London. August 2012
Too far? No. He had trained for this, trained until targets blurred from exhaustion and his muscles trembled with fatigue.
Perfect weather. Cloudy skies, no sun glinting in his eyes, no wind to distort the path of the bullet. He waited. There were others waiting as well, but he ignored them. He had been selected for this moment, chosen for his skill, his dedication. Years of practice all coming together for this single shot. There would be no countdown, no starter’s gun, no cheer as he crossed the finishing line. It was a let-down in some respects. And there would be little kudos afterwards. He didn’t care. If he did this right there might be a medal. But that was not important.
He shifted position slightly, just a fraction of an inch, the merest amount needed to get his eye closer, to get the rifle tight into his shoulder. The target ahead, his finger around the trigger, the curve of the metal comforting, the ground hard under his elbows. The target blurred and he blinked. Clear sight now. His preparations complete.
He waited for confirmation, slow breaths ensuring that he was ready, his finger tighter now. The word in his ear was almost a shock.
‘You have a go to proceed. Repeat. Go to proceed.’
Straker held his breath. Blinked once more, focused on the small figure crouched on the rooftop in the distance. He pulled the trigger. He did not need to see the terrorist fall to know the shot had been on target.
Such a small thing really. He had refused at first, but they needed people to help cover the route. Too many important dignitaries arriving, too few marksmen. And the terrorists were there, waiting to destroy the Games. Straker had agreed to help out. Just this once.
He put the rifle down, stretched his fingers and relaxed. Terrorist or alien. It made little difference really.
There is a plethora of stories about the Olympic games right now, and this insinuated itself into my brain late last night after an idle day watching Team GB win six gold medals. It is pretty far-fetched (I hope) but there were some initial problems with security in a couple of places and military personnel were called in, so, why not call on the services of someone who we know is an expert marksman?