TITLE: Blindfold Chess
The Lioness of Iraqistan, Colonel Rebekah Carthage, hunted terrorists. Her men picked off chatter. "Today the pretty witch dies. Allah Akbar."
"You are pretty," Major Hollister said, tapping her helmet.
"Stay focused." She bopped Hollister's chest-plate, leaned against the hot concrete wall, and surveilled the cratered street and abandoned office building. "Sniper, nine-o-clock, second story, blown-out
Hollister adjusted his telescopic lens and shrugged. "I don't see anybody."
She never understood why her hunches paid off. "Do it now Hollister, before I get a hole in my head."
The major's counter-sniper team eliminated the threat. "He wasn't the chatter's source." Hollister touched her shoulder. . ."Let me take point, Colonel."
She never encouraged such fawning, or today, suicidal behavior. "You sap. Do you think Joan of Arc would dismount her horse?"
He didn't answer. Ever since her father rammed through the U.S. Senate an anti-age and sex discrimination bill for the military, she flourished. But, sexual liaisons destroyed careers, if you were a
The brigade slipped into a residential neighborhood, like ants. She held up her hand, approached the target's front-door alone, and paused, picturing the home packed with explosives.
"Fall back now." She ordered. Running, she watched the slowest soldier flop over the courtyard wall one stride ahead. She crossed herself. She didn't hear the explosion. Pieces of flying house pounded her
armored suit. No pain. Eyesight: gone. Senses: collapsing to black abyss. With one last desperate grab at brain function, she imagined a pup trapped in an oven, then nothing.