Half-Life: Resonance

Saturday March 1, 2003:

Freeman had another request for me today. Seems he’s gotten a bit bored of the Hazard Course, and wanted to shake things up by doing some weapons training with me out in the range.

Now, there’s no rule in the book that says the Science Team can’t use the weapons in the firing range, but none of them have ever asked before now.

Most of the time, us guards are happy to stick to our trusty pistols, but the armouries are crammed with enough firepower to supply a small army. I’m talking shotguns, sub machine guns, explosives. Makes you wonder if the Administrator sleeps with a magnum under his pillow.

We showed up at the range early, and Miller was so shocked to see a lab rat that he even looked up from his copy of Asian Fever.

“Whaddaya want to sample on a Saturday morning Calhoun?” he asked.

“Everything,” I said.

“Just sign these release forms,” he said, sliding two clipboards towards us. “I’ll get the ammo.”

I handed Gordon a pistol. Didn’t want him to get ahead himself too soon. We can always move onto the bigger toys later.

“I take it you know where safety is, college boy?” Miller asked him sarcastically.

Gordon nodded, but he didn’t look too sure. I forget, hailing from Nowhere, Iowa, USA, that not everyone grows up with guns in the house. But when we actually got to the range, Freeman took to it like a duck to water.

I went over the basics of trigger discipline, the right stance, and how to reload, and then squeezed off a few rounds myself. Then I set the targets and let him loose. For a first-timer, he was a damn good shot.

“Hell Gordon,” I said, “If you get enough practice in, you’ll be better than me! Where’d ya learn to shoot like that?”

“I didn’t,” Gordon shrugged. “It’s just a simple principle of judging trajectory times speed plus-“

“Yeah I get you,” I said. “Math math math.”

We spent the whole day in the range, using the MP5 and SPAS to blast target after target until we were plain tuckered out. In just a few hours, Gordon had already improved, and he seemed exhilarated by it. Said he was gonna come right back tomorrow evening for more practice.

I’m glad he enjoyed himself, but I can’t help but feel a little … I dunno, short-changed? I liked that Gordon was the science guy and I was the crack shot. Now I feel second-best again.

That’s what I get for befriending a prodigy.

Published by itshendo

Callum Henderson is a carbon-based life form who graduated with a degree in Journalism and Creative Writing from the University of Strathclyde in 2016.

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