Friday, May 17, 2013

Quest 3: Escort

If you're familiar with video games, you know all about quests.  Quests are what we call it when the player is given an assignment.  There are a few, basic kinds of game quests.  There are "kill quests" where youfight a monster, "fetch quests" where you get something and bring it back, and "collect quests" where the player gets a bunch of a certain item.

The worst, most difficult, most dreaded quest of all is the "escort quest."  An escort quest is where you follow a computer-generated character from point A to point B and try to keep it from dying (usually, while it does profoundly stupid things, like jumping into lava).  It was with no small amount of trepidation that I tied on my armor, strapped on my sword, hefted my shield and headed off to pick up two small children. 

Something you should know about walking around Silicon Valley, dressed as a knight with green hair: people only notice the hair.  As I walked on to the schoolyard, I heard a child say "Mommy, look, he has green hair!"  I could probably walk around California completely naked if I kept my hair dyed funny colors.

The teachers at the after-school program were mortified by my arrival.  The kids were having snack time when I arrived and all jumped up simultaneously, dropping yogurt cups and juice boxes all over the floor.  They swarmed around me. Why did I have green hair?  Could I lend them my sword to hit that kid over there?  Who painted my shield?

After an extensive interview (where I pinky-swore I wasn't a kidnapper) I took my two charges to the car and drove off.  The idea was to bring them to their mother's work so they understood why she worked such long hours.  Bearing that in mind, I managed to steer our discussion to relevant topics, including:
  • Do you know how much a college education costs?
  • Do you know how much a house costs?
  • Do you think your mom would rather work than be with you?
  • Seriously, do you even know how much college books cost?!
Note: Her kids used to think a car cost "two thousand dollars."  Now they think it costs "about a quadrillion dollars."

We arrived at her work, drawing stares from all passersby (probably because I was with two kids who looked nothing like me).  I spotted their mother and immediately knelt, bowed my head, and said "M'lady, have I discharged your will to your satisfaction?" 
After a long silence she said "I have no idea what to do."
"Well," I said, "traditionally, you give me your eldest daughter's hand in marriage."
Her daughter stared at me and said "But you're really old."

As I went to leave, I mentioned I was supposed to get a reward.  I had expected something with a zero-cash value, but I got this instead.

I'm assuming the "sire" means she either thinks I'm a king or I made her into a vampire.

Two gold movie tickets at a note that says she'll babysit my children while we see a film.  Totally worth it to keep her kids from jumping in lava.

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