Three miles away a solitary man in an environmentally secure suit of mimetic armor viewed the destruction with detachment. The scope attached to his rail gun was linked directly to his cybernetic implants, so his view could not have been clearer if he had been standing amidst the carnage. Somewhere in the back of his mind he took note of the people bouncing across the ground or blacking out in the lobby, but he did not bother to count the dead; they were inconsequential and his ocular implant noted each death with a cheerful pinging sound that only he could hear.
He focused his attention on the remains of the complex’s lobby, looking for any sign of his target. He wasn’t one of the ones pulled out of the building and he didn’t see him in the lobby either. Normally the sniper would not have worried about the lack of body. The rounds from his rail gun hit with enough force to leave his targets unrecognizable in the aftermath, but there was usually something left behind. He found no extra limbs lying on the ground or even a bloody mass pressed against the wall. It was as if his target had simply vaporized on impact.
A quick replay of the video recorded by the scope confirmed that the man had been hit, but the shattering glass and the escaping debris from the decompression cluttered the view and made it impossible to tell what happened to the body. He scanned the area once more before deciding the body must have been flung back into the hall and out of sight. One of the disadvantages of killing from the edge of the horizon was that confirmation could not always be achieved. He didn’t like it, but he was certain of his shot, and no one survived a rail gun round to the chest.
“Mission accomplished,” he said into the com unit of his helmet. “Collateral damages are within acceptable parameters.” A brief squelch in his ears confirmed the message had been received. “Recommend pickup at extraction point bravo. ETA thirty minutes.” Another squelch, then silence. One last look at his handiwork and the sniper crawled back down the low ridge he had settled on. Thirty minutes on the lunar surface was nothing to laugh at, and he knew that being late would mean being left behind, so he stood and loped across the crater to the rendezvous point. The dead civilians had already been erased from his mind and only questions about what sort of dinner waited for him back at base occupied his mind.
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