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Short Story
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Writer Nelso555
  • G: General Audiences
  • PG: Parental Guidance Suggested
  • PG-13: Parents Strongly Cautioned
  • R: Restricted
198 Reads

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Oct 7, 2017
10 Mins Read
No Plagiarism!KJjqEuczmyFkSbNLbDwoposted on PENANA

Remove the clip, unscrew the suppressor… piece by piece I take the rifle apart, sip my coffee, and begin the automatic process of cleaning the weapons. It’s been over a week since I was in the field. The safehouse is quiet; I’ve been at the weapons locker all morning keeping them polished and calibrating the sights, across from me is a round table with playing cards and poker chips scattered across it, and an ashtray, the room still smells like cigarettes and coffee. Charlie sits on the far side of the room with her feet up on the desk, reading a book smothered in the blue glow of a large computer screen. We’re both waiting. A red light bleeps on the computer. Our operatives have been compromised. We prepare for emergency extraction.copyright protection73PENANAlGziDWo1F2

Thirty minutes later I am standing on a balcony overlooking the city docks. It’s a nice day so I have a clear view of everything going on down there. Everything seems to be normal. I unsling my backpack, remove my laptop and begin setting up.copyright protection73PENANAPpM9PqD200

I hear Charlie’s voice through my ear-piece. “Two guards on the front entrance – no surprise. You in position?”copyright protection73PENANAAFltR8e3LL

“Hang on. Still setting up.” I remove the case containing my rifle and look through the scope, getting a clear sight of a man armed with an SMG walking along the pier. When I switch on the power the HUD appears; the man’s body becomes highlighted, I receive a distance marker, wind speed, and an icon naming him unknown.copyright protection73PENANAr6r0p4WN6C

“What’s taking so long?” Charlie asks.copyright protection73PENANAQW1C5R3JT3

I turn to my laptop and prepare the signal jammer. “There were a lot of stairs. Direct EMP almost primed.” I look through the scope and spot Charlie standing under the western wall of the compound. “Hello there.” She is highlighted in green and her name appears in the corner.copyright protection73PENANAJuI4XzdbCZ

“If you’re aiming that thing at me you better have the safety on.”copyright protection73PENANAW45o4us1iz

“I installed the new model, remember? I inputted your biometrics as friendly so the safety auto-activates.”copyright protection73PENANAD8vELAwOjp

“Huh, that’s pretty neat.”copyright protection73PENANAR3TA8Qal2N

“Okay,” I begin scanning the compound, “Let’s see what we’re up against. There’s a lookout in a tower on the north-east storage building, tagging him now.”copyright protection73PENANAkYRqnWVPXd

My scope is linked to Charlie’s tactical visor, so when I tag enemies, they become highlighted for her as well.copyright protection73PENANAoAlUf7uLVO

There are three boats being loaded with crates full of weapons. If our operatives were successful hopefully some of them now contain trackers that’ll lead us to the buyers. My sights trail along the pier until I spot something disheartening; an intimidating man is waving a handgun around while his henchmen tie up two captives and dangle them over the water. I focus on the leader. Primary target: Ramir Alvarez.copyright protection73PENANAbNS4o0VylY

“Shit… I’ve located the operatives, and Alvarez – he has them on the pier.” I tag them. “I count six more hostiles moving around the compound. Jamming hostile communications. You ready?”copyright protection73PENANAmFXd6k91a6

Charlie waits for one of the patrolmen to move into the nearest storage building before scaling the wall with a grappling hook and hanging beneath the barbed wire, ready to move forward. “Waiting on you,” she says.copyright protection73PENANAeyHAtXHYJD

I fix the lookout within my sights, exhale, and squeeze the trigger. “Clear. Go now.”copyright protection73PENANANUrFZPFVo1

I watch Charlie cut through the barbed wire and drop down. I can see the nearest target through the side door of the storage building. He moves away. “Can’t get a clear shot. Can you take him out?”copyright protection73PENANATKHQYNb7Ol

“Do you know who you’re talking to?” says Charlie. With the help of my optics I see Charlie’s green silhouette through the wall approaching the enemy. There’s some movement, and then he collapses. “Tango down.”copyright protection73PENANAe3UWDnUllD

Charlie keeps moving. “A target just entered the north-west building.”copyright protection73PENANAZ8yqNygttF

I see movement somewhere else. “Stop!”copyright protection73PENANAunpcenZpvN

Just in time.copyright protection73PENANAKKRFGu2AQn

“To your right. Building with the guard tower, second floor balcony.”copyright protection73PENANAePwMgkkwNO

Charlie peeks around the corner. “Phew! Close call. Do you have a shot?”copyright protection73PENANAbibBvqZuQv

“Negative. Target is in the field of view of the guard in the northern building. We may have to take them out simultaneously. Wait for my signal – I’ll tell you when you’re clear to move.”copyright protection73PENANAiBf9gVEiwu

The guard loiters for a moment, exchanging a glance with his companion down below, then he turns away.copyright protection73PENANAGKkdwBxR8l

“Go now.”copyright protection73PENANAFkEQV9hVD7

Charlie dashes across the gap and disappears into the next building just as the guard on the balcony turns back. I wait for her to get into position behind her target while lining my own target up in the sights.copyright protection73PENANAqWIF5YBKh7

“On my count – 1… 2… 3.” I squeeze the trigger and my target drops, then I check on Charlie, who is dragging her target’s red highlighted body behind some crates.copyright protection73PENANAfXRzaoaIfi

“Beautiful,” she whispers.copyright protection73PENANA3UCILyR2tv

Alvarez has left the captive operatives now and is gazing carefully at the compound. He places a finger to his ear and looks up at the empty lookout tower.copyright protection73PENANAaUrSzxRah8

I’m quick to report this. “Alvarez knows something is up. He probably suspects we’ve tampered with his communications.”copyright protection73PENANAiw6a5hygZN

“Then we need to hurry,” says Charlie, as she quietly runs towards the pier.copyright protection73PENANAz3IcLtLCwf

Alvarez leans close to one of the captives, probably interrogating them as to what kind of rescue team we are. He hits one over the head with his pistol and I shudder, but I have to stay on track if I want to save our operatives as well as get Alvarez, hopefully alive.copyright protection73PENANA7G9zzI6qTn

“There are three men left on the pier. Alvarez has ordered one to look for his comrades. Get ready. Don’t spook Alvarez or he might take out one of the captives.”copyright protection73PENANAzcTFmZWUgW

My nerves are going crazy as I watch the armed guard run from the pier and into the compound, straight towards Charlie. Just breathe… We got this… Her green silhouette is crouching. The guard’s red silhouette enters the room and begins sweeping it. Charlie stays low and creeps behind the target, she draws her knife. Suddenly the target spins around and aims his SMG at her. Charlie slowly raises her hands – the guard touches his earpiece, obviously trying to contact Alvarez.copyright protection73PENANAIQZq2LUNor

I whisper into my own earpiece. “Okay Charlie, stay calm.” According to the HUD on my scope I have an 87% chance of penetrating the wooden wall and hitting the target. I go for it. Exhale… squeeze… There’s a moment’s delay and I fear for the worst as the target stands idle. I hold my breath and wait for him to shoot Charlie, but then he collapses. “Jesus Christ,” I gasp. “What happened?”copyright protection73PENANA2w8c5HVb8P

“I stepped on a piece of broken glass as he heard it. That was a hell of a shot. You hit him in the chest. Tango down.”copyright protection73PENANAyH1snnrkhI

“Alright, let’s just finish this.” I take a look at Alvarez who is pacing up and down the pier with the two remaining guards, no doubt considering whether he should stay and take on an unknown number of enemies, or leave the rest of the cargo and escape on one of the boats – if he leaves he’ll have to explain it to his buyers. The two captives are a little battered but they’re still alive. As of right now they’re hostages for Alvarez to negotiate his escape.copyright protection73PENANAg0ygqA1lop

Charlie stays low and dashes to the edge of the pier, where she waits in hiding behind a crate for my next command.copyright protection73PENANAMrVUD1BzcK

I centre my crosshairs on one of Alvarez’ guards. “We take out the two guards simultaneously, then I’ll get Alvarez in my sights and make contact. Remember, we want him alive but if he tries to run or makes a move on the hostages we take him out. Are you in position?”copyright protection73PENANAoLspdQNFa5

Charlie switches to her assault rifle and peeks around the crate. She confirms. “I have eyes on the targets.”copyright protection73PENANAnr5VHvwJQV

“You take the one on the left. On my count – 1… 2… 3.”copyright protection73PENANA9Dm5x069Ai

We fire at the same time and my target falls backwards and splashes into the water. Alvarez spins around all panicky. I quickly fix my sights on him and turn on the laser sight so he knows, then I tap a few keys on my laptop to intercept his earpiece.copyright protection73PENANATY3mohcbWm

“Alvarez?”copyright protection73PENANAgjNlfvRLeI

He presses a finger to his ear and looks around at the surrounding buildings. “Who is this? Where are you?”copyright protection73PENANAHol3tS4z1E

“Your men are dead,” I go on, ignoring his questions. “That’s a nice jacket you’re wearing, it’d be a shame to ruin it.”copyright protection73PENANARVDVh1cuc8

Alvarez glances down and notices the little red dot on his torso, and then shrugs. “You’re right, this is my favourite jacket, it was custom made. You have a most beautiful voice. How about we talk face-to-face.”copyright protection73PENANARssEOHaFtp

He pauses. He’s standing over the hostages but they’re not at gun point. His pistol is in his right hand, and his left hand is hidden behind his back.copyright protection73PENANAnaNJegBjPD

“Show me your left hand,” I say. “Don’t try anything tricky.”copyright protection73PENANAYHzBCRCOlP

“Or what? You’ll kill me? I am still alive after you eliminated all of my men. Can I assume you want me for something?”copyright protection73PENANAXcipR671LB

He refuses to move his left hand and I become anxious. What is he holding? What threat can it pose to us? My index finger gently touches the trigger. One move and I shoot. “You’re very bright,” I reply. “We can discuss the details after you release the hostages and we bring you in. I promise not to hurt you but first you have to show me your left hand.”copyright protection73PENANAq9MeS0uukk

Alvarez shifts slightly and faces my direction – he doesn’t look at me directly but I get the feeling he knows where I am. He is calm. He scratches his nose. “You know, that’s an intriguing offer, but I think I’ll take my chances.”copyright protection73PENANA8i1HTDywsU

Alvarez presses a button on a device with his left hand and lines of static blur my field of view through the scope; I fire a reflex shot but the HUD freaks out in bursts of flashing and soon enough I can’t see anything, and the images on my laptop are all distorted as well.copyright protection73PENANAlp6DPXJXZv

I fiddle with the scope, trying to get it back online, without any success. “Shit, he’s sabotaged all my systems. I’m blind up here.” I press a finger to my earpiece. “Charlie, can you read me?”copyright protection73PENANAyqFkEyl93F

She replies, but her voice is crackly. “I can just hear you…”copyright protection73PENANAtbXuSR8rnA

While adjusting my scope I look at Alvarez’ tiny figure in the distance, running for one of the boats – I must have missed – meanwhile the captives have disappeared. What the hell happened? Did he shoot them?copyright protection73PENANAlI0smQp6Np

Charlie’s voice sounds again and I watch her run forward. “Alvarez pushed the captives into the water. I can line up a shot…”copyright protection73PENANACmPhGuQ2DT

“Negative! Save the captives – they’re our priority! I repeat, save the captives!”copyright protection73PENANAH75FBXwKpT

Thankfully Charlie doesn’t hesitate before leaving Alvarez to his boat and diving off the edge of the pier. If she can cut their bonds in time they should be okay.copyright protection73PENANAkLCldYbD4Z

I have some unfinished business with Alvarez. “Switching to manual.” I flick a switch and the damaged HUD disappears, leaving me with a standard sniper-rifle scope. When was the last time I pulled off a shot from this distance without help?copyright protection73PENANA2GlSY2nO41

I wipe the sweat from my brow and try to steady my breathing. Alvarez almost murdered two people today, the latest of his many crimes, he can’t be allowed to escape. I am calm. I am focused. He is on the boat and speeding into the harbour. I line him up… exhale… squeeze the trigger… The rifle jolts and I check through the scope – Alvarez ducks down but then stands back up. I missed. I retract the bolt… try again. But he’s too far now.copyright protection73PENANAIM8NsKLYub

“The operatives are safe,” says Charlie. She’s puffing and when I look over she back on the pier, slick with water as she pulls one of the operatives out of the water. “Did you get Alvarez?”copyright protection73PENANASPWub9tnMy

“Negative. He’s escaped on the boat.”copyright protection73PENANAmPfHIdK52O

“The operatives are safe. I’ll return them to the safehouse and have someone pick them up. I’ll see you there?”copyright protection73PENANA6LBfy30k1v

I shouldn’t let Alvarez get to me. It was a difficult shot. The operatives are safe. The mission was a success. I begin to pack up my rifle and laptop. “Yeah, see you there.”copyright protection73PENANAvUkrowBSTo

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