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In this city, no one can hide from me. No one.
— Aiden Pearce

Aiden Pearce, known as The Vigilante or The Fox in the media, is a man shaped by violence and obsessed with surveillance. He monitors his family in secret to protect them from something that happened in his past. When his family has endangered once again, he takes justice into his own hands.

Pearce is a hybrid hacker/vigilante, who has hacked Chicago's CtOS by using backdoors he created while programming it. The CtOS is Chicago's Central Operating System, which controls the city's entire information network. Using the CtOS and his mobile phone, Pearce can access the personal information of everyone in Chicago as well as control the city's security system. His abilities include, but are not limited to, disrupting communications, controlling trains and traffic lights, and even causing a city-wide blackout when cornered.

Raised in Chicago's inner city, Pearce is accustomed to violence. When confronted physically, he typically uses a baton to retaliate, but he has also been shown to be proficient with firearms. In trailers, he most often uses a 9mm pistol, but he is known to be proficient with over 30 different types of firearms.

Despite taking justice into his own hands, Pierce tends to disable his victims when there is clear evidence for the police to make an arrest. In cases where there is not enough evidence to convict or if he is attacked, however, Pearce has shown no hesitation in performing executions.

After the death of his niece, Lena Pearce, Aiden used his hacking abilities and weapon proficiency to bring down the Chicago South Club, the Viceroys, the Pawnee Miltia, and the corrupt PMC affiliated with Blume Industries, and to eliminate the key figures associated with her death.

Battle vs. John Reese (by Laquearius)

TBW

Expert's Opinion

TBW

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Battles here were deemed to be unfair or otherwise not in accordance with wiki standards, and have been removed from the statuses of the warriors and displayed below.

Battle vs. Kayaba Akihiko (by SPARTAN 119)

Outside the National Public Safety Commission Building, Chiyoda Ward, Tokyo, Japan, February 2, 2023

Aiden Pearce walked down a crowded street in Chiyoda, before taking a seat on a bench across the road from the National Public Safety Commission's headquarters building. In a crowd this larger, even a gaijin such as Pearce would go unnoticed. Pearce took out his Iphone and turned it on, looking into the screen and seeing what looked like a camera phone app.

However, instead of a button to take a photo, there was a dialogue box in the center of the screen reading "Vulnerability Detected: Camera", around a camera in the inside of the the NPA office. Aiden tapped the dialogue box, and immediately, the feed from the camera was transferred to his cell phone screen. He was no looking through the camera in the lobby of the building.

Aiden immediately switched to another camera located behind the front desk. As he did so, he saw a man in a black hair and glasses. The translator associated with his custom CtOS hacking app labelled the man as "Kikuoka Seijirou, Sword Art Online Task Force, Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communication". At Seijirou's waist, Aiden saw a dialogue box labeled: "Vulnerability Detected: Smartphone Camera".

Aiden tapped the dialogue box. He was now view the room from the level of Seijirou's back pocket, an odd persepective to be sure. Seijirou spoke briefly with the receptionists at the desk, before entering in the elevator and ascending to the seventh floor, to the headquarters of the Japanese National Police Agency, where he entered the room of one Takashi Matsuzawa, the head of the NPA's SAO Task Force. Clearly, Seijirou was meeting with his opposite number in the NPA.

For about 10 minutes, the camera showed the view of the door to Matsuzawa's office. Aiden bided his time, sooner or later, Seijirou would turn around and leave, giving Aiden a clean shot at Matsuzawa's computer.

As soon as Seijirou turned to leave, Aiden seized his chance. Tapping the computer, the screen of the smart phone changed to a progress bar: "Planting Worm: 0%... 20%...40%...60%....80%....100%... Installation Successful.

He was in, Aiden Pearce now had full access to all of the files of the NPA and all other agencies involved in SAO, all translated thanks to CtOS 2.0's next generation software.

Night of February 2, 2023, Hilton Chiyoda Hotel, Chiyoda, Tokyo, Japan

Aiden Pearce sat on the bed in his hotel room, his smartphone connected to his laptop, allowing him to access to all of the files on the SAO incident. Aiden opened a promising looking file: Persons of Interest.

Aiden scanned the names, and scanned the first name: Kayaba Taro, Akihiko's father. A quick search of camera sightings turned up nothing suspicious.

"OK then... next name", Kayaba Hiroko, nothing.

"Nobuyuki Sugou, a former associate of Kayaba's and an employee of RECTO Progress... Engaged to Asuna Yuuki... a 17-year old girl in an arranged marriage...", Aiden said to himself, "Bit of a creep, but no evidence of criminal activity. The fact that he works on the SAO server frequently, though... that's enough to make him worth keeping an eye on..."

"Rinko Koujirou, Akihiko's former girlfriend. Recent purchases... now why would a computer scientist need IV supplies?", Aiden thought.

Aiden scanned the CtOS network. Rinko has been spotted on security cameras around her apartment, her lab at Touto university, stores in the area and... the mountain town of Nishitama... She went there every few days, and based on her pattern, she should be heading there tomorrow.

"I think I'm going to have a word with Ms. Koujirou", Aiden said to himself, "But first, there is other business to take care of."


February 2, 2023, Tokyo Breakwater Landfill, Artificial Island in Tokyo Bay

It was about 12 midnight local time, and the landfill was deserted, the only light, apart from the lights of the city of Tokyo visible in the backdrop, and the many boats and ships in the bay, was that of a single garbage truck with the back open.

Three men stood near the garbage truck, all of them Chinese nationals. Apparently, the Yakuza had set up a deal with a group of Chinese Triad-affiliated illegal arms dealers, armed with a large shipment of weapons stolen from The Chinese People's Liberation Army.

Aiden stood on top of a pile of garbage that had only recently been covered with soil. He looked through the ACOG scope on his suppressed Heckler & Koch 416 assault rifle, and spotted a large number of crates of weapons lying next to the truck, including Type 56 AK-clones, Type 69 RPGs, QBZ-95s, and other Chinese military hardware.

The Yakuza party sent to retrieve the munitions had not yet arrived. This was going to be too easy. Aiden placed the ACOG's crosshair over the head of the first arms dealer and fired a single shot. His target keeled over, dead, immediately. With the suppressor attached, the arms dealers had no idea where the shot came from. Swiftly, Aiden dispatched the other two.

After he had disposed of the arms dealers, Aiden walked down the hill of waste to the dirt road into the landfill, where the truck stood unattended. Aiden grabbed a Type 69 RPG and a spare rocket from the arms cache, lugged it up the hill of trash, and lay in wait. After about 15 minutes, the headlights of three vehicles broke the darkness, two unmarked black cars and a small delivery truck.

The three vehicles stopped, and a group of armed men walked out, their weapons at the ready, clearly having noticed that their contacts were dead. Aiden fired the RPG at the truck in the middle of the Yakuza convoy. The rocket shot out with a streak of fire, and exploded in a flash of flames that killed off four of the six Yakuza thugs.

Aiden tossed aside the launcher as as the Yakuza turned towards and grabbed his HK-416, just in time roll out of the way and avoid a burst of fire from a Yakuza enforcer armed with a Howa Type 64 assault rifle. Aiden returned fire, striking a the enforcer with a three-round burst, before turning his weapon on his pistol-wielding fellow before he could fire.

Aiden then retrieved the RPG and reloaded, taking aim at the crate of illegal arms crate next to the garbage truck. Aiden fired the launcher a second time, blowing up the arms cache in a spectacular fireball, ammunition cooking off like firecrackers in the flames. Aiden tossed the launcher aside, confident that the load of illegal arms wouldn't be killing anyone in their current state, and left the scene, walking about 100 meters to his car. By the time the Tokyo Police and fire departments got the scene, Aiden was back in his hotel room, having just taken a shower- the garbage mound he had been standing on had been covered with soil, but he would rather clean up before going to bed.

The next day, streets of west Tokyo, Japan

Aiden Pearce parked the rental car about 50 meters down the street from Rinko Koujirou's Suginami ward apartment, waiting about half and hour before his phone identified his quarry. The road was only barely wide enough for him to park on the shoulder- half of his wheels were on the sidewalk- he hoped the police would not show up and force him to flee. Fortunately, his luck held, and Aiden spotted Rinko loaded a large cardboard box into the back of her dark blue compact Honda and drove off, out of the small parking lot of her building, consisting of a dozen apartments, unaware that she was being shadowed by a white 2019 Toyota Camry driven by a foreign hacker-vigilante.

Rinko turned off the street her apartment was on, and onto a much wider main road making its way through the concrete canyons of Tokyo, at this point flanked by buildings about 8-12 stories tall, though near where the road crossed a railway line, there was a much larger structure, a roughly 25 story tower.

For there, Rinko continued along the road. For a good hour at least the stop-and-go traffic continued, before the Shin-Oume Highway finally cleared out, allowing both Rinko, and Aiden to speed up. But it was not until he reached Oume, that Aiden could see the mountains, which marked the end of the massive urban sprawl that was Tokyo.

The road ran along the Tama river, then up, along the side of a mountain, narrowing to two lanes. The rows of buildings were quickly replaced by rows of pine trees along the side of the road. Soon, his vehicle and Rinko's were the only ones on the road, Aiden staying about 200 meters behind her.

At the apex of a mountain pass leading down into Nishitama, Rinko got off the main road, up an even narrower road, no wider than a driveway, winding higher up into the mountains. After letting her have a slight head start to avoid detection, Aiden turned down the road, driving uphill, until Rinko drove down something that was definitely a driveway.

Kayaba Akihiko's mountain cottage, Nishitama, Japan

At that point, Aiden decided to leave the car at the side of the road and walked though the woods about 100 meters, one hand on the grip of his Beretta PX4. He spotted Rinko get out of the car and turned on the translation app on his Iphone, before he walked out of the woods and said, "Koujirou Rinko, I'd like to have a word with you." The Iphone spat out the phrase in a robotic voice.

Rinko turned to Aiden and said, "You don't need that little toy of yours, I can speak English. And I know why you're here. You're looking for Kayaba Akihiko", Rinko said, "But you don't look like the police...".

"That's because I'm not. Are you familiar with the name Aiden Pearce?", Aiden asked

"That vigilante that took down the Chicago South Club...?", Rinko said, "I'm not going to let you kill him, if that's what you're planning".

"Relax, I'm not trying to kill anyone. Only to stop more murders. I can disconnect him.", Aiden said, as he pushed past Rinko, and opened the door to the cottage. Akihiko lay on the bed in the master bedroom, connected to all manner of IVs and machines.

Aiden pointed his phone at one machine in particular, and pressed the dialogue box. After only a few seconds, the hacking software found a vulnerability in the SAO server. At that moment, all of the over 8000 surviving players of Sword Art Online were logged out.

Kayaba Akihiko lifted the Nerve Gear off his head and turned to see what had roused him from the "Death Game" he expected to spend his final days, before he fell in battle, and his conciousness was copied onto a state of the art machine, the first human to create his own world, with real inhabitants, and then transcend his mortal body.

"No...", Kayaba said, Aiden's phone interpreting for him, "This... I can't... it's not finished yet.... Aincrad is not complete..."

Kayaba then turned to the gaijin in front of him, and shouted angrily, now speaking English... "You... YOU DID THIS... YOU RUINED MY LIFE'S WORK!"

Kayaba Akihiko grabbed an IV stand and stumbled forward and clumsily swung at Aiden. Aiden easily evaded the attack and drew a Tactical Baton, retaliating with a strike to the head, in exactly the right location to knock Kayaba Akihiko unconscious without harming him permanently.

At that moment, Rinko Koujirou burst through the door, yelling "Akihiko!", and running towards him, "You...", she said as she turned to Aiden.

"Relax", Aiden said, "He's only unconcious". Rinko knelt down on the floor, placing her hand on Akihiko's neck, confirming he still had a pulse".

"By the way", Aiden said, "The local police just received an 'anonymous tip' that Kayaba Akihiko is hiding out at this location. I suggest you cooperate, it will only be worse for you if you run... and if you try to drag him away with you, I'll find you."

As Aiden walked away from the cottage, he could hear sirens in the distance. Sure enough, as he drove his rental car down the mountain road, two police cars blew by in the opposite direction, not paying any attention to the gaijin vigilante in the car headed the opposite direction.

The next day, Chiyoda Hilton Hotel

Aiden Pearce sat on the bed of his hotel room, reading the news on his smartphone. Kayaba Akihiko had been captured soon after Aiden had awoken him, and the majority of the 8000 or so surviving SAO players had been logged out.

Kayaba Akihiko was no facing over 2000 counts of first degree murder, and 8000 counts of conspiracy to commit murder. Japan had given up the death penalty in 2018, but but many members of the victim's families were pushing for its reinstatement in the case of Akihiko. As is, Kayaba was facing over 2000 life sentences. He would spend the rest of his life in prison.

But, looking at the news article, Aiden realized his work was not done. About 300 SAO players had not awakened, still apparently logged into SAO, or, more likely given the shutting down of the server, having been transferred to some other VR MMO.

"Looks like I'll need to book a few more nights her and cancel that flight back to the states", Aiden said, doing just that effortlessly with his hacking skills- free travel and hotels were one of the many perks of being an expert hacker.

Aiden then flipped through the profiles he had gotten from the police database, landing on one Nobuyuki Sugou. Sugou has worked extensively on maintaining the SAO server, and further more, he was arranged to marry Asuna Yuuki, RECTO CEO Shouzou Yuuki's daughter, and a 17 year old girl at that. It was all too convenient. Clearly he was keeping her unconcious to keep her from any "competition". As for the others, Aiden would find out soon enough...

Expert's Opinion

Aiden Pearce won this battle of wits because of his superior hacking skills, having hacked the CtOS 2.0 system, having given him practically complete control of city infrastructure and databases. There was simply nowhere Akihiko could hide. Aiden also proved too skilled a combatant to be taken out by other criminals such as the Yakuza.

To see the original battle, weapons, and votes, click here.

Reason

The battle has been declared unfair for Kayaba since he had no way of countering Aiden's actions.

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