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I boot everything up and get ready. I notice that I'm shaking a little and I'm not sure if it's normal. Adrenaline or something? Maybe I'm an epileptic and something about multiplayer shooters is trying to unravel my brain. It happens a lot but I keep coming back to these things anyway. I like them, so why the hell not? No other type of game gets me on edge like this.

I settle in and get into 'da zone'. I have to settle into a state of completely not giving a shit to be effective. Thinking too much leads to failure. Getting angry leads to failure. If I keep chill then I can cut through the bullshit and come out on top.

A bunch of assholes immediately start their pre-match trash talk. I can hear them all but I'm not listening to much. I'm just relaxing and learning what I need to know from them. I learn that I'm better then they are, and they deserve everything I'm about to do to them.



Elementary school gym class was a mixed bag for me. I wasn't a fat girl or anything. I was actually a bit of a tom boy so the physical exertion was never a problem. Still I was very anti social. I didn't have any friends because every second of my life was caught up lost in my own fantasies. Books I've read, shows I'd watched, games I'd played.

Would you have talked to the redheaded girl in braces who took five seconds to even realize you were addressing her? My mind was working overdrive in my own little world and that's how I liked it. So when they picked me last for the teams I wasn't surprised or insulted.

I wasn't even paying attention.

The virtual battlefield stretches out before me. An alien factory. Capture the flag on an infantry only level (thank god, I hate fucking vehicles). The level is a horseshoe. One flag on each end with a meeting place at the rounded end of the shoe. Our red and blue space armor clad teams spawned near their flag. Ready to rush to their doom for the glory of battle.

There are two tricks to this level. The popular center of attention is the single sniper rifle that sits on the high ground on the rounded end of the shoe. The other is that the low ground that fills out the space between the two sides of the horseshoe is the road less traveled.

As the two teams rush toward the center, eager to secure the sniper and high ground, I take a step back and watch, taking it all in. They fire off pot shots at each other across the center but no one ventures to the low ground and no one attempts to flank the other team before they reach the clash at the center.

Good. We have a team of idiots versus a team of idiots. My best fighting conditions.

I slip into the low ground to try my luck. The two sides will throw themselves suicidally at each other to a stalemate just fine without my help.

We played this weird ass dodgeball variant I had never seen before or sense. It's basically regular dodge ball except there are bowling pins on the four corners of the bisected square. Two pins for each team. You win by eliminating all the opposing players or knocking down both of the other team's pins. Their were three balls in play so things got rather chaotic at times.

As the two teams squared off and started tossing balls I thought about how I should play. I decided not to focus on eliminating players because I had a lousy throwing arm compared to them and didn't have the reaction time to catch.

So as the two sides did their best to bean each other in the balls with the balls I hid behind my team until I was needed to do one of two things. Throw a ball at an enemy pin or block an opening to one of our pins my inconsiderate team made.

Most people in amateur competitions are so busy trying to prove they are awesome that they need babysitting for the huge weaknesses they leave in their game plan.

I take my hiding place in the low ground and wait for the first rings of the sniper rifle shots. Once I hear those tell tale shots I'm on my guard. When the main object of the stupid player's attention is no longer theirs they either run for cover or search blindly for something to kill with the first super weapon they can find.

Right on cue a dumb bastard runs down the ramp with a shotgun. He would have had me if it weren't for one big mistake.

His back was to me.

In a battlefield situation the natural inclination for an individual is often to orient the front line, where they expect to find their enemy, as forward. This is why I love capture the flag and maps that are mostly a strait line from your base to the enemy base.

People get so used to pointing themselves at where their enemy always is that all I have to do is hide on their side of the map and trust that they will keep moving toward the fight.

I open fire on my prey's back and he turns, tossing a clumsy grenade that explodes harmlessly to my right in his panic before crumpling in a heap. I raid his corpse for the shotgun and head up the ramp.

An enemy is waiting at the top of the slope. If he wasn't wearing space armor he might be smirking as he opens fire. He has the high ground…which is so damn overrated.

I toss a frag grenade. Rather then aiming to place it at his feet, which is sort of impossible because I can't see his feet, I aim at the upper lip of the ramp. The grenade does it's customary one bounce, which so happens to be a bounce up the ramp, before exploding in his face, dropping his shields instantly and giving me a free headshot on his unprotected dome.

He dies, I live. That old trick has saved me countless times. Never camp the top of a ramp unless you are going to run like a sissy at the first sign of trouble.

My team was going down like flies. They took some of the others team with them, for sure, but it was getting difficult to hide behind people when their were only 4 people left. It would just look suspicious. I grabbed a ball and tossed at the enemy's pin. It barely missed.

That opened up the can of worms. With every one of the other teams throws being aimed at a pin for a little as we defended. One of my team mates took out one of their pins in the mess but one of ours got taken out as well. With only 3 people on my team afterward including me I left the offense to them and planted myself directly in front of the pin.

The other team still had 8 people left but I wasn't going to give up just because we had lost. Where's the fun in that?

At the top of the ramp I enter my favorite stalling hole. A short little hallway with only two entrances that you can't shoot directly into from a distance. I pop out from it as an enemy passes by and kill him with the shotgun. I notice he's the same guy I took the shotgun from.

“Thank you for your donation to the cause.” I say.

This game has proximity voice. I know he'll hear me. A girl just stole his shotgun and shoved it up his dickhole, and now she has the gall to trash talk him after the easy kills. He'll take this personally.

I'm counting on it.

As another of my team went down I started to panic. Trying to think of a way out but not really knowing what to do. Just me and the team captain left. Old Tallguy.

I don't remember his name, so I figure he's named Ollie Tallguy….you know because he was tall and could….skateboard or something.

I go over to him and we start mumbling under our breath.

“Any ideas?” I asked

“nope” he replied from upon high.

Then something interesting happened. The other team was getting angry. They didn't have any balls to throw at us because we weren't throwing any back. I couldn't help smiling as I got an idea.

“Follow my lead.”

I killed another two people with the same ambush while waiting for him to come back. They can complain about camping all they want, I'm just staying in a place that's safe from being shot by all the ranged weapons….and they are walking into shotgun range.

Then he comes back. He even brought 2 friends with him. Oh this is too perfect. I go over team chat.

“Half the team is going to be dead soon, guys. Move up.”

One moves around the back entrance as the other two approach the front. My motion tracker shows me all I need to know. What speed they are moving at. Everything else I already have recreated in my head.

This is an amateur attempt at a flank. So naturally my nemesis' friend at the front door jumps the gun. As soon as he takes a step forward I lunge out of my hiding spot and kill him with the shotgun. Running back into the hiding spot with minimal damage as the tool runs after me, shooting. I toss a grenade at my feet as I back up.

It doesn't kill him, but he stops, and that's all I needed as I run out the other side, blasting the person who tried to flank me from the back entrance in half. Then I circle around the outside to try and hit the guy I stalled with the grenade in the back, he's waiting for me so I back up as a grenade detonates, then toss one to make him run for cover and ditch him. Running for the flag.

The plan was this. He and I stand in a single file in front of the pin. Ollie in front of me, me in front of the pin. We only throw one ball at a time so that they can do nothing but throw that one ball right where we want it. Right toward Ollie since we rotated to keep us between their one ball and the pin. Ollie was a good catcher. This plan wouldn't have worked otherwise.

The idiots lost two people to this. Then they were smart enough to throw at Ollie's legs. He jumped to avoid getting hit and I caught it from my position…where I was crouching right behind him. They loose three.

I'm now in my favorite position, shotgun camping the underside of the enemy base. Right under the flag. I'm not going for the flag now. I'm just killing anyone who comes down. They keep coming too, every time trying a new approach that doesn't work because I know they are coming.

I know they are coming because they hate me. They hate me because I am winning. I am winning because I'm doing what I would hate to have done to me.

They deserve every last cheap moment of it.

Meanwhile as they waste manpower trying to root me out my team is pushing forward with less resistance.

Ollie finally missed a catch and I was alone. Theirs nothing left to do. Either I stand in front of the pin and I'm a sitting duck. Or I leave the pin to dodge effectively and the pin is a sitting duck. An un-winnable situation. The other team is agitated. Ollie and I wasted a lot of time. They want this to be over with. It will be soon.

I have reached a stale mate. My nemesis and I stare at each other through the transparent floor the flag rests on. He knows I'm waiting for him, he knows if he comes down I will kill him again. He knows if they ignore me I'll take the flag. My team is bearing down hard on them now. It seems like the other members of my team are keeping the rest of the team at bay with that sniper rifle they won in the fight in the middle. Good boys.

I crouch and stand up a few times. The 'teabag' dance. A show of arrogance to get a reaction. He crouches and stands up as well. He thinks he is brushing me off by treating it as a joke. All he's proving is that he reacted to it. Which means He's focused on me and only me. I break the silence.

“Somebody needs a hug! Why don't you come down here?” I say, in my most annoyingly chipper voice.

“Why won't you die?” he's angry now. I can hear it in his tough guy growl.

“Because I'm better then you.”

“I'm not coming down there.” he says. Trying to prove to me that he is smart enough to out wait me rather then rushing into an obvious death.

“Well then, I have an idea to pass the time!” I am sure to make sure my mike is secure and close to my mouth. It's show time.

I needed a way to make them forget about the pin. It was an easy win for them. In a fit of inspiration I started snapping my fingers as I headed over to the ball I was planning on throwing. It made perfect sense now. This was going to be stupid as hell….but it was going to work.

As I threw the ball at the other team, barely dodged by my target, I started singing out loud.

“This is the song that never ends! It just goes on and on my friends! Some people STARTED singing it, not knowing what it was, and they'll just keep on singing it forever just because…This is the song that never ends…”

I kept going as I dodged the next ball that was thrown at me. Throwing it back and dodging again as I sang. I had officially made them forget about the pin. I could keep dodging their angry throws for a while as well. I was too annoying for them to not attack me. I had my opening.

Now I had to figure out how to win.

“John Jacob Jingleheimer Schmidt, His name is my name, too. Whenever we go out, the people always shout, "There goes John Jacob Jingleheimer Schmidt." La, La, La, La, la, la, la!”
Ooh that's got him going. Where he's looking already betrays his thought processes. 'should I rush in here, or should I rush in there?'

He runs one way. I run the other. Still singing the entire way to the flag. Picking it up and hiding as he doubles back, realizing his mistake. Soon he's rounding the corner I am hiding behind in a crouch. I melee him with the flag in his virtual crotch. In this game that just happens to kill you instantly.

I make my run to my team after that. Singing all the way.

“John Jacob cocken-hammer- schmidt! His name is Mi name toooo. Whenever we go out, the peoples always shout “their goes John Jacob cocken-hammer-schmidt. LALALA lalalalalaaaah.”

The hoard descends from all angles, but my team provides covering fire. The sniper does more then his share to keep me alive much longer then I would live otherwise. If theirs one thing they know it's helping a flag run.

I dodge and weave around cover, putting as many solid objects between me and my enemy as possible. I'm eventually killed halfway around the horseshoe by a good grenade throw but someone else on my team picks up the flag to complete my run.

When I respawn I rush to fire at the enemies shooting our flag carrier. Unloading into their distracted heads with abandon. My team has broken the other team's back. They won't perform nearly as well after this humiliation. Particularly because my nemesis just rage quit. We are a man up. We've already won. Why not have fun with the rest of the match?

Still singing I saw my opening. The few people between me and the pin had their legs spread. I saw a clear shot at the pin.

I took my stance. Feet together, ball in my right hand. Two steps forward, crouch and roll. Mimicking what my dad taught me that one time we went bowling. The ball rolls between the two peoples legs and knocks over the pin. Both the other team's pins were knocked down.

Just like that, I was a winner. My team on the sidelines cheered and rushed around me as the other team stared in disbelief. I got countless pats on the back and felt the buzz of accomplishment and pride. I never forgot what that feels like.

At the end of the match I stare at the remaining names of players from the game in the post game lobby. A teammate pipes up

“good game.”

“yeah…good game!” I reply.

“You fucking camping whore.” One of the other team says, leaving directly afterward.

“E…excuse me?” I stammer out. Not quite sure how to respond.

“Yeah, whore the shotgun some more you annoying cunt.” another member of the opposing team chimes out before leaving as well. My team leaves in silence after that and I am left to my own thoughts.

I feel no pride. I feel no accomplishment.

I just feel like all these fuckers deserve whatever I can do to them.

Mi's current mood: nostalgic

Mi is currently listening to: Frank Sinatra- Cake