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“Looks like they found some more mortars,” Jackal observed.
Dice's lips were shaping the words No shit when she heard another shell whistling towards them. She counted three full seconds before it hit, landing behind them this time, and felt the ground shudder beneath her and a barrage of tiny rocks bouncing off the back of her helmet.
“We need to get the Spectre on those fuckers before they dial in on us,” Dice said, feeling more angry than scared – they'd shot two of her fucking mates, and now they were dropping bombs on her and Jackal. Bastards.
“Tell you what,” Jackal said, “You can do the honours. Here-”
He reached over to her PRR, fiddled with it for a second, then said “Go ahead.”
Dice hesitated, wondering if he was taking the piss for a second until he gestured for her to proceed. Then she cleared her throat, thumbed the “talk” button and said “Fourth Horseman, come in.”
A hiss of static and the crash of another mortar smacking into the face of the cliff below them preceded the answer from the AC-130's Fire Control Operator.
“This is Fourth Horseman. Whom do we have the pleasure of speaking to, over?”
In spite of herself, Dice grinned. The FCO clearly thought he sounded as suave as fuck.
“This is Rifle One requesting a fire mission, over. ”
She could hear a faint chuckle from the other end as the FCO responded; evidently, the rest of the crew could hear too. “We'll see what we can do, Rifle One. Interrogative; what are you wearing? Over.”
“Be advised, I'm sniping in a lacy little black bra and suspender set,” she replied drily. “Now could you guys take out those vehicles and maybe do something about those mortars, please? Over.”
The response was meant to be sarcastic, but judging by the wolf-whistles in the background and the tone of the FCO's voice the AC-130 crew were apparently enjoying it regardless.
“Sure thing, hot stuff. Stand by - we'll get right on that, over.”
They waited a several seconds, listening to the distant crackling of gunfire.
“OK, we have your target. Six mobile heat sources moving around a static one - that'll be the mortar tube. Will engage with forty mike-mike and then mop up any leakers with twenty-five mil. That sound good?”
“Yeah mate, it does. No change friendlies, anything outside of Danger Close is fine. Over.”
“Gotcha. By the way, it looks like they're putting another round down the tube now, over.”
"OK. Cheers for the heads-up, over."
Dice didn't see the shot, but she heard the thunderous booming overhead - the AC-130 must have been right over them, she reflected - and watched the impact of the shells with some satisfaction. A rage of yellow and orange flames chewed through the ranks of the insurgents before petering out into clouds of smoke, and with each flash she saw bits of metal and wood go flying as the rounds pummeled the technicals. The one on the left took three shells in a row before exploding, crumpling like a toy car under the blows of a hammer. Dice and Jackal watched, the tremors of the explosions in the distance punctuated by radio chatter from the AC-130 crew.
"Clean up that signal."
"Recalibrate azimuth sweep angle, adjust elevation scan."
"Gun ready."
"Pax near the treeline. You gonna get 'em?"
"Gun ready!"
Another mortar shell smashed into the cliff edge and detonated, sending prickly heat washing over the left side of Dice's face and momentarily deafening her in one ear.
"OK - good work on those flatbeds, but we're still taking mortar fire up here, Danger Close."
"Solid copy. Taking out the base plates now."
Dice heard the thump of the guns firing a half-second before "Shot!" buzzed over the radio. First the AC-130 decimated the mortar crews with the 40mm; then they cut down the survivors as they tried to run with long streams of 25mm cannon-fire. The noise was horrendous; streaks of red tracer cut through the air, throwing up pillars of dust and sand where they hit and literally cutting several insurgents in half.
"Sounds a bit like one of those machines that counts tenners at the bank, doesn't it?" Dice asked Jackal as the gunship let loose with another strafing run from the Vulcan cannon, and continued to turn the insurgents to pureé. The sniper didn't reply. Instead, what was visible of his brow furrowed as he gave her a curious look; not one of disapproval but of confusion, as though he honestly didn't understand what she was going on about.

For a second, neither of them said anything. Then they both winced as a piercing crack rang out, followed by a sharp hiss of parting air above and to the right of them.
"Oh shit," Jackal spat, as though he'd set the timer on the toaster wrong and burned his toast. "Sniper."
"I don't see him."
"He's got to be at our twelve, 'else we wouldn't be able to hear the report so clearly."
Another crack. The whizz of the bullet passing was closer this time, about a metre or so above Dice's head.
"Fuck, his aim's getting better."
"Give me a minute," Jackal said. He was scanning for movement, scope glint, a muzzle flash...anything that might have betrayed their own position and could do the same for the enemy sniper.
He heard the next round being fired a second before he saw the flash. This time the round was a little low, impacting the face of the cliff and tunneling into the rock; the sniper had adjusted too much, and his shot was still off.
"Two. Rooftop, second from the right. You see him?"
Two o'clock, first-floor window of the second building on the right- Through the Barrett's scope, Dice found the target, her finger coiling around the trigger. Even in the daytime you might have been forgiven for missing him; the clever fucker had a friend spotting for him, and they had sheet slung over them, which broke up their outline and made them look like a shapeless mass as well as masking their heat signature. She could almost have respected his ingenuity if he wasn't a murdering piece of shit who'd shot one of her mates.
"Yeah, I got him."
Dice squeezed the trigger, and the Barrett thundered and kicked against her shoulder. The round impacted on the rooftop, and Jackal grimaced behind his balaclava as the dust settled.
"You were off by a half-metre there," Jackal told her.
"For fuck's sake!"
"OK, OK. Calm down. Just try again."
Dice knew he was just trying to be helpful, and bit down on the urge to snap at him. She was pissed-off that she'd missed her shot, but there was no sense taking it out on Jackal so she saved her aggro for the enemy as she adjusted the sight.
Next time. Next time I'll fucking have you, matey.
That was another thing Hollywood always got wrong; snipers didn't always aim for headshots. With something as big as a Barrett you didn't need to anyway, but a bullet in the kidneys from most sniper rifles could stop a man as effectively as half a magazine from an assault rifle, so you aim for the largest part of the body visible. However, since the gunman was lying prone his head presented the largest target, so that was what Dice settled the crosshairs on. She was just about to apply pressure to the trigger when she felt a tremendous whallop on her helmet, as though someone had kicked her in the head; a split-second later came the sound of the shot itself.
"Fucking hell!" she gasped, spots dancing in front of her eyes. "What the bloody Christ was that?"
"Jesus, I fucking felt that and all," Jackal said, clamping a hand on Dice's shoulder and giving her a shake to get her attention. "Are you all right, mate?"
Dice blinked groggily, shaking her head like a dog trying to rid its ears of water. "Uh- yeah, man. I think so. My head fucking hurts, but yeah. Fuck. I'm OK. Am I hit?"
"I think so." Jackal had seen the sniper firing, so he worked it out quicker than she did. "That shot was dead-on, I reckon. Good thing his aim was just a bit high."
"Jesus, yeah. If that had been a bit lower or I'd not been wearing my helmet I'd be brown bread. Is he still there?"
Jackal's gaze returned to his scope, and he gave a grunt of irritation. "Nah, him and his mate have fucked off. Cunts."
"Probably 'cause he thought he'd fucking topped me and all," Dice said, giving a somewhat breathless and shaky laugh. "Fucking 'ell," she said again, her Cockney accent bIeeding through in her excitement and turning the word fucking into faarkin'. "I can't believe I just got shot in the head!"
Apparently Jackal didn't find it as funny as she did, because he thumbed his radio mike again, and when he spoke there was a grim edge to his voice that she couldn't remember hearing previously.

"Fourth Horseman, Rifle One. How are you for fuel, over?"
"Be advised Rifle One, the sun's coming up and we're approaching bingo fuel. We can give you one more pass and one pass only. Send targets, over."
"You see that domed structure near the North-Eastern end of the village? That's where they cook their bread, so it should be giving off heat. Get eyes on that."
"Uh...roger, we see it. Over."
"Track that about ten metres to the South. There's a building with a flat roof at the top of it, the second one from the right. I need you to put a 105 through that. Anything else is on you. Nearest friendlies are...sixty, sixty-five metres out. Affirm?"
"Copy. 105 on the structure with the flat roof at grid: 46673896. That's Danger Close for ground forces, but they should be OK if they keep their heads down. You're cool with that?"
"Affirmative. Give us...let's say a fifteen-second delay. Then you can light up that building and any other fucker in the kill zone."
"Roger Wilco."
Jackal relayed the message to the company commander, who then put the message out across the comms.
"Charlie Charlie One; AC-130 gunship standing by to send 105mm, recommend all ground call-signs stay in cover."
Charlie Charlie One is the general call-sign when a message goes out to all ranks, recognised across the British forces. However, Dice and Jackal had nothing to worry about - they were at height and in good cover. As luck would have it, they also had an excellent view of the target area.
Dice's lips moved silently as she counted down the time to impact. Five, four, three, two-
A deafening, echoing boom rang out from the heavens above them and an huge pink fireball streaked through the air, smashing straight through the roof of the building and sending sparks flying hundreds of metres into the air as it erupted in the biggest bang yet. Holy shit. The 40mm had been nothing compared to that big mother. Against the backdrop of the reddish-pink early morning sky, it was actually quite pretty - a private fireworks show, just for them. Fucking awesome.
"Got leakers. They're trying to head out the back."
"TV, can you PID any weapons?"
"Uh...yeah. Yeah, that dude just shouldered an AK."
"Then they're fair game. Smoke 'em."
Dice paused, waiting for the report of the 25mm strafe, but it never came. Instead, there was another boom from the AC-130's Howitzer and the banshee howl of an incoming 105mm shell, which rose to a crescendo as it streaked over their heads before culminating in an eye-watering torrent of churning flames. By the time the dust had settled and the smoke cleared, there was literally nothing left of the runners - just a few charred scraps of clothing, and a bloody great big crater outlined by an enormous scorch mark.
Then, in the wake of the devastation, there was silence, eerily abrupt and almost tangible in its intensity. Dice felt as though her eardrums were stuffed full of cotton wool until the AC-130's FCO came on the net again.
"TV, you seeing anyone moving down there?"
"Nah," the TV operator replied, sounding very satisfied as he gave the verdict. "BDA: all targets confirmed destroyed. They're history."
"Confirmed. Rifle One be advised, Fourth Horseman is at bingo fuel; we are RTB."
"Roger that," Jackal told the AC-130 crew. "Top-notch work tonight, lads. Great guns. Drinks are on me - next time you're at Camp Bastion just ask for Jackal, from "D" Squadron."
"Will do, man," TV said, sounding very matey as radio protocol was chucked out the window by some unspoken agreement. "Been a pleasure. Y'all take care down there - and tell your friend with the sexy accent to call me!"
Dice laughed, wondering how the crew would react if they knew the sniper with the sexy British accent was actually a stocky, flat-chested, ginger chain-smoker who hadn't even seen a shower in two weeks.
"You know, I reckon TV quite fancies you."
"Yeah. Him and everyone else on that gunship."

Dice unfastened her chin straps and removed her helmet, mopping sweat from her brow with a freckled forearm as she watched Fourth Horseman's outline shrink into the distance. The AC-130 crew put on one more show for them before they bugged out, however, popping flares and leaving a T-shaped outline emblazoned across the horizon - the so-called "Angel of Death" from which the AC-130's nickname stemmed.
"You've gotta love the Yanks. I wonder how much ordnance they spent on us tonight?"
Jackal's eyes crinkled at the edges, which Dice took to mean he was smiling. "They're a good bunch of lads," he said fondly. "Been a while since I've worked with an AC-130."
"I've never even seen one flying before, let alone got to boss one about. That was fucking brilliant."
"Mm. Let's get a look at your helmet?"
Dice passed it to him, and he whistled as he took in the extent of the damage. The fucker who'd shot her had been very unlucky - or she'd been very lucky, but either way it was a great shot. On the helmet's right side was an ugly gouge about five centimetres long and one deep; had it been ten centimetres lower, it would've probably taken the top half of her skull off.
She didn't really see any point in getting existential over it. She wasn't dead, and like any soldier worth his salt getting shot at didn't bother her. If anything, she felt kind of privileged. There weren't many people who got shot in the head by a sniper and lived to tell about it.
A big pile of spent brass had collected where they'd been firing off rounds from the Barrett - which was now folded, disassembled, and back in the valise - and Jackal was scooping them into his dump pouch. Dice held one of the rounds between forefinger and thumb, turning it over and dropping it into her palm. The brass felt cool against her skin, which surprised her - she'd been expecting it to still be warm.
"D'you mind if I keep this?" she said after a moment, showing Jackal the spent casing. He blinked mildly as though she'd just asked him what brand of toothpaste he used, then shook his head.
"'Course not. Why?"
"Just as a souvenir, like. Something to remember this op by."
Jackal made a derisive sound at the back of his throat. "Suit yourself. Me, I'm just about ready to wrap this up, get back to Bastion, get some scoff down my neck and have a kip."
In spite of the fact that she'd been up nearly twenty-three hours, Dice felt wide awake. Still, the idea of a spot of R&R was always appealing after spending so long in the field.
"Ooh, yeah. And a nice cuppa tea and a hot shower."
"Now you're talking."
Having set up another line at the edge of the cliff, he tied it around the straps of the valise and lowered the bag down before putting the end of the line around the metal clip on his belt, called a carabiner - another essential piece of mountaineering kit. Stepping to the cliff edge, he gave the line a couple of sharp, firm tugs to secure it and glanced back up at Dice.
"Yeah? What's up?"
"You saying about you wanting something to remember this op by? I must've run a hundred missions like this before, but you know what? I don't reckon I'm going to forget you in a hurry."
Not knowing what to say in response to that, she smiled sheepishly at him, feeling a hot flush rise in her cheeks as he dropped out of sight.
Jesus Christ, the submission system's changed a lot since I last submitted one of these.

Anyway, here it is. The fourth chapter of Call of Duty: Bullet Points. If you've been waiting since I submitted the last chapter for this update, I apologise for the wait and hope it's been worth it. If you've not read the previous chapters, I strongly advise you to do so.

The first chapter can be found here: [link]
The second chapter is here: [link]
And the third one is here: [link]

Comments and constructive criticism are always welcome, so don't be shy about pointing out anything you think I could improve on - that's the whole reason I started this project in the first place.

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare series is © Infinity Ward
"Jackal" © *metalzerofour
Elizabeth "Dice" Hankard © ~JJesseh
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tombslug Featured By Owner Jan 24, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
next title of bullet points: 'bow chicka bow wow'
metalzerofour Featured By Owner Jan 27, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
Jackal puts on a couple of Barry White CD's and it all goes downhill from there
ThomChen114 Featured By Owner Jan 27, 2013  Student General Artist
aww yiss!!! :D
Cysanic5 Featured By Owner Jan 24, 2013

They're getting all smushy! :3
LightiningDragon Featured By Owner Jan 24, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I like how you have added some humour in the middle of all the action.
Good work as always :la:
metalzerofour Featured By Owner Jan 24, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
Thanks, mate. c:
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