He adjusted the rifle, balancing it on the tripod below it to get the scope right on his eye. He licked his thumb, lifting it above the brick covering of his cover spot to get a feel of the wind, adjusting the range to cover the slight wind caused deviation. He was one of the only people who could get this shot. A government trained assassin, with the highest kill rate in the region, he had taken kills from further and in harder conditions.
Jack grew up in a small town in a small village near Nakuru, with his parents and his baby sister, Jane. He could not have asked for a better childhood! His father was one of the highest paid civil servants in the country, that meant his mother had only one job, to smother him and his little sister with all the love she could. Their mother, being a trained teacher, ensured that they were the brightest children in every school they went to. Their parents wanted the best for them, and they gave them all the support they needed.
It was a surprise when he decided to join the army. He was not well build, not good at following orders and not the most adaptable to tough situations kind of guy. He was a little macho. The kind of guy that was meant to grow to be an accountant or a dentist … He however knew he could give something in service of his country, enlisting and training as a sniper, since it involved less muscle and more brain and precision, two of his greatest strengths.
The concrete beneath him was getting a little cold. He should have brought a blanket, although that would have meant packing a heavier bag, a no-no for this kind of mission. The job was supposed to be done by an hour ago, but his target was late… ‘She always is…’ he thought, cracking a slight smile. This would have in any other case been a course of concern in his line of work, but this mission was too important for the future of his country, that he needed to stay put, even with the increasing risk of their assassination plan being foiled.
In his line of work, it was better to think of his targets as walking bags of meat. He always did a lot of research on them but he ensured he never got to know their emotional and human side, never developing a connection with them, that way, he was never a killer, just the conduit between a man and his God. This was a good way to die anyway. Just living your life, then being dead a second later… No medical bills, no long term ailment, no pain… The perfect way to die. This however was different. It was always going to be different, given that his target was Jane, his little sister. Someone that he had sworn to protect way before he took the oath to protect his country.
Jane had grown in political stature and influence over the past few years. Her opposition to the war was a major stepping stone for her, given the country had grown tired of the long, drawn out invasion of South Sudan, a move that was seen was strategic at one point in time, but now viewed with hostility from most people. Jane, had promised to withdraw all troops from the war immediately she was elected president in the forthcoming elections, an election she would win by a landslide if any opinion poll, including one done by the army was to be believed.
Pulling out of the war would be disastrous to say the least. The invasion had created many enemies. The previously warring factions in South Sudan had united to fight against the common enemy, but were easily bullied by their stronger, more prepared opponents. They were almost down and out, and pulling out at this stage, would give them an opportunity to regroup and retaliate, this time against a regime that would have cut military spending. His sister could not be president. His country would not survive a Jane presidency.
Seeing Jane for the first time in three years, alighting from her motorcade, waving to the crowd, big smile, obviously oblivious of the impending bullet between her eyes was a little too hard for him. He knew it would not be easy, but he could not kill his sister. She was family. And family came first. But he could not let her be president, and the only way to do that, was for her to die. The army would not have taken chances with this, given the emotional connection, so they must have sent another sniper, just incase he could not go through with it. Searching his bag for a pair of binoculars, he quickly surveyed other good spots, spotting the guy almost immediately. If Jane was survive this, he would have to kill the sniper instead.
Blood or country. He never thought he would ever have to make that decision, but now he had to do that before Jane got to the podium. Reluctantly, he gauged the wind direction one last time, adjusting his range and with the heaviest of hearts, pulling the trigger.
He knew that he would regret his decision, but he had plenty of time for that… Now there was only one thing to do… RUN.
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