Adrienne "Valkyrie" Probos
the Valkyrian warrior of death
INTERVIEW WITH A LEGEND
By Soldier of Gold Writer Ian
WHEN LIFE GIVES YOU LEMONS, TURN THEM INTO DEADLY WEAPONS. Yeah. We’re not joking. At the ripe age of 15, Adrienne beat to death her guard at Arasaka during her escape. Years later, with Arasaka hot on her heels, she managed to narrowly escape the Arasaka hit squad out to zero her. We get to hear the thrilling Hostage Rescue mission that gave her the now famous nickname, Valkyrie.
IAN: Thank you for being able to give an interview with us here at Soldier of Gold. Would you please tell us about your background please?
ADRIENNE: Hello Ian, thank you for having me. I’ve been an avid reader of your magazine since my youth. Granted, that is far in the past. I was orphaned at the age of 4. Car AI malfunction. Arasaka took me in and quickly saw my potential. I was shipped out to Hokkaido to start training at the impossibly young age of 5. I studied small unit tactics and counter espionage for the first 5 years. 4 AM until 11 PM. Each day. Every day.
After that, I went into the Special Agent program. I shipped out to a training camp somewhere off the mainland. I have no clue where. We were tranquilized to and from the camp. Anyway, I was there until I reached 14. So that’s what.. 4 years? While there, I worked with the facility cadre to hone my urban infiltration and urban assault doctrines.
We were helped by ex-Mossad officers from the famous Sharayet 13. Safe to say, by the time I turned 15, I would pit myself against anyone in the world and have a decent shot at coming out of it in… at least half a piece.
I: That is quite the background! I’m ex-Special Forces myself, and while I was national and not corporate, it’s still amazing to think about how early you were thrust into the Corpo hellscape of war prep. So, after that, what happened?
A: When I was 15, I had been effectively training since I was 5. 18 hours a day. No leave. No private life. It was a nightmare I wanted desperately to escape. I didn’t believe in their ideals. I saw my chance to escape when we were sent back to Hokkaido for a weekend to resupply new gear. Now, I’m a trained killer. Pretty decent at my job. Even at that age. We were always under observation and were obviously unarmed. We had some high-tech cyber hardware, but that’s it. Our monowires had some fancy Arasaka software locks on when we were not in the field, so that wasn’t an option. We did get fruit though. Or, well, at least some underripe lemons.
So at 3 AM, I fashioned a crude sock weapon with 3 ripe lemons and snuck up on the guard on duty. He was dead before he could react. Clean neck shot with the force of a tornado. Shit snapped like a twig. From there I made my way out of camp under the cover of darkness. Dodging thermal cameras with the emergency blankets covered in mud to take away the sheen as I moved out of the camp. From there, I managed to stow away on a cargo ship bound for—you guessed it—Night City.
I: Wait, hold up. You killed your guard… with fucking lemons? How god damn metal is that! I’m sure they were none too happy to have one of their priced assets escape though. They never tried to track you down to zero you?
A: Oh, they tried alright… They sent a bitchin’ team of netrunners to track me down. Some of the top talent from my class, in fact. It took them about 3 years to find me. By that time, I’d already started to make a name for myself through back channels. Doing wet work for whoever paid the eddies. No children, no women. Everything else is fine by me. I don’t care if you’re a priest or a Corpo executive. If the eddies are good, you better get ready to die.
Anyway, the hit squad came around January. It was cold as balls. I was doing a surveillance op on some rich pricks that were believed to be running a child abduction ring. Later proved correct, anyway. Around 2:35 AM, the building went dark. Thankfully my surveillance is all local: driven, hard-wired to a battery bank. Not my first rodeo.
The first enemy squad triggered the lidar sensor in the downstairs hallway, and I had just enough time to evaluate what was about to go down. I’ve been in some hairy shit but when you see those MaxTac goggles, you know it’s going to either be, well, MaxTac or some other no-fucking-around entity. I packed up swiftly with my go bag and activated the antipersonnel mines going up the stairwell. Collapsed it partially. Figure I took out about half of their forces right there.
Having been there for almost two weeks, I had already perfected the E&E plan. All walls from the interior hardpoint had been detcorded with plastic to blow a perfect manhole all the way to the exterior to GTFO. I called in a favor from a friend to come pick me up. This friend just happens to be the CEO of Bart Force One today. Anyway, I prep the detonator and start blasting through the 6 circles of interior walls until I hit the exterior wall.
By this time, the remaining assault force has breached the main room and is trying to get around to me. I know because of the thermobaric grenades currently cooking off my gear. So, I tossed a few smoke and tear gas grenades in their direction to keep them occupied as long as possible. Shot my escape cable across to the neighboring building rooftop and hooked up my carabiner. It’s not strictly rated for it, but better bruised from the impact on the other side than dead on this one. I set off, backwards. A rain of sparks came flying off the titanium-carbide carabiner as it slowly chewed itself to pieces. Unhooked just as it was about to snap on the other side—in time for the Arasaka hit squad to start opening up from the old opening. I took a hell of a beating from the fall but managed to stagger to my feet.
At this point, I’m pumping adrenaline at a million miles an hour. I drop to a knee behind the closest hard cover and empty a magazine in the general direction of the enemy muzzle flashes. Keep in mind that the opening pouring smoke and tear gas, making it impossible to see any shapes other than shadowy blobs of people making a plan how to proceed. The first brave soul hooks up and comes flying down towards me. He gets picked off with three rounds burst to center mass. He smashes into the wall behind me. There’s a massive splatter of blood and guts.
They didn’t send anyone else, so after a few seconds, I figured if I didn’t move, I’d be pinned on this rooftop and flanked any second. That’s how you die. Idleness. MOVE A, MOVE... MOVE! I ran to the hatch for roof access and made my way downstairs to street level as fast as possible. Changed my outfit as I ran down. Double-sided clothing is a godsend. A trick learned from the Mossad agents during training. Three seconds after, I make my way into the bustling metropolis downtown. The assault team rushes the door on the way up to the rooftop. I slide past them in now totally different looking clothes at a glance. Car’s a block away. Made my way out clean. My bounty grew a sizable chunk that day.
I: Wow. Just. Wow. Not many living people can tell tales of Arasaka hitmen. Those people don’t fuck around. So, then what? What was next for Adrienne? Is that when you got your nickname, Valkyrie?
A: Ah yes. My nickname, call sign… whatever you want to call it. I joined my friend from Bart Force One as a unit leader specializing in high risk, extremely dangerous hostage rescue. The kind you’d normally send MaxTac to figure out. But even MaxTac isn’t perfect. They have a lot of flaws. Their members, while efficient killing machines, leave a lot to be desired as far as the diplomatic core you need to stay afloat outside of their echo chambers with almost unlimited funding.
After, I’d say, 7 years running operations, we had some insane gigs under our belt, but this one would be extremely difficult. We had been recruiting heavily and had about 60 operators on standby at all times. It might not sound like a lot when you consider other operations… like Arasaka’s. But we hand picked every member. They were all the best operators in their fields. Scalped from whoever we could, at ANY cost. Our normal operation teams had 6-8 operators on the ground in missions. More than that and you just make too much noise and signature. With netrunner support offsite and a specialist team of jammers close by to disrupt response times in case anyone got the call out, we were in the area to have some fun.
This operation was quite special. Most rich fucks tend to get the big Corpos to handle their dirty work. This one though, not so much. The son of a high-standing Corpo had been kidnapped by an especially vicious competing Corpo trying to blackmail them into handing over some R&D plans. Sending the father BD’s of his son’s torture. The truly fucked-up kind. So, we get called in. Myself and T go to meet the executive, and he’s just a mess. We get the job on the spot and start getting in contact with all local assets we had. HUMINT and SIGINT were on point and we had them located in less than 48 hours. Myself as team lead, had my team with me. They had been holed up in an old derelict cargo ship by the docks. Secluded, but very open. Not the best infil options.
With some help from a sister company, we managed to scavenge some Old World underwater rovers for the 6-man team. We submerged from a sister ship about 3 clicks out at the darkest point of the night. It took us about 25 minutes to get in range and make our way to the bulkhead silent-like. Our own R&D department had some fun toys for specialized breaching. In this case, we got a really fancy yet old school bell housing used in underwater repair for gas lines. Modified to fit the hull of a boat so you could get inside, blow out all the water, and you effectively had yourself the most cramped room you’ve ever been in. HUMINT and satellite over watch told us that most of the activity on the boat was in the rear ward section, near the superstructure. We estimated a 70% chance of not meeting anyone on the other side as we started to weld through the bulkhead.
About 25 minutes later, we extracted the huge slab of steel into the middle of our little home and sprayed it down with water to cool it enough so we could get inside quickly and ditch our underwater gear. We’d be getting picked up from the front of the vessel by Aerodyne. We slipped in, still unnoticed. Threw off our swimsuits and got our bang sticks ready for action. Subsonic ammunition loaded in our Saratoga’s with our in-house integral suppressors mimicking the MP5 SD’s of old. Unlike the movies though, it’s still loud. But not too bad in this setup.
We spend the next 30 minutes slowly moving forward, toward the superstructure. By this time, we’re wondering where the fuck the opposition is. If it’s a dry hole. But that changed quickly. As we were slicing the pie into the first superstructure, still at bottom level, two assault robots show up out of nowhere. Followed by two ceiling turrets popping out of their spider holes. We threw a steady stream of EMP grenades into the room until the whirring of turret drives stopped. We were compromised and, with the utmost haste, we cleared through the room, stacking up on the staircase going upwards. A quick peek into the stairwell gave us a glance of people with muzzles pointed downward at us. Great. A fucking kill box of gigantic proportions. Since we are inside a boat, the overpressure would kill us if we tried to blast a vertical column past them. And we didn’t have time to find another way. So, we did what any good dirt kicker does. We sent two members into the engine room and scourged up as much diesel fuel as possible and dumped it into the staircase. And here is where the Valkyrie part comes in.
Now, we’ve got the best fully-sealed suits, possibly on the best on the planet. In an inferno, we can withstand steel-melting temps for about 45 seconds before the seal is breached. We had 45 seconds to get through a flame hell: up 6 stories. Six. Stories. While under heavy fire. Yup. We set it ablaze. The smoke and flames licking their way up the walls to a stunned and demoralized defender can’t be overstated. Now, normally we would smoke it, but we were blind enough as is and we needed to take out the defenders swiftly and fast.
So, it began… the Valkyrian assault through Hell’s gates. I stormed into the breach, clearing it as fast as possible as I’m sprinting up the staircase with flames licking across my visor and body. It’s hard to explain just how fucked up of a feeling it is to run through liquid fucking flames. In record time, I’m up to the first landing. The guy is cowering in fear trying to get away from the flames. Not today, gonk! I hit him with a 5-6 round burst square in the chest mid-sprint, and he collapses. My teammate behind does the same to be sure he stays down. Sprinting on pure adrenaline, we clear the second and third stories with the same outcome. Team members behind—firing straight up—keep their heads down as I clear the immediate front. Fuck, what a rush!
On the top level, there’s a split into a corridor. The flames from the ceiling are now spreading slowly outwards. I throw flashbangs at the same time as my teammate does, and we split up instinctively. Splitting the stack in two. T drops two guys standing at the end of the hallway trying to see us come up. They sadly don’t have the gear we do. They’re both dropped in half a second from expertly-placed center mass shots. Headshots belong in movies. You go for the biggest mass you can to ensure the kill. Clean. Fast. Effective.
A: “T, breaching main room in 30 seconds. Get ready to sweep in and take control of the bridge as we stack on the hostage room. Require 0.5 seconds headroom to keep their heads off our bulkhead door. Copy.”
T: “Roger that, A. We’re stacked, and ready to go. Suit integrity at 4%. We’re not going back the same way we came in, but we’ll blow a window out, rap down on the exterior, and secure the landing for your VIP. Over.”
A: “Understood. On my mark, 15 seconds. Mark. ALL UNITS ON THIS NET. START YOUR INGRESS OF EXTERNAL ASSETS. RHIB 1, SWEEP THE BOW, RHIB 2 SWEEP THE STERN. DOOMHAMMER, START YOUR APPROACH TO THE BOAT. LZ ON THE BOW, AS PLANNED. 5 SECONDS. 4. 3, 2, 1. EXECUTE, EXECUTE, EXECUTE.”
It’s like the roaring of thunder, the floor and walls shake as the first team breaches the wheelhouse, erupting in a barrage of gunfire. Half a second later, the door is blown open with the hydraulic battering ram brought for this specific reason. One shot. All you need. The door folds in on itself, and I storm into the room while flashbangs goes off. Sweeping right out of the kill zone. Two hostiles straight ahead. Tap. Tap. Tap. First one goes down like a sack of shit. Tap tap tap tap tap. Second goes down without hassle. Behind me, the rest of my 3-man stack executes on their sectors, and our barrels meet in the middle on the heavy-concussed CEO’s son. His eyes ripped out of their sockets. Fingers and feet mutilated, heavily. It’s straight out of a horror movie. Fuck. That shit will never leave my mind.
B: “Doomhammer on infil, ETA 2 min.”
D: “RHIB 1 raking the bow. No contacts.”
E: “RHIB 2 sweeping stern. Sporadic return fire. No problems.”
My second-in-command moves over to secure the VIP as we do a second sweep of hostiles in the room, placing quick and effective slugs into their data cores as pink mist splatters the floor. A perfect symphony of death and destruction. VIP is alive, but in rough shape. With a fireman’s carry, he’s loaded onto my second-in-command after throwing a helmet and a vest on him. Would suck for him to get zeroed on exfil.
A: “All units, status report. Any causalities?”
T: “This is T. L took a through and through to the leg, but he’ll make it. Other than some burnt eyebrows, we’re in one piece! See you on the helipad!"
Within minutes, there’s going to be NCPD crawling up our asses so we move quick, back the way we came, placing shots into the domes of anyone still laying around as we sweep through hostile territory again. It might have been cleared before, but a lot can change in 60 seconds of combat. No surprises allowed. The fire is still roaring at the split, and we make it through quickly, moving into the bloodbath on the bridge after T’s team did his thing. We rappelled down with our VIP as T pulled security on the deck. We moved swiftly with T’s team onto the helipad as the RHIB’s switched fire to the bridge and exposed port holes in the superstructure to minimize risk of ricochets hitting the team.
On time, our bird swooped up from the bow like a majestic falcon—full retrograde thrusters smacking down on the helipad like a perfect symmetry of man and machine. The doors open quickly and the machine gunner on the door starts spraying down his sector as we load up in about 5 seconds flat. Onboard ex-Trauma Team member F starts stabilizing the patient, and we pull back just in time as a long caravan of NCPD vehicles can be spotted in the distance. RHIB goes flat out into international waters and escapes into the night, laying low until being picked up by our sister ship later in the night. Mission success.
And that… that is how I got the nickname of Valkyrie. On that day, I chose who lived and died.
I: I… I have no comeback to that. Jesus. What a STORY for our viewers. Fucking hell.
Thank you so much for coming Adrienne! May your fixer days be a lot more comfy than that! Hah!
A: It was a pleasure. Thank you for having me. Stay strong, viewers. You, too, can become a legend. Hone your skills into lethal precision and you’ll sit in this interview room one day, I promise you that. Later chombatta!