I had managed to take out both Smith and Tate without killing either. They had not been left unscathed, but I feared Wilkins would pose a greater challenge. If Tate was security minded, Wilkins had gone past security minded and dove straight into paranoia.
From all the information I had gathered, Wilkins had no discernible pattern other than that he lived at the station surrounded by his fellow officers. He didn’t keep a place in town, nor had he inherited any family estate. The homeless kept an eye out for some way to grab him away from the other law enforcement types. So far, they’d not found a way to snatch him out of view of his fellow officers.
Of all the plans I considered and discussed with ATM, I found none that presented me with an approach that Wilkins couldn’t see me coming from miles away, and I knew if Wilkins saw me coming, I’d wind up dead before I got in range of him. Furthermore, Wilkins had access to SWAT and a host of other resources that I didn’t. He didn’t need to kill me or even put himself in danger. Why would he risk his life when he could sic a squad of hardened killers on me?
All of this led me to one conclusion: If I couldn’t get my hands on him, then I had no choice but to kill him and take my chances with the jury.
“Are you nuts?”
“Are you not a fan of my plan?”
ATM scowled at me and shrugged, “You know that plan is a sure-fire way to get your ticket punched, right?”
“Do you have a better idea?”
“I do not. Suicide by cop isn’t a clever way to go, brother.”
ATM scoffed and walked a couple steps away from me. He gnawed on his fingernails and muttered curses. I didn’t see the big deal. If things didn’t work one way, you had to find a workaround or so my drill sergeants had told me. Regardless of how angry ATM was, he’d come around. As soldiers we understood that sometimes you had to do whatever it took to finish the mission.
“Do you have a weapon capable of sniping? Or were you planning to do him up close and personal?”
“I have a rifle capable of sniping. As much as I would enjoy closing with my enemy, it ‘d be a death sentence.”
“At least you realize that much.”
My friend’s attitude grated on my nerves. He wasn’t the one rolling into the danger zone outnumbered. I was. Still, I didn’t want to give into my snaky attitude and end our friendship by saying something I would regret. We stayed silent for a while, and at last, ATM spoke.
“So, you plan to hit him and disappear until the heat dies down?”
“Unless the homeless can find a way to grab him. If not, then yes that’s the plan.”
“Where will you take the shot from?”
“From the top of Risen Bank, and then fast rope off the opposite side.”
“Do you need a spotter?”
“I’m not asking for one, ATM. You’ve done enough. I’ll use the flags on the precinct as windage markers.”
“So, this is goodbye.”
“Nah, brother. It’s I’ll see you on the other side.”
ATM hugged me. We shed no tears, for they would do us no good. I shook his hand and walked away into the long, silent shadows of twilight. A bit of a plan formed in the back of my mind, but first I needed to secure my gear.
“One last ride into the fray.”