Paintball, Nerf, Air Soft, fighting competitions, obstacle courses, ect., are all games where humans play at war. It was something their children even played, preparing them to be warriors in the future, no matter their adult occupations. They had plenty of competitions to show their strength, their prowess, their aggression, and their ability to take down an enemy. Often other humans. Some Vorax have the guts to challenge some humans to a game, wanting to prove to their leaders that humans are NOT as dangerous as stories make them out to be. What do the humans choose? Paintball! -- DaniAndShali
The logic was impeccable. Humans were too good at war, having practiced for most of their evolutionary timeline on their eternal enemy, the Humans. They had plenty of weapons of mass destruction that terrified even themselves. Newer, bigger, fresher, and most importantly more numerous than any previous iteration.
Some Humans were just obsessed with making more of the most powerful weapons ever created, just to have them and threaten the rest of civilisation with them. It has been theorised that, should anyone develop a weapon capable of vaporising an entire solar system from central star to oort cloud, the Humans would immediately want to possess twenty of them... and subsequently test them with absolutely no foresight whatsoever. There is another theory that Humans have already done this which explains some vast pockets of empty space where solar systems should be.
Humans can just be that scary to contemplate. Therefore this particular group of Vorax had come up with an idea. It was far from an original idea, but it was pretty creative for the Vorax. They reasoned correctly that Humans used their Deathworlder games to replace combat, and that playing such games with Humans might forge some kind of peace between two Deathworlders. Being Deathworlders themselves, the Vorax saw nothing wrong with opening the playing field to all Human games ending in the word 'ball'.
It should not have been surprising or even mildly shocking that the Humans contacted chose 'Paintball'. It had many other aliases, including Skirmish, Urban War, Splat You (and variants on pronunciation), Shoot 'Em, and You Bastards. What remained the same was that body armour, eye protection, and a projectile weapon were essential parts of play. This, knowing Humans, should have been plenty of warning.
It wasn't. Deathworlders aren't often that great at planning ahead.
The next warning sign was one of the Humans, on suiting up, saying, "So how are we playing this, shirts versus skins?"
"It is red versus blue, this was agreed," said the Vorax leader, completely missing the point so hard that he almost looped back onto it from the other side.
The gathered Humans sighed and rolled their eyes. "Okay. We got Straight Men. No goofs yet, got it?"
Grudging and droned amongst the Humans, "No goofs yet..."
"All right," said the adjudicator. "Teams to your colour-coded zones, where ammo will be allotted. Five minutes to hide anywhere in the playing field, no wiping marks, the team with the least paint is the winner. No weapons other than paintballs permitted, you will be searched before play." This, for the slow learners reading, should have been yet another warning sign. Especially when the Humans whined and moaned about it.
The next warning sign was the sight of the Humans playing at beating each other up before they were allowed to disperse into the playing field. The last was that the team performed the Haka before they did so.
It was, at the end of play, a virtual massacre. The Vorax learned that paintball pellets hurt. Yes, even with a chitinous exoskeleton and body armour. This, the Humans said, was how you learned not to get hit.
The Vorax lost by a mile. Humans may not have the quickest reflexes or the fastest movement, but they are quick learners, adaptive hunters, and possess -comparatively- the patience of a tortoise. Their famous endurance allowed them to out-pace the Vorax playing by sheer, unadulterated persistence.
That, and they were a pack of the sneakiest assholes to ever aim a paint pellet at another cogniscent being.
Nevertheless, in spite of the loss - or perhaps because of it, you could never tell with Humans - the pack-bonding exercise worked. The Humans of the Blue Team congratulated the Vorax Red Team on a great game.
Maybe, next time, they could try one of the lesser balls. Perhaps... 'Foot ball'...
[Image (c) Can Stock Photo / kadmy]
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