Hornets NestMature


1st Lieutenant Cooper

The helicopter’s silhouette faded into the newly growing sun. Glancing back to Carrington, his face was frozen in fear.

“Come on, let’s move.” I whispered, motioning towards a rocky outcropping. Carrington nodded and shifted his rifle, following me in a low crouch. Ten minutes later, we were at our set up point. I rested for a moment, admiring the false beauty of the Iraqi sunrise. Shaking off the sentimentality, I turned and opened my pack. Inside the pack sat one of my most treasured rifles, a Barret .50 caliber anti-material rifle.

“What’s the target?” Carrington asked as I assembled the beast of a rifle. A soft chuckle escaped my lips, the last piece of the rifle clicking into place. Carefully I laid in a prone position setting up my rifle before me, making sure it sat snug against my shoulder.

“Didn’t you listen to the Colonel?” I scoffed, shaking my head. “Our mission is to observe the base below and report any important intel back to our Forward Ops base. If you see any high ranking officers call them out, everyone else…authorize it first. Got that Carrington?” He growled at me under his breath, setting up his rifle and falling prone. Ignoring the Staff Sergeant, I stared down my rifles scope. Small patrols of three men circled the complex, changing shifts every hour. Each patrol was accompanied by a armored truck equipped with a heavy machine gun. 

Five hours had passed and the sun was nearing its apex in the sky, the desert’s heat baking us atop the rocks. Sweat dripped from my forehead, catching every grain of sand that blew into the air.

“How’re you doing Carrington?” A bored grunt resounded to my right. I sighed, absolutely nothing had happened. We just sat and watched as patrol after patrol circle the base. Where were the high ranking officers? Where were the tanks?” Growing irritated, I activated the radio.

“This is Cooper; we’ve had no activity as of 1100 hours. Any word from your end? Over.”

“Roger Cooper, This is the FOB(Forward operating base). We’ve received word that a high ranking official is headed your way. The man is Ling Ju Kan. He is one of the Generals for the North Korean mechanized division. Identify him and match him to your photo. You are cleared to take the shot, FOB, out.” I shut my eyes and rested my head on the rifle’s stock. I just wanted five minutes of sleep, I had spent most of the night planning for every scenario and memorizing escape routes. Just 5 minutes.

“Cooper, we’ve got movement on the main road. Looks like a convoy, I count six…no, seven vehicles, mostly armored trucks.” Taking a deep breath, I opened my eyes and sighted down my scope. The vehicles were approximately 5 miles out from the enemy base. Without looking up from my scope, I passed Carrington Ling Ju Kan’s picture.

“You’re the spotter, give me the shot characteristics.”

“Range is 1770 yards; Windage is 5 miles per hour.” He continued rattling off more specs as the convoy slowed to a stop. This will be our only chance to get a shot. Patrols approached the vehicles, checking the passengers.

“Confirm Sighting of Ling Ju Kan.” There was a pause as Carrington double checked.

“Confirmed, send it.” My finger tensed on the trigger as I aligned ht crosshairs, good night. I pulled back the trigger and felt the sudden shock of the rifle’s recoil. When my vision cleared and my ears stopped ringing, I checked my shot.

“Solid hit. That’s a kill!” Carrington whooped as the men at the base below scrambled. Alarms screamed and a sudden rumble of machines thundered, Tanks.

“Fuck!” I shouted racking back the bolt, we'd just kicked over the hornets nest

The End

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