Stepping down the hot tarmac from the company jet, he was greeted by an entourage comprising of black limos & suited security personnel, as befitting his status as the company founder & CEO, ready to whisk him away from the hot sun into the cool plush confines of one of the several 5 star hotels dominating the skyline. Things certainly had changed in 15 years.
Stepping down the hot tarmac from the army transport into a seething cauldron of flying bullets, bombed out runways & the smoky after remains of artillery shelling, he hurried made his way, crouched low to avoid presenting a target, to the nearest manned ATV (all terrain vehicle). The driver had already gunned the vehicle & started moving before he could strap himself in. Burnt out, smoky buildings dominated the skyline obscuring even the sun. 15 years & it seemed nothing had changed
Comfortably lounging back in the well stocked limo, he brought out the most prized possession of the company. A suitcase containing detailed security operating guidelines, the Holy Grail for his security consulting firm. Providing high end security service to the oil rich sheikhs was quite a step up from his sniper days, crouching in the sun in hot dry dusty dirty conditions & doing the dirty work, he mused, a general feel of contentment spreading
Hunched in the front seat of the ATV, he clutched his one & only prized possession, his trusted, immaculately maintained M95, the deadliest sniper rifle in existence, across his chest. Once a sniper, always a sniper, he philosophized darkly
From anonymous unseen sniper to a celebrity sniper to a hot-shot security consultant & CEO, his success story was however dwarfed by the success of the city opening in front of him. Glossy billboards, a concrete jungle with a skyline dominated by towering structures, the malls, the best that the West had to offer, everything that anyone wanted was here. All this for the exchange of a few billion gallons of oil to the West. And all it needed was an accurately placed bullet from just over 800 meters, to the head of the dictator who had severely oppressed his country & his people
From anonymous unseen sniper to anonymous guilt racked security guard & back to an anonymous bitter alcoholic sniper, his collapse was however dwarfed by the collapse of the thin veneer of the civilization that led to a brutal civil war that finally had gotten the attention of the world, that had initially remained a mute spectator as long as the oil supplies were secure. Rotting, sometimes burnt, carcasses piled all over, kids totting guns, various factions, religious & otherwise, fighting for the desiccated husk of a city, even the conservative estimate of the toll of this civil war ran into a few million lives. And all it required was an accurately placed bullet from just over 800 meters, to the head of the dictator who had held all the numerous factions at peace through sheer terror & fear
As the morning mists cleared away & the light reached what snipers called the firing light, the sniper snapped out of his reverie, the 2 futures coalescing into one single moment that was the present, the single hand rolled high velocity bullet already chambered. As the dictator stepped out, unaccompanied by any of his security forces, to start the day off smoking his customary Havana, the sniper made the last adjustment on his telescopic sight. Dropping his left arm to caress the barrel of the gun, almost sensuously, the sniper gradually started to apply pressure on the trigger, exhaling gently. And he hesitated……..