The Mission

Tim Hoke

The two stood in the shadows, just within the treeline, watching the road.

“Do you understand the mission?” the sergeant asked.

“Yes, sergeant,” the operative answered, “I wait for them to come down this road, then I run out, and try to take out as many as I can.”

“Basically, yes, that’s it,” the sergeant said. “There’s some technique involved, too, and a certain finesse. You can take out more of them if you do it correctly.”

“Yes, sergeant.”

“There are so many of them. We’re grossly outnumbered. It’s important to get as many as you can.”

They waited.

They could hear a car’s engine, and then saw the distant gleam of headlights.

“Get ready, kid,” the sergeant hissed. “Go! Now! Make it good!”

The operative bolted from his cover, darting across the path of the oncoming car. Brakes squealed. The front end struck him, hard, and launched him into the windshield, shattering it.

The vehicle skidded to a stop. The operative tumbled off the hood of the car and onto the pavement. He was dead.

Inside the car a woman was screaming. A man stepped out and surveyed the damage. He fished a cellular phone out of his pocket.

“Yeah, I’ve just been in an accident…on Mavis Road, three or four miles north of Lansdale…I think my wife’s wrist is broken…some goddam deer ran out in front of us…”

The sergeant turned. Another good one lost. He would have to make a report to the commander. With a flash of white from his hindquarters, he dashed off.

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