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Rated: XGC · Short Story · Fanfiction · #2241241
A Maelstrom gang member is forced to face a rival gang and becoming a legend of Night City

Don't Wait for Tomorrow; Live Today

If there is one thing that Night City has taught me, it is that it's better to go out in a blaze of glory than to go in a whimper. The only people who are remembered are those that are dead. I have heard it put many ways before. "The only place you'll find legends are in the graveyard" is one of my favourites. Heard it on the radio. But I don't agree with that. There are people who have done insane things and are still here to tell the tale. One of them, and my hero, is Adam Smasher.

He's been here longer than most of us and took part in the Fourth Corporate War. He is what I dream to be, less man than machine but still in full control of who he is. The ultimate being, and with the work that modern ripperdocs do I might be able to reach that point soon. That's why I have spent almost a fortune on cyberware. It didn't take long for the Maelstrom gang to take me in with the fuck ton of cyberware I had.

A short initiation later and I'm part of the gang. They even helped me get some cyberware which even the ripperdocs won't give you. But tech wasn't the only reason I joined them. They also believe that you don't have to go in a blaze of glory in order to leave your mark. I don't get into arguments with them about what it means to live. It's one of the slight pleasures of being surrounded by likeminded people. That is if I was surrounded by them.

Since I'm fresh and don't have as many enhancements, most of the gang don't like me a lot. I have been alone most of the time since I joined up, and lately they stationed me at a second HQ of sorts. Nothing really happens there and the only people that I see are Ronny, who helped recruit me, and some other Maelstrom gang members who like to store their stuff here. I'm bored out of my mind but at least I can look through all the operations we're planning.

I would love to go on one of them, like the one where we are going to hijack a Militech convoy, but since I'm so fresh I'm not allowed to join in, no matter how thoroughly I know the plan. If only I can prove myself to them, then they would understand how useful I can be. But right now, it's been just another day which I'm spending in second HQ, and an extremely slow day at that. Ronny hadn't even come in to say hi, so I'm just here twiddling my thumbs and messing with my optics.

It was some time in the afternoon when I heard the shouting. I took a peek out of the window and saw some Tyger Claws picking up bricks and throwing them at the HQ. "Get the fuck outta here!" shouted one of the goons. "This is Tyger Claw turf now!"
When I joined, I knew there might be some fights with other gangs, but not at our own bases. I was slightly confused why they were mad at us having a base here since they owned Japantown which was a mile away. There was a document about a raid on a Tyger Claw hideout, but we couldn't have done it so soon since I found it. They had some sweet tech in their hideout, and obviously the Maelstrom's had to get it.

"I see you there, fucker!" shouted one of the gang members, catching me daydreaming what kind of tech we could have stolen from them. I swiftly pulled my head back in and started to panic. "We know you're in there! Come out or we're gonna break your neck just like we're gonna break this door!" They knew I was there and based on the lack of a response they probably figured out I was alone. I knew I had to get out and get some backup, but then I would be the laughingstock of the gang. If I could just get Ronny to help, then we could probably fuck up those Tyger Claws outside. But I knew he wouldn't get here in time.

So, I ran for the back door. I could slip away in the alleyways and those Tyger Claws would be none the wiser to my escape. I could even say I was out getting some food! But then they could get their hands on the documents. And they would get the weapons stash! I stopped at the door and reconsidered my cowardice. I had a gun, and my optics would make sure I would be able to hit my shots. I guess there is only one way to get people to know your name and who you are. You shouldn't wait for tomorrow; live today. I formed a new plan. I could still sneak out the back and go through the alleyways, but I knew a route which would lead to the front of the building where they wouldn't see me, and I could get the drop on them.

I switched my optics' mode so that I would be ready to pop some heads and sneakily slipped outside. I tried to make my way around the building without making a noise and soon I could see the Tyger Claws. There wasn't much between me and the group except for a pair of dumpsters. They were getting ready to kick in the door in and were paying no attention to where I was hiding. Knowing I would get the drop on them boosted my confidence, along with the drugs I took to help with any pain. My targeting scope locked onto the closest Tyger Claw's head and I pulled the trigger.

It felt like his head expanded in slow motion before it bloomed outwards on the opposite side that I shot him, spraying his brains across his friend's face and spraying chunks of his scalp onto the pavement. The other Tyger's reactions to the mess went by a lot faster than the first one's death, and I had to act fast before they ran for cover. I blew a hole in the chest of the one covered in brain matter, a curtain of blood appearing in the hole as I shot at another Tyger who fell to the ground in an instant.

I then took cover as the Tyger Claws figured out what was happening and were now shooting back at me. The wind whistled next to me as streaks of metal light flashed by and I was forced to stay in cover. I waited for the break as most of them reloaded or went into cover and peeked out again. They were nowhere to be seen in the alleyway. I was lost for a moment before I used my optics to give me an infra-red view of my surroundings. I saw a few were clustered behind a dumpster close to me and the other remaining Tyger in cover further away. I reached for a grenade strapped to my belt and pulled the pin with my teeth. My optics guided my aim and send signals to the implants in my arm to throw the grenade perfectly next to the cluster of Tyger Claws. The grenade made a distinct metallic thud when it landed behind the dumpster, and I heard a round of shouting erupt before the dumpster violently lurched towards me and fell over to reveal red chunks embedded in its now blackened surface.

I aimed my pistol in the direction of the last Tyger Claw and waited for him to peek out of cover. All I saw was a flash of his hair and I pulled the trigger, blowing away the top of his skull sending him to the ground convulsing. Blood dribbled down his mouth as his exposed brain slid out of his skull.

I stood up seeing the carnage which I sowed. I mowed down more than half a dozen of Tyger Claws. I was going to be a hero of the Maelstroms. I was going to be a legend of Night City. I fully emerged from my cover and raised my fists in celebration, firing of a few celebratory rounds. I walked along the sidewalk and kicked one of the corpses. "That's what you get for messing with the Maelstroms, bitch!" I exclaimed.

My thoughts began to drift towards what Ronny would say. What would our leader Brick say? What would the legend Adam Smasher think? My daydreaming was rudely interrupted when I found that my jaw was missing. Searing pain throughout my skull quickly followed and was accompanied with a wooziness taking over my body. I looked around and the world felt as if it was tilting beneath me and saw an NCPD officer pointing his smoking gun at me. I tried to raise my gun and focus on the information and warnings that my optics were flashing in my eyes. I saw his pistol's muzzle flashing twice and heard a gun firing far away.

The wooziness doubled and it felt as if I was being drenched in hot water. Despite it all, the thought of my death only began to register then. No life flashed before my eyes, except for what it was in front of me; staring down an officer's gun bleeding on the street, my legacy secured as I followed in the footsteps of the many legends of Night City.

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