Gold Mining Playbook

Ardan, Skye and Blackfeather stand ready at the platform before a game. Securing their first purchases, they give out “Cheers” pings liberally and stretch before it’s time to sprint off into the Fold. 

Ardan (to Skye)Is Celeste alright?

Skye– I think so, why?

Ardan– Haven’t seen much of her around here lately.

Blackfeather– Indeed, I too wouldn’t mind-

Ardan (to Blackfeather)- I will end you.

Blackfeather– Retracted.

Skye– Now that you mention it, (motioning to group) this is beginning to feel like deja vu lately.

Male Voice– That’s because you’re the strongest comp in the current meta.

They turn to see three figures standing on the platform behind them. The one who spoke is a young man carrying a laminated card full of stats and figures. The second is a studious woman with a clipboard taking ferverish notes. The third is an anthropomorphic can of Redbull dancing in place and giving the heroes thumbs up with one hand and hang loose with the other. 

Blackfeather– Who are you?

Male– I’m your coach. Your rotations are sloppy and you are putting zero thought into item slot efficiency, so I’m here to babysit you noobs.

Skye– Will you be around much?

Coach– Lots. (Pointing to woman) This is your new analyst, (indicating Redbull can) and that’s your sponsor.

Analyst– Hello, heroes. I look forward to nit-picking your every decision.

Redbull– What up, playas! Y’all ready to bang?

Ardan– I don’t think any of this is necessary.

Coach– Oh, really? Then I suppose winning isn’t necessary either? If you wanna compete in the big leagues, Pops, then you need us to carry you out of game. Now, let’s go! You’re already late.

The heroes realize the match has started and run off the platform with their new enoutrage in tow. Coach follows Skye into lane while Analyst and Rebull head toward the jungle. 

Coach (to Skye)- You’re up against Ringo, so watch out for the poke and concentrate on farming until you get a few levels.

Skye– This isn’t my first game, Coach.

Coach– Could have fooled me.

Skye turns to Coach in frustration and takes an Achilles Shot from Ringo. Ringo pops a few more shots over the minion’s heads. 

Coach– Maroon Gythia!

Skye– What?

Coach– The play, run Maroon Gythia!

Skye– What does that mean?

Coach (over exaggerated sigh)- Get back to your turret!

Skye– You’re not helping!

Meanwhile in the jungle. 

Analyst (to Blackfeather)- Your jungle clear could be faster if you let Ardan leash the back three creeps together.

Blackfeather– I find intelligence rather alluring.

Blackfeather leans toward the Analyst, who turns away and  flips through a few pages on her clipboard.

Analyst– Your file indicates you poisoned a woman and kissed her while she was asleep?

Ardan glowers at Blackfeather.

Blackfeather (flustered)- That’s out of context!

Ardan– End. You.

Ardan feels a fat, three-fingered hand slap him on the back. 

Redbull (to Ardan)- Check it, bro. Whenever you punch someone say, “I’m gonna give you wings!”

Ardan– What are you made of?

Redbull– Aluminum and awesome, brah.

Ardan– I see, did you know goats eat cans?

Redbull– Whoa, don’t say the “G word” around me. Freaky deaky.

Ardan (smiling)- Corpus can’t get here soon enough.

The heroes try to focus on the game with the constant buzzing of criticism and product placement throughout. They manage an even match despite the distraction and position themselves to lock down their opponents in a late-game team fight that can result in an ace and Kraken push. They stand in their tri-bush, strategically placed vision providing vital info on their enemies whereabouts, and prepare to attack. 

Skye– Ardan, the next time Ringo and Glaive split, drop-

Coach– Drop your Gauntlet to cut Glaive off.

Skye– …yea.

Ardan (trying to ignore Coach)- Got it.

Blackfeather– I will-

Analyst– You need to focus down Ringo first, he has the highest DPS with his Sorrowblade and Tyrant’s Monocole. Plus, he’s infused.

Redbull (to Ardan)- Homie, when you blast in with that sweet ass Gauntlet, say, “I’m gonna bring your health to Total Zero!” Then look at the camera and say “Zero sugar, 100% wings.”

Ardan– What camera?

Redbull– Exactly! Such a pro. Up top!

Ardan leaves Redbull hanging. The heroes charge in, executing the plan as it was spoon fed to them. As they all enter the oppoent’s tri-bush, they notice more than just the three heroes they had expected to find. Behind Ringo, Glaive and Catherine crouched two people and a six-foot tall Dunkin Donuts Dark Roast with a mustache.

Blackfeather– What is this now?

Ringo– They’re with us.

Glaive– I loathe them. Except the cup, he smells delicious.

Skye– We’ve got a similar problem-

Coach blows a whistle and runs over.

Coach– What’s the hold up? Ace them!

Other Coach (blowing his whistle and pointing at Coach)- Interference!

Analyst– Actually, he has to make physical contact in order to-

Other Analyst– Not under the new 1.14 VGL official rules. Outside parties within a ten foot radius-

Redbull– This is bogus, brah! Let’s get it on!

Dunkin Donuts– America runs on Dunkin (pointing to where his crotch would be, should he have one) You wanna run on this?

Redbull– Ahhhh naw, you’re gonna be black and Blue, just like our new Blue Edition Blueberry flavored sugar free!

All of the outsiders rush toward each other, Coaches throwing flags and blowing whistles, Analysts critiquing one another’s grammar and beverages slamming their cylindrical bodies together. The commotion is drowned out by a Death From Above that deletes all parties involved. When the smoke clears, the heroes are standing around in stunned silence. 

Skye– It slipped?

Ardan– Yep, total accident.

Ringo– What a shame.

Catherine– Couldn’t be helped.

Blackfeather– They shall be missed.

Glaive (unsure)- That seemed intentional.

Ringo (throwing his arm over Glaive’s bulky shoulder)- It totally was, we’re just pretending it wasn’t so we don’t have to feel guilty.

Glaive– I feel no guilt for the death of cretins.

Ringo– We know.

Glaive– I’m going to wait for them to respawn and do it again.

Ringo– Go get ’em ,Tiger.

Glaive– I am a snow leopard.

Ringo– You sure are.

Glaive heads off to the platform to dish out further pain. The rest shuffle their feet and twiddle their thumbs. 

Skye– This was all a bit much.

Blackfeather– I thought we were supposed to be playing a game.

Catherine– Felt more like work.

Ringo– Yeeeeepppp.

Long silence.

Skye– You guys want to hop into casual queue?

Ardan– Churn yes.



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