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I have enemies, and when you have as many as I do, death is something that is always waiting around the corner.
I found my power when I was a little boy. I analyzed the things around me with undescribable accuracy.
My father had always loved archery, so when I was 5, he gave me my first bow. I fell in love. It's sleek frame, light body, and unmatched ability to kill, fascinated me. I was great at it, too. I was able to notice small things around me; wind speed, range, and distance, giving me 100% accuracy, 100% of the time.
My father saw my talent. Or skill, perhaps. He enlisted me in competitions, schools, and clubs. At the age of 7, I was able to hunt with him. The woods behind my house had always been off-limits to me, but as I grew older, they became a second home. Most of my days after school were spent in the woods, training, or hunting.
At 10, I was helping police catch criminals. I had won a competition that the Chief of the Police Department had attended. He saw my amazing skill and accuracy, and thought I would be a great addition to the force, no matter my age.
At 15, I was in the army. Special Forces. I made the books. People everywhere recognized me. I had become their hero, a prodigy. I couldn't leave my home without strangers asking for archery lessons. I never did.
18, now a sniper in the Special Forces. Expect I had no gun, I only carried a bow and arrows. I had a reputation for never missing a single shot. 100% of my mission were solo, and 100% of them were successful.
My first dual-mission was on a gloomy, foggy day. Visibilty was poor. I couldn't see more than ten feet in front of me. Tall trees were the only things for miles. The mission was to assassinate a drug lord. We had evidence to believe he was hiding in forest, deep in the wild. Sure enough, me and Pvt. Goodwin, my partner, found it. We made a plan. Goodwin would sneak into the base, a small underground complex, and flush out the enemy with a smoke grenade. As they exited, I would take them all out, one shot at a time. Pvt. Goodwin would take an alternative route back the tree I had perched myself in, as to not confuse me and accidentally get killed by one of my arrows.
The plan had gone without a hitch. The smoke bellowed out of the complex. About six men exited the base, running, grabbing their throats. I had been expecting them, and in no more than ten seconds, all lay dead. I had not missed a single shot.
I smiled. Another perfect mission, added to my book. Suddenly, I was shot. The bullet hit my left shoulder. This was no mere pistol. The impact of the bullet threw me off the tree. A hit the ground hard. My bow was still intact, and I had two arrows left. I quickly recovered and took cover behind the tree. I picked up a rock from the ground, and threw it out into the open. As I had expected, the slightest movement made the sniper pull the trigger. The shot exploded the rock into a million pieces. Perfect shot.
I knew this was no ordinary sniper. To hit a rock in mid-air. He was the same as me, except he had a sniper. I reached into my quiver and pulled out a smoke grenade and my thermal-vision goggles. I put them on, and uncapped the grenade. I threw it from behind the tree. It leaked out the dense smog. I let it grow for a moment, then went prone and peeked my head out from the tree.
There. The sniper was behind a tree, as I was. His body illuminated with a red glow, contrasting the gray background. I loaded an arrow, and aimed. The drawback of using the goggles is that it made the target closer then it actually was. I had to estimate, something I hated doing. I aimed about three inches over his head. I was about to let go of the string when the sniper suddenly pulled back, taking cover. He couldn't have seen me, the smog was still hanging in the air.
I waited, not lowering my bow. I took a breath. Counted my heartbeats. There, I saw him again. He walked out from the tree. I shot.
The arrow hit him in the chest. He fell, limp, but still alive. I unsheathed my serrated knife. I quickly ran over to the sniper, ready to finish the job.
As I reached the tree, I stopped. It wasn't the sniper. It was Pvt. Goodwin, with an arrow through his heart. He coughed, blood spilling from his mouth.
"Goodwin?" I said. I dropped to my knees. He laughed. "Dred," he coughed again. "The mission was a success," he said. I looked behind the tree. The sniper lay dead, with a knife in the throat. The knife had the classic army logo on the handle.
"I'm so sorry," I told him. "Hey, it was my fault," he said. He coughed. He didn't have much time. "You can still make it," I whispered, getting him up. "Dred, no. No. Don't move me, it hurts. Leave me here. It's okay. The mission was a success." He looked at me, his eyes losing the light he always had in him.
"Go," he said. I was never one to show my emotions. I left him there. I couldn't do anything. The arrow had pierced his heart.
I made it back safely. Once the news was out, a court was filed. I was to be dishonorably discharged from the Special Forces. Goodwin's wife hated me. Her son was going to be born without his father.
The only thing I could do was return to the city, where I had moved to when I was twenty. It's been five years. In that time, I developed another reputation. Except this one wasn't only mine. There was a vigilante. One who took out the most corrupted and evil people in the city. He was always seen with a black hood. There was rumor going around that he had 10 years of experience, for killing. He weapon of choice was a bow, which he made his own arrows to use with.
They called him Dead Arrow. If you ever saw one of his arrows, you were already dead.
I guess I liked it.