Stand By For Titanfall.

This is the piece I performed over the weekend at Emerald City Comic Con. Enjoy!

 

 

 

The words were like a relentless hammer through the communal comm feed.

Prepare for Titanfall.

Standby for Titanfall.

Your titan is ready.

"Sweet honey bunches of oats," Bainer said. "That’s three at once!"

"It’s that asshole Spudman332 I bet. He sets the titans to autofollow then just rushes around killing sentries." This was from Old man Sinsky, a veteran of the video game asset manufacturing industry.

Stand by for Titanfall the voice intoned again.

“Mother fucking miniwheats! Do they even realize we’re building titans for both sides?" Bainer screamed, as he gesturing haphazardly with the arc welder.

"Watch it kid!" Old man Sinsky said, "I’ve been welded once before by accident and it makes getting lemon juice in your eye feel like an orgasm. Besides, this setup is nothing. Do you have any idea how many hats we had to make during an average night of Team Fortress? Or how many crates we had to put together by hand for Half Life 2? Seriously, This is nothing. Start bitching to me when you have to deconstruct an entire village for the winning player in an Age of Empires match. The words over built are not in those players vocabulary"

"I’m not here for ancient history chief. Yeah that’s right, I chiefed you,” Bainer said, ratcheting a Titan knee joint. "I’ve paid my dues. I was part of the halo warthog strike of ’05. Those things were near indestructible, it put entire construction teams out of business."

"Watch your arm joints" Sinsky barked. "if the weld doesn’t hold they break apart on impact from orbit."

"Yeah yeah, kiss my winking pink browniecake"

"Kids think you are so smart" Sinsky said under his breath.

Prepare for titanfall.

Prepare for Titanfall

Stand by for Titanfall.

"I’m not finished with the first one!" Bainer screamed at the ceiling. Sinsky chuckled and slapped a Titan on the ass on it’s way down. "Kid you’re going to give yourself a heart attack."

"Yeah well at least that’s covered under the health plan." Bainer replied.

"Enough banter, back to work" the boss barked from the catwalk overhead. Sparks rained down on the massive assembly line of the large mechanical battle kits known as Titans. All were awaiting delivery to various game matches and battles going on. It was the industrial manufacturing of fun.

Thurmon was the quiet one, silently making his Titans to spec and shipping them off. But he piped up all of the sudden, and Bainer and Sinsky stopped what they were doing in shock that he had even made a peep.

"Do you think they know?" Thurmon said quietly. "Do you think they realize how silly this all is?"

Sinsky scowled "Get back to work." But Bainer asked "What? what are you talking about?"

"It’s a battlefield where none of them can truly win. Each victory is just a fleeting moment before everything is reset and the battle starts over. Titans rain down, get destroyed. Flags are captured or enemy teams are eliminated. There’s a pause to take note of your miniscule accomplishment then everything starts back from zero."

Thurmon slapped a weld on his Titan and punched the button to send it down.

Stand by for Titanfall.

"Shut up Thurmon" Sinsky said again as he started on a new chassis. "Who cares what they know or don’t know?"

"They fight these battles for false pretenses under stress from their own lives that they cannot cope with so they engage on a battlefield that has no purpose or goal. Not really. They control this point, jump up walls or spin around using thumbsticks when most of them can’t walk a mile in less than 30 minutes. They fire guns and pilot mechs or control buildings or vehicles without any real world skill or acumen."

"Thurman I swear to all that is deep fried I am going to punch your neck right in the balls if you don’t shut up." Sinsky said.

Prepare for Titanfall

Standby for Titanfall.

"Bainer you said it yourself, we’re making Titans for both sides. Do they even have a clue?" Thurmon looked at his welder as if it held the answer to all of his questions.

Bainer at this point had stopped building Titans entirely. He was experiencing, as the poets say, an epiphany.

Thurmon sent another Titan down. The boss noticed Bainer standing there. "Bainer you miserable bag of rectal sweat, get moving!"

Bainer stood still, lost in the focus of rethinking his life’s work. You know, like you do.

Sinsky nudged him. "Get moving kid or we’re all screwed."

Bainer looked up at the boss on the catwalk. "But…what is it all for?"

The boss carefully took a baseball out of his pocket and with an expert throw beaned Thurmon on the crown of his head. He looked back at Bainer.

"Listen closely kid. Other people make the guns, we just make the bullets. Other people make the drugs, we just make the needles. Other people distill the liquor, we just put it in the bottles. You made the mario mushrooms, pacman dots, tiberium crystals, wood stone or gold, Today you make Titans. now get back to work.”

Bainer stared at the conduit where his unfinished Titan chassis stood, ready to be built and deployed. He looked up defiantly at the boss and said softly "No. Not today."

He stepped into the conduit himself.

Prepare for Titanfall.

***

Thurmon looked over the edge, his head still smarting from the boss’s discipline. Sinsky joined him, there was a break in the action.

"You think Spudman332 knew what he was getting when he called for that Titan and Bainer shot down from orbit instead?" Thurmon asked.

"No," Sinsky said, "but judging by how many quad rockets blew Bainer into smithereens one second after he appeared I would say they both experienced an equal measure of surprise."

Thurmon sighed. “I suppose I should take some of the blame."

Sinsky laughed, "You could. But we have work to do."

"Still, I always feel bad when they fall for it so easily."

"Blame the boss" Sinsky said. "We have work to do."

The lights ran up again as the counter went down. Gamers set down their beer or ran back from the bathroom. Headsets were put back on as as their screens lit up, and the sparks began to fly as a new round started and the Titans were built.

Stand By for Titanfall.

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