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Guard Stations Terminally Unattended

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The villain or evil mastermind hears a lot of strange noises coming from outside his office. So naturally he uses his intercom to try and contact a guard station for an explanation for the ruckus.

The cause of the commotion is the hero going One-Man Army on all the guard stations, eliminating them all one by one just to get to the Big Bad and express her disapproval of all the evil he has done.

A Genre Savvy villain would immediately make his exit, because only a fool would wait around for whomever is obliterating all the armed guards in the building to walk in the door and add him to the body count.


But he never does. He keeps asking for the guards to report up until the hero comes in through the doors or makes an impressive entrance. At which point the villain realizes how much danger he is in, if this intruder killed all his guards and he's alone with that person, he'd better have no plans for tomorrow or next week.

When this happens to the good guy's base (or places that the good guys are trying to contact), it's often played for horror. Inversions of this type are rare.

This could be a subtrope of Impeded Communication. Compare Mook Horror Show as a related trope.



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    Anime and Manga 
  • In One Piece, as Luffy is storming his way through Enies Lobby, the World Government's judicial center, Spandam calls an official to ask how many soldiers Luffy has defeated. The man tries to tell Spandam "five thousand," but Luffy bursts through the official's window and knocks him out mid-sentence, causing him to say just "five." This response causes Spandam to severely underestimate Luffy, and Spandam soon stops requesting for updates.

    Comic Books 
  • Kin. The Overseer of the evil science research division of his organization hears all the security alarms blaring at once. He goes to the nearest guard station to demand an explanation. When he spins the guard's chair around to look at him, he finds out the guard is already dead. The last sound the Overseer hears is the bodyguard of a man he ordered murdered shooting him in the back of the head.
  • Punisher is quite fond of doing this.
  • X for DarkHorseComics Comics' Greatest World universe was a clear '90s Anti-Hero and Punisher expy to do this frequently.
  • Elektra also does this in her own series, reproducing the event of her 2005 film, Elektra.
  • Nightcrawler during Age of Apocalypse performs such an attack on a boat in X-Calibre #3.

    Fan Films 
  • Search/Destroy: A StrontiumDog Fan Film: Subverted. The villain, in the center of his fortress, watches in monitors how the heroes are taking care of his outer guards. He deliberately, ceremoniously prepares himself a tea. He then sends some upper-level minions as reinforcement; these succeed in defeating the heroes.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Alita: Battle Angel: Vector keeps asking what is happening, right up until the moment Alita comes crashing through the skylight with her Cool Sword, the sword she'd already used to carve up warmechs several times her size.
  • TRON: Legacy: The toadying lackey hears the sound of Sam obliterating the guards just outside the door and is quite disconcerted to see him walk in afterwards. However, he is Genre Savvy enough to immediately pledge his loyalty to Sam to avoid getting derezzed.
  • Elektra: Elektra starts the movie going like this on Jason Isaacs 's home. Knowing there's no escape from Elektra, Isaacs spends his last minutes enjoying a good drink and waiting for his doom.

  • Ciaphas Cain: One short story that's basically Die Hard on an Imperial starship (down to a theft covered up by a terrorist attack) has Cain kill some of the hijackers and use their commbeads to find out where they are and taunt them, along with redirecting them by lying about where he's going.
  • The Fall of the House of Cabal has a non-lethal version: when Johannes confronts the Big Bad on her Cool Airship base, she calls for her soldiers to kill him and his friends on the ground, only to realize that Johannes' vampire brother has already infiltrated the ship and put them all in Forced Sleep.
  • Star Wars Legends : A New Hope: The Life of Luke Skywalker ends with Luke Skywalker invading Moff Jarnek's estate, destroying his droids and confronting Jarnek to end the book with a one-liner.

    Video Games 
  • In Dead Space 3's Awakening DLC, the scenario is inverted when the protagonists reach Earth and attempt to hail first the government, to no reply; then the military, to no reply; then the mining corps, to no reply; then finally the moon, which does respond... with a jumpled mess of screams, groans, killings, and slashes, revealing everyone on Earth and the Moon are being slaughtered by the necromorphs.
  • Mark of the Ninja's ninth mission begins with Karajan barraded in a panic room in his heavily-secured tower. Throughout the mission you can hear Karajan panicking over the comm channel as you take out his guards and disable his defenses. In this case he doesn't run away because there's nowhere else for him to run, and cowering in his panic room with a gun trained at the only entrance is his best option.
  • Mega Man X4. Double, X's assistant, reveals himself to be The Mole and starts slaughtering Maverick Hunter coworkers when X's away. One of them tries contacting X, but when X answers, Double kills the guy and then tells X that "it was nothing".
  • Metal Gear Solid. Eliminating guards via death or unconsciousness in this series causes the central command voice to ask for an update. Upon not hearing an update from the now-unconscious guard, the alarm is raised and a search party is sent to find the player, or at least the unconscious guard. If the party fails to find either, the alarm is cancelled and patrols resume as though there never was a threat and, in fact, the eliminated guard never existed.
  • Payday 2 operates on similar rules to Metal Gear Solid in that neutralizing guards (lethally or by taking them hostage) causes the central command to ask them for an updatenote , requiring one of the robbers to answer the pager on their behalf (for gameplay reasons, it doesn't matter if the heister is a different nationality or sex, or even speaks an entirely different language, they always fall for it). However, if the robber disconnects from the call before it's done, or if too many guards "accidentally" drop their pager (5 by default), they will sound the alarm. Oddly enough, however, in the few stealth-optional maps where actual cops are already on the scene, if the robbers kill them, no one ever notices that they're missing so long as no one finds the body.


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