Dropping to the pavement, she winced. Shaking her hands in an attempt to cool them off she surveyed the area. The road strewn with rubble, just like every other one. Sighing, she removed what little remained of her shirt from her hands and held them up. Bits were missing, and a streak of black had rubbed off from the cable. She sighed.


“I liked that shirt” she pocketed the strips and checked the street. It was empty, although the sound of cannon fire echoed around her. Across from her was another building, or rather, the skeleton of one. Most of the bricks had fallen out into the street; the only things remaining were the iron support beams. Alice could see several corpses inside, dressed in civilian clothing.


“Collateral damage” she muttered, then averted her eyes and scanned the area for flanking routes. An alley presented itself, not too far away, and it turned off onto the main road. Confidently, she strode out from behind the ruined car that provided her cover and gripped herself, shivering as a cold breeze ran past. “I really miss that shirt…” she whispered to herself as she picked up the pace. The alley was deserted, although it hadn’t escaped the shells; Alice had to pick her way carefully over the rubble.


As she approached the corner, she pressed herself tightly against the wall, hearing something. Silently she waited, just able to make out a couple of voices just around the corner, military voices.


“…I mean, it’s not like there’s anyone here” the raspy voice finished his sentence, voice muffled through his mask.


“Yeah, but orders are orders, and we need to cover this area” Alice assumed the other was speaking, since they all sounded the same.


“Huh, yeah I guess you’re right”


Alice slid down the wall into the deep shadows and tried to think up a plan, twirling the knife in her hands.


“Okay, let’s move out” Alice hadn’t been paying attention, suddenly brought back by the men talking. She could hear footsteps coming closer.


“Damn it” she muttered, reaching into her pocket and retrieving the pistol. Quietly, she stood up; remaining pressed against the wall. Cocking it, she waited.


She saw the mask as it came round the corner, but waited until the other one was in sight. Slipping her left hand into her pocket, she withdrew a knife, silver in colour, and twirled it so she was holding it by the blade.

As the second soldier stepped into view she moved, grabbing him by the neck and thrusting the knife deep into him, and with her other hand raised the pistol and shot the other in the head, his body falling slumped over a pile of rocks. She continued to hold onto the man, waiting until he stopped struggling before finally letting him drop. Limply his corpse folded up, blood soaking his uniform. Alice sighed, and began searching the bodies.


A few minutes later, she peered around the corner at a military checkpoint. Just my damn luck she thought, kneeling over the bodies. She’d taken care to bury them under the rubble, but not before retrieving their uniforms. They were baggy, having been designed for, well, men, but using a combination of one soldier’s clothing and the other’s mask, she might just have been able to pass of as one of them. Peering back around the corner she examined what little she could see. A few tanks, a few soldiers, nothing much. It would be easy; walk in this end, out the main exit and off she would go. Retrieving the dead soldier’s SMG, she strode out into the base.


She knew something went wrong when everyone started firing and she found herself running for her life again. Back into the alley, diving into the neighbouring shop and hiding in a corner. Alice sat there in the shadows, listening to orders being drilled out, to boot-clad feet run in step past her. At one point a group peered in, but didn’t see her. She ran over her plan in her head. It was fool-proof. She looked exactly like any other…


Alice looked down at her chest. “Oh. That explains it”. Discarding the uniform, she clambered back up onto the roof. “Time for another rooftop infiltration” she grumbled. “Hoo-bloody-ray”.


He heard the commotion, saw the soldier and immediately knew who it was. He yelled at her, calling her attention, telling her to run. He felt something smack him hard on the side of the head, and fell onto the metal floor of his cage. He look up into the blank mask.


“Hey buddy.” The soldier taunted, raising his gun. “General has something for you”.


A bullet when it passes through the brain is normally a death sentence. In this case, like many others, it was. There is a slim chance that the bullet avoids all major functions, but for our sorry prisoner here, it passes through all the vital parts; breathing control, heart control, conscience. The second bullet then passed through the connection between his brain and spinal cord. Snipers used to be trained to shoot here, however it is very likely they will miss.


At this range, the percentage of misses is substantially lower.

The End

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