Previous chapters make you happy. Go press your eyeballs firmly against them. Prologue
Chapter 11 (secret hidden message for M Randy Dixon)
10,000 YEARS AGO
DTOID HQ – CHICAGO
“Niero, have you seen this new site? I think it could be a problem.” Samit was reading PolygonalGaming.com. Niero walked over and looked at the screen.
“What, Poly? Naw, they're cool. They have some totally radtastic writers.”
“Yeah, but look who runs it.” Samit clicked Staff
. “Are you really okay with Ricciticcitello's daughter running an influential game blog?”
“There are a million blogs, Sammich. I don't see the harm. And I really don't feel like policing them all.”
“I don't know, man. Something just feels so wrong here.”
“That would be the burrito, Sam Hills.”
“No, I'm serious. Let me check it out.”
“Sorry, dude,” said Niero. “You gotta review the boring sports games that nobody plays except you.”
“Please, Niero. This feels all kinds of fucked up, and I don't even know why.”
“Samburger, I love ya, dude. I love ya to pieces and bits and sprinkles, but people depend on you to tell them about [INSERT GENERIC SPORTS GAME HERE] and its [INSERT MEANINGLESS NEW FEATURE HERE] and how it differs from [INSERT TITLE OF LAST YEAR'S IDENTICAL OLDER SIBLING HERE].”
“Please, please, please please please!
I'll work nonstop until my pending articles are done. All I need is four days to check out Poly HQ afterward. Pleeeeaaaasse. I'll never ask for another favor ever again. And I'll owe you 10 favors in return.”
Niero sighed. “Fine, Samba de Amigo. If it means that much to you, go for it.”
“Thank you! Thank you so much, man. I know something's up with them. I'll prove it.”
“If you find something, great. I really doubt it, Sam Raimi, but I trust you like a billion. Do your work and take some time off to investigate.”
THIS IS A MID-CHAPTER BREAK.
ALSO, DIXON DIXON DIXON DIXON
When Samit had finished his articles and manually placed them in Dtoid's Magic Article Timer, he walked out of the office and headed to the hangar, grinning. He didn't need to research, he just needed to meet some people at Poly HQ.
He entered the hangar and looked up. The prototype Dzord's construction was just beginning. Hundreds of large spiders crawled to and from, building it one nanobot at a time. His space ship, outfitted with wings shaped like one of the last letters in the alphabet, had recently been painted bright pink. So rad!
It was capable of FTL travel and had a killer soundsystem. How is this possible 10,000 years before the invention of mechs and nanobots?
Samit thought of a satisfying sci-fi explanation, and his mind was at ease. He opened a can of delicious sugary soda several millennia before the creation of neoliberal industrial capitalism and was entirely untroubled by the chronological impossibility of it all.
Yummy fizzy bubbles tickle my tongue. Me is happy.
He jumped in the space ship. “Poly HQ, please.” The ship shuddered to life. He played Pokemon 6: Fabula Crystal Spectra Dodecahedron the whole way there.
NIERO'S APARTMENT – CHICAGO.
Samit Sarkar, AKA Samitshaska, AKA Shotgun Octopus, turned they key and stepped into Niero's apartment. He was greeted by roughly a dozen topless women. Holy shit, Niero was a serial killer. I've just saved these women. I'm a hero!
Then he remembered that heroes in situations generally wound up on the news and, later, with auto-tuned remixes of their speech.
Samit couldn't risk Dtoiders knowing he had been to Niero's. I can't let them tell anyone they saw me. What should I offer? Money? A Youtube Partners deal? No, they'll probably only be satisfied if they can have their way with my body.
“Girls, you're free!” he said. “That psycho can't hurt you anymore. But you can't tell anyone I was here. I don't have any hush money. All I can offer you in repayment is your freedom and my body. I won't struggle. You may have your way with...”
“Where's Pumpkin Daddy?” asked one of the women.
“When's Pumpkin Daddy coming back?” asked another.
“What?” said Samit.
“Have you seen him? He's been gone for days and he won't answer his phone.”
“He hasn't even tweeted
“He said he had to go back to the factory for a couple hours, but he's been gone way too long.”
“Wait, what? What factory?” Samit was starting to think he had incorrectly assessed the situation.
“The pumpkin factory. He's the owner. Where the hell is he?”
“Niero owns a pumpkin factory?”
“I don't know who the hell 'Niero' is. Pumpkin Daddy told us his name was Johnny Gat. Pretty badass name, right?”
Samit realized these women had been lied to and had no idea who their Pumpkin Daddy actually was. Samit could take advantage of the situation. “Quick, girls!” He tried to look out of breath and frightened. “Niero told... I mean Pumpkin Daddy told me to come here. Look, he's in serious shit with some bad dudes. They're coming here right now looking for him. You have to leave! He said to meet him in Naperville. He's hiding out there.”
“Yeah, besides, Naperville? That's the suburbs. That's Illinois
. I don't live in Illinois, I live in Chicago. Illinois can go fuck itself.
“I'm serious,” said Samit. “You have to go right now!”
“I already said you're lying. Should I say it again? I can say it all day, spandex man.”
“Fine,” he said, “I'll level with you. He skipped town and he ain't comin' back. He paid me to come here and tell you.”
“You're still lying. Hey, CandyPop! He's still lying. What should we do with him?”
“Nothing,” said CandyPop. “Fuck this. I'm going back to my other man. At least Hamza doesn't hang around with men who wear red spandex outside of dungeons.” She started to leave, and as she passed Samit, she looked him dead in the eyes. She knows!
If she knew Hamza, she had to know Niero. Is it the same Hamza? How many Hamza's can there be?
He watched her walk away. Probably as many as there are Samits
. He let her go, deciding to deal with her later.
“She's right,” said one of them. “Fuck this.” The rest of the women left, too; not a single one of them bothering to put on a shirt.
“What the fuck was that?” Samit said aloud after he had shut the door. He tried to forget about it and find Niero's computer. He checked the fridge; nothing. He checked the oven; nothing. He checked suitcases; nada. The computer wasn't even in the toilet bowl. Of course! It's so obvious
. He lifted up Niero's pillow and there it was; and IBM Thinkpad 701. He opened the lid, admiring the sleek, boxy designs of mid-90s hardware. So subtle, yet so extreme
The laptop prompted him for a password. D-T-O-I-D, he typed. Nothing happened. N-I-E-R-O-D-T-O-I-D. Still nothing. S-A-M-I-T-I-S-S-E-X-Y produced zero results. After several failed attempts, something popped into his head. P-U-M-P-K-I-N-D-A-D-D-Y. Success! He double clicked AOL and used the same password to log in as xXxPumpkinXxXDaddyxXx. After an eternity of waiting, the computer began slowly loading AOL's homepage.
He knew not to leave the false confession in Niero's work email. Too obvious
. So he used his old friend's Hotmail account instead. Again, Pumpkin Daddy was the name and password. Samit started a new draft and titled it Confession, like the Usher song. He threw in the text, saved the draft, and slipped out of the apartment. Only a dozen people knew he had been there. Looks like good Samit the silent continues his legacy of astounding stealthiness
. He was about to become even stealthier, however, when he dealt with the so-called CandyPop. Samit started walking stealthily towards Hamza's apartment in Chicago's lovely Edgewater neighborhood. He also missed Dixon.
LOOK WHO CAME: