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Monday, July 17, 2006

"One shot, one kill." -Sniper Motto

Look! It’s a wookie! No! It’s a pile of brush! No, it’s a… wait, what is that? It’s a sniper barrel pointed at the unsuspecting paintball player, looking so much like a deer caught in the headlights. That is the reaction when you finally realize that a sniper has you in his sights and that there is nothing left to do but pray. I introduce you to the new and improved Mike for Patinball v. 2.0: the bushrag-wearing, point-sight toting, sound-suppressing, fear-inducing, machine of godly stealth. Behold Action Ghillie! It’s death on wings baby!

I spent hours carefully attaching this mesh of leaf to my camo pants, jacket, mask and gun. Over all I would estimate that it took about 10 hours start to finish, all the while eagerly anticipating the advantage I would gain when I dawned my cloak of seeming invisibility. I carefully dialed my laser point sight for a distance of 35 yards and ran through about a hundred shots to acquaint myself with it, learning the feel of the gun against my shoulder, how to lay my head against the stock, breathing correctly, proper bracing, the whole nine yards. This gun feels so natural that you don’t even have to think about aiming it. The Tippmann A5 is a beautiful piece of paintball magic. Add that to the laser sight and Action Ghillie and you have a very dangerous opponent.

So, after hours upon hours of preparation I eagerly approach the paintball field thinking since I am about 15 minutes late that everyone will be ready to start the game. As I pull up to the meeting ground I notice that it is desolate. Not just that people were missing, possibly out playing the first game, but that no one was even there yet. No vehicles, no equipment, nothing! save me and the quiet whisper of the trees. My mind races. Surely this is the right weekend! Yes, I remember Randy telling me the 15th. Maybe I’m early, maybe he said 2:00 instead? As I begin to doubt my memory and very sanity I notice Randy in the distance sitting in a lawn chair.

“So, Randy… Where is everybody?”

“What do you mean, this is everybody.”

“You’re kidding me right…”

“Oh, Lane’s in the house.”

“So there are three of us? Grrrreat…”

Needless to say, no one else showed up. All our friends are losers and were busy, sick, or forgot, each of them knowing that this was the first weekend for paintball in over six weeks! Okay, so maybe I was a little upset. I had put all this time into making my ghillie and now I might not even get to use it? Talk about disappointing!

We decided to play critical strike, three-way free for alls with reincarnation after one minute, each starting at a different corner of the field. Critical strike means it takes a single shot to the head, two to the chest, or five anywhere else to be eliminated. I suggested this style for two reasons. 1) There were only three of us and we needed something to make it more challenging. 2) I am a sniper who goes for the single shot kills. Perhaps it was slated in my favor, but everyone agreed. I dawned my suit, and after a few minutes of prep we were in our positions. I yell, “Ready!” and wait for the whistle blow. The shrill cry of the whistle pierces the quiet of the woods and we’re off! I quickly make my way to the creek bed and cross. I find a nice perch with good cover and an escape route if needed. Now I wait. I sit still, become one with the forest. “Yes little bird, I am a bush, pay no attention to the man behind the curtain.” The sounds of the woods resume, the sounds that are absent when people intrude. The woods had forgotten my existence, I was invisible! I look to my right, no one there. I hear the faint splash of someone walking in the creek. I wait. Minutes later my mark comes stalking down the creek, slowly, filled with caution. “Mike could be anywhere, I must move slowly,” he thinks.

I watch as he carefully looks the area over, each bank of the creek, advancing ever so slowly. I remain motionless. He walks out past the brush I am using as additional cover, but to his folly, he is scanning the opposite side of the creek; though had he been looking directly at me, my guess is that he would never have seen me. He stands motionless not twenty feet from me! I slowly raise my marker, place my head to the stock, peer through the scope, down the barrel and fix the laser on his head. I brace, hold my breath and smoothly pull the trigger. THWAP! A white dot appears on the top of his helmet. He is stunned! “Head shot!,” he cries out, completely mystified. He futilely looks over the area again, now that he has been eliminated, but to no avail. He shakes his head after about ten seconds and leaves the game, never seeing his eliminator.

Later, once they learned that I looked a lot like a pile of brush, they started shooting at anything that looked like a pile of brush, like trying to scare a rabbit out of his hole. No sniper would survive if he got spooked every time he heard fire. I’ve had paint wizz over my head, inches from my helmet and never moved an inch. “Hey… what’s the pile of brush doing in the creek!” They got me that time, but that was the only time! Mwuahahaha! I ended the day with four kills to one death. I’d say the new ghillie did the trick! My hours of labor had paid off. The sniper was complete.


Blogger Rachel said...

Nice Mike. Your camo is awesome. Have you ever gone real hunting? I think you would like it. You get the same thrill and excitement as playing paintball.

7/18/2006 10:18 AM  

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