May 7, 2019

Drag The Iron

Breathe in. Breathe out. 

Sweat from Skak's brow made the dirt on his face a tattoo of dark streaks. He didn't dare wipe away the dirt and simply blinked when the sweat reached his eyes. His cheek firmly pressed to the side of his rifle and his eye to the scope, keeping his target in sights.

"Got him," he whispered to his spotter. The spotter, Jex raised her hand and make an OK sign with her thumb and forefinger. Further up the hill, another set of eyes zeroed in on where Skak was looking. They were all in place. Ready as they would ever be.

Mission lead Commander Devish observed the two communicate and he tapped his second in command on the shoulder. Years of fighting the enemies together didn't leave any room for miscommunication and the simple gesture was enough to signal that the game was on.

Skak's earpiece frizzled with static and Commander Devish's voice spoke in his ear, as close as a lover's whisper. "Is it him?"

"100% sure," Skak whispered back.

"How far away is he?"

"A kilometer, give or take."

"In range?"

"At the pace he is walking, he will be."

" you see it?"

Skak suppressed an involuntary shudder. "Yes, he is carrying the sword."

Maybe he imagined it, but he felt there was a tone of reverence in Devish's voice when he spoke next.

"What does it look like?"

Breathe in. Breathe out. 

"Heavy. Black. Big. He is having trouble in carrying the sword and it drags behind him. He is slow because the iron seems heavy. I doubt he could lift it, let alone move it. I think we will need a truck to transport that thing once we are done here."

He heard a sound like someone trying to stifle a cry on the other end, but it could just have been static.

"Take the shot, captain. It's your call."

"Affirmative," he replied and focused the cross-guard of his scope on the walking man's face. He was still far away and in his camouflage, Skak was all but invisible to anyone looking his way.

"Jex, we are on."

He saw Jex nod at him through the corner of his eye and saw her do some quick calculations on her wrist-pad. She fed the calculations to the small computer and the computer relayed it to the chip in Skak's rifle. The scope adjusted itself and the man's face at once became clearer in his vision. There was lines of age on the man's face. Scars from battles lost and won. A deep tiredness resulting from the constant need to feel the rush of a fight. Life without the fight was dull and boring for people like that. At some level in his core, Skak was relieved that he was getting the man rid of the sword that he was dragging with him. How many had he killed? Skak had no idea. He only had orders.

All it would take was few more steps till the walking man was in range. A slight pull on the trigger and their hunt for the past many months would be over. Skak could already feel the warmth of the sunlight in his village on his face when he went there after putting the full-stop on the essay of this mission.

Breathe in. Hold.

Skak's finger was a whisper on the trigger of his rifle and then the walking man looked up.

Right at him.

And he smiled.

Lightning flashed in his scope and the man was gone.

The next thing he felt was a sharp sting and a leaking, sticky fluid all over his brow. He touched his forehead and his fingers came back red.

And then everything went black.

Commander Devish looked at the scene on the ridge below him. The walking man and his blood stained sword had just taken off the scalps of his best sniper team and now the man looked up and Devish.

"Shit," was all Devish could mutter.

Just wanted to write this short piece. All written while listening to Tool.