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[Fiction] Jager - All's fair


kestrel404

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(For canon consideration.)

Human society has gotten many things wrong in their long history. But they definitely got one thing right. All's fair in love and war.

What they conveniently forget to mention, though, is that love and war are the only things that are real. War is the most immediate moments of life's continual struggle for survival. Love is the most intense form of the will to procreate. All the moments in between are spent in preparation for love...or war.

If you remember this, it is easy to understand the conclusion - that everything in life is perfectly fair. Unfair is a fairy tale.

None of this passed through Jager's mind as he dodged the sniper's HEAP rounds. It didn't have to, as the hunter's instinct that drove him and the soldier's experience that guided him knew these things without ever having to be told. Instead, his mind was focused on the present, and the near-present, those moments immediately before and after the instant he existed in, the possible paths that he could take and the outcomes that each path was most likely to have. And in every path forward, the giant fist that came out of the underbrush sent him flying upwards...save one.

He leapt, just as the massive nova jumped from his near-perfect concealment and took his swing. The leap sent him into the air above the forest canopy - where he traced back the path of the sniper's fire to the source. A black stiletto let out a crack as it left his hand and broke the sound barrier. It would arrive just as the sharpshooter could get his gun re-positioned for another shot at him. His attention moves from the man hidden in the canopy a far off hill, where the anti-air flak guns were failing to lock onto him. By now the operator would have switched to manual, trying to get a fix on him by eye - a job he made far more difficult by popping three smoke grenades and dropping them into his own trajectory. Engulfed in the instant cloud of smoke, he would be a much harder target for visual lock.

The ground was rushing up on him quickly, and he once again had to worry about the guerilla fighters hidden there. Twisting slightly, he shifted his center of mass and aerodynamics enough that the first flight of flechette rounds from the anti-air canon passed him by, and so that he would brush past one of the thicker trees on his way down. One hand lashes out, grabbing the trunk, shifting his momentum from a descent into a guided strike - back at the first attacker.

With the nova flying away from him nearly as fast as he'd been moving through the air, he pulled out a remote detonator and pushed the button - setting off Green team's practice explosives while they were still trying to set them. The rest of White team came around their trees with their high-powered carbines and let loose with a righteous volley of...clicks. As every one of their guns mis-fired. And Black team suddenly radioed in for Blue team - apparently the man they were set to guard had just keeled over unexpectedly for no apparent reason. Perhaps something in the morning coffee he got from Dunkin Donuts (just like every morning, same order, same time) hadn't agreed with him.

White team reacted to this snafu the fastest, with Pundy coming back up from where Jager had knocked him back, and the others going for their nails - but Jager held up his hand and called, "Finished", ending the training for the day. Miguel, on lone from Orange team, walked out of the forest, holding the two pieces of his long rifle ruefully in his hands.

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Jager stood impassively at the front of the room, waiting for someone else to make the first move. The mission plan was still written on the board - "Go out to Bravo point in Burma at 0730. Protect Sandoval at all costs." He'd told them specifically that the hostile in this practice could be anyone. He'd told them yesterday that practice would be starting early today - and they'd heard the briefing before Sandoval had gotten his coffee. He was almost disappointed they hadn't made the connection, but then again, some lessons had to be taught the hard way.

It was Sandoval that asked. He'd recovered pretty quickly from the time-delay anisthetic Jager had laced in his sweet'n'low. He kept it simple - "Why, sir?"

Jager's answer was equally simple. "All's fair."

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