Running Out of Cash?
Just about this time, you're starting to look over the list of cyber-enhancements, and you're thinking, "I don't have the kind of Eurobucks. I need to swing this newtech". At this point, you have to ask yourself "How desperate am I? Am I really hard up enough to risk death and dismemberment just to get a lousy cyberarm?"
Sure you are.
The truly desperate turn to desperate measures. In this case, you can hire yourself out to someone who can afford to buy your cybernetics for you. Selecting any one of the following employers is worth 10,000 Eurodollars in cybernetics, free of charge:
Become a fighter in the Cyberwars, serving your country's armed forces with distinction and honoras part of its secret Elite Mechanized Combat Forces (Cybergrunts, to you). See pain, torture and death close up, as you participate in any one of a hundred covert "police actions" worldwide, protecting "national interests". Of course the Cybergrunts don't exist. Of course your country doesn't send teams of heavily armed covert agents into other countries to kill and foment revolt. Of course they're not going to let you quit when you want to.
The word on the Street is that the Mob is alive and hiring. Swear allegiance to one of the big time organized crime Families and you'll never lack for cybertech. The only catch is, you have to do "work" for them. Bill collecting. Assassinations. Murders. Mob wars. The Families of 2020 have a long and honorable tradition that goes back into the early twentieth century: nobody ever quits the Mob. Ever.
Join a Corporation and see the world. While you're at it, they'll bankroll you for ten thousand dollars in newtech. But remember, with all business deals there's a price. In this case, you have to work for the Corporation. The jobs you get to do are all the fun, suicidal ones on which they don't want to waste their good people executive kidnappings, black operations and espionage missions if you're really lucky, you'll even get to be a grunt in a Corporate war - you know, the ones that make Vietnam and Afghanistan look like picnics, where you get to defend the Corporation's interests in some backwater hellhole with a population of natives you're suppressing.
Big business is fun.
Like most "free" offers, these employment opportunities are boobytrapped in creative and dangerous ways. Each requires that you work for an indeterminate amount of time (forever) for people you may not like. You'll have to do what they tell you, no matter how cruddy, dangerous or suicidal. Like most powerful people in the Cyberpunk future, they don't like to be crossed, and have a variety of awful ways to ensure your "cooperation".
Hostages: To ensure your good behavior, the controlling agency is holding someone you care about hostage. You mess up, they die - or worse.
Blackmail: Somewhere in your past, you did something you can't afford to let out It could be as small as cheating on your taxes (with a 20-year jail term), or a murder rap. It may even be fictional - created by your new employers to make sure you toe the line. Are you willing to take the chance?
Sabotage Chipware: To make sure you stay in line, the controlling agency has buried lethal glitches in your cybernetic software. Things to make your heart stop on command. Programs that give you blinding headaches if you refuse to follow an order.
Monitored: Your employers have implanted sensors or other monitoring devices on you - just to ensure your loyalty. You can't say or do anything without them knowing. You can't go anywhere without them finding you. The worst part is, you don't know where in your body they've hidden these devices.
Command Kill: A realty vicious sabotage chip - on the command word, you will kill whomever you are directed to kill - without control, regret or mercy. Your mother. Your lover. Your cat. Anyone.
Company Safeguard: Another nasty sabotage chip. You can't willingly harm any member of the controlling agency - to do so will cause you excruciating pain. To continue will cause even more pain, culminating in full heart stoppage and a screaming death.
Remote Detonator: One of the favorite corporate tricks this is a small package of inert explosive buried somewhere in your body, activated by a remote radio signal. You don't know where they put it, the scanners can't find it, and if you did go around looking, you're likely to set it off (60%) Wanna bet your life, cobber?
Sounds fun? Remember, if you join one of these groups, any one (or more) of these little goodies applies directly to making you a puppet of your employers. What you are forced to do, and what they hold over you, is up to the Referee. He doesn't even have to tell you. You don't have a choice. You just sold your soul.
Welcome to 2020, smartboy.