The tall, slim Solitus man stood gazing out over the Scheol Highlands from his perch near the portal from Elysium. Off to his right, and well within his peripheral vision, the swirling portal stood silent as the Agent awaited latest charge. Swirling eddies of the slight breeze mingled with the air currents as two suns, Animus and Amicus, played havoc with the convection currents near the sheer cliff face. Occasionally the mumblings of the nearby Yutto could be heard as the winds shifted erratically.

Although often called upon as an armed escort for many...less experienced Clanners, Rhus would often find himself in the same position while waiting for his comm to silently deliver another request for his services. Altitude, humidity, Ballistic Coefficient, declination and wind variables seamlessly coalesced as he mentally projected cross-hairs leading the wandering Gluarash below. Of all Rubi-Ka and the Shadowlands, this represented one of the most difficult shots in this dusty corner of the galaxy, even with nano enhancements and the availability of powerful symbiants.

Knowing his latest charge would be some time before even arriving early, Rhus lowered his enhanced eye to the telescopic sight. A brutish Gluarash leapt forward in magnification, it's blue eyes glowing malevolently and it stumbled around aimlessly with it's lopsided gait. The slight hint of crow's feet sneaking out from behind his shades only hinted at the sublime joy which was appraising an unaware target at great distance. This is why he made the arduous one-way trip to this desolate planet. To test himself and his rifle. To travel to distant, exotic lands, meet new and unusual people, and kill them. And with the Insurance Reclaims, he didn't think he'd ever run out!

As the corner of his mouth slightly tipped in a grin, came the perfect moment. The tip of his finger almost delicately secured the trigger. The natural pause between breaths. Grass seen behind his target's head lost tension as the wind began to fall off. Only 40" lead because of declination. The Gluarash lifted its chin to test the falling breeze and was at a momentary pause. Rhus was almost surprised when his finger and rifle acted almost before he knew the time was right. At this distance, time of flight was measured in full seconds as his energy round struck home in the throat of the Gluarash. A metallic click as he released the tension on the trigger and he watched the creature's body began to topple. No matter how heavy the armor, it is always weakest at the throat. The kinetic force of the round's passage created a vacuum-like effect, drawing blood out in an explosive spray from a body that had yet to realize it was dead.

A deep cleansing breath slowly released while savoring the moment of passing perfection. A perfect shot, at the perfect time, for a perfect kill.

Of their own volition, well-practiced hands secured gear and teased the grass to hide the sign of his passage. His mind, meanwhile, reviewed every motion, every action, seeking areas of improvement. His feet quickly carried him away to change positions out of Line of Sight from the creatures who never knew he was there in the first place. An ancient poem sprung to mind and he conducted a completely unnecessary exfil routine. "On a leafless branch..."

The slight vibration of his comm brought him quickly back to the moment as he wistfully locked away the perfect shot for later review.

A few moments later, a young female Nanomage Metaphysicist stepped warily though the portal.

Time to get to work.