Where Honor Lies
By BearStarfire McQuinn
C. 2021, McQuinn.
Jonquil Montgomery clutched his smoker to his chest and tried to slow his breathing. The fifteen story climb had left him a little winded. With as winded as he was at the moment, he’d never be able to get off a straight shot, let alone a kill shot. He needed a kill shot. Without it, his mission would fail. Or worse, he could be captured. Jonquil knew all too well what happened to military prisoners. It was something he’d already had the unfortunate opportunity to experience, and never wished to experience again.
Jonquil rested on his faith that he could make the shot. He always did. He’d take out the target from a distance; then, he’d find a place to wait for the extrication team to pick him up. To him, this was all routine. Get in. Take the shot. Get out in time to have dinner with his family. Jonquil was good at what he did, and he wasn’t being the least bit cocky about his abilities, either. It was fact. He was THAT good.
Sliding his hand into his pocket, he let his fingers be warmed by the bundle of tattered cotton he carried there. It was the remains of an old flag once carried in combat by his father, and his father. It was a talisman, giving him a focus point. Likewise, it reminded him of the ideals that what he was about to do would defend.
This mission, this particular assassination, would have world-wide reprocussions for generations. He focused on that as his breathing slowed to normal. There was no other way beyond this mission to remove the dictator from the equation that was vastly unequal in every respect. And though Jonquil had been the one to draw this mission, he’d prayed hard about it. He would complete the mission today. After months of preparation and planning, he would take the kill shot when it was presented to him, and without hesitation. It was his duty.
With his breathing now controleded into almost non-existent, Jonquil raised his smoker with slow ease and sighted through the long range scope. Then, he waited…
The shot silently split the air.
His target fell, lifeless, into his bodyguard’ arms.
Simultaneously, Jonquil stepped back into the shadows. With the ease of a ghost, he used the shadows to disguise his digress through the long abandoned domicile. Unseen, unheard, he made his way down the back stairwell, emerging into an overgrown vacant lot.
Shivering against the sudden drop in temperature, Jonquil knew it would be hours before anyone traced the trajectory of the bullet back to this building. By then, he would be sitting at the dinner table eating pot roast. The thought warmed him as the icy winds began to howl through the hollow buildings. Dodging a piece of blowing garbage, he slipped into an alleyway between the hospital and parking garage.
Everything had gone according to plan so far. Everything that is except for the unexpected appearance of a citizen led militia. That, in a greater sense, was part of the plan to peace; but that would be weeks away. Not here, and not now.
Jonquil needed to hold his position in this alley for at least another hour. Yet, from the growing sounds of chaos, he was getting nervous. He had hoped to get in, complete his part of the mission, then meet up with the extrication team with none the wiser to what he’d accomplished. One hour, that’s all he needed.
‘This is insane.’ Jonquil muttered. ‘Things are moving too fast. I’ll need to change the plan.’