Introductory Notes:

Rating: Swearing, (above) canon-typical violence, sex and moral ambiguity. Reader discretion advised.

Story: A series of one-shots or mini-arcs, focussing mostly on Aiden Pearce. Although the stories are not always interconnected, they all take place in the same continuity.

Spoilers: It is highly recommended that you've finished the game WATCH_DOGS prior to reading. I'm sloppy with warnings, but I mostly remember to put them up.

Updates: Updates happen when they do.

Warning: All views expressed are those of the narrating/POV character. A character can be biased, can be wrong, can be lying, can be stupid, can be confused. For some reason, I keep encountering readers who have problems with the concept.

Timeline: Stories are in chronological order. Multi-part stories will always be at the end until their arc is finished. One-shots will immediately be moved to the right spot. Please notethat that reviews are now in a hopeless mess. I think having the stories in order is more important, though.

Feedback: Welcome.

Brilliancy: completely pompous title, otherwise a chess term referring to a spectacular game.

Watch_Dogs 2: My pre-release opinion on WD 2 is as follows: Shrill, uninspired drivel, composed exclusively of things I hate. I want nothing whatsoever to do with it. My post-release opinion: Utter crap.

Please refrain from telling me how horrible the game and how boring Aiden was. I obviously don't agree.


_BRILLIANCY

by glenarvon (formerly moondusted)


[this is undated]

_Nothing Left to Prove


It was always going to end like this. Something like this. It was going to be a bullet to the head, a blade to the throat, a car wreck deformed beyond recognition severing the torso, or brain splattered on the ground through the cracks in the motorcycle helmet.

It was going to be red-blue-white flickering lights from police and fire department and emergency vehicles, helicopter search lights painting large swathes of brightness across the road while the city is sheathed in darkness and chaos.

It was going to be the end of the run, the last searing brightness of flames as they died to the crackling laughter of electricity bouncing between broken connections, leaving countless surveillance cameras to hang their heads as if in mourning, their all-seeing eyes momentarily blinded to the scene just below them. Fitting, in a way, for there would be no recording of this, no digital footprint to follow, no pixels to analyse in the years to come. No proof, either, for the hunters that they had brought down their quarry in the end. Just a body, mangled, broken in more ways than is imaginable, or comfortable to think about. Charred and so utterly, so hopelessly destroyed, nothing more than flesh, dead meat for the modern day scavengers.

It was always going to end. Like this. Or in some other way, equally brutal, equally inevitable. You live by the sword, you die by it, they say. And, because times change even for the best and the worst of us, if you live by the gun you will find the same fate. Still, you might ask, what if you lived by your wits? By your experience, by years upon harsh, merciless years of battle upon brutal battle? What if your finger on the trigger was just an afterthought and the first strike — and the second — came from an entirely different direction?

What of those? Still broken, in the end? Bleeding out into the dirtied, grey and black of the unyielding asphalt of the street they once owned?

But you remember, don't you? There are no camera eyes. They are blind and being blind, the future will remember this moment through witnesses alone, through people, fallible and easily confounded, easily scared and played for fools. If they weren't, perhaps none of this would have happened, no one would be here — there — in that city street at night in the blackout. And what they see, these eye-witnesses at the end of it all? What do they know of the lifeless carcass of the legend at their feet?

Not as much as they think, perhaps. Let's call it human nature.

The scene has only one way it can go, though, regardless of what preceded, the true nature of the chase and the fight before the fall, before the blackout and all the blood and scattered limbs and soft, torn tissue everywhere. The cops will come, still armed, still wary at the end of it, guns raised as if there was still a threat, still a last trick for the Fox to pull even in death. And when nothing comes and the stillness lasts long enough to finally believe it might be the real thing, the medics will come instead and put the mangled body in a bag and carry it away, put it in the freezer like something out of a supermarket, carelessly bought and discarded.

Pathologists will get to work, eventually, sample upon sample taken from what used to be a man — or something else, something more or worse for you, depending on what role you had in this game. You can see them, can't you? In your mind's eye? In their labs, staring into their screens as they watch the results come in. They'd have to reconstruct the face, just to get Profiler to comply and spew out what is left, after so many years, of reliable records. DNA and fingerprints and retina scans, carefully saved and preserved for this very moment, down the line, in the hope it would ever come.

(Even if hope is really a sad thing.)

You shouldn't be surprised at how well the matching goes. No, really, you shouldn't. This entire thing would have been a pointless waste if the body couldn't have been identified, despite the damage it has suffered. We live in the future of the world, at least, we like to think so. Like all before us, we think we are at the pinnacle. Surely, a little fire after a little car crash and a few bullets cannot make it impossible for science and skills to put a name on the tag and engrave it on a tombstone (though, there won't be a tombstone, those in power know well enough what would happen if there were.)

The thing is, really, all those 0s and 1s, they are fickle things. They look like something reliable, truths set in stone, unshakable. But really, haven't you been paying attention? Everything I said before, until now, everything you know about this man shot and burned and stabbed and shredded out in the street. If there is nothing else in the world (and there is) that does his bidding, it's exactly those 0s and 1s. Dancing to his tune, really. It's a nice sight, I can only recommend it.

This is not how it ends, you didn't think that, did you? You shouldn't believe everything they tell you. They shouldn't believe everything they think they know.

Look at what they have, for just a moment. They have a body, chased down, turned into burned, minced meat on a dark city street. Who has time, in moments like this, to pay attention? The phone wasn't broken until the very end, before the blackout hit and when it happened, ctOS wasn't there. Eyewitnesses, I said it before, and they are as they are, they think they know, but they can barely tell fact from fiction in their normal lives, much less so under stress.

No, you probably can't trust them. Even if they think they are telling the truth and others, well, they may have reasons to lie, too. You can never really know for sure. It seems very inviting to trust the data, if that's the alternative. But really, do you want to trust the data when it resides on computers networked to ctOS? You do know who I am, do you?

That's how I make my living. Ah yes, still do. That body? Not really me, no. You should've seen it coming. I hope you did.

It holds true, though. This is how it'll end in the long run. At one point or another, the hunt will end and blood will spill and the concrete won't care what it soaks up. And they'll bag me up in plastics and bury me in an unmarked grave where no one will ever find me.

It always ends like that.


Audio Log #[error: incorrect integer value]: Aiden Pearce [erased, unrecoverable]


End of _Nothing Left to Prove


Author's Note: I'm really beginning to like this style of writing. Sorry it's so short, though. Short and sweet, hopefully. It's sort of the follow-up I wanted to write for Quaint Old World, but then again, it isn't at all. I don't know where it came from. I wanted to kill the guy. I wanted to make him survive.


Revised on 31/May/2015, 18/January/2016 and 09/May/2017