I never looked up. Katie’s Sacrifices (Part 3)

– Listen to this story.

“Saber 2-1, contact.” The officer, known publicly as Mark Hadley – clad in black tactical gear whispered into his bone mic. Two taps on his right shoulder from the officer behind him was all it took. Mark pulled the ring on his flashbang. not releasing the spoon on it. He was waiting for the call on his tactical radio from the other entry team, “Tigershark 4-1” preparing their weapons for the dynamic breach. His heart was still pounding from the excitement of the last snatch and grab earlier that afternoon.

“Execute.” the cryptic but garbled voice ordered on the other end of the radio as Mark heard the yelling of the other tactical team. “Hands in the air, hands in the air!” Mark tossed his flashbang through the building’s window, destroying the already cracked and broken window. Mark cocked his head away from the deafening blast of the flashbangs.

The flashbang exploded with a terrific blast, knocking dust off the walls of the small, unassuming building that Mark’s target “package” was hiding in. “Hands in the air, NOW!” Mark yelled as he kicked open the pathetically thin door off it’s hinges. The flashlight attached to his suppressed tactical M4 5.56 rifle illuminated the thick smoke of the detonated flashbangs, including a human being in the blue haze, hiding behind a metal desk. A man. Mark fired two shots, the first shot hitting his target in the chest and one round into the man’s forehead. He was dead before his body bounced off the disheveled table and onto the floor strewn with papers.

A muffled report from TigerShark 4-1’s team members bouncing around the wrecked interior signaled another rioter killed during the entry. “Clear” Mark yelled as he shuffled through the building, checking his corners, just as he was trained. Mark was preparing to climb a set of stairs when another target appeared in his ACOG scope. “SHOW ME YOUR HANDS!” Mark yelled, pointing at the man with his left hand who stood, silent at the top of the stairs. The glowing green dot in the ACOG scope was trained on 20s something, emaciated male’s head. During Mark’s final brief, it was explained to him – many people suffering from starvation hallucinate, making them dangerous. Mark wasn’t taking any chances – this place was no different from Iraq.

Mark squeezed the trigger of his rifle after the target refused to comply with his order. The body of his victim rolled down the stairs, head completely blown open like a freshly crushed pumpkin. “Move Mark, move!” Mark’s teammate behind him wanted him to keep moving, fast. Mark slung his M4 behind his back and unholstered his suppressed Beretta 9MM. The stairway was too narrow to effectively move his rifle and engage targets. The sun was finally setting and in the distance, gunshots rang out from a firefight between the rioters. Mark felt the squishy feeling under his boot that could only be the brain of the man he just killed.

Mark saw the door ahead at the top of the stairs, closed and another door, also closed to the left. He stopped midway up the bloody stairs and whispered“Saber 2-1 left L2” Mark slid his nightvision goggles on and continued up the stairs cautiously, weapon trained on the doors above. His team would clear both rooms as Tigershark 4-1 secured the first floor.

All 4 members of Saber 2-1 were preparing their flashbangs as the door on Mark’s left opened, quickly. “Hands IN T” Mark didn’t even have time to finishing yelling before he saw the rusty steak knife if the hand of what appeared to be a 14 or 15 year old girl illuminated in his goggles. Mark fired one round into the girl’s chest knocking her to the wall behind her – Mark could hear flashbangs exploding in the next room. His target slumped to the floor and Mark kicked away the knife as his victim choked on her own blood. “Clear!” Mark yelled.

“Hand’s in the air NOW!” Mark’s teammate made contact with his package. “Package located” crackled in Mark’s ear. Mark holstered his weapon and pulled out his PDA. He swiped his finger across the PDA’s scroll icon. Mark could still hear the young woman gagging and digging furiously at the floor – she however was not his problem. Mark started walking towards the other room when the dying woman grabbed his boot. He couldn’t shoot her again. There was a general ban on discharging unnecessary rounds into targets. Even with the massive government ammo purchase of billions of rounds, not one bullet could be spared. He continued to walk away forcing himself not to attend to the dying girl.

Mark entered the smokey room, flipping up his night vision goggles or a better look and sure enough, there she was. Washed with overpowering light from a tactical flashlight, Mark observed brunette long hair, brown eyes, tattoo above her right breast. A ‘DNE/E’ order was in place, and Katie Stringfield was cowering in the corner, her dirty and bruised hands shook in blind fear.

No longer a woman – appearing more like a frightened and hungry animal to Mark. A DNE/E order as Mark understood it in training was a “Do Not Engage – Execute” order. Therefore, his fellow teammates held her at gunpoint, in the most menacing way possible – terrifying, gear laden and faceless commandos with big, scary weapons. They could not kill or engage Katie Stringfield so fear was their next effective tool.

Mark immediately noticed Katie’s hip and something that was attached to it. THAT was a survivalist kit bag, also known as a bug out bag strapped to katies’s hip and left thigh. The white and grey mottled bag only confirmed Mark’s debrief at home plate. The federal government’s data mining center in Arizona yielded excellent and very accurate information about Saber 2-1’s target packages. “We are going to remove that throwing knife from your ankle Katie, I don’t suggest you move, or even breathe.” Mark said in a monotone and scary voice. Mark’s teammember didn’t notice the survivalist knife, sheathed and around her left calf under her filthy jeans.

Mark nodded to the masked officer and he reached for Katie, lifted her up and slammed her to the ground like a rag doll. She exhaled in pain, hyperventilating and shrieking. The officer to Mark’s left trained his suppressed MP5 submachine gun as Katie’s hands were zip tied behind her back. “Fuck you, SIR!” Katie screamed sarcastically into the dust on the floor as the officer cut the sheath from her leg. The officer also cut away the last of leg bag, now dumped onto the floor. “Katie Stringfield, 921 Lenny Lane – Married, husband, Max, same last, conspiracy theorist, same address” Mark read aloud for effect, not Katie’s education. Mark looked at Katie through his tactical visor, she however couldn’t see Mark’s blue eyes.

The NCIRS database was a beautiful thing. The National Civilian Information Retrieval System was Mark’s best friend for the last 5 years. Type in your target’s name and the NCRS gives officers data about their target and literally anything they could want to know about them. Political views, social media accounts, blood type, bank accounts, music tastes, what they ate for lunch and if they hated it.

The NCIRS literally connects the unknown dots about a person because the system itself monitor’s the target’s every viable information stream. In fact, the system is so accurate it can predict when a target is going to be visting the bathroom or logging into Twitter.

When the collapse started, the Government was making leaps and bounds on PHBD (Predictive Human Behavior Database) technology. It was all the rage to operators such as Mark and his team. It saved time and made the raids he took part in faster. Speed was the key in these kinds of snatch and grab operations.

“Strip her……. and use this” Mark said flatly pulling Katie’s own survival knife from it’s now broken sheath. Katie refused to show any emotion and kept her tears to herself. Katie’s body shuddered slightly from the pressure of the clothes torn from her body. She refused to hide her breasts and pubic har. Instead, she defiantly stared at Mark, no, she would could no longer be intimidated. “Nice tits but the ass has to go…” was heard in Mark’s ears over the radio. Mark paid no attention – He was too busy with drop downs in the NCIRS application to notice Katie’s lovely feminine body.

Mark’s face glowed in white light from the PDA display. “Your husband purchased 6 months worth of food 3 years ago, is that what you have been living on?” Mark thought that perhaps if he could show Katie he knew everything, perhaps Katie would crack. “Says here you guys went through therapy………ouch – Perhaps your husband’s hot blonde side chick pissed you off?” Mark mockingly inquired. Mark showed a picture of her husband’s lover from her Facebook page, on his PDA. “No, I fucked her the same night, SIR.” Katie responded. “We need to find that blonde” another voice was heard over the tac radio in the dark room painted with shafts of conical light emitted from flashlight’s.

Standing naked, zip tied and at gunpoint Katie didn’t even blink – staring at the wall behind Mark. “Tell you what Katie, you tell us where your husband is now and we won’t throw you in prison.” “Throw me in prison.” Katie replied, again without blinking even though a flashlight was blinding her. The only thing Katie saw were dark outlines in the blinding light. “There aren’t hot blondes in Federal Prisons – no soft kisses and lots of rape with broomsticks, Katie”. Mark replied, shaking his PDA in Katie’s direction. Mark could see he was getting nowhere with Katie. Mark knew just from Katie’s NCIRS abstract that she has been trained and prepared for the collapse. “Reaper on scene, let’s get rollin” A voice called on the radio: Operators from Tigershark 4-1 spotted the black SUV by it’s infrared , pulsing beacon atop it’s roof through their night vision goggles.

Mark reached behind his head and retrieved a compression packed Mylar female dress that was designed for hypothermic victims. Mark approached Katie slowly, visor still attached to his helmet and Katie stared into her own reflection. Mark glimpsed down at Katie’s exposed breasts, which, were beautiful. “I could fuck you right, put a bullet in your head and then let these guys fuck your dead body –Perhaps you’re interested?” Mark whispered into Katie’s ear.

Katie’s response was to spit onto Mark’s facemask – . Mark grinned the invisible, insidious grin of a man possessed – even as he tasted Katie’s saliva that was now soaking into his fabric face mask. Katie leaned forward and whispered to Mark’s left ear: “I’d fuck all of them in front of you right now, but you get the cold, dead sloppy seconds.” Mark was impressed but Katie would never see him smile. This woman understood force response and she made sure he knew it.

The deafening silence was destroyed as a single bullet shattered a top floor window somewhere else in the building. “We got issues, danger close!” That was the strained garbled radio call from Tigershark 4-1 that sent the adrenaline pumping yet again.

Mark slammed Katie hard against a wall and shattered the window next to her with the butt of his rifle. “Tigershark 4-1, Saber 2-1, clear to engage”. Mark called into his bone mic. “We got a cluster of about 20-40 civs, heading towards us, side 4”. Mark pulled his nightvision goggles over his eyes and peered through his ACOG scope bolted to his camouflaged M4 rifle. “You’re fucked now.” Katie said, grinning ear to ear. The grin disappeared when she was injected with a mild sedative by a Saber 2-1 team member who was the one ordered to put her to sleep after the raid.

“Tigershark 4-1 I got your cluster side 4 – Reaper are you ready for us down there?” Mark keyed his mic without removing his finger from the trigger. “Yea copy – ready for exfil”. “Tigershark 4-1, shots fired, side 4” Mark considered the idea that the rioters most likely heard the flashbangs and saw the flashlights. Katie was half asleep and she was going to have to be carried out. She didn’t notice the muffled pops of suppressed gunshots and she didn’t notice the hot shell casings burning her bare feet.

“Chris, she’s all yours” Mark nodded and pointed his Saber 2-1 team member. “Let’s move!” Mark called out over the radio. Mark cautiously but quickly walked down the flight of stairs, weapon at the ready and heard the call he was waiting for all night. “Saber 2-1, Tigershark 4-1 we got a dude down here with a long rifle, scoped.” Mark knew that Tigershark’s team had a new marksman and he was itching to engage a rioter. Before Mark could finish the words “Wax him” a single, unsuppressed rifle shot split the pattering sound the soft rain shower like a lightning strike. “Pink mist” was reported through garbled radio static – the radio call for a head-shot and the target was killed and no longer a threat.

Mark’s team exited the looted and destroyed building – Tigershark 4-1’s sniper was lying on the roof of the black SUV, folding up the bipod attached to his SR25 sniper rifle. The sniper slung his rifle over his shoulder as he hopped off the rain slick roof. “Head exploded like a fucking balloon!” The sniper, known affectionately to his team as “Swiss” was recalled from the Syrian conflict as a conflict adviser to “assist” with his country’s collapse. Mark pointed at Swiss while Katie’s unconscious body was thrown into the SUV’s back seat “You are THE MAN!” Mark yelled as he climbed into the SUV.

Mark heard the hum of the MD500 series helicopter now hovering loudly above his SUV as a cover aircraft – the helicopter’s downwash blew the rain rolling off the windshield away quite efficiently, Mark noted. “You guys remember your rotation home?” Mark asked, making small talk. “Yea those PTSD tests where bullshit – just bullshit.” Chris responded. “Home plate, Reaper is oscar mike, cat’s in the cradle.” The SUV was now making it’s way to SR12 when several bullets bounced off of the SUV’s bulletproof windscreen with deafening cracks. “Reaper, Badger one, you have an insect problem”. The MD500 series helicopter pilot activated his spotlight and illuminated a lone rioter, directly in the SUV’s path.

The man, appeared thin and it looked as though his dirty skin was stretched over nothing but hollow bones. He wasn’t wearing a shirt and his jeans were ripped.“Reaper, Badger one he’s armed.” “Yea no shit…” The helicopter pilot was unarmed, all he could do was help Reaper below spot the rioter. “Yea copy, badger one, he’s not moving moving from the road” the SUV driver remarked. “Hit him – discharge ban” Mark callously answered the driver again not taking his eyes off his PDA. The man’s body contacted the SUV and his pot marked forehead was the last the the SUV’s driver saw before the rioter’s body rolled under the vehicle – throwing everyone in the SUV into the air.

“Hey Swiss” Mark keyed into his microphone. “Welcome back home, asshole!”

To be continued.


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