Gender: Male Age: 53 Location: Las Vegas, Nv
I walked out on my wide porch and stretched as I looked around. It was peaceful here and my nearest neighbor was hours away. I turned at the chime of an arriving message on my comm. I walked back inside and opened the screen and frowned at the gibberish before narrowing my eyes as the cipher hit me. I read it and then wiped it before walking toward my bedroom.
I barely hesitated before opening a hidden panel and pulling out a large bag. I dressed quickly and started taking the weapons off the inside wall in the panel. I heard three almost silent beeps and paused before finishing what I was doing. I knelt and lifted the trap door in the floor inside the wall and slung the bag over my shoulder before turning to climb down.
I closed the panel before I was completely down and then the trap door. I went down another forty feet before I found the bottom. I reached to the left and pulled a pair of night glasses off a shelf. I turned and started walking down the narrow tunnel until I reached an intersection. I knew I should kept going but these assholes were on my ranch.
I sighed and set the bag down before turning right and walking towards a distant ladder. Beside the ladder was an ancient pad that was hardwired into several molecular cameras. I switched it on as I lifted the night glasses off. I watched the eight man team breach my house like it was in a textbook. Their shiny shuttle was behind the barn and corrals but it was empty.
I shook my head and went up and climbed out in a dark corner of the barn. I walked out back and into the shuttle before heading up to the shuttle bridge. I knelt beside the engineer panel and pulled it off. Inside I pulled several small molli circuit boards and crushed them under my heel. I left and moved back to the barn and went all the way to the front door.
I watched between two boards as two men walked to the barn as if this were their ranch. They walked through the big doors and into shadow and I pulled my silenced pistol and shot both in the head. I went to the back and slipped down into the tunnel and closed the trapdoor. I checked the cameras before grinning and turning to follow the tunnel back to the house.
I climbed the ladder and cracked the trapdoor before opening it. I climbed out and silently opened the panel and stepped out into the quiet house. I moved through it to the kitchen where I slipped up behind the two men at the back door. I pulled the two slim energy knives and struck. One went into a man under his ear and up into the brain and the other slipped up into the brain from beside the spine.
I turned and headed to the front as they fell and put the knives away before pulling my pistol. I was almost to the two men on each side of the door when one turned. I shot him between the eyes and then the other man in the side of the head as he spun. I holstered the pistol and reached to the rack beside the door for the large bore ranch rifle I was fond of.
I stood inside the door and to one side as I brought the rifle up. Two men were in the yard trying to use their encrypted comms but since I had broken the circuit boards on the shuttle they weren’t having much luck. Worse, what luck they did have was about to run out.
I aimed and fired and shifted and fired, the man’s head on the left exploded and the other man spun in time for me to shoot him in the throat and almost take his head off. I moved back and to the side as I glanced around. I knew there was probably a sniper and maybe two security men somewhere.
I moved back to the tunnel and climbed down and headed back to the barn. I climbed out and up into the loft before slowly and silently moving towards the wall facing the low ridge to the south. There was a board angled slightly leaving a small gap. I wasn’t the team sniper but I did know my ranch.
I lay down and shifted until I was looking out. I relaxed and let my mind see the ridge as it had been for years. I shifted more as the difference struck me and lifted the rifle. When I squeezed the trigger there was a scrapping sound from the barn door. The shot echoed and crashed and then the loft floor splintered as rounds tore it apart searching for me.
I had seen the explosion of red on the ridge and knew the sniper was dead or seriously injured. I half rolled onto my side as I quietly lay the rifle down and pulled my pistol. A head peeked over the loft a few feet from the ladder which I had ignored. I fired and the head jerked as the back blew apart. The floor was being ripped apart as the man’s partner started a searching pattern.
I reached out and grabbed my rifle before tossing it several feet away. The fire from below shifted and I came to my feet and moved towards the loft edge. I didn’t even slow as I stepped off and dropped while twisting. The commando turned, his weapon shifting as I dropped. I fired four times through his upper chest and head before landing.
I rolled and came to my feet before walking to the man to make sure he was dead. He was down and gasping with blood bubbling up out of his mouth. I shot him between the eyes before heading towards the tunnel. I closed it after me and went to collect my bag before following the long tunnel. The first rest and vent station was twelve kilometers away.
A day and thirty kilometers away I climbed another ladder into what looked like a cave. An old hoverbed jeep sat in the middle and I checked it carefully before connecting the power supply. I sat my bag on the other seat and pulled my silenced assault rifle out. I checked and loaded it before setting it on the other seat with my bag and starting the jeep.
I pulled out slowly and started heading east using gullies and small groups of trees. I slipped across streams and rivers where it was shallow. It was evening when I reached the really wide river. I started across but the river was easily two miles wide and slow moving. When I reached the middle the ripples and breaking water began hitting the bottom of the jeep and splashing up the sides.
The jeep rocked and started bucking as I went through rougher water. Two men in new clothes were waiting in a new jeep as I drove out, one held an assault rifle. I smiled as I stopped, “that was fun.”
They looked at me and smiled, the younger of the two nodded back the way I had come, “This is private property.”
I smiled, “This is a public route.”
He looked at me for a long time, “Where you headed stranger?”
I knew right then they weren’t from here. I smiled, “north of the port about a day to visit my brother.”
They looked at each other before shrugging. I was watching though and one made a tiny gesture. I pulled my silenced pistol and shot the closest in the side of the head as the other rolled out of the jeep. I pulled a small ball from the bag and tossed it as he came up with his rifle. He froze when he saw the ball and turned to dive. It was to late and sparking energy exploded from the ball and engulfed him.
I watched as he tried to scream as he was suddenly flash frozen. I grabbed my rifle and climbed out and walked to the other jeep. I walked around and lifted the froze body and set it in before reaching in and setting the lift to minium. I shoved the jeep towards the steep bank down into the river. I watched as it hit and kept going as water began lapping at the bottom.
I glanced around and moved towards the brush. I was in a small gully when the four new jeeps screamed in to stop beside my jeep. I was watching from a crack between two large rocks. I waited until they were all out looking around like a bunch of green recruits. I fired and started taking them out and it was a second before they reacted and by then three were dead.
I slid back and down before moving silently. I headed towards the river using the gully and turned at the riverbank. I set my rifle down and slid into the grass, two minutes later I was watching two commandoes using hand signs. I shook my head and lifted up as my energy knives came out. When I struck one man was just turning to look back.
The last thing he saw was the flash as my energy knife stabbed through his eye and into his brain. My other knife struck out and under his partner’s ear and into his brain. They both spasmed and jerked as I shifted and moved to the side and into a thick bush called fire throne. I stayed on the ground as I moved under it and away. I found another man several minutes later, he was crouching and looking around nervously.
This time I aimed my pistol from only five paces and squeezed the trigger. When his head exploded I started moving but in a different pattern. I found the next man watching possible routes around the area where a stalker might approach. He was prone under a thick bush and I hesitated and then turned and slid back and further away. I found his partner five meters behind him under another bush.
I moved slowly and slid up until I was almost to him. I lifted slightly and pulled a energy knife before moving. The blade slide through his spine and into his heart and he jerked and tried to turn to see me. I pulled the blade out and reached up to slid it in under his ear. I glanced past him as I pulled my pistol and saw his partner turning to look back angrily.
I brought the pistol up as he rolled and tried to bring his rifle around. It became entangled in the brush and his eyes went wide before I fired. I slipped out of the bush and went to pick up my rifle. I climbed into my jeep and started off and across towards a set of distant trees. I stayed in the trees or the deeper gullies, the rest of the rivers or streams were easier to cross.
I had angled to the north and a few days later went past the port city a hundred kilometers to the north. I gradually started turning south until I was almost east of the city. I turned and drove in during the early evening. All the drinking saloons were wide open and I walked into a small eatery carrying my bag. I grinned at the large bearish man waiting the tables as I sat. He grinned and walked across the room almost delicately, “James!”
I gestured, “ask your lovely wife if she would make me something Tiny.”
He rubbed his hands together, “I will do it myself.”
I laughed, “I don’t think so, your cooking tastes bad and Maria has the touch of a goddess.”
He laughed as several of the other diners snickered. I made a small gestured and he nodded before going to the back. After a large dinner he led me through the kitchen and into a nice apartment. I turned when Maria walked in and hugged her before she glanced at Tiny, “what do you need?”
I looked at both of them, “I have commandoes hunting me. I need the small case I left with you.”
She turned and Tiny moved a panel before she knelt and reached into what seemed like an empty space. Her hand came out of the class one holo with an almost tiny metal case. She gave it to me and I hesitated before opening it and pulling out an ID. I nodded to the two before turning towards the back door, “stay safe.”
I caught a ride with a night watch and he dropped me off a few miles from the port. I walked the rest of the way and used the new ID to enter a warehouse just off the port. Everyone was gone for the day since it was the middle of the night. The warehouse was one of many that supplied the meat for shipments off planet. I went down and followed the service tunnel beside the conveyer.
When I came up out of the freezing tunnel I was in a port warehouse. I headed up a side stair until I was on a catwalk and followed it to the shadowy back corner. I glanced around before climbing over the rail and balancing on a beam. I walked across into blackness until I felt the beam. I balanced carefully before shifting around it. Suddenly there was a dim light and I sighed in relief.
I used the beam to walk the few feet to the small platform surrounded by a holograph. I set my bag down and dropped the wall cot down before stretching out. Now the hard part would begin, I lay there thinking and finally closed my eyes. Over the next two weeks I worked beside other port cargo handlers. There was at least two teams of commandoes moving around the port at any time.
The ship I needed arrived and started off loading. Each trip down I took a moment to speak with the ship cargo master. On the last day I brought my bag out of hiding. I was unloading when the team of commandoes appeared suddenly. They ignored me as they began to check each crate of meat. I slipped by the cargo master as he scowled and argued with the commandoes.
Two hours and the shuttle lifted and a week later we headed out of the system. I got off at the sector hub and paid another cargo master to join the crew for another trip.
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