He was doing this for months, slowly becoming a phenomenon. He began making paid appearances at conventions and finally came face to face with his crush once again. He recalls her confronting him, saying he would never take her down without a team. He, of course, was frozen in fear, but his disguise and sunglasses made him look cooler than ice. He inadvertently made Conan the coolest gamer to emerge from the scene.
That night he put out an ad on Craigslist.
Todd is now standing in the entranceway of a stadium. He hears the roar of the crowd inside. His team around him, pumping each other up, getting ready, while he stood completely still, thinking about what he would say to Valerie. After all, his team was facing hers and twenty-three other teams for a million dollars and a Mountain Dew sponsorship.
A girl with a headset and clipboard comes running at them and asking them if they’re ready. They all nod their head and are lead out to an entire stadium filled with thousands of screaming fans. He sees his team’s name sprawled over the jumbotron: “Predator_Commandos.”
My god, Todd thought. This is really happening. Maybe this has gotten way out of hand – VALERIE! Don’t forget! At the end, you will impress her with the final step of the plan. The new plan. The plan he had been stewing up for months!
Just then another team’s name comes up on the screen: “Team-One.” And at that moment, Todd seizes a glimpse of his goddess. Coming out with the rest of her team, they all sneer at them with a contempt that Todd had never seen before. She approaches him.
“Look, über douche,” she presses her finger on his chest, Todd flutters internally. “We’re taking you down, and I’m making you my eternal bitch.”
Todd, distracted by her physical touch, tries to feign his physical response by staying completely still, his eyes rolled to the back of his head as he tries to hide the orgasm he’s currently having. Thank god I have these glasses on, he tells himself. He purses his lips, which she notices and is immediately confused. Uncomfortable, she walks away with her team.
“You really showed her, Conan!” Abel exclaims and slaps him on the back. He sees the spot on Todd’s pants and shoots him a weird look. Todd nods at him and they make their way to their gaming stations. They are stationed right in front of Valerie’s Team-One. Todd can’t help but be distracted by her mere presence.
It’s as if she’s moving in slow motion, the aura around her hypnotizing him. Her eyes pierce with a fierceness only matched by the confidence her hair sways around her. She’s so beautiful he can’t even hear his roommates screaming at him.
“We’ve already jumped, Conan!” Gunther yells. Todd snaps out of it and sees that he’s far away from his teammates. So far they are on opposite sides of the map.
“Meet up with us!” Bruno yells. Todd already has a plan. He’s going to meet up, but with the woman he loves. He zones in and begins his mission. Gathering materials and getting weapons, he begins his trek to meet with the woman of his gaming dreams. And with that, Todd begins wrecking house.
Todd’s teammates aren’t faring as well. They’re pinned down, trying to hold out in a house under constant barrage. Todd hangs around, just inside the circle’s perimeter. Trying to see her avatar and taking out anyone that does not look like her.
“Where are you, Conan!” Gunther asks as he’s taken out. “Shit!”
Abel and Bruno are trying their best to stay in the game. Todd has taken out most of the teams, as the circle gets smaller and smaller. Damn it, he thinks, she should be close.
It’s a miracle. The last two teams are Todd’s and Valerie’s. Todd’s team stuck in the house being shot at by Valerie’s entire intact team.
“Ha ha! We got this!” Valerie screams confidently. But just then, with three skilled shots, Todd takes out her entire team.
“Legend!” Abel exclaims as he and Bruno start the offensive against Valerie. She expertly avoids them but sees that the circle is getting way small. She sees the Abel and Bruno bunch together and throws a grenade and manages to kill both of them.
Now it’s only Valerie and Todd and Todd can see her below him as he descends quickly from the tower he has built way into the sky.
“He’s got her!” Gunther says. Todd is transfixed, his sight on her, but instead of shooting his finger stops. He lands right next to her and she turns around and kills him. Team-One jumps in victory as they hug each other in celebration. The crowd is uncontrollable as they cheer and yell.
Todd’s team looks at him in astonishment. “But why?” Gunther asks. Todd takes his headset off. He walks over to Team-One.
“Valerie!” He proclaims. “Congratulations.”
She separates from her group and says, “Thank you, Conan. Good game.” She extends her hand to shake.
Instead, he takes it and kneels down and kisses her hand. She recoils instantly.
“I have something to confess!” Todd yells as the stadium falls silent. “I am not Conan Quaid.”
Todd rips off his goatee and sunglasses. “It’s me… Todd.”
The crowd is still silent. He continues, “Do you remember me?”
“What? No! Who are you?” Valerie says.
“I did this all for you!” Todd says. “This fake identity. This team. Getting good, as they say. All for you. I let you win because I love you!”
Just then, a man in a suit approaches. “Ladies and gentlemen, the judges have discussed and come to a conclusion. Due to our own lackadaisical oversight and the fact we should’ve done background checks, Predator_Commandos and Team-One have been disqualified for collusion and the winner of the tournament is the third place team… Team AssFart! Really?”
“What!” Valerie screams. “I don’t even know this loser!”
“Valerie, it’s me!” Todd pleads. “You love elite gamers, I’m one of them!” She immediately punches him and the teams go at it. They are separated by security and being forced out of the stadium. Todd watches as the love of his life is being carried out and cries a single tear as he looks up at the jumbo iron celebrating AssFart’s big win.