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    Jaeger The Sniper

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    Kal

    Posts : 5
    Join date : 2012-01-01

    Jaeger The Sniper

    Post  Kal on Sun Jan 01, 2012 2:57 pm

    The night was dark. Very dark. Without a moon in the sky to provide light, there was virtually no illumination. In the darkness, a lone soldier named Jaeger was lying prone near the edge of a ridge, peering down at the many forms skulking around in the depression below. His dark gray, furry body, slender tail, elongated muzzle, and pointy, slanted ears made him look an awful lot like something the humans called a “wolf”, but his big, brown eyes were very much human-like, and gleamed with a guarded intelligence as they darted from one figure to the next. They were the enemy, and they were currently unaware of his presence. Jaeger had chosen the ridge because it lay well outside the route used by the enemy patrols, and provided an excellent view of nearly the entire camp. He’d also chosen it because he was instinctively drawn to it. The need to be on the high ground was generally important to all soldiers, but especially to a sniper. And that was what he’d been trained to be when he wasn’t fielding an assault rifle, a pistol, or any other class of weapon. In his hands he held his favorite gun: a scoped, long-barreled semi-automatic rifle that could blow someone’s head clean off from a good distance. And he fully intended to use it the way it was designed to be used: with care, dexterity, and most importantly, precision.
    An innocent bystander watching from a distance might have thought the scene was strange, and may have been curious enough to investigate, had it not been for the alarming number of creepy-looking faces and weapons present. The entire depression below Jaeger’s position was dotted with tents, crates, and fire pits; a thirty-meter-long and fifty-meter-wide gauntlet, filled to the brim with enemy forces. He’d seen enemy-controlled positions of various sizes and types, but this was arguably the biggest enemy camp that he had ever seen. No machinegun turrets or heavy fortifications, indicating that the camp—and its leadership—were often mobile. No vehicles of any type, which meant that they liked to move on foot and avoid leaving obvious trails for pursuers. Plenty of weapons and ammo lying around, but also enough steel crates to carry it all. Everyone milling about in the depression carried at least two guns of various types: pistols, rifles, shotguns, snipers, etc. The features of each weapon also varied: scoped, iron sights, red dot, holographic, silenced, customized rounds, extended mags, grenade launchers, custom stocks, handgrips, semi-automatic, full automatic, and even one or two selective fire and automatic burst settings. A mix of old, modern, and a bit of futuristic firepower.
    Just goes to show you, Jaeger thought, even the bad guys get big, high-tech guns sometimes.
    Yes, every single one of these people was, by definition, a bad guy. And from his vantage point, he could pick and choose any of them. Any two, any three, even four or five if he was fast enough. Any of these low-lives could become a victim if he chose. That was why snipers were so feared on the battlefield: from level ground or from a heightened position, a lone sniper could turn an entire platoon of soldiers into one or two fleeing soldiers with a few trigger squeezes. That kind of work took a lot of skill, patience, discipline, hand-eye coordination, and the kind of steel that not all regular soldiers had in them. Jaeger liked his job, and he was good at it. Every single one of these baddies, irrespective of the weapons they had, how smart they were, and the number of allied troops at their disposal, had good reason to fear Jaeger the sniper. And they most definitely would have been afraid of him, had they known he was there. But he wasn’t here for them—most of them were just pawns, not worth the small amount of effort it took to shoot and kill them. There was a big wig, a leader, nestled somewhere among them. That was his ultimate objective. That’s how chess worked: you took out the king, and the game was over.
    But in chess, the pawns don’t try to kill you after you win. He thought.
    Normally, snipers worked in pairs or alongside a spotter, but not Jaeger. He worked entirely on his own. He didn’t need someone to pick out targets for him.
    Rule twelve of sniper school: you have two eyes, but you also have a handy little thing called ‘peripheral vision’. Spotters are for snipers that are too stupid to use it effectively.
    The target’s profile had already been shown to Jaeger enough times that he’d memorized it. It was a male hybrid—hybrid was the politically correct term for members of Jaeger’s species—about forty-eight years of age, dark red-furred, and went by the name of Landis Celeste. Warlord Celeste. All the rest of the folks ambling about down there were members of his little army; mercenaries, defectors, gun runners, and the like. They were primarily hybrids themselves, because Celeste rarely trusted humans. Rumor had it that Celeste had seized control of a sizeable weapons stockpile, and was planning to use it to establish himself as a ruler of sorts here. Judging from all the guns his subordinates carried, the rumors were correct. Although he hadn’t been overly aggressive as of late, Celeste was a dangerous person, willing to destroy anyone or anything in his way to get what he wanted. If anyone was going to rule, it had to be someone who would act in the interests of the people, which he obviously wasn’t interested in doing. Which was why Jaeger and a squad of Management Special Forces soldiers had been sent in to persuade the warlord to back off.
    “Persuade”—just another good old military synonym for blowing someone’s head off.
    Jaeger was a soldier employed by a human militarized command structure that called itself Management. As far as military forces went, they weren’t very well-known, and liked to keep it that way. Their private army consisted primarily of Special Forces soldiers, but hybrid operatives were labeled as agents, and were viewed as being slightly more effective and overall subtle than a Spec Ops squad. That said, agents often found themselves relying on Spec Ops for backup. Management specialized in covert operations designed to keep the balance of power in check. Technically, there was no government in this region, since few of the powerful local inhabitants were willing to agree with each other, let alone work together; it was limited to armies assimilating and fighting each other to try and become top dog. But while there were plenty of undesirable people in power these days, there were some whose sole purpose was to make life terrible for everyone else. Monsters. Tyrants. People who needed to be cut down to size. Landis Celeste was one of those people, and Management was all too happy to dedicate a small portion of its massive private army to dealing with him. At the moment, Jaeger wasn’t sure where the Special Forces guys had gone, but it wasn’t his job to know. They had their orders, and he had his. They were probably flanking around the camp to find the best firing angle; after all, when Celeste went down, someone would have to ensure that his army of loyal minions never lived to fight another day.
    The trouble was that Celeste was not an overly stupid individual: he probably had some idea that some people didn’t like him and his ideals, so he was inclined to be cautious. He hadn’t shown up for three hours straight so far, which meant he was either gone or hiding somewhere within the camp. Jaeger paused to check behind him, make sure that the wilderness to his rear was clear of unusual movement, noises, or shapes. He was most vulnerable from behind, and the inability to keep an eye on that direction at all times exacerbated the potential weakness. Seeing nothing, he returned his gaze to the scope. Movement to the left caught his eye, and he shifted his aim appropriately. Someone—tall, wearing a dark-colored coat with a bit of gold trimming here and there—was walking toward the center of the camp. The sniper lifted his rifle so that his crosshairs rested on the person’s head. And there he was. The big wig. The leader. The king. Warlord Celeste himself.
    Check.
    He disappeared behind a tent and reappeared on the other side. Jaeger kept his eyes fixed on the warlord. He could not afford to lose him now.
    Check.
    He stopped in front of a young soldier on sentry duty. They appeared to be conversing about something. Jaeger steadied his aim and allowed himself to grin. The target was right in the center of his scope’s crosshairs.
    “Got you now.” he muttered.
    He slipped his finger inside the trigger guard. One squeeze, and it would be all over. Suddenly, he heard someone shouting in the distance, on the other side of the depression, followed by a significant drop in the surrounding noise level. That wasn’t good; it was usually a sign that someone had spotted him. But no one appeared to be looking his way. The warlord looked to his left. The rest of his soldiers seemed to be looking in that direction as well. Jaeger adjusted his aim to see what everyone was so interested in, and felt a rock form in the pit of his stomach. A group of Celeste’s troops was emerging from the trees atop the hill opposite his position…and the Special Forces team was being dragged into view behind them.
    Jaeger grimaced.
    “That’s…not good.”
    He zoomed in closer, using his scope’s optics buttons to make adjustments. Celeste had approached the squad, drawn a pistol, and had it aimed square at the squad’s sergeant.
    No, no, no--
    Without any hesitation, Celeste shot the woman dead center in the forehead. The sniper flinched. The warlord’s troops were cheering; there were multiple roars of approval. Jaeger’s eyes narrowed. Now he was angry, and not just at Celeste. He should have taken the shot earlier, should have radioed the squad to check on them, and should have realized they’d been discovered sooner. He could have saved her. But he couldn’t mope now; he had a job to do. He could still accomplish the mission, and save the rest of the squad. Jaeger quickly dropped his crosshairs on Celeste. He squeezed the trigger, feeling the rifle kick back against his shoulder. Celeste’s head disappeared in a cloud of red vapor, accompanied by bits of flesh and bone. The minions stared, bewildered by the sudden death of their leader, giving the Special Forces a chance to turn on their captors, steal their weapons, and dish out some payback. Jaeger nodded, satisfied.
    Target down. And good riddance to you.

    From a safe distance, Warlord Celeste stared through a pair of binoculars as his double went down, minus his head. The actor had served his purpose; Management had taken the bait, tried to assassinate him, just like he knew they would. They wanted a warlord dead, so he’d given them one. All that remained was to eliminate the Spec Ops team. Then no one would ever know of the trick he’d played. He turned to the group of soldiers standing behind him.
    “Find that sniper.” He growled. “And kill him!”

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