BOOTLICKER

Harkoff #2

2012-10-08

The their steel eyes glinted in the moonlight. When the nearby insects died down periodically, for a few seconds, you could hear the devices whirring softly, clicking and re-adjusting themselves.

"Have some respect."

"What?"

"Have some damn respect, pustule."

"You're an abomination."

"You can save that for the damn doctors."

"You'll switch over in a couple of hours, what's the difference?"

"We'll be back," it seemed Shrendig was awake. "We'll swap back in a few days."

Harkoff said nothing. The light rolled over the pock-marked surface of the gun, illuminating the hammer strokes on its casing.

"You'll be back too someday," she said, grabbing her pack. From inside she produced the syringe, and she primed it with chemicals.

"I'd say we're all pretty lucky, bucko, so have some respect."

"If it's luck, what's the good in it?"

"Where does all of this come from? When has that ever mattered?" Shrendig shifted in the sand as she bound the tourniquet around her arm. "They could just as easily take it away."

"Why not give it to them?"

"Doesn't work like that."

"Doesn't seem like it works both ways, then."

"Seems more like you've finally figu -- it's night time. Can't say I was expecting that." She began to pack it all away.