#19 - Saint Valentine, Down

      There was a low rumbling noise in the thicket of trees just outside the small desert town. A small blue spark appeared, seemingly from nowhere and began to grow outwards larger and larger in a circular pattern. The noisy blue circle grew until it reached the size of a small door. The process seemed to stabilize and even out and the new found hovering blue door remained unblinking, and silent.

      An automatic rifle came through first, followed by the swat leader, Mike. (An avid baseball fan, who enjoyed loaded hotdogs, and bases.) The rest of the red team followed first, then the blue team, their rifles swinging from left to right, checking for oncoming traffic or their son’s lost soccer ball.

      They crouched in the thick brush and listened quietly. Jacob from the red team (currently restoring a 68 mustang with his father, a little lonely at night as a result of a recent, and hate filled divorce.) pulled out a small metal instrument. The six men lay silent, waiting.

      Jacob tapped the metal box, and cleared his throat. "We're good. The year is 225, we made it."

      "Ok team, listen up." Mike got to his knee.

      The air has a crispness to it that baffled some of the men. They'd never breathed clean air before.

      "My red team will head around the east side of the town, blue will go west. Keep your eyes peeled and stay low."

      Mike spread a map out on the floor of the thicket.

      "This is a map of the town; the X's here and here are our entry points. We'll meet up on the roof of the building here." Mike pointed to a square near the south side of the town. He looked around, then continued.

      "Remember. This is a stealth operation. Stay out of site. These people are unarmed but also unpredictable. Everything you're wearing, and carrying they've never seen before. We don't want to get burned at the steak, but we also don't want to murder your distant grandmother either, got it? We need to get in, eliminate the target, and get out.”

      “This is for the greater good, and every man here who’s been forced to buy heart shaped boxes of chocolate or read faggy poetry knows it."

      Keith from blue (worked out a lot, avid fan of faggy poetry.) spoke up "But Sir what if the target is a distant relative?"

      "If you're related to the target then you're an asshole," Mike answered. "Any other questions?"

      The men were silent.

      "OK, let's move."

      Mike spun on his back foot and set off out through the trees, red team in tow. Jacob and the blue team moved out behind them, before splitting off in another direction. Their boots made a dull thud as they moved out of the brush and on to the hard, packed sand.

      They advanced quickly on the quiet town, moving like a well oiled machine. Their breathing was controlled and their senses sharp. A moment later they lay on the roof of the tallest building in town. Mike's voice crackled in the headsets of the squad.

      "Small house. 12 o'clock. Front window. Jacob, you got a shot?"

      Jacob's breathing stopped. He steadied his hands. Mike kept his sight on the house, while the four other men covered the building's corners. A robed figured appeared in the window, and sat at a table.

      Mike's voice deadpanned. "Target confirmed. Fire when ready."

      Jacob wondered what the man who built his sniper rifle did on his days off, days when he wasn't making sniper rifles.

      A shot rang out; the windowed figure collapsed and disappeared, blood sprayed backwards into the house, across the mud floor.

      "Target hit, kill confirmed, Saint Valentine down, I repeat, Saint Valentine has been killed."

      The men jumped down off the building. Jacob was gone.

      "Where the fuck is Jacob?" yelled Sam (recovering alcoholic, played the lead in his high school musical.)

      They ran east, and out, then toward the way they came.

      Mike answered back, "Must have been a descendent, there's nothing we can do."

      The men left the way they came, disappearing into the bush, and back to their own time.

©2009 Broken Chair