Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare
Alt was greeted with Frenzy and AkibaSnake556, a friend they met from three years ago when they were first given full access to the community games. They were all geared up in their standard issue MW equipment; BDUs, Kevlar, helmets and a few individual accessories based on their weapon preferences. "Alty!" Akiba yelled with enthusiasm as he ran up to hug him. Alt cringed for a second before Akiba finally let go. Snake was usually like that; near impossible to get his spirits down even when on a losing streak. "I missed you, man!"
"I...missed you too."
Frenzy chuckled as he "Bout time you showed up. We were about to start up without you."
"Yeah, sorry. 'All Ghillied Up' was just too awesome. MacMillan is my new favorite badass."
"Haha! I told ya you'd like him." He looked past Alt at the empty space in the lobby.
"Though it didn't help that I had to carry his lard ass about five blocks just to drop him behind a ferris wheel. Seriously, forty pounds of gear doesn't feel good when you're carrying someone else."
Akiba shrugged."Where's Grim?"
"He's checking out the Halo Wars demonstration. Took him hours to get his clearance."
Frenzy laughed, remembering Grim's hesitance to commit to Halo Wars. "You know, for someone who wasn't at all that into the idea of a Halo strategy sector, he sure is dedicated to wait for two-hour clearance."
"Hey," Alt began as he waved his hand for emphasis as Akiba tried to avoid the barrel of his SMG, "You know how open-minded he tends to be with gaming."
"He always seemed to be a Starcraft type to me though."
"Yeah," Akiba said, "and after you run a few games in that, you hate all other RTS styles."
Alt put his hands up to imply that the conversation had ended already. "Alright, alright. Are we going to do this or not?"
"Anytime you're ready sweet heart."
"Waiting on you. You're party lead."
"Oh, crap! I forgot." Alt dropped his hands at his sides in frustration as the lobby searched for open sessions. "Oh shut up. You've made the same mistake too." He had a point. It was in fact easy to forget that you're the one managing the group, especially after focusing on a few games.
The lobby suddenly merged with another, filling the room with the booming sound of multiple players joining at once. "Ow!" Akiba yelled, covering one hear with his free hand, "Okay, seriously. What is that sound supposed to be? Drum-o-lin? What?"
Frenzy couldn't stop himself from laughing "Drum-o-lin?"
"Yeah! It's sounds like a bipolar instrument mixed between a battle drum and a violin! Every time we jump into a game, it's like getting raped in the ear! At least with Halo it just says that someone's joining the game. But no with this it's always 'Va-boom! Teammate gained! Obey me!'"
Frenzy patted him on the head. "Chill out, dude." He looked up at the map option. "Crossfire...Crossfire. Do we want this?"
Alt shrugged. "Yeah, why not. I mean it's got some sniping positions on it. Akiba, you like to snipe right?"
"Correction," Frenzy said, "he likes to convert his Dragunov sniper rifle into a rapid fire death machine at close quarters."
Akiba flicked off Frenzy. "Hey, it's not cheating. This finger is just faster than my index finger."
"Never said it was cheating, pal. Just we get accused of that a lot because people aren't use to seeing a .50 cal sniper fire ten rounds in under two seconds."
"I'll do it with just a pistol if it makes you feel any better."
"Wha--? Who in their right mind goes pistols only in a CoD game?"
Alt looked around the lobby to see if anyone was looking, keeping his head down, facing his handgun as he loaded it. He wasn't subtle enough for Frenzy not to notice. "You guys are screwing with me right?"
"Doing what I can with what I got."
Just then, the three descended into the map, spawning behind a diner next to a rubble pile that was once a brick wall. "Team Deathmatch," the announcer said. The countdown timer started as they selected their gear loadouts. Unlike Halo, Modern Warfare actually brought somewhat of an intensity to the players. The countdown was the worst part. Players spawned, they could see the map in front of them, but they couldn't move until the timer was up. It was like being held by a leash and forced to wait instead of immediately jumping into the fast-paced action. It was well worth the wait, provided both teams committed to the game.
The timer reached zero. "Let's do this, Marines!"
Alt immediately broke off from the group as he usually did in every match. Working solo in this kind of fighting just felt like his MO. Unlike in Halo, Call of Duty didn't give him the luxury of shields. So if someone on his team ate a bullet or two, he wouldn't be around to catch it after it passed through the first body. It was just routine now that he knew the maps like the back of his death giving hand. Sprint twenty paces, leap over the broken down brick wall, let the MP5 hang and out comes the USP .45 from the holster.
Room clearing was probably his least favorite part of any map. The close quarters was just a nightmare to maneuver in. And believe it or not, bullets could be dodged if the player knows what to do. Then again, if the shooter knows what to do, then he can make dodging impossible. That kind of option just didn't exist though indoors, which was why Alt was relieved to finally make his way into the alley between the two inns.
Just then there was that familiar ta-tink of a grenade clattering about. Expecting it, he took cover just in time to avoid the flash, but his ears were still ringing. No matter. Strategy prediction said that the thrower would be rounding the corner any second. Again, Alt was right. He leapt up and stabbed the OpFor team member in the back. As he did, he felt a bullet pierce the wall next to him and hit the side of his head. "Dammit!"
Frenzy laughed into the comm. "The back alley not working out for ya, Alt?"
"I should've seen that coming. I just didn't expect a flanker to have someone backing him up."
"I'm telling ya, you should've taken Akiba with you."
A trio of kill announcements popped up on Alt's HUD, showing three Dragunov kills, all from Akiba. "He seems to be doing okay on his own."
"Our UAV is online!"
"Dude!" Akiba shouted "You should've seen it! They all lined up perfectly and I just massacred them with rapid fire."
"They probably think you're cheating by now."
"How the hell do you cheat in this? Please explain." Two more kills showed up on Alt's HUD just as he rounded the same corner he was killed at. "Oh, look at that. I've got myself an air strike now."
Alt shook the voices from his earpiece, doing his best to ignore them. One kill in the past minute and Akiba's already making it rain fire. He needed to step up his game a little. Hit and run were good tactics, so long as he was outside. That wasn't the case as he crept up the back entrance to the inn. He could hear people scrambling around up there for the sniper position. It didn't serve as a very safe vantage point but it gave the shooter some good street level view.
He pulled a grenade out as he kept a low posture, inching his way through the short hall. He heard the smack of an M21 rifle just on the other side of the wall. Where there was one, there was probably another. He primed the grenade, cooked it in his hand for two seconds, then whipped it around the corner. The grenade stopped dead at it's target with a clunk. "Ow! Son of a bitch, bastard!" Burning debris flew past Alt's grinning, masked face before he entered and cleared the rest of the room. Two more kills. Grenade multi-kills were too satisfying to him, even if was only with two. The place wasn't safe yet though. He still had to clear the first floor.
"Enemy helicopter inbound!"
Frenzy took his eyes out of the rifle scope for a moment. "Akiba, you might want to book it out of there."
"Dude, it's flying closer to Alt. Alty! Get out of there, man!"
The enemy Hind helicopter rotated its orbit around the street corner at low altitude, nearly looking Alt in the face. "Oh hell." Jumping from a high elevation wasn't considered good for one's health bar, but when faced with a 12.7mm machine gun, Alt was willing to put a little faith in taking the scenic route to the ground floor.
He tumbled from the railing over the stairwell and made a thud as he hit the hardwood floor below, covering his head as he heard the whirring sound of the chopper's turret spooling up. All other battlefield sounds were drowned out around him as the turret cut loose, spilling empty shell casings on the streets. Alt brought up his head as he realized that the lack of hits around him. No wooden splinters, no shattered glass, no bullet holes. Just then he heard a loud tink from across the street.
"Oh, what the--!" Akiba shouted.
Frenzy started laughing over the comm as Alt stood back up. "No way..."
"That was a headshot too," Frenzy said, looking at the kill recorder.
Akiba respawned back on their side. "That was such bull, man! It was looking right at Alt!" Just then, the helicopter sprayed another three seconds of fire at Akiba as he ran for cover.
"Man, Akiba. That thing does not like you."
"I know! What is this racism?! Stupid racist chopper! It's because I'm from PC gaming isn't it?"
Alt was about to laugh when a hostile jumped through the diner window, about to level his AK47 on him. Still on the floor, Alt rolled to his side and put a few rounds from his USP in his head. "Merry Christmas, Akiba." With the click of a remote, the team was granted another UAV recon.
"Our UAV is online!"
"Thank you! Now I won't be dropping a blind air strike." The roar of engines drowned out the gunfire that bounced off the walls around them. Fire washed over the street as Alt dashed for one of the bombed out buildings, all while Akiba's kills kept racking up on the HUD. It was a coin toss every time he went into a vantage point. There was either a shooter or there wasn't.
Just as he went for the ladder, someone appeared on the other side in the corner of the room. "Oh shit!" He fired three shots into him before he could move. Another took his place, materializing out of nowhere. Alt quickly switched targets and put a round in his head. Two more showed up in front of him. "What the--" He managed to kill one before running out of ammo. The second instantly pulled his knife and lashed at the Marine-skinned gamer. Alt ducked under the strike then lunged up to stab the insurgent in the gut with his own knife.
Four kills popped up on Frenzy's HUD. "Oh my good Lord, Alt. What the hell did you do?"
"Argh! Thank you Akiba for that air strike!"
"Their whole team all just respawned right in front of me after you carpet bombed them."
Frenzy changed magazines as he ran out of a practically destroyed room. "You lucky bastard. I hope to God you have a helicopter."
"I do...I lost my air strike but I do."
"Don't matter." He glanced around the corner from the apartment hallway. The pesky helicopter was still hovering outside. "I'm one kill away from getting one. But I can't get back to my window with that annoying fly."
"This is Grendel101 and PillowMaster. We've got RPGs. We'll take it down as long as someone's covering us."
"I gotcha covered guys," Akiba said.
"Awesome. Let's roll."
Frenzy hunched over as he listened to the radio dialogue. "'PillowMaster'...?" The gamer just chuckled at the reaction to his name. "You're lucky you're on my team or I would've shot you by now." Just then, two streaks of smoke screamed up from street level, slamming into the Hind's belly.
"Whoo! Yeah boy!"
"Yeah! What now, you hajis!"
Frenzy shook his head. "Goddamn yahoos..." He re-entered his sniping position, instantly acquiring Alt's position as he locked into his scope. "Alt, you said their whole team was right there in front of you." From what Frenzy could see through his scope, Alt had backed himself up into the darkened side of the room. He saw the figure put a finger up over his mouth as he looked in the sniper's direction.
"He's right on top of me!" he whispered, "Around the corner!"
Frenzy panned his scope around looking for the target. The muzzle of a G3 began to poke into the room from the other side. "I see him..." The figure inched into the room, slowly swinging left, the gun point easing its way into Alt's direction. Frenzy took a breath and squeezed the trigger. A quick splash of red confirmed his kill. "You're clear. I gotcha covered."
Alt took a breath and moved on. Just as he rounded the corner to the driveway, a LIVE notification blipped up on his HUD.
GrimR3aper505 Wants you to join an Xbox LIVE Party.
"Hey, guys. It's Grim. Should we join?"
"Do it quick. Don't leave yourself open, Alt."
He joined into the Party channel with his three friends. The stats showed that all but one was playing Call of Duty 4. "Grim! About damn time, man," Alt said, diving into cover behind the parked car.
"Friendly helicopter inbound!"
"Why, ya still playing the Halo Wars Demo?"
There was a short moment of silence over the radio. Alt stopped firing as he noticed the silence and ducked down behind the car, waiting for a reply. "Grim?"
"Dude...I have so much to explain to you right now..."