Just A Hunch
Somewhere in the mountains of Switzerland, the snowy silence of the night was interrupted by a shout.
"Stop right there!"
United States Scout Trooper Melly Enenberg levelled his battered rifle at the figure who froze in the moonlight on the lower slope.
The person was smallish, hunched maybe, and was wearing a long, draping robe of filthy gray cloth. The face in the hood was covered by a mask made from pieces of leather and old plastic, with eyepieces from an ancient pair of sunglasses. On the figure's chest was painted the symbol of the Roman Cross, red with a stylized, two-headed Christ hanging from it.
"Catholic..." Enenberg said under his breath.
The figure took another step.
"I said stop!" shouted the ranger, hefting the rifle once more.
The figure raised it's mirrored lens-gaze towards him, made silvery and ghostlike by the moon and the solid black void backdrop of the mountains on the other side of the valley.
"You're going to die tonight," said the figure after a long, long pause. The voice was soft, almost whispering, with a slight Italian accent.
"I'm an agent of the United States, and you are in Division territory. I suggest you step back and stop threatening me. If you do not step back beyond the marked borderline, I will fire."
"You're going to die tonight," the figure repeated.
"How do you know?"
"Just a hunch."
The Catholic took another step, and raised it's hand. A stunted sixth digit sprouted from the knuckle of the being's index finger.
"You won't hit me," it rasped.
Enenberg frowned and shook the hair out of his eyes. "You are hereby designated as 'Target'. If you do not step back over the border, I will blow your Catholic ass away." His rifle was now trained on the figure straight.
The weird hand dropped. The voice sounded mournful:
"You won't hit me. The gun you're holding is a... how do you say? Dirty rifle, fires masses of gravel and shrapnel from radiation zones."
The ranger gave a humorless laugh. "Nice guess. If you'd got it wrong, I'd have killed you... STEP BACK!"
The Catholic stepped back slightly at the ranger's shout, and said:
"When you fire that gun, it's going to explode, and you will die."
"How do you know that?"
"Just a hunch."
There was a long pause.
Then, suddenly, the figure leapt forward, screeching hoarsely and whipping out it's hands.
On pure reflex and startlement, Enenberg fired. There was a loud, brittle crack which echoed for a very, very long time.
The Catholic stood from where it had hunched. "God defended me," it rasped, and walked toward the ranger where he lay sprawled upon the ground.
Looking down through polarized lenses at the crumpled corpse of the United States Scout Trooper, at the bloody face embedded with small chunks of rock, glass, and metal, the Catholic said:
"My hunches are always right."