Olive could almost hear them breathing, even over the panting of the soldiers around her. Unlike the others, the Byzantes snipers that rested on top of the buildings around them controlled their breathing, steading their attention each one on a particular soldier below, that was how they were trained. If you strayed from one target to another you lost precious time getting off the right shot.

She wondered if the UF soldiers were evenly paired with the Byzantes. Olive knew how to find out, just to see what the their odds were. She pulled out of her pocket what looked like a fire cracker one that made more noise than flame. She looked the soldier next to her who pulled out a lighter as if he knew exactly what she was thinking. They needed to get it close enough in the square for them to think someone had moved out in the open, with daylight fading the trick would work well enough.

Olive was more than ready to volunteer to move closer but one of the other soldiers blocked her with his arm and motioned a firm no. The soldier was well armored and not sporting bullet holes like her.

If this worked they would either know to relax or be coming up with a desperate plan of attack, either way someone on both sides were not going to make it out alive.

A wave of stomach churning heat ran through Olive, fever was setting in. She felt the world fading out, what ever was going to happen had to very soon. She motioned for the solider to take the fire cracker and light it as he moved closer to the street. As he moved one of the Byzantes stirred, maybe just to shift positions but everyone on the ground took a deep gasp. The soldier looked back at the group and nodded. Olive saw a flicker of light as the wick caught fire. For an instant she could see the face of the soldier as the sniper shot one single bullet through the mans head. All wasn’t lost though as the fire cracker went off sending an echo of noise through the alley.