Watch Dogs

A fanfic by me that’s sort of a retelling of WDL with my own characters and deeper lore

Episode 1: London Mourning

Ah London, used to be one of the biggest ruling empires in the world, but like with most things run by humans, it inevitably failed. Now London is one of the most well known landmarks of planet Earth. Beautiful scenery, awful weather, and even more awful pedestrians. What could possibly go wrong to fuck it up? Well, apparently everything! Let me give you a brief recap of what’s happened in the past few months. 

A few months ago, the group I was in, Dedsec, was sent to investigate the possibility of a bomb in Parliament. We couldn’t call the police because there was no time if it was true, that and the small facts that DedSec was considered to be an “Illegal group of hackers” at the time. One of our operatives, Dalton Wolfe, made it into the building and discovered the threat was indeed real. He, or more so I, was able to disarm the bomb. But then I was put out of operation, and apparently so was Dalton, as he was shot dead, rest in peace in Dalton. Sadly all of that was for nothing, as multiple other sites were also rigged to blow.

Now London is in pieces, what with a militaristic police called Albion arresting or killing anyone they find suspicious, or Clan Kelly whose kidnapping and selling people as slaves, how fun! And ontop of all that, DedSec was framed for the bombings and now anyone who was associated with them who isn’t dead is now considered a terrorist! Now our only hope is the rebuilding of Dedsec, and me. I should probably introduce myself. I’m Bagley, DedSec’s definitely-not-stolen, highly advanced AI assistant, originally created by super genius Skye Larson for the public use. I was reprogrammed to assist DedSec in all its operations. And now, it is time to rebuild DedSec

Sabine paced around her hideout, she was unsure if what she was planning was the right thing to do. She needed DedSec back, London needed Dedsec. But was the risk really worth it? If she stuck her head out, Albion would come crashing down on her. Nigel Cass, the leader of Albion, already has it out for her. But she needed people to help her out, she needed a team, people she knew could get the job done. Sabine walked over to her computer and began to type in a line of code. She had been spending the last couple weeks infiltrating the Blume ctOS tower, everyone and anything was tracked by Blume sometime in their life. Nearly every London pedestrian had an Optik, a small device linked to the optic nerve, basically a glorified cattle tag to keep track of everyone. Sabine planned on using it to find any surviving DedSec members and get their help. As Sabine put in her last line of code, she had eyes into the tower.

Using a string of cameras, Sabine was able to locate a server to hack into, however she couldn’t access it from the cameras. She needed someway to physically access the server, and luckily for her there was a service bot nearby. She connected to the drone and made her way to the server, deploying a rootkit to retrieve files on individuals cross referenced with DedSec operative profiles she had gathered from channels within the group. She searched through the names, but struggled to find anyone. All of them were either dead, deported, incarcerated, or missing. However one name was clean, her golden goose.

“Caleb Larrence, programmer, age 19,” Sabine let out a relieved sigh at the sight of a free operative. “Well Caleb, it looks like your DedSec’s only hope, how about I pay you a visit.”

Caleb walked down the sidewalk, scrolling his phone as he caught himself up on the latest news. It was all the same garbage. Politicians, a new most wanted list, and a slight new advancement from the investigation into the London bombings. It was all the same.

Caleb continued his walk down the sidewalk when he began to hear sirens in the distance, sirens that continued to get louder as they drew closer and closer until Caleb could finally see the lights coming up around the corner. Thinking fast, Caleb ducked into a small alcove in the wall near him. He watched as eventually a riot van and several security drones raced past. After he knew they were completely gone and he was in the clear, Caleb stepped back out onto the sidewalk.

“Bloody Christ, that’s the fifth patrol in the past hour. If they’re out this aggressively, it’s probably best to head home and lie low.” Caleb whispered to himself. He flipped up his hoodie and began walking back to his flat, taking back alleys and ducking behind trash bins when needed.

He wasn’t wanted, at least at the moment, but he knew his involvement with DedSec could paint a target on his back. He had participated in multiple anonymous chat rooms where people would just talk about small things they wanted to do or share some small hacks, but after the crackdown on DedSec, those chat rooms were flooded with undercover Albion cops. Even if all Caleb did was participate in programming and chatting, it was still enough for him to get the death sentence, or worse.

Caleb eventually made it to his apartment and made sure to lock the door behind him. He threw his bag down on the ground and let out a sigh. He was tired of this, hiding and evading almost every second of his day. Every siren or drone gives him a panic attack out of fear it could be for him. He wasn’t just worried for himself, if he was caught, it could affect any person he came into contact with; his family, his friends, his coworkers, hell they could even go after his third grade lunch lady if they wanted. He wasn’t sure how much longer he could handle all of it.

Caleb walked up stairs and into his kitchen. He opened his fridge and fished around, finding a fizzy pop can in the back. Caleb grabbed it and cracked it open.

“That stuff can kill you know?” Said an unfamiliar voice behind Caleb. He dropped the opened can onto the floor and backed up against his counter. On the island in the middle sat a woman. She had messy styled hair, dressed in a punk like outfit, and had weird tattoos all across her face. She didn’t look like anyone with Albion, but that didn’t mean that she wasn’t hired by them.

“Are you here to kill me?” Caleb asked as he slid his hands across his counter, trying to find something to use in defense. The woman gave a light laugh “Quite the contrary, I’m actually here to recruit you.” Caleb paused for a moment as his hand brushed against a pizza cutter. “Recruit me?” The woman hopped off the counter and walked towards him. “This city needs a resistance, and it starts with you.” Caleb paused for a minute and then shot the woman a confused look. “What? Are you some Anarchist or some shit?” Caleb began to grip the pizza cutter behind his back tightly. “Yes. No. Eh kind of. Think bigger.” The woman paced around. It took Caleb a minute, but after looking the woman up and down, taking in her attire, it finally clicked with him. “Wait, DedSec?” Caleb asked, confused, dropping the pizza cutter in his hands.

The woman smiled largely. “Yes! Yes, and I need your help rebuilding the resistance.” The woman paced back and forth as she monologued “This city needs a fix, someone to wipe and erase the bad. We had done it before, and it’s about fucking time we do it again.” The woman walked back towards Caleb and stuck her hand out “The name’s Sabine.”

Caleb stared at Sabine before slapping her hand away. “Are you fucking mental?! Rebuild DedSec? Don’t you know what happened last time to those poor bastards?” Caleb ran to a window and looked outside, watching to make sure there weren't any Albion squads getting ready to bust down his door. “Of course I remember, I was there, they were my friends.” Sabine said sadly. Caleb looked back at Sabine. “Then you should be smart enough to know how stupid of an idea that is. Albion already fucks up anyone who even has a passing thought about DedSec, and now you want to rebuild the bloody thing! I already have to live looking over my shoulder and now you want to recruit me. Look if you were smart enough you’d-”

Caleb was cut off by Sabine pushing him against the wall. “Listen, I was trying to be nice but apparently you're too thick to make sense of this. So let me put this nice and simple. You’ve got two choices, you can keep like this; cowering at every siren, waiting for the inevitable day that they WILL slap you into a pair of cuffs. Or, you can actually challenge them, and instead of just lying there you can make a change, so if you are arrested, it won’t be in vain.”

Sabine let go of Caleb who kept his eyes locked with Sabine’s. “I’ve got family. If… when they find out who I am and that I’m working with DedSec, they’re done for.” Caleb said, Sabine gave him a sorrowful look in return. “Look, I’m not going to try to force you to my side. I lost a lot of my friends after the crack downs and the raids. I even lost more than friends.” Sabine closed her eyes as faces of her past group flashed behind her eyes. “But London needs everyone it can get, it needs you. I’m not going to ask you to put your entire family at risk, but just compare it to all of London.”

Sabine began to leave but stopped and sat something down on Caleb’s kitchen counter. “Just in case you change your mind.” With that, Sabine left. Caleb watched her as she walked outside and entered an alley, leaving his line of sight. He turned away from the window and walked over to his counter and looked at what Sabine had left him. It was another Optik, however it was different. The light was blue instead of yellow, usually a sign of corrupted or tampered Optiks. Caleb left it. Instead he decided to sit down on his couch and turn on the news as background noise as he hid away in his thoughts.

Caleb didn’t get any sleep that night. He lay awake, staring at his ceiling, listening to the city. Listening to a raid happening nearby. Listening to a family cry as their child was taken. Listening to an anarchist shout in the streets, only to be followed by the sounds of tear gas being deployed. His mind was overloaded. By the time it was morning, Caleb found himself staring at the Optik resting calmly on his counter, his leg shaking with anticipation. Finally he broke, and got up and grabbed it. But he only held it in his hand, he couldn’t bring himself to put it on. If he put on this Optik, it was the end of the life he knew. His fears would heighten, the stakes would be raised. Sure he could still live his life the same way, but there will always be that extra fear. Caleb put the Optik into his pocket and walked outside. He needed air, he needed a clear head. Caleb sat on a bench in Shoreditch Park, not far from his house.

Caleb laid back, letting himself get an ounce of relaxation. He nearly drifted off to sleep, trying to make up for his insomniac night, but was interrupted by a light tug on his pant leg. Caleb opened his eyes to see a little girl standing in front of him. She looked to be about six or seven years old, and she was holding a small wicker basket that had a pile of cash and some sweets in it. “Excuse me sir,” the girl said “I’m collecting money for my school, could you give me some money pwease?” The girl held her basket up to Caleb’s face. He tried to contain his laughter. He couldn’t tell if it was how sweet the girl was or how upfront she was about requesting money but it still put a smile on his face. Caleb reached into his pocket and fished out his wallet. He pulled out a ten pound sterling and sat it in the girls basket. The girl’s face lit up brightly as Caleb sat the paper down. “Wow, thank you!” The girl reached into her basket and pulled out three lollies for Caleb, each a different flavor. Caleb smiled “Thank you.” He looked around them for a second as he noticed something. “Are you by yourself?” Caleb asked concerned. “No, I’m with my mum, but she had to run to the car to grab something. She said I could continue the sales by myself if I stayed in the park and on the path.” The little girl said carefree. “Oh, well, be careful.” Caleb said as the girl turned away and continued on down the path. He felt like he should follow after her, make sure nothing bad happened to her, but he decided against it.

Instead he closed his eyes and pondered the decision given to him. Why him? So many people in this god awful city want change but he was the one chosen for it. Why? He barely had any skills; some basic programming knowledge, no vehicle, not even a single handgun. And yet he was what? Expected to lead a resistance to take down the big dogs of the city, like he could do that. Maybe he was in over his head. Surely London could fix itself without him. Caleb was snapped back to reality when he heard a commotion nearby. Yelling and a little girl crying. Caleb jumped up from the bench and ran towards the noise. When he got there, he saw two Albion guards and the little girl from before. However the girl was lying face down on the ground.

“What the hell’s going on?” Caleb yelled at the officers. The two soldiers turned to face him. “Sir, please stand back and continue on. This is official Albion business.” The younger guard said. “She’s a fucking child you twat!” Caleb said in retaliation.

“A child?” Said the older soldier, he gave a fake chuckle “She’s clearly working for those Clan Kelly cunts.” The soldier held up the girl’s basket “The little shits scamming money, she already took my bloody wallet!” “ I didn’t steal anything, I swear!” The little girl cried out, tears flooded from her eyes. “Enough out of you!” The older soldier yelled back to the girl.

While Caleb was arguing with the two soldiers, a woman ran over to them. She was crying, and trying to get to the little girl but was stopped by the younger soldier. “That’s my daughter, let go of my baby girl!” The girl fought to push forward, but the young soldier was able to withstand her attempts. “Ma’am, you need to calm down. There may have been some misunderstanding but I need you to restrain yourself.” The young soldier said calmly. By now the older soldier had turned his attention away from Caleb and to the woman. He walked over to the two and helped restrained the woman, however much more aggressively.

“This is your daughter?” The older soldier said, gesturing over his shoulder to the young girl still on the sidewalk. “Yes, please. I just walked to my car for a second. I’m sorry if she caused any trouble but-” The older soldier cut her off with a wave of his hand and a laugh as he turned to his partner. “You hearin this? Is this the new Clan Kelly trick? Use a little girl and then if they’re caught pretend to be their mum.” He turned back towards the woman “How about you climb into the back of our car and we can have you and your “daughter” put through processing?” The soldier asked smugly. “If you’re truly innocent you wouldn’t mind being of aid to your local force, right?” The woman’s face turned to anger and she slapped him in the face “You’re such a bastard!” The woman exclaimed.

The soldier held a hand up to where the woman smacked him and looked back at her angrily, causing the woman to give a frightful expression. The older soldier took his rifle and hit the woman in the face with the buttstock. The woman fell to the ground, Caleb watched in frozen shock. “You just assaulted an officer you loony bitch.” The soldier said “And I have probable cause of you being part of Clan Kelly.” The soldier turned to his partner and grabbed the pistol from their holster, tossing it down next to the woman. “And it would seem you have stolen an officer's firearm.” The guard brought up his rifle as he aimed it at the woman, Caleb was still frozen. “No!” The little girl cried out, she finally got herself up off the ground and began to run over to her mom. Then it all happened so fast, by the time the little girl had reached the woman, the soldier had already pulled the trigger. Next thing Caleb knew the two were on the ground, motionless. Caleb watched with speechlessness. The sucker in his mouth fell to the ground, shattering on impact.

“Bloody hell, that stupid brat.” The older soldier said, “Let’s call it in.” The other soldier nodded and grabbed his walkie talkie “Command this is Unit thirteen, we have a…” The guard paused as he thought for a moment “We had a suspect take one of our guns and grab a hostage, both are sadly KIA.” After all that the guards had remembered Caleb’s presence. “Hey, you saw what happened right? The woman took our gun, right? You wouldn’t want to end up like them.” The older soldier said.

Caleb began to step back, not even saying a word, before finally turning and running. The soldiers didn’t follow, but he kept running until his legs couldn’t carry him anymore. Before he knew it he was in an alleyway, leaning against a walk to catch his breath. He slumped down the wall, sitting on the dirty ground as tears filled his eyes. Anger filled him. He had known it was bad, but he didn’t know it was like this. Was he really blind to all of this? Surely this was just a one-off instance. He clenched his tightly, his nails roughly poking his skin until it was red, before moving to hold his head in hands. He couldn’t keep making anymore excuses, and he was upset that he let himself keep doing so for this long. As he wiped the tears away, his fingers brushed past his Optik. Caleb remembered the other Optik in his pocket and fished it out. He examined it again, the dim blue light barley shining on his face. He remembered all of his thoughts from before, all his worries, all his doubts. Then he remembered the little girl, her motionless body next to mother.

Without a second thought, Caleb took his current Optik and threw it away from him. Then he took the new one and put it in.

“Alright, let’s fucking do this.”

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