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Deep Black #06: Conspiracyby Stephen Coonts
EVEN THROUGH THE scope, the black circle at the center of the target looked tiny. The shooter tried to remember everything the rifle instructor had told him, held his body steady, checked his breath, eased his finger against the trigger.
He didnt have to be perfect. He just had to be decent.
The Remington barked. The bullet missed the center of the target, hitting the white space just beyond.
Again, the shooter told himself. Better this time. Better.
The shot sailed high, to the outer ring.
I can do better, thought the shooter. He took a long breath, then slipped his left hand ever so slightly forward. He imagined that the center of the target was not a black circle a hundred yards away but a mans head.
This time, the bullet hit the mark.
The shooter tried again, once more imagining that he was firing at a person. His shot sailed a bit to the left but still managed to find the black disk. So did the next.
"Youre getting much better," said his instructor as he paused to reload.
"I think Ive found the key," said the shooter. He grinned.
The instructor waited a moment to hear what he might think that was, but the student had no intention of explaining. He had registered for the rifle class not merely under false pretenses—unlike the other students, he had no intention of ever going deer hunting—but also using a false name and ID.
"Well, very good," said the instructor finally. "Keep at it."
"I will," said the shooter, beginning to reload.
Excerpted from Stephen Coonts Deep Black: Conspiracy by Stephen Coonts and Jim DeFelice.
Copyright © 2008 by Stephen Coonts.
Published in June 2008 by St. Martins Paperbacks.
All rights reserved. This work is protected under copyright laws and reproduction is strictly prohibited. Permission to reproduce the material in any manner or medium must be secured from the Publisher.
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