The man took the shotgun out of the trunk. As he walked around the car, the radio was still playing christmas songs. It was short after sunset and the air was warm and moist, quite usual at this time of year.
With the headlights on, he leaned on the hood. The engine was hot from the long drive up north. He started to feel hungry.
Getting the gun in the big city had been more difficult than anticipated. At the end he had to kill the dealer and ditch him somewhere in the outskirts. Better not to leave any traces.
He knew his target would arrive soon.
The glider was shaking violently. The pilot grew nervous as he continued to loose speed and altitude. He knew that an Aleph 3 was not operational below the troposphere and that he was likely to impact on E6 if he would not solve the problem quickly.
His mission had been to approach E6, shortly descend into its stratosphere, dispatch the man-sized capsule and rejoin the fleet orbiting around E4. But for some reason the capsule would not detach properly, most likely it got caught in one of the straps.
The climb had become steeper. The only sound he could hear was his own breath, eclipsing the soft rustle of the snow swirls around him.
He knew time was running short. Only a few moments ago the sun had disappeared behind the long mountain range in the west. The shadows moved fast and he immediately had felt the drop in temperature. But more concern was the incoming storm, now only minutes away. No one would survive it in the open.
He turned to look down the long snow field.