Sean leaned against a deck post and watched the end of a broken rail splash in the wavelets of a passing greatfish. He sat his rebreather down beyond a pool of blood on the deck boards. He’d checked the river upstream and down. He’d walked the bank both directions and searched the houseboat stem to stern. Nothing. His wife was gone.
The god’s damned horned ones must be coming even further up the river. The planet’s amphibious sentients had stayed at sea, occasionally coming into Cloud Bay but never up the river. Things had changed.
He needed to call spaceport security and let them know. It was time for more tech. He needed to get a barrier up around his home. He needed his wife back. Tears began to flow and he reached up for the sawed-off harpoon gun hanging from his shoulder. Tameria wouldn’t want that. She’d tell him to get off his ass and get on with it. What’s done is done.
He slipped down onto the deck and wrapped his arms around his head. He’d emigrated to be free of the bounds of the civilized colonies. Well, he had his freedom from everything now. He was alone.