Albatross #1

A Trickshot In The Dark

By: Omair Ahmed Khan

The Karachi air was filled with the sounds of gun fire and of engines roaring. In this City it often only meant one thing: Gang crawl. In 2015 the amount of street crime in the city rose to an alarming amount. This in turn led to the formation of numerous gangs. The Gang currently parading the street was known as the night riders. However not the most original name in the world they were among the biggest gangs in Karachi.

They traveled in a group of five. They were clearly headed to scout their next job. They turned into an alley way and and turned off the engines of their bikes and walked further into the alley until they met with another gang. Clean cut, heavily armed. This gang was known as the mercenaries. They were one of the smaller gangs of the city but they were undoubtedly among the deadliest. They dealt mostly in weapons which are sold to other gangs on the city.

The two leaders walked further down into the alley way. The alley was illuminated only by the single street lamp that hung above them.

‘Do you have what we want?’ The night rider asked.

The mercenary just looked at him and motioned to another member behind him who then produced the duffle bag filled with precision hand guns.

‘I’m sure you’ll find these to your liking’ the mercenary replied. The night rider merely smiled and presented a suitcase filled with money.

It was then that I knew I had to make my move.

The street light shut off and only the sounds of the thugs falling and the shuffling of the crowd in the darkness could be heard. The light turned back on and only the two leaders remained standing.

Frightened, they pulled out their weapons and searched around. The night rider turned to me and there I stood in the shadow. Before he could utter a word I grabbed him by the collar and pulled him into the shadow quietly. All that remained was the mercenary who turned and saw me standing there.

‘So you’re the great hero I’ve heard so much about? I thought you were just an urban legend.’ He chuckled.

‘I’m real alright.’ I said hiding my real voice. I observed as he reached for the weapon at his side. In a swift movement he pulled a gun from the bag and began to shoot in my direction. I reacted by quickly jumping out of the way.

‘You’re quick but I’ve been trained by the best.’ The mercenary said as the gun was knocked out of his hand by my metal staff.

‘I was trained by better.’ I said as I swung the staff at him and knocked him back. He tried to escape but I grabbed him by his collar and threw him against the wall.

‘Now tell me everything you know about Faisal Khalid.’ I said to him as I slammed him harder against the wall.

‘I don’t know who you’re talking about.’ He said struggling to break free. I slammed him harder once again.

‘Don’t play games!’ I shouted. He remained silent.

‘Tell me about the Missionary!’ I shouted again. He looked back at me with widened eyes.

‘He’ll kill me if I say a word about him’ He replied to which I tightened my grip.

‘What do you think I’ll do to you if you don’t?’ I asked.

‘He’s the deadliest man in the entire country.  He’s more powerful than you can imagine!’ He replied startled.

‘Your gang works for him. Last year he ordered your gang to kill a family living in Defense. If you don’t tell me where he is I won’t hesitate to snap your neck!’ I said in a rage and I increased the pressure on his neck. He began to struggle.

‘Okay, OKAY! I’ll tell you where he is……He’s……’ He said before his voice was cut off by a bullet to his head.

‘It’s a shame really…..Father always thought he was a great solider. If only he didn’t try and open his mouth.’ I turned to see a masked figure standing behind me holding a hand gun.

‘Who are you?’ I asked

‘Me? I’m no-one really. Oh, but I know who you are.’ The figure replied as he took a few steps closer.

‘Oh indeed. You are the great Hero of Karachi. The very first masked hero if I’m not mistaken.’ He said as he began to circle me.

‘Why did you shoot him?’ I asked with my eyes fixed on him.

‘Can’t risk him telling you now can I?’ The figure responded. He them pulled his other gun out and shot the mercenary multiple times. I watched in shock as he aimed the gun at me.

‘What do you want?’ I asked him as I motioned my eyes to the staff which was now at his throat.

‘You really are feisty hero. You know you’ve really caught my father’s eye.’ He said putting his gun away.

‘You’re Faisal Khans’ son?’ I asked him as I put my staff away.

‘Indeed, although to be fair I’m his adopted son.’ He said as he began to circle me again.

‘You’re blind if you think he cares about you for a second.’ I said to him.

‘Oh no indeed, I’m as expendable as this sorry bastard.’ He said as he kicked the body of the mercenary dead on the ground.

‘Then why work for him.’ I asked him

‘Because my dear Albatross…….’ He replied as he shot the metal staff out of my hand. ‘…….I’m as skillful as I am expendable.’

I looked at him with surprise. His aim was perfect. No scratch on my skin no nothing. It was impressive as it was frightening.  Before I could pick my staff up again he grabbed me from behind and pointed his gun to my right temple.

‘If I’m honest, I don’t really see what the big deal is with you. You failed to impress me.’ He said as he cocked his gun. I quickly tapped a button on my wrist which released the wings on my suit. Releasing his grip on me and knocking him back.

I picked up my staff and assumed the fighting stance as he aimed his gun at me.

‘Are you gonna tell me who you are?’ I asked one last time. He just smiled as the street light began to flicker

‘The name is Trickshot.’ He said as the street light went off and just as quickly came back on. The figure no longer stood there.

I was baffled. I searched the area and all I found was a note. I opened the note but before I could read it I heard the sound of the radio broadcast:

Good evening, this is Fatima Arshad from On-the-Dot news. Behind me is where a robbery is underway. Sources tell us that the man behind the robbery is in fact none other than the terrorist war-lord Faisal Khan, better known over the world as the Missionary. There have been reports that no hostages are involved in this robbery….’

That was all I needed to hear. I crumbled up the note and made my way to my bike. I then proceeded to make my way to the bank.

I didn’t have to read the note. The word never left my mind. I knew exactly what was written: Bellum

Trickshot at me were now at war.

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