Continuing on from my last post, here is part two of my Space-Western-Comedy Thing
Let me know what you think in the comments!
Orange embers smouldered in a blackened pit, heat mixing with the cold desert air on Arda Prime.
Nearby a saddled comalu stood tethered to a withered tree, chewing on the remnants of a dry tuft of purple spit-grass. The rough clumps of grass dominated the flat landscape for miles.
Cast in the half-light glow of what remained of the fire, a body lay restless in anxious sleep. Dreams of the desert, dreams of an easy life, dreams of the dead...
"Wha!" Odell jerked upright, resting on both elbows, cold sweat beading on his forehead. He glanced over at the comalu. It had given up tearing at the dry grass and curled its body around the base of the tree, head nestled between crossed paws and tree root, all four ventral gills pulsing rhythmically as it took long, slow breaths.
The horizon glowed a faint purple. Light from the nearby blue giant refracted in the planets atmosphere as its two moons shone brightly overhead. Odell raised his arm and wiped the sweat from his forehead onto his already yellowed shirt. Body complaining, he slowly moved to a crouch, reaching for his deflated water skin.
Odell raised the skin to his lips, Well, no use for that he thought to himself as the last few drops of water ran out onto his tongue. He stood up, stretching his muscles in a grand backwards arc. More than a few tendons and bones fell into place in a cacophony of snaps and clicks.
Odell had been on the road for days and his body had begun to suffer the toll of sleeping rough. Sleep never came easy to him, he tossed and turned, often waking more exhausted than he had the day before.
He wandered over to his sleeping beast at the base of the tree. The comalu raised an ear, its left eye cracked just enough to watch Odell approach. He reached for the saddle bag slung low over the its back, searching for another water skin. After a minute the beast shifted its weight, blocking his access, but he knew there wasn't anymore water.
Odell circled the tree and scratched behind the great cats ear. It raised its head to get a better angle against Odell's hand, gills puffing with pleasure.
"Come on girl, we've a job do." said Odell, looking the comalu in the eye. With lazy abandon, the cat rose to its feet and stretched out each of its four legs, shaking the dust off its fur.
Odell hitched his foot into the side stirrup and hauled his tired body onto the beast, his hands finding the reins. "Hya!" He shouted, the great cat responded, leaping to a run.
After an hour travelling across the dusty plain, Odell and the comalu stood high atop a ridged cliff, its sheer face stretching down several hundred meters. In the valley below Odell could see the outskirts of Vayne peering through light forest and low slung humid mist.
Odell shoulders tensed, he could just make out the security points that rimmed the city edge. High angular grey walls were broken into several segments. Inroads guarded by turrets and accompanied by patrolling drones gave off an eerie light as they danced through the valley mist in regular routine.
He turned towards the great cat and rifled through its saddle, extracting a visual scope which he held to his face and peered into the valley stretching out before them.
Placing two fingers against his neck Odell spoke in a soft, but clear voice "This is Parrish, security has increased significantly. Variables have been altered, requesting additional compensation."
He waited a few moments, fixing his scope on a singular drone, studying its flight pattern.
"Parrish, the client has authorised additional transfer of one hundred thousand credits."
Odell flipped the scope said viewfinder, electric signals glowing like bonfires in his vision.
"Two hundred thousand, no less." he replied.
"Parrish, I can't do that, the client has left strict orders that one hundred thous..."
"Then I guess the client won't be happy after I leave without their prize. Tell the 'client' when they are serious, and will pay what it's worth, to contact me."
Odell noticed a change in the way the drones and turrets were moving. Both appeared to halt for a moment and reset, turret barrels lowering and drones returning to the ground. The glow in his scope dimming, everything was off, all except power to the guards communication units.
"Wait... Damn it Parrish, fine, two hundred thousand... But I'm cutting into my own profits."
"Fine doing business with you Emmit."
He lowered the scope, eyes adjusting to the distant haze. It would be sun up soon and the mist was thickening. The comalu groaned a little, and nudged him with its head. Odell placed his arm on the beast and rubbed his hands through its course hair in anticlockwise circles. It lowered its front legs and arched its back, a purr thrumming from deep within.
"Yea... I know, time to get to work."