Finders, keepers, is an unwritten law. But the gadget Clark accidentally found had a special set of rules governing its use by whom—and when!
Richard Clark loaded his shotgun. He glanced up the canyon, gray and misty under a cold dawn sky. A cotton-tail darted from a nearby bush and bounced away. Clark's gunsights followed in a weaving line after his bobbing target. Before he could draw a bead, the rabbit vanished behind a distant scrub oak. Clark stalked him quietly. He knew he'd bag this one without trouble, but any others around him would take cover at his first shot.
His boots crunched loudly on gravel. At the sound the rabbit sprang into the open and zigzagged toward a thicket. Furious at his clumsiness, Clark blasted away with both barrels. He charged up the canyon, fumbling in his parka for more shells, and crashed through dank high brush into a shadowy clearing. A soft rustling sound quickly faded.
"Well, there he goes," Clark grumbled.
Something metallic glittered in a low, thorny shrub, and he bent down, curious. From a black cord caught in its branches dangled a silvery pocket flashlight. He smiled faintly as he pulled it loose. After months of testing and inspecting complicated electronic devices, he found simple gadgets amusing. He pressed a button on
Clark is out hunting when he startles a couple of aliens. One of them drops a tool, and when Clark picks it up, he owns it. Which makes it awkward for the aliens.
Clark is the only real character, he's Joe Everyman, looking for an edge to get ahead.
2013 SFR GALAXY AWARD WINNER
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