Calen took a steadying breath. The sun beat down overhead but she barely noticed. Her species did not sweat. Scarlati had internal organs that regulated body temperature. This made her ideal when hunting prey in the desert.
She took another breath.
She had been waiting for hours, studying her prey; watching their patterns. Her tribe was small but they were skilled in what they do. She remembered her breathing meditation exercises to help focus and rejuvenate her mind. Much depended on this kill.
She had been trained since youth on how to help contribute to the tribe. Her kills provided food and resources for everyone else.
But Calen knew that this kill would be different. This would be the one that she would take and present to the leaders in the big city.
And they would reward her. The reward would be large enough to buy a ship. Any ship, it didn't matter. She wanted to be away from this planet. Rebec would always feel like home, but she was intended for greater things. The Spirits had told her so in a dream.
She would be feared.
She would be respected.
She would no longer be a nobody that was part of a nothing tribe.
Night came and the temperature dropped rapidly. Again, Calen took no notice. Her prey began to fall asleep. This was what she had been waiting for. Of course they would react after the first shot. But picking them off while they slept would ensure her kill. She remembered what her elders had taught her: never make a shot unless you're sure it will kill. You should already see how they will die in your mind.
Four of the group of five fell asleep. One stood guard. Calen silently unstrapped her C6 sniper rifle. The rifle had been a gift from her parents when had reached the age of maturity; the age old enough to hunt on her own.
She adjusted her scope and watched the guard through it. She inhaled slightly and held her breath to steady her shot.
Calen squeezed the trigger.
The rifle made almost no sound as it fired off. The Imperium soldier standing guard fell dead to the ground with a hole smoking through his chest.
Calen smiled grimly.
The others won't even have a chance.