We were ill-prepared for their weaponry skills. We had spent weeks discussing tactics and strategy, and it was all for nothing. They just were too powerful for us.
My commanding officer, Lieutenant Gainsborough, was the first to be taken. They had known just where he would be somehow. He had held on as long as he could, but he stood no chance at survival. And it had been a direct hit to the chest.
When I looked over to see him fall, I no longer cared about my own well being. I ran to him as quickly as I could. When I reached him, I fell to my knees, grabbed his arms, and pulled him to safety. I took off my overcoat, and put it below his head to give him some comfort. He looked up to me with tears running down his eyes. I looked to his chest and saw the warm, crimson mark.
“You’ll be all right, sir,” I said, holding his hand.
“James,” he whispered.
“Yes, sir? Please, what is it?” I replied, lowering my head to his to better hear him as he lay with labored breath.
“You—are such—an asshole.” he choked out.
“Why do you—always have to—making paintball into a war epic?”
Gainsy got up and leaned against the large semi-truck tire we were hiding behind. “I’m not your lieutenant, James. Jesus Christ! You have got to stop Band-of-Brothers’ing everyone!”
I looked over at the other guys, who had all lifted their protective masks. Patrick and Andy were laughing so hard they looked like they were going to pee themselves. They hadn’t lost their sense of humor, at least. But most of the guys were just shaking their heads.
“We’re playing paintball, guys,” I found myself shouting to my naysayers as they walked off. “We are grown men playing semi-competitive paintball! Can we please try to have a little fun?”