie please, I’m not suicidal” Rico raises a finger and before Eddie can say anything else, he adds: “I am stupid, but not suicidal”
He was liking this job even less.
“You heard about the Strays attacking the Vipers?” His friend took his silence as a chance to continue explaining “Last week they stormed one of their houses and took something from them” He says.
The Strays are another gang in the city, they have the numbers but are smaller than the Vipers in terms of power. Wild and unpredictable too, in a badly written story they would probably be the gang inexplicably made out of drug addicts (and sometimes it feels like they are) if not for the fact their ‘mysterious’ leaders are actually competent, using their many drug crazed gangers as bullet sponges.
They’re always looking to cause trouble, which is what’s bound to happen when your gang is made out of people who have gunk for brains.
“What kind of something?” Eddie asks, finally curious about their new job “Guns? Money?”
“A generator, which is what our boss wants to take” Rico responds, taking a moment to open the glovebox and take out a pack of cigarettes, he takes one out and puts the box back.
“…A generator.” Says Eddie, grabbing a lighter from the glovebox and helping to lit his friend’s cigar.
“Thanks.” Says Rico, inhaling some of the smoke, as he proceeds to explain their current job to him.
Their employer had bought the generator from the Vipers, but before the Vipers could give it to him the Strays decided to break into the place that just so happened to have it and steal it, probably thought they were being cheeky, adds Rico, they’re always like that.”
As Rico lets the smoke from his cigarette out of his mouth, a small cloud of smoke filling the air, he continues.
“Our job is to take it back, and to shoot every mean son of a bird that tries to stop us” He continues.
“Alright, first, a generator? Really?” Eddie retorts “Second, it’s the Vipers, they’re more than capable of taking their stuff back, so why are we doing it for them?” they’re capable of taking it back and more, but he didn’t say that last part.
“It’s not about them being capable- Hold on” Responds Rico, making a stop at a red light.
“It’s not about them being capable, or about them being able to kick the Strays’ asses back and forth” He continues. “We’re doing this because they themselves don’t care about the boss’ generator, or at least he’s not on the list of priorities”
Eddie raises an eyebrow at Rico, gesturing him to continue explaining.
“The Vipers don’t care that our boss was shafted, they care that they got screwed over by the Strays of all people” He takes a deep drag from his cigarette.
“Our boss wants us to take the generator back before the gangs make a bigger deal out of it” He stops for a moment, taking the cigarette out of his mouth and tapping it lightly to get rid of the ashes. The red light turning green as he does so.
“Over a generator? In a city that pretty much never runs out of power?” Eddie just has to ask. His friend answers while moving the car again. Eddie realizes they’ve been driving for a while now.
“Not over the generator, the generator was part of a deal, a Viper deal, which was ruined when Strays started messing around and, the general Viper mentality is to exterminate with extreme prejudice whoever dares to slight them” Answers Rico.
“They’re royally pissed off and likely to escalate” Rico takes another drag from his cigarette. “Our boss wants someone to take the generator before the Vipers start fucking up everyone’s day. When that happens, the cops get involved, arrest everyone and he doesn’t get what he paid for”
He turns to Eddie, an honest smile on his face.
“That’s where we come in”
“I can see it” Eddie’s finally placing it all together, before turning to his friend, a small smile on his face.
“Also, extreme prejudice?” He asks. “Do you even know what that means?”
His friend scoffs “’Course I do, I read stuff.”
“…Do you really?”
He can’t help but laugh a little “Won’t the Vipers be pissed at us if we take the generator though?” He asks, now looking at the road, realizing they’re somewhere around the Stray’s territory. That was fast.
“Nnnope.” His friend starts, shaking him out of his thoughts “Boss man cleared it up with the Viper boss, so long as we just look for the generator and tell his boys what we’re doing, we won’t get shot while looking of it”
That one was a surprise. “Wait, our client. Knows and is on speaking terms with the Viper’s leader?” He asks.
“Yup.” Rico answers, amusement clear on his voice, he was obviously waiting for him to ask that “Boss man is a big ol' client of the Vipers”
So, someone important and big enough for the Vipers to care enough to talk to him.
He was, most definitely, liking this job less and less…
His friend takes one last puff from his cigarette before throwing it out the car’s window. “We’re here” He says.
Eddie was focused on the conversation, so focused that he didn’t notice Rico had already parked on an alley, checking his wristwatch again, he realizes it’s five in the afternoon; the sun’s starting to set. Rico gets out of the car as Eddie checks the time, before he eventually picks himself up and leaves the car too.
An extra thanks to @gertu13 , because without her insistence I wouldn't have posted this here.
Again, criticism is extremely welcomed, my goal is to improve my writing as much as possible.