by Pauline Creeden -
Wind blew wisps of hair into her face as Zana Black set the rifle on the back of her cybernetic hand. She couldn’t cup the barrel like she used to because fine motor control still eluded her. Through the scope her target came into range, but she couldn’t gain a clear shot. The waiting game ensued.
Zana’s breath filtered through her kerchief in visible clouds. Human prey never relied on scent for warning of a predator, so being upwind of the man she hunted made no difference. Zana continued to watch for the right moment.
“Dead or alive,” but preferably dead was how the Circuit Judges wanted the men she hunted. These small time criminals didn’t compare to the one that she had hunted for five Foundings. The man who’d stolen her arm, leg, and soul still roamed free and she’d travel to the depths of Eclectia or the heights of Avenir for him. She snickered at the thought that he’d make it that far.
A warm body came and lay next to hers, trying to conserve his warmth as well as aid in keeping her own. She pulled her face from the scope and looked down at her right hip to find liquid brown eyes staring back at her. The sand and black shepherd laid its ears back in submission when he saw her acknowledge him, and his long tail swept the ash-covered hill.
With a smile she accepted his presence and looked back through the scope. A clear shot presented itself, and she pulled the trigger.