Melton’s advantages were two-fold. First, he was overweight, and everyone assumed he was out of shape. Because of this they often paid little attention to him until it was too late, or they tried reckless attacks that ended in their demise.
Second, he had always been big, and throughout high school, he was bullied to no end. Gym was his least favorite class, and anytime dodgeball was played he instantly became the biggest target. Because he hated the sting of rubber against his skin, he learned to dance around the incoming balls, and though unlikely, that skill carried over well into airsoft.
Doing a backbend to dodge the BBs of the man firing in front of him, Melton put a hand on the ground and pointed his gun between his legs, forming a mountain with his belly. The incoming attacker had aimed for his chest, and when Melton fired he aimed for the same target but he met his mark. He supported his weight on the hand on the ground and flipped back until his feet were on solid ground again.
“Good dodge, Melly,” Laura said, her deep voice fitting with the situation.
Melton was the team captain. The three teammates had formed a V-pattern behind him as the moved to the next room of the house. The floorboards creaked, and he moved gracefully forward.
“I swear, this guy demolishes every code and notion of how airsoft is to be played,” said the enemy that had been downed by Melton.
Melton ignored the comment, but Laura opted to respond. Being his best friend, she was a little protective of him, even though he needed no protection.
“I’m pretty sure running forward and shooting without your team kills the point of a team sport,” she fired back, debating shooting him again but reframing.
The other three members of the team remained quiet, and Melton poked a head into the room. A table had been overturned as a blockade and was pushed against the wall. The face of it was riddled with nicks and pocks. There was a single light bulb on in the corner of the room, and it stretched shadows out from behind the table.
Melton moved away from the door and motioned for the team to huddle.
“There’s three of them in that room. That leaves one still putzing around,” he said with a whisper.
“So what’s the plan? You’re the pro at all this,” John said, the teammate Melton knew the least.
“I’m pretty sure I can distract them by staying here. There should be a way for you guys to flank, and we can get them in one fell swoop. Just keep an eye out for the straggler.”
“We’ll be home in time to watch the Sunday night game,” Eric, another member of the team said with a smile.
The team broke the huddle, and Melton swayed his way over to the threshold. The shadows had barely moved, and he grinned. He spun past the opening, and one of the enemy team members fired a controlled burst at him, missing by miles. He stuck his gun around the corner and fired two shots just to keep them on their toes.
Standing in the threshold for a few seconds, Melton moved to the rhythm of his own maracas. The shadows all shifted upward, and he narrowed his eyes. A glint from the backlight caught on the black muzzle of one of the enemy’s airsoft rifles, and he dipped his shoulder as it fired. The pellet whistled by his ear and his heart danced a new tune.
Another glint told him another shot was coming, and he tossed his gun up and onto his belly, leaning back with both arms as the shots sailed toward his chest. Now seeing him in full view, all three of the members stood and aimed their rifles. Melton snagged the airsoft gun from his stomach and rolled to the side, firing as he moved. He missed wide, but seconds later pellets ricocheted off the ground where he was.
Smirking, he pressed his back against the doorframe, and movement in the room he was in caught his eye. At first, he thought it was the guy he had downed earlier, but his instinct screamed otherwise. He glanced up as the newcomer aimed, firing just as he jumped to the left and barrel rolled.
He came out the roll and stopped with one foot on the ground, and one stretched out behind him. He aimed and fired two shots into the newcomer’s chest. The guy cursed and threw his rifle down, and Melton raised an eyebrow. Some guns could get pricey, so to treat weapon like that was a little insane.
The clip-clop of boots against old wood pulled his attention, and he spun again in time to see the three remaining members of the enemy squad. They fanned out through the door, and all three dropped to one knee as they aimed at him.
The pop of airsoft rifles discharging made Melton close his eyes in anticipation of the brief stings, but the pain never came. He opened his eyes and saw the disappointed looks on the three enemy members’ faces. Lined up behind them were his four teammates, and it was obvious they had already attacked.
“Victory to team Mighty Metal!” Laura bellowed, lifting her gun in salute.
The team followed suit and chanted their victory mantra: metal and might, a movement so slight. Team metal fights clear on through the night. Fight, Fight, Metal Might!
Despite frustrated phrases and rants about honor and despicable dancing, the losing team willingly exited the house with the winning team. They walked back to the front desk and reported the match.
“Team Mighty Metal. That’s your sixth consecutive victory.
No one else even has three back to back wins, so I think it’s safe to declare you guys the winner.”
“Oh, what do we win?” Laura said, slapping the counter with a palm as she held up her gun and positioned the stock against her shoulder.
“You actually have a choice. You can either pick a month of free memberships to the facility, or a giant book of coupons.
The team looked to Melton, as he was always the main reason they won, and he smiled a big grin. “I totally pick the coupons. The group sighed, but no one objected. Melton took the prize and headed with them toward the exit.