I sit on the rooftop, with a re-furbished Accuracy International AW50F Anti-Material riflewhich I have securely bolted to the rooftop, in the shadow of a sheet of plywood propped up against the roof access. The rifle is trained on an otherwise unremarkable intersection.
I am Waiting.
Thinking about what to have for dinner tonight, banishing all thoughts of the lethal slugs loaded in the barrel and the brief opportunity I may have.
A petty crime, a purse snatching is the bait. The thief is a secretary for Paragon International named Penny; a petite girl who enjoys wearing corsets and has a slightly curved spine. As I look through the scope I can see how the subtle imperfections make her beautiful. She grabs the purse and runs. The victim barely resists as Penny charges ahead towards the bricked-up shop-front and places herself ready for the arrival of everyone's saviour. I lean over the scope, run through the check-list I need to make sure the weapon is ready, thinking in code. "Load the battery, pull back the tab, clear the table, check the mountings". I hold my breath and wait.
Things happen in a blaze of violent swiftness. A blur of motion intercepts Penny forcefully. As the hero stands still a moment, I can see the fake metal breastplate, the sculpted chin and perfect hair and bilious hate rises up inside of me. This person calling himself Lancelot did nothing to deserve his vaulted position. He was reborn to a life of instant and unjustified privilege when he changed. I gently squeeze the trigger. Despite the bracing, my shoulder jars violently and one eye is momentarily closed, bashed by the scope. Unable to see, I have to risk it and fire again. Better prepared this time, the rifle bucks under me, but I move with it this time. My vision clears for a second and through the sights I can see Lancelot, barely a scratch, but he's stunned at least, I re-adjust and squeeze as another of the explosive anti-tank rounds detonates, this time on his forehead. Penny drops limp to the floor, a piece of debris maybe or maybe he broke her neck when surprised. Either way, she is gone now and I squeeze off another shot as the rubbish truck accelerates towards the target.
Mitch the driver drops out of the moving vehicle just prior to the impact and rolls across the tarmac. The truck however continues and ploughs across Penny's body and into Lancelot's prone form, spread against the brick wall. The impact will do almost nothing to the target, but things seem to be going according to plan at least. Mitch stumbles as he recovers, clearly quite dizzy for a moment, but with enough sense of mind to reach for the detonator in his pocket and turn the key.
The truck's engine explodes directionally into Lancelot's body. The tightly packed explosives demolish the brick wall and shatter the building's back as the structure slowly drops downwards. Collapsing to cover the truck and all evidence of the crime.
Quickly I unbolt the rifle and clamber down the fire escape, not stopping to check. Mitch has to make his own way to safety, I can't stop to check on anybody else or the whole plan collapses.
They always claimed to be the heroes, I guess everybody imagines themselves as the hero in their own story.
We have no idea why normal people were changed into these monsters of perfection, but like all good heroes they are here to save us. They make sure we are perfectly safe. Safe from any petty thing that could disturb us, safe from crime and corruption, safe from danger and disease, safe from moral choices or complex thought, safe from ourselves. Some of them even keep us safe from our own thoughts, so I need discipline, think normal sheepish thoughts, act like a sheep and they overlook you.
At first there was law and government to keep them in check, but people love heroes, elect them to office and fawn over their idols, some of them can look at you and turn you into their devoted slave. Normal people can't compete with that in a democracy. Laws were whittled down and eliminated and most people didn't care whilst these brutal heroes took anything they wanted, but I care and so I'm here and I'm going to die, because my mind has wandered.
It is over, in those few seconds they found me, it was pretty inevitable to be honest, maybe they could smell the cordite on me or saw through my bag with X-rays or maybe they just read my careless mind. I just feel my body move as I'm accelerated without warning. They have me and they will interrogate me, but it does not matter. Everybody in my cell is dead now, but so is Lancelot so I smile and bite down on the fake tooth, I taste bitter Almonds and then I fade away. I have done my part.
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