Load up on guns and bring your friends.

America had been the first to suggest it. Because nobody could say that shooting and screaming at each other over a video game was bad (they all thought it was very good), Game Night became a thing.

 They did it every year starting in 2008, practically turning it into an international holiday. On that one special night, a fifth of the world would all fire up their game systems, pop in the most overplayed FPS they could find, and begin to shoot and scream at each other. In a way, it was poetic.

Since 2010, they decided to bring Switzerland into the game as a moderator of sorts. Every year since 2010, it’s ended the same way.

Faction I:

United States
Canada
Mexico
France
England

Faction II:

Russia
North Korea
China
Iran
Cuba

Map: Abandoned urban city.

Objective: Eliminate all enemies.

Begin match!

America: What the hell are these teams? Who rigged this? Everyone over there hates me.

Mexico: Everyone over here hates you, too.

America: Good point.


North Korea: I want the sniper rifle.

Iran: No, I have better aim.

China: That’s why you’re staying in formation with us.

Russia: What is wrong with comrade Cuba?

Iran: She’s not moving. Did she AFK? Cuba?

China: Is her headset muted?

Russia: Cuba? Speak to Mother Russia. Follow my voice. I lead you to us.

Iran: What did we tell you about calling yourself that?

China: I don’t think Cuba connected.

Russia: [quietly] Walk slowly toward the light, Cuba…

Iran: Someone has to go out there and tell them that we’re down a player.

North Korea: I know how this works.

 

Canada: Alright… I’ll take the sniper and head up to higher ground. England will take grenades and follow me. Our plan is to scare them out with the explosions so I can pick them off.

America: S’long as I get the rocket launcher.

Canada and England move out, leaving the three.

America: ‘Kay. So, my strat is to basically just blindly fire rockets until it hits something–preferably, someone. Oh, and to also look like a total bad ass while doing it.

Mexico: Ahuh.

France: I have a stealth perk. Maybe I could sneak in and destroy their base.

America: You think you could pull that off without getting caught up?

France: Oh, and aimlessly firing rockets at them is a legitimate strategy?

America: Legit and cool. Besides, with Canada and England gone we’re gonna be outnumbered–not like it matters–so we need you.

Mexico: Found the perfect weapon.

America: Bringing a knife to a gunfight?

Mexico: They’ll never see it coming.

France begins shooting into the distance.

America: What the–Wait, is that North Korea?

America immediately joins in.

Mexico: Wait! It looks like he’s giving us a signal. I think he he wants to open cross-team communications.

France: Remember what happened last time we allowed global chatting? Poor Italy still has nightmares.

America: Whatever. Let em talk. It’s the only way we can hear them beg for mercy.

North Korea: I’m not going to be begging for anything, you brainless amoeba.

America: Did you just call me an amoeba?

North Korea: We’re down a player. Cuba never connected.

America: A 5v4, huh? Well, a fight isn’t fun unless it’s fair.

North Korea: The United States caring about fair fights? Stop the presses!

America: You know what? I’ll do you one better.

America switches from the rocket launcher to a pistol and slowly aims it at France.

France: Oh, sh–

Pop!

[France] has been killed by [America]

Canada: … America, you–

Mexico: ¡Hijo de puta!

England: See, I’m rather confused because you’re all talking as if something bad just happened, but really all I see is a reason to celebrate.

America: Stop, Mexico! Don’t revive him! This is for the greater good!

England: Biscuits for everyone!

France: [shrill yelling in French]

Mexico: Why am I always stuck on a team full of white people who hate each other?

Satisfied, North Korea returns to his base.

North Korea: They killed France.

China: We saw.

North Korea: Okay, but allow me to reiterate. America killed his own teammate.

Russia: In-house fighting! How fun!

Iran: So, we’re even now.

North Korea: America is a psychopath.

Iran: Can we finally start fight–

An explosion to their right causes them to scatter

England: For the Queen!

An explosion to their left puts them in a small panic.

America: Eat it, commie trash!

They spread out, each going in different directions.

China: Follow the plan!

Iran: It’s not gonna be hard to outplay these idiots but we– Hey!

Iran notices North Korea run off with a sniper rifle, a trail of bullets following close behind. Iran runs after him, but not before sighing. Having acquired a rocket launcher, Russia falls back.

Russia: America~ let’s compare guns and see whose is bigger.

America: I’ll show you mine if you show me yours.

A grenade explodes a nearby vehicle, causing it to go flying. Whirling through the air behind America, it crash lands on top of France’s body.

America: Warning shot?

Russia: Warning shot.

A rocket flies past Russia and into the base, exploding a group of ammunition crates and severely damaging a healing unit.

Russia: Warning shot?

America: Warning shot.

On a the roof of a three-story building, Iran confronts North Korea.

North Korea: I want to be the sniper.

Iran: It doesn’t make sense to have two snipers on a team with only five people. You know that I’m a better shot. If you want more kills, fight on the ground.

North Korea: I don’t need many kills. I just need one kill.

Iran: Save your vendetta for another time, will you? This is the last match of the night and I actually want to win for once.

North Korea: We could, if everyone sans China and I weren’t incompetent.

Iran: I’m incompetent? Okay. See if I invite you to any more Axis of Evil sleepovers.

Iran pulls out his own sniper rifle and slips into position on the roof.

North Korea: I didn’t want to go to any more of your stupid sleepovers, anyway. Have fun choking on sugar with Iraq.

Iran: Hey, don’t bring up his candy problem. He’s working on it. He’s trying to get better!

North Korea: That’s not a cover up for a more serious problem, is it?

Iran: No, it’s not. Listen, I don’t have time for this. I’m pretty sure I just saw someone on top of their ba–

Ka-pow!

[Iran] has been killed by [Canada].

North Korea: …I don’t want to say you deserved that, but you definitely deserved that.

He quickly hops off the roof and dips into an alleyway.

Canada: Where you goin’, North Korea? Come back here! I’ve got another bullet just for you!

England is content driving around and chucking grenades everywhere.

England: Come out, you cowards! Come out and face the wrath of the great British Empire!

America: Oh, shit. He’s having one of his weird power fantasies again.

England: Undefeated for hundreds of years! Ruler of both land and sea! [unsettling amount of laugher]

America: England, shut up!

Suddenly there was a clunk as something–someone–dropped down on England’s vehicle from above.

China: I’ve brought you a gift, your majesty.

China jumps off the vehicle and bolts, leaving behind only a giant, blinking explosive.

England: Oh, bollocks.

[England] has been killed by [China].

North Korea: Nice one.

China: I know.

Suddenly, China takes two hits. They don’t kill him, but his health is dangerously low and his screen blinks red for few seconds. He slips into the base.

China: What the hell happened to our ammo? Why isn’t our healing unit functional?

Russia: Ah… You see, America shoot it in an egotistical rage. We are seeing who has the better rocket!

China: Fantastic. Well, I’m going after their sniper, because she seems to be the most dangerous member of their team.

North Korea: Can I co–

China: No. Find Mexico and watch Russia’s back. I’ll return when the job is done.

China dips out with an assault rifle in hands.

North Korea: … Let’s just kill him.

Russia: Killing comrade China? How exciting!

North Korea: What? No! Kill America. He’s just across the map, isn’t he?

Russia: Yes, but we are having good fight. Do not ruin, please.

North Korea: You’ve been shooting at everything around one another for the past ten minutes. Why don’t you just kill him?

Russia: It would ruin the fun!

North Korea: You know what? I’m just going to shank him from behind. Later.

 

For at least three minutes, there is nothing but the sound of rocket launchers, explosions, and a pair of old rivals taunting each other. Canada is trying to find Russia’s remaining teammates, but to no avail. She decides to sneak into a different spot. Creeping into what looks like an abandoned brick house, she climbs up to the second story and finds a good spot by an open window. The curtain conceals her figure as she surveys the map.

An explosion in the distance jolts her with alarm. She can feel her muscles tense up. When the smoke clears, there’s nothing.

Canada: America, do you have sight on Korea or China?

America: I wasn’t afraid! I knew you werent gonna do it. Besides, I was totally winning the arms race by then. You would have been screwed.

Canada: America! Do you have sight on Korea or–[gasps]

Three shots were fired from behind, all nailing Canada in the back. Through blinking red, she quickly jerks her camera to look behind.

Canada: …China.

Neither say anything. Canada quickly switches to a pistol and rolls out of the way of China’s spray of bullets as he unloads a round into the brick wall. Both are dangerously low on health. One wrong move means death.

Canada only has so much time react while China reloads. She has no explosives–it’s going to be a gunfight. Heart racing, she runs backwards down the stairs, firing shots in case China followed.

But he isn’t coming. Crouched behind the torn and tattered couch, she thinks.

Canada: America, you need to stop messing around with Russia and get over here. I found China, but I don’t know if this guy has explosives or if Korea–

America: North Korea

Canada: –if North Korea is nearby. Mexico, you still there?

Mexico: I have visuals on North Korea. He’s heading into an area with a some trees and brush. I’m going in.

Canada’s camera is jerking from side to side, constantly checking the stairway, the door, the windows. Still no sign of China. She needs to move quickly.

Canada: Be careful. If America is the last one standing, we’re going to lose this match.

America: The lunar landing was not faked! You’re just jealous because I got there first! …You wanna know where else I’m gonna stick my flag?

Canada: Case in point.

Still no sign of China. Canada slips through the kitchen door. Outside she finds herself in a tiny backyard closed in by a worn out iron fence. A dumper sits in the corner and a group of rusty steel drums rest against the fence on the other side. She creeps behind the dumpster slowly, lightly, barely moving the control stick. China will be waiting, and he will be ready.

Canada hears something faintly at her right–the sound of something making contact with the ground.. It might be China. There is the possibility, and she can’t take another bullet. It’s a risk, but one she has to take.  If she can get him before he gets her… With expert reflexes, she makes a shot in the dark, firing a bullet that flies across the screen.

It is just a shame she shot at the highly flammable, highly explosive drums.

Canada: Aw, nuts.

[Canada] has been killed by [Canada].

America: Really?!

Mexico has caught up to North Korea and stalks him from afar. The Korean seems to be wandering around the small park, and Mexico takes this as an opportunity to strike in the cover of the trees.

All it took was a good knife to the back when the Korean wasn’t looking.

[North Korea] has been killed by [Mexico]

North Korea: Shit–! Machetes are so OP in this stupid, broken game!

Mexico: Your tears are delicious.

Little does Mexico know, North Korea has a perk that allows him to perform any action within 2 seconds of his death.

North Korea: The joke’s on you.

Mexico: Huh…?

All it takes is the press of a button and the C4 hidden in the brush around them explodes with fiery vengeance.

Little does North Korea know, China was running at them during the moment of the explosion. After finishing off Canada, he’d ran back to base to take out the remaining two and end the game. But then he saw North Korea fall to Mexico. But then he made a grave mistake.

China: I’ve got him. Don’t–

[Mexico] has been killed by [North Korea]

[China] has been killed by [North Korea]

North Korea: …China? China? China? China?

There is silence from China’s mic.

North Korea: China…?

China: Who? Who was the idiot that decided to permit friendly fire?

North Korea: …China?

 

Russia and America haven’t moved. Having given up on the rocket, they stand with pistols locked onto one another.

America: It’s just you and me, Ruski.

Russia: I am done playing the games.

America: You pull that trigger and I’ll pull mine. Either way, it’s gonna be a matter of who has the faster reflexes, who runs out of ammo first, and who has the better aim.

Russia: You overestimate yourself, America. That will be your downfall.

America: And you underestimate me. That will be–was–your downfall.

Russia: I bet Belarus two bottles of vodka and one whole cabbage on this game. I must win at all costs.

GLOBAL MSG: [MOD] has entered the game.

America: Huh? What the hell is he doing here?

Russia: Uh oh.

There is an eerie, dead silence that lasts too long. Then suddenly, the sound of muffled, German rap music is heard from someone’s mic. Russia and America never move their cameras, but they don’t need to look to know what’s coming.

Soon they hear the in-game sound of tires grating against the ground and the rumble of an engine under heavy strain. The two don’t even flinch when a Jeep flies over a small bump in the road and lands with a loud clank and thud, then skids toward them.

A soldier hops out of the vehicle.

Not a sound comes from the player’s mic. He aims his gun, camera pointing at America.

Switzerland: You. No teamkilling.

Bang!

Headshot!

[America] has been killed by [MOD]

He turns his camera to Russia.

Switzerland: You’re using an illegal ammo mod.

Bang!

Headshot!

[Russia] has been killed by [MOD].

GLOBAL MSG: Objective complete.

—-

For the 5th year in a row, Switzerland had won Game Night.

Author: Allison Black

Allison is an author, nerd, and international relations major who does not get paid to make bad political jokes--yet. When she's not writing or gushing about global affairs, she's playing video games. One day she will have a Ph.D., speak Korean fluently, and command an army of chihuahuas.

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