No Alarms and No Surprises

"Beware of Harriers?"

Mickey caught the slightest movement at the very edge of his vision, behind Dook"s back, and turned his head in time to see a head and shoulders appear from a hole in the side of a pile of earth and stones. A wiry, feral little man, with a bloody head bandage and a stained loin cloth, burst out of the hole and flew towards Dook waving a rusty old scimitar and shouting "Allahu Akbar".

In the same moment he both screamed out Dook's name and fired at the man, hitting him in the thigh and the stomach. The man's legs gave way under him and he fell face-down into the dirt. He frothed at the mouth and with a muttering growl kept repeating his mantra, over and over again. His arm, with the sword in it, thrashed about until Dook fired several more rounds into him. It had happened so quickly - then all was quiet again.

"Jesus, that was so weird," Dook was genuinely shocked.

"The odd thing was if he had stayed put we probably would have missed him."

The man had curled up into a foetal position at the end. Mickey didn't say anything, but he really didn't feel bad about ending this man's life – the critical fact for him was that he had protected his mate.





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