Salvaged Destiny

Salvaged Destiny by Lynn Rae Page A

Book: Salvaged Destiny by Lynn Rae Read Free Book Online
Authors: Lynn Rae
of be part of my job, since the Outlands is
my area of expertise. But I was expecting to protect you from thermals, sand
shifts, falling rocks or fungal outbreaks. Not a person.” She frowned and took
a deep breath. “Someone with a weapon of their own that they would know how to
use.”
    “Right. If someone is coming after us, they’re going to be
prepared to gain control over us.” Lazlo didn’t mention that if Sheriff Harata
was after them, he’d likely injure them to get information, or worse. Out here,
anything could happen and no one would be able to find the bodies. “And they
would use whatever force they wanted.”
    “I don’t know how to use a stunner, or a rifle either.”
Admitting her inexperience was a good sign. Lazlo was glad she hadn’t said no
outright. She just might agree to carry the stunner. Del took a step closer to
him and peered at the rifle case. “That looks pretty big to me.”
    “I brought a simple stunner, if you want to try it.” Lazlo
pulled out the Melgonic and showed it to her, pointing out the trigger and
charge buttons. Del touched it with the tip of a finger and hunched her
shoulders as if she expected it to explode with the contact.
    “Here, take a shot with it. It recharges in less than a
tenth of a second. This is the dangerous end, this is the trigger.” Lazlo
handed over the weapon and pointed at a nearby rock. “Shoot at that.”
    Del lifted the stunner in her hands, curled a thin finger
around the trigger and took a decent stance, which he did not try to improve. Let
her give it a try first . Del took a deep breath and sighted on the rock. But
she did not pull.
    “That looks like a nice piece of basalt. Unusual.” Glancing
his way, Del quirked an eyebrow. Was she not going to shoot a rock?
    “If you hit it, you’ll just knock it over. You won’t hurt
it. It’s just an electromagnetic pulse.” Lazlo tried to reassure her and she
twisted back to contemplate the rock. He tried not to be amused that she
apparently didn’t want to damage a geological specimen.
    “I don’t know.”
    “Stun bolts don’t even permanently injure people, just knock
them out. How would it hurt some chunk of rock?”
    “Not just some rock. It’s basalt, from the core of this
planet. It’s probably at least three billion—” Del was winding up to another
information dump about geology and Lazlo wanted to see her fire the stunner in
the next few hours.
    “Del, shoot the rock.” Lazlo allowed a bit of edge to harden
his voice, just as he did whenever he wanted one of the new recruits to pay
attention.
    With a start, she pressed the trigger. The stunner whirred
and the rock tipped over, neat and clean.
    “Great!” It was a decent first shot. “You do that with
someone threatening you and you’ll be fine.” Del looked unconvinced as she
shrugged and tried to hand back the stunner.
    “No, no. Try it again but first, you’ll do better if you
shift your feet like this.” Using little bumps and nudges on her thin and
uncooperative body, Lazlo soon had Del positioned in a regulation posture and
she agreed to try a few more shots. He gave her some praise to boost her
confidence while trying to ignore how nice she smelled. Del again tried to hand
the stunner back to him.
    “That one is yours. I have my own. Put it on your belt. Here’s
the holster.” In his enthusiasm, Lazlo started to unfasten her belt to thread
on the stunner holster, but Del’s hands gripped his and she caught his eye. “Sorry.
You can do that yourself.”
    Lazlo stepped back, feeling abashed that he’d handled her so
casually. He’d gotten too familiar when he’d adjusted her stance. Del eased a
step away and got the equipment lined up on her belt. With a careful touch,
Lazlo adjusted the placement along her hip so nothing rubbed or interfered with
the draw.
    “I don’t know if I can use that thing on someone,” Del said
in a low voice. “I’m not comfortable with it.”
    “What would you be

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