Saturday, May 22, 2010


Before he could even hear them, he could smell them. The familiar scent of deodorant covering body odour, of cigarets, of sweat-stained playing cards. Each carried a distinctive odour, and as Harlan slithered silently through the trees surrounding the clearing, he rifled through the files in his brain to place each scent.

He crept further through the trees in the direction of his prey, and was soon welcomed by another layer of scents. The steel and grease of firearms. Copper bullet jackets. Cordite and nitrocellulose. Fairly standard weapons, all of them. Routine. Nothing to fear. Closer yet, allowing the sounds into his ears for classification. The soft crackling of boots standing on the ground. Trying to be silent.

Almost beside them. Harlan finally spotted the group of men through the trees. Four South Americans standing around an overturned card table, rifles drawn, peering through their scopes into the clearing. They were caught totally outside of any alert mode, Harlan thought. One even had his boots off. Stupid bastard.

Knife out, Harlan flew. Seriously flew, and sliced through both of the bootless man's Achilles tendons before anyone knew what was happening. Screams and pandemonium. The poor sap tried to stand, only to come crashing down. River of blood. The three unmolested men instinctively spun around, letting loose a blind barrage of bullets. One soldier fell to friendly fire. Then another.

Harlan, still hovering close to the ground, plunged his knife deep into the throat of the first downed man before leaping up to engage his remaining enemy in unarmed combat. There was a struggle, and Harlan's hands found their way around his adversary's throat. The man put up a decent fight, but within seconds, he, too, was dead. Choked by Harlan's pitiless hands.

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