Jeremie looked around the room at his coworkers as they all donned the protective clothing. He was a relatively nice person, but some of the people that he worked with made his life difficult for no apparent reason. At times he questioned if they disliked him for his race.
As the only minority in the group, subtle racism was something he felt he always had to fight, but there would be no way to prove that. There was always something some of them found to complain about, but on this day he would finally have the opportunity to vent some of that frustration and hopefully have some fun.
“You’re absolutely certain this won’t hurt?” Cecily said to the Account Manager, Michael Jordan.
He rubbed the smooth surface of his shaved head and sighed. It was the fourth time she’d asked or referenced the possibility of pain in the last five minutes, and he was visibly growing annoyed with her.
“No, Cecily, you will barely feel the pressure with the protective clothing covering you. Just make sure you’re all strapped up, and you’ll be good to go.”
“Is my backside okay?” she said, turning so he could make sure the clothing covered all of her.
He nodded and continued strapping on his own protective gear.
“I kind of feel like wearing protective clothing defeats the purpose of airsoft,” Baker Cooke, the newest member of the team said.
Jeremie liked Baker. They didn’t always see eye to eye, but unlike some of the other members of the team, they were able to discuss things, disagreements and all, without any attitude or ill will. It also helped that they’d both recently had a child and were from the same state originally.
“Maybe, Baker, but we aren’t here for the authentic airsoft experience. We’re here to work on team building and morale. We’ve had a lot of turnovers recently, and this is exactly what we need to solidify further the solid framework of helping one another.”
“My boyfriend goes paintballing all the time. He gave me a few pointers, so you guys are all going down,” Justine Low rock said.
“Well your boyfriend has nothing on my aim,” Rhonda Whitewell said with a grin.
Rhonda was another of the coworkers that Jeremie liked. She was pleasant company and all around friendly, and after having to deal with the attitude of Cecily and Justine for the past few years, having a friendly counter to them was a welcome change.
“Uh oh,” Michael said, a smile spreading across his face. “Looks like we have some competition starting.”
Justine pointed her airsoft gun at Rhonda and Rhonda held up her hands. They both giggled. Since they were both donned in protective clothing, a discharge would have been okay, albeit against the rules.
“But we aren’t competing against each other, right? But against the other account? It’s the Tag team, right?” Cecily said.
“Right,” Michael said. “But we are keeping score just for S&G.”
Baker glanced at Jeremie, a look of confusion on his face. He mouthed
‘S&G.’ Jeremie leaned over to Baker and talked a little above a whisper.
“We don’t curse on this account, so that stands for poop and giggles. The S represents the curse word for poo.”
Baker chuckled and shook his head. He was still getting acclimated to the way things were done, but he seemed to be adjusting just fine. One of the facility employees popped in, knocking on the wall and looking at the floor as if someone might be indecent. Michael acknowledged him and the employee looked up.
“The other team is all set when you are. No change to the rules. You may engage when ready.”
The employee walked out, and Michael made sure everyone was ready before they all pulled their facemasks down. The rules that had been laid out were relatively simple. Use any cover currently existing in the warehouse facility, and react to any shot received as realistic as possible. Head and chest shots mean the receiver would be dead, and they would have to wait out the remainder of the round before coming back to life. There would be two rounds.
The group of coworkers shuffled through the exit and out into the main warehouse structure. The ceiling was a solid 100 feet up, and a number of rusted metal pylons were scattered throughout. Whatever had been housed in the warehouse previously had left a few orangish stains on the ground.
Some puddles also littered the environment, and it was obvious that upkeep on the warehouse was kept to a minimum to provide a more authentic experience.
Metal barricades had been added generously to the warehouse to provide routes and cover, and a person would be unable to walk straight from one end to the other. Most of the routes were heavily concealed to allow maximum team organization and attack strategy, but in the end, the two work groups would have to meet in the middle and start shooting each other.
As the account manager, Michael led the way, giving his best military impression motion for ‘follow me.’ The corridors only allowed for two people to stand side by side at a time, and Jeremie was unlucky enough to be placed next to Cecily. She reeked of old lady perfume, but Jeremie kept that to himself and tried to concentrate. Evil ideas of shooting her in the back and claiming it was an accident-filled his head, but he restrained, and the group kept moving forward. Justine and Rhonda were behind him, and Baker brought up the rear with Justice Hundred, the least liked member of the group.
“Enemy contact, six o’clock,” Michael yelled, ducking down behind a metal divider.
“Where the heck is six o’clock,” Cecily yelled, and Jeremie shook his head. He found the closest cover, preventing Cecily from getting a good spot. She stood in the open as pellets whizzed by. She screamed as one bounced off the front of her face mask and Jeremie almost laughed. She threw down her gun and sat on the dirty floor, pouting as the rest continued to play.
With Cecily out, Jeremie finally started to enjoy himself. He popped out from cover and fired a few rounds at nothing in particular before popping back behind cover. Now with a relatively good idea of where the enemy was, he popped out and landed a clean hit on the team leader of the other side.
Losing their leader meant chaos for the opposing team, and Jeremie’s group was able to overcome the enemy with little trouble. They were all hoops and hollers of glee for pulling out the victory, except for Cecily, but no one seemed to pay her any attention and Jeremie was happy he only had to deal with her for a few moments. They reset, and everyone was paired with different people, and Jeremie hoped to be the cause for victory the second time around.