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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Science Fiction  |  House: Abandoned

A sniper faces an assault team determined to kill him.

I started this after watching a few episodes of SAO II. I haven't really finished it because I have other things I'm working on, but felt I should post it anyways.

Submitted: May 18, 2018

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Submitted: May 18, 2018



Rising thousands of feet into the hot dry air of the desert the ancient metal tower was just another forgotten monument from the before time.  The crumbling ruins of the city that surrounded the tower’s base were as old as the tower itself.  The shifting sands of the desert were slowly swallowing the ruins and in time would even claim the tower, but Styles didn’t think of any of that.  His mind was on those that were coming, those that were hunting him.  He had dealt with several of their assault teams as he had made his way here, but here was where he would stop running.

He laid on his stomach at the top of the tower watching his back trail through his scope for them.  Their mission was to kill him, and they would or die trying, he would choose the second if he had any say in the matter.  A bead of sweat rolled down his face and blinded him for a second as he wiped it away with the back of his hand.  He looked back through his scope and saw them coming over the horizon.  Twelve shapes rose over the ridge silhouetting themselves against the sky before sliding down the other side.

He slowly breathed out and focused on them.  He recognized them from around and knew this was bad.  They were the best, skilled fighters who had survived countless battles.  He scanned them looking for the bush hat of Budi the leader.  His specialty was strategy and tactics.  He would have learned all he could about Styles before accepting the contract and now he would know exactly where Styles was.

Styles didn’t hesitate as he drew his bead on the man’s chest and pulled the trigger.  Budi chest exploded before the sound of the shoot reached them.  As he fell the others scattered racing to the ruins and cover.  Styles traced their paths and lined up his next shot.  He watched as the person ducked behind a wall and he pulled the trigger.  The bullet cut through the crumbling wall and dropped his target.

Sliding back dragging his gun with him Styles didn’t stand until he was well back from the edge.  He slung his Tac 50 and moved to the elevator shaft.  The car was lodged in the shaft far below, but the cables still ran to it and he grabbed them.  Even with Budi dead the others would know his location now and be moving on the tower.  He wouldn’t stand a chance in a straight up gun battle, so he would have to find a new nest.

His boots slammed into the top of the elevator car and he quickly dropped through the open hatch into the car itself.  The doors had rusted open and he pulled his Wildey as he swung out into the hallway.  The assault team would be taking their time staying in cover, so he needn’t worry yet, but he didn’t take chances.  Sprinting down the hall he put his shoulder down and busted the rotten door of his way as he burst into a room.  He swung his Tac 50 down and flicked the bipod down.  Dropping to a knee he sat the bipod on the windowsill and scanned the ruins through the scope.

A female figure dashed across a plaza in the ruins below and Styles quickly zoomed in on it.  He breathed out and steadied his aim before squeezing the trigger.  The figure collapsed just before it reached another piece of cover and Styles let himself smile.  The smile vanished as a bullet exploded into the window frame.  Grabbing his rifle, he rolled out of the window trying to slow his racing heart.

He ran out of the room headed for another vantage point.  Three down and nine to go, but the fact that their sniper was set up would make this that much more difficult.  He could take his time and pick the rest of the team off, but every shot would be a risk with her out there watching for him.  He had plenty of chances to work with others, but he had always enjoyed doing it alone, taking the challenges others would have only tackled with a team.  That is how he had made a name for himself and the reason he was now a target.

He reached the stairs and stopped.  Up would be the logical choice, it would put more distance between him and them giving him more time to pick them off and keeping himself out of the range of most of their weapons.  He put himself in the shoes of the sniper out there and tried to decide what they would think he would do.  He knew of her; Lady Death was what she was called.  She had started her career like he and most did on her own.  She had been good, great actually, taking on things he wouldn’t even have tried, and he didn’t enjoy taking risks.  She would have heard about him and knew he was cautious maybe even a little paranoid.  If he was in her place facing somebody like himself, he would expect him to go up.  He ran down the stairs.

He was gasping for air as he kicked open the door three levels down.  The room he picked had a small balcony and he quickly dropped into position on it.  He hadn’t seen where the other sniper had shot from, but she would have moved already anyways.  Finding her nest would be hard so he had to focus on her team mates and hope to get a bead on her without taking a bullet himself.

This was the perfect spot for this kind of work.  The only way to enter the tower required you to enter through a gate in the wall and cross a large open area.  Would give him a chance to take them out, but if they all charged in at once he might get one or two before he lost sight of them.  He had to find them in that jumble of crumbling buildings and kill them out there.

A flash of light to his right drew his attention and he zoomed in on the spot.  He couldn’t see anything and firing blind would just give away this spot.  He had to do something, the clock was ticking.  He aimed for the center of a shadow and squeezed off one round.  A male figure broke cover only a few feet from where he was aiming and ran.  He swung his rifle around and taking aim.  A bullet struck the railing a few inches to his left as he squeezed the trigger.  Another shot rang out as a bullet struck the wall just below his position.  His target had gone down so he scurried backwards pulling his rifle with him.

He had seen the muzzle flash from the second shot, but she would be moving.  He laid there watching the area through his scope.  If he could see her move he might be able to predict her next nest and take her out.  He was about to give up and move when he saw a shadow detach itself from a wall and sprint across an alley.  He lost it in the shadows of the alley, but it gave him a direction.

He slowly got up and made his way back to the stairs.  He needed height, so he started up the steps.  It was a long climb back up the tower, but it gave him time to consider the map of the ruins in his head.  He knew what direction she was going in and that limited her possibilities.  She would want someplace that gave her height and a clear field of fire on the tower.  He could only think of three in that direction.  Two were good spots, but the third was perfect, it would be the spot he would set up in if their roles were reversed.

© Copyright 2018 Ian D. Mooby. All rights reserved.

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