18 Apr 2000 FarcePest   » (Journeyer)

I'm still recovering from Saturday's paintball excursion.

7:30 a.m.: Get out of bed. Not used to getting up that early on any day of the week, let alone Saturday. Drive 90 mi to the paintball place. Yawn.

11 a.m.: We finally get organized for the first game. You could actually rent camo at this place, but I brought some old black&white urban/winter camo, with a dark blue shirt that's kinda like long underwear in texture. I'm not sure how badly that affected my visibility, as we were in a forest. Then again, the paintballs were also blue, but this turned out not to matter.

First game: Capture the flag, take it to the enemy base. I'm part of the group going after the flag. Thwock! Hit in the back of the head. I get a little cover, start feeling around, and... no paint == no kill. But we wiped 'em out.

Second game: Same as first. Took a hit on the gun. That does count. I think we lost that one.

Third game: The ridge. Same basic rules, the terrain is much, much more hilly. I am way too out of shape to be doing a lot of running around, so I stayed back to defend the base. Got hit on the wrist, no paint again. Last player alive on our team. They called it when they thought we were all dead, but it would have been five against one...

Fourth game: Same. Stayed to defend. Saw basically nothing. But by moving around I might have lured some enemies out to shoot at me, whereupon they got taken out. We won that one.

To this point, I have not gotten any paint on my body.

Lunch: Huge subs from Publix. One of the other players who only wore a T-shirt had a nice crater in his arm, courtesy of Centove. Those paintballs travel 300 feet per second. From what I could tell, it took a couple layers of skin. Ouch.

Fifth game: POW rescue. Defenders (us) entrenched. Rescuers have to grab the flag from us, take it back to their base, within 10 minutes. Finally I get to do a lot of shooting. Snipe, snipe, snipe. After getting a little bored, and with about a minute left, I moved up to the next barricade. Got nailed in the head. The headgear they give you covers your eyes, face, and sides of your head, which is good because this one hit right on the ear. Headgear did it's job, though some paint came through the vents.

Sixth game: Same, except some people on the other team had to leave, so I was on defense again. My old team came in running suicidally. Blew away Centove, maybe my boss, too. When you've got a whole bunch of 'em running straight towards you, you pretty much just have to get the range right. I almost pegged one of the refs; he sure did dance around a lot, but he was standing right between two legitimate targets... I got enough paint on the ankle to count as a hit, but we won immediately thereafter.

Seventh game: Another huge hill. Run as far as I could, then get some cover. Sited enemy trying to outflank us and splattered him. Turned out to be Centove yet again. Couldn't really see anyone else. Got nailed, hard, trying to move up.

Eight game: Same. Best cover I had was three pine logs. Had to stay pretty low. I think I got two. Then I got into a real short-range firefight with someone behind a big piece of plywood. We exchanged a lot of rounds, but I eventually took a gun hit.

Throughout all the games, I maybe took eight to ten hits on my upper body, and none of them broke paint. Lucky? More like, my body was absorbing the blow enough that the ball didn't break. I have a nice silver dollar size bruise on my shoulder from one, and some smaller bruises elsewhere.

Back hurt some later that evening. Right leg hurt a lot more the next day, and today. Whatever muscle it is on top of your thigh that you need for climbing stairs.

It was fun though, and we were lucky: T-storms were forecast, and it never rained, but it was really humid towards the end.

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