2011 06 27: A Fistful of Bullets

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Mission Name: 2011 06 27: A Fistful of Bullets
Date of Mission: 6-27-2011
Locale: Shooting Range

The gunny spends some time instructing the recruit on his shooting stance

argyle mickey

Normally, the shooting range is full of people firing off regulation pistols. Occasionally, something more exotic is fired off, but for the most part, it's pretty businesslike. Which is why the beast that's propped up on the table at the far end of the range would make heads turn. Argyle is standing behind a very advanced sniper rifle. He's situated at the longest range with the target as far back as it will go. A netbook is hooked up to the guts of it. Apparently, he's running diagnostics.

Earplugs stuffed into his ears and one of the standard 'recruit' kits for shooting practice is locked up under his arm, as well as at least five boxes of ammunition. Moving down towards the far end of the room, Mickey leans over and peers over Socks' head towards the distant target and remarks, "I guess it's fortunate we're under ground or that shell would probably go right through that wall." He has no idea about how the computer might be involved there, and knows it. "Hey Socks," he adds as an after thought as he starts to set up in the lane beside Argyle. He sets things down, arranges them and leaves almost immediately after and returns with several more boxes of ammunition and what looks like a golf glove which he slides onto his hands and starts to load up clips.

"It's not a rocket lancher, it's a sniper rifle. It's a precision instrument. I've been calibrating it to shoot smaller and smaller rounds." Why? The answer might just be 'why not?' Argyle eyes the loads of ammunition. "Do you really need practice, or do you really enjoy shooting?"

"Practice, I'm not bad, but I need to get better," Mickey answers and continues to stand there loading round after round. This part might actually be part of what he feels like practicing as he focuses on it and spends a moment with each clip to try to get faster and more eased at it. Working the action into his muscle memory, he keeps the boxes at hand and loads without looking after a clip or two. Gathering up a handful of ammunition and rotating them in his fingers. "How is that going?" he asks.

"It's going. Hey, check this out." When Argyle squeezes the rifle's trigger, barely a sound is made. The long barreled silencer might have something to do with that. He squeezes again, and again. It's hard to tell what exactly's happening. But when he hits the button to retrieve the paper target, tiny pin-sized holes are peppered all over the heart and head area of the target. A few shots go awry, and those make him frown.

"What is that? Twenty two? Or," Mickey pauses amidst his reloading to lean in and look at the holes in the target, "BB-pellets?" Leaning back, he tilts his head and continues to load the magazines, setting them aside as he finishes each. Whatever sound might be being made by the gun is surely reduced to absolute silence by his earplugs. "Did you machine the barrel yourself?"

Argyle pulls out one of the rounds from the rifle and hands it to Mickey. It's a wicked looking thing, tiny, but tapered and sharp. "Surgery. That's what this weapon is for. You get one shot. But if you're good, and you're within a decent range, you can do some major damage. If you're less precise, it makes a good delivery system for toxin."

Holding up the round, Mickey thinks about it and comments, "Impressive worksmanship, considering we don't really have the facilities for producing these in mass. Did you have to make each round with a lathe or is there some company out there that makes custom ammunition to order?" he inquires, just generally curious about how it was done. Leaning over, he peers the length of the range again, his hands now automatically working on the thirtieth clip or so. He must be nearing completion of the loading process. "Do you prefer a smaller round for toxin delivery, something about liquid and air stabilization? Rotational .. inertia?" he ponders words that might apply and then shrugs and checks the thumb on the golf glove. As expected, it saved him no shortage of chafing on his finger tip.

"If I need something, Percy has ways of getting it for me." And that's apparently all the explanation that Argyle is going to give as far as production goes. "This is a highly specialized piece of hardware for very particular missions. Given an hour or two, I can convert it back to fire standard rounds. It has an onboard processor here." He touches the housing. "I can load specialized programming onto it." He looks faintly impressed at Mickey's technical knowledge. "Well, you might not know a USB from a dongle, but you're clearly no luddite."

A glance at the gun and Mickey decides, "That's pretty cool." Leaning back then, he stretches out his forearms and lifts up his gun. A forty-five, he starts to throw ammunition down range at the paper target. If Argyle looks over at him, he might notice that Mickey has a few problems with his stance that as a recruit will definitely need correction. He is using those huge arms and shoulders of his to over-power the weapon, like he's trying to strangle it, and is also trying to compensate for the recoil a bit prematurely.

Argyle hits a button that locks the experimental rifle down. Then he steps towards Mickey and examines his stance as the young man fires off rounds. He doesn't say anything, just watches with a critical eye. Only when he's finished shooting, does he speak up. "Something feels off, doesn't it? Can you guess why?"

Mickey turns his head and has to fight the urge to swing the gun where he looks. He still hasn't truly mastered gun safety in that way. "Because," he pauses to think, "I'm not hitting the head, I mean, some of them are hitting the head, but not all of them." He isn't exactly bad, he has that natural gut instinct talent for muscle memory, it's just that his muscle memory hasn't been programmed correctly for shooting, yet.

"Well, for one. The gun is not a rope you're clinging to for dear life as you swing off a building. Lighten up your grip. A tiny little girl might need to grip it that hard, but you can more than handle the recoil without choking it." Argyle picks up his own sidearm from a duffel bag near the rifle. He holds it in his palm and slowly closes his hand around it. "Here. Unload your clip for a second."

Mickey hits the button just above his thumb and catches the clip, laying it on the table. That part doesn't just look practiced, it looks downright expert. He has probably been practicing that part in private. Taking his hands, he spends a moment trying to mirror Argyle's grip, and to hold it a bit more loosely.

"Obviously you've just lost a chunk of weight without the clip, but I'd rather you have to compensate than for you to shoot your foot off," Argyle cracks a grin. "Here, hold it in your hand. Drape your arm at your side. Feel the weight of it. It's not /that/ heavy. You don't have to put out very much force to hold onto it. If you're tense, your accuracey goes to shit."

To be honest, the gun looks positively tiny in his hands, despite being a full 1911 frame. Mickey has biceps the size of a normal person's head and forearms to match. He lets the gun hang at his side and he nods slightly, "Right, it's not heavy, but if I don't hold on, how do I keep it from bouncing all over?" he asks. Holding it, he realizes something a moment later and lifting the gun up, works the slide once, scoops the ejected round out and sets that on the shelf infront of him as well.

Argyle makes a little face at the round, but doesn't say anything. He should have thought of that. "The trick is knowing when it's actually going to recoil. Even then, you're not going to need to death grip it. Now, if you get shooting a submachine gun, yeah." Argyle checks his own clip and steps up to the range beside Mickey. "Here. Watch my stance." He settles himself instinctively into a perfect firing stance. His muscles barely even tense as he squeezes off a half dozen rounds. The whole thing is so natural to him that it's almost a little spooky. He might as well have just brushed his teeth.

Mickey watches Argyle and watches the gun's movement, even the tension in the other man's wrists and forearms. The angles he forms. He studies and he waits and then he attempts to mirror. "So, like this?" he asks and focuses down the barrel, poised on the very cusp of taking a shot- if he had ammunition in the gun.

"Drop your shoulder down a bit. Relax the spot between the back of your shoulderblades. Your body should absorb the movement of the gun rather than bracing against it. And uh," Argyle cracks a grin, "…don't hold your breath. That's a mistake lots of rookies make."

"Is there a cadence to shooting rounds, do you try to time it with heart beats or anything?" Mickey asks, and tries to reflect some of the changes and adjusts his shoulders slightly. Having the build of an NFL linebacker, his changes are more dramatic than they would be on one of his fellow recruits, like say, Alex. His body reflects every shift with a visible movement of muscles under skin. "Okay, that's a bit more relaxed. In our original instructions, I'd been told to lean into the shot slightly," he explains. "Can I try squeezing a few?" he requests.

"The instructors can tell you all the tips they like - myself included. But when it comes down to it, you need to make the gun feel like an extension of your body. And only you know what your body feels like." Argyle inclines his head. "Sure. And doing it on hearbeats is good practice. Truth of the matter is? When you're in the field, you shoot when you need to shoot."

Mickey nods with confidence, and spends a moment loading that round into the clip he'd ejected a few minutes earlier and then reloads the clip. Taking a breath then, he spends a moment finding his stance, but he doesn't fire right away, he holds the gun at his side and brings it up, falling into stance. Again. Again. Only after three repetitions does he nod to himself, feeling good about this change in stance and start to fire. His grouping is better, not ace, but better.

"There. Good. I'm not going to overload you with more information. You're getting that enough from your other classes. Don't try and correct everything at once. Get things into muscle memory, one step at a time." Argyle nods towards Mickey. "Seems like that's a strength of yours."

"Shouldn't I practice with the correct form though?" Mickey questions and looks down at himself. "Or are you talking about um.. transitions?" he inquires and with a smoothly practiced motion, he grabs another clip and replaces it. He then sends the entire clip down range, taking time to make sure he breathes. He then hangs the gun at his side and stances, again. Again. When he begins to shoot a few seconds later, he focuses on every shot, attentive to his stance, breathing, heartbeat and tension. "How long have you been shooting?" he asks.

The question actually makes Argyle falter. That shouldn't be a difficult thing to answer. He purses his lips and shakes his head, like he's trying to sort out a jumble of memories. Finally, he simply answers, "A long time. I had a garage full of heavy armaments and the FBI found me. That's when Division stepped in."

"Since you were young?" Mickey asks, realizing that he may have asked something a bit too specific. He repeats that process, his form getting a bit tight at times until he reminds himself to relax and stop trying to strangle his handgun. Each time, he repeats the draw and aim process again and again. Though to change things up, he leans around the wall to his side, opposite of Argyle, and brings in the target there about ten feet closer and now starts to shoot at two targets, practicing shooting at different distances. His shots are hitting tighter and tighter, improving slowly as he gets used to it. "Growing up, we were always wary of the suits, but you just had to learn to see the pigtails on their sedans and the cigarettes beside their doors and everything. It was almost like a game. Spot the fed."

"I was just a bored suburbanite orphan with folks who had a good life insurance policy. Not mountains of cash, but enough that I didn't actually have to work for most of the things I wanted. Studied engineering in school. Only wanted to work on guns. Lost sight of what was actually /illegal./ Good." He nods approvingly at the groupings. "You've got a good eye. I have no doubt you'll pick this up pretty quick."

"I guess you're sort of like me with boxing, though I never actually did any illegal boxing, persay," Mickey muses aloud and continues to shoot. It's like a beat in the background of his conversation. He has spent so long training that he can multi-task. He allows his body to feel the gun, his eyes to focus on the shooting, while his body just does what it is being programmed to do- his mouth, that just keeps going. "Thanks," he throws out there in response to the complimentary encouragement and after ejecting his fifth or sixth clip, he pauses to let the gun cool slightly and brings in the paper target, changing it, and a moment later the one beside it, out.

"Boxing. That explains a few things. That's half the battle, knowing how to train and how to practice. Definitely one-up on the ex-junkies and street kids." Argyle turns back to his rifle and starts to pack it in. He disassembles it with as much unconscious muscle memory as he fired the pistol. Like he's not even thinking about it, despite the fact that this particular weapon is custom and not exactly easy to take apart. He fits the parts into a foam case.

Another clip, more repetition. Mickey nods a few times and looks over and around the dividing wall. "Thanks for the pointers," he tells Argyle with a small smile; he actually seems to appreciate the act of being taught, and so is a good student, when he wants to be. Another clip— bap-bap-bap-bap-bap-bap-bap. The quick repetition causing the paper at the end of the lane to dance its little jig. "Are you heading out?" he inquires, and does a check the other direction to make sure there is still someone supervising the few other recruits. There is. He can continue, for what looks like might be a rough few hours of practice.

"Yeah, I gotta get back to the lab and go through these diagnostic programs. I think Percy has a mission in mind he'd like to test this out on." Argyle hefts up the case once all the pieces are secure and tucks the netbook under one arm. "Come find me for sparring help, too. No offense to some of your instructors, but well," he grins wryly, "let's just say I think you and I have some similar strengths when it comes to hand-to-hand."

"I.. sure, I'll look you up sometime," Mickey replies and nods a few times before he continues to drill, nodding a few times to show his understanding. "See you around Argyle," he calls over the sound of gunfire from elsewhere in the range. Cycling in and out another clip, he continues, and will continue to shoot until his hands are raw. He doesn't practice anything in moderation, he is an all or nothing sort of guy.

Division likes that. And Argyle approves, too. He watches Mickey offload then next set of rounds, nods once, then shoulders open the door and heads back towards his lab.

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