“It’s nice to have a drink like this and talk shop,” Sedena said. “Even at Littleton & Associates, with all the paperwork, there isn’t much time for watercooler talk.”

“Our business is built on the mantra of ‘nothing personal, just business’ after all,” replied Katalya. “Why not kick a few back? It’s ‘nothing personal’ not ‘nothing personable.’ So go on. Tell me about the rig you use.”

“Well…”

“Most ladies our age would be showing pictures of their children or talking about them,” Katalya said. “Is this so different?”

Sedena nodded. “One might say my child is active in a variety of extracirricular activities, from track to wrestling. I prefer an M21 SWS with a pistol grip and fiberglass stock. Leatherwood 3–9x adjustable ranging telescopic sight, National Match glass bedded barrel, and the selector switch from a stock M14. Very versatile; I can group shots within an inch from two city blocks away and resort to full automatic fire if trapped.”

“At the cost of destroying the finer parts of the system,” Katalya scoffed. “I can see how a rookie might want an all-in-one system, but the M21 is a jack of all trades and master of none.”

“I’ve enough completed contract forms to settle exactly what kind of jack my baby is,” said Sedena, sipping her brandy. “I suppose you think you have something better?”

“My child’s an honor student: Norinco SKS-M with McMillan composite stock, a Bausch & Lomb 10x tactical scope, and a quick-change release so I can swap out chromed and unchromed barrels on the fly. It’s rugged, can be disassembled without tools, and accepts factory AKM magazines for when I need to scrounge–try finding 7.62mm NATO rounds on the fly! And for close encounters, a Glock 18 in 9x19mm parabellum.”

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