A specially commissioned piece to celebrate the debut performance of H@ndles
We met in a local team deathmatch, Hairtrigger IV. She was a flame-haired Rogue with knife skills to die for and the best grenade aim I’d seen. For ages I thought she was a bloke.
He was careful with the friendly fire, didn’t swear at me once. I liked that. In respawn lobby he wouldn’t stop staring at my ava. I knew straight away he was a bloke.
I invited her, casual, to the PvP Mission, my heart thumping like a panicked rabbit IRL. She said ‘yeah sure’ then blasted me in the chest with a shotgun.
Maybe I shot love into him. Maybe it was too much, too soon. He was over-protective in Mission, taking us on long, romantic rambles to sniper nests, keeping out of the action. Three days in I caved and gave him the slip.
I shed armour and ammo like a rookie, my Ur-life dangerously depleted, my stamina more so. IRL I was tired, the chamberpot full and stinking. She was every headshot.
I went back to the Skins, pinpointed every sniper nest on World Map. Some distant bit of my gut ached. He was nice. He didn’t swear at me once.
They airstriked them: every single nest I showed her. I logged out for days, stalked the IRL streets for scraps.
I got my medal, got my heroics on the Board, then got out. I drifted back to the deathmatches, got a few wins into my stats. I watched for his tag, I think, or for derivatives. I wanted to let him shoot me. Get it off his chest. And onto mine.
So I hacked. New name, new ava, new gender, new age, new tag, and hunted her down. Sniper, trip-mines, chopperstrikes, shuriken. Got it all off my chest.
I found him again. No-one is ever that obsessive. So I Rogued-up, sidled over, flagged up chat.
WLTM? she says. IRL?