Yesterday I was driven up North to a village called Bury with a car full of guns’n’ammo. There was a very good reason for this, and let me point out that the guns weren’t exactly the bullet-shooting type; instead they were the little hard round pellet shooting type. Which in some ways can be much worse, but I can’t think of any way that might be worse right now. Scratch that last bit.
Anyway, back to rambling…
I went along with two of my flatmates – Andy T, an ex-paratrooper army-type, Andy J, a vegetarian pacifist, and non-flatmate Nick (another pf these ex-army types who seem to know what they’re doing). We were a motley crew.
When we got there we donned our army gear and strapped our weapons to our bodies (Andy J did a good impression of Hannibal Lecter crossed with Lara Croft) and had our weapons tested by the Marshalls who were there to make sure people didn’t cheat (You there, behind the tree, TAKE YOUR HIT!).
The first taste of the action I received was right in the mush, just above my lip. It was reasonably close range too because we were inside a building and I was hiding behind a door that I’d pulled into the corridor for cover. I jumped out to shoot and he got my first…it brought tears to my eyes.
Luckily these guns only shoot little plastic pellets, but still, they can injure if they get you in the wrong spot.
Towards the end of the day I was in another building with a group of hard-core army types, and I hear screaming. Everyone stops fighting and crowds around to check it out – there’s a guy clutching himself bent over double against the wall shouting ‘You shot me in the bollocks you %$£*!” I was surprised, as while a couple of guys emitted empathetic groans, a lot of the blokes there couldn’t supress their giggles – you’d think they’d have a bit more sympathy for this guy – it could have been them!
By far the highlight of the day was just after that incident, when I’d just bumped into Andy T again, after he’d been ‘hit’, which meant that he had to wander off to the re-gen point before he cold rejoin the game. He went all professional on me, and slung his rifle over his shoulder at the bottom of a staircase, which harboured at least 3 members of the opposing red team (we were blue). He carefully removed his pistol from its holster, and crept up the stairs, simultaneously removing his last grenade (little smoke bomb) from his pocket, striking it and tossing it onto the landing. If you are in a room where a grenade goes off, no matter how big the room is, you’re dead and have to go back to re-gen. He got two of them, and they came down calling ‘dead man walking!’ with their hands in the air. He crept carefully to the top of the landing, and emptied the other rooms of opposition before zoning in on the last room with a red player inside.
From there he starts signalling to me asking if I have a grenade, but I don’t, so he creeps forward, as another ex-army type arrives to back him up. The opposing player in the room kicks the door shut, fearing a grenade will finish him off, so Andy and the new bloke take their positions, and storm the room, shooting and shouting until the red player shouts ‘HIT!’ and puts his hands up, exits the room smiling. Andy pats him on the back and says ‘Good man’, and they have a big of a laugh about it.
It was pretty amazing to watch, and if you sit back and just observe all day you can see scenarios like this occurring all over the site. Personally I just liked doing my own thing, sometimes getting pretty close to the action, getting shot a fair few times (nothing too bad, I didn’t get any marks this time apart from one or two on my face – and yes I was wearing safety goggles) and I even managed to shoot a few soldiers myself, without getting shot.
It turns out Andy was shot at pretty close range during that last scuffle, right in the guts. He’s now sporting a seriously black and blue new belly button, but all’s fair in love and war.