He could feel the blood soaking his trousers, but he couldn't tell where the bullet went through. Since he was one apt to blacking out when confirming an injury, he didn't really want to know, either. He wasn't always that way, or so he thought, but a recent incident involving washing dishes and an argument with his girlfriend had revealed otherwise. In a fit of anger, he'd jabbed a knife repeatedly into the metal sink, only to discover that he'd sliced a finger open. The memory of encroaching tunnel-vision and dizziness was still fresh in his mind.
Forcing his thoughts back into the present, he tried to ignore the pain as he released an empty magazine from his carbine and locked in another. He pushed the bolt catch, expecting the accompanying jolt and clack, but it never came. A quick inspection of the chamber revealed a buffer assembly stuck in the butt-stock, a result, no doubt, of the fall he took.
This was not going to be a good day.
As he struggled to his feet, he was only vaguely aware that his would-be assailant lay mere feet away, dying from a well-placed gut-shot which was more the result of blind luck than aim. Not that it mattered one way or the other. The bullet had done its job, regardless of how it happened.
Consciously keeping his eyes off of the wound, he concentrated on walking as quickly as possible to another defensible position. Never again would he take so simple an action as walking for granted. His leg hurt and his left foot, already the victim of several previous injuries, was getting cold.
Irony set in for a moment, as he realized that he was walking in order to survive. Meanwhile, half-way around the world in New York, or perhaps Los Angeles, his girlfriend was walking for money. He let himself slip into a dreamworld, imagining her as she strolled a catwalk or a commercial set, modeling some yuppie singer's latest line of lingerie.
Why, oh why, didn't he go with her? In retrospect, checking in with his handler to see if anything needed to be done while his girlfriend was away seemed like a bad idea.
And like all bad ideas, it quickly led to a bad day.