posted on Feb, 28 2004 @ 11:20 PM
Shaking his head, he forced himself to abandon these wistful thoughts. There was nothing for it now but to act, to sacrifice, if the need arose... the
mission, he knew, was not only his reason for life, it was his life. 075985, he thought to himself... those numbers, and the legacy they carried,
would not fall to ruin while some glint of hope yet remained.
He swallowed heavily.
He drew out his rifle, and checked the chamber; the bullet was there. It was primed, locked, and loaded, and there was no time to be wasted.
Perhaps he prayed; even he was not sure. What meaning did God have to a man with no name, a man whose very existence was thanks more to the
machinations of man than the will of the Divine?
He leveled the rifle, finding the dull brown cube of the first bomb with the iron rail sights of his gun, his only true friend.
He finished his might-have-been prayer, and, as the technician's clippers closed upon the final crucial wire in the innards of the explosive, he
squeezed the trigger.
By the time the resounding report of the rifle reached the ears of the bomb technician, it was too late. Too late for him, too late for #075985, and
too late for the Womb.
The bullet found its mark, tearing deep into the baleful block of composition-four. Its purpose as singular as that of the man that had fired it, it
sought out its destination with unremitting ferocity.
It struck the blasting cap.
Silently, #075985's GPS transmitter went dead. Sweat beading on his forehead, shielding his eyes from the chain reaction of blazing detonations that
had once been the Womb, Jonathan Price knew the task was complete. #075985 had been lost, but the day had been won; Price, and every person aboard the
command vessel, knew that there could have been no other way. The Seven Five Nines did not waste their lives any more than they would waste a round of
ammunition or a moment's opportunity, but there were times when it would take all three to see a mission to success.
He smiled the grim smile of a man who has sacrificed another to save thousands. He would return home now, a richer man for it, and perhaps earn
himself a new medal for his flawless uniform. The mission was a success, the United States were safe, and, for Jonathan Price, all was well.
Eight thousand miles away, beneath a hundred yards of stone and steel, a new life entered the world, a life that had been wrought by science from the
ore of the divine. Feeling his first breath enter his perfect body and rejoicing in the knowledge that it was his time, #075986 opened his eyes.