Notes: Forgive me for what I do to Charlie in this. It’s not really a good visual but I thought it’s something Colby would do. Please give feedback on this one, I’m really interested in people’s opinions on this one, good, bad, or otherwise. I kinda struggled with it.
On the Range
“This feels really wrong.” Charlie said as Colby guided him down the hall.
“If it felt right, I’d worry about you.”
“I’m a civilian.” Charlie protested.
“You’re a civilian adviser to the FBI and if you’re in the wrong place at the wrong time, the bad guys are not going to differentiate.” Colby pushed Charlie into the small booth and took out a gun.
“It’s a .22, anything bigger will probably break your wrists and hit me.”
“Hey! I’ve got upper body strength.” Charlie objected.
“Just take the gun.”
Charlie picked it up like it was live dynamite.
“Keep it pointed down range or at the floor. Shoot your own foot and you will be mocked for the rest of your life.”
“This feels really wrong.” Charlie said again, hands shaking.
“Look, Charlie, things go wrong, you can probably quote me numbers on how often things go wrong, if I get killed or David or Megan or, god forbid, Don, what will happen is we will grieve, get drunk, get revenge and the Bureau will send someone new in. If you get killed there aren’t cloning vats in the basement of Quantico spitting out Charlie Eppeses. Understand?”
“Yes.” Charlie said quietly, running the numbers in his head for an agent being killed in the line of duty. He had those numbers memorized a long time ago.
“Now both hands, gentle but not loose. Aim for center off mass. Do not shoot to injure. You’ll miss and anyone alive is still a threat. Broad stance. Squared shoulders. Don’t pull the trigger with your finger, squeeze with your whole hand. Got it?”
Charlie nodded. His heart was in this throat going a mile a minute. He could feel the sweet oozing from his palms. Colby put protectors over his own ears then Charlie’s. Charlie scrunched up his face, pointed the gun at the target, and fired. Colby didn’t have to look at the target to know there wasn’t a mark on it. Charlie quickly put down the gun.
“That felt really, really, really, really wrong.”
Colby brought the target forward. Charlie squinted at it. “Shouldn’t there be holes in it?”
“Not the way you shoot.” Colby reloaded the gun. “Ok, Charlie. First, open your eyes. You need to see what you’re shooting at.”
Charlie gave a tight nod. “Open eyes, right.”
“Second, do the math.”
“You’re smart. You felt how much kick the gun had, you know how fast a bullet goes. The target’s 10 yards away. Do the math.” Charlie opened his mouth to object then closed it again. He put his hearing protectors back on and picked up the gun.
“Do the math, do the math, do the math.” He felt Colby right behind him “Do the math.” He fired.
This time there were a range of holes across the upper torso of the target. “He’s dead.” Charlie said softly, head still full of numbers relating to projectiles, and shooting statistics.
“And I killed him.”
“Yes. But you’re alive and so am I and so is Don and David and Megan and Larry and your dad. And yes, if you ever have to actually kill someone you’ll feel really bad and need lots of therapy but you’ll be alive.” He handed Charlie the reloaded gun. “Now do it again. Just better.”