Sisyphus, Part Two

Pavlov squints and looks out over the flats. A dim shadow is walking towards him, dressed in white fatigues stained brown with dust. A high-power ballistic rifle hangs over its shoulder, and Pavlov can make out a brown leather holster on the man’s belt. The figure approaches. Its head is swaddled with cloth, and black tinted goggles emerge from the expanse of plasticized linen. The man is carrying a backpack, probably full of waterskins, with maybe a few clips of ammo for that elephant rifle. The figure walks over to the patch of shade given off by the pipeline maintenance station.

“Jake Larssen.” Pavlov holds his hand out to the figure, who envelopes his hand in the embrace of a cracked and grimy leather glove. The figure shifts his headwrap slightly, revealing a short and scraggly beard surrounding a thin mouth. The figure reaches into his fatigues, producing a packet of smokes.
“Ivan Pavlov. Smoke?"
“Thanks, but I’ve had one. How’s the crew at Hill 232?”
“Funny you should ask. They’re all dead.”

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