The following excerpts are from letters written by border patrol guard Jonathon Yankee, from the game Homeland Defense: National Security Patrol. The game is available for $20 from Best Buy. Do not buy it.
Well Mom, I made it. I have successfully completed all the training necessary to be a Border Patrol Guard for the National Security Patrol! As a member of the NSP, we’ve got all sorts of duties, but basically we’re the first line of defense against all of the illegal immigrants trying to steal our free air by breathing it.
Not much to say for today. We’re basically just waiting to find out what our orders are going to be. Until we know where we’re stationed, we’ve been practicing standing still and not noticing things happening directly in front of us. It’s tough. Any way, it’s been a long day. I better say good night.
We got our orders!
I’ve heard the fraternity of smugglers is a pretty bad bunch, so I’m going to make sure I check each car from Mexico super carefully, and that I pretend to check every car from the U.S.A. as well as I can, given the fact that, well, you know. I mean, it’s wrong to say it, but…you know.
Love you, Mom! Tell Dad not to touch my guns while I’m away! As soon as I get a gun rack set up in my new apartment, I’ll have you mail those down, unless the fascists in the U.S. Mail Department won’t let you mail guns nowadays.
Anyway, time to Accept My Mission and keep the borders safe!
First day on the job. Here’s a photo:
I’ve got to level with you, Mom. The first day didn’t go so well. First off, my co-workers are a little weird. Take Stan, for instance. He works at the patrol booth opposite me. So he checks all the cars coming from Mexico to the U.S. That’s what we in the Border Patrol biz call “the awesome job,” because it’s awesome. So we’re standing at our booths, waiting. A car shows up at Stan’s checkpoint. He just waits. “Hey Stan, you going to let that guy through, or not?” He looked at me blankly for a while, and then started running away from his booth, around the road to my side, and then just stops. This Mexican guy is still waiting in his car to go through the checkpoint, but now Stan is over on my side of the road. I tell him to get back to his post, which he does, but real slow. And I mean REAL slow, and walking funny, like he had dropped a dump in his pants or something. But here’s the thing: by this point, there was a car waiting in my lane to get checked through (just a routine procedure, Americans aren’t terrorists, of course, only terrorists are terrorists). So Stan, rather than walk around the car, walks right through the hood of the car!
Now there’s a bunch of cars waiting in my lane, so I realize I’ve got to put them through. I walk up to the patrol booth and try to open the gate, but I can’t. I mean, there’s just no button or anything to click to open the gate. So I walk around for a little while, as the cars pile up. We start getting these messages that cars are waiting too long at the border, and we’re getting fined for it, so Stan and I are both really struggling hard to get our gates open. I try everything I can think of: walking up to it, walking next to it, touching it, but nothing helps.
I decide to ignore the cars and check out this guy who was standing near the booth. As soon as I do, however, this lady walks right through him! I think she might have been a ghost.
After I let that guy go, this weird ghost lady was still standing there. Her papers were in order, but seeing as she was a ghost, and a pretty attractive one at that, I decided to pat her down.
The cars were still backed up, but since neither of us knew how to open the gates, Stan and I just called it a day.
It’s great to hear that little Lou Dobbs had puppies! If you haven’t named them yet, then we should name them: “Freedom,” “Democracy,” “Eagle,” “Ashcroft,” and “Threat Level Indicator Orange.” Name the runt “Civil Liberties,” although I’m guessing that Lou Dobbs will eat her, so tell Peggy Sue not to get too attached to that one.
Hey, I haven’t shown you guys where we live yet! Here’s a picture of our facilities.
For some reason, our facilities are really far away from the actual border, so when we arrest people it takes a long time to walk them to the holding pen, especially since we walk pretty slowly, and sometimes in random directions.
Today was better. I read in the manual that you can set the gates to automatically open, so that’s what we did. We ended up letting everyone go through, but at least we didn’t get any fines for letting cars sit for too long. We got some messages that the police had arrested some smugglers that had crossed the border at our checkpoint. I think they were trying to make us feel bad about it, but if the police arrested them, then that’s good, right? No harm, no foul?
Time to hire some new recruits. The boss is letting me look over the résumés of two of the candidates. First up we’ve got Neil Blake.
Here’s what I like about him: he’s got good dexterity, which will come in handy when he has to type up reports or do sleight-of-hand tricks. He also left “a booming career in novelty garden ornament sales,” so he’s used to dealing with weirdos. He’s from Arizona, so he’s comfortable with the locale.
What I don’t like: He’s only got an awareness of 20, which is pretty low. Stan has an awareness of 72, and he didn’t even notice that carload full of bandolier-covered illegals who rolled by the other day. (I asked them if they had any paperwork, and they replied “Badges? We don’t need no stinkin’ badges!” I pointed out that I hadn’t mentioned badges, only paperwork, but they were already speeding off towards Washington D.C., pistols firing into the air. When I asked Stan about it, he said “huh?” and walked directly through a tree.)
I also don’t like that Neil only answered the call of patriotism AFTER his wife left him. Why not before, Neil? The life of a NSP agent is fraught with danger, but if Patriotism calls, you better answer the phone as lickety-damn-split as you can. Also, during the interview he cried a lot.
Here’s the other candidate, Jacob Clark:
What I like: he recognized that being an ER medic is a waste-of-time, dead-end job that will never help anybody, and that the border patrol is where all the real action and glory are. He’s also smart and honest, which will come in handy in some way or another that isn’t entirely clear to me. (Maybe he can figure out how to open the gate manually.)
What I don’t like: Low stamina. Most of this job is about walking slowly for no particular reason, and then breaking out into a brisk jog when it’s unnecessary. If he can’t do that, or if he can’t make the inexplicably long walk from the border to our barracks without stopping to take a rest…well, that could be trouble.
In the end, I hired both of them. They’re both standing outside HQ, because I don’t know how to have them get guns from the armory. They tried all the usual things (walking up to it, walking near it, and touching it), but none of them worked.
I finally feel like a real Border Patrol Guard, Mom. I am one of the people that make NSP amazing.
Today, in fact, I responded quickly to our worst emergency yet:
Luckily, we all knew exactly what to do.
So that’s it for today, Mom. Maybe tomorrow we’ll figure out how to use the guns and tazers. Until then, love you!