Neither of the planet’s moons were up yet, and the cool night enveloped the land in a blanket of darkness. A soft wind blew across the tall grass on the hillside, bending it to and fro as a distant bird sang the melancholy tune of a lonely soul. Slowly, a portion of the grass moved, imperceptible to the naked eye, as Bronski adjusted the scope on his rifle.
Staring down the tube of glass and electronics, he watched as shapes passed in front of a series of opaque windows on the second floor of a building over a mile away. He scanned back up to the roof and caught sight of the two guards, three stories above the ground. They gathered together in one spot, not really paying attention to what was going on, feeling secure in the fact that the perimeter guard would alert them long before they had to be anywhere. Bronski grinned to himself as he muttered, “Amateurs.”
He zoomed out the scope optic and scanned down across the open ground, passing the fence line, until he saw four markers blinking, ID tags coded to the scope to help him keep track of his team while he was in overwatch. He thought to himself how easy this mission would have been if they could have just dropped a Hammer on them. One orbital drop of a 1-ton spike of metal would level this whole place, but some high-ranking muckety-muck decided that they needed confirmation on the death of some two-bit small arms smuggler who was supplying the Uprising with stolen tech.
Bronski watched as the team approached to within 100 feet of the compounds perimeter and halt. They gathered together at the fence line, staggered 50 feet away from the next man, close enough to help each other, but far enough away to keep a single explosive from injuring more than one. So far, the Boss’ plan was going off without a hitch. Nice and quiet, just the way Bronski liked it.
“In position.” Hawkins voice came over the radio as a silent whisper.
“Roger that, Boss.” he responded, continuing his scan. “Two up high. Two by two on a five down low. Indeterminate internal. Neg sight on objective. First patrol is headed your way.” his voice hushed even though he was over a mile away from them.
“We move when they pass.” came the response. Bronksi didn’t respond, instead continued his scan, zooming the scope in looking for their target. The two-man patrol passed, and as they cleared away, Bronski watched as the team breached the perimeter line and move in, only to halt less than 10 feet in.
“We got a problem.” Hawkins voice seemed tense. Almost as if in response to his comment, the compound lights flared up as a wailing siren announced the intruders. The four man team scrambled back, finding what little cover they could as automatic search lights zeroed in on their breach. Bronski saw the two men on top of the building spread out and cover down, while several others came out of the building. He saw the flash of muzzles as tracer rounds zipped passed where the squad was hunkering down at.
Bronski let out his breath slowly as he pulled the trigger to his B-88 Long Tom rifle. The air around him suppressed as the butt slammed into his shoulder. Without thought, he moved the scope to the next man on the roof as he pulled slide back opening the breach, ejecting the spent round and sliding a new one home.
Another slow breath, another round spent, another target eliminated.
“Roof clear.” he announced as he scanned down to the windows.
“Any sign of the target?” Hawkins roared over the radio, gunfire echoing in the background.
“Negati…” Bronski trailed off as he noticed in one of the windows a curtain pulled back, and someones face looking out onto the compound. He zoomed the scope in, attempting to confirm the identity of the target. “Belay that. I have the target. Second floor, third window in.”
“Take the shot if you have it.” Hawkins ordered.
“Working it. Just… stay… in… the… window.” The roar of the rifle echoed through the radio. Hawkins looked up just as a small hole appeared in it.
“Target down. Good kill.” Bronski called.
Pull back and call in the drop!” Hawkins said as Bronski saw them start a tactical retreat.
Bronski looked over at the Lieutenant as she simply said, “Hammer, incoming.”