The last hunt

    09 Oct 2021

    This masterpiece of “hard” science fiction was written in the 70s by the Norwegian writer Gvar Nielsen. Let’s read the story about the deadly poaching of the possible future.

    ***

    On the third day of continuous searches, a dot appeared on the screen of the head machine’s locator aimed at the gloomy sky. The computer in the van of the information service immediately calculated the target’s coordinates, and the Hunter onboard’s gravitational plane started from the escort platform. It took only seventy seconds to reach the target. Pressing the trigger of the biological magnet, Hunter barely suppressed the excitement that gripped him: the greatest moment of his life had arrived.

    Something flashed in the portholes of the starboard side, there was a slight click, and the Hunter sighed with relief: from the receiver’s mouth at his feet, already packed in a tricron, fell an object that their expedition was equipped for.

    The leader of the column ordered the return. Graviplane made a circle of honor over the Admiral’s all-terrain vehicle and, steeply gaining altitude, swept over the forest. Flying over the third glade, the Pilot saw a green reconnaissance track below.

    – They already know everything! – he shouted to the Hunter and brought the control stick fully towards himself.

    Hunters were attacked on approach to the ocean. The surveillance graviplane crept up unnoticed from below and has already released the suction cups so that, sticking to the fuselage, instantly burn a hole in it and release the sleeping gas. But the Hunter was lucky for the second time that day: the automatic anti-blockade protection worked, despite the interference created by the attackers, and the alien vehicle abruptly went down to the green waves.

    The rest of the way passed without incident. Eight hours later, Hunter was sitting in his favorite bar “Three Mermaids” and, habitually sipping whiskey and soda, with all his being felt the presence in the inner pocket of his jacket a check, on which the handwriting known to the entire financial world was written: “One million credits.”

    …And an hour later, a platinum dish covered with a lid was placed in front of the owner of the famous Texas ranch. Taking it off, the rancher caught a unique aroma with his nostrils widening in anticipation of a miracle: in front of him, surrounded by the most exquisite garnish, turning pink with a crispy crust, lay helplessly spreading its severed legs, the last partridge on Earth.

    ***

    Are you looking for more science fiction stories about eco-issues? Check our author’s column about post-apocalyptic movies here.

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