For those of you who don’t play Call of Duty, there’s a two second moment after you murder a fellow, online gamer where you can hear their audible reaction in your headset. For example, I have killed many opponents in Warzone to which I’ve briefly heard, “Fuck you, idiot!” “Your Mother doesn’t love you!”, or many variations of salty insults from my unworthy opponents. However, I experienced something in COD recently that led to the most brutal form of betrayal I have ever experienced. Allow me to explain.
Rebirth Island is a form of Call of Duty where you play on a smaller map. Once you die, instead of going to the gulag, you can respawn as long as one of your teammates is alive after a short timer expires. In a recent rebirth session, as I went to kill one of my opponents I noticed he was crouching and standing back up over and over. Instead of shooting me he just continued to squat like he was teasing an eager toilet. I found this puzzling, but gladly opened fire. As I killed him he shouted in my ear, “I’m trying to be friends!” I defensively laughed out loud. Friends?! Friends?! Friends don’t exist in hell, but I was intrigued and even feeling a bit vulnerable. My own teammates aren’t even my friends in the warzone as we love finding ways to screw each other over and suddenly this mystery person wanted to be my…friend?
Insert Aragorn’s reaction when he runs into Gandalf in the forest: “It cannot be.”
Moments later, I was killed and when I respawned I slowly parachuted from the sky to search for the warzoner that was trying to be my “friend.” When I spotted him with his teammate I landed about 50 feet away from them. I could be seen from their perspective and I immediately started squatting. They didn’t fire like anyone else would have. Slowly, I got closer and closer, squatting as I approached. They did the same. A sort of friendly dance.
I had purposely landed above them on cliffs and jumped down into their territory by the shore. I had no guns and they were strapped. Suddenly, we were face to face. I began squatting and 2 enemies in front of me did the same. I was stunned as I explained the absurd situation to my teammates. Suddenly, things got weirder as my opponents started spray painting hearts on the floor in front of me. I did the same and honestly, it was beautiful. I had found love in a hopeless place.
Lastly, in a true show of camaraderie they dropped their guns and their ammo. I dropped my pistol and suddenly we were three characters dancing among a warzone like hippies at Woodstock. As I explained this to my teammates, my friend aptly named “TraitorHank” asked me to “mark” them so he could see their location on the map. I obliged however, I forgot that when you mark an opponent it shows on their screen. Upon doing so, my new friends seemed shaken, but calmed down quickly. Then the Traitor, Hank, showed up.
From his vantage point in the cliffs, he threw a flash bang which blinded my friends and he started to shoot. Knowing bloodshed was inevitable I ran up behind one of my opponents, pulled my knife out and slit his throat. Team wipe.
Hank and I bellowed in laughter. The betrayal I had been a part of was perhaps the dirtiest move I had ever made. From friendship to slicing a throat. I never got to speak to my squatting opponents or even hear their reactions – it was pure silence as we killed them. But if you’re reading this please know, I truly am sorry.
Seth Borkowski is a New York-based writer who enjoys writing about dating, self-improvement, sports and the challenges of growing older as a millennial. You can read more of his work at sethborkowski.com.