INT. CWAL HQ - GAVAL'S OFFICE

               Gaval's sitting behind his desk, facepalming. War is still
               raging outside though several miles away. Lothos is sitting
               opposite him, reclining smug, feet propped.

                                   GAVAL
                         He just left.

                                   LOTHOS
                         As far as I know.

                                   GAVAL
                         Fearless with him?

                                   LOTHOS
                         I don't know everybody he took with
                         him but I think yeah Fearless was
                         there too. I know they took Cheet's
                         truck.

                                   GAVAL
                         Oh he is so staked.

                                   LOTHOS
                             (standing for the door)
                         Cool, well I'm gonna go catch some
                         more Pookie.

                                   GAVAL
                             (under his breath)
                         While Rome burns.

                                   LOTHOS
                         What's that?

                                   GAVAL
                         Nothin'.

                                   LOTHOS
                         Cool. Pookie time!

               And he's out the door. Gaval grabs the phone, presses some
               buttons. He's in.

                                   GAVAL
                         Tau, we have a problem.

               EXT. STREETS OF IRVINE - NIGHT

               A guy in shades and casual attire squares off with something
               ahead of him. He whips out a great, big pole-axe. He is THE V
               MAN.

                                   THE V MAN
                        Can't chat right now, sir. Bit 
                        occupied, let me call you back.

                                   GAVAL (V.O.)
                         You do that.

               The V Man's team forms behind him, a cabal of other CWALers
               who we'll get to in due time. Ahead of he and his crew, and
               standing triumphantly on top of a large pile of debris is a
               guy in an outfit he must have bought off a strip joint in
               Boca Raton. EVIL TALRUUM. Beside him are his accomplices: the
               big guy is ATLAS and the dude in the Armani suit with all of
               the big guns and a sporty revolver is KEYNES.

                                   EVIL TALRUUM
                         It's about time we got some fresh
                         CWAL deli.

               One of V Man's team, a girl in her twenty-something's steps
               up. She's the brave but a bit naive CRYSTAL.

                                   CRYSTAL
                         I've got a magic missile with a
                         tattoo of your ass waiting in the
                         wings, pal.

               E. Talruum laughs. V Man's got a good twenty men strong on
               his side. Odds are fairly obvious.

                                   THE V MAN
                         Look, Tal, we're kinda busy. There's 
                         a war going on, see.

                                   EVIL TALRUUM
                         I don't care about the stupid
                         corporate war. One of them is going
                         to walk out owning the place
                         anyway.

                                   THE V MAN
                         Yeah well we're trying to make sure 
                         that doesn't happen. So I'll let it 
                         slide this time that you're a pain 
                         in my ass. OK?

                                   EVIL TALRUUM
                         I'm afraid you can't talk your way
                         out of this one. You see, we just
                         initiated a new member and we want
                         to see if he has what it takes.

                                   THE V MAN
                         So go kill some Flensers.

                                   EVIL TALRUUM
                         Tell you what. If you beat him,
                         I'll let you leave. But if he beats
                         you, well, it won't matter then,
                         will it?

                                   CRYSTAL
                         Whatever. V, let him have his thing.
                         And then we'll kick his ass.

               The V Man isn't so sure. Regardless, a loud clanging behind
               Talruum gets their attention. And then up storms a very
               menacing, very silver Flenser who appears to be a tad more
               "in control" of things than the usual robot. A guy in brown
               robes and a double-sided sword, ANARION, is the first to
               respond.

                                   ANARION
                         Holy shit! They got SOLDAT!

                                   LYDIA
                         Big deal. I eat SOLDAT puffs for
                         breakfast.

               LYDIA, of course, is the hot babe with a broadsword. The V
               Man isn't as convinced now. But he's not about to let E.
               Talruum see through it.

                                   THE V MAN
                         Getting a tin can to do your dirty 
                         work. Thought you were more colorful 
                         than that.

                                   EVIL TALRUUM
                         Rest assured, CWAL, SOLDAT can be
                         quite colorful. 

               And it's on.

               The CWALers charge up the hill, weapons blazing. SOLDAT the
               Flenser takes the brunt of it while his team mates jump to
               either side. And then the Flenser opens himself up. Weapons
               sprout from everywhere and light up the slope below him.
               Several CWALers go down on the first advance. Everyone breaks
               away. Anarion's not so fast. SOLDAT grabs him and headbutts
               his skull. Skull vs. Metal. Metal wins.

               INT. CWAL HQ - INFIRMARY - NIGHT

               A black bag zips over Ejitop's cold face. She's gone. The
               doctor looks up to the man across from him. Young guy in 
               battle dress, dirt and blood on him like he's just walked off 
               the battlefield. Probably did. He's ARCTURUS.

                                   ARCTURUS
                         I've lost count, Mu.

                                   DOCTOR
                         Mu hasn't been here in over a year.
                         I'm Eegin, remember?

                                   ARCTURUS
                         Right. I'm sorry.

                                   DOCTOR
                         It's all right. I get it a lot.

                                   ARCTURUS
                         It's just that he was such an
                         integral part of us. It's hard to
                         believe he's gone.

                                   DOCTOR
                         He died for what he believed.

                                   ARCTURUS
                         Like them? I'm not entirely sure I
                         believe it anymore.

                                   DOCTOR
                         Well, in a few days it won't
                         matter.

               Arcturus raises a brow.

                                   DOCTOR
                         The Canadians, I mean. The
                         evacuation.

                                   ARCTURUS
                         Oh. Right.

               He's not comfortable with that. He turns to another bed.
               Shade is there, comatose. Tears continue to seep through
               closed eyes. They can't drug the memories out of her.

               EXT. STREETS OF IRVINE - NIGHT

               The V Man takes cover behind a pile of debris. His team is
               huddled around a corner, a block away. An Elf, ADRIEN, is
               tending to the wounded against the building's wall. Two guys
               keep up suppressive fire on the street to hold off the
               advance. One of them, SPUDSTER is using a large potato gun.
               It's doing the job. The other, LATENCY, prefers more
               conventional firearms.

                                   THE V MAN
                         Gaval, you still there?

                                   GAVAL (V.O.)
                         Right here.

                                   THE V MAN
                         What's up?

                                   GAVAL
                         Sigma's without a leader. Dropped
                         off the face of the Earth.

                                   THE V MAN
                         Wasn't aware there was a Sigma anymore.

                                   GAVAL
                         Yeah, well shit happens. I need you
                         to cover the slack. Flank zone
                         sixty-six. Blizzard's sure to take
                         advantage of the situation.

                                  THE V MAN
                         And Westwood? Recon's getting frequent.

                                   GAVAL
                         I'll see about getting you more
                         men. Until then, you'll have to be
                         creative.

                                   THE V MAN
                         Will do. We ran into CWL. They have
                         SOLDAT.

                                   GAVAL
                         What?

               Atlas comes out of nowhere, grabs V Man and throws him
               against a wall. He grabs V Man's ax and stabs him with it.

                                   THE V MAN
                         Ah! Fuck!

                                   ATLAS
                         That was for Talruum.

                                   GAVAL
                         V? Still with me?

                                   THE V MAN
                         Yeah.

                                   ATLAS
                         You talkin' to me?

                                   THE V MAN
                         No.

                                   GAVAL
                         No? Yes? Which is it?

                                   THE V MAN
                         Hold on a second.

                                   ATLAS
                         I have all day.

               The V Man raises his pistol and plants a bullet square
               between the eyes. Skull vs. Bullet. Bullet wins. Atlas goes
               down. SOLDAT turns on the prone V Man. The CWALer rips his ax
               out of his chest and rolls, albeit painfully, back to his
               cover and then makes a break for his team's position. Despite
               the trailing gunfire, he makes it.

                                   THE V MAN
                         Sorry. That was Atlas.

                                   GAVAL
                         Atlas? Like, Atlas Atlas?

                                   THE V MAN
                         Yeah.

                                   GAVAL
                         Is he trying to kill you?

                                   THE V MAN
                         Was. Not anymore. He's pretty dead now.

                                   GAVAL
                         Oh. Well shit.

                                   THE V MAN
                         Gaval. I'll have to hit you back, buddy. 

               He cuts the wire.

                                   THE V MAN
                         Adrien! My turn, for Chrissakes! 
                         Who are we down?

                                   LYDIA
                         Anarion, Raider. Snark bit it
                         getting here.

                                   THE V MAN
                         Shit, OK. They've got too many 
                         advantages here and we have new orders. 
                         Zone sixty-six. Latency, where's my 
                         transport?

                                   LATENCY
                         Your transport?

               A black SUV skids around another corner, racing towards them.
               It's one of Latency's goons.

                                   LATENCY
                         Right on time.
                         
                                   CWALER #27
                         Where do you get these people?    
                         
                                   LATENCY
                         The Latency has many friends.      
                         
                                   LYDIA
                         If all your friends weren't guys, I'd
                         say you weren't gay.
                         
                                   THE V MAN
                         Lyd, shut you lid. let's get the hell out of 
                         here. 

               The team piles in and the SUV speeds off.

               INT. PHASMUS' OFFICE - MEANWHILE

               Phasmus sits at his desk, attended by a gruesomely gaunt
               tapefiend. It looks like a thoroughly dried corpse was
               wrapped in duct tape tightly enough to compact its desiccated
               tissues still further. It groans.

                                   PHASMUS
                             (responding calmly )
                         No, I had never intended things to
                         go this way. We are surviving well
                         enough for now and the dead are
                         coming in faster than we can
                         liquidate them. But Blizzard and
                         Westwood are rapidly consuming this
                         city and everyone in it with their
                         absurd little spat. I do not intend
                         to wait for the company to become
                         collateral damage.

                                   MINION
                         Arrrrrg...

                                   PHASMUS
                         My intent had always been to keep
                         the city, and to some extent its
                         population, intact. To maintain a
                         stable base for the company. That
                         goal is no longer attainable. We
                         will have to start from scratch.

                                   MINION
                         Unnnnnnng...?

                                   PHASMUS
                             (chuckling ominously)
                         We will be staying right where we
                         are. Irvine is doomed, but soon it
                         will be reduced to a safely
                         desolate necropolis. Our friends at
                         Operation CWAL are making sure of
                         that right now. Once the living
                         element has been removed we can
                         rebuild something better. Something
                         that will last... without the small
                         minded, ephemeral chaos of life.

                                   MINION
                         Urrrrrggg...

                                   PHASMUS
                         Left to its own devices CWAL is
                         scarcely relevant any more, aside
                         from their potential as a
                         complicating factor. Allying with
                         them is an exercise in futility.
                         And if I were to take an overt hand
                         in the present conflict they would
                         certainly turn against me, which
                         could still be the difference
                         between success and failure. They
                         have outlived their usefulness. But
                         their deaths will prove quite
                         useful indeed. Their quest for the
                         blade has left them safely divided
                         and when they return to use it they
                         and at least one of offending game
                         companies will be obliterated.
                         This, along with my recent special
                         recruitment efforts, will clear the
                         way for a quick, clean, hostile
                         takeover of whatever life remains.
                         Irvine will be at peace. It is how
                         the CWALers would have wanted it.

                                   MINION
                         Grrrrggggg!!!

                                   PHASMUS
                         Ah, well, it is how they will have
                         wanted it after I dig their remains
                         from the ashes and liquidate them.
                         I'm sure you never would have
                         guessed you would be so happy with
                         us, back when you were among the
                         living. Isn't that right, Maggott?

                                   MINION
                         Hhhrrrrgggg...

                                   PHASMUS
                         Yes. That's what I thought.