5th Column Comics: Reginald Hawthorne (Wind Duster) #20

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TommytheHitman

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1974

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My finger twitches on the trigger, the rifle I'm holding is sleek black metal with a brown covering around the handle. I've forgotten what type it is. All I know is that it's a Sniper's Rifle, and that I'm a Sniper.

The two go together hand in hand.

I've forgotten why we're in this hellhole as well. Stuck in some godforsaken foreign land, surrounded by forest, sweating to the bare bone and spending most of the day getting shot at by enemy soldiers fighting for some cause I couldn't care less about.

"You're all clear." I whisper into my walkie talkie. I take a deep breath from my tree branch, dozens of feet above the ground. I instantly regret it, the stench of burning bodies fills my nose and I almost end up coughing.

"Roger that." The voice of my Squad Leader replies. "Keep a tight eye on us until we reach the clearing, then feel free to join us."

I glare at the mutilated corpses on the forest level. They're almost hidden by the grass... and in a few days they'll be hidden from anyone's memory... except for mine.

"Yes sir." I reply.

_______________________

It's 40 years later and I'm still stuck in hell. Indigo City is worse then Vietnam ever was. At least back in the jungle the enemy made goddamn sense. They were on an equal playing ground... back in my day the enemy didn't have goddamn superpowers.

"Are you alright, Snipes?"

My vision shimmers as I turn towards the speaker. He looks slightly familiar... blue and black costume, looks like a bit of a scrawny runt... it's probably Mark. Problem is the second I get a full proper look at him his appearance changes into a 4 armed demon with blazing horns sprouting out of his head and a giant tail between his legs.

"Yeah, Mark..." I mumble. "I'm fine." He squints at me almost like he's having trouble understanding what I'm saying... he always does that.

"That's... good..." He finally says. My vision starts to clear up and he turns back to normal. He's definitely wearing his Vigilante costume, not the one that I gave him all those months ago, the new one he got from those Nazis at the CBTF. Damn ba$tards. "I'm headed out on patrol." He tells me before glancing at the whiskey bottle on the kitchen side. "Look after Daisy." He orders. "There's money in the kitchen. Take her to the movies or something, I'm gonna be pretty late back tonight."

Daisy...

"Where is she?" I ask.

"She's at school, Snipes." Mark points out while pulling on his mask. "You're the one that dropped her off."

Did I? I really can't...

"Oh." I answer.

"Look after yourself, Snipes." Mark tells me. "I'll be back pretty late."

I smile slightly at him. "Of course, Mark. You just be-"

POP!

He teleports away, leaving me to finish my sentence alone.

"-careful."

___________________

It's 1 year earlier and I'm slumped against an alley wall, a bottle of alcohol in my right hand and a few drops of it dribbling down my chin. I used to hate the stuff, used to think anyone that drank it was a complete idiot... but it helps keeps the nightmares away... I'm also holding a switch blade in my left hand. It's for protection from any of the homeless psychos that live out on the streets... buncha bums that don't know what they're doing.

Judging from the large pounding in my head I've got one hell of a hangover... one that probably won't be going any time soon.

"Get up you pathetic ba$tard..." I grumble to myself before slowly to my feet. "Goddamn it..." My back clicks slightly and I feel a surge of pain shooting through my body. "...goddamn it..." I grumble again. That's when I hear the sounds of footsteps directly behind me. I turn around to see three shambling bodies coming towards me, their clothes are ripped to shreds and their skins is as pitch white as a ghost... and as transparent as glass. The veins in their bodies are a bright purple and are throbbing like they're alive.

All that being said I'm completely and utterly wasted so none of it really registers with me.

"You guys alright?" I mumble. A low groaning is my reply. Just as I'm about to repeat my drunken question a voice rings out from directly above me.

"HEY!" I look up to see a figure stood upon the rooftop directly over the alleyway. "What the hell are you doing?!" I open my mouth to respond however before I can a flash of bright pink light engulfs my vision and I suddenly appear right next to the figure. "Are you high, old man?!" He yells. "Don't you know how to run?!" The creatures below stare up at us with their cold, empty eyes.

"Run from what?" I ask. The man pauses and squints at me like he's concentrating on something.

"Blight." He answers. "Those things are Blight." He stares at me like I'm some kind of idiot. "Don't you know what's going on?"

I shrug. "I was a wee bit tipsy last night."

"You... you slept through it?"

"Slept through what?"

"The Gre-" He sighs. "You'd better come with me." He decides. "Me and my wife are at a Safe Zone a couple of blocks from here." He holds out his hand. "My name's Mark."

I look at his own hand and shake it firmly with my own.

"Pleasure to meet you." I say as clearly as possible. "I'm Snipes."

He stares again.

"What did you say?"

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cbishop

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johnjo719

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Ah some Back story for snipes

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Claymore1998

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Very nice

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Claymore1998

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Keep up the good work

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batkevin74

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Flashbacks to 'Nam! :)

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ImpurestCheese

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@tommythehitman: Intresting indeed, I have a feeling Snipes isn't well. He may need a doctor...

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batkevin74

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@impurestcheese: Or Mark could take him to a guy chained up in a basement....

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cbishop

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@tommythehitman: Good read. Two things: 1) I grumble to myself before slowly to my feet. <--Needs "getting" - either "getting slowly" or "slowly getting." 2) At the end, is it Mark or Snipes who says, "What did you say?"

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ImpurestCheese

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#12  Edited By ImpurestCheese

@batkevin74: No only Gaia can have chained up sick people in the basement

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batkevin74

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Okay, I'm around here-ish on WD

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TommytheHitman

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@batkevin74: I think it's the issue after where you disappeared into the pitch blackness of the Internet.

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knightofthechronicle

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@tommythehitman: Glad to see a little back story for Snipes...kinda worried about him now though with this story. Guy's got PTSD bad, man...but oh well, I'm sure he'll be fine