Categories > Original > Drama > Point-Blank

Prologue

by damienstadler 0 Reviews

Andrew Point is called to stop a threat to innocent civilians, even though he knows there will be a personal price.

Category: Drama - Rating: PG-13 - Genres: Angst,Drama - Characters:  - Warnings: [V] - Published: 2008/01/28 - Updated: 2008/01/28 - 1140 words

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Prologue

The phone rang.
It continued ringing through the shabby one-room apartment. Andrew Point certainly didn’t want to answer the phone. He knew what it meant. He opened one eye to look at the Caller ID.
“Crud...” he muttered as he reached for the phone.
“Point.” Dan never bothered to wait for a hello; he knew he wouldn’t get one, anyway. “We have a situation.”
“Dan, I’m retired. I have been for five years. When are you gonna—“
“Not today, Point. We have a serious situation downtown, corner of Wiltshire Boulevard and Mason. I need you there now.”
Drew gave it up. He hung up the phone without a goodbye. Dan knew he wouldn’t get one anyway.

Drew parked a block away from the corner. Dan was waiting.
“Couldn’t let me sleep in, huh, Dan?”
“Beauty sleep is for later.” Dan was nothing if not business at times like this. “We have a hostage situation in the conference room on the forty-third floor of the Hotel Wiltshire. Twenty-odd hostages, at least three sentries on the prisoners, and another five looking through the windows. There’s something about this mess. These guys look trained. Paramilitary, or something; I’m not sure. All I know is that they give me a bad feeling.”
“Dan—“
“No, Point. This isn’t like the other times. This is serious. I need you to watch yourself, okay?”
“Dan, this is what I do. I can’t do anything else. You know that. Now let me do my job.”

After retrieving the four-foot long softcase from his trunk, Drew climbed the fire escape of a building another three blocks away from the hotel, on the other side of Mason Avenue. He briefly glanced out at the cityscape, then went about his work. He unzipped the case and pulled out a long-bore rifle barrel, followed by the rifle itself. He attached the large precision telescopic sight, then the heavy sniper barrel to the weapon, which brought its size to nearly seven feet. Fully assembled, the rifle had a barrel nearly four inches across, with an aperture three-eighths of an inch, and a scope to be envied by some astronomers. He loaded ten rounds into the ten-round chamber, locked it, and took careful aim.
Four sentries were now guarding the frightened hostages, each detail of their anxiety etched across the lens of his scope. He could see the impatience of the sentries, could read the active vigilance of the spotters watching the windows. He shifted his amplified gaze a few floors up and swore; there were two other sentries, snipers, hidden on the roof under the cumbersome air-ventilation intakes, well camouflaged from view both from the streets below, and the helicopters watching from above. With only ten rounds chambered, he’d be hard-pressed to take down eleven people, and he could see, as he shifted his aim back to the window, that they were preparing to execute a hostage.
Then they made the fatal mistake.
One of the sentries held up a camera, and moved, to Drew’s line of vision, almost directly in front of another guard holding the prisoner to be executed, his body almost obscuring hers. But that wasn’t the mistake.
The window spotters relaxed their guard somewhat to watch the execution. But that wasn’t the mistake.
As he watched, the spotter by the window, through which he was watching everything unfold, leaned slightly against the window, creating the slightest flicker of reflection. That was the mistake.
He pulled the trigger.
One silent, high-caliber bullet tore through the glass, the neck of the camera guard, and into the hostage guard, just missing the hostage’s right ear.
Another shot, dispatching the executioner.
Two more, to take out the rooftop snipers.
And another five to take out the remaining terrorists. The leaning window guard hit the pavement a moment later.
He lowered his rifle, and heaved a sigh of relief. It was over.
Suddenly, he caught a flicker of movement. He snapped the rifle back to his shoulder and fired.
The beret-wearing man, who had just come through the door and seen the carnage, had whipped out a sidearm and almost fired at the nearest hostage. Now that he had no wrist to connect to his hand, that wouldn’t be a problem. He watched as the various police forces swarmed the room, along with paramedics and firemen.
Ten shots.
As he slowly replaced his rifle into the softcase, his mind whirled. He’d almost done it again. He’d lost his focus for just an instant, when he lowered the rifle. Someone had almost died again because of it. He knew that he did something good; that saving those people’s lives meant something. But that didn’t help much for a guy who was already dead himself.

Dan met him at his car.
“You did it, Point. Congratulations.”
Drew would never speak to Dan about the thoughts going through his mind. He’d never even know they existed. He simply began putting the softcase in the trunk. “Yeah, job’s done. Can I go home now, Dan?”
Dan sighed. “Yes, you can go home. Your payment is already in there. Five.”
Drew blinked. “Five? Five thousand?”
“Yes, five thousand. You got extra for this one. Think you can pay the rent with that?”
“Yeah, I think so. I might even get something off the Value Menu on the way home...Dan, do they ever say anything about the money?”
“Point, I know you’d do it for free, but I need to make sure you actually feed yourself. Listen, don’t worry so much about the money—“
“I don’t like taking money for this. It doesn’t seem right.”
“Look Point, I know what you do. I know how you live. If it weren’t for this money, you’d never live. I may not know why you do this, but I know you did a good thing today. We need you for that, and it’s worth keeping you in Big Macs or whatever floats your boat.”
Good thing, good thing, good thing...”Tell you what, Point. Here’s a ten. Dinner’s on me, and get some extra fries or whatever with that. And get some sleep, you look like crap.”
Drew barely noticed this last exchange as he accepted the offered bill and grunted something noncommittal in reply. Good thing, good thing, good thing...
“See you around, Point. I just hope no time soon.

He hit the drive-thru, then went home. He didn’t want to take Dan’s advice and go to sleep. He knew what would happen, just like every other time he took a job. But eventually, he drifted off to sleep during some inane sitcom.
And the nightmares started again
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