Ellie V and the Valkyries 4 (Soloing ChatGPT 3.5)


This session was the first one where I started to really notice some strange glitches in the story that ChatGPT was refereeing for me. They're minor, and easy to navigate around, but they were still odd. It amazes me how well it gets 95% of the Cyberpunk 2020 slang I use. It did think when I was asking about an iron (firearm) that I meant an actual iron (clothes iron) which was funny, but not unreasonable.

But hey, the only kind of glitches that would really be a problem with a game like this are those where the character's actions are taken entirely out of my hands and/or anything that results in instant death. Haven't had any of those yet, and actually I was really impressed with the twists and turns that were present in this session. The whole Seraph going silent subplot took me completely by surprise, but it seems almost as if ChatGPT had it planned in the narrative all along.

Anyway, transcript follows:

Me: How long do I sleep? What's going on when I wake up? How long do I have before the gig at The Rusty Nail?

You sleep for a solid eight hours, waking up feeling refreshed. As you glance at your smartphone, you see a few missed calls and messages. The time is mid-morning.

Rolling a 20-sided die to gauge the urgency of the missed calls and messages: (Roll: 13)

The messages are from your bandmates and Coyote, the fixer. They seem to be coordinating details for the upcoming gig at The Rusty Nail. It appears you have a bit of time before the gig starts.

What's your next move, Ellie V?

Me: I check the news on my phone. Are they talking about the upcoming gig at The Rusty Nail yet?

Checking the news on your phone, you find that there's already some buzz about The Valkyries' upcoming gig at The Rusty Nail. The local music scene is abuzz with anticipation, and fans are speculating about what surprises the band might have in store.

Rolling a 20-sided die to gauge the overall coverage and excitement: (Roll: 15)

The coverage is positive, and there's a sense of excitement building around the gig. What's your next move, Ellie V?

Me: I check my phone. Is there a diner nearby?

Yes, there's a local diner not too far from Axia's place. It's a popular spot known for its hearty breakfasts and quick service.

Rolling a 20-sided die to gauge the overall quality of the diner: (Roll: 17)

The diner is well-regarded, and it seems like a good place to grab a bite before tackling the day. What's your plan, Ellie V?

Me: What's the name of the place?

The diner is called "Neon Griddle." It's a classic spot in Night City known for its vibrant atmosphere and delicious comfort food.

What's your next move, Ellie V?

Me: Alright, I hope on my Yamaha and head over to the Neon Griddle.

You rev up your Yamaha Rapier and hit the streets of Night City, the familiar hum of the motorcycle beneath you. The city pulses with energy as you navigate the crowded streets, neon lights reflecting off the chrome and glass of the towering buildings.

Arriving at Neon Griddle, you park your motorcycle and step into the lively diner. The aroma of sizzling bacon and fresh coffee fills the air. The place is bustling with a mix of locals and night owls grabbing breakfast.

What's your plan at the Neon Griddle, Ellie V?

Me: I'm going to scope the place as I head in. What's it look like inside?

The Neon Griddle has a retro-futuristic vibe with neon lights casting a warm glow over the chrome and plastic decor. The walls are adorned with vintage music posters, and a jukebox in the corner plays a mix of classic and contemporary tunes. The chatter of patrons and the sizzle of the grill create a lively atmosphere.

Rolling a 20-sided die to gauge the overall ambiance: (Roll: 14)

The atmosphere is vibrant, and it seems like a popular spot for both locals and those passing through. What's your next move, Ellie V?

Me: So it's a nice place? No trouble to get into here, huh?

That's correct. Neon Griddle seems like a relaxed and welcoming spot. There's no sign of trouble, and patrons are engrossed in their meals, conversations, and the overall diner ambiance. It's a safe and comfortable place to grab a meal.

What would you like to do at Neon Griddle, Ellie V?

Me: Alright, I sit at the bar and take a menu. what are the specials on the menu?

The friendly bartender hands you a menu with a smile. The specials for today at Neon Griddle include:

Rocket Fuel Omelette: Packed with spicy chorizo, jalapeños, and pepper jack cheese.
Chrome Pancake Stack: Fluffy pancakes topped with chrome-colored syrup and a dollop of whipped cream.
Streetwise Scramble: Scrambled eggs mixed with sautéed vegetables and a touch of Night City spice.
Synthwave Smoothie: A refreshing blend of tropical fruits with a hint of synth-enhanced flavor.
Rolling a 20-sided die to gauge the overall quality of the specials: (Roll: 16)

The specials seem promising, and the aroma from the kitchen is mouth-watering. What's your order, Ellie V?

Me: How many eddies is the omelette?

The Rocket Fuel Omelette is priced at 12 eddies. A bit on the higher side, but given the reputation of Neon Griddle, it seems like a worthwhile choice.

What's your order, Ellie V?

Me: How many eddies I got on me?

You check your wallet and find that you currently have 60 eddies on you.

What's your next move, Ellie V?

Me: I order the omelette. While I'm waiting for it, I check my phone to see if there's anything I can do to get some quick cash. Sounds like I'm running low on eddies. Or do I have some hidden away somewhere still?

While waiting for your Rocket Fuel Omelette, you check your phone for potential gigs or opportunities to earn some quick cash. As you browse through messages and notifications, you remember that you have a small stash of eddies hidden away in a secure location at Axia's place. It's a safety net for emergencies.

Rolling a 20-sided die to gauge the success of finding a quick gig: (Roll: 14)

You come across a message from a local club owner looking for a performer for a short set tonight. The pay isn't extravagant, but it could provide a boost to your eddies.

What's your plan, Ellie V?

Me: How many eddies are in my stash at Axia's place?

Your stash at Axia's place contains 50 eddies. It's a modest but reliable backup fund.

What's your next move, Ellie V?

Me: Are there any quick gigs that are risky? Gigs that don't involve playing music? I'm itching for some action.

You scan through the available gigs, and one catches your eye. It's a request from a fixer named "Ripper." The message is cryptic but intriguing, mentioning the need for someone with your skills for a discreet task. The pay is higher than usual, but the details are sparse.

Rolling a 20-sided die to gauge the level of risk involved: (Roll: 17)

The message hints at a high-risk job, potentially involving more than just playing music. It seems like the kind of gig that could get your adrenaline pumping.

What's your decision, Ellie V?

Me: I'm going to contact Ripper after I eat. I need more deets.

After savoring your Rocket Fuel Omelette at Neon Griddle, you decide to contact Ripper for more details about the intriguing gig. You finish your meal, pay the bill, and make your way outside.

Rolling a 20-sided die to gauge the promptness of Ripper's response: (Roll: 12)

Ripper responds fairly promptly, providing an encrypted location for a face-to-face meeting. It seems they value discretion.

What's your next move, Ellie V?

Me: I can respect that. I hop on my Yamaha and head to the meeting place. Do I have an iron on me?

As you hop on your Yamaha and make your way to the meeting place, you check your inventory. You do have a small, concealable iron on you, a practical tool for various situations.

What's your approach as you ride to the meeting place, Ellie V?

Me: What are the specs on the iron?

The small concealable iron you have is a Cyberpunk 2020 gadget rather than a traditional iron for clothes. It's a versatile tool often used for melting or cutting through certain materials, making it useful for a variety of situations. It's compact and easily fits into a pocket or bag.

Rolling a 20-sided die to gauge the overall functionality of the iron: (Roll: 15)

The iron is in good working order, ready for whatever task you might have in mind.

What's your plan upon arriving at the meeting place, Ellie V?

Me: Do I have a gun on me?

Yes, you carry a small, reliable pistol. It's a common choice for self-defense in Night City.

What's your approach as you arrive at the meeting place, Ellie V?

Me: Can you give me the specs on the gun?

The pistol you carry is a Militech M-10AF Lexington. It's a compact and reliable firearm, favored for its accuracy and ease of use. The M-10AF is chambered for 9mm rounds and has a moderate magazine capacity. It's a popular choice among those navigating the dangerous streets of Night City.

Rolling a 20-sided die to gauge the overall condition of the pistol: (Roll: 18)

The M-10AF is well-maintained and in excellent working condition.

What's your plan as you approach the meeting place, Ellie V?

Me: I'm going to exude confidence. I'm going to look cocky and act like my reputation precedes me.

Confidently, you ride your Yamaha to the meeting place, making a deliberate entrance. As you dismount, you adjust the strap of your guitar case, and your electric presence exudes the rockstar aura that comes with being Ellie V. Your reputation as a charismatic and daring figure in Night City precedes you.

Rolling a 20-sided die to gauge the impact of your confident approach: (Roll: 16)

Your entrance doesn't go unnoticed. The surroundings fall quiet for a moment as people take notice of your presence.

What's your next move, Ellie V?

Me: How many people are at the meeting place where I'm meeting Ripper?

As you scan the meeting place, you notice a handful of people scattered in the area, but it's not crowded. There are about six individuals, each seemingly minding their own business. It's a mix of locals and a couple of individuals who give off a more professional vibe.

What's your approach, Ellie V?

Me: Do I see Ripper?

At first glance, you don't spot anyone who stands out as Ripper. The individuals in the area seem to be going about their own business. It's possible Ripper is waiting for you inside a nearby establishment or in a less conspicuous spot.

What's your next move, Ellie V?

Me: Is there a park bench nearby?

Yes, there's a park bench not too far from where you stand. It seems like a relatively quiet spot where you could wait or observe without drawing too much attention.

What's your plan, Ellie V?

Me: I'm going to sit on the bench, pull out my guitar and start playing a few chords from Electric Vixen.

You confidently take a seat on the park bench, pull out your guitar, and start strumming the chords of Electric Vixen. The familiar melody rings out, drawing a few curious glances from passersby. Your impromptu performance adds a touch of your signature chaos to the atmosphere.

Rolling a 20-sided die to gauge the impact of your performance: (Roll: 14)

The energy of Electric Vixen captures the attention of those nearby, subtly shifting the atmosphere. A couple of individuals seem intrigued, while others go about their business, seemingly uninterested.

As you play, you keep an eye out for any signs of Ripper or anything out of the ordinary.

What's your next move, Ellie V?

Me: I'm going to noodle out a new more riffs on my guitar to see if Ripper shows up. I'm going to play the songs loose and casual, more calm than chaotic.

As you transition into a more casual and improvisational style, you continue to play your guitar, weaving new riffs into the melody. The atmosphere becomes more relaxed, and your performance takes on a different vibe.

Rolling a 20-sided die to gauge the impact of your casual performance and if Ripper makes an appearance: (Roll: 10)

Your casual playing maintains the interest of those around, but there's no immediate sign of Ripper. The people in the area seem to enjoy the impromptu performance, though.

What's your next move, Ellie V?

Me: I'm getting the feeling that this is a set-up. I'm going to casually look around while I play. Is there anyone who's been here a while who looks like an undercover corpo suit? Any security eyeing me?

As you casually look around while playing, you notice a figure that stands out from the rest. A person in a sleek suit, seemingly out of place in this casual setting, has been observing you from a distance. Their posture and the subtle earpiece suggest a level of professionalism that goes beyond the usual crowd.

Rolling a 20-sided die to gauge the level of suspicion: (Roll: 13)

The figure doesn't seem overtly hostile or threatening, but their presence raises your suspicions.

What's your next move, Ellie V?

Me: What ethnicity is he? Can I tell?

From your distance, you can't discern the person's ethnicity. The suit and professional demeanor make it challenging to identify specific features. They seem to have taken measures to blend in with a neutral appearance.

What's your next move, Ellie V?

Me: Does he look like one of Arasaka's or Militech's goons?

It's difficult to pinpoint their affiliation from a distance, but the professional attire and demeanor don't immediately align with the street-level styles of either Arasaka or Militech. They could be a corporate operative or someone from a higher-end fixer network.

What's your approach, Ellie V?

Me: Does he look like a Solo? A bounty hunter, maybe? Can I see any indication that he's got a gun hidden on him?

Observing from a distance, it's hard to confirm whether the individual is a Solo or a bounty hunter. The suit conceals many details, and you can't spot any obvious signs of a hidden weapon.

Rolling a 20-sided die to gauge your observational skills: (Roll: 17)

Despite the challenges, your keen eye catches a subtle bulge near the person's jacket, hinting at the presence of a concealed firearm.

What's your next move, Ellie V?

Me: Does it look like he's just carrying something for self defense or does it look like something bigger, something more serious?

The bulge suggests the presence of a concealed firearm, but from this distance, it's challenging to discern the exact size or type of the weapon. It could range from a standard-issue sidearm to something more substantial, intended for serious encounters.

What's your plan, Ellie V?

Me: I'm going to noodle a little more on my guitar and see what this guy does.

Continuing to play your guitar with a casual demeanor, you keep an eye on the suited figure. As you play, the individual appears to be watching you more closely. Their movements become more deliberate, and they start making their way in your direction.

Rolling a 20-sided die to gauge their approach and intention: (Roll: 12)

The person continues to approach, but their demeanor doesn't show immediate hostility. They seem intrigued by your performance.

What's your next move, Ellie V?

Me: I keep playing and see what he does. Once he gets close, I'm going to grin really big and confident and act like I know exactly who he is and why he's here, even if I don't.

As the figure gets closer, you maintain your confident and casual playing. When they finally reach you, you flash a big, confident grin.

Rolling a 20-sided die to gauge their reaction to your confident approach: (Roll: 15)

The figure seems momentarily taken aback by your boldness, but they don't immediately react with hostility. Instead, they offer a slight nod, acknowledging your presence.

What's your next move, Ellie V?

Me: "Kept me waiting long enough."

Your words are delivered with a mix of confidence and a touch of mischief. The figure raises an eyebrow, perhaps surprised by your approach.

Rolling a 20-sided die to gauge their reaction to your comment: (Roll: 18)

The figure smirks, playing along with the unexpected turn in the interaction. "Well, Ellie V, I suppose timing is everything."

What's your next move, Ellie V?

Me: I'm going to just keep smiling and playing my guitar. I'm not scared of this stooge.

Maintaining your confident demeanor, you continue to play your guitar with a smile. The figure seems to appreciate your fearlessness and stands there, observing your performance.

Rolling a 20-sided die to gauge their continued response: (Roll: 14)

The figure seems intrigued but doesn't make any sudden moves. They're still observing, perhaps waiting for the right moment to speak.

What's your next move, Ellie V?

Me: "You going to say something or just stand there staring like a creep?"

Your direct question breaks the silence, and the figure finally speaks. "Impressive performance, Ellie V. You've got the city buzzing. But I'm not here for the music."

Rolling a 20-sided die to gauge the tone of their statement: (Roll: 10)

The figure's tone remains neutral, neither aggressive nor overly friendly.

What's your response, Ellie V?

Me: "You stand out, you know. You Arasaka? Militech?"

The figure chuckles at your question. "Neither. I'm just a messenger, Ellie V. Got a proposal for you."

Rolling a 20-sided die to gauge their sincerity: (Roll: 16)

The figure seems genuinely interested in delivering their message.

What's your next move, Ellie V?

Me: "A proposal? You make it sound so fancy." I tease him. "So, what gonk sent you to bring it to me and why didn't they just come themselves?"

Your teasing tone adds a layer of playfulness to the conversation. The figure responds, "Not everyone is as comfortable in the limelight as you, Ellie V. As for who sent me, let's just say they've got a keen interest in what you've been up to."

Rolling a 20-sided die to gauge the figure's transparency: (Roll: 13)

The figure seems to be telling part of the truth, but there's a hint of withheld information.

What's your response, Ellie V?

Me: "This spook shit is getting real tired, choomba. You got something to say, you better say it."

Your straightforward approach doesn't seem to faze the figure. They nod in acknowledgment and get to the point. "Fair enough. There's a gig on the horizon, Ellie V. Something big. Something that could make your recent escapades look like a warm-up act. You interested?"

Rolling a 20-sided die to gauge their sincerity: (Roll: 17)

The figure seems genuinely earnest about the opportunity they're presenting.

What's your reaction, Ellie V?

Me: "Depends on who's hiring and why they want me."

The figure nods in understanding. "This gig comes from a fixer known as Blacklight. They're well-connected, and the job involves sending a message to one of the megacorps. They want someone with your flair to make it memorable."

Rolling a 20-sided die to gauge their sincerity: (Roll: 14)

The figure appears to be straightforward, emphasizing the theatrical aspect of the task.

What's your response, Ellie V?

"Which megacorp and what kind of message are we sending?"

The figure leans in slightly, lowering their voice. "Militech. The message? Well, let's just say it involves a disruption they won't forget. It's a chance to hit them where it hurts and make a statement."

Rolling a 20-sided die to gauge their sincerity: (Roll: 15)

The figure seems sincere, emphasizing the impact of the message.

What's your next move, Ellie V?

Me: "Yeah, see, if you'd have said Arasaka, then maybe I'd be interested. Of course, if the eddies are good, I might still be interested. What's the venue and what's the pay?"

The figure nods, acknowledging your preference. "Fair enough. The job's at Militech, but the pay is substantial. We're talking 15,000 eddies for the gig. The venue is a Militech facility on the outskirts of the city. They'll be hosting some high-profile event, and we want to make sure it doesn't go as planned."

Rolling a 20-sided die to gauge their sincerity: (Roll: 12)

The figure seems earnest about the details and emphasizes the lucrative payment.

What's your response, Ellie V?

Me: "Fifteen thousand eddies? Must be a hell of an event. So what do you need me to do? Show up with the band and crash their fancy party?"

The figure smirks at your question. "Exactly. You and your band create a distraction, make some noise, and ensure that whatever event they're hosting turns into chaos. The goal is to send a message loud and clear."

Rolling a 20-sided die to gauge their sincerity: (Roll: 18)

The figure seems genuinely focused on the disruptive impact you could create.

What's your reaction, Ellie V?

Me: "When is the event?"

The figure checks a small device, then looks back at you. "Three days from now. Gives you some time to prepare, get your band in order. The details of the event and the plan will be provided closer to the date. Are you in?"

Rolling a 20-sided die to gauge their sincerity: (Roll: 16)

The figure appears sincere, emphasizing the preparation time and the upcoming details.

What's your decision, Ellie V?

Me: "Hell yeah, I'm in. Sign me up. I'll wait for the rest of the deets."

The figure nods, satisfied with your response. "Good. Keep your comms open. You'll receive the details and the necessary information closer to the date. Blacklight expects a memorable performance, Ellie V. Make it a night they won't forget."

With that, the figure turns and walks away, blending back into the urban landscape.

What's your next move, Ellie V?

Me: So now I've got one gig lined up with Coyote and one gig lined up with Blacklight?

That's correct. You have two gigs on the horizon – one with Coyote and another with Blacklight. The Rusty Nail performance for Coyote and the disruption at the Militech event for Blacklight. Two opportunities to make a significant impact.

What's your plan now, Ellie V?

Me: I'm going to keep noodling on my guitar in the park until something exciting happens or until I get hungry for lunch, whichever happens first.

You continue to play your guitar in the park, the notes resonating with the urban sounds around you. The city moves at its relentless pace, but for now, you find a moment of solace in the music.

As you play, a couple of street vendors pass by, selling various goods. The scent of street food wafts through the air, tempting your taste buds.

What's your next move, Ellie V?

Me: What kind of street food are we talking?

The vendors offer a variety of street food, from traditional Night City-style kabobs with synthetic meats to exotic noodle bowls infused with savory spices. There's also a vendor selling some fried octopus balls, a local favorite.

What grabs your interest, Ellie V?

Me: How much for the kabobs?

The vendor quotes a price of 20 eddies for a set of three kabobs. It seems like a reasonable deal for a quick and satisfying street food option.

What's your decision, Ellie V?

Me: Fuck it, I'll take one. I pay the guy and give him a good tip. Any sign of Ripper? It's looking like he's ghosted me.

You hand over the eddies and receive a skewer of steaming kabobs in return. The vendor appreciates the tip, flashing a quick grin.

However, there's no sign of Ripper in the immediate vicinity. It appears he might have melted back into the urban sprawl.

What's your plan now, Ellie V?

Me: Ripper probably got spooked by the suit who works for Blacklight then. That's fine. I'll sit on the bench and eat my kabobs. What time is it?

You glance at your phone to check the time. It's now around 2:00 PM. The day is moving along, and the sun is high in the sky, casting long shadows in the bustling streets.

As you enjoy your kabobs, the city's energy swirls around you. What's on your mind, Ellie V?

Me: I use my phone to fill in my bandmates on the Militech gig for Blacklight. Are they all onboard?

You send a message to your bandmates, Axia, and Luna, updating them on the upcoming gig for Blacklight. Axia responds first, expressing her enthusiasm and readiness for whatever chaos may come. Luna follows suit, excited about the potential for a wild performance.

Your bandmates seem to be fully on board with the plan. What's your next move, Ellie V?

Me: What about Seraph? I haven't heard from her in a while.

You haven't received a response from Seraph yet. She might be occupied with something else or simply hasn't checked her messages.

While enjoying your kabobs, you ponder whether to try reaching out to Seraph again or if you have other plans in mind. What will it be, Ellie V?

Me: Seraph's been quiet for a while. I'm going to see if I can go find her and check on her. The long silence from her is worrisome and unusual. Do I know where she lives?

Yes, you know Seraph's address. She lives in a modest apartment in the Heywood district, not far from where you are currently.

Do you want to head to Seraph's place to check on her?

Me: Yeah, I'm going to hop on my Yamaha and head over there.

You mount your Yamaha and navigate the streets of Night City, weaving through the urban jungle towards Heywood. The neon lights and cyberpunk aesthetics paint the city in a surreal glow as you ride.

Arriving at Seraph's apartment building, you notice the building's exterior is in need of repair, a common sight in Night City. You head inside and make your way to Seraph's unit. Do you knock or use any particular method to announce your arrival?

Me: I'll start by knocking, see if anyone's home.

You knock on Seraph's apartment door, but there's no response. The hallway is eerily quiet, with only the distant hum of the city penetrating the silence.

What do you want to do next, Ellie V?

Me: I'm going to knock louder and say, "Seraph, you in there? It's Ellie." 

Despite your louder knocks and calling out, there's still no response from inside Seraph's apartment. The unsettling quiet of the hallway persists.

Do you want to try the door to see if it's unlocked, or is there another action you'd like to take?

Me: Yeah, I'll check the door. Is it locked?

You try the door, and to your surprise, it's unlocked. The door creaks open, revealing the dimly lit interior of Seraph's apartment. It seems quiet, and you can't immediately spot her.

What would you like to do next?

Me: I'm going to look around real carefully as I walk inside. Anything amiss?

As you cautiously enter Seraph's apartment, you notice a few things that seem out of place. The living room is tidier than usual, as if someone tried to organize things in a hurry. There's a faint smell of burnt soy in the air.

The bedroom door is slightly ajar, and you catch a glimpse of an overturned chair inside. It's clear that something unusual has happened.

What's your next move, Ellie V?

Me: I'm going to draw my gun and keep it at the ready at my side. Do I hear anything odd?

You strain your ears, and in the eerie silence, you catch the faint sound of muffled voices coming from the bedroom. The voices seem hushed and agitated.

What's your plan, Ellie V?

Me: I'm going to try to sneak to the door and listen in on the conversation.

Roll a 20-sided die for your stealth attempt. Your Stealth skill is 12, so you need to roll 12 or lower to succeed.

Rolling... (Aiming for 12 or lower)

Me: What happens?

You deftly move towards the bedroom, your steps barely making a sound. As you reach the door, you manage to eavesdrop on the conversation. The voices inside are familiar - it's Seraph and a male voice you don't recognize.

"...getting too dangerous, Seraph. You need to cut ties with that rocker. The corporate heat is closing in," the unfamiliar voice warns.

Seraph responds, her tone defiant, "I won't abandon Ellie and the band. We're in this together."

The man counters, "You're jeopardizing your safety and ours. Think about it."

What's your next move, Ellie V?

Me: I'm going to put away my gun, get my best grin ready and barge into the bedroom, sauntering like I own the place. I'm not even going to look at the guy, but I am going to stand between him and Seraph if there is room. I'm going to address her and say "This gonk bothering you, babe?"

You enter the room with confidence, putting on your best performance. You stand between Seraph and the stranger, giving him a dismissive glance. "This gonk bothering you, babe?" you ask Seraph.

She looks at you with a mix of surprise and relief, "Ellie, I... uh, we were just talking. No big deal."

The man eyes you for a moment, sizing you up, then sighs and says, "You're lucky, Seraph. This rocker might get you killed one day." He heads towards the door and leaves without another word.

Seraph turns to you, "Thanks for stepping in. That guy's been bothering me about our gigs and the heat from the corps."

What's your response, Ellie V?

Me: Can I grab the guy before he leaves?

You make a quick decision and, before the guy leaves, you manage to grab his shoulder, turning him back toward you. He looks at you with a mix of annoyance and surprise.

"What's your problem with Seraph and our gigs, huh?" you demand.

He smirks, "I just think you're playing with fire, Rockergirl. Don't be surprised when you get burned."

With that, he pushes your hand away and leaves, disappearing into the crowded streets of Night City.

Seraph watches the encounter unfold, a mix of gratitude and concern in her eyes. "Thanks, Ellie. That was... unexpected."

What do you do next?

Me: "Hadn't heard from you in a while," I say it casually to Seraph, looking at my nails for a moment before I meet her eyes again. "Isn't like you. And who's the guy? You getting cold feet? You looking for an out?"

Seraph sighs, looking a bit defeated. "No, Ellie, it's not that. It's just... things have been complicated. That guy, he's from a rival band. They've been trying to recruit me. I was considering it, but after tonight, after seeing you, Axia, and Luna again... I don't think I can just abandon this. We've built something special."

She pauses, taking a breath, "I've been dealing with some personal stuff, too. It's been a mess. I'm sorry for not keeping in touch."

What's your response?

Me: Did the guy look like a musician?

Yeah, the guy did look like a musician—leather jacket, tattoos, the whole rocker aesthetic.

Me: "He must be good if you were considering his offer. What's his beef with us? He think I'm too extreme or is he just trying to increase his street rep by trying to poach a Valkyrie for his gigs?"

Seraph looks at you with a mix of frustration and resignation. "Ellie, it's not about the gigs. He's from Blacklight, a fixer named Ripper. They want us to play at some high-profile event they're organizing. They think we'll be the perfect act for it. I was thinking about it, but I hadn't made any decisions yet. Now, thanks to your grand entrance, things have just gotten more complicated."

Me: "Wait, what? Blacklight sent some gonk to hire me, well, hire us, all of us for a gig. He's hired this guy too? Are we going to be playing side by side with this nobody?"

Seraph sighs, "Ellie, he's not nobody. He's got connections, and the gig he's talking about is high-profile. Blacklight is a big player. It's not just any gig. The event is a big deal, and they want a band that stands out, that makes an impact. They think we can do that."

The guy Ripper looks a bit annoyed but remains silent, watching the conversation unfold.

Me: Wait, when did Ripper show up? Was the guy who I interrupted talking to Seraph Ripper?

Yes, the guy you interrupted was Ripper. He's been silent and observant during your conversation with Seraph.

Me: And he's still there, right now?

Yes, Ripper is still there, watching and listening to the conversation between you and Seraph.

Me: I'm going to poke him in the chest and growl at him. "Motherfucker, I waited in the park for you for hours. You want to call yourself a fixer, you gotta act like one, not stand people up like this."

Ripper looks unfazed by your aggression. He simply smirks and says, "Chill, V. I got my own way of doing things. No harm done. I'm here now, ain't I?"

Me: "I got my own way of doing things too, choom, and this ain't it. You want to hire me and the Valkyries for a gig, you don't go around my back trying to poach us all individually. You come at me straight and you give me the deets from day one. Also, the price for our performance just went up. Twenty thousand eddies or no deal."

Ripper raises an eyebrow but then smirks, seemingly undeterred. "You drive a hard bargain, V. Fine, twenty thousand it is. The gig is at The Grand Pavilion, downtown. A high-profile event. Blacklight wants the Valkyries to make an impact. Make it unforgettable, and you'll get paid well. The details are still getting hashed out, but that's the gist of it."

Me: "What kind of party are we crashing anyway, exactly? What's Militech's reason for hosting this event?"

Ripper leans in, lowering his voice. "It's a gathering of Militech's higher-ups, top brass, corporate suits, and a few influential clients. They're showcasing some cutting-edge tech, and Blacklight wants you to make sure everyone is paying attention. Stir things up. Get people talking. This could be a major PR disaster for Militech if done right."

Me: "Fair enough," I gesture at the chair that's been overturned in the bedroom. "One more thing, who made this mess and why?"

Ripper glances at the overturned chair and smirks. "That was Seraph here expressing her displeasure with a certain someone's offer. Seems like our friend was pushing a bit too hard, and she decided to give him a taste of Valkyrie fury."

Me: "Only gonk I've seen here so far is you, RIpper. Maybe you shouldn't push people. Might end up with more than just a taste of my fury."

Ripper raises an eyebrow, seemingly unfazed. "Fair enough. I'll keep that in mind. Now, about the gig. I'll get you the deets, and the twenty thousand eddies are no problem. Just make sure you and the Valkyries are ready when the time comes. This one's gonna be big."

Me: "You'll get your gig. It'll be memorable and then some. Now fuck off out of this place."

Ripper nods, a smirk on his face. "I'll be in touch soon, Ellie. Don't disappoint." With that, he turns and heads towards the door, leaving you alone in Seraph's apartment.

Seraph remains seated, looking a bit shaken by the encounter. "Thanks for stepping in, Ellie. I appreciate it."

Me: "We're family, Seraph. Chosen family but still family." I'm going to look at her pointedly. "If there's anything else going on, anyone who's ass you need me to kick, I'm here. I'm listening."

Seraph looks at you with a mix of gratitude and concern. "I appreciate that, Ellie. Just... some personal stuff. Nothing you need to worry about. Let's focus on the upcoming gigs, and we'll talk later, alright?"

Me: "Keep your phone on," I say as I leave, giving her a smile to try to reassure her.

You head out of Seraph's place, your thoughts swirling with the unexpected events. As you step out onto the crowded streets of Night City, you realize the urban jungle is always full of surprises. The upcoming gigs with Coyote and Blacklight loom on the horizon, promising both danger and opportunity. What's next on your agenda?

Me: What time is it getting to be now?

The sun is starting to dip below the towering buildings of Night City, casting long shadows on the crowded streets. It's early evening, and the neon lights are beginning to illuminate the cityscape. The Rusty Nail gig with Blacklight is scheduled for the next night, giving you some time to prepare or handle other matters. What's your plan?


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