The PR355 N1NJ4 returns! Operation: QuakeCon Doomiltration
The life of a PR355 N1NJ4 is hard indeed – many websites don’t even know that I’m writing for them until it’s too late. Although my fansite scored big points with my Microsoft GameStock scoop, my unfortunate capture during last year’s E3 nearly blew my cover. I laid low for a while, but a PR355 N1NJ4 can smell a scoop the way dogs smell fear. And I smelled QuakeCon 2002. I smelled it all the way from my secret Mountain Dojo in Alaska.
It was too late to register, but the only thing PR355 N1NJ4s register for is their cars. Still, although this was primarily a community event, I knew security would be tight. Why? Because they were showing DOOM III within the confines of a small fortified impenetrable chamber. Many a bold PR executive has made the claim that their booths are impenetrable … I scoff at such a boast, although you wouldn’t be able to tell with this mask on. I planned to get a scoop so big it would put the New York Times out of business. I made arrangements to get into Texas under a fake name.
At last the day arrived. My plan for infiltrating the event was simple. First, I hollowed out the innards of a mechanical bull. Once I was safely inside of the steakhouse across the street from the convention, I waiting until an extremely popular line dance was playing and then slipped quietly from the bowels of the bull as though it were giving birth. As boots thudded on the wooden dance floor I shimmied up the curtains on the wall and up through the ceiling tiles until I had a clear line of sight from an attic vent to the QuakeCon hotel. With a near-silent “whipt” of air, my miniature grappling hook and titanium grapple shot through the nighttime sky and caught into the gutterwork of my target. I hooked my equipment onto the microfilament line and zipped through the air to the hotel, silent as a preying cat.
Once I was on the roof of the hotel, I quickly slid over the side of the building and behind the enormous DOOM III banner. Flattening myself against the wall and finding nooks and crannies within the brickwork like a tiny black spider, I shimmied behind the sign to a second floor hotel room. I made short work of the glass with a glass cutter, and short work of the gamers inside with what I like to call my “sleepyjuice.” I was inside the target building: The scoop was almost upon me.
It is fortunate that the “bring your own computer” area was so noisy – the sounds of muffled computerized gunfire covered my tracks as I put an unfortunate hotel service employee into a sleeper hold. After picking the locks to the maintenance room I was able to slide into the elevator shaft and onto the top of one of the cars. Below me a group of gamers walked in and talked about how excited they were to hear John Carmack’s speech, coming up in just half an hour. They were unaware that I crouched atop the elevator, just a couple of feet from their heads, a silent malicious shadow intent on infiltrating their most prized of convention displays.
They went to the convention floor and as silent as a whisper I slid into one of the service ducts and crawled along on my belly. To infiltrate the Doom booth was my most daring of challenges; I had to slip out of a grate on the floor and stalk like a cat over the twisted LAN cables that snaked under a nearby table, squirming to not allow anyone’s feet to touch me and give away my position. Air was pumped into the Doom III booth through flexible tubing maybe at most a foot and a half in diameter – when I got there and disconnected the fan, I had to dislocate my shoulders in order to squeeze inside. Like a snake.
About a dozen people were inside the DOOM booth watching the demonstration when I popped through the vent and threw the gas grenade. Their screams of terror were muffled by the sounds of the running demo and the people standing outside merely assumed that the show was that good. Working quickly, I popped open the CD-Rom drive and withdrew my prize: A PLAYABLE DOOM III ALPHA. While other sites begged for screenshots, my site would be able to take our own! I stepped gingerly over the bodies and slid out of the booth the same way I came in.
That’s when things started to go bad.
I was working my way out through the maintenance ducts hoping to come out in the kitchen and slip away undetected within the confines of a catering truck. But the only grate I could find leading to the kitchen was blocked by a slurpee machine. I found a darkened room instead, quietly slid a grate aside, and slipped out into the darkness. I was behind a set of curtains. Creeping silently, I was suddenly startled to find that there was a tall man back there with me, wearing jeans and tennis shoes – I of course clubbed him unconscious without a second thought. His body crumpled silently to the floor. I tiptoed on, flattening myself near some sort of wooden pillar.
Suddenly, a deep voice amplified by a PA system announced, “Ladies and gentlemen … JOHN CARMACK, creator of Quake and Doom!” A series of bright spotlights clicked on and shone directly on me, giving away my position. I realized I was standing before a podium in front of an auditorium full of gamers. They applauded, then the applause died and was replaced by gasps of shock and horror.
“That’s not John Carmack…”
“That’s a ninja!”
A chubby kid leapt to his feet near the back of the theatre. “JOHN CARMACK’S A NINJA! I KNEW IT!” he screamed.
Another gamer in the front row was more skeptical. “That’s not Carmack,” he proclaimed.
“ERmm,” I said, beeping uncomfortably.
“Oh no nevermind, that’s him,” the gamer in the front row admitted, sitting back down.
“Show us the Doom! Show us the Doom!” people began to chant. I pulled the CD from my Ninja garb to the sound of tumultuous applause, then slipped it into a small computer setup near the podium and sat down. Behind me a video wall lit up and showed the machine booting. I started up the game.
“This is … uhm … Doom III,” I said, stammering. “It’s … 3D. With … walls … and pixels. Let me start up a game and … ooohhhh yeah HOW COOL IS THAT!?” I cried. Everyone applauded; they were eating it up.
“I supposed you’re wondering how this technology works,” I continued, stalking through dimly lit corridors humming with menace. “Well, uh, so do I. No, uh, seriously, it uses … polygons. And then they’re lit, like uh – WHOA do you guys see how that swinging strobe light is casting shadows through that chain link fence!? This is SO BADASS!”
“Now, the other thing we wanted to do with this game is, uh … AIIEE!” I screamed as an Imp jumped out at me. “Monsters! MONSTERS! DIE YOU SKANKY BITCH!” In the game, my shotgun blasted furiously around the room, pellets sparking off of metal surfaces, blood spurting out from the twisted flesh of my assailant. At last, the creature was dead. “Oh YEAAH! Did you guys SEE that? This game is gonna TOTALLY OWN! Yeeeah! I’m John Carmack! I’m John Carmack! Wooo!”
Then I did a stage dive into the crowd, who carried me around on their adoring shoulders. I don’t really remember much after that. I remember line dancing and a steak dinner. I was doing jell-o shots off of some chick’s tummy at one point. It’s all kinda fuzzy.
But when I finally got back to my secret PR355 N1NJ4 base, I realized that I had left the Doom III CD in the drive back at the hotel.
Although several sites reported that Carmack’s speech was the best ever. Hmm.
Score: 8.93; Total Votes: 1651 as of 2009-12-09.