I started my most recent attempt at infiltrating Jagex HQ on the eighth. It wasn't the first time I've done so, nor will it be the last, but what I saw this time will haunt me for the rest of my life.
It started with a simple enough question: why did they rush the Evolution of Combat? It shouldn't have been hard to discover the answer; if I learned anything from the time I spent there in the past, it's that they don't expect anyone to hide in a crate during the day and go through all of their stuff in the middle of the night. Unfortunately for me, they seem to have increased security since the last time I had been there in mid-May. I needed a new way in.
Fortunately, I found one on the internet. I won't detail it here because the editors don't want me encouraging that sort of thing, but it involved a trip to the costume shop, a coil of rope about ten feet long, and a basket of figs. And as simple as climbing through the window dressed as a ninja and bribing security with figs, I was in. I could hear a crowd of employees moving toward the meeting room, and I followed them with catlike tread. It must have worked because none of them said a thing, and as soon as we entered I took my place in the meeting room behind a plant pot.
A man in a fine suit entered the room carrying a leather-bound tome, followed by three men in hooded robes. I couldn't see their faces, and that worried me far more than it should have. The fifth member of his entourage struck me with a fear that very nearly forced me out of the room.
It was Yelps.
The goblin took his seat at the end of the table and they all began to speak about the plans for the game in 2013 — Yelps's entourage remained silent until the end. It was all very promising, and again, I can't post any details because the editorial staff doesn't want a lawsuit on their hands. After the section about level 90 equipment and a new floor for the Chaos Tunnels, the three robed men raised their hands and the room quieted. Yelps stood on the table — I was surprised at how short he was — and began his own speech, which I have transcribed here:
Yelps - 5:48 PM: Very exciting, yes, but we all know that there are better things on the horizon. Your leaders and I agree that we are almost ready to launch the next stage of our plan. A surprising number of players have survived so far; it seems as though they show more loyalty than I have come to expect from humans. This is not ideal.
Suit - 5:50 PM: What Master Yelps is saying is that more players will have to leave before we can continue with Project Butterfly.
Robe 1 - 5:51 PM: I thought we agreed on calling it "Project Leech"?
Robe 2 - 5:51 PM: Nobody called it that but you. Don't get me wrong, you explained the name quite well, but it has all sorts of implications that you didn't factor in.
Robe 3 - 5:52 PM: [snort] And your idea was any better? What was it, project...?
Robe 1 - 5:52 PM: Tadpole. Nobody's going to take Project Tadpole seriously, mate.
[At this point, the robed figures stood up and seemed as if they were going to fight one another. A gesture from the man in the suit caused an uneasy truce between them]
Suit - 5:54 PM: The point is, we have too many survivors before we can reboot this game. Is the Evolution of Combat done, Mike?
Jagex Employee - 5:55 PM: No, sir!
Suit - 5:55 PM: Perfect. Launch that in two weeks. That will scare off the rest of them and we can get to work.
Yelps - 5:55 PM: Is that all we have on the agenda today? Good. The men I work for agree that we've wasted enough money on something that nobody wants to get involved with. Think of all the moon rocks you'll be able to buy after this, humans. Your species likes those, right?
I could have sworn that after that line, he looked right at me. I left as quickly as I could afterwards, and bought a ticket back to [redacted]: home of the Times headquarters.