I stood with my back to the rock face of the mountain, taking great arduous breaths to compensate for my sprinting. I now fully understood the phrase "running for your life". I watched, my panting now coming to a slow halt, as the chopper swung about in the air, like a large irritated wasp, angry and dangerous. I couldn't help coming out of my cover to see where Dad could be. The chopper hadn't seen me...but my eyes widened in terror as I saw Dad running into the open. No cover. Was he crazy? My pulse quickened as I silently willed him to do something. Anything. Then I saw a single bullet pierce the glass windscreen and kill the pilot in one. I sighed, and a part of me laughed internally. For that one moment my faith in my father had shrunk, as if I'd half expected him to have a "senior moment". I should have learnt by now not to underestimate the team.
As I watched the chopper swurve and lurch helplessly, my mind flickered to the others. The President. Kristen. A red light. I suddenly went into stealth mode and whipping my gun out shot the remaining sniper down, watching the stumble that he took as the bullet met with his neck. I stroked the barrel of the gun with my forefinger gingerly. The DSR-1, which I had now christened Dani's Sniper Revenge. Suddenly I heard the first noise of impact between the fallen chopper and our supply of explosives.
My radio crackled to life, and I listened to the broken signal.
'Fox! Fox can you hear me?'
'What is it?'
'It's B-Wolf,' Beth corrected herself. She was usually one to stick to codenames so my first instinct was that something was wrong. I kept calm as she continued. 'I have Kristen, her condition's seriously faltering. Can you get down here?' They'd run into the valley...I checked around me and then started sprinting to join her.
'Right, okay. I'll be there. Over and out.'
My feet battered the ground as I hurried down the mountain, watching the rocks ahead to stop my own descent into any unsafe footing. Beth was standing over Kristen, trying to keep her attention I should imagine. They said in first aid that you have to keep the casualty's attention..you can't let them slip. I started to look over to give her a sign when I saw a rustle among the trees behind them. With a shot I saw the sniper run from his cover, but he was soon knocked down when Beth shot him through the back. I was at their side now: Kristen looked more terrified than I could ever imagine a person to be. I knelt at her side and saw in those eyes a world of torment: she was no longer a child. Her mind was contaminated with abuse and the foul breath of sick men, who were too weak to exert their strength on anyone else and too stupid to register anything other than violence in their heads. I did the only thing I could: I whispered, 'It's Ok.'
Of course that was a lie: this girl was far from Ok. But it only takes one lie to protect somebody; one small detail to save a young person from madness. And besides, things were going to be Ok. We couldn't just let this girl die. My brain raced with first aid as her eyes rolled and she slipped into unconsciousness. Beth stood before us, shooting the hell out of snipers. I wished I could join in, but my Sniper Revenge was seriously low on ammo. I had three shots left...they had to be saved. I rolled Kristen over onto her side, and checked for internal injuries... Three cracked ribs. No damage to the skull-that was good. Her leg was awful, the one they had shot in front of us. I heard the scream of sheer pain and fear when I looked at it again, and it made me shudder. I wouldn't be surprised if that didn't heal up. It made me grimace to think how inexperienced a nineteen year old girl was- I was still wrapped up in cotton wool. Daddy's little girl. I shook my head and requested back up on aid here. I'd taken the initial class, got the marks I'd needed (well, two off full marks but I don't like to brag and now isn't the time), but I didn't want to entrust this with me when we had professionals waiting on the wings. Best to focus on making sure she didn't leave us completely: I didn't want to alert Beth but Kristen was really dropping in temperature as well. Thank goodness her pulse was normal: that was one of the most secure factors of her deteriorating health.
A rustle in the undergrowth made me look up, but I stopped Beth firing immediately. I didn't want to shoot down any allies. We could do with all the help that came to us.