Here is the first chapter of a work in process and my first dive into the novel genre. (Language warning.)
Carefully dating the page, November 22, then it was added to a sheaf of papers sealed into a priority mail envelope on the table. Redundant hardcopy backing up carefully written emails and tweets scheduled to go out across the spectrum of the internet. Then, picking up the weapon, the soldier carefully steadied the Dragunov on the firing point. Reaching, a fist beat into then massaged the sand bag brought for better support. There would be two shots. Both moving targets, though at a slow, steady pace no faster than what a fit man or woman could jog. Shot two taken before knowing the outcome of shot one, waiting to determine the accuracy of the first would only negate the opportunity for the second. The second shot would be taken without sighting. Faster to slide the barrel swiftly against the aiming point, firing as soon as contact was made and trust that the calculations were correct and the sighting made earlier accurate. Then, they would come. Fast and furious, adrenaline pumping with weapons more than ready, they would find her. Might not get past that first moment. The story though, the story of the intent behind the act would. The words a churning bit of electron spamming across the web were set to erupt at exactly the time the target was due centered in sniper rifle sights. This time, truth would be known.
The motorcade made its turn down Elm Street in Dallas towards DealeyPlaza. Unhappy Secret Service Agents tightened their positions at the corners of each vehicle, listening intently to the chatter coming through their earpieces as each station checked in, verifying all quiet and clear at each position. No suspicious activities, no unidentified people in unsecured locations. Snipers and spotters on surrounding roofs scanning the area level, above and below the route looking for changes, discrepancies, awkward glances, out of place movements, flashes of light where there should be only darkness.
They were in Texas, and this was the President’s town. He sat like a high school debutante atop the football jock’s convertible waving at his people. Seated in the car behind was the Chief, trying hard to not look as disgusted with this exercise of the emperor mingling with the common folk as he felt. There really was no need for this malarkey anymore. Not like the man had to campaign for votes. There wouldn’t be an election now for a long, long time. There were always men willing to do the unspeakable, and in his job, always money to pay for it. The façade of patriotism was such a powerful tool. A Presidential term indefinitely extended.
The soldier took three quick, deep breaths, felt her fingers tingle and then a fourth breath held a moment before released long and slow. Taking the hand lettered sign with red block letters, “IN HERE,” strode to the door, opened it and attached the sign to the front of the door. With a chuckle then walked back to the window, currently covered with plywood, and checked the time. A police band radio earpiece was tuned to the not so secure frequency and indicated the motorcade was 5 minutes out. Slowly, with the rifle in hand, took up a shooting position. Subtle sensatons – body settled into the rifle’s weight, the wood of the table, feet flat on the floor. Breathing, respiration, heart beating; it all slowed while thoughts in the mind slowly separated from conscious being. A small part of the brain listened to the police band announcing the time, 12:29:30 and the location of the President’s vehicle. With a whisper of movement, the cutout in the wood covering the window to remove the 6 by 12 inch piece covering the hole created to shoot through. Just enough to allow the first shot then shift fire for the second shot, the far edge of the opening serving as the aiming stake second shot was dependent upon. A vulnerable next 30 seconds. There were were spotters on the surrounding roofs, looking for what was not the same as the last time a check on the area of this building, this floor, this window had been made. Finally a push the button on the radio; no longer needed its chatter. Needing only to breathe, to lose self within the breath. And then to stop, no sound, no rushing of heart in the ear, no heartbeat at all. That was the point the target would be in the cross-hairs and bang, take the shot. Slowly, a finger exerted pressure on the trigger. Quiet mind clear, blank, sufficient to itself with only a target slowly moving towards the center of the cross hairs, entering the circle as one finger brought more pressure to bear. The target continued forward. The pressure increased with an agonizing squeeze. Slowly with the agony of patience a screaming child demanded. The click of the trigger was felt an infinitesimal span of time before the explosion of the shot rang out. The kick of the rifle absorbed, tight into the shoulder as a shift and the rifle moved left to the sidewall of the cutout, moving it surely to the edge, secure in the corner and knowing, as long as it was deep, close into the corner of the cutout, the second shot would be true.
“ALPHA SIX, ALPHA SIX, CHARLIE TWO, REFLECTION SOUTHEAST CORNER, FLOOR SIX FROM THE DEPOSITORY, The spotter on the roof radioed the Command Post.
”YOU’RE SEEING GHOSTS UP THERE, PAY ATTENTION,” The Duty Commander laughed into the radio.
“ALPHA SIX, ALPHA SIX, FUCK THAT SIR! THERE’S A FUCKING REFLECTION THAT WASN’T REFLECTING TWO MINUTES AGO!”
“ALRIGHT, ALREADY! BREAK, BREAK! DELTA THREE, DELTA THREE, CHECK THE DEPOSITORY, FLOOR 6, SOUTHEAST CORNER. YOU’RE THE GHOSTBUSTERS BOYS AND GIRLS.”
The tactical team took the elevator to the 6th floor. Charlie two just earned themselves a new nickname, seeing things from the very window used more than four decades ago. Probably a local cop looking out his own binocs, yet another failed coordination with the Secret Service. The team exited the elevator and started walking towards the last door. The point man suddenly stopped, slamming his hand into the chest of the guy next to him. Just as he raised his hand to point out the sign on the door with three inch red letters, the shot echoed down the hallway.
The door busted down taking half the frame with it as the second shot rang out.
The shooter spread arms out as the first man in ordered, “DOWN ON THE FLOOR.” The rifle still on sand bag was knocked off the table. An agent pushed kicked it aside clattering across the floor. The shooter slowly followed, spreading legs and arms outward, palms up.
“Look, on the chair,” whispered the point man.
The team leader looked and only then noticed. Next to the Shooter was the jacket of the Army Service Uniform. There was an airborne combat unit insignia on the right, a combat action badge on the chest above rolls of ribbons.
His team moved through the room, two officers secured the prisoner on the floor one with a knee to the small of the suspect’s back.
“Clear!” the rest of the team echoed each other as the room was secured.
The shooter was searched and secured with hands behind the back, then two members of the team jerked the shooter up. The trail man behind the team leader gave a low whistle. There was a rack of ribbons on the shooter’s jacket that stood out as a buxom blonde to a 16 year boy. That soldier had been places, done things and been rewarded for it, was that a ‘V’ device on one, no, two ribbons the team leader wondered?
“This was taped to the table,” the second man in handed the team leader a priority mail envelope. He looked at the addressee on the envelope, “To the American People” it said.
Looking at the shooter, standing there calmly, hands clasped behind, fuck, standing at ease like that no indication in hand cuffs; you’d think he was on the parade ground.
“Why’d you do it,” the team leader demanded, pulling the camouflaged cloth away from the Shooter’s head and face.
“WHAT THE FUCK!” he exclaimed.
The solider looked the Tactical Team Leader square in the eye. The silence pulled the attention of the rest of the team. “It’s a girl,” whispered the Agent at the door.
“I’m a Patriot,” she calmly said.