Prologue: The Chase
He smashed straight through the window, knocking the trigger-happy gunman to the ground and put him out of action. A sidearm would not be of much use at this point, for he has gone way too far for the backup to arrive. By hook or by crook, he must get the sniper before he fires. He took the Galil from the knocked out man and gave chase.
The gunmen had serious military training. Mercenaries. He should have known. And yet, it happened. He should have learned by now not to trust entirely on Command. They would screw up in times like this. He would have to do it on his own now. Breaking the door of the office block he just entered, he started to find his way to the rooftops, making sure to check opened rooms with his rifle pointing front and centre along the way. Judging from the mess, the mercenaries had come in by storm, forcing every occupant to leave their stuff behind in a rush. The situation was what it should be in action films - white sheets everywhere, computers left on, and lots of stuff. He reached the lobby and was kind of surprised to receive no resistance at all. He knew though that this was just a scout. There were more upstairs.
“Talon-3, what’s your status?!”
“Engaging hostiles! Send backup now!” He replied crisply as he took the emergency stairway. He checked the elevators earlier when Command radioed in, only to find them disabled for good.
“Talon-3, stand down now! The Princess is safe and we’re pulling back!”
He was understandably furious upon hearing that. There’s no way he will turn back now after all the shit he’d been through back there. “Negative! Keep the Princess safe! I’m going after him!”
“Talon-3, I’m not saying it again! Stand down or you’ll-”
He took off the earphone from his left ear before that guy could even finish. He knew what that guy would say anyway. “Jackass…” He muttered as he climbed up further.
The gated section of the staircase which led to the roof had the lock completely destroyed, probably by some kind of explosive. The sign ‘Authorised Personnel Only’ was riddled with bullet holes for some reason. Nevertheless, he went up. He realised that the amount of time he took to reach the top would be enough for that sniper to escape. He could only pray that the sniper would stay long enough for him to catch, but he knew that it was wishful thinking. The sniper would be smart enough to rappel down the building and escape through the lanes of the surrounding buildings. At this point, however, he didn’t care much about what the sniper could possibly do. He just wanted to catch that guy.
The door to the roof was wide open, the rays of the burning sun came flashing in his eyes the moment he made contact with it. As soon as he stepped out of it, he was welcomed by a cool breeze. The Galil aiming at the direction he was facing, he searched around, passing those white bulky ventilation systems and electrical appliances before he arrived at the spot he assumed the sniper would be, based on the angle and the direction he was facing. True enough, there was a sniper rifle; a green AWP lying on the ground with the tripod still on, and spent bullet casings located close to it. The user, however, was nowhere to be seen.
However, he knew instantly that this wasn’t right. This was…somewhat familiar to him.
By instinct, he turned around, and he was fortunate enough that his quick reaction saved him from an incoming knife. Despite the block, he was overpowered and pushed to the ground by a black figure. Only the eyes were visible, and it was crying for blood. The sniper, he assumed correctly, let out a grunt as the man tried to force the knife straight to the heart, but the rifle was blocking his way. Using that as a springboard, he pushed the assailant away.
He could have shot the sniper on the spot, but luck wasn’t on his side as the trigger wasn’t working anymore. He had blocked the knife which went through the trigger guard, destroying the trigger in the process, rendering the rifle useless. The assailant had got up, fury evident even more judging from his body language. The sniper didn’t like that treatment at all. Before he could take out his sidearm, the man threw the knife, which barely missed his head as he managed to turn to the left, scaring his ear a little but eventually saving his life. It wasn’t over yet as the sniper rammed him to the edge of the railing. His sidearm dropped to the floor, and he was at the mercy of that strong assailant with his powerful fists.
The sniper delivered the punches with brutal efficiency. It made him bleed, but he was not out yet. He managed to block his fist from delivering a killer blow and grabbed the assailant’s face tight, causing the assailant to moan loudly. He pushed the man away and kicked him between the legs, before returning a punch to his left cheek. The sniper fell to the ground in pain, but he wasn’t done yet. Grabbing the sniper by the collar, he unmasked the man.
The moment he saw that man behind the mask, his face became cold all of the sudden. Suddenly, he froze, his fist up in the air and ready to give one more hit. He never saw it coming.
It was like a slap in the face, except this one was cold and brutal. All of the sudden, he thought that the world had lied to him.
“You never saw this coming, right?” The sniper spoke, his lips filled with blood, but formed a wicked grin.
That voice, he knew it very well. It was lost a long time ago but hearing it now…brought back memories. His heart that was filled with adrenaline minutes ago had turned soft. He couldn’t kill that guy. He lowered his fist and let go of the man, running his left hand on his head in utter confusion as he took a few steps backwards. “This… this is impossible. You’re… you’re dead!”
“Yes, I died.” The sniper got up. “But that’s the old me. The old me died the moment you left me in the desert!”
“No… this is impossible!”
This is impossible, he thought.
This is impossible.
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