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The sniper laid in the sand, waiting. His spotter laid nearby, binoculars trained on the target three-quarters of a mile to their southeast.

It had taken them days to work themselves this close to the target, a younger man with a beard and horned-rimmed glasses. The pair had infiltrated the enemy’s territory, and should all go as planned, they would be another several days ex-filtrating the area.

“Wind west at five, drop half-a-degree,” said the spotter.

The sniper blew air out his nose, holding his breath and feeling his heartbeat. He squeezed the trigger between beats.

“Canceled,” the sniper said.

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