Guns and Ships

Hi, Hey, Hello!

The time of this post is a product of procrastination and also because I was writing tow of these posts at the same time and didn’t know which one I was going to finish for today. I went with this one and then the other one will come at some point. I’m busy tomorrow, but then have a long weekend. So come Monday I’ll be mostly back on track for the rest of the month. Anyway tonight’s post is…

‘No one has more resilience or matches my practical tactical brilliance’

Somebody somewhere made the mistake of thinking that because I care about something, or someone to be more specific, that it makes me weak.

We can’t have strong personal attachments in this game, it’s highly ill advised. We’re expendable as agents. We go out on a mission and no one ever really expects us to come back. We treat every one like our last. They are always dangerous, we’re assassins, what we do is crazy. We go out each time fully expecting that kill to be our last. We expect the person deemed to be our target to finally be the one that fights back and gets the shot.

Generally every one is pretty good at not getting too attached. Obviously we all have people who we are drawn to a bit more than others and we are always a bit interested as to where someone has gone when they disappear for longer than a day. We mourn them if they never come back. We have a morbid collection of CCTV images in grainy black and white of the ones that have fallen and at some point have been caught by a camera. It turns out we’ve all been caught that way at least once no matter how careful we are. We’re only human after all.

But sometimes, through no real fault of our own other than the fact that it’s human nature, we form closer bonds to others. I have one deeper bond. We trained together and did everything we could to beat one another for years, still do to an extent. There’s never really a winner between the two of us. We were in sync, we both always won as ridiculous, as that sounds.

He was never gone longer than 24 hours. And nor was I.

We are good at what we do.

Arguably the best.

But right now I’m worried about him. Mainly because I am the only reason that he has been kidnapped.

I have this one target. He’s a moving target. Just when I think I’ve got the shot he swerves out of the way and I’m back at square one. He’s almost impossible to pin down but he knows I’m there just like I know he is. We circle each other like vultures waiting to swoop down on their prey. The prey in this case being the kill shot.

I’ve hit him once. He’s hit me once. I grazed his upper thigh and he left me with a scar on my lower abdomen. But he’s trying to hit me where it hurts. And unlike me he doesn’t have any attachments. I’ve checked. We’re playing the same game. Trying to psych each other out and break the other one. But he’s a lone wolf in the truest sense of the word. No-one he cares about. No-one who he would do anything even remotely close to sacrificing himself for. No-one that cares about him.

I’d almost feel sorry for him if he wasn’t also somehow my arch nemesis. In the loosest sense of the word. I mean it’s the real world, people don’t actually tend to have nemesis’ in the real world. He was more of a continual, largely lethal, annoyance in my life. And now he has my friend.

Friend.

The way that word feels in my mouth and sounds in my head throws me off, even now. I know he’s my friend but we avoid saying that. Saying it implies attachment and we’re not supposed to have them. It makes us weak.

*

Finding where he’s keeping him isn’t actually that difficult once I let myself think it through rationally. In fact it takes all of five minutes because it dawned on me that he wasn’t trying to keep it hidden. He wanted me to find him. That was the point. He wanted me to find him. He lay out all the breadcrumbs for me. In a beautiful little path all the way to an abandoned warehouse near the water. He’s always been a fan of the cliché I have to give him that.

He’s pinned against a wall. Left there as bait. I know it the second that I walk in. He knows it. We stand there with an overwhelming feeling of understanding shared between us. I’m not running over to him in a flurry of relief only to be thwarted at the last minute. He’s not going to call out a warning or cry for help. We’re both going to stand there and wait for the big reveal.

That doesn’t take long. There’s the click of his stacked shoes on the cement that echoes in the empty warehouse. There’s a small laugh as he takes in the charged scene before him. There’s silence with the exception of the dripping of a drain in a corner somewhere. Then there’s the sudden sound of a bullet ricocheting off a surface and we both jump, which is odd for us, but we school our faces back into seeming indifference.

He gives some spiel about how this was almost too perfect for him. How he had spent so long trying to figure out the way to get me to break and formulating his foolproof plan. How he had watched me work and watched the way that I interacted with those around me.

He did a lot of talking. And as he talked he untied. And before I knew it he had his arm wrapped tightly around his neck and was brandishing the gun from which the first warning bullet  came from close to his temple. He flinched again as the cool silver made contact with his skin and then his face turned to ice. He was prepared for the outcome. I was prepared for the outcome. We are good at what we do.

He was laughing about the fact that there was conflict on my face. How openly I was affected by the gun next to his head. He was gloating about the fact there were tears in my eyes. He thought he had won.

But the problem with the fact that he wouldn’t stop talking was that he could remind me of something: ‘Istanbul messed me up.’

Metal plate, keeping his ribcage together. I’ve never really known the ins and outs of the surgery he had to go through or the exact ratio of bone to metal. What I do know is that he’s part Wolverine in a place close enough to his heart that if I hit him right will make it look like he’s bleeding out. Leaves me to check the king.

And he trusts me to do it. Which makes one of us.

He’s still talking though, seems to have completely missed the warning that could have actually extended his life for a few weeks longer. And I play my hand.

I take my gun out of its holster, turn off the safety, point it at him and pull the trigger.

sign off 2


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