Read Part I here.
I was told that in the last century, war was dirty, loud and filled with the stench of blood and gasoline. What determined the difference between then and now, therefore is the lack of any dirt of any kind. War now is silent, quick, scentless and tense. Once minute you are there, and the next you cease to exist. Gone: literally nothing left. Not even an atom. For most people the idea would be terrifying. For me, it’s exhilarating.
My weapon of choice is a definite disadvantage in this sort of climate. Other weapons are of the same form as the war we fight: silent and immediate. A bow and arrow, however well engineered, will always be accompanied by the whistle of the arrow flying through the air. “A rookie mistake”, I was told, repeatedly. But it was not a choice I made absently. I chose the arrow and will choose the arrow because I want the challenge. If you can still hit a target when you tell them you’re coming, then you’re good.
I’m that good. I’ve been that good since the age of nine.
A soft, low whistle signaled that it was time to go. Simultaneously, the left side of the truck bucked a little and every mercenary on that side flipped out of its interior. I closed my eyes as the wind whipped my face. I was pointing directly at the ground, arching my back slightly, I flipped over. My parachute clicked open as I pulled out of the dive.
The ground hit my feet roughly and I rolled over, trying not to get tangled in the parachute. The soon-to-be battleground was covered in crouching figures draped in fabric. I cut my way out of the parachute and stuffed it away. Now was the time for the mission to begin.
Wordlessly, we stepped into line, covering each other’s backs while also looking for possible lookouts. It was so quiet here that the hairs on the back of my neck were standing up. I felt eyes on me and glanced upwards to my right. Movement. Swiftly, I took him out. I doubt he even saw me draw back my bow.