”…8,9,10, ” she muttered to herself.

Nine rabbits and one pheasant with poor luck and bad timing.

That was good, much better than she had anticipated and much more than to be expected this time of year. Winter was around the corner, looming over them like an ever-present, ever-foreboding dark shadow, and they could dry the meat and trade the furs. If she were home, she would have been smiling, a content, uplifting smile, but she wasn . She was in some clearing much further off her land than she should have travelled, much deeper into territory that was not her own and far from the lines they had all agreed upon, but she could not say that she was sorry. She sighed, a deep, long, sigh and she rolled her stiff shoulders. She shouldn be here, but now she had ten kills and she could feed them both. She heard a crack, her eyes darting, almost too quickly, almost painfully at the sound, but it was only her little fire.

And by The City, she was tired, that ache in her muscles only growing stronger whenever she thought of her long trek home with her sackful of kills. It wouldve been easier if shed only had that sack, but she had something far more important to carry. Her crossbow was beside her, silent and still, seemingly asleep, with one grip of her practised fingers, it would come to life, humming with that sweet crackle of current. It was a weapon many had fought over and many had asked just to take a look at, but it was hers, and one of only two things that truly kept them both from starving.

She jumped when a log crumbled in her fire, her heart racing, her fingers brushing up against that scar on her scalp, deep and bumpy and somehow always as painful as the night shed got it. It was only in her mind, she knew that, but somehow she always found herself cold and breathless, her mouth going dry whenever she touched it. She had sliced into her own skin, her hands not as skilled, not as steady, as they were now, but steady enough to slip in those Implants, all scratched and singed from remodelling and reprogramming, and all for that Radar that fell over her eye with a small, crisp click.

She reached for it, that small, metal box j

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