Clowns, Caps, and Frags
Posted By: Chuckles<firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: 18 June 2004, 4:35 PM
"Clowns, caps and frags." Ydnar's face was at once serious and amused as he spoke these words to Red team. "Kill the Clowns, capture the flag and frag the whole stinkin' Blue team if that's what it takes to get it back here for a score."
Jack, a young noob, spoke, unable to hide his fear. "Kill the Clowns?! You speak as if it were easy. I have heard stories about what they can do. That flag is not worth my life! The Clowns--"
"Die, no different than anyone else!" Ydnar hissed angrily. He walked over and placed the barrel of his pistol squarely on the rookie's forehead. "One." He pulled the trigger and Jack's head lurched back as the shield absorbed the shot and dropped to half. "Two." He fired again and the shield dropped completely. The noob tried to run, but Ydnar held his neck in a vice grip. "Three." Silence. The rookie breathed a sigh of relief. "Three shots will kill a Clown, as easily as it will kill a coward." Then, to their horror, Ydnar cocked his shotgun and leveled it at Jack's head.
The noob dropped to the ground like a sack of wheat. "One blast from a shotgun will get it done even quicker. Anybody else afraid of clowns?" His grisly ploy had worked: they now feared him more than the enemy. "Let me handle the Clowns."
This week we are going to ask ourselves a very important question: what do we live for? Why this question in an anger management course, you might ask? Simple: anger is often caused by a lack of goals and direction. Once an individual finds a reason to live, they also find a purpose.
Ydnar, invisible with an overshield, had just reached the tunnel transition on Sidewinder. "Now!" He said, and then eased through the connecting tunnel.
Below him, two of the better players on Red team drove a Warthog around the horseshoe, towards Blue base. At the same time two of the lesser players on Red ran across Blue's warp towards the rocket-launcher. As he heard the first shot ring out, Ydnar came out of the tunnel and saw KrustyKlown with his back to him, firing at the hog.
He smacked him down, leapt over the rocks to ground level and sprinted for the enemy base. Chuckles had already dropped the two who had emerged from the warp and was now concentrating on the warthog, which had just turned and headed back home. As it disappeared around the horseshoe, Chuckles eased back into his position; in the shadows to the right of Blue base. Ydnar, just now becoming visible, was standing directly behind him.
You can tell when somebody knows what they are living for AND are pursuing it. Oh yes, it is obvious. They have purpose, direction and security. They seem to have more energy than others. And, most importantly for us, they struggle with anger very little. I think everyone here tonight can see the benefit of that.
Ah, the moment had come at last. Ydnar smiled invisibly beneath his helmet. He would frag this ridiculous clown the way he deserved: a humiliating smackdown from behind. He raised his weapon to strike--
Chuckles spun around. Ydnar's euphoria turned to stunned surprise, as the clown gripped his neck and held him against the rock wall. "Well, hiya Yd. Nice of you to visit." Then glancing up to Krusty's post, and back at Ydnar again, a dark realisation washed over him.
"How did you . . . Where is Krusty?! "
Ydnar was silent: there was no good answer to that question. The clown lifted him until his feet dangled, and then pressed the sniper-rifle under Ydnar's chin, forcing him to stare straight up at the sky. "Tell me what you did with Krusty, or I'll blow your head off."
Ydnar laughed. "No. No you won't."
"Oh? And why won't I?"
"Because" Ydnar answered in a voice that chilled the air, "you didn't reload."
The SR gave a metallic "Click" as the trigger pulled on an empty chamber. Ydnar shoved the clown away, and fired his shotgun, dropping Chuckles to the ground. The clown rolled over and came instantly back to his feet holding a rocket launcher. They fired simultaneousy. Chuckles' rocket whizzed past Ydnar's face and exploded into the wall behind him, destroying his shield generator and throwing him twenty-feet. He landed on top of Chuckles.
Unlike the Clown, Ydnar had aimed perfectly. Chuckles lay under him, barely clinging to life. He was trying to say something. Ydnar could not make it out, so he leaned closer. He heard it, faintly:
Chuckles grabbed him in a bear-hug, and Ydnar heard the clank of a grenade hitting the ground beside them. He didn't have to wonder if it was armed. Instictively, Ydnar rolled sideways, using Chuckles as a shield an instant before the blast threw them against the front of the base like rag dolls.
Understand this: anybody who has something to live for, also has something to die for. If you are willing to live for it, you will be willing to die for it. Thus, less anger, less frustration. If you are willing to die for something, if you no longer fear death you are invincible. You have crossed over to a place where fear and anger are powerless.
Ydnar's health had dropped dangerously low, but he looked with some satisfaction at the fallen clown. There was, however, no time for gloating: he had to get the flag.
Thankful to find the base empty, he needed to replace his destroyed weapons. He found only a single pistol, with two shots left in the clip. It would have to do. He grabbed the flag and went running back to his base, using the tunnels. At the transition, he heard someone approaching, and hid behind the rock next to the tunnel.
Lexicus emerged carrying the Red flag. He appeared to be uninjured, and well armed. Ydnar had a decision to make: return to the base, or fight Lex to return the Red flag? If he didn't get his flag back now, he might not get it back at all. Lex was close right now , real close.
But, of course, he had no shield, no grenades and only two bullets for his pistol. His chances with Lex were usually about even, all things being equal. Right now, things were ridiculously unequal.
Wearily, but utterly without fear Ydnar stepped from behind the rocks holding only his pistol. He fired two ineffective shots and then rushed unarmed towards Lexicus and almost certain death. He had a flag to return.
It's time for us all to share. We'll go one-by-one around the circle, and answer this week's question. Ydnar, you go first. Tell us, what do you live for?