Character: Aeryn Sun
Word Count: 423
Prompt: Boots in the sand for a_muse_meme
Setting: Before Farscape. Aeryn is serving on Crais' Command CarrierThree for One
Her dark eyes were protected behind the heavy shield of her helmet from the near blinding sun. Aeryn was thankful for that, but her Peacekeepers’ uniform was anything but helpful as the heat started to bake through her flesh. The fear of the Living Death was praying on her mind distracting her from finding their prey.
Besides her, a pair of fellow Peacekeepers paced. If they were nervous, they hid it well, not that they could see each others’ faces through their helmets. Their Prowlers were several metra behind them tucked into a ravine where the only shade could be found.
“It went this way.” Aeryn crouched down, checking the tracks their target had left in the shifting sands. Three long toes ending in sharp claws had dug long furrows in its rush to escape.
“Where can it be hiding?” Officer Dian asked as she flipped up her own eyeshield to gaze around the horizon. “This place is flatter than the deck on the Command Carrier.”
“And hotter than Hezmana.” Garius said. The third of their squadron was the youngest of them. Aeryn could hear clearly hear the nervousness in his voice. That would have to be drilled out of him if he was going to make it through the ranks.
“Enough talk,” Aeryn said, drawing her pulse pistol. “We’ll bring that frelling thing back to the carrier if we have to drag it back in pieces.”
“One piece for each of our prowlers,” Garius said with a laugh. “I want his head.”
“I still don’t understand how it slipped its Control Collar.” Dian shrugged as she followed Aeryn’s gaze.
“There,” Aeryn grinned. “I saw something dark moving over there. Spread out.”
Aeryn moved directly for the escaped slave, knowing that her team would do as she’d told them to surround it. Her breath was loud as it echoed in her ears. A trickle of sweat ran down her neck. Bitterness caught in her throat that Crais was more than willing to sacrifice a trio of pilots and Prowlers to capture his pet.
A roar broke through the sound of their boots on the sand. All three fired in unison, catching the creature in a borage of fire. When they are done only a few smoking sections remained. Aeryn toed through the scorched flesh until she found the broach that Crais had pinned to the creature’s robes. “This will have to do for identification for now. If he wants this mess, he can send a crew down to get it. Let’s go home.”