The device sat, mute, in the center of the long hall. It seemed to be mocking us. Barely thirty feet away, it might as well have been a million miles, given the situation. Getting to the thing was easy enough; a brave (and lucky) man might take advantage of the covering fire of his team to close those thirty lethal feet. What came next had, so far today, proved an insurmountably lethal obstacle. The device needed to be activated. That complex process would take over a minute, during which the operator would be completely preoccupied and exposed, unable to seek cover or return fire. They would have a need for both; we weren’t the only ones intent on seizing the device. Fabulous wealth would greet the men who activated it. IF they lived long enough to collect the reward. The fact that our team was down eight members attested to the fact that such a thing was easier said than done. . .
The rattle of combat gear behind us signaled the arrival of our reinforcements. I glanced back: eight new men. “Here we go again,” I thought to my self. I signaled, and the air shook with automatic weapons fire as we began, yet again, a leapfrog advance to the cylinder. This time, we closed the distance quickly, without much trouble. “So far, so good,” I muttered, reaching for the device’s complex control panel.
The thundering sound of the opposition’s weapons reached my ears the instant before the two teammates shielding me went down. Cowering behind the device, I continued to work frantically. My surviving teammates poured cover fire down the hall. “Things just got a little more interesting,” I thought, as bullets rained down around me . . .
The Game: Teams begin play on opposite sides of the field. In the center of the field is the “flag”: a propane canister or other similar-sized object. Each team attempts to get one of their players to make contact with the flag and maintain that contact for one full minute.
Game-specific rules: The flag may not be moved from its location. Players in contact with the flag must hold onto the flag with both hands; they may not fire a weapon during this time. The flag-possession count begins when a player seizes the flag. If the player on the flag breaks contact, is replaced, or is killed, the timer resets to zero and begins anew.
Victory: The first team to have a player survive continuous contact with the flag for sixty seconds wins the game.
Hits: Upon being hit, a player calls himself dead.
Death: Dead players return to a designated resurrection point on their own side of the field. After waiting at the res-point for a set time (usually 30 seconds), the player may return to the game. There is no limit to the number of times a player


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