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(continued)

Pacific Ocean, 201 miles off the Oregon coast

May 12th, 2019

The kid comes closer and the shot goes off, that’s all I know at that split second. But almost immediately I hear a sound that I haven’t heard from this kid yet, and it’s sounds like a cross between a cat coughing up a hairball and a man reaching orgasm for the first time, with a squeal of pain tacked on for good measure at the end.

He doesn’t even reach me as he folds and crumples to the ground, balling up into the fetal position as blood begins to pool beneath him. Judging by the area he’s grabbing I’d say my shot went right where I wanted it, but it was luck, nothing more. This kid would have easily killed me if I hadn’t decided to think about what I was doing rather than go all gung-ho and try to take him on with a frontal attack like my idiot team members did. It might be a bad idea to speak ill of the dead, but the fact that I’m a woman, and their commander, shouldn’t have made one damn bit of difference in how they did their job.

If they had been able to accept that fact they might still be alive. But here we are, just me and the kid, and it’s finally come down to this. I don’t even half to step close to him to take the final shot, but I hesitate for just a moment when he decides to raise his head and look up. What I see isn’t pretty, but I’m not paid to be sensitive.

“Please don’t” he pleads, seeing the gun in my hand, “I won’t hurt you, I swear.”

I don’t even answer, I just look at him without an ounce of pity. It might be his fault that all this happened, but once again, that’s not my problem. He starts to plead again, but before I have to listen to any more I pump the rest of the clip into him, nine shots in all, and he goes still. Tough as he might have been when he was feral, nine slugs in your head will stop just about anyone, or anything in this world.

You think I feel bad about this? Maybe my soul is in jeopardy? I’ve had a first-class ticket to hell since before my 19th birthday, I don’t worry about my soul these days. Unless there’s more forgiveness in heaven than gold in Fort Knox, I’m bound to be sitting next to the devil himself at this point.

And to be honest, I really don’t care. It’s a job, and I’m good at it. I’ve survived where others have fallen, and I’m still here. The only worrisome thing to do now is to clean up the mess the kid left behind. I’m sure the yacht is still salvageable, but I kind of doubt my employers are going to foot the bill.

(to be concluded)

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