Location: Classified, 1984
“Mark, shoot.” The order came. Mark smirked, and drew an arrow. He notched it to the bowstring, and slowly raised the bow to point the arrowhead at his target, his vision cutting through the dark forest night. As far as he was concerned, it might as well have been broad daylight.
“Marksman, shoot!” The order was whispered, but came with a forceful tone. Mark’s fingers tensed on the string. He felt the rough string grind against his calloused fingertips as he drew the bow fully, the fletching touching his stubbled cheek, his unshaven face tilted as he stared down the length of the long, slender, metal shaft. His other hand, on the hand grip of the bow, moved from a tight grip to a sort of aiming sight, his hand loosening, his thumb going up, and his index finger extending to make an ‘L’ shape. The target was almost out of the accepted kill zone. Mark tensed, picked his firing angle, and…
“Abort mission. Abort. Marksman, why didn’t you-?” A voice began to ask.
“Hold positions.” Mark responded, and then released the arrow. It didn’t seem to make a noise at it flew from the string, zipping past the trees, through the dark, leaf covered forest, and into the clearing. One of the target’s bodyguards began walking in front of the arrow.
“Damn! Abort mission!” A voice sounded. “Mann, you shot too late!” The soldiers began to slink away from their positions.
“Hold!” Mark hissed. The bodyguard raised his arm, and the arrow passed between the lower arm and the side of the man’s chest, burying the head of the arrow into the head of the sitting target. “Target eliminated, let’s go!” The soldiers erupted into the clearing, weapons drawn. There were five of them, and they faced sixty mercenaries. There were a few blasts of muzzle flare, and the sound of suppressed gunfire reached Mark’s ears. He notched an arrow and took off running, drawing the string again, aiming through the shadowed shapes of trees. Somehow, at such speed, every time he released the string, the arrow flew into the clearing and buried itself into flesh, whether it were chests, shoulders, heads, arms, or legs. In twenty seconds, he broke through into the clearing, bow in hand, still firing arrows, firing faster than anyone would have given him credit for. A moment later, he collapsed the bow and drew his knife, having been pushed back-to-back by the remaining twenty mercenaries.
“Four to one.” One of Mark’s fellow soldiers commented “Doesn’t really seem like fair odds.” The bow man smirked.
“I agree. You guys need some more chumps.” Mark added. “If you knew who we were, you would have shot us already.” Mark grinned. The soldier reached for his handgun. “That won’t help.” Mark revealed. “You see, you’re already dead.” He raised both hands, showing that they were now empty.
“Where’s the knife? He was holding a knife!” The mercenary, paid to protect the target, spun around, not seeing it anywhere, felt a cold chill at his forehead, felt the warm sensation of blood trickling down his face, and watched as everyone’s eyes looked at a spot above his face. His eyes rolled upward, and he fell back, dead. As the other mercenaries tried to free their guns of their holsters, the SAS soldiers moved, flickering blurs of motion. A half second later, Mark was cleaning his black dagger on his dark jacket.
“I saw what you were doing.” One of the black-clad soldiers said to Mark, approaching him, checking his weapons.
“I’m not sure what you mean. I was doing my job.” Mark dragged a hand over his shaven scalp. “Nobody said I couldn’t make things interesting.” He smirked.
“Your attitude nearly cost us the mission, Mann!” The soldier yelled. Mark sheathed his knife.
“File a complaint then, you c*nt.” Mark sneered, and began walking around the clearing, retrieving his arrows. “If you think I’m so much of a danger to the mission, why don’t you just get me kicked out of the unit?” It was an attempt at provocation, vaguely veiled. The man stared at Mark for a moment, then turned around and walked away, a disgusted look on his face.
Now, Los Angeles
“Remind me why I couldn’t have just stayed with the SAS again.” Mark said, pulling on his armoured jacket, snapping it shut around his chest, and buckled his forearm protectors on.
“Because you endangered the mission on too many occasions. That said, the government, and more specifically, the Army, do not want to waste your talents to something as trivial as, for instance, a circus. Plus, we need someone to monitor the metahuman population. With your uncanny, almost inhuman accuracy, you are in an ideal position to do this. Just remember, no one can be in knowledge of your continued attachment to the Army.” Mark smirked.
“A rat for the government. Never thought that would be my job description.” He clipped his bow to his belt, sheathed his black knife, tightened the scabbard around his right thigh, pulled on his large quiver and clipped it on his chest. He snatched the grapple gun from the table. “Nice quality. The Army buying shiny toys for everyone, or just me?” He quipped, before turning the ear piece off, taking it out and tossing it onto the sofa. He walked to the window, grabbing his bow that rested against the wall and placed it over his shoulder as he went, aimed the grapple gun, dragged a hand over his short brown hair - a habit that he had when he was slightly nervous, and fired. The cable flew across the street, hooked onto the opposite roof with a CLICK! Mark grinned and depressed the other trigger, jumping so that he cleared the window ledge, zipped across the street, and climbed onto the opposite roof. “The Marksman’s in town.” He said with a cocky smirk as he climbed onto the roof, and clipped the grapple gun to his belt, moving his bow from shoulder to hand with a smooth liquid movement.