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Monday, March 9 12:00 AM ET

Chicken Soup for the Geek Soul: Mercy

By Brian Briggs

I had him in my sights.  His head a ripe target ready to explode.  He was a terrorist.  The ski mask covered the coward's face, as he brandished his pistol. He deserved to die, but something gave me pause.

He wasn't moving around.  He just stood there.  Too young to know that unless you keep moving the enemy is going to get you.  I felt sorry for him. 

Maybe he didn't choose this terrorist path.  Maybe the randomness of life set him on this course through no fault of his own. I remembered back when I was just starting out.  If I didn't have the helpful advice of Kernel Sanders and my training in Iraq, I too could've ended up on the other side of the scope.

What was I thinking?  The enemy didn't care if one of us were inexperienced.  They would kill us on sight. 

If I didn't kill him then someone else surely would.  Better to be merciful.  Make it instant.  Don't make him limp around in pain. 

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He still hadn't moved.  I can't believe no one has killed him yet.  He must have a guardian angel watching over him.  I could hear the enemy approaching. I knew if I waited much longer, I might be killed.  I was breaking the same laws of motion that endangered the terrorist in my scope. I needed to pull the trigger now and seek cover.

I couldn't do it.  Something would not let me kill this poor soul.  Someone else would have to do it.

I heard the voice of my wife in my head saying, "I can't believe you haven't killed me yet.  You don't have to treat me like some newb, you know."

She was right.  I clicked my mouse and the sound of my AWP filled the wintry sky.  The terrorist fell like a rag doll and my wife squealed with delight.

She had much to learn about this game.  I would teach her.

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