Confessions of a Teenage NAB Enthusiast

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Writing Stories

Rajada sighed a little as he stared at the blank page. Three-thirty. Half an hour and still nothing. "Why am I doing this?" he thought. "Why do I need to write a story? Chris comes back and suddenly you've got to write? What am I trying to show him up?" He reflected on the truth in his outburst for a moment. There were already so many stories; Rajada hadn't even read half of them. He often didn't have the patience for a "serious" plot line. Rajada clicked his pen and began writing.


Moose Rider:

Caribou finds himsel-


"No that's a terrible idea," he said out loud.


Nerf Wars: Return of the Twisters:

A long, long time a-


Suddenly a man with a grey beard walked through the door. "Nope, try again," said the man, scratching out Rajada's most recent idea. "Here, have an autograph, and come up with a better idea" he said, scribbling down a signature. Rajada lifted up the paper. "Uh, thanks, Mr. George who?" but the man was already gone. "Uh huh," said Rajada, turning back to his pad of paper. "I really ought to lock that door." Rajada crumpled up the piece of paper bearing the strange man's name and blindly tossed it towards a wastebasket missing by several feet. "Okay, better idea, better idea. There are already so many stories with real community members as characters... maybe I can take advantage of that." said Rajada, mumbling to himself. He grabbed his pen again. "If I want the story to be memorable, it has to have a simple idea behind it."

"Okay, a ruthless band of 100,000 Tribe team members attack a standing army of 306 Tycoons. I'll call it: 306." Rajada stared at his writing. "Nah, that will never sell."

Meanwhile, Chris was spying on Rajada, taking all of his ideas down. "This is pure gold!" whispered Chris to himself. Rajada looked back at the scratched out heap on his paper. "Things like Yam, King of Potatoes are popular despite the sheer lack of quality. I wonder if I could use- no, puns are lazy." Rajada adjusted his chair. "Hmmmm... how about a story where I take a site administrator and make him some sort of crime-fighting, loose cannon cop?" he asked himself aloud. "It's been done," said Chris, hanging from a suspension wire just above Rajada's head. "Oops." Rajada whipped his head up and stared in disbelief. Chris just smiled back nervously.


...


"Well, now that that's taken care of," said Rajada washing the deep red stains from his hands, "I can finally get back to my story." "Hey, thanks for the cherries!" said Chris, dragging his harness cable behind him. "Well, I have so many," said Rajada as Chris walked out the door, "it would be a shame to let them go to waste." As the front door closed, Rajada's smile broke. "Lazy hack" he muttered under his breath. "Where was I?" Rajada looked at his mutilated page. "Oh yeah. Okay. No big deal. I can handle this. Hmmmm? Maybe if I just start writing words, the idea will come more naturally!" Rajada began writing again.


It was the best of ti

It was a dark and stormy night in Skyscraper

Call me G-MO


He scribbled out his sentences. "Chris makes this look so easy! I bet he'll have written four of my stolen stories by the time I get one good idea!" Rajada clicked his pen rapidly. "Wait, that's it!" Rajada ran to his computer and began typing furiously. "Yes! Almost... done! Just wait until Chris sees the new chapter of his beloved series!" Rajada was about to submit his story when a message appeared in the chat box; it was Chris. "Hey guys, I just finished chapter 4 of my new soap opera: As the Ballzooka Turns." "Son of a-! All right, I only need an entirely new idea. Probably one not fueled by revenge." Rajada grabbed his pad again and started making notes under his Chris hangman doodle.


Yaaamaaahaaa, Vampire Slayer

Invasion from Tech Comb

Chronicles of Nerf Neighborhood Evening


"Ehhhhh," Rajada said, exasperated. "I just can't come up with a good idea." Rajada tossed his pen aside. "Wait, I've got it! A story about how I can't write a story!" Rajada thought about it for a moment, then frowned a little.

"Nah, that's a stupid idea. I'm not that desperate."

Map Making

"If there's one thing I know I'm good at," Rajada assured himself, "it's making maps." In his confidence though, Rajada had forgotten all about his computer's innate ability to drive him to the brink of insanity. Creating a new save file, Rajada glanced at the drawing next to him. He almost always sketched a floor-plan for his levels which would occasionally cause problems. Sometimes passages wouldn't align or floors would be too low or too high. Whatever the problem though, Rajada would always find a way to fix it. He grabbed his mouse and with it, created the first, cube shaped room. A few minutes later, he had a few arched halls with pillars set up. As he manipulated the properties of a light, he became careless and accidentally deselected the light. This spelled certain doom for his unsaved progress. "Oh no!" Rajada attempted to close the properties window, but it was too late. There was a tone, then a message.

General protection fault! History:wwindow::wndproc <- wwindow::Static Proc <- wwindow::wndproc <- wwindow::Static Proc <- Enforce Tick Rate <- Main Loop

"Aw gaf!- It's okay, I didn't lose much." said Rajada, trying to calm himself. "just twenty minutes of my life I'll never get back." He closed down the blacked out window and reopened NerfEd.

After loading his level, he began working again. He made two intersecting hallways, but realized there was a small solid section at their junction. "Ahhh!" Rajada said, exasperated. He began making cubes of varying sizes to determine the length of the gap. Finally, after several minutes of the "guess and check" method, he came up with a number. "37? That's not divisible by a power of two." Rajada's observation was in fact, true. He would have some difficulty making the required form in the 2D shape editor, but he eventually finished it and cut it into the wall. "Finally!" Rajada exclaimed, glad to have fixed the problem. "Now I can rebuild." After rebuilding though, Rajada noticed something alarming. It was a BSP hole, right where he had just cut his abnormally shaped passage. "Darn it!" Rajada rebuilt again, tinkering with the optimization values. Still there. Again. Again. Once more. Try 25, no, 5, no, 0, 30? But the hole remained. He rebuilt again and again for several minutes before he gave up and reluctantly deleted his addition he had spent so much time making. He made another addition, and another but still the hole would re-appear every time. Several hours later, Rajada examined the main hall again to discover that it had been accidentally moved back by vertex snapping, making a small, 37 units long gap.

Rajada stared, and his eye started twitching uncontrollably. "I guess that would have saved me some work," he said, his voice quivering with suppressed anger. Rajada took a deep breath and started to work again. A few hours later, he stopped and realized how well his map was coming together. The geometry was quite pleasing and well textured. The flow seemed fun and easy to learn. This one could be a real winner. "Oh, I haven't saved in a while," he thought aloud. Rajada moved the cursor towards the "FILE" toolbar, but slipped, clicking the little "n" logo in the corner of the screen. NerfEd immediately closed. Rajada stared a long time before finally picking up his monitor. He was about to throw it out a 3rd story window but just put it back sideways and decided that the world was out to get him and that this was exactly what they wanted. So Rajada decided to work out his anger by annihilating some bots in a pointblast match.

Playing NAB Online

G-MO grabbed the Hyperstrike off the podium. "Finally!" said Grant, picking off upwards of 16 n00bs per second (NPS). That's when Rajada's trap was sprung. A large chunk of the ceiling began falling right above G-MO. "Ahhhhh!" cried Grant. He tried to type Ahhhhh! into the chat field and then escape, but it was too late. G-MO was crushed and Rajada picked up the discarded points as the ceiling rose back up. Rajada glanced at the rankings. "Darn," he muttered. G-MO was still ahead by a slight margin and there was only a few minutes left in the game. "I practiced too hard to be beaten by this aim-botting creep. I am not losing to him again!" he exclaimed.

Rajada never had much trouble with bots, even at the highest skill level, but G-MO and other veteran players always seemed to have a way of taking away Rajada's victory at the last moment. Bots were often predictable, players less so. But something about G-MO was different. His aim was impeccable, almost too good to be true. Rajada often found himself knocked out by suspiciously distant Hyperstrike shots before he could react. But, after a frustrating failure at writing a Nerf based fiction story, Rajada wasn't going to let this one slip from his grasp.

A minute and thirty two seconds remained in this particular run of PM-Rajada'sRiggedMap. Rajada maneuvered to the secret Grenade Sprayer he had placed in the map and picked it up. Rajada rounded a corner, hearing his hidden crush-o-matics retract back into the walls. "He must have dodged them," Rajada thought to himself. "How could he manage that?" But, despite his bewilderment, there was only one place G-MO could be in this particular part of the map. Rajada had him now in a dead-end of sorts. Dashing ahead, Rajada deftly lift-jumped over the second story catwalks. There was G-MO running down the slightly sloped ramp over the pool of molten lava, his back to Rajada. With his movement restricted by the railing, G-MO was a sitting duck. "DIEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!" screamed Rajada, blood vessels bulging as he sprayed grenades in every direction, emptying the gun in seconds. The game lagged for a moment as hundreds of explosions occurred in succession. Rajada laughed uproariously as the kill message appeared on screen, only to find out that it was in fact not G-MO he had blown away, but RTSPlayer A.K.A. Death A.K.A. Grim A.K.A. Reaper...


...


...A.K.A Jenna, A.K.A. Chris. "How'd he even get into this match?" Rajada said to himself, half expecting a reply. The silence spoke volumes.

Snapping out of it, Rajada glanced at the new in-game message. "Oh man, only ONE minute left!?" said Rajada. G-MO was still ahead by a few hundred points. "Nothing a large-radius heat-seeking thermonuclear warhead wouldn't fix." Unfortunately, Rajada didn't have one of those, so he made a note to edit one in for a later version of the map. He then got the next best thing: an Acura Blaster tucked away behind a series of hidden doors. Maybe it wouldn't do the aiming for him, but at least the explosion radius was enough to clear out just about any room in the map. Rajada reveled in his cleverness at removing the custom skin from the weapon. G-MO would have no idea what hit him until it was too late!

G-MO was stationed on a high cliff, looking through his Hyperstrike's scope. He had a great view of the middle section of the map from here. Atop this cliff was a small railing; the area would almost have seemed purely decorative without it, or the obviously intentional passageway leading to it. When G-MO had found the secret door in the rock just a moment earlier, it almost seemed too easy to find, what with the flashing arrows and the siren and the giant neon sign that read "SECRIT SNIPR KAMPING SPOTT". "I know you're out there," said Grant, zooming in on the location he last saw Rajada. But Rajada was elsewhere, in another secret room. A hastily made top-down map of the level was on a wall, with even more hastily made bulbs jutting out of it. Two of the bulbs were lit, one in the sniper nest, and one in the lava room. Staring at the map, the light in the lava room suddenly shut off, and Rajada glanced to the kill feed. Realizing that Chris had stumbled and fallen into the searing magma meant that G-MO could only be in one place.

G-MO zoomed back out and checked around him. No one was around, it was quiet, too quiet. Just then, a message appeared in the upper right-hand corner of Grant's screen. It read: "SURPRISE!". Grant paused for a second, then looked around nervously. There was Rajada, not 2048 pixels away from him on the cliff-side with him, and he was holding a Hyperstrike. In a state of panic, G-MO turned and ran back towards the secret door he came in. He had to re-gain the tactical advantage. Rajada had gotten pretty good with that weapon, and G-MO needed cover. "Oh nuts!" G-MO mashed his keyboard and hit his chat key, freezing him in a forward running state. Rajada laughed as he witnessed G-MO smack against the unresponsive door and jog against it. The trap was set perfectly; one could not exit the cliff from the entrance doors. Only by exploiting dodging physics could one hop over the railing, and Rajada knew that G-MO had no idea how to find the exact area where this was possible. Rajada took aim down the dead-end. Before he could be vaporized, G-MO managed to un-stick himself and spin around, but it was too late. The Whomper shot impacted an inch from his face and the shockwave ate his suitpower in a matter of milliseconds.

Rajada ran after the point lozenge, picking it up with 10 seconds left in the game. 1000 points. "Ha! Snipe that!" Rajada yelled as he took the lead. "I finally beat G-MO!" he shouted as the clock counted down. 9... 8... But Rajada's celebration was cut short by the dreaded CONNECTION FAILED message. His eye twitching a bit, Rajada rolled his chair back and stood up. He then proceeded to pummel his router with a baseball bat.

Epilogue

As Rajada clicked the power cord into the back of his new router, he couldn't help but feel a little frustrated. Things hadn't been going his way all day. He wondered how long it would be before this particular piece of hardware caught fire or exploded. It would be just his luck. He almost didn't boot the computer. "Story of my life, I swear..." Rajada muttered. "Can't go five minutes without something hilariously cruel happening." He froze, then turned to the shreds of paper that he was writing his story on. The only writing left visible in one piece read "Story about writing a story?". "Oh jeeze, no way would that work, would it?" Rajada began typing.