Apocalypse origins, p.27
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       Apocalypse Origins, p.27

           R.A. Neely


  Olson finally managed to reach the helicopter. He'd nearly lost his grip when that bastard had managed to score a lucky hit. His labored breathing also hadn't made the climb any easier. He must have at least one broken rib from when that man had unloaded those rounds into his chest. The men inside the helicopter pulled him inside and he sighed in relief.

  "What happened to your eye?" one of them asked.

  Olson touched his face and felt wetness coat his hand. Now that he was thinking about he also felt pain on the side of his head. Exploring further, he discovered the bullet had carved a furrow from his eye to his ear. He'd been lucky. He had no idea how he'd managed to hold on to the ladder when he'd been hit. He suffered silently as one of the men bandaged his wounds. They gave him something for the pain and darkness quickly claimed him.

  Early the next morning Olson found himself in Dray's penthouse suite. He'd been rushed into surgery upon arrival but there hadn't been anything they could do to save his eye. They in fact had to remove what remained to avoid any complications. A patch covered the empty cavity and he did his best not to dwell on it. After a few hours of rushed sleep, he submitted his report and was now about to answer for his failed mission.

  "Relax," Dray said from behind his expansive desk. "If I'd wanted you killed I wouldn't have wasted the resources on surgery."

  Some of the tension left Olson's shoulders and Dray smiled on seeing it. "I will of course punish incompetence but that doesn't seem to be the case here. Your mission was actually a success in some ways. You discovered three survivor groups, one of which is a potential enemy."

  "Thank you, sir," Olson replied.

  "I'm even going to give you a chance to get revenge," Dray continued, "I want you to find this man's group before they have a chance to grow."

  "Of course, sir," Olson replied. Dray nodded and looked at something on his terminal. Olson took this as his dismissal. He was nearly out the door when Dray called out.


  "Sir?" Olson asked as he turned to face him.

  "While this mission was a success overall I expect considerably better performance on your next task. Do you understand?"

  "Of course, sir," Olson replied. Dray nodded and Olson quickly made his exit. He breathed out a huge sigh of relief once he was in the hallway. He'd managed to survive the day. Despite Dray's assurances, he had no doubt that Dray could have made an example out of him, expended resources or no. Dray rewarded success and punished failure. He had to ensure his next mission was completely successful.

  Olson headed for the firing range and got set up. He'd need to practice to compensate for his loss of vision. He couldn't afford for anything to affect his chances of success.
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