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The Sound of Silence

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Swish of steel; brutal whisper of tearing flesh.

Crash of hard gear on hard ground and the softened crump of a falling body.

Wheeze of a last breath escaping a severed throat. The hiss of a line being drawn over a beam.

“What was that?” voice sharp as the sudden clack of the rifle’s cocking lever. “Sound off.”

“Two.”

“Three.”

“Four.”

A pause. Anticipation.

“Five, report in.”

Silence.

“Four and Six, move in.”

Feet on the move, the thud of boots.

“Cross is gone; we’ve got blood here.”

“Close up! Look sharp!”

Rattle of cocking levers; the pounding of boots on running feet.

That high, singing swish and a gasp of breath; another soft thud and the clatter of a dropped rifle.

Gunshots; the fast, high song of an assault rifle. The spang of ricocheting bullets.

“Cease fire! Did anyone see them? Did anyone see who it was?”

“I didn’t see anything, but Ramirez is…”

A silken whisper and a violent hiss. One choaked cry and a bloody burble.

“What the hell? Where’s Steve?”

Gunfire, wild and sustained.

“Hold your fire, damnit! Hold your…!” In a momentary break in the fire, the muffled cough of a silenced firearm.

Another body falls. The gunfire continues.

“They got the chief! Someone call Cobra Command; we need backup.”

“How many are there?”

“I can’t…”

Steel sings; two bodies fall. The gunfire is thinner.

“Can anyone see anyone?”

Rattle of metal on metal.

“Is that…?”

“Fire in the h…!”

Roar of an explosion.

Soft tap of boots on the ground. Almost-silent footsteps. Butcher’s-crack of blade in flesh, once, twice; gurgling gasps.

Gentle tap of a finger, rapping out quick, precise Morse code: Snake-Eyes reporting. Strike zone secured. Mission time elapsed: 4’33”.