East Falls West Of The Wall
The trees loomed out of the encroaching darkness, silent, still. Watching. They stood tall and menacing, as if to deny more than just passage to any who approached them. In the centre on the clearing sat a helicopter, and in the dying light, a dull glint reflected off its worn hull. The solitary figure standing next to it had the same battered and worn look about him; his clothing may once have been blue, but it was now faded and encrusted with mud and grime. As he turned out of the wind to light a cigarette, the light caught off the automatic rifle he had clutched tightly in his hands.
A short distance away in the tree line, The Russian lay in wait, watching. He observed this man for over two hours through his night vision goggles, his vision bathed in an eerie green glow, making careful notes about his height, weight, the way he stood, his smoking habit and his helicopter. To anyone else, the man in the clearing would have seemed to be of South American origin, just a worker for one of the large forestry companies operating nearby, as they were known to use helicopters to track the progress of the felling.
The Russian knew he was no ordinary forestry worker; he was a drug baron of the worst kind, a Colombian. For over 15 years the governments of 22 countries had tried to imprison this man and cease his lucrative trade. However, the South American always covered his tracks, he was smart. But not smart enough. For 3 years The Russian had tracked and followed the Colombian, watching him and gathering information for his employers, always waiting. He didn’t mind though, for the money he charged, waiting made his life that bit more rewarding.
He watched as the Colombian checked his watch, and then leant inside the helicopter. The Russian watched as he lifted the handset for the radio and spoke into it. From where he was, the Russian couldn’t hear what was said, but he didn’t have to wait long to find out. Over the tree line came the sound of another engine, soon followed by its source. A much larger helicopter landed in the clearing opposite the first one, and from emerged 3 men. The first was much smaller that his companions, and was carrying a small package in his hands. His two accomplices were large, overly built men, like bouncers at a rough night club. Both carried large, evil looking sub-machine guns. The two parties eyed each other up suspiciously for some time before the new arrivals made their move and approached the Colombian.
From experience, The Russian knew what was happening. The men in the large helicopter were probably drug exporters, and the Colombian was their supplier. Some kind of deal must be going down, as both men were involved in a very tense and suspicious looking conversation. In these parts it was not unknown for those involved in the drug trade to be very dangerous characters, with many meetings turning into savage bloodbaths.
Silently, and with little fuss, The Russian retrieved a long camouflaged package from a tree and proceeded to systematically unwrap it. Inside was a solid looking rifle with a wooden stock, complete with an equally impressive scope and a small backpack. As he raised the rifle to his shoulder The Russian breathed in, taking in the smell of the gun oil and burnt cartridge powder. A reassured smile broke his lips, as if he were being reacquainted with an old friend. As he sighted down the barrel he began to run through his plan in his mind. He paused. Listening. Swiftly, he returned to his vantage point at the edge of the tree line and merged once again became a part of the foliage.
Reaching into the backpack, he withdrew a slender sound suppressor and silently began threading it into the barrel of the gun. Again, he aligned himself with it and sighted along its barrel, the men in the clearing suddenly became much larger in the lens of the scope. He closed his eyes and began to repeat the calming techniques he had learned during his training, slowing his heartbeat down to eighty beats per minute. Anything higher and he’d miss the shot. When this was complete, The Russian opened his eyes, only to find the scene exactly as it had been when he left; both parties were still immersed in deep discussion. He centred his aim on the Colombian. Then waited.
A sudden burst of static from his headset indicated that his employers had something to say. The static ceased and a calm voice with a hint of an English accent said ‘Do it.’ He didn’t need to be told twice. He dropped his head back down to the scope and again took aim. His finger tightened around the trigger, and squeezed.
The rifle gave a satisfying hiccup as the round exited the barrel. The Colombian dropped dead. His associates looked stunned. As he did so well, The Russian disappeared into the forest, leaving no trace of his existence. At last the waiting was over.
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