Sunday, 30 April 2017

Mogadishu in the Sky

[Media prompt] An outbreak of measles is sweeping through a community of Somali refugees in Minnesota and the growing number of cases may be starting to test the limits of the Hennepin County healthcare system.
Mogadishu in the Sky

Jack Dawson had been sitting alone in an armoured vehicle since the sun went down. He was keeping an eye on the entrance to Riverside Plaza, and for the last hour a group of five teenagers who had materialised out of nowhere. He was not going to be a happy man if he had to get out in the rain to kill one of them. It was bad enough that he was out here at Mogadishu in the Sky at three o’clock on a winter’s morning, without a bunch of deracinated Somalians deciding to reclaim their cultural heritage by ethnically cleansing an old white guy. The brass could go to hell. If they wanted to lose the war on the streets, then they could come out here and shoot invaders themselves.

One of the girls had tucked a phone under her hijab, Somali Bluetooth style, and was talking loud enough for him to hear. They were like dogs pissing on fire hydrants, he thought; just not as smart or loyal. He wasn’t worried, though. Second-gen Somalians with balls were thinner on the ground than the ones grateful for being resettled.

There was a click in his earpiece, and he looked at the blue screen. He ignored the heat maps of the teens in the corner, and watched a purple haze emerge from one of the lifts. It made its way towards the entrance, stopping several times. When it came through the tunnel, he zeroed in for a visual.

“Patient 243-MO,” a soft voice said into his ear. “Quarantine evasion. Subject's objective: proactive dissemination. Your objective: termination.”

Jack opened a gun slot, noting as he did that the number of teens in the group was reduced to four. The tall boy in the white singlet and gold chains had slipped away.

“You want to dance, Mohammed” he said to himself, “then save the next one for me.”

He flipped off the safety, and read out the patient number so there would be a record in the system. The refugee advocates would start their usual dog and pony show over this, and it was best to do everything by the book. He looked briefly at the scanner, seeing the missing teen cutting through the carpark to get behind him. Jack sighed. 

The shot had all the excitement of target practice at the range, and as he watched the heat map fade to black, he called in the result. The girl with the Somali Bluetooth turned to look in his direction, screaming something he didn’t understand. Something he had no intention of ever understanding. He double checked her heat map, but she showed no sign of infection.

“You’re a lucky little jihadi,” he muttered.

He started the vehicle. In the scanner he saw that the teen in the singlet had manoeuvred himself between two cars to his rear. 

"You should have thought that through, tough guy."

Jack waited for a moment, considering the ramifications of making an unathorised hit, then reversed at full velocity into the car behind him, pushing it into the one behind and pinning his erstwhile assassin between bumpers. He might have to suffer some ribbing back at the office about his confusion over reverse and forward, but he could live with it. With luck, nobody would even connect him to the Somali sandwich going cold in the rain.

The teens spat in his direction as he drove past. He waved and smiled. If they wanted to weaponise infectious diseases, he didn’t know what else they expected. 

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