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Stories posted in this category are works of fiction that combine worlds created by the original content owner with names, places, characters, events, and incidents that are created by the authors' imaginations or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, organizations, companies, events or locales are entirely coincidental. Authors are responsible for properly crediting Original Content creator for their creative works. Note: While authors are asked to place warnings on their stories for some moderated content, everyone has different thresholds, and it is your responsibility as a reader to avoid stories or stop reading if something bothers you. 
Stories in this Fandom are works of fan fiction. Any names or characters, businesses or places, events or incidents, are fictitious. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental. Recognized characters, events, incidents belong to CD Projekt Red, Micheal Pondsmith and/or R. Talsorian Games.

This is a transformative work based on the setting and characters of the Cyberpunk tabletop RPG franchise and the video game Cyberpunk 2077. These elements belong to R. Talsorian Games and CD Projekt Red. The setting was invented by Mike Pondsmith.

Chase the Morning - 5. Formed a Band

In which Johnny and Kerry jam, while V gets bored.

This chapter is named after the song Formed a Band by Art Brut.

It takes exactly three days, one hour, and eleven minutes from the moment when Johnny leaves his dressing room until Kerry calls. And it’s just like him to call in the middle of the night, having finally made up his mind while drunk.

‘Heeey, Johnny!’ he says, sounding a lot more chipper than the night of the gig. There’s a faint rumble in the background. Maybe a car engine. ‘How’s it hangin’?’

‘Oh, y’know. Same old.’ Johnny isn’t one for smalltalk. He manages to stop himself from giving a snarky reply and is impressed with his own willpower. ‘What’s up?’

‘How’s your output?’ Kerry’s tone turns icy now, but at least he doesn’t sound angry.

Johnny rolls his eyes. ‘Still not my output,’ he says. ‘V’s fine.’

As it happens, they’re in bed at the moment, and he glances at the man in question. V is lying on his stomach, head pillowed on his arms, looking sleepy and blissed out. For the past couple of evenings, they’ve been going out, mostly to small rock clubs to see unknown acts that Johnny’s heard about through the landlords of his various warehouse lofts. V’s been having a great time. But tonight, they decided to stay in, smoke a bowl and just fuck.

‘That Kerry?’ asks V sleepily. That last round seems to have taken a lot out of him. He smiles, giving a little wave. ‘Say hi from me!’

Johnny smirks. ‘He says hi,’ he tells Kerry, who only scoffs at this.

‘Anyway,’ he says, ‘I’ve been thinkin’. Dunno if it would even work.’ Johnny hears a car door slam, then footsteps on gravel. ‘I mean, we could prolly get Denny on board, and maybe Nancy—no, sorry, Bes—but Henry’s still recovering from his accident. Hard to be sure if he’ll ever play again.’

‘Could start off slow,’ says Johnny, getting out of bed and heading for the bathroom. ‘Y’know, jam a little just the two of us, see if anythin’ comes of it. Silverhand and Eurodyne, right? Like—’

This draws a laugh out of Kerry. ‘Like Lennon and McCartney.’

‘Exactly.’ Phone still to his ear, Johnny pisses into the toilet bowl. ‘We’ll need new songs anyway. We can sit down, jam a little, see if inspiration strikes. I, uh . . . actually came up with a riff last month that’s a lot more Samurai than just, y’know, me.’ He shakes off and flushes the toilet.

‘Sounds promising—’ Johnny can practically hear Kerry’s frown. ‘Did you just take a piss while we’re on the phone?’

Johnny laughs. ‘Kerry, I’ve taken a piss with you passed out in the bathtub. You gettin’ squeamish on me now?

‘No, no . . .’ Kerry sighs. ‘Anyway. It’s not the worst idea ever. Playin’ together again, I mean. I’m still mad at you, though, just so you know.’

‘Yeah, well, arguing was always conducive to our songwriting.’ Johnny grins, returning to bed.

V is dozing a little now but opens one eye like a cat when Johnny gets under the covers. The smile he gives Johnny is far too soft, but Johnny’s willing to overlook that on the basis of how tired V is and how frankly adorable he looks with his messy purple curls. ‘Go to sleep, ya gonk,’ Johnny murmurs.

‘What?’ says Kerry.

‘Nothin’. Talking to V. Seems I wore him out.’

Johnny can’t explain this recurring urge to ruin conversations by choosing to talk about shit that makes Kerry uncomfortable. Fortunately, Kerry seems to have developed a modicum of patience over the past six years.

‘Whatever,’ he grumbles. ‘We could meet up at my studio tomorrow. I’ll, uh . . . bring your guitar.’

‘Nah,’ says Johnny, lying back and yawning. ‘You keep it. I got loads, and I’m so used to playin’ the one I brought with me on the road anyway.’

‘Oh yeah? Which one’s that?’

‘The DeLuze.’

‘Good choice.’

Johnny yawns again. ‘Wore myself out too,’ he mutters. ‘Hey, just send me the coords for your studio and I’ll drop by. What time?’

‘I dunno,’ says Kerry. ‘After two? Just text when you’re on your way or somethin’.’

‘Will do. See you tomorrow, Ker.’

As Johnny hangs up, V stirs again, snuggling up to him. ‘Made plans?’ he mumbles, not bothering to open his eyes.

‘Yeah. Think you can entertain yourself for a few hours tomorrow?’

‘Mhm . . .’ V nods. ‘I’ll explore some on my own.’

‘Bring your iron,’ says Johnny. ‘City ain’t safe.’

‘Yes, Mom,’ says V, patting Johnny’s chest.

That’s the last thing he says before drifting off again. Johnny doesn’t want to wake him, so he lets him stay like that, snuggled up against Johnny’s side, head resting on his shoulder.


The following day around three, Johnny drives to Kerry’s studio, texting before he leaves the hotel. He thought it’d be in some fancy corporate building run by the label in the centre of the city, but instead, Kerry’s coordinates take him to a warehouse way out in Heywood, near the Industrial Zone. Johnny parks his car as safely as he can and finds the correct entrance, carrying his guitar case and the pedalboard he picked up from storage on the way over.

The inside is nothing like the outside, done up nicely with hardwood floors and brightly painted walls. Kerry’s waiting for him on a couch in a corner, sitting with a guitar in his lap. ‘Good. You’re here,’ he says and stands up, heading upstairs and opening a thick double-layered door. Beyond it is a spacious room that seems to double as both recording studio and rehearsal space. There’s a full drum kit, several amps, even a grand piano in the corner. The room is built with odd angles to minimize sound reflections, the walls covered in wood panelling over what Johnny assumes to be multiple layers of sound insulation. The room is well-lit, with triple glazed skylights on the slanted ceiling.

‘Gotta admit, sweet setup,’ says Johnny, impressed in spite of himself.

‘Thanks.’ Kerry sets his guitar down next to an amplifier. ‘The building belongs to the label, but I had this studio built to my own specifications. Best rehearsal space I’ve ever had. And we record in here too.’

Johnny nods. ‘Preem.’

‘Pick an amp,’ says Kerry, gesturing toward the multiple stacks.

Since they’re all good amps and they’re just jamming today, Johnny picks at random and hooks up his pedalboard. Simple layout—just a fuzz pedal, a tuner, and an analogue tape delay. Living in the digital age is great, but Johnny’s always preferred analogue solutions when it comes to his guitars. He plugs everything in and tunes the Orphean before switching on the amp and cranking it up to eleven. He strums a G power chord, filling the room with distorted overtones.

‘So, what’s this riff you were talkin’ about?’ Kerry asks, shouting over the noise of Johnny’s guitar.

Johnny grins at him, turning the volume down a notch. Then he plays the riff, starting in open D and going to open G, then back to D and via G sharp to D sharp. Kerry bobs his head along with the rhythm as Johnny plays, then picks up his own guitar and mimics the riff. When they’ve repeated it for a couple of rounds, Kerry nods.

‘You’re right. Does sound like a Samurai riff.’ He smiles at Johnny—that excited smile he always used to get when they worked like this in the past; the first genuine smile Johnny’s seen on his face since he got back. ‘Okay. Let’s jam.’


Kerry was understandably concerned when Johnny told him he wanted to get Samurai back together. It’s been more than twelve years since the band split, even if he and Johnny toured together and sometimes did an old Samurai song as an encore. That was fun and worked pretty well, but they weren’t Samurai, and that wasn’t just because Denny, Nancy, and Henry weren’t with them. It was because they weren’t working the same way. They’d jam, show each other their respective tunes, give each other feedback and occasionally even suggest a chord or a line of lyrics. But when they were Samurai, Johnny and Kerry wrote the songs together. One of them might come up with a riff and the other some lyrics, but they always assembled the core of it together, just the two of them. Then they’d get together with the others and arrange it for the whole band.

This . . . this is like that. The song they’re working on now, it’s their song. Johnny comes up with one riff, Kerry the next. They talk about what the vocals should be like—Johnny thinks it should be rapping and screaming without clean melodic vocals, and Kerry agrees. Actual lyrics can come later. After a couple of hours, they have the bare bones of the song recorded and saved for future reference.

‘Man, I need a smoke,’ Johnny says, putting down his guitar and running his fingers through his hair.

‘I need a cup of coffee,’ Kerry counters. ‘Capitan Caliente? Just a few blocks away from here.’

Johnny laughs. ‘Fuck, that place still exists?’

‘Fucking institution, chombatta,’ says Kerry. ‘They ever try to close it, I’ll fucking buy it.’

‘I’ll drive,’ says Johnny, getting up off the amp he’s been sitting on. As they step outside into an uncharacteristically clear afternoon, he pulls a cigarette out of his pocket and lights it, squinting at the sunlight. ‘So,’ he says, heading ’round the back of the building. ‘Think this can work?’

Kerry follows. He considers for a moment—it’s a big question. A lot of things could go wrong if they reboot Samurai. There are logistics involved, and neither he nor Johnny were ever particularly good at logistics; that’s what they had Nance for. Also, Kerry’s on contract for another solo album. But, fuck, he wants it to work. He’s missed playing with Johnny. He’s missed creating with him. Today, everything just flowed. Kerry hasn’t made music that easily since . . . well, since Samurai. Which isn’t to say he hasn’t written good songs—songs he enjoys playing, songs he loves—but it’s a different process, working alone. No one to bounce riffs off of, no one to tell him when something isn’t working so he doesn’t spend days on a bridge he’ll just end up scrapping.

Plus . . . it’s Johnny asking. Kerry wishes that didn’t mean anything, but it really does. There was a time he would’ve done anything for Johnny, and part of him still would, even though he’s been gone for six years and has a brand-new nomad output who looks like he’s barely out of his teens. Is it too early for Johnny to be having a midlife crisis?

‘Ker?’ Johnny says, and Kerry looks up to see him unlocking the door to his Porsche.

‘Huh? Oh, wow, you still have this thing?’ he asks, motioning toward the car.

‘What, you thought I’d get rid of it? It’s been in storage for six years. But I asked you a question. Do you think this could work? A Samurai comeback?’ He opens the driver’s side door but doesn’t get in, shifting his weight back and forth between his feet where he stands. There’s something a little anxious about his posture and his facial expression—something most people wouldn’t notice, but Kerry’s known him for fifteen years. He realises that, to Johnny, a lot is riding on his answer.

‘Yeah,’ he says at last. ‘If we can sort out the logistics, maybe get a couple of the others on board . . . yeah. I think it could work.’

Johnny’s face splits into a grin that reminds Kerry of when they were seventeen and playing shitty gigs for crowds of fifty in dingy little rock clubs in this very part of town. The way Johnny would look every time they were about to go on stage, bouncing with nervous energy. Energy he put into performances that blew everyone away, while Kerry, who’d been playing actively for much longer than Johnny, could barely keep up. It’s good to know, somehow, that a little part of that kid still exists inside Johnny.

‘Okay!’ Johnny says, getting into the car. Kerry hurries around to the passenger side and gets in too. ‘Okay, I’ll . . . I’ll call Denny first, I guess.’

Kerry rolls his eyes. ‘I’ll call Denny and Nancy. They haven’t seen you in years, they’ll be just as pissed as I was. Better it comes from me. And I’ll talk to the label too, while I’m at it. Or, I guess, I’ll talk to my manager and she’ll talk to the label.’

‘Hey, whatever works for you, Ker.’ Johnny puts his hand on Kerry’s shoulder, squeezing it, while he backs out of the parking space. ‘This is gonna be a hell of a ride, man. You’ll see.’


Once Johnny’s left that evening, Kerry picks up the phone. He calls Denny first.

‘Hey, Kerry,’ she says. ‘Haven’t heard from you in a while. How’s things? Heard the latest tour went well.’

‘Yeah, it was good. Had the final gig a few days ago. How are things with Mastermind?’

Denny clicks her tongue. ‘Eh . . . kinda on hiatus. That is to say, we’re supposed to be working on a new album, but not much is happening. Our frontman just had a baby and wants to spend some time takin’ care of his kid.’

‘Admirable,’ says Kerry. ‘So, uh . . . that mean you got some free time on your hands?’

‘I guess,’ she says. ‘What’s this about, Kerry?’

Kerry draws a deep breath. ‘Well . . . Johnny’s back in town.’

‘What? Since when?’

‘Few days ago, apparently. He came to my show. We . . . talked.’

‘Meaning you yelled at each other for a few minutes until one of you stormed off in a huff.’

Kerry winces at the relative accuracy of that statement. ‘Not quite, but . . . yeah, it didn’t go very well. But, he said he wants to bring Samurai back together.’

‘Really?’ There’s a pause. ‘And you told him to fuck off, right?’

‘At first. But . . . then I decided to call him.’

‘Kerry . . .’ Denny sighs. ‘You always do this to yourself. Follow his lead and fuck things up for yourself.’

He frowns. ‘That’s a little unfair. Following Johnny’s lead has done a lot of good for me, first off. And anyway . . . I figured, we could at least talk about it. So I invited him to my studio today. He just left. And . . . we wrote a song, Denny. Together. And it was . . . it feels like a Samurai song. Like it’s ours.’

‘Kerry—’ she says again, but he cuts her off.

‘No, just hear me out. It’s a great song, Denny. I can feel it! And Johnny . . . there’s somethin’ different about him now. Maybe it’s being out of NC for so long, maybe he’s got some perspective, I don’t fuckin’ know. But . . . I think this could work. And we want you on board. You and Nance, if she can spare the time. We’ll need to find another bassist, but . . .’ There’s a stretch of silence. Samurai was all of them. They each brought their own style, their own flare to create the whole. But at its heart—its core—it was Johnny and Kerry’s baby. If the others have moved on, then . . . ‘Listen, we’re . . . prolly doin’ this regardless. But it won’t be the same without you and Nancy. I mean, Bes.’ He sighs. ‘Whatever . . . Point is, we’d like you with us. Please?’

Denny’s quiet for a moment longer before she finally replies, ‘I’ll think about it. Okay?’

‘Yeah.’ Kerry smiles. ‘Yeah, okay. Just think about it. I’ma call Nance as well, see if she’s interested.’

‘Okay. I’ll be in touch,’ says Denny, and they hang up.


For the following week, Johnny goes to Kerry’s studio every day. He spends his evenings with V, but by the seventh day, V is bored. Every day this week, he’s taken his bike out and gone riding around town. He’s avoided the south city, as Johnny’s informed him it’s very much Not Safe, but he’s been all around Japantown, Little China, City Center, Northside, Westhill and the Marinas. When he and Johnny go out in the evenings, he has a good time, but V was not made to sit on his hands—he needs to do something practical, or he’ll go stir crazy.

‘So, I been thinkin’,’ he says, as they’re sitting on the couch one evening, just back from dim sum over in Little China. He has his back against the armrest and his legs stretched out across Johnny’s lap. Johnny’s leaning back, arms behind his head, watching TV.

‘Oh? That’s new.’

V laughs and kicks his arm playfully with a bare foot. ‘Fuck off. But, seriously. I can’t keep spendin’ all my time either sittin’ here or followin’ you around pretending to be your groupie.’

Johnny frowns. ‘No one thinks you’re a groupie.’

‘Kerry does.’

‘Yeah, well, Kerry can go fuck himself.’

‘Whatever. Point is, I need somethin’ to do while I’m here.’

‘What, you wanna get a job? Retail? Bartending?’ Johnny snorts. ‘Why?’

‘I was thinkin’ somethin’ a little more hands-on,’ V says, scratching his cheek. ‘You know everyone, right? Thought maybe you could hook me up with some merc work.’

Johnny stares at him for what feels like several minutes. Then he laughs. ‘You wanna be a solo?’

V folds his arms over his chest and cocks an eyebrow at Johnny. ‘What’s so funny about that?’

‘V, you’re like five foot nothin’.’

‘First of all, I am not!’

‘Okay, five four.’

‘Five seven! I’ll have you know, I was above average height for a girl. Besides, what’s that got to do with anythin’?’

‘Point is, you’re tiny,’ Johnny says. ‘I could pick you up and throw you over my shoulder like that,’ he snaps his fingers. ‘I mean, I’m athletic enough, but I’m not that strong—not countin’, y’know, the arm.’

V laughs. ‘You couldn’t lift me that easy!’

‘Is that a challenge?’ Johnny asks, raising an eyebrow.

‘Bring it, Silverhand!’ says V with a smirk.

Johnny doesn’t hesitate. He gets up and picks V up off the couch, carries him in a fireman’s lift into the bedroom, and throws him face down onto the bed. V practically giggles. Johnny climbs up behind him, pinning him down, and starts kissing the back of his neck. It feels nice, and for a moment V just enjoys it, letting out a small moan as Johnny sucks on his pierced earlobe. Johnny’s getting hard; V can feel his dick digging into the back of his thigh. But then he comes to his senses.

‘Oh, no. You can’t distract me like this, Johnny.’

Johnny lets out a demonstrative sigh and gets off him, flopping onto his back and adjusting his junk through his leather pants as best he can. ‘Fine. You wanna get yourself zeroed by gangoons or corpo-soldiers, go right ahead. See if I care.’

V turns over on his side, propping himself up on his elbow, and smiles. ‘You’re worried about me.’

Johnny scoffs. ‘No!’ he says petulantly, refusing to meet V’s eye.

V kisses him on the cheek. ‘You’re sweet. But seriously, I’m not helpless; I can hold my own in a fight. I’ve fought Raffen plenty of times. ’Sides, I got other skills. I’m small and sneaky, I can get into places, infiltrate. And you know I can shoot.’

Johnny gives him a sidelong glance. ‘So, what, assassinations? Doesn’t seem like your style, kid.’

V rolls his eyes. ‘I was more thinkin’ data retrieval, burglary, shit like that.’

Johnny sighs. ‘Well . . . I might be able to call in some favours. Got some contacts.’

V’s face splits into a grin. ‘Really? Got someone in mind?’

‘Hmm. Maybe Rogue. Old friend.’ Johnny purses his lips. ‘If she’s still my friend.’

‘You keep sayin’ that about every other person you mention. You got a talent for pissin’ people off, don’t you?’

Johnny scoffs. ‘Apparently. It’s a wonder you’ve stuck around this long. I’m not great at keeping friends.’

‘Well, you’re lucky I don’t piss off so easily. So, this Rogue?’

‘She’s a solo. A good one. Might be able to hook you up.’ He clicks his tongue. ‘Actually, prolly be better off droppin’ Santiago’s name than mine. They used to work together. How I met him, actually.’

‘Huh.’ V nods slowly. ‘Guess that’s who he was talkin’ about, then.’

Johnny frowns at him. ‘Wait, you talked to Santiago about this before you talked to me?’

‘Actually, he brought it up when I told him I was goin’ with you. Said you had mutual friends in the biz and that you could prolly hook me up if I needed work.’

‘Fuck. If this gets you killed, I’ma murder that son-of-a-bitch,’ Johnny growls.

V laughs again. ‘It’s cute how protective you are.’

Johnny turns over on his side and locks eyes with V, looking serious for once. ‘Well, I told you I’m not great at keepin’ friends. Not about to let one of the few I got go off and die.’ Then he grabs V by the back of the neck and draws him close. ‘Now, are we gonna fuck, or what?’ he murmurs against V’s lips before capturing them in a fierce kiss that leaves V dizzy with desire.

‘Definitely,’ V breathes and rolls on top of him.

I wrote a little short story about Johnny and Kerry and the start of Samurai, called Threads. I posted it as a prequel to this one (you may have noticed, this is now a series). So, check that out if you haven't read it already! I'm quite proud of it.

© 1988-2022 Micheal Pondsmith, R. Talsorian Games, CD Projekt Red; All Rights Reserved; Copyright © 2021 Thorn Wilde; All Rights Reserved.
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Stories posted in this category are works of fiction that combine worlds created by the original content owner with names, places, characters, events, and incidents that are created by the authors' imaginations or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, organizations, companies, events or locales are entirely coincidental. Authors are responsible for properly crediting Original Content creator for their creative works. Note: While authors are asked to place warnings on their stories for some moderated content, everyone has different thresholds, and it is your responsibility as a reader to avoid stories or stop reading if something bothers you. 
Stories in this Fandom are works of fan fiction. Any names or characters, businesses or places, events or incidents, are fictitious. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental. Recognized characters, events, incidents belong to CD Projekt Red, Micheal Pondsmith and/or R. Talsorian Games.
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