by Travis Perry -
Zana decided to keep an eye on the one called, “Jax.” A tiny flicker of recognition had crossed his face when she’d shown him the glossy of Ernsto Mons. Jax knew Ernsto, or at least had seen him at some point, Zana would have bet her last credit on that. She could have threatened him, but her gut instinct told her he wouldn’t have talked—not easily anyway.
At the moment, Jax lingered at Maddie’s Pub, seated at a stool near the front, while Zana lingered at a table near the back. He was that kind of hunter, it seemed, the kind to drink big whenever he brought in a big haul. The kind that, like it or not, was the main reason a business like Maddie’s could turn a profit.
Hours passed but eventually, Jax stumbled out of the establishment, dragging a heavy pack after him, clearly full of something, probably supplies. Not too suddenly, Zana followed along after him, Cotton padding alongside her.
Just as she passed outside the pub door, she observed Jax stumble into the nearby “Elimination Tent.” At least he wasn’t the kind of hunter to empty his bladder on the outside wall of the Pub…Zana rounded the corner around the left of the tent. And waited.
Not more than a minute later, she heard footsteps stumbling out across the hardbrick in front of the tent flap entrance. Jax was lucky somebody didn’t assault him and take whatever money he had left on him…if he had any money left, that is. Apparently the Palmer Trading Camp on the outskirts of Adagio wasn’t actually as rough as local lore would suggest.
Jax didn’t reenter the pub. Instead, he stood in the reddish light of the lesser whale, puzzled for a moment, while Zana observed him from the side of the tent. He unsteadily lined up his body as his eyes searched something in particular, perhaps a specific feature on the horizon. Then he pulled on the heavy pack onto his shoulders and stumbled that direction, in something loosely approximating a straight line, straight out of the Palmer Camp.
Zana found it simplicity itself to follow after him.