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Watch_Dogs

By Joannes June 26, 2014

T-Bone, are you crazy? You can't just repost from the front page like that!

T-Bone, are you crazy? You can’t just repost from the front page like that!

FADE IN:

INT. MERLAUT HOTEL – CHICAGO

HACKER EXTRAORDINAIRE AIDEN PEARCE is walking around A CROWDED HOTEL LOBBY while LOOKING AT HIS PHONE. He’s talking to DAMIEN BRENKS on SPEAKER, which seems like A REALLY DUMB THING TO DO during a CRIMINAL OPERATION.

AIDEN PEARCE

I’ve gained access to their computer systems. Before I start describing anything related to hacking, are we going with boring but accurate lingo or just random flashy technobabble?

DAMIEN BRENKS

Secrets and lies floating in a cloud of data. We just reach out and pluck them out of the sky! We truly are the modern-day magicians!

AIDEN PEARCE

Ah okay, the romanticised view. Question about the reaching out and plucking part though, why do I have to be inside the lobby to do this? There’s loads of cameras in here and hacking is a thing that can be done remotely, unless Hollywood lied about that too.

DAMIEN BRENKS

You need line of sight to hack something, which is a rule that doesn’t make any sense so we’ll be breaking it a lot. But not now.

AIDEN PEARCE

Also, why do you talk about stealing secrets when I’m really here to empty people’s bank accounts? Am I just a common thief?

DAMIEN BRENKS

Yes actually, but you’re also the protagonist, so you’re gonna need some kind of personal tragedy to justify your actions and paint you as a sympathetic character.

AIDEN PEARCE

What do you propose?

DAMIEN BRENKS

Oh fie, my hack is being hacked by another hacker! They’ll surely be coming after us now and our families might be caught in the crossfire!

AIDEN’S NIECE is KILLED in a CAR CRASH, which is ILLUSTRATED using that most SUBTLE OF IMAGERY: A FALLING STUFFED ANIMAL. IT’S A LAMB. A SACRIFICIAL LAMB. COME THE FUCK ON.

AIDEN PEARCE

Great, now anyone with a niece will be sympathetic to me. I will avenge Lena’s death and become -- the Vigilante! Seriously, that’s what I’m going to call myself.

DAMIEN BRENKS

At least it’s not as trite and on the nose as the name they came up with for the city’s central operating system. Are you sitting down? It’s -- the Central Operating System, or ctOS for short. ctOS consolidates the entire electrical infrastructure of Chicago into a unified and largely autonomous network. They installed it after a hacker caused the Northeast blackout of 2003.

AIDEN PEARCE

What kind of an assbackwards strategy is that? That’s like a bank getting robbed and then advertising the plans for its security overhaul.

DAMIEN BRENKS

To further that analogy, the bank also left in the tunnel the robbers dug. ctOS only made things insultingly easy for us. People just will not learn that trusting a single piece of software with such a huge responsibility is never a good idea.

UPLAY

Hey, just a heads up that I lost my connection to the Ubisoft servers, which means I can’t save your progress right now. I’m gonna go ahead and kick you out of the game. Fuck you.

INT. MAY STADIUM – CHICAGO

ELEVEN MONTHS LATER, AIDEN has finally managed to LOG BACK INTO UPLAY and track down MAURICE VEGA, the guy who KILLED HIS NIECE. He CONFRONTS him in a STORAGE ROOM.

AIDEN PEARCE

Give me a name!

MAURICE VEGA

Oh, are you looking for a new one since Aiden Pearce is so not like anyone would be named ever?

AIDEN PEARCE

No, I mean tell me who hired you to take me out!

MAURICE VEGA

Like I’m gonna tell you that when the game’s only just started! And while I was hired with the explicit task of taking you out, I decided to swing that into scaring you off! I never anticipated that flipping your car would result in your niece’s death though. I mean, what are the odds?

AIDEN PEARCE

Oh well if it was an accident, I suppose I’ll just clobber you to within an inch of your life.

AIDEN beats up MAURICE and then meets up with JORDI CHIN, a FIXER who is INTRODUCED while casually STABBING A GANG BANGER.

JORDI CHIN

So did you kill Maurice?

AIDEN PEARCE

I totally thought I was going to, but my gun turned out to be empty, which surprised both of us. Can you keep him somewhere so I can extract more information from him?

JORDI CHIN

Why can’t you just trace the caller who gave him the assignment? You have the call on your phone.

AIDEN PEARCE

I can’t right now. The ability to trace phone calls seems to be entirely dependent on what the plot allows for without any regard for consistency. So just get Maurice out of here.

JORDI CHIN

Alright. To get us out, I called both the cops and more gang bangers to the stadium. Their inevitable bloody shootout should cover our escape.

AIDEN PEARCE

Now you’re just destroying the goodwill Lena bought me. At this rate I’m going to need another dead family member to maintain my sympathetic character.

JORDI CHIN

Or you could just do what I do and be cheerfully entertaining the whole time. Maybe start with having a personality at all. Ha cha cha!

While JORDI busies himself with MAURICE, AIDEN heads for the EXIT, which is already BLOCKED OFF by the POLICE. He calls FELLOW HACKER “BADBOY17″ for HELP.

AIDEN PEARCE

Before I go into what I need, why have you still not changed your alias? What, is BadBoy17 an old Hotmail handle you can’t get away from?

BADBOY17

It’s actually a subtle ploy to conceal my true identity as -- wait for it -- A MOTHERFUCKING WOMAN HOLY FUCK!

AIDEN PEARCE

I promise I’ll still act surprised when that’s revealed. Anyway, the police have locked down the stadium, which makes Jordi’s plan as idiotic and shortsighted as it is reckless.

BADBOY17

Ah, it didn’t create the abject mayhem you were hoping for, you shining beacon of compassion? Well, you can always hack into ctOS to blackout the stadium and cause a massive panic.

AIDEN PEARCE

So the system implemented to prevent blackouts has made it considerably easier to cause them. I should just stop pointing out the flaws in this premise, right?

BADBOY17

You’d be here quite a while.

AIDEN uses his PHONE to BLACKOUT the STADIUM and INCONVENIENCE A WHOLE BUNCH OF PEOPLE.

JORDI CHIN

Hey, I left you a car outside so you can make your getaway. Be sure to avoid the cops though.

AIDEN PEARCE

If I have to kill any of them, I’m blaming their deaths on you.

JORDI CHIN

Blaming other people for deaths you’re accountable for does seem to be your thing.

AIDEN evades the POLICE and drives to his SUPER SECRET HIDEOUT in a MOTEL ROOM. He must have A HELL OF A TIME telling HOUSEKEEPING to FUCK OFF.

AIDEN PEARCE

Now to look in on my sister and nephew through the cameras I’ve snuck into their house. Hopefully they’re not talking about me at this very moment and of course they are.

JACKSON PEARCE

(on monitor)

He’s coming to my birthday party tomorrow, right? I’ll be ever so disappointed if he doesn’t show up!

NICOLE PEARCE

(on monitor)

Jackson, your uncle is a changed man. He’s turned into a typical Ubisoft protagonist: a gruff and jaded man with a brooding chip on his shoulder and a marketable wardrobe.

Without a convenient MIRROR nearby, AIDEN resorts to PUNCHING HIS CONSPIRACY WALL. He then goes to SLEEP with ALL HIS CLOTHES ON. EVEN HIS BALLCAP. COME ON. WHO DOES THAT.

INT. MOTEL ROOM – CHICAGO

AIDEN wakes up from A NIGHTMARE ABOUT LENA that had A LOT OF GLITCHY ARTIFACTS, so apparently his DREAMS are POORLY COMPRESSED.

AIDEN PEARCE

I mustn’t be late for Jackson’s party. This is my chance to --

(grins)

reconnect with my family.

DEVELOPER UBISOFT MONTREAL

Wait! Did you know that you can tap into the ctOS threat monitoring system and stop crimes before they happen? It’s one of the various side missions you can freely engage in!

AIDEN PEARCE

Sure, I’ll get to a few of those right after --

DEVELOPER UBISOFT MONTREAL

To illustrate how they work, we’ve just made the one nearest to you into a mandatory objective. Have fun!

AIDEN PEARCE

Hmm, now my suddenly overwhelming need to fight crime is interfering with my personal life. Coupled with my growly sandpaper voice, this must mean I’m a superhero!

After preventing A FEW CRIMES and briefly letting his TRENCHCOAT BILLOW IN THE WIND, AIDEN heads over to NICOLE’S HOUSE.

EXT. NICOLE’S HOUSE – CHICAGO

AIDEN is LATE TO THE PARTY, despite having STOLEN A CAR and RUN OVER TWO PEDESTRIANS to GET THERE FASTER.

NICOLE PEARCE

Hey Aiden. You look older.

AIDEN PEARCE

Well obviously, you haven’t seen me in nearly a year. Let’s catch up by dwelling on as many unpleasant memories as we can. Say, wasn’t it sad when Lena died?

NICOLE PEARCE

For Christ’s sake, move on already! I’m her mother and I’ve moved on.

AIDEN PEARCE

But obsessing over my family is all that makes me relatable! You and Jackson are the two most important people in the world to me! I’m not gonna stop watching you, you know.

NICOLE PEARCE

That’s really sweet and wait, what?

AIDEN PEARCE

Out. I’m not gonna stop watching out for you ha ha. You should also note that this chapter is only titled Big Brother because I’m your brother and I’m older, as you’ve helpfully pointed out already.

NICOLE PEARCE

Oh okay.

(motions Jackson over)

Say hi to your uncle, Jackson.

JACKSON PEARCE

...

AIDEN PEARCE

Still won’t talk to anyone but your mother, eh? That must’ve been a pleasant birthday party.

NICOLE PEARCE

(answering phone)

Excuse me while I take this call.

AIDEN PEARCE

Excuse me while I hack your phone and listen in on it.

AIDEN learns that NICOLE is being THREATENED BY SOMEONE. He TRACES THE CALL to a CAR RIGHT OUTSIDE THE HOUSE because you need LINE OF SIGHT to make a PHONE CALL TOO APPARENTLY.

AIDEN PEARCE

Gotta go! Sorry about promising that things would be different! They clearly won’t be!

After CHASING DOWN the CRANK CALLER, AIDEN finds out from THE GUY’S PHONE that he was HIRED BY SOMEONE ELSE.

AIDEN PEARCE

BadBoy, even though I could trace Nicole’s call, I arbitrarily can’t trace this one. Can you tell me who hired this guy to harass my sister?

BADBOY17

Can’t you just ask him?

AIDEN PEARCE

Uhh -- he ran into my collapsible baton and knocked himself out.

BADBOY17

Right. Well, I can pinpoint their location if you can hack into the ctOS control centre for this district. Incidentally, you’ll have to do that for all the districts to unlock citywide ctOS access.

AIDEN PEARCE

We’re really playing the Ubisoft game template to the hilt, aren’t we?

BADBOY17

Yes. Now if you don’t mind, I’m in the middle of a game of needless chess.

EXT. CTOS CONTROL CENTRE – CHICAGO

AIDEN drives up to the CTOS CONTROL CENTRE, which is HEAVILY GUARDED.

AIDEN PEARCE

Alright, I have to get past all these guards and into the server room. Good thing the game just forced me to buy an assault rifle.

DEVELOPER UBISOFT MONTREAL

Wait! Did you know that you can humanise the guards by profiling them and learning about their personal lives? That might make you think twice about killing them!

AIDEN PEARCE

I did that, but all the guards seem to be despicable human beings. I mean, this one here apparently killed a dolphin!

DEVELOPER UBISOFT MONTREAL

Yes, but --

AIDEN PEARCE

In fact, I’ve had my profiler open most of the time and it seems the rest of the city is populated largely by sex addicts and easter eggs.

DEVELOPER UBISOFT MONTREAL

You see, the thing is --

AIDEN PEARCE

Also, isn’t it kind of insulting to reduce each citizen of Chicago to the single most salient fact about them? That basically means every single person in this game is a stereotype. Nice job.

DEVELOPER UBISOFT MONTREAL

It’s a comment on --

(beat)

Look, just break into the goddamn control centre, okay?

AIDEN starts TAKING OVER CAMERAS and finds one overlooking A SECURITY ROUTER. He HACKS it by playing A QUICK GAME OF CONNECT-THE-NODES.

AIDEN PEARCE

Oh look at that. The actual hacking is abstracted into a minigame that involves redirecting a current flow with pipes. BioShock did get it right.

Eventually, AIDEN gets inside THE SERVER ROOM, where he happens across FOOTAGE OF MONITORED CITIZENS.

AIDEN PEARCE

Wait, what’s this? ctOS appears to have unfettered access to people’s homes! What a gross invasion of privacy! Don’t they know you can only watch people in their homes when they’re your family and you’re disturbingly overprotective of them?

After UNLOCKING CTOS for the DISTRICT, AIDEN gets a CALL from JORDI.

JORDI CHIN

Aiden, I need a favour! I recommended your services to one of Chicago’s many crime syndicates. If you want, you can pretend it’s about destroying them from the inside rather than money.

AIDEN PEARCE

Good thing I don’t mind committing a bit of crime while fighting it. What do they need me to hack?

JORDI CHIN

No, they actually need a driver for a job and I told them you’re the best.

AIDEN PEARCE

Ah yes, in addition to being a talented hacker, a gifted social engineer, a firearms expert, a parkour practitioner and a brutally efficient hand-to-hand combatant, I’m indeed quite good behind the wheel. Although that’s mostly because all the cars have a very forgiving damage model and handle like wheelchairs on ice. Also because most of the city seems to be built out of papier-mâché.

JORDI CHIN

You need to pick up a wanted man and keep him out of the hands of the cops. And before you ask, I’m not the one who called them this time.

DEVELOPER UBISOFT MONTREAL

This is also a type of side mission you can freely engage in! Except this one is mandatory again! Open worlds are awesome!

AIDEN picks up SOME LOWLIFE THUG and brings him to a MEETING with DERMOT “LUCKY” QUINN, BOSS of the CHICAGO SOUTH CLUB.

LUCKY QUINN

Allow me to demonstrate what an evil scumbag I am by straight up stabbing this lowlife thug and always baring my teeth.

(he does)

Thanks for driving him to his death. I know it’s painfully obvious that I’m going to be a primary villain related to what happened at the Merlaut, but for the sake of the plot, I’ll pretend to not recognise you. Just for future reference though: if you consistently conceal your identity with the same outfit, you’re kind of defeating the point.

AIDEN PEARCE

Fuck, I’ll actually have to invest in some of those cosmetic alternate outfits.

DEVELOPER UBISOFT MONTREAL

Excellent idea! You can check this absolute monster of a chart to see whether a pre-order bonus has already gotten you one.

EXT. UNDERGROUND ACCESS – CHICAGO

While DRIVING AROUND, AIDEN is contacted by BADBOY17.

BADBOY17

Aiden, we need to meet in person. Remember, you promised to still act surprised.

AIDEN arrives at the MEETING POINT and sees CLARA LILLE, who looks like A DESIGN-BY-COMMITTEE HIPSTER.

AIDEN PEARCE

gasp you’re a woman

CLARA LILLE

Eh, good enough. I’m part of DedSec, an underground hacking collective that opposes ctOS mass surveillance. We pride ourselves on total anonymity.

AIDEN PEARCE

Then why do you have the DedSec logo on your shirt?

CLARA LILLE

Uhh -- that’s actually a double bluff.

AIDEN PEARCE

I need to know I can trust you, so I’m just going to physically intimidate you now. Ignore the fact that this is the exact same thing the ctOS threat monitoring system flags half the time. Violence against women seems to be par for the course.

CLARA LILLE

Give me your phone for a sec. I can install some apps that’ll allow you to access ctOS and use it to your advantage.

AIDEN PEARCE

Wasn’t that already the reason for breaking into that ctOS control centre earlier?

CLARA LILLE

Okay fine, I’m only doing this so I can romanticise about “opening your world.” Yes Ubisoft, this is an open world game, we get it.

AIDEN PEARCE

I’m really not interested in any more inane distractions to artificially bloat the game’s runtime, so just give me my next mission objective.

CLARA LILLE

Very well. I can only trace the person who had Nicole threatened once you hack the server inside a ctOS office tower.

AIDEN PEARCE

Wasn’t that also already the reason for breaking into that ctOS control centre earlier?

AIDEN breaks into THE CTOS OFFICE TOWER and STILL DOESN’T GET A NAME, only A SIGNAL SOURCE.

EXT. APARTMENT BUILDING – CHICAGO

CLARA has traced THE SIGNAL to an APARTMENT BUILDING.

AIDEN PEARCE

Hmm, this area is absolutely stuffed with offensive hacking opportunities. I guess I’ll be fighting waves of dudes here as soon as I find the source of the signal. Truly, no longer are chest-high walls or generous ammunition caches the sole signposts of impending combat.

AIDEN finds a PHONE that puts him in touch with DAMIEN BRENKS. He ANSWERS IT by HACKING IT because he is A HACKER.

DAMIEN BRENKS

Surprise! It’s me, your old mentor and comrade in arms! I need your help, Aiden. Come find me and we’ll talk.

AIDEN PEARCE

You could’ve just asked instead of threatening my sister and making me repeatedly risk life and limb during a wild-goose chase.

DAMIEN BRENKS

I just wanted to see whether you were still at the top of your game. It’s a variation on that wafer-thin “I knew you’d survive” rationale that villains use when they need the hero alive but still put him in harm’s way.

AIDEN PEARCE

So you’re a villain now?

DAMIEN BRENKS

Give me a break! I obviously don’t have the screen presence to be a convincing villain! Incidentally, you triggered an alarm in my apartment, so enjoy surviving the imminent waves of dudes sent out to kill you!

AIDEN PEARCE

Who the hell is going to respond to a burglary alarm with immediate lethal force?

DAMIEN BRENKS

Fixers, of course! Need a group of generic opponents that aren’t cops or security guards? Call in a bunch of fixers! They’re basically mercenaries so please proceed as if they’ve all killed dolphins.

AIDEN PEARCE

Oh I know, Jordi’s a fixer too so I’m well aware of how morally bankrupt they can get. He gets a pass because he’s cheerfully entertaining about it though.

After dealing with the FIXERS, AIDEN manages to TRACE DAMIEN’S LOCATION.

EXT. CLOUD GATE – CHICAGO

AIDEN meets with DAMIEN underneath THE CLOUD GATE, that CHROME JELLY BEAN SCULPTURE.

AIDEN PEARCE

Is that gray blob supposed to be the Cloud Gate? This is a next-gen game, you’d think it could manage a reflection at least.

DAMIEN BRENKS

For Christ’s sake, don’t start about the visual downgrade! You’ll have everyone up in arms about volumetric shaders and 1080p again.

AIDEN PEARCE

But even your walking animation looks all stiff and robotic!

DAMIEN BRENKS

No no, that’s because they broke my legs in retaliation for the Merlaut job and before you start, that’s just as bad as a dead niece! I mean, I used to sit in front of a computer all day but now I have to do that even harder!

AIDEN PEARCE

So they didn’t go after your family and Lena’s death was really an accident. Perhaps my all-consuming thirst for revenge is a little disproportionate after all.

(beat, shakes head)

No, I stubbornly refuse to see reason! In fact, I’m blaming Lena’s death entirely on your fuckup at the Merlaut!

DAMIEN BRENKS

It’s not my fault, there was a second hacker! Well, a third one. I can find him, but I need your help.

AIDEN PEARCE

Even though it should be plainly obvious to a gifted social engineer like myself that you’re quick-tempered and unhinged, I think I’ll just antagonise you further. Make like a file tree and leave!

AIDEN decides to VISIT LENA’S GRAVESTONE for a POIGNANT FLASHBACK that reminds him again to MOVE ON ALREADY. He then VAULTS OVER IT.

EXT. GORMAN HEIGHTS APARTMENTS – CHICAGO

Since he’s COMPLETED HIS LAST OBJECTIVE, AIDEN is immediately presented WITH THE NEXT ONE.

JORDI CHIN

Hey Aiden, remember that gang banger I killed at the stadium? Apparently I didn’t kill him enough. He’s now in a prison cell and the cops want him to identify you.

AIDEN PEARCE

Identify us, right? He saw both of us and he might point the finger even harder at you since you’re the one who fucking stabbed him.

JORDI CHIN

Nope, just you. I need to maintain my carefree demeanour, which I do by not caring. Now meet me on the rooftop of Gorman Heights.

AIDEN makes his way to THE ROOFTOP PATIO and finds JORDI casually HOLDING A FAMILY HOSTAGE.

AIDEN PEARCE

I hope you have a flippant joke prepared to make all this seem okay.

JORDI CHIN

Yeah yeah, something about a pizza guy. So, here’s the incredibly convoluted plan. There’s a fixer contract out on Raul Lionzo, the gang banger in lockup. I know I said the cops want to interrogate him, but now we’re going with fixers because whatever. The fixer in charge of the assignment is holed up in that rail yard across the river.

AIDEN PEARCE

So I just need to find him and persuade him to drop the contract?

JORDI CHIN

No, you need to find him and persuade him to tell you which other fixer got the contract! Did you miss the part where I said it’s all incredibly convoluted?

AIDEN PEARCE

Urgh, fine. Then how does scarring this family for life figure into it?

JORDI CHIN

The fixer’s got a bunch of armed dudes protecting him, so I figured this patio would make an excellent sniping vantage point. Fuck you if you were planning on a non-lethal approach. I’m gonna shoot anyone I see.

(readies sniper rifle)

AIDEN PEARCE

We need to have a talk about how none of your plans ever work in my favour.

AIDEN swims across THE RIVER and somehow DOESN’T RUIN HIS PHONE. He then INFILTRATES THE RAIL YARD and CORNERS THE FIXER, LANCE BRENNER.

AIDEN PEARCE

Who did you give the prison contract on Raul to?

LANCE BRENNER

Wait, you’re actually interrogating me? Don’t you usually just knock people out and then hack their phones for convenient clues?

AIDEN PEARCE

Yes, but this time I think I’ll go with a different tactic. Hey, my profiler says you’ve got two kids! How are they?

LANCE BRENNER

Isn’t it kind of tasteless to threaten my family considering you’re doing all this to keep yours safe?

AIDEN PEARCE

Do I look like I care? I barely reacted to Jordi terrorising those people back there and that was for an even flimsier reason.

LANCE BRENNER

Okay fine, a guy named Angelo Tucci got the job. He’s arranging a prison convoy to move Raul.

AIDEN PEARCE

Angelo Tucci? Let’s have a look here. Ah excellent, he has a niece!

LANCE BRENNER

Wow. Just -- wow.

AIDEN escapes and goes to find ANGELO’S NIECE.

AIDEN PEARCE

Clara, I need a location on a Helena Tucci.

CLARA LILLE

Let me check. Ah, she’s one of those obnoxious women who post their entire lives to social media. Lots of duckface selfies, which are indeed a thing that exists. Her latest status update reads: goin to meeting at willis tower lol #earlybirdgetsworm #allworknoplay

AIDEN PEARCE

#jesuswept

EXT. WILLIS TOWER – CHICAGO

After TRICKING HELENA into CALLING ANGELO, AIDEN TRACES his LOCATION. SERIOUSLY, this is basically TRACING CALLS: THE GAME.

AIDEN PEARCE

Jordi, I found the fixer who got the prison contract. Dare I ask what the next step of your plan is?

JORDI CHIN

I didn’t think that far ahead. Kill him I guess?

AIDEN locates ANGELO and KILLS HIM, which triggers A SHOOTOUT WITH MORE FIXERS, which probably kills INNOCENT BYSTANDERS. That’s OKAY because AIDEN PREVENTED A FEW CRIMES EARLIER and that cancels out THIS ONE.

AIDEN PEARCE

Now we still have to make sure Raul doesn’t talk to anyone. I need him to understand I can reach him anywhere. Instead of using some original hacking trick to accomplish that, I’ll just find him in prison and tell him in person.

JORDI CHIN

What an incredibly convoluted plan. I love it. How will you get in there though?

AIDEN PEARCE

Easy. I’ll walk into the prison and get arrested.

JORDI CHIN

What? A prison isn’t a hotel, you can’t just stroll in and get a cell. You need to be officially charged with something and get a sentencing. I mean, my plans are stupid, but at least they obey conventional logic.

AIDEN PEARCE

It seems perfectly logical to me. Criminals are locked up in cells and a prison has cells so I’ll walk in like a criminal and be put in one. I suspect they’ll at least be smart enough to confiscate my phone, so I need a way to smuggle it inside.

JORDI CHIN

Too bad phones aren’t yet small enough to fit up your ass. I’ll have a guy on the inside get it to you. I could actually ask that guy to deliver Raul a stern warning on your behalf, but where’s the gameplay in that?

INT. PALIN CORRECTIONAL CENTRE – CHICAGO

AIDEN walks into the PRISON and shows that he is ARMED. This immediately GETS HIM THROWN IN A CELL because GUNS ARE CRIMINAL.

AIDEN PEARCE

Unless I want to cause the very thing I’m trying to prevent, I’ll need to change my name in the database. Something that doesn’t look like a fake. John Smith? Nah, too obvious. Wait, I have it! Joe Smith!

Using his PHONE, AIDEN changes his NAME and then escapes his CELL.

JORDI CHIN

Hey Aiden, in case you were wondering, every single one of these prison guards is hopelessly corrupt, so don’t feel bad about gunning them down or anything.

AIDEN PEARCE

I swear, you better not be packing a sniper rifle on a nearby rooftop right now.

AIDEN tracks down RAUL LIONZO in the LAUNDRY ROOM, where he was being BRUTALISED by a few CORRUPT GUARDS.

AIDEN PEARCE

Do you know who I am?

RAUL LIONZO

I haven’t the faintest.

AIDEN PEARCE

Picture me with an iconic ballcap and a poorly buttoned trenchcoat.

RAUL LIONZO

You’re the guy from the stadium!

AIDEN PEARCE

That’s right. I could just kill you, but I’m taking the moral high ground on this one. So instead, I’m going to do exactly nothing about the living hell you’re currently in and threaten to make it last a lot longer should you decide to identify me. Isn’t that swell of me?

RAUL LIONZO

Not sure how I’d manage to identify your bland and generic features at all, but okay, you got me.

AIDEN leaves RAUL to his FATE WORSE THAN DEATH and FLEES THE PRISON. Later, FIVE JOE SMITHS are ARRESTED.

EXT. RIVER PROMENADE – CHICAGO

While DRIVING AROUND, AIDEN listens to the RADIO and wishes ROCKSTAR HAD FURNISHED THE LICENSED TRACKS.

AIDEN PEARCE

That actually worked out really well, considering how incredibly convoluted it all was.

RADIO ANNOUNCER

That was Weezer with “The Good Life” for some reason. This just in: police are on the lookout for the Vigilante, who has been identified as Aiden Pearce. When approached for comment, officials would not confirm whether this was thanks to a witness report or Aiden being a complete moron.

AIDEN PEARCE

Correction: that actually was a colossal fucking waste of my time.

He is then CONTACTED by DAMIEN BRENKS.

DAMIEN BRENKS

Aiden! I want you to reconsider helping me track down that other hacker from the Merlaut job. I know that’s already been your motivation for months, but you may need a reminder after that whole lengthy prison thing.

AIDEN PEARCE

No! You’re barking up the wrong file tree!

DAMIEN BRENKS

I’ll have to force your hand then. I just kidnapped your sister, since your family is clearly the easiest way to get to you. To prove that I have her, I’m publicly broadcasting footage of me inside her house. Hope nobody else but you takes notice!

AIDEN PEARCE

Thanks, now I’m sympathetic to anyone with a sister too.

AIDEN races over to NICOLE’S HOUSE and meets with DAMIEN.

AIDEN PEARCE

Where are you holding her? I know that’s a pointless question, but I’m asking it anyway!

DAMIEN BRENKS

I’ll only release Nicole once you find the hacker from the Merlaut. Here’s his IP address. Please don’t ask how I got it or why I haven’t traced it myself.

AIDEN PEARCE

Fine. Wait, where’s Jackson?

DAMIEN BRENKS

I figured Nicole would suffice as leverage. I have no idea where he is, but don’t let something as trivial as a missing nephew distract you from the task I just gave you!

After DAMIEN LEAVES, AIDEN traces JACKSON’S TABLET and finds him RIDING THE L-TRAINS. He decides to call JACKSON’S THERAPIST, YOLANDA MENDEZ.

AIDEN PEARCE

Thanks for coming, Ms. Mendez. Can you look after Jackson for a couple of days? His mother is still grieving over Lena and needs some time alone, which is a lie as painfully transparent as it is downright insulting, especially with Jackson right here within earshot.

YOLANDA MENDEZ

You’re lucky I’m the worst therapist in the world. Either that, or Jackson never talked about his manipulative uncle in his months of therapy, which still makes me a shitty therapist. Whatever, I fully understand how irritating it can be to take care of a kid in a videogame and that I’m only here to relieve you of that burden. Feel free to offload him.

AIDEN PEARCE

You’re a saint.

INT. MOTEL ROOM – CHICAGO

When AIDEN RETURNS to his HIDEOUT, he arranges a MEETING with CLARA.

AIDEN PEARCE

I’ve got an IP address that’ll lead me to the other hacker from the Merlaut. When I find him, I’ll finally be able to make all those involved in my niece’s death pay.

CLARA LILLE

Oh -- heh -- gosh -- please don’t find my sudden discomfort suspicious or anything!

AIDEN PEARCE

Relax, I’m obviously clueless to things like that. I couldn’t even anticipate Damien’s villainy and he looks like Willem Dafoe with a beanie. Now let’s see where that IP address leads.

CLARA LILLE

Right. Should we still pretend that our location won’t be traced or can we consider the imminent presence of fixers a foregone conclusion?

AIDEN PEARCE

I’m sorry, did you even see the amount of things to hack right outside? Get your gun out already.

As soon as he RUNS THE TRACE, the MOTEL is OVERRUN by FIXERS. AIDEN DESTROYS HIS EQUIPMENT and then ESCAPES WITH CLARA.

AIDEN PEARCE

Even though I hardly did anything with that equipment that I couldn’t already do with my magical superphone, I’ll still need a new base of operations. Any ideas?

CLARA LILLE

Well, there’s an urban legend that the first ctOS test site is located on a nearby island. It’s called “the Bunker” and they say it offers untraceable root access to the entire network.

AIDEN PEARCE

And it’s just sitting there? Even for an urban legend, that doesn’t make much sense.

CLARA LILLE

Would I have brought it up if it wasn’t going to end up being true? I think not.

EXT. WATERFRONT – CHICAGO

AIDEN and CLARA head over to THE WATERFRONT and see THE ISLAND.

CLARA LILLE

There it is. We’ll need to operate that bridge so we can get across.

AIDEN PEARCE

Why don’t we just swim there?

CLARA LILLE

Uhh -- no, let’s just find a way to use the bridge.

AIDEN PEARCE

What, NPCs don’t get swimming animations?

CLARA LILLE

No, it’s --

(sighs)

These are rub-on tattoos. Popular culture now dictates that female hackers have to be tatted up and I didn’t want to get real ones. I already regret relenting to this fucking pixie cut hairdo.

AIDEN PEARCE

Very well. Hey, here’s some camera footage that shows the bridge can be operated by a guy named Tobias Frewer!

CLARA LILLE

I know that name. He used to work for Blume, the corporation that implemented and maintains ctOS.

AIDEN PEARCE

I was wondering when the corporate interest would rear its profit-driven head. According to my profiler, Tobias is homeless, but still plays poker pretty regularly. Good thing my phone has an app that can locate plot-critical poker games!

AIDEN heads over to the POKER GAME and finds TOBIAS FREWER after briefly BEING FORCED TO ACTUALLY PLAY SOME POKER.

AIDEN PEARCE

I need to get inside the Bunker. Give me the remote control for the bridge.

TOBIAS FREWER

No way, I’m a paranoid wreck! I won’t hand it over until you convince me you’re not from Blume!

AIDEN PEARCE

I’m not from Blume.

TOBIAS FREWER

Okay then, here it is.

AIDEN PEARCE

Whew, I was worried that was going to take another ridiculous chain of errands. You should be more careful, there are some fixers after you.

TOBIAS FREWER

You mean the ones that found me through you? Gee, thanks for the heads-up. I better stop associating with you then.

DEVELOPER UBISOFT MONTREAL

Wait! Did you know you can always swing by Tobias’ shop and purchase crafted tools and one-time hacks?

TOBIAS FREWER

Goddamnit.

AIDEN returns to CLARA and they both CROSS OVER TO THE BUNKER.

AIDEN PEARCE

If this place is such a legend in hacker circles, how come nobody has found a way in by now?

CLARA LILLE

It involves a couple of annoying platforming sequences to power up three generators, so nobody has bothered.

AIDEN PEARCE

Is that a fat joke? I’m getting a fat joke vibe from that.

AIDEN finds THE GENERATORS and tries to POWER THEM UP.

AIDEN PEARCE

Hmm, how do I activate the generators? They seem to have these weird lever-type things.

CLARA LILLE

Uhh -- try pulling on them?

AIDEN PEARCE

Oh right, of course! I’m just so used to hacking everything, I forgot things can still be operated manually. Doy.

Eventually, AIDEN and CLARA make it INSIDE THE BUNKER.

INT. THE BUNKER – CHICAGO

CLARA powers up THE OLD CTOS COMPUTERS.

CLARA LILLE

Despite being clogged with dust, these ten-year-old computers still work perfectly! Now let’s try that IP address again. Hmm, the signal seems to be coming from a tower block inside the Rossi-Fremont district. That’s the territory of the Black Viceroys, a violent street gang!

AIDEN PEARCE

Perhaps our hacker has bought their protection.

CLARA LILLE

Actually, since most hackers are clearly stereotyped as colourful and eccentric characters with several other skills on top of hacking, I’m betting our guy is really Delford Wade, leader of the Viceroys. He applies military tactics to gang warfare, which is why he calls himself “Iraq.”

AIDEN PEARCE

The Vigilante, the Central Operating System, and now Iraq. The writers just went with their first stab at it and broke for lunch, didn’t they?

AIDEN gains access to THE CAMERAS INSIDE ROSSI-FREMONT. He looks in on DELFORD “IRAQ” WADE and HIS COUSIN, TYRONE “BEDBUG” HAYES.

IRAQ

(on monitor)

Did you get a copy of the first season of The Wire? I need to make the Viceroys seem like a true-to-life and believable gang. I want an accurate and complex representation of modern urban life.

BEDBUG

(on monitor)

I couldn’t find it, but I’m told this is just as good. It’s a movie called Friday and it stars Ice Cube, so it must be authentic.

IRAQ’S ENTIRE GANG proceeds to talk about BITCHES AND HOS AND FUCKING AND DOPE AND SHEEEIT AND MORE FUCKING.

CLARA LILLE

Looks like Iraq is hiding a server bank in a heavily secured room. How will we get in there?

AIDEN PEARCE

I’ll have to blackmail a Viceroy and get him to break in for us. We’ll need someone who’s enough of a convenient idiot to spout compromising talk right when I need to record it.

BEDBUG

(on monitor)

Man, one of these days I’m gonna cap Iraq and take over the Viceroys. I think I will reiterate that sentiment later today.

AIDEN PEARCE

There we go. That fat kid’ll do. Bonus points for going after the family of Iraq.

CLARA LILLE

“That fat kid?” You’ve been using the ctOS profiler too much.

AIDEN starts TAILING BEDBUG and records him TALKING SMACK ABOUT IRAQ. He then GIVES HIM A PHONE CALL.

BEDBUG

Who the fuck is this? Batman?

AIDEN PEARCE

Unless you want Iraq to find out about your idle threats to supplant him, I suggest you do as I say. I want you to break into his server room.

BEDBUG

Your growly sandpaper voice compels me to take you seriously. But Iraq’s the only one allowed in that part of the building!

AIDEN PEARCE

Don’t worry, I’ll use the cameras to guide you past the guards. That does mean I’ll be gambling with your life, so can you maybe drop a line about some evil stuff you’ve done and assuage my potential guilt? For example, I don’t feel bad about my methods so far because I’ve already had to go through a depraved cannibal who tortures women to death and a human trafficking ring selling them into sexual slavery. Man, it sure sucks to be a woman apparently.

BEDBUG

Actually, I’m a 19-year-old kid living with my sassy grandma and my self-assertive attitude is really all bluster to cover for my desire to leave this kind of life behind.

AIDEN PEARCE

Well fuck.

AIDEN guides BEDBUG to the SERVER ROOM and starts DOWNLOADING DATA. IRAQ suddenly CATCHES BEDBUG and DANGLES HIM OUT OF A WINDOW.

AIDEN PEARCE

Oh crap, did I just get him killed?

BEDBUG

No, it’s okay! Iraq decided to let me go, no questions asked! Even though he plainly found me trespassing near his precious server on behalf of someone else! I’m lucky this game has some surprisingly forgiving bad guys.

AIDEN PEARCE

Whew, I almost felt bad for longer than two seconds there. Clara, what did we get from Iraq’s server?

CLARA LILLE

I only got a partial download and the files are locked with some kind of encryption that is beyond my skill. Perhaps we can use a brute-force attack to unlock the data?

AIDEN PEARCE

Please, the only brute-force attack I know involves a grenade launcher. Besides, when faced with encrypted files, the key isn’t computing power or algorithms, it’s finding the one person who can decrypt them. Ideally the person who wrote the encryption software and left a backdoor. They always leave a backdoor.

CLARA LILLE

In that case, the encryption was written by Raymond Kenney, the hacker who caused the Northeast blackout of 2003. He fell off the grid right after and nobody’s been able to find him since.

AIDEN PEARCE

If we need him, I’m sure he’s still within the city limits and we won’t have any trouble locating him.

CLARA LILLE

I don’t know, he’ll probably have covered his tracks and oh look at this! His last known signal was bounced through a few botnets and originated from the rural township of Pawnee!

AIDEN PEARCE

(laughs)

Sorry, your French Canadian accent made you pronounce that like buttnets. I’ll be on my way now.

He leaves THE BUNKER through A LENGTHY ELEVATOR RIDE and realises HE’S GONNA HAVE TO GO THROUGH THAT EVERY TIME.

EXT. PAWNEE – CHICAGO

AIDEN roams PAWNEE and finds RAYMOND KENNEY in a BAR. He now goes by the name of T-BONE GRADY.

AIDEN PEARCE

I know you’re Raymond Kenney. I need your help, but something tells me this isn’t going to be a straightforward deal, is it?

T-BONE GRADY

Say, is there a minigame that hasn’t yet been forced upon you?

AIDEN PEARCE

Uhmm -- the drinking contest one?

T-BONE GRADY

Great! We’re doing that one by way of introduction.

AIDEN PEARCE

I need to keep my wits about me and I was hoping to catch you sober, but I suppose us both being hammered amounts to the same thing.

T-BONE GRADY

Yee-haw, let’s start this hullabaloo, amigo! Yes, I’m actually going to talk like that.

They both get ABSOLUTELY WASTED and then KICK THE SHIT OUT OF EACH OTHER.

AIDEN PEARCE

Now that that’s behind us, I want you to come back to Chicago with me and decrypt some files.

T-BONE GRADY

Why would I want to go back there? I caused that blackout in 2003 to demonstrate the flaws in the system and then ctOS not only kept those flaws, but made them easier to exploit.

AIDEN PEARCE

I know, I facepalm every time they call Chicago a “smart city.”

T-BONE GRADY

Look, I’ll only go back to Chicago if you run a ridiculous chain of errands for me. I’ve taken the liberty of writing it all down.

(hands over wad of paper)

AIDEN PEARCE

This is three whole pages. Front and back.

T-BONE GRADY

(smiles, shrugs)

AIDEN PEARCE

Let’s see here. Steal truck from local militia. Identify Blume’s security chiefs and kill them. Destroy one of Blume’s convoys. Defend junkyard from the aforementioned militia to the tune of “Jesus Built My Hotrod” by Ministry? Fuck me.

(turns page)

Break into Blume headquarters?

T-BONE GRADY

You might want to check the footnote attached to that one.

AIDEN PEARCE

Instant failure if I’m detected? Christ no! Seriously, who still thinks those are fun?

AIDEN laboriously does ALL THAT and then heads back to CHICAGO with T-BONE.

INT. THE BUNKER – CHICAGO

AIDEN and T-BONE are welcomed by CLARA.

CLARA LILLE

So this is Raymond Kenney? I clearly wasn’t exaggerating when I said all hackers are colourful and eccentric.

T-BONE GRADY

Gull dern it, Aiden must be the odd one out then! Now let’s take a look at those files. Hmm, it seems Iraq has dirt on a lot of people and he’s intending to blackmail them with it. No idea how he got a hold of my encryption software though, so we’ll just leave that one up in the air. Where’s the rest of the files?

AIDEN PEARCE

We only managed a partial download, so I’m just waiting for the inevitable plot development that’ll force me to go into Viceroy territory myself and steal all of it.

DAMIEN BRENKS

Aiden! Just a friendly reminder that I’m still holding your sister and all! I also made a deal with Blume to get them all the blackmail data Iraq has on his server. Hop to it!

AIDEN PEARCE

Right, off I go.

CLARA LILLE

I’ll just stay here and make eyes at T-Bone!

EXT. ROSSI-FREMONT DISTRICT – CHICAGO

AIDEN works his way into THE TOWER BLOCK and starts MURDERING THE LIVING SHIT OUT OF THE VICEROYS.

AIDEN PEARCE

What, they’re in my way.

After REACHING THE SERVER and DOWNLOADING ALL OF THE DATA, AIDEN is confronted by IRAQ.

AIDEN PEARCE

Ah, I’ve been meaning to have a couple of words with you. First of all, isn’t it kind of moronic to talk about electronic security and being off the grid in audio logs that you then leave lying all over the place? I found one in a public bar outside.

IRAQ

Yes, but --

AIDEN PEARCE

Second, you knew I was coming for your server and you didn’t bother to shield it or move the data. You didn’t even press the issue when you caught Bedbug in here earlier.

IRAQ

You see, the thing is --

AIDEN PEARCE

And now we’re locked in a boss fight that you’re hoping to win by throwing dudes with guns at me instead of cool hacking tricks.

IRAQ

You’re one to talk! Did you get to my server using cool hacking tricks? No, you did it by shooting people in the face!

AIDEN PEARCE

Fine, I’ll stop calling the kettle -- uhmm -- black.

AIDEN shoots IRAQ in the FACE and then RETURNS TO THE BUNKER.

INT. THE BUNKER – CHICAGO

T-BONE decrypts IRAQ’S BLACKMAIL DATA and LOOKS THROUGH IT.

T-BONE GRADY

Turns out Iraq was the other hacker at the Merlaut, which shouldn’t come as a surprise anymore but let’s pretend it does. He was after sensitive information on the hotel’s owner, Lucky Quinn.

AIDEN PEARCE

Evil Woody Allen owns the Merlaut? He must be the one who put out the hit on me and Damien! Why did I not figure that out right away? That information is probably on Wikipedia!

CLARA LILLE

Wait, something’s happening. We’re being hacked! Why did I have to tempt fate by constantly calling the Bunker untraceable?

A HACKER calling himself DEFALT hacks into THE BUNKER and WIPES IRAQ’S BLACKMAIL DATA after STEALING IT.

DEFALT

im in ur base haxxin ur shit 8===>

AIDEN PEARCE

What, are we being hacked by the bastard love child of Deadmau5 and a 90s IRC script kiddie?

DEFALT

lmao check out this video kekeke

CLARA LILLE

Don’t open that! Defalt is a huge manchild so he’s probably just rickrolling us!

The VIDEO reveals that CLARA was the one who TRACED AIDEN AND DAMIEN on behalf of QUINN.

AIDEN PEARCE

Jeez, was anyone not involved with the Merlaut job?

CLARA LILLE

Aiden, please don’t do anything drastic! I was helping you to make up for my mistake! Don’t you realise that, as a woman, I’ve been desperately seeking your approval all this time?

AIDEN PEARCE

Even though it should be plainly obvious to a gifted social engineer like myself that you know enough about me to cause some serious trouble, I think I’ll just antagonise you further. Get out. GET THE FUCK OUT!

CLARA gets THE FUCK OUT.

AIDEN PEARCE

Without the data, I’ll have to stall Damien. Good thing I learned how to bluff in all those poker games I didn’t bother to play. Vigilante up!

EXT. DOWNTOWN – CHICAGO

AIDEN meets with DAMIEN.

DAMIEN BRENKS

Do you have my data? Blume are eager to step up their game. They’re tired of blackmailing Aisha Tyler with her tendency to fart and steal plates.

AIDEN PEARCE

How about instead I freely gamble with my sister’s life by betting you wouldn’t risk killing her since Blume wants the data so much that they’ll come after you if you don’t deliver? Suck on that!

DAMIEN BRENKS

In that case, I’ll make things harder for you and screw myself in the process by plastering your identity as the Vigilante all over Chicago! Hang on, I spent fucking ages writing an algorithm so I can make it seem like I’m doing all this with a single button press.

DAMIEN waves HIS PHONE around like A MAGIC WAND and TRAILER FOOTAGE of AIDEN starts PLAYING EVERYWHERE.

AIDEN PEARCE

Why are both you and the swelling dramatic music acting like that’s such a big deal? My identity was already revealed right after that incredibly convoluted mission to keep it concealed. All you’ve done is alerted the authorities to my location.

DAMIEN BRENKS

Uhh -- exactly! Now evade the cops and get me that data.

AIDEN PEARCE

You fool! You’ve forgotten the Chicago Police Department’s one weakness!

DAMIEN BRENKS

Their suicidal tendency to cause more property damage than they try to prevent?

AIDEN PEARCE

Besides that. Their crippling fear of water!

AIDEN JUMPS IN THE RIVER where THE COPS FLAT OUT REFUSE TO CHASE HIM.

AIDEN PEARCE

Now I have to get the blackmail data back from Defalt. T-Bone, can you trace him?

T-BONE GRADY

I can, but it’ll take another ridiculous chain of errands!

AIDEN PEARCE

Fuck. That. I know a better way.

INT. OBSCURE IRC CHANNEL

* TheFox (~mirc@2H936731.ctOS.net) has joined #DotConnexion

* Topic is ‘wannabe underground dance party’

* Set by Defalt

<TheFox> op! gimme op!

* Defalt sets mode: +o TheFox

* TheFox sets mode: -o Defalt

* TheFox is now known as APearce

* APearce slaps Defalt around a bit with a large trout.

<Defalt> omg how u find meeeee 0_0

<APearce> Hey, did you know you can kick someone off a channel by typing /quit followed by their name?

<Defalt> haha u fukn moron >:)

* Defalt has quit IRC (APearce)

<APearce> Who’s the moron now?

* APearce changes topic to ‘pwned’

EXT. TREATMENT PLANT – CHICAGO

After RETRIEVING IRAQ’S DATA from DEFALT, AIDEN drives over to a TREATMENT PLANT.

AIDEN PEARCE

Thanks to argle bargle glip glop, I’ve managed to find out where Damien is holding Nicole. This is my chance to get her out.

AIDEN locates NICOLE and calls her on the PHONE OF A DUDE HE JUST EXPLODED RIGHT IN FRONT OF HER.

NICOLE PEARCE

Aiden, it’s you! I’d recognise that voice anywhere. Is Jackson okay?

AIDEN PEARCE

Who? Oh Jackson! Yes, his clueless therapist is looking after him. Now, I can get you out of here by taking over the cameras and guiding you to the exit. Let’s see here.

(causes pile-up outside)

Shit, the icon jumped. Fucking touchscreen!

(detonates gas main)

I didn’t even know those could be hacked! Hang on.

(crashes helicopter)

Sorry sorry!

NICOLE PEARCE

It’s okay, Aiden. You’ve inadvertently killed everyone here. I can just walk out now.

After picking up JACKSON from YOLANDA, they all DRIVE OFF while being HOUNDED BY THE POLICE.

NICOLE PEARCE

Aiden, why is the police after you? Wait, I think I just got a way overdue realisation! You’re the Vigilante!

AIDEN PEARCE

You seriously didn’t know yet? I showed up to Jackson’s birthday party in my widely publicised Vigilante getup! He even figured it out! Granted, that did happen when he saw me brutally murder a bunch of people on camera, so sorry if I traumatised him even further.

Eventually, they ESCAPE THE POLICE and reach THE CITY LIMITS.

AIDEN PEARCE

I guess this is goodbye. So are we okay?

NICOLE PEARCE

How can you even ask that? We are so very much not okay. You just caused twenty traffic accidents to escape the police back there. Statistically speaking, one of those probably killed someone’s niece.

AIDEN PEARCE

Yeah, I don’t know where I was coming from with that. Anyway, thanks for being an emotional motivator in my life, Nicole. Now take my car and get on out of here. Don’t worry, I’ll just steal another one to get back to the city.

NICOLE drives away with JACKSON.

AIDEN PEARCE

Now to deal with Lucky Quinn. He is going to die. Not of old age in the next few months but by my hand tonight.

T-BONE GRADY

Quinn’s hosting a benefit at the Merlaut, where all of this started. That would’ve made this story come full circle quite nicely if it actually ended there, but there’s still a whole bunch of crap to follow afterwards.

INT. MERLAUT HOTEL – CHICAGO

AIDEN approaches THE MERLAUT and sees CHICAGO MAYOR DONOVAN RUSHMORE delivering A SPEECH dedicated to LUCKY QUINN, who WALKS OFF halfway through. WHAT A PRICK.

AIDEN PEARCE

Okay, I just have to sneak past these guards and get inside the hotel. Oh fuck, they’ve spotted me!

CHECKPOINT

Hey, I noticed you just got shot to pieces! I’ll give you a do-over, but you’ll have to also sit through that entire speech again!

AIDEN PEARCE

GODDAMNIT!

When AIDEN finally reaches QUINN, he’s LOCKED HIMSELF in a SAFE ROOM.

LUCKY QUINN

Hah, this room is absolutely bulletproof! Since you’ve dealt with matters mostly by shooting at them, this means I’m invincible!

AIDEN PEARCE

Ah, but ironically I see an opportunity to hack something! That basically reduces this -- ahem -- boss fight to the slowest quicktime event ever, but whatever.

AIDEN hacks QUINN’S PACEMAKER so it NO LONGER MAKES HIS PACE.

AIDEN PEARCE

Time to meet your maker! Your pacemaker, that is.

LUCKY QUINN

Ow! My pacemaker is connected to ctOS? I didn’t consider that possibility at all since it’s so ludicrous to even think of!

AIDEN PEARCE

Come on, I’ve blown up fixers who had their fucking hand grenades connected to ctOS.

LUCKY QUINN

But even in my dying moments, I still have one last card to play. I’ll just not tell you why I put out a hit on you and let that fester forever.

AIDEN PEARCE

You bastard!

LUCKY QUINN

No wait, I have a better idea! I will tell you why because it’s actually such a stupid reason that it’ll fester even harder than not knowing!

AIDEN PEARCE

YOU BASTARD!

QUINN shows footage of MAYOR RUSHMORE murdering SOME WOMAN.

LUCKY QUINN

The mayor’s been in my pocket thanks to that video and I thought you were in the Merlaut to get your hands on it. As it turns out, Iraq was the hacker actually there to get sensitive information, which means I went after the wrong guy. Whoopsie!

(dies)

AIDEN PEARCE

Great, for a second there I thought this game finally portrayed a black man as an upstanding citizen. But nope, the mayor’s just as stereotypically rotten as the rest.

AIDEN flees THE MERLAUT.

DAMIEN BRENKS

Hey Aiden, I want you to know Clara came to me and offered to trade herself for your sister. I thought that was so nice and selfless of her that I sent out some fixers to go kill her.

AIDEN PEARCE

Damn, and she said she was so good at disappearing! I’ll never be able to get to her first!

AIDEN manages to TRACE CLARA’S PHONE ANYWAY because PLOT.

EXT. GRAVEYARD – CHICAGO

CLARA is putting FLOWERS by LENA’S GRAVESTONE when a bunch of FEDORA-WEARING FIXERS show up and MORTALLY WOUND HER. After AIDEN KILLS THEM, he approaches CLARA.

AIDEN PEARCE

Clara, I’m sorry. I should’ve warned you properly instead of just running out and yelling your name. Hell, I could’ve called you. I’ve been using my phone for so many things that I forgot it’s also a phone.

CLARA LILLE

No, it’s my fault. I forgot the women in this game only serve as emotional catalysts for the men. Actually, I’m surprised Ubisoft even found the time and resources to put women in the game at all, considering they allocated most of it to some bizarre spider tank digital trip nonsense.

(dies)

INT. THE BUNKER – CHICAGO

AIDEN returns to the BUNKER and talks with T-BONE.

T-BONE GRADY

Everything alright, Aiden? You just got your resolution but you still seem to be brooding.

AIDEN PEARCE

I’m just struggling to think of what this game is actually trying to say. I don’t quite get what points Damien, Quinn, Iraq or Defalt were making. Did they even have any?

T-BONE GRADY

Maybe that is the point. Maybe the game wants to illustrate that there never is a single villain to point to, that there’s no easy solution to the problems inherent to the surveillance state. Truly, it’s not just that this technology is a danger in the wrong hands, it’s that there really are no right hands with it.

AIDEN PEARCE

Or maybe Ubisoft threw a bunch of colourful and eccentric characters together and hoped for the best. Oh well, time to do what a protagonist always does when he has gotten hold of a crapload of sensitive information.

AIDEN uploads all of IRAQ’S BLACKMAIL DATA to the MEDIA.

DAMIEN BRENKS

Aargh, how dare you throw it all away! Blume was going to grant me full access to ctOS if I gave them the data!

AIDEN PEARCE

Hah, now they’ll be sending fixers after you. Ner ner.

DAMIEN BRENKS

Actually, they just gave me full access to ctOS anyway because fuck it. Now it’s my turn to take control of the city!

AIDEN PEARCE

T-Bone, is there any way to stop him?

T-BONE GRADY

Well, ctOS is tied to a satellite because I’ve just decided that’s how it works. I can upload a virus and blackout the entire city to cut off Damien’s access.

AIDEN PEARCE

That’ll probably create more chaos than Damien ever could, but when have I ever shied away from collateral damage? Do it.

T-BONE GRADY

Okay, here’s the ridiculous chain of errands you’ll need to run first.

T-BONE knocks out CTOS ENTIRELY, allowing AIDEN to TRACE DAMIEN TO A LIGHTHOUSE because PHONES STILL WORK SOMEHOW.

EXT. LIGHTHOUSE – CHICAGO

AIDEN climbs up to THE LIGHTHOUSE, where he finds DAMIEN UNARMED.

AIDEN PEARCE

What’s your endgame, Damien?

DAMIEN BRENKS

Fuck if I know. I let you get the drop on me and I don’t have any leverage anymore.

AIDEN PEARCE

Come on, there has to be more to the final confrontation than this.

Suddenly, JORDI CHIN SHOWS UP.

JORDI CHIN

Yes, I’m still in the game! The fixer contract out on you just got very lucrative, Aiden. I intend to collect it.

AIDEN PEARCE

I was hoping for something less out of the blue, but I suppose this’ll do.

JORDI CHIN

Kick over your gun. And your magical superphone too. Seriously, if you keep hovering your finger over it like that, I might start thinking about considering the possibility of actually putting my finger on the trigger of this pistol and --

AIDEN blows up THE LIGHTHOUSE LAMP and USES THE DISTRACTION TO SHOVE JORDI OVER THE RAILING.

JORDI CHIN

No, I refuse to die like a putz! I’ll just limp away quickly and go back to messing with your plans by coming up with them. Ignore this little attempt at character development, everyone!

(vanishes)

DAMIEN BRENKS

Excellent, now we can get back to --

AIDEN PEARCE

Get back to what? We weren’t really doing much of anything. Oh fuck this.

He SHOOTS DAMIEN in the BEANIE.

AIDEN PEARCE

Well, that’s that. Nothing left for me to do but embrace my role as the Vigilante. But first --

AIDEN watches a few DOG VIDEOS on VINE so the TITLE OF THE GAME finally MAKES SENSE.

END


27 Responses

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  1. Aniket says

    I’m only 1/4th through it and have not played Watch Dogs yet, but this is most epic bashing anything has gotten ever !
    I’d like to thank you by name but I can’t seem to find it anywhere on this site !!

  2. JaKhris says

    This is brilliant. You could have added how irrelevant Poppy is despite having her face all over promotional keyart for the game. Oh well. Thanks for the laughs!

  3. Joannes says

    Aniket, my name’s on the About page and also right above this sentence. Thanks for your appreciation! And JaKhris, Poppy’s irrelevance is illustrated by her complete absence in this script.

  4. Grenaid says

    DAMIEN BRENKS

    I’ll have to force your hand then. I just kidnapped your sister, since your family is clearly the easiest way to get to you. To prove that I have her, I’m publicly broadcasting footage of me inside her house. Hope nobody else but you takes notice!

    DAMIEN BRENKS

    Thanks, now I’m sympathetic to anyone with a sister too.

    #corrections. I think that’s Aiden talking?

    Also, the whole sex worker mission is referenced as though we know it already, was that section missing/deleted?

    Anyway, HILARIOUS and accurate.

  5. Joannes says

    Yes, that’s meant to be Aiden’s line. Fixed.

    And the auction only scores that single reference because the script was already getting to be long enough without tackling it in its entirety.

  6. Grenaid says

    You da best, OP. How long did this take you? Have you done other games?

  7. Joannes says

    This script took me about a month to complete, which is mostly due to the length of the game and the whole mess of crap Ubisoft shoehorned into it.

    I’ve written plenty of others and you can find them all here: http://playthroughline.com/scripts/

  8. Rich2244 says

    Perfectly sums up my many problems with the game. The portrayal of women and minorities, the “hacking” that works sometimes but doesn’t at others, the numerous civilians and police killed to further plot and gameplay, T-Bone, Defalt, the prison mission…I get a headache just thinking about it. Well done!

  9. ThatOneGuy says

    I have played through the entire game and can certify this is 100% accurate. Well done!

    Well done for you, I mean. This abomination of a sexist, racist, hack-job of a plot should never have been crapped into the first ‘real’ game of this console generation.

    But yeah! Games!

  10. Emmanuel says

    You deserve an oscar for this

  11. Darth Grabass says

    Poppy is the most interesting character in the entire game. Plus she’s one of the only characters who has any sort of arc at all, and that’s even with the huge handicap of having the writers forget to follow through with her story in any way at all.

    What the heck was she doing looking super-conspicuous in the Merlaut lobby in the beginning of the game? What a great set-up for a twist that never comes.

  12. Berti says

    Holy. Fucking. Christ.
    I haven’t laughed this hard in YEARS.
    Thank you so much for this. You are a GENIUS.

  13. M. says

    I’ve tested this game for over a year and trust me, this right here (your script!) is what every WD tester thinks about the game’s story. You nailed it! Congrats!

  14. Davey says

    This was freaking amazing. Thank you lol. If they replaced all the cut scenes with a still image of a turd it would have been better than what they gave us. The funny part is someone was paid money for this story. Like actual real money they could exchange for goods and services for their time writing this. The only thing they should have received is a punch to the balls or vagina respectively.

  15. Rituro says

    Oh my goodness. Absolutely brilliant. Thank you for providing some much-needed catharsis to the whole Watch Dogs experience.

  16. james says

    AIDEN arrives at the MEETING POINT and sees CLARA LILLE, who looks like A DESIGN-BY-COMMITTEE HIPSTER.

    everything in the game seems “DESIGN-BY-COMMITTEE”

  17. Big I says

    Very funny. Some things that were left out:

    -Aiden using a tip from his nephew to track down the fixer Damien hired to kidnap Nicky.
    -Aiden tracking down his runaway nephew to a mob controlled business and killing all the mobsters in front of him.
    -Aiden being threatened by the therapist; said therapist later writing a book on Aiden and cashing in on the notoriety (despite Aiden being hunted by every significant armed group in Chicago).
    -The only real choice in the game – deciding whether to kill Maurice or not.
    -No mention of the sidequests where you can learn Maurice’s motivations for trying to take you out.
    -No mention of all of Aiden’s other hideouts, and the fact they’re all in abandoned shipping containers.
    -No mention of Aiden consistently stealing from the bank accounts of the people of Chicago.
    -No mention of the CtOS Breaches sidequest, which allow you to download audio logs that spell out the plot long before you find out in the main story.
    -No mention of pissing off Dedsec during the blackout, and no mention of Dedsec taking credit for releasing Iraq’s blackmail material.

  18. Joannes says

    Believe me, I’ve made all those considerations, but with a script this size, I have to pick my battles.

  19. Vercoda says

    I had a preview copy to review, but I gave it away, as I felt *extremely* underwhelmed by it. The shoddy Xbox 360 graphics… The bizarre car handling (bash, bash, and bash again)… The angsty, brooding protagonist who’s *completely* unlikeable and is an overt sociopath… The leaps of logic, broken storyline elements and “Then This Happened (Sure, Why Not?)” approach to plot and characterisation… The grubby misogyny throughout, and the questionably borderline racism… It all just struck me as a huge disappointment; that what had seemed like an interesting premise was so badly handled and misjudged – with zero levity to lighten the tone, or reduce the damage – that it rapidly lost its appeal. The low point came when a random citizen scan of a young person said he had links to the IRA – the terrorist group in my home country that murdered So many people, yet which Watch Dogs threw in for casual, random ‘colour’. I turned off the game, uninstalled it, and it’s *gone* – and good riddance. I’ll stick with GTA5 as the benchmark open world/sandbox game, which is at least more knowing and sympathetic.

  20. Vooodoo says

    Actually the title of the game is just perfect : http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Watchdog_timer

  21. Ian says

    The only thing I get away from making the mistake of buying Watch Dogs is that I know exactly what you are poking fun at and can laugh about it with you all. Thank you :)

  22. Fverret says

    I haven’t played the game and I have no desire to do so, but I did read reviews. The whole game was absolutely worth it just for this script. Thank you.

  23. Robert Kreiling says

    Claire isn’t a “designed-by-commitee-hipster,” she’s a homage to Lisbeth Salander. Why does no one apparently get this? I thought a lot of people read “The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo.”

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