He waited for the passing clouds to reveal the sun. The solar panel that fed the cell that charged his rifle was missing all that energy. His target was only a few miles away, an easy enough shot for Gaul Galen.
A click and the rustle of dry grass behind him. The lack of wind was glaring.
“Ah, Gaul, if it isn’t you,” Pretorius Flux said. Gaul didn’t have to turn around; he recognized the gravely voice of the gizormak.
“Damnit, Flux, come on, we’re going after the same target here,” Gaul said. Each word brought a deeper sensation of pressure against the back of his skull. His life was in the hands of someone who didn’t know the difference between an asteroid and a comet. “Don’t be stupid.”
“But if you kill him, then I only get half the reward.”
“We only split it if we both do the work, dumbass.” Gaul pushed the weapon away, stood, and had his own rifle trained on Flux in a single moment, a point in time. The gizormak’s shape was that of a blob that held its weapon in slushy extensions of its body. Three big bulbs rested on the top of three stalks, his only recognizable feature. “You be the bait. I’ll take the shot.”
“Your weapon is not yet charged,” Flux said, the words seemingly coming from somewhere deep within the bulbous body. “You think I am that stupid?”
“Stupid enough to let me stand. Again, you be the bait.”
Flux squinted, his three eyes shrinking in size rather than using eyelids to do so. Apparently, he was in deep thought, a rare thing for a gizormak. “Fine, fine.”
Gaul shook his head and settled back into firing position. As Pretorious Flux sauntered off, he wondered how long it would be until he could just go home.
The sun was out after the gizormak had traveled only five hundred yards. In another five hundred, he was dead.
Gaul blew the smoke from the muzzle of his gun and settled back. A few more hours, his target would be dead, and he’d have the full reward.