“If I swat someone while I’m flying, does that make me a ‘fly swatter’?”
Washington, D.C. – Swatting.
It’s the kind of thing you do after you’ve had a few too many Four Lokos, and you just can’t help but slip on the ol’ tube sock as you stare at your PUBG K/D ratio on Xbox Live, only to realize moments later, that you used the same sock earlier to wipe Flamin’ Hot Cheetos off of your fingers to keep your controller from getting greasy.
Memories of your previous encounter with the picante pipe of cotton flood your brain, as the first time – just a week ago – saw your screams of anguish forever immortalized on the Internet, thanks to whichever teammate of yours was streaming the game live on Twitch. If only you had listened to your laptop, which was quietly advising you against putting the sock on in the first place.
You also briefly wonder why you keep drunk-fapping in the company of strangers armed with recording equipment, before finally giving way to the pain, as an ear piercing set of ironically rhythmic screeches hastily escape your mouth, and people outside your home push their phones up to your bedroom window, recording every moment of hilarious agony.
Two hours, three Aquafina’s, and a bottle of mustard later, you’re pissed off, a bit sore, and ready to take it out on the next guy who breathes at you funny.
It takes that level of sheer insanity to justify calling a SWAT team on another innocent individual, no matter how extreme a shouting match or flame war gets online.
A tangible manifestation of the toxicity of the lowest scum in the gaming community, a testament to how truly psychopathic people can be. But perhaps even more pronounced, swatting is a call to the incompetence of the NSA as a whole.
Brenn Faxstone – gamer first, FBI agent second – became aware of the practice after media outlets began breaking stories of people getting swatted, and prompted him to start an investigation. No one in the office took Faxstone seriously, as “real terrorist threats” loomed over the U.S., following the election of Donald Trump.
Faxstone arduously tracked every convicted swatter to their respective prisons, leveraging his badge to nab exclusive interviews with them, and (when necessary) utilizing torture tactics only government officials are “legally” allowed to initiate.
His hard-handed psychoanalysis of the inmates lead to a source in Omaha, Nebraska, where one prolific serial swatter was locked away in a padded cell, after he swatted the governor’s house culminating from a heated game of ‘Words With Friends’.
Faxstone thought for sure that the serial swatter would have information on the origins of swatting, as many previous criminals cited him as their inspiration for their actions. However, he refused to talk, chewing his way out of his straight jacket, and attacking Faxstone.
Faxstone walked away from the incident relatively unscathed.
He had a feeling the trail might go cold at some point. As such, he was cautious to pick up anything that might be evidence along the way (though he later admits that he ran out of room in his inventory during his journey, and had to sell everything to a mysterious vendor he found in a dark cave, so he could carry more).
By this point, along with the psychoanalytical interviews of dozens of criminals, Faxstone found various pieces of evidence that he thought would help him solve the mystery: an ominously scribbled piece of paper and paperclip, some used chewing gum, and a bag of half-eaten stale marshmallows left at a murder scene in a dirty Chinese restaurant.
Faxstone worked for weeks around the clock, to MacGyver a solution out of his seemingly unrelated clues, when – one day last June – the answer to the mystery walked right into his office.
A former colleague, George Boroso, was visiting his old stomping grounds at the Federal Bureau of Investigation, where he worked for 16 years before leaving to join the CIA (thanks to its superior dental health coverage).
Faxstone caught up with his former partner in crime-fighting, first reminiscing about their past successes, and then shifting their conversation to more current affairs.
It was at that point, when Boroso started talking about an upcoming event at the CIA, that Faxstone had figured out how his evidence all fit together to form the answer to his open investigation about the origins of swatting.
“So Brenn, you remember back in the 80’s, when the CIA was pinned for pushing crack cocaine on poor inner city youth, in order to perpetuate the use of drugs in the wake of the drug war, and exacerbating racial tensions and police brutality against minority groups? Well… and don’t tell no one I told you this, but… we all sat down a couple years back and thought about how we could modernize that concept, and we stumbled upon the perfect method. It’s called swatting.”
Faxstone bit down on his tongue, as Boroso continued.
“It’s really quite simple. A couple of the guys would hop on Xbox Live and PSN, playing Battlefield and Call of Duty, while a couple others went to Twitch, a video game streaming website. Once we locked on to a target we didn’t like, we’d casually pick shit with them, until they’re screaming at us. A few nods later, and we’ve got their names, addresses, phone numbers, social security numbers, and weekly diet plans – all from Google searches they’ve performed! Then, we send off the “SWAT SHOT”.
After a few of these incidents went viral, people from the public start imitating it, likely out of unreleased angst, or because they’re trying to be… oh, what’s the term kids are using these days? “Edgy?” Yeah, that’s the one.
So, on one end of the spectrum, you’ve got these kids who are miserable, that want others to suffer, and then the other end of the spectrum are the “cool kids” that are just in it… (slowly reads prompt cards) “for the… lulz.”
Anyhow, it’s quite perfect, really.
We got to undermine the general public, planting the seeds of distrust in online video game culture, and cause a little chaos and confusion along the way. Thanks to your guys’ work here at the FBI – taking the heat for looking the other way with the Clinton email scandal – we don’t have to worry about the liberal media finding out about our ploy, and the NSA-Snowden leak fiasco snuffed out every government nark in… well, the government.
There’s no way we’re going to get caught, and we’ll eventually leverage our ability to take down online gaming as a whole with the propaganda we spread!”
The CIA’s plan might’ve actually worked, if Boroso hadn’t visited the FBI that day…