Venom Wars 5

On March 28-30,2008 the IKV Bayou Serpent hosted it's 5th installment of Venom Wars, our annual Klingon paintball war. In addition to this, it was also our 10 year anniversary as a ship and this was celebrated as well.

Turnout this year was ASTOUNDING! We had representatives from FIVE KAG ships including the IKV Bayou Serpent, IKV Melota, IKV Qin Vagh, IKV Deliverance, and the IKV K'Vette plus the paintball group from Dallas/Fort Worth known as the Ghostwalkers. An estimated 25 people were in attendance. The guests started arriving Friday with the IKV Deliverance CO Mike Beyer arriving first. Weather was sunny and a little too warm but cooled off nicely as the sun went down. Guests trickled in all night and some arrived on Saturday.

Saturday was the actual combat day and started out chilly with light rain but the players endured and played anyway. The rain stopped pretty soon to sunny and a little too warm temperatures. First up was the "Ferengi treasure hunt" game that we play every year. The field was full of people, some playing, some filming, some just watching. The fighting was more intense than any previous year, probably due to the increased number of players. This was also the first year that the IKV Bayou Serpent had a camera of their own in the field. The camera was armored with the help of the Melota crew 2 months ago and that armor got tested in this first game, first taking a glancing blow from a paintball and then a full on shot from K'Mok of the Melota. I'm proud to say that the workmanship was excellent and the camera didnt suffer a scratch. With only minutes left in the game, K'Allen stormed the base and retrieved one of the containers only to be shot by Balrahg of the IKV Qin Vagh on the other team. Balrahg realized that he had fired in error due to adrenaline and walked under a white flag to the enemy base to give them the container, a very honorable thing to do. This wouldn't be the first time that Balrahg's honor was shown.

Second game up was speedball but not in the traditional "spray and pray" method. Combatants started out with no ammo and had to run to bunkers to retrieve pods containing 10 shots each. This was done one-on-one in a single elimination tournament. After some interesting matches, including Ni'Vek of the Bayou Serpent THROWING paintballs at an advancing enemy after getting pinned down, the game was won by K'Allen of the Bayou Serpent. Ri'Par had to start work on the ceremonies so the group went out and played a couple more games without him, including a predator hunt and an ambush type game.

After everyone started getting tired and hungry, we sat down for a Trek trivia game with the prize being a collection of Trek VHS tapes, along with a few other movies. Ni'Vek walked away with this one easily. Dinner was then served by ship XO Torsha who didnt get to play due to both cooking the hearty chili and tending to Kahless, son of K'Allen. We very much appreciated her big role in the event.

Ceremonies started just after dark and the new "official" Bayou Serpent flag created by sQueezinart of the Melota made it's first stage appearance. We can't thank her enough for it. It's glorious! The bloodwine was opened and the first dips were given to the QC and then the senior rep of each ship or group. Next was the Klingon prayer and death howl for a long list of fallen warriors. Ri'Par took the stage, thanked everyone for showing such support for our ten years of service and passed out the trophies. Awards were given as such:

Least bruised: Bear of the Ghostwalkers with no bruises (sQueezinart of the Melota deserves recogition here as well since she wasn't bruised either but Bear played more games)

Worst single bruise: Balrahg with a nasty head shot (this would be re- examined later)

Speedball: K'Allen of the Bayou Serpent

Tournament Da'har: Mike Beyer of the Deliverance (tough choice!)

We then started the 10 year part of the ceremony with Ri'Par again thanking everyone for their help and support over the years to help make our ship greater and gave a short history of our 10 years. It really touched us that so many of you came out to show your love! Don't ever forget that! Ten year pins were handed out to Bayou Serpent members and Ri'Par asked the senior member of the only ship present that was older than us to do the honors. That honor fell to Lord K'Mok of the Melota. Thank you for your help with that. The ceremonies were then drawn to a close and the best part of all events began. . . the drinking and fellowship! I believe we would have stayed up til the wee hours but the rain had other plans and put us to bed around 11pm.

The next morning saw the soreness of combat and the sunburns showing their ugly faces. After having several hours to settle, the bruises were shown again with RotoQ of the Qin Vagh having one of the worst bruises I've ever seen from a paintball. Balragh once again put his honor first. After asking Ri'Par's permission, he presented RotoQ with the "Worst single bruise" award. Slowly, everyone started to head out. This is always the worst part of any event. Once again, thanks to the Melota, Qin Vagh, Deliverance, K'Vette, and Ghostwalkers for our best tournament ever! Qapla!!!