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Anything that can go wrong will go wrong. –Murphy’s Third Law
The borrowed 2k2 LCD Intimidator sat in my gear bag along with two spare barrels, my pack, pods, a loader, my mask, a 45/4500 HPA tank, and a bit of cash. I had seen James’ Intimidator in action on the field before he stopped playing on a regular basis. Aside from a freak accident that cracked the LCD screen, everything was fine.
Except for the fact I arrived late for the tournament.
Scrambling to complete registrations, waiver forms, and preparations we barely made it onto the field. James’ HPA tank did not fit the field’s fill station and so I quickly borrowed a friend’s tank. The loudspeaker blared our name, giving a thirty second forfeiture warning. Usually I am exceptionally early for events but after waiting around for two hours the previous time and having things start late, I figured I’d try to get little extra sleep. I threw the gun down quickly and ran toward the field. Maybe I could grab the flag for points because I had no time to prepare the marker. The refs waited for us, probably because of countless other times our team stood at our starting box waiting for up to five minutes for a team to play against. I ran by the black curtain, a friend quickly slid his stock class CCI Phantom and one tube of paint under the dense spectator netting.
“Ten second burn, three, two, one, ten seconds!”
“We got a plan? Where you going?”
”Standup and then to snake. Just shoot all of them.”
“Sounds like a good plan to me.”
“Just play it like any other game.”
“Go, Go, Go!”
Tons of magazines and websites have written about the importance of being on time for a tournament and being well prepared. Bring enough stuff to prepare for any disaster, walk the fields, question referees to avoid any nasty surprises along the way, and work as a team. Of course this doesn’t really mean a lot when you’re out of breath while running to the start box, referees glancing to their watches in anticipation.
So you’ve prepared for the big disaster and nothing can possibly go wrong. Just remember, if something simply cannot go wrong, it will anyway. Rather than provide a list on preparing for every possible problem that could occur, I’ve provided a list of ways to stay cool under the pressure. If you are your team’s captain, this responsibility becomes even greater. Problems and accidents will pop up even for the most prepared teams.
I peered out from the standup, trying to carefully use the few rounds I had. Alan moved up suddenly, bunkering one player and getting a mutual elimination on a second. As he walked off the field, I saw Sam make a dash for the snake, pink splats covering his body. I sprinted toward the fifty, taking a bounce off my right shoulder and diving into the bunker, grabbing the flag. One twelve gram, two tubes, and one opponent. I figured I could wait for the end of the game and get points for final flag possession.
Firing three balls at a head that popped out on occasion, I realized that I wasn’t going to get a good shot off and that the twelve gram didn’t have too much air left inside of it. Bunkering him would be too risky and time was on my side. He finally lost patience, perhaps realizing that the referees on the sidelines were checking their watches, making a break for a nearby standup. I threw a shot in his direction, the Phantom’s lone “foomp” barely audible with the Intimidator’s string of paint. Running behind the standup he started to throw more paint my way as I tucked into the side of the 50. Referees ran toward him and the crowd cheered, the player’s yellow mask decorated with a single pink splotch. “With the freakin pump gun!” one spectator yelled as I hung the flag on a dejected opponent’s base. I walked away relieved. With a little luck, a calm attitude, and some help from a spectator, even Murphy's Law can be sent to the deadbox.