Targeting Success


Red-faced and drenched in sweat, Ryan pumped out his final set of reps on the bench-press. With a grunt of relief he lowered the barbell for the last time and staggered to his feet. He glanced up at the clock on the wall. It was still only 6:30. Plenty of time before he had to start work, so he donned his gloves and took out his remaining aggression on the bag, demonstrating a power and ferocity that suggested he was more than capable of looking after himself.

In point of fact he was. Ryan’s physical prowess was a huge source of personal pride. A keen amateur pugilist, and certainly not a stranger to the odd bar brawl, Ryan’s skills for violence had recently resulted in a long overdue promotion.

As well as being handy with his fists, Ryan also knew his way around a firearm and this had not gone unnoticed by his superiors. Of course, maintaining security was, essentially, already a significant part of the role that he and his colleagues carried out on a daily basis, but a few months earlier, Dan, the head of the Elite Squad, had notified Ryan of a vacancy within the unit and suggested that he apply. There had been other applicants, but Ryan had blown them all away. Quite literally in one unfortunate incident, though Ryan had been vindicated of any wrongdoing – all the candidates had known the risks and willingly signed a waiver prior to the exercise.

In the end, Ryan’s physical fitness, alongside his substantial skill with a handgun, had made sure the job was his. Following his successful application, Ryan had enjoyed a lengthy holiday, so today was his first day in the role and he was rather looking  forward to getting stuck in.

After his workout, he showered and dressed in his new uniform. It was a sleek, black affair, with a badge on the shirtsleeve carrying the corporate logo, and an insignia which indicated his new rank.

He exited the gym and entered the courtyard. It was 7:20 and there was still some time to prepare before the new inmates arrived.

Of course, alongside the augmented security aspect to his role, he still had to perform a lot of his previous duties. It was something of a drag, he’d never been keen on the other bit of his job but, he supposed, it was still a necessary evil.

He went to the armory and checked out his weapon. He was pleased with his new equipment. Gone was his simple revolver and instead he was handed a more substantial semi-automatic. He checked his watch – he still had time to get in a few practice rounds before the day started properly so he went the range to try his new kit. After thirty pleasurable minutes it was time to get to work.

First he needed to attend a briefing with the rest of the team. The chief was in there giving his usual spiel about it being a big year, and raising standards. Nothing new or especially interesting on offer, but it was good to catch up with his colleagues. He saw Dan across the room, who gave him a solemn but friendly nod. Dan was never one to display too much emotion, but when you had as many kills to your name as he did then emotions were best left buried deep.

Briefing over, Ryan made his way to his room. He saw the buses, which carried the inmates pulling onto the site, through the security gate. In a few minutes he’d be coming into contact with his delegated group.

He got to his room, took a swig of coffee from his thermos and watched them trickle in and take their places.

He looked at their expectant, slightly fearful, faces. He knew he cut a formidable figure, but surely they realised he was there to protect them first and foremost.

Then again, they were only eleven, they still had a lot to learn. He smiled and began his usual ‘first day of term’ speech.

“Morning class, welcome to Broadacre High School,” he said, “I’m Mr Northcroft and I’ll be your form tutor this year.”

  18 comments for “Targeting Success

  1. February 24, 2018 at 8:51 am

    Mr Northcroft will need the survivalist skills of an SAS operative, the cunning of a sewer rat and the tenacity of a mechanical bulldozer to cope in that job!

    Liked by 1 person

    • February 24, 2018 at 11:53 am

      To be fair he has all of those skills and more. He doesn’t have any academic credentials because fortunately that’s no longer an important aspect of the role.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. February 24, 2018 at 9:03 am

    A brilliant story with a lovely little twist in the tale.

    Liked by 1 person

    • February 24, 2018 at 11:53 am

      Thanks, glad it resonated 🙂


  3. February 24, 2018 at 9:50 am

    You are the Robert Ludlum of anti-gun-violence…

    Liked by 1 person

    • February 24, 2018 at 11:54 am

      That is literally my goal in life

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Bryntin
    February 24, 2018 at 10:49 am

    People think this is a joke but I’m sure that me not keeping up my Level 5 Suspicious Package Investigation Robot driving was responsible for losing my job at the Indoor Play Centre. Possibly that and the complaints about the intimate searches on the yummy mummys. I know they were only dropping the kids off outside, but they had to be searched.

    Liked by 1 person

    • February 24, 2018 at 11:56 am

      It’s political correctness gone mad!

      Liked by 2 people

  5. February 24, 2018 at 12:25 pm

    Very apt, very disturbing, and I’m always very aware that what happens in America, eventually, comes over here!

    Liked by 1 person

    • February 24, 2018 at 7:57 pm

      As someone who works in education I can categorically state that most of us can’t operate a photocopier so I can’t imagine any of us would be particularly competent with a firearm. Fortunately we live in Britain so I expect we’ll be issued with longbows…

      Liked by 2 people

      • February 24, 2018 at 9:51 pm

        Longbows are very difficult to master. Why can’t you throw chalk dusters like you used to?

        Liked by 1 person

      • February 24, 2018 at 10:21 pm

        Longbows would be preferred as medical science has informed us that chalk dust – of which old school chalk dusters were a major carrier – got inside the lungs and, with repeated exposure, could instigate a slow demise.

        Liked by 2 people

      • February 24, 2018 at 10:57 pm

        Good point, we’re not savages

        Liked by 1 person

      • February 24, 2018 at 10:57 pm

        I’m afraid it would have to be a dry wipe pen these days or possibly an electronic pen for the more techno savvy teacher. Possibly still preferable to an arrow though on reflection

        Liked by 2 people

      • February 24, 2018 at 11:04 pm

        You’ll be telling me next that urchins do not have slates anymore!

        Liked by 2 people

      • February 24, 2018 at 11:09 pm

        Sadly no but that’s more to do with budget cuts

        Liked by 2 people

  6. February 26, 2018 at 4:15 pm

    I caught on to your twist early in your story, but then, here in the US it’s foremost on nearly everyone’s mind lately. When I think back to some of my former teachers I can’t help but remember Mr. Rose’s deadly aim with the chalkboard eraser. He’d be great with some chinese throwing stars.

    Liked by 1 person

    • March 2, 2018 at 5:30 pm

      As someone with incredibly poor hand/eye coordination (which to be fair has never held back my teaching career to date) I think I’ll just have to settle for a few hand grenades and hope for the best.

      Liked by 1 person

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