crossposted to supersciencefic~
The Sandhill Crane.
Pausing in weeding his garden, Brock looked up at the sky, swiping at his forehead with the back of his hand. Birds were flying overhead, hundreds of them, in sprawling ‘V’ shapes. Huge birds, cranes of some kind, though they really didn’t stress ornithology during OSI training, so he didn’t know for sure. Brock squinted and watched them for a few minutes, then sighed and crouched back down again, yanking at the weeds that invaded his herb garden; unwelcome guests.
After dinner, while Brock washed the dishes, his mind started wandering, for some reason always returning to those birds he saw in the sky. Something was familiar about them, but he couldn’t pinpoint what, and yet he could not stop thinking about them. Unwelcome guests.
Drying his hands off with a dishtowel, Brock went into his room and started digging through his bookshelf. Most of his books were Led Zeppelin biographies or field manuals, but he had the odd reference book in there somewhere too. Brock was never a really big reader, but he did find some comfort in having books around to defer to when he encountered something that his years of experience with crazy didn’t help him understand.
He thought he had a birding guide in here somewhere, and he was right; he pulled it out from under a plumbing manual from the 80s and sat crosslegged on the floor, thumbing through it on what he realised was an overly optimistic whim. But then something caught his eye, and he flipped back a few pages to see what it was. The birds he’d seen in the sky. Grus canadensis. The Sandhill Crane.
As Brock read about the cranes, he realised that he used to see them as a child, in Nebraska. He really didn’t know why he remembered this -- they were just big birds, so why would something so trivial stick out in his mind? He stopped halfway through the paragraph he was reading, frowning, and just placed the book back on the shelf. Things like that, his childhood, they were unimportant. They didn’t matter anymore; they were no longer part of his life. His life started the moment Hunter burned his file, his old life, leaving it on ashes on his desk.
And right now, in Brock’s current life, he needed to finish washing the dishes. So he did.
Two months later and one thousand miles away, a red convertible zoomed down a deserted road on its way to Calgary. Molotov glanced at the sky behind her, in her rear-view mirror, and saw a flock of Sandhill Cranes, heading North to their breeding grounds. She smiled a little, sadly, nostalgically, but immediately dismissed the thought as the unwelcome guest it was.
She remembered the cranes from her childhood in Siberia, but that life was no longer hers, and so it no longer impacted her. Her life started the moment Brock Samson killed her father, leaving her old life dead and bloody on the ground.
And right now, in Molotov’s current life, she needed to leave someone else dead and bloody on the ground.
So she did.