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By Enzo Stephens
The ‘Light Fifty’ Barrett M107A1 anti-material sniper system bucked once, spitting a 50-caliber round a distance of 981 yards with a 19-degree downward trajectory straight into and through the shoulder of 51-year-old Barry Walters, who was in the process of strolling to his office on a fine Monday morning.
The round continued its path through Barry Walters and into the hip of 27-year old Melissa Myers before she could scream at the blood-spray from Barry’s shattered shoulder.
Both Barry and Melissa tumbled to the crosswalk right in the middle of Liberty Avenue, their blood mingling on the pavement.
Chaos exploded everywhere; people screamed and scattered like a wild stampede; cars slammed into each other in the intersection, horns blaring angrily as order literally disintegrated in a split-second.
Two people lay in the middle of the intersection; unmoving, their life puddling out of them far too quickly.
My eyes were glued to the beast of a weapon, and yes, I was in love with it. I’d never seen such a fine piece of weaponry, and I was in awe.
Right after it bucked in recoil, the energy from the recoil cycled the action on the weapon, priming it for rapid use. And I was primed for it too. I sighted toward the intersection again, but opted for a more difficult target, sighting a unique modern-looking subway station housed in shiny aluminum and Plexiglas.
There. The escalator was loaded with people. A slight adjustment to increase trajectory angle and then back to the sight (which was by far the best I’d ever seen). Steady pressure on the trigger and the Barrett fired, bucking sharply again.
The round punched cleanly through the Plexiglas and took Winnie Douglas in the neck, practically decapitating her as she was in the process of bounding up the escalator, proud of her new exercise accomplishment.
The bullet smacked into and through the ample chest of Markie Simmons, blasting her backward off her feet to tumble into the people lined up on the escalator behind her. She was dead before plowing into Andy Mazur and his wife Jeannine, and all three tumbled backward, starting a domino effect resulting in a huge host of bodies strewn across the floor at the bottom of the escalator.
It was time for me to skedaddle baby! Vacate. Vamoose. See-ya-wouldn’t-wanna-be-ya gone. I hefted the beautiful devil-weapon from hell, folded the mounted tripod against the stock, marveling at the lack of weight in the titanium barrel, then fixed the rooftop of the Chatham Center Plaza building in my head and…
There was a slight pitch to this rooftop, and there was a layer of cinders that dug into my knees as I lowered the M107A1, unfolding the tripod beneath it to rest it on the modern parapet of the building.
This building provided a different angle of the target intersection of Liberty Avenue and Stanwix, but the pandemonium was as frenetic and frenzied as before, although now police were on the scene, attempting to restore order. As I watched, one bystander pointed up Liberty, opposite of the building in which I now resided, toward the Clark building, my previous roost.
I smiled as one cop touched the mic at his shoulder and in another heartbeat two squad cars bolted from the scene of the tragedy toward the Clark building.
Time to really screw with them.
I knelt over the Barrett, placing my eye against the sight, made a few minute adjustments, took a deep breath and waited. I wanted maximum damage; the ammo wasn’t cheap. Neither was the Barrett for that matter, but hey, we only live once.
So the goody-two-shoes bystander stood on the street corner staring at the carnage in the intersection — the bodies were now draped with something but there they lay in all their glory.
One would think that taking a round in the hip would only injure a body, but these were fifty-caliber rounds. It probably blasted the entire hip to smithereens, blowing out a whole bevy of internal organs in the process.
Back to goody-two-shoes. His right side was exposed to me. I scanned his proximity seeing several men who looked to be a construction crew clustered just beyond him. I calculated vectors and relayed infinitesimal adjustments to the rifle’s positioning, took another deep breath and squeezed.
Actually pulling the trigger of a weapon should almost feel like a kind of surprise. Like, oh I meant to fire, but maybe not at that precise split-second. It’s hard to explain.
The helpful citizen took the round in the neck, and this time it actually did decapitate the vic. I felt a bolt of pride at that one. The slug took one of the construction guys in the waist and then finished its flight-path by burying itself in a third guy’s foot. I wondered if he was wearing steel-toed boots, which would be damned impressive. One shot, three down.
The toll for the morning: three shots, six dead, unknown number injured (that escalator thing was stupendous!). All in a twelve-minute span.
But the glances in my direction looked a bit more anxious than a casual observance, and so it was time to vacate. I hoisted the Barrett, snapped the tripod against the barrel, sassed the brass and…
My two-story townhouse in a neat little neighborhood called Shadyside. It had undergone gentrification over a decade ago, enjoyed a brief heyday of trendy eateries and fashion and coffee shops, but was now beginning to slip into irrelevance.
I’m Mike. Mike Tremblehorn. As if that shit matters.
I’m a skid-mark in time.
I’m an aberration.
See, I have a Talent, and it’s a damn cool one.
I can teleport. Tell me that ain’t some cool shit. All I do is think about where I want to go; like, get a really crystal clear picture in my head of where I want to land, then, kinda when I feel something like a toggle switch go off in my head, I blink and poof! I’m there.
I tried to explain it to one of my (many) girlfriends. It’s kinda like snapping a picture with a camera. Push a button, the image freezes and then voila!
It’s some really amazing stuff, and I figured out real quick how to make a hellacious profit with this amazing gift. Not a single bit of it legal either. So I’ve got millions stashed away in countless safe-deposit boxes across the world. The internet is a wonderful thing. I’d tell these off-shore banks I have millions I want to hole up in their banks, but I’d need to see pictures of their vaults to ‘feel safe’ about my money going there.
I’d get pix, which went right away into my brain. Then I’d fix them in my mind and blink. Then I’d take as much as I could carry, sometimes making multiple trips. And then I’d clean the money and use that same bank to store it.
I’m all of 19 years old. But I’m trapped in the body of an 80-year-old. I did a lot of blinking before I figured out that all the blinking has a price.
Every blink ages me; sometimes worse than others, and it’s killing me. By the time I was able to connect the dots, it was too late. I was old and aging rapidly every day, even without blinking. At this rate, I’d be dead in a year and I’m not even a smear of shit on the side of the road.
How is that even fair?
So I figured, hell, since I’ll be toast soon anyway, let me see what it’s like to kill people. I mean, why the hell not, right?
I know it sounds pretty screwed up, but I wanted to experience it. I’ve read assassins tell about the huge rush they get; how snipers could never lead a ‘normal’ life after their first kill. So I wanted to see what that was all about; see if any of the stories were credible before I…
I dropped to my well-worn couch and popped an Iron City, thumbing the remote to my huge, curved flat-screen and flipped on the local news. Sure enough, there was a terse recap of the day’s festivities, delivered by a somber-faced man with crinkly eyes and very thunderous brows.
Six dead, eleven injured. Police mystified. Speculation about multiple terrorists. Maybe some radical Jihadi group was taking credit for the killings.
Maybe I should find the nearest Saudi embassy and repeat today’s performance.
Nah. That would be almost… formulaic.
I’ve got maybe four Blinks left in me before I die looking like a French-fried raisin with every organ in my body crapping out simultaneously.
For the first time in my life, I’m going to use them like I should have been using them all my life.
I found the names of those I’d killed, then went to bed and slept like a baby. Deep, and fell right into erotic dreams about myself and the Barrett M107A1, and awoke completely refreshed but with some very unpleasant residual moisture.
I locked those names in my mind — the names of the folks I shot, found their obits, Googled those locations (street views of course), and then brought up the location of my main bank in Malaysia, and then stared at the Barrett, almost lovingly. Then…
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