Author: Julian Miles, Staff Writer
I can hear his controller yelling at him to shoot. His eyes flick left and right, then he stares at the woman with the kid a short distance behind me. That shouting must be deafening. It’s certainly not helping him do anything useful.
Overcast afternoon, leafy plaza, man in a suit pointing a gun at thin air while sweat runs down his face. People are starting to notice. I turn and raise my hand towards the CCTV, fingers spread. I start folding them down one by one.
They’re still shouting.
Single voice. Urgent. I check my position and step sideways to keep the woman and kid directly behind me.
A single word being shouted. I see his finger go from frame to trigger. I crouch, he fires. A woman screams. I stand and walk away as the man falls to his knees. People run about screaming. I don’t look to see who he hit. I don’t look back when another shot sounds.
By the plaza entrance, a second operative rushes towards me, eyes roaming, desperately trying to find the menace they’re shouting about. I locate the nearest CCTV and raise my hand again.
Frantic shouting over the headset. Confused, he charges at me. I step to one side.
He stops and spins, gun coming up, finger on the trigger. I quickstep until I’m behind him. I was always the best at this game as a kid, and that was when my opponent could see me.
We dance about as he frantically tries to turn to face me. The voices are getting louder. Any second –
Now. I see his elbow bend and duck to the opposite side of where he fires blind over his shoulder. Then I hop back as he swings the gun to shoot under the other arm. That second shot elicits a scream from behind us.
He spins to see who he hit. I bat his arms down, then open his throat with my bone knife. They grew it from a bit of my femur and a few stem cells after they became certain I couldn’t make normal objects be like me. A clever bit of thinking, and it works. Doesn’t keep an edge for very long, but they hone them very sharp, and have grown spares.
There it is. Loaded with multiple ways to ignore my curious case of not being visible to the naked eye – the scientists have promised they’ll explain what happened, one day. I don’t think it’ll be anytime soon. At least it’s a useful mishap.
I raise my hand and make childish shooting gesture towards the drone. It drops, going up in flames as it does so. Laser! Tasty. I never know what my support will bring, but they do try to be appropriate, and monitor me for cues. Today’s theme is ‘invisible killer’.
We’re done here. I move my hand in a throat-cutting gesture. Support takes out the surveillance in the park and on two streets, one at either end. Then I run into the bushes next to this entrance and shimmy down the shaft opened by an unseen support team member. As I’m throwing on clothes, an unseen person closes the hatch. Nothing left to chance.
One day the opposition will get their act together. Until then, it’s open season.
I emerge from a distant storm drain. In a nearby car park is an SUV that recognises the key in my pocket. I’ll call for my next assignment in a week. Time to disappear properly for a bit.