Don’t Shoot The Messenger: Interview with Noxus

Photo by Andrew Koerner

Messenger 17

Well, I had my first major IT job. Some guy, probably in the middle of college, showed up. He was a fairly pudgy guy, shorter than average, who appeared to be sweating slightly. Glasses. The type of person who could probably best be described as a “neckbeard,” even if he didn’t have facial hair. Anyway, the guy hands me his laptop and tells me he’s having issues with it.

He started looking around the apartment as I booted the machine up. “Soooo…I heard there was a new girl rooming with you. She around?”

“Is that why you brought me your laptop? Because you want to flirt?”

“What? No, it’s totally busted. Well, I mean, not totally but it’s not running right. That’s why I brought it. Duh. So where is she?”

“Well, she’s out on assignment so she’s probably busy somewhere killing people right now. Where do you fall in the murder assembly line, by the way?”

“What? Dude, I don’t kill people. I’m just the pilot.”

“Aren’t you a bit young to be flying planes, kid?”

“What? No, I’ve got my license and everything. I mean, I’m only flying small aircraft but it’s totally legit. Besides, I’m not much younger than you. Ass.”

“Right. What’s your name, kid?”

“Noxus Darkflare.”

Wow. “Of course it is. Anyway, Noxus, when’s the last time you ran a check for any sort of malicious files?”

He shrugged. “I dunno. Haven’t had any antivirus on the machine for a while.”

“Why not? There are free programs, you know.”

“Yeah, but sometimes my games would update or patch or whatever and the program I was using interfered with them when that happened so I just deleted it.”

I sighed. Truth be told, you can get by without antivirus. You just have to know what you’re doing. Noxus clearly didn’t, meaning that it was probably going to be worse than I’d initially thought.

He sat down on my couch as I worked. “This might take a while,” I told him. “I can probably drop it off at your apartment later.”

“Yeah, but I want to keep an eye on it. Make sure it’s in good hands.”

“Listen, it’s my job to be those good hands when it comes to computers, Nauseous. I see that you’ve deleted your browser history?”

“Nothing important,” he said defensively. “I mean, nothing weird or anything.”

“It is important,” I said. “It’s a lot easier to track down the problem and help you prevent it next time if I know where you’ve been. Whatever it was, I’ve probably seen worse. I’m not here to judge.” Although lord knows I was doing plenty of that anyway.

“Oh. Um…if it helps, I can tell you—”

“Don’t. The damage is done and I’d rather not know now.” The problem ended up being a relatively simple fix that any sort of scan would have taken care of. I could have sent him back with instructions, but I also didn’t trust him to not screw it up.

“Mind if I watch TV?” he asked.

“Sure, knock yourself out.” Caper’s words echoed in my head, telling me to lie low. But my curiosity was getting the better of me. “Or…actually, as long as you’re here, do you mind answering a few questions? Brief interview?”

“Sure. Is this gonna be on TV?”

“Um…no. No, I’m just…I’m still new and I’m trying to figure out how exactly I fit into all this. Just getting some perspective from other people.”

“Oh. So it won’t be on TV, then?”

I looked at him. “What the hell do you think?”

“Okay, man. Geez. No need to get so touchy about it. I’ll do it, I guess. It’s lame that it’s not going to be televised or anything, though.”

I started my recorder, knowing that I probably wasn’t going to have a lot of fun doing this one.

[Begin Interview]

M: So…that’s an interesting name. Let’s start with that. How exactly did you come across it?

N: Came up with it myself. Thought it sounded cool.

M: Of course you did.

N: Yeah, I got it by—

M: Listen, it would be mathematically impossible to divide that by the number of shits I give.[1]

N: O…kay? Whatever that means.

M: Next question. What exactly is it you do for the Boss? You’re a pilot, you said?

N: Yep! A badass pilot, thank you very much. Sometimes they need to get people a little further a little faster and that’s where I come in. Also helps a lot in moving the numb around.

M: The..numb?

N: Yeah, you know. The guys who have oatmeal instead of brains?

M: The assets, right? Never heard them called that.

N: Really? Could have sworn it was catching on. Just wait, though. It’ll catch on. You’ll see.

M: I’m sure. So how long have you been working for the Boss?

N: Um…about a year and a half, I think? I don’t know. It all blurs together after the first couple months or so.

M: Okay, and what’s your story? How’d you get involved in all this?

N: Well…there was this girl named Emily, right? She was…well, you know those cute geeky girls? The ones that are really shy but smart and just… [He trailed off, zoning out. Lost in thought, probably.]

M: …Go on?

N: Oh, right. Sorry. Well, she started getting into those videos and she showed them to me. I thought they were pretty cool but she just gets, like, absolutely obsessed with them, right? I’m thinking that she’s getting just a little too into them but hey, if it’s something I can talk about her with why not, right? Turns out that they’re made by our people. Propaganda shit or whatever, right? And they’re made specifically so people obsess over them. You get paranoid, weird stuff starts happening, yada yada, you know the drill.

M: Better than you know, actually.

N: So anyway, the Boss, like you call him, shows up in front of me and I’m all “this is frickin’ badass, wait ‘till I tell Emily.” [He pauses, suddenly losing his previous excitement.] Except…well, I never saw her again. [a sigh] Shame. She dug the bad guys.

M: I know how that story goes. It’s rough. How’d you go from that to working for him? How long were you running?

N: Oh, no, I didn’t do that. I mean, I guess I could have tried running but I probably would have sucked at it. Nah, when I found out it was all real I pretty much said “sign me up” right away. I mean, I get to be a real world villain, right? How cool is that?

M: Uh…sorry, you…like being the villain?

N: Well, yeah. Chicks dig villains. [Something about this guy’s logic and his limited ability to distinguish between fiction and reality makes me think that he and Shiki-chan would be good for each other. But I’m not about to go playing matchmaker because I’m pretty sure they’d be absolutely terrible for everyone else.]

M: So you think of us as the bad guys.

N: Aren’t we?

M: I…don’t know. I guess we kind of are. Nobody really spins it that way, though.

N: Uh, yeah. Of course not. Because they’re boring.

[I was kind of getting sick of him at this point and the scan was almost done so I decided to wrap up.]

M: So…anything else you want to share?

N: Hmm. Let’s see…I really like Dr Pepper. I’ve got a blog where I do video game reviews. I think that—

M: Anything more relevant you’d like to share? Regrets or such?

N: Regrets? Oh, okay. [He thought for a bit] Not asking Emily out. Telling my parents I hated them before I ran off. Never…you know what, you don’t have to know that one.

M: Fair enough. Well, uh…

N: Noxus. Seriously, man, it’s not that hard to remember.

M: And I certainly wish it were. Well, Noxus, you managed to rack up an impressive amount of malware, but I’m pretty sure I got most of it. I reinstalled antivirus. Don’t mess with it. Just come back if you’re having problems, okay?

N: Got it. Cool, man. Stop on by any time.

M: I’ll be sure to do that. [I won’t]

[End interview]

-The Messenger-

[1] I have the Messenger’s actual audio interviews now, and I think something’s worth noting here: Mr. Messenger is not exactly giving a faithful reproduction of the interviews he’s done. For example, his comment here and Noxus’s response are completely absent from the audio. Looking through the other interviews, this happens a fair amount.