I tried to catch my breath as the subway doors hissed shut. Had they found me? Had they managed to follow me onto the train? I can never be sure anymore.
Waves of emotion and desire washed over me.
You know how some people can sense the emotions of the people around them? I don’t know, get a sixth sense of the auras of people near them?
Well, I can do that too, except my abilities are… a bit ramped up. I can feel the feelings emanating, resonating from those around me.
I have no idea exactly what the exact range of this sixth sense is, but suffice it to say I can feel everyone around me in this train car at least.
There are maybe a dozen people sitting nearby, and I start to scan them for threats, and to try and match them to the emotions washing over me.
If I focus really hard, I can narrow the feelings down, if not to a specific person, then at least to a small general area. I’m focusing really hard right now; my life depends on it.
The rear of the car is relatively easy. Weariness is radiating from the mousy women rocking an infant only a couple months old.
Three seemingly identical businessmen are spread out behind me too, and weariness and boredom waft forward from them as well. I turn my focus forward.
Anxiety, a little bit of fear, and a hint of anger drift into whatever part of my brain processes this junk. Lust and nervousness too.
I focus harder, and narrow it all down to a stylish young woman with several shopping bags and a Gucci purse, and the two wannabe toughs sitting a few feet from her.
A quick look reveals that the stylish clothes might be secondhand, or old but well cared for.
Focusing on the two teenagers reveal enough insecurity that there’s no way they have the guts to do any actual tough guy stuff.
The rest of the passengers radiate the same mix of boredom and weariness coming from the back of the cart, except… there.
I focus harder on the blast of aggression that I sense, closing my eyes for a moment. When my eyes blink open, I can hardly believe I missed them on my first sweep.
Aggression, tempered by icy cold discipline radiated from two men sitting a couple of aisle seats away from each other. Keeping my eyes averted, I focused even harder.
The younger one radiated more aggression, but with enough discipline that I knew he would wield violence casually, but as a carefully chosen tool, not randomly or foolishly.
A quick flick of my eyes took in the other damning evidence: dark grey fleece jacket, black ball cap, jeans and hiking boots.
He had a big black G-Shock watch on his wrist, turned in so the face lay on the inside of his wrist. His eyes were constantly roaming, but stayed away from me. Conspicuously away from me. Shit.
Some people are constantly looking around them, with their heads and eyes on a swivel. Cops, security pros, and soldiers do it by reflex.
But they look at everyone, and half of their observation routine is meant as much to alert other predators.
Anyone who catches their attention gets a long, cool and appraising look that communicates even more effectively than words. “Hey asshole, I see you. Don’t start none, won’t be none."
Intelligence operatives, high level operators and competent criminals try to be just as observant, but less overt about it.
They want to see who’s around, but they don’t want anyone to notice them noticing. This guy wasn’t looking at me. He was dressed like a military or ex-military operator. I focused harder.
I heard him, clear as day. “Lean to the left, create space around the seat, draw, press out, front sight, pop-pop, pop. Target down. Exits to front and rear, two left, two right.
Scan and breathe. Lean to the left, create space, draw, press out, front sig…” His voice faded as I looked to the second man.
Oh, didn’t I mention? If I focus really, really hard, I can hear that little voice that you use to talk to yourself in your head. Silly me.
The second guy was older, more seasoned and more practiced than the younger guy. He was wearing a long sleeved dark blue work shirt over brown work pants and brown leather work boots.
Like his younger compatriot, he was also wearing a baseball hat, though his was a faded red.
The feeling of aggression was much lower profile, and the icy calm and control actually made him stand out. No one is that calm unless they have a reason to be that calm.
The type of calm that lets professional gunmen seemingly stroll through a chaotic situation, taking it all in until it’s time to flip the violence switch.
Of the two, this guy was clearly the more dangerous of the two. I focused on his thoughts. “Time it, wait to see the platform, present, fire and move.
Assess and fire a last head shot as I walk by. Head down, get out the doors, escape and evade.” His voice faded away on its own.
This was not good. This was really, really not good. Both of these guys screamed professional operator. Well, not screamed, but you know what I mean.
They would both be armed, they would both be fast,
and I could practically guarantee that they both had fired tens of thousands of rounds from their pistols at ranges far greater than the confines of this train car.
If I let them have the initiative, I would be dead, dead, dead. No chance in hell. There has to be a third, maybe a fourth. These guys always operate as a team if they can help it.
For me, I know they wouldn’t send just two guys. Where could the other guys be? Did they make it onto the train?
They would box me in if they could, which would put one or both of them behind me. But no one back there set off any of my alarms.
Then again, the younger operator managed to avoid tripping my first quick scan. The older one probably would have escaped my notice if not for his proximity to the first guy.
Only my paranoia and my talent had sussed him out. I turned my focus to the back of the car as I shifted in my seat. No way was it the mousy woman with the baby.
I shifted my attention to the three businessmen.
All three were practically plug and play, I think you could have swapped any of their pieces of clothing and all three outfits would have been fine.
Three white shirts, three shades of grey slacks and jackets, three bland neckties. I looked for tells.
They all had lace up shoes and no overt tactical type clothing or gear, and if any of them had clip on neckties, they were really good ones.
I focused hard, bringing every bit of my talent to bear on the three.
There was the same boredom and weariness that I had sensed earlier, but this more focused look revealed a few other minor emotions playing around the edges.
A little bit of aggression, a smidge of hope, a dash of regret. I closed my eyes and tried to pick up their inner voices.
Unfortunately, I got all three of them talking at once, their sentences weaving in and out amongst each other.
“I hope Bob and Charles were impressed with all the work I put in on that presentation…”
“I hope that woman has dinner ready when I get home for once…”
“Did I mess up those figures on page 17…?”
“I could use the promotion if they liked my work…”
“Just once I wish Martha would want to have sex instead of running her mouth with all the latest drama from her sisters…”
“Man I need a couple fingers of scotch.”
Well this wasn’t getting me anywhere. If one of those three was an operator, he was a damn ghost. I mean, shoot, if a mind reader can’t find the assassin, no one can.
I turned my attention back to the two in front of me. At least I knew their plan, so I could make my own to counter and beat them.
If they wanted to wait until just before we reached the platform, I’d have to throw down before them. But if I went too early, I’d have to wait for my exit.
Okay, I’d stand and shoot as I walked toward them, pass the two (hopefully) dead operators, the stylish girl and the two toughs ogling her. I’d exit to my left as we pulled up to the platform.
I had maybe a minute to get ready. This would be very tight.
Which operator do I shoot first?
The younger guy might have more of a gun fighting mentality,
and he might react to a shooter a tad bit faster than his older companion who seemed more interested in the getaway than the shooting.
That being said, the older guy would have more experience, and he might react faster than the younger guy. I chewed my lip as I debated.
I’d hit the older one once in the head, transition to the younger guy, try for two headshots if I had time, or two body shots to slow him down and a head or throat shot as a follow up.
I’d take the older one’s advice and hit each of them once in the head as I walked by.
I felt the brakes kick in and knew that I had maybe 20 seconds before we hit the platform. I counted in my head, trying to reign in my galloping heartbeat and slow my breathing.
My hand slipped into my bag and my fingers wrapped around the grip of the suppressed Glock 26.
10…9…8…7…6…5…4… my eyes popped open, and I bring the pistol up over the back of the seat in front of me.
…3… In my current hyperaware state I distinctly saw the older guys eyes widen by a matter of millimeters even as his hands moved towards his waist.
The Glock pressed back into my hand as it cycled. I drove the gun left towards the younger operator, as both of us started to stand. Damn but was he fast.
He was half out of his seat, right hand ripping his jacket out of the way as his left hand wrapped around the black grip of a pistol. Huh, he was a lefty, that’s…
…interesting. The first two bullets took him in the upper abdomen and the left side of his chest.
The third, with the extra half second of time I took to aim it, hit half an inch above his Adam’s apple. Well, not bad, considering I haven’t fired even a tenth of the rounds these two had.
I still can’t believe I’m getting away with this. I advanced down the aisle even as abject terror and shock flowed outward from the two teenagers and the girl.
Ha, I can’t believe I did it, if I can just get out the doors and…