Immediately, the fresh-off-the-streets teams burst into action; the Engineers built and the Scouts ran, Heavy's gunfire filling the air as the Medics ran cackling after them. Pyro's either surged ahead to hunt out the enemy team or hung back with the Engineer to defend it from Spies.

The Spies and the Snipers both slinked off to find vantage points, high up or far below the rest of the action, waiting for that perfect moment to strike, and eliminate, as the Demomen set up mines and traps to lure their foes into, or otherwise charged into battle.

A greenhorn team, killing and death itself not an unknown concept, but the teamwork itself was; as were the fancy, new-fangled concept of RESPAWN; a seemingly magical working of technology that could bring a man back from the dead, ready to keep the fight going.

And yet, it left a single combatant on edge throughout the entire fight. The RED Sniper was no unfamiliar with the feeling of death, and dying; they'd had a brush with it once before. Nor were they eager to learn it again. Aside from their teammates, they were determined to avoid it for as long as possible. Anything less was to give in, and they could not afford such an attitude when their contract finally exhausted itself, years from now.

Perched at the window of an old tower, Sniper peered down the scope of their old rifle. They fell into the rhythm, looking for their target, their mark, the rest of the world falling away until nothing remained. Nothing. . . Nothing. . .



Hissing Their breath, Sniper straightened and reloaded, nodding to themselves. One bullet at a time. One mark at a time. Baby steps, until you fell into this easy rhythm. They were familiar with killing, with protecting themselves and what was important to them.

The fact that what they had to protect now was either a control point or a box of papers chafed at them, but soon, it would become normal. It would all become routine. They just had to keep going, peer down the scope, and let the world fall away. Just keep letting everything else fall away. . .

Distraction proved to be downfall, for the RED Spy, who had been observing their enemy for some time, finally decided to strike.

Choking as the blade pierced their back, Sniper blacked out, and soon awakened in RESPAWN.

Shooting to their feet, they looked around in a blind panic; rifle gone, knife gone, they were virtually defenseless should anyone with a weapon approach—

Recognizing the lockers, the doorway, Sniper slowly, slowly calmed down. A quick glance at the clock revealed that it was far too early to even dare try to turn in for the day. So instead, they found their locker, snatched up their weapons from within —they'd RESPAWNEd just like Sniper had after death— and returned to the battlegrounds for a second round of "Kill or Be Killed".

Nine hours and three deaths later, Sniper was thoroughly exhausted from her first day working for MANN Co industries. And their teammates weren't helping matters either.

They hadn't won; no one had, in this first days match. But they were all, as far as Sniper could tell, being loud and rough-housing with one another — and they kept trying to drag them into it.

Threatening to punch their lights out did little but brook them to try shoving him around. Which immediately ended in Sniper throwing Demoman over their shoulder. The six-foot-one Demoman, thrown over Sniper's five-foot-five shoulder.

That quieted everyone pretty darn quick. Glaring at them all, Sniper shoved the Scout out of the way and went to their room, forgoing dinner altogether.

Settling down in their bed, they shook their head with a sigh. That was a pretty stupid thing to do to someone who could probably kill them, especially when that someone was their teammate. They were meant to get along, after all. Not that they was very interested in "bonding" with anyone after all that had occurred in the last few years.

Sniper thought back to when they had first been approached by the Administrators Assistant, Miss Pauling. The job she had been offered, the roles the adorable raven-haired girl —Miss Pauling was younger then they were by only a few years, so girl it was— had told her Sniper qualified for, IF they agreed and signed the contract.

Spy, for their skills in espionage and wrangling information from people. Medic, for their extensive knowledge of treating and healing wounds, both on themself and others. Sniper, for their talent with a rifle and extreme accuracy

But, sneaking around wasn't really their thing, And being forced to sit on the sidelines whilst everyone else fought and bled wasn't appealing —they hadn't known at the time that the role of Medic, despite being a Support Role, could still fight just as well as any other Merc on the field— so Sniper it was.

And a Sniper, they were.