Tweet of the Day: Are Your Digressive Subplots Sinking Your Story?
Detroit ,MI, July 7 8:12 p.m.
Seventeen hours to get into position.
One hour to sunset.
Hours of reconnoitering, skulking, and crawling until I reached my destination. The muzzle of the rifle rested on the raised edge of the roof. The edges of the ghillie suit covered it. Good thing I woven it myself. The runes in the thread made me all but invisible to any observer, human or electronic. Not only that, it protected me against the heat of the roof, heated by fourteen hours of sunlight from the mid summer sun.
Wished I had my music player with me to push back the boredom, but my suit bended light and heat, but not sound. Add to many incantations to the fabric and it would ravel into nonexistence. I looked through the scope. Soldiers manned guard towers, two each, with binoculars and heavy machine guns. Others worked on vehicles, cleaned weapons of walked in front of the wire enclosure. Hundreds of “detainees” stood inside the wire cage, the sun beating down on them. Every so often heavily armed guards would bring food or pull someone out and take them to concrete building in the back of the detention center.
Few came back.
And no Marcus.
Glanced at the watch. Forty-five minutes to sunset. I still had my doubts about the mission, not that it mattered.
“Dad this whole thing is a mistake. We are not ready.”
“We don’t have a choice. We know where your brother is being held and we will get him out.”
“We don’t have the resources to take all those people out.”
“People, what people?”
“We made arragements for them.”
“By driving them across the Ambassador bridge. They won’t make it that far.”
“Not our concern. Your mission is to extract Marcus.”
“No our concern or not your concern?”
“You have your orders.”
“Fine, I have my orders, but my team doesn’t have theirs.”
“What is that suppose to mean?”
“You’re a smart man, you figure it out.”
“You would sacrifice your brother’s life for them?”
“Those folks were rounded up because they were looking for us. Haven’t they sacrificed enough? Or are we doing this just for ourselves and the rest of the world be damned? I won’t act like them, and you didn’t raise me to act like them, either.”
“Okay, I’ll make some changes. Just be ready and don’t tell anyone we had this conversation.”
Ten minutes to sunset. Adjusted the scope. Twilight tinged the smog choked sky into a dull yellow. Voices crackled in my earpiece, “Shooter One ready, Shooter Two ready.”
“Shooter Three ready,” I said.
I pulled back on the bolt, slowly, took a 7.62 round from my ammo bag and slid into the breech. Pushed forward and closed the breech. Giant spotlights came on at 9:07 p.m..Target, soldier with binoculars to the the right of the machine gun, nearest guard toward. Target scanned the horizon. Turned to look at my position.
I counted my heart beats
One one-thousand…two one-thousand…three one thousand…shoot!
No sound, no flash, no recoil. The enchantments worked. A spray of blood from the back of the target’s neck marked the hit. The soldier grasped his throat, eyes wide open. His comrade turned to see what had happened. Inhale, exhale, shoot. Hit, right ear, target neutralize. Scan the area for more targets. Two other guard towers down. Balls of fire arched overhead. Sirens wailed. Sparks flew, vehicles smoked, fireballs exploded. From the fire emerged ghostly figures made of flame, they rushed the nearest target, engulfing them. Ammunition exploded as the elementals consumed flesh and explosives. Men burned alive, some fell to sniper bullets others to friendly fire. The screams of the prisoners filled the air.
Movement caught my eye. Samara and Ricardo climbed up the wall and made their way to the front gate and opened it. Five M35 trucks roared into the detention center, top mounted machine guns firing suppressive fires. Samara user her illusions to cover her and Ricardo as they made their way to the interrogation cells.
A minute passed, then two, then, “We got him!” said Ricardo over the radio.
I followed them through my scope. The trucks loaded with prisoners cut through a roofed construction yard and into West Lafayette to the Ambassador Bridge. Five streaks of light flew over Detroit River. They came from an Apache gunship hovering over the American side. Four missiles hit their targets which exploded in roaring orange fireballs. Another missile disposed of the last truck.
Then the helicopter engines sputter and it crashed into the water below, as did a Reaper drone a few seconds later.
“That’s the last of my imps,” said Ricardo over the radio. “Total loss, boss, total loss.”
I made my way back to the safe house. It took me about an hour to walk back, avoiding police cars and army patrols. The suit made me invisible, not ethereal. Ricardo was already packing up, the we had to move to a safer place soon.
Marcus, a patch of thick black hair over a swollen left eye, took another drink of water, “Hi little brother, how you been?”
“Did the switch work?” Samara nodded her head. The civilians were safe. I turned to my brother, “Don’t know yet, will tell you when we get you into a safe place.”
He shook his head, “Nowhere safe Arty, someone in the Guardians betrayed us.”
“That’s not possible Marcus.”
“Believe Arty, that’s how they got me.”
“I don’t know.”