I moved silently forward on my belly, camouflaged by the tall grass. My spotter's to my left, just as invisible. Half a mile ahead is the enemy. I slide a magazine into my rifle and pull the bolt. My spotter tells me the distance and I sight in, turning the knobs on my scope. I see a seven man squad. The eighth lies dead, hit by a mine.
The is no wind. The bullets will fly straight. My spotter gives the green, and repeats fire under his breath like a chant. I click the safety and slide my finger to the trigger. Taking a breath to steady my aim, I squeeze. 880 yards away a man dies before he hits the ground.
The remaining six dive for cover as I work the bolt. A leg is sticking out from behind a wall. I fire. His shin explodes and the man falls into the street, screaming, grabbing at his leg. I work the bolt.
His comrade reaches from cover to save his friend, and his head explodes on the wall behind.
Five left says my spotter and calls out the position of another helmet hiding behind a low wall. The bullet penetrates the helmet like a tin can.
Now we wait. Twenty minutes pass. A cautious look around a corner. The man is still lying on the ground, grabbing his leg. Someone breaks from cover and sprints toward the man. I lead him with my cross airs. He tries to drag his friend. He falls to the ground three feet short. I work the bolt and reload. I take my time, knowing that the last two are frozen with fear.
I contemplate shooting the man screaming on the ground, but decide not to waste a bullet. I watch the man on the ground bleed out and die. The other two try to run when a armored personnel carrier arrives. Neither one reaches the hatch. My spotter and I retreat into the grass unseen.
I killed seven more today, and all I felt was recoil.