Trevor, Angel of Death

by Tom Chick

March 7, 2001

It's fifteen minutes before Shoot Club starts. I hear Trevor's Honda pull up, its open muffler wheezing like a car with emphysema. I peek out the window and see him sitting in the car, waiting. He used to show up a half hour early until one day I gently suggested that it might be better if he waited until the regular starting time, in case I was busy around the house or something. He still arrives early almost every week, but he'll sit outside in his car until the top of the hour. Even then, he'll look around when he steps in and ask, "Am I the first one here?"

I lean out the door and call to him. "Trevor, come on in!"

"Oh, hey dude, I got here a little early." He looks a little embarrassed that I found him waiting in his car. He comes in -- "Am I the first one here?" -- with a two liter bottle of Mountain Dew, a bag of Funions, and a copy of the multiplayer edition of SWAT 3.

"We gotta try this," he tells me, "I just tried it at work and it rocks. I'm telling you, we gotta try it. It makes Rogue Spear look like -- I don't know what -- like The Mary Kate and Ashley Teen Makeover Studio."

I haven't played SWAT 3 since it originally came out, so I haven't tried the recently added multiplayer support. Even if it is good, trying something new at Shoot Club can be an involved process that should be planned in advance. Setting up a game the same evening we want to play it is a sure way to delay everything long enough to send everyone scurrying for the Dreamcast. If we play SWAT 3, it will have to be installed on four different computers. The patch will have to be downloaded and installed. Keyboards will have to be configured. Video and audio settings will have to be chosen. We'll have to figure out which maps are good for multiplayer games. New players will have to be briefed on the game's particulars.

"Maybe we should wait until next week," I suggest, looking at the back of the box and feigning interest, "Then I can set it up and make a quick reference sheet for everyone."

"Naw, it's pretty straightforward. I can explain it to everyone. And I'm telling you, the guys will love it. Besides, I'm early, so I can have it ready before anyone shows up. Why don't you pour me a Mountain Dew and I'll get to it?" Trevor takes the SWAT 3 box and a handful of Funions and heads into the back of the house where the computers are.

An hour later, everyone's arrived and we're stuck playing doubles of Virtua Tennis because Trevor's still setting up SWAT 3.

"Almost ready," he calls out, "I'm downloading the patch now."

"Why can't we just play Rogue Spear?" Jude asks me, tipping his head back to drink crumbs from an empty Cheetos bag.

"Trevor says SWAT 3 makes Rogue Spear look like a Mary Kate and Ashley game. We should at least try it."

"Who brought these?" Jude says, spitting a half chewed Funion into a paper towel, "They're like onion flavored styrofoam. Are there any more Cheetos? If you're going to eat styrofoam, it should at least be cheese flavored."

"Do we have to learn new keys?" Peter asks. He's always the slowest at picking up new games. It was because of Peter that we adopted a standardized keyboard layout for Shoot Club. We use the cursor keys for movement. Pretty sad, I know, but it's all for Peter's sake.