CamAero Diaries - BAM 7
Date: 21/5/2015
Time: ~5:00 PM

I disembark the plane hurriedly to get away from the 3 babies that did nothing but cry all flight. The woman called Rosetta smiles at me gently and thanks me for flying Jetstar. I smile back wearily and hurry down the plane stairs. Entering the Melbourne airport, I briskly walk towards the baggage carousel. It didn't look like anything special, for some reason I was expecting something more fancy, but to be honest, the airport in Brisbane is significantly nicer than the Tullamarine one.

I receive a text message.

"I'm sorry we might be a little late, Cameron's being an idiot."

It was Dean. I sighed as I picked up my luggage and stood near the door. It seemed as though Cameron once again failed to follow a simple instruction. Eventually they arrived and I shook Dean, Justin and Cameron's hands. We went outside to catch a taxi to the hotel. I related the story of Rosetta the Flightmistress and the 3 demonic children in the plane that wouldn't shut up while we waited in line for a taxi.

We get to the taxi and I decide it's probably best that I sit in the middle of the back seat. We all chat a bit as we go past certain landmarks, like the fluorescent light Ferris wheel that apparently didn't work, the buildings and the trains that apparently don't stop. We begin to cross a bridge.

"Oh look. A bridge." I exclaim. "Bolt bridge, apparently."

"Bolt-tee," comes an unfamiliar voice. It was the taxi driver. I look slowly in his direction and he quickly apologizes for speaking.

We all chat some more in the taxi and we somehow come to talking about football. I had assumed that they were talking about NRL, but as they relayed some team names and locations I didn't know, a horrific realization dawned upon me; Victorians like AFL.

Date: 21/5/2015
Time: ~7:00 PM

We get to the hotel. We stash our stuff in the room and decide to get food for dinner. Much to Dean's dismay, Cameron suggests McDonald's. I also suggest McDonald's. Dean looks at us condescendingly. I decide that it might be best if I ask Justin to have the final say of where to go for dinner.

"McDonald's," he says.

Dean begrudgingly takes us to the nearest McDonald's restaurant. We get our food and sit down. I quickly devour my burger but as soon as I get to the chips, they're cold and basically inedible. Cameron sits next to me, judging me silently. He's ordered Chicken McNuggets. Dean and I ponder how much of it actually is chicken, and settle on the ratio being 40% Chicken, 60% Nugget (whatever that is). Cameron literally takes forever to eat, so I finally ask him:

"Why on earth do you take so long to eat those?"

He eats slower. He then questions why I haven't eaten my chips yet.

"Well... they're cold! And not nice! And stuff!"

I glare at him while he continues to eat his food slowly on purpose. We leave the McDonald's after he's finished and go back to the hotel. At the hotel we play Smash to practice for the PM tournament the next day. I had previously suggested we play Brawl, but there unfortunately were no component cables for the television. I sit on Cameron's bed. I look at him. I poke his potbelly as he recoils viciously. I then lead Maribro on over the events that transpired over Skype. We all go to sleep ready for the PM tournament the next day.
Date: 22/5/2015
Time: ~??:?? AM

I wake up to a noise. Darkness permeates the room. To my right I see Cameron thrashing around in his bed for 30 seconds or so. I wonder to myself silently what on earth he's doing. Is he awake at this hour? Perhaps he's dreaming instead? He stops; and I re-close my eyes and drift back to sleep.

Date: 22/5/2015
Time: ~8:00 AM

I wake up again to the sound of Dean's phone alarm. The four of us take turns having showers and leave for breakfast. Once again we settle on McDonald's. I order Hotcakes and Cameron orders Fanta. I make a maple syrup river. I was very proud of my maple syrup river. I eat the Hotcakes. Dean and Justin eat their food. I don't remember if Cameron got anything other than Fanta.

We leave the McDonald's to take a train. I was mildly excited, as this would have been the third train ride I'd ever been on. Dean tells me the story of how Cameron made everyone late to pick me up from the airport. Apparently the moron had misinterpreted "meet me under the clocks" with "wander around aimlessly and get lost". Dean lets me borrow his spare Myki card (basically VIC equivalent of GoVia). Cameron continues to drink the Fanta which makes his tongue orange. I sit close to Cameron on the train and say to him that his tongue is orange. He seemed impressed with himself. I pull out my 3DS to check my streetpasses. Once again he sits next to me judging me.

We depart the train for the venue. We pass Cameron Street. I wanted to take a photo of Cameron next to this sign, but it wasn't meant to be. We get to the venue and meet Leisha and Bryce. She hugs me, and I shake Bryce's hand. We pretend to look excited to play PM. We all scramble to play our singles matches, with all of us losing 0-2 every match. We play doubles, and I use the most effective move in the game; Peach down smash. We manage to take a set off some bad players. We were very happy. We got knocked out next round and decided to get Afghan Pizza...
Date: 22/5/2015
Time: ~12:00 PM

We leave the venue with Leisha and Bryce to get Pizza. At the pizza shop, it took me significantly longer than it should have to order what I wanted. I got a large Hawaiian Pizza. Dean got a small Aussie Pizza. Cameron got a large Aussie Pizza to share with Justin. I pay for my pizza. The cashier gives me ten 50c pieces in change. I am judging him silently. We wait for what seems like an eternity. Lux appears in the Afghan Pizza shop. I had seen him earlier and asked if he wanted to join us. At the time he expressed distaste for the Afghan Pizza shop, but lo and behold here he was ordering food from there.

Another guy walks in with a Project M shirt on.

"Do you play Project M?" I ask.

He stares at me.

We all get our orders. Cameron pays for his pizza after he's received it for some reason and we leave the Afghan Pizza shop together. Once at the venue, we head into the Secret Roomâ„¢, which wasn't all that secret since there was some random PM player and Splice trying to sleep in it. We eat our pizzas. I didn't expect the large pizza to be large, so I only ate half of it. Cameron sits next to me judging me once more, but at the same time I sat there judging him because he doesn't like Pineapple.

Cameron's PM pool is about to start. He's first up against some SA player called Kaizmo. As they're playing, Cameron exposes this Kaizmo's FRAUDULENT Wolf and like, 8 stocks it basically. Splice appears and chats to us. I wave at him seductively. I know who he is, but he doesn't know who I am. I eventually tell him. At this point, FRAUDLORD Kaizmo switches from Wolf to Falco because he got destroyed basically. Cameron loses the next two games, although they were quite close. I was surprised that SA was so bad at PM. We push Cameron to finish his last PM match with some Fox player. Once again Cameron is doing really well. But then the Fox player, 3 stocks in, informs us that his controller isn't working properly. The FRAUDULENT Fox player asks if they can restart. Cameron agrees for some reason. Meanwhile I'm standing there shaking my head. What a disgusting person; how dare they do what they just did! To use controller johns to restart a match that you were losing by like, 3 stocks, was just outright cheating to be honest. Cameron loses the next two games, we cheer, and leave the venue as fast as we can.

Date: 22/5/2015
Time: ~3:00 PM

I remove Cameron from the Skype group chat.

We leave the venue with our arms over each others shoulders. I wonder what the people in public thought of us. We get to Leisha's car. We are at a slight impasse. We want to go to a chocolate café, but the car only seats 5 of us and we have 6 people. We decide to take our chances. Leisha jumps in the back first, then Cameron, then me, then Dean. There isn't much room and I don't like sitting this close to Cameron. Leisha says that if we see police then one of us should probably duck our heads. I decide to do it basically permanently. Cameron then sees this as an opportunity to use my back as an arm rest. I don't remember giving him permission to use me as a piece of furniture.

We park at our destination and walk, and walk and walk for what seems like an eternity. We get to the chocolate café. Leisha, Dean and Bryce all order something, but Cameron thinks it's too expensive so he didn't want to get anything. I sigh in pity and ask him what him and Justin want. I order us 3 milkshakes. My train of thought came down to "it's not fun to be left out, so this will give them something at least without sending me bankrupt".

Sitting at the table, we get our milkshakes. Leisha and Bryce have lit candles decorating their liquid chocolate bowl. I drink my milkshake, but the alleyway has a distinct draft. The more I drink of the milkshake, the colder I get. I start shivering, and aren't sure how much longer I can take this. Cameron is still trying to drink his damned milkshake despite the fact that literally everyone else is finished. Leisha runs off to the bathroom and takes like, 20 mins. She comes back, and decides that toasting one of the last two marshmallows on the decorated candle would be a good idea. It worked. I really wanted to try also, except I accidentally set mine on fire. I tried to feed the once-on-fire marshmallow to Cameron, but he recoils in horror, so Dean eats it instead.

It's incredibly cold. The others are worried about me, Leisha tells me to bring a thicker jumper next time, and Cameron tells me to keep my hoodie on. We decide to go to the EB games on Swanston Street, as they often have tournaments held there on Friday. We come up with a plan; we will convince Deez that I'm Leisha's cousin from South Morang, named David...

Date: 22/5/2015
Time: ~5:00 PM

We get to the Swanston Street EB Games store. We get up the stairs and there's a huge crowd of people there. The people have crowded the area, so we don't dare go close. Instead we sit near the stairwell. I see a familiar face, though he does not recognize me. It's Earl. Previously we'd met in 2012, so I chatted to him for a bit. He seemed to have matured a lot since I'd last seen him. No longer only a robot, he seemed like an actual person this time. He didn't know we'd met before, but he recognized my name as the Smashboards data guy, which really made me happy.

Cameron was elsewhere, and tried to introduce me to Deez, but I was a bit busy talking to Earl. Apparently Cameron had convinced Deez thoroughly that I really WAS Leisha's cousin, David, from South Morang. Unfortunately this ruse was shattered instantly when V came running at me yelling "AERO?" with her bug net in hand.

The bug net gets put over my head.

"Oh," I said.

Deez seems excited to meet me finally. He seems much less annoying in real life. I ignore him mostly to talk to other people I'd just met, like Astra who was someone I'd known years ago, and V who was sitting there directly adjacent to me. We chat some more and the EB organizer asks if any of us wanted to replace some idiots who signed up as a joke. Cameron and I agree.

My set is first. My Sheik gets bopped by some high schooler. I beat him after with Bowser however. The same thing happens to Cameron. His Bowser gets bopped, but he beats his opponent with Charizard. I'm informed that my next opponent is V.

"Oh," I said.

Cameron plays his match vs this other high schooler and gets exposed and loses to this child 2-1. I find out that V has actually quit and my real opponent is Jei. I decide to play forward smash the character, but ultimately I lose 2-1 also.

We all quickly leave after this since the EB tournament really isn't that interesting at all.

Leisha and Bryce disappear and we go back to the hotel briefly before going to the BAM venue for the pre-tournament whatever it was they were doing there. Not very exciting stuff. We literally show up for 10 mins and decided that the hotel was approximately 10x more interesting.

We watch primarily my youtube videos on Cameron's bed for the rest of the night, before finally going to sleep for the BAM pools the next morning.

Date: 23/5/2015
Time: ~8:00 AM

The alarm goes off once more. I put my hand to my face, and rub my eyes. Dean opens the blinds.

"THE SUN," I yell. Nobody finds it funny.

We all take turns having showers, but we don't have time to get breakfast. Justin was DQ'd because Cameron was an idiot and got the pools wrong. We hurry to the venue since my pools are basically almost started. We wait at the line but Dean tells me to just walk through and let the Smash 4 organizers know I'm there. I rush by Rhyno who I'd been dying to see, but it was important that I not get DQ'd from the tournament all together.

"You're just in time, we were about to disqualify you," they said.

I rub the back of my head in relief and start playing my pools matches. First up was some Perth player. Being from Perth, this made him automatically garbage in my eyes. I was right. That was an easy set. My next match was against a 3rd seed Mii Gunner, who probably should have been a 2nd seed also. I lose to her 2-0 since I SD'd once in both games. I'm struggling to keep my countenance. I had two more opponent next. Some Mario player who destroyed my Sheik in game one, but lost to Bowser cheese in games 2 and 3, and some girl's Toon Link who destroyed my Robin in game one, but lost to Bowser cheese in games 2 and 3 also.

I had to play the person I lost to once more. Whether I get out of pools, it came down to this. First game was easy, not really sure what happened, it was a blur really. I 2 stocked her Mii Gunner with ease using my Rosalina. It was going pretty good. I banned some stage that wasn't FD, so she counterpicked that. Something happened, I SD'd and lost all hope of winning the match. I kinda just let her hit me so the match could be over quicker. She bans Battlefield, and I counterpick Lylat to counter her silly short hop shenanigans. I utterly crush her for the first and second stock; it's there, victory is in sight. My superior thought process had determined that Lylat would be the best stage choice to ruin Mii Gunner's terrible vertical recovery, which happened in game like I had predicted.

The percentage is 140% to 50%, I have the stage control. I only have to land one KO move to land myself in bracket.

Then it happens.

She lands a random down smash. It outright KO's me from center stage with good DI. I look at the screen in shock, while the Mii Gunner lady cries out in excitement and beats her chest. I wordlessly shake her hand and unplug my controller. I stand up and see everyone there; I try to smile, but I can't. Cam, Rhyno, Dean, Leisha... and everyone else. "What are they thinking," I wonder to myself. I'm still not sure to this day. I receive numerous Skype messages from everyone from qldsmash, but they hardly console me. The fact that I lost... was devastating. I space out entirely for the next half an hour or so...

Date: 23/5/2015
Time: ~10:00 AM

We walk over to the streaming area. I sit down next to Cameron on the chair and chat with him and Ryan. Shane and the other commentator want me to money match Cameron. I'm hardly in the mood. I don't want to do it, but Cameron informs me of a rather underhanded change of events; he'll be playing a character I have no matchup experience against instead, AKA Bowser. His Charizard is trash and easy to beat, but I'd never played a good Bowser in Smash 4 before.

We do Rock, Paper, Scissors. He picks paper. I pick rock. He leans in close.

"Paper wraps rock," he says softly as he gently cups my fist with his hand.

I stare at him. My emotions are getting harder to control, and I resist the urge to hit him.

Shane bets with Dean $10 on me winning. I sit there dying inside, I can't take this pressure of being on stream as it is, let alone Shane's money on the line. We start the games. It was best of 3. The first game was really close; Cameron got lucky to have won it really. The second game though, I continued to fall deeper into despair.

I lose. I stare at Cameron wordlessly. He cradles my face gently with his hand, then he picks up his $2.50. He's laughing. The commentators are laughing. Dean is laughing. Ryan is laughing. V is trying her best not to laugh. Cameron extends his hand for a handshake. I continue staring at him. He grabs my hand and shakes it for me.

We start a friendly. Lucina vs Bowser. I just want to forward smash my troubles away. V offers us both some chocolate.

I destroy him first stock, though neither of us are really taking it seriously. He eats the piece of chocolate after respawning off the platform. Is he... mocking me? I shake my head. I don't want to play. During the second stock, I SD and pull my controller out and leave.

I hate him. I don't know what these feelings are. He's the only person I've ever managed to simultaneously love and hate at the exact same time. I know I'll talk to him later, but for now I just want him to disappear.
Date: 23/5/2015
Time: ~11:00 AM

I sit down with Cameron and Rhyno. I'm not speaking to Cameron.

"Talk to meeeeeee," he whines.

We play some Monster Hunter together. Cameron says something stupid. I look behind at him and I smile inadvertently. He smiles back. I roll my eyes at the bumbling idiot. Khoa comes up to me. I'm excited to see him, since I hadn't seen him since 2012. I leech off Rhyno and Cameron in Monster Hunter while I talk to Khoa about stuff and things.

"We should all get lunch together!" I exclaim. "But not Asian food," I say sternly.

He looks at me.

"That was the worst thing you could have said to me," he says.

We smile. He's making me feel better about the day gone by.

Cameron and I sit on the stairs outside the venue. I'm tired, but so is he. He pulls out a tubelike thing. It's a caffeinated energy gel. He takes about 20 minutes to get it open to eat it. I tell him he probably shouldn't eat it. He tries to consume the energy gel, but the look on his face tells me that it's not particularly enjoyable to eat. As he's eating it, I can smell... something. I can smell the energy gel from where I'm sitting!

"Are you sure that's safe to eat?!" I ask worriedly.

I demand him to look at the used by date.

"April 2015".

"These things have like, a 10 year shelf life!" I say.

He seems to agree to my request not to finish it and throws it away.

Leisha and Cameron have their pool coming up shortly...

Date: 23/5/2015
Time: ~4:00 PM

Pool P. Cameron and Leisha begin their matches. Cameron first up is against some Kirby player. Leisha is against her opponent. They both win 2-0. Unfortunately a cruel twist of fate has them against each other in the second round.

I love both Leisha and Cameron and want to see them get through, but with Meteor Master in the same pool, it seems unlikely that both will get out. They begin the set. It's Leisha's ROB versus Cameron's Bowser. They pick Town & City, and Leisha utterly crushes Cameron in the first game of the set. At some stage she tech chases him and KOs him with up air to up air at 80%. The second game was hardly any better; I can't remember a time when I had seen Cameron manhandled so brutally in Smash. I wanted to give Cameron matchup advice, but how could I coach for Cameron and not Leisha? I could see clearly the things they should have been doing; but kept silent on the matter.

Cameron is sent to losers to play against Lizam, who had knocked into losers by some random player I'd never heard of before. Lizam seemed like a nice guy. He was neat and well dressed; something I don't expect from most Smashers. Then again, he had about eighty thousand layers of clothing on and a stylish scarf. I probably should have gotten his real name while I was there.

They start their set, once again Cameron finds himself losing terribly. It amazes me that he does so well against me, but so poorly against people I would hold my own against. The first game goes to Lizam. The second game goes to Cameron. The final game would decide it all...

The last stock is last hit. Both players will die to just about anything. Or so I thought. The game continues to drag on forever. My heart rate increases and increases. I can barely watch the set in front of me. Then it happens. Lizam lands the final blow. 2-1 to Lizam. They shake hands and Cameron stands up and shuffles away. I can read just about anyone based on what their facial expressions are at the time. But Cameron is harder to read than anyone I've known. I give him a hug. He did well, I suppose, but he had the potential to get out of that pool, so I was a bit disappointed in him. His placement was equal 81st, compared to my equal 33rd out of 160.

He didn't really tell me what he was feeling, then again I didn't either when I lost. He asked me to teach him how to play against Sonic. I knew at the time what to do, but I decided that I'll consider teaching him at a later date.

We go to McDonald's (again) with Rhyno and Dean in tow. We order food, and I give my chips to Dean and Rhyno to eat. Cameron is sitting next to me; judging. Rhyno and Dean play with the build your own burger sign, like it's a minigame. I notice something on the lights above us. There is... dried coke on the lightshade. I am judging everything so hard right now.

We hurry back to the venue. Doubles will start soon. I have a text message 5 minutes before doubles starts. It's from my best friend. I call him. To be honest, I was terrified at that point. I was so scared I was going to let Cameron down in doubles, just like my mediocre performance earlier today had let me down in singles. My mind races as the darkness enfolds me. But just hearing my friends' voice over the phone, it snapped me back to my senses and reassures me of why I'm there. He wishes me good luck and I hang up the phone.

We're called to start our doubles matches.

Date: 23/5/2015
Time: ~6:00 PM

We've found our doubles opponents. Cameron asks me who I want him to use. I tell him it doesn't worry me who he uses. I had been asking Cameron weeks prior who he wanted me to use for doubles at BAM. He said he didn't care at all. We sit down at the set up and I select my character.

"Robin!" the announcer yells.

I'd been training a bit with Robin for this day. My superior thought process had determined that this would be the best character to pick as a doubles partner for Cameron, but I hadn't accounted for him switching to Bowser for the tournament. It mattered not; this was my last chance to show off a fantastic display of skill.

Cameron being Cameron, he tends to be very unaware of his surroundings, which leads to him hitting me often. In doubles friendlies I targeted him on purpose to condition him to keep an eye out for me and to avoid my own attacks.

Our first opponents are a guy and girl. As the commander of our team, it was up to me to do the thinking for both of us, since Cameron generally doesn't think at all. The first team was fairly easy to beat.

"The key to victory, lies within," I think to myself.

I check the Challonge bracket. Next up are two NSW/ACT players. We quickly start our set, but Cameron does awfully in the first game and we lose it. He looks at me sternly and tells me not to pick Robin again. I was taken aback... He sounded so serious... So scary... So I pick Sheik. Doubts and fears begin cloud my mind.

The second game goes well, and he pulls off this awesome double KO during the match with Bowser's Flying Slam.

"Have sex with me!" is my joking response to his double KO. He looks at me with this big goofy grin.

The final match didn't go quite so well however. Previous doubts and fears take over; during the match I can do nothing but watch in terror. I don't have enough space to combo, I'm not doing enough chip damage and Cameron keeps hitting me whenever I get near him. We lose our winners bracket set. I go on tilt. I can't help it. I'd failed. But I remember the voice of my friend once more and steel myself for the losers bracket. But before that, I pull Cameron over to the side.

"Cameron..." I say. " Don't tell me to pick Sheik again."

Our next match was against two players who were bad. We utterly crush them.

"Hey Aero," comes a voice. "Looks like you'll get your chance to play Liquid Chillindude after all."

The voice was Cameron with the challonge bracket. The stage was set. It seemed as though I'd really get to play one of the world's best Melee players in my own game of Smash.

Date: 23/5/2015
Time: ~7:00 PM

I look at the Challonge bracket. Our team name seems to have been changed to "Boozer sucks Aerodrome". Cameron seems less than impressed, as I look at him over my shoulder smugly. Our opponent really does seem to be Liquid Chillindude!

We find Chillindude and his partner. We greet them, and his partner says to watch out for Cameron because he's a Smash 4 player. He eyes over me however.

"I don't recognize this guy though... He must be trash," he says, looking into my eyes.

I clench my fist slightly. Who is this person? Obnoxious and abhorrent, I despise him already. Chillindude seemingly tries to make peace than try to trash talk me, mentioning my Smashboards shirt.

Smiling fakely, I say: "I've never been on Smashboards before in my life."

"Fair enough," comes the reply.

I'm furious. I will demolish them singlehandedly if I have to. I tag Chillindude's Donkey Kong as my opponent for the first match, while Cameron tags the other person's Megaman. I thought Chillindude would be better, but he wasn't particularly amazing. He was better than his doubles opponent though who was really quite atrocious. We 6 stock them in the first match. While I wasn't actively showing it, I was still seething with rage.

The next game they want to gentleman's PAC-LAND; AKA the worst stage in the game. We agree because they're going to lose anyway. The game is a bit of a blur really, but I do remember one of them yelling out "WHY DOES ROBIN STILL HAVE 3 STOCKS?" which made me laugh maniacally internally.

We crush them this game also. We shake hands and move on to find our strongest opponents yet; Kira and Enn.

Kira's Zero Suit Samus had been famous since Brawl days, and she was in top 8 of singles, so I knew not to underestimate her. I didn't know who Enn was, but he was also from NSW so he was sure to be a formidable opponent also. We sit down at a set up. Someone wants the chair I'm sitting on. I tell them to go away. They do... temporarily anyway.

We start our game on Battlefield. The pressure is intense, but I can't fold now! Kira does the smart thing and tags me for most of the match, something that other players hadn't done in the sets previously. I'm struggling with Kira's rushdown, she continues to pressure me, but I'm not losing it yet. Cameron is doing well against Enn but probably not as well as he could be doing. The game progresses with Cameron on 1 stock and me on 2 stock. We have the stock lead, but Cameron has almost lost his last one. He loses it and takes my spare. It's pretty even now... Enn is the first to fall, then Cameron shortly afterwards leaving just Kira and I. The stock percentages are basically the same. Cameron sits next to me nervously. Kira and I trade blows until we're both at KO percent... I land a hit which knocks her offstage. She recovers high with Flip Kick. I can see it, I can see clearly what she's going to do.

"There it is!"

She jumps and I up air in the area I predict her to be. It hits cleanly and KOs her off the top of the blastzone. She seemed genuinely surprised. The second match begins and it's just as intense. Same characters, same stage. This match went a bit easier for me, because I tagged Enn instead of Kira. Cameron loses all his stocks, but once again I have a stock for him to use up. Kira loses her last stock, while Enn is on very high percent. Cameron and I are both an Ebola back throw away from death, but somehow I do it; I land a KO blow on Enn's Ness.

Kira and Enn are incredible sports about their loss. They high five each other and fist bump. I wish other players were like this. We all shake hands and part ways. Our next match is against one of SA's best, and some random person I've never heard of called Flow Rats. I try to get information on them but to no avail. I hope for the best in our next set.

Date: 23/5/2015
Time: ~8:00 PM

Our doubles match is up. Ghost and Flow Rats use Diddy and Palutena respectively. Such a strange team. We begin our matches, but they were formidable opponents indeed. Neither Cameron or I did particularly well in either games and we lose to them 2-0. I was a bit disappointed, but I suppose I tried my best. 13th/51 was pretty good; but I just hoped that Cameron was happy with that also.

Top 8 in doubles would be happening the next day. Matches finish and Dean goes back to the hotel. We hang around for a bit at the venue, but decide to get a drink before going back to the room. There's a small corner store that doesn't seem to ever close, so we go there. I pick up a soft drink, but Cameron finds a Milky Way branded drink. I judge him. He looks at the price. It's about $5. I judge the drink. Cameron buys the drink. I continue to judge him.

Exiting the store, Cameron remarks that the drink better give him an orgasm for the price he paid. I raise my eyebrows at him and shake my head. Even in the best of times, hearing Cameron talk about this is something I don't want to hear.

"You know that's probably just chocolate milk right? I don't think chocolate milk works that way," I say.

We go up the elevator and back to the room. Opening the door; Jei, Meteor Master, Atyeo and Dean are discussing the seeding of the bracket the next day. There's no room on the beds, so I sit close to Cameron on Justin's sofa bed. While the guys discuss the seeding, we sit there and listen. Cameron discovers that his drink has chunky bits in it. He shows me, and I silently wonder to myself if that drink is out of date, but decide it would be funnier if it was and I don't tell him. There's not much room on this sofa bed. I basically had to almost sit on Cameron's feet.

I suggest they put Earl and V on the same side of the bracket. I get told to shut up by Dean.

They finish the seeding and leave, so I unbox the gift that Rhyno gave me earlier that day; a Wario Amiibo. I set it up on Dean's Wii U. I have to name the Amiibo.


"cameron..." was its name.

We decide to train the Amiibo by putting it against a level 9 custom Zelda with Farore's Windfail. The Zelda CPU JV 4 stocks the Amiibo.

"Well... It's definitely an accurate representation of Cameron's skill," I say.

"Awwwwwww," Cameron whines.

We continue for a while training the Amiibo, but as the night drags on, I get drowsier and drowsier. I fall asleep on Cameron's bed.

I wake up to the sounds of laughter. They're playing replays that were saved during the day at BAM. I think what I was watching was the worst thing I've ever seen. Two players who didn't know what teamwork was, and a Link player who used Side B about 4 times, and Down B a grand total of 0 times. He charges an arrow under the platform of Battlefield and after 10 seconds, this Robin just throws a book at him, KO'ing him. I fall back to sleep.

I wake up again. This time the Amiibo named "cameron..." was facedown on my crotch. Judging by Cameron's laugh, I assumed he's put it there. I think he just wanted an excuse to touch my crotch while I was sleeping though to be honest. Cameron kicks me off his bed, and I trudge off to my own bed and fall fast asleep again. Tomorrow is the final day of BAM...
Date: 24/5/2015
Time: ~11:00 AM

I wake up. Across the room I see Cameron sleeping soundly. I turn to my left. Dean is staring at me. It seems he's been awake for a while.

I lay in bed thinking about the events that have transpired over the last few days. Dean goes to have a shower. His phone alarm goes off.

"Bzzt... Bzzt..."

It sounded pretty muffled. I wonder to myself how he wakes up to this in the morning.

"Bzzt... Bzzt... Bzzt..."

It continues. It slowly grows louder.

"BZZT... BZZT..."

Cameron and Justin wake up.

" BZZT... BZZZT..."

The alarm's vibration echos across the room, waking up the entire hotel in the process. I don't think I've heard a louder phone vibration in my life.

Dean exits the shower and turns the phone alarm off. I tell Cameron to go have a shower. He refuses, insisting that deodorant is good enough.


We leave for the venue, because Dean's meant to be there by 12:00 PM. Meeting up with Rhyno, he tells me he also didn't have a shower. I ask why. He tells me that deodorant is good enough.

I hear a cracking noise. What could it be? Oh I know what that is. It's my sanity.

Deez appears. He asks me why I removed him from the Skype group.

"Because you're annoying," I say flatly.

It seems to work. But Deez wants to money match Cameron and I. Cameron has no money, so I hand him a $20 note to go win some free money. They find a set up and start the money match. Cameron loses the first 2 games. He wins the next 2 games. In the final game he was winning hard, but he threw away an easy win and got Aura Sphere'd on the ledge. I judge him harshly. I decide to try to win the money back with random characters, but lose 3-0.

"Can I be let back in the Skype chat now?" he asks after he beats me.

"No," I say with a mortified look on my face.

"Damn, oh well maybe next time!" he says.

I judge him and leave soon after because he said something rude to me, which I don't quite remember what it was. I go play some friendlies with Leisha and friends.
Date: 24/5/2015
Time: ~7:00 PM

The day continues and it's time for the Smash 4 finals. It's V vs Atyeo, with V in losers bracket. I pray that she's able to defeat him...

They start playing on the big projector screen as a crowd gathers. Hundreds of people are watching. The pressure is intense, it amazes me that both players can play at their best under the cold gaze of the crowd.

They start game 1. V loses terribly as Villager. She changes to Ness and resets the bracket.

They start the second set.

What I feel in that room is pressure like no other. Chants across the room for both players ring through.

"Let's go Veee, let's go! Let's go Veee, let's go!"


The games that I watched from that projector were flawless. A beautiful display of each other figuring each other out and adapting back. Their quality of play was something I've not seen for a long time, and I was jealous of it. If only I had even half the skill of the two competitors before me.

Every game has a stock closed with Ness back throw. Every time it happens, Bijou looks at me from the audience, points, and smiles. I smile back, but I'm struggling to keep my composure just watching.

I want V to win.

They continue to play and they get to game 5. This is it! This will be the game that determines who is victorious; and who will feel the pains of defeat.

The game starts and it's dead even. My heart rate increases slightly.

Atyeo begins to take the lead, with both players on high percentages, V makes the hardest read I've ever seen. She runs past Atyeo and pivot forward smashes! The crowd bursts out! My heart rate increases even more.

Atyeo equalizes fast with an upsmash. My heart rate continues to increase.

The crowd and commentators go silent. Eyes fixated on the screen in front of them.

V pulls ahead and cements her lead. The crowd begins to chant again:

"Back throw... Back throw..."

At this point she starts to tunnel vision. My heart rate is through the roof, I'm not sure how much more I can take this.

Atyeo equalizes the percentages again. One whiffed move will spell losing the game for both of them.

Then it happens.

Atyeo fires a blaster from mid range...


She lands the grab and uses Ebola back throw. It's over. Atyeo's Fox hurtles towards the blastzone and everyone erupts into cheers.

I see Bijou pointing at me still. This is probably the happiest I've ever been to see someone be back thrown by a Ness player.

Date: 24/5/2015
Time: ~8:00 PM

V had done it. She'd won BAM7 and proven herself as one of the best in Australia.

As Cameron and I are walking, I come across Nikes standing back to a wall looking lonely and lost. My heart went out to him. Like me, he came to BAM7 expecting a much higher placing than he'd gotten. As we approached him, he seemed pretty distressed. I'd previously found Nikes to be annoying online, but decided that I cannot leave someone to be depressed about something like this to fend for themselves. We go over there and I mention that he looked a bit sad. Cameron gave him a hug. I would have too, but Cameron's hug looked so insincere, I decided it was for the best that I didn't. We chat; and I make him laugh a few times. Even if it was just for a bit... I'd hoped that I had cheered him up a bit.

I move away from the area where Smash 4 finals were hosted to money match Shane. If Shane lost, he had to use Wendy next tournament. If I lost, I had to use the tag "HelloKitty1996" next tournament. I lose the set. In the end he KO'd me by spamming Bowser Jr. forward tilt. I smiled at him and said "good games", but inside I almost wanted to cry. I'd come to BAM7 to display some aspect of Queensland's skill, but I'd lost pretty much every game miserably to everyone I played. I can hardly take it. What am I lacking?

We go over to watch the VIC vs NSW/ACT crews. Victoria wins it, but Waveguider managed to drag it out to the very end, to like, last stock. I was slightly impressed. It's here that I get to briefly congratulate V.

We move away from the crews area again. We all decide to take a group photo. Justin takes the photo for us.

Leisha, Dean, Shane, Rhyno, Bryce, Cameron and I get into position for the photo.

Cameron jumps on my back.

"Guh..." I think to myself. It surprises me that he's almost as heavy in real life as he is in doubles. Must be that potbelly of his.

The photo gets taken.

I hope to look back at this photo in years to come; to be able to treasure and relive these memories with my friends once more.

Date: 24/5/2015
Time: ~9:00 PM

Together we leave the venue with Khoa and everyone else to get dinner. Ryan pulls out his deodorant and kindly shares it around.

"I have my own deodorant, but I want to use yours," I say.

We settle on some chicken schnitzel. We get there and we all order food and sit down. Cameron won't sit next to me, so I tell Justin to sit next to me instead.

We chat a bit. Leisha attempts to eat Dean's lapel card. Dean comments that there seems to be something wrong with Bryce's girlfriend. Cameron tells Leisha she should eat the fork. Bijou agrees because the fork was high in iron.

We get our food. Cameron once again hasn't ordered anything. I was coerced to buy chips, but I forgot to eat them. Everyone judges me. We leave the food place.

We walk to the nearby intersection. It's here that we part ways with Khoa, Shane and Rhyno. I shake their hands and say goodbye, since who knows when we will see each other again.

We walk past McDonald's and decide to get ice cream. I buy Cameron an ice cream. We eat the ice cream and leave.

We continue walking. We get to the BAM venue, and find that it's time to say goodbye to Leisha and Bryce. I shake Bryce's hand and Leisha bear hugs me until I suffocate and Cameron has to give me CPR kisses (may or may not have been forced to write this by Leisha). We leave.

Walking back to the hotel, I miss everyone already. We have to hurry though, Cameron and Justin have a train to catch.

In the hotel room, I decide that it's finally time to arm wrestle Cameron. On the table, we ready ourselves for the manly display of strength. Arms outstretched, I pull my head up and glare at him. He smiles. Hands clasped, the arm wrestle begins.

I struggle for the first 5 to 10 seconds.

"NNnngh..." I mumble.

I look up at Cameron. Is he... smiling? A part inside of me resonates as my face transitions from surprised shock to rage. Using a well of untapped strength, I slam Cameron's arm down on the table violently. He seemed surprised but was smiling anyway. I accuse him of going easy on me, but apparently he wasn't. I compare my arms to his; his are bigger than mine. If he could actually tap into that strength he would probably beat me, but that's not something I would ever say to him.

It's time to go now. If we don't leave now, we'll miss the train that Justin and Cameron have to catch to get back to their hometown.

Date: 24/5/2015
Time: ~9:30 PM

My arm is a bit sore. I'd probably overexerted myself when arm wrestling Cameron. That said, I was a bit miffed that he didn't put up a better fight; considering that before BAM he was basically saying that there was no way I'd beat him in an arm wrestle.

We exit the hotel into the cold streets of Melbourne. I forgot my jumper, but it was fine. I'd gotten used to the cold after the short period of time I was exposed to it. Somehow we get onto the topic of when I used to swim and not be a lazy gamer. I try to bait a response from Cameron by mentioning how I used to have to shave and also that I used to wear spandex/speedos when I swam. He doesn't take the bait.

As we're walking, the time is getting dangerously close to the train arriving and departing. We're not going to make it. The home stretch is there, but we see a train above pull into the station from a distance away.

"T-that's... not your train is it?" I ask.

It probably is.

Realizing that we still might make it in time, I grab Justin's suitcase and sprint towards the train station. I knew full well at the time that sprinting was a bad idea, but it was important that we get there before the train leaves. I run as fast and as far as I can. I hadn't ran for a while, and certainly not while carrying a large suitcase. I wondered to myself at what point in my life I'd allowed myself to get so unfit.

I run past other pedestrians to get to the train station. I then realize that I really have no idea where I'm going. Looking behind me, both Cameron and Justin were heavily struggling to keep up with my pace. They catch up and we enter the train station together.

Platform 10. Of course it had to be the furthest boarding platform.

We run to the platform and up the ramp. I get there first.

9:43 PM.

Huffing, I put Justin's suitcase down.

"D-did we make it...?" I stammer.

Cameron gets to the top of the ramp with a defeated expression on his face. Silence.

"What time does the train get here?" I ask.

"9:41 PM," is the reply.

We'd missed the train by 2 minutes. Cameron mutters something. Probably something to do with how screwed he is considering that was the last train of the night. Guilt and sorrow flows freely through my mind. Ultimately this was my fault; my error. If only we hadn't gone for ice cream with Leisha and Bryce at McDonald's. If only I hadn't forced Cameron to arm wrestle me... Maybe... Just maybe we would have made it.

Looking at the times, the next train arrives at 6:20 AM the next day. It's the only alternative.

Dean and I exit the train station first, leaving Cameron to calm Justin down. At this point my leg is damaged enough that I can't really walk properly on it now. We continue walking. I walk past a store that catches my eye. I inadvertently stare at it while walking past. I realize quickly what I'm doing and look away, hoping that no one noticed or that if they did, they weren't judging me.

I notice Cameron struggling with his duffle bag. I try to atone for my mistake, and offer to hold onto the bag while we walk. It's heavy, but I can deal with it. We continue walking for what feels like miles. Silence fills the air.

Carrying both Justin and Cameron's travel bags, I start to struggle. My arms are sore and it's getting harder to walk straight on my injured leg. We keep walking, and are almost at the hotel when a weight is lifted off my shoulder. My eyes widen and I look up and behind me. It's Cameron. He takes the bag for me.

"It's heavy, isn't it?" he says while grinning.

I slow down and watch him as he walks past to lead the way.

We enter the hotel room once more...

Date: 25/5/2015
Time: ~12:00 AM

At the hotel Cameron is left to do the explaining of why they weren't on the train getting home. In the meantime I check my leg over because it was hurting quite bad. Cameron gets off the phone. We all decide that what's done is done, there's really not much that we can do. Guilt however still plagues my mind.

I call Jezmo over Skype and talk to him about the events that have transpired over the last few days. We train cameron... the Amiibo to level 50. We all take turns trying to beat cameron... the Amiibo. I get the closest until it started blatantly cheating. Cameron and I play some Smash after this. At some point both Dean and Justin go to sleep and Jezmo hangs up the phone. I was still mad that Cameron switched to Bowser just to screw me over. I try to get some matchup experience against it. He beat me in most of the games, but I could definitely feel that I'd gotten better at the matchup by the end of it. At least, by a little bit.

Everytime he beat me I would glare in his general direction.

"Don't hate meeeeee!" he would whine. "I'm allowed to winnnnnnn...!" he said while stamping his feet.

I look over at Dean. He seemed to be awake. I wonder to myself how long he'd been sitting there watching.

We'd been playing Smash for about 6 hours. Cameron winquits Smash and lies down on the bed. I wanted to keep playing but I'm glad he stopped because my neck was killing me.

It's 5:45 AM. We wake Justin up and get ready to go to the train station. If Cameron missed this one he might actually end up dead meat. We walk into the darkness of the morning. The crisp breeze is even colder than I had imagined. We get to the train station and to the platform where the train arrives.

Cameron sits down on the seat. He looks pretty tired. I was too considering we pulled an allnighter. He looks up at me.

"Aero can you get me a drink?"

I walk over to the vending machine and get him a Fanta and give it to him. The train pulls up shortly afterward.

And so this signals his time to leave. They organize their stuff... Cameron walks towards me. I outstretch my hand for a handshake because it was time to part ways.

He ignores my hand and keeps walking toward me.

He hugs me.

I was really surprised... but I quickly hugged him back tightly. I was going to miss seeing him a lot, and I think he knew that.

They take their stuff and head into the train. It begins to depart. I wave at them until the train is out of sight. I stare into the distance momentarily. When would I see them again? This is hardly the time for that though. I turn to Dean, smiling.

"I'm glad Cameron's gone," he says.

I smile, and we head back to the hotel.

by Aerodrome 06/01/2015 00:00:00

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