"Simulacra (V2x12)"
by Anthony J

A Republican Guard, LT. BERKELEY, paces before the doors to the building, keeping watch. After a few moments, he heads slowly away, leaving frame.

From behind one of the three Humvee's parked along the curb, the face of a woman with short-cropped hair appears; FLORENCE. With intensity scrawled across her face and an M16 in her grip, she watches the guard leave, then gestures the "move in" signal with her right arm.

Seemingly from nowhere, HOBBES appears, armed with a Sig Sauer P220 capped with a make-shift silencer constructed from a steel pipe padded with fiberglass. He silently ascends the cement staircase to a support pillar which affords him some cover. A second later, PINOCCHIO emerges from behind Florence, quickly making his way to the front doors of the building with a small duffel bag in tote.

Pinocchio drops to one knee in front of the doors, opening the bag and extracting a small calculator-sized keypad attached via a fiber-optic cable to a small keycard. Hobbes checks his watch, then looks around the building for the guard.

15 seconds...

(without stopping)
I know...

Pinocchio slides the keycard into the swipe-sensor on the door, lodging it between the lock walls. He flips the switch under his thumb to activate the keypad, glancing at the display as 23 of the 25 LCD's light up and begin flashing through code sequences.


He immediately begins punching in sets of numbers, test sequences meant to hurry the decoding process.


Thank you Swatch, keep it to yourself.

Pinocchio glances at the keypad, seeing that only four of the 23 digits have locked in.

Come on baby, little quicker...

5 seconds...

Another number locks in.

It's a little slow...

(into radio)
Perimeter breach! Repeat, perimeter breach!
Unauthorized access...

Suddenly, a muffled SHOT rings out, cutting the guard off mid-sentence. Hobbes has fired a single round, covering his partner from his vantage point. The guard is stunned by the impact, dropping the radio as he DIGITIZES.

Hobbes quickly crosses the front of the building to the radio as Pinocchio continues to work on the doors.

(over radio)
Berkeley? Berkeley, come in. What is the sit-
uation? Berkeley, what is your status?

(into radio)
Berkeley here. Shots fired, situation under con-
trol. Just some suicidal trash from outside the
fence on a kamakazi mission.

Pinocchio can't help but let just a tiny grin crack through as Hobbes waits anxiously to find if he was sufficiently able to imitate the late Lt. Berkeley. After a moment, the radio guard comes back.

Copy. Good work.

Hobbes breathes a silent sigh of relief, switching the radio off and clipping it to his vest. He watches the street attentively as Pinocchio continues his work at the door.

With 16 digits already locked into the keypad, Pinocchio punches in another set of test codes.

(to himself, impatient)
Come on...

The seven remaining digits on the display flash by as the computer tests the thousands of numerical combinations within seconds. Two more digits confirm and lock in.

Hurry up...

Almost there...

After a few more moments, the remaining digits flash by until they stop to display the proper sequence. The keypad flashes green and beeps softly, confirming the keycard code. Pinocchio grabs the card, sliding it the rest of the way through the swipe-sensor, turning the red LED on the door lock green.

We're in.

Florence dashes from her cover position to fall in behind Pinocchio as he passes through the door first, followed by his mute companion and finally by Hobbes, still covering the exterior as Florence scans the lobby.

The large room is dark and abandoned.

No guards.

Now I'm nervous.

You weren't before?

The trio quickly passes through the lobby, heading down a hallway under a sign that reads "STAIRWELL."

Hobbes flies up the staircase, followed by Pinocchio with the keycard unit still out and finally by Florence, covering the rear.

Third floor, straight to the dead-end, left at the end
of the hall. Two guards at the outer doors.

The team continues quickly up the steps until they reach a door marked by a foot-tall numeral three. Pinocchio slides the keycard through the swipe-sensor, activating the lock.

In quick continuous tracking shots, we follow Hobbes as he enters the hallway and covers the front, leading Pinocchio and Florence toward the council room. He reaches the end of the hall where it dead ends into a T-junction. He stops just short, gesturing Florence to the wall opposite him, facing the guards.

Florence moves into position, followed by Pinocchio who is now brandishing his MP5K automatic weapon. Hobbes quickly spins into the hallway in plain view of the guards. He fires a single round before hiting the floor, creating enough confusion to allow Florence to emerge, gun blazing. The few rounds that the guards to manage to get off don't do much more than chip the walls before they are DIGITIZED.

Santiago, along with his six advisors including Lt. Waters and Inga Fossa, is quickly out of his seat at the sound of gunfire.

Protect the General!

Waters hurries to Santiago's side, prompting him toward the emergency exit.

In SLOW MOTION, the front doors suddenly burst open and Pinocchio enters, unleashing a hellfury of bullets. Three of Santiago's advisors are DIGITIZED before Pinocchio even has to duck back for cover.

(to Florence)
Lay down cover fire! I'm going after Santiago

Florence nods quickly, then turns into the room, taking one step in and unloading her weapon.

The shootout that follows is almost completely in slow-motion. Very John Woo.

Another advisor DIGITIZES. Fossa fires her weapon from behind a set of filing cabinets.

Hobbes makes a suicidal dash into the room, flying by Pinocchio in pursuit of Santiago.

Waters is covering Santiago as he hurries him to safety when he feels a sudden jolt in the back. Santiago turns to see Waters looking down at his own chest where blood is seeping from a hole in his uniform. Waters looks up at Santiago with fear in his eyes as he flickers once and DIGITIZES, disappearing from the game.

Fossa pulls the trigger again and again, spraying the entrance of the room with bullets.

Florence cotinues her barrage of coverfire until she sudden jars backward, falling to the floor in agony. She looks to Pinocchio, grabbing the right side of her neck as blood seeps from the wound. Pinocchio looks on in horror as his mute compatriot reaches toward him for the second before her body DIGITIZES.


Pinocchio levels off his weapon and opens fire, beluging the corner where Fossa is hiding with bullets.

Hobbes rounds the council table, taking a shot at Santiago's leg. In BULLETTIME SLOW MOTION, the bullet cuts through Santiago's left knee, dropping him to the floor, immobilized.

Fossa tries to turns to return fire at Pinocchio, but is struck in the chest with a stream of ammunition before she can even squeeze the trigger once. She is pummelled back against the wall before DIGITIZING, leaving Pinocchio emptying a clip into the now empty corner. He does not ease up, continuing to firie into the wall, screaming in rage at the top of his lungs as the bullets rip throw the paneling.

Hobbes finally reaches Santiago who is sprawled out on the floor, holding his bleeding knee, but refusing to show any pain. Hobbes stands over his victim, pure hatred flashing in his eyes. A moment later, Pinocchio stands next to him, looking down at the man they were sent to kill.

Would you like the win, or shall I?

He's all yours.

Santiago looks up at his attackers, confusion spelled clearly in his eyes.

Who are you people?

In Santiago's POV, Hobbes and Pinocchio look at each other questioningly. After a moment of silent consultation, they turn back to Santiago. Hobbes levels off his gun at Santiago's head and after the briefest moment of hesistation, pulls the trigger.