Author : Duncan Shields, Staff Writer
I used to be a very technical person. People can get to a level of reliance on their stealth tech that can end in their death.
Like the wide-eyed 20-year-old quivering around the shaft of my spear.
Her camsuit flickers like a broken wall display before becoming the sharkskin grey of an inactive unit.
Her struggles become more reflexive than conscious and she dies looking at me with the question in her eyes, “How did you know?”
The cheap bubble gum wafts out of her open mouth behind the slats of her face-shield. It helped me pinpoint her.
Sometimes the pros can get caught out in rookie mistakes caused by over confidence and a belief in invincibility brought on by too many victories.
I saw it happen to all of my friends when the government tried to expunge us. One by one, the hardest and smartest of my friends were taken out by weapons that fried their electronics or scrambled their communications.
We’d been the long knives of that organization. We’d killed a lot of people. We left no witnesses. And now that empire was killing the only witnesses left.
I carry no tech now. I had my biologicals reinstalled after I fled the capital, before I bought black market ferry passage to this deserted planetoid.
I am painted in the dark blue berry juice and mud that helps me disappear into the terrain here and masks my heat. I survive by killing and eating. I have been here for six months. I need nothing.
I had lulled myself into believing I’d have more time. That I’d fooled them. Or that they figured one last lonely soldier wouldn’t matter.
I push her body off the harpoon with my foot. It makes a wet, heavy sound hitting the ground. This rock’s blue scavenger insects are already making their way towards the body.
I wasn’t dead so she must have been alone, a recon scout or something, probably expecting to be bored.
It won’t be long until her absence is noted on the download box and they send out the word that they’ve found the defector.
I head back to my tree to enact the defenses.
This is my moon.