She managed to escape while under Blume surveillance cameras, after having gathered and stored the intel she snuck around several security guards to reach.
It was supposed to be a stealth mission, and she was doing pretty well, or so she thought until she was spotted by a patrolling security guard. It really annoyed her, because it only took one to sound the alarm, and it was almost immediate, how every armed person in that building would be alerted by one fool over the radio that there was a trespasser. In her own opinion, it was like they had a hive mind, which was bullshit.
Irritated that the man called in reinforcements, she raised the barrel of her customized stun gun and shot him in the crotch. It didn't help her situation in the slightest, but it made her feel better to stick it to the man who just blew her cover and hear him scream like a little girl.
Slamming the door, she locked it and hoped she had enough time to finish uploading what she came there for.
It didn't take long for the door to start rattling on its hinges as they tried to force their way in. Already on edge, she took a few steps back, crouched and readied what she thought to be a flash grenade in her hand.
She needed to complete her latest objective, and by any means necessary. She did not want to kill anyone today, but she would do it. The transfer completed, and she disconnected from their servers as quickly as she could manage. She now had access to Blume's latest weapon advancements on a little gray flash drive.
Just as she pocketed her prize, the door splintered open from its hinges, and she pulled the pin, throwing what she thought to be an active non-lethal explosive device. She was just as surprised as they were when she noticed the color. Green. Shit!
Thinking quick on her feet, she jumped out the closest window. Luckily it was open, and she caught herself on the fire escape railing with practiced ease. Her heart was pounding in her ears, she refused to look down from where she clasped and held on tight, fearing the height. She pulled herself up and crouched low to take cover from the ensuing blast just outside the window on the metal platform of the fire escape. Her ears were ringing, and distressed cries were coming from inside. Looking back through the window, it was a gory mess. Her eyes glued to a half-conscious man gurgling on what was left of his esophagus, it made her stomach churn. Something she could feel guilty about later.
The smell of burnt flesh would have been more pungent, had she lingered, and she probably would have wound up barbeque herself had she remained in the room. She really didn't intend to blow up one of their corporate building rooms! She could have sworn she'd pulled a flash grenade from her inventory, she had spent hours organizing it before this mission. Every item in alphabetical order and was all color-coordinated too! So how did she screw it up!? Oh yeah! She was on edge! That's probably how!
Whatever! A horrified woman was now standing in the doorway looking directly at her, and releasing a blood-curdling scream. Yeah, she needed to get the hell out of there right now! With a friendly wave and apologetic smile, she jumped down five levels of the fire escape at a time and hopped into an open window. Thus starting the chase, as she evaded gunshots from what security remained and local law enforcement who joined in the fray as she ran down several flights of indoor fire escape stairs.
Making sure she threw several flash grenades this time, she dashed out of the building while her pursuers were temporarily disoriented, senses snared by a sound bomb while she passed through a public park close by. The chase was long, and she was almost captured in the middle of a city block, had it not been for her favorite gamers' body ability, which she used quite often to slip into the shadows.
All she had to do was find a secluded spot, open up her menu, and she could change character skins at a whim. Skins she's been rewarded time and time again along with XP and cash for completing missions.
It's what inspired her to choose the Hacker name C0sP1ay, as she'd always use the more attention-grabbing skins for a heist, and the least noticeable or most convenient to blend in with the crowd and make a life for herself outside of it all.
Every character she Cosplayed as, their voice, language, accent, height, muscle memory, and weight carried over, which made identifying her, impossible. Nobody would ever know her true identity, and if they found out, it wouldn't be hard to disappear.
As great of an advantage it was, she had to be careful not to lose an accessory that came with the character while on a mission, or she'd be stuck in the body she was Cosplaying as until she retrieved the lost item. Fortunately, it was always tagged on her map so she could go back and retrieve it. It didn't mean it would be easy.
In her time as C0sP1ay, it only happened once, and she never wanted to relive that experience again. Some petty thief thought her an easy target, snatching her locket while she was under the guize of a young Sherry Birkin.
If she hadn't hacked into a nearby soda machine, the crook wouldn't have slipped on the cans and have given her enough time to shoot him in the back of the head with a silencer. This was also her first kill, and she didn't know which scared her more. But she could have been stuck in the body of a child for the rest of her new life. The encounter terrified her enough to start carrying around a leather thigh pack to store her loose accessories in so it wouldn't happen again.
Due to her gamer body, she didn't need to sleep or eat unless she was injured. She had a thick white bar in her upper left peripheral she could look at to keep track of her current objectives, and down at her right, she had a small circular map that told her her location, and who were hostiles in the form of little red dots. Her world had essentially become a watchdogs playthrough, and currently, she needed to desperately cross the upcoming blue border to ditch these cops and upgrade her skill tree because, after this mission, she only needed one more upgrade before she was considered good enough to catch the eye of Dedsec.
Leaping over a hedge, she lost five cops during their little game of cat and mouse. But if she didn't switch from mortal combat's Kitana, and soon, she'd be a target again!
She ran through another a small park and dashed towards the public bathroom, slamming open the door and entering a stall, locking it behind her. There wasn't anyone in here, luckily. Her chest heaved, reaching for her phone.
Immediately, she flipped through several characters on the small screen, her thumb landing on Terry Bogard. The transformation was speedy, her body lighting up like a sailor scout. She loved this part because it made her feel like a magical girl, as childish as that sounded and is.
Tucking her hands into her pockets, she slipped out of the bathroom after checking herself over in the mirror, to hear the sounds of numerous helicopters overhead. She hadn't crossed the blue border on her map yet, but she wasn't being stopped by police who rounded the corner. They were looking for a scantily clad woman in blue Kitana Cosplay, not a man. The Police radio she was tuned into told her as much.
She tried to look as shaken up as everyone around her, following what looked like a group of frightened college students to a convenient store, stopping midway when she finally passed the blue border. The moment she did, she heard an exasperated officer complain he'd lost sight of the woman.
She fell to her knees, breathing heavily, the adrenaline from the chase wearing off. She grinned, watching the last box under her objectives being crossed off. She was showered with XP, money, and a Character Skin that made her laugh. "Resident Evil Four Merchant?" She said aloud, really wanting to put that on, like right now!
His laugh was delightful in-game, but he looked too suspicious a character to walk around as! She didn't even know how many accessories the guy had, she'd need to check that when she got back to home base. A shabby apartment complex not too far away that she rented under this specific disguise, and it was the perfect base of operations while she finished up her work here in Chicago. Inconspicuous, and in a neighborhood where nobody asked questions. They'd have to be crazy to approach somebody as intimidating as Terry, and while a few have, they regretted it as she either beat them up or drained their bank accounts dry, giving them something else to worry about, like where they'd sleep that night. When she wasn't running around as C0sP1ay, she was Terry.
A self-employed law-abiding citizen who moved furniture around for a living, and had handpicked a few strong-armed fellows to aid him and paid them well whenever he took on a job. She'd even fabricated papers for this character and had a separate phone just for him. It didn't mean the phone wouldn't let her see streams of white through just about everything, but she wouldn't ever hack into anything as Terry. He was supposed to be her cover.
All her objectives up until this latest heist were to gather supplies Aiden Pearce would need, and scatter these items around future places Aiden would venture through in the original playthrough while avoiding her father, Jordi. That and warn Clara not to visit the grave where she would meet her famed demise.
Not too hard, right? Well, wrong! Jordi followed her around like that damned Tyrant Mr. X whenever she had to plant items! He had no idea who she was, only that she was meddling in his business, and thought her a possible threat and he wasn't wrong. She'd have to either outrun him and hide or switch character skins and walk passed him as somebody else.
The first time he chased her, she was under the guize of Cindy Lennox from OutBreak in her Bar uniform. She didn't outrun him but instead hid in a locker, where she switched into her Sherry Birkin Character Skin.
The change was so drastic he'd never know it was who he thought he was chasing, and all she had to do was act as scared as she felt to sell the act. She didn't really know if it was lucky or not when Aiden ended up finding her like that, beckoning her out softly and asking what her name was and what she was doing in there, to which she screamed stranger danger and ran away from him. He didn't follow her, nor did Jordi, or any of the cops. One security officer stopped her, but she cried, clung to his arm, pointed down the hall where Aiden was and told the guy that there was a mean woman after her.
She didn't give the guard any time to respond, running off in a panic.
It created an issue for Aiden, she knew, but he was a good escape artist, so he'd be ok. Besides, she needed to get out of there, too. Luckily, she found out by spying on their conversation later that Aiden came to the conclusion that the woman Jordi was chasing earlier must have been trying to kidnap the girl he found before the blackout, adding that child abduction wasn't uncommon in crowded places like football stadiums. Jordi sounded disgusted when he chimed in, theorizing that the sick bitch probably followed the girl to the bathroom before she made a run for it.
From then on out, Cindy Lennox from Outbreak could never be used again.
She was more careful after that, but it did give her an idea on how to warn Lille. The instructions on how to warn her weren't specific, after all, so Abduction it was!
It wasn't hard to find the woman, either, as she was marked on C0sP1ay's mini-map. So instead of warning Clara over the phone or something else just as stupid, C0sP1ay followed Lille's marker, snuck up from behind, and knocked the woman out while wearing her Albert Wesker skin. After wrapping the woman in three rolls of Duct tape, she took Clara to a remote location, in an abandoned office building somewhere on the outskirts of Chicago. It bothered her that she didn't use four rolls, but the woman needed to be able to breathe.
From there she strapped Clara down to an office chair with another roll of duct tape, her OCD got to her, ok?! Once the woman was awake and properly muffled, she introduced herself as C0sP1ay. Then explained what she did for Aiden, to which Clara looked confused by, and as if she wanted to ask why.
She ignored Clara, though, using the woman's phone to ring Aiden and tell him to come and retrieve his Princess in the most sinister voice she could muster, adding an evil Wesker laugh that would light the fire under anyone's ass and get them to haul ass. It was very effective. Aiden practically growled at her, his words almost incoherent as he told her not to lay a finger on Clara.
With one more Evil laugh, and telling Aiden their location, she hung up the phone and turned to look at Clara, who was torn between looking amused and angry. C0sP1ay put the phone on Clara's lap, patting her on the face and telling her she wasn't going to stick around for obvious reasons and abruptly left not long after the call, changing skins to get home in one piece.
It was around that time when her Objective bar switched from white to orange, much like the one in WatchDogs 2.
She had a new objective, new missions. Head to San Fransisco, build up a reputation as C0sP1ay and Join Dedsec.
Walking through a dank alleyway, two men she'd hired many times before greeted her. The roguish and or convict types you warn your daughter to stay away from. "Hey Terry, what are you doing out this late?" Peter asked, though not at all unfriendly. He was of average height and build, but every inch of his body was covered in prison tattoos. A taller man of Hispanic descent with muscle definition that belonged on the ass of a warhorse, and an accent that would make a lesser woman swoon just chuckled, intentionally showing off a few gold teeth, tucking his hands further into his hoody. "Somebody get lucky?"
"I can't hide anything from you, Carlos." She said with a husky chuckle of her own, raising her hands in mock surrender. "Though, while I was close to getting some, I ended up having to run away."
"Ah, her boyfriend come home? You look winded." Peter questioned, raising his brows, though Carlos just grinned even wider.
"Nothing like that, thank god. As fine and single as she was, the moment her little red dress hit the floor, she revealed to me a chest hairier than mine." She said, thinking back on what was left of the face of the man she left gurgling blood back in the office building, so her tone and expression really sold the lie.
It worked apparently, as both men started laughing so hard they had to support themselves by wrapping one arm around each others shoulder so they wouldn't fall over. "Damn, Amigo, you can't catch a break!"
Terry hunched his shoulders, trying to bury the image of that bloodied man into the farthest corner of his mind. "I really can't, man, and while I don't want to be rude and leave you two in the cold after we just caught up after a week, I just want to go home and sleep off that traumatic experience."
"Haha, I would too after that! If not a few drinks!"
"Yeah, you have a good night, Terry!"
"And let us know when you got another job for us!"
With a two-finger salute, she said. "Can do!"
Tucking her hands back into her pockets she went on her way, eventually reaching home base marked on her map.
Heading up the rickety old steps to room two beside one, she pulled out her key and unlocked the dirty door and stepped inside after wiping her feet on the mat, closing the door quietly behind her with the heel of her shoe. A faint light from five computer monitors set up on three worn mismatched office desks lit up the room, they were arranged side by side plugged into several outlets. Under one came the silent hum of a solar-powered generator, which kept them up and running.
Each was hooked up to its own pc, one being Terry's for work beside his phone. The others to keep in contact with the many hackers of Chicago. As C0sP1ay, she was given many side missions by these people. None of which she met any of them directly while doing, and usually dressed up as Hunk from the resident evil series for. Honestly, she didn't know why she got more resident evil Character Skins than she did with other games, but maybe it was because it was her third favorite game aside dark souls and blood born. She'd never know for sure.
None of these contacts would even matter after she left Chicago, anyway, or so she thought, looking over her apartment for what felt would be one of the last times. She'd grown so attached to it all somehow.
To the small clean kitchenette, with a fold-out table and dining chair not far from the dinky sink, the fridge and old stove. All of which was probably manufactured in the late forties. The tiles were ugly lime green, as were the countertops. As were the walls in there. So she painted the chair and table she bought the same green to match.
She put a porcelain key lime pie cookie jar on the counter to at least give the horrible kitchen a theme to go with the cute little lime and lemon magnets that held up Terry's old work schedule on the fridge.
Across from the kitchen, there was the main living room. A rough and cheap cream tuft carpet was tacked on the floor, in the center of the room was a cute lime themed rug. Pushed against the wall was a king-size Mattress wrapped in high thread count lime green sheets that matched the kitchen. The comforter was white with little lemon patterns on it, and giant lemon wedge pillows covered the bed, one sitting over a laptop she used for C0sP1ay. Beside the bed that took up almost all walking room in the apartment was a small yellow armoire she kept clothes that fit Terry in, for when she'd go out playing as him. After all, It'd be odd to wear the same thing every day.
The walls in the main room were painted a cream white, matching the color of the carpet. The bathroom wasn't far from the bed, the door she left a light brown color to match the desks she dragged into the apartment at some point. Gifts from those degenerates she gave jobs to.
Inside the bathroom was about as small as you'd expect, with a shower she thought looked eerily similar to ones you'd find in a gym locker room. The walls and floor were lime green tiles, with a rusted drain on the floor positioned under the dinky showerhead. A large cracked mirror glued above the sink. Beside the sink, she purchased a cheap plastic drawer organizer for her toiletries and a place she could place her folded lime green towels over. Beside it was a hamper for Terry's dirty work clothes.
She had to buy curtain rods so the spray from the shower wouldn't get on the dinky sink and toilet with a lime green lid, but the investment was worth it. And the little limes patterned on it complimented the horrible color quite well.
Overall, the apartment matched the Salary of the safe life she'd created as Terry. Minus the computers, sheets, and blankets. But nobody knew about the extra things she'd bought with cash she'd earned as C0sP1lay. She had been damned sure to frequently check Blume's computers to make sure he stays off their radar.
Releasing a contented sigh, she fiddled around with her phone and took off her Character Skin, revealing her true identity that was Jia Chin to the walls of her apartment. Every time she did this, it felt like letting her hair down.
Under the character skins, she always wore a bulletproof vest and stolen mismatched military armor. It wasn't in any way stylish, but practical. Perhaps now, though, with all the money she's earned, she could afford something that matched whenever she decided to forgo a Character Skin. Not that it even mattered when she could hide it all behind one.
At first, she thought people would be able to feel it through her disguise, that the skin was more of an illusion. But it looked and felt so real even to her, that it was a little scary. Walking further inside, she ran her fingers through her hair and wrinkled her nose at how matted it felt. She was all sweaty, too, and the gear was starting to feel heavy after all the running around she did today.
Walking to the bathroom, she left a trail of armor she removed piece by piece, throwing each bit slothfully to the floor in her wake. Pushing open the door, she drew back the plastic curtains around the shower and twisted the tap. It wouldn't take long for the water to heat up, and she released the plastic curtain, letting it drop back down to avoid getting hit with an icy spray of water.
Jia faced the mirror, taking in her appearance. She did this every night after a day of switching in and out of disguises, to remember she wasn't them. She was a five foot eight, skinny and petite young woman with an alabaster complexion and mostly Asian facial features with her mother's straight german nose. What stood out overall were her light violet eyes and her short thick hair styled like her father's. She both hated and loved that man, who was probably still looking for her after she vanished five years ago.
It didn't matter if they ever met again anyway, not when it helped change Jordi's mind about Damien's offer to kill Pearce, having duped the man into thinking Jordi agreed, only to shoot him in the back at the top of that lighthouse. She'd been his incentive not to kill Pearce, what with having thought he lost a little girl of his own, she just knew. Her very existence changed him, or so it seemed, and the events of watchdogs too, but for the better. Steam filled the bathroom, blurring her reflection.
Stepping under the running water, she bent slightly to adjust the heat to a more comfortable temperature and began scrubbing the day's troubles away with lavender-scented soaps. Jordi Always had a chance to be a father, but he never took it. He thought Jia was safe where she was, with the pretty Escort he'd accidentally knocked up, it wasn't hard to figure out. And she was. Until her mother was shot in the head by a dangerous drunk client showing off his gun collection. Whatever happened that night, it gave Jia her chance to slip away and never look back.
They were practically strangers anyway, and she was and still is wary of him. Now if he'd had integrated himself into her life and visited every now and then, maybe she would have stayed put that night. Hid under the bed, and waited for him to step up and take on the role of her guardian, but because of his absence, she would never grant him that opportunity. Not when he'd had several chances before. He was too much of an unknown now, even with how much her existence changed him from canon. He was still a dangerous psychopath.
She's seen him several times watching her before the incident, always too hesitant to approach. Sometimes she would catch him talking with her mother, the two of them sitting on a park bench under a tree. It was a special place her mother took her some sunny afternoons after school. Jia never heard what they spoke about, but he'd always try to pass her mother an envelope she assumed by the size and weight was filled with money, one her mother always pushed back into his hands with a soft smile, shaking her head.
Jia might have had several questions about that, had she not heard the woman tell him once, that she can provide for Jia all on her own. It was the day little Jia gave him a chance to be a parent, walking up to them with the barbie she'd been gifted a week prior, pointing at him with it and asking her mother who the pretty man was. "An old associate," She'd said after he struggled to say much of anything. It was unnerving for someone so charismatic as Jordi to come up speechless for once, and after she called him pretty, too.
Her mother stood up quickly after that, taking her hand and leading her briskly out of the park, the woman's eyes were pained. Jordi had never looked so defeated when Jia glanced back from over her shoulder, seeing his downcast gaze. From then on, she lost the drive to pursue whatever could have been between them. In his line of work, she doubted it even possible, but it was worth a shot at the time, or so she believed.
There was no reason to approach him again. There was no need to now, and it was better she didn't. Jordi could relate to Pearce more if things stayed this way, or so she learned, later on, listening in on a few of their calls. The warmth in his voice when he spoke of his missing daughter moved her emotionally, enough to style her hair like his. It was the only connection she would allow them to have. One that he'd never know about but probably be flattered if he knew she had it.
She crossed her arms over her breasts, holding her shoulders and shuts her eyes, tilting her chin to face the showerhead. She smiled, thinking about the two men and all they've been through one last time, then about Clara. She wondered if the woman would finally get to be with Aiden this time. She hoped so because, after everything those two have gone through, they needed each other.
"Whatever! Tomorrow the world will know what's on that drive, my reputation as a hacker will rise, and I'll leave for San Francisco! My work is done here." She spoke quietly, turning off the tap once she'd rinsed off. Reaching for a towel, she pulled it in from around the curtain and began drying off.
Pushing back the curtain, she stepped in front of the mirror again, wiping her hand over the fogged mirror with the towel before she wrapped it around her head. "Having wrapped it all up at seventeen, too. Not bad." She grinned.