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Thin Green Line – Cisco receives the Marauders first Brass Ball

Cisco receives the Marauders first Brass Ball

Story Filed by: Michael G Shanks.
Dateline-Fort San Miguel
Sunday, December 20, 1998

Cisco carries the day and receives the Marauders first Brass Ball.
A rather sizable group of players stood at the fork in the trails, which often serves as a sort of dead-zone for those who have been eliminated but wish to observe the rest of the battle.

One of the opposition guys pointed to a player who was lurking in the big ditch just below Bravo, “Hey!” he cried out, “Who’s that guy?

“That’s Cisco!” replied Maj.D.Saster, while looking through a large paint splat in the middle of his goggles. Practically the entire Marauder force had made the patrol across the field, taking the trail up around the backside of the hill and crossing over the upper ridge above the north end of the fortress. From here they could attack downhill onto the fortress area.

Only a couple of Marauders, including Cisco, had stayed behind to attack down at the southern end, and distract the Opposition Force holding the Fort.

It was an assault plan that had worked many times in the past, sometimes allowing a small force to dislodge a much larger one. But the trouble with using the same battle plan against the same group of guys is they learn to anticipate your moves. You are always trying to gain the element of surprise. As the column approached the crest of the ridge, Pacman and Maj.D.Saster took up positions to the left and right of the gap where the trail opens out onto the plain. Druid moved out between them and keeping in a low crouch advanced down into the field. He halted to watch and listen. The field appeared to be clear and Marauders began moving through and fanning out to the left and right.

Maj.D.Saster followed Druid and two Mike Force-Marauders moved out behind him, the four of them apparently forming the far right of the Marauder’s line. Druid was advancing at a fairly quick step and after several failed attempts to flag his attention by more subtle techniques, Maj.D.Saster eventually had to shout at him to hold up! There were too many guys strung out too far behind them. In this thick brush and overgrowth, if your men get too far apart in a column, then they can’t help you when you make contact with the opposition, so you have to halt and let the column close up to form a skirmish line.

As the line began to move again, Maj.D.Saster came under fire! He fired back, but out of his gun came a large spray of wet red paint, along with a small flurry of paintball shell-fragments! At that moment he must have figured the only thing he could do now was to draw fire so that the rest of the guys in line could deal with the threat, so he shouted, “OK, Let’s go!” and then he charged towards the enemy! The Mike-Force guys and Druid got up to charge in with him, but the whole advance really did not get very far before a hail of fire from multiple sources nailed Maj.D.Saster right in the middle of his goggles. Some of the other guys took hits and the Marauder team quickly lost a sizable number of its strength.

As Maj.D.Saster exited the field with his gun held high over his head, he was surprised to see how many of the Op-Force players were waiting for them. The defenders had watched from the fortress as the Marauders maneuvered across the field and figured out their plan of attack. In a remarkable example of spontaneous reorganization, the Op-Force had shifted their defense away from the Fort and re-deployed in a wide arc across the backfield. When the Marauder force advanced, they had moved right into the arc of the ambush and were subjected to fire from many angles. It was an impressive bit of tactical improvisation.

Meanwhile, over on the left wing of the attack, things were not going much better. As the left section of the assault group started to move down the hill, they not only ran into the same ambush but also came under fire from the rear as well. By not detaching a squad to advance across the wooded front slope of the hill while the column was still on the trail, the Marauders had committed a basic error in tactics. Now there was an Op-Force squadup there behind the left wing of the assault. They would later brag and cackle with delight about how they had caught Pacman and Running-Man and a slew of others from the rear, shooting several targets in the back!

Down in the dead-zone, Maj.D.Saster poured some water from his canteen over a wad of tissues and washed the paint off his goggles. He had not seen where Cisco came from. He was observing the game when he became aware of a player making a creeping advance. Cisco had somehow made it through the opposing line and down into the big ditch!

There had been a squad of Op-Force guys out in the lower field, several yards to the right of the dead zone and a few yards out in front of Bravo’s twelve o’clock angle. Most of those guys were now milling around the dead zone and there seemed to be no one left in the field, except for Cisco, who was now against the embankment below Bravo where he could not be seen from the fortress positions.

The Op-Force guys standing next to Maj.D.Saster, stood there watching Cisco.

“How come nobody is doing anything about that guy?” he asked.

“Because no one knows he’s there and he’s below anyone’s line of sight, that’s why!” was Maj.D.Saster’s answer.

The only way to see over the edge of the big ditch was to come out and look over the side. But it was unlikely anyone would do that since no one in the Fort had any reason to even suspect Cisco was there! The battle continued as Cisco seemed to consider where to go next. He didn’t have long to wait!

Two Op-Force men left the main trench and recconned up to the edge of the big ditch. They looked out at the field and checked the ditch below them and from where they were standing, they could probably see all of the KO’d players who were standing around the dead zone, watching the battle. They did not see Cisco. Everyone in the dead zone watched, while the two Op-Force players moved down over the edge into the ditch and headed off towards the north end.

Cisco followed them up the ditch and disappeared among the brush. Barely a minute later, there was a short exchange of gunfire, followed by a flurry of debate around the dead-zone as players speculated on the outcome of the engagement. Then the two Op-Force guys came walking down the ditch towards the dead zone, with their guns up. As they came out of the brush and into line of sight, one of them could be heard to say,

“I don’t know where that guy came from!”

Cisco now climbed up over the ridge and worked his way south along the edge of the embankment towards Bravo!

Closing in on BoxCars Bunker he pushed the barrel of his gun through the slit and barked, “Give it up! The bunker is dead!” but the small bunker was unoccupied. He moved over to Bravo and ran his gun barrel through the front opening, firing at the guys in the trench while calling on the occupants of the Bravo bunker to surrender! Out came some more of the Op-Force garrison, but others held their positions and kept up the defense! A defender in Charlie stood up and opened fire on Cisco, who fired back with a short burst and scored a hit, eliminating yet another man!

“Come on out!” commanded Cisco, “I’m not going to shoot you guys anymore!”

Suddenly, gunfire from Alpha almost got Cisco, forcing him to drop down behind the bunker to avoid being hit. He paint-checked himself and called out a wound, having received a single minor hit. As he returned fire, a couple of other defenders took off from Alpha, running fast around the back side of Charlie as they attempted to get around his other side! Cisco caught sight of them and came up firing, but his targets were moving and just managed to avoid being hit as they got into the cover of brush and trees.

Cisco had been flanked! He knew he was about to have hostiles on his left and right. Now he was receiving fire from both sides and trying to shoot at three or four targets at the same time! The second and final hit soon followed and Cisco was eliminated. But what a terrific action!

From down at the dead zone where most of these events had been witnessed, Maj.D.Saster nominated Cisco for a Brass Ball! Pacman, having also been present to observe this outstanding action agreed and immediately validated the nomination.

Headquarters is proud to recognize actions carried out in the finest traditions of Marauder tactical doctrine. Due to his daring and aggressive actions, Cisco very nearly turned the tide of the entire battle for his team! Congratulations