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[Fiction] Babe on the Borderlands


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They tracked her movements as she skimmed over the tops of the tree line. The sniper and his spotter were waiting for their moment to strike – for that perfect shot.

“237 meters,” breathed the spotter. “Wind is from the North-East at 5 miles per hour.”

The sniper didn’t respond. He moved minutely to compensate for the wind. He took a breath in … and she dove.

The two men struggled to reacquire her then realized something they had done had tipped her off. It was a chilling realization. They began slowly, quietly backing out of the underbrush that had been their concealment.

“You are over the truce line,” Stormwarden admonished. The two men were crouched down and facing the wrong way.

“Don’t try it,” she continued. “I’m faster, at your backs, and in no mood to play.”

The spotter looked over his shoulder at the Native American Goddess. No, she wasn’t a goddess, but she could have been one – might as well have been one. His own weapon was slung by his side. He still had the scope in his hands.

“We must be lost,” the sniper said boldly. He had not turned around. He didn’t want to see her – his almost victim – this up close and personal. The man knew what novas could do to your mind if you looked at them, or listened to them. He had heard stories.

“I’ll accept that,” she responded cheerfully. “That way I don’t have to turn you over to the Native Police. No deep, dark, and very cold holding cell for you until your side decides on another prisoner exchange.”

The spotter couldn’t take his eyes off of her. He had heard stories about this one. She was a dyke, but kind of a fluff-ball. She didn’t look nearly so harmless now. She was pretty – no, gorgeous and eminently do-able. Nothing about her looked …

“How did you find us,” he blurted out?

“I heard you.”

He must have looked incredulous.

“Yes, I heard you talk from all the way over there. I have the ears of Snow Owl and the eyes of Winter Hawk. Once I heard you, I was able to spot you in the brush here.”

Seeing that he still couldn’t completely understand,

“I have lived in the wilderness – as an animal – for more than half my life, Soldier. I am more animal than the animals. I am a nova and you don’t want to be facing me, especially not out here. This is like my home, but warmer.”

The temperature hung in the mid-thirties and there was a cool wind blowing down from the Canadian Rockies. The weather was far from pleasant.

“You will lay your rifles down, the scope too. Keep your pistols. You may need them on the long walk back. If you don’t do this, or you come back once I release you,” she added coyly, “I will kill you. I will turn into the White Wolf, hamstring you, chew off your arms and leave you to bleed to death here in the woods.”

Her words were said in such a kind, innocent way that it almost made her sound unbelievable. Yet, both men felt the menace behind her words.

She stood there watching them go, her eufiber outfit looking like Ojibwa buckskins. Her hair hung long in twin braids, while her breath made small puffs of smoke. She watched and listened to the two men make their way back toward the White Man’s lines. She knew she was within her rights to kill them. She had the capacity, both physically and morally. They had come here to kill Ptesan-Wi’s people after all. They had been attempting to kill her.

But …

But, that was not the will of the White Buffalo Calf Woman and Rhayne knew it. The Sioux Goddess wanted the bloodshed to stop so it must stop.

Stormwarden gathered up the rifles and the scope and took off into the air. She could still here the two men trudging back home, though she could no longer see them. Rhayne would find a place and break the guns, so that they could not help men kill anymore. She would go back to patrolling this stretch of the borderlands, hoping and trying to keep the peace.

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