The Unforgiving Country: The Tarnished Badge

“How can you watch this stuff?” Jen asked.

Hank waited until Kirk’s green-gold figure faded into static. “It ain’t much to ask. Electrics an’ all ain’t that pricey.”

“It’s not the price it’s the quality!”

“We’ll watch a Wayne one next.”

He reached over the table and brushed aside a pile of spent charges for the remote. “No time,” Jen said, “we’ve gotta ride.”

They took their ponies when they went out onto the space station’s observation deck— it was too big to travel on foot. Maybe it just looked big though, Hank thought, what with all those far away stars and all that black sucking on the glass. The whole universe out there just looking for a crack. Hank had a partner who’d gone out like that— one minute here, and the next he was just floating away, slow and kinda graceful. If his gun hadn’t run empty, Hank would have shot him. Every day since he made sure it was charged.

“Think we’ll find anyone today?” Jen asked.

Hank spat. They went on, listening to the clatter of hooves on aluminum walkways.

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