I didn't feel like sleeping tonight, even though I feel sick. I wrote this, and finished it as a one off, Noa doing what he's payed to do. I'm sorry I've been doing less than I normally do, being sick as a dog does that to a man.
The morning sky was a bit too bright for Noa, who was standing nearby in the shade. Days like this weren't his favorite, and if he could, he'd avoid the sunlight for as long as possible. He was wrapped head to toe in a dark brown fabric bound loosely to his skin, beneath which lied your standard working class outfit, a get up comprised of a pair of rough leather pants and a tight fitting shirt of the same material. It was cheap of course, and for someone like Noa, whose budget was stretched to it's breaking point during even the most profitable seasons, it was priceless. Near by, the mechanical grinding of gears could be heard above as the caravan came to a sudden, abrupt halt, causing him to lurch forward into the bulk of the machine's side.
“Why are we stopping? I hit my damn head, what's with it?” Noa asked, following the angered statement with a sudden cough. “Would you calm down? We noticed movement, seventeen meters ahead. Heat signature, large.” the man who spoke was a rough sort, with a large, scraggly beard of mixed browns and grays crawling down a barrel like chest that fed into a body as large as he was tall, with thick, round metal glasses completing the picturesque view of a rough n' tough old bastard. This was Maxwell Harris, the caravan leader. Noa's employer. “What, you've got this Noa? No doubtin' it's a Roach. We can get the hangers to deal with i-”. He paused, interrupted by Noa spitting, then standing. “You hired me, ya old shit, I'll take it.” with that, Noa grasped the first rung of the ladder leading to a hatch on top amidst the frustrated complaints of Maxwell the old man. He could hear him going on about Junkies and respecting your elders, but was cut off by the harsh winds of Waste pouring in as he flipped the release on the hatch.
All around him was wasteland, rolling brown hills of dust clogged terrain and half buried obsidian rocks, small grasses and shining chrome cacti dotted the landscape, contrasting the metal frames of idle COATS. Noa unhooked the loop that held the rim of his fabric cloak to his body, and as it fell to the side, he drew his sizable weapon. It was your standard slug-thrower modified with an electronic rail, standard issue for most junkies. “It can put a hole into the side of anything! Even the toughest of Roaches!” the marketing pitch would go. It was seldom proved wrong. Noa leveled his weapon and slowly squeezed a round off. His arm shot back from the recoil of the blast, the translucent beam covering the distance at speeds that ripped through the sound barrier, showering the surrounding area with melted sand turned to glass. Satisfied, he turned around and headed back in, the hatch once again cutting out the mechanical grinding of dying Roach.
Once again, the caravan was safe, this is what a Junkie's job was, killing Roaches, the metal killers that both plagued and sustained the humans who inhabited Waste.