Russians. Everywhere I go, I'm reminded of them. I try to learn their language to prepare for this article, and I'm bombarded with Russian words and characters. I try to take a break and watch YouTube, and I find trap remixes of the Russian national anthem. They're everywhere. Recently, I've had a growing suspicion that they've found their way into our school newspaper as well.
In order to find out more about these people, I had to find a way to interact with some of them. After thinking about it for twenty-five eighths of a second, I decided the best way would be to play some CS:GO, as I hear that Russians make up a majority of the player base. I've never played CS:GO before, but I've played Valorant, and they're basically the exact same.
Now, you may not know this, but even though the game is free, in order to not be shunned by its players you have to have some cosmetics. So, I took $1200 from our Journalism donut fundraising, bought an account off of eBay that had plenty of skins already on it, and decided to ask for forgiveness instead of permission.
With that, I downloaded CS:GO, and signed in as my tiny laptop threatened to explode. I did the tutorial and all of the practice matches, and was ready to hop into a real game. Within ten seconds, I was talking to five old Russian dudes and three little kids, all of whom claimed to be my biological father. They clearly haven't been in Mr. Yee's biology class, or else they'd know that's impossible.
The first half of the round went as normal, and I thought that I wouldn't be able to actually gather any information. But halfway through the game, I got a Windows message saying that my security had been compromised, and then when I tried to close it, my computer froze and the entire screen was taken up by the face of an old man. He started talking, and I recognized his voice as one of the people who had been on my team. Oh, that's why he was asking for my IP address earlier in the match. Luckily, I was smart enough to respond in the public chat so he wouldn't be the only one with that information.
It was a little hard to hear him, as he was so loud that it blew out my speakers. I had to step five yards away from my computer because everything it was touching had melted. But as he repeated the same message multiple times, I was able to write down what he was saying:
"Be: whereof, the three. High are beings."
It didn't seem like his English was very good, he must have ignored his Duolingo notifications. I'm not sure what this message means but it must be important or else he wouldn't have repeated it. If you have any idea what the significance of it might be, please let me know in the comments below.
After this, I played a few more games, but nothing of importance happened. My teammates were either more Russians, more seven-year-olds, or the occasional Russian seven-year-old. At one point I had a teammate who claimed that he lived in his own house, not with his parents, had a significant other, and a job. He clearly hasn't been in Mr. Yee's health class, or else he'd know that's impossible.
After playing CS:GO stopped working, I had to find another way to gather intel. I tried to join Russian dating sites, but got accused of catfishing and got banned. I tried actually going to Russia, but my mom said that I couldn't. As I sat in despair, thinking this was the end of my journey and I'd never know why Russians were everywhere, I heard a Discord sound effect come from my computer.
With impeccable timing as if it were called upon by a higher being, my old friend Vladimir Putin, "democratically elected" president of Russia himself, somehow found out my Discord information and sent me a friend request. Of course, I accepted it.
After he sent me that weird wave gif sticker thingy and we talked about the weather for a little bit, I decided it was time to ask him the important questions:
Before I could respond, my Discord force quit and I haven't been able to reopen it since. If you need to contact me, you can type something on this Google Doc and I'll never see it.
Unfortunately, I think that concludes my research into what these Russians are up to. That being said, I still managed to get some information:
They are trying to tell us something.
It's too confidential to disclose somewhere a hacker could get it.
My Discord doesn't work anymore.
Please help me Mr. Torres.
So please, please, if you can figure anything out, let me know. With that, it seems like the trail has gone cold…