History & Physics
The Klingon chetvI'
First, a little instruction on what happens when you play paintball in the cold.
When any gas expands, it gets colder. In the case of CO2 in a paintball gun tank, if you use it a lot the temperature can drop to the point where the gas liquefies in the tank. Of course, when it's a liquid, the gun doesn't work anymore and it makes a very distinctive "brrr, rrr, rrr, rrr" sound, just like they make when they run out of air. The only thing you can do is wait for the tank to warm up.
So, for this fall day of gaming, the outdoor temperature was around 35 degrees. The guy at Riverside was passing out mostly pump guns because of the above mentioned difficulties with semi-autos. I had my Spyder Compact but about 3/4 of the way through each game it would die, requiring me to draw my PGP sidearm.
I learned that, with only one or two chances with the PGP, I become much more aggressive and willing to take risks.
Chow Yun Geis.
This particular game had the opposing bunker extremely close. Probably not more that 50 meters apart. After some shooting and advancing, I was getting pretty close to the opposing bunker when my gun froze up so I put it down and drew my sidearm. I took a couple of rounds from an enemy approaching our bunker so I threw myself over a log for cover.
I don't know whether he forgot about me or didn't think I was a threat with my pistol but he advanced further on my home base. His back was to me but it was too far to take a shot with my PGP. So I rushed him.
I measured the distance later. I ran nearly 30 meters across open ground. I took a shot at him when I got into range and missed. He turn and fired and also missed. We both had to pump our guns.
As I passed a tree, I leapt into the air with my arm outstretched to the side in his direction and fired. He also fired from the hip. It was like something out of a John Woo film. Well, except that we both died. His shot got me in the temple. Mine got him in the face.
I hit the ground hard and started cheering. "THAT'S what it's all about!" It was a great move. A great shot. I died and didn't care.
In a later game, the bunker that had been our starting point in the above related tale was now an enemy position and I and one of my teammates were in the same position where my opponent had been in the tale above. The bunker was a tough nut to crack. It had a solid front face with two 9 inch square windows. At 15 meters, it was difficult to put your shot through the window on the first round when you saw someone take a look.
I knew there was one opponent inside with a pump gun. Up on the hill was another enemy with a pump gun. After a few exchanges of fire with the bunker I realized that it would take luck to get him from where I was and, in the meantime, anything could happen.
I decided to take a chance.
I directed my teammate, also with a pump gun, to apply suppressive fire towards the guy on the hill. I started running towards the bunker.
I again had my arm straight out, firing at the one window. I didn't know who else might be further back from the bunker so I was watching ahead of me while I ran, firing at the window with only my peripheral vision. When I passed the edge of the bunker, I was still firing to my right while looking ahead.
I heard him yell "Hit! Hit!" I stopped and turned in an attempt to take cover in the bunker but took a shot in the middle of the back.
My bunkered opponent was amazed. One of my rounds had gone through the window at an extreme angle and gotten him in the head. The two that I fired after turning the corner were chest and shoulder shots. He said, "Just one, I thought was luck. But you hit me three times, and all in fatal zones." They were all fired on instinct.
Generally, before any game, you fire a few rounds to make sure your gun is cocked, the safety's off and it works. Well, this time it didn't. After half a dozen games of my gun running for 15 minutes and then freezing up, this time my gun was simply out of CO2. Rather than holding things up and going back to get another tank, I just pulled out the PGP with the intention of holding the fort.
Most rush off to the attack. Myself and three other stay back. After a while, two of them become tired with waiting and go off hunting. Which is, of course, when things go bad.
This bunker was a platform-type on a hill. I was staying on the ground or even under it while another of my teammates decided to stay up higer for the greater vantage point.
One of the enemy, I later learned it was my co-worker Phil, had gotten around to the right. After an exchange of fire my comrade up top got hit.
That left me on the left side of the bunker. I called out to my teammates who had just gone off, "Could use some help here." Phil heard that. My teammates did not.
"Shit." Phil heard that, too.
I was laying on my back with my feet towards the bunker. I could see under most of the bunker to the other side. There was also a firing space between the protected underneath and the upper level floor so, if someone got along the front of the bunker and reached up for the flag, I would see his arm, do a half-roll to the left, and get him at close range.
What I didn't know is that Phil was indeed in front of the bunker. He had moved up almost to the corner and considered grabbing the flag but thought he was too exposed and pulled back to move around the other side of the bunker.
Which is when I saw him and fired.
But it wasn't over yet. Things got really quiet. That means three things. 1: Nearly everyone is dead and so spread out over the field that they aren't encountering the enemy. 2: Your team is winning and the battle at the enemy flag is too far away to hear. 3: Your team is dead and the enemy is moving in on you.
Well, I figured it was one of the first two and so I grabbed by useless semi and started advancing. The game was approaching the time limit and I didn't want to have to go back for it when the game was over.
I moved forward down a small slop and then struggled a little up a muddy rise. At the top of the rise I saw someone at the bottom. Shit. I put down my semi and took one shot with the PGP. Suddenly, the air was full of incoming paint. Clearly, I was in condition 3; all my team was dead and I was the last one.
This I realized, sliding back down the muddy hill on my back. I reached out with my foot and caught it on a small tree to keep myself from falling back further. Time was running out and I knew they would be coming for me. I was pointing my gun at the crest of the hill where I knew one of my opponents was. He could surely my semi sitting there and knew who and where I was. There was another to my right who could come up the hill behind me at any moment.
Suddenly, back at the bunker, I heard a curse and a crash. Reggie, another coworker and, in this game, one of the enemy, came sliding down the hill at the bunker. He had been up on the hill to my left. I had been surrounded without even knowing it.
Before he could regain his bearings I unhooked my foot from the tree, slid and rolled down the hill. When I came to a stop I threw out my arm and took a 15 meter offhand shot at Reggie, hitting him right in the head.
I rolled again and came up, making a run for the bunker. As I ran across the front I could hear the paintballs smacking the bunker wall. I got around the corner to relative safety at just the time the ref called "Game over."
It was a good day.
|http://www.tasigh.org/ingenium/journal_6.html -- Revised: 24 November 2002
Copyright © 2002 Kevin A. Geiselman