Monday, May 28, 2012

Dusters - Elanore

Dusters - Elanore

Elanore grimaced, not that it could be seen behind her tac-mask. But still, the shot was going to be a shitstorm. She was prone on an abandoned, half crumbling twisted girder dome that stuck out of the urban wreckage. Her C-190 was outfit with a monopod and jammed just slightly in the join between two of the girders. Her shoulder throbbed ever so slightly, but was manageable. The target had gone into one of those small tin-can low-atmo drop shelters and hadn’t left yet. The team was on the ground already, but the cleaner and quieter it happened, the better.

Mission spec said shoot the man in the throat, headshot was a non-possibility, team would extract his implants for decryption, no collateral damage permitted, no other casualties. They failed to mention the 40km/h crosswind and the mess of debris she would be shooting through.

Barely thinking, her right ocular switched to IR mode, zoning through the scope effortlessly. The man, maybe 6’ was pulling off his boots, sitting in a chair maybe, or a bed? Then he rose and crossed the room, passing the one plate-glass window in the shelter, he moved to a standing counter and bent over, a flash of blue confirmed running water. The plate-glass would have to do, shooting through the shelter wall wouldn’t be as clean, and the deflection couldn’t be counted on.

“Red Eyes to Red Leader.”

“Red Leader, go ahead.”

“I have confirmation on target, standby for takedown.”

“Confirmed Red Eyes, comm off.”

The comm buzz just below her jawline shut off, its insistent buzzing fading away and allowing her to feel her own heartbeat again. The man moved, ever so slightly, picked up something, paper maybe, or a plate. Then he took two steps back towards the bed.

Elanore squeezed the trigger, exhaled and pulled.

The rail whipped out of her C-190 soundlessly, suspended in a slip jacket and punched through the plate glass with a crinkle she knew but didn’t hear. The man’s neck shredded apart and his head flew across the room, already cooling in her IR vision to a dull blue as splatters of faint orange and yellow went green.

She climbed down after a long minute…this shot had bought her a new berth for a year.