I look through the Hensoldt ZF 6×42 PSG1 scope attached to the top of my Heckler & Koch PSG1 sniper rifle.
“I got you, you son of a…,” I mumble silently, my lips not even moving.
I’ve been stalking my target for three long days. Rain, wind, predators galore, scorching heat…nothing can stop me when it comes to tracking poachers in Kruger National Park in South Africa.
The only thing I love in this world is animals. People? Not even.
And when it comes to protecting animals I’m the best.
Speaking of best, this particular poacher is damn good…maybe the best I’ve ever tracked. He hasn’t even given me a single good look at his face this entire time.
I slowly lower my sniper rifle and pick up my tranquilizer gun.
As much as I hate poachers, killing them doesn’t solve the problem. Tranquilizing them, on the other hand, gives me the chance to tie them up, question them until they give up their buyers names, and then turn them and the information they provide over to the authorities.
If we can figure out, specifically, where the demand is coming from then we can cut off the head of the snake, not just the tail.
I bring the buttstock of my tranquilizer gun to my cheek and line up the shot.
It’s getting dark and I want to take down this poacher before nightfall before even bigger predators come out to play.
I line up my shot to the guy’s glute. A direct hit will have him on the ground and incapacitated in seconds.
I watch as the guy turns. I’m still blown away by the small stature of this poacher. This guy must be what? Five foot three? And the dude has wider hips than most, although that’s probably just pockets stuffed full of granola bars and other things needed to survive in the wild.
No sympathy for these people. None. Hell, poachers aren’t even human to me.
I grit my teeth and focus on my breathing, slowly pulling my trigger finger back, making sure not to squeeze the trigger too hard.
The gun fires and the dart hits the guy’s left ass cheek.
“Oh shit!” a yell goes out, as his hand reaches back around his body.
But it’s too late.
He drops to a knee and I rise from my prone position, quickly moving in.
Just before the guy faceplants, I’ve got him by the back of the collar, rolling my wrist so I can finally get a good look at my unknowing adversary from the past three days.
“Time to get a good look at ya, ya…”
My body tenses, my muscles jerk as I stare down at the poachers face.
I feel my arm shaking, and it’s not from the weight of the torso I’m holding up.
It’s been years, a whole helluva lot of years at that, but I could never forget that face.
Through the caked on camouflage, lightweight layers of clothing…underneath all the gear and the boonie hat a pair of bright blue eyes stare back up at me.
They’re glossing over fast, almost as fast as I feel myself harden underneath my tan cargo pants.
This isn’t a man at all.