Booze Run

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I can't SEE!

That's what I get for freaking out. I got plenty of air, but my mask is fogged and all I can see is a red blur if I look down and a pink blur if I look up.

In meantime there's a dog-person with a gyro crossbow looking for me. I hear a thunk through the thin martian atmosphere - very faint. Sounds like she's plinking the obvious rock to hide behind that I didn't slide past - no, wait, thin air, she hit this rock.

Okay, how do I get out of this? Stop, McFly, think. That was a good run. You're winded and your breathing mask is fogged. She's probably in the same shape. Whoever regains sight first, wins. Crossed a million miles of space to end up literally running booze across the desert. Again. Of course in this case the booze is some special French yeast that'll let my neighbors make proper beer without importing it, but same difference.

I try to hold my breath. Another plink. The mask is still too fogged. I'm hoping that she can only see the rocks and is keeping me pinned.

The only bit of my mask that I can see through is the bottom righ eye. Pink-orange sand. Really tiny white flowers, a lichen or something. We were so happy when these started sprouting outside the greenhouse. Sure, they're poisonous and don't even get you high, but still - in a few years proper stuff will be able to live here. Heh. Few years in the future, can you send me some air?

Think, Seamus. You're fighting a hyperadvanced puppy person. Probably about as stubborn as the revenue guys. You got a better gun, but only one shot. You take the mask off, your eyes will hurt for a good three minutes, two and a half more than she needs to get an arrest. Good thing: she's in the same situation.

Gotta make her blink first.

Dammit, wish I had a bubble helmet - I could clean some of it with my nose. This stuff is probably reconditioned Earth scuba gear. Then again, it'd have broken when I had to roll behind the rock.

Maybe if I close my eyes and lift the mask for a moment - no, then the fogging freezes, I'm worse off. What do I got? Sand. Fine sand. Throw a bit of sand in the mask and slosh it. Yeah, that's the ticket. Just gonna have to make sure I don't look up too fast after or it'll get in my eyes.

I pick up some sand, use my glove claw to lift the mask a little after closing my left eye, and put it in the mask, then shake my head. Open eye. Mask's scratched, but better than fogged. I can see enough to get to the next cover, and shoot if I absolutely have. Alright. That took twenty seconds to do. With luck, she won't figure this out for a bit. Maybe I can shift covers without her hearing me.

One eye open, I run towards the next rock. Ha! She'll think I'm still back there, not enough air to hear me running! Now I can make a clean get away maybe...

I look up again, to see the sinfin walking towards me. Her mask is off. She's grimacing. How the fuck? Dammit. Run over. I raise my hands and put the rifle down.

Even the precinct guy booking me had to admit that I was clever. The hunter that got me is actually trying to be friendly. I ask her how she managed to see me first.

"A translucent film of oil forms over my eyes in response to grit and so on. It helps with the cold." She blinks, the long eyelashes make it look like a wink. "Look, nobody got hurt. Better luck next time?"

My rep already posted bail, so I won't have manacles on for long. I shrug, which is really noisy with the damn things; half gravity means heavy restraints, and these look like they came out of a Wiz of Id strip. I look at the sinfin.

"The Noachian farmers will be. Do you know how much a can of Mariners Valley beer costs? You try to run an okra farm without booze. Everybody's angry all the time."

The flask with the yeast is not in the evidence box. Maybe she has it. Maybe I can talk her into delivering it for me.
A flash fic to flesh out Dee's Journeys universe. You can find more about it at emlia.org/dwiki/index.php

The stuff about not running in a spacesuit is from my recent experience at the Mars Desert Research Station: mdrs.marssociety.org/
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