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Caught in the Maelstrom is a readable shard in Cyberpunk 2077.

Transcript

CAUGHT IN THE MAELSTROM


I'm stood in the middle of Totentanz, my knuckles white, tightly gripped on Achilles M179e rifle. It was shoved into my hands just seconds before the attack. My face, arms, and syn-leather jacket soaked in the blood and brain matter of the psycho I had just shot. My contact, a thirty-year-old Maelstromer with a green mohawk, patted me on the shoulder. "Man, Phil, you ain't half shit" he tells me appreciatively, "Took you for a pussy bitch, but gotta admit you have some steel-clad balls after all. And don't worry about that sad scrapheap. If there ain't at least twenty bodies, you can't call it a Maelstrom party!" What had already been an unsettling experience took a turn to a whole other level. The other Maelstromers continued to mock me, but I could detect a tone of approval through all the vocal distortion. My mohawked contact even proposed that they install in me one of their distinct, rudimentary implants. Fortunately, they didn't have in mind their iconic optics suite, so I accepted. My popularity continued to grow. "No way you'd get the Maelstrom mug so easy." he laughs, "That tech's only for initiates. We pluck out their eyes and peel back the skin. No anesthetics. You survive, you're in." With the atmosphere now more relaxed, I asked if the rumors had been true - do they accept contract killings? My mohawked source nodded with enthusiasm. "Oh fuck yeah! We make good scratch and it's a great morale booster. You know, machines ain't bothered with a mess of feelings and that's what we aim for. Doing hitjobs like that helps us gouge out all the gooey emotions we still got left. Recently, this one guy got all whiny and snot-nosed just because we roasted some kid. I told him, I said, 'Dude, you better relive some suppressor BD and fast or bossman's gonna blow your head off!' The gonk should've fucking listened!" As I listened to his explanations and anecdotes, I realized that amusement clearly must not be one of their blacklisted emotions. And then I couldn't help but wonder - are machines capable of laughter?

Acquisition

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