We got reloaded and it wasnt long before we were being called onto the field again. It was time for a speed ball game on the concrete and spool field. These are in rapid succession, you keep playing round after round till you run out of ammo or drop from exhaustion. The concrete tubes make for a field of chest high cover, well just over waist high for a dragon. The cable spool half of the field provides much better cover for dragons with the very tall utility cable spools and some low cover from fifty-five gallon drums. You can see the other team plain as day on the other side of the field, about three hundred feet away across all the obstacles. The ref did the shuffle this time. He just would point at a guy and tell him or her right side or left side. When it was all said and done, the teams were Lurch, Sam, Arcade, Grazel, Fridgebox, Kramer, Jason, Will, Mackey, Scales, me and Zack with half the Timmies vs. Pat, Mahoney, Wyraach, John, Jake, Element, James, Sparks, Ryan, NooMoahk, Lucas and Fred and the other half of the birthday kids. The birthday kids decided that it was better to be broke in half then be utterly destroyed as a group.
Left side walks. The ref said as he directed us to where we need to be.
I was on the left side so we got to start in the cable spools, lucky us. It was a bit of a walk, but it was the calm before the storm. Speed ball is fast and furious; it hits like a ton of bricks and doesnt let up. Tactics are nothing but best guesses as fast as you can think them up. Its takes seconds to get within range and then hell breaks loose.
I got center. Scales said, Ill get to the big cable spool in the front of us and set up cover fire there.
You have fun with that then Scales, I told him, Im going left.
Im going right, but not too far up. Arcade said, This is the perfect field to try for some long range heads shots.
You dragons, Lurch said with a laugh, Ill push my way up the middle and fade right to divide their attention.
Ill going center left to provide any help I can. Sam said confidently.
I dont know about you guys, but Im winging it. Kramer said as he eyed John from across the field, Johns gonna try something and Im gonna be there to head him off.
Ill back you up. Jason said as he readied his AK-74.
Thanks man. Kramer replied.
We had what resembled a plan, but in reality it was just a bunch of individual choices that were told to everyone involved. Its all luck in this game type.
GAME STARTS IN THREE, TWO, ONE, GO!! the ref yelled and we were off like horses in a race.
A large clump of dirt was snatched up by Scales hind legs when he took off and hit me in the face. I stumbled a bit and fought to regain my balance. I managed to hold my forward momentum and run forward, but just barely. Scales both looked and sounded like a horse as he thundered forward with that minigun going full blast and then he abruptly turned sideways and slid into cover behind the largest cable spool at the very center of the spool part of the field. It was impressive that something as big as him could pull off a move like that and still not break off from firing down range.
I was almost distracted by all that, but I was still keeping my mind on the task at hand, I needed to get as close to the front line as possible and get there fast. I closed in on the dividing line between the spool half and the concrete half. There was a clear gap with no cover at all that was about thirty feet wide that run between them. All that was there was a shallow ditch for cover in very center of that gap. You had to be booking if youre going to make it to the concrete tubes on the other side and not get hit. I was fast, but not fast enough. They started to shoot at me and I halted my advance and scrambled behind a small spool and three fifty-five gallon drums. It was just enough to cover me. The sound of rounds pounding on the other side of the metal drums was a very loud ringing noise. I had the poor luck to have my head next to the drums as they fired relentlessly at me; it was making my sensitive hearing go bonkers, my ears were ringing so much. Lurch and Scales fired right back to draw their attention from me to them.
Right now, I was the closest to getting across and that was the deal breaker for this field. Once a player crosses the line, you have to watch your sides for fear that he or she will sneak up on you while you deal with farther away threats. I waited for the right moment to make my move, it had to be perfect or it would fail. Sam was in the cover right behind mine, she was the fall back runner. I got into a low crouch behind just the spool, coiling my tail around my left leg to keep it in line and my wings folded up tight against my back. This was becoming easier to do and the only way I could fit in small cover. I had to keep them out of sight somehow. I peered through a hole in the spool to see the action and when I should run for it. I could make out several enemy positions. Pat was way off on the right and dug in nice and tight. John was just off to the left of the center of the front line, dug in behind a tube that sat in a long mound of dirt. Jake was right next to him. Sparks and Ryan were right in front of me in the opposing bunker of the one I was in. Sparks MG36 and Ryans M249 SAW were what was keeping me right where I was.
A number of others were running around playing fill in the gap and one of them was Wyraach. He was going back and forth between two bunkers trying to get a good line of sight on somebody. We all did the hunker down and dug in to tight that it would have taken grenades to get us out and nobody had them. It was a stalemate and we were fighting to break the others line and holding our own. It all turned when shots started to find there marks on both sides. NooMoahk popped up in the back and shot out Lurch. Arcade scored a headshot on Wyraach and then popped Ryan before Mahoney got Arcade back for his sniping. I used the confusion to pop Mark and bolt across. It was a very good thing that long grass had grown on the dirt mounds because it was so easy to hide behind them. Behind me Grazel and Fridgebox gave cover fire to force their heads down as Scales moved up. Scales mowed down five Timmes as they tried to flee from the dragontaur. James was trying to marshal them at the time and they distracted him when that ran, he was cut down along with them. This chaos lead to a charge forward by my team and everyone bolted for closer cover. The other team countered with a volley of rounds that took down Jason, Will and Fridgebox. I sneaked around the left side of the field and shot John and Jake as they were looking at the charge. I knew they heard the Buzzsaw and would be all over me so I jumped into the center concrete bucker with was two tubes long ways and a large mound of dirt, it was covered in long grass. I figured they wouldnt find me there and I was wrong. I crawled on my belly to the other side down a little path through the grass. As I poked my head out the other side, I felt the prod of a rifle barrel on the top of my head.
Safety kill. Pat said with a smile as he was crouched position and a smile on his face.
Dang it. I said out loud.
The problem was that he was right there and he heard me coming. I climbed out and Pat used the path to get across with being seen just like I did. I wasnt ten feet away when I heard Sam say,
Damn it. Pat said as he climbed back out.
Sam had been following me the whole time and I never saw her, thats Sam for you. I walked over to the dead pool and found Lurch making jokes, he makes the best ones. Wyraach looked a little mad that he got shot.
You okay man? I asked.
I cant believe I got ssshot out. He grumbled.
It happens man, let it go. Pat said, getem next time.
I ssstill dont like it. Wyraach said.
Its the nature of the game man, we all get shot sooner or later. said John
Come on buck up man, we got more games to play before were done for the day. Jake told him while he gave him pat on the back.
Ill get him back for that. Wyraach growled.
Arcade was down near the other end of the field in the other dead pool so he wasnt hearing this. I had a feeling this was going to be a problem, so I decided to try to lessen then tension a bit.
What was that thing you guys did the last time you were here together? I asked Pat and Lurch.
What thing? Pat asked back.
The Ghetto Delta Airlines thing. I replied.
Oh! That! Pat said.
Yall be going on vacation? Lurch started, See the thing is if you be about this beotch, check it. Pick Delta We be flying all over this b*tch. Let me axe you somethin, you fin to raise up and get your travel on? To the interior to de exterior, you got to get your posterior in one of dees big a** planes. Sh*t Dawg, you lay in the cush crate, sittin on youra a** and gettin your drink on and your snack on while we floss and fly this mo fo all over this b*tch.
Pat was all over it, East coast, West coast? It dont matter. Well get you to hoe and back lickity splits. No Sh*t. Then you be back at your crib chillin with a flat split, thinkin we was some crazy a** angle. Hell, these fat, round, thick a** vessels run up in the sky so deep it be cryin. Yeah, you thought it was rain. So bring a towel, cause at Delta, it laid out like dat.
Call one of dees fly a** Delta coochies and make all the punk a** coworkers ah yours catch the vapors as you be off and about. Lurch said as he continued on, You goin? We fly you there.
You been? We dun already flew up in there. We got you covered like a Jimmy hat. said Pat as he put the raps on this, At Delta, we luvz us sum flyin and it be showin like a mutha f*cka.
We all busted up laughing at that, even Wyraach. It was just the thing to lighten the mood. Its not fun to stand there and groan about being shot out, the trick is to have fun and never take it too seriously. Its open play man, we dont keep score.
Isnt the internet fun? I said as I recovered from this act.
Its full of funny stuff and horrible things, its a mixed bag. John said as he also got over it.
Itsss one of thossse thingsss that you dont realizesss how ussseful it isss till it crrrassshesss and then you sssee how much it doesss. Wyraach said, Once, my connection crrrassshed for two daysss, it wasssnt fun jusssst sssitting arrround the houssse trrrying to find new waysss to kill time. I sorted my carrrd and anime collectionsss thrrree timesss. By the time it came back, I had orrrganized it by firrrssst letterrr, genrrre and length. The carrrdsss werrre cataloged by name, usefulness and powerrr. I think it was sssafe to sssay I was borrred.
I would say so. Pat said, I dont think I would have the patience to do all that.
Wyraach just shrugged.
Thats game. said the ref, Switch sides and go again.
So we all switched starting locations and readied ourselves. It want on just like the game before it. We all grabbed a side and tried to break the enemy line. I scored two Timmies and Mark before I got shot out by Wyraach. He was going nuts. He moved to determination and blasted both Scales and Arcade in one go as they hid behind a cable spool. He just would bold from one bunker to another in search of his targets. He scored three Timmies, Lurch and I think Grazel as he thundered down the field. I just watched from the dead pool as this. He wasnt a slouch in tactics, he knew how to move, but he was clearly on a mission. Wyraach popped up on their exposed side as they fought to hold the line and he dropped them in short order. That was the deal breaker there, with both of them gone, the line fell. It was over in less then five minutes. I was amazed at this. Wyraach just walked off the field with a smug grin, he had gotten his revenge.
Did you see that? Mahoney asked, I never thought a guy as big as him could move so fast.
He was bound and determined to win and he pulled it off. I replied.
Well thats it for speed ball, everyone is low on ammo. The ref said, Next up is VIP on Veitnam.
We all loaded up for another go. Arcade and Scales came up to me as I loaded my last mag into my plate carrier.
Did I do something? Arcade asked me, Wyraach seems to have it out for me.
You shot him and I dont think he liked that. I told him.
Then what did I do? Scales said in puzzlement.
I havent got a clue, maybe you were just caught in the crossfire. I said to him, I wasnt sure, but then again, I never truly certain of anything in these matters.
I just hope that its over. Scales sighed.
I hope so to, he looked happy as he strolled off. I said.
I guess so. Arcade shrugged.
After that, we all went over to the Vietnam field to play a round of VIP. VIP is what it sounds like, protect a guy as you try to get him or her across that field alive. The ref was the VIP. We kept the same teams and just set up in the start zones. My team set up in the woods and tasked with getting the VIP to the enemy base while the other team got the base start zone and tasked to prevent us from succeeding. The base is just a tin roof on legs with fifty-five gallon drums and sandbags for walls. It not much, but it does the job. Strategy time for us.
Okay, whats the plan? I asked.
Youre the tactician Farm. Arcade shot back.
I was hoping that somebody else would set up, I sighed, Well if I must, I must.
Come on then. Scales said.
Okay if Scales and a good sized team break wide left and fight their way across the trenches, youll have the maximum amount of movement and cover options. I told them as I thought over the choices.
Ill go left. Arcade said.
Me too. Grazel said with a smirk.
Im with you Graz. Fridgebox said, patting Grazels shoulder.
Looks like we have our VIP team. I said, Lurch, Kramer, Will, Mackey, you guys can do what you can to keep the enemy lines busy. We need to buy them a window to get in.
Were on it. Kramer said.
Sam, Zack and me will move up on the ridge near the sniper tower to give you guys cover fire. I told them as the final pieces slid in place.
This is why we ask you to come up with the plans Eth. Sam said, You come up with good ones.
Well see how this works out. I said solemnly, You never know till its over.
Then lets make it happen guys. Jason boomed, you can always count on him to give a boost to your team.
GAME STARTS IN THREE, TWO, ONE! GO! The ref yelled. Since he was right next to us, we got an ear full.
Everyone broke off into the groups we planned and we hit it like we thought we would. But any good commander knows that a plan can go south in a hurry if the enemy acts in a way you didnt expect. That was my problem, I had figured the easy route and based it around that. I didnt know that Wyraach and John had planned out a defense around that very idea. It was a stupid mistake, I went the obvious route when I shouldnt have. I was giving cover fire from the ridge and trying to keep Lucas, Fred and Ryan down, but I could tell the rest of their team was out in the trenches and fighting hard against the VIP team. I had made a critical error and I was no where near able to fix it from where I was. I just kept trying to get a lucky shot on one of my targets. I pulled back into the sniper tower, Sam and Zack followed me in. I was trying to figure out a way out of this when Arcade and the VIP came down the path behind the ridge. They were safe here, but this was a dead end with the enemy set up on the next hill.
They were waiting for us; we pulled back and decided to come this way. Arcade said, he was out of breath from all the running he just did.
This ways a no go, I said as rounds pounded the other side of the plywood wall I was using as cover, They have a light machine gun set up in a bunker just over this ridge with two riflemen for support. Theres a few more in the bunker beside them.
What do we do now? Zack asked.
We blow a hole. I said, one last option popped in my head.
I bolted out of the tower and down behind the ridge, I was exposed to the enemy for a second or two, but as soon I made it down to the path, I was good.
The rest of the team is holding them off in the trenches. Arcade told me as we were ducked down just be even smaller targets.
Then this side is where theyre the weakest. I said, half to myself half to everyone else.
Why didnt you make the VIP come this way in the first place? Arcade asked.
Because this side is way too easy to button up for them. I told him, You have to come up over this ridge and you might as well paint a bulls-eye on your chest because of how slow you have to move over this ridge.
Then how do you plan on getting out of this? he asked, he wasnt getting it.
I didnt expect him to anyway, this was a dumb plan to start with.
There is a second way to get over there from here, but its risky. I said.
What way? Arcade asked.
This way. I said as I started to climb down the twenty foot drop off that leads down to the creek that ran right through the park.
It was a straight drop off to the creek. A collection of roots and weeds made a sort of scalable face along the wall of dirt to climb on to move from the ridge path to a small runoff creek that drains into the main creek just behind the enemys defensive line.
Youre crazy. Arcade said as he watched me use a old root to climb down the side of the tangle of roots that formed a place to stand on.
Ive been told that before. I said, Now just wait for me to blow a hole and then drive it home.
I was about half way down when the root I was holding onto couldnt take the weight of a big dragon and came loose. I slid down till I was just about a foot away from the waters surface, standing on a tangle of roots.
You alright? Arcade asked from up top, I couldnt see him anymore.
Im good. I replied.
Now holding onto the buzzsaw with my left claw and scaling this mess of roots and weeds with my right was hard. She weighs over nine pounds fully loaded. Not much, but trying to one hand her while climbing is hard, even if you happen to be a dragon. My arm was getting tired and my shoulder began to get sore. I muscled through it though, I had to. I had to judge whether that weed, tuft of grass or root could handle my weight every time I took a step. It worked out well at first, then a root gave way and I ended up in the creek.
Damn it. I said to myself as I felt the water soak into my boots.
It was only up to my shins deep for me, but I really didnt like it. I just slogged my way to the runoff, grumbling about my soaked boots. My footing gave way a few times and I got mud on my plate carrier and my free claw was covered in mud when I tried to stop myself from falling over. I kept my tail out of the water mostly, but it did get muddy. I was desperately trying to keep my weapons out of the mud. If they got dirty, this whole thing would be for nothing.
When I finally made to the runoff, I had to carefully climb up into the runoff and crouched down to avoid being seen. I was just a little ways from the sandbag bunker and most importantly, behind it. I saw nothing in my way as I crouch walked up the small hill and Lucas, Fred and Ryan came into view. They were looking at the ridge as Arcade, Sam and Zack held their attention. I let a long blast go and got all three. The next bunker didnt notice I was there, Lurch and his team had them preoccupied. It was Element and James that was holding them off, but when I snuck up behind them, they never saw it coming. With all the outgoing fire, it was a complete shock that I was now inside their lines. I took full advantage of this chance and set up to hold off the counter attack that would bolt out of the trench field once the jig was up. Sam didnt need to be told what to do and neither did Lurch once they saw me ripping the defensive line to pieces. They all bolted for the tiny bridge across the runoff and covered the VIP as he ran. None of the enemy team in the trenches noticed this because most of the VIP team was still in the trench field and holding their attention. It wasnt till the ref yelled game over when he ran into the enemy base that they realized their defensive line in the woods was gone. They came walking into the start zone with confused faces as we all stood there with grins on ours. The dead pool was filled with their guys and we only lost Will and Mackey.
What happened? asked Wyraach, he looked so shocked that the defensive line fell. Not only fell, but didnt exist anymore.
Farm came up behind us. Ryan said as he walked over.
How? John asked, Theres no way behind us on that side.
There is if you dont mind getting muddy. I said as I strolled up to the group of confused people. I looked like a muddy mess from the chest down. My Colt was mostly spared because I used my left leg to brace myself on if I needed to.
Bloody hell? Wyraach said, his jaws were agape at the sight of me. What did you do?
I climbed along the creek wall to get around your line. I replied with a smile, I slipped and fell in, but I got the job done.
That was a risky move, but it worked. The ref said, I didnt think anybody would be willing to do that.
Well I can respect that. Wyraach said, You pulled off a crazy move to claw out a victory.
Thanks man. I said as I offered my clean right claw.
We shook on it. I can admire a guy that will admit to it when an opponent comes up with a plan that trumps his, even if it was wild, crazy and completely made up on the fly. When faced with tough odds, that we find out how far we will go.
Gutsy move Farm. John said with a smirk.
Thanks John. I replied, still proud of myself.
We all walked out to get reloaded. The water in my boots made squishy noises as I walked and I notice I had gotten mud on the rails and receiver of my M16, her flash hider had mud on it for some reason as well. I cant say I know when that happened, but it was just a enough to cover the bottom of the flash hider. I had pulled off those shots when the first round had to knock out the mud. I love my rifle; she does the job, no matter what. I decided to sit out the next round to let my boots dry out and clean my gear. I took my boots off and put them on top of the Fords camper shell so they would get the most sun. I pulled all my mags out and put my plate carrier up there too as well as my jacket. It was about ninety degrees, so it wouldnt take that long to dry them out. I took a rag to the Buzzsaw and the Dragon Colt, just to be certain. I sat in the cab with the door open to let my pants dry out. I wasnt about to take them off in public, they could dry out from my body heat and that would do just fine. I had my weapons serviceable again, all clean with a good rub down of silicon oil, and all I had to do was wait for my gear to dry out and scrape the dirt off. I just sat there and listened to the radio and the sounds of battle as the next game was fought on the speedball field. I didnt mind sitting this one out, I was a bit worn out by that little trick I pulled. I was proud of it though. After a while, they came back out. Pat came over to see how close I was to getting back to playing.
You almost done drying out? he asked me.
Just about. I told him as I felt my pants; they were a little damp at the cuffs, but not bad.
Well hurry up, Pat urged, Its no fun without you there to come up with weird plans.
I just smiled as I hopped out of the Ford and checked my gear. My boots were not only dry, but hot as well. Sitting on hot aluminum will do that. The dirt crumbled off my jacket and plate carrier, they looked good enough. I wiped off my magazines to make sure they were good and slipped them back into place, after reloading them of course. I put my boots on then my jacket and finally my plate carrier. I was ready for another good of airsoft, all dry, rested and ready to get back in the fight.
I think Im good to go. I said as I checked myself out, making sure I had everything.
Good, then lets go. Pat said as he turned around to head to the tents.