Charm to Disarm When You’re in a Jam

An earthquake shook the game world for ten uninterrupted seconds. Explosive crates flew into the air and blew up when they slammed into the ground. Ammo crates were caught in a whirling windstorm and scattered across the map, distressing players who had memorized their spawn points. Sara’s character, who belonged to the red team, ran through a storm of whizzing RPGs and mortar blasts, and she minded the minefields.

One blast landed too close for comfort, and Sara’s character rolled to avoid it, falling into a shell crater. Another member of the red team cowered in the crater’s dirt as if shell shocked. Who knows what his owner was doing.


Sara yelled into her mic, “Pull yourself together! We can’t stay here. We’ve got to move. Let’s dash like hell on the count of three. 1, 2…”

Suddenly, a mortar blast vaporized Sara’s comrade. “I’ve had enough of this!” Sara said.  She charged through the smoke without knowing her next stop. It was like she was running through a perpetual dust storm without a map. She tripped but got back on her feet only to see a massive blue flag. She was in front of blue team’s base.

The significance of this flag had not yet dawned on Sara or her character, for they were both enchanted by the imaginary smell of barbecued meat. To be exact, she found herself in front of the blue team’s mess hall. The cook was grilling blue burgers so juicy that the grease sometimes leaked out and landed on the charcoals. Sara and her character imagined the smell of the fat wafting into their noises. Both of their tummies grumbled for some of the meat that neither of them could have.

Sara saw the blue team’s cook behind the grill. “Easy prey,” said she as she licked her lips. She lifted her rifle and pulled the trigger.

Click, click, click.

Sara shook the controller and her character, in response, shook the useless weapon. The character threw the gun away as Sara considered doing the same motion with her controller. Sara stopped and scratched her chin for a minute. She nodded and then decided to make her move.

“Hey, good lookin’ what’s cookin’?”

Dean, the man who played as the cook for the blue team, only heard the latter part of her question. With his back still turned to Sara, he said, “Cookin’ burgers. It’ll regenerate our team members’ health ten times faster than med packs.”

Dean’s character turned around and was about to toss a blue burger at his guest. “Hey,” he said, “you’re red!” I’m not supposed ta be fraternizing with the enemy.”

“Oh yeah,” Sara said as she made her character wink and lick her lips, “maybe I could make it worth your character’s while.” Dean went silent. His character stood still.

“Ya know, I’m thinking of going blue. Do you think the blue outfit would look good on my character?” Sara had her character twirl around on the battlefield as mortars blasted overhead and men screamed in agony for their mothers.

“Duhhh… yeah!” said Dean, who was slack-jawed for a couple of seconds before he replied.

“I could start by trying out your rifle and seeing how it looks on me. What do ya say?”

Still entranced, Dean said, “Uhhh sure.”

Sara snickered so hard and shook so much in response that she had to cover her mic. “I can’t believe he just did that,” she thought.

Dean heard static and spoke up, “Hey what’s that noise on your end?”

Sara straightened her face, killed the laughter and dried the tears from her cheeks. She said, “Huh? Oh, nothing.”

Sara’s character picked up the gun and reloaded it.

“How do you use one of these cofounded blue toys?” she asked as she turned it in every direction.

“Well, you start by pointing and… hey don’t point it at me!” said Dean.

Sara’s character pressed the gun’s trigger until her whole hand turned white. Meanwhile, off-screen, Sara’s own hand also turned white as she held down the trigger.


Dean’s character fell to the ground like a sack of concrete.

“Hey, no fair!” 

“Haha! Later loser” said Sara. Her character ran forward so fast that she left a trail of dust in her wake. The blue team never stood a chance.

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