Like pioneers in Earth’s past, Terry and his wife came to the red planet seeking their fortune. But others came too, ready to prove—
There was death above. The Martian Sand Vulture swooped and hissed and twitched its barbed, poisonous tail in the thin air.
There was death below. The man lay cradled in the pebbly sand. Red sand that matched the color of his hair and the color of the blood oozing slowly from the hole in his forehead and trickling greasily along the inside of his punctured head-bubble. The air whistled thinly through the corresponding hole in the bubble as the oxygen converter tried vainly to maintain the proper breathing mixture.
There was death in the muzzle of the gun dangling nonchalantly from the tall man’s gloved hand. It grinned from his face, etched in the sardonic twist that the purple scar gave to his right cheek. It danced in the emotionless distances of his eyes.