They're Random, Baby!

Posted By: skavenger_s7 Date: 1/12/03 7:14 a.m.

It is long, but not "dry"..........and not everyone will get it.....

If you read it all, you WILL understand......

It was a warm Saturday morning, and with all my usual chores done I called up my brother Mike to see if he wanted to cruz over to the mall with me. We agreed to meet at the south end of the super mall near Target. In our hometown we have a mall that is close to a mile long and two stories tall. It has many open areas inside for aesthetic beauty I guess, and several outbuildings in the parking lot for McDonalds, a tire store and so on...........As to attempt a "something for everyone" appeal. The only thing I was interested in was the video game sections of Target at one end of the mall and Wal-Mart at the other. These two competing stores had very loyal employees and were currently in a pricing war to which I hoped to be the beneficiary.

I strolled into a mostly empty parking lot at about 9:45. I would have thought that by this time there would have been more people rushing around getting set up for another busy day. As I started across the 400 acre parking lot, things started to get a little quiet. Not like Twilight Zone quiet, but just not as much going on as was usual. Like, even the sounds of the cars in the busy street behind me faded a bit as I looked back.

The overhead speakers were playing some sort of elevator music and I noticed the gates to all the stores were raised as I entered the automatic double glass doors. It was almost 10am now and hardly a soul could be found. A few scattered employees and a janitor placing bags in the trash cans were within view as I started south inside the mall. I was looking for Mike as I walked but figured he was already there waiting for me. I came to the big red Target symbol and proceeded through the red doors. As I made my way into the electronics section my mouth dropped open. How could I have forgotten about the big day? The day Microsoft unleashed its flagship game. A game we had all been waiting for............ well it seemed like forever. The dozens of red shirted employees buzzed around finishing one of the most impressive store displays I have ever seen. Witnessing an event that seemed to take up the entire gaming section I saw a life-size metal tank. It had a scorpion emblem on it. Out of the top was a 12-foot pole with a logo of the game being sold on a red satin background. On the floor were stacks of Xbox consoles and two full size displays of some sort of Jeep looking 4X4 on steroids. Man this looked reckless cool. I really had not paid much attention but the employees had special red target shirts that had drawn on them outlines to make them resemble a combat outfit. I thought that was cool.

"This was shaping up to be a righteous day. I could see the video monitors being set up for a full day of demos. YES! I was going to spend the whole day here... But where was my brother. I pulled out my cell phone and called him up. "Where the hell are you", I asked. He said he was in Wal-Mart at the north end of the mall where I told him to be. I said "No, we were meeting at the south end...at Target" I told him to never mind and just get his but down here, he was not going to believe what I was seeing. He stopped me short and described almost the exact same setting in Wal-Mart. "No way", I said. I raced down the mall to get a look for myself. He was right the exact same set up with the same details right down to the employee shirts with the combat suit design, except in blue of course for store identification. But even without breakfast in my gut, and even though it was early for me on a Saturday, I did somehow notice the satin flag in this store was blue and not red like the other one.

We decided to hang out and be first in line to play the demo games when it opened. They fired up the consoles and we started to roll with this new game. Some employees played us in a game called Team Slayer. They made us be the red team.... Company loyalty and all.... whatever...... Well, this is where it got a little odd. We were into the game about 10 minutes and I head a little disturbance coming from the front of the store. I couldn't really get a good view from where I was standing but Wal-Mart security was having a heated discussion with someone. Or a couple of someones. Not paying much attention to it I refocused back to my game. I was rocking these dudes! All at once I realized the guys I was shooting at were not moving; they were still. I looked over and the losers had dropped all the controllers and weren't even playing. "Damn".......... "I was doing' good too." So I stopped and took notice of the electronics' employees sort of gathering at the edge of their section, and taking notice of the discussion that had turned into a scuffle up front.

These guys were standing there like they were begging the guards to let whoever it was through so they could deal with them. Listening to them trash talk, and sizing them up myself I thought they were pretty lucky someone else was handling it for them. All of a sudden it dawned on me as I focused my eyes a little closer on the wrestling match at the storefront. It was like 4 Wal-Mart guys taking apart 2 guys with Target shirts on. All I could make out was a bit of trash talking. As everyone was watching the mess, my brother tapped my shoulder and pointed back. I looked around to see what looked like 2 target employees making their way through the back isles toward us. At one point between islands I saw the first guy carrying a gun. "Holy Shit!" I knew they were there to help get their friends from the mob at the front of the store. But why didn't they just charge down the mall and get to them quick.

I backed away and watched as they came halfway through the electronics section and stopped. With a confused look I saw a second guy drop down in front of the tank display and draw out what looked like a shotgun. The second guy climbed the tank, shimmied up the pole and broke off the last part with the banner on it. All at once the section guys who had not left their area noticed him and began to run and scream right for him and us. As they ran, they all sported weapons. "Shit", I muttered as I ducked away, my brother disappearing the other direction. The red guy began a full sprint to the back of the store and the red guy with the shotgun stood up and began to fire off rounds at the oncoming employees. One Wal-Mart guy dove behind the counter and one fell dead, others scattered for cover. One drew a pistol and began to get a bead on the guy leaving with his banner. The shotgun guy fired at him as he ran by unwaivered to his issue of cracking off rounds at the red guy leaving out the back. The Wal-Mart guy went down dead, and the red shotgun guy followed. A Wal-Mart guy shouted he had made it to the back door first, and assured his buddies there was no way that guy left out yet. They all began to search. I had taken the cowards position and cleared out a row of TV's on a bottom shelf and replaced them with me. I could here the heavy footsteps all around me, like metal on metal. I braved to peer out and down the isle came a crouching red shirted guy with a short pole and banner. He got right next to me and said I needed to help him. "No freaking way dude", I said. Two blue guys started down from the far end at us and I bailed. With my back to him I ran! He started after me as they drilled him with rounds as fast as they could pull the trigger. I heard him yell. "Take it" and gasp as he died. Right as I turned the end cap all of a sudden I was carrying the stupid thing. WTF???? Shell casings hitting the floor all around me, and muzzle flashes so close I could feel the heat, as I dove and wedged myself out of harms way. “Who was shooting at who here?" I glanced around and saw red shirts mixed with blue running around the smoke filled room. I needed to get this stupid thing to them, as I am sure they were here looking for their buddy, and for whatever reason this banner.

An explosion rocked the room and bodies went everywhere and I ended up on my back. As the ringing in my head subsided I opened my eyes to see the bottom of an oil pan and to hear the rumbling of an engine starting. I rolled out and Mike was in the driver’s seat of the jeep thing. He yelled, "Get in, we are outta here!" I jumped in the side seat and we took off mowing people over. I was taking small arms fire like it was my job, And the hallways in this building that had seemed so big when I strolled in were now hanging us up at every corner. "Can’t you drive this thing better?"... I screamed. Every few seconds it sounded like a fender or some body part was coming off. But it stayed intact with every crunch. We drew near the doorway to outside. The red guys seemed to step aside and kind of slow our pursuers for us. And for that I was thankful. Man, we hit that doorway at full speed and without so much as trading paint with the building we shot out into the parking lot. It was like a breath of fresh air! The relief I felt as I swung around and could see no blue guys slowed my heart to a normal pace.

"Ouch!"... I was getting tagged. Looking around there was this one guy...way off. Mike was steering as clear as could be. "No way could this guy take me out from that far" But there we were, 65 miles an hour, in and out of parked cars, this guy 500 yards away and every shot was hurting more than my feelings. Mike gave a harsh right turn and back inside the mall we went. Once inside he made a sharp left...and that's all I saw. I think I saw a flicker of fire right before the jeep exploded into three full end-over-end spins and tossing me and my death gripped banner into the air. I must admit the view I had while I was being propelled was incredible. I felt like I was on my last red drop of blood when I landed up on the second open floor of the mall. Mikes body was below me sprawled over a park bench, in some ungodly position that allowed me to know every bone was broken. He looked like a rag doll. I took off running. I figured the sooner I got to Target the sooner I could go home. Amazingly enough the people below obviously could not tell what had happened to me, as they were looking behind every tree and plant for me, or maybe this banner. But all at once a shot grazed the side of my head and the shot fired from that rifle was like a big arrow pointing at me. As hurt as I was, I seemed to be running at the same speed as before...? Odd... but who cares, I was focused, pissed, and close! I had 50 yards to go when I heard the most horrific glass breaking sound of my life. The building shook me to my knees and I turned back to the north end of the mall to see that tank come crashing slowly though the gateway between Wal-Mart and the mall. At least he was way back there and I felt like I could almost run as fast as that thing was rolling anyways. Feeling safe I rose up and took off again. Red guys were coming out of nowhere and positioning themselves between the blue guys and me. I was up on the second floor, most traffic and fighting was below me. But I was weak, and needed to find a Jemoke to toss this thing to. I came upon a walkway that went to the other side, where there were two red guys. I made my dash as the tank lobbed a shell from way far away...a lucky shell that hit the walkway beneath my feet. I threw the banner to the red guy who had been making his way to me. I was down............. Not dead but face down hurt. The red guy continued my path with ricocheting bullets about his head. Still on my stomach I looked to the right and down all the way back to Wal-Mart. I saw a guy taking position with a sniper rifle. He had no shot as long as my boy stayed high, wouldn't even be able to get a bead on him. I tossed my head left and saw my red guy with the banner at the end of the mall. He made a tremendous leap towards the bottom floor, trying to land right at the red doors to Target. I held my breath as he jumped. The pistol shots were random due to their distance... in 3 seconds he would be in the clear... Home free......... This would be over... But in the air... a vapor trail pierced through him, forcing the banner to an almost unreachable spot. High it bounced with almost a mind of its own. Up to a skylight close to 40 feet above the floor. With mountain climbing accuracy the red guys started up the ledges and obstacles. While an onslaught of blue guys tried to remove whoever was in the lead ................

I lay there in pain as the rumble ran beneath me and blood pools filled the floors and walls. I needed to get up..........................

(To be continued?)

If this sucked... I didn’t write it, ok?

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