Week 2, Friday.
Top Rankers Match:
Rank 1: Green team
Rank 2: Purple team
Both teams lined up before one another, with the ref over-seeing the traditional friendly handshake before the match. The battlefield seemed to be rearranged differently somehow. The large heavy covers that consisted of worn trucks, vans, and hollowed containers not only moved, but increased in number, almost like a maze. It appeared this round would prove a much more entertaining match, as the teams would be challenged to navigate through the the maze of covers with limited open areas around them.
As each team was sent around the field to their starting positions, Bailey looked to his team with concern. The match was set to go own for 35 minutes, because some of the participants had things to do later on. This type of match was bittersweet for the players. It made things simpler, but the lack of difficulty also made things boring for those who did this purely for the sport.
The whole time, Bailey never once stopped thinking about how he could become a better leader, despite the fact that he had already lead his team to the top ranks. They stood around checking their weapons and gear, making sure everything was in, on, and secure before the start of the next round.
Standing at the front of his pack, Bailey looked back to his team as they began to put on their “gamefaces”. Some were flexing and taking a more intimidating stance, others jumping in place to show how much energy they had to burn. “Nah… We got this… I lead, they follow. I do great, we do great.” He thought to himself as he cracked his neck a bit, and held his paint ball gun up to aim.
The horns signaled for the match to begin and both teams rushed into the maze-like field with weapons aimed forward. The sound of their boots hitting the ground was loud as they braced themselves, even though there was a wide distance between the teams. The tension intensified with each move forward. Bailey unwittingly transitioned from a power march to a full sprint and his team followed suit. He needed this win. He needed to know that he was a true leader, and that his team consisted of people who knew how to follow.
The Green Team’s rush came to a halt when they found themselves speeding into a big open area in the maze. Their opponents all camped out on their end. Everything seemed to slow down for a moment as three enemies suddenly appeared from a long container’s roof, and aimed down at all five of the Green Team’s group and began to fire.
“FALL BACK!” Bailey shouted loudly just as they were fired on. Training came in handy for this moment. Moving as fast as they did would have have made anyone think that they’d need a second to recover, turn around and move back. They were able to stop on a dime and reverse quickly, only taking two hits; one to the flank member of the group, and the other hitting Bailey’s shoulder as they got to cover. “Shit!” he grunted!, Hitting his head against the inside of the container they hid in. “Cover where we came from! They aren’t going to rush in here…” He ordered the members at the rear. They nodded and did as he said, while he checked to see the damage. “Only three hits… Okay.” He sighed, thinking that they were all tagged in that screw up on his part.
The air was now filled with the Purple Team’s howls as they celebrated an easy hit on the “top team”. “WOOOOOOOOO! What’s this? The almighty Blue Team? Hiding in a box?!” Laughed a female from the Purple Team. Bailey huffed knowing that voice too well. Rosalind Kain, The leader of the purple team. She was the kind who liked to talk when she was in the lead, and got silent when she wasn’t. Her team followed the same pattern. Previously ranked 5th, Some wouldn’t suggest taunting a team who was ahead of you.
Bailey had memorized where the members of the Purple Team had been positioned, so he took a risk and popped out and took a shot in that direction. Managing to hit one of them miraculously he laughed, “HA!” before back into the container, and the edge of it was pelted with purple paint. “Your going to look reaaal good on my team, after we give you a new paint job!” He laughed, earning a few chuckles from his team members as well. Silence filled the air once more as they quieted down. This meant that Rosalind and the Purple Team were going to get serious.
“Only one shot on them… Can’t get cocky. Lets head back and find another way around.” He whispered to his team. The two behind him followed his lead while the others watching the flank made sure it was safe to move ahead.
Feeling restless, Bailey move a bit faster through the flipped cars and covers, wanting badly to win and be done with this match. His team was steadily picking up on his anxiousness, watching him carefully through the shade of their helmets. Just as he was about to rush out into the open, he was pulled back by his teammate behind him, narrowly escaping another hit as several paint balls came whizzing pass through the spot he had just been standing in.
“I don’t know what your rush is, but I thought we were trying to win!” His teammate said to him. He held him by his vest against the wall. The others looked on with the same expression they looked at Bailey with. He took a deep breath and swatted the arm against him away.
Edwin R. Nato was the self-appointed second-in-command of the Green Team, and had appointed himself unquestioned after making up for unforeseen incidents in their plans during previous matches. He was also responsible for keeping team friction down and speaking for “everyone” when needed. It had been awhile since Bailey was the issue that needed addressing, and he never seemed to take it well when the time came.
The purple team continued to fire random shots at the exit they stood near, as if waiting for him to pop out once more and try something. It had already been 15 minutes, and they were losing. Baily leaned back against the wall and hit his head back against it. “Dammit…” He groaned under his breath as he tried to think. “Maybe the other way? No… They’ll be expecting us to go back.. they have us pinned! Only two ways forward, we can’t get out of this… What can I do?!” he grunted out loud, Nato looked to him with the most annoyed expression.
Seeing to how his leader was busy trying to figure away out of it, Nato looked to the remaining three members of the team. “Alright… they have likely split into two groups and are watching both entrances. They are in the lead, so they don’t plan on taking any risk and entering the field to come after us. We need to use this to our advantage.” He went silent for a moment, before looking to the others who were planning as well. Bailey had truly left this world and was trying to think of something on his own while the others brainstormed.
“Good, Good. Okay, you two head to the other entrance and get to work. Now we just need a way to lure them….” Nato said after the four configured a working plan. They all slowly peered at their leader with expressions as insidious as they could muster.