Saturday, November 29, 2008

The Tightrope

Operationally, everything was still fine. Most of the physical pieces were still in play, and the world was still around. At least so far.

It was when the plan was scrutinized that everything revealed itself to be fucked up beyond all recognition. The logistics were gone. The supplier, and the supply line with her, disappeared into the urban jungle with a simple note containing an apologetic explanation and a veiled threat. This, naturally, meant the strategy would have to be altered. But by whom?

He was, by this point, extremely tired and had little fight left in him. His ability to give a shit had been dulled by needless tangents and unnecessary reinforcement actions. He was far from home, surrounded mostly by enemies and strangers, and longed for a familial touch.

The problem there was that his family no longer knew who he was or even what he did. Worse, the reverse was true. Decades apart will do that.

Giving up was a viable option. He had never surrendered before. Not once in his life. But, as the saying goes, there is a first time for everything. Continuing on was still an option, albeit one seemingly too far out of reach. In addition to finding a new source of supplies, a new strategy would have to be conceived; new tactics would have to be researched and practiced. But he was running out of time.

Quite similar to the famous examples of Rommel and Patton, he had, simply, outrun the rest of his supply line. He was so far forward of the staging area, and so deep undercover, that even if he had snapped his fingers no one would respond, for they wouldn't know who he was or what he was doing there.

Hell, even he didn't know what he was doing there. Partially forced, and partially inclined, he wound up in a place he swore never to return to. Partially because he was the best at what he did, and partially because no one else was available.

It was a game of fate. A tightrope. One he had walked for far too long. And he was tired.

In humans, balance is the sixth sense. Originating in the inner ear, it is enhanced by vision. Without vision, it would be impossible for a man on a tightrope to balance himself. A blind man might be able to stay upright for a few moments, but would undoubtedly fall. Perhaps he would fall at an angle that would allow him to grab the robe, or even entangle himself in it. But, more likely, he would simply fall to his death.

He checked his weapons, just in case. He ensured his personal equipment still functioned and were in good order. As in all things, what comes next is never truly known, and it is wise to prepare as best as one can. Should he continue the operation? Should he turn tail and run? Or should he simply lick his wounds and hope for the best? Many options presented themselves, and he preferred none of them.

So completely unsure of what to do as he stood on that tightrope, he did the only thing that came to mind.

He closed his eyes.


Anonymous said...

Sounds like a paragraph out of my life.

Posted by Johnny O™ on November 29, 2008 - Saturday - 2:01 PM

Anonymous said...

...lately at least.

I'm too old to close my eyes now, and i'm too far forward to turn back.

At least my junk still works.

Posted by Johnny O™ on November 29, 2008 - Saturday - 2:06 PM

Anonymous said...

Not good grammar but good writing rarely is.

Posted by Introspective Prophesier on November 30, 2008 - Sunday - 9:40 PM

PattiKen said...

Irrewinding continues.

So this is what being mercenary gets you, skulking about in the dark, out of balance and out of time.

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