Apocalyptic Bounty Hunter, Part Three

The Afflicted

Chuck’s 200 words at a time flash fiction challenge continues this week. I continued Ely’s continuation of Mozette’s story. Originally I wrapped up at 237 words for my part, but I trimmed it back to 199. I hope the edits aren’t too harsh. Font color signifies each contributor.
***
Rain poured from the sky.


 
Why did she wake up?
 
She wondered exactly how the day had begun as she pushed herself to get out of her bed and get dressed.  
Ashlee pulled on her work boots, laced them up nice and tight, then came the bulletproof jacket – with full sleeves – that was handed out to all personnel.
Then, she picked up her remote from the duchess of make-up, a curling iron, hair ties and perfume, pointed it to the wall by her bed.  Pressing the blue button on the top left of it, a huge section of it slid forward, split into two horizontally and swung up and down on air-controlled hinges. 
Ashlee had her pick of guns, artillery and high-tech gadgets to fight the ongoing battle which was going on beyond her front door.  But the first thing she did was pull on her vest which had empty pockets, zipped it up, clipped on a utility belt (which fitted neatly in a waistband gap around the vest – and could be worn on its own if needs be) and then, she began working on what she would need today.
 

Today, she was going to be busy.

Three targets. Two of which had not been seen for over 180 days. One high priority, high profile, high risk. Not to mention the work that would have to be done in order to get downtown.
Only one week had passed since the world had collapsed. Over three billion dead. And half of the remaining four were not so much remaining as they were quickly decaying. Ashlee understood, they were merely fighting to stay alive—using any means necessary. Anyway, she didn’t much mind. Chaos had its benefits. Boredom wasn’t likely to be a problem for a while, the fallout was too great.
She grabbed her sidearm first, the Glock17 was a comfortable extension to her right hand. One loaded clip, slide, release, safety, holster. And four extra loaded clips she had filled the night previous. Her bedtime routine was becoming very one-sided.
She eyed the .408 CheyTac. It would be needed for target number two, but she was hesitant to carry it with her for the rest of the day’s work.
Ashlee made plans to come back for it. She would save Two for last. As for the other assignments for the day…

Ka-Bar, tactical kit, two flashbangs, grenade, AR-15…
***
She gripped the Colt AR-15 and tapped the twenty round magazines in her pockets. She didn’t think she’d need them, but it never hurt to be prepared these days. She preferred a scope for a job like this, but she was still proficient over open sights. Before the collapse, she qualified expert. Clipped to her utility belt was her marksman ribbon with the silver ‘E’ signifying her qualifications. Not many alive recognized the ribbon, but the people who mattered did.
She peered around the tree she hid behind. Target two would need the precision shooting of the CheyTac M-200 Intervention. This target, however, .223 Remington rounds would suffice. The General sat at his desk reviewing paperwork. She found his audacity revealing through the glass panes separating them.
She knelt with her elbow resting firmly on her knee. She lined up the sights and squeezed. The general flopped back, but she needed to ensure the job was complete. She let loose a torrent. It wasn’t just rounds that tore up the general’s body and office, it was the deception. The lies. It was losing everything she believed in.
As she backed away, she spoke into her transmitter, “Tango one eliminated.”

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About Mark Gardner

Mark Gardner lives in northern Arizona with his wife, three children and a pair of spoiled dogs. Mark holds a degree in Computer Systems and Applications and is currently attending Northern Arizona University. View all posts by Mark Gardner

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