Jackson exhaled a burst of vapour through chapped lips. He glanced over at Ruma. He was shaking from the chills, even in a heavy hooded parka.
“How long has she been gone?” Jackson asked, kindling his gloves.
“Doesn’t matter,” Ruma said, teeth chattering. “When she’s back, she’s back.”
Jackson pulled up his monocular to his face mask and scanned the tundra’s bleached horizon. Nothing but ice and snow and white.
The two men laid prone in their waist-deep trench waiting for EVELYN, a semiautonomous cheetah drone, their latest toy. They had released it several days ago and came out here into the cold every morning at nine sharp to see it return.