Maybe it was fear or the excitement of the moment but my senses became sharper. It was almost as if I was using my hearing like sonar to be able to pick up the oncoming hunters. It's a skill you learn in the early days of survival. Most who don't either starve to death or get killed in the early days.
We decided that there four enemies in the opposing squad and so would need the element of surprise to be able to overcome them. There was however a nagging voice in the back of my head saying should we just leave, what is the point of more bloodshed. However the blood this group had split today showed their caliber and we could not lose a profitable scavenging source like this one. So after the momentary lapse my resolve was back. This was revenge but most of all as everything in my life this was about survival.
Our plan of attack was almost instinct these days, we both know our roles. With my sniper rifle I would take the over-watch role and get the first hit in and Jon more comfortable with medium range would be using his trusty rifle. I had faith that my first shot would be a one hit kill. My talent for head-shots was becoming a prerequisite for these engagements but I still had to choose the best target and shake the cold from my body. Adrenaline helps a great deal at times like these but it can also make you rush your shot and the last thing we could afford was to be outnumbered two to one.
I got to an elevated position on top of a porch and readied myself. I saw the group and thankfully they were not heading this way. I chose my victim, she was the only one of the group looking this way. By removing her first it would give me the chance to get a second shot off and hopefully drop another of the group evening up the odds.
I readied myself in the normal way by slowing my breathing and focusing on the task at hand. I gently squeezed the trigger to create an almost defending sound but most of all to produce the kill shot that was so essential to our success. At that point I could see panic in the enemy ranks making my shot selection difficult. I took a second shot and missed. I cursed to myself ammunition was a rare commodity and I could not afford to waste it. My third shot however did hit home on the shoulder of one of the hunters not a kill shot but enough to incapacitate him for a while. In the meantime my partner had taken out his two targets thankfully with ease.
Due to the noise we had created we decided it would be best to finish quickly and return to camp, first there was the issue of salvaging what we could from the downed people around us. My first port of call was the man I had shot but not killed. He was grievously injured I could tell the blood in the snow gave him the look of a person laying on a red pillow. From his groans I could tell there was no hope for his survival, but even worse I knew I had to finish him off. In an ideal world that would have been with a bullet but ammunition was far too valuable so I removed my home made shiv from its holster and stalked my down prey.
Killing with a gun was relatively easy these days but up close and personal with a knife against an unarmed foe still felt wrong. This was not the time for complacency so I did him the courtesy of looking into his eyes as I slowly slit his throat and waited for his last death throes to stop before stripping him of everything of value he had. It was a meager haul but his boots and belt were nice and strong and would be of use for someone in our camp I was sure.From the four dead we did find some more weapons, ammo and food. Then came the part we both dreaded stripping our dead allies. We took more reverence with this task and managed to retrieve everything we could as a snow storm blew in.
At this point we knew it was time to leave and the storm would do a good job of covering our tracks. Sometimes even the smallest of mercies can make you feel a little better.