The MacGuffin

“Okay, I am at the coordinates.” There was nothing in the immediate vicinity except for the cliff, some rocks, and the meager vegetation that eked out an existence. Sand whipping around reflected the harsh sunlight in every direction.

His radio crackled. “Good. You should see two large boulders next to each other at the base of the cliff.”

“I see them.” They were less than a dozen feet from where he stood.

“Right where they touch, underneath that spot is a metal box. That’s what you’re looking for.”

“I don’t see anything.” There wasn’t much to see beyond his vizor, and the sand made it hard to see even that, but the empty space was still obvious.

“It has to be there. Maybe the sand buried it.”

He kicked at the sand a bit, but there was only an inch or two on top of solid ground.

“It’s not here. In fact, the boulders aren’t touching. It looks like someone moved it.”

“Impossible. No one knows it’s there. Did you try digging for it.”

Despite the poor visibility, he saw something moving maybe fifty meters away. He pulled out his rifle and looked through the sight. A small wiry figure was moving at a good pace through the dunes. It was holding something.

“This box. Is it really important?”

“Yes. That’s why I sent you out there.”

He sighed and replaced the rifle in its sling. A shot that missed would warn his prey. Better to get closer. “I’ll be in touch.” Before a protest could start, he silenced his radio and began the pursuit.

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