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You're in the sniper's sight, the first kill tonight, Time to die, You're in the bullet's way, the White Death's prey, Say goodbye!
— White Death, a song about Häyhä by power metal band Sabaton

Simo Häyhä, also known as "The White Death", was a Finnish sniper during the 1939-40 Winter War, and who is viewed by many as the most skilled sniper to ever live, scoring the most kills of any sniper in the world, 542 kills, with his rifle, an unscoped Sako M2/28-30, as well an additional 200 with a Soumi KP-31 SMG. Häyhä at one point scored 25 kills in one day. Häyhä's Soviet enemies attempted to eliminate him first with trained countersnipers, however, Häyhä eliminated all countersnipers sent to kill him. The Soviets also attempted to eliminate Häyhä with artillery strikes on his position, which also failed. Häyhä severely wounded by an explosive round to the face, however survived his injuries, though the war had ended by the time he got out of hospital.

Battle vs. Vaclav Jezek (by Leolab)Edit

The Czech unit of the French army is sitting around at camp, since they’re all on leave. Vaclav Jezek is stripping and cleaning his anti-tank rifle. “I bet the Boches are mighty thankful you’re not shooting at them right now,” one of the French officers commented. Vaclav silently ignores him and continues his work, paying attention to the war news on the radio. “Finland has joined with our Fascist enemies, and has repelled the Soviet Union from its borders!” The announcer says, sounding more mildly annoyed than concerned, “Our heroic troops, fresh from victories along the German front, will be moved to cripple Finland’s military capabilities…” “In other words, we invade,” the same officer says, “And your regiment will be going in. There is a Finnish sniper, Simo Häyhä, who will seriously hamper our effort. Since you’re our best sniper – and we’ll need the best we have to take him down, believe me – we’re sending your unit in to take him out. I’ll be going with you, to provide intel on what you will be facing.”

Simo Häyhä, being called back to the army after successfully fending off Russia, is getting together his usual materials: one day’s rations, some water to freeze up the snow, a clip of ammunition, and the mask he uses so that his breath isn’t visible. He looks at the dispatch sent to his house, recommending him to look out for a “bastard with an elephant gun” who will most likely be brought in to counter-snipe.

DAY ONE

Simo treks up one of the mountain passes, having picked up extra rations and ammo before starting out. He decided to make the counter-sniper a top priority, and has prepared for a long fight. He builds a small wall out of snow to hide his face, and puts snow in his mouth. He then puts his mask on, and pours water over the snow to freeze it. Now undetectable he goes prone and takes aim with his bayoneted Sako M2/28-30. Scanning the valley, he spots an enemy encampment. He draws a bead on what appears to be the ranking officer, as best he can tell from this distance. He pulls the trigger, and sees the snow turn pink. Smiling to himself, he slips away to prepare other sniping positions.

Vaclav was sent up into the mountains as soon as the officer who accompanied his unit was shot. He finds a good vantage point in the mountains, and attaches the scope to his rifle. He brought a standard-issue helmet and a stick, as well as the massive ammo for his rifle. He looks through the sight, trying in vain to spot the Finnish sniper. He sees another sniping spot near his position, so he sets up the helmet on a stick. He then levels the anti-tank gun, and pops a shot off at random. He then quickly runs over to his new position and watches the other side of the valley.

A bullet slams into a tree near Simo’s position, making a loud crack and shattering the tree. Simo, having seen the muzzle flash, turns his Sako towards it. Looking through his iron sights, however, he distinctly spots two helmets that match the description given to him. The sun is almost behind the mountains, so he can’t see a scope to determine which one is the sniper and which is his spotter. He picks one, aims, and fires.

Vaclav hears the bullet hitting his decoy, but he can’t locate the sound of the shot, nor the muzzle flash. He looks at the helmet, and realizes that the shot must have come from the valley floor. He quickly scans, but sees only white. There wasn’t even a patch of disturbed snow. Realizing now why the Russians nicknamed his opponent “White Death”, he wearily makes camp in the shelter of a cave, trying to keep out of the cold and the sniper’s sights.

Likewise, Simo is making camp in a cave on the cliff just above where he sniped what he now knows was a decoy. He crawls out to the ledge, where he can see the French/Czech camp. He takes aim, and fires a shot. He crawls back into his cave, careful to avoid being noticed.

DAY TWO

Vaclav wakes up to a radio call from his camp. His opponent had shot one of his commanding officers in the head. He was ordered to assist and provide cover in a ground search for the sniper, after returning to camp to coordinate.

Simo also woke up, and used some time to heat his rations. After he finished eating, he decided to see if the other sniper – and a damn good one – was still hunting him. He almost reached the mouth of his cave when he hears the screaming of falling artillery shells, a familiar sound after the Russians decided he was worth the same treatment. He retreated just a bit into the cave, keeping his Sako handy in case he has to run out to avoid a cave-in. Once the shelling stops, he peeks outside. He sees a soldier in a Czech uniform, and lines him up in his sights. He fires.

Vaclav heard the shot and a shout of shock, and saw one of his fellow countrymen bleeding out in the snow. He hadn’t seen a muzzle flash, and the acoustics of the valley make it appear like the sound is coming from all over the place. He hears the crack of the rifle a couple more times, and two more members of the scouting party fall down. Using their bodies to find the general direction of the bullets, he traces what he believes is the line of sight of his enemy to a small mound of snow in front of a cave. The rifle cracks again, but the mound is not disturbed. Vaclav decides to send a shot over the top anyway, figuring that the sniper would jump if a round passed over his head.

Simo hears the round go by, the massive anti-tank slug making a rather large hole in the cave wall behind him. He fires a shot at the last Czech soldier, all five of the soldiers sent to draw him out now lying dead in the snow. He carefully crawls out of his space, trying not to alert the sniper on the opposite end of the valley. It’s now midday, so Simo carefully makes his way back to his cave for lunch.

Vaclav is also eating his rations, grumbling about how much worse they taste frozen. When he finishes swallowing the frozen chunks of … something, he loads a new clip into his anti-tank rifle and rests it on a rock when a radio call comes in. His new CO – Häyhä had shot another officer during lunch – had decided to send out three more men, but after that Vaclav would be on his own. Vaclav cursed, and then asked if they could shell the area intermittently during the night, if he wasn’t successful this time. “I think a lack of sleep for him would do wonders for me,” he said, “it’ll make him sloppy, and maybe I can hit the bastard.” As if in protest, he heard the all-to familiar crack of the Sako. Looking at where he had rest his rifle, he saw that the round had missed his scope, but hit the rock behind it right where his head would have been.

Simo chambered another round, and crawled towards a snow bank. He poured some water over a patch of snow, freezing it so that it wouldn’t give his position away, positioned so that he could see both the ridge where the Czech sniper seemed to be camping and the camp full of other Czechs and Frenchmen who were intent on invading his country. Glancing at the latter, he saw a patrol of three soldiers leaving, entering the valley through a narrow pass. The first two are already in the valley and spread out, and he draws a bead on the third as he exits the pass. He fires, and scores another kill. As the soldier drops, bleeding, he aims and fires and the next soldier. The third member seems to have more of a survival instinct that the other two, and drops to the ground. Simo crawls back to a higher vantage point as the soldier advances.

Vaclav saw the first two soldiers fall, and scanned the area for the Finnish sniper. He is unable to locate him, and only hears two cracks as the third man fires and falls. Now extremely irritated, he sets up his decoy again and unloads his entire clip at the valley floor. He moves to a vantage point to try and spot his enemy when he next fires. He sees nothing but powdered craters, and two spots where his shell hit a chunk of frozen-over snow. Seeing nothing, he decides to take a peek at one of the frozen areas on a hunch. Looking through his scope, he sees that the snow was frozen so that it would both make a good platform – ideal for sniping – and so that it would not fly up and reveal a sniper’s position. He radios this information to his CO, who has taken a lesson from the previous nights’ killings and is bunkered in a communications trench. He receives information that Finland’s armed forces are making camp in another section of the valley. The artillery bombardment of the valley would commence as Vaclav had requested, but he himself would be repaying the visits Häyhä paid his camp.

Vaclav crawls towards a vantage point, spotting the Finnish camp. He spots a figure, one who seemed to be important. He set up his decoy and raised the anti-tank rifle to his shoulder. He pulled the trigger, and an officer’s head explodes. He quickly gets another in his sights, and fires. He then moves to another position nearby, and watches for any Finns who wish to counter-snipe. He sees three muzzle flashes, and takes aim at the first, and fires. He tracks to the second one and kills him, and then ducks down. He crawls to another ledge, and takes aim with his scope. The Finn, obviously an amateur, walks back to his camp, resting the sniper rifle on his shoulder. He goes inside a tent, and comes out with an officer. Vaclav takes two shots, killing both of them, and makes camp in a secluded area.

DAY THREE

Vaclav crawls wearily back to the valley where he has been dueling Simo Häyhä for the past two days. He sets up camp in a shell crater, and eats a tin of rations for breakfast. He does his usual setup of the decoy, and sets down with his rifle in a different crater, after building the snow into a natural-looking bank and froze it over with some water.

Simo, finishing his rations after a mostly sleepless night, loads his last clip into his Sako and scans the mountain where the Czech sniper had been shooting from. He notices two helmets, and, since he has the advantage of the sun to his back, looks at both of them carefully. He sees what he was looking for: a glint off of a rifle scope. He pulls the trigger, and the Sako M2/28-30 kicks as the round is propelled out of the barrel, across the valley, and into Vaclav Jezek’s head.

Expert's OpinionEdit

TBW

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Battle vs. the Sniper (Team Fortres 2), Carlos Hathcock, Vasily Zaytsev, and MacMillian (by El Alamein)Edit

Click... click.... click...

With bated breath, Captain MacMillan slowly but deliberately adjusted the knob on the scope of his M21 sniper rifle, trying to get the optics to focus. It's bloody difficult gettin' anethan' in focus with this fog everywhere, he though to himself, and mah damn ghillie suit ain't helpin' much. He reached up and pushed the semi-transparent mesh covering his face to the side, wiping the sweat off his brow and squinting harder into his scope. His USP pistol sat holstered at his hip, two claymore mines strung along a shoulder-pack that rested on the ground. He sat, crouched low and cross-legged in a scraggly brush, where the irregular outline of the shrub coupled with the camouflage on his ghillie suit would keep him well-hidden while he prepared himself for the hunt. The sun shone weakly in the cold morning, small streaks of pink and orange daring to penetrate through the fog, before the hostile gray-white mist swallowed it up again. It was quiet - very quiet. MacMillan could hear water running off in the distance, and every so often a flock of birds would suddenly take to the sky or a startled deer would bolt into the open. These mistakes would be fatal for his opponents later on, he noted silently, but for right now, he had to ensure that his weapons were in working order before he took to the fight.

***

Halfway across the city and with a grimy face smeared in the soot caked under the pile of rubble where he lay, Vasily Zaytsev scanned the horizon, peering up into the shadowy trees that were slowly being illuminated in the waxing sunlight. He was looking toward the west - to ensure that the rising sun shone on any enemies, blinding them rather than himself. He controlled his breathing in slow, deliberate gulps of air that did not disturb his meticulously created nest. Situated to the side and off to an angle was his Ppsh-41 submachine gun - it was not placed out in the open, per se, but was visible enough to entice a passing foe should they pass closely by. It would be a simple matter of firing his Mosin-Nagant point-blank to eliminate such a threat. Unbeknownst to Zaytsev, Simo Häyhä crouched low in a building not a hundred yards away, making a quick ammo count and hurriedly but quietly adjusting his white mask over his face. He spotted a growing snowbank near a shelled-out apartment complex - he planned to take shelter behind the snowdrift before making his way past the building and into the woods that lay beyond. Taking a deep breath, he looked up through the bombed-out roof of his structure and noticed a light snowfall was starting. He gripped his rifle tightly and ducked down into a low crawl, emerging slowly from his hiding place, moving so slow as to avoid detection by motion. Vasily Zaytsev had acquired Häyhä in his sights at one point, but as the light was low and the shadows thick, he dismissed the fleeting white figure as a rabbit. Thinking better of a casual dismissal, he re-acquired his scope on the location - but the figure was vanished, quick as a ghost, melting into the shadows and blending in with the icy ground.

Chyort. Zaytsev silently chastised himself. That was probably a counter-sniper. I'll have to keep my eye out on that location. Ignoring an itch that raged in his left shoulder, he took in a deep breath and settled in to wait.

***

Up in the hills surrounding the valley, Carlos Hathcock sat in his element. The heavy forestry was not unlike much of the dense foliage he was used to dealing with in Vietnam, and the tall trees and scraggly bushes would easily distort his profile even when the sun was to his back. He crouched, supporting his Winchester rifle on his knee, his M1911 pistol on the ground next to him, the barrel pointed in the opposite direction. He could see almost the entirety of the ruined city before him, the shattered remains of buildings jutting up, standing as smoky silhouettes standing guard over torn and twisting roads, cracked and scarred after decades of disrepair. Every so often a jolt of motion would catch his eye, but it would be just a feral dog or curious wildlife wandering out into the open. These animals, slowly creeping forth to reclaim the land taken from them by civilization, have no idea of the deadly game of hunter and hunted in which they walk, thought Hathcock. The idea amused him - the sentience of humans contrasted sharply with the animalistic nature in which they hunted each other. His senses, his instincts, took over, and his musings took a backseat to his observation. He listened for any telltale footsteps crunching in the brush behind him, but also for any slight rustlings or swishes of a body prone in the grass. Who knew how skilled his opponents would be this night? At any rate, one thing was certain - they weren't NVA.

***

Painfully aware of how much noise he had just made, the Sniper cringed and silently cursed himself as his Kukri knife slipped from his belt and clattered to the floor several stories below. He was loaded down to bear with weapons - perfect for an intense firefight or raging battle - but the city was vast and empty. The clanging echoed in the open spaces of the abandoned office building; it could have carried out into the valley for the whole town to hear, for all he knew. Peering over the railing of his third-floor perch to the ground floor, he saw his knife shining silver in the morning sun. Weighing his options silently, the Sniper kept still, his rifle angled at a wall to prevent his underbarrel laser from giving away his position. Any minor advantage gained from moving to recover his fallen knife would be offset by the potential of being spotted - after all, the damned noise has probably revealed me position to every bloke out there, he reasoned. Gritting his teeth, the Sniper realized how dangerous his situation was becoming as the fog intensified, swirling ominously and lowering visibility to less than a few meters out the third-story window. He was not content to gamble on the fact that just because he could not see out, his opponents could not see in. Leaving the rifle on the floor, he crawled to the top of the staircase at the end of the hall and aimed down to the lobby, where his knife lay taunting him for his rashness.

***

Häyhä turned instinctively as the loud noise of the knife falling sounded off in the near-distance, looking over his shoulder. He had already made his way behind the apartment building after resting in the snowbank, unaware of the fact that he had escaped death from Zaytsev's bullet by a fraction of a second. A ripped-up section of the road was all that lay between Häyhä and the building from which the sound had emanated. The White Death slowly propped himself up on one elbow and aimed down the iron sights of his rifle, his gaze drifting from window to window while he kept his aim steady. Zaytsev, too, had heard the sound, holding his position but remaining attentive, ready to respond to the sharp report of rifle fire. MacMillan set off on a fast crawl around the outskirts of the city, waiting to hear a follow-up noise. Up in the hills, Hathcock shifted his attention to the half of the city from which a faint echoing had sounded.

The Sniper had attracted the attention of all of his opponents to his position.

***

Captain MacMillan kept himself low, pressed against the cold, hard dirt that lay scattered near the road. Thick weeds helped to conceal his location, but he was aware of the fact that his movement was likely to attract attention, if noticed. Betting on the fact that most of the other snipers would be zeroing in on the source of the noise, and on the hopes that he might catch an unwary sniper before he himself was spotted, MacMillan crawled quickly, the tips of the weeds swaying and bowing as if in a gentle breeze - a gentle breeze exactly five and a half feet long, and one that blew along with the path of a hidden sniper. The silence was all but deafening, only the low sounds of his boots rubbing against the gravelly dirt reaching his ears. The fog had begun to lessen, allowing MacMillan to peek up through the weeds and into the distance. He detached his scope from his rifle and raised it to his eye, first giving the treetops by the hills a cursory glance, before turning the majority of his attention to the road ahead. Peering into his makeshift looking glass, MacMillan spotted a figure in white aiming across the street at a building. His heart skipped a beat before pounding furiously as he looked down to reattach the scope. Raising his M21 once again, he found the figure gone.

***

MacMillan's scope betrayed him. Carlos Hathcock turned his steely gaze from a row of office buildings a block from the Sniper's position over to a vacant lot off to the side of the road, littered with weeds and debris. He had spotted a reflective glint of sunlight - just for a fraction of a second - but it was time enough. The distance was too far to make out any figures clearly, and the sniper was likely camouflaged or concealed, maybe both. But I can wait, thought Hathcock drily to himself. Rubbing his arm against his side to scratch at an itch, he waited for MacMillan to move again.

***

With the fog lessening, the Sniper had a decision to make. His window gave him a perfect vantage point over the valley, but his sniper rifle would immediately give away his position to anyone in the area. It was now slightly past noon - the sun was directly overhead. Hunger gnawed at his stomach, but he had ignored far worse pains in the outback. The second floor of his building was especially damaged from the shelling, and many of its windows were blocked by collapsed rubble from the floors above. Submachine gun levelled at the lobby below, the Sniper slowly crept down the stairs and ducked into an open doorway on the second floor, pulling the door shut behind him. The old hinges creaked loudly as the Sniper tugged at the door, and they finally gave way halfway through, snapping off and sending the door crashing to the ground, kicking up a cloud of dust. The Sniper shut his eyes tightly and balled his free hand into a fist. I can't make another blue like that, he thought. There's nothing more I can do... The reason he had originally came down into the room from the floor above came back to him in an instant, and the Sniper turned to the corner, unzipped his pants, and pissed on the wall.

***

The sound of the door crashing was not loud enough to reach Hathcock's ears, but he spotted an excited MacMillan rustling through the lot toward the building. Hathcock took a deep breath and steadied the rifle on his knee, tracking the steady movement of his prey several hundred meters away in the valley below. His finger slipped delicately around the trigger, caressing its curve before pulling hard, discharging a round with a loud bang that shattered the silence in an instant - the first shot had been fired. Calmly, Hathcock slid his bolt open, ejected the spent case, and chambered the next round, sliding the bolt back into place, all without moving his eye from the scope. Picking up his pistol, Hathcock disappeared into the undergrowth of the forest and dipped down behind the trees, looking for a place to relocate. He slung his rifle confidently over his shoulder, pistol raised and at the ready. Just because I feel safe doesn't mean I am, Hathcock reminded himself.

***

Captain MacMillan instinctively flattened himself into the tall weeds as the sound of the bullet aimed his way slammed into the dirt road but a few inches from his body, followed closely by the sharp and echoing crack of the rifle shot that sounded from the heavily forested hills out in the distance. Bollocks, he cursed to himself, the bugger's got a bead on meh. At this distance he'll have to take the Coriolis effect into account. I'd best stay hidden and keep a low profile. Moving delicately but deliberately, MacMillan hugged his M21 rifle to his body as he crept at a snail's pace through the grass, not so much as disturbing the scraggly weeds through which he crawled.

Inside the building not two hundred meters away from MacMillan's position in the grass, the Sniper ducked at the sound of the gunshot but kept himself composed and tightened his grip on his submachine gun. It took him a moment, but judging from the distance and the location of the shot, the Sniper guessed that it wasn't directed his way. A sudden trickle of movement along his exposed forearm caused him to start violently, before he looked down at the cricket trekking across his limb. He leaned back against the wall of the room for the briefest of moments, shook the hitchhiker off his person, closed his eyes, took a breath, and peeked out a slit of light visible through a boarded-up window and out into the city. The fog was thinning out, allowing him to make out the empty road and the deserted buildings that sat dormant on the other side, identical in their stillness and vast emptiness as the one in which he crouched. Pushing his glasses further up his nose, the Sniper suddenly became aware of a presence in the room, followed closely by the telltale creak of a loose floorboard. His heart leapt into his throat as he spun around, raising his submachine gun to waist level, finger already pulled down on the trigger - but it was too late. Simo Häyhä, standing there in the doorway, unloaded round after round from his KP-31 submachine gun into the Sniper's torso, riddling the Australian hunter with bullets, sending him crashing backward into the dusty wall. The magazine ran dry in a few seconds, leaving a slumped and shredded body with slick red bloodstains trickling down the wall behind it, a whole host of spent shell casings still hot and clattering on the floor, and a smoking barrel that whisked away in a heartbeat as its owner turned tail and disappeared out the door of the building, vanished into the white tundra outside, with only the corpse of the unlucky Sniper as a visible sign of the briefest of clashes that had occurred minutes beforehand.

***

Simo Häyhä dove into a snowbank by the doorway, burrowing quickly into the cold, wet ice and breaking up his form to any unwary observer. His white mask poked up from the pile, a handful of snow in his mouth preventing his breath from condensing and compromising his position. Reaching down to his submachine gun, he dropped his empty magazine out into the snow and slapped in a fresh one, held in a pocket on his homemade uniform. His rifle was strapped to his back, jutting awkwardly out into the air. It could pass off as an icicle, Häyhä reasoned with himself. Still, I'd better move once their attention is diverted from this building. I just need to wait for someone to make a mistake... like the man in that building.

Vasily Zaytsev had had enough of waiting - a clang, a crash, a rifle shot, and now automatic weapons fire - his current position was not close enough to the center of the action. He slowly began to extricate himself from the small mountain of rubble under which he lay, lowering his Mosin-Nagant carefully, almost lovingly, to the ground first, before reaching down and sliding somewhat ungracefully to the ground below. A brick tumbled down with him and clattered noisily on the cracked pavement. Chyort. Zaytsev grabbed his rifle and darted into the shadows of a train car rusting on broken tracks. There was a ladder on one of the cars, but the Soviet sniper ignored such a post and made haste to the end of the tracks, using the bulk of the trains for cover. As he approached the building from which the gunshots had emanated, with only a vacant lot and a small stretch of road between the two, he spotted a figure moving, ever so slightly, in the grass.

MacMillan's cautious crawl had steadily increased in pace as time passed and the perceived threat lessened. Either the sniper targeting him had believed MacMillan dead, or else had lost interest and moved on. The abandoned building loomed high over the Scottish sniper's head as he pushed himself up to a knee and unholstered his silenced handgun, aiming it tentatively ahead, searching for any potential opponents. Blowing a loose strand of mesh from his suit that flopped over his eyes, MacMillan gave a half-glance over his shoulder, ensuring that the coast was clear, and stood up, making toward the entrance of the building at a fast pace. His durable boots crunched down hard on the gravel in the lot right outside the door to the lobby, and he kicked through the doorway and levelled his pistol, scanning the shadows. It looks empty... MacMillan thought. I'd better make sure. He looked up the stairwell, craning his neck around each corner before lowering his handgun, making sure to place a claymore mine at a landing on the second floor by the stairs to protect his back.

Vasily Zaytsev lost sight of the ghillie'd sniper as he ducked into the shadows of the building. Slowly lowering his scoped Mosin-Nagant to shoulder level, Zaytsev considered - for the briefest of moments - engaging the enemy with his Ppsh-41 submachine gun in the close confines of the building, but, remembering the automatic weapon fire he had heard from within earlier, decided against it. He had no idea of knowing whether the man who had rattled off those rounds was still hunkered down inside. Crouching back behind the shadows of the derelict train cars, he waited.

***

Carlos Hathcock settled down near another tree, one that dipped low, heavy with branches, allowing for a transparent screen through which he could aim his rifle, while remaining safely cloaked behind the boughs. He still had excellent line of sight on the building, this time from the other side. Just as he was getting himself relatively comfortable on the cold, hard ground, though, the dense fog began to roll back in with a vengeance. The sun was already low in the sky, making things difficult to see in the waning light. I guess I can wait until tomorrow, Hathcock though, and, stringing along a line of claymore mines in a semicircle around his tree, he slumped over and tried to get to sleep.

Elsewhere, Simo Häyhä was making similar preparations, jamming a wooden plank into the door of a gas station's convenience store, taking shelter in a ransacked shelf, scattering several short and uneven stacks of canned food at regular intervals on the floor. Most people would look directly behind the clerk's counter, and in the process they would knock over the cans in the dark and alert him. Knowing that he was relatively safe thanks to his setup, Häyhä gently laid his rifle on the shelf below his, cradling his SMG in his arms, finger safely off the trigger, relaxed but alert.

Zaytsev, though, stayed awake. His foe was still in the building - or, at least, he hadn't exited through the front again. Every fiber of Zaytsev's warrior mentality itched to finish the fight, to win the hunt and triumph over a lesser foe, but his sniper mindset held firm and forced him to wait. MacMillan was, incidentally, still within, making a very slow, very thorough search of the third floor. He stumbled across a pool of dark liquid spilling out from a doorway by the stairwell, and, raising his pistol, entered the room. A dead man with a wide-brimmed hat was laying, splayed out and twisted on the floor, with his clothing tattered and the flesh beneath it shredded to bits. Hearing a slight clink, MacMillan looked down and saw the spent shell casings his boots had disturbed. A 9mm submachine gun lay clattered on the floor in the corner - likely the weapon the dead man had attempted to use. Shaking his head, the Scottish sniper exited the room and began to slowly make his way back downstairs. His claymore mine still sat, undisturbed, by the stairs, so MacMillan quietly disarmed the mine and slid it back into its designated spot in a pouch hidden beneath his ghillie suit.

Stepping into the doorway, MacMillan jerked back as his left arm was ripped out of its socket, all but severing the limb and leaving it hanging by a tattered string of mashed-up skin. He fell to the ground, hard, on his back, writhing in agony as he forced himself into a sitting position. Bloody hell! his mind screamed, somewhere within the realm of consciousness rapidly leaving his body. I'm hit! Gingerly reaching his good arm over to touch the bloody stump, MacMillan never saw Zaytsev reacquire his figure through the scope of the Soviet's rifle, moments before the Mosin-Nagant fired again and slammed directly into MacMillan's skull. Brain matter splattered across the room and onto the back wall as Captain MacMillan collapsed, dead, onto the floor in the doorway. Vasily Zaytsev turned, working the bolt on his rifle as he went, and sprinted through a sliver of moonlight and into the shadows of the train cars.

***

Carlos Hathcock sat straight up as the report of the gunshot echoed over into the forest. Snatching up his rifle, he quickly gathered up his claymore mines and set off, down the hill and closer to the city, shaking sleep from his eyes.

Häyhä's eyes snapped open in the gas station, but he held stock-still for a half a minute, waiting to see if the gunshots continued. They sounded far enough away as to remove any fears that they were targeted at him, but he did not want to take chances. Once he felt the imminent danger had lessened, Häyhä slowly reached down, grabbed his rifle, and stepped cautiously around the cans, making sure to leave them stacked in place - perhaps a foolish opponent would give away his position later on. Crawling out the back entrance in case someone had acquired his location and was scoping out the front door, Häyhä made his way back to the abandoned building around which the fighting had centered, peering through the fog.

Suddenly, a great clunking was heard, in rolling waves across the empty cityscape. With the noise came a great flashing of yellow and white lights as the power randomly came crashing through - the buzzing crackle of still-working, but slightly dimmed neon lights; the distant, faded warble of restaurants playing music on PA systems; and the low hum of generators and heating and air conditioning units washed across the silence, dispersing it and chasing it to the four winds. The fog became blindingly reflective as the soft glow of the electric lights bounced distractingly off the dense white mist.

Vasily Zaytsev was startled at the initial burst of light and sound, but stayed on-course as he trekked down the railroad. As the old, abandoned building disappeared, swallowed up by the dying light and fluctuating fog, several trees stood by a dirt path that led into the woods. Deciding to leave the relative danger of the city behind, the Soviet sniper pushed onward into the wilderness.

***

Carlos Hathcock sat by a boulder that jutted up into the sky, breaking up his profile on a hill that overlooked the now-lit city. Sitting underneath the great rock, shrouded in the shadow, Hathcock felt protected by the string of claymores set up on one side of the boulder, his M1911 handgun on the ground next to him by the other side. The fog slowly thinned out, allowing Hathcock to scope out the city streets, searching for movement betrayed by the light. His watchful eye spotted a dance of shadows in the trees several meters to his left - but his attention was captured by a figure moving down in the city. The shadow's probably a deer, thought Hathcock. Besides, I've got my claymores. Indeed, down on a cracked and torn street, Simo Häyhä walked, his scopeless rifle held at a gut level, ready to be raised and fired at a moment's notice. Hathcock watched patiently as the Finnish sniper disappeared into an alley, adjusting his rifle's line-of-sight to prepare for his foe's exit at the other end. A soft rustling in the grass put Hathcock at ease, the cool wind caressing the sweaty-faced hunter. Häyhä poked his head tenatively out at the other side of the alley, before he stepped out, slightly off-center of a streetlamp. Holding his breath, Carlos Hathcock steadied his aim and tightened his finger around the trigger.

Crack! Hathcock was thrown to the side as a rifle butt smashed into the side of his face. His eye jutted painfully into the scope of the Winchester as he involuntarily pulled the trigger, the kickback smashing into his face and racking him with pain. Rolling to the side, Hathcock raised his pistol and fired one round wildly at a dark silhouette above, grazing its side. Vasily Zaytsev jerked back, stumbling a few steps before levelling his Mosin-Nagant coolly and firing into Hathcock's stomach. Carlos Hathcock yelled in pain and fell back, the M1911 falling from his hands. Vasily Zaytsev gave the body a harsh kick, and, satisfied with the lifeless flop it gave at the blow, turned back, angrily gripping his wound.

As Hathcock faded in and out of consciousness, he turned his head to the side, noticing a glint of white light reflecting from the city lights off in the distance. It was the cord connecting his claymore mines to their "clacker" detonator. Reaching out weakly, he gripped his fingers tightly around the mechanism and, mustering the last of his strength, pulled down hard. The earth around him erupted in a magnificent blast of orange and yellow, sending thousands of ball bearings flying indiscriminately through the air, shredding the plants and trees that stood in their path. Zaytsev ducked instinctively, off to the side, crippled in the leg by the ball bearings. Standing up unsteadily, he raised his rifle high to regain his balance.

Down in the city below, Simo Häyhä looked up, watching from behind the iron sights of his rifle as the claymore's explosions gave a brief flash of illuminating, revealing light in the hilly clearing. Spotting a dark figure stumbling to stand, Häyhä fired his rifle, hitting Vasily Zaytsev directly in the chest. The silhouette tumbled to the ground as the darkness swallowed up the light from the explosion.

At that moment, even before the dying echoes of the fatal gunshot had disappeared in the lifeless city, the power went out once again.

WINNER: SIMO HÄYHÄ

Expert's OpinionEdit

Simo Häyhä won thanks to his exemplary combat record in the Winter War against the Soviets - such a large body count and a resilience despite a concentrated effort to kill him personally spoke volumes for his capacity as a sniper. These traits, coupled with his innovative tactical thinking, ensured his first place spot. Vasily Zaytsev came in a close second, as a result of his mobile sniper tactics and reliable, simple weaponry - the fact that he survived the Battle of Stalingrad meant he was very, very deadly. Carlos Hathcock secured a respectable third place because, although he was a proficient marksman and an accomplished sniper, his reliance on newer technology made him less reliant on his survival skills than those of Häyhä and Zaytsev. Captain MacMillan came in fourth place because, while his M21 sniper and ghillie suit were excellent tools for success on the battlefield, he simply was not that impressive of a sniper - his mission to kill Zakhaev, after all, was not even successful, and nearly cost him his leg. Team Fortress 2's Sniper came in dead last as a result of a laser sight that would reveal his position to his opponents, a lack of true sniping skills, and an overall lack of real skill when compared to the rest of his foes.

To see the original battle, weapons and votes, click here.

Battle vs. Leo Major (by LB&SCR) Edit

TBW

Expert's OpinionEdit

TBW

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