In Peace - Prologue

Prologue

 

I hope this kills me.

As these words repeated through his mind, Ethan stood readily before the closed door of the dilapidated house.  He was not certain of what lay behind that door, but he knew enough: a group of people, maybe three or four, six at most. Guns.  Lots of guns, at least a dozen crates full of them. He was to take care of the people, and secure the crates.

But it didn’t matter if there was a damn Panzer with air support behind that door, Ethan would walk away with no more than minor wounds. The arms dealers, on the other hand, would not walk away. He could walk in there, unarmed and blindfolded, walking backwards with a big sign hanging from his ass that read “I’m a United States agent, feel free to kill me!”, and they wouldn’t be able to do any serious damage.

Ethan had been briefed on this mission earlier that morning, but he didn’t care for the details on the arms dealers, that they were transporting these stolen weapons to an enemy base in the mountains of Afghanistan, that the targets were from Russia. He did not even care how many men there were. He just knew that his order was to dispatch them and rendezvous with another squad working a mission in the next town over from where Ethan would be. He did not tell his commanding officer these thoughts, however, lest he lose this mission and be assigned to overseeing the new recruits’ exercise that morning instead.

Now, as Ethan stood in front of the rotting wooden door in the abandoned dwelling that the dealers were storing the weapons, he unbuckled his belt and shrugged off his small backpack. He did not need the equipment issued him, he only wore it in view of others so as not to look suspicious. The gear would just prove to be unnecessary and cumbersome. Not that it would hinder Ethan, but he preferred not having it on.

After placing his gear on the dirt-encrusted floor, Ethan slung his Thompson M1A1 over his shoulder and gripped his M1911 pistol with his right hand. He was often given strange looks for carrying those weapons, as they were highly outdated and less efficient than the guns issued to other soldiers and agents in the military. But he liked them; he had since they were first invented. Anyway, Ethan was famous among the armed forces in the United States, so nobody questioned his tactics or “quirks” as his preference of firearms had been called. They knew he could get the job done (though they were unaware of Ethan’s secret), so he was permitted to use these firearms.

Besides, Ethan often thought to himself, if performance doesn’t matter, why not go in with style?

            So, with a steady arm and an experienced manner, he curled his rough fingers around the grime-covered doorknob and twisted gently, pushing the door open slightly when he heard the faintclick.  He opened the door just enough to fit his head in and peer around the room quickly. It was well-lit, with four tall lamps inside. Along the far wall were at least a dozen crates, all large enough to fit a full-grown man inside. Two of them were open, their contents spilling onto the floor: next to one of the opened crates lay a pile of M16 automatic rifles.  In front of the other was a large mound of ammunition boxes.

There were four targets. Two of them sat playing cards on a rickety table, one slept in a wooden chair with his feet resting on a crate in front of him. The fourth man stood with his back to Ethan, hunched over a small radio, obviously failing to get it working. Cursing in Russian, he swatted it aside and turned around. After taking a couple steps toward the card table he spotted Ethan’s head in the doorway.

“There, at the door!” he shouted through a thick accent, eyes bulging as he reached for the handgun at his side.

With almost inhuman speed Ethan forced the door open fully and swung his body into the room. Standing with a casual manner, he expertly aimed his pistol at the man and fired off a single round, the loud bang! resonating throughout the room.

The victim crumpled to the floor in a fine red mist as the others at the table sprang up, side-arms at the ready, aimed towards Ethan. They stood in a stance that suggested they’d been in this type of situation before.

A small flash emanated from the barrel of the pistol held by the burly man on the right of the table. Ethan felt the projectile whiz past his head, brushing his slightly unkempt black hair as it traveled. He heard it lodge itself in the wall behind him.

Ethan sent his retort into the man’s broad chest. He staggered back a few steps before dropping to his knees, almost in a prayer position. With a shaking hand, he let loose two more shots. One struck a crowbar leaning against the back wall, emitting a ping like the sharp chime of a child’s bell.

The second bullet, however, penetrated Ethan just below the left side of his ribcage, and came out his back. He seemed not to notice the wound and pulled his trigger once more, this time striking the now-heaving Russian above his left eye.

 

The figure sleeping in the chair leaped to consciousness in time to watch his friend fall to the ground, arms splayed in a slowly-enlarging sheet of crimson. Face twisting into an expression of anguished horror, the newly-awakened man let out a pained bellow and charged at Ethan, apparently disregarding all thoughts of defense.

Ethan didn’t notice the man rushing him immediately and was pushed slightly to his right as his attacker slammed into his side, his fist connecting with Ethan’s kidney. Stumbling to the side a couple steps, Ethan turned towards his assailant while dropping his gun, and gripped his head and twisted until the spine severed with a fatal CRACK!

After letting the body fall to the floor in a heap, Ethan crouched and retrieved his pistol. Looking up, he saw the last man standing several feet in front of him. His hands were shaking and his crooked mouth gaping, eyes expressing pure terror.

Ethan rose to his full height, looming over the man even from that distance.

Eyes still alight with fear, the man managed to contort his mouth and spoke unsteadily:

“D-devil…”

With an impassive face, Ethan raised his gun towards the terrified man and ended his life. As he fell to the floor, Ethan’s lip twitched. Something wavered in his eyes as he followed a thin wisp of smoke unfurl from the barrel and rise until it disappeared.

--

The End

0 comments about this story Feed