Ballad of the Rats

A masterful execution

T - Null Zero

Niko inspected the new rifle that Sev had handed to him earlier that day. It was exquisite. Brand new, with no imperfections. To Niko, the rifle was magnificent. It was quite light, made of some very high grade polymer most likely, even Niko could not identify the actual materials.

Nicko took each piece out of the case slowly, inspecting it in detail before carefully putting it aside on the table. Each piece seemed to be machined perfectly, and Nick had no trouble slowly assembling the rifle. Nick was pleasantly surprised with how light it was, when fully assembled. He would have no trouble holding it for extended periods of time.

Once done, he inspected the mechanism deliberately and methodically, slowly making sure that everything was working. The crisp sound of the bolt sliding into place was like music to Niko’s ears. The action was smooth and sturdy, and Nick tested it until he was satisfied, admiring it at the same time.

Looking through the scope, he was again surprised to find it had multiple modes in addition to the traditional zoom levels. Nick flicked the mode switch and noticed orange to red figures moving on a background of grays and blues. This must be the heat sensor. Flicking it again, Niko was momentarily confused as he simply saw fuzziness, but then noticed what looked like distinct electrical figures when he scanned the room. An electronic filter. Flicking it again he looked away after noticing it was a night vision filter. “Excellent” he said to himself.

He knew that he would be making use of this new toy very soon, and felt a small buzz at the prospect of using it, though he didn’t show any outward sign of such. Thinly smiling, he packed the weapon back into the case and waited for the announcement of his target. He new it would have something to do with the T-Squads, due to Sev’s recent disagreeable meeting with them.

Later that day, Sev approached Niko, who succinctly explained to him the situation. Nicko lost no time and left immediately to stake out the sniper location.

Now that he knew the location of T-Squads base, Niko decided to use the unassuming tenement block directly to the south of the Theater. Parking his car in the relatively deserted underground parking lot, he got out and popped the trunk, taking the slick black case of the rifle out and carrying it up the stairwell. He climbed up a few flights until he was almost near the top of the tenements. The higher he went, the more deserted and dirty they looked, with trash littered throughout the hallway and stains all over the walls.

Carefully stepping over some exposed needles, he walked to the end of the hall and gauged his orientation in relation to the theater. Figuring out which side he would need to be on to have a view, he tested a couple of the doors in the hallway. The first door he tried, room 922 was already ajar, and Nick walked straight in.

Quickly taking into account his surroundings, Niko identified a junkie, obviously high on something, splayed out on the horrible couch that was against the wall. The rest of the apartment looked no better, with trash scattered about and a couple of horribly stained spoons resting between the sink and the stove. Niko’s eyes immediately went to the balcony and after identifying the junkie as harmless, he closed the door behind him, locked it and stepped forward. Carefully putting down the rifle case, he then opened the sliding door and went out onto the balcony.

It was quite windy outside though he was quite high up, almost 10 stories high. It was overcast, as it usually was in Ul-Pesca, with a very light drizzle that couldn’t seem to decide whether it wanted to continue or not. The view was perfect however, with the theater being directly below and across the other side of the street. Niko quickly looked around at the other balconies and down at the freeway, he had quite a view down the freeway too and was pleased none of the other balconies looked very popular.

Moving back into the room, Nicko moved smoothly towards the junkie, who had only now noticed that someone was in the room with him. Niko took the junkie into account. He was old and completely smashed, a long line of drool extending from his lips and staining the front of his ragged t-shirt. Niko decided the most simple solution was to kill him, and quickly did so by snapping his neck.

With that out of the way, Nick wasted no time clearing the table in the apartment, and set the rifle case atop it. The case opened with a satisfying click, and Niko proceeded to assemble the rifle. Once it was assembled, he took a long breath, readjusted his coat and stepped onto the balcony.

He used the rifle to scout the streets near the theater, he identified the people on the street, what looked to be low level dealers or gangers. Settling into a rhythm, Nicko waited for the tip off of the target, but continuously scouted the streets for any change in behavior from the gangers.

After what seemed to Niko a reasonable time, Niko heard the distant sound of a motorbike gunning it at full speed. Sev was riding it, and Niko noticed that some of the people on the streets looking on. Sev rode the bike directly into the front of the theater, leaping off expertly at the last second. The Bike smashed straight into the theater doors and continued forward some ways inside. The people on the street were surprised and started to move towards Sev. Niko held his fire, and waited. He zoomed into the scene and noticed they were confused. When he zoomed out, Sev was already halfway down the street, and leaving Niko’s view. A few minutes later, Niko heard some gunshots, and then saw the Rats news van and one of the sedans speeding down the road in the opposite direction Sev had driven down, with more gunshots following them.

Niko held his fire throughout all of this, and quickly watched as some of the T-squads regrouped at the front of the theater to work out what had happened. Niko then felt a massive explosion erupting in front of him, the gangers he had in his sights seemed to just disintegrate into flames, and he took his eye from the rifle for a brief moment to watch the explosion. The explosion erupted from what seemed like the center of the Theater, with a massive amount of smoke starting to waft high into Ul-Pesca. Moving back to inspect the streets, Niko’s ears popped and he was rebuffed as a massive wave of heat swept into him. A second explosion had occurred towards the back of the theater, except this one was almost 4 times bigger than the initial explosion. Niko watched as a quarter of the Theater was swept up into the air and into the tenements opposite. A massive fire erupted and Niko smelt the smell of sulfur in the air. Debris continued to drift down for the next hour as Niko continued to scout the street. Niko did not see a single soul.

After the excitement had died down, Niko settled into scouting again, and waited expectantly to be informed of his target. A few hours later, Niko noticed his phone ringing. Putting the rifle down carefully, he answered the mobile. Long Ratty was on the other end of the line. Niko simply asked if she had a picture of the target, and to send it to him on his mobile. Nicko had a quick cigarette as he waited for the picture, and surveyed the damage.
The fire was out of control, and there was a lot of smoke in the air. The fire provided Niko with quite a bit of warmth, and he wondered why there was no police presence on scene yet.

After a few minutes, his he received the picture of the target, and took a long minute to study him closely. The orange top knot he had was his most prominent feature, though he looked quite large and capable. Niko help the image of him mentally in his mind as he finished his cigarette. Flicking the butt off the balcony, he made himself comfortable and continued to scout with the Rifle.

Niko waited, and waited. He new his target would be a while to get here. Long Ratty had said he was in Vyerwood trying to make a deal with Velvet Roads. Niko resolved to wait until he appeared. He would need to turn up eventually, and if Long Ratty could not convince him to return to Ul-Pesca immediately, Niko would still wait until he decided to return.

Niko gradually spent more of his scouting time looking at the freeway, and after about a day of waiting noticed a large black limousine cruising down the freeway towards the theater, quite an odd site in Ul-Pesca. Niko trained his sight on the Vehicle, and after noticing the tinted windows flicked on the heat sensor to see how many people were inside. There were a few people inside the limousine, and as it got closer, Niko noticed it was being followed by a coterie of other very nice modified vehicles.

Niko sat up and prepared himself. This would be the moment. He couldn’t mess up now after all this waiting. He double checked the rifle and made sure it was loaded. Setting himself up he followed the limousine as it drove up to the theater and parked directly in front of the burned out husk of the theater. By this time the fire had died down a bit on the theater block, but was still raging in the tenements. A few people got out of their vehicles and Niko scanned for his target. Not seeing him there he waited for the limousine and held his breath when he found it. Stepping out of the limo Niko couldn’t mistake the distinctive top knot for anyone.

Niko waited for the opportune moment. He knew that he had to get a good shot. One shot is all he would have. Niko waited, and waited. The target was still moving around on the street and then stopped to talk to his squad. Time slowed for Niko, as he took into account the major aspects the shot would require. Elevation, distance and wind. He held his breath, and fired. The shot struck him directly between the eyes, and his head exploded. Niko quickly confirmed the kill, and then swiftly moved back into the apartment.

He briskly put the rifle back into the case and left the apartment, going back down the stairwell. As soon as he got to the sedan, he unlocked it and put the case into the trunk. Then he calmly got in and drove out onto the street. He quickly scanned for danger, and after seeing none, nonchalantly drove back to the Docks. Mission Accomplished.

After he got back, he relayed the results to Sev and had a bite to eat before turning in. The rifle was definitely a magnificent piece of weaponry, and Niko was pleased with the results of the mission.

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